Thursday, April 30, 2009

Booking Through Thursday - Which is worse?

This week's question...

Which is worse?

Finding a book you love and then hating everything else you try by that author, or

Reading a completely disappointing book by an author that you love?

My Answer...

This took alot of thought because I couldn't decide which one, but I finally came up with an answer. For me, finding a book I love and then hating everything else I've tried by the author. Why? Because when I absolutely love a book, I have to immediately collect that author's backlist. I can't just seem to get one book to try out, I have to get them all. Then when I finally get around to reading them and find I don't like them as much as the first book I read, then I feel like I wasted my money (which I have). Yes, I know, I can just get one book but I'm an obsessive book buyer and have to get them all. LOL

If I read a bad one from an author I love, I'm disappointed, but I realize every author has a bad one now and then.

If you'd like to play along with Booking Through Thursday, just click the button at the top of this post.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hatchette Book Group Giveaway - Made in the U.S.A.


Thanks to the wonderful people at Hatchette Books, I'm once again able to hold a book giveaway. This one is for Made in the U.S.A. by Billie Letts. I have 5 copies to giveaway!


The bestselling author of WHERE THE HEART IS returns with a heartrending tale of two children in search of a place to call home.

Lutie McFee's history has taught her to avoid people, to places, and to almost everything. With her mother long dead and her father long gone to find his fortune in Las Vegas, 15-year-old Lutie lives in the god-forsaken town of Spearfish, South Dakota with her twelve-year-old brother, Fate, and Floy Satterfield, the 300-pound ex-girlfriend of her father.

While Lutie shoplifts for kicks, Fate spends most of his time reading, watching weird TV shows and worrying about global warming and the endangerment of pandas. As if their life is not dismal enough, one day, while shopping in their local Wal-Mart, Floy keels over and the two motherless kids are suddenly faced with the choice of becoming wards of the state or hightailing it out of town in Floy's old Pontiac. Choosing the latter, they head off to Las Vegas in search of a father who has no known address, no phone number and, clearly, no interest in the kids he left behind.

MADE IN THE U.S.A. is the alternately heartbreaking and life-affirming story of two gutsy children who must discover how cruel, unfair and frightening the world is before they come to a place they can finally call home.

* Includes a Reading Group Guide

If you'd like to win your own copy of this wonderful book, here are the rules...

1) Comment here that you want to be entered.

2) Leave a valid email address in your comment (I need a way to contact you! No email address, no entry!)

3) For an extra entry, follow my blog. If you already follow my blog, just mention that in your comment.

4) US and Canada residents only, no P.O. boxes.

*Additional entry: If you follow me on twitter, you'll get an extra entry. Just mention it in your comment!

All entries must be submitted by May 22nd, midnight est. I will contact the winners by email. If I don't get a response within 3 days, another winner will be chosen.

All winners are picked by Random

Dirty Deeds by Suzanne Price

Genre: Cozy Mystery

It’s Christmastime in Pigeon Cove and Sky Taylor has her hands filled with cleaning jobs at several different holiday parties. After the Art Association’s annual holiday celebration, Sky finds more than just dirty dishes that need to be cleared away. Kyle Fipps, a local real estate developer, is found dead. It’s not the first time Sky has discovered a dead body, but she sure didn’t want this to become a habit.

Sky tries to stay out of the investigation, but instead finds herself right in the middle of it. She gets a lucrative cleaning job at City Hall and immediately finds herself in danger at every corner. It doesn’t help when the former lover of one of the suspects moves in to stay with Sky for a few days. To top it all off, Sky’s mother is in town for a visit which tends to complicate things further, especially when it comes to Sky’s boyfriend, Mike.

This story has it all – mystery, suspense and a romantic triangle tossed into the mix. Sky has her work cut out for her, trying to solve the mystery of both the murder and her own heart.

Pigeon Cove is a town filled with wacky personalities and an intriguing plot to keep readers on their toes. There are also a few cleaning tips tossed in that readers will find quite useful. This is a fast-paced story that can be enjoyed in a short period of time. There’s already a third book in the series, which I will get to eventually.

I’m always happy to discover “new” or “new-to-me” cozy mystery series. I love the small town feel they all have to them and re-visiting these characters always makes me feel as if I’m meeting up with old friends. This series is no different.

For reading challenges: Amateur Sleuth Challenge, TBR Challenge Lite, The Themed Reading Challenge

Waiting on Wednesday

What am I waiting for this week? That's easy! It's a cat cozy mystery for me - my favorite type of book!

This one is "The Cat, the Quilt, and the Corpse" by Leann Sweeney. It's the first book in her "Cats in Trouble" series. That's right up my ally. If any of you didn't know, I love cats. LOL The book will be released on May 5th. Only one week to go!

This is a blurb about the book from Leann's website...

Recently widowed Jillian Hart is rebuilding a life for herself and her three beloved cats--Chablis, Syrah and Merlot--as a quilter in a small South Carolina town. The quilts she makes are for cats as smart, special, and sweet as her own, and business is thriving.

But when she returns from an overnight quilting show, she discovers Chablis sneezing--and since Chablis is allergic to humans, that can only mean one thing: Someone has broken into her house. When she realizes her Abyssinian Syrah is missing, Jillian suspects catnapping.

Spurred by Chablis and Merlot's mournful meowing, she investigates--and discovers more missing cats and a murder. Now she's got to save more than one cat in trouble--not to mention herself.

If you'd like to play along with "Waiting on Wednesday", just click the button at the top of this post.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Author Interview: Inbali Iserles

I’d like to thank Inbali Iserles, author of The Tygrine Cat, for agreeing to answer a few questions for the Socrates’ Book Review Blog. We are honored to have her join us. Let the questions begin…

How did you come up with the idea for this book?

The Tygrine Cat is my first book. I came up with the story while flicking through an encyclopedia of cat breeds and pondering the idea of a rivalry between ancient feline tribes.

How long did it take to complete this book?

I was working full-time when I wrote the story, in stolen weekends and vacations. It took me about two and half years to finish the first draft and another six or so months of self-editing before sending it off to agents. That wasn’t the end of the matter, however! Once I’d signed with Walker Books, I worked with my editor to finalise the manuscript prior to publication. My US editor at Candlewick Press suggested a few follow-up changes, but these were largely to amend English spelling – English “miaows” became American “meows”. The UK and US covers are also quite different and I’m always interested to hear which one readers prefer.

What do your family and friends think of your work?

Other than my immediate family, I hardly told anyone about The Tygrine Cat before I signed a book deal, feeling a little sheepish about my writing endeavours. A lawyer writing children’s books? I feared that people would laugh! But they’ve all been fantastic.

As a child, did you like to read or write?

Even before I could write I was coming up with stories. For instance, when I was about four I shared a room with my sister. We had bunk beds and she, being the eldest, naturally claimed the top bunk. I was incensed by this injustice – why should she have the top bunk (the indisputably better bunk) simply due to an accident of birth (i.e. her age)? To get my own back, I made up a story about a friendly dragon that lived below my bunk. He would breathe fire at all who came near (except for me, of course). My sister dismissed this with a “Don’t be ludicrous, Inbali, there’s no such thing as dragons!” Yet she scampered up the ladder to her bunk at great speed – just in case!

As I got older I discovered the delights of reading. Tove Jansson’s Moomin adventures were among my favourites. These magical books remain in print and re-reading them still makes me smile.

Have you ever had a cat or any other animals?

I am an irrepressible animal lover. As I child I started with Syrian gerbils and Russian dwarf hamsters and soon graduated to a rabbit and kitten. My adorable old cat, Wilma, still lives with my parents in Cambridge, England, where I grew up. She turns 22 this month and we’re planning a celebration in her honour. In London I share my flat with four degus – exotic rodents that I adopted from an animal shelter.

Did you have to do any research for this book? What kind?

Children’s fantasy asks a lot of the reader. Come with me, it beckons, to a world of magical portals, sword-fighting knights and feline warlords. To be convincing, I have always maintained that it should be firmly rooted in reality. As a result, I’m a huge believer in research. For The Tygrine Cat and its sequel I watched street cats in Egypt, visited ferals in a London rescue centre, spent a freezing afternoon on a market-place and even boarded a cargo ship at one of the UK’s largest dockyards. Perhaps more bizarrely I attended a taxidermy conference while preparing to write The Bloodstone Bird – all in the name of research!

How did it feel when you learned your story would be published?

It felt indescribably wonderful. I remember getting the call from my agent and yelping with delight. I’m not normally a yelper!

Your bio says you are a lawyer…how do you juggle that career with writing? Both must require much of your time.

I am fortunate in that my law firm has been supportive of my writing, allowing me time to do both. Writing is quite solitary and I relish the social interactions at my firm and the structure that it imposes on my otherwise fairly frenetic existence! I am comfortable wearing both hats – the more hats the merrier.

Have you received much fan feedback? How did you feel hearing from someone who actually read your work?

I do receive emails and letters from fans and it always makes my day. It’s fascinating to get feedback. Take The Tygrine Cat for instance – everyone has a favourite feline! It’s great to meet readers in person too. Last year The Tygrine Cat won the Calderdale Children’s Book Award, which is entirely voted on by children. I had the opportunity to chat to readers and hear their views – it was wonderful.

One of the benefits of our modern age is that readers can more easily engage with writers. This seemed inconceivable in my youth! My sister recently set up a Facebook group for me, which means that there’s another, simple way to keep in touch.

What else have you written or plan to write?

A chance discovery on a London street set in motion the story for my second book, The Bloodstone Bird, about a quest to find an enchanted bird. Schoolmates Sash and Verity quickly learn that nothing is what it seems: while the city may look dull, adventure looms around every corner, down gloomy alleyways and even below their feet. Riddles can open secret doors – magical gateways to tropical worlds ...

I am just completing the first draft of the sequel to The Tygrine Cat, to be released under the title The Tygrine Cat: On the Run. I’ve been absorbed in this feline adventure for months and am very excited that it’s almost finished. My UK and US editors haven’t seen it yet – here’s hoping they like it!

Again, thank you Inbali for the interview and passing this book along to me for a review. It was a pure joy to read.

Check out my review of The Tygrine Cat

Inbali has a wonderful website, click here to check it out!

Tuesday Thinger: All Your Covers (Just For Fun!!)

Questions: Do you have any missing covers (they show as a plain gray book)? Did you have a favorite view (title, author, date entered)? Do you have any favorite covers? If so, is there anything they have in common?

My Answer: I have, I think, about 7 plain gray books. I guess I like the author view the best as it's easier for me to find the books I want by author. I don't have any favorite covers, though. I like them all, some more than others. As a rule, I prefer people on the cover but sometimes I think the cartoonish covers are kind of cute (not all of them, but some). It depends on the book, though. Some of the suspense or thrillers that I enjoy are better suited for dark covers and sometimes a dark cover with just the title is perfect. I don't have anything specific that is a favorite though.

If you'd like to play along with Tuesday Thingers, just click the button above.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Musing Mondays - Non-Fiction

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about reading non-fiction…

Do you read non-fiction regularly? Do you read it in a different way or place than you read fiction? (question courtesy of Diane)

My answer...No, I don't really read much non-fiction. I read some, but it's usually celebrity autobiographies or biographies. Sometimes I'll come across a topic that will interest me and I'll read them. I'm not against them, it's just that my interest lies more in the escapism of fiction.

If you'd like to play along, just click the button at the top of this post.

MySpace Cats Kittens Graphics from

MySpace Cats Kittens Graphics

Mailbox Monday - April 27th

Very light week for me this week, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It helps on my new resolve not to get new books :)

Transformed Into the Frenchmen’s Mistress by Barbara Dunlop
Angel of Wrath by Bill Myers (contest win)
20 Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler (for review)

If you'd like to play along in Mailbox Monday, just click the button at the top of this post.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Salon - Stopping the Madness!

Is it Sunday already? The weekend is almost over? It can't be! I feel like it was yesterday when I wrote my last Sunday Salon :)

I had a good week of reading...I finished Murder of a Botoxed Blonde by Denise Swanson - I've said this before and I'll say it again - I absolutely love this series! It's so much fun and the characters have become like old friends. Although I love it, I decided to take a break from the series and read something else. I'm now reading Dirty Deeds by Suzanne Price. It's the second book of her "A Grime Solvers Mystery" series. Another cute cozy series that I'm enjoying. I hope to finish this book before the weekend is over. Lastly, I finished listening to the audio version of The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted by Elizabeth Berg which was a cute anthology. I'm now listening to Elizabeth Lowell's Blue Smoke and Murder, which is very good.

My topic this week is "Stopping the Madness", why - what's that all about? It's easy, I realize my book obsession has gotten out of hand. I really need to stop adding to my TBR. So, I'm banning myself from buying books (I expect this will last until Monday, but I'll give it the old college try!). Of course this doesn't include book giveaways or review books, I always accept those :)

The thing is - besides the cost - I can't even decide what to read next anymore. There's too much to choose from and too much I want to read. I'm not even a fast reader. Even if I don't completely stop buying books, I will at least cut back. Except maybe on my cozies...I so love them and they are continuing stories! I have to have them! Then there are my Harlequins and Silhouettes...well, they are small books, do those really count? Oh boy, I can see this isn't going to be easy. Is it any wonder I got into this situation in the first place?

Well, being that it's Sunday, I think I'll just rest and relax by continuing to read. I won't worry about the mountainous TBR Scarlet...I'll think about it tomorrow :)

Have a great week, everyone!

If you'd like to join the Sunday Saloners, just click the button at the top of this post.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Night at the Movies or TV Screen

Besides reading, I love TV and movies. So, I decided to start my own Saturday meme dedicated to TV and/or movies. Every Saturday I'll talk about a TV show or movie that I enjoyed during the past week or maybe one that I'm looking forward to in the coming week. If anyone would like to participate, please feel free. You can use the button above and comment here with the link to your post. There are no rules, it's more about sharing what we watch on TV or movies (DVDs, too!).

This week I'm going to talk about the new show on ABC "Castle" starring Nathan Fillion. It's a show about a popular mystery writer who assists the police in different crimes. What attracted me to this show was both the premise and the star, Nathan Fillion. I love reading mysteries, so a TV show about a mystery writer was perfect for me. I've always liked Nathan Fillion since I saw him as a teen on the soap "One Life To Live".

Fillion and his co-star, Stana Katic, work so well together. They have a great chemistry and there are many hints of sexual tension. Sometimes on screen couples just need that sexual tension without anything really happening to keep your interest going. This week's show definitely had that chemistry and sexual tension going on as they were thrown together for a glamorous benefit with Kate Beckett (Katic) looking amazing and Richard Castle (Fillion) not looking too shabby either in tux.

Some of the scenes that I really feel enjoyable is when Castle tries to help the police and is always throwing possibilities at them as it would appear in a novel. As we all know, real life doesn't always go the way of novels, but then sometimes they very much do.

This week Castle was asked by the police about why he calls the suspects "perps". Castle innocently asked if that wasn't what they called them, too. The police laughed and proceeded to give him 20+ other names they use instead of "perps".

Castle also has a teenage daughter who lives with him as well as a mother. The mother is played brilliantly by Susan Sullivan. I love how she drives Castle crazy :)

With all new show, it's a cliffhanger to know if they will be back next season. I don't think Castle has been a true ratings success but I'm hoping ABC will give it a chance. It's something different. The first episode cleverly used real authors playing themselves and interacting with Castle as one of their peers - James Patterson and Stephen J. Cannell. Cute idea.

Check out the promo below to get a taste of the show for yourself.

What TV show or movie caught your attention this week?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins #121 we go!

1. Apparently there's some sort of laundry I need to do this weekend.

2. It's finally a sunny day.

3. 2009 is okay so far.

4. I took one look at my new car and that was it.

5. For too long I've been adding books to my TBR.

6. I am not obsessed with books; I am not! (10,000+ books in my TBR is NOT obsessed!)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing, tomorrow my plans include picking up my new car and Sunday, I want to ride around in my new car!

If you'd like to play along, just click the button at the top of this post.

MySpace Comments and Weekend Comments

Thursday, April 23, 2009

New Contest Winner for Jantsen's Gift!

Since I have not heard from Marie, one of the contest winners for Jantsen's Gift, and it's been a week - using the handy dandy Random List Organizer, I chose another winner from the remaining names.

An Email has been sent - if you're reading this, please send me your snail mail address so I can forward it to Hatchette Books!

The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted: Stories and Other Acts of Liberation by Elizabeth Berg

Genre: Fiction

This is from…

Food is the source of both solace and misery for Berg’s smart, ticked-off, secretly dreamy yet demonstrably pragmatic women. Most are past 50 and less than happy with their altered bodies. They dutifully attend deadly Weight Watchers meetings, cheat wildly on their diets, then try, once again, to stay away from brownies and fast food. The binge story, “The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted,” is matched by “The Day I Ate Nothing I Remotely Wanted,” and clearly the insatiable appetite for rich and comforting foods stems from a deeper hunger for enveloping and sustaining love. This is adored author Berg’s second story collection, separated from the first, Ordinary Life (2002), by seven novels, and once again she makes striking use of the shorter form. Her stories are deliciously piquant and deceptively blithe, just as the respectable appearances of her women characters conceal fierce inner lives. Berg zeros in on the routine unfairness women face, and the anguish and irony of age and family relationships, as her bawdy, scheming, outspoken, and loyal women persevere, often finding the humorous side of difficult predicaments. --Donna Seaman --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

I listened to the audio version of this book which was really nice because it was narrated by the author. I figure who can tell a story better than the person who wrote it?

My favorite stories were the ones dealing with weight issues. I guess because I’m a lifetime member of Weight Watchers (I lost 85 lbs and have maintained my goal weight for a year) so I can identify with the trials and tribulations of dieting. I was laughing in my car when the woman in one story decided to be totally anti-Weight Watchers and just eat anything and everything she wanted. I was especially salivating when she bought dozens of Dunkin Donuts. Yum! Anyway, I digress…this was a nice diversion. Lately, I seem to be listening to stories that could be about any everyday person out there and its been a nice change.

For reading challenge: Audio Book Reading Challenge

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

This week I'm waiting for James Patterson's latest installment of the Women's Murder Club.

I don't have long to wait since it's being released April 27th. Less than a week away! I'm not sure why I'm so anxious or why I get all of his books from this series in hardcover (the only other books I get in hardcover are Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books) - especially when I'm already 2 books behind in the series. I could have waited to get them when they came out in paperback :)

Anyway, here's a blurb from Amazon...

Product Description

As San Francisco's most glamorous millionaires mingle at the party of the year, someone is watching--waiting for a chance to take vengeance on Isa and Ethan Bailey, the city's most celebrated couple. Finally, the killer pinpoints the ideal moment, and it's the perfect murder. Not a trace of evidence is left behind in their glamorous home.

As Detective Lindsay Boxer investigates the high-profile murder, someone else is found brutally executed--a preacher with a message of hope for the homeless. His death nearly falls through the cracks, but when reporter Cindy Thomas hears about it, she knows the story could be huge. Probing deeper into the victim's history, she discovers he may not have been quite as saintly as everyone thought.

As the hunt for two criminals tests the limits of the Women's Murder Club, Lindsay sees sparks fly between Cindy and her partner, Detective Rich Conklin. The Women's Murder Club now faces its toughest challenge: will love destroy all that four friends have built? The exhilarating new chapter in the Women's Murder Club series, The 8th Confession serves up a double dose of speed-charged twists and shocking revelations as only James Patterson can. And remember, this is the only Murder Club episode of the year.

If you'd like to play along with Waiting on Wednesday, just click the button at the top of this post.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Let's Be Friends Award

Wow! Another award! I'm so honored by all of these awards. Bloggers are the sweetest people. A huge thank you to Mari at
MariReads and Desert Rose at Desert Rose Booklogue for this one. I so appreciate it!

"Blogs that received the Let’s Be Friends Award are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers."

Here are the eight bloggers I'm awarding, although so many are well-deserving of this award.

Wendy R at Musings of a Bookish Kitty
J. Kaye at J. Kaye's Book Blog
Nise at Under the Boardwalk
Teddyree at The Eclectic Reader
Lenore at Presenting Lenore
Hawk at Houston A.W. Knight
Kristen at BookNAround
Melissa at Shhh I'm Reading

Murder of a Botoxed Blonde by Denise Swanson

Genre: Cozy Mystery

The last place Skye Denison wants or expects to spend her Thanksgiving weekend is at a health spa. However, her close friend Trixie convinces her to accept the complimentary weekend, but they are more than surprised to find their Thanksgiving meal consists of tofu.

Things only manage to get worse when her mother and her ex-boyfriend’s mother decide to join them for the long holiday weekend. The spa’s owner informs them that the only food available to them is the healthy kind, so they have to resort to smuggling in their own calorie laden food or they’d pass out from starvation. To top things off, a group of protestors stir up all kinds of mischief in an attempt to close down the spa. They are against the spa’s message that only the beautiful and thin deserve a place in this world.

To make matters worse, the newspaper publishes a report that there is buried treasure somewhere in the spa. When a beautiful and wealthy woman turns up dead in her mud bath, everyone wonders could the killer be a treasure hunter or a protestor?

The spa’s owner pleads with Skye to work undercover for her and try to figure out this mess. Skye agrees and the race is on before another spa guest is found dead.

This was a fun book where we also saw the return of Skye’s new boyfriend, Wally, and things heat up. Then, Skye learns the true reason behind the breakup with her last boyfriend which could possibly jeopardize her new relationship.

Skye is a down-to-earth type of heroine. She’s someone we can all identify with, especially when she smuggles in her junk food. She faces all the same problems any everyday woman might face – not being thin, men trouble and an overprotective mom. This series is one of a few that makes me feel as if I’m part of Scumble River.

For reading challenges: Amateur Sleuth Reading Challenge, Read Your Own Book Reading Challenge, Themed Reading Challenge, Cozy Mystery Challenge

Monday, April 20, 2009

2009 Friendly Blogger Award

Yet another award! I feel so honored by all these lovely awards! This one is for the 2009 Friendly Blogger Award and it was given to me by Jessica Marie at Books Love Jessica Marie. Thank you so much, Jessica Marie!

There are so many friendly bloggers out there, but I'll try to narrow it down to 5. These are the ones I'm giving the award to:

Desert Rose at DeSeRt RoSe BoOkLogue
Scrap Girl at Serendipity
Kaye at Pudgy Penguin Perusals
Kathrin at Secret Dreamworld of a Bookaholic
Serena at Savvy Verse and Wit

Monday Musings - 2009 favorites

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about 2009 favourites…

Coming towards the end of April, we’re a third of the way through the way through the year. What’s the favourite book you’ve read so far in 2009? What about your least favourite? (question courtesy of MizB)

I list my favorites of the year on my sidebar. It's hard to say which was my absolute favorite, but I did love The Tygrine Cat, Jantsen's Gift, Virgin River and 74 Seaside Avenue. I can't really choose just one.

My least favorite? I guess I'd have to say The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. I didn't hate it, it just bored me and wasn't my thing. I might have felt differently had I read the print version instead of listening to the audio version, but I don't have any desire to get the print version.

If you'd like to play along in Monday Musings, just click the button on top.

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Mailbox Monday - April 20th

Last week was a light one for me as far as getting anything in my mailbox. Only 3 books this time...

Coming on Strong by Tawny Weber
Tempted Into the Tycoon’s Trap by Emily McKay
The Pregnancy Secret by Maggie Cox

If you'd like to play along in the Mailbox Monday meme, just click the button at the top of this post.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Super Comments Award "You Don't Say"

Desert Rose from DeSeRt RoSe BoOkLoGuE and Kaye from Pudgy Penguin Perusals were so nice to honor me with this adorable award. Thank you so much for thinking of me!

This is what this award means..

"We give and get awards for having a great blog and being a good friend. What I want to award is those people whose comments have meant THE WORLD to me. It takes time to visit a blog and leave a comment ... I wanted to recognize some special bloggers whose comments have made such an impact on me. The “You Don’t Say?” Award is awarded to these special bloggers in hopes that they will pass the award along to 5-10 of their best commenters!"

The problem with this is there are so many commenters I'd like to thank for commenting. Everyone who ever posted a comment here means so much to me. It's hard for me to narrow it down and I certainly don't want to leave anyone out. I hope this is alright to do, but I'm awarding it to everyone who stops by here and comments. Please feel free to take this award and post it on your blog.

The Sunday Salon - Reading the Stress Away!

The weather has been amazing this weekend and I was even able to go outside wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Lovely! I don't know how long it will last, but I'll take whatever I can get. It especially felt good since I've had a horrible week at work and have been stressed out all week.

Speaking about stress, do any of you find reading helps lessen feelings of stress? This week I've been able to bury myself in a couple of books and have felt so good escaping into my world of fiction. Of course a glass of chocolate wine helped, too :) I'm so glad I discovered that over the Christmas holidays :) Seriously though, lately I've found reading takes me out of my everyday doldrums and lets me go somewhere else even if it's just for a few hours. What do you do when you feel stressed out?

As for my reading this week...I finished The Tygrine Cat by Inbali Inserles. An excellent young adult cat fantasy. I loved it so much and I'm happy to say that the author agreed to do an interview for my blog, so I should have that for you in a week or so. She's a sweetheart.

Next I read and finished Murder of a Real Bad Boy by Denise Swanson. It's the 8th book in her Scumble River cozy mystery series and I loved it. I love all the books in her series. I've read the first 8 and haven't found a bad on in the bunch. I'm already on book 9 "Murder of a Botoxed Blonde". She has some great titles in this series, "Murder of a Small Town Honey", "Murder of a Sweet Old Lady", "Murder of a Ken and Barbie", "Murder of a Pink Elephant" and a couple of others that were cute, too. There are two more left in the series and I have them in my TBR ready to be read :)

I'm not sure yet what my next book to read will be. I have some review books on their way to me so it depends on when I receive those or I might just go for the 10th book in Swanson's series, "Murder of a Chocolate Covered Cherry".

If you'd like to participate in The Sunday Salon, just click the button above.

Hope you all have a great week!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday Night at the Movies or TV Screen

Besides reading, I love TV and movies. So, I decided to start my own Saturday meme dedicated to TV and/or movies. Every Saturday I'll talk about a TV show or movie that I enjoyed during the past week or maybe one that I'm looking forward to in the coming week. If anyone would like to participate, please feel free. You can use the button above and comment here with the link to your post. There are no rules, it's more about sharing what we watch on TV or movies (DVDs, too!).

I'm starting off with Fox's TV show Fringe. It started this season, 2008-2009, and just returned two weeks ago after being on hiatus for a couple of months. I really love this show. It reminds me quite a bit of The X-Files. If you haven't seen it, this is the cast...

Anna Torv stars as Olivia. A police officer whose cases always involve some type of paranormal case. John Noble plays Walter. A very smart scientist/doctor who helps her solve cases. Joshua Jackson plays Peter, his son. We've seen some sexual tension between Olivia and Peter, although right now he seems to be dating her sister. Then, there's the relationship between Walter and Peter. Peter is frequently annoyed by his father, but you just know they love each other.

This week's episode was about a man-made creature that attacks humans. Once it stings a human, the monster releases it's eggs into the human and they grow inside. Talk about the "ick" factor! It's frequently seen in this show. So, I advise you not to eat while watching :)

The hour goes really fast and there are very few commercial interruptions. The cast really gels together very well - none of that stiffness or awkwardness that comes with a brand new show trying to find itself. It looks like Fox has found a winner with this show!

What did you watch this week?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Murder of a Real Bad Boy by Denise Swanson

Genre: Cozy Mystery

School psychologist, Skye Denison, is having her newly inherited house renovated. She hires the sexy contractor, Beau Hamilton, to do the job. Not that she’s interested in the handsome man. She recently broke up with her boyfriend and has no need to get involved in another relationship. However, it doesn’t hurt to look.

When Beau’s work proves to be much less than adequate, Skye realized she has to look behind the sexiness and fire him. She’s given him umpteen chances, but the work is simply not being done. Unfortunately, before she can fire him someone kills him and she stumbles upon the dead body. The Sheriff quickly makes her the number one and only suspect.

Things get really crazy for Skye when the local police chief takes a romantic interes in her, her ex-boyfriend wants her back, her cat is missing, her brother has a deep dark secret and Beau’s sister turns up on her doorstep begging for help in finding her brother’s murderer. Skye always finds herself the center of murder investigations in Scumble River and has sworn to stay out of them, but how can she refuse getting involved in this one? Especially when she’s the prime suspect.

This is one of my favorite cozy mystery series. I always love re-visiting Scumble River and seeing what Skye is up to. Denise Swanson gives us a wide array of characters to fall in love with and some that will drive you crazy. Each character takes on a life of its own. This is the 8th book in the series and it never gets old. Each one is better than the previous one. I’m looking forward to reading #9.

For Reading Challenges: Amateur Sleuth Reading Challenge, Cozy Mystery Reading Challenge, Themed Reading Challenge.

Friday Fill-Ins #120 we go!

1. Join me in celebrating the weekend.

2. Put a little love in your day!

3. Happiness is being with my husband and cats.

4. Tired and confused.

5. I'm waiting for 5:00 pm Friday.

6. Chocolate is hard to resist.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to resting, tomorrow my plans include car shopping and Sunday, I want to go grocery shopping and read!

If you'd like to play along, click the button above and join in!

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