Sunday, August 30, 2009

Book Review- Love Junkie

I just finished reading Love Junkie by Rachel Resnick.

From the inside flap:

Rachel Resnick hits her forties single, broke, depressed, childless--a train wreck. After an ex-boyfriend breaks into her home and vandalizes it, Resnick takes the time to look back over her romantic and sexual history to ask the question: What is wrong with me? Her addiction to sex and love has cost her in damaging ways throughout the course of her life. At the root of her issues: a Dickensian childhood and a haunting experience she must finally confront.

Written with raw humor and unflinching honesty, Love Junkie charts Rachel Resnick's harrowing emotional journey from destructive love to intimacy, from despair to hope. By peeling back one painful layer after another, she discovers a glaring pattern: She is addicted to the fantasy of romantic bliss, marriage, and children.

Although her story is an extreme one, what we realize over the course of Resnick's journey is how many people experience aspects of this addiction and the self-destruction that comes with it--all fed by a culture where romantic obsession is stoked by the stories we read, the movies we see, and the dreams we're fed. This unique memoir cracks open one of the more elusive and pervasive modern-day compulsions--and holds a mirror up to each of us.

Wow...this was a sad memoir. It made me feel so bad for her. And it makes you realize how much a poor childhood can screw people up for a lifetime, if they don't get help. Reading about Rachel Resnick's mother and father treated her made me shudder. (Thank goodness I am so lucky to have such warm and loving parents.) And it makes me wonder why anyone would treat their children that way.

And it makes sense that the author then seeked out love and affection from relationships, and found herself trapped in harmful ones. Luckily, in the end, she was in support groups, but it still saddens me to think that if she had had a healthy upbringing, then maybe she wouldn't seek out such unhealthy relationships and be addicted to what she thought was love.

I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5.

The Sunday Salon- August 30, 2009

Wow..I am exhausted! This was the first week with the kids and this group of kindergartners seem so young. They are having a really hard time following directions so I am having to repeat myself a bunch and am losing my voice. But they are so adorable and loving! I love this age!

I finished and reviewed the following books this week:

I fullfilled the following items for challenges this week:
Paranormal 999 Challenge: Psychics/Sensitives, Sorceress (can also be used for Fae)

I am currently reading Love Junkie by Rachel Resnick and up next is Highland Rebel by Judith James for a book review.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

September Zombies Week

It's Sepetember Zombies Week over at September Zombies!

There will be daily posts about all sorts of zombie things, including books, comics, movies, giveaways, and more!

This event showcases the release of YA zombie books of 2009 especially the latest, Never Slow Dance With A Zombie by E. Van Lowe.
Head on over to join in the fun!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Contests-August 24-August 31

Bree Despain is having a great contest that includes the following: 1. A pedicure kit complete with my new THE DARK DIVINE nail polish! + An autographed ARC of THE DARK DIVINE + $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble. 2. Signed copy of MY BIG NOSE AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS by Sydney Salter + Signed copy of LIFE IN THE PIT by Kristen Landon 3. A $30 gift card to Barnes & Noble. The contest ends on August 29.

Reverie Book Reviews is giving away a signed copy of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. The contest ends on September 10.

A Journey of Books is giving away a signed copy of Blood Promise by Richelle Mead. The contest ends on September 30. Let her know I sent you and you'll get extra entries!

Number One Novels is giving away a copy of Donut Days by Lara Zielin. The contest ends on August 30.

The Friday 56- August 28, 2009

1. Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
2. Turn to page 56.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like).
5. Post a link along with your post back to Storytime with Tonya and Friends.

"Oh bum. In fact, massive bum."
From Millie's Fling by Jill Mansell

Friday Fill-In- August 28, 2009

1. He was a pain in my butt again today.
2. College football season is what I look forward to most this time of year. Go Gators!
3. My best friend well, which one? I have 4.
4. I hate my birthday to be honest with you.
5. Appearances can be deceiving sometimes, but sometimes they're dead on.
6. The last person I gave a hug to was Ariana, one of my kindergartners.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to dinner at the Melting Pot with Kory and my parents for an early birthday dinner, tomorrow my plans include working at the ride and Sunday, I want to go to the batting cages!

Friday Finds- August 28, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Intertwined Sweepstakes

Wednesday Wordle- August 26, 2009

Here is a screen shot of my Wordle for the week (Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from words that is seen on my blog)

Waiting on Wednesday- August 26, 2009

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Beautiful Creatures
by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Publication Release Date: December 1, 2009


There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.And in the end, there was a grave.

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Living Your Five


We know, we know… we’ve been hinting about it for weeks. The super secret project of Kay Cassidy, Tera Lynn Childs, Alyson Noel and Becca Fitzpatrick. The #fivers hashtag. The Founding Fiver badges. The huge top secret contest. So many secrets!

Good news. The secret’s out.

Join us for the worldwide launch of Living Your Five! Living Your Five is an online community dedicated to changing our world one person at a time. You don’t have to cure the world of cancer or banish world hunger in a single day. It’s about working together, each of us taking one more step every day. It’s about knowing what you care about–what you’re passionate about!–and stepping away from the sidelines of your life to make your mark on the world.

To celebrate the launch of the official Living Your Five web site, we’re even hosting a contest with awesome daily prizes and a MEGA grand prize all courtesy of our Founding Fivers! Find out all the details at

We’re ready to change the world. Now it’s up to you. Will you watch from the sidelines or join us on the ride? (Come on, we know you want to!)

*copied from Kay Cassidy's blog

Teaser Tuesday - August 24, 2009

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

My two teasers:

" 'Right, well, I've had a bit of a think about this, and we've been together for quite a while now.' Clasping her hand suddenly in his, Neil began to stroke it as if it were a nervous puppy."
~ pg 1, Millie's Fling by Jill Mansell

Mailbox Monday- August 24, 2009

Mailbox Monday: Here's what came in my mailbox this week: (yes, I know I'm a day late!)


Thereby Hangs a Tail- Spencer Quinn --FrugalReader Book Ring (no cover yet)


Beastly- Alex Flinn--bought from


Hate List- Jennifer Brown--from the publisher

Once Was Lost- Sara Zarr--from the publisher


Godmother- Carolyn Turgeon--from Read It Forward


Blog Tour- Laced With Magic

I am happy to host the blog tour for Laced With Magic by Barbara Bretton for Pump Up Your Book Promotions.


Knit shop owner and sorcerer's daughter Chloe Hobbs felt the Fates finally got it right when she met Luke MacKenzie. And no one could have convinced her otherwise—including the trolls, selkies, or spirits who also call Sugar Maple, Vermont, home. But then out of nowhere Luke's ex-wife suddenly shows up, claiming to see the spirit of their daughter, Steffie—a daughter Chloe knows nothing about.

Steffie's spirit is being held hostage by a certain Fae leader. And if Chloe weaves a spell to free her spirit, her nemesis will also be free—free to destroy her yarn shop and all of Sugar Maple. But if she doesn't, Steffie won't be the only one spending eternity in hell. Chloe'll be joining her, cursed with a broken heart.


Right from the very beginning, this book grabbed me and kept my attention throughout the whole story. I didn't know this was a sequel to a book called Casting Spells (although I will now be searching for a copy!). I loved the way the story was written. I found myself flying through the was written almost as if being told by a friend.

I really liked the characters. I could totally understand how Chloe was unsure of "the ex" but still wanted to fight on her behalf. And as much as I wanted to hate Kare, "the ex", I couldn't because she wasn't a hate-able (is that a word?) character. I was sympathetic to her pain as a mom losing her child and hope I never have to go through that. And I loved Luke. I loved that he still seemed slightly protective of his ex, but you could clearly tell that he was in love with Chloe. And the cast of secondary characters--from Fae, to vampires, to werewolves, to all sorts of other things, was fun as well.

The end of the story somewhat caught me off guard and was sad. And the story ended on a cliff-hanger. I want to know what happens next! This was a great read and I will definitely be looking for books to read by Barbara Bretton!

*edited to add--I emailed Barbara Bretton wondering if there would be more books about Sugar Maple and this is what she wrote back "Hi, Andrea! I'm so glad (and relieved!) that you loved LACED WITH MAGIC. I apologize for the cliffhanger but I have some good news: yes, there will be more Sugar Maple in the future. Books #3 and #4 are under contract and Sugar Maple will return some time next year when Chloe, Luke, Janice and Penny the Cat embark on a road trip in Chloe's old Buick (stuffed with yarn!) to Salem in search of a way to bring Sugar Maple back to life again." Great news!

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.

This book fullfills items in the following challenge:
Paranormal 999 Challenge: Sorceress (can also be used for Fae)



Did you ever have the feeling that you were exactly where you were meant to be, that the Fates had finally got it right and the rest of your life was going to be clear sailing? That was how I felt the first time Luke MacKenzie and I kissed: like I was seeing the world through new eyes.

The first time our hands touched over a basket of alpaca roving, sparks flew. Bright silver-white sparks that shot from our fingertips and lit up the night. It was every love story I had ever read, every romantic movie I had ever wept over, all of my hopes and dreams wrapped up into one tall, dark, and handsome package. It didn't even matter that he was one hundred percent human and I was the daughter of a sorceress. I believed that now that I had finally found love, the rest would fall into place like magick.

Crazy? I wouldn't bet against it. Despite all of the evidence to the contrary, I still believed I was on my way to the storybook happy ending none of the women in my family had ever managed to achieve.

I mean, I even made a sweater for him and every knitter on the planet knows you never knit a sweater for the one you love until you had the ring on your finger.

What was I thinking?

I guess the truth is I wasn't thinking at all. All those romantic movies and novels I had devoured over the years hadn't prepared me for the real thing. Luke and I had gone from zero to sixty in a nanosecond, from strangers to lovers to living together in less time than it took most people to shake hands.

But then this wasn't the real world. It just looked like it.

By the way, I'm Chloe Hobbs, knit shop owner and de facto mayor of Sugar Maple, a tiny little town tucked between two mountains in the northwest corner of Vermont. We're a classic New England hamlet, famous for scenic views and great shopping but, trust me, there's more going on in Sugar Maple than meets the eye.

Up until Luke, a former police detective from Boston, showed up in early December to investigate the drowning death of his friend Suzanne Marsden, I had been the only resident human. Well, half human to be precise but without magick the sorceress side of my lineage hardly mattered.

Remember the old TV show The Munsters? Marilyn was the all-American blonde who stuck out like a sore thumb in her family of irregulars. I guess you could say that was the part I played here in Sugar Maple. When the real world came calling, I was the one who answered.

And even I had to admit I was the logical choice.

A tenth generation witch owns the Cut & Curl across the street from my knit shop. The hardware store is run by the sweetest family of werewolves you'll ever meet. The Sugar Maple Arts Playhouse is under the direction of shape shifters who serve as their own repertory company. Faeries keep the Inn's restaurant fully booked and I guess it wouldn't surprise you to learn that the town funeral parlor belongs to a happily married couple who happen to be vampire.

And that doesn't count the trolls, selkies, goblins, sprites, spirits, and mountain giants who call our town home.

The unexpected success of my yarn shop had brought even more attention to Sugar Maple than our white picket fences and picturesque village green. My shop had been rated New England's number one knitting destination two years running and if the blogosphere had anything to do with it, we were about to make it three for three. A protective spell cast over our town by one of my ancestors made it possible for us to hide in plain sight but when that spell started wearing down last year—well, that was when the troubles really started.

My ancestor Aerynn had fled Salem during the infamous witch hunts and found sanctuary here with other outcasts in search of a home. Aerynn was a sorceress, and she expressed her gratitude by casting a protective charm over Sugar Maple designed to keep the village safe from the sharp eyes of the real world as long as one of her female descendants walked the earth.

I was the last descendant of Aerynn and, in the eyes of almost everyone in town, pretty much of a loser. Oh, they loved me but I don't think even my closest friends believed I would ever come through for Sugar Maple. I mean, I was almost thirty years old with no husband, no kid, and no magic. Even worse, I had no prospects of any kind. The only thing I had going for me was the ability to knit and spin like my foremothers, but even I didn't think I could stockinette my way out of the mess the town was in.

And then Luke showed up and everything changed.

Who would have guessed that love would trigger my inner sorceress and awaken powers I didn't know existed. Suddenly I had everything I had ever dreamed about: magick and love and enough yarn to last ten lifetimes.

And who would have guessed it wouldn't be close to enough to save us.


Barbara Bretton is the USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of more than 40 books. Her most recent title, Laced With Magic, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. She currently has over ten million copies in print around the world and have been translated into twelve languages in over twenty countries.

Barbara has been featured in articles in The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Romantic Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Herald News, Home News, Somerset Gazette,among others, and has been interviewed by Independent Network News Television, appeared on the Susan Stamberg Show on NPR, and been featured in an interview with Charles Osgood of WCBS, among others.

Her awards include both Reviewer's Choice and Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times; Gold and Silver certificates from Affaire de Coeur; the RWA Region 1 Golden Leaf; and several sales awards from Bookrak. Ms. Bretton was included in a recent edition of Contemporary Authors.

Barbara loves to spend as much time as possible in Maine with her husband, walking the rocky beaches and dreaming up plots for upcoming books.

You can visit Barbara’s website at, her blog at or connect with her on Twitter at

Thanks to Dorothy at Pump Up Your Book Promotions for setting this up!