Friday, April 30, 2010

WA #316 National Poetry Month

For more: http://weekendassignment.blogspot.com


How could I pass up this assignment, when I write poetry like a mad woman. It's a little thing you may or may not know about me. It is how I deal with almost everything that happens in my life. Whether it is good, bad or indifferent, I channel it all through poem. I change my writing style often too....
Hope you like, though it is mildly somber.





Has The Well Dried Up?

My heart beats
Though I cannot cry
Has the well dried up?

Anger rising
Or a sty in my eye
Has the well dried up?

Hurtful emotion
I cannot lie
Has the well dried up?

Cast aside
Want to run and hide
Has the well dried up?

Painfully waiting
Do I stay by your side
Has the well dried up?

So much love
Give it another try
This well has not dried.

~ Freda Mans (04/19/10)

Giveaway: Red Raven Umbrella

Recently I read a book by Garth Stein entitled Raven Stole The Moon. It was my favorite read of March. Read my review here; http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/raven-stole-moon-garth-stein.html
Now here is your chance to win a lovely red umbrella with the Raven logo on it!






THANKS TO Sarah & Terra Communications, I HAVE
1 Umbrella, TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT YOU
NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!



GIVEAWAY RULES:
Mandatory:
Comment leaving a valid email address to enter.
+1 bonus entry if you are/become a follower (MUST BE PUBLIC PROFILE) Leave a separate comment to count.
+1 Tweet or blog and leave link in separate comment. (One time, not daily)
+10 purchase a book through banner above, BookChristian, come back leave me verification in a separate comment.


Open to US & CANADA
SORRY NO P.O. BOXES

NO EMAIL, NO ENTRY.


Easy as 1-2-3! Contest ends May 14, 11:59 p.m. (e.s.t.)


April Monthly News


BOOKS READ:
1. St. John of the Midfield - Garasamo Maccagnone
2. Prilla's Talent - Stefan Petrucha (children) (recommend)
3. Share From the Heart - Marilyn Randall (children) (recommend)
4. Parkers' Astrology - Julie & Derek Parker
5. Lemon Tart - Josi S. Kilpack (HIGHLY recommend)
6. Lethal Rage - Brent Pilkey
7. How to Achieve Heaven on Earth - John E. Wade II
8. I Has A Hotdog - Professor Happycat
9. Sexaholics - Pynk (recommend)
10. A Distant Melody - Sarah Sundin (recommend)
11. Dear John - Nicholas Sparks (audiobook) (recommend)
12. Will the World End in 2012 - Raymond C. Hundley
13. How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly - Connie May Fowler
14. The Twilight Gospel - Dave Roberts
15. The Rough Guide to Cloud Computing - Peter Buckley
16. Tomato - Gail Harland & Trevor Cole (cookbook) (recommend)
17. Dead Man of the Year - Stephen Hawley Martin
18. She-Rain - Michael Cogdill
19. Heartache & Sin - Charles Soto
20. Guardian - Katie Hines (Young adult) (recommend)
21. Hollywood Moon - Joseph Wambaugh (audiobook)
22. Asking For Trouble - Sandra Byrd (Young adult)(recommend)
23. Beaded Hope - Cathy Liggett
24. Ruby of the Realms - Daniel Kamin (young adult)

Yearly total: 100 Books



FAVORITE BOOK OF APRIL:



AWARDS RECEIVED:

I received this award from Velvet at: http://vvb32reads.blogspot.com/ She is an amazing blogger, has a terrific blog, and is the reason I have a new -found curiosity for Steampink. Yeah you read it right! Check her blog out!!!

I received a special prize from my blogger friend Marcia at http://teawithmarce.blogspot.com/
The prize was up to $15 at The Book Depository, my choice. She gave this to many blogger friends of hers, that have supported her.
In lieu of her kindness and generosity, I asked her to give mine back, and donate a book, new or used, in my name, to a shelter or library in her area. She gave, and in turn I gave. It feels good. I suggest we all give, even a book.
She is indeed going to donate a recommendation by me, A Note From An Old Acquaintance by Bill Walker to her local library.
Thanks again Marcia, you truly are a gem!

I also received a new award from Molly at http://buuklvr81.blogspot.com

Here is who I awarded it to, did you get on there?; http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/the-award-goes-to.html




CHALLENGES COMPLETED:
I completed the New Author Challenge. http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2009/10/new-author-challenge-2010.html

Also finished the 100+ Reading Challenge. http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2009/11/2010-100-reading-challenge.html

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Friday 56


Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/


Iron Man 2 - Alexander Irvine

Page 56, Sentence 5:
Taking the whip in hand, Ivan stepped away from the table to a clear space in the middle of the floor.

Ruby of the Realms - Daniel Kamin


Synopsis:
On the northwest side of Chicago, Ruby has a perfect life. Her family feeds her everyday, they are home with her all the time, and they allow her to patrol the backyard. What more could a dog ask for? But when Ruby meets Ortis the blue bunny, all of this changes. In order to help Ortis return to his home in The Six Realms, Ruby must jump into the family's pool with the rabbit. Ruby never expected anything to happen. But when the water started swirling and pulled her under, there was nothing the little dog could do. Now Ruby is in Rocia, one of the Six Realms underneath the earth. This new land is fraught with dangers at every corner, from hideous Crites to the ball-like Ozzixites. But something else has been silently pulling strings from inside the Diamond Dust Desert. An evil, older than the world itself, has begun its plans. The fate of the Six Realms and Ruby's home in the world above is at stake. Now, Ruby must brave these strange new lands to save everything she holds dear.


©2010


My Opinion:
While I enjoyed this book, I had a hard time wrapping my mind about the main characters being a talking dog and rabbit. I guess that is true imagination at work. For me at times the transition between scenes was off. I had to wait for connections. There was a bit of violence too, and pretty graphic, but not enough that a teenage boy wouldn't enjoy.
(3/5)


~I received a copy from the author. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Q & A With Author Charles Soto


Hello readers!
Today I want you all to give a warm welcome to author Charles Soto, who has graciously been interviewed for our pleasure. Please enjoy the interview, and don't forget to check out the websites included.


My review for Heartache & Sin: http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/heartache-sin-charles-soto.html




1. Please tell readers about your current book.

Heartache & Sin is a very provocative, thought provoking and profound novel that carries an important and powerful theme, should a woman consider abortion if her pregnancy has a chance of placing her life endanger? This novel has mass appeal and touches on such other issues as religion, abuse, and the power a clergyman has over his faithful parishioners. Above all else Heartache & Sin is a powerful love story between a husband and wife, living in an area where people are still strongly linked to the land, family and church. It’s a story told through lots of dialect, where the clipped language of the characters speaks as much to their culture, as it does to their education and personalities. It will carry heavily, debatable discussions in book groups and family forums and will leave a part of it with you after reading. Heartache & Sin will bring out every emotion that even the most harden hearts can feel, on a rollercoaster of plot twists, where passion overrides opinion and opinion evokes passion and is online to read FREE @ http://www.freado.com/read/4486/heartache-sin
A couple finds themselves at the painful crossroad, debating to abort or deliver their child of miracles. Steven and Karen Wheaton are faithful churchgoers with a pointed sense of right and wrong. When Karen, who is severely diabetic, learns she is pregnant and later becomes deathly ill, Steven wants to go against her wishes and terminate her pregnancy in order to save his beloved’s life. A charismatic and manipulative clergyman soon uses Karen as a mortar to pursue his own anti-abortion agenda. As Steven sees questions of morality rise, he soon finds himself in a struggle to not only save Karen from the Preacher’s grip, but to save their marriage and her life as well. The final scenes of this novel are explosive and will keep readers on the edge of their seats and the ending will leave them shell-shocked.

2. Who or what inspires your writing?


No particular person inspires my writing. It’s my love for the written word that compels me to write a story. The feeling I get when a finish a manuscript is incomparable to any accomplishment I’ve ever achieved. My love and passion for life gives me my mind set to explore many topics and issues. But in the end, the theme of love is what always inspires me. And every day in this life I get to spend with my wife, Patty, only reminds me of this, how blessed I truly am to have her by my side.

3. When did you know you would be a writer?

I didn’t know I would be a writer, but it was at an early age I knew I loved the power of words. As
a young teen I was greatly impressed and influenced by drummer & lyricist, Neil Peart. The way he used words and the imagination they instilled opened up an entire new era and domain for me. Nothing was unreachable with the power of words and, when used correctly, can unleash every emotion within the human spirit. Soon I started writing poems, then lyrics and by the age of 20 I wrote my first manuscript. It has been a tough and very frustrating road, and now, here, two decades later I have my debut novel released.

4. How long did it take you to write your first novel?

I can’t remember how long it took me to write my first novel, but I do know how long it took me to write Heartache & Sin. I’ll be openly honest here, after years of failing to get published; the rejections were just too unbearable for me anymore. I don’t know if any of your readers realize what an author actually goes through, not only to write a novel, but to get it published as well, but at times it can be a tremendous feeling of doubt that leaves a hole in your heart you feel you may never be able to fill. I had and have other loves and passions in my life. To me, my greatest value, my most significant importance in my life is my family, to me, my true wealth indeed. My most cherished time on this earth is spending it with them and my friends. So I put my writing aside for a few years and concentrated solely on them. It was after a horrific accident at work when I fell 30 feet to a concrete slab did I decide to pursue my dreams of becoming an author again. What not only amazed me more than actually surviving a fall like that, was the fact that I recovered to nearly the status I was in before my accident. It was like I found a new inner piece, like God did have a plan for me, and I’ve been writing and doing my artwork ever since. It was during my recovery I wrote Heartache & Sin. It took me six months to complete, including the rewrite. I worked and perfected my manuscript for 10 to sometimes 14 hours every single day. And after about a month break, I wrote my second, soon to be released novel, Pride and a Prayer which only took me three months, including the rewrite, under all the same conditions.

5. What is the hardest part of writing for you?

I never know how or when I get an idea for a story; an idea just hits me, almost exploding inside my thoughts. I may sit on it for awhile, write a paragraph or two, but in the end I have to feel passionate and compelling enough to write the story. To me, the hardest thing for me to begin my writing is to actually sit down in front of my laptop and begin.

6. Do you have any writing rituals?

Writing is a very lonely world. I have to be completely alone and in an aspect, be in a dreamscape it seems. I envision a story playing to me like a movie. The characters and their voices, their looks and demeanor all come to life before my very eyes. I use what I call a word sheet. When I’m reading other novels and see a word I like, I add it to my many other word sources I keep in my own file along with their definitions. It helps to expand my vocabulary and subconsciously expands my memory. I can’t tell you how many times I’m looking for just the right word to use, when suddenly I just write down a word, not knowing its definition at all. But, when I look it up, It fits perfectly, like I used a thesaurus, though I hardly ever do. Sometimes after reading a novel, I might have two full pages of words and their definitions I like.

7. Have you written any thing else?


Lots of manuscripts that will never see a press, they just weren’t good enough. However, my next soon to be released novel, Pride and a Prayer is truly a must read. It holds such issues as abortion laws, Plan B contraceptive, racism, and keeping faith in yourself and God even when the worst seems apparent. A suspense/Drama, in a love story theme with an ending you won’t soon forget. I just hate it when I put all my time and emotion into reading a book and the ending leaves you with no resolve or closure. Well not Pride and a Prayer, I put as much thought and passion into the ending as I did the entire novel. It’s a caring and wonderful ending that will bring elated tears to your eyes, it did mine and I wrote it.

8. Any advice to aspiring writers?

Never give up, believe in yourself. Always work on perfecting your craft and write the best story you can possibly write. Don’t take criticism to heart, but use it as a tool to help guide you. Research everything you do, invest in yourself, and get the critique and editing that you need before you ever seek out a publisher or agent.

9. Who is your favorite Author?

I’m a hopeless romantic at heart. There are many times when I have a surprise for my wife or when she comes home I have rose peddles lining her path inside, waiting for her a romantic dinner. I just can’t help it. I love being in love, it’s a wonderful, uplifting feeling. I think our most wonderful times is when we’re riding our Harleys together, spending the day with each other just hitting the open road. So, picking my favorite author is easy, I absolutely love Carly Phillips; she seems to inspire that feeling of being in love. And I believe the way she writes; she’s a hopeless romantic too.

10. What is your favorite book?

I have been greatly influenced by my wife’s native heritage; she’s an Ojibwe native who carries a pride, respect for nature and all living creatures that reflects in her daily life. In fact, we live on an Indian reservation in Minnesota and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Keeping that in mind, there’s always one book that always stays with me and that’s Dances With Wolves.

11. What are you currently reading?

Right now I’m reading Faces of the Gone, by debut author, Brad Parks. I love John Grisham novels and I find Brad Parks just as intriguing.

12. How do readers find out more about you?


I’m going to get personal here, openly honest, and other than the obvious of reading about me on my author website @ http://www.AuthorCharlesSoto.com I’m going to share with your readers about whom I am as a person.
I’m a proud Mexican American, proud of my heritage, who I am and how I got here. I was born in Las Vegas NV. My parents divorced when I was 5 yrs. old and we soon moved to the Bay Area in northern California. I had a fantastic life there, a caring and wonderful step father who treated me like I was his own birth son. It was when I was a freshman in high school did I discover my love for the arts. I was greatly influenced by my mentor, Bernard Seagul and fell in love with the art of ceramics from the moment my fingers touched the clay. I’ve had some great success as a ceramicist/sculptor through the years. I create works in fantasy, renaissance, modern, realistic and Native American art. My work is posted on different sites and can be viewed @ http://www.socurio.com/myloft/charlesmsoto/ or at my artist website @ http://www.charzarts.com
After graduating high school I moved back to Las Vegas. My father was a painting and decorating contractor and got me into the trades. I excelled in my love for the decorating field and just like everything else that I carry a passion for, there was no end to the imagination and creativity that such an area as Las Vegas instills. I have supervised such projects as the painting and decorating of the MGM Grand, Caesar’s Palace Luxury Suites, Pantageous Theatre in down town Minneapolis MN., and the East Grand Forks City Hall in MN.
It was in Las Vegas when I met my beautiful and wonderful wife, Patty. It was absolutely love at first site for the both of us. I just never met anyone like her. So open, caring and honest with a heart of gold, yet strong minded and will to speak out. I’m proud to say we just celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary and I couldn’t imagine not having her in my life. After the birth of our youngest daughter we decided to move to her home town in MN. After visiting there on vacation, and how her family took me in as their own, I absolutely fell in love with the people and the area. We didn’t want our daughters growing up in such a fast paced life like Las Vegas, and felt this would be a much better area to raise our family.
It was in November in 2004 when I suffered a horrific accident, like I said before, I fell 30 feet. It’s still hard for me to believe I survived it. I broke my left tibia and needed three surgeries to correct that injury from my fall. The worst was my Post concussion Syndrome, Vestibular Syndrome was the diagnosis. Every thing made me dizzy. My world would literary spin, causing me to fall, get nauseous and severe migraines. It was a long hard road to recover and took me years of Vestibular Therapy to retrain my body and brain to get through it. I still have the symptoms and have to keep up on my therapy at home, but it was during this time I decided to pursue my writing once again. It was like it took me over, and I truly believe this was God’s plan for me. I’ve been doing my artwork and writing ever since and there is no turning back for me now.
I hope this tells you and your readers a little bit about myself and I can’t thank you enough Freda for allowing me to share this. I am always open to meeting new people, discussions and for those of you who like you can always find me on Facebook and on twitter  http://twitter.com/charlessoto

Peace be with you all, Charles Soto




Thank you to Charles for this great post! All the best in the future!

Booking Through:


Sponsor site: http://btt2.wordpress.com/

Today's Question:
God* comes to you and tells you that, from this day forward, you may only read ONE type of book–one genre–period, but you get to choose what it is. Classics, Science-Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Cookbooks, History, Business … you can choose, but you only get ONE.
What genre do you pick, and why?

*Whether you believe in God or not, pretend for the purposes of this discussion that He is real.*


Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!



My Answer:
I can't fathom answering this question.
Number one, I don't believe God would ever make me choose one genre of reading. I don't think he is that close minded, so I choose not to be either.
This question is redundant.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Beaded Hope - Cathy Liggett


Synopsis:
Four American women, all with their own challenges, embark on a mission trip to South Africa. Their lives are changed as they encounter a group of South African women who suffer from AIDS yet demonstrate great joy and faith in the face of overwhelming adversity. When the Americans discover the amazing beadwork that has been taught to generations of women in the community, they uncover a way to help these proud people support their families by selling their craft.


Author Bio:
Cathy Liggett knew writing fiction was for her after reading aloud a junior high English assignment and watching the class—at least the girls—well up with emotion. Yet it wasn't until much later in life that she seriously tried her hand at storytelling again. First came years of advertising copywriting, gift product development, and the publication of a non-fiction book.
Through it all, the urge to write fiction kept tugging on her, and a few years ago she published sweet romances for the secular market. After the release of these books, however, came an even stronger tug on her heart—a yearning to write inspirational fiction. Beaded Hope came from that desire.
Cathy and her husband, Mark, live in Loveland, Ohio, and are always happy when their greatest blessings—their two grown children—are home for a stay. Visit her Web site at www.cathyliggett.com


©2010


My Opinion:
This was a truly inspiring book. I knew from the moment I picked it up, that I would have a hard time putting it down. That's just what happened too! I finished it in a few hours!
We often hear of such heartbreaking stories and wonder how people can be so good through so little, the answer is always LOVE. You learn that once again with this story of these women and their journey to South Africa. It makes you wish you had your own triumphant battle of overcoming the odds. Generally we are ordinary people. So we look up to the stories of extraordinary from little or nothing.
Kudos to the author for sharing this story, adapted from their own experiences.
(4/5)


~I received a copy from Tyndale. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Asking For Trouble - Sandra Byrd


Synopsis:
When her family moves to London, 15-year-old Savvy Smith has to make her way in a new school and a new country. She just knows the school newspaper is the right place for her, but she doesn’t have the required experience, and the cute editor-in-chief is not looking to train anyone. She has to come up with a way to prove herself and nab the one available position on the newspaper staff at Wexburg Academy.
London Confidential is a new series where British fashion, friendships, and guys collide, and where an all-American girl learns to love life and live out her faith.


©2010


My Opinion:
This is a great story for girls, aged around 12. It was easy to read, and had great values in it. I also really enjoyed the publishing/writing aspect of it.
I HIGHLY suggest, if you have a young girl or girls, you get them this book. They will love it too!
(4/5)


~I received a copy from Tyndale. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Hollywood Moon - Joseph Wambaugh (audiobook)


Synopsis:
There's a saying at Hollywood station that the full moon brings out the beast--rather than the best--in the precinct's citizens. One moonlit night, LAPD veteran Dana Vaughn and "Hollywood" Nate Weiss, a struggling-actor-turned cop, get a call about a young man who's been attacking women. Meanwhile, two surfer cops known as Flotsam and Jetsam keep bumping into an odd, suspicious duo--a smooth-talking player in dreads and a crazy-eyed, tattooed biker. No one suspects that all three dubious characters might be involved in something bigger, more high-tech, and much more illegal. After a dizzying series of twists, turns, and chases, the cops will find they've stumbled upon a complex web of crime where even the criminals can't be sure who's conning whom. Wambaugh once again masterfully gets inside the hearts and minds of the cops whose jobs have them constantly on the brink of danger. By turns heart-wrenching, exhilarating, and laugh-out-loud funny, Hollywood Moon is his most thrilling and deeply affecting ride yet through the singular streets of LA.


Book 1: Hollywood Station
Book 2: Hollywood Crows
Book 3: Hollywood Moon


©2009


My Opinion:
This one for me, was just another story. It didn't overwhelm me, or disappoint me. It did nothing for me. It did not stand out in any way, for me at all.
There was loads of filthy language, I guess to be expected by cops. Though one would like to live in a make believe world thinking cops are not vulgar. This story proves otherwise. The vulgarity didn't help keep my attention. The other bad thing, on audiobook the cd's end very abruptly.
There was also sensitive subjects throughout. Again to be expected in a cop story. This was the start of what I liked. Halfway through, the story picked up speed a bit. More dramatic and some romance too. Plus I really appreciate the comradery between officers. The narrator in this audiobook is clear and enjoyable to listen to, which helps. I also didn't realize this is the third book in a series.
All-in-all, I'm stuck in the middle. It didn't get too far off the ground for me.
(2.5/5)


~I won my copy. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Monday, April 26, 2010

Teaser


Hosted by: http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com

* Grab your current read.
* Let the book fall open to a random page.
* Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
* You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from…that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.
* Please avoid spoilers!


My Teaser:

I took a deep breath. "I didn't have enough experience to be a staff writer. I deliver newspapers."

~ Page 81, Asking for Trouble - Sandra Byrd

Guardian - Katie Hines


Synopsis:
Drew and his friends face an age-old sect that's determined to claim a treasure and ancient power. They race from the U.S. to Canada, pursued closely by the mysterious Brotherhood.
Danny Hennigar, a member of the Oak Island Tourism Society, states, "I devoured [Guardian] in an hour and a half. It was a fun romp through the back woods, islands, and rivers of Nova Scotia, culminating, of course, with the dramatic moment on Oak Island when all was revealed. Wow, the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew meet Harry Potter on Nova Scotia's Oak Island."






Author Bio:
Although Katie Hines has been writing for as long as she can remember, she didn't get serious about it until she decided to write a memoir. Now, Hines writes urban fantasies for middle-grade children, and her first book, Guardian, is the beginning of an exciting new series. Visit: http://katiehines.com/


©2010


My Opinion:
If you love adventure books, then you have to get a copy of this great book! It took me less than two hours to read, and I was having the time of my life throughout.
In reality, I wish I had more to read from this author. Who did a wonderful job creating this story and great characters.
I am putting this on my recommendation list!
(5/5)


~I received a copy from AME. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Heartache & Sin - Charles Soto


Synopsis:
Hard-driving and provocative, this unconventional love story will have audiences talking for weeks after reading. Charles Soto touches at the heart of humanity with this epic tale, tackling the hardships of abortion. Dissecting the tenderest parts of a mother’s being, while destroying a father’s conscience, Heartache and Sin starts where love, hate, murder and church collide. Like all couples, when Steven and Karen Wheaton learn of their pregnancy, they are elated. Active churchgoers with a pointed sense of right and wrong, they hope to instill their values in this new life. When a corrupt clergyman starts to use Karen to promote his own corrupt anti-abortion agenda, Steven finds himself surrounded by questions of morality. As Karen’s pregnancy takes a turn for the worse and she becomes deathly ill, it starts to appear that the only thing that may save her is an abortion. Will Steven be able to save his wife or baby? Which would he choose?


Author Bio:
Charles Soto lives in northern Minnesota with his wife of twenty-one years and his two daughters. His sole purpose in his writing is to incite reaction and make readers think and feel the entire story for themselves by expelling hard-driving emotion in his plots. Continuing to deliver storylines that boil to an explosive conclusion and draw strong reactions, he proves himself a master at the game of love and heartache with his inspiring style of writing. Along with his passion and talents for writing, Charles Soto is also a very talented ceramicist/sculptor. He creates bisque works in the renaissance, fantasy, and Native American styles. His artwork as well as his writing conveys his inner-most desires that fuel his appetite for the arts. His debut novel, Heartache and Sin will soon be followed by, Pride and a Prayer and promises to be just as profound and provocative. www.authorcharlessoto.com or www.charzarts.com


©2008


My Opinion:
Fantastic!
That is my last impression of the book. A wonderfully written story, and for a 400+ read, it went so fast. I got immersed deep in the book and was a little sad when it was over. It did leave me wanting a little more.
The characters were great. Though there is a bad guy in this book. Boy, do you hate him too! The other characters I loved. Especially Karen. Though at times, I wish she'd listened to her husband and not the preacher.
Mary was the one character I connected with. Coming from a former abusive relationship, I empathized with her, praying she gets a " Disney ending".
Definitely a story you talk about with your friends!
(4/5)


~I received a copy from the author. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Giveaway: The Secret Speech


Synopsis:
Tom Rob Smith-the author whose debut, Child 44, has been called "brilliant" (Chicago Tribune), "remarkable" (Newsweek) and "sensational" (Entertainment Weekly)-returns with an intense, suspenseful new novel: a story where the sins of the past threaten to destroy the present, where families must overcome unimaginable obstacles to save their loved ones, and where hope for a better tomorrow is found in the most unlikely of circumstances . . .
THE SECRET SPEECH
Soviet Union, 1956. Stalin is dead, and a violent regime is beginning to fracture-leaving behind a society where the police are the criminals, and the criminals are innocent. A secret speech composed by Stalin's successor Khrushchev is distributed to the entire nation. Its message: Stalin was a tyrant. Its promise: The Soviet Union will change.
Facing his own personal turmoil, former state security officer Leo Demidov is also struggling to change. The two young girls he and his wife Raisa adopted have yet to forgive him for his part in the death of their parents. They are not alone. Now that the truth is out, Leo, Raisa, and their family are in grave danger from someone consumed by the dark legacy of Leo's past career. Someone transformed beyond recognition into the perfect model of vengeance.
From the streets of Moscow in the throes of political upheaval, to the Siberian gulags, and to the center of the Hungarian uprising in Budapest, THE SECRET SPEECH is a breathtaking, epic novel that confirms Tom Rob Smith as one of the most exciting new authors writing today.



THANKS TO Valerie & Hatchette Book Group, I HAVE
3 COPIES, OF THIS FABULOUS BOOK
TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT YOU
NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!



GIVEAWAY RULES:
Mandatory:
Comment leaving a valid email address to enter.
+1 bonus entry if you are/become a follower (MUST BE PUBLIC PROFILE) Leave a separate comment to count.
+1 Tweet or blog and leave link in separate comment. (One time, not daily)
+10 purchase a book through banner above, BookChristian, come back leave me verification in a separate comment.


Open to US & CANADA
SORRY NO P.O. BOXES

NO EMAIL, NO ENTRY.


Easy as 1-2-3! Contest ends May 11, 11:59 p.m. (e.s.t.)


Sunday, April 25, 2010

200 Followers Contest!!!!



Thank you 200!!!!


Because I love you guys so much, I'm as promised, hosting my own contest. Unfortunately due to cost, it will only be valid for Canadian addresses this time.

The prize will be the choice out of a collection I have set aside.


RULES:
YOU MUST BE A FOLLOWER TO ENTER!!!
Comment with a valid email. That is an entry.

For extra entry, tweet the contest, and leave a separate comment.


Simple as that. Contest ends May 10, 11:59 pm est.

Best of luck to you all.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Friday 56


Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/


Heartache & Sin - Charles Soto

Page 56, Sentence 5:

Noticing that he hasn't accommodated Father Francis, only barking at him when he first came in.

She-Rain - Michael Cogdill


Synopsis:
In the early 20th Century, a pair of North Carolina mountain children sow the seed of a love that becomes their only solace in the hard yet beautiful world they know. They grow it from steep ground of poverty, ignorance, and violence. A landscape so brutal it can kill hope long before claiming life.
Bloodshed years later finally sends Frank Locke on the run, deep into wilderness, abandoning his extraordinary love, Mary Lizbeth. When a whitewater river washes this desperate soul into the hands of Sophia, he discovers a luminous woman steeped in mystery, trapped in a tragically brilliant life. Far ahead of her time. Secreted from the world. As she awakens Frank's mind, they rise to meet a love that binds three people for a lifetime.
This love triangle forms a beauty no one sees coming. From the wilds of Appalachia, crossing nearly a century, it runs deep into a lush American fortune, and lives in letters of adoration and hope of the least expected.
In a rhapsody of Southern voices, mingling hilarity and sorrow, She-Rain speaks of lives soaring beyond heartbreak, fundamentalism, and self-destruction. Through the most graceful longing, two women in love with one man ultimately prove the power of human hearts to answer high callings. They show us all how to heal -- and thrive -- to the very end.


Author Bio:
Michael Cogdill is blessed as one of the most honored television storytellers in America. His cache of awards includes 24 Emmys and the National Edward R. Murrow for a broad range of achievement, from live reporting to long-form storytelling. His television credits as a journalist include CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, and The Today Show, and Michael's interview history crosses a wide horizon: The Reverend Billy Graham, Dr. Mehmet Oz of Oprah fame, Dr. Henry Kissinger, Abby Hoffman, Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator John McCain, Howard K. Smith, James Brown, Keith Lockhart of the Boston Pops and many other newsmakers. His coverage credits include Presidents and Vice Presidents of the United States.
Michael spent ten years writing She-Rain, letting it evolve into a world of fiction drawn from his upbringing in Western North Carolina but reaching far beyond. His other writing credits are Cracker the Crab and the Sideways Afternoon -- a children's motivational book, and a self-help volume, Raise the Haze. Michael makes his home in South Carolina with his wife, Jill (a publishing entrepreneur), and their second-generation golden retriever, Maggie. He's currently working on his second novel.
For more information: http://she-rain.blogspot.com/


©2010


My Opinion:
I bet I will get some flack for this review, but to each his own, right?
I just couldn't get into this book. I struggled so hard to read this book, and tried even harder to enjoy it. I just couldn't.
The way the author wrote it was I couldn't get into. Not the story.
For me this was bad enough, I went and read another book in between, to ease the boredom.
I'm sorry to my readers for not having great kudos for it. I know the teaser gave us all hope. It also doesn't help some of you actually said you enjoyed it in your reviews.
With that said, it must be like spinach. An acquired taste. So please don't let me not liking it, deter you from enjoying it. You just might.
(1/5)


~I received a copy from FSB Associates. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Dead Man of the Year - Stephen Hawley Martin


Synopsis:
Brian Durston left a bright future at a big Madison Avenue agency to join his uncle's medium-sized firm because his uncle promised him a stake in the business. The future looked bright until Brian discovered his uncle slumped over his desk with a bullet through his brain. The cops think it's suicide, which means his uncle's life insurance won't pay, and Brian won't inherit the money to buy his uncle's share. Who benefits? The surviving partners. So Brian decides some investigating is in order. Meanwhile, the agency's largest account goes into review, and Brian must pull out the stops to save it, or there won’t be much agency left. In steps the beautiful and enigmatic copywriter, Nickie D'Agostino. She wants to help Brian save the account and find the killer. But wait, could she be the one who did it? A romance tortured by suspicion follows, and a frantic race to find the murderer before Brian’s share of the business reverts to the surviving partners, or worse ­ he joins his uncle in the afterlife.


©2010


My Opinion:
The first thing for me is always the cover, and this one is hot! I thought for sure, this would be a murder-mystery and I love them! This was exactly what I was looking for.
I am a little disappointed that the story lingered more in the ad business world, than the actual whodunit, but with the amazing and surprising ending it has, makes it well worth it!
A fast, easy, and entertaining story!
(3.5/5)


~I received a copy from Oaklea Press. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Giveaway: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (AUDIOBOOK)


Synopsis:
While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.



THANKS TO Anna & Hatchette Book Group, I HAVE
3 COPIES, OF THIS FABULOUS BOOK
TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT YOU
NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!



GIVEAWAY RULES:
Mandatory:
Comment leaving a valid email address to enter.
+1 bonus entry if you are/become a follower (MUST BE PUBLIC PROFILE) Leave a separate comment to count.
+1 Tweet or blog and leave link in separate comment. (One time, not daily)
+10 purchase a book through banner above, come back leave link in a separate comment.


Open to US & CANADA
SORRY NO P.O. BOXES

NO EMAIL, NO ENTRY.


Easy as 1-2-3! Contest ends May 6, 11:59 p.m. (e.s.t.)


Giveaway: Iron Man 2


Synopsis:
"I am Iron Man." With those words, billionaire industrialist Tony Stark revealed his secret identity. Now a famous high-tech superhero, he uses his powers to protect mankind. Yet things are not going well for Tony Stark. The U.S. military demands control of the most powerful weapon on earth--the Iron Man suit. His beautiful new assistant has a strange, mysterious agenda while his best friend, Rhodey, has betrayed him. And Tony is hunted by a vengeful Russian criminal armed with a lethal technology that may be stronger than Tony's suit.




THANKS TO Anna & Hatchette Book Group, I HAVE
5 COPIES, OF THIS FABULOUS BOOK
TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT YOU
NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!



GIVEAWAY RULES:
Mandatory:
Comment leaving a valid email address to enter.
+1 bonus entry if you are/become a follower (MUST BE PUBLIC PROFILE) Leave a separate comment to count.
+1 Tweet or blog and leave link in separate comment. (One time, not daily)
+10 purchase a book through banner above, come back leave link in a separate comment.


Open to US & CANADA
SORRY NO P.O. BOXES

NO EMAIL, NO ENTRY.


Easy as 1-2-3! Contest ends May 6, 11:59 p.m. (e.s.t.)


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tomato (A Guide to the Pleasures of Choosing, Growing and Cooking) - Gail Harland & Trevor Cole


Synopsis:
Tomatoes are by far the most popular edible vegetable or fruit grown in gardens- US plant nurseries and seed websites stock many more varieties of tomatoes than any other vegetable or fruit. The popularity of heirloom varieties has further fueled interest. Aimed at both food-lovers and gardeners, Tomato showcases the different varieties and shows how to grow them-in pots, hanging baskets, grow bags, under glass, and outdoors-and harvest tomatoes, as well as cooking and preserving them.


Author Bios:
Gail Harland has been growing tomatoes in her garden for nearly twenty years. Experimenting every season, she's now grown over 60 international tomato varieties.
She started writing articles for the horticultural press in 1993 and was awarded The Royal Horticultural Society's Diploma in Horticulture in 1999.
Trevor Cole started working at the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa in 1967, initially on the adaptation of native flora to cultivation. He was appointed curator of the Dominion Arboretum in 1972, and retired in 1995. Author of three gardening books and many articles, he has received awards for his writing from the Garden Writers Association of America and the North American Rock Garden Society.


©2009


My Opinion:
This is a very useful tool for anyone wanting to learn about growing their own tomatoes. This fantastic book covers every kind of tomato, including a few I'd not heard of before.
I really love all the information in this book, and how it is put together. It is very clear-cut and easy-to-read. The instructions are easy for you to follow.
I especially enjoyed the recipe I tried. It was an easier one, but I wanted to try something different. Making dressing qualified for me, since it was a first.
I loved the dressing. It was a hit, and is going to be served regularly.
(4/5)


Dressing, Page 177

After you turn these into this;




~I received a copy from DK Canada. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Giveaway: The Pocket Therapist


Synopsis:
Whenever Therese Borchard was weathering a personal storm, and help was nowhere to be found, her one guiding light was the question, "What would a therapist say?" The result was a sort of therapy scrapbook for rough days--a quick reference for anyone who needs a dose of encouragement, support and tried and true ways to cope.
THE POCKET THERAPIST is a compact and accessible guide filled with techniques and advice to help combat everything from addictive behavior to negative thinking



THANKS TO Anna & Hatchette Book Group, I HAVE
3 COPIES, OF THIS FABULOUS BOOK
TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT YOU
NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!



GIVEAWAY RULES:
Mandatory:
Comment leaving a valid email address to enter.
+1 bonus entry if you are/become a follower (MUST BE PUBLIC PROFILE) Leave a separate comment to count.
+1 Tweet or blog and leave link in separate comment. (One time, not daily)
+10 purchase a book through banner above, come back leave link in a separate comment.


Open to US & CANADA
SORRY NO P.O. BOXES

NO EMAIL, NO ENTRY.



Easy as 1-2-3! Contest ends May 5, 11:59 p.m. (e.s.t.)


Giveaway: Put On Your Crown


Synopsis:
Modeled after Maria Shriver's Just Who Will You Be, Queen Latifah's goal with Put On Your Crown is to help young women build a strong sense of self-esteem. A US Dept. of Justice survey found that females ages 16-24 are more vulnerable to partner violence than any other group, almost triple the national average. Cases like Chris Brown's assault on pop star Rihanna showed an ugly side of adolescent life. However, Queen Latifah has always been a shining example of a woman happy with herself and unwilling to compromise to fit into the "hollywood ideal" of what a confident beautiful woman should look like. The result: She's one of the biggest A-list celebrities in Hollywood.



THANKS TO Anna & Hatchette Book Group, I HAVE
3 COPIES, OF THIS FABULOUS BOOK
TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT YOU
NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!


GIVEAWAY RULES:
Mandatory:
Comment leaving a valid email address to enter.
+1 bonus entry if you are/become a follower (MUST BE PUBLIC PROFILE) Leave a separate comment to count.
+1 Tweet or blog and leave link in separate comment. (One time, not daily)
+10 purchase a book through banner above, come back leave link in a separate comment.


Open to US & CANADA
SORRY NO P.O. BOXES

NO EMAIL, NO ENTRY.


Easy as 1-2-3! Contest ends May 5, 11:59 p.m. (e.s.t.)


Monday, April 19, 2010

Teaser


Hosted by: http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com

* Grab your current read.
* Let the book fall open to a random page.
* Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
* You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from…that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.
* Please avoid spoilers!

My Teaser:


Her voice eased around the stone. The reverence of it, I suppose, helped loosen that deep muscle that strains back how we truly feel.

~ Page 174, She-Rain - Michael Cogdill

Stella & Dot

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