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!"

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mailbox Monday

~ March 30th

Thank you to our host Marcia at Printed Page. Join the fun!

Thursday 3/26

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
by Katherine Howe

This debut novel combines a woman's modern day search for her family's history and their link to the Salem witch trials of 1690. The author had two ancestors accused of witchcraft in Salem.

Thank you to Barnes & Noble First Look program for this ARC.

Release date: June 2009

My Wicked Enemy by Carolyn Jewel

The first in a series about paranormal romance, magic and action in present time but with ancient evil.

Thank you to author Brenda Janowitcz at Brenda's Blog where I won this autographed book and a special note from the author.

Release date: August 2008

Friday 3/27

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

A novel of two sisters that bridge the worlds of Shanghai and Los Angeles in the 1930's.

Thank you to Random House for this ARC.

Release date: June 2009

**As mentioned in my last post this is the book that makes me almost famous. Thank you Lisa See!

Mr.'s Meyers Clean Home
by Thelma Meyer

Reliable, common sense cleaning guide from a woman who raised nine children and kept her house clean for fifty years.

Thank you to Cindy at Cindy's Love of Books where I won this book.

Release date: March 2009


How To Ditch Your Fairy
by Justine Larbalestier

In a world where everyone has an invisible, personal fairy that has a "specialty", fourteen-year-old Charlie is stuck with a parking fairy and she can't even drive yet! Now she is trying to get rid of this one in hopes of getting a good one like her friend has, a shopping fairy.

Release date: March 2009?

**This author is married to author Scott Westerfield.

North of Beautiful
by Justina Chen Headley

A beautiful, artistic senior is born with a port wine stain on her face and tries to deal with what makes a person truly beautiful on the inside as well as outside.

Release date: February 2009

I can't wait to see what you got last week!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Almost famous...that's me!

I got a very special ARC in the mail today. It was Lisa See's Shanghai Girls. I've been dying to get my hands on this one because I heard there was something special in the book that pertained to me - my name. Not just the same name as mine but my name.

I've only been blogging since last fall but I've done online book clubs for about three years. Last year I was participating in one of the clubs at Barnes & Noble that included the author. A moderator leads the club on a message board and sets up different topics in different threads. You can participate as much or as little as you want and the author joins when they can. Most are there often but some are there as much as possible. I'm still in awe of any contact with an author/celebrity in my book (get it?) but I find it so amazing to be able to chat for a whole month and discuss their newest book. They usually discuss their other books, their career, their personal life and whatever else they feel like chatting about too. Some favorites that come to mind have been Garth Stein and his book The Art of Racing In The Rain (he was amazing and even his wife joined in almost every day!), Annie Barrows and the book that her aunt wrote The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (so friendly and chatty), Dorothea Benton Frank and her book The Land of Mango Sunsets (she was instantly one of the girls and couldn't have been nicer) and the list goes on and on.

Last year one of the clubs was Peony In Love by Lisa See. I hadn't had a chance to read her first book but I had heard such good things that I was really looking forward to this one. It was a very small group of only about a dozen people but there was great conversation. We also had more one-on-one time with Lisa. I wasn't familiar with very much Chinese history so it made such a difference for me to have her there to explain everything. She is very knowledgeable because this is part of her heritage and she explains it well. I learned so much from her and really enjoyed the chats among all of the club members. Apparently Lisa enjoyed chatting with us too because, 1) she said so, and 2) she said the discussions had given her some ideas that she wanted to include in the next book she was working on called Shanghai Girls. (Are you seeing where I'm going with this yet?) I thought that was amazing enough but then she said that she would mention us in the acknowledgments too! Now I ask you, how very cool is that? She asked us for our real names and told us when it was expected to be released. I made a mental note that I filed away and then kind of forgot about (there's only so much room up there and then stuff starts to fall out). But when I heard that the ARCs would be coming out soon of course I remembered, and someone kind of reminded me too.

So a few weeks ago one of the other girls in the club received her copy and sent an email telling others. Yay! Mine should be coming any time too! I asked her if it really had names in it and she said yes. A few weeks went by and I still didn't get one. I asked the other girl again about receiving hers and just to be sure, were our names really in there? It wasn't our user names or the club as a whole unit? She said YES, they really were our names in there. OK, I believed her. Kind of. I really did, it was just that this was a real, live, famous author we were talking about. Now maybe you people get your names in books every day but I most certainly do not.

Today, it arrived. That handsome man in brown, whatshisname, left it laying on my porch. Of course I didn't know that was the book at the time but when I opened the envelope I swear it glowed. It was beautiful! Like a good little reader I sat right down and started reading every page in order until I found the acknowledgments - NOT! I tore through that baby looking for my section. Of course it was in the very back but it didn't take me that long to figure out. As I turned through all five pages, yes five, of the acknowledgments I found it (glowing again) my name!! Not a user name, not the club name but my name. Sorry to sound like I'm tooting my own horn here but... TOOT, TOOT!

So if you ever get your hands on a copy of Shanghai Girls by Lisa See you can turn to page 314 in the ARC and the first line of the second paragraph has seven names from a B&N book club. I am the seventh name (damn alphabetical order!) - Debbie Wright. It 's right there in black and white, with just a little bit of glow.

Thank you Lisa! You made this fan very, very happy in more ways than one. Best wishes.

For autographed copies please send inquiries to my manager AKA my mommy.
*snicker* I just had to say that.

Friday Fill-ins



This week, I took the first sentence in 6 of my favorite fill them in...with the right words or even better, ones of your own. (- from our host Janet.)

1. "In a hole in the ground there lived the gopher from Caddy Shack!"

2. "The gophers are moving into the house but that ain't no matter."

3. "After dark the rain began to fall again, and flooded out the gophers."

4. "I wasn't told about the mold from the hold of the Spanish galleon."

5. "There was a hand in the darkness, and it was fumbling for the light switch and the Tums on the night stand (tacos for dinner)."

6. "Accidents ambush the unsuspecting, and those without auto insurance."

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to my son's baseball game, tomorrow my plans include helping my grandma clean her house and Sunday, I want to do nothing!

(Can you tell I'm a little squirrely? It's 5:00 A.M. and I haven't gone to bed yet, for about the 20th night in a row. My brain isn't functioning so well. )

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Blog Tour for Kitty Norville Series


Published on: Mar 01, 2009

Sometimes what happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas.

Kitty and Ben flee The City That Never Sleeps, thinking they were finished with the dangers there, but the sadistic cult of lycanthropes and their vampire priestess have laid a curse on Kitty in revenge for her disrupting their rituals. Starting at the next full moon, danger and destruction the form of fire strikes Kitty and the pack of werewolves she's sworn to protect.

She enlists the help of a group of TV paranormal investigators - one of whom has real psychic abilities - to help her get to the bottom of the curse that's been laid on her. Rick, the Master vampire of Denver, believes a deeper plot lies behind the curse, and he and Kitty argue about whether or not to accept the help of a professional demon hunter - and vampire - named Roman, who arrives a little too conveniently in the nick of time.

Unable to rely on Rick, and unwilling to accept Roman's offer of help for a price, Kitty and her band of allies, including Vegas magician Odysseus Grant and Kitty's own radio audience, mount a trap for the supernatural being behind the curse, a destructive force summoned by the vengeful cult, a supernatural being that none of them ever thought to face.


Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand (Book 5)
Published on: Feb 01, 2009

Honeymoon in Vegas?
Already the alpha pair of Denver's werewolf pack, Kitty and Ben now plan to tie the knot human-style by eloping to Vegas. Kitty is looking forward to sipping fru-fru drinks by the pool and doing her popular radio show on live TV, but her hotel is stocked with werewolf-hating bounty hunters. Elsewhere on the Strip an old-school magician might be wielding the real thing; the vampire community is harboring a dark secret; and the irresistible star of a suspicious animal act is determined to seduce Kitty. Sin City has never been so wild, and this werewolf has never had to fight harder to save not only her wedding, but her very life.

Published on: Jan 01, 2008

Published on: Apr 01, 2007

Published on: Jul 01, 2006

Published on: Nov 01, 2005

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Author Bio

Carrie Vaughn had the nomadic childhood of the typical Air Force brat, with stops in California, Florida, North Dakota, Maryland, and Colorado. She holds a Masters in English Literature and collects hobbies-fencing and sewing are currently high on the list. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Carrie is the bestselling author of a series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty, as well as numerous short stories in various anthologies and magazines. She's also a contributor to the Wild Cards series edited by George R. R. Martin and is always working on something new.

Carrie Vaughn's website -
Carrie Vaughn's blog -

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

My Turn

In case you couldn't tell, this was my first blog tour. I wasn't sure what to do or what to expect, especially with a whole series of books. I decided that I would just try to add elements that would make this intriguing to others (sorry if I failed) because this is really a fun series. Yes, the main character is a werewolf but she is so "normal" too. She has so many of the same issues that the rest of the world does, plus a few others of course.

These are fast, easy reads and they are also clean. Probably not what you were expecting to hear when several characters grow an excessive amount of hair and run on all fours every now and then. Kitty Norville is a very likable character. She has been living her life quietly as a DJ at a Denver radio station. When she picks up the midnight shift she plays the music she loves and she opens the mike for requests. When a random discussion turns to talk of supernatural events it becomes so popular that she makes it a weekly feature. Two months later she is offered a national show and she reaches even more listeners. Kitty is careful to keep her own life private because she lives in that secret supernatural world. She had been attacked and turned a few years before and very few people know, including her family. But danger is lurking and her secrets may be revealed, if she lives that long. And that's only the first book!

Each book has a story that can be read alone but the characters continue throughout the series. I enjoy reading them in order but it's not necessary. Books 5 and 6 were just released in February and March of this year.

Thank you, thank you to Miriam at Hatchette Books for giving me these books and including me in the tour. It was my first one but I hope it won't be my last!

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Participating sites:

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mailbox Monday

~ March 23rd

Thank you to Marcia at the Printed Page.

Thursday 3/19
Everyone Is Beautiful by Katherine Center
Lanie has packed up her three small kids and moved across the country so her husband could become a musician. Years later she needs to find herself again and not just be the mom and wife.
- This was from the Library Thing Early Reviewer program.

Saturday 3/21
Afraid by Jack Kilborn
A helicopter crash near a small town has brought on unimaginable terror. The residents are being killed and only three people can stop it.
The 8th Confession by James Patterson
The 8th book in the Woman's Murder Club series. A killer has a taste for the super rich.
Busy Woman Seeks Wife
by Annie Sanders
A novel about every woman's fantasy - having a "wife" to run her life for her.
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
#2 in The Miracle Girls series (YA). The girls have returned from summer break to start their sophomore year of high school. Anger issues may break up their friendships.
- These titles all came from Hatchette Books.

Used Book Sale
A Rose From The Dead (A Flower Shop Mystery) by Kate Collins
Abby is a law school dropout who bought herself a flower shop in her home town. Mysteries and murders tend to follow.
I found this at my library and was thrilled because I had found the first five in the set there last fall. I think there is a good chance it's from the same person. I'll just have to wait for her/him to keep reading and donating these books so I can buy them and read the whole series. I'll be waiting!

Just After Sunset by Stephen King
His newest book of scary short stories.

The Sisterhood Award

Bev at Merry Weather was kind enough to give me the Sisterhood Award! This is very special because it acknowledges the kindness and spirit of blogging. Now I get to pass this on to others who show great attitude and gratitude!

Now here are the details for passing on this honor.
  1. Put the logo on your blog or on a post.
  2. Nominate up to 10 other bloggers which show great attitude and or gratitude.
  3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
  4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
  5. Remember to link to the person from whom you received your award.

My choices are:
Katrina at Stone Soup
Stacy at Stacy's Bookblog
Molly at My Cozy Book Nook
PopinFresh from Popin's Lair
Cindy at Cindy's Love of Books
Mo at Unmainstream Mom Reads
Kathy at Bermudaonion's Weblog
Kaye at Pudgy Penguin Perusals
Bingo Bookin' with Bingo
Toni at A Circle of Books

I'm sorry if this is a duplicate for any of you. I know that happens frequently but you are all people that I feel are very deserving of this award. Thank you for being supportive and kind to me!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Review: The Super Sluggers Slumpbuster by Kevin Markey

They call me Walloper
because I'm no ordinary hitter.

Banjo H. Bisbash plays third base for the Rambletown Rounders. There is only a week left in their baseball season and they tied for first place with thier arch rivals the Hog City Haymakers. This is the team that won the 10-12 year-old division last year too. The Haymakers have some big players who are big hitters. But the Rounders have a big hitter too. Banjo is better known as "The Walloper" because of his great long hits. So far this season he has had a homerun in every game.

But Banjo doesn't like to be the center of attention and knows that it takes a team effort to win. He is also very superstitious about his routines. He rides his bike and brings his dog, Mr. Bones, to every game, his parents can't arrive before the second inning and the boys each rub teammate Billy's head for luck. When a classmate writes about his homeruns and predicts he will have even more to win the pennant, he is worried that it will bring bad luck. And he was right. The Walloper has hit a slump at the same time as a record breaking drought. For this contest, only the weather is hot.

Having played sports myself and now spending many hours watching my kids play I could relate to this story very well. We've laughed many times over the years at some of our kids and their teammates superstitions. One of their friends had a pair of "lucky" socks and wouldn't let his mom wash them until they lost. We had a long winning streak that season so I was very glad that he didn't have a pair of lucky underwear too! The coach in this story isn't only worried about winning. He is very knowledgeable about the game, he's a good instructor and motivator. He teaches them the plays, encourages them to work hard and have fun. It's refreshing to see in this day and age of pressure to win at any cost. I appreciate the positive themes in this story and the message that everyone can accomplish their goals. The characters are quirky and a bit predictable for an adult but I'm sure they are very entertaining to children. And the nicknames are sure to make them laugh! Tugboat Tooley, Stump, Slingshot, Ducks, Gasser and Ocho are just a few. Share this book with a little person, boy or girl.

Thank you to Harper Collins Childrens First Look program for the ARC.

Release Date: 3/17/09
Price/format: $15.99/Trade
Type: Childrens fiction
Age: 8-12, grades 3-7

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring - finally

Spring has Sprung!

I would like to extend a special thank you to everyone who has been so friendly and helpful. The blogging community is a great place to be and I appreciate the kindness!

Review: The Dog Days of Charlotte Hayes by Marlane Kennedy

For the secret dog lover
in everyone.

Charlotte Hayes is twelve-years-old and is not a dog person. When her father brings home a Saint Bernard puppy she is not happy about having to care for it but after a short time she is the only one who will. Her father has a short attention span and is off to his next hobby, her mom is exhausted from caring for her baby brother and her older sister is boy crazy. Charlotte knows that Beauregard needs a home that will provide him with more love and constant care. He's a nice dog that shouldn't be chained up in the backyard next to his too small dog house. She comes up with a great plan that requires her to work hard and her friends to provide a bit of help. In the process of making this plan a reality she makes some discoveries about herself. She may just like this dog after all.

This may be a children's book but it has themes of friendship, loyalty and compassion that speak to everyone. I found it to be a sweet story with charming characters and an interesting plot. It's an easy read that is age appropriate and well written. As the story continued it drew me in. I found myself caring about this big, slobbery, gentle dog and cheering on Charlotte for coming to his rescue. And in the process of helping Beauregarde to have a happier life she helped others to improve their lives as well. I adored this book and could see it developed into a series. I would be so curious to see where this family and their friends go from here.

Thank you to HarperCollins Children's Books for the ARC.

Release date: 3/09
Pages: 144
Price/Format: $15.99/Trade
Type: Children's fiction
Age: 8-12, grades 3-7

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins



Thank you Janet for hosting the fun. Come join us here!

1. Why do we have to act like grown ups?

2. Picking up my kids' trail of dirty socks and wet towels are now habits.

3. I have a headache that I can't seem to get rid of.

4. I never heard the phrase "Have you twittered?" before I started blogging and it made me laugh the first time I heard it.

5. I'm going to bed late again the way I always do.

6. How was I to know blogging was so addictive?

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to taking the dogs for a long walk, tomorrow my plans include watching my kid's baseball scrimmage (basketball season is over) and Sunday, I want to relax!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Reviews for Perfect on Paper

Author Maria Murnane needs our help. This is a copy of an email that she sent to her readers. Let's help her get a publisher so we can read a sequel to Perfect on Paper!

Hi everyone! I just wanted to let you know that I'm getting ready to submit my book to the publishing world again....fingers crossed this time! My PR guy (aka my awesome dad) is in the process of putting together a book of reviews to prove that there is indeed an audience for Miss Waverly Bryson, so I need your help!

If you enjoyed "Perfect on Paper" but didn't post anything about it on Amazon, I would be SO grateful if you could take a minute to post something about why you liked it- or what you would tell someone who is thinking about reading it. All the reviews there are from real readers just like you, most of whom I've never met in person, and I appreciate them so much because they make all the hard work I've put into the book worth it!

Here is the link:

Thank you so much!

Btw if you are on Facebook and want to become a fan of the book (and add Waverly Bryson as a friend!), here is the link:

I will keep you posted on my progress-- and if any of you know anyone who works in publishing, please let me know!

Bye, and thanks again for your support.

Maria :)

Maria Murnane
Author of Perfect on Paper, winner of "Book Bloggers Top 10" and "DIY" awards in fiction

"Beer goggles are the lonely girl's Cupid." --Waverly Bryson

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


This was in the DEAR ABBY section of today's paper. It was a special request and it's found in her "Keepers" booklet. I just liked the thought and wanted to share.


You can use most any measure
When you're speaking of success.
You can measure it in fancy home,
Expensive car or dress.

But the measure of your real success
Is the one you cannot spend.
It's the way your kids describe you
When they're talking to a friend.
-Martin Buxbaum

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Pat's

My Blog Review Policy

This is my personal blog and my reviews are written and edited by me. It is a hobby and not a profession. I do accept books, ARCs and other items occasionally to review. I receive no compensation for my reviews and they are formed by my honest opinion.

Preferred genres: I will consider reading anything but these are the ones I usually prefer:
Fiction - mystery, suspense/thriller, contemporary romance, chick lit, young adult, children, fantasy, paranormal and anything with a sense of humor is always good.
Some history and nonfiction will also be considered.

Least preferred genres: It depends on the story but generally I don't care for these:
Westerns, sci-fi, religion, business.

Review time frame: I try to read the books in the order I get them unless there is a special request. It usually takes me about two months. I also try to review ARCs as close to the release date as possible. I intend to review everything I receive but I do reserve the right not the review a book should there be a time conflict or other problem. I will do my best to notify you if that's the case. I will be honest and will not be unkind. If I can't finish a book or truly do not like it and am unable to write a review, again, I will do my best to notify you so you can decide if you still would like a review.

Locations: I will place my reviews on my blog, Goodreads and with the publisher and often with LibraryThing, Shelfari, Barnes & Noble. Other sites are possible if you notify me.

- I do not sell ARCs but I may pass them on to family, friends or other bloggers to read, or donate them to my public library unless you would prefer I don't.
- I will consider accepting self published books, audio books and I now accept e-books.
- I would be interested in participating in contests, blog tours and interviews.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mailbox Monday

~ March 16th

Thank you to host Marcia at The Printed Page


Monday 3/9
~Keeper of Light and Dust by Natasha Mostert
from A Novel Menageri for upcoming Mini Book Tour in April. My blog is 4/14. Thank you Sheri!
A fast paced, highly evocative supernatural thriller that blends magic, science, martial arts and the desire to live forever.

Wednesday 3/11
~Mischief Maker's Manual by Sir John Hargrave
from Penguin through Shelf Awareness. Thank you!
A manual to help you create magnificent mischief that's never cruel but has pranks that are always funny and creative. (Childrens non-fiction)

Friday 3/13
~A Taste of Magic by Tracy Madison
from a contest at The Novel Girls, autographed copy. Thank you Tracy!
A fun, quirky story of a woman who receives a gift of gypsy magic from her grandmother on the day her bakery will be making a wedding cake for her cheating ex-husband.

Used Book Sale
~Talk of the Town by Karen Hawkins
A prim and proper southern belle goes blond, gets a tattoo and new clothes and prepares to live it up back in her hometown after a divorce from her loser husband.
~The Chocolate Jewel Case by Joanna Carl
A Chocoholic Mystery - A pair of newlyweds are trying to overcome a crisis in their chocolate shop when they unexpectedly receive four houseguests from hell, their town has a heist and a body turns up in the lake.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins



Thank you to Janet for hosting the fun here each week!

1. When I look to the left, I see my dog, Cassie, hogging the couch.

2. The living room is the room that has the best view in my home.

3. Let it work, please!

4. Dirty deeds done dirt cheap!

5. Voting is a responsibility that all qualified citizens must share.

6. If you have any good books feel free to send them my way. (hint, hint)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to my hubby's yummy cooking, tomorrow my plans include enjoying the peace and quiet while everyone is away for the day and Sunday, I want to watch my kid's basketball tournament!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I Love Your Blog Award

Thank you to Kaye at Pudgy Penguin Perusuals who received it first. Boy did she ever deserve this award! We started blogging together and didn't know what we were doing but through hard work and lots of fun she has created an amazing playground for penguins and a great place for people. She's also a really wonderful person. Thank you for including me Kaye!

Here are the rules to keep the award moving:
  • Add the logo of the award to your blog
  • Add the link to the person who awarded it to you
  • Nominate at least 7 other blogs
  • Add links to those blogs on your blog
  • Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs

The group that I chose for this award are blogs that I haven't been visiting very long but I'm really enjoying. I noticed several of them have already received this award but I'm sending it anyway. I love their blogs too! Since I'm posting two awards at once I've only chosen five.

My choices:

Em at Em's Book Reviews
Holly at Writer's Block Reviews
Carrie at Carrie's YA Bookshelf
Marie at cupcake witch

Proximade Award

Thank you to Toni from A Circle of Books,
Luanne from A Bookworm's World
and Sheri from A Novel Menageri for this award!

This award represents:

"This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY-nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this clever-written text into the body of their award."

These are all blogs that I enjoy very much. And even better are the people behind these blogs. They are very clever, have created fun places to visit and have been kind and helpful to me as a newbie. Many of them may have already received this award but I still wanted to give it to them too! Since I am posting two awards at once I've only picked five.

My choices:

Debbie at Debbie's World
Amy at My Friend Amy
Tracy at Book Room Reviews
Melissa at Melissa's Bookshelf
Popin's Lair

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Review: Dewey - The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched The World by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter

How is it possible for an abandoned kitten to transform a small library, save a classic American town and eventually become famous around the world?

In 1988, on the coldest night of the year in Spencer, Iowa a tiny kitten was dropped into the return book slot at the public library. When Vicki Myron, the library director, found him the next morning in the ice cold metal box he was too weak to meow. Vicki and a colleague immediately nursed the little animal back to health, warming, bathing and feeding him. Despite his frostbit feet he hobbled along to everyone he encountered happy and content. His horrible start in life was forgotten. He was already a very happy little cat.

It was his friendly disposition that enabled him to live at the library. He charmed his way into the patrons hearts and especially into Vicki's. She had endured much hardship, the loss of her family farm as a child, an alcoholic ex-husband who left her in debt and multiple health problems. Dewey brought her unconditional love. He also helped her bridge the gap between her and her teenage daughter. His gift was knowing when someone needed him and what they needed from him. He knew how to entertain with his humor and how to comfort with his warmth and compassion and he helped the people of Spencer for 19 years.

Before I read this book I wasn't familiar with Dewey but from the very first pages I was captivated. I could picture everything he did throughout the story. From his first night in the drop box as that cold and dirty, little misfit to the handsome ginger tabby who pranced throughout the library making it his own. But this wasn't just a cat story. This was also about the town of Spencer. Myron shares it's history and how the people persevered through hard times. In this farming community of 10,000, a poor economy in the 80's had devastated the area. Many lost their jobs, their homes and farms. Dewey had come back from the brink of death himself and he offered the people there a happy distraction, companionship and hope. This little library cat had also become world famous through newspaper articles and television interviews. Through his fame he brought a little bit of attention to Spencer. Vicki Myron also reveals the hardships she quietly endured and just how important this little cat had been to her life. In saving him, he had helped to save her. This is an emotional adventure that I thoroughly enjoyed and I promise it's not just for the cat lover. I would recommend this for everyone.

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for a copy of this book.

Special information about the author and Dewey's antics along with photos and video clips can be found on the website:
DEWEY - The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

Release date: 9/24/08
Pages: 278
Price/format: $19.99/hardcover
Type: non-fiction

Monday, March 9, 2009

Mailbox Monday

~ March 9, 2009

Thank you to host Marcia at The Printed Page .


Monday 3/2
- Kitty Raises Hell by Carrie Vaughn from Hatchette Books for upcoming book tour 3/25. Thank you Miriam!

Thursday 3/5
- The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova from a contest at Fizzy Thoughts. Thank you Jill!

Friday 3/6
- Fragile Eternity ARC by Melissa Marr from Harper Collins on Shelf Awareness. Thank you!

From the library.
- 'Tis The Season by Lorna Landvik
- ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley
- The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Sunday 3/8

-It wasn't a delivery from my mail woman or UPS guy (I don't think) but this morning some kind of stomach virus arrived. Special delivery just for me! My kids had a touch of it early last week so they may have saved some for me. I took a little break from my naps to post this and visit a little. I'm feeling lousy again so I'm taking a book or two back to bed. Hope you all had a great week and this week will be even better!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Review: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

The day after they moved in,

Coraline went exploring...

In their new flat, there are twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Only thirteen of these doors open. The last door has always been locked until the day that Coraline's mother unlocks it with a very old key. She shows her daughter that it's a door to nowhere, the doorway had been bricked up. But the day that Coraline unlocks it herself she finds a hallway that leads to another flat exactly like her own except it's more interesting. The walls are brighter colors, the toys move and seem to come to life and the food tastes better. There is even another mother and another father. They seem very nice and say they love her but they are very odd. They have buttons sewn on for eyes and very long fingernails. And now they want to keep her and change her. The other mother wants to sew buttons on her eyes too.

As Coraline realizes that she must escape this world and return to her own she begins to hear the voices of children who are also trapped there, lost souls behind a mirror. She knows she can't leave them and she must fight for them as well as herself. She will need all of her wits, some special tools and some help from a black cat to save all of them. Her plain, ordinary life never looked so good.

I've heard about this young adult book for a long time but it took me forever to get around to reading it. I always wonder if a book will live up to the hype when it becomes so popular. I did enjoy it and thought it was very clever. I always admire when someone, especially a child, is brave in the face of adversity or fear. And when they put the welfare of others before themselves it always makes them a hero in my eyes. I don't think it will be my favorite Gaiman book though. I just got The Graveyard Book from the library and it captured my attention immediately. I look forward to reading many more pieces of his work. I have a lot of catching up to do!

Neil Gaiman's website.

Publisher: Harper Collins
Release date: 7/2/2002
Pages: 176
Price/format: $15.99/hardcover, $6.99/paperback
Type: fantasy
Ages: 8 and up

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Fill-In



Thank you to Janet for hosting the fun here each week!

1. Helping my grandma and my great-aunt was my last random act of kindness.

2. Another place, another time.

3. Loyal friends who are good listeners are necessary in matters of the heart.

4. Coffee, tea or chocolate!

5.We must all take separate paths.

6. Our children remind me that there is hope.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to lounging with my hubby until a kid calls for a ride, tomorrow my plans include watching our high school win the basketball championship and Sunday, I want to relax and read (of course!) after a day of traveling.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Review: The Good-to-Go Cookbook by Kathleen Cannata Hanna

Take-Along Food,
Quick Suppers,
and Satisfying Snacks
for On-The-Go Families

Are you always on the run? That's the question in capital letters on the back cover of this cookbook. In this day and age I would guess that many people answer that with YES in capital letters. The best solution is to slow down but since that isn't always possible, this has some tasty solutions to that dilemma.

Inside the 327 pages are more than 300 family friendly recipes. The contents are divided into categories of meals, snacks at home and on the go, 15 and 30 minute dishes, one-pot meals, pastas, side dishes and desserts. The pages are marked by colored tabs on the side so it's easy to find each section.

The recipes are laid out very clearly and simply on the page. Each step is numbered and there are also helpful tips at the bottom of the page. They include ingredients that can be added or altered and optional ways to serve the meals.

Along with the recipes there are also helpful tips on organizing your kitchen, cooking tips and a metric conversion chart. There is a wealth of information that will allow you to eat well in less time. You and your family may not have to make that mad dash through the take-out window quite as often. With three busy teens in our house we do that more than we'd like to. I haven't made my first meal from this book yet but I have plans! Now I just have to decide which dessert to make first - Peanut Butter Pie or Picket Fence Apple Pie. Yum!

Thank you to J.Kaye of J.Kaye's Book Blog for the contest where I won this book.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Review: Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher

You can't stop the future.
You can't rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret to press play.
-from back cover

When Clay Jensen arrives home after school a package with his name on it is waiting on his porch. When he opens the package he discovers a set of seven cassette tapes with each side numbered 1-13 but no other information. It is only after he starts listening to a tape that he is shocked to discover the voice of Hannah Baker, a classmate who committed suicide a few weeks ago. Clay had liked Hannah and even had a crush on her. He had no idea why he received these tapes and what they were about. Now he was listening to her voice telling him that he was one of the people who had some responsibility for her death. How was that possible? Clay's journey into Hannah's world is brutal. She bares her soul and has a lot to say and she doesn't sugarcoat it. These are her last words and she says everything she has ever wanted to say.

I've heard from others who have read this book that the audio version is excellent, especially since it has two readers. There is so much back and forth between Hannah's voice on the tapes and Clay's thoughts I think that it would be an excellent way to experience this story. Sometimes it switches between characters after every sentence and that can be confusing at times. I also had too many interruptions at home while I was reading this book and I needed to it be a continuous flow. The later chapters of the book felt a bit drawn out as Hannah's tapes continued. I did have much sympathy for her and although I didn't find her unlikeable at all it made Hannah less likable for me.

My high school self would have reacted very differently to this book compared to my grown-up, parent self now. Even though we lived very different teenage years I would have been able to relate better to those raw emotions. As an adult I know that things do change and high school doesn't last forever. With time you can hopefully learn to cope better with your feelings, issues and hardships. But as a teenager with a broken heart or hurt feelings I would have had a hard time believing that myself.

In this debut novel for Jay Asher he delivers an important message with his details of Hannah's life and death. Like most people she did have some warning signs before she took her life. It's always easier in hindsight though, when you look back and recognize things that never seemed life threatening at the time. We've had two family members go through the same thing as teens. They thought suicide was the only answer to their problems. One of them survived and one did not. My younger cousin had a horrible childhood but it had improved greatly and we all thought he was doing well. His senior year of high school he took a bottle of pills. He was found in time but he spent several days in ICU recovering from his near death experience. Fortunately he did survive and now many years later he is happily married with one child and another one on the way. My husband's cousin was not so fortunate. He was in his early 20's when a romantic relationship fell apart. He felt he couldn't live without her so he took his father's gun and ended his life. His parents have never recovered and never will. They carry a deep sadness and will forever think of what could have been.

This book was written for young adults but it will have an impact on anyone who reads it. I look forward to reading more from this author.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Mailbox Monday

I was working on this very late last night after a long weekend of not feeling well and traveling to see my nephew's hockey game. I always have trouble sleeping so I thought I could finish this up before I went to bed. I got very tired and started to nod off a few times. I finally gave up and saved it to finish today. I'm so glad I did because I had been very creative, especially with my spelling! Fortunately I didn't hit publish because it may have been worth a good laugh but no one would have been able to understand it. I don't think my Spellcheck would have picked up that Mornnf was supposed to be Monday. And that's only one example. Eek!

~ March 2nd, 2009

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. Check it out to see what others are reading this week.

Tuesday, 2/24
-Kitty Raises Hell by Carrie Vaughn. This was from Miriam at Hatchette Books. Thank you!

Wednesday, 2/25
-Elijah's Coin by Steve O'Brien. This was from the author. (website) Thank you!
-War of the Witches by Maite Carranza. This one, and the next four books, were from a contest at Em's Bookshelf. Thank you so much Em!
-If the Witness Lied by Caroline B. Cooney. From Em's Bookshelf.
- Cathy's Book by Stewart, Weisman & Brigg. From Em's Bookshelf.
- Cathy's Key by Stewart, Weisman & Brigg. From Em's Bookshelf.
- Read, Remember, Recommend - Journal by R. Knight. From Em's Bookshelf.

Thursday 2/26
- Run For Your Life by James Patterson. This was from Miriam at Hatchette Books. Thank you!

Friday 2/27
- Kill For Me by Karen Rose. This was from a contest at The Book Binge. Thank you Rowena, Holly & Casee! It was just in time for a new book club that starts today.

Saturday 2/28
- You Are So Undead To Me by Stacy Jay. This was from a contest at Writer's Block Reviews. Thank you Holly!

From the library
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
- Shelter Me by Juliette Fay
- The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark
- Deadline by Chris Crutcher