Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Writing - In Progress: End of March

A couple of weeks ago I posted about some writing challenges I was facing and some things I wanted to take on/decide about.  Well, I thought an update was in order.

After spending some time re-reading my newest novel - I have made some major changes to it.  This is the one where I wasn't liking my main female protagonist.  I changed her background quite a bit and she now seems more like the secure woman I wanted her to be to begin with.  I have also added a third main character.  This one took me by surprise as she was not in the original draft at all.  I am much appier with the way this story is going now, though.

I also decided for certain that I will not be doing a version of NaNoWriMo in April.  I took a good look at my family's April calendar and oh my - there is no way I can fit in writing 50,000 words, as well.  Just no way. 

I am going to take on a writing project for April but it's 18,000 words and that is much more manageable.  This is a story that I will be submitting by the end of the month.

And finally, I have submitted Safe Haven to a couple of new agents.  I have a few more agents and publishers to send it off to, as well. 

In addition to all of this - I have been writing more regualarly over the past couple of weeks.  So, all in all, I am pleased with where I'm at writing-wise at this time.  I have every intention of keeping up the output of words and continuing to submit the manuscripts.

How is the writing going for everyone else? I'd love to know!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays: Then Came You 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 (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 list if they like your teaser.
 
My teaser, from page 8 of Lisa Kleypas' Then Came You:
 
In his eyes, so brilliantly pale, there was a bleakness that Lily knew would haunt her for a long time afterward.  Only someone who had experienced such bitter despair would be able to recognize it in another.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Musing Monday's: Reading While Otherwise Engaged

Musing Monday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. This week, MizB asks:

Do you read books while you…eat? … bathe?… watch movies or tv?… listen to music?… While you’re on the computer?

This is an interesting question.  I have never read while on the computer.  If I'm listening to music - I'm really into the music and therefore, not reading.  If I'm watching a movie, I'm generally with my husband or children - so no, not reading.  If I'm with any of them - we are doing something together.  I don't want to shut them out by reading.  This is the same with reading while eating.  If I'm alone, then absolutely I will read.  If anyone is with me - I won't read.  Our lives are so busy and I cherish the time we are actually doing things together.  My reading generally occurs at night after everyone else is asleep and all the things I need to do are done.

Meet Me On Monday # 6

Meet Me on Monday is hosted by Java at Never Growing Old. This weeks questions (and answers) are as follows:


1. Crunchy or soft tacos?
Crunchy, definitely crunchy.



2. Do you scrapbook?
I used to - on a fairly regualar basis.  Then we lost almost all the pictures from my younger daughter's first year and I was so depressed by it that I didn't do it for a long time.  Now I'd like to get back to it and out printer is broken - of course.  I'm hoping to get this problem fixed soon and catch up on my girls' scrapbooks.


3. Do you take any daily medications?
No, thank goodness. 


4. What is your favorite sound?
The sound of my daughter's laughing.  it is the sweetest, purest sound to me.  I can be having a rotten day and the sound of their laughter immediately turns every thing around.


5. Where were you born?
California.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Review - Treachery In Death by J.D. Robb

Synopsis From Barnes & Noble

In the latest from the #1 New York Times bestselling phenomenon, Eve Dallas tracks down those who break the law-including the ones sworn to uphold it.


Detective Eve Dallas and her partner, Peabody, are following up on a senseless crime-an elderly grocery owner killed by three stoned punks for nothing more than kicks and snacks. This is Peabody's first case as primary detective-good thing she learned from the master.


But Peabody soon stumbles upon a trickier situation. After a hard workout, she's all alone in the locker room when the gym door clatters open; and-while hiding inside a shower stall trying not to make a sound-she overhears two fellow officers, Garnet and Oberman, arguing. It doesn't take long to realize they're both crooked-guilty not just of corruption but of murder. Now Peabody, Eve, and Eve's husband, Roarke, are trying to get the hard evidence they need to bring the dirty cops down-knowing all the while that the two are willing to kill to keep their secret.

My Review

You might think that a book that is the thirty-second in a series would be a little stale and perhaps even a bit boring.  That is so not the case with Robb's latest - Treachery In Death.  The characters continue to be appealing and strong.  There is indeed a murder investigation in this book; in fact, there are several.  With the first case Dallas makes Peabody primary and it is solved within hours of the crime being committed.  It is at the end of a long, productive day that Peabody inadvertantly learns about a second murder, unrelated to the first.  This time, treacherous police officers are behind the murder.

It was a very interesting twist having Dallas and Peabody (and all of the recurring, secondary characters) knowing exactly who their criminals were from the beginning.  They had to compile evidence all while keeping the investigation very hush, hush.  I also liked that the main crooked, crimianl cop was a woman equal in rank to Dallas. 

This series gets better and stronger with each book created.  If you are interested in the series, start with the first book - Naked In Death.  Each book is a stand alone in regard to the crimes but the characters grow and new ones are introduced through the series.  That's why i say start at the beginning because the chracters evolution is so very well done.





Friday, March 25, 2011

Hoppy Easter Extravaganza Blog Hop - April 20 - 25, 2011



This sounds like another fun event.  I am too tired to rephrase the post though, so here is all the info - directly from he blog I Am a Reader, Not a Writer.

What is a giveaway hop?



Simple - Each participating blog hosts a giveaway and then we link up together allowing our followers to hop easily from one giveaway to another.


For followers this means lots of chances to win free books.


For blogs hosting a giveaway it means lots of new visitors and followers.


It's a win-win!
The Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop is scheduled from 12:01 AM April 20th until 11:59 PM April 25th.
Each participating blog will host their own giveaway. There is no requirement on the minimum or maximum value of your giveaway. It's up to you to decide. You can give away books, swags, amazon gift cards, or anything else you can think of that has to do with books. Your giveaway can be as simple or as elaborate as you want.
All participating blogs will be linked up through a Giveaway linky. You will be given the linky code to add to your blog so that readers can jump from one giveaway to the next.

Please keep the process to enter your giveaway as simple as possible.


Please no long lists of dozens of different things followers can do to gain extra entries.
Please help spread the word. The more blogs participating the better! It will mean more visitors and new followers for your blog.
Giveaways can be US, US & Canada or International.
Please create your giveaway post before the giveaway starts and then set it to be posted at 12:01 AM EST on April 20th.
More details will be emailed to participants as we get closer to the giveaway.
Questions can be emailed to: toobusyreading at gmail dot com.
The last day to sign up is April 13th

Review - When Harry Met Molly by Kieran Kramer


Synopsis - From Barnes & Noble

HE’S ALWAYS BEEN A PLAYER.


Dashing Lord Harry Traemore is perfectly content to live out his days in the pursuit of pleasure. But when he’s named by the Prince Regent as one of society’s “Impossible Bachelors,” Harry is drafted into a ribald romantic wager. The rules of engagement are scandalously simple: The bachelor whose mistress wins the title of “Most Delectable Companion” gets to remain unmarried. Harry is utterly unconcerned about his status...until his latest lightskirt abandons him.


WHO WILL WIN THIS GAME OF LOVE?


Enter Lady Molly Fairbanks. Harry’s childhood friend— actually, “foe” is more like it—is the most unlikely companion of all. She’s attractive but hot-headed, and in no mood for games. Besides, what could the self-indulgent Harry possibly know about what makes a woman delectable? It’s time for Molly to teach him a lesson once and for all...but will it lead to “happily ever after”?

My Review

This is a delightful debut novel from Kieran Kramer.  Harry and Molly have known one another since childhood.  They were contry neighbors and often one another's nemesis.  A chance meeting as adults throws them into a situation that neither wants but both need.  They strike a reluctant plan to spend a seemingly debauchorous week together.  In the end, Harry is supposed to remain a carefree bachelor and find Molly a suitable husband.

Naturally, nothing goes as planned and every thing is out of Harry and Molly's control.  Ms. Kramer's debut novel is funny, tender and sexy.  I loved it and her compelling cast of characters.  I look forward to reading about the rest of the Impossible Bachelors.

Duke's to the Left of Me, Princes to the Right
Book 2 - out now

Cloudy with a Chance of Marriage
Book 3 - 4/26/2011

If You Give A Girl A Viscount
Book 4 - late 2011

Book Blogger Hop and Follow Friday

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by jennifer at Crazy for Books.  This week's Hop question is:

"If you could physically put yourself into a book or series…which one would it be and why?"

I LOVE this question! The answer is so easy for me, too! I would absolutely put myself into J.D. Robb's 'In Death' series.  I would make sure I would become one of the fun, smart, strong recurring characters, though.  I would NOT want to be a murder victim.  No way - too, too creepy!Maybe I could work with Feeney's EDD team.  I love electronics and gadgets.  It'd be fun to solve a crime using all the futuristic gadgets.  Although, a lot of the gadgets in the futuristic NYPSD are quite like the ones we have now - iPhones, etc.  I wonder what J.D. Robb thinks seeing some of the stuff she started writing about in the 1990's coming into being.  I would think it'd be cool but maybe just a tad strange.









And here is the button for 'Follow Friday' over at Java's Never Growing Old - also a fun blog to visit.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Duran Duran at the Mayan Theatre in Los Angeles - 3/23/2011

I posted this review (with pictures) at my Duran Duran blog.  However, since I've been sharing my Duran Duran love on this blog a little bit - I'll post this here, as well.

In case you haven't heard, Duran Duran did a show with David Lynch last night. It was for the second season of American Express' Unstaged. It was so very incredible. I honestly felt like I was witnessing something historic. The Mayan theatre is gorgeous and very intimate. It was astonishing to think that the same show I was watching was being transmitted world wide via the internet and YouTube. Considering they were doing such a thing, thi could easily have become a Greatest Hits sort of show. Instead, Duran Duran focused on performing their new material from their thirtennth studio album All You Need Is Now. It's a phenomenal album and I, for one, am quite happy that they played so much of the new stuff. Of course, there were the requisite hits but they were crowd pleasers, as always.

In addition to the amazing set list, they had great guest appearances by Mark Ronson (the producer of AYNIN), Kelis (who appears on the albums song The Man Who Stole a Leopard), Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance) and Beth Ditto (The Gossip). It was just an amazing show with fantastic guests. I feel very honored to have been able to see the show live. And believe me, I will continue to relive the excitement via YouTube.

Now, the full set list:
All You Need Is Now (preceded by a gorgeous string intro
Being Followed
Planet Earth (with Gerard Way)
Friends of Mine
Notorious (with Beth Ditto)
Blame the Machines
Hungry Like the Wolf
Safe (in the Heat of the Moment)
Leave a Light On
Ordinary World
The Man Who Stole a Leopard (with Kelis)
Girl Panic
Careless Memories
(Reach Up for the) Sunrise
Rio


ENCORE
Come Undone
A View to a Kill (preceded by a beautiful string rendition and Simon singing a ca pella)
Girls on Film

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

All You Need Is Now

The thirteenth Duran Duran album is finally here - in its astounding entirety.  I can not stop listening to this CD! It is so amazing and so, so worth the wait! Best Buy is selling a deluxe version (extra tracks) of the CD along with a companion DVD.  Of course, this is the version I had to have! Here is the complete track listing:

1. All You Need Is Now
2. Blame the Machines
3. Being Followed
4. Leave a Light On
5. Safe (in the Heat of the Moment)
6. Girl Panic!
7. A Diamond in the Mind
8. The Man Who Stole a Leopard
9. Other People's Lives
10. Mediterranea
11. Too Bad You're So Beautiful
12. Runway Runaway
13. Return to Now
14. Before the Rain
15. Too Close to the Sun
16. Early Summer Nerves
17. Networker Nation

The songs in bold are my my favorites on the album (with the number one being 'Leave a Light On') but honestly, the whole CD is just completely fabulous! And now, I am cautiously excited about going to see Duran Duran at the Mayan in Los Angeles tomorrow night.  I say cautious because I hope there's no trouble getting in with the ticketless tickets.  If you have ever liked Duran Duran in any way, I highly recommend this CD to you.

Teaser Tuesday's: Minding Frankie

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be ReadingTo 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 list if they like your teaser.
 
My teaser, from page 46 of Maeve Binchy's Minding Frankie:
 
Noel hadn't known Emily to be out of the house for two meals in one day.  Not since she had arrived.  There was only one explanation - she was avoiding him.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Musing Monday's: Purchased

Musing Monday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be ReadingThis week, MizB asks:

What is the last book you bought? Was it for you, for someone else? Have you read it, yet?

The last two books I purchased are: Treachery In Death by J.D. Robb and Haunting Jasmine by Anjali Banerjee.  I've read Treachery In Death and it was amazing! That series gets better with each book.  I will read the other one soon.

Meet Me on Monday #5

Meet Me on Monday is hosted by Java at Never Growing Old.  This weeks questions (and answers) are as follows:

1. What jewelry do you wear 24/7?
My engagement and wedding rings are the only jewelry I wear religiously.  I can't say 24/7 though because I take them off when I shower and do dishes.  I am completely paranoid about losing them down the drains.



2. Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it?
Twirl! It took me forever to get a good spaghetti twirl when I was a little girl - I'm not giving it up now.


3. How many siblings do you have?
One younger brother.


4. Were you named after anyone?
No but my mom had another name picked out for me that was after someone.  Thank God my dad vetoed the other name! The story behind it is cringe-worthy and I don't know why my mom wanted the name.


5. Coke or Pepsi?
Diet Pepsi.  I used to love Diet Coke but for some reason, I find it way too sweet now and much prefer the taste of Diet Pepsi.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Crochet Project




I am having so much fun teaching myself to crochet.  An added bonus is that my elder daughter wants to learn, as well.  She is getting quite good at the chain stitch.  Here are a few pictures of my latest project.







Hmmm, for some reason the sage green color looks a little dull in this picture.  It's really quite pretty though and looks great with the cream.








Some of the detail pieces,





It's almost finished and now you know it's a purse.  It still needs the lining and the cell phone pocket.  Oh, and a snap (or two) to close it with.  My daughters are so sweet.  They love this purse and both are asking for their own.  One wants pink and cream and the other wants purple and cream.

Like I said, I'm having a lot of fun playing with yarn.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Book Blogger Hop and Follow Friday

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

"Do you read only one book at a time, or do you have several going at once?"

Before I had children I often read more than one book at a time.  It drove my best friend bonkers.  She could not understand how I could keep the characters and plot from each book straight.  I just did and I enjoyed reading more than one book at a time.  However, since I've had children, I have tried to continue on with this and it never works.  LOL My brain can no longer can keep every thing straight.  I have to read one book at a time now or I am truly confused as to what is going on in the books.  It's a complete turn around but one that I am perfectly all right with.



 Jave at Never Growing Old also has a Follow Friday event.

Feel free to join in if you are so inclined.  Have a great and safe weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Headlines

From Booking Through Thursday this week, not really a question, but a discussion:

The news has been horrifying and addictive this week, with catastrophe piled on catastrophe, to a degree that–if I had read this in a book or seen it in a movie–I’d be protesting that it was just too unlikely, too farfetched.


But, topics for novels get ripped from the headlines all the time. Or real-life events remind you of fiction (whether “believable” or not) that you’ve read but never expected to see. Or real life comes up with an event so unbelievable that it stretches you sense of reality.
 Hmm … I can’t quite come up with an outright question to ask, but thinking about the theory of fiction and how it can affect and be affected by real world events can act as a buffer between the horrific events on the news and having to actually face that horror. So … what happens when the line between fiction and reality becomes all-too slim? Discuss!

I have had Japan on my mind all week.  I know many, many others have, as well.  It's just unbelievable what is happening over there - not one catastrophic event, but three! And yet the Japanese people are handling the events of the past week with a sense of grace and decorum that honestly brings (even more) tears to my eyes.

I admit to seeing much of the news coverage and thinking that it just seems too much to be real.  Not that I'm saying it isn't real - sadly, it is - but it does seem like an end-of-world movie.  Which makes me question why such movies and books make so much money.  What is the draw people have to tragedy? Personally, I'm not drawn to books or movies like this (not that I haven't seen such movies, they're just not my first choice).  However, it is difficult for me to walk away from CNN, MSNBC, etc. when tragedy strikes.  It's partly a need to know what is going on.  Plus, I've come to realize that I am drawn to the strength many people show in adverse times.  I am in awe of the dignity the Japanese people have exhibited this week.  As much as I pray something like this doesn't hit my home (or anywhere else, for that matter) I hope, that if it does, I would handle myself with such dignity.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Writing - In Progress

There's this thing known as accountability.  After a very nice chat with my friend Julia - I am once again aware of just how lazy I have become about my writing.  Well, not the writing part of it but the submission part of the process.  I know this about myself and it drives me crazy.  I've mentioned before that I procrastinate the things I don't like to do.  Often, the parts of something that we don't like are necessary to the outcome of the whole.

I know, I know, talk is cheap - or in this case, typing is cheap.  Thus, my idea for accountability is born.  Once a week, I'm going to give a writing report.  And even if it's just for myself - that's all right because at least I feel that putting this out there will make me accountable to my own writing goals.  At least that is my hope.

This also has me wondering if other writers may need or want the weekly check-inaccountability report.  Or am I the only crazy person who loves the actual writing but is annoyingly lazy about the rest of it? You notice that I am being honest and saying that it is indeed laziness holding me back.

So, here it is - my first 'Progress' Report.

1. I have about ten thousand words written in the new book I started last month.  I've hit a bit of a wall already and I'm not even sure I like the main female character.  So, this week, I am going to figure out some more about her and adjust what needs fixing.  I love the premise for the story - I just need to work on the characterization.

2. There is a call for story submissions about finding love in our modern, technological age.  This intrigues me as a few of my friends have found their husbands/boyfriends through online dating.  I'm going to pick their brains a little bit and see if I can come up with a story idea.  If so, I'm going to start writing it and submit by the third week of April.  The deadline is April 30th but I'd rather get it in early.

3.  I am going to start submitting Safe Haven (my much-loved and finished novel that I've submitted in the past) again.  Yes, it has been rejected (or just ignored) up to this point.  However, I have done revisions and I still believe in the story and feel it's time to put it out there again.

4.  I have to decide whether I am going to do Script Frenzy in April or not.  I'm considering possibly doing my own NaNo challenge instead of a script, too.  I feel like I want to do some sort of challenge in April.  I just need to decide what exactly that challenge is going to be.

All right, I think that's a decent list to keep me busy and writing for the next week.  I'll come back next week with an update.  How about any of you? Want to join me in this weekly accountability/progress experiment?  It's all for the good of our writing!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays: The Promise in a Kiss

Teaser Tuesdays 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 (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 page 79 of Stephanie Laurens' The Promise in a Kiss.

She could kiss him and survive, let him kiss her and still not be his.  If he thought otherwise, he would learn.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Blog Carnival: May 1 - 8, 2011

I found a fun new blog - Pure Imagination - and a fun blog hop to go with it.  Go to the blog to sign up and link to the other blogs that are putting this on with her.  In the meantime, here are the details of the Spring Blog Carnival:

This party is basically a giveaway hop, but it's going to be so much more than that!To sign-up for the giveaway hop just fill out the form below and link up to the linky! The linky and form are the same on ALL BLOGS! You only need to sign-up once!!!
Now for the Carnival Part. During the giveaway hop different blogs will be hosting booths. Each booth will have a fun challenge for you to do to enter their giveaway!


(If you are a blogger and would like to host one of these booths please email me at the email below!)

I have the Kissing Booth and will be giving away Romance books.


Angela has the Haunted House and will be giving away Paranormal books


Mary has Rollercoasters and will be giving away a contemporary book.


Candace has the Food Court and will be giving away Giftcards (or books of winners choice).


Reading Teen has the Fortune Tellers Booth and will be giving away Witch Books.
We won't only be doing giveaways! The four of us will also be hosting fun challenges that correspond with our booths for extra prizes!

Meet Me On Monday # 4

Meet Me On Monday is hosted by Java at Never Growing Old.  Here are this week's MMoM questions and answers:

1. Do you have a fireplace in your home?
Yes, but we have never used it; not even one time.  It's wierd that I've never had any inclination to make a fire in it as I adored when my Grandma had one going in hers as a little girl.  Now, I think I'm afraid to have a fire blazing with my kids being as curious about every thing as they are - especially my youngest.


2. Can you drive a stick shift?
I can but it's been quite a while since I have.  I imagine there would be some serious gear grindage if I had to drive one now.


3. How many computers are in your home?
Two - my laptop and my husband's desktop.  and to think, when I was growing up - computers were things in movies like War Games.  I never thought I'd have one let alone two. 


4. Are your taxes done yet? Do you do them yourself?
No, they are not done yet - major procrastination, I know.  Yes, we do the darned taxes ourselves.


5. What is your favorite meal of the day?
Dinner.  It's the one meal per day where I know for a fact (because I insist on it) that my whole family eats together.  I love it and my husnad has grown to appreciate it.  Our kids don't know any better and I think it's good for our family to have guaranteed time together every day.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spring's Serenity Read-A-Thon

Michelle at The True Book Addict is hosting a read-a-thon.  I must admit, I am a sucker for a read-a-thon.  If I can participate - I will.  And since this one is running for a week - I will definitely be able to take part.  Yay!

Now, I'm just going to copy the details from Michelle's blog for you.

Monday, April 25th through Sunday, May 1st. The read-a-thon will run from 12:00am Monday through 11:59pm Sunday (adjust your time zones accordingly). Watch for sign-up in late March, early April. Remember, you can join in any time through the week and read as little or as much as you want. It's all about personally challenging ourselves and also having fun as a community of readers. I hope you will join us!
Authors/bloggers...if you would like to donate a prize for read-a-thon participants and/or host a mini-challenge, please email me at truebookaddictATgmailDOTcom

This is definitely my cup of tea.  And Michelle is a super nice person that I feel fortunate to have 'met' through blogging.  If this sounds like fun - join in.

Daylight Savings Time

Public Service Announcement: Remember to put your clocks forward one hour.  It's fine to laugh at me.  I promise - I laugh at myself.  Seriously though, do the time changes (whether forward in Spring or back in the Autumn) bother you? I'm all right with time changes.  Even when I travel - I don't have a terribly difficult time adjusting to a new time zone.  I'm bothered by time changes or zone changes if my children are bothered by the change.  It's sad to see my children struggle with things that they don't understand.  Fortunately, with time changes, they do adapt fairly quickly.  Let's hope this is the case this week.

Enjoy your Sunday as it stays light out later.

Friday, March 11, 2011

From a Writing Rut to a Reading Rut

What is the best book (or books) that you have read so far in 2011? My favorites so far are: Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson, Treachery In Death by J.D. Robb, Love In the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas and Absolutely, Positively Heather Webber.

I've read several other books that have been quite good and a couple that I just have not liked at all.  For nearly a week though, I can not get into anything  I've picked up, started and put aside several books.  I read a couple of easy, not much to them books last weekend.  Now I want to get into something really good but just haven't found that next great (for me) book yet.

So, I'd love to know others favorites for the year.  Maybe one of yours will end up being one of mine, as well.

Have a great weekend, every one!

Book Blogger Hop - 3/11 - 3/14

Book Blogger Hop The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy for Books.  This week's Hop question is:

 "If I gave you £50 (or $80) and sent you into a bookshop right now, what would be in your basket when you finally staggered to the till?"

I have a really weird habit when it comes to book related gifts, especially gift cards.  I don't read the books or use the gift cards right away.  I like to savor the anticipation of gifted books.  And I like the idea of being able to buy new books over the course of a period of time, rather than all at once.

So, if I were given $80 to spend on books today - I would buy Haunting Jasmine by Anjali Banerjee.  I'd also pre-order the new Sarah Addison Allen and then I'd put the rest of onto a gift card in order to spread the book buying happiness out over time.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Favorite Picture Book Blogfest

It's been such a crazy-busy day that I am just now getting around to posting for the "My Favorite Picture Book" Blogfest.  This event is being hosted here.

As I said before, I am simply not able to write about only one book.  So, I want to tell you about my favorite as well as favorites of my children.



My daughters love any thing by Eric Carle.  A particular favorite is The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  In this very sweet story there is a very hungry caterpillar that goes around eating practically every thing he can find.  My oldest used to joke that he was having a growth spurt without even knowing how accurate she was being.  Of course, then the little caterpillar becomes a big fat caterpillar and makes himself a coccoon; where he becomes a very beautiful butterfly.


Another favorite author in our house is the ever-wonderful Dr. Seuss.  With his fun rhyming and often wacjy stories - he creates a lot of hilarious moments around here.  And his books are great for early readers.










And now, for my personal favorite picture book - Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey.  I love every thing about this book; the story, the illustrations, the sweetness of family and community.  As soon as my husband and I learned that we were pregnat with our first child, I went out and bought this book.  I wanted this to be the first book in my children's library.  I even read it to my kids while pregnant with them.  This book is not only my favorite but a definite family favorite.





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Monday, March 7, 2011

Musing Mondays: Anticipation

Musing Mondays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.  The musing for the week is:

What book(s) are you most excited about right now? (it can either be something you’re currently reading, or something you just bought, or a book/books that are soon to be published).


I am really looking forward to Sarah Addison Allen's The Peach Keeper which comes out on March 22nd.  I also really want to read Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy.  This one came out already and I am number on the library waiting list.

What about you? What book(s) are you looking forward to right now?

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Friday, March 4, 2011

Bye Bye Writer's Block

Na Na Na Na, hey, hey, hey - Good Bye! Sorry, I am just so very glad that the dreaded, miserable writer's block is gone! I thought, since I've been whiny about it - that I'd share my happy news.  Apparently my writer's block was getting to my husband, too.  I have admitted that I get grouchy when I'm not writing.  Anyway, he told me this evening to go out and get some writing done.  Thank goodness he did because I had the best writing session I've had this calendar year.  And now I have all sorts of scenarios running through my head again.  It is, quite honestly, an enormous relief!

Do any of you get really grouchy when you have writer's block? And are you completely relieved and ecstatic when it takes a hike? Please, do share.

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

It's finally time to sign up for the next installment of Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon.  This time, it is taking place on April 9, 2011.  I did this for the first time in October and had a blast.  I've already informed my family that I will be participating again and they are wonderfully excited, as well.  And even better, my oldest daughter wants to participate, too.  I told her that she could, of course, but not for the full twenty-four hours .  Heck, even I didn't make it the entire twenty-four hours in October.  And thankfully, it isn't a requirement to last the entire time.  All you have to do is read and have fun.

There are other things you can do if you are so inclined: blog, tweet, mini-challenges, cheerleading.  In October I hosted a mini-challenge and it was a lot of fun.  For the April 9th event, I just want to read, blog and maybe enter a few of the mini-challenges.  It's a super fun event.  Just click on the above link if you want to sign up.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Super Snooper Blogfest

Aiden stepped to the indicated door with equal parts irritation and regret.  He really should have called first but he didn't deserve to be sent to a random room as if he were a recalcitrant child in need of a time out.  As he passed over the threshold  he felt his scowl turn to a grin and he realized this was a room for pleasure not trouble.

An entire wall of the room was comprised of floor to ceiling windows that sparkled with incoming sunlight.  The view out the windows was filled with slightly overgrown but vivid green grass and two mature trees; one of which sagged with oranges in need of picking.

Turning his gaze back to the inside, Aiden marveled over the many espresso shelves overflowing with books.  They were floor to ceiling - just as the windows were - andcovered two of the remaining walls.  The third remaining wall was two-thirds covered in framed photographs.  He noticed there were three places on the wall that were conspicuously empty where other photos had once been but were now removed.  He went to that wall for a closer look and chuckled over the multitude of shots of three children;  two boys and a girl.  In almost every photo, the girl - the youngest - was flanked by the boys and she often looked slightly perturbed by them.  Either that or she was poking at one of them with a huge grin on her face.

Aiden moved in a circle around the room and was simply in awe over all of the books.  There didn't seem to be a genre missing; classics, science fiction, children's literature, plays, romance, poetry and even a few westerns.  And there was as much nonfiction as fiction.  There were several mismatched but comfortable looking arm chairs set up around the room.  Each had a small table and reading lamp beside it.

In the middle of the room was a large antique mahogany desk.  The top of the desk contained a laptop computer, a yellow, legal notepad, a cell phone, several pens, construction paper and crayons.  On the back of the rickety looking desk chair there was a black sweater ready to fall onto the floor.  Underneath the desk was a pair of black high heels that had been pushed off to the side.

The door to the room opened and Aiden couldn't help but grin at the person who stepped inside.

There you go - the stuff inside one room of the house.  And the yard outside the window.  Do you know my character now? This was fun.  Now I want to go read the other entries.  Thanks for stopping by.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Favorite Picture Book Blogfest


In celebration of this unique art form that combines two art forms (writing and illustrating)...

The above snip of explanation was enough to draw me into the "My Favorite Picture Book" Blogfest.  On Thursday, march 10th, participants will write about a favorite picture book.  It can be theri favorite, a child's favorite - whatever works for the individual poster.  

The challenge for me is going to be picking one book.  I LOVE books and fortunately, so do my children.  While we have family favorites, we have individual favorites, as well.  I may just have to write aboout more than one book and put them in categories.  Either way, I am looking forward to reading about other participants favorite picture books.

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