Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Magician's Book Review and GIVEAWAY!! Closed

This giveaway is now CLOSED! Congratulations to Leah for winning this book.


About the Book (taken from Laura Miller's website)

The Magician’s Book is the story of one reader's long, tumultuous relationship with C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia. As a child, Laura Miller read and re-read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and its sequels countless times, and wanted nothing more than to find her own way to Narnia. In her skeptical teens, a casual reference to the Chronicles’s Christian themes left her feeling betrayed and alienated from the stories she had come to know and trust. Years later, convinced that "the first book we fall in love with shapes us every bit as much as the first person we fall in love with," Miller returns to Lewis' classic fantasies to see what mysteries Narnia still holds for adult eyes—and is captured in an entirely new way.

In her search to uncover the source of these small books’ mysterious power, Miller looks to their creator, Clive Staples Lewis. What she discovers is not the familiar, idealized image of the author, but a man who stands in stark contrast to his whimsical creation—scarred by a tragic and troubled childhood, Oxford educated, a staunch Christian, and a social conservative, armed with deep prejudices.

The Magician’s Book is an intellectual adventure story, in which Miller travels to Lewis’s childhood home in Ireland, the possible inspiration for Narnia’s landscape; unfolds his intense friendship with J.R.R.Tolkien, a bond that led the two of them to create the greatest myth-worlds of modern times; and explores Lewis’ influence on writers like Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Franzen, and Philip Pullman. Finally reclaiming Narnia "for the rest of us," Miller casts the Chronicles as a profoundly literary creation, and the portal to a life-long adventure in books, art, and the imagination. Erudite, wide-ranging, and playful, The Magician’s Book is for all who live in thrall to the magic of books.

MY REVIEW

I am not a big fan of this book. I suspect the biggest reason for that is I believe in Jesus and I find the Christian themes found in the Narnia chronicles beautiful. The author finds them a betrayal and a way to wreck a perfectly good story. I disagree. Although I think the book is well written I found some of the research really bogged it down. I think Miller did a lot of research and work on this book but it definitely did not suit my fancy.

Would you like to win my copy of this book?

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10. Tell me something delightful. You can do this as many times as you like earning yourself unlimited entries :)

I will choose a winner on February 16 th and you will have 48 hours to claim your prize. Please leave me a way to contact you if you win!

Don't forget to enter my other great giveaways...


Win a copy of Beat the Reaper HERE.
Win LOADS of books HERE.
Win a copy of The Magicians Book- A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia" HERE.
Win a copy of Snapshot by Ryan O'Reilly HERE.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snapshot Review & GIVEAWAY!! CLOSED

This giveaway is now CLOSED!! Congratulations to Darbyscloset for winning this book.


Product Description (from Amazon.com)

GEN-X QUITS AND HITS THE ROAD. What made him do it? Was it the stifling, dead-end corporate job or the unfaithful fiancé? Whatever the reason, one fed-up, twenty-something decides to kiss the rat-race good-bye and take to the road to find himself and his dreams. As he rides on his motorcycle on a journey of self-discovery, the traveller becomes a nomadic vagabond seeking enlightenment and finding it in a series of remarkable encounters, a modern counterculture and a fellow wanderer. Through friendship, death and the freedoms found outside of middle-American values, the traveller learns life's most important lesson: It s not the destination that is important, but what happens along the way.

MY REVIEW

This is an interesting book. I thought it was well written and easy to read. I enjoyed the author's storytelling and felt like he effectively drew me in to his storyline.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO WIN A COPY OF THIS BOOK?

1. Leave me a comment here! That's it!

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I will choose a winner on February 11 th and you will have 48 hours to claim your prize or I will choose a new winner. Please leave me a way to contact you if you win! This giveaway is open to everyone everywhere.

Don't forget to enter my other great giveaways too...

I Choose to be Happy by Missy Jenkins


About the book from MissyJenkins.com :

It was one of the darkest days in America’s history—December 1, 1997. Freshman Michael Carneal walked into the Heath High School lobby in West Paducah, Kentucky, and started shooting, killing three students and injuring five. One of those injured students was 15-year-old Missy Jenkins, who was left paralyzed from the chest down.

But Missy never saw her disability as an end. Just hours after the tragedy, she forgave Carneal and took back her life. In the next decade she would graduate from college, become a counselor for troubled youth, get married, have a baby, and confront Carneal face to face about his actions that tragic day.

She would earn countless local and national honors over the years, from “Kentuckian of the Year” to one of Ladies’ Home Journal’s “Most Fascinating Women.” This is a story of love, forgiveness, courage, and determination—one that will leave people of all ages inspired to make the most of each day and never take life for granted.

MY REVIEW

This is a wonderful book about the power of forgiveness. Missy tells her incredible story in a way that captivates the reader. She turns something utterly horrific into a testimony of Jesus' work in her life. This is an inspiring story and I think most would benefit from reading it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Books Books and MORE Books GIVEAWAY!!

This giveaway is now CLOSED! Congratulations to the winners: Stacie, ihchicky, morality28, Valorie, Sarah, Shannon, tatertot374, Becky, and Carolyn.


I am giving away all these great books! To learn more about each book and read my review simply click on the cover.

1. The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters by Lorraine Lopez...
2. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya...
3. The Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea...
4. Brownsville Stories by Oscar Casares...
5. Eco-Friendly Families by Helen Coronato...
6. Be Strong and Curvaceous by Shelley Adina...
7. One Extraordinary Day by Harold Myra...
8. The Adventures of Songha The Amazing Savannah Cat by Linda R. Caterine...
9. Nourishment from the Word by Kenneth L. Gentry Jr....

Would you like to win one of these great books???

1. Leave me a comment here telling me which books you want to win!

Want extra entries? Leave a SEPARATE comment for each step you complete please...

2. Add my button to your site and leave me the link.

3. Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link to the post.

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7. Follow this blog.

8. Go leave my husband some comment love on his photoblog, his regular blog, or his flikr stream. You can do this as often as you like, just make sure to come back and tell me you did it!

9. Go read my mom's blog and leave her some comment love. Trust me, she is NOT your typical mom. You can do this as much as you like too, but again, make sure you come back and tell me so I know!

10. Tell me something delightful. You can do this as many times as you like earning yourself unlimited entries :)

I will choose the winners on February 10 th and you will have 48 hours to claim your prize. Please leave me a way to contact you if you win!

Don't forget to enter my other great giveaways...

Win a copy of Beat the Reaper HERE.
Win LOADS of books HERE.
Win a copy of The Magicians Book- A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia" HERE.
Win a copy of Snapshot by Ryan O'Reilly HERE.

This Side of Heaven GIVEAWAY!!! CLOSED

This giveaway is now CLOSED! Congratulations to WonderfullyMade729 for winning this lovely book! Winner was chosen randomly- I asked my husband to pick a number.


Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

I've always loved Karen Kingsbury's books and so for this giveaway I am offering up her latest novel- This Side of Heaven...



Product Description (from Amazon.com)

Annie Warren always wanted the best for her son, Josh. But years of failure and bad choices created a heartbreaking distance that has grown far worse since the day Josh was hit by a drunk driver. Now on medical disability, Josh has put his life on hold for years, waiting for the insurance company to send a settlement that never seems to come. Worse, he believes the story of a scheming woman who claims they have a seven-year-old daughter named Savannah.

Despite the unlikelihood and complete lack of evidence, Josh dreams of being a father and is determined to one day claim the child. His family doesn't know the full story. They don't know what happened the night of the accident that was worth the chronic pain Josh suffers every waking minute, or that he is turning his life around. They haven't seen that Savannah's eyes are his, and they don't know how desperately the little girl needs her family.

When the settlement that rightly belongs to Josh is threatened, Annie sets out to defend her son. But she might find a treasure more valuable than money, one she never expected, one that is the greatest gift her son could ever give her--THIS SIDE OF HEAVEN.

MY REVIEW

I loved this book. The story line grabbed my heart immediately and it kept my attention the whole way through. This wonderful story made me cry... which always means it is a good book!

WOULD YOU LIKE TO WIN A COPY OF THIS BOOK?

1. Leave me a comment here! That's it!

Want extra entries? Leave a SEPARATE comment for each step you complete please...

2. Add my button to your site and leave me the link.

3. Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link to the post.

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7. Follow this blog.

8. Go leave my husband some comment love on his photoblog, his regular blog, or his flikr stream. You can do this as often as you like, just make sure to come back and tell me you did it!

I will choose a winner on February 1 st and you will have 48 hours to claim your prize or I will choose a new winner. Please leave me a way to contact you if you win! This giveaway is open to everyone everywhere.

Don't forget to enter my other great giveaways too...

Win a copy of Beat the Reaper HERE.
Win SkinMD lotion HERE.
Win LOADS of books HERE.
Win Rock Bottom HERE.
Win Melontree Leg Warmers HERE.
Win Psycho Super Mom CD HERE.
Win a Hip-T HERE.
Win a personalized ELMO CD HERE.

Rock Bottom GIVEAWAY!!! CLOSED

This giveaway is now CLOSED! Congratulations to Helena Batt-Vesey for winning this book.


Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

The bloggy giveaways carnival is here! YAY!

For this giveaway I'd like to offer Rock Bottom by Michael Shilling. You can read my review HERE if you are interested...

Here is some information on this book from the Hachette Book Group website...


Once, the Blood Orphans had it all: a million-dollar recording contract from Warner Brothers, killer hooks, and cheekbones that could cut glass. Four pretty boys from Los Angeles, they were supposed to be the next big thing, future kings of rock and roll.

But something happened on the way to glory, and now, two years later, along with their coke-fueled, mohawked female manager, they have washed up in Amsterdam for the final show of their doomed and dismal European tour. The singer has become a born-again Buddhist who preaches from the stage, the bass player's raging eczema has turned his hands into a pulpy mess, the drummer is a sex-fiend tormented by the misdeeds of his porn-king father, and the guitar player--the only talented one--is thoroughly cowed by the constant abuse of his bandmates.

As they stumble through their final day together, the Blood Orphans find themselves on a comic tour of frustration, danger, excitement, and just possibly, redemption.


Michael Shilling is a Lecturer at the University of Michigan, where he received his MFA in Creative Writing. His stories have appeared in The Sun, Fugue, and Other Voices. A recovering rock musician, he played the drums in The Long Winters, as well as numerous other bands in Seattle. Currently, he is working on a novel set in Victorian England.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO WIN A COPY OF THIS BOOK?

1. Leave me a comment here! That's it!

Want extra entries? Leave a SEPARATE comment for each step you complete please...

2. Add my button to your site and leave me the link.

3. Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link to the post.

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6. Subscribe to this blog.

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I will choose a winner on January 31 st and you will have 48 hours to claim your prize or I will choose a new winner. Please leave me a way to contact you if you win! This giveaway is open to everyone everywhere.


Don't forget to enter my other great giveaways too...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Beat the Reaper review and GIVEAWAY! CLOSED

This giveaway is now CLOSED! Congratulations to Bcteagirl for winning this book!


Dr. Peter Brown is an intern at Manhattan's worst hospital, with a talent for medicine, a shift from hell, and a past he'd prefer to keep hidden. Whether it's a blocked circumflex artery or a plan to land a massive malpractice suit, he knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men.

Pietro "Bearclaw" Brnwna is a hitman for the mob, with a genius for violence, a well-earned fear of sharks, and an overly close relationship with the Federal Witness Relocation Program. More likely to leave a trail of dead gangsters than a molecule of evidence, he's the last person you want to see in your hospital room.

Nicholas LoBrutto, aka Eddy Squillante, is Dr. Brown's new patient, with three months to live and a very strange idea: that Peter Brown and Pietro Brnwa might-just might-be the same person ...

Now, with the mob, the government, and death itself descending on the hospital, Peter has to buy time and do whatever it takes to keep his patients, himself, and his last shot at redemption alive. To get through the next eight hours-and somehow beat the reaper.

Spattered in adrenaline-fuelled action and bone-saw-sharp dialogue, BEAT THE REAPER is a debut thriller so utterly original you won't be able to guess what happens next, and so shockingly entertaining you won't be able to put it down.

(from HachetteBookGroupUSA.com)

MY REVIEW

I almost don't know what to say about this book... it is unique. I absolutely loved Bazell's writing style. The storyline is crazy! It is funny and sad and bizarre and definitely kept my interest the whole way through. It had more profanity, violence, and sexuality than I would have liked... but it IS a book about a Hitman. SO I concede it would not have been very realistic without the language.

I really did like this story... the footnotes are even funny. It is unlike any book I have ever read before but it certainly would not appeal to those of you easily offended by the use of profanity.

You can find out more at www.beatthereaper.com .

WOULD YOU LIKE TO WIN MY COPY OF THIS BOOK?

1. Leave me a comment here! That's it!

Want extra entries? Leave a SEPARATE comment for each step you complete please...

2. Add my button to your site and leave me the link.

3. Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link to the post.

4. Twitter this giveaway.

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6. Subscribe to this blog.

7. Follow this blog.


I will choose a winner on February 9 th and you will have 48 hours to claim your prize or I will choose a new winner. Please leave me a way to contact you if you win! This giveaway is open to everyone everywhere.

Don't forget to enter my other great giveaways too...


Win a copy of Beat the Reaper HERE.
Win LOADS of books HERE.
Win a copy of The Magicians Book- A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia" HERE.
Win a copy of Snapshot by Ryan O'Reilly HERE.

Divine Justice by David Baldacci- review




Known by his alias, "Oliver Stone," John Carr is the most wanted man in America. With two pulls of the trigger, the men who hid the truth of Stone's past and kept him in the shadows were finally silenced. But Stone's freedom has come at a steep price; the assassinations he carried out have prompted the highest levels of the United States Government to unleash a massive manhunt. Joe Knox is leading the charge, but his superiors aren't telling him everything there is to know about his quarry-and their hidden agendas are just as dangerous as the killer he's trying to catch. Meanwhile, with their friend and unofficial leader in hiding, the members of the Camel Club must fend for themselves, even as they try to protect him. As Knox closes in, Stone's flight from the demons of his past will take him far from Washington, D.C., to the coal-mining town of Devine, Virginia-and headlong into a confrontation every bit as lethal as the one he is trying to escape.

MY REVIEW

I started into this book not realizing it was the fourth in a series. For the most part not having read the first three books did not affect my understanding of the fourth although I DO wish I had read the series in order. If you enjoy a good thriller than you will likely enjoy Baldacci's writing style. The storyline is pretty intense and it kept my attention. I also had no idea how it would end which is always a good thing in a mystery novel!

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker- review


When Truly Plaice's mother was pregnant, the town of Aberdeen joined together in betting how recordbreakingly huge the baby boy would ultimately be. The girl who proved to be Truly paid the price of her enormity; her father blamed her for her mother's death in childbirth, and was totally ill equipped to raise either this giant child or her polar opposite sister Serena Jane, the epitome of femine perfection. When he, too, relinquished his increasingly tenuous grip on life, Truly and Serena Jane are separated--Serena Jane to live a life of privilege as the future May Queen and Truly to live on the outskirts of town on the farm of the town sadsack, the subject of constant abuse and humiliation at the hands of her peers.

Serena Jane's beauty proves to be her greatest blessing and her biggest curse, for it makes her the obsession of classmate Bob Bob Morgan, the youngest in a line of Robert Morgans who have been doctors in Aberdeen for generations. Though they have long been the pillars of the community, the earliest Robert Morgan married the town witch, Tabitha Dyerson, and the location of her fabled shadow book--containing mysterious secrets for healing and darker powers--has been the subject of town gossip ever since. Bob Bob Morgan, one of Truly's biggest tormentors, does the unthinkable to claim the prize of Serena Jane, and changes the destiny of all Aberdeen from there on.

When Serena Jane flees town and a loveless marriage to Bob Bob, it is Truly who must become the woman of a house that she did not choose and mother to her eight-year-old nephew Bobbie. Truly's brother-in-law is relentless and brutal; he criticizes her physique and the limitations of her health as a result, and degrades her more than any one human could bear. It is only when Truly finds her calling--the ability to heal illness with herbs and naturopathic techniques--hidden within the folds of Robert Morgan's family quilt, that she begins to regain control over her life and herself. Unearthed family secrets, however, will lead to the kind of betrayal that eventually break the Morgan family apart forever, but Truly's reckoning with her own demons allows for both an uprooting of Aberdeen County, and the possibility of love in unexpected places.

(taken from Hachette Book Group USA.com)

MY REVIEW

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County is an excellent book. I found the storyline engaging and absolutely loved Baker's characters. I enjoyed the writing style in this easy to read novel. This book brought me through a whole range of emotions and any book that makes me cry is one I can definitely recommend :) This is a wonderful debut novel for Tiffany Baker.

Brother by James Fredericks- review


What does it mean to call another man brother? And how often are we faced with circumstances that truly test the nature or our relationships? When attorney Chase Riordan and his estranged brother Jared are accused of crimes they didn' t commit, they must somehow work together to clear their names. As they peel away the layers of deception to uncover the truth, suspicions fall upon those closest to them, testing relationships and forcing choices between their families, their careers, and their friendships. Against a backdrop of suspicion, betrayal, revenge, and murder, the men must decide how much they re willing to risk to attain justice, and whether the bonds of brotherhood extend beyond blood. For in the end, their survival and fate may well depend upon their belief and trust in each other.

About the Author

James Fredericks was born in New Jersey, and went to school in North Carolina. He has been a top executive at a number of Fortune 500 companies, as well as a consultant to senior management and Boards of Directors. His three passions are his family, his writing, and his friendships, all of which came together in Brother his first novel. http://www.jamesfredericks.com/

(from www.bascomhillpublishing.com)

MY REVIEW

I really enjoyed this book. I think Fredericks told an excellent story that caught my attention from start to finish. I love the interplay between the brothers and how much their relationship to each other was a part of this fabulous thriller. Brother is a wonderful first novel for Fredericks.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Baby Steps review


Product Description (from Amazon.com)

Mc Loughlin's unique and witty way of spinning a web of romance, sprinkling in humor and action will have you reading late at night, unable to put this one down.

Lynda sat there as Michael turned to go and put her fingers to her lips, where they tingled from his kiss. He turned back to her and said, May I call you again?

She nodded, lowering her hand from her mouth. He couldn t resist. He kissed her again, swiftly and deliberately. Good, he said a second later, his eyes dancing.

Lynda laughed, Go! He laughed too and went back to work with a spring in his step that he barely recognized as his own.

Meet Lynda Blake...a widowed single mom to 17-year-old Sean whose time has come for a change of lifestyle. After mourning the loss of her husband, one day she finds herself helping her son's classmate through a heated crowd of protestors at a women's clinic, sparking a chain of events that will forever change her life. She meets sexy Dr. Michael Cameron, embarks on a romance --and possibly a future with the handsome doc-- until danger threatens the sanctity of her home and her resolve. She has to choose between her son's safety and her own desire. Will there ever be room for Lynda in her own life?

Most women are pro-choice and have faith of some kind. Baby Steps tells the story of one such woman forced to prove the strength of her convictions. At turns witty and profound, Baby Steps will make you laugh, blush and will leave you with a smile.

About the Author


K.L. Mc Loughlin did her undergraduate work at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario (Canada) and received her Master's in Education from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA).
After living in the San Francisco Bay Area for eight years, she now lives in Victoria, British Columbia (Canada) where she is working on her second book.

MY REVIEW

I absolutely loved this very well written novel! I think Mc Loughlin is an amazing CANADIAN author! I read the entire book in one afternoon. The storyline caught my interest right from the start and I really enjoyed "getting to know" the characters. I also think the book offers a good perspective on some rather controversial issues. I would definitely recommend this great book!

Lion's Pride by Debbie Jordan


Synopsis

(from Barnes & Noble.com)


Beware the Old Lion Who Jealously Guards His Pride

In 1911 Arizona, as Sheriff Paco Alaniz investigates the murder of Don Santiago Castillo de Leon, he must deal with the priest who seems to be more than a confessor to the distraught widow, a runaway teenager who's promised as the tenth bride to the leader of renegade Mormon polygamists, an ex-Mormon gambler who wants to save his sister and the woman he loves from the husband they both share, and a vicious mountain lion threatening inhabitants of the Territory.

MY REVIEW

I really enjoyed reading Lion's Pride. I found the storyline engaging and Jordan's characters fascinating. The book is well written and a relatively easy read. If you enjoy historical fiction you will enjoy this book!

The World I Imagine- review



About the Book (from Amazon.com)

Peace and poverty cannot coexist. Peace is not merely the absence of conflict. Establishing and maintaining peace will take far more creativity, dedication, and hard work than war ever did. True peace would be much cheaper and far less traumatic than any war, but, to date, no one has been able to pull it off.

The essays in this collection introduce creative ideas for ending poverty everywhere, in the hope that humans can finally build a truly peaceful society where everyone enjoys at least the basic benefits of prosperity, for the first time in history.

You can read more about the book and the author on her website.

MY REVIEW

I resonated with a lot of Jordan's ideas and I think if we all followed her plan we'd be a lot happier! However I do think she missed one HUGE key component- God. Add God to the picture and her plan would be great! I found the book easy to read and understand. It is packed full of idealism and I think we need a little of that in this world!

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Giving Myths- review


About the book (from www.helwys.com)

The American Dream goes like this: “get all you can, save all you can, achieve all you can.” If you do, you'll be happy, healthy and enter your retirement years with peace and tranquility. The only problem with this: it's a myth. The life people really want is found not in getting but giving.

In The Giving Myths, author Dr. Steve McSwain makes a compelling argument that your highest purpose in life is to give yourself away and generously share your abundance with the world. Any other way to self-actualization and personal fulfillment is a dead-end. Contrary to popular culture, the life you've always wanted isn't found in career choice, personal achievements, or even the amount of money you may amass in a lifetime. Instead, it's found in one of the simplest, yet most challenging, principles ever given by the greatest teacher who ever lived. Miss getting and living by this principle and you'll miss getting the life you've always wanted.

Stephen B. McSwain is Vice President of Cargill Associates, Inc., an industry leader in philanthropy and fundraising with more than 30-years of service, thousands of clients, and billions raised for charitable causes. As an expert in the fields of church growth, church health, philanthropy and annual and capital fundraising, Dr. McSwain has consulted in the last decade with hundreds of Catholic, Evangelical, and Protestant churches nationwide. Each year, he speaks to thousands across the country on the subject of this book— giving, then getting the life you’ve always wanted. He has an earned doctorate and he and his family make their home in Louisville, Kentucky.

MY REVIEW

McSwain tackles an important issue in this book and one that many people just don't want to talk about. I found The Giving Myths to be well written with a very important message. This is an excellent book. I found McSwain to be a refreshing voice and would definitely recommend it to anyone wondering what the point of giving is!

Forever Lily- review


Synopsis (from Barnes & Noble.com)

"Will you take her?" she asks.

When Beth Nonte Russell travels to China to help her friend Alex adopt a baby girl from an orphanage there, she thinks it will be an adventure, a chance to see the world. But her friend, who had prepared for the adoption for many months, panics soon after being presented with the frail baby, and the situation develops into one of the greatest challenges of Russell's life.

Russell, watching in disbelief as Alex distances herself from the child, cares for the baby -- clothing, bathing, and feeding her -- and makes her feel secure in the unfamiliar surroundings. Russell is overwhelmed and disoriented by the unfolding drama and all that she sees in China, and yet amid the emotional turmoil finds herself deeply bonding with the child. She begins to have dreams of an ancient past -- dreams of a young woman who is plucked from the countryside and chosen to be empress, and of the child who is ultimately taken from her. As it becomes clear that her friend -- whose indecisiveness about the adoption has become a torment -- won't be bringing the baby home, Russell is amazed to realize that she cannot leave the baby behind and that her dreams have been telling her something significant, giving her the courage to open her heart and bring the child home against all odds.

Steeped in Chinese culture, Forever Lily is an extraordinary account of a life-changing, wholly unexpected love.

MY REVIEW

Forever Lily is an incredibly poignant story. I personally found the dream sequence a bit difficult to get through but other than that I really liked this book. The storyline captured my attention and I wanted to see how things would turn out for the main characters. The description of the baby girls in the orphanages made me weep. Overall I think this is a wonderful story.

ITP Future Hope- review


About the book (taken from www.ruffianpress.com)

Future Earth has forgotten God. Science and technology reign supreme as hunger, poverty, and disease have been eliminated and the benevolent government provides all the necessities and many luxuries for the ever increasing population. However, even science has its limits and the solar system’s resources are rapidly being depleted.

The answer promises to be found by expanding mankind’s domain through the Interdimensional Transport Protocol, brilliantly conceived by mathematician Dr. Deborah Tennyson. All that remains is one final test, the first manned ITP flight by Major David Sanders; the brash, self centered, but remarkably talented astropilot.

What will he find? The fame he so desperately craves or much more? ITP: Future Hope follows his adventure as he travels through interdimensional space to a world he could never imagine and a destiny he could never expect.

About the Author

David Gelber is a surgeon practicing in the Houston, Texas, area. He is married with three children, four dogs and twenty-four birds. This is his first novel. He grew up in upstate New York.

MY REVIEW

I found the whole premise of ITP: Future Hope to be fascinating. I thought it was well written and VERY interesting. The storyline captured my attention and I think Gelber did an excellent job on his debut novel.

How to Hear from God by Joyce Meyer- review


Product Description (from Amazon.com)

In the hustle and bustle of today's busy world, sometimes it's hard enough to hear yourself think, much less take a minute to stop and listen for the voice of God. But learning to recognize God's voice and the many ways in which He speaks is vital for following His plan. In How to Hear from God, Joyce Meyer shows readers that God reaches out to people every day, seeking a partnership with them to offer guidance and love. She reveals the ways in which God delivers His word and the benefits of asking God for the sensitivity to hear His voice. Joyce asks the question, "Are you listening?" and shares how to do just that.

About the Author (from Amazon.com)

Joyce Meyer has been teaching the Word of God since 1976 and in full-time ministry since 1980. She is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than seventy inspirational books. She has also released thousands of audio teachings as well as a complete video library. Joyce's ENJOYING EVERYDAY LIFE radio and television programs are broadcast around the world, and she travels extensively conducting conferences. Joyce and her husband, Dave, are the parents of four grown children and make their home in St. Louis, Missouri. You can visit her at www.joycemeyer.org.

MY REVIEW

How to Hear from God is another excellent Joyce Meyer book. I really appreciate her wisdom and I think she does an excellent job of teaching important truths in this book. I found the message of the book challenging and encouraging at the same time. I appreciated the Questions for Discussion at the end of each chapter. This would make an excellent group bible study book.

Peaceful Endings- review


Product Description (from Amazon.com)


A chilling tale of Nanotechnology

Peaceful Endings: The NOPOSAM Project, is a time labelled techno thriller set on the landscape of Rhode Island over two and a half days, where some doubtful government ethics go astray. When Coventry General Hospital overflows with sick patients that are dying from extremely minor injuries, trauma specialist, Dr. Marilynn Harwell, is bound and determined to stop it. Harwell's chance meeting with Doug Talbot, a television cameraman for Channel 16, entwines the two in a race against time to find an antidote. When General Thomas Uxbridge, head of the SIA, a man with his own agenda, puts the two under suspicion, their own lives become threatened, leading to two climactic endings.

MY REVIEW

This is not the typical book that I would read- but it is great! Who doesn't like a good conspiracy theory now and then? I found the book well written and it kept me interested the whole way through. I found the main characters interesting and enjoyable. It is definitely a thriller so if you are looking for an exciting read check out Peaceful Endings!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Adventures of Songha Review

The Adventures of Songha: The Amazing Savannah Cat

Product Description
(taken from Amazon.com)

"The Adventures Of Songha" is the story of a rare exotic cat, as seen through the eyes of Songha, a beautiful Savannah cat. Songha is half African Serval leopard and half domestic cat, and this unusual combination sets her apart from most other cats. She has a domestic temperament, but her wild leopard blood drives her to seek adventure by escaping from the safety of her wonderful home. Her restlessness takes her into exciting, and sometimes dangerous territory, as she follows her wild urges to run free. Songha tells us about leaving her leopard father, to come and live with her new family in Las Vegas, Nevada. She loves her new family, but when she is not allowed to go outside and run free, she begins searching for ways to escape. She doesn't want to run away from her family. She just wants to run free for a little while, and then come back to her loving home. From her daring first escape, through an upstairs window, to her confrontation with a notorious wild coyote, Songha gives us a "cat's eye" view into the heart and soul of this exotic feline. She is wild and sweet, endearing and infuriating, all at the same time. And of course, she is always entertaining. As Songha pursues her adventures, she learns some valuable life lessons along the way, and also gains some much needed wisdom. This is the story of Songha, the amazing Savannah cat.

MY REVIEW

This is a cute book intended for kid's aged 9-12. It is very educational in a kid friendly way. If you have a cat lover in your household this would be a great choice. I enjoyed reading about Songha's adventures.

For more information, visit www.vegassavannahs.com

Tomorrow They Will Kiss review


About the book (taken from Once Written.com)

Like her native Cuba, Graciela Altamira is beautiful, defiant, passionate, and constantly threatened with some kind of trouble.

Far from her tropical home, toiling in a New Jersey doll factory, Graciela longs for the same happy ending that seems always to come in her beloved telenovelas-a kiss powerful enough to erase the sins of her past and the haunting memory of her homeland.

But how can she forget when she lives among the ghosts of that little Cuban town? With Caridad and Imperio-two women Graciela has known since girlhood-by her side in the factory, it seems she'll never be free of her past, never truly able to pursue the possibility of love she finds quite unexpectedly in the cold, gray New Jersey winter. Tomorrow They Will Kiss is a novel as irresistible as gossip, as addictive as a soap opera-a tale of love pursued at any cost, of how friendship and history unite us for better or worse, and of the hope for that redemptive kiss capable of reconciling estranged lovers and countries.

MY REVIEW

I really enjoyed Tomorrow They Will Kiss. The story is so well written and easy to read. I was completely enthralled with the characters and storyline. Santiago did an amazing job creating a wonderful vivid drama. I found the descriptions of Cuban culture and the difficulties Cuban refugees face in America enlightening. I definitely recommend this book.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This One Is Mine review and GIVEAWAY!!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!! Congratulations to Valorie of Morbid Romantic for winning this book.

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button



I am including this in the bloggy giveaways carnival!


Violet Parry is living the quintessential life of luxury in the Hollywood Hills with David, her rock-and-roll manager husband, and her darling toddler, Dot. She has the perfect life--except that she's deeply unhappy. David expects the world of Violet but gives little of himself in return. When she meets Teddy, a roguish small-time bass player, Violet comes alive, and soon she's risking everything for the chance to find herself again. Also in the picture are David's hilariously high-strung sister, Sally, on the prowl for a successful husband, and Jeremy, the ESPN sportscaster savant who falls into her trap. For all their recklessness, Violet and Sally will discover that David and Jeremy have a few surprises of their own. THIS ONE IS MINE is a compassionate and wickedly funny satire about our need for more--and the often disastrous choices we make in the name of happiness. (taken from the Hachette Book website)

MY REVIEW

I found this to be a fascinating book. I enjoyed Semple's writing style and I thought she did an amazing job of letting the reader into her character's lives. The story centres around a few incredibly self-centred people and I found it a little sad to realize there really ARE people like them in this world. The book contains a lot of humour though and relatively few obscenities. I did find the portrayal of Jeremy very intriguing- it is suggested that he has Asperger Syndrome, which as some of you know my six year old son has. It added an interesting twist to the story for me.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO WIN MY ADVANCE READING COPY OF THIS BOOK?

PLEASE NOTE that my ARC copy DOES have one massive mistake in it- about 30 pages are turned upside down! But that problem has been corrected in the final drafts of the book and it is easy to overlook in a free book!

SO if you don't mind that little imperfection and would like to read this book for yourself...

1. Leave me a comment here! That's it!

Want extra entries? Leave a SEPARATE comment for each step you complete please...

2. Add my button to your site and leave me the link.

3. Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link to the post.

4. Twitter this giveaway.

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6. Subscribe to this blog.

7. Follow this blog.


I will choose a winner on January 29 th and you will have 48 hours to claim your prize or I will choose a new winner. Please leave me a way to contact you if you win! This giveaway is open to everyone everywhere.

Don't forget to enter my other great giveaways too...

Win a copy of Beat the Reaper HERE.
Win SkinMD lotion HERE.
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Win This Side of Heaven by Karen Kingsbury HERE.
Win Rock Bottom HERE.
Win Melontree Leg Warmers HERE.
Win Psycho Super Mom CD HERE.
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Monday, January 12, 2009

The Bishop's Daughter

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


The Bishop's Daughter

Grand Central Publishing (January 9, 2009)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Tiffany L. Warren is a technology manager who lives in suburban Cleveland, Ohio with her husband and four children. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed novel, Farther Than I Meant to Go, Longer Than I Meant to Stay.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (January 9, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446195146
ISBN-13: 978-0446195140

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Darrin

I'm snatched from my sleep by voices.

They're coming from the living room. The first voice is Shayna, my lover, although she likes to be called my girlfriend. She is not my girlfriend. Haven't had one of those since high school.

The other voice is coming from the television. It's way too loud, but not unfamiliar. I concentrate for a moment until familiarity becomes recognition. The voice belongs to that preacher Shayna likes to watch every Sunday morning.

Is it Sunday already?

I start a mental rewind in an attempt to recapture my weekend. Friday was standard. Edited a short story for a girl in my writer's group. She's entering a romance writer's contest, and wanted my opinion.

I didn't give it to her, because I'm possibly interested in sleeping with her. I told her that the uninspired farce was poetic prose. She won't win the contest, but she won't blame it on me. She'll accuse the judges of being amateurs and then come cry on my shoulder. I'll have tissues on hand – right along with the strawberries and champagne.

Also had lunch with Priscilla. My mother. The obligatory "good son" lunch that keeps me on the family payroll. I call her Priscilla behind her back, but never to her face. She's petite, cultured and polished but not above going upside a brotha's head.

We had the same conversation we have every week.

"Darrin, when are you coming to work for your father?"

"The day after never."

"You always say that."

"And I always mean it."

I love my mother, but I hate this conversation.

My father, Mathis Bainbridge, wants me to work in an office at Bainbridge Transports, shuffling papers, giving orders, and hiring overqualified people at ridiculously insulting rates of pay. He calls his company the 'family business' but only one person in our three person familia is interested in shuttling elderly people to doctor's appointments and on shopping trips.

It's not Priscilla and it's not me.

"You coming to church with me on Sunday?" Mother had also asked.

I'd let out a frustrated sigh. "I'll see."

My sporadic church attendance is Priscilla's other favorite topic.

"Don't you love Jesus?"

"Yes, Mother. I love Jesus."

That wasn't a lie. I do love Jesus. I just cannot say no to a woman who wants me to take her to bed and I have yet to hear a preacher tell me how.

Priscilla was extra irritated at our lunch date. She got borderline vulgar. "But you're willing to go to hell over some girl's dirty panties?"

I'd laughed then, and I'm still laughing. In Priscilla speak 'dirty panties' was tantamount to cursing me out.

I'd replied, "Mother, please watch your language."

Saturday was worse. I'd spent the entire muggy and rainy afternoon at a 10K marathon to benefit cancer research. Put on a fake smile and interviewed the sweaty first-place winner, asking him questions that no one wanted answers to, all the while thinking to myself, 'Why am I doing this?'

There was a time when I was excited to have comma writer after my name. You know, Darrin Bainbridge, writer. But the glamour that I'd envisioned has not yet materialized, and the less money I make with freelance journalism, the more my father threatens to chain me to a desk.

Then, when I should have been winding down for the weekend I blogged. Blogging is what narcissistic writers do when they don't have a book deal. Yeah, I'm just a bit narcissistic. Besides, people like to read what I think about social injustice, celebrities and whatever else. Ten thousand hits a day on my blogsite can't be wrong.

The thing I love about blogging is that I'm anonymous. Like, last week I wrote a piece on Jesse Jackson and how he's more of a threat to African American progress than the KKK. Then, I chilled with him at a networking function the same night. No harm, no foul.

Since I can no longer drown out the television or Shayna's 'Hallelujahs', I open my eyes and concede to starting the day. I stretch, take a deep breath, and grin at the memory of last night. Shayna's perfume lingers in the air. A fruity Victoria's Secret fragrance purchased by me for my benefit, but disguised as a spur-of-the-moment romantic and thoughtful gift. Yeah…I don't do those. But Shayna was pleased. So pleased that she stayed the night in my den of iniquity and is now watching church on television instead of getting her shout on in a pew.

I jump out of the bed in one motion, landing on the ice cold ceramic tiles. My pedicured toes curl from the drastic temperature change. Yes, a brotha likes his feet smooth. Hands too. What?

My apartment is slamming, and the furniture baller style – especially for someone with such a low income. If it wasn't for the deep pockets of my parents, blogging and freelance writing would pretty much have me living in semi-poverty. But my mother makes sure that I have the best of the best, and a monthly allowance. I keep thinking that at twenty-eight, I might be too old for a $6000 a month allowance. I'd be satisfied with less, but I'm not turning anything down. Priscilla's generosity (behind my father's back, of course) allows me to pursue my dreams, whatever they might be.

I pull on a pair of silk boxer shorts and walk up the hallway to the living room. Silently, I observe Shayna. She is rocking back and forth on the couch, her hands wrapped around her own torso. Embracing herself.

"You better preach, preacher!" she shouts at the face on the screen.

I mimic her movements and hug myself too, but not because I feel the love. It's freezing in here. Shayna likes to turn the thermostat on sixty no matter what the temperature is outside. Freon laced air rushes out of every vent.

"If you got breath in your lungs and strength in your body, you need to shout Hallelujah!" shouts the preacher.

"Hallelujah!Hallelujah!Hallelujah!Hallelujah!" Shayna's four-alarm Hallelujah sounds like one word.

I am amazed. How can Shayna feel so worshipful this morning when she just rolled out of my bed a few hours ago?

I'm curious. "Do you send this guy money? He's in Atlanta, right?"

Shayna looks up from the program and smiles seductively. Can she be any more blasphemous?

"Yes, Freedom of Life is in Atlanta and yes I do send in my tithe and offering on the regular. I'm a partner." She motions for me to come join her on the couch. I don't.

"About how many members do you think he has?" I ask as the television camera pans to what looks like the crowd at a Destiny's Child concert.

"The sanctuary holds ten thousand," she declares proudly as if it was her own accomplishment, "but there are about twenty thousand members and partners worldwide."

I'm in writer mode now. I can feel the wheels in my mind spinning. Probably something scandalous going on in a church that size. Pastor either skimming money off the top or sleeping with half the choir. Maybe blogging about a dirty Pastor will attract some sponsors. Exposing rich Black men pays well, and if he's truly grimy I won't have a problem spending the money.

Shayna asks suspiciously, "Since when did you get interested in church?"

"Since just now. I could feel the spirit oozing into the bedroom and I had to come investigate."

"I know you better than that. What's the real?"

Shayna doesn't know me at all, but she thinks she does. She assumes that we have a deep bond just because we've shared bodily fluids. There is more to me than my sex drive, but she'll never know that. She's not the wife type.

I humor her and reply, "Well, I just think that there has got to be a story here."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, this guy can't be more than forty five," I'm half-explaining, half-forming the story in my mind. "And he's got twenty thousand offering paying members? I bet he's living large."

Shayna frowns. "What's your point?"

"You don't think there's anything wrong with that?"

"Uh, no. Your daddy lives large."

I chuckle with disbelief. Didn't know she was one of those people. The ones who try to compare pastoring a church to running a business.

Just for the fun of it, I quip, "Jesus preached for free."

"He didn't have a car note," she shoots right back.

"Okay, I see this might be hitting a little close to home, but I bet if I go down there to Atlanta I can dig up a juicy story."

The thought became even more appealing as I put words to it. Atlanta is uncharted territory for me. Fresh stories, different scenery and untapped women. The more I wrap my arms around the notion, the more it turns into a need.

I need to get my butt down to Atlanta and break this story wide open. Blogging on location. Most definitely liking the sound of that.

Shayna leans over the back of the couch pointing her polished fingernail at me for emphasis. "Whatever. Bishop Kumal Prentiss is a man of God and he preaches the Word."

"Kumal Prentiss? That sounds like a hustler's name. And what do you know about the Word?"

"I grew up in church sweetie. I'm not a heathen like you."

"You're not the only one who was raised in church."

I'd had so much church growing up, that if church was food I could feed every one of those starving Ethiopian children who convince me every week to be their sponsor. If church was talent, I'd be singing like R. Kelly and dancing like Usher. If church was candy…let's just say I went to a lot of church.

Every Sunday Priscilla dragged me, unwillingly, into the huge stone building. Me always screaming, "But Daddy doesn't have to go!" Her always replying, "Daddy's going to hell." She'd give me money for my Sunday school offering and send me on my way.

I went through a phase where I enjoyed the services. I was thirteen and my first crush, Alexandra, was fifteen and fully developed. I joined the junior ushers, youth choir and youth department trying to get at that girl.

Then one Sunday morning, old Pastor Davis preached on lust and hell fire. He'd said that if we didn't repent of our lusts and get baptized, then we'd spend an eternity fighting fire. Since I had been drooling over Alexandra and her tight sweater for the entire service, I was terrified. Walked down that center aisle out of fear while Priscilla shouted, stomped and danced. Went down a dry devil, came up a wet devil.

At age sixteen, I just got tired of pretending that I could walk the narrow road. I prayed about it. Told God that I would come to church when I knew I could live right.

Priscilla wasn't having it. I think she literally had a nervous breakdown when I told her I wasn't going back to church. She cried for days; walked around praying out loud, lifting God up and putting the devil under her feet.

I didn't budge. And for the first time ever, my father defended me. He'd stopped Priscilla dead in her tracks.

He'd said, "Priscilla, you will not make my son go to church if he doesn't want to. Church is for women anyway, it's about time he found a more productive way of spending his time."

The memory brings a smile to my face, makes me want to taunt Shayna about her hypocrisy. "And since you know so much about the Word, what does it say about fornication?"

She must be done talking to me, because she turns back to Bishop Prentiss who has worked his congregation into a frenzy. Had to give it to him. The man had skills.

"You want something to eat?" I ask Shayna, ignoring her attitude.

Her face softens. "You know I do."

In minutes I've prepared a small breakfast feast. French toast on fresh French bread and garnished with powdered sugar, strawberries and carmelized bananas and a three cheese omelet, browned to perfection.

I can cook my butt off.

I arrange everything on the china my mother bought me for a housewarming gift. For me, it's not just the taste of the food, it's the look of it. Presentation is everything. I can make a grill cheesed sandwich look like a gourmet entrée.

Shayna's smile returns as she approaches the table. She tosses her red curls out of her honey colored face as she sashays barefoot over to the table. She looks as delicious as the breakfast wearing her baby t-shirt and boy shorts. I feel a hunger starting inside me that has nothing to do with breakfast food.

Shayna's a cute girl, not stunning, but standing there at my kitchen table, with her disheveled sexiness, she's irresistible. But then again, I have the same motto about women that I have about food. Presentation is everything.

"Why can't you be like the average guy and put everything on paper plates? This looks better than at the restaurant."

"For one, I'm not the average guy and two you wouldn't be so sprung if I was."

Shayna sits down and takes a bite before responding. Closes her eyes and chews slowly. I love the way she savors my culinary creations. She sounds just like a baby relishing the first sips of a warm bottle.

"Is that good?" It's real hard to hide the cockiness in my tone.

"You already know it is!" she exclaims, smacking her lips thoughtfully. "What is it that I taste? There's a different flavor in this."

Her observation fills me with pleasure. "Oh, you've been around me much too long if you are noticing flavor nuances. I'm proud."

She licks her fingers, one at a time. "Mmm-hmm. Maybe I have been around you too long, but baby I am not sprung."

This woman is hilarious. Shayna is not only sprung; she's 'in love'. I'm flattered, even if I don't feel the same way. She's been hinting that she wants to move in with me, but that is not going to happen. Rule number one of my cardinal rules is: never turn a bed mate into a roommate.

"Okay, you're not sprung. I believe you. That's actually a good thing, because then you won't miss me when I go to Atlanta."

"So you're serious about this?"

I fold my arms across my chest and nod my head emphatically. "It is my duty as a journalist to expose the charlatans and inform the people."

"You better be careful. The bible says 'touch not my anointed and do my prophets no harm'."

"Look at you quoting scriptures. I'm impressed. And don't worry about me. If your precious pastor is everything that he says he is then he has nothing to worry about."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

GunMetal Black Review and GIVEAWAY!! CLOSED

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! Congratulations to A Stationary Addict for winning this book!


As a child, Eddie Santiago grows up on the mean streets of his Puerto Rican neighborhood in Chicago, where he witnesses his father's murder. Now in his thirties, after serving ten years in a state penitentiary, Eddie is coming home. With prison behind him, Eddie plans to seek refuge in Miami Beach. But new trouble begins when Eddie and his old friend/gangster Little Tony are pulled over by two cops, who rob Eddie of his money belt, which contains his life savings. Convinced it was a set-up, Eddie is determined to recover what is rightfully his, all the while trying to reform his childhood friend.


Along the way, Eddie falls for a Mexican beauty with a past she is trying to escape. But his romance is almost cut short when he is dragged into a drug war, becomes a murder suspect, and is forced to participate in an ill-conceived casino heist. (taken from the Hachette Book Group website)

Daniel Serrano was born and raised by his mother in the tough streets of New York and Chicago. The eldest of three boys, Serrano witnessed gangs, crime, drugs, poverty, and even murder, as his family lived the urban Latino struggle. After drifting through menial jobs for years, he enrolled in the Weekend Program at Shimer College and studied the classics.

Serrano went on to earn a law degree from St. John's University. As an attorney, he has spent the bulk of his career advising politicians and alleged criminals. He is currently at work on his next book. Daniel currently divides his time between New York City and Puerto Rico, where he is hard at work on his next novel. (taken from the Hachette Book Group website)

MY REVIEW

Gunmetal Black is definitely not a book I would normally read- it contains some graphic violence and vivid descriptions of street life. I did, however, find the story intriguing. It depicts a part of our world that is so very sad but very real.

I thought Serrano did an excellent job describing his characters and how they were thinking and feeling during the story. Personally I found the mix of English, Spanish and slang a bit confusing since I don't speak any Spanish at all but I managed to grasp the story anyway. I really appreciated how Serrano shows just how much a parent can influence their child- for better or worse.

There is foul language and sexual content but I concede that the story would be rather unrealistic without those aspects of that lifestyle.

I also appreciated the reading group guide included in the back of the book which contained some very insightful questions.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO WIN MY COPY OF THIS BOOK?

1. Leave me a comment here! That's it!

Want extra entries? Leave a SEPARATE comment for each step you complete please...

2. Add my button to your site and leave me the link.

3. Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link to the post.

4. Twitter this giveaway.

5. Stumble this giveaway or site.

6. Subscribe to this blog.

7. Follow this blog.


I will choose a winner on January 27 th and you will have 48 hours to claim your prize or I will choose a new winner. Please leave me a way to contact you if you win! This giveaway is open to everyone everywhere.

Don't forget to enter my other great giveaways too...


Win Zenses for Nintendo DS HERE.
Win a bottle of Pledge Natural Beauty Furniture Polish HERE.
Win a copy of Love And Other Natural Disasters HERE.
Win a copy of Rock Bottom HERE.
Win a copy of Gunmetal Black HERE.
Win a copy of Dream In Color HERE.
 
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