Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

I am excitedly awaiting the start of 2012. Normally, the changing of the year is not that big of a deal to me but oh, 2011 was a challenging year. I am hoping that the New Year will be filled with happiness, health and peace - for all that I know as well as my own family.

Whatever you do tonight and tomorrow - stay safe and have fun.
 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Favorite Books of 2011

I've written a favorites post for the past couple of years and discovered that I really look forward to this post.  In fact, throughout this year, I pretty much knew the books that would end up on this list as I finished them.  My favorite books of 2011 are:

1. Divergent by Veronica Roth - I absolutely loved this book.  Ms. Roth builds an extremely interesting world and society in this book with compelling characters that seem real and make me remember what it was like trying to find and stay true to myself.  I was surprised by how much I liked this book but I really, really did.  I am so looking forward to reading the sequel in 2012.

2. The Rarest Blooms series by Madeleine Hunter - This entire series is just fabulous.  It is wonderfully written with funny, likeable and strong characters.  My favorite in the series is Dangerous in Diamonds but the series is just fabulous.

3. Night Road by Kristin Hannah - This book is a major tear jerker but I still found it to be quite the page turner.  I just had to know what was going to happen with the family in the book.  Read it but have a box of tissues nearby when you do.

4. New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb - I adore J.D. Rob  and her Eve Dallas series but she really out did herself with this book.  It answers many of the questions that have been hanging for some time during the series.  And the relationship between Eve and Roarke was as amazing as ever.

5. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson - I learned of this book on someone else's best of 2010 list.  I read it earlier this year and it has stuck with me.  I love the characters, the English setting and the strength in Ms. Simonson's story telling.  It was a first rate book for me and I hope to read more by this author at some point in time.

Happy to Discover Authors:

Candace Camp
Victoria Alexander
Madeleine Hunter
Veronica Roth


Biggest Disappointment:

1. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway - After hearing so much about this book - I finally read it this year.  Ugh! I wanted to pull my hair out by the end of it.  There was virtually no character growth and, in fact, I didn't even like any of the characters.  This book was really irritating to me.

How about you? What were your favorite books of the year? Were you seriously disappointed by any? Please, do share. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Teaser Tuesday's - THe Perfect Mistress

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

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from Nook page 80 of Victoria Alexander's The Perfect Mistress:


 He did enjoy the dogs at the estate.  And a man with a dog was surely much more likable than a man who thought a dog was a great deal of trouble.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

Hello Everyone -

I just want to take a few moments to say thank you for visiting my blog and adding to my ever increasing enjoyment of blogging.  With lots of wrapping, baking and some last minute stocking stuffers to buy - I know I won't be online again until next week.  So, I hope you all have a joyous Christmas and happiness with your family and friends.

Sincerely -

Sheery

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Book Review - A Winter Scandal by Candace Camp

A Winter Scandal is the first book in a new series by Candace Camp.  I will say that I will anxiously be awaiting the rest of the books in this series as this one was just brilliant.  Ms. Camp weaves a suspenseful, heart warming and wholly engaging tale.

Althea Bainbridge is the village Vicar's sister and while she is quite revered, she is a spinster and lonelier than she had realized.  An unintended snub by Chesley's newest resident - Lord Morecombe, and a cancelled visit have Thea heart broken and praying in church.  She wants a life of her own and to no longer have to live in anyone's shadow.  Little does she know just how quickly her heart's desires are about to come true.  As she concludes her prayer, she hears odd noises coming from the church's nativity scene.  And inside she finds, much to her surprise, a baby boy - about six months old.  Not knowing what else to do with Matthew (the name she gives the baby), she takes him home.  That same day, Thea discovers something that makes her believe Matthew is Lord Morecombe's.

Gabriel (Lord Morecombe) is startled but thoroughly intrigued when Thea barges into his new country home with a baby that she claims is his and demands that he take responsibility.  Gabriel assures Thea that the baby is not his but is astounded by the 'proof' Thea provides.  Suddenly, Gabriel is absolutely certain that he knows who Matthew's mother is and he and Thea take an unexpected journey - literally and emotionally - as they try to reunite Matthew with his mommy in time for Christmas.

I thoroughly loved this book.  It is rich in detail, character, setting and emotion.  This is the second book I've read by Candace Camp and I can honestly say that I have a mission to read all of her catalogue.

Teaser Tuesday's - You Better Knot Die

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.
My teaser this week is from page 143 of Betty Hechtman's You Better Knot Die:


I'm sure you have someone you think it is, too.  In my case, it's a he; so that's how I'm referring to him until I know otherwise.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Teaser Tuesday's - A Winter Scandal

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


- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 57 of Candace Camp's A Winter Scandal:

"I was decorating the church with the boughs I got this morning, and I heard an odd noise.  When I went out to check, I found this baby in the manger."

Friday, December 9, 2011

Thinking About Favorites

Of course, the title of this post can mean many things but in this instance I mean my favorite books of 2011.  Fortunately, I have read quite a few wonderful books this year.  And I will be writing a (probably lengthy) post about them very soon.  In the meantime, I am wondering about others favorites of the year.  I always enjoy reading other bloggers posts about their favorite (even their least favorite) books.  In fact, I have found many books that I have wound up enjoying based on others recommendations.  One such book is Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson.  I learned about this book at the end of 2010, read it early this year and it has stuck with me ever since.

So, I would love to know which books you have read and loved this year - and even the ones you have disliked.  And my favorites post will be up before the end of the month.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Booking Through Thursday - Mystery or Love

Booking Through Thursday is a fun, weekly, bookish question and response event. This week we ponder:

All things being equal, which would you prefer–a mystery? Or a love story?
Oh, my two favorite genres.  How is a girl to choose? Is it fair if I say both; in the form of a romantic suspense? All right, if I have to choose just one then it is going to be a love story - definitely.  I am a sucker for a really good love story; especially one with a happy ending.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Book Review - His Mistress by Christmas by Victoria Alexander

Despite the some what corny title, His Mistress by Christmas by Victoria Alexander was a very well done and engaging book.  Lady Veronica Smithson is an independent, forward thinking widow in Victorian London.  She is tired of being alone but is not the least bit interested in marrying again.  She enjoys her freedom and her ability to make decisoions, financial and otherwise, without having to consult a man for approval or permission.  She is lonely for companionship, though.  Her very good friend Portia is cousin to the world adventurer Sebastian Hadley-Attwater.  Veronica is instantly attracted to him and decides that he will do nicely and sets forth a plan to be his mistress.

Sebastian has indeed led a life of adventure but has finally returned home to England.  He is certain that he will travel again but he is restless and ready for home and hearth.  He has recently realized that he misses his funny and well meaning family.  When he meets Veronica, sparks fly.  Sebastian decides rather quickly that he wants to marry Veronica.  What ensues is a funny, sweet and sometimes bittersweet story.  Can these two very headstrong characters fins a way to compromise and still be together? And better yet, can they do it by Christmas?

I loved this book and will definitely look for more books by Victoria Alexander.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Teaser Tuesday's - A Christmas Story

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 26 of Jean Shepherd's A Christmas Story:

Now only three mre school days remained before Christmas vacation, that greatest time of all the year.  As it grew closer, Miss Iona Pearl Bodkin, my homeroom teacher, became more and more manic, whipping the class into a veritable frenzy of Yuletide joy.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Musing Monday's - Books Average

Musing Monday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. This week’s musing:

How many books do you read in a week? Month? Year?


I average 52 books per year; so, one per week and 4.5 per month.  However, this year I am already nearing 70 books for 2011.  I have discovered that I enjoy keeping track of the books I read, too.  How about you, what's your average number of books read per year?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

British Books Challenge 2012

I found the British Books Challenge for 2011 about a week after the sign up period was over.  I was so bummed to miss out on it because this is right up my alley.  So, I paid more attention this year and am excited that I will indeed be participating for 2012.  The challenge is being hosted by Kirsty at The Overflowing Library.  The point of the challenge is to read at least 12 books in 2012 written by British authors and blog about them; one book and review per month.  The books can be from any genre, new, old, in print or out. 

I'm not certain of all the British books I'll read in 2012.  However, I do know that I will be reading at least one (if not more) book by Roald Dahl to my children.  My older daughter has recently discovered his wonderful storytelling and wants me read her and her sister Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  I also know for certain that I will be reading Possession by A.S. Byatt because that is one that has been on TBR list for quite some time.  I also want to read Saturday by Ian McEwan.  So there is one-fourth of the titles for the challenge.

I am quite looking forward to this challenge.  If this sounds like fun to anyone else - pop over to The Overflowing Library to sign up.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up

The chaos that was my Novemeber is complete - thank goodness.  Anyone who pays even the slightest attention to my blog knows I am a writer and that I love (practically need) to write.  And also knows how much I adore and look forward to the writing challenge that is National Novel Writing Month.  This year the insanity felt tenfold though as we also moved our family at the beginning of the month.  So, in addition to all the regualr day-to-day activities, there was moving, unpacking, a field trip (of course!), oh and 1,667 words per day.  I felt like I must be an insane person for even trying to take it on.  And yet, I did - and I won! Not only did I win but for the first time in my short NaNo history - I have a complete first draft.  AND I am really happy with it.  Believe me - that is a complete shock to me.  Now, December (and realistically into January) I will edit this first draft.  My goal is to have it complete and heading out into the world looking for a publishing home by February.

In the meantime, I fully intend to enjoy my holidays with my family and friends in our new home.  I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday season, as well!

Friday, December 2, 2011

2012 Historical Romance Challenge

I had so much fun participating in Danielle's (Romance Book Junkies) 2011 Historical Romance Challenge that I am going to do it again for 2012.  It's fun, it's easy and it's a genre I read anyway.  So, the details are the same, read at least one historical romance per month, review it here and link up to the Romance Book Junkies blog.  Like I said, easy and fun - all the way around.

Thanks for doing the challenge again, Danielle.  I am really looking forward to it.  The new button will be in my side bar once 2012 begins.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Booking Through Thursday - Mood Reading

Booking Through Thursday is a fun, weekly, bookish question and response event. This week we ponder:

Do you find that your mood affects the things you read? Like, if you’re in a bad mood, do you tend to indulge in reading that will support it or do you try to read things that will cheer you up? Do you pick different types of books on dreary, rainy days than you do on bright sunny ones?
For that matter, does your mood color what you’re reading, so that a funny book isn’t so funny or a serious one not so deep?


On a similar note - I'm realizing that I am a seasonal reader.  Meaning, right now I am all about reading Christmas books.  While in the summer I tend to read a lot more romance than normal and go for the darker, creepier more mysterious in the Autumn.  I don't know how long I've been reading in this fashion but I definitely noticed it this year.

How about you? Do you read according to your mood or the season or holiday?





My moods do color what I read to a cetain degree but not all the time.  Usually if I'm in a bad mood or not feeling too well then I'm not reading too much.  It's at these times when I know I nned something funny or romantic to pull me out of my funk.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Book Review - Captain Andrew's Flying Christmas

Heather Hiestand's Captain Andrew's Flying Christmas is my first foray into the Steam Punk genre.  I have to say that if this is a good example of the genre - I will definitely be reading more of it.  The e-book was a quick but enjoyable read; set in mid 1800's London and filled with romance and adventure.

Linet Fenna is forced into a life of servitude when her adventurous, pirate sort of father is captured and hung for his supposed crimes.  Three years later, on Christmas Eve - she is sitting at her bedroom window, wishing for a different life when a ladder falls from the sky.  Looking up, she sees her father's flying ship and grabs hold of the ladder and her destiny with both hands.

To her dismay, the man at the top of the ladder, one Captain Andrew, is the son of the man she believes is responsible for her father's death and the demise of her family.  What follows is a quick paced, romance filled adventure that brings with it the truth, love and a new and emotionally richer family.  I read this in an evening and would highly recommend it to anyone in the mood for a fun, lovely story with a happy ending.  I know that I will also be searcing for more in this genre.

Musing Monday's - Book Giving

Musing Monday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. This week’s musing:

Will you be buying books for the holidays, this year? If so, for whom, and why?


Why yes; yes I will be buying books for the holidays this year.  I will definitely be buying books for my daughters as I always do.  They know they can ask Mommy for books at any time and get them - to be completely honest.  My girls know that I want them to be readers and they bat their lashes and ask sweetly for a new book and I'm completely defenseless to say no.  Anyway, they hhave recently gotten into the American Girl books and they both want some of the series for Christmas.  They'd love to have the dolls too but oh my, the dolls are expensive.  In my opinion, over prices.  So, yes to the books and probably not to the dolls. 

I may also buy something for my husband but he's more difficult to shop for in regard to books.  He's not much of a book reader and therefore super selective about what he will read.  So, if I see something I know he'll love (and actually read) then I'll pick something up for him, too.

That's pretty much it for book gift buying.  Not a lot of people in my in-person life are readers so there aren't a lot of people for book gifting.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone (in the United States) has a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving day spent with family and possibly friends, too.  I hope everyone else has a happy day leading into the final weekend of November; the holidays are right around the corner! I know I am super thankful for my family, friends and the connections I've made with wonderful people through blogging! I am so grateful for the wonderful people I am fortunate enough to have in my life.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesday's - Heartwishes

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


- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 103 of Jude Deveraux's Heartwishes:

She needed to meet more people in Elilean besides the Fraziers.  As it was, she'd already spent too much time with Colin.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Musing Monday's - Collecting

Musing Monday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. This week’s musing:

Are you currently collecting any authors? Why?



Do you have all of their books? If not, why not?


Did you buy all the books in the collection at the same time, or did you buy a book here, a book there? Have you actually read all of the collection? If not, why not?

I like this set of musings.  Authors that I collect without hesitation or doubt are J.K. Rowling and Nora Roberts.  I have all of the Harry Potter series by Rowling and all of the little, related books by her, as well.  Such as Tales of Beedle the Bard.  I am slowly collecting all of Nora Robers/J.D. Robb's books.  She had many (I don't know the exact number) and it is taking me some time but that is all right.

I also have most but not all of the books written by John Steinbeck.  I just adore him and his writings.  He has such a way of getting at the heart of humanity - even the grittier aspects of human kind.

As for collecting just to have a series - I don't really do that.  If I am curious about a series - I'll check out the first book or two from the library and go from there.  If I like them a lot then I'll probably get the entire series but only if I can do so in an inexpensive fashion.

How about you? Do you collect books for the sheer sake of having them? Or are you picky about the ones you gather and keep?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Book Review - The Next Always by Nora Roberts

The Next AlwaysNora Roberts is an absolute favorite of mine and she did not disappoint with the first book in her Inn Boonsboro trilogy - The Next Always.  I have been so intrigued by the idea of this book since I first learned of it a while back.  You see, Inn Boonsboro is a real place that is owned by Ms. Roberts and her family.  I have perused the website for the Inn and my husband knows that I would love oh so much to go and have a romantic and relaxing stay there.  With him, of course.  Considering that it's in Maryland and we live in California - it'll be a bit of time before we can actually go there.  So, I lived slightly vicariously through this book, and loved every moment of it.

Clare Murphy Brewster is the hometown sweetheart who left, married young, had two children rather quickly and then became a war widow - right as she learned she was pregnant again.  With two small boys and a third on the way she returned home to her parents and the small town she always loved.  In order to survice the death of her husband and create a way to support herself and her children - she opened the town bookstore Turn the Page (again, a real place in Boonsboro).  Five years later and she has made a happy family for herself and her boys and a successful business out of the bookstore.
Beckett is the youngest son of the towns beloved and much admired Montgomery family.  Together with his mother and two brothers, they are taking a crumling, historic building in town and turning it into a gorgeous Inn.  Each brother, and their mom, has their talents and they all work equally hard in bringing Inn Boonsboro to life.  And oh yes, Beckett has a very strong thing for Clare.  He has since high school but figures he'll just have to suffice with being her friend.

Fortunately for Beckett, the Inn has a resident ghost who gives Clare and Beckett a slight match making hand.  Nora Roberts has created a really lovely story about a second chance (in Clare's case) and finally getting the chance (in Beckett's case) at true love.  Toss in all of the wonderfully accurate and funny family moments that she is so talented at conveying and the mysticism of a ghost and The Next Always is a sure fire winner.

Oh, and did I mention that the cover is completely gorgeous? It is, as you can see for yourself.

Friday, November 11, 2011

It Must Be Said --

I miss writing in my blog! You can't see me - but I am smiling as I write this post.  My family and I moved last weekend and while I am most happy about the move - and settling in - it is a major time suck on the things I love to do: writing in my blogs, writing my NaNoWriMo novel.  We don't even have the internet at home yet.  On one hand, it's amazing to me how the internet has shrunk the massive size of the world and opened doors to friendships that may never have occurred before.  On the other - it is admittedly a bit weird to feel so cut off from the world just because of lacking an internet connection.  Oh well, it is what it is and thank God for free WiFi at Starbucks.  I wonder, do others feel the way I do? Or am I just a little bit odder than I believe? I'd love to know although I think I already know the answer.

I'll be back on a regular basis soon.  Until then - I hope everyone is happy and doing well!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Booking Through Thursday - Light or Heavy

Booking Through Thursday is a fun, weekly, bookish question and response event.  This week we ponder:
Honestly, it depends on my mood whether I want an easy or challenging book.  It also depends on what else is going on in my life and what my stress level is hovering at.  Right now, I would definitely take a light, enjoyable easy read over a hard one.  To me, enjoyable is just as rewarding as challenging - but on a different level.

Short and sweet but it's late and I'm tired and the next few days are going to be crazy around here.







All other things being equal, would you rather read a book that’s hard/challenging/rewarding or light/enjoyable/easy?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

NaNoWriMo Has Begun

Here we are, at the end of day two of National Novel Writing Month and I am doing pretty well.  I'm at 3,700 words and should have had 3,333.  I'm happy that I am slightly ahead but honestly, i was hoping for more.  It's all right though.  I am happy to be a little ahead.  I just know that the next several days are going to be insane as we are moving and was hoping to have a bigger chunk done.  Oh well, it'll be all right and if need be - I'll play catch up once we're in our new place.  I had to do plenty of that last year and still managed to get just over the required 50,000 words.

As a bonus, I am happy with my story so far.  And oh yeah, two hours before NaNo was to start, i had a completely new idea and decided to go with it.  So my previous planning is not being put to use for this novel.  How is everyone else doing with their novels so far? Great, I hope!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Teaser Tuesday's - Witches of East End

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


- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 73 of Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz:

"No one knew exactly how Ingrid helped people, only that it worked without any obvious medical or scientific explanation.  So it had to be some sort of... magic?"

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to everyone! Whatever you are doing tonight - have fun and stay safe!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011

It's only four-and-a-half days until the NaNoWriMo adventure begins for 2011.  I love this writing challenge so much.  The idea is to write fifty thousand (yes, 50,000!) words toward a first draft of a novel during the thirty days of November.  This will be my fourth time participating (three in November and once this past August) and I'm going to do things a tad bit differently this time.  In the past I have had a general idea of what I wanted to write but no sort of outline.  I've just taken my ideas and flown with them.  And while this has worked (since I've won each time) I just need to be more organized this time.  There is just too much insanity in my life right now to enter November without a writing plan.  So, for the next few days, I will spend some time really getting to know my characters and fleshing out the details for their story. 

I aim to start December with something really solid to edit and possibly add to - with the full intention of publishing.  Who else is participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Are you starting off organized or just flying by the seat of your pants? My novel is titled Leave a Light On; and while I'm anxious to get started, I'm also glad I have a few days left to plan.  Good luck to everyone taking part in the NaNo fun and insanity!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Book Review - Love, Come to Me by Lisa Kleypas

I must admit that I have been putting off writing this review.  I usually love books by Lisa Kleypas but not so with this one.  In fact, I only gave it a one star rating on goodreads.  Oh, it bothers me to admit that.  I guess it's because, as a writer, I would be so sad to know someone didn't like my story.  At the same time - I know you can't please everyone all of the time.  Now, for my actual review.

Love, Come to Me is set in Concord, Massachusetts not long after the end of the Civil War.  This is a historical period that I always find fascinating; heart breaking but compelling, nonetheless.  Lucinda is a spoiled, sheltered Northern (Yankee) girl and Heath is a cynical, jaded, war-scarred man (Rebel) from the South.  I really expected this to be a story about opposites attracting and flourishing together against the odds.  And I guess, to a certain degree, that was the case but Heath and Lucinda were so annoying as characters.  They started off all right but them their characters did a 180 and I felt like I was reading an entirely different book.  Heath went from charming and caring to an over bearing, manipulative control freak.  And Lucinda started off as a funny and strong woman who then became weak spined and whiny.  It was so weird and utterly annoying.  I kept having hope for the book and Lucinda and Heath but they just continued to annoy.

The worst part of the book for me was a manipulative, heart wrenching scene just over halfway through.  It was borderline rape in my opinion and that is the exact opposite reason why I read romance novels.  The scene was emotionally and physically manipulative and it made me sick.  Both Lucinda and Heath were jerks in this whole scene but there is never, ever any excuse for physical manipulation and near-rape in my opinion.  No always means no, period.

The most interesting part of Love, Come to Me was Heath's interest in newspapers.  My grandparents worked for one of our local newspapers for years and I have fond memories of it as a child.  I did love this part of the book but unfortunately it didn't make up for the rest of it.  Even with a so-called happy ending, I don't recommend this book.  Sorry, Lisa Kleypas.  I normally adore you but this one was a complete miss for me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Teaser Tuesday's: Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet

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


- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 77 of Wicked Autumn b G.M. Malliet:


I came here to get away from senseless death, from too many deaths, deaths caused by me, deaths I was helpless to prevent.  But even as the horror ricocheted inside his head he continued automatically to register every detail.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Musing Monday's - Audiobooks

Musing Monday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. This week’s musing:

Do you listen to audiobooks? Why, or why not?



No, I don't listen to audiobooks.  I find that I get distracted much too easily while listening to them.  I'm not sure why this is, though.  It has been a while since I've tried listening to one.  A friend recently told me that she listens to children's stories in the car with her kids and it's extremely funny and enjoyable.  Perhaps I'll try listening to some children's books with my kids.  Interacting with them and talking about the stories would probably keep me much more engaged in audiobooks.
 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Read-a-Thon Wrap Up

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon has gone on its merry way but will return in six months time.  While I had a great time participating, as usual; this was not my best readathon. I only managed to complete one book.  The book, Sarah Addison Allen's The Peach Keeper was wonderful.  It captivated me and held my attention - when I was able to sit down and actually read it.  This just happens to be one of those times when life is just too busy and complicated to devote too large of a chunk of time to any one thing.  Oh well, I still loved the time I was able to participate.  And the one mini challenge I did was awesome.  I will most definitely sign up for the event in April 2012.  Hopefully all will be more settled and calm around here.  And much, much more reading will get done.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Read-a-Thon Challenge: A Music Bath

It's time for a RAL challenge.  I have to say, this one feels utterly made for me.  As much as I am a self-proclaimed bookaholic, I am also a music junkie to the depths of my soul.  To the point that it surprised no one close to me when I fell in love with (and married) a musician.

Anyway, the challenge is being hosted by White Ink Drops.  Hee's a quote posted there that might just be a new favorite:
"Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons. You will find it is to the soul what a water bath is to the body." by Oliver Wendell Holmes

And now for the musically related challenge questions:
 
1.What song does the book I’m reading right now remind me of? I honestly haven't associated a song with The Peach Keeper as of yet.  However, I've been reading (and am about done with) Spooky Buddies to my kids and that one has had Monster Mash looping through my head.


2.What song does my favorite book remind me of? This is hard as I have more than one favorite book.  I will share this though, as a writer, I am hugely inspired by music.  I have songs that remind me of my own writings.  In fact, Sometime Around Midnight by The Airborne Toxic Event will forever remind me of a book I wrote called Safe Haven.

3.Can I find a connection between one of my favorite songs and a story I like? I'm going with the same theme of music and writing books with this one.  I will be participating in my much loved NaNoWriMo come November first.  And, I have been inspired by a song by my favorite band, Duran Duran for this years NaNovel.  It is called Leave a Light On and it is incredibly beautiful.  My family and I went to see Duran Duran at the end of September and Simon le Bon said of this song, "It's about one person helping another back from the edge.  It's a love song."  Since then i've had a story percolating in my brain and have decided to actually write it and humbly share the title of the amazing song with my hopefully amazing book.
 

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Read-a-Thon

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon begins tomorrow morning (at 5 my time, oh boy!) and runs until Sunday morning. This is such a fabulous event and something I definitely look forward to.  I have a stack of books on loan from the library (pictured) and several more on my Nook and on my bookshelves.  I do like my variety as I never know just what I'm going to be in the mood for from one book to the next.  A couple of things are certain though; I will definitely be beginning with The Peach Keeper as that is my current read.  I will also be definitely finishing up Spooky Buddies - which is the current book I am reading to my kids.  I always spend some of the afternoon time reading to my kids.  Reading is something we do together on a regular basis but it's also a guaranteed way for them to feel a part of the RAL.  And I hope in the future they'll participate in the RAL while reading their own books.


A good mix of romance and mystery - my favorite genres.  I must admit I am in the mood for spooky and mystical, though.  It must be the fact that it's the halloween season.  I am hoping to pick up a copy of Bunnicula today as I think my kids would love the book.

Who else is participating in the readathon? Do you have some book titles picked out? Anything particuar planned? I just plan to have a relaxing and nice time with my girls.  And to read for as much of the 24 hours as I possibly can.  Oh, and I am actually going to go to bed at a really decent time tonight so I can hopefully meet my 5 a.m.start time.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Teaser Tuesday's - The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

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


- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.
 
My teaser this week is from page 60 of Sarah Addison Allen's The Peach Keeper:


"That bravery, as you call it, resulted in a class-two misdemeaneor when I pulled that fire alarm.  I was charged, nearly expelled, and wasn't allowed to go to graduation."

Monday, October 17, 2011

Musing Monday's - Cover Judge

Musing Monday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. This week’s musing:

Do you judge a book by its cover?


As much as I wish I could reply absolutely not - that would be a lie.  I do sometimes judge a book by its cover.  When it comes right down to it - the description and reading a few pages is what helps me decide whether or not to read a book.  However, if I find the cover at all ridiculous or ludicrous - I'm likely to just check the book out from the library or get it for my Nook.

On the other hand, if a cover is beautiful to me or artistically inspiring, then I want the actual book with cover art.  Assuming, of course, that the actual content is also appealing.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Book Review - Fatal Justice by Marie Force

Fatal Justice is the second book in Marie Force's Fatal series.  I have to say that I enjoyed the second book featuring Samantha Holland and Nicholas Cappuano just as much as I did the first book in the series.  I was a bit surprised that it was even more angst-filled, though.

While Sam and Nick try to find their footing as a very new couple - their personal lives and working lives collide once again.  Julian Sinclair is the newest nominee for the Superior Court and the victim of Sam's latest homicide case.  Unfortunately, Juliam is also another of Nick's close friends.  Due to the fact that Sam and Nick were among the few who last saw Julian alive - Sam must tell Nick of his friends murder in an official capacity.  Sadly, this does not go over well and causes the couple some serious emotional turmoil.

In addition to dealing with the Sinclair case that hits too close to home - Sam lands another case that creates a different sort of familial turmoil.  Sam is on the hunt for a man who appears to have killed his family.  And he has all sorts of media information about the time when sam's dad was shot and paralyzed in the line of duty.

Can Sam and Nick's relationship stand up during the stress of two powerfully fraught cases and their publicly escalating careers? Oh, and an Internal Affairs investigation brought about by a bitter rival? I think fans of police procedurals and strong relationships would enjoy reading and learning the answers in Fatal Justice.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Top Ten Tuesdays

I found yet another book blog that I like - The Broke and the Bookish.  The blog hosts a fun weekly event called Top Ten Tuesdays.  This weeks top ten list is: Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time.

Oh boy.  This is right up my alley but only picking ten has been a bit challenging.  here are my ten choices, though:

1. The entire Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.  I know for a fact I am not alone in my love for all things Potter but the books are what started it all and remain amongst my favorites.

2. The Help by Katherine Stockett.  I only just read this book last month.  However, I am still thinking about it.  And telling people about it and basically still blown away by the book.  I almost feel that this book should be required reading in American history classes.

3. The In Death series by J.D. Robb.  This series is made up of homicide procedurals. It's the relationship between the main characters - Eve and Roarke that I adore and keeps me coming back for more.

4. The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue.  I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style and the mysticism of the story.

5. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.  One of my absolute favorites from childhood.  I look forward to sharing it with my own children when they're a little older.

6. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe.  I found this book interesting, well written and mystical all at once.

7. Three Fates by Nora Roberts.  One of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors.

8. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.  I quite enjoyed the mysticism, the history and the love story in this book.

9. The Pearl by John Steinbeck.  This is the first book I read (in eighth grade) by an author whom I consider one of the greats.

10. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.  I know this book is so trendy and even somewhat controversial.  However, I think Lisbeth Salander is one of the best characters created in recent contemporary fiction.  In my opinion she made this series and I loved becoming acquainted with her in this book.

So there are my Top Ten Books I wish i could read agains for the first time.  Now I'm going to link this with The Broke and the Bookish and read other bookish responses.  How about you? What are some of your books that you wish you could read again - for the first time?

Teaser Tuesday's - Love, Come to Me by Lisa Kleypas

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


- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.
 
My teaser this week comes from Nook page 21 of Love Come to Me by Lisa Kleypas:

"And brace us up with hollow crutches.  I've never understood why people here seem to expect us to be grateful to you for taking our newspapers and our right to vote, and denying us the chance to say a word about it..."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Musing Monday's - Nonfiction

Musing Monday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. This week’s musing:

What types of nonfiction do you read? Can do multiple choices.

- e-books


- Mythology/Folklore


- Travel/Locations


- Humor


- History


- Art, including art history


- Science including forensics


- Gardening/Nature


- Political


- Financial/Economical


- Religious


- Self-help


- How-to books


- Books on writing


- Audio books


- Biography


- Autobiography


- Sports


- Architecture


- Fitness/Exercise/Nutrition/Beauty


- Other


- None of the Above

I mostly read fiction but there are times I enjoy a good work of nonfiction.  I love well told biographies.  I also indulge through the year in books about writing - anything to improve my craft.  And of course, when we do travel - I scour the travel guides.  There is just something exciting about learning about a place before visiting it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Teaser Tuesday's - Fatal Justice by Marie Force

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


- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week comes from Nook page 255 of Fatal Justice by marie Force:

"In some twisted way, I think maybe I baited Julian because I wanted to tell you.  I just couldn't figure out how, but I wanted you to know."

Monday, October 3, 2011

Musing Monday's - Anticipation

Musing Monday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. This week’s musing:

What are you most excited about reading, right now? (can be a book you’re currently enjoying, or a book that’s yet to be published, etc.)


Well, I am currently enjoying, and excited to get back to Marie Force's Fatal Justice.  What I'm really looking forward to reading in the near future is J.D. Robb's New York to Dallas.  It's the lates in her In Death series and has been out for a few weeks.  I've been on the library wait list for the book.  I am finally at number one so hopefully I will get it this week.

A couple of other books I am really looking forward to (once they're released) are Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness.  There's not even a concrete release date for this book yet - just Summer of 2012.  I am so excited for this one, though.  It's the follow-up to A Discovery of Witches which I loved.

I am also looking forward to Insurgent by Veronica Roth.  I just saw the beautiful cover for this book on goodreads.  it's release date is supposed to be May 28, 2012.  It seems like such a long wait but I know it will probably fly by so quickly.

How about you? What are you enjoying right now? What are you looking forward to reading?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon is taking place on Saturday, October 22, 2011.  This fabulous, world wide event is in three weeks and this will be my third time participating.  The twenty-four hours is filled with mini challenges, visits from cheer leaders (you can even be a cheer leader, if you want), fun readathon updates throughout the event.  And reading; lots and lots of reading - or just a little if you prefer.  How much you read, what you read and even how long you read is entirely up to you.  I have yet to make it the entire 24 hours but I do give it my best shot.

This is a no stress, FUN reading event.  It is also an opportunity to connect with other book loving people.  AND it's a chance to work through that stack (or stacks) of books waiting to be read on your bookshelf.  If any or all of this sounds like fun to you - head on over and sign up.

Another thing I quite love about this event is that my kids are into it, as well.  We pick out books from the library and shop for yummy food.  They know that the day of the event will have some sort of foodie treat(s).  They also know that there will be devoted cuddle and reading time - usually in the later afternoon; once they're done playing and I need a mellow pick-me-up.  I am all about instilling a love for reading in my kids and the readathon definitely helps.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Musing Monday's - Set Aside

Musing Monday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. This week’s musing:

What does it take for you to give up on a book you’re reading?



The most important thing for me in a book of fiction is the characters.  I must feel something positive for the characters in the book or I'm most likely going to lose my desire to read it.  This applies to series, as well.  Even if I'm into a story line in a series - if I don't like the main characters, I won't finish the series.  Characters and their development is my first and foremost requirement in a good book.  If that is lacking, I'm usually done.  The second important element for me in a good book is the desire to know more.  If I don't care about what is going to happen next - something is wrong and again, I lose interest.  A final thing that makes me lose interest in the book is if it's too preachy.  I get irritated when I read a book and feel that the author is trying to sell me on their personal agenda.  I like to make up my own mind about topics, thanks.

I read more fiction than nonfiction.  However, I have to be interested in the topic of the nonfiction book or I simply will not complete it.

I've said this before, but for me, life is too short to waste my precious reading time on a book that I don't like.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop

The Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop is hosted by Jen at I Read Banned Books and Kathy at I Am a Reader, Not a Writer.  This giveaway hop runs from September 24th through October 1st.  This link will take you to the American Library Association and their Celebration of the Freedom to Read.  This is directly quoted from the ALA:

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.
I am joining this giveaway hop to show my support to the ALA and our country's First Amendment.  I'm honestly not certain if BBW is an international event.  If it is - I am certainly not disqualifying any other part of the world.  My links are for what I know is happening in the U.S.

I have always been disgusted with the act of banning books.  I've never understood why certain people feel they have any right to decide for the masses what should be allowed to be read and what should not.  What I read is my decision as an individual.  I have been asked if I feel this strongly in regard to what my children read.  My answer is yes.  It is no one's right to ban books from any other person.  I will say that I make certain my children are reading and exposed to age appropriate books due to the fact that they are still young.  However, once they reach an age where they fully understand their reading choices, neither my husband or I will ever tell them they can not read something.  We are attempting to raise free-thinking human beings and feel that reading material aids in the endeavor.

As soon as I learned of this hop - I knew that I would giveaway a copy of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.  It has been one of my favorite books since I first read it in high school and I am planning a re-read of it this Autumn.  If you would like the chance to win the book - all you have to do is be a follower of my blog and leave me a comment telling me your favorite banned book.

I am reading Kathryn Stockett's The Help and found this bit from the book ironic in its timing:

"I always order the banned books from a black market dealer in California, figuring if the state of Mississippi banned them, they must be good."

My giveaway is International so everyone should feel free to participate.  Thank you for stopping by and here is a list of the rest of the hop participants:






Friday, September 23, 2011

Book Review - Fatal Affair by Marie Force

Marie Force is a new author to me.  After reading Fatal Affair I am certain that I will be reading more of Ms. Force's impressive catalogue.  As anyone who knows me will attest to - I am a huge Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb fan.  It was a blog post about what happens AFTER the HEA that turned me on to the Fatal series.  The post - which can be found here, if you are interested - referenced Eve and Roarke from Robb's 'In Death' series.  My attention was snagged and I read the entire post with rapt attention.  Then, to my delight, the commenters began sharing more series with couples who are living their happy-ever-afters.  I am absolutely thrilled to know that there are more authors out there who are willing to keep telling the stories of their characters as they live their Happy-Ever-After.

Intrigued by the priase for Marie Force's Sam and Nick of the Fatal series - I looked the books up on Goodreads.  Further impressed by the reviews and ratings, I downloaded Fatal Affair to my Nook and proceeded to devour the book. 

Samantha Holland is a Washington D.C. Metropolitan Homicide Detective.  At the beginning of Fatal Affair she is back to work after a previous case of hers had gone tragically wrong.  She is immediately thrust into the high profile case of mudered Virginia state Senator John O'Connor.  Feeling that she has something to prove - to herself, her family, her colleagues - Sam dives feet first into the case.  And runs right into Nicholas Cappuano.  He is the one who got away for Sam - and the one she could never forget.  He is also Senator O'Connor's political right-hand man (or the guy behind the guy, as Nick says) and best friend.  Sam can't stop thinking about Nick but he is tied to her case in every way and therefore a major complication.

Nick is shocked when Sam is the Detective assigned to John's case.  He has never forgotten her and also considers her the one who got away.  Once he is ruled out as a suspect in his friend's murder - he makes it clear that he is sticking to Sam as much as possible.  He has invaluable information and access that he is certain will help Sam solve the case.  Of course, he has a personal agenda, as well.  He intends for he and Sam to make up for lost time and hopefully pick up where they had previously left off with one another.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to continuing the series.  Sam and Nick are real and believable characters.  They felt like people you'd be proud to call friends or family members.  They are slightly flawed human beings with great hearts trying to find their happiness in a crazy world.  The secondary characters in the book are just as enjoyable and I look forward to reading more about them, as well.  The  Fatal series is as follows: Fatal Affair, Fatal Justice, Fatal Consequences, Fatal Destiny, and Fatal Flaw (to be released February 6, 2012).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Second Campaigner Challenge - Conceivably Broken Imago

Conceivably Broken Imago

    There was burgundy blood rapidly pooling around the still female body prone upon the floor. Cadence knew that there were people screaming and rushing forward to help but she couldn’t actually hear any of it. She was immobilized by shock over the fact that her mother had just stabbed her life long friend - repeatedly. And quite possibly to death. There was a suffocating miasma as Cadence finally tore her disbelieving gaze from the victim to oscitate at her own flesh and blood. She gave a hysterical, frightened and wholly inappropriate laugh over the thought of flesh and blood considering that’s what was all over the floor.
    Cadence looked into the green eyes that she knew were the mirror image of her own and asked, “Why Mama?”
    “Oh dear, I’ve listened to her self absorbed prattle for two decades. I decided that I simply would not tolerate one more minute.”
    Sinking to her knees, the daughter moaned in agony over the fact that her beloved mother had committed a crime over bottled up annoyance.
    In a seemingly blasé moment of synchronicity - the television screen faded to black and the one hour, weekly drama went on a four month lacuna.



As you've probably figured out - the above is my second challenge for Rachael Harrie's wonderful Platform Building Campaign.  I just have to take a moment and admit something: OH MY GOD, THAT WAS HARD! Now that I have that out of my system I'll add that it was also fun.  And educational.  I had to look up the meanings for lacuna and imago.  Now that I'm done, I'm going to link this post up, sleep and start reading others' entries tomorrow.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Adding: This was another 200 word or less challenge and I'm proud to say that the above is exactly 200 words.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Teaser Tuesday's - The Help by Kathryn Stockett

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

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 20 of Kathryn Stockett's The Help:


"Miss Hilly sending Miss Walters to the old lady home.  I got to find myself a new job.  And you know when she going? Next week."

Monday, September 19, 2011

Musing Monday's - Obligation

Musing Monday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. This week’s musing:

How often do you read a book, just because you’re in the mood to read it? Not because you’re obligated to for a book club, or a challenge, or for review.
 The majority of my reading is done because I want to read the book.  My 'obligation' reading was done in school.  Do I belong to a book club? Yes.  Do I read books for review and for book challenges? Yes and once again, yes.  However, while these are situations I have indeed chosen to put myself into - I do not see them as a hinderance.  These are just ways to further my love of reading and connect with others who share my passion for the written word.  As I've said in the past - I don't know very many people in my face-to-face life who love to read the way I do.  I am thankful for the opportunities to share the books I love and even express my opinion on the ones I don't like.


Reading - to me - is a joy and a privilege.  If reading started to feel like a chore - I'd be very sad.  And I'd change whatever was making it feel that way to me.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Booking Through Thursday - Replay

This week's BTT question is:

Have you ever finished a book and loved it so much you went right back and started re-reading it again?
(And obviously, if so, we want titles!)

My initial thought upon reading this question was no.  Then I remembered that I have indeed finished a book just to flip back to the beginning and start it again.  The book is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by the incomparable J.K. Rowling.  Interestingly, this (book 6) is my favorite in the Harry Potter series.  And while I've read the series more than once - it is the only book that I just had to immediately read again.

How abou you? Are there any books that you have loved so much you read it or them right after finishing it once?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Teaser Tuesday's - Fatal Affair by Marie Force

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


- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.
 
My teaser this week is from Nook page 39 of Marie Force's Fatal Affair:

"I trust her," Nick said.  "She has one blemish on an otherwise stellar career.  And think of it this way, she's got something to prove right now."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Book Review - Cloudy With a Chance of Marriage by Kieran Kramer

Kieran Kramer's Cloudy With a Chance of Marriage is the third in her Impossible Bachelors series.  In this installment of the series we get the story of Captain Stephen Arrow and Miss Jilly Jones.  Arrow is recently retired from the English Navy and has inherited a ramshackled house on the oft-expressed dreary Dreare Street in London.  Jilly is his much-annoyed neighbor.  He seems to only be interested in partying with his single male friends while she is trying to make a profit with her bookstore.  It seems unlikely that the two opposites will ever find common ground.  And yet, it appears that they both protest just a bit too much about the other.

We learn very early on in the book that Jilly is actually the runaway wife of a nasty and brutal man named Hector.  She sold off her jewelry and fancy clothing in order to leave him and make a new and safe life for herself in London.  She is therefore very dismayed when Arrow starts paying her a lot of attention.  While she is also attracted to him - she knows nothing can ever come of it.  Arrow sees Jilly as a challenge, of course.  I have to say that the chemistry between these two was somewhat lackluster and slightly unbelievable.  I'm not certain exactly why but their relationship felt like a secondary - almost forced - part of the book.

The more enjoyable aspect of the book is with the interactions between Arrow, Jilly and the friendships they make with their other neightbors on Dreare Street.  Together, the residents of Dreare Street band together to help their little community flourish in the face of a crisis.  There are a couple of twists that are well done in this book.  Overall, I did enjoy the book; just not as much as the first two in the series.  The final book in the Impossible Bachelors series is called If You Give a Girl a Viscount and will be released on November 1, 2011.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Teaser Tuesday's - City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

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


- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 31 of Cassandra Clare's City of Bones:


I don't know anything about her early life, or her family, or much about how she met my dad.  She doesn't even have wedding photos.  It's like her life started when she had me.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The First Campaigner Challenge: Evening Begins

The First Campaigner Challenge is posted and ready for entries.  I am so excited about this entire event.  My level of excitement is possibly just a tad bit ridiculous.  As soon as I saw the challenge posted last night - I started gushing enthusiastically about it to my husband.  At first he was just smiling at me but then he actually started giving me some ideas.  Of course, I thought that was quite sweet.  I hope he'll be all right with the fact that I didn't actually go with any of his ideas, though.

Here is the first challenge, straight from Rach Writes:

Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count.


If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: "the door swung shut." (also included in the word count)

For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!
Without further rambling, here is my piece for the first Campaigner Challenge:

Evening Begins

     The door swung open and a swarm of brightly clothed, happily chattering children sprung free. They gathered their equally bright backpacks, lunch boxes and cast their eyes about for their adults. A big, chocolate brown pair met those of her mommy and she came running forward. After thrusting the stuff she’d just obtained at her mom, she asked, “Can we stay and play?”
     “Not today, sweetie. We have to pick up your sister and get groceries for dinner.”
     “Fine,” she sighed and her shoulders drooped in momentary sadness. Then she smiled sweetly and batted her dark lashes. “Can we get ice cream?”
     “Yes,“ laughed mom. “How was your first day of school?”
     “Fine.”
     “What did you do?”
     “I don’t know.”
     “Did you do math?”
     “Yes, a little.”
     “Did you do an art project?”
     “No. We’ll do one tomorrow.”
     “Do you sit near any of your friends?”
     “No. I sit next to a boy I don’t know.”
     By now mother and daughter were at their car. As the little girl buckled into her seat, mom asked, “Do you like your teacher?”
     “Of course,” said the smiling little girl. She stuck her tiny fingers in the handle and the door swung shut.



That was a lot of fun but I have to admit - a little hard.  I mean, 200 words? I am chatty in real life and in my writing.  I have a tendency to go on and on so 200 words was definitely a challenge.  I love it, though.  And now I can't wait to read the other entries!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Book Review - Dangerous in Diamonds by Madeline Hunter

Dangerous in Diamonds is the final book in Madeline Hunter's The Rarest Blooms quartet.  Ms. Hunter was a new author to me and I so enjoyed this series that I will definitely be reading more of her work.  In Dangerous in Diamonds we finally learn about the mysterious and aloof Daphne Joyes along with the scandalous Tristan St. Ives - aka The Duke of Castleford. 

Castleford receives an unexpected inheritance in the form of several small parcels of land.  Along with the land his benefactor requests that Castleford allow the inhabitants to continue living where they are for a price that is near to nothing.  His first inclination is to just let matters be and acquiesce to the conditions of the inheritance.  However, since it is a Tuesday - the one day a week he sees to his Ducal duties and is actually sober - he decides to at least check out the parcels of land.  He begins with the one nearest to London; a piece of land that hosts a business known as The Rarest Blooms.

Daphne Joyes has taken great pride in the growing of her plants and flowers.  She is quite happy with the fact that she has been able to turn her horticultural love into a thriving business.  As a war widow, the money earned helps her provide for herself and the home that has become her sanctuary.  The Rarest Blooms has been a sanctuary to many women hiding from their pasts for a variety of reasons - and Daphne is no exception.

When Castleford comes calling about the land - Daphne is ready to shoot him as a trespasser on her land.  Once she realizes who he is - she is grateful that he is considering allowing her to stay in her home.  Of course, Castleford's curiosity grows exponentially as he finds himself attracted to the intelligent and beautiful Daphne.

What ensues is a battle of wits and a clashing of ideals as the two have cross purposes for the use of the land.  All the while, Daphne fights her attraction to Castleford while he does every thing he can think of to encourage it.  Then they realize they have a common nemesis and join forces to protect The Rarest Blooms.

Dangerous in Diamonds is funny, sweet, emotionally honest and at times heart breaking.  It is also full of the human spirit and baeutifully illustrates ones ability to rise above - and flourish - the bad things we have no control over.  I highly recommend The Rarest Blooms series and Dangerous in Diamonds in particular.