Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

Monday, October 31, 2011

It's Halloween! What are you reading? (Oct 31, 2011)

I have to start out with some Halloween pictures for this post today - enjoy!

What are you reading on Mondays is hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey - You can hook up with the Mr. Linky there with your own post - but be sure and let me know what you are reading too!  I have some new giveaways going on, so be sure to check the right sidebar!  I am going to try a new format and new reading schedule this month.  I will let you know how it goes.

Currently reading:

Books up this week:

Bathroom Book:

Books finished last week:

Did I review anything last week?
Nope - just checked - not a thing. . .

Until next week ----  Ready - Set - Read!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bout of Books Read-a-thon (Oct 24 - 30)

(This post will stay at the top for this week as I will be updating it daily.)

I figured since I was going to be reading this week anyways - might as well do it for another read-a-thon!  Besides, it will keep my mind off of my daughter's due date!

Bout of Books will run from 12:01am 10/24 through 11:59 pm 10/30 (your time zone)

  • Read as much as you can whenever you can.    The only person you are competing against here is yourself. There is no pressure.

  • Bout of Books should be about networking with fellow bloggers in addition to reading. You were going to read that week anyway, right? Bout of Books gives you the opportunity to share your reading experience with other readers.

  • Use #boutofbooks on Twitter to update people on your progress and what you are reading.  Here is the Bout of Books Twitter list.

  • Each day during Bout of Books has a different co-host. They are in charge for the day, and will offer you a place for you to share your daily progress if you wish as well as a challenge. 

  • Check out the Bout of Books schedule

  • Say hi to other Bout of Books readers.

  • You can see all this and more at On a Book Bender - the host for this readathon.

    Okay - so I am going to try to set myself some goals for this readathon:

    Finish these books:  The Comforts of Home by Jodi Thomas, Disrupted Lives by Brenda Youngerman, The Kingdom of Childhood by Rebecca Coleman and Good Graces by Lesley Kagan

    Read at least 3 more off of this list:
    My Life Undecided  by Jessica Brody
    Skeleton Letters by Laura Childs
    If I Tell by Janet Gurtler
    The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow
    Ghost Files by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson
    Ghost Trackers by Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson, and Tim Waggoner
    Wishes and Stitches by Rachel Herron
    Anything by Michael Baron
    Falling Together by Marissa de los Santos

    I am going to borrow the format that the host is using for updates, and all my updates will be on this page:

    Number of pages read: 100
    Number of books I’ve read today: 1
    Total number of books I’ve read: 1
    Books:  Finished The Comforts of Home by Jodi Thomas

    Number of pages read: 125 pages
    Number of books I’ve read today: 1
    Total number of books I’ve read: 2
    Books: Finished The Kingdom of Childhood

    Number of pages read: only about 10 (got to go see STOMP! tonight though!)
    Number of books I’ve read today: 0
    Total number of books I’ve read: 2

    Number of pages read: again only about 10
    Number of books I’ve read today: 0
    Total number of books I’ve read: 2

    Number of pages read: 165 pages
    Number of books I’ve read today: 1
    Total number of books I’ve read: 3
    Books: Finished Disrupted Lives and continued on in Good Graces

    Number of pages read: only about 40
    Number of books I’ve read today: 0
    Total number of books I’ve read:3
    Books: read from Good Graces

    Number of pages read: 40 pages
    Number of books read today: 0
    Total number of books I've read: 3
    Books: read from Collecting Innocents and The Christmas Shoppe

    Number of pages read: 490
    Number of books read:  Finished 3, read from 3 others
    I at least finished 3 of the 4 books that I wanted to finish - The Comforts of Home, The Kingdom of Childhood and Disrupted Lives.  Unfortunately, didn't get much else accomplished!

    Destined by P.C. and Kristin Cast (Giveaway!)

    Destined (House of Night - Book 9)
    by P.C. and Kristin Cast

    "...Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side, and preparing to face off against Neferet – which would be a whole lot easier if the High Counsel saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together – if he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow…"

    Please fill out the form to be entered in the giveaway!

    Mailbox Monday (Oct 30, 2011)

     Mailbox Monday's host for October is Savvy Verse and Wit. In My Mailbox is hosted Sundays at The Story Siren. Please visit these posts and take a look at what packages everybody else got this week! 
    Out of Oz
    by Gregory Maguire
    The marvelous land of Oz is knotted with social unrest: The Emerald City is mounting an invasion of Munchkinland, Glinda is under house arrest, and the Cowardly Lion is on the run from the law. And look who’s knocking at the door. It’s none other than Dorothy. Yes, that Dorothy.

    Amid all this chaos, Elphaba’s granddaughter, the tiny green baby born at the close of Son of a Witch, has come of age. Now, Rain will take up her broom in an Oz wracked by war.

    The stirring, long-awaited conclusion to the extraordinary bestselling series begun with Wicked, Out of Oz is a magical journey rife with revelations and reversals, reprisals and surprises — the hallmarks of the brilliant and unique imagination of Gregory Maguire.
    Love Out Loud
     365 Devotions for Loving God, Loving Yourself, and Loving Others
    by Joyce Meyer
    Jesus said, "You must love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." - Luke10:27

    If one had to choose a single verse in the Bible that is a formula for successful living, this would be the one to live by, says Joyce Meyer: love God, yourself and others - in that order.

    Many Christians get mixed up about love. They know they should love God and others, but many do not understand that loving oneself is one-third of God's equation. They mistakenly think of it as selfishness or self-aggrandizement.

    Joyce Meyer believes that this misconception is one of the greatest pitfalls in the Christian journey. Loving oneself in a balanced, healthy manner is essential in order to have healthy relationships with God, ourselves and others.

    Drawing upon her previous work and teaching series as well as original devotions, the author of Power Thoughts examines the three loves that we've been commanded to exhibit.

    Family Storms (Storms #1)
    By V.C. Andrews
    In the eye of the storm . . .

    Living on the streets with her destitute mother, selling knickknacks and trinkets just to survive, Sasha Porter dreams of someday having a normal life, with a real house and family. But she never dreamed a devastating tragedy would bring her those very things: on a stormy night by a rainspattered highway, a speeding car veers out of control, striking and killing her mother and badly injuring Sasha.

    . . . is anywhere truly safe?

    In the hospital, Sasha is whisked off to a fancy private suite at the request of wealthy Mrs. Jordan March, a complete stranger who keeps watch by Sasha’s bedside and insists she come live at her family’s sprawling, luxurious mansion. Sasha soon learns Mrs. March never recovered from the loss of her daughter Alena, and with nowhere else to go, Sasha agrees to use Alena’s room, sleep in her bed, and wear her clothes. But someone will make sure that Sasha never takes Alena’s place: a jealous sister dead set on making Sasha’s life a living hell.
    Cloudburst (Storms #2)
    By V.C. Andrews
    The follow-up to Family Storms from New York Times bestselling author V.C. Andrews features high school senior Sasha Porter in search of her sister—but instead she learns secrets that could tear her family apart.

    Sasha is a popular senior in high school, with excellent grades and no more secrets to hide. She finds herself more and more interested in one boy, Duane Banks, who stands out not because he flaunts his good looks and his achievements at the school like so many, but because he is shy and somewhat withdrawn.

    When auditions for the new school play begin, she and Duane both get parts and with the rehearsals, Duane seems to be coming out of his shell, permitting himself to hope and succeed at something. Sasha and Duane become a couple, and their relationships continues to grow.

    When the play opens, Sasha’s foster parents attend, but neither of Duane’s parents show up. Duane goes into a depression, and he begins to ignore not only his schoolwork, but also his appearance. She tries to warn his mother to be more concerned, but she resents Sasha’s inserting herself into their private lives and does nothing. Meanwhile, things take a bizarre turn at home for Sasha and then a sudden tragedy makes her wonder whether there’s anybody she can truly trust.
    As the Pig Turns
    by M.C. Beaton
    Winter Parva is a “picturesque” (touristy) Cotswold village with gift shops, a medieval market hall, and thatched cottages. After a disappointing Christmas season, the parish council has decided to hold a special event in January, complete with old-fashioned costumes, morris dancing, and a pig roast on the village green.
    Always one for a good roasting, Agatha Raisin organizes an outing to enjoy the merriment. The rotary spit turning over a bed of blazing charcoals is sure to please on this foggy and blistery evening. But as the fog lifts slightly, the sharp-eyed Agatha notices something peculiar about the pig: a tattoo of a heart with an arrow through it and the name Amy.
    “Stop!” she screams suddenly. “Pigs don’t have tattoos.”
    The “pig,” in fact, is Gary Beech, a policeman not exactly beloved by the locals, including Agatha herself. Although Agatha has every intention of leaving matters to the police, everything changes when the Gary’s ex-wife, Amy, hires Agatha’s detective agency to investigate—and another murder ensues. With that provocation, how could any sleuth as vain and competitive (and secretly insecure) as Agatha do anything other than solve the case herself?

    The Sleepwalkers
    by Paul Grossman
    In the final weeks of the Weimar Republic, as Hitler and his National Socialist party angle to assume control of Germany, beautiful girls are seen sleepwalking through the streets. Then, a young woman of mysterious origin, with her legs bizarrely deformed, is pulled dead from the Havel River. Willi Kraus, a high ranking detective in Berlin's police force, begins a murder investigation. A decorated World War I hero and the nation's most famous detective, Willi also is a Jew. Despite his elite status in the criminal police, he is disturbed by the direction Germany is taking. Working urgently to solve the murder, Willi finds his superiors diverting him at every turn. As he moves through darkness closer to the truth, Willi begins to understand that much more than the solution to a murder is at stake. What he discovers will mean that his life, the lives of his friends and family, and Germany itself will never be the same.
    What books came home to you this week?


    Monday, October 24, 2011

    It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Oct 24, 2011)

    What are you reading on Mondays is hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey - You can hook up with the Mr. Linky there with your own post - but be sure and let me know what you are reading too!  I have some new giveaways going on, so be sure to check the right sidebar!

    Currently Reading:
    The Comforts of Home by Jodi Thomas - such a good book!  Should be done before dinner!

    The Kingdom of Childhood  by Rebecca Coleman

    Next Up:
    Skeleton Letters by Laura Childs
    Ghost Files by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson

    Audio Book:
    A Discovery of Witches: A Novel  by Deborah Harkness

    Disrupted Lives by Brenda Youngerman

    Next e-books up:
    If I Tell by Janet Gurtler
    An Accidental Mother  by Katherine Anne Kindred
    Ladies and Gentlemen. . . the Redeemers by Michael Scott Miller

    Bathroom Book:
    Good Graces  by Lesley Kagen

    Reviewed Since Last Post:
    Knit with Love by Lisa Bogart
    A Dog's Way Home by Bobbie Pyron

    Waiting for Reviews:
     The Place of Belonging by Jayne Pearson Faulkner
    The Blackberry Bush by David Housholder
    The Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman
    Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    Airmail by Naomi Bulger
    Pie Town by Lynne Hinton
    Chasing the Red Car by Ellen Ruderman
    Whistling In the Dark  by Lesley Kegan
    Darkness, My Old Friend: A Novel by Lisa Unger
    Atonement by Ian McEwan
    How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This?: Reclaim Your Health with Humor, Creativity, and Grit by Carla Ulbrich

    E-books waiting for review:
    Sudden Moves by Kelli Sue Landon
    This World We Live In (The Last Survivors, Book 3) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

    Children's Books waiting for review:
    Pearl's Wisdom by Auntie LuLu
    Bug Meets His Friend (Bug's Adventure Series) by K.M. Groshek
    Multiply on the Fly by Suzanne Slade
    Ten for Me by Barbara Mariconda
    Animalogy by Marianne Berkes
    Prairie Storms by Darcy Pattison


    Cloudburst by V.C. Andrews (Giveaway!)

    by V.C. Andrews

    Second in an all-new series! (But can be read as a stand alone)
    Cloudburst, from the creator of Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews®
    Fate swept Sasha Porter into the lap of luxury, and into a torrent of bitter lies and shocking betrayals—all revealed in the riveting new novel CLOUDBURST (Pocket Star Books; October 25, 2011; $7.99) from bestselling author V.C. Andrews®.
    Since being taken in by wealthy Mrs. Jordan March and living in her exquisite home like a daughter, Sasha Porter’s traumatic past—destitute on the streets, and the shattering accident that killed her mother—seems like a fading nightmare. Beautiful and sophisticated, as bold and daring as her “sister,” Kiera March, Sasha still keeps her mother’s wise words close to her heart: never fully trust anyone. Inside her privileged new world, it’s advice that will prove more precious than gold.
    Against the wishes of Jordan’s husband, Donald, Sasha attracts the attention of Ryder Garfield, a shy, handsome athlete, and maneuvers her way into his heart. But Ryder’s hidden torment soon explodes in a horrific tragedy that pulls Sasha into a flood of guilt and despair. And when someone she thought she could trust targets her vulnerability, Sasha recalls her mother’s warnings—and a violent storm of dark deceptions and shocking family secrets is unleashed. Will she sink or swim?

    I have one copy of Cloudburst to giveaway courtesy of Pocket Books!  Giveaway is open to US/Canada and will end on Nov 7, 2011 at midnight CST.  Following is appreciated, but not required.

    A Dog's Way Home by Bobbie Pyron (Book Review w/bonus giveaway!)

    Title: A Dog's Way Home
    Author: Bobbie Pyron
    Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

    About the Book: One late fall afternoon, a tragic highway accident leaves eleven-year-old Abby and her beloved Shetland sheepdog, Tam, stranded at opposite ends of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Though each is determined to be reunited with the other, the days separating them turn to weeks, then months, and dangers and changes fill up Abby's and Tam's lives. Will they ever find their way back home to one another?

    Classic in its themes and contemporary in its telling, Bobbie Pyron's A Dog's Way Home is the unforgettable tale of the many miles, months, and mountains that separate two loyal friends—but that can't possibly keep them apart.

    My thoughts:  This was a very quick middle-grade level read.  If you like animal stories - especially dogs - then this will be one that you want to add to your shelf.  The author tells the story from two perspectives - that of Tam, the sheltie in the story, and Abby - the little girl who owns Tam.  

    After a car accident leaves Tam lost and alone in the Smoky Mountains, he spends months trying to get back to Abby.  After awhile he is more wild than dog, but something in him keeps pulling him home.  Abby's family, meanwhile, has moved to Nashville as her dad has gotten a recording contract.  Abby doesn't want to leave the home that she is sure that Tam is trying to get back to, but doesn't have a choice.  She has dreams about Tam and what he is going through, and her friends are convinced that she has inherited "the sight" from her grandmother. 

    I found myself cheering for Tam to keep going in this book.  When something would happen to him, I would keep my fingers crossed that he would be able to pull himself through. 

    I remember some of my teachers in elementary school reading to us after lunch - do they still do that?  I think this would be a good choice for a book like that.  If you have a child in your life that likes dog/animal stories - definitely introduce her to this book. 

    ~I received a complimentary copy of this book from Teddy at Premier Virtual Author Book Tours and the author, Bobbie Pyron.~

    Publisher/Publication Date: Katherine Tegen Books, Feb 2011
    ISBN: 978-0061986741
    Ages 9-12

    I have one copy of The Ring, by Bobbie Pyron for giveaway -

    Plagued by slipping grades and a budding criminal record, at 15, Mardie's heading down a path of self-destruction she can't seem to avoid. Unlike her perfect older brother Michael, who does everything right according to their father, Mardie can't measure up. But when she discovers a girls' boxing club at the gym, Mardie's drawn in by the fighters' fearlessness and strength. Having already lost her parents' trust, and shunned by her boyfriend and friends, the ring is the only place left where no one judges Mardie. Angry and hurt, Mardie can't wait to start throwing punches. But Kitty, her wise and patient trainer, a former boxer who's coached her share of troubled girls, shows Mardie that boxing isn't just about fighting--it's also about strategy and mental discipline--the things that make a fighter into a winner. Mardie begins to apply the lessons she's learned in the ring to her own battles, especially at home, where she finds she's not the only one struggling for acceptance. As she trains for her upcoming championship bouts, Mardie hopes to make her parents proud. Filled with exciting sports action, The Ring is the inspiring story of a girl learning to believe in herself.

    Sunday, October 23, 2011

    Readathon Wrap Up

    So, even though this is like the 4th or 5th time I have done this readathon, my husband comes in at lunch today and says - don't you need to go read?  If I would have been thinking clearly, I would have said Yep and disappeared for the rest of the afternoon!  But I told the truth and let him know it was only a 24 hour readathon. 

    So now for the wrap up

    1. Which hour was most daunting for you?  This would have been hour 18 - the one where I gave up and went to bed!

    2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?  No - I wouldn't attempt anything too meaty that takes too much concentration!

    3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? You guys did a great job this year!  

    4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?  I liked the meme's where you just had the Mr. Linky.  I had done some of the challenges, and then when I went back to read other comments, couldn't find the one that I thought I had left for the challenge (Of course, this could be operator error. . .)

    5. How many books did you read?  I only read 1 1/2 - which was good with my eye!

    6. What were the names of the books you read? A Dog's Way Home and most of The Comforts of Home.  It's funny because A Dog's Way Home was set in Harmony Gap, North Carolina and The Comforts of Home is in Harmony, Texas.

    7. Which book did you enjoy most?  The Comforts of Home

    8. Which did you enjoy least?  Well, that would leave the other one, A Dog's Way Home, which was very good as well!

    9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?  No advice, I think they do a great job!

    10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?  I will definitely participate.  I would like to take a role next time, as either a cheerleader or a challenge meme host maybe.

    Readathon Over and Out - Hour 18

    Since coming back from The Night of the Living Dead (which was a lot of fun to go see on the big screen!)  I have barely been able to read 40 pages.  My eyes are so heavy and my right eye is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo dry that it actually hurts to close it.  I think I have abused it enough for today.  I am going to bed and will do a recap in the morning!  Night all!

    Saturday, October 22, 2011

    Hour 11 Book Trailer Challenge

    Well this will be my last post for awhile as we are going to see Night of the Living Dead!  So I thought I would post a creepy book trailer of a book that I just recently discovered and want to read!

    Keep reading and I will check in when we get back!

    Book Sentence Challenge and Readathon Update

    The Book Sentence Challenge is the one I have the most fun with during every readathon.  I have composed 6 sentences using book titles - see all my pics below.  Sorry if some of the pictures aren't very clear - I could only find the camera where I could not control the flash!

    Minding Ben Until Tuesday The Soldier's Wife Left Neglected The Christmas Shoppe.


    All I Want Is You, Pale Demon, Dead By Midnight


    Very Bad Men Across the Universe, Kick The Queen of Last Hopes

    The Year We Left Home, Three Warm Bodies Going Cowboy Crazy Dare To Take Charge

    When the Brook Dries Up Push The Ring Across Many Mountains

    The Upright Piano Player Born Under a Lucky Moon Never Knowing the Final Note

    Which one is your favorite?

    Update - Have only read about 100 pages in to my next book.  I discovered that my facebook page for Books and Needlepoint hadn't updated since September, so I got engrossed trying to figure out why!  I am hoping that I got it fixed. 


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