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.