Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What's in a Name 4: Changelle

The What's in a Name 4 Challenge looks like so much funHere's How It Works

Between January 1 and December 31, 2011, read one book in each of the following categories:

1.  A book with a number in the title: First to Die, Seven Up, Thirteen Reasons Why

2.  A book with jewelry or a gem in the title: Diamond Ruby, Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Opal Deception

3.  A book with a size in the title: Wide Sargasso Sea, Small Wars, Little Bee

4.  A book with travel or movement in the title: Dead Witch Walking, Crawling with Zombies, Time Traveler's Wife

5.  A book with evil in the title: Bad Marie, Fallen, Wicked Lovely

6.  A book with a life stage in the title: No Country for Old Men, Brideshead Revisited, Bog Child

The book titles are just suggestions, you can read whatever book you want to fit the category.

Oh boy, I better keep track of all these changelles!  I hope you had a great holiday.  Thanks for blogging by!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

How can it be?

I just saw the date of my last post and thought....no way. Where in the world did 22 days go? Hmmm...let me think about that one. Work, kids sports and activities (including making 14 scrapbooks for my son's hockey team....which I absolutely love doing!), working with Jessica at So Stylish on a new look for the blog, sick for the past 4 days and now in bed next to my daughter who has caught the bug.

I was reading Mari's blog....Bookworm with a view...and saw she joined the Off the shelf challenge and I knew this is something I had to do. I am trying so hard to clear out my clutter. Don't get me wrong, I never, ever, ever consider books clutter, but I do consider things not completed as a type of clutter in my life. I so want to read thhe books on my shelf (and so many more) that this is a perfect challenge for me.

I am going for the gold and am going to challenge myself to the "trying" level, which is 15 books off my shelf! I know I can do this! I almost think I can do "make a dent," but after this month....I better not push it!

Take the challenge and see if you clean off your book shelf! Thanks for blogging by!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Top Ten Tuesdays

Top Ten Tuesday is sponsored my The Broke and Bookish. Every Tuesday they ask book reviewers to answer your top ten to a question. Go check out there site to participant. You don't have to have ten answers, if you can't come up will all ten! Here is today's question:

Top Ten Character's I'd Like to Be Best Friends With

1. Kate Reddy in I Don't Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson.  When I read this book years ago, I was so upset when I finished the book.  I felt like I lost a great friend.  I could relate to this book so easily and laughed so much through out it.

2.  Fedelina Aurelio in Sand In My Eyes by Christine Lemmon.  Fedelina was the neighbor to Anna (the main character) who helped Anna through a rough time in her life.  Fedelina gave Anna much needed guidance/advice through gardening and flowers. 

3.  Holly Denham in Holly's Inbox by Holly Denham.  I think Holly would be a lot of fun to hang out with and the things she gets herself into is too funny.  I would be laughing all day long.

4.  Stephanie Plum and Lulu (and Grandma) in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich.  Between the three of them, life would never be a bore, Ranger (need I say more), plus I might get invited over for dinner and pineapple upside cake!

5.  Becky Bloomwood Brandon in the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella.  I love shopping and she gets herself in some hilarious situations.  It would be a blast to hang out in NYC (her current location) with Becks!

6.   Lydia Goetz in the Blossom Street Series by Debbie Macomber.  First, I would love to have a knitting store like A Good Yarn to go to and take classes and buy fantastic yarn and patterns.  Second, I would love a quaint Main Street to go walk and shop like Blossom Street. Lastly, the ladies are so supportive and accepting of each other.

7. Skeeter in The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  I love this book, the time it takes place, and everything going on.  I would be very supportive of Skeeter and stick by her side.  I love this book.

8.  Miz Thelma Rae Goodpepper in Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman.  I think she is so different from everyone else and what a character she is.  I would love sling slugs across the fence and the fussy neighbor.  She would entertain me all day long.

9.  Lizzie Nichols in the Queen of Babble Series by Meg Cabot.  Lizzie is another one of those characters I can't get enough of (Meg we need another book in the series please!!!).  She has the funniest things happen to her and she is never a bore.  Of course, I would have to learn about vintage clothing, but I could do that!

10. Nujood Ali in I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali.  She is the strongest person.  I would have her come live with me and give this beautiful girl everything she needs and wants.  She is such an amazing little girl.  My heart goes out to her.

Let me know who your top ten characters are that you would like to be best friends with.  Please becomea follower and recommend my blogger to a friend!

Thanks for blogging by!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Reviews to come

I just finished a lot of books between a trip to China (15 hour plane ride gives you lots of time to read) and a long Thanksgiving weekend.  Book reviews will be posted soon!

The Good Sister by Drusilla Campbell (Manic Mommies Book Club)

Love The One You're With by Emily Griffin

Spells and Sleeping Bags by Sarah Mylnowski
Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts

Fragile by Lisa Unger

Sleeping Arrangement by Madeleine Wickham

Phew, it will take me awhile to get through all the reviews.  Thanks for your support!

Mailbox Monday

Welcome to Mailbox Monday!!  A blog hop to boost your subscriber count! Hosted by A little of this A little of that…Simply Stacie and This Mama Loves Her Bargains.  Everyone is welcome to participate.  Each week a new linky will be generated so make sure you stop by on Monday’s to add your blog.Your blog *must* have a place for people to e-mail subscribe.  Check it out by going to http://simplystacie.net/

I have found some fabulous new blogs!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home Now

Ahhh. Finally 5 minutes of bliss to post this!

This book was the October Manic Mommies Bookclub selection.  I loved the book.  Mari (Bookworm With a View), our hostess always has such great selections.  The MMBC is so fortunate to get to talk with the authors as well.  You can check out the discussion at Manic Mommies Bookclub by clicking HERE

Here are the questions that were asked of us and my reply:

1. What was your overall view of the book? Did you enjoy it?

I loved this book. I am not really sure why as I am not like any of the main characters, but I was hooked on this book from page 1. It was an easy to read book and given my schedule when this book arrived, I didn't have a lot time to read and it took me forever....but I never lost interest in the book and it was very easy to pick up and put down. I liked the characters in the book - they were very easy to picture in my mind.

2. In the beginning of the novel Rickie doesn't want to volunteer at her son's school and is intimidated by the women 'running the show'. Do you volunteer at your child's school (or activities)? Have you had a challenging experience that you have overcome? or do you know women similar to the women Rickie has to interact with?

I complete understand where Rickie was coming from as it related to volunteering at her sons school. However, I am not sure why Rickie should have felt that way when she was an alum of the school, her mother was a big board member and her sister's kids went there. What I would give to have a sister (or a friend) to go to school events and/or volunteer at schools with. My children go to a small Catholic school. The school (and town) is primarily made up of people who have been from the area for a long time and whose parents went to this school as well.  I feel like I am a minority since I am a working mom (not by choice) and can't volunteer like so many other moms do and I was new to the school and area (an outsider for sure). So, the second year, I decided to do something about it and I  have volunteered for several committees (even though it means longer hours for me to make up the work time) and have met some ladies who are extremely nice.  I love being involved in my kids school and was very involved before the move (was not from that town either, but it was more of a transit town than one made up of locals).

3. Did you read Rickie as a tough or vulnerable character? Do you like where she's headed at the end of the book?

As stated above, I didn't get why Ricky was the way she was based on my own experience. I think she should have felt very connected to the school. I LOVED where Ricky was heading at the end of the book and was so hoping she "would get her act together" through out the entire book. I was surprised her parents were so willing to let her do whatever she felt like and at was irresponsible. I felt her son was more of the parent a lot of the time. I do believe Ricky acted the way she did so as not to get hurt - it was part of her "tough exterior" and defense mechanism. I would have loved to understand why she felt that way.
4. What were your thoughts regarding Rickie's mom, how she handled both of her daughter's situations and her view on motherhood?

I liked Ricky's mom and understand why she allowed Ricky and her grandson to live with her and her husband (we all would do anything to protect our family). However, I think she did a great disservice to her daughter by allowing to live in the house with "no rules" and no job. I would have made it very clear from the beginning my expectations and they would have been much different. I felt Ricky deserved a swift kick in the a** at time for the way she spoke to her mother. I liked the half-sister two and how she was able to resolve her marriage. She seemed to a person that Ricky could take to and she was usually able to talk very honestly with Ricky, even when Ricky didn't want to her about it.

Overall, I really did like the book and will probably pick up other books by the author, Claire LaZebnik (The Smart One and Pretty One). Thank you Mari and Manic Mommies for giving me the opportunity to read it!  I would recommend to anyone.

5. Lastly, what are you reading now?

The November MMBC selection - The Good Sister by Drusilla Campbell.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Crazy-for-Books Blog Hop

The Book Blogger Hop (hosted by crazy-for-books) is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weeks question:

"If you find a book that looks interesting but is part of a series, do you always start with the first title?"

I LOVE series! If find an author and a series that I like, I can't wait for the next book to come out and I am not happy when the series ends. I have to admit, I do start at the beginning. Below are some of my favorites!

The Pricess Diary series by Meg Cabot (actually all her series)

The Spellman series by Lisa Lutz
Stephanie Plun series by Janet Evanovich

Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella

Mitch Rapp series by Vince Flynn

Alex Cross series by James Patterson

Emma Harte series by Barbara Taylor Bradford

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Top Ten Tuesdays

Top Ten Tuesday is sponsored my The Broke and Bookish. Every Tuesday they ask book reviewers to answer your top ten to a question.  Go check out there site to participant.  You don't have to have ten answers, if you can't come up will all ten!  Here is today's question:

Top ten books that made you cry.

Did someone say books that make you cry.....where do I begin???  These are not any particular order.

1.  Where the Red Fern Grow by Wilson Rawls
2. Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson
3. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
4. The Kids are Alright by Diana Welch (and siblings)
5. Things I Want My Daughters to Know by Elizabeth Noble
6. All the Numbers by Judy Merrill Larson
7. Life on the Refrigerator Door: Notes Between Mother and Daughter by Alice Kuiper
8. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
9. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
10. A Child Called It (the whole series) by Dave Pelzer
11. Marley and Me by John Grogan (the movie is great too)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Follow Fridays

Hi welcome to Follow Friday! Let me tell you what is going on today. Thanks to our host at Parajunkies View.  Today's question is a easy one for me (as long as I don't have to narrow it to just one!)!!!!

If you have, or would have a daughter, what book would you want your daughter to read?

My Answer: There are so many too list, but the ones that come to my mind first are: Little House on the Prairie (The Series), Little Women, Where the Red Fern Grows, Princess Series (Meg Cabot), Bobbesy Twins/Nancy Drew, and American Girls.

What is your answer?

Please leave me feedback, become a follower and recommend my blog to a friend.

Thank you for "blogging" by!

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop
The Book Blogger Hop (hosted by crazy-for-books) is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word!  This weeks question:

"What is the one bookish thing you would love to have, no matter the cost?"

My answer: I would love a third floor-attic type of room (that is the size of the entire house).  This would be MY space.  I would have a nice sitting area with the most comfortable chairs (with rockers) and soft blankets.  The fabric would be in blues and yellows.  Another little nook would have my computer, printer, etc. on a cute white desk.  The rest of the attic would be set up for my scrapbooking.  Of course the view would spectacular (in my mind it would be the ocean or a beautiful lake).

What would your answer be? Check out Bookworm with a View's answer.

Please leave me feedback, become a follower and recommend my blog to a friend.
Thank you for "blogging" by!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


J. Courtney Sullivan’s celebrated debut novel is a sparkling tale of friendship and a fascinating portrait of the first generation of women who have all the opportunities in the world, but no clear idea about what to choose.
Assigned to the same dorm their first year at Smith College, Celia, Bree, Sally, and April couldn’t have less in common. Celia, a lapsed Catholic, arrives with a bottle of vodka in her suitcase; beautiful Bree pines for the fiancĂ© she left behind in Savannah; Sally, preppy and obsessively neat, is reeling from the loss of her mother; and April, a radical, redheaded feminist wearing a “Riot: Don’t Diet” T-shirt, wants a room transfer immediately. Written with radiant style and a wicked sense of humor, Commencement follows these unlikely friends through college and the years beyond, brilliantly capturing the complicated landscape facing young women today.

My Review: For me this book reminds me of the adult version The Sisters of the Traveling Pants.  The book is about four females that were brought together their first year of college and how their friendship has remained constant through out the years.  The girls are completely different and yet become the best of friends. 

I'm Not Afraid of This Haunted House

Publishers Weekly

I'm Simon Lester Henry Strauss,/ and I'm not afraid of this haunted house!" boasts this tale's tour guide as other boys and girls shiver and flail. "My friends all scream, `Come on! Let's run!'/ But I march inside. This looks like fun!" Friedman (A Style All Her Own) composes nonstop couplets about the house's creatures and features, including a spider-eating goblin and "rows of coffins"; her swaggering hero finally reveals an Achilles heel ("I'm not afraid of this... eeeek... a mouse!"). Murfin (Hide and Seek Turkey) takes a cue from Lane Smith in her paintings of wide-faced characters, who dodge cobwebs and giggling ghouls. Her light-hearted visual approach mitigates the potentially goose-pimply details. Ages 5-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

My Review:  This is my kids favorite Halloween book and part of your family tradition.  Tomorrow I will go into each of the kids rooms and read it to their classes.  This book is so cute.  The illustrations are perfect for a the Halloween season.   I 100% recommend this book!

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Girl Who Chased The Moon


In her latest enchanting novel, New York Times bestelling author Sarah Addison Allen invites you to a quirky little Southern town with more magic than a full Carolina moon. Here two very different women discover how to find their place in the world...no matter how out of place they feel.

Emily Benedict came to Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother's life. For instance, why did Dulcie Shelby leave her hometown so suddenly? Why did she vow never to return? But the moment Emily enters the house where her mother grew up and meets the grandfather she never knew—a reclusive, real-life gentle giant—she realizes that mysteries aren't solved in Mullaby, they're a way of life.

Here are rooms where the wallpaper changes to suit your mood. Unexplained lights skip across the yard at midnight. And a neighbor bakes hope in the form of cakes.

Everyone in Mullaby...

Review: I absolutely loved this book. I was hooked from the very beginning. My only disappointment was it ended too soon. Actually it ended with a perfect set up for a sequel – please say it is so Ms. Allen! I love the way she weaves magical scenes and characters into the story. Ms. Allen has a unique ability to describe things so vividly – you can easily imagine yourself in Mullaby. The story line even has a little bit of darkness that is intertwined through the book until the very end (can’t give it away, now can I?). This book would be great for adults and teens (it is clean). I hope you enjoy it too.

This is my first Sarah Addison Allen book that I have read and I have to read her previous ones. I have heard they are just as good. Other books by Ms. Allen are Garden Spells and Sugar Queen.

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop (hosted by crazy-for-books) is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word!  This week's question comes from Becky who blogs at Becky's Barmy Book Blog:
"Where is your favorite place to read? Curled up on the sofa, in bed, in the garden?"

My answer: My favorite place is curled up on the sofa; however, if I lived in a house with an ocean view, I would be out of the porch (or beach) curled up in the world's most comfortable rocker.  We can all dream, right!
Where is your favorite place to read?  Please leave me a comment letting me know.
Thanks for stopping by - have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Help


Be prepared to meet three unforgettable women:

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step. Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone. Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken. Minny, Aibileens best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobodys business, but she cant mind her tongue, so shes lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own. Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way womenmothers, daughters, caregivers, friendsview one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Helpis a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we dont.

My Review:  I absolutely loved this book.  I could not wait to pick it up at the end of the day.  I can not believe this is Kathryn Stockett's first novel.  I want more!  Has anyone heard if it will be made into a movie?  I think it would make a wonderful movie. The way the author writes about each character makes you feel like you have known them forever.  I had no problem seeing myself right in the middle of all the "going-ons!"  I can more than understand why this is the 2010 Indies Choice Book of the Year.  Can you even imagine your first published novel and it is the Indeis choice book of the year - holy cow.  What more can I say - a MUST read!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Color of Water by James McBride


This national bestseller tells the story of James McBride and his mother—a rabbi's daughter, born in Poland and raised in the South, who fled to Harlem, married a black man, founded a church, and put 12 children through college.

Salon - James Marcus

At a time when the relationship between African-Americans and Jews is deeply fissured, The Color of Water reminds us that the two groups have a long history of coexistence -- sometimes within a single person. The author's mother, Ruth Shilsky, was born in Poland in 1920, the daughter of an Orthodox Jewish rabbi. She grew up in rural Virginia, hemmed in by anti-Semitism and small-town claustrophobia, and at the age of 18 she fled to the cultural antipodes of Harlem. There, four years later, she married a black man named Dennis McBride, and since her family promptly disowned her, she launched a second existence as (to quote her son) "a flying compilation of competing interests and conflicts, a black woman in white skin." The lone Caucasian in her Brooklyn housing project, she somehow raised 12 children without ever quite admitting she was white. In retrospect, of course, her son is able to recognize that his parents "brought a curious blend of Jewish-European and African-American distrust and paranoia into our house." However, as children, James McBride and his 11 siblings didn't dwell on questions of their mother's color. Only later, after he became a professional journalist, did McBride feel compelled to tackle the riddle of his heritage. Bit by bit, he coaxed out his mother's story, and her voice -- stoic, funny, and with a matter-of-fact flintiness -- alternates perfectly with his own tale of biracial confusion and self-discovery.

Review: This book was on my nephew’s summer reading list. My sister was discussing it and I thought it sounded like a great book. I enjoyed the book. It really makes you think about how much has changed (depending on where you live) and how strong people can be. His mother was such a smart lady and to have raised 12 children and put them through college….unbelievable. This is on truly amazing story. Thanks for my sister (and nephew) for recommending the book.

I am going to ask my nephew and sister if they would be willing to write a review too!  I hope they say yes.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Stuff That Never Happened


What if you were married to a wonderful husband for twenty-eight years but in love with another man? What if you were in love with them both?

Annabelle McKay knows she shouldn’t have any complaints. She’s been in a stable marriage that’s lasted almost three decades and has provided her with two wonderful children, thousands of family dinners around a sturdy oak table, and a husband so devoted that he schedules lovemaking into his calendar every Wednesday morning. Other wives envy the fact that Grant is not the type of man who would ever cheat on her or leave her for a younger woman. The trouble is Annabelle isn’t sure she wants to be married to Grant anymore. The trouble is she’s still in love with someone else.

In the early tumultuous years of her marriage, Annabelle carried on a clandestine affair with the one person whose betrayal would hurt her husband the most. When it ended, she and Grant found their way back together and made a pact that they would never speak of that time again. But now years later, with her children grown and gone, and an ominous distance opening between them, she can’t help but remember those glorious, passionate days and wonder if she chose the right man.

Then, when called to New York City to help care for her pregnant daughter, Annabelle bumps into her old lover. Offered a second chance at an unforgettable love, she must decide between the man who possesses her heart and the husband who has stood squarely by her side. A journey into the what-ifs that haunt us all, The Stuff That Never Happened is an intricate, heartfelt examination of modern marriage that brims with truths about the nature of romantic love.

Review: I really enjoyed this book. I did not guess the end, but I can’t tell you what I thought was going to happen, without giving away a big part of the book. The entire book kept taking different turns throughout the book. I loved how Annabelle stood up for herself and what she wanted. I liked the different extremes of her two children and how as a mother, she was able to relate to both of them. Unlike Grant, she was able to accept them for who they were and the choices they made. The book jumps back and forth between later seventies/early eighties and 2005. As the present is unfolding, the choices Annabelle makes are explained by reading about her past. I really liked this format and thought the author did an excellent job going back and forth and interweaving the story. I recommend you read this book. You can read an expert of the book by going to www.maddiedawson.com

Thanks to Anna at The Crown Publishing Group for sending me this wonderful book.

Friday, September 10, 2010

And the Winner is....(So sorry)

The winner is Kimberly P.  Please send me your mailing address to seasidebooknook@yahoo.com.

I hope you enjoy the book as much I did. 

I am so sorry, I have no idea what happen to the rest of the post last night.  I just realized this morning, it was incomplete.  Another great book give away will be coming next week.  Look for the post (complete posting!!)  Have a great weekend (reading)!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What Are You Reading?

I just finished The Stuff That Never Happened by Maddie Dawson.  Thanks to Crown Publishing Company for sending me a copy to review.  This was a great book and I will post my review tomorrow.

Off to my bookshelf to pick my next book!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Last Song


In the tradition of A Walk to Remember, this is a story of a teenage girl and her first encounter with heartbreak and love.

Seventeen year old Veronica "Ronnie" Miller's life was turned upside down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, especially her father...until her mother decides it would be in everyone's best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie's father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church.

The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story of love on many levels first love, love between parents and children that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that love can break our hearts...and heal them.

My Review: I listened to The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks on my ipod and thought it was so good. I really, really liked this book. I like all his books, but I think this is one of his better ones. I rank this right behind The Notebook, which is on my top 10 list. It was a wonderful book that was both heartwarming and heart breaking. I loved the characters and all the twists in the book. Nicholas Sparks brought me right into their lives. The story was “fun” to follow. I couldn’t get enough of the love story between Ronnie and Will, the friendship between Ronnie and Blaze, the relationship between Ronnie and her father the birthing of the sea turtles, and the bond between Ronnie and Jonah. Make sure you have some tissue – you will need it.

I believe if I had read this book, I would not have been able to put it down. Definitely, recommend this one.

The Movie: Last weekend I went out and bought the movie. I loved the movie as well. The actors were perfect and I thought it followed along the story line well enough. There were differences, but it close to the same. I tend to be a person that likes the book over movie, but in the case, I have to say it was a tie! This is a tear jerker – so you have been warned! Rent it or buy today or when you need a good cry!

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Island and GIVEAWAY!


From New York Times bestseller Elin Hilderbrand, a new novel set on Tuckernuck, a tiny island off the coast of Nantucket.

Four women-a mother, her sister, two grown daughters-head to Tuckernuck for a retreat, hoping to escape their troubles. Intead, they find only drama, secrets, and life-changing revelations.

My Review: This is a perfect summer read. I liked the characters, especially Tate and Garrett. I could picture myself at the house and on the beach of Tuckernuck. I enjoyed the story and how the past and present was weaved together. I would recommend this book, any time of year, not just as a summer read!

I listened to this book on my ipod and honestly, I didn’t care for the narrator. I felt the voice was very “whiny.” I was fortunate to receive this book from the Manic Mommies book club (www.manicmommies.com). When I was in the car, I would listen to the book, but at night, would read the book. I truly enjoyed this book better then the audio. As part of the MMBC, we had the honor of talking with Elin Hilderbrant for a approximately 40 minutes. Feel free to listen to what Elin has to say regarding the Island and more.   Also, we are discussing the book online.


I am giving away a copy of The Island by Elin Hilderbrant (US and Canada residents only, please).  All you have to do is subscribe to my blog and leave me a comment with an email address (email address {at}internet provider {dot}com).  The giveaway will close September 6, 2010 at midnight.  Good luck everyone.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

OMG, PINCH ME! Interview with Christine Lemmon (Sand in My Eyes)!!!

DRUM ROLL PLEASE………….I have had the honor of asking questions to the author, Christine Lemmon (check out her site www.christinelemmon.com – I have it playing in the lovely sound playing at work some days!). Can you believe it? Pinch me, right? Seriously…..I am still in a state of awe.

A very special shot out and a huge thank you to Crystal P at BookSparksPR for making this all possible. I so appreciate all your time and coordination. Thank you so very much for EVERYTHING.
Below are my questions and her wonderful answers. I hope you enjoy this as much I did!

1. I know you currently live on Sanibel Island, but have you always lived there? I lived in Jacksonville for 9.5 years and love(d) the ocean and all the little canals/streams that ran off from the ocean. I could picture so many of your scenes even though I have never been to Sanibel Island.

I haven’t always lived on Sanibel Island but I have been walking its beaches since I was two years old when my grandparents from Chicago bought a condo here and we would visit them. After my grandpa died, my sister and I continued visiting our grandma on the island, spending our high school and college Spring breaks on the beaches of Sanibel’s East End. My husband and I also held our wedding reception on Sanibel but then moved all over the country together, living in Atlanta, Sacramento, Nashville, and Orlando before his sales job serendipitously had us relocating so close to the Sanibel area we just had to rent a little house on stilts and find out what it might be like to actually live on an island. That was six years ago and we’re still here in our little house on stilts. It’s paradise!

2. My great-grandfather started a flower shop and greenhouse in 1902 in Grand Ledge, Michigan. My grandfather took over the business and than my mother. All three have passed away and we sold the shop to a distance cousins. My siblings and I grew up among flowers and this book just touched me so. I do not have a green thumb and I say I can kill a fake plant! Do you do a lot gardening?

I do not do a lot of gardening, however, when I was a little girl and my parents owned an ice-cream shop, there was a patch of dirt in the back of the building and I used my own money and bought packets of seeds at the local drugstore, then raked the dirt, cleared the weeds and planted a garden one summer as my parents worked our family businesses. And things grew! I will never forget the experience and the joy. I long to plant a garden with my children and my nine-year-old son has a passion for growing things. He wants to plant orange trees and grow pineapples. The problem is, there are snakes in our yard and strange-looking spiders. Oh, and fire ant mounds, and hungry bobcats, and even alligators. Maybe this explains why tropical islands aren’t exactly known for their gardens. Also, it is frowned upon to plant anything that is not native to the island. Sadly, my children will have to continue growing Chia Pets inside.

3. A follow-up to the above question...How did you learn so much about all the flowers in the book? I was so amazed at the connection of the flowers to story and characters. I absolutely loved it.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I would take a five-mile ride around the island each morning after my boys went to school. Some mornings, if bothered by something happening in the world, or overwhelmed by something on my mind, I would notice the daisies growing alongside dumpsters and think to myself, always spot the wildflowers hidden within the weeds. Daisies are everywhere and so is beauty in the world, if we look for it. I knew then I had to write a story about flowers and I became hypersensitive to them and how they made me feel when I saw them during my daily bike ride. There were morning glories and I knew very little about them, only that they open for one day and then die and I thought we do not know the number of our days so we may as well make each day spectacular. There happens to be a rose bush on the side of my house (on the brink of death) and it is odd for a rose bush to be on the island, but it’s there and strangely, every few months the most amazing pink blooms appear. I sit on my front porch drinking coffee, thinking, women, like roses need nonproductive periods of rest in order to prepare for their next bloom. Much of my knowledge of flowers is purely inspiration, the way they make me feel when I see them and the thoughts that come to mind. I did, however, do a little research, especially regarding orchids and how finicky they are.

4. Was or is there a special elderly person (or neighbor) in your life? I have always wished for a neighbor like Fedelina. I have had great neighbors and they have been a wonderful support system, but we all tend to be at the same stage of life. The advice Fedelina gave Anna is so true. There were several parts of the book that I could have stepped right into Anna shoes. I felt like you saw inside my soul.

I can’t say I have a Fedelina in my life. I do, however, tend to create characters that help pull me through a particular stage in my life. At times, during the writing of Sand in My Eyes, it was like the older me talking to the younger me, telling me it all will pass, that one day your house will be clean and quiet and your children grown and gone and you would do anything to have your house a mess and noisy and your children little again. I do look at older women, at all the time they have and how lonely some of them are and I realize how this stage of my life—me running around my house like a chicken with her head cut off answering the demands of three little ones—is so brief. Coincidentally, after I started writing the book, I did notice an older woman out watering her grass in the little house next to mine. The house had been vacant when we moved in, but I learned the woman was up north visiting her daughter. She was definitely in Fedelina’s stage of life. Her husband passed. Her health was deteriorating. She was madly in love with Sanibel Island and didn’t want to leave it but her daughter was urging her to move back north and be by family. She would come over to my house and chat about her younger days and tell me funny stories about raising all her children and the cakes she made and the one her son knocked over. I had her over for Thanksgiving, and we became friends.

5. I have to ask, was there a Liam in your life? I thought for sure I had the ending all figured out....Fedelina would pass away and Liam and Anna would reconnect at the funeral. I was so wrong.

Nope. There has never been a Liam in my life. And it was hard writing about a husband who was not around. My husband is my best friend. He is a total homebody and hands-on-father, coaching their teams and so on. But just as an actress will play roles she might not be able to relate to, an author must also write of things she has not experienced.

6. Did you have the ending plotted out before you started writing, or did it develop as you wrote?

I did not have the ending plotted out in advance. I’ve tried in the past to write from outlines but find out that it takes the fun away for me. I like to think of writing as playing with dolls and if someone tells a little girl how her role playing with those dolls must end, it’s no longer fun. I did struggle with the ending of Sand in My Eyes and have often wondered whether I should have ended it a different way, but I did it the way I did for various reasons. I don’t want to give anything away here, but I’ll just say this: Anna wanted to be better than her husband who cheated on her.

7. Do you write daily or in blocks of time? Do you have a special place you go to and write or do you write where ever/whenever you can? I thought it was funny that Anna would write on anything she could find when something struck her. That was something my mother would do, but it was usually something she needed from the store, a story/message she needed to tell someone, a to-do list, etc.

When in the midst of writing a novel, I do write daily in two-hour chunks of time only when my children are sleeping. That means I can write from five until seven in the morning, or from around ten to midnight. I get inspiration as I’m out and about the island, wading in the water at the beach with my children, or bike riding, or sitting at the park, or on my front porch drinking a cup of coffee. I then jot my ideas down on anything and yes, that includes coloring books, scrap paper, and even a dollar bill once. I like writing at my desk in my bedroom because I need to be focused when I write and I like to enter the story to where I no longer realize where I am writing. I just like it consistent and quiet. There were times during the writing of Sand in My Eyes that my son would wake up just after I started to write and he would want to play and so I started writing in my pantry where he couldn’t find me. But then I got pregnant and would have to sneak out to the bathroom with morning sickness and I wrote scenes while in the bathroom. Writing while being a mom is not always glamorous! Whatever works!

8. Did you always want to be a writer?

When I was a little girl and got my first diary, I filled it up before the year was over and needed a new one. I then wrote feverishly in my diary all the way through college. One summer of college, I was confined to my room with mononucleosis. I slept all day but couldn’t sleep at night and so I pulled an old, noisy typewriter from my basement and started writing a novel. I felt a joy, like when I was a little girl and would open the doors to my dollhouse and pick up my dolls, ready to play. That joy was unforgettable and I knew in a roundabout way that writing is what I wanted to do. All my jobs after college were writing-related—working as a newspaper reporter, radio news producer, editor for a business magazine and so on, but never did I take a writing class. I just wrote!

9. What is your favorite thing about Sanibel Island?

My favorite thing about Sanibel is the beach at sunset.  Still, after all these years, my husband and I take our three children at least once a week to a sunset at one of our favorite beaches. No matter what is going on in our lives, or how tired I may feel, after an evening of sitting there on the beach, watching my children play and the sun set, I feel revived and invigorated—inspired! It always clears my mind and reminds me of what I want in life, which is beauty. I want to savor life.

10. What are some of your favorite books/authors?

I like to read classics, like Hemingway, Tolstoy, poetry by all authors, and stories by Hans Christian Andersen, as well as contemporary authors like Jodi Piccoult.

Sand in My Eyes


Twenty years ago, Anna Hott thought she could control everything — her crumbling marriage, her demanding children, her hectic life — by quitting her high-placed job in New York City and moving her family to tranquil Sanibel Island, Florida. But she brought her untamed emotions, her rage toward her cheating husband, and her yearning to write a novel with her. When her husband and children left the house for a week, Anna thought at last she would get her household, her novel, and her mind in order. Instead, her elderly neighbor Fedelina Aurelio knocked on her door bearing flowers and homespun wisdom, and when Fedelina's recently divorced son arrived, Anna had a test of passions and a test of truth. Now, at 56 with an empty nest, Anna Holt pulls out the incomplete manuscript she started that memorable week and — to find closure for her life and a conclusion for her novel — travels to Indiana to visit Fedelina who lives in a nursing home.

A novel framed within a novel, Sand In My Eyes is both a story about the tension between motherhood and personal dreams as well as a story about women across generations inspiring one another to let beauty persist despite ugly circumstances.

My Review: LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book. I loved it so much it is going on my top 10 list. I can’t tell you all how much I related to the characters in this book. So many of the scenes I pictured me instead of Anna (crying on the kitchen floor). The relationship of the characters and how they develop throughout the story was beautiful. The lessons learned and advice from sweet Fedelina through the talk of gardening and flowers was fabulous. I can’t explain how much the book touched me. I think everyone should pick up a copy and read it. Oh how I wish for a friend like Fedelina. I know my review is not doing this book justice…you have to read it for yourself. Put it on your MUST READ list today.

I went out and bought her other books (Sanibel Scribbles, Portions of the Sea) and her gift book (Whispers from the Ocean). The covers on her books really take me away.  They are so peaceful.  Whispers from the Ocean reminds me so much of my mother.  I know we both would have owned a copy and picked a page each week to talk about.  It would either be over the phone or in an email (letters in the good old days).  We both love the ocean and she would have loved these books too.   

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks


An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life--until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else. "Dear John," the letter read...and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love--and face the hardest decision of his life.

My Review: As I do all Nicolas’ books….I loved it. I would love to know what happened in his life to trigger this story. If you don’t know, most of his stories come from some event that has happened in his life. However, the last book signing of his that I have attended was in October 2005 with my mom. He did not return to Cincinnati/Dayton area while we lived there (fall 2008) and there is probably little to no chance of him (or any other author) coming to the Rochester area.

On the way back from Brazil (for work) this movie was shown on the plane. I was so excited as I had not seen it yet. I LOVED the movie. Amanda Seyfried is one of my favorite new stars – ever since Momma Mia, I just feel in love with her. She didn’t let me down in this. This was my first movie with Channing Tatum and I think the two had a great on-film chemistry.

Bottom line: Recommend the book and the movie!

Friday, August 20, 2010

I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced

"I'm a simple village girl who has always obeyed the orders of my father and brothers. Since forever, I have learned to say yes to everything. Today I have decided to say no."

Forced by her father to marry a man three times her age, young Nujood Ali was sent away from her parents and beloved sisters and made to live with her husband and his family in an isolated village in rural Yemen. There she suffered daily from physical and emotional abuse by her mother-in-law and nightly at the rough hands of her spouse. Flouting his oath to wait to have sexual relations with Nujood until she was no longer a child, he took her virginity on their wedding night. She was only ten years old.

Unable to endure the pain and distress any longer, Nujood fled--not for home, but to the courthouse of the capital, paying for a taxi ride with a few precious coins of bread money. When a renowned Yemeni lawyer heard about the young victim, she took on Nujood's case and fought the...

My Review: It is hard for me to rate this book or say that I loved it, given the topic. I will say I highly recommend it, as you won’t believe it. I was in complete shock over this book. I think it is well written (believe it is for 10-13 year olds). It was a very short book, put to the point. The length was perfect. I read this book in 3 days. I just wanted to take Nujood into my arms and home and protect her. It is incredible what Nujood went through in her first 10 years of life. It was very educational and opened my naive eyes to another part of the world. It was very hard for me to believe a world like that exists, but I know it does. It is so easy for us turn a blind eye to other’s issues. I kept looking at my seven year old twin girls thinking, this could be them, if we lived in a different part of the world. Nujood and her lawyer go on my list of heroines.

P.S. Isn't she just beautiful?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

#17 The Boy Next Door


To: You (you)
From: Human Resources (human.resources@thenyjournal.com)
Subject: This Book

Dear Reader,

This is an automated message from the Human Resources Division of the New York Journal, New York City’s leading photo-newspaper. Please be aware that according to our records you have not yet read this book. What exactly are you waiting for? This book has it all:

Cooking tips
Great Danes
Heroine in peril
Dolphin-shaped driftwood sculptures

If you wish to read about any of the above, please do not hesitate to head to the checkout counter, where you will be paired with a sales associate who will work to help you buy this book.

We here at the New York Journal are a team. We win as a team, and lose as one as well. Don’t you want to be on the winning team?


Human Resources Division
New York Journal

Please note that failure to read this book may result in suspension or dismissal from this store.
*********This e-mail is confidential and should not be used by anyone who is not the original intended recipient. If you have received this e-mail in error please inform the sender and delete it from your mailbox or any other storage mechanism.*********

This was my first Meg Cabot book. I read it years ago. I still recommend it people all the time. I love the format of the book – all done in email format. We meet the characters and the story develops through emails between characters. Don’t skip the To, From and Subject, otherwise you may be lost. Like all of Meg Cabot’s books, this is a very fast read and great for the summertime (or anytime).

I love the characters in the book and just wanted the book to continue.  As I found out by reading everything written by Meg Cabot , this book is full of her traditional humor and spunkinest that I love.  She is one of the best chick-lit authors, ever!  Just to give you an idea - she was married on April 1st - April Fool's Day - since her husband had said, only fools get married.  I had the honor of meeting Meg at a book signing at Books & Company in Dayton, Ohio (my favorite bookstore).  She was too funny for words.  I brought all my books for her to sign - adult ones - personalized to me; young adult - personalized to my two daughters.  She was awesome and signed them all.  I would give this book a 5 out 5.

Other books that have the same format (email) and carry over some characters are: She Went all the Way, Boy Meets Girl, and Every Boy’s Got One.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Why is my Mother Getting a Tattoo?


Despite her forty years and a successful career as a rock journalist, Jancee Dunn still feels like a teenager, especially around her parents and sisters. Looking around, Dunn realizes that she’s not alone in this regression: Her friends, all with successful jobs, marriages, and families of their own, still feel like kids around their moms and dads, too. That gets Dunn to thinking: Do we ever really grow up?

Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo? explores this phenomenon–through both Dunn’s coming to grips with getting older and her folks’ attempts to turn back the clock. In a series of hilarious and heartwarming essays, Dunn conspires with her sisters to finagle their way into the old family homestead, dissects the whys and wherefores of her parents’ obsession with newspaper clippings, confronts the seamy side of the JC Penney catalogs she paged through as a kid, and accompanies her sixty-something mother to a New Jersey tattoo parlor, where Mom is giddy to get a raven inked onto her wrist. And Dunn does it all with humor and insight.

This book by Jancee Dunn is so funny. I just loved it. I read this book for the ManicMommies March book club. The ManicMommies book club gives away the book club selection every month and I had the privilege of winning this one. We had a book club call on the 17th with Jancee. She was funny, we couldn’t stop laughing. The call was scheduled for 45 minutes and we finally ended (even though no one wanted to) after 90 minutes.

Every chapter of the book I was able to relate to myself except one. For example, she writes a chapter about her parents sending her articles. The articles sent from her mom could range from anything and everything and from her father “if you don’t heed this article, prepare for a grisly mishap in your own home” type of articles. I loved that chapter because it reminded me how many times my mom would send me local articles. Most of the time I could figure out why but sometimes I did not get them at all and would have to call home. This started for my mom and I when I went away to college. It just became her way and continued on. Every now and then my Aunt will send me articles or my Uncle will email them. They have no one how much I love receiving them.

I recommend this book even if you can’t connect to every chapter. It is a fast and easy read. It is the perfect pick up and put down book, perfect for a busy mom. I am going to get her other two books from the library: But Enough about Me: How a Small-Town Girl Went from Shag Carpet to the Red Carpet and Don’t You Forget about Me. I hope you get them out and enjoy the read!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Boy Next Door


To: You (you)
From: Human Resources (human.resources@thenyjournal.com)
Subject: This Book
Dear Reader,

This is an automated message from the Human Resources Division of the New York Journal, New York City’s leading photo-newspaper. Please be aware that according to our records you have not yet read this book. What exactly are you waiting for? This book has it all:

Cooking tips
Great Danes
Heroine in peril
Dolphin-shaped driftwood sculptures

If you wish to read about any of the above, please do not hesitate to head to the checkout counter, where you will be paired with a sales associate who will work to help you buy this book.
We here at the New York Journal are a team. We win as a team, and lose as one as well. Don’t you want to be on the winning team?

Human Resources Division
New York Journal
Please note that failure to read this book may result in suspension or dismissal from this store.

*********This e-mail is confidential and should not be used by anyone who is not the original intended recipient. If you have received this e-mail in error please inform the sender and delete it from your mailbox or any other storage mechanism.*********

My Review:  This was my first Meg Cabot book. I read it years ago. I still recommend it people all the time. I love the format of the book – all done in email format. We met the characters and the story develops through emails between characters. Don’t skip the To, From and Subject, otherwise you may be lost. Like all of Meg Cabot’s books, this is a very fast read and great for the summertime (or anytime).

Other books that have the same format (email) and carry over some characters are: She Went all the Way, Boy Meets Girl, and Every Boy’s Got One.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Can You Keep a Secret?


Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets: Secrets from her boyfriend: I’ve always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken. Secrets from her mother: I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur. Secrets she wouldn’t share with anyone in the world: I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is. Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger.…Until Emma comes face-to-face with Jack Harper, the company’s elusive CEO, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her...

Everyone tells little white lies but how many of us tell them to our new boss, without knowing he is our new boss? Well Emma does, on accident of course. This is a very humorous, especially when all the white lies come out. The author, Sophie Kinsella makes you believe Emma is one of your best friends. This is a must have book for any book lover. It is the perfect book for a quick read or looking for a book club book for the month, this is it! You can’t put the book down. This is my favorite Sophie Kinsella book. I have purchased it for many friends to read.

Sophie Kinsella also writes under the name of Madeline Wickham. I have several of her books under that pen name on my “to read” book shelf.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Spellman Files


Meet Isabel "Izzy" Spellman, private investigator. This twenty-eight-year-old may have a checkered past littered with romantic mistakes, excessive drinking, and creative vandalism; she may be addicted to Get Smart reruns and prefer entering homes through windows rather than doors -- but the upshot is she's good at her job as a licensed private investigator with her family's firm, Spellman Investigations. Invading people's privacy comes naturally to Izzy. In fact, it comes naturally to all the Spellmans. If only they could leave their work at the office. To be a Spellman is to snoop on a Spellman; tail a Spellman; dig up dirt on, blackmail, and wiretap a Spellman.
Part Nancy Drew, part Dirty Harry, Izzy walks an indistinguishable line between Spellman family member and Spellman employee. Duties include: completing assignments from the bosses, aka Mom and Dad (preferably without scrutiny); appeasing her chronically perfect lawyer brother (often under duress); setting an example for her fourteen-year-old sister, Rae (who's become addicted to "recreational surveillance"); and tracking down her uncle (who randomly disappears on benders dubbed "Lost Weekends"). But when Izzy's parents hire Rae to follow her (for the purpose of ascertaining the identity of Izzy's new boyfriend), Izzy snaps and decides that the only way she will ever be normal is if she gets out of the family business. But there's a hitch: she must take one last job before they'll let her go -- a fifteen-year-old, ice-cold missing person case. She accepts, only to experience a disappearance far closer to home, which becomes the most important case of her life.

I loved this book and the whole series. I stumbled across the book in Barnes & Noble. The third book had just come out in hard cover. The series is very similar to Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series (another of my loves). Guaranteed a lots laughs. I love the short chapters. I am able to squeeze in a chapter between every day responsibilities. This dysfunctional family is absolutely side-splitting. The characters are so funny and I can just picture all them. My Aunt just finished the first two and she gave them a thumbs up. The fourth book is out in two weeks. I will be at the bookstore at 9 am that Tuesday (if I don’t have an early meeting –otherwise I will grab it on the way home)!

Series: Spellman Files, Curse of the Spellmans, Revenge of the Spellmans and Spellmans Strikes Again (out on 3/15/10-can't wait)!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Queen of Babble


What's an American girl with a big mouth, but an equally big heart, to do? Lizzie Nichols has a problem, and it isn't that she doesn't have the slightest idea what she's going to do with her life, or that she's blowing what should be her down payment on a cute little Manhattan apartment on a trip to London to visit her long-distance boyfriend, Andrew. What's the point of planning for the future when she's done it again? See, Lizzie can't keep her mouth shut. And it's not just that she can't keep her own secrets, she can't keep anything to herself.
This time when she opens her big mouth, her good intentions get Andrew in major hot water. Now Lizzie's stuck in London with no boyfriend and no place to stay until the departure date written on her non-changeable airline ticket.
Fortunately, Lizzie's best friend and college roommate is spending her summer in the south of France, catering weddings in a chateau. One call and Lizzie's on a train to Paris. Who cares if she speaks only rudimentary French? One glimpse of gorgeous Chateau Mirac — not to mention gorgeous Luke, Chateau Mirac's owner — and she's smitten.
But while most caterers can be trusted to keep a secret, Lizzie's the exception. And no sooner has the first cork been popped than Luke hates her, the bride is in tears, and it looks like Chateau Mirac is in danger of becoming a lipo-recovery spa. As if things aren't bad enough, ex-boyfriend Andy shows up looking for "closure" (or at least a loan), threatening to ruin everything, especially Lizzie's chance at ever finding real love — unless she can figure out a way to use that big mouth of hers to save the day.

I love Meg Cabot's style of writing. I think Meg and Sophie Kinsella are so similar. If I hadn’t met both them, I would swear one is a pen name for the other. They are two of my favorite writers. The whole series is so funny. Everyone loves Lizzie. Typical of Meg’s books, it is a quick, easy read that is perfect for the beach. This is a wild mix of humor and romance. This entire series is a great read.

Series: Queen of Babble, Queen of Babble in the Big City, and Queen of Babble Gets Hitched. Recommend them all.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Confession of a Shopaholic

Rebecca Bloomwood just hit rock bottom. But she's never looked better....

Becky Bloomwood has a fabulous flat in London's trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season's must-haves. The only trouble is that she can't actually afford it -- not any of it.

This book (and entire series) was so hilarious. I couldn’t wait to turn the page, start the next chapter, purchase the next book. You can’t help but love Becky and all the wacky situations she gets herself into. The book (and series) is a quick read for anytime, but especially on the beach! This book was made into a movie and was not nearly as good as the book. I recommend you read the book first before watching the movie.

I had the pleasure of meeting Sophie Kinsella at Books & Co. She was so charming and polite. She had on an awesome outfit with a great pair of shoes! She signed all my books and I must have had 8 of them. A lot of authors will only sign and personalize their latest one, so this was very much appreciated! I am not aware of any up coming Shopaholic books coming  out, but I can always wish!

Series: Confession of a Shopaholic, Shopaholic takes Manhattan, Shopaholic ties the Knot, Shopaholic and Sister and Shopaholic and Baby.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Secrets of My Hollywood Life


What if... Your picture was taped inside teenage boys' lockers across America, your closets were bursting with never-worn designer clothing, and the tabloids constantly asked whether you were losing your "good girl" status?  It's a glamorous life, but sixteen-year-old Kaitlin Burke, costar of one of the hottest shows on TV, is exhausted from the pressures of fame. Then she hits on an outrageously daring solution, one that has to remain top secret or it will jeopardize everything she's ever worked for.

I think the best thing about this series how it portrays a Hollywood star trying to be a “normal” girl, to be herself. Once I started reading the first book, I couldn't stop! I think it is wonderful that she stood up to all the adults in a very respectful way. It is a cute read and a great summer book for teens. The covers are very catching too! I started the series when the fourth book had just come out. I loved them all. The fifth book is due out in March 2010 (I think it is already out, but I haven’t hit the book store this past week).

Series: Secrets of My Hollywood Life, Secrets of My Hollywood Life: On Location, Family Affair, Paparazzi Princess, and Broadway Lights (March 2010).

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Princess Diaries Series

"So, what I want to know is, if my dad's an actual prince, how come I have to learn algebra?" Mia ponders this, and much more, when she finds out that her father is prince of Genovia. Living with her cool artist mom in New York City, Mia can't imagine leaving to become princess in Genovia. But because her father can't have any more kids, she is the heir to the throne. Accepting her title means getting lessons on being a perfect princess and leaving Manhattan - will Mia eventually give in to her father and become Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo?

Meg Cabot is one of my favorite authors! Mia is a normal girl who finds out she's a princess of a small country. It is so funny how the story unfolds and continues through all ten plus books. The characters are so funny all on their own: Grandmere, Lilly, Mr. G, her mother, her father, Michael Boris, etc. I could picture each person so clearly. The whole series is fantastic. When I started the series, number 6 had just come out. I read all of them one after another and couldn’t wait for number 7 to come out. I can’t wait for my girls (6 years old twins) to be old enough to read Mia’s journey to becoming a princess.

I believe I mentioned before that there is an amazing book store in Dayton Ohio – Books & Co. They hold the best “meet the author” events. I had the pleasure of meeting Meg at such an event. She is absolutely amazing. She was so lovely, hilarious, and talkative. Also, she took questions from both adults and teens. I had ever book of hers (probably at least 20) for her to sign. She even personalized them all. If I could just get her to sign my Allie Finkle books now!

Series: The Princess Diaries, Princess in the Spotlight, Princess in Love, Princess in Waiting, Princess Project, Princess in Pink, Princess in Training, Party Princess, Princess on the Brink, Princess Mia and Princess Forever. I recommend

Chic-lit and chicteen-lit week!

This week I am devoting my posts to some of my favorite chic-lit and what I call chicteen-lit.  Chicteen-lit is just like a chic-lit, but for teens and "cleaner" than some adult chic-lit.  Most of them are a series and I have read all of them within the series.  I will feature the first book in the series.  I find that these times of books allow me to lay back and laugh.  They are quick reads (which I really appreciate with 3 kids and working full-time) that allow me to escape everyday life for a little bit.

Hope you enjoy!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Another give away: Alphatudes

Another give away. This book looks wonderful! Check it out over at A Sea of Books.


Best of luck winning!

Book Give Away: The Girl She Used To Be

Check out the book give away at A Sea of Books (love the name)


Good Luck

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

To Read Someday

Oh boy...this list could get me in trouble!  There are so many great books on my shelf, on my ipod, on my reader and in the bookstore.  Where do I find the time?  See Shelfari on the left for books I want to read and books I have read.

Review Policy

My review policy is very simple, but first, some things you should know....the review is my opinion and my opinion only.  I am not compensated for reading any materials or encouraged in any way to post a review I do not 100% truly agree with. 

Must Read:  A book that would be 5 starfish out of 5.  I want to read it all night long and take a day off work so I can just keep reading!

Great Read:  A book that would be 4 starfish out of 5.  I want to read it all night long.

Good Read:  A book that would be 3 starfish out of 5.  I am enjoying my reading time.

Okay Read:  A book that would be 2 starfish out of 5. This would be a book that I stopped reading approximately 1/3 through it and it is not "grabbing" me.  I have too many other books I would rather get to.

Not My Kind of Read: A book that would be 1 starfish out of 5. This would be a book that I couldn't past Chapter 3.