Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Friday 56


Welcome to Week 22 with me!


Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky.

It's that simple.


The Priests Graveyard - Ted Dekker (TOURS April 11)

Page 56:

His antics made me laugh.

March Monthly News


Welcome to the St. Paddy's edition of Monthly News!
I was TAGGED! This was pretty cool!
Hope the Luck O' the Irish was with ya!


BOOKS:
1. Rock Bottom - Erin Brockovich (recommend)
2. Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing - Kathy Cano-Murillo (recommend)
3. Flavors - Emily Sue Harvey
4. After the Leaves Fall - Nicole Baart (recommend)
5. Letters From Home - Kristina McMorris
6. Confucius Jade - Frederick Fisher
7. Welcome to Last Chance - Hope Ramsay
8. The Breath of God - Jeffrey Small
9. The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady - Elizabeth Stuckey-French (HIGHLY recommend)
10. The Best Laid Plans - Sarah Mayberry (recommend)
11. The Sweetest Thing - Jill Shalvis (recommend)
12. Letters From Wheatfield - Patrick Shannon
13. An Apple A Day - Caroline Taggart
14. The Poison Eaters - Holly Black (recommend)



PRODUCTS:

1. Crystal Light Pure (recommend)
2. Febreeze Noticables (recommend)
3. Aquafina Plus+ Vitamins 10 CAL (recommend)
4. Candy Land Game Keychain
5. Neoteric Diabetic Skin Cream (recommend)


YEARLY TOTAL: 51 Books, 9 Products, 1 Tv Show


FREDA'S FAVE FIVE (In No Particular Order):
1. The Poison Eaters - Holly Black
2. Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing - Kathy Cano-Murillo
3. After the Leaves Fall - Nicole Baart
4. The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady - Elizabeth Stuckey-French
5. The Sweetest Thing - Jill Shalvis



BOOK OF THE MONTH:



AUTHOR GUEST POSTS:
1. A Quiz on Proverbs - Carolyn Taggart
2. Tina's Tips for Looking Fabulous at Any Age - Tina Sloan


AUTHOR INTERVIEWS:

With Patrick Shannon


MY GUEST POSTS:
A beautiful post with my Poetry at My Bits and Bleeps.


SPONSORED POSTS:
Join Avon Voices in Celebrating International Women's Day


AWARDS:

Belinda from The Bookish Snob awarded me the Irresistibly Sweet Award. She is herself Irresistibly Sweet and has a fantastic blog, so please go check her out!

#51: The Poison Eaters and Other Stories - Holly Black


Synopsis & Book Info:
Poisonous girls whose kisses will kill. A fateful eating contest with the devil. Faeries who return to Ironside, searching for love. A junior prom turned bacchanalia. In twelve short stories, eerie and brimming with suspense and unexpected humor, Holly Black twists the fantastical creatures you thought you knew in ways you’ll never expect.


Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
ISBN: 9781442412323
Purchase at Amazon


Author Bio:
Holly Black is the bestselling author of the Spiderwick series. Her first book, Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale, was an ALA Top Ten Book for Teens, received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews, and has been translated into twelve languages. Her second teen novel, Valiant, was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a Locus Magazine Recommended Read, and a recipient of the Andre Norton Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Her third teen novel, Ironside, the sequel to Tithe, was a New York Times bestseller. Her new novel, White Cat, received three starred reviews. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. Visit Holly at blackholly.com.


©2011


My Opinion:
This is a great collection of paranormal stories, with vampires, faeries, elves, werewolves and more.
My absolute favorite was the first story, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, and my least favorite is In Vodka Veritas, though I liked them all for their creativity.
Great writing and great characters make for a couple of stories I won't soon forget.


4/5


Recommend? Yes!


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

#50: An Apple A Day - Caroline Taggart


Synopsis & Book Info:
Discover why proverbs have stood the test of time.
Proverbs -- those colorful time-honored truths -- have become part of our everyday language. But how often do we think about their origins or meanings?
This unique collection of words to live by reveals the source of these timeworm expressions, which are as relevant today as they were when first coined generations ago.
An Apple a Day provides the fun facts behind 200 proverbs, including . . .
* The darkest hour is before the dawn.
* You can't teach an old dog new tricks.
* In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
* The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
* When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
But enough said. Sit back and enjoy the read -- there's no time like the present!


Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Reader's Digest Association
ISBN: 9781606521915
Purchase at Amazon


Author Bio:
Caroline Taggart has been an editor of non-fiction books for nearly 30 years and has covered nearly every subject from natural history and business to gardening and astronomy. She has written several books and was the editor of Writer's Market UK 2009.

For more information on the book and the Blackboard Books, please visit www.rdtradepublishing.com


©2011


My Opinion:
I love books that teach me about the origins of words and everyday sayings. There is just something cool about knowing where our native tongue started, and what exactly they meant.
It's always a treat reading one of Caroline's books, as she puts the information together in a easy-to-read way, with some cute illustrations along the way.
I definitely recommend this series to all lovers of words and language!


5/5


Recommend? Yes.


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

#49: Letters From Wheatfield - Patrick Shannon (With Interview)


Synopsis & Book Info:
What do you do for fun if you live in a small rural town, dauntingly far from the nearest city's plentiful amusements? Upon what resources do you draw to spice up your existence? Letters from Wheatfield provides the answer - and it isn't always pretty.
The fictitious town of Wheatfield is a tiny island in a vast sea of wheat fields and cattle ranges.
Its nearest neighboring towns, similarly small, are well over the horizon. But its isolation has no effect on its inhabitants. Theirs is a society of mirthful, blithe, spritely wags - a condition abetted by the presence of not a few eccentric individuals.
In Letters from Wheatfield, two transplants from Manhattan write to a cousin back home about the remarkable community that has assimilated and transmuted them - much to their amazement and great pleasure.


Paperback: 236 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press
ISBN: 9781432757052
Purchase at Amazon


Author Bio:

Patrick Shannon, author of the young reader's book, Viva Cisco, currently resides in Conrad,
Montana. After serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, he worked thirty-three years for a major oil
company, bringing him rich experiences from traveling in Asia, the Middle East and the U.S.
Born and raised in Southern California, Shannon attended East Carolina and Oklahoma
Universities and UCLA. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi scholarship society.


For more information, visit the author's webpage.


MINI INTERVIEW:
1. How long have you been writing?
I have been working at writing ever since High School, some 62 years now. My ability to write didn’t really kick in until my retirement, though. One day I took a look through all the stuff I had written over the years, and I was shocked. It was just garbage, and I resolved then and there to start writing something better with which to replace it. To my utter and pleasant surprise, I discovered that, at this late stage in my life, I had finally learned to write.

2. How many drafts do you normally write for a specific project?
Three, essentially. The first draft is done on a letter pad, in pencil, with me ensconced in my contour chair. I get solidly into a right-brain mode and just get the story line down as fast as it will flow. I don’t worry about words, punctuation or sentence structure. I just get the story line down.
The next draft is done on that same pad or on attachment sheets. In this one I do some correcting of sentence structure and a lot of word replacement. This is where I give my old thesaurus a good workout to select words with exactly the connotation I want.
The third draft occurs as I type the pencil draft into the computer. Something about the pace and streaming of that process makes me sensitive to the “musicality” of my sentences – the lilt, the tempo – and I make some pretty significant changes to sentence structure at that time.
After that, of course, there are countless passes at editing for spelling and punctuation.

3. What was the hardest part of the editing process once you started working with the editor?
I try to do my own editing as completely as possible before it gets into an editor’s hands. It’s just a pride thing, I guess. My biggest problem with that is maintaining concentration. While I should be scrutinizing every word for spelling and punctuation, I get caught up in rereading for content. I’m my own biggest fan, I guess.

4. Favorite genre to read?
Fiction, but I divide my time between classic novels, spy thrillers and mysteries.

5. Favorite authors?
Among the classics, I love Thomas Hardy and George Eliot. Jude The Obscure, Mill On The Floss and Middlemarch are among my favorite stories. For just plain escape, I read Le Carre, John Lescroart, Jeffrey Archer and Alexander McCall Smith. On the serious side, to try to understand what is happening to our country and our world, I turn to Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, Chalmers Johnson, Andrew Basevich and Chris Hedges.


©2010


My Opinion:
With this book I am struggling to write a review. Have the right words to say exactly how I feel without stepping on any toes.
I wanted so much more from it.
I expected it to be so funny it would have me laughing out loud. It didn't.
It did have some mild wit about it, but maybe it was too dry for me to really enjoy.
I thought the story was cute, the characters were enjoyable enough, especially Ranger Ned and his eccentricities. It just wasn't enough for me to remember a month from now.
I don't want to discourage another from reading it. Maybe our humor tastes are different. I just wanted to give my honest opinion of my taste to it.


2.5/5


Recommend? No.


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

#48: The Sweetest Thing - Jill Shalvis (WITH WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT)


Synopsis & Book Info:
Two Men Are One Too Many . . .
Tara has a thousand good reasons not to return to the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington. Yet with her life doing a major crash-and-burn, anywhere away from her unfulfilled dreams and sexy ex-husband will do. As Tara helps her two sisters get their newly renovated inn up and running, she finally has a chance to get things under control and come up with a new plan for her life.
But a certain tanned, green-eyed sailor has his own ideas, such as keeping Tara hot, bothered . . . and in his bed. And when her ex wants Tara back, three is a crowd she can't control-especially when her deepest secret reappears out of the blue. Now Tara must confront her past and discover what she really wants. If she's lucky, she might just find that everything her heart desires is right here in Lucky Harbor.

Read an Excerpt HERE

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Forever
ISBN: 9780446571623
Purchase at Amazon


*Jill is coming out with a cookbook which will be available only as an eBook. It ties in to The Sweetest Thing, whose heroine is a cook. It will be on sale April 15th for only $0.99.*




Author Bio:

USA Today bestselling author JILL SHALVIS lives in a small town in the Sierras also run by quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books are, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill's bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website at JillShalvis.com for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountain adventures.

Jill's Website
Jill on Facebook
Jill's Twitter
Jill on GoodReads






©2011



My Opinion:
I've read a lot of romance novels lately, and this by far is the sweetest one yet. The title is really fitting!
The characters I immediately liked, though I was on the hook up train before they actually hooked up. You really root for two specific characters right away, and it stays no matter what curve balls are thrown, and yes they are thrown.
This story gives you exactly what you want. A happy town, filled with great people, who love each other, take care of one another, and live life to the fullest. Who wouldn't enjoy reading about that?!
I definitely think romance lovers will eat this book right up!
Oh, and I didn't read the first book, Simply Irresistible (though I plan to), and I wasn't lost. So that says something!


5/5


Recommend? YES!!!


~I received a copy from Hachette Book Group. I was not compensated for my opinion.~



#50. Chantel
#23. Cheryl F. {The Lucky Ladybug}
#36. Jane


Congratulations!! Check your email!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Neoteric Diabetic Skin Care



Product Info:
Have you recently been diagnosed with Diabetes? Or have you been living with this disease for quite some time? Either way, you’ve probably experienced dry and slow healing skin. Neoteric Cosmetics, a subsidiary of Scott’s Liquid Gold, has created a Diabetic Advanced Healing Cream to improve the quality of life for those living with Diabetes. This cream is an exceptional intensive treatment for chronic dry, cracked, damaged, slow healing skin. Containing TriOxygenC®, Neoteric Diabetic Oxygenated Advanced Healing Cream is clinically proven to increase circulation and speed skin's healing by strengthening its own natural defenses.


Facebook Page
Follow their Twitter @diabetichealing


©2011


My Opinion:
Being a diabetic, I love that there is a cream that targets our skin that is prone to longer heal times and dryness. I started using the cream right away, and I notice a vast difference in my skin. The dry, lizard look is gone and my skin is soft. I used to get the worse dryness after shaving my legs, but not now. When I apply the cream I instantly feel better.
I definitely recommend this cream, even if you are not a diabetic.


Applying the cream, after a shave.



5/5


Recommend? YES, most definitely!


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

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:

All of this done by one man at the controls of our space age trash truck.
But there were problems.

~ Page 55, Letters From Wheatfield - Patrick Shannon

Monday, March 28, 2011

Candy Land Game Keychain



Product Info:
Now the classic "sweet" game of Candyland comes on a keychain! The Candy Land key chain features a game box that opens to reveal a mini magnetic game surface, two gingerbread game pieces and 8 playing cards. Just draw a card and land on that colored square on the path. This mini Candyland game keychain is self-contained to take anywhere.
-WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD-Small parts. Not intended for children under 3 years.
-Contains magnetic components or magnet

Wholesale Keychain Website


©2011



My Opinion:

Candy Land was one of my favorite games as a child, so when the opportunity arose to review this game keychain, I jumped at it.
When it got here, I opened it up and was amazed at how realistic and true to the original game it is.
The one thing I didn't like about the design, was the words on the board are so small you can't begin to read them. You need a magnifying glass to read them.
Also you really have to bend the board back, without breaking it, to get it flat enough for playing.
It is cute, and the kids will get a slight kick out of it, but the suggested age is not what I would suggest. They say Ages 3+, I say Ages 8+, due to the very small pieces and cards.





2/5


Recommend? No.


~I received a sample from Tomoson. I was not compensated for my opinion.~
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

#47: The Best Laid Plans - Sarah Mayberry


Synopsis & Book Info:
Boundaries. The key to how corporate lawyer Alexandra Knight manages her busy life. However, lately all her precisely drawn lines are getting blurred. Blame it on her out-of-control biological clock that is ignoring her single status…and on Ethan Stone.
Because her sexy, no-strings colleague has posed an outrageous solution to her dilemma—he'll be her baby daddy. This from the guy who avoids all commitment? Okay, so they're attracted to each other. Really, really attracted. But crossing the line from coworker to co-parent with Ethan could ruin Alex for all other men. After all, when you've had the best…


Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 9780373716692
Purchase at Amazon


©2010


My Opinion:
This was a perfect little story, with just the right amount of chemistry between the characters.
It isn't like it's a story that hasn't been told before, it is just the authors way of relating it that makes it interesting. Well rounded characters, and a great plot, but sticking purely to romance, this was fantastic!
I would definitely pick up another book by Sarah Mayberry, if I came across one.


4/5


Recommend? Definitely!


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

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Friday 56


Welcome to Week 21 with me!


Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky.

It's that simple.


The Sweetest Thing - Jill Shalvis

Page 56:

"Never mess up an apology with an excuse." ~ Chloe Traeger

#46: The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady - Elizabeth Stuckey-French (Review & Giveaway)


Synopsis & Book Info:
In this dark comedy wrapped inside a wacky family drama, a vengeful old lady is hell bent on murdering an even older man…who has lost his mind.
Seventy-seven year old Marylou Ahearn is going to kill Dr. Wilson Spriggs come hell or high water. In 1953, he gave her a radioactive cocktail without her consent as part of a secret government study that had horrible consequences.
Marylou has been plotting her revenge for fifty years when she accidentally discovers his whereabouts in Florida and her plans finally snap into action. She high-tails it to hot and humid Tallahassee, moves in down the block from where a now senile Spriggs lives with his daughter’s family, and begins the tricky work of insinuating herself into their lives. But she has no idea what a nest of yellow jackets she is stumbling into.
Before the novel is through, someone will be kidnapped, an unlikely couple will get engaged, someone will nearly die from eating a pineapple upside-down cake laced with anti-freeze, and that’s not all…
Told from the varied perspectives of an incredible cast of endearing oddball characters and written with the flare of a native Floridian, this is a lively, intricately plotted, laugh-out-loud funny, and surprisingly touching family drama that combines the wit of Carl Hiaasen with the southern charm of Jill McCorkle.

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Doubleday
ISBN: 9780385510646
Purchase at Amazon





Author Bio:
Elizabeth Stuckey-French is the author of a novel, Mermaids on the Moon, a collection of short stories, The First Paper Girl in Red Oak, Iowa, and, with Janet Burroway, Writing Fiction: A Guide to the Narrative Craft. Her new novel, The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady, is forthcoming from Doubleday in spring 2011. Her short stories have appeared in The Normal School, Narrative Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Gettysburg Review, Southern Review, Five Points, and The O’Henry Prize Stories 2005. She was awarded a James Michener Fellowship and has won grants from the Howard Foundation, the Indiana Arts Foundation, and the Florida Arts Foundation. She teaches fiction writing at Florida State University.

Elizabeth Stuckey-French's Website


©2011


My Opinion:
I love this book with a capital L!
Ava is my kindred spirit, being the Elvis freak that she is, and I connected to her immediately.
The whole crazy family is awesome though, in their own way. And the Radioactive Lady herself, is as intriguing as they get.
I really appreciated this humorous approach to this family, and their lives. The way the author conveyed the story made it all the more interesting.
While I think she did a great job of finishing this story, if she continued into a series, that would be okay too. Any way, I look forward to more from this author.


5/5


Recommend? Oh YES!


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


AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY......


Thanks to Liz and DoubleDay, I have 2 copies up for grabs!


Open to US only! Sorry guys!


Mandatory Entry:
(Answer this question in the comment section, along with your email.)
Have you ever met a wacky family?? What was so odd about them?


Additional Entries (Leave a separate comment for each):
+1 tweet, blog or facebook - leave link
+1 Follow on Networked Blogs (sidebar) - leave name you follow as
+1 GFC follow (sidebar)
+1 Email subscriber (sidebar)
+1 Facebook fan (sidebar)


Contest Ends April 9, 8 pm est.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Park Ave Shirt Company (Review & Giveaway)


Park Ave Shirt Company was created in 2005. Their primary location is online, but are also located in Rochester, NY. They have recently added a location at Rochester's International Airport. They specialize in funny tshirts, vintage thsirts, movie tshirts, and novelty tshirts for kids and adults. Remember to check the daily deals, or specials on more than one tee!




©2011



My Opinion:
I love my new tshirt!!!!
The best part about it besides how soft it is, is the babydoll sleeves. They are my favorite design on a women's tee. And already today I have had many great comments and compliments on my tshirt. I posted it on Facebook, and had someone ask where I got the shirt. So I told them.
Park Ave Shirt Company is fabulous!!!! Check it out if you need, want or have to have a new cool funny t shirts.

My Tweet to Pauly D


Here I am, wearing my new "Peace, Back By Popular Demand" shirt.


5/5


Recommend? Most definitely!!!


~I received a shirt from Park Ave Shirt Company. I was not compensated for my opinion.~


AND NOW THE GIVEAWAY..............


Thanks to Wally and Park Ave Shirts, I have 1 shirt to giveaway to 1 lucky winner. Valued at up to $16.99!


OPEN TO US AND CANADA


Mandatory Entry:
Visit Park Ave Shirt Company, and let me know which shirt you would choose if you are the winner. ( Up to $16.99 value.)


Additional Entries (Leave a separate comment for each):
+1 tweet, blog or facebook - leave link
+1 Follow on Networked Blogs (sidebar) - leave name you follow as
+1 GFC follow (sidebar)
+1 Email subscriber (sidebar)
+1 Facebook fan (sidebar)


Contest Ends April 7, 8pm est.


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:

She cackled and slapped down her empty shot glass. "Oh, he's interested."

~ Page 112, The Sweetest Thing - Jill Shalvis

Monday, March 21, 2011

Aquafina Plus+ Vitamins 10 CAL


Product Info:
Low in Calories. High in Delicious.
Aquafina Plus+ Vitamins 10 Cal™ is a vitamin enhanced water with only 10 calories per bottle. It offers consumers a nutritious, low-calorie refreshment, as a part of an exciting, fun and celebratory approach to life. Complete with antioxidant vitamins C and E and a source of B vitamins to maintain good health – Aquafina Plus+ Vitamins 10 Cal™ contains PureVia™ Reb A, a naturally sweet pure extract that comes from the leaves of the Stevia plant. It comes in 5 unique flavours including: Strawberry Lemonade, Black and Blue Berry, Fuji Apple Pear, Acai Fruit Punch and Yumberry Pomegranate. It’s the perfect way for people on the go to get their vitamins, hydrate and replenish.


Aquafina Website
Aquafina Canada Facebook






©2011


My Opinion:
I'm a fan of flavored water, but am very picky when it comes to flavor. When I received the 3 different kinds for review, my son, the hubster and I tried each one. The hubster liked the Black and Blue Berry. My son liked the Fuji Apple Pear, and my favorite is Strawberry Lemonade.
So while I didn't think they were all mind-blowing, I did like them all. I just had a preference.
Really it worked out though. We each had them polished off in no time. They are really delicious as far as water goes!


My son drinking Fuji Apple Pear, his favorite.


5/5


Recommend? Yes!!!


~I received samples from ChickAdvisor. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

#45: The Breath of God - Jeffrey Small


Synopsis & Book Info:
A murder at the Taj Mahal. A kidnapping in a sacred city. A desperate chase through a cliffside monastery. All in the pursuit of a legend that could link the world's great religious faiths.
In 1887, a Russian journalist made an explosive discovery in a remote Himalayan monastery only to be condemned and silenced for the heresy he proposed. His discovery vanished shortly thereafter.
Now, graduate student Grant Matthews journeys to the Himalayas in search of this ancient mystery. But Matthews couldn't have anticipated the conspiracy of zealots who would go to any lengths to prevent him from bringing this secret public. Soon he is in a race to expose a truth that will change the world's understanding of religion. A truth that his university colleagues believe is mere myth. A truth that will change his life forever—if he survives.

Paperback: 414 pages
Publisher: West Hills Press
ISBN: 9781933512860
Purchase at Amazon






Author Bio:

Jeffrey Small, Jr. is the author of the mystical thriller, The Breath of God, the writer of the spirituality blog, OneReality, and a speaker on religious and spirituality topics.
Jeffrey graduated summa cum laude from Yale University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. While at Yale, he served as Publisher and Senior Editor of the Yale Herald. He then graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School where he was elected to the Board of Student Advisors and taught speech, legal writing, and research. More recently, Jeffrey earned a Masters in the Study of Religions from Oxford University in England where he was a member of Oriel College.

Jeffrey Small's Web site.
or Facebook
or Twitter


©2011


My Opinion:
I loved this book at times and others hated it.
I loved the suspenseful parts, and hated how the story flipped back and forth so fast. I really wanted to stick with what I was reading. I know it is a style of writing, and most times I like it, but with the various backdrops I sometimes felt lost. Maybe if it was a little longer between settings I would have been more keen about it.
It had great ideas, and I think they did somehow shine through. Though for a suspense fiction novel I felt sometimes it was very evangelical and preachy. I love God and believe, but I have a distaste for preachy.
So I'm a half and half kinda girl on this one. Sorry. I have read great reviews, so maybe it just was me.



2.5/5


Recommend? To Christian Fiction fans, yes.


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

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tina's Tips for Looking Fabulous at Any Age


By Tina Sloan,
Author of Changing Shoes: Getting Older -Not Old- with Style, Humor, and Grace

Find a Hairdresser Who Likes You. You want to go to someone who genuinely wants you to be beautiful. A good hairdresser will keep you up-to-date, but knows you well enough not to give you a Duck's Ass or some other cut that doesn't suit your personality.

Avoid Snow White Syndrome. Women who keep coloring their hair dark tend to look ridiculous after a certain age. Your skin tone changes and lightens as you get older, and suddenly your former hair color becomes too harsh for your complexion. Recognize that if you have always been a brunette, you likely need to go lighter now, or at least get some highlights to frame your face (like Diane Keaton's in Something's Gotta Give).

ALWAYS Wear Makeup
. Remember the story about bumping into an old boyfriend and trying to hide in the cantaloupes. Lauren Hutton makes wonderful beauty products for aging women; they are available online and come with an instructional DVD that provides some great anti-aging techniques and tricks. I also like Chantecaille and Bobbi Brown. I once met Bobbi Brown and she told me, "I make my products for your kind of woman."

. . . But Don't Overdo It. Nothing is less attractive than an older woman with bright pink cheeks. Plus, heavy makeup makes you look years older (and I think this is true as early as your thirties). At our age, less is more, so realize that you probably need to simplify your routine and start using more natural tones. If you're not sure how to do this, get a makeup professional to help you.

Avoid Powder on Your Face. Powder makes you look dry and settles in the creases in your skin, making wrinkles more prominent and you look older. Foundation or base is great since we need to even our skin tone out (like I do). And today there are so many good products available for older skin. Many of them multitask, providing anti-aging ingredients along with an even skin tone and dewier skin.

Learn the Art of Contouring
. With contouring, you're putting a darker color on the places where you want to create more definition, such as your jaw line. A makeup professional, or Lauren Hutton's instructional DVDs, can teach you how to do this.

Use White Around Your Eyes. The skin around the eyes thins as you get older, leaving you vulnerable to shadows and dark circles. Using white concealer on the inside corners and under your eyes will brighten your entire face and make you eyes look younger. Just make sure to blend it -- mixing it with moisturizer if necessary -- so you don't look like startled jackrabbit.

Use an Eyelash Curler. Everyone should have an eyelash curler as there is no better way to open up your eyes and brighten your entire face, especially since the skin of the eyelid tends to thicken and droop over time. You can buy one for a few dollars at the drugstore. It will work best if you heat it before using it -- simply run it under hot water or heat it with your blow-dryer. The words thicken and droop really upset me, but opening your eyes is kind of like a mini-face-lift!

Lighten Your Eyebrows
. Much like your overall hair color, lighter brows are better as we age. You can lighten them with bleach and toner. To find the right shade of toner for your skin type, seek the advice of a professional, probably someone at your salon.

Get Your Teeth Whitened
. When our teeth get yellowed, they age us tremendously, and coffee, tea, and red wine are all the culprits. You can get your teeth whitened by your dentist or use the at-home strips sold in drugstores, which do work, although not as well (but you can't beat the price).

Accessorize. A pretty colored scarf or earrings or necklace can be a terrific way to liven up any outfit and announce to the world that you care about how you look. Accessories also work to camouflage our flaws: People will say, "Oh, what a pretty scarf!" and not, "Oh, she's put on a few pounds."

Find a Few "Uniforms" that Work for You. If you tend to just give in and throw on whatever shapeless, comfortable clothing is sitting on the chair, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage. You can avoid this and be chic anywhere, anytime by finding a few "looks" or combinations that work for you and wearing them often. For me, one uniform is beige or black slacks with a white shirt open, a blue blazer, a gorgeous chunky necklace, and big earrings -- and pretty shoes, of course. You work it out and just keep wearing it, even when you are tempted to reach for the sweatpants and slippers. I find that when I'm dressed nicely, even if I'm just sitting at home, chances are I will find something exciting to do to make that outfit worthwhile.

The above is an excerpt from the book Changing Shoes: Getting Older -Not Old- with Style, Humor, and Grace by Tina Sloan. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Copyright © 2011 Tina Sloan, author of Changing Shoes: Getting Older -Not Old- with Style, Humor, and Grace.

Author Bio:

Tina Sloan, author of Changing Shoes: Getting Older - Not Old- with Style, Humor, and Grace, played the role of Nurse Lillian Raines on Guiding Light, which aired its final episode in 2009 after a seventy-two year run on radio and television. She has appeared on many other television shows, including Third Watch, and Law & Order: SVU, and in a variety of feature films, including The Brave One and Changing Lanes. She is currently shooting two feature films and touring nationally in her acclaimed one-woman show, Changing Shoes. She lives in New York with her husband, Steve McPherson. They have one son, Renny.
For more information please visit http://www.changingshoes.com/ and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Friday 56


Welcome to Week 20 with me!


Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky.

It's that simple.


Cake Boss - Buddy Valastro

PAGE 56:

One night, the family prepared an enormous feast for us; the centerpiece was capreto (baby goat), which Freddy's father, Mario, procured from the family farm, slaughtered, and cooked on a spit in a wood-burning oven.

#44: Welcome to Last Chance - Hope Ramsay (WITH WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT)


Synopsis & Book Info:
Dear Reader,

Yes, our town is way off the beaten path, but strange, wonderful miracles happen a lot around here.

I've owned the Cut 'n' Curl beauty shop for years, and I've seen folks come for a visit, then stay for a lifetime. Take Jane-that pretty firecracker of a girl who just arrived in town. I would swear she's running from something. She came with only five dollars in her pocket but she's worked real hard to make a fresh start. She's turned my son Clay's life upside down without even realizing it.

And thank goodness for that! Ever since Clay left his country western band, he's played everything too safe. He needs to take a chance on Jane. Besides, the more he tries to keep his distance, the more he'll realize that he and Jane are singing the same tune.

But I should quit ramblin' and go check on Millie's permanent wave. Next time you're in Last Chance, be sure to swing by. We've got hot rollers, free coffee, and the best gossip in town.

See you real soon,

Ruby Rhodes


Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Forever
ISBN: 9780446576093
Purchase at Amazon


Author Bio:

Hope Ramsay was born in New York and grew up on the North Shore of Long Island, but every summer Momma would pack her off under the care of Aunt Annie to go visiting with relatives in the midlands of South Carolina. Her extended family includes its share of colorful aunts and uncles, as well as cousins by the dozens, who provide the fodder for the characters you'll find in Last Chance, South Carolina. Hope earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Buffalo and has had various jobs working as a Congressional aide, a lobbyist, a public relations consultant, and a meeting planner. She's a two-time finalist in the Golden Heart and is married to a good ol' Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her heroes. She has two grown children and a couple of demanding lap cats. She lives in Fairfax, Virginia, where you can often find her on the back deck, picking on her thirty-five-year-old Martin guitar.


Facebook Page
Visit HopeRamsay.com






©2011


My Opinion:
Romance.
Butterflies when you are near that certain someone.
Questions raised that you don't understand.
Feeling good.
All things I felt while reading this book. The writer had a way of putting you smack dab in the book. Through descriptive writing, and great characters, you really get lost in the drama.
I don't know that this was a "wow" book for me, but it was a solid story. One romance lovers will gobble right up!


3/5


Recommend? Yes, to romance junkies!


~I received a copy from Hachette Book Group. I was not compensated for my opinion.~



#62. Lady Q
#56. Mona

Congratulations!! Check your email!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

#43: Confucius Jade - Frederick Fisher


Synopsis & Book Info:
A Japanese pearl magnate, an Arabian oil sheik and an American media mogul find their destinies intertwined with the descendants of Confucius in this adventure story of loyalty and treachery, generosity and greed, deception and love. Narrated by Kong Wan Yi, descendant of the great sage Confucius and jade carver of her generation, Confucius Jade reveals the origins of a fantastic jade carving of Shou-Xing Lao, Chinese God of Longevity and tells how the carving, with its mystical properties, guides the Kong family to a high-stakes bidding war among three billionaires, each of whom jealously covets the priceless jade for its promise of long life and redemption.

Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Dudley Court Press
ISBN-13: 978-0981929132
Purchase at Amazon


Author Bio:
A Certified Gemologist and Registered Jeweler with the American Gem Society for many years, Frederick Fisher and his late wife, Eileen, shared a passion for travel and 'treasure-hunting' fine jewelry, oriental art and antiques. Until a few years ago, Fred and Eileen spend six months each year in different parts of the world. Fred first began writing when he was an apprentice seaman in the U.S. Navy. He has written numerous articles for various magazines and newspapers and has several published books including China Adventures, Love and Marriage, and Serendipity. Confucius Jade was previously published in Singapore by Times International and is based on many years of extensive travel and encounters with the people in mainland China, east Asia and the Pacific Rim. Fred lives in Sonoita, Arizona and still travels whenever he can.


©2010


My Opinion:
While I enjoyed this story, at times I found it hard to want to read it, and it took me forever to get through it. That is why I'm not recommending it.
The story itself is pretty good, when you are finished and strip away the things that you really don't need to think of. You will find a lot of boring parts in the book, but the few exciting parts make up for it. In the end you may be like me, and find yourself thinking that it all came together alright. But just alright.
Though very creative, I don't think I will read this author again any time soon. It just wasn't for me.


2/5


Recommend? No.


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

Giveaway: The Sweetest Thing - -Jill Shalvis


Synopsis:
Two Men Are One Too Many . . .
Tara has a thousand good reasons not to return to the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington. Yet with her life doing a major crash-and-burn, anywhere away from her unfulfilled dreams and sexy ex-husband will do. As Tara helps her two sisters get their newly renovated inn up and running, she finally has a chance to get things under control and come up with a new plan for her life.
But a certain tanned, green-eyed sailor has his own ideas, such as keeping Tara hot, bothered . . . and in his bed. And when her ex wants Tara back, three is a crowd she can't control-especially when her deepest secret reappears out of the blue. Now Tara must confront her past and discover what she really wants. If she's lucky, she might just find that everything her heart desires is right here in Lucky Harbor.


Thanks to Brianne and Hachette Book Group, I have 3 copies up for grabs!


Only residents of the U.S. or Canada, No P.O. Boxes, please.
One copy per household rule applies.


Mandatory Entry:
(Answer this question in the comment section, along with your email.)
What is the sweetest thing that has happened to you?


Additional Entries (Leave a separate comment for each):
+1 tweet, blog or facebook - leave link
+1 Follow on Networked Blogs (sidebar) - leave name you follow as
+1 GFC follow (sidebar)
+1 Email subscriber (sidebar)
+1 Facebook fan (sidebar)






Winners will be announced in the tour post on March 31st.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

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:


Clay turned and collected his pants from the floor. He stepped into them and zipped the fly just as Billy Bennett swaggered up the stairs and started reading him his rights.

~Page 274, Welcome to Last Chance - Hope Ramsay

Stella & Dot

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