Friday, December 31, 2010

December Books and Happy New Year!

The last month of the year was a decent one for me. I read 7 books...

The Triplets First Thanksgiving by Cathy Gillen Thacker
Learn to Relax by C. Eugene Walker audio
Take the Monkeys and Run by Karen Cantwell
Snowbound Seduction by Helen Brooks
Boardwalk Empire by Nelson Johnson audio
Under Wraps by Joanne Rock
Simple Intent by Linda Sands

Three were Harlequins - I obviously tried to complete my own challenge at the end of the year, but was unsuccessful :)

All good books in December.

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Follow Friday 40 and Over



This a fun blog hop hosted by Java at Never Growing Old. It's for all bloggers over 40. Here are the rules...

1. Grab the button
2. Add your link to the list
3. Visit as many other blogs as you can
4. Follow the ones you like (and comment on their blog to say that you are following)

Sign up at Never Growing Old.

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2010 Reading Challenge Wrap Up

I'm not happy at all with the outcome of my reading challenges, but I vow to try better next year.

These are the challenges I signed up for...

The Harlequin/Silhouette Romance Reading Challenge - I host this one and I didn't even complete it. I completed 4 out of 6 books.

Romance Reading Challenge - I completed this one and read all 6 books.

Time Travel Reading Challenge - I didn't read anything from this challenge. I never got around to it.

A to Z Reading Challenge - I completed 18 out of 26 books.

Chick Lit Reading Challenge - I completed 4 out of 8 books.

Read Your Own Book Reading Challenge - I completed this one!

Reading Through the Season - I didn't read any of these.

Medical Mystery Challenge - I didn't read any of these.

What's in a name challenge? 3 - I read 3 out of 6 of these books.

TBR Lite Challenge - I completed this one!

Mystery Reader Cafe Challenge - I read 3 out of 4 books.

James Patterson Reading Challenge - I host this one. It started in August 2009 and ended in August 2010, so I'm counting it as a 2010 challenge. I completed this one :)

Jane Austen Reading Challenge - I completed 1 out of 2 books.

What an animal reading challenge - This one began in July 2009 and ended in February 2010, so I'm counting it for 2010. I wasn't hosting it then, but I now host this challenge. Anyway, for 2010 I completed it and read 6 out of 6 books.

Women's Murder Club - I began hosting this one in August 2009 and it ended in August 2010. I completed this one. I read the 4 books I had left to read and I'm happy to say that I am now caught up :)

Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge - I had 8 books to read and only read 1.

Cat Sleuth Reading Challenge - I only read 4 out of 12 books.

So, my totals:

Signed up for: 17 challenges
Completed: 6 challenges
Partially Completed: 8 challenges
Didn't even begin: 3 challenges

I guess it's not terrible, but it's not very good either. If you click on the challenges that are highlighted, you can see the books that I read for those challenges.


For 2011, I signed up for a total of 18 challenges - I'm hosting 5 of them. I'm not sure if I will be joining any others, but I think that might be enough (....or not! LOL)

That's my 2010 challenge wrap up!

ADDENDUM: I forgot to include the Cozy Mystery Challenge that I joined. It ended in September. I only read 4 out of 6 of the books, so it's another incomplete challenge for me. To check out what I read, click here.

My totals are now changed to:

Signed up for: 18 challenges
Completed: 6 challenges
Partially Completed: 9 challenges
Didn't even begin: 3 challenges

Booking through Thursday - Annual Review



If you'd like to join in on Booking Through Thursday, just click the button above.



This week's question...

What’s the best book you read this year?

Worst?

Favorite?

My answer...

I really wasn't planning to go through my books until the weekend, but at a quick glance, here are my choices (I'll have a more in depth post over the weekend...

Best and Favorite Book - I'm going to say Red Mist by Richard Taylor. You can check out my review here. I think it's because I loved the 60's era and this takes place then and involves two people I've always been fascinated by - JFK and Marilyn Monroe. This book was just so different in taking a real life occurrence and putting a fictional spin to it.

Worst Book - I can't say it's the "worst" book because some people might have liked it, but I'll say it's my least favorite - Mr. and Miss Anonymous by Fern Michaels. You can check out my review here. My reason for this is that the hero and heroine annoyed me to no end. LOL It seemed to me that they whined about their situation constantly. A situation which was of their own making.

I'll do a year end wrap up some time over the weekend.

What were your favorites this year?

Cat Thursday - December 30th



Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! This fun meme is hosted by The True Book Addict. Go over to her site to join in the fun.


funny pictures - Cat Hit by Snow
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How Sweet It Is Blog Tour

Socrates' Book Review Blog will be participating in the "How Sweet It Is" Blog Tour with a review and a book giveaway beginning January 24, 2011 and ending on February 4, 2011!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays - December 28th



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






The sudden raw sadness and desperation in his voice cut so deeply into me I felt a sharp pain ripping through my chest.



Monday, December 27, 2010

Cat Mystery Yahoo Group

Many years ago I was a part owner of Yahoo group dedicated to mysteries and cozies involving cats. Over the years the group has more or less become inactive. We still have over 100 members and I'm trying to get the group going again.

We might be having monthly book reads. I'm not sure about that yet, but our books are primarily cozies - even if the cat isn't the main star of the show :) Sometimes we'll read it if one of the main characters has a cat. Once in awhile, it just has to be a cozy or mystery and can have a different animal in it.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to making this group fun again. If any of you would like to join us, just use the button below. We'd love to have you!



A - Z Mystery Challenge 2011



Okay, this is it...this is the last one I'm joining (famous last words!). I love mysteries so I couldn't resist this one. It's being hosted by Red Headed Book Child.

RULES:

  • Challenge runs from January 1 - December 31, 2011. Sign up ends February 1, 2011.
  • Read A-I, J-P or Q-Z. You choose. The letter group you choose must be the last name of the author. (i.e= S for John Sandford).
  • Mystery genre can include Cozy, Suspense, Thriller, or Noir. All Adult novels please.
  • Leave a comment if you would like to sign up. I am getting rid of Mr. Linky.
  • Write a post about this challenge and which group/s you pick. You can list the authors you choose or do it as you go.
  • When you post your reviews, mention this challenge and link back to this sign up post.
  • Sign up for my Giveaway below! You must be a follower, reside in the U.S and post about this challenge. I would appreciate it if you would sign up but it is not a requirement. I would like the help in spreading the word.
  • Winner will be announced January 11, 2011.

I'm going to choose the J-P group. I'll be listing my books here...

J - Hour of the Hunter by J.A. Jance
K - Capable of Murder by Brian Kavanagh Click for review
L - Mai Tai One On by Jill Marie Landis Click for review
M - Code Blue by Richard Mabry
N - White Heat by Brenda Novak
O - Watch them Die by Kevin O'Brien
P - Night Tides by Alex Prentiss


To sign up, go to Red Headed Book Child.

Romance Reading Challenge 2011


I've been waiting for this one. I love my romances! This one is hosted by Naida at The Bookworm. If you'd like to join, go over to her blog and sign up. Here are the details...

1. "Romance" isn't limited to steamy Harlequin novels. There is a huge selection of books in this category such as contemporary romance, historical romance, romantic suspense and paranormal romance to name a few. As long as the story has romantic love between the two main characters your selection will fit this challenge. The novels do not need to have a happy ending either, there can also be unrequited love.

Here are a few suggestions:
-anything written by Jane Austen: classics/regency romance
-Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell: historical romance
-Nicholas Sparks books: contemporary romance *have box of tissues handy*
-Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding: contemporary romance/humor
-Gena Showalter's books: contemporary romance/paranormal
-The Twilight series By Stephenie Meyer: YA Romance/paranormal
-Benny & Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti: contemporary romance
-The Princess Bride by William Goldman: fantasy/romance/humor
-Frederica by Georgette Heyer: regency romance
-Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: time travel romance
-The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss: historical romance
-Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë: gothic romance/classics

Need more suggestions? Visit Best Romance Novels Today, Best Romance Stories and Romance Novels on Wikipedia.

2. Choose at least 5 novels to read. You can change your choices at any time. Crossovers between other challenges are fine.

3. Read them at your own pace in 2011 then post the link to your review(s).

I haven't chosen my 5 books yet, but I'll be listing them here...

1. Fatal Embrace by Aris Whittier Click for review
2. Stir Until Thoroughly Confused by Heather Wardell Click for review
3. The Wishing Hour by Jewel Adams Click for review
4. How Sweet It Is by Sophie Gunn Click for Review
5. Soul Sacrifice by Leanore Elliot Click for review

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Under Wraps by Joanne Rock




Genre: Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Blaze
Release Date: December 2010
Format: EBook

Marnie Wainwright may have lost her job, but she isn’t wasting any time crying over it. She opens her own travel agency, Lose Yourself, and is a huge success. Lose Yourself is a travel agency with a twist – it gives couples a chance to experience their own exotic fantasy escape. When Marnie discovers she’s the object of an investigation and being accused of embezzlement, she is forced to take a fantasy trip of her own.

Private Investigator, Jake Brennan, has been attracted to Marnie for months, but since she’s the person he’s investigating, he isn’t about to do anything to interfere with his job. Besides, he’s determined to prove her innocence and he needs to leave his emotions out of this to help her.

In order to clear Marnie of all charges, she and Jake take a wild fantasy trip of their own. They end up spending their Christmas at an inn that specializes in creating romantic fantasies. The sparks fly as Marnie and Jake have their own exciting fantasy and fight off the bad guys at the same time.

This was a hot romance with a bit of mystery thrown in. It made for a cute weekend read with a fun cast of characters. Even the secondary characters were intriguing to read about. I enjoyed this one.

For Reading Challenge:

Harlequin/Silhouette Reading Challenge 2010

Arc Reading Challenge 2011



This is a great one for me because I end up reading more ARCs for reviews than anything else. This one is hosted by Teddy Rose at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time.

Here's the info...

Note: I use the term "ARC" loosely,any book a publisher or author gives you with the expectation that you review it, counts for this challenge.

The Levels

Level Bronze: .a. All of us who have or will have less than 12 ARCS must read all of the ARCS we have. Note, that if you have 11 ARC's and then receive a 12th one you will be bumped up to catagory b.

b. All of us who have or will have 12 or more than 12 ARCS must read and review at least 12.

Level Silver: Read 24 ARCS

Level Gold: Read 25 ARCS

Level Platinum: Read 30 or more ARCS


Rules:

* To sign up, leave a direct link to your blog post about this challenge. Please leave a comment as well.

* You don't have to make a list of which ARC's you plan to read, but you can if you want.

* If you choose a lower level, you can always change it to a higher level if you like. However, you cannot go from a higher level back down to a lower level.

* Crossovers with other challenges are allowed and Audio-books and ebooks are allowed as long as they are ARC's.

* Read the books and review them on your blog. If you don't have a blog, you can post your review on sites like Powells, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.

* Please subscribe to my blog, as I will be doing a monthly post with MR Linky. Please add your reviews for each month in MR Linky in the monthly post. For your Name, please use this format Name: (Your Name, Book Title and Author's Name) for example: (Teddy, Obsessive Reading by Helen Reader). Please be sure to use the direct link to your review, not just to your blog. Then please leave a comment.

* HAVE FUN!

I'm going for the Bronze Level and will list my books here...

1. Bloated Goat by Manley Peterson Click for review
2. How Sweet it Is by Sophie Gunn Click for review
3. Indefensible by Pamela Callow Click for review
4. Soul Sacrifice by Leonore Elliot Click for review
5. The Innocent by Vincent Zandri Click for review
6. The Wishing Hour by Jewel Adams Click for review
7. Stir Until Thoroughly Confused by Heather Wardell Click for review
8. Vestal Virgin by Suzanne Tyrpak Click for review
9. Capable of Murder by Brian Kavanaugh Click for review
10. Embroidered Corpse by Brian Kavanaugh Click for review
11. Anasazi Intrigue by Linda Weaver Clarke Click for review
12. Fatal Embrace by Aris Whittier Click for review

Sunday Salon - It's a blizzard!



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

We're under a blizzard warning here and it's already started snowing. We're supposed to get between 14 and 18 inches of snow. Yikes! The first storm of the winter is really going to be a big one.

So, what am I doing today? Besides boring laundry, I'm in search of more reading challenges to join. I went from not wanting to participate in any next year to joining everything that gets my interest. LOL I really should be doing some reading, but I'm easily distracted these days.

I did manage to get some reading in this week...I finished Simple Intent by Linda Sands, which was very good. I finished listening to Boardwalk Empire by Nelson Johnson. A really indepth look at how Atlantic City was born right to present day. I'm interested in this type of thing since we go to Atlantic City a few times a year. It made for good listening on my way to work.

I, also, finished a Harlequin Blaze "Under Wraps" by Joanne Rock. I'll have a review later. It was good.

I'm going to spend the rest of the day organizing my challenges...both joining a couple more and listing the books I'm planning to read for each challenge.

With almost 2 feet of snow on the way, I'm hoping to get some reading done, too. Hope everyone has a great week!

funny pictures - and the kitteh
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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge 2011



I couldn't resist this one as I love my romance reading :)

This one is hosted by Romance Book Maven

Details –

1. By contemporary romance I mean straight contemporary, so without paranormal, fantasy or time-travel elements. Sexy, steamy contemporaries are eligible and so are category romances. (i.e. Harlequin Blaze, Harlequin Presents, Harlequin Super Romances, Silhoutte Desires, etc.)

2. Read at least 10 contemporaries between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011

3. You don’t have to pre-select your books, you can just add them as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed. Nothing is set in stone! Also, the books you choose can crossover into or from other challenges you are participating in.

4. Feel free to grab the button below for the sidebar of your blog. It would be great if you would link it back to this post so others can find their way back to this post and join the challenge.

5. If you decide to join this challenge be sure to create a post telling others and feel free to add a link back to this post so others can join in the fun.

I'll be listing my books here...

1. A Red Hot Mess by Kimberly Van Meter Click for review
2. Stir Until Thoroughly Confused by Heather Wardell Click for review
3. How Sweet It Is by Sophie Gunn Click for review
4. Driftwood Cottage by Sherryl Woods Click for review
5. Fatal Embrace by Aris Whittier Click for review
6. Ecstacy by Bella Andre Click for review
7. Touchdowns & Potions by Markee Anderson Click for review
8. Belleporte Summer by Laura Abbot Click for review
9. Secrets of Bella Terra by Christina Dodd Click for review
10. The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson Click for review

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Time Travel Reading Challenge 2011



I joined this one last year, but I didn't get anywhere with it. However, I'll give it another try since I have always loved time travels. This challenge is hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books


The Rules:

Decide how many time travel books you want to read and then read them before the end of 2011 - that's it! (The challenge goes from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011.)

Please leave a link to your challenge post in Mister Linky below.

Time Travel Books:

Don't know which books to choose? I've been keeping a list of time travel themed books for over a year now. If you know of a title or author that's not on the list feel free to leave a comment with the information and I'll add it to the list.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
A Handful of Time by Kit Pearson
A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux (and others)
A Shortcut in Time by Charles Dickinson
A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle
A Time to Remember by Stanley Shapiro
A Traveller in Time by Alison Uttley
A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle
A Wish in Time by Laurel Bradley
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Angel Time by Anne Rice
Beauty by Sheri S. Tepper
Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning (and others in the Highlander series)
Blue Bells of Scotland by Laura Vosika (part of the Blue Bells Trilogy)
Charming the Highlander by Janet Chapman (and others of the Highlander Trilogy)
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
From Time to Time by Jack Finney
Green Darkness by Anya Seton
Gunpowder Empire by Harry Turtledove
Heatherfield by M. Jean Pike
If I Never Get Back by Darryl Brock
Kindred by Octavia Butler
Kingdom of Shadows by Barbara Erskine
Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine
Making History by Stephen Fry
Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle
Mr. Was by Pete Hautman
My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time by Liz Jensen
Once Upon a Rose by Judith O'Brien
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (and all of the other books in the Outlander series)
Pirates by Linda Lael Miller
Replay by Ken Grimwood
Return of the Highlander by Sara Mackenzie
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Somewhere in Time by Richard Matheson
The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Halderman
The Box of Delights by John Masefield
The Cross Time Engineer by Leo A. Frankowski (and others in the Adventures of Conrad Stargard series)
The Death of Sleep by Anne McCaffrey (not exactly time travel, but the character goes into cold sleep and wakes up after an unusual amount of time)
The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein
The Forgery of Venus by Michael Gruber
The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley (time travel as a minor part of the plot)
The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier
The Kingdom of Ohio by Matthew Flaming
The Legend MacKinnon by Donna Kauffman
The Mirror by Marlys Millhiser
The Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling
The Reluctant Time Traveler by Lynda Eymann
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams (book 2 in a series)
The Shroud of the Thwacker by Chris Elliott
The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Time Travelers (The Gideon Trilogy) by Linda Buckley-Archer
The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde (book 3 in a series)
Three Days to Never by Tim Powers
Time and Again by Jack Finney
Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander
Time Traveler's Never Die by Jack McDevitt
Time's Arrow by Martin Amis
Timeline by Michael Crichton
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
Trapped in Time by Ruth Chew
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead


Authors with multiple time travel books:

Linda Buckley-Archer
Janet Chapman
Jude Deveraux
Leo A. Frankowski
Diana Gabaldon
Lynn Kurland
Madeleine L'Engle
Anne McCaffrey (some of the Pern books)
Karen Marie Moning
E. Nesbit
Harry Turtledove
Hollie Van Horne
Laura Vosika
Connie Willis

I'm going to try to read five books. I'll list them here...

1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
2. Time Zone by Tom Lichtenberg
3.
4.
5.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Follow Friday 40 and Over



This a fun blog hop hosted by Java at Never Growing Old. It's for all bloggers over 40. Here are the rules...

1. Grab the button
2. Add your link to the list
3. Visit as many other blogs as you can
4. Follow the ones you like (and comment on their blog to say that you are following)

Sign up at Never Growing Old.

Funny Pictures - Christmas Cats
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Cat Thursday



Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! This fun meme is hosted by The True Book Addict.


Funny Pictures at AngelzFunnyz.com



Funny Pictures at AngelzFunnyz.com

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2011


This looks like another fun challenge. I read 100 books in 2009, but in 2010 I know I'm not going to reach 100. I'm hoping to reach 100 in 2011.

Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
hosted by The Book Vixen

Details:

* Runs January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011 (books read prior to 1/1/11 do not count towards the challenge). You can join at anytime. You can sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
* The goal is to outdo yourself by reading more books in 2011 than you did in 2010. See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. Nothing is set in stone; you can change levels at any time during the challenge.
* Books can be any format (bound, eBook, audio).
* Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are fine.
* You can list your books in advance or list them as you read them. It is not required that you review the books you read for this challenge but feel free to do so.
* Post this reading challenge on your blog so you can keep a list of the books you’ve read for this challenge. Please include a link back to this post so readers can join the challenge too.
* You do not have to be a book blogger to participate. You can keep tabs on books you’ve read for this challenge on Goodreads or LibraryThing if you’d like (maybe make a shelf for “Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge”). If you are not on either of those sites then you can list the books you read for this challenge in the comments on my wrap-up post, which will be up at the end of 2011.

Levels:

Getting my heart rate up – Read 1–5 more books
Out of breath – Read 6–10 more books
Breaking a sweat – Read 11–15 more books
I’m on fire! – Read 16+ more books

I'm going with the "Out of breath" level and I'll list my books here...

1.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays - December 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




Thanks to the wonders of technology, he could sit two car lengths up the street and still see exactly what went on inside her high-end adventure company that specialized in exotic fantasy escapes.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Simple Intent by Linda Sands




Genre: Legal Thriller
Publisher: Open Books
Release Date: August 2010
Format: EBook

Over thirty years ago Ray Bentley was tried and convicted of murder. He lost everything…his beautiful wife, their unborn child and his freedom. Sentenced to life in prison, Ray lived with the knowledge that he was innocent and had no way to prove it.

Now, in 2010, two young legal interns – Reilly and Sailor stumble upon some information that could clear Ray and give him his freedom. However, they quickly discover this is not an easy task. In fact, it’s dangerous and their own lives become threatened if they don’t give up their quest for the truth. What started out as a simple intent to help an innocent man, turns out to be a race to save their own lives.

This book has everything from crooked cops to mobsters to lawyers with their own agendas. This is a fast-paced thriller that keeps readers on their toes and hooked until the last page. There is plenty of action as well as a little romance tossed into one powerful and explosive story.

Linda Sands’ writing style is addictive. I wanted to keep reading and never put the book down. I hated to see this story come to an end. I’ll anxiously be awaiting Ms. Sands’ next book.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Salon - Just Rambling On...



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

I spent this weekend trying to reorganize my blog. I was a bit tired of the old look and I decided to try something different. I've also been playing with all the neat little gadgets on Blogspot and added some tabs above to show what 2011 reading challenges I joined and am hosting.

So far I joined 7 and am hosting 5 (3 will be ending in the middle of the year). That's really not that bad and I think I'm going to pick up 2 or 3 more that I've been contemplating. I joined much more last year and that was really silly because I knew I was having surgery at the beginning of the year and would be in no mood for challenges. As it turned out, I didn't even feel like reading anything for the first couple of months of the year. So, that explains why I didn't do nearly as well in 2010 as I did in 2009.

Anyway, 2011 is a new start and I'm really getting excited about all the great reading I'm planning (although nothing ever really goes as planned and I'm prepared for that too.)

As for reading, I only finished one book this week, Snowbound Seduction by Helen Brooks. I did complete one of my challenges from 2010 - Read Your Own Book. I didn't realize I only needed one more book to finish it.

I spent so much time redecorating my blog yesterday that I neglected my reading, so I will try and get some reading time in today. I also want to watch the movie Sunday at Tiffanys. I recorded it from the Lifetime channel and it's based on the James Patterson book, which I loved. It's always a bit tricky with books and movies. Generally, I enjoy the book more, but we'll see.

Tonight is the season finale of Survivor and I'm looking forward to that. Last night I watched the season finale of season 3 of True Blood. HBO reran it, so I finally had a chance to watch and loved it. I can't wait for season 4, but I think it's a long way off. To tide me over, I'm going to get back to the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. I'm up to book 3 and I'm going to head over to the library this afternoon and get the audio version. That should be fun to listen when I go to work.

We were supposed to have a major snow storm today, but we lucked out. It's cold, but no snow.

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. Have a great week!

funny pictures-But...
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

2011 TBR Lite Challenge



Okay, so I tried to cut back and tried to resist, but I guess I'm a reading challenge junkie at heart. I figure there are worse things to be addicted to then reading and challenges. LOL

This challenge I've joined the past two years. I haven't completed it yet, but I'll give it another try. It's hosted by MizB and you can sign up here.

CHALLENGE STARTS: January 1st, of the current year
CHALLENGE ENDS: December 31st, of the current year

For those who love the Original TBR Challenge, but need a little less “pressure” on their reading, the TBR Challenge *LITE* offers you that option!

You have your choice of ONE of the 3 options:

OPTION A: read 6 books in 12 months ~ your list of books CANNOT be changed, but you are allowed to have an “Alternates” list to choose from (like in the Original TBR Challenge).

OPTION B: read 6 books in 12 months ~ you CAN change your reading list throughout the year

OPTION C: make up a list of however many books you think you could get read in 12 months, as long as they are from your TBR stack/list, and then read them between January 1st and December 31st. You must have at least 3 books on your list.

Some Other General Guidelines:
- You are allowed to overlap with other challenges
- Audiobooks are allowed
- e-Books are allowed, but must still be books that you’ve wanted to read for at least 3, or more, months
- You should still have a list of books posted somewhere for others to see
- You don’t have to read your books in the order you put them on your list

I'm going with Option B. I need to be able to change books throughout the year :)

I'll list them here...

1. From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris Click for review
2. All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris Click for review
3. Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris Click for review
4. Kiss the Girls by James Patterson Click for review
5. Dead As a Doornail by Charlaine Harris Click for review
6. Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris Click for review

2011 Audio Book Challenge



I couldn't resist this one since I'm back to listening to audios on my way to and from work. This is hosted by Teresa at Teresa's Reading Corner

The 2011 Audio Book Challenge will run from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011.

There are 4 levels to choose from:

Curious: 3 Audio Books
Fascinated: 6 Audio Books
Addicted: 12 Audio Books
Obsessed: 20 Audio Books

I'm going with "Fascinated: 6 Audio Books"

I will list them here...

1. Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris Click for review
2. Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris Click for review
3. Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris Click for review
4. All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris Click for review
5. From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris Click for review
6. Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris Click for review

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Friday 56



This is a fun meme to do hosted by Freda's Voice. If you'd like to join on the fun go to The Friday 56.

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it here.

It's that simple.

I'm going to use the book I'm currently reading...




"I'd given him a hand and foot massage at his apartment one night; the feet he didn't like so much but I'd created a monster on the hand massage front."

Follow Friday 40 and Over



This a fun blog hop hosted by Java at Never Growing Old. It's for all bloggers over 40. Here are the rules...

1. Grab the button
2. Add your link to the list
3. Visit as many other blogs as you can
4. Follow the ones you like (and comment on their blog to say that you are following)

Sign up at Never Growing Old.

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Snowbound Seduction by Helen Brooks




Genre: Romance
Format: EBook
Publisher: Harlequin Presents Extra: Christmas Surrender
Release Date: December 2010-12-15

Marketing Manager Rachel Ellington is recovering from a failed relationship. The last thing she’s interested in is finding another man. When her flatmate invites her cousin for dinner, Rachel tries to fight her attraction for the handsome, sexy, wealthy Zac Lawson, but she finds it beyond difficult.

Still reeling after the loss of his wife and son, Zac has a reputation for being a womanizer. After meeting Rachel, she’s all he can think about. He invites her for a Christmas weekend with friends. Against Rachel’s better judgment she decides to accept the invitation. The weather plays havoc with their plans and the couple finds themselves stranded in a snow storm. They use the time together to get to know each other better.

The sparks absolutely sizzle between these two as they try to overcome many obstacles including his living in Canada, while she lives in London. Not to mention his reluctance to get involved in a serious relationship and her not having any intentions of settling for a one night stand. With all their differences, Rachel is sure that this relationship is doomed before it even begins.

Snowbound Seduction is a sweet romance with some spice thrown in to make for a nice holiday romance. Zac and Rachel are two people readers can truly care about and cheer for. I prefer books with a bit more action to them, but this was a nice diversion.

For reading challenge:

The Harlequin/Silhouette Reading Challenge
Read Your Own Book

Cat Thursday



How did I, of all people, not know there was a meme for cats? Of course as soon as I found out about this I had to join in. It's hosted by The True Book Addict

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Interview with author Karen Cantwell




I just had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Take the Monkeys and Run by Karen Cantwell. A great start of a new mystery/cozy series starring Barbara Marr, a suburban, movie-loving housewife. This book is filled with laughter and mystery to keep readers hooked.

Karen Cantwell has graciously agreed to be interviewed at Socrates’ Book Review Blog. Please join me in welcoming her and giving us a chance to see what makes her tick…

KC: Thank you for having me! I’m thrilled to be here.


1. Where did you come up with the idea for this book?

KC: I knew I wanted to write a mystery about a soccer mom who gets in over her head and I wanted to include a mystery about a long-vacant house. I have a friend who lives next to a house that has been vacant for over 30 years and is owned by someone else (a very CREEPY someone else) who lives in the neighborhood. Every time I would drive by that house, I would think, “How many people are buried in that house?” THEN, just before I started planning the story, my own neighbor told me the story about her first week in her house (this was back in the early 1970s) when her kids saw monkeys on the roof of their house and in the trees in their yard. She called the police, who never came, but strangely, an unmarked van did, scooped up the monkeys and disappeared mysteriously into the night. Well, my writer’s mind just went berserk and holy cow, Take the Monkeys and Run was born! Wow. That was a long answer. Hope I didn’t bore you!


2. Is Barbara Marr based on anyone specific that you know?

KC: Well, we’ve all hear of “Everyman” – I like to think of Barbara Marr as “Everymom.” She’s based on many moms I know, including me. :)


3. Who is your greatest influence in writing?

KC: Wow – that’s a tricky one. I’m going to say it’s really five authors, and I’ll list them in order of my discovery of their work:

Jane Austen, Mark Twain, John Irving, Tom Robbins, and Janet Evanovich.

I would say there are others, but those five to some degree or another impacted my own style of writing. I love their use of humor and they all have a gift for creating characters that are memorable.


4. Did you do any research for this book? What did that entail?

KC: Yes, I actually did do quite amount of research for this book. I knew really nothing about the FBI, so to stay as true as possible to the reality of what an FBI agent can and can’t do, I read a couple of different books on “The Bureau.” And some of what I learned did not appear in this book, but will in the next. Then it was on to the subject of laboratory animals – especially monkeys. That research was all conducted on the internet, and trust me, it’s not a pretty subject. I tried to put some of my own disgust with the subject into the book without making the story too serious, but truthfully, there are instances of excessive cruelty in laboratory animal testing that I think should be stopped. Finally, I knew nothing about the Mafia. For that, I consulted Mafia for Dummies. Yes, Virginia, there really is a Mafia for Dummies!


5. What is involved in your writing process? Do you outline the book ahead of time?

KC: I do outline ahead of time. I tried writing without one, but found I would paint myself into corners. Outlining helps me avoid that. That’s not to say that I don’t OFTEN veer from the outline once I get going, but it’s a general guide that helps me tremendously.


6. Where do you do your writing? A special room in the house? Outside your home?

KC: I write where ever I can – sometimes it will be in bed at night before I go to sleep, or at my kitchen table after the kids have gone to school. One of my favorite places is the county library near my house. I can reserve a room there for four hours, and I still have access to the internet for research and the ever-necessary, Dictionary.com! Of course, I have this dream writing studio – a separate little cottage with a state of the art computer and monitor, a treadmill, and a cabana boy to wait on me hand and foot while I toil. Like I said, it’s a dream!


7. How does your family feel about your writing?

KC: They think it’s cool that I’m selling books, but they’re annoyed when it takes my time from them.


8. What other books have you written? Have you written other genres?

KC: Take the Monkeys and Run was my first novel. Prior to that, I had written several plays and short stories, but had never been able to finish a novel. It was really a failed purpose of mine, actually. Once I decided to write a mystery however, it just clicked and I could FINISH that novel. I think it was because I had a clear ending to write toward. Now I love writing mysteries. I would also like to write middle grade books. I have one in the works.


9. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

KC: Not necessarily – I actually always wanted to be an actress, yet I loved writing and was much better at it than acting. At some point in my life – in my twenties I think – I decided that I wanted to be a published writer.


10. Do you have any idea how many books will be in this series?

KC: Not exactly, but I know it will be more than three but probably less than ten. I think that sometimes a series can wear itself out – a character can only do so much and then it gets old for the author and the reader.


11. Any hints for the next Barbara Marr adventure?

KC: The next book, Citizen Insane, is nearly complete. As for hints . . . well, you’ll meet most of the same characters – her daughters, her husband Howard, Colt, her mother and her friends Roz and Peggy. There are some new characters as well. She and Howard hit another bump in the marital road and . . . let’s just say, there’s some trouble in the local PTA.

After Citizen Insane will be Silenced by the Yams. I think that one sort of speaks for itself!

12. When can we look forward to the next Barbara Marr story?

KC: Right now I’m set to release Citizen Insane in April of 2011.

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. I look forward to the next adventure in Barbara Marr’s life.

KC: Thank you again for having me, Yvonne. It was fun!


Check out Karen's website at www.karencantwell.com and her book video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlCJKr9xvlE

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