Friday, February 28, 2014

100+ Book Challenge March Linky

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Each book you read, please add the url to that post in the Linky below. I may choose your review as a surprise winner!

HAPPY READING!

I am impressed with the number of reviews in February, with it being a short month. You should be proud of yourselves!
In February, this post by Carolyn is the one that got the surprise and my attention.  Congrats Carolyn!

Now it's a new month and we have more books to read. Make sure you are on the sign up page and you will qualify for a surprise.

Leave your reviews for March in the Linky below.










February Monthly News


Welcome to the February edition of Monthly News!



MOVIES:
  1. Baggage Claim
  2. The Book Thief (RECOMMEND!)


Yearly Total:  16 Books, 2 Products & 7 Movies



Book of the Month:


Book of the Year:







ALPHABE THURSDAYS (Get To Know Freda):
A Is For Animals                                        A Is For Asleep
B Is For Books                                           B Is For Best Friend Bella
C Is For Cake                                            C Is For Cookies
D Is For Dad(s)                                         D Is For Dream (Come True)
E Is For Elvis                                              E Is For Ewok
F Is For Freda                                            F Is For Festive Family
G Is For Gangs                                         G Is For Game
H Is For Hobbies                                      H Is For Hooked
I Is For Inked                                              I Is For Insane
J Is For Jalapeno                                      J Is For Juice
K Is For Kids                                              K Is For Kitty
L Is For Live Music                                    L Is For Love
M Is For Mom                                             M Is For Munchies #Recipe
N Is For Noob                                            N Is For New
O Is For Older                                            O Is For Orange
P Is For Poetry
Q Is For Quiet
R Is For Religion
S Is For Soup Nazi
T Is For Two Things
U Is For Unique
V Is For Vince

#Giveaway: The Warrior's Bride & Sinfully Yours

About THE WARRIOR’S BRIDE:
Robert MacAulay, heir to a powerful Baron, is known for being a skilled warrior with a strong sense of duty.  His respectable reputation, along with his devotion to the king, is why Andrew MacFarlan and hope he'd agree to marry his youngest daughter, Lady Muriella. But for reasons Rob refuses to share, he turns down Andrew's request and vows never to wed. Lady Muriella never wanted to take a husband, but after seeing her two older sisters happily settled, she's beginning to think marriage may have its merits. When she learns that Rob has refused her without even knowing her, she becomes determined to seduce him into changing his mind. Then she will be the one to say no to him. But when she's captured by her father sworn enemy Dougal, both land in more trouble than either had anticipated.

About Amanda Scott:
Amanda Scott is the author of over 60 romance novels and the recipient of the Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA Award.  She lives in Folsom, California, outside of Sacramento.  She is a fourth-generation Californian.

Social Media:

Buy links for THE WARRIOR’S BRIDE:

About SINFULLY YOURS:
After an eventful Season, Anna Sloane longs for some peace and quiet to pursue her writing. Though her plots might be full of harrowing adventure and heated passion, she'd much prefer to leave such exploits on the page rather than experience them in real life. Or so she thinks until she encounters the darkly dissolute-and gorgeously charming-Marquess of Davenport. Davenport has a reputation as a notorious rake whose only forte is wanton seduction. However the real reason he's a guest at the same remote Scottish castle has nothing to do with Anna . . . until a series of mysterious threats leave him no choice but to turn to her for help in stopping a dangerous conspiracy. As desire erupts between them, Davenport soon learns he's not the only one using a carefully crafted image to hide his true talents. And he's more than ready to show Anna that sometimes reality can be even better than her wildest imaginings . . .

About Cara Elliot:
Cara Elliott started writing Western novels at the age of five.  Later she changed her genre to Regency romance after reading Pride and Prejudice.  She graduated from Yale University, and she now lives and works in New York City.
Social Media:

Buy Links:


AND NOW THE GIVEAWAY


If you live in Canada or US you are eligible.
You must have a NetGalley account to receive half of prize.
1 winner gets a paperback copy of one book and an ecopy from NetGalley of the other.

For full terms & conditions read the bottom of the form


a Rafflecopter giveaway




Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Friday 56

Welcome to Week 167!

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
 *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple.







AMAZON US


Caiaphas stands tall in his place before Nicodemus. The high priest is calm and deliberate, while Nicodemus is deeply troubled by what is about to happen.


WATCH FOR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY COMING VERY SOON












Cover Reveal: The House at the End of Hope Street

AMAZON US
You may remember me reviewing this awesome book a while back. If not, you can check out that review now
Well, the book is the same story-wise. The cover has been revamped though. 


Praise for The House at the End of Hope Street

“I entered THE HOUSE AT THE END OF HOPE STREET and was enchanted—literally under the spell—of Menna van Praag's tender, playful, beautiful writing, and the ghosts that inhabit the house and the pages.  These are wise and sensible ghosts who know the secrets of a woman's heart—I wish I could borrow a few from this lovely novel.  It fulfills my book lover's dream of an English literary landscape, in the most surprising and magical way.”
—Luanne Rice, author of The Lemon Orchard and Little Night

“Menna van Praag has created a magical book about an enchanted house and the notable women who inhabit it, both living and dead.  Richly atmospheric, literary, and textured, THE HOUSE AT THE END OF HOPE STREET casts an enthralling spell, giving both characters and readers not only what they most want, but what they ultimately need.”
—Brunonia Barry, New York Times  bestselling author of The Lace Reader and The Map of True Places

“When Alba Ashby arrives at THE HOUSE ON THE END OF HOPE STREET in despair, it’s clear that some very unusual things are about to happen. The people she meets—both earthly and unearthly—help her to uncover the secrets that have haunted her all her life. The story offers a wonderful mix of all-too-real problems in a fantastical setting. And who couldn’t use a Hope Street at some point in her life?”
—Juliette Fay, author of Deep Down True and Shelter Me

“This fresh, whimsical book is as is full of heart as the house at its heart is full of fascinating women. We should all have such friends and such a refuge!”
Marisa de los Santos, bestselling author of Falling Together and Love Walked In

With its magical house and yet feet-on-the-ground realism, this exceptional novel enchanted me from the first beautiful page. If only I could stay a spell myself at the house at the end of Hope Street.”
Melissa Senate, bestselling author of The Love Goddess’ Cooking School
“THE HOUSE AT THE END OF HOPE STREET is a sunrise of a novel, so fresh and lovely, whimsical and original that it will enchant and surprise even the most jaded of readers.  I am besotted with this house, and with Menna van Praag, and you will be, too.”
—Barbara O’Neal, author of The Garden of Happy Endings





What would you do if you had ninety-nine days to change your life? When you enter the world of Menna van Praag’s magical debut, THE HOUSE AT THE END OF HOPE STREET about an enchanted house that offers refuge to women in their time of need, that is precisely what you’ll begin to ask yourself.

When Alba Ashby, the youngest Ph.D. student at Cambridge University, suffers the Worst Event of Her Life, she finds herself at the door of 11 Hope Street.  There, a beautiful older woman named Peggy invites Alba to stay, on the house’s unusual conditions: she’ll have ninety-nine nights, and no more, to turn her life around. The enchanted house will help Alba get her life back but, Peggy warns her, it may not give her what she wants. It will give her what she needs. The house, invisible to everyone except those who need it, has had more than a few distinguished guests. Virginia Woolf, Dorothy Parker, and Agatha Christie, among others, all stayed there at hopeless times in their lives and still hang around—quite literally—in talking portraits on the walls.

At Hope Street Alba meets Carmen, a sexy singer who no longer performs, and seems haunted by something that is buried under a plant in the garden with flowers so dark they are almost black. Living with them is Greer, a failed actress who’s hiding a dark secret of her own. But perhaps most mystifying of all is Peggy herself, who entertains her lover on Sundays, eats chocolate cake for breakfast, and holds conversations with the illustrious tenants occupying the house’s walls. As Alba begins to piece her life back together she discovers her own family has been hiding truths from her, truths that will lead Alba to places and people she never knew existed and to a life she never dreamed possible. 

Inventive, charming, and filled with a fabulous cast of literary figures, THE HOUSE AT THE END OF HOPE STREET is a wholly imaginative novel of feminine wisdom and second chances, with just the right dash of magic.

About the Author
Menna van Praag is a freelance writer, journalist, and Oxford graduate. She is the author of Men, Money and Chocolate. She lives in Cambridge, England, with her husband and son.



THE HOUSE AT THE END OF HOPE STREET
Penguin; $16.00
ISBN: 9780143124948; On Sale March 25, 2014

WATCH FOR A GIVEAWAY COMING
 MARCH 11

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

O Is For Orange

Since I was such a Debby Downer last week, I am cheering things up this week.
I love my oven. I use it almost every day.
In fact, just this morning I made a carrot cake.
Which brings me to my post for today.
I love color. The brighter the better. I have light lime green walls for Pete's sake.... but my favorite color in the whole wide world is orange.
I know you have heard me say blue is my favorite, and it is, but my all-time fave is bigger than just a fave. I know you feel me... besides, how can a person love just one color? That is a ridiculous notion.
Just look at this color, and tell me it doesn't make you smile.
From a light shade like a pumpkin, to a dark shade that is almost a red, it is a vibrant and happy color.

So tell me folks, what is one color, yeah just one, that automatically does it for you? What's your all-time fave??


Alphabe Thursdays



Burgundy Hearts Shirt Sale

Burgundy Heart Shirt, $9.99 on 27th Feb only!
300 pieces for $9.99! Don’t miss out.

Btw, up to 70% off on best sellers, check out:

Blasting About: The Orphan and the Thief (With #Giveaway)

orphan tour


orphan thiefThe Orphan and the Thief

An adventure that will keep you and your kids spellbound.

Toad thought it’d be easy to steal from Mr. Edward P. Owl. Unfortunately for Toad, he isn’t the best of thieves. Caught in the act, he’s in more trouble than ever before. Now to save his hide, Toad must track down five rare potion ingredients for Mr. Owl. Or else.All Melena Snead wants is her family back, but after the Miggens Street Fire, that isn’t very likely. Orphaned and miserable, forced to work in an apothecary, she’s determined to find Milo, her missing brother. No matter what.

When Melena finds Toad ransacking her apothecary, Toad gets a nasty shock: apothecaries don’t carry Mr. Owl’s ingredients. Luckily, Melena’s willing to help, for a price.

With Melena’s pet Spit-Fire dragon and Toad’s enchanted talking beer mug, they embark on a fantastical journey, traveling the country in search of the potion ingredients. But can they gather all of them in time, what with monsters, pirates, and axe-wielding thieves? And if they do, is there an even greater danger waiting for them at the end?
Excerpt:



Panicking, Toad rushed, “Come on, Gent. There’s gotta be somethin’ that ya want! My prices are reasonable!”

“The price is your life,” Mr. Owl stated, gently placing the dragon statue upon the desk.

Mr. Ogg stopped again, his ham-sized hands falling back to his sides. Toad fell silent, too stunned to dare hope that he wasn’t about to be killed.

“Let me explain how this will work, Mr. Toad. If tonight was like any other night I would happily see your neck snapped and toss you out like the bit of filth that you are.” He gave a heavy sigh. “However, the Hickory Guard have become annoyingly tedious ever since that upstart became Captain.”

“Ya mean Dowell?” asked Toad.

“The man has become so inflated with self importance that he’s actually having me followed. Can you imagine? Me?”

“That’s … awful?” said Toad awkwardly, unsure how to respond.

“So, you will forgive me for not wanting to waste Mr. Ogg’s talents on you with so little preplanning.” He gave the window a casual glance. “I’m sure a guard is stationed outside somewhere and disposing of your body without detection will be troublesome to say the least.”

“Pardon me, sir,” Mr. Ogg interrupted, “but it would be no trouble.”

“Ah, Mr. Ogg! How I like you!” Mr. Owl cheered. “Always ready to break a neck. Good fellow!”

“We can stash him in one of the upstairs rooms,” Mr. Ogg continued in his deep, ocean floor voice. “I’ll make sure he won’t bleed.”

“But a body, even in such a large house, will be difficult to hide if Dowell decides to search the place, as he has been hinting at for the last fortnight. No, no, my man. We cannot afford the risk of housing him here.”

Toad sat still in his chair. It wasn’t every day that his own murder was discussed in such a light, conversational manner.




OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAM.L LeGette:

Melissa Lee LeGette has been writing seriously since she was a teen. She loves an old world vibe with a magical twist, and she puts her full focus on creating believable characters--even if they happen to be a talking beer mug. Her books are targeted for children and teens, but have been enjoyed by adults of all ages.

She lives in Georgia where she helps run a family farm, so her nails are a fright.


Praise:

[LeGette is] able to twist her unique fairy-tales to fit the imagination of children and the attention of adults. Five stars ... The Orphan and the Thief is definitely worth reading! -- Abigail / Goodreads Review


M.L. Legette conjures up a captivating magical tale in The Orphan and the Thief. I loved this story and I could not put my Kindle down until I finished the last page. This charming story is so good that it may very well become a classic. --
Karen Dowdall, Author of Delphi Altair: Strange Beginnings





Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/23/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

#Giveaway: Sound of Broken Glass - Deborah Crombie (With Guest Post)






Deborah Crombie is a native Texan who has lived in both England and Scotland. She lives in McKinney, Texas, sharing a house that is more than one hundred years old with her husband, three cats, and two German shepherds.











The Setting or the Story

Readers often ask, what comes first, the setting or the story? I know you’re thinking, oh, right, the chicken and the egg thing —it’s the unanswerable question.
But sometimes there is a first, and what I always have to say is “it depends entirely on the book.” In The Sound of Broken Glass, the story gets the prize.
The story, in fact, began three books before, in Where Memories Lie. Scotland Yard Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his colleague, Detective Sergeant Doug Cullen, were investigating a murder. I needed a character that would not only serve as a witness, but who could tell my detectives something about the victim and impart a crucial piece of information. A young man called Andy Monahan walked into the story. In his late twenties, Andy was a very talented rock guitarist in a failing band. He lived in the flat across the hall from the victim and had an orange cat named Bert.
That wasn’t much to go on, but I knew as soon as I wrote a scene from Andy’s viewpoint that I wanted to know more about him. Why did he live alone? Why, with his talent, was he still playing bad gigs in an amateur band? Did he have family? Where did he come from? And why was he so prickly?
Bits and pieces of Andy’s story grew in my mind as finished that book and wrote another, but I knew I needed a setting for both the past and present parts of it.
A friend was living in south London at the time, in a very unique area called Crystal Palace. He kept telling me I should set a book there, but it wasn’t until I went to visit that I saw how all the pieces would fit together. I knew that Andy had grown up in Crystal Palace, exactly where he’d lived, what had happened to him one August when he was thirteen years old, and how that incident was connected to a murder that Duncan’s wife, Detective Inspector Gemma James, and her team would investigate in the present.

The weaving together of the elements in the book wasn’t quite as simple as it sounds—it never is—but once put together they were inseparable. I can’t imagine that particular story taking place anywhere else. So perhaps in the end it doesn’t matter what sparks the story, as long  as it all fits together in the end.


In the past…
A blisteringly hot August in Crystal Palace, a solitary thirteen-year-old boy meets his next door neighbor, a recently widowed young teacher hoping to make a new start in the tight-knit South London community. Drawn together by loneliness, the unlikely pair forms a deep connection that ends in a shattering act of betrayal. 

In the present…
On a cold January morning in London, Detective Inspector Gemma James is assigned to lead a Murder Investigation Team in South London, along with her colleague, Detective Sergeant Melody Talbot. Their first case: a crime scene at a seedy hotel in Crystal Palace. The victim: a well-respected barrister, found naked, trussed, and strangled. Is it an unsavory accident or murder? In either case, he was not alone, and Gemma’s team must find his companion--a search that leads them into unexpected new discoveries. Ultimately, they will begin to question everything they think they know about their world and those they trust most. 

AND NOW THE GIVEAWAY
Fill in the Rafflecopter form to enter.
Open to US & Canada
Read the full terms & conditions at the bottom of the form.


a Rafflecopter giveaway




Monday, February 24, 2014

Teaser Tuesdays




It took three days, during which she emerged from her room only to sit for meals with her new family and, once, to play in the snow with Peony while Adri and Pearl were at the market. Her metal limbs had frosted over with cold by the time they were done, but coming inside to a pot of green tea and the flushed of shared laughter had quickly warmed her back up.

Become a Stella & Dot Stylist!



Are you in love with your life? Do you want more freedom and flexibility from your job? If you become a Stella & Dot Stylist you can let what you love BE what you DO. Now through the end of February, when you sign up for only $199, you will get a fabulous tote bag in addition to $350 in free accessories! You will have the potential of earning extra spending money or a six figure income, it's up to you! Stella & Dot will provide you everything you need to succeed. All the essential tools and training, plus a back office providing customer service, technology and direct delivery to your customers! Click here to sign up and find out all the details: www.stelladot.com/stylist

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. **

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Book Thief

Based on the beloved best-selling book comes this profoundly moving story of a girl who transforms the lives of those around her during World War II, Germany. Although Liesel (Sophie N‚lisse) is illiterate when she is adopted by a German couple (OSCAR Winner Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson), her adoptive father encourages her to learn to read. Ultimately, the power of words helps Liesel and Max (Ben Schnetzer), a Jew hiding in the family's home, escape from the events unfolding around them in this extraordinary, acclaimed film directed by Brian Percival (Downton Abbey).


AVAILABLE MARCH 11

Rated PG
131 minutes



Get the book on AMAZON US or AMAZON CA




Review:
I haven't read the book, and that is unusual for me. I do prefer to do that before watching the adaption, but when given an opportunity....
Usual the book is better for me than the film. But after seeing this I have to wonder what is better than amaze-balls? Yeah, it would be tough to beat. This film, from the cinematography, the story, the characters, the set and costume designs, just everything really was done so well. It really came alive.
It was such a heartbreaking time. I cried more than a couple times while watching. Still, this movie was told in a way that you needed those incredibly sad moments.
The little girl, her story is one that will stay with me for a long time. Fiction or not. Some little girl a really long time ago lived a story much like hers I'd bet. Actually, probably a lot of little girls. That connection is what I will remember.
Bring tissues folks, but definitely see this one.

5/5

Saturday, February 22, 2014

#16: Please Be With Me - Galadrielle Allman

A deeply personal, revealing, and lyrical portrait of Duane Allman, founder of the legendary Allman Brothers Band, written by his daughter.
 
Galadrielle Allman went to her first concert as an infant in diapers, held in her teenage mother’s arms. Playing was her father—Duane Allman, who would become one of the most influential and sought-after musicians of his time. Just a few short years into his remarkable career, he was killed in a motorcycle accident at the age of twenty-four. His daughter was two years old.
 
Galadrielle was raised in the shadow of his loss and his fame. Her mother sought solace in a bohemian life. Friends and family found it too painful to talk about Duane. Galadrielle listened intently to his music, read articles about him, steeped herself in the mythic stories, and yet the spotlight rendered him too simple and too perfect to know. She felt a strange kinship to the fans who longed for him, but she needed to know more. It took her many years to accept that his life and his legacy were hers, and when she did, she began to ask for stories—from family, fellow musicians, friends—and they began to flow. 
 
Galadrielle Allman’s memoir is at once a rapturous, riveting, and intimate account of one of the greatest guitar prodigies of all time, the story of the birth of a band that redefined the American musical landscape, and a tender inquiry of a daughter searching for her father in the memories of others.



  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (March 4, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00F1W0RCS




AUTHOR BIO:
Galadrielle Allman is the producer of Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective (Rounder Records). She lives in Berkeley, California. This is her first book.


REVIEW:
I'm not a die-hard fan of the Allman Brothers, but I know and enjoy a few of their songs. Still, when I saw this book I couldn't resist my curiosity. I knew Duane was the one that had died. Other than he was in the band and passed on, I knew nothing else about him. I didn't even know he had a daughter.
I'm on the fence about this 'memoir'. 
Duane died when Galadrielle was 2. At that age, there is not much you remember about anyone or anything. All of her memories consist of outings taken with her mother to concerts and such, or stories through another's experiences. When I was reading the stories she had heard from other people, I wondered how much of the telephone wire game came into play. Somehow little things always change. Over the years people remember things differently too. For me, it was hard to buy into the stories. Even if they were entertaining.
So that's my advice. If you just want to be entertained, and treat it more like fiction, it could be a great story. If you are a lover of personal memoirs, like me, you might be put off by the second-hand accounts too. Then again, maybe not. To each his own, right?!


2.5/5

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