Friday, December 31, 2010

Last day to tell me what I'm reading next year!

Today is the last day for my poll to help me decide what series to catch up on next year. So far you all have been really unhelpful in making it a tie between 2-3 of the 4! ;) I guess that just means I picked some good ones! If you haven't told me what to do yet, now's your chance! Yes, smart aleck remarks are okay, as long as they're not too mean! Just check out my side bar and you'll see the choices.

Working on finishing up one more book today I hope, that will bring me to 133 for the year, my best ever! I will post a year end favorites sometime in the next couple of days I hope. I've read and listened to some great ones this year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

All You Need is Now - Duran Duran

Quick plug for one of my favorite groups, their new release came out on 12/21, I think it might have been an iTunes only release. I finally got to listen to the whole thing today and really like it!

Here is the video from the title song, All You Need is Now. Notice the high tech foil background! ;) Enjoy!

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Bite Before Christmas by Heidi Betts

The Bite Before Christmas by Heidi Betts is a collection of 3 novellas, with the tie between them being Angelina Bertolli, a vampire matchmaker. This is my 4th Spirit of Christmas Challenge read. I may try to squeeze one more in before I call it quits for the year, to see if I can't reach that Christmas Tree level!

This was a fun read, I could easily see a series based on cases from Angelina's matchmaking service. I have a few criticisms, but they're all about the cover, front and back. The cover picture is cute, it really is, but who is that guy? He doesn't match anyone in the any of the three stories that I could tell. I think it would have been better if the picture had been of Angelina in a slinky, Christmasy number, since she's the character that loosely ties these three stories together. But otherwise a very cute cover. Now, the blurb on back... someone didn't proofread because two of the stories name different men than are in the actual stories! LOL! Instead of Nick and Sergio, we actually had Sean and Ian. But anyway... on to the stories!

In All I Vant for Christmas, vampire Connor Drake just wants a traditional Christmas with all the trimmings, but his rebellious, teen-age acting siblings won't cooperate. Enter human Jillian, an event planner sent in by Angelina to give Connor the Christmas he dreams of. Not only does she decorate, she gets Liam and Maeve interested and helping. Along the way Connor realizes that he wants Jillian to stay with him, not just for Christmas, but always.

Angelina again takes charge in A Vampire in Her Stocking, when she turns terminally ill Sean (not Nick!) into a vampire and leaves him wrapped up in a bow for her friend Vivian, his secretly vampire assistant who deeply loves him, and is now faced with losing him. Vivian refused to turn Sean herself, believing he would not want that life, and she's afraid that she may be right when at first he seems to reject her. But Angelina is rarely wrong...

Angelina herself is the star of It's a Wonderful Bite, as she's watching the happy couples she's brought together, and then examining her own life with sexy vampire cop Ian (not Sergio!). She loves him deeply, and begins to think that perhaps she'd like to make their commitment more permanent, but Ian just doesn't seem like he'll take the hint without a big push. Angelina has a dream after watching Ian's favorite Christmas movie "It's a Wonderful Life" for the millionth time, where she and Ian are not only not vampires, but not together, and almost loses Ian forever. No worries though, of course it ends on a high note! ;)

The wreath decorating scene with Connor and his siblings was cute, I think though it's a toss up for me which story I liked the best between It's a Wonderful Bite and A Vampire in Her Stocking. These vampire stories seen a little outside of Heidi's norm but I enjoyed them, and I think her Chicks with Sticks series looks cute, and may have to give it a try.

For more information on the author, please see her website:

Heidi Betts

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Hallelujah

I shared this from another facebook friend, but wanted to share it here too. Hallelujah we've made it through the big day! As my husband punnily said "We've Handel-ed another Christmas!" LOL! This is very fun if you haven't seen it, almost as bad as a game of Twister for some of the kids!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!



Here is the group I think the kids were emulating, also very funny. The kids did a great job!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Carry On, Santa...

Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope your Holidays are peaceful and filled with love. Please remember our family members who are not able to be home with us right now.

Below is something I heard on the radio today, and then found a wonderful picture collage set to it on you tube. It is a tear jerker, so if you're already feeling fragile and emotional, maybe save it for later. Take it from one who understands, I've cried both times I've heard it today, but I do really like it. There's just one line that gets me every time, if you listen to it, I'm sure you'll know the one! ;)




Here is the poem itself, and some info about it: Merry Christmas, My Friend

Merry Christmas to all... and to all, a good night!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

How Mrs. Clause Saved Christmas by Jeff Guinn

How Mrs. Clause Saved Christmas by Jeff Guinn is my third read for the Spirit of Christmas Challenge. I highly recommend this one if you are looking for a "Meaning of Christmas" read rather just a story set during the holiday.

This is the story of Mrs. Claus, Layla, and how she met her husband Nicholas as the desire to bestow gifts on poor families brought them together. They are joined by other famous companions, but this is more quick backstory. The real focus is on England in the 1600's when the Puritans are rising to power and having difficulties with King Charles I. The Puritans felt that celebrating Christmas was actually sinful, as the December 25th actually corresponds with a pagan holiday, and that people used it as an excuse for bad behaviour, that it was actually offensive to God. There was a lot of interesting history presented here that I was not aware of, and will be interested to find out more about. Mrs. Claus feels called to stay in England during the troubles and try to save the holiday that was the only highlight for many of the people during the year.

The main theme of the story is gift-giving. Not the lavish presents we often bestow on our family and yes, let's face it, ourselves, but the kind of giving that embodies the true spirit of Christmas, food and clothing for those in need, and yes, maybe a toy or some candy. The kind of giving that comes from the desire to make someone else's life just a little bit easier and happier. I practiced my own version of this during my reading of the book, as I donated a batch of toys to Toys for Tots yesterday, embarrassingly getting quite emotional as I handed them over to the retired marines manning the bins. I had a lot of fun shopping for these gifts with my Mom and my husband, (who wouldn't, I mean, toys, come on!) as I imagined a child opening them on Christmas Day. And Mom, if you're reading this post, no I really don't need a blue Barbie horse of my own, I promise! ;)

It's a wonderful yet poignant feeling to freely give gifts to someone in need, especially because we never know when the tables might be turned and we're the ones in need of help. I was amazed to find out how many people are at poverty level in my own county, I honestly had no idea as we're joked about being rather affluent in this area. So if you feel the need to make a difference, there are many opportunities. You can contact places like Harvesters, and the Salvation Army, or look for some local charities in your area, we have several here, they are constantly in need of volunteers and funds, and many make it easy to donate to them even through online websites. It may feel "too easy" to just make an online donation, but trust me, these places have become masters at stretching a dollar, so anything you can give will help them. I hope someday to step up my own "giving" into some volunteer time as well, but until I'm ready for that kind of commitment, I'll continue donate here and there as I buy my groceries, and buy toys at Christmas, little things here and there. Because if everyone is doing little things, they add up to big things!

I did not really see any official website for Jeff Guinn as an author, but here is a link to an article where he is talking about the Christmas Chronicles, of which the Mrs. Claus book is a part: Jeff Guinn Interview

ETA: I stand corrected, I did not think at first this site was for the correct Jeff Guinn, but it does appear to be, as he does mention a book about Bonnie and Clyde in the interview, so here is the Official Jeff Guinn Publisher Page.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Candy Cane Murder by Joanne Fluke, Laura Levine and Leslie Meier

I decided to go with a mystery Anthology for my second Spirit of Christmas Challenge read. All three of these stories are about established series characters.

Joanne Fluke is the headliner with her bakery owning character Hannah Swensen in Candy Cane Murder. Hannah must solve the murder of department store owner Wayne Bergstrom who is playing Santa Claus. Many people had reason to dislike Wayne, but Hannah solves the case with help from both of her male friends, Norm and Mike. This story is sprinkled with a lot of cookie recipes that sounded absolutely delicious! I did actually figure out who the killer was in this one, much earlier than I normally do, so I was kind of proud of myself!

In The Dangers of Candy Canes by Laura Levine, ad writer Jaine Austen is called in by one of her clients who owns a roofing company, when one of his customers falls to his death from the roof while decorating for Christmas. Jaine discovers many suspects and some unsuspected relationships, all while telling some whopping lies of her own. It almost backfires on her however, as she nearly becomes a victim herself! Jaine's foray as an LA Girlfriend in this one is also funny, a little bit of charity almost gone wrong! I was surprised by the killer in this one!

Candy Canes of Christmas Past by Leslie Meier has her character Lucy Stone remembering a particularly difficult Christmas in her life, before her second child is born and during the renovation of a house that is taking every cent she and Bill had. It seems like anything that can go wrong for her in the house does, but she also discovers what a caring town they have moved to. The mystery in this one is a historical murder, the mother of the town's librarian Miss Tilley. It was never clear if Mrs. Tilley's death was an accident, her daughter has always suspected the worst, and Lucy is able to help her solve the crime. I admit I didn't figure this one out either!

Again I'm having a hard time deciding which story was my favorite, but I think I have to go with Candy Canes of Christmas Past by Leslie Meier. This is the first Lucy Stone character mystery I have read, I was already familiar with of the other characters.

For more information on these authors, check out their websites:

Laura Levine
Leslie Meier
Joanne Fluke

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Hot for the Holidays by Leigh, Knight, Bast and James

Hot for the Holidays is an anthology of Christmas themed paranormal romances from some of the best known names in the industry, Lora Leigh, Angela Knight, Anya Bast and Allyson James. These are hot, explicit stories, so be prepared! This is my first read for the Christmas Spirit Challenge, and it was a snow melter for sure!

Vampire's Ball by Angela Knight is set in her Mageverse world, where Kat Danilo learns of her magical and historical Arthurian heritage and is shepherded into her Maja powers by Ridge Champion, a vampire. She is course tested right away, before she really knows what she's capable of or how to wield any of her new found power, when she must help take down a rogue werewolf.

In A Little Night Magic by Allyson James, Jamison Kee returns to protect his love Naomi and her daughter Julie from the Changers he that are following him. Naomi is still hurt and angry by his apparent abandonment a couple of years before, but quickly comes around when she learns his story. As expected the Changers do come after them, and they get a little bit of help from above in the form of the Native American god Coyote.

Anya Bast takes us to the Fae court of the Seelie in Sweet Enchantment where Dark Fae Ronan is set to be executed for a treasonous act, and former love Bella makes a last desperate attempt to save his life by offering to marry him. He refuses, but is given hope by her offer, which tells him she does still care for him, feelings he believed he had destroyed in her. He is determined to make things right so that they can be together on their own terms, their love unmarred by a forced bargain.

A Christmas Kiss by Lora Leigh takes place in the Wolf Breed compound of Haven. Jessica is being held in the compound under guard, for her own protection and to prove her trustworthiness. She had betrayed the Breeds while under the influence of a drug that her father had given her, but she also helped to save the mates of several Alphas. Hawke knows that Jessica is his mate, but he controls himself carefully around her until her innocence can be proven, and she is welcomed into the Pack without reservations.

This is a nice paranormal collection to read during the holidays, excitement, sizzling scenes, and holiday miracles. I have a hard time choosing a favorite, but I think I would have to say A Little Night Magic by Allyson James.

For information, visit these links:

Anya Bast
Allyson James
Angela Knight
Lora Leigh

Monday, December 06, 2010

Christmas Decorations

It's that time of year again. That time we all have aspirations of being the most awesomely decorated house on the block... okay well, not really, but we do feel a little "deer" pressure when our neighbors start decorating, and in order not to be a humbug, we feel the need to put some decorations out too!

I have a rocky track record with outside decorations. My mother bought me some lovely grapevine, light up deer (in order not to feel deer pressure, one must actually have some deer to put out), very classy. Their heads move, the doe moves her head up and down, the buck moves his from side to side, slowly, as gracefully as a motorized light up deer can, and I've had them for several years now, they were my first outside decorations.

A few years ago, some of the neighborhood kids apparently decided that my deer were not already animated enough, and decided to rearrange them for me... enough said. Everyone pretty much thought it was funny but me. I was pretty unhappy and it caused me to not put them out the next year, mostly because I didn't want unknown people tampering with my things and breaking them! so there was bump in the road number 1, everyone else still finds it pretty funny, except me!

So I got over my fear of the deer being rearranged and tried it again, luckily with no mishaps, and we even added some critters and an igloo in the back this time, very cute, a polar bear and a seal, they also move, the seal turns his head and flips his tail, the polar bear moves his head. The igloo didn't move, it just sat there looking homey and cute. Until I decided it was time to bring them in, during which I discovered just how homey the igloo had become. As I went to pull the little spikes out, a big rabbit exploded out of it and took off across the street! Now this was funny, or so I thought, until I realized what had happened. The igloo was no longer attached to it's plug. I guess the rabbit had decided that he wanted to get back to basics and having an igloo with electricity was too posh!

My husband made a valiant attempt to resurrect the igloo this past weekend armed with wire strippers and a soldering iron, but to no avail, too many wires had been chewed through too close to where connections had to be made. And so we had to bid the igloo farewell. We're trying spiral trees this time, much less welcome shelter to a bunny we hope. I just think it needs a little more though. Maybe more trees, a penguin or two, I don't know. I did see a really cute lit up giraffe in a Santa hat and coat that I had to point out to a friend, but I just don't think it would go with the whole winter forest/arctic theme I've got going.

Anyway, below is our contribution to lighting up the season. I'm sure anyone who's decorated outdoors has many funny yet frustrating stories to tell!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Christmas Lights!

We found an excellent website that lists Christmas light displays in our county, and so tonight we traveled one of the several maps they had which included the display shown below. It's very different from your normal display, and I was really impressed, though I'm thinking that I may have to take sunglasses the next time we look at it, it was BRIGHT, but very cool! Enjoy!



There are more videos and information about it at their website The Ultimate Tree, have a look!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Best Urban Fantasy Cover Art



Click on the picture and go vote for your favorite in each category, it's fun to look at all the covers, and you could even win a prize! Paranormal/Urban Fantasy covers are just so fun and pretty!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Straight No Chaser - 12 Days of Christmas

We caught part of this on the radio the other night, as I needed a Christmas music fix, and decided we had to look up the group. They are a fun men's acapella group, and this song is great! The last part is my favorite, but the whole thing is wonderful! Enjoy!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Trevor's Song and Demo Tapes Giveaway - Winner!



And now the moment you've all been waiting for... the winner of a signed copy of each of Susan Helene Gottfried's Shapeshifter books, Trevor's Song, Demo Tapes 1 and Demo Tapes 2 is... (drumroll, which turns into a flashy solo, which has the rest of the band turning around to look at Daniel and prompting Trevor to step to the mike and ask "Is the book called Daniel's Song? No, I didn't think so...")

Jasmine148


Get ready guys, it looks like you're about to kick off an Australian tour!

Remember everyone, Musical Hanukkah is still going on until the drawing on Dec. 6th. Also continuing through the month of December, Susan is donating 50% of her royalities on any book purchased from her to the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, so check it out here!

Congrats Jasmine! I hope you enjoy the boys as much as I did!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

WWW Wednesdays 11/24/10



To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

Then head on over to Should be Reading and leave a comment with a link to your post so others can see!


I'm currently reading:

Free image hosting at imagecave.comA Rogue in a Kilt by Sandy Blair -- Angus McDougall is in search of a wife, to win a wager and the keys to castle Donaliegh, but so far the pickings are slim until he runs into Birdalane, a young witch with healing powers who lives alone with the animals of the forest as company. She is mostly blind, and feels completely helpless as Angus, in a misguided attempt to help her, plucks her out of her familiar world and tosses her headlong into his own. Cute so far!
Free image hosting at imagecave.comHouse of Rain by Craig Childs -- a book about the Anasazi people of the American Southwest. Very good so far, kind of slow going, just because it's been a busy month.


Since last Wednesday I finished reading:

Free image hosting at imagecave.comSlightly Settled by Wendy Markham -- Tracey is still having a hard time finding herself, though there's a little less of her to find now, and she looks fabulous in things she'd never have considered wearing before! She's gone from having one bad boyfriend, to two good guys she can't decide between and some awful timing! Poor girl! I admit I had to look at the blurbs on the rest of the books to try and figure out who she ultimately ends up with, but I'm not sayin'!
Free image hosting at imagecave.comI'm listening to Stalking Darkness (Nightrunner #2) by Lynn Flewelling -- A very good Epic Fantasy, one of the friends is lost, and Seregil comes to fully understand what the oracle told him. This is the second book in five now with these characters I think. I will definitely be continuing the series.


Probably up next:

Free image hosting at imagecave.comFablehaven #3: Grip of the Shadow Plague by Brandon Mull -- This is a fun kids fantasy series involving a fantasy creature preserve, wouldn't you love to go visit your grandparents if that's where they lived? But it's a pretty wild place, literally! They also have shiny pretty covers heehee! Yes, I may have been a crow in a former life. ;)
Free image hosting at imagecave.comHarper Connelly #3: An Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris -- A very interesting series, looking forward to continuing it! I don't think I could handle having Harper's talent!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Paranormal Romance Challenge for 2011

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Well this one shouldn't be hard, I've been reading a lot of these anyway. Could be famous last words, eh? So this is the Paranormal Romance Reading Challenge hosted by Bitten by Paranormal Romance, wherein we must read 20 Paranormal Romance books between January 1st 2011 and December 31st 2011. Here I go getting challenge crazy again! I'll keep track of my reads on my challenges page. Come on and join us!

Teaser Tuesdays 11/23/10


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!

A couple from this cute Scottish Historical Romance:

Free image hosting at imagecave.comAs Angus sheathed his claymore, the surface of the pool rippled again, this time with far larger waves. Blessed Mother! What manner of fish could possibly make such a wake? Before he could ponder further, a dark shape broke the surface on the far side of the pool. -- pg. 23

* * *

He was about to tup the stuffing out of the woman he'd craved for days, and thereby consummate the handfasting he'd sworn to break. God's Teeth! What was he thinking?

And there it was... the truth. He hadn't been thinking past comforting her, not at all. His brain had deserted his head, and run to his bag o' sweeties. -- pg. 132


A Rogue in a Kilt by Sandy Blair


Please also take a minute to check out my giveaway for Trevor's Song and it's companion volumes the Demo Tapes 1 and 2. I presented a couple of teasers from Trevor's Song a few weeks ago. Trevor's Song Giveaway

Thursday, November 18, 2010

2011 Historical Romance Challenge

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Yep, I found another challenge.

The Historical Romance Challenge is being hosted by Romance Book Junkies, the sign up is here, and the object is to read 12 historical romances between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011.

There is also a monthly giveaway that you can be entered for if you're a good little reader and post your reviews. Come on and join us, you know you want to! ;)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WWW Wednesdays 11/17/10



To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

Then head on over to Should be Reading and leave a comment with a link to your post so others can see!


I'm currently reading:

Free image hosting at imagecave.comSlightly Settled by Wendy Markham -- Tracey is still having a hard time finding herself, though there's a little less of her to find now, and she looks fabulous in things she'd never have considered wearing before!
Free image hosting at imagecave.comHouse of Rain by Craig Childs -- a book about the Anasazi people of the American Southwest. Very good so far, kind of slow going, just because it's been a busy month.
Free image hosting at imagecave.comI'm listening to Stalking Darkness (Nightrunner #2) by Lynn Flewelling -- Probably one more week on this one and I'll be done. I do like the story and the characters, and the reader isn't bad, he does try to do some different voices, but overall his voice is just too upbeat for many of the darker scenes!


Since last Wednesday I finished reading:

Free image hosting at imagecave.com Free image hosting at imagecave.comThanksgiving by Janet Evanovich -- and because it's funny, I had to post the picture of the original cover too! Okay, so this one was not fantastic, I got it because I'm an Evanovich fan. It's cute, and kind of funny in places, but don't expect a lot.
Free image hosting at imagecave.comThe Great God Pan by Donna Jo Napoli -- Pan is a half human/half goat god from greek mythology. It was a quick read, not my favorite of hers, but still a good story, though I didn't care for the ending. However I'm not up on my Pan mythology, so I can't criticize it, I just wish it had ended a bit happier for him. I'm all about fictional suffering so long as it ends okay!
Free image hosting at imagecave.comHandbags and Homicide (Haley Randolph #1) by Dorothy Howell -- It took me awhile to warm up to Haley, but she gets herself into some funny situations, I can also sort of sympathize with her adventures in retail, exaggerated though they are. It's cute, I might read the next one if I run across it.


Probably up next:

Free image hosting at imagecave.comFablehaven #3: Grip of the Shadow Plague by Brandon Mull -- This is a fun kids fantasy series involving a fantasy creature preserve, wouldn't you love to go visit your grandparents if that's where they lived? But it's a pretty wild place, literally! They also have shiny pretty covers heehee! Yes, I may have been a crow in a former life. ;)
Free image hosting at imagecave.comA Rogue in a Kilt by Sandy Blair -- Really the title says it all, doesn't it?
Free image hosting at imagecave.comHarper Connelly #3: An Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris -- A very interesting series, looking forward to continuing it! I don't think I could handle having Harper's talent!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays 11/16/10


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!

This teaser is kind of silly, but it made me laugh, and since that's what I need this week, I figure others might too! It's a tad long, but you have to have the whole thing! Enjoy!

Free image hosting at imagecave.com"Did you sleep with him?"

"No! We just kissed," I hiss. "But everyone saw. And he's my boss's roommate," I point out for, like, the third time. "How can I go out with him? I mean... what if I slept over at his house and ran into Mike walking around in his underwear?"

"I don't know... it might be good for you," She says.

"Spinach is good for you. Seeing your boss in his underwear is not good for you. Or maybe it's good for you, but it isn't for me."

I shudder at the image of a scantily clad Mike.

Okay, he probably doesn't wear Spider-Man Underoos in real life, but still.

Pg. 77 Slightly Settled by Wendy Markham


Please also take a minute to check out my giveaway for Trevor's Song and it's companion volumes the Demo Tapes 1 and 2. I presented a couple of teasers from Trevor's Song a few weeks ago. Trevor's Song Giveaway

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge

I found my Christmas Reading Challenge for this year! *happy dance* I was hoping I would find one soon, and this one works great! The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge is hosted by The True Book Addict, you can check it out and sign up HERE

This challenge takes place from Nov. 26, 2010 through Jan. 06, 2011 and has a few different levels:

--Candy Cane: read 1 book
--Mistletoe: read 2-4 books
--Christmas Tree: read 5 or 6 books

I would like to say that I'll hit the Christmas Tree level, but I'll probably fall more in the Mistletoe range, we'll just have to wait and see! Come on along and join us to get the Christmas Spirit!

WWW Wednesdays 11/10/10



To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

Then head on over to Should be Reading and leave a comment with a link to your post so others can see!


It's been a bit of a slow reading week for me, busy at work, and got the bright idea to try NANOWRIMO for the first time, so the reading has suffered some. I've only truly finished one, but started two more, just can't get settled and finished with anything it feels like!

I'm currently reading:

Free image hosting at imagecave.comThe Great God Pan by Donna Jo Napoli -- Pan is a half human/half goat god from greek mythology. Promises to be a quick read, but so far it's just not drawing me in like I'd hoped. I think it's just because I have so much going on right now, but I have found like I like DJN's historical fiction more than her fairytale/mythology retellings.
Free image hosting at imagecave.comHouse of Rain by Craig Childs -- a book about the Anasazi people of the American Southwest. Very good so far, yesterday's teaser is from the first few pages. He has several other books that I want to investigate.
Free image hosting at imagecave.comHandbags and Homicide (Haley Randolph #1) by Dorothy Howell -- from fantasticfiction.com: Witty, smart, and always chic-to-die despite a less than glam checking account balance, Haley Randolph has it all--Gucci, Prada, Chanel, Coach, Burberry--and she'd kill for the newest Louis Vuitton handbag. It seems she's not the only one. When someone's passion for designer purses leads to murder, Haley goes shopping for a killer to clear her name... -- was just in the mood for a cozy mystery!
Free image hosting at imagecave.comI'm listening to Stalking Darkness (Nightrunner #2) by Lynn Flewelling -- Probably one more week on this one and I'll be done. I do like the story and the characters, and the reader isn't bad, he does try to do some different voices, but overall his voice is just too upbeat for many of the darker scenes!


Since last Wednesday I finished reading:

Free image hosting at imagecave.comTwilight Fall by Lynn Viehl -- Some interesting new twists come out in this one, only one more full length book to go! I do like this series a lot!
Free image hosting at imagecave.comTrevor's Song by Susan Helene Gottfried -- I actually already reported this one as finished last week, but I wanted to leave it on here for people to see since I now have my review and giveaway posted HERE. I'm giving away not only Trevor's Song but also the two Demo Tapes volumes which are collections of short outtakes about the same characters. Please check it out! All you have to do to enter is comment on my post and tell me what your favorite rock band is, international is okay!


Probably up next: I changed my mind a little from last week.

Free image hosting at imagecave.comSlightly Settled by Wendy Markham
Free image hosting at imagecave.comThanksgiving by Janet Evanovich -- and because it's funny, I had to post the picture of the original cover too!
Free image hosting at imagecave.com

Monday, November 08, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays 11/9/10


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!

This book is of great interest to me because the Anasazi people and Chaco Canyon were subjects I'd studied in college during work on my Anthropology degree. I never dreamed I'd get to visit Chaco, but I did, on our honeymoon. It was a very profound experience. I've only read a few pages in and so far I'm really liking the writing style, and the reverence with which the author treats the subject. I think this teaser demonstrates that beautifully.

Free image hosting at imagecave.comSunlight receded, and a field of stars overtook the sky as I sat on a rock shelf over the granary, the dark gorge gaping below. Summer heat was still rising out of the rock. My head rested on my knees, arms drawn around my legs.

I would be so careful with this if I entered it. I said this out loud. Going through someone else's treasure, I would be cautious with my fingers, my words, my thoughts. When the first stir of air entered this masonry chest, I would not even breathe.

But the granary was not mine to open. It was left by other people, a stockpile waiting for their return. -- pg. 7 House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civiliation Across the American Southwest by Craig Childs


Please also take a minute to check out my giveaway for Trevor's Song and it's companion volumes the Demo Tapes 1 and 2. I presented a couple of teasers from Trevor's Song over the last couple of weeks. Trevor's Song Giveaway

NANOWRIMO - one week down!

I've made it through week one! It's been an interesting experience, I like the pep talks from authors, and also from my region's leaders, in fact I have to credit them with keeping me going on the second day! I wrote every day of the first week except for Saturday, but even missing a day didn't seem to hurt me too bad as I watched my stats during writing on Sunday. Which is good, because I'm probably missing today as well. I've crossed the 10,000 word mark, so I'm about 1/5th of the way done, and today I just don't have any motivation, or ideas. My story has gone in a bit of a different direction than it's taken in my head for years, there just isn't room for a character that was an integral part originally, and the characters that I would have thought I'd have an easier time writing, just aren't saying anything to me, so their parts are relatively short and boring so far. Ah well, it's all part of the process, and even if I don't write another word this year, I've at least proven to myself that I can sit down and create, which is something I was a little concerned I'd lost as my real world job has become more challenging and required more of my attention over the last few years. I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet, I just need to think about things for awhile, and see what comes! Hope everyone else is doing well and enjoying themselves!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Review, Giveaway and Musical Hanukkah: Trevor's Song by Susan Helene Gottfried




There will be a lot going on in this post, so hang in there with me, it's worth it!

First of all, I'm so excited for Susan that her story Trevor's Song is finally printed and available to us! It's been a few years in the making, and I know Susan did a lot of soul-searching before finally deciding to self-publish. Trevor's Song speaks to me because I enjoy writing myself, and even though I'm an avid reader of Fantasy and Sci-Fi, Romance, Historical Fiction and Mysteries, what I've always been able to write are stories about rockstars, and the trials they face on tour. Since I became aware of heavy metal music, I've been fascinated by these musicians and their lifestyle, and have felt compelled to write about it. Now, most of my attempts are fan-fiction and will never see the light of day, but Susan has created a band that feels every bit as real as our favorites that we'd go see in concert.

The Review

Trevor's Song focuses primarily on the bass player of Shapeshifter, Trevor Wolff, and how he deals with some life changing things, right as the band has achieved their dream of fame. For years Trevor has had his best friend, Mitchell Voss, mostly to himself, from the time he was taken into the Voss' home, but now the unthinkable has happened, Mitchell has met a girl. THE girl in fact, and Trevor just knows it will be the end of everything. As if this wasn't bad enough, he's also hiding a huge secret from the rest of the guys, because he doesn't want it to interfere with their dreams coming true. Throughout the story Trevor's complex personality comes through, the bold, take-no-prisoners rockstar, who can't seem to completely escape the insecure, abused and degraded boy he'd been. His attempt at protecting the band from his problem is noble, though misguided, and at the climax of the story, his hand is forced and his secrets revealed, as his life hangs in the balance.

Susan has also compiled two great companion volumes to Trevor's Song, the Demo Tapes 1 and 2 which are collections of the outtakes that she has written on the West of Mars blog, and that give us even more of a feel for the guys, and their gals, along with some humorous, and some poignant scenes. There is even more on the blog than what is in these two additional volumes, I may have heard rumor of a Demo Tapes 3, I'm not sure, but I know there are many other pieces on the blog that have not yet made it into print, so you should definitely head on over and spend some time with the Shapeshifter gang.

The Giveaway and Musical Hanukkah

Here is where we get a little complicated and have a lot going on!

I myself am going to give away a set of all three books, Trevor's Song, and both Demo Tapes volumes, signed by the author, to one lucky winner. To enter please leave a comment on this post telling us who your favorite rock band is. I'll get you started, mine are Queensryche, Dream Theater and Savatage, just to name a few. I will choose a winner on November 27th. This giveaway is international.

But wait, there's more!

Susan is hosting her own event, Musical Hanukkah, a drawing set to take place on Dec. 6th. You can find a list of the prizes offered so far here. You can enter this drawing by making a donation to the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation through this special link at First Giving that Susan has set up for the event. Then be sure to send your receipt to Susan so she can enter you in the drawing! Contact Susan Here. I've already made my donation, so come on over and give me some competition. This sounds like a wonderful charity, I was a band geek myself, and it was such a huge part of my junior high and high school experience, in which I made some life long friends. Every child deserves the chance to make music, and this charity tries to make that happen by supplying musical instruments to under-funded music programs.

Also during the months of November and December (yes, RIGHT NOW!), Susan is donating 50% of her royalties from any purchases of her books to the foundation. So if you don't win in my giveaway, you can go ahead and purchase the books yourself while knowing that you're helping to make a donation to an awesome charity! For information on how to purchase the books, head on over here where clicking on the book covers will get you to purchasing info.

Check it out folks, 'tis the season, and this is a great way to kick off your giving for the holidays!
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