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6/30/11

GIVEAWAY! Freedom Giveaway Hop


STOP #81

The Freedom Giveaway Hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer  and Simply Stacie.net  It takes place from July 1st to 7th.    There are hundreds of blogs participating and each has their own rules, so be sure to stop by each one and enter!

Here is what I am giving away:





WANT TO WIN THESE THREE BOOKS?
Contest is open to anyone over 13 years old with a reliable mailing address (PO Boxes OK!)
Contest ends on 7.7.11 Winner will be chosen by Random.org on 7.8.11
Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or a new winner will be chosen.
This giveaway is sponsored by ME
If mailing costs to your country is prohibitive, I may opt to substitute a book of your choice from the Book Depository gift card (up to $15)

Complete the below form
Follow Me
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6/29/11

Waiting on Wednesday: Always Something There to Remind Me by Beth Harbison

"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:



Description

Can you ever really know if love is true? And if it is, should you stop at anything to get it? Two decades ago, Erin Edwards was sure she’d already found the love of her life: Nate Lawson. Her first love. The one with whom she shared everything--dreams of the future, of children, plans for forever. The one she thought she would spend the rest of her life with. Until one terrible night when Erin made a mistake Nate could not forgive and left her to mourn the relationship she could never forget or get over. Today, Erin is contentedly involved with a phenomenal guy, maneuvering a successful and exciting career, and raising a great daughter all on her own. So why would the name “Nate Lawson” be the first thing to enter her mind when her boyfriend asks her to marry him? In the wake of the proposal, Erin finds herself coming unraveled over the past, and the love she never forgot. The more she tries to ignore it and move on, the more it haunts her. Always Something There to Remind Me is a story that will resonate with any woman who has ever thought of that one first love and wondered, “Where is he?” and “What if…?” Filled with Beth Harbison’s trademark nostalgia humor and heart, it will transport you, and inspire you to believe in the power of first love.

About the Author

BETH HARBISON is the New York Times bestselling author of Hope In A Jar, Secrets of a Shoe Addict and Shoe Addicts Anonymous. She grew up in Potomac, Maryland, outside Washington, D.C. and now shares her time between that suburb, New York City, and a quiet home on the eastern shore.

Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (July 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312599102
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312599102

6/27/11

GIVEAWAY: The Creed Boys Trilogy by Linda Lael Miller

New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller returns with a brand-new trilogy about putting down roots and the healing power of love. Experience the thrill of her Creed and Stone Creek series in one powerful story...

 

When single attorney Steven Creed becomes guardian of an orphaned five-year-old boy, he trades his big-city law firm for a ranch near his McKettrick kin in the close-knit community of Stone Creek, Arizona. Taking care of little Matt and fixing up his run-down ranch house with its old barn loosens something tightly wound inside him. But when Steven takes on the pro bono defense of a local teen, he meets his match in the opposing counsel - beautiful, by-the-book county prosecutor Melissa O'Ballivan. It'll take one grieving little boy, a sweet adopted dog and a woman who never expected to win any man's heart to make this Creed in Stone Creek know he's truly found home.


Conner Creed knows exactly who he is: a hardworking rancher carrying on his uncle's legacy in Lonesome Bend, Colorado. Maybe a small-town cowboy's life isn't his dream, but he owes the man who took him in as a kid. Until the identical twin brother he's been estranged from for years reenters his life.
Conner struggles with identity issues as he gets to know his wilder brother. And then he meets Tricia McCall, a beautiful woman who knows a thing or two about living someone else's dreams. Together, they just might find their own dreams right here in Lonesome Bend….


Rough-and-tumble rodeo cowboy Brody Creed likes life on the move. Until a chance encounter with his long-estranged twin brother brings him "home" for the first time in years. Suddenly Brody is in Creed territory—at thirty-three, he's a restless bad boy among family with deep ties to the land and each other. And a secret past haunts him as he tries to make plans for his future.Carolyn Simmons is looking for Mr. Right in Lonesome Bend, as the ticktock of her biological clock gets ever louder. Then she falls for gorgeous Brody Creed, the opposite of everything she wants. Until lassoing his wild heart becomes everything both of them need.



WANT TO WIN A SET OF THESE BOOKS?

 Contest is open to anyone over 13 years old with a US mailing address and ends 7.11.11
Winner will be chosen by Random.org on 7.12.11.  Only one winner per mailing address.
Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or a new winner will be chosen
This giveaway is sponsored by the author and supplied by the publisher for ONE WINNER!
Complete the form below!
Follow Me
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More Extra Entries for Linda Lael Miller
+1 Follow her blog HERE
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REVIEW: The Creed Legacy by Linda Lael Miller

Description

Rough-and-tumble rodeo cowboy Brody Creed likes life on the move. Until a chance encounter with his long-estranged twin brother brings him "home" for the first time in years. Suddenly Brody is in Creed territory—at thirty-three, he's a restless bad boy among family with deep ties to the land and each other. And a secret past haunts him as he tries to make plans for his future.Carolyn Simmons is looking for Mr. Right in Lonesome Bend, as the ticktock of her biological clock gets ever louder. Then she falls for gorgeous Brody Creed, the opposite of everything she wants. Until lassoing his wild heart becomes everything both of them need.

About the Author

Linda Lael Miller is the author of seventy historical and contemporary romance novels, many of which are set in the American West. She was awarded the Romance Writers of America's prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HQN Books; Original edition (June 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373776004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373776009
SOURCE:  PUBLISHER

MY THOUGHTS
LOVED IT


Brody has come back home after traveling the rodeo circuit and making a name for himself.  He has reconciled with  his twin, Conner (in Creed's Honor) and the story now focuses on Brody.  Carolyn has firey copper hair and an attitude to match and has run into Brody several times.  After a failed relationship once, Carolyn is having second thoughts about him, but then he disappears and leaves a drunken message for her.  Even though the sparks fly between them and Carolyn wants to settle down, Brody still seems to be trouble. I loved that Carolyn was working on a gypsy-type skirt that seemed to grow as her feelings for Brody came to the surface and it also felt like the skirt was a metaphor for their relationship. 

This is pretty much a traditional romance, but with a bunch of great twists and a cowboy flair.  Both Brody and Carolyn seem like people you could meet anywhere near a small town.  I am now a cowboy convert because I really enjoy Miller's writing style and how she weaves the western cowboy theme into a place that you want to revisit. I can't wait for the next on!

6/26/11

REVIEW: The Duff by Kody Keplinger

Description

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

About the Author

"I always felt like the 'ugly girl' in high school, so when I was introduced to the word during my senior year, I knew I was the Duff. The idea of writing a book with DUFF as the title started as a joke, but when I realized that my friends felt like Duffs, too, I knew I had to write this story." -Kody Keplinger on her inspiration for The DUFF, her debut novel. Kody is now eighteen and attending Ithaca College in New York where she's majoring in writing and finishing her second novel to be published by Poppy in Fall 2011.

Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Poppy (June 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316084247
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316084246
SOURCE: PUBLISHER

MY THOUGHTS
ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT

*** yes, some spoilers here ***

Bianca is a witty, snarky senior, her mother is a motivational speaker, her father works at a computer repair shop and they are not getting along.  She has extremely loyal friends that are both cheerleaders, blonde and gorgeous.  Well, according to Bianca they are, Jessica and Casey don't think that about themselves.  Welsey is the school heart throb and bad boy with a love em and leave em attitude.  When the two meet at the local all ages club, Wesley calls Biana Duffy and them explains exactly what it mean...Designated Ugly Fat Friend, Bianca reacts by throwing her drink in his face.  And thus begins a romantic entanglement that turns out to be something neither one of them planned.  Bianca is out to "use" Wesley for just one thing:  sex with no strings.

I am glad this book took on the issue of sex and love and how those actions impact teens today.   I don't think that teens are especially sexually active with AIDS and the spread of other STDs and this story actually says that if you are having sex, make sure it is safe.  I felt so sad for Bianca when her parents were breaking up.  Neither of them took her feelings into consideration and she didn't open up at all to her friends even when they asked and tried to push her for answers.  She instead retreats into what starts out as meaningless sex in order to fill the gap of her parents' love.  Except then the sex starts to mean something.

I really wanted to hate Wesley but found that he had the same endearing qualities as Bianca.  He was also trying to fix the loss of his parents (they traveled a lot) with sex.  Bianca called him a man whore which was probably appropriate, but she soon realizes she is just as bad as he is.  The whole premise of the Duff having sex the Hot Guy seems far fetched at first, but when you think about the size of the school (small) and they are such opposites, well, the whole thing just comes together and works.  This book is best suited for older teens since there is language and sexual situations.

6/25/11

AND THE WINNER IS: MidSummer's Eve Giveaway Hop

MARIA (pronounced MARIAH) -- mmafsmith




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

Thanks to all who entered.

PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM FOR THE EMAIL FROM BOOKHOUNDS @ HOTMAIL REQUESTING YOUR MAILING ADDRESS!

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



AND THE WINNER IS: Wish You Were Here by Phillipa Ashley

JINKY -- ldsmomof03

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

Thanks to all who entered.

PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM FOR THE EMAIL FROM BOOKHOUNDS @ HOTMAIL REQUESTING YOUR MAILING ADDRESS!

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

6/24/11

AND THE WINNER IS: Big Bad Beast by Shelly Laurenston

CLICIA


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

PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM FOR THE EMAIL FROM BOOKHOUNDS @ HOTMAIL REQUESTING YOUR MAILING ADDRESS!

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


Friday PhoDOGraphy

Her bite is much worse than her bark.
Cats chase her.
Fleas bite her and die of ecstasy.
She taught Cesar Milan to whisper.
She is the most interesting dog in the world.



Be sure to check out Fridays with Fred HERE


6/23/11

BLOG TOUR & REVIEW: Groundswell by Katie Lee

Description

EAT, SURF, LOVE. A butterfly flaps its wings in New York City . . . and a groundswell forms in Mexico. . . . Sometimes the biggest ripples come from the smallest events. Like the day that Emma Guthrie walks into world-famous movie star Garrett Walker’s trailer. When she steps through the door, she’s a novice PA who’s just dropped out of college after losing her scholarship. When she walks out, she’s on her way to becoming Mrs. Emma Walker—wife of an A-list actor. Soon, Emma has made the transition from nobody to red-carpet royalty, trading jeans and flip-flops for closets full of Chanel and Birkin bags, swishing past velvet ropes to attend every lavish party and charity gala on both coasts. With her husband’s encouragement, Emma pens a screenplay based on her life, Fame Tax, which becomes a blockbuster sensation. Through it all, Garrett is her ally and her mentor . . . until their relationship is thrown into question by an incriminating text message that Emma discovers on Garrett’s phone the night of the Met Costume Institute Gala.
Devastated by her husband’s infidelity and hounded mercilessly by the paparazzi, Emma must flee New York City to get away from it all and clear her head. Her destination? A sleepy coastal town in Mexico where no one recognizes her and there is nothing but unspoiled beaches for miles. Here, she meets Ben, a gorgeous, California-born surf instructor, who teaches her about the healing powers of surfing, shows her the joys of the simple life, and ultimately opens her up to the possibility of love.
From Manhattan’s hippest restaurants to the yacht-and-celebrity infested waters of St. Barts, Katie Lee’s debut novel is an irresistible insider’s glimpse into a glittering world—and a captivating story about how losing everything you thought you wanted can be the first step to finding what you need.

About the Author

Katie Lee is the food and lifestyle contributor for The Early Show and has appeared on Oprah, CBS Sunday Morning, The Rachael Ray Show, The Nate Berkus Show, and Iron Chef America. She writes a regular column for Cosmopolitan and has been featured in publications such as People, Vanity Fair, Food and Wine, Town & Country, and InStyle. She is the author of the cookbooks The Comfort Table and The Comfort Table: Recipes for Everyday Occasions. She lives in the Hamptons.

Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery (June 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439183597
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439183595
SOURCE:  PUBLISHER

MY THOUGHTS
LOVED IT

Emma is struggling financially, loses her scholarship and moves to Hollywood.  She gets a job as a PA on a movie set and ends up marrying the star.  Her fairytale ending doesn't go quite as planned since she discovers her husband cheating on her with her best friend.  She ends up running away to Mexico where she discovers surfing and the connection with the ocean that repairs her heart as well as her mind.  This rags to riches story is just a perfect summertime read that hits a lot of marks perfectly.

Emma is very likable and it is easy to see how such a nice girl gets wrapped up in the Hollywood lifestyle.  She at least remains true to herself even though she does buy into the dream, which turns into a nightmare.  Her journey of self discovery in nicely played with the background of surfing.  I haven't read a book like this with such a unique twist.  I have a feeling that the author used some personal experiences in the writing of this one since she married Billy Joel.  I really enjoyed this one.



GIVEAWAY & REVIEW: Love Always by Harriet Evans

Description

A compelling and heartrending tale of lost love, family secrets, and those little moments that can change your life forever . . . When Natasha Kapoor returns to her grandparents’ idyllic coastal home for her beloved grandmother’s funeral, her life is at a turning point. She thought by now she’d be a successful jewelry designer in London with a perfect marriage. Instead, she’s got mounting bills and a soon-to-be ex.
After the funeral, Natasha’s grandfather gives her the long-lost diary of her aunt Cecily. No one in her large and complicated family has ever discussed the tragic accident that took Cecily’s life as a teenager, and within the diary’s pages, Natasha finds a gripping and shocking tale of forbidden love, rivalry, and heartbreak.
Nearly fifty years later, will Cecily’s diary finally explain her family’s dark past and the terrible secret her aunt left behind? Is it possible it’s just the inspiration Natasha needs to take a fresh look at her future, and maybe even give love a second chance? Fans of Jennifer Weiner and Emily Giffin will get hooked on internationally bestselling author Harriet Evans’s warm, witty, and absorbing novel filled with original, rootworthy characters and complex family issues.

About the Author

Harriet Evans, a former publishing executive in the U.K.,  is the author of four novels.  She lives in London where she is writing her next novel.

Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery; Original edition (June 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451639627
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451639629
SOURCE:  PUBLISHER

MY THOUGHTS
ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT

Natasha Kapoor returns to Cornwall for her grandmother's funeral and learns that secrets in her huge, extended family have lead to some weird dynamics.  The truth begins to emerge when she is given her aunt Cecily's diary that documents some starling truths and sets Natasha on a road to personal discovery.  There are a lot of layers to Natasha's history and it is wonderful to see her grow as she discovers the truth about her very existence.  The main secret is that Natasha's grandmother, a famous painter, has stopped painting after her youngest daughter, Cecily, falls to her death.  Natasha looks enough like Cecily to be her twin.  There are so many entanglements in this family, you need a chart to keep track.  They aren't hard to follow and each page brings about a new enlightenment on just what it means to be related.

In a true mystery, the story about Cecily's death and the chaos it creates within the family is told through flashbacks and portions of her diary so you slowly begin to see all of the circumstance surrounding her death.  This story will really keep your attention as it did mine as you try to guess what really happened to Cecily.   I really couldn't put it down once I started.  Natasha is such a complex character and I really wanted to find out what was holding her back in her life, whether her jewelery designing business or her love life. I loved how the story pulls past and present together to create her personal history.  If you enjoy MadeleineWickham or Jennifer Weiner, you are going to love this one. I think this may be my favorite Harriet Evans book yet!  I would always try to get the UK versions as soon as they were released and I wish I hadn't waited on this one. Pure reading joy!
 

WANT TO WIN A COPY THIS BOOK?

 Contest is open to anyone over 13 years old with a US mailing address and ends 7.8.11
Winner will be chosen by Random.org on 7.9.11.  Only one winner per mailing address.
Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or a new winner will be chosen
This giveaway is sponsored by Gallery Books and supplied by the publisher for ONE WINNER!
Complete the form below!
Follow Me
+1 Leave a comment with an email address (you can do this daily for extra entries)
+1 Be my friend on GoodReads HERE
+1 Follow me on Twitter HERE 
+1 Follow FOREVER YOUNG (adult) HERE
+1 Like BookHounds on Facebook HERE 
More Extra Entries for Harriet Evans
+1 Follow on Twitter HERE
+1 Fan on Goodreads HERE
+1 Like on Facebook HERE
 +1 Post about this giveaway on your social networking site and leave me a link here.  You can do this daily and receive an entry for each link you leave.  One per day per site.
+2 Blog about this giveaway and leave me a link






    10 Questions with Harriet Evans author of Love Always


    1. Bookmarks or dog ears?
    Hopefully bookmark, but don't object to dog ears and don't understand when people get annoyed about it. IT'S PAPER.

    2. Dust jacket on or off when reading a hard back?
    On, definitely, that's what a dust jacket's for in my book (that book is called Keep Your Dust Jacket On, obvs).

    3. What is the first book you remember reading by yourself as a child?
    I think it was the legendary Ant & Bee Go Shopping. 
     
    4. What are you reading right now?
    Furious Love, a biography of Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton and their marriage. Part-pleasure, part-research for next book. Like Ant & Bee Go Shopping only at Bulgari.

    5. Do you have a favorite author?
    Today it's Dorothy L Sayers.

    6. Was there a book that inspired you to write?
    I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith.

    7. Do you have a favorite place to write?
    Yes, The Raleigh Hotel in Miami, I've been there twice for a week by myself to write and it's just gorgeous.

    8. How does your garden grow?
    With lustrous weeds since I went on hols for 3 weeks and it rained non-stop though the rose bush is now climbing up the garden wall which is super exciting.

    9. What is the last thing you Googled?
    'iCal doesn't sync with iPhone'. IT IS VERY ANNOYING.

    10. What makes you cringe?
    People I don't know putting their hands on my tummy (I'm pregnant) like we're in the Bible or the Na'vi in Avatar.

    Be sure to check out all of Harriet's books.   Look for the giveaway with my review!












    I may go all fan girl here.  SQUEEEE!  She is one of my favorite authors!

    6/22/11

    GIVEAWAY & REVIEW: To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal

    Product Description

    Judith Whitman always believed in the kind of love that "picks you up in Akron and sets you down in Rio." Long ago, she once experienced that love. Willy Blunt was a carpenter with a dry wit and a steadfast sense of honor. Marrying him seemed like a natural thing to promise. But Willy Blunt was not a person you could pick up in Nebraska and transport to Stanford. When Judith left home, she didn't look back.

    Twenty years later, Judith's marriage is hazy with secrets. In her hand is what may be the phone number for the man who believed she meant it when she said she loved him. If she called, what would he say?

    TO BE SUNG UNDERWATER is the epic love story of a woman trying to remember, and the man who could not even begin to forget.

    About the Author

    Tom McNeal was born in Santa Ana, California, where his father and grandfather raised oranges. He spent part of every summer at the Nebraska farm where his mother was born and raised, and after earning a BA in English at UC Berkeley and an MFA in Creative Writing at UC Irvine, he taught school in the town that was the inspiration for his first novel, Goodnight, Nebraska. Tom has been a Wallace Stegner Fellow and a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, and his short stories have been widely anthologized.

    Details

    • Hardcover: 448 pages
    • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (June 2, 2011)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0316127396
    • ISBN-13: 978-0316127394
    SOURCE:  PUBLISHER

    MY THOUGHTS
    ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT

    Judith has been married to Malcolm and begins to wonder if she married the right man.  Her thoughts turn to Willy, the boy she left behind years ago.  The story flips back and forth between the present and the years before when she first met Willy.  The story flows easily between the two time periods and you can easily get a feel for how Judith has matured.  She has a dream job editing films, a lovely home and a man she thinks might be cheating on her.  The drama builds effortlessly and the words are so lovingly chosen that you won't want to skip a one.  I had to go back and read several paragraphs over since the writing is just so exquisite. 

    The characters stuck with me long after I finished this book.  This book would make an excellent movie since it feels like everything is in perfect order and you can see each scene unfold into the next.  I am so glad that more authors are turning up from Orange County and especially the University of California, Irvine.  This book would be a winning choice for a book club since there are so many interesting angles that can be discussed. 




    WANT TO WIN A COPY THIS BOOKS?

     Contest is open to anyone over 13 years old with a US or Canadian mailing address and ends 7.9.11
    Winner will be chosen by Random.org on 7.10.11.  Only one winner per mailing address.
    Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or a new winner will be chosen
    This giveaway is sponsored by Little, Brown and supplied by the publisher for TWO WINNERS!
    Complete the form below!
    Follow Me
    +1 Leave a comment with an email address (you can do this daily for extra entries)
    +1 Be my friend on GoodReads HERE
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    More Extra Entries
    +1 Fan Tom McNeal on Goodreads HERE
    +1 Sign up for his email newsletter  HERE
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     +1 Post about this giveaway on your social networking site and leave me a link here.  You can do this daily and receive an entry for each link you leave.  One per day per site.
    +2 Blog about this giveaway and leave me a link



      REVIEW: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvator

      Description

      From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Shiver and Linger comes a brand new, heartstopping novel.
      With her trademark lyricism, Maggie Stiefvater turns to a new world, where a pair are swept up in a daring, dangerous race across a cliff--with more than just their lives at stake should they lose.

      About the Author

      Maggie Stiefvater is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the novels Shiver, Linger, and Forever. She is also the author of Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception and Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie. She lives in Virginia with her husband and their two children.

      Details

      • Reading level: Young Adult
      • Hardcover: 416 pages
      • Publisher: Scholastic Press (October 18, 2011)
      • Language: English
      • ISBN-10: 054522490X
      • ISBN-13: 978-0545224901
      SOURCE:  AROUND THE WORLD ARC TOURS


      MY THOUGHTS
      ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT

      ***slight spoilers***

      Kate (Puck) Connelly's parents are dead, leaving her and her two brother orphans.  The cause of their death is a Sea Horse,  Capaill Uisge, a horse that is born of the sea, but unlike anything you have ever heard of before.  These horses are ruled by the magic of the sea and surface to hunt what ever is in their path with true viciousness.  Kate is an excellent rider and has a mare named Dove.   Sean Kendrick works in the stable of a horse racing magnet on Thisby, a vaguely Irish island which has modern features, but also old fashioned.  He is a paranormal horse whisperer and can communicate and coerce the water horses with his incantations and touch.  He has won the last four of six Scorpio Races on Corr, a horse he has an incredible bond with and unlike any other rider of the capaill. 

      Puck and Dove enter the Scorpio Race in order to save her family home from the landowner and racing magnet, who is also Sean's boss. Although Dove is not a water horse, Puck has trained her to race with them and tolerate their ferociousness.  The story builds as Puck and Sean train for the climatic race which takes place every November.  At the beginning of this story, I wasn't expecting any romance, but one does develop between Puck and Sean quite naturally.  The weird ambiance of the island even adds to the pair to make them more perfectly matched in their single mindedness when it comes to horses and life in general. I am giving away the bit of detail about their romance, but nothing about the race itself which has a thrilling conclusion.

      I truly enjoyed this fantasy.  It was an effortless read and wasn't easy to predict where the story would go.  Kate's nickname of Puck is very apt since she has a "puckishness" about her.  Sean is very likable even though he cuts himself off from most people except the horses.  I love the strength of each character and how they work together while not losing site of their goals.  There are some violent images throughout the story with a few kisses here and there, but overall safe for those over 13.

      Waiting on Wednesday: The Hour of Dust and Ashes by Kelly Gay

      "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:


      Description

      To save her sister, she must stop a silent killer. . . .
      Protecting Atlanta from the off-world criminals of Underground is tough enough, but now Detective Charlie Madigan and her siren partner, Hank, learn that the addicts of the offworld drug ash have begun taking their own lives. Ash makes humans the perfect vessels for possession, and something or someone is leading them to their deaths. Charlie is desperate to save her addicted sister, Bryn, from a similar fate. As New Year’s Eve approaches and time runs out, Charlie makes a deadly bargain with an ancient race of beings and embarks on a dangerous journey into hellish Charbydon with Hank and the Revenant Rex to save Bryn and make it back before it’s too late. Only, for one of them, coming home means facing a fate worse than death. . . .

      Details

      • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
      • Publisher: Pocket; Original edition (August 30, 2011)
      • Language: English
      • ISBN-10: 1451625472
      • ISBN-13: 978-1451625479
      Desperately need this book NOW!

        6/20/11

        GIVEAWAY! Mid Summer's Eve Giveaway Hop!


        STOP #122

        The Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer . It takes place from June 21st to 24th.    There are hundreds of blogs participating and each has their own rules, so be sure to stop by each one and enter!

        Here is what I am giving away:


        and...





        WANT TO WIN THESE TWO BOOKS?
        Contest is open to anyone over 13 years old with a reliable mailing address (PO Boxes OK!)
        Contest ends on 6.24.11 Winner will be chosen by Random.org on 6.25.11
        Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or a new winner will be chosen.
        This giveaway is sponsored by ME
        If mailing costs to your country is prohibitive, I may opt to substitute a book of your choice from the Book Depository gift card (up to $15)

        Complete the below form
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        6/18/11

        REVIEW: Forgotten by Cat Patrick


        Description

        Each night at precisely 4:33 am, while sixteen-year-old London Lane is asleep, her memory of that day is erased. In the morning, all she can "remember" are events from her future. London is used to relying on reminder notes and a trusted friend to get through the day, but things get complicated when a new boy at school enters the picture. Luke Henry is not someone you'd easily forget, yet try as she might, London can't find him in her memories of things to come.
        When London starts experiencing disturbing flashbacks, or flash-forwards, as the case may be, she realizes it's time to learn about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

        About the Author

        On a rainy November morning, new baby sleep deprived, Cat Patrick forgot what she was doing. She retraced her steps but instead of remembering, the idea for Forgotten was born.

        Cat lives near Seattle with her husband and twin daughters who now, thankfully, sleep through the night. Forgotten is her debut novel. 

        Details

        • Reading level: Young Adult
        • Hardcover: 304 pages
        • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (June 7, 2011)
        • Language: English
        • ISBN-10: 0316094617
        • ISBN-13: 978-0316094610
        SOURCE:  PUBLISHER

        MY THOUGHTS
        ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
        "I remember forwards and forget backwards."  London Lane has a traumatic experience in her past that causes her mind to reset at 4:33 every morning.  She doesn't remember anything that happened to her in the past and gets glimpses into her future that are disturbing movies in her mind.  Resorting to notes, her cell phone with reminders programmed and her best friend, Jamie, she tries to live a normal teen life.  Doomed to know the future of herself and those around her which makes her feel helpless for her inability to change the outcome of a situation, she lives as an outsider, afraid to let anyone get close to her and discover her secret.

        When Luke Henry starts at her school, she is immediately attracted to him and is worried that she can't see him in her future the same she foresees others.  She assumes he must not be the guy for her and pushes him away even though she has immense feelings for him.  Finding strength she didn't know existed and with the help of Luke, she starts to uncover her lost memories and discovers the real truth of her memory issues.  There are some really unexpected twists in the plot that really caught me off guard.  I was expecting a typical teen romance, but this turned into a bit of a psychological thriller and mystery which was above and beyond normal teen books.  

        This is probably one of the best books I have read this year in the teen category.  It is unique and the writing is excellent.  There is a perfect balance between romance and mystery that draws you in and hits you when you least expect it.  Yes, the romance between Luke and London is sweet, but the mystery of London's mind is what truly keeps you hooked.  I am not going to give away the details of what London uncovers, but it does have an unexpected happy ending.  This is one creatively crafted story.  I can't even compare it to anything I've read this year since it is so different than anything I have read so far.  


        WANT TO WIN A COPY OF THIS BOOK?

        enter HERE


        6/17/11

        GIVEAWAY! $25 gift card to Kobo.com eBook Store!


        THE ALL NEW KOBO eREADER™ TOUCH

        Now is your chance to check out the all new Kobo eReader Touch and the Kobo.com ebook store!   The books purchased at Kobo.com work across multiple devices with and easy to use downloaded app.  I just started reading books on my Blackberry and find that it is a wonderful thing to have when I am waiting in line or stuck someplace with out a book. 


        Enter now for your chance to win a $25 gift cards to the Kobo.com store!

        With a revolutionary new touch screen experience, Kobo makes eReading easier than ever and makes it even more accessible to people around the world. Created for readers by readers, the beautiful new design provides the ultimate in reading comfort and is the most portable eReader – thin and light, it travels easily anywhere.

        Kobo has a catalog of over 2.3 million books, newspapers and magazines and over 3.6 million users worldwide. A reading lover’s dream, the new device boasts storage of up to 30,000 books with expandable memory.

        With FREE eRearding apps - Read eBooks on just about any device - smartphones, tablets, computers, eReaders, and more.

        From more information on Kobo, please visit www.Kobo.com


        WANT TO WIN A $25 gift card to KOBO.COM Store?

         Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old with a US email address and ends 7.2.11
        Winner will be chosen by Random.org on 7.3.11
        Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or a new winner will be chosen
        This giveaway is sponsored by Kobo.com and there will be ONE WINNER!
        Complete the form below!
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        Friday PhoDOGraphy

        Off to sail the seven seas in paper hat!

        Don't forget to check out Fridays with Fred at Mina Burrow's blog HERE

        6/16/11

        GIVEAWAY & REVIEW: Treasures from the Attic by Mirjam Pressler


        Description


        The story is one that is envisioned by many: a relative, an old woman who has lived in the same home for a lifetime, passes away, her death prompting the inevitable task of sorting through her effects by her surviving family. But in the attic in this particular house, a treasure trove of historic importance is found. Rarely does this become an actuality, but when Helene Elias died, no one could put a price on what she left behind.

        Helene Elias was born Helene Frank, sister to Otto Frank, and therefore aunt to Anne Frank. Ensconced upstairs in the house she inherited from her mother, and eventually passed on to her son, Buddy Elias, Anne’s cousin and childhood playmate, was the documented legacy of the Frank family: a vast collection of photos, letters, drawings, poems, and postcards preserved throughout decades—a cache of over 6,000 documents in all.

        Chronicled by Buddy’s wife, Gertrude, and renowned German author Mirjam Pressler, these findings weave an indelible, engaging, and endearing portrait of the family that shaped Anne Frank. They wrote to one another voluminously; recounted summer holidays, and wrote about love and hardships. They reassured one another during the terrible years and waited anxiously for news after the war had ended. Through these letters, they rejoiced in new life, and honored the memories of those they lost. 

        Anne’s family believed themselves to ordinary members of Germany’s bourgeoisie. That they were wrong is part of history, and we celebrate them here with this extraordinary account.

        About the Author

        MIRJAM PRESSLER is one of Germany’s most beloved authors. She was the German translator of Anne Frank’s diary.

        Details

        • Hardcover: 416 pages
        • Publisher: Doubleday (April 19, 2011)
        • Language: English
        • ISBN-10: 038553339X
        • ISBN-13: 978-0385533393
        SOURCE:  PUBLISHER
        MY THOUGHTS
        LOVED IT

        This is a fascinating look at the extended family of Anne Frank told through letters, pictures and postcards exchanged between Helene and her brother, Otto, the father of Anne Frank.  There are notes of joy and happiness mixed in with the despair and concern of the family that comes to realize that Otto's family is trapped by the Nazis and there is no way for them to find freedom.  Most people know the story of Anne and her family, but I don't think anyone has ever documented the horror that her family went through and with the literal treasure trove of newly found documents that this all comes to light.  Any history lover would love to have this book on their shelf. 

        WANT TO WIN A COPY OF THIS BOOK?

         Contest is open to anyone over 13 years old with a US mailing address and ends 7.2.11
        Winner will be chosen by Random.org on 7.3.11
        Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or a new winner will be chosen
        This giveaway is sponsored by DoubleDay and supplied by the publisher for TWO WINNERS!
        Complete the form below!
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          6/15/11

          Waiting on Wednesday: Damned by Chuck Palahniuk

          "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:


          Description

          “Are you there, Satan? It’s me, Madison,” declares the whip-tongued eleven-year-old narrator of Damned, Chuck Palahniuk’s subversive new work of fiction. The daughter of a narcissistic film star and a billionaire, Madison is abandoned at her Swiss boarding school over Christmas, while her parents are off touting their new projects and adopting more orphans. She dies over the holiday of a mari­juana overdose—and the next thing she knows, she’s in Hell. Madison shares her cell with a motley crew of young sinners that is almost too good to be true: a cheerleader, a jock, a nerd, and a punk rocker, united by fate to form the six-feet-under version of everyone’s favorite detention movie. Madison and her pals trek across the Dandruff Desert and climb the treacherous Mountain of Toenail Clippings to confront Satan in his citadel. All the popcorn balls and wax lips that serve as the currency of Hell won’t buy them off.

          This is the afterlife as only Chuck Palahniuk could imagine it: a twisted inferno where The English Patient plays on end­less repeat, roaming demons devour sinners limb by limb, and the damned interrupt your dinner from their sweltering call center to hard-sell you Hell. He makes eternal torment, well, simply divine.

          About the Author

          CHUCK PALAHNIUK’s eleven best-selling novels—Tell-All, Pygmy, Snuff, Rant, Haunted, Lullaby, Fight Club, Diary, Survivor, Invisible Monsters, and Choke—have sold more than five million copies in the United States. He is also the author of Fugitives and Refugees, published as part of the Crown Journey Series, and the nonfiction collection Stranger Than Fiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.

          Details

          • Hardcover: 256 pages
          • Publisher: Doubleday (October 18, 2011)
          • Language: English
          • ISBN-10: 0385533020
          • ISBN-13: 978-0385533027

          A Note from Linda Lael Miller

          Dear Friends,
          It’s been a long winter, here on the Triple L in eastern Washington, and we’re all—people and critters—ready for sunshine and flowers and blue skies and green, green grass. It’s sure been a crazy year, weather-wise, all over the planet, hasn’t it?




          The roses and the peony bushes in my yard are leafing out and sprouting shoots, as are the lilacs, and if I had the time, I’d probably hover over them, saying, “Grow, grow!” Soon they’ll be lovely, especially the Veteran's Honor roses I planted in honor of my dad. For those of you looking to do something special in keeping with Memorial Day weekend, I highly recommend planting a rose in honor of a serviceman. And don’t forget the families of those whose loved ones are away, serving abroad. They’re sacrificing a lot for the rest of us. Maybe cook a special dish and deliver it to one of these families, with a hug and a great big thank you?
          I’m working away on a brand new book, the first in a series, and doing some traveling. As I write this I’m pulling out my fancy boots and dress western jackets to pack for Book Expo America (BEA) in New York, where I’ll get to hobnob with my publishing family. Although I’m pretty much a home body, I thoroughly enjoy this annual event, which brings all kinds of people involved in books and book publishing under one roof to look at upcoming releases and to discuss trends. I’ll be home the rest of the summer, writing and making art and enjoying my dogs, cats and horses. They’re all thriving, I’m happy to say.
          I’m delighted to tell you a little about Creed’s Honor, the second book in my new trilogy, which began with A Creed in Stone Creek in March. That was the story of Steven Creed and Melissa O’Ballivan, two people who were meant for each other but had it in mind to go separate ways—little did they know... In this launch book of the trilogy I introduced Steven’s identical twin cousins, Conner and Brody. These two stubborn cowboys have been estranged for a lot of years. In Creed’s Honor, Conner has his hands full trying to keep from falling in love with Tricia McCall, who plans on shaking the dust of Lonesome Bend, Colorado, off her feet and leaving the minute she’s completed her business there. So Conner really doesn’t need trouble from his brother, too. Trouble is what Conner gets, though, and plenty of it.
          Creed’s Honor goes on sale this week, May 31, and will be followed June 28 by Brody’s story, Creed’s Legacy. I hope you’ll sign on with the Creed outfit and ride this particular trail with us, because it’s going to be quite a journey, full of romance and laughter and furry four-leggers sure to win your heart.
          My publisher, HQN Books, has done a mighty fine job with what’s called a widget that you’ll find on www.LindaLaelMiller.com, along with a video of the three cowboys who star on the covers of this trilogy. All you have to do is click on this widget, and you can read an excerpt of Creed’s Legacy as if you were holding the book in your hands!
          Happy summer, my friends!

          Linda Lael Miller

          LindaLaelMiller.com

          REVIEW: Creed's Honor by Linda Lael Miller

          Description

          Conner Creed knows exactly who he is: a hardworking rancher carrying on his uncle's legacy in Lonesome Bend, Colorado. Maybe a small-town cowboy's life isn't his dream, but he owes the man who took him in as a kid. Until the identical twin brother he's been estranged from for years reenters his life.Conner struggles with identity issues as he gets to know his wilder brother. And then he meets Tricia McCall, a beautiful woman who knows a thing or two about living someone else's dreams. Together, they just might find their own dreams right here in Lonesome Bend….

          About the Author

          Linda Lael Miller is the author of seventy historical and contemporary romance novels, many of which are set in the American West. She was awarded the Romance Writers of America's prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

          In January of 2006, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Linda Lael Miller left the Arizona horse property she's called home for the past five years and listened to the call of her heart. Packing up her work-in-progress for HQN Books; her dogs, Sadie and Bernice, and her four horses, the author of more than 70 novels bid farewell to her home in the desert and returned to the place of her birth, Spokane, Washington.
          The daughter of a town marshal, Linda grew up in Northport, WA, a community of 500 on the Columbia River, 120 miles north of Spokane. Her childhood remembrances include riding horses and playing cowgirl on her grandparents' nearby farm. Her grandparents' spread was so rustic that in the early days it lacked electricity and running water.
          As delightful as this childhood was, Linda longed to see the world. After graduating as valedictorian of her high school class, she left to pursue her dream. Because of the success of her author career, Linda was able to live part-time in London for several years, spend time in Italy and travel to such far-off destinations as Russia, Hong Kong and Israel. Now, Linda says, the wanderlust is (mostly) out of her blood, and she's come full circle, back to the people and the places she knows and loves.
          Before Linda begins her writing day, she takes her first cup of coffee while enjoying the scenic view of the wooded draw behind her new home. The first morning there, a snowfall blanketed the pine trees, something she had missed in the desert outside Scottsdale. Still enamored with the people she came to love in Arizona, she says she will still set books in that starkly beautiful area, and, of course, in other stories the action will take place in Washington.

          Details

          • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
          • Publisher: HQN Books; Original edition (May 31, 2011)
          • Language: English
          • ISBN-10: 0373775806
          • ISBN-13: 978-0373775804
          SOURCE:  PUBLISHER

          MY THOUGHTS
          LOVED IT

          Connor Creed has given up his dreams to follow in his uncle's footsteps and become a rancher in Lonesome Bend, CO.  The name of the town is more than appropriate for Connor and when his wild twin brother, Brody, reenters his life, he finds himself longing for the rodeo dreams he put aside. Brody stole the love of his life, which for Connor is difficult and he has a hard time reconciling his emotions.  Tricia McCall ends up in Lonesome Bend after her father dies and she takes over his trailer park.  She intends to stay long enough to sell the property and move to Seattle. Her grandmother is moving behind the scenes to bring Tricia together with Connor.  Things move slowly but surely and when a stray dog (Valentino) comes into Tricia's life along with a goddaughter named Sasha.

          Of course, I love a story where a dog and girl are the catalyst for a romance! I really enjoyed this one and look forward to the next book in this series.  The book is pure and simple romance with a bit of angst and drama thrown in. There are some really wonderful dialogues in this book and the conversations are so natural and real that made the book very enjoyable.  The minor character really added a much needed spice to the romance between Connor and Tricia.