Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, totally worn out and screaming,
"WOO HOO, what a ride!"

Friday, November 28, 2008

Spread the word!

“Beer goggles are the lonely girl’s cupid.”

–Waverly Bryson

"Dedicated to any woman who has ever been on a really bad date
or realized halfway through the workday that her skirt is on backwards."

check it out at:

Anything can look perfect...on paper.

When her fiance calls off their wedding at the last minute, Waverly Bryson wonders if her life will ever turn out the way she thought it would...or should. Her high- powered job in sports PR? Not so perfect. Her relationship with her dad? Far from it. Her perfect marriage? Enough said.

Perfect... on Paper is a humorous tale of Waverly's efforts to cobble the pieces of a broken yesterday into a brand new tomorrow. What does the future have in store for her? Will she finally find what she's looking for?

* Her dates? Cringe-inducing at times, definitely entertaining.

* Her friends? Often amused, definitely supportive.

* Her new crush? Possibly intrigued, definitely a catch.

* The results? Hardly perfect, definitely just right.
(from the back cover)


I was thrilled to receive a copy of this book from Maria. She has self-published it and is hoping to pick up a publisher. I haven't had the chance to read it yet (although I skimmed a bit and it looks great!) but I will as soon as I can and give a review. Check out her website to learn more and help spread the word!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

May you
always have much
for which to be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Where Am I Wearing by Kelsey Timmerman

A Global Tour to the Countries,
Factories, and People that Make Our Clothes.

One day, while staring at a pile of clothes on the floor, I noticed the tag of my favorite
T-shirt: Made in Honduras. I read the tag. My mind wandered. A quest was born.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. It's described as:
"A travel journalist's look into the countries, factories, and people that make our clothes."
Would it be a reference book? A journal? I was quite pleasantly surprised. Kelsey Timmerman is a freelance journalist and traveler. After developing an interest in globalization and the history of the garment industry he wanted to know where his clothing came from and who made it. He decided to find out and began a journey to different parts of the world. He was a consumer on a quest to bridge the gap between producer and consumer. Along the way he discovers and explains how communism, consumerism and globalization affect us all.

He begins his journey in Honduras to discover who made his T-shirt. Answers do not come easy and he is not allowed access to the clothing factory. He can only gather bits of information from workers and he returns home with feelings of failure. Haunted by worker's faces and still seeking answers he leaves for Bangladesh to see who made his underwear. As he made progress he continued on to Cambodia to find out who made his pants (Levi's), China for his flip flops and finally his shorts that were made in the U.S.A. Many places offered their workers very little money and harsh working conditions. Since the unemployment rate is often high they have little choice but to work there. He spends time in each place and also learns about the people and their cultures. He is invited into homes and eats meals with them. These people are no longer faceless workers. He even compares the success of Wal-Mart in China to the U.S. The company must learn the distinct differences in the culture and adapt to succeed. While the Chinese have great interest in our Western ways and the store plays our rock and roll music and stocks such toys as Barbie dolls (only the Caucasian version, strangely no Asian Barbies are sold there.) they also provide live fish and eels in the food section and have little parking since few people drive there. Kelsey finishes his tour in the United States in a small town that makes sportswear. I was very surprised to learn that he chose the site of a former Champion factory in Perry, NY. It's near Buffalo in the Eastern part of the state and less than two hours from where I live! I have been to the town, I have been to the store. That's a strange coincidence when you live in as small an area as I do.

This really was an interesting book. I didn't think I would care about this topic or understand it but the author did a great job explaining it. He made the issues personal. He also provided detailed steps how we all can find out where we are wearing. The readers will have a hard time looking at their clothing the same way.

Kelsey Timmerman is a freelance journalist who has articles on several publications and who maintains a travel blog called

I would like to thank John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and Shelf Awareness for this book.

Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland

Any Given Doomsday (The Phoenix Chronicles)
Liz Phoenix is an ex-cop turned bartender. She has physic abilities that she has never embraced and feels guilty that she wasn't able to save her partner's life. She took herself off the police force and now works in a cop bar as a form of self punishment. When Ruthie, her devoted foster mother, dies in her arms she passes on a secret and special powers that carry great responsibility. Liz is overwhelmed and unsure of what she should do next. She wants the killer caught and she turns to her foster brother and former flame Jimmy. But he possesses secrets of his own and the police are looking for him for the murder of Ruthie. He reveals to Liz that there are demons on earth that are here to destroy mankind. It is there job to destroy them first. Liz has new abilities, the aid of Jimmy and the guidance of Ruthie to carry out their mission. As they journey on to New Mexico and then Manhattan in search for allies and monsters they cross paths with another man from her past, Sawyer. He is also endowed with powers that make him a necessary player in their quest. With two men in the picture now, of course the formula is set for sexual tension and frustration. Together they approach the final battle between good and evil but not all is resolved. This is the first book in a series.

I have always enjoyed the paranormal and similar genres. This story has such an interesting premise and gets my attention from the beginning. As the story progresses it felt like the middle of the book was fragmenting and drifting off but it pulled back together for the end. I do look forward to the next book and hope that it will be a successful series.

My thanks to Shelfari for an ARC of this book.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bookworm Award - Meme

Luanne at A Bookworm's World has given me my first award! Thank you!

Here are the rules:
Open the closest book to you—not your favorite or most intellectual book, but the book closest to you at the moment—to page 56. Write out the fifth sentence as well as the next two to five sentences. Pass this on to five blogging friends.

I just read Stone Creek by Victoria Lustbader, so it's the closest to me right now.

"Ah Milstein, not Margolies. You're married" "Divorced. Some time ago." He smiled with blatant pleasure at the clarification. She blushed. "I should fire Chuck for not introducing us before this." "Please don't. I'm sure he was just protecting me since I have no husband to do that for me," she teased.

If you've been tagged before, sorry, and just ignore me if you’re not into this kind of thing. Just know that I have enjoyed your blog. I hereby tag:

Kaye at Pudgy Peguin Perusals
Mo at Un-Mainstream Mom Reads
JK at TeacherDad's Book Reviews
Lady at The Old Lady Next Door
Monie at Reading With Monie

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stone Creek by Victoria Lustbader

Stone CreekThis is a touching yet sad love story. Danny was only married to the love of his life for six years when she died and left him alone with their young son Caleb. His grief is so overwhelming he can barely take care of himself but he has a little boy depending on him. He forces himself to go through the motions in his workshop where he is an artist and a master carpenter. He dreads the contact he has with his in-laws who never thought he was good enough for their daughter and now don't think he's good enough for their grandson. Since he is a good father he maintains a relationship so his son will still have his grandparents in his life but it's a struggle.

Lily is married to Paul who loves his wife but is married to his work and ambitions first. His days and most of his nights belong to Wall Street. Lily had been content but is now lonely and longs for a child although she reluctantly agreed to go without. There have been changes in their marriage but it's easier to ignore them than to acknowledge them. One summer day she decides to go early to their summer home outside of the city to prepare for a holiday and guests.

It is during this time that Danny and Lily first meet and the attraction is undeniable. They are strangers that never speak but they each notice the other. In a short time they meet again and are formally introduced and feel a kinship. They develop a friendship and desire more but she is older and married and that is all that is feasible. Except the need to help rid Caleb of his sadness draws her closer. Lily is desperate to be a mother and that's exactly what this boy needs. Now there is a delicate balance. Decisions must be made and paths will be chosen. They are all wounded and find happiness together. Now that they have lifted some of their pain they can not go back to the lives they were living.

I expected this book to be good but I thought it may be a typical story of sad and lonely people who come together and live happily ever after. It was so much more than that. There were characters that I wanted to hate but it wasn't that simple when their motives were revealed. I was anxious to read more and discover the secrets of their pasts but I also hated to turn the last page. I enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more from this author.

My thanks to Harper and Shelfari for providing me with this book.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Creepers by Joanne Dahme

Creepers"The first thing I noticed was the ivy, not the sun-bleached tombstones with their off white color, which jutted from the cemetery grounds like old white bones. The ivy veins were everywhere - creeping in all directions across the grass and the winding gravel paths to rest on the long-ago-collapsed mounds settled beneath the shadows of the tombstones."
(book cover)

What first drew my attention to this book was the striking cover. In several shades of green, it's covered in embossed ivy leaves and the statue of young woman. The inside of the book is just as attractive with the pages edged in soft green and each chapter beginning with an interesting article or letter from the past.

Courtney tells how she and her parents move to a new home one summer in Murmur, Massachusetts. The first thing they noticed when they saw their large stone house built in the 1700's was the English ivy that clung to it. A bit creepy since it was also next to a very old Puritan cemetery. Courtney soon meets a man and his daughter who give historical tours in the cemetery. They supply many details about the surrounding area and the history behind the traditions and the carvings of the tombstones. The duo is also able to tell her about her house and how it was built on the foundation of the original which burned during a tragic fire. Now the house is suppose to be haunted with a family that needs to be reunited. Although she finds the story hard to believe she is constantly finding more indications that there may be some truth to it all and she knows the ivy is connected. Somehow. The man and his daughter have become her friends and they are on a quest to right the wrongs of the past. But that's no easy feat and what should be done?

Although this is written for young adults it is an interesting story for any age. The mysteries involved are not as detailed or as resolved as many adults may like though. It does have a simple flavor as more traditional ghost stories often do.

My thanks to Running Press Teens for providing me with an autographed copy of this book.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Books, books, books...

A room without books is like a body without soul.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero

In books I have traveled, not only to other worlds,
but into my own. I learned who I was and who I
wanted to be, what I might aspire to, and what I
might dare to dream.
-Anna Quinland

Never judge a book by it's movie.
- J. W. Eagan

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games

Once I'm on my feet, I realize escape might not be simple.
Panic begins to set in. I can't stay here.
Flight is essential.
But I can't let my fear show.

Winning means fame and fortune.
Losing means certain death.
The Hunger Games have begun...
(from back cover)

It's hard to remember that this story takes place in the future. North America is no longer. The nation of Panem has been built upon it's ruins. 12 districts surround a prosperous Capital that controls everything. At one time there had been 13 districts but an attempt to overthrow the Capital resulted in punishments and total obliteration of District 13. Fear and cruelty keep the people in line and at the mercy of the Capital. Each district is assigned an industry, 3 is factories, 4 is fishing, 11 is agriculture, 12 is coal mining, etc. The people aren't allowed to have access to any of these things, not even the ones they do. It's all for the Capital and any other use is punishable by death.

Katniss Everdeen is 16 and lives with her mother and little sister Pru in District 12. Her loving father was killed in a mining accident, her mother has never recovered from the loss and the family is barely surviving. To keep them alive Kat has learned to hunt, a skill she developed from her father when he taught her how to make and use a bow and arrows. No one is allowed to enter the nearby woods, another punishable offense, but Kat must to find food. She has also found a companion in the woods. Gale is a young man who is also trying to feed his family. They merge their abilities to bring home more game. Her mother and sister have a talent for finding herbs and plants to treat illnesses and injuries. They help others who need medical treatment and are compensated with whatever that person can provide. Kat has also learned to trade on the black market to receive other food and necessities.

In order to remind the districts about the past rebellion and to keep them from repeating it in the future, every year they host The Hunger Games. This is a fight to the death with only one winner - the last person to survive. The whole event is televised with huge celebrations. The winner not only walks away with their life but they also receive a home and food for their family and will bring honor and more food rations to the whole district. Each district is forced to provide a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18. In Kat's they are chosen by lottery. When her 12 year-old sister is chosen, she races forward to take her place. Kat and a boy named Peeta will represent District 12 and are swept away to the Capital after quick goodbyes to family and friends.

After reading how harsh life in the districts is it comes as a shock at how prosperous the Capital is. Kat's life was similar to pioneer days with their primitive shelter and meager supplies. The only reminder of the real time period is when a broken down TV is mentioned. When the tributes, the boy and girl who represent each district, arrive at the city it becomes obvious that this is a story from the future. The people here have every luxury available to them and the technology is far advanced. The tributes are allowed several days to train and be evaluated. They get to eat from luscious banquets, wear beautiful clothing designed especially for them and enjoys all the luxuries now available to them. But it is bittersweet. They know this is all part of the game and they know their families are still starving and they don't have much chance of surviving.

As the game starts I am surprised and amazed by how complex the set up is and how clever the tributes are. Although after a lifetime of struggle they would have to be clever and tough. Kat is faced with many decisions she must make by herself. Although they are provided with council when training they must play on their own. Politics complicate it all as everything that happens must not ever reflect poorly on the Capital. Anything or anyone that is a threat to their image or reputation is easily removed. This story is action packed with adventure, suspense and even romance. Throughout it all is the message of hope but also the effects of war. It is deeply disturbing at times but it also delivers heroes. This is the ultimate game of Survivor and you don't get voted off the island. You get sent home in a coffin.

This is the first in a series.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Diary of a Radical Mermaid by Deborah Smith

Diary of a Radical Mermaid This is a book that I won recently at Goodreads (thank you Goodreads!). It's the second book in the Water Lilies series by Deborah Smith. I prefer to start a series from the beginning but after reading reviews of the first book, Alice at Heart, I knew the books were connected but told different stories with different main characters. As with the first book this is about the Bonavendier clan and their extended family, a society of mer-people living off the coast of Georgia on Sainte's Point Island. Although the mer-people don't have the tails often associated with mermaids they do have beautiful webbed feet, extremely fast growing hair, can hold their breath for unusually long periods of time, have physic abilities that include some mind control over "Landers" (those of us who are not mer-people) among other abilities.

Juna Lee Poinfax is the Radical Mermaid aptly named as she has good intentions but is very impulsive and tends to put her webbed foot in her mouth. After another social blunder Juna is sent to the coast to serve some mer-person community service. While there she decides to tell her story in diary format. An online mermaid blog. Her great-aunt Lilith decides to use her services to gently convince a distant relative that she too is a mermaid. Being the radical she is, she kidnaps her relative Molly Revere and takes her to Sainte Point's. What started as a simple task is soon complicated. Mer-man Rhymer McEvers is also on the island where he has brought his nieces who he is convinced are in danger from their father. Upon meeting Molly an instant attraction is formed. As this magical story develops there is adventure, romance, mystery and murder all served up with a dose of humor.

I enjoyed this mermaid version of chick lit and it was exactly what I needed at a very busy time. In the back of the book is a whole section of facts and fable, history and science by, Juna Lee Poinfax, webmistress. I appreciated the help and I'm looking forward to reading more from this series, starting with #1.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Autumn in New York

Oh the colors...

A few weeks ago I realized that we had lost most of our leaves from the trees in our yard. Already! As you can see in the view from my front porch, most of them were now ground cover. We live in rural western NY state and have over 50 acres of land. I often like to take two of our dogs, the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever, for walks on the hill. I decided that day to grab my camera and take some photos before it was too late for 2008. I'm so glad I did because that was the last week of leaves for our area. Although there are plenty of places that still have their beautiful colors, everything here has turned a drab and bare brown. We've even had a bit of snow! These photos aren't anything fancy, this camera isn't the best or most current model out there, but I love to take pictures and these are already special. Nature and my home. What could be better? I suppose I'll have to trudge out into the snow with my camera in the coming months to remind myself that the winter is just as beautiful. Although is it much colder. Maybe there will just be a few shots from the front porch again. Until summer.