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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Life Got in the Way

Blogging from my phone sucks. But that is what I have to do right now because my laptop is throwing blue screens at me and I am on the verge of throwing it out the window.

I just wanted y'all to known that I'm still alive. I had bronchitis, a daughter with a skin infection, other bad stuff that is not for public eyes, and a broken computer but I'm still alive. And I will be back with an amazing post next week.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Happy Birthday!

This is going to be a post of gift-giving and also asking for a birthday gift. I will start with the super exciting news of announcing the winner of my birthday celebration.

Drum roll, please....

Chantele Sedgwick - you are the winner! Woo-hoo! Either leave a comment or e-mail me with your choice of Amazon or Barnes and Noble and I will e-mail you an electronic gift certificate. I'm so happy for you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now I'm going to ask all of you for a gift. As most of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In April of 2000 we lost my mother-in-law, Beth Nolan, to breast cancer. She was diagnosed in October of 1999 and passed away only six months later. At the time she was diagnosed my husband was deployed to Kosovo and my son was only four months old. My husband got back just a few weeks before she passed away and we were fortunate to be able to go see her before she got too sick. We were so glad that we got to see her before we lost her. However,  we are sad that our children will never get to know their grandma. She was an amazing woman who had ten children and a husband in the Air Force and she was so strong and there is rarely a day when I don't think about our loss. I don't want people to have to go through the same thing. Ever. So, for my birthday I am asking you to do me a favor. If you can spare the money, I would love it if you would donate to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Any amount can help them out. Thank you all so much!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Currently Reading

Have you entered to win the $35 gift card in celebration of my 35th birthday? You can enter here and you have until midnight EST tonight to enter.  
  • What are you currently reading? Do you recommend it?
  • The book that is currently on my Nook is Evie's Knight by Kimberly Krey. That link will take you to my post about the book last week. Yes, I would recommend this book. I am enjoying it. Unfortunately I haven't had as much time to read this week so I'm not as far along as I would have liked.

    The next book I will be reading is WINTER OF THE WORLD by Ken Follett. I have not started reading yet but I am so excited. This is the sequel to FALL OF GIANTS and is book two in the Century Trilogy. I read FALL OF GIANTS for a book club last year and I loved it. It is historical fiction and takes place during the time of World War I. History was not my favorite subject in school but I did well. This book made me realize how much history I did not know. I would go into bed at night and ask my husband, "Did you know that Germany...?" or any one of a million other questions and he would just look at me and say, "yeah" all matter-of-factly like it was common knowledge. Anyway, I was entertained reading the first book and I learned a lot of stuff that I should have known already apparently. I need to wait until I can devote my time because this book is 940 pages. So, here is the Goodreads info for WINTER OF THE WORLD:

    Winter of the World picks up right where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families—American, German, Russian, English, Welsh—enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs.

    Carla von Ulrich, born of German and English parents, finds her life engulfed by the Nazi tide until she commits a deed of great courage and heartbreak. . . . American brothers Woody and Chuck Dewar, each with a secret, take separate paths to momentous events, one in Washington, the other in the bloody jungles of the Pacific. . . . English student Lloyd Williams discovers in the crucible of the Spanish Civil War that he must fight Communism just as hard as Fascism. . . . Daisy Peshkov, a driven American social climber, cares only for popularity and the fast set, until the war transforms her life, not just once but twice, while her cousin Volodya carves out a position in Soviet intelligence that will affect not only this war—but the war to come.

    These characters and many others find their lives inextricably entangled as their experiences illuminate the cataclysms that marked the century. From the drawing rooms of the rich to the blood and smoke of battle, their lives intertwine, propelling the reader into dramas of ever-increasing complexity.

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

    Recent Favorites

    Have you entered to win the $35 gift card in celebration of my 35th birthday? You can enter here and you have until midnight EST Thursday to enter.

    I'm going to continue with my answers to the questions I asked of all of you. Today it is question #2. Enjoy

  • What is your favorite recent read?
  • There are two in this category also. It has been a couple months since I have read it but I L-O-V-E-D EDENBROOKE by Julianne Donaldson. I could not put this book down. Seriously. I nearly killed myself walking around while reading this book. It is so good. I love, love, love Philip. Here is the Goodreads synopsis:

     Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she’ll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry.

    From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will she be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke.

    The second is THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND by Elizabeth George Speare. I had somehow missed reading this all through my years of school even though it is a Newberry Medal winner and it seems everybody else has read it. I actually read it for a Book Club last month and I loved it. It is really amazing to read historical fiction at all because I can't imagine the amount of research involved. But add to that the fact that this book was published in 1958 and it is astonishing! There was no such thing as Google when this book was written. One small detail that we, as readers, might just skim over, probably took her hours and hours of research to get right. Besides that I loved the story. I am a sucker for the bad boy type (although I married the complete opposite of the bad boy and I'm totally happy with him) so I loved Nat. And again this is a book about an orphan going to live with relatives. I tell you I have a thing for orphans. :) The storyline was great and I would really recommend this book. It is an easy read too - it took me between 4 and 5 hours to read.  Here is the Goodreads synopsis for this one.

    Orphaned Kit Tyler knows, as she gazes for the first time at the cold, bleak shores of Connecticut Colony, that her new home will never be like the shimmering Caribbean island she left behind. In her relatives' stern Puritan community, she feels like a tropical bird that has flown to the wrong part of the world, a bird that is now caged and lonely. The only place where Kit feels completely free is in the meadows, where she enjoys the company of the old Quaker woman known as the Witch of Blackbird Pond, and on occasion, her young sailor friend Nat. But when Kit's friendship with the "witch" is discovered, Kit is faced with suspicion, fear, and anger. She herself is accused of witchcraft!

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012


    First of all, have you entered to win the $35 gift card in celebration of my 35th birthday? You can enter here and you have until midnight EST Thursday to enter.

    Secondly (and finally - this really isn't a very long post), I am going to answer the same questions I asked of you in my contest post but I am going to answer one each day. Today is the first question.

  • What is your favorite book of all time?
  • Okay, I really have a lot of favorite books of all time. I am not the best at declaring a favorite anything or a best friend or anything that alienates anything. I tend to personify all things and I don't want to hurt any book's feelings. However, I will share a couple of my favorites with you.

    First is ANNE OF GREEN GABLES by L.M. Montgomery. I read this whole series when I was young but the original is the first "real book" I remember reading. This book instilled in me my love of reading and writing. My copy of the original had a dark green cover and the pages were so worn from me reading over and over and over. I wanted to be Anne Shirley. I loved (and still love) Gilbert. I'm sure you are all shocked that I fell in love with a fictional character. I wanted to create characters and worlds as real as those in this book.

    The second is also from my youth and it is THE SECRET GARDEN by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Holy smokes! This book made me want to be an orphan.  I love my parents but oh man I wanted to go live with a distant relative and find a sickly cousin who needed me to take him outside and heal him.  Once those thoughts passed I allowed myself to think that it would be great even just to have a secret garden. Even now in my wildest dreams I have a house with a huge yard and my own secret garden. Now though, instead of wanting to hide from my parents and siblings, I want to hide from my husband and kids. And I would have a reading nook and a writing nook. And I would spend warm fall afternoons out there. And I would write great books like ANNE OF GREEN GABLES and THE SECRET GARDEN.

    And by the way, I still watch the TV/movie adaptations of both of these at least once every couple years. I also like to read them both every few years.

    Monday, October 8, 2012

    35, 35, 33?

    Hey everybody. I have something exciting for y'all this week. My 35th birthday is this Friday so I am going to post every day from now until then so that I will hit my 35th post on my birthday. Plus I have 33 followers (that's close enough to 35, right?). The prize for all of you? A chance to win a $35 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble. You will be able to enter until midnight Thursday, October 11. I will announce the winner on Friday.

    What do you have to do to win? Fill out the Rafflecopter and then leave a comment on this post and answer one of these questions. (If Rafflecopter doesn't work for you mention it in your comment and I will enter you manually)
    • What is your favorite book of all time?
    • What is your favorite recent read?
    • What are you currently reading? Do you recommend it?
    You can spread the word about this contest too but it won't get  you any extra entries because that's just how I roll.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Monday, October 1, 2012

    Book Bomb: Evie's Knight by Kimberly Krey

    My friend Kim wrote a book. While at a retreat with Kim last month she read a steamy scene from her book (in her amazingly sexy, sultry voice) and it left me swooning for days. I have not read the whole book but let me tell you if it is even half as good as the portions I have heard it is an amazing read. Kim is trying to get the word out to buy her book TODAY. I know I will be buying this and starting to read tonight! The blurb is below, as well as a link to buy on Amazon and a link to Kim's website. Seriously, guys. Check it out. Amazing!
     In Evie's Knight, love doesn't simply hurt...it kills.
    EVIE always thought college life would be magical, but so far it's not what she hoped for. Her best friend has gone wild, her love life is void, and she misses her mom more than ever. But life for Evie is about to change. CALVIN KNIGHT, the very object of her fascination, is about to fall madly in love with her. Just one problem: Their love conjures a murderous woman from beyond the grave who wants Evie dead. The same demon who has haunted the Knight men for over four generations.
    Soon Calvin is forced to choose: Set Evie free and hope to evade the wrath of The Raven-haired Ghost, or use his newly gifted strengths to fight against her. If he chooses to fight and wins, Calvin will free the Knight men of this demonic witch. If he loses, Evie will become her next victim.
    Buy it for only $2.99 for the Kindle right here. And did you know you don't even need a Kindle to read a Kindle book? You can read it on an app on your smartphone or on your computer. Awesome, right? She also has a paperback version available for $10.99.
    Don't forget to check out Kim's blog.