Monday, August 31, 2009

Who Am I..well, what do I look like anyway

Jaime at Revenge of the Book Nerds started a post asking each of us to share pics of ourselves since we all communicate so often. It's fun to see what we all look like so I thought I would put some photos out too!

This is me working at my friend's window booth. It was freezing!! I think this may have been my first time to ever help her, and I thought I was going to get frostbite.

The beautiful daughter and I at her 14th birthday party

OK, this is just my son, but I love this picture!

With the main squeeze during my birthday night out a couple of years ago. We pretty much still look like this.

The little children.

Now, you go visit Jaimie and post your pics!

Hehe adding this in later because I found it in my picture folder and am very proud of my daughter. She is an awesome softball player!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Show Me 5 Saturday

This meme will give each blogger an opportunity to give a brief description of a book they have read or reviewed during the week.

It will work like this:
Each Saturday You will post the answer to these questions. The number indicates the number of answers you will provide.

1 Book you read and/or reviewed this week (you name 1 book)
2 Words that describe the book (2 descriptive words)
3 Settings where it took place or characters you met (name 3 places or characters in the novel)

4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it (4 likes or dislikes)
5 Stars or less for your rating?

After each of you complete the meme on your blog add a comment here and I will put a link on my post.
1 Book: Jake the Snake and the Stupid Time Out Chair by Shelly Nicholson

2 Words: (for) children, funny

3 Settings/characters:
Jake the Snake who is 5 3/4 yrs old, Johnny - Jake's older brother, Jake's mom

4 Likes/Dislike: 1. I liked that my kids enjoyed listening to the story and laughed with it 2. I liked the lesson it taught at the end 3. I don't usually allow my kids to say stupid so they were surprised by that word being there 4. I wish the pictures in the book were more colorful

5 Stars or less: 3.75 to 4 There is a second book in the series that we are reading now and it is very cute as well. I think this makes for a great little series that kids will enjoy.

I will be hosting a book blog tour for A Stinky Surprise for Jake the Snake on September 5th. Stop by for a guest post by author Shelly Nicholson. My review of both books will be posted this week.

Other Show Me 5 Saturday posts:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Word Verification Balderdash 8/27/09

Hosted by Sheila at Journey Through a World of Books. The idea is to make up defintions for all the word verifications you get during the week.

I had a smaller amount this week, but I still wanted to play!

Perem: a perm with a little extra oumpphh. This typically happens to me if I try to get a perm because my hair takes the curl so well. That girl got a PEREM!

Dishob: to cause a commotion with the dishes. Have you ever been the one trying to watch TV or take a nap while someone else is doing the dishes or putting them away? Total dishob!!! (BTW, I got this definition bc one of the actual definitions of hob is to cause a commotion I didn't know that before)

Gonste: my boyfriend says it is "I'm gonste with you forever girl"

Wriven: really driven to write

Giveaway - The Way Home George Pelecanos

As many of you may have seen in the news Obama took this book on vacation with him. Hachette wanted to share the excitement and give it away to some lucky followers.

Thanks to Miriam at Hachette Book Group I have 5 copies of The Way Home to giveaway!

Book Description:

Christopher Flynn is trying to get it right. After years of trouble and rebellion that enraged his father and nearly cost him his life, he has a steady job in his father's company, he's seriously dating a woman he respects, and, aside from the distrust that lingers in his father's eyes, his mistakes are firmly in the past.

One day on the job, Chris and his partner come across a temptation almost too big to resist. Chris does the right thing, but old habits and instincts rise to the surface, threatening this new-found stability with sudden treachery and violence. With his father and his most trusted friends, he takes one last chance to blast past the demons trying to pull him back.

Like Richard Price or William Kennedy, Pelecanos pushes his characters to the extremes, their redemption that much sweeter because it is so hard fought. Pelecanos has long been celebrated for his unerring ability to portray the conflicts men feel as they search and struggle for power and love in a world that is often harsh and unforgiving but can ultimately be filled with beauty.

Visit the author's website:

To enter my giveaway:

*1 entry Comment and answer the question Does the fact that Obama chose this book make you want to read it more? Make sure you leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.

*1 entry tweet about this giveaway and include me @alipet813

*1 entry mention this giveaway on your blog and leave a comment here with the link - it can be on a sidebar of current giveaways

*1 entry if you read my previous review of The Night Gardner also by Mr. Pelecanos - leave a comment here letting me know so it is easier to tally up in the end

This contest will run until September 10th at 11:59 p.m. Central. Thanks and Good Luck!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Receive Me Falling - Erika Robuck

A sweeping, historical epic that explores the legacy of sin and the loss of innocence has been embraced by book clubs nationwide and promises to be one of the breakout books of the summer. Erika Robuck's debut novel, Receive Me Falling (Elysian Fields Press, July 2009), is one of the most literary and poignant additions to the historical fiction genre and maintains its appeal with modern day themes. Written with vivid description in both a past and present voice, Receive Me Falling is a powerful story about sin and redemption and the power that comes from finding one's way. After Meghan Owen loses both of her parents in a tragic accident, she begins researching her family's past and uncovers a secret history. She travels to the Caribbean island of Nevis and learns the story of a reluctant slave-owner's daughter who runs a plantation in an oppressive, male-dominated society. Catherine Dall is a modern-day heroine whose aspirations in medicine and the arts help her transcend the tyrannical world she inhabits. In the present day, Meg learns that her father's estate was built on stolen money and is under legal scrutiny and public disgrace. She is faced with having to sell the land and plantation home and deal with the betrayal that is at the heart of this tragedy-filled land. Told in alternating, past and present chapters, the historical drama of the Dall family unfolds while Meg discovers her own familial secrets. Catherine Dall, like Meg, is forced to choose between her lifestyle and the scandal of deserting her family. Hidden texts, scandalous diaries, antique paintings and confessional letters help Meghan Owen uncover the secrets of Eden and put the ghosts to rest.

Erika Robuck has written an extraordinary debut that will make readers mindful of the past and contemplate its impact on the future.

Bostick Communications

Meg's life had always been happy, well-adjusted and predictable. She was close to her parents and engaged to a man she loved. Her family was well off and Meg worked for a political figure. On the night of her engagement party all that changed - Meg's parents were killed in a tragic car accident. Unable to handle the sadness and pressures of day to day life Meg calls off her wedding and heads to Nevis where her family owns an old plantation named Eden. Shortly after her arrival in Nevis an already overwhelmed Meg learns that her father, whom she had always admired and respected, had stolen millions from his clients. She realizes she must sell many of their assets to correct the crime and pay back the families. Before selling, Meg wants to learn more about Eden and the ghost stories surrounding it. Who is playing the piano she hears coming from the plantation at night? Do former slaves really haunt Nevis?

Catherine Dall lived at Eden Plantation with her alcoholic father during the 1800's. She secretly took care of most plantation business, but was limited by being a woman. She knew that if something were to happen to her father the overseer would quickly take control of the plantation. She has seen his treatment of the slaves and his contempt of her and could not let that happen. Catherine was confused by her feelings about owning slaves. Her own mother died during childbirth and she was raised by "Mami" Esther. Esther had her daughter Leah within weeks of Catherine's birth and they were raised together and loved one another like sisters and best friends. Catherine could not believe the opinion of other slave owners who thought that the slaves were made for labor and enjoyed it or that they did not have feelings like the white property owners. When James and Albert Silwel, secret abolitionists determined to end the islands slavery, visited Nevis she grew even more confused and she found herself falling in love with James. Her father had other plans for her future that would benefit the plantation. Catherine also noticed that Leah had been distancing herself and wanted to fix whatever might have been wrong. Did she put a wedge between herself and her father by acting on her feelings toward slavery and James? Was she be able to repair her relationship with Leah or did a greater tragedy ensue?

Secrets unfold in this novel that change both Meghan and Catherine forever.

This novel seemed so interesting when I read the back cover and it did not disappoint. I finished this quickly just because I could not put the book down. The stories of Meg and Catherine are captivating. The chapters jumped from current day to the past, but were easy to follow. Each chapter revealed a little more about the past -either through living it with Catherine or through Meg's research. Eventually all of this came together to build a story of the past for Meg that helped lay to rest the pain that surrounded Eden for over a century. It also allowed Meg to have peace in her decision to sell the plantation and move forward in her life without her parents.

The characters are strong, young women put in positions of making decisions that effect their families greatly. Each woman had to take what she had always known and put it aside for a new truth. Both, were confronted with the lies of their fathers. Meg and Catherine are women of great character, but sometimes that is not enough for life to fall into place. Catherine's story is one of sadness and misfortune while Meg's is one of hope and recovery.

The historical aspects of the novel were very interesting. It touched on the realities of slavery and the struggles of those who wanted it to end. While reading I felt so moved by Catherine's torn loyalties. She had a great love for her father and her land, but she also felt a closeness to the slaves with whom she had developed relationships. She was unsure how to honor both of those emotions.

This novel comes together in the end in some quite surprising ways. I enjoyed where Ms. Robuck took me on the final pages and did not see it coming at all.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, mystery, and books centered on character growth. This book had a little bit of everything, but never felt overdone.

Update: I just visited the author's website and wanted to share this list of book club questions. I read them and it made me think even more deeply about this novel and the symbolism that Ms. Robuck weaved throughout it. It made me want to redo my entire review. LOL

Thursday Thunks - wanna pet my turtle?

BS, Dog Kisses, Memories And You Guessed It...More!

Welcome to the August 27th version of Thursday Thunks!
(which we always seem to post on Wednesday)
Where we make you think a little bit before you blog!
This week we will answer some crazy questions brought to you by
Kimber, the number of kids I have and the color of dead roses.

1. Have you ever played Bullshit?
The card game or just when you call bullshit on someone like in the kate hudson/matthew mcconaughey movie? I think I have done both...

2. A dog licks you on your face. Are you disgusted or thinking it was sweet?
Is it my dog? It all grosses me out, but I can kind of handle my dogs
Align Right

3. Tell us about a fun/special memory you have of a grandparent.
My grandparents were all wonderful. I recently lost my grandma. My last special memory was bringing her a peach milkshake to drink. She wasn't eating anymore and she kept smiling and telling me how good it was while she drank it up. It still makes me happy to think about it

4. Have you ever pet a rat?

5. If I walked into your kitchen, where are the cups?
In the cupboard right next to the fridge

6. Since you already let me in your home, I found the cup and had water, now where's the bathroom from the kitchen?
right down the hall next to that same cupboard - between the kitchen and the dining room

7. Have you ever pet a turtle or tortoise?
yep. Grew up in the country and caught them outside alot. What's with all this petting of random animals?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Show Me Saturday 5 for 08/22/2009

This is second week for my new MEME. This meme will give each blogger an opportunity to give a brief description of a book they have read or reviewed during the week.

It will work like this:
Each Saturday You will post the answer to these questions. The number indicates the number of answers you will provide.

1 Book you read and/or reviewed this week (you name 1 book)
2 Words that describe the book (2 descriptive words)
3 Settings where it took place or characters you met (name 3 places or characters in the novel)
4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it (4 likes or dislikes)
5 Stars or less for your rating?

After each of you complete the meme on your blog add a comment here and I will put a link on my post.

1 Book: Megan's Way by Melissa Foster

2 Words: tearjerker, relationships

3 Settings/characters:
Megan - single mother whose hiding that her cancer has returned, Olivia - Megan's daughter, Holly - Megan's best friend with a secret of her own

4 Likes/Dislike: 1. I loved the emotions that this book evoked even though I had a headache from all the crying 2. I loved the depth of the relationships that Melissa created when she wrote this 3. I liked being a part of Megan's struggle and her memories 4. I liked the surprises that this novel had in store

5 Stars or less:5 stars for sure!!!

I will be a part of a book blog tour for this book on September 12. I will be posting my full review soon. Sheila at One Persons Journey recently interviewed Melissa about her womens online book should definitely check that out too!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Up and Coming for That's A Novel Idea

I have several things that will be coming very soon to my blog.

September 5: Book Blog Tour with Shelly Nicholson author of Jake the Snake and the Stupid Time Out Chair and A Stinky Surprise for Jake the Snake. Great, funny childrens' books. I will be posting a review of the books shortly as well. Visit Shelly's website at

September 12: Book Blog Tour with Melissa Foster author of Megan's Way. This a serious tearjerker. I will be writing a review of it shortly as well. Visit to get more information on this tour.

I will also be hosting some new giveaways soon TBA.

My up and coming reviews (besides those just mentioned) will be:

Receive Me Falling by Erika Robuck -historical fiction coming together with modern day

Julie and Julie - everyone knows what this is unless you live under a rock

Middlesex - okay I have to read this first, but is is my book club book this month and so I will get it done. I have heard good things.

Of course, my pile of TBR is growing so I will only go this far.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Little Bird of Heaven - Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates returns with a dark, romantic, and captivating tale, set in the Great Lakes region of upstate New York—the territory of her remarkably successful New York Times bestseller The Gravedigger's Daughter.

Set in the mythical small city of Sparta, New York, this searing, vividly rendered exploration of the mysterious conjunction of erotic romance and tragic violence in late-twentieth-century America returns to the emotional and geographical terrain of acclaimed author Joyce Carol Oates's previous bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys and The Gravedigger's Daughter.

When a young wife and mother named Zoe Kruller is found brutally murdered, the Sparta police target two primary suspects, her estranged husband, Delray Kruller, and her longtime lover, Eddy Diehl. In turn, the Krullers' son, Aaron, and Eddy Diehl's daughter, Krista, become obsessed with each other, each believing the other's father is guilty.

Told in halves in the very different voices of Krista and Aaron, Little Bird of Heaven is a classic Oates novel in which the lyricism of intense sexual love is intertwined with the anguish of loss, and tenderness is barely distinguishable from cruelty. By the novel's end, the fated lovers, meeting again as adults, are at last ready to exorcise the ghosts of the past and come to terms with their legacy of guilt, misplaced love, and redemptive yearning.

Well love they tell me is a fragile thing
Its hard to fly on broken wings
I lost my ticket to the promised land
Little bird of heaven right here in my hand

So toss it up or pass it round
Pay no mind to what you're carryin' round
Or keep it close, hold it while you can
There's a little bird of heaven right here in your hand

Fallen hearts and fallen leaves
Starlings light on the broken trees
I find we all need a place to land
There's a little bird of heaven right here in your hand

Love is so beautiful and we hold it close to our heart, but when desire pushes love aside it can change everything we have ever known. Eddy Diehl learned this the hard way when his affair with Zoe Krueller turned him into a suspect for her murder. Delray Kruller learned this when his wife left him and many believed his jealousy and anger over her outwardly desires pushed him over the edge to commit the murder. Each man's life and that of his family is turned upside down when neither are fully accused, but neither are acquitted of the crime.

Krista Diehl is the storyteller of the first half of this book and tells it from the ages in which she is experiencing the drama. She has a fascination and a love for her father. His distance from her, and her difficulty in getting affection from him only makes that grow stronger. After he is kicked out of the house for the affair and possible murder, Krista spends much time obsessing over being with her father. She dreams of a father that will sweep her off her feet because of his love for her. Meanwhile, she develops a strong crush on the son of the murdered woman.

Aaron Kruller "Krull" has always had a difficult time in life. He is half Native American and matured much faster than the other kids around him. He has a mean streak and many kids and adults are afraid of him. After he finds his mother murdered, he takes on the cruel alter-ego of Krull for much of the time to get through the pain.

Krista and Aaron eventually come together as teenagers when he saves her from a deadly situation. However, his teenage anger and angst paired with his anger over Krista's father possibly murdering his mother leads him to treat her inappropriately as well. Krista has developed such a warped sense of love/desire/pain that she finds his harsh treatment of her exciting and sexually arousing.

Krista and Aaron do not connect with each other again for many years, but when they meet as adults find they are still suffering from the effects of their childhood.

The characters are very well developed and you can see in to the mind and heart of Krista and Aaron. You are even given glimpses of the family around them, especially their fathers and mothers. I found myself aching for them in many instances. Krista for her need to be loved and Aaron for how people misunderstand him.

I found this novel to be somewhat disturbing. The lines between cruelty and desire were very thin. I believe that both Aaron and Krista developed a warped sense of sexual attraction because of their circumstance. Krista sees Aaron as unattainable and overpowering. Many times this is also how she related with her father. Cruelty played a role in her loving relationship with her dad and she projected that relationship on to another outcast - Aaron. Aaron's mother left him to follow her dreams and his father was a somewhat abusive alcoholic. Aaron used cruelty to separate himself and maintain control. He also keep surface level relationships with women. After having his mother leave him as a child I think he felt a fear in committing to love another woman. Though the actions were disturbing in the novel I think they appropriately depicted the aftermath of families torn apart by a horrific crime. And, the actions of those who have seen desire pushed ahead of love and commitment.

It took me awhile to get through Little Bird of Heaven. This novel was written with such depth that it took time to really read each page and think about it. I enjoyed it, but sometimes it was almost exhausting. Everything these families were going through jumped off the page at me. I was an outsider looking in on their life and I was consumed by the odd paths each person chose to take. I ached for Krista when she was unable to see her father in his true light. I ached for her father Eddy, because he loved his family very much. He became obsessed with winning them back and lost sight of the love he felt for them. Aaron was the by-product of a distant mother and father. He grew up quickly, and he never dealt with seeing his mother murdered. His mother Zoe had two sides - loving mother and caged bird longing to be freed. Each character held so much in and let it consume them.

Read this novel, but be ready to set aside time for it. You won't be able to walk away until it is done, but you will find you have to put it to the side to breathe in your "ordinary" life and appreciate it.

Word Verification Balderdash

Hosted by Sheila at Journey Through a World of Books. The idea is to make up defintions for all the word verifications you get during the week.

Here go mine for this week:

tralee: the person who is always at the end of the line...ALWAYS!

coserti: the other person who verifies that something is correct. The first person certifies it and then the coserti makes sure that first guy wasn't a total dip and got it right.

ereat: eating things you should stay away from. My ereat is usually related to brownies or some other pastry.

prellam: this is that moment right before you go on the lam. So, I am pretty sure it is that moment when you realize you are DEFINITELY going to get caught for the crime. right then you are prellam, but only while you pack your bag.

figents: children who can't stand or sit still. The little figents made the chairs fall over with all their hyper behavior.

dinappi: the thing you accidentally take when you are just going to close your eyes for a minute is dinappi.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thursday Thunks - Nothing Shocking Here

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thursday Thunks - stupid questions that you love to answer

Welcome to the August 20th version of Thursday Thunks!
(which we always seem to post on Wednesday)
Where we make you think a little bit before you blog!
This week we will answer some crazy questions brought to you by Berleen, the number ziltch and the color of spider webs.

1. Your thoughts on hunting?
I have no interest in it, but as long as they aren't endangered or getting low in numbers it doesn't bother me.

2. Swine Flu vaccine... will you get it?
Probably not. If my pediatrician says my kids need it I will probably do that though.

3. What is one job/profession that you think there are just too many of?
Maybe, sleazy my office I would say there are too many board members

4. I want to go on a diet, what advice will you offer me?
Don't starve yourself, because your body goes into starvation mode and stores fat. Eat small, sensible meals throughout the day. Also, try to stick to the outer parimeter of the store. That tends to be fresh fruits and veggies and dairy and some meat.

5. You are going out on a date with someone for the very first time. When you get into their car, you see a box of condoms on the floor. What do you do?
Pick it up and ask them if they have high hopes for the evening. Then openly laugh at him.

6. Name something in your bathroom that shouldn't be there.
Lots of junk - literally. I need to clean the bathroom right now and get the extra trash out of there.

7. What was your Kindergarten teacher like?
Such a sweet, sweet woman. I have great memories of kindergarten!

8. What kind of oil do you use when you cook?
If I can use Pam I do. I try to go with olive oil, but sometimes use vegetable oil.

9. If someone takes an unflattering picture of you and posts it online, do you beg them to take it down or do you laugh at yourself with everyone else?
Well, that depends on the picture. My friends post retarded pictures of me and I laugh. If it was something inappropriate I would be upset and ask them to take it off.

10. What brand of dishwashing soap do you use?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Posted by Picasa

My son reading...well, he can "only read in his head" right now, but tomorrow starts kindergarten so I am sure he will be reading out loud soon enough.

This week my daughter started high school and my baby (pictured above) leaves me for school too. Granted he has gone to daycare every day since he was 6 weeks old, but school is different. He is growing up. Oh boy, mommy has been faking how excited she is so he he doesn't freak out, but my heart is breaking. I know this should be very exciting and it is -mostly. Sons really love their moms and mine is no exception.

I do know this. He is smart and funny and makes friends easily. I think he will do great. Let's just hope he learns quickly when to stop talking and being silly. LOL

Can't wait to get him ready and walk him in...gee I guess part of me really is excited.

I can't wait until we hang out and he reads me a story.

Update: My son LOVES school. We both did really well and there were no tears. I can't even tell you how excited he was about telling us all about his day when he got home.

Today - his second day - I almost cried when I wanted to walk him in to show him where to go for breakfast and he told me he knew what to do and didn't need me. OUCH!!
Here he is sitting at his desk and starting his first assignment!!

Sugar Time - Jane Adams

A Great Summer Read from Best-Selling Author Jane Adams
What if you got what might be your last chance at both love and success -but getting one meant giving up the other? Charlotte "Sugar" Kane hasn't produced a hit TV series in years, so when her kids left home and her lover moved out, she left L.A. for New York, where a woman over 40 doesn't have to file an environmental impact statement to go out in public. Then the network green lighted her new show and she's back in Hollywood, older, wiser, and ready to prove she can still deliver a hit. Suddenly without warning, she's struck by a crisis that threatens everything she holds dear - her career, her health, and the unconditional love she's finally, unexpectedly found. Sugar Kane, the irreverent narrator of this smart, resonant novel about love, sex, work, money, family and friendship, marks the return to fiction of Jane Adams, a writer and psychologist whose expertise on women's lives finds its liveliest, warmest and wittiest expression in a unique heroine in the prime of her life.

Sugar Time
has been optioned for a major motion picture by John Morrissey, the producer of "American History X," "Booty Call," "Havoc" and other hit films.
Bostick Communications

Most people think that only actresses over 40 have to worry about their age and looks, but if you ask Sugar Kane she tell you that isn't the case. EVERY woman in Hollywood has to be concerned about aging. Sugar hasn't written a hit show in over 20 years, but knows she still has what it takes. Her latest venture looks promising and is getting serious consideration by the execs. Out of nowhere her fear of not being able to keep up with the young go-getters hits her in the chest - literally. While sitting at home enjoying a sitcom and some Chinese take-out she suffers what seems to be a heart attack. Time in the hospital makes her realize she needs to hide her condition from the possible producers of her series or they may find her too big a risk to keep on board. Not only that, but while she is away her young assistant seems to have taken WAY TOO MUCH credit for what Sugar has done.

Sugar also decides to keep her health a secret from her son and daughter. Her daughter is a new mother and her son is very sensitive to the conditions of those he loves. Add in Alex, a new love interest, and Sugar is keeping the secret again. Her thoughts - why would a man want a woman on the edge of a major health crisis. Little does she know Alex has his own secret and is living life to the fullest so as not to miss a moment.

Sugar's decision to keep her health issue a secret is stressful as is the ungodly amount of time she must devote to getting her pilot rewritten to meet the execs demands. As she grows closer to Alex and overworked from her career, Sugar must make the decision to throw in the towel on something. Can she give up the career she has worked had to prove she is still capable of? Should she let go of the man that quickens her pulse and makes her feel alive in every way?

I found this to be an entertaining read, but also thought provoking. There is so much chick-lit focused on the twenty-something or even someone in her thirties, but women over 40 or 5o get lost. It's as if society forgets that women that age have desires for family, work, and men. Jane Adams takes that to task with Sugar Time. What she writes isn't a sweet little story about your grandma. She makes Sugar Kane a real woman. A woman that most of us can probably relate to. I happen to be in my thirties, but started my family young and feel much older than others my age. I also talk to my mom a lot and know that being in your fifties doesn't stop you from living a full life. Heck, fifty really isn't old. Face it- now that is only half of a life for many people.

I did have an issue with this novel, but it may just be a personal thing. I do not mind sex scenes or crude talk, but I can not stand to read the "p" word (describing female anatomy) in novels. To me it takes away from the story every time. I have not read a Jane Adams novel before to know if it is her typical lingo. I felt like it was an attempt to really show Sugar as a woman with a sexual side, but I thought that was easily seen without going there. Like I said that is probably my personal thing and may not bother any of you.

I would recommend Sugar Time to others for sure, but I wouldn't call it my best read of the summer. However, I am excited to think about it becoming a movie. I think it would translate well, and it would be nice to see the lead role as a beautiful, older woman.

I am excited to read more of Jane Adams novels. She has 3 fiction novels and 8 non-fiction. She is a social psychologist who has covered many different topics, but most focus on women coping with family or change.

To gain more insight on Sugar Time go to the blog. Or you can visit the book website.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Today I have decided to start a new MEME. This meme will give each blogger an opportunity to give a brief description of a book they have read or reviewed during the week.

It will work like this:
Each Saturday You will post the answer to these questions. The number indicates the number of answers you will provide.

1 Book you read and/or reviewed this week
2 Words that describe the book
3 Settings where it took place or characters you met
4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it
5 Stars or less for your rating?

After each of you complete the meme on your blog add a comment here and I will put a link on my post.

Here is my first post

1 Book Read: He Who Sings Last by Lisa Laird DiRosso
2 Words to Describe it: Obsessed Mystery
3 Places and/or Characters: Miranda the obsessed fan, Jimmy the washed up rock star, New York - the setting of the murder (one of them at least)
4Things I liked or disliked: I liked the background each character was given so you really felt you understood their actions, I liked the surprising twists, I liked the cliffhanger letting me know that there would be another book coming, I disliked Jimmy (not him being in the book as a character but him as a person)
5 Stars or Less? I would rate this at 4 stars

If you would like to read my review go here

Here is the link of the other participants:

Julie J.
Gwendolyn B.

Thanks so much to each of you for participating. I was afraid it would just be me this week so I am very excited. I think this is a great way to give a brief blurb to a book and generate some interest!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Word Verification Balderdash

A new weekly meme hosted by Sheila at One Persons Journey Through A World of Books.

The idea is to take all the word verifications you get when posting to blogs and make up your own definitions.

Here is my first crack at it!

Doggaz: I think we all know what this is...and we don't like it when it is in our face

Scrum: the tiny bit of rum left at the bottom of a glass. BTW, this is an actual word used at Sprint where my boyfriend works. It means an ad hoc project you get to complete without going thru the necessary resources

You know when you see a butt on someone and it chokes you up because you can't believe it is so big...there you have the cophrump (pronounced cofrump)

Airdimis: When the air gets knocked out of you. I.E. I got hit so hard in the gut by the ball I had total airdimis.

Nomessea: A disease I wish I had. Sort of like OCD but it is related to messes only.

Thesti: thirsty with a southern accent. Well, I do declare I am rather thesti.

Nowelo: that moment when you answer a question no and realize right away it could possibly be true. I.E. Do you like reality television? Nowelo I do watch it every single day and laugh my cophrump off.


I can't even begin to tell you how awesome a butler bag is. My Aunt June sells them in her boutique and I saw it for the first time when she came to town for my grandma's funeral. I knew I had to have one! Basically, if you look at the picture you will notice that it has compartments in the bottom. It keeps your purse very organized. Also there is room to the side to put in papers or in my caes books and/or my kindle. Just yesterday I carried 2 publisher catalogs, a book, and a notepad in mine.

I am not known for having a clean purse and usually I can't find anything in it. Since getting the butler bag in the beginning of July I do not have this problem.

For some the price might seem high, but if you tend to buy a name brand purse/bag it won't. I can tell you it is well worth it's price.

Classic small bag is $125

Hybrid large is $165

They can be ordered through my aunt for those prices.

check out the website at - Don't accidentally add an s to bag or you will get a camping gear website

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thurday Thunks - Who's Got Time For Crazy?!

Questions About This And That And That Other Thing

Welcome to the August 13th version of Thursday Thunks!
(which we always seem to post on Wednesday)
Where we make you think a little bit before you blog!
This week we will answer some crazy questions brought to you by
Kimber, the number 4812 and the color of storm clouds.

1. Hypothetical question- you are in a building with famous works of art, old manuscripts of famous novels, and original sheet music from famous composers. The building is on fire and looks to be completely destroyed. Do you grab any of the famous works before fleeing, and if so what?
I would grab whatever was closest and easiest to take. I'm not going to risk my life, but I would try to save something

2. In August 1969, the Manson family went on a 2 night killing spree. Do you think 40 years later they have paid for their crimes?
Hmmm...tough one. Definitely not Manson he is psycho. Unfortunately the others participated too. If they had killed my family I wouldn't want them free.

3. Power Outage! What's the longest you have been without power?
Maybe a day

4. Just bought a new tazer gun. Will you let it be tested it on you to see if it works, and how it feels to be tazered?
Heck NO!! You see people dying from being tasered and I have a heart problem. Not dying just so you can check out your toy!

5. A neighbor's mail was delivered to you. In it is a magazine not wrapped in plastic. Is it ok for you to flip through it before giving it to the neighbor? Do you tell them you looked through it?
I don't believe anybody who says they don't look at it. If I like it I definitely check it out and hope the mailman keeps making the same mistake. Seriously, I get the mail at my office and we always get the magazines for the doctor's office upstairs. I always check them out and then take them up. They are actually my doctor so I could check them out if I were in the waiting room anyway.

6. If I went through your purse/wallet right now, what all would I find in there?
Well, since getting a Butler Bag my purse is totally organized. You should totally look it up. If you want one I know where you can order it. Shameless plug for a family member, but it honestly is the best purse I have ever had.
Right now I have wallet, ibuprofen, tampons, 2 books, catalog of Putnam and Penguin 2010 releases.

7. Have you been living under a rock?
It is summer and it's much cooler under the rock. I do get tired of sharing the space with various 6 and 8 legged creatures though. Not to mention the worms...eewww

8. Tell us something crazy you did this week.
NOTHING! I am so BORING! Hey Thurs is my birthday so maybe I will get crazy tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

He Who Sings Last - Lisa Laird DiRosso

He Who Sings Last
by Lisa Laird DiRosso

"Just how far will one fan go to prove her loyalty? In her novel He Who Sings Last, Lisa Laird DiRosso expertly knits a blanket of obsession laced with suspicion and murder in a suspenseful crime novel centered on has-been celebrity Jimmy Covelli. He leads a quiet, post-fame existence until some ghosts from his past come back to haunt him after nineteen years, when an unsolved murder case is reopened by a zealous New York detective. Covelli charms and harms wherever he goes, and in his destructive path, he leaves behind a host of resentful family members and brokenhearted fans. Will the detective catch him and be able to prove his guilt? Find out in He Who Sings Last."

Tate Publishing

Miranda Madison was only fifteen when she attended her first concert. Watching Jimmy Covelli lead the Floating Hearts on stage took away her breath and set her imagination on fire. It was at that moment that Miranda knew that she and Jimmy were destined to be together.

Jimmy Covelli was an egotistical musician used to getting his way with not only women, but in life in general. He believed that "It doesn't matter what other people think, as long as you like yourself" is a foolish notion and that, "It is not who you are the deems respect and admiration; it iswho others think you are" is the way the world works.

Fast forward nineteen years and Miranda may be grown, but she still believes that she and Jimmy Covelli are meant to be together. She married another man to leave her dysfunctional home, but divorced him when she knew the only way to happiness was to follow her dream. Jimmy Covelli is no longer a famous musician with the good looks and money flowing. He now lives in a two bedroom apartment and works odd jobs to make ends meet. The one thing he has never lost, however, is his ego.

Detective John Vintoni begins to research a cold case - a brutal murder that occurred the very night after Miranda watched Jimmy in concert. His prime suspect - Jimmy Covelli. Jimmy was seen with the beautiful woman earlier in the evening and many believe they had gone to her home for a "rendezvous". Jimmy was never charged in the original investigation, but to Detective Vintoni the case seems clear.

Read along in He Who Sings Last as innocent victims are manipulated and more lives are lost. Miranda will stop at nothing to capture the man of her dreams, Detective Vintoni will stop at nothing to prove Jimmy is guilty of murder and Jimmy will stop at nothing to prove his innocence. Who will sing the last note of victory?

I really enjoyed this mystery. Lisa Laird DiRosso wove in many twists and turns that kept me guessing the guilty party. The narration of this story jumps from one character to another, and introduces not only the characters I mentioned above, but also all the friends and family still associated with them. You learn the back story of each character, and it helps you understand the reasoning behind each of their actions. There are definite surprises and a bit of a cliffhanger ending.

If you would like to read an interview with the author visit Jenni at Falling Off the Shelf here. She does a great job and gives a little background on the author as well.

Thanks to the author for providing me the book to review.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Hannibal's Elephant Girl by Ariion Kathleen Brindley

In 218 BCE, Hannibal took his army, along with 37 elephants, over the Alps to attack the Romans. Eleven years before this historic event, on the banks of a river near Carthage in North Africa, one of his elephants pulled a drowning girl from the turbulent waters. Thus began Liada's epic journey with the elephant known as Obolus.
Back cover, Hannibal's Elephant Girl

Liada was only 12 years old when she was thrown into the river and left for dead. At about the time she has resigned herself to this fate a large "snake" pulls her from the river and saves her life. This "snake" was the trunk of Obolus, an elephant in Hannibal's army. Liada finds herself in the middle of an army camp with no memory of her past, including her actual name.

She settles in with Yzebel, a widow who feeds the soldiers nightly, and her young son Jabnet. Liada quickly develops relationships with the other camp dwellers as well -some good and some bad. She also finds herself drawn to Obolus, and he to her. This novel tells of Liada's time in the camp, her relationships with people and animal, and her struggle to remember her past.

Liada and Obolus have a relationship that seems magical to some and almost evil to others. Her ability to control the large beast makes her several enemies. But, this relationship proves to be so strong that no one can deny it. Many of Liada's adventures actually stem from her attempts to sneak time with Obolus.

The characters in this novel are well-developed. Liada is a quick learner and often times remembers details that she has no recollection of every learning or knowing. People are drawn to her, and she develops relationships quickly. She comes across with a touch of class and an over sized heart. Yzebel, her camp mother, is well liked and is a resourceful woman. She struggles with her family's past and current situation, but remains open to those around her. Tin Tin Ban Sunia has little to no voice, but says more with her actions than many around her. She is highly intelligent and loving. I found myself longing to know her story.

This novel drew me in from the first sentence and didn't let me go. Each new day in the story brought a new adventure. As I went along for the ride my fingers were crossed that things would go well. I developed quite an affection for the female characters in Hannibal's Elephant Girl, and it was difficult to read of their struggles and to accept the actions of those who plotted against them.

Hannibal's Elephant Girl is an excellent historical fiction novel. It is classified as young adult, but I am in my 30's and enjoyed it immensely. In fact, as soon as I finished it I emailed the author to inquire about the release date of a sequel. Yep, this is the first in a series that I will definitely be following. Per Ms. Brindley there will be 5 to 6 books in the series and the next book should be complete in about 6 months. I hope it stays on schedule. Please check out her site for other work she has written. I hope to be reading Raji soon.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Thurday Thunks - Easy As Pie BABY!!

Questions much to do about nothing.

Welcome to the August 6th version of Thursday Thunks!
(which we always seem to post on Wednesday)
Where we make you think a little bit before you blog!
This week we will answer some crazy questions brought to you by Berleen, the number 1 and the color of the crap under your shoe.

1. What the hell were you thinking?
Well, obviously I wasn't...but what the hell were YOU thinking??

2. The tornado sirens go off in your neighborhood - what do you do?
Go outside to check out the situation and then go hang out in the basement. If it were just me I would probably stay outside looking, but I have to convince my kids to be safe

3. Give us a recipe.'s a quick cheating recipe
Buy the philadelphia cream cheese cheesecake container in chocolate, chocolate cookie pre-made pie shell, cool whip, oreos

Put cheesecake in the pie shell, top with cool whip, crumble oreos on the top.

It tastes awesome and people think you worked hard on it!

4. It's the middle of the night, there isnt a car in sight and you are stuck at a red light that just won't change.... how long do you wait until you run it?
A couple of minutes...then I probably call someone to complain and then I just GO

5. When was the last time you got all dressed up fancy-like? Where did you go?
Fancy?? Probably someone's wedding or something. Who knows

6. Have you ever had a mole removed?
Yes, on my arm and it left an ugly scar that feels really weird when you touch it

7. Are you in an area of record highs or record lows for the temps this summer? Are you lucky and stuck in the middle where it's somewhat normal?
Most of the summer it has been record lows, but not the last couple of days it has been hot

8. When was the last time you changed your furnace filter?
In April or so...I look really good being able to say that, but we were finishing the basement and I noticed how horrible it looked so I changed it

9. What's your favorite type of frog?
I've never really thought about it. I like colorful ones you see on TV, but aren't they usually poisonous

10. If you were to go on America's Got Talent, what would you do for your talent? (and choosing not to go is not an option....)
Can I speed read? That's about all I am good at unless I can count bossing people around

11. Have you ever been on a rooftop of a building?
yes, my house for several years growing up was an earth contact (3 walls underground). We hung out on the roof all the time. It was cool to layout up there.

12. What is the first website you go to each day when you sit down at your computer, other than your email?
Normally yahoo mail

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays

teasertuesdays31 Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Ok here is my teaser. I have actually finished this book, but it is the closest to me:

I didn't actually lie to Yzebel," I said to Tin Tin when we rounded the bend to the trail. "We are going to see Bostar,but first I want to do something else."
When we were out of Yzebel's sight, I left the trail and slipped into the woods.

Hannibal's Elephant Girl by Ariion Kathleen Brindley.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci

From failure to fusilli, this deliciously hilarious read tells the story of Giulia Melucci's fizzled romances and the mouth-watering recipes she used to seduce her men, smooth over the lumps, and console herself when the relationships flamed out. From an affectionate alcoholic, to the classic New York City commitment-phobe, to a hipster aged past his sell date, and not one, but two novelists with Peter Pan complexes, Giulia has cooked for them all. She suffers each disappointment with resolute cheer (after a few tears) and a bowl of pastina (recipe included) and has lived to tell the tale so that other women may go out, hopefully with greater success, and if that's not possible, at least have something good to eat. Peppered throughout Giulia's delightful and often poignant remembrances are fond recollections of her mother's cooking, the recipes she learned from her, and many she invented on her own inspired by the men in her life. Readers will howl at Giulia's boyfriend-littered past and swoon over her irresistible culinary creations.
Hachette Book Group

I finished this book last week, and I think it had the unfortunate incidence of being read after a memoir that I absolutely loved (Jantsen's Gift). I didn't dislike this book, but it seemed a bit pointless. I spent much of the time reading it and trying to decide what made Guilia's love life worthy of a novel. Sure some of it was funny, but her desperation to find love was also a bit sad. I had a hard time understanding why she had a connection with most of her "loves" except for her desire to have something meaningful. In that sense, I will say that if many women were to look closely they would probably see a bit of themselves. I know I did. It made me think about the times I have held on to a relationship that was unhealthy or pointless.

I loved the recipes included in this novel, and they are what made it stand out. Everything in here was something that could easily be made by an intermediate level cook. And, most of it was made with basic enough ingredients that you would actually eat it. Personal tastes turned me away from a couple recipes, but that would happen with any cookbook. I did like that she included the recipes that kept her going during all of her mishaps and attempts at love. I also liked the little comments she would include with many of the recipes and those did give me a giggle.

I found this novel to be more of a personal journey for Guilia Melucci. It seemed that she wanted to free herself of the mistakes of her past, so she could look to a better future. Also, so she could accept herself for where she currently is.

This isn't a novel I would read again or gushingly recommend to friends, but I don't feel like I wasted my time. I would definitely pass on the recipes.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Doubleback by Libby Fischer Hellmann

Georgia Davis is back in this thriller, the follow-up to 2008's acclaimed novel Easy Innocence. The kidnapping of a little girl on the North Shore of Chicago sets in motion a chain of events that brings together Georgia Davis and Ellie Foreman from the lakes of Wisconsin to the rocky terrain of Arizona.

There is a lot going on in this book - kidnapping, murder, misappropriated funds, illegal immigrant smuggling, and drugs. Now, if you can keep all that straight you can enjoy Doubleback.

This novel begins with an elevator scene in a undisclosed location. Fear grips all involved as the express elevator comes to a sudden stop, throws everyone to the floor and goes dark. Jump to three days earlier and a child is stolen from her school with a warning to keep the police out of it and nothing else. Now enter Georgia Davis, a former police officer turned P.I., and Ellie Foreman, a video producer and neighbor of the kidnapped child. Ellie becomes involved as a neighbor and calls in Georgia hoping that she can help solve the kidnapping. However, the child is returned 3 days later unharmed. Story over...not quite. This is followed by the murder of a bank executive and then the mother of the child. Georgia is hired by the ex-husband to solve the crime. As she begins to investigate she is thrown in many directions and must travel to Arizona to solve the mystery surrounding all the illegal activity.

I enjoyed this novel, but I think I would have liked it more had I read Easy Innocence. Several references were made to the first novel without much information on what happened. If I have read the first novel I appreciate that, but as a new reader it left me with questions. I guess that is good for the author, because I enjoyed this enough that I would read Easy Innocence.

BBAW Questions - I am a Newbie!

Book Blogger Appreciation Week was created by My Friend Amy last year to celebrate book bloggers and promote reading, writing, and everything associated.

This year BBAW will be September 14-18. If you haven't already signed up get over there and put your name down. Then take the time to nominate those blogs you have enjoyed.

Questions to help those of us who are new to connect and those who are experienced to guide us along.

1) What has been one of the highlights of blogging for you?
Getting involved in such a positive community. I had always wanted to do more than just reading(my friends and family say I have a bit of an addiction) my book. I have loved having others that share my love and aren't bored or annoyed by my desire to talk about my books. And, they have actually read or at least heard of the book. Also, I'm not gonna lie I do like getting free books. I would do it without them though.

2) What blogger has helped you out with your blog by answering questions, linking to you, or inspiring you?
Any blogger I have asked has been helpful. I have gotten help from My Friend Amy, Booking Mama, Book Journey, and My Own Little Corner of the World. Presenting Lenore also sent me a great link to her blog which answered questions for new bloggers. And, in addition, the authors and publishers have been so positive and informative.

3) What one question do you have about BBAW that someone who participated last year could answer?
What exactly am I supposed to be doing besides voting on bloggers for awards? I feel like I should be doing something more...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Giveaway - Jantsen's Gift by Pam Cope

Thanks to Anna at Hachette Book Group I have 5 copies of this awesome book to giveaway. The contest with end August 15th at 11:59 pm Central time.

Nine years ago, Pam Cope owned a cozy hair salon in the tiny town of Neosho, Missouri, and her life revolved around her son's baseball games, her daughter's dance lessons, and family trips to places like Disney World. She had never been out of the country, nor had she any desire to travel far from home.

Then, on June 16th, 1999, her life changed forever with the death of her 15-year-old son from an undiagnosed heart ailment.

Needing to get as far away as possible from everything that reminded her of her loss, she accepted a friend's invitation to travel to Vietnam, and, from the moment she stepped off the plane, everything she had been feeling since her son's death began to shift. By the time she returned home, she had a new mission: to use her pain to change the world, one small step at a time, one child at a time. Today, she is the mother of two children adopted from Vietnam. More than that, she and her husband have created a foundation called "Touch A Life," dedicated to helping desperate children in countries as far-flung as Vietnam, Cambodia and Ghana.

Pam Cope's story is on one level a moving, personal account of loss and recovery, but on a deeper level, it offers inspiration to anyone who has ever suffered great personal tragedy or those of us who dream about making a difference in the world.
Hachette Book Group

I just reviewed this book and the review can be found right below this giveaway. Trust me this is one you want to win!!!

To enter this giveway:

*For 1 entry leave a comment answering the question: Have you ever traveled abroad (or within the U.S.) to help those less fortunate? If so, where did you go and did it change you? If not, where would you go to help?

*For another entry please sign up to follow my blog publicly. If you are already a follower you get 2 entries.

*One entry for blogging about this - give me the link

*One entry for tweeting and including me @alipet813

Unfortunately, this is limited to shipping addresses U.S. and Canada only.

Good luck to all!!