Thursday, December 30, 2010

Atheists Want to be Invited to Prayer Meeting...Why?

Huh?!?
I was listening to the news today. I caught a part of the broadcast that said some atheists (in Washington, DC, I think) were angry that a group in the town were having a prayer meeting and they had not been invited. I'm not sure, but I think the broadcast said they were thinking of suing the group.

Perhaps it's just me, but I don't get it. I thought an atheist was someone who believes there is no god. Prayer is communicating with God. Why would an atheist want to go to such a thing? I haven't spoken to these folks, so I don't know what they're thinking, but it kind of sounds like they're being rabble-rousers. Perhaps that's too strong a word, maybe it's more like instigators...I don't know, but it's odd. I mean, this came to the attention of the media. What are they trying to do? Stir up trouble?

My humble advice is this: life is too short, much shorter than you realize. Don't waste it looking for trouble. If you want to go to a prayer meeting, just show up. I doubt the people holding it, will have a problem with that. And if they do, they need to be in prayer, so see...it works out for everyone.

Toodles!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: Invincible-Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Book Two
 Howdy folks. Hope you're having a happy holiday season. For those of you who are not too busy, it's time to check in and see what's good to read. Waiting on Wednesday is the terrific meme started by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It's a great opportunity to learn what are the new books coming out that folks are dying to sink their teeth into. This week, I'm interested in Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon.


Book One
  Invincible is the second book in the Chronicles of Nick series. The first book in the saga, Infinity is the first young adult book by Kenyon and the first time I've ever read a book by the author. I was totally intrigued by the cover and had to read it. Infinity was fairly heavily laden with zombies. I'm not a zombie fan, but they were pretty entertaining and I laughed more than a few times at their antics and the way they were dealt with (see review post 5/24/10). Zombies were only one of the paranormal creatures and the story is pretty engrossing. The series is a kind of prequel of sorts. It tells the tale of the origins of one of Kenyon's significant characters in her other books' (Am I making sense? Lol...).

Let's read Amazon's description of Invincible to see what poor Nick is up against now:

Nick Gautier’s day just keeps getting better and better. Yeah, he survived the zombie attacks, only to wake up and find himself enslaved to a world of shapeshifters and demons out to claim his soul.

His new principal thinks he’s even more of a hoodlum than the last one, his coach is trying to recruit him to things he can’t even mention and the girl he’s not seeing, but is, has secrets that terrify him.

But more than that, he’s being groomed by the darkest of powers and if he doesn’t learn how to raise the dead by the end of the week, he will become one of them...


I'm reading Kenyon's latest adult release right now, No Mercy, which I'll be reviewing and having a giveaway on shortly. Nick makes an appearance in that novel and it wet my appetite to continue his story; plus the first Chronicles of Nick book ended on a juicy cliffhanger. Gotta know what happens next!
Anyone coming along for the ride?

Invincible releases March 24, 2011. 

Toodles!


 







Monday, December 27, 2010

We're all the same and yet...so different. Helping a child for the holidays.

For most of my professional life, I've worked with children and families in some capacity or another. As much as I have seen, I'm still amazed by the lifestyles some people lead. I know of a handicapped child.  I don't work with this child, but I'm familiar with her. She's a sweet girl and was clearly in need of a boost for the holidays. Her hair never looks neat and another therapist and myself decided to do her hair.

I brought shampoo and conditioner and the other therapist brought a blowdryer and other hair styling accoutraments. When we began to work on this kid's hair, it was clear it hadn't been combed in months. Honestly, I can't tell how long it's been, but it was a long time. I've never seen that amount of dandruff in anyones hair before. It kind of looked like butter! It would have taken at least three shampoos, maybe more, to get it all out, but because of the child's physical condition, she couldn't sit back any longer to continue with more shampoos. We did the best we could. It took three hours to finish the job. And remember, this does not include the extra shampoos needed to really do the job right.

If you're a loving mother or aspire to be one, you ask yourself: how could someone feel so little for their child to allow this to happen? One thing I've learned other the years is that there are many people who give birth, but they have little love. Having a child does not automatically equate with being a good mother. This child is clearly not her mother's priority.

Things that should be common sense are foreign to some segments of the population. If you watch some of the daytime shows with the wacky guests, you know what I'm talking about. Some people have a different value system that is beyond--sometimes way beyond the average. And you know who suffers? Their children. Then many of the children accept this as a normal lifestyle and develop the same habits.

The little girl was so happy. She couldn't stop looking at herself in the mirror and smiling.The other therapist and myself encouraged this child to comb her hair everyday. It's something she's never been taught to do. We hope to give her the salon treatment at least once a month to try to get her on track with good grooming.

If you're a good mom, your children are blessed. If you had a good mom, you are blessed. Not everyone has it like that.

Where and when you can, when the occassion presents itself, be a blessing to someone else, regardless of what time of the year it is.

Toodles!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

Book Three
Let's all meet up for a super meme, one last time before the holiday! Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly get-together to learn what others are anxiously waiting to get their hands on to read. It was started by the fabulous Jill over at Breaking the Spine.

Book One
This week I'm looking forward to the next installment of one of my favorite authors of contemporary young adult fiction: Simone Elkeles. I mean seriously, Simone is one of the best writers for young people. She has really captured the art of good story-telling. I first read her work about two years ago, Perfect Chemistry, and I've been hooked on her stuff ever since. The story left me in tears...lol...love, angst, loss and death...ugh...awesome!
Book Two

She's also a very cool person too. (see interview on 04/21/10 post) Her spring release, Rules of Attraction, finally put her on the New York Times best sellers list and she's always running around to pick up some award or speak at some conference or another. She's incredibly busy, but we managed to communicate back and forth and she sent me some awesome swag that I include in some of my YA giveaways. I mean, she mailed it using her home address. Now you tell me. How many NYT best selling authors or any author is going to do that?! She's totally keeping it real--in her writing and in her life.

Chain Reaction is the third Perfect Chemistry novel and it follows the love affair of the youngest Fuentes brother, Luis. Let's check out the description from Amazon:


Luis Fuentes is a good boy who doesn't live with the angst that his big brothers, Alex and Carlos, have always lived with. Luis is smart, funny, and has big dreams of becoming an astronaut. But when he falls for the wrong girl, Luis enters a dark world he's never known, and just when he thinks he's got life all figured out, learns some disturbing news about his family that destroys his positive outlook on life. Will that Fuentes bad boy streak come out with a vengeance and lure Luis to live on the edge like his new girlfriend and his own father?

I know it's gonna be hot. Simone's books always are. She tells it like it is: the sex, the feelings, everything. Can you take it?
 
Chain Reaction releases May 24, 2011

Happy holidays!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

And the Winner of the Novel Goddess Necklace is...

First, I'd like to thank Debi Levine of One Heart Jewelry for making this giveaway possible. She created the lovely necklace and it was a joy being partners with her again.
Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway and stopped by One Heart Jewelry to see the beautiful pieces that Debi's created. Without out further ado, the winner of her special one-of-a-kind necklace is...

Susan Hanniford Crowly!

Please email me your address Susan so it may be passed on to Debi and you can get your gift. If the winner doesn't respond in 48 hours a new one will be chosen.

The winner was selected randomly, using Random.org.

Have a safe and happy holiday everyone.

Toodles!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: Betrayal: A Haunting Emma Novel by Lee Nichols

Book Two
Another week has past and we're back again to see what everyone is dying to read. Waiting on Wednesday is the awesome meme started by Jill at Breaking the Spine that brings us all together to do just that!

I'm into ghosts this week. Now, I've never had much interest in ghost stories. When a most lovely publicist at Bloomsbury USA Children's Books, offered to send me an ARC of the first book in the series, I figured I didn't have anything to lose. I had never heard of the author and figured I'd give it a shot. Am I ever glad I did. Deception, the first book in the Haunting Emma series was awesome (see 6/10/10 post). Some of you may have read my WoW post of a couple of weeks ago where I talked about a series I want to read (The Devouring), but am kind of chicken to do so. What surprised me with Deception was how well the author, Lee Nichols wrote scary.
Book One

I wasn't expecting the level of creepiness I got in the story and I loved it. Looking at the cover, it looks more mysterious than scary, but there were genuinely scary, downright horrific moments. The ending took a surprise turn that left me definitely hungry to continue the saga. I have to know, I tell you!!

Let's look at the blurb of Betrayal right from the authors site:


Emma Vaile is the most powerful ghostkeeper in centuries. Which is great for battling the wraith-master Neos and horrible for her social life. Emma knows fellow ghostkeeper Bennett Stern is her soul mate, but when ghostkeepers fall in love, the weaker one loses all power. And until Neos is defeated, Bennett and Emma can't risk it.
When the temptation of being with Emma gets to be too much, Bennett disappears, pursuing a dangerous path to increase his powers. Heartbroken and alone, Emma tries to lose herself in school. But when the Knell, a secret ghostkeeping society, sends two new ghostkeepers to Echo Point—one a snarky teen guy, the other a British scholar—Emma throws herself into training to battle Neos. But as the team grows stronger, so do the ghosts. And worse, one of their own will betray them. One Emma never suspected. . . .

Emma certainly looks a lot more devilish and snarky than she did on the first book. I hear it's a hotter, scarier read too. I say bring it on, baby! 

Anyone else started the series? Read any other good ghost stories I should know about, preferably scary...lol...

Betrayal releases March 1, 2011.

Toodles!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Novel Update...If I ever thought this was going to be easy....

As some of you know, I've been plugging along writing a YA novel. I anticipated completing it by the end of the summer and querying agents this fall to see if this story stands any chance of seeing the light of day beyond my computer screen. Well, I am definitely off my own time table. And let my tell you why.

As I complete a round of revisions, I print the entire novel and read the hard copy. I can't emphasize enough how important this is. My house may be scattered with papers, but it's a necessary step. You'd be amazed by what you catch reading the hard copy that you simply don't pick up when you read on a computer screen. I'm not just talking about typos, which seem to be there no matter how many times you read the darn thing, I'm talking about how the writer picks up on all the extraneous words, redundancies, phrases that don't capture the meaning you intend...I could go on and on.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holiday Gift Giveaway Starts Now! Seasons Greetings...

I wanted to do a special giveaway this holiday season. I discovered a most beautiful Etsy shop, One Heart Jewelry. Everything is beautiful and has a mystical, graceful and ethereal quality to it. Even the site itself is lovely to look at. The pieces are all hand-crafted and uniquely made by Debi Levine, the shops very gracious proprietor. I contacted her to see if she would be interested in making something special for one of my lucky followers and I'm happy to say she was very enthused.

She and I brainstormed what the giveaway should be. We knew it had to be related to books and reading in some way. We decided on a sterling silver necklace that the winner can wear that lets everyone know what her passion is: books, reading, all things literary...such a woman can be only one thing---A Novel Goddess.

In order to have a chance to win it, you must be a follower of this blog. Debi is willing to ship internationally, so everyone is eligible to enter! Cool of her right? If you are not the winner, Debi is even willing to take special orders of the necklace and give it to you at a discount. but enough from me, let Debi tell you herself...

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: The Lost Saint (The Dark Divine Series)

Book Two
It's back! Waiting on Wednesday is the interesting meme started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It gives us all a chance to find out what we're all interested in reading. I'm on a series kick. I'm looking forward to reading The Lost Saint, the second book in the The Dark Divine series. It took me a while to get around to reading The Dark Divine, but once I did, I had to know how the story continues. In case you haven't read the first book yet, I'll only give you part of the book blurb...

A family destroyed. A love threatened. An enemy returns. Grace Divine sacrificed her soul to cure Daniel Kalbi and lost her beloved brother in the process. Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot--a newcomer to town who promises he can help her be a hero. But as the two become closer, "something" grows in Grace, and her relationship with Daniel is put in danger--in more ways than one.
Book One
The covers of these books are beautiful and stylish. Honestly, the cover of the first novel, The Dark Divine was connected to the story in only the flimsiest of ways...lol...it was a real stretch, believe me! I can't wait to see how they're going to tie in The Lost Saint cover to the story. Has anyone else started the series?

The Lost Saint releases December 28, 2010.

Toodles!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holiday Gift Giveaway Update!

Okay folks. Just want to bring you up to speed with the gift giveaway. Debi of OneHeartJewelry is an artisan and specially designing this piece. She and I have decided the gift will consist of a hand-made sterling silver necklace with a special quote; one we feel will have special appeal for the girl who loves books and all things literary.

I'm really happy to announce that the giveaway is international, so everyone is welcome to go for it!

Make sure to check in on Wednesday, December 8. The giveaway will start then and you'll get all the details. I'm so excited! I love doing special things and getting lovely things into your hands. Remember, it's better to give than to receive. Its true! If you can give, you're blessed; it means you're in a position to share and spread some joy. Often, it's the little things that make life a bit brighter...

See you Wednesday...

Toodles!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: The Wonderous Strange Series

Book Number Two
It's time to share again. Waiting on Wednesday is the awesome meme started by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that allows us to learn what other book lovers can't wait to read. I'm tackling another series this week. This time it's the Wonderous Strange saga. It's all about the fairies.

I just finished the first book and I can't wait to tackle the second, Darklight. I've been fascinated with the cover of Wonderous Strange and the title for over a year. It was published December 2008. Every time I went to the bookstore, I'd look for it and read the description, then tell myself "I'll buy it the next time." Here's the blurb from the back of the book number one, Wonderous Strange:

Book Number One
Since the dawn of time, the Faerie have taken. . . .
Seventeen-year-old actress Kelley Winslow always thought faeries were just something from childhood stories. Then she meets Sonny Flannery. He's a changeling—a mortal taken as an infant and raised among Faerie—and within short order he's turned Kelley's heart inside out and her life upside down.
For Kelley's beloved Central Park isn't just a park—it's a gateway between her ordinary city and the Faerie's dangerous, bewitching Otherworld. Now Kelley's eyes are opening not just to the Faerie that surround her, but to the heritage that awaits her . . . a destiny both wondrous and strange.


Of all the paranormal creatures, I haven't had much interest in fairies. I figured "how much can a tiny, little creature do that would be interesting", but there was something about Wondrous Strange that intrigued me. I think it was the focus on Central Park and the whole Mid Summer's Night dream tie-in. It just sounded so magical--and then the cover...gorgeous! They got me, I was hooked...and I hadn't even read it...LOL...Last week, I saw it again and grabbed it. Finished it in short order and loved it. I guess fairies can do a little something after all. Wondrous Strange was full of drama, plenty of action and romance. I can't wait to see how it continues in Darklight,which just released in October 2010 and what's going to happen to Sonny, the hottie changling in the story.

Book Number Three
I'll tackle the third installment, Tempetuous, next year when it releases January 11, 2011. Has anyone else read the series? Think you may? Join the magic!

Toodles!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Heads Up! Holiday Gift Coming Your Way!

Hi guys. I just want to put you on notice. We're all hearing about the deals across the land--whether it's Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or some other catchy phrase being bandied about. Well, I'd like to do a little something extra for my followers as well.

I'm planning a little giveaway to coincide with the upcoming holidays. I'll be teaming up with a most lovely vendor of an awesome Etsy shop, Debi Levine of One Heart Jewelry.  She is a talented artisan and I've commissioned her to create a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry for me to give away to one lucky follower of this blog for the holidays.  Since this blog focuses on all things literary, the jewelry will be especially meaningful for the book lover in you.

Stay tuned for upcoming details...

Toodles!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: The Devouring series by Simon Holt

Waiting on Wednesday is one of the best meme's in my humble opinion. It was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it's a wonderful way to learn about the books fellow bloggers are dying to sink their teeth into. This week I'm interested in something a little different. I've always been a fan of horror movies and stories. I love Stephen King and I remember reading horror books when I was a kid about werewolves and vampires that scared the daylights out of me. These weren't handsome, sparkling vampires, these guys meant business. Bloody, scary business. I couldn't even sleep after reading them. I remember dreading when it would get dark, then I'd look around my room, in my bed, scared to death. Didn't stop my from reading more of them though...lol...*shaking my head*.


What I want to read is the Devouring Series by Simon Holt.The series is not new. The first book in the series, The Devouring, released in Sept, 2008. The second book, Soulstice (The Devouring #2)  was published this summer in July, 2010 and the third book, Fearscape (The Devouring #3), just released in Oct, 2010. There's just one problem:

I'm scared.                                                                                                            

Yep. I read the first couple of pages of a friends book and I had to stop. I was too scared to finish it. I'm only slightly ashamed. It reminds me a bit of the novel I'm working on, which scared me at first and I'm writing it for goodness sake! Crazy, I know. Let's look at the blurb on the back of the book...

"When dark creeps in and eats the light,
Bury your fears on Sorry Night.
For in the winter's blackest hours,
Comes the feasting of the Vours,
No one can see it, the life they stole,
Your body's here but not your soul..." 



Vours:
Evil, demonic beings that inhabit human bodies on Sorry Night, the darkest hours of the winter solstice.

This isn’t how the horror ended for us –
This is how it began.

When Reggie reads about the Vours in a mysterious old journal, she assumes they are just the musings of an anonymous lunatic. But when her little brother, Henry, begins to act strangely, it’s clear that these creatures exist beyond a madwoman’s imagination, and Reggie finds out what happens when fears come to life. To save the people she loves, Reggie must learn to survive in a world of nightmares. Can she devour her own fears before they devour her?


I want to read it, but I don't know...it makes me think of the old days...I thought I was over that, but maybe not. What do you think? Is this something you'd read...alone...when it's dark?


Toodles...Agh.....!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Adolescent Boys, Sex...Just Some Thoughts....

I ran across this book, Something Happened by Greg Logsted in the library and decided to pick it up and read it. It's the second book I've read about sex abuse by a teacher. The first is Boy Toy by Barry Lyga (see 9/27/09 post). Something Happened is fairly tame compared to Boy Toy which was fairly graphic and didn't hold back on the description of the sexual activity. It was not a gratuitous description and made sense in the context of the story, but the author informed me that he received a lot of complaints about it.

As I read both stories, I found myself really pissed at the perpetrators of the crimes: two female teachers, both very attractive and relatively young. When the abusers of sex crimes are women, there seems to be less outrage by the public at large; the media often focuses on the attractiveness of the perpetrator. In one such case, pictures were aired that showed the teacher wearing skimpy attire and posing for some modeling shots she had done in the past.

There's a kind of "boys will be boys" attitude by many and an assumption that this is a boy's dream come true...Well.  Not.  So.  Fast. As a therapist working with children, on more than one occasion, I've had boys come to me to complain about the sexual aggressiveness of girls. The boys complained about girls touching them inappropriately and they didn't like it. They sought help in trying to get the girl to cut it out. What age am I referring to? The boys ranged in age from about 13 to 15.

In my experience, boys entering adolescence are curious and intrigued with sex, but they're often afraid of it as well! They may talk and brag about it, but the thought of actually doing something scares a lot of them. That's why premature sexual activity with an adult is so damaging to their psyche and leads to emotional problems.

Now, you may wonder how an adult woman gets herself into a situation like this? Once again, based on my experience as a counselor, working with adolescent boys and being a keen observer of human interaction, let me offer my humble opinion. This by no means applies to every situation, but is just one possible scenario...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: THROAT by R.A. Nelson

It's time to check out what folks are looking forward to reading this week! This meme is the creation of Jill over at Breaking the Spine and I love it. I learn about so many great stories this way. This week, I'm going back, back to an old creature so many of us have been fond of over the years: the vampire. Yep. An oldie, but goodie. Let's see what the description of Throat has in store...

R. A. Nelson takes us on a supernatural thrill ride, a modern-day vampire story set on a NASA base and filled with space-and-science intrigue. Seventeen-year-old Emma feels cursed by her epilepsy—until the lost night. She's shocked to wake up in the hospital one morning, weak from blood loss. When her memories begin to return, she pieces together that it was a man—a monster—who attacked her: a vampire named Wirtz. And it was her very condition that saved her: a grand mal seizure interrupted Wirtz and left Emma with all the amazing powers of a vampire—heightened senses, rapid speed—but no need to drink blood. Is Emma now a half-vampire girl? One thing soon becomes clear: the vampire Wirtz is fierce and merciless, feared even by his own kind, and won't leave a job undone. 

Sounds sufficiently dark and creepy to me. I can sink my teeth into this one. There are so many other girls to "eat". Why is he so focused on this one? Is there a love story under the surface, or is Wirth just a sore loser who hates to leave anything on his plate? I'm looking forward to finding out. Will anyone be joining me? I hate to dine on a good meal or a good book alone...Mehahaha!!!....

Throat releases January 25, 2011.

Toodles!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

And The Two Winners of What a Difference a Dog makes is...Wait a minute! There are going to be three winners instead of two!

I was so touched by the comments that were left, I've decided to giveaway one of my own copies of the books as well. Thanks for stopping in and telling me your wonderful pet stories! I won't make you wait any longer, the three winners of the sweet book  What A Difference A Dog Makes are...


Debbie!!
Carrie in the hammock !! and
Maria Zannini!!

Thanks so much for stopping in girls. It's always great to hear from you all. Please send me your address so I may pass it on to the publisher and I can get my own copy out. All winners were selected randomly using random.org If the winners don't respond in 72 hours, another will be chosen in their place.

Toodles!

Friday, November 12, 2010

New Release Coming: NIGHT STAR: IMMORTAL Series by Alyson Noel

Night Star will be released November 16 and is the fifth book in the Immortal series by Alyson Noel.


"Night Star continues the epic love story that has enchanted readers across the world. In this installment, Ever and Damen face down bitter rivals, jealous friends and their own worst fears—all in the hope of being together forever. Night Star is guaranteed to mesmerize fans and leave them breathlessly awaiting the sixth and final book!"







Toodles!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: WOLFSBANE by Andrea Cremer

This great meme was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it's one I look forward to. It gives us a chance to learn about what are the hot books folks are dying to read. I may be a bit a head of myself this week with my choice because it's not going to be released until the Summer of 2011, but I can't help it. I can't wait to get my hands on it!

For those of you that haven't been traipsing through the YA universe, WOLFSBANE is the sequel to NIGHTSHADE that was just released in October. I raced through that book and was absolutely delighted with it. If you're not familiar, I'll give you the quick version: it's about an girl named Calla who's a werewolf. She finds this hot human boy named Shay in the forest and against her better instincts, saves his life. But there's a problem you see. Calla is engaged to Ren, a fellow teen werewolf and high school classmate. Their marriage is right around the corner, but Calla can't shake her feelings for Shay. And Shay seems to have some secrets of his own. There's a lot more, but like I said, this is the short version, plus I don't want to spoil it for you if you haven't read it.

I can't wait to read the continuation of this story in WOLFSBANE! Darn; to have to wait eight months...ugh! I mean, the first book just came out, so I couldn't find much of a description for WOLFSBANE. The only thing I saw was on goodreads and it was one, little line:

Betrayal, loss, pain and fear. How many trials can love endure and still survive?

Alrighty then, sounds like a whole lotta drama to me! I couldn't find much in the way of description, but I managed to track down the first chapter and it sounds awesome. Check it out here!...If you dare...Enjoy.

WOLFSBANE releases July 12, 2011.

Toodles!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hey Pet Lovers, Check This Out! Book Review and Giveaway: What a Difference a Dog Makes--Big Lessons on Life, Love, and Healing from a Small Pooch by Dana Jennings. Two Winners for this one.

When I first received this book from the publisher, Doubleday, I admit, I had my doubts about how substantial it was. It's a tiny book, only 154 pages and I wondered how much could there be to say about a dog anyway? Was I ever wrong! If you've ever had a dog or a cat (there's a chapter on cats too!), you'll identify with the author and what his message is in a big way.

The author, Dana Jennings is the assistant editor of the New York Times Arts and Leisure section. He writes a popular column about coping with prostate cancer and its aftermath for the Times Well blog. This book is a laugh-out-loud, poignant account of how Jenning's 12-year-old miniature poodle named Bijou de Minuit--Bijou for short--helped him through some of the most arduous times of his life: an aggressive form of prostate cancer and his son, a high school senior suddenly and unexpectedly, contracting auto-immune liver disease--total liver failure. It was a scary time. A comfort then and now is Bijou.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

And the Winner of HALO is....

Thanks to those of you who dropped in and took the time to answer the questions I had. You really thought about what you wanted to say and I appreciate it. Now for the good part. The winner of Halo is...

Maidenveil!!!

Please send me your address, so I may mail the book out to you. I'm sure you're going to enjoy it. The winner was selected randomly. If she doesn't respond in 48 hours, a new one will be chosen.

Toodles!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Great for the Kids: CARE for CREATION by Christy Baldwin

Tribute Books is publishing a lovely little book called Care for Creation. Children are going to be the guardians of our planet in the future and there's no better time for them to learn about what that entails than now, while they're young. It's a short book, only 32 pages, but it's brightly illustrated and sure to capture the imagination of children and hold their attention as they learn about things like conservation and protecting the environment.

It's written from a christian perspective, which by mere coincidence, happens to fit into the angel theme of a couple of YA books I've discussed this week: Halo and Mercy!

Writing has been a passion of Christy Baldwin since she was very young. As a child, she loved to write stories for her grandfather and poems just for fun. She lives in Mason, Ohio with her family and is active in church, Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts and volunteering with various organizations. Christy has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Cedarville University and a master's degree in Special Education from the University of Scranton. She is a stay at home mom who enjoys spending time with her kids and being involved in their schools. Her previous children's titles include Nine Things Nathan Noticed at Night and Remembering Wilma.

 
Care for Creation is a nice book to add to your children's library. It helps them learn about issues we all need to pay attention to before it's too late. 

Toodles!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: MERCY by Rebecca Lim

It's that time again. Time to find out what is hotly anticipated by your fellow book blogger and literary lover. That's the concept behind this terrific meme started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This week I'm going with a book that Harper Collins expects to be a major paranormal series: MERCY, book one of the Mercy series. Let's look at the description...

There's something very wrong with me. I can't remember who I am or how old I am, or even how I got here. All I know is that when I wake up, I could be any one. It is always this way. There's nothing I can keep with me that will stay. It's made me adaptable. I must always re-establish ties. I must tread carefully or give myself away. I must survive. 

Mercy doesn't realize it yet, but as she journeys into the darkest places of the human soul, she discovers that she is one of the celestial host exiled with fallen angel, Lucifer. Now she must atone for taking his side. To find her own way back to heaven, Mercy must help a series of humans in crisis and keep the unwary from getting caught up in the games that angels play. Ultimately she must choose between her immortal companion, Lucifer, and a human boy who risks everything for her love.

Harper Collins is apparently positioning this book and series as a major force in the YA world, but I've heard surprisingly little about it. The author is from Australia and perhaps she'll get a US tour a la Alexandra Adornetto style, author of HALO,  when MERCY heads to the US in the spring.


I certainly can't wait to check it out to see if it lives up to the hype. What about you?


MERCY releases May 17, 2011


Toodles!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Book Giveaway and Author Interview: HALO by Alexandra Adornetto.


I had the great pleasure of meeting Alexandra Adornetto, the young author of HALO, about two weeks ago. She was in a library in Manhattan, talking about her book. Alexandra is only seventeen, but you'd be hard pressed to find a young woman with greater poise. Honestly, authors old and new could take a lesson from this girl. She'd been traveling across the US and Canada and she was totally relaxed and professional. She was also very funny. She had the crowd laughing more than a few times as she answered questions and spoke about what inspired her to write HALO.

Getting ready to speak at New York Public Library, Manhattan
She still hasn't found a boy of her own like Xavier, the awesome love interest in the story and indeed, the character was inspired by several boys she knows. She took the best parts of all and combined them into one. She said lots of the guys she knows are sure she's writing about them. Actually, the bad boy in the story is based on one particular boy: her former boyfriend. He smoked, was full of tattoos and was the principal's son!
Though Alexandra lives in Australia, she was checking out colleges while she was here in the US and would like to return and attend one in the South. She was especially fond of one in Tennessee.
                                           

The publisher Feiwel and Friends/MacMillan was kind enough to send me a hard copy edition of the book and I am giving it away to one of the faithful. Check out Alexandra's interview and then learn how you can enter for a chance to win her really engrossing book. I loved it!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

That Great Sucking Sound is Time...Slipping Away...

Since I began working on a novel, one of the things that I've become very cognizant of is time...and how little there is of it. As I spend more time on social media venues like Twitter, blogs (mine and others), chat groups etc, I began to see what a time suck the internet is. I'm amazed at how many hours I can spend on Twitter. It's like having a lot of very interesting people right in your living room at all hours of the night or day. You can just look at the screen and hit them up as you see fit. Honestly, I think I was becoming addicted to Twitter.

Then there's blogging. I remember being so apprehensive about starting a blog. I was playing around with Blogger for the first time and accidentally created a blog by mistake. Oh, the panic. I was scared to death and hurried to delete it. Now, I love my blog. I really do. I enjoy interacting with so many great people. I've met people I never would have. But this blog takes time. I'm a bit obsessive, I think. I like things to be a certain way. Probably things no one else will even notice, but if I'm bothered by it, I have to fix it. This takes time. I notice over the last few months, some very well know blogs have bitten the dust. Their owners have ceased blogging. One of the reasons expressed is to make more time for other things. I don't plan to do that, but I can certainly empathize with the sentiment.

I love promoting books and authors. That means reading the books to review. Sometimes authors contact me or I reach out to them for interviews and whatever else. I thoroughly enjoy it, but there's goes that time thing again. In the midst of all this, I'm working on my own novel, revising, rewriting, plotting etc. I've had to cut back on typing of all sorts because my hands were actually starting to hurt.  The first thing to cut back on was Twitter. Oh, I'm still on it, but not nearly as much as I was. I miss it, but something has to give. I need my hands if I'm going to write a book. I've got to set priorities.  Justine Larbalestier, author of Liar, hasn't blogged since June 2010 because of RSI. Believe me, I feel her pain, literally.                                                                                       

There's a verse in the bible that says "redeem the time." I now have a much better understanding of what that means. You really have to take stock of time. You must be aware of it's passage and plan accordingly. This may mean something as simplistic as making a list and checking off your goals as you accomplish them--whether you decide to do it daily, weekly, whatever.  I know I've done this and it does help--if I follow through.

In essence, what's the message of this post? Time, life passes a lot faster than you think, especially if you're not thinking about it, so do--think about it that is and plan accordingly. I'm sure incorporating this element, living life with more forethought and strategy can only help.  You certainly won't regret it.

Toodles!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: VIXEN-The Flappers, Book One by Lila Fine.

It's that time again...Waiting on Wednesday is the terrific meme started by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. This is the place to be to get your weekly fix of what's new in the book world. We check out each others blogs, this day in particular, to learn about what's coming out that's good to read.

Now, I love the paranormal, but sometimes a girl has to delve into the real thing. No monsters, no creatures, nothing otherworldly, just regular folks in the midst of drama. Vixen, the first book in the new Flappers series sounds like it will fit the bill. And it's different. It's set in the twenties. I've always been kind of fascinated with life during the roaring twenties. A YA book set during that time sounds kind of intriguing. Check out the description:


Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous combination.

Every girl wants what she can’t have. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they?

Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden. . . .

Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And someone’s going to be very sorry...

I definitely want to check it out. How about you?
 
Vixen--The Flappers releases on December 14, 2010.
 
Toodles! 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Book Review: HALO by Alexandra Adornetto. Author Interview and Book Giveaway to Come!

Title: HALO
Author: Alexandra Adornetto
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends/McMillan
Format: ARC
ISBN:978-0312656263
Price: $16.99 Pages: 484
Release Date: August 31, 2010


Halo was definitely one of my favorite books of the summer! It’s a young adult novel written by a young adult, seventeen to be exact and by the looks of things, she has quite a career ahead of her. Alexandra Adornetto wrote her first book at the age of thirteen. She is an Australian native and Halo is her US debut.
The striking cover was enticing and I couldn't wait to see what treasures lay within those pages. The cover art is rather amazing. It literally appears to glow; a flash of sunlight on the page looks so realistic, I looked at the book from all angles and still can’t figure out how that was done.
Halo is the story of three angels that are sent to the Earth. Their assignment is to bring good to the world. They take human form and live as a family of siblings in a sleepy little beach town. Gabriel, the elder, is a warrior angel. He’s not new to the game. He’s centuries old and knows his way around the Earth. Ivy the older “sister” is a healer. She too has been on a number of earthly missions and is well familiar with the pitfalls and problems in the world. The youngest, Bethany, is not sure what her special gifts are yet. She’s brand new, only seventeen and coming to the Earth is a first for her. She’s vulnerable, na├»ve and perhaps worse of all, curious.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sights of England: Princess of Wales Conservatory, Kew Gardens

While in England, I visited the Princess of Wales Conservatory in Kew Botanical Gardens. It is filled with butterflies. They flew and swooped all around me as I walked through the glass enclosure.  There are little stations of fruit that they alight on to eat and get nourishment. I couldn't resist snapping some shots.


The other pictures are of some of the grounds surrounding the conservatory. The place is huge and absolutely magical. Enjoy.


Butterfly Feeding Station







Butterfly Feeding Station

Butterfly Feeding Station   

Saturday, October 23, 2010

And the Winner of Nightshade is...

Thanks so much for entering the giveaway and leaving comments about the werewolf books you've read or want to read. Many of them are new to me and I discover a lot of good books from you guys! Now I'm about to share a very good story with one of you and I'm so happy to be able to. Thanks to Philomel/Penguin for sending me the extra ARC!

Without further ado, the winner of the awesome (and may I add, sexy) Nightshade is...

Friday, October 22, 2010

And the Winners of the HUNGER and Mystery Swag Giveaway is....

I know I said there would be two winners, but I've decided to make it three! They are...

Jennie Smith
Jill the Owl and
April X

Enjoy girls! Please send me your address so I can get the goodies out to you. Thanks so much for dropping in. Until the next time....

Toodles!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton

Waiting on Wednesday is a super meme started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's one of my favorite blog activities. There's such a sense of community among book bloggers. This gives us a great opportunity to learn about new books coming down the pike, many we may not be aware of otherwise.

This week, I'm really looking forward to digging into Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton. I had a meeting with an editor from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She gave me their catalogue of upcoming books. That was where I first encountered Tyger Tyger. The big, colorful display in the catalogue caught my eye right away. Then several weeks later, I received an email from the author. After a few exchanges, she had her publicist send me an ARC of Tyger Tyger.

I'm not sure if it's a paranormal or an urban fantasy, but it sounds good! Check out the blurb on the back of the book...

Teagan Wylltson's best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures--goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty--are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn't worried. Her life isn't in danger. In fact, it's perfect. She's on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She's focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems.

 Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn's a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he's crazy or he's been haunting Abby's dreams, because he's talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby's right. The goblins are coming.


How different is this eh? No vampires, werewolves, angels or fairies. The author scores points in my book just for coming up with a new supernatural entity! What do you think? Have you read any stories about goblins? This is the first book in what I believe is a trilogy. I can't wait to read it.

Releases November 15, 2010

Toodles!