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, March 31, 2011

Author Leah Clifford's Contest

YA book A Touch Mortal was recently released and author Leah Clifford is hosting A Touch Mortal's Assortment of Awesome Contest!
But hurry, contest ends today 3/31/11!

And make sure you check out her clever vlog
Shortened link to the vlog:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Come on Mother Nature!

I hate to complain with all that's going on in the world today. This is really just venting a bit of frustration rather than complaining. I do know how lucky I am and count my blessings every day but come on Mother Nature!

We are used to the snow and cold here in western NY state but this has been a tough winter. We have had lots of storms. We do recover quickly though. My house is in the valley out in the boonies and we are one of the last places to have all the snow melt away. Last week that finally happened here with the warmer temperatures. We could finally see our yard with all the mud, sticks and dog poop that are usually our first signs of spring around here. Over the weekend we did a little clean up, played in the sand box and saw our first robins and blue jays. I told my boys that we still had some crappy weather coming since it's only March. Spring is tricky around here and we have quite a variety of weather conditions. Little did I know that we would get hit so hard so soon!

The snow started falling again last night and we have a storm warning until midnight tonight. We've had 10-12" of snow so far and now it's sleeting. We are fortunate enough to have wonderful neighbors who plow our driveway (often!) and earlier I went out to shovel the walkways and toss bread crumbs to the hungry birds. It's great exercise and the blanket of snow is beautiful but I've had enough. Really. I miss my hammock, the flowers and the grass. Gentler weather would be welcomed and appreciated. And I promise, Mother Nature, I won't complain about the hot days of summer or mowing the lawn. Bring it on!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Grandma

Until last week I was blessed to still have two grandmothers, both 92 years-old. My Grandma B collapsed and died at home on the farm where she spent so many years. My grandparents worked hard and raised 5 children there, who all went on to have many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I will always treasure the memories of playing and working in the barn, sledding on the hill, helping in the garden, learning embroidery and eating grandma's wonderful meals. When you visited you knew she would have food on the stove and goodies in the cookie jar, ready to whip up a homemade dinner in minutes. Some of my first memories are of family gatherings in that kitchen.

Last week we gathered at the funeral home instead of the farm. We honored her memory and laid her to rest next to my grandfather. I cried for our loss but I also laughed with my brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles as we shared silly stories. It was wonderful to spend that time together and we've made promises to do it more often. I'm sure it won't happen enough but I hope we'll try.

I am so grateful for all she gave me and I will miss her. Good-bye Grandma, I love you.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday (started at The Printed Page) is at I'm Booking It 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.

My Zombie Valentine
by MacAlister, Fox, Mancusi & Cach

Bought from The Dollar Store for $1.25!

Four women who are about to dig up the truth!

Tired of boyfriends who drain you dry? Sick of guys who stay out all night howling at the moon? You can do better. Some men want you not only for your body, but your brains. Especially your brains.
It's true! There are men out there who care--early-rising, down-to-earth, indefatigable men who'll follow you for miles. They'll take the time to
surprise you, over and over. One sniff of that perfume, and you'll have to use a shotgun to fight them off. And then, once you get together, all they want is to share a nice meal. And another. And another.

Romeo and J
uliet, eat your hearts out.

"Bring Out Your Dead" by Katie MacAlister
"Gentlemen Prefer Voodoo" by Angie Fox
"Zombiewood Confidential" by Marianne Mancusi
"Every Part of You" by Lisa Cach

Ripley's Believe It Or Not: Encyclopedia Of The Bizarre
by Julie Mooney

From Paperback Swap for my nephews

Black Dog & Leventhal’s bestselling Encyclopedia of the Bizarre is now available in a handier, more reasonably priced edition that retains every word and image of the original. From stupefying stunts to wacky world’s records, all of Ripley’s riveting findings are here, in an easy-to-browse, impossible-to-put-down color volume.

Where else could you learn that:

• It’s estimated that 10,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000 snowflakes have fallen to the Earth since the Earth was formed!

• Queen Isabeau of Bavaria used a mixture of boar’s brains, crocodile glands, and wolf blood as skin lotion!

• Anna Bread married John Butter in Leeds, England, April 22, 1926!

• Phil Turco of Madison, Wisconsin, swallowed 339 goldfish in two hours!

Bizarre and amazing categories include Accidents and Disasters, Animals and Insects, Archaeology, Feats and Stunts, Prophecies, Records, the Unexplained, and more. It’s fascinating fun for the whole family.

Wanna trade?

I'm trying to get more reading done and clear some shelf space and I'm looking into possible trades. These are only a few of the ones I have, but they are laying around, in the way. Let me know if you're interested because I'm going to set up some contests soon too. I have some wishlist items on my left sidebar (Wrighty's bookshelf: wishlist) with a link to Goodreads but I'm also open to suggestions.
Contact me at: wrights5[at]hughes[dot]net

YA arcs -
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Matched by Ally Condie
Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel
White Cat by Holly Black
Radiance by Alyson Noel
Passing Strange by Daniel Waters
Monster High by Lisi Harrison
You Are So Undead to Me by Stacey Jay

Hardcover -
Delcroix Academy: The Candidates by Inara Scott
Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson
Green by Ted Dekker

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

In the not-too-distant future,
because of genetic engineering,
every human being is
a genetic time bomb.

What if you knew exactly when you would die?
Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out. When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home. But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.

I was attracted to the cover of this book immediately and then was drawn in from the first page. I seem to read a lot of dystopian stories lately and this one was chilling yet interesting. The future world is a disturbing scene with early death sentences, kidnapping and polygamy being the norm. While some issues were especially unsettling (why would people be accepting of kidnapping and polygamy?) it was easy to assign blame to the "bad guys". Housemaster Vaughn was definitely a bad guy. As an extremely wealthy doctor with a twenty-one year-old son he will do whatever it takes to find a cure for the virus. Rhine and her sister brides were forced to marry Linden and expected to accept their fate. But each has a past and little nuggets of their former lives are doled out throughout the chapters. They aren't quite who they appear to be but which life is worse? Spending their final years in opulence or desperate but free?

I enjoyed the writing and the story flowed with little effort. As it progressed I realized how much symbolism was on the cover. The caged bird, wilting flowers and beautiful young lady are key elements. The author created a world combining historical elements of the past with possibilities of the future. Mystery and suspense build slowly and conflicts for the characters are revealed. While the theme of early death and scientific experiments was frightening, Rhine's determination brings hope. She has learned to be fierce and will fight for her life, her freedom and her twin wherever that may take her.

I look forward to the next book in this trilogy.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for this ARC in exchange for my review.


Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Release date: 3/22/11
Pages: 356
Price/format: $17.99/hardcover
Type: Teen fiction (ages 14 and up)

Review: The Butt Book by Artie Bennett

Eyes and ears are much respected,
but the butt has been neglected.
We hope to change that here 

and now.
Would the butt please take a bow?

Did you ever notice that, no matter where you sit, you're sitting on the same seat? You can thank your butt for that and more, as you'll see in "The Butt Book" by Artie Bennett, illustrated by Mike Lester.
You might call your butt by a different name. It might be a tushy to you, or a tuchus, bottom, rear-end, heinie, backside or something else very different. In other countries, it might be called a derriere or a keister. Don't be confused, but in England, your butt would be called a "bum". No matter what you call it, it's still the same thing.
So why do you have a butt?'s a good place to put your underpants. It's a great place to sit. You can shake it when you dance. Without it, you wouldn't be able to ride your bike or sit on a seesaw or swing or do anything! Butts, as you can see, are as important as your eyes or ears, your head or your heart. In fact, in the end, your butt is probably one of the most useful things you've got.
Does your child have a bookshelf all his or her own? You can forget using it for awhile if you bring home this hilarious book. "The Butt Book" is going to become the most-read thing in your house.
Coming from a family of all males I've heard a lot of butt jokes over the years. Both boys and girls will giggle over this silly, yet tasteful read. Adults will chuckle too! From the first pages delightful rhymes take you on a tour of a variety of butt facts. The colorful illustrations are silly with wonderful details. They are the perfect compliment to the words on the page.

Informative and easy to read, you are likely to find yourself enjoying this again and again. Sure to be a favorite for your kids (and the kid in you!).

Thank you to the author for a copy of this book to review.

Author's site
Illustrator's site

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Release date: 12/22/09
Pages: 32
Price/format: $16.99/hardcover
Type: Childrens fiction (ages 5-7)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Review: Magnus Maximus, A Marvelous Measurer by Kathleen T. Pelley

There once was an
old man who loved
to measure things.

Magnus Maximus is a marvelous measurer. He measures wetness and dryness, nearness and farness, and everything in between. When a lion escapes from a traveling circus, Magnus and his trusty measuring tape come to the rescue. Now a hero, all is well until the day Magnus accidentally breaks his glasses, and he sees—for the first time—that he’s been missing out on life’s simple pleasures.

Kathleen T. Pelley’s marvelous tale and S. D. Schindler's inspired illustrations remind us that the best things in life are not meant to be measured, but treasured.

From the first page, this book reminded me of some of my favorite childhood reads. The classic illustrations took me back to trips to the library, sitting in the little wooden chairs pulling picture books from the shelf.

Magnus Maximus takes his job measuring very seriously. This timeless tale tells of his obsession with his work until he breaks his glasses. His lesson learned is to enjoy life and it's a good example for our workaholic society today. The charming pictures filled with soft colors and delicate details enhance the story. I will enjoy this delightful book with little people for a long time to come!

Thank you to the author for hosting the giveaway and the autographed copy.

Author's site
Jaketflap - Illustrator
Publisher's site

Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Release date: 4/10
Pages: 35
Price/format: $16.99/hardcover
Type: picture book (4-8 years)

Teaser Tuesday (on Wednesday)

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

(In a meeting with her ex-husband)

A lot of really big trees had died to make that desk. His mother had probably gnawed them down, used her nails to saw the boards, and finished the decorative cutwork with her tongue.

~pg 4
Maybe This Time
by Jennifer Crusie

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday (started at The Printed Page) is at I'm Booking It 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.

These are the books I've received in the last two weeks. It's hard to believe that any delivery man could reach our house with all this snow - 8 more inches yesterday - but they do a great job around here. A couple of feet of snow doesn't stop us! I hope new books found their way to your house as well.

The Last of The Demon Slayers by Angie Fox
Autographed from author, won at Bitten By Books

Lizzie Brown would like to have one normal date. Instead, she gets a towering inferno with a message: her long-lost dad is a fallen angel in danger of becoming a demon. Not good. Especially since she’s a demon slayer.

Her grandma advises her to stay out of it. Her sexy-as-sin shape-shifter boyfriend would much rather she devote her attention to more carnal pursuits. And her dog’s one demand is for more bacon. After all, he can’t train his pet dragon on an empty stomach.

But Lizzie knows there’s no other choice but to hop on her Harley and help her dad—even if the search for the truth brings a bad-boy slayer back into her life and leads her into the middle of a war to end all wars.

Emily And Einstein by Linda Francis Lee
For review from St. Martin's Press

He was a man who didn’t deserve a second chance. But he needed one…

Emily and her husband Sandy Portman seemed to live a gracious if busy life in an old-world, Upper West Side apartment in the famous Dakota building. But one night on the way to meet Emily, Sandy dies in a tragic accident. The funeral isn't even over before Emily learns she is on the verge of being evicted from their apartment. But worse than the possibility of losing her home, Emily is stunned when she discovers that her marriage was made up of lies.

Suddenly Emily is forced on a journey to find out who her husband really was . . . all the while feeling that somehow he isn't really gone. Angry, hurt, and sometimes betrayed by loving memories of the man she lost, Emily finds comfort in a scruffy dog named Einstein. But is Einstein's seemingly odd determination that she save herself enough to make Emily confront her own past? Can he help her find a future—even after she meets a new man?

Play Dead by Harlan Coben
Won at Bookin' With Bingo

Theirs was a marriage made in tabloid heaven, but no sooner had supermodel Laura Ayars and Celtics star David Baskin said “I do” than tragedy struck. While honeymooning on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, David went out for a swim — and never returned.

Now widowed and grieving, Laura has a thousand questions and no answers. Her search for the truth will draw her into a web of lies and deception that stretches back thirty years — while on the court at the Boston Garden, a rookie phenom makes his spectacular debut....

Pale Demon by Kim Harrison
From Harper Collins

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 fr
om 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.

The Bone Yard by Jefferson Bass
From Harper Collins

In this latest thriller from New York Times bestselling author Jefferson Bass, Dr. Bill Brockton discovers the dark side of the Sunshine state when he's called in to investigate human remains found on the grounds of a boys' reform school in Florida

The Bone Yard

The onset of summer brings predictably steamy weather to the Body Farm, Dr. Bill Brockton's human-decomposition research facility at the University of Tennessee. But Brockton's about to get more heat than he's bargained for when Angie St. Claire, a forensic analyst with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, asks him to help prove that her sister's death was not suicide, but murder.

Brockton's quick consulting trip takes a long, harrowing detour when bones begin turning up amid the pines and live oaks of the Florida panhandle. Two adolescent skulls–ravaged by time and animals, but bearing the telltale signs of lethal fractures–send Brockton, Angie, and Special Agent Stu Vickery on a search for the long-lost victims. The quest leads them to the ruins of the North Florida Boys' Reformatory, a notorious juvenile detention facility that met a fiery end more than forty years ago.

Guided by the discovery of a diary kept by one of the school's young "students," Brockton's team finds a cluster of shallow graves, all of them containing the bones of boys who suffered violent deaths. The graves confirm one of the diary's grim claims: that one wrong move could land a boy in the Bone Yard. But as the investigation expands, it encounters opposition from the local sheriff, who's less than delighted to find forensic experts from the state capital and the Body Farm digging up dirt in his county.

As Brockton and his team close in on the truth, they find skeletons in some surprisingly prominent closets . . . and they learn that the ghosts of the past pose perilous consequences in the present.

Dark Prince by Christine Feehan
From Harper Collins

Enter the enchanting world of the Carpathians, where dark adventure, mystery, and love await, and the desires of two daring hearts unite in one irresistible passion.

A telepathic hunter of serial killers, Raven Whitney helps catch some of the most depraved criminals. But her work keeps her from getting close to others, and has drained her body and spirit. In need of rest and rejuvenation, she embarks on a vacation far from home.

Mikhail Dubrinsky is the Prince of the Carpathians, the powerful leader of a wise and secret ancient race that thrives in the night. Engulfed by despair, fearful of never finding the mate who can save him from the encroaching darkness, his soul cries out in loneliness. Until the day a beautiful voice full of light and love responds, softly soothing his pain and yearning.

From the moment they meet, Raven and Dubrinsky are helpless to resist the desire that sparks between them. But just as fate unexpectedly brings these life mates together, malevolent forces threaten to destroy them and their fragile love. Yet even if they survive, how can these two lovers—Carpathian and human—build a future together? And how can Dubrinksy bring Raven into his dark world without extinguishing her beautiful goodness and light?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Review: Let's Have A Bite! by Robert Forbes

A Banquet of Beastly Rhymes

Here is Robert Forbes with another book of wildly imaginative poems, 33 in all, about his friends, theunexpected critters and beasties that inhabit his world. Illustrated again by the master of caricatures, Ronald Searle, LET'S HAVE A BITE! abounds with fun and energy. Be sure to look for the mouse peeking out of every drawing! This delightful book is designed to give the whole family a good time, and because each poem is in rhyme, it is perfect for reading aloud. With the tremendous variety of animals, from voles to dingoes and narwhals, kids will be entertained and stimulated, as will parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians. So come in and explore this banquet of beastly rhymes!

Whimsical illustrations and clever poetry make this entertaining for children and adults. Each of the thirty-three poems features different animals in comedic situations that often includes a moral. Among them are Flick the fly the uninvited dinner guest, Betty Baboon the baker and Tammy the tiger who is always late. The illustrations are especially entertaining with at least one for every poem. Bright colors and silly expressions on imaginary creatures enhance the rhymes. And one little creature can be found hiding in every picture. This is a read-a-loud that's fun to share with a little person in your life. I did!

Thank you to Overlook Press for a copy of this book to review.

Author's site
Illustrator's tribute

Publisher: The Overlook Press
Release date: 10/10
Pages: 96
Price/format: $19.95/hardcover
Type: Juvenile fiction

Try this one too!


It's been a bit hectic around here the last few weeks. Two family members have been in the hospital, we've been hit with more snow storms and our youngest son had his last high school basketball playoffs so we've been on the run. The family members are home again and healing, the snow is melting and basketball is over so it's back to blog land. February sure went out with a bang. I hope March is off to a good start!