Friday, July 24, 2009

Review ~ A Band of Roses

"Irish kings still rule the Emerald Isle—
and a princess is in trouble!"

In a modern world where High King Brian Boru's descendants still reign, Crown Princess Talty Boru becomes a pawn in a high-stakes gamble for offshore oil. Exiled from Ireland, Talty hides her true identity to escape would-be assassins. Her travels range from Japan to an eleventh century Ireland, and though she unearths a miracle worth more than any oil well, she only wants to return to her family and Neil Boru, the adoptive cousin she secretly loves and cannot have—or so she thinks. Neil has a secret of his own, one that emerges as the Boru clan works with England's MI6 to thwart an invasion of Ireland and bring Talty home.

My grandparents are from Ireland, so I was excited to read Pat McDermott's alternative reality of Ireland. This book is very long, but you never even realize it. I was quickly wrapped up in this fascinating tale. A band of roses had adventure, love, twists & turns. Everything you could ask for!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Giveaway ~ Chicken Soup for the Soul Tough Times, Tough People

Let me tell you, I am going through some tough times. Seriously, it feel like it is never going to end. I don't want to bore anyone with all my problems, but I was excited to read another great title from Chicken Soup for the Soul. It is called Tough Times, Tough People.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tough Times, Tough People (Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC, June 2009, 978-1-935096-35-1, $14.95) reminds us that tough times won’t last, but tough people will. Tough People is all about overcoming adversity, pulling together, making do with less, facing challenges, and finding new joys in a simpler life. This new collection shares tales of people who have been laid off, lost their homes, and endured wrenching life changes, but discovered the underlying gifts in their new situations. More time at home with family, creative “staycations,” more satisfying job opportunities, and renewed gratitude for health and life are just a few of the silver linings these survivors have learned to cherish.

I'm not a huge fan of non-fiction books, even though I seem to read them a lot nowadays. I prefer fast paced thrillers that I make me forget my problems. However with the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, they are so easy to navigate, I tend to really enjoy them. I love that they are inspiring, written by regular every day people & that each story is short. That is my favorite part. With kids, it is so much easier to read a quick story, book mark it & go to the next chapter.

I have great news, I have 2 additional copies of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tough Times, Tough People: 101 Stories about Overcoming the Economic Crisis and Other Challenges to giveaway to my readers.

To enter, just leave a comment with why you want to win this book. Please leave your comment by August 5th

Extra Entries ~

All the usual bonus entries, computer is acting up so will have to put the actual list in later on :)

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Gamestop Family Night In

Gamestop is such a great place to buy your video games. My family goes there a lot, especially my brother! He buys all his new releases there. My family usually takes advantage of their pre-owned section :) I have kids, I need a deal, lol. With a lot of families staying home this summer, Gamestop has come decided to do a Family Night In program ~

To help ease the financial burden families are experiencing, GameStop is declaring Summer Tuesday nights from June 23-September 1 as Family Night In and extending special value offers. Families making purchases on Summer Tuesdays can take advantage of:

· An extra 20% trade-in credit on pre-owned games good toward the reserve/purchase of select Family Night In video game titles;

· A Family Fun sweepstakes – ten families each week will be awarded a $25 gift card redeemable at a food vendor or restaurant of their choice for dinner and a Brownie a la Mode® cake for dessert, courtesy of Baskin-Robbins; and

· Coupons for $3 off any Baskin-Robbins™ cake purchase of $15 or more, given to GameStop customers making purchases on Summer Tuesdays (while supplies last), OR to those who enter the Family Night In sweepstakes online.

Check it out! Watch for a future post on my coming up Game Night in!

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Guest Post from Author Carolyn Wada

Want to send a huge thank you to our guest poster today Carolyn Wada, author of For Cory's Sake.

The First-Day-Of-School-Talk, Conspiracy Version

My name is Jeffrey Bentler, and I grew up in a conspiracy. My native conspiracy was of the save-the-planet rather than the take-over-the-planet variety, but it still used the standard morally ambiguous tools of secrecy, lies, manipulation and so forth to protect itself long enough to accomplish its goal. And as ours was an intergenerational conspiracy, parents were required to train us in its ways starting from when we were quite young children. And as my siblings and I all attended what American Earth people call public school, the requirements of being in a conspiracy led to some rather interesting pre-school talks with Mom and Dad.

We got the standard talks about buddy systems and not helping strange adults look for “lost pets,” but we got some extras too. One of the most interesting and important ones was the “lightning rod talk.” Here's how I remember that one:

Dad told me that whenever I talked to anyone about what he did, I would have to use the word “rebel” and never ever ever ever ever use the word “lightning rod.” He started telling me this about half-a-year before I started school. (I've heard that it takes about 20 repetitions for information to permanently lodge itself in the brain, and I think Dad doubled this number because I was already, as a 6-year-old, showing signs of considerable Fluffreyness)

Being me, and also because I'd spent all my life hearing Dad referred to as a lightning rod without censorship, I of course had to know and ask, “Why?”

Dad was ready for my “Why?” (I was, after all, his 5th child) He drew a tall rectangle on a piece of paper, conveniently already beneath his hand, along with a grey crayon. He drew a few windows so I would know it was a building. He made a thin grey spike protrude lengthily upwards from the roof of the grey building.

He explained that the job of the lightning rod was to protect the building from harm.

He explained that the building was the conspiracy. The building, the conspiracy, was full of very important people doing very important things with computers and stuff. Things that would eventually save the planet, if they could only keep doing it long enough.

He explained that this particular building, the conspiracy, was invisible. Now that was very interesting to me. The conspiracy was an invisible building full of very important people who were also invisible because the building was invisible.

He explained that saying the word “lightning rod,” out there in the wide world, would make the building become visible. The Borrynzians would be able to see the building if they heard me say the word “lightning rod.”

He explained that if the Borrynzians saw the building, even a little bit, all the people inside it could get into trouble. Really big trouble. Such big trouble that they wouldn't be able to help Cory anymore. They wouldn't be able to save Cory. And I already knew we were Cory's only hope of being saved.

Dad continued to check in with me every so often until I started school, to make sure I understood why I couldn't call him a “lightning rod” out in the world. Then the big day rolled in, and Dad sent me off to school with big brother Terrence, a kiss, a hair ruffling, my Skycat lunch box, my yellow-and-blue backpack full of brand-new school supplies, and I'm sure a whole lot of nervousness in his heart.

Rebel. Rebel. Rebel. My dad is a rebel. Dad is a rebel. My dad is a rebel. I practiced saying “rebel” and never ever ever ever ever said the word “lightning rod” in public, ever. I eventually got the nuances of the rule, realizing that it was all right to say “lightning rod” at my dad's friend Gordan's house, for instance, or at Grandma's. But I remembered the stories I'd heard about Coryan children who needed me, and I kept the conspiracy invisible with my words.

And there you have one example of how a conspiracy childhood occasionally differed from a “normal” one . . .

Christmas in July Giveaway:

Detroit based Company just got in some new  ugly Christmas pajamas and onesies.  Why wait till the holiday c...