Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August Monthly News

Welcome to the Family Day edition of Monthly News.
Family Day is a holiday in some parts of Canada, like Ontario, where I'm from. The government needed a holiday, lucky for us.
It was also my two year Blogoversary on August 2! But with all the drama of my brother's passing, I forgot to post anything.... read about that HERE.


BOOKS:
1. Animals Alive
2. River Song - Melody Carlson (recommend)
3. The Marked Son - Shea Berkley (recommend)
4. Dael and the Painted People - Allan Richard Shickman (recommend)
5. Safe from the Past - Patricia Miller-Mauro
6. Tempest in the Tea Leaves - Kari Lee Townsend (recommend)
7. The Help - Kathryn Stockett (HIGHLY recommend)
8. The Map of Time - Felix J. Palma (recommend)
9. From This Moment On - Shania Twain
10. CatKid: I'm No Fraidy Cat - Brian James (recommend)
11. The Rainbow Connection - Ian Harac
12. Amish Values for Your Family - Suzanne Woods Fisher
13. The Elfin Child - Philip G. Bell
14. Big Questions
15. Candy & Cigarettes - CS DeWildt
16. Book of Days - James L. Rubart


MOVIES:
1. The Help


PRODUCTS:
1. Dr. Beckmann Stain Devil


CDS:
1. Mat Kearney - Young Love



YEARLY TOTAL: 124 Books, 1 Magazine, 2 Services, 18 Products, 1 Tv Show, 2 CDS and 1 Movie


FREDA'S FAVE FIVE (In No Particular Order):
1. River Song - Melody Carlson
2. The Marked Son - Shea Berkley
3. The Map of Time - Felix J. Palma
4. Tempest in the Tea Leaves - Kari Lee Townsend
5. The Help - Kathryn Stockett


BOOK OF THE MONTH:



AUTHOR GUEST POSTS:
1. With Shea Berkley
2. With CS DeWildt


AUTHOR INTERVIEWS:
1. With Anita Clenney
2. With Kari Lee Townsend
3. With Lisa Becker
4. With Natasha Larry


SPONSORED POSTS:
1. CrazyDog Tshirt's Teepocolyse Giveaway
2. New Jennifer Lopez Collection Videos
3. SwagBucks New Limited Entry Gift Card SwagStakes

#124: Book of Days - James L. Rubart


"… in Your book all my days were recorded, even those which were purposed before they had come into being." —Psalm 139:16
Young Cameron Vaux’s mind is slipping. Memories of his wife, killed two years earlier in a car accident, are vanishing just as his dad predicted they would. Memories he knows he has to remember.
His father tells Cameron that to save his mind he must find "the book with all days in it" —the past and future record of every soul on earth.
When an obscure clue leads Cameron to a small central Oregon town, he meets enigmatic Taylor Stone, a possible guide to finding the book who seems to carry secrets far deeper than anyone imagines. Local hotshot TV personality Ann Bannister thinks the legend of the book is a farce, but she has her reasons to join Cameron’s search anyway. Finally, there is fanatical New Age guru Jason Judah, who will stop at nothing to find the book of days before Cameron does.

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: B&H Books
ISBN: 9781433671517
Purchase at Amazon by clicking the link on the photo.

©2011





My Opinion:
I reviewed Rooms, another novel by James L. Rubart, and have to admit, I liked it much more. You can read that review HERE.
This book was a great concept, but a bit of a mess reading. I really wished the author stuck to the original story, and didn't focus as much on the side stories. It did come together in the end, but again I was disappointed.
Just wasn't my favorite read.


2/5


Recommend? No, but I do recommend Rooms.


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

The Confidence Scam: A Guest Spot with Author, CS DeWildt

I don’t know if other writers feel this way. It’s not talked about. I looked for it on the web. I used Google and Bing. Still nothing. Is its absence the paradoxical proof that it’s there?

Like I said: we don’t talk about it. At least I don’t. Usually don’t. And I couldn’t find it on the web.

But I feel it.

What is the creature that stalks us in the night? Haunting us, keeping us awake on the eve of publication, the evil bogey waiting to come down the chimney. Waiting for our guard to drop and then creep in to fill his bag with our most prized, secret possession, and sweep it away, laughing and whipping his growling, red-eyed devil deer through the hellish cold and dark.

What is it? Is it just me?

Let me tell you a secret: I used to make movies. Not good ones. Fine, a couple of okay ones, short cartoons that few saw and earned me a total of five hundred-fifty dollars between a festival and a single contest. It was a good run. Filled me with confidence. Lifted me up to a new mental and emotional height of creativity. I must be good at this. They said so.

They said so.

And then came RTF, my film school thesis project.

RTF stood for Retard Task Force. Oh, it was a gem of an idea. Understand this was 2001, the beginning of the ubiquitous reality TV phenomenon. And being schooled for four years in the technique and theory of media production, I saw the building trend for what it was: ripe for satire. And that’s what the RTF was, or what it was supposed to be. Production was simple. It consisted of me shooting a bunch of volunteer actors in mismatched Goodwill garb stumbling around the parking lot of my apartment building. They drooled, moaned, and bumped into each other comically, you know, the stuff retarded people do (it’s okay, I have a retarded cousin. “Retard” is our word). The set up was that retards were running amok in society, just retarding it up all over the place see, and it was up to the Retard Task Force to solve the problem. The RTF themselves were a trio of guardian angel types in matching t-shirts who believed in the philosophy of the baseball bat. I think the leader had a back story in which his family was killed by a mob of retarded people (I honestly don’t remember. It might be wishful thinking, that I actually gave my character a back story). So we improvised a bunch of scenarios, got the footage, and went to work editing a trailer for my fictional reality show.

It went over quite well. It was satire; it spoke of the state of television and its exploitative nature. And it was funny! People laughed, so I knew it was funny. I’d conveyed my message competently, beyond competently, astutely, deftly even. I was even asked to guest speak to a class of film department newbs. RTF was a success, so I did the most logical thing.

I edited a full episode.

The new incarnation clocked in at a bloated forty-two minutes, leaving time for two parody commercials- Fulgers: the Coffee for Pedophiles (actual tagline), and Bob’s Box-o-Rama (affordable shelter for the homeless)-which actually hold up in my mind and I’m less embarrassed in recounting. I should have known there was a problem the very first time I screened it. Reception was lukewarm at best, and that was among friends, and not just friends, but film school friends. I didn’t see the problem then, having been the writer, producer, director, and editor. I had a mental context for the piece. My audience did not however, and while in the trailer version the satire was lost on no one, in the full episode it was just-

Lost

What the hell did they know about anything? I was on to the big time and a fledgling company called Atom Films or something. This again was 2001, a time where anybody could get nearly anything hosted on the site. RTF? Oh, they hosted it. I remember waiting with an anticipation like nothing I’d ever felt. Soon my work was going to be out there, available to the masses. My head was full of self congratulatory daydreams of praise and discovery by the industry.

Do I need to tell you what happened? You like posting comments in open forums? If you’ve ever been on the internet you know what was coming. The critics, billyblob711, dripping_anus12, martin_whorcese, they all gave me their two cents and it was brutal.

Brutal

I was crushed. I mean it. Crushed. Call me naïve or just a plain old fool, but I really hadn’t expected the negative response. I tried, like any self respecting artist, to defend my movie with posts of my own, but it was for naught. The hyenas smelled blood. One remark that I remember specifically was that my “time would have been better spent picking up additional ours at the 7-11”. That one cut deep, not because it was particularly clever or biting in itself, but because I worked at a convenience store!

They knew.

Crushed, eviscerated, dead. I could never finish another movie. And I tried. But I really never finished another movie. I wrote them, I shot them, I even partially edited them. But they never saw an audience, because in my gut, my heart, my overactive imagination, they were all shit. I was nothing but a no-talent fraud. And they knew it.

So here I am. Ten years later. I have a book out called Candy and Cigarettes (you should buy it, it’s only two bucks). And what was my thought when I got that email, the one saying “we love it, let us publish it”, after dozens of “no’s”? I thought, what the hell is wrong with them? Don’t they know? Can’t they see I’m only posing as a writer? That all those hours in front of the keyboard and the early mornings and shirking of responsibilities and seemingly endless revisions were just a front? Set dressing for the scam? How long can I fool them? How long until they suggest I go back to the 7-11?

I read titles like Lolita (the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps…), Nabokov’s “love affair with the English language”, and I have to wonder if he ever felt this way. Did such a master of prose, and style, and story, and humor ever feel the fear? Hemingway and his beautiful brevity, reality stripped bare, boiled to its elements, able to convey so much with so little. Did he have the fear? McCarthy, Orwell, Vonnegut, Theroux, Palahniuk, Faulkner, O’Conner, Burgess, Plath- the men and women I love- did they feel the fear?

And again and again I come to the same answer.

I don’t know. We don’t like to talk about it.

And that I do know.

I checked on the Internet.




BIO:


CS DeWildt lives with his wife and sons in Tucson Arizona. His novelette Candy and Cigarettes (2011, Vagabondage Press) is currently available for download.



Check my review HERE, there is also a 3 EBook giveaway!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

#123: Candy & Cigarettes - C.S. DeWildt (With Giveaway)


In the face of revenge, innocence is meaningless.
Death is omnipresent to small-town loner Lloyd Bizbang. Today proves no exception. After being attacked yet again by a pair of sociopaths who have targeted him since childhood, Lloyd stumbles upon a sight he wishes he could unsee in the town junkyard. Now as he just tries to live through another day, the bodies are stacking up in the town of Horton, and Lloyd finds himself connected to each of them via the drug-and-drink-addled, unhinging police chief, yet another person who has an old score to settle with Lloyd. A game of revenge and survival is underway, but will there be a winner at the day’s end?

Kindle Edition: 161 KB
ASIN: B005D1T6QA
Purchase at Amazon by clicking the link on the photo.

©2011


Author Bio:
CS DeWildt lives and writes in Tucson, Arizona. He is currently working on a novel and a collection of shorts. His work has been showcased on sites like Bartleby Snopes, Word Riot, The Bicycle Review, Writer’s Bloc and Mobius Magazine.


My Opinion:

This novella was pretty gritty, dark and at moments scary. All kinds of wonderful to me.
However, I feel like it bounced around a lot. Maybe a little too much.
If the story just flowed from beginning, to the middle and then the end, it would have been a little more enjoyable.
So cool aspects, and an interesting plot, but not so well laid out for me.
This is definitely a story I would like to hear other peoples' opinions on it.


3/5


Recommend? Yes, to see how the reader felt.



AND NOW A GENEROUS GIVEAWAY....

Thanks to the author, CS DeWildt, I have 3 fabulous Ebooks up for grabs!
(Winners can choose from MOBI, EPUB, and PDF.)
Fill in the Rafflecopter form to enter.



Teaser Tuesday

SHOULD BE READING


* 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!


After saying goodbye to Ann, Cameron sat in his car determined to find something to take his mind off Jessie, his memory loss, the book, Ann--everything. Even if it wasn't good for him.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Giveaway: Do No Evil - Kymberly & Ashley Goltermann


Three years ago, Phineas Nobul was at the top of her game as a defense attorney in Los Angelos. When the Lair, New York native returned home for the holidays, she was surprised to find herself willing to give it all up for love. Now brokenhearted, nearly penniless, and once again unemployed, Phineas finds herself partnering up with her sister to take a second shot at success.
Phoebe, the eldest and more responsible Nobul daughter, envies her little sister's free spirit and loathes her unreliability. this is never more the case than when Phoebe finds herself dumped on her wedding day and her little sister nowhere to be found. When Phineas resurfaces and much wine has been consumed, she presents the heinous idea of Phoebe quitting her career in publishing to team up with her as private investigators. Phoebe rejects the idea at first but then sees this as a chance to start over.
Business is barely up and running when a corpse is left in the newly established Artemis Agency. A foreboding warning soon follows. The sisters don't know whether to be terrified or intrigued. As the bodies begin piling up, Phoebe and Phineas get caught up in a case of conspiracy and scandal that once haunted small-town Lair.
Add an eccentric trigger-happy grandmother, a basset hound with an attitude, a hunky yet overprotective veterinarian, a mysterious cop known as Officer Yummy, and a very persistent killer and you've got one hell of a mystery!

Read my Review HERE


Thanks to The Goltermann Sisters, I have 3 copies up for grabs. Fill in the Rafflecopter form to enter.



#122: Big Questions


The ultimate guide to life's big questions!
This book asks the big questions that really make you think about yourself and your place in the world. What is the secret of happiness? Can computers think? What is reality anyway?
Stretching your brain and firing your imagination, the bright, dynamic spreads will set your mind racing off along different tangents and into new realms of discovery. From personal questions about thoughts and dreams to the wider questions of life, the universe, and everything, this is a journey like no other.

Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: DK CHILDREN
ISBN: 9780756675790
Purchase at Amazon by clicking the link on the photo.
Purchase at DK Canada

©2011


My Opinion:
One word: Debatable.
This book ponders all the really big questions like, where do we come from and how do colors make you feel?
I did have an issue while reading the book, though more of a debate amongst myself as to what should be put forth. Content-wise, I mean. Here's why: Inside the book, when it asks where do we come from, it concludes we come from The Big Bang. That's all well, good and true, but what about the parents that want their children to believe we come from God. The scientific theory would have to go out then. So this is where I debated with myself as to which is right. Should we teach our kids that we come from God or The Big Bang?
If you answered the latter, in The Big Bang, then have your child read this book. If you answered God, I wouldn't bother. Then you may find yourself being asked even harder questions than what was answered in the book, and will be all alone with that question.
I liked the book, appreciated that it made me question myself. Though I don't believe it will have the same effect on a child who reads this.


3/5


Recommend? If you are not religious, yes.


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

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song Widget

#121: The Elfin Child - Philip G. Bell


This is a children's fantasy story that follows a boy recovering from illness in the city and sent to the country to stay with his Aunt during the school holidays. Whilst playing in a nearby wood, he meets an Elfin boy of the same age. Although initially wary, he eventually allows himself to be drawn into a parallel world , full of strange creatures. He also discovers that prophecies foretold that he would save this world from a dire fate. The book was originally written for children from around the age of 9 years and up, but has proved popular with teens and adults.

Paperback: 164 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 9781460951675
Click the link on the photo to purchase.

©2011


Author Bio:
Philip G. Bell was born in West Ealing, a suburb of London, England.
In 1984, Philip took up writing poetry and short stories, mainly at the time to read to his children. In the early 1990's his poetry had become widely read and Philip was being invited to give readings in numerous places including local radio stations such as the BBC and in America he was once interviewed on WGMD, a popular radio station in Delaware.
His current children's novel came about as a challenge by a number of his poetry
followers to write a children's novel. Philip worked with a talented artist from Brazil, Marcos Porto, to create an appropriate cover design that captured the essence of The Elfin Child.


My Opinion:
In one word, cute.
The story is pretty far fetched, but that's what is fun about it.
There were some minor issues I had, like the capital font when the elves spoke. I think the message could have got across without the change in font throughout the book. It was unnecessary in my opinion.
I liked when the author first described the elf to readers. I actually did a turn over to look at the cover, and really felt it was captured nicely. That was good since the cover didn't really sell me until then.
All-in-all, middle graders will love this one. They won't be worried about the font.


3/5


Recommend? Yes, to middle graders.


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

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Friday 56

Welcome to Week 41 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. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It's that simple.



The hanging colored lanterns and yellow lights flamed out down the midway in a domino effect that wrapped around the curve of the chain-link border of the fairgrounds.

~From Location 56% on Kindle.




Giveaway: "I dig NY" Graphic Tshirt


The "I dig NY" Graphic T which will be ready to ship on September 1st to consumers, is our way of giving back to those who helped dig us out of the rubble back on 09/11/01. 60% of proceeds from the sales made prior to 09/11/11, will be given to the New York Police and Fire Department Unions, given they risked their lives to save others during the terror attacks on the World Trade Center.

We want to inspire people around the nation to wear the "I dig NY" T-Shirt on September 11th as a tribute to showing the world just how Americans of all different cultures can unite. We also want to display that we will "Never Forget" and will always dig New York.

dug (down under gear) found at duglife.com is a men's intimate apparel company that brings Men, "His Secret" and inspires men to get dressed before getting dressed. Our brand message is "Keep Diggin' Deeper" and so we encourage men to dig deep for all they are most passionate about in life, whether that be a career, family, child, sport, hobby, etc. Our goal is to bring men the ultimate comfort, starting with what they wear closest to their skin and brand their lives as what we call "digger men" filled with courage, honor and always persevering to achieve excellence in their given passion.


FACEBOOK PAGE



AND NOW THE GIVEAWAY....
Fill in the Rafflecopter Form. Giveaway Ends September 2.


#120 : Amish Values for Your Family - Suzanne Woods Fisher (With Guest Post & Giveaway)


For readers who long for strong families that know how to truly enjoy life together, there is much to learn from the Amish. Values like community, forgiveness, simple living, obedience, and more can be your family legacy--without selling your car, changing your wardrobe, or moving out to farm country.
In Amish Values for Your Family, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher shows how you can adopt the wisdom of the Amish when it comes to family matters. In this inspiring and practical book readers will find charming true stories interlaced with solid, biblical advice about parenting, marriage, and all aspects of family life. As readers get an intimate glimpse into the everyday lives of real Amish families, they will learn to prioritize what's truly important, simplify decision-making, slow down as a family, safeguard time together, and let go when the time comes.

Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 9780800719968
Purchase at Amazon

©2011



Author Bio:
Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, W.D. Benedict, who was raised Plain. She has many, many Plain relatives living in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and travels back to Pennsylvania, as well as to Ohio, a couple of times each year for research.
Suzanne has a great admiration for the Plain people and believes they provide wonderful examples to the world. In both her fiction and non-fiction books, she has an underlying theme: You don't have to "go Amish" to incorporate many of their principles--simplicity, living with less, appreciating nature, forgiving others more readily-- into your life.
When Suzanne isn't writing or bragging to her friends about her first new grandbaby (!), she is raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you just can't take life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.
Suzanne can be found on-line at: www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.



My Opinion:
This is a great collection of stories, showing you how Amish live and what morals they have. Some of the values are so profound, I am still in awe.
I really enjoyed this gem of a book, and especially the Amish Proverbs.
Definitely a great read!


5/5


Recommend? You bet!



GUEST BLOG from Suzanne Woods Fisher for “Amish Values for Your Family” (Revell)

Five Things I’ve Learned from the Amish that Have Nothing to Do with being Amish and Have Everything to Do with being a Christian:

Being Amish is not a lifestyle. Life among the Amish has to do with faith. Faith can’t be squeezed to an hour or two on Sunday morning; it infuses their entire life like a teabag in hot water. What they do and how they do it is rooted in the spiritual question: What is pleasing to God?

Amish proverb: “Letting go of earthly possessions enables us to take hold of heavenly treasures.”

The Lesson: To pray about my day’s activities and offer them to God, first, for His purposes. And then trusting interruptions (seeing a friend in the grocery store, for example) or de-railings (those days when everything goes wrong!) to be God-managed.

Cherish your family. A family that works together, grows together. Amish families spend a lot of time together and try to keep their work close to home. Children are valued as gifts from God, wanted and enjoyed. They’re included in all of Amish life—from barn raisings to three-hour church services. An Amish bishop once said, "We don't prepare our children for the future, we prepare our children for eternity."

Amish proverb: “Tomorrow’s world will be shaped by what we teach our children today.”

The Lesson: Involving children in chores and activities may not be the most convenient or efficient way to accomplish a task, but the benefits are long lasting. Look for ways to get everybody involved—cook together, sweep out the garage together, set the table together. And have fun while you’re doing it!

Draw a land in the sand. The Amish want to be good stewards of God’s resources—time, money, material goods. They know that convenience comes with a cost. They don’t want to be dependent on outside sources (such as electricity or gas!). Convenience means loss of something valuable. For example, fast food means less nutrition. More stuff means more maintenance. They’re willing to say no.

Amish proverb: “Things that steal our time are usually the easiest to do.”

The Lesson: Technology has its limits. And technology isn’t all good. Evaluate purchases more thoughtfully. Think of where a purchase or an added expense will lead your family. More time together or less? More stress or less? Reframe your view of time and money and goods as God’s resources.

Watch Your Words. The Amish continually stress the importance of filtering their speech.

Amish proverb: “Words break no bones, but they can break hearts” and “Mincing your words makes it easier if you have to eat them later.”

The Lesson: Say less. Prayer more.

Nothing replaces face-to-face visits. Back in the day when telephones emerged on the scene, the Amish bishops made a deliberate decision to keep the telephone out of the house. They didn’t want to interrupt family life. But they drop everything for a face-to-face visit.

Amish proverb: “Use friendship as a drawing account, but don’t forget to make a deposit.”

The Lesson: Nurture relationships by investing face-to-face time in them. No technology can substitute for the real thing.

Honor the Sabbath. An Amish person would never think of working on a Sunday. But it’s more than that—they truly cherish their Sabbath. They spend time on Saturday to make Sunday a smooth and easy day.

Amish proverb: “Many things I have tried to grasp and have lost. That which I have placed in God’s hands I still have.”

The Lesson: Strive to make Sunday a different day than other days. A day of rest is important on so many levels—time to worship, time to reflect, time to re-energize. A re-charge your battery day.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling author of Amish fiction and non-fiction and the host of a weekly radio program called Amish Wisdom. Her most recent book, Amish Values for Your Family released in August. The Waiting is a finalist for a 2011 Christy Award. Amish Peace: Simple and Amish Proverbs were both finalists for the ECPA Book of the Year (2010, 2011). Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, W.D. Benedict, who was raised Plain. Suzanne has a great admiration for the Plain people and believes they provide wonderful examples to the world. When Suzanne isn't writing or bragging to her friends about her first new grandbaby (!), she is raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you just can't take life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth. Keep up on Suzanne's latest news on Facebook,Twitter and on her blog!


AND NOW THE GIVEAWAY: (Comments on this blog do not count as an entry.)

Suzanne Woods Fisher is thrilled to announce the release of Amish Values for Your Family, her latest non-fiction release. "It offers loving ways to bring your fractured home back to life-Amish style. Read it and apply generously! It’s a beautiful book-funny, charming, soulful, and beautiful." -Mary Ann Kirkby

Read the reviews here.

To celebrate the release of Amish Values for Your Family, Suzanne has teamed up her publisher Revell Books to giveaway a Kindle, and with Bill Coleman (the amazing photographer used on Suzanne’s book covers) to give away a signed Bill Coleman original.


One Grand Prize winner will receive an Amish Values Prize Package (valued at over $200) and includes:

* A brand new KINDLE
* A Signed Bill Coleman original
* Amish Values for Your Family (for KINDLE)

Click on one of the icons to enter. Winner will be announced on 9/2 at Suzanne’s blog. Be sure to stop by the blogs on Suzanne’s blog tour – many have copies of Amish Values for Your Family to give away.

But, wait there's more! Suzanne is running a Bill Coleman caption contest during the month of August on her blog. Title one of Bill’s gorgeous photos for a chance to win a print from Bill’s Amish Photo site and/or a copy of Amish Values for Your Family.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mat Kearney - Young Love

Mat Kearney's third album, Young Love, hit stores last week debuting on the #1 spot on iTunes Album and Rock charts and is currently sitting at #5!

Propelled by the sunny hand-clap and catchy hook of hit single "Hey Mama", Young Love is quickly making listeners fall for Mat all over again.

Mat Kearney's Website
Mat's iTunes Page
Mat's Facebook


Track Listing:
1. Hey Mama
2. Ships in the Night
3. Count on Me
4. Sooner or Later
5. Chasing the Light
6. Learning to Love Again
7. Down
8. She Got the Honey
9. Young Dumb and in Love
10. Rochester







©2011


My Opinion:

I really, really like this album! I like it so much that I posted the video to my Facebook yesterday when I listened to the cd. I had to see if anything was on YouTube... so glad it was.
I listened to the cd twice actually.
I really love the track he came out with, Hey Mama. I also loved She Got the Honey and Young Dumb and in Love. Those were the best songs for my tastes.
In all honesty, the only song I wasn't crazy for is Rochester. It was like the only ballad on the album, and I am not one for ballads. I appreciate it, but just couldn't get into the track.
All-in-all a great album to pass time with, and one I will definitely tell all my friends about.


4/5


Recommend? Definitely! People who like Maroon 5 will like this album.


~I received a copy from One2One. I was not compensated for my opinion.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dr. Beckmann Stain Devil (Lipstick remover, Mud and Grass Stain Remover)

Dr. Beckmann Stain Devils for Mud, Grass and Make-Up is specifically formulated to remove tough stains. The Stain Devil can remove a number of different stains including mud, water colors, lipstick, and body lotion. The stain remover works in only three minutes and can be used on most colorfast fabrics.

©2011


My Opinion:
I think this product is fab!
I know it says make up and dirt and grass, but I thought what the heck! I got a blanket I use for the dogs. Bella got her unmentionables recently and drops of blood appeared on this old blanket. I thought the worst that would happen is I'd have to toss an old blanket.
So here is the before:
See the spot. Blood. Ew.
So then I did what the instructions said on the back, and this is what came out:
Now it wasn't any of the fabrics listed that you shouldn't use it on, so I went for it. I'm glad I did, since it worked!
Now the girls have a clean blanket!
Bella couldn't be happier! Yes my girls wear diapers in the house during this time. Whatever works right?!
I encourage you to try Dr Beckmann products!


5/5


Recommend? Definitely! You see the results make up remover has on blood.


~ I received a sample from Dr. Beckmann. I was not compensated for my opinion.~



Teaser Tuesday

SHOULD BE READING


* 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!




When he could finally unhinge his left hand from the banister and forcefully unparalyze the hand that had never waved to a beautiful bikini girl, Fred walked back into his office. Longing to feel better about himself, he began organizing his desk.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Get to Know Author Natasha Larry

Please give a warm welcome to Natasha Larry, author of Darwin's Children.


1. Please tell readers about your current book.
Here is my publisher's blurb for Darwin's Children;
Life can get pretty complicated for any seventeen-year-old girl, but for a home-schooled telepathic black girl trying to survive in a prestigious private school in small-town Jonesborough, Tennessee, it can be maddening – especially when her telepathic father keeps eavesdropping on her thoughts!
Jaycie Lerner’s family isn’t the usual mom-dad-kid setup. Jaycie’s mom’s MIA, but Allison, her personal live-in ‘trainer,’ is more than a mom, with her own special abilities, like being able to lift cars and run incredibly fast. And Jaycie’s godfather John is more than persuasive – he can literally convince anyone to do anything.
As far as the rest of the world’s concerned, Jaycie’s on the outside looking in. The townsfolk love Jaycie’s pediatrician father, but she doesn’t fit in with ‘normal’ kids, and she doesn’t really want to. Most of her free time is spent training to keep her telekinetic and telepathic powers under control. But there’s one thing she can’t control – and that’s her feelings, especially when her best friend Matt is nearby. If only he knew what she was truly capable of...
Everything seems to be status quo for Jaycie until she receives a cryptic message from a stranger and meets a very unusual girl new to Jonesborough. Then all hell breaks loose!


2. Who or what inspires your writing?
The people in my life inspire me on a daily basis. The characters in my book share a lot of qualities with my friends and family members. Comic books are another huge inspiration for me.


3. When did you know you would be a writer?
I started writing when I was eight years old. Everyone always told me I had a natural talent for it, but I hated most everything I wrote. As a result, I explored other things. I fell in love with musical theater in high school. In college I found a surprising passion for History. Through all that I always would end up writing again. I don't think I knew I would be a writer until I wrote this book. It's the only published work I am proud of.


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


5. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
I tend to go into too much detail.


6. Do you have any writing rituals?
I usually need a few Sharpie markers to outline and a large pot of coffee.


7. Have you written anything else?
I have also completed the first four novels in this series. I am also working on two character spin-off's for this series, and have completed a novella in an unrelated series. The second title, Unnatural Law, will be released September 2011.


8. Any advice to aspiring writers?
Ah, I still consider myself an aspiring writer. The best advice I was ever given was to take rejection with a grain of salt. Rejection letters are tools to learn from.


9. Who are your favorite authors?
Oh, wow. I have way too many of those. Frank Miller, Stan Lee, Judy Blume, Anne Sexton, Eric Foner, Nova Sparks, and Alexander Hammond to name a few.


10. What are your favorite books, or which book has impacted you the most?
Again, that is a long list. The first one's that come to mind are Watchmen by Alan Moore, The Dark Knight Strikes Again by Frank Miller, Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein, and Fight Club.


11. What are you currently reading?
I just finished reading Venus in Saturn by C. Wood. I devoured it.


12. How do readers find out more about you?
My author blog is: http://www.natashalarrybooks.blogspot.com
I can also be contacted via Facebook.
And Twitter @natashalarry

Life can get pretty complicated for any seventeen-year-old girl, but for a home-schooled telepathic black girl trying to survive in a prestigious private school in small-town Jonesborough, Tennessee, it can be maddening – especially when her telepathic father keeps eavesdropping on her thoughts!
Jaycie Lerner’s family isn’t the usual mom-dad-kid setup. Jaycie’s mom’s MIA, but Allison, her personal live-in ‘trainer,’ is more than a mom, with her own special abilities, like being able to lift cars and run incredibly fast. And Jaycie’s godfather John is more than persuasive – he can literally convince anyone to do anything.
As far as the rest of the world’s concerned, Jaycie’s on the outside looking in. The townsfolk love Jaycie’s pediatrician father, but she doesn’t fit in with ‘normal’ kids, and she doesn’t really want to. Most of her free time is spent training to keep her telekinetic and telepathic powers under control. But there’s one thing she can’t control – and that’s her feelings, especially when her best friend Matt is nearby. If only he knew what she was truly capable of...
Everything seems to be status quo for Jaycie until she receives a cryptic message from a stranger and meets a very unusual girl new to Jonesborough. Then all hell breaks loose!

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Penumbra Publishing
  • ISBN: 9781935563518
  • Purchase at Amazon

Saturday, August 20, 2011

#119: The Rainbow Connection - Ian Harac

One FBI Agent One geekette. One dead Muchkin. Parallel worlds galore. An inter-dimensional conspiracy when Matt Anders stumbles across the body of a dead munchkin in a suspect's apartment, a conspiracy begins to unravel that leads him on a reality-jumping adventure to the magical Land of Oz... and beyond!

Paperback: 104 pages
Publisher: Blackwyrm
ISBN: 9780982006719
Purchase at Amazon

©2009


My Opinion:

The premise of this book sounds so good, how could I pass up the opportunity to review it?!
Then I finally read it, and struggled to get through it. If it wasn't for my sense of obligation to read and review it, I wouldn't have bothered finishing it. It was that bad for me.
Really this story could have come together better. I'm not sure what it is missing or lacks but I just didn't feel it came together in an interesting way. I really couldn't get into it, no matter how hard I tried.
So no favorites here, and no recommendation. I wouldn't waste my time or money.


1/5


Recommend? No way!


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

Friday, August 19, 2011

Get to Know Author Lisa Becker

Please give a warm welcome to Lisa Becker, author of Click: An Online Love Story.

Here is her bio:
Lisa Becker had endured her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates, many of which inspired Click: An Online Love Story. She is now happily married to a wonderful man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for you!


1. Please tell readers about your current book.
Click: An Online Love Story follows Renee Greene, who is fast approaching her 30th birthday and finding herself not married, not dating, and without even a prospect or a house full of cats. She reluctantly joins her best guy pal on a journey to find love online in Los Angeles. The story unfolds through a series of emails between Renee and her best friends (anal-compulsive Mark, the overly-judgmental Ashley and the over-sexed Shelley) as well as the gentlemen suitors she meets online. From the guy who starts every story with "My buddies and I were out drinking one night," to the egotistical B celebrity looking for someone to stroke his ego, Renee endures her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates. Fraught with BCC's, FWD's and inadvertent Reply to All's, readers will root for Renee to "click" with the right man.



2. Who or what inspires your writing?
My husband and I met online on a popular dating website. After we married, I was recalling some of the hilarious experiences that I had with both traditional and online dating.  I decided to capture some of them in writing and from there, a novel emerged.  Click is loosely based on my real-life dating experiences, as well as stories friends have shared with me.  In some cases, things are written as they actually occurred. Other scenarios are exaggerated for entertainment value or comedic affect. And some scenarios are completely fictionalized. I really did go out on a date with someone I met online who started every story (no joke!) with “My buddies and I were out drinking last night.” The ultimate goal was to create a fun read for anyone who has ever had a bad date, been in love, been dumped, or is searching for "the one."  But, the happy ending is real.  Steve and I have been happily married for eight years and have two amazing daughters - ages 6 and 4.



3. When did you know you would be a writer?
I remember writing short stories and poems as a little girl and always told myself I would write a book someday.



4. How long did it take you to write your first novel?
I started writing Click after my husband and I married but before we had kids. Then I had to take a break from writing due to the rigors of motherhood. As my girls got older, and I had a bit more free time, I made the commitment to finish the book. I wrote in the mornings while the girls were at school or at night after they went to sleep. I made it a goal to write – even if only for a half hour – every day. I probably spent the total of one year working on it.



5. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
For this particular novel, the hardest part was keeping the timeline and email exchanges organized. Sometimes, I would have to look back a few pages earlier to make sure I had cc’d or bcc’d the right people on an email and that the subject lines were consistent. In some cases, there were replies to forwards to replies. Keeping it all straight was a challenge, but essential to the book’s format.



6. Do you have any writing rituals?
I like to write with the television on in the background. When I first started writing, I was obsessed with Law & Order reruns. Now, I can’t seem to get enough of NCIS. I guess there’s a part of me that likes to see justice served.



7. Have you written any thing else?
This is my first attempt at a work of fiction.



8. Any advice to aspiring writers?
Don’t write off self-publishing. I explored the traditional publishing route and got feedback from multiple literary agents. One in particular explained the current economic state of the publishing industry to me. Due to the large investment to edit, produce, distribute and market a work by an unknown author, many large publishers won’t take the risk. Self-publishing is a way to get your work out there.
I'm also reminded of some advice I was once given. I had interviewed Charles Rosen, one of the producers of the original Beverly Hills 90210, for an alumni magazine article while I was in graduate school. And I'll never forget what he told me, "Don't fall in love with your words, because somebody above will probably change them." One of the great benefits of self-publishing is that you can really take control of the process.



9. Who are your favorite Authors?
I love to read. Always have. Always will. My favorite genre is chick lit, which is probably why I felt compelled to write a novel the way that I did. I enjoy Jennifer Weiner, Sophia Kinsella and Helen Fielding.



10. What are your favorite books, or which book has impacted you the most?
Years ago, I read a book called e by Matthew Beaumont which tells the story of a fictitious ad agency vying for a big account, with the story all told in emails.  I thought that narrative style would work really well for the story I wanted to tell about the online dating world.  It was a modern way of storytelling that fit the topic and the times. 



11. What are you currently reading?
Sadly, I’ve been so busy writing my book, I haven’t had much time to read lately. But, I’ve got a vacation planned this summer and top of my list is The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I’m hoping to finish it before seeing the movie.



12. How do readers find out more about you?
I have a Facebook page here set up for Click: An Online Love Story. And I’ve been asked numerous times when the sequel is coming out. I’m thrilled people are feeling invested in the characters and want to know more. With each positive review and reader comment on, I get more and more motivated to continue writing. Due to the feedback so far, I have started working on a sequel, Double Click that picks up a year or so later. I hope people will be excited to see where Renee and her friends are in their lives.

I’ve said many times before, if it happened for me, there’s hope for you. And, as my grandmother used to say, for every chair, there’s a tush. Love is out there; just be patient. And concentrate on being a complete, happy and fulfilled person on your own.  When you are happy and secure in your own life, you will be much more attractive to someone else. 


Fast approaching her 30th birthday and finding herself not married, not dating, and without even a prospect or a house full of cats, Renee Greene, the heroine of Click: An Online Love Story, reluctantly joins her best guy pal on a journey to find love online in Los Angeles. The story unfolds through a series of emails between Renee and her best friends (anal-compulsive Mark, the overly-judgmental Ashley and the over-sexed Shelley) as well as the gentlemen suitors she meets online. From the guy who starts every story with "My buddies and I were out drinking one night," to the egotistical “B” celebrity looking for someone to stroke his ego, Renee endures her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates. Fraught with BCC's, FWD's and inadvertent Reply to All's, readers will root for Renee to "click" with the right man.

Paperback: 284 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 9781460922637
Purchase at Amazon

SwagBucks New Limited Entry Gift Cards SwagStakes


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They have a $25 Restaurant.com Giftcard - 25 Entries per giveaway, and each entry is only 40 Swagbucks. To celebrate these new cards, Swagbucks is going to be running a special promotion all next week - every day, they're rolling out an AWESOME Limited Entry Gift Card AND giving you the opportunity to help you build a GIGANTIC Swag Code to be released on the 29th. For more details tune in to the Swagbucks blog on Monday at 10am PDT, when they'll reveal the first card!

#118: CatKid: I'm No Fraidy Cat - Brian James

CatKid is one of a kind! She knows her house is haunted, so why can't anyone else hear the scritching and scratching in the attic? Is it just her super-sensitive feline ears that pick up the spooky noises? To prove to everyone that she's not just a fraidy cat, CatKid hatches a plan. But will her scheme catch the ghosts, or land her in the doghouse?


Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
ISBN: 9780439888547
Purchase at Amazon


©2007


Author Bio:

This is BRIAN JAMES's first early chapter-book series. He lives in Woodstock, New York, with his wife and their cat, Doggie.


My Opinion:
This was an adorable and quick read. The illustrations are what I find adorable and they are throughout the whole book.
I really enjoyed the lessons being taught, learning to listen to your instincts, loving yourself and acceptance. All valuable things for the readers of this age.
A really fun whondunit with a laughable twist!
Kids in Grades 2-3 will enjoy this the most I think.


5/5


Recommend? Yes to middle grade students.


~I won my copy on Velvet's blog. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Friday 56

Welcome to Week 40 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. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It's that simple.


CatKid: I'm no Fraidy Cat - Brian James
PAGE 56:

She always makes that face when I do something only a half cat can do.



#117: From This Moment On - Shania Twain

The world may know Shania Twain as many things: a music legend, a mother, and recently, a fixture in the news for her painful, public divorce and subsequent marriage to a cherished friend. But in this extraordinary autobiography, Shania reveals that she is so much more. She is Eilleen Twain, one of five children born into poverty in rural Canada, where her family often didn’t have enough food to send her to school with lunch. She’s the teenage girl who helped her mother and young siblings escape to a battered woman’s shelter to put an end to the domestic violence in her family home. And she’s the courageous twenty-two-year-old who sacrificed to keep her younger siblings together after her parents were tragically killed in a car accident.
Shania Twain’s life has evolved from a series of pivotal moments, and in unflinching, heartbreaking prose, Shania spares no details as she takes us through the events that have made her who she is. She recounts her difficult childhood, her parents’ sudden death and its painful aftermath, her dramatic rise to stardom, her devastating betrayal by a trusted friend, and her joyful marriage to the love of her life. From these moments, she offers profound, moving insights into families, personal tragedies, making sense of one’s life, and the process of healing. Shania Twain is a singular, remarkable woman who has faced enormous odds and downfalls, and her extraordinary story will provide wisdom, inspiration, and hope for almost anyone.

Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Canada
ISBN: 9781451620740
Purchase at Amazon


©2011


My Opinion:

Well we all know who Shania Twain is, so it should come as no surprise that she is on a growing list of celebrities who have penned a memoir. Although hers is good, there wasn't anything too exciting or not already public knowledge. Especially if you are a Canadian chick, and one from Ontario too boot.
It was nice to see how far she has come since her very public divorce. She seems to be in the best place possible, and I am glad to see her back in the public eye.
Definitely a book you can finish in an afternoon, because you will breeze through her younger years... that's where all the real fascinating goodies are.


3/5


Recommend? To memoir, or Country Music fans yes.


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

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Help (The Movie)

A look at what happens when a southern town's unspoken code of rules and behavior is shattered by three courageous women who strike up an unlikely friendship.

PG-13
137 minutes
Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer
©2011





Based on the book, The Help - Kathryn Stockett
, which I reviewed and posted HERE.



My Opinion:
This was exactly what I hoped it would be. It was almost identical in comparison, with only a few small differences. They didn't matter, since it is such a powerful story, told either way in book or film.
That only means that there is no reason whatsoever why as to you missing it.
That can only mean I think it's a must-see!
I really loved the book, and loved the film too. It was nice seeing it come to life.


9/10


Recommend? Definitely, but not for children. They are impressionable.


~I obtained my own movie experience. I was not compensated in any way.~

Teaser Tuesday

SHOULD BE READING


* 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!


From the time I reluctantly moved back home from Toronto in 1981 at sixteen, I had told anyone who would listen I intended to move back there once I was out of high school. And as soon Flirt's East Coast leg was over at the end of the summer 1983, I did exactly that.

~ From This Moment On - Shania Twain

Sunday, August 14, 2011

New Jennifer Lopez Collection Videos

What inspires personal style?  Fashion icon Jennifer Lopez’s signature style clearly comes across in her career, music and lifestyle and has influenced trends around the world, but what inspires her?  From growing up in the Bronx, living and working in Hollywood to traveling the world, Jennifer’s personal has evolved with each life experience.  Jennifer has brought her unique fashion experiences to the Jennifer Lopez Collection, exclusively at Kohl’s



In these new Kohl’s fashion videos, Jennifer shares her inspirations behind the Jennifer Lopez Collection.  Also, Jennifer and fashion industry tastemakers like Nina Garcia (Fashion Director, Marie Claire) and Rob Zangardi (Fashion Stylist/ Costume Designer) discuss how the Jennifer Lopez Collection truly is a representation of Jennifer and how she dresses.

The Jennifer Lopez Collection includes contemporary sportswear, dresses, handbags, jewelry, shoes, and sleepwear. The Jennifer Lopez Home Collection consists of bedding, towels and luggage. Her collection will be available exclusively at Kohl’s stores nationwide, and on Kohl’s.com beginning in September 2011.


Friday, August 12, 2011

My Wishlist





WISHLIST:
1. The Season of Risks - Susan Hubbard (Book 3 in series)(GIFT From Velvet, Review posted HERE)
2. Dahanu Road - Anosh Irani
3. Immortal - Gillian Shields (Book 1 in series)
4. Incarceron - Catherine Fisher
5. WEREling - S. Feasey (Book 1 in series) (WON at Dark Faerie Tales)
6. Blankets - Craig Thompson
7. A Kiss in Time - Alex Flinn
8. Water Bound - Christine Feehan
9. Almost To Die For - Tate Hallaway
10. Children of the Dawnland - Kathleen O'Neal Gear & W. Michael Gear
11. Forgive My Fins - Tera Lynn Childs
12. The Wolf of Tebron - C.S. Lakin (Book 1 in series) (WON at Word Vessel)
13. Pearl in the Sand - Tessa Afshar
14. I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced - Nujood Ali & Delphine Minoui
15. The Summer of Skinny Dipping - Amanda Howells
16. Clockwork Angel - Cassandra Clare
17. Leviathan - Scott Westerfeld
18. Tyger Tyger - Kersten Hamilton (Book 1 in series)
19. Virals - Kathy Reichs
20. Then Came The Evening - Brian Hart
21. Wicked Lovely - Melissa Marr (Book 1 in series)
22. Monster High - Lisi Harrison
23. Stray - Rachel Vincent (Book 1 of 3)
24. The Gendarme - Mark Mustian
25. Smudge's Mark - Claudia Osmond
26. Falling - Christopher Pike
27. Toads and Diamonds - Heather Tomlinson
28. Never Look Away - Linwood Barclay
29. Shapeshifter - Holly Bennett
30. Zillah's Gift - Lois West Duffy
31. Escapades of a Romantically Challenged Me - Maya Jax
32. The Stumpwork Robe - Prue Batten
33. Forgotten - Melody Carlson
34. Dead Witch Walking - Kim Harrison (Book 1 in series)
35. The Blue Notebook - James A. Levine
36. Noah's Caslte - John Rowe Townsend
37. Twisted Tales Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer - Maureen McGowan (Won, Review HERE)
38. Bird - Rita Murphy
39. Always the Baker, Never the Bride - Sandra D. Bricker (GOT FREE FROM AMAZON FOR KINDLE)
40. City of Veils - Zoë Ferraris
41. The Kneebone Boy - Ellen Potter (Book 1 in series)
42. Dark Song - Gail Giles
43. The Replacement - Brenna Yovanoff
44. Delirium - Lauren Oliver (WON at Escape In A Book, Review is posted HERE)
45. Me, Myself and Why - Mary Janice Davidson (Book 1 in series)
46. Lady Grace Mysteries: Assassin - Grace Cavendish (Book 1 0f 14)
47. Boys That Bite - Mari Mancusi (Book 1 in Blood Coven series)
48. Stake That! - Mari Mancusi (Book 2 in Blood Coven series)
49. Girls That Growl - Mari Mancusi (Book 3 in Blood Coven series)
50. The Things That Keep Us Here - Carla Buckley
51. Of Bees and Mist - Erick Setiawan
52. English Trifle: A Culinary Mystery - Josi S. Kilpack (Book 2 in series)
53. The Shifter - Janice Hardy (Book 1 in series)
54. Hunger - Jackie Morse Kessler (Book 1 in series)
55. Daughter of the Blood - Anne Bishop (Book 1 in series)
56. These Things Hidden - Heather Gudenkauf
57. Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen (SAW FILM, DIDN'T LIKE)
58. Petra: City in Stone - T.L. Higley (Book 1 in series)
59. The White Woman On The Green Bicycle – Monique Roffey
60. By Fire, By Water - Mitchell James Kaplan
61. Once in a Full Moon - Ellen Schreiber
62. The Lost Saint - Bree Despain (Book 2 in series) (Acquired for Nook, Review is HERE)
63. My Unfair Godmother - Janette Rallison
64. Afterlight - Elle Jasper (Book 1 in series)
65. The Witch's Daughter - Cade Merrill & Carol Ellis (Book 1 in series)
66. Academy 7 - Anne Osterlund
67. Apartment 16 - Adam Nevill
68. The Poison Diaries - Maryrose Wood
69. A Blue So Dark - Holly Schindler
70. Choker - Elizabeth Woods (ARC for review from Simon & Schuster, posted HERE)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Friday 56

Welcome to Week 39 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. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It's that simple.


From This Moment On - Shania Twain

PAGE 56:

They're full but nutritionally starving at the same time.





#116: The Map of Time - Felix J. Palma

Set in Victorian London with characters real and imagined, The Map of Time boasts a triple-play of intertwined plots in which a skeptical H.G. Wells is called upon to investigate purported incidents of time travel and thereby save the lives of an aristocrat in love with a murdered prostitute from the past; of a woman bent on fleeing the strictures of Victorian society; and of his very own wife, who may have become a pawn in a 4th-dimensional plot to murder the authors of Dracula, The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, in order to alter their identities and steal their fictional creations.
But, what happens if we change history? Felix J. Palma raises such questions in The Map of Time. Mingling fictional characters with real ones, Palma weaves a historical fantasy as imaginative as it is exciting, a story full of love and adventure that also pays homage to the roots of science fiction while transporting its readers to a fascinating Victorian London for their own taste of time travel.


Hardcover: 624 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Canada
ISBN: 9781439167397
Purchase at Amazon


©2011


My Opinion:
While at times I thought this story flipped around a lot, the writing was so intricate and beautiful, it captured my heart.
I couldn't get enough of the experiences in the story. All creative and well thought out, the details in the story made you visualize it.
Tim Burton should seriously consider making this book into a film.
Definitely a book that people who enjoy using their imaginations.


4.5/5


Recommend? Most definitely!


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

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

#115: The Help - Kathryn Stockett

Be prepared to meet three unforgettable women:
Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.
Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.
Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.
In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women—mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends—view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.

Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780399155345
Purchase at Amazon


Author Bio:
Kathryn Stockett was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Alabama with a degree in English and Creative Writing, she moved to New York City where she worked in magazine publishing and marketing for nine years. She currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and daughter. This is her first novel.


©2009





My Opinion:
The movie comes out today in theaters. I am totally going to see it and post that review as well. Give a book to film comparison, until then I have the book done.
For those that enjoyed the classic novel To Kill A Mockingbird, you will really enjoy this one. It doesn't have the girl being abused or the court case, but the segregation and treatment of African-Americans in the southern United States is what is comparable. The same anger, frustration and hurt I felt reading that book I also felt while reading this one.
For someone born in 1976, it's hard for me to fathom that people actually treated each other this way. I know it existed or even still exists, but for the life of me I will never understand why. Do you think a horse would guffaw at a zebra or be its friend, knowing they shared similarities? I like to believe in the latter, though more often that not it is not so. If I have learned anything, story or no story, people can and have been cruel.
So when will it stop?
These were questions I asked myself while reading The Help.
Now for particulars about the book....
I loved the characters! Aibileen, Minny, Skeeter and even Miss Celia. They were so well rounded that I felt like they were real women with real stories. Aibileen was a strong force throughout the whole story, but Skeeter was my favorite due to her courage to do what was right. Minny touched my heart in so many ways. I felt connected to her the most, since we were both abused women. My heart went out to her often.
I really didn't want the story to end. And now with the film out, it won't have to. This is a book that people will remember for a long time to come, and one I will make sure everyone I know hears about!


5/5


Recommend? YES, more than ever!


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

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