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!"

Saturday, May 30, 2009

GIANT contest closing soon!

3 sets of books
books per set

5 winners per set
= 15 winners!!

75 total books
to give away!!!

That's so much math it's making my head hurt.

Don't forget to sign up for the GIANT Mother's Day Giveaway that closes May 31st, 11:59 pm EST. Hatchette Books is providing three different sets - Mother's Day, Latino Book Month and Asian Heritage Month. You can enter for any or all three sets! There will be five winners for each set. That means fifteen people will win five books each! Click on the link and sign up now!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Fill-ins



This meme is always a good time! Join the fun and do the fill-ins that Janet provides us each week.

1. It's always cold and windy and rainy, sitting on hard metal bleachers, whenever your kid's ball game goes into extra innings.

2. This year I was going to try growing tomatoes. It's not looking too promising.

3. My favorite health and beauty product is Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar Body Cream. Love it! (But only on sale.)

4. My youngest has his driver's permit now and is always trying to talk me into a nice long ride. My secret is that I enjoy it too!

5. "Well, first of all ..." is usually the beginning of a really long excuse.

6. My friends and teachers from Middle School; those were the cast of characters in a recent dream and it was slightly disturbing since that was about a million years ago.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to my son's first Sectional baseball game and an end of year celebration, tomorrow my plans include watching the movie Marley and Me with my mom (we both read and loved the book) and Sunday, I want to relax in my awesome hammock and read, read, read!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Reviews: Two "How - to" Manuals - Mischief Making and Cleaning Your Home

Sir John Hargrave's Mischief Maker's Manual
by Sir John Hargrave

This is one book that I'm keeping away from my kids but I can't wait to pass it on to my nephews!

This little book is exactly what it says it is, a mischief maker's manual. The first page welcomes young pranksters to their training and advises the reader to work through the book from beginning to end. There are illustrations, charts, instructions, advice and handy tips.
The book marks itself as the ultimate handbook for pranks, practical jokes, stunts, tricks, and large scale hoaxes. It appears to be a very accurate description.

The Table of Contents lists everything you need to perfect the art of making mischief. It's broken down into broad categories The Basics, Prank Moves, Do-It-Yourself Gags, Experts Only, Trouble and About M3 (Mischief Maker's Manual). Each category also has a corresponding symbol to mark the pages (fake dog poo, a slingshot, etc.) and descriptions and supplies to perform the pranks. Never again will you have to wonder how to place a Whoopie Cushion (body functions and noises are always funny) or put a bug into an ice cube. With experience you can achieve more impressive stunts like making your own crop circles and faking aliens landings. The most impressive stunts to aspire to are the ones achieved by Massachusetts Institute of Technology students over the years. This is considered the greatest engineering school in the world so the feats are all creative, amazing and each attempt tries to outdo the last. Crowned the Perfect Prank, students in the spring of 1994 placed a police car with flashing lights atop a famous domed building on campus. It was 15 stories tall and there was no way to drive it there and no helicopters had placed it there. Only a narrow trapdoor allowed access to the roof. You'll have to read the book to find our how they did it and they've remained anonymous to this day! (Or leave a message that you really, really want to know and I'll tell you how. I'm not that cruel!)

This really is a fun book and the design is very clever and makes the reader feel like they are part of an exclusive club. I think it's interesting reading it now and I would have loved it as a kid.

The Prankster's Code - these will greatly improve your odds of staying out of trouble.
A: Always be careful.
B: Don't be a Bully.
C: Be Creative.
D: No lasting Damage.
E: Excellence in pranking.
F: Be Funny.

** Special note to parents - Although most of these pranks appear harmless and are intended to be so, I would advise you read this before you pass it on. There are also more complicated pranks that are much more involved. Recipes for smoke bombs, using dry ice and firecrackers are mentioned but are not items for children to handle themselves.

Thank you to Shelf Awareness and Penguin for this ARC.

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap/Penguin Group
Release date: 2009
Price/format: $15.99 /Hardcover
Type: Children/Young Adult
Age: 9-teen


Mrs. Meyer's Clean Home

No-nonsense advice that will inspire you to clean like the dickens
by Mrs. Thelma A. Meyers

In this day and age where we are trying to encourage people to "go green"and to be more frugal and responsible with our environment and our spending, this book is a very handy guide to doing all of those things.

Thelma Meyers has been married fifty-four years and has raised nine children in a small town in Iowa. To honor her good old-fashioned values, her daughter Monica Meyer named her cleaning products after her. The Mrs. Meyer Clean Day products are "powerful against dirt, grease, grime, fingerprints, and the like. The philosophy is to make straightforward, honest cleaners that smell good and work like the dickens on dirt." Mrs. Meyer mentions in the opening pages that it's not only the products you use but the way you clean. She has discovered handy tricks to make daily chores, monthly duties and annual tasks much easier. She used her own experiences to create this book.

The early pages consist of lists of supplies, the differences in spring cleaning and fall cleaning, what to clean when, safe products to use and how to organize your priorities. The separate rooms of the house are broken down into individual chapters. A "Toolbox" is listed for each room that recommends the supplies and tools you may need for that area.

Although I like to be clean and organized, I don't always like to do the cleaning. Especially this time of year when my three teenage boys and three dogs are tracking in the spring mud and grass clippings and leaving an endless supply of dirty clothes from their jobs and sports. They are helpful in many ways but that doesn't keep them from being slobs. I have learned to live with it and go with the flow. It's not like the dirt is going to go anywhere if I don't get it cleaned up today. It's still going to be there waiting for me tomorrow! I try to prioritize so I don't make myself crazy. My drapes may not always be dusted (I don't even have drapes) but I am at my kids' activities and we have clean laundry. My mother on the other hand is a cleaning maniac and still can do it all! It's not being clean that she has an issue with, it's the act of cleaning that she likes. It's her way of relieving stress and accomplishing chores at the same time. She truly enjoys it. She's very helpful to me and is a good motivator. We did yard work together last weekend and it looked great. I'm never going to be the maniac she is but no one expects me to be. (At least I hope not.)

I've also been trying to use more common sense household items that are easy and inexpensive. Rather than buying all of the store products that have ingredients I can't pronounce I've been making good use of white vinegar (mixed in a spray bottle with water it's great for cleaning many surfaces and for removing pet stains) and baking soda (a mild abrasive and odor neutralizer). I have many products that I do buy and they are miracle workers but I can substitute when I need to.

This book is a great resource that I recommend to everyone. I'm proud to say that I won't be passing on my own copy. I plan to use it for a long, long time. When it comes to household cleaning advice, nothing beats years of experience. Thank you Mrs. Meyer!

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

author website:

Publisher: Wellness Central/Hatchette Book Group
Release date: 2009
Pages: 240
Price/format: $19.99/hardcover
Type: Advice, Self-help

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Thank you to Marcia at The Printed Page for hosting this meme. Join the fun and see what everyone got in their mailbox last week!

Of Bees and Mist
by Erick Setiawan

Barnes & Noble First Look Club

This debut novel is an engrossing fable that chronicles three generations of women under one family tree in a mythical town.

Lost Boy
by Brent W. Jeffs

LT Early Reviewers

Brent Jeffs, nephew of imprisoned leader of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) - a splinter sect of the Mormon church, reveals the true story of the terror and love he experienced growing up in the compound. He chose to walk away, press abuse charges against his uncle and share the details of how expendable boys are in this sect. Those that are cast out or choose to leave are the "lost boys" who are tragically unprepared to survive in the real world and often don't.

The Elite
by Jennifer Banash

From the very generous author.

A young woman moves to NYC from the midwest to attend a prestigous Academy and quickly learns that it's who you know that helps you to survive.

In Too Deep
by Jennifer Banash

Also from the generous author.

Book #2 in the series that continues at Meadowlark Academy in NY City.

Stakes and Stilettos
by Michelle Rowen

Book Bloggers

A woman who is newly vamped wants her old life back but when she is almost staked at a job interview, cursed by a witch and can't marry her handsome but 600-year-old boyfriend because he's already married, she realizes she may have to embrace her inner vamp after all.

Strange Angels
by Lili St. Crow

The first of the new paranormal young adult series. Sixteen-year-old Dru has "the touch" and hunts out evil while two guys with their own "talents" vie for her attention. But evil is stalking Dru now and survival comes before romance.

Beach Trip
by Cathy Holton

Part of the Summer Reading Series for Books on the Brain

A reunion of four friends who attended school together in the 80's. As they attempt to relive their carefree college days, secrets from their past begin to surface.

Review: Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich

A Stephanie Plum
Between-the-Numbers novel

This isn't so much a review as a guarantee to laugh out loud. If you're familiar with the Stephanie Plum series this is a Between-the-Numbers story. If you haven't read any of the sagas of this New Jersey bounty hunter who can't stay out of trouble, what are you waiting for? Stephanie, her dysfunctional family and her even screwier coworkers will always entertain.

Plum Spooky brings back Diesel, one of the mysterious men in Stephanie's life, to take her on another unforgettable adventure. Her friend Lula comes along for the ride and so does a monkey named Carl. (In my opinion he needs to become a regular cast member!) Along the way they meet up with The Easter Bunny, Sasquatch (or two), more monkeys...

I finished this earlier today while sitting on the porch on a beautiful sunny day. It was the perfect setting to relax and giggle. And book #15 comes out next month. I'll be waiting!

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

"Just listen",
Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now. I sit up as much as I can. And I listen.

"Stay", he says.

Mia is a seventeen-year-old with a lifetime of decisions ahead of her. Her most important choice now is about her music and her future. She is a gifted cellist with a chance to attend Julliard. But Mia lives in Portland with her wonderful family and boyfriend Adam. A family she often wondered if she was really a part of. Her parents and their friends are outgoing and enjoy rock 'n roll. Adam is a member of an up and coming rock band and even her little brother Teddy has a talent for the drums. Mia is quiet and unsure of herself but the common bond in her family is a love of music no matter what the type. And they are very happy, laugh often and love each other dearly.

In the opening pages a terrible car accident changes everything that Mia has ever known. Now all of those important decisions seem meaningless. She really only has one all encompassing, life altering decision left to make. Should she stay or should she go?

I won't go into anymore of the specifics of the story because it's better experienced by the reader. At approximately 200 pages every word is important. Mia tells her background in heartfelt and humorous flashbacks. The characters are well developed, interesting and lovable. It is so easy to be pulled into the story and invest yourself and your emotions.

Gayle Forman's new novel may be a heart-breaking story but it is handled with a delicate and sensitive hand. While very emotional it's never sappy or cliche. I highly recommend this to readers of all ages. It's a story you won't be likely to forget. I look forward to whatever comes next for this talented author.

Author's website:
Book website:

Publisher: Dutton Books (of Penguin Group)
Release date: 2009
Pages: 208
Price/format: $16.99/Hardcover
Type: Fiction
Age: Young adult

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Happy birthday to my littlest boy

It's 12:01 on March 24th so that makes it official. My littlest boy is now 16. *sigh* I guess "boy" and "16" don't really go together very well, especially if you ask a 16 year-old boy but I'm the mom and I'm writing this so I get to say it. I won't get to say it much more anyway. My kids are now 20, 18 and 16 so I suppose young man is a better term. I still feel like a kid myself so I'm having a hard time believing that they have really been around that many years.

My spring baby, born only a week after a major storm dumped 3 feet of snow on our town. Since all of my kids were born before their due date I had several friends offer to get my to the hospital by 4 wheel drive, snowmobile, snowplow, or whatever it took if I needed to go then. Fortunately I didn't need to. You arrived at just the right time and we came home from the hospital with less snow on a gorgeous sunny day.

Being the youngest you've been the baby but you've also grown up the fastest having two brothers to follow. And follow you did except when you were leading. You were fearless and fast. Your little legs were a blur. You broke your arm twice (within six months!) before you were five. Nothing slowed you down or held you back and your gorgeous curls and sweet, sweet smile didn't hurt when you were charming people. And charm you did. Wherever I would take you someone would always greet you by name. I usually didn't know them but they knew you because they had seen you at a ball game, knew your brothers, watched you speed by in your tiny Batman roller skates... you made an impression.

Oh so quickly you went from riding in your Little Tyke plastic car to preparing for your driver's permit. In a few months it will be your license. While it's nice for you all to be able to drive yourself to all of your activities I will miss our time together in the car. I enjoy our one-on-one chats when we drive back and forth. It gives me a few rare moments to catch up on your day, your homework, your life. And you don't roll your eyes when I ask you a question or grunt a reply instead of an answer as is often the case with teenagers. I may not get a lot of details but you talk, you listen (kind of) and we laugh.

My youngest, my little boy, my baby is now 16 and a tall, funny, kind and very handsome young man. For me it's bittersweet. The time is going too fast but you and your brothers are the best thing that's ever happened to me and I'm so very proud you're mine. I love you littlest boy.

(This is a post that I started back in March and it just didn't seem right. I stopped and started it several times. But now when I look back at it, it's exactly what I wanted to say.)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Review: How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier

I have a parking fairy.
I'm fourteen years old.
I can't drive.
I don't like cars and
I have a parking fairy.

In New Avalon, almost everyone has a personal fairy. These invisible fairies are like a good luck charm and vital to each person's success. Some help to get good grades, make touchdowns, never get into trouble - but Charlie has a parking fairy. She doesn't need or want help parking, especially since she can't drive. The only person who does is the school bully and he forces her to ride with him so he's insured a great spot.

Charlie comes up with an idea that involves the girl in school she likes the least. Fiorenze has a fairy that makes all of the boys like her. Unfortunately for her, none of the girls do. Charlie needs her to make her plan work so she can get what she's always wanted, a good fairy. But things don't work out the way she planned and now she needs to set things right. But it's going to take something extraordinary to do it.

I enjoyed the fairy tale (pun intended) aspect of this story. In the author's notes she mentions that this is set in an imaginary country similar to the U.S. and Australia, possible in the near future. This made it easy to relate to in many ways but also allowed for the fantasy to develop. While Charlie attends a prestigious all sports school the characters could be interchanged with the stereotypes of any high school - the popular girls, the jocks, the misfits and all the rest. And their insecurities are timeless even in a fantasy world. The humor made this even more enjoyable and the girls' ambition to take charge of their own lives had me cheering them on.

A glossary and school rules are in the back of book and are very helpful. I wish I had known about them during the story but it wasn't that hard to figure out the definition from the context. I would highly recommend this to anyone who would like a bit of a different take on the high school experience.

Author's website and blog:

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Release date: 9/16/08
Pages: 320
Price/Format: $16.99/Hardcover
Type: Fiction
Age: Young Adult

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Fill-ins

I am seriously behind with my blogging because of my kids' busy social lives and the beautiful weather we're finally having. In fact, I'm heading outside right now. But I had to do my fill-ins first! I couldn't pass up this meme. Come join the fun with our host Janet at Friday Fill-ins.



1. Moving on up, to the East side, to a deluxe apartment in the sky! (Did anyone else think of the theme from The Jeffersons? I'm really dating myself on that one but the song was in my head!)

2. Nothing is for free.

3. My best quality is my sense of humor.

4.It's all in the details.

5. In nearly 10 years, I will be at least 15 years older. (I'm blaming my kids)

6. Some chocolate, lots of chocolate, is what I need right now!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a baseball game (of course) and my best friend's birthday, tomorrow my plans include fixing up my hammock, doing some yard work and watching a movie with my mom and Sunday, I want to hang out in my hammock with a stack of books!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Thank you to Marcia at The Printed Page for hosting this meme. Join the fun and see what everyone got in their mailbox last week!

The Host
by Stephenie Meyer

Hatchette Blog Tour and contests in June to celebrate the one year anniversary of the book.

Curse the Dawn
by Karen Chance

Won from Fantastic Book Review. Thank you!

The Cassie Palmer series, book #4

Santa Olivia
by Jacqueline Carey

From Hatchette Books for review

Mating Rituals of the North American WASP
by Lauren Lipton

From Hatchette Books for review

From the Library

by Meg Cabot

The Reformed Vampire Support Group
by Catherine Jinks

The Reapers
by John Connelly

by Michael Robotham

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Contest winners - Testimony and Made in the U.S.A.

Here it is, the TWO big giveaways - TEN big winners! I wish I could send a book to everyone.

Testimony by Anita Shreve

1) allisonmariecat
2) Ire
ne Yeats
3) stacybuckeye
4) Holly
5) Colleen

Made in the U.S.A.
by Billie Letts

1) Kaye

2) Wanda
3) Katrina
4) Rachie G.
5) Jess

Congratulations! I just sent emails but if you see this first you're welcome to email me your mailing address at 5wrights1[at]verizon[dot]net

Thank you so much to everyone who entered. It was so appropriate that I'm counting entries the same evening that the prom is taking place here. I really appreciate all of the fun comments about the outfits. Wanda included a great link to a site where she had her daughter's dress made for an amazing price! Terri is a high school librarian and each year they have a contest where the kids try to identify their teachers by their prom photos. I would have loved that! To Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings from Australia, I wish the contest was international. I'm glad that you visited and commented too.

If my scanner was working I would include a photo of my favorite prom outfit. I had to be different so my date (now my hubby) wore an all white tux with tails, top hat and gloves. I wore the same but instead of the pants my mom made me a matching white skirt (knee-length) with a slit up the back and I found some strappy heels. Hey, it was the 80's but we did look good!

** I have another bigger contest going on right now. If you haven't entered already, check it out. There will be FIFTEEN winners and each will win a set of FIVE books from Hatchette Books! That's a lot of winners and a lot of books. The link to all of the details is at the top of my sidebar.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Review: Kill For Me by Karen Rose

"You shoulda listened
to your mama,"

he said mockingly,
"Now you're mine."

Six girls have been viciously attacked. One survived. Only she can reveal the secrets of a disturbing ring of people who kidnap and sell teenage girls on the black market. But those responsible for the crimes will do whatever it takes to maintain her silence.

Susannah Vartanian and Luke Papadopolous have both sworn to stop the murderers for their own personal reasons. The investigation leads them to the shady realm of Internet chat rooms, where anyone can mask his or her identity. They soon discover a chain of deception so intricate they don't know whom to trust. Finding comfort in each other's arms, they begin to unravel the intricately knotted threads. but the killers are ruthless and determined, and won't hesitate to take extreme measures to insure their anonymity and keep their business intact. When Susannah proves to be inexplicably linked to the crimes, her life is soon in danger, and Luke will do everything he can to save the woman he loves.

My only problem with this book was that I didn't get the chance to read the two books that came before it. This is the last one in the trilogy that started with Die For Me and Scream For Me. It certainly wasn't necessary to read the first two to enjoy this book. I've read Karen Rose before and she knows how to keep the story twisting and turning until the very end and then throws in just one more. The plot is heavy with horrific crimes, from brutal rapes thirteen years earlier to kiddie porn, sexual slavery and murder. The author handles these well and build the suspense throughout the story. The romance that is blossoming between Susannah and Luke helps to offset a bit of the evil. The desire to see two damaged individuals overcome their past, to reclaim happiness and put their lives as victims behind them, keeps the reader cheering them on.

Fans of suspense, thrillers and mysteries will not be disappointed. Karen Rose delivers a powerful punch with this book alone, or the series as a whole.

Thank you to Book Binge where I won this book in a contest.
Author website

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: February, 2009
Pages: 432
Price/Format: $16.99/Hardback
Type: Fiction, Thriller

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Fill-ins



This week, I chose quotes having to do with always when I do this, feel free to fill-in whatever you'd like; it's more fun that way! Of course, if you know the quote, feel free to fill that in, too! The quotes will be on my blog, should anyone want to see what they are.
(This is from Janet's page at Friday Fillins. Come join the fun!) we go!

1. If we had no winter I wouldn't be all that sad! (maybe just a little bit but how about a shorter winter here in western NY state?).

2. The situations my kids get into is a perpetual astonishment.

3. If I had my life to live over I'd do it all over again! I've been very blessed. Although, I might just tweak it a bit along the way.

4. A whole lot of stuff can happen at my house inside of four and twenty hours.

5. If you've never been thrilled you've never lived.

6. To be interested in the changing seasons is an amazing and beautiful experience.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to my son's baseball game, tomorrow my plans include going to another one of my son's baseball games and Sunday, I want to take a break before going to another one of my son's baseball games Monday! I love watching him play but I need a break every now and then. (We might sneak in a visit to my brothers' homes this weekend too!)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cover Attractions - Ghostwriter by Travis Thrasher

This is a weekly meme from Marcia at The Printed Page. Join in and see what covers attract other bloggers attention and post your own covers too.

For years Dennis Shore has thrilled readers with his spooky bestselling novels. Now a widower, Dennis is finally alone in his house, his daughter attending college out of state. When he's stricken by a paralyzing case of writer's block and a looming deadline, Dennis becomes desperate. Against better judgment, he claims someone else's writing as his own, accepting undeserved accolades for the stolen work. He thinks he's gotten away with it . . . until he's greeted by a young man named Cillian Reed--the true author of the stolen manuscript.

What begins as a minor case of harassment quickly spirals out of control. As Cillian's threats escalate, Dennis finds himself on the brink of losing his career, his sanity, and even his life. The horror he's spent years writing about has arrived on his doorstep, and Dennis has nowhere to run. (from Hatchette Books)

Publish Date:5/28/2009
US/Can Price:$13.99/$15.50
Size:5-1/4" x 8"

Monday, May 11, 2009

GIANT Mother's Day giveaway!

FIFTEEN winners!

Set #1
Win these titles:

Miracles of Motherhood
Odd Mom Out By Jane Porter
Mommy Grace By Sheila Schuller Coleman
Beginner’s Greek By James Collins
The Road Home By Rose Tremain


Set #2
Win these titles:

B as in Beauty By Alberto Ferreras
Into the Beautiful North By Luis Urrea
Hungry Woman in Paris By Josefina Lopez
The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos By Margaret Mascarenhas
Houston, We Have a Problema By Gwendolyn Zepeda


Set #3
Win these titles:

Free Food for Millionaires By Min Jin Lee
Trail of Crumbs By Kim Sunée
The Fortune Cookie Chronicles By Jennifer Lee
Transparency By Frances Hwang
Strangers from a Different Shore By Ronald Takaki


Hatchette Books is providing it's readers with an amazing giveaway! They will let me give five sets of five books for each category. That's fifteen winners total!

- To enter leave a comment with your email address.
- You may enter for each set of books but you may only win one set.
- You don't need separate posts, just make it understandable.
- Contest ends May 31st, 2009, 11:59 EST
- I'm sorry that this contest can only be for U.S. and Canada. No P.O. boxes.
- Winners will be drawn by

An extra entry:

- For followers, or becoming a new follower, let me know.

Good luck and Happy Mother's Day!

Mailbox Monday

This weekly meme comes from Marcia at The Printed Page. It's always fun to see what everyone got last week and then to add to the towering TBR pile afterward. Join in and add a link to all the great books you received.

by Anita Shreve

At an exclusive New England boarding school, a single impulsive action creates a sex scandal that unleashes a storm of shame and recrimination.

This came from Hatchette Books for an upcoming book tour.

From the library

Jessica's Guide To Dating On The Dark Side
by Beth Fantaskey

When a new exchange student arrives at Jessica's high school he claims she is a Romanian vampire princess and he is her long-lost fiance. When she tries to imagine the transition from American teenager to European princess, and has to fight off another girl who is after her "man", she wonders why she couldn't fall for a nice mortal boy.

Generation Dead
by Daniel Waters

All over the country there are some teenagers who die but aren't staying dead. They come back to life but aren't the same. Termed "living impaired" and "differently biotic" they are just trying to blend into society again. But they aren't welcome or accepted and Phoebe if as surprised as all of her friends when she falls for Tommy, the leader of the dead kids.

From the library's used book sale

Say No To Joe?
by Lori Foster

With his smoldering good looks, macho style and irrepressible charm, Joe can have any woman - except the one he really wants. Luna secretly lusts after Joe but she's made it clear she's too smart to fall for him. When she inherits two kids who need more than just her, who need someone like Joe, will they all become an instant family?

On Writing
A Memoir Of The Craft
by Stephen King

In 1999, King began to write about his craft and his life but a terrible accident jeopardized both. After months of recovery he completed his accounts of a lifetime of writing. From his childhood memories, through college and the early years of struggle before the success of his first novel Carrie, he shares a fresh and funny perspective of the formation of a writer. He also shares the tools of his trade and how to sharpen them, and the crucial aspects of the art and life of a writer.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

I am incredibly blessed to have an amazing mother who is always there for me. Who I talk to every day and see almost as much. Who is there every time I need her (and even when I don't!). Who is there for all of us, my husband, my children, the rest of our family and even my friends. Who has set the bar very, very high for me to become even half as good for my children but I will continuously strive to do so. And I will find great joy in that effort because she taught me well. Thank you mom. I love you with all my heart.

I have also been blessed to have other mother figures in my life. Wonderful people who have mothered me when I've needed that strong yet soft shoulder to lean on. Amazing grandmothers, now in their 90's who have loved me and spoiled me yet weathered great hardship and loss in their own lives. Favorite aunts who have played with me and also spoiled me and have been there whenever my mother couldn't. And for one aunt in particular, who may not have actually given birth to children of her own but who has mothered me and others in the way we needed it most. Friends who have grown up with me and who I've found along the way in my lifetime. They've been there when I've needed them to confide in, to lean on, to laugh with. They've helped guide me when felt like I would pull my hair out and didn't know what to do next. And then they were there later when we could actually laugh about it. Without them I would have gone stark raving mad by now.

And my husband, who has always been there no matter what, who is my rock and my love. The man who never thought "in sickness and in health" would mean long term sickness so soon in our lives. He was already a terrific husband and the best father but when I developed chronic illnesses several years ago with our children still so very young, he never flinched. He stepped in to mother me and the kids all of the times we needed it most. He took over all of the shopping, the cooking, and many household chores that I preferred to do since I worked part time, and he continued working his full time job and coaching many of the boys' sports. While I am fortunate that I have manageable conditions I know it hasn't been easy for him. He's never complained and I hope he knows how much he means to me.

So happy Mother's Day for all who mother in one way or another. You may have children, you may not, but you have been a special person to someone who has needed you. Enjoy the day.

Friday, May 8, 2009

my Saturday Friday Fill-in

I didn't get the chance to post this yesterday but I still wanted to do it. This such a fun meme and I appreciate Janet hosting it each week. Join the fun here and visit other blogs to see what they have to say!



1. Apples are to oranges as oranges are to apples.

2. ed the spammer is an A.S.S. (as I recognized in a recent post) and that's all I have to say about that.

3. I think I hear the pitter patter of little feet. Nope, I was wrong. That was years ago so now it's the shuffle shuffle of very large teenage sneakers.

4.We should always honor and cherish our flag. So many have sacrificed for all that it represents.

5. Do what you want to do, but have a good alibi.

6. The Candy Man was coming to town and behind him was a Radio Flyer wagon; in the wagon was a bucket filled with chocolate! (I HAD to get my chocolate comment in somehow.)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing at home after a stressful day, tomorrow my plans include going to my son's baseball game and Sunday, I want to celebrate Mother's Day with my mom, grandma and family!

Awesome photo

Here she is! My kicking-cancer's-ass cousin at the American Cancer Society Relay for Life near her home in California. I mentioned all that she has been through in a recent post during her two year fight against brain cancer. She had surgery to remove a malignant tumor from her brain on Monday, April 13th . She called me that same evening at midnight to chat (I wasn't surprised), was able to go home two days later and went to the relay on Saturday to walk (mostly ride) the survivor's lap. Our very awesome aunt, who is staying with her for a month, is pushing the wheelchair. She's going to her chemo treatments and her kids' activities every chance she gets. Those both keep her busy and worn out. I just wanted to share a happy photo with all of you who have been so supportive and caring as I've mentioned her in the past. Thank you for your kindness and please keep those prayers coming. We want this to be the treatment that works!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

TWO big giveaways - TEN winners!

by Anita Shreve

At a New England boarding school, a sex scandal is about to break. Even more shocking than the sexual acts themselves is the fact that they were caught on videotape. A Pandora's box of revelations, the tape triggers a chorus of voices--those of the men, women, teenagers, and parents involved in the scandal--that details the ways in which lives can be derailed or destroyed in one foolish moment.

Writing with a pace and intensity surpassing even her own greatest work, Anita Shreve delivers in TESTIMONY a gripping emotional drama with the impact of a thriller. No one more compellingly explores the dark impulses that sway the lives of seeming innocents, the needs and fears that drive ordinary men and women into intolerable dilemmas, and the ways in which our best intentions can lead to our worst transgressions.

Anita Shreve is the critically acclaimed author of fourteen novels, including Body Surfing, The Pilot's Wife, which was a selection of Oprah's Book Club, and The Weight of Water, which was a finalist for England's Orange Prize. She lives in Massachusetts.

Become an Anita Shreve fan on Facebook

Paperback edition to be released May 5, 2009.

Made In The U.S.A.
by Billie Letts

The bestselling author of WHERE THE HEART IS returns with a heartrending tale of two children in search of a place to call home.

Lutie McFee's history has taught her to avoid people, to places, and to almost everything. With her mother long dead and her father long gone to find his fortune in Las Vegas, 15-year-old Lutie lives in the god-forsaken town of Spearfish, South Dakota with her twelve-year-old brother, Fate, and Floy Satterfield, the 300-pound ex-girlfriend of her father.

While Lutie shoplifts for kicks, Fate spends most of his time reading, watching weird TV shows and worrying about global warming and the endangerment of pandas. As if their life is not dismal enough, one day, while shopping in their local Wal-Mart, Floy keels over and the two motherless kids are suddenly faced with the choice of becoming wards of the state or hightailing it out of town in Floy's old Pontiac. Choosing the latter, they head off to Las Vegas in search of a father who has no known address, no phone number and, clearly, no interest in the kids he left behind.

MADE IN THE U.S.A. is the alternately heartbreaking and life-affirming story of two gutsy children who must discover how cruel, unfair and frightening the world is before they come to a place they can finally call home.

Hatchette Books has been so very generous to allow me to give away five copies of each book! So, if I'm doing the math right, that's ten winners! I just received my copy of Made In The U.S.A. and haven't received my copy of Testimony yet so I don't have reviews ready. I have read books by these authors before and loved them! I can't wait to read these as well.

*To enter, leave a comment with your email address.
*You can only win one book but you will automatically be entered for both. If you would prefer only one, please tell me so in your comments.
*Contest will end Friday, May 15, 2009 at 11:59 EST. I'm sorry but Hatchette Books will only accept entries from the U.S. and Canada. No P.O. boxes please.
*The winners will be chosen by

For extra entries:
+1 Become a follower, also for those who already follow, but you must let me know on your comments.
+1 Tell about a great, or not so great, prom outfit that you or someone else wore once upon a time.
+1 Share this contest somewhere and leave the link where it can be found.

Good luck and have fun!