Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year-End 2011 Reading Challenges Update


Challenges signed up for: 53
Challenges Completed: 13 (25%)
Will be cutting back for next year. I came close on some but just couldn’t finish the books. I’m hoping now that I’ve discovered ebooks that I can read on my iPad that it will help for next year.
2011 Challenges
100+ Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 94/100
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) 15/12 – COMPLETED
2011 Foodies Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 1/3
2011 Read-n-Review (Jan – Dec 2011) 53/100
2011 Romance Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 6/12
2011 Romantic Suspense Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/12
2011 Sexy Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 12/12
2011 Show Me The Free Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 8/12
2011 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 46/50
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) 12/50
A to Z challenge (Jan-Dec 2011) 21/26
A-Z Mystery Author Challenge (A-I) (Jan – Dec 2011) 3/12
Books Won Challenge 2011 (Jan-Dec 2011) 0/??
Buy One Book and Read It Challenge 2011 (Jan-Dec 2011) 3/1

Celebrate the Author (Jan-Dec 2011) 0/12
Comicbook Challenge (Jan-Dec 2011) 2/15
Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge 2011 (Jan – Dec 2011) 13/12 COMPLETED
Cruisin' thru the Cozies (Jan – Dec 2011) 5/12
Harlequin/Silhouette 2011 Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/12
Just For Fun Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 7/12
Memorable Memoirs Reading Challenge, 2011 Edition (Jan – Dec 2011) 2/1 COMPLETED
Nicholas Sparks Reading Challenge (Jan-Dec 2011) 1/4
Off Your Shelf Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/5
Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2011 (Jan-Dec 2011) 13/6 (more than 81)
Pages Read Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 10,657/20,000
Reading from My Shelves Project 2011 (Jan – Dec 2011) 6/12
Romance Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 3/5
Series Challenge Season 5 (Jan – Dec 2011) 2/3
The Page to Screen Reading Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 3/5
Whats In a Name Challenge 4 (Jan – Dec 2011) 0/6
Whisper In My Ears Audio Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 30/12 COMPLETED
Young Readers Challenge (Jan – Dec 2011) 13/12


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

Read, Remember, Recommend Fiction Challenge – EXPIRED



Perpetual
To Be Continued…Challenge (October 20, 2008 – April 10, 2011) 66/52 COMPLETED
Book Around the States Challenge (October 22, 2008 - ????) 25/50
US Presidents Reading Project (November 5, 2008 - ???) 5/44
1001 Childrens book Before I Grow Up (June 1, 2010 - ???) 43/1001
101 Books in 1001 Days Challenge (September 28, 2010 – June 23, 2013) 97/101
The Naming Convention Challenge (October 20, 2008 - ???) 5/9


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.... Wrecked by Carol Higgins Clark
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..

Excellence In Reading 2012 Challenge



January 1,2012 – December 31,2012

Woohoo! We are quickly approaching a new year...2012! That means we are starting out fresh with a brand new children's reading challenge. I am so excited! This year our challenge is called Excellence In Reading.

To join our club, please Grab Our Button. The html code is located on the top right hand side of this page. Let's spread the word and see how many will join us.


This is the reading list we will be following. Keep in mind, this is recommended for children in grades K-3. If you have older children you can find a more age appropriate list at National Endowment for the Humanities. We encourage children of all ages and their parents to join us in reading. Note to parents: You may read aloud to your children, it will still count towards the goal.
1. Aardema, Verna. Who's in Rabbit's House?.
2. Aesop. Fables.
3. Atwater, Richard and Florence. Mr. Popper’s Penguins.
4. Bemelmans, Ludwig. Madeline.
5. Benchley, Nathaniel. Sam the Minuteman.
6. Blume, Judy. Freckle Juice.
7. Brown, Marcia. Stone Soup.
8. Brown, Margaret Wise. Goodnight Moon.
9. Brunhoff, Jean de. The Story of Babar.
10. Burton, Virginia Lee. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel.
11. Carroll, Lewis. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
12. Cleary, Beverly. The Mouse and the Motorcycle.
13. Collodi, Carlo. Adventures of Pinocchio.
14. Crews, Donald. Freight Train.
15. Daugherty, James. Andy and the Lion.
16. dePaola, Tomie. Strega Nona.
17. Flack, Marjorie. The Angus series.
18. Freeman, Don. Corduroy.
19. Fritz, Jean. The Cabin Faced West.
20. Gag, Wanda. Millions of Cats.
21. Galdone, Paul. The Three Little Pigs.
22. Goble, Paul. The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses.
23. Grahame, Kenneth. The Reluctant Dragon.
24. Gramatky, Hardie. Little Toot.
25. Hoban, Russell. Bedtime for Frances.
26. Johnson, Crockett. Harold and the Purple Crayon.
27. Keats, Ezra Jack. The Snowy Day
28. Kraus, Robert. Leo the Late Bloomer.
29. Krauss, Ruth. The Carrot Seed.
30. Leaf, Munro. The Story of Ferdinand.
31. Lear, Edward. A Book of Nonsense.
32. Levison, Riki. Watch the Stars Come Out.
33. Lionni, Leo. Frederick.
34. Lobel, Arnold. Frog and Toad Are Friends.
35. Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. Paul Revere's Ride.
36. Lopshire, Robert. Put Me in the Zoo.
37. Marshall, James. George and Martha.
38. McCloskey, Robert. Make Way for Ducklings.
39. McDermott, Gerald. Anansi the Spider.
40. Milne, A.A. Winnie-the-Pooh.
41. Parish, Peggy. Amelia Bedelia.
42. Piper, Watty. The Little Engine That Could.
43. Potter, Beatrix. The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
44. Rey, H.A. Curious George.
45. Selden, George. The Cricket in Times Square.
46. Sendak, Maurice. Where the Wild Things Are.
47. Seuss, Dr. The Cat in the Hat.
48. Slobodkina, Esphyr. Caps for Sale.
49. Steig, William. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble.
50. Stevenson, Robert Louis. A Child’s Garden of Verses
51. Taylor, Sydney. All-of-a-Kind Family.
52. Thurber, James. Many Moons.
53. Udry, Janice May. A Tree is Nice.
54. Van Allsburg, Chris. The Garden of Abdul Gasazi.
55. Viorst, Judith. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
56. Ward, Lynd. The Biggest Bear.
57. White, E.B. Charlotte’s Web.
58. Yashima, Taro. Crow Boy.
59. Zion, Gene. Harry the Dirty Dog.
60. Zolotow, Charlotte. William’s Doll.

After the new year begins, I will place a linky each week so all you excellent readers can share which books you have finished. This should be great fun!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Most Recent Winners



Midwnter Eve Blog Hop

The Winter Lodge by Susan Wiggs - Mary Ann Brady
Snowbird by Stef Ann Holm - Cindy Gates

Gift Card Giveaway Hop

$10 B&N Gift Card - Anna Sindt

The Last Beginning by Rachel Firasek(ebook) - Pamela Rosensteel

Hellsbane by Paige Cuccaro (ebook) - Linda Sorstokke

Touch by Jus Accardo (ebook) - Alison Fees


Books and Gift Cards have been sent out.

For those of you that won ebooks they will be coming from the publisher

Texas Statehood Giveaway - Texasville by Larry McMurtry(ends 1/5/2012)

In honor of the Statehood of Texas I will be giving away a copy of Texasville by arry McMurtry.


With Texasville, Larry McMurtry returns to the unforgettable Texas town and characters of one of his best-loved books, The Last Picture Show. This is a Texas-sized story brimming with home truths of the heart, and men and women we recognize, believe in, and care about deeply. Set in the post-oil-boom 1980s, Texasville brings us up to date with Duane, who's got an adoring dog, a sassy wife, a twelve-million-dollar debt, and a hot tub by the pool; Jacy, who's finished playing "Jungla" in Italian movies and who's returned to Thalia; and Sonny -- Duane's teenage rival for Jacy's affections -- who owns the car wash, the Kwik-Sackstore, and the video arcade.

One of Larry McMurtry's funniest and most touching contemporary novels.


I'm trying using Rafflecopter for the first time so hope this works. Thanks for playing and good luck.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2012 Women's Murder Club Reading Challenge




January 1 - December 31, 2012

Challenge details:

1. This challenge will run from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012.

2. You can join the challenge at any time, whether you haven't yet started the series or are already halfway through. All books read in 2012 count for the challenge, regardless of when you sign up.

3. This challenge can cross-over to your other reading challenges.

4. You do not need a blog to participate! If you are not a blogger, you can post your reviews at Goodreads, Shelfari, or LibraryThing and link them up here.

5. All formats of books are acceptable: Bound copies, e-books, and audiobooks (as long as they are unabridged).

6. There are four levels for the challenge:

a. Level 1: Read 1-3 books in the series.
b. Level 2: Read 4-6 books in the series.
c. Level 3: Read 7-9 books in the series.
d. Level 4: Read 10-11 books in the series.

7. When you write your sign-up post, you must choose your level. You can go up, but you cannot go down!

8. There will be link-ups for your reviews on a quarterly basis, which will be posted on THIS page.

9. There will be a link for your wrap-up post at the end of the year.

10. Create a sign-up post and link back to this post. Sign up with Mister Linky below! Be sure to use the direct url to your sign-up post and not the url to your blog.

9. Grab the challenge button and post it in your sidebar. Copy and paste this HTML code into an HTML gadget for your sidebar: 2012 Women's Murder Club Reading Challenge

For more information and to sign-up, please see this post.


Global Reading Challenge 2012





January 1,2012 – December 31,2012


As in the past, the Global Reading Challenge (GRC) challenges you to expand your reading boundaries, go where you haven't been before, move a little outside your comfort zone.
You may read any genre so long as the books are fiction.
Decide which level you will attempt, although you can change that later if you wish.
Use the Mr Linky to sign up with your name, the level you intend to attempt, and your blog URL.
Feel free to include the logo in your blog posts or on your blog (with a link to this page)
Your reading will take place in the calendar year 2012.
Return to this page to add the books you have read into the relevant Mr Linky - see the sections below
You may like to consult Global Reading Challenges for 2011 and 2010 for suggestions of books.
If you need to make a comment please do so here
The Easy Challenge
Read one novel from each of these continents in the course of 2012:
Africa
Asia
Australasia/Oceania
Europe
North America
South America (please include Central America where it is most convenient for you)
The Seventh Continent (here you can either choose Antarctica or your own ´seventh´ setting, eg the sea, the space, a supernatural/paranormal world, history, the future – you name it).
From your own continent: try to find a country, state or author that is new to you.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Medium Challenge
Read two novels from each of these continents in the course of 2012:
Africa
Asia
Australasia
Europe
North America
South America (please include Central America where it is most convenient for you)
The Seventh Continent
Try to find novels from fourteen different countries or states.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Expert Challenge
Read three novels from each of these continents in the course of 2012:
Africa
Asia
Australasia
Europe
North America
South America (please include Central America where it is most convenient for you)
The Seventh Continent


For more information go here

Monday, December 26, 2011

What Are You Reading Monday? #34






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)


Flowerbed of State ( A White House Gardener Mystery #1) by Dorothy St. James
Froggy Boots Go With Everything by Jill Martin





Up Next:


Mary & Penny’s Christmas Wish (ebook)
A Camp Edison Christmas by Cynthia Davis (ebook)
Snowed Under: A Christmas Short Story by Jude Ryan (ebook)
The North Pole Challenge by Kevin George (ebook)
The Path to Christmas by Ruth Ann Nordin (ebook)
The Santa Diaries: A New Fangles Christmas Book One by Betsy Haynes (ebook)

Reviews posted this week:




Author Guest Posts/Interviews:


Guest Blog/Giveaway – Breeana Puttroff (Seeds of Discovery) (Jan 8)


Special Blog Hop Giveaways



Gift Card Giveaway Hop (December 9 – 13, 2011) Winner –
Midwinters Eve (December 21 – 27, 2011)
Dreaming of Books Hop (January 13 – 18, 2012)
Follower Love Hop (February 7 – 13, 2012)

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




Giveaways on the blog this week and in coming weeks:





Texas Statehood Giveaway - Texasville by Larry McMurtry (Dec 29)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Read Your Name Challenge 2012




January 1 - December 31, 2012


Hi, I am Victoria and this is the first challenge & only challenge I have ever hosted/probably will host. (It's a lot of work!) I have hosted this challenge in the past (2010), but in 2011, I chose not to host it. But here it is again for 2012!

Anyhoo, the challenge is to read your name in book title first letters, ultimately spelling out your name. That means:

Using your first name, or blogger name, or your pets name, or even your favorite literary character's name; whichever you like, choose books with first title letters that spell out your name. Such as my name: Victoria. the first book's title would start with the letter V, then the next book title begins with I, etc. Make sense? (I hope so!)


Rules/Guidelines:
Whenever you have finished a book for this challenge: If you have a blog, come back here and leave your review link in the Mr. Linky that will be up; for the book you've read & reviewed. If you do not have a blog, please just leave your progress in a comment. :)

The challenge runs from Jan. 1st 2012, to Dec. 31st 2012. You may join at any time between Jan 1st and Nov 30th.
Last but not least, be sure to sign up using Mister Linky Below! & If you want to, leave a comment with what name you're going to use and where it came from. :) Oh, and don't forget to link back (with the above button, top of this post) to the challenge from your blog to show you're participating! (If Mr. Linky does not appear to be working, then please just leave a comment with your info!)

Other (minor) Details:
NAMES ONLY PLEASE! You DO NOT have to use your whole name; just your first name if you want, & initials are okay. No words like: water, book, blue, etc. please, just regular old official NAMES.

Books read before 1/1/12 do not count. Audio books and eBooks are okay. & Crossovers with other challenges are also okay.

You could read the books in any order you wish, I certainly can't show up at your door threatening to banish you from the challenge if you don't! But then what is the point of READING YOUR NAME out in book title first-letters if you're not going to do it in order? You're basically just re-arranging a bunch of letters to spell out your name, and that's not really the point of this challenge, lol. :)


For more information and to sign-up, please see this post.



S
U
E
F
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Stephanie Plum Reading Challenge (Perpetual)



Perpetual Reading Challenge


Rules:


1. This is a perpetual challenge, which means there is no end date. You will finish the challenge whenever you finish the series! Take as much time as you need.

2. The challenge will begin on January 1, 2012. You can join the challenge at any time, whether you haven't yet started the series or are already halfway through.

3. This challenge can cross-over to your other reading challenges.

4. You do not need a blog to participate! If you are not a blogger, you can post your reviews at Goodreads, Shelfari, or LibraryThing and link them up here.

5. All formats of books are acceptable: Bound copies, e-books, and audiobooks (as long as they are unabridged).

6. There will be link-ups for your reviews on a quarterly basis, which will be posted on THIS page.

7. There will be a link for your wrap-up post at the end of the year.

8. Create a sign-up post and link back to this post. Sign up with Mister Linky below! Be sure to use the direct url to your sign-up post and not the url to your blog.

9. Grab the challenge button and post it in your sidebar.

Sign up here

Virtural Book Tour/Review/Author Intervew/Giveawa - Six Weeks to Yehidah by Melissa Studdard


Title: Six Weeks to Yehidah
Author: Melissa Studdard
Publisher: All Things That Matter Press
ISBN: 9780984651702
Release Date: August 2nd 2011
Pages: 170
Genre: Young Adult
Format: ebook
Source: Tourz de Codex for review

GoodReads:
Move over, C.S. Lewis; Melissa Studdard is here! Annalise of the Verdant Hills is one of the most delightful protagonists to skip through the pages of literature since Dorothy landed in Oz. Join Annalise and her two walking, talking wondersheep as they travel to ever more outlandish places and meet outrageous and enlightening folk on their journey to discover interconnectedness in a seemingly disconnected world. Discover with them how just one person can be the start of the change we all strive for. A book for all ages, for all time: wonderful, wacky, and bursting with truth!

Mine:
It is a can’t put down book and I did finish quite quickly.

Six Weeks to Yehidah is the story of Annalise, a young girl who enters a wondrous dreamscape. What a magical trip for all to take, it’s a true journey of life that will make you think about your own. It makes you think about what goes on around you. It should be must read for the young and young at heart. It's amazing to see how a child sees the world without judgement.

Author Interview

Describe your book in five words or less.
Magical, Mythical, Mystical

How did the ideas for your books come to you?
I get ideas so many different ways – from talking to people, observing the world, and reading other books. My favorite and most frequent way is through dreams . For a long time, I’ve been fascinated by the mechanisms of the unconscious mind, and in the years preceding the composition of Six Weeks to Yehidah I’d done an intensive study of dreams, meditation, visualization, and so forth. I kept a dream journal and meditated regularly. I listened to guided meditations, which are rich with imagery. In the end, it was a combination of dreaming and waking imagination that birthed the scenes in this book

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Six Weeks to Yehidah is about love, tolerance, acceptance of ourselves and others, and finding purpose in life. I want readers to understand that to a large extent we create our own realities and circumstances and that we can all live magical, meaningful lives if we approach them with mindfulness, authenticity, and love.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?
I wear a lot of hats. I’m a single mom, an editor, a radio show host, a professor. Finding time has to be the hardest part. If I could, I would write several hours a day, at least five days a week. Right now, my life doesn’t allow for that. That kills me because I feel ideas slip by, and I fear sometimes I’ll never get them back.
The easiest part is making things up. I love making things up. Thank goodness I’m a writer. Otherwise I might be a pathological liar. Haha.

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?
I’m currently putting together a book based on the radio interview program, Tiferet Talk, which I host for the literary journal Tiferet. The publisher, Donna Baier Stein, has started a press associated with the journal, and the first book will be a compilation of the first year of Tiferet Talk interviews. It’s filled with insight and wisdom about spirituality and writing. I was fortunate enough to interview people such as Julia Cameron, Robert Pinsky, Marc Allen, and Jeffrey Davis. They had so much to share. I can’t wait to see it all collected together as one book!

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?
I write in many genres, but I think the genre for this particular book chose me. I was in a wonderful critique and writing group in which we took turns assigning prompts each month. One woman asked us to read The Oxford Book of Modern Fairy Tales and write our own short tale. It turned out that I was so compelled by the voice and characters I’d created that I kept writing and writing until I realized I was actually writing a novel.

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?
Lovely. The positive response to Six Weeks to Yehidah has been overwhelming, and I wake up filled with gratitude every single day.

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
What a wonderful question. Earlier, you asked me if there was a message I wanted readers to grasp (another wonderful question), and I’d like to elaborate on that a bit and discuss what the book can do for the reader. Sure I wrote it to be fun, exciting, entertaining, and so forth, but I also had a deeper purpose beyond entertainment and beyond even the message. That purpose was to inspire people—especially children—to create lives of meaning, connection, purpose, love, and joy. Six Weeks to Yehidah models the potential for this kind of life through the adventures and choices of the main character, Annalise. The companion book, My Yehidah, directly engages readers’ own experiences, feelings, thoughts, and dreams by asking them to journal about the themes most prevalent in the novel and in their own lives.

What was your road to publications like?
Surprisingly, it wasn’t that difficult. Rather than flooding the industry with submissions of my book, I chose a few presses that I admired, and which I knew were publishing books like the one I had written. The research – finding the right places to send it – was the hardest part. Once I targeted a specific small group and got my book to the right people, the acceptance came rather quickly.


Author Bio:
I'm a professor, a book reviewer at-large for The National Poetry Review, a contributing editor for both Tiferet Journal and The Criterion, and the host of the radio interview program Tiferet Talk. As well, I am a member of many literary organizations, including the National Book Critics Circle and the Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators. I am the author of the bestselling novel Six Weeks to Yehidah, which also won the Forward National Literature Award for Middle Grade Chapter Books, and the newly released My Yehidah.

I love anything related to writing and reading, whether it's sitting alone with a book and a cup of hot tea, or attending a large poetry reading or literary festival. I also love travelling, meditating, going for walks, bicycling, practicing yoga, and spending time with family.

I currently reside in Texas with my wonderful daughter and our four sweet but mischievous cats.


Author Website

Please leave a comment or questions on this post in appreciation of the author





Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Midwinters Eve Hop (December 21 - 27)



It's time for the second annual Mid-winter's Eve Giveaway Hop.


Dates for this year's hop are Dec. 21st to 27th.


Thanks to Jessie Harrell from Oasis For YA & The Daily Harrell for co-hosting.


I will be giving away 2 different book. Please choose one of them. The Winter Lodge by Susan Wiggs or Snowbird by Stef Ann Holm


Barnes & Noble Review
Susan Wiggs follows up her first book in the Lakeshore Chronicles (Summer at Willow Lake) with another satisfying installment set in the small town of Avalon, New York. The main story belongs to two 30-something locals, Jenny Majesky and Rourke McKnight. She runs the Sky River Bakery, founded by her grandparents, and writes a weekly newspaper column; he is the town's chief of police. They are longtime friends with a complicated history and a passion set on simmer. When Jenny's house burns down, Rourke insists on her bunking with him, even though he's a notorious bachelor. The new proximity entices the two to confront old hurts and dreams deferred, before their romance can blossom. There's a wonderful secondary plot involving teenage Daisy Bellamy, her friends, and a mystery that's solved in the snow. Thoughtfully, Wiggs includes Jenny's favorite recipes from the bakery. Ginger Curwen(less)


A stunning Western romance about a lone woman living a man's life--and the one man who could set her passion free. "A thrill-a-minute Western romance that is a delight to read!"--Jill Marie Landis, bestselling author of Past Promises.




Please check out the others bloggers offerings:













Author Guest Post/Giveaway - Dark Chocolate for the Journaler's Soul by Mari McCarthy (WOW)

Use Journaling to Get Motivated

Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/denverjeffrey/4094607471/



Winning a football game takes more than brute strength, brilliant strategy, and iron resolve; it also requires fans.

The cheers and adoration of fans provide an essential ingredient of success: motivation.

You know, the old get up and go. The force that's irrefutable. Without it we wouldn't get anything accomplished.

No matter what your plans and dreams, it can be brutally difficult to whip up the motivation to actually start something. We tend to wallow in inertia, procrastinating, unwilling to make any kind of change.

There's a definite breakdown between the thought of something and the doing of it. Once you do manage to get started, momentum keeps you going. It's the moment of actually beginning that is so hard. We so often come to the brink of action, and then find some excuse to put it off.

Much of the time, there may be deep-seated reasons why you're avoiding the project or behavior. But a small percent of your dreams persist, returning to tug at your heart. How can you finally get on board with aspirations that haunt you?

The answer is simple: come at your target tangentially.

• Instead of wanting to start an exercise routine and never doing it, create a journal in which you talk about your interest in exercising and all aspects of your perceptions around being physically fit.

• Instead of fantasizing about being a writer, use a journal to mosey around in your writer's soul.

• Instead of complaining about your job and sending out a million applications that are for the most part ignored, try journaling about who you are, what you are grateful for, and how you can best serve yourself and others.

Journaling about and around any topic that's sensitive for you opens up that area in your life and paves the way for change and growth.

Cheerleaders work hard to get us in the mood, so that the requisite level of fan enthusiasm can be achieved, so that the players can win the game. Similarly, journal writing focuses your mind and energies so that actual doing becomes far more possible. It's almost as though you trick yourself into getting started.

Maybe you want to write a YA novel, for instance, but never seem to find the time to get started. Then one day you find a cool notebook. You already have a clutch of your favorite kind of pen. At the top of the first page you write, "I don't know why I want to write a novel for young people." Then you keep writing.

A few weeks later, after you've written just about every day, relentlessly exploring the topic, you feel the urge to go back over some of your writings. Your progress/change readily becomes apparent. You thought you were spinning wheels, but you see that's untrue. You grow, evolve, and constantly change.

Change is not difficult; it is natural. It happens moment by moment.

Are you serious about that new habit, that new course of study or way of handling your responses in certain situations? Instead of browbeating yourself for procrastinating, try journaling.

And then, please tell me how you're progressing. I'm collecting success stories!
#


_______________________________________________________________________



Mari L. McCarthy, journaling therapy specialist and author, owns Create Write Now, a website dedicated to all things journaling. The site includes hundreds of journaling prompts, personal journaling stories, interviews, a blog, and many other resources. Mari has published nine books to date. For more on ways that journaling brings self-knowledge, see Who Are You? How to Use Journaling Therapy to Know and Grow Your Life.

Please leave a comment or questions on this post in appreciation of the author








Monday, December 19, 2011

What Are You Reading Monday? #33






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)



What Do Penguins Want for Christmas? By Casey Crayne (ebook)
Carrot Cake's Chistmas Book by MK Bashlor (ebook)
Summer Island by Kristin Hannah (Audio)


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)


Flowerbed of State ( A White House Gardener Mystery #1) by Dorothy St. James





Up Next:


Mary & Penny’s Christmas Wish (ebook)
A Camp Edison Christmas by Cynthia Davis (ebook)
Snowed Under: A Christmas Short Story by Jude Ryan (ebook)
The North Pole Challenge by Kevin George (ebook)
The Path to Christmas by Ruth Ann Nordin (ebook)
The Santa Diaries: A New Fangles Christmas Book One by Betsy Haynes (ebook)

Reviews posted this week:


What Do Penguins Want for Christmas? By Casey Crayne (ebook)
Carrot Cake's Chistmas Book by MK Bashlor (ebook)
Summer Island by Kristin Hannah (Audio)


Author Guest Posts/Interviews:



December is Author Month – Interview/Guest Blog A Day


Author Guest Blog/Giveaway – Dark Chocolate for the Journaler’s Soul by Mari McCarthy (December 20)




Special Blog Hop Giveaways



Gift Card Giveaway Hop (December 9 – 13, 2011) Winner -
Midwinters Eve (December 21 – 29, 2011)
Dreaming of Books Hop (January 13 – 18, 2012)
Follower Love Hop (February 7 – 13, 2012)

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




Giveaways on the blog this week and in coming weeks:





Texas Statehood Giveaway - Texasville by Larry McMurtry (Dec 29)




Saturday, December 17, 2011

Book Review - Summer Island by Kristin Hannah


Title: Summer Island
Author: Kristin Hannah (Goodreads Author), Joyce Bean (Reader)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
ISBN: 1441841865
Release Date: February 28th 2010
Pages: 416
Genre: Romance
Format: CD (9)
Source: Library

GoodReads:
Thirty-four year old Ruby Bridge is a not-too-successful comedienne who uses her mother, a nationally-syndicated "moral and spiritual counselor" as the main fodder for her cynical, rather bitter humor. Her mother Nora, long divorced from Ruby's father, is a woman whose past is just about to catch up with her - in the form of blackmail by a former lover.

After an accident (an attempted suicide?) Ruby returns to care for her stricken mother - bitterly resenting the fact that once again her mother's life has colonized hers. When she is approached by a publisher to write a biography of her mother, Ruby is desperate for the princely sum offered. Yet her research into her mother's past reveals a woman very different from the one Ruby expected. And what began as "mommy dearest" ends as a love story - not only between mother and daughter, but involving two very different men who play a key role in linking the past to the present.

Mine:
I really enjoyed this book had not read anything from this author before ( I will definitely being checking on other books now). I like the strong characters – Ruby (the youngest daughter) and Nora (the mother). Ruby must finally learn how to forgive her mother for leaving when she was younger. She learns some hard facts about her parents and realizes that maybe her mother wasn’t all that bad.

Ruby also learns to love again – her childhood sweetheart. The past intertwines with the present and it’s not all bad. I would have to say the ending was a little disappointing, since it seem that there is still a little of the story left to tell. But any good writer will leave you wanting more.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Author Guest Blog/Giveaway - Radiant Desire By Inara Scott (Entangled Publishing)

About the Book


The object of every man’s fantasy just lost her wings…
Kaia Verde is one of the four Faerie Handmaids of Zafira, Queen of the Fey. To redress an
ancient wrong done to Zafira by a human king, the Handmaids make sport of mortal men,
seducing and humiliating them. When Kaia sets out to seduce Garrett Jameson, but ends up
being the one surrendering to pleasure, Zafira is furious. Kaia’s punishment is simple: make
Garrett fall in love with her by the summer solstice, then break his heart, or face eternity without
her wings—or her soul. To make the task harder, Zafira tells Kaia she cannot use her faerie
magic or charm to lure Garrett into her bed.

…and now she’s losing her heart…
Kaia thinks her task will be relatively easy—as a faerie, she understands lust, and can love be
much different? But once she is living among the humans, Kaia discovers the race she once
disparaged is far more complex and beautiful than she imagined. She learns before she can
break Garrett’s heart, she must find a way to heal it. And eventually, discovers that losing her
wings may be a far easier price to pay than losing her heart.



Do Clothes Make the Man (or Woman?

by Inara Scott




I recently got a dramatic new look: I cut my hair from shoulder-length to a pixie, and let me tell you, it’s short. And totally different. The strangest thing about my transformation is that I now feel obliged to wear earrings, necklaces, and hip outfits. I’m not kidding. I feel like I have to live up to my hair!

Generally, though, this is a good thing. I’ve been living a little too long in my stay-at-home-mom-bob, yoga pants, and sweatshirts. I don’t mean to criticize this look (that would be like criticizing my second skin!). But sometimes you get too comfortable. The routine becomes a way of checking out. And while I don’t want to obsess about my appearance, I do want to continue to feel like a sexy, beautiful woman.

The haircut is helping me do this.




Clothes, hair, accessories…they have an incredible power to change our mood, our thoughts, even our personality. When I put on my lawyer suits, I take myself more seriously. When I wear big dangly earrings, I feel younger. More artistic. More, well, interesting.

As a writer, I am constantly learning about my characters through the lens of my own experiences. And this experience has renewed my fascination with makeovers. New hair, clothes, jewelery—it’s incredible how this can affect our characters.

Take Kaia, the heroine in my faerie romance, Radiant Desire. When she is forced to change from faerie to human, she goes from wearing six-hundred dollar evening gowns and staying in boutique five-star hotels, to picking her clothes out of a bin at a homeless shelter. This changes her. It must. She becomes less sure of herself, but also more aware of other people. She learns more about who she really is, while gaining an appreciation for her flawed, imperfect exterior.

The wonderful thing is, by become flawed, Kaia becomes even more attractive to Garrett, the object of her desire. (Though, of course, she doesn’t know that!) Here’s Garrett’s reaction to seeing her for the first time after her transformation:

He couldn’t say that she’d somehow become plain, or even that she looked entirely comfortable in Rachel’s house. She was too tall, too striking, her eyes too exotic, her features too captivating. Looking at her was like finding a single rose in a garden filled with daisies.

Yet this was not the same woman he had known.

As he continued to stare, her chin jutted nervously forward, and he realized the true difference between the Kaia he’d known and this new Kaia: her air of vulnerability. The woman he met just two weeks ago had been supremely self-assured, wearing an air of confidence in everything she did and every move she made. This woman was vulnerable. This woman did not know how she would be received.

This woman, amazingly enough, did not know how beautiful she was.

Yet somehow, now that she’d lost that air of otherworldly perfection and confidence and her flaws had been revealed, she had become even more attractive.

Have you ever had a makeover, or even just a dramatic hair cut? How did you feel afterward? Did you change?

Tell me your favorite makeover stories – there’s a free copy of Radiant Desire in it for one comment.

Book Review: Book Review: Carrot Cake's Chistmas Book by MK Bashlor (ebook)


Title: Carrot Cake’s Christmas Book
Author: M K Bashlor
Publisher: Smashwords
ISBN:
Release Date: December 6, 2011
Pages: 13
Genre: Children’s pictorial
Format: ebook
Source: Smashwords

Description: Carrot Cake is trying to say “Merry Christmas” in a special way. Find out how he finally does it. Short and sweet, a quick bedtime story for Children ages 1 and up.

Review: This is a short mostly pictorial book of how Carrot Cake a guinea pig wishes all a Merry Christmas. Very cute to see how this cutie poses.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Author Interview/Giveaway - Night Series #2 by Lisa Kessler (Entangled Publishing)





Describe your book in five words or less.
Dark, Passionate, Eternal Love & Redemption.

How did the ideas for your books come to you?
For my Night Series, I started with wanting to write a vampire series that originated in the Americas. After researching the oldest building in San Diego (The Mission de Alcala) and the oldest cultures in the Americas (The Mayans) my Night Walkers started to take shape.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Night Walker really questions whether or not true love can transcend time. Could love at first sight be your heart remembering someone you've known in a previous lifetime? It was a really interesting concept to explore when I wrote the book.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?
The hardest part about writing for me is the editing... And the easiest is the actual writing! I love starting a new book. It feels like anything could happen and it's a thrill for me to get to know the new cast of characters.

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future
projects?

I just finished the first round of edit for Night Demon. (Book 2 in the Night Series) I'm really excited to share this book with everyone. The Night Walker world gets much larger and the stakes have been raised to a global level, but in the end only love can save the Night Walker race.

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?
I've always written paranormal fiction. I started out selling horror short stories, and my heart is really with the "monsters". :)

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?
So. Amazingly. Cool. Really! It's the best! And it makes me hungry to finish the next book. I never want to let anyone down... Hearing from readers really does help me keep moving forward and stay focused.

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Wow! That's a tough one... Let's see... I don't think anyone has ever asked me why the Evil Queen from Disney's Snow White is the best villain ever. If they did ask, my answer would be... She's a villain who is not afraid to get her own hands dirty to get the job done. She always had a plan B. Love her! She really kept the story moving...


What was your road to publications like?
My road to publication sounds like it came out of a paranormal novel, but I swear it's true! LOL

My publcation road started with a palm reader... About 10 years ago I took my first trip to New Orleans. I’d never had a palm reading before and I thought it would be cool, so I went inside. She gave me a spot on reading, and shared a few thoughts on the future ahead which puzzled me and then walked me out.

When we got to the door she said, “Can I ask you something?”

“Sure.”

She asked, “Are you a writer?”

I shrugged and said, “I write every night, but just for fun.”

She smiled and her eyes sparkled. “You’re going to be a famous writer one day.”

I left in a daze and within a few months I had published my first short story, Immortal Beloved, and it went on to be a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.

Now years later, my first novel has been published and the second book in the series will be out next year. I keep pinching myself to be sure it's real! LOL I’m not famous yet, but I think she nudged me toward my calling. I’d love to be a full-time novelist…

Author Bio

Lisa Kessler is an avid reader and writer of dark fiction. Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.
Lisa recently signed a 4 book deal with Entangled Publishing to release her Night Series. The first book, Night Walker, is scheduled to be released August 5th.
When she's not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, performing with the San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego. You can learn more at http://Lisa-Kessler.com


Lisa lives in southern California with her incredibly fun husband and two amazing kids.
http://lisaslair.com/
http://lisakessler.wordpress.com
http://twitter.com/LdyDisney
http://facebook.com/LisaKesslerWriter




Please leave a comment or questions on this post in appreciation of the author


Monday, December 12, 2011

Author Interview/Giveaway - Touch by Jus Accardo (Entangled Publishing)






Describe your book in five words or less.
Action-packed, surprising, sweet, and sexy.
How did the ideas for your books come to you?
I get my ideas from anywhere and everywhere. Watching paint dry to walking my dogs. If you pay attention, inspiration really is everywhere. The idea for TOUCH came to me while sitting on line waiting for coffee!
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Stand up for what you believe is right. Sure, Kale is hot and Dez is drawn to him, but really, she starts out helping him because it's the right thing to do.
What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?
There aren't many parts of writing that I'd really consider hard. If I had to pick one though, I'd say writing the blurbs. I've always sucked at summarizing an entire book in several short paragraphs. As for the easiest? Probably coming up with the actual ideas. Like I said, inspiration is everywhere if you pay attention--and my brain is like a random idea generator. I've got files of ideas just waiting for attention.
What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?
I'm about to start work on the third book in the Denazen series. I also signed a contract with Entangled for a new YA series set for 2013. It's very exciting!
Why did you choose to write for specific genre?
I think it's mostly because I love it. Give me dark creepy crawlies and strong characters with jaded pasts and major issues set in a paranormal world, and I'm a happy puppy.
What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?
it's actually pretty surreal--and totally a dream come true. The response to TOUCH (and people awaiting TOXIC) gives me warm fuzzies!
What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Hmm... Not sure. Something quirky, though. Different. I'm a huge Warcraft junkie, so maybe something like, if you were stuck in Azaroth for 24 hours, what would you do? The answer? I'd wanna smack Jaina Proudmoore around. For some reason, she's always irritated me!


What was your road to publication like?
When I really stop to think about it, I'd have to say, quick. I hear about people who work for years, querying book after book, trying to get someone's attention. Really, for me, it only took a little over a year. That's insane when you think about it.
Before TOUCH, I queried another book and got no where. No bites, no interest. Only form reject after form reject. I decided to try again, wrote TOUCH, and snagged an agent two months after starting to send it out. It was only seven months after that, that I signed a contract with Entangled. It was luck. I just happened to get it in front of the right people at the right time.

Author Bio

Jus 
Accardo 
is
 the 
author 
of
 YA
 paranormal 
romance
 and 
urban
 fantasy 
fiction. 
A
 native 
New
 Yorker,
she
 lives
 in
 the 
middle
of 
nowhere 
with 
her
 husband,
three
 dogs,
and 
sometimes
 guard
 bear,
Oswald.
Her 
first 
book,
Touch,
is
 due
 out 
in
 November 
2011
from
 Entangled
 Publishing.


She
is
represented
by
Kevan
Lyon
of
Marsal
Lyon
Literary
Agency.


Here are Purchase links for Touch:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Touch-A-Denazen-Novel-ebook/dp/B005U6ZC3Y
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/touch-jus-accardo/1105812249
Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Touch-Jus-Accardo/9781937044459


Please leave a comment or questions on this post in appreciation of the author


What Are You Reading Monday? #32






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)


Summer Island by Kristin Hannah (Audio)
Flowerbed of State ( A White House Gardener Mystery #1) by Dorothy St. James





Up Next:


Mary & Penny’s Christmas Wish (ebook)
A Camp Edison Christmas by Cynthia Davis (ebook)
Snowed Under: A Christmas Short Story by Jude Ryan (ebook)
The North Pole Challenge by Kevin George (ebook)
The Path to Christmas by Ruth Ann Nordin (ebook)
The Santa Diaries: A New Fangles Christmas Book One by Betsy Haynes (ebook)
What Do Penguins Want for Christmas? By Casey Crayne (ebook)

Reviews posted this week:




Author Guest Posts/Interviews:



December is Author Month – Interview/Guest Blog A Day



Author Interview/Giveaway - Under the Moon by Natalie Damschroder (Entangled Publishing) (December 4)


Author Interview/Giveaway - The Last Beginning by Rachel Firasek (Entangled Publishing) (December 7)


Author Interview/Giveaway - Hellsbane by Paige Cuccaro (Entangled Publishing) (December 10)


Author Interview/Giveaway - Busted in Bollywood by Nichola March (Entangled Publishing) (December 11)


Author Interview/Giveaway - Touch by Jus Accardo (Entangled Publishing) (December 12)


Author Interview/Giveaway - Night Series #2 by Lisa Kessler (Entangled Publishing) (December 13)


Author Interview/Giveaway – Radiant Desire by Inara Scott (Entangled Publishing) (December 14)


Author Guest Blog/Giveaway – Dark Chocolate for the Journaler’s Soul by Mari McCarthy (December 20)




Special Blog Hop Giveaways



Gift Card Giveaway Hop (December 9 – 13, 2011)
Midwinters Eve (December 21 – 29, 2011)
Dreaming of Books Hop (January 13 – 18, 2012)
Follower Love Hop (February 7 – 13, 2012)

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




Giveaways on the blog this week and in coming weeks:





Texas Statehood Giveaway - Texasville by Larry McMurtry (Dec 29)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

An Illustrated Year: 2012 Picture Book Reading Challenge




January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012

A few of us participated in my picture book reading challenge during 2011. I had a fun time with it and wanted to give it another try. I love picture books, and was collecting them long before I became an elementary librarian. Sometimes it's the story, sometimes the illustrations, and a lot of the time it's the fun of reading them out loud to kids that makes picture books so enjoyable. I thought it would be fun to create a reading challenge for this shorter, though just as entertaining, genre. Picture books are a great way to share stories and the experience of reading with children. If you're reading the books with kids, I encourage you to add their opinion of the books as well! I love the way the family at Bookie Woogie reviews books. That being said, not all picture books are for children. Picture books for older audiences are also welcome.


I will be using the thumbnail inLinkz form for participants to link their monthly reviews to. This way we can see the books you've reviewed!


To Sign Up


IF YOU BLOG: Please make a post on your blog about participating in the challenge. Then use the URL for your CHALLENGE POST when signing up using the inLinkz below. IF YOU DO NOT BLOG: Please link to your GoodReads, Library Thing, or similar profile.
You must add the button to your sidebar - make sure that it links back to this post so others can join the challenge if they wish. Just copy and past the code displayed below!

The Details

Timeline: January 1, 2012- December 31, 2012
Select your level:
Level 1 - Read 12 picture books
Level 2 - Read 16 picture books
Level 3 - Read 24 picture books

You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. If you do list your books in the beginning, you can always change them later on.

Crossovers with other challenges count.

Digital books count

Re-reads count as long as you read them in 2012 and you post a new review for the book.
You can join anytime

For more information and to sign-up, please see this post.


I'm going to try for Level 3 and here is a list of my books. I am hoping to use my iPad for reading this year.

1. Chuff and the Race Cars by Peter Dempster (ebook)
2. All I Got For Christmas by Rebecca Shelley (ebook)
3. Attach of the Sugar Plum Faries by John H Carron (ebook)
4. Shannon and Ally Visit Lake Ontario by Kate Everson (ebook)
5. The Deables (A Merryweather Mystery) by R A Jones (ebook)
6. The North Pole Challenge by Kevin George (ebook)
7. The Santa Diaries: A New Fangles Christmas Book One by Betsy Haynes (ebook)
8. Blinky, The Great Halloween Fish by Melissa L Webb (ebook)
9. Jumpers by E. G. Fabricant (ebook)
10. Quack-A-Doodle-Baaa by Michelle de Villiers (ebook)
11. The Adventures of Marvin Theodore Harvey by Michael Blagiotti (ebook)
12. The Tale of Bernie the Fruit Bat by Chris Carlisle (ebook)

Author Interview/Giveaway - Busted in Bollywood by Nicola Marsh (Entangled Publishing)





Describe your book in five words or less.
Spicy, sassy, sexy, sweet, savvy.

How did the ideas for your books come to you?
Most of my story ideas come to me in that hazy, pre-sleep phase…either a title or first line or character or situation will pop into my head and I brainstorm from there.

The idea for BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD was inspired by the magic, mayhem and colour of Bollywood movies. My dad got me hooked on them one summer and I thought…’wouldn’t it be great to write a book with a Bollywood theme?’ So I did!

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Must admit, I write fiction for entertainment value so I don’t expect my readers to take away messages. I guess if I channeled the heroine Shari in BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD, the message would be ‘we all make mistakes but secrets can be our ultimate undoing. Trust your gut instincts. They’re usually right.’ Oh, and ‘Indian food rocks!’

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?
The hardest part is the waiting: waiting to hear if a proposal has been approved, waiting to hear if the book has been accepted, waiting for the first sale, the first review, the first royalty cheque. And after 31 books, it never gets any easier.

The easiest would have to be hearing from delighted readers. Fan mail is the best!

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?
I have a Harlequin Romance scheduled for release December 2012. It’s a Christmas story featuring a hot Aussie surfer hero and a passionate Italian online marketing whiz heroine. They had a shared past in Capri so sparks are guaranteed to fly.

I have a Harlequin Romance releasing in January, WHO WANTS TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE? (The book kicks off with the heroine chained to the hero’s precious housing development display!)

Then in February my next Harlequin Presents Extra, INTERVIEW WITH THE DAREDEVIL is released, with a George Clooney look-a-like hero. Enough said. 

I’m also currently working on a YA novel, from a male POV. I like a challenge!

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?
I’m a not-so-secret romantic and I love my happily-ever-afters. Love reading them, love writing them. There’s something truly sigh-worthy when the guy gets the girl (see, told you I was a romantic!) so writing guaranteed HEA is satisfying.

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?
Writing is such a solitary occupation and writers are usually plagued by insecurities, so hearing from readers eagerly awaiting my next book (or talking up my last) is truly inspirational. Most readers don’t realise how uplifting a few simple words of appreciation, either in a review or email, can be to a writer struggling with deadlines and kids and life in general!


What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Who are you walking the red carpet with at the movie premier of Busted in Bollywood?

I’ll have to check with Hugh Jackman, George Clooney, Alex O’Loughlin, Henry Cavill, Simon Baker, Jude Law, Rob Lowe, Gerard Butler, and get back to you.

What was your road to publications like?
I’ve always wanted to write but got sidetracked into the medical field. I worked as a physiotherapist for 13 years before finally putting pen to paper. Once I started writing, I couldn’t stop!

I started writing in 2001, sold my first Harlequin novel in 2003. My first book, featuring a speed-dating theme, hit shelves in 2004. I’ve published 30 novels with Harlequin Romance and Presents series, and BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD is my first mainstream contemporary romance/romantic comedy/chicklit/women’s fiction novel.

The blurb best sums it up:

Shari Jones needs to get a life. Preferably someone else’s.

Single, homeless and jobless, Indo-American Shari agrees to her best friend’s whacky scheme: travel to Mumbai, pose as Amrita, and ditch the fiancé her traditional Indian parents have chosen. Simple. Until she’s mistaken for a famous Bollywood actress, stalked by a Lone Ranger wannabe, courted by an English lord, and busted by the blackmailing fiancé.
Life is less complicated in New York.

Or so she thinks, until the entourage of crazies follows her to the Big Apple and that’s when the fun really begins. Shari deals with a blossoming romance, an addiction to Indian food and her first movie role, while secretly craving another trip to the mystical land responsible for sparking her new lease on life. Returning to her Indian birthplace, she has an epiphany. Maybe the happily-ever-after of her dreams isn’t so far away?

About the Author


Nicola Marsh loves the hip, vibrant, cosmopolitan vibe of her home city, Melbourne, where
she's set the bulk of her novels, highligh@ng fabulous cultural and food havens like Acland
Street (St. Kilda), Brunswick Street (Fitzroy) and Lygon Street (Carlton).

She's a Bookscan, USA Today and Waldenbooks bestseller, has finalled in several awards
including the pres@gious HOLT (Honoring Outstanding Literary Talent), Roman@c Times
Reviewers' Choice Award, Booksellers' Best, Golden Quill, Laurel Wreath, and More than Magic.
She has won several CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Awards. Nicola has published 30 books
and sold over 3 million copies worldwide.

When she's not wri@ng she's busy raising her two liale heroes, sharing fine food with family and
friends, cheering on her beloved North Melbourne Kangaroos footy team and her favourite,
curling up with a good book!


Nicola loves interacting with readers. You can find her at:

Website: http://www.nicolamarsh.com
Blog: http://nicolamarsh.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/NicolaMarshAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/NicolaMarsh

To be in the running to win an E-book of BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD, leave a comment answering this question:

If you had to choose a fantasy red carpet date, who would it be?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

2012 Reading Challenges

I'm looking for reading challenges for next year. I'm having problems finding them this year.. I got so used to using "A novel challenge" list to find most of my challenges for the past years and now it's not continuing.

Any suggestions or pointing in the right direction is greatly appreciated

Here is what I've signed up for so far:

2012 E-Book Reading Challenge
50 States Challenge (Book Obsessed)
Audiobook Challenge 2012 (Teresa's Reading Corner)

Author Interview/Giveaway - Hellsbane by Paige Cuccaro (Entangled Publishing)




Describe your book in five words or less.

Nephilim vs Fallen angels

How did the ideas for your books come to you?

I love theology and the stories about angels and fallen angels both in the bible and in the Book of Enoch have always captivated me. I wanted to know what a nephilim (the offspring of an angel and human) would be like today. What would her life be like? How would her angelic father impact her life? How would Heaven and Hell treat her? So I wrote the story.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Only that there’s no crisp line between good and evil, and that one person’s good intentions can be another person’s evil doings. And sometimes knowing others will see something as wrong, bad, or even evil isn’t always enough to make a person want it any less.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?
The hardest part of writing is writing. Ideas come to me all the time. Even plotting out a story is usually quick and painless. But actually sitting my butt in the chair and keeping my fingers on the keyboard can be a real struggle. The easiest part is coming up with story ideas. I’ve got at least two or three full blown story ideas bouncing around in my head at any given time.

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future
projects?


Right now I’m working on book 2 in the HELLSBANE series, called HEAVEN AND HELLSBANE. The second it’s done I start on book 3. I’d like to squeeze some short stories in there, but we’ll have to see.

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?

Because I love it! I love all things paranormal. I love the limitless possibilities of paranormal fiction, angels, vampires, werewolves, the supernatural powers and the problems that come with them. It stirs my imagination and transports me in a way that other genres can’t. It’s what I read. It’s what I watch on TV and at the movies. Writing what you love makes writing fun.

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?

It’s fantastic. Every writer hopes someone will be out there willing to read their book. But when you hear a reader say they can’t wait to read your book, it makes you want to write all the faster.

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

Where do you write? It’s not really a question I “want” to be asked, but I’m surprised that no one is curious. Maybe it’s just me but I’m always wondering what surrounds a writer when they write. I even started a collection of photos on my website of author’s writing areas—where ever they might be. I call it “The Writer’s Cave” since so many of us refer to long stints of writing as crawling into/ or out of our caves. You can check it out here: http://www.paigecuccaro.com/html/the_cave.html Unfortunately, I haven’t added to the collection in a while, but I’m hoping to have my site redone shortly and add lots more authors then.

My answer to that never asked question would be in the kitchen. We moved very recently and my home office isn’t quite ready for me yet. So for the time being I’m doing all my writing at a folding table in the corner of the kitchen. It’s handy at meal time, but the table wobbles and everyone in the free world passes through our kitchen during the day.

What was your road to publications like?
I started writing seriously around 1992. I wrote a kid’s story and then an adult romance and then a paranormal book about angels, (172 thousand words—still herding dust bunnies under my bed.) Then around 1998 I joined RWA and my local chapter in Columbus and began actually learning about the publishing industry. I entered contests and went to workshops and worked hard to improve my writing. Then in 1999 I wrote a paranormal book called The Shaman’s Daughter, based on a story I’d heard at summer camp when I was a kid. I sold it in 2000 to a small e-publisher. After that I was considered “published” and I couldn’t enter contests anymore which meant I didn’t have the great opportunities of getting my work in front of editors and agents that contests offer. I had to cold query.

It took a year or more but I finally sold another story to a larger e-publisher under a penname. I published several books with that publisher until in 2007 I sold my first story to Harliequin. I’ve contracted books and/or novellas with several small publishers and two New York houses.

But last summer I heard all kinds of buzz about this great new publisher that was starting up. Several big names in the industry were jumping on board with them or helping out in some way. Everyone was saying how they were going to set the publishing world on fire. So I submitted this paranormal story I’d been working on about a girl who discovers she’s half angel and her dear old dad wants her dead. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when Heather and Liz at Entangled Publishing called me and told me they loved HELLSBANE. I think they may have lost some of their hearing when I squealed over the phone. But they’ve been amazing and I’m so thankful to have been given this opportunity.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Gift Card Giveaway Hop (December 9 - 13)





The Gift Card Giveaway Hop will run from Dec. 9th to 13th.
Thanks to Peep from Attack of the Book for co-hosting.


The Gift Card Giveaway Hop is just in time to help with with last minute holiday shopping!!


I will be giving away a $10 Barnes and Noble Giftcard and a mini book - The Night Before Christmas in California






Please check out the other participants sites





















Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Author Interview/Giveaway - The Last Beginning by Rachel Firasek (Entangled Publishing)



Describe your book in five words or less.
Heartache healed by magical love.

How did the ideas for your books come to you?
I normally will see someone, somthing, someplace, etc... and the stories will just break out in my head. It can be very distracting sometimes. Ari is a character very similar to an old friend of mine, with a little less attitude. :) Grey reminds me of all the stories I hear from my brother and other military families. The two combined bring together a romance that I've always wanted to create. I hope everyone will love it.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
It's okay to make mistakes. Everyone does. The important thing is that we learn from them.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?
Hardest: Revisions. LOL! It takes a lot of discipline to go back and layer in all the great elements that bring a story together.

Easiest: Writing. I can throw down 30K words in less than a month, but I wouldn't want anyone to read them.

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?

I'm actually going to go back in Jan. and finish up another series. Then I have at least one new UF series in the making for next year involving spirit transfers. It'll be fun. And hopefully a top secret YA series too. (I've never written in that genre, so it should be a challenge.)

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?
I don't. A story will tell me whether it wants to be a Contemporary, paranormal or YA. Sometimes, I'll begin writing in one genre and figure out that the book isn't working with the elements needed. I'll go back and rewrite, either removing the paranormal or adding. Most of the time it's removing. Not all stories need a vampire, ghost or ghoul. But, they sure do make things fun.

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?
It's the best high ever---not that I'd know what it's like to be high. I'm pretty straight, lol. It's very flattering to hear that they want to read more, but the best thing is when they will interact with me after reading the story. I love to talk about my books *no conceit here* and find out what really touched the reader. It's the best way to learn. I've been very blessed with meeting readers that aren't too shy to step forward and say, "Hey, Rachel, why did you do this?" or "When is this going to happen?" or my fave comment lately regarding TLA, "How could you kill them?"
It's so much fun to interact and I'm more than happy to share.

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
If you could do anything without fear of failing what would it be?

I'd go skydiving. Failing at that has fatal results.

What was your road to publications like?
I began looking for an agent in May of 2010. After a bucket full of rejections, I decided to wet my feet with epubbing. Through a pitch session I met the fab Heather Howland who was with my debut publisher at the time. She snatched my book up and it's been a roller coaster ride since then. :) When she moved to Entangled Publishing, I knew that I wanted to go to. Libby Murphy is my current editor and every book I work on with her, reminds me that the move was well worth it!

Author Bio:
Rachel Firasek grew up in the south and despite the gentle pace, she harassed life at full steam.
Her curiosity about mythology, human nature, and the chemical imbalance we call love led her
to writing. Her stories began with macabre war poems and shifted to enchanted fairytales,
before she settled on a blending of the two.

Today you’ll find her tucked on a small parcel of land, surrounded by bleating sheep and
barking dogs, with her husband and children. She entertains them all with her wacky sense of
humor or animated reenactments of bad 80’s dance moves.

She’s intrigued by anything unexplained and seeks the answers to this crazy thing we call
life. You can find her where the heart twists the soul and lights the shadows… or at Rachel Firasek

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Author Interview/Giveaway - Under the Moon by Natalie Damschroder





Describe your book in five words or less.

Paranormal romantic adventure with goddesses.


How did the ideas for your books come to you?


For the first book in the trilogy, Under the Moon, I wanted to write about goddesses in modern society, and I wanted to write about guys similar to a couple of characters on a TV show I love. I also wanted to write a book in a month via National Novel Writing Month. Everything kind of squished together in my head enough to get me to start writing. The ideas for the next two books arose as I wrote the first one, with a lot of "what if" questions about the characters and the villains they face.


Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Nope, the only thing I hope my readers get from my books is entertainment. Anything else is gravy. :)

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?

The hardest part is both finding time to write, and making myself use that time wisely. There are always 150 other things that call for my attention and pull me away from my books. The easiest part is hard to describe. It's being "in the zone," when, for some reason, everything just works and the words fly through my brain.


What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?

Heavy Metal, the second book in the Goddesses Rising trilogy, is completed and with my editor, awaiting her brilliant comments for all the ways I have to change it. LOL Heavy Metal's heroine is a goddess who never knew it. I'm currently working on Sunroper, the third book in the trilogy. I have a non-paranormal romantic adventure, Acceptable Risks, coming out in April. When I can manage it, I hope to finish a paranormal young adult that I've been working on for a while.

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?

I love writing paranormal because it allows for such imagination-stretching. And I don't have to do a lot of research. LOL I love writing romantic adventure because the stakes are so high, and yet so personal. Adventure stories are exciting because the pacing is fast, and the romance makes saving the world (or some part of it) even more important.

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?

That is the most gratifying thing I could ever hear. I get giddy knowing someone out there really likes my books. It's the whole reason I write them! :)


What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

It's funny, I was driving home from a meeting yesterday and thought, "I hope no one in an interview asks me what no one ever asks but should, because I won't have an answer!" LOL This is why I don't give interviews from your side of things, and why I'm so bad at small-talk.

Oh, wait, I know! The question would be, "What are your editors like, and what's it like to work with them?" I have fantastic editors at both Entangled Publishing and Carina Press. One of the most difficult things an author can face is an editor who doesn't match well with them. I am so grateful every day that I've been matched perfectly with dream editors. At Entangled, KL Grady and Liz Pelletier have been fantastic at forcing the best book possible out of me, and at the same time supporting my delicate author ego. At Carina, Elizabeth Bass is a steady, brilliant professional who sees all my flaws and suggests fantastic cures for them.

What was your road to publication like?

I started writing seriously in 1992/93 and finished my first book in 1996, getting the second book I finished published in 2000. I've just celebrated the publication of my 10th novel, with more contracted for next year. So it's been slow and steady growth over the last decade, punctuated with lots of highs and lows and struggles and joys. I'm incredibly lucky to be actively publishing with two dynamic, high-quality publishers right now, and am excited for the future.

Again, thank you so much for this wonderful interview!


~~~~~~~~~~


About the Author:



Natalie J. Damschroder came to writing the hard way—by avoiding it. Though she wrote her first book at age six (My Very Own Reading Book) and received accolades for her academic writing (Ruth Davies Award for Excellence in Writing for a paper on deforestation her senior year in college), she hated doing it. Colonial food and the habits of the European Starling just weren’t her thing.

She found her niche—romantic fiction—shortly after college graduation. After an internship with the National Geographic Society, customer service for a phone company just wasn’t that exciting. So she began learning how to write the books she’d loved to read all her life. Now she struggles to balance her frenetic writing life with her family, the most supportive husband in the world and two beautiful, intelligent, stubborn, independent daughters (the oldest of whom has become a writer). She somehow also fits in a day job and various volunteer positions in and out of the writing industry.
Learn more about her at her website, www.nataliedamschroder.com, follow her on Twitter @NJDamschroder, or friend her on Facebook


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