Monday, January 31, 2011

January 2011 Reading Recap

Books Read in January 2011
Hedgehogs by Emma Parker
The Moovers and the Milksakers by Emma Parker
Hullabaloo at the Zoo by Emma Parker
The Butterfly Race by Emma Parker
The Yellow Hummer by Ivet Graham-Morgan
Teddy Is Real I Think by Emma Parker
The Lion and the Mouse by Emma Parker
There's a Bear In My Bed by Emma Parker
Daisy, Maisey, and Lazy by Emma Parker
The Not So Scarey Scarecrow by Emma Parker
The River Between Us by Richard Peck (audio)
The Chocolate Snowman Murders by JoAnna Carl
The Cat In The Hat by Dr. Seuss (Audio)
Horton Hears A Who by Dr. Seuss (Audio)
The Grinch That Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss (Audio)
Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are by Dr. Seuss (Audio)
Civil War on Sunday (Magic Tree House #21) by Mary Pope Osborne
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss (audio)
Revolutionary War on Wednesday (Magic Tree House #22) by Mary Pope Osborne)
Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss (audio)
Gertrude McFuzz by Dr. Seuss (Audio)
The Big Brag by Dr. Seuss (Audio)
Thidwick, The Big-Hearted Moose by Dr. Seuss (Audio)
Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss (audio)
The Cat In The Hat Comes Back by Dr. Seuss (Audio)
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss (Audio)
Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss (Audio)
Fox in Sox by Dr. Seuss (Audio)
I'm Not Going to Get Up Today by Dr. Seuss (audio)
Oh Say Can You Say by Dr. Seuss (Audio)
Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! By Dr. Seuss (audio)
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss (Audio)
Dr. Seuss's ABC by Dr. Seuss (audio)
I Can Read with My Eyes Shut by Dr. Seuss (Audio)


2011 Reading Challenges Update

2011 Challenges
100+ Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 30/100
2011 Audiobook Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 21/12 - COMPLETED
2011 Chick Lit Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 1/12
2011 E-Book Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 9/12
2011 Foodies Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 1/3
2011 Read-n-Review (Jan – Dec 2011) 30/100 (reviewed 5)
2011 Romance Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/12
2011 Romantic Suspense Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/12
2011 Sexy Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/12
2011 Show Me The Free Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/12
2011 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 25/50
2011 War Through the Generations Challenge: U.S. Civil War (Jan – Dec 2011) 2/5
2011 YA Romance Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/12
50 States Challenge in 2011 (Jan – Dec 2011) 2/50
A to Z challenge (Jan-Dec 2011) 9/26
A-Z Mystery Author Challenge (A-I) (Jan – Dec 2011) 1/12
Books Won Challenge 2011 (Jan-Dec 2011) 0/??
Buy One Book and Read It Challenge 2011 (Jan-Dec 2011) 0/1
Celebrate the Author (Jan-Dec 2011) 0/12
Comicbook Challenge (Jan-Dec 2011) 0/15
Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge 2011 (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/10
Cruisin' thru the Cozies (Jan – Dec 2011) 1/12
Harlequin/Silhouette 2011 Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/12
Just For Fun Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/12
Memorable Memoirs Reading Challenge, 2011 Edition (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/1
Nicholas Sparks Reading Challenge (Jan-Dec 2011) 0/4
Off Your Shelf Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/5
Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2011 (Jan-Dec 2011) 0/6 (more than 81)
Pages Read Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 1785/20,000
Reading from My Shelves Project 2011 (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/12
Romance Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/5
Series Challenge Season 5 (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/3
The Page to Screen Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 11) 3/5
Whats In a Name Challenge 4 (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/6
Whisper In My Ears Audio Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 21/12
Young Readers Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 10/12


2010 – 2011 Cross Over Challenges
What An Animal III Challenge (March 1, 2010 to February 28, 2011) 13/12 - COMPLETED

erpetual
To Be Continued…Challenge (October 20, 2008 - ???) 45/52
101 Books in 1001 Days Challenge (August 31, 2009 - April 8, 2012) 89/101
US Presidents Reading Project (November 5, 2008 - ???) 4/44
1001 Childrens book Before I Grow Up (June 1, 2010 - ???) 43/1001


OnThePorchSwing (Yahoo Group)
1. Read a book with a one word title (if it has The or A in it), leave that out and just count the one word after it....
2. Read a book with a number in the title.
3. Read a young adult book FROM the science fiction genre.
4. Read a mystery by an author whose last name starts with a "K"
5. Read a book with orange or pink in the title
For a fun extra - pick a book on a subject in history you are interested in, or a travel book on a place you have always wanted to visit, or an artist you are interested in, and share your experience with us.
MysteryReaderCafe (YahooGroup)
1. Read a mystery set in your state (one you live in now or one where you are originally from)
2. Read a mystery where the amateur sleuth has a craft or a hobby or a specific type of job (like working in a shop of some sort) – The Chocolate Snowman Murder by JoAnna Carl(Chocolate Shop)
3. Read a mystery with the word dark or black in the title
4. Read a mystery from the young adult section of your library
5. Read a mystery by an author whose last name starts with "M"
For a fun extra, read a mystery whose title has the first letter of your first and last name in it - like for me - I would have to have read one that had an L and an H in it (in either order) - like the Last Hollow of the Dark, or Hateful Crimes of the Lowlands (I made these titles up...)

What Are You Reading Monday? #30





Books I completed in the last week are:
*Reading a lot of children’s book – I’m going to make a challenge of the titles found in 1001 Children’s Books to Read before I Grow Up (just need help with a button)


Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:
*Reading a lot of children’s book – I’m going to make a challenge of the titles found in 1001 Children’s Books to Read before I Grow Up (just need help with a button)

Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks (Audio)
Happily Ever After by Nora Roberts (Quartet Brides #4)


Up Next:
The Wedding Girl by Madeleine Wickham
The Election-Day Disaster by Ron Roy (Capital Mystery #10)
The Ghost at Camp David by Ron Roy (Capital Mystery # 12)

Reviews posted this week:
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss

Author Guest Posts/Interviews:
Author Interview - A Birth of Freedom: the Visitor by Robert Pielke (Feburary 2)
Book Tour – Letters From Home by Kristina McMorris (February 21)

March is Author Month – Interview A Day
Author Interview – Lin Wellford (March 1)
Author Interview - The Long Night Moon by Willie Elizabeth Towles (March 2)
Author Interview - Independence Day Plague by Carla Suson (March 5)
Author Interview - FACES IN THE MIRROR: OSCAR MICHEAUX AND SPIKE LEE by John Howard (March 8)
Author Interview - Essays on Living with Alzheimer's Disease: The First Twelve Months by Lois Wilmoth-Bennett, Ph.D. (March 9)
Author Interview - Bring Yourself to Love: How Couples Can Turn Disconnection into Intimacy by Mona Barbera (March 11)
Author Interview - Alaska Hoops: Tips and Tales from the Girls' Locker Room by Becky Crabtree (March 13)
Author Interview – A Life of Integrity by Trish Knight (March 14)
Author Interview - The Dog Walked Down the Street: An Outspoken Guide for Writers Who Want to Publish by Sal Glynn (March 15)
Author Interview - Mary Stevens (March 16)
Author Interview - Choose to Be Happy: A Guide to Total Happiness by Rima Rudner (March 18)
Author Interview - Turtle Hope by Jennifer Brown (March 19 )
Author Interview - Joan West (March 23)
Author Interview – East Wind by Jack Winnick (March 26)
Author Interview - Accidental Cowgirl by Mary Lynn Archibald (March 27)
Author Interview - Above Honor by Donald Himelstein (March 30)
Author Interview - Judith Finkel (March 31)


Special Blog Hop Giveaways
Love Hop (February 8-13)
Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop (March 17 – 20)
Fool for Books Hop (April 1-2)

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):
Revolutionary War On Wednesday by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House #22)
Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss (Audio – John Lithgow)
Gertrude McFuzz by Dr. Seuss (Audio – John Lithgow)
The Big Brag by Dr. Seuss (Audio – John Lithgow)
Thidwick, the Big-Hearted Moose by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Mercedes McCambridge)
Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Billy Crystal)
The Cat in the Hat Comes Back by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Kelsey Grammer)
The Cat In The Hat by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Kelsey Grammer)
Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Dustin Hoffman)
The Grinch That Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Walter Matheau)
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Ted Danson)
Civil War on Sunday by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House #21)
Daisy, Maisey and Lazy by Emma Parker (ebook)
The Not So Scarey Scarecrow by Emma Parker (ebook)
The River Between Us by Richard Peck (Audio)
The Chocolate Snowman Murders by Joanna Carl
The Moovers and the Milkshakers by Emma Parker (ebook)
The Butterfly Race by Emma Parker (ebook)
Teddy Is Real I Think by Emma Parker (ebook)


Giveaways on the blog this week:
In The Still of the Night by Jill Churchill (ends 2/4/11)

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen(ends 1/28/11)Winner – Ashley Holt

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blog Tour - Interview - Said the Spider by Earle E. Van Gilder



Book Synopisis:
Sophisticated crime syndicate parasites invade the normally solid foundation of Midwestern banking and generations of established manufacturing. Executives and management usually in control suddenly find they are masterfully manipulated into a web of irreconcilable personal and financial seduction.

From the traumatic discovery at the river’s edge to the eventual confrontational conclusion Said The Spider seduces greedy, gullible and unsuspecting prey into a deadly and graphic whirlwind of corporate disaster leading to murder, suicide and revenge.

The early exploits of the juvenile crime spree by a youthful mastermind who cleverly manipulates his prey leads the reader to the ruthless genius manipulating the city. This drama of cause and effect with no escape from the temptations of lust, greed, and ignorance has been cleverly baited.

The corporate investigative agency and police sources enter almost too late to stop this whirlpool of turbulence as the bank Vice President’s realize their own failure and the investors and corporation officers panic and retreat from the coming Armageddon.

As murder, suicide and monumental financial losses are exposed, the crime syndicate learns of an investigation which might interrupt their lucrative operation. Crime bosses will stop at nothing to successfully complete their artistic looting of a major bank and manufacturing complex.

Time is running out. Investigators are pulling pieces of the puzzle together. Corrupt and greedy bank executives are running for their lives. The syndicate is charging ahead in their goal of complete domination and eventual departure culminating in a surprise and conclusive end to fraud and murder.




Author Interview:

Describe your book in five words or less.
Mystery, intrigue, investigative thriller.

How did the ideas for your books come to you?
Friends had asked me to write and share my life stories.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?
Sitting down and taking time away from so many other things is the discipline I need to improve on in writing. The easiest is dreaming up the characters and story.

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?
I’ve completed two (2) more book in series with Said The Spider. They are Gumshoe Diary-The Month of May, and Point of Connection. They involved many of the same characters but with new and different adventures.

Why did you choose to write for thillers?
I didn’t choose a genre or a specific targeted reader. I’ve written about what I know, lived and experienced.

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?
Knowing that another person wants to read something that I’ve written is a very pleasant experience.

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Who was your hero growing up? And my answer would be my Grandmother, for no other reason than she loved me unconditionally. I was always safe with her, and she was then and is now my idol. My newest idol and right up there with Grandma is my wife Annie. How could a guy ask for anything more?

What was your road to publications like?
The road (after the writing) was fairly simple. Outskirts Press made that effort as easy as possible. It’s been a pleasant experience. Being impatient as a man who wants things done immediately (a personal failing) the seemingly endless project following becomes tedious. I’m having fun!


Bio:
More than 40 years Earle (Doc) Van Gilder was involved in the investigation of white-collar crime. The last 20 years he ran his own Investigative Corporation partnering with major firms, local and state government agencies and law enforcement to solve a wide range of criminal activities from internal theft and white collar crime to insurance fraud, criminal investigations and undercover operations.

Earle is also a certified Kyokushinkai Karate Branch Chief and martial arts instructor and well versed in the handling of weaponry. These experiences combined with his Marine Corp and equestrian experiences have resulted in a number of short stories which in turn led to his first novel, Said The Spider. He recently completed a second novel, Gumshoe Diary, The Month of May.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Freebie Friday - In The Still of the Night by Jill Churchill (ends 2/4)




GoodReads Review:
Lily Brewster and her brother Robert have all the appearances of being filthy rich, even though the family fortune went out the window with the crash of 1929. But thanks to great-uncle Horatio, who left them Grace and Favor Cottage, a huge mansion on the Hudson not far from Franklin Roosevelt's Hyde Park, the Brewsters live in the style to which they had become accustomed--with a few troublesome limitations.

To make sure Lily and Robert didn't go back to being society bums, crafty old Horatio attached some strings to his bequest--and a penny-pinching attorney to manage the funds. Now the poor Brewsters have to actually work for money to survive, and Lily comes up with a brilliant scheme. They can turn a profit while they hobnob with their society friends, luring them to Grace and Favor for a paying weekend with the promise of big-name celebrities as guests.

If Sinclair Lewis hadn't been working on a new book, he might have joined the party; if Amelia Earhart hadn't been busy planning her cross-Atlantic flight, history might not have its own unsolved mystery. And if the Brewsters' celebrity/society bash hadn't been short on luminaries and long on snide barbs and open hostility among the guests, the glittering, glamorous affair might not have turned into a whodunit with one guest dead, one missing, and Lily and Robert chasing a murderer who is ready to strike again

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Book Review - One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish



Title: One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
Author: Dr. Seuss (Read by David Hyde Pierce)
Publisher: Harper Colins
ISBN:
Release Date:
Pages: 62
Genre: Children’s
Format: Audio (10 minutes)
Source: Library

From the back:
"Did you ever fly a kite in bed? Did you ever walk with ten cats on your head?" Such are the profound, philosophical queries posed in this well-loved classic by Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel. While many rhymes in this couplet collection resemble sphinx-worthy riddles, Seuss's intention is clear: teach children to read in a way that is both entertaining and educational. It matters little that each wonderful vignette has nothing to do with the one that follows. (We move seamlessly from a one-humped Wump and Mister Gump to yellow pets called the Zeds with one hair upon their heads.) Children today will be as entranced by these ridiculous rhymes as they have been since the book's original publication in 1960--so amused and enchanted, in fact, they may not even notice they are learning to read!

Mine:
What a wonderful rhyming book as usual for a Dr. Seuss. I’ve always love this one and like reading this with my youngest nephew. I always love the illustrations that he does. The Zeds with one hair. How can you not think it’s funny.

David Hyde Pierce is a great voice to be reading this story and has a wonderful cadence to the rhyming of the words.

Monday, January 24, 2011

What Are You Reading Monday? #29





Books I completed in the last week are:
*Reading a lot of children’s book – I’m going to make a challenge of the titles found in 1001 Children’s Books to Read before I Grow Up (just need help with a button)

Revolutionary War On Wednesday by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House #22)
Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss (Audio – John Lithgow)
Gertrude McFuzz by Dr. Seuss (Audio – John Lithgow)
The Big Brag by Dr. Seuss (Audio – John Lithgow)
Thidwick, the Big-Hearted Moose by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Mercedes McCambridge)
Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Billy Crystal)
The Cat in the Hat Comes Back by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Kelsey Grammer)
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss (Audio – David Hyde Pierce)
Fox In Sox by Dr. Seuss (Audio – David Hyde Pierce)
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess (Audio – Jason Alexander)
I’m Not Going to Get Up Today by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Jason Alexander)
Dr. Seuss’s ABC by Dr Seuss (Audio – Jason Alexander)
Oh, The Thinks You Can Think by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Michael McKean)
Oh Say Can You Say by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Michael McKean)
I Can Read With my Eyes Shut by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Michael McKean)


Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:
*Reading a lot of children’s book – I’m going to make a challenge of the titles found in 1001 Children’s Books to Read before I Grow Up (just need help with a button)

Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks (Audio)
Happily Ever After by Nora Roberts (Quartet Brides #4)


Up Next:
The Wedding Girl by Madeleine Wickham
The Election-Day Disaster by Ron Roy (Capital Mystery #10)
The Ghost at Camp David by Ron Roy (Capital Mystery # 12)

Reviews posted this week:
Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss

Author Guest Posts/Interviews:
Author Interview - A Birth of Freedom: the Visitor by Robert Pielke (Feburary 2)
Book Tour – Letters From Home by Kristina McMorris (February 21)

Special Blog Hop Giveaways
Love Hop (February 8-13)
Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop (March 17 – 20)
Fool for Books Hop (April 1-2)

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):
Revolutionary War On Wednesday by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House #22)
Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss (Audio – John Lithgow)
Gertrude McFuzz by Dr. Seuss (Audio – John Lithgow)
The Big Brag by Dr. Seuss (Audio – John Lithgow)
Thidwick, the Big-Hearted Moose by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Mercedes McCambridge)
Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Billy Crystal)
The Cat in the Hat Comes Back by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Kelsey Grammer)
The Cat In The Hat by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Kelsey Grammer)
Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Dustin Hoffman)
The Grinch That Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Walter Matheau)
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Ted Danson)
Civil War on Sunday by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House #21)
Daisy, Maisey and Lazy by Emma Parker (ebook)
The Not So Scarey Scarecrow by Emma Parker (ebook)
The River Between Us by Richard Peck (Audio)
The Chocolate Snowman Murders by Joanna Carl
The Moovers and the Milkshakers by Emma Parker (ebook)
The Butterfly Race by Emma Parker (ebook)
Teddy Is Real I Think by Emma Parker (ebook)


Giveaways on the blog this week:
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen(ends 1/28/11)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Book Review - Hop On Pop by Dr. Seuss




Title: Hop On Pop
Author: Dr. Seuss (Read by David Hyde Pierce)
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780394800295
Release Date: February 12th 1963
Pages: 72
Genre: Childrens
Format: Audio (10 minutes)
Source: Library


Inside Cover:
First published in 1963, Hop on Pop remains a perennial favorite when it comes to teaching kids to read. Here, as in most of his extensive body of work, Dr. Seuss creates uncomplicated, monosyllabic rhymes to foster learning and inspire children to read. But what was radical about this little book at the time of publication (and what makes it still compelling today) is Seuss's departure from the traditionally dull pictures and sentences used in reading primers. In contrast, the illustrations here are wild and wonderful, and the accompanying language, while simple, is delightfully silly. For example, the rhyme "THREE TREE / Three fish in a tree / Fish in a tree? / How can that be?" is brought to life with a trio of plump, self-satisfied fish perched atop globular branches as two stymied hybrid dog-rabbit-humanoids look on in consternation. Hop on Pop does much more than teach children the basics of word construction, it also introduces them to the incomparable pleasure of reading a book.

Mine:
As always – what a wonderful book. I used to read this to my brother when he was a child. I have now had the opportunity to read the book to my nephews. The rhyming makes the whole story come to life.

David Hyde Pierce is a great voice to be reading this story and has a wonderful cadence to the ryming of the words.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Freebie Friday - Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (ends 1/28)



Review by GoodReads:

Though not the first novel she wrote, Sense and Sensibility was the first Jane Austen published. Though she initially called it Elinor and Marianne, Austen jettisoned both the title and the epistolary mode in which it was originally written, but kept the essential theme: the necessity of finding a workable middle ground between passion and reason. The story revolves around the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne. Whereas the former is a sensible, rational creature, her younger sister is wildly romantic--a characteristic that offers Austen plenty of scope for both satire and compassion. Commenting on Edward Ferrars, a potential suitor for Elinor's hand, Marianne admits that while she "loves him tenderly," she finds him disappointing as a possible lover for her sister:

Oh! Mama, how spiritless, how tame was Edward's manner in reading to us last night! I felt for my sister most severely. Yet she bore it with so much composure, she seemed scarcely to notice it. I could hardly keep my seat. To hear those beautiful lines which have frequently almost driven me wild, pronounced with such impenetrable calmness, such dreadful indifference!

Soon however, Marianne meets a man who measures up to her ideal: Mr. Willoughby, a new neighbor. So swept away by passion is Marianne that her behavior begins to border on the scandalous. Then Willoughby abandons her; meanwhile, Elinor's growing affection for Edward suffers a check when he admits he is secretly engaged to a childhood sweetheart. How each of the sisters reacts to their romantic misfortunes, and the lessons they draw before coming finally to the requisite happy ending forms the heart of the novel. Though Marianne's disregard for social conventions and willingness to consider the world well-lost for love may appeal to modern readers, it is Elinor whom Austen herself most evidently admired; a truly happy marriage, she shows us, exists only where sense and sensibility meet and mix in proper measure

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Author Interview & Giveaway - The Great Snowball Escapade by J.D. Holiday



How long have you been writing and what inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve been writing for 28 years, since 1983. My father wrote every weekend for as long as I can remember though I never thought of writing myself while he was alive. My spelling and grammar problems held me back. I didn’t think I could write because of it, but early one, when I was in the sixth grade, I did write one story on a rainy day and loved it.

In 1983 I started writing when a friend asked me to read a few pages from a historical romance she was writing. I told her what I thought about it and she asked me to help her write the book. We did finish it and sent it to an agent who was kind and sent the manuscript back with a detailed account of what was wrong with it. My friend went on to other things while I found that I loved writing and did not want to stop.


Why did you choose to write for specific genre?
I think I never grew up and my childhood was full of fun and adventure which gives me plenty of situations to put characters in.


Describe your current book in five words or less.
I would say that five words that describe The Great Snowball Escapade are: childhood, adventure, friendships, understanding and fun.


How did the idea for The Great Snowball Escapade come to you?
As a child, every winter day that snow was on the ground I would spend time on the hill in front of the high school near where I lived sledding. This story was inspired by my love of it.


What is the hardest part of writing for you?

The hardest part about writing for me is the editing. Grammar is not my strong point. I have to rely on others to edit for me.


What's the easiest?
The easiest part of writing for me is coming up with my stories and characters. I find that while working out the details of my plot, I also begin to develop my characters. Usually by the time I have the story outlined I also have my characters in place.


What's next for you?
I have two books I’m working on at the moment. One is a picture book I am now doing the drawings for and then I’ll paint them. It is a story about a boy who wants a puppy but gets a dog that is older. It's what they do together that makes them pals. The other book is a young adult novel titled, ‘Christmas in the City.’ This story about two girls, one with a family and one without and both searching for what is important to them.


Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?
Yes. Besides the two books I mentioned, I have about four other picture book manuscript already written that I have to do the illustrations for, and a second young adult novel that needs to be written.


What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?
It’s exciting and thrilling. I love when children tell me they like my stories.


What was your road to publications like?
It wasn’t easy. For many years I submitted my manuscripts to the big publishers getting many rejection letters. Though during all that time I had some short stories and a Chapbook published, some editors were interested in my children’s stories, and I even had an agent for a time, but none of my children’s books made it into print.

In 2002 I decided to try one of those print services, which for me, was a disaster. I had my publicity plan ready to go but the print service had made a mess of my book and the galley was not ready for printing. I tried working with them to fix it, but the next galley had the same problems and the deal collapsed.

At that point, POD publishing, or Print On Demand had come along and was affordable to get books into print. That was when I decided I could do the job better myself and I started my own publishing company, Book Garden Publishing, LLC.


Sue, I want to thank you for having me on your blog. This has be fun!


Sincerely,

J.D. Holiday



SUMMARY: In the story, Wilhemena Brooks’ cousin, Bud Dunphry come to live with her family. Wil, as she likes to be called, finds her pink pencil sharpener is missing after Christmas. Wil knows Bud has it! Who else would have taken it?

Bud doesn’t like girls! In fact, Bud doesn’t like anybody. Wil tries to ignore him but he pulls her friends hair, taken over games, and when Bud is in trouble he making his “you’re going to got it” face at her.

After a snowstorm closes school, Wil and her friends go sled riding. Bud shows up and starts a snowball fight which lands Wil in her room for the rest of the day for fighting.

When her pencil sharpener is found, right where she left it, Wil decides she has to try harder to understand her cousin and stay out of trouble. Her mother told her to be nice to Bud and to treat him like she would like to be treated. If Wil treats Bud nicely does that change anything for her?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dreaming of Books Hop Winners




Dreaming of Books Hop

Dream Guy by Candy Halliday - LeAnn Voyer
Haunted Dreams by Charlotte Lamb - Leanna Morris
Only My Dreams by Rowan Kirby - Renee Grandinetti
Perchance To Dream by Robert B. Parker - Marcie

Monday, January 17, 2011

What Are You Reading Monday? #28





Books I completed in the last week are:
*Reading a lot of children’s book – I’m going to make a challenge of the titles found in 1001 Children’s Books to Read before I Grow Up (just need help with a button)
There’s A Bear in My Bed by Emma Parker (ebook)
Daisy, Maisey and Lazy by Emma Parker (ebook)
The Not So Scarey Scarecrow by Emma Parker (ebook)
The River Between Us by Richard Peck (Audio)
The Chocolate Snowman Murders by Joanna Carl
The Cat In The Hat by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Kelsey Grammer)
Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Dustin Hoffman)
The Grinch That Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Walter Matheau)
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Ted Danson)
Civil War on Sunday by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House #21)


Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:
*Reading a lot of children’s book – I’m going to make a challenge of the titles found in 1001 Children’s Books to Read before I Grow Up (just need help with a button)

Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks (Audio)
Revolutionary War On Wednesday by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House #22)



Up Next:
The Wedding Girl by Madeleine Wickham
The Election-Day Disaster by Ron Roy (Capital Mystery #10)
The Ghost at Camp David by Ron Roy (Capital Mystery # 12)
How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky
Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel

Reviews posted this week:
The Lion and the Mouse by Emma Parker (ebook)
There’s A Bear in My Bed by Emma Parker (ebook)

Author Guest Posts/Interviews:
Book Tour - Review - Sandra J. Gerencher - Second Chance: How Adoption Saved a Boy with Autism & His Shelter Dog (January 18)
Guest Interview & Giveaway - J. D Holiday - The Great Snowball Escapade (January 19)
Author Interview - Said the Spider by Earle E. Van Gilder (January 30)
Author Interview - A Birth of Freedom: the Visitor by Robert Pielke (Feburary 2)
Book Tour – Letters From Home by Kristina McMorris (February 21)

Special Blog Hop Giveaways
Dreaming of Books Hop (January 14 – 17)
Love Hop (February 8-13)
Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop (March 17 – 20)

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):
The Cat In The Hat by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Kelsey Grammer)
Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Dustin Hoffman)
The Grinch That Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Walter Matheau)
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss (Audio – Ted Danson)
Civil War on Sunday by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House #21)
Daisy, Maisey and Lazy by Emma Parker (ebook)
The Not So Scarey Scarecrow by Emma Parker (ebook)
The River Between Us by Richard Peck (Audio)
The Chocolate Snowman Murders by Joanna Carl
The Moovers and the Milkshakers by Emma Parker (ebook)
The Butterfly Race by Emma Parker (ebook)
Teddy Is Real I Think by Emma Parker (ebook)


Giveaways on the blog this week:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dreaming of Books Hop (1/14-17)



Hosted by Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf
& I Am A Reader, Not A Writer


What is a giveaway hop?
Simple - Each participating blog hosts a giveaway and then we link up together allowing our followers to hop easily from one giveaway to another.
For followers that means lots of chances to win free books.
For host blogs it means lots of new visitors and followers.
It's a win-win!

The Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop will run from 12:01 AM Friday, January 14th to 11:59 PM Monday, January 17th.

Each participating blog will host their own giveaway. There is no requirement on the minimum or maximum value of your giveaway. It's up to you to decide. You can give away books, swags, amazon gift cards, or anything else you can think of that has to do with books. Your giveaway can be as simple or as elaborate as you want.

All participating blogs will be linked up through a Dreaming of Books Giveaway linky. You will be given the linky code to add to your blog so that readers can jump from one giveaway to the next.

Please keep the process to enter your giveaway as simple as possible.

Please no long lists of dozens of different things followers can do to gain extra entries

Please help spread the word. The more blogs participating the better! It will mean more visitors and new followers for your blog.

Giveaways can be US, US & Canada or International.

Please create your giveaway post before the giveaway starts and then set it to be posted at 12:01 AM EST on January 14th.




*Dream Guy by Candy Halliday
Video game designer Annie Long decides if she can't find the perfect man, she'll create him. Available on interactive DVD, Joe Video is the ideal boyfriend for the modern woman. But soon Matt, Annie's ex and boss, is proving himself to be more perfect than Joe Video ever could be. Original.



*Haunted Dreams by Charlotte LambHe had achieved success that others could only dream about - and envy. Was that why Ambrose Kerr held everyone at arm's length? Emilie assumed that he would never want her, because she was so young and naive. But then she discovered the reason why Ambrose was so wary -- he hid an incredible secret. The truth only made Emilie want Ambrose more, but it was also dynamite ... if others got to know the real story, their new-found happiness would explode ...


Only My Dreams by Rowan Kirby

Perchance To Dream by Robert B. Parker
In a sequel to Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep, Marlowe takes on a case involving General Sternwood, who is six feet under, Vivian, who is dating a blackmailer, and Carmen, a sanitorium escapee







Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Book Review: The Lion and the Mouse by Emma Parker




Title: The Lion and the Mouse
Author: Emma Parker
Publisher: www.SecondEditionPublishers.com
ISBN: 978-1-877547-45-4
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 20
Genre: Children’s
Format: ebook
Source: iPhone

Review from Goodreads:
Will the lion eat the mouse? The traditional fable. A new range of brightly coloured and imaginatively written children's picture books, which will captivate the attention of children from age 4-7 (and some adults too)!

Mine:
This is a cute story, that is similar to the parable of the same idea. In this the Lion is caught and caged, not that a thorn has to be pulled out of his paw.

The wonderful thing about these stories is the colorful illustrations and wonderful voices that read the stories. The characters are brought to life and almost come off the page.

Book Review: There's a Bear In My Bed by Emma Parker




Title: There’s A Bear In My Bed
Author: Emma Parker
Publisher: www.SecondEditionPublishers.com
ISBN: 978-1-877547-97-3
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 16
Genre: Children’s
Format: ebook
Source: iPhone

Review from Goodreads:
Why is there a big bear in the bed? A new range of brightly coloured and imaginatively written children's picture books, which will captivate the attention of children from age 4-7 (and some adults too)!


Mine:
A shorter version of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears with just one bear that befriends the little boy. The bear is nice enough to finally give up the bed for the chair so he can watch over the boy for the night when he goes to bed.

The wonderful thing about these stories is the colorful illustrations and wonderful voices that read the stories. The characters are brought to life and almost come off the page.

Monday, January 10, 2011

What Are You Reading Monday? #27





Books I completed in the last week are:
*Reading a lot of children’s book – I’m going to make a challenge of the titles found in 1001 Children’s Books to Read before I Grow Up (just need help with a button)
The Lion and the Mouse by Emma Parker (ebook)


Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:
*Reading a lot of children’s book – I’m going to make a challenge of the titles found in 1001 Children’s Books to Read before I Grow Up (just need help with a button)

The Chocolate Snowman Murder by JoAnna Carl
The River Between Us by Richard Peck (audio)



Up Next:
The Wedding Girl by Madeleine Wickham
The Election-Day Disaster by Ron Roy (Capital Mystery #10)
The Ghost at Camp David by Ron Roy (Capital Mystery # 12)
Civil War on Sunday by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House #21)
Revolutionary War On Wednesday by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House #22)
How Santa Got His Job by
Frog and Toad Together by
Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks (Audio)


Reviews posted this week:


Author Guest Posts/Interviews:
Book Tour - Review - Sandra J. Gerencher - Second Chance: How Adoption Saved a Boy with Autism & His Shelter Dog (January 18)
Guest Interview & Giveaway - J. D Holiday - The Great Snowball Escapade (January 19)
Author Interview - Said the Spider by Earle E. Van Gilder (January 30)
Author Interview - A Birth of Freedom: the Visitor by Robert Pielke (Feburary 2)
Book Tour – Letters From Home by Kristina McMorris (February 21)

Special Blog Hop Giveaways
Dreaming of Books Hop (January 14 – 17)
Love Hop (February 8-13)
Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop (March 17 – 20)

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):
Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
The Moovers and the Milkshakers by Emma Parker (ebook)
The Butterfly Race by Emma Parker (ebook)
Teddy Is Real I Think by Emma Parker (ebook)
The Lion and the Mouse by Emma Parker (ebook)


Giveaways on the blog this week:
Naughty Neighbor by Janet Evanovich (ends 1/14/11)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Freebie Friday #1 - Naughty Neighbor by Janet Evanovich (ends 1/14)




From Goodreads:
Louisa Brannigan's neighbor is a handsome hell-raiser—and he's driving Louisa crazy. He makes terrible coffee, steals her newspaper, and listens through her walls. But when she's fired from her government job, Louisa is persuaded to join his undercover investigation. Sneaking around in the shadows is more fun than she ever imagined, especially when the getaway car is a Porsche.

Pete Streeter never figured on finding such an attractive partner in crime. Louisa is all he ever wanted in a woman, and more. But once he's taught her to enjoy living on the edge, will she finally feel safe in his love?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

More Reading Challenges

Here are some more challenges I've signed up for. Thank goodness most of them allow cross over books.

Comic Book Challenge
The Comic Challenge

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf!

Pages to Screen Challenge


Whisper Stories In My Ears

Bewitched Bookworms



Romance Reading Challenge

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Guest Blog - Barefoot Books - Storytime Tips for Kids





Making Storytime Magical and Memorable: Tips for Families from Barefoot Books
Storytime offers a perfect opportunity for family bonding at its best, while helping children to develop essential literacy and cognitive skills, spark their imaginations, and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime. Here are some simple ways families can make storytime a magical part of the day, everyday:

• Ask your child for suggestions about what books to read. Suggest some of your own favorites from when you were a child. Don’t forget about classic tales and adventures, such as myths and legends about knights and castles. You can also choose to read bi-lingual stories, or stories from different cultures as a way for children to experience different languages and cultures.

• Don’t feel like you have to read an entire book. Reading one chapter a night at bedtime or even a few pages at a time will keep your child engaged and excited for the next storytime with you.

• Reading time doesn’t have to be at bedtime. Consider other times of the day when you can read together. Some families enjoy reading with their children early in the morning as a special way to start the day.

• Keep your child engaged. Ask questions along the way. Point out words that might be new to their vocabulary and talk about how the words are used and what they mean. Are there far-off lands that are featured in the book? Find them on a map together. Ask questions that evoke emotion and reflective inquiry, such as, “What would you do in this situation?” “Why do you think the character behaved in that way?” “Have you ever encountered a similar situation?” “Who does the character remind you of?” “How does the character feel?”

• Read along together. If you have an experienced reader, ask them to read a page aloud and then you read a page. Children of all ages enjoy being read to. Sharing the story in this way will help you discover new things about each other and elicit dialog.

• Be creative! Storytime is a time to let true personalities shine! Using different voices for each character, or acting out parts of the story can make story time even more memorable and enjoyable for you and your child.

• Find a special location for storytime. Under the trees in the evening with a blanket and flashlight; swaying on a hammock; cuddled up on the favorite couch; at the breakfast table; sitting on the front step watching the world go by…the locations can be just as unique as the stories themselves.

• The story doesn’t have to end on the last page. Look for creative ways to extend the learning of the book. Some ways to do this may be listening to music that is in some way related to the story, researching recipes from where the story is located and cooking them together, acting out the story with your child and some of their friends, writing a sequel to the story together, etc.

• Keep a storytime journal together: Note the book or story shared, the date, the reactions of the family members. Younger children may wish to draw a picture representing the book. Older children can help complete the journal entry. The journal will become a beautiful memory piece as time goes on to look back on all of the stories shared together.

• Take pictures! There is nothing sweeter than family pictures curled up listening to stories together. You can use these pictures to illustrate the passage of time as family members grow, tastes in books evolve, the books become longer as the children grow older, etc.

Hope you find these tips useful as you discover your own ways to bond with your child through sharing timeless stories.

Thank you to: Leah Lesser, Communications Director, Barefoot Books

Barefoot Books

Monday, January 3, 2011

What Are You Reading Monday? #26





Books I completed in the last week are:
*Reading a lot of children’s book – I’m going to make a challenge of the titles found in 1001 Children’s Books to Read before I Grow Up (just need help with a button)
Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
*A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck (Audio)
*Hedgehogs by Emma Parker (ebook)
*Hullabaloo at the Zoo by Emma Parker (ebook)
The Moovers and the Milkshakers by Emma Parker (ebook)
The Butterfly Race by Emma Parker (ebook)
Teddy Is Real I Think by Emma Parker (ebook)
*The Yellow Hummer by Ivet Graham-Morgan


Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:
*Reading a lot of children’s book – I’m going to make a challenge of the titles found in 1001 Children’s Books to Read before I Grow Up (just need help with a button)

The Chocolate Snowman Murder by JoAnna Carl



Up Next:
The Wedding Girl by Madeleine Wickham
The Election-Day Disaster by Ron Roy (Capital Mystery #10)
The Ghost at Camp David by Ron Roy (Capital Mystery # 12)
Civil War on Sunday by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House #21)
Revolutionary War On Wednesday by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House #22)


Reviews posted this week:
A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck (Audio)
Hedgehogs by Emma Parker
Hullabaloo at the Zoo by Emma Parker
The Yellow Hummer by Ivet Graham-Morgan

Author Guest Posts/Interviews:
Book Tour - Review - Sandra J. Gerencher - Second Chance: How Adoption Saved a Boy with Autism & His Shelter Dog (January 18)
Guest Interview & Giveaway - J. D Holiday - The Great Snowball Escapade (January 19)
Author Interview - A Birth of Freedom: the Visitor by Robert Pielke (Feburary 2)
Book Tour – Letters From Home by Kristina McMorris (February 21)

Special Blog Hop Giveaways
Dreaming of Books Hop (January 14 – 17)
Love Hop (February 8-13)
Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop (March 17 – 20)

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):


Giveaways on the blog this week:

Book Review: The Yellow Hummer by Ivet Graham-Morgan




Title: The Yellow Hummer
Author: Ivet Graham-Morgan
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
ISBN:978-1-4327-4784-8
Release Date: March 11, 2010
Pages: 26
Genre: Juvenile Fiction/Readers/Beginner
Format: Paperback
Source: For Review

Back Cover:
A shiny yellow Hummer! It is a gift that would please any little boy, and Jordan is excited to show it to his beloved grandmother. But a terrible mishap occurs, and Jordan is very sad-that is, until he makes a very important discovery. Are things more important than people? It is a lesson that will forever stay with him.

Mine:
Jordan is so happy to get a Yellow Hummer as his new toy at a Christmas party. In his hurry to start playing with remote control Hummer he has his Grandma help him open the package. Oops – Grandma where are your glasses. She cuts through the remote cord. Jordan is disappointed and crying.

After spending time in his room and having time to think he comes out to forgive his Grandma. He realizes that the person is more important than the prize of the new Yellow Hummer. What a wonderful story about material things not being all there is.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Book Review: Hedgehogs by Emma Parker




Title: Hedgehogs
Author: Emma Parker
Publisher: www.SecondEditionPublishers.com
ISBN: 978-1-877561-80-1
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 16
Format: ebook
Source: iPhone

Review by Goodreads:
Can you find the hedgehogs at night? A new range of brightly coloured and imaginatively written children's picture books, which will captivate the attention of children from age 4-7 (and some adults too)!


Mine:
I was hunting for book apps for my iPhone, this can be found in Read Me Stories. This is an adorable book with wonderful pictures and a cute story about Hedgehogs. The story tells that they come out at night and what they eat grubs (yuck!). This is a wonderful book to keep a young one occupied and although my nephews are past that age they would have loved it.

Book Review: Hallaboo at the Zoo by Emma Parker



Title: Hullabaloo at the Zoo
Author: Emma Parker
Publisher: www.SecondEditionPublishers.com
ISBN: 978-1-877561-32-0
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 20
Format: ebook
Source: iPhone

Review by Goodreads: The monkeys have escaped from the zoo! A new range of brightly coloured and imaginatively written children's picture books, which will captivate the attention of children from age 4-7 (and some adults too)!


Mine:A cute story about the zoo and how the monkeys escape and cause havoc. They leave the school and cut through the school then to town and the shops. The bakery, the china shop (oops watch out plates), the grocery where they were finally caught eating bananas.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Challenges I'm Starting & Continuing for 2011

I haven't finished signing up for the challenges though, since I'm having problems with my internet connection.

Here is the start of the list.

2011 Challenges
A to Z challenge (Jan-Dec 2011) 0/26
Nicholas Sparks Reading Challenge (Jan-Dec 2011) 0/4
Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2011 (Jan-Dec 2011) 0/6 (more than 81)
Buy One Book and Read It Challenge 2011 (Jan-Dec 2011) 0/12
Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge 2011 (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/12
100+ Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/100
Books Won Challenge 2011 (Jan-Dec 2011) 0/??
Celebrate the Author (Jan-Dec 2011) 0/12
A-Z Mystery Author Challenge (A-I) (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/12
2011 Sexy Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/12
2011 Read-n-Review (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/100
2011 Romance Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/12
2011 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/50
2011 YA Romance Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/12
2011 Romantic Suspense Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/12
50 States Challenge in 2011 (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/50
Series Challenge Season 5 (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/3



2010 – 2011 Cross Over Challenges
What An Animal III Challenge (March 1, 2010 to February 28, 2011) 13/12 - COMPLETED


Perpetual
To Be Continued…Challenge (October 20, 2008 - ???) 42/52
101 Books in 1001 Days Challenge (August 31, 2009 - April 8, 2012) 84/101
US Presidents Reading Project (November 5, 2008 - ???) 4/44
1001 Childrens book Before I Grow Up (June 1, 2010 - ???) 43 of 1001


OnThePorchSwing (Yahoo Group)
1. Read a book with a one word title (if it has The or A in it), leave that out and just count the one word after it....
2. Read a book with a number in the title.
3. Read a young adult book FROM the science fiction genre.
4. Read a mystery by an author whose last name starts with a "K"
5. Read a book with orange or pink in the title
For a fun extra - pick a book on a subject in history you are interested in, or a travel book on a place you have always wanted to visit, or an artist you are interested in, and share your experience with us.

MysteryReaderCafe (YahooGroup)
1. Read a mystery set in your state (one you live in now or one where you are originally from)
2. Read a mystery where the amateur sleuth has a craft or a hobby or a specific type of job (like working in a shop of some sort) – The Chocolate Snowman Murder by (Chocolate Shop)
3. Read a mystery with the word dark or black in the title
4. Read a mystery from the young adult section of your library
5. Read a mystery by an author whose last name starts with "M"
For a fun extra, read a mystery whose title has the first letter of your first and last name in it - like for me - I would have to have read one that had an L and an H in it (in either order) - like the Last Hollow of the Dark, or Hateful Crimes of the Lowlands (I made these titles up...)

Happy New Year 2011