Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Daughters for a Time

My Rating: A Must Read!  I LOVED it.

Synopsis: When Helen Francis was a child, her mother died and her father walked out, leaving her to be raised by her older sister.  Now thirty-five, married, and trying to start a family of her own, Helen has moved on but never really healed from her traumatic childhood.  She has always believed that a new baby would help fill the loss of what was taken from her at such a young age.  After four years of trying to become pregnant, however, she is resigned to the fact that she will never be able to bear children. Halfheartedly accepting adoption as an alternative, Helen gradually embraces and grows excited over the prospect.  And when her new baby is finally in her arms, true happiness washes over her. But her unimaginable bliss is dashed when she learns that Claire, the sister who raised and loved her throughout her childhood and adult life, has been diagnosed with cancer.

For Helen, the pain of her childhood returns and the old wounds of abandonment are once again torn open.  Balancing the joy of her new daughter with the painful experience of watching her sister, the physical embodiment of unconditional love in her life, slowly die, Helen must reconcile her inner feelings and heal her broken spirit.  A heart-wrenching exploration of the ties that bind us and the lasting pain of childhood loss, Daughters for a Time is about longing for a family to heal a broken heart, experiencing unconditional love as a parent, and finding solid ground to stand on when suffering and elation have equally powerful holds on our life.

My Review:  Oh My Goodness.  Daughters for a Time is no doubt a must read.  I couldn't read it fast enough.  I ended up late for work one morning.....just needed to read one more chapter.  That night, I was up until 2 am reading (and crying).  I just had to finish it.  Daughters for a Time is beautifully written.

I connected with Daughters for a Time on so many different levels.  It covers so many emotions; infertility, loss of a parent, loving a child unconditionally, a beautiful relationship with a sister,  loss of a sibling, reconciliation with a parent, and so much more.  I too have gone through the pains of wanting a child so badly and having to go to alternative measures to finally being blessed with three.  It is a heartbreaking experience.  Also, I lost my mother to cancer (not at a young age), before I was even close to being ready to let her go.  While I thankful that I have not lost a sibling, I have lost a brother-in-law in the prime of his life and left my sister and niece (7 years old) alone.

I truly believe without those connections I would have still loved Daughters of Time.  I was drawn right into the story and Helen's life.  I so enjoyed reading about how her and Matt feel in love in Paris.  What a dream!  I liked all the characters in the book, I believe the author (Jennifer Handford) did an excellent job describing each character, their role in the book, and their impact on Helen's life.  I will say it again - beautifully written and a fabulous read!

I 100% recommend you pick up Daughters for a Time as soon as you can and read it.  I have my book club this week and it is my turn to pick the book - you guessed it.....I am picking Daughters for a Time.  I loved it that much!  Jennifer - let me know as soon as your next book is available, I can't wait to read more from you!

Meet the Author:  Jennifer Handford was born in Phoenix, Arizona, where she lived until she moved to Oregon for college and graduate school. After graduation, she moved to Washington, D.C., and has lived in the Virginia/Washington, D.C., area for fifteen years. Jennifer is married and has three daughters. Daughters for a Time was awarded one of three first place prizes in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. It is her first novel.

Monday, May 21, 2012

My Diamond Jubilee Giveaway - $15 Amazon GC

$15 Amazon.com Gift Card!
One lucky winner will be emailed a $15 gift card from Amazon.com.  Open to anyone who can use a gift card sent from Amazon.com.

Alternately if you win and can't use an amazon.com gift card you my choose a book of your choice from The Book Depository (Up to $15).
Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

 All you have to do is complete the Rafflecopter form below and have a fantastic day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Diamond Jubilee Celebration Hop 5/21 - 5/31

Why a Diamond Jubilee Hop? 

For our hero Nev, in ABOUT LAST NIGHT, by Ruthie Knox.

First, a bit of trivia: The Diamond Jubilee takes place in 2012, marking 60 years of The Queen’s reign. The Queen came to the throne on 6th February 1952 (her Coronation took place on 2nd June 1953). Buckingham Palace is responsible for coordinating the events of the Diamond Jubilee central weekend (2nd–5th June 2012), as well as for organizing The Queen’s program in her Diamond Jubilee year. 

Now, more about Nev, he feels trapped and miserable in his family’s banking empire located in downtown London, England. But beneath his pinstripes is an artist struggling to break free. Albeit, his bohemian-self is trying to emerge, Nev is respectful of his roots and tradition & we want to help him celebrate his queen. 

You might remember the sneak peak I did on About Last Night. If not, check it out here!

Thanks for helping us celebrate Ruthie Knox’s new release, ABOUT LAST NIGHT, on sale 6/11/2012, preorder here.

Now, 5/21 thru 5/31 – Romance at Random will be randomly giving away some of our jewels of romance, to celebrate the UK’s Diamond Jubilee including: 
  • 1 winner, 1 copy – Born To Darkness by Suzanne Brockmann 
  • 1 winner, 1 copy – The Proposal by Mary Balogh 
  • 1 winner, 1 copy – Darker After Midnight by Lara Adrian 
  • 3 winners, 1 copy of WITCHFUL THINKING by HP Mallory 
  • 10 winners, 1 copy of a PREVIEW from Net Galley of ABOUT LAST NIGHT by Ruthie Knox 
  • 10 winners, 1 copy of PREVIEW from Net Galley of DEEP AUTUMN HEAT by Elisabeth Barrett 
That’s right, 26 winners in all! Enter the hop using the Rafflecopter below then visit all of the participating sites to increase your chances – winners will be randomly chosen and this is a big one . . . it could be you! US only for this one - Good luck!

Below is a list of bloggers participating and many hosting their own giveaway.  My giveaway is here.

1.Romance At Random2.Ruthie Knox
3.Shannyn Schroeder4.cupcake's (Book) Cupboard
7.Shady Characters and Shapeshifters8.Bea's Book Nook
9.Elisabeth Barrett10.Happy Ever After USA Today
11.HeroesandHeartbreakers.com12.Red Hot Books
13.Teresa's Reading Corner14.Malia Mallory
15.SOS Aloha16.A Page In The Life
17.kary@karyrader.com18.Erotic Notions
19.Raven Bower20.Victoria's Pages of Romance
21.[Insert clever quip here]22.Love, Laughter, Friendship
23.CelticLady's Reviews24.Manga Maniac Cafe
25.Ex Libris26.Book Flame
27.Me and Reading (INT)28.My Book Addiction and More
29.Reading Reality30.From the TBR Pile
31.Fade Into Fantasy32.Hanging With Bells
33.marygramlich@yahoo.com34.Full Moon Bites
35.Seasidebooknook@yahoo.com36.Jenna Jaxon
37.StuckInBooks38.Lisa's World of Books
39.Delighted Reader40.Michelle Clay
41.Jennifer Wells, Paranormal Romance Author42.That's What I'm Talking about
43.Stacey Brutger44.Just a Reader's Ramblings
45.Geeky Bloggers Book Blog46.Lady Scribes
47.heathervlong@gmail.com48.PonyTails Book Reviews
49.The Blogging Book50.Jess resides here
51.Sugarbeat's Books52.Seduced by a Book
53.The Jeep Diva54.edysicecreamlover18@gmail.com
55.Love Romance Passion56.A Bookish Affair
57.dmcomfort@aol.com58.Sensual Sascha's Stories
59.Moonwolf's Lair60.Mackenzie McKade
61.Major Love~~~Major Romance62.Lisa Kumar
63.Maggie Greene64.Romancing the Pen
65.jessica@jessicascott.net66.Love Saves the World
67.Leanne Tyler68.PamelaVMason
69.The Book Bundle70.Shawntelle Madison
71.To Read or Not To Read

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Suffocate by S.R. Johannes

Download Now!  Suffocate will be available starting Monday for only 99 cents (ebook only).

Download it from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Synopsis:  Suffocate is the first novelette in The Breathless series.

For centuries, the world outside the Biome has been unlivable. Today, marks the first time anyone will attempt to leave the suffocating ecosphere. Eria is not worried because her scientist father has successfully tested the new Bio-Suit many times. It's a celebratory day until something goes horribly wrong. In the midst of tragedy, Eria uncovers a deep conspiracy that affects the very air she breathes. If those responsible find out what she knows, they won't stop hunting her until she takes her last breath.

The 2nd novelette in the series, CHOKE, is scheduled for Fall 2012. The 3rd, EXHALE, is scheduled for Winter 2013.


Meet the Author: Shelli Johannes-Wells started out writing for her local school paper, winning a state Nutrition essay contest for "Be a Smart Cookie", and singing in a local Jazz band. Somewhere along the way, she earned an MBA in Marketing and embarked on an 18-year marketing career in Corporate America working as a marketing and communications consultant.

In 2000, Shelli traded in her high heels and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and a love of writing. She started her own marketing & communications business, www.bilaninc.com, and has worked with clients like Spanx, Goody Hair Products, and Chick Filet. In addition to juggling nap schedules while attending client meetings, Shelli focuses on her writing.

In her spare time (yeah right!) and if the kids allow (yeah right!), Shelli obsesses over movies, reads children's books (over and over), wishes she could squeeze in Bikram Yoga sessions, and dreams of sleeping in on the weekends. She currently lives in Atlanta with her dog, British-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess that someday will change the world.

Blah blah blah - BORING! In a nutshell - she love sunsets, rainbows, butterflies, and puppies. Oh yeah and zombies.

Other Books by S.R. Johannes:  Amazon's Bestselling Thriller - Untraceable
Amazon's Bestselling On the Bright Side
and In His Eyes Anthology

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Daughters for a Time - Amazon's Kindle Daily Deal

I was so excited to see Daughters for a Time by Jennifer Handford as the Amazon's Kindle Daily Deal today.

For today only, you can purchase the kindle version for only $1.99 (Prime members - free).  I am only on chapter two and I am already drawn in.  Daughters for a Time is getting fabulous reviews too!

Hurry, offer is only for May 16th.

Synopsis: When Helen Francis was a child, her mother died and her father walked out, leaving her to be raised by her older sister. Now thirty-five, married, and trying to start a family of her own, Helen has moved on but never really healed from her traumatic childhood. She has always believed that a new baby would help fill the loss of what was taken from her at such a young age. After four years of trying to become pregnant, however, she is resigned to the fact that she will never be able to bear children.

Halfheartedly accepting adoption as an alternative, Helen gradually embraces and grows excited over the prospect. And when her new baby is finally in her arms, true happiness washes over her. But her unimaginable bliss is dashed when she learns that Claire, the sister who raised and loved her throughout her childhood and adult life, has been diagnosed with cancer. For Helen, the pain of her childhood returns and the old wounds of abandonment are once again torn open.

Balancing the joy of her new daughter with the painful experience of watching her sister, the physical embodiment of unconditional love in her life, slowly die, Helen must reconcile her inner feelings and heal her broken spirit. A heart-wrenching exploration of the ties that bind us and the lasting pain of childhood loss,Daughters for a Time is about longing for a family to heal a broken heart, experiencing unconditional love as a parent, and finding solid ground to stand on when suffering and elation have equally powerful holds on our life.

I will be posting a review soon!  Have a great day!

The Cottage at Glass Beach - TLC Book Tours

My Rating: Good Read (perfect for summer!)  Don't you love the cover?

Synopsis: Married to the youngest attorney general in Massachusetts state history, Nora Cunningham is a picture-perfect political wife and a doting mother. But her carefully constructed life falls to pieces when she, along with the rest of the world, learns of the infidelity of her husband, Malcolm.

Humiliated and hounded by the press, Nora packs up her daughters—Annie, seven; and Ella, twelve—and takes refuge on Burke’s Island, a craggy spit of land off the coast of Maine. Settled by Irish immigrants, the island is a place where superstition and magic are carried on the ocean winds, and wishes and dreams wash ashore with the changing tides.

Nora spent her first five years on the island but has not been back to the remote community for decades— not since that long ago summer when her mother disappeared at sea. One night while sitting alone on Glass Beach below the cottage where she spent her childhood, Nora succumbs to grief, her tears flowing into the ocean. Days later she finds an enigmatic fisherman named Owen Kavanagh shipwrecked on the rocks nearby. Is he, as her aunt’s friend Polly suggests, a selkie—a mythical being of island legend—summoned by her heartbreak, or simply someone who, like Nora, is trying to find his way in the wake of his own personal struggles?

Just as she begins to regain her balance, her daughters embark on a reckless odyssey of their own—a journey that will force Nora to find the courage to chart her own course and finally face the truth about her marriage, her mother, and her long-buried past.

My Thoughts:  I can picture Burke's Island in my mind, without a doubt. It would be a perfect place for my dream store....Seaside Book Nook!  The Cottage at Glass Beach is a book that has family drama, family secrets, sea fairies/selkies, adventures, and much more.  I really enjoyed Nora's journey back to the island and to her Aunt Marie.  I liked how she discovers the past and answers to questions she has carried with her all her life.

Nora's two daughters have such opposites personalities that it allowed the book to take on different sides of the family drama and island secrets. Annie was the youngest of Nora's daughters and is seven years old.  I have twins the same age and often felt that Annie was much older than seven.  I loved the character (Annie) and all her smart comebacks and caring personality, but I did think it was not reality for a child of that age.  I think I would have liked Nora's daughters to be around 15 and 14 years old.  I wanted them closer together in age as well.  Nora's oldest daughter Ella was twelve and she seemed much older.

I loved the characters in the book, every single one of them.  I really liked Ronan and would love to read more about him.  I can imagine several other books that could branch off from The Cottage at Glass Beach.

Are you looking for a good summer read?  I recommend you give The Cottage at Glass Beach a try.

Meet the Author: Heather Barbieri is the author of two previous novels, The Lace Makers of Glenmara, and Snow in July.  She has won international prizes for her short fiction and lives in Seattle with her family.  You can visit Heather's website to find out more about her books and events.  You can connect with Heather on Facebook too!

Purchase It:  You can buy The Cottage at Glass Beach for $24.99 on-line at amazon ($16.32 for Prime members or $11.99 Kindle version).
Book Tour:  Check out the other blogs that are participating in the The Cottage at Glass Beach, TLC Book Tours.
Tuesday, May 15th: 2 Kids and Tired
Wednesday, May 16th: Seaside Book Nook
Thursday, May 17th: Sarah Says Read
Friday, May 18th: My Two Blessings
Monday, May 21st: Savvy Verse & Wit
Tuesday, May 22nd: Amused By Books
Tuesday, May 22nd: Paperback Princess
Wednesday, May 23rd: All Grown Up?
Friday, May 25th: Kritters Ramblings
Tuesday, May 29th: Bookstack
Wednesday, May 30th: A Cozy Reader’s Corner
Thursday, May 31st: My Bookshelf
Monday, June 4th: Life In Review
Tuesday, June 5th: Drey’s Library
Wednesday, June 6th: Good Girl Gone Redneck
Thursday, June 7th: Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, June 11th: Tiramisu Mom
Friday, June 15th: Luxury Reading

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Nook Color + Case Giveaway!

That 's right!  I have teamed up with some fellow bloggers and we are giving away a Nook Color, case and screen protector to one lucky person!!!
You can enter to win using the Rafflecopter form below.
Please see the bottom of the form for rules.

Giveaway ends at 12:01 May 23rd EST.

Best of Luck!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Giveaway - The Mommy Diaries

As promised, yesterday.....a Giveaway! First, I wanted to share some of Dallas' cringe-worthy mom moments!
"Brothers are notorious for fighting and my boys are no different. Last Spring, they were up in arms over a Nintendo DS. My older son got the game and threw it at his brother’s head. Bullseye. He nailed him right in the eyebrow and sent us to the ER for stitches. That wouldn't have been such a big deal if we had not just been to the ER twice in the last two months for both boys already! 
Several years ago we took the kids to Disney World and stood in line forever to see the Disney princesses. Our youngest son was two at the time – a round, little, blonde, blue-eyed sweet angel (or so he appeared). He did well with two out of the three princesses, but it was that third one that got us. Cinderella happened to be the final princess of our royal encounter, and also my two-year-old's favorite. When she bent down to hug him, he ran forward to grab her. In short, there was a massive collision that ended with Cinderella on her back, my child wrapped around her neck, her dress up almost over her head, and her princess secret-service detail screaming into their head-sets, "PRINCESS DOWN! WE HAVE A PRINCESS DOWN!" My husband and I just stood there. There was nothing we could do. No one could untangle our little one from her, so they picked them both up at once. That quickly ended our session with the princesses."
A friend and I have a standing joke between us...who gets the title, Mother of the Year, for the next year. The one with the least points wins! You get points for cringe-worthy mom moments! We always seem to tie every year and both carry the title! I think that my own cringe-worthy mom moments happen so often that they don't even phases me anymore. I had to go back into the vault for this one!

In September 2011 my daughter, who is never sick, woke up not feeling well and I told her she was fine. I got her dressed and ready (no breakfast) and right before the bus pulled, she got sick. I put the other two on the bus, called work and told them I would be working from home. Around noon, I was on a conference call and she starts crying and telling me to make the pain go away. I left the conference call, called my doctor who thought she needed to go to the bathroom and was told to put her in a warm tub. We never made it to the tub since got sick again and went back to sleep.  An hour later, she woke up dreaming and crying. She was not acting at all like herself (her twin - this behavior is a daily occurrence).

Another doctor call....they said bring her in. I load her up with a "puke bucket" and off we go. Upon arriving, she wants me to get a wheelchair for her. I get her out of the car, telling her the whole time, she didn't need a wheelchair, she can walk, etc. The doctor was outside getting something from his car and rans in to get a wheelchair. I was rolling me eyes, telling him she was fine. He wheeled her right into a room, asking the nurse to get her vitals.

A minute later, he turns to me and says, she needs to get to the children's ER now; do not go back home or stop anywhere. He through her appendix was about to burst. He was calling the ER and telling them we were coming in, needed to be seen immediately, and why. Of course, seeing immediately means 2 hours later. Sure enough, her appendix needed to come out....however, it had burst.

They rush her off to surgery and I am feeling like a terrible mother not realizing the what was going on with my daughter. After a two hour + surgery, the doctor comes out to let me know that her appendix had ruptured about 3 days prior and she was full of infection - now I freak out. She has an amazingly high pain threshold so she never reacted as a "normal" person would . After 3 weeks in the hospital, 1 more surgery and 3 more weeks at home....she is 100% back to normal and you would never know what she went through.

I did make it up to her and spend every night and day at the hospital with her for the first week and half. After that, I was exhausted and split the shifts with my husband.

What is your cringe-worthy mom moments? I would love to hear it!

Okay, on to the giveaway. I have one copy of The Mommy Diaries for one lucky follower. All you have to do is complete the form below! Giveaway ends 5/15/12 at midnight EST. Good Luck!

The Mommy Diaries Review + Giveaway!

My Rating:  Great Read

Synopsis:  What do you get when you mix a crawling toddler, a screaming baby, and a sudden craving for pickles and ice cream all over again? A full-time job. Some people call this “parenting.” It’s an intense roller coaster of constant chaotic sounds; pitter-patter of adorable, yet never-ceasing, little feet; things getting broken; emotional ups and downs…all in addition to the regular duties, chores, and responsibilities of a normal American household.

Sometimes laughter is needed to survive the more intense days…

The Mommy Diaries: How I’m Surviving Parenting without Killing Anyone is a snapshot into the crazy, daily parenting life of Dallas Louis, author of Girlfriends, Giggles, & God. Dallas is the mother of three kids who all arrived within twenty-six months of each other. Combining that with later home renovation projects and surviving multiple ER visits, all the while still maintaining a relationship with her husband (remember that guy?), she has lived through enough moments of her own to share with her readers her tears and fears through laughter, and often times, the act of surviving the early years by sheer, dumb luck! The Mommy Diaries will have you rolling off your couch, and thanking your lucky stars that all these babies fell to someone else!

My Review:  Oh boy....do I get The Mommy Diaries.  I had my three kids in 21 months.  Though mine were a single and twins, I still had 3 kids under 2 and all in diapers.  Unlike Dallas, I was so numb that there is no way I could write a book about it all.  I was woking full-time as a senior manager for one of the big four accounting firms and honestly I try not to remember those first four (or five or nine) years!  Reality is, I am not sure I can even remember them anymore.  I am just too tired! 

I am thankful that Dallas is able to remember and write about her stories.  They are too funny.  I really didn't want to laugh at her "situations," but you just can't help it.  Her Disney story is the best, with a whooper of ending.  We went to Disney the week between Christmas and New Year's Day and it was insane.   

You have to pick up this book for a great summer read.  This is too funny a read for any soon-to-be parent or already a parent.  

Meet the Author:  Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Dallas now lives in Houston with her wonderful husband and three kids, travelling all over the country encouraging women in their faith and strengthening their ministries. She loves the early morning stillness, and admits that’s when her inspiration strikes best! She’s a self-proclaimed hybrid: a cross between redneck and city girl, but loves the way God made her!

Buy It:  You can purchase The Mommy Diaries online at Amazon for $12.95 ($10.36 for prime member and $6.99 kindle version) 

Great News:  Tomorrow, I will have another post on The Mommy Diaries and you will have the chance to win your own copy!  Woo Hoo!  See you all tomorrow!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Paris In Love: A Memoir

My Rating : Okay Read (and it is killing to rate is as such)

Synopsis: In 2009, New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James took a leap that many people dream about: she sold her house, took a sabbatical from her job as a Shakespeare professor, and moved her family to Paris. Paris in Love: A Memoir chronicles her joyful year in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

With no classes to teach, no committee meetings to attend, no lawn to mow or cars to park, Eloisa revels in the ordinary pleasures of life—discovering corner museums that tourists overlook, chronicling Frenchwomen’s sartorial triumphs, walking from one end of Paris to another. She copes with her Italian husband’s notions of quality time; her two hilarious children, ages eleven and fifteen, as they navigate schools—not to mention puberty—in a foreign language; and her mother-in-law Marina’s raised eyebrow in the kitchen (even as Marina overfeeds Milo, the family dog).

Paris in Love invites the reader into the life of a most enchanting family, framed by la ville de l’amour.

My Review:  Paris in Love just wasn't my cup of tea.  Written by a professor I was really surprised that the book took on the same form as reading Facebook posts.  I had a hard time with the flow of the book and it didn't keep my attention at all.  If you are a fan of reading Facebook posts by others, I would definitely recommend Paris in Love to you.  It is killing me to write this review, but I honestly didn't care for it.

Buy it:  You can purchase Paris in Love online at Amazon for $26.00  ($14.40 for prime members or $12.99 kindle version).

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Fat Is the New 30

My Rating: Good Read, Too Funny!

Synopsis:  The Sweet Potato Queens® are back and bawdier than ever in Southern belle extraordinaire Jill Conner Browne’s ninth edition of the hysterical series. Having experienced pretty much ALL of the crappy parts of life, Browne feels it is her duty to render whatever assistance she can to her fellow sufferers — and she does so in her own inimitable fashion.

Her father taught her there are very few situations in life that we really and truly cannot change, and it is up to us to figure out how to either make fun OUT of them — or make fun OF them. And fortunately for the rest of us, Browne is well equipped for both. 

Including the exploits of the Queen contingent and her family, she delivers applicable tidbits like:

* Thinking or talking about watermelon can save any negative situation.
* If you get drunk in Scotland, you can’t have your cow with you.
* When sanity and reason fail, you can always cheerfully resort to ridicule.
* Denial means that every situation is perfectly perfect.

More fun than a Cracker Barrel full of monkeys, Fat Is the New 30 will change your life — or at least give you ideas for making fun of your ownself.

My Review:  I might be the only person who has never read a Jill Conner Browne book before, but I am sure glad I finally have.  This Fat is the New 30, the Sweet Potato Queen's Guide to Coping with (the crappy parts of) Life is too funny.  I have to share with y'all some of my favorite chapters.

Fair and Square: In this chapter I love the part where Sweet Potato Queen (the Queen) describes how to handle "one of many indignities of aging"......Remembering what you were talking about.  I woke my husband up the night I was reading this chapter, because I was laughing so hard over this chapter....it is so true!  When you forget the end of a story, while telling it....no worries, just keep on talking.  How true is that.  Everyone might think you are crazy, but better crazy than old and forgetful!

Tough Times, Tight Money: OMG, this chapter is "funny as sh*t."  I don't know that I can add much more than that.  What does one little brother, three older sisters, a barn slide and a bag of poo have in common?  One funny story, that's what.  Seriously, this chapter is "funny as sh*t," but I am not really sure what it has to do with the crappy part of life. Great story, though.  Oh....I might have just gotten it!

God Wants Us to Eat Up: Oh yes God does.  I just wish everything I liked wasn't bad for me, full of calories and has a ton fat grams!  I love this.....the Queen wrote, "Chocolate is GOOD for ME - so sorry if it is bad for YOU."  I think the Queen is my long lost seester (sister)!  The Queen writes about a cake in mug recipe and turns it into a brownie in a mug.  I seriously have to try this.  I LOVE brownies and would love to wipe one up in a mug.  I am a little confused about putting the left over batter in the freezer, since I would end up licking the bowl clean.  What left over batter? I am going to try this brownie in a mug tonight!

Who knew you could sprinkle some Splenda on a yellow onion and substitute it for a Vidalia onion when they aren't in season.  Hmmm, not sure I will try that one. I am not a big onion person but I did learn that little secret and so many more in this chapter.

The Holidays: Horrifying Tales of Human Sacrifice:  This chapter covers everything from Valentines to Christmas, birthday cakes to gifts and people-pleasers to family crap.  The Queen LOVES Christmas letters - I do to.  One of my favorite thing between Thanksgiving and News Year is to open a holiday card and find the annual news letter from someone is included.  I immediately have to read it, no matter that I may be late to pick one of the kids at one of their many events.  Christmas letters come first!

The Queen also writes, "CARNATIONS: DON'T YOU DARE!"  I have to say - 100% agree.  My family was 3 generation flower shop owners and I can't stand carnations (not to mention I know how cheep they are).   Guys, seriously....don't send or pick up carnations for that special someone in your life!

I really did find Fat Is the New 30 pretty darn funny and so true (can't deny that, even though I want too!). 

Meet the Author: Jill Conner Browne is the multiple #1 New York Times bestselling author of nine Sweet Potato Queens® books and has created a global phenomenon--6,200 chapter groups in 37 countries--based upon her philosophy and world-view as recounted through these rollicking, raucous and riotously funny essays. Women and smart men understand that the bawdy, sassy, down-to-earth humor is simply the vehicle by which the greater message is conveyed--that is, one of self-reliance and empowerment, inspiring all to do what makes their hearts sing.

Buy It: You can purchase Fat Is the New 30 at Amazon for $14.95 ($8.26 prime members and $3.99 kindle version)

Other Thoughts: Would love to read other Sweet Potato Queen books.  I think the listening to them would be a hoot too!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Comeback Love - Crazy Book Tours

My Rating: Great Read

Synopsis:  What would you do if you had a second chance with the one that got away?

More than thirty-five years ago, Gordon Meyers, an aspiring writer with a low number in the draft lottery, packed his belongings and reluctantly drove away, leaving behind Glenna Rising, the sexy, sharp-witted med student he couldn’t imagine living without. 

Now, decades later, Gordon is a former globe-trotting consultant with a grown son, an ex-wife, and an overwhelming desire to see Glenna again. Though she’s stunned when Gordon walks into her Manhattan office, Glenna agrees to accompany him for a drink. As the two head out into the snow-swept city, they rediscover the passion that once drew them together—before it tore them apart. And as the evening unfolds, Gordon will finally reveal the true reason for his return. . . . 
Comeback Love is an evocative journey into the hearts of two lovers who came of age in the 1960s, and who never truly let each other go. Plumbing the depths of youth, regret, and desire, Peter Golden deftly illuminates the bonds that mysteriously endure in the face of momentous change.

My Review: Ah, what a beautiful love story. I really enjoy it when I come across a great love story and that is just Comeback Love is....a great love story.  I like how the story unfolds by alternating between earlier days (1960's) when the characters first fell in love and thirty-five years later to "present time."  I swear I should have grown up in the 60's, I love that era.  For me, it was just another reason to love the book, but definitely not the only one. I also enjoyed the parallels that were woven thought out the book as we were taken back to the past and brought back to the present.  

I really like Glenna (even if I didn't like her name for some reason).  I liked what she stood for and her beliefs.  Gordon...how can you not fall in love with him?  You just need to read Comeback Love to learn why Gordon sought Glenna out after thirty-five years.  You won't be disappointed. 

Comeback Love is a book that pulls you in and you can't stop reading it.  I have said it before, I am not a fast reader, and yet I finished Comeback Love in 5 days....it;s just that good!

Meet the Author: Peter Golden is an award-winning journalist and the author of six full-length works of non-fiction and fiction.  Some of Peter Golden's work has appeared in the Detroit Free Press Magazine, Albany Times Union, New Jersey Monthly, Microsoft's eDirections, Beyond Computing, Electronic Business, Midstream, The Forward, and Capital Region Magazine. Golden's Quiet Diplomat, a biography of industrialist and political-insider Max M. Fisher made the Detroit Free Press bestseller list. Among those he interviewed were Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Bush; Secretaries of State Kissinger, Haig, and Shultz; and Israeli Prime Ministers Shamir, Peres, and Rabin. 

With J. Stanley Shaw, Golden wrote, I Rest My Case: My Long Journey from the Castle on the Hill to Home, a memoir that chronicles Shaw's life from his childhood years under the supervision of the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum in the 1930s to his career as one of the preeminent bankruptcy attorneys in the United States.

Golden's O Powerful Western Star, a history of the Cold War, will be published in the fall of 2011. For that book, Golden re-interviewed Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, and other world leaders, including Mikhail Gorbachev.
Connect with Peter Golden on his website.

Buy it: You can purchase Comeback Love online at amazon for $15.00 ($10.20 prime members or $9.99 kindle version).

Other tidbits:  Here is a look at the original cover.  I have to say, I LOVE the current cover!  Which cover do you prefer?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

In the Bag - TLC Book Tours

My Rating: GREAT Read!  I LOVED it!

Synopsis:  A European vacation.
A luggage mix-up.
A note from a secret admirer.
Meet two single parents who think they're too busy to date.
And two teenagers who can't stop writing flirty emails.

This is a tale of connections—missed and made—in a universe that seems to have its heart set on reuniting Ms. 6B and Mr. 13C.

I can't believe I picked up the wrong bag at the airport. My dad is never going to let me hear the end of it.

I don't understand why Mom told me to pack my worst underwear. And now I've lost my bag? Ack! 

I cannot stop thinking about that woman in seat 6B on the flight to Paris.

I don't have time to worry about the creep sitting in 13C who slipped a note in my purse. I have to find my daughter's missing bag before this ruins our vacation.

In the Bag is a smart and stylish story that explores the old-fashioned art of romance in a modern world, where falling in love can be as risky as checking a bag on an international flight. Buckle your seat belt—it's going to be a bumpy vacation!

My Review: First, let me just put a few things out there.....
  • chick lit at its best, 
  • extremely fast and easy read, 
  • funny, cute, so many laugh out loud parts,
  • unique story line,
  • didn't want it to end,
  • Kate Klise....I hope you are writing fast, I for one can't wait to read another book by you!
In the Bag is a fantastic story about two identical bags getting mixed up in Paris. It includes a father/son and mother/daughter relationship, young love and experienced love. The chapters alternate between the four characters. They are short chapters, so the story moves along very quickly and smoothly.   

How Kate Klise has inter-woven themes throughout In the Bag with each character is utterly amazing (even right down to the caterer calling in unable to carter the opening).  I could never have been so creative.  Kate Klise thought of everything.  The end....Cinco por Cinco and sleeping bags behind the couch had me in stitches. What a perfect ending! Clever, clever story writer, Kate Klise, I want more!  You all just need to read to In the Bag to understand what I mean.  I don't want to give anything away here. 

The characters were very believable, in fact I could picture them and what they were going through. I loved them all.  Usually there is a person in a book you don't care for so much, not so in In the Bag.  I was cheering for all four of them through out the book. I do wish that Coco would have treated her mother a little kinder, but I think Kate Klise nailed the typical mother/18 year old daughter relationship perfectly.  In the Bag is a wonderful, must read book. In the Bag would be excellent for summer reading. I think for all ages 16 and up.  I wouldn't go any younger than 16 (just my opinion).

Meet the Author:  As a correspondent for People magazine, Kate Klise covered everything from celebrity scandals to serial killers. After writing several bestselling children’s books, Kate decided to write In the Bag, her first novel for adults, when she found a note from a fellow passenger in her carry-on bag.

Connect with Kate on her website.

Buy It: You can purchase In the Bag, starting today, May 1st on-line at amazon ($14.99 paperback,  $10.98 prime members and $9.99 kindle version).

Other TLC Book Tours Stops: I can't wait to see what others have to say!

Tuesday, May 1st: Seaside Book Nook
Thursday, May 3rd: 2 Kids and Tired Book Reviews
Monday, May 7th: Walking With Nora
Tuesday, May 8th: Book Hooked Blog
Wednesday, May 9th: Book Journey
Thursday, May 10th: A Musing Reviews
Monday, May 14th: A Cozy Reader’s Corner
Tuesday, May 15th: Life In Review
Wednesday, May 16th: Book Reviews by Molly
Thursday, May 17th: Good Girl Gone Redneck