Monday, August 31, 2009

Musing Mondays - Children's Books

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about books for children…

Do you buy books as gifts for children – either your own or those of friends or family? Would you buy books for all children, or only children who are already practiced readers?

This is an easy question for me, I don't have any children so I don't have any kids to buy books for. I used to buy my nephew books, but since he and my brother moved out of town, I usually just stick to gift certificates from Amazon. I have no idea what he's reading, if he's reading or what he wants or needs anymore.

If I did have children around, I'd buy them books if they showed an interest in reading. If my nephew lived closer, I wouldn't hesitate to try and get him interested in reading, although I would never force it.

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Mailbox Monday August 31st

I had a good week...

Casting Spells by Barbara Bretton
Everything Sucks by Hannah Friedman (for review)
The Sister Pact by Cami Checketts (for Review)
The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship by Andrea Israel & Nancy Garfinkel (for review)

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

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Flashes of Glory by Elisabeth Lee

Genre: Mystery, Chick Lit

In the middle of glitzy Las Vegas, Carlyle “Lyle” Hudson, a wild poker player, is being sought after by a handsome Middle Eastern business man, Ari. He gives her a beautiful ruby ring and gifts her with a Bentley. Unfortunately for Lyle, he also has two very jealous wives who would like nothing more than to rip Lyle’s eyes out of their sockets.

Lyle gets out of Vegas as quickly as she can with her white fox terrier dog, Glory, by her side and returns to her home in San Francisco. Her best friend, Chas, has already rented her place out, but that doesn’t bother Lyle at all. She’s safer at home than in Vegas…or so she thought. When she receives threats from the wives, Lyle realizes she may never be safe again.

Meanwhile, her aunts want her back in her hometown of Kansas. There’s been a murder and they need Lyle’s help to solve it. She returns home, but is followed by Chas, Ari and the two jealous wives. To top it all off, she’s in denial that she’s begun menopause and her aunts give her home remedies that are more harm than good.

Lyle is a 50something woman who gives the younger heroines a run for their money. She’s filled with sass, spark and attitude. Her best friend Chas is a gay man who is right by her side and adds fun moments to the craziness.

It took me awhile to get into this book and learn all about the characters, but once I did, it was a fun, fast-paced mystery with quite a bit of humor thrown in. I wish I had read the first book so I could read what got Lyle to this point, but not reading it didn’t take away from my joy of the book. The storyline was entertaining and kept me on my toes as I tried to figure out whodunit.

For reading challenges:

Amateur Sleuth Reading Challenge
Chick Lit Reading Challenge

Bloody Great Blogger Award

I'm very honored that Kaye from Pudgy Penguin Perusals gave Socrates' Book Review Blog this lovely award. Thank you so much, Kaye! You should all visit Kaye's blog, it's wonderful!

The Bloody Great Blogger award is to be given to 5 bloggers who have been supportive and extra special to you in the blogging process. That person who always comments or the one who emails you to let you know about that Freudian slip you missed, the blogger who links to your posts or lifts you up when your blog is down.

There are so many wonderful people out there in the blogosphere, it is always hard to pick out a few. The first five that come to mind are:

1. Blodeuedd at Book girl of Mur-y-Castell
2. Vivienne at Serendipity
3. Nise at Under the Boardwalk
4. Naida at The Bookworm
5. Sassy Brit at

Friday, August 28, 2009

Along Came A Spider by James Patterson

Book #1 in the Alex Cross Series

Genre: Thriller, Suspense

Alex Cross is a detective/psychologist. He is involved in investigating the murders of an Inter-City family, but he is removed from the case when two children, from influential families, are kidnapped from their private school. Cross is hot on the trail of the kidnapper, Gary Soneji Murphy. Soneji-Murphy aspires to be as notorious as the Lindburgh baby kidnapper. Along the way, Alex becomes romantically involved with Secret Service Agent, Jezzie Flanagan, but all is not how it seems.

Patterson creates a diabolical, truly evil villain in Soneji-Murphy, who is not only a serial kidnapper but a serial killer as well. At times, it’s unsure if he’s also suffering from multiple personality disorder. He’s a character that will have readers jumping out of their seats in fear.

“Along Came A Spider” is the first book in James Patterson’s very popular Alex Cross series. As a huge fan of Patterson’s, it’s really amazing that this is the first Alex Cross book I’ve read. Actually I listened to the audio version of it and was truly mesmerized by it. Readers, as well as Cross, are kept guessing throughout the entire book. It takes many twists and turns, just the way I like my thrillers. I’ll definitely be reading the rest of this series.

For Reading Challenges:

James Patterson Reading Challenge

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Booking through Thursday - Recent Fluff

Today's Question:

What’s the lightest, most “fluff” kind of book you’ve read recently?

My Answer:

I guess I'd have to say Confessions of A Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. Everything else I've been reading is more serious. I always try to get in a "lighter" read between the more serious books. It kind of breaks the tension for me, but lately I've had so many review books that were more serious and haven't had a chance for the lighter books.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I just stumbled upon a great giveaway at Bookin' With Bingo

--BOOKIN' WITH BINGO is having an EXTRAVAGANT BINGO BOOKCASE GIVEAWAY sponsored by CSN STORES who sell everything from fireplaces to office furniture. Stop by and enter by 6 PM, EST, on September 26th.

The book cases..................

Good luck!!!!

Confessions of a Shopaholic - The Movie!

This past weekend I finally had a chance to watch the movie version of Confessions of a Shopaholic. Let me start by saying I loved Sophie Kinsella's original book. It's even one of my top reads for 2009. The second book, Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, was okay but not nearly as good as the first book.

Now, about the movie. As typical with books to movies, there were things changed in the movie. Not enough things to really make me angry, but enough that it made the movie version seem so shallow. Obviously a book gives you a deeper inside as to the motivation of a character and gives you more opportunity to see a story actually develop.

A few things differences between the movie and the book...

Movie - Becky immediately gets a job with Luke.
Book - Becky gets a job with someone else and goes through a lot to avoid Luke.

Movie - Becky makes a TV guest appearance on a show with Luke.
Book - Becky is a regular on a TV show as a financial expert.

Movie - Becky lives in New York.
Book - Becky lives in London, she doesn't get to New York until book #2.

Movie - Becky's friend Suze is dating and gets engaged to Tarky.
Book - Tarky is interested in Becky, Suze is a second or third cousin. They eventually do get together, though (Tarky and Suze).

Book - Becky helps her parent's neighbors with financial advice.
Movie - The neighbors don't exist.

Book - Becky is accused of practically stalking the above neighbor's son.
Movie - The son doesn't exist either.

There were probably other differences and, on a whole, I guess the differences aren't that big a deal but...these were all things that added up to making the book so much fun. Overall, I'm glad I read the book first. If I saw the movie first, I probably wouldn't have bothered reading it. Even though I wasn't thrilled with book #2, I still intend to finish the series.

It makes me realize another thing - although I wasn't thrilled with the movie Twilight, I really might enjoy the books. I need to dust them off and take them out of my TBR.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Confessions of A Trauma Junkie by Sherry Jones Mayo, RN, EMTP, NCCM

Genre: Non-Fiction

Sherry Jones Mayo shares the real life experiences of what goes on in an ER and the emotional and physical toll it takes on the medical professionals involved. As an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and an Emergency Room Nurse, Ms. Mayo has first hand knowledge and gives readers an inside glimpse into this amazing world.

Ms. Mayo details the tragedies and sometimes even the joy that happens in the ER on an everyday basis. Readers will learn what it feels like to be on both sides of the gurney, as a patient as well as a medical professional. Some of the stories will tear your heart out, while others will bring a smile or two.

As I read this book, I felt as if I was there in the ER as a spectator as the EMTs, paramedics, doctors, nurses and all the hardworking medical staff fought to save life after life. I always knew how hard these people worked, but this gave me a new appreciation for these courageous people. I was mesmerized by each story I read. This book was over way too fast. I do hope we’ll get to read more about these remarkable people.

Thank you to Sherry Jones Mayo for sending this book my way. You are an incredible woman and I admire you for everything you and your colleagues have done for all of us.

I am also giving this my Socrates' Great Book Alert Award as any book that can effect me this way deserves it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Musing Mondays - Book Series

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about book series…

Do you prefer to read stand-alone books, or books in series? Do you stick with a series the whole way through or stop after the first instalment? Are there any particular series you enjoy?(question courtesy of Elena)

I don't really have a preference. I enjoy both. There are advantages to reading both types of books. With series books, I get to know the characters and I feel like I'm re-visiting old friends. Some of my favorite series - Cedar Cove by Debbie Macomber, Women's Murder Club by James Patterson and the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich. Those are the three that come to my mind first. Plus, I do enjoy the cozy mystery series and have several that are favorites of mine like the Mrs. Murphy books by Rita Mae Brown and the Joe Grey books by Shirley Rousseau Murphy.

With stand-alones, I can enjoy the single book without worrying what came before or getting everything in the series. There's a place for both in my reading life.

I usually read through all the books in a series (unless I don't like the first couple I've read, then I won't bother continuing). Of course it may take me a long time to catch up. The series I mentioned above, I'm still way behind, but all the unread books are still in my TBR and I fully intend to get to them all :)

One pet peeve that I have to mention about series books - I hate picking up a book that interests me, bring it home only to find that it's part of a series. There could be 10 books prior (I'm obsessive about reading books in order) and I now have to go hunting down the previous ones before I can read the one I just bought. I wish all books that are part of a series would feature that information on their covers. "Book 1, Book 2, etc. etc." At least then, if I pick up book 5, I could decide for myself if I want to invest my time and money in the entire series.

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Mailbox Monday August 24th

Only two books for me this week and both are for reviews:

Confessions of A Trauma Junkie: My Life As a Nurse Paramedic by Sherry Jones May, RN

Flashes of Glory by Elisabeth Lee

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

We have contest winners!

I'm happy to announce the contest winners for..........



Congratulations to the winners!

Friday, August 21, 2009

How To Tame A Modern Rogue by Diana Holquist

Genre: Romance

Ally Giordano is a no-nonsense kind of girl. She’s straight-laced and follows all the rules. When she was a teenager, her parents abandoned her for the fun life leaving her behind with her grandmother. Ally gave them ten years to return, but they never did. So, when her 25th birthday arrives, she decides to give herself a whole new life. She quits her teaching job in New York and accepts one in San Francisco. It’s a big move, but she feels she needs to do something to change her life. Unfortunately, it means leaving her beloved grandmother, Granny Donny, behind.

The night before she’s ready to leave New York, Granny Donny is convinced they are living in her favorite 19th century Regency romance novel. Granny Donny is determined to save Ally from spinsterhood. When she meets a handsome Duke, she’s sure this is the perfect man for Ally.

Sam Carson is intrigued by Ally and Granny Donny’s situation and decides to play along and pretend to be a Duke. He’s always been the kind of guy to take a risk and being around the beautiful Ally isn’t exactly a hardship, although her prim and proper ways drive him crazy. He vows to loosen her up, at least a little bit.

Granny begs Ally and Sam to accompany her on a trip to the “country” where she thinks Ally’s parents are staying. Ally is torn between fear for her grandmother’s fantasies and scared of what she might possibly find. Neither Ally or Sam can refuse the wishes of this dear old woman. Along with a driver and a horse-drawn carriage, they make the long four day trek between Brooklyn and Long Island. Granny is thrilled, but Ally is sure she will kill Sam before this journey ends.

Diana Holoquist has created the perfect modern day fairy tale. While it’s set in present time, it shows the parallels of the 21st century and the 19th century in a clever way. Granny is a darling character. Ally and Sam’s chemistry sizzles. This book has it all – romance and even a little mystery thrown in. I’ve never read anything by this author before, but I will in the future. Thanks to Anna and Hachette Books for sending this my way.

For reading challenge: Romance Club Reading Challenge

Bingo Award

I was given this beautiful award by Book Chick City. You should check out her blog, it's lovely.

This award means my blog is:

B: Beautiful
I: Informative
N: Neighborly
G: Gorgeous
O: Outstanding

I'm passing this one along to...

B: Beautiful - The Bookworm
I: Informative - So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
N: Neighborly - Wrighty's Reads
G: Gorgeous - Readaholic
O: Outstanding - Peeking Between the Pages

If you haven't been to their blogs yet, you should really check them out!

Friday Fill-In #138

Questions this week are courtesy of my friend, Karen and my cousin, Maribeth. we go!

1. I remember, I remember when times were less stressful.

2. Dear Diary I want you to know I'm still as crazy as I was when I wrote to you as a kid.

3. Is that my really the size of my TBR (sadly, yes)!!???

4. I'm trying to resist the temptation of eating a ton of chocolate.

5. I'm saving a slice of chocolate cake just for you!

6. If I made a birthday list a vacation would definitely be on it!!!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to watching TV and relaxing, tomorrow my plans include grocery shopping and catching up on reading and Sunday, I want to watch some DVDs!

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Booking through Thursday - Favorite Recent Read

This week's question...

What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
(Tell me you didn’t see this one coming?)

This is a harder question than it looks...from the recent reads, I'm going to pick The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux. I loved this one and it gave me a chance to read an author I haven't read in many, many years. In the early days of my romance reading, I read everything by Deveraux. Then, my reading tastes changed and new authors appeared and I was distracted. I still bought Deveraux's books, but they languished in my ever-growing TBR. I decided to read The Summerhouse because it fit in with one of the challenges I'm doing and...well... it's summer :) I love reading books that are in the same season I'm in.

This isn't to say I haven't read other books recently that I've loved such as The Beach Club, The Lie, Nantucket Nights...but I'd say The Summerhouse would be my favorite.

What's your favorite recent read?

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Author Interview: Linda Weaver Clarke

Socrates’ Book Review Blog is very happy to welcome Linda Weaver Clarke as our guest. Linda is the author of several historical fiction novels and is currently teaching a Family Legacy Workshop. She is a very talented writer and has graciously agreed to share her experiences with us.

Welcome, Linda. It is a pleasure to have you here and to be given this wonderful opportunity.

My first question is how did you first become a writer and who is your greatest influence in your writing?

It all started with my ancestors. They were my greatest influence. I decided that I wanted to write their stories so I went to the library and studied one book after another on the techniques of writing. Writing was something that I loved so it was easy for me to understand all the rules associated with writing. Then I went to work and wrote the biographies of several ancestors, including my own parents. Afterward, I couldn’t stop writing, so I turned to historical fiction. The first thing I wrote was a series of five books called, “A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho.” That was where my ancestors settled in the 1800s and they were among the very first settlers in Paris, Idaho. I thought it would be great to include a few family stories in these novels, giving these experiences to my fictional characters and bringing the story to life.

Where do you get ideas for your books?

From true experiences, from every day life, and talking to my husband! My first book, “Melinda and the Wild West,” was inspired by a true experience that happened to me as a substitute teacher. A former teacher labeled a young girl as a troublemaker and put her behind some bookshelves so she wouldn’t be a menace to anyone. I told my husband that I wanted to base my story after this experience, teaching others that negative labels tear down and positive labels build up, but I also wanted it to be a love story. How could I intertwine the two? So he said to me, “Then why not have this young girl be a child of a widower?” Thus, my story began to unfold. This book eventually won an award as one of the semi-finalists for the “Reviewers Choice Award 2007.” It was my first book, so when I went back and reread it after writing 9 novels, I realized that my writing technique had improved with each book.

In “Edith and the Mysterious Stranger,” I based this story around the courtship of my parents. They didn’t meet the conventional way. They wrote letters to one another before they ever met. She said that she fell in love with the soul of my father, what was deep down inside and they didn’t even know what one another looked like. The day they met, my mother told me that her heart leapt within her and a warm glow filled her soul and she knew she would marry this man. I knew this would be the basis of my next novel, but there’s one difference. In my story, you don’t know who the mysterious stranger is until the end of the book. Some readers guessed correctly while others were pleasantly surprised.

“Jenny’s Dream” was inspired by events that happened to me in my youth. I learned that forgiveness was essential for true happiness and well-being, and that is why I felt this story needed to be told. Jenny must learn to forgive and put her past behind her. Of course, I add a little love story, but it’s not the complete focus of this novel. When she realizes that her kindred friend means more to her than she thought, then she has to make a decision whether to follow her dream or matters of the heart. This story is about accomplishing one’s dreams and the miracle of forgiveness.

What type of research goes into creating one of your historical novels? Do you prepare any kind of outline?

I put a great deal of research into my novels, and yes, I do use an outline. The subplot of “Jenny’s Dream” is about a ten-foot grizzly bear taken from Idaho history called Old Ephraim. The research about this old grizzly was exciting to me because I had grown up with the stories of Old Ephraim. He was also known as Old Three Toes because of a deformity on his foot. He wreaked havoc wherever he went, slaughtering sheep and calves, and scaring sheepherders so badly that they actually quit their jobs. He was the most powerful bear in history. With one blow of his paw, he could break the back of a cow. In my research, I found that he was the smartest bear that ever roamed the Rocky Mountains. No one could catch him. Every bear trap they set was tossed many yards away from where they had put it, and the ones that weren’t tripped had Old Three Toes tracks all around it. He was too smart to be caught. It took one man that could outsmart this bear: Frank Clark from Malad, Idaho! In this story, I included every detail about this bear and his deeds. Since my story is historical fiction and my hero is Gilbert Roberts, I renamed this grizzly “Old Half Paw,” in honor of “Old Three Toes.” To read an excerpt, you can visit my website at

In my research for “David and the Bear Lake Monster,” I found out that people really believe in this legend. The mystery of the Bear Lake Monster has been an exciting part of Idaho history ever since the early pioneers arrived in 1863. Some people claimed to have seen it and gave descriptions of it. The interesting thing is that all the reports have pretty much the same description. The monster’s eyes were flaming red and its ears stuck out from the sides of its skinny head. Its body was long, resembling a gigantic alligator, and it could swim faster than a galloping horse. Of course, it was only seen in the evening or at dusk. Throughout the years, no one has ever disproved the Bear Lake Monster. A bunch of scientists tried to discredit the monster and said it was a huge codfish that was shipped in from the East but could not prove this theory. Is the Bear Lake Monster fact or fiction? Whatever conclusion is drawn, the legend still lives on and brings a great deal of mystery and excitement to the community. The different accounts of the Bear Lake Monster are true, according to Bear Lake History.

Can you tell us anything about your latest book?

My great grandmother, Sarah Eckersley Robinson, was my inspiration for “David and the Bear Lake Monster.” I wanted to use her experiences for my heroine to bring some reality into my story. As a child, she lost her hearing but she never let her deafness stop her from living life to its fullness. Sarah was known as one of the most graceful dancers in town. She would glide across the floor with ease, with just a touch of her partner’s hand. She was so graceful that people actually threw coins in the water so they could watch her dive after them. Once an intruder hid in her bedroom under her bed, thinking he could take advantage of her since she was deaf. He must have thought she was an easy victim but was sadly mistaken. She swatted him out from under her bed with a broom, and all the way out of the house, and down the street for a couple blocks, whacking him as she ran. She was a beautiful and spunky woman and because of my admiration for my great grandmother, I named my character “Sarah.”

In my research about the “hearing impaired,” and talking to a dear friend who became deaf in her youth, I became educated about the struggles they have to bear. I didn’t realize that concentrating on reading lips for long periods of time could be such a strain, resulting in a splitting headache. After all my research, I found that I had even more respect for my great grandmother and her disability.

What is “David and the Bear Lake Monster” about? It’s about deep-rooted legends, long family traditions, and a few mysterious events! David quickly becomes one with the town and its folk and wonders why they believe in this Bear Lake Monster. It just has to be a myth. While visiting the Roberts family, he finds himself entranced with one very special lady and ends up defending her honor several times. Sarah isn’t like the average woman. This beautiful and dainty lady has a disability that no one seems to notice. He finds out that Sarah has gone through more trials than the average person. She teaches him the importance of not dwelling on the past and how to love life. And how about the Bear Lake Monster? Does it really exist?

What exactly is the Family Legacy Workshop?

I teach people how to write their family stories. It’s important to teach our children their heritage. Who are your ancestors? What were their traditions? Did they fight for a cause and what was it about? If these stories are unwritten, then how are your children going to know of their parentage? It’s up to us to write these experiences down. For a sample of what you can do with your family histories, read the short stories on my website at

How did you become involved with it?

When my publisher told me to get out into the public’s eyes and lecture about my books, I decided that I wanted to lecture about the one thing that is most dear to me. How to write your family history! I’m so grateful that I chose this direction because I’ve been able to help many people. The libraries sponsor my workshops and the 2-hour class is free to the public.

What exactly happens at one of your workshops? What is involved in the classes?

First, I tell everyone how to begin. For example, collect your thoughts, write down any experiences that you remember, and talk to family members and discuss memories. You can make several short stories, making the history into segments. Or you can write the whole history as a continuous flow.

Second, we discuss the importance of research. Learn everything you can about the area, the time period, and any historical facts that you would like to add. Sometimes, what the country went through has to do with the circumstances of your ancestors. If they lived during the depression or war times, it helps your children understand why their grandparents had such tough times, why they barely made ends meet, or why they had to flee a certain country.

Find out everything you can about the area to both educate your readers and to make the setting feel real. Since the reader can’t be there physically, then perhaps they can be there mentally. If possible, go to the area you want to write about, walk around, find specific places of importance, where your ancestors lived, went to school, and played. If you can’t go there, then do research and find pictures of that area. Study books at the library or search the Internet.

Time Period is another important part of research. During the roaring twenties, bobbed hair was the rage. If your grandmother bobbed her hair and went to the dance marathons, write about it. If your ancestor loved reading books in the evening before retiring, it would be interesting to add what kind of light he used. Little details like this warms a story up and can bring your ancestor to life. Did he use electricity, candlelight, or an oil lantern? It sounds more interesting to say, “Grandfather sat in his overstuffed chair and read for hours with an oil lantern at his side.” Rather than just saying, “Grandfather read extensively before retiring.”

Do you have any specific stories about someone you helped that you’d like to share with us?

At the Idaho State Historical Society Library in Boise, a patron said to my daughter, who comes with me on my trips: “I felt as if I had handcuffs on my wrists and your mother has just unlocked them.” My heart was so touched by this statement.

In Shreveport, Louisiana, a patron wrote to a friend, and then e-mailed her statement to me: “I went to a 2-hr-seminar put on by Broadmoor Library. It was so interesting and I wish I had a video of the lady speaking; telling stories of her parents, grandparents, family, etc. What a brilliant lady who knows how to speak, write, motivate and bless people in all walks of life. I could listen to her all day.†It is just so uplifting.” Needless to say, it brought tears to my eyes, knowing that someone was motivated.

Where have you taught these workshops? If any of our readers are interested in one in their area, can it be arranged?

I have traveled to 13 states. You can go to my website at and click on “Upcoming Events” to see the list. Yes, it can be arranged. First, they have to find out who would like to sponsor this workshop and then get in touch with me. I can teach at libraries, universities, or wherever is best for the community.

Two different times I’ve had a professor attend my workshops. The second one raised her hand at the end of class and said, “I’m a professor at the University here…” At this point I gasped and thanked her for not telling me before class began. The class laughed and then she continued, “I just wanted you to know that I have attended many writing classes, but I learned more at this 2-hour workshop than any class I’ve attended. Thank you.” I was so humbled by her statement. I didn’t know what to say.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Yes. Use emotion in your writing. It’s the secret of holding a reader. When you feel the emotion inside, so will your readers. By giving descriptions of emotion, it helps the reader feel part of the story as if he were actually there himself. But remember: Show, don’t tell. To read more hints on writing, visit my Blog Spot at I publish a few articles about writing on that site, among other things of interest.

Linda, Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with us.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Musing Mondays - Movies

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about movies …

How do you react to movies made of your favourite books (or even not-so-favourite books)? Do you look forward to seeing them, or avoid them? Do you like to have read the book before seeing the movie?

It depends...more often than not, I prefer the book better than the movies. I usually like to read the books first. Although, I guess it doesn't really matter since very often they change the movies so much they are unrecognizable.

In the past couple of years, I read P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern before seeing the movie. I thought the book was better.

Recently I've seen The Reader and Twilight movies, but haven't read either book yet. So, we'll see how I feel about those since both books are in my TBR.

I did read Nights of Rodanthe in the past few months, but I haven't seen the movie yet. I do want to. The same with Confessions of a Shopaholic. I read the book and now want to see the movie.

Overall, I think books can tell so much more about the story than a movie. There's more time in a book to explore the characters' thought processes than a movie can. There have also been times when I finish a book and think "Wouldn't that be a great movie?"

Do you read books then see the movie or vice versa?

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Mailbox Monday August 17th

I already started How to Tame A Modern Rogue and it's really cute!

Never Nosh a Matzo Ball by Sharon Kahn
Don’t Cry for Me, Hot Pastrami by Sharon Kahn
Which Big Giver Stole the Chopped Liver? By Sharon Kahn
So Into You by Sandra Hill (for review)
How to Tame A Modern Rogue by Diana Holquist (for review)

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

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Salon - Summer Reading

New York is sizzling with humidity and I spent my day relaxing with the a/c on high and doing my favorite thing - reading. I'm finishing up Elin Hilderbrand's "The Beach Club". I love to read books with a beach/summer theme during these months. I don't know why, I just do :) Hilderbrand is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine. This one is really good, although it took me some time to get into it. I should be done tonight and will have review in a day or two. This week I also finished "Naughty Neighbor" by Janet Evanovich and posted my review already. I'm not really sure what my next book will be, but I did start to listen to the audio version of James Patterson's "Along Came A Spider". I'll only be listening on my way to and from work, but already I'm hooked on his Alex Cross character.

I'm busy trying to work my way through the reading challenges I have left and I'm also contemplating hosting another challenge. I looked for one that is strictly for the romantic suspense genre (a favorite of mine), but didn't see anything. So, I'm thinking of doing that. I know, I know...why do I need more challenges? To help me get through my ever-growing TBR, of course :)

Hope you all have a great Sunday and a great week!

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Beach Club by Elin Hilderbrand

Genre: Fiction

“The Beach Club” is another novel set in the beautiful world of Nantucket Island. Bill and Therese Elliot are the owners of a very exclusive beach resort called, “The Beach Club”. It’s been passed down through Bill’s family and he intends to pass it along to their young daughter Cecily. However, Cecily has plans of her own for her future.

Mack Petersen has been hotel manager for twelve years. He has become very close to the Elliots. In fact, Therese is hoping Mack asks Cecily to marry him. Unfortunately, Mack is in love with the beautiful Maribel, who is anxiously awaiting a marriage proposal. After dating Mack for six years, she’s sure a proposal is forthcoming. When it doesn’t happen, both Mack and Maribel begin to question their relationship and wonder if there is any hope for them.

The new front-desk person, Love O’Donnell, has one thing on her mind. She desperately needs a man to father her child. At 40 years old, Love’s biological clock is working overtime. More than anything, she wants a baby but she doesn’t want a lasting relationship. When she meets head bellman, Vance, she’s immediately attracted to him and doubly happy when she finds out he doesn’t want any children. It’s the perfect set up for Love’s plans.

Readers are taken on a wonderful summer vacation through the pages of this fast-moving, captivating book. There is a wide variety of secondary characters and, when I red this, I really felt as if I was at the resort sipping Margaritas. This is the second book I’ve read by this author and I’ve enjoyed both. This definitely won’t be my last.

For reading challenge: Chick Lit

Friday, August 14, 2009

Naughty Neighbor by Janet Evanovich

Genre: Romance

Press Secretary, Louisa Brannigan, is devoted to her job. She makes sure to get to work on time and does whatever is required of her, even if it’s after work hours. The one stumbling block is her upstairs neighbor, Pete Streeter. He’s keeping her awake at all hours of the night with the constant ringing of his phone. To top it all off, he’s now taking to stealing her morning newspaper! She confronts him about his behavior, but instead she finds she can’t stay angry at this sexy man for long.

Pete Streeter is a journalist. A reporter on a mission. He recently read a newspaper article about a pig running loose in the halls of Congress and suddenly the pig vanished. Not an easy feat for anything that big. It turns out the pig was brought in by a politician, Stuart Maislin, as part of a goodwill animal husbandry program and the pig has been genetically altered to have a very low fat ratio. Now, the pig is missing and Pete want to know why.

When Maislin spots Pete and Louisa together at a political function, he convinces her boss to fire her. Pete elicits Louisa’s help in getting to the bottom of this little mystery, but they find they can’t keep their hands off each other.

This is a cute romance. It’s one of Janet Evanovich’s older Loveswept romances re-vamped for present times. She changed things like VHS to DVD. Personally, I don’t think it’s necessary to do things like that since the copyright is clearly 1992, but the book is updated. Anyway, it’s a sweet romance to spend an afternoon reading – it’s a one-sitting book.

For Reading Challenges: TBR Lite

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Booking through Thursday - Recent Worst Book

This week's question...

What’s the worst book you’ve read recently?
(I figure it’s easier than asking your all-time worst, because, well, it’s recent!)

You know, this was actually a very hard question and I can honestly say I don't have one. Lately, I've been very lucky in what I've been reading and really enjoyed all my books. I guess it's because I'm getting better and better in choosing books that I know I will love. It's been working for me.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Have your reading tastes changed?

I've been going through my TBR looking through all my books. As I've said in the past, my TBR numbers over 10,000. I've been "collecting" books in my TBR since the late 70's, although it has gotten out of hand since I've been online which probably started in the mid-90's. That's why my TBR is so large (plus I buy alot of Harlequins and a million of them come out each month - LOL).

Anyway, in going through my library, I discovered how my reading interests have changed greatly. I still enjoy the Harlequins, but usually only when I need a break from "heavier" reading. Although, I now tend to like the lines with more intense topics and that are longer than the original Harlequin Romances.

In the past my favorite was probably the sweeter romances, now I enjoy more suspenseful, thriller types. Also, humor is a big thing for me. I used to also read historical romances, which I no longer read except for a couple of authors I like or a western romance. I seem to still enjoy those. I used to read a ton of Danielle Steel books, but now I can't remember the last time I've read one.

I'm trying to take all my older romances that I haven't read but am no longer interested in to donate them to the library. While I logically know this is a good idea, I can't seem to part with books I haven't read yet. I guess that's a personality flaw of mine. LOL The books I want to donate would probably be a gold mine to the library since they are all brand new and never have been read.

So, I'm curious, have your reading tastes changed over the years? Do you ever clean out your books and get rid of them before you've read them?

Just wondering............

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Musing Mondays - Publishing Houses

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about publishing houses …

Do you have a favorite publishing house -- one that puts out books that you constantly find yourself wanting to read? If so, who? And, what books have they published that you've loved? (question courtesy of MizB)

I don't know if I a favorite publishing house, but I do love the Berkley mysteries and Harlequin books. I don't really have a favorite book that I love from either publisher, since I've read so many of their books.

I can't say that I consciously go out and look for books published by a specific house. Sometimes it just happens.

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Mailbox Monday August 10th

Only two books last week, but they look so good!

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