Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Book Review- Bending Toward the Sun

I just finished reading Bending Toward The Sun: A Mother and Daughter Memoir by Leslie Gilbert-Lurie with Rita Lurie.

From the inside cover:

A miraculous lesson in courage and recovery, Bending Toward the Sun tells the story of a unique family bond forged in the wake of brutal terror. Weaving together the voices of three generations of women, Leslie Gilbert-Lurie and her mother, Rita Lurie, provide powerful--and inspiring--evidence of the resilience of the human spirit, relevant to every culture in every corner of the world. By turns unimaginably devastating and incredibly uplifting, this firsthand account of survival and psychological healing offers a strong, poignant message of hope in our own uncertain times.

Rita Lurie was five years old when she was forced to flee her home in Poland to hide from the Nazis. From the summer of 1942 to mid-1944, she and fourteen members of her family shared a nearly silent existence in a cramped, dark attic, subsisting on scraps of raw food. Young Rita watched helplessly as first her younger brother then her mother died before her eyes. Motherless and stateless, Rita and her surviving family spent the next five years wandering throughout Europe, waiting for a country to accept them. The tragedy of the Holocaust was only the beginning of Rita's story.

Decades later, Rita, now a mother herself, is the matriarch of a close-knit family in California. Yet in addition to love, Rita unknowingly passes to her children feelings of fear, apprehension, and guilt. Her daughter Leslie, an accomplished lawyer, media executive, and philanthropist, began probing the traumatic events of her mother's childhood to discover how Rita's pain has affected not only Leslie's life and outlook but also her own daughter, Mikaela.

A decade-long collaboration between mother and daughter, Bending Toward the Sun reveals how deeply the Holocaust remains in the hearts and minds of survivors, influencing even the lives of their descendants. It also sheds light on the generational reach of any trauma, beyond the initial victim. Drawing on interviews with the other survivors and with the Polish family who hid five-year-old Rita, this book brings together the stories of three generations of women--mother, daughter, and granddaughter--to understand the legacy that unites, inspires, and haunts them all.

Normally, I don't like to read many non-fiction books. But when I saw that this was a book about a survivor of the Holocaust, I knew I had to read it. I have always been interested in books dealing with that awful time in history.

Bending Toward the Sun is told from two viewpoints. The first viewpoint is Rita, and we go through her life, starting as her world was uprooted and she had to hide in the attic during the Holocaust all the way until she had her first child, Leslie. Then the viewpoint of Rita comes into the book and we read about her life as she grew up and until she had her own child, Mikela. There is also a short passage from Mikela.

I found this story in to be so interesting. I can't imagine having to go through such a hardship and being such a survivor. Rita's story truly is amazing. This was a powerful, moving memoir that shows us just how much a person's history can affect his/her life and the life of her children and the generations to come.

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.


by Leslie Gilbert-Lurie
Author of Bending Toward the Sun: A Mother and Daughter Memoir

"Mommy, I was afraid that you died."

"I didn't die. Sleeping. I was sleeping." Holding my cell phone, I propped myself up on the pillow and regained my bearings. I was in an elegant hotel room in Washington, D.C. Judging from the burning sensation in my eyes, I had not been asleep for long.

"I was so worried when you didn't answer the phone." My daughter's small voice trembled.

"I answered the phone, honey. We're talking."

"Not until the fourth ring."

Her sadness and the demands I knew were soon to follow sent blood rushing to my temples. "Mikaela, I'm fine."

"I can't stay here, Mommy."

I took a deep breath and thought fast. My voice softened. "I just dropped you off a few hours ago. We talked about the fact that the first night might be an adjustment. What did you do this evening?"

"Nothing. I didn't eat. I just cried."

She was in Bethesda, about twenty minutes away. "Honey, it was a big honor to be chosen for this leadership conference. You were so excited about going, you have a good friend there, you'll learn all about government, and -- "

"Mommy, please! Take me home! I'm only eleven years old, and I'm not ready for this. Please."

"Mikaela, you are ready. You'll be so proud of yourself for sticking it out. What do you want to bet you'll love it there by the end of the five days?"

She was sobbing now. "I won't. I hate it! I don't even feel like myself here. I'm hiding in the bathroom so I don't wake up my roommates, worrying that you're going to die!"

"I'm not going to die. Not for fifty more years at least."

"You don't know that for sure."

I was afraid she would say that. "You're right, I don't. But I eat healthy foods, I exercise, I wear sunscreen, and I don't drink and drive, so I should live for a very long time, right?"

"Can you at least come over here to give me a hug goodnight?"

It's a trap. She'll never let me leave without her. If I had just flown out of town this afternoon, we would not be having this negotiation. "It won't help, sweetie. You'll just miss me more if you see me." By now my head was aching.

"I won't. I swear."

I was not surprised by her determination, but I held firm. "No."

"You just don't understand," she said angrily.

"Yes, I do." I did understand. She was in pain, a kind with which I was all too familiar, and I could alleviate her anxiety just by jumping into a taxi. But it would be a mistake. Even though she had always been apprehensive about being away from me, she had made significant strides as of late. She'd been nervous about a recent two- night class trip to northern California, but had gone anyway and had ended up having a great time. I was certain that this new adventure would also surprise her, and provide further evidence that she could survive without me. After all, she was a survivor. She came by that honestly.

I grew up in 1960s suburban Los Angeles, part of a family who was living the American Dream. My parents raised my siblings and me in a friendly, safe, and well-kept community. Every home on the block and every kid looked more or less the same, with a smattering of ethnic diversity to break the monotony. I loved sports, especially baseball, made friends easily enough, and was a good student. My family ate dinner together nearly every night and took occasional vacations, just like the other families we knew.

Yet some things were different in our family. My mother believed that I could be president of the United States, but she hoped I could make the leap to high office directly from my cozy bedroom, where she knew I was safe. My mother didn't like me to smile at strangers, play outside after dusk, visit friends whose parents weren't nurturing enough, and most importantly, be far away from her. While I bristled at these restrictions, I lived by them. I knew that my mother's fears were birthed by tragedy. She carried wounds whose power I could never comprehend.

I think of my mother as a modern-day Anne Frank. Both my mother and Anne Frank spent two years in hiding during the Holocaust, while the Nazis searched for them. Both were forced to live in an attic with their families, which was highly unusual. Jewish children were rarely able to hide with their families during the Holocaust, and typically, hidden Jews spent only a short time in any one place. My mother and Anne Frank both were kept alive, in large part, because of the courage and kindness of gentile friends. In my mother's case, a Polish farmer and his wife sheltered a bewildered five-year-old girl and fourteen members of her family, including an infant.

There were many similarities between my mother and Anne Frank. But my mother was the only one fortunate enough to survive. For decades, readers have wondered what Anne Frank might have become, had she survived. My mother's coming-of-age story may provide some indirect insight, as well as a glimpse of the long-term impact of the Holocaust on the children who were directly affected by it.

I've begun this book with my mother's story. Her memories from early childhood are unusually detailed, although surely idealized at times. I've taken some creative liberties in reconstructing dialogue, but always with an eye toward accurately reflecting the spirit of the conversations my mother recalled, and the manner in which she remembered family members speaking to one another. In addition to relying solely on the memory of my mother, I was also able to interview six other relatives who hid with her in the attic.

I will never forget the evening my mother and I spent in the living room of my mother's first cousin Sally. Four women, all in their sixties, who had hidden together in an attic as young children, a half century earlier, were sharing recollections. Given how rare it was for children to survive the Holocaust, such a family reunion was highly unusual. And then there was my mother's eighty-six-year old uncle, Max. He had never wanted to share his memories, but that evening, he found himself leading the discussion.

Where most Holocaust narratives conclude, this one gathers momentum. Some of my mother's most unsettling recollections stemmed from the period right after Germany surrendered to Allied forces during World War II. My mother's story illuminates the fallout of the Holocaust as her family wandered throughout Europe for five heartbreaking years before coming to America. Her spirit, deep faith, and endurance against all odds provide powerful -- and inspiring -- evidence of the resilience of the human spirit.

In the second and third parts of this book, my mother's story becomes our joint account, narrated in my voice, and eventually includes my daughter, Mikaela. The stories of three generations merge in these pages, just as our hopes and dreams have so often in my life. Although my mother's and my experiences bear virtually no similarity, it is in the overlapping shadows that we find common ground. My mother's traumas became my nightmares. Not a day went by in balmy Los Angeles that I didn't feel lashed by what she suffered through in Poland during the war. On the other hand, my mother's hopes and aspirations also sowed the seeds for my ambition and my achievements.

Over countless breakfasts as a child I asked my mother the same questions about her past -- the few that I knew to ask. What was it like to wake up that morning and see tanks outside your house? What did you eat inside the attic? Did you have meals with your mommy and daddy when you were hiding? If the answers could ever make sense to me, I believed, my world would finally feel safe. After traveling back to Poland to meet the family who hid my mother, to sit in the attic where her childhood disappeared like an ice cube on a feverish brow, and then spending nearly a decade writing this book, I finally began to understand where my mother came from and how her experiences transformed her. I had to research further, however, to see just how the trauma of my mother's past had been transmitted to me, and then to my children.

My husband and I had always encouraged our children to be adventurous. I worked vigilantly to prevent my fears from interfering with the messages I communicated to them. Even my daughter, who was more tentative than my son and stepson about separating from me, had always cheerfully rebounded as soon as we were reunited. I was surprised, therefore, when her anxiety did not diminish after she returned home from her leadership trip to Washington, D.C.

There was something particularly resilient about the strain of fear Mikaela seemed to have inherited. I came to see that while scientists had found a way to prevent the virulent AIDS virus from passing, in utero, from mother to daughter, no such barrier had yet been discovered to prevent the effects of trauma from being transmitted across generations. I learned that as a result of trauma passing from one generation to the next, it was not unusual to find children of Holocaust survivors, or the "Second Generation," as we came to be known, weighed down by feelings of loss, guilt, and anxiety, and trapped in a dynamic of mutual devotion and overprotection between parent and child. And clearly the fallout extended to a third generation. Like me, Mikaela, too, seemed to be trapped in the vortex of a tragedy that had taken place a half century before she was born.

As for exactly how such trauma might be transferred from one generation to the next, researchers have proposed a variety of theories. Psychoanalytic approaches suggest that emotions that couldn't be consciously dealt with by Holocaust survivors themselves have been passed down to their children. Sociological theories focus on the connection between a survivor's beliefs and fears and their child-rearing practices. Other researchers have looked to the family unit as a whole to ascertain the impact of the Holocaust survivors' experience on their children. They found, for example, that in tightly knit survivor families, attempts by children to establish boundaries are often viewed as a threat to the family's unity.

Finally, other researchers have proposed that memories of fear can actually be carried across generations through biochemistry. Children of Holocaust survivors have been found to have lower than average levels of the stress hormone cortisol, just like their traumatized parents. They also are more likely than average to suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder when exposed to a traumatic event, and more likely to view a non-life-threatening event, such as illness or separation from a loved one, as traumatic. This approach helps explain why children growing up in the same household but with different combinations of genes could be affected so differently by a parent's trauma -- why I was more fearful of leaving home than my sister, why my daughter was more fearful of separation than my son. These various theories regarding the intergenerational transmission of posttraumatic stress left me hopeful that we might find new ways to lessen its most harmful effects.

For my mother, at seventy years old, completing this book was bittersweet. Just after she had stoically finished taking me through her life, barely flinching at the most intimate, disturbing details, she plunged into a deep depression. I was left wondering if this project had been a mistake. Thankfully, my mother recovered, and her optimism and hunger for adventure returned. She reminded me that her primary motivation for creating this memoir had never been to help her cope. This book was intended to help others better understand the Holocaust and its impact, and hopefully to also shed light on the potential complications resulting from other tragedies taking place today, around the world. This book was written with the hope that children and grandchildren of trauma survivors -- as well as others facing their own challenges -- might find inspiration in my mother's courageous story.

Last summer, I agreed to teach a course on the Holocaust at my son Gabriel's high school. One of the teachers at the school, a friend who had grown up in Sri Lanka, came to our house for dinner before the semester began. Between margaritas and slices of homemade pizza, he casually asked me, in his perfect Oxford-bred English accent, if I knew the Latin root of the word holocaust. "Some of my students will be in your course, and they'll quiz you on this right off the bat," he explained.

I searched my memory. In the past decade I had read scores of books and viewed countless documentaries on the Holocaust. I knew dates of Allied bombings, numbers of victims at each camp, and the names of heroes, villains, and those in between. I was certain I had come across the origins of the word along the way, but it escaped me. If I confessed ignorance, my erudite Sri Lankan friend, who had left behind a successful investment banking career, would be convinced that his Oxford education was superior to my American one. For the sake of the team, I took a guess. I deduced that holo sounded like whole, and that caust had to do with destruction.

"Something like total destruction?" I asked.


Yes, I thought.

"But not quite." He told me that holocaust, in Latin, means "burned offerings." It stems from the Greek words holo (which as I had guessed did mean "whole") and caust("burned"). In ancient times, the priests of the Hebrew Temple in Jerusalem would offer animal sacrifices to God. Holocaustum, in biblical Latin, referred to those offerings to God that were burned in their entirety at the altar, leaving no meat for consumption. Centuries later in the United States, the crematoria of Auschwitz brought the word holocaustto mind. It became synonymous with the destruction of European Jews by the Germans.

Thinking about that ancient definition, I realized it was not an entirely accurate description of what took place during World War II. The fire of hate that the Nazis lit did not consume everything. The earth was scorched, but from the blackened ground new seeds sprouted. Their genes had been affected by the intensity of the heat, but grow they did, and thrive they would, as my mother would put it, "bending toward the sun." This book is for those whose hopes have been dashed, or burned beyond recognition. It is for those who may have been born too late to witness the most traumatic event they would ever experience. And it is for those who are interested in exploring the blurry lines between good and evil, hope and despair, and mothers and daughters. It is evidence that despite the depth of pain and horror we may experience, the will of the human spirit is irrepressible, and the blessing of life, of a new day in the sun, will ultimately prevail.

The above is an excerpt from the book Bending Toward the Sun: A Mother and Daughter Memoir by Leslie Gilbert-Lurie. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Copyright © 2009 Leslie Gilbert-Lurie, author of Bending Toward the Sun: A Mother and Daughter Memoir

Author Bio

Leslie Gilbert-Lurie, author of Bending Toward the Sun: A Mother and Daughter Memoir, is a writer, lawyer, teacher, child advocate, and a member and past President of the Los Angeles County Board of Education.Gilbert-Lurie also is a founding board member and immediate past President of the Alliance for Children's Rights, a non-profit legal rights organization for indigent children, chair of the education committee for the Los Angeles Music Center, and a board member of several schools including Sierra Canyon and New Visions Foundation. Finally, she has just completed serving as a member of the mayor's task force charged with developing a new cultural plan for the City of Los Angeles.

Previously, Leslie spent close to a decade as an executive at NBC, where, at various times, she oversaw NBC Productions, Comedy, wrote television episodes, and co-founded a new NBC in-house production company, Lurie-Horwits productions. As a lawyer, Leslie worked briefly at the law firm of Manatt, Phelps, Rothenberg and Tunney and served as a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Law Clerk. She is a graduate of UCLA and UCLA School of Law.

Leslie lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, daughter and step- son.

For more information please visit

Thank you to Julie of FSB Associates for setting this up.

Wednesday Wordle- September 30, 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- September 30, 2009

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

How To Ruin Your Boyfriend's Reputation
by Simone Elkeles
Publication Release Date: November 29, 2009


Guess who’s jetting off to the Holy Land this summer! Yes, it’s me—Amy Nelson-Barak. I’ve volunteered for ten days of military training in Israel with my friends. The Sababa brochure said it would be a “fun” summer experience. Okay, so I didn’t sign up to prove I’m not a princess … I did it to surprise my hot Israeli boyfriend stationed at the same base.

Too bad nobody told me:
• It’s hot in the Negev desert … like, so hot your makeup melts off and you get under-boob sweat spots.
• You can’t sleep in until 11 a.m.
• You shouldn’t kill bees with your flatiron—don’t ask.
• Peeing in a hole isn’t easy (when you’re a girl)—double don’t ask.

When I find out our team leader is my boyfriend Avi, I’m totally psyched…until I learn he has to treat me like all the other recruits. Can you say OY VEY!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - September 29, 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:
" 'Mom bought a fur coat today!' my sister announced in the middle of dinner one evening. 'What?' Dad said."
~pg 216, Bending Toward the Sun by Leslie Gilbert-Lurie with Rita Lurie

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Sunday Salon- September 27, 2009

This was pretty busy week. Wednesday Kory and I went to see the Journey concert. Kory's slightly obsessed with the band. :) We have been dating for a little over 3 years and seen them 6 times! But they're a good group and its fun to see them play. On Thursday night, we had Open House at my school. Only 8 sets of parents (out of 19 kids) showed up. Thats the lowest number I've had yet. That doesn't bode well for a parent-involved year!

I finished and reviewed the following books this week:

I fulfilled items in the following challenges this week:
Paranormal 999 Challenge: Ghosts/Angels (could also be used as Psychics/Sensitives)

I am currently reading Bending Toward the Sun by Leslie Gilbert- Lurie and up next is Witch High by Denise Little.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Book Review- Demons Are A Ghoul's Best Friend

From the back cover:

M.J. Holliday has the gift of communicating with the dead, although sometimes it doesn't feel like such a great gift--especially when the ghost is wielding an ax.

No demon is too big for this medium.

Every school has its bullies, but Northelm Boarding School near Lake Placid, New York, houses a real whoppeer: a lean, mean, and deadly demonic ghost named Hatchet Jack. M.J.'s good friend Karen has asked her--along with partners Gilley and handsome Dr. Steven Sable--to send Hatchett Jack back to the portal he came from.

With renovations at the school starting in a week, there isn't much time for ghost hunting. Plus M.J. has to deal with an uncooperative dean, Gilley being paranormally preyed upon, and the tempting Dr. Delicious distracting her. But Hatchet Jack is M.J.'s biggest threat, and with a demoni disturbance of this magnitude she must show no mercy and see to it that Hatchet Jack gets detention for eternity--in hell.

Another great book by Victoria Laurie! The cast of characters that I loved from the previous book are back and I thoroughly enjoyed them once again. And I think that I liked this plot even better than the first book. Maybe because it was in a school setting and children were involved, but I'm not sure. Once again, with the ending, I had part of it figured out, but not all of it. And I can't wait to read the next one in the series, Ghouls Just Haunt To Have Fun!

I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5.

This book fulfills items in the following challenge:
Paranormal 999 Challenge: Ghosts/Angels (could also be used as Psychics/Sensitives)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Book Review- What's A Ghoul To Do?

I just finished What's A Ghoul To Do? by Victoria Laurie.

From the back cover:

M.J. Holliday's a medium with a message--her business is helping lost souls cross over to the other side. But what if the ghosts want to stay put?

M.J. Holliday has two rules. One, she and her partner, Gilley Gillespie, work alone; and two, she doesn't date clients. But when handsome Dr. Steven Sable needs her help, the specter-spotting slueth is ready to break both of her rules.

It seems the hot doc's grandfather jumped from the roof of the family lodge in an apparent suicide. But Dr. Sable knows in his bones it was foul play, and strange things keep happening at the lodge. He'll hire M.J. and Gilley--but only if he can come along. Hey, the duo needs the money--and looking at eye candy all weekend doesn't sound too bad either...

But once they reach the lodge, the three realize they're dealing with more ghosts than just Grandpa Sable's. And the spooks keep playing nasty tricks on their human visitors. To the untrained eye, it would appear that ghouls just want to have fun. But M.J. knows they're communicating their distress--and it's up to her to figure out why...

This was a cute, fun read. The author writes in a way that the book just flows and I read it really quickly.

I liked all of the characters--M.J., Dr. Sable, and Gilley. Gilley is the gay guy friend who is hilarious. M.J. seemed real--I don't know why I have such a bad idea about people who can see/help ghosts, but I do and even thought this is complete fiction, M.J. seemed believeable. And Dr. Sable, otherwise known as Dr. Delicious, just seems hot--and funny! I loved the way his language messed up all the English slang words! They had me laughing a lot!

I enjoyed the plot too. I sort of figured out what happened, but not completely. And there was a side story that I definitely didn't figure out. As for M.J. and Dr. Sable, the author left us hanging until the next book in the series, Demons Are A Ghoul's Best Friend. It's a good thing I'm reading that next!

I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5.

This book fulfills items in the following challenge:
Paranormal 999 Challenge: Ghosts/Angels (could also be used as Psychics/Sensitives)

The Friday 56- September 25, 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.

" ' What did the note say?' ' It was typed and it had two lines: Don't blame yourself. This is what I must do to make things right.' "
From What's A Ghoul To Do? by Victoria Laurie

Friday Fill-In- September 25, 2009

1. One week ago I was going out to eat Japenese food with Kory and another couple.
2. I always thought I would be married with 2 kids by now when I was young.
3. Mama told me you kill more flies with honey than with vinegar.
4. It's just between you and me.
5. Take your time is what I always tell my kindergarteners when they are coloring.
6. Hopefully this being tired all of the time will pass!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing, tomorrow my plans include watching the Gators beat Kentucky and Sunday, I want to go to the bridal show with one of my friends who is getting married!

Friday Finds- September 25, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Contests- September 21- September 28

Tales of a Ravenous Reader is giving away a copy of Demon Princess by Michelle Rowen. The contest ends on September 30.

Just Another Musing is giving away a copy of the first season of True Blood on DVD.

Pop Culture Junkie is giving away a copy of The Everafter by Amy Huntley. The contest ends on October 6.

Sharon Loves Books and Cats is giving away a copy of Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe. The contest ends on September 30.

The Book Butterfly is having a bunch of contests!:
Win a copy of The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa de la Cruz here. The contest ends on October 20.
Win a copy of Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe here. The contest ends on October 15.
Win a copy of Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble here. The contest ends on October 10.
Win a copy of Another Faust by Daniel & Dina Nayeri here. The contest ends on October 1.
Win a copy of My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman here. The contest ends on October 15.

Bree Despain is having a great contest! Grand Prize: 3 Egmont books of your choice (you can choose from this list but some may require a pre-order as not everything on the list has been released yet) 2nd Prize: Autographed copies of Shannon Hale's FOREST BORN and BOOK OF A THOUSAND DAYS 3rd Prize: An autographed copy of Michelle Zink's PROPHECY OF THE SISTERS. The contest ends on September 28.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday Wordle- September 22, 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- September 23, 2009

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

Secret Society
by Tom Dolby
Publication Release Date: September 29, 2009


Secrets, secrets are no fun. Secrets, secrets hurt someone. . . .

An eccentric new girl. A brooding socialite. The scion of one of New York's wealthiest families. A promising filmmaker. As students at the exclusive Chadwick School, Phoebe, Lauren, Nick, and Patch already live in a world most teenagers only dream about.

They didn't ask to be Society members. But when three of them receive a mysterious text message promising success and fame beyond belief, they say yes to everything—even to the harrowing initiation ceremony in a gritty warehouse downtown and to the ankh-shaped tattoo they're forced to get on the nape of their necks. Once they're part of the Society, things begin falling into place for them. Week after week, their ambitions are fulfilled. It's all perfect—until a body is found in Central Park with no distinguishing marks except for an ankh-shaped tattoo.

Tom Dolby makes his teen fiction debut with this riveting novel about a dangerous society so secret that once you get in, you can never get out.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Contest Winners- The Smart One and the Pretty One

According to

Martha Lawson

have each won a copy of The Smart One and the Pretty One by Claire LaZebnik! Please email your address to me at belle2211(at)yahoo(dot)com by Thursday at 8pm and I'll have your book mailed out to you!

Teaser Tuesday - September 22, 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:

" 'Thank you,' I said, then quickly got down to business. 'I know we talked a little on the phone, but what can you tell me about this house?' "
~pg 1, What's A Ghoul To Do? by Victoria Laurie

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mailbox Monday- September 21, 2009

Mailbox Monday: Here's what came in my mailbox this week:



Hex Appeal- Linda Wisdom--FrugalReader Book Ring

Just A Family Affair- Veronica Henry--FrugalReader Book Ring


Awesome Swag Bag from Michelle Zink for the Prophecy of the Sisters that included a cute shirt, red sparkly nail polish, a red flower pin, red temorary hair dye, pencils, candy, a candle, a signed poster, a magnet, a bookmark, 50 First Dates DVD, a gift card to Itunes, and a gift card to Hot Topic!!


Magic Bites (#1)- Ilona Andrews--bought at Half-Off Books

Princess Academy- Shannon Hale--bought at Half-Off Books