Monday, April 30, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - May 1st

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!

I'm kind of reading two books at once this week (a rarity for me). Since I already did a teaser for Fifty Shades of Grey last week, this week I'll do a teaser from the other book I'm reading...

It was late autumn and a few mysterious things began happening to Kelly and his ranch. No one could figure out what was going on. The ranch hands said that Kelly had been cursed because of taking a certain group of men up the mountain to search for the gold mine. The group had paid Kelly handsomely to stay for one week.

Musing Mondays - Audiobooks

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

This week’s musing asks…

Do you listen to audiobooks? If not, why not? And, if so, what has been one of your favorites, so far?

My answer...

Yes, I use audiobooks in my commute to and from work. I have a total of an hour to commute each day and I hate to waste time. I figure getting in a book is good way to spend that time.

I don't really have any favorite books, but I've found it easier to listen to light reading like chick lit type of books. I can keep my mind more on those than I can a mystery - although I do listen to those sometimes too. Another type of book that makes for a good audio are self-help type of books.

I still do prefer to actually read and not listen, but like I said, I hate to waste time in the car so why not listen to a book?

How about you? Do you listen to audiobooks?

funny cat pictures - Lets just cut out the middle man
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Sunday, April 29, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between! D This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

I finished reading...

I'm currently reading...

Next on my list...

What are you reading?

Book Giveaway: Portrait of A Spy by Daniel Silva



 “Silva’s thrillers bring readers the best of all spy worlds. The action roars along, touching down in both glamorous settings and godforsaken outposts … for readers who crave both deft characterization and old-fashioned, spy-novel action.”    — Booklist

 “A world-class practitioner of spy fiction.”
   — Washington Post
“Silva reaches the pinnacle of world-class spy thriller writing.”
-The Denver Post

“Of those writing spy novels today, Daniel Silva is quite simply the best.”
-The Kansas City Star




 With uncanny prescience, #1 New York Times bestselling writer Daniel Silva’s latest thriller, PORTRAIT OF A SPY (Harper Mass Market paperback; on sale: February 21, 2012; $9.99), seems ripped from tomorrow’s headlines.  Loaded with brilliant intrigue and riveting up-to-the minute detail about the world of intelligence, PORTRAIT OF A SPY is fiction but it could not be timelier. A former journalist and television producer, Daniel Silva has always possessed a remarkable ability to catch history in the act and write a compelling page-turner that entertains as well as enlightens. In short, this is the master of espionage at his best.
For Gabriel and his wife, Chiara, it was supposed to be the start of a pleasant weekend in London—a visit to a gallery in St. James’s to authenticate a newly discovered painting by Titian. But a pair of deadly bombings in Paris and Copenhagen has already marred this autumn day. And while walking toward Covent Garden, Gabriel notices a man he believes is another suicide bomber about to carry out a third attack. Before Gabriel can draw his weapon, he is knocked to the pavement and can only watch as the nightmare unfolds.
Haunted by his failure to stop the massacre of innocents, Gabriel returns to his isolated cottage on the cliffs of Cornwall, until a summons brings him to Washington and he is drawn into a confrontation with the new face of global terror. At the center of the threat is an American-born cleric in Yemen to whom Allah has granted “a beautiful and seductive tongue.” A gifted deceiver, who was once a paid CIA asset, the mastermind is plotting a new wave of attacks.
Gabriel and his team devise a daring plan to destroy the network of death from the inside, a gambit fraught with risk, both personal and professional. To succeed, Gabriel must reach into his violent past. A woman waits there—a reclusive heiress and art collector who can traverse the murky divide between Islam and the West. She is the daughter of an old enemy, a woman joined to Gabriel by a trail of blood.
Set against the disparate worlds of art and intelligence, PORTRAIT OF A SPY moves swiftly from the corridors of power in Washington to the glamorous auction houses of New York and London to the unforgiving landscape of the Saudi desert. Featuring a climax that will leave readers haunted long after they turn the final page, this deeply entertaining story is also a breathtaking portrait of courage in the face of unspeakable evil—and Daniel Silva’s most extraordinary novel to date.

Daniel Silva is the award-winning #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Unlikely Spy, The Mark of the Assassin, The Marching Season, The Kill Artist, The English Assassin, The Confessor, A Death in Vienna, Prince of Fire, The Messenger, The Secret Servant, Moscow Rules, The Defector, The Rembrandt Affair and Portrait of a Spy.  His books are published in more than 30 countries and are bestsellers around the world. He serves on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council and  is married to NBC News Today National Correspondent Jamie Gangel. They live in Washington D.C. with their two children, Lily and Nicholas. 

And now for the book giveaway!  The giveaway is for a paperback version of the book.  Thanks to Eliza from Media Connect for making this giveaway possible.  Here are a few rules:

1)  The giveaway runs from April 29th, midnight est time to May 11th, midnight, est time.  
2)  The giveaway is only open to US and Canada residents.
3)  You must leave a valid email address.
4)  The winner will be notified by email.  They must email their snail mail address to me within 48 hours to claim the prize or another winner will be chosen.
5)  For an extra entry - follow my blog in any manner, just say how you are following.
6)  For two extra entries - Post about the giveaway on your blog.
7)  You must fill out the Rafflecopter form - the winner will be chosen at random using Rafflecopter.

Good luck!!!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sunday Salon - April Wrap Up!

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

I can't believe April is over. The calendar must be wrong - the year can't be going this fast!

I managed to read six books this month...not a great amount, but it's what I read :) Just click the covers below to read my reviews...

Woodrose Mountain by RaeAnne Thayne
Whisker of Evil by Rita Mae Brown
Beautiful People: New York City by Cheril N. Clarke
The Hudson Agency - Chicago Style by Ellie Oberth
Copycat Killing by Sofie Kelly
Titanic 2012 by Bill Walker

All good books, but I could have read more.   It's just been slow going for me lately.  Hopefully, things will start improving.

We've been watching quite a number of movies lately.  Tonight we watched Zookeeper with Kevin James and that was pretty funny.  He's always good.  We saw Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol - very good.  Also saw George Clooney's movie The Descendants.  It was very good.  I've been dying to see that one (big Clooney fan :))  If I ever get around to it, I'd like to read that book.

I'm still way behind on my reviews, but I'm desperately trying to catch up.  It feels like a never ending project though.  Still, I'm discovering new books and authors all the time.  That's the fun part of all this, isn't it?

I hope you all have a great week!

funny cat pictures - Only 19.95!
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Blog Tour: Titanic 2012 by Bill Walker (Review and Guest Blog)


EBook (also available in print)

Cemetery Dance Publications

Release Date:
January 2012

Mystery author, Trevor Hughes has no intentions of attending his 20th class reunion at Harvard until his girlfriend, Julia, convinces him to go. They have no idea how it will change their lives forever.

An old classmate of Trevor’s, Harlan Astor, tells him about his latest idea. He’s planning to rebuild the legendary ship, Titanic, and set sail with a select group of passengers on the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s tragic end. Trevor is concerned about his friends’ idea, but he’s also intrigued by it. Harlan invites him to travel on the ship and write a book about it.

Trevor convinces his editor to allow them to write the story, but Julia is less than pleased with the entire plan. Trevor and Julia break up, leaving Trevor to prepare to set sail on the Titanic.

Feeling as if he’s part of James Cameron’s hit movie, Trevor prepares to interview his fellow travelers and find out why they are all interested in making this trip. He learns that many were fans of the movie, others had relatives who died on the original Titanic, while some are suffering from a fatal illness and looking to make this their final wish.

Trevor is intrigued with all of it and then he meets Madeline. She changes his life in ways he never expected. They instantly fall in love. Maddy teaches him what true love is all about.

Then, Trevor learns the true reason Harlan rebuilt the ship and what the future holds in store for the 2012 version of Titanic.  It's not pretty. Trevor races against the clock to stop the craziness and finds himself fighting against his best friend and the woman he loves. If Trevor fails, the new Titanic will find itself facing the same tragic ending that took down the original Titanic.

This story is a blend of actual events with fiction. The characters are both realistic and tragic. Readers’ will find their hearts torn to shreds in this poignant drama. Titanic 2012 is guaranteed to be one of those books that you just can’t put down. Readers will anxiously be awaiting the fate of these people who become more and more lifelike as the story continues.  I loved every minute of this book and absolutely hated to see it come to an end.  I want more!

5 out of 5 kitties

FTC Disclosure: The author and Partners In Crime Tours provided me with a copy of this book to review. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

And now...a guest post from the author...

When it comes to mixing fact with fiction, the methods are as varied as there are writers and stories. For me, when writing Titanic 2012, it wasn't so much making my story dovetail with actual historic facts, so much as wanting to give my modern story the flavors of the past these characters were recreating.

That involved, first and foremost, having descriptions of the ship as accurate as possible. Now, for me, I find research to be a daunting experience. I mean, where does one start? And once one has started, how does one know they have enough? For me, it comes down to the facts serving the story. To some extent one can use dramatic license, but when it comes to describing the decor of a stateroom or the intricacies of the Marconi Wireless, it's best to use the facts. By doing so, a writer will give his or her story a much richer feel.

Now, I mention the Marconi Wireless for a good reason. When the first edition of Titanic 2012 was published in 1998, the Internet was in its infancy and there just wasn't as much access to or the volume of information there now is. And trying to find information in the library can be a long and involved process. Since I couldn't find that much information about the Marconi, I ended up making some assumptions that were wrong. The thermionic valve (vacuum tube) was invented in 1906 by Lee deForest, so I quite logically thought the Marconi had at least a couple of tubes somewhere in its workings and that removing one of them would disable the system. This was necessary for a key point in the plot. The problem was, as I later found out: the Marconi has no tubes.

Years later, when I was starting to gear up to revise and update the manuscript I was able to learn that the Marconi works on something called a "sparking coil." Removal or destruction of that coil would render it useless.

So, all things considered, one should never make assumptions about a fact without doing the research to back it up. That being said, some lessons are only learned the hard way.

Next stops on the blog tour...

Sunday: (04/29) Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews

Monday (04/30): Kathleen @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews

Friday, April 27, 2012

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.

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

It's that simple.

This week I'm reading...

From page 56 of the ebook...

I have to grab the back of the chair. Tequila-based cocktails are not a good idea.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Theme Thursday-YES!!! Okay, sure, etc

Theme Thursdays

This is a new meme hosted by kavyen at Reading between Pages.. “Theme Thursdays” will be open from one thursday to the next and anyone can post it. The rules are simple:

* A theme will be posted each week (on Thursday’s)
* Select a conversation/snippet/sentence from the current book you are reading
* Post it and don’t forget to mention the author and the title of the book
* Since we may take a few days to finish a book, this event is open for one whole week

This will give us a wonderful opportunity to explore and understand different writing styles and descriptive approaches adopted by authors.

This week’s theme is – YES!!! Okay, sure, etc

From page 13 of the ebook...

"Yes," I croak, and clear my throat. "Yes." There, that sounded more confident.

New Book Giveaway Winner!

Since I didn't hear from the winner selected for this giveaway, a new winner had to be chosen.  Using Rafflecopter, the new winner is....


An email has been sent to Harvee.

Congratulations, Harvee!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cat Thursday - April 26th

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 cat pictures - Oh Tigger  I enjoy your crazy antics.
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cami Checkett's Fitness Giveaway

We’re celebrating the release of Cami Checketts’ novel Dead Running with a huge fitness giveaway.

Prizes Include:

Experienced and beginner yoga packages from Hugger Mugger

Two MIO Global Active Watches

Three months online personal training from Fitcore Fitness

Three Lebert Stretch Straps

Fitness Apparel from Running Chics

One pair of running shoes from Altra Zero Drop

iFrogz Earbuds and Armbands

Six month adult membership: Smithfield Recreation Center

One month membership: Crossfit UAC

Autographed copy of Dead Running by Cami Checketts

Win one of these amazing prizes simply by following this blog or liking my Facebook page and leaving a comment below. Please visit each of our sponsors’ websites to learn more about their products and decide which one you’d like to win. While you’re at their site, like their page or follow their blog to show our gratitude for their donation to this fun blogfest. You can enter on as many different blogs as you like, a list of the participating blogs is featured at the end of this post.
Hugger Mugger Yoga Experienced

and Beginner Yoga Packages.
  Value: $325.00
Hugger Mugger on Facebook

Two MIO Global Active Watches
Value: $239.98
Sign up for My MIO
Like MIO on Facebook
MIO is the number one brand in strapless Heart Rate monitoring
with features like calorie management systems, all day steps counting,
distance tracking, and fitness assessment tools.
Three months online fitness training
Value: $150
Fitcore Website -- Fitcore on Facebook
Three Lebert Stretch Straps
Value: $48.49 each
Like Lebert Fitness on Facebook
Flexibility and mobility are two vital components of fitness.
The Lebert Stretch Strap™ is a simple, innovative tool that will
allow you to stretch more comfortably and hold that stretch longer!

Two $50 Gift Certificates to spend on Running Chics fitness apparel.
Running Chics on Facebook
Whether you're running a race or just running around town, you should feel comfortable.
And there's no reason you shouldn't look good, too!
We're Running Chics...just like you,
and we know that fashion and performance can go hand-in-hand. 

Altra Running Shoes - Value: $109.99
Altra Zero Drop Website - Altra Running on Facebook
Altra Zero Drop Footwear features the world's first ever line of

fully cushioned Zero Drop™ running shoes

designed to improve form and reduce initial impact.

iFrogz Armbands and Earbuds - Value: $175.00
 iFrogz is native to Cache Valley and offers awesome

accessories for your iPods, iPhones, and iPads.
Six month adult membership - Value: $157

One Month Membership - Value: $90.00
*Available in Cache Valley only

Autographed Copy
Donated by Cami Checketts
Buy Now only $3.99 Kindle
Cassidy Christensen is running.
Running from the mercenaries who killed her parents.
Running from a scheming redhead intent on making her life miserable. 
Running from painful memories that sabotage her dreams of happiness.
With two very tempting men competing for her attention, she hopes she’ll finally have someone to run to, but can she trust either of them? When secrets from her past threaten her family, Cassidy decides to stop running and fight for her future.

Follow this blog or like my Facebook page and leave a comment below to enter to win one of these great prizes. Please list the top three prizes you're interested in with your comment. An entry will be chosen from each of the participating blogs and then drawn through Prize winners will be posted be on Cami’s Blog.
Contest closes: May 18, 2012
Open to residents of U.S. and Canada.
Thanks for stopping by!

The blogs involved in this giveaway are some of the top fitness, running, book, and Mom blogs on the internet. Have fun checking out their content and entering the fitness giveaway on each of their sites.

Cami Checketts
Author of Dead Running