Monday, August 24, 2009

Review and Giveaway - Dancing With Ana by Nicole Barker

Dancing With Ana by Nicole Barker

rating: 5.0/5.0

Check out my interview with Nicole Barker here.

Book Description:

Beth is a lucky girl…
She comes from a loving family. She has three best friends. She loves to surf and lives five minutes from the beach. She also recently discovered that the boy she’s grown up with has the most amazing green eyes…Beth has every reason to smile. Every reason to be happy. Every reason to feel blessed.
Then why is she sticking her fingers down her throat?

Sixteen year old Beth Baxter’s life merely resembles the one she’s always known. Her father has left. She is falling for Jeremy Duscana and the diet she started has
somehow turned into an obsession. Yet her three best friends remain the same, always there for her.
But even their love can’t save her from herself.

Dancing With Ana. A story about the journey to acceptance of one’s own reality, the incredible bond that exists between friends and a love that truly endures all things.
What can I say about this book. First I read it in one sitting. As in told my DH to wait to go out to eat so I could finish it. I honestly couldn't put it down. Second, I have often said in reviews that the characters feel real in a book. That's how Beth and her friends are in this book. Ms. Barker has the teenagers pegged, nothing sounded contrived, all their actions made sense in the context of them being teenagers. The problems, conflicts, emotions and actions were very typical of teenagers. I also like the fact that she used different types of girls for the four best friends. These aren't your cookie-cutter, all the teenagers are the same, they all four have different backgrounds, different problems and different ways of dealing with teenage life. There is a healthy way and a not healthy way, but none of it seems preachy. The reader just accepts each girl for who and what she is. There is no judgement, just learning about the girls and enjoying watching them grow and learn as teenagers.

I don't know anymore to really say than that - it is an excellent book. It can be read by young adults and older adults just the same, it has something in it for each of us. And it's able to do that while being an entertaining story. I am definitely looking forward to reading Nicole Barker's next book.

Binding: Paperback
On-sale Date: August 1, 2009
Publisher: Golden Road Press, LLC
Pages: 170

Also I would like to give away my copy of this book, which was kindly provided by the author. I will open the contest today through September 7th. US and Canada residents only please. Please enter by:

  1. Commenting on my blog, make sure I have a way to contact you. (+1)
  2. Become a blog follower or let me know if you are already a follower (+1)
  3. Answer this question: What do you consider to be a main issue to teenage girls today? (+1)
  4. Answer this question: What is a good interview question to ask an author? (+1)
  5. Tweet about this review and giveaway, use @cfulcher in the tweet so I can find it (+1/per day)
  6. Follow me on Twitter (or let me know if you are a current follower) (+1)
  7. Blog about this contest and let me know the link (sidebar or post is fine) (+1)
So there you go - 7 ways to get an entry into this contest. You can leave them in separate posts or one post, it doesn't matter, I will make sure you get your entries, just make sure to let me know what you do.

Other reviews (if you have a review up on this book, let me know and I will link to it):
Kay's Bookshelf
Bloody Bad
A Few Minutes with Michael
Merry Weather
The Maiden's Court
Tales of a Book Addict
Melody's Reading Corner
Crazy for Books
Barney's Book Blog

Win: The Heretic Queen and Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran

Thanks to Michelle Moran I have one copy each of two books to giveaway to lucky readers of this blog. Read more below and also visit Michelle's website for more information. I can't tell you how excited I was to be contacted by the author to review the book and host the giveaways.

First I have a copy of her September 15th release Cleopatra's Daughter. I can't wait to receive my copy for review as I am already hearing lots of wonderful things about this book.

The marriage of Marc Antony and Cleopatra is one of the greatest love stories of all time, a tale of unbridled passion with earth-shaking political consequences. Feared and hunted by the powers in Rome, the lovers choose to die by their own hands as the triumphant armies of Antony’s vengeful rival, Octavian, sweep into Egypt. Their three orphaned children are taken in chains to Rome, but only two—the ten-year-old twins Selene and Alexander—survive the journey. Delivered to the household of Octavian’s sister, the siblings cling to each other and to the hope that they will return one day to their rightful place on the throne of Egypt. As they come of age, they are buffeted by the personal ambitions of Octavian’s family and court, by the ever-present threat of slave rebellion, and by the longings and desires deep within their own hearts.

The fateful tale of Selene and Alexander is brought brilliantly to life in Cleopatra’s Daughter. Recounted in Selene’s youthful and engaging voice, it introduces a compelling cast of historical characters:

Octavia: the emperor Octavian’s kind and compassionate sister, abandoned by Marc Antony for Cleopatra
Livia: Octavian’s bitter and jealous wife
Marcellus: Octavian’s handsome, flirtatious nephew and heir-apparent
Tiberius: Livia’s sardonic son and Marcellus’s great rival for power
Juba: Octavian’s ever-watchful aide, whose honored position at court has far-reaching effects on the lives of the young Egyptian royals

Selene’s narrative is animated by the concerns of a young girl in any time and place —the possibility of finding love, the pull of friendship and family, and the pursuit of her unique interests and talents. While coping with the loss of both her family and her ancestral kingdom, Selene must find a path around the dangers of a foreign land. Her accounts of life in Rome are filled with historical details that vividly capture both the glories and horrors of the time. She dines with the empire’s most illustrious poets and politicians, witnesses the creation of the Pantheon, and navigates the colorful, crowded marketplaces of the city where Roman-style justice is meted out with merciless authority.

Based on meticulous research, Cleopatra’s Daughter is a fascinating portrait of Imperial Rome and of the people and events of this glorious and tumultuous period in human history. Emerging from the shadows of history, Selene, a young woman of irresistible charm and preternatural intelligence, will capture your heart.

Read an Excerpt
Watch the Trailer

Second is The Heretic Queen, now out in paperback.

n ancient Egypt, a forgotten princess must overcome her family’s past, and remake history.

The winds of change are blowing through Thebes. A devastating palace fire has killed the 18th dynasty’s royal family—all with the exception of Nefertari, niece of the reviled former queen Nefertiti. The girl’s deceased family has been branded as heretical, and no one in Egypt will speak their names. A relic of a previous reign, Nefertari is pushed aside, an unimportant princess left to run wild in the palace. But all of this changes when she is taken under the wing of pharaoh’s aunt, and brought to the Temple of Hathor where she is educated in a manner befitting a future queen.

Soon Nefertari catches the eye of the crown prince, and despite her family’s history, they fall in love and wish to marry. Yet all of Egypt opposes this union between the rising star of a new dynasty and the fading star of an old, heretical one. While political adversity sets the country on edge, Nefertari becomes the wife of Ramesses the Great. Destined to be the most powerful pharaoh in Egypt, he is also the man who must confront the most famous exodus in history.

Read an Excerpt

So, how can you win one of these wonderful books? Here's how:

  1. Comment on this post that you would like to win Cleopatra's Daughter, The Heretic Queen or both. Please make sure I have a way to reach you (either leave your email or login through Blogger)
  2. Tell me if you have read any of Michelle Moran's books and what you thought of them.
  3. Follow me on my blog (through Blogger, any subscription service or email)
  4. Follow me on Twitter.
  5. Tweet about this giveaway (one entry per day).
  6. Blog about this giveaway (sidebar posts are fine).
This giveaway is straight from Michelle Moran through my blog and she says it's open to everywhere.

The giveaway will run through September 7th.

Thank you so much Michelle for offering this contest to my readers! Review will be coming as soon as I get Cleopatra's Daughter in my hands and get it read - I cannot wait!

Mailbox Monday - August 24th

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. To see this weeks list of participants go here. Click on any of the book pictures to learn more about the books.

ARC/Review Copies of:

And from Paperbackswap I received: