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, May 30, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Contest: Graveminder by Melissa Marr

Three sips to mind the dead . . .


Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the attention her grandmother Maylene bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the small town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn't a funeral that Maylene didn't attend, and at each one Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: She took three sips from a silver flask and spoke the words "Sleep well, and stay where I put you."


Now Maylene is dead, and Bek must go back to the place she left a decade earlier. She soon discovers that Claysville is not just the sleepy town she remembers, and that Maylene had good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in Claysville the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected; beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D. If the dead are not properly cared for, they will come back to satiate themselves with food, drink, and stories from the land of the living. Only the Graveminder, by tradition a Barrow woman, and her Undertaker—in this case Byron Montgomery, with whom Bek shares a complicated past—can set things right once the dead begin to walk.


Although she is still grieving for Maylene, Rebekkah will soon find that she has more than a funeral to attend to in Claysville, and that what awaits her may be far worse: dark secrets, a centuries-old bargain, a romance that still haunts her, and a frightening new responsibility—to stop a monster and put the dead to rest where they belong.

Preview of Graveminder - Prologue
Author site

Thanks to Chelsey at HarperCollins I have 2 copies to give away!

Rules:

- Simply fill out the form below to enter.
- U.S. and Canada only (sorry!)
- Winners chosen by random.org
- Contest ends 6/5/11 at 11:59 p.m. EST

Extra entries:
+1 new follower
+2 old follower
+2 promote - leave link

*CLOSED*

Contest: Pale Demon by Kim Harrison

Condemned to death for black magic and shunned, Rachel Morgan has three days to somehow get to the annual witches convention in San Francisco and clear her name. If she fails, the only way she can escape death is to live in the demonic ever after . . . for ever after.

Banned from the flight lists, Rachel teams up with elven tycoon Trent Kalamack, headed for the West Coast for his own mysterious business. But Rachel isn’t the only passanger along for the ride. Can a witch, an elf, a living vampire, and a pixy in one car survive for over 2,300 miles? And that’s not counting the assassin on their tail.

A fearsome demon walks the sunlight, freed after centuries of torment to slay the innocent and devour souls. But his ultimate prey is Rachel Morgan. While the powerful witch with nerves of steel will do whatever it takes to stay alive, even embracing her own demonic nature may not be enough to save her.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sneak peek of Pale Demon - Chapter One
My review
Author's site

Thanks to Chelsey at HarperCollins I have 2 copies to give away!

Rules:

- Simply fill out the form below to enter.
- U.S. and Canada only (sorry!)
- Winners chosen by random.org
- Contest ends 6/5/11 at 11:59 p.m. EST

Extra entries:
+1 new follower
+2 old follower
+2 promote - leave link

*CLOSED*

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday (started at The Printed Page and now a traveling meme) is at Mari Reads this month and 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 two books for me last week but that's the most I've gotten in awhile. That's a good thing though since I have plenty to read and I brought home another pile of library books that I couldn't resist. Some things never change... I hope you have lots of good books and sunshine at your house!

Trader Of Secrets (Paul Madriani #12) by Steve Martini
From HarperCollins

Defense attorney Paul Madriani is embroiled in a case as perilous as any he has ever faced: one that involves an angry killer who will stop at nothing short of vengeance, and two missing NASA scientists who are holding secrets that a hostile government desperately wants to purchase—in blood if they must.

Madriani's daughter, Sarah, has evaded the man known as Liquida, who has stalked her all the way across the country. For her own safety, she is being kept under armed guard on a farm in Ohio.

But one morning, itching for a predawn run to shake off the tension that has grown in the hours she's spent waiting for word from her father, Sarah slips from her ring of protection. What she doesn't know is that at the same moment her assailant is outside, waiting patiently in the dark.

Meanwhile in California, two men in a parked car argue over millions in cash that could be slipping through their fingers and a scheme involving government technology for sale that could rock the world.

Paul Madriani, his companion Joselyn Cole, and his longtime law partner, Harry Hinds, track Liquida, not knowing that their quest will carry them deep into the vortex of international terror.It is a journey that will lead them toward a bizarre and cruel twist of nature—and the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. From the nation's capital to California, from Bangkok to Paris and the jungles of Mexico, Madriani and his party race against time to find Liquida and the scientist who is the "trader of secrets" before he can unleash the weapon that could set the world ablaze.

Eyes Wide Open (Gross Series #5) by Andrew Gross
From HarperCollins

A horrible family tragedy that may not be what it seems . . .

A past encounter with an infamous killer turns deadly today . . .

An ordinary man must risk his own family to find the truth.

Jay Erlich's nephew has been found at the bottom of a cliff at Morrow Bay. It's all just a tragic suicide, until secrets from the past begin to rear up again. Did a notorious killer, jailed for many decades, have his hand in this?

Years ago, Jay Erlich's older brother, Charlie, a wayward child of the sixties, set out for California, where he fell under the sway of a charismatic but deeply disturbed cultlike figure. Tragedy ensued and lives were destroyed, but as the decades passed, Charlie married and raised a family and lived a quiet, secluded life under the radar. Yet the demons that nearly destroyed him never completely disappeared.

When Jay heads out west to help his grieving brother, he is pulled back into Charlie's past—and begins to suspect that his nephew's suicide may not have been that at all. With eyes wide open, Jay puts his own life at risk to uncover the truth, a quest that goes beyond the edge of madness and a family haunted by a secret past . . . and into the depths of evil.

Drawing on two real-life experiences from his own past, Gross has crafted a richly personal, yet utterly terrifying tale of two brothers, one successful, one wayward, trying to bridge the gap of what tore them apart.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

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!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Even as the sirens picked up from the south, even as the red and whites flickered over the lawn soon after, Ash lay still in the grass, letting the rain cascade down around her, hoping her mind would take her some place - any place - other than here on the lawn with a dead girl.

~page 36-37
Wildefire by Karsten Knight (7/26/11)


Monday, May 9, 2011

And the winners are...

Thank you to everyone who participated in my Spring Cleaning Contest. I have more books to give away soon!

1st place and 1st choice of 8 books goes to:
SusieBookworm

2nd place and the remaining 5 books goes to:
jifinifer

Congratulations! I have sent each of you an email. Please send me your mailing addresses and choice of books.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Contest reminder!


Don't forget to sign up for my Spring Cleaning Contest!
I'm giving away 13 young adult ARCs and the deadline is tomorrow (5/6/11)!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Letters from an author

Michelle Moran's newest book Madame Tussaud: A Novel Of The French Revolution was released 2/11. She was kind enough to send me a copy that I am really looking forward to reading (soon!). She has also sent some handwritten notes along the way.

This note came with the book. Notice the amazing stationary complete with the image of Marie Antoinette and a touch of glitter!
~~~~~~~~~~

This note came later with more great images, glitter, beads and bows.
~~~~~~~~~~

And the finishing touches were this terrific stamp and cupcake stickers! How clever!! I will treasure these special features forever. What a great addition to her wonderful books!
~~~~~~~~~~

Madame Tussaud: A Novel Of The French Revolution 2/11
Cleopatra's Daughter 7/09
The Heretic Queen 9/08
Nefertiti 7/07

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

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!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

My name is Lucy Parks Hamilton and in addition to being paranoid, unshowered emotionally detached, and a liar, I am also a stay-at-home mom. Ten years ago, I would have met the idea that I would be going on playdates and walking around with streaks of snot on my shoulder with absolute indignation. Nowadays it's possible for me to wear the same pair of jeans for seven days in a row and not to get too worked up about it.

~page 4
Original Sin by Beth McMullen

Monday, May 2, 2011

Review: Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips





R.S.V.P. to the most riotous
wedding of the year . . .






Lucy Jorik is the daughter of a former president of the United States. Meg Koranda is the offspring of legends. One of them is about to marry Mr. Irresistible—Ted Beaudine—the favorite son of Wynette, Texas. The other is not happy about it and is determined to save her friend from a mess of heartache. But even though Meg knows that breaking up her best friend's wedding is the right thing to do, no one else seems to agree. Faster than Lucy can say "I don't," Meg becomes the most hated woman in town—a town she's stuck in with a dead car, an empty wallet, and a very angry bridegroom. Broke, stranded, and without her famous parents at her back, Meg is sure she can survive on her own wits. What's the worst that can happen? Lose her heart to the one and only Mr. Irresistible? Not likely. Not likely at all.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Author Susan Elizabeth Phillips has combined secondary characters from several of her other books to give them their own story here.

"Every book I write stands on its own, which doesn't prevent the characters in one book from wandering into another. Lots of old friends wandered into this one-..."

Meg Koranda (Glitter Baby, What I Did For Love) is very likeable and is only trying to help her friend Lucy Jorik (First Lady) avoid a bad decision. Unfortunately she becomes the town punching bag. When the local golden boy, Ted Beaudine (Fancy Pants, Lady Be Good), gets stood up at his wedding the town people punish Meg for it and become down right cruel. I felt so sorry for her and didn't like Lucy for leaving her to deal with it alone or Ted for letting it go on. I didn't like her wealthy parents for abandoning her and totally cutting her off financially. Everyone was so mean!

The story was still interesting, often humorous and did promote some strong feelings. Although I felt sorry for Meg she was tough and didn't give up. Since she had no money or resources she was forced to stay in this awful town and earn a living. Although she took care of others it took her time to learn to take care of herself and stand up to people. I was impressed with Meg's, and eventually Ted's, ability to grow and change. And then I started to like Ted and the idea of their hot & steamy relationship.

If you like Susan Elizabeth Phillips you won't be disappointed with this story. With her usual formula of romance, humor and conflict she will take you on an emotional roller coaster ride. Stay tuned for another book about one of these characters coming soon!

Author site

Thank you to HarperCollins for a copy of this book to review.

Publisher: William Morrow
Release date: 1/18/11
Pages: 385
Price/format: $25.99/hardcover
Type: romantic comedy

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday (started at The Printed Page and now a traveling meme) is at Mari Reads this month and 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.

Lots of goodies last week and quite a variety too! It looks like I'll have some rainy days to read inside but hopefully more and more sunny days to read outside. I hope you get plenty of good books and sunshine too!


Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne
From Random House for review

In Noah Barleywater Runs Away, bestselling author John Boyne explores the world of childhood and the adventures that we can all have there. Noah is running away from his problems, or at least that's what he thinks, the day he takes the untrodden path through the
forest. When he comes across a very unusual toyshop and meets the even more unusual toymaker he's not sure what to expect. But the toymaker has a story to tell, a story full of adventure, and wonder and broken promises. And Noah travels with him on a journey that will change his life for ever. A thought-provoking fable for our modern world from the author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

Graveminder by Melissa Marr
From HarperCollins

The New York Times bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series delivers her first novel for adults, a story about the living, the dead, and a curse that binds them.

Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, th
e town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn’t a funeral that Maylene didn’t attend, and at each Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words “Sleep well, and stay where I put you.”

Now Maylene is dead and Bek must go back to the place—and the man—she left a decade ago. But what she soon discovers is that Maylene was murdered and that there was good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in placid Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected. Benea
th the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D—a place from which the dead will return if their graves are not properly minded. Only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk.

A Time For Patriots by Dale Brown
From HarperCollins


Welcome to Battlefield America

When murderous bands of militiamen begin roaming the western United States and attacking government agencies, it will take a dedicated group of the nation's finest and toughest civilian airmen to put an end to the homegrown insurgency. U.S. Air Force Lieutenant-General Patrick McLanahan vows to take to the skies to join the fight, but when his son, Bradley, also signs up, they find themselves caught in a deadly game against a shadowy opponent.

When the stock markets crash and the U.S. economy falls into a crippling recession, everything changes for newly elected president Kenneth Phoenix. Politically exhausted from a bruising and divisive election, Phoenix must order a series of massive tax cuts and wipe out entire cabinet-level departments to reduce government spending. With reductions in education and transportation, an incapacitated National Guard, and the loss of public safety budgets, entire communities of armed citizens band together for survival and mutual protection. Against this dismal backdrop, a SWAT team is ambushed and radioactive materials are stolen by a group calling themselves the Knights of the True Republic. Is the battle against the government about to be taken to a new and deadlier level?

In this time of crisis, a citizen organization rises to the task of protecting their fellow countrymen: the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), the U.S. Air Force auxiliary. The Nevada Wing—led by retired Air Force Lieutenant-General Patrick McLanahan, his son, Bradley, and other volunteers—uses their military skills in the sky and on the ground to hunt down violent terrorists. But how will Patrick respond when extremists launch a catastrophic dirty bomb attack in Reno, spreading radiological fallout for miles? And when Bradley is caught in a deadly double-cross that jeopardizes the CAP, Patrick will have to fight to find out where his friends' loyalties lie: Are they with him and the CAP or with the terrorists?

With A Time for Patriots, the New York Times bestselling master of the modern thriller Dale Brown brings the battle home to explore a terrifying possibility—the collapse of the American Republic.

Wildefire by Karsten Knight
From Simon & Schuster

Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.

Joy For Beginners by Erica Bauermeister
From Putnam

At an intimate, festive dinner party in Seattle, six women gather to celebrate their friend Kate's recovery from cancer. Wineglass in hand, Kate strikes a bargain with them. To celebrate her new lease on life, she'll do the one thing that's always terrified her: white-water rafting. But if she goes, all of them will also do something they always swore they'd never do-and Kate is going to choose their adventures.

Shimmering with warmth, wit, and insight, Joy for Beginners is a celebration of life: unexpected, lyrical, and deeply satisfying.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

It's official!

I think spring is really here. Winter lasted forever and we've had plenty of snow in April, even a few flakes mixed with the rain on Friday, but Saturday was beautiful! We walked the dogs, did a little yard work, and relaxed on the patio. And then it was time to bring out the sacred hammock. I think I heard the angels singing!

Although the coming week doesn't look like it will have terrific weather, it's better than what we've had. Hammock season has begun!