Friday, July 31, 2009

Book Contest- The Impostor's Daughter

Thanks to Hachette Book Group, I have 5 copies of The Impostor's Daughter by Laurie Sandell to give away!

Laurie Sandell grew up in awe (and sometimes in terror) of her larger-than-life father, who told jaw-dropping tales of a privileged childhood in Buenos Aires, academic triumphs, heroism during Vietnam, friendships with Kissinger and the Pope. As a young woman, Laurie unconsciously mirrors her dad, trying on several outsized personalities (Tokyo stripper, lesbian seductress, Ambien addict). Later, she lucks into the perfect job--interviewing celebrities for a top women's magazine. Growing up with her extraordinary father has given Laurie a knack for relating to the stars. But while researching an article on her dad's life, she makes an astonishing discovery: he's not the man he says he is--not even close. Now, Laurie begins to puzzle together three decades of lies and the splintered person that resulted from them--herself.

+1 Post a comment saying that you would like to be entered (make sure to leave your e-mail address or your comment won't count!)
+1 Post about the contest on your blog and leave the link in your comment
+1 Become a follower (or if you already follow me, let me know!)
~~For each thing that you do, please leave a separate comment or you will only be entered once!!
~~The contest will end on Sunday August 9th at 11:59pm
~~This contest is open to US and Canada only, no PO Boxes.

Contests- July 27- August 3

Laura's Crammed Bookshelf is giving away 2 copies of Geektastic. The contest ends on August 14.

Steph Su Reads is giving away a copy of And Then Everything Unraveled by Jennifer Sturman. The contest ends on August 20.

The Friday 56- July 31, 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.

"I roll them off to the side and throw a large latch around them to hold them in place. About twenty years ago, Grandpop installed the gates because the insurance company told him they would raise his rates if he didn't."
From Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani

Friday FIll-In- July 31, 2009

1. It's time for Kory to get off work.
2. My couch; it's not a bad place for curling up with a book while Kory watches tv.
3. I must be lazy since I haven't done much in the past couple of days
4. Being with loved ones is the best thing I have ever known.
5. My summer is simply flying by.
6. The last time I laughed really loudly was probably at something Kory said.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to reading, tomorrow my plans include relaxing and Sunday, I want to drive home to Orange Park so I can have Lasik done on Monday!

Friday Finds- July 31, 2009

Book Review- My Soul To Take

Last night I finished reading My Soul To Take by Rachel Vincent.

From the back cover:

Something is wrong with Kaylee Cavanaugh

She doesn't see dead people, but...

She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next...

Wow! First I just have to say Wow! This book was amazing! It took a couple of chapters for me to get into it, but once I did, I sat and read it all the way through! This was a new area of the paranormal world for me. I had never read or heard anything like it but I really enjoyed it.

I enjoyed all of the characters. I liked Nash and his relationship with Kaylee (I wouldn't mind a guy who can calm me down like he does when I get all wound up!) And I loved how Emma was beautiful but she was so down to earth.

There were several sections in the book that made me smile and several that made me tear up. I don't want to say too much without giving it away...this was just an amazing story! I am going to go back and read the free prequel to the story called My Soul to Lose which you can download here for free.

I will be having a guest blog by Rachel Vincent on Sunday so be on the lookout for that.

I gave this book a rating of 5/5 (the first 5 on my blog!!)
This book fullfilled items in the following challenge:

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rating Update

I am now doing half points for my rating. I realize I should probably go back and make some of my books a 3.5 rating, but I'm too lazy to do that :)

Book Review- Thirteen Reasons Why

I finished reading Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher a couple of days ago.

From the back cover:

Clay Jensen doesn't want anything to do with the tapes Hanna Baker made. Hannah is dead. Her secrets should be buried with her.

Then Hannah's voice tells Clay that his name is on her tapes--and that he is, in some way, responsible for her death.

All through the night, Clay keeps listening. He follows Hannah's recorded words throughout his small town...and what he discovers changes his life forever.

Suicide is a very difficult topic. I expected to feel really sad and melancholy while reading this book. Instead, I didn't feel much at all. This might seem bad, but the author didn't make me feel any warmth from Hannah and I didn't feel sympathy for Clay. And honestly, the way Hannah was written, I don't think I would be friends with her either.

At first, I had a hard time going back and forth between the characters of Hannah and Jay. Both were written in first person. The difference was Hanna was written in italicized letters. I would find myself confused and then would look back and realize that the characters had switched. About halfway through the book I got used to it though.

I don't know--I guess I really expected more out of this book. I wanted to be sad and really feel for both Clay and Hannah but I just didn't. The only thing I really got out of this book was that your actions affect others, even when you might not realize that they do.

I gave this book a rating of 2.5/5.

Book Review- Fifteen Minutes of Shame

I finished reading Fifteen Minutes of Shame by Lisa Daily last night.

From the back cover:

What happens when America's favorite dating expert finds out on national television that her husband is cheating? Darby Vaughn's fifteen minutes of fame quickly spin into fifteen minutes of shame: Not only is the most humiliating moment of her life spashed across every supermarket tabloid and celebrity gossip show, but also her reputation as America's love guru is shot.

Her fans are turning on her, her book sales have tanked, and her love life is fodder for late-night television. If Darby breaks her own zero-tolerance policy for cheaters and takes her philandering husband back, her career will be over. But if she sticks to her own rules, she'll lose the only man she's ever loved.

This was a fun read! There was parts that made me really sad and other parts that made me laugh out loud. I really liked the character of Darby. I felt for her--about her life growing up and I identified with her--about her love cheating on her. And I loved how she wanted custody of "her kids" even though they weren't hers by birth. There are many stories about lost love, but I'm not sure that I have read one where the main character fought for kids that weren't hers. I enjoyed reading the little dating tips at the end of each chapter--it was a cute addition. And I really liked the ending. Part of it I expected, and part of it wasn't what I expected, but it definitely made sense and it left me happy.

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday Wordle- July 29, 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- July 29, 2009

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

by P.C. & Kristin Cast
Publication Release Date: October 27, 2009


So…you’d think after banishing an immortal being and a fallen High Priestess, saving Stark’s life, biting Heath, getting a headache from Erik, and almost dying, Zoey Redbird would catch a break. Sadly, a break is not in the House of Night school forecast for the High Priestess in training and her gang. Juggling three guys is anything but a stress reliever, especially when one of them is a sexy Warrior who is so into protecting Zoey that he can sense her emotions. Speaking of stress, the dark force lurking in the tunnels under the Tulsa Depot is spreading, and Zoey is beginning to believe Stevie Rae could be responsible for a lot more than a group of misfit red fledglings. Aphrodite’s visions warn Zoey to stay away from Kalona and his dark allure, but they also show that it is Zoey who has the power to stop the evil immortal. Soon it becomes obvious that Zoey has no choice: if she doesn’t go to Kalona he will exact a fiery vengeance on those closest to her. Will Zoey have the courage to chance losing her life, her heart, and her soul? Find out in the next spectacular installment in the House of Night Series, Tempted.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Book Review- The Overnight Socialite

I just finished reading The Overnight Socialite by Bridie Clark.

Lucy Jo is just a normal mid-west girl with big dreams. She moved to New York City to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a fashion designer. But life is rough. She is doing a menial job in a designer sweatshop. Just when she thinks she might have an opening to pursue her dreams, disaster strikes. She's ready to give it all up and go home when she meets Wyatt.

Wyatt Hayes had just gotten out of relationship with the top socialite Cornelia. He needs to prove to himself and the world that he still has it and decides to transform Lucy into an "It" girl. He trains her in manners, sets her up on an exercise program to get her a fit figure, and teaches her the ways of the high society. And just when Lucy thinks she might get another chance to pursue her dream, distater strikes once again. Will Lucy get her dream, or will she pack it up and move back home to Minnesota.

This was the typical rags to riches plot. But the whole story definitely had a unique side to it. I loved all of the characters- Wyatt and Lucy, and Eloise and Trip. I was rooting for Lucy--I wanted her to come out on top! And I loved that Wyatt seemed changed. I could identify with Eloise and her feelings about her relationship with Trip. And I like the ending between those two, even though it may not be the happiest. The only thing I can say that I didn't like about the story was that I wish it was longer. I would love to know more about what happened between Wyatt and Lucy. This was a really cute, fun, high-society story!

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.

Teaser Tuesday - July 28, 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:

"It was more than the post coitum triste she often felt after coming down from the high of a manificent social triumph. Last night's coup was her greatest ever."
~pg 256, The Overnight Socialite by Bridie Clark

Monday, July 27, 2009

Contest Winners- Julie & Julia

According to

Dawn M

have each won a copy of Julie & Julia by Julie Powell! Email your address to me at belle2211 AT yahoo DOT com by Wednesday at 6pm and I will have your copy sent out to you!

Thanks to Anna at Hachette Book Group for the giveaway!

*Andi already won a copy so I drew another name

Mailbox Monday- July 27, 2009

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


Best Friends Forever- Jennifer Weiner ---duplicate copy already did a review

Rebel Angels (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy #2)- Libba Bray--bought

The Slide- Kyle Beachy--Frugal Reader book ring

Friday Nights- Joanna Trollope--FrugalReader Book Ring

Red Headed Stepchild- Jaye Wells--FrugalReader Book Ring

Blog Tour- First Night

I am happy to host the blog tour for First Night by Tom Weston for Pump Up Your Book Promotions.


Alexandra O'Rourke, aged 16, is not a happy camper. It's New Year's Eve. She should be partying in San Diego with her friends, but instead she is stuck in Boston, with just her younger sister, Jackie, for company. As if that wasn't bad enough, she is being haunted by Sarah, the ghost of a seventeenth century Puritan. Oh, and there is the small matter of the charge of witchcraft to be sorted out.

Armed only with big shiny buttons and a helping of Boston Cream Pie, the sisters set out to restore the Natural Order. Can Alex solve the mystery of the Devil's Book? Can Jackie help Sarah beat the sorcery rap? And can they do it before the fireworks display at midnight? Because this is First Night - and this is an Alex and Jackie Adventure.


This was a cute story. I really liked the characters. I found a little bit of myself in both Alex and Jackie--at times I can be moody like Alex and other times I can be outgoing like Jackie. And I really liked the character of Sarah--I felt for her. And it was fun to read about Sarah not understanding the culture of today. While you are reading it, you can tell that the book was very well researched. I think people from Boston would definitely enjoy the book. I think there might have been a little too much history involved for me, as I found myself spacing out during some of it. And I had a hard time following the end--what happened to Sarah and why, but overall I enjoyed it.

I gave this book a rating of 3/5.

This book fullfilled items in the following challenges:
Paranormal 999 Challenge: Ghosts


“And to drink?” asked the waitress.

“I’ll have a beer, if I may?” replied Sarah.

“Can I see some ID please?” asked the waitress. “Sorry, but we have to check.”

“She’s just joking,” interrupted Alex. “She’ll have some water, like us.”

“Surely, you are not going to drink the water?” asked Sarah. This world differed so greatly from her world, but even these people must know the danger of drinking the water?

“Yes, why not?”

“Do you want to die of the colic or worms of the brain?”

“We have something called sanitation now,” sniped Alex. “If you’d had it in the seventeenth century, you might still be alive.”

“Or dead!” offered Jackie.

“Or dead, yes, absolutely,” amended Alex.


Originally from England, Tom now hangs his hat in Boston, Massachusetts; with occasional spells in such faraway places as London and Luxembourg. Tom has a degree in Computer Science, and he claims to speak three languages: English, American, and Visual Basic. Before turning his hand to fiction, Tom had a successful career as the CEO of a systems consulting company, conference speaker, and writer of industry articles and business books.

As well as the novel, First Night, Tom has also written the screenplay, Fission, based on the true story of scientist, Lise Meitner, and the race for the atomic bomb. While Fission has yet to find a home in Hollywood, it garnered enough critical acclaim, including being named as a finalist at the London Independent Film Festival, that Tom was encouraged to keep on writing, resulting in his latest work which is, of course, First Night.

You can learn more about Tom and First Night by going to his website:

Thanks to Jaime at Pump Up Your Book Promotions for this opportunity.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Sunday Salon- July 26, 2009

For the last half of the week, Kory and I have been on vacation in Williamsburg, Virginia. Both of my parents grew up here and a lot of my extended family still lives here. We went to Busch Gardens on Thursday and Water Country USA on Friday. Yesterday he met a bunch of my extended family. I hadn't seen them in a while. It's amazing how much kids grow up! The little ones that I remember carrying around like they were my own are now in high school and college. Man do I feel old!

I finished and reviewed the following books this week:

I fullfilled items for the following challenges this week:
Paranormal 999 Challenge: Vampires, Magicians

I am currently reading The Overnight Socialite by Bridie Clark and up next is My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Contests- July 20-July 27

Carrie's YA Bookshelf is giving away a copy of Geektastic. The contest ends on August 6.

Fantastic Book Review is giving away a copy of Coffeehouse Angel (ARC) and Fortune's Magic Farm both by Suzanne Selfors. The contest ends on August 7.

Pop Culture Junkie is giving away a copy of The Sweet Life of Stella Madison by Lara M. Zeises. The contest ends on August 6.

Book Giveaways is giving away a copy of Just One Wish by Janette Rallison. The contest ends on July 28.

The Friday 56- July 24, 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.

"The sentiment evolved into an idea just beyond the level of consciousness. The idea bloomed into a voice, little more than a feeling, less than a whisper."
From First Night by Tom Weston

Food 4 Thought Friday- July 24, 2009

What is something that you still want to squeeze in this summer that you haven't yet? reading more books!
What happened this week that was unique from the rest? I introduced Kory to my extended family
Where were you born? What is something unique about this city? Wilmington, DE...I don't know about the city, but I was born in the first state
Midnight Snack
Where would you like to be right at this moment? eating popcorn, reading a book
Recipe of the Week (instead of your recipe for life, what is it just for this week?) Life's not always fair

Friday FIll-In- July 24, 2009

1. Not getting a review done in time is not the end of the world.
2. Sitting here, listening to the sound of rain falling, I love curling up with a good book.
3. Flavored popcorn tastes so good!
4. Sometimes, putting others first is not something I want to do, but I do it anyways.
5. A sunset is breathtaking, really.
6. Well, maybe there is hope for me yet.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to eating dinner with my grandparents, tomorrow my plans include introducing Kory to more of my extended family and Sunday, I want to make that will be, flying back home to Orlando!

Friday Finds- July 24, 2009