Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Finds



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



What great books did you hear about / discover this past week? Share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

I'm currently reading Red Mist by Richard Taylor and it's wonderful. I'll be reviewing it in a few days, but I already had to check out what else this author has written and I found these books...



I'm planning to get all of them, eventually. They can be found at Smashwords.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Shoulder Bags and Shootings by Dorothy Howell



Kensington Publishing
July 2010

Genre: Chick Lit, Cozy Mystery

Haley Randolph enjoys everything life has to offer. She just spent the last couple of weeks in Europe with her handsome boyfriend, Ty, who happens to be the owner of the department store where she works as a salesperson. She then gets a chance to drive his grandmother’s expensive Mercedes home from the airport and now she’s on her way to buy the latest designer pocketbook – a Sinful pocketbook. She absolutely must have one. Things don’t get better than this…until she looks in the trunk of the car. Facing her is the dead body of her business competitor, Tiffany Markham.

Haley and Tiffany have had their problems in the past since they both have purse party companies and are constantly competing with each other, but Haley didn’t want her dead. Unfortunately, the police don’t believe her and are ready to pin the crime right on her doorstep. Haley realizes if she wants to prove her innocence, she’ll have to do it on her own.

This madcap adventure will have readers laughing along with Haley’s antics, as well as trying to figure out who really killed Tiffany. Howell writes with a comedic flair and in the same vein as Sophie Kinsella’s Confessions of a Shopaholic series. Think chick lit meets cozy mystery.

Although it’s the third book in the “A Haley Randolfph Mystery” series, I have not read the previous two but that did not take away from my enjoyment of this book. I do have the first two books and intend to read them.

I totally enjoyed this book. It’s a fast-paced tale that will leave readers smiling after the last page is turned. This is one author I’m adding to my book buying shopping list.




For Reading Challenges:

Chick Lit Reading Challenge
Cozy Mystery Reading Challenge
Mystery Reader Cafe Reading Challenge
Read Your Own Book Reading Challenge

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Great Places to Score a Discount Designer Handbag

Great Places to Score a Discount Designer Handbag
By Dorothy Howell,
Author of Shoulder Bags and Shootings: A Haley Randolph Mystery

You don't have to dress less-than-glam during these hard economic times -- not when shopping centers and Internet sites are flush with places to snag a genuine designer handbag at a deeply discounted price.

Stores selling discounted handbags range from small, intimate vintage and consignment shops to large department stores, and even larger outlet malls. Internet sites offer a wide range of styles, colors, and designer names.

The Premium Outlets and the Tanger Outlets far and away have the largest concentration of discounted designer merchandise. Along with handbag stores such as Coach, Judith Leiber, Kate Spade and Dooney & Bourke, you'll find a fantastic array of designer stores. Michael Kors, Liz Clairborne, Prada, DKNY, Gucci, Calvin Klein, Burberry, along with many others, carry everything from clothing to shoes, and a sampling of their handbag lines.

The Premium Outlets have over 40 locations nationwide, along with malls in Puerto Rico, Japan, Korea, and Mexico. Tanger Outlet has over 30 locations in the U.S. Both offer AAA and AARP member discounts. Join their VIP Club and visit their Web sites for coupons and special offers. Check out their seasonal sales weekends and national promotions for extra savings in addition to everyday discounts.

First, and in some cases, second quality merchandise is available. You'll have to bring along a magnifying glass to find flaws, though. Most are detectable only to the factory-trained eye.

These outlet stores are great places to shop. There's no digging through clearance bins or blowing the dust off of merchandise that's been sitting around for months. The stores are immaculate, the shelves are orderly and well stocked. The staffs are knowledgeable and helpful, the same as you'll find in their retail stores. Many times, after making your selection, the clerk can bring you a "fresh" bag from the stock room. Care is taken to wrap your treasure in the store's signature tissue paper, and deposit it into their trademark shopping bag.

Discounts typically run 20% to 40% off the MSRP, with deeper cuts of up to 65% off of sale and clearance items. Many of these stores offer a full guarantee on their products, plus a money back return policy. But, as with any store, ask before you buy. Keep in mind that these outlet malls are huge, so wear comfortable shoes and plan for a full day of shopping.

Great bargains can be found in retail giants such as Macy's and Dillard's Department Stores. These discounts are usually offered seasonally so you'll have to watch for them. The selection of these bags will be limited, but you can expect to pay from 20% to 30% off their retail prices.

Leading discount department stores such as Ross Dress For Less, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls offer designer handbags. The selection varies. You might find a Diane von Furstenberg, Betsy Johnson or a Fossil bag mixed in with their non-designer bags. Merchandise varies from location to location. These are no-frills stores. If you don't mind digging for a good deal, you can expect to save 20% to 60% off of department store prices.

Some of the most sought-after designer brands are offered at Websites such as Rue LaLa and Gilt Group. These sites offer members-only pricing on luxury brands, usually for a limited time. Shop early. Expect to pay sales prices of up to 70% off retail.

The website e-bay, along with many other online sites, offers designer handbags at considerable savings. The selection is wide and varied. New as well as used purses are available. You'll have to pay shipping costs, in most cases, so take that into consideration when looking at their prices.

Consignment stores and vintage shops are also good places to find a handbag at a low price. Keep in mind these purses are gently used. Designer names and selection will vary widely. Inventory fluctuates so it's good to check back often. Savings can be considerable.

No matter where you choose to shop for your designer handbag, it's important that you can distinguish a genuine bag from a knock-off. Read product descriptions carefully. Do your homework. Know the tell-tale signs of a counterfeit bag. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

There's no need to deny yourself the joy of sporting a designer handbag when so many places offer great merchandise and outstanding discounts to the everyday fashionista. Get out and see what's available. Shopping for your new bag is half the fun!
© 2010 Dorothy Howell, author of Shoulder Bags and Shootings: A Haley Randolph Mystery

Author Bio
Dorothy Howell, author of Shoulder Bags and Shootings: A Haley Randolph Mystery, was inspired to write Handbags and Homicide by her crazed obsession with designer purses. She lives in Southern California, where there is, thankfully, no rehab program for handbag addiction, and is hard at work on her next Haley Randolph mystery. Visit her Website at www.DorothyHowellNovels.com.

Follow the author on Facebook.

My Favorite Reads



This is a fun meme hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books.

Each week I am featuring one of my favorite reads from the past.

If you would like to participate, please click the link above.

This is the first time I'm participating in this meme and I chose:



Summary from Fantastic Fiction:

When a tornado transports her back in time to 1876 and into the embrace of rugged Texas rancher Jordan McCabe, who mistakes her for his mail-order bride, ambitious businesswoman Elizabeth Mackenzie must make choice--surrender to passion or lose the love of a lifetime.

Why I Chose This Book:


I went through the journal I keep of books I read and went to one of my earliest entries and this was in it. This was a 1991 release. I used to absolutely love time travels back then and my favorite author was Constance O'Day Flannery. I couldn't get enough of her time travels. This was back in the day when I didn't do reviews and my TBR wasn't a mountain. So, I read them as soon as they were released. I would read Romantic Times to see when the next book would be published and then I'd anxiously be awaiting it.

Over the years, the books changed and so did I. I still like time travels, but they aren't my favorite. Maybe back then they were more rare and now they are more common. Also, there are so many more authors to choose time travels from, plus there are other paranormal angles thrown in these days such as ghosts and vampires.

I still have some of her books in my TBR and this post is making me want to pull one out and read it. I'm not totally through with time travels :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A-Z Wednesday


This is a fun meme hosted by Reading at the Beach


Welcome to A-Z Wednesday!!

To join, here's all you have to do: Go to your stack of books and find one whose title starts with the letter of the week.

Post:

1~ a photo of the book

2~ title and synopsis

3~ link(amazon, barnes and noble etc.)

4~ Come back here and leave your link in the comments.

If you've already reviewed this book you can add it also.

Be sure to visit other participants to see what book they have posted and leave them a comment.

(We all love comments, don't we?)

Who knows? You may find your next "favorite" book.

THIS WEEKS LETTER IS: "X"



With all my books and a huge TBR, I still couldn't find an "X" book in there. So, I had to take something I read many years ago...

The X-Files: Skin




Here's the synopsis from Amazon...

Skin has an authentic X-Files feel to it--the right mixture of scientific plausibility and mystical overtones to keep both Scully and Mulder interested and on the trail. Skin taken from an unknown body found at the site of a road accident is grafted over the burns suffered by a mild-mannered professor who then goes berserk, killing a nurse. Mulder and Scully try to trace the source of the skin graft and uncover links with a biotech company called Fibrol International, whose deceased CEO, Emile Paladin, was in charge of a MASH unit in a village in Thailand during the Vietnam War. Traveling to the remote village, Mulder is intrigued to learn about a local cult that worships a mythical monster, the Gin-Korng-Pew, or Skin Eater. Meanwhile, Scully follows more prosaic leads in search of Paladin's reclusive brother.

Mezrich's descriptions of medical procedures feel authentic, and he keeps the story moving along at a good pace, with several dangerous moments for both Mulder and Scully and a significant body count among the witnesses. The mixture of FBI investigation, horror, and the occult, with overtones of paranoia about the activities of the military, should appeal to X-Files fans, while others may enjoy it as an entertaining adventure. --Liz Sourbut, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


WWW Wednesdays



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


To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

My answers...

What are you currently reading?



What did you recently finish reading?



What do you think you’ll read next?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays - July 20th



If you'd like to play along on Teaser Tuesdays, just click the button above.


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


This week I'm reading



This was not happening. There was not a dead body in the trunk of Ty's grandmother's Mercedes.

Maybe I'd just imagined it. Maybe I'd suffered temporary vision impairment after my exposure to those awful pink and orange print dresses in the cardboard box. Yeah, maybe that was it.

I hit the remote. The trunk latch thunked and the lid released. Slowly, I lifted it again.

Damn.

A body was in there, all right. A woman, late twenties maybe, with bobbed bleached - out hair, dressed in shorts, T-shirt, and sandals.

And she was definitely dead.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Musing Mondays - Your Bookshelf



If you'd like to play along on Musing Mondays, just click the button above to join in.


This week’s musing asks…

What does your bookshelf (or, what do your bookshelves) say about you to the people who come into your home?

My answer...

It says a few things about me...

First, "What a slob!" LOL My books are toppling over, they are stacked with no rhyme or reason. It was more of a case of wherever I found room, I put a book.

Second, "Is there anything she won't read?" My reading tastes vary...I like most genres and will try almost anything.

Third, "Does she have a problem?" That's because I have over 10,000 books and I'm addicted to getting them. There's no way I'll live long enough to read them, but that doesn't stop me from collecting more and more books.

What do your shelves look like?

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Executive Retention by Maria E. Schneider



Bear Mountain Books
June, 2010

Genre: Mystery, Cozy

Sedona O’Hala returns for another exciting mystery as she finds herself in danger of losing her job at Strandfrost. When Steve Huntington offers her a chance to assist him in another corporate mystery, she hesitates but agrees to help him by going undercover at Acetel - a company with quite a bit of business but not much money to show for it. Sedona’s job is to find out where all the money is going.

In the midst of everything, her sister-in-law is about to have a baby and desperately needs Sedona’s advice on how to handle her boss. Not to mention that Sedona finds herself quite attracted to Steve, as well as his brother Mark. Things get pretty dicey as she can’t distinguish the good guys from the bad guys.

This story has it all – mystery, twists, and even a dash of romance. This is the second book in the Sedona O’Hala Mysteries. The first was Executive Lunch, which I also enjoyed very much. This book develops the characters even more. Maria E. Schneider is well on her way to becoming a favorite author with her creative, clever and quirky stories and characters.



Check it out at Smashwords...

Executive Retention

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Fill-In #185



If you want to play along with Friday Fill-Ins, just click the button above.

And...here we go!

1. This is what life does. It lets you see both the good and the bad side.

2. Can you appreciate the moment?

3. Upon reflection I have so much to be thankful for.

4. I have enough books to last for quite a long time.

5. Later, you wake up and it starts all over again!

6. I'd rather be on land than go to the far and boundless sea.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to watching baseball and catching up on reading, tomorrow my plans include grocery shopping, more baseball and reading and Sunday, I want to relax!

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Friday Finds



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



What great books did you hear about / discover this past week? Share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

I haven't read these, yet, but I've heard great things about them.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A-Z Wednesday


This is a fun meme hosted by Reading at the Beach


Welcome to A-Z Wednesday!!

To join, here's all you have to do: Go to your stack of books and find one whose title starts with the letter of the week.

Post:

1~ a photo of the book

2~ title and synopsis

3~ link(amazon, barnes and noble etc.)

4~ Come back here and leave your link in the comments.

If you've already reviewed this book you can add it also.

Be sure to visit other participants to see what book they have posted and leave them a comment.

(We all love comments, don't we?)

Who knows? You may find your next "favorite" book.

THIS WEEKS LETTER IS: "W"





This is the synopsis from Amazon...

When her wedding planner is murdered, Katie Ray is forced into close proximity with bad boy PI Carl Hades - and into reconsidering the man with whom she wants to spend the rest of her days.

WWW Wednesdays



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


To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

My answers...

What are you currently reading?



and on audio...



What did you recently finish reading?



What do you think you’ll read next?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays - July 13th



If you'd like to play along on Teaser Tuesdays, just click the button above.


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


This week I'm reading



Luck was with me. I spotted a large cleaver on the counter and picked it up on my way out the back door. Someone, I think it was the head cook shouted, "Hey! You can't take that. What are you doing?"

"Don't worry," I called back. "My date went out this way." And, it occurred to me, had left me with the check. Another good reason to have the cleaver handy.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Musing Mondays - Distractions



If you'd like to play along on Musing Mondays, just click the button above to join in.


This week’s musing asks…

Can you read amidst distractions? (tv, others talking, sporting events, etc)

My answer...


Not really. I prefer complete silence. In the "olden" days I could read regardless of what was going on around me, but not anymore. My mind tends to wander. A library job would have been so perfect for me. LOL


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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday Salon - Heat Wave Reading!



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

With the temperatures here being over 100 degrees all week, I seem to have completed a few books. All good reads.

Completed:

Lumby on the Air by Gail Fraser
Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
Men and Dogs by Katie Crouch

Started:

Executive Retention by Maria E. Schneider

So, one week of July is gone and I finished three books. That's not bad, but there was a holiday in there so that's probably why. LOL We'll see what happens this week.

I hope everyone has a great week!



Saturday, July 10, 2010

Men and Dogs by Katie Crouch





Genre: Fiction
Format: Audio

During the spring of 1985 Dr. Buzz Legare went on a fishing trip with his dog in the Charleston, South Carolina harbor. Later, Buzz was missing and only the dog was found in the fishing boat. Buzz was presumed dead, but no body had ever been found.

Hannah was only 11 when her father disappeared, but she never believed he was dead. She was sure he was alive and when she reached 35, she was obsessed with proving her theory. By now she was married, but she has totally messed that up by drinking and cheating on her husband. However, she could not get her father out of her mind. She did everything she could to prove he was alive, but each time she came up empty handed.

Her mother, step-father and brother all try to convince her to let go and that Buzz was truly dead, but Hannah insists on digging through the past. A past they all believe is best left behind.

I listened to this in the car and it was an interesting read. It held my attention and I found myself caught up in Hannah’s search for her father and the lives of everyone in her family. I have Katie Crouch’s Girls in Trucks in my TBR and eventually I will get to it. If it’s anything like this book, it will be a page turner.

Every Last One by Anna Quindlen




Genre: Fiction
Format: EBook

Mary Beth Latham has the perfect life. Three beautiful teenage children, a doctor husband, a thriving landscaping business and many close friends. Mary Beth deals with all the things mothers go through from sibling rivalry to her teenage daughter’s dating problems.

Her daughter, Ruby, breaks up with her boyfriend, Kiernan, during their senior year of high school. He’s been a family friend forever and he doesn’t take the breakup well. He not only loses Ruby after the breakup, but her family as well. Mary Beth isn’t very happy about the breakup either. She feels terrible for Kiernan.

Mary Beth’s son, Max, begins to have some serious problems with depression. Part of his problem is competing with his twin brother, who is much more popular in school than Max. She has her hands full trying to be there for both Ruby and Max.

Then there’s her husband, Glen. She loves him with all her heart, but their sex life has become mundane. However, she’s content with this and is happy with her family life.
As the Latham family prepares for Ruby’s graduation from high school, tragedy strikes their perfect life and nothing is ever the same again.

I don’t want to say too much as I don’t want to give away any spoilers. I thought I knew exactly how this story was going to end up, but I was totally blown away by what actually occurred. That’s all I’m going to say about the plot, though. You’ll have to read it for yourself to learn more

The first half of the book went slow for me. It was mostly dedicated to developing the characters and reading about Mary Beth’s normal family activities. There were many characters introduced and, at first, I had a hard time keeping them all straight in my head.
Later, the story took a violent turn, which was both heartbreaking and emotional.

This is the type of story that sticks with you long after you read the last page. I was really effected by it and thought about it quite often even when I wasn’t reading it. I would have given it 5 kitties, but the slowness of the beginning made me give it 4. I can highly recommend this book, especially if you like something that tugs at your heart strings, but don’t go anywhere near it if you are looking for a lighter read.

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