Thursday, December 31, 2009


Just popping in to say a very HAPPY N EW YEAR to all of my fellow book bloggers and readers!  I will commence blogging on January 2nd with my thoughts on Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross and pics of my Christmas book loot!!!!  WOOT! 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I know not everyone celebrates Christmas, but to those of my readers who do... HAVE A MERRY ONE!!!!  And to other folks have a WONDERFUL holiday!

See you in the New Year! 
(We are off to my inlaws on Christmas Day and will be gone until after New Years!  I'll be back to posting around Jan 2nd!)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB from Should Be Reading.  Anyone can play along!
  • Grab your current read
  • flip to a random page
  • select two (2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
  • please do not include spoilers!
  • add the author and book title so we can all add them to our TBR piles!

I have just started Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross (from the library) and I am ABSOLUTELY LOVING it!  Georgous writing, and an "instant-getting-into" kind of book. Here is my teaser from Pope Joan:

"The canon's sobs slowly quieted, and he began the prayer for the dead.  This time Joan did not join in.  Quietly, under her breath, she began to recite the Oath, invoking the sacred name of Thor the Thunderer, just as Mama had taught her so long ago."

For more teasers click here.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Firstly, I want to send a HUGE THANK YOU to Michelle at Simon and Schuster Canada for sending this out to me!!!!

And now on to my thoughts on this book.  I can sum it up in two words:



I literally just finished it yesterday and I cannot WAIT to tell you all about it!  Now I have to somehow put my words into some sort of coherant meaning. 

This is my very first Steampunk EVER, and suffice it to say it will NOT be my last.  I am so in love with this genre I cannot even see straight. 

Westerfeld has recreated World War  I in this little gem, and in it we follow two main characters - Deryn and Alek.  Deryn is a 15 year old girl who wants desperately to join the air service and train as an airman, and with the help of her brother she disguises herself as a lad and does just that.  Turns out she is naturally good at pretty much everything that comes her way, which makes her a solid asset to the military.  Alek is the son of the Duke and his common-wife who were murdered at the beginning of the story.  He is hoisted from his room by two of his father's men and quickly realizes that he is on the run for his life. 

The world that Westerfeld has created is fascinating!  Basically there are two camps and two trains of thoughts.  There are the Clankers and the Darwinists. The Clankers are the sort that use these incredible machines to fight the war, and the Darwinists use fabricated animals.  Seen through the eyes of Deryn, the beasties are to be respected and even loved, but seen through the eyes of a Clanker they are repulsive.  And Westerfeld gives us an authentic look from both view points. 

The story is loosely based on actual facts from World War I.  The "shot heard round the world" when Arch Duke Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian-Hungary throne and his wife were murdered, started the war and in Leviathan the beginning is exactly the same scenario.  He explains the similiarities and differences in the last section of the book.  For history buffs and the layman it is very interesting!

The Steampunk genre is awesome as it intertwines futuristic creatures and machines with old world ideologies and time frame.  The clothing is extremely cool, with the goggles and the boots and leather and bowler hats, along with the inventions of the time. 

The artwork is GEORGOUS, by Keith Thompson, and it accompanies the book nicely with illustrations sprinkled throughout.

I HIGHLY recommend this book to ANYONE of ANY age.  It is a relatively fast read, and you will be immersed into the Steampunk world in all its glory.  What an amazing movie it would make!  And the BEST part is that this is the FIRST in the TRILOGY, I just found out.  WOOT! 


Now for the GIVEAWAY portion of this post!!  Because I got this book for free for the purposes of review, I want to show my support for this author and select one lucky winner for which I will order the book from Book Depository and ship it directly to them! 

  • post a comment, you do not have to put your email address if you do not want to, you then must just check back here on the contest end date when I will announce the winner and we will sort out the details then.  (1 entry)
  • Follow my blog and get an extra 2 entries.
  • Post about the contest in your sidebar or tweet about it and get another 2 entries.
Total of 5 chances to win! 

The contest will close on January 15th at midnight Alberta time.  January 16th I will announce the winner and will follow up with email if it is provided.

This contest is open to EVERYONE!  (Thank you to LADYBUG for the tip for ordering books from The Book Depository for free shipping!)
Good luck to the winners, and I can't wait to hear what the winner will think about the book!!

PS since this giveaway will definately bring me over the 200 follower mark, I will be doing the huge giveaway once we hit 300!  :0)

Friday, December 18, 2009


Over at Ramblings of a Bibliophile they are giving away 2 copies of Cherie Priest's Steampunk novel, "Boneshaker".  It sounds INCREDIBLE, and Nikki's interview with the author is amazing too. Click here to enter her giveaway!! 

Also, literally seconds after posting about the last challenge I signed up for, I stumbled accross Alyce's challenge over at At Home With Books.  It's called Time Travel Reading Challenge.  Does this not have "me" written all over it???!!!  As IF I am NOT going to sign up.  Puh-leeze.  The rules are simple, decide how many time travel books you are going to read, and then READ THEM before Dec 31st of 2010!  That's it!  And didn't she just make the cutest button? 

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Every Wednesday night while my oldest daughter is at her choir practice, my 2 year old daughter and I hit the Chapters nearby for a couple of hours.  She plays with the Thomas the Tank Engine set and I drool over books that I want.  Last night I sought out a few that have been creating some buzz in the blogosphere, so I finally had a chance to read the first few pages of each one, and can I just say HOW MUCH I AM DYING TO READ EACH ONE OF THEM NOW???!!!!

Here they are in no particular order:

MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner

This one opens with the character waking up in some sort of an elevator and the only thing he can remember is his name.  Seriously?  HOW COOL IS THAT! I have been avoiding summaries of this book like the plague because I love to go in FRESH, but I did read the first page and SWOON!  So, far... me likey.

Another one is GRACELING by Krisin Cashore

I have heard nothing but great things about this one, but also as is my way, I have not read a summary of the book, but did read the first couple of pages and once again... SWOON!  DYING to read it! 


I only heard about this book earlier this week when some blogs were offering it up as one of their giveaways.  I had no idea what it was about.  In this case I did read the back cover (or was it the inside jacket?) and this is what it said:

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Sounds cool right?


This is totally my kind of book in every way.  It is a novel about a 15 year old prostitute in India, and is her notes about her life and her "profession".  The first page had me riveted, and it was all I could do to not run up and buy it.  And LOOK AT THE COVER!

Here is an excerpt from the letter written by the publisher:
The Blue Notebook brings us into the life of a young woman for whom stories are not just entertainment but a means of survival. Even as the novel humanizes and addresses the devastating global issue of child prostitution, it also delivers an inspiring message about the uplifting power of words and reading–a message that is so important to hold on to, especially in difficult times. Dr. Levine is donating all his U.S. proceeds from this book to help exploited children. Batuk’s story can make a difference.

SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater

This is one that has been around for awhile, but I finally had a chance to have a look and read the first couple of pages.  I ALREADY love it, and can't WAIT to read it! 
Here is the description courtesy of

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf - her wolf - is a haunting presence she can’t seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human -- until the cold makes him shift back again. Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears and the temperature drops, Sam must fight to stay human or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

Sounds amazing, right?
Okay, so I left the bookstore feeling......well.... empty handed!  I could almost feel the weight of all of the books stacked in my hands, and if it wasn't almost Christmas I would not be responsible for my credit card bill!  They were all just TOO GOOD! 
Have a WONDERFUL day!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


So, I thought that 3 challenges for 2010 would be a nice odd number (I may add one more, but I can see how they can become addicting!!!).  This one is very cool, with a cute kitchy name, PLUS it goes nicely with the other challenge I'm doing (hosted by Diane of Bibliophile by the sea) "Clearing up your bookshelf".  The 2010 Chunkster Challenge ,hosted by Caribousmom,is all about the big 'ol heavy tomes that are just begging to be read.  Here are the guidelines for the Chunk:

Definition of a Chunkster:
A chunkster is 450 pages or more of ADULT literature (fiction or nonfiction) ... A chunkster should be a challenge.

If you read large type books your book will need to be 525 pages or more ... The average large type book is 10-15% longer or more so I think that was a fair estimate.

The Rules:
  • No Audio books in the chunkster. It just doesn't seem right. Words on paper for this one folks.
  • No e-Books allowed - we are reading traditional, fat books for this challenge.
  • Short Stories and Essay collections will not be counted.
  • Books may crossover with other challenges
  • Anyone may join. If you don't have a blog, just leave me a comment on this post with your progress (and to let me know you are playing)
  • You don't need to list your books ahead of time.
  • Once you pick a level, that's're committed to that level!
  • You must pick a level of participation (thanks again to Dana for the humor in these categories!):
The Chubby Chunkster - this option is for the reader who has a couple of large tomes on their TBR list, but really doesn't want to commit to much more than that. 3 books is all you need to finish this challenge.

Do These Books Make my Butt Look Big? - this option is for the slightly heavier reader who wants to commit to 4 Chunksters over the next twelve months.

Mor-book-ly Obese - This is for the truly out of control chunkster. For this level of challenge you must commit to 6 or more chunksters OR three tomes of 750 pages or more. You know you want to.....go on and give in to your cravings.

I'm committing to level 2 because I know there are several biggies on my shelves as we speak.  In fact, right upstairs is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, which is a pretty beefy book.  And I have a few others floating around that should do juuuust fine.  And of course there are always more beautiful big books to accumulate!

For more information or to join this challenge along with me, click here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


WELCOME TO MY NEW BLOG DESIGN!!!!!  Hope you all like it!  I absolutely LOVE IT!!  And I want to give a HUGE shout out to my gal Karen of SIMPLY AMUSING DESIGNS for creating it for me!  She was so lovely and just a joy to work with, and created EXACTLY the blog I was hoping for!! 

ANYway, now for Teaser Tuesday!

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading, and anyone can play along!
  • grab your current read
  • flip to a random page
  • select two (2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
  • please do not include any spoilers!
  • and remember to add the title of the book and the author so we can all add it to our ever growing TBR pile!
I have finally gotten around to starting "The Wife's Tale" by Lori Lansens.  A HUGE THANK YOU to HarperCollins for sending this to me a few months ago, and lately there has been quite a bit of bloggy blab about it!  So, here's my teaser:

"Having forced some toast and strawberries on both herself and her mother-in-law, Mary set off to check out of the hotel.  She could not imagine, climbing the hill to the Highlands, where her strength was coming from, and wondered what sway the prayer circle had with their maker."

Monday, December 14, 2009


Mailbox Monday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.

This past week what arrived was a freebie (thank you to the publicist for Cowboy and Wills!) and one that I ordered, "Thomas Riley" by Nick Valentino.  (steampunk)

Cowboy and Wills by Monica Holloway looks like a very heartwarming tale about an autistic boy who falls in love with a dog, and vise versa.  My great nephew has autism, so this book pulls at my heartstrings in a profound way.  Here is the blurb from the author's website:

In this exceptionally touching memoir, critically acclaimed author Monica Holloway shares the extraordinary, deeply moving story of Cowboy, the golden retriever puppy who changed her son’s life.

The day Monica learns that her lovable, brilliant threeyear- old son, Wills, has autism spectrum disorder, she takes him to buy an aquarium. It’s the first in a string of impulsive trips to the pet store to buy animals as a distraction from the uncontrollable, crushing reality of Wills’s diagnosis. But while Wills diligently tends to the growing menagerie, what he really wants is a puppy. And one Christmas, when Wills is six, Cowboy Carol Lawrence joins their family.

Like all dynamic duos, Cowboy and Wills complement each other perfectly. Wills is cautious, fastidious, and irresistibly tenderhearted. Cowboy, a rambunctious golden retriever, is overeager, affectionate, and impulsive. And from the moment Cowboy enters their lives, Monica sees her son step a little farther into the world.

Soon, the boy who could barely say hello to his classmates in kindergarten is sharing stories of his new “sister” Cowboy during morning circle. Children crowd around them at the park, and instead of running away, Wills, holding Cowboy’s leash in his sweaty fist, proudly answers all of their questions. With Cowboy, he finds the courage to invite kids over for playdates, overcomes his debilitating fear of water to swim along beside her in the family pool, and, after years of gentle coaxing, Wills finally sleeps in his own bed with Cowboy’s paws draped across his small chest. Through it all, Cowboy is there, dragging him toward other children, giving him the confidence to try new things and the courage to face his worst fears. And when Cowboy turns out to need her new family as much as they need her, they discover just how much she has taught them—about devotion, about loyalty, and about never giving up.

Sometimes it’s what you don’t know to hope for that saves you. For Monica, her husband, Michael, and their son, Wills, salvation came in the form of a puppy with pale blonde fur, chocolate brown eyes, a fondness for chewing the crotch out of underpants, and a limitless capacity for love.

The next one is one I ordered myself from first time author Nick Valentino.  It's a steampunk book called "Thomas Riley".  I LOVED the cover and the website is super cool, but when I read the first 2 pages I was very disappointed.  I hope the rest of the book is not written this way.  Once again the need for copious  amounts of description of EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY is prevelant in the first few pages, which tells me that this author likely wants to "help" me "see" his characters and world.  I really like this author as he is a lovely man, so I really really hope to enjoy his debut novel! 

We are only 8 FOLLOWERS away from starting our MEGA 200 FOLLOWER GIVEAWAY!!!!! WOOOOT!!  And not only THAT...... I have hired Karen Lewis from SIMPLY AMUSING DESIGNS, and she has created an AWESOME design for Book Blab which I will hopefully be unveiling THIS WEEK!!!!! 

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


TO STACIE!!!!!  I have emailed you as well, please send along your mailing address so I can get this out to you as soon as possible!  The deadline for responding is one week from today (Dec 19), if there is no reply I must re-draw. 


Friday, December 11, 2009


I read this a few years ago now, but while I am catching up on my review reading, I thought I would post about it as it remains as one of my favourite YA reads.
The first thing that struck me about this book when I picked it up from the shelves was that the author was only 15 years old when he started writing it,  and he was homeschooled.  What  kudos to the homeschoolers out there!  WOW!  To say it was well written is a gross understatement!  Right from the first pages I was taken in by the world he created, and just loved all of the characters.  One of my favourites was Brom.  What a cool dude. His relationship with Eragon was father-son like, and he taught him many of the skills he would need to survive his quest.  I loved the words Paolini used to name things, like "the spine" as the mountain region.  The battles with the evil Ra'zac are gripping, and it reminded me of the scenes with the orcs in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Like, on-the-edge-of-your-seat kind of reading!

Here is the blurb from Paolini's website:
When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself. Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands. . . .

Paolini has created a very real world for his readers, and the characters have solid flesh and bone as well.  Saphira is a georgous beast, who is proned to woman-like miffs that actually made me laugh in parts.   I was given the sequel, Eldest, when it came out a few years ago, and I started it and liked it, but for whatever reason I put it down and have not picked it up again.  Now I think I may give it another go. 

Eragon is one of the YA novels that can be read by young people and parents alike.  And just released in time for Christmas is this BEAUTIFUL companion book to the series along the same lines as the "ology" books (as in Wizardology, Dragonology, Pirateology)  called "Eragon's A Guide to Alagaesia", with lots of cool flaps and facts that will have  fan of the trilogy flipping and reading with happiness!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Is a weekly meme hosted by Book Chick City.  It gives us all a chance to post about books we are wishing for!
Like many of my fellow bibliophiles I have an ever growing wishlist, and an actual wishlist that is in my hubby's iPhone as we speak! Here are some  of the highlights:

Barbara Kinsolver's The Lucana

I have always been a HUGE fan of Barbara Kingsolver.  I read The Poisonwood Bible and LOVED it, and my other one which I actually loved even more was The Bean Trees. 

The reviews for this have been all over the place, but I'll take my chances! 

Here's the blurb from HarperCollins:
In her most accomplished novel, Barbara Kingsolver takes us on an epic journey from the Mexico City of artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo to the America of Pearl Harbor, FDR, and J. Edgar Hoover. The Lacuna is a poignant story of a man pulled between two nations as they invent their modern identities.

Born in the United States, reared in a series of provisional households in Mexico—from a coastal island jungle to 1930s Mexico City—Harrison Shepherd finds precarious shelter but no sense of home on his thrilling odyssey. Life is whatever he learns from housekeepers who put him to work in the kitchen, errands he runs in the streets, and one fateful day, by mixing plaster for famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. He discovers a passion for Aztec history and meets the exotic, imperious artist Frida Kahlo, who will become his lifelong friend. When he goes to work for Lev Trotsky, an exiled political leader fighting for his life, Shepherd inadvertently casts his lot with art and revolution, newspaper headlines and howling gossip, and a risk of terrible violence.

Meanwhile, to the north, the United States will soon be caught up in the internationalist goodwill of World War II. There in the land of his birth, Shepherd believes he might remake himself in America's hopeful image and claim a voice of his own. He finds support from an unlikely kindred soul, his stenographer, Mrs. Brown, who will be far more valuable to her employer than he could ever know. Through darkening years, political winds continue to toss him between north and south in a plot that turns many times on the unspeakable breach—the lacuna—between truth and public presumption.

With deeply compelling characters, a vivid sense of place, and a clear grasp of how history and public opinion can shape a life, Barbara Kingsolver has created an unforgettable portrait of the artist—and of art itself. The Lacuna is a rich and daring work of literature, establishing its author as one of the most provocative and important of her time.


PIONEER WOMAN COOKS by Ree Drummond   

I wish I could verbalize HOW EXCITED I AM ABOUT THIS BOOK!!!!  I found her blog (back when it was a blog and not the amazing empire that the charming Ree has created!) about 3 years ago, and have watched it grow from a blog to an INCREDIBLE funny, informative, generous, and yummy site.  You MUST MUST MUST check it out.  Click here.  I'll wait.   She was recently featured on the Bonnie Hunt show, and as is her way she shared every step of the way with her readers.  She is A-W-E-S-O-M-E.   I make her super yummy Pecan Caramel Apple pie all of the time, and can't WAIT to get my hands on this book.  Her photography is amazing too.  
Okay, enough raving.   

The other one I am wishing for is A Lion Among Men by Gregory Maguire.  It's the third in the Oz series and I just loved the first two, so I am dying to read the last one. 
Here's the blurb from HarperCollins for this one:
Since Wicked was first published in 1995, millions of readers have discovered Gregory Maguire's fantastically encyclopedic Oz, a world filled with characters both familiar and new, darkly conceived and daringly reimagined. In the much-anticipated third volume of the Wicked Years, we return to Oz, seen now through the eyes of the Cowardly Lion—the once tiny cub defended by Elphaba in Wicked.

While civil war looms in Oz, a tetchy oracle named Yackle prepares for death. Before her final hour, an enigmatic figure known as Brrr—the Cowardly Lion—arrives searching for information about Elphaba Thropp, the Wicked Witch of the West. As payment, Yackle, who hovered on the sidelines of Elphaba's life, demands some answers of her own.

Brrr surrenders his story to the ailing maunt: Abandoned as a cub, his earliest memories are gluey hazes, and his path from infancy in the Great Gillikin Forest is no Yellow Brick Road. Seeking to redress an early mistake, he trudges through a swamp of ghosts, becomes implicated in a massacre of trolls, and falls in love with a forbidding Cat princess. In the wake of laws that oppress talking Animals, he avoids a jail sentence by agreeing to serve as a lackey to the war-mongering Emperor of Oz.

A Lion Among Men chronicles a battle of wits hastened by the Emerald City's approaching armies. What does the Lion know of the whereabouts of the Witch's boy, Liir? What can Yackle reveal about the auguries of the Clock of the Time Dragon? And what of the Grimmerie, the magic book that vanished as quickly as Elphaba? Is destiny ever arbitrary? Can those tarnished by infamy escape their sobriquets—cowardly, wicked, brainless, criminally earnest—to claim their own histories, to live honorably within their own skins before they're skinned alive?

At once a portrait of a would-be survivor and a panoramic glimpse of a world gone shrill with war fever, Gregory Maguire's new novel is written with the sympathy and power that have made his books contemporary classics.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB from Should Be Reading, and anyone can play along!
  • grab your current read
  • flip to a random page
  • select two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
  • try not to include spoilers!
  • please let us know the author and book so we can add them to our TBR pile!
Because, as I said, I have not been the most stellar reader lately, my teaser is once again from Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld:

"Deryn Sharp gritted her teeth, resolving  that no one would see through her disguise.

    There couldn't be that much trick to it, being a stupid boy."

For more teasers click here

Monday, December 7, 2009


This is a weekly bookish meme hosted by J. Kayes' Book Blog.  It gives us a chance to chat about what we are currently reading this week, what we have read and what we are planning to read. 


I have been KNITTING lately and NOT reading. 


I have been pretty stressed out due to, you know, life in general and Christmas and my husband being out of town working for a month, and I am finding it hard to concentrate when I read.  The best thing for me to do when I am like this is to knit while watching a fav DVD.  The combo is usually knitting and Frasier.  Today it was knitting and Everybody Loves Raymond.  I do this during my usual reading time for a couple of hours in the afternoon when my youngest child naps.  So, I have gotten diddly done in the reading department, but I HAVE gotten 6 lovely little squares for the baby blanket I am knitting for my nephews son that will be arriving in March! 

I do have every intention of reading every day, and I did manage to read a bit of Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (which  I FRICKEN LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)  It is FANTASTIC!!  I mean, SO SO unique and awesome, and Steampunk-y!  I think Steampunk may be my next big thing.  I ordered Nick Valentino's book from the guest blog he did a little while ago, "Thomas Riley" and I am just waiting for it to come in the mail. 

Today I started The 13 Hour by Richard Doetsch, and after hearing much bally-hoo about it I have to say I am not overly impressed thus far.  I mean the premise is very cool (the book STARTS with the 12th Chapter), and the first few pages were great, and then he gets into the overdone describing of every character down to the last shred of clothing and hair on their head.  This just makes the book wreak of "oooohh... look at me I am writing" to me, but I am hoping it gets better.  People seem to LOVE it.  So, I will give it an honest go and try to overlook this tendancy. 

Hopefully I'll have more to chat about next week!

Friday, December 4, 2009


Allright, so my very first challenge over at Stainless Steel Droppings I never did complete - my bad.  But I found two for 2010 that I am super excited about! 

Diana over at Bibliophile by the Sea has a great challenge called:  2010 READING FROM MY SHELVES PROJECT. 

Here are the guidelines:
  • grab the button
  • decide how many books you want to read from your shelves (minimum of 20 - no maximum)
  • find a new home for the books once you read them
  • post the titles and the authors of books you've read and passed on
  • project runs from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010
  • crossover challenge books are allowed
First of all, just LOOK AT THAT BUTTON!  Is that not GEORGOUS OR WHAT???!!!  And secondly, this is THE perfect challenge for me!  Click here to join!

My second challenge for 2010 is a really unique and cool one called: 2010 BOOK BLOGGER RECOMMENDATION CHALLENGE  over at READING WITH TEQUILA.  This is a cool one with various levels of involvement and she has a huge list of blogger recommended reads to choose from.  And this will cross over nicely with Diane's challenge! 
Click here to join!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


The question over at Booking Through Thursday today is:  What’s your favorite part of Booking Through Thursday? Why do you participate (or not)?

When I first thought about book blogging I had no idea how awesome the community of book bloggers would be.  I thought I would just chat about books, post the occasional review and giveaway.  I have had a family blog for years, mostly to share the info about the adoption of our youngest daughter, but was not really immersed in any sort of group of bloggers.  Once I learned more about book blogging and then dove in with my own blog, I was thrilled with how things like "Booking Through Thursday" and other memes and events (like the 24 hour read-a-thon) brought all of us together.  It would be very lonely if it was just me posting about books.  Yawn.  So, I love BTT for what I learn about my fellow book bloggers and that it is one of the many things that bring us all in the same "room", so to speak! 

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


It occurred to me the other day that Book Blab is almost at 200 followers according to google friend!  WOOOOT!!  I can't TELL you all how much I appreciate all of the support you guys give to me!  And as a thank you, I am going to have a 200 FOLLOWER FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY!  On the day that I reach 200, I will announce the first official day of the giveaway.  It will involve a total of 10 books!  The grand prize winner will have first pick of 3 books from the pile, and the second place winner will choose 2 books from the remaining 7, and then 5 MORE lucky winners will recieve a book!  These books will be either brand new, or very gently used novels including a few ARC's!  One book in particular is a SIGNED ARC of Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick.  It is gently used, but it is autographed which makes it pretty cool!  And if we hit 300 before the deadline, I will add another 5 books to the pile!  That's a total of 15 books potentially up for grabs!!!!! 

So stay tuned in the days and weeks ahead because as soon as we hit 200 you can start to enter!  And that will be the day that the names of the titles available to win will be released! 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading , and it happens to be my favourite meme of all time.  Anyone can play!  If you don't have a blog you can just leave your teaser in the comments!

  • Grab your current read
  • flip to a random page
  • select two sentences as "teasers"
  • try not to include SPOILERS
  • include the name of the book and the author so we can all add it to our TBR list

My teaser is from "The 13th Hour" by Richard Doetsch

"And all at once, she felt fear wash over her.

    She had entered the house and had come down here instantly to confirm the robbery, her anger blinding her to the danger as she ran about in the darkness, foolishly tempting fate."

I haven't officially started this book yet, but will be cracking it open this afternoon during my youngest's nap.

For more teasers click here .

Monday, November 30, 2009


For the last two weeks I have been extremely busy with work and my daughter's 10th birthday shinanigans.  Now that things are back to normal, I can concentrate on book blogging... which I have MISSED! 

First I want to send a HUGE THANK YOU to Michelle at Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me these ARC's!!!!  You are awesome!

So, in my mailbox today from a week or so ago

The 13th Hour by Richard Doetsch
This is an ARC, and I was pretty pumped when I read the premise, it sounds very cool!  It comes out December 29th.

Here's the blurb from
A mesmerizing thriller -- told in reverse! The 13th Hour is the story of a man given the chance to go back in time in one-hour increments to prevent a vicious crime from destroying his life.

Nick Quinn is being held in jail, accused of the murder of his beloved wife, Julia. He knows she's dead; he saw her bloody corpse, shot in the head at point-blank range. The police tell him they found the murder weapon with his fingerprints on it in the trunk of his car. Nick is confused, grief-stricken -- and completely innocent.

At 9 p.m. on July 28, a gray-haired gentleman visits Nick in the police interrogation room and asks him a simple question: "If you could get out of here, if you could save her, would you?" He hands Nick a golden talisman that allows Nick to go back in time, one hour at a time, for a total of twelve hours. With each hour that Nick travels back, he finds more clues to the identity of Julia's real killer, but he also discovers that his actions in the past may have unexpected repercussions in the future.

In his race against time to save the woman he loves most in the world, Nick will find that friends become enemies, old loyalties are tested, and Julia's murder is part of a larger scheme that has its roots in greed and vengeance. Nick has the ability to save Julia, the chance to put his own world in balance, but he is venturing down a precarious route. If he hasn't set things right by the thirteenth hour, his desperate attempts to save Julia's life may lead to a far greater catastrophe than he could have ever imagined.

A surprising and utterly original thriller, The 13th Hour is pure page-turning suspense -- full of double crosses, cliffhangers, and shocking revelations.

And an ARC of "Gone" by Lisa McMann, which will be released  Feb 9, 2010.  This is YA and looks pretty interesting.  It is the third book that follows the main character Janie, but it is not a trilogy.  I think it's more of a series.Here's the blurb from the authors website:

Janie thought she knew what her future held. And she thought she'd made her peace with it. But she can't handle dragging Cabel down with her.

She knows he will stay with her, despite what she sees in his dreams. He's amazing. And she's a train wreck. Janie sees only one way to give him the life he deserves--she has to disappear. And it's going to kill them both.

Then a stranger enters her life--and everything unravels. The future Janie once faced now has an ominous twist, and her choices are more dire than she'd ever thought possible. She alone must decide between the lesser of two evils. And time is running out...

And the third one is an ARC called "falling apart in one piece - one optimist's journey through the hell of divorce"  by Stacy Morrison.  (Release date:  March 2010) (no cover image available)  Here's the blurb on the back cover:

Just when Stacy Morrison thought she had it all, her husband of ten years announced that he wanted a divorce.  She was left alone with a new house that needed lots of work, a new baby who needed lots of attention, and a new job in the high pressured world of New York publishing.  Told with humor and heart, her honest and intimate account of the stress of being a working mother while trying to make sense of her unraveling marriange offers unexpected lessons of love, forgiveness, and dignity that will resonate with women everywhere. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.  It's my favourite meme of all time, and anyone can participate!
  • Grab your current read
  • flip to a random page
  • select 2 sentences from anywhere on the page
  • try not to include any SPOILERS!
  • make sure you tell the name of book and the author so we can add the book to our TBR pile!

I am in between reads at the moment, so I have to cheat this week a bit.  This teaser is from one of my favourite books "The Bronze Horseman" by Paullina Simons.  You can read my review of it here

     Alexander's eyes gleamed so brightly that Tatiana felt as if all of the blood in her body had rushed to her cheeks.  "Tania, what words," he asked slowly, "would you like me to teach you in English?"

Um... SWOON!

You can read more teasers here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Today I am recovering from my 10 year old daughter's birthday slumber party.  It was totally fun and a big hit, but now I am totally STRESSED because I am working this week and have a MILLION things to do today to get ready for it.  I am working on a movie till Thurs, which means both my girls have to be moved into my parents house, and my dog has to go to a dog sitter.  Laundry, packing, groceries, driving, you know, the whole thing.  Then on Friday I have to get ready for my daughter's family party in which my inlaws and about 20 people are coming over on Saturday.  What I'm basically saying is... AAAAHHH!!!  And that I will not be able to any book blogging while I am gone.  But I'll be back in a week! 

In the mean time, here is the giveaway for Rachel Stolzman's book as promised, "The Sign for Drowning".  I have not had time to get the interview done, but I really wanted to get this giveaway out to you guys!  The book is signed, as as I said it is LOVELY!  You can read my review of it here.

I can't seem to get the google form to work,  so here's what I am going to do until then, leave a comment WITHOUT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, then you must CHECK BACK on the announce date to see if you have won!  If you are the lucky winner you can then email me and we'll do everything else privately.
To enter:
  • leave a comment  (remember NO EMAIL addresses please!)  1 entry
  • become a follower or let me know you already are a follower (2 entries)
  • post about this giveaway in your SIDE BAR and in a SEPERATE COMMENT leave me the link, please (2 entries)
  • twitter about it, and in another SEPERATE comment leave me that link too. (1 entry)
This contest will close on December 10th!  I will announce the winner the morning of December 11th, so make sure you check back to see if you have won!  If I do not hear from the winner within 3 business days I will draw again. 

Think of it as an early Christmas present FROM ME!  :0)  As I am shipping this book myself the contest is only open to the US and Canada. 

Have a great week, everyone!  I will miss you!

Friday, November 20, 2009


Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon

It has been a couple of weeks since I finished Diana Gabaldon's last mammoth installment of the Jamie and Claire saga, and I am only writing about it now because I was so disappointed with it I needed time to recover. 

As many of you may know I am one of THOSE fans of Gabaldon's work.  I mean I LOVE her.  LOVE the series beyond all reason, and wait like a rabid Twilight fan waiting for the next fix of vampire glamour, for the next book to come out.  I re-read the series in anticipation of its release, which only fanned the flames of my love for The Books.

I am going to review this book without revealing any spoilers, but I will warn you, it will not be glowing! 

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?  The beginning of the book starts confusing, and it doesn't really get much better througout.  We start with Brianne and Roger in the past, and for those of you who read the last installment know how that one ends.  Immediately I was completely at a loss as to why the book started that way, and it was never really explained.  Then the most annoying thing happened....

LARGE HUNKS of the book were about Lord John Grey and his son William.  I mean HUGE chunks.  And it wasn't like they were interacting with Claire or Jamie, it was massive amounts of the book dedicated to their storylines which were then jammed together with J and C later.  I cannot TELL you HOW IRATE I became with each passing page of these two.  And it wasn't even scenes with them together most of the time, much of the book is dedicated to their perspective, but there is a central theme lacking in the book to tie all of the storylines together.  Everytime I got to yet another section of William or Lord John, I would almost throw my book accross the room and scream, "WHERE THE HELL ARE JAMIE AND CLAIRE?"   Echo is not a book about Jamie and Claire, I will warn you.  And not only that, it is the sloppiest of Gabaldon's work by far, and I am not the only one who feels this way.  (You can also check out Good Reads and read dozens of fans who have similar feelings)  Now, granted, there are many people who loved this one, and that's fine.  I'm just not one of them. 

Here are some facts as we know them:
  • DG does not write in a straight line (writing styles vary among authors, and this is not unusual), she writes in bits and then kinds of pastes them all together.  Normally the pieces are all seamlessly sewn together to make a cohesive unit.  Never has this style of writing been more apparent.  Most chunks of the book are just that, and many times it feels like they were literally just cut and pasted on the editor's software.
  • And let's talk about editing.  DG has said that she delivered the pieces of the final manuscript, along with a few extra bits, to the editor only 5 WEEKS before it was released.  Echo clocks in at a staggering 814 pages!  How does an editor successfully edit a huge manuscript such as this in only 5 weeks?  Many fans, including myself, actually think this book could have been made much better with more editing.  A LOT more. 
  • Some people feel, and again I am ranked among them, that DG whether consciously or unconsciously has made some of us feel bullied into reading the Lord John series of books.  Everytime I got to yet another huge section of William or LJ I felt like she was ramming the characters down my throat.  I wanted a book about Jamie and Claire, who are, in reality, minor characters in this one.
  • And now to another more delicate matter.  One of the things I have always loved about the Outlander series is her handling of the "ripping bodice" scenes, to put it politely.  They were always done with just the right amount of tact and yet enough description to make you melt just a little.  In Echo, these scenes between J and C are WAY over the top, I mean to the point where I was like, "YUCK! I just didn't need to read that! And why is she writing it like that!"  In fact, there is a scene with young Ian in bed by the fire outdoors watching  Jamie and Claire and, well, taking things into his own hands, so to speak.  And we are hearing his thoughts as he is saying, "Uncle Jamie likes that" sort of thing.  OH MY GOD, Diana, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!
And don't even get me started on the end.  The last 100 pages are so harried and rushed, and are so waaaay out there that I felt almost disgust after reading them.  Can you see now why I was having a hard time writing this rant   review? 


I am so glad to get that off my chest. 

To be honest, I have not been able to even look at the books on my shelves since then.  I am not even sure when I will be able to read them again, my feelings are so strong.  I know this may seem overdramatic, and that's fine, but when you invest your time and life reading a series over YEARS, and each book that comes out takes 3 or 4 YEARS to be released, it is not hard to feel cheated.  Now we have to wait ANOTHER 4 years to find out what happens, and since there were so many cliffhangers at the end, many fans feel very frustrated.   And if the New York Times bestsellers list is any indication, her book opened at number 2 on the list (second only to The Lost Symbol which was released only a week prior) and then slipped to number 8, I believe it was, and then it quickly dropped out of the top ten entirely, and I believe it is for good reason.

And to those that loved it?  YOU ARE SO LUCKY!  I WANTED to love it.  I wanted to be over-the-moon about it. 

RATING:  1/5

PS you can comments on Diana's blog where some fans have questioned her about some of the issues discussed above, her answers are pretty interesting.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


The Sign for Drowning by Rachel Stolzman

Rachel Stolzman's debut novel is beautifully written and taps into everyone's need to connect with someone outside themselves; healing past wounds in the process.

The Sign for Drowning is about Anna, a woman who has grown up haunted by her younger sister's death.  Keeping the world at bay, she delves into the world of sign language at first as an imaginary way to communicate with her sister, and later it will bring into her life Adrea.  Adrea is one of the deaf students at the school for deaf children where Anna works,and quickly Anna discovers that for the first time since her sister's death somone has access to her heart. 

What follows is Anna's journey into her past where she faces the devestating memories of her sisters death.  With Adrea's complete innocence and need for a mother, Anna may find the balm to finally soothe her wounded spirit.  If only she could find the courage to let the young girl in.

This book really touched my heart, and just LOOK at the COVER!  Georgous, right?  Stolzman's knowledge of American Sign Language and the culture of the deaf community resounds as a very sturdy backdrop for this story.  It renewed my interest in learning ASL, and the descriptions of the signs in the book are very easy to visualize. The book takes you through Anna's life in a gentle way and allowing you to experience her healing through the unconditional love of a little girl.  It also touched me on the adoption front as well.  Our youngest daughter is adopted, and there were several sections where I was nodding my head in agreement to some of the feelings Anna shared towards her daughter in respect to her being adopted.  FANTASTIC! 

I highly recommend this book!

You can read more about Rachel and her work, and to request a possible phone conference with the author for your reading group!  Click here.

And don't forget to watch for her interview in the coming days, and for our giveaway of a signed copy of her book! 

Stay tuned for my upcoming interview with Rachel and a giveaway of a SIGNED copy of her book! 

RATING:  4/5

Monday, November 16, 2009


The Steampunks Are Coming

I’d like to start by giving a heartfelt thank you to Lisa for letting me come here and guest blog today. I’ve been doing a lot of blogs on this tour and it means a lot that these wonderful people have reserved a day especially for me. So Lisa, thank you!

My name is Nick Valentino. My first book is a Steampunk adventure novel called Thomas Riley. It was just published by Echelon Press and I can’t tell you how excited I am to tell you about it. If you don’t know what Steampunk is, I promise you will soon. Not just from me, but from the book and movie industry. Apparently it’s the genre that book agents and movie execs are looking for. Don’t worry; I’ll give you the scoop right now.

The setting: Victorian times (mostly in London or in this case Europe).

The culture: Inventions, science and alchemy dominate the popular culture of the day.

The style: Corsets, vests, overcoats, wire framed spectacles, bowler hats, goggles and cloves.

The twist: The world has experienced a huge boom in technology based on steam, clockwork mechanics and alchemy.

So the difference between Steampunk history and history as we know it is that steam powered inventions dominate the world. Hence dirigibles, steam weaponry, and everything as we know it is now powered by steam. So anything imaginable existed in the Victorian period, just with steam power and gears instead of fossil fuels and electricity. So take the pioneering and explorative spirit of the era and multiply it by the ability to fly great distances with heavy weaponry. Watch out though, the world is at war and dangerous sky pirates could be lurking in great airships just beyond the horizon.

If you like high adventure, classy yet rugged sky pirates and the untamable minds of two alchemists/inventors, Thomas Riley and the Steampunk genre may just be for you.

Here’s the back cover blurb to wet your appetite:

For more than twenty years West Canvia and Lemuria have been at war. From the safety of his laboratory, weapons designer Thomas Riley has cleverly and proudly empowered the West Canvian forces. But when a risky alchemy experiment goes horribly wrong, Thomas and his wily assistant Cynthia Bassett are thrust onto the front lines of battle and forced into shaky alliances with murderous sky pirates in a deadly race to kidnap the only man who can undo the damage: the mad genius behind Lemuria's cunning armaments.

Find out more at:

You can purchase signed copies at:


Sunday, November 15, 2009


Tomorrow will be my VERY first Blog Tour guest post!  I am so pumped to have been asked to participate, and also because in all seriousness this book looks AMAZING.  As soon as I read the synopsis and saw the cover, I just fell in love without reading a single word.  Look for this to be a great break-out YA hit for Nick Valentino!

The book is the latest steampunk called THOMAS RILEY and you can read all about it here!


Tune in tomorrow for Nick's post!


It is a very WINDY and gloomy day here in Calgary, but that means that a chinook has rolled in and we are enjoying nice temps of about 6 degrees.  Hey, anything above zero is tops in my books!

I recieved the name of the person I am selecting a gift for for the book blogger holiday exchange!! I am SUPER excited!!  Over on my other blog I had participated in an adoptive mommy one and it went for about 10 months.  Every month we bought something for our secret friend and each month was a theme.  I cannot TELL you how much I loved buying for my friend!  It was so fun, and the gifts that we recieved were so heartfelt and lovely, it was just a great experience!  So I can't wait to buy for my person! 

I have nothing really bookish to report, other than I have a couple of reviews to do and an interview with Howard J Morris and Jenny Lee authors of "Women are Crazy Men are Stupid" coming up and they have generously agreed to offer up a SIGNED copy of their book and will ship ANYWHERE in the WORLD!  I can't say enough great things about these people, they are just fantastic!  So stay tuned, that will be this week.

I also will have another great giveaway when I post my review of Rachel Stolzman's "The Sign for Drowning", it is a SIGNED copy of the book!  And I will be shipping it myself so it will be open to the US and Canada only.  The book is beautifully written and very heartfelt, so I just know some lucky winner will be happy to get it! 

I am also in the midst of starting a Blog Talk Radio show and I will have the links and podcast available once I get that up and running.  I am SUPER excited for this, and am very impressed with some book bloggers out there that are already putting out some great programming! 

The last book I'll mention that I'll be reviewing is Echo in the Bone.  Sigh.  I read it a little while ago and it has taken me this long to kind of absorb the experience.  Without saying too much here, it defintately was not may favourite of the bunch, that is for sure. 

Book that are on my wishlist for Christmas (eh HEM HUSBAND)  are:
  • The Heretic Queen By Kathleen Kent
  • The Pioneer Woman Cooks  By Ree Drummond
  • Pope Joan by Diana Wookfolk Cross 
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  • The Man Who Loved Books Too Much  By Bartlett Hoover
  • The Last Dickens  by Matthew Pearl
  • Wife of the Gods   by Kwei Quartey
  • The Bite of the Mango by Mariatu Kamara
  • The Lucana by Barbara Kingsolver
It is a big list, I know, but it gives him lots to choose from !

For more Sunday Salons click here.

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, November 13, 2009


                                 Mozi Esmé!!!!

Thank you to all who entered this contest!!!!! 

Mozi Esmé please email me with your mailing address or comment on this post with your details and I will not publish.  I will also email you and leave comment on your blog!  Please contact me with your details by Tuesday November 17th, otherwise I will have to re-draw for a new winner.

Have a WONDERFUL day everyone! 

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Women are Crazy, Men are Stupid
by Howard J Morris and Jenny Lee

A HUGE THANK YOU to Michelle at Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me this book! 

First of all I'll admit when I opened the envelope and saw this book I thought, "Wha?"  I was totally turned off majorly by the cover. (sorry Michelle!)  As we aaalll know I am a big cover snob and if a book has a "meh" cover I find it very difficult to get past it.  SO, I put it down for a few weeks.  I even lifted it up to show my husband and kids and said, "I mean, really, could you EVER imagine in a MILLION YEARS I would buy a book like THIS?"  And my husband says, "Who knows, Hon, maybe it'll be really really funny?"  To which I scoffed. 


BOY WAS I WRONG!   This book is HYSTERICAL!  I mean REALLY REALLY FUNNY.  I am going to go waaayyy out on a limb here and say that this book is the FUNNIEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ IN MY LIFE  E-V-E-R.  It turns out that the authors are writers for (among other things) comedy TV, and Jenny (the crazy one) was a writer for one of the only shows (other than reality) that I watch, "Samantha Who?".  And Howard used to write for the extremely clever and funny, (and one of my husbands favourite shows which he ACTUALLY has every single episode on VHS -- true story)   but long put in its grave, "Dream On."

Here is a little excerpt from near the beginning:  (page 15 and 16)

                                                      THE MYSTERY SOLVED

The history of men acting stupid is a long and varied one that always ends up with some idiot starting another war.  But modern male stupidity as it applies specifically to women is far more interesting and relevant to our purposes.  It actually has its roots in the playgrounds of our youth.  It was there that we first became aware of girls.  It was also there that we first realized that we liked these strange creatures.  They made us feel funny.  But good funny.  A kind of warm and gushy funny.  Of course in those early years it wasn't acceptable to talk about these new feelings with our peers for fear we'd get rightly harangued about the dangers of cooties.  But still, we wanted this five-year-old ponytailed goddess to know that we had a thing for her.  So what did we do?

We hit her.

Or pushed her into the mud and laughed at her.  (I'm so sorry Susan Freyberg.)

.....She starts crying and we're completely unprepared for that.  And she keeps crying until some adult explains to her that we hit her because we like her.

And here her craziness begins.

And there it is.  The fertile soil in which the crazy seed is planted, and thus sprung the stupid tree.  The book gets even better once Howard meets Jenny and his stupid catapolts into a whole other stratosphere of idiotic.  Maybe it's because I have a pretty funny, albiet annoyingly so, husband, who revels in said stupidity, that I found this book so hilarious.  Some of you may or may not know that to me "Everybody Loves Raymond" is not just a TV show, it is MY LIFE.  Even Regan, my hubby, will admit that like Ray he may or may not at times wear his stupid like a shield against my crazy attacks.  The story then takes us through mainly Howards life inside the stupid mobile, and then Jenny's crazy is allowed to breathe (as they put it so brilliantly) and you get the full fledged stupid/crazy/chicken/egg scenario.

There are many MANY times that I thought, "TOTALLY!  Who WOULDN'T go crazy if your so-called shoulder-to-cry on did something as idiotic as that!"  and other times when I thought, "Oh man, poor Howard, he never even had a chance."  And then immediately my mind shifts to, "Wow.  I actually DID something like that to Reg.  Yikes!"  They even manage to weave a beautiful love story throughout the crazy and stupid landscape, and  I'll admit getting a little teary eyed at the end! 

This book is for anyone who is in a relationship, had a relationship, is thinking about a relationship or a therapist trying to save relationships.  It is a fast fun read that will probably have you, if not laughing outloud like me, at the very least smiling out loud.