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, August 31, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Marcia from The Printed Page is our host each week for Mailbox Monday. Come take a peek at what everyone else got and leave a link to your goodies. I bet you'll find something you like!

Slept Away
by Julie Kraut

from the author

Laney Parker is a city girl through and through. Summertime means rooftop swimming pools, brunching at sidewalk cafes and partying at her classmates apartments. But this summer, Laney's mother has other plans and it's called Camp Timber Trails, an unair-conditioned log cabin nightmare. Popularity seems to be determined by swimming skills and the activities are more like boot camp than summer camp. Without her cell phone and her Diet Coke Laney is barely hanging on. But when she realizes that her summer crush is untouchably uncrushable in the real world, she starts asking herself some serious questions. Can camp cool possibly translate into cool cool? Summer camp might just turn this city girl's world upside down.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Calling all geeks! Contest reminder!

Sign up for Geektastic! Hurry, contest ends August 31st. And don't forget that one copy goes to the best "geek" photo that I receive (and I haven't received that many yet!). So get your entries in and lets see those geektastic moments!!

Review: Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey

Her tears are the
tears of suffering
and of hope...

The world has changed and walls have been built between the United States and Mexico. In an isolated military buffer zone between the two countries the people of Santa Olivia have no power. They are poor, lonely and are destined to stay there, forever. Then an unlikely superhero comes along. Born to a poor mother and a genetically enhanced father, Lupe has inherited his speed, strength and total lack of fear. Along with her fellow orphans she decides to avenge the injustice that has been brought to their community by the military occupiers.

While it may best be described as a dystopic urban fantasy it's not so far into a future that's it's totally unbelievable. Although the people of this forgotten town lead bleak lives the characters were still so intriguing and there was even a touch of humor here and there. I think the common factor was the hope they all had. Each of them faced such hardships and the children had never known another life but they still dreamed about a future. While Lupe didn't feel or experience the same thing that the others did she still inspired the best in them. They have a strong sense of right and wrong and want to avenge injustice. Santa Olivia, their patron saint, provides them with inspiration and feeds their faith. Lupe provides them with hope and courage.

I wasn't sure what to expect at first but I truly enjoyed this book and the fantasy Carey created. The landscape may seem hopeless but this story made me cheer on the underdog. I cared what happened to these characters and I desperately wanted them to have a future. I really liked Lupe, her brother Tommy and the rest of their patchwork family. I had to turn the next page to see what would happen, wanting to know but not wanting it to end. Although this genre may not be for everyone it's the story that will draw you in and I would definitely recommend this book. I look forward to reading more by this author and hope this is the beginning of a new series.

Thank you to Hatchette Books for a review copy.
author website

Publisher: Hatchette Books
Release date: 5/29/2009
Pages: 352
Price/format: $13.99/Trade Paperback
Type: Fantasy/Sci Fi

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Fill-ins


Graphic courtesy of Tonya!

1. He was a one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple-people-eater.

2. Sunshine and being outdoors (especially in my hammock) is what I look forward to most this time of year. Too bad I haven't been able to experience nearly enough of those with all of this stinkin' rain!

3. My best friends are always there for me and I'm so very grateful.

4. I never cared much for reading to be honest with you. Ha! I can't even write that with a straight face!

5. Appearances can be interesting and sometimes scary. (You thought I was going to say deceiving didn't you?) :D

6. The last person I gave a hug to was my hubby. I love hugs and I love my hubby!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing and reading, tomorrow my plans include cleaning the cars, ugh, but it needs to be done and Sunday, I want to have a family graduation party for my nephew before he leaves for college!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Blog Tour: Rose House by Tina Ann Forkner

A vivid story of a private grief,
a secret painting,
and one woman's search for hope.


Still mourning the loss of her family in a tragic accident, Lillian Diamon finds herself drawn back to the Rose House, a quiet cottage where four years earlier she had poured out her anguish among its fragrant blossoms.

She returns to the rolling hills and lush vineyards of the Sonoma Valley in search of something she can’t quite name. But then Lillian stumbles onto an unexpected discovery: displayed in the La Rosaleda Gallery is a painting that captures every detail of her most private moment of misery, from the sorrow etched across her face to the sandals on her feet.

What kind of artist would dare to intrude on such a personal scene, and how did he happen to witness Lillian’s pain? As the mystery surrounding the portrait becomes entangled with the accident that claimed the lives of her husband and children, Lillian is forced to rethink her assumptions about what really happened that day.

A captivating novel rich with detail, Rose House explores how the brushstrokes of pain can illuminate the true beauty of life.

Tina Ann Forkner writes contemporary fiction that challenges and inspires. She is the author of Ruby Among Us and also Rose House, which recently released from Waterbrook Press/Random House and is a freelance writer for the popular gospel music publication, Homecoming magazine. She grew up in Oklahoma and graduated with honors from CSU Sacramento before settling in Wyoming. She lives with her husband, their three bright children and their dog. Tina stays busy serving on the Laramie County Library Foundation Board of Directors and enjoys speaking to women’s groups and book clubs about themes related to her novels.

To purchase from
Author's website

The Back-to-School Blog Tour
Three books from Waterbrook Multnomah
August 24-28

Thank you so much to Waterbrook Multnomah for letting me participate in this book tour!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

So, I was just wondering....

Last week was such a fun topic! If you didn't get a chance to comment or to read what others wrote go check it out. It was so interesting to hear where people got their user names and blog names from.

This week I was wondering how you decided to start blogging? What was it it that made you decide to create your own blog and how long have you been doing it? Who were some of the people that helped and supported you?

I kind of stumbled into it by accident at the end of last summer. I had been participating in online bookclubs at Barnes & Noble for a few years and gradually joined some other social networks. A very good friend (Kaye of Pudgy Penguin Perusals) mentioned that she had been to LibraryThing and asked if I had been there yet. I visited and I joined that one too and that changed everything! I had joined some of the groups there and I kept reading about ARCs and blogs. I didn't have much experience with either one so I was very curious. When I started visiting and reading all of your lovely blogs I was fascinated! They were wonderful! I couldn't believe you all created them yourself. I also signed up for a couple of contests on your blogs and after a few anonymous posts where I had to write out my name and information each time I decided to get my own account on Blogger. Well, I went to the wrong place or did the wrong thing or something and I ended up with my own blog. Wasn't I surprised! It seemed interesting and I wanted to give it a try. A chance to read more books and talk about them too - yay hooray! Kaye was doing the same thing so I knew I would have someone to go through it all with me. My first post wasn't much of a post. It was a brief hello and three sentences that mentioned I would be back soon with more. I wasn't sure what it would be more of, but I would be back. The next post was more of the same. Eventually I added something with a little bit of content and then I wrote my first review.

Even with that first little post you all welcomed me. I had five people say hello. I wasn't even expecting one! You're all so kind and friendly, I wouldn't have kept going without you. And I learned everything from all of you as well. I didn't know what I was doing or how to do it until I came here. I asked a lot of questions, visited a lot of blogs, asked a lot more questions, followed other people's questions and answers and experimented. A lot. Some things take me a long time to do with this stupid dial up connection that you all know I'm so fond of (grrrr) but it still gets done. I am so very grateful that last year at this time I was welcomed into the world of blogging. Shortly after that on October 11, 2008, I was welcomed again when I joined the community with my own blog. It's almost my one year blogoversary already and I can't believe how much I've accomplished (and how much I have left to do!).

I didn't mean to babble for so long but I appreciate what everyone has helped me with. I hope I will be here at this time next year preparing for another blogoversary. Whatever happens, I'm having a blast!! How about you?

Blog Tour: The Sweetgum Ladies Knit for Love by Beth Pattillo

Knit one, purl two,
read more, and love greatly.

Once a month, the six women of the Sweetgum Knit Lit Society gather to discuss books and share their knitting projects. Inspired by her recently-wedded bliss, group leader Eugenie chooses “Great Love Stories in Literature” as the theme for the year’s reading list–a risky selection for a group whose members span the spectrum of age and relationship status.
As the Knit Lit ladies read and discuss classic romances like Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights, and Pride and Prejudice, each member is confronted with her own perception about love. Camille’s unexpected reunion with an old crush forces her to confront conflicting desires. Newly widowed Esther finds her role in Sweetgum changing and is surprised by two unlikely friends. Hannah isn’t sure she’s ready for the trials of first love. Newcomer Maria finds her life turned upside-down by increasing family obligations and a handsome, arrogant lawyer, and Eugenie and Merry are both asked to make sacrifices for their husbands that challenge their principles.
Even in a sleepy, southern town like Sweetgum, Tennesee, love isn’t easy. The Knit Lit ladies learn they can find strength and guidance in the novels they read, the love of their family, their community–and especially in each other.

Beth Pattillo learned to knit in the second grade. She is the author of the book, Heavens to Betsy, the recipient of the Romance Writers of America Best Inspirational Romance Novel in 2006, and its sequel, Earth to Betsy. Beth lives with her husband and children in Tennessee.

To purchase from
Author's website

The Back-to-School Blog Tour
Three books from Waterbrook Multnomah
August 24-28

Monday, August 24, 2009

Blog Tour: The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper by Kathleen Y'Barbo

This Wild West adventure
just might be the life she
was meant to live.

The future is clearly mapped out for New York socialite Eugenia “Gennie” Cooper, but she secretly longs to slip into the boots of her favorite dime-novel heroine and experience just one adventure before settling down. When the opportunity arises, Gennie jumps at the chance to experience the Wild West, but her plans go awry when she is drawn into the lives of silver baron Daniel Beck and his daughter and finds herself caring for them more than is prudent–especially as she’s supposed to go back to New York and marry another man.

As Gennie adapts to the rough-and-tumble world of 1880s Colorado, she must decide whether her future lies with the enigmatic Daniel Beck or back home with the life planned for her since birth. The question is whether Daniel’s past–and disgruntled miners bent on revenge–will take that choice away from her.

Kathleen Y’Barbo is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than thirty novels, novellas, and young adult books, with more than a half-million in print. A graduate of Texas A&M University, she is currently a publicist with Books & Such literary agency.

To purchase from
Author's website

The Back-to-School Blog Tour
Three books from Waterbrook Multnomah
August 24-28

Book 1 - In The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper, Gilded Age romance collides with Wild West danger when an 1880s socialite stumbles into dangerous adventures, just like her favorite dime-novel heroine.

Book 2 - Knitting needles, classic works of romance, and six eclectic southern women intersect when the power of love transforms hearts and lives in The Sweetgum Ladies Knit for Love.

Book 3 - In Rose House, a secret painting on display in present-day Sonoma Valley, California, captures a widow’s grief and sets her on a quest to unravel the mystery that changes her life.

Mailbox Monday

It's that time again! The day we share what came in the mail last week. If you would like to join the fun just leave a link where Marcia is our host. Hope the mailman brought you lots of goodies!

Dixie Divas
Virginia Brown

from LibraryThing Early Reviewers

The Divas are on the case. Wine. Chocolate. Transvestite strippers. Just another good-time get-together for the Dixie Divas of historic Holly Springs, Mississippi, where moonlight and magnolias mingle with delicious smalltown scandal. But Eureka "Trinket" Truevine, the newest Diva, gets more than she bargained for when she finds her best Diva girlfriend Bitty Hollandale's ex-husband in Bitty's hall closet. He's dead. Very dead. Now Trinket and the Divas have to help Bitty finger the murderer and clear her name.

A box of five YA books won from A Lush Budget Production (Yay!)

Nina Malkin

When Candice is dumped into Swoon, Connecticut from New York City she is resigned to her dull fate, where nothing ever happens. But when her cousin is nearly killed in a fall from a tree her spirit is intermingled with a ghost bent on revenge. Although she is strangly drawn to him she is determined to exorcise the demon and accidentally sets him loose. Now she must destroy him before th whole town succumbs to his will.

3 Willows
Anna Bashares

It's the summer before freshman year and a time to grow for three friends.
Polly has an idea to change a few things about herself. She wants a more glamorous life.
Jo will be at the family's beach house working and bonding with the older, cooler girls. She didn't count on a fling with a cute boy, being embarrassed by her middle school friends and her family.
Ama planned to be at an academic camp doing research in a library but ended up on a wilderness trip with flirting teens, blisters and no hair products. It's a new summer and a new sisterhood. Come grow with them.

by Cherry Cheva

Going to Yale has been Kate's dream for years. She is overworked and under-rested and falls asleep at her computer one night. She wakes up to find she has a computer generated twin. She doesn't know why she's here or how to put her back and she doesn't have time to deal with it. But is it possible that having a double could be the answer to her prayers?

Hot Mess
Julie Kraut & Shallon Lester

Emma is leaving summer in the suburbs to head to the big city for days at a fabulous internship and nights socialite-ing around town. With her best friend and her plans to give Carrie Bradshaw (Sex in the City) a run for her money she is expecting a galmourous summer. But when your only friend is boy crazy, you have a small town budget and spend 8 hours a day working for the devil on Dockers, summer is turning into one hot mess.

Tucker Shaw

A modern retelling of the play The Women, this is a quick-witted comedy about friendship, love and most important - gossip! An elite Aspen prep school sets the stage for jealousy and intrigue as the lives many girls are intertwined into a wickedly fun mess. No boys allowed!

Contest winners for Dark Hunger!

Lee P
Razlover's Book Blog
I Heart Book Gossip

Congratulations! I've emailed the winners. Thank you for all the entries!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Contest reminder : Dark Hunger

Don't forget to sign up for Dark Hunger! I have 5 copies and the contest ends 8/22. Hurry!

Contest at Laura's Review Bookshelf

Laura has been blogging every day for the month of August and to celebrate she is having another contest! She will order the new book Blood Promise and some other goodies for the winner. Go check it out, but hurry, contest ends 8/22. And leave a message that I sent you!

Friday Fill-ins



Questions this week are courtesy of my friend, Karen and my cousin, Maribeth. we go!

1. I remember, I remember when I couldn't wait to be a grown up. What the heck was my hurry?

2. Dear children, I want you to know how much I love you.

3. Is that my waistline!!???

4. I'm trying to resist the temptation of chocolate but it's useless. In fact, I'm going to get some right now! There goes that waistline again.

5. I'm saving a spot in the hammock just for you!

6. If I made a birthday list books would definitely be on it!!!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to seeing friends, tomorrow my plans include a visit from my brother and Sunday, I want to watch my son's first soccer scrimmage of the season. I can't believe it's that time of year already!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thank you!

Wow!! I am so honored (and shocked!) that my fellow bloggers nominated me for two BBAW awards in the categories of Most Extravagant Giveaways and Best Reviews! I never, ever expected this and I am so grateful to even be considered. Thank you for the nominations and to anyone and everyone who visits and enjoys my blog. It's just a little bit of fun and always a work in progress. Best of luck to all!

Review: The Hope of Refuge by Cindy Woodsmall

Can an Amish man help Cara find safety in a strange community with complex, unspoken ties to her family history?

Cara Moore has been raised in the foster care system of New York and is still struggling as an adult. Widowed and poor, she is alone with her young daughter Lori. When a stalker finds them again, fear makes her desperate and she is forced to flee. Vague memories bring her back to an Amish community in Dry Lake, PA where there are secrets from her past and the possibility of a new beginning in her future. But answers don't come easy when you're an outsider and unwelcome.

One man, Ephraim Mast, dares to help although it threatens his way of life. His family doesn't approve of an Englischer interfering and they fear for Ephraim's status in the community. His father is suffering from serious health issues and can't tolerate the stress. His sister is already worried about the man she plans to marry and his difficulty adjusting to a loss. Ephraim is torn between his responsibilities and Cara's desperation. She has fought to survive her whole life and doesn't plan to quit now but she has nowhere left to turn. How can he turn his back on them, especially when he knows their community bears some responsibility?

When I started this book the stalker aspect was a little deceiving. I thought it was going to be more of a suspense or thriller. It wasn't and I didn enjoy it, I was just anticipating something different. That was only one aspect of the story though. The characters and their relationships was what drew me in. Cara has had such a difficult life with little hope for improvement and few ties to others yet she is a wonderful mother. Ephraim lives his life opposite of hers where the connections to others in his family and community affect everything he does. The Amish lifestyle has very structured rules and the faithful live in accordance of them.

As the story builds more details of the Amish way of life are introduced and it is evident that the author has her own connections. She notes in the Acknowledgments that friends who belong to the Old Order Amish provided her with honest answers and insight that helped her write an authentic story. I was so impressed with the details and learned interesting facts rather than the often used stereotypes. Woodsmall even provided a list of characters and a glossary for the Amish terms she uses that were very helpful (although I didn't find that until half way through the story!). This book is the first of the Ada's House series and I look forward to reading more.

Thank you to Waterbrook Press for this book and allowing me to participate in the blog tour.

Publisher: Waterbrook Press

Release date: 8/11/09

Pages: 352

Price/format: $13.99/Trade paperback

Type: fiction/contemporary

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

So, I was just wondering....

It was so fun to chat with everyone recently and find out more about you all. I brought up the issue of the time I spend online and how it's not always easy to manage my time and my routines.

So how about another topic? I know this gets discussed different places from time to time but I would love to know how people decide on their blog names and their user names. Mine came from my last name so I wasn't very creative with that one but it is a fun name to work with. My kids play sports and play well so they get their name in our small town newspaper often. The sport's editors have been pretty clever over the years with the headlines. "The Wright Moves" and "A Wrightous Win" were just a few of the favorites. My hubby had some good ones from high school too and don't think he ever lets us forget it! (I had some headlines myself but alas, I didn't have a very fun maiden name) The title of my blog was just a bit of playful alliteration. Again, nothing very creative but it works for me.

Tell me your stories people! I'd love to hear them. I might just have to make this a regular feature here too. I have so many questions for my fellow bloggers and I love to hear from you all!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Contest:: Geektastic stories from the Nerd Herd

Hatchette Books for Teens and Young Adults has been so kind to allow me to give away three copies of Geektastic!

Acclaimed authors Holly Black (Ironside) and Cecil Castellucci (Boy Proof) have united in geekdom to edit short stories from some of the best selling and most promising geeks in young adult literature: M.T. Anderson, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, John Green, Tracy Lynn, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Barry Lyga, Wendy Mass, Garth Nix, Scott Westerfield, Lisa Yee, and Sara Zarr. With illustrated interstitials from comic book artists Hope Larson and Bryan Lee O'Malley, Geektastic covers all things geeky, from Klingons and Jedi Knights to fan fiction, theater geeks, and cosplayers. Whether you're a former, current, or future geek, or if you just want to get in touch with your inner geek, Geektastic will help you get your geek on!

Rules: To enter for the first two books
- Leave a comment describing something you do or have done that is "Geektastic".

For myself, I used to wear the big glasses and I thought I looked good! There are some very scary photos from my past. I love my Post It notes too. What a great invention!
- Don't forget your email address!
- Contest ends August 31st at 11:59 p.m. EST
- I'm sorry that this contest is only for the U.S. and Canada, no P.O. boxes.
-Two winners will be drawn by

Extra entries: You don't need separate posts
+1 for new followers.
+2 if you are already a follower.
+3 if you promote this contest. Please leave a link.

Special Contest: The last book will be given to the person who is declared by me to be the Ultimate Geek!
- To enter you must submit a photo or photos of yourself representing your geekdom. They can be old photos (example: those lovely school photos) or you can dress up and send a brand new photo.
- You can enter as many different photos as you want and they can be put in the same email.

- Photos may be published on my blog unless you would prefer they didn't but please let me know.
- You can enter for both parts of the contest.
- Send photos to 5wrights1[at]verizon[dot]net

Have fun and good luck!

Blog Tour: North! Or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson

Book #2 in The Wingfeather Saga

Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby thought they were normal children with normal lives and a normal past. But now they know they’re really the Lost Jewels of Anniera, heirs to a legendary kingdom across the sea, and suddenly everyone wants to kill them.

In order to survive, the Igibys must flee to the safety of the Ice Prairies, where the lizardlike Fangs of Dang cannot follow. First, however, they have to escape the monsters of Glipwood Forest(*1), the thieving Stranders of the East Bend(*2), and the dreaded Fork Factory(*3).

But even more dangerous are the jealousies and bitterness that threaten to tear them apart, and Janner and his siblings must learn the hard way that the love of a family is more important than anything else.

*1. All possessing very sharp teeth.
*2. Murderous scoundrels, the lot.
*3. Woe!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from blog)
When not pouring imagery into his songs, singer/songwriter Andrew Peterson focuses on another kind of writing. Waterbrook Press published the author’s first fantasy novel, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, to critical acclaim. Garrison Keillor’s News from Lake Wobegon and The Chronicles of Narnia, along with bedtime tales Peterson spun for his daughter Skye and two sons Aedan and Jesse, inspired the book. In 2007, a richly illustrated children’s book, The Ballad of Matthew’s Begats (Thomas Nelson), became a visual companion to Peterson’s song of the same name. In addition, he’s been lending his diverse talents to the VeggieTales establishment, co-writing three children’s songs with solo artist and friend, Randall Goodgame.

Many would consider the current setting of Peterson’s multi-faceted work somewhat idyllic. In recent years, he relocated his family of five to a charming little house on the side of a hill just south of Nashville. The storybook dwelling offers a respite from the artist’s hectic schedule, while also quenching the boyish side of Peterson, always thirsty for a new adventure.

Author website
Waterbrook Press (division of Random House)
To purchase this book
More books by this author

  • Category: Juvenile Fiction, fantasy, action & adventure, Christianity
  • Format: Trade Paperback, 352 pages
  • On Sale: August 18, 2009
  • Price: $13.99
  • ISBN: 978-1-4000-7387-0 (1-4000-7387-1)
  • Available August 18, 2009

Thank you to Waterbrook Multnomah Books for including me in the tour.
I'm still reading this book so my review is coming soon!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Check out this contest!

Pudgy Penguin Perusals is giving away 5 copies of Seduce Me by Robyn DeHart and she gives it 4 stars! The contest ends August 25th so go sign up now for this historical romance. Good luck!

Mailbox Monday

Marcia is our lovely host each week for Mailbox Monday. It's always fun to see what others got but can often lead to very long lists for new books. (It always does for me!) Stop by and leave a link to share what you got in your mailbox last week too.

Stray Affections
by Charlene Ann Baumbich

Blog Tour for Waterbrook Multnomah Books September 7-11

A Snowglobe Connections novel

Cassandra Higgens, daycare provider and mother to four boys, finds a a one-of-a-kind snowglobe at a Collectors' Convention. It contains the figures of three dogs and a little girl with hair the color of her own and it sparks memories of her beloved Grandpa, the stray she rescued as a child and the roots of her strained relationship with her mother. When a strange moment happens with the snowglobe, Cassandra and the people she loves are swirled into a tumultuous yet grace-filled journey that provides the laughter and healing of second chances.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Another big YA contest!!

Lost in a Book

Hurry on over for a Super End of the Summer + Birthday Contest! There are several YA titles to be won and the more followers there are, the more books will be added! So check it out to see the books and the rules. And if you tell them I sent you, we'll both get extra entries!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins


Graphic courtesy of Tonya! we go!

1. When will this rain ever end?

2. hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick and Gran Torino was the last good book I read or movie I saw or tv show I watched.

3. Everything has its beauty but summer in the countryside is amazing.

4. BBQ pork and cheddar rice is what I had for dinner. My hubby is an awesome cook!

5. I'd like your opinion on the books you've read, and then you can pass on any of the great ones that you just can't seem to get rid of!

6.In bed, asleep is where I want to be right now since it never happens before 4:00 a.m. (Although I'd settle for the beach!)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to dinner with family, tomorrow my plans include going to a surprise party for friends and Sunday, I want to read and relax in my hammock, preferably in the sunshine!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back to school commercial - love it!

Does anyone remember the Staples commercial for going back to school? The Most Wonderful Time of the Year is playing in the background while the father dances up and down the aisles with the shopping cart. The two children trudge along with such sad faces. That commercial is back and I love it! If you haven't seen it or would just like to enjoy it again, here's the link. Enjoy!

Staples commercial

Blog tour and giveaway: Dark Hunger by Rita Herron

Book #2 in the Demonborn trilogy series.

Reporter Annabelle Armstrong will go to any lengths to deliver a story, even track down Quinton Valtrez, a man she believes is a coldhearted assassin. Yet the truth about the darkly sensual Quinton is even more shocking...and the overwhelming desire he ignites is one she vows to resist. SHE'S EVERYTHING HE CRAVES Quinton has fought his demonic powers since he was a child. Now using his gifts for the good of national security, he can't let himself be distracted by the beautiful, determined Annabelle. But his need for her is sudden, fierce--and could soon cost Annabelle her life. For a wicked enemy is out for vengeance, a demon who wants to draw Quinton into a life of pure evil and is willing to use Annabelle as bait. To save her, Quinton must achieve the near impossible: tame the sinister force that is both his inheritance and his curse before it claims him forever.

About Rita
RitaAward-winning author Rita Herron fell in love with books at the ripe age of eight when she read her first Trixie Belden mystery. Although she wanted to be a writer then and actually scrawled her first novel at age twelve, she didn’t think real people grew up to be writers, so she became a kindergarten teacher instead. Ten years ago, she traded her classroom storytelling and puppets for a computer and now writes so she doesn’t have to get a real job.

Having sold over fifty books to date, she enjoys spinning spine-tingling romantic suspense tales filled with murder, mayhem, and spicy romance as well as sexy romantic comedies. Rita Herron currently writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue and paranormal romantic suspense for Grand Central Publishing.

If you want to know more about Rita or have a question for her about her books, or writing in general, email Rita and she'll be happy to answer your question.

Five Fun Facts

1. I set Dark Hunger in three of my favorite cites, Savannah, Charleston, and New Orleans because they’re all haunted and possess an eerie atmosphere – perfect places for the Death Angel. The B & B with the outdoor garden where Annabelle stays in Savannah is fashioned after a B & B where my husband and I stayed. And Shayla Larue is modeled after a voodoo priestess I met at the RWA conference in New Orleans.

2. Emily Nelson, the social worker in the book, is named after my daughter who’s a dedicated social worker in real life.

3. The idea of the Death Angel taking a vulture’s form came from a brainstorming session with two author friends at a writer’s retreat near Charleston. I’d been flirting with other forms but, when the vulture idea came up, I knew it was perfect—creepy and symbolic of bad luck, evil and death.

4. Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds inspired me as I was writing Dark Hunger. I also envisioned David Gray’s song “One With the Birds” as the soundtrack for the movie.

5. When I was a child, I knew a preacher who inspired me to create Reverend Narius. He was a hellfire and damnation type who yelled and stalked up and down the aisles during his sermon. It was as if he was singling you out to let you know you were going to hell. I was terrified of him!

Hatchette Book Group
Book Blogs - August title - Author's website
The Demonborn - learn more about the characters, symbols and the series.
SPECIAL!!! Rita's publisher is offering a special for the month of August: In honor of the release of DARK HUNGER, you can download INSATIABLE DESIRE, the 1st book in the Demonborn series for $1.99! Get your e- book copy at any online bookstores for this special price.

Thanks to Anna at Hatchette Books I can give away five copies of this book!

- To enter leave a comment and don't forget your email address!
- Contest ends August 22nd at 11:59 p.m. EST
- I'm sorry that this contest is only for the U.S. and Canada, no P.O. boxes.
-Winners will be drawn by

Extra entries: (You don't need separate posts)
+1 for new followers.
+2 if you are already a follower.
+3 if you promote this contest. Please leave a link.

Good luck!

Contest at Princess Bookie

Cindy is trying to clear out some space for new books so she is having a great giveaway for some hot YA reads! Hurry over to Princess Bookie to check it out!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

We had such a good time!

I had to post some photos from our trip to the lake last week. It was four days of wonderful! This is our little cabin. It wasn't fancy but it was charming with personality. It was just right. We didn't have to bring anything except food and our clothes. This place had everything you could think of for a pleasant stay.

This is the view from the side of the front porch. We didn't have much of a yard but there were plenty of seats, two picnic tables, lounge chairs, a fire pit outside and a fireplace inside. You wouldn't think you would need those in August but it was very chilly and we had small fires each night. It was also great for Smores!

The lake was just over the bank. We had to walk down a few stairs but it wasn't bad. Isn't it beautiful? And since it was during the week there weren't many people and it was pretty quiet.

This is my hubby helping my youngest nephew fish from the dock. They were so cute to watch. My hubby would cast the line into the water and then hand the pole forward to my nephew. My nephew would slowly reel it in and hand it back to my hubby. Then they would start the whole process over again. They must have done this for an hour! No fish, but they had fun.

We even had a canoe to use and we were in it all the time. Too bad we couldn't paddle fast enough to pull a water skier! At one point we had four dogs with us but my mom's dog was the only one who stayed the whole time. He's a huge golden retriever and a big chicken. We did get him into the boat though. This is my youngest and middle sons paddling and my mom in the middle with her dog.

My mom and sister-in-law got in on the fun with the squirt guns. We put them away before the little kids got them!

We didn't have cable or internet access but we did have a signal for our cell phones. That was all we needed and I loved it! I was very shocked to read the paper later and see how much we had missed in just four days. I didn't get to read nearly as much as I planned to. I took three books and a stack of magazines and didn't even finish one of them. I didn't mind though because we had beautiful weather (for a change) and had so much fun in the water, playing games and cards, putting together a jigsaw puzzle and just talking late into the night. My mom, her dog, my hubby and I were the only ones who stayed the whole time but my three boys, a girlfriend, my two brothers and their families were all there at some point. We had 8 kids, 6 adults and 4 canines share the cabin and I can't wait to do it again! Hopefully a new tradition has been born.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Free copies of hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

If you're interested in receiving an ARC of hush, hush then check out Barnes and Nobles Teen First Look Club. This is the first time they are offering a YA selection. The program requires you to join the site and participate in the group discussions that usually last a month. The author will also join in later. I've already read this book and I look forward to joining the discussion. If it sounds good visit the site and see the rules for participation and how to enroll. It's not hard, I've done clubs with them before. Hurry while they still have books!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Problems posting?

Hi everyone! I'm back from a great stay at the lake. (Photos are coming.) A friend mentioned that she couldn't comment on my Mailbox Monday that I posted earlier today. It said that comments were disabled but I didn't disable them. I looked at my settings but they seem to be the same. Has anyone else been having problems or was it just with mine? Hopefully the comments won't be disabled here for this post but if they are and you know what the problem might be feel free to email me.

Mailbox Monday

3Here it is again! That time when we get to list the books we received during the last week. Thanks so much to Marcia, our host every week for Mailbox Monday. Join in and leave a link for your books too!

The Maze Runner
by James Dashner

request from Shelf Awareness and Random House Children's Books

YA ARC book #1 in trilogy

When Thomas wakes up in the lift he has no memory of anything except his first name. When the door opens he finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade, a large expanse enclosed by stone walls. None of them have any memory either and don't know why they are here. Every morning the doors open to the maze that surrounds them and every night the doors close tight. No one wants to be left in the maze after dark. Every thirty days a new boy arrives in the lift. But the day after Thomas arrives a girl is sent. She is the first girl ever and she has a message. The Gladers are convinced that if they can solve the mystery of the maze they can find a way out but the maze seems unsolvable. With the girl's arrival Thomas has the feeling that he might have some of the answers. Now he just needs a way to retrieve them from his own mind.

Dark Hunger
by Ritta Herron

Hatchette Book Group blog tour and giveaway

Book #2 in The Demonborn series, paranormal romance

Reporter Annabelle Armstrong will do anything for a story, even track down Quinton Valtrez who she thinks is an assassin. Quinton had fought his demon powers since he was a child and now uses his gifts for the good of national security. He can't be distracted by the beautiful Annabelle although he desires her and she is drawn to him. A wicked enemy will use this attraction to force Quinton into a life of evil by using Annabelle as bait. Can he tame the sinister force before it claims him forever?

Sworn to Silence
by Linda Castillo

LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Book #1 in series set in Amish Country

Sixteen years ago a series of brutal murders shattered the peaceful farming community of Painters Mill, Ohio. One young Amish girl, Kate Burkholder, survived and realized that this community wasn't for her anymore. Now she has been asked to return as the new police chief. Her roots here and her background in big-city law enforcement make her the perfect candidate. She is sure her tragedy has been put behind her until a body is found in the snow. Kate is determined to stop this killer but she will need to betray her family and her Amish past and expose a dark secret.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Going to the lake!

For the first time since we were kids, my mom, brothers and their families are all going with us to the lake for 4 days! Woo hoo!! We've been trying to do this for years and finally snagged a small, rustic cabin in the woods on the lake to rent. It's not much but it's a start. It's furnished, we have appliances, a boat dock and a canoe. There's no internet or TV but we do get cell phone reception. We're loading up the fishing poles, decks of cards, board games, books and more books! I know that the kids will get bored, the dogs will be a pain, we'll get on each others nerves and it will rain just like it has for the whole summer so far but I don't care. It's a vacation! And it's only 45 minutes from our home so we can return anytime we need to. I'll miss you all but I'll be back in 4 days... or so!

Blog Tour: The Hope of Refuge by Cindy Woodsmall

Tour dates
August 3-11

Raised in foster care and now the widowed mother of a little girl, Cara Moore struggles against poverty, fear, and a relentless stalker. When a trail of memories leads Cara and Lori out of New York City toward an Amish community, she follows every lead, eager for answers and a fresh start. She discovers that long-held secrets about her family history ripple beneath the surface of Dry Lake, Pennsylvania, and it’s no place for an outsider. But one Amish man, Ephraim Mast, dares to fulfill the command he believes that he received from God–“Be me to her”– despite how it threatens his way of life.

Completely opposite of the hard, untrusting Cara, Ephraim’s sister Deborah also finds her dreams crumbling when the man she has pledged to build a life with begins withdrawing from Deborah and his community, including his mother, Ada Stoltzfus. Can the run-down house that Ada envisions transforming unite them toward a common purpose–or push Mahlon away forever? While Ephraim is trying to do what he believes is right, will he be shunned and lose everything–including the guarded single mother who simply longs for a better life?

Cindy Woodsmall is the author of When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and The New York Times Best-Seller When the Soul Mends. Her ability to authentically capture the heart of her characters comes from her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families. A mother of three sons and two daughters-in-law, Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband of thirty-one years.

author website -

ABC Nightline coverage -

Random House-

Other Titles

The Sound of Sleigh Bells -
Heartache and a case of mistaken identity create a romantic Christmas story for the holidays.

When the Heart Cries -
Book 1 ~ Hannah Lapp was born and raised in an Old Order Amish home, without electricity, a telephone, or the right to follow her heart.

When the Morning Comes -
Book 2 ~ Her relationship with fiance Paul Waddell in tatters, Hannah Lapp has fled her secluded Old Order Amish community.

When the Soul Mends -
Book 3 ~ Rumors and lies left Hannah’s life in tatters; can the truth possibly stitch it back together?

My review is coming soon!