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!"

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Review: The Eighth Round by Zeke Wilson

"I fought for my rights
without a lawyer
and you can too!"

An inspirational true story about a boxer whose biggest fight happened outside of the ring! The Eighth Round is an autobiographical true story about an ordinary man who took on an extraordinary challenge that set federal precedent for all legal findings of same-race discrimination. Through self-education, it demonstrates that common people can fight for their constitutional rights in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds--and win! It tells of his struggle and triumph, involving important and timely social issues, and of the determination and perseverance that fueled his resolve. This true story will keep you engaged and cheering for the underdog all the way. It will appeal to a vast audience, and will leave every reader forever changed.

I was fortunate enough to meet Zeke Wilson in person. I stop by the local Dunkin' Donut shop to use the high speed internet connection and often run into the same people. I exchanged pleasantries with Zeke and his family several times before we actually introduced ourselves. They are friendly, kind and always happy to chat with everyone around them. Eventually he mentioned that he had written a book and I mentioned that I had a blog. He shared highlights of his fascinating story and offered me a copy to review.

I'm not really a fan of boxing so I wasn't sure if I would be that interested, but this isn't your typical fight story. Divided into eight different "rounds", each one details parts of Zeke's life. He was raised by his hard working, single mother. As the youngest of seven children, he was taught to persevere and never give up, lessons that would serve him well over the years. While serving in the Marine Corp. in the 70s he began an extremely successful boxing career. At the age of 23 he fought for the first time as a pro. After amassing an amazing winning record, Zeke decided to become a businessman. He began to train other fighters and promote their matches. In 1996, after an event was suddenly canceled by the state boxing commission, it became obvious that he was facing same race discrimination.

Zeke, his wife Connie and his young daughter Flo then began a five year battle against government officials who had misused their power. In this powerful autobiography, Wilson writes an eloquent account of his journey and how he battled and won without representation or a college education. Despite threats to his own bi-racial family and financial hardship, Zeke soldiered on and can now add author to his long list of accomplishments. Not only is his story captivating but his use of clippings from newspaper articles, family photos and promotional artwork makes it even more interesting. My favorite added feature is the inspirational quotes listed at the end of each chapter. Congratulations on a job well done Mr. Wilson!

Thank you to the Wilson family for providing me with a review copy of this book.

The One and Only Zeke Wilson
Punch Out Publishing
Big Zeke's Fitness Program
Big Zeke's Power Kids Organization

Publisher: Punch Out Publishing
Release date: 8/18/09
Pages: 208
Price/format: $19.95/paperback
Type: autobiography

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

So, I was just wondering…

woman wondering

Every now and then I read about a blogger having problems with negative comments left on their posts. Sometimes it’s just spam, we all seem to get hit with that eventually, but all too often it’s deliberate. It seems like the blogs who review the young adult books get hit the hardest although they are not alone. It also isn’t reserved just for bloggers. I’ve heard some shocking stories of authors jumping into the fray, usually about reviews they disagreed with. I know there is always drama somewhere and we don’t, and shouldn’t, agree on every topic. What bothers me is how rude people can be, especially when they chose to remain anonymous. I guess it’s easy to be brave when you don’t have to show your name or your face. 

I was reading a post earlier this week from Alyssa at Teens Read and Write about this subject but she had the great idea to turn that negative energy around. She wrote about her positive experiences with other bloggers. Jen G. continued the theme at her blog The Introverted Reader. In her post she thanked others who have helped her along the way. I’ve been very fortunate and from the first day here I found myself within a community of wonderful people. Any time I’ve needed help or advice there has always been someone who knew what to do or where to go. I have met so many kind and generous people including readers, bloggers, librarians, booksellers, publishers, authors… the list goes on and on. Each one has contributed to this amazing journey and I have learned so much already. I’m so grateful and wish I could list every single person here but it would take me the rest of the week and I’m already behind! I’m a firm believer that there is always more good than bad and I liked that Alyssa and Jen chose to write about their positive experiences. I thought I would continue the same theme and add my two cents worth.

So, I was just wondering what your own experiences have been like? Have you had problems with negative remarks or reviews or have you had a more positive experience? Or maybe you’ve had a bit of both? Feel free to share. Maybe we can keep the good vibes going! I hope each and every one of you is having a wonderful week!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Miz B of Should Be Reading and asks you to :
1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a random page
3 . Share 2 "teaser" sentences also citing the title of the book and the author and in that way people can have great recommendations if they like the "teaser".
4. Please avoid spoilers!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

When I opened the door to greet my grandmother for the very first time, I'm not sure what I was expecting. I know I hadn't envisioned an apple-shaped woman in a Kiss My Asphalt T-shirt, with wind-burned cheeks and a sagging tattoo of a Phoenix on her arm.

(She is also a witch who travels on a pink Harley, belongs to coven of geriatric biker chicks and carries around Smuckers jars filled with magic. What's not to love?)

~page 1
The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday at The Printed Page is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks & audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

I'm late but only a few goodies to report. Hope you all had a wonderful week!

by Jon Scieszka and Francsco Sedita

From Simon & Schuster

The perfect combination of the age old experience of holding and pouring over a physical book with newest media technology that kids love! Michael K. just started fifth grade at a new school. As if that wasn't hard enough, the kids he seems to have made friends with apparently aren't kids at all. They are aliens. Real aliens who have invaded our planet in the form of school children and a hamster. They have a mission to complete: to convince 3,400,001 kids to BE SPHDZ. But with a hamster as their leader, "kids" who talk like walking advertisements, and Michael K as their first convert, will the SPHDZ be able to keep their cover and pull off their assignment?

Water For Elephants
by Sara Gruen

From a used book sale sponsored by the local hospital (I loved this book so I had to get a copy but I think I will share with my sister-in-law)

"Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell." Jacob was there because his luck had run out - orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive "ship of fools." It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, a handsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was there because she was the great gray hope, the new act that was going to be the salvation of the circus; the only problem was, Rosie didn't have an act - in fact, she couldn't even follow instructions. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Winner - finally!

So sorry for the delay but I finally have a winner for the Raven Stole The Moon giveaway.


An email is on the way. Thank you to everyone for entering. More contests coming soon!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday at The Printed Page is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks & audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

by Nancy Bush

For review

She woke up with no memories...She wakes up in a hospital room...bruised...bloody...confused. She knows her name is Gemma La Porte - but that's all. She doesn't remember smashing her car. She doesn't remember anything from the last three days. But a policeman, Deputy Will Tanninger, is waiting for answers and wants to know if she's responsible for a fatal hit-and-run...But remembering her past could kill her...Hoping to restore her shattered memory, Gemma has no choice but to put her trust in Will. But if it turns out she's guilty of murder, he has no choice but to arrest her. Torn by her growing feelings for Will, and haunted by her shadowy past, Gemma is determined to learn the truth. But, in this case, the darkest truths are unknowable - and the deadliest enemies are unseen...

Moon Called
by Patricia Briggs

From Paperback Swap

Mercy Thompson's life is not exactly normal. Her next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a VW bus for a vampire. But then, Mercy isn't exactly normal herself.

The Trouble With Angels
by Debbie Macomber

From library Used Book Sale

Macomber follows her nationally bestselling A Season of Angels with a delightful sequel featuring three heavenly but feather-brained angelic messengers. Inspired by their success last Christmas, Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy return to answer the prayers of three troubled mortals and ensure a holiday season filled with love and joy.

Just Breathe
by Susan Biggs

From library Used Book Sale

Sarah Moon tackles life's issues with a sharp wit in her syndicated comic strip, Just Breathe. With both Sarah and her cartoon heroine undergoing fertility treatments, her fiction often reflects her reality. However, she hadn't scripted her husband's infidelity.

In the wake of her shattered marriage, Sarah flees to the coastal town in California where she grew up. There, she revisits her troubling past: an emotionally distant father, the loss of her mother and an unexpected connection with Will Bonner, the high school heartthrob skewered mercilessly in her comics. But he's been through some changes himself. And just as her heart is about to reawaken, Sarah makes a most startling discovery. She's pregnant. With her ex's twins.

The winds of change have led Sarah to this surprising new beginning. All she can do is just close her eyes...and breathe.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Look what I got!

Recently I saw an ad on Shelf Awareness for John Olander's children's book A Field Guide to Aliens. I sent an email to request a review copy. I also entered a drawing for prints from the author/illustrator. The book came right away and I was so impressed with this clever idea! I will have a review coming soon. A few days ago I got another pleasant surprise in the mail. I opened an envelope that had two of the prints in it! I had to scan them and show you all. Aren't they great! You're never too old to be a kid. I'm framing these babies!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

So I was just wondering…

woman wondering

I started this blog on a whim and it’s been a lot of fun and an interesting adventure. I had no clue what I was doing (and still don’t most of the time!) and have really depended on other bloggers and readers. Since I don’t have family or friends that blog I’ve kind of kept it to myself. I didn’t do that intentionally and they all know that I love to read and review books, I just didn’t mention all of the places that I do it. On the one hand, it’s been kind of nice to keep it to myself. It makes me feel a bit anonymous and it’s something that has belonged just to me. On the other hand, it’s not anything that need to be kept a secret and I do mention things about my personal life here on occasion. And once in awhile I accomplish something new that I’m kind of proud of and like to share.

A few months ago I decided to show my husband my blog (that sounds kind of dirty doesn’t it?). He knows the mailman is always bringing packages and he sees the books piled all over the house so it wasn’t that much of a surprise to him, but it was the first time I had shared the details. He was very kind and seemed to appreciate my hard work. It’s not his area of interest but he always encourages me with everything I do. It was nice to finally share it with someone too and I was able to start bouncing ideas off him, rather he liked it or not.  Only a week ago I also showed it to my mom. She loves to read as well and we share many books but I still kept this to myself. I only gave her a brief glimpse at the time but I’m hoping that she may eventually contribute some guest posts and reviews. I really look forward to it! One of these days I’ll let some others in on my little secret. Right now, all of you are who I spend my blog time with because you’re the ones who understand it. You’re the ones who also share bit’s of yourself, who help and support me when I need help here or try something new, and are often in the same blogging boat I’m in. I really appreciate you all but I’m curious who you share your blog with.

So I was just wondering, do you keep your blog a secret (for lack of a better word) too or do you share it with everyone? I know many of you mention family and friends who also have blogs and several of you have had special guest posts from people who are close to you. If you share your blog does everyone know? I’m making this sound like we’re coming out as closeted bloggers and that’s not what I meant! I’m just curious about the role it plays in your life and what others think of it. So go ahead and share. We’re listening!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Review and tour: The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker

My apologies!! I wrote down the wrong date for my day to host the tour. My review was suppose to be posted yesterday, April 12th.

He loves them because they are beautiful.
He kills them because he loves them.

FBI Special agent Brad Raines is facing his toughest case yet. A Denver serial killer has killed four beautiful young women, leaving a bridal veil at each crime scene, and he's picking up his pace. Unable to crack the case, Raines appeals for help from a most unusual source: residents of the Center for Wellness and Intelligence, a private psychiatric institution for mentally ill individuals whose are extraordinarily gifted. It's there that he meets Paradise, a young woman who witnessed her father murder her family and barely escaped his hand. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, Paradise may also have an extrasensory gift: the ability to experience the final moments of a person's life when she touches the dead body. In a desperate attempt to find the killer, Raines enlists Paradise's help. In an effort to win her trust, he befriends this strange young woman and begins to see in her qualities that most 'sane people' sorely lack. Gradually, he starts to question whether sanity resides outside the hospital walls...or inside. As the Bride Collector picks up the pace-and volume-of his gruesome crucifixions, the case becomes even more personal to Raines when his friend and colleague, a beautiful young forensic psychologist, becomes the Bride Collector's next target. The FBI believes that the killer plans to murder seven women. Can Paradise help before it's too late?

When I was asked to participate in this tour I jumped at the chance. I'm a newer fan to Ted Dekker's books and I was happy to read and review this one. The action starts on the very first page as the Bride Collector's fourth victim is discovered. Her body was left hanging on the wall of an abandoned shed - beautiful, angelic, drained of all blood and wearing a wedding veil. Her killer is careful and special Agent Brad Raines and forensic psychologist Nikki Holden are frustrated. They know there are plans for three more "brides" and time is running out.

Author Ted Dekker takes us along for the ride as the authorities race to prevent any more woman from becoming victims. The early chapters place an emphasis on the forensics of the case with the police and pathologist searching for clues and evidence. The killer is smart and his mistakes are rare. He does leave poems expressing his intentions and his deep religious beliefs. His plans are to love these women and to find the perfect bride. Now Brad and Nikki decide to try a new approach and follow a link and enlist the help of the residents of a private institution for the mentally ill and exceptionally gifted. The story shifts to a psychological approach as we meet the quirky characters who reside at the Center for Wellness and Intelligence. Each of them struggles with various mental illnesses but most of them are also geniuses. Their environment is allowing them to cope and flourish in ways that they have not been able to in the outside world.

In alternating chapters we delve into the mind of Quinton, the Bride Collector. We are allowed to follow his madness and his reasoning as he carries out his plans to provide God with seven brides. As a reward for his loyal service he feels he will then be rewarded with a bride of his own. He must adapt and change his routine as Brad and Nikki begin to unravel his plan and he will make it personal.

The action and suspense is nonstop and it was hard to put down this book. The occasional surprise kept me on my toes. I enjoyed getting to know these characters and what haunted them. They were interesting, unusual and a great addition to the story. Thiller fans will be captivated by this shocking murder mystery.


Ted Dekker (born October 24, 1962) is a New York Times best-selling author of more than twenty novels. He is best known for stories which could be broadly described as suspense thrillers with major twists and unforgettable characters, though he has also made a name for himself among fantasy fans.

Early in his career he wrote a number of spiritual thrillers and his novels were lumped in with ‘Christian Fiction’ a surprisingly large category. His later novels are a mix of mainstream novels such as Adam, Thr3e, Skin, Obsessed and BoneMan’s Daughters, and Fantasy thrillers that metaphorically explore faith. Best known among these is his Circle Series: Green, Black, Red, White and The Paradise Books: Showdown, Saint, and Sinner.

Now, eight years from the publication of his first novel, Dekker’s novels had sold over 3.4 million copies worldwide. Two of his novels, Thr3e and House, have been made into movies with more in production. Dekker resides in Austin, Texas with his wife Lee Ann and two of their daughters.

Recent tours

Publisher: Center Street
Release date: 4/13/10
Pages: 448
Price/format: $24.99/hardcover
Type: fiction, suspense, thriller

Thank you to Hatchette Books for providing me with a review copy of this book.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday at The Printed Page is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks & audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Only a few books this week but that was plenty and they look so good! This might be the week the hammock comes out of storage too. I have plenty to read and that's the first place I'm going!

by Kathi Appelt

From Simon & Schuster

is a breathtaking, magical novel from National Book Award finalist and Newbery Honoree Kathi Appelt.

To ten-year-old Keeper the moon is her chance to fix all that has gone wrong ... and so much has gone wrong.

But she knows who can make things right again: Maggie Marie, her mermaid mother, who swam away when Keeper was just three. A blue moon calls the mermaids to gather at the sandbar, and that's exactly where Keeper is headed - in a small boat. In the middle of the night, with only her dog, BD (Best Dog), and seagull named Captain. When the riptide pulls at the boat, tugging her away from the shore and deep into the rough waters of the Gulf of mexico, panic sets in and the fairy tales that lured her out there go tumbling into the waves. Maybe the blue moon won't sparkle with mermaids and maybe - Oh, no ... "Maybe" is just to difficult to bear.

by Catherine Fisher

Won from Frenetic Reader

Incarceron -- a futuristic prison, sealed from view, where the descendants of the original prisoners live in a dark world torn by rivalry and savagery. It is a terrifying mix of high technology -- a living building which pervades the novel as an ever-watchful, ever-vengeful character, and a typical medieval torture chamber -- chains, great halls, dungeons. A young prisoner, Finn, has haunting visions of an earlier life, and cannot believe he was born here and has always been here. In the outer world, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, is trapped in her own form of prison -- a futuristic world constructed beautifully to look like a past era, an imminent marriage she dreads. She knows nothing of Incarceron, except that it exists. But there comes a moment when Finn, inside Incarceron, and Claudia, outside, simultaneously find a device -- a crystal key, through which they can talk to each other. And so the plan for Finn's escape is born ...

The Time Pirate
by Ted Bell

From Simon & Schuster

Here at a last is a new novel in the great tradition of grand adventure tales, the likes of which have seldom been seen since the works of Robert Louis Stevenson. This epic adventure is the story Nick McIver, a lad who sets out to become 'the hero of his own life'.

The setting is England, 1939, on the eve of war. Nick and his sister Kate live in a lighthouse on the smallest of the Channel Islands. Nick, Kate and their father are engaged in a desperate war of espionage with the German U-boat fleets that are circling the islands prior to invasion. The information they provide daily to Winston Churchill is vital as he tries to warn England of the imminent Nazi invasion.

In a surprising twist, Nick discovers an old seachest sent to him by his ancestor, Captain Nicholas McIver of the Royal Navy. Nick returns to the year 1805 via a time machine and help save Captain McIver and, indeed, Admiral Nelson's entire fleet from the treachery of the French and the mutinous Captain Billy Blood.

In the climactic sea battle with Captain Blood, Nick's love of the sea, and his feats of derring-do, indisputably prove his courage and heroism.

His sister Kate, meanwhile, has enlisted the aid of two of England's most brilliant detectives, Lord Hawke, and Commander Hobbes, to thwart the Nazis. They prove themselves more than a match for England's underwater enemies, when they discover the existence of Germany's super-secret experimental submarine.

In the end, Nick and Kate prove themselves heroes in the eyes of two of England's greatest warriors: Admiral Nelson and Winston Churchill.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Contest reminder and extension

I'm adding on a few days to the Raven Stole The Moon contest. I fell a little behind (big surprise, I know) but with nice weather and my kid's baseball tournament (we won!) I didn't get to post the reminders in time. So here is the reminder and the new deadline is Tuesday 4/13. Sign up now! More contests are coming!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

So I was just wondering…

woman wondering

I had a topic in mind for today but after reading the responses from last week where you all shared such clever ideas for organizing and storing your books I thought I would continue on with the topic. What a book geek I am to be able to stretch this out another week! But come on, it is fun to talk about. We all mentioned our shelves, bookcases, crates, corners and other places where we stash our stashes. We all seem to have plenty to stash too!

Before I started blogging I kept almost all of my books. I made very good use of my public library and didn’t buy many for myself anyway except for special occasions or from used book sales. Almost all of the books I did buy were for my kids or as gifts for other people. I still remember the first ARC (advanced release copy) I ever received. It was for the very first Barnes & Noble First Look club and all participants received one. Jackpot! I thought then, and still think now, that it’s incredibly generous to give them away. I wasn’t a blogger at that time and I had no idea how important and invaluable the relationship between the publishers and reviewers was. In fact, I think I’ll bring that up again on another Wednesday. I had that book a long time but when I started my own blog and was receiving more books to review I realized that there was no way I could keep all of these books. And I really shouldn’t be keeping all of them.  I have always shared my books but once I’ve finished reading them I really don’t need them anymore. I’ve learned to enjoy passing them on to others and I take pleasure in knowing that they will make someone else happy too. I give them to family and friends, trade with other bloggers, host giveaways, have recently joined PaperBack Swap and I still have towering piles of books that I haven’t read yet. All in all, it’s not a bad problem to have so I’m really not complaining here. Well, not too much.

So I was just wondering (after much nonessential prattle but I’m tired and getting goofy) what do you do with your mountain of reading material when you’ve finished with it? Do you keep everything or do you find another home for them? If you can part with them, how do you do it? This might sound silly but I really want to know!   

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Review: Dragonbreath Attack of the Ninja Frogs by Ursula Vernon

Danny Dragonbreath is back...
and kicking it Kung Fu style

Danny Dragonbreath knew girls were trouble. But the new foreign exchange student, Suki the Salamander, is beyond trouble. Not only has she reduced his best friend, Wendell, to a blithering, lovesick tadpole, but she’s apparently the object of an elaborate ninja frog kidnapping plot. Danny is never one to pass up an adventure (especially one involving ninja frogs), and so he and Wendell and Suki set out on a dangerous quest through the mythical Japanese bamboo forests to find out what these fearsome frogs want. Danny may not be able to breathe fire like a normal dragon, but he and Wendell have watched lots of kung fu movies and can totally take on a bunch of ninja frogs. Or, um, so he hopes . . .

Using her trademark hybrid style of comic-book panels and text, Ursula Vernon has packed this second book in the hilarious Dragonbreath series with lots of kung fu, a little bit of loooove, and plenty of everyday school drama.

This book got my attention because my nephews are five and ten years-old and love to read. Although this is just the book for them, I enjoyed it too! Danny is a typical boy with a vivid imagination, a love of kung fu movies and he happens to be a dragon. When his best friend Wendall falls for the new girl Suki, Danny is more than a little annoyed. But she's not like the other girls and when an attempt is made by ninja frogs to kidnap her Danny and Wendall jump into action.

Whimsical cartoons fill this adventurous chapter book and are on almost every page. I liked the combination of text and comic book style illustrations and found it very entertaining. It certainly holds your attention as it's an important part of the story. The humorous situations at home, school and on their adventure appeal to adults as well as children, especially boys. It's been (more than) a few years since I've had to deal with cooties, protractors and writing on bathroom walls but it still made me grin. I also got quite a ninja education! This was a clever story with adorable characters and I look forward to the next book coming soon in this series Dragonbreath: Curse of the Were-Weiner.

Thank you to Dial Books for providing an ARC for review.

Publisher: Dial Books
Release date: 2/4/10
Pages: 208
Price/format: $12.99/hardcover
Type: Children's fiction
Age: 8-12, grades 3-7

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Miz B of Should Be Reading and asks you to :
1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a random page
3 . Share 2 "teaser" sentences also citing the title of the book and the author and in that way people can have great recommendations if they like the "teaser".
4. Please avoid spoilers!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

It has now been a few years since the events in this story occurred. I have felt compelled to tell my story with the hope and intent that it will inspire and empower people to recognize injustice and oppression in thier everyday lives, give them the resolve to weed it out and pull it up by its roots.

The Eighth Round: A True Story by Zeke Wilson

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday at The Printed Page is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks & audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Another busy week but it sure doesn't feel like I accomplished much! It was great for books though and I have quite a variety of new goodies to enjoy. I hope you also had a bountiful week and a wonderful Easter!

The Passage
by Justin Cronin

From Random House

"It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born."

First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he's done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. He is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors. But for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey—spanning miles and decades—towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.

With The Passage, award-winning author Justin Cronin has written both a relentlessly suspenseful adventure and an epic chronicle of human endurance in the face of unprecedented catastrophe and unimaginable danger. Its inventive storytelling, masterful prose, and depth of human insight mark it as a crucial and transcendent work of modern fiction.

A Field Guide to Aliens
by Johan Olander

From Marshall Cavandish Children's Books

Concluding after years of reports and direct observations that approximately 45 percent of the world's monsters are actually aliens, Olander, author of A Field Guide to Monsters (2007), offers illustrated notes on 28 types of interstellar interloper-from the harmless Intergalactic Worrywarts of Planet Insecura and sewage-eating Sliver-Slurpers to more ominous False Santas, robotic onesie-clad Bebies and, scariest of all, Boogie-doods (aka Discos) from Planet Funk. On pages designed to look like well-thumbed scrapbook leaves, each entry includes extensive comments on diet, distinguishing features and details of Close Encounters, all sandwiched between a carefully drawn full-"body" portrait and a set of quicker "eyewitness" sketches and supposed snapshots. Though no replacement for Andrew Donkins's Alien Encyclopedia: The Ultimate Alien A-Z (1999), this makes a worthy addition to our too-thin store of space-alien lore and will leave younger readers on the alert for glimpses of Clustors, Liverpudlins and other nonhuman visitors. (Fiction? 10-12)

She's So Dead To Us
by Kieran Scott

From Simon & Schuster

When having money is all that matters, what happens when you lose it all?

Perfect, picturesque Orchard Hill. It was the last thing Ally Ryan saw in the rear-view mirror as her mother drove them out of town and away from the shame of the scandal her father caused when his hedge fund went south and practically bankrupted all their friends — friends that liked having trust funds and new cars, and that didn't like constant reminders that they had been swindled. So it was adios, Orchard Hill. Thanks for nothing.

Now, two years later, Ally's mother has landed a job back at the site of their downfall. So instead of Ally's new low-key, happy life, it'll be back into the snake pit with the likes of Shannen Moore and Hammond Ross.

But then there's Jake Graydon. Handsome, wealthy, bored Jake Graydon. He moved to town after Ally left and knows nothing of her scandal, but does know that he likes her. And she likes him. So off into the sunset they can go, right? Too bad Jake's friends have a problem with his new crush since it would make Ally happy. And if anyone deserves to be unhappy, it's Ally Ryan.

Ally was hoping to have left all the drama in the past, but some things just can't be forgotten. Isn't there more to life than money?

by Kelley Armstrong

From PaperBack Swap

I've got to get out of here - I don't have a lot of time left. Philip doesn't stir when I slip from the bed. There's a pile of clothing tucked underneath my dresser so I won't have to risk the squeaks and groans of opening drawers and closets. I pick up my keys, clasping my fist around them so they don't jangle, ease open the door and creep into the hallway. My legs now itch as well as hurt and I curl my toes to see if the itching stops. It doesn't. It's too late to drive to a safe place now-the itching has crystallized into a sharp burn. I stride out onto the streets, looking for a quiet place to Change. Young, beautiful, and successful, Elena Michaels seems to have it all. Her happy, organized life follows a predictable pattern: filing stories for her job as a journalist, working out at the gym, living with her architect boyfriend, and lunching with her girlfriends from the office. And once a week, in the dead of night, she streaks through a downtown ravine, naked and furred, tearing at the throats of her animal prey. Elena Michaels is a werewolf. The man who made her one has been left behind, but his dark legacy has not. And though Elena struggles to maintain the normal life she's worked so hard to create, she cannot resist the call of the elite pack of werewolves from her past. Her feral instincts will lead her back to them and into a desperate war for survival that will test her own understanding of who, and what, she is.

by Rachel Ward

From Secret Dreamworld of a Bookaholic

Ever since she was child, Jem has kept a secret: Whenever she meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die. Burdened with such awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. The two plan a trip to the city. But while waiting to ride the Eye ferris wheel, Jem is terrified to see that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today's number. Today's date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem's world is about to explode!

by Laurie Halse Anderson

From Secret Dreamworld of a Bookaholic

Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud: "My throat is always sore, my lips raw.... Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze.... It's like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis." What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors' big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it's because her parents' only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she's been struck mute... Laurie Halse Anderson's first novel is a stunning and sympathetic tribute to the teenage outcast. The triumphant ending, in which Melinda finds her voice, is cause for cheering (while many readers might also shed a tear or two). After reading
Speak, it will be hard for any teen to look at the class scapegoat again without a measure of compassion and understanding for that person--who may be screaming beneath the silence. (Ages 13 and older)

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Contest reminder

Hurry over to Pudgy Penguin Perusals to enter the giveaway for The Local News. Contest ends April 3rd at 6:00. That's today so shake a leg!