Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Cost of Dreams



Fourteen year old, Flora Enriquez and her brothers and sisters flee their home in Central America for the U.S. Their parents were killed during the raid on their village. Flora is not the oldest as her brother, Willie at sixteen is. Though, Flora’s drive and determination makes her way more mature for her age. She consumes the leadership role for her brothers and sisters. Flora and her two brothers cross the border, only to have the authorities arrest Willie and Rubio. Flora escapes unnoticed.

Flora meets up with a nice family and is hired to take care of their son. She convinces the family to pay for her schooling as she plans to become a teacher. One day, Flora meets a man by the name of Monte Erickson. She and Monte get married. Just when it seems things are looking up for Flora, bad things happen. Monte’s drug dealing brother, Roy comes looking for Monte. Flora ends up getting shot and Monte leaves her for dead. Will Flora survive or is The Cost of Dreams too high?

Gary Stelzer has penned a wonderful novel with The Cost of Dreams. Flora was such a great character. She has a wide range of dimensions from…strong leadership to caring and nurturing. Everything she went though would cause some people to give up but not Flora. She is a fighter. I got lost in this book instantly. It was like I was right with Flora every step of the way from her dangerous trek across Central America to setting foot onto American soil. The Cost of Dreams is a fast paced good read. Check out this book and I guarantee you won’t be sorry.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cherries in Winter



Suzan Colon went from having take out food whenever she wanted to being laid off and having to pinch every penny she could. Suzan comes upon her grandmother’s old recipe book, filled with tons of delicious foods. Most of the recipes were written my hand. The cook book features recipes like Suzan’s Great-Great-Grandmother Matilde’s Baked Pork Chops with Sauerkraut, Chicken Pie a la Mississippi, Butter Cookies, and Nana’s Lemon Meringue Pie to name a few.

Suzan decides that it is time to take a few tips from her grandmother and mother and start learning to cook her own meals. Suzan and her mother journey back in time to 1913. Back to New York; where Suzan’s mother and her family were living. Suzan’s grandmother loved to cook. She even submitted some of her recipes to magazines. Some of them got published. After reminiscing with her mother, Suzan realizes that she is going to be fine.

Cherries in Winter is as good as a warm homemade meal. This book fills you up and makes you want more. The real star of the book was Suzan’s grandmother, Matilda. She was the glue that held everyone together during the Great Depression. So glad that Suzan Colon wrote this book and let us readers get a peep into her family. They are the kind of people that you want to know and be around. Also, all the recipes in this book sounded so delicious and mouth watering, that it was a shock that I didn’t drool. I am going to try out some of the recipes. Pick up a copy of Cherries in Winter today.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Life After 187



Kane Silver grew up being a military brat. His father was Colonel Silver. Colonel Silver was Special Forces. Kane grew up with discipline and a never give up attitude. Kane found and married the perfect woman. She completed him. Kan e was at the store picking up some items, when he got a feeling that something bad about to happen. He rushes home, only to find his wife murdered. The men who did it were just pulling away. Kane takes pursuit. Emotions take over Kane and he takes matters into his own hands. He ends up in prison for his actions.

Warden Quentin Bane loves to watch the fights but what he really enjoys is betting on them and winning. Warden doesn’t want to lose. So he decides to groom some of the best fighters he has in is prison. Kane is one of them. The other two are Si’Ling Lee and Valentino Lopez. Something happens and Kane, Si’Ling, and Valentino escape. They end up saving Warden Bane’s life but will Warden Bane send them back to their deaths?

I actually really liked this book. Though, I don’t know why I am surprised as I had to reservations about what to expect from reading this book. I felt Kane’s pain when he came home to find his wife murdered. Life After 187 was a bit scary in the fact that I am sure these things really do happen in prisons. Prisoners forced to fight, knowing that they will never really win their freedom. Author, Wade J. Halverson has written many Kane Silver novels. Life After 187 is the first one I have read. It can be read as a stand alone novel. For anyone looking to read something with a bit more substance than a romance novel, give this book a try.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Are you Born of Ice?

Then check out the latest release from Sherrilyn Kenyon. Also you have got to see the book trailer for this book.


Mrs. Miracle=Lifetime Movie December 5th


Widowed father, Seth Webster is finding life very difficult raising two twin six year old boys by the names of Judd and Jason. His latest housekeeper, Mrs. Hampton tells Seth that he doesn’t need a housekeeper but a miracle and quits.

It has been a week since Mrs. Hampton quit. Seth is desperate. He has called the agency about every day trying to get a replacement. They tell him that no one is available. Someone knocks on the door. Standing on the front porch is a grandma type woman. Her name is Mrs. Merkle. She tells Seth she is from the agency.

Reba Maxwell is in charge of the Christmas program this year. She never expected to fall for someone till she spotted Seth. Could this be the year that Judd and Jason get a new mommy?

I typically stray from holiday novels. Don’t really know why. I think it is just because the few I remember reading weren’t that good and ever since then I have not read another one till now. I absolutely loved everything about this book, from the characters, storyline and warm comforting feeling I got while reading Mrs. Miracle. Everyone should be so lucky to have a Mrs. Merkle in their lives. She is the grandma that people wished they had. Judd and Jason are cute, especially when they were embarrassing their father in front of Reba. This book is a tasty delight. See for yourself and pick up a copy of this book today.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Silent Gift



The year is 1930. Mary will never forget the day her extraordinary son, Jack was born. She and her husband, Jerry Sinclair were driving to the hospital to deliver the baby. The roads were slick as it was raining. Jerry lost control of the car. It went off the road and into a lake. Mary ends up giving birth to Jack in the lake.

Jack was born completely deaf. He can’t even read lips. Ever since that day, Jerry has become cold and selfish. Mary packs up Jack and they run away. Mary discovers that Jack is very special and has a unique gift. One that utilizes the word of God.

Jerry wants his family back. So he goes in search of them and won’t give up till he has found Mary and Jack.

I absolutely loved every moment of this book. I had my eyes glued to the pages and a hard grip on the book. Mary and Jack had me from the first chapter. I loved that Mary didn’t just give up, when the times got tough. She fought for her and her son. The best part was that Mary never saw Jack as being a hindrance and disabled but just her son who she loved very much. All of the characters were very engaging, even Jerry. Authors Michael Landon and Cindy Kelley are a winning dynamic team. They meshed well together. This book should be a best seller. I hope Mr. Landon and Mrs. Kelley write another novel together, in the near future.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

One Holy Night + Giveaway



The year is 1967. Shepherdsville, Minnesota is where Frank McRae and his family lived. The war in Viet Nam is about to cause a huge rift between Frank and his son, Mike. Mike goes off to war.

Back home, Frank has a lot on his mind with worrying about his son and caring for his wife, Maggie. Maggie is fighting her own war. She has cancer. She puts her trust in God.

Mike falls in love with a Vietnamese woman named Thi Nhuong. When Mike’s father learns that he is married, he goes into a rage. As if marrying a Vietnamese was bad enough, Thi Nhuong is also a Buddhist. Frank has a big issue with Mike marrying Thi Nhuong. Frank still holds a grudge against the Japanese, from back when he fought in the south Pacific during WWII.

Frank receives an upheaval when both Maggie and Mike die. Can Frank forgive and forget when Thi Nhuong shows up at his door step…pregnant.

I really liked this book. I almost finished it in one sitting. The characters were engaging and interesting. I felt bad for Frank. His rock, Maggie had just passed way, leaving Frank to fend for himself. It is easier to hold a grudge then it is to forgive. This was the plot of the story. Through, Mike has gone to war; I got to know him through the letter he wrote. I thought One Holy Night was a good book. Would read more by this author.




Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dying Scream


Women beware…There is a serial killer on the loose. So far three women have gone missing. There is the aspiring artist, high school senior and the stripper.

The authorities have a suspect on their radar. The issue is that this person is suppose to be dead. His name is Craig Thornton. He and his fiancé, Adrianna were to be married but a drunk driver crashed into them, causing Adrianna to lose her baby and sending Craig into a coma that he never woke up from. Now someone is leaving Adrianna a written message. It is signed by Craig.

Detective Gage Hudson latest case brings him to the doorstep of his former lover…Adrianna. He and Adrianna used to be a hot item. Detective Gage doesn’t believe Craig is alive but current evidence does have him starting to wonder. Gage will do anything to protect Adrianna, even if it means sacrificing his life.

Dying Scream is the third book I have read by this author. While I have enjoyed every book of Mary Burton’s thus far, I didn’t quite like this one as much. The plot wasn’t bad but it was the characters that I found lacking. I couldn’t find myself engaged in the characters. The relationship between Detective Gage and Adrianna was a gallant effort. I liked Gage. He made a good male lead. Adrianna got on my nerves. She seemed like she was better than everyone and when the time called for her to be strong, she wilted. Dying Scream didn’t leave with screaming for glee. Though, I do plan to check out Mary Burton’s next novel.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Hollow


Abby has just lost her best friend, Kristen. It has been sixty-eight days since Kristen went missing. Rumors are swirling that Kristen killed herself. Abby doesn’t believe that. In fact, she still believes that Kristin is alive somewhere. Her parents are holding a funeral. Have you ever attended a funeral with no body? It is so weird.

Abby escapes down into the basement of Kristin’s house. When Kristin and Abby were little, they used to play down in the basement. They would pretend that there was a magical castle in the basement. To Abby’s surprise, she is not alone. A boy by the name of Caspian is also hiding in the basement. There is something different about Caspian. What could he possibly be hiding? Also, can Abby handle the truth about Kristen’s secret life?

Jessica Verday gives the tale of Sleepy Hollow, her own unique twist. I thought The Hollow was a good young adult novel. I did get into this book and the characters. I knew there was something different about Caspian but I didn’t quite expect the outcome that was presented in this story. At about four hundred and some odd pages, this book is actually a very quick read. I have to admit that I did not like how this book ended, though I understand why as it is helping to lead up to the next book that continues this story. I look forward to continuing the journey with Abby and Caspian.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wild Blue Under


In Over Her Head, readers were introduced to Reel Tritone. Well in Judi Fennell’s latest release, readers are again brought back to the magical underwater of mermen and mermaids. This time it is Rod Tritone’s story.

Rod’s father is set to retire soon. When this happens, Rod will become the new Mer-King. Unfortunately there is one problem…the council has rules that Rod has to marry. Besides we call now that you can’t rule without a Queen by your side. Rod goes in search for his wife. He trades his fin for a pair of land legs.

Valerie Dumere was born from a merman as a father and a human for a mother. This doesn’t matter as Valerie is afraid of the sea. This is a problem when she is slated to become toe new Queen under the sea. When Rod shows up at Valerie’s door, he can’t deny an attraction he feels towards Valerie. Rod doesn’t have much time to convince Valerie that she belongs with him.

I like this series. As soon as I start reading, I am instantly transported to the sea. It is almost like I can feel the water enveloping me. Judi Fennell makes me wish I was a mermaid. The Tritone men are handsome and sexy. I liked Rod and Valerie but I didn’t really feel the chemistry between them. I wanted more. Also, I had a bit of a hard time getting into this book at first. Wild Blue Under may not have won my heart over but I will read the last book in this trilogy.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Swiss Courier


The year is 1944 in Germany. The Gestapo has recovered from the attempt on Hitler.

Joseph Engel is a German physicist. He has been tasked with the role of working on an atomic bomb. Joseph receives a shock. He learns that he was adopted and is really a Jew. Joseph decides to stop working on the bomb and flee Germany for safety to Switzerland.

Gabi Mueller is a Swiss-American. She works for the American Office of Strategic Services. If you asked Gabi what she thought of the war, she may not have much to say. She didn’t pay too much concern, till she was tasked with a important mission. She is asked to escort Mr. Engel out of Germany. This mission will not be a easy one. It will call on all of the strength Gabi can muster.

I have to admit that I was thoroughly amazed at how much I did enjoy this book. The characters were very well-developed. I wasn’t sure that Gabi could handle the task at hand as she was soft spoken. She surprised me in a good way. Kudos goes out to Joseph. Even after learning that he is Jewish, he could have stayed and helped the Germans but he decided to risk his life for freedom. The Swiss Courier is the first novel I have read by either of these authors. They did a good job together. I couldn’t tell when one person ended and the other continued. I plan to check out more books by both Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey.

Talking with Susan Berliner + Giveaway




Settling on Settings
by Susan Berliner, author of DUST
http://www.susanberliner.com/

Since I write realistic (or urban) fantasies, each of my books contains just one supernatural element. But the novels are set firmly in the real world. I locate them in the northeast because that's the region I'm most familiar with. Since I don't want to be locked into factual details, I make my towns mythical places (but not fantasy worlds inhabited by strange creatures, where everything differs from the norm. No vampires, werewolves, or witches in my landscape).

For the setting of DUST, I decided to choose a "Haven" name, figuring it would sound plausible because Connecticut already has so many of them—New Haven, East Haven, West Haven, and North Haven. That's how I came up with "Rock Haven." Even though the town of Rock Haven doesn't exist, it's still a typical northeastern suburb. The condo inhabitants are people we all know; their situations are recognizable too. The only thing that's weird about Rock Haven is the evil swirl of red, green, and blue dust.In my second (not-yet published) novel, Peachwood Lake, the story again revolves around the setting. In fact, it's the title of the book. Here I wanted a tranquil name that would contrast with the deadly violence that occurs in the water. I chose the name "Peachwood" because I couldn't find a real U.S. lake with that serene-sounding name. Again, the people in the town of Peachwood, Connecticut are quite normal; it's the jumping fish (think mini-Jaws) that's extraordinarily strange.The setting plays a lesser role in my third novel, The Disappearance, a paranormal thriller, which I'm currently revising and editing. Most of the action occurs in another imaginary town in the northern suburbs of New York City. Here too, I wanted a quiet-sounding name and, since there's a Northvale in nearby New Jersey, I decided to call my town Southvale. It's a community with only one unusual feature: a time-travel portal.

My novels all take place in realistic settings in a normal world. To enjoy them, the reader has to be willing to suspend disbelief and accept an element of fantasy. Once that happens, the magic will follow.

I am giving away a copy of this book to one reader. Must be a follower. Open to US and Canada only. Contest ends November 20th



Question to readers. What elemental aspect do youlike in your books?

The Good Plain Cook


The year is 1926 in Sussex. Kitty Allen was reading the newspaper when she spotted a wanted ad.

The ad said…Wanted – Good plain cook to perform domestic duties for artistic household. Room and board included. Broad outlook essential.

Kitty has been pondering whether to respond to the ad for several days. She decides to respond. Kitty wasn’t sure what to expect but I can tell you it wasn’t Ellen Steinberg and her daughter, Geenie. Greenie runs around putting holes in walls and pretty much doing whatever she wants. I don’t know what perceived thoughts Londoners have about Americans but if they met Ellen, it would be that we are all crazy. Ellen is eccentric and not just a little. One of her favorite past times is to sun bath in the nude. Ellen’s lover, George Crane is a poet. He loves Ellen but he gets embarrassed easily by Ellen and her antics.

Bethan Roberts is a new author to me. I absolutely fell in love with this book. The character that really held a place in my heart wasn’t Kitty but Mrs. Steinberg. She was so care free and eccentric and didn’t care what anyone thought of her. Even if she made a fool of herself. I thought Ellen did as good an enough job trying to raise her daughter. There were a few times when Greenie could have used a few good spankings. Kitty was nice. She was too much of a wall flower for me. She became somewhat over shadowed by Ellen. To experience what British authors is cooking up on the other side of the pond, than you should check out The Good Plain Cook by Bethan Roberts.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Perfect Timing


Poppy Dunbar is about to get married. She and her friends got out for a ladies night. Poppy tumbles down some stairs and lands practically at the feet of a handsome stranger. His name is Tom. Tom and Poppy feel an instant connection. Tom invites Poppy to meet him at a cafĂ©. Poppy doesn’t hook up with Tom. Meeting Tom did teach Poppy one thing…that the guy she is about to marry is not for her. She calls off the wedding and moves to London.

Poppy has a shocking discovery, involving her family. Poppy moves in with a woman, who she met while catering a party at. Claudia and Poppy don’t hit things off at first. Their other flat mate, Caspar is a brooding type. Poppy lands a job at an antique shop. Her boss Jake tolerates her. Poppy is moving on with her new life. There is just one problem…she still thinks about Tom and what may have been. What happens when Tom and Poppy are given a second chance…it is called Perfect Timing.

Author, Jill Mansell does it again with her latest release, Perfect Timing. She scores a smash hit! Poppy, Claudia, Caspar, and Jake are a hoot. If I lived in London and these characters were real, I would hang out with them. Poppy has this innocent about her that makes her very endearing. I didn’t like Claudia at first impressions. As the story progressed and I got to know Claudia better, she won me over. I am so glad Poppy found her Prince Charming. She deserved a happy ending. Ms. Mansell has just become my favorite British, romantic, comedic author.

Watch out for the Dust!


Karen McKay lived a nice, quiet life. She has a place in the Rock Haven condos. Most of her neighbors keep to themselves. Karen was unloading groceries when a mysterious dust cloud appears. This dust cloud is not your typical cloud of dust. No this dust comes in the colors of red, green and blue. The dust picks up a collectable of Karen’s and it violently crashes to the floor, shattering in a bunch of little pieces.

Karen thinks nothing of the incident…till later that night; she hears one of her neighbor’s dog barking. Karen goes to investigate. She finds her neighbor, Marion lying at the bottom of the stairs…dead. Karen calls her ex-husband, Jerry for help. Soon, other accidental incidents start happening to the other residents of Rock Haven. No one can figure out what is causing all these accidents. The only thing that ties them together is the mysterious dust. Can Karen and Jerry figure out what dust wants before it takes them out for good.

I thought the concept for this book was different in an interesting way. The idea that an unknown force could cause havoc and maybe death in the form of killer dust is unique, to say the least. While I did like the characters and the plot kept me intrigued, the only issue I had was that I had a hard time believing in the story. I would have liked the storyline to be a little more believable. Also the ending seemed rushed. Overall, a decent, quick read.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Colonel Trash Truck = giveaway




Colonel Trash Truck is a fun educational book. This book is geared more towards young children age’s three to six. This book teaches children that it is important to recycle and pick up trash versus littering. The loveable hero in this book is a large, green trash truck named…Colonel Trash Truck.

This book is written with simple and easy words. Plus I like that the words are printed in big size. This is nice because when I read with my nephews, they can see and read the words with me. The illustrations were great. They had lots of color. In addition to being fun. I thought that the pictures on the page coordinated well with the story and what was on the page at that moment. If you want to teach your kids how to recycle, then check out Colonel Trash Truck.


I am giving away one copy of this book to one of my followers. Open to US and Canada only. Contest ends November 30th.

One Lucky Cowboy


Slade Luckadeau is the man of the ranch. He likes it that way. He will not see some woman come waltzing in and make herself at home. Slade doesn’t care if his grandmother invited her to work at the ranch. Slade believes that Jane Day is hiding something and he doesn’t like it. Slade can’t get Jane off the property fast enough.

Jane Day is on the run for her life. She has no where to go but forward. Just her luck, a nice lady invites Jane to come to the ranch. She can stay in exchange for helping out. From the first moment, Jane and Slade met, they did not hit things off. As time passes, Jane starts to get under Slade’s skin. Will Jane and Slade be a match made in heaven or hell?

I liked this book. So far though, Lucky in Love is my favorite. One thing I do have to admit is that all of the Luckadeau men are H-O-T! The chemistry that Slade and Jane started out slow but once it got up to speed…watch out. I like Jane. She is a firecracker. Slade definitely needs someone like Jane to keep him in his place. It was funny that Slade thought he was a ladies man but all it took was someone like Jane to throw his whole game off. I did struggle a little with this book. Like Jane and Slade, It was slow going for be at first. Also, this book wasn’t as funny as the prior one. Overall still a good read. I do plan to read the final book in this trilogy.

Defenders of the Scroll: History, Legend and Lore


Far, far away is a magical place called Mythos. There lives a king by the name of Mornak. He is also the most powerful wizard. Many years ago, Mythos started getting run over by robbers, murders and thieves. Mornak had an obligation to his people to keep them safe. So he had a huge building built. It is called the Hall of Shadows. It resides in Darkwood or Shadow Wood. The Hall is a prison to keep all the evil. Things have been peaceful since the construction of the Hall.

Flash forward to the present. Something strange is happening in Shadow Wood. Mornak sensing that something horrible is about to happen, instructs his daughter, Dara to safe guard a scroll. Her father tells her that if he does not return that Dara is to open the scroll and read the writing on it. Something does happen and Dara calls upon the scroll. What happens next has Dara running for her life from the evil, Shadow Lord. Luckily, Dara won’t be alone. She is joined by a various group of interesting characters like Alex, Scorpius, Bantu, and Maya.

Defenders of the Scroll: History, Legend and Lore is a thrilling joyride of action, excitement, and adventure. Defenders of the Scroll: History, Legend and Lore is book one. I enjoyed every moment of this book. I found I lost myself in it. It was so good. I am definitely rooting for Dara, Alex and the rest of the Defenders. The characters are interesting and fully dimensional. Shiraz really set up this book and the history behind the storyline at the beginning really well. There are some pictures inserted throughout this book. The pictures helped tell the story. I hope they kick the Shadow Lord’s butt. I don’t usually get that excited over these types of books but I just can’t stop raving about it. I can’t wait to read book two.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Green Books Campaign-Clean Cures:The Humble Art of Zen-Curing Yourself



The book I chose to review as part of this Green campaign was Clean Cures:The Humble Art of Zen-Curing Yourself. This book was printed using 100% (post-and pre-consumer) recycled paper and vegetable based inks. No new trees were used.






This review is part of the Green Books campaign. Today 100 bloggers are reviewing 100 great books printed in an environmentally friendly way. Our goal is to encourage publishers to get greener and readers to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books. This campaign is organized by Eco-Libris, a a green company working to green up the book industry by promoting the adoption of green practices, balancing out books by planting trees, and supporting green books. A full list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on Eco-Libris website.





My review:





Clean Cures: The Humble Art of Zen-Curing Yourself is a very resourceful book to keep on hand. It is filled with lots and lots of helpful tips on how to cure sinus headaches to black eyes. All you need in order to try these home remedies listed in this book is to make sure you have on hand the following six items…Apple Cider Vinegar; Baking Soda; Honey; Lemon; Olive Oil; and Salt.

Yes that is correct… from these six items you could possibly save hundreds of dollars but not having to buy expensive medications or visiting doctors.

Take for example Bruises. We have all had a bruise or two in our lives. They can be bothersome; especially when you have a huge one on your leg or arm. If you are like me… you don’t do anything and just try to cover them up till they go away on their own. Well try these tricks next time you have a bruise.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and apply it to the bruised area for one hour. The apple cider vinegar reduces the blueness and speeds the healing process.

Honey

Put a small amount of honey on your bruise and cover it with a bandage. Honey will minimize the bruise by causing your swelling to go down.

Be warned that Michael Dejong does not promise miracles. It is also advised that if you are really sick that you do seek medical attention. If you want more cool tips likes these then you have to pick yourself up a copy of this book today.

Green Books Campaign

This logo was designed courtesy of Susan Newman


Green Books campaign: 1 Day, 100 bloggers, 100 green books, 100 reviews

On Tuesday, November 10 2009 , 100 bloggers , who review books on regular basis, will simultaneously publish their book review of a "green" book of their choice. This unique campaign, organized by Eco-Libris ( www.ecolibris.net ), aims to encourage both publishers and readers to get greener and make sure books are printed responsibly.

In times when global warming and environmental issues are receiving growing public attention, book lovers are not indifferent either. On Tuesday, November 10, 2009 , at 1:00 PM Eastern Time 100 bloggers will take a stand to support books printed in an eco-friendly manner by simultaneously publishing reviews of 100 such books.

Organized by Eco-Libris, this campaign is aiming to promote “green” books by reviewing 100 books printed on recycled paper or FSC-certified paper.

“Although there's so much hype around e-books, books printed on paper dominate the book market, and we want them to be as environmentally sound as possible ,” explains Raz Godelnik, co-founder and CEO of Eco-Libris. “Very few books are currently printed responsibly and we hope this initiative will bring more exposure to “green” books. Through this campaign we want to encourage publishers to get greener and readers to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books.”

Over 35 publishers from the U.S. , Canada and the U.K. are taking part in this campaign, providing participating bloggers with their latest books printed on recycled paper and FSC certified paper for review. One of these publishers is Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing , which five books of its “Little Green Books” series will be reviewed in the campaign.

“The mission of the Little Green Books series is to plant the seeds of earth-friendly living at an early age, and we were delighted to work with Eco-Libris on the campaign to help to spread this important message,” said Julie Christopher, Senior Marketing Manager at Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing.
Another participating publisher is HarperOne with three books. “By publishing books like The Green Bible, the companion volume The Green Bible Devotional, and Green Collar Economy by Van Jones, HarperOne hopes to help inspire people to take action and help save the earth's environment. But these books can't help if no one hears about them, which is why we are grateful to be participating in the Eco-Libris "It's Time for a Green Book" campaign. Thank you, bloggers!” said Sam Barry, Marketing and Bible Promotions Manager at HarperOne.

The participating books are in a variety of subjects – cooking, poetry, travel, adventure and more. “The fact that all of these books are printed responsibly is barely known to the average reader,” says Godelnik. “We hope this campaign will help change this situation. If eco-friendly books will become more popular, the “green” factor will become more prominent.”

Bloggers are also excited about the opportunity to support “green” books. One of them is Jennifer Kaplan, author of "Greening Your Small Business: How to Improve Your Bottom Line, Grow Your Brand, Satisfy Your Customers - and Save the Planet" (Prentice Hall, November 2009) and blogger for Green Options Media, who is participating in the campaign both as an author and a blogger.
“As both an author and a blogger I want to thank Eco-Libris for turning a spotlight on eco-friendly printing practices. Without a doubt, an eco-friendly paper policy is a core tactic for conducting business in an environmentally sustainable way. A campaign like this will raise awareness and will encourage book buyers to demand eco-friendly paper. When that begins to happen it will promote innovation and expand the market for green products and materials; Eventually, it's a win-win for everyone.” Links to all participating blogs is available at Eco-Libris website (www.ecolibris.net/greenbookscampaign.asp)
About Eco-Libris ( http://www.ecolibris.net ) Founded in 2007, Eco-Libris is a a green company working to green up the book industry by promoting the adoption of green practices, balancing out books by planting trees, and supporting green books. To achieve this goal Eco-Libris is working with book readers, publishers, authors, bookstores and others in the book industry worldwide. Until now Eco-Libris balanced out over 110,000 books, which results in more than 120,000 new trees planted with its planting partners in developing countries.

For more information on Eco-Libris, please contact Raz Godelnik 302-981-9843 or raz@ecolibris.net

Monday, November 9, 2009

Guest, Mary Balough and giveaway






MORE THAN ROMANCE


I always like to describe myself as a writer of love stories rather than as a writer of romance. The two terms may appear to be more or less synonymous, but I see a definite distinction between them. I believe that love is far more powerful than romance and that we can sell ourselves short as writers if we are content to write romances at the expense of telling true love stories. A great deal, of course, depends upon how those two words are defined.Romance is that wonderful aura that surrounds a couple as they meet (even if they initially feel hostility to each other) and interact and fall in love and finally commit themselves to a life together. It's the growing sense of rightness we feel about the relationship, and the joy we get out of watching the irresistible attraction these two people feel for each other on the journey to their happy ending. It's a powerful reason for reading any book, and when it's well done it can pull us in and leave us thoroughly satisfied at the end and sighing for more. It can be pure magic. It is certainly an essential component of any love story, and a great deal of effort must be put into creating it.


It's not an easy thing to do, by the way.But even a good romance is not necessarily a love story.Love is greater than any romance. Love is also greater than any words we might try to use to define it. Even the great religions and spiritual movements of the world have never quite explained what it is or exactly how we should deal with it. And yet vast numbers of people down the ages have agreed that it is there, that it is both central and necessary to life, that it alone can make our relationships with others deep and precious and meaningful. It can make our romantic relationships explode with passion and wonder.I see love as creating three basic needs in us, and these needs must be met if we are to be happy, mature, loving people. They are (a) the need to love, (b) the need to be loved, and (c) the need to love ourselves, to feel ourselves lovable. Most of us find it easier to give love than to accept it. Many of us don't even recognize the third need and suffer as a consequence. Indeed, many of us are taught as children that it is wrong to love ourselves. What does it mean to love ourselves? I am not talking about vanity or narcissism, or any competitive need to prove that we are better than anyone or everyone else. I am talking about the need we all have to like ourselves, to accept ourselves for what we are despite all the warts, to feel comfortable in our own bodies and minds and emotions.


If we don't love ourselves, then we can't really love anyone else, and we can't believe that other people will love us.When I write my love stories, I use these ideas about love to create complex, often wounded characters who must learn, usually the hard way, to satisfy these needs in themselves, to confront whatever it is that is holding them back, to work it out in the developing relationship with their romantic opposite. Often it is the meeting of the lovers that somehow provokes the soul-searching and the healing. And the process and the result of it all can be a passionate, realistic, deeply satisfying love story. Often it can be a story of redemption, a type I love to write. It can convince us at the end that this couple will live not only in a romantic happily-ever-after, but also with a realistic chance of living a meaningful life of hope and joy together—provided they continue to put in the effort.It is hard to name just a few of my books that best illustrate my approach to writing love stories since they all do to a greater or lesser degree.


But some reader favorites are THE SECRET PEARL, THE NOTORIOUS RAKE, A SUMMER TO REMEMBER, DANCING WITH CLARA, SIMPLY LOVE, THEN COMES SEDUCTION, AT LAST COMES LOVE—and the newly republished Dell historical, A PRECIOUS JEWEL.A PRECIOUS JEWEL is one of my personal favorites and one of my most passionate love stories. It took me two weeks to write. We often hear of readers who cannot put a book down. But sometimes it happens to the writer too! Priscilla Wentworth has been wounded by circumstances—she has been forced into working for her living at a brothel. Sir Gerald Stapleton has been wounded by life.


Of average good looks and average intelligence, he lost all his self-esteem as a boy, at the hands of a father who was openly and contemptuously disappointed in him, and at the hands of a stepmother who betrayed his love and trust. He is afraid of close relationships. He is afraid to love and does not believe himself to be lovable. Priscilla and Gerald meet when he becomes her "regular" at the brothel. It does not sound like an auspicious beginning for a romance, but it quickly becomes what, according to my definition, is a passionate affirmation of the power of love to redeem and heal.


It is a romance, yes. More than that, it is a love story.For more information, and an excerpt from the book, see my web site at www.marybalogh.com


I am giving away one copy of this book to one of my followers. Open to US and Canada only.


What do you lve about romance novels? Contest ends November 30th

Secret Society


Phoebe Dowling and her mother have just moved to Manhattan. She came from LA. Phoebe is used to being around privileged, rich kids but nothing like the ones at her new school, Chadwick.

Nicholas “Nick” Bell comes from money. His parents are always reminding him that there is a certain image he has to maintain. Nick doesn’t care about that. He is actually bored of hanging with the rich kids. In fact he throws parties just so he has something to do, which in turns makes everything thing he is the ultimate party boy. His best friend is
Patch. Unlike Nick, Patch doesn’t come from money.

Lauren Mortimer is known at Chadwick’s as the meanest girl in school. So when Lauren shows a true interest in being friends with Phoebe, she is shocked.

While attending one of Nick’s parties, Phoebe, Lauren and Nick all receive text messages. All the messages have is a location. The message says enough. Lauren and Nick know exactly what the message meanings...They have all been selected to join an exclusive, ultra secret club, known as …The Society.

I have to admit that the first thing that made me interested in this book was the book cover. It is very eye catching. Then when I read the summary, I knew I had to check this book out. So glad I did. I read this book in one sitting. I couldn’t put this book down. This book did remind me of the movie, The Skulls. Where a bunch of rich kids get initiated into a secret society and have everything given to them but for a price. The only difference between The Skulls and this book is that I thought this book was better. Nick, Lauren and Phoebe may be rich but this are not stuck up. This made them likable. I would gladly read another book by Tom Dolby.

The Art of Overeating


The Art of Over Eating is a laugh out loud book to be enjoyed. The advice in this book is not meant to be taken serious. Leslie Landis, MFT pokes fun at America and our obsession with food and dieting. She makes comments like if you are planning on taking a doggie bag then you better either eat it as a snack on the way home or as soon as you get home. Or when you are invited as a dinner guest, you should offer to wash the dishes by licking them off. This is so that you can still enjoy the last bits of the delicious meal. If you get caught, Leslie has you covered. Just tell the person that you believe in saving water. This way people will think you are environmentally conscience.

This book has more funny tips like this. As well as lots of colorful pictures that will have you wanting to show other people. Don’t think that this book isn’t just about what not to do. This book is also informative. There are some interesting food facts that I didn’t know about. The Art of Over Eating is packed full of lots of laugh out loud moments to be had. Don’t take my word for it. Pick up a copy of this book today and start laughing.

London Boulevard = Motion Movie




When Mitchell is released from prison after serving three years for a vicious attack he doesn’t even remember, Billy Norton is there to pick him up. But Norton works for Tommy Logan, a ruthless loan shark lowlife with plans Mitchell wants nothing to do with. Attempting to stay out of Logan ’s way, he finds work at the Holland Park mansion of faded movie actress, Lillian Palmer, where he has to deal with her mysterious butler, Jordan. It isn’t long before Mitchell’s violent past catches up with him and people start getting hurt. When his disturbed sister Briony is threatened, Mitchell is forced to act.


LONDON BOULEVARD will soon be a major motion picture starring Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley, with the directorial debut of William Monahan, the Oscar-winning writer for Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed.”

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Moonbeam Dreams = giveaway


I thought that this was a fun children’s book to read. The lines on the pages were not too long but just right. The pictures in the book were filled with lots of vivid colors. Plus the pictures matched what was being read on that certain page. The rhyming was also a delight. It almost made me want to sing this book out versus reading it. Moonbeam Dreams shows children that it is ok to have dreams. You can dream about anything you want to do or be. I would say this book is perfect for children ages 3 to 7.



Courtesy of Cheryl with Pump Up Your Book Promotion. I am giving away 1 copy of this book. Must be a follower and open to US and Canada only.

Just leave a comment to enter. Contest ends November 16th.













Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hanging with Angelica and Zi







I am pleased to have the dynamic duo of Angelica and Zi back again.
MARS MIGHT BE TOO CLOSE TO VENUS

Angelica Hart and Zi are writers published by Champagne Books.

While writing KILLER DOLLS, we wanted the characters to have depth, a sense of non-conformity yet remain within the distinctive ranks of their gender. We did not wish to misled or lie about what makes them who they are, holding in mind certain humanistic qualities. Being a male and female writing team gave us an advantage. One of us would often tell the other, "A man/woman would not act that way." Once, for the fun of it and to wade into the truth of the yin and yang of the gender diversities, we waded through a list, with a bit of help from Google of ten things that differ between a man and a woman.

· Ask a woman how she stubbed her toe and she'll say she walked into a chair, ask a man and he'll say someone left a chair in the middle of the room. (This is our male character, Rich Longar from LOVE LETTERS)
· An English professor wrote the words, "Woman without her man is nothing" on the blackboard and directed the students to punctuate it correctly.The men wrote: "Woman, without her man, is nothing."The women wrote: "Woman! Without her, man is nothing." (This personifies the attitude of Lauren Pike from LOVE LETTERS)
· Man has his will, but woman has her way. (Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.) (Letti Noel of KILLER DOLLS can be seen in this quote)A man is as good as he has to be, and a woman is as bad as she dares. (Elbert Hubbard) (This is decisively the presence of Lauren Pike in LOVE LETTERS)
· A man thinks he knows, but a woman knows better. (Chinese proverb) (Once again, this projects Lauren Pike from LOVE LETTERS)
· Men always want to be a woman's first love, women like to be a man's last romance. (Oscar Wilde) (The soul and heart of Elizabeth from CHASING GRAVITAS)
· Men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses, women for their strengths. (Lois Wyse) (This is VeIper from SNAKE DANCE, along with many of his race)
· She says, "He forgets stuff I tell him, so I have to repeat myself over and over again."He says, "She nags me." (Every bit the relationship between Lauren and Rich in LOVE LETTERS)
· Women always worry about the things that men forget; men always worry about the things women remember. (We can see our characters Letti and Taut, from KILLER DOLLS, within this quote.)
· REMOTE CONTROL Female.... A device for changing from one TV channel to another.Male... A device for scanning through all 375 channels every 5 minutes. (Although VeIper from SNAKE DANCE exists in a fantasy, he was a bit of an obsessive [remote] controller and would most resemble this statement and wRen from the same book was simplistic and practical)

Though humorous, there is a lot of truth in these quotes and thoughts. Men and women simply see life differently. Men are usually more global, women usually live in the details. Yet, there is a commonality when love exists, that special tenderness expressed to the other when no one is around, that first realization that crackles and explodes when one realizes they are in love, the emotions that surround the birth of a child, the ache when there is loss.

Though our stories always have a decisive plot, a story that can almost overpower the romance, the romance is there in truth, in the reality of emotions, in the thoughts and impulses that real men and women experience. We might lie when it comes to that perfect bosom or hips that exists without cellulite, or that tree-trunk thick manly thighs that rarely exists outside bodybuilders and photo enhancement, but we never lie about emotions. Even in our novella SNAKE DANCE where the characters are not human, the emotions are true.

Every day when we write we struggle to keep it real and honest. Because if our characters are unique but believable then we can sell our plots. And if our men are men and our women are women then we can translate the emotions we sense about their possible love.

So the crux of this blog is to celebrate those difference, enjoy them, tease about them but never forget as much as we are different, we are the same where it counts, our love for one another.


EXCERPT FOUR
She finally raised her head, flushed with what she could only imagine was a brilliant blush, she now making first eye contact. Why? He was an attractive man, the remember-to-breathe sort of attractive, with penetrating eyes and a charm-saturated smile. Every grooming detail meticulously accounted for earlier. He wore a Nat Nast beneath a vintage leather jacket and jeans that looked like something out of a GQ ad, perfect fit, perfect stance, perfect... everything. Her mind hung on the ideal of everything. The last thought reminded her she wasn't thinking about jeans but about the man in them. Confronted by such a man often embarrassed her, turning her shy, and with confidence elusive she oft times stuttered. Fumbling with her out-of-style eyeglasses she found her composure and responded, “Twenty-two fifty. Wow. That is pricy.”

“It is, but would be worth it if you smiled." He flashed a smile that nurtured as it tenderly comforted, and raised an eyebrow calling for that smile.

Though, completely taken off guard, she felt a flick of panic rush beneath her skin. Easy girl. You can do this, she told herself silently. So what if this man piqued the urge to drool and bat a few lashes, then she remembered her eyelashes were on her nightstand. He was just a man; gorgeous to the square of infinity but still a man. She knew many handsome men. She thought of Jack the handyman at her complex who had muscles that could barely fit through the door and Carlos, owner of a local pizzeria, with his all-white-dazzle smiles and compliments. But neither were the handsome that attracted Letti, neither had the voice that made her feel music, or looked at her as if she had a soul. Somehow, in this instantaneous moment of glance-to-glance, she found that this stranger did. He coupled her sensibility right to her passion and bridged that through his eyes retracting her soul into the protective hug of his. He was a man. All she was able to do was feign an awkward grin as she twittered in place.

ABOUT AUTHORS

Their combined accomplishments include book publications in print and/or electronic versions of twenty-four titles, fifteen romance specific, ten manuscripts pending, EPPIE finalist for three books, Cecil Whig award, Hob-Nob Reader's Choice Award, written over 500 shorts with numerous published in both nationwide and small press magazines, articles published in various local, city and statewide newspapers, including four as a Guest Columnist in addition to trade articles. Both are members of various writing groups.

KILLER DOLLS IS AVAILABLE: Unaware that bio-terrorists are using her handcrafted dolls to attack the innocent, Letti Noel finds herself falling for Taut Johnson, an undercover FBI agent. Even as deceit is a growing barrier to their love, it's the stalking terrorists that are a threat to their lives.

We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at angelicahartandzi@yahoo.com and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a gift and add you to any future mailings.

Angelica Hart and Zi
KILLER DOLLS ~ September 2009
SNAKE DANCE ~ February 2010
CHASING GRAVITAS ~ July 2010
angelicahartandzi@yahoo.com
angelicahartandzi.com


KILLER DOLLS can be purchased at
Champagne Books
http://www.champagnebooks.com/

Monday, November 2, 2009

Someday My Prince with Come + Giveaway


My review:


Jerramy Fine grew up believing in her heart that she was a princess and bound to marry Peter Mark Andrew Phillips. Peter is one of the grandsons of the Queen of England. Jerramy always believed that she was somehow switched at birth. I mean, what princess would want to live with a family who farmed, wore second hand clothing and expected her to deal. Jerramy couldn’t wait till the day came when the royal family would realize she was missing.

As Jerramy grew up; she was plotting how to make her way to England, especially hoping to catch the eye of Peter, her love. Jerramy begs her family to send her away to boarding school. This is uncommon, when most girls her age would not want to be sent away. Will Jerramy and Peter have a happy ending?

I had such a fun time reading this book. Jerramy’s accounts of her growing up with a hippie family in the middle of no where’s ville was hilarious. Even at such a young age, Jerramy knew exactly what she wanted and she was not afraid to pursue her goals. I will say goals and not dreams because to Jerramy…marrying a prince and being claimed as part of the royal family was a reality to her. I liked that Jerramy could poke fun at herself in this book. Someday My Prince will Come does not read like a memoir. The first word that comes to my mind when I think of memoirs is …boring. I can assure you that this memoir was fun, upbeat, and a pure delight to read. I hope that Jerramy writes another novel.



I am happy to be able to give away a copy of this book to one lucky reader. Must by a follower and Open to US and Canada only.


Share with me what you dreamed of being growing up.
Contest ends November 15th.

The Handy Answer Book for Kids (and Parents)


The Handy Answer Book for Kids (and Parents) is a fun and educational book. For anyone who has had a kid, been a kid or have any grandchildren then you should check this book out. This book features about eight hundred questions that children ask and answers like…When did the dinosaurs live, What are carnivorous plants, How long is a year, What is a food bank. These are just a sample of some of the many questions featured in this book.

This book is broken out into different topics. The topics are …Outer Space; Planet Earth and Our Moon; Creatures Big and Small; Plant Life; People Around the World; Politics and Government; How Things Work; Math; Measurement and Time; All about My Body and Daily Life. This book will keep both you and your kids entertained for hours. I really liked the vivid, colorful pictures in this book as well as the simple to read and understand answers to the questions. You got to check this book out.