Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Review and Giveaway: Legacy

So, I have to be honest… I wasn’t 100% sure about reading a coming-of-age historical fantasy novel written by a 16 year old. But, seriously, Legacy by Cayla Kluver blew me away!!

Princess Alera is fast approaching her 18th birthday, at which she must choose a suitor who will eventually take over the throne of the Kingdom of Hytanica. If she is unable to find a suitable match based on love, then her father, King Adrik, has already chosen someone to step up to that task. Unfortunately, the chosen match, Steldor, is arrogant and egotistical, and definitely not Alera’s idea of a good husband.

Another man enters Princess Alera’s life. Narian, a young man who was raised in the rival kingdom of Cokyri, comes to Hytanica. While the people of Hytanica believe that men are superior to women, and men serve in roles of power, the people of Cokyri believe that women are superior. Narian shows Princess Alera a different way of thinking, and different possibilities for life. Alera starts to question her duty.

You would never guess that this story came from a 16 year old (well, she was 14 when she wrote it!!! WOW!!!). The writing is so eloquent and the story flows from the first page. I didn’t want to put it down, and I REALLY didn’t want it to end. The characters were so well developed, I felt like I knew them. All of the supporting characters had distinct personalities and roles in moving the story along. The description of the kingdom and the castle, the market place and the scenery was very vivid. I do have to warn you, though… Legacy is the first book in a trilogy. I, for one, can’t wait for the second book to come out, and I know this book will leave you pining to know what happens next. Definitely check this one out!!

And to get you a little more excited, I've decided to do a giveaway!! Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win!! All you need to do is leave a valid email address (if you don't, your comment will be deleted, and you won't be entered!!). Oh, and blog about this contest (and leave a separate comment with the link to your post) and receive an extra entry!! The contest will run through Sunday, October 11, and I'll pick a winner on Monday, October 12!! Good luck, everyone!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Review: The Sky Isn't Visible From Here

I have only recently started reading memoirs and jumping into other people’s lives. I really enjoy that peek into someone else’s childhood, someone else’s thoughts, someone else’s existence. My latest memoir experience led me deep into a world of a mother daughter relationship and an emotional tale of the demons of addiction.

The Sky Isn’t Visible From Here, a memoir by Felicia C. Sullivan, is not an easy autobiography to read. It was so powerful, and even though I have never experienced addiction, I found myself drawn into the world and unable to let go of the story. It is a story about addiction, and dealing with all of that, but it is also a tale about how a mother can influence their child’s life and decisions – even into adulthood. Felicia mixes memories of her childhood dealing with her mother who struggled with an addiction to cocaine, with stories from her own adulthood and addictions. She writes with such passion and detail, it’s hard not to feel a part of the story.

All in all, this autobiography touched me in a way that I wasn’t prepared for. I can only imagine what it would do for someone who has actually dealt with the horrors of addiction. If you like memoirs, or even if you don’t, I highly recommend this book.

Monday, September 28, 2009

And the winner is...

Congratulations to...

I've sent you an email requesting your snail mail address!!!

Thanks again to everyone who entered!! I promise to have more giveaways soon!!

**Winner chosen using Sequence Generator.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Retail Question of the Day and Giveaway reminder!

So, you might remember a time when I used to post Library Question of the Day. Well, I decided it's time to start incorporating that into the Retail Question of the Day. I mean, there are some questions that get asked in the retail world that are just as in the library world, right? And who am I to deprive my readers of these very important questions.

So, here is the Retail Question of the Day:

Lady Shopper: So, these say "footless." Does that mean they are footless?
A Real Librarian: Uh...yes, that means they are footless.

Yeah. Great question. ANYWAY... I just wanted to remind y'all I have a giveaway going right now!! So far there are only 3 comments!!! Please, if you haven't entered, you totally should!! And, you should spread the word. In fact, I'll sweeten the pot a little - you'll get an extra entry if you post a SEPARATE comment on that review and giveaway post telling me you blogged about this giveaway - and posting a link to your blog post! Awesome, right? And, as always, remember to include a valid email address where I can get in touch with you - I wouldn't want you to miss out because I couldn't reach you!! Good luck!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

A fun Meme!!!

I got this fun Meme from Bloggin' 'bout Books, and she said "Just answer the meme, already!" Since I always do what I'm told...

Hardback, trade paperback or mass market paperback? I usually prefer hardback books. I don't know - there is just something about them. I love the weight of them, and how they lie open on the, that's sounding a little wrong, isn't it?! I don't mind trade paperbacks, but I definitely prefer hardbacks or trade paperbacks to mass market paperbacks.

Waterstones, Borders or Amazon? Wanna know the truth? I honestly don't buy many books for myself. I tend to check them out from the library, or (I am SOOOO LUCKY!!!!) authors and publishers contact me about doing reviews, and I get them sent to me in the mail. If I buy books for gifts, though, I tend to shop at Borders.

Bookmark or dog-ear? Do people still dog-ear?!?! Oh, that makes me sad. I use a bookmark. Or a receipt. Or a torn off piece of paper. Or, on one very sad occasion, a toothpick (it was unused, I swear). I have a zillion bookmarks, but can't ever seem to find one when I need it - ha!

Amazon or brick-and-mortar? Like I said, I don't usually buy books for myself often. I would much rather go into a store and browse around than shop online, though.

Alphabetize by author, or alphabetize by title, or random? The books that I do have are arranged alphabetically by author's last name. I also have a couple of non fiction books, and since I am fairly familiar with the Dewey Decimal system, those books are shelved loosely based on that. A true librarian, huh?

Keep, throw away, or sell? Please, please, PLEASE tell me that no one actually throws away books!!!! That's SOOOO WRONG!!!!! I have donated books to the library before, and I have also taken them to a used book store to sell. Either way, someone else gets to enjoy them!! Throw away!?!?! *shudder*

Keep dust jacket or toss it? I have taken the dust jacket off to read certain books (I always remove the dust jacket when I re-read my Harry Potter series!), but mostly they stay on the book at all time. Toss them, seriously!?!?!!?

Short story or novel? I'm not against short stories, but I tend to read more novels.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket? I Love Lemony Snicket, but I have to say that Harry Potter wins this battle.

Buy or borrow? I am definitely a library user. I don't own too many books of my own.

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendations, or browse? Before, I would mostly read books because I was familiar with the author. Now, I read a lot of book reviews from other fabulous book bloggers, and I have read some that have been recommended by friends. A lot of what I have read lately have just fallen into my lap from authors and publishers who ask me to review their books. That has been so awesome, because I have read a lot of amazing things that I probably wouldn't have given a second glance.

Tidy ending or cliffhanger? If the story kept me guessing, kept me involved, and kept me wanting to turn the pages, then I'm happy. I love a good happy ending, but I love a good cliffhanger!

Morning reading, afternoon reading, or nighttime reading? Ahh, there is no BEST time to read. I love to read in the quiet of the morning before my husband wakes up. I love to read outside in the heat of the afternoon, and I love sitting in my favorite chair at night all snuggled up in a blanket. It really doesn't matter what time of day it is!!

Stand-alone or series? Either is great with me!!

Favorite series? Harry Potter, Janet Evanovich's Numbers series, James Patterson's Alex Cross series and Women's Murder Club series, Twilight.

Favorite children’s book? Wow, there are SO many!!! Anything by Kevin Henkes (especially Chrisanthemum), Little Pea by Amy Rosenthal, anything by Audrey and and Don Wood (Silly Sally, The Napping House, Piggies), Where the Wild Thigns Are by Maurice Sendak, Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill, Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls... Seriously, do you want me to go on?

Favorite YA book? The Twilight series.

Favorite books read last year? The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski, The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Favorite books of all time? Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Favorite book to recommend to an 11-year-old? Harry Potter for sure. Also, I LOVED the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series!!

Favorite book to re-read? I'd have to say the Harry Potter series. I've probably re-read each of those 10 times!

Do you ever smell books? Of course!! I love the smell of books!!

Do you ever read primary source documents like letters or diaries? I haven't read anything like that yet, but I would!!

What are you reading right now? I just started a book called Legacy by Cayla Kluver. I'm not very far into it, but so far, I am intrigued!!

What are you reading next? I have a couple books for review that are on their way to me as we speak, so I am not quite sure what I'll pick up next!!!

FUN Meme!!!! Now, it's YOUR turn!!!!!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Review: Ripley's Believe It or Not - Seeing is Believing

I gotta tell ya, when Carolina contacted me about reviewing Ripley’s newest Believe It or Not book – Seeing is Believing, I was SUPER excited!!! I love reading about random facts and seeing odd and crazy pictures. I love things that make my jaw drop with awe and wonder, or sometimes in shock and disgust. Either way – this is definitely an awesome read. And, with a blinking eye on the front cover, you can’t help but be intrigued!!

You’ll see some interesting things – like a wedding gown made completely of toilet paper, a giant python wrapping it’s huge jaws around a 16 full size wallaby AND it’s joey, a flying bus that flies through a fireball and over 15 motorcycles, and a picture of a 20 lb hamburger and the man who actually are it.

There is an index in the front of the book, and you’ll see facts and tidbits about the earth, food, human bodies, science, customs, animals, and so much more.. Seriously – you will be amazed by something on EVERY PAGE of this book. I’m sure you believe it, especially if you have ever seen any of the books in Ripley’s Believe it or Not series.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

BBAW: Review and Giveaway - The Shimmer by David Morrell

I am really excited to tell you about a new thriller by David Morrell called The Shimmer!! I love reading novels that keep you on edge and wondering what’s going to happen next, and this book didn’t disappoint.

Dan Page is a police officer who has seen his share of the bad side of humanity. Out of the blue, his wife disappears and turns up in a small remote town in Texas called Rostov. This town has made headlines due to an unexplained phenomenon called the Rostov Lights. Strangely, people don’t just feel like this is an ordinary tourist destination – many people feel called and compelled to go to Rostov and see the lights.

A terrifying incident happens the night Officer Page finds his wife at the observation area of the Rostov Lights. A gunman begins shooting at the lights – and then turns his gun on the gathered crowd. This leads to a series of events that causes Page and his wife to try and solve the mystery of the lights…a mystery that dates back to the original settlers of the town – and probably before.

As the Afterward points out, this book is fiction – but a “surprising amount of reality is in The Shimmer. Rostov is based on a real town in West Texas (Marfa), and real stories (the way certain people – including a variation of a story about a famous actor – reacted or changed after viewing the lights) are in the novel. I couldn’t get enough of the stories, and have been looking into finding out other information about the lights.

I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a good thriller. This book will keep you guessing and I might even venture to say you might not want to put it down!!

And since it's Book Blogger Appreciation Week, and that's pretty exciting, I want to do a giveaway!!! Here are the rules: Leave a comment on this post telling me who your favorite thriller author is. You MUST leave an email address in your post, or your comment will be deleted (sorry, dem's the breaks!). I'll accept entries until Sunday, September 27 and will announce the winner on Monday, September 28!! Pretty exciting, huh?!?!

Good luck and happy reading!!!!!!!Check Spelling

Monday, September 14, 2009

Book Blogger Appreciate Week is here!!!!

How exciting!!! I just want to give a shout out to all the amazing book bloggers out there. I have read some amazing books that I might not have picked up normally because of these fabulous bloggers. They have such a passion for reading and books, and most of all sharing their thoughts with the rest of us who share their passion!! Here is a shortlist of a couple of my favorites!!! Definitely take the time to run through these awesome blogs - and maybe even some of THEIR favorite blogs, too!!!

At Home with Books

Redlady's Reading Room

Peeking Between the Pages

Booking Mama

The Literate Housewife

A Bookworm's World

My Friend Amy

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Review: Bundle of Trouble: A Maternal Instincts Mystery

I am always excited to hear from a new author about reading their book for my blog, so when Diana Orgain emailed me to review her debut novel Bundle of Trouble: A Maternal Instincts Mystery, I jumped at the chance!! I love a good mystery, and was in the mood for a light, fun read, and this book was PERFECT for that!!!

Kate is a brand new mother who is struggling with not only new motherhood and the desire to become a stay-at-home mom, but she’s also been thrown into a series of crazy events. Not one, not two, but THREE murders have been committed, along with several other things, and Kate is determined to find out what happened. Sensing that being a Private Eye would be the perfect job for a stay-at-home mom, Kate throws herself right into the middle of an investigation that leads her to all kinds of situations.

Once I picked up this book, I couldn’t put it down. I enjoyed all the characters (even though there were quite a lot of them), and I especially liked the descriptions of how Kate was handing the sleep deprivation and being a “poor” breastfeeder. I am definitely looking forward to Kate’s next adventure – I hope it’ll be coming out soon!! Even if you aren’t a new mom, you will appreciate this fun mystery, so definitely check it out!! Also, check out Diana's website for more info about the book!!

Thanks to Diana for emailing me and sending me a copy of her book! I loved it!!!