Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This Is Me From Now On by Barbara Dee Themed Goody Bag Giveaway

Yesterday, I reviewed a wonderful Young Adult novel for middle grade girls called This Is Me From Now On by Barbara Dee. Please read my review, here.  I wanted to share more information about the book with a video from the author and I have a great giveaway, so please read on.

Check out this great video with the author Barbara Dee talking about

This Is Me From Now On:


Barbara Dee has graciously provided me with TWO This Is Me From Now On themed Goody Bags and bookmarks to giveaway. The Goody Bags are each filled with favorite items of Evie's including: Lip Gloss, Bubblicious bubble gum and a handmade replica of Evie's Amber necklace.


  • Leave a comment and make sure to include your email address so that I can contact you in case you win! Otherwise, I won't be able to include your name in the drawing.
  • This giveaway is open to everyone, Internationally. 
  • Giveaway ends May 21, 2010. I'll use to choose the winners.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Book Review: This Is Me From Now On by Barbara Dee

Author: Barbara Dee

Publisher: Simon&Schuster, April 2010

Trade Paperback, 272 pages

Genre: Young Adult
Ages: 9 - 13

Grades: 4 - 8

Source: Advanced Reading Copy from Author

Description of This Is Me From Now On by Barbara Dee from publisher:

Sometimes your life just needs a little jolt.
This is what Evie's new friend Francesca tells her, and soon enough, Evie's life has had something more like an earthquake. Francesca thinks life is dull unless you go after everything you want and say everything on your mind all the time--and sometimes that includes giving other people a little behind the scenes help to give them what she thinks they want.
Evie can't always tell if she's horrified or fascinated by everything Francesca convinces her to do, but ultimately, she comes to see friendship--and life--in a whole new light.

My Thoughts:

Reading This Is Me From Now On was pure fun, a definite page turner and a book that any young girl will love to read. I found Evie's character one that most girls can relate to as she has to find her own way as she enters seventh grade. She has her group of BFF's that she's known for years, things always seem the same and Evie starts to feel restless. When Francesa the "new girl" in school  moves next door, things definitely turn topsy turvy in Evie's life. Francesca has traveled the world, is more of a free spirit and  dreamer and she is willing to take risks that Evie would never have thought of before.

Evie learns quite a few lessons as the school year progresses. She learns for herself about what friendship really means, that it's okay to be different, to take risks and learn from them and that being yourself and having fun is really okay. I think that  these are wise lessons for young girls to learn at this age. Plus, Ms. Dee added humor and a sense of fun and adventure to the story that makes the reader want to zip through each page to find out what will happen next. I loved it and I'm not a tween girl but I think that there is a tween girl inside all of us adults that will enjoy reading This Is Me From Now On.  I highly recommend This Is Me From Now On for any young girl or tween in middle school as it covers such issues as friendship, self discovery, boy crushes, family and sibling issues and so much more. This would make a wonderful book for a girls book club, there are discussion questions here.

AUTHOR BIO: Barbara Dee

Barbara Dee is a graduate of Yale University, Middlebury College's Bread Loaf School of English, and the University of Chicago Law School. She has taught high school English, practiced law, and reviewed books. She lives with her husband and three children in Westchester County, New York.

Make sure to check out other Young Adult books written by Barbara Dee. I've read and highly recommend Solving Zoe, (read my review here). You can find more information at Barbara Dee's Website, here.

Make sure to check back tomorrow as I have a few special This Is Me From Now On themed goody bags from Ms. Dee  to giveaway and some more information to share about This Is Me From Now On.

Enter the giveaway, here.

Disclosure: Thanks to the author for sending me an advanced copy of this book to review. I am an Amazon associate and Indiebound associate.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mailbox Monday~ April 26

Mailbox Monday is a fun meme hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that came into our house by mail. I had a another light week which really is a good thing as I can get caught up with reading books on my bookshelves.

Fireworks Over Toccoa

Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff a surprise from Macmillan

The Unnamed

The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris (Audiobook) from Hachette

The Cradle: A Novel

The Cradle by Patrick Somerville from Hachette

Friday, April 23, 2010

Giveaway: Hannah's List by Debbie Macomber and Gift Card!

I am thrilled to tell you about the release of Debbie Macomber's newest book,
Hannah's List, which is part of the Blossom Street series AND some great giveaways. I've read all of the books in the Blossom Street series and I enjoyed them and can't wait to read this one. It's sounds wonderful!

Here's a synopsis of the book:
I know this letter will come as a shock to you…

On the anniversary of his beloved wife’s death, Dr. Michael Everett receives a letter Hannah had written him.

In it she reminds him of her love and makes one final request. An impossible request. I want you to marry again. She tells him he shouldn’t spend the years he has left grieving her. And to that end she’s chosen three women she asks him to consider.

First on Hannah’s list is her cousin, Winter Adams, a trained chef who owns Blossom Street’s French CafĂ©. The second is Leanne Lancaster, Hannah’s oncology nurse. Michael knows them both. But the third name is one he’s not familiar with—Macy Roth.

Each of these three women has her own heartache, her own private grief. More than a year earlier, Winter broke off her relationship with another chef. Leanne is divorced from a man who defrauded the hospital for which she works. And Macy lacks family of her own, the family she craves, but she’s a rescuer of strays, human and animal. Macy is energetic, artistic, eccentric—and couldn’t be more different from Michael.

During the months that follow, he spends time with Winter, Leanne and Macy, learning more about each of them…and about himself. Learning what Hannah already knew. He’s a man who needs the completeness only love can offer. And Hannah’s list leads him to the woman who can help him find it.

As millions of readers know, Debbie Macomber understands what’s in a woman’s heart.

AUTHOR BIO Debbie Macomber

Debbie Macomber, the author of 92 Pacific Boulevard, 8 Sandpiper Way, Summer on Blossom Street and Twenty Wishes, has become a leading voice in women’s fiction worldwide. Her work has appeared on every major bestseller list, including those of the New York Times, USA TODAY, and Publishers Weekly. She is a multiple award winner, and won the 2005 Quill Award for Best Romance. More than a hundred million copies of her books have been sold worldwide. For more information on Debbie and her books, visit her Web site,


I am SO excited to host this fabulous giveaway and to offer readers of my blog and fans of Debbie Macomber's books these AWESOME prizes:

One (1) Grand Prize winner  receives:

*Enjoy additional titles by Debbie Macomber with a $25 VISA gift card

*Copy of Hannah’s List

Two (2) additional winners will receive a copy of Hannah's List!

To Enter:

  • Leave a comment and tell me which book or series by Debbie Macomber is your favorite and why. If you've never read a book by Debbie Macomber, let me know which book or series interests you. You can check out all of Debbie Macomber's books at her website, here.  
  • Make sure to include your email address so that I can contact you in case you win! Otherwise, I won't be able to include your name in the drawing.
  • This book giveaway is open to participants with a United States mailing address only. Prizes will be mailed out by Big Honcho Media.
  • Giveaway ends, May 7, 2010. I'll use to choose the winners.

Disclosure: A review copy of Hannah's List was sent to me in support of hosting this giveaway through Big Honcho Media.  I am an Amazon associate and Indiebound associate.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Giveaway: 3 Copies of The Cradle by Patrick Somerville

Courtesy of Hachette Book Group, I have 3 copies of The Cradle by Patrick Somerville to giveaway. I just received my copy of this book and I'm looking forward to reading it. Here's a summary:

Early one summer morning, Matthew Bishop kisses his still-sleeping wife Marissa, gets dressed and eases his truck through Milwaukee, bound for the highway. His wife, pregnant with their first child, has asked him to find the antique cradle taken years before by her mother Caroline when she abandoned Marissa, never to contact her daughter again. Soon to be a mother herself, Marissa now dreams of nothing else but bringing her baby home to the cradle she herself slept in. His wife does not know-does not want to know-where her mother lives, but Matt has an address for Caroline's sister near by and with any luck, he will be home in time for dinner.

Only as Matt tries to track down his wife's mother, he discovers that Caroline, upon leaving Marissa, has led a life increasingly plagued by impulse and irrationality, a mysterious life that grows more inexplicable with each new lead Matt gains, and door he enters. As hours turn into days and Caroline's trail takes Matt from Wisconsin to Minnesota, Illinois, and beyond in search of the cradle, Matt makes a discovery that will forever change Marissa's life, and faces a decision that will challenge everything he has ever known.

Elegant and astonishing, Patrick Somerville tells the story of one man's journey into the heart of marriage, parenthood, and what it means to be a family. Confirming the arrival of an exuberantly talented new writer, THE CRADLE is an uniquely imaginative debut novel that radiates with wisdom and wonder.

The Cradle sounds like it would make a great book to discuss with book clubs. There are many themes to discuss including marriage, parenthood, family and more.  There is a Reading Group Guide with an essay by Patrick Somerville, suggested questions and topics for discussion and a list of Patrick Somerville's "Most Influential" books.

Check out these additional links:

View a video about The Cradle

Author Essay-The Cradle

Patrick Somerville's Website


I have 3 copies of The Cradle by Patrick Somerville to give away. To enter:

  • Open to US & Canada only (No PO Boxes), the publisher will send the book directly to you.
  • Leave a comment. Make sure to include your email address so that I can contact you in case you win! Otherwise, I won't be able to include your name in the drawing.
  • Giveaway ends, May 14, 2010. I'll use to choose a winner.

 Good Luck!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Book Review~The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan

The Middle Place

Description of The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan:

For Kelly Corrigan, family is everything. At thirty-six, she had a marriage that worked, two funny, active kids, and a weekly newspaper column. But even as a thriving adult, Kelly still saw herself as the daughter of garrulous Irish-American charmer George Corrigan. She was living deep within what she calls the Middle Place--"that sliver of time when parenthood and childhood overlap"--comfortably wedged between her adult duties and her parents' care. But Kelly is abruptly shoved into coming-of-age when she finds a lump in her breast--and gets the diagnosis no one wants to hear. When George, too, learns that he has late-stage cancer, it is Kelly's turn to take care of the man who had always taken care of her--and to show us a woman who finally takes the leap and grows up.
My Thoughts:

I was drawn into the story of Kelly's life at the start of this book. I felt empathy for her as a young woman, wife and mother of two young girls as she found a lump in her breast and goes through the testing and treatment for breast cancer. I was a bit envious of her close knit family, gregarious and loving father who adores her and two big brothers that she is close to. I enjoyed many of the stories and humor about her family and her strong and funny father known as "Greenie". Then, as I continued to read Kelly's story as she alternates chapters between her past growing up years in Philly and her adult college life, world travels, her career and her current life as she deals with her treatment of breast cancer and the effect on her life...she lost me. I found Kelly self indulgent and whiny.  There were several heartfelt moments with her father and her girls. When she shared the story of losing her hair and sharing that with her girls and talking about cancer with them were sweet and gentle moments. At several points in the book, her insensitivity towards others and the focus on herself were surprising. Near the end of the book, she visits her parents house and notices all the old, worn out items around the house that looked "ugly" to her. She wanted her parents to be surrounded by what she perceived as more beautiful things. She went out and spent over $400 on new towels, silverware, dishes and picture frames. Even replacing a favorite blurred picture of her brother as a child with a  picture of her daughter in the bathtub. Her mother was hurt and rightly so, she loved the old pictures in the rusty frames and the chipped plates. Yes, Kelly is a strong and amazing women and she is a good writer. I wanted to know more about what she learned from the experiences she went through but found more complaining than revelations. I expected her to mature and grow...maybe she did but for me, she didn't portray that very well in the book.

Disclosure: This book was from my own collection. I am an Amazon associate and Indiebound associate.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Highlighting...God Never Blinks by Regina Brett

God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours

Regina Brett is a writer and journalist and she writes a column in my local paper, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, that I read every Sunday. I've been hearing about her book, God Never Blinks, and I especially enjoyed Lesa's review at Lesa's Book Critiques

Here's a description of God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours By Regina Brett from Hachette Book Group:

Already an internet phenomenon, these wise and insightful lessons by popular newspaper columnist and Pulitzer Prize finalist Regina Brett will make you see the possibilities in your life in a whole new way.

When Regina Brett turned 50, she wrote a column on the 50 lessons life had taught her. She reflected on all she had learned through becoming a single parent, looking for love in all the wrong places, working on her relationship with God, battling cancer and making peace with a difficult childhood. It became one of the most popular columns ever published in the newspaper, and since then the 50 lessons have been emailed to hundreds of thousands of people.
Brett now takes the 50 lessons and expounds on them in essays that are deeply personal. From "Don't take yourself too seriously-Nobody else does" to "Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift," these lessons will strike a chord with anyone who has ever gone through tough times--and haven't we all?

Regina Brett will be at several local book signings locally and I plan to attend one and buy a copy of her book. I look forward to meeting Regina and reading God Never Blinks.

Check out this video of Regina Brett reading from God Never Blinks:

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mailbox Monday~April 19

Mailbox Monday is a fun meme hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that came into our house by mail. I had a quiet week and only received two books in my mailbox. This is a good thing as I can get caught up with reading books on my bookshelves.

Little Bee: A Novel

Little Bee by Chris Cleave from my friend Ginny.
(This is my book club discussion book for next month)

SPHDZ Book #1! (Spaceheadz)

Spaceheadz by Jon Scieszka from Simon & Schuster
(This one is for my son who thinks that this book looks cool)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith~Book Review

Blue Shoes and Happiness (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Book 7)

Blue Shoes and Happiness is the seventh book in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. This series is set in Botswana, South Africa where Precious Ramotswe is a private detective and runs the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency with her assistant Mma Grace Makutsi. Each book centers on life in Botswana and highlights the culture and challenges of their customers and daily life of the agency. In this book Mma Ramotswe is faced with her own challenges and must decide if as a "traditionally built" woman she should try to lose weight. She's able to district herself from taking this challenge on completely as they are focused on solving such problems as a cook being blackmailed as she is suspected of feeding her husband food taken from her work kitchen and a sneaky newspaper advice columnist who may be taking advantage of her unsuspecting readers and more.

I have enjoyed reading all of the books in this series and with this one, I listened to it on audiobook. The series is more of a gentle, cozy read as it is not violent and is told in a slow pace. The narrator, Lisette Lecat is a native South African herself and she is able to easily take on different accents of women and men during the reading of this book. She made the listening of this audiobook very pleasant and enjoyable. I listened to this in the car as I traveled and waited in the pickup line at my son's school. I looked forward to listening to the book and never lost interest in the story.

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series should be read in order as the stories do flow together. It's a series that I find I don't have to rush to get through. It's perfect to read or listen to when I want something light and gentle to read but is a series that has great substance and strong characters. There is always something interesting going on at the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. I plan to listen to the next one, The Good Husband of Zebra Drive as well and have it lined up to start next.

Disclosure: I borrowed this audiobook from the library. I am an Amazon associate and an Indiebound associate.