Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Teaser Tuesday's - Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn

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.
 
From Nook page 11 of Julia Quinn's Just Like Heaven:
 
"No.  Haven't you been listening?" Marcus would always remember that moment.  It was to be the first time he would ever be faced with that most vexing of female quirks: the question that had nothing but wrong answers.

Review - Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts

Chasing Fire is the latest book by the ever-amazing Nora Roberts.  Rowan Tripp is a second generation fire jumper in Missoula, Montana.  Gulliver Curry is a rookie (and the best in his class) to the job of fire jumping, but no stranger to working with and putting out fires.  He has decided to learn to jump out of planes in order to put out fires for the occupational challenge and yes, the thrill of it.  Meeting Rowan proves to be the icing on top of the cake.  And the sparks literally fly between Rowan and Gull upon initial meeting.  Even though Rowan has never been romantically involved with anyone she has worked with in the past, she does indeed allow an involvement between herself and Gull.

Of course, nothing comes easy or gracefully to the pair.  She is assuming their affair will end with the fire season and he starts making plans for their future.  Then someone disappears and Rowan finds a burned body on a jump - and immediately becomes a murder suspect.  While trying to work off her anger at having to prove her innocence - someone tries to kill Rowan.

Gulliver (and everyone close to Rowan) go into high alert and serious protective mode.  Naturally, this annoys her but she's smart enough to know it's necessary. 

Chasing Fire is a fast paced and engaging read from Roberts.  It is full of tension - romantic and murderous.  It was interesting to read about a couple falling in love in the midst of true life and death danger.  This book is definitely worth the read.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Review - Castles by Julie Garwood

Castles was the first book I read by Julie Garwood.  I read it in the mid 1990's and remember loving it.  The book recently became available in electronic format and I decided that I wanted to read it again.  So, I downloaded it to my Nook and happily read away.  I was quite surprised by how much of the book I actually remembered.  I still enjoyed the book, though.

Castles is set in early 1800's London and is the love story between Alesandra and Colin.  Alesandra is a Princess that has spent many years in a French convent after the death of her beloved mother and father.  Her father was once the King of a European nation but gave up the throne to marry for love.  The people of the country never forgot how much they loved Alesandra's father.  Now they are being taken over by the dictatorial General Ivan who is hellbent on having Alesandra as his wife.  With the help of the guards hired by the Mother Superior to protect Alesandra - she escapes to London; where her father's best friend and her guardian live.  This man happens to be Colin's father.

Alesandra's guardian - 'Uncle Henry' - agrees to help her find a suitable English husband in hopes that this will deter General Ivan.  As they are about to embark on a London season, Henry and his wife become quite ill.  So does his eldest son Caine and his wife Jade.  Thus leaving Colin as Alesandra's caretaker in the time of illness.  Colin is immediately attracted to Alesandra but suspicious that his father just wants him to marry the surprisingly unspoiled Princess.  Of course, much to Colin's irritation, this is exactly what his father wants.

Castles is a fun and beautiful story.  Do Colin and Alesandra fall in love? Of course they do but it is entertaining to go along for the ride.  Especially as you wonder if they will actually marry.  And there's is also the mystery of a few missing women who may of met an untimely death at the hands of a serial killer.  General Ivan doesn't give up on his quest to mary Alesandra, either. 

This book is a perfect example of Julie Garwood's fabulous talent as a writer.  If you've never read anything by her - this is a great book to begin with.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Works In Progress

It seems like a good time for a work in progress post.  I am sadly behind on my writing goals for the year.  I didn't set out with a specific word count for 2011 but I also haven't been writing nearly as much as I have in years past.  That being said, I have started a new novel.  I'm completely blocked on the one I've had going for a while so I'm going to give it a break and work on this new one.  And this new one - currently titled Connection but that may change - is for an open submission at the end of August.  So, I am glad to have this one churning in my mind.  It is my hope to have the first draft written by the end of June.  That way I can begin editing and revising in July.

As many of you know, I have a new-found love for crochet.  Two days ago I learned how to crochet a circle.  I know that doesn't sound like a big deal but it really is - to me, anyway.  It opend the door for many different crocheting possibilities.  A nice added benefit of crochet is that it really calms me down and helps me to be more patient.  Which, in turn, opens my mind for more writing ideas.  It's definitely a win-win hobby I have. 

Here's a lovely picture of my circle.  I fell in love with this yellow, blue and white yarn the moment I saw it.  They remind me of summer and they were also the colors of my wedding.



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop


The Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop is being hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Page Turners blogs.  The giveaway runs from Wednesday, May 25th through Wednesday, May 31st.  Winners for the hop will be drawn on June 1st.  I will use random.org to choose my winner.

I will be giving away a copy of Elin Hilderbrand's Barefoot.  This book was given to me and I would like to pass it along to someone else to enjoy.  My giveaway is open internationally.  All you have to do to be eligible is be a follower of my blog and leave a comment letting me know your e-mail address.  If you'd like (it's not necessary to win, though) tell me your favorite part of summer.  I love that my kids are out of school for the summer and we aren't on anyone's schedule but our own.  I also adore family barbeques and look forward to celebrating my wedding anniversary with my husband.

There are many people participating in this hop.  So have fun visiting all the different blogs.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Teaser Tuesday's - Castles by Julie Garwood

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.
 
From Nook page 112 of Castles by Julie Garwood:
 
It was obvious to Caine that his brother wanted Alesandra, but in his mind he had decided he wasn't worthy enough.  Oh yes, that was it, Caine decided. 
 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Book Blogger Hop: May 20 - 23, 2011

Book Blogger Hop
The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer from Crazy for BooksThis week's hop question is:

"If you were given the chance to spend one day in a fictional world (from a book), which book would it be from and what would that place be?"


This should be an easy question to answer but it's really not.  There are a few series of books that come immediately to mind for me with fictional worlds that I love.  J.D. Robb's 'In Death' series, The world created by Madeleine L'Engle in A Wrinkle in Time and most recently, I loved Deborah Harkness' world in A Discovery of Witches.

The above fictional worlds are very strong contenders but I do have a number one choice for a fictional place to spend a day.  And that would be Hogwarts in J.K. Rowling's much loved Harry Potter series.  I'm reading the first book - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - to my children and falling in love with the wizarding world all over again.  It's extra magical experiencing that world through the eyes and imaginations of my kids.  So yeah, my day would have to be at Hogwarts.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Teaser Tuesday's - The Violets of March by Sarah Jio

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.
 
From Nook page 37 of Sarah Jio's The Violets of March:
 
A few moments passed and I found myself with the diary in my hands again.  It was too irresistible.  Just one look at the first page, that's all.

Musing Monday's: Schools Without Libraries

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

The local Catholic school board is closing its school libraries, and parents and teachers –and even the students– are in an uproar. Budget cuts demanded that the board choose something to get rid of… they choose libraries. As such, many librarians have lost their jobs. And, the board is moving the books to the classrooms, instead. They feel that it is a good solution.

What do you think? Should the schools be without an actual “library” room? Is this a good solution?

This is a terrible 'solution'! I fear that this sort of elimination for the purpose of school 'budget cuts' is going to be wide spread.  Just last week Los Angeles Unified School District librarians were (and probably still are) fighting for their jobs; in an improvised court setting.  Complete with attorneys, a judge and a lot of interrogation.  I so wish I was kidding but I'm not.  Here is a link to an article in the L.A. Times about this ridiculous atrocity.

School libraries are more than just a room to store books.  The librarian is more than just a woman (or man) to check the books out to students.  I can not even begin to count the number of times a librarian helped me out with something as a student - all the way through college.  Granted, we have the amazing resource of the internet now but I firmly believe the school librarians (and the library itself) are still a necessary part of education.  My elementary school child goes to the library once a week.  She looks forward to it and actually thinks about the books she wants to check out.  It's an experience that aids in her learning and adds to her growing love for reading.

I absolutely do not think that school librarians and libraries should be cut from our schools.  I'm tired of the constant cuts to the actual educators because of the abyssmal financial times we live in.  Who does it hurt most in the long run? Our kids; as their class sizes grow and the resources decline, our kids are paid less and less attention during the school hours they are supposed to be learning.  Why don't any of the education administrators take any sort of cuts? Have you heard of that happening? I haven't.  In fact, I continue to hear about the the administrators (the ones NOT actually teaching) making six figure incomes.  Notice I say not the teachers.  I am aware that most teachers live on much less than they deserve.  While certain board members and some school principles make six figures.  It's ridiculous and disgusting! Why don't the non-educators take some of their proposed cuts and put the money back into actually educating the children? It seems logical to me.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop




The Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop will be hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Page Turners.  It will take place from May 25th to 31st.

Details borrowed straight from the I Am a Reader, Not a Writer blog.

Each 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 Splash Into Summer 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.

More details will be available as we get closer to the giveaway.
Questions can be emailed to:  toobusyreading at gmail dot com.

The last day to sign up is May 20th.

If you want to participate by hosting a giveaway on your blog please fill out the form located at either host blog.  They will add your blog to the linky.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Booking Through Thursday - Age Appropriate

Booking Through Thursday is a fun weekly question and answer session, based on books, of course.  This week, the question is:

Do you read books “meant” for other age groups? Adult books when you were a child; Young-Adult books now that you’re grown; Picture books just for kicks … You know … books not “meant” for you. Or do you pretty much stick to what’s written for people your age?

I have never worried about 'age appropriate' when reading my own books.  My parents didn't pay attention to what I was reading when I was young.  Although, I don't really recall reading anything and knowing that I shouldn't have been consuming it, either.  Sure, i read some books way ahead of my age group.  I believe that is pretty common when you're an advanced reader in school, though.

As an adult, I read whatever sounds good to me.  Admittedly, i don't read all that much of what is categorized as Young Adult fiction.  That's not because I don't think I should read it but more because I don't relate to the characters.  However, I just read Matched by Ally Condie and really liked the book.  And J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series are among my favorites.

I haven't had to worry about the age appropriateness of what my kids are reading yet.  I will pay attention to what they're reading as they get bigger, though.  I won't keep them from reading books that are advanced for them - if they wish to read them.  However, i will be sure that they are reading books with themes that are age appropriate for them and their emotional maturity.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Teaser Tuesday's - Matched by Ally Condie

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 from page 36 of Matched by Ally Condie:
 
I don't understand.  The Society doesn't make mistakes.  But what else could this be? No one has two matches.

Winner for the Spring Blog Carnival

Congratulations to Heather the Book Savvy Babe.  She has won the copy of Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead and a handmade book mark.  I have e-mailed Heather and she had 48 hours to respond.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by through the Carnival.  I thought the event was great fun and hope you all did, too.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

To all the Mom's, Auntie's, Grandma's and any woman in a place of happy significance to a child (small or grown):

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope you have a happy, peaceful and wonderful day!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: No Movie, Please

Booking Through Thursday is a fun weekly question and answer session, based on books, of course.  This week, the question is:

And–the reverse of last week’s question. Name one book that you hope never, ever, ever gets made into a movie (no matter how good that movie might be).

I recently read A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.  I absolutely loved the book and know that  it is to be the first in a trilogy of books.  As soon as I finished the book, I went looking for information on when the second book is due for release.  While researching, I read all sorts of posts, comments, etc about people wanting a movie based on the book.  I am in the minority because I hope there isn't a movie of the book.  Harkness did such a beautiful job with the book that I would really hate to see it distorted into a movie.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Teaser Tuesday's: Watership Down by Richard Adams

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 1 of Watership Down by Richard Adams:
 
The May sunset was red in clouds, and there was still half an hour to twilight.  The dry slope was dotted with rabbits - some nibbling at the thin grass near their holes, others pushing further down to look for dandelions or perhaps a cowslip that the rest had missed.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Musing Monday's: Unrealistic

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

Do you care if the book’s storyline is unrealistic? Will you keep reading, or will you set the book aside?


For me it entirely depends upon the book and how well it is written.  For example, i read A Discovery of Witches by Debra Harkness a couple of weeks ago and absolutely loved the book.  The main characters in the book are a witch and a vampire - very unrealistic.  However, as I said, I love the book.

On the other hand, I have read a few of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward.  Again, we're talking about main characters that are vampires.  I like the first few books in the series but grew to be annoyed by the writing and the poor story telling in later books of the series.  in fact, I haven't even read the last two and probably won't.  This is true for me and Charlaine Harris' Sookie series.

Overall, I can step out of 'reality' and enjoy a book as long as it is well-written.  if the book is poorly written, I definitely lose interest.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spring's Serenity Read-a-Thon Wrap Up


The Spring's Serenity Read-a-Thon, hosted by Michelle The True Book Addict, is complete.  I am happy that I participated in this event.  As I've said before, I think Michelle is wonderful and I am happy to have 'met' her through the wonderful world of book blogging.

How did I do during the read-a-thon? Well, not so great.  I only managed to read half of one book - Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts.  The truth is - I'm perfectly all right with it.  I knew when I started the event last week that this may be the case.  I had an amazingly busy but wonderful week.  I'm actually surprised I was able to get any reading done at all.

I hope everyone who participated in Michelle's read-a-thon had a great week of reading regardless of the amount of pages or books read.  I know I did.

Spring Blog Carnival - Hop and Giveaway


Welcome to the Spring Blog Carnival.  This giveaway hop is hosted by Candace's Book Blog, Reading Angel, Pure Imagination and The Book Swarm. This is meant to be a way to celebrate Spring, books, blogging, blogging about books.  You get the picture.

This is also a virtual carnival.  And what is a carnival without the booths? So, here is the list of blogs hosting carnival booths/mini-challenges this upcoming week.:

Oh, and the links to their blogs can be found in the linky list at the bottom of this post.

May 1st-

Reading Angel with the Haunted House
Reading Teen with the Fortune Tellers Booth

May 2nd-

Candace’s Book Blog with the Food Court
The Mod Podge Bookshelf with the House of Mirrors
May 3rd-

Bookswarm with the Roller Coaster
Actin’ Up With Books with the Karaoke Booth
May 4th-

Lori at Pure Imagination with the Kissing Booth
Lovely Lit with Once Upon a Time Booth
May 5th-

Awesomesauce Books with the Gaming Booth
Books R Us Medieval Booth
May 6th-

Extreme Reader Book Reviews with the Guessing Booth
Colloquium with the Cotton Candy Booth
May 7th-

The Minding Spot with the Teacups Booth
Miss Remmers Review with It’s a Bad World Booth

Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid, #1)Yes, I do have a giveaway of my own to offer.  I will be sending out one copy of Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead along with a handmade bookmark.  My giveaway is International and all you have to do for a chance to win is be a follower and leave me a comment with contact info.  At the end of the week, I'll use random.org to choose a winner and be in touch.  That's it - nice and easy.  Have a fun week hopping around and exploring the carnival.

And now, for the complete list of participating blogs: