Thursday, December 30, 2010

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

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 works out for everyone.


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. 



Monday, December 27, 2010

We're all the same and 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.


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, 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

Have a safe and happy holiday everyone.


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

Betrayal releases March 1, 2011.


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 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.


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...


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!