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WIN THE SILENT GIFT BY MICHAEL LANDON JR - Literary Local - October, 2009

Let's start out with the important stuff right away!

Leave a comment here to win my copy of The Silent Gift by Michael Landon Jr and Cindy Kelly. Please let me know how to contact you.

You can get an extra entry by following this blog, just be sure to tell me.

You can get another entry by sending me an email and tell me who Michael Landon Jr. took to his high school prom. Click here to send me a note. Be sure to tell me the name you posted under.
This contest is open to the US only since I am paying for postage and will end on 11/15/09.

Michael Landon Jr. lives in Encino, CA , which is close enough to me to be "local". The best information I came up with is this interview on youtube in two parts.

Beastly by Alex Flinn (Book Review 195)

Beastly by Alex Flinn


This is a wonderful young adult retelling of Beauty and the Beast which has been modernized perfectly. This is an easy to read story that should be familiar to most teens. There are drugs mentioned since Beauty's father is a drug addict, but the mention is a negative one. Just a few kisses, so nothing much to worry about on the sex front either. You can see Linda bloom like one of Kyle/Adrian's roses as the story develops. I know the upcoming movie (due 7/2010) is going to be wonderful. The actors chosen really look just as the author describes them.

I think this should appeal to everyone who loves a good romance. Again, now I can't wait for the movie! I am definitely going to look for more books by this author!

Product Description
A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.
You think I'm talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It's no deformity, no disease. And I'll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.
Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.

About the Author
Alex Flinn loves fairy tales and is also the author of a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast titled Beastly, which was named a VOYA Editor's Choice for 2007, a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age for 2008, and a 2008 ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. Her other books include Breathing Underwater, an ALA Top 10 Best Book for Young Adults, Breaking Point, Nothing to Lose, Fade to Black, and Diva. She lives in Miami with her husband, two kids, a cat, and a dog.

Product Details
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen; Reprint edition (September 23, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 006087418X
ISBN-13: 978-0060874186


The Wyrm King (Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles) by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi (Book Review 194)

The Wyrm King (Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles) by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi


Another series ends and I will miss this one. These books are so wonderful to read out loud as there is so much action with just the right amount of descriptions and great drawings to back it up. There are a few twists and turns on the way to the conclusion to keep older children interested. I highly recommend this series to everyone.

Product Description
In the final installment of Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles, Nick and Laurie had thought they solved their giant problems when they drove all the giants into the sea. But now, the Grace kids have come back to tell them they may have more trouble coming their way!
It turns out the giants control the population of Hydra, a dragon like creature that is creating sinkholes all over Florida. But with the mermaids refusing to return the giants to the shore, the nixie's still missing and the threat of a destroyed Florida drawing closer, the kids have to take matters in their own hands.
Will Nick and Laurie be able to stop the destruction they unwittingly caused? Can a new giant hunter help save the day? Can Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide help them out of this or are they on their own?
Find out in the final conclusion of the Spiderwick saga!

About the Authors
Holly Black spent her early years in a decaying Victorian mansion where her mother fed her a steady diet of ghost stories and books about faeries. Her first book, Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale, was an ALA Top Ten Book for Teens, received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews, and has been translated into twelve languages. Her second teen novel, Valiant, was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a Locus Magazine Recommended Read, and a recipient of the Andre Norton Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. Visit Holly at

Tony DiTerlizzi is co-creator and illustrator of the bestselling Spiderwick Chronicles, the author and illustrator of Jimmy Zangwow's Out-of-this-World MoonPie Adventure, as well as the Zena Sutherland Award winning Ted. In 2003, his brilliantly cinematic version of Mary Howitt's classic The Spider and The Fly received stellar reviews, earned Tony his second Zena Sutherland Award, and was honored as a Caldecott Honor Book. Tony's art has also graced the covers of such well-known fantasy writers as Peter S. Beagle, J. R. R. Tolkien, Anne McCaffrey, and Greg Bear. He has also made significant contributions to Dungeons and Dragons and Wizards of the Coast's Magic; The Gathering. His first chapter book, Kenny & the Dragon, was published in August 2008 and debuted as a New York Times Best Seller. He lives with his wife, Angela and their daughter in Amherst, MA Visit Tony on the world wide web at

Product Details
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (September 8, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0689871333
ISBN-13: 978-0689871337

The Silent Gift by Michael Landon and Cindy Kelley (Book Review 193)


I have to admit I really enjoyed this book even though I did cry during parts of it. The story centers around Jack who is deaf and mute and has a gift of predicting the future by writing down bible verse numbers that would lead to a passage applicable to someone's situation. Just when you think it couldn't get worse for Jack and his mother, the situation turns dire and you wonder how this family can make it. Mary, Jack's mother, finds strength to continue. All in all, this is a very heartwarming tale. I will definitely look for more of this author's work. I received this book from the publisher.

Product Description
The 1930s were a decade of enormous uncertainty--for the world, for America, and in particular for one lonely, struggling mother and her disabled son. Their story is one of love and enormous sacrifices in the face of circumstances horrendous beyond belief. When her husband leaves her for someone whose time isn't wrapped up in a silent, handicapped kid, Mary and little Jack are out on their own in a world that has no room for the poor and disabled. Especially not at a time when most Americans are simply trying to survive their economic woes and job losses. But then arrives The Gift...where has it come from, and why? How can a young boy who can neither hear nor speak provide comfort, direction, and sometimes challenges to seekers who learn of the special ability? Whatever the source, its presence brings a single shaft of light and hope to Mary and her beloved Jack. Will it be enough?
About the Author:
See my upcoming author profile and to win this book!

Product Details
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Bethany House (October 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0764203630
ISBN-13: 978-0764203633


Alice I Have Been: A Novel by Melanie Benjamin (Book Review 192)

Alice I Have Been: A Novel by Melanie Benjamin


Melanie Benjamin weaves fact and fiction together to bring a cohesive story about Alice Liddell Hargreaves who inspired Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I think this book captures the mores of the Victorian era perfectly. This will be in my top ten for the year.

I really needed a book like this right now. I was going to try and wait until closer to the release date for my review of this book, but I want to tell everyone about this book, NOW. It combines the best of historical fiction with romance and intrigue. I really felt like I knew Alice after reading this story and I need to go back and reread Alice in Wonderland. It is also fortuitous that this novel is coming out right before Tim Burton's film about Alice is to be released in March, 2010.

Anyone who has read any Victorian fiction like The Dress Lodger by Sheri Holman or Michel Faber's The Crimson Petal and the White understands the peculiarities of Victorian sexuality, but whether Alice and Lewis Carroll had an illicit relationship with Alice can only be speculation. The whole era of Victorian culture is a difficult one to capture and the use of Alice's real diary shows emphasizes the restraint placed on women during this time period. Alice comes off as a real person and whatever really happened between her and Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) could well be explained by the author's theory. I received this copy from the publisher.

Don't miss this one!

Product Description
Few works of literature are as universally beloved as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Now, in this spellbinding historical novel, we meet the young girl whose bright spirit sent her on an unforgettable trip down the rabbit hole–and the grown woman whose story is no less enthralling. But oh my dear, I am tired of being Alice in Wonderland. Does it sound ungrateful? Alice Liddell Hargreaves’s life has been a richly woven tapestry: As a young woman, wife, mother, and widow, she’s experienced intense passion, great privilege, and greater tragedy. But as she nears her eighty-first birthday, she knows that, to the world around her, she is and will always be only “Alice.” Her life was permanently dog-eared at one fateful moment in her tenth year–the golden summer day she urged a grown-up friend to write down one of his fanciful stories.That story, a wild tale of rabbits, queens, and a precocious young child, becomes a sensation the world over. Its author, a shy, stuttering Oxford professor, does more than immortalize Alice–he changes her life forever. But even he cannot stop time, as much as he might like to. And as Alice’s childhood slips away, a peacetime of glittering balls and royal romances gives way to the urgent tide of war. For Alice, the stakes could not be higher, for she is the mother of three grown sons, soldiers all. Yet even as she stands to lose everything she treasures, one part of her will always be the determined, undaunted Alice of the story, who discovered that life beyond the rabbit hole was an astonishing journey.A love story and a literary mystery, Alice I Have Been brilliantly blends fact and fiction to capture the passionate spirit of a woman who was truly worthy of her fictional alter ego, in a world as captivating as the Wonderland only she could inspire.

About the Author
Melanie Benjamin lives in Illinois, where she is at work on her next novel.

Product Details
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press (January 12, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385344139
ISBN-13: 978-0385344135


Puppy Profile: Ellie Mae from Reading in Appalachia

This is Ellie Mae -- isn't she adorable? Ellie Mae lives with Shawnee from Reading in Appalachia. Stop by and read some book reviews!

1. Favorite place to sleep?
In my bed, I let my owner sleep with me.
2. Favorite food?
Bacon or cookies. (shh..beggin strips and dog treats - shawnee)
3. Wet or Dry food?
4. Favorite thing to chew?
Stuffed Bunny
5. Indoors or Outdoors?
Both, unless it's raining. I don't like to get wet.
6. Favorite place to walk?
Up and down the sidewalk where other dogs have gone before me.
7. Do you have a costume for Holloween?
No way, I hate Halloween. Scary things walk by my house that night!
8. Are you embarrassed by dog outfits?
I've never been around one but in general, yes.
9. Favorite collar?
It's broken but I looked beautiful in my aqua blue patterned necklace. (shh-we tell her it's her necklace)
10. Hair cuts or the natural look?
My long natural hair.
11. Do you like baths?
That's a bad word! I will fall on the floor and not get up!
12. Favorite place to watch your territory?
In my seat on the porch.
13. What cute thing do you do for a treat?
I can jump on your chest and almost knock you over. Is that a trick?
14. What most do you like to bark at?
Anything that comes near my yard. It's my yard.
15. Cats: Take them or leave them?
Take them or eat them? Ha ha, I made joke. I don't like cats.
16. Would you chase a squirrel right now if you could?
17. What else do you like to chase?
18. If you catch something, what do you do with it?
I shake it and shake it.
19. Does going to the vet upset you?
Oh yes, they scare me.
20. Do you prefer to walk or go for a car ride?
I like to go on a short car ride if the car is going very, very slow. I do not like long rides or going fast!!

Want to see your best friend here, leave a comment!


The Bibliophilic Book Blog hosts a Tempted Giveaway....

OK -- there are way too many cool contests on this blog I just discovered through book blogs

Check this out....

A signed copy of Tempted by PC and Kristin Cast


20 Questions for Dogs

1. Favorite place to sleep? IN BED
2. Favorite food? CHEESE
3. Wet or Dry food? DRY
4. Favorite thing to chew? DINGOS CHEWIES
5. Indoors or Outdoors? INDOORS
6. Favorite place to walk? WETLANDS
7. Do you have a costume for Holloween? NO!
8. Are you embarrassed by dog outfits? YES!
9. Favorite collar? USC COLLAR!
10. Hair cuts or the natural look? I HAVE NATURALLY SHORT HAIR.
11. Do you like baths? WHEN THE WATER IS WARM.
12. Favorite place to watch your territory? WINDOW SEAT IN DAVID'S ROOM.
13. What cute thing do you do for a treat? SIT UP AND BEG
14. What most do you like to bark at? ANYTHING THAT MOVES
15. Cats: Take them or leave them? LEAVE THEM!
16. Would you chase a squirrel right now if you could? YES OF COURSE
17. What else do you like to chase? ANYTHING THAT MOVES.
18. If you catch something, what do you do with it? EAT IT IF IT IS SMALL ENOUGH.
19. Does going to the vet upset you? YES.
20. Do you prefer to walk or go for a car ride? CAR RIDE


I am looking for fellow bloggers that have adorable puppies....I would love to have your dog answer a few questions for my blog. A picture is a must!

Just send me a note at


Ravenous: The Dark Forgotten by Sharon Ashwood (Book Review: 191)

Ravenous: The Dark Forgotten by Sharon Ashwood
I love finding new authors and this one is a treat. The writing is fast paced and the characters spoke to me within the first few pages with smart dialogue and descriptions that weren't overwhelming. This one will have you staying up late to finish it.

Product Description

A dark AND sexy paranormal romance—from an exciting debut author-- Vampires, Werewolves, and other creatures have emerged from the shadows. And some of them have sinister THINGS on their minds...Holly Carver is a witch who sometimes relies on the help of Alessandro Caravelli for her family’s preternatural investigations business. Alessandro is the oldest and strongest vampire in Fairview—and he’s made no secret of his desire for Holly. But while she aches to succumb to his suggestive wiles, she knows it would be an invitation to trouble.Then Alessandro’s queen, Omara, complicates matters when she turns up in Fairview to enlist his help. Sultry and manipulative, she is jealous of Alessandro’s feelings for Holly, and demands he use Holly to trap Geneva—the most evil demon of all.

About the Author

Product Details
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Signet (February 3, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451226178
ISBN-13: 978-0451226174

Oh, and Sharon is has a couple contests on her website:

Hallowe’en Goodies from Sharon Ashwood!
Step into the mysterious paranormal world of The Dark Forgotten with me. I love a good mystery, so I’m going to give away a mystery box to a lucky winner—but I also love humour, so it’s going to be fun! I’ve collected Hallowe’en paraphernalia for years, and I’m going to include some pieces I love, some treats, and a copy of my first book, RAVENOUS.
Enter Contest

Have a Scorching good time with Sharon Ashwood’s October contest!
There’s nothing like that first snap of fall to remind us of the comforts of bookstores and coffee shops. Since this is the kick-off for my promotional campaign for SCORCHED, the second in the Dark Forgotten series, I’m giving one lucky reader a chance to catch up with my series! I’m giving away a copy of book 1 (RAVENOUS), a $10 Starbucks coffee card, and a $10 Barnes and Noble gift card. That’ll get you ready for the December 1 release of SCORCHED:
Enter Contest


Kith (The Good Neighbors) by Holly Black Book Review (190)


If you have never thought about reading a graphic novel, think again. The story is very captivating, although I do recommend that you start with Kin, the first book in the series. I never realized how much detail you can get from a picture as well as the printed word. This is a very adult comic book.

Product Description
Rue Silver's life is not what it appears to be. Her mother is a faerie, and has been taken back to the faerie realm. As Rue goes to bring her back, she must travel deep into an inhuman world. At the same time, the faerie realm is venturing into our world too, and taking its toll on those Rue loves. When her grandfather's plans threaten Rue's city, she realizes that she's the only one who can stop him. But is Rue a human or a faerie? Where does she fit? How does she know the difference between love and enchantment?
About the AuthorHolly Black is the #1 bestselling author of The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi) and the novels Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside. Ted Naifeh’s graphic novels include Polly and the Pirates, Courtney Crumrin, and Death, Jr.

Product Details
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: GRAPHIX; 1 edition (October 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0439855632
ISBN-13: 978-0439855631


Strange Things Happen: A Life with The Police, Polo, and Pygmies by Stewart Copeland -- Book Review (189)


Smart, snarky and smug. I never imagined that a drummer could be so intelligent nor could I imagine that one could put together a coherent thought together. (OK, so I have known a lot of drummers in my life and most of them weren't the brightest.) There are some amusing anecdotes in this book but I didn't quite get the movie portion of the book. You could see how creative types can clash when they all think that their way is the best. The best story is when Prince of Wales hit his car at a polo match right after he told Princess Diana to not sit on his precious Aston Martin. If you are looking for a note by note history of the Police's reunion tour, it is not here, but you really get a good feel for the lifestyle. I received this book from the publisher.

Product Description
When Stewart Copeland gets dressed, he has an identity crisis. Should he put on "leather pants, hostile shirts, and pointy shoes"? Or wear something more appropriate to the "tax-paying, property-owning, investment-holding lotus eater" his success has allowed him to become? This dilemma is at the heart of Copeland's vastly entertaining memoir-in-stories, Strange Things Happen. The world knows Copeland as the drummer for The Police, one of the most successful bands in rock history. But they may not know as much about his childhood in the Middle East as the son of a CIA agent. Or be aware of his film-making adventures with the Pygmies in the deepest reaches of the Congo, and his passion for polo (Brideshead Revisited on horses). In Strange Things Happen we move from Copeland's remarkable childhood to the formation of The Police, their rise to stardom, and the settled-down life that followed. It ends with a behind-the-scenes view of The Police's extraordinarily successful reunion tour. It's a book of amazing anecdotes, all completely true, which take us backstage in a life that is fully lived.

Product Details
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperStudio (September 29, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061791490
ISBN-13: 978-0061791499


Book Review: Possession by Devyn Quinn (188)

Possession by Devyn Quinn
Warning: Explicit Content
I won this book in a contest from the author and found it combined both a paranormal romance with a page turning thriller built in. I always worry when I read an erotic book that the story takes a backseat to the sex part, but not in this story. The characters are well developed and the sex actually plays a role in their story. I could not put this down, especially at the end. This was an easy book to read in one sitting.

Product Description
Opening a rare book on demons in an occult collection, Kendra Carter trembles before the power she is about to unleash. A man like no other has been awakened - but is he more than human? From his first caress, Remi gives her incredible pleasure she's never felt before...Night after night, in his secret chamber, Kendra explores her most intimate and hottest sexual fantasies. His passion for her is a supernatural force. He controls her body. He steals her soul. He is her demon lover.

About the Author

Product Details
Paperback: 302 pages
Publisher: Aphrodisia (September 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 075822852X
ISBN-13: 978-0758228529



GET THIS SONG FOR FREE -- Where Would We Go -- by Rusty Anderson

Where Would We Go by Rusty Anderson

Ok, you do have to download and install Amazon's mp3 player, but it is well worth it.

Here is Rusty playing Hurt Myself...

You can also check out his website

Book Review: Retail Hell: How I Sold My Soul to the Store Confessions of a Tortured Sales Associate by Freeman Hall (187)


This is the reason I will never ever work retail again: If the customers don't get you, the management will. I thought this was just hilarious and you couldn't make this stuff up in a million years. Much like Jen Lancaster's Bitter is the New Black and Bringing Home the Birkin: My Life in Hot Pursuit of the World's Most Coveted Handbag by Michael Tonello, you will find it hard not to laugh at what happens in a fancy department store. At least I guessed it right and got the department store correct when I said it had to be Nordstroms. I knew several people who worked there and these tales are right in line with what I have heard them say. I hope that the return policy changes as these shoppers get away with murder. (borrowed)

Product Description
“I think you left these behind,” I said, handing them to her. This happens all the time when women try to return bags they’ve used. Tampons, lipstick, coins, Tic Tacs, and condoms are the top treasures found.
‘Greasy’ let out a sigh, as if I were the problem. “I was just trying my things in it. I really don’t see what the problem is here. It’s none of your business what I keep in my handbag.”
It is when my commission is at stake! I’m not your Designer Handbag Rental Service! My name is not!
Enter Freeman Hall, an aspiring screenwriter who sets out to realize his Hollywood dream, but instead plunges into the seventh circle of Retail Hell when the rent comes due, selling animal-hide Hobos and overpriced clutches to Lookie-Loos and Picky Bitches—but always with a sunshiny smile.
Freeman toils in the handbag (that’s handbag, NOT purse) department of the Big Fancy department store, where he sees, hears, smells (and unfortunately, feels) it all! Here, he provides a true—and truly shocking—account of life from the other side of the handbag display. From early-morning RA-RA RALLIES to the craziest crazy-lady customers, Freeman’s horrific and hilarious workday tales redefine Juicy Couture.
As Freeman begins to plots his escape, he realizes that despite the Big Fancy’s lax return policy, for him, there really may be no returns . . . no exchanges . . . no way out.

About the Author
Freeman Hall (Los Angeles, CA) is a retail survivor who began slaving in retail at the age of twenty at Macy’s. His most notable retailicious experience was with specialty clothing store Nordstrom, where he spent fifteen years as an award-winning handbag manager and salesperson. Check out for his blog, videos, sounding board, and more.

Product Details
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Adams Media; 1 edition (September 18, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1605501026
ISBN-13: 978-1605501024



Product Description
When Stewart Copeland gets dressed, he has an identity crisis. Should he put on "leather pants, hostile shirts, and pointy shoes"? Or wear something more appropriate to the "tax-paying, property-owning, investment-holding lotus eater" his success has allowed him to become? This dilemma is at the heart of Copeland's vastly entertaining memoir-in-stories, Strange Things Happen. The world knows Copeland as the drummer for The Police, one of the most successful bands in rock history. But they may not know as much about his childhood in the Middle East as the son of a CIA agent. Or be aware of his film-making adventures with the Pygmies in the deepest reaches of the Congo, and his passion for polo (Brideshead Revisited on horses). In Strange Things Happen we move from Copeland's remarkable childhood to the formation of The Police, their rise to stardom, and the settled-down life that followed. It ends with a behind-the-scenes view of The Police's extraordinarily successful reunion tour. It's a book of amazing anecdotes, all completely true, which take us backstage in a life that is fully lived.

I ended up with two ARCs for this book, so one needs to go away!

How to Enter:

Leave a comment here with a way to contact you (1 entry)

Repost this giveaway on your blog with a link (1 entry)

Become a follower (not sure how to do this, click here) (2 entries)

Download Where Would We Go by Rusty Anderson for free from Amazon! click here (1 entry)

Please leave a separate comment for each entry since I am using to pick the winner on November 1, 2009. I am mailing this one myself, so entries are limited to the USA and Canada.

Why Rusty and why this song? Well, Rusty played in a band with Stewart Copeland called Animal Logic and he was the best man at my wedding. So there!

Check out more of Rusty's music here


Book Review: Seraph of Sorrow (Jennifer Scales, Book 4) by MaryJanice Davidson and Anthony Alongi (186)

Seraph of Sorrow (Jennifer Scales, Book 4) by MaryJanice Davidson and Anthony Alongi


This book will be a great relief for those confused by The Silver Moon Elm. The fourth book in the Jennifer Scales series answers all of the questions raised by that book and in great detail. I loved how the authors gave a voice to each character involved with the series. I am not sure as this will be the end of the series, as the ending left an opening for Jennifer to continue on. I think you could probably read this book without the whole series, but the first two books are magic.

Product Description
Half weredragon. Half beaststalker. All heart.Slowly coming into her own, Jennifer Scales just may be the bridge to bring the two warring sides of her family together—provided she can survive learning the most ancient skills of dragonkind.

About the Author

Product Details
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Ace (January 27, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0441016669
ISBN-13: 978-0441016662


Book Review: Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel by Jeannette Walls (185)

Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel by Jeannette Walls

Product Description
Jeannette Walls's The Glass Castle was "nothing short of spectacular" (Entertainment Weekly). Now she brings us the story of her grandmother -- told in a voice so authentic and compelling that the book is destined to become an instant classic.
"Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did." So begins the story of Lily Casey Smith, in Jeannette Walls's magnificent, true-life novel based on her no-nonsense, resourceful, hard working, and spectacularly compelling grandmother. By age six, Lily was helping her father break horses. At fifteen, she left home to teach in a frontier town -- riding five hundred miles on her pony, all alone, to get to her job. She learned to drive a car ("I loved cars even more than I loved horses. They didn't need to be fed if they weren't working, and they didn't leave big piles of manure all over the place") and fly a plane, and, with her husband, ran a vast ranch in Arizona. She raised two children, one of whom is Jeannette's memorable mother, Rosemary Smith Walls, unforgettably portrayed in The Glass Castle.
Lily survived tornadoes, droughts, floods, the Great Depression, and the most heartbreaking personal tragedy. She bristled at prejudice of all kinds -- against women, Native Americans, and anyone else who didn't fit the mold. Half Broke Horses is Laura Ingalls Wilder for adults, as riveting and dramatic as Isak Dinesen's Out of Africa or Beryl Markham's West with the Night. It will transfix readers everywhere.

About the Author
Jeannette Walls was born in Phoenix, Arizona, and grew up in the southwest and Welch, West Virginia. She graduated from Barnard College and was a journalist in New York City for twenty years. Her previous book was the memoir The Glass Castle. She is married to writer John Taylor and lives in Virginia.

Product Details
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Scribner; First Edition, First Printing edition (October 6, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416586288
ISBN-13: 978-1416586289


Half Broke Horses is beautifully written and a pleasure to read. I really wish that this book didn't have to be termed a "novel" since the author based everything on the truth, but since she wasn't there when everything took place, this is the best it will get. It is truly one of those books based on simple life experiences that all families have and most of us could find something like it in our own lives. If you enjoy memoirs, then you will probably like this one.



This contest is open to the USA and Canada.
Please leave a comment with a way to contact you.
Extra Entries (use a separate post to note each entry)
*become a follower
*post a link to this contest on your blog
The winner will be picked randomly on October 23 around noon Pacific Time.
(I will also print out the new ending and send it along.)

Book Review: The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Standard Edition by J. K. Rowling (184)

The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Standard Edition by J. K. Rowling


This is a great book to read out loud and have discussions about the stories. Like all good fairy tales, there is always a message of truth and Rowling does a wonderful job at creating new messages. Anyone who read the Harry Potter books will adore this short book.

Product Description
The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a Wizarding classic, first came to Muggle readers’ attention in the book known as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now, thanks to Hermione Granger’s new translation from the ancient runes, we present this stunning edition with an introduction, notes, and illustrations by J. K. Rowling, and extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore. Never before have Muggles been privy to these richly imaginative tales: “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot,” “The Fountain of Fair Fortune,” “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart,” “Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump,” and of course, “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” But not only are they the equal of fairy tales we now know and love, reading them gives new insight into the world of Harry Potter.The stories are accompanied by delightful pen-and-ink illustrations by Ms. Rowling herself, featuring a still-life frontispiece for each one. Professor Dumbledore’s commentary—apparently written some eighteen months before his death—reveals not just his vast knowledge of Wizarding lore, but also more of his personal qualities: his sense of humor, his courage, his pride in his abilities, and his hard-won wisdom. Names familiar from the Harry Potter novels sprinkle the pages, including Aberforth Dumbledore, Lucius Malfoy and his forebears, and Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington (or “Nearly Headless Nick”), as well as other professors at Hogwarts and the past owners of the Elder Wand. Dumbledore tells us of incidents unique to the Wizarding world, like hilariously troubled theatrical productions at Hogwarts or the dangers of having a “hairy heart.” But he also reveals aspects of the Wizarding world that his Muggle readers might find all too familiar, like censorship, intolerance, and questions about the deepest mysteries in life.Altogether, this is an essential addition to our store of knowledge about the world and the magic that J. K. Rowling has created, and a book every true Harry Potter fan will want to have for their shelves.This purchase also represents another very important form of giving: From every sale of this book, Scholastic will give its net proceeds to the CHILDREN'S HIGH LEVEL GROUP, a charity cofounded in 2005 by J.K. Rowling and Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, MEP. CHLG campaigns to protect and promote children's rights and make life better for vulnerable young people. www.chlg.orgPublished by the Children's High Level Group, in association with Arthur A. Levine Books, THE TALES OF BEEDLE THE BARD will be available December 4, 2008.

About the Author
Since the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in 1997, the Harry Potter novels have sold 400 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 65 languages. J. K. Rowling has generated huge popular appeal for her books across the generations in an unprecedented fashion: she was the first children's author to be voted the BA Author of the Year, and also to win the British Book Awards Author of the Year. J. K. Rowling lives with her family in Edinburgh.

Product Details
Publisher: Children's High Level Group; Standard edition (December 4, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0545128285
ISBN-13: 978-0545128285


This is sad....

Fire burns dachshund rescue, 7 dogs killed

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, WA - Firefighters were called to a garage fire in the 9200 block of North Brooks Road in Airway Heights Monday morning. Turns out that location also serves as a dachshund rescue.

Seven dogs died in the fire, 16 survived. Two adults in the home made it out safely.
The fire started in the garage, and spread to the home. Firefighters say the garage is destroyed, and there is significant damage to the home.
The operators or the dachshund rescue and the Red Cross are now working with local animal shelters to find temporary homes for the surviving dogs.
No word yet on the cause of this fire.

Book Review: Juliet, Naked: a novel by Nick Hornby (183)

Juliet, Naked: a novel by Nick Hornby

This is just a wonderful story and yes, it is a little predictible, but the writing is just so perfect, you need to continue and finish it. The cover sums up the story as well. Annie is stuck with a boyfriend who should/could be more, but just doesn't make the cut. Tucker is bent on self destruction most of his life. Of course they meet through the Internet and everything turns out perfect or as well as it can. If you like a good romance with some music in the background, then this delivers. (Library Book)

Product Description
From the beloved New York Times- bestselling author, a quintessential Nick Hornby tale of music, superfandom, and the truths and lies we tell ourselves about life and love.Annie loves Duncan-or thinks she does. Duncan loves Annie, but then, all of a sudden, he doesn't. Duncan really loves Tucker Crowe, a reclusive Dylanish singer-songwriter who stopped making music ten years ago. Annie stops loving Duncan, and starts getting her own life.In doing so, she initiates an e-mail correspondence with Tucker, and a connection is forged between two lonely people who are looking for more out of what they've got. Tucker's been languishing (and he's unnervingly aware of it), living in rural Pennsylvania with what he sees as his one hope for redemption amid a life of emotional and artistic ruin-his young son, Jackson. But then there's also the new material he's about to release to the world: an acoustic, stripped-down version of his greatest album, Juliet-entitled, Juliet, Naked.What happens when a washed-up musician looks for another chance? And miles away, a restless, childless woman looks for a change? Juliet, Naked is a powerfully engrossing, humblingly humorous novel about music, love, loneliness, and the struggle to live up to one's promise.

About the Author
Nick Hornby is the author of the novels A Long Way Down, Slam, How to Be Good, High Fidelity, and About a Boy, and the memoir Fever Pitch. He has also written Songbook, a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award, and The Polysyllabic Spree, as well as edited the short-story collection Speaking with the Angel. He is the recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters' E. M. Forster Award and the 2003 Orange Word International Writers' London Award

Product Details
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover (September 29, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1594488878
ISBN-13: 978-1594488870

Book Review: Barely Bewitched by Kimberly Frost (182)

Barely Bewitched by Kimberly Frost


I borrowed this book from a friend.
What a fun read! I enjoyed this one a lot more than the deubt of this series. There was a lot of non stop action and a few plot twists that made this a page turner. Now, I can't wait until there is another one.

Product Description
Welcome to Duvall, Texas, where new witch Tammy Jo Trask has just unleashed an accidental Armageddon...Oops.Tammy Jo's misfiring magic has attracted the unwanted attention of WAM, the World Association of Magic. Now, a wand-wielding wizard and a menacing fire warlock have come to Duvall to train her for a dangerous mandatory challenge. But is there more to their arrival than they claim? When a curse leads to a toxic spill of pixie dust, the town comes unglued and the doors between the human and faery worlds begin to open. To rescue the town and to face the impossible magical test, Tammy needs the help of incredibly handsome Bryn Lyons, but WAM has declared him totally off-limits. To avoid deadly consequences, Tammy probably ought to follow the rules this time. On the other hand, rebellion is an old Texas tradition.
About the Author
Kimberly Frost lives in Texas with her family. This is her second novel.

Product Details
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade (September 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425229610
ISBN-13: 978-0425229613

Book Review: Parties & Potions (Magic In Manhattan) by Sarah Mlynowski (181)


I bought this book used.
I really hope this cute series of books is made into a TV show or movie. This series can be read by even the youngest teen as the most that happens here is some kissing. Rachel develops into a more grown up witch and learns to control her magic by attending classes where she learns she is not alone with her unique talents. She also learns to accept herself and be honest with everyone, including herself. Please tell me that there is another one in this series. The story needs to continue!

Product Description

Perfect hair, cute clothes, healthy tans—life’s a breeze when you’re a witch! Even special witchcraft classes Rachel agrees to attend with Miri turn out to be fun. The sisters meet other teen witches just like them—who knew? Everyone’s preparing for a magical party called a Samsorta—a debutante ball for witches. And it wouldn’t be a ball without warlocks. Cute ones. Like Adam, who wants to slow dance with Rachel, and ski with her in the Rockies—on a school night! Of course, Rachel is madly in love with her boyfriend, Raf. So why can’t she bring herself to tell Adam—funny, charming Adam—that Raf exists?Rachel knows Raf likes her. Maybe even, gulp, loves her. But Raf doesn’t know her secret. Unlike Adam, Raf doesn’t know who she really is. And she can never tell him. Or can she?

About the Author

Product Details
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (December 23, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385736452
ISBN-13: 978-0385736459


Book Review: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (180)

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick


I received this book from the publisher. I am going to give away my ARC of this - so keep an eye out!

The cover of this book is what really got my attention and the cover pretty much tells the whole story, although it did take me a few pages to catch on to the fact that Patch is a fallen angel. Nora was a clueless until almost the end of the book, but you can see how this is necessary for the plot to develop. I was almost thinking that the story line was from a Disney movie, with an absent mother and what a fantastic theatre release this would turn out to be.

There shouldn't be any issues with recommending this book to a younger teen reader, although there is quite a bit of sexual tension between Patch and Nora. The advance copy I received of this book ended quite nicely and then I heard that there was a new ending to accommodate a sequel. I thought the original ending left a few questions unanswered, so I was ready for one anyway. The new ending just confirms the questions. Now, I can't wait until I get my hands on the second of a proposed trilogy.
Product Description
For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

About the Author

Product Details
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (October 13, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416989412
ISBN-13: 978-1416989417


FTC: Bloggers must disclose paid reviews

I just saw this article on my newsfeed. I wonder what this will mean to us book reviewers.

FTC: Bloggers must disclose paid reviews
But commission did not specify how conflicts of interest are to be disclosed

PHILADELPHIA - The Federal Trade Commission will require bloggers to clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products.
It is the first time since 1980 that the commission has revised its guidelines on endorsements and testimonials, and the first time the rules have covered bloggers.
But the commission stopped short Monday of specifying how bloggers must disclose any conflicts of interest.
The FTC said its commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the final guidelines, which had been expected. Penalties include up to $11,000 in fines per violation.
The rules take effect Dec. 1.

Book Review: This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper (179)

This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper


I borrowed this book from the library.

This is just an overall fun read. I found myself taking notes to use some of snarky comments I found inside this book. I had never heard of this author until I read a review of it in Entertainment Weekly. I am glad I glanced at it, since it turned out to be a fabulously wonderful book. The plot is a little far fetched, but it could really happen. I mean there are so many shock jocks in each city that you could just imagine one of them sleeping with his producer's wife, right? And then his wife gets pregnant and tells him the same day his father dies. All in all, a story about how much family can mess up your life at the same time as being the one thing that makes you sane.

Product Description
The death of Judd Foxman's father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family-including Judd's mother, brothers, and sister-have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd's wife, Jen, whose fourteen-month affair with Judd's radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public. Simultaneously mourning the death of his father and the demise of his marriage, Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch's dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together. In the same house. Like a family. As the week quickly spins out of control, longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed, and old passions reawakened. For Judd, it's a weeklong attempt to make sense of the mess his life has become while trying in vain not to get sucked into the regressive battles of his madly dysfunctional family. All of which would be hard enough without the bomb Jen dropped the day Judd's father died: She's pregnant. This Is Where I Leave You is Jonathan Tropper's most accomplished work to date, a riotously funny, emotionally raw novel about love, marriage, divorce, family, and the ties that bind-whether we like it or not.

About the Author
Jonathan Tropper is the author of How to Talk to a Widower, Everything Changes, The Book of Joe, and Plan B. He lives with his family in Westchester, New York, where he teaches writing at Manhattanville College. He is currently adapting This Is Where I Leave You as a feature film for Warner Brothers Studios.

Product Details
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Dutton Adult (August 6, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 052595127X
ISBN-13: 978-0525951278

Book Review: Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe (178)

Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe


I won this book on LibraryThing and would highly recommend it to all teens. Give Up the Ghost brings up important issues in all teens lives: alcoholism, suicide, loss of a loved one and angst. This is not to say that the book is a downer and most of all it shows how friendship can overcome the feelings of isolation a lot of people have. Even the title sums up the whole book, in order to find yourself and grow, you must give up all the old ghosts that are haunting you. Cass uses ghosts the same way "normal" teens use makeup as a way to hide from real life. When she meets Tim, she realizes that in order to save him and herself, she must literally "give up the ghosts".

Product Description
Cass McKenna much prefers ghosts over “breathers.” Ghosts are uncomplicated and dependable, and they know the dirt on everybody…and Cass loves dirt. She’s on a mission to expose the dirty secrets of the poseurs in her school.
But when the vice president of the student council discovers her secret, Cass’s whole scheme hangs in the balance. Tim wants her to help him contact his recently deceased mother, and Cass reluctantly agrees.
As Cass becomes increasingly entwined in Tim’s life, she’s surprised to realize he’s not so bad—and he needs help more desperately than anyone else suspects. Maybe it’s time to give the living another chance….

About The Author

Product Details
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (September 15, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0805089306
ISBN-13: 978-0805089301

Book Review: One Day by David Nicholls (177)

One Day by David Nicholls


One Day is a wonderful read and reminded me of my favorite UK Chick Lit authors and Nick Hornby. A few blurbs say it reminds them of The Time Travelers Wife, but the only thing similiar to me, is that the story flips back and forth between different periods in the main characters' lives. There were a few moments in the book that I thought could have been shortened but overall this makes some great light reading. The book could really be made into a movie as well. Nicely Done!

Product Description
'I can imagine you at forty,' she said, a hint of malice in her voice. 'I can picture it right now.'He smiled without opening his eyes. 'Go on then.'15th July 1988. Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways. So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that? And every year that follows?Twenty years, two people, ONE DAY. From the author of the massive bestseller STARTER FOR TEN.

About the Author

Product details (from
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (11 Jun 2009)
Language English
ISBN-10: 0340896965
ISBN-13: 978-0340896969


September Recap

155 The White Queen Philippa Gregory 4.5
156 A Change in Altitude Anita Shreve 4.5
157 Her Fearful Symmetry Audrey Niffenegger 4.5
158 It's Not That I'm Bitter Gina Barecca 3.5
159 Would Be Witch Kimberly Frost 3
160 Demon Can't Help It Kathy Love 3
161 Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants Marogt Berwin 4
162 Wishful Drinking Carrie Fisher 4
163 Dexter By Design Jeff Lindsay 4.5
164 Thorn Queen Richelle Mead 4.5
165 Thirsty MT Anderson 3
166 I Can't Keep My Own Secrets Larry Smith 5
167 The Lost Symbol Dan Brown 4.5
168 Ghost Huntress #1 Marley Gibson 4
169 Mercury in Retrograde Paula Froelich 4
170 Hedge Fund Wives Tatiana Boncompagni 4
171 The Forest of Hands And Teeth Carrie Ryan 3.5
172 Hot Dogs Nicholas Noyes 4
173 The Wednesday Sisters Meg Waite Clayton 4.5
174 Stakes & Stillettos Michelle Rowen 4.5
175 Zombie Queen of Newbury High Amanda Ashby 4
176 Tall, Dark & Fangsome Michelle Rowen 5