Tuesday, May 31, 2011

BARNYARD DANCE by Sandra Boynton (Tuesday Post)

I love every book by Boynton, but Barnyard Dance is my fav!  It has a wonderful story and the pictures are adorable.  There is also a CD available with the song Barnyard Dance on it, as well as other book to song hits!  What a treat Boynton's books are! 

Barnyard Dance! (Boynton on Board)

Friday, May 27, 2011

THE ONE DAY WAY by Chantel Hobbs (Bonus Post)

The One-Day Way focuses on 3 main areas of weight loss...faith, food, and fitness. Hobbs puts a lot of focus on encouragement and focusing one day at a time. By focusing one day at a time you establish a foundation for healthy living and making changes slowly over time. The foundation for all weight loss is burning off more calories than you consume.  Eating healthy and exercising are the best way to reach those results. The conclusion of the book addresses what to do when you hit the obstacles and how to stay on track. The book is a very practical way to lose and maintain weight loss. She is a living example of her plan that works.
The One-Day Way: Today Is All the Time You Need to Lose All the Weight You Want
* "I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for with the expectation that I would complete a review of The One Day Way.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

PRETTY LITTLE LIARS series by Sara Shepard (Tuesday and Thursday Post)

I decided to wait until today to post since I am covering the whole Pretty Little Liars series.  It is a YA (Young Adult) series that I really got into.  There was enough drama and suspense to keep me turning pages and going straight through the whole series pretty fast.  Pretty Little Liars is also a TV series that is on ABC Family.  The second season starts on June 14.  I have to say I am hooked on both the book series and the show.  It is my guilty pleasure.
Here are the books in order:
Pretty Little Liars TV Tie-in Edition
Pretty Little Liars #2: Flawless
Pretty Little Liars #3: Perfect
Pretty Little Liars #4: Unbelievable
Pretty Little Liars #5: Wicked
Pretty Little Liars #6: Killer
Pretty Little Liars #7: Heartless
Pretty Little Liars #8: Wanted

Pretty Little Liars #9: Twisted

Pretty Little Liars #9: Twisted [Hardcover]

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sunday Post (5/22)

SICKENED by Julie Gregory (Thursday Post: 5/19)

One of the most amazingly gruesome and nearly unbelievable memoirs you will EVER read.  It will shine light on the terrible disorder of MBPS.  A must read...

Product Description

A young girl is perched on the cold chrome of yet another doctor’s examining table, missing yet another day of school. Just twelve, she’s tall, skinny, and weak. It’s four o’clock, and she hasn’t been allowed to eat anything all day. Her mother, on the other hand, seems curiously excited. She's about to suggest open-heart surgery on her child to "get to the bottom of this." She checks her teeth for lipstick and, as the doctor enters, shoots the girl a warning glance. This child will not ruin her plans.


From early childhood, Julie Gregory was continually X-rayed, medicated, and operated on—in the vain pursuit of an illness that was created in her mother’s mind. Munchausen by proxy (MBP) is the world’s most hidden and dangerous form of child abuse, in which the caretaker—almost always the mother—invents or induces symptoms in her child because she craves the attention of medical professionals. Many MBP children die, but Julie Gregory not only survived, she escaped the powerful orbit of her mother's madness and rebuilt her identity as a vibrant, healthy young woman.

Sickened is a remarkable memoir that speaks in an original and distinctive Midwestern voice, rising to indelible scenes in prose of scathing beauty and fierce humor. Punctuated with Julie's actual medical records, it re-creates the bizarre cocoon of her family's isolated double-wide trailer, their wild shopping sprees and gun-waving confrontations, the astonishing naïveté of medical professionals and social workers. It also exposes the twisted bonds of terror and love that roped Julie's family together—including the love that made a child willing to sacrifice herself to win her mother's happiness.

The realization that the sickness lay in her mother, not in herself, would not come to Julie until adulthood. But when it did, it would strike like lightning. Through her painful metamorphosis, she discovered the courage to save her own life—and, ultimately, the life of the girl her mother had found to replace her. Sickened takes us to new places in the human heart and spirit. It is an unforgettable story, unforgettably told.

From the Hardcover edition.

GO ASK ALICE by Anonymous (Tuesday Post: 5/16)

I am not sure why I love GO ASK ALICE so much.  I think maybe it was what I was going through when I read it (not the antics described in the book, but my own personal and private teen hell) or the book itself.  One thing that I know for sure, I highly recommend this book!

Amazon.com Review

The torture and hell of adolescence has rarely been captured as clearly as it is in this classic diary by an anonymous, addicted teen. Lonely, awkward, and under extreme pressure from her "perfect" parents, "Anonymous" swings madly between optimism and despair. When one of her new friends spikes her drink with LSD, this diarist begins a frightening journey into darkness. The drugs take the edge off her loneliness and self-hate, but they also turn her life into a nightmare of exalting highs and excruciating lows. Although there is still some question as to whether this diary is real or fictional, there is no question that it has made a profound impact on millions of readers during the more than 25 years it has been in print. Despite a few dated references to hippies and some expired slang, Go Ask Alice still offers a jolting chronicle of a teenager's life spinning out of control. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Go Ask Alice

Sunday Post (5/15)

Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.   
Chisholm, Shirley Anita

Read more: http://quotationsbook.com/quote/35947/#ixzz1MYb0Rfte
on Quotations Book

GOOD IN BED and CERTAIN GIRLS by Jennifer Weiner (Thursday Post: 5/12)

I love Jennifer Weiner and I have loved all but one of her books.  I fell in love with Candace Shapiro right from the start and continued to love her all the way to the end of the follow up novel Certain Girls.  GOOD IN BED is the book that really started me on my life of reading.  I owe Jennifer Weiner for helping me find something that I loved and creating a life long reader in me!  Hope you like them too!


Synopsis of GOOD IN BED

Pop culture reporter Cannie Shapiro writes about other people in the Philadelphia Examiner. One day she opens a women's magazine and finds her ex-boyfriend has chronicled their ex-sex life together. She had not known Bruce thought her a "larger woman," or that he felt loving her had been an act of courage. Life wasn't always easy.

Good in Bed


Readers fell in love with Cannie Shapiro, the smart, sharp-tongued, bighearted heroine of Good in Bed who found her happy ending after her mother came out of the closet, her father fell out of her life, and her ex-boyfriend started chronicling their ex-sex life in the pages of a national magazine.

Now Cannie's back. After her debut novel -- a fictionalized (and highly sexualized) version of her life -- became an overnight bestseller, she dropped out of the public eye and turned to writing science fiction under a pseudonym. She's happily married to the tall, charming diet doctor Peter Krushelevansky and has settled into a life that she finds wonderfully predictable -- knitting in the front row of her daughter Joy's drama rehearsals, volunteering at the library, and taking over-forty yoga classes with her best friend Samantha.
As preparations for Joy's bat mitzvah begin, everything seems right in Cannie's world. Then Joy discovers the novel Cannie wrote years before and suddenly finds herself faced with what she thinks is the truth about her own conception -- the story her mother hid from her all her life. When Peter surprises his wife by saying he wants to have a baby, the family is forced to reconsider its history, its future, and what it means to be truly happy.
Radiantly funny and disarmingly tender, with Weiner's whip-smart dialogue and sharp observations of modern life, Certain Girls is an unforgettable story about love, loss, and the enduring bonds of family.
Certain Girls: A Novel

Blog issues/vacation

There were some service issues with the site last week for a few days so I missed Thursday and Sunday posts.  But things are working great now, so those will be coming soon!  I will be out of the state tomorrow to Sunday.  So I plan to put the weeks worth of reviews up tonight.  Hope to be back to regular schedule next week!



Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Sorry I did not post yesterday.  I lost track of what day it was....

I have to say that I loved THE WEDNESDAY LETTERS cover to cover.  I loved the story line and the characters were so rich.  I also liked the twists and turns.  I actually read this book right after my second child was born and stayed up with him in the middle of the night and read.  That made getting up was not so hard!  It also inspired me to write several letters to my children.  I hope you love THE WEDNESDAY LETTERS as much as I did.

From Publishers Weekly

In the wake of his bestselling Christmas Jars comes a sweetly crafted story from Wright, a Virginia businessman. Jack and Laurel Cooper are two hardworking, loving Christian pillars of the community who die in each other's arms one night in the bed-and-breakfast that they own and operate. The event calls their three grown children home for the funeral, including their youngest son, a fugitive from the law who must face an outstanding warrant for his arrest and confront his one true love, now engaged to another man. As events unfold around the funeral, the three children discover a treasure trove of family history in the form of Wednesday letters-notes that Jack wrote to his wife every single week of their married lives. As they read, the children brush across the fabric of a devoted marriage that survived a devastating event kept secret all these years. It's a lovely story: heartening, wholesome, humorous, suspenseful and redemptive. It resonates with the true meaning of family and the life-healing power of forgiveness all wrapped up in a satisfying ending. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The Wednesday Letters

Thursday, May 5, 2011

TWENTIES GIRL by Sophie Kinsella

I cannot describe this book as well as Amazon...so I have inculded Amazon's review here, as well as what Kinsella had to say about the book.  But what I can say, is that I am a huge Kinsella fan and this by far was my favorite of all of her books.  I have read all of them, so I can say that :)  I hope you enjoy it too!
Amazon Exclusive: Sophie Kinsella on Twenties Girl

Sophie Kinsella is a former financial journalist and the author of the best-selling novels Confessions of a Shopaholic, Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, Shopaholic Ties the Knot, Shopaholic & Sister, Shopaholic & Baby, Can You Keep a Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, and Remember Me?. She lives in England, where she is at work on her next book.

Writing Twenties Girl was like going on my own magical mystery tour. My U.S. editor Susan Kamil had once said casually, "You should write a ghost story one day." This comment stayed with me for years. I loved the idea, but didn't know who my ghost could be. I've always loved the glamour and spirit of the 1920s, and the idea came to me of a flapper ghost. A feisty, fun, glamorous girl who adored to dance and drink cocktails and get her own way. I wanted her to be a determined character who would blast into the life of someone with no warning and cause havoc. I then decided she should haunt a thoroughly modern girl, with all the culture clashes and comedy that would bring.
Having come up with this idea I loved it, so it then remained to plunge myself into 1920s research, which was no hardship at all, as I find the era fascinating. I researched vintage make-up, vintage dresses, read fiction from the period, investigated 1920s slang, and tried to channel as much I could of those feisty flappers who cut their hair short (shock!), smoked cigarettes in public (shock!), had sex (shock!) and generally rebelled in all the outrageous ways they could.

The book isn't a period piece though. It's a modern story about two girls and their sparky friendship, right here in the 21st century. One of them just happens to be a ghost from the 1920s. It's a quest, a romance, and a coming of age... and above all a comedy. It's no exaggeration to say that writing the character of Sadie made me look at life differently, and I hope some readers feel the same way. —Sophie Kinsella

Sophie Kinsella on Jewelry in Twenties Girl
When I was at college I had a bicycle which I rarely used and which sat, week after week, in the bike racks. One day I went to get it out--and found a diamante necklace twined round the spokes of the front wheel. It was an old, vintage-style necklace, one of the prettiest things I’d ever seen. On my bike! How had it got there? Had someone borrowed my bike and dropped it? Was it a romantic gift from a secret admirer? (Ok, unlikely...)

I put up a notice in college--but got no claimers. It was mine! I wore that necklace over and over--and felt as though it had somehow magical qualities. Would it have felt so magical if it were a scarf or a hat or a purse? I don’t think so.
Jewelry has a magic all its own. Precious stones have always attracted legends, myths, crimes, lust. Quite sane women will go to pieces at the sight of a big enough diamond. Even as a tiny child I was fascinated by beads, jewels, tiaras...anything that glittered. And, like books, I find it hard to give pieces of jewelry away, even after I’ve stopped wearing them.

The biggest symbol of jewelry is love. Whose heart doesn’t stop on being presented with a little velvet box? Who secretly doesn’t crave a diamond, however teeny? Of course true love is putting out the rubbish every night...but that won’t make you gasp and tilt your hand to catch the facets of light.

When I was writing Twenties Girl I knew I needed to give Sadie, my ghost character, a mission. There was something in the world she still wanted--and it didn’t take long to decide on jewelry. A ring seemed too obvious...bracelets too inconsequential...but a necklace was perfect. I wanted it to be tactile, romantic, and the kind of piece you could imagine wearing with anything. Guided by research into jewelry of the 1920s, I conjured up in my head a long necklace of glimmering yellow glass beads, with a dragonfly pendant set with rhinestones. Not priceless....but special. I could imagine Sadie twirling the beads as she danced, I could imagine her gathering them and letting them drop. I could see it as an iconic, timeless piece.

A dragonfly seemed a perfect emblem for Sadie, too--beautiful, fragile, and darting around like quicksilver. The dragonfly symbol has different meanings for different cultures--for some it’s a symbol of change, for others it represents the subconscious. In Japanese paintings, dragonflies can mean new light and joy. To some Native Americans they’re the souls of the dead. All of these interpretations are perfect for the character of Sadie--a ghost who needs to "move on" and for whom the dragonfly necklace has a meaning all its own.

The more I wrote about Sadie’s dragonfly necklace the more it came to mean to both her and me--and I hope it does to readers, too.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

by Sophie Kinsella Twenties Girl, A Novel First Edition first Printing edition
Twenties Girl: A Novel

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

THREE LITTLE WORDS by Ashley Rhodes-Courter

What do you think of when you think of HOME?  Do you think of your happy family, your warm house, your comfortable bed?  Well for Ashley Rhodes there was never a place she called HOME.  She spent 9 years of her life in foster care bouncing through 14 different foster homes.  Her memoir THREE LITTLE WORDS details her heartbreaking and amazing story.  As a social worker who worked in foster care this book broke my heart.  I was saddened to read the horrors that Ashley and so many other children endured while in out of home care.  I could not put this book down.  It touched me on so many levels.  I recommend THREE LITTLE WORDS to all of my followers.  THREE LITTLE WORDS is inspiring and captures the true definition of resiliency. 
Other Reviews:
"Ashley Rhodes-Courter is triumphant in her quest to overcome insurmountable odds. I celebrate her courage to seek out the best in humanity in spite of its failings." - Victoria Rowell, New York Times bestselling author of The Women Who Raised Me: A Memoir

"Nine years in the foster care system could ruin a kid. But [Ashley] not only survived, she's thrived." -Teen People

"The author's ability to form intelligent, open-minded conclusions about her traumatic childhood demonstrates her remarkable control and insight, and although there are plenty of wrenching moments, she succeeds not in attracting pity but in her stated intention, of drawing attention to the children who currently share the plight that she herself overcame." --Publishers Weekly

"Quiet scenes cut deepest: the author's description of her only after-school visit to a friend's home lingers heartbreakingly in one's mind. This gifted young writer's moving and eye-opening story will especially appeal to fans of Jeannette Walls's The Glass Castle and David Pelzer's autobiographical books." --School Library Journal

Three Little Words: A Memoir

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Favorite Passage- TOMORROW RIVER by Lesley Kagen

I asked Beezy once what it felt like to murder somebody.  "I don't rightly know, hon.  I don't feel like a murderess." she answered with a good-natured shrug.  "More like a laundress ridding the world of a soul that was stained beyond repair."   Shenadoah Carmody in TOMORROW RIVER.

Tomorrow River

This title will be released on May 3, 2011.
Order in time for Mother's Day!!!
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