Saturday, March 31, 2012

30 Day Challenge-April 1


    1. I like to cook-one problem though is I always cook too much! I can’t seem to make a recipe smaller to suit our family of 3. And when I cook for a lot of people…there is always too much! 


  2. I am short-4’10”-I know this is short! I always find it rather irritating when someone asks me, “Do you know you are short?” I always want to say “gasp! NO! Nobody has EVER told me that before!” I know it would be snarky so I refrain. But I really want to!

3.   I crochet. I learned to crochet when I was 16. In fact I have a blog of my crochet- My great-grandmother taught me how to crochet. She was living with us. 

4.   I am a grandmother of 3. One boy and two girls. They make me smile! 

5.   Our entire married life (26 years) we have never had cable or dish or direct TV. 

6.    I don’t watch much regular TV. We watch a lot of DVD’s. We are series fanatics so I get a lot of series to watch. 

7.    Just like with TV series, I love book series! I can’t seem to stay away from them. When I find a series I like I have to get the whole thing! My poor husband would be a rich man if I didn’t buy so many books and movies!

8.   The two longest places I have lived are:

9.    I have worn glasses since I was 12.

The only seafood I like is shrimp and tuna (from a can or pouch). All other fish better stay away from my plate! Bleck!

11 Because of budget cuts I lost my job as a middle school library assistant 2 years ago.

1  Some days I miss it, some days I don’t!

13I have 2 beautiful daughters and 1 son-in-law (he would hate to be called beautiful!). My oldest daughter is the wonderful mother to my 3 grandchildren. My youngest daughter will be graduating from Jr. College in May then going to apprentice as a locksmith. I’m extremely proud of both of them!

14  I have one amazing husband! We will be married 27 years in July. He gets to retire in December and I am looking forward to it…really! 

15  I am a woman of faith! I love the Lord! I want to hear "Well done thou good and faithful servant" when I meet the Lord in heaven.

Ooops, posted this a day early. I meant to save it and post it tomorrow. But it is a done deal now so I'm ahead of schedule! Head over to Charity at Austenitis tomorrow for her post. She is the one that I stole the challenge from!

Weekend Report

Melanie at Christian Bookshelf Reviews hosts this report each weekend. It is a fun way of wrapping up your week in reading.


I'm about 50 pages in and am liking it so far. This is written by a 16 year old girl.



How bout you? What's on your shelf?


Friday, March 30, 2012

Face of Betrayal by Lis Wiehl with April Henry

Katie Converse disappears while walking her dog one day. Katie is a 17 year old Senate Page home for vacation when she disappears. Everything seems perfect in her life until the FBI start looking into her last days.

Three professional women help investigate the crime. They laughingly call themselves The Triple Threat Club.

Allison is a federal prosecutor. It is her job to find enough evidence to indict the Senator who was Katie's mentor. Everything seems to point to him being the killer. Not only is Allison helping to investigate the case, but in her own personal life someone is threatening to kill her.

Nicole Hedges is a special agent with the FBI. She is the one chosen to make contact with the Converse family. She is a single mom who has sworn off men.

Cassidy Shaw is a television reporter. Scrambling to stay in the media spotlight, Katie's case may just be the career booster that Cassidy needs to make it to the top.

Each woman plays an integral part in solving what happened to Katie while dealing with things in their personal lives.

I really liked Face of Betrayal and look forward to reading more about the Triple Threat Club women. They are strong female characters that stick together and help each other in the good and the bad times. Face of Betrayal introduces the group and I'm looking forward to getting to know them more in the books to come. If you like a good suspense with strong female characters then this is for you!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

April 30 Day Challenge

Charity at Austenitis is doing a 30 day challenge on her blog. I thought it would be fun to follow in her footsteps and try my hand at the challenge also! Each day you can stop by and find out a little bit about me. Charity has a list of things that she is going to do each day, some of them I will follow and some I will edit to suit my interests. If you are interested in participating also, head on over to Austenitis and see what Charity has in mind.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Out of Sight Out of Time by Ally Carter

Cammie wakes up in a convent with no idea of how she got there. She is bruised and beat up. She believes that she is still on summer break but soon finds out that it is October. She has lost several months and has no idea of where those months were spent.

Upon returning to Gallagher School for Girls Cammie finds that her friends are angry at her. Cammie had left to protect them from The Circle that is after her. She also went to find out answers about her father. Her friends are angry that she left them behind and that she was caught and obviously tortured.

Cammie no longer feels like herself. She disappears in her thoughts for long periods of time. Desperate to remember what happened, but also afraid to find out, Cammie and her friends attempt to retrace her steps over the summer.

I love the Gallagher Girl books! It doesn't get much better than girl-kick-butt spies! This installment didn't leave me disappointed. More of the history between the Gallagher Girls School and The Circle is revealed. The friendship between Cammie and her friends is like a family. The suspense and action are worth the read! I'm disappointed that there will probably be a long wait for the next book in the series!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Good Riddance Showing Clutter the Door by Susan Borax & Heather Knittel

A book of 101 articles of CRUD(Completely Ridiculous Useless Debris) that a person can eliminate from their home. Good Riddance is full of helpful instructions on how to eliminate the clutter that we seem to gather as the years go on.

At first when I started reading I was thinking to myself, "Oh so-and-so needs to read this" or "I need to pass this on to so-and-so". As always when a person starts pointing fingers at others they forget about those 3 pointing back at themselves! The first thing that struck me personally was the spare room chapter. Uh oh! Practically everything the authors described that happens to a spare room described our spare room exactly! When I read, " Ponder what might be occupying your extra bedroom. Could that be the room where your grandmother's antique furniture resides?" OUCH! That hit me hard, because the answer to that question for me is a resounding YES! Eeep!

A few other things that stood out were:

Keeping old LP records. Now this is not a problem that I have. If it were up to me I would get rid of that box of records. But my husband has the misguided idea that someday those records are going to be worth something. Ummm, NO! Technology today has made records obsolete and they are not worth anything to anyone. Especially if they have damage in any way. Termites got hold of ours years ago so a lot of the wrappings are ruined. But this is a losing battle in my household so I guess I better turn that finger back to my own self.

Christmas decorations. I have to say that I am pretty good about keeping my decorations to a minimum. But there is definitely some room for improvement. Getting rid of those ornaments that are not used anymore, or that are falling apart would sure add more room to the tubs that contain the decorations.

Old Textbooks. Ack! People, sell those things back at the end of the semester! Nobody is going to want them years down the road! You can use that money to help purchase the next round of books for the next semester. This is one that I have never understood about some people. Hanging on to textbooks like you would ever crack one open again. I'm glad to see that the authors agree with me there...or is it that I agree with them?

Hanging on to things to pass on to our children when they are grown also is impractical. The authors say that our children don't want that CRUD either. They are accumulating their own CRUD. ha! 

Good Riddance offers reasonable and practical ways of de-cluttering your home. Interspersed throughout the book are little snippets of people's excuses for hanging on to some thing in their home. I found those quite humorous. I thought I was doing well in keeping the clutter to a minimum, but as I was reading this book different places in my home were calling out to me to be cleaned out. Places like the craft closet(just cleaned a year ago, but in need again since it is cluttered again), the kitchen(again, just cleaned out but I find that there are still things that I can whittle away at), the attic(shudder), my clothes closet...and the list goes on!

As always it is so much easier to take care of other people's lives than it is our own...does anyone have any ideas on how I can get my husband to get rid of those records?!

If you would like a chance to win my copy of this book leave a  comment and I will have a drawing on Wednesday March 28th.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors

Emmaline was cast away at birth because of a deformed foot. Miraculously saved by a group of cows Emmaline has had a special relationship with them since her birth. An outcast among her people the dirt-scratchers of Root it seems that Emmaline's only friends are the cows.

Tragedy strikes Root when soldiers come and take all of the single men away. They are told they are being taken to fight in a war, but what is really happening is they are enslaved to dig in pits for gold to line the kings pockets. While the king and queen of Anglun live in splendor their people are starving. Taxes are continually raised to support the king and queen with no regard for the people that are serving them.

When a flood washes the village of Root away Emmaline is once again saved by a cow. Owen Oak finds her along the banks of a river with one of his family's dairy cows standing watch over her. His family help her back to health and provide for her. Owen and Emmaline find that she has the power to churn cream into chocolate. Chocolate is the stuff of legends among the people of Anglun. Emmaline hopes to use her gift to rescue her people from the pits that the king has put them in. Before she can do that though she is kidnapped by Peddler for his own gain.

Peddler hopes to sell Emmaline for his own profit. Fearing that Owen is dead, Emmaline doesn't stop trying to find a way to escape Peddler so she can go to the king and queen to negotiate the return of her people. What she finds though is that they too will stop at nothing to be in control of the chocolate that only Emmaline seems to be able to make.

This story is a retelling of The Ugly Duckling which I have never read so I don't know how it compares. This was a sweet story of one girl who rises above her own disability in order to save her country and become beloved by all. I enjoyed it very much.

I received my copy at ALA in January. The book will be published in August of 2012.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bleachers by John Grisham

I have never been disappointed in a John Grisham book. I was a bit leery of this one because I am used to the lawyer type books that Grisham normally writes. Bleachers is nothing like those.

Neely Crenshaw returns to his hometown along with the majority of other Spartan football players to await the death of their former coach. They gather on the bleachers reminiscing about their former football triumphs. Each player has a story about Coach Rake. There is a love/hate relationship that all of Rake's players had with him. Each of his "boys" remembers what a taskmaster Rake was on the practice field and how they hated him for his seeming coldness to them, but each of their lives has been defined by Coach Rake.

Bleachers is a quick and satisfying read. It had a lot of football lingo that I didn't understand, but there was no misunderstanding the need for closure and forgiveness that Neely finally receives at the end of Coach Rake's life.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Baby Lit Books by Jennifer Adams with Art by Alison Oliver

I bought this baby lit book after a friend told me about it a couple of months ago. We are both Austen fans and Pride & Prejudice is my absolute favorite Austen book. So of course when I saw this baby board book I had to have it for my granddaughter. It is a must to introduce her to Grandma's favorite book of all time!

Little Miss Austen's Pride & Prejudice is a counting primer that introduces children to the characters and countryside set in Pride & Prejudice. A board book with fun art and counting numbers up to 10. The first time through my granddaughter enjoyed it very much.

 The next two books were sent to me by the publisher for review:

Little Miss Bronte's Jane Eyre is another counting primer introducing Jane Eyre to young children. I loved this classic also when I was a young girl. This is a board book that also counts up to 10. I love how each number introduces something from the book and each picture depicts the number.

Little Master Carroll's Alice In Wonderland is a colors primer. Each color represents the order of the story from the white rabbit to the yellow tea pot. Each picture is a fun representative of the book and of course very colorful.

Each board book seems very durable, made out of recycled products(explained on the back cover). Advertising on the back cover also states "BabyLit is a fashionable way to introduce your child to the world of classic literature" I don't know how fashionable it is, but I do know that I thought they were fun and a great way to introduce young children to classics. One thing I do have a problem with is the cost of each book. I bought Pride & Prejudice and with shipping it cost me $15.00. Ouch! Each board book is $9.99 which I think is pretty steep. But I have looked at other board books and they always seem a little high priced to me so I don't believe this is an unusual occurrence for this type of product.

If you like the classics and you have a young child that you want to introduce them to, these are the perfect books for the job!

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

It starts out as just another ordinary day for Dean and his brother Alex. Both running to catch their buses to school. Dean is on the high school bus and Alex is on the bus for younger students. Nobody is expecting it when disaster strikes. Large hail starts falling from the sky. Dean's bus driver is inexperienced and immediately crashes the bus. Alex's bus driver is experienced and seems ready for any disaster. She heads her bus of students into the storefront of the Greenway, a superstore. Amidst the wreckage of the bus Dean is saved by fellow students and hauled into the Greenway.

Alex's bus driver decides to go for help. She insists that everyone stay behind to remain safe. She promises to send help. All together there are 6 high school kids, 2 eighth graders and 6 little kids in the Greenway.

After the bus driver leaves the Greenway's safety gates come down and lock the kids inside. Soon after a chemical is released in the the outside air that affects people with certain blood-types differently. Dean becomes filled with rage and wants to kill someone. His brother Alex takes a beating before he is subdued. From then on the kids are truly cut off from outside as they cover all air ducts to keep the outside air from getting in.

Niko becomes the official leader of the group. He helps them get organized and gives them each a job to do to keep them alive. Dean's job is cook. Each day he chooses a helper from the little kids. They all do very well setting up their new home in the Greenway. They have all of the supplies that they will need to survive for a very long time. Of course they don't all get along. Jake and Braydon the "popular" guys are not happy when Niko is voted in as leader. They do very little to help in their new home. Sahalia is an 8th grader but wants to be treated as one of the older students. She tries consistently to get the guys attention. Dean has had a crush on Astrid for a long time, but she is Jake's girlfriend. She too is affected with rage when she breathes the outside air. After a scary episode with one of the little kids she secludes herself from the others. Then there are all of the little kids who miss their parents and just want to go home. How much longer can they live in the Greenway not knowing what has happened with their families? When will they be rescued?

First off I love apocalyptic stories. There is something about survival after disaster happens that make for entertaining reads for me. I thought the story was very good and kept me turning the pages until the end. I'm finding though that I am getting very disappointed in YA literature lately. The use of Jesus Christ as a swear word is very offensive for me. It was used quite frequently in this book. In fact it was almost the exclusive swear word in this book. Normally I would have closed the book and not finished it. The only reason I kept reading was because I had recently closed another YA book for the same reason and thought I should at least try and finish this book. There were also a couple of sexual situations in the book. Was any of that necessary to move the story along? In my opinion NO. Putting those two things aside, the story was entertaining and different enough from other apocalyptic stories. I liked the characters, I liked the idea of being trapped in a super store with all of the possibilities there. But still I am disappointed in what I am seeing in YA reads lately.

This is an ARC from ALA in January. It comes out in publication in June of 2012.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson

Annabel's family has neglected to do their duties for the lord of the village. Annabel's father was a wealthy Merchant. He has now died after losing all of his ships. Annabel's Mother and 2 brothers have always put on airs and thought they were too good to do any work. It has finally caught up with them when the new lord comes to run the village.

Annabel's brother has a solution to their problems. Marry Annabel off to Bailiff Tom. One problem, Bailiff Tom is a disgustingly older man! But Bailiff Tom has been lusting after Annabel for a long time. He has promised to pay their debt if he is allowed to marry.

The punishment for not fulfilling their duties is that one of their family must become a servant in Lord Ranulf le Wyse's household. Rumor has it that Lord le Wyse is a deformed evil man.  Knowing that she will not marry Bailiff Tom, Annabel goes to Lord le Wyse and offers herself as servant for her family.

Unfortunately being a servant in Lord le Wyse's household does not keep her safe from the advances of Bailiff Tom. Annabel does everything in her power to stay out of his way. One of Annabel's greatest desires is to be able to read the Bible. The local priest doesn't even have a Bible which explains his roaring sermons on the evilness of women. When Lord le Wyse asks Annabel to read for him in the evenings she is greatly pleased when he brings out his own Bible for her to read.

Just when things seem to be finally falling into place for Annabel a horrible event strikes Bailiff Tom down and puts Annabel and her childhood friend Stephen in grave danger with the authorities. Will Lord le Wyse's softening heart  be able to save Annabel and Stephen from this new threat?

I love retellings of fairy tales and this is no exception. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairy tales and I loved this story with Ranulf and Annabel as Beauty and Beast. I also love the fact that the characters focus on inner beauty rather than on outward appearance. Both Ranulf and Annabel are truly good people inside. Ranulf is misunderstood because he has allowed himself to become bitter with his circumstances. Annabel, although from a formerly wealthy family has a nurturing heart that endears her to people around her. Ranulf learns to see women differently through Annabel's eyes and Annabel is able to see that all men are not lecherous, vile creatures to be avoided. A very well-written love story!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Weekend Report

Hosted by Melanie at Christian Bookshelf Reviews Weekend Report is where we wrap up our week in reading. This week hasn't been very productive for me.


So far I'm loving it!


Besides the excessive use of God and Jesus as swear words for me this book was just too silly to continue reading. I gave up almost halfway through.


As I said, I wasn't very productive in the reading department this week. I've been crocheting a project for a friends birthday gift, and I had grandkiddo's visiting. Tina and David was a short 97 page book and I was almost finished with Dawn Comes Early at the beginning of the week so they were quick reads. I spent too much time trying to muddle through the book I gave up on...sigh. So I think I'm behind this month.


Maybe I can start reading these? I have a couple of books coming from publishers though so may not be too productive here. I also need to find in my stash of books from ALA a YA book that suits my fancy. We'll see how it goes.

What's on your shelf for the week?