Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Firsts- October 30, 2009

Friday Firsts

The first line can make or break a reader’s interest. Just how well did the author pull you in to the story with their first sentence? To participate in this weekly book meme is extremely easy.
~Grab the book you are currently reading and open to the first page.
~Write down the first sentence in the first paragraph.
~Create a blog post with this information. (Make sure to include the title & author of the book you are using. Even an ISBN helps!)
" 'So you're really going to give up your tail and leave the sea?' "
~Wild Blue Under by Judi Fennell (ISBN 978-1-4022-2427-0)

Food 4 Thought Friday- October 30, 2009

Food 4 Thought Friday

What is your favorite Halloween costume that you ever wore? (add a photo if possible!) I don't have one on my computer, but I was 4 and my mom made me a Rainbow Brite was awesome!  She even made me a wig out of yarn and a wand.  In fact, I used to wear it to the store all of the time, even way after Halloween!
What are you going to do on Halloween? I am going to the Florida/Georgia football game (If I can buy tickets from someone up there!)
Are you a lover or hater of scary movies? I like them if I am watching them with my boyfriend
Midnight Snack
What kind of treats (or tricks) are you handing out this year?  I won't be in town, so nothing
Recipe of the Week (instead of your recipe for life, what is it just for this week?) I really can't think of anything this week

Friday Fill-In- October 30, 2009

1. It was a dark and stormy night, and I like thunderstorms.
2. They were getting rid of them, so I offered to take the books myself.
3. Rushing out, I forgot my umbrella so of course it rained.
4. Uhoh...I think I heard a howl!
5. Shhhh... I'm trying to read.
6. I'm hungry... give me something good to eat!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to driving up to Jacksonville and going to the Largest Cocktail Party, tomorrow my plans include going to the Florida/Georgia football game and Sunday, I want to read a bunch!

Friday Finds- October 30, 2009

Here are my finds for the week:

Identical- Ellen Hopkins--

Do twins begin in the womb?
Or in a better place?

Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family -- on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that's where their differences begin.

For Kaeleigh, she's the misplaced focus of Daddy's love, intended for a mother whose presence on the campaign trail means absence at home. All that Raeanne sees is Daddy playing a game of favorites -- and she is losing. If she has to lose, she will do it on her own terms, so she chooses drugs, alcohol, and sex.

Secrets like the ones the twins are harboring are not meant to be kept -- from each other or anyone else. Pretty soon it's obvious that neither sister can handle it alone, and one sister must step up to save the other, but the question is -- who?

Runaway-Meg Cabot--

Emerson Watts is on the run: from school, from work, from her family, from her friends, from herself.

With everyone she loves furious with her for something she can't explain, and nothing but the live Stark Angel fashion show on New Year's Eve to look forward to, Em's reached the end of her rope. . .what's the point of even going on?

But when she discovers the truth about Nikki's secret, she knows there's only one person she can turn to.

Will Christopher be able to put aside his personal feelings and help her expose her employer to the world? Is it even fair to get Christopher involved--since if he agrees, there's every chance that Stark Enterprises will try to have them both killed--this time, permanently?

Maybe it would be better for Em to just keep on running.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Book Review- After the Moment

I finished reading After the Moment by Garrett Freymann-Weyr a couple of weeks ago. This was a review for Luxury Reading. You can read my review here.

I gave this book a rating of 3/5.

FTC Disclosure: I was given this copy of After the Moment by Vera from Luxury Reading to review.

Contests- October 26- November 2

The Bibliophilic Book Blog is giving away a signed copy of Tempted P.C. & Kristin Cast. The contest ends on November 15. And I say sent you!

Wednesday Wordle- October 28, 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- October 28, 2009

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

The Mark
by Jen Nadol
Publication Release Date: January 19, 2010

From Jen Nadol's website:

Sixteen-year old Cassie Renfield has seen the mark since forever: a glow around certain people as if a candle were held behind their back.

The one time she pointed it out taught her not to do it again, so Cassie has kept quiet, considering its rare appearances odd, but insignificant. Until the day she watches a man die. Mining her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person's imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.

Cassie searches her past, her philosophy lessons, even her new boyfriend for answers, always careful to hide her secret. How does the mark work? Why her?

Most importantly, if you know today is someone's last, should you tell?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Book Review- The Demon King and I

I just finished reading The Demon King and I by Candace Havens.

From the back cover:

The four Caruthers sisters are heiresses with privilege, wealth, beauty, and brains. But these party girls have something extra as well. As the Guardian Keys, possessors of an ancient family secret, they hold the fate of the world in their hands--between cocktails.

Gallery owner Gillian Caruthers is a sensation in the art world-- in this world, that is. In her other world she's called the Assassin, a real knockout with an affinity for snuffing out dimension-jumpers who foul up her personal space. She never expected to join forces with one. But when a plague of murderous demons plunges the earth into darkness, she has no choice but to get a little help from a being who knows his stuff.

Arath, the demon king, isn't quite the scaly thing she expected. In face, he's kind of hot--and a bit of enigma, if his strange past is any indication. In solving that riddle, as well as finding the cause for the sudden influx of mystical creatures on Earth, Gillian may just have to work more closely with Arath than she'd anticipated. And somewhere between the light and the darkness they might discover they have more in common than they imagined...

This is the first book that I have read by Candace Havens, although I have all of the Charmed books. I enjoyed the book for the most part. There was a lot of talk about portals and different worlds and different demons that I often got lost and confused in. But I enjoyed the characters a lot. I really liked Gillian. I could sense a warmth from her and there was a scene where she goes through the Taco Bell, that while its an extremely tiny scene in the story, it made me like Gillian even more. And Arath sounded so hot! I could totally picture him as the way he was written and I liked that he had a hidden softer side to him. And I really liked the sisters. The next book in the series, Dragons Prefer Blondes, is centered around another one of the sisters. I look forward to reading it.

I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5.

This book fulfills items in the following challenge:
Paranormal 999 Challenge: Misc (Guardians)

Contest Winner- Hex in High Heels

According to


has won a copy of Hex in High Heels by Linda Wisdom! Please email your address to me at belle2211(at)yahoo(dot)com by Thursday at 5pm and I'll have your book mailed out to you!

Teaser Tuesday - October 27, 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:

"The murders had been almost identical in that their hearts were cut out and weird incisions had been made on the palms of their hands. With the question about the magic, there was a good chance the killer or killers might not be of the human variety."
~pg 168, The Demon King and I by Candace Havens

Blog Tour- Japan Took The J.A.P Out Of Me

I just finished reading Japan Took The J.A.P. Out Of Me by Lisa Fineberg Cook for a Pocket Books Blog Tour.

From the back cover:

From oy vey to arigato...

A hilarious and heartwarming memoir about a nice jewish girl from the west coast who learns to negotiate a new marriage, a new culture, and a new outlook on life when she moves to the far east.

Six days after an InStyle-worthy wedding in Los Angeles, Lisa Fineberg Cook left behind her little red Jetta, her manicurist of ten years, and her very best friend for the land of the rising sun. When her husband accepted a job teaching English in Nagoya, Japan, she imagined exotic weekend getaways, fine sushi dinners, and sake sojourns with glamorous expatriate friends. Instead, she's the only Jewish girl on public transportation, and everyone is staring. Lisa longs for regular mani/pedis, valet parking, and gimlets with her girlfriends, but for the next year, she learns to cook, clean, commute, and shop like the Japanese, all the while adjusting to another foreign concept -- marriage. Loneliness and frustration give way to new and unexpected friendships, the evolution of old ones, and a fresh understanding of what it means to feel different -- until finally a world she never thought she'd fit into begins to feel home-like, if not exactly like home.

When I first started reading this, I thought it would be fun to learn about the Japanese culture from an American girl standpoint. I was not expecting it to be as funny as it was! I was actually laughing outloud at many points (and getting strange looks from my boyfriend). Lisa Cook writes her story in such a way that I found myself totally engaged in her year in Japan. I felt like if I were the one in her shoes, I would be doing, saying, and feeling the exact way she did! I have always wanted to live abroad, but never thought about how many things I take for granted over here in the US are completely different in other cultures.

I also loved her husband, Peter. I can only hope that he is really as great in real life as he was in the book. He was totally supportive and understanding of how she was feeling and I loved the way their relationship was!

And I loved the ending. I only wish that I could have read more about her second year in Japan! What a great memoir!

I gave this book a rating of 4.5/5!

Visit these other sites on the blog tour:
The Life (And Lies) of an Inanimate Flying Object:
Libby’s Library News:
Reading at the Beach:

* This book was provided for review by Pocket Books

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mailbox Monday- October 26, 2009

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


Chocolate: A Love Story- Max Brenner--from Hachette Book Group

City of Glass #3- Cassandra Clare--FrugalReader Book Ring

Seraph of Sorrow (Jennifer Scales #4)- MaryJanice Davidson --FrugalReader Book Ring

Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires #1)- Chloe Neill--PaperbackSwap

Blue Moon- Alyson Noel--Paperback Swap

Explorer X-Alpha- LM Preston--review request from author

The Time Traveler’s Wife- Audrey Niffenegger—TitleTrader

Dune Road- Jane Green --FrugalReader Book Ring

Japan took the J.A.P Out Of Me- Lisa Fineberg Cook--review for Pocket Books Blog Tour

Before I Die- Jenny Downham--Bookmooch

You’re The One That I Haunt- Terri Garey --FrugalReader Book Ring

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas- John Boyne—Bookmooch

Perfect You-Elizabeth Scott- Bookmooch

Breathless-Lurlene McDaniel—Bookmooch

If I Stay- Gayle Forman—Bookmooch


This Little Mommy Stayed Home- Samantha Wilde --FrugalReader Book Ring

Never Bite a Boy on the First Date- Tamara Summers--PaperbackSwap

After-Amy Efaw—Paperback Swap

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Sunday Salon- October 25, 2009

Not too much happened this past week. I went to Halloween Horror Nights with some friends on Wednesday night. The past couple of years I have gone and those years I felt like I was getting too old to go--it was being over-run with teenagers. But I think since we went on a school night this year, there wasn't so many kids and I really enjoyed myself.

I finished and reviewed the following books this week:

Hex Appeal by Linda Wisdom

Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani

I fulfilled items in the following challenges this week:
Paranormal 999 Challenge: Ghosts (can also be used as witches, vampires, were-animals)
A to Z Reading Challenge: X

I am currently reading The Demon King and I by Candace Havens and up next is Wild Blue Under by Judi Fennell.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Book Review-Viola in Reel Life

I just finished reading Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani for a review for TeensReadToo.

Viola Chesterson has been "dumped" in the Prefect Academy for Young Women in South Bend Indiana--a long way from home in Brooklyn, New York. Her freshman year of high school seems like it's going to be a terrible one. But luckily, with the help of her 3 roommates and the video camera that she always carries around with her, she not only survives the year (and her first boyfriend), but learns that sometimes family can be more than just the people you're related too.

I enjoyed reading this book. It was fun to read about what boarding school life would be like for a normal kid, not just a rich one. I liked all of the roommates--when I first started the book, I expected them to not get along and to dislike the roommates. But the author took a different route and made all of the girls nice and get along. I also liked the whole film aspect of the story. I thought the short film Viola makes at the end was a great idea. The only thing I didn't like was sometimes Viola seemed a little immature. I know that she was only fourteen years old, but some of the things she thought and said just seemed a little young for her age. Overall, this was a fun, young adult read!

I gave this book a rating of 3/5.

This book was provided by TeensReadToo for a book review.

Blog Tour- Over the Holidays

Today is the blog tour for Over the Holidays by Sandra Harper. I haven't received the book yet so I am just going to post book info and other stops on the tour. I will post my review after I get the book and read it.

It's only December 1, and Vanessa Clayton has been dreading Christmas since she spotted tinseled trees at her local mall in September. Thankfully, she and her husband, JT, can't afford to drag their twin boys across the country to New England for the annual celebration at her stuffy sister-in-law Patience's home. Not that Vanessa has prepared a proper Christmas for her family in years, and she has less time than ever since she agreed to consult on the script of a local play. Her older sister, Thea, is no help -- she'd rather make art and flirt with surfers than babysit her nine-year-old nephews. Then Patience drops a holiday stress bomb: Her family will come to California instead.

In between "baking" cinnamon rolls for the school potluck and overbearing Patience testing her patience, Vanessa can't stop thinking about the difficult but charming playwright at work. Meanwhile, Patience's teenage daughter, Libby, obsesses over a college boy she has met by the pool, and Thea searches desperately for the meaning of Christmas -- for her latest installation, of course. As their holiday plans go comically awry, these four women discover the true spirit of the season is hidden in every festive surprise.

Visit these other stops on the blog tour:
The Life (And Lies) of an Inanimate Flying Object:
Me, My Book and the Couch:
Libby’s Library News:
Books, Movies, and Chinese Food:
One Person’s Journey Through A World of Books:
Reading at the Beach:
Book Reviews by Buuklvr81:

Friday Firsts- October 23, 2009

The first line can make or break a reader’s interest. Just how well did the author pull you in to the story with their first sentence? To participate in this weekly book meme is extremely easy.
~Grab the book you are currently reading and open to the first page.
~Write down the first sentence in the first paragraph.
~Create a blog post with this information. (Make sure to include the title & author of the book you are using. Even an ISBN helps!)

"You would not want to be me."
~Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani (ISBN 078-0-06-145102-7)

Food 4 Thought Friday- October 23, 2009

What was your high and low of the week? My high was watching the Gators squeak by with a win and my low is a tie between having a cold and finding out one of my kindergarten student has the H1N1 virus/swine flu!
What is something you used to do religiously that you no longer do? watching a lot of movies from we have so many DVRd shows that we have to catch up on
What is something you now do that you never in your wildest dreams thought you would be doing? teaching--I grew up saying I would never be a teacher and now I love it!
Midnight Snack
How much do you enjoy Halloween? It's okay...I think I will love it again when I finally have kids and get to see their excitement
Recipe of the Week (instead of your recipe for life, what is it just for this week?)If you stay out late in the rain, you will probably come down with a cold (I know this is often said to be a myth, but it happens quite often to me!)

Friday Fill-In- October 23, 2009

1. The crickets sing, but I don't hear them in my condo.
2. I want to be with you, wherever you are.
3. I want to get far away from the Swine Flue (I just found out one of kindergarten students has it).
4. I wanted to be a famous actress; this was a dream.
5. But as for me I have the more realistic job of kindergarten teacher.
6. Wilmington, Delaware is originally where I come from
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing, tomorrow my plans include sleeping in and watch Gator football and Sunday, I want to find a way to not have to work so early!

Friday Finds- October 23, 2009

Here are my finds for the week:

Crash Into Me- Albert Borris

Owen, Frank, Audrey, and Jin-Ae have one thing in common: they all want to die. When they meet online after each attempts suicide and fails, the four teens make a deadly pact: they will escape together on a summer road trip to visit the sites of celebrity suicides...and at their final destination, they will all end their lives. As they drive cross-country, bonding over their dark impulses, sharing their deepest secrets and desires, living it up, hooking up, and becoming true friends, each must decide whether life is worth living--or if there's no turning back.

In a Heartbeat- Loretta Ellsworth

When a small mistake costs sixteen-year-old Eagan her life during a figure-skating competition, she leaves many things unreconciled, including her troubled relationship with her mother. From her vantage point in the afterlife, Eagan reflects back on her memories, and what she could have done differently, through her still-beating heart.When fourteen-year-old Amelia learns she will be getting a heart transplant, her fear and guilt battle with her joy at this new chance at life. And afterwards when she starts to feel different--dreaming about figure skating, craving grape candy--her need to learn about her donor leads her to discover and explore Eagan's life, meeting her grieving loved ones and trying to bring the closure they all need to move on.Told in alternating viewpoints, "In a Heartbeat " tells the emotional and compelling story of two girls sharing one heart.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Nanny Returns

If you enjoyed The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus then you're in luck!

The two authors will be running a sneak peek excerpt from the highly-anticipated follow-up, Nanny Returns, on their website on November 2nd on

In addition, they just launched a fun new contest on their website for readers to choose new cover art for their NY Times bestseller Dedication. Five voters will be chosen at random to receive an advance signed copy of Nanny Returns. The contest ends October 31st.

Nanny Returns will be in bookstores on December 15th.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday Wordle- October 21, 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- October 21, 2009

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

Chasing Brooklyn
by Lisa Schroeder
Publication Release Date: January 5, 2010

Restless souls and empty hearts.

Brooklyn can't sleep. Her boyfriend, Lucca, died only a year ago, and now her friend Gabe has just died of an overdose. Every time she closes her eyes, Gabe's ghost is there waiting for her. She has no idea what he wants or why it isn't Lucca visiting her dreams.

Nico can't stop. He's always running, trying to escape the pain of losing his brother, Lucca. But when Lucca's ghost begins leaving messages, telling Nico to help Brooklyn, emotions come crashing to the surface.

As the nightmares escalate and the messages become relentless, Nico reaches out to Brooklyn. But neither of them can admit that they're being haunted. Until they learn to let each other in, not one soul will be able to rest.