Friday, April 30, 2010

April Summary

April Summary 

  1. Asking for Trouble by Sandra Byrd - read 4/6 - rating 4.5/5.0
  2. Sworn to Protect by DiAnn Mills - read 4/8
  3. A Most Improper Magick - read 4/10
  4. White Cat by Holly Black - read 4/10
  5. Double Love by Francine Pascal - read 4/11
  6. Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze - read 4/15 
  7. Too Close to Home by Lynette Eason - read 4/17
  8. True Blue by David Baldacci - read 4/18
  9. Hush by Kate White - read 4/20
  10. Love Will Keep Us Together by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt - read 4/21
  11. Flaherty's Crossing by Kaylin McFerrin - read 4/22
  12. Secrets of the Playboy's Bride by Leanne Banks - read 4/24
  13. Caught by Harlan Coben - read 4/25
  14. Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves - read 4/30 
Review books:10
Library Books: 2

Books from my bookshelf: 2

Progress in Challenges: 
So how was your reading month?

Want to check out what others read in April - check out Mr. Linky at Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings Month in Review post .



It's time for another winners post.  I had several giveaways end over the last few days so here goes.

For the National Library Week giveaway, the winner is:

Thanks to everyone who commented on this one - I loved seeing how each of you love the library and now I don't feel alone with the amount of books I request and check out.

For My Own Personal Soap Opera by Libby Malin, the winners are:
Helen Kiker (already won at another site)
Cheryl F
Freda Mans

For The Darcy Cousins by Monica Fairview, the winners are:

Beautiful People by Wendy Holden, the winners are:
Simply Stacie

Stay tuned for more giveaways in the coming weeks.

Giveaway: PACE: The 12-Minute Fitness Revolution by Al Sears, MD

PACE: The 12-minute Fitness Revolution by Al Sears, MD
Publisher:Wellness Research and Consulting
Publish Date: February 1, 2010
Paperback,  298 pages

About the Book:

PACE is the only doctor-designed program proven to help you reclaim a young, lean and effortlessly energetic body in as little as twelve minutes - guaranteed! PACE is a growing revolution. It's already practised by thousands of people in dozens of countries around the world. PACE overturns years of failed ideas and exercise advice. "PACE" upends current exercise trends by revealing their flaws and offering a more effective, more natural way of moving our bodies. This book will show you how to replace the flawed and ineffective theories the have been mistakenly accepted without proof with what really works. Join the PACE revolution and your body will soon become naturally strong and resilient. You'll join the cutting-edge group of thousands who now feel energised, motivated, and ready to take on any challenge. And the best news is that joining the PACE revolution takes on average only twelve minutes per day. PACE is the only doctor-designed program proven to help you reclaim a young, lean and energetic body in as little as 12 minutes - guaranteed!

Megan Renart of Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists is giving away 2 copies of PACE: The 12-minute Fitness Revolution by Al Sears, MD to the readers of this blog. Simply comment to enter.  Additional entries for following (rss, email, blogger, networked blogs, etc.), tweeting (1 per day), posting on your blog (sidebar is fine).  Please comment for each entry - it makes the accounting easier.   Giveaway open to US/Canada only, no PO boxes.  Don't worry if you are first or last - I'm starting to randomize all entries before using to draw a number - so it's more like drawing a name out of a hat.  Giveaway runs through May 10, 2010.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Book Review: White Cat by Holly Black

White Cat by Holly Black (Curse Workers #1)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publish Date: May 4, 2010
Hardcover, 320 pages

My Review:
I read this during the read-a-thon and really enjoyed it.  It captivated my attention from the start and kept me interested so I was able to finish in a few hours and pretty much read it start to finish.  This was my first book by Ms. Black and I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to more books in the Curse Workers series.

First off, what I loved about this book is the completely different world it is set in.  This isn't your mere vampires or werewolves paranormal.  No, this is far more real.  The setting is modern-day America, but with a spin of a breed or type of people with magical powers.  And there are different magical powers, bordering on the simple to the much more complex.  Add in the mob and it gets very interesting.  I enjoyed watching the world unfold slowing through this book and look forward to it being expanded on in future books.

For the characters, Cassel was definitely intriguing.  He is brought up in a family of workers but he thinks he isn't one, and then one night he finds himself on top of a building at school ready to jump and he's not sure how he got there.  He does have one secret in his life and it is one he and his family share and he doesn't want that to come out, but there is something mysterious about that night that he just can't figure out.  He's definitely a wounded hero and he's just trying to make sense of his life.  His brothers also are interesting and I spent the story trying to figure out if I liked them or not.  There are lots of shades of gray in this book and that is one of the intriguing things about it. There is humor, a darkness and a realness to this book through the plot and the characters.

And I think that is the key to this book for me.  The realness. Even though it is a paranormal and it is very edgy, you can see this kind of world existing, in fact it does in a way.  It's just something you have to read to understand.  If you like the edgier side to young adult paranormal then this is the book for you.  If you aren't sure then this is the book to try.  I just can't recommend it enough and as I said before I will be anxiously awaiting the next installment.

My Rating:  4.5/5.0

About the Book:
Cassel comes from a family of curse workers -- people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail -- he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.

Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love -- or death -- and your dreams might be more real than your memories.

About the Author:
Holly Black is the bestselling author of the Spiderwick series. Her first book, Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale, was an ALA Top Ten Book for Teens, received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews, and has been translated into twelve languages. Her second teen novel, Valiant, was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a Locus Magazine Recommended Read, and a recipient of the Andre Norton Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Her third teen novel, Ironside, the sequel to Tithe, was a New York Times bestseller. Her new novel, White Cat, is coming Summer 2010. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. (From

Holly's website:
Holly's Blog:
Join Holly on Twitter:

FTC Information: I received this book from the publisher for review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Book Review and Tour: How Do You Tuck In a Superhero? by Rachel Balducci


How Do You Tuck in a Superhero? And Other Delightful Mysteries of Raising Boys by Rachel Balducci
Publisher: Revell
Publish Date: April 1, 2010

My Review:
When I first received the offer to review this book I was intrigued.  I am a mom to two boys so this sounded like just the book for me.  And my first impression was right on the money.  How Do You Tuck in a Superhero is filled with quick little stories to read about what life is truly like in a houseful of boys.  Now Rachel Balducci has me beat - she actually has 5 sons (and I thought 2 was enough).  I think any  mom of boys can relate to the stories in this book.  I know they had me laughing out loud and sighing right along with the author.

It's a quick and easy read and very enjoyable - it's also a great pick-me-up for the end of a long day.  Just read one of the stories and you are bound to relate to it, and then either feel better or end up dying laughing.

I'm off to check out her blog now as it sounds like it is right up my alley as well.
About the Book:
When Rachel Balducci looks for material for her writing, she doesn't have to look far. Her subject matter can be found climbing through the window, hanging on to the edge of the roof, and always at the refrigerator. Here she chronicles the exuberant, awesome life of boys through conversations overheard, rules she's been forced to make, and the many episodes of boy behavior that continue to mystify mothers worldwide. From the care and feeding of her team, to travels out in public, to their wide-eyed adoration of Walker, Texas Ranger, this laugh-out-loud celebration joyfully explores the sweet and wild side of boyhood.

About the Author:
Rachel Balducci is a writer and the mother of five lively boys. Her website,, has been nominated for several awards. Rachel is a former staff writer for the Augusta Chronicle and has been published in numerous magazines, including Good Housekeeping, Faith and Family, and The Word Among Us.


Available April 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Thank you to Donna Hausler at Revell for sending me this book for review. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

What are you Reading Monday - April 26

Come post weekly and see what others are reading too just so you can add to your tbr - I always do! For more information see Sheila at One Persons Journey Through a World of Books and join in!

Books Completed Last Week:
True Blue  Hush: A Novel  Miracle Girls #4: Love Will Keep Us Together: A Miracle Girls Novel   Secrets of the Playboy's Bride (Silhouette Desire)  Caught
  • True Blue by David Baldacci
  • Hush by Kate White
  • Love Will Keep Us Together by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
  • Flaherty's Crossing by Kaylin McFerrin
  • Secrets of the Playboy's Bride by Leanne Banks
  • Caught by Harlan Coben
Reading Now:
Shattered How Do You Tuck In a Superhero?: And Other Delightful Mysteries of Raising Boys  Bleeding Violet
  • Shattered by Karen Robards
  • How to Tuck in a Superhero by Karen Balducci 
  • Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
The Shadow of Your Smile Prada and Prejudice  More Than Words, Volume 6: Almost Lost\Sheltering Hearts\Safely Home\No Limits\The Princess Shoes

  • The Shadow of Your Smile by Mary Higgins Clark (library)
  • Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard (YA Battle of the Books)
  • More Than Words Volume 6 by Joan Johnston, Robyn Carr, Christina Skye, Rochelle Alers and Maureen Child (Review)

Summary -

My reading mojo is back and I'm so happy.  I have barely read since mid-March and I had a great week last week.  Some really good books by new authors, like Flaherty's Crossing and then some new books by old standbys like Harlan Coben's Caught.  Here's hoping this coming week is just as good!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mailbox Monday - April 26

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. To see this weeks list of participants go here.
I didn't participate last week - I had a lot going on, so this is my summary for the last two weeks.  Lots of great books and I am having a hard time putting these books away and reading the ones next up on my review list.

The Kindle books this week are for the YA Battle of the Books that starts this week.  It is hosted at The Shady Glade and I'm excited about being a part of this.

ARCs/Books for Review

Roseflower Creek, 2E
The Last Christian: A Novel
Indivisible: A Novel
The Healers: The Aesculapians, Book One
It Had to Be You: A Novel
Legend Of A Suicide
Chosen Ones: Book One of the Aedyn Chronicles
The Queen of Palmyra: A Novel
Brightly Woven
Blood Oath
Conquering Mr. Darcy
Hell, Yeah

Crystal's favorite books »

Kindle Books

Bleeding Violet
Prada and Prejudice

Crystal's favorite books »