Thursday, February 24, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday

Share your current fav television show! Tell us a bit about it...

Television? Well, honestly, I don't watch a lot television. (I'm reading!) My husband is a big basketball fan so right now I probably wouldn't get much TV time even if I wanted it. The kids and I watch American Idol and Amazing Race. That's really about it. Besides basketball. :) Oh, I recorded a great love movie on Hallmark that I watched the other night. Uh-huh. Hallmark. Hey, it's February. The month of LOVE!

While you are here, check out my review of Between Shades of Gray. It was an amazing book and I want other people to read it so I'm giving one away.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys and a Giveaway!

This is one book I am not going to summarize on my own.  I just couldn’t do it justice.

 (From the inside cover)  “Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth?  That morning, my brother’s was worth a pocket watch.

In 1941, fifteen-year –old Lina is preparing for art school, first dates, and all that summer has to offer.  But one night, the Soviet secret police barge violently into her home, deporting her along with her mother and younger brother.  They are being sent to Siberia.  Lina’s father has been separated from the family and sentenced to death in a prison camp.  All is lost.

Lina fights for her life, fearless, vowing that if she survives she will honor her family, and the thousands like hers, by documenting their experiences in her art and writing.  She risks everything to use her art as messages, hoping they will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive.
It is a long and harrowing journey, and it is only their incredible strength, love and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day.  But will love be enough to keep them alive?”

Last night I stayed up late to finish this book.  Today something in me is changed.  Between the Shades of Grey has moved my heart.  I am reminded of the unspeakable horrors and events surrounding WWII, the reign of Stalin and the great loss of the Baltic Region.  It is a story not often told.  Reading it broke my heart, and then moved it to another place with a vow:  to never forget.  As is often the case, in the midst of the cruelest things people inflict upon one another, hope emerges and the miraculous nature of the human spirit shines through.  I am a better person today, with the powerful reminder to be grateful for what I have and where I am.  My deepest respect and honor for the thousands of people who suffered so much at the hands of evil men.   

This is advance, uncorrected galley that I received for reading and review.  This is not a light hearted read.  The violence is high, the subject matter intense and there are a few instances of light swearing.

This book is on my list of one of the best books of this year.  Without a doubt.

I’d love to put this into the hands of someone else who will read it and provide a review.  One day I might figure out how to do a form, but for today, please just  leave me a comment along with your email.  Giveaway ends Wednesday, March 2nd.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Wings and Spells by Aprilynne Pike

In the first book,Wings, Laurel has never really worried about the things that make her different than other people.  Sure, she only eats fruits and vegetables, she never has to wash her hair and she has never had a cut or scrape that she can remember.  But that isn’t so odd, is it?  Then one day Laurel realizes there is something growing on her back.  At first she thinks it’s just a pimple, but when it grows to the size of a softball, she knows something is definitely different.  The flowers that bloom from her back are not normal and a trip to the forest where she meets Tamani confirms her theory.  She is faerie.  And the faerie people need her help to save the land they live on and protect the gateway from our world to theirs.

In the second book called Spells, we find Laurel at the academy in the faerie world.  She is struggling to learn the things that will help keep herself and those she loves safe from the evils that would take it all away.  Her time in Avalon is brief yet enlightening and her feelings for Tamani grow but human life, her family and especially her boyfriend call Laurel back. Tensions are high as Laurel waits for the trolls to resurface because it's not a matter of if.  It's a matter of when.  Will she be prepared?  Will she be able to protect those she loves?  And how will she deal with two guys from different worlds?

Oh, for the love of faeries!  What a love triangle here.  I have enjoyed reading these books.  They are light, easy reading.  I don't have to think too hard, the story line is simple and just a wee bit predictable.  But, it's fun, right? The second book left a cliffhanger, which will, of course, ensure I pick up the next book because now I NEED to know.  I have my theories though.  I guess I'll just have to wait it out and see if I'm right.  (For those interested, there is some swearing in these books.)

So, in the world of paranormal love triangles, how does this rank?  Not so high for me, I've read better.  (I'm thinking Nightshade most recently) but if I'm casting my lot in with someone here, it's going to be Tamani.  Of course it is.  The stud faerie who has loved Laurel from the beginning?  Yup, I'm rooting for the underdog. 

How about you?  Team David or Tamani?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Change of Heart Giveaway Winner! selected comment seven for this week's winner.
Congrats to drdavey.  I hope you love reading Change of Heart!  Thanks to everyone who took time to enter.  Have a fantastic weekend!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday

I love Fridays!  It's the day I dedicate myself to hopping around and saying hello and making new friends.  It's awesome.  :)

Today's question!

If you are a fan of Science Fiction what is your favorite book? If you haven't read Science Fiction before...any inkling to? Anything catch your eye?

Well, I must admit to not being a total science fiction fan.  It's not my first choice to read ALTHOUGH, I have read my fair share.  I think my favorite reads were the star wars books before the last actual movies came out.  My husband and I read them together and it was fun to read them first and then compare them to the movies as they were released.  I just won Across the Universe in a giveaway so I'm looking forward to reading that.  

Before you leave here, make sure you check out my review and giveaway for Change of Heart that ends today.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lady in Waiting by Susan Meissner

One ring.  Two women.  Hundreds of years apart.  Both with the name of Jane.

Jane Lindsey believed she had a steady and comfortable marriage until the day her husband of twenty two years packed his bags and walked out the door.  Brad claims he needs space and time to think and Jane is left wondering what happened and how she is supposed to change the course of events. 

One day Jane, who owns an antique shop, receives a box filled with items from a jumble sale.  Secreted away in the spine of an old book she finds a ring engraved with a Latin inscription and a name.  Jane.  Instantly Jane feels a connection to this ring and decides to pursue the mystery as to where the ring may have come from.  This journey may just prove to be the very thing Jane needs to find answers for herself and her marriage.

In another place and time, the young Lady Jane Grey finds herself in the middle of a dangerous game of political and religious maneuvers that threaten to deny her of her true love, the pursuit of her own interests and even her life. 

Choices made in the face of hardship, especially those made with love, require courage and devotion.  The stories of both these women will prove that each has more influence over their lives than they ever thought possible. 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  I loved the two stories in one feel as we follow each Jane in life’s struggles.  The jumps between time and characters were well done and I felt each time a connection to the time period that was being portrayed.  I loved the ring as a link between the two women and how the stories developed around that ring.

 Lady Jane’s story is such a heart wrenching one.  There was so much sadness and upheaval in that time.  Her fate left me wanting more closure for Jane of modern day.  I know it was progressing to that, even hinted at, but I wanted it spelled out for me, I guess.  I wanted details of the happily ever and the resolution between Jane and her husband.  

In the end, two women found that they were stronger than they believed they were.  Each made choices for love.  I really did love this story.

I received this book as part of Blogging for Books for review.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Win a signed copy of Change of Heart by Shari Maurer

This week I read a book called Change of Heart by Shari Maurer.  In honor of Valentines Day and hearts and all that, I though this would be an appropriate review for this week.  My sincere thanks to Shari Maurer for sending me this book to read and review.

(From the book jacket)  Shortly after her sixteenth birthday, popular varsity soccer star Emmi gets the worst possible news- she’s had myocarditis that’s destroyed her heart, putting her into congestive heart failure.  Now she can barely walk across a room without stopping to rest.  Without a heart transplant, she’ll die in a matter of months.  It’s only her growing friendship with Abe, the funny, smart teen she meets in the cardiac clinic, that cheers her up.  But difficult questions race through her mind while she waits:  Will she get a heart in time?  Will she even survive the surgery?  What if her body rejects the heart?  When tragedy strikes close to home, Emmi must rely even more on her inner strength in order to carry on.

Without a question, this was an engaging read.  Shari Maurer does an excellent job bringing the emotions, frustrations and fear of transplant patients to life in her characters.  For most of us, organ donation isn’t something we put a lot of time and effort into thinking about.  I’ve never really given a lot of in depth thought as to how people waiting for a new heart might feel, how scared and how frustrating it must be for your whole life to be out of control, dependant on someone else.  There were so many emotions!  I finished reading this book with a new perspective on being an organ donor.  And that is what I liked about this book.  It raises awareness and helps you emotionally connect to the message it is delivering. 

My conservative nature must admit that the language and sexual content in this book were very distracting from the message and emotion I was feeling.  I realize that I’m in a minority when it comes to my views on such things, but that’s how it was for me.

At the end of her book, Maurer gives some insightful statistics.  Each day, approximately 18 people die in the U.S. because of the shortness of organ donors.  Every 11 minutes a new name is added to the waiting list.  You can enroll in the organ donor registry in your state but you must be 18 to do so.  For more information you can visit .  

If you'd like a chance to read this book too, please make sure you follow me and then leave a comment with your email address so I can contact you if you win.  Thanks a bunch for stopping by and Happy Valentines Day!

Anna and the French Kiss Giveaway Winner!

I love giveaways!  It's like Christmas!  vampireprincess won this week's giveaway of Anna and the French Kiss.  Congrats and enjoy!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday

What is your favorite romance hero-type? Stereotype wise. Do you like the strong silent type or the brute macho man?

I like 'em tough and just a little rough around the edges. I do not like the perfectly sweet and catering to your every whim type of guy. Oh, and I like 'em warm. :) Uh-huh.

Monday, February 7, 2011

General Winston's Daughter by Sharon Shinn

Seventeen year old Averie Winston is the daughter and heiress of General Winston of the Aeberelle army. She embarks on a journey to the far off, exotic land of Chiarrin to join her fiancĂ© and her father who are currently involved in a campaign to take over the country. Averie finds herself completely taken in by the culture and customs of Chiarrin, eagerly embracing them. Although the country of Chiarrin appears to have accepted the presence of the Aeberelle army, rebels have begun to launch small attacks that are increasing in intensity. Averie finds much of what she believes to be changing; ideas about war and people, relationships and freedom. The handsome Ket Du’Kai, escort and protector, also makes an impression on Averie and she finds herself falling in love.

This book got off to a slow start for me but I have to say that somewhere along the line I became invested in it. This story was rich and thick, slowly woven but not in a boring or overdone way. I’ll admit that I wished the ending was a bit fluffier, like dessert, you know? But honestly it fit well with the characters. (I just like fluffy desserts at the end of a good meal.) I felt like I knew the characters. I could see the places described. I really liked the author’s use of colors and smells to help create a picture and sense of being there. I felt a real appreciation for the Chiarizzi people who were willing to sacrifice whatever they needed to regain the freedoms that had been taken from them. How can that not hit home? This was the first book by Sharon Shinn that I have read. I have another sitting in my pile and I’m looking forward to reading it.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss Giveaway

Another giveaway for this week!  Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.  I know lots of people out there love this book so if you haven't had a chance to read this yet, I'm giving you one!  Just follow my blog and  leave a comment here with your email address.  Easy peasy! Giveaway ends 2/11/11.

My First Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Rie Conley who is the winner of my very first giveaway!  I hope you enjoy Shadow of the Sun.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Follow My Blog Friday

What book am I pushing?!  Well, so far on my blog I've only "pushed" the books I've really enjoyed.  The last book I blogged about was Zita the Spacegirl.  It's a graphic novel that just came out this week.  We all loved it at my house.  Another book I recently read and loved was Tiger's Curse by Collen Houck.

I'm having a giveaway that ends today (Friday) for a book called Shadow of the Sun by Laura Kreitzer.  It's a great paranormal about angels with lots of action.  Check it out!

Tell me what book you are pushing and where so I can check them out!  Happy Friday!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Zita the Spacegirl

What do you do when you find a little device with a big red button sitting in a hole?  You get the device and push the button!  At least, that’s what Zita does.   The next thing she knows her friend Joseph is gone, taken by who knows what!  Zita follows, determined to save Joseph.  Far from home, across the universe, on a far away planet, Zita meets monsters.  But, she also meets friends who help along the way.

I LOVED this book!  It took me forever (maybe a slight exaggeration here) to finally get my hands on it though.  My kids swiped it up right away and it didn’t surface again for days!  My youngest (8) read through it twice and loved it.  This is a graphic novel and one of the first ones I’ve read and owned.  I won it through First Reads on Goodreads.  I know, lucky, huh?  This book was funny.  I laughed right out loud several times.  Which for me, is something.  This is a “fun for all ages” kind of book.  One you just love to share.