Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Giveaway - Permission Slips by Sherri Shepherd

Thanks to Anna at Hachette Book Group I have 5 copies of Permission Slips to give away.

I just received my review copy in the mail and can't wait to read it. Sherri is funny and real and has faith. I am excited to see what she has to say about "giving herself a break".


By Sherri Shepherd

Covering topics such as "It's Jesus or Jail," "Marriage, the Hard Way," "Children: The Gift You Can't Give Back," and "All the Things I Don't Know...And All the Things I Definitely Do," stand-up comedienne, actress, and ABC's The View co-host Sherri Shepherd comically chronicles her struggles to keep up with the many roles-professional, wife, mother, daughter, and friend-that women must play in today's world. Sherri urges women to pursue their most important dreams and to never give up, but also let's readers know that it's okay to give themselves "permission slips" when things don't always work out the way they want them to.

Giveaway Guidelines

  • Post a comment telling one time you needed to give yourself permission to forgive yourself. Make sure you leave your email address.
My story - I went through a time where I was unable to let go of my fears/anxieties that had started after my son became seriously ill and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. I didn't tell anyone and suffered immensely. I eventually had to go to the doctor to get medication -this was only because I stopped sleeping completely and could no longer work. I had to forgive myself for not being able to do it all on my own. I had to forgive myself for not fixing the issues that were beyond my control, and then for allowing myself to get in such a horrible place.

Ok, now that I have put it all out there and exposed myself it's your turn (you definitely don't have to say anything so private).

Contest ends October 20th at 11:59 p.m. Contest open to those in the U.S. and Canada only. No P.O. Boxes.

Giveaway- The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Thanks to Valerie at Hachette Book Group I have 5 copies of this book for giveaway!

Book Information:

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Breathtakingly suspenseful and beautifully written, The Historian is the story of a young woman plunged into a labyrinth where the secrets of her family's past connect to an inconceivable evil: the dark fifteenth-century reign of Vlad the Impaler and a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive through the ages. The search for the truth becomes an adventure of monumental proportions, taking us from monasteries and dusty libraries to the capitals of Eastern Europe - in a feat of storytelling so rich, so hypnotic, so exciting that it has enthralled readers around the world.

"Never was a ghost story so casually erudite, nor a historical travelogue such gripping entertainment." ---New York Magazine

"Impossible to resist. . . . Kostova blends fact and fantasy to remind us that the original Dracula legend is rooted in monstrous acts of unblinking evil." ---Miami Herald

"A richly told story about family and the dark side of human nature. . . . This cry of the heart will appeal to readers beyond those who are drawn by a fascaination with the legend of Dracula." ---Chicago Tribune

"Genuinely terrifying." ---Boston Globe

"Nearly impossible to put down once you crack the spine. . . . It won't take you long to get to the end." ---Houston Chronicle

This would make an excellent book for a book club. Here is the Reading Group Guide.

Guidelines for entering the contest

  • Please leave a comment and answer the question - If you researched your past and found out you were related to someone historically famous who would you want it to be?
  • Make sure you leave your email address so I can contact you if you win
  • Only U.S. and Canada residents can enter and no P.O. boxes are allowed.
Contest ends November 1 at 11:59 p.m. Central.

Simon's Cat by Simon Tofield

Okay, I totally wanted this book. I watch Simon's Cat on YouTube and it is hilarious! I show the videos to everyone. I received the book and immediately took the time to check it out. It was quite refreshing to be able to sit down and review a book so quickly.

The book cracked me up! I will say that I didn't enjoy it as much as the shorts on YouTube, but it is still funny. I handed it to my 14 y.o. daughter about a week later to show her how cute one of the pages was and she couldn't stop turning the pages and laughing. She had not yet watched the videos and had no idea what to expect.

When I read a comic book I don't laugh out loud much. I get a chuckle and read it front to back. It makes me happy and I enjoy it, but I don't laugh a lot. With Simon's Cat I caught myself letting out the occasional HA!

I would definitely recommend it for a light-hearted laugh. You will enjoy it much more if you have a cat or are familiar with the typical cat personality.

Here is the link for my fav YouTube video of Simon's Cat. I posted it on the giveaway post too, but I want to share it again. Here's a link to the official website.

My contest for this book ends tonight at 11:59. Don't forget to sign up!

Winner - Jake the Snake and the Stupid Time Out Chair

Congrats to

Julie P. (BookingMama)

I hope your kids enjoy it as much as mine did!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Show Me 5 Saturday

Welcome to my Meme!

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.

1 Book: Raji by Ariion Kathleen Brindley

2 Words: Homeless Girl

3 Settings/Characters: Vincent Fusilier's "Fuse" barn, Raji - a homeless girl found in Fuse's barn - she doesn't know where she is just that she is free from the terrible things that were happening to her, Fuse - a young man trying to take care of everything while his mother is helping others in Africa and his father heals from an accident

4 Likes/Dislikes: I liked the strength and intelligence of the female characters, I enjoyed Ms. Brindley's story telling ability, I liked the importance of education, I really enjoyed the relationship between Raji and Fuse and am excited to read a sequel

5 Stars or Less: 4 Stars

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bending Toward The Sun by Leslie Gilbert-Lurie with Rita Lurie

A miraculous lesson in courage and recovery, Bending Toward the Sun tells the story of a unique family bond forged in the wake of brutal terror. Weaving together the voices of three generations of women, Leslie Gilbert-Lurie and her mother, Rita Lurie, provide powerful—and inspiring—evidence of the resilience of the human spirit, relevant to every culture in every corner of the world. By turns unimaginably devastating and incredibly uplifting, this firsthand account of survival and psychological healing offers a strong, poignant message of hope in our own uncertain times.

Rita Lurie was five years old when she was forced to flee her home in Poland to hide from the Nazis. From the summer of 1942 to mid-1944, she and fourteen members of her family shared a nearly silent existence in a cramped, dark attic, subsisting on scraps of raw food. Young Rita watched helplessly as first her younger brother then her mother died before her eyes. Motherless and stateless, Rita and her surviving family spent the next five years wandering throughout Europe, waiting for a country to accept them. The tragedy of the Holocaust was only the beginning of Rita's story.

Decades later, Rita is a mother herself, the matriarch of a close-knit family in California. Yet in addition to love, Rita unknowingly passes to her children feelings of fear, apprehension, and guilt. Her daughter Leslie, an accomplished lawyer, media executive, and philanthropist, began probing the traumatic events of her mother’s childhood to discover how Rita’s pain has affected not only Leslie’s life and outlook but also Leslie’s daughter’s, Mikaela’s. A decade-long collaboration between mother and daughter, Bending Toward the Sun reveals how deeply the Holocaust remains in the hearts and minds of survivors, influencing even the lives of their descendants. It also sheds light on the generational reach of any trauma, beyond the initial victim. Drawing on interviews with the other survivors and with the Polish family who hid five-year-old Rita, Leslie and Rita bring together the stories of three generations of women—mother, daughter, and granddaughter—to understand the legacy that unites, inspires, and haunts them all.

Info above provided by www.bendingtowardthesun.com - going to this link will provide additional family, author and book detail. You will also be able to read an excerpt or purchase the book.

Thanks to Julie at FSB for sending me Bending Toward the Sun to read and review.

Bending toward the sun is the act of taking your life and your emotions and your history and turning it to the positive. It is learning to live amidst all that has happened. Sometimes when the history is as intense as being a Holocaust survivor that is easier said than done.

Ruchel "Rita" Gamss Lurie was a small child when her Jewish family was forced to hide in a farmhouse attic in Poland to stay alive. For two years she endured hunger, fear, confusion, and extreme loss. That loss stayed with her and affected her entire life. This novel follows first Rita, then her daughter Leslie and then briefly discusses Rita's granddaughter (Leslie's daughter) Mikaela. It also gives occasional glimpse into the lives of other members of the family who were affected. It weaves through their lives and shows us how the fears and anxieties of one generation can be passed to the next and can affect a family for many, many years.

I was hooked on this book about two words into reading. Not only does this book open your eyes to the horrors of the Holocaust, but it delves into relationships at a very intimate level. While reading Rita's story of hiding in the attic it felt so intense. I wept at the loss of her mother and brother, and I think it will stay with me for quite a long time. She bared her soul in every way. I felt at a complete loss. It is so difficult to read this and know it is not fiction and that there is nothing that can be done to take back what happened to this child and her family. I even feel as if I am rambling a bit in my review, because I just can't put my emotions quite in order. After discussing her time in the attic Rita then takes us through her life after her freedom. Freedom from persecution yes, but freedom from the fears and anxieties she will suffer for the rest of her life - absolutely not. Rita will always cling to her husband and her children. She will always fear that one day death will come to take one of them or her away unexpectedly. She will also always wonder if she is worthy of love and a good life.

Leslie grew up knowing that her mother was a Holocaust survivor. It was still quite fresh to her mothers generation and a part of all their lives. Leslie found that she suffered from wanting to save her mother from everything. She threw herself into so many extracurricular activities to prove her worth and the worth of her family. She states,

"My birth seemed a miracle, which motivated me to make the most of it. I would strive to mend the damaged world I inhabited, to make it good and just again,not only so I could feel safer but to add meaning to Mom's survival."

She and her mother were close, but at times unhealthy in their dependency on one another. Leslie ached for independence,but would draw herself back in on her own if not done by so Rita. As an adult Leslie was successful in business and found a wonderful husband. She vowed to create more independence in her children, but still clung to the need to save and protect her own mother. Little did Leslie know that her own child would suffer from separation anxiety so intense that pushing her to independence would be futile. In completing research she found that later generations of individuals who suffered intense trauma such as the Holocaust can be born with this innate fear. The need to cling to family and feelings of severe anxiety at separation.

One of the most touching portions of this novel is an essay written by 12 year old Mikaela. She sums up her family and their history and present emotions with the intelligence of an adult - but maybe only able to be seen through the eyes of a child. She questions how the Holocaust could have happened, but also acknowledges that the "world often is stupid" and it could happen again. She discusses her fears and anxieties and those of her mother and grandmother. I was brought to tears by her words and found myself shaking my head yes in agreement to so much she had to say. I wish I could write it all out on my page for you to read, but it is much too long and is more appreciated if you have read the entire novel first.

I think this novel was written to record a family history and to provide healing to three generations of women. These are women who love one another and are proud of their Jewish heritage, but have rips in their being from the past that occurred beyond their control. They are resilient and intelligent and inspiring. I would encourage anyone and everyone to read this novel. We all know Anne Frank and I think it is time we know Rita Lurie and not only what happens in the attic, but to the life of the child and her future family when they have to try and stand tall beyond the attic.

E. Lynn Harris Day

On July 24, 2009 well-known author E. Lynn Harris passed away after a "serious health setback" (Arkansas Times). Mr. Harris was known for many things including his ability to include positive, in-depth homosexual African-American relationships as well as those that were "on the down low" in his books. He penned work that showed successful Black men and women, and will continue to have a huge fan base even after death.

His latest novel Mama Dearest has now been released and Karen Hunter Publishing has put together a tribute tour of Harris' friends and family to remember E. Lynn Harris and promote it. Click here to see the schedule.

I am proud to be a part of introducing Mr. Harris' last novel to each of you.

Mama Dearest

One of E. Lynn Harris's incomparable heroines, Yancey Harrington Braxton, is working her way back to Broadway and beyond. And this diva supreme always stirs up drama in and out of the spotlight....

New York City, you've been warned: Yancey Harrington Braxton is back. The ambitious singer and actress is fired up to move past her recent professional and personal setbacks -- including an explosive romance with NFL tight end John Basil Henderson -- and prove her talents are stronger than ever. After being out on tour, Yancey realizes what she really wants is to star in her own reality TV series, and she's even found a rich and well-connected lover to make it happen. There are, however, two women fierce enough to derail Yancey's plans with ambitions of their own: Madison B., a hot new bombshell taking the music industry by storm, and Ava Middlebrooks, who happens to be Yancey's own mama dearest.

Ava is out, about, and ready to reclaim her throne. Not even a stint in prison for attempted murder has curbed Ava's competitive nature, and it doesn't faze her in the least that her #1 rival is her own daughter. Ava is willing to do whatever it takes to make Yancey pay, including using Madison B. to turn Yancey's world upside-down by forcing her to confront the past...and making her comeback dreams more exciting and dangerous than she ever imagined.

Taking readers on a wild, passion-filled tour of the entertainment world, E. Lynn Harris's Mama Dearest delivers sensual thrills and electric plot twists -- with one unforgettable woman of radiant star power, sexual magnetism, and unapologetic ambition at the heart of the action.


Please check back this weekend when I post my review of Mama Dearest.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday Teaser

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!

My Sentences:

Something about that didn't sit right with Madison. It felt a little too fast, too complete before they even started.

pg. 177 Mama Dearest by E. Lynn Harris. I will also be participating in his Tribute by posting a review of this book on Saturday, September 25th.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Saving Ben A Father's Story of Autism by Dan E. Burns


Each year thousands of children are diagnosed with autism, a devastating neurological disorder that profoundly affects a person’s language and social development. Saving Ben is the story of one family coping with autism, told from the viewpoint of a father struggling to understand his son’s strange behavior and rescue him from a downward spiral.

“Take him home, love him, and save your money for his institutionalization when he turns twenty-one.” That was the best advice his doctor could offer in 1990 when three-year-old Ben was diagnosed with autism. Saving Ben tells the story of Ben’s regression as an infant into the world of autism and his journey toward recovery as a young adult. His father, Dan Burns, puts the reader in the passenger’s seat as he struggles with medical service providers, the school system, extended family, and his own limitations in his efforts to pull Ben out of his darkening world.

Ben, now 21 years old, is a work in progress. The full force and fury of the autism storm have passed. Using new biomedical treatments, repair work is underway. Saving Ben is a story of Ben’s journey toward recovery, and a family’s story of loss, grief, and healing. “Keep the faith, never give up.” These are the lessons of the author’s miraculous journey, saving Ben.

“Saving Ben is a haunting tale, so powerfully told that readers will find it practically crawls under their skin as they flip the pages. The story is told through the sensibility of a father searching for clues in a public library that might help him understand the nature of his son’s strange behavior. Answers don’t come easily. It will take years for the father, distracted by grief and denial, to see his son as his darling “scarecrow,” a never-ending work in progress, but also a gift. This is no ordinary journey, with no neat and tidy resolution. It’s the story of Benjamin’s downward spiral into a world not well suited to deal with him. Only a father who grew to love his son unconditionally, a father who was willing to sacrifice all for his son’s sake, could save him.”--George Getschow, Writer-in-Residence of the Mayborn Conference, University of North Texas

“This is a significant work to help inform parents of autistic children. Dan Burns shows he is a pioneer in his struggle to recover his son.”—Dr. Constantine Kotsanis, Wellness Metabolic Institute

About Author:

DAN E. BURNS, Ph.D., graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1979 and taught English at Southern Methodist University, University of Texas at Arlington, and University of Phoenix, publishing in numerous scholarly journals. In 1990 his third child, Benjamin, was diagnosed with autism. Dan helped organize a Dallas chapter of FEAT, a support group for parents, and pioneered educational and medical interventions. In 2006, Dan and his former wife Susan joined forces to implement the new biomedical treatments coming out of the Defeat Autism Now! movement, including Applied Behavioral Analysis, sensory integration, megavitamin therapy, and detoxification. Dan and Ben live in Dallas, Texas.
University of North Texas Press

Imagine your child has an illness and every doctor/medical researcher has a different idea on what will heal him. Many will even say that there is no cure for his problem - Autism. Unfortunately, because thousands of children are diagnosed every year chances are that someone reading this may living this nightmare and not imagining it. Autism remains a highly debated neurological disorder. Children and adults with autism have a wide spectrum of functionality and different treatments seem to work differently for everyone.

Saving Ben is Dan Burn's story of fighting to cure his son Ben of autism and of a family learning to cope with the life changes it presents. When Ben was born in 1987, Dan and his wife Sue were in a great place. They were more financially sound than with their older children and hoped to be able to provide more for Ben. The birth was normal, and except for Ben's large head and constant crying everything seemed to be fine. Dan and Sue followed the path of many parents before them - they figured out what the kid liked and used it to stop the tears. At this point, Ben may not be the easiest baby, but everything is still "normal". As Ben grows older it is obvious that something somewhere has gone wrong. Speech regresses, odd behaviors occur, and a plethora of health problems ensue. When autism if finally diagnosed it seems like they are finally on the right path to healing. It didn't take long for them to realize that autism is definitely NOT easy to fix.

Dan and Sue begin the journey to heal Ben of autism together, but the overwhelming work and their own personal issues begin to seep in and they divorce. During the novel, their relationship is very unhealthy. They spend times working together on a cure for Ben and times where Sue is accusing Dan of inappropriate behavior with their son - just to give an example. Sue has at this point developed mental health issues and really can't be trusted to be the same person from day to day. Dan is not off the hook either. He has repressed his homosexuality for many years and caused his share of grief to the family with his inappropriate actions.

Over the course of Ben's childhood so many different methods of treatment are tried. Sometimes with great success and other times with glaring failure. What remained impressive to me was how hard Dan would work to help his son. He would give up everything to provide Ben with one on one training. His love is never doubted. Sue's love for Ben is also apparent, but because the story is from Dan's point of view it can be harder to see its shine through at times.

This memoir is both touching and frustrating to me. Dan's fight to "save" his son make it obvious his love for Ben and his willingness to try whatever is needed. However, it is frustrating to see that this process requires much experimentation on a child. Please don't misunderstand me I am not implying that Dan or anyone involved in Ben's care treated him inappropriately. It is quite obvious that all methods were applied out of love and a desire for Ben to have more. The frustration I felt was more at the disease and its unpredictable patterns.

Also discussed sporadically in this book is Dan's struggle with his sexuality. I felt that Dan began the novel with a bluntness about his struggle, but then didn't follow through on how he eventually dealt with it or came to terms with his feelings/desires. He lays it out as a basis for some of the family dynamic issues, but I wish he would have explained a bit more. I am not asking for a play by play of sexual encounters or even a disclosure of his relationships, but I felt after its strong reference in the beginning that is should have been more than a side note later. He presented his battle but never let the reader know if he fully accepted himself.

Sue's battle with mental illness is presented only from an outsider looking in point of view. At times, I felt I could feel the bitterness that Dan had about her issues. Overall, I thought he was supportive and presented the situation as honestly as he could.

I found this memoir to be quite intriguing. I do not have a child with autism and was shocked at how much work, research, and emotion goes into it. I commend any and all parents in this situation. I can only imagine that if they were to read this they would relate on so many levels. It was beautiful to see a father with that level of dedication. He wanted to heal Ben at any and all cost. It was touching when he came to terms with the fact that Ben would not be healed, but could be provided a life at a higher level of functioning. I think it was quite clear that Dan will fight for this for as long as it is possible.

I would love to hear from any of you that have dealt with this personally and have read the book. Did you relate? Was it like reading your life? I pray that each of you in this situation find comfort and healing for your child and peace with yourselves that you are doing the best you can.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Giveaway - Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell

Thanks to Valerie at Hachette Book Group I have 5 copies of Beat the Reaper to giveaway.

This book is in the works to be on The Big Screen, so you know it's good! You should check it out and even recommend it to your book group(Reading Guide found below). Watch the book trailer below...it makes you want to pick up the book right away just to determine what could be happening!

Book Information:

Dr. Peter Brown is an intern at Manhattan's worst hospital, with a talent for medicine, a shift from hell, and a past he'd prefer to keep hidden. Whether it's a blocked circumflex artery or a plan to land a massive malpractice suit, he knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men.

Pietro "Bearclaw" Brnwna is a hitman for the mob, with a genius for violence, a well-earned fear of sharks, and an overly close relationship with the Federal Witness Relocation Program. More likely to leave a trail of dead gangsters than a molecule of evidence, he's the last person you want to see in your hospital room.

Nicholas LoBrutto, aka Eddy Squillante, is Dr. Brown's new patient, with three months to live and a very strange idea: that Peter Brown and Pietro Brnwa might-just might-be the same person ...

Now, with the mob, the government, and death itself descending on the hospital, Peter has to buy time and do whatever it takes to keep his patients, himself, and his last shot at redemption alive. To get through the next eight hours-and somehow beat the reaper.

Spattered in adrenaline-fueled action and bone-saw-sharp dialogue, BEAT THE REAPER is a debut thriller so utterly original you won't be able to guess what happens next, and so shockingly entertaining you won't be able to put it down.

Book Extras

Reading Group Guide

Visit www.beatthereaper.com for games and more.

More Media:

Download a podcast

Listen to a clip from the audio book

This contest will run until October 25th at 11:59 p.m. Central time. It is open to the U.S. and Canada only - NO P.O. Boxes.

  • To win this book please leave me a comment and make sure you include your email address.
  • For an additional entry please tweet and include me in it @alipet813
  • One more entry if you put it on your blog
Thanks and Good Luck!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Online Books, Poems, Short Stories - Read Print Library

Online Books, Poems, Short Stories - Read Print Library

Shared via AddThis

Show Me 5 Saturday

Welcome to my Meme!

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.

1 Book Bending Toward the Sun by Leslie Gilbert-Lurie with Rita Lurie

2 Words Holocaust Survivor

3 Settings/Characters:
Poland, an attic at a kind farmer's home, Rita Lurie - we see her from small child to older adult beginning with her life in Poland trying to survive as a Jew

4 Likes/Dislikes: Like hearing a first hand story of surviving the Holocaust, like that you see the effect on 3 generations of women, Liked the honesty and willingness to share everything, Disliked how Rita was treated by her step-mother

5 Stars or less: I am not quite finished but so far this is a 5 star book!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Hardball by Sara Paretsky

Chicago politics—past, present, and future—take center stage in New York Times–bestselling author Sara Paretsky’s brilliant new V. I. Warshawski novel.

Chicago’s unique brand of ball is sixteen-inch slow pitch, played in leagues all over the city for more than a century. But in politics, in business, and in law enforcement, the game is hardball.

When V. I. Warshawski is asked to find a man who’s been missing for four decades, a search that she figured would be futile becomes lethal. Old skeletons from the city’s racially charged history, as well as haunting family secrets—her own and those of the elderly sisters who hired her—rise up to brush her back from the plate with a vengeance. A young cousin whom she’s never met arrives from Kansas City to work on a political campaign; a nun who marched with Martin Luther King Jr. dies without revealing crucial evidence; and on the city’s South Side, people spit when she shows up. Afraid to learn that her adored father might have been a bent cop, V. I. still takes the investigation all the way to its frightening end.


V.I. Warshawski has never been one to skirt around an issue or a case that needs solved. When the case comes knocking on the door of her family's past, those involved begin to question her doggedness.

V.I. has taken on a pity case. The one she can't turn down because the young female pastor and the dying old lady said they needed her. She is pretty positive she will never find a young man who vanished around 4o years ago, and she is also pretty sure that she isn't going to get paid much to try. It isn't long before the past leads her to a heavy hitting African American gang called the Anaconda's and then right to her father and uncle.

Also in the the equation is her young, perky cousin Petra who seems to be asking a lot of odd questions and behaving rather strangely. Petra has come to Chicago to get out on her own and is working on the election campaign of a popular politician. Her people skills and cutesy personality move her to the front of the campaign rather quickly or is it something else that made her so interesting to the campaign manager?

Learning her family history causes V.I. to question the integrity of her cop father. Something that doesn't settle well. It also makes her question if anything is as it seems.

V.I. is taken around Chicago's past and present in some not so pleasant ways. The past hits too close to home, and the present seems out to get her personally. Her office is ransacked, her cousin is missing, and an explosion puts her on the bench momentarily.

This novel kept me going from start to finish. The only issue I had was a moment of confusion in the first of the story. I was following along with the disappearance of Petra when suddenly the story traveled backward to where the current story had really begun. The segue was so quick that I didn't even realize it had happened. I had to search that chapter of the book for a bit to figure out exactly how and where that change in timeframe occurred. Once that was clear I was good to go.

I am ashamed to admit that this is my first V.I. Warshawski novel. I would absolutely read another one. She is a female detective that does not fall into a female stereotype. She takes a case head on and digs deeply until she gets an answer. I also found the other characters to be well-developed. Each had a distinct personality that stayed true to form for all of Hardball.

Hardball does alot of delving into the past to solve the current mystery and crimes. The background story of the missing man and Anaconda gang and V.I.'s family is well presented. The historical aspect of the racial tensions in Chicago was intriguing and a type of truth that can be hard to swallow today. It was easy to take the story that Paretsky built and accept the final outcome. Sure, it is convenient that the man who disappeared 40 years ago has a link to a criminal she previously knew, a politician her cousin works for, and a case her father was a part of during his police days. Somehow it seems to work though. What I did like is that even though it was family it didn't get wrapped up in such a neat little bow that made her family perfect and innocent.

On a side note, Sara Paretsky grew up not far from where I currently live. It is always fun to read a story where the author mentions your town. V.I.'s cousin Petra is from a town I lived in for years and her general hometown in the suburbs of Kansas City is my stomping ground. I don't know about the rest of you, but everytime I read something like that it makes me smile.

Thanks to Lydia at Penguin Group for the ARC of Hardball.

BBAW Celebrate Books - Looking Forward

Today's Assignment - Setting Goals!
Write in 50 words or less…what do you like best about your blog right now and where would you like your blog to be a year from now?

Current Greatness - the connections being made and my recent blog layout updates.

Future Greatness - sitting down to write a review without needing hours of processing. A blog brimming with my true personality....a little book nerdiness and ALOT of silliness .

Below are some pictures so you all can see just what a goof I usually am...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

BBAW Celebrate Books - 14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy

Today's BBAW post guidelines are to do a review of a book I learned about from another blogger. Natasha at MawBooks reviewed a book in August 2009 that I absolutely had to buy immediately. She has intrigued me several times, but this one wasn't something I wanted to add to the TBR it was something I wanted to own and read RIGHT THEN. I promptly purchased 14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy and wanted to post the review today. Thanks Natasha!

In June of 2002, a very unusual ceremony begins in a far-flung village in western Kenya. An American diplomat is surrounded by hundreds of Maasai people. A gift is about to be bestowed on the American men, women, and children, and he is there to accept it. The gift is as unsought and unexpected as it is extraordinary. A mere nine months have passed since the September 11 attacks, and hearts are raw. Tears flow freely from American and Maasai as these legendary warriors offer their gift to a grieving people half a world away. Word of the gift will travel news wires around the globe. Many will be profoundly touched, but for Americans, this selfless gesture will have deeper meaning still. For a heartsick nation, the gift of fourteen cows emerges from the choking dust and darkness as a soft light of hope_and friendship. Master storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy hits all the right notes in this elegant story of generosity that crosses boundaries, nations, and cultures. An afterword by Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah_the Maasai warrior at the center of the story_provides additional information about his tribe and their generous actions. Thomas Gonzalez_s stunning paintings, which are saturated with rich hues of oranges and browns, and blues and greens, capture the modest nobility of the Maasai people and the distinctive landscape of the African plain. www.amazon.com

September 11, 2001 changed our world. Americans were traumatized and it was the first time that many of us felt unsafe living in the United States. Around the world countries rushed to support America. 14 Cows for America is one such example of selfless giving.

Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah, a Maasai from Kenya, lived in New York during the attacks. The following Spring he returned to his tribe and shared his story of that time. The Maasai are a people who believe in compassion and caring. It is their belief that "to heal the pain in someone's heart...you give them something that is close to your own heart". One thing very close to the Maasai is their cattle. Cattle are cared for as well as family member and represent life to the tribe. In an effort to heal the pain of the American people the Maasai offered 14 cows.

I found this story to be truly touching. The Maasai offered "life" to the American people after a great loss of life- literally and symbolically. By symbolically I am referring to the changes that took place in us after we lost our sense of safety and indestructibility. To some 14 cows may not seem like a sacrifice, but this is a large gift. Cattle are not owned by all and must be saved for over time. Cattle represent "life" and provide food and livelihood. The cattle are hope and growth and healing.

The artwork in the book is breathtaking and the story almost lyrical. It is a picture book with great depth. This is a story that will remain on my shelf for life. This is a story of compassion that I will take off the shelf and remind my children of regularly.

In addition this book is a bit extra special in my house. My son is half African with a father from Kenya. This book shows his father's native land in a positive and beautiful light. It will be used in my house to teach him about the other culture that is deep within him. My son is not a Maasai, but he is part of a Kenyan tribe. Living in the U.S. takes that piece away from him, but this book will show him one way in which a tribe of Africa can make a difference for a Great Nation and People. The last line of this book is amazing and sums up exactly the lesson I want him to learn,

"Because there is no nation so powerful it cannot be wounded, nor a people so small they cannot offer mighty comfort."

Absolutely beautiful!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

BBAW Celebrate Books - Wednesday Meme

Today we are supposed to answer some meme questions created at the BBAW site. Sounded fun to me so here I go:

That's me in the middle between my 2 best friends. Tiff on the left and Ann on the right. Aren't we hotties?! LOL
Just thought I would throw this in since this post is about ME

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?
I try not to snack, but I do it anyway. Favorite snack....hmmm...cereal, cookies

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you? I can't write in my books. I just can't do it. I even cringe at writing my name in the front.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears?
I either just remember the chapter or page. I can't dog-ear. That goes right along with writing in the book. I also can't stand it when my cover gets bent. Yikes...not good!!

Laying the book flat open?
Was this supposed to go with how I keep my page? I do this sometimes, but not often.

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?
I prefer fiction, but like a good memoir

Hard copy or audiobooks?
Hard copy. I don't do audiobooks right now because my cd player is broken in the car. I also think they tend to cost too much. One more thing...I tend to start thinking about other things if I am just listening to them.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?
I read to the end of the chapter if at all possible. Sometimes when I read during my lunch break at work I have to stop early and that is very hard for me.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?
When I am on my Kindle I absolutely look it up right away. In a regular book I see if I can figure it out in context. If not I look it up later unless I can't understand the story without knowing right away.

What are you currently reading?
Bending Toward the Sun by Leslie Gilbert-Lurie with Rita Lurie, The Interrogative Mood by Padgett Powell. I am writing this post early and right now I am also reading Middlesex for a book club meeting on Tuesday. I kind of forgot about it so I don't know that I will get it finished.

What is the last book you bought?
I just bought several off of Amazon. I bought The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, 14 Cows for America, Because I am Furniture, and the Art of Racing In the Rain
BTW, Um, MawBooks is the reason for several of these purchases so I may have to stop reading her blog before I go completely broke. LOL

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?
I usually read one at a time

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?
anytime anywhere, but I like it to be kind of quiet. I do read every workday on my afternoon break while my co-workers play darts. Not a quiet time, but I like it anyway.

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?
I mostly read stand alone, but I can't pass up a good series

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?
Recently, Melissa Foster's book Megan's Way. Very touching story of love, loss, and relationships.
I also recommend The Almost Human Series by Melanie Nowak. This is a great vampire series I read on my Kindle, but is now available in paper. I plan to review this series.

How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)
Organize what is that??? On my old bookshelf I put an author's books together and then just put there by size. I did separate my religious books. Currently, my only way of organizing is to put my review books in order of how they were received.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

BBAW Celebrate Books - Blogger Interview...Wanna Meet Drey?

For my BBAW Interview I had the pleasure of meeting (via email) and interviewing Drey from Drey's Library .

Drey (on the left) pictured here with her friend Mary

I was going to give an intro and tell you all about Drey, but quite frankly isn't that what the questions are for? I will, however, say this... Drey's blog is fun to read. Her personality shines through in everything she writes and I, quite frankly, wouldn't mind being friends with her IRL.

Also, I want to say thanks to Drey, because when I found out she was my interview partner I bombarded her with some blog layout questions. She very graciously answered each one. Her tips were a great place to get started with making my blog what I wanted and my blog is looking fabulous if I do say so myself. LOL

1. Tell me a little about your life outside of blogging...significant other? kids?pets?work? You get the drift..

Hmm. I'm married, with one kid (6-yo boy), and I work full time. So, life outside blogging includes working a 40-hr week (if I'm lucky), picking up the kids (+1 'cuz I watch a friend's kid after school, since she goes to the same school as my son), snack times, homework, meals, hanging with the kid & the Mr., laundry, cleaning, and reading. Sounds like a whole chore, eh?

2. What led you to blogging and how long have you been doing it?

Well, let's see. I started blogging at drey's house back in May-ish of 2008. I was very frustrated with the state of the economy, etc. so it was pretty much a rant blog. Then I branched off into kid stuff,and into books, since I read quite a bit. Eventually, the book stuff took over my rant blog, so I started drey's library--in November '08, I believe--so that the book stuff could have its own home.

3. Do you own or would you consider owning a kindle or other e-reader?

I would LOVE a Kindle. I'm hosting the 2009 Ban on Spending challenge (J. Kaye roped me in, lol!), partly so I could not spend all my money on books, and put it towards a Kindle instead. I'm not doing so well in my own challenge though--somehow books keep making their way into my TBR pile...=(

4. Your favorite book? Favorite genre?

Ahh...This is hard. Favorite genre is fantasy. Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, you name it. Favorite BOOK is hard. I have favorite authors in the genre--C.s. Friedman, Michelle Sagara, George R.R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, C.E. Murphy...I also love mysteries, and have been very much in the mood for chick lit lately. Please don't make me pick a book...=)

5. How many books would you guess are in your TBR pile right now?

Hmm. A lot? Counting all the books I have for review, and the ones I've won during the year, there are about 50 books.

6. What is the craziest place yo have ever read?
In a hot tub. Trying to keep the book dry was an experience.

7. Describe your ultimate reading experience e.g. place, time, layout, music, etc.

Curled up on a comfy chair with some hot chocolate & Bailey's in a nice keep-warm mug next to me.

8. Eating while reading - good or bad?

GOOD! How else would I indulge in the occasional nibble (chocolate, of course!).

9. Favorite board game/party game?

I love board games and card games. Any kind. Or, should I say, every kind? =) We play Texas Hold 'em in the fall & winter. Board games when we have enough people. It's even carried over into the online world--we play Catan and Carcassonne on the XBOX 360 against our friends.

10. Addicted to any TV show(s)?

Not really. I love The Amazing Race, and Survivor. Loved Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, but it's dead now. Loved Battlestar Galactica, can't wait to see what Cylons will be like. Yes, I am a geek.

11. If you could be anyone (dead or alive) who would you choose and why?

Yeesh. I would love to be the Dalai Lama, and see the world change through the reincarnation cycle. (This is the kind of answer you get when I am replying at 11pm at night!) *grin*

Monday, September 14, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays

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!
My sentences:

Can you list the things you are afraid of, or is it easier to list the things you are not afraid of, or are you afraid of nothing, or are you essentially afraid of everything?
If you yourself are not a coward, do you look upon a coward with sympathy or with disgust?

p. 41 of uncorrected proof of The Interrogative Mind by Padgett Powell

This is a book made up entirely of questions and I find it very entertaining!

A Bit of Excitement for Me

Okay, most of you don't know me personally so you don't know much about my kids. My dear daughter is 14 yo and has had her struggle with reading in the past. I won't go in to my personal rant about how the school failed miserably or how I think I must have failed a bit too.

Anyway, a couple of years ago when The Twilight Series came out she surprisingly decided to give it a try. At that moment she began a serious love affair with reading. Granted she is very picky and can't stand a "girly" book (but that is her general take on life), but put the right book in her hand and she can't put it down. Yesterday, she agreed to read The Hunger Games and here is the best part....if she actually likes the book well enough to read it (not thinking that will be a problem) then she will write most of the review! Wow!!! If you knew her you would know that's BIG. See, she is a very talented writer, but she doesn't like to share. She sits around and writes poems and short stories all the time, but won't let anyone touch them. She is currently in Creative Writing at school and the teachers have chosen her work a couple of times to read aloud. She won't even let them acknowledge that it is her! I can't wait to see what she says about The Hunger Games!!!

Oh, to top it off she said casually yesterday that she would like to read Pride and Prejudice. I almost fell down in shock! I think I can download it for free on my Kindle so her wish will be coming true whenever she is ready.

There is nothing like the feeling you get when you are totally proud of your kids!!

BBAW Celebrate Books- To All Those Blogging Along with No Award in Your Immediate Future

Today BBAW asked that we recognize those blogs that didn't get shortlisted. No problem! I know a couple of ladies I thought I would be voting for that weren't there. I have a couple of blogs that I read almost daily and my day wouldn't be complete without them now that I know they exist.

Sheila at Book Journey
  • Sheila is new to the book blogging community, but if you were to click on her blog you would have NO IDEA...seriously she seems like a pro. She is very welcoming to others and does great reviews and author interviews among many other things. I read her blog every single day.

Julie at My Own Little Corner of the World
  • Julie - such a sweet woman. Her reviews are great. She does a great job of spotlighting others giveaways and she takes the time to comment on other blogs.
Amy at A Park Avenue Princess
  • Oh Amy the Princess has an amazing blog! She hosts many, many giveaways. Some of them amazingly generous. She also writes great reviews. To top it all off she has about the cutest blog layout I have ever seen.
Melissa at Betty and Boo Chronicles
  • Melissa is an amazing writer. I just love to read what she has to say. Her posts are typically thought provoking and inspiring. Everytime I see on my google reader that she has a new post I rush right to it.

Jenni at Falling Off the Shelf
  • Great blogger! Great reviews! Great commenter! Oh and I like her layout too...I think she may be changing her background soon, but I am sure it will still be awesome.

Jaimie at Book Nerd Extraordinaire
  • Great chick! She has great giveaways and great reviews. She is also great at commenting on other blogs.

Laurel-Rain Snow at many different blogs..I am gonna link just one Creations
  • Laurel has many blogs focused on her books. She is a retired social worker and her work is great! I haven't received my first book in the mail yet, but I have read several excerpts and I want to get started right away. She is always out and about in the blogging community taking the time to encourage others and I like seeing her there!
Here is my Award to You!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Show Me 5 Saturday - OOPS!!

Sorry all I just realized that I didn't post my Saturday meme. I apologize. I worked a full day and I had to take time to prepare my blog tour for this morning. I am posting it now though I don't know if I will get any participants at this point.
Okay here is how it works...

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 better late than never post.

1 Book: 14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy in collaboration with Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah

2 Words: Healing, beautiful

3 Settings/Characters: Kenya - in a remote village where the Maasi live, Kimeli - the Maasai who has been in New York and witnessed the Sept 11th tragedy, Cows - 14 to be exact which are an offering of great proportions

4 Likes/Dislikes: I love the beautiful illustrations done by Thomas Gonzalez - he is amazing, the healing properties in the story teach so much to adults and children, I love that this is a true story it is just so touching, I loved how giving the Maasai were and the symbolic nature of their generosity

5 Stars: Oh absolutely! Everyone should get this for themselves and their children

Thanks to Natasha at MawBooks for making sure others knew about this book!

The Way Home Winners

Congrats to...

Marjorie she already won it elsewhere

Laura Fabiani


Karen K

Park Ave Princess


I am sending an email to each of you right now!!

Book Blog Tour -Megan's Way by Melissa Foster...oh and a GIVEAWAY!

Yesterday I reviewed an absolutely wonderful book - Megan's Way. Today I have the pleasure of talking to the author Melissa Foster. Melissa is not only an author. She also works full time, has a large family, and runs an online social network for women called The Women's Nest. I feel very honored that I am a part of her book tour, and she took the time to answer questions. Melissa has been so sweet and easy to talk to. I can't even begin to tell you how many emails we have shot back and forth. And I don't want to sound like a stalker, but I am her friend on facebook and am always checking out what she has going on!

Welcome Melissa and LET'S GET THIS PARTY STARTED!!

1. I know your inspiration for Megan's Way came from an incident with your mother, but what I want to know more about is the friendships in this book. They are very well developed and what many of us long to find in our friends. Do you have a close-knit group of friends that you modeled this group after?

What a great question! I'm glad you felt that way about the friendships. I think this is what we all long for with our friends. I have friends that I grew up with, and as kids and young adults we were that close, but over the last 15 years (wow, that's a long time!), as our lives have gotten busier, we only see each other about once/year. I have close friends now, as an adult, but they don't share the history that I shared with the other group of friends, and although I wish I had the type of relationship the friends in Megan's Way had, I have to say that I don't. I have friends that live nearby, and I have wonderful friends that I have met on The Women's Nest, but we're spread across the country. Everyone's lives are so very busy with work, kids, sporting events, etc., that I think it's rare to find those drop-everything-to-be-together friendships. I, too, wish I had what I created with Megan, Holly, Peter, and Jack. But that's the great thing about fiction - we can live vicariously for a while through our stories.

2. There are several paranormal aspects to this novel. What made it important to you to include that?

I really am a believer in the spiritual side of people, and I believe that side does not just disappear when someone dies. I'm not a religious person, just a spiritual one, so this has nothing at all to do with religion of any sect. I wanted readers to see a side of death that perhaps they had not entertained before, or maybe had written off. Megan's death allowed me to dangle and idea in front of readers and let them be the judge, and hopefully give some readers hope and a sense of peace. The other aspects, the visions and paranormal connection that Megan and Olivia shared, as you probably noted, was given as a "spell" by the psychic as the girls left her tent. She cast it in their direction, and we don't learn until later that it was meant for Megan. I don't really believe in spells, but I do believe in the connection she shared with Olivia. I wanted the readers to again be shown something that perhaps they had written off. I love an open mind, and hoped that readers might open their minds a bit to things they may not understand.

3. What message do you most hope to convey to the readers with Megan's Way?

There are a lot of messages I hope to convey, the first few being noted above. I'd also love for the readers to come away with a sense that perhaps they should be more forgiving. When people make decisions that seem "wrong" to some, there are probably deep-rooted reasons why they are making them, and often times that is overlooked and people are judged too harshly. I am not condoning the behavior of the characters, obviously Holly, in the real world, would have strong ramifications for her actions, but in the fiction world, her actions can show readers how sometimes malice is not the intent, though it may seem that way.

4. I cried ALOT when reading this. Did you cry while writing it?

In many scenes, I had to sort of act out the characters to make sure I was portraying the full emotions. I didn't cry while I wrote it, but I surprised myself and did cry when I read the final, edited, copy. I think that was the first time I let myself view Megan's story from purely a reader's perspective and remove the writer side of me.

5. Are you planning a sequel with these characters or do you consider Megan's Way ended just where it should be?

I am so surprised at how many emails I get asking about the future of the characters! For me, the book ended just where it should. At this point I don't plan a sequel to the story - but then again, I don't plan my stories, they find me, so who knows what will come down the road! LOL!

6. What authors do you look to for guidance? most enjoy reading?

Funny you should ask. The author I have turned to the most is Jennie Shortridge. I really love her easy writing style and she's very kind.

7. Tell us about what you are currently writing.

I am working on rewriting my very first novel, The Knowing. The Knowing is a mystery with a paranormal twist (of course), which takes place in my hometown, Boyds, MD, over a seven-day period. Here's a little glance into The Knowing:

When seven-year-old Tracey Porter slips away unnoticed from a local park, it ignites fears and mistrust throughout the small town. Molly Tanner is blissfully unaware that the visions she has had her entire life are about to become horrific and compel her to step out of her safe little existence and begin a dangerous and emotional investigation. Laughed at by the police, and unable to ignore her visions, Molly takes matters into her own hands and begins a dangerous, clandestine investigation to save Tracey.

Weaving her way through the darkest cavities of people’s lives, Molly uncovers potentially lethal secrets held by highly respected residents of the small town, and finds herself forced to make decisions with life altering consequences. When all clues point to the local pastor, whose brother was beaten to death twenty years earlier for his association with a prior abduction, it only intensifies her mission to save Tracey and right the wrongs of the town.

8. I see you have a large family - husband, 6 kids, several pets - how do you even find the time to write?

I had to wait years to be able to write-literally! I had been wanting to write since 1991, but could not find the time until all of my children were in school full-time. It seemed like forever during those years. I now write while they are in school. From the second I return home from dropping them off in the morning, until the moment I have to leave to pick them up, I write.

9. In addition to writing you also founded a site called The Women's Nest. How did that come about? Tell me a little about it.

The Women's Nest is my favorite pasttime! It's a free social and support community for women. For years I had wanted to open a venue for women to gather, read books, share stories, gain free medical and financial advice, etc., but I did not, in the end, want to leave my family to run it. A few years ago I had set aside three hours for myself one morning, but all of my friends were at work, and I really wanted to share my time with them. That's when I decided to open The Women's Nest. It all began that day! On the Nest, women from all over the world can tune in from anywhere; work, blackberry, home. Relationships with other women, in my opinion, are vital to our sanity - we all need a little escape from the chaos of our lives and sometime the chaos of our own minds. The Nest offers that. We have forums (no groups, the forums are open to all women), blogs for every member if they'd like one, a book club (we can chat with each other without having to leave our children, husbands, etc.), we even have guest authors to chat with! We are very lucky to have a physician and a financial expert donate their time to answer member questions, too. There's a no-spam policy, so there are no ads to weed through or hyping of other websites. Our forums are fun and supportive, and very addicting! LOL!.

10. On top of all of this do you also work full time? I know you paint...

I have always worked full-time. The last ten years, however, I've worked primarily from home to be with our children. I own a human resource consulting firm, which I have minimized over the past few years, I am a Realtor, and this year I stepped down from my position of four years as the President of the Boyds Civic Association. This year, however, I will be putting my real estate license into referral status, and concentrating primarily on writing. I'm very excited!

11. Give me 4 words that best describe you.

I'll give you four words for what I think describe me, but it may be way off from what others think: energetic, creative, sensitive, determined

12. Just for fun...what is the craziest place you have read or written?

Probably the craziest place I've read was up in a tree! I used to climb a tree in the backyard when I was angry or upset (I was about 8 years old, I think) and I'd just read and be away from everyone. The craziest place I've written? That's hard to answer because I'm not sure if they're really crazy:-) I write in the kitchen, in the car on long trips, by headlamp at night while my husband sleeps next to me, in crayon on scraps of paper while coloring with the kids.

Thanks so much Melissa for your time and wonderful answers. I know by the end of your book tour you will have many more devoted fans.

Okay, if you don't love this woman and want to read Megan's Way and The Knowing right now then I am concerned about your sanity!!

Now, I have about a million links for you to check out related to Megan's Way.

Megan's Way - the website. Everything you want to know is all right here!

The Women's Nest - Melissa's social networking site just for women. You won't be sorry when you check this out. There's health tips, friendship, laughter, and No SPAM (except for Megan's Way plugs on occasion)

An awesome news article and interview with Melissa!

Melissa's interview with Bella Online.

A great interview with Melissa about her online book group with Sheila at Book Journey

All her other blog tour stops...

September 4: My Book Buddies, hosted by Maryrose Serac. 1 copy of Megan's Way will be given away!

September 5: Debs Desk, hosted by Debbie Deskin, 1 copy of Megan's Way will be given away!

September 12: That's A Novel Idea, hosted by Alison Rotich, 1 copy of Megan's Way will be given away!

September 14: So About What I Said, hosted by Melissa Blake, 1 copy of Megan's Way will be given away!

September 15: Book Tumbling, All Things Books, hosted by Christine Zegelis

September 17: These Are Days, hosted by Jessie Ford

September 18: Readaholic, hosted by Bridget Hopper

September 21: Brown Girl Book Speak, hosted by Terri Lee-Johnson

September 24: The Obsessive Reader, hosted by Rachel Connell

October 6: Park Avenue Princess, hosted by Amy Santos

Okay, and now for the best part. I have ONE SIGNED COPY of Megan's Way to giveway! Here is all you have to do:

  • Comment and tell me what part of Megan's Way sounds most interesting. Make sure to leave your email address so I can notify you if you win
  • Tweet about the giveway with a link to this interview for one additional entry
  • Blog about it for another entry.
Okay, this will end on October 5th at 11:59 p.m. It is open to U.S. and Canada only - sorry!

Good luck!