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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Book Loot Giddy

Ugh, I can't seem to get a hold of summer this year!  Been super busy since my kiddos have been on summer break.  This past couple of weeks have especially been trying unhealthy habits have caught up with me and I've ballooned!  I saw my doctor yesterday and he added another blood pressure medication.  So bummed  :'(

Bookwise, I haven't read in awhile though that doesn't stop me from browsing the Kindle freebie isle.  I don't know why I get so carried away!  My tbr list is so overwhelming already and I go dump another mountain.  Ugh...

Anyways, here's my ebook loot ...all purchased for free on Amazon:

A Little Book of Mormon (and Not So Mormon) Stories


All Hallows Moon (Seasons of the Moon, #2)

by Charles Ho
Goodreads didn't have this book in their library
so here's an image from Amazon

BOUND (The Crystor, #1)

Days After the Crash

Happy Birthday to Me (Birthday Trilogy, #1)

Long Night Moon (Seasons of the Moon, #3)

Mariza (God Blessed the Broken Road, #1)

The Mother Road

Six Moon Summer (Seasons of the Moon, #1)

To Kill a Warlock (Dulcie O'Neil, #1)

Whale Song: A Novel

When Girlfriends Break Hearts

Friday, June 29, 2012

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway WINNER

Rafflecopter has spoken and congratulations goes to CLAIRE FRITH!!  You've won your choice of $12 to Amazon or The Book Depository.

An email has been sent to you.  You will have 72hrs to reply.

Thank you so much to those who entered my giveaway and for the follows.  I appreciate your support.  You rock!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kindle Freebie Alert

Blurb from Amazon:  Within the course of a week, Natalie is dumped by her husband, receives an urgent call home from her father, and discovers her estranged sister 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 yet?

Ahhhhh!!  I just discovered that the Kindle ebook edition of this book, The Mother Road by Jennifer Allee, is free!!!  I'm super excited, can you tell?  I don't know why exactly, but I am. :D

Hurry, go HERE before it goes back to the digital list price of $13.99!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Pay it Forward Giveaway Hop

Thank you Roof Beam Reader and Shooting Stars Mag for hosting this giveaway.

Welcome to my stop in this fabulous giveaway hop where each blogger has a special treat for their readers.  We will be paying forward some of our favorite things.  How awesome is that?  Anyway, here I will be giving away one of my most favorite books, "Standing for Something" by Gordon B. Hinckley.

Any person that resides in a country that The Book Depository ships to may enter this giveaway.

Go HERE for blurb and my review.

Here's a fun acrostic I did for this book awhile back:

Standing for Something
Takes a look
At 10 virtues that has been
Drawing on from his own life
Including from our
Nation today,
Gordon B. Hinckley

Outlines "
Rediscovering the values and virtues that have historically made us

Strong." (book flap)
Outlining also 2 guardians of virtue,
Marriage and the family stating that
Even in difficult
Here is the path to a better world. As
Individuals, community, and as a
Nation we can
Grow to stand for something again.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for entering! Now head on over to the list below and check out some fabulous favorites that you can win! Good luck!!

Linky List:

  1. Roof Beam Reader (Int)
  2. Shooting Stars Mag (Int)
  3. Karen White Audiobooks (USA)
  4. BookHounds (USA)
  5. BookHounds YA (USA)
  6. Jinky is Reading (Int)
  7. Abel G. de la Cruz (UK)
  8. Noble Valerie (USA)
  9. There's A Book (US/Canada)
  10. Life as a Spaz (Int)

  1. Tales of an Intrepid Pantster (USA)
  2. Leeswamme's Blog (Int)
  3. The Lupine Librarian (USA)
  4. Sweeping Me (USA/CAN)
  5. Kristen Pelfrey Writes (USA)
  6. Love Saves the World(Int)
  7. Reading With a Broken Heart (Int)
  8. Book Addict (Int)
  9. Cheryl Rainfield (Int)
  10. Candace's Book Blog (Int)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Brief Reviews: Always the Baker Never the Bride; Love Your Frenemies

Always the Baker Never the Bride, by Sandra D. Bricker, AF, 2010, Kindle ebook, 308p, rating=4
Source: own

They say you can't have your cake and eat it too. But who would want a cake they couldn't eat?
Just ask Emma Rae Travis about that. She's a baker of confections who is diabetic and can't enjoy them. When Emma meets Jackson Drake, the escapee from Corporate America who is starting a wedding destination hotel to fulfill a dream that belonged to someone else, this twosome and their crazy family ties bring new meaning to the term "family circus." The Atlanta social scene will never be the same! (Goodreads)

I nibbled on this book in between review commitments and distractions.  I really liked it!  A lovely blossoming romance story with awesome recipes and wedding tips.  It had interesting character dynamics, nice Southern setting, and a giggle-inducing non-preachy Christian chick-lit plot.  A definite good find.

Totally scored on this ebook.  I caught it on a Kindle freebie day ..caught the next two installments for free as well!  Woohoo!!  :)

 Love Your Frenemies by Mina V. Esguerra, AF, 2011, Kindle ebook, 121p, rating=3.5
Source: own

Kimmy Domingo was the kind of girl everyone hated and envied -- until her fiancé dumped her a week before their wedding. Soon after, she quit her job, hopped on a plane, and just hid from everyone who knew her. A year later and she's back in Manila to be maid of honor at a wedding she can't miss.
Kimmy's home because she's ready to start over, but she also knows that some people at that wedding were responsible for the mess her life turned out to be. The first step to recovery? Cutting off the ones who caused her troubles to begin with: her best friend and her first love. (Goodreads)

What a cute story.  Well worth the $.99 I paid to purchase it.  Of course, I liked the setting ..Philippines!  My native country, so I caught on to the lingo/customs.  Anyway, this book was about getting personal with Kimmy, the protagonist.  We get her point of view through see-sawing of past-present time line.  Although romance was in the midst, the main focus was understanding one's role in the intimate, economic, and social dynamics of family and friends.  The tender twist towards the end was a nice surprise ..the kind that you would find yourself wanting to touch base with your best friend at that very moment and tell him that you're thinking of him.  Nice.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop

Thank you Uniquely Moi Books and I Am A Reader Not A Writer for hosting this giveaway. 

Welcome to my stop in this giveaway hop.  Here, I'm giving away $12 in electronic gift card to or up to $12 worth of books from the Book Depository so you can choose your own summer book.  Sound good?  Then fill out the Rafflecopter form below and enter to win!  All I ask is that you are at least thirteen years old and be a follower of this blog.  Also, there are options for extra entries.  :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for entering.  Now, head on over to the list below and start entering other's fabulous giveaways.  --Good luck!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

"Daughters for a Time"

by Jennifer Handford, AF, 2012, 302p, rating=5
Source: received paperback copy from publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

Feelings of abandonment fill Helen Francis at a too-young age when her mother dies and her father walks out. Left in the care of her older sister, Claire, she moves on but never truly heals. Now thirty-five and married, Helen is desperate to start a family of her own. After four unsuccessful years of trying to become pregnant, Helen accepts the idea of adoption.

When her baby is finally in her arms, Helen experiences true exaltation. But she is quickly blindsided with the worst possible news: Claire has cancer. Helen's wounds are again torn open as she balances the bliss of a new daughter with the grief of a dying sister. (Goodreads)

I sobbed hard and often.  The kind of sobbing that left me short of breath.  It wasn't tears of pity but of empathy.  I was feeling the ache that Helen's character was going through as I read her account of her struggles with infertility.  I rejoiced with her when she was able to successfully adopt a daughter.  Then I anguished again with her when she heard the news that her six-year-older sister was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  The very sister that raised her since fourteen years of age after the loss of their mother and a father that left them to fend for themselves.  Now, at thirty-five, Helen weighed emotions of joy and despair.  In the process, she fights to claim a hopeful future for her daughter and niece.

This novel was more than the issue of infertility or it would have been a very depressing read.  Instead, it was more about family, particularly mother-daughter and sister-sister relationships.  Central to the success of understanding the bonds was Claire, who I would vote as Sister of the Year.  Claire, epitomizesd the role of a stand out woman.  She was strong, sharp, and nurturing.  It was because of her that Helen turned out to be a solid woman as well.  I love Claire.  She made the book for me!

Beautiful, beautiful love story.  It will genuinely touch your heart.

On a personal note, it is just so heartbreaking to hear of couples' struggles with infertility.  My best friend is going through it right now and at times I can see the contemplation in her eyes when she sees me, Fertile Myrtle, and my children.  Her battle especially desparate because of her age and being diabetic.  I don't wholly understand her pain but I do ache when she aches.  I'm completely useless for anything else!  Ohhh...

Friday, June 15, 2012

"The 2011 Book Blogger's Cookbook"

by Christy Dorrity, non fiction, 2011, Kindle ebook, 108p, rating=5
Source: own

Great books, bloggers, and recipes meet in this fresh and unique cookbook that helps you experience books, not just read them.
Books were selected from the author’s book review blog and paired with delectable recipes like “Fairy Touched Calico Brownies” from the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull, “7-Day Layer Dip” from Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall, and “I Hate Chocolate Cake” from Amanda Hocking’s Switched. Mouthwatering photos complement every recipe.

The 2011 Book Blogger’s Cookbook includes a foreword by Amanda Hocking, author of the USA Today Bestselling Trylle Trilogy and showcases over seventy reviews with links to book review blogs and author websites.

Whether you're a food lover, an avid reader or a book blogger, there’s something for you in The 2011 Book Blogger’s Cookbook. (Goodreads)

Tie a recipe to a book, what a fabulous idea!  I'm probably bias because I'm a book blogger but I absolutely love this book!  Here certain books are featured.  For each featured book, you'll see an image of the book, its blurb, brief reviews from few book bloggers, and a recipe correlating to the particular book.  The food featured looks divine and the recipes seem simple and easy to follow.  I especially enjoyed the foreword from Amanda Hocking.  She gave a wonderful shout out to book bloggers and I felt proud that I could include myself in her praises.  She recognized that book blogging is a tough non-paying, juggle with our day jobs ... parent, student, etc.  Anyway, I'm looking forward to trying to bake "Raised by Magic Quick Rolls".  I love rolls and these look soft and golden.  Oh, and the book, Alvor by Laura Bingham, that it was paired with sounds like a magical read.  Never heard of it, now I have!  So yes, this did have something for moi!  Great job Ms Dorrity.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Brief Reviews: 92 Pacific Boulevard; Philippine Folklore Stories

92 Pacific Boulevard by Debbie Macomber, AF, 2009, Playaway digital audio, 10.5hrs., rating=3
Source: library

Dear Reader,
I'm not much of a letter writer. As the sheriff here, I'm used to writing incident reports, not chatty letters. But my daughter, Megan—who'll be making me a grandfather soon—told me I had to do this. So here goes.
I'll tell you straight out that I'd hoped to marry Faith Beckwith (my onetime high school girlfriend) but she ended the relationship last month, even though we're both widowed and available. There were a few misunderstandings between us, some of them inadvertently caused by Megan.
However, I've got plenty to keep me occupied, like the unidentified remains found in a cave outside town. And the fact that my friend Judge Olivia Griffin is fighting cancer. And the break-ins at 204 Rosewood Lane—the house Faith happens to be renting from Grace Harding…
If you want to hear more, come on over to my place or the sheriff 's office—if you can stand the stale coffee!
Troy Davis (Goodreads)

I missed the first eight books to this series so it's no wonder I felt lost!  There were so many characters and lots of things going on that I had a hard time following who's-who and what's-what.  Overall though, it's a good leisure read for those who like community drama stories.

Philippine Folklore Stories, AF, 2004, Kindle ebook, 48p, rating=4
Source: own

Excerpt from one of the stories...
But one day, while they were laughing and singing, the earth suddenly opened and Harisaboqued sprang out before them. They were very much frightened and fled in terror down the mountain side. When they reached the foot and looked back they saw a terrible sight. All the tobacco had disappeared and, instead of the thousands of plants that they had tended so carefully, nothing but the bare mountain could be seen. (Goodreads)

During my early childhood, I grew up hearing many superstitious beliefs and old wives' tales so this read took me back.  A memory trip back to my native country through folklores (11 told here).  I can't say I have heard any of these before but I felt the stories for the entertainment they brought.  One in particular reminded me of what my aunt instructed me to do as we walked through this foresty path (somewhere in the Philippines) during the night.  She told me to say, "Tabi, tabi" so as to say to the ghosts or creatures of the night to stay away from us.  Looking back at it now, I think she may have said that so that I don't go wondering off there at night by myself.  Not like I would anyways.  As a kid, I was a big scaredy cat!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Book Loot Giddy

Last week was crazy busy so the reason for my recent MIA.  It was the last week of school for my kiddos so there was a lot of running around, volunteering, teacher gift shopping, and my the end of it all I got sick with fever on Friday.  But that only stopped me for a moment because I also had my youngest birthday party to throw the following day and a couple of church duties that needed attending to.  Needless to say I didn't get any reading done!  Not one word.  I was exhausted ..and still recuperating!  But I was happy that I finally received the book for review that was having a hard time getting to me.  I was pretty giddy about that!  I'm looking forward to curling up with it soon.

Kindle ebook freebie:

For Review:
Daughters for a Time

So what did I miss?  And how book loot giddy are you?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Freaks (Rizzoli & Isles #8.5) by Tess Gerritsen, AF, 2011, Kindle ebook, 46p, rating=3.5
Source: own

In this free Rizzoli & Isles short story from New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen, author of The Silent Girl, a bizarre death comes with a supernatural twist. Homicide cop Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles have seen their fair share of mortal crimes, but the death of Kimberly Rayner may qualify as inhuman in more ways than one. When corpse of the emaciated seventeen-year-old girl is discovered next to an empty coffin in an abandoned church, mysterious bruises around the throat suggest foul play. Caught fleeing the scene is the victim's closest friend, Lucas Henry, an equally skeletal, pale teenager who claims he's guilty only of having a taste for blood-a craving he shared with Kimberly. But the victim's distraught father doesn't believe in vampires, only vengeance. And now, another life may be at risk unless Rizzoli and Isles can uncover the astonishing truth. (Goodreads)

I've seen a few of the Rizzoli & Isles TV series and I like them.  I didn't realize that they were based on books so when I saw this short story on Amazon's Kindle freebies, I downloaded it.  I wasn't disappointed.  It was a quick taste of what you might find on the TV series.  This particular story was vampire-ish and quite captivating.  I totally pictured the TV stars, Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander (cover photo), acting this out so I was able to identify with the personalities of the characters.  The ending was oddly undescribable but getting there was fun.

This edition included a preview of Ms Gerritsen's book, The Silent Girl, which I found interesting.  I was intrigued and got excited when I found out that my library has it because initially I thought it was a preview of a book that was upcoming.  Looks like I've discovered a new-to-me mystery writer that I'll definitely be looking into.  Ahh, the power of marketing.  That said, for those familiar with this author, any recommendations?  ~Thanks.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


by Rachel Morgan, Creepy Hollow book #3, YA, 2012, ebook, 60p, rating=3.5
Source: provided by author in exchange for an honest review

Violet and Nate may have escaped the labyrinth, but only one of them came out unscathed. Nate is now the bearer of a mysterious eye-shaped tattoo, a mark he has no memory of receiving. While Vi is intent on discovering the meaning of the tattoo, Nate seems less interested. His experience in the labyrinth has caused recurring nightmares, and he’d prefer to pretend none of it ever happened. But Vi has never been one to let a mystery go unsolved, and she’ll do whatever she can to discover who’s behind the tattoo—even if it means leaving Nate out of her plan. (Goodreads)

This installment began calmly with Violet being back to the training center.  There we meet and get more scoop on her fellow competitors as well.  But Violet was still troubled about Nate's mysterious tattoo so things were going to get rattled again.  Vi just can't seem to help but secretly venture to find answers.  As might be expected, she's in for a shocking surprise which means so does the reader!  A staple now with this series and part of the hook.  Hence, just when you think you've gotten the answer, that answer leads to more questions and excitement.  Awesome! 

The romance between Violet and Nate was sweet in this sequel and I liked it (no banter!).  They finally get their first date and share their special sentimental place with each other.  Up until the cliffhanger of course!  Aahhh!!!  And the next installment won't be out until July (but beats waiting a year)!  Oh Ms Morgan, I might have to hunt you down after all ..just kidding!

Okay, now I've jumped in the bandwagon and have come to appreciate novelette series.  This one is a good one and well written.  Give it a try but I highly recommend starting from the beginning.

Book Loot Giddy

I was mighty-mighty giddy this week.  There was a quick 3 day Scholastic Book Fair at my kids' school that had a buy one get one free special so I was incredibly ecstatic!  First day, I controlled myself.  Second day, I allowed myself to browse a little more (though still fairly reserved ..frugal side of me) because, oh right, it's buy one get one free!  Third day, I didn't go ..I was afraid I'd go broke.  Fourth day (today), kicking myself for not going the third day because BOGOF is an awesome deal!  Oh well. 

Anyway, here's my loot along with Kindle freebie purchases.  Sorry about the glare.

First Day
A "Pinkalicious Tickled" book not pictured ..don't know where my daughter put it

Second Day
"Sophie the Hero" book & 2 "Top Secret UV Pen"s not pictured ..can't find those either

Total:  24 books + 2 "magic" pens = $62

Kindle ebook freebies:
The 2011 Book Blogger's Cookbook (The Book Blogger's Cookbook)

Freaks (Jane Rizzoli & Maura Isles, #8.5)

Love is a Wounded Soldier


Sloane Monroe Series Boxed Set (Books 1-3)

Summer's Crossing (Iron Fey #3.5)

Swim: An eShort Story

How about you?  How book loot giddy are you? :D

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