Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

I just wanted to pop in quickly and wish everyone a very Happy and healthy New Year! I am so looking forward to 2010. Thank you to all my followers, readers, fellow bloggers and lurkers! I started this blog so I could participate in the reading challenges that I watched other bloggers having fun with. I lurked for a very long time and just pondered the whole blogging idea before jumping in. Thank you for making me feel welcome. I enjoy reading comments from each and every one of you! May the New Year be full of great reads and fun challenges!

Truly, Madly by Heather Webber

Synopsis(borrowed from Barnes and Noble)

When psychic matchmaker Lucy Valentine is hired by a new client, she's shocked to find he has a skeleton in his past--literally.

My Review

Truly, Madly is a quick, fun read about a quirky gal who has some psychic abilities. She comes from a long line of matchmaking psychics but after an electrical shock she no longer has the same abilities as her matchmaking family. She now sees lost objects and sees scenes when she touches the hands of certain people. She is not too sure what to do with this ability. She has to take over the family matchmaking business due to some unpleasantries on her father's part. While doing so she stumbles across a mystery which needs solving. There is a hunky private investigator, a great mystery, a little romance, and lots of fun in this book. I loved Lucy Valentine even though sometimes I thought she made a lot of trouble for herself by keeping secrets. All in all it is a most enjoyable read and I can't wait to read more of Lucy's adventures. I will be looking forward to reading more books from Heather Webber. The book was light and fun!

I received this book courtesy of Barnes and Noble's Sneak Peek program. Thank you to them.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

ARC Reading Challenge 2010

I am going wild with the challenges. I want my New Year to be full of books! I have many ARC's and review books which need my attention so this will help keep me on track. This challenge is hosted by Teddy Rose over at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time. I love her blog title. Below are her rules. If it looks like a challenge you would enjoy go over and check it out!

Here are the rules:

1. To sign up, leave a direct link to your blog post about this challenge that includes your list from rule #2, using Mr. Linky below. Please leave a comment as well.

2. List all of the ARC's that you have to read right now. Then throughout the year, you must continue updating that list as you receive more ARC's. (This is important). You should also strike out the ones that you finish.

3. The Levels

Level Bronze: .a. All of us who have or will have less than 12 ARC's must read all of the ARC's we have. Note, that if you have 11 ARC's and then receive a 12th one you will be bumped up to catagory a.

b. All of us who have or will have more than 12 ARC's must read and review 12.

Level Silver: Read 24 ARC's

Level Gold: Read 25 or more ARC's

4. You don't have to make a list of which ARC's you plan to read, but you can if you want.

If you choose a lower level, you can always change it to a higher level if you like. However, you cannot go from a higher level back down to a lower level.

5. Crossovers with other challenges are allowed and Audio-books are allowed as long as they are ARC's.

6. Read the books and review them on your blog. If you don't have a blog, you can post your review on sites like Powells, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.

7. Please subscribe to my blog, as I will be doing a monthly post with MR Linky. Please add your reviews for each month in MR Linky in the monthly post. For your Name, please use this format Name: (Your Name, Book Title and Author's Name) for example: (Teddy, Obsessive Reading by Helen Reader). Please be sure to use the direct link to your review, not just to your blog. Then please leave a comment.

8. Enjoy!

I am going to start out at the Bronze level but may go up to the Silver level as the year goes by.

Here is my list for now:

1.Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
2.Cherries in Winter
3.Small Kingdoms
4.The Triumph Of Deborah
6.Through The Heart
7.The Information Officer
8.The Wives of Henry Oades
9.Letter To My Daughter
10.One Amazing Thing
12.The Opposite Field
13.Eternal On The Water
14.Winter Garden
15.Fireworks Over Toccoa
16.Making Toast
17.Before I Fall
18.The Kitchen House
19.Mornings in Jenin
20.Plain Pursuit
21.The Poacher's Son
23.Lake Magic
24.Heart of The Matter

I am sure I will be adding to my list but for now this is a good start.

2010 Reading From My Shelves Project

Another challenge I am doing this year is the 2010 Reading From My Shelves Challenge hosted by Diane at Bibliophile By The Sea. The idea is to read books from your shlelves and then pass the books on. Sounds good right? This should be easy for me. I pass my books on to my mom and my friends for the most part. A few go to the library sales too. I have more than enough books on my shelves to read. Here are the particulars from Diane's blog:

Does this sound like something you'd like to do as well??? If so, feel free to join in:

grab the button
decide how many books you want to read from your shelves (minimum of 20 - no maximum)

find a new home for the books once you read them
post the titles and the authors of books you've read and passed on
project runs from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010
crossover challenge books are allowed

I am going for 30 books which may be a bit ambitious but I am hopeful that I'll be able to do it. I will post my list here as I go along.
1. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
2. Small Kingdoms by Anastasia Hobbet
3. Eternal On The Water by Joseph Monninger
4. Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
5. One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
6. Letter To My Daughter by George Bishop
7. Making Toast by Roger Rosenblatt
8. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

Historical Fiction Challenge


With the New Year coming up I have decided it's time to get some of my books read. I am hoping that signing up for challenges will help keep me on track. I love historical fiction so I am signing up for The Historical Fiction Challenge hosted by The Royal Reviews.

Challenge Guidelines:
1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.
--Non-Bloggers: Include your information in the comment section.

2. There are four levels:

-- Curious – Read 3 Historical Fiction novels.

-- Fascinated – Read 6 Historical Fiction novels.

-- Addicted – Read 12 Historical Fiction novels.

-- Obsessed – Read 20 Historical Fiction novels.

3. Any book format counts.

4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010.

I am going for the addicted level in hopes to clear some of my historical fiction books out. I will post them and review them as I finish them.

1. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Honest Scrap Award

I received this award from Marce over at Tea Time with Marce. This is my first award! Thank you to Marce for thinking of me and honoring me with this award.

On to the rules.. I am to list 10 honest things about myself and then pass the award on to 7 blogs. Okay here goes...

1. I am deathly afraid of heights! Looking over a railing gives me the queasies!

2. I am a reality show junkie...I love Survivor and The Amazing Race! I can't get enough of these shows. I could never be on one of these shows because of the scared of heights thing but I love to watch others doing things I could never do.

3. My favorite ice cream flavor is French Vanilla.

4. I have more books in my library than I will probably ever be able to read in my lifetime. You don't need a number here, just think hundreds! Yes I need Readers Anonymous!

5. I love dark chocolate. (I hear it's good for you too so I can eats lots of it-right?)

6. I am a morning person and not a night owl. I can stay up late however if I am reading one of those books you just can't put down.

7. I love to sew, crochet and knit but I'm not very good at any them but enjoy it anyway.

8. My first favorite book as a child was The Trolley Car Family by Eleanor Lowenton Clymer. I recently ran across a copy at a thrift store and had to snag it.

9. I love peanut butter and chipped beef sandwiches(feel free to say eewww here!) It was a childhood invention that stuck with me.

10. I cry watching animal movies or shows. Growing up the theme song from Lassie made me cry. I know I am a wimp!

Now for the 7 people I am honoring with this award:

1. Gwendolyn at A Sea Of Books
2. Jemima at The Reading Journey
3. Celticlady at Blog O' the Irish
4. Nise at Under The Boardwalk
5. Mary at Bookfan
6. Jill at Books, Books Everywhere
7. Joy at Books and Life!

I hope you all have as much fun with this as I did. I do enjoy all of your blogs. Thanks again Marce for thinking of me and my little old blog!

Fall Into Reading Wrapup

I participated in The Fall Into Reading challenge hosted by Katrina over at Callapidder Days but didn't do as well as I had hoped. I found myself reading books not on my challenge list. I had fun doing the challenge and will participate again in the Spring and Fall. I think my list will be smaller next time. I started with a list of ten books but added two library books that I had reserved and was lucky enough to get in time for the challenge. I think my very favorite book was No Time To Wave Goodbye. There really wasn't a book in the bunch I read that I disliked. One of the main reasons I started blogging was to be able to participate in reading challenges and to share which books I have loved reading. I am loving being able to participate in challenges and will be signing up for some for the new year coming up.

So how did you do on the challenge? What new challenges are you signing up for this coming year?

1. The Calligrapher's Daughter by Eugenia Kim
2. Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
3. Sworn To Silence by Linda Castillo
4. Sarah's Promise by Leisha Kelly
5. Confections Of A Closet Baker by Gesine Bullock-Prado
6. The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
7. Beautiful Mess by Diamond Rio
8. Blue Like Playdough by Tricia Goyer
9. The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett
10. The Moon Looked Down by Dorothy Garlock
11. The Day The Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan
12. No Time To Wave Goodbye by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Just wanting to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! I have been scarce lately as I left everything go until the last minute. It's been crazy hectic here! I'm looking forward to spending time with my kids and loved ones and also catching up on my reading and lounging! Santa brought me a Frappe Maker and I am anxious to fix myself an iced mocha and settle in with a good book! I hope everyone is enjoying the day and your day is full of happiness and love!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A-Z Wednesday

Welcome to A-Z Wednesday!! A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicki over at Reading At The Beach. I love her blog and this looks like fun so I decided to participate. This is my first time.

To join, here's all you have to do: Go to your stack of books and find one whose title starts with the letter of the week.


1~ a photo of the book

2~ title and synopsis

3~ link(amazon, barnes and noble etc.)

4~ Come back here and leave your link in the comments.

If you've already reviewed this book you can add it also.
Be sure to visit other participants to see what book they have posted and leave them a comment.
(We all love comments, don't we?)
Who knows? You may find your next "favorite" book.


The book I chose is:

Saving Ceecee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

Synopsis(borrowed from Barnes and Noble)
Steel Magnolias meets The Help in this Southern debut novel sparkling with humor, heart, and feminine wisdom

Twelve-year-old CeeCee Honeycutt is in trouble. For years, she has been the caretaker of her psychotic mother, Camille-the tiara-toting, lipstick-smeared laughingstock of an entire town-a woman trapped in her long-ago moment of glory as the 1951 Vidalia Onion Queen. But when Camille is hit by a truck and killed, CeeCee is left to fend for herself. To the rescue comes her previously unknown great-aunt, Tootie Caldwell.

In her vintage Packard convertible, Tootie whisks CeeCee away to Savannah's perfumed world of prosperity and Southern eccentricity, a world that seems to be run entirely by women. From the exotic Miz Thelma Rae Goodpepper, who bathes in her backyard bathtub and uses garden slugs as her secret weapons, to Tootie's all-knowing housekeeper, Oletta Jones, to Violene Hobbs, who entertains a local police officer in her canary-yellow peignoir, the women of Gaston Street keep CeeCee entertained and enthralled for an entire summer.

Laugh-out-loud funny, Beth Hoffman's charming debut novel, which Mary Kay Andrews calls "charming, disarming, sweet as the scent of magnolias on a Southern summer night," hums with wacky humor and down-home heart. It is a novel that explores the indomitable strengths of female friendship and gives us the story of a young girl who loses one mother and finds many others.

I received this book courtesy of the author (Thank you Beth!). I haven't read this book yet but plan on doing it very soon. I wanted to read and review closer to the release date of January 12Th. I have not been so excited over a book in I don't know how long. When a book is described as Steel Magnolias meets The Help you know it has to be good! I can't wait to dig into this book and get to know these characters. There will be a review after I read it. I have a feeling it is going to be one of my favorite books. For now I am enjoying the cover and have it on my nightstand where I smile every time I see it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Chocolate A Love Story

Chocolate A Love Story by Max Brenner is a very different cookbook. There are no pictures of the finished recipes but there is fabulous artwork by Yonatan Factor. The book reminds me of the seventies and is very interesting. I did not know anything about Max Brenner when I received the book so I started by looking up Max Brenner who I learned is the owner of some pretty spectacular chocolate restaurants located around the world. Check out his menu! After learning more about Max I dove into the cookbook. There are some pretty spectacular recipes such as Heaven-on-earth cocoa tarte tatin, Meaningless sweet spaghetti, and a Philosophical highly concentrated fudge brownie. There are 65 chocolate dessert recipes in the book. While all these recipes sound delish, I think they are way out of my league. However I do have a brother who is a chef who I know will love these recipes. The cookbook is quite interesting and if you are a gourmet chef or someone who likes to pretend they are, you will love this book. It would also make a great gift for someone who is more skilled in the culinary department than I am. If you received this book I would love to hear what you thought of it.

I received this book from Hachette Book Group for review. A special thanks to them.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mailbox Monday December 7

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. Everyone shares what wonderful books they find in their mailbox. Warning it can lead to an overly long wishlist. I am always adding new books to my wishlist after seeing the books others have received.

This week I received one book courtesy of Random House. It does look to be a very interesting read.

The Wives Of Henry Oades by Johanna Moran

Summary from Random House
When Henry Oades accepts an accountancy post in New Zealand, his wife, Margaret, and their children follow him to exotic Wellington. But while Henry is an adventurer, Margaret is not. Their new home is rougher and more rustic than they expected—and a single night of tragedy shatters the family when the native Maori stage an uprising, kidnapping Margaret and her children.

For months, Henry scours the surrounding wilderness, until all hope is lost and his wife and children are presumed dead. Grief-stricken, he books passage to California. There he marries Nancy Foreland, a young widow with a new baby, and it seems they’ve both found happiness in the midst of their mourning—until Henry’s first wife and children show up, alive and having finally escaped captivity.

Narrated primarily by the two wives, and based on a real-life legal case, The Wives of Henry Oades is the riveting story of what happens when Henry, Margaret, and Nancy face persecution for bigamy. Exploring the intricacies of marriage, the construction of family, the changing world of the late 1800s, and the strength of two remarkable women, Johanna Moran turns this unusual family’s story into an unforgettable page-turning drama.

What books made their way into your home?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Mailbox Monday November 30

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia over at The Printed Page. We post about the wonderful books we find in our mailboxes. I thought I would have to skip this week but lo and behold there was a book in my mailbox today! I am so excited to receive this book.

Wishin' and Hopin" by Wally Lamb (this was a win from Carey at The Tome Traveller, thank you Carey!)

Description from the book flap

LBJ and Lady Bird are in the White House, Meet the Beatles is on everyone's turntable, and Felix Funicello (distant cousin of the iconic Annette!) is doing his best to navigate fifth grade—easier said than done when scary movies still give you nightmares and you bear a striking resemblance to a certain adorable cartoon boy.

Back in his beloved fictional town of Three Rivers, Connecticut, with a new cast of endearing characters, Wally Lamb takes his readers straight into the halls of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parochial School—where Mother Filomina's word is law and goody-two-shoes Rosalie Twerski is sure to be minding everyone's business. But grammar and arithmetic move to the back burner this holiday season with the sudden arrivals of substitute teacher Madame Frechette, straight from QuÉbec, and feisty Russian student Zhenya Kabakova. While Felix learns the meaning of French kissing, cultural misunderstanding, and tableaux vivants, Wishin' and Hopin' barrels toward one outrageous Christmas.

From the Funicello family's bus-station lunch counter to the elementary school playground (with an uproarious stop at the Pillsbury Bake-Off), Wishin' and Hopin' is a vivid slice of 1960s life, a wise and witty holiday tale that celebrates where we've been—and how far we've come.

What wonderful books did you find in your mailbox?

Thankfully Reading Weekend Wrapup

This post wraps up my Thankfully Reading Weekend. I only got one book read and reviewed, The House On Tradd Street by Karen White. Not sure how many hours I spent reading. I found myself dozing alot this weekend when I tried to read. It was just that kind of weekend and I loved it. I was happy that I got one book read and I would participate in more weekends like this. I was able to get some reading in but still spend time with my family. It was the perfect weekend! Thank you to the Book Blog Social Club for hosting this great event! I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thankfully Reading Weekend Update

Just a little update. I finally finished and reviewed The House on Tradd Street by Karen White. While I enjoyed the book I kept finding my eyes closing while I was reading so it took me awhile to read it. I think I'm a little too relaxed this weekend. The book sure was good so that wasn't it. Maybe it's the fact I think we have ate our way through the long weekend here. Food plays a huge role in the holidays in our house. I have spent a lot of time eating, napping and reading with a bit of tv thrown in too. Now I am off to decide which book to read next.

The House On Tradd Street

Synopsis(courtesy of Barnes and Noble):

Practical Melanie Middleton hates to admit she can see ghosts. But she's going to have to accept it. An old man she recently met has died, leaving her his historic Tradd Street home, complete with housekeeper, dog—and a family of ghosts anxious to tell her their secrets.

Enter Jack Trenholm, a gorgeous writer obsessed with unsolved mysteries. He has reason to believe that diamonds from the Confederate Treasury are hidden in the house. So he turns the charm on with Melanie, only to discover he's the smitten one...

It turns out Jack's search has caught the attention of a malevolent ghost. Now, Jack and Melanie must unravel a mystery of passion, heartbreak—and even murder.

My Review:

I really enjoyed this book. It has a historical fiction feel to it even thought it takes place in the present time. I loved the mystery and the paranormal feel to the story too. The house in the story reads like a character. I think old homes are characters and have stories to tell if we just listen. I liked that there is some romance in the story but it doesn't overpower the mystery that is trying to be uncovered. I think Karen White did an excellent job describing the house and I truly felt at times like I was right there in the story. Melanie was quite interesting. She was not thrilled at all inheriting the old house. She became obsessed with it quickly though and made obnoxious schedules for the work that needed to be done on the house. Jack was interested in finding out the mysterious history associated with the house but soon found himself under the spell of the house too. The two of them take quite a journey learning the secrets that the house holds. I don't want to give too much of the story away. It really had me on the edge of my seat. I look forward to reading the next book, The Girl On Legare Street to find out what mystery Melanie and Jack will uncover next.

I read this library book during the Thankfully Reading Weekend.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thankfully Reading Weekend

The Thankfully Reading Weekend has begun. I am taking it one book at a time and not having a set plan. I am a quarter of the way into The House On Tradd Street by Karen White so that is where I am starting. I'll be reading, snacking, and snuggling with the furkids. I had the family here for Thanksgiving so I am ready to put my feet up, read and relax! Check out Book Blog Social Club to read the Thankfully Reading post.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fall Into Reading Challenge Update

I am participating in The Fall Into Reading Challenge hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days. We have one month to go. I don't know if I will get my list all read. I have many review books that need to be read and reviewed. Here is where I am at on the challenge.

1. The Calligrapher's Daughter by Eugenia Kim
2. Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
3. Sworn To Silence by Linda Castillo
4. Sarah's Promise by Leisha Kelly
5. Confections Of A Closet Baker by Gesine Bullock-Prado
6. The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
7. Beautiful Mess by Diamond Rio
8. Blue Like Playdough by Tricia Goyer
9. The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett
10. The Moon Looked Down by Dorothy Garlock
11. The Day The Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan
12. No Time To Wave Goodbye by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Not bad but I do have a ways to go.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankfully Reading Weekend

I read about this on someone's blog as I was blog hopping and I thought it sounded like a fantastic idea! I am so far behind on my reading and have no plans to shop this weekend so why not! I will be cooking dinner for the family on Thursday so I had planned on a quiet weekend with books, movie-watching and alot of eating at home anyway.

Thanks to Jenn from Jenn's Bookshelves for this great idea! The weekend will be very informal which I am totally loving! I am looking forward to this big time! Why not join in?

Mailbox Monday November 23

Okay so it is not Monday. I am late. Life is crazy in our house right now. Better late than never, right?

Mailbox Monday is generously hosted by the wonderful Marcia over at The Printed Page. It's where we can post about the wonderful books that made their way into our homes.

1.Through The Heart by Kate Morgenroth (Courtesy of Penguin)

Nora and Timothy have lives that are worlds apart. Nora lives in a small Kansas town, living paycheck to paycheck, working in a coffee shop. Timothy lives in Manhattan, responsible to no one and nothing except managing his family's millions. When these two meet, it seems like the beginning of a fairy tale. Except Nora is not your typical damsel in distress, Timothy does not quite fit the role of a gallant prince, and fairy tales don't include a dead body.

As Nora and Timothy take turns telling their sides of the story, the reader is caught in the net of their love, and the chilling murder that results. With big questions of love, fidelity, filial responsibility and the role of fate, Through the Heart is a page-turning love story with a jaw dropping twist readers won't soon forget.

2.Truly Madly by Heather Webber (Courtesy Of Barnes And Noble)

When psychic matchmaker Lucy Valentine is hired by a new client, she's shocked to find he has a skeleton in his past--literally.

3. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (a win from Zia at My Life In Not So Many Words)

"My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973."
So begins the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on earth continue without her -- her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling. Out of unspeakable tragedy and loss, THE LOVELY BONES succeeds, miraculously, in building a tale filled with hope, humor, suspense, even joy.

What treasures came to your mailbox?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hush, Hush

Synopsis (courtesy of Barnes and Noble):

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.

With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

My Review:

I enjoyed this book even though I haven't been a young adult for many, many years. I really enjoyed the characters of Patch and Nora and felt the chemistry and romantic friction between them. Patch comes off as that bad boy that teenage girls seem to be drawn to. I was not fond of a few of the other characters like Vee and Elliot. Vee is the friend that always seems to get Nora in trouble. She kind of annoyed me as did Elliot. The storyline kept me guessing and reading. Just when I thought I had the story figured out it would take a twist in a totally different direction. Just a small warning, there are some steamy scenes in the book. They don't get too far but they are there. It is a quick read and I understand there is a sequel in the making. I look forward to reading what happens to Patch and Nora.

I think this would make a great Holiday gift for an older teen girl.

I received this Advanced Readers Copy from Simon & Schuster. A special thanks to them.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mailbox Monday-November 16

Mailbox Monday is where we all post what wonderful book goodies we found in our mailboxes last week. It is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. A special thanks to Marcia!

First off is The Opposite Field by Jesse Katz.

Second I received Chocolate A Love Story by Max Brenner.

Feel free to visit Marcia and play along. What books came to your mailbox?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Beautiful Mess

I have been a Diamond Rio fan for many years. I am the proud owner of a Diamond Rio red guitar pick caught in a concert many, many years ago that I attended with my sister! I was given the opportunity to read their story thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers, so needless to say I jumped at the chance. Beautiful Mess starts out July 4, 2005 in Nashville where Diamond Rio is putting on a disastrous performance.The band that everyone knew and loved did not sound good. They were in trouble. The book then goes into the background of how the group came to be. Some started out as Opryland amusement park employees. It was interesting to see how the group that ended up being Diamond Rio came to be. Then there is a chapter on each band member that goes into their life and how they came to be a part of Diamond Rio. The group started out being called The Tennessee River Boys but eventually came to be known as Diamond Rio. As the guys gained popularity they decided to succeed they needed to swear off the pitfalls that threaten so many performers-alcohol, drugs, and women on the road. These guys have stuck together as a group and family even in the tough times. The book does discuss the difficulties they have faced and how they overcame them. They also believe strongly in giving back to the community through their charity work. I would recommend this book to fans of Diamond Rio and country music fans. Diamond Rio with help from Tom Roland tell their story in a very interesting way. I found it to be a quick read. The book also comes with a free online audiobook read by the band and ebook. Thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers for this review copy.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia over at The Printed Page. A special thank you to Marcia for hosting! Go on over to her blog and play along!

This last week I received 4 books.

First off is The Information Officer by Mark Mills (courtesy of Random House).

Next up Traveling With Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd (won from Gwendolyn at A Sea Of Books- special thanks to Gwendolyn!)

Small Kingdoms by Anastasia Hobbet (my first Librarything Early Reviewers win!)

Last but not least I purchased One Simple Act by Debbie Macomber.

What goodies came to your mailbox?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Best Friends Forever

Synopsis from Barnes and Noble:

Some bonds can never be broken...

Addie Downs and Valerie Adler will be best friends forever. That's what Addie believes after Valerie moves across the street when they're both nine years old. But in the wake of betrayal during their teenage years, Val is swept into the popular crowd, while mousy, sullen Addie becomes her school's scapegoat.

Flash-forward fifteen years. Valerie Adler has found a measure of fame and fortune working as the weathergirl at the local TV station. Addie Downs lives alone in her parents' house in their small hometown of La Prairie, Illinois, caring for a troubled brother and trying to meet Prince Charming on the Internet. She's just returned from Bad Date #6, when she opens her door to find her long-gone best friend standing there, with a terrified look on her face and blood on the sleeve of her coat. "Something horrible has happened," Val tells Addie,...

My Review:

I really enjoyed this book. It was fun, light and quirky. This book has it all, mystery, family and most of all friendship. All the twist and turns all three take kept me reading almost nonstop. In the very beginning a crime is committed and it drew me in. I had to know why it happened and who did it. Then Jennifer tells us the history of Valerie and Addie's friendship, first as young girls, then as teenagers and now as adults. Boy the high school years sure brought back memories. I felt like I was right there again but this time I was with Addie and Valerie. Now as adults after a high school reunion Valerie shows up on Addie's doorstep in trouble. The two go on the lam even though they have been estranged since high school. The book takes on a very Thelma and Louise feel but in a fun way. I really hated Valerie at times. She seemed like trouble to me. Then I would feel sorry for her because I don't think she could really help it due to her strange upbringing. I felt much compassion for Addie who overcame so much in her life. She grew from a shy, weak girl to a strong woman. This was a great story of friendship and the bumps it takes along the way. I will be looking to read more of Jennifer Weiner's books.

I received this galley to review as a courtesy from Simon and Schuster. A special thank you to them.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia over at the Printed Page. Check out her blog to play along.

I was so excited to be offered this book by the author. I had seen it on a few other blogs and instantly fell in love with the cover and the title! I'm hoping to get to it soon! I'm very excited about this book!

It's been a crazy week here as our oldest dog, Cooper became somewhat paralyzed with a recurring back injury. He was put on meds to help him but the meds have given him an ulcer. He has required 24/7 care from me so things are a bit behind here but we hope we are on the mend. Not much reading was done here at all but I'm hoping he will begin to rest well and I can get some reading time in.

What did you get in your mailbox?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Postmistress

Synopsis(courtesy of Barnes And Noble)

Those who carry the truth sometimes bear a terrible burden...

Filled with stunning parallels to today's world, The Postmistress is a sweeping novel about the loss of innocence of two extraordinary women-and of two countries torn apart by war.

On the eve of the United States entrance into World War II in 1940, Iris James, the postmistress of Franklin, a small town on Cape Cod, does the unthinkable: She doesn't deliver a letter.

In London, American radio gal Frankie Bard is working with Edward R. Murrow, reporting on the Blitz. One night in a bomb shelter, she meets a doctor from Cape Cod with a letter in his pocket, a letter Frankie vows to deliver when she returns from Germany and France, where she is to record the stories of war refugees desperately trying to escape.

The residents of Franklin think the war can't touch them- but as Frankie's radio broadcasts air, some know that the war is indeed coming. And when Frankie arrives at their doorstep, the two stories collide in a way no one could have foreseen.

The Postmistress is an unforgettable tale of the secrets we must bear, or bury. It is about what happens to love during war-time, when those we cherish leave. And how every story-of love or war-is about looking left when we should have been looking right.

My review:

The above synopsis is not what is written on my arc book jacket flap. The book jacket description led me to believe that book would be about what happens when a letter is not delivered. That may have happened in the story but I'm not sure if that was the main idea in the story. There was a lot going on in this book. I did find the first chapters tough to get through. The story and transitions did not flow well for me at all. Then about chapter 6 it all came together for me. I did enjoy the story then. The 3 main female characters all seem to have their own story going on. Iris is the quirky postmaster in Franklin Massachusetts, who I found to be very odd. Emma is the new wife of the town's doctor and seems like a duck out of water. She has a tough time fitting in. Frankie is reporting on the war over in London. She is probably my favorite character in the book. She changes and grows as a result of what she witnesses in Europe. In the end, the 3 characters and their stories intertwine and then the story makes sense. Sarah Blake did a fine job describing what was going on over in Europe as well as what the feeling was over here in the United States at the time. If you like historical fiction and you can get through the first 6 chapters the story is worth reading. I can't help but wonder if the description of the book had been different if I would have liked the book more.

I received this book courtesy of Barnes And Noble First Look Book Club.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mailbox Monday/What Are You Reading Monday

Thanks to Marcia at The Printed Page for hosting Mailbox Mondays. After 2 weeks without any mail I received 4 books last week.

The Triumph of Deborah by Eva Etzioni-Halevy (received from the author)

Fallen by Lauren Kate (received from Random House)

The Gift Of An Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison (won from Vicki over at Reading at the Beach, Thank you!)

Taste Of Home Casseroles, Slow Cooker & Soups (purchased myself)

What Are You Reading Monday is hosted by J Kaye at J Kaye's Book Blog

This week I read:

1.Sworn To Silence by Linda Castillo
2. The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks

Reading this week:

A Beautiful Mess by Diamond Rio
Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner

What did you get in your mailbox last week and what did you read?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Lucky One

From the authors website:

When U.S. Marine Logan Thibault finds a photograph of a smiling young woman half-buried in the dirt during his third tour of duty in Iraq, his first instinct is to toss it aside. Instead, he brings it back to the base for someone to claim, but when no one does, he finds himself always carrying the photo in his pocket. Soon Thibault experiences a sudden streak of luck—winning poker games and even surviving deadly combat that kills two of his closest buddies. Only his best friend, Victor, seems to have an explanation for his good fortune: the photograph—his lucky charm.

Back home in Colorado, Thibault can’t seem to get the photo—and the woman in it—out of his mind. Believing that she somehow holds the key to his destiny, he sets out on a journey across the country to find her, never expecting the strong but vulnerable woman he encounters in Hampton, North Carolina—Elizabeth, a divorced mother with a young son—to be the girl he’s been waiting his whole life to meet. Caught off guard by the attraction he feels, Thibault keeps the story of the photo, and his luck, a secret. As he and Elizabeth embark upon a passionate and all-consuming love affair, the secret he is keeping will soon threaten to tear them apart—destroying not only their love, but also their lives.

Filled with tender romance and terrific suspense, The Lucky One is Nicholas Sparks at his best—an unforgettable story about the surprising paths our lives often take and the power of fate to guide us to true and everlasting love.

My review:

Another great love story from Nicholas Sparks. I really fell in love with all the main characters except for the ex-husband. Thibault's story unfolds bit by bit. His past brings him to find the girl he believes to be his lucky charm. A great story of fate and destiny. The book had many twists and kept me guessing until the very end. You can't go wrong with Nicholas Sparks if you are a hopeless romantic!

Sworn To Silence

I read this book yesterday during Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon. It was a good choice as it was hard to put down.

From Macmillan Publishers website:

A killer is preying on sacred ground..

In the sleepy rural town of Painters Mill, Ohio, the Amish and “English” residents have lived side by side for two centuries. But sixteen years ago, a series of brutal murders shattered the peaceful farming community. In the aftermath of the violence, the town was left with a sense of fragility, a loss of innocence. Kate Burkholder, a young Amish girl, survived the terror of the Slaughterhouse Killer but came away from its brutality with the realization that she no longer belonged with the Amish.

Now, a wealth of experience later, Kate has been asked to return to Painters Mill as Chief of Police. Her Amish roots and big city law enforcement background make her the perfect candidate. She’s certain she’s come to terms with her past—until the first body is discovered in a snowy field. Kate vows to stop the killer before he strikes again. But to do so, she must betray both her family and her Amish past—and expose a dark secret that could destroy her.

My review:

Kate Burkholder is the chief of police in a small Amish town in Ohio. Kate grew up Amish but left the order after a crime changed her life. Now as an adult, a brutal serial killer is on the loose and Kate needs to stop him. I really liked this book. It was riveting. Kate is one of those characters you can't help but like. The crimes in this book were very brutal and graphic. I'm not sure I needed that much gore but it did get the point across. You wanted the killer caught and quick! Very suspenseful! I won this book from Goodreads First Reads program.

Read-a-thon End of Event meme

I woke up just in time for the end! I was hoping to just sleep a short while and get back up. I think as tired as I am today I will be laying around, catching up on laundry and reading some more.

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? hour 18 when I fell asleep
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Sworn To Silence, it was riveting
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? none
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I think the hour by hour posts on the read-a-thon site are great!
5. How many books did you read? 2
6. What were the names of the books you read? Sworn To Silence and The Lucky One
7. Which book did you enjoy most? The Lucky One
8. Which did you enjoy least? I really liked them both
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? I was not a cheerleader as it was my first read-a-thon and wasn't too sure how it all works
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I would definitely do it again and I may even cheerlead next time!


Title of book(s) read since last update: The Lucky One
Number of books read since you started: 2
Pages read since last update: 267
Running total of pages read since you started: 617
Amount of time spent reading since last update: 259 minutes
Running total of time spent reading since you started: (keep track of this one to be eligible for a prize!) 576 minutes
Mini-challenges completed:4 I think (I have jello brain right now)
Other participants you’ve visited: 6
Food consumed: coconut M&M's, pistachios, banana, goat cheese and spinach pizza,
Beverages consumed: chai tea, diet pomegranate 7up, water,

I think I am going to pack it in for awhile. I will try to get up and read more towards morning. I had alot of distractions this evening-party at the neighbors house(drove the dogs nuts), ambulance at the neighbors house(non-life-threatening), son brought girlfriend who is home from college for the weekend. I was hoping to get more read but feel satisfied with what I've gotten done so far considering the distractions. I am off to catch a few winks!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Read-a-thon Midway Survey

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now? The Lucky One

2. How many books have you read so far? 1 and 1/2

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Welcome To The World Baby Girl!

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? Just bought snacks and let the kids know I would be busy.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Oh boy have I had interruptions! Dog knocked my tea off the table, neighbor girl came over twice to get her ball and had to let me know, a lot of little stuff. Just dealt with it quickly and went back to my book.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? That I made it this far and feel pretty good

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Quicker and easier mini-challenges

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? As a reader I would have a schedule and stick to it. As a first timer I am kind of all over the place. Tried to have a plan but I got sidetracked. I am having a hard time coming up with time to blog, visit other blogs, do mini-challenges

9. Are you getting tired yet? Just a bit

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? Getting up and moving helps alot and changing the location you are reading in helps too.

Feed Me Seymour! Read-a-thon mini-challenge

My passage is from The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks page 25

"When he got there, they wouldn't let Zeus inside, which wasn't surprising. Zeus lay down outside the front door and went to sleep. Thibault had a cheeseburger and fries and washed it down with a chocolate milkshake, then ordered a cheeseburger to go for Zeus. Back outside, he watched as Zeus gobbled it down in less than twenty seconds and then looked up at Thibault again."

And now I am really craving a cheesburger, fries and a shake!

Read-a-thon Update #2

Title of book(s) read since last update: I finished Sworn To Silence and have started The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
Number of books read since you started: One finished
Pages read since last update: 179
Running total of pages read since you started: 350
Amount of time spent reading since last update: 190
Running total of time spent reading since you started: (keep track of this one to be eligible for a prize!) 317
Mini-challenges completed: 2
Food: cinnamon popcorn, leftover sesame chicken
Beverages: apple cider, tea, water, diet coke with lime

I read in the recliner and then moved to the treadmill for awhile. Took a bath and even read in there. I had to take a break and play outside with the dogs as we finally have some nice weather. They have been eager to get out and play for 2 days now. I think they are ready for an afternoon nap. I am off to find a new place to read. Need a change of scenery.

Read-a-thon: Update #1

Title of book(s) read since last update: I am reading Sworn To Silence (not finished yet)

Pages read since last update:171
Running total of pages read since you started:171
Amount of time spent reading since last update:127 minutes
Running total of time spent reading since you started: (keep track of this one to be eligible for a prize!)127 minutes
Mini-challenges completed:2
Other participants you’ve visited:5
Food consumed: yogurt with kashi cereal
Beverages consumed:way too much coffee

The first hour was full of distractions and a computer malfunction but I'm on a roll now! Switching from coffee to tea and water!

Read-a-thon:Hour 1 Mini-challenge

Where are you reading from today? I am reading from home in Wisconsin.

3 facts about me … I am a stay at home mom of 2 teens and an adult child, I like to sew and quilt although I'm not that great at it, my dream job would be to work in a bookstore

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? 13 but I'll be happy finishing just a few

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)? No goals, kind of winging it here

If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, Any advice for people doing this for the first time? I am a first timer so no advice from me yet!

I am off to visit a few blogs and get back to reading.

Read-a-thon: Beginning

Morning all read-a-thoners! I am ready to go ! I am going to start with Sworn To Silence by Linda Castillo. I am still cozy in my jammies and the coffee is made. The house is quiet except for the dog. I'm still learning the ropes to the read-a-thon so I'm playing it by ear today! I'm off to read!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fall Into Reading Challenge

I am participating in the Fall Into Reading Challenge hosted by Katrina over at Callapidder Days. This is my one month update. I have added 2 library books to my list and have read 4 of the 12 books on my list. I'm hoping to get some reading done tomorrow during the Read-a-thon. I need to get cracking on this.

1. The Calligrapher's Daughter by Eugenia Kim
2. Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
3. Sworn To Silence by Linda Castillo
4. Sarah's Promise by Leisha Kelly
5. Confections Of A Closet Baker by Gesine Bullock-Prado
6. The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
7. Beautiful Mess by Diamond Rio
8. Blue Like Playdough by Tricia Goyer
9. The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett
10. The Moon Looked Down by Dorothy Garlock
11. The Day The Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan
12. No Time To Wave Goodbye by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Read-a-thon Books

I am participating in Dewey's Read-a-thon tomorrow. It is my first time and I'm excited to be participating. If the weather is anything like it is today it will be a great day to tuck in and read! It's cold, rainy and windy! Perfect reading weather!

Okay my stack is ridiculous! I won't be reading all these books but I wanted a nice assortment so if I need to take a break from a book, I can. I also threw in an audio book I had just in case the eyes need a break. I even got a cute pumpkin bookmark from the library.

1.Welcome To The World Baby Girl! by Fannie Flagg(audiobook read by Fannie Flagg)
2.A Good Yarn by Debbie Macomber
3.Real Murders by Charlaine Harris
4.The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett
5.Cherries In Winter by Suzan Colon
6.Luv Ya Bunches by Lauren Myracle
7.The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
8.Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
9.Sarah's Promise by Leisha Kelly
10.The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
11.The Gift of an Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison
12.Beautiful Mess by Diamond Rio
13.Sworn To Silence by Linda Castillo

I have books from a couple favorite authors but many of them are new to me authors that I have read great reviews about on other blogs. Now to get some snacks together.

Are you participating? If so what is on your list?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

No Time For Goodbye

From the book jacket;
New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Mitchard captured the heart of a nation with The Deep End of the Ocean, her celebrated debut novel about mother Beth Cappadora, a child kidnapped, a family in crisis. Now, in No Time to Wave Goodbye, the unforgettable Cappadoras are in peril once again, forced to confront an unimaginable evil.

It has been twenty-two years since Beth Cappadora’s three-year-old son Ben was abducted. By some miracle, he returned nine years later, and the family began to pick up the pieces of their lives. But their peace has always been fragile: Ben returned from the deep end as another child and has never felt entirely at ease with the family he was born into. Now the Cappadora children are grown: Ben is married with a baby girl, Kerry is studying to be an opera singer, and Vincent has emerged from his troubled adolescence as a fledgling filmmaker.

The subject of Vincent’s new documentary, “No Time to Wave Goodbye,” shakes Vincent’s unsuspecting family to the core; it focuses on five families caught in the tortuous web of never knowing the fate of their abducted children. Though Beth tries to stave off the torrent of buried emotions, she is left wondering if she and her family are fated to relive the past forever.

The film earns tremendous acclaim, but just as the Cappadoras are about to celebrate the culmination of Vincent’s artistic success, what Beth fears the most occurs, and the Cappadoras are cast back into the past, revisiting the worst moment of their lives–with only hours to find the truth that can save a life. High in a rugged California mountain range, their rescue becomes a desperate struggle for survival.

No Time to Wave Goodbye is Jacquelyn Mitchard at her best, a spellbinding novel about family loyalty, and love pushed to the limits of endurance.

My review;

If you read The Deep End Of The Ocean and loved it as much as I did I think you will love this book. Jacquelyn Mitchard does not disappoint. I am sometimes leery of sequels. This one was excellent!

I once again fell in love with the Cappadora family. They have all aged a little but still are pretty much the same people they were in the first novel. I felt like I never lost touch with them. They have all been affected by Ben/Sam's kidnapping and eventual return. It has played a huge role in the people they have become. I think it's interesting that this book addresses not only kidnapping but what happens after. How do families go on living? This book pulls you in right from the get go. It seems the family is adjusting well to life. The kids are grown. Ben/Sam is married and a father, Kerry is on her way to becoming an opera singer, and Vincent has made a documentary which will change all their lives. Unfortunately the Cappadora's have to relive the horrible past with a new kidnapping in the family. It's hard to review it and not give the story away so I won't say too much. I read the bulk of the book in one day. I could not put it down. I just had to know what happened. There are many twists in the novel. Just when I thought I had it figured out, there was another suspect in my mind. I felt Beth's pain as she relived her own nightmare but then has to also watch her son live the same nightmare. I absolutely loved this book! This is one of the best books I have read this year. It is a compelling drama. I would give it 5 out of 5 stars!

I checked out this book from our library.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Thanks to Marcia at The Printed Page for hosting Mailbox Mondays. It's been awhile since I have had a book come to my mailbox. Today I struck gold and had 2! What a nice surprise!

Cherries in Winter:
My Family's Recipe for Hope in Hard Times
by Suzan Colon

From the author's website

What is the secret to finding hope in hard times?

When Suzan Colón was laid off from her dream job at a magazine during the economic downturn of 2008, she needed to cut her budget way, way back, and that meant home cooking. Her mother suggested, “Why don’t you look in Nana’s recipe folder?” In the basement, Suzan found the tattered treasure, full of handwritten and meticulously typed recipes, peppered with her grandmother Matilda’s commentary in the margins. Reading it, Suzan realized she had found something more than a collection of recipes—she had found the key to her family’s survival through hard times.

Suzan began re-creating Matilda’s “sturdy food” recipes for baked pork chops and beef stew, and Aunt Nettie’s clam chowder made with clams dug up by Suzan’s grandfather Charlie in Long Island Sound. And she began uncovering the stories of her resilient family’s past. Taking inspiration from stylish, indomitable Matilda, who was the sole support of her family as a teenager during the Great Depression (and who always answered “How are you?” with “Fabulous, never better!”), and from dashing, twice-widowed Charlie, Suzan starts to approach her own crisis with a sense of wonder and gratitude. It turns out that the gift to survive and thrive through hard times had been bred in her bones all along.

I received this compliments of Doubleday Books.

by Lauren Kate

Synopsis courtesy of Random House

There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--and goes out of his way to make that very clear--she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

I received this books compliments of Random House Books

What came to your mailbox?

Dewey's Read-a-thon

I feel like I am so far behind in my reading lately. I always seem to get distracted and have other things to do so I have decided to take 24 hours, participate in Dewey's Read-a-thon and catch up a little. Once I found out that I really don't have to do the full 24 hours, I was sold. I am not a night owl so I know I won't make it all night but I'll give it a fair shot. I have warned the the kids already. I plan on cooking some extra food on Friday so we can just reheat on Saturday. The only bad thing is I will have to miss our library book sale on Saturday. Not like I need any more books or anything! Any tips from seasoned Read-a-thoners are greatly appreciated! Now I need to make a list of possible reads! Head on over and check it out and join in!