Monday, November 30, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page each Monday so that other book lovers and bloggers can see and comment on what's in the mailbox. Thanks Marcia for a great way of posting our new (or new to us) books!!

Have you read a book on my list? Please comment on it. It's possible I will use your comment and link back to you when I post my review of a particular book!

To Review:


A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Blood Promise by Rachel Mead
Rebel Angels by Libba Bray
Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine
Ninth Grade Slays by Heather Brewer
Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer
Feast of Fools by Racel Caine
Shiver by Maggie Steifvater
Tenth Grade Bleeds by Heather Brewer
Push by Sapphire
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkels
Carpe Corpse by Rachel Mead
Fade by Lisa McMann
Midnight Alley by Rachel Mead
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
After by Amy Efaw
Olive Kittridge by Elizabeth Stout
The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Perlman
Lockdown: Escape from Furnace by Alexander Gordon Smith
Dancing with the Enemy by Meg Brown

Giveaway Books I Have Won:

White Picket Fences by Susan Meissner (Won over at Kim's)

What's in your box this week?

Yes, I went on a bit of a shopping spree this week. I think I am good on books for awhile!! LOL :)

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Monday Morning Humor

Many of us are returning back to work today after a few days off. A co-worker sent this to me and I couldn't resist sharing this with you all. I do realize that mental health issues are real and valid, so please don't mistake my humor. I do resemble this picture this morning though!

This coming week i
s National Mental Health Care week.
You can do your part by remembering

to contact at least one unstable person to show you care.
Well ..... my job is done. Your turn!

Please send an encouraging message to a disturbed friend... just as I've done. I don't care if you lick windows or take the special bus.... you hang in there sunshine, you're special.
Every sixty seconds you spend angry, upset or mad, is a full minute of happiness you'll never get back.
Today's Message of the Day is: Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you smile.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we should dance.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas Reading Challenge

The Christmas Reading Challenge is being hosted by The True Book Addict:
  • will run from Thanksgiving Day, November 26 through New Year's Eve, December 31, 2009
  • you can choose 1 - 3 books...I know it seems a small amount, but it's a busy time of year and the challenge is only a little over a month.
  • These must be Christmas novels, books about Christmas lore or a book of Christmas short stories (sorry, no children's books, but YA novel is okay).
  • Be sure to check back here in a couple of days, where 'True' will have a list of new Christmas books coming out and some old favorites to recommend.
  • Be sure to come back and link your post here on Mr. Linky.
My Books are...

  1. The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Perlman (I think...I've had some comments making me think I could find a better book)
  2. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (I bought this one to read to my kids each night)
  3. I'm open to suggestions on this one!! Suggest away!! :)
Are you joining in on the fun? Sign up on True Book Addict's blog and leave me a comment here and tell me what you plan on reading. I might be able to pick up a couple of extra titles to throw in.

Also, do you think I could count a book that mentions Christmas but is not entirely about it? (The book I'm asking about is Frostbite by Richelle Mead)


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Thankfully Reading Weekend Update: Sunday

Well, I would have liked to have been able to put in more reading time than I did, however I'm proud of what I did. This was my first official "read-a-thon" (even though it wasn't really called that) and I was glad that I participated. I would have been able to read a little more had the "cleaning bug" not hit me around 1 pm this afternoon! I might have been able to read another whole book had that pesky bug left me alone!! Alas, this is how I did...
  1. Frostbite by Richelle Mead finished yesterday :)
  2. Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead finished today
  3. 40 Loaves Starting now as I go to sleep
  4. How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong
  5. The Christmas Cookie Club
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Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3) Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3) by Richelle Mead

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the best book in this series (so far) and if you can suffer out the first two, this one is worth it! In Shadow Kiss, the reader finds out even more about Rose and Dimitri's lives as guardians. I was glad to see the relationships of the characters develop a little further. I felt like after reading this book that I could "know" the characters now. This one picks up right where Frostbite left off so there is no loss if reading them back to back. One thing that irritated me about this series is the repetition of the different roles (Moroi, Dhampirs, Strogoi, etc). I feel that if someone has bothered to read into the third book that these roles should already be defined. I would have to say the same about the reintroduction of many of the characters. Maybe it's just me but it's one of those things that annoyed me.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The ending did not surprise me and I'm a little excited to see where this story will go in Blood Promise. My daughter is currently reading that one and I'll snag it from her as soon as I can.

I was recommended these books by a student of mine, Mindi.

This book completes my Thankfully Reading Weekend as I cannot fit in another book tonight! :)

View all my reviews >>

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thankfully Reading Weekend Update: Saturday

I'm not getting as much reading in as I had originally hoped. However, keep in mind I have three kids and a hubby to take care of. I also have to go back to work on Monday after a week off and have been trying to clean up the house and catch up on some laundry. All excuses aside, here is where I currently stand...
  1. Frostbite by Richelle Mead finished yesterday :)
  2. Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead currently on page 300 of 443
  3. 40 Loaves next to read once finished with Shadow Kiss...due for upcoming Blog Tour
  4. How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong
  5. The Christmas Cookie Club
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Friday, November 27, 2009

Frostbite by Richelle Mead

Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2) Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2) by Richelle Mead

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read this book in a total of 8 hours (almost straight!) and I have to say that Richelle Mead redeemed herself in this book! As you know, I wasn't overly impressed with Vampire Academy but I have found Frostbite to fill a bit of a void that I felt was lacking in the first book.

Frostbite focuses more on Rose's training as a guardian as well as her relationship with Dimitri. Some of the holes in the first book are filled in here also so it rather tied up some loose ends for me. There has been a Strigoi attack on one of the larger royal families so the Academy dismisses its students to the ski slopes for the Christmas holidays where everyone will be safe. While there, another attack takes place and some of the novice guardian students and royals decide to take matters into their own hands. Will anyone receive their molnija marks before graduation? Can they handle this large task on their own? What powers manifest in these novice students? Guess you'll have to read to find out!! On to Shadow Kissed now!

This book is a part of my "Thankfully Reading Weekend" and also the Christmas Challenge!

View all my reviews >>

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankfully Reading Weekend

Instead of joining in the crazy festivities that many will be involved in with Black Friday, I will be at home, curled up with some great books! I am not a shopper *gasp* unless, of course, it is for books!! I will be enjoying some great reads with my feet propped up, Diet Dr. Pepper at my bedside, while others are wearing out their shoes and spending all their hard earned money!! What a day!

This ideas was born out of Jenn's awesome mind and then a few more people jumped in. If you'd like to join in too, go sign up here and then comment here so I can read your posts too!!

Here's a list of a few books I hope to read...I'm not limiting myself to these or putting any demands on myself though...this is just my suggested list for now!

  1. Frostbite by Richelle Mead
  2. Shadow Kissed by Richelle Mead
  3. 40 Loaves
  4. How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong
  5. The Christmas Cookie Club
Joining in? Let me know!! Let's have fun during the weekend!

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Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1) Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I was given this book by a student of mine, Mindi, to read. She knows that I love a good paranormal novel and thought I might enjoy this one. All I can say is that this book is "just alright". I wasn't dying to pick it up after I had to put it down to take care of the kids or whatever I had to do. I found the storyline between Lissa and Rose to be a little boring, and worse than that, the storyline between Rose and Dmitri. I thought with a name like Dmitri that I would experience a little more action in this book than was provided. I am trying REALLY hard not to compare this to other paranormal books that I have read. It just didn't have the substance that others do that I have really enjoyed.

If this were to be made into a movie, I would hope that Angelica Houston could play Queen Tatiana. I just see her in that role for some reason!!

I am starting Frostbite now with the hopes that the series gets a little better!

View all my reviews >>

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Happy Thanksgiving!!

I wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

What am I thankful for?

  1. My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...without him, I wouldn't be here to celebrate this day of thankfulness
  2. My family...all of them...wherever they are!
  3. My job...without it, I couldn't provide for my family (or my book habit!)
  4. The roof over my head
  5. Our military fighting for our lives...we as a nation need to be even more grateful for them!
What are you thankful for today?
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A-Z Wednesday: P

To join, here's all you have to do:
Go to your stack of books and find one whose title starts with the letter of the week.
1~ a photo of the book
2~ title and synopsis
3~ link(amazon, barnes and noble etc.)
4~ Come back here and leave your link in the comments.
If you've already reviewed this book you can add it also.
Be sure to visit other participants to see what book they have posted and leave them a comment.
(We all love comments, don't we?)
Who knows? You may find your next "favorite" book.


PUSH by Sapphire

From Publishers Weekly
With this much anticipated first novel, told from the point of view of an illiterate, brutalized Harlem teenager, Sapphire (American Dreams), a writer affiliated with the Nuyorican poets, charts the psychic damage of the most ghettoized of inner-city inhabitants. Obese, dark-skinned, HIV-positive, bullied by her sexually abusive mother, Clareece, Precious Jones is, at the novel's outset, pregnant for the second time with her father's child. (Precious had her first daughter at 12, named Little Mongo, "short for Mongoloid Down Sinder, which is what she is; sometimes what I feel I is. I feel so stupid sometimes. So ugly, worth nuffin.") Referred to a pilot program by an unusually solicitous principal, Precious comes under the experimental pedagogy of a lesbian miracle worker named, implausibly enough, Blue Rain. Under her angelic mentorship, Precious, who has never before experienced real nurturing, learns to voice her long suppressed feelings in a journal. As her language skills improve, she finds sustenance in writing poetry, in friendships and in support groups-one for "insect" survivors and one for HIV-positive teens. It is here that Sapphire falters, as her slim and harrowing novel, with its references to Harriet Tubman, Langston Hughes and The Color Purple (a parallel the author hints at again and again), becomes a conventional, albeit dark and unresolved, allegory about redemption. The ending, composed of excerpts from the journals of Precious's classmates, lends heightened realism and a wider scope to the narrative, but also gives it a quality of incompleteness. Sapphire has created a remarkable heroine in Precious, whose first-person street talk is by turns blisteringly savvy, rawly lyrical, hilariously pig-headed and wrenchingly vulnerable. Yet that voice begs to be heard in a larger novel of more depth and complexity.

I have not yet read this book but it is one that I picked up on a Borders run this week. I have heard many great things about this book and movie! Have you read this book? Seen the movie? Tell me about it!

I am an affiliate!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Few Moments with Dr. Coppola

It is my honor and privilege to feature a brief interview with Dr. Coppola. Please pull up a chair and the beverage of your choice and learn more about today's featured author. My thanks go out to Dr. Coppola for taking a few minute out of your busy day to chat with my readers and myself!!

Who are some of your heroes – professional, literary or otherwise? What was it about people like Ronald Reagan that inspired you? What was it about people like C. Everett Koop?

One of my heroes is actually featured in the book, and I was lucky enough to get him to write the foreword to Coppola: A Surgeon in Iraq. He is Guy Raz, correspondent for NPR and weekend host of All Things Considered. I see Guy as a hero because as a journalist he is keeping freedom of speech alive. His job takes him all over the world, including places where he is in danger. To date, over a hundred journalists have been killed in Iraq.

I was inspired by Ronald Reagan because I felt like his message to Americans was very personally directed to me as I was starting college. He let us know that it was good to be proud of America, and that we had strength if we worked together. I felt like my contribution could be important.

Dr. C. Everett Koop is the reason I am a pediatric surgeon. When I was in high school, he was nominated to be surgeon general. At that time, I was interested in becoming either a pediatrician or a surgeon; after learning about the life of Dr. Koop, I realized that the specialty of pediatric surgery existed. Dr. Koop is also an amazing example of what can be achieved by sticking to principles, as when he persisted in teaching America about the risks of the AIDS epidemic, even while President Reagan attempted to downplay it.

Can you take us through your first night on call? Can you tell us the story you describe in the book of the Iraqi policeman who came to see you? Describe your reaction to seeing this patient.

My first night on call in the combat support hospital, I worked with Trevor, one of the departing surgeons who had been at it for five months. We received a policeman who had been shot by an insurgent while he and his classmates were graduating from police training. He had received a high-energy rifle wound to the abdomen. It was far worse than the gunshot wounds I had seen in civilian trauma centers. It was a sign that my surgical practice in Iraq was going to be on a different level. I write in the book, Coppola: A Pediatric Surgeon in Iraq:

“‘I think it’s the vena cava,’ I tell Trevor. We peek again, and sure enough the bullet has blown a hole in the body’s largest vein. The bullet has come to rest somewhere behind the cava in the thoracic spine and I can feel prickly shards of shattered bone. The duodenum and right kidney seem pretty torn up, too. I count the layers of organs that have been injured: liver, colon, small intestine, pancreas, duodenum, vena cava, spine. I run a quick mental tally and realize I am treating the five worst gunshot injuries I have seen in my life.”

How did the injuries you saw in children differ from those you witnessed in adults?

For the most part, children were receiving the same injuries as adults. The most common cause of injury was blast injury, with the accompanying shrapnel and burns. However, since children’s bodies are a little different, the shrapnel affected their tissue in a different pattern. Most of the IED’s, car bombings, and suicide bombings would start from a pretty low angle, blasting upward. Since children are shorter, they were more likely to have head and neck injuries than adults. Many of these head injuries were lethal but we could save some. In addition, the secondary effects of the war created another common injury. With power so scarce, many families would use open flame for heating and cooking in their homes. We frequently received children who had been burned in the home from these cooking fires.

The cover of the book refers to a story you tell in the book of a child who arrives at the gates of the base with a piece of paper bearing your name. Can you describe that story?

In addition to treating traumatically injured children, I also ended up caring for some children with non-traumatic injuries. The war disrupted much of the medical infrastructure of Iraq and people had nowhere else to go.

One day when I was on duty, the gate guard called and told me that a family had shown up at the gate carrying a child, and clutching a piece of paper that read “Coppola, doctor for children” on it. They asked me what they should do and I said, “I guess you better send him in. The child had a hernia, and we were able to fix it at the hospital without too much difficulty. It turns out that the family came from a small village, and had heard that there was a doctor who could help children on the military base. A few weeks prior I had helped the nephew of an Iraqi interpreter with an operation to repair prolapsed of the rectum, and he had passed the word along. The boy’s family returned home and word spread that there was an American pediatric surgeon in Balad.

How did you speak to Iraqi families, if your Arabic was limited? Did this language barrier ever interfere with your ability to be clear with them?

My Arabic was very limited. My native language is English, but in addition I can speak Spanish well and a smattering of Italian and French. Before deploying, I did my best to learn Arabic using audio CDs, but I didn’t have a good grounding to get very far on my own. I learned a few useful phrases like “good,” “bad,” and “surgery tomorrow,” which covered most of what I had to communicate to patients. However, to figure out what was going on with a new patient, it was essential to understand them, and for that I am very grateful to the interpreters who worked at the hospital. In 2005, during my first deployment, the interpreters were all bilingual, native Iraqis who were highly educated and motivated. Working with us meant risking their lives because they were frequently targeted by the insurgents as collaborators. They helped me translate some very difficult conversations, even so far as telling parents their children had died.

I describe in the book one time when even having a skilled interpreter wasn’t enough to make myself well understood. One boy came to us for treatment for an abnormality of his penis. During my evaluation I determined that he was actually a female hermaphrodite. Even if we had all been speaking the same language that would have been a murky conversation. With the help of the interpreter, we muddled through as best we could.

In addition to your writing, you’ve taken thousands of pictures of the base as well as video footage. Do you feel that you were a witness for this war? Was there a conscious decision to want to document this experience for the sake of history / posterity?

I definitely made a conscious effort to document my experience in images. There were many purposes to this, and I’m not sure that I even understand all the reasons why I felt it necessary to preserve what I was seeing. At times, things were so horrific and absurd that taking a picture was a way of attempting to understand what I was seeing, or at least storing it away to puzzle out the meaning at a later time. Also, I felt sorely unable to completely convey what I was witnessing in words, so pictures were an attempt to explain it to the caring, concerned friends and family at home. Lastly, just as you say, I felt like I was a witness. I felt like the events going on around me were far bigger and more important than I was as an individual, but if someone didn’t record the accounts of these pained and brave lives, it would be as if it never happened. I felt that one purpose I could serve was to be a vessel to transmit their stories to the rest of the world.

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A Pediatric Surgeon in Iraq by Dr. Chris Coppola

Coppola: A Pediatric Surgeon in Iraq Coppola: A Pediatric Surgeon in Iraq by Chris Coppola

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
W-O-W...I don't know that I can adequately convey my feelings about this book in this post. Everyone has an opinion about the "War in Iraq" or whatever terminology you chose to use in regards to this conflict. I had one prior to reading this book and I DEFINITELY have one now!

I was contacted awhile back by the publisher for Dr. Coppola to review this book. My background in pediatric cardiology nursing drove me to want to read this book. I finished it in two sittings, which is rare for me to do! There are so many things I learned from this book and I'll take a few minutes to share with you my thoughts and reactions.

First, a brief synopsis provided by the publisher:
Synopsis: Coppola: A Pediatric Surgeon in Iraq is the fierce, true-life account of Dr. Chris Coppola’s two deployments in Operation Iraqi Freedom as an Air Force pediatric surgeon. Twice stationed at Balad Air Base, fifty miles north of Baghdad, in what was first a rude M*A*S*H*-style tent hospital and later became one of the largest U.S. military installations on foreign soil, Dr. Coppola works feverishly to save the lives of soldiers and civilians as word spreads among Iraqi families that, no matter what the infirmity, he can save their children.
From his first night on call, Dr. Coppola is confronted with injuries more severe than any he has ever encountered—I.E.D. and suicide bomb casualties, which shake his religious conviction and trigger persistent bouts of insomnia. In his first weeks, he witnesses Iraq’s health care system tumble into crisis as thousands of Iraqi doctors flee the country, Al Qaeda ramps up efforts to target civilian sites such as schools, funeral processions, women and children; and families are left without basic essentials like electricity and drinking water. Dr. Coppola, exhausted after marathon nights in the OR, homesick for his wife and three boys in San Antonio, Texas, finally asks himself, “How can I go on?”

Dr. Coppola faces some very traumatic cases in Iraq while on his two tours of duty. This book mainly focuses on his first tour where you learn of young children who are injured in the war. Innocent, precious lives...some of them with fixable injuries, others with more difficult situations. Dr. Coppola talks of some of his comrades that come in to the facility where he is stationed with missing arms, legs, and shrapnel everywhere. The reader has a glimpse of the good and the bad of these cases. Some were very touching and will stay with me for a VERY long time.

A non-medically trained person may ask if this is the right book for them. While I think it requires a strong stomach to read through some of the heartache and trauma, Dr. Coppola never leaves the reader guessing what each diagnosis means. He is aware of his readers possible lack of knowledge when talking about what the steps are to remove shrapnel from the spinal column and uses layman's terms, along with the medical term. I found this book to be very educational in that respect.

Speaking of respect for the soldier fighting for my freedom escalated to the nth degree. I knew it was bad to be there, but I didn't realize (and will never fully realize unless I go) just how bad it really is. The conditions in which our soldiers are living and working there are deplorable! I cannot imagine how Dr. Coppola and his team must have felt when all the dust kicking up everywhere prevents a 100% chance of a sterile field in the operating room!! Things we take so easily for granted here are necessities over there. Our very soldiers lives are at stake!

I know now, that after reading this fantastic book, that Dr. Coppola is a doctor whom I would love to work beside one day. His compassion on these children that he treated while there just proves that he is a real human being! Dr. Coppola had to fight to care for the "non-warfare related" injured children while there. Many families heard of Dr. Coppola and his skills while there and would bring their children for multiple issues, one of which was gender determination.

The cover of this book is most poignant. A hand holding a piece of paper that says "Coppola". It's beautiful! The story is in the middle of the book and it brought tears to my eyes.

I laughed, cried, and even got angry while reading this book. This one is staying on my shelves and I'll purchase the full copy as well. I'm not a huge memoir fan but I'm so thankful to the publicist and Dr. Coppola for asking me to review this book. My life feels different now and I hope to impart to my students the importance of serving your country, whether in the military or simply through their choice of profession.

This book is currently available to ship today - only at 10% of all purchases made during the month of November on will go to support the not-for-profit organization War Child. Additionally, preorders are currently available on, but will not ship until February, 2010.

Don't let this one slip away. This is a life-changing book that I HIGHLY recommend to all!

View all my reviews >>

Other Bloggers touring this book:

November 11, 2009 (online)

November 12, 2009 (online)
Interview & Book Giveaway

November 23 & 24, 2009 (online)
Guest Post & Video Interview

November 24, 2009 (online)
Guest Post & Interview

December 3, 2009 (online)
Guest Post

December 17, 2009 (online)
Guest Post & Interview

I received this review copy from the publisher. I am an Amazon Affiliate.

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Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading.

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

Grab your current read. Let the book fall open to a random page.

Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

Please avoid spoilers!!

A verdant , sloping lawn sprawled across the backyard, edged with dirt peninsulas of sago palms, birds of paradise, and several swaying jacarandas that tossed purple confetti-like blossoms onto the flagstone patio every June.

How's that for an awesome outdoor description? Makes me miss summertime!!!

Taken from White Picket Fences by Susan Meissner

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Monday, November 23, 2009

For Faithful Friends by Marilyn Randall

For Faithful Friends For Faithful Friends by Marilyn Randall

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I received this book from Marilyn Randall after requesting a different book and that book not quite yet being prepared. I'm really looking forward to reading and reviewing Elmer the Christmas Elf but was pleasantly surprised to see this book when the new one wasn't quite ready yet.

I highly enjoyed reading this book to my children. They enjoyed the story about the turtle who was so wrapped up in his own self-pity that he couldn't see what all he was missing out on! This book focuses on how faith is essential to life. It is not "preachy" or trying to convert someone to their brand of religion. This is a super clean, full of values and morals, down home children's book. I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I found a little bit of myself in the turtle. Maybe I'll come out of my shell one of these days!

I highly recommend this read for your youngsters. This would make a great gift during this holiday season!

View all my reviews >>

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Stop It! by Sally O. Lee

Stop it! Stop it! by Sally Lee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Stop It is a cute little book written by Sally O Lee that focuses on "Being bigger than the bully". Anabel is being bothered by her brother George on an almost constant basis. George even bullies the poor helpless cat! One day, Anabel decides to be a better person than George when he starts bullying her.

My children enjoyed this book, especially the graphics which are also done by the author.

View all my reviews >>

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page each Monday so that other book lovers and bloggers can see and comment on what's in the mailbox. Thanks Marcia for a great way of posting our new (or new to us) books!!

Have you read a book on my list? Please comment on it. It's possible I will use your comment and link back to you when I post my review of a particular book!

To Review:
For Faithful Friends
by Marilyn Randall (received from author)
Just Grace and the Snack Attack by Charise Mericle Harper (sent from publishing company...not sure if I won it somewhere and forgot or if it was just sent to me)

Going Rogue by Sarah Palin
The Bartered Bride by Erica Vetsch
Pleasant Surprises by Becky Melby
Autumn Rains by Myra Johnson
A Promise Born by Cara Putnam

Giveaway Books I Have Won:

What's in your box this week?

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Who Loves Ya Baby? Blog Award

I received this award from my friend MJ over at Creative Madness. Thanks so much!!

The Award:
Who Love's Ya Baby

What's it all about (Alfie)?:
This award is designed with one purpose in mind: Pass this on to other bloggers who have awarded you in the past.

Return the love!

So, I'm passing it along to:

  1. Trin
  2. Sheila
  3. Jessica
  4. Alison
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Show Me 5 Saturday

Hosted by Alison each week to focus on 5 aspects of a book to encourage more readers!

It will work like this:
Each Saturday You will post the answer to these questions. The number indicates the number of answers you will provide.

1 Book you read and/or reviewed this week: A Pediatric Surgeon in Iraq by Chris Coppola, MD

2 Words that describe the book: wartime medicine

3 Settings where it took place or characters you met: Iraq, the location; Chris, the author and USAF pediatric trauma surgeon; Trevor, another fellow trauma surgeon serving our country

4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it: 1. I am enjoying getting a glimpse of what goes on in terms of the medical issues in a war zone. 2. I am not enjoying hearing of all the traumas occurring, but it's a war after all. 3. The story of the female driver has really touched me...won't forget it for a long time! 4. I am gaining an even greater appreciation for our armed forces serving our country in Iraq or wherever they may be. THANK YOU!

5 Stars or less for your rating? So far, 5 stars. Will review on Tuesday!!

If you would like to become a part of this meme, please join in! Alison would love to have you! Create your post and then let her know the link and she'll add you to the linky list!

Thanks Alison for a super fun Saturday meme!

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. I am an affiliate.
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The Secret Life of Joy by Melissa Senate

The Secret of Joy The Secret of Joy by Melissa Senate

He was telling you he wasn't leaving you all alone in this world, that you didn't have to marry Michael. ~Maggie

Rebecca Strand has a wonderful divorce-lawyer boyfriend, Michael, a job in his firm as a paralegal, and a dad dying of pancreatic cancer. As if that's not enough stress! While visiting her dad in the hospital, Daniel Strand makes a stunning deathbed confession...Rebecca did have the sister she always wanted. That begins her quest to find Joy Jayhawk.

Michael is not at all happy that Rebecca wants to make this quest to find her half-sister and to possibly give away half of her inheritance. He does everything he can to knock some sense into her thick skull. Rebecca goes anyway and finds the sister she's always wanted...only to find out that she's not wanted as this sister. Will she ever be able to find happiness and Joy in her life?

I really loved this book and didn't want to see it end!! I was afraid of how it would end but I'm very happy with how Melissa Senate chose to end this book. There were so many characters I could identify with throughout this book but I see myself identifying more with Joy. I have known my dad and he's been in my life since the beginning. However, paralleling this situation with others in my life, I could be Joy. I also really like the character of Theo. He would be my hero in the "real life".

I highly recommend this read to lovers of chick lit and for those looking for a lite refreshing read. I received this book from the Publisher as a part of the Pump Up Your Book Promotional Blog Tour.

View all my reviews >>

If you are so moved to do so, please feel free to make a donation to my Relay for Life team by using the button in the top right hand corner of my blog. This book touches briefly on pancreatic cancer, one of the many types of cancer that are virtually uncurable at this point in time. Cancer has touched my life far too many times. I'm doing my part by Relaying, spreading the word, and making my own personal monthly donations based on the number of books I'm reading. I would love for you to join in the fight!

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A to Z Wednesday: Ohhhhhh!!!

To join, here's all you have to do: Go to your stack of books and find one whose title starts with the letter of the week.
Post: 1~ a photo of the book
2~ title and synopsis
3~ link(amazon, barnes and noble etc.)
4~ Come back here and leave your link in the comments.
If you've already reviewed this book you can add it also.
Be sure to visit other participants to see what book they have posted and leave them a comment.
(We all love comments, don't we?)
Who knows? You may find your next "favorite" book.


Outlander by Diana Gabaldon Review

In Outlander, a 600-page time-travel romance, strong-willed and sensual Claire Randall leads a double life with a husband in one century, and a lover in another. Torn between fidelity and desire, she struggles to understand the pure intent of her heart. But don't let the number of pages and the Scottish dialect scare you. It's one of the fastest reads you'll have in your library.

While on her second honeymoon in the British Isles, Claire touches a boulder that hurls her back in time to the forbidden Castle Leoch with the MacKenzie clan. Not understanding the forces that brought her there, she becomes ensnared in life-threatening situations with a Scots warrior named James Fraser. But it isn't all spies and drudgery that she must endure. For amid her new surroundings and the terrors she faces, she is lured into love and passion like she's never known before.

I was lame and sore in every muscle when I woke next morning. I shuffled to the privy closet, then to the wash basin. My innards felt like churned butter. It felt as though I had been beaten with a blunt object, I reflected, then thought that that was very near the truth. The blunt object in question was visible as I came back to bed, looking now relatively harmless. Its possessor [Jamie] woke as I sat next to him, and examined me with something that looked very much like male smugness."
Gabaldon creates characters that you'll remember, laugh with, cry with, and cheer for long after you've finished the book. --Candy Paape --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

I have not yet read this book. I do own it though, thanks to a purchase on ebay! I am an Amazon Associate.

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My Thoughts on Curse of the Spider King

Today is the last day of the CSFF bloggers tour of a new release, Curse of the Spider King by Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper.

This is a book that I have eagerly awaited to receive after seeing some of the initial reviews and information. It did not disappoint at all!! I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!!!

This is a great book for teens about seven teenagers who just don't fit in. After a series of strange events, they are all approached and given a book to read. In this book, they read of a long standing war between the fairies and the Spider King. There are seven Elven Lords that were supposed to be killed when captured, however there was a curse that would bring serious reprecussions. The captors instead left the Elven Lords on the Earth and they were allowed to grow up in families and live "normal" lives. That is, until they were desperately needed.

A few things that stuck out at me during the reading of this book: 1. I LOVE that they referenced Donita K. Paul's Dragonrider series!!! I've not yet read that series but have read Vanishing Sculptor. I will definately read her Dragonrider series now, especially since these authors gave her an endorsement! 2. The scenery depicted in this book is amazing. I want to go to Berinfell! 3. I really like the mystery of the "trench coat man" although I wouldn't want to meet him in a dark alley (or a lit one for that matter!) 4. I love that this is the type of book to get some young readers wrapped into reading again or for the first time. Especially since this is a POSITIVE book for youngsters (and more mature ages alike).

Overall, I strongly recommend this book to all!! It's a great adventure and I'm excited about book 2!!

Now for the giveaway...

Leave a comment about your favorite book for teenagers, along with your email address (no email means no entry!!). I'll draw the winner on November 30 at 11:59 PM EST using US only please (sorry, overseas shipping is just too much for me right now).

Please be sure to visit these other stops on the tour to see what others have to say about this great book!"> Brandon Barr"> Justin Boyer"> Amy Browning"> Valerie Comer"> Amy Cruson"> CSFF Blog Tour"> Stacey Dale"> D. G. D. Davidson"> Shane Deal"> Jeff Draper"> Emmalyn Edwards"> April Erwin"> Karina Fabian"> Todd Michael Greene"> Ryan Heart"> Timothy Hicks"> Becky Jesse"> Cris Jesse"> Jason Joyner"> Julie"> Carol Keen"> Krystine Kercher"> Tina Kulesa"> Melissa Lockcuff"> Rebecca LuElla Miller"> Mirtika"> Nissa"> John W. Otte"> Cara Powers"> Chawna Schroeder"> James Somers"> Speculative Faith"> Robert Treskillard"> Fred Warren"> Jason Waguespac"> Phyllis Wheeler"> Jill Williamson"> KM Wilsher

I would like to thank the publisher, Thomas Nelson, for providing a copy for review. I have also purchased a copy of this book from that will be used later on in the week for a giveaway. I am an Amazon Associate.
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