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8/31/11

REVIEW: After Obsession by Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel

Description

Aimee and Alan have secrets. Both teens have unusual pasts and abilities they prefer to keep hidden. But when they meet each other, in a cold Maine town, they can't stop their secrets from spilling out. Strange things have been happening lately, and they both feel that something-or someone- is haunting them. They're wrong. Despite their unusual history and powers, it's neither Aimee nor Alan who is truly haunted. It's Alan's cousin Courtney who, in a desperate plea to find her missing father, has invited a demon into her life-and into her body. Only together can Aimee and Alan exorcise the ghost. And they have to move quickly, before it devours not just Courtney but everything around her.

Filled with heart-pounding romance, paranormal activity, and rich teen characters to love-and introducing an exciting new YA voice, Steven Wedel-this novel is exactly what Carrie Jones fans have been waiting for. Meet your next obsession.

About the Author

CARRIE JONES loves Great Pyrenees dogs, Skinny Cow fudgsicles, and potatoes. In addition to the New York Times bestsellers Need and Captivate and the third book in the series, Entice, Carrie is also the author of Girl, Hero; Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape); and Tips on Having a Gay (Ex-)Boyfriend. Carrie grew up in Bedford, New Hampshire, where she once had a séance with uber-comedian Sarah Silverman. www.carriejonesbooks.com

STEVEN WEDEL is a high school English teacher, and lives with his wife and children in Oklahoma. He has written adult fantasy novels; this is his first book for young adults.
www.stevenewedel.com

Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599906813
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599906812
SOURCE:  AROUND THE WORLD ARC TOURS

MY THOUGHTS
LOVED IT

The story is told by Aimee and Alan in alternating chapters and each provide a unique voice which is made all the better by the two authors lending their talents to the story. You can easily guess which author writes the male/female perspective.  Aimee starts to notice her friend, Courtney is acting strange.  Things really get weird when Courtney's cousin, Alan and his mother moves in with her family to help ends meet after her father dies..  Alan is searching for his American Indian roots and discovers he has a connection with the supernatural.  Aimee has a few gifts of her own, but only when Aimee and Alan meet do they began to put the pieces together in order to help Courtney and whatever is haunting her. Using his Native American ties, Alan finds the source of Courtney's problem with Aimee's help.  Courtney, in her quest to reconnect with her father does something that has repercussions for the whole village. Along the way, they both discover that the love in their hearts can conquer all.

I really enjoyed how the authors brought to life this seriously creepy tale based on folklore and demonic possession.  I am a huge fan of Carrie's Need series, so this one is a natural for me.  I was really impressed with Steven Wedels and the charming voice he gives to Alan.  The alternating chapters and the collaborations between the authors just really worked for me since there is cohesive story telling through out, but each major character having a unique voice.   I am really trying to keep my comments spoiler free and it is very hard!  At parts, I felt like this was a Disney story gone wrong since there are so many dead or missing parents, but when you get into the story - that is the way it needs to be for it to work.  Demonic possession is a nice change from the normal Young Adult vampire/werewolf stories that abound and the Native American folktale that provides the basis for the story. 


BACK TO THE BOOKS GIVEAWAY HOP!


Welcome to the Back to Books  Giveaway Hop! 

This hop is hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer (HERE) and Buried in Books (HERE).
There are hundreds of blogs participating and each has their own entry rules and geographic limits, so be sure to read the rules for each one.  This hop starts September 1st and runs through September 7th, midnight. 

HERE IS WHAT I HAVE FOR ONE LUCKY WINNER:




WANT TO WIN THESE BOOKS?

Contest is open to anyone over 13 years old with a reliable mailing address
Contest ends on 9.7.11 Winner will be chosen by Random.org on 9.8.11
Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or a new winner will be chosen
This giveaway is sponsored by ME for ONE winner FOR THE ABOVE BOOKS - all ARCs!
PLEASE NOTE:  If postage is extremely expensive for me to mail these books, I may opt to give the winner a $15 credit at The Book Depository.

Complete the below form
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Waiting on Wednesday: The Last Testament: A Memoir by God (and David Javerbaum)

"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

In this ultimate celebrity autobiography, bestselling author God will “telleth-all” for the first time, going behind-the-chapters of the Old Testament, offering frank and hilarious insights about fatherhood and bringing the gospels into modernity with a New New Testament. From the creation of the universe to jeggings, the Lord Almighty has been a pivotal player in nearly all the major decisions of the past twenty epochs. Now, for the first time since He wrote whichever holy book you happen to believe in, God offers startling “dish” about all aspects of the universe and creatures therein, starting with Adam and Steve (you read right) and ending with Snooki. He will also address hot-button topics like prayer in school and evolution; put to rest long-standing disputes concerning which athletes and teams He actually supports; and offer His “inside picks” for the next ninety-three Super Bowls. The Last Testament is sure to appeal to a broad base of readers, from the most ardent apocalyptist to the most blasphemous Darwinian.
God on The 10 Commandments:
Ah, the Ten Commandments.
I hate the Ten Commandments in exactly the same way as Don McLean hates “American Pie.”
For when I wrote those words, they meant something very personal to Me; they expressed My worldview; I put My heart and soul into them; and I issued them forth as any writer does, hoping they would find their audience.
Never did I suspect how popular the work would prove; never did I imagine it would remain My best-known selection; the one people still cite, and debate, and quote from start to finish, all these years later.
I suppose I should be glad for it; glad that humanity has taken it to heart, and extracted so much meaning from it, and embraced its simple AAAAAAAAAA structure.
But I have grown weary of it defining Me; of being regarded as a one-list wonder; of remaining locked forever in the public consciousness, as “that deity who wrote ‘The Ten Commandments.’”On sale: November 8, 2011

About the Author

GOD has been grabbing headlines ever since first creating the universe. Indeed, the multi-talented deity has been involved in the development of every single thing that has ever happened, including the Crusades, plate tectonics, and Seinfeld. His previous serious works as an author, The Old Testament, The New Testament, and The Koran have sold an impressive five billion copies, with the first two in particular coming to be collectively regarded as something of a bible of their field.DAVID JAVERBAUM is a comedy writer living in New York.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451640188
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451640182
I KNOW this will offend a lot of people, but if you watch The Daily Show, you will want to read it.

GIVEAWAY & REVIEW: Another Bad Dog Book by Joni B. Cole

 Description

In this collection of twenty-eight "riotously funny and outrageously honest" true-life tales, author Joni B. Cole manage to mingle low moments with high comedy; and social awkwardness with social observation.

The title essay was inspired when the author went to the bookstore and noticed all the bestsellers about adorably naughty dogs. At first resentful of these other writers' successes ("Unfortunately, my own career as an author had not been going so well these past couple years, not since I'd discovered the 'Watch Instantly' option on Netflix"), Cole eventually realized she had her own bad-dog story to exploit--hers in the form of her adorable "Chihuahua Bat," who won't be contained by invisible fencing and won't let anyone pet the family cat in peace. Yet from this huffish beginning evolved a tale as heartwarming as it is hilarious.

Self-aware, edgy, and masterfully crafted, this charismatic collection (including some heartbreakers) is for anyone who has ever felt over-attached to a pet, stalked her high school crush, said long goodbyes to loved ones, or tried to talk (and talk and talk) her way through the ups and downs of life. A wonderful new addition to a genre best described as humor that matters.

About the Author

Joni B.Cole is the recipient of a 2011 Pushcart Prize nomination for material in her collection of personal essays, Another Bad-Dog Book: Tales of Life, Love, and Neurotic Human Behavior. She is also the author of Toxic Feedback: Helping Writers Survive and Thrive ("I can't imagine a better guide to [writing's] rewards and perils than this fine book," American Book Review). Cole is the creator of the three-volume This Day series, including Water Cooler Diaries: Women across America Share Their Day at Work ("both fascinating and eye-opening," Publisher's Weekly). Co-founder of the Writer's Center of White River Junction, Vermont, she is a frequent presenter at writing conferences around the country, and is a contributor to The Writer magazine, ThirdAge.com, and other publications.

Details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: PublishingWorks (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935557165
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935557166
SOURCE:  AUTHOR

MY THOUGHTS
LOVED IT

Joni B. Cole is the person you want to be sitting next to whispering snarky comments and witty observations about the people around you.  In this collect of essays about adopting the perfect dog and coming to grips with the whole aging thing, she discovers that she is not quite perfect and therefore needs a dog that will match her uniqueness - oh, and maybe get a book out of the deal.  She find her match in Eli (aka E Pie Pie), an adorable misfit  of a breed called a Chihuahua Bat.  Cole was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and I have found that the parties responsible for this one, completely understand my wants and needs from a literary award.  I have never been disappointed with any of their selections.




Yes, there are quite a few bad dog tales in this one, but seriously, her spray tan debacle should come with a warning label.  Do not drink while reading this book since it will come out your nose while you laugh.  There are also some very wonderful stories about fitting in, the pain and agony of getting older and the grieving process.  Ok, the grieving process in the essay is about her foot pain, but still, it makes a lot of sense once you are at a certain age.  Overall this is a book to hide in your bathroom, so you can pick it up if you ever need an escape.  If you enjoy Celia Rivenbark, Dave Barry and Jen Lancaster, you will adore this one as well!


WANT TO WIN A COPY OF THIS BOOK? 


Contest is open to anyone over 13 years old with a reliable mailing address
Contest ends on 9.14.11 Winner will be chosen by Random.org on 9.15.11
Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or a new winner will be chosen.
This giveaway is sponsored by the author and ME and ONE ARC copy is available.

Complete the below form
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+1 for social networking  this giveaway and leave me a link (blog, twitter, facebook, etc) once daily
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More Extra Entries for Joni B. Cole
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Cool Blogs Haute Dogs: JONI B. COLE


 PLEASE WELCOME JONI AND ELI aka E. Pie Pie




Do you have another book in the works? 
I’m dabbling in more short essays, priming the pump so to speak. But nothing big is brewing.
What are you reading right now? 
Water for Elephants. Wow!
How many books a year do you read? 
Maybe 20. I actually read as many books-in-progess, as well, because I teach writing workshops to adults in my community and at conferences around the country.
What does your dog like to do while you blog or read? 
Stare at me until he falls asleep curled up very close to the leg of my chair. He’s very snuggly!
What is your dog’s favorite activity? 
Burrowing under the covers, and eating the cat’s food when no one is looking. 

About the Author

Joni B.Cole is the recipient of a 2011 Pushcart Prize nomination for material in her collection of personal essays, Another Bad-Dog Book: Tales of Life, Love, and Neurotic Human Behavior. She is also the author of Toxic Feedback: Helping Writers Survive and Thrive ("I can't imagine a better guide to [writing's] rewards and perils than this fine book," American Book Review). Cole is the creator of the three-volume This Day series, including Water Cooler Diaries: Women across America Share Their Day at Work ("both fascinating and eye-opening," Publisher's Weekly). Co-founder of the Writer's Center of White River Junction, Vermont, she is a frequent presenter at writing conferences around the country, and is a contributor to The Writer magazine, ThirdAge.com, and other publications.

Find  Joni B. Cole
Twitter HERE
Facebook HERE
Goodreads HERE
Twitter HERE
Blog HERE 

If you are an author, you should really check out Joni's blog since it is very informative.  You can also get little fixes of her essays! Don't forget to check out my review and enter to win my copy!

8/30/11

Cool Blogs Haute Dogs: SO MANY PRECIOUS BOOKS, SO LITTLE TIME

PLEASE WELCOME TEDDY AND DJ!
 Teddy now has 4 blogs and I was reading her reviews when she only had one!  Check out what she has going on now:
 
 

Social networking links Twitter: @teddyrose1, FB: Teddy Rose


How long have you been blogging?
4 years

Do you have a favorite genre that you feature on your blog?
Historical fiction, but I read a lot of other literary fiction too.

How many books a year do you read?
50-60

What does your dog like to do while you blog or read?
When I blog he lays by my feet until he decides it's time to go for a walk. Then he stands and stares at me until I get the hint. LOL! As for when I read, I mostly read at bedtime and he lays beside me, often his head in my lap. We love each other to pieces!

What is your dog’s favorite activity?
Going to the dog park and meeting other dog parents and their dogs while D.J. plays. Although he doesn't go too far from me and needs me within eyesight. Were just about attached at the hip.

BOOK TRAILER TUESDAY: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh




8/29/11

REVIEW: Life of the Party by Lisa Baron

Description

Behind our political leaders-yes, even the "moral” ones-is an army of young, horny, professional staffers scrapping it out. Lisa Baron should know-she used to be one of them. With the unerring candor of George Stephanopoulos and the uncensored wit of Chelsea Handler, Baron gives good anecdote on a world where Godaphiles and Press Tarts work together to keep their politicos from imploding…and reveals how a not-so-nice Jewish girl became spokeswoman for the head of the Christian Coalition until she had to kiss that career and its perks-a drunken night with Wayne Newton and a seemingly endless supply of narcotics-good-bye.

About the Author

Lisa Baron is the former press and communications advisor for several nationally recognized and prominent elected officials. Best known (infamous might be a better word) for her high-profile work with Ralph Reed -- the man Time magazine put on their cover under the headline: "The Right Hand of God." She's also an award-winning columnist, a regular television and radio contributor and a contributing writer in The New York Times bestseller Six Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak and Not Quite What I Was Planning.

Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Citadel; 1 edition (July 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080653415X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806534152
SOURCE:  PUBLISHER

MY THOUGHTS
LOVED IT

I was expecting a political memoir, but this is much more than some funny stories strung together.  This is an in depth look at just exactly how politics and the public connect and a dishy look at that intersection in where there is  more sex and drugs than in rock and roll.   That part really took me by surprise and I never knew that politics have more groupies than NBA players.  Lisa Baron admits that she had groupie tendencies and finds herself in compromising positions but explains them as youthful indiscretions.  What is even more shocking is that these escapades take place right in the middle of the Christian Coalition.  This is the tell all I bet that group would love to be forgotten.  I adored the humor and self depreciation that the author displayed. 






REVIEW: Summer Friends by Holly Chamberlain

Description

Over the course of one eventful summer, nine-year-old native Mainer Delphine Crandall and Maggie Weldon, a privileged girl 'from away,' become best friends. Despite the social gulf between them, their bond is strengthened during vacations spent rambling around Ogunquit's beaches and quiet country lanes, and lasts throughout their college years in Boston. It seems nothing can separate them, yet after graduation, Delphine and Maggie slowly drift in different directions...With her MBA, Maggie acquires a lucrative career, and eventually marries. Delphine is drawn back home, her life steeped in family and the Maine community she loves. Twenty years pass, until one summer, Maggie announces she's returning to Ogunquit to pay an extended visit. And for the first time, the friends are drawn to reflect on their choices and compromises, the girls they were and the women they've become, the promises kept and broken - and the deep, lasting ties that even time can never quite wash away...

About the Author

 I live in Portland, Maine, with my husband Stephen (architect, photographer, and food writer) and our amazingly fabulous cats, Jack, Betty and Cyrus. When I'm not writing, I usually can be found with my head in a book. I try to read widely; still, I do play favorites with authors such as Peter Ackroyd and Patrick McGrath.
I was born and grew up in the Bronx and later lived in Brooklyn and Manhattan. I earned an undergraduate and graduate degree in English Literature at New York University before going on to work for about twelve years as an editor in publishing and packaging at Ballantine Books, Daniel Weiss Associates, Inc., and Kensington Publishing Corporation. Mostly I developed, acquired and edited projects, usually fiction, in Adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade categories.
In 1996, I moved to Boston and began freelance editing, ghost writing, and reviewing manuscripts. I was a can-do wordsmith for hire, grinding out books on everything from the importance of shark liver oil in one's diet to feng shui for the amateur; I also worked on what seemed like a million Young Adult series installments. Eventually I decided I'd rather work on my own projects so I made a proposal to my old friend and colleague John Scognamiglio at Kensington. After a couple of false starts he signed me up to write "Living Single," which was published in 2002. Since then I've been writing one novel a year, and I've also contributed novellas to three collections John put together.
In terms of life outside reading and writing, Stephen and I recently updated an 1865 brick townhouse in downtown Portland and we love living in this old seaside town. We entertain a good bit -- Stephen cooks, I set a nice table and clean up afterwards. We're happy to live in an area so full of people who support the arts. Portland itself is alive with theatre and music, and it's the home of several museums, including the impressive Portland Museum of Art, and good independent bookstores catering to serious readers, such as Longfellow Books and Cunningham Used Books.
(From Amazon)


 Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington; 1 edition (July 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758235070
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758235077
SOURCE:  PUBLISHER

MY THOUGHTS
LOVED IT

Delphine lives in a beach town that fills up with tourists every summer, most of those are wealthy.  She meets Maggie and they develop a fast friendship even though there are gulfs between the two, they share everything each summer as they grow.  Now both are heading for middle age and they meet again at age 49.  Del quit school and returned home to Maine to work for the family business while Maggie marries, has a successful career and children.  Del and Maggie lose touch with each other and only at Maggie's insistence do they reconnect.  The story alternates between the two growing up together during summers in Maine and their current lives.

I know everyone has a friendship like this one, where a move can sometimes cause two best friends to lose track with each other.  Sometimes there is a falling out, sometimes geography plays an important role, but a lot of times, social conditions rule where life takes you.  The girls who share everything growing up find themselves with little in common as adults.  I thought Del was a quiet individual always trying to be responsible to her family, putting them before herself, while Maggie was a force of nature, knowing what she wants and how to get it.  Part of me was upset with Del for not pushing a bit harder in her life, but at the same time, I thought she was right where she wanted to be.  This is just one of those books that is a perfect summer read that is still thought provoking and will have you thinking about your own friends.



Cool Blogs Haute Dogs: BOOKBLOG28





PLEASE WELCOME JAMIE AND HER FRIENDS!


Booker is the black lab/ridgeback mix laying down
Minuto is the black lab/pit mix sitting on the window seat
Opie Adso is the grey cat in the suitcase
Derby is the black cat with the books
Hank is the tiny bunny and Peggy is the fluffy one

My blogs are:

bookblog28.blogspot.com
theenigmaticelephant.blogspot.com
antgazingwithgrandpa.blogspot.com




How long have you been blogging?

I just started blogging about a week ago.

Do you have a favorite genre that you feature on your blog?

I don't really feature any specific genre, I feature adult fiction, children's picture books and fiction, YA...pretty much anything that can be connected to any type of book!


How many books a year do you read?
Depending on the year I guess I must read around 100 - 150 novels and a bunch of picture books, plus some non-fiction, but those I rarely read cover to cover. 


What does your animal friends like to do while you blog or read?
My dogs, Booker and Minuto, like to lay on or near me while I work on the computer.
Derby likes to climb onto my book or keyboard, and Opie Adso likes to eat my feet or curl up nearby.
Hank and Peggy tend to hang out munching things. 


What is your friends favorite activity?
Booker and Minuto LOVE going for walks, rides, and occasionally runs. Opie Adso also loves going out back on his kitty leash, or having his chin scratched. Derby is extra excited to growl at Opie or cuddle on top of the computer. Hank loves to go out in a little fence in the yard and play in the grass. We think Peggy mostly likes to eat. She's a little introverted.


The pets are all super jazzed to become famous, even Peggy:) Thanks Mary!

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