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Monday, July 30, 2012

You're Invited ...

I'm participating in a blog tour for Julie Ford's Whitney nominated novel, Count Down to Love, due to begin on August 13th.  No official schedule of participants at the moment but when I get the information I will inform you so that you can check out what bloggers think about the book and perhaps enter for a chance to win a copy.  I do know that my stop will be on the 22nd so be sure to check out my review then.

In the meantime, Ms Ford is extending a special invitation to all blog readers to join her and 11 other authors in an amazing book event being held on August 1st. Check out the following invitation for all the details.  ~I apologize for the short notice.

Utah Author Event
Meet the authors and support a library!

Come to the Pleasant Grove City Library at 30 E. Center Street in Pleasant Grove, Utah, at 7 pm on Wednesday, August 1st for a great book event featuring Whitney-nominated author, Julie Ford. Julie will be joined by some other amazing authors including:

  • Julie Coulter Bellon
  • Nichole Giles
  • Angie Lofthouse
  • Monique Bucheger
  • H. B. Moore
  • Rachelle Christensen
  • Andrea Pearson
  • Heather Justesen
  • Loralee Evans
  • Suze Reese
  • L. L. Muir

Come meet these authors and check out their books! There will be prizes there on silent auction, books to be purchased, cookies to be eaten - and proceeds will go to the library. That's right - this is a book launch/fund-raiser/rockin' party!

Bring your family! Bring your friends! Come prepared to have a great time, support your local authors, and contribute to the library!

Pleasant Grove Library
30 E. Center, Pleasant Grove
Wednesday, August 1st
7 - 9 PM

Bummer that I'll be missing it.  I've got family plans for the day already plus it's far away from me anyways. :(

Friday, July 27, 2012

Vacations Reads Giveaway WINNER!

Rafflecopter has spoken.  Congratulations Karen K.!  You are my Vacation Reads Giveaway winner.  Please contact me and let me know which prize you would like.  You will have 72hrs to reply to the email I sent you.

Thank you to those who entered and for the follows.  I truly appreciate the support. 

Until the next time, take care good care and be happy!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kindle Freebie Alert

What an awesome treat these books are!  Geared for women but certainly the principles apply for all.  Hurry and get your copy.  It will brighten your day ..your life! 

They are very quick reads ..about ten minutes for each book.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"The Mother Road"

The Mother Road by Jennifer Allee, AF, 2012, ebook Kindle edition, 288p, rating=4
Source: purchased

A New Road Home--or Another Dead End?
Within the course of a week, marriage expert Natalie is dumped by her husband, receives an urgent call home from her father, and discovers her estranged sister, Lindsay, is pregnant.
A road trip on Route 66 may not help, but it sure couldn't hurt. Or so Natalie thinks, until Lindsay's boyfriend starts stalking them. Will their trip down the Mother Road bring the two sisters closer together, or turn out to be the biggest wrong turn of their lives? (Goodreads)

I'm a sucker for books about sisters so I was thrilled to catch this for free at the Kindle Store (Amazon).  I wasn't disappointed.  It dealt with rough situations (infidelity, infertility, divorce, misconceptions, Alzheimer's) but as expected, the road trip to the mother road (Route 66) gave these sisters the bond they needed to square their lives.  See, Natalie, the older sister, the marriage expert novelist who just got dumped by her husband for a younger woman (his assistant, no less) needed a breather, especially after the fiasco on her lecture engagement.  Lindsay, the rebellious, pregnant, younger sister also could use a fresh air after not getting anywhere with her unemployed, musician boyfriend.  Hey, how about a visit to dear ol' parents?  Of course Lindsay doesn't want to fly so off to a road trip instead.  Having been awhile since the sisters have seen each other, Natalie was surprised and ambivalent to see Lindsay pregnant ..oh did I forget to mention that Natalie had been trying unsuccessfully to have a child?  Then of course, Natalie wasn't jazzed about father-boyfriend so she went to older sister mode and wanted Lindsay out of the relationship.  This was going to be a fun trip!

It was a fun trip.  Both the road trip and the read.  There was enough tidbits about Route 66 to be interested but I like that the story focused on the family mechanics.  It made for a relatable and tender read.  Plus, the supporting characters did an excellent job and helped make this a funny read as well.  In the end, you will find comfort in appreciating life as is, bad and good.

By the way, they passed by my city but I wasn't home so they went on their merry way! Shucks!! ;)

Monday, July 23, 2012

"Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas"

Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson, AF, 2001, 266p, rating=4
Source: library

James Patterson has written a love story! -a powerfully moving and suspenseful novel about families, loss, new love, and hope. Katie Wilkinson has found her perfect man at last. He's a writer, a house painter, an original thinker-everything she's imagined she wanted in a partner. But one day, without explanation, he disappears from her life, leaving behind only a diary for her to read. This diary is a love letter written by a new mother named Suzanne for her baby son, Nicholas. In it she pours out her heart about how she and the boy's father met, about her hopes for marriage and family, and about the unparalleled joy that having a baby has brought into her life. As Katie reads this touching document, it becomes clear that the lover who has just left her is the husband and father in this young family. She reads on, filled with terror and hope, as she struggles to understand what has happened-and whether her new love has a prayer of surviving. Written with James Patterson's perfect pitch for emotion and suspense, Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas captures beautifully the joys of a new family even as it builds to an overwhelmingly moving climax. This is an unforgettable love story, at once heartbreaking and full of hope. (Goodreads)

Simply a tender story that carries the reader to the complexities of the effects of heartbreak and the rebuilding thereafter.  Told through discovery prose that provides a suspenseful read.  A love triangle that will narrate no need of a rally for a team.  Everyone is a winner because everyone truly loves each other. 

Some parts may seem chick lit cheesy and might have you saying, "Hello, just move on!  He's a two-timing creep!", but goes to show that one ought not jump into conclusions hastily.  Luckily, through Suzanne's diary for her son Nicholas, Katie was able to discover Matt's reason for disappearing.

My only exasperation was some repetitiveness.  It can be for emphasizing importance or clarity but it simply annoyed me.  However, not overwhelming enough that it ruined the book for me.

It was the ending that blew me away!  Stabbed my heart and twisted it for good measure.  Oh, Kleenex made a killing that day I read this book (okay, I'm exaggerating).  But really, a good kind of cry.  The kind that reminds you to give your spouse and children that hug, kiss, and words of love often and with meaning.

If you're an emotional kind of person, this book is for you. :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Book Loot Giddy

Ugh, this reading rut is really frustrating! I haven't read a book since the beginning of the month!! All I can seem to manage are audio books (only because they're portable; Playaway) and even that has been limited.  I've also fallen behind on reviewing.  Of course that doesn't stop me from adding more books to my ever growing TBR list!  Oh, the whoas of a bookworm.

Borrowed from the library:

Kindle freebie purchases:

Golden Lies

Just Add Water

Land of Mountains

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Friday 56: Saving June

Welcome to this interesting meme hosted by Freda's Voice.
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link your post HERE

Oh, when am I ever going to get to this book?! I've heard great things about it and I finally own it but something always comes up and I forget.  So I'm glad I get to show case it here on The Friday 56.  It'll remind me to get to it soon.  I think I'd like to read it as soon as I finish the two books I committed to review.  We'll see.

When her older sister commits suicide and her divorcing parents decide to divide the ashes, Harper Scott takes her sister's urn to the one place June always wanted to go: California. On the road with her best friend, plus an intriguing guy with a mysterious connection to June, Harper discovers truths about her sister, herself and life. (Goodreads)

Pg. 56: "Laney turns, and the moment she makes eye contact with the guy, all of the color drains from her face.  Her eyes dart from him to the door, like she's going to bolt, but then she smoothes out her expression and walks over to them, fists balled at her sides."

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Filipino Friday

(Go HERE for details but go to homepage to link)

Yay, Filipino Friday is back!  That means the Filipino Reader Conference is around the corner.  Bummer I'm too far to attend (conference is in the Philippines and I'm in the U.S.).  Anyway, in anticipation of meeting at the conference, this meme serves as a venue to get to know one another.  Hence, each Friday for 5 weeks we are invited to answer the topic of the week.  How fun!

This week's question:
Introductions. As with every start of a weekly meme, we need to know a bit about you! Talk about your top 3-5 (or more!) favorite books of all time, the genres you read and would never read, the books that surprised you this year. You can also talk about how you became a reader and why you love it so much! And finally, if you were in the ReaderCon last year, talk about your experience too! If you weren’t there, but you’re planning to go this year, then what do you expect for the upcoming ReaderCon?

My Answer:
Hmm, I'm a recent bookworm so I'm just getting my feet wet.  I did have my moments of reading books here and there since childhood but never really stuck until I started to blog about books two years ago.  The initial reading and blogging at that time was fulfilling a couple purposes ..(1) I would be able to contribute to conversations regarding books with my friends, and (2) something to call my own ..aside from the life of being a homemaker.  Then the more I read and the more I blogged, the more I enjoyed reading and I ended up learning so much about the community of book lovers out in the blogosphere and felt great at being part of it!  Reading and blogging became a passionate hobby and the connection with people with the same love gave me extra place in this world.  Reading is now part of me!  My drug, my refuge, .. and blogging, my fourth child!

I started off reading whatever I got my hands on and that was books from my local library.  I'm queen of frugal so that was the best way to go and I'm fortunate to have a fabulous library that had great selections.  Furthermore, I'm a soft hearted person by nature so I gravitated to general fiction books that tug at the heartstrings (hence the blog URL) ..Mitch Albom, Nicholas Sparks, holocaust stories, etc.  But I branched out trying out other genres ..mystery, classics, non-fiction, religion, etc.  But it was YA that took me by surprise.  I discovered that I liked it more than I thought I would.  Overall, I'm an eclectic reader but I avoid heavy romance and violent books.  In general, I will aways find the soft stories, adult fiction or non-fiction, my home.  Oh, I honestly can't name any favorite book(s) of all time ..I don't think I've really come across it (them) yet ..though, Standing for Something by Gordon B. Hinckley is dear and near to my heart. 

I didn't attend last year's ReaderCon nor will I attend this year.  I will just have to vicariously be fed through the official RC website and networks and try to contribute as much as I can.

"The Selection"

The Selection by Kiera Cass, YA, 2012, p, rating=4
Source: library

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined. (Goodreads)

Wow, I was surprised how ratings appeared to be in extremes for this book.  It seemed like that many readers either loved this book or detested it, very little middle ground.  Seeing one stars for this read gave me pause.  I got to second guessing how I felt about the read.  But upon looking a bit closely, there was a scandal that I missed.  In brief reading of some reviews (in Goodreads) there were alleged improper reactions by the author and publicist therefore many reviewers took offense.  Evidently I'm not the only one that missed the outrage because there were over 7,300 reviews and overall this book has a rating of 3.96 stars out of 5 (Goodreads).  So I'm actually in the company of many that really liked the book. 

I'm a sucker for Cinderella-kind of story so I got entranced by this story.  The read was quick, soft, and flowing.  A relaxing, no-brainer read with a triangle romance fluff that engaged me.  Simply entertaining.  I'd read the sequel.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Vacation Reads Giveaway Hop

Thank you to I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and The Bookish Mama for hosting.

ALOHA!! You have landed in Hawaii!  So in this giveaway hop you can enter for a chance to win your choice of one Hawaiian themed read from the book list below.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter.  Oh, and if for some reason that you do not like any of the choices then you may opt for a $10 gift e-card or $10 shopping spree to The Book Depository.  

Any person (a least 13yo) that resides in a country that The Book Depository ships to may enter this giveaway.

The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings
Hawaiian Quilts by Brandon and Woodard
Honolulu by Alan Brennert
Moloka'i by Alan Brennert

Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mahalo (thank you) for stopping by my stop and for your support. Now, let's hop on to other participants in this hop and see where their vacation reads giveaway will take us.  :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Book Loot Giddy

This week has been a very book giddy week.  I actually received books in the mail!!  Yippee!!!*Happy dance (big grin, trampoline-kind of jumps and flips, and lots of hootin' and hollerin')*

This was wrapped so pretty and came with homemade bookmark (?), flat pen, and nice note.
Thank you Melody @Fingers & Prose

Woohoo, signed copy!! ..and awesome bookmarks!  My 5yo daughter just started this today.
Thank you Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

For Review:

Woohoo, signed copy!!
Thank you Mr. Goodman!

Ebook from author ..thank you Mr. Braden!!
The Kindling

This was actually last week ..forgot to post.
FOTL Bookstore: How to Be Good by Nick Hornby, When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro, and The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks
Went to San Diego Zoo ..Little Lion Finger Puppet Book; SDZ bookmark

Salvation Army Bookstore: Harry Potter #5, Shopaholic & Baby by Sophie Kinsella, The Chronicles of Narnia (all 7 books), and The Diary of a Wimpy Kid Roderick Rules

Kindle ebook freebie purchases:

The Loom

Love Finds You in Wildrose, North Dakota

How about you? How book loot giddy were you this week?

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Friday 56 - Goddess Girls: The Girls' Games

Welcome to this interesting meme hosted by Freda's Voice.
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link your post HERE.

Haven't been able to squeeze in a book to read this entire week! Between my kiddos being on summer break and having car problems reading/blogging went to the back burner.  Anyways, I did received the following book in the mail this week and my 5yo and I were thrilled!  This one's super special.  Looking forward to getting to it soon.  :)

"COME ON, GUYS!" ARTEMIS CALLED TO HER dogs.  She held her dorm room door open, letting them dash into the hall.  She'd left them cooped up while she was next door at Aphrodite's, afraid they might chase the kitten."

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"The Secret Life of Copernicus H. Stringfellow"

by Lorin Barber, YA, 2012, 293p, rating=5
Source: received paperback copy from author/publisher in exchange for an honest review

Copernicus H. Stringfellow, a.k.a. Nick, is far from your average, run-of-the-mill genius. His brains are really more like brawn now that he's learned to control things with his mind. From fending off would-be muggers to rescuing down-and-out travelers, there's no job too small for this superhero, especially after he learns that Twinkies by the caseload send his superpowers skyrocketing! But with powers so fantastic, he'll have to face more than a few enemies. Follow Nick on his amazing adventures in this thrilling and action-packed story With excitement, surprises, and lots of laugh-out-loud moments, this is one book that's sure to capture the attention of readers of all ages. (book cover)

Forget Nick!  Everyone should just call him by his full name, Copernicus H. Stringfellow.  What a fabulous name befitting an amazingly good man!  Simply, an adult Dr. Doogie Howser meets Jesus ..a sharp and humble philanthropist.  Now that's a superhero that I would swoon over!

Indulge me a little bit for I will expound on what I got out of this book.  Keep in mind that this wasn't a preachy read but I just so happened to have read it through a religious eyes.  See, between the lines of this quirky literary work was a message to take care of one another and that's what I love most about this read.  Copernicus H. Stringfellow's secret life aligned with the counsel we find in Matthew 6:3, But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth. Copernicus H. Stringfellow didn't want fame or notoriety for his many accomplishments and special powers.  Instead, he used his skills and resources to help and uplift people in confidence.  This means not merely giving people money but providing them the gift of self reliance (they worked for it).  For example, Copernicus H. Stringfellow bought a run-down house so that he can hire a gardener, a decorator, a handyman, and so on; positions who he then gives to those who are down-and-out.  In other words, Copernicus H. Stringfellow's superhero powers was really not that he can move things with his mind, but that he can move people with his heart. That of course is the kind of hero we could use more of in this world ..according to the Book of Jinky.  :)

Religious eyes off, this read was funny, touching, and entertaining.  Yes, one might say that even with the heartwarming premise and twisty segments, it was too smooth.  I saw that.  Copernicus H. Stringfellow didn't really have much of a challenge.  Story wise, I was anticipating more conflict ..or better yet, that he didn't wiggle out of the conflicts that he was in so easily.  That's okay though.  The meat of the story made up for it.

Okay, I cannot review this book without saying something about Twinkies (American brand cake snack).  I'm such a gullible person and I tell ya, I wanted to eat Twinkies and see if it really would make me smarter!  Did my IQ just drop by admitting that? LOL.  On a serious note, I think the Twinkies added to the ambiance of the wonderful world of the peculiar that I believe that the author wanted to convey.

There's more!  Not only were there crimes being deflected but a little bit of romance and family dynamics was going on too.  I speak of course about the happenings leading up to the ending.  That's all I can say without giving away too much so be sure to have this book within your radar and pick it up.  There's so much to gain.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Books Reviewed in Collage

Yikes!  It's past due for my every 2 month picture collage of books reviewed.  So here it is!

Books reviewed in May and June of 2012

Favorites in this batch:
  • 2011 The Book Blogger's Cookbook by Christy Dorrity
  • Daughters for a Time by Jennifer Hnadford
  • Somebody to Love by Kristan Higgins
  • Taste by Kate Evangelista


An Unexpected Date by Susan Hatler
Art of Racing in the Rain, The by Garth Stein
Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
Glass Case, The by Kristin Hannah
Graduate, The by Terry Johnson (radio play)
Guardian by Rachel Morgan
Labryinth by Rachel Morgan
Letting Go by Roxy Boroughs
Kill Me If You Can by James Patterson and Marshall Karp
Most Important Catch, The by Jaclyn M. Hawkes
New World, The by Patrick Ness
Post-College Guide to Happiness, The by Bryan Cohen
Somebody to Love by Kristan Higgins
Taste by Kate Evangelista


2011 Book Blogger's Cookbook, The by Christy Dorrity
92 Pacific Boulevard by Debbie Macomber
Always the Baker Never the Bride by Sandra D. Bricker
Daughters for a Time by Jennifer Handford
Freak by Tess Gerritsen
Love Your Frenemies by Mina V. Esguerra
Philippine Folklore Stories by John Maurice Miller
Traitor by Rachel Morgan

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