Monday, February 28, 2011

Super Snooper Blogfest

Thanks to Trisha at W O R D + S T U F F for turning me on to the Super Snooper Blogfest.  What in the world is that, you ask? I know you have to be asking that because that's what I thought when I read the title at Trisha's.

The Super Snooper Blogfest is being hosted by Alison Pearce Stevens.  Here is how she desribes the event:

You need to describe a setting that tells us something about your character's personality. Characters can be of any age, living in any time or place. But don't tell us about the character, tell us about his or her stuff. We'll get to know the character from what you write.

I think this sounds like so much fun.  The Super Snoop takes place this Wednesday, March 2nd.  So come back in a couple of days if you want to learn about one of my characters through her belongings.


Meet Me On Monday #3

Meet Me On Monday is hosted by Jave at Never Growing Old.

1. What are you wearing right now?
Black and white workout pants, a black t-shirt and bare feet.  It felt really good to kick off the shoes a little while ago.  If I'm at home I'm barefoot or in slippers.

2. Do you have any freckles?
Yes, across the top of my shoulders.

3. What is your favorite Lifesaver flavor?
I don't eat Lifesavers.  That's not to say I don't eat candy, though.  I just don't think of Lifesavers if I want candy.

4. What is the last movie you saw in the theater?
My husband and I went to the theatre last weekend and saw Unknown with Liam Neeson.  It's a great movie with decent twists.  I recommend it if you like action and suspense. 

5. Would you rather live without tv or without music?
I'm married to a musician so of course my answer is I'd rather live without television.  Even before meeting my husband this would have been my answer, though.  Other than the fact that I'd much rather read than watch tv - I am a devoted fan of Duran Duran.  I can not imagine never being able to listen to them (and other musicians that I adore) ever again.  That's just too sad to even contemplate.

Have a great week!


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Crochet Purses for My Daughters

Crocheting is addictive.  There, I have admitted it.  I just started seriously playing with yarn (as you'll be able to tell from the pictures) but I love it! My girls picked out this hot pink yarn and asked me to make something for them.  I added the black trim because I had it left over and it was fun to practice changing colors.  Anyway, I am surprising my girls with the little purses pictured below.  They still need straps but I love how they have turned out so far.  Yes, they are different sizes and that is entirely intentional rather than just being the mistake of an admitted novice.  I want my daughters to be able to tell their bags apart from one another.  I'm hoping to avoid fighting over which bag belongs to whom.  I hope they like their new little purses.  I can't believe how excited I am to give these to them in the morning.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Book Blogger Hop - February 25th - 28th

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books.  This weeks question is:

"Do you ever wish you would have named your blog something different?"

No, not at all.  The name of my blog suits well as it is about my love for books - reading, writing and sharing them.  This is my little place to do all of that with like minded people.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Friday, February 18, 2011

For Those Who NaNoWriMo -

Do you do Script Frenzy, as well? I have never written a script but I find myself drawn to this event.  Which seems a little bit nutty since, as I said, I've never written a script.  The idea of writing one seems exciting but also terrifying.  There is information on the site about formatting and such but it's still a little intimidating. 

If you have done Script Frenzy, what is your opinion of it? Is it great in the same way as National Novel Writing Month? I'm leaning toward wanting the creative challenge.  Maybe I even need something different that is still the written word.  Anyway. would love to know what you all think of Script Frenzy.

Thanks and have a great weekend!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Writer's Funk

I am in a serious writer's funk.  This happens to me once or twice a year - so I'm not surprised by it - but I am thoroughly frustrated with it.  I keep telling myself it will pass and to just 'keep writing'.  In an attempt to follow my own advice - I have indeed kept to my writing over the past week or so.  And have really disliked nearly every thing I have written.  As I said, thoroughly frustrating! Today, I barely wrote anything.  I am finding that I just want to read.  I want to stick my nose - and my imagination - into the pages of books and go to places that are not of my creation.  Maybe I should just take this path for a few days and see if I feel more inspired.

I am wondering what other writers do when they have the inevitable writer's funk.  Stop whining (I know that's what I'm doing) and just keep writing, read a book or take a break in another way?


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays - Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Teaser Tuesdays is brought to you by Miz B at Should Be Reading.  To play along, just do the following:

1. Grab your current read

2. Open to a random page

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

4. 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!)

5. 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 155 of Helen Simonson's wonderful Major Pettigrew's Last Stand:

"She won't be available," he said, feeling his face redden.  They all looked at him and he felt torn between a desire to run for the door and the urgent need to stand up for his friend.  "I have already asked Mrs. Ali to attend as my guest," he said.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Musing Mondays - Reading Romance

Musing Mondays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.  This week, you can choose the romantic musing of your choice and this is the one I like:

Who are your favorite romance authors? Why?

What a great day for this question.  I love romance novels but only if they are written well and have really strong characters.  Although, that is true for me regardless of the genre.  As for favorite romance authors - I recently (just in January) discovered Lisa Kleypas.  Oh my goodness - the books I read by her are fantastic! Strong heroes, strong heroines. wonderful, loving, emotional stories.

I also love Julia Quinn, Jude Deveraux and Julie Garwood.  And my absolute favorite author is Nora Roberts.  I buy her books (whether as NR or J.D. Robb) the day they come out.


Meet Me On Monday # 2

 It's time for Meet Me on Monday - hosted by Java at Never Growing Old

1. Did you get any Valentine's Gifts?

My youngest daughter made me the sweetest Valentine's Day card - pictured here.  She made one for her older sister too and she was so very excited to give them to us.  In fact, she is the one who picked out her and her sister's gift for their Dad.  My girls are wonderfully giving and generous and it makes me a very proud Mommy.

I was also very surprised when my husband came home from Target (where I'm sure he was shopping for today LOL) with an adorable Mama necklace for me from one of our friends.  He ran into her there so she had him bring it home.

I feel loved - and spoiled.

2. What is your favorite topping on something toasted?

I love a peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwich.  Yum!

3. Do you pick out your outfit the night before?

No although it might be a good idea.  I am so not a morning person and one less thing to think about before my caffeine kicks in can only be an advantage.

4. What food item do you absolutely despise?

Liver and lima beans.  Both bring back bad dinner moments from childhood.  If I NEVER have to eat either of these foods again I'll be just fine with that. 

5. Righty or lefty?


Have a great week!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Review - Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas

Product Details

Pub. Date: June 2010

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Format: Nook e-book

Barnes and Noble Synopsis

She harbors a secret yearning.

As a lover of animals and nature, Beatrix Hathaway has always been more comfortable outdoors than in the ballroom. Even though she participated in the London season in the past, the classic beauty and free-spirited Beatrix has never been swept away or seriously courted, and she has resigned herself to the fate of never finding love. Has the time come for the most unconventional of the Hathaway sisters to settle for an ordinary man, just to avoid spinsterhood?

He is a world-weary cynic.

Captain Christopher Phelan is a handsome, daring soldier who plans to marry Beatrix’s friend, the vivacious flirt Prudence Mercer, when he returns from fighting abroad. But, as he explains in his letters to Pru, life on the battlefield has darkened his soul and it’s becoming clear that Christopher won’t come back as the same man. When Beatrix learns of Pru’s disappointment, she decides to help by concocting Pru’s letters to Christopher for her. Soon the correspondence between Beatrix and Christopher develops into something fulfilling and deep and when Christopher comes home, he’s determined to claim the woman he loves. What began as Beatrix’s innocent deception has resulted in the agony of unfulfilled love and a passion that can’t be denied.

My Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed the other books in Lisa Kleypas' Hathaway series and expected to enjoy this one, as well.  Now that I've read Love in the Afternoon - Beatrix and Christopher's love story - enjoy seems like an inadequate word.  This book is incredible, amazing, beautiful, sad in parts and filled with love all the way through. 

It's true that Beatrix is the most unconventional of the Hathaway siblings.  However, in my opinion, she is also the most instinctive and naturally intuitive sibling.  She is a true nature lover that often finds animals easier to deal with than humans; especially the shallow humans like her so-called friend Prudence.  Beatrix's 'friend' receives a letter from Captain Phelan while he's away at war in the Crimea.  She dismissed him and his letter because she thinks it's silly that he is writing to her about a dog on the battle field.  Beatrix innocently writes a letter on her friend's behalf in order to help with the obviously frightened and miserable dog.  To her surprise she ends up in a correspondence with Captain Phelan.  And while she is writing about herself and her feelings, she continues to sign the letters as if she is Prudence.

When Christopher returns home - he is a shell of the man he was before going to war.  He has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (although it is never referred to as such in the book) and finds his once 'normal' life nearly unbearable.  it is, of course, Beatrix who patiently helps him to heal and reacclimate to life off the battlefield.

Love in the Afternoon is a beautiful book.  It has moments of heartbreak that had me wiping away tears.  It is filled with love, patience and healing, that also had me wiping away tears.  I highly recommend this book (along with the entire series) and give it an A++.  Lisa Kleypas is an author whom I will definitely be reading time and again.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays: Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas

Teaser Tuesdays 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!)

My teaser, from page 32 of Lisa Kleypas' Love in the Afternoon -
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teaser.

Enclosed is a Robin's feather that I found during my walk this morning. It's for luck. Keep it in your pocket.


Monday, February 7, 2011

It Was A Dark and Stormy Blogfest Contest

I just found out about this blogfest/contest through Trisha's post at W O R D + S T U F F.  Thanks!

Go to Breanda Drake Writes for all of the details and to enter the very cool contest.

My entry:

Name: Sheery Hall


Genre: Women's Fiction

She stopped after turning the corner and felt an eerie sense of dread tickle up her spine.


Meet Me On Monday # 1

So, I recently turned 40.  That looks really weird - sorry but it does! LOL I don't think 40 is old but I don't feel like I'm forty, either.  Does that even make sense? I'm not having any sort of melt down about it (except that I'm a little annoyed that my eyes have gotten a bit bad) and yet I can't fully grasp it.

Anyhow, in the spirit of embracing my forties, I am going to participate in some weekly events at a wonderful blog I discovered - Never Growing Old

The perfect explanation about this event, from the blog itself:

Blogging is a funny thing...we tell our most intimate thoughts for all to read and yet most of the time I find myself sitting and wondering, "who is this person!?" I know them...but yet I don't know them! I want to know who the person is behind all those words so I thought of a great way for all of us to "meet" each other!

Every Sunday Never Growing Old will post five get to know you questions that you can copy and paste into your own Monday post and we can all learn a little more about each and every one of us!!

1. Did you watch the Superbowl?
Nope.  I have in the past but I just wasn't interested this year.  My husband went with one of his best buddies to a sports bar and seriously cheered for the Steelers.  I played designated driver and it was sad going to pick them up last night.  My girls and I had a fun, relaxing, quiet afternoon and evening together.

2. What is the last book that you read?
This question makes me giggle because I read ALL THE TIME.  Seriously, I am never, ever without a book - or two.  I am about to finish Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas.  it's a wonderful book and a great series.  I'm not sure what I'm reading next.  There's a book coming out tomorrow called A Discovery of Witches that I am quite curious about.  Maybe that's up next - we'll see.

3. What is your favorite kind of cake?
Oh cake - you are my friend - even if I don't eat you all that much because you go straight to my thighs.  LOL I love German chocolate cake but don't eat it anymore because one of my daughters is very allergic to nuts.  I won't risk having it around.  I also adore, and will actually eat, red velvet cake.  Yum!

4. Do you snore?
According to my husband I snore when I'm exhausted or have a stuffy nose - otherwise, no.  He, on the other hand, snores EVERY night.  Some nights are better than others and some nights I have to send him to the couch.  it's sad but true.

5. Do you play an instrument?
Yes.  I play the flute.  My oldest daughter is starting to show an interest in learning to play, too.

This was fun.  I will definitely be participating in this again.  Have a wonderful week, everyone!


Friday, February 4, 2011

Review - Absolutely, Positively by Heather Webber

Product Details

Pub. Date: February 1, 2011

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Format: NOOKbook (eBook) , 320pp

Synopsis From Barnes & Noble

Lucy Valentine is still searching for love - for her clients and for her self - and this time, she’s about to go public with her private displays of affection -

“Exposed” by a Boston Herald reporter, Lucy is suddenly the talk of the town. Long back-story short: Even though the rest of her Valentine ancestors were blessed by Cupid with psychic abilities, Lucy’s only special power lies in her ability to find things. This skill has proven quite a blessing for those who come to her matchmaking agency in search of finding their long-lost loves. Now that Lucy’s secret is out, she has more new clients than she knows what to do with. But soon a certain man of mystery steals Lucy’s spotlight.

My Thoughts

First, I have to say, don't be fooled by the B&N synopsis quoted above.  It's not a very good - or even overly accurate - synopsis of what I think is a wonderful third installment in a charming, quirky and all around lovely series. 

Lucy doesn't feel that her 'spotlight' is being stolen because she doesn't want to be in the spotlight to begin with.  She is fiercely protective of her and her family's privacy.  Also, Lucy is still looking to reunite her clients - in this case, Meaghan Archibald - with their long lost loves but she definitely has love of her own.  To make it seem otherwise takes a beautiful part of this story and attempts to reduce it to non existence.  Lucy Valentine is in love with Sean Donahue and he has a problem that (I don't want to give it away!) makes her sick with worry.  Lucy is a funny, loving, caring, protective woman and the reader just falls in love with her.  The fact that she wants to use her psychic ability to help people in their quest for love - and sometimes the gift of closure - makes her that much more charming.

This book has the same lovely characters as the first two books: Lucy, Sean, Raphael, Dovie, Preston, Oscar, Judie, Em, Aiden and Marisol.  Then you throw in a man tossing away money in the park, a menagerie of animals, a washed up rock star, murder and you have yourself quite a good mystery with the perfect dash of romance.  Treat yourself to this book - you'll be happy you did.  I definitely give Absolutely, Positively an A.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays - Absolutely, Positively by Heather Webber

Teaser Tuesdays 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 teaser.

My teaser, from page 9:

"I just want to believe that in every person there's a little decency.  Is that wrong?"