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!"

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Special Days, Special People

We had such a busy weekend! We had a birthday party for my grandmother who turned 90 on Sunday! Ninety years old! I find that so amazing and inspiring. We have very strong women in our family who have been through hard times and she is definitely one of them. Both of my grandmothers are widowed and are now 90 (and still live in their own homes). My great-grandmother lived to the age of 92. My mother, who is another great inspiration, hosted the party at her house and we had many extended family members and friends who showed up as a surprise for grandma. It was very personal and my mom had asked everyone in advance to send or bring something they would like to share. She put together a touching scrapbook that was made up of pages that we all had worked on individually for a month. It was made up of cards, letters, pictures drawn by the little kids, photos, memories...It was the perfect gift. It was a long afternoon but it was a joy to see my grandma the center of attention. She deserved it.

The next day was my poor husband's birthday. No party for him! We are partied out. The poor guy. We will have a special dinner later in the week. It takes longer to round up the kids now that they have lives of their own. Two are in college but they are close by. Besides, they would never pass up a chance at a free dinner, especially if we go out to eat. My husband is very patient and kind and never asks for anything. We may not be able to spend lots of money for gifts but he does deserve special recognition for being a great guy. We'll find someplace cheap, er, inexpensive and embarrass him when the waiters sing to him while carrying out a flaming cupcake, just because we love him. It's the celebration that counts. I'm very lucky to have the family I do. They are the best. Now that this round of birthdays are over I have a week or two until the next flurry starts. If I hurry I might get to read a book!

**Special Note**

Thursdays Thoughts : Celebrating Your Family's Best.

Share who is your family's oldest member and what makes them special for a chance to win Breathing Out the Ghost by Kirk Curnutt. Use the link for all of the rules on how to enter. Hurry, the contest ends 1/29/09!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Review: Amazing "Cookbooks"

The Flavor Bible

by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg

The Essential guide to culinary creativity, based on the wisdom of American's most
imaginative chefs.

When I first heard of this book I thought it would be filled with recipes but this is all about flavor and how to enhance it. Until recently, dishes were based on geography and what was available near you. Now that ingredients are available all over the world they are based on flavor. This book was eight years in the making and is meant to inspire greater, more innovative creations. This guide to hundreds of different ingredients along with different seasonings, herbs and spices will allow you to derive the most flavor from the various combinations.

The book is divided into three chapters. The first is a short chapter on how to recognize the language of food. This explains taste and touch (perceived by the mouth), aroma (perceived by the nose) and the "x factor" (perceived by the heart, mind and spirit). The second chapter is also short and is about how to make food taste great by understanding the moment and the ingredients. The moment is comprised of such things as the weather, budget, time, occasion and other resources. The ingredients are based on regionality, season, weight, function and flavor. Chapter 3 makes up the rest of the book and has detailed charts on flavor matchmaking. They are listed in alphabetical order with easy to follow symbols and instructions. Mixed throughout are sample dishes and tips from leading experts from top restaurants.

I am amazed by the details in this book. There are flavor combinations and enhancements I never would have dreamed of. My husband is the cook in the family and loves to collect spices, sauces and seasonings. I'm pretty sure he will also be amazed by the contents of this guide.
(380 pages)

i Cakes for Kids
by Elisa Strauss with Christie Matheson

Delightful cookies, cakes and cupcakes from New York city's famed bakery.

This bright, colorful book has been put together especially with children in mind. The author, who is also a pastry chef and bakery owner, was inspired by the memories of her own childhood cakes. Every page is inviting with patterned trim and bold colors surrounding pumpkin mini-cakes, pajama cookies and a backpack cake (complete with zipper!) among many others.

There are detailed instructions along with illustrations to help you create 24 different projects that include cakes, cupcakes and cookies. from beginner to advanced level. 20 different recipes for various flavored cookies, cakes, frostings and fillings are also included. The results will make your masterpiece delicious as well as beautiful. Extras include a conversion tables, photos and explanations of equipment and decorating tools, baking terms and decorating techniques.

I enjoy baking and look forward to trying these ideas with the little people in my life. They all look too nice to eat!
(224 pages)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


A BIG thanks to Monie at Reading With Monie for passing the Well Worth Watching Blog Award my way! This award was created by The Book Zombie. The details of the award are simple. It is for all those blogs you cannot wait to read every day, that you look forward to seeing updates on and that have inspired you in your own blogging!

I expect that these people have received this award already because they really deserve it. I enjoy so many blogs but these are the ones that I visit every day. I'm passing this on to:

1) J. Kaye's Book Blog
2) A Novel Menagerie
3) Fizzy Thoughts
4) Stone Soup
5) Pudgy Penguin's Perusals

Monday, January 19, 2009

Author Web Sites

I was reading an article recently in the Dec. 15th, 2008 edition of PW (Publishers Weekly). My library puts their extra copies of magazines on their used book sale shelf. This was an $8.00 magazine that I got for 5c. Yep, that's right. 5c! What a bargain.

In the article Finding Value in Author Web Sites by Judith Rosen, she mentions that almost every author now has a Web site. They also often have a blog and/or page on Facebook, MySpace and Goodreads. Is it worth it? Do they need to be on the web? Designers can charge between $3.000 and $35,000. Some authors feel that it is definitely worth it. They establish a Web presence and that allows them to extend the conversation to their readers. Fans enjoy direct contact with the author not just their publisher. That also provides for more opportunities for readers to add reviews.

Since there isn't any proof that a fancy, expensive site sells more books some authors choose no-frills, do-it-yourself options. This allows the author to save money, access it themselves for updates but doesn't often include blogs. Some would argue that the blog is the most important part of keeping the site fresh. And it doesn't have to be about the book alone. There are many authors who add tidbits about their personal life, funny news and jokes, videos and more. It also allows relatively unknown authors to get their name and their work into the blogosphere. They can promote their books in ways that they may not be able to without a blog since they don't have the recognition yet.

There are so many options now that authors and publishers can create almost anything they want. It all depends on their needs and the fans needs. I personally was floored the first time, well every time, I had direct contact with an author. Email and blogging have given me opportunities I never dreamed possible. What do you think? Do author websites and blogs make a difference to you as a fan? Do you think they help sell more books or would they sell just as many without them?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Miracles and Cold Weather

We got home from working at a fund raiser dinner for my kid's team last night and it felt a little chilly in our house. We live in south western NY state, the area near Buffalo, Rochester and Niagara Falls, and it's been really, really cold here this week. It was -8 but -21 with the wind chill factor (that means with the wind it feels like -21) and today was even colder. It's not the norm but it happens every now and then. It's not so cold that my kid and his buddies felt the need to put their sweatpants on over their shorts after basketball practice. I picked them up from the school and they wandered out in their shorts. They did have the decency to put on their sweatshirts though. I didn't even argue with them. In fact, I debated on turning the heater off in the van just to see how manly they felt then. I didn't though. Yet. Each of these kids are the youngest of three brothers and they are all ages 15 or 16. They weren't going to listen to me and I wasn't wasting my breath on any of them.

But I digress. We got home at 7:30 last night and it was too cold inside. I checked the thermostat and it was 60 degrees in our house. Our furnace wasn't coming on. My husband works in the heating and plumbing supply business so he has a lot of know how but he couldn't fix it this time. We had to call the Furnace Guy. The Furnace Guy is a friend and a good egg and we felt bad dragging him out in the cold at night. But we would have felt even worse if we didn't call him and froze to death. We really, really wanted heat again. He got paid for it so I don't think it bothered him for too long. It was an easy fix once they discovered the problem so he got to scurry back home to his recliner. And we got to start unwrapping our layers of blankets. Whew! Broken furnace - not good. Easy fix - very good. It may have been a nuisance to deal with but I feel very fortunate that it wasn't any worse and again count my blessings.

Miracle on the Hudson

Speaking of counting your blessings, the plane crash yesterday in NY city was tragic that it crashed but a miracle that everyone survived and there seem to be relatively few injuries. From all the accounts I have heard so far the pilot and crew did an amazing job diverting a disaster. The plane apparently hit flocks of birds after take off and damaged the engines. The pilot and co-pilot attempted to return to the nearest airport but couldn't make it so they had to land in the Hudson River. Witnesses said it was a perfect landing and all 155 people survived. All of the rescue personnel performed their jobs remarkably well. If you have to be in a crash it sounds like this pilot is the man to be flying your plane. With a 20 year career in the Air Force flying fighter planes, a 30 year career with US Airways and a variety of even more very impressive credentials he was the man for the job. A Facebook page was created for him before the day was even over! It was so very nice to hear something good in the news for a change.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I know Christmas is over but...

I won these children's books recently from The Friendly Book Nook and they are so beautiful I had to share them.

We Believe in Christmas
by Karen Kingbury
illustrated by Daniel Brown

If w
e want the perfect star
shine upon our tree,
Look and see that Brightest Star;
and there will Christmas be.

This is the story of why we place the star on the Christmas tree. It has a rhyming verse and beautiful, full page, water color illustrations. A family is going to church to watch their children perform the play of Jesus' birth in the manger. During their drive and the performance a reminder of what the real Christmas is about is told throughout.

The Gift of the Christmas Cookie
by Dandi Daley Mackall
illustrated by Deborah Chabrian

A simple story of giving -
not just cookies,
but gifts of the heart
that last forever.

Another beautiful story of the generous spirit of those in need themselves. Jack smells delicious cookies baking in the oven but is disappointed when they aren't for him. Times are tough and even though they have little money of their own his mother is baking them for needy families at the church. While baking, his mother tells him the story of the Christmas cookie and inspires Jack to also be generous. This also includes amazing, full page illustrations of the past and the current time of the story. A yummy cookie recipe is included!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I have been lazy, hence I make excuses

(**OOPS! I screwed up! I left off the person who sent this to me. I have since corrected it. Thank you Popinfresh!)

I've been tagged for a Meme by Popinfresh at Popin's Lair and it's appropriately titled, "I have been lazy, hence I make excuses." When I first saw the name of this meme I wondered if my laziness was really showing. I have a bunch of books that I want to read, but like the meme says I've been lazy. Enough about that, here is how this meme works:

1) You have to give at least two excuses. More the merrier. Your excuses can be real serious one or very wacky ones.

2) Tag as many as you want, but not less than seven.

3) And try tagging bloggers you only occasionally visit. You want to be a regular visitor but you can't. (Remember the excuses?!) It is important to involve everyone, even those in the peripherals of our own narrow vision. Also you gotta tell them about the tagging. How else will they know?

4) Spread the word, by hook or crook. (Optional). I am not an ogre, you know!

5) Do link me (Gautami, the originator) in your post along with that person who tags you. That way I can keep a tab of how far and wide it spreads.

Ooh, fun! Although I'm not usually lazy about my reading. In fact, I'm tend to be lazy about everything else so that I can read. I'm going to change it just a little bit. So these are my lazy excuses for reading and reviewing my ARCs.

1) I'm not always speedy about posting my reviews. Sometimes my narcolepsy kicks in and I fall asleep on my keyboard. I've woken up many times with keys z, a, s, x and 1 imprinted (backwards!) on my face.
2) I have so much laundry to do. I always have laundry to do.
3) My booklight batteries died.
4) I'm still trying to get my internet to connect and the pages to load... dial-up connection! ARG!!
5) I'm still doing laundry.
6) My kids have a game, and then a parent/teacher conference, and then a fund raiser...
7) My active social life keeps me so busy. (I'm laughing myself silly over that one!)
8) I could go on and on but I seem to be getting sleepy again ZZZzzzzzzz.......

This was such fun that I'm going to leave it open to anyone else who would like to participate in this hilarious meme!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lemonade Award

Kaye at Pudgy Penguin Perusals is too darn good to me! She keeps me in line and she gave me The Lemonade Award. This is for blogs with attitude and/or gratitude. Hmm...what exactly is she trying to say here? I'm kidding and I appreciate the award.

Now, I would like to pass this on to some blogs I enjoy:
The Compulsive Reader
The Bluestocking Society
Wendy's Minding Spot

Sunday, January 11, 2009

You know you're a grown-up when...'re actually interested in learning how to save money on car insurance. realize that to get respect, you have to give it. finally make peace with your freckles, and every other so-called imperfection of yours. have friends who are a decade younger and a decade older than you. no longer find yourself wearing your bikini bottoms some days because you have absolutely, positively no clean undies left. feel truly grateful for what you have, despite all the stuff (obnoxious in-laws, cellulite, perpetually messy closets) you wish you didn't.

(Redbook magazine Dec. 08/Jan. 09)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Who did it?

Sheri at A Novel Menagerie is having a contest about Yellow Labradors in relation to the movie Marley and Me. We are suppose to post our photos on our blogs and link them to her site. It sounded like fun and we have three dogs that we adore - a Cocker Spaniel, a Golden Retriever and a Chocolate Labrador. I was looking for photos to post but then I had the opportunity to take some new ones. Earlier this week I was up late after everyone else had gone to bed. I was doing laundry (as always), reading and enjoying the quiet house. The dogs wait for me to go up to bed so they were lounging around the house. I finished in the laundry room and walked back to the family room and saw a trail of stuffing on the floor. My mom had given dog toys for Christmas and they had been having fun dismantling them ever since. I knew this was the innards of a toy strewn all over room. I was pretty sure I knew who didn't do it.

Boo is our little old man. He is about 14 and has slowed down a bit. He is happy to follow me around and nap as much as possible. He rules the house. He wasn't the guilty party.

Allie is 4 and we've had her for two years. She is the princess and and gets along with everybody. She loves to play and go for car rides but she is very good at lounging too. As soon as my husband goes to bed at 11:00 she is in his chair for the rest of the night. She loves to unravel her toys and she has pulled the stuffing out before. It could have been her.

Cassie is our most recent acquistion and we've only had her since last summer. She is also 4 and very hyper. She is not Boo's favorite dog but Allie loves her. They wrestle and play constantly. She will run forever and if she finds a ball she will not let you stop playing with her. She makes me tired just watching her. She has calmed down considerably and has learned to snuggle. Especially with my husband who has always, always, always wanted a Chocolate Lab. That's why she gets the most car rides, is spoiled rotten and he can ignore the fact that she has figured out how to get the butter dish off the counter more than once. (yes, we did move it) I want to put a video camera in the kitchen to see how she does that but he says that would be entrapment and it wouldn't be fair. Seriously, can you entrap a dog? I'm still doing it because she must have super powers to be able to do that. Unless my husband is helping her. Hmm... By the way, do you see that partially stuffed animal she's resting her head on? And she has the nerve to take my spot on the couch. Found the cuprit red-handed, um red-pawed.

** I don't how she did it but while I was writing this Cassie came over and threw her toy onto the keyboard and deleted my whole post! The whole thing! And I had been saving it as I typed. I had to start it over from scratch. This is the kind of stuff she does. Everyday.

A Christmas Contest

My Christmas books came from Hatchette this week! I love holiday books and even though Christmas is over I was still excited to see these books come. They are nice little "feel good" stories that are easy to read. The reason I won this set of books is because Anysia at Booklorn - Books I Have Known chose my favorite holiday memory. It was so sweet of her and very much appreciated. It was also fun for me to retell it and my teenage boys love hearing it again too. In fact, they've been watching old videos of themselves during their vacation. Since the VCR had been broken and Santa just brought a new one they can now watch them again. I really need to convert those to DVD but I don't see that happening anytime soon. A new VCR was easier and cheaper for now, although they are getting harder to find. Soon to go the way of the beta players? Anyway, I thought I would post the story again directly from Anysia's blog. It was a fun contest!


The last winner of a Hachette Holiday Season book pack.

Sorry for the delay in picking the last winner (it’s been crazy here–more so than usual–is my only excuse). It was also really hard to pick one winner from the stories that were submitted. After a lot of dawdling and thinking I picked the following story by Wrighty:

I have so many Christmas traditions and memories that I cherish. We became engaged on Christmas Eve, my oldest son was born on Dec. 22nd, my brother became engaged on Christmas Eve, the list goes on and on. But one of my favorite memories was when my two oldest children outsmarted us.


My husband and I stay up late every year putting together gifts and watching A Christmas Story marathon (”you’ll shoot your eye out!”) until the wee hours of the morning. When my kids were 9 mths. 3 1/2 yrs. and 5 yrs. we got them a electric powered jeep to ride on. We were up until 3:00 a.m. putting it together and charging the battery. We put a huge red ribbon on the top, checked all of the presents and headed to bed. As a precaution, we locked the door with the hook and eye latch that’s up at the top of the door. Since they wouldn’t be unwrapping the jeep we wanted to make sure we went into the room with them in the morning to see their excited little faces when they saw their big gift. We went to sleep knowing they would be up and in our room in just a few hours.

Christmas Tree

We woke up later than expected with no kids in our faces and it was too quiet upstairs. We checked their rooms and they were empty, even the baby’s room. We hurried down the stairs just knowing we would have very anxious kids. The door was shut but it wasn’t locked. We opened it and all three of them, even the baby, were sitting in their jeep! We had no idea how they did it. They were so proud because they helped the baby out of his crib and down the stairs. Then they took the broom and raised it up to the lock and popped the hook out of the eye! They had been riding back and forth for almost an hour. They only had about 15 feet of space in that room and it was too narrow to turn around so they were just going forward and then reverse, over and over again. But they took turns! We were so shocked but it was the funniest thing to see.

It’s only one of many stories we tell our now teenagers but it’s one of the best. Sorry I rambled but thanks for letting me relive that one. Happy Holidays!

Christmas Around the World - A Pop-up Book by Chuck Fischer

A Christmas market in a snowy German village, an intimate French street lined with holiday lights, the creche in St. Peter's Square in Rome, a photo tour of Christmas across America - all of this and more come to life in Christmas Around the World.

This is a beautiful book that I assumed was for kids. I was so wrong! Although children will be fascinated by the 14 pages of pop-ups and pullouts adults will be too. Chuck Fisher is the artist and designer who created this book. It also includes 65 color illustrations and 60 photos that show various Christmas scenes from different time periods around the world. There are also booklets that describe traditions and customs from several countries. One explained the story of St. Nick and how he evolved into Santa Claus. The major changes to Santa came through the 1800s and early 1900s when different artists depicted the image in different ways. The most recent changes that are recognized in our modern culture came from a Cocoa-Cola campaign in the 1930s. Who knew?

I've already looked at this several times and I keep finding new things. I may share this with the children in the family but I'm keeping it for myself! Thank you so much to Anysia at Booklorn - Books I Have Known and Hatchette Books for the contest that provided me with the 5 Christmas books that included this one.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Butterfly Award

I got an award! Twice! Thank you so much to Sher at A Novel Menagerie and Kaye at Pudgy Penguin Perusals for the Butterfly Award. I'm blushing over the kind words ladies. You inspire confidence that comes in handy when I feel clueless here.

These are the rules:
1. Put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. Award up to 10 other blogs.
4. Add links to those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message for your awardees on their blog.

These are my choices:
1. Allison at Allison's Attic is always a nice, friendly place to visit. She even let me win a book recently!
2. Jenni at Nenni's World. You have some quirky stuff on your blog, and I like it!
3. Popin at Popin's Lair. I love the neat, clean look of your blog and you always have great reviews of fun books.
4. Shhh I'm Reading has lots of good reviews and books I want to read.
5. I love the look of Living Between the Pages. Jessica has a cool place for cool reviews!
6. I think Luanne at A Bookworm's World received this a few times already but I don't care. You deserve it.
7. At Devourer of Books we have Great books, great reviews and a new baby! Congrats and best wishes!

Please pass this on. You are all amazing!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

This is my life!

I kid you not, these people are writing about my family! These were in my local newspaper during the last week. Not 10 minutes before I read the last one my three sons ages 20 (that still kills me), 18 and 15 were all draped across the furniture watching a Jerry Springer repeat or something else equally entertaining but in no way educational. They decided, as a unit apparently, that they were suddenly "starving" and why didn't we ever have any food? I quickly thrust this in front of their faces after I saw it but they didn't find it nearly as entertaining as their father and I did. If you have teenagers, are related to any, know any or ever were one, you know what I'm talking about.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Perfect on Paper by Maria Murnane

A humorous tale of affection, rejection and the search for perfection.

Looking forward to a fresh start with the new year?

Honey, I'm with you, but I can't seem to leave my behind behind.
("Honey Notes" - a greeting card idea from Waverly Bryson )

I was so thrilled to receive a copy of this book from Maria herself and I couldn't wait to read it. Unfortunately the holidays and illnesses had other ideas and I couldn't spend all of my spare time reading. Well, it was worth the wait.

Waverly Bryson is newly single again. Her fiance left her at the altar, almost. Two weeks before their wedding he decided to call it off. "I don't think I love you anymore." Ouch. And he did it while she was trying on her wedding gown. Her "perfect" life came crashing down. After a year of social hibernation Waverly is trying to regain her footing in the dating world. Her supportive friends are trying to help but it never seems to work out right. It's one bad date after another. Her job in sports PR in San Francisco is not the career of her dreams. She has a new idea for her own line of greeting cards but could it work? Her family life is strained as well. The only time she hears from her father is when he needs money. Since he gave up his dream of being a baseball player to raise his only child after her mother died she can't escape the guilt. Or his open hand. To top it off, Aaron her ex, is getting married to a partner at his firm. And it's only been a year!

Chick lit fans will especially adore this book as I did. The characters were so interesting, I wanted to hang out with her friends and slap her dates. While Waverly is attempting to reorganize her life and accomplish her dreams she has to overcome her obstacles and fortunately all of this happens in a humorous way. When I laughed out loud I was hooked. And I am ready for the sequel!

Maria is a self published author. If you enjoyed her book and would like to read more of her great writing, spread the word! I think there are some publishers out there who will be very sorry they didn't get to her first. Let's make that happen sooner rather than later.

Thank you to Maria Murnane for a copy of this book.

Beer goggles are the lonely girl's Cupid.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Boomtown - Book One by Nowen N. Particular

Exploding Elves, Rocket Reindeer, Baseball Bazookas, POPcorn, Hot Cakes, Hen Grenades, and flying barber chairs. What do they have in common?

Boomtown... where everyone's favorite thing to do is blow stuff up!

I have to admit that I'd never heard of this book before I found it online. I read the description and thought it sounded like something good that I would like to read and than could share it with my 9 year-old nephew. He loves to read and this sounded like his kind of thing. It's a really fun book.

Boomtown - Book One, Chang's Famous Fireworks Factory (stay away from the chickens) by Nowen N. Particular is first of all, quite a mouthful. And at 323 pages for a young adult read, it's quite a handful. But it's a good handful. Inside the front and back covers are maps of Boomtown and throughout the book and many old style black and white photos, line drawings and diagrams.They add an extra fun element and sense of authenticity to the story.

The story is told by Reverend Arthur Button who decided to move his family of five from the city in California to a small rural town in Washington in 1949. He accepted the job of pastor to enjoy the quiet life with friendly neighbors, a house with a yard and snow at Christmas. They found friendly but it was anything but quiet there. Their new home was also the location of a famous firework's factory. Fortunately the people who lived there loved to blow stuff up. And the Buttons became famous for blowing something up before they even reached their new house.

An unexpected stop on the way into town led to a "small" explosion at Chang's factory. A test went wrong, with some help from the Button children, and the fire was enormous. But in a place where everything is connected to the factory, where even the streets have names like Dynamite Drive and TNT Trail, this was just another experiment. Another day at work. Everyone took it in stride and welcomed them with open arms.

The Buttons feel right are home and immersed themselves in the charm of the small town. This was a place where community worked together as equals despite their varied backgrounds. They treasured their families, and worked hard. They were good people but they were also odd. Every day was a new adventure and the world was their playground. And they had a lot of fireworks to celebrate with. They weren't without their problems though. A mysterious string of robberies began occurring in the area. The Buttons also learned that there appeared to be some sort of "curse" on the reverends of the past. They had either died or disappeared. This was one tradition that Arthur Button would be happy not to pass on.

There are some aspects of the story that I wonder if they will be too complicated for the younger audience to understand but I don't think it really takes away from the overall story. The ending wasn't what I hoped for and I wonder how it will affect the next book in the series. Overall I found it to be a clever and entertaining story. The characters were interesting and I hope they will appear again in future books. There is also mystery behind the identity of the author. On the back cover is a blurb about the author traveling in disguise and keeping his location a secret. This is reminescent of Lemony Snickett and the Series of Unfortunate Events books. You can visit Nowan N. Particular and his Boomtown friends at

Thank you to Thomas Nelson books for this copy.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Another new year

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year.
A pessimist stays up to make sure the old one leaves.
-Bill Vaughan
I don't make new year resolutions. I try to make something better as soon as I realize it's wrong. If I waited for the new year to start making changes I'd forget. Since I know I would forget I'd have to write myself a note to remind me. Since I write myself so many notes I'd probably lose it and then I would definitely forget. Do you see my problem here? Apparently one of the things I need to do is be more organized.

2008 was not without it's problems but it wasn't all bad. Personally, my family had some hardships and we have some members who are battling cancer and other diseases. Obviously that was bad but most of them are doing remarkably well considering the severity of their illnesses (knock wood and say a prayer). We're a tough clan. I have a wonderful family and steadfast friends. I have the best husband and most amazing children that anyone could ever hope for. Money is tight and I have my own health problems but I am blessed. Truly blessed.

Another good thing that came about in 2008 that actually pertains to this blog is, well, this blog. I have loved to read my entire life and over the last few years I've been involved in online book clubs. I've really enjoyed them and I've met people from all over the country and a few from other parts of the world. I've also been fortunate enough to meet some terrific authors. I'm still fascinated by the fact that I've been able to spend a month chatting online about a book with the person who created it. Simple things for simple minds I know but I still think it's so cool!

I accidentally fell into the blogging world last summer. After spending time on some new sites I was introduced to some book blogs. I know most people have been doing this for a long time but I haven't even been reading them for a long time much less writing them. After a few weeks I decided to give it a try. I had no idea what I was doing but I had an online friend who decided to take the plunge with me. We would learn together. Although I still don't know what I'm doing most of the time and I never accomplish all that I want to, I'm having a good time! I'm still finding my way and haven't decided exactly what I want all of this to become but I think I'm just going to let that work itself out.

Thank you to all of the people who have been so helpful and so patient. I am learning and benefiting from each and every one of you. Someone always answers the questions I ask no matter how ridiculous they may be. You provide interesting comments and conversations and excellent blogs. I could spend hours just reading what everyone has to say. I rely on all of your book reviews more than any other. I know that I will be able to relate to them and am often reading the same books. And the contests are such fun! How creative you people are! The ones I've participated in have been so clever and I've won some of the best books I've ever read. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

So for this new year, in 2009, I'm going to try to be a good person and always do the best I can. And as far as books are involved I'm going to try to be more organized (you should see my coffee table), be opened minded and try new things. I'm going to become a better blogger and try to participate in more events. Basically, I just want to thank all of you again and wish you the very best new year. Good health, good wishes, good books!