Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sunday Salon - February has come to an end!

Happy Sunday Everyone! I had a great reading month in February. I finished 10 books. My list for the month...

Duplicity Dogged the Dachshund by Blaize Clement
Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner (audio)
The Yankee Years by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci
Back to School Murder by Leslie Meier
Maternal Instinct by Caroline Anderson
Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger (audio)
The Heart Surgeon's Secret Son by Janice Lynn
Once Upon A Valentine's by Holly Jacobs
Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks
Only the Cat Knows by Marian Babson

I'm a bit behind on my reviews, but I'll finish them sometime in the next couple of days.

After a lovely week of fairly warm weather, the weatherman is playing his old tricks on us and saying we're going to get two storms in the next two days. Supposedly tomorrow's will only be an inch or so of snow, but then Monday we could see as much as 10 inches. Yikes! Sounds like my Sunday will a good day to catch up on some more reading and start March out least as far as reading goes.

I hope everyone has a great week!

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins #113 we go!

1. I'm awake, I'm tired, I want to go back to sleep.

2. Why do I have to go to work and not stay home and read.

3. How does this coffeepot work, anyway?

4. Every morning, I put makeup on my face.

5. I consider myself lucky because I have a great husband, cats and family.

6. One day we’ll see the economy get better.

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

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Booking Through Thursday

Today's Questions:

Hardcover? Or paperback?
Illustrations? Or just text?
First editions? Or you don’t care?
Signed by the author? Or not?

My Answers:

Defintely paperback. They cost less and are easier to travel with. The only authors I get in hardcover are James Patterson and Janet Evanovich for their Women's Murder Club and Stephanie Plum series. I don't even know I do that since I don't get to reading them until they are released in paperback anyway. In the past, I was so excited when their books were released, I couldn't wait. Now, they tend to sit in my TBR for awhile. Other than that, it's just too costly for me to get hardcovers. I buy way too many books as it is.

I only read novels, so the illustrations and text question really doesn't appy. I don't care if they are first editions or not.

As for being signed by the's nice if I can get that, but I don't get to many signings. Plus, I no longer keep everything I read (no room and I never re-read anyway), so the autographed books don't really make a difference to me. Unless it happens to be something I really loved and wanted to save. Like I said, it's nice, but not necessary.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday Thingers

Today's question: Do you have a specialized blog where you only review a certain genre or type of book? If so, what is your favorite thing about that type of book? If not, what is/are your favorite genre(s)? What makes that genre(s) a favorite?

Favorite Genre?

General Literature / Fiction
Historical Fiction/Romance
Science Fiction/Fantasy
General Non-Fiction
Biography / Memoir
Health, Mind, Body

My answer: My blog isn't dedicated to any particular genre. I review whatever books I happen to be reading. I do have my own favorite genres though. I love romantic suspense, cozy mysteries, thrillers, and romance. Some paranormals and historical western romances, too.

I've read those genres for years and they are the ones that can transport me to another place and/or time. I can escape the real world for a few hours. I prefer books that can make me forget the stresses of everday life.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday Musings

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about the library…

How often do you visit the library? Do you have a scheduled library day/time, or do you go whenever? Do you go alone, or take people with you?

My Answer:

I'm always at the library. I mainly go to take out DVDs and audio books. I'm afraid I buy too many books and really should get my books from the library, but I don't. Probably because I can't read them fast enough to get them back before they are due. However, the library is how I discovered audio books. They have an excellent selection. They, also, have an excellent DVD section.

My library has an online site where I can put books, DVDs, and CDs on hold or sign up for a waiting list. It's great because once an item is returned or available, they email me and I go and pick them up.

I don't have any particular time when I go to the library. Whenever they have something in for me, I go get it. I'm there at least once a week. I usually go on my own.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Once Upon a Valentine’s by Holly Jacobs

Harlequin American #1247
February, 2009

Holly Jacbos takes us back to Erie, Pennsylvania for another visit with the PTA moms and their Social Planning Committee. This time Carly Lewis is in charge of the upcoming holiday event which happens to be the Valentine’s dance. The last thing Carly wants in her life is romance. After discovering her husband and his secretary having sex on the couch Carly bought for his office, Carly’s outlook on romance is a bit different than her na├»ve younger days.

Carly wins the couch in the divorce settlement. She promptly takes it into the backyard and sets it on fire. Unfortunately, her neighbor’s shed goes up in flames as well and Carly is arrested for committing a crime. The judge sentences her to community service with Lieutenant Charles Jefferson. Carly did not need another thing on her “to-do” list which already consists of taking care of her two children, studying for her nursing board and planning the Valentine’s dance. However, she has no choice unless she wants to be held in contempt of court.

Charles “Chuck” Jefferson has a policy. He doesn’t date any woman after six weeks. As crazy as Carly’s life is, he finds himself enchanted with the woman and wants nothing more than to break his own policy. How can he convince the harried mother to let him into her very private world?

This is the third book of Holly Jacobs’ series and I’ve loved all three. These characters are so true-to-life and they are women you want to see succeed. Readers will love each of these heroines and their “to-die-for” heroes. I read this book in just one day and hope Holly Jacobs takes us back to this series. I just know the Judge has a romance of his own on the horizon.

This gets the Socrates’ Great Book Alert medal.

For reading challenges: Harlequin/Silhouette Reading Challenge, A to Z Reading Challenge, Read Your Own Book Reading Challenge

The Sunday Salon - Reading, Reading and More Reading!

This has been a pretty good week for me. I finished two Harlequin Medical Romances that Harlequin sent to me as part of their Tell Harlequin panel. I should be getting a survey to fill out about them soon. Both were really good. I love medical fiction whether it's romances, thrillers or suspense. I, also, finished a chick lit audio book Chasing Harry Winston. It was good, not great but it didn't have to be :) It kept my mind off work as I drove to and from work and that's what's important :)

Now I'm reading Holly Jacobs "Once Upon A Valentine's". It's the third book in her Harlequin American trilogy. I loved the previous two books and I'm loving this one too.

Other than that, it's been a quiet week. I've just been reading alot and reading "feel good" types of books.

Sunday night will be Oscar night for me. I love watching the Oscars even though I rarely see any of the nominated movies before the awards. I usually wait for the DVDs, but that's okay. It's fun for me to watch the stars walking the Red Carpet.

Hope everyone has a great week!

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hatchette Book Group Giveaway - The Italian Lover WINNERS!

The winners of their very own copy of The Italian Lover by Robert Hellenga are...

1. Janel
2. lady roxi
3. Rose City Reader
4. durberville
5. Vivian Deliz

Congratulations to all the winners! Thanks to all who participated in the contest!

The Heart Surgeon’s Secret Son by Janice Lynn

Harlequin Medical

Genre: Romance

Fifteen years ago Kimberly Brookes walked out of Daniel Travis’ life. She didn’t want to interfere with schooling and his career path to becoming a successful doctor. She knew the last thing he needed was a commitment to any woman, especially a woman pregnant with his child. So, Kimberly sacrificed her happiness, broke up with Daniel and secretly raised their child without his knowledge.

Today, Kimberly is a nurse for Cardico, a company that markets a pacemaker. A pacemaker created by the successful Dr. Daniel Travis. Kimberly is assigned the task of learning about the pacemaker directly from Daniel. Her greatest fear is that he should discover she is the mother of his fifteen year old son. She prayed he’d never find out and try to take the boy away from her.

Old sparks ignite when Kimberly and Daniel come face to face once again. Their old feelings resurface, but how could they last with such a huge secret between them?

This story flows beautifully and the characters are complex individuals with realistic qualities. This was another quick read which I enjoyed immensely. I’ve never read this author before, but I’ll be looking for more of her books.

For reading challenges: RYOB, A to Z Reading Challenge

Friday, February 20, 2009

Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger

Genre: Chick Lit, Audio

This is the story of three women around the age of thirty dealing with men, work and relationships.

This is a blurb from Weisberger’s website:

Emmy is newly single, and not by choice. She was this close to the ring and the baby she's wanted her whole life when her boyfriend left her for his twenty-three-year-old personal trainer—whose fees are paid by Emmy. With her plans for the perfect white wedding in the trash, Emmy is now ordering takeout for one. Her friends insist an around-the-world sex-fueled adventure will solve all her problems—could they be right?

Leigh, a young star in the publishing business, is within striking distance of landing her dream job as senior editor and marrying her dream guy. And to top it all off, she has just purchased her dream apartment. Only when Leigh begins to edit the enfant terrible of the literary world, the brilliant and brooding Jesse Chapman, does she start to notice some cracks in her perfect life...

Adriana is the drop-dead-gorgeous daughter of a famous supermodel. She possesses the kind of feminine wiles made only in Brazil, and she never hesitates to use them. But she's about to turn thirty and—as her mother keeps reminding her—she won't have her pick of the men forever. Everyone knows beauty is ephemeral and there's always someone younger and prettier right around the corner. Suddenly she's wondering...does Mother know best?

These three very different girls have been best friends for a decade in the greatest city on earth. As they near thirty, they're looking toward their future...but despite all they've earned—first-class travel, career promotions, invites to all the right parties, and luxuries small and large—they're not quite sure they like what they see...

One Saturday night at the Waverly Inn, Adriana and Emmy make a pact: within a single year, each will drastically change her life. Leigh watches from the sidelines, not making any promises, but she'll soon discover she has the most to lose. Their friendship is forever, but everything else is on the table. Three best friends. Two resolutions. One year to pull it off.

The book was fun to listen to, but I can’t say it was a favorite. It was a nice stress reliever on my way to and from work, though. It reminded me a lot of Sex and the City.

Maternal Instinct by Caroline Anderson

Harlequin Medical Romance

Genre: Romance

When Dr. Eve Spicer meets Hugh Douglas, she’s sure he will be the one to win the physician position at Audley Memorial Hospital. She’s used to losing positions to men and expects this will be no different. She’s shocked when she learns that Hugh isn’t a fellow candidate, but the boss himself. She’s furious at his deception, but still determined to get the position.

Dr. Hugh Douglas falls head over heels for Eve, but he knows better than to mix business with pleasure. Unfortunately, he can’t keep his eyes or hands off the beautiful doctor. They throw themselves into their work, but can’t help falling in love at the same time.

This is a quick read and a delightful way to spend an afternoon. The characters are people I came to care about and enjoyed reading about. I definitely want to read more from the Harlequin Medical line and from Caroline Anderson.

For reading challenges: Read Your Own Book, A to Z Reading Challenge

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Booking Through Thursday

This week's question:

I recently got new bookshelves for my room, and I’m just loving them. Spent the afternoon putting up my books and sharing it on my blog . One of my friends asked a question and I thought it would be a great BTT question. So from Tina & myself, we’d like to know “How do you arrange your books on your shelves? Is it by author, by genre, or you just put it where it falls on?”

My answer:

I have too many books to store on shelves, unfortunately. My TBR literally is over 10,000 books (yeah, I know it's crazy but it is what it is - LOL) They've taken over my guest room, which is fine since we never have guests anyway :) I've started storing them in Rubbermaid containers. I keep a list of which books are in which boxes (I number the boxes). There's no rhyme or reason as to which books are in which boxes, although I do try to put continuing series in the same box. It helps me to find them when I'm ready to read them.

Someday, I'll try and weed down the number of books I have since I'm pretty sure I won't live long enough to read them all but I hate to part with any book that I haven't read yet. Now, if I can just concentrate on reading, not getting new books or being online so much, maybe I can make a dent in this towering TBR.....Nah, never happen!

How do you store your books?

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday Thingers

Welcome to another week of Tuesday Thingers! We always love to hear from regular participants as well as new people.

This week, our question is inspired by all the group threads that are dedicated to finding the next great book to review.

In order review books on your blog - you've got to GET books!

Today's question: How do you get your books for reviewing? Do you track them somehow (excel, database, etc), or just put them in a tbr (To Be Read for anyone that doesn't know) pile?

My answer: Mainly I have review contacts and I, also, participate in Hatchette Books review program. I'm also signed up for Library Thing's Early Reviewers but I only received one book through them. Sometimes I'll receive an email request from an author or publisher. The rest of the reviews I write are books from my TBR. I review just about every book I read.

I track everything in an excel spreadsheet. That way I know what I have or what I've read. I have a terrible memory and I'll never remember otherwise. LOL

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday Musings

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about book reviews…
Do you read any non-blogging book reviews? If so, where (newspaper, library etc)? Do you have any favourites sources you'd like to share?

My answer...

Yes, I do read reviews - both on blogs and non-blogs. I really use reviews mainly to get a synopsis of the book to see if it's a storyline I'll like - not so much for someone else's opinion on the book (unless it's someone I know has the same reading interests that I do). I use Romantic Times and I've subscribed to that magazine for years. I love it and use their reviews to make my shopping list each month. I also will use the reviews on Amazon, and sites such as Library Thing, Shelfari, Goodreads, etc. Like I said, I mainly use reviews to see if it's the type of book I like not for the reviewers opinion. I really believe reviews are subjective - my "5 star" book might only be your "1 star" book. We're all different and they have enough different type of books for all of us :)

Do you read reviews?

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Back To School Murder by Leslie Meier

Genre: Cozy Mystery

It’s another adventure for Leslie Meier’s Lucy Stone. Lucy’s children go back to school in the quaint town of Tinker’s Cove in Maine, where nothing exciting ever happens. This year, however, the elementary school staff and students are shocked when they get a bomb scare. The school is quickly evacuated when the assistant principal, Carol Crane discovers one of the students is still in the building. She races against the clock and saves the child just before the bomb goes off. Carol is Tinker’s Cove’s new heroine and the toast of the town.

The town is stunned when days later Carol is murdered. Lucy Stone is determined to discover who would want to murder a selfless woman such as Carol Crane. As she delves deeper and deeper into Carol’s history, Lucy realizes the woman wasn’t all that she seemed. Lucy’s own life is threatened as she gets closer and closer to the truth. Obviously someone wants Lucy’s mouth to be permanently shut.

I love this series! It’s a fast-paced read with characters you watch grow from book to book. Lucy Stone is a wonderfully strong heroine raising four children and taking care of her husband, who believes a woman should not be working but staying at home with the family. Despite her husband’s feelings, Lucy works part-time at the local newspaper. Readers will find themselves cheering for her and wanting to see her succeed. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this delightful series.

For Reading Challenges: Amateur Sleuth Reading Challenge, Themed Reading Challenge, A to Z Reading Challenge, Read Your Own Book Challenge

The Yankee Years by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci

Genre: Non-fiction

As a Yankee fan, I couldn’t resist reading what Joe Torre had to say about his 12 year reign over the team. For the most part it was a good run, but when a team starts losing, it’s never any fun – regardless of what team or sport it is.

The book is well written and tells us things we didn’t know, but mostly things that had already been pretty well publicized. There were a few conversations between Torre and individual players that I felt should have been kept quiet. Not everything is our business  In the last few years, he had some very troubled and messed up players, as their manager, I believe that should have been kept between him and the individuals. However, none of it was really shocking to me.

It was an interesting look back over those years and did give me a bit more insight on why he made some of the decisions he made during games. As your typical second guessing fan, I always found something to question and always thought I knew best, but now I understand more why these decisions were made.

All in all, an interesting book but not worthy of the media hoopla that the New York newspapers gave it when it was first released.

For Reading Challenges: A to Z Reading Challenge, Read Your Own Book Reading Challenge

The Sunday Salon - Juggling the TBR!

The weather is still crisp and cool, but no snow or rain so I'm a happy camper! I was even able to keep the windows open and let in some fresh air, but I know it's technically still winter and we could get the white stuff again. I'll just enjoy what we get for now.

This week I've been reading two print books and listening to one audio. I never read two print books at once. It's too confusing for me, but this was one non-fiction and one fiction, so I thought that would be okay. Although I wasn't confused and mixing up characters, I found it was difficult to complete either book. So, it's only one at a time for me from here on in. I always read one print book and listen to one audio. I can handle that since the audio I only listen to on the way to and home from work. Do any of you read more than one book at a time? Are you able to keep it all straight in your head?

I finished one book - The Yankee Years by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci. I'll have the review up in a day or so. It was a good book, but I didn't think it was worthy of all the media hype when it was released. At least here in New York there was a lot of hype about it, I'm not sure other areas heard it - day and night - like we did.

I'm still reading Back to School Murder by Leslie Meier and I'm almost finished. It's a great cozy series. I love it.

The audio I'm listening to is Chasing Harry Winston and I'm almost finished with this one. Only one disc left to go.

I'm really not sure what's next on my list to read. Probably has more to do with whatever mood I happen to be in.

I'm still hosting the Hatchette Book's book giveaway of The Italian Lover by Robert Hellenga. I have the book to review and it looks like a good one. I have 5 copies of this book to giveaway and there is still time to enter the contest, which ends on February 20th. So stop by and enter for your chance to win
Click here to enter!

I hope you all have a great week!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

What does your candy heart say?

Your Candy Heart Says "Hug Me"

A total sweetheart, you always have a lot of love to give out.

Your heart is open to where ever love takes you!

Your ideal Valentine's Day date: a surprise romantic evening that you've planned out

Your flirting style: lots of listening and talking

What turns you off: fighting and conflict

Why you're hot: you're fearless about falling in love

Friday, February 13, 2009

Burn Notice

My new obsession - the USA TV show Burn Notice. I'm so hooked on this show and I absolutely love Bruce Campbell and Jeffrey Donovan. So, I created a new Yahoo group to discuss the show. If you'd like to join, just click the button below.

Click to join FansofBurnNotice

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Friday the 13th! - Glitter Graphics

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Friday Fill-Ins #111

1. It seems like winter will never end.

2. Clean up when you're done, please?

3. If I thought you were happy I'd be happy too!

4. Happiness is what I think of most when I think of you.

5. To me, Valentine's Day means flowers and candy (neither of which I get - LOL).

6. My husband and cats give me strength.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to finally getting my haircut, tomorrow my plans include shopping and Sunday, I want to catch up on TV and movies!

Author Interview: Melissa Van Rossum

Thanks the efforts of Paula Krapf of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., I have the opportunity to interview Melissa Van Rossum, author of Their Way Home: My Adventures as a Ghost Guide. If you'd like to read my review of this intriguing book, click here

First, I’d like to say this was a very compelling book and it was very poignant. It touched me in a way I hadn’t expected.

Thank you. I appreciate you sharing that with me. I think it’s important to share with people an accurate, rather than sensational view of what happens after you die. It’s more healing that way. The purpose of the book is to help remove the fear of death and dying, so that we can all get on with life and living.

1. When you first discovered this ability you had, did you confide in one person or did you keep it hidden?

As a child I talked about my “invisible friends” incessantly, but it wasn’t well received. Friends and family members wondered if perhaps there might be something wrong with me, my Mother consulted a doctor about it, and the same doctor told me I was scaring my Mother with my ‘game’ and that I ought to knock it off. So I learned early in life to keep quiet and keep it hidden.

2. At what age did you realize you weren’t like everyone else?

Pretty early on, I would say by age 5 I was pretty good at keeping the more intuitive parts of me well hidden.

3. Did you try and ignore the abilities you possessed?

Definitely. With no way to understand my abilities, no space to express them and no one to talk with about them, I began to pretend they didn’t exist, that it was just my imagination. But as you might imagine, that is crazy-making. So as a result I became depressed and suicidal as a teenager.

4. Do your children have this special gift, too?

Yes, they’re both very intuitive. My eldest has commented on a few ghostly visitors whom he has seen and he often knows things before I tell him about them. When he was little he could communicate with me with his mind.

My youngest is showing much of the same potential. My husband and I work to keep their intuitive experiences perceived as completely normal and positive.

5. How does your family feel about your psychic abilities?

I don’t talk about it with my birth family, they still aren’t comfortable with the topic . That is with the exception of my Father who has since crossed over and has a new understanding and appreciation of my abilities.

My husband is supportive and enthusiastic and appreciative. My kids are young, but since we’re encouraging them to honor their own intuitive experiences, when they’re older, they’ll most likely honor mine as well.

6. What made you decide to put your thoughts into a book?

A friend of mine convinced me to write down my experiences as she shared with me how much my stories had helped her to overcome the grief in her life. She had lost several friends and family members and hearing about my experiences helped her to let go of that grief and sadness. It wasn’t until then that I realized how much a book like Their Way Home could help someone. At that point I felt compelled to do it.

7. You must have so many more stories to share with us, will there be a follow up book?

Yes, I love sharing my experiences and am thrilled beyond expression that they have been so well received. I’ve heard from several readers who have recommended Their Way Home to those who are dying or have friends or family members who are dying or grieving so that they’ll be comforted. I’m so touched by that gesture. I’ve always wanted to be in a position in life where I could help people, but that it has turned out this way is amazing to me. This has really brought my life full circle.

8. Is there any one specific experience that touched you the most?

Almost all of my experiences with lost souls tend to touch me in one way or another. I’m primarily empathic and so I have a great deal of compassion for those who are suffering. But I think the one experience that has touched me the most has to be my experiences with my Father after he died. He was never earthbound, but I was with him when he left his body and he spent some time with me after that, too. He never acknowledged my gifts until he left his body, and then I guess he had no other choice. When he first came to me after he left his body, he was really blown away that I could see him and interact with him. That was a bittersweet moment. I write about those amazing few days in Their Way Home.

In my next book I’ll write about my other encounters with him since he crossed over. His visits and his messages to me have given me hope and healing and they’ve given our relationship a bright new beginning.

9. Can you tell us about the process of TruAwareness and how it came to be?

TruAwareness is a process which I share in my first book, All You’ve Ever Known. It’s a process that helps people to ignite their own internal navigational system, their intuition. We all have a connection to Intuitive Guidance, but many of us aren’t able to turn it on in the times when we need it most. Too often we find ourselves derailed from our life plans and not moving toward what we want or with the speed we’d like. Or perhaps we find ourselves in painful situations or relationships and unable to navigate them with the success we want. TruAwareness opens up your intuition and takes it to new heights. It allows you to tap into Divine Guidance whenever you need it most to see what’s true, to heal painful emotions and to guide you to where you really want to be, in record time!

I developed TruAwareness to help me to achieve those same results. I wanted to take my own intuition to new heights, to navigate my own relationships more successfully, to heal more deeply and to accomplish my goals in record time. When people began asking me how I was generating the success in my life, I knew I needed to share this information with others.

10. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us about this amazing experience you’ve been through?

Though I certainly didn’t start out this way, I’ve become so grateful for my path and my gifts and for opportunities like these to talk with people about my experiences. There was once a time in my life when I wished I could be someone else, now I focus on how I can bring more of my self forward into my every experience. Aside from the profound message that there is no such thing as death, the ghosts who have crossed my path have taught me so much about the value of being yourself and the perils of becoming a ‘ghost’ in one’s life. It’s amazing to me what extraordinary teachers we can all be for one another. Regardless of the form we take.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read this book and to do this interview.

Thank you. It’s been an honor to talk with you.