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Teresa's Reading Corner: September 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Friday Blog Hop

Happy Friday everyone! It's time for the Blog Hop!

The Friday Blog Hop is hosted by Jennifer over at Crazy for Books. Its a great idea. All you have to do is link up your blog and answer Jennifer's Crazy question of the week on your own blog. Once you've done that, hop around to the other blogs and see what their answers were. I have found so many new blogs this way.

This weeks question:  How do you spread the word about your blog? (social networking sites, Book Blog Directories, comments on other blogs...)

My answer:  I do have a twitter account, but I haven't been able to use it very much lately.  Most of my "networking" is done in the form of comments to other blogs.

Welcome Hoppers! I hope that you will take a moment to look around. Please stop and say hello. I love hearing from you.  Make sure to stop by my Happy Fall post and enter my giveaway for one pound of coffee from my favorite local roaster.  The giveaway ends October 1st at midnight mountain time.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Seven Exes Are Eight Too Many by Heather Wardell

Synopsis:  What could be worse than running into your ex?  Running into EIGHT of them!  

Madeline Cora Spencer is tired of the dating scene and longs for the company of a man who will stand up for her no matter what.  During an impulsive moment of weakness she signs up for a television dating show called "Find Your Prince" and is very surprised when the producers choose her! Imagine her confusion when she ends up on an airplane with several of her ex boyfriends.  Little does she know what surprises lie ahead.

My Thoughts:   This is an incredibly fun story.  I was drawn into it from the very first page.  MC is a sassy young lady who learns a lot about herself and those around her through her experience on a reality television program. 

I think that the characters were fantastic.  We were given just enough information about each of them to determine their role in the story. The pace is perfect, the story grabs you and keeps you moving along to see what could possibly happen next. There are so many lessons that one can take away from this one and apply to their own situations. 

My recommendation is to pick this one up immediately if you like a light, but fun read.  You will not be disappointed.  I am looking forward to reading more of Heather Wardell's work.  

You can find Heather on the web at


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Buying Time by Pamela Samuels Young

Buying Time is a scandalous tale of blackmail, murder and betrayal, evoking John Grisham with a dash of Terry McMillan.

Waverly Sloan is a down-on-his-luck lawyer. But just when he’s about to hit rock bottom, he stumbles upon a business with the potential to solve all of his problems.
In Waverly’s new line of work, he comes to the aid of people in desperate need of cash. But there’s a catch. His clients must be terminally ill and willing to sign over rights to their life insurance policies before they can collect a dime. Waverly then finds investors eager to advance them thousands of dollars—including a hefty broker’s fee for himself—in exchange for a significant return on their investment once the clients take their last breath.

The stakes get higher when Waverly brokers the policy of the cancer-stricken wife of Lawrence Erickson, a high-powered lawyer who’s bucking to become the next U.S. Attorney General. When Waverly’s clients start dying sooner than they should, both Waverly and Erickson—who has some skeletons of his own to hide—are unwittingly drawn into a perilous web of greed, blackmail and murder.
Soon, a determined federal prosecutor is hot on Waverly’s trail. But when the prosecutor’s own life begins to unravel, she finds herself on the run—with Waverly at her side.
                                                                                             Synopsis from Pump Up Your Book

My thoughts:  I am so glad that I finally got to read this book.  It took a long time to get to me, but it was worth the wait.  I've truly enjoyed the last two suspenseful novels that I read so I was eager to jump into another one.

Buying Time did not disappoint me.  It has everything that you would want in a suspenseful novel.  You've got your good lawyers and your bad lawyers.  Next, throw in a couple of crooked politicians, and a drug dealer or two.  Add several suspicious deaths to the mix and you've got yourself a page turner that you won't want to put down.

I really liked that Angela had such a major role in the story.  She was a strong woman who was good at her job but had some relationship issues.  She showed us her weaknesses which made her situation seem so much more real than if she'd been portrayed as a super b*#$@ who could take anything that she was dealt. More than once I wanted to be her sister or her friend and tell her to wise up.

There was just enough romance in this book to keep my interest, but I didn't think that it was so much that it would make a male reader roll his eyes.  (I've seen my husband do this when he picks up something that I'm reading).  

All in all I think this is a great book that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys legal suspense novels such as those by John Grisham.  I'll be passing this one around to others.  If you do pick it up, drop back by and let me know what you thought. 

You can find Pamela Samuels Young on the web at:

Disclosure:  I received my copy of Buying Time from the author to participate in a blog tour organized by Pump up Your Book.  This is my honest opinion of the book.


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Sunday, September 26, 2010

My CSN Review: Baggallini-Baby Hampton Bagg in Pewter/Mimosa

It took awhile for me to select what I wanted to review from CSN.  They have so many items to choose from that it was a tough decision.  I finally settled on this:
The Baggallini Baby Hampton Bagg in Pewter/Mimosa.  I was drawn to this bag by its shape and the color.  I've never owned a gray bag before and have read that its a great color to have.  The Baby Hampton Bag has several compartments to stash your things.

With a little one around, my purse often acts as the catch all for kiddie flatware, crayons and paper or a couple of matchbox cars to keep him entertained.  This bag will allow me to do that and still feel a bit girly at the same time.  On those rare occasions when I'm on my own, I can easily carry a book to read while I head out for some coffee and quiet time. 

I'm looking forward to testing it out over the coming weeks.

The most difficult part about working with CSN was selecting which product I wanted to try.  First I started with the obviously bookish choice of a bookshelf.  It was quickly determined that our little house didn't have room for another bookshelf so I scrapped that idea.  I began looking at items for my little monkey, but we couldn't decide on one.  Finally I thought about getting something to spoil myself with and promptly landed on a bag. 

Once I found one I placed it in my card and away the order went.  I think I placed it on Tuesday and it was on my doorstep on Friday when I got home from work. Easy!  Jump over to and check them out.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy Fall!!

Fall in Colorado 2009

It's officially here.  Fall has been in the air for the last couple of weeks (at least in the morning) but the calendar announced this morning that it has officially arrived.  I'm in denial as I'm not quite ready for the summer to end.

One of my favorite things in the fall (well, year round really) is to grab a cup of coffee, settle into a comfy chair and read a great book.  I'm already sharing all of my great books with you so today I want to share my favorite coffee.

I was fortunate enough to meet the owners of a fantastic local coffee shop, The Black Cup.  I would stop by  every morning if I could afford it.  When I can't, I do the next best thing.  I buy their coffee which is roasted through their sister company The Black Cup Roaster.  Love, love love this coffee.

Since I want to celebrate the change of seasons and 7 months of book blogging I am going to give one lucky reader a 1 pound bag of Black Cup Coffee.  You just need to head over to the Black Cup and take a look at their blends pick which one you like and fill out the form.  For what its worth, my favorite is the Moka Java .

I will accept entries for this giveaway through 12:00 AM Mountain Time on Friday October 1st 2010.  The winner will be randomly selected and contacted via email.  They will then have 48 hours to respond before I select a new winner.  Open to readers in the US and Canada.  Good Luck!

Disclosure:  This is not a sponsored post.  I am sharing this great coffee with my readers because I love it and want support this fantastic local business.


The Friday Blog Hop!!

Happy Friday everyone!  It's time for the Blog Hop!  I haven't participated in awhile and thought that it was time. 

The Friday Blog Hop is hosted by Jennifer over at Crazy for Books.  Its a great idea.  All you have to do is link up your blog and answer Jennifer's Crazy question of the week on your own blog.  Once you've done that, hop around to the other blogs and see what their answers were.  I have found so many new blogs this way. 

This weeks question:  When you write reviews, do you write them as you are reading or wait until you have read the entire book?

My answer:  I generally wait until I've finished the book.  I do sometimes take notes on things that I want to discuss in my review.  I might "set up" my post before I've finished by adding graphics and such, but my full opinion doesn't come out until I've finished the book.  

Welcome Hoppers!  I hope that you will take a moment to look around.  Please stop and say hello.  I love hearing from you.  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Running Around (and Such) by Linda Byler

My thoughts:    The story follows the Glick family and centers around Lizzie Glick.  Lizzie is your typical teenage girl.  She is unhappy with the way that she looks, she thinks that her parents are too conservative, she is curious about boys and dating, and she hates doing her chores.  The thing that is different about Lizzie and the Glick family is that they are Amish.

I've seen this book called a romance, but I think it is more of a coming of age story. It was an interesting glimpse into the Amish household.  I was aware of some of the limitations that the lifestyle requires, but what surprised me was that they vary from one community to another.

I didn't really like Lizzie because she was so whiny, but I haven't spent much time around girls in their early teens (since I was one) so they might all be like that.  I did like Emma and would love to see a story written from her point of view. This is a super easy read that would be appropriate to a younger reader looking for a clean story about growing up.  

This is book one in the Lizzie Searches for Love series.  I may pick up the next volume to see if Lizzie outgrows her whiny selfish ways.

Disclosure:  I received my copy of Running Around (and Such) from FSB Associates with the hope that I would review it.  This did not affect my opinion of the story.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Books, blogging and the kitchen table?

I've seen several posts highlighting where my fellow bloggers work their magic.  Some have a nice little reading nook where they can read, blog and do whatever else they'd like to do while others have an actual office.  Then there are those like me that blog at the their kitchen tables

Until this weekend my table was not only where we ate our meals, it posed as an office of sorts.  Not anymore!  I actually have a little writing area that I can call my own, complete with a desk and chair!  I am so excited to have this little space that I had to share the news.

Along with my news comes the opportunity to be a CSN preferred blogger and receive an item for review.  Whatever will I choose?  Perhaps something to go with my new found blogging space?  We'll see...

And the Winner is...

The winner of the giveaway of Carolyn Wolfe's The Bedtime of the Sky and other Sleepy Bye Stories is...


A Big Thank you to Carolyn Wolfe for stopping by to chat with us and to all of my readers.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Hi everyone. I hope you are having a fantastic weekend.  I just wanted to remind you to enter the Giveaway for a copy of Carolyn Wolfe's The Bedtime of the sky and other Sleepy Bye Stories!!  The winner will be selected on Monday the 20th!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

First Impressions: Stay by Allie Larkin

Synopsis from Goodreads:  SOMETHING BORROWED meets MUST LOVE DOGS in this big-hearted, unforgettable debut about friendship, love, and a German shepherd named Joe.

Savannah “Van” Leone has loved Peter since the day they met. The problem is, Peter has loved Van’s best friend, Janie, since the moment they met. And now they’re walking down the aisle, with Van standing nearby in a Halloween orange bridesmaid dress, her smile as hollow as a jack-o-lantern. After the wedding, Van drowns her sorrows in Kool Aid-vodka cocktails and reruns of Rin-Tin-Tin, and does what any woman in her situation would do: She buys a German Shepherd over the internet.

The pocket-sized puppy Van is expecting turns out to be a clumsy, hundred-pound beast that only responds to Slovakian. Van is at the end of her rope—until she realizes that this quirky giant may be the only living being who will always be loyal to her, no matter what. And thus begins a friendship that will alter Van’s life in ways she never imagined.

Joe leads Van to Dr. Alex Brandt, a rugged vet with floppy blond hair and winning smile. But just as things are starting to heat up, the newlyweds return from their honeymoon, forcing Van to decide just how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to have everything she ever wanted. Warm and witty, poignant and funny, STAY marks the arrival of an irresistible new voice.

My first impression:  I am a dog lover.  I currently share my home with an 85 pound Rottweiler Lab Mix who thinks she is a lap dog.  I've always had big dogs.  I am a sucker for their silly grins and floppy ears.  When I saw this book I knew I had to read it.  I've never read Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook, but it is on my TBR list and I loved the movie.  If this is along the same lines I'm surely in for a treat.  

I will be starting this one this weekend so hopefully you'll get to read my thoughts on it next week!

Disclosure:  I received my copy of Stay my Allie Larkin from Pump up your Book promotions to participate in a blog tour. 


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Juliet by Anne Fortier-A mini review

My confession:  I have to confess that I have not finished the book which is why I am doing a mini review today.  I started it in what I thought was plenty of time to finish, but it seems to be taking me an extraordinary amount of time to read.  This is not a reflection on the book, but on life in general. 

My initial thoughts:  This one has been making its way around the blogosphere for quite some time.  I remember when I first started seeing reviews for it, I knew I wanted to read it.  The story switches back and forth between the present and the past (1340) and tells the story of Romeo and Giulietta.  In the process the modern day Juliet has to figure out what it is that her deceased mother has sent her to Italy to find.  

Even though it seems to be taking awhile to read, I am really enjoying the story.  I fully expect to finish within the next couple of days.   When I do I will write a full review, until then I did find a couple of other reviews to tide you over. 

Take a look at these:
Tina Says...
Library Girl Reads:

Disclosure:  I received my copy of Juliet from Pump up Your Book Promotions to participate in this Virtual Tour. 


BBAW: Unexpected Treasure

Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Unexpected Treasures

My unexpected came from a blogger in a roundabout way.  I got the suggestion from one of the ladies in my former book group and she happens to have a blog...

My first foray into Historical Fiction was the result of a suggestion from Reading Aloud who suggested Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. It took a little while for me to get into the story but once I did, I was hooked.  I read the entire series one after another finishing just in time for the arrival of An Echo in the Bone.

It is because of this suggestion that I am now a regular reader of Historical Fiction.  Had I not followed her advise and read this, I might have missed out on one of my favorite books of the year, The Confessions of Catherine de Medici.

What are some of your favorite Historical Fiction authors or titles?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

BBAW: New Treasure

Welcome to day two of the Book Blogger Appreciation Week activities.  Today we have the pleasure of interviewing a fellow blogger.  I was lucky enough to be paired with Melissa from Book Nut.Melissa's blog was new to me so I spent some time checking it out.  I love her honest review style. She reviews primarily children's and middle grade books and is actively involved in CYBILS.   I'd love to be involved in something like this.  Maybe next year... 
Lets get to know The Book Nut:

TRC: How long have you been blogging? 
Six years. Eep! Sounds like a long time when I write it out.
 TRC:  Is there a story behind your blog name?
When I first started, I was looking for something all-encompassing that described how I feel about books. I threw around some ideas with some friends when one suggested that I was nuts about books. Ta-da! Book Nut was born.
 TRC:  What are the most challenging thing about blogging?
Keeping up with all the books that 1) are coming out in any given week, month, year and 2) that everyone is reading. Sometimes I wish there was a pause button that would allow me to put everything on hold until I got caught up.
 TRC:  What do you find is the most rewarding?
Meeting new bloggers, the friendships that I've developed over the years, and the shared interest. It's incredibly rewarding to be hanging out with people who understand my geekiness and love books and reading as much as I do.
 TRC:  Any quirky reading habits?
Not sure. I've taken to double (and sometimes triple) booking over the past year; something I swore I'd never do. I do like to read in the bath. Oh, and I'm quite adept at reading while the TV is going, especially if what is on is something my girls are watching. As long as it's not too annoying (or too interesting; I always get sucked into Backyardigans.)
 TRC:  Who is your favorite author?
One? I have to choose one?? How about a top 5: Jane Austen, John Green, Wendy Mass, Kristin Cashore, Shannon Hale
 TRC:  If you could have dinner with any character in a book, who would it be and why?
No idea; I have a bad track record remembering characters from books (though I do have a wicked crush on Valek from Poison Study). I would like to have dinner with John Green, Mo Willems and Nathan Fillion sometime, though. :-D
 TRC:  What would you ask them?
I don't know. We'd shoot the breeze. Doodle a bit. Talk geek talk: books and art and movies and that kind of stuff. I just think they'd make awesome dinner companions.
 TRC:  Are there any fall releases that you are waiting anxiously for?
Ones already on my Amazon Wishlist: The Candymakers by Wendy Mass; The Sweetness of Salt, by Celia Galant; Hereville: How Mika Got Her Sword, by Barry Deutsch; I Shall Wear Midnight, by Terry Pratchett; A Tale  Dark and Grimm, by Adam Gidwitz; Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins; and Zombies vs. Unicorns. I'm sure there will be more as others read and post about them.
 TRC:  Anything else you'd like us to know about you or your blog?
First off, I'm terrible at selling myself...(I have a friend, locally, who loves to do it for me.) Secondly, even though I really like middle grade and YA (and have sci-fi/fantasy leanings), I will read just about anything. I thrive off of recommendations... please stop by and leave some!
 TRC:  Thanks so much!
Welcome! It's been fun!
 Go check out her blog and add it to your reader.  I did!

Monday, September 13, 2010

BBAW: First Treasure

Welcome to Book Blogger Appreciation Week!  I am excited to be taking part in such a great celebration of the book blogging community.  I have been blogging for almost seven months so this is my first time participating in BBAW.

As part of BBAW we are taking a look at the first blogs we discovered.  While I was toying with the idea of starting my own blog I took to the Internet to see what it was all about.  I was surprised with all of the results I got.

The Story Siren

One of the first ones that I really looked at was The Story Siren.  Kristi posts a lot of great information about blogging.  I follow her today and look forward to these posts.  I've learned a lot about what publishers are looking for from reviewers.  I love the fact that she reinforces that she is not an expert by any means and there isn't a right or wrong way to blog. 

I think the second blog that I stumbled upon that I love today is Crazy for Books.  Jenn does an amazing job.  I was immediately impressed by the look of her blog.  We have really similar taste in books so I know if she likes something, I should definitely pick it up.  I hope that one day I can have the kind of reach that Jenn has. 

Those are a couple of my First Treasures in the blog world.  I look forward to finding out who you've discovered.  I have a feeling that my Google reader is going to get even more out of control this week!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lucy Unstrung by Carole Lazar

Synopsis from Goodreads:
 Teens who get pregnant and raise their babies are often in the news. But what about those children who are growing up with parents scarcely half a generation older than themselves?

In this wise and funny first novel by Carole Lazar, Lucy is a sensible, perhaps even rigid, thirteen year old who is convinced that Grandma, God, and the Catholic Church are on her side. She tries hard to make her twenty-eight-year-old mother see the error of her ways. It's not that her mother is wild - in their household even a fancy coffee causes a scene - but she has had to put off her own teenage years and she's chaffing at the restraints on her life. Lucy is faced with the loss of her family, her home, her school, and even her best friend. As she struggles to preserve what she can from her past life, she finds that while Grandma, God, and her church are still there for her, there are problems she has to solve for herself.

My thoughts:  I contemplated categorizing this book as a Kids Corner review because it is a young adult novel but I decided against it.  I guess I need to come up with a catchy category so we all know when I'm venturing into the land of YA books.  YA is something that I've only read a few times since I was the target audience but so many of my fellow bloggers love it, I can't help but check it out.  

I cannot imagine having a child when I was 28, let alone a 14 year old daughter!   It is an interesting topic that I haven't seen anything written about.  I saw an advertisement for this book and I couldn't stop thinking about it.  I HAD to read it.  I was intrigued to know how one approaches parenting when they are so close in age to their child and how that affects the child.  Of course, this book wasn't entirely the correct avenue to explore that but it was a start. 

The book is told from Lucy's perspective and is full of the things that girls in their early teens have to deal with.  The high school bully, having a girlfriend to talk to, and boys.  Lucy's mom is having a bit of a quarter life crisis feeling that she missed out on true young adulthood and begins to think of herself more than she ever has before.  Lucy is pretty mature for her age and begins to worry about the precarious state of her parents marriage and what it means for her.  

All in all, I would recommend it to young adults and adults alike.  It was a great little book and I have to give Carole Lazar kudos for writing about something new.  I would love to read something with a similar story line told from the young parents perspective.  Does anyone have any suggestions for books written from either a young mother or a young fathers perspective after the "OMG we're having a baby!" phase?  

Disclosure:  I received my copy of Lucy Unstrung from the publisher.  My opinion was not influenced by receipt of the book.


Friday, September 10, 2010

For Time & Eternity by Allison Pittman

Synopsis from Goodreads:  In an effort to escape her stern, legalistic upbringing, Camilla Deardon runs away from home with a handsome young Mormon man, Nathan. Married in the church, they raise their daughters and hope for more children. But their lives take a sudden turn when her husband, whom she loves deeply, is designated for special honor by the church elders. Nathan is given the honor of taking a second wife and soon a new “sister wife” comes into their home. 
Camilla is heartbroken and remembers the faith of her childhood. She begins to question this revelation and is charged with unfaithfulness to the Mormon teachings. She enters a struggle for her life when elders call for blood atonement for her disobedience. Forced to abandon her children, she leaves them in the care of a Paiute Indian woman who shares her faith. Camilla knows they’ll be safe until she can return for them.

About Allison Pittman:  Allison is a former high school English teacher who has penned several books including her new release For Time & Eternity.  She is currently co president of a Christian writers group in San Antonio, Texas where she makes her home with her husband and their three boys.

My thoughts on  For Time & Eternity:  Reading this book was quite the experience for me.  I nearly put it down several times.  Pure curiosity about the outcome kept niggling me to carry on.

Its not that it was a bad book.  The characters were extremely well developed and the story well written.   I think it had to do with my own frustration with the choices that the characters made and my own beliefs.

I don't know much about the Mormon church or their teachings so I am curious to know if the beginnings  of the Morman church that are portrayed are historically accurate?  Did the women within the community really dislike the idea of their husbands taking a second wife?  If so, why did so many of them allow it.  How could the religious leaders treat Camilla as they did?  

I don't know how to classify this book because usually I ask myself if I liked the story and did it make me think?  In this case, I didn't really care for the story but it certainly made me think.  

I don't have a strong sense of who might like this book as I'm still processing how I feel about it.  I'm certain that this one will remain with me for awhile.

Disclosure:  I received my copy of For Time & Eternity from the publicist in order to participate in this Blog Tour.  The thoughts and ideas expressed here are entirely my own and were not influenced in any way.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Friday Blog Hop!!

Book Blogger Hop

I haven't participated in the Hop for a few weeks so I thought I'd make an appearance this week.  Jennifer at Crazy for Books does a great job of coordinating this every week.  

The blog hop is a place to find other book bloggers both old and new.  We each post about the hop then go back to her blog and link up.  Once we've done that we have to make sure to pay a visit to some of the other blogs.  It's THAT simple.

In an effort to make the hop more interactive Jennifer has begun asking a question each week.  This weeks question is:

Post a link to a favorite post or book review that you have written in the past three months.

I have a few that I like that I have written recently but I'd have to say my favorite is the review I wrote for Christine Lemmon's Sand in my Eyes.  

For those of you who are visiting me from the Hop, welcome.  Please take a moment to look around definitely say hello!

I do have a giveaway going on right now.  I am giving away a copy of The Bedtime of the Sky and other Sleepy Bye Stories.    It is ending on September 20th.  

Thanks for visiting!

First Impressions of The Home for Broken Hearts by Rowan Coleman

Synopsis from Goodreads:  THE DOOR IS OPEN . . . For young widow Ellen Wood, her Victorian home is a refuge—a place to feel safe with her eleven-year-old son, Charlie. But when money grows so tight that Ellen could lose the house, her sister, Hannah, makes a radical suggestion . . . rent out some of the rooms. Soon Ellen has three lodgers: Sabine, a German coworker of Hannah’s, recently separated from her husband; Allegra, an eccentric but wise novelist; and Matt, an up-and-coming young journalist in search of his voice, who has just landed a plum job in London. Ellen thinks three strangers are the last complication she needs, but they make her realize just how isolated she has become. Their presence exposes a secret she’s been keeping hidden, as well as a conflict with her sister that is both shocking and revealing. And while a love affair with a younger man seems like a fantasy powered by her imagination, Ellen can’t deny her deep connection to Matt, or the changes he inspires in her and her relationship with Charlie. Outside her home’s sheltering walls lies a world of opportunity as well as danger. Now that she’s had the courage to open the door, does Ellen dare step through?Witty, moving, and deeply insightful, The Home for Broken Hearts celebrates everything that makes life worth living, from an author who knows just how to speak to the heart. 

My thoughts:  Rowan Coleman has several titles to her credit for both adults and teens.  I recently discovered that several of these titles are already on my Goodreads list of titles that I want to read.  She has penned such titles as The Accidental Mother, The Accidental Family, Another Mother's Life and Mommy By Mistake.  I've had the Accidental Mother on my list for awhile but have yet to find it locally.  Rowan lives in England with her daughter and son.  

I thought it was interesting that when I searched Goodreads for Rowan Coleman's info this title didn't actually show up.  It comes up as The Happy Home for Broken Hearts.  I wonder why the change in title?  I'm looking forward to reading this one.  

There is a neat Q&A with Rowan at the Simon and Schuster website.

Disclosure:  I received my copy of The Home for Broken Hearts from the publisher. 


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Kids Corner: The Bedtime of the Sky and Other Sleepy-Bye Stories

Summary:  A collection of bedtime stories for children young and old. 

My thoughts:  Who doesn't love a good bedtime story?  I loved them when I was a little girl sharing my Daddy's lap with my two sisters as he read any of our favorites aloud.  I loved them just a few years ago as my husband would read them to me and our unborn child.  I love them now as I read them to my own little monkey as he winds down at the end of the day.  Bedtime stories are the things that memories are made of. 

This is a clever little collection of stories with wide appeal.  They are fairly simple and have a nice rhyme pattern so that my two year old can appreciate them.  They are long enough to be interesting, but short enough to hold a young child's attention.  They would work for a bedtime read along with a beginning reader.  The illustrations are colorful and incorporate shapes to go along with the featured story.   

The Bedtime of the Sky and Other Sleepy Bye Stories would be a wonderful addition to any child's home library.

In case you missed it yesterday, Carolyn dropped by Teresa's Reading Corner and will be doing so again today.  Please take a moment to make a comment or ask a question on yesterday's Guest Post and today's review post to be entered to win your own copy of The Bedtime of the Sky and Other Sleepy-Bye Stories.

Disclosure:  My copy of The Bedtime of the Sky and Other Sleepy Bye Stories by Carolyn Wolfe was provided to me by the author and Pump up Your Book promotions. 

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin

Synopsis from Goodreads:  Lacey Yeager is young, captivating, and ambitious enough to take the NYC art world by storm. Groomed at Sotheby's and hungry to keep climbing the social and career ladders put before her, Lacey charms men and women, old and young, rich and even richer with her magnetic charisma and liveliness. Her ascension to the highest tiers of the city parallel the soaring heights--and, at times, the dark lows--of the art world and the country from the late 1990s through today. 

Scheduled for release November 2010

My thoughts:  This is my first time participating in a blog tour through Crazy Book Tours.  They have some great titles on tour, you should check them out.  This title interested me because I'd heard good things about Steve Martin's Shopgirl.  

This book was different from everything that I've been reading.  For someone who is not as familiar with the history of the art word it was educational.  As this was an ARC the photos that are going to be in the finished copy were not all included in this copy, but ones that were in there were lovely. I might have to make a trip to the Denver Art Museum in the near future. 

The problem that I had with this book is that it left me feeling indifferent.  I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it.  I was constantly waiting for something to happen, something to draw me in.  I was never emotionally involved with the story or any of its characters, like I was a distant observer.  We spend a lot of time learning about Lacey's experience in the art world, but we never get to know her.   We are introduced to Daniel, the narrator and he appears periodically but  I never figured out why he's there other than to talk about Lacey.  

The bottom line, I think this story had potential.  Lacey could have been an intriguing character.  The relationship between Daniel and Lacey could have been expanded.  There could have been drama in any of the relationships that were briefly mentioned.  

Each person that views a work of art experience it a different way.  Their view altered by their own life experiences.  The same is true for books.  While my own experience with this book wasn't what I thought it would be, I will still remember it for what it was.  If you choose to experience this work for yourself, I'd love to hear what your experience is like. 


Guest Post from Children's Author Carolyn Wolfe and a Giveaway

About Carolyn Anne Wolfe
Carolyn Anne Wolfe is an author and free-lance writer whose body of work includes four previously published books, poetry, short stories and a number of newspaper articles and editorials. Wolfe is an animal and human rights activist as well as a vegetarian and these beliefs are strongly reflected in her writing. She lives with her husband and many animal companions in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

Five Reasons Why You Wanted to Write Children’s Books.

First and foremost I am an Aunt who loved reading to my young nieces and nephews and created stories that I hoped would amuse them! When they grew up, I had the memories of the fun I had reading the stories to them.

The second reason is that I now have a new little niece Jillian, actually she is just turning five this May and I had a chance to re-write and re-awaken the stories that had lain dormant for so long. Bringing the book back to life for her, made me want to share the stories with everyone! That is when "The Bedtime Of The Sky and Other Sleepy-Bye Stories" was created.

The third reason is that I am a Substitute teacher and have enjoyed reading books that focused on happy, light stories that had a message in them but were not heavy handed about it. I wanted to write stories like that.

The fourth reason is that I loved to read stories in verse as a child and love poetry as an adult. I would like to introduce poetry and verse to children in the hope that they will enjoy it as much as I did!

The fifth reason is that I love reading about fantasy and magical adventures myself and wanted to share the magic with children. Children are so receptive and imaginative and it is a beautiful thing to see them absorbed in a good bookFive Reasons Why You Wanted You Wanted to Write Children’s Books

And now CONTEST  to start off this shortened work week.  

Contest Guidelines
Today we are starting the month with a book contest, (Sept 7). Our guest author is Carolyn Wolfe, author of The Bedtime of the Sky and Other Sleepy-Bye Stories and she will be visiting today, Sept 7 and tomorrow, Sept 8. She is on a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book and we will be giving away a copy of her book at the end of virtual book tour. Winners will be picked and notified no later than Monday, September 20, 2010.
To become eligible to win, all you have to do is ask a question or leave a comment, today, and tomorrow.  One lucky reader who comments with their email address is put in a pot to win the book.
To recap:   
·     ask a question or leave a comment on both Tuesday, Sept 7  and Wednesday, Sept 8 
·     leave your email address
·     sign up for our email updates, (optional) 

You can also find Carolyn at

A big thank you to Carolyn for spending the next two days chatting with us at Teresa's Reading Corner.  I am really looking forward to the questions my fabulous readers come up with!  

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Good Enough to Eat by Stacey Ballis

What its about: A woman who realizes that her body isn't going to be able to sustain her unhealthy ways.  She loses half of her body weight and quits her high stress job as a lawyer.  She goes to culinary school and opens up a gourmet take out cafe that specializes in healthy food.  She's finally getting her life together when she receives a huge shock.  Her husband leaves her for a woman bigger than she ever was.  Introduce a financial crisis, a new roommate and a potential boyfriend, stir vigorously and see what happens. 

Why I read it: How many times have we all thought of the "if only's" in our lives?  When I read the synopsis I thought of all of the times I'd thought that things would be better if... and knew that I had to read this book. 

My thoughts:  I must be on a food kick the last few weeks.  First reading Georgia's Kitchen and all of its fantastic sounding food then immediately picking up Good Enough to Eat.  Each chapter is starts with some sort of dish that is woven into the story either through a memory or something that is happening currently.  The best part, Ballis provides the recipes at the end of the book!  I love the fact that their are healthy versions along side the not so healthy ones.  The only reason I haven't made any of them yet is that it's still too darn hot to cook!

I left the story feeling inspired to do more of the things in life that bring me joy.  Mel does just that.  She quits her high paying job as a lawyer to embrace her love of food in a healthy manner and to help others in their quest to becoming healthy.  She doesn't make as much money, but she is so much happier in her own body and in her life. 

There is a complete cast of quirky characters in this story that add depth to the story.  Ballis introduces enough detail so that you know them as individuals, but not so much that you lose sight of what the story is about.  Like a decadent dessert Good Enough to Eat will satisfy your craving for a great story.

About Stacey Ballis:
Stacey Ballis has several books to her credit.  The Spinster Sisters, Room for Improvement, Sleeping Over and Inappropriate Men.  Good Enough to Eat is her newest release and will be hitting shelves on September 7, 2010.

I will definitely be checking out her other work and be looking forward to her next release. 

You can find her at or at

Disclosure:  A great big Thank You to Melissa at Penguin for providing me with a copy of Good Enough to Eat and introducing me to this fantastic author.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Author Spotlight: Jenny Nelson

Today we get to chat a bit with Jenny Nelson whose debut novel is Georgia's Kitchen.  

Tell us briefly about the writing process for this book.

When I was in high school I enrolled in a summer-long creative writing program taught by Michael Cunningham, a terrific teacher and a phenomenal writer. By the end of the program, I promised myself that “one day” I’d write a novel. I continued writing short stories throughout college and after, the idea of writing a full-on novel still bouncing around my brain. It wasn’t until my daughters were about two that I decided to do something about it. I’d left my job to be a stay-at-home mom, and it seemed like the perfect time to try my hand at that novel. I’ve always been fascinated by chefs and restaurants and how a calm, well-run dining room reflects none of the chaos taking place in the cramped, hot kitchen just inches away. As my ideas about my book and Georgia and who she was began to crystallize, I knew that she had to be a chef. No other career encapsulated who she was in quite the same way.

I enrolled in a writing class where I wrote the first chapter of what became Georgia’s Kitchen (which I basically scrapped in my next go round). I took another class, feeling that I needed the structure and the deadlines, but when I’d written 50 pages or so I decided to continue writing on my own. I’d write during the day, when my kids were in preschool, or when my sitter was with them, or at night, if I was working out an important scene. I finished the first draft and let it sit for a few weeks and then did a total revise, and then another and another. Finally, I realized that I could spend the rest of my life revising this one novel and if I ever wanted to see it published, I needed to start submitting to agents. I enjoyed the agent process, because it felt like I was being pro-active with my book, getting it out there instead of holing up with my laptop and fixing a scene or two here, a sentence or two there (which can be addictive). Soon after, I found my agent and then began the revision process anew. At long last, the manuscript was ready and we sold it to Pocket Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, which is now called Gallery Books. And here we are!

What is a "must read" book in your beach bag this summer?

There are so many. The Opposite of Me by Sarah Pekkanen, Sag Harbor, by Colson Whitehead, The Girl Who Played With Fire (loved the first), Little Bee by Chris Cleave, One Day by David Nicholls.
When you frequent your favorite Italian restaurant (name and location please), what’s your order of choice (including antipasti, cocktails or wine)?

My favorite Italian restaurant is Mercato, in Red Hook, NY, where the chef/owner is Francesco Buitoni (as in the pasta), who’s from Rome and whose pedigree includes stints at several Mario Batali restaurants. As my husband says, Francesco’s the real deal.

I’d start with a glass of prosecco, share an antipasto plate with my husband, work my way into the kale, pecorino and pine nut salad (my fave, plus it makes me feel somewhat virtuous), and a glass of Roero Arneis (I much prefer white wine to red, sacrilegious but true), then either a simple pasta al pomodoro (his is amazing) or maybe the seared scallops or orata, if it’s on the menu. For dessert, a few sinful bites of Francesco’s tiramisu, which my husband orders no matter how stuffed he is and which I eat, no matter how stuffed I am.
The end of summer has come upon us, what's your favorite summer activity and favorite summer destination?

There are so many things I love to do in the summer -- gardening, biking, going to outdoor concerts and catching summer flicks are a few of my favorites, but there’s nothing I love more than a sunny afternoon around the pool with good food and good friends. Give me a barbecue, some burgers (veggie for me), fresh corn, a couple salads, my wonderful daughters and husband, throw in another family or two – and ice cream, of course – and I’m the happiest gal in the world.

As for a destination, this year I spent a couple days in Santa Barbara, which was really amazing. The beaches are lovely, though the water is way too cold for me!

Thanks Jenny!  I really enjoyed Georgia's Kitchen and immediately passed it on to my grandmother and fellow reader to enjoy.

Check out Jenny's website at
You can also find her on facebook and twitter!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Author Spotlight: Lisa Unger

Please welcome Lisa Unger to Teresa's Reading Corner.  Lisa's most recent release of Fragile immediately hit the best seller list.  I was lucky enough to get a guest post from her.  Enjoy!

Closing the Door
Lisa Unger
There’s a village in my computer -- friends, fans, readers, and colleagues.  It’s a populous, sometimes chaotic little burg always bustling with news, gossip, opinions and potential excitement.  It’s very attractive to the writer, the quiet, semi-recluse who is often alone in her own head.  When the words dry up and the blank page seems a mile long, this other world is a click away. In a heartbeat, I might be swept from solitude into the virtual current that is our modern world.
Of course, this is the last the thing I need.  The business of writing a novel is a long meandering road into the self, into the imagination. And it’s a road the writer travels alone.  In the quiet spaces, the empty moments of my life, the path often becomes the most clear. If my attention is too focused outward, rather than inward, I may lose the trail.  I’ll have to redouble my efforts to find the way back.
As with all things, it’s a matter of balance. But the line I walk between the quiet and solitude I need to create, and the gregariousness necessary to promote my work can be particularly tricky.  It’s very easy to get lured from the quiet into the hubbub.  But it’s difficult to get back to where I need to be to write well.  It requires effort to close the door and focus the mind again. A shift from Word to Mail or Safari, where suddenly I’m posting on Facebook or answering email can represent an hour-long distraction.  One thing leads to another.  Insidiously, these activities masquerade as work.  I am productive, I can tell myself.  I am writing!  And maybe, in some sense, that’s true.  I’m just not writing my novel.
And now the distractions are portable. Even exercising, my best personal blank space, where all narrative problems are solved, where inspiration often lives and breathes, I can check my email or log on to Facebook.  If I am not mindful, I could fill every blank spot with something less significant than creative thought.
I love the village in my computer.  There’s little validation in the day-to-day life of a writer; sometimes we ache for a connection.  These days, the world is at our fingertips. The same instruments we use to create, allow us to connect in unprecedented ways.  But as much as we sometimes want to join in village life, it’s the writer’s responsibility, most of the time, to remain in margins.  Writers don’t belong in the town center; we’re not a part of the main stream.  We have to stand apart to observe well, and we have to observe well to write well.
In one of my favorite books about the craft, On Writing, Stephen King says that writers have to write with “the door closed.” When the book first published, Mr. King probably didn’t even know how hard it would become for writers to do that. Sometimes it feels like a Herculean, though virtual, effort -- as though I’m pressing my body against a thumping door, the world outside clamoring to get in. Or maybe it’s me, clamoring to get out of my own head.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.
When I sit down to write these days, I find it’s best if I turn off my access to the Internet.  Because of the mommy factor, my time to write is limited and precious.  I’ve removed certain applications from my phone to protect the blank spaces in my life. There’s no phone in my office. In the moments that are pregnant with thought, ideas, creative day dreaming, the real work is done; the actual placement of words on the page sometimes feels like the last 5% of the process. Of course, like all organic processes, there is an ebb and a flow to writing.  One does not exist without the other.  The writer needs to be vigilant in protecting both, confident in the knowledge that the village will be there when we choose, finally, to open the door.

You can visit her website at: