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Monday, March 30, 2009

Mailbox Monday, March 30, 2009

I had a GREAT week and I'm doin' the Snoopy Dance!! Thanks for all the kind good wishes from everyone when I got bupkus last week!!


Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo, received from the Early Reviewers Program over at Library Thing.
Some secrets are too terrible to reveal . . . Some crimes are too unspeakable to solve . . . In the sleepy rural town of Painters Mill, Ohio, the Amish and “English” residents have lived side by side for two centuries. But sixteen years ago, a series of brutal murders shattered the peaceful farming community. In the aftermath of the violence, the town was left with a sense of fragility, a loss of innocence. Kate Burkholder, a young Amish girl, survived the terror of the Slaughterhouse Killer but came away from its brutality with the realization that she no longer belonged with the Amish. Now, a wealth of experience later, Kate has been asked to return to Painters Mill as Chief of Police. Her Amish roots and big city law enforcement background make her the perfect candidate. She’s certain she’s come to terms with her past—until the first body is discovered in a snowy field. Kate vows to stop the killer before he strikes again. But to do so, she must betray both her family and her Amish past—and expose a dark secret that could destroy her.

Latter Day Cipher by Latayne C. Scott , received from the author.
When rebellious Utah socialite Kirsten Young is found murdered in Provo Canyon with strange markings carved into her flesh and a note written in a 19th Century code, questions arise about the old laws of the Mormon Church. Journalist Selonnah Zee is assigned the story—which quickly takes on a life of its own. Even before the first murder is solved several more victims appear, each one more mysterious than the last.
Adding to a slew of other distractions, Selonnah’s cousin, Roger, has recently converted and is now a public spokesperson for the Mormon faith. But paradoxically, Roger's wife Eliza is struggling to hold onto the Mormon beliefs of her childhood. If something is really from God, she wonders, why does it need to be constantly revised? And could the murderer be asking the same questions?

Deadly Exchange by Geoffrey Gluckman, received from Paula at AME, Inc. Only weeks remain before Lectures and More, Inc., a company representing the world’s top motivational speakers, launches its latest technological advance: a mind-altering radio frequency device sold as a work-site enhancement product. The deceptively altruistic Ulrich Rogers spearheads the company and its reeducation programs, incorporating the presentational prowess and charm of Jennifer Chance, a world-renowned motivational speaker. But as the lies that make up her life begin to unravel like threads on a poorly sewn garment, it becomes evident that nothing is as it seems.
Jennifer alone holds the key to unveil Rogers’s plot to hold America hostage using Lectures and More’s newest device. Plunged into a twisting chase to escape the clutches of Rogers and his former espionage henchmen, Jennifer seeks help from Frank Revere, an enigmatic former government counterintelligence agent. But the question of who to trust continues to dangle in Jennifer’s mind. Thousands of lives hang in the balance, but a deeper deception lurks in the shadows …
Brimming with suspense, danger, and mystery, Deadly Exchange conjures up a blend of the ordinary, the arcane, the seen, and the unseen in the search for truth.


The Lost Quilter by Jennifer Chiavernini, received from Rebecca at Simon and Schuster.
In her 14th series installment, Chiaverini picks up the threads from The Runaway Quilt to spin another tale of adventure, love, perseverance and, of course, quilting. When Sylvia Bergstrom Compson and her staff find a stash of old letters hidden in an antique desk in the manor's attic, the story whips back to 1859 to recount the travails of the formidable Joanna North, an escaped slave who spent a brief respite at Elm Creek Farm. Joanna is recaptured and sent back to the Virginia plantation she thought she had finally escaped, and is eventually dispatched to Charleston to work under her former master's demanding newlywed niece, Miss Evangeline. As the Civil War looms, Joanna learns that for a slave, nothing—love, family, loyalty—is sacred or certain, and she never ceases plotting her final escape in the patterns of her scrap quilting. This satisfying and redemptive narrative unfolds with cinematic clarity, and Joanna's journey is sure to have readers holding their breath for her until the last page.

Relentless by Dean Koontz, received from the author.
Bestselling novelist Cullen “Cubby” Greenwich is a lucky man and he knows it. He makes a handsome living doing what he enjoys. His wife, Penny, a children’s book author and illustrator, is the love of his life. Together they have a brilliant six-year-old, Milo, affectionately dubbed “Spooky,” and a non-collie named Lassie, who’s all but part of the family.

So Cubby knows he shouldn’t let one bad review of his otherwise triumphant new book get to him—even if it does appear in the nation’s premier newspaper and is penned by the much-feared, seldom-seen critic, Shearman Waxx. Cubby knows the best thing to do is ignore the gratuitously vicious, insulting, and inaccurate comments. Penny knows it, even little Milo knows it. If Lassie could talk, she’d tell Cubby to ignore them, too.

Ignore Shearman Waxx and his poison pen is just what Cubby intends to do. Until he happens to learn where the great man is taking his lunch. Cubby just wants to get a look at the mysterious recluse whose mere opinion can make or break a career—or a life.

But Shearman Waxx isn’t what Cubby expects; and neither is the escalating terror that follows what seemed to be an innocent encounter. For Waxx gives criticism; he doesn’t take it. He has ways of dealing with those who cross him that Cubby is only beginning to fathom. Soon Cubby finds himself in a desperate struggle with a relentless sociopath, facing an inexorable assault on far more than his life.

Fearless, funny, utterly compelling, Relentless is Dean Koontz at his riveting best, an unforgettable tale of the fragile bonds that hold together all that we most cherish—and of those who would tear those bonds asunder.

I'm really excited about reading all these books, my biggest thrill was the Koontz book. I'm always happy to get books, but when one shows up, unexpected and unsolicited...I'm a Happy Camper!!!

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia of The Printed Page. What books came into your home last week?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Life Sentences by Laura Lippman

Life Sentences by Laura Lippman is the story of a successful author, Cassandra Fallows. Cassandra’s first two books, memoirs of her own life, have had great success. But when she makes an attempt to write fiction, the book is greeted with a marked lack of enthusiasm. She returns to her hometown of Baltimore to write the story she thinks will be a huge hit and a return to nonfiction.

A childhood acquaintance, Calliope Jenkins, was accused of killing her baby some years ago. The baby’s body was never found, and Calliope spent 7 years in jail on contempt charges because she refused to speak. Cassandra believes that this unsolved mystery will be her next big bestseller. During the course of investigating the story, Cassandra finds that her old childhood friends have much different memories that those she had outlined in her previous books, and many are not happy to see Cassandra back in town. Along the way, Cassandra finds out things about her youth, her friendships and her parents she never knew.

Life Sentences wasn’t all that compelling for me. I found the characters mostly unlikable, Cassandra seemed to be clueless and pretty darn self absorbed most of the time. Her father seemed to be more than a little narcissistic and her old friends intolerant. I did like her mother, I think more than Cassandra does. (Possibly because I’ve been known to strip and refinish $25 yard sale finds myself and I’ve spent some time under sinks changing or fixing faucets as well!) I couldn’t figure out why this grown woman would spend so much time trying to gain her “jerk” father’s approval when she had a mother like she did. Cassandra is aware enough of her father’s attitudes, i.e. “My father believed in unconditional love, but only under certain conditions.” She just seems to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to make him approve of her.

I liked the idea behind the plot; the old “whodunit” made a great starting point. I just felt like it sort of fizzled. In the end, it was all pretty mundane, I’d already figured out the “who” and “why”, and felt sort of let down that my ordinary ending was right. I much prefer to be wrong when I think I’ve figured it all out.

My rating:

Friday, March 27, 2009

We have a winner!

Thanks to everyone how entered the Kitty Norville giveaway!!

Congratulations go to:

Stephanie Su at Steph Su Reads

Debbie at Debs Desk

Amy from Chic Book Chick! These folks will receive Kitty Raises Hell,

and to Erikalynne from Kiss My Books, who won the whole set of Kitty Books!!

If you didn't get an email from me, please let me know...I need your address so I can forward it to Miriam at Hachette Books.

Once again..a huge THANK YOU to Hachette Books, we bloggers really appreciate how terrific all you people are to us!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wonderous Words Wednesday!

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy at bermudaonion where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading. Feel free to join in the fun!

Today's words all come from Life Sentences by Laura Lippman

” And they were very solitary enterprises. Solipsistic, even."

Solipsistic --The theory that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified

"She took the bypass by mistake and had to backtrack, finding herself in the heart of one of those small towns that declared, “If you lived here, you would be home by now.” Was that a tautology?"

Tautology-- Needless repetition of the same sense in different words; redundancy

I liked these words, not necessarily new to me, but words that I’ve always had an idea about what they meant, but never really bothered to look up. I enjoy finding out my idea of their definition is close!

What new words have you discovered lately?

Scroll down for today's Carrie Vaughn tour! and...
(Click HERE for a chance to win Carrie Vaughn's newest, Kitty Raises Hell or the whole 6 book set!!)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kitty Raises Hell by Carrie Vaughn blog tour!!

Want some music to read by? Check out the playlist to the left! Filled with all sorts of "supernatural" tunes, its my suggestions for some good Kitty tunes!!

Kitty Norville has annoyed werewolves, irritated vampires, ticked off Senators, riled faeries, aggravated skinwalkers, and provoked followers of an ancient Egyptian cult. What could possibly remain? In Kitty Raises Hell, it would seem that the answer to that question is this: Kitty has infuriated a demon from Hell itself. The evil cult from the last Kitty book has returned and cursed Kitty. Buildings catch fire when she’s around, her pack is threatened and when someone close to her dies, she enlists the aid of a group of paranormal investigators to stop the curse and banish the keeper of it once and for all.

Book six in the Kitty series was a big bummer for me to read. No more Kitty books for a while. I’m going to miss Ben, Kitty and their motley crew. I’ve really enjoyed seeing the change in Kitty throughout the series from a young self centered, good-hearted kid to a responsible caring woman. I read recently that Carrie Vaughn has just turned in book seven. I know I’ll keep an eye out for it, I’m going to want to follow these characters to whatever ending Vaughn has planned for them.

My rating:

(Click HERE for a chance to win Carrie Vaughn's newest, Kitty Raises Hell or the whole 6 book set!!)

Join in the fun of the Kitty blog tour by checking out these blogs:

Books Amy Reads
Booking Mama
Cafe of Dreams
Cheryls BookNook
A Circle of Books
Amateur Delivre
Cindy's Love of Books
Confessions of a Romance Book Addict
Drey's Library
Stephanie's Books
Book Thoughts by Lisa
Foreign Circus Library
Ms. Bookish
Jenns Bookshelf
My Friend Amy
Literary Feline
Wendi's Book Corner
In Bed With Books
Write for a Reader
The Tome Traveller
Gramma Reads
Sams BookBlog
Book Series Reviews
Books By TJ Baff
Amber Stults
Wrighty's Reads
Book Zombie
Fiction to Fruition
Darby's Closet
This Book for Free
Unmainstream Mom
(If I missed anyone, please let me know....)

But before you go, scroll down for more Kitty! I've been "Kitty-ing" all week!!

Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand by Carrie Vaughn

(Click HERE for a chance to win Carrie Vaughn's newest, Kitty Raises Hell or the whole 6 book set!!)

Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand follows our heroine and her sidekick/lawyer/fiancĂ©, Ben, to Vegas, baby! Yup, they’re gonna tie the knot, drink frou frou drinks with little umbrellas and soak up the sun. Of course, our workaholic werewolf can’t resist the offer to do a live tv show from Vegas, while Ben finds out that werewolves special abilities lead to “special” poker playing advantages. While looking for special acts to feature on her tv special, Kitty comes across a Vegas magician who might be much more than he appears, as well as a live animal show, featuring so much more than just animals. All this adds to the issue of the convention in the same hotel as Kitty and Ben. A convention of werewolf hating bounty hunters, who seem pretty determined that Kitty’s frou-frou drinks by the pool just won’t ever happen.

I don’t know how Carrie Vaughn does it! Each book in this fun series has something to offer. Its always interesting to see what direction the author is going to go, and its always fun to watch Kitty’s relationships grow and change. I think I’ll miss the series when I complete number 6!

My rating:

A Book a Day in the Month of May Giveaway Recap Page

Here's where you'll find the latest most up to date info on my May Giveaway. Each day I'll post the links to the contests and as the winners begin to pile up, (starting on May 7th) I'll also list the winners each day.

The Last Week!

May 31
FOUR GREAT BOOKS! Plus 20 cards autographed by David Morrell!

May 30
Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo

May 29
Triple Cross by Mark T. Sullivan
Won by Jess! YAY!

Week Four

May 28
Salty Like Blood by Harry Kraus, M.D.
won by Alexa! Congratulations!

May 27
Still Life by Joy Fielding
Won by Deedles! Enjoy!

May 26
The Last Bridge by Teri Coyne
Won by Irene Yeates! Congratulations!

May 25
Fifty is Not a Four-Letter Word by Linda Kelsey
Won by Susan! Oh boy! Books!!

May 24
Life Sentences by Laura Lippman
Won by Bingo! Congrats!

May 23
The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano
Won by Marie Lay! Enjoy!

May 22
The Way Home Audiobook by George Pelecanos
Won by heathmochafrost, Julie and Rebecca Cox!

Week Three

May 21
The Secret Speech Audiobook by Tom Rob Smith
Won by Cheryl S., Doreen and Abby!

May 20
Cemetery Dance by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child Audiobook
Won by Emily B., Jennifer and Jen!

May 19
The Scarecrow Audiobook by Michael Connelly
Won by Melissa, holdenj and Lucy!

May 18
Latter-Day Cipher by Latayne C. Scott
Won by bermudaonion!

May 17

Something EXTRA!!! $25.00 Amazon Gift Card!!

Won by nightdweller29!

Boneman's Daughters by Ted Dekker
Won by Nyuel, Anonymous and Gaby317!

May 16
First Family by David Baldacci
Won by Clenna, Debbie and Jemscout425

May 15

The 8th Confession by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Won by Susie, Lucy and Pam!!

Week Two

May 14
Testimony by Anita Shreve
Won by Amelia, nfmgirl, Marie Burton, Nancye and Lady Roxi

May 13
The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson
Won by Julie P, Diane LaRue, edeliz, Marie and Mindy!

May 12
Made in the U.S.A. by Billie Letts
Won by Riva, Melanie, Llehn, Cindy, and Nightdweller! Yay!!

May 11
All About Us #4: Who Made You a Princess by Shelley Adina
Won by Kaye!!! Happy reading!!

May 10
Ghostwriter by Travis Thrasher
Won by Scottsgal!! Congratulations!!!

May 9
Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey
Won by An Anonymous Entry! Check your email!!

May 8
Mating Rituals of the North American Wasp by Lauren Lipton
Won by Luvsdaylilies! Enjoy!!

Week One

May 7
The Nine Lessons
A Novel of Love, Fatherhood, and Second Chances by Kevin Alan Milne

Won by Bridget3240 Congratulations!!

May 6
An Honorable German by Charles McCain
Won by Mark Enjoy!!

May 5
Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea
Won by Ms. Dawson!

May 4
The Way Home by George Pelecanos
Won by Indigo! Whoo Hoo!!!

May 3
The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith
Won by Beth and Nathan! Congratulations you guys!

May 2
Cemetery Dance by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Won by Carrie K.! Congratulations Carrie!

May 1
The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly
Won by Rhapsody in Books!! Congratulations

Carrie Vaughn interview

I stumbled across a great interview with Carrie Vaughn on Fangoria website, click below to check it out! She says she has completed her seventh book, Kitty's House of Horrors and turned it in!! For all us fans new and old, that's great news!

Carrie Vaughn interview

(Click HERE for a chance to win Carrie Vaughn's newest, Kitty Raises Hell or the whole 6 book set!!)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mailbox Monday, March 23, 2009

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia of The Printed Page. What books came into your home last week?

To answer my own question....zip, zilch, nada.....the big goose egg!

But other folks got some great stuff, y'all should check them out!!

(Click HERE for a chance to win Carrie Vaughn's newest, Kitty Raises Hell or the whole 6 book set!!)


She Is Too Fond Of Books

Bermuda Onion

Wrighty's Reads

Booking Mama

Wendi's Book Corner

Maybe NEXT week will be my week!! *sigh.......

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kitty and the Silver Bullet by Carrie Vaughn

Click HERE for a chance to win Carrie Vaughn's newest, Kitty Raises Hell or the whole 6 book set!!

Kitty and the Silver Bullet finds our heroine Kitty Norville finding some normalcy in her life. She has an understanding boyfriend, successful job and seems to be settling down into some sense of security. But as they tend to do, things fall apart. Kitty’s mother gets sick and she has to rush back to Denver, where Kitty isn’t exactly welcome anymore. Returning to Denver, Kitty finds herself smack dab in the middle of a war between two different factions of local vampires. She tries to fly under the radar, but the pack of abusive werewolves she had escaped from last year find she’s back in town and they want her dead. Kitty tries to be Switzerland, but is drawn into all this intrigue and violence. In an effort to protect her family and friends, Kitty has to make a stand.

As with all the Carrie Vaughn Kitty books, this one is a quick, fun read. Vaughn has clever and inventive ideas, good dialogue and manages to balance quite well between the action and the chick lit romance. I’m one of those readers without much patience for romance novels, so I really appreciate the author’s ability to add enough to move the characters forward, but not so much as to turn off readers like myself.

So far, I’d recommend all of these novels. I’ve enjoyed each story and I always look forward to discovering what messes Kitty will find herself in this time.

My rating:

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sisterhood Award!

Bev from MerryWeather just awarded lil ole me the Sisterhood Award!! I'm really excited to be included with such great bloggers. Bev received her award from Lily at Reading Extravaganza. There have been so many great bloggers that I've really enjoyed getting to know, the humor,compassion, insights and dedication shown by book bloggers is really a rare and wonderful thing. These are the 10 bloggers that I've chosen for the Sisterhood Award:

1. Books I Done Read because, Lordy this girl can make me laugh, nobody writes a review the way Raych does!!
2. Bermuda Onion because you'll never find a kinder soul than Kathy, and she writes wonderful reviews of both books and movies. (And the occasional recipe is great too!)
3. Cheerfool because I'm so proud of her. (Yep nepotism rears it head...)
4. Confuzzled Books because Shannon always makes me remember favorite books with her Refer a Book Friday and I love the trip down memory lane!
5. She Is Too Fond Of Books, because Dawn is as compassionate about others and she is passionate about books.(Go to her Blog...sponsor her in the Breast Cancer 3-day walk)
6. My Years of Reading Seriously because CJ always challenges me to think, with both her blogs!
7. Presenting Lenore, because she writes wonderful reviews, often better than the book she's reviewing!
8. Minds Alive on the Shelf, because only Lisa could find a place where we can all adopt sad and unused words. And yes, I've worked solennial into a conversation this week!
9. My Friend Amy because of her ambitious new project bringing booklovers and bookstores together all across Southern California.
10. Joyfully Retired because Margot always either has something interesting to write about, or something interesting to share!

Your passion and hard work really shows, congratulations everyone!

Now here are the details for passing on this honor.

1. Put the logo on your blog or on a post.
2. Nominate up to 10 other bloggers which show great attitude and or gratitude.
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Remember to link to the person from whom you received your award.

Thanks everyone for joining in on the fun and being part of the Sisterhood of Blogging!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Carrie Vaughn Kitty Giveaway!

Carrie Vaughn has a brand spankin' new book out, number 6 in her Kitty the Werewolf series. (How great a name is that??? Kitty the Werewolf...chortle, snicker, giggle..)

Next week the blogging world will welcome this fun new book with a blog tour. In honor of the upcoming tour, those wonderful folks over at Hachette Publishing are allowing me to host a terrific giveaway. (Ain't Miriam da' bomb??!!)

So, if you'd like your own little slice o' Werewolf fun, enter now!

Three lucky readers will win Kitty Raises Hell and one uber lucky reader will win all Six...yep count em' SIX books.

Kitty and the Midnight Hour

Kitty Goes to Washington

Kitty Takes a Holiday

Kitty and the Silver Bullet

Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand

and the newest:

Kitty Raises Hell

To enter this giveaway, please leave me a comment and include an email address or blog address so I can get hold of you when you win.

For an extra entry, blog about the contest and leave a link to the post.

And for yet ANOTHER entry, follow my blog! (Yes, I am, in fact shameless!)

How easy is that three chances to win at least one and maybe ALL six books!!

The blog tour is next week, and I'll throw all the entries in a hat and draw out the winners on Friday, March 27th. (US and Canada only please, and sorry but Hachette can't send to a P.O. Box)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday Winner!!

Woot Woot!! Thanks everyone for the entries into the Big Sid's Vincati giveaway. Using random.org, the winner is demapples!

Thanks for playing along and enjoy!!

Wonderous Words!

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy at bermudaonion where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading. Feel free to join in the fun!

Today's words all come from Odd Hours by Dean Koontz.

“The tintinnabulation” of glass raining on stonework was a charming as an orchestra of fairy bells, which I was able to enjoy because I had gotten safely beyond the zone of raining shards.

Tintinnabulation-- the ringing or sound of bells. (I actually knew this one...but just think its a really cool sounding word!)

“To protect the innocent, to avoid being one of Burke’s good men who do nothing, you have to accept permanent scars that cincture work” the heart and traumas of the mind that occasionally reopen to weep again.

Cincture-- to gird with or as if with a cincture; encircle; encompass.

“After shaking open one of the blankets, I refolded it lengthwise to make a soft and simple catafalque on which to place her.”

Catafalque-- a raised structure on which the body of a deceased person lies or is carried in state.

What new words have you discovered lately?

Check out Kathy's blog for additional posts!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mailbox Monday, March 16, 2009

I know...I know...I'm a little late, here's Mailbox Monday...on a Tuesday!

Above the Law by Tim Green from Miriam at Hachette Books

Max by James Patterson from Miriam at Hachette Books

The 8th Confession by James Patterson also from Miriam at Hachette Books

The Alexander Cipher by Will Adams from Karen at Hachette Books

Fifty is Not a Four Letter Word by Linda Kelsey from Miriam at Hachette Books

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia of The Printed Page. What books came into your home last week?

Be sure to check out my giveaway! It ends Wednesday! Big Sid Giveaway

Odd Hours by Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz fourth installment in his Odd Thomas series brings us Odd Hours. Odd Thomas is a simple, ordinary fry cook from a dinky little California town, Pico Mundo. Odd would have preferred to spend his life in a quest to create the perfect omelet and home fries, but he has an extraordinary gift. He communicates with the dead. Odd finds himself in the, well, oddest situations. He is drawn to places and people that need his help, and it almost seems like he has been tasked with keeping the evil that men plot and plan at bay. Having been accompanied by Elvis and a ghostly dog, Boo in the past, now Odd finds himself and Boo with a different companion. With their assistance Odd must come to understand the frightening dream he has been having; a dream of red ebbing tides and horrible light hanging over the sea.

It’s hard for me to say what I love the most about the Odd Thomas books. It could be Odds humble and humorous way of dealing with life, his wry delivery when speaking about the strangeness he lives with. It could also be the fascinating characters that fill the pages. Odd always finds the most unique and interesting people. These people are folks we see every day and Odd Thomas discovers their stories. I finish one of these books and find myself looking at the people I see daily and wondering if they have an interesting story too.

I find the thoughts of the protagonist particularly refreshing…

“This will go a long way toward encouraging the New Civility and toward discouraging the endless quarreling and tiresome debate that characterize our current society, which to so many impatient citizens seems old and tired. All that has been will be blown away, and you may be frightened sometimes by all the changes, but those who have the perspective and the ability to shape societal consensus are as sure as they have ever been about anything that, in the end, you will like your new world and feel that it is a paradise on earth, so just shut up already."

I was given a copy of Odd Hours and also had the audio book, so this was a combination of listening and reading. David Aaron Baker read the audio book in an absolutely spectacular performance. Odd Hours could most likely stand alone, but really why would you want to ignore the other three books in the series? The whole series is very good, and Odd Hours is just great!

My rating:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Finally! Another great giveaway! (Who doesn't love a free book?)

An ARC of Big Sid's Vincati: The Story of a Father, a Son, and the Motorcycle of a Lifetime This is a great book, it will be released on April 30th. (I'm giving it away because I'm going to get a nice hardcover for myself when it comes out!)

Here's my review
Big Sid's Vincati

From the back cover
When his father had a near-fatal heart attack and gave up the will to live, Matthew Biberman panicked. Impulsively, Matthew promised his father, an expert motorcycle mechanic, that they would build a Vincati motorcycle together. The Loch Ness monster of motorcycles, a Vincati—half Vincent, half Ducati— had never been completed in North America. Building a Vincati was considered, at best, a fool's errand; at worst, an expensive waste of motorcycle parts.

But for nearly sixty years, "Big Sid" Biberman was the mechanic to see to refurbish and repair motorcycles, especially British-made Vincents. If anyone could build a Vincati, it was Big Sid. Despite sharing his father's passion for motorcycles, his son Matthew lacked Big Sid's mechanical gift, gave up on tools, and became a Shakespearean scholar. As adults, father and son barely spoke. But after his father's brush with death, Matthew vowed to learn the techniques that had made Big Sid a legend among bikers. Reminiscent of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Big Sid's Vincati is an irresistible combination of step-by-step motorcycle construction mixed with a powerful story of fathers and sons, and shows not only how the Bibermans built their Vincati (which was featured in Cycle World and Classic Bike) but also how the two men reconstructed their relationship, one motorcycle part at a time.

If you'd like to win this copy, just leave a comment with your email address and you're automatically entered. For two entries, link to the giveaway in your blog and leave me the link.

The contest runs until 12:00am Wednesday, March 18 at 12:00pm PST.(U.S. and Canada only please)

Wonderous Words!

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy at bermudaonion where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading. Feel free to join in the fun!

Today's words all come from Big Sid's Vincati.

“Once inside the factory, he was cordially welcomed by Paul Richardson, the work’s technical boffin.”

Boffin-British slang for a scientist or technical expert.

“Sid knelt and mutely administered the needed dose of spanner work”

Spanner—British once again, it means wrench.

“He reached for his pocket screwdriver and wrench and began to circle the bike, fettling. He let in a little more air in one cylinder, lowered the slide on the other.”

Fettling—usually a term with regards to metallurgy, in this case, it means “tinkering” or “adjusting”.

What new words have you discovered lately?

Check out Kathy's blog for additional posts!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Big Sid's Vincati by Matthew Biberman

In 2005, while surfing the ‘net, I stumbled upon an upcoming movie called, The World’s Fastest Indian. I mentioned the movie to my husband, an inveterate motorcyclist, and suggested we see it. This was intended to be one of those Grand Gestures, one of those things wives do to be nice, not because we actually want to do the thing. So much for Karmic Brownie Points…The World’s Fastest Indian is one of my all time favorite movies.

With the same intentions, after reading about Big Sid’s Vincati, I managed to snag an early copy for myself. I really intended it to be a book for my husband, although I knew I’d need to read it as well. Once again, I thought I was doing something nice for my husband. And once again, so much for Karmic Brownie Points…

Big Sid’s Vincati, The Story of a Father, a Son, and the Motorcycle of a Lifetime is the story of a renowned motorcycle mechanic and his son. Big Sid suffers a heart attack, and like many heart patients, loses his interest in life. His son, Matthew, impulsively suggest they build a motorcycle together. A hybrid, made up of an old Vincent and a Ducati. Vincent motorcycles were produced in Britain from 1928 to 1955. For decades Big Sid was the guy to see for anything Vincent in the United States. Matthew had taken an entirely different path in life and is a Shakespearean professor.

Authenticity is added to the story by the author as he explores the younger years of Big Sid. He is unsparing in the descriptions of Sid’s father, the conflicts of Sid’s life and how these shaped his own life. While ostensibly the story of motorcycles, the book speaks more to the relationships between fathers and sons. At times it was as if I was reading about my own husband and his father. Through it all runs the thread of the rides. Motorcycles have an almost mystic pull on the people that ride them.

“The rides out in the midday sun, taking graceful sweepers along Skyline Drive, from Front Royal down to Asheville. All those times, all of it merging into this one road, under this one sun, burning hard in the sublime blue sky, while on either side of this ribbon of road, the trees flashed by, my father in my mirror, behind me.”

From the practical standpoint, it was helpful to me that I’ve spent over thirty years hanging around a man who loves bikes. The vernacular wasn’t completely foreign to me, and I had my handy reference guide sitting right next to me. And I’ll admit to sort of skimming some of the technical passages about the construction of the bike. In spite of that, read this book. It’s a good story. And if you find yourself a bit confused about some terminology, it really doesn’t matter. The heart of the book might be the Vincati, but it’s the soul you’ll focus on. And the soul of the book is Big Sid and Matthew.

My Rating:

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Mailbox Monday, March 9, 2009

Another week, another couple books showed up. Not a huge week for me, but the two that I received both sound like good ones to me!

Life Sentences by Laura Lippman from Morrow Books. I started this book yesterday and so far its a good one!

Still Life by Joy Fielding from Mellony at Simon and Schuster

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia of The Printed Page. What books came into your home last week?

Welcome to a brand new blogger!

Bodie's Blog is a brand spankin' new blog. The author is probably on the "youngish" side compared to most of us, but check her out! She'll be reviewing books, tv, movies and sometimes even food. (or whatever strikes her fancy!) Let's give her a big cyber welcome!!

Its nice to see a high school freshman join our ranks!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Name change is here!

I haven't quite leaped into the deep end of the pool, but I'm sticking my big toe in. When I started blogging, my youngest and I sat here for 20 minutes and tried to come up with clever catchy blog names that weren't already taken. The only name we could come up with the bananas4books. I wasn't ever really thrilled with it. I mean, bananas are okay....but we couldn't figure out a way to work it into the blog title. So, for lack of a better idea, bookfool was born. And since I'm pretty much an optimist all the time, we added that, making this blog the home of The Optimistic Bookfool.

Being waay to picky, it bugged me that the title of the blog and the address of the blog had absolutely nothing to do with each other. Then I discovered there was another bookfool out here in cyberland, and they had the name first. Sooo.....as Pooh Bear would say..."think....think....think....."

From all this cogitatin'...a new name magically appeared. Ok, not so magic, but still, we, (not the royal we, but me and everyone I know and asked for advice) came up with......*drumroll please........The Novel Bookworm. I've even went for it and obtained the domain name. I'm still using blogger for the host, I have absolutely NO clue how to switch hosts. (baby steps, people, I'm taking baby steps) But if I figure that out and find advantages to doing so, I'll make that change as well.

So....change your bookmarks....to www.thenovelbookworm, and I hope to see you back here!

Friday Fill-In #114, but my first one!

1. "Having two different people go ahead of me in the grocery store check-out line" was my last random act of kindness.

2. Another place "would be different from here".

3. "Believe" in matters of the heart.

4. Coffee, tea or "me, of course!!"

5. "Try" separate paths; "you might end up somewhere unexpected".

6. Our "world" reminds me that there is "a need for a sense of humor".

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to "finish a good book", tomorrow my plans include "maybe go to San Diego" and Sunday, "I want to not be pooped out by the stupid time change"!

Check out other folks who played along this week by clicking here

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Kitty Takes a Holiday by Carrie Vaughn

Kitty is just plumb tuckered out. After her adventures in Washington D.C., Kitty does what Kitty needs to do. Kitty Takes a Holiday. Of course, Kitty makes it a “working holiday”. She finds a nice remote secluded cabin where she can write her memoirs, and do her wolf thing whenever she wants to. Faster than you can say, “Dip me in ground round and call me werewolf food”, she’s got herself fur deep in problems. Somebody is leaving really gross dead skinned animals on her doorstep. Then Cormac, (her hottie werewolf hunter buddy…yeah…I said werewolf hunter) shows up at her cabin with Ben (her hottie lawyer guy) injured and unconscious, looking for her help. Add to this, some creepy red eyed critter is watching from the woods. This is so not the holiday Kitty had planned.

Book three of the Kitty books was just as satisfying and fun as the first two. Vaughn’s characters are hip, funny and weird. But in a really good way.

I went to the desk and fired up the laptop. I started a new page and wrote a title at the top: “Ten Ways to Defeat Macho Dickheadism.” The I realized that most of the world’s problems stemmed from macho dickheadism, and if I could defeat that I could save the world…….”

Ain’t dat da truth…….

My rating:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wonderous Words Wednesday!

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy over at bermudaonion where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading. Feel free to join in the fun. All of my words this week come from Odd Hours by Dean Koontz.

"As inch by inch I pulled myself out of the water, the calcareous shells of the crustaceans cracked and splintered, so the air smelled and tasted chalkier than ever."

calcareous--just what it sound like....consisting of, or containing, calcium carbonate or carbonate of lime.

"Hecate's Canyon was a defile, but wider than some, and deep, with a stream at the bottom."

defile--A narrow gorge or pass that restricts lateral movement

What new words have you discovered?

Check out Kathy'sblog for additonal posts

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tuesday Thingers

Question: Were you aware of the Early Reviewer Program? Have you received any books from the program? If you have, how have you liked the book(s)? Any other thoughts on the LTER program?

My answer:
I joined the Early Reviewers group in Feb. 2008, right after I'd finished posting my library. I've been freaky lucky, probably an indication that I have very mainstream tastes! To date I've been chosen for 9 books, but have only received 8. (Uh...edited after ER comment showed up on my profile....Make that 10 books. I'm a little bit embarassed by my good luck!!) My November book never found it's way to me. The first ER book I received was The Last Oracle by James Rollins. I'm a big fan of his books so you can't believe how excited I was. It was better than being a kid at Christmas. After I read it, I emailed him to say how much I'd enjoyed it and *gulp he answered back in less than 15 minutes! Yikes!! I was hooked. Hearing from an author was like a tween kid getting an email from one of the Jonas Brothers for me!

The experience of reading a book before it was published and communicating with an author was addictive. Early Reviewers was my gateway drug. I was hooked. Like a junkie looking for his next fix, I was surfing the Internet. I found Publishers Lunch, and scored an ARC for The Gargoyle. Then I found Shelf Awareness, yet another ARC pusher to feed the monkey on my back. When I finally missed a month on ER, I was secretly relieved. There was a limit to the amount of literary drug even my system could tolerate. But then, like an addict, I discovered I just couldn't stop. I started blogging all in a thinly disguised effort to feed the need. I'd started cold requesting from authors, publishers, anyone who might have what I need. I'm a pathetic and broken woman.....(giggle..)

I've been both surprised and disappointed by the books I received from ER. My biggest disappointment was Faye Kellermans', The Mercedes Coffin. She's an author I usually enjoy, but that particular book was ...meh...at best. Lisa Gardner's Say Goodbye was the best one. I loved it! My biggest surprise came when I posted a review of Thomas White's book, The Book of Matthew. There was a part of the book that I didn't much care for and said so in the review. Fifteen minutes after my review went up on this blog, I had an email from Tom, who wanted me to know that the part had been put in the book at his editor's insistence. We corresponded back and forth a handful of times. Nice guy, who's writing a sequel! I can't wait...Matthew was the best bad guy since Hannibal Lechter!

Library Thing and its Early Reviewer group opened up a whole new world for me! I can't seem to find time for quilting, but someday I'll figure out how to balance these two things better!

Many thanks to Wendi's Book Corner for hosting this terrific meme! Check it out here!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult

In Jodi Picoult’s novel, Handle With Care, Sean and Charlotte O’Keefe are fighting for a happy and healthy life for their children. They’re youngest daughter, Willow, has been born with a disease called osteogenesis imperfecta. When Willow is born, she already has seven broken bones. Within hours of her birth, she has to be resuscitated and suffers even more. Osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease is a defect in the collagen in the person who has it and causes the bones to break from the slightest pressure. The O’Keefe’s lives are overcome with sleepless nights, physical therapy, hospitalizations, insurance problems and the financial burden that promises to undo them completely.

Handle with Care asks the big questions. The “What If” question. The “What would you do for your child” question. What do we do for security, not necessarily justice but security? Told through the voices of Willow’s parents, her doctor, her sister and her mother’s attorney, the novel tells the story of how one person’s actions and decisions have consequences far beyond what they imagined.

The storyline follows the decision of Charlotte to file suit against her doctor for “wrongful birth”. Never mind that Charlotte loves Willow and the doctor is her best friend. She decides that it will be worth anything she has to do to secure a financially safe future for her daughter. Conflict arises when Sean vehemently disagrees with Charlotte. Another subplot revolves around the older daughter, Amelia and her problems. We also follow Charlotte’s attorney in her quest to find her birth mother.

This is a stunning book. The ability to see all the points of view give the reader a whole different insight into this complex issue. Not only did the book send me off to the Internet to read about this disease, but I also thought about this book for a long time after finishing it. Handle with Care is one of those books that puts you inside the characters, makes you live their lives with them. It shows there are no easy answers to the huge issues we sometimes face.

The following quote sort of illustrates the general feel of the novel for me: Charlotte and her attorney, Marin are speaking.

“My mother’s in a nursing home now”: Charlotte said. “She can’t remember who I am, so I’ve become the keeper of the memories. I’m the one who tells her about the time she baked brownies for the entire senior class when I ran for student council, and how I won by a landslide. Or how she used to collect sea glass with me during the summer and put it in a jar next to my bed. I wonder what memories Willow will have to tell me, if it comes to that. I wonder if there’s a difference between being a dutiful mother and being a good mother.”

“There is,” I said, and Charlotte looked up at me, expectant.

Even if I couldn’t articulate the difference as an adult, as a child, I had felt it. I thought for a moment. “A dutiful mother is someone who follows every step her child makes,” I said.

“And a good mother?”

I lifted my gaze to Charlotte’s. “Is someone whose child wants to follow her.”

Handle With Care hits the bookstores tomorrow, March 3. Get yourself to the bookstore and buy this book!!

My rating:

Mailbox Monday, March 2, 2009

The Girl She Used To Be by David Cristofano

Big Sid's Vincati by Matthew Biberman which my husband has already finished reading and says is very good!

The Local News by Miriam Gershow


The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia of The Printed Page. What books came into your home last week?