The fun of looking backward.
The fear of looking forward.
And the frantic, dreaded horror of looking down at the scale.
The Very First Bite chronicles the toils and triumphs of Lanie Albers, who has just ten weeks to mentally and physically prepare for the ultimate day of reckoning: her high school class reunion…
…By examining the ghosts of her past, Lanie begins to prepare for the revelations and confrontations of the big night. She also launches a desperate campaign to lose weight: an uproarious battle with fad diets and disastrous workouts, most of which lead her right back to the cookie jar.
QUICK NOTE...Update: 2/19/19
Still working through things. We were right in the path of Hurricane Michael (like so many others), and while the family is safe (pups, and parents), the house didn't fair as well. Baby steps back into the blogging world and started to grow, so you know, a post here, a post there, and away we go! Hope you stay along for the ride!
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Friday, November 29, 2013
|Book rest book light!|
|One of MANY awesome shirts!|
|Enjoy reading ANYWHERE!|
|"It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" GAME!|
|A great place to log YOUR books read!|
Thursday, November 28, 2013
She knew what we wrote…
One little word that made her feel both cheated and beloved.
One word that changed everything.
On a chilly morning in the Northwest Iowa town of Blackhawk, Dr. Lucas Hudson is filling in for the vacationing coroner on a seemingly open-and-shut suicide case. His own life is crumbling around him, but when he unearths the body of a woman buried in the bard floor beneath the hanging corpse, he realizes this terrible discovery could change everything…
Years before Lucas ever set foot in Blackhawk, Meg Painter met Dylan Reid. It was the summer before high school and the two quickly became inseparable. Although Meg’s older neighbor, Jess, was the safe choice, she couldn’t let go of Dylan no matter how hard she tried.
Caught in a web of jealousy and deceit that spiraled out of control, Meg’s choices in the past ultimately collide with Lucas’s discovery in the present, weaving together a taut story of unspoken secrets and the raw, complex passions of innocence lost.
Sounds chilling and spooky right? WRONG! Though it does have it’s mysteries aplenty, this is not a ghost story in the true sense of the word; it only qualifies on that level by a mere fraction of an inch if one were to refer to the ghosts of one’s past. What it IS is a tale that weaves together the lifelines of many, creating an end masterpiece you can’t see coming. Nope. Don’t even try…okay, well try because that’s part of the fun but don’t let it stress you. What? You think I did that? Pfft! *nervous chuckle* Oh come on…I know better…well, now at least. ^_^
Admittedly I was more invested in the friendship and love triangle between Meg, Dylan, and Jess…whose story actually takes place in the past, then the present day story starring Lucas and Jenna. I felt more connected to them as each facet of their personalities was revealed, each year rolled by, and each new adventure met fruitation or frustration. From Meg and Dylan’s first meeting with fireworks bursting overhead and a game of Bloody Murder (it’s like hide and seek, sorta) in progress to him showing her the finer points of bike tricks. The quiet passage of time that allows them to grow up and apart to her first kiss with a boy that wasn’t whom she intended to give her heart to. From first blush to first love, heartbreak to healing escapes, it’s all there in black and white intermingled with observations from the present. You see, the story is building all around you as you are reading about each seemingly separate group, but they are moving towards a connection buried just below the surface. As I said, I knew it had to be there, but I didn’t see it coming…
There are many times you will be moved by their stories, both past and present characters counted. You’ll feel the despair and desperation in Lucas and Jenna’s relationship…something that is not aided, though they’d hoped it would be, by a presence from their past. You’ll understand Meg’s confusion as her emotions roller coaster between what she wants and what she might need. You’ll see both sides of the coin when the term “mine” is used…or in this case presented…in regards to another person. You’ll ponder the connections between them all, wondering just where the story is taking you and then finally come to a satisfying landing as you see the lay of the landscape strewn with shattered hearts and dreams and yet….hope.
In the end, it’s a tale well spun if only you give it a chance to work its magic. Wander the lives of these characters, become a part of their story. Let the tragedies involved affect you, shed a tear for the life and love lost. Cringe at the shadowy moments, and let your heart race in those that are passion filled as it all works towards a final sense of closure. Then…when all is said and done…turn the final page, breathe a sigh of satisfaction and then pass it on; for what better way do YOU know to share a great read?
Review copy received courtesy of the great folks at Simon and Schuster. (THANKS!) For more information on this title as well as their full catalog, be sure to stop by their site, like them on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter. This title is available now from Howard Books, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf near you.
Until next time…happy reading!
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Look familiar? Well, it darn well better…or else you haven’t been visiting the blog these past few months and then, and then I might just have to cry. *sad face* You don’t want me to burst out in tears now do you? *sniff* I didn’t think so. *blows nose* Besides, it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun as sharing my thoughts on this book because honestly, it SURPRISED me.
Okay, I admit it. When I hosted a spot on the blog tour back in September, I initially had my wires crossed. I thought I was to review it for my day instead it turned out I was spotlighting it and so in my whole rush to read it before the supposed deadline that was about to pass…I was just NOT into it. I couldn’t connect, no if’s, an’s, or but’s about it. Turns out the reason was simply because I was too rushed. Once my reading schedule kink was worked out (i.e. I read my own sticky note on the cover of the book…*hand to face*), I put it aside until its proper time and thus discovered a book much more fascinating than my first pass revealed.
This is the story of Jane Grey…and Jane Grey. The only thing separating them is the inclusion of the name/title “Lady” and a couple of centuries. No big deal, right? Umm…well, here’s the thing. JG from the here and now lives in Canada, crushes on TK (Tom Kantor), and has a history report coming up that she is doing on LJG. Convenient considering the events that are about to unfold…plus of course the same name aspect. LJG from the past was the teen ruler of Tudor England for about nine days…before she was imprisoned and executed. Dun dun dunnnnn. Her Booke of Prayre seems to have survived her beheading (~shudders~) and finds its way into the hands of our current JG with very unexpected results; for it’s not just a first hand account of LJG’s days, but a portal of sorts…or so it seems. I mean, come on! Do you really expect us to believe that she’s traveling back to the final days of the young ruler’s life, playing chess, dancing, and trying to find some way to stay her execution? Pfft! *chuckles* Oh wait…unless the way there and back works BOTH ways… ~oooh~
|Image from actual Lady Jane Grey's Booke of Prayre via http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/histtexts/ladyjane/index.html|
Recommended read for Young Adult fans of all ages and beyond. Whether historical read inclined or not, there’s still something to connect with and reflect on in this story. Review copy received courtesy of Pajama Press. (THANKS!) For more information on this title as well as their full catalog, be sure to stop by their official site, pin them on Pinterest, friend them on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter. Oh…and one more thing. Seeing as how a lot of the events included actually happened, I do believe you’d be interested in knowing that the ‘Booke of Prayre’ mentioned actually exists…or at least the one widely accepted to have been hers does. Thanks to the author’s note, we’ve got a lead on where to find it. Just click here and then search for “Lady Jane Grey’s prayer book”. (*types…clicks…reads*)
Until next time…happy reading!
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Today's teaser post isn't a random page selection but merely the page I am on in the book..page 1.
I thought we could begin this reading adventure together...and from the sound of it, we're in for a doozy.
THE CLOCK OF LIFE
So...what are YOU reading today?
Feel free to share your own tease....I'm all ears.
Monday, November 25, 2013
About the book…
Louise Palmer is a settled-down person. A woman who wants nothing more than to remain in the same house until the day she dies. When her husband Clay, announces an intention to quit his job and move to Florida, her life is thrown into a turmoil of mixed emotions and strained loyalties. Torn between Clay’s desire for “the good life” and the lifelong friendships of her quilting club, Louise struggles with what to do…until her best friend suggests a scheme to thwart the move.
Before she discovers the truth of what matters most, a marriage will be tested, family relationships fall apart and the friendships Louise tried to hold on to will change dramatically.
This is a story from the heart about the many facets of the heart and the trials and tribulations that not only LIFE puts it through…but we create ourselves.
Louise Palmer, who has always wanted to be Penny Palmer (it’s a double initial thing…believes they are luckier in life, though her friend Billie Butterman would beg to differ…a whole lot more on that in the book for you to uncover), is the sorta person who lays down roots and sticks with them. No backpacking through life for this gal, she knows where she’s going and likes the view just fine. Too bad for her the man she hitched her star to has decided to throw her a curve ball.
Now before you go getting all riled up with your hair pulled back and your fists of fire ready to fly, it’s not like that. His midlife crisis is playing out in the form of needing a change of pace and place, not the love of his life…though if she’s not careful, that just might be what happens. It’s not an ultimatum, it’s a fact and trust me, it’s a truth that’s well deserved but something he is just as responsible for creating. I mean, how would YOU take it if one day you were told by your significant other that you’re pulling up roots and moving clear across the country with no rhyme, no reason except that the chance existed to try a more relaxed life off the beaten path? Okay, well some of you may be pumping your fist in the air and doing a happy dance, but others are probably affected similar to our lead here; wary of such a dramatic change in their life because they’ve finally reached where they aimed to be.
Change is hard, no matter the circumstance. Even when it’s your idea, it can send you for a loop. When it’s someone else’s idea though, it gives the opportunity for blamed to be placed, fingers pointed, and I-told-you-so’s to be slung about. So, um…yeah. Louise doesn’t exactly take the high road but she doesn’t shy away from it all either. Her plan is more George-Washington-crossing-the-Delaware…SNEAK attack! Poor, poor Louise though…at every turn it seems something or someone is out to thwart her. See now that’s the problem with playing things half hidden in shadows…the other never really knows where you stand; of course then there are those that wouldn’t know where you stood if you were standing ON them because they are so involved with themselves. (Yes Clay…you are guilty as charged here.) The back and forth, tit for tat, games played and eventually fate, stretch and test the measure of their love both in marriage and of friends. Will anyone survive the emotional battlefield they’ve created for themselves? Or will their meant for a lifetime love perish in the flames of change? Only time will tell, but if you give Cherry or rather Mabel enough time, a good meal and a chair to rest in, she’ll bring you up to speed in a flash.
In conclusion, a story that brings the idiosyncrasies of life to the forefront , shakes and bakes them in the Florida sunshine, and hangs them on the line to dry with flair. This is one of those books that the story isn’t necessarily earth shattering in what actually transpires but the characters that drive that story make it well worth the read…and then some. From our mostly practical Penny…er, I mean Louise…to the flamboyant Cherry (though Mabel suits her just as well…she’s still her after all), the on-the-run Billie to backwoods Wilfred, there’s a full house of “crazy” with calamity for a partner but it takes it all in and makes it its own leaving you with a lovable bunch too good to miss out on knowing.
Recommended read for Women’s Fiction fans as well as those that simply like a good story with heart, laughs, and a wacky cast ready and willing to throw down with the best of them or supply a shoulder upon which to cry. Bookmarks up to the author for a read well done. Signed ARC courtesy of publicist Coral and author Bette Lee Crosby. (THANKS! ^_^) For more information on this title as well as her complete body of works, be sure to stop by her official site, like her Facebook, or follow along on Twitter. This title is available now from Bent Pine Publishing, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf near you! Need an online option? Here's two to start you on your way....Amazon, Barnes & Noble....
Until next time…happy reading.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Saturday, November 23, 2013
As soon as I saw this one, the artistry brought to mind a particular Children’s Storybook that I’ve seen round and yet have not read at this point. (Shocking, right? ^_^) It features an enthusiastic little bear looking for a friend…well, okay. Looking isn’t NEARLY strong enough but you get my point. Anyway…suffice it to say, I was spot on with my guess and the rest is history!
Meet Mr. Tiger. Mr. Tiger is feeling a bit stifled as of late. Everything and everyone around him is so prim and proper, walking around on their own “two feet”, wearing top hats and bonnets, saying “please” and “thank you”…why it’s enough to drive a poor tiger WILD! That my dear friends…is just what happens. First, off comes the hat…much more comfortable! Next, a trial run of walking around on all four paws…how smart! Then, a ferocious ROAR erupts from his muzzle, the likes of which have not been heard nor will they be accepted in his proper town. So, he did what came naturally…sought a home in the great BIG wilderness.
There was but one problem. You know that saying that the grass is always greener on the other side? Yeah, that applies to changes of character, heart and lifestyle too. While the change was good for Mr. Tiger, it wasn’t a perfect fit. He missed his friends. He missed his home. He probably missed his ability to cater in lunches as opposed to tracking them down himself as well, though he’d hardly admit to that. Anywho, one thing led to another and a compromise was found that both worked for Mr. Tiger AND his proper society friends. Funny thing about ideas though, especially NEW ones…they tend to be contagious. (Hehe…a little surprise for readers to discover at book’s end.)
From the cover jacket in all its illustrated glory to the actual hard cover of the book with fun-tastic TIGER striping, readers will dive right into the story with two feet, four paws or any other way they seem fit to come and will be welcomed just the same! The illustrations draw you to the “yard” while the content reminds us to be true to ourselves. To break it down, the moral of the story…despite the opposition you might face in life, you have to be you; it’s when you’re not that things tend to go sour. If you’re so busy worrying about pleasing everyone else, you miss the enjoyment that life has to offer. For the kiddos, they’ll have a ball roaring along with Mr. Tiger and walking around on all four legs but as they grow, they’ll surely know that a true acceptance of ones self is in the ability to share that version of us, the REAL you that is you, with the world.
Barbara and Sarah over at BlueSlip Media. (THANKS!) For more information on this promotion as well as those forthcoming, be sure to stop by their official site. This book reached publication September 2013 via Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Hachette Book Group. For more information on this title as well as their complete catalog, visit them online or throughout the social media landscape.
Friday, November 22, 2013
They say you should remember the past…but sometimes you need to remember the future.Clare, Dante, and Lily live in a future where growing vegetables is against the law.Some, however, encourage the children to change the future, and instruct them in the olds ways.Can the children learn enough before being stopped by GRIM, the government agency controlling the nation’s food?And can children really change the future?
Thursday, November 21, 2013
In a futuristic U.S.A. where gardening is illegal, siblings Clare and Dante have escaped to Canada and are living with a host family, enjoying farm life and learning to grow their own food. Attending Garden Guardian class, they meet other refugees and unearth the history of how they lost their choices about food.Their friend Lily continues the quest to find her father, a former leader in the Seed Savers movement who was arrested and jailed before she was born. Along the way she meets a host of interesting characters and more surprisingly, herself.
When it was completely dark, I slipped like a phantom into the night. I crossed the simple
yard and made my way down the long lane surrounded by hydroponic green houses,
turning my flashlight on only when I was out of sight of the farm. It was then, walking
along the road in the black and humid night, that the stupidity of my actions caught up
with me. Tears trickled down my face. What was I thinking? I didn’t even know if I was
going in the right direction to reach town. And then what? The tears became a stream and
my chest tightened so that I could barely breathe. I might have turned around right then,
had those thoughts not been interrupted by a light from behind and the racket of a gas-
powered engine. Startled into action, I ran to the other side of the road, turned off my light,
and stayed still. From behind, I heard the vehicle approach and stop. Voices. A car door
It couldn’t be! I recalled the truck I’d seen a few times before. Was it them? Could this
vehicle be following me? Looking for me? I began creeping away from the road, blind in
the darkness. Had GRIM tracked me all this way? Or could it just be Aaron? Did he own an
old truck? I stopped, listening. An unfamiliar voice froze my blood. It was a man’s voice,
closer now, more audible. And it wasn’t Aaron.
“Do you see her?”
The second voice was muffled and low. I ran visionless into the night. My foot caught
on something, sending me sprawling across the ground, my chin hitting hard. It hurt. I
choked down my emotions, making small animal noises, a baby’s sob. They heard it.
“Over there!” The deep voice shouted. The sound of running footsteps echoed in the
night as the other man drew near.
I sucked in my pain and lay frozen and silent on the warm ground.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
WARNING: CONTAINS MYSTERY, ADVENTURE, AND EXPLOSIVE PROJECTS YOU CAN BUILD YOURSELF!
An abandoned house at the end of the block. A mysterious girl in an upstairs window. A strange black SUV lurking around every corner. When Nick and Tesla Holt are sent to live with their eccentric Uncle Newt, they find their new neighborhood is full of secrets. What the heck is going on?
To unravel the mysteries (and save their skins), Nick and Tesla must use everyday household objects to build electromagnets, rocket launchers, and other crazy contraptions – and instructions are included throughout the story so you can build them, too!