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Showing posts from January, 2011

#21: Me, Myself and Paris - Ruth Yunker

Synopsis & Book Info:
Me, Myself & Paris is author Ruth Yunker's droll pastiche of her days, free and unaccompanied, in Paris. Three years in a row she rents an apartment, stays for six weeks, and takes on Paris, half resident, half visitor. She is a short attention span tourist, a wide-eyed voyeur, and irreverence saves the day when the chips are down. Her stories are about bonhomie and savoir-faire, American style, while treading the hallowed and slippery cobblestones of Paris.

It's about every day errands, and sorties into dutiful sightseeing. It's about run-ins with grocery store cashiers and metro ticket agents. It's about desperately trying to speak French. It's about attempting to emulate the chic, windblown Parisian woman wearing no lipstick, while Ruth wouldn't be caught bare lipped outside the boudoir.
She conquers the metro, no mean feat for a Californian glued to a car. She hears ghosts in cathedrals, and smells bread toasting every morning …

January Monthly News

#20: Reaper - Rachel Vincent

Synopsis & Book Info:
Tod Hudson was a typical teenager. He liked girls, sports, food and tolerated his younger brother, Nash. In fact, he had his whole life in front of him--and due to his bean sidhe heritage, it was going to be a very long life indeed. And then the car accident occurred.
Suddenly Tod's future wasn't so sure, and he had to make a choice. Life... Death... or something Between....
An ebook exclusive Soul Screamers series novella.

Kindle Edition: 203 KB
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
ASIN: B004AYD50E
Purchase for FREE at Amazon


©2010


My Opinion:
This novella is a prequel to books I have yet to read.
That didn't make a difference! I didn't feel lost at all.
Tod is a character that is so likable. I can't wait to read My Soul To Take, which I own.


5/5


Recommend? YES!


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

#19: Pilates Practice Companion - Alycea Ungaro

Synopsis & Book Info:
Accessible, authoritative, and inspiring, Pilates Practice Companion is a one-stop resource to guide people of all abilities in their practice of Pilates. Separated into exercises for beginner, intermediate, and advanced fitness levels, the book allows readers to focus on the exercises that are relevant to them and to progress at their own pace. With beautiful step-by-step photography, clear instructions on each exercise, and key features, such as annotated photographs of common faults and a list of the physical and mental benefits of each exercise, Pilates Practice Companion demonstrates how to practice Pilates without costly classes and equipment.

Hardcover: 256 Pages
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley
ISBN: 9780756671495
Purchase at Amazon


Author Bio:
Alycea Ungaro is one of the most recognized and influential Pilates teachers in the world. As the owner of New York City’s top studio, Real Pilates, Alycea’s celebrity clientele have included Madonna, Uma Thurman,…

#18: Lucas Taylor: The Time Traveler

Synopsis & Book Info:
Why follow the heart, when you've got a brain?
Lucas Taylor is an undergraduate at the university of Wolverhampton, UK. Although, he's studying Computer Science, he has a profound passion for writing and reading, and hopes to become an author one day. On his eighteenth birthday, Lucas is given a priceless gift - the ability to time travel. However, his journeys to the future interferes with his social life, causing him to misinterpret their meanings. During his quest for greatness, Lucas searches for the girl who can retrieve his stolen heart, since Carla Benton unknowingly refuses to give it back. He dates one girl after the other, hoping to find the right girl.
This book takes the reader through the life of the boy who could witness the future.



Ebook: 148 pages
Publisher: Smashwords
Purchase at Smashwords



©2011


My Opinion:
I saw this book and thought it sounded interesting, the idea of time travel. I'm glad it was as good as I thought it would b…

#17: Miss Hildreth Wore Brown - Olivia deBelle Byrd

Synopsis & Book Info:
While Olivia deBelle Byrd was repeating one of her many Southern stories for the umpteenth time, her long-suffering husband looked at her with glazed over eyes and said,“Why don’t you write this stuff down?” Thus was born Miss Hildreth Wore Brown—Anecdotes of a Southern Belle. If the genesis for a book is to shut your wife up, I guess that’s as good as any. On top of that, Olivia’s mother had burdened her with one of those Southern middle names kids love to make fun. To see “deBelle” printed on the front of a book seemed vindication for all the childhood teasing. With storytelling written in the finest Southern tradition from the soap operas of Chandler Street in the quaint town of Gainesville, Georgia, to a country store on the Alabama state line, Oliviade Belle Byrd delves with wit and amusement into the world of the Deep South with all its unique idiosyncrasies and colloquialisms. The characters who dance across the pages range from Great-Aunt LottieMa…

Giveaway: India Black - Carol K. Carr

Synopsis:
Set in 1876, Carr's breezy, fast-paced debut introduces feisty India Black, who runs a London brothel catering to gentlemen, many of whom recognize the reference to the Tennyson poem in the brothel's name, Lotus House. When a patron turns up dead at Lotus House, India plots to dump the corpse elsewhere to preserve her business's reputation, but her efforts are interrupted by the shadowy Mr. French, who assumes responsibility for disposal of the body. In exchange, India agrees to go undercover at the behest of the prime minister himself, Benjamin Disraeli, to prevent highly sensitive documents that the victim was carrying from falling into the wrong hands. The dead man proves to have been Sir Archibald Latham, of the War Office, and the missing documents regard England's readiness to fight the Russians in the Balkans. Readers should be prepared for formulaic plot twists involving numerous escapes and gunfights.


Thank you to Carol, I have 1 copy for a lucky rea…

#16: India Black - Carol K. Carr

Synopsis & Book Info:
Set in 1876, Carr's breezy, fast-paced debut introduces feisty India Black, who runs a London brothel catering to gentlemen, many of whom recognize the reference to the Tennyson poem in the brothel's name, Lotus House. When a patron turns up dead at Lotus House, India plots to dump the corpse elsewhere to preserve her business's reputation, but her efforts are interrupted by the shadowy Mr. French, who assumes responsibility for disposal of the body. In exchange, India agrees to go undercover at the behest of the prime minister himself, Benjamin Disraeli, to prevent highly sensitive documents that the victim was carrying from falling into the wrong hands. The dead man proves to have been Sir Archibald Latham, of the War Office, and the missing documents regard England's readiness to fight the Russians in the Balkans. Readers should be prepared for formulaic plot twists involving numerous escapes and gunfights.

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: B…

Author Guest Post With Graham Parke

Truth about Dinosaurs Finally Revealed!




There is something terribly wrong with this dinosaur picture. At first I didn’t notice it either. I must have read this picture page with my son ten times before I saw it. But when I did, my blood ran cold. How could this be? What was going on? I don’t mind telling you, there’s something very unsettling about discovering a kink in the nature of reality through a children’s book. Any other place is bad enough, but a children’s book? I just wasn’t prepared. How could I be?

Of course you didn’t need to look at the picture ten times. You noticed it right away. Before you even started reading this post. But there are some readers (not you) who didn’t. I urge them to take another look. To really give this picture the once over. As soon as your breath catches, as soon as the back of your neck gets cold and you start having nightmares, right now while you’re still awake, you know you’ve found it.

Crazy, isn’t it? At first I thought it was an honest mis…

#15: The Swan Thieves - Elizabeth Kostova

Synopsis & Book Info:
Psychiatrist Andrew Marlow, devoted to his profession and the painting hobby he loves, has a solitary but ordered life. When renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes his patient, Marlow finds that order destroyed. Desperate to understand the secret that torments the genius, he embarks on a journey that leads him into the lives of the women closest to Oliver and a tragedy at the heart of French Impressionism.
Kostova's masterful new novel travels from American cities to the coast of Normandy, from the late 19th century to the late 20th, from young love to last love. THE SWAN THIEVES is a story of obsession, history's losses, and the power of art to preserve human hope.

CD: 17 CD's
Publisher: Hachette Audio
ISBN: 9780316065788
Purchase at Amazon


Author Bio:
Elizabeth Kostova is the author of the international bestseller The Historian. She graduated from Yale and holds an MFA from the University of Mic…

Author Guest Post With Carol K. Carr

Help me welcome Carol to the blog. She was kind enough to do a guest post, and be sure to read my review of India Black tomorrow!!



Freda, thank you for inviting me to visit your blog. I'm very happy to be here and introduce your readers to India Black.

India is the young and beautiful madam of a brothel in Victorian London. When a government minister dies in her establishment and the portfolio of War Office documents he was carrying goes missing, India finds herself blackmailed into helping the British government recover the case from the Russian agents who have stolen it. She is joined in the pursuit by a handsome British agent named French, and an odiferous street urchin called Vincent. The chase leads from the Russian embassy to one of London's grand hotels, and finally across the English Channel to France.

Writers are always instructed to "write what you know." I want to go on record that India Black is not based on personal experience. I am not now, nor ever hav…

The Friday 56

Welcome to Week 13 with me!



Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it here.

It's that simple.


Miss Hildreth Wore Brown - Olivia deBelle Byrd

Page 56:

I am Jane Fonda in Barefoot in the Park with Robert Redford.


#14: Cat Calls - Cynthia Leitich Smith

Synopsis & Book Info:
Tiffany's grandmother sees something wild in her future -- but is 16-year-old Tiffany prepared for the powerful shape it will take? When she takes over her grandmother’s fortune telling booth for a day, some really strange things happen… CAT CALLS is a short story by New York Times Bestseller Cynthia Leitich Smith -- set in the same dark universe as her novels Tantalize, Eternal, and Blessed.

Kindle Edition: 223 KB
Publisher: Candlewick
ASIN: B004GXB3XA
Purchase at Amazon on Kindle for FREE!


©2010


My Opinion:
I was not the type of girl to read a lot of short stories, but decided recently to give them a try. For the most part, they are fun and quick to read, but none really stood out for me.
Until now.
Maybe it's the paranormal aspect, but I really liked this story.
Because of that, I will continue to read them.


5/5


Recommend? Yes, to short story fans!


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

Quick & Easy Giveaway: Private - James Patterson (Audiobook)

Synopsis:
Former Marine and CIA agent Jack Morgan inherits his father's renowned security and detective business--along with a case load that tests him to the breaking point. Getting to the bottom of an NFL gambling scandal and an unsolved LAPD investigation into 18 school girl slayings would be enough. On top of all that, Morgan takes on solving the horrific murder of his best friend's wife.
As Morgan fights the urge to exact brutal revenge on that killer, he has to navigate a workplace imbroglio that could blow the roof off his elite agency. And it's an especially explosive situation . . . because the love affair is his own.


Thank you to Anna & Hachette Book Group, I have 3 copies of this audiobook to giveaway.

OPEN TO US & CANADA
1 copy per household

Quick and easy giveaway, due to the fact I should have had this contest back in the summer. Unfortunately Purolator only delivered it yesterday!


Mandatory Entry:
Tell me if you have read James Patterson before, and …

Q & A With Author Lou Aronica

Hello Readers!
Please give a warm welcome to author, Lou Aronica, whose book, Blue, toured yesterday.




1. Please tell readers about your current book.

Blue is a novel about a father and his largely estranged teenaged daughter and what happens when the bedtime-story fantasy world they created when the daughter was little comes alive. The three focal characters (the father, the daughter, and the young queen from the fantasy world) are all experiencing life-changing crises, and there is a very specific reason why this connection has been made at this time. Of course, explaining what that connection is would ruin the story, so I’ll refrain from doing so here.



2. Who or what inspires your writing?

The inspiration for this novel was my concerns over my daughter soon going away to college. I was worried that I was going to lose her and I decided to turn to the page to work out my issues. I didn’t realize at the time that I was starting a six-year process, which is how long it took me to finis…

#13: Blue - Lou Aronica (TOUR)

Synopsis & Book Info:
Chris Astor is a man in his early forties who is going through the toughest stretch of his life. Becky is Chris's fourteen-year-old daughter, a girl who overcame enormous challenges to become a vibrant, vital young woman - and now faces her greatest obstacle yet. Miea is the young queen of a fantasy land that Becky and Chris created when Becky was little, a fantasy land that has developed a life of its own and now finds itself in terrible, maybe fatal trouble. Together, Chris, Becky, and Miea need to uncover a secret. The secret to why their worlds have joined at this moment. The secret to their purpose. The secret to the future. It is a secret that, when discovered, will redefine imagination for all of them. Blue is a novel of trial and hope, invention and rediscovery. It might very well take you someplace you never knew existed.

Paperback: 440 pages
Publisher: The Fiction Studio
ISBN-13: 9781936558001
Purchase at Amazon


Author Bio:
Lou Aronica is the aut…

Teaser Tuesday

* 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:

French snarled something inarticulate that I took to be an affirmative answer, and he staggered to his feet. I took his arm, but he shook my hand off with another of his patented growls and stalked off through the fallen snow.

~Page 174, India Black - Carol K. Carr (TOURS Jan 29, Author Guest post Jan 28, and Giveaway coming too!)

#12: Shade - Jeri Smith-Ready

Synopsis & Book Info:
Aura and her boyfriend are anticipating a special evening: it's Logan's 17th birthday, his band is playing an important gig, and they have intimate plans for the after party. However, things go horribly wrong when Logan drinks heavily, takes the cocaine that a record label rep gave to him, and dies. Logan is gone, but not really. Aura, like everyone else aged 16 and younger, was born after the Shift and can see and talk to ghosts. This ability has long annoyed her, and she has yearned to find out why the phenomenon happened so that she can end it. Now, still very much in love, Aura is ecstatic to see and hear Logan's spirit, though they can't touch. Then Zachary, a new boy, enters the picture and he and Aura discover that they share a mysterious bond: they were born one minute apart (he the last one pre-Shift and she the first after). Meanwhile, Logan's parents decide to sue the record label for providing their son with drugs, hoping that …

#11: Unexpected Comfort - Kelly Ferjutz

Synopsis & Book Info:
Homesteading in the American West isn’t easy. Emilia and Sam Hubbard had made some progress in carving a homestead for themselves out of the isolated prairie country. Then renegade Indians attack, killing Sam and forging an unlikely partnership between Emmy and a wanderer, Ben Murphy. In the midst of all the turmoil, she discovers unexpected comfort from the one man she should avoid.

Kindle Edition - 113 KB
Publisher: Cerridwen Press
ASIN: B003SX121C
Purchase at Amazon for FREE


©2009


My Opinion:
After reading this one I wonder if I got the whole story or just the first little bit.
Even if it was all, it left a bitter taste in my mouth with the main characters actions. Just not what I want to read.


2/5


Recommend? No.


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

#10: Traveler's Rest - James Enge

Synopsis & Book Info:
The story you are about to read features James Enge’s wondrous character, Morlock Ambrosius. Morlock is a swordsman, an exile, a hunchback, a drunk, and a wizard, though he himself would use the term “Maker” and say he is a master of the two arts, Seeing and Making. James Enge’s tales of Morlock the Maker have appeared in Black Gate magazine, in the anthology Swords & Dark Magic, and elsewhere, and Morlock features in the novels Blood of Ambrose, This Crooked Way, and The Wolf Age. In honor of this burgeoning Morlock fan base, and to commemorate The Wolf Age’s status as Pyr’s one-hundredth title, Pyr is issuing a free, exclusive, ePub novelette called “Travellers' Rest.” Featuring a cover by artist Chuck Lukacs, “Travellers' Rest” is an 8,500 word original novelette, written for Pyr, which takes place before the events of Blood of Ambrose. Enge describes “Traveller's Rest” as “a story that's been trying to chew its way out of my head for a…

The Friday 56

Welcome to Week 12 with me!



Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it here.

It's that simple.


Shade - Jeri Smith-Ready

PAGE 56:

"Call Aunt Jean," Siobhan said, sniffling. "Or Aunt Rosemary. They'll know what to do."


#9: Stuck In The Middle - Virginia Smith

Synopsis & Book Info:
Joan Sanderson's life is stuck. Her older sister, Allie, is starting a family and her younger sister, Tori, has a budding career. Meanwhile, Joan is living at home with Mom and looking after her aging grandmother. Not exactly a recipe for excitement. That is, until a hunky young doctor moves in next door. Suddenly Joan has a goal--to get a date. But it won't be easy. Pretty Tori flirts relentlessly with him and Joan is sure that she can't compete. But with a little help from God, Allie, and an enormous mutt with bad manners, maybe Joan can find her way out of this rut. Book 1 of the Sister-to-Sister series, Stuck in the Middle combines budding romance, spiritual searching, and a healthy dose of sibling rivalry.

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 9780800732325
Purchase at Amazon


©2008


My Opinion:
I feel like I got cut off short in the end, but for the most part this was a solid read.
The characters were easy to relate to, and structured …

#8: Choker - Elizabeth Woods

Synopsis & Book Info:
What if the only friend you could trust turned out to be dangerous? A new thriller from debut author Elizabeth Woods!

Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 978-1442412330
Purchase at Amazon


©2011


My Opinion:
At the end of this book I am trying to come up with all the right words to describe how I feel, but I don't want to give anything away.
I loved it!
That's the conclusion.
The writing itself flowed beautifully, and for a first time novelist, well done!
The characters were so real, you felt every emotion they had along with them.
Definitely a book that is going to be vivid in my mind for some time.


5/5


Recommend? Yes


~I received a copy from Simon & Schuster. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

#7 : My Immortal Assassin - Carolyn Jewel (TOUR & WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT)

Synopsis:
TEMPTED BY REVENGE...
Grayson Spencer is hellbent on killing the dark mage who destroyed her life. But when her attempt fails, she is forced to turn to Durian, a feared demon and expert assassin. Newly armed with powerful magic she's barely able to control, she'll do whatever it takes to complete her mission--even surrender to a dangerous fiend whose eyes promise unimaginable pleasure.
BOUND BY DESIRE...
Sworn to protect all mages, Durian can't let Gray threaten the uneasy peace among demons, humans, and mages. So he proposes a deal: He'll train Gray to master her gift if she'll bind herself magically to him, submitting to his control. As Gray's powers intensify, so too does Durian's hunger for this fierce, irresistible woman. When the dark mage makes a final play for Gray, will the passion she and Durian share be the key to their survival or the seed of their destruction?

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Forever
ISBN-13: 978-0446563864
Purchase at…

Teaser Tuesday

* 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:

Cara spotted Sarit in a group of their classmates. She smiled and nodded, but Sarit either didn't see her or didn't want to see her.

~ Page 94, Choker - Elizabeth Woods

#6: THR3E - Ted Dekker

Synopsis & Book Info:
By all accounts seminary student Kevin Parsins is leading a good, if not virtuous, life. But like all people, Kevin has his secrets. And someone wants them revealed.
While driving home from a day at graduate school, Kevin receives a call from a mysterious stranger who calls himself Slater. Slater demands Kevin confess his sin in the next three minutes or the vehicle he is manning will be blown to pieces.
Thus starts a harrowing chain of events. After narrowly escaping his exploding car, Kevin continues to receive phone calls from Slater, each with another riddle, another consequence, and another three minutes to confess his sin.
The problem is Kevin is unsure of what that sin might be. And Slater's cycle won't stop until he figures it out.

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Center Street
ISBN: 978-1599953144
Purchase at Amazon


Author Bio:
TED DEKKER is the author of twenty-two novels, with more than 3 million copies of his books sold to date, 1 million of…

Check out my Guest Post!

Head on over to VVB32 Reads Blog for the Women's Tales Event January 13-20.

Read my guest post, with original poetry written by yours truly.

The Friday 56

Welcome to Week 11 with me!



Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it here.

It's that simple.


Ted Dekker - THR3E

Page 56:
The last time he'd seen the inside of the house was five years ago, the day he'd finally worked up the courage to leave.


#5: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle

Synopsis & Book Info:
A collection of Sherlock Holmes mystery adventures, including "A Scandal in Bohemia," "The Red-headed League," and "The Adventure of the Speckled Band."

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
ISBN: 978-0439574280
Purchase at Amazon
Book 4: The Sign of Four


©1892


My Opinion:
Since this was a book of 12 short stories, I will break it down for you.
Most of it I liked. Only 3 of the 12 got a low rating of 2 or less. The majority was above 3 out of 5.
Some of the stories had an enormous predictability factor, and after 8 you are ready to read something else.
My favorite of them all was The Man With The Twisted Lip. It was a hoot! Literally it was a funny story! I loved the twists and turns in the mystery too.
Here is my rating of each story:
1. The Scandal in Bohemia - 3/5
2. The Red-Headed League 4/5
3. A Case of Identity 5/5
4. The Boscombe Valley Mystery 5/5
5. The Five Orange Pips 1/5
6. The Man With The Twisted Lip…

Boom Boom Cards (Teen Edition)

About Company and Products Offered:
For that teen who wants to make a difference in the world and isn't quite sure how. Boom Boom! Cards are 26 playing cards, each with actions on them like: "thank a teacher", "eat lunch with someone who's eating alone", "do a family chore without being asked", or "burn an inspirational CD for a friend who needs it". Teens can post about the experience of playing their card on the companion website as well as comment on other people's Boom Boom! actions. Then, they can give their card away for someone else to play. The website's map makes it easy to see who plays the card next and where it travels to. Teens love the like minded community of people who are being kind and tracking it online!

Website


©2011


My Opinion:
This is a great way to try to get your teens to commit to random acts of kindness. The problem is getting them to try it in the first place. The only way to get the results you want, and…

Giveaway: Cord Blood Banking $100 Coupon

About Product/Service:
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cord blood see: http://www.mazecordblood.com. MAZE is an affordably private
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The Story of Baby John

Maze Cord Blood Laboratories Facebook Page

Maze Cord Blood Laboratories Twitter


Thank you to Sara and MAZE Cord Blood Laboratories for the giveaway! We have 2 winners up for grabs! Here's what you need to do to enter:


Mandatory Entry:
Answer this question: What are your feelings on stem cell research? Leave an email address with your comment.
NO EMAIL, NO ENTRY.


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