Saturday, January 29, 2011

In My Mailbox #7

In my mail box is hosted by the Story Siren.  She started this meme as a way to put on the radar of her readers the books that she had received.  She knew that she could not possible get to all of the books, and wanted to get them out there for her readers to see and promote the books.  Click on her name for a link to take you to her page and find all of the other great books that other bloggers are receiving.

Won from Ms. Martin Teaches Media in a giveaway:
"Perilous" by Tamara hart Heiner

"The Iron Witch" by Karen Mahoney

Received 2 ebooks to review:
"Slippery Willie's Stipid, Ugly Shoes" by  Larry Peterson
Blog tour in March, my day is March 18th.

"Dragonfly" by Ed Pilolla
received from author to review.

There's my week, how was your week?

REVIEW - "Hawksong"

Hawksong (The Kiesha'ra, #1)Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Danica Shardae is an avian shapeshifter, and the golden hawk's form in which she takes to the sky is as natural to her as the human one that graces her on land. The only thing more familiar to her is war: It has raged between her people and the serpiente for so long, no one can remember how the fighting began. As heir to the avian throne, she'll do anything in her power to stop this war - even accept Zane Cobriana, the terrifying leader of her kind's greatest enemy, as her pair bond and make the two royal families one.
Trust. It is all Zane asks of Danica - and all they ask of their people - but it may be more than she can give.
Description from Goodreads.

Danica is the soon to be leader of the shapeshifting bird kingdom. Her kingdom has been at war with the serpentine shapeshfters know as the serpiente. Their kingdoms have been at war for a looooong time.  Danica is tired of loosing the ones she loves.  At the beginning of the book she comes across the body of her younger brother, her last sibling.  She is willing to listen and take under advisement a way to finish the war.

In an attempt at peace the leaders of the kingdoms meet on neutral ground, there the wise hosts suggest a drastic plan, have Danica marry the heir of the serpiente, Zane. Danica is forced to leave by her entourage, mainly her mother, the current Queen before the idea can be entertained further. But, Zane finds a way to contact her and together they decide to take the advice and marry for political reasons and not for love.

They have a long road to travel to gain the acceptance of both of their people. There is long standing hate and distrust.  They both are desperate to have peace and will do their best to pretend to be a happy couple to give their respective people peace.

I enjoyed this book, my good friend, Colleen, recommended it to me. She told me that the first two books are good in the series and then they go downhill. I was not disappointed in this story.  I liked two people trying to come to a neutral ground free of hate and overcome prejudice.

Clean book and appropriate for any YA audience.

I borrowed this book from my public library as part of Lazy Girls Mini Challenge.  Details can be found by clicking on her challenge button in my right sidebar.

View all my reviews

Friday, January 28, 2011

REVIEW & Giveaway! : My Enemy, My Beloved

My Enemy, My BelovedMy Enemy, My Beloved by Karl Vanghen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I did not know that the US kept POW's on American soil during WWII.

Most Americans don't know.... in 1945, approximately 371,000 WWII German POWs were housed in internment camps inside the United States - 6,000 in Minnesota - leading to My Enemy, My Beloved - historical fiction filled with love. Taken from the bookmark of My Enemy, My Beloved.

Elsa is curious about the German soldiers who come to her small town of New Ulm, Minnesota to work on the farms and in the factories. The farmers need extra hands, the youth of the United States are fighting in the dual fronts of Europe and the Pacific.

Henrik has a rough journey as a POW, he is not a Nazi and was pulled into the war to defend his fatherland against the invading Americans.  He was not a member of the Jugund, loyal to Hitler. His father did not feel that it was appropriate of a Christian, so he was not indoctrinated with the Hitler agenda.

The first third of book is about both of their journeys and events that eventually lead to their meeting.  It is filled with many interesting facts and explains the political and social climate of the time.  I was amazed at the amount of prejudice.  On the German side, prejudice against anyone who was not in thrall with Hitler and didn't believe that the fatherland would eventually conquer the world.  In America, many were prejudice against all Germans, thinking that all were bad.
Elsa and Henrik have a long road to travel until they can fully express their love for one another, and ultimately be married and share their lives together.

It took me a bit to become engrossed into this book, the first was part was slow but laid a great foundation for the conclusion of the story.  I enjoyed it.  I would highly recommend it with a few cautions, there is profanity and sexual situations.  This book is for adults in my opinion.

There were a few quotes that I found interesting.

"But the war is terrible."
"That it is.  War's are the curse of mankind."
"Maybe this will be the last one," David suggested.
"No my boy.  They will go on and on until there ain't a one of us left.  Our kind had been fightin' every since we first learned to carry a stick in our hand." 


"Every President, no matter who he is, has got folks cussin' him, and praisin' him at the same time.  It'll be the same with Truman.  Once he's up on the pedestal, he'll be fair game.  Everyone'll take a shot at him."

"Well, honey.  Life is a school.  The sun will come up tomorrow, the same as it did today.  Things will happen that we can control, and things will happen that we can't control.  All we can do then is toughen up and see it through.

Now for the giveaway.  I will be giving away the copy that the author sent me for review.  It does have the quotes mentioned above highlighted, but has only been read once by me.  You do not have to be a follower, but you do have to live in the United States.  I will be sending it by media mail.  Winner will be chosen using and the contest will run until February 7th 11:59 pm MST.  You must be 17 or older to enter contest.

Simply fill out this form.

About the Author:

Karl's interest in writing and painting were put on hold until he had time to pursue those avocations.  Before his retirement he became an award winning wildlife artist, and now, an author of historical fiction - and a love affair.

You can visit his website at

I received a copy of the book to review.  My review is my honest opinion and has not been influenced by receiveing a copy of the book.

Reading this book completes the Romance section of Bitsy Blings Historical Tour Challenge. If you are interested in participating, you can find a link in the left side bar.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A - Z Challenge

I'm going to add another challenge, even though January is almost over.

Here is how it works:

Read 26 books this year ( easy right ) 
One for each letter of the alphabet.

This challenge is hosted by Thoughts of a Book Junkie.  I have linked the picture above to her sign up for the challenge.

I may have cheated on "the" and "a".  I ignored them and  listed them as you would find them in the library.

A- Across the Universe by Beth Revis (my review is here)
B- Behemouth by Scott Westerfeld
C-  Chest of Souls by Michelle Erickson
D- Delirium - Lauren Oliver (my review is here)
E- the Eternal Ones  by Kristen Miller
F- Flashes from the Other World by Julie Ann Weinstein (my review is here)
G- Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
H- the Hole in the Wall  by Lisa Rowe Fraustino (my review is here)
I-  the Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
J- Jane Bites Back by Thomas Michael
k- Kevin's Point of View by Del Shannon (My review is here)
L- Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
M- Mountain Dragon by Bradley Clemmons (My review is here)
N- Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (Completed 6/24/11 - not reviewing)
O- Outside In by Maria V Snyder (My review is here)
P- Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen (my review is here)
Q- the Quest for Merlin's Map by WC Peever
R- Rugged and Relentless by Kelly Eileen Hake (my review is here)
S- Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by  Jessica Day George
T- Tooth and Nail by Craig dilouie
U- Unearthly  by Cynthia Hand (My review is here)
V- the Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell (My review is here)
W- the Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
X- XVI - by Julia Karr
Y- a Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
Z- Zel - Donna Jo Napoli

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

I'm back, after a week of missing Teaser Tuesday, I have one.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"You think about him more than sometimes.  You think about him at work, at the dinner table, here in this room, and, why even Coring says you hardly talk to her anymore.  And even David has questioned your silence."

The book is "My Enemy, My Beloved" by Karl Vanghen.  It is historical.  Here is a description from Goodreads.

On the day following the historic breakthrough of the American army into Aachen, Germany, sixteen-year-old Elsa Sommer drove into New Ulm, Minnesota, from her father s farm to keep a dentist appointment. A cavity had cost her a night s sleep. Elsa had been farm reared and toughened by weather and labor. Even so, throughout her youth, and by following the example of her parents, she had acquired a belief in God as strong as faith could make it. She thought often about the boys in uniform, innocents caught up in a maelstrom of horror. War news always saddened her, and for that reason it was seldom discussed at the dinner table. Many of the folks in New Ulm were of German extraction, immigrants mostly. Some had arrived in America just before Europe had been swept up in Hitler s fiendish hand. Scores of residents had relatives in Germany, and many harbored strong memories of their homeland. Some looked upon the war with a split allegiance. But although their minds still retained visions of the Fatherland, their hearts prayed for the American boys who had breached the Siegfried Line and were now fighting on German soil. The war had taken away the best of them, and hearts were heavy. Most everyone in town knew of someone in the service. As if to augment the news from Europe, work had been ongoing for some time at the abandoned CCC camp south of the city. Those who kept tabs on such things indicated that it would soon become a prisoner-of-war camp to house a contingent of Germans coming up from Algona, Iowa. Brown County was short of labor, and manpower was needed to keep the factories running at full output. Despite their Germanic ties, many in New Ulm disliked the prospect of having young enemy soldiers living in such close proximity with them. Unfortunately, they had no choice but to go along with the government decree . .

I received this book from the author to review and I am reading it to go with Bitsy bling's Historical Tour de Genre. (Link in left sidebar)  I love multitasking.

Monday, January 24, 2011

REVIEW - "Blood Sinister"

Blood Sinister (Point)Blood Sinister by Celia Rees

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ellen's just sixteen, but she's dying-and nobody knows why. So when she's sent to her gran's house she's relieved to find a distraction in the form of her great-grandmother's diaries, written when she was Ellen's age. As Ellen reads, she becomes increasingly embroiled in the fascinating story of her life. Who is the enigmatic and seductive Count her great-grandmother was supposed to marry? And why is it that Ellen and her great-grandmother resemble each other so much that they could be twins? But Ellen's condition is worsening, and it's becoming more and more difficult for her to distinguish her own life from the nightmarish events recorded in the diaries. Is the past destroying her, or do the diaries hold the key to Ellen's survival...? description from Goodreads

I have previously read "Witch Child" and "Sorceress" by Celia Rees and was impressed. When I saw she had a vampire book out, it became one of the many books on my "to-read" list.

I really enjoyed this book! It is not your typical vegan vampire, pretty girl falls in love with, they live happily ever after book. This book comes closer to the classical vampire story.

Ellen suffers from a rare blood disease, she is dying. She moves to London with her grandmother to be closer to the specialists that will be treating her. While staying at her grandmother's she wanders up into the Attic and finds a trunk full of diaries and other memorabilia from her great-great grandmother. The diaries were written by Ellen, the person she was named after.

Ellen is intrigued with the diaries, and eventually begins to have flash backs from her great- great grandmother's life. The previous Ellen became inundated with vampires. Her father was a DR. and had taken one in at his clinic to help with his blood disease. He did not know he was really a vampire.  He fooled him and began  to rampage the community.  Many unexplained and violent deaths  happened, there was no  logical explanation.

Present day Ellen has the help of her childhood friend, Andy. He is supportive and cute. He helps her deal with the problem of the modern day vampire.

Great book! I highly recommend it. Suitable for any reader who likes a bit of horror, mystery and vampires.  I would also say that based upon the books that I have read, Celia Rees is an author worth reading.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In My Mailbox #6

I missed a week of IMM.  So, I've tried to remember the books from the last two weeks.  Here is a pic of all the hard copy books, I also received some e-books!

In my maill box is hosted by the Story Siren.  She started this meme as a way to put on the radar of her readers the books that she had received.  She knew that she could not possible get to all of the books, and wanted to get them out there for her readers to see and promote the books.  Click on her name for a link to take you to her page and find all of the other great books that other bloggers are receiving.

Personally, I  hope to read each and every book that I receive.  It may not be in a timely manner, but I am going to do my best.  So here is my list!

In the Mail:

Leviathan and Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld (I won them from BIR 2010  Once upon a Twilight)
Beneath the Honeysuckle Vine by Marcia Lynn McClure
Across the Universe by Beth Revis

I have a dedicated post to a box of books that I received from the Dreaming of Books Giveaway.  You can check it out here.

Purchased at the Book Store:

Fallen Angel  by Heather Terrell
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma by Trento Lee Stewart
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart

E- Books

Dead Man's Eye by Shawn Jeffrey (Received from Author to review)
The Unfinished Song: Initiate by Tara Maya (Received from Author to review)
Jericho Walls by Michael Hood (won in a giveaway from The World of Book Reviews)
Spirit Storm by EJ Stevens (purchase for my kindle)
12.21.12 by Killian McRae (received for a blog tour, my date will be March 21st) Check out the button in the right sidebar.

There are the highlights of my last two weeks.  What did you get in your mailbox?  I would love to know any fantastic books that I would like to read!

(I haven't figured out how to get pictures to line up side by side instead of vertically.  If you know and would like to let me know, please leave me a comment.)  I could use any help I can get.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

REVIEW - "Masks"

MasksMasks by Patricia Caviglia

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Masks tells the story of two teenagers struggling to be normal together, despite their dysfunctional families.
Rebecca Jacobs is an unremarkable teenage girl-at least, that is what she wants the world to believe. But her private life is made public when her verbally abusive father embarrasses her at a school dance, and soon gossip and whispers buzz throughout the school.
One of the witnesses to Rebecca's public humiliation is David Miller, the high school bad boy. Unsure about how to help her, he settles for becoming her friend. Rebecca and David grow closer with each passing day, eventually falling in love.
Rebecca's main priority is keeping her relationship with David a secret from her overprotective parents, but there are other problems she must also confront. First, Rebecca's best friend tries to steal David away. Then, Rebecca is forced to face David's violent behavior, which closely resembles her father's temper. Rebecca's worst enemy, though, is herself. In her desperate need to keep her home life separate from her love life, she lies to her parents and to David. When the truth is exposed, she must confront reality-alone. She quickly learns that sometimes secrets are harder to live with than the truth.  description from GoodReads

I won this from a goodreads giveaway.

Two teenagers are struggling to come to terms with their lives with abusive parents. David notices Rebecca at a school dance. Her controlling and verbally abusive father comes to get her early and begins to insult her and call her a whore, just because she is at the dance. He decides to become her friend and then realizes what a treasure she is.

David suffers from neglect. His parents aren't there for him and don't pay attention to his activities.

Both David and Rebecca have learned to mask themselves in public. They hide their inner selves from the world, they need to overcome their issues to truly be good together.

This is an engaging book and deals well with real issues that effect far too many people. Ok, my main issue was there was too much sexual activity for my taste.  No detail descriptions, but as the mother of two teens I was uncomfortable.  I think the message behind the book is a good one.  Rebecca learns to come accept who she is, her parents attend therapy and David agrees to therapy.  Hope that is not a spoiler, but there is a whole heck of a lot that happens to get to the therapy part.

Friday, January 21, 2011

REVIEW - "Shades of Green"

Shades of GreenShades of Green by Ian Woodhead

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Holburn was just like any other northern English town, at least on the surface. Buried below the local woodland, something of ancient evil had begun to tunnel up...

Within hours, Holburn suffered a drastic transformation as invasive, bizarre plant-life infest the town, the population and wildlife transform into rampaging, blood-thirsty beasts.

A handful of survivor's battle to stay alive and search for answers.
description from Goodreads

I received an email from Ian asking me to review his book, I was very flattered. I love to be asked to review books.

My thoughts on this book, it reminds me of a 'B' Horror film. I started this book once, I was stuck on the freeway for two hours and couldn't concentrate. The story line was incredibly confusing. I set it aside until I could concentrate on it. You need to have time to pay close attention to the story to understand what is happening. It is not a skim through book.  There is also confusion with character names.  I don't know if the first pages somehow changed the future and characters of the book, or if he decided to switch character names and forgot to change the first part of the story.

Ian has come up with a very clever idea for a story. I would give him a higher rating for his creativity, if the story ran  more smoothly. It is hopping with action, maybe a little too much action and not enough plot development.

I think he has a very promising future ahead of him, he just needs to polish his writing.

The copy that I read came from Smashwords where you can also purchase this book.

For anyone sensitive to language, this book has a lot of profanity. I recommend only to adults.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The "Iron Queen" by Julie Kagawa is almost here!!

Let me start off this review that the "Iron Fey" series of books is one of my favorites.

The "Iron Queen" does not disappoint.

In the "Iron Queen" we see how the characters have grown and developed.  Meghan is no longer the young girl who is a wimp.  She learns to fight and takes control of her destiny.  Her relationship with Ash takes on a whole new dimension.  They grow closer as a couple and come to an understanding of their feelings.

Ash is wonderful in this book.  He is no longer the ice prince.  He has feelings,  hard to imagine, I know, but true.  Puck sums up Ash well with this quote.  " But it is different with you princess. Ash is just afraid  you don't need him.  That whole ice-prince song and dance?" He snorted.  "It's just a device he uses to protect himself, so he doesn't get hurt when someone stabs him in the back.  That happens a lot at the Winter Court, as I'm sure you know."

There is romance, war, inner conflict, etc.  This is a great book and I highly recommend it to readers  16 and over.  I have given it 5 stars!  I don't give out a lot of them.  It has to be a book that I can't put down to qualify.  I read this book in about a day and a half.The Iron Queen (Harlequin Teen)

Content warning:  mild swearing. passionate kissing and you know what happens behind closed doors without  details described.

I have written this review just after reading a copy on my kindle downloaded from Netgalley.  This review was written on November 28th, but I am scheduling a post for January.  At the time that I am writing this post, the book is scheduled to be released on January 25th.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My box of books came!

Many thanks to Stiletto Storytime for this lovely box of books.  I won them from the Dreaming of Books Hop.  Honestly, they couldn't have come at a better time, I have been a little stressed and put my life on hold.  Nothing like a box of books to cheer me up!

It was hard to fit them all in the same picture.  I will list the titles and authors in no particular order, just how I grab them from the box.

1. "Summer Island" by Michael Cormier
2. "Revenge Served Cold" by Jackie Fullerton
3.  "The Secret of Ka"  by Christopher Pike
4. "Homage:  Sonnets from the Husband"  by William Zink
5. "Unstoppable in Stilettos: A Girl's Guide to Living Tall in a Small World" by Lauren Ruotolo
6. "The Eye of Erasmus" by Teresa Geering
7. " The Choir Boats" by Daniel A. Rabuzzi
8. " Beat the Band" by Don Calame
9. "Running the Waves" by T.M. Murphy & Seton Murphy
10. "The Prophecy" by Gill James
11. " Gifted:  Finders Keepers"  by Marilyn Kaye
12. "The Fire Lord's Lover" by Kathryne Kennedy
13. "Touched by an Alien" by Gini Koch
14. "Citizen Dick" by Richard Arneson
15. "Shelter: Where Harvard Meets the Homeless" by Scott Seider
16. "Trickster's Girl" by Hilari Bell
17. "The Heir" by Grace Burrowes
18. "Murder in the Abstract"  by Susan C. Shea
19. "Color Blind" bny Precious Willams
20.  "Star Island" by Carl Hiaasen

There you go, 20  books in a box.  Looks like I have a lot of reading to do.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dreaming of Books Winner

Congratulations to Kristen  My Bookish Fairy Tale who won the books offered during the Dreaming of Books Giveaway.   Thanks to everyone who entered.  Kristen has been sent an email and has 48 hours to respond, if not then I will pick a new winner.   She was selected using

Be sure to enter my 300 follower giveaway.  It runs until January 31st.  There are three books to be won. 

If you didn't win and are still interested in reading the books, here is where you can get them.

Monday, January 17, 2011

REVIEW - "Choke"

Choke (Pillage, #2)Choke by Obert Skye

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pillage was the first of three books in the fantasy adventure that Obert Skye calls a Pillogy. Choke, the second, continues the eccentric adventures of Beck Phillips, who seems to have a knack for causing mischief in the secluded village of Kingsplot. In book one, Beck used his unique gift to unexpectedly hatch several dragon eggs. Thankfully, the dragons were destroyed . . . or were they? In Choke, a stranger has discovered that Beck Phillips is the key to finding and hatching a lost dragon s egg a task that will bring the riches and fortune that Beck s family was destined to have. Beck learns that outward appearances can be deceiving and that grown-ups really do have valuable lessons to offer. Readers will laugh out loud at Beck s antics and sit on the edge of their seats while Beck and his friends confront Liz, the largest, most ferocious dragon Beck has ever seen!  Description from GoodReads

Choke is the sequel to Pillage. I started out reading this book out loud to my son. That was taking too long, so I finished the book on my own. I still have the bookmark in where we left off so we can continue.

Obert Sky is a very creative writer. The story flows at a very good pace and is descriptive enough that it keeps your attention.

I enjoyed my time spent with this book. It is great for YA and middle grade readers.

The above review was written at the hospital on my iPhone.  I am going to let it stand, just because I am tired and I'm trying to catch up on a few things.  Just know that this is a great book, start with "Pillage" first.

300 Followers Giveaway

Today I am celebrating.  I just got home from spending four days in the hospital with my son and I have over 300 hundred followers.  My goal with the Dreaming of Books blog hop was 250, it has been surpassed.

Also, my son does NOT have to have a pic line put in, and then six week of antibiotics.  His recovery has been rapid and now the doctors think it might not be staph after all, but some other nasty bacteria like ecoli, (still don't know how to spell it and I am too tired to care right now!)  The only way to know for sure would be to do a biopsy.

Anyway, I feel like a celebration is in order.  So, I am going to do a giveaway.  I have thought about this, and I would like to make this international and to offer three books.  I will have them shipped from the Book Depository, so it's international if they ship to your country.  I wanted to spotlight some fabulous books, so I decided to do it as a book giveaway instead of a gift certificate.  There will be three winners, one for each book.  All book descriptions came from GoodReads.

First Book:

I read and really liked this one.
Aerin Renning is a scarred fugitive, Dane Madousin a rebellious son of privilege. On the surface, they have nothing in common. But the two most competitive freshmen at Academy 7 share an undiscovered bond. Both harbor a dangerous secret that threatens their own destruction. And while their safety depends on their staying apart, the two are inexplicably drawn to each other. Even as unknown forces conspire to separate them, their competition turns to friendship, and their friendship to romance. Now not only their lives—but their hearts—are at stake. To survive, the two must unite all their knowledge, skills, and gifts to uncover a secret bigger than either could have imagined. A secret as big as the entire universe...

Book 2:
His past. Her future. Can love bring them together in time?Abby's senior year of high school is textbook perfect: She has a handsome and attentive boyfriend, good friends, good grades, and plans to attend college next year. But when she meets Dante Alexander, a foreign-exchange student from Italy, her life suddenly takes a different turn. He's mysterious, and interesting, and unlike anyone she's ever met before. Abby can't deny the growing attraction she feels for him. Nor can she deny the unusual things that seem to happen when Dante is around. Time behaves differently when they are together - traveling too fast or too slow or sometimes seeming to stop altogether. When the band Zero Hour performs at the local hangout, Abby realizes that there's something dangerous about the lead singer, Zo, and his band mates, Tony and V. Oddly, the three of them are also from Italy and have a strange relationship to Dante. They also hold a bizarre influence over their audience when performing. And Abby's best friend, Valerie, is caught in their snare. Dante tells Abby the truth of his past: he once worked for Leonardo Da Vinci, helping to design and build a time machine. When Dante was falsely implicated as a traitor to his country, he was sent through the machine more than five hundred years into the future as punishment. As the past and the present collide, Abby learns that she holds a special power over the flow of time itself. She and Dante must stop Zo from opening the time machine's door and endangering everyone's future. More than one life is at stake and Abby's choice could change everything.

Book 3:
Imagine waking up one day in total darkness, unsure of where you are and unable to remember anything about yourself except your first name. You're in a bizarre place devoid of adults called the Glade. The Glade is an enclosed structure with a jail, a graveyard, a slaughterhouse, living quarters, and gardens. And no way out. Outside the Glade is the Maze, and every day some of the kids -- the Runners -- venture into the labyrinth, trying to map the ever-changing pattern of walls in an attempt to find an exit from this hellish place. So far, no one has figured it out. And not all of the Runners return from their daily exertions, victims of the maniacal Grievers, part animal, part mechanical killing machines.

Thomas is the newest arrival to the Glade in this Truman-meets-Lord of the Flies tale. A motley crew of half a dozen kids is all he has to guide him in this strange world. As soon as he arrives, unusual things begin to happen, and the others grow suspicious of him. Though the Maze seems somehow familiar to Thomas, he's unable to make sense of the place, despite his extraordinary abilities as a Runner. What is this place, and does Thomas hold the key to finding a way out?

In The Maze Runner, Dashner has crafted a creative and engaging novel that's both mysterious and thought provoking.
Yes, I know, none of them are new books.  All three have been out for a bit, but, I wanted to reintroduce books that may have been outside of your radar that I enjoyed.  I hope that you will enjoy them too.

To enter: Fill out the form.  There will be bonus entries for following on twitter and subscribing to this blog by email.  The only mandatory entry is that you follow me by GFC or by Networked Blogs.  You can be a new follower, I really like new followers.  You can also retweet to earn more entries.  The retweet is under the title of the post.

Thanks for your patience with me.  This contest will end on my oldest son's birthday - January 3st. I will stop taking entries at 11:59 PM Mountain Standard Time for the US.  He will be 16, another reason to celebrate!

I just took a look at the form after posting this.  To subscribe via email will be +3 entries.

Happy Day!

This is my son Caleb.  He has improved by leaps and bounds.  He does not have to go to the Children's Hospital to have a pic line put in.  They decided maybe it's not staph but some other horrible bacteria, like ecoli (I have not idea how to spell the dang word, just know it's not one that I like).  He will get to come home and have oral antibiotics.

My adrenaline has run out and I feel like I could sleep for a week or so.  Thanks to everyone for their prayers, they work!

 This isn't a great picture, it was taken from my iPhone at night.  We had a lot of fun looking out the window in the hall of the hospital.  These pigeons roost there at night.  It was part of our entertainment.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Problems with Kidneys!

My kidney education has grown by leaps and bounds since Thursday.

First let me give you a little background. Last week my seven year old son, Caleb, had a fever and flu like symptoms. I kept him home from school and he recovered. Tuesday of this week I sent a healthy and happy boy to school. He came home lethargic and started a fever. Wednesday he stayed home with a fever, but I wasn't terribly concerned. I figured he has probably picked another bug from school.

It was Thursday morning when my world began to spiral. He complained that his left side hurt, he did quite a bit of whimpering and when I pressed on his side, he screamed. Half an hour later we were at the Doctors office. Blood was drawn and the results sent us to the Emergency Room. His white blood cell count was 28, normal is 10. The inflamation was 430, normal is 3. I was told to go to the ER, do not stop. They were calling to let the ER know we were on our way!

A CT scan and chest X-ray we done. The CT scan showed two kidneys badly infected, the left twice it's normal size. I have looked at the x-rays you can see the puss. It's pretty scary looking at it from the perspective of a parent! He was immediately admitted. Here it is Sunday now and I am writing this post from my iPhone at 10:20 am. We are still here. I have slept here in the bed next to him and eating hospital food. The food is getting a little old. Caleb has a staph infection in his kidneys. The Doctors are baffled on how this happened. Quite frankly, so am I.

Tomorrow morning he will be transferred to primary Children's hospital. There he will have a pic line put in and we will have six weeksof antibiotics to be administered thru the pic. A new CT scan will be taken, so we can see how he looks.

This morning his heart started skipping beats. I'm not panicking yet. They took him off some of his medications to see if that's what caused it. So, it appears thar my journey learning about kidneys is just beginning. We will be visiting a couple of specialists after his release. An infectious disease Doctor and a kidney Doctor.

My iPhone likes to autospell for me, so I'm pretty sure there are mistakes I haven't caught. I am very grateful to the kind words I have received. I ammore grateful for the prayers that have been sent heavenward. I know that Heavenly Father loves my son.

FYI, I will pick the winner asap for the blog hop. The contest ends tomorrow and I do not know when I will be home. I appreciate your patience.

Friday, January 14, 2011

More Than 250 Followers

I checked my blog today and found I have 258 followers. I promised a giveaway at 250. It is still my plan, but at the moment I am with my son at a local hospital. He was admitted yesterday with a fever of 105 and a white cell count of 28 (10 is normal). After many tests we found out that he has an acute kidney infection. His left kidney is twice the size that it should be and the right is also infected. I have some ideas of what I would like to do, it may take me a few days to a week to get it posted. Until then, enter my Dreaming of Books giveaway. I'm posting using my iPhone. Can I just tell ya, I love this phone.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dreaming of Books - Giveaway Hop

Thanks I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Martha's bookshelf for hosting another Book Hop.

I have had a few giveaways lately that have been US & Canada.  I have many international followers and I felt bad.  The reason was because I shipped 5 books overseas just before Christmas and ran out of money.  Therefore, this one is  ~INTERNATIONAL~

There will only be one prize this go around, but it will include three books.  I went for a theme this time.  Vampires can be a good dream or a nightmare.

Book #1  I won this one in a goodreads first read. It's short and it's poetry.

Three tales of angstful adventure await you in this hilarious brouhaha of rain-soaked idiocy. Follow our young narrator as he discovers what a douchebag he used to be and how lucky he is now. At times funny, at times sad, at all times romantic and weird, this volume will teach you life's most important lesson: never to hang out with girls who live in time-traveling castles.

Book #2.  I purchased this one and read it, I never plan on reading it again.  "Nighlight" by the Harvard Lampoon
About three things I was absolutely certain. First, Edwart was most likely my soul mate, maybe. Second, there was a vampire part of him–which I assumed was wildly out of his control–that wanted me dead. And third, I unconditionally, irrevocably, impenetrably, heterogeneously, gynecologically, and disreputably wished he had kissed me.

And thus Belle Goose falls in love with the mysterious and sparkly Edwart Mullen in the Harvard Lampoon’s hilarious send-up of Twilight. Pale and klutzy, Belle arrives in Switchblade, Oregon looking for adventure, or at least an undead classmate. She soon discovers Edwart, a super-hot computer nerd with zero interest in girls. After witnessing a number of strange events–Edwart leaves his tater tots untouched at lunch! Edwart saves her from a flying snowball!–Belle has a dramatic revelation: Edwart is a vampire. But how can she convince Edwart to bite her and transform her into his eternal bride, especially when he seems to find girls so repulsive?

Complete with romance, danger, insufficient parental guardianship, creepy stalker-like behavior, and a vampire prom, Nightlight is the uproarious tale of a vampire-obsessed girl, looking for love in all the wrong places.

Book #3.  I purchased this one a few years ago, I haven't read it, and I don't think I will get around to it anytime soon.  So, I thought someone else might like to give it a new home and a chance to be read.
This is a collection of short stories edited by Jane Yolen and Martin H. Greenberg

To enter, simply fill out the form below.  Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day.  Please have a reliable mailing address.  I will not be responsible for any lost or missing items.

I am also on twitter and I have a email subscription, although they are not required, I would love for you to join me in those venues.  Both options are located in my right sidebar.

  Look at the many blogs who are also participating below.  Have fun entering, and I'll cross my fingers for you and me that we win some great books.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

REVIEW - "Out for Blood"

Out for Blood by Alyxandra Harvey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hunter Wild is the youngest in a long line of elite vampire hunters, a legacy that is both a blessing and a curse at the secret Helios-Ra Academy, where she excels at just about everything. Thanks to her friendship with Kieran Black, Hunter receives a special invitation to attend the coronation of Helena Drake, and for the first time, she sees the difference between vampires that must be hunted and vampires that can become friends—or even more. When students at the academy fall victim to a mysterious illness, Hunter suspects they are under attack from within. She will need someone she can trust to help her save the future of Helios-Ra . . . help that shockingly comes in the form of Quinn Drake, a drop-dead gorgeous vampire. Who said senior year would be easy? description from Goodreads

Hunter is a hunter of vampires. She is currently attending a private school that trains vampire hunters to become members of the Helios-Ra. The Helios-Ra have recently changed direction and have allied themselves with Drakes. The current royal family of vampires.

Hunter meets and becomes interested in one of the sons, Quinn. He is a total player, (he's good looking and he knows it, uses it to his advantage) he likes girls, pretty much any girl would do, until he realizes how much more there is to Hunter.

Meanwhile....there is something strange happening at the school. Students are becoming sick and the academy is attacked by bad vampires, the Hel-Blar. Hunter enlists friends from the school and Quinn to help her figure out what is going on and how to stop it.

This book is pure and simple fun. The Drake's are hilarious. I miss the interaction with the family that was in the first two books. This book mainly came from Hunter's point of view.  I started the book yesterday and finished it this morning.  It will not win any literary awards, but sometimes a girl has just gotta have a good time with a book.

I read this book in conjunction with LazyGirl's mini challenge.  It runs from January until April.  This was my "something new" selection.  This book was published December 21, 2010.  For more info on the mini challenge.  I have my post link listed in the upper left sidebar under 2011 challenges and a link to the challenge at LazyGirl's blog can be found in the lower left sidebar.

  This is a YA book, there is  kissing and some referral to female body parts.

Make sure to check back on Friday, where I will be participating in the Dreaming of Books blog hop.  I am in a vampire mood, I will be giving away "Nightlight", "Night at Suck Mansion" and  a collection of short stories "Vampires"  edited by Jane Yolen and Martin H. Greenberg.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Out for Blood by Alyxandra Harvey
My teaser comes from a book that I anticipated anxiously.  I loved the first two books and this is the third in the series.

"The irony that I wasn't crushing on one of those girls, but on the type that killed vampires, wasn't lost on me.

But I wasn't going to let it ruin my night.  Or the taste of her, still on my lips."  pg 151

REVIEW - Are Your Kids Driving You Nuts? How to Avoid Devastating Parent Traps

Are Your Kids Driving You Nuts? How to Avoid Devastating Parent TrapsAre Your Kids Driving You Nuts? How to Avoid Devastating Parent Traps by James J. Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Are Your Kids Driving You Nuts? - How to Avoid Devastating Parent Traps” is a comprehensive 115 page parenting resource manual that deals with the issue of "control" and the traps parents can fall into when attempting to control their child's behavior. Dr. Jones has a down-to-earth (down right funny!) approach that teaches the principles of correct parenting with humor and common sense.
You will find practical, easy to understand solutions to many common parenting problems--and they really work! These include:
1. Parenting Myths, Falsehoods and Lies: Good parents raise good kids; bad parents raise bad kids.
2. Freedom of Choice: Must man be free to choose, or should he be forced to do what's right?
3. Mission Impossible: Can parents always be in control of their children?
4. What is a Parent Trap? The harder you try, the harder you fall.
5. The Control Trap: The greatest pitfall and misconception parents have.
6. The Trap of Anger: The key to understanding why we get angry.
7. The Trap of Rage: What is the Rage Gauge?
8. The Traps of Arguing and Contention: How do you stop the contention and arguing in your home?
9. The Traps of Lying and Inconsistency: Are you lying to your children?
10.The Traps of Being Critical and Unforgiving: Discounting, shaming and rejection.
11. The Teenage Retirement Trap: How are you retiring your children?
12. The Rescuing Trap: How kids are set up to be at high risk for drug abuse and suicide.
13. The Lecturing and Insight Traps: Boring! Don't they already know 99% of what you'll say?
14. The Nagging Trap: Kids don't see nagging as counsel or support.
15. The Traps of Conditional Love and Acceptance: I will only love you if you do what I want.
16. The Parental Disunity Trap: A house divided against itself cannot stand.
17. The Quick-Fix Trap and Making Exceptions: Avoiding the real problem.
18. The Trap of Misusing Rewards and Punishments: Without a plan...without a clue.
19. The Trap of Excessive Punishment: The more you punish, the less effective it becomes. <P>20. The Trap of Favoritism: The temptation to love the easiest child more than the difficult child. <P>21. The Surrogate Spouse Trap: Emotional incest. <P>22. The Scapegoat Trap: Finding a safe place to vent our negative emotions. <P>23. The Traps of Guilt, Unrealistic Expectations and Perfectionism: The formula for shaming and failure. <P>24. The Trap of Button-Pushing and Overreacting: Are the kids punching your hot buttons? <P>25. Toxic Parents: Undisciplined Disciplinarians <P>26. Escaping the Parent Traps <P>27. The Healthy Parent and Functional Family <P>28. Peace and Joy in Letting Go <P>29. The Parables  description from GoodReads

My answer to the question of the title is a resounding YES. (There are times I think I it would be more productive for me to be in a padded cell, straight jacket on, banging my head against the wall!)  Parenting is the hardest thing that I have ever done.  I was crazy enough to do it four times.  Not that I would trade any one of my children.  I am extremely grateful for them.  I cherish them and hope that I can raise well adjusted adults.

James J. Jones has a series of audio tapes that are designed to help adults become better parents. This book is a companion.  I heard the tapes a few years ago, and this book was a great reminder.  If you have not listened to the tapes, you could gain quite a bit of insight from the book alone.  I also had the priviledge of listening to him speak.  Unfortunately, this book sat on my shelf a few years.  I could have been trying the practices he mentions a few years ago. 

He explores different traps that parents fall into, and how to get out of those traps.  This book has some fabulous council for parents who truly want to love, accept, and help their children succeed. The point isn't to change our children, but to improve our parenting to help our children and maybe guide them into making their own changes.

I have highlighted many passages in the book that have particular meaning for me.  I hope that I get to the point where I feel more enjoyment from parenting and less frustration.

If you are interested in exploring and reading this book.  Here is a link to Amazon: Are Your Kids Driving You Nuts? How to Avoid Devastating Parent Traps

About the Author:  James J. Jones, Ph.D. is the author of several books including "Your Children Will Whistle While They Work!" and the acclaimed "Let's Fix the Kids!" Parenting Program.  he has apperared on many television and radio programs and in countless newspaper articles in the US and Canada.  (taken from the back cover of the book)  His website is

This is the first book that I have completed for my book bucket reading challenge.  If you are interested in reading books that have been on your "to read" list the longest and making it your goal.  Please join me, the link is in the left upper side bar.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Two Winners from the Reading Resolutions Hop

Congratulations to Alexa who won "Growing More Beautiful" and  Kristina Barnes who won "Tranquility Initiative".  Both winners have been emailed and I will put them in the mail today or tomorrow.

Thanks to all who participated.  Winners were chosen using

Sunday, January 9, 2011

In My Mailbox #5

Won in Giveaways
"Stories with Bite 0,.,0" by Raven Corinn Carluk
e-book format from author

"Days End" by Scott Collins
won in an indie author giveaway, e-book format

Purchased for my Kindle (each was 99 cents) - they looked interesting.
 "Camille" by Tess Oliver

"Safe Landing" by Tess Oliver
Hard Copy books

"Cybele's Secret" by Juliet Marillier

"Past Midnight" by Mara Purnhagen

"Snow White and Rose Red" by Patricia C. Wrede

That was my week.  How was your week?