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DOG DAYS OF SUMMER: Weiner Dog Art by Gary Larson

Product Description

Gary Larson created eight original color cartoons exclusively for this collection--including portrayals of Wiener Dog Art in the style of the great masters. The book also exhibits more than 100 "Far Side" cartoons for the first time in book form, displaying in breadth of humor that "Far Side" fans have come to expect.

About the Author

Gary Larson lives in Oregon with his wife and a Big dog. Although retired from his job as a daily syndicated cartoonist, he is now turning his graphical talent to new forms of technology.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing; Original edition (January 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0836218655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0836218657

I love this book.  Even if you are not a dachshund fan, the art work found in this book is hilarious.  Famous art works are recreated by Larson with dachshunds as models. 

Here are a couple from the book that I found online:

Book Trailer Tuesday: Anasazi Intrigue & Mayan Intrigue by Linda Weaver Clarke

You can click on the Amazon links for more detail about these two books:

Mayan Intrigue: The Adventures of John and Julia Evans

Also, be sure to stop by Linda's blog HERE. She has wonderful author interviews and giveaways.


DOG DAYS OF SUMMER: The Dog Who Couldn't Stop Loving by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

Product Description

A groundbreaking and inspiring exploration of the unique relationship between dogs and humans, from the bestselling author of Dogs Never Lie About Love
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson has long been interested in the relationships between humans and animals, and he’s always been aware that there was something very special in our bond with dogs. No other animals love us in quite the same way as dogs love us. And it is mutual. Is it possible that we developed our capacity for love, sympathy, empathy, and compassion because of our long association with dogs?
In The Dog Who Couldn’t Stop Loving, Masson considers the far-reaching consequences of the coevolution of dogs and humans, drawing upon recent scientific research. Over the past forty thousand years a collective domestication has occurred that brings us to where we are today—humans have formed intense bonds with dogs, and the adoration is almost always reciprocal. Masson himself has experienced a profound bond with his new dog, Benjy, a failed guide dog for the blind, who possesses an abundance of uninhibited love. Masson knows that the love he feels for Benjy—the same feeling Benjy has for all the people and animals around him—is not unique, but exemplifies a love affair unmatched in the animal world.
With wisdom, insight, and a brilliant analysis of recent scientific findings, bestselling author Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson delivers a provocative and compelling book that will change the way we think about love and our canine companions.

About the Author

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson is the author of 24 books, including the New York Times bestsellers When Elephants Weep and Dogs Never Lie About Love, as well as The Pig Who Sang to the Moon, The Face on Your Plate, and The Assault on Truth.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (October 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061771090
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061771095

Doesn't this look fabulous.  I am sure to  shed a few tears while reading this one. 

GIVEAWAY & BLOG TOUR: Sin Undone by Larissa Ione

Product Description

As the only female Seminus demon ever born, master assassin Sinead Donnelly is used to being treated like an outcast. She spent decades enslaved, and now vows she'll die before she'll relinquish her freedom again. Then Sin's innate ability to kill her enemies goes awry: She creates a lethal new werewolf virus that sparks a firestorm of panic and violence.
Half-werewolf, half-vampire Conall Dearghul is charged with bringing in Sin to face punishment for the plague. And she's no stranger: He's bound to her by blood, and the one sexual encounter they shared has left him hungering for her raw sensuality. Worse, Sin is the underworld's most wanted and Con soon learns he's the only one who can help her . . . and that saving her life might mean sacrificing his own.

About the Author

Larissa Ione lives in Wisconsin with her husband and young son. She is currently hard at work on the first novel in her exciting new paranormal series.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446556815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446556811

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Contest is open to anyone with a US or Canadian mailing address (no PO Boxes)
Winner will be chosen by on 9.16.10
Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or a new winner will be chosen
This giveaway is sponsored by Hatchette Book Group and up to 5 copies will be available depending on entries.

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GUEST POST! Linda Weaver Clarke on Romance vs Mystery

Romance VS Mystery!

I have written five historical romance novels but have changed to mystery. The writing process between romance and mystery is quite a change with a completely different mind set. It’s so different from telling a love story. With romance, you plan out the plot around the meeting of a couple. As you write, you develop some sort of charisma between the characters, making the reader feel excited that one day they're going to hit it off and fall in love. You, as the reader, know what the outcome will be. But with a mystery, the reader is in the dark. The author has to come up with a plot that no one knows about until towards the end of the story and hope they haven’t figured it out. In a mystery, you may or may not allow your reader to know who the bad guys are, according to whether it’s just a mystery or mystery suspense. Do you know the difference between a mystery and a mystery suspense novel? In a mystery, when a knock is heard at the door, the reader doesn't know who's behind it. With mystery suspense, the reader knows who's behind the door and yells to the heroine, "Don't open the door!"

Anasazi Intrigue is the first book in a mystery adventure series called “The Adventures of John and Julia Evans.” It’s about a devastating flood that takes out several homes in a small town, the importance of preserving ancient artifacts, and a few puzzling and mysterious events. Julia is a reporter, and when she finds out about a possible poison spill that kills some fish and neighbor's pets, she has a feeling that something isn’t quite right. Before she realizes what is happening, Julia finds out that this incident is much bigger and more dangerous than she thought. With dead fish, a devastating flood, and miscreants chasing John and Julia, they have their hands full.

Artifact theft is a very intriguing subject. That’s why I call it the Intrigue series. In my research, I found that archaeological thievery is becoming more and more of a problem every year. Did you know that looting is only second to selling illegal drugs? While researching the second book in this series, Mayan Intrigue, my eyes were opened to the problems they have in southern Mexico. When an ancient ruin is discovered, it doesn’t take long for thieves to take it apart. The reason why is because the Mayas used astrological alignments when planning their city. Looters have learned the layout of the Mayan cities so they know where to dig. With this knowledge, they can loot a sacred temple in a few days. I also found that artifact theft in Mexico has been taken over by drug dealers from Columbia. In other words, since organized crime has taken over, there is also an increase of violence.

Mayan Intrigue will be released on August 30th and I’m having a week long celebration with a book give-away at my Blog at Mayan Intrigue is about the discovery of a priceless artifact that puts Julia’s life in great danger. While on assignment for the newspaper, John and Julia try to enjoy a romantic vacation among the Mayan ruins, but when Julia accidentally comes upon a couple suspicious men exchanging an item, she quickly turns and leaves but it’s too late. Before John and Julia realize what's going on, they find themselves running for their lives through the jungles of the Yucatan. To read an excerpt from each of my books, you can visit




I bet that got your attention!  Author Scott Nicholson sent me a note about his upcoming blog tour and Kindle Giveaway. 

 Scott will be haunting the internet to publicize his Haunted Computer series, so look for the official posts here starting in September. 

Check out The Haunted Computer for more details.
Follow Scott on Twitter HERE
Stalk Scott on Facebook HERE

The Kindle DX will be given away at the end of the tour, randomly selected at the Watauga County Publicly Library from those who comment at the various stops. A Kindle 3 winner will also be randomly selected from those who follow the tour newsletter by subscribing to He will also be giving away a Pandora’s Box of ebooks to a Twitter follower.

Here are Scott's titles to look for:

Speed Dating with the Dead: A paranormal conference goes haywire when a man channeling his dead wife stirs up demons at a haunted Appalachian hotel.

Drummer Boy: A misfit kid is all that stands between an Appalachian town and a chilling supernatural force.

The Skull Ring: A woman’s shattered childhood memories come creeping back when she finds a strange silver ring and is targeted by a sinister cult.

The Red Church : A boy and a sheriff must solve the mystery of a haunted Appalachian church when a mysterious preacher returns to town.

Story collections (dark fantasy, horror, mystery, and supernatural): THE FIRST, FLOWERS, ASHES, and MURDERMOUTH and novella BURIAL TO FOLLOW.

DOG DAYS OF SUMMER: A Dog Named Slugger by Leigh Brill

Product Description

The true life story of a dog who changed everything for one woman. For the first time in my life, I didn't need to pretend, I didn't need to be tough: I only needed to be honest. "I have cerebral palsy. I walk funny and my balance is bad. I fall a lot. My hands shake, too. That means I'm not so good at carrying things. And if I drop stuff, sometimes it's hard to just bend down and get it." I waited anxiously for the interviewer's response. She smiled. "It sounds like a service dog could be great for you." So began Leigh Brill's journey toward independence and confidence, all thanks to a trained companion dog named Slugger. The struggling college student and the Labrador with a "a coat like sunshine" and a tail that never stopped wagging became an instant team. Together, they transformed a challenge into a triumph. Together, they inspired and educated everyone they met. Now, Leigh honors her friend with the story of their life, together.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (April 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984325654
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984325658
If ever there has been a cover that has made me want a book, this is it!  This looks like a truly inspiring story as well!  I have it on the way to me, so looks for a review soon. 


DOG DAYS OF SUMMER: Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home by Rupert Sheldrake

Product Description

Many people who have ever owned a pet will swear that their dog or cat or other animal has exhibited some kind of behavior they just can't explain. How does a dog know when its owner is returning home at an unexpected time? How do cats know when it is time to go to the vet, even before the cat carrier comes out? How do horses find their way back to the stable over completely unfamiliar terrain? And how can some pets predict that their owners are about to have an epileptic fit?

These intriguing questions about animal behavior convinced world-renowned biologist Rupert Sheldrake that the very animals who are closest to us have much to teach us about biology, nature, and consciousness.

Filled with captivating stories and thought-provoking analysis, Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home is a groundbreaking exploration of animal behavior that will profoundly change the way we think about animals, and ourselves. After five years of extensive research involving thousands of people who own and work with animals, Sheldrake conclusively proves what many pet owners already know -- that there is a strong connection between humans and animals that lies beyond present-day scientific understanding.
With a scientist's mind and an animal lover's compassion, Sheldrake compellingly demonstrates that we and our pets are social animals linked together by invisible bonds connecting animals to each other, to their owners, and to their homes in powerful ways. Sheldrake's provocative ideas about these social, or morphic, fields explain the uncanny behavior often observed in pets and help provide an explanation for amazing animal behavior in the wild, such as migration and homing.

Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home not only provides fascinating insight into animal, and human, behavior, but also teaches us to question the boundaries of conventional scientific thought. This remarkable book deserves a place next to the most beloved and valuable books on animals, such as When Elephants Weep, Dogs Never Lie About Love, and The Hidden Life of Dogs.

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

RUPERT SHELDRAKE studied natural sciences at Cambridge and philosophy at Harvard, then took a Ph.D. in biochemistry at Cambridge and was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge. The author of several books and more than 50 technical papers, he lives in London, England.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; Upd Rev edition (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307885968
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307885968
I have the original edition of this thoughtful book about dogs, their intelligence and behavior.  It is nice to see that it has been updated and will soon be re released.

New Giveaway @ Indie Paranormal Book Reviews: Samson's Lovely Mortal

Stop by Indie Paranormal Reviews and enter to win a signed Paperback copy of Samson's Lovely Mortal by Tina Folsom. This giveaway will end on September 10th. So go enter now! Open to residents of the US only. 

Indie Paranormal Book Reviews: GIVEAWAY! Signed paperback of Samson's Lovely Mortal by Tina Folsom


DOG DAYS OF SUMMER: Dog Fight: A Love Story by Matt Burgess

Product Description

What Jonathan Lethem did for Brooklyn, Matt Burgess does for Queens in this exuberant and brilliant debut novel about a young drug dealer having a very bad weekend.

Alfredo Batista has some worries. Okay, a lot of worries. His older brother, Jose—sorry, Tariq—is returning from a stretch in prison after an unsuccessful robbery, a burglary that Alfredo was supposed to be part of. So now everyone thinks Alfredo snitched on his brother, which may have something to do with the fact that Alfredo is now dating Tariq’s ex-girlfriend, Isabel, who is eight months pregnant. Tariq’s violent streak is probably #1 worry on Alfredo’s list.

Also, he needs to steal a pit bull. For the homecoming dogfight.

Burgess brings to life the rich and vivid milieu of his hometown native Queens in all its glorious variety. Here is the real New York, a place where Pakistanis, Puerto Ricans, Haitians, Anglos, African Americans, and West Indians scrap and mingle and love. But the real star here is Burgess’s incredible ear for language—the voices of his characters leap off the page in riotous, spot-on dialogue. The outer boroughs have their own language, where a polite greeting is fraught with menace, and an insult can be the expression of the most tender love.

With a story as intricately plotted as a Shakespearean comedy—or revenge tragedy, for that matter—and an electrically colloquial prose style, Dogfight, a Love Story establishes Matt Burgess as an exuberant new voice in contemporary literature. The great Queens novel has arrived.

About the Author

MATT BURGESS, a twenty-seven-year-old graduate of Dartmouth and the University of Minnesota’s MFA pro­gram, grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (September 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385532989
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385532983
This one is way out of my comfort zone.   I received this in the mail last week from the publisher.  I will reserve judgment on this one until I find out how much harm is done to the dogs....who knows maybe the dog will save the hero.

AND THE WINNER IS: The Island by Elin Hilderbrand

Lizzie (yes, you, Bethie)

An email has been sent to the three lucky people named above (first part of their email address in case my note ends up in spam).  They have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
Thanks to all who entered.

Didn't win?  Order your copy from my Amazon link:

Friday PhoDOGraphy

Is there any better place?


REVIEW: Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin

Product Description

The only thing Avery Hood can remember about the night her parents died is that she saw silver—deadly silver, moving inhumanly fast. As much as she wants to remember who killed them, she can't, and there's nothing left to do but try to piece her life back together. Then Avery meets the new boy in school—Ben, mysterious and beautiful, with whom she feels a connection like nothing she's ever experienced. When Ben reveals he's a werewolf, Avery still trusts him—at first. Then she sees that sometimes his eyes flash inhuman silver. And she learns that she's not the only one who can't remember the night her parents died.Part murder mystery, part grief narrative, and part heart-stopping, headlong romance, Low Red Moon is a must-read for teen paranormal fans. As breathless as Twilight and as spooky as Shiver, this is a book to be devoured in one sitting—by an acclaimed YA author making her paranormal debut under the pseudonym Ivy Devlin.

About the Author

IVY DEVLIN is the pseudonym of a popular and critically acclaimed author of teen fiction. With Low Red Moon and the Ivy Devlin name, she makes her paranormal fiction debut. She lives in Virginia.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books (September 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599905108
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599905105


Another creepy book that is more twilight zone than twilight and I mean that in a good way.  I really feel I should be listening to Linkin Park after reading this since the music just seems to fit the story.  Well, at least to me it does.  The mood of this story is just so full of despair and at least towards the end the is a ray of hope.  I really felt for Avery and you could just taste the confusion that is now her life after her parents are murdered.  I think this one is nicely wrapped up with an "OHHH" moment that will really catch you off guard.  And now that I think about it, a sequel would be nice.

Parents:  some gore, some kissing, not much drugs or drinking.  I think you might steal this book to read it first though.  

DOG DAYS OF SUMMER: A Dog About Town by J F Englert

Product Description

Harry is a man still mourning the loss of his beloved girlfriend, Imogen, who left him suddenly without a word. He’s also the owner of a plump, poetry-loving Lab, Randolph. Like most Manhattan dogs, Randolph spends his days sifting through a world of scents, his owner’s neuroses, and an overcrowded doggy run at the American Museum of Natural History. But now a bereft Harry has drifted into a circle of would-be occultists. Which might not be so bad if one of them wasn’t also a murderer.

But which one? With 100,000 times the smelling power of a human being, Randolph can quickly detect the scents of guilt, anxiety, and avarice—and he has no lack of suspects, from a seductive con woman to an uncouth professor of the decorative arts. Now, to protect his hapless owner’s life, Randolph might have to do the unthinkable—and start training Harry to catch a killer….

About the Author

J. F. Englert, a writer of fiction and nonfiction for both book and screen, lives in Manhattan with his wife, P. Englert, daughter, C. Englert, and dog, R. Englert.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Dell (May 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440243637
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440243632

Another dog that narrates!  And the blog isn't bad either.  Go check out A Dog About Town -- there is a lot of dog related information as well as Randolph.  I think Randolph is probably the most educated dog I have ever read about.  If only people were that smart.  Oh and Randolph, I would love you  to play 20 Questions here, but I may have to come up with more intelligent questions.

REVIEW: Zombies vs Unicorns by Holly Black, Justine Larbalestier, et al

Product Description

It's a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively), strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths--for good and evil--of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really bad-ass) side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling teen authors, including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. This anthology will have everyone asking: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?

About the Author

Holly Black is the bestselling author of the Spiderwick series. 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. Her third teen novel, Ironside, the sequel to Tithe, was a New York Times bestseller. Her new novel, White Cat, is coming Summer 2010. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. Visit Holly at

Justine Larbalestier is the author of several teen novels, including LIAR, the MAGIC OR MADNESS trilogy, and HOW TO DITCH YOUR FAIRY.  She was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, and she and her husband, Scott Westerfeld, now split their time between Sydney and New York City. Visit Justine at

Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (September 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416989536
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416989530


I dreamed about this book.  Seriously, I imagined these stories told by these authors since a rainbow bright unicorn landed on my desk in the third grade.  So, I have tipped my hat and you now know which side of the fight I live for.  But wait!  The zombie people made really great arguments for the zombies. What this book really comes down to is:  Holly versus Justine.  I love them both separately but equally and for different reasons.  There are great back and forths between each story where Holly is pro Unicorn and Justine is pro Zombie.  I laughed until I almost choked, but then the zombies would win.

This is also the first anthology where I read each and every story.  In most books like this there are always a few that I just don't like, but these are all spectacular.  They are also stories you could read over and over again.  My favorite has to be Meg Cabot's story about a killer unicorn (literally can kill) that farts rainbows and jasmine.  Now who wouldn't want one of those around?  I also enjoyed Scott Westerfield's Zombie story for some weird reason, it just struck a chord with me in a post apocalyptic way.  (Trust me, I am NOT sucking up to Scott since his wife his co editor--the story still has me thinking about it.)

These are some pretty spooky stories that would be great around a campfire or under the covers with a flashlight.  They are all pretty safe for kids over 11 or so.  Although I think the kids will have a hard time prying it away from their parents.

REVIEW: A Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Product Description

Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

About the Author

Cassandra Clare made her fiction debut with The Mortal Instruments series, which has been on many bestseller lists. Cassandra lives in an old Victorian house in western Massachusetts with her fiance, their cats, and lots and lots of books. Visit her website at Learn more about The Mortal Instruments series at Learn about her new trilogy The Infernal Devices at

Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (August 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416975861
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416975861


Cassandra Clare has to be one of my favorite authors now.   I loved the Mortal Instruments series and this one just adds to them.  This is one seriously creepy book and I fell in love with all of the characters. It is nice to see the Shadowhunters again.  There is a lot of excitement towards the end of the book which of course left me hanging. The story is about Tessa who is brought to England by her brother for nefarious reasons.  Tessa really grows once she escapes from the Dark Sisters and finds herself in the London Institute where she develops her new found powers of transformation.

So now we have Team Jem and Team Will.  I am still torn between the two and I think a sequel would help me decide.  Tessa grows into her own between these two boys and while the story goes back and forth between the two, Tess learns that her brother has abandon her and they are her salvation.  There is a bit of mystery that surrounds her parents and this is partially answered towards the end.  The other curious part of the book is the clockwork angel itself.  I think that there is more to tell about this piece of jewelery than is covered by the story so far.

I highly recommend this book for everyone, although there is some unsettling violence, so it is probably best suited for kids older than 12.

DOG DAYS OF SUMMER: National Dog Day @ the Library


Visit the site:National Dog Day

BLOG TOUR & REVIEW: John Belushi is Dead by Kathy Charles

Product Description

IN THE END WE ALL FADE TO BLACK. Pink-haired Hilda and oddball loner Benji are not your typical teenagers. Instead of going to parties or hanging out at the mall, they comb the city streets and suburban culs-de-sac of Los Angeles for sites of celebrity murder and suicide. Bound by their interest in the macabre, Hilda and Benji neglect their schoolwork and their social lives in favor of prowling the most notorious crime scenes in Hollywood history and collecting odd mementos of celebrity death.
Hilda and Benji’s morbid pastime takes an unexpected turn when they meet Hank, the elderly, reclusive tenant of a dilapidated Echo Park apartment where a silent movie star once stabbed himself to death with a pair of scissors. Hilda feels a strange connection with Hank and comes to care deeply for her paranoid new friend as they watch old movies together and chat the sweltering afternoons away. But when Hank’s downstairs neighbor Jake, a handsome screenwriter, inserts himself into the equation and begins to hint at Hank’s terrible secrets, Hilda must decide what it is she’s come to Echo Park searching for . . . and whether her fascination with death is worth missing out on life.

About the Author:
Kathy Charles website:

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: MTV; Original edition (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439187592
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439187593


Hilda is probably one of the best, most well thought out characters I have read about in a long time.  Hilda moves in with her aunt after her parents die in a car crash and she becomes obsessed with death, especially celebrities' death.  Hilda travels to famous murder scenes, suicide locations and cemeteries to get close to those unfortunate events with her friend Benji.  Benji has his own secrets and you can tell he is quietly unravelling while Hilda tries to pull herself together.

Any person would be devastated after being in an auto accident, but Hilda should be especially devastated by this accident since she lost both of her parents just like Jayne Mansfield.  I suppose this sends her on her quest of celebrity death sites.  Hilda goes on the Graveline Tours (the author doesn't specify this one by name, but I have been on it) and to Hollywood Forever to watch movies.  Along the way, Hilda and Benji meet Hank who is a war camp survivor and from him Hilda learns to live again among the living.  She also meets Jake who has a more positive outlook on life, but has dark secrets as well. 

I really enjoyed this book and the dark areas Charles covers always have a ray of hope.  It is just wonderful to read about teens trying to get their lives on track when the chips aren't stacked in their favor and they manage to do it anyway.  I did read this in one sitting and that just shows how nicely written this one is.  I can't wait to read more from this author. 


AND THE WINNER IS: Captured by Desire by Kira Morgan

magenta 2 red

An email has been sent to the three lucky people named above (first part of their email address in case my note ends up in spam). They have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
Thanks to all who entered.

Didn't win? Order your copy from my Amazon link:

AND THE WINNER IS: Desperate Deeds by Dee Davis


An email has been sent to the three lucky people named above (first part of their email address in case my note ends up in spam).  They have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
Thanks to all who entered.

Didn't win?  Order your copy from my Amazon link:

GIVEAWAY & REVIEW! Ah-Choo! by Jennifer Ackerman

Product Description

Some colds are like mice, timid and annoying; others like dragons, accompanied by body aches and deep misery. In AH-CHOO!, Jennifer Ackerman explains what, exactly, a cold is, how it works, and whether it's really possible to "fight one off." Scientists call this the Golden Age of the Common Cold because Americans suffer up to a billion colds each year, resulting in 40 million days of missed work and school and 100 million doctor visits. They've also learned over the past decade much more about what cold viruses are, what they do to the human body, and how symptoms can be addressed. In this ode to the odious cold, Ackerman sifts through the chatter about treatments-what works, what doesn't, and what can't hurt. She dispels myths, such as susceptibility to colds reflects a weakened immune system. And she tracks current research, including work at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, a world-renowned center of cold research studies, where the search for a cure continues.

About the Author

Jennifer Ackerman's most recent book is Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: ADay in the Life of Your Body. Her previous books include Chance in the House of Fate: A Natural History of Heredity, and Notes from the Shore. A contributor to National Geographic, The New York Times, and many other publications, her articles and essays have been included in several anthologies, among them Best American Science Writing, The Nature Reader, and Best Nature Writing. Jennifer lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Twelve; 1 edition (September 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044654115X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446541152


I don't think I will ever see the cure of the common cold in my lifetime, but this book makes me feel better about them and the fact that there is not much you can do but rest and recover.  And everything your mom always told you is pretty much true.  My mother always said to keep your hands away from your face, cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, drink lots of water and have some soup.  This book shows you that mom always did know best. Oh, and keep away from small children, they are walking germ factories. 

Some of the things in this book are truly scary.  I mean how often do you think about cleaning out your washing machine?  Just think about washing your underwear and where you wear those underthings.  Yes, pretty gross.  The author goes into detail about the history and treatments that are known to work and are worth buying although, so far, not much.


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DOG DAYS OF SUMMER: Oogy by Larry Levin

Product Description

In the bestselling tradition of Rescuing Sprite comes the story of a puppy brought back from the brink of death, and the family he adopted.

In 2002, Larry Levin and his twin sons, Dan and Noah, took their terminally ill cat to the Ardmore Animal Hospital outside Philadelphia to have the beloved pet put to sleep. What would begin as a terrible day suddenly got brighter as the ugliest dog they had ever seen--one who was missing an ear and had half his face covered in scar tissue--ran up to them and captured their hearts. The dog had been used as bait for fighting dogs when he was just a few months old. He had been thrown in a cage and left to die until the police rescued him and the staff at Ardmore Animal Hospital saved his life. The Levins, whose sons are themselves adopted, were unable to resist Oogy's charms, and decided to take him home.

Heartwarming and redemptive, OOGY is the story of the people who were determined to rescue this dog against all odds, and of the family who took him home, named him "Oogy" (an affectionate derivative of ugly), and made him one of their own.

About the Author

Larry Levin and his family live in a suburb of Philadelphia, PA. He is an attorney in solo practice. He and his wife, Jennifer, have been married for twenty-six years. Their sons, Noah and Dan, are eighteen. Oogy is eight.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446546313
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446546317
You know I can already feel the tears forming.  I have high hopes for this one since Oogy is still alive.  I am so glad that authors are bringing the terrible sport of dog fighting to the spotlight.  The more said the better.

Waiting on Wednesday: Fallen Angel by Heather Terrell

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

The first book in a dark, edgy new angel series about a girl who finds herself forced to choose sides in the battle between fallen angels, even if that means going against the boy she loves.

When Ellie Faneuil first sees Michael Chase she feels an instantaneous connection. But she does not realize how much they have in common, including the ability fly and to see what others are thinking - not to mention a taste for blood. Reveling in their new powers and their growing feelings for each other, Ellie and Michael are determined to uncover what they are, and how they got this way ... together.
But the truth has repercussions neither could have imagined. Soon they find themselves center stage in an ancient conflict between fallen angels that threatens to destroy everything they love. And it is no longer clear whether Ellie and Michael will choose the same side.

In this electrifying novel Heather Terrell spins a gripping tale of soul-mates, supernatural powers and a truth that will change Ellie and Michael‘s world forever. 

About the Author

Heather Terrell is a lawyer with more than ten years’ experience as a litigator at two of the country’s premier law firms and for Fortune 500 companies. She is a graduate of Boston College and of the Boston University School of Law. She lives in Pittsburgh.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (December 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061965707
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061965708
I loved The Chrysalis and The Map Thief by Heather Terrell, so I have high hopes for this one.  Angels are the new black.  Or something like that.

Fallen Angel


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Deepest Water Kate Wilhelm
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff- Richard Carlson
Embrace Me Lisa Samson
Evenings at the Argentine Club Julia Amante
Everyone Worth Knowing Lauren Weisberger
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The Pursuit of Happyness Chris Gardner
Real Life & Liars Kristina Riggle
Reality TV Bites Shane Bolks
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Movie Trailer: Age of the Dragons

This is a retelling of Moby Dick but instead of the whale, you get DRAGONS! Whoo-Hoo! When I first read about this, I thought it wouldn't be a mash up like all the other classics done with zombies, vampires, werewolves, but then again, maybe it is. Looks interesting.  Note the land yacht instead of a boat.

Book Trailer Tuesday: The Familiars by Adam Epstein and Andrew Jacobsen

The author sent me this wonderful trailer and I just had to share it with you. Yes, I know there is a cat prominently featured, but I have never heard of a dog being a familiar. This book really has promise if the words are as good as the art work. 

Product Description

THE FAMILIARS are the magical animal companions to a wizard or witch. When three young wizards-in-training get kidnapped by the evil queen of the land, it is up to their familiars to go a dangerous journey to rescue them. You'll meet Aldwyn, an orphan alley cat pretending to have telekinesis; Skylar, a know-it-all blue jay who can cast illusions; and Gilbert, a hapless tree frog with the ability to see visions of the future in pools of water. See what happens when these three animal assistants -- typically relegated to the background or found sitting quietly on their wizard's shoulders -- go on a heroic adventure of their own! 

From the Author

One of the unique things about this book is that we co-authored it. The two of us literally sat in the same room for months and months writing every word, sentence, and paragraph together. Andrew is the typist (because he's frankly a much faster typer), while Adam sits beside him, or across from him in a nice, comfy chair, or sometimes paces around. Neither one of us were English majors in college or had any book writing experience previously, but we've both read a lot, watched a lot, and lived inside our imaginations since we were little kids. Andrew played with his Star Wars and GI Joe action figures for hours on end as a kid (probably until he was way too old to be playing with them), and Adam grew up on Dungeons and Dragons and video games and comic books. Writing fantasy is like bringing all of those childhood daydreams to life, and the best part is, it's our job! (edited by author)

Product Details

  • Reading level: Ages 9-12
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061961086
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061961083

Book Trailer Tuesday: SHADOW HILLS by Anastasia Hopcus

Product Description
After her sister Athena's tragic death, it's obvious that grief-stricken Persephone "Phe" Archer no longer belongs in Los Angeles. Hoping to make sense of her sister's sudden demise and the cryptic dreams following it, Phe abandons her bubbly LA life to attend an uptight East Coast preparatory school in Shadow Hills, MA -- a school which her sister mysteriously mentioned in her last diary entry before she died.

Once there, Phe quickly realizes that something is deeply amiss in her new town. Not only does Shadow Hills' history boast an unexplained epidemic that decimated hundreds of its citizens in the 1700s, but its modern townies also seem eerily psychic, with the bizarre ability to bend metal. Even Zach -- the gorgeous stranger Phe meets and immediately begins to lust after -- seems as if he is hiding something serious. Phe is determined to get to the bottom of it. The longer she stays there, the more she suspects that her sister's untimely death and her own destiny are intricately linked to those who reside in Shadow Hills.
About the Author
Anastasia Hopcus wrote her first book in the 2nd grade. It was titled Frederick the Friendly French Ferret and was seven pages long. During high school she wrote numerous short stories and started (but never finished) three screenplays, all as an alternative to doing actual schoolwork. At the very wise age of twelve her career ambition was to drive a Mack truck, but when that didn't pan out, she tried acting, bartending, and being a receptionist in a dojo before finally returning to writing. Anastasia loves horror movies, Joss Whedon, obsessing over music, and British accents. She lives in Austin, Texas, and Shadow Hills is her debut novel. You can visit Anastasia at her website

Product Details

* Reading level: Young Adult
* Hardcover: 400 pages
* Publisher: EgmontUSA (July 13, 2010)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 1606840835
* ISBN-13: 978-1606840832


REVIEW: Kook by Peter Heller

Product Description

With grit, poetry, and humor, Peter Heller, acclaimed author of The Whale Warriors recounts his remarkable journey of discovery—of surfing, an entirely new challenge; of the ocean’s beauty and power; of the strange surf subculture; of love; and, most of all, of how to seek adventure while crafting a meaningful life.Having resolved to master a big-hollow wave— that is, to go from kook (surfese for beginner) to shredder—in a single year, Heller travels from Southern California down the coast of Mexico in the company of his girlfriend and the eccentric surfers they meet. Exuberant and fearless, Heller explores the technique and science of surfing the secrets of its culture, and the environmental ravages to the stunning coastline he visits.
As Heller plumbs the working of his own heart and finds joy in both love and surfing, he affords readers vivid insight into this fascinating world, with all of its perils and pleasures, its absurdity and wonder. Exhilarating, entertaining, and moving, Kook is a love story between a man and his surfboard, a man and his girlfriend, a not-so-old man and the sea.

About the Author

Peter Heller is an award-winning adventure writer and long-time contributor to NPR. He is a contributing editor at Outside magazine and National Geographic Adventure and the author of Hell or High Water: Surviving Tibet's Tsangpo River. He lives in Denver, Colorado. He can be reached at

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; Original edition (July 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743294203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743294201


It is always fun to read a book with your home town involved and I really enjoyed the casual writing of Peter Heller as he describes his initiation into the surfing world.  I live in Surf City (now trademarked!), otherwise known as Huntington Beach, CA  and where Heller first catches the surfing bug.  Even though I have lived here and walk to the beach almost everyday, I never realized how hard it is to surf.  I have watched surfers my whole life but have never tried it myself.  The author takes you through the steps and you learn how easy it was for him to become addicted to the sport.

Surfing has become a violent sport since there are so many people trying it in limited space.  Heller goes into brief detail about the reasons for the arguments over the real estate of waves.  The writing is breathtakingly beautiful just like the scenery he is writing about.  There are parts where you are on the edge of your seat and other parts where you just say "ahhhh" such as when he marries his long time girlfriend.  Heller also discusses climate change and yes, one small fact about dogs:  they are related to whales.  Huh? I did have to go look that one up. This book is the perfect cap on summer. So if you are ever in Huntington Beach at Dog Beach before 7am, be sure to wave at me.  I am the one with the mini dachshund demanding surfers to pet her.

DOG DAYS OF SUMMER: Author Kristan Higgins

Author Kristin Higgins pays special attention to dogs in the majority of her books! Well, there is one book that features a cat, but we will just ignore that one for now.  I have copied the below information from her website:

I am also impressed that Kristin is in love with Derek Jeter, I mean -- seriously, that guy is perfect and as my son says he is such a good player that we will even forgive him the Mariah Carey thing. And well, nothing says summer like baseball. 

You can also find Kristin on Facebook HERE
And her blog posts HERE
And at Jaunty Quills HERE

About the Author ~
Hello! I’m flattered that you clicked the button. If you clicked by mistake,
well, hello anyway.
I live in a small Connecticut town with a beautiful library, a great agricultural fair,
nice people and not much else. I have two lovely, entertaining children and a
brave firefighter for a husband, who is, perhaps more importantly, a fantastic cook.
Digger from Fools Rush In is inspired my very own Digger, our cheerful Lab mutt.
We also have two cats and grieve for an occasional, short-lived beta fish.  
I worked as a copywriter until I had kids and started writing fiction when my children
graced my life with simultaneous afternoon naps. Writing, I surmised, was infinitely
more satisfying than folding laundry, and so I started my first novel. Before long,
I had finished Stalking Joe, whose title was later changed to Fools Rush In, and
have been writing ever since. Catch of the Day and Too Good To Be True both
received the huge honor of winning the Romance Writers of America RITA Award,
which is the Oscar of romance writing. Can't tell you how thrilling that was!
I love to write books about relationships, since the search for love and security is one
of the driving forces of life. My characters are regular people, folks like us, and I hope
to give them a big, memorable love story rich with family, pets, food and laughter.
When I’m not writing, I like to be with my kids, goof around with my husband, read,
watch baseball, ride my bike and bake. I suffer from chronic bedhead and an unhealthy
(and completely understandable) obsession with Derek Jeter, shortstop for the New York Yankees. Like Millie Barnes, I run, which provides the neighbors with some real
We spend as much time as possible at our family home on Cape Cod, swimming in the
Atlantic, shivering on the beach, swatting horseflies and watching fish evade my lure at
Higgins Pond. It’s as close to heaven as it gets.
About the Dogs –
    Let's face it . . . you think the dogs are more interesting, don't you? I understand completely.
    Digger from FOOLS RUSH IN is named for and based on my dear doggy Digger. He is a black lab mutt, as friendly and dopey and sweet as a Lab can be, a great friend to my kids and a father figure to our cats, Hyacinth and Cinnamon.

   Colonel from CATCH OF THE DAY is based on a special dog in my life, Brendan. I adopted Brennie from a dog pound and gave him to my mom just after my father had died. He proved to be one of the world's great dogs, as gentle and sensitive as Maggie's Colonel.
   My mom's dog, Derry (named for Derek Jeter), is a frequent guest at our house and Digger's best friend. She is a lovely, not-very-bright dog with a crush on my husband. Her only flaw is that she likes to stand in the road and wag at passing cars.

   In TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, we have Angus, a very naughty West Highland terrier with a penchant for destruction. And in THE NEXT BEST THING, I finally have a cat. Fat Mikey. It's a blatant suck-up move to my own cats, and it doesn't seem to be working, but there it is. There are two dogs in ALL I EVER WANTED: Bowie, a Husky mutt, and Angie, a very well-mannered Irish Setter. We had Irish Setters growing up, and they're so beautiful. I was thrilled when my publisher put one on the cover. Pretty pup, don't you think? Look for a Jack Russell-Chihuahua mix in MY ONE & ONLY, the next book in the

The Real Digger

Sir Brendan Braveheart
(he came with that name, I swear)

Derry Bernadette, Yankees Fan

REVIEW: All I Ever Wanted by Kristin Higgins

Product Description

One Happily-Ever-After Rocking Chair…and no sign of any forthcoming babies to rock in ol' Georgebury, Vermont. For Callie Grey, turning thirty means coming to grips with the fact that her boss (and five-week fling) is way overdue in his marriage proposal. And way off track because Mark has suddenly announced his engagement to the company's new Miss Perfect. If that isn't bad enough, her mom decides to throw her a three-oh birthday bash in the family funeral home.
Bad goes to worse when she stirs up a crazy relationship with the town's not so warm and fuzzy veterinarian, Ian McFarland, in order to flag Mark's attention. So Ian is more comfortable with animals…. So he's formal, orderly and just a bit tense. The ever-friendly, fun-loving and spontaneous Callie decides it's time for Ian to get a personality makeover. But dang, if he doesn't shock the heck out of her, she might actually fall for Vermont's unlikeliest eligible bachelor….

About the Author

Kristan Higgins is the RITA award-winning author of CATCH OF THE DAY and three other romantic comedies. Previously a copywriter, Kristan began writing fiction when her children graced her life with simultaneous much more satisfying than folding laundry. She holds a BA in English from the College of the Holy Cross, which enables her to identify dangling participles and quote many great novels. Kristan lives with her family in Connecticut.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HQN Books (July 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373774583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373774586
SOURCE:  FSB Associates


This is my first book by Kristin Higgins and it won't be my last.  I really enjoyed getting to know Callie and at times I wanted to yell at her like you yell at the screen during a horror movie, "Don't Go There!" or "You Better Watch Out!"  but this is a story of Callie finding herself and of course she needs to "go there and not watch out".  Higgins does a great job developing a relationship between Callie and Mark and after you have yelled, "Don't Go There" she does eventually find romance with Ian, the uptight veterinarian. 

There is an unexpected pleasure in Callie's grandfather who has some of the best snarky one liners I have ever read.  I want a book about him next.  Ian doesn't come across as very likable and a little bit mysterious but that does change.  I mean, how can a vet be unlovable?  I enjoyed the reality of this story as well.  There were no forced romantic interludes just to bring up the heat.  There are so many little things I enjoyed about this book but the best part is Bowie, Callie's dog.  Anyone who has a dog as an important love in a heroine's life is my kind of writer.