Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Laws of Harmony - Review

I’m happy to tell you about a new book I just read. I was given an Advanced Readers Copy of The Laws of Harmony by Judith Ryan Hendricks, and seriously had problems putting it down!! I read it in a couple of sittings, but only because I had to go to work (damn job – haha, just kidding!).

From the book jacket:

In 1989 Sunny Cooper escaped to Albuquerque. Fourteen years later, she’s still there, struggling to make a living, to shore up her floundering relationship, and to forget her childhood on a commune, where a freak accident killed her younger sister, Mari.

Just when the “normal” life Sunny craves appears to be within reach, another accident – the sudden death of her fianc√©, Michael, and revelations that their relationship was not what it seemed – will turn her world upside down. Once again Sunny escapes, this time to the town of Harmony on San Miguel Island. But a surprising discovery sparks an emotional encounter with her estranged mother and forces both women to reexamine the truth of their memories. Only by making peace with the past can Sunny finally step out of its shadow and into a new life.

I loved the concept of Sunny growing up on a commune. I think hippies are cool, and hearing some stories about life on a commune in the 80s was really interesting. But it turns out that commune life just wasn’t for her, and she longed for normalcy.

I really liked the way the book was written – in the present with some flashbacks to life on the commune, special moments between Michael and Sunny, and interactions with her maternal grandparents. Those flashbacks added so much to what was happening to Sunny in the present and helped the reader to understand her reactions, her attitudes towards the other characters and just her overall personality.

All the characters were believable, especially everyone on the small island of Harmony, where Sunny escapes to after the death of her fianc√©. Sunny can’t seem to believe the kindness of all the locals, and is wary of it at first, but comes to realize that this is a place where she belongs.

There were also a couple of moments when my jaw totally dropped at what I was reading. There are some unexpected events that kept the story interesting and moving along at a nice pace.

I would definitely recommend checking out this book!!! The official release date is February 10, 2009!!!!!

But wait!!! HarperCollins has offered to give away 5 copies of this book!!! WHOOOT WHOOOOT!!! All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog!! No really, that’s it!! But PLEASE remember to leave a valid email address or an active blog link. I have to be able to get a hold of you if you win. All entries that do not leave an email address or active blog link will be deleted and not entered in the contest – sorry, but dems the rules! Open to US residents only, and no PO Box addresses, please. The last day to enter is Monday, February 9, and I'll post the winner on the official release date of Tuesday, February 10!!

Winners will be chosen randomly using Random.org Number Generator. Good luck to everyone!!!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Still not a Real Librarian

I didn't get the job.

How heartbreaking...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Review: All Men are Cremated Equal

I am excited to be telling you about the latest book I read, Elizabeth Fournier's "All Men are Cremated Equal." Elizabeth has written a fabulous book that chronicles her blind dating adventures. Seventy-seven of them!!! Damnation!!

When she comes out of an engagement at the age of 36, Elizabeth decides she is going to take matters into her own hands. She puts together a list of official dating criteria, or "The Big Ten" as she likes to call them, and the man must meet these criteria – or else there will be NO second dates! She is set up on these dates by friends, relatives and even her former boss who had fired her!

Let me tell you a little about Elizabeth. She is a mortician by trade (hence the title!), but has a variety of other interests, such as motorbike riding, ballroom dancing, and seems to be quite the beer connoisseur. She is funny and witty and has a range of knowledge that seems designed to impress…well, anybody. And I have to tell you, I am impressed by her. I think you have to be a strong person to do what she has done here. She took her Big Ten list, applied it to the people she was dating, and remained true to herself and her beliefs. She never faltered in her mission, even though at times it was lonely. She never accepted a second date – even if the guy missed one point on the list – because she knew what she wanted and wasn't about to compromise herself.

And now, the dates! Um…WOW. There are some interesting guys out there. I think I have dated a couple of them!!! Everyone will be able to relate to at least one of the guys Elizabeth talks about in her book. Although I have never met a man who has talked ONLY in quotes…yes, that really happened. You have to read it to believe it, and I know you will get a kick out of
these…experiences. And, I have to say, I spent the entire book wishing I was sitting at a bar with Elizabeth and her girlfriends, drinking beer, sharing nachos and listening to her stories in person. She is so animated and funny, I just want to be her friend!!!

I think if you have ever experienced a blind date (or just a date in general) you should read this book. I even think guys could get some tips on what NOT to do!!

Oh, and Elizabeth, I have to tell you – you don't look like a mortician!! (And I know you are sitting there, smiling the smile you always smile when someone makes that observation!) *wink* Thanks for the book, girl!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What's that?! A story time post?!?!

That's right friends!!! I am going to do a story time post. Why? Because I can. I know it's not Tuesday, but I feel the need to share this with you.

I was fortunate enough to have an interview recently, and was SUPER excited to be able to do story time as a part of that interview. So, I gathered up some of my favorite Bear stories and came up with a smashing story time for a whole new group of kids. I think they enjoyed it...I HOPE they enjoyed it...

I haven't heard anything from the interviewers yet, so I still have my fingers crossed. If you wanna pass along any vibes, I'd appreciate it!!! I'll be sure to keep you updated!!! =)

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson


Where's my Teddy by Jez Alborough



Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? by Bill Martin, Jr.
I haven't heard anything from the interviewers yet, so I still have my fingers crossed. If you wanna pass along any vibes, I'd appreciate it!!! I'll be sure to keep you updated!!! =)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sinner's Guide to Confession - Promo 101 Virtual Blog Tour

I am very excited today to be presenting a tour for Promo 101 Virtual Blog Tours!! And, I am even more excited about the book I was asked to review, Sinner's Guide to Confession by Phyllis Schieber.

From the book jacket:

“Barbara, Kaye, and Ellen, longtime friends of a certain age, are inseparable – but each nurtures her own secret. As a widowed mother of three adult children, Barbara has no intention of revealing to anyone her persona as a celebrated writer of erotica. Kate, in a stable but often joyless marriage, is having a clandestine affair that reawakens her passion even as it fills her with conflict. Ellen has lost her husband to a far younger woman, who is now pregnant with his child – a painful blow to Ellen since she and her husband were never able to conceive. But she is not childless…

Ellen is still haunted by the memory of the baby girl she had at sixteen and was forced to relinquish. Estranged from her family, Ellen is reluctantly thrust back into contact with them after the death of her father, and she realizes that if she is ever to find her lost daughter – now a grown woman herself – she will have to confront her shame and rely on her dearest friends.”

I found this to be a wonderful book. Once I got started on it, I didn’t want to put it down. The relationships between the three women in this book were not only believable, but comforting. I have read quite a bit of chick lit – and I suppose this could fall under that category – but with a bit more depth than most of the chick lit I have read. These women are in their fifties with a strong friendship and bond. They have been friends for a long time and know virtually everything there is to know about each other. They each have been keeping a major secret from the others, but eventually come to realize that if they are going to move forward with their lives and embrace who they are – not in spite of their secrets, but because of them – then they need to let their true friends in completely.

This story of friendship really touched me. I cried at a couple points and laughed at others. These friends are witty, loving and most importantly, real. And even though the friendships were the main focus of this book, the other relationships were not lacking. The relationships between mother and children (Barbara and her 3 kids, Kaye and her two, as well as Kaye and her aging mother), and the relationships between husband and wife (Kaye and her husband, as well as Ellen and her estranged husband), were all convincing and authentic.

I would recommend Scheiber’s novel to anyone looking for an evolved version of chick lit. These highly developed characters will grab you from the beginning and keep you captivated until the end.

And now, some info!! Please read 'til the end - after some great author info, there is also info about how to win a free copy of Sinner's Guide to Confession!! Two lucky visitors to the blog tour will win copies of this fabulous book!! Please leave some comments - about special friendships, or feel free to spill any secrets you have (I promise not to tell)!!

About Sinner's Guide to Confession:
Kaye and Barbara are longtime friends, now in their fifties. Ellen, who is several years younger, develops a friendship with the other two women years later, solidifying this close-knit group. The three women are inseparable, yet each nurtures a secret that she keeps from the others.

About Author Phyllis Schieber:
The first great irony of my life was that I was born in a Catholic hospital. My parents, survivors of the Holocaust, had settled in the South Bronx among other new immigrants. .In the mid-fifties, my family moved to Washington Heights. The area offered scenic views of the Hudson River and the Palisades, as well as access to Fort Tryon Park and the mysteries of the Cloisters. Her
first novel, Strictly Personal, for young adults, was published by Fawcett-Juniper. The Sinner's Guide to Confession, was released by Berkley Putnam and in March 2008, Berkley Putnam will issue the first paperback publication of Willing Spirits.

Win A Free Book from Phyllis Schieber – Its very easy to be entered in a drawing for a FREE book by Phyllis Schieber. Post comments on any blogs during the virtual tour and you will have a chance to win a book from Phyllis. One random person will win – but we are also asking visitors to share a secret and one secret will also win a free book. As a bonus the blog owner that hosted the winning comments will also win a book. Share some interesting stories and questions with Phyllis Schieber during her tour – and have a chance to win a book.

For full details about Phyllis Schieber's virtual tour, visit her tour home page - http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2008/12/sinners-guide-to-confession-by-phyllis.html

Order Your Copy here - http://tr.im/2x1g

Visit Phyllis Schieber www.thesinnersguidetoconfession.com or www.phyllisschieber.blogspot.com

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Welcome 2009!!

Goodbye, 2008!! Welcome 2009!!! I am looking forward to this coming year - I have good feelings about this one!!

I finished my 2008 Book List of everything I read last year. I finished 50 books - I had thought I would read more, but I think 50 is a good number! Take a look - see if there's anything you read or are interested in reading!! One of these days I'll link up all the reviews I did to the list... Maybe when I get internet at home!?

I hope everyone had a marvelous holiday and I wish everyone the best in the coming year! Hopefully this blog will continue with lots more reviews, blog tours, updates and stories and giveaways!! Thanks to everyone for making blogging so fun!!

And now, in honor of "Library Question of the Day," I'm going to give you "Retail Question of the Day."

Woman Shopper: Excuse me, is there any way to try this on without trying it on?
Real Librarian: Um...no...