Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Writing Thoughts

I've had a lot on my mind about writing lately.  I need to post this now as I am going out with my firend Julia tonight.  When we get to talking - well, let's just say we both lose all track of time.  Right, Julia? LOL

2010 has been a bumpy year for me writing wise.  I kept up with my writing because it is just something I have to do for myself.  However, I'm not super thrilled with anything I wrote this year.  There are a couple of things I like well enough, but nothing that I really love.  Strangely, I'm all right with this and accept that not every thing is going to be perfect.  Sometimes, I just have to write something to keep in practice and settle the urge I have to do it.

I'm hoping to complete writing projects in 2011 that I am more proud of, though.  I am going to keep better track of what I write, as well.  I'm not going to stress myself out over the amount I write but strive for more fulfilling works in progress.  I'm going to try to write - from start to finish, including editing - two novels this year.  Plus I'll do NaNoWriMo in November and hopefully complete one work in progress that I've had since 2009.  It seems like a lot but I want the challenge.

Of course, there is always my dream of becoming published.  I have to work harder at this part of it.  As I said a couple of months ago - I get lazy about this part of the process.  I am going to put more effort into finding myself an agent this year.  So yeah, I'm filling my writing cup to the brim but I feel up to the challenges I'm giving myself.  Feel free to keep me accountable.  LOL

What are your big goals for the year?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Teaser Tuesday's: Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. To play along, do the following:

Grab your current read -

Open to a random page -

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page -

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
From Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn, page15:  
"It was as if all the ton shared some secret history that Annabel was not privy to.  Every conversation held an undecurrent, a deeper, more subtle meaning."

Monday, December 27, 2010

My Five Favorite Books of 2010

I wasn't sure if I wanted to do a 'Best Of' post.  Then I read my friend Julia's favorites post and decided, why not? I told her imitation is flattery and set about trying to narrow my list to just five.  Now that  was the hard part.

1. The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue - I read this book back in February and I am still touched - and slightly haunted - by it.  Ms. Domingue's writing is rich, imaginative and seemed well thought out to me.  Once I was done with the book, I immediately went on the hunt for more books by this author.  Imagine my surprise to learn that this was her one - and so far, only - work of fiction.  According to her official website, the second book is in the works.  I know I am looking forward to reading more by Ronlyn Domingue.  If you enjoy a mix of history, a touch of romance and loss, and a bit of mysticism - then I definitely recommend this book.

2. Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monninger - This was an ARC that I read in January for Barnes and Nobles First Look program.  I am still so grateful for the opportunity I was given to read and review this book.  I count this book among my all-time favorites.  The settings are exquisite and I love the way Mr. Monninger used nature as a sort of character in the book.  You know from the first pages of the book that the story is, to some degree, about loss but the love, the natural settings and the exquisite attention to detail are well-worth the journey.

3. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - I am drawn to books - fiction and nonfiction - about World War 2.  This was a horiffic and abyssmal time in human history but I feel that it is a time we should not be allowed to forget and sweep under a rug.  Guernsey is a tiny island in the English channel that was occupied by the Nazis during WW2.  This book is about a group of the Guernsey islanders who refused to give up in the face of tyranny.  I cried reading this book but I also found hope in it.  I was reminded of the strength of the human spirit.  The funny thing is - it took me three tries to really get into this book.  However, once I got into it - I could not put it down.

4. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson - I discovered Mr. Larsson and his Millenium series this year.  While I mostly enjoyed the entire series (some of it was admittedly a bit too graphic for me) I really loved the second book in the trilogy.  Lisbeth Salander is a strong and rather eccentric character and I just loved her.  Her character made the series for me and I felt she shined the absolute most in this book - which is why it is one of my favorite reads of the year. Sadly, we won't be receiving any more books from the now deceased Larsson, but he left us with a most intriguing trilogy of books and one of the best female characters in a long time.

5. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein - This is another book that made me cry - quite a lot, in fact - and had moments of loss that I pretty much knew were coming.  However, it was such a unique book and I adore the fact that it was told from the perspective of a dog.  I know there are other stories about dogs and maybe even some from the dog POV but this is the first I've read.  Enzo (the dog) so clearly loves and adores his person Denny.  He knows things that are going to occur in Denny's life before he does (usually because of his sense of smell) but he can't do anything to warn him.  He can only be there for Denny in the most loving and supportive way possible as his human deals with his life.  It's just a beautiful story and I loved it so much.  There is supposedly a movie version of the book coming in 2012.  I will be interested in seeing how the book translates to film.

In addition to these amazing books, I discovered three more authors that I just adore.  They are: Julia Quinn (she writes witty and beautiful romance novels that are filled with the strong characters I love), Sarah Addison Allen (mystical books with a touch of romance and a whole lot of human heart) and Stuart Neville (he wrote a book that opened my eyes to a lot of Irish history.  It was brutal but also very intriguing).  I will definitely be open to reading more books by any of these authors in this post.

I would love to know others' favorite books of the year.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

I just want to wish all of you a very Happy Holiday! I hope you have the most wonderful day with your families. 
Merry Christmas to All, and to All, a Good Night!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Christmas Carol - Stave Five: The End of It

"God Bless Us, Every One!"

As iconic as it is, I believe Dickens ended his book in the most beautiful way.  The fact that Tiny Tim is the one to wish the above blessing makes it all the sweeter.  It is the epitome of pure love, giving and innocence.  And if that doesn't sum up the Spirit of Christmas - I don't know what does.

I truly loved this book.  This final Stave - and witnessing Scrooge in the glory of his redemtion was such a gift.  It shows that even the grouchiest, stingiest person truly can change; then go on to live out a spiritually rich and giving life.

I will absolutely read this book again.  My children are still a bit too small for the story but I look forward to reading it with them at some point in the future.  I feel this book is indeed a family classic.

Merry Christmas to everyone.  I hope 2011 is full of happiness for all.

Here are links for the previous posts of the read-a-long if you are interested: Stave One, Stave Two, Stave Three and Stave Four

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

All You Need Is Now --

-- is finally here! Well, most of it but it is AMAZING! This iTunes only, partial album release has already sky rocketed to number one on the iTunes download charts in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Italy.  And it is number three in Japan.  All of this on the first day of the albums release.  Like I said, amazing.

The tracks on this - the 13th studio release by Duran Duran - are a wonderful mix of modern technological sound and classic Duran Duran.  The tracks releases today are as follows:

1. All You Need Is Now
2. Blame the Machines
3. Being Followed
4. Leave a Light On
6. Girl Panic
7. The Man Who Stole a Leopard
8. Runway Runaway
9. Before the Rain

So far, my favorite track is 'Leave a Light On'.  It is so incredibly beautiful.  The full length CD and vinyl versions of All You Need Is Now are due to be released February 2011.  I am really looking forward to hearing the rest of this outstanding album.  I am also really, really hoping for a tour.  I'm fairly certain one is on the horizon.

EDITING TO ADD: Oops! I swear I thought I was posting this to my Duran Duran blog.  I thought (for about five seconds) about deleting this from here but I'm not going to.  Now you all know just how much I love Duran Duran.  I have a blog all about them and their amazing music.  I'm adding this post to the DD blog, too.  LOL

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Christmas Carol - Stave Four: The Last of the Spirits

                                    "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.  I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future.  The Spirits of all three shall strive within me.  I will not shut out the lessons that they teach."

I know this is supposed to be a spooky part in the book (and I have to admit that I am a bit creeped out at this section of the movie) but there was so much of this part that I found a bit funny.  I imagine it is the way that Dickens wrote it - or perhaps just my strange sense of humor - but I founf Scrooge's seeming unintelligence humorous.  Of course, who knows how one would act if faced with their own death as Scrooge was in this Stave.  Plus, he was forced to see the utter disregard he inspired in people. 

I really enjoyed the fact that Scrooge finally has his spiritual turnaround in this part, though.  I love that he realizes he needs to be a better person all the way around.  I love that he finally realizes that his actions definitely have consequences upon himself and others.  The fact that he is so touched by The Cratchits  and especially Tiny Tim - is always moving to me.

The only thing I wish this Stave would have shown would be Scrooge's nephews reaction to his uncle's death.  It would have been quite interesting to know if his nephew would have felt any sadness at the loss of his uncle. 

I look forward to finishing the book - and then seeing the movie again.  How is everyone else enjoying the book?

Book Blogger Hop December 17 - 20, 2010

Book Blogger HopThis week's Book Blogger Hop question is:

"What do you consider the most important part in a story the plot or the characters?"

This is a slightly difficult question for me to answer as I feel both plot and characterization are important in a story.  However, in the essence of the Hop, and answering the question, I will say characters are most important.  Well developed characters can help a slightly less developed plot, in my opinion.  As long as there are strong characters- I am generally a happy reader.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Teaser Tuesday's: Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. To play along, do the following:

Grab your current read -

Open to a random page -

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page -

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

From Cleo Coyle's Holiday Grind:

"Giving! Selfless giving! That's what we're celebrating! The Christ child's birth is a gift of love to a weary world! All these symbols - the tree, the lights, the carols -it all comes down to love!"

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Christmas Carol - Stave Three: The Second of the Three Spirits

"A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the old man, whatever he is!" said Scrooge's nephew.  "He wouldn't take it from me, but may he have it nevertheless.  Uncle Scrooge!"

This stave, with the ghost of Christmas Present, is definitely my favorite in the book so far.  I laughed at Scrooge's surprise over the sheer size of the giant spirit.  Their initial meeting was described so beautifully by Dickens with all of the Christmas decorations.  Plus, all of the food made me hungry.  I have to admit that I have no idea what some of the food is, though.  I've heard of mince pie but I've never had it and don't know what is in it.  And I have no idea what a twelfth-night cake is, either.  Apparently, I need to do a bit of research here.

Another thing that I adore about this stave is that Scrooge gets a great look at how people all over are celebrating Christmas.  I don't recall the Ghost of Christmas Present giving Scrooge the tour that took him to fisherman's boats and many other places in any of the movie versions I've seen.

It's enlightening, I believe, for Scrooge to witness the Christmas celebrations of the Cratchitt's and his nephews.  I really don't think he ever thought of either man as actually having any sort of fulfilling life.  He is shown that they do indeed have lives away from the small bit of space encompassed by him; and that they are rich in a way he can't understand because they have people to love and be loved by.

I feel that the Ghost of Christmas Present helps Scrooge to turn a corner within himself moreso than the Ghost of Christmas Past.  I love the end of the stave with the 'children' of Ignorance and Want.  The fear that Scrooge begins to feel once again is palpable.  Especially with the fact that there is no lag time between Spirits.  I like that the Third Spirit is there right away.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Book Blogger Hop - 12/10 - 12/13/10

Book Blogger Hop This week's Book Blogger Hop question is:
"What is the thing you like most about reading book blogs? Is it the reviews, author guest posts, articles, giveaways, or something else entirely?"
I do like every aspect listed in the question about book blogs.  However, the thing I like best is the sense of community that I have found to exist with book bloggers.  I also like how blogging has made the world a more easily accessible place. I love that I have made new contacts - and even a couple of friends - with people that I otherwise may never have met.  In fact, one of my closer, real life friends and I bonded over books and blogging.  I am grateful, on a regular basis, for the way that book blogging has enriched my life.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Teaser Tuesday's: The Snow Globe by Sheila Roberts

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. To play along, do the following:

Grab your current read -

Open to a random page -

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page -

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
my teaser is from The Snow Globe by Sheila Roberts.  I am really enjoying this holiday read about love, magic and remembering what is really important in life; not just at the holidays, but always.  Teaser from page: 79:
"It's not just a decoration, Suz," Kiley said, looking at her earnestly.  "I hope you give it a chance to do something for you."

Monday, December 6, 2010

National Novel Writing Month 2010

I said I would do a NaNoWriMo wrap-up post and here it is - finally.  The goal of the challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel during the thirty days of November.  Well, the first draft of said novel, anyway.  That amounts to 1,667 words per day to win the challenge.  This really shouldn't be a difficult task for me since I write all the time anyway.  Let me just say it was by sheer bull headedness that I won the NaNoWriMo challenge this year.  I am proud that I won (at 51,852 words) and know that I will do this again next year.

All of that being said - NaNo was a heck of a ride for me this year.  First of all - I tried writing a novel with some science fiction twists as a main part of the story.  Science fiction is not my normal writing genre.  Now I know why.  LOL I stuck with it and I am glad that I tried something new but next year I'll stick with what I know and love.

In addition to writing a foreign-to-me genre my family had a rather time consuming (and exhausting) health issue to deal with.  It was just a heck of a month.  It really showed me what it will be like to be on a strict writing deadline and still have everyday life to deal with.  I mean that in the best way as my family always comes first for me.  I just mean that I feel I got a taste of what my life will be like when I'm living my writing dream full time.  Chaotic but worth every single moment.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Christmas Carol - Stave Two: The First of the Three Spirits

All your other hopes have merged into the hope of being beyond the chance of its sordid reproach.  I have seen your nobler aspirations fall off one by one, until the master=passion, Gain, engrosses you.

I am still loving this book.  I continue to marvel at Dickens' ability to pack so much meaning into a rather short story.  I keep asking myself why I have put off reading Charles Dickens.  I haven't got a decent response.  I am just really glad I am finally rectifying the situation.

Scrooge gets to take a trip to his past with the visit from the first spirit.  We learn that Scrooge wasn't always so cold and unfeeling.  It was his lust for money - his desire to move far beyond poverty - that started blinding him to all else in the world.  I believe that losing the woman he was meant to marry sent him further down his lonely path.  He made his own choices but I think (at this point in the story) that he felt undeserving and only in control where money was concerned.  While I can definitely understand the desire to succeed, I would be miserable without my family.  It becomes apparent that Scrooge does indeed feel that he missed out on the chance for love and family.

This stave made me feel really sad.  I had to remind myself that there is redemption for Scrooge.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge 2011

This Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge  is right up my alley.  It is being hosted by Carolyn at Book Chick City.  Here are the details:

Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011

•Rules: To read TWELVE (12) mystery & suspense novels in 2011 (12 is the minimum but you can read more if you wish!)

•You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.

•You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.

•At the beginning of Jan 2011, you will find a link to specific month to add your reviews. There will be a monthly prize too courtesy of the lovely Simon & Schuster - you must be signed up to the challenge and add the link to your review to be entered into the monthly prize draw.

As I said, this is right up my alley.  Twelve mystery books (especially since they can be of any sub-genre) will be enjoyably easy for me to achieve.  LOL So, if this sounds like fun to you - head on over to Book Chick City and sign up.  Oh, and there is the added bonus of an ARC from Simon & Schuster for participating in this challenge.  Full details on this nice feature are at BCC.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge

After completing NaNoWriMo (full details to be posted on Wednesday) I will be in the mood for lots of books with a wonderful Christmas theme.  Luckily, I just discovered The Christmas Spirit (the blog, that is) and this reading challenge.  Thank you Debbie at The Friday Friends

Here are the details (taken straight from the snnouncement/sign up post at The Christmas Spirit) for the challenge:

- challenge will run from Friday, November 26, 2010 (Black Friday) through January 6, 2010 (Twelfth Night or Epiphany).

- cross overs with other challenges is totally permitted AND encouraged!

- These must be Christmas novels, books about Christmas lore or a book of Christmas short stories (sorry, no children's books, but YA novels are okay).

visit this POST (which takes you to The Christmas Spirit blog) for a list of new Christmas books for 2010. Also, Richard Paul Evans has a new book out this year, Promise Me. His Christmas books are among my favorites during the Christmas season.


--Candy Cane: read 1 book

--Mistletoe: read 2-4 books

--Christmas Tree: read 5 or 6 books (this is the fanatic level...LOL!)

.That's it.  Join in the fun if you are in the mood for Christmas reading!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Book Blogger Hop: Nov. 26 - 29, 2010 - Cover Love

Book Blogger Hop This week's Book Blogger Hop question is:
What is your favorite book cover?
This is a simple but great question.  However, the answer is difficult for me.  I am a book cover lover.  I am not going to read (or not read) a book solely based upon the cover - but I do always pay attention to the cover art of my books.  I really can not choose only one favorite cover.  Two series of books whose covers I love come to mind, though.  One is the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.  The book covers were done by Mary GrandPre and they are all just fantastic.  Another series whose covers I love is The Bride Quartet by Nora Roberts.  Each cover is wedding related and they all are so romantic and beautiful.

How about you? Are you a cover lover, too? And if so, which are your favorites?

A Christma Carol: Stave One - Marley's Ghost

"Business!" cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again.  "Mankind was my business.  The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all my business.  The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!"
I love this quote from Jacob Marley.  To me, it sums up the book right there.  I am thoroughly loving Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol already.  Admittedly, the language is quite different from what I'm used to (but this is often the case with the Classics).  I am finding Dickens' prose to be quite poetic.  There have been many passages that I have gone back to read a second (and third) time simply because I like the flow of the words.

I like reading the book because there is more in regard to Scrooge's thoughts and opinions on what is going on around him.  Although he doesn't want to believe what he is seeing in Marley's ghost - and does, rather hysterically try to sum it up to indigestion - he is quite frightened by the situation.  Especially when he sees Marley fly out the window and join the other tortured souls bound in chains and misery.

I am anxious to get back to the book.  Although I technically know what happens next I am excited for the richer details of the book.

How are you liking the book so far? Also, I wrote this post with my opinions rather than questions because I haven't been able to find discussion questions for the book.  If you have questions you'd like to present, please feel free to do so.

And finally, Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans.  Happy Thursday to all else.  Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the start of the Christmas Season!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Booking Through Thursday: Borrowing

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about (mostly) books and reading. This weeks question:

Who would you rather borrow from? Your library? Or a Friend? (Or don’t your friends trust you to return their books?) And, DO you return books you borrow?
This is a wonderful (set of) question(s). The majority of the books I read come from the library. I do buy some books still but have cut way back on my book purchasing. There are reasons I borrow from the library more so than my friends. One reason is the general selection. Another reason is the fact that I can borrow a book from the library for a total of six weeks if necessary.

This is not to say that I never borrow books from friends; in fact, I do.  Just not that often.  I don't have a lot of real-life friends that read (sad, but true).  Of my reading friends, there is only one that I see on a regular basis with similar reading taste.  And actually, I do have a book of hers on loan right now - Eat, Pray, Love.  I really should read it and get it back to her but I've been so busy.  I've been reading the same book for two weeks now, which is so unlike me.  I will read the book and get it back to her soon, though. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Schedule for A Christmas Carol Read-a-Long

I can not believe it is already the middle of November.  It has been such a crazy month! With the Dickens read-a-long beginning next week - I realize it would be a good idea to post the schedule. 

First, here is the original post if you would like to sign up.  It is not necessary to sign up to participate, though.  If you want, you can just come here each week and post your thoughts or reply to the questions and others' responses.  This is not meant to be stressful - just fun.

Second, I had no idea that A Christmas Carol was such a short book.  Five weeks may be a little long considering the book is less than 100 pages but it is a busy time of year.  So, I want to stick with the original dates..  That being said, each week I will post questions and my own thoughts on each section of the book.

November 23, 2010 (posted on Tuesday rather than Thursday due to American Thanksgiving) - Stave One: Marley's Ghost.

December 2, 2010 - Stave Two: The First of the Three Spirits

December 9, 2010 - Stave Three: The Second of the Three Spirits

December 16, 2010 - Stave Four: The Last of the Spirits

December 23, 2010 - Stave Five: The End of It

This will take us right up to Christmas.  And hopefully a deeper understanding/perspective on the many movie versions.  Plus, it will just be nice to say we've actually read the book.  I am looking forward to doing this read-a-long with all of you.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Book Blogger Hop - Nov. 12 - 15, 2010: Series

Book Blogger Hop This week's Book Blogger Hop question is:
"If you find a book that looks interesting but is part of a series, do you always start with the first title?"

No, not always.  A perfect example is the "In Death' series by J.D. Robb.  I love this series and am, in fact, reading the latest installment called Indulgence in Death.  However, I was quite afraid of this series of books before I started reading them.  J.D. Robb is a pseudnym for Nora Roberts - whom I adore.  I knew about the 'In Death' series but was leary to read stories about a homicide detective.  I thought they would be too gruesome for my taste.  Then, in 2003 (I believe) she released a book called Remember When.  The first half of the book was written as Nora Roberts and the second half as J.D. Robb and the stories intertwined a mystery over 50-ish years.  It was really quite a clever move from a marketing stand point as I'm sure it pulled in a lot of new readers for both of her writing personalities.  I loved the book and was captivated by the 'In Death' characters.  At which point I went back to the beginning of the series and read it in order.

Another thing with me and series is that I tend to get bored with them.  It's sad but true.  Unless the writing is exceptional and I love the characters for whatever reason - I find it hard to stick with a lengthy series.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Green Books Campaign

I was just visiting Kelly's France Blog and she has an amazing post about the Green Books Campaign.  I had no idea such a movement even existed.  It makes sense, considering how many people are environmentally conscious.  My family recycles because we feel like it's the right thing to do.  I know it's not for everyone but it feels good to teach my kids about something easy they can do to help the environment.

That being said - I do sometimes feel a little guilty about all of my books and the paper used to print them on.  I admit that it's not guilty enough to not buy them (although I have started using the library a lot more) but I do think about this issue.  So I am quite glad to learn that there are books being printed on recycled and eco-friendly papers.  Hopefully, with more awareness, this will become commonplace rather than selective.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Christmas Carol Read-a-Long


A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is a book I've been meaning to read for a long time.  Every year around this time I tell myself that I am finally going to read it.  And every Christmas when the movie plays on television I kick myself for yet again NOT reading the book.  Well, not this year, no way.  I admit that I love the movie but as a self-professed bookworm it just seems wrong that I have never read this book.
Right before Thanksgiving (in America) I am going to read the first part of this book.  By Christmas I will have read the whole thing, darn it.  Who wants to join me? This is my first time hosting an online read-a-long but I know this will be fun.  Each week, I'll post a few questions about the section we've just finished and we can blog about it together.
If this sounds like fun to you too - then please sign up below to participate.  And feel free to invite other friends to come and participate with us.  Oh, and don't forget the button I made just for this event.  LOL I had fun making the button and would love to see it around on your blogs!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Free Holiday Cards

I love the word 'free' and I also love a good deal.  Shutterfly is promoting what I consider a really fabulous opportunity.  They are offering their 2010 Holiday Card Collection to bloggers.  All you have to do is create a post about the promotion and earn 50 5 x 7 Holiday Cards.  Of course, you are responsible for the tax and the shipping and handling but this is a deal not to be passed by.  The offer expires December 31, 2010.

This is where to go in order to fill out the application and to learn more.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Book Blogger Hop Nov. 5 - 8, 2010: Followers

Book Blogger Hop This week's Book Blogger Hop qyestion is: 

"What are your feelings on losing followers? Have you ever stopped following a blog?"
I have only recently started blog networking and hopping. It has been a lot of fun and I am enjoying 'getting to know' and follow other bloggers. I also like that I have received new followers. That being said, I believe I would be a little bummed to lose followers. I understand that not every one is going to enjoy every post written on a blog they read but I just think it would be a bit of a bummer to see my followers decrease.

As for leaving a blog I've started following - I have not done that.  I also don't believe that I would do that.  It seems tacky to me.  Of course, if someone were to be obnoxios and rude to me on a personal level, I probably would stop following.  However, if it was just a matter of deciding I didn't love the blog - I'd still stay on as a follower.  It just seems right to me for some reason.

It will be interesting to see how others answer this week.  I hadn't thought about this and wonder if others have and how they feel.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Heatwave in November

First, let me say that I know it is completely uncool of me to complain about the weather.  Especially since I am about to do it on my blog that is about books and writing.  That being said, I apologize, but I am indeed going to complain and rant about the darn heat right now.  It is nearly 10:30 at night and it is 74 degrees.  Our high today was 95 degrees.  It's Novemebr for God's sake! It should be cooling down.  I should be wanting a light blanket at night, not air conditioning.  Which, by the way, ours is broken.  I assure you - that is adding to my cranky mood.  My poor kids and I have heat rash.  heat rash, people! Do you know how miserable that is?

Yes, I know the (American) East coast is experiencing winter typre temperatures already.  I have a friend who lives back there and told me the temperatures were in the 30's already.  I'm sorry, I really am.  It's too early to be that cold back there.  Maybe Mother Nature could give both ends of our country a break and compromise with te,peratures in the 60's? That sounds wonderful to me.

On a positive note - and to show that I'm not entirely petualant and whiny - my husband brought home dinner.  Which meant no need for an oven or a stove top burner tonight.  He also brought home frozen yogurt.  I'm going to get some right now.  Okay, whiny session over and done.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

NaNo Update and A Christmas Carol Read-a-Long

There are a couple of things I'd like to blog about this afternoon.  One, I want to report that NaNoWriMo is going quite well.  yesterday was tough (no time to write until the little ones went to bed) but today has gone a lot better.  I rearranged my schedule to better suit the needs of everyone in my family and it has worked wonders.  At least for today.  I hope it continues.  Also, I am ahead in my word count which always feels good.  Plus, it makes my husband happy because I can watch a movie with him tonight.  Truthfully, that makes me happy, too.  AND, I'll actually be able to read my book tonight before going to sleep.  The simplest things make me happy.  LOL

The other thing on my mind is doing a read-a-long for Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.  I posted about wanting to read it the other day in my Musing Monday's post.  Debbie commented that she wants to read it, as well.  That got me to thinking about doing an online read-a-long, book club sort of deal for this.  The thing is - I've never done one of these online and I'm not certain how to get it started.  Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm going to figure this out because now that it's in my head, I REALLY want to do it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Teaser Tuesday's: Indulgence in Death by J.D. Robb

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading.    To play along, do the following:

Grab your current read -

Open to a random page -

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page -

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

J.D. Robb's Indulgence in Death (book number 31 in this series) was just released today and I was shocked to be able to get it from the library.  I've only had time to read a few pages but will be going back to it after reaching my NaNo word goal tonight.  Here is my teaser from page one:
She had to remind herself that the trip had been her idea - love was another killer - but how could she have known driving in western Ireland meant risking life and limb at every turn?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Musing Monday's: Holiday Themed Books

Musing Monday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading.  Today, she asks:

Do you have any special reading that you do as it gets closer to Christmas? If so, tell us about it! And, if not, tell us why not!

I am a sucker for books with a Christmas theme! I've started seeing them on the shelves at the bookstore and the library already.I can't wait to read some of them. In case anyone is wondering, even though I love the Christmas-themed books, I won't read them until after Thanksgiving (the end of November in America). I know the reason I like the holiday books so much is because I'm guaranteed a happy ending. Everything is always, well, tied up in a nice pretty bow. LOL The books are escapist brain candy at its finest and that's usually what I'm in the mood for in December.

I do want to read Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol this year.  My husband and I love the movie and always watch it together but I've wanted to read the book for a long while now.  This is the year I'm finally going to do so.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo Oh My

With all of the excitement over Halloween and NaNoWriMo today - I almost forgot about making my blog post. LOL Making it just under the wire and Halloween was a blast with the family.  Now I'm ready for the novel adventure that begins in less than half-an-hour.  That's National Novel Writing Month for any who are wondering.  I will be writing the opening to my novel tonight before I go to bed.  I did the same thing last year and won.  I admit that I'm just superstitious enough to feel I must do this again.

As if NaNoWriMo isn't enough of a fun challenge for the month of November - I'm also going to do NaBloPoMo.  That's National Blog Posting Month - which is a challenge to post in my blog every day in November.  This is fun and shoyldn't be a big deal as I've already done this three times this year (in March, August and now October).  The thing is - I'm taking this on at the same time as NaNoWriMo.  yeah, I think I may be just a tad bit crazy.  Oh well, as I said, I'm certain it will be fun!

Have a wonderful November everyone.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Eve 2010

What are you doing this Halloween Eve? I know a lot of people are going to parties.  Our party has been a family one - spent at home.  We have carved our pumpkin, made minor improvements to costumes and now we're looking for a family-friendly Halloween movie.  Do those exist? Is everything violent and gory? I'm not a prude but I don't want my kids watching that sort of thing.  Oh well.  It's been a really fun evening and tomorrow will be even better.

Is anyone reading anything in honor of the holiday? I don't like to be super scared but I don't mind a little creepy.  That's why I'm reading Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book.  So far, I like it.

Whatever you're doing - I hope you're having fun and staying safe.  And now, here is a picture of our 'Happy Vampire Pumpkin'.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Book Blogger Hop Oct. 29 - Nov. 1: Bookish Dreams

Book Blogger Hop This week's Book Blogger Hop question is:
"What is the one bookish thing you would love to have, no matter the cost?"
There are two different answers to this question for me.  If you've read any recent posts to my blog, or know me in real life, then you know I am a writer.  It is my dream to be a published author.  Of course, I write because I absolutely love to do it but I do want to be published.  Making this dream a reality isn't so much about financial cost as it is perseverance and patience.  I'm confident that I will become published, though.

My second bookish dream is to one day own a home with enough space for my family and a home library.  I want a room with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves (filled with books, of course), windows for lots of natural light and so much comfortable, cozy seating that family and friends will flock to this space.  I want to spend real family and friend time in our own personal library.  Talking amongst one another will be highly encouraged but television and texting of any sort would be banned.  I know I sound like such a throwback but that's completely all right with me.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nerves Over Submission Process

As an author, there is nothing more daunting to me than the submission of my work.  That sounds crazy, right? I write all these stories and novels and I talk/write about my hopes for getting them published.  And yet, actually submitting my work makes me very queasy - to the point that I procrastinate it to the extreme.  Case in point: My friend Julia, from the Freelance Writer Blog told me that Penguin UK was accepting unsolicited submissions for a three month period of time.  That is a huge deal in the publishing world.  And if you want to get in on this, you still can - through Sunday.  When did I send in my submission? About two hours ago.  Like I said, I pro-cras-tin-ate! It's awful and I really need to get over my nervousness about submitting my work.

I find myself thinking about the fact that I spent months writing, editing and perfecting my novel.  Then I'm supposed to describe pages and pages worth of a story in a few sentences.  Oh, and let's not forget that I'm asking someone to basically say yes or no to helping me take my dream to the next step.  So far, all I've gotten is no but I'm sure that I'll finally get a yes. 

Obviously, I haven't let my nerves over the process entirely rule me.  I DO query and submit.  It's just really hard.  I can't possibly be the only author who goes through this cycle.  I refuse to let it hold me back but felt the need to whine, er, I mean, blog about it today.  LOL

Thanks for reading and now back to regualr events for the day.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

In Five Days -

-- the NaNoWriMo adventure begins.  I'm as ready as I can be at this point.  I have a plot, main characters are named and semi-outlined and a setting for the book.  This is a lot more than I had last year at this time.  Actually, this is quite enough for me, too.  I'm a better writer if I allow the story to flow as I'm telling it.  If I have too much of it structured, I feel hampered creatively.  A little odd, I suppose, but true.

I'm really excited to get started.  Although, over the past couple of days, more events have been added to my family's November calendar.  A couple of things I'd like to say no to but I really can't as it would bum out my kids.  So, I'm just going to have to be more stubborn about my writing time than ever.  It's all right though, it's one month.  This adventure can and will be done.  I'm just going to have to be very creative in making the time.

Editing to add: I forgot to mention that I made a playlist for this book.  I am very inspired by music and for some reason, there are always certain songs that I associate with writing my books.  As I've been planning (the bit that I have done) this book, each time I've been inspired by a song, I've added it to my playlist.  I've got 14 songs - it's great.  Oh, and my husband is writing me a theme song for the book.  I found a way for him to be involved in the adventure.  Yay!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: Fired Up

Teaser Tuesday's is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read -

Open to a random page -

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser today is from 186 of Jaybe Ann Krentz's Fired Up:

"Harper work is the best," Fallons said simply.  "Always has been.  Family's got a talent for that kind of thing.  Who do you think I use?"

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Number of Books I Own

I'm really late getting to this today but I'm going to participate anyway.  Miz B at Should Be Reading asks:  
About how many books (roughly) would you say you own? (If you don’t have a clue how many, do you care to know? Why, or why not?)
I don't know the exact answer to this question but I'm going to estimate around 500.  I'd love to know just how many I own but a lot of my books are currently packed up in boxes and in the garage.  A lack of space is so annoying.

The number of books used to be significantly higher.  I honestly could not ever part with a book.  It's my dream to someday own a home with enough space for a dedicated library.  I'm determined to  make that dream a reality, too.  Anyhow, after having our first child, my husband convinced me that I had to let go of a large chunk of my books.  I knew he was right but it was a difficult task to undertake.  Still, roughly 500 books is quite a lot.  Hey, it dawns on me that this number is probably close to double when I add in children's books.  Yes, I'm passing my love and addiction for books on to my kids.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The Disney Channel was playing 'The Sorcerer's Stone' and 'The Chamber of Secrets' tonight.  My kids have seen bits and pieces of these two movies.  They know the movies are based on books and my oldest is full of questions.  Some of the questions I will answer and some I will not because I just don't think she's ready to know all about the Harry Potter books and movies.  Not that I think there's anything wrong with them; in fact, the books are among my favorites.  I just think some of the details are a little scary for kids.

Anyway, when she was asking questions tonight I thought about the fact that 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' (part 1) is coming out in theatres soon.  November 19th, to be exact.  I freely admit that I always anticipate the movie releases.  While I am definitely looking forward to this one, it is a little bittersweet because it's the last movie.  At least they did it in two parts, though.  I don't think the movie would have done the book justice if they'd shoved it into one movie. 

On the topic of the book - I've decided that I am going to re-read it before I see the movie.  I know this shouldn't be a big deal but for me it is as I don't usually re-read right before seeing one of the HP movies.  I like to let the movie stand on its own - without the book fresh in my mind.  The reason I'm going to alter my habit for this first part of the seventh movie is because I've only read the book once; right when it was first released.  While I know that I loved the book - I was really sad reading it because it was the last one.  Yes, I am very emotional about books and I was/am really attached to the Harry Potter series.  I felt like I was saying goodbye to people I knew all through the Deathly Hallows.  I want to re-read it without that feeling of sadness over it being the last book.  So, over the next few weeks, I'm going to read the Half-Blood Prince and the Deathly Hallows.  The sixth book is my favorite in the series and I think that it is very tightly attached to the seventh book - moreso than the rest.  I guess because it sets everything up for the finale.

I'm curious if others will re-read the book before seeing 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' in theatres.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Book Blogger Hop October 22 - 25: Favorite Reading Spot

Book Blogger Hop This week's Book Blogger Hop question is: 

"Where is your favorite place to read? Curled up on the sofa, in bed, in the garden?"

I love to read in bed! I find it very comforting to be nestled in the blankets and lost in the pages of a book. I prefer it to be quiet but can read while my husband is watching the television. How about you? What's your favorite reading spot?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Booking Through Thursday: Books From Other Countries

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about (mostly) books and reading. This weeks question:
Name a book (or books) from a country other than your own that you love. Or aren’t there any?
This is an easy queation.  There are many authors/books that I like from other countries.  I adore Maeve Binchy's books and she's from Ireland.  The first book I can remember reading by her is Tara Road.  Since then I have read almost all of her books.  She makes me feel like I'm in Ireland among the families and fvriends that her stories always revolve around.

I also love the Millenium series by the late Swedish authorStieg Larsson.  I feel like I've posted so much about his series this year that I'll just leave it at the fact that I do adore the books. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday: The Gift

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The goal is to spotlight an upcoming release that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication that I can't wait to read is
The Gift
by James Patterson
Release Date: December 13, 2010
Synopsis From
When Whit & Wisty were imprisoned by the wicked forces of the totalitarian regime known as the New Order, they were barely able to escape with their lives. Now part of a hidden community of teens like themselves, Whit and Wisty have established themselves as leaders of the Resistance, willing to sacrifice anything to save kids kidnapped and brutally imprisoned by the New Order.
But the One has other plans in store for them: He needs Wisty, for she is "The One Who Has the Gift." While trying to figure out what that means, Whit and Wisty's suspenseful adventures through Overworld and Shadowland lead to a jaw-dropping climax and conclusion: the highly-anticipated fulfillment of the heart-pounding opening prologue of book one... The Execution of the Allgoods...

This is the second book is Patterson's Witch and Wizard series.  I found the first book entertaining enough that I have been looking forward to reading this one.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NaNoWriMo Is Almost Here

With National Novel Writing Month beginning in thirteen days - I am pleased to report that I have a storyline for my book.  Yes, you hear a sigh of relief from me.  NaNo is enough of a challenge; I don't need to go in themeless, thank you very much.

I had the first spark-of-an-idea for this book a couple of years ago.  I made some notes and played around with it in my head but nothing came of it.  So the idea has sat in my notebook just waiting for my brain to grasp onto it more tightly.  Now that the story has started to grow - I can't wait to actually start writing it.

While I wait for November First, I have been making more notes about my characters and attempting to name them.  You'll notice that I said 'attempting'.  Normally, I have a lot of fun naming my characters but nothing is gelling for me this go around.  There are a few names I like but nothing that is making me feel the connection between character and name.  It's actually rather like naming children.  Obviously not nearly as important but there does have to be a click and a sense of familiarity in the naming process.  For those who have ever named a child - does this scenario sound familiar?

"How about the name Charles?"


"Why not?"

"There was a dude named Charles in my high school Geometry class."


"So, we all called him upChuck, like barf."

"Gross.  No to Charles."

Yes, this is exactly the type of conversation my husband and I had while naming our children.  And yes, it's a very similar thing that goes through my head while naming characters.  So, while I'm anxious for NaNo to start;  I'm glad I still have some time to figure out my names.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Musing Monday's Hardcovers

Musing Monday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading! This week’s question:
Do you prefer hardcovers, trade paperbacks (the bigger ones), or mass market paperbacks (the smaller ones)? Why?
This is a really great question.  There used to be a time when I absolutely preferred the mass paperbook size.  There was no particular reason for it - I just liked the size better.

Now I prefer hardcover books and sometimes trade paperbacks.  I think haedcovers look elegant on the bookshelf.  Plus, as I've gotten slightly older, the print in the hardcover books is a lot easier for me to read.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Book Blogger Hop Oct. 15 - 18: Stick It Out or Move On

Book Blogger Hop This weeks Book Blogger Hop question is: .
"When you read a book that you just can't get into, do you stick it out and keep reading or move to your next title?"
This really is an excellent question.  I think a lot of readers grapple with this issue.  Personally, if a book doesn't have my attention, for whatever reason, fairly early on - it's probably not going to grab me.  For the most part, I will set the book aside and move on to another one that I want to read.  There are so many great books and so many that I want to read or even re-read, that I just can't spend my time on a book I really don't like or just can't get involved with

Of course, there are a couple of exceptions.  One, if it's a book I've agreed to read and review, I stick it out and then review it.  As a writer, I know how important feedback is to all involved in the process; writer, publisher, booksellers, etc.

Another time I'll make an exception is when someone whose opinion I value tells me it's worth it to stick it out with the book.  I don't always end up agreeing with whomever but more times than not - in these instances - I have been glad that I kept with the book. 

Generally speaking, I do move on, though.  How about you?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Teaser Tuesday's: Scarlet Nights

Teaser Tuesday's is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read -

Open to a random page -

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My teaser, from page 9 
"Right, because Stefan left nothing behind, not so much as a fingerprint.  And you know the rule: no evidence, no conviction.  Personally, I'd like to arrest the man right now, but the higher-ups want an undercover operation so we can get the mother."
  As you can see, I'm at the very beginning of this book but it has my attention already. Plus, it helps that this is the third book in a series by an author I like quite a lot. I love the beautiful cover of the book, too.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Read-a-Thon Wrap Up

It's over and I had a great time.  Well, for the most part.  I didn't make it all the way through because I got sick at the beginning of the twentieth hour.  Literally, and I'll spare the details.  My advice for the next one - get more rest leading up to the event.

It truly was something wonderful to be a part of, though.  I was really inspired by the number of people participating, visiting people's blogs, all over the world.  It was truly a community event.

I ended up reading five and-a-half  books.  Four of which were children's books - so quicker to get through.  I loved offering a mini-challenge and participating in a couple of them.  The best part for me was, of course, the reading.  Not just any of the reading but reading to my children.  They knew I was taking part in this and they were so excited leading up to it and all of yesterday.  My oldest child is already talking about the next read-a-thon and wanting to take part at some point.  I've always wanted my kids to love reaidng and this inspired my oldest so I love it all the more.

I will absolutely be participating in the future.  I'd even host another mini challenge if I'm eligible to do so.  Hopefully I'll get some of my friends involved, too.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hour 16 Status Update

Okay, I'm starting to get tired.  I'm not sure how long water, caffeine or food are going to keep me awake.  Oh wait, my husband just brought me a plate of vegetables and ranch.  YUM! This will definitely help me keep going.  Here's an official status update:

Title of book(s) read since last update: Maggie Without a Clue by Kasey Michaels and started Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen.  I had to switch to using my Nook because my eyes are tired and I can adjust the font on there.  :)

Number of books read since you started: 6

Pages read since last update: 260

Running total of pages read since you started: 398

Amount of time spent reading since last update: Three hours

Running total of time spent reading since you started: (keep track of this one to be eligible for a prize!) Five Hours

Mini-challenges completed: Participated in the mid-event challenge. I also hosted a challenge which was great fun.

Other participants you’ve visited: Oh wow, many! I spent a lot of time looking at the sites of people who entered my mini-challenge.

Prize you’ve won: None

Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now? I’m still reading Maggie Without a Clue by Kasey Michaels

2. How many books have you read so far? 5

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? The Girl Next Door by Elizabeth Noble.

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? My husband agreed to be available and taking care of our children throughout the day.

5. Have you had many interruptions? I’m laughing at this one because the answer is an unequivocal yes! My husband is trying but our kids still seem to want Mommy to see to their needs. I wonder if I should take a weekend off for the next read-a-thon. I’m laughing again. How did you deal with those? As quickly, efficiently and patiently as possible.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? The number of people participating and the spirit of togetherness in this. It’s really wonderful.

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? No, I love it!

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? I’d seriously try to have a mom’s weekend. Maybe I can get a group of friend’s together for this and some adult-girl time.

9. Are you getting tired yet? I was but I drank a huge glass of water and ate something. I feel a lot better now.

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? Not yet but I would say just have fun. I know I am - even with all the loving interruptions.

Read-a-Thon Mini-Challenge: Title Word Scramble

Thank you for coming to participate in my mini-challenge.  So, you know the games you play at Bridal and Baby Showers? I love those games.  I especially love the word scrambles that relate to the event.  When I saw the sign up for mini-challenges I immediately thought it would be so much fun to do a Book Title Word Scramble. 

Unscramble the twenty book titles and then leave a link to your post.  I will choose two winners to receive bookish favor bags as prizes.  Which means, each winner will get one book and other book-related items.  I will ship the prizes anywhere.  As far as I know, the challenge is open for three hours - 5 - 8 p.m. Pacific Time.  If that is not the case, I will find out and pass on the correct information.

The book titles are all fiction (just to make it a little easier).  They are a mix of modern, classic and children's titles.  I want to offer a special thanks to my husband and our oldest child (and one of her friends) for helping me to come up with the titles.

EDITING TO ADD: My mini-challenge is now closed.  I used to select my winners and have e-mailed them to the people in charge at the read-a-thon.  As soon as they announce the winners I'll post them here.  Thank you to all who stopped by to participate.  It was so much fun!

The winners are: Alison at Piling on the Books and Kristen at Bookworming in the 21st Century! Congratulations! I'll be in touch on your sites.  :)

Enjoy! Here is the list:

1.yfferil enal

2.aste fo eend

3. retwa orf pntshleea

4.ot lkli a ckomgnrbdii

5. het gtaer ysbtag

6. yrhra tetrpo dna eth lyhdtea wollsah

7. ht e rat fo nrgcai ni eht nair

8.eth mite reslveart efwi

9. eht rlig ithw eht gnodar ooattt

10.ydira fo a mypiw idk

11.a kwrlnei ni emit

12. het rpoal sxprese

13.vole dewlak ni

14.reehw eth dwli hingts rea

15.eht ginnhsi

16.dnohogigt oonm

17. vwtienrie hwti a pvmarie

18. eht cretse file fo eesb

19. eht raesch

20. het pelh

Hour 9 Update

Here's what I've done since my last post a couple of hours ago:

Title of book(s) read since last update: Maggie Without a Clue by Kasey Michaels, Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes, When Autumn Falls by Kelli Nidey, Dewey’s Christmas at the Library by Vicki Myron and Bret and Junie B., First Grader (at last!) by Barbara Park  Yes, I read several children's books to my kids.  They count in my book.  Plus, this is encouraging my kids love of reading and I'm all for that.

Number of books read since you started: 5

Pages read since last update: 138

Running total of pages read since you started: Not positive as I wasn’t keeping track until a couple of hours ago

Amount of time spent reading since last update: An hour-and-a-half

Running total of time spent reading since you started: (keep track of this one to be eligible for a prize!) 3 hours

Updates Along the Way

Oops - I just went to check out Dewey's Read-a-Thon site and apparently people write posts about their progress throughout the day.  I knew I'd be making post, but I didn't know people did it from hour one.  I am unashamedly going to use being a first-timer as my excuse for not doing this.  LOL

I am still reading Mggie Without a Clue by Kasey Michaels.  I'd only read about two chapters in it since I started it a couple of days ago.  So I feel it's an acceptable choice for me to start the read-a-thon.  Also, I made Cranberry Orange muffins with my kids.  I know, that's not reading, but hey, they are delicious.  Plus, my kids are happy and not feeling left out.

I'm going back to my book and will be back later with a better update.  And of course, there's still my mini-challenge at 4 p.m. Pacific.

I hope everyone is having a great day!

Read-a-Thon & My New Button

It is finally the day of Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon.  Yay! I am so excited! I meant to be asleep by now but I got obsessed (yes, that is the right word) with making a button for this here blog.  Please feel free to grab it (from this post or the left sidebar) and add it to your blog.  A great big, huge thanks to my friend Julia, whose post helped me figure out how to do this in the first place.  If you want to make a simple but elegant button,  visit her wonderful blog post on this topic: Julia's Awesome Blog Button Directions

Now, I'd better get some sleep so I can actually participate in the read-a-thon.  Speaking of the which - I am hosting a mini challenge here at 4 p.m. Pacific Time.  Hope to see you then.

Finally, the button:


Have a great day/weekend!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Book Blogger Hop: October 8 - 11; Drink Choice

Book Blogger Hop It's time for the Book Blogger Hop again.  I had so much fun doing this last week that I just had to participate again.  This week's question is:
What's your favorite beverage while reading or blogging, if any? Is it tea, coffee, water, a glass of wine, or something else?
What I drink while blogging, reading or writing depends upon my mood and the weather outside.  That being said, I do tend to go for coffee most often.  I'm trying to drink more water, as well.

That was a fun and easy question.  What's your drink of choice?

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Two More Days --

-- Until Dewey's Read-a-Thon.  I can say that I am finally ready for it.  It helps tremendously that I am out of my reading rut.  Thank Goodness! I find it frustrating and a little depressing to be in a reading rut.  I need to have a book ready to go when I'm done with one.  When I can't get into something new it throws me off.  Oh well, I'm over it for now.  A trip to the library helped immensely.  I have several books to choose from for Saturday.  I just hope I'm in the mood for them at the time.  I even got a few children's book to read to my kids during the day.  Yes, as far as I'm concerned they will count.  Fortunately, my kids love books and being read to - so it won't be an unusual way for us to spend time together.  I'm hoping they'll want to do read-a-thons with me in the future.

I am also ready for my mini challenge.  It was fun putting it together.  I'm really looking forward to Saturday.  I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Editing to add: SNACKS! I didn't even think about snacks.  I was at another blog and they mentioned this and I thought, good idea.  While there's part of me that thinks chips and salsa would be amazing - I feel like I should go for healthier options.  Hmm - maybe both.  That's what moderation is for, right?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Indulgence In Death

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine.  The goal is to spotlight an upcoming release that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication that I can't wait to read is:

Indulgence In Death
by J.D. Robb
Release Date: November 2, 2010

From Publishers Weekly:
Lt. Eve Dallas of the New York Police and Security Department returns home from a long overdue Irish vacation to a string of bizarre murders in Robb's thrilling 32nd future cop novel (after Fantasy in Death). The crossbow killing of chauffeur Jamal Houston in his limo in a La Guardia parking lot is followed by the death of high-rent prostitute Ava Crampton, found at Coney Island's House of Horrors stabbed with a bayonet. Other victims include Luc Delaflote, a celebrity chef who's harpooned, and Adrianne Jonas, "a facilitator for the rich" strangled with a handmade bullwhip. Eve, assisted by her trustworthy sidekicks, Det. Delia Peabody and husband Roarke, uncovers a wicked game that grows increasingly macabre. Robb (the pseudonym of Nora Roberts) keeps the reader squirming as Eve and company try to avoid dying in weird ways themselves.

I am a huge fan of this series.  While I admit that a few of the books have been rather gruesome for me to read - J.D. Robb's style and amazingly strong characters always bring me back for more.  If you like mystery/crime drama set in the not-too-far-off future - I highly recommend the 'In Death' series.  This is the 32nd installment though, so I'd suggest starting with the first book - Naked In Death.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Things To Do In October --

Also known as, projects I want/need to finish before NaNoWriMo begins.  In no particular order, my to-do list is as follows:

1. Finish last year's NaNovel.  This novel has been driving me crazy in recent months.  I want to finish it before this year's adventure begins.  However, I also need to finish it because my novel for 2010 is loosely tied to the 2009 one.  I won NaNo last year with 53,700 words and then barely touched the book for months.  It was weird to me but I was just burned out on the story, I guess.  Then, during the summer, I was writing it again and then hit another wall.  I only have about ten percent of the story left to tell.  I even know what is going to happen in the book.  And yet, every time I sit down to finish the darn thing - nothing comes out the way I want it to.  It's very frustrating and I know I'm being whiny about it.  Sigh.

2. Submit to Penguin U.K.  I learned about this from my friend Julia at Find Your Next Good Read.  Penguin is accepting unsolicited work through October 31st.  I have a non-NaNo manuscript that I have been shopping around to submit here.  I just have to write the query letter and submit.  I'll be doing that this week.

3. This Saturday is Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon.  I am participating in this and very excited about doing so.  I am also hosting a mini-challenge for the read-a-thon between 4 and 6 p.m Pacific time.  So I also need to prepare my challenge.  I should say finish preparing it.  My husband and our oldest daughter helped me get it started on Sunday.  Thank goodness for a wonderful, understanding family.

4. Do a plot line and possibly a character analysis for the new NaNovel.

5. If I find time amongst all of this and the daily family responsibilities - I'm going to enter a short story contest.

I wonder if I'm a little crazy.  Actually, I'm pretty sure I am but that;s just part of being a creative writer.  At least that's what I'm telling myself and my family and friends.  I wouldn't have it any other way, though.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Typically British Reading Challenge 2010

Yes, I know it's October.  Yes, I am well aware that 2010 is slightly over seventy-five percent complete.  I just found this challenge, though.  I simply can not resist participating.  I adore books that are set in Britain.  I adore most of the British authors whom I have read.  So yes, I am going to take this challenge on.  I'm not certain how many British authors I'll read by the end of the year but I'll have fun doing this.

If you're so inclined to share - who is/are your favorite British author(s)?

Here is the original post from Book Chick City if you want to jump in late, as well:

Timeline: 1st Jan 2010~ 31st Dec 2010. Only books started on January 1st count towards this challenge.


1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.

2. There are four levels:
• "Put The Kettle On" – Read 2 Typically British novels.

• "Gordon Bennett" – Read 4 Typically British novels.

• "Bob's Your Uncle" – Read 6 Typically British novels.

• "Cream Crackered" – Read 8 Typically British novels.

3. Any book format counts. Must be fiction not non-fiction.

4. You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront then you can change them, nothing is set in stone!

5. The books you choose can crossover into other challenges.

6. If you decide to participate in this challenge please use the link I have set up below with the button to post on your sidebar, this way others can find their way back to this post and join in the fun.

7. If you decide to join this challenge be sure to create a post telling others, please make sure you add a link back to this post so others can join in.

8. There will be a place for you to link your reviews, but this is optional.

9. Obviously only British authors count!