Posted in coming of age, library, nonfiction, Tuesday on September 27, 2011

Not sure where Monday went but it is Tuesday again and time for a teaser from the book I’m currently reading:  Bossypants by Tina Fey. 

From the dust jacket:

Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update”, before “Sarah Palin”, Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream:  a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle school gym teacher.  She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both these dreams come true.  At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told.  From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon- from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

Now for the teaser part:

Page 161

Photoshop itself is not evil.  Just like Italian salad dressing is not inherently evil, until you rub it all over a desperate young actress and stick her on the cover of Maxim, pretending to pull her panties down.


I just started the book this morning on my train commute to work and while I was reading it was a VERY fast read and it feels like I’m having a conversation with the Tina Fey we see on TV or in the movies.  If you like Tina, check this book out, so far it is pretty funny!

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Posted in chick lit, Country, Tennessee on September 26, 2011

I found this as a free e-book on Amazon and it sounded like a good book so I downloaded it…the price was right after all!  Plus if I didn’t like it I could delete it and not worry about losing money.  The Author is D.D. Scott

It’s Chick Lit, Gone-Country. Think Sex and the City meets Urban Cowboy.  Manhattan apparel designer Roxy Rae Vaughn, who’s also a still-in-the-closet, country line dancing queen, wants to be a fashion success story. Tired of being nothing more than a Fifth Avenue up-and-comer, thanks to her elitist parents, Roxy moves to Nashville, Tennessee and opens a boutique in a local tractor supply store, the only retail space she can afford. Short on cash and way, way down on luck, she rear-ends a pick-up truck belonging to a tomato-growin’, bootscootin’ cowboy who is anything but the perfect fit for her career plans, although he is her ideal dance partner. Can Roxy accept that her best fit is on the dance floor moving to her own style and her cowboy’s lead? 

Tomato farmer by day and bootscootin’ instructor by night Zayne McDonald doesn’t give a damn about winning Nashville’s heirloom tomato contest, even though his late father did. Zayne wants to honor his father, but what he really wants is to line dance his way to a winner’s spotlight. When he and Roxy are discovered by a huge dance show producer, Zayne learns it’s partnering with Roxy that’s his winning hybrid mix. That is, if he can keep her and the tomato contest away from Beefsteak Jack Baudlin, the toughest tomato man in CMT country.

My Thoughts:

I give this book 3 1/2 stars.  I don’t know if the book didn’t grab me or if it was my mood at the time, but it did take me several days to read this story.  Perhaps it didn’t sound quite as believable as it should have sounded?  But then it is fiction and who said that all books are believable?!

For free it wasn’t bad and the intro for the 2nd book sounds really good…but it revolves around cooking and who doesn’t like food?!

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Posted in Movie, mystery, women on September 21, 2011

Usually we have to wait a whole year between releases of the Stephanie Plum series but for some reason Explosive Eighteen is coming out November 22nd!  Who am I to question the release 8 months early?!

Here is the synopsis from Janet Evanovich’s site:

Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum’s life is set to blow sky high when international murder hits dangerously close to home, in this dynamite novel by Janet Evanovich.

Before Stephanie can even step foot off Flight 127 Hawaii to Newark, she’s knee deep in trouble. Her dream vacation turned into a nightmare, and she’s flying back to New Jersey solo. Worse still, her seatmate never returned to the plane after the L.A. layover. Now he’s dead, in a garbage can, waiting for curbside pickup. His killer could be anyone. And a rag-tag collection of thugs and psychos, not to mention the FBI, are all looking for a photograph the dead man was supposed to be carrying.

Only one other person has seen the missing photo–Stephanie Plum. Now she’s the target, and she doesn’t intend to end up in a garbage can. With the help of an FBI sketch artist Stephanie re-creates the person in the photo. Unfortunately the first sketch turns out to look like Tom Cruise, and the second sketch like Ashton Kutcher. Until Stephanie can improve her descriptive skills, she’ll need to watch her back.

Over at the Bail Bonds Agency things are going from bad to worse. The bonds bus serving as Vinnie’s temporary HQ goes up in smoke. Stephanie’s wheelman, Lula, falls in love with their largest skip yet. Lifetime arch nemesis Joyce Barnhardt moves into Stephanie’s apartment. And everyone wants to know what happened in Hawaii?

Morelli, Trenton’s hottest cop, isn’t talking about Hawaii. Ranger, the man of mystery, isn’t talking about Hawaii.  And all Stephanie is willing to say about her Hawaiian vacation is . . . It’s complicated.

Did anyone catch what the first word of each paragraph spells?  Tricky!

And for those of us waiting for it to hit the big screen, One for the Money will be in theaters on January 27, 2012.  I’m still not picturing Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum but I’m sure she will do a great job.

Posted in suspense, Tuesday on September 20, 2011

I don’t remember who’s blog I saw this on today, but it was someone’s!  I’m just too lazy to go back and look.  But I did this last week and it might be the same blog.

Anyway, what you do is flip to a page in the book you are reading and share 2 sentences with us…make sure it isn’t a spoiler!

Today’s book for me is New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts)

Page 183 – “You have me, always.  Don’t cry anymore.  Don’t cry now.”

Ok so that is 3 sentences…but is it really?  they are so short how can it be considered a sentence?  Well I guess if it has all the parts needed to form a sentence it is…but just doesn’t seem like it should be a full sentence.

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Posted in cooking, Cozy, library on September 19, 2011

Ok, so this book I didn’t get in my mailbox but it was delivered to my house via my book club group.  We will bring books to swap that we can’t trade on the various book swap sites.

Truly, Madly by Heather Webber

From the back of the book:

Lucy hails from a long line of matchmakers known as Valentine, Inc.  According to family legend, the Valentines have been blessed by Cupid with the psychic ability to help couples find true love.  Trouble is, Lucy’s powers were zapped away by an electrical surge and now all she can do is find lost objects.  What good is that in the matchmaking world?  You’d be surprised. In a big city like Boston, love is a mystery – and Lucy’s upstairs neighbor, Sean Donahue, is a hot private eye whose job is murder.  With a little luck, she can help solve the perfect crime and find her own perfect match – with Sean.

I am also expecting this one sometime this week – Books can be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay.  This is a new series called the Library Lover’s Mysteries and if you go to Jenn’s website you can read the first chapter.  Jenn also writes a series called the Cupcake Mysteries and those are good too so check out Sprinkle with Murder and Buttercream Bump Off

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Posted in California, fiction, Movie, suspense on September 16, 2011

Today I am reading The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly for my book club.  We are meeting on Sunday and watching the movie and discussing the book…nothing like waiting until the last minute to read the book, right?!

So something I just learned by looking at the author’s website….there are several books with the same character – Mickey Haller.  I didn’t know this was a series….guess I’ll be picking up the rest to read at some time in the near future because I know I have had a hard time putting this book down to do work or go to sleep at night!

Synopsis from the dust jacket:

Mickey Haller has spent all his professional life afraid that he wouldn’t recognize innocence if it stood right in front of him.  But what he should have been on the watch for was evil.

Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer, a criminal defense attorney who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car, traveling between the far flung courthouses of Los Angeles to defend clients of every kind.  Bikers, con artists, drunk drivers, drug dealers – they’re all on Mickey Haller’s client list.  For him, the law is rarely about guilt or innocence – it’s about negotiation and manipulation.  Sometimes it’s even about justice.

A Beverly Hills playboy arrested for attacking a woman he picked up  in a bar chooses Haller to defend him, and Mickey has his first high paying client in years.  It is a defense attorney’s dream, what they call a franchise case.  And as the evidence stacks up, Haller comes to believe this may be the easiest case of his career.

Then someone close to him is murdered and Haller discovers that his search for innocence has brought him face to face with evil as purse as a flame.  To escape without being burned, he must deploy every tactic, feint, and instinct in his arsenal – this time to save his own life.

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Posted in Cozy, Tuesday on September 13, 2011

I got this from Carrie at In the Hammock who got it from Miz B at Should be Reading

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers

The book I’m reading is one that I mentioned last week (but just not getting around to starting) Pleating for Mercy by Melissa Bourbon.  So far the book is a good one!

pg 112

“Whoa.  I’m not a plumber, I’m a – “
The pipes moaned again, louder this time.

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Posted in fiction, women on September 12, 2011

I like to read books by first time authors and especially when that author is a sorority sister!  It just seems like there is something special reading a book by someone that has a connection to you in one way or another.

Ellen Cardona wrote Brownie Fix to help deal with the postpartum depression she experienced after one of her pregnancies. Through her writing, she found that postpartum depression was real but conquerable, especially when one has the help of some dark chocolate and even darker humor. When Ellen is not writing, she teaches literature to college freshmen and attempts to help them understand the writing process, though they think she’s crazy because of her love for literature and writing.  She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a PhD in Humanities with a specialization in Literature. Even though she has published several academic works on Ezra Pound, she could not ignore her true passion as a fiction writer. Ellen lives in Richardson, Texas and continues to learn daily from her husband and two children. In good times and bad, she still enjoys her brownies.

I was also able to interview Ellen to see how she felt about being a published author!

SBR: Since this is your first book, how does it feel to be published?

EC: It feels like I’m finally doing what I am supposed be doing, writing.  It’s scary to release a book out to the public because some people will like it and some will not, but I can’t imagine not taking that  step and releasing it. I don’t want to the play the “What if” game.  Writing and now publishing feels right.

SBR: How long did it take to write your book and then get it published?

EC: It took me three years to write this book, and it took me a year to find a publisher, and then another year to “let her go”.  Never in my life did I think I would self-publish because two years ago, it was looked down upon.  All of sudden, when I signed the contract with my publisher, ebooks took off and writers started to self-publish.  Even agents started their own publishing houses with ebooks and paperbacks.  Never say never, but I don’t think I’ll ever sign with a publisher again.  Iplan to self0publish all my books now, and I am very excited about this opportunity.

SBR: Do you have another book in the works?

EC: Yes, I have to plish it and then have my “test” readers go over it for any weird plot and grammar issues.  I plan to release it next year.  It’s called The Return of Raven and it is the first book in the Triology of Raven.  The Return of Raven is about the birth of a goddess, who has long been forgotten, and how she comes to terms with who she is and her fate.  Set in today’s time, it’s a coming of age story, except she becomes a goddess.  Add a love triangel with ahunky guy and battle of good vs. evil, and I have a fun, fun story and trilogy.  I can’t wait for The Return of Raven to be released to the public.

SBR:  Tell us why we should read your book in 1 -2 sentences.

EC: Brownie Fix is a story about postpartum depression mixed with chocolate and some dark humor.  It’s a bit offensive and funny, but there is a common thread that many women can relate to: how hard it is to find yourself again, your true self, when you’ve lost it or really never even known who you were in the first place.

SBR: Who is your favorite author and why?  And from that author, what is your favorite book?

EC:  Hard Question. My favorite modern author is Stephen King and his book, The Shining. It’s the scariest book I have ever read. I have to add a book that is the basis for my writing: Virgil’s Aeneid. The Aeneid, which I had to translate with much grumbling from Latin to English in high school, showed me how literature is put together with rhythm. I think that’s where I learned how to write with rhythm and develop my voice. The mythology in the book is the cornerstone for the books I write. The characters in the Trilogy of Raven are based on Greek gods, and the characters in Brownie Fix are based on Greek and Roman gods. Can you find them?  (SBR – I found at least 1!)

SBR: What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

EC: Chocolate chip cookie dough.  I’m a digger for the cookie dough.  Don’t give me a gallon of that ice cream because I will stand over it and spend all my time digging, and there will be nothing left except vanilla ice cream and big holes.

SBR: What do you do in your free time?

EC: I’m a runner an da cyclist.  Right now, I’m training for a marthon, and I’m coaching a running class, which is so much fun. I also ride a tandem, a bicycle built for two, with my husband.  Believe me, it takes communication skills to ride that tandem, and we go very fast.  Also, I spend my time in the evening as a chauffeur for my children.


Chocolate. Love. Sex. Really, what else could a woman want in life? For Persey, the heroine of Brownie Fix, her days are fun-filled until what is normally one of life’s most fulfilling experiences, the birth of her son, leads her straight into a dark state of postpartum depression.

Wandering in her own postpartum hell, Persey meets people that are absurd, like the swinging neighbors who want a little more than a cup of sugar and a group of mothers who become whipped up in worship to a climactic furor. On top of the madness, she keeps seeing a yellow-toothed old man who acts like he wants to breastfeed from her. Or is it her imagination? Add the voices in her head that become louder and louder, and it’s little wonder that Persey reaches for brownie mix to soothe her insanity.

Buckling under the pressure and lack of sleep from motherhood, Persey experiences the five stages of grief that lead her to uncover a buried secret, and gradually she begins to heal with the help of her family, friends, and, of course, brownies.

 My Review:

I don’t think I realized when I first started this book that the main character was suffering from postpartum depression.  I noticed it was very dark pretty quickly, but that didn’t stop me from becoming engrossed in the storyline right off the bat!  I started the book with the intentions of just getting a quick peek since I needed to finish another book first…well about 4 chapters later I put it down!  There are many times during the book that I just wanted to shake Persey and tell her to go get help!  That she was depressed and what she was feeling was normal but not normal.  But I like a book that engages the reader with the characters and can put themselves in the character’s shoes or related to them somehow.

Overall I’d give the book 3 1/2 stars and definitely recommend it to everyone!


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Posted in Cozy, mailbox, mystery on September 8, 2011

There are various blogs I like to read and get suggestions of books to read…sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes this is a bad thing.  Actually the only reason why it is bad is because my TBR list grows by leaps and bounds and from when I used to have maybe 25 books I now have around 400 books plus about 200 e-books on my Kindle and about 400 e-books on my Sony E-Reader.  I’m not sure when I will get through all of these!  But I am finding new authors and genres that grab my attention.

While visiting one of the said blogs I saw this question and it made me think about what my answer would be and I’m not sure that I have a single answer! 

The Question: Do you have a Book Soul-Mate? Who is it and why? 


Recently in my mailbox, this book showed up: Pleating for Mercy by Melissa Bourbon (aka Misa Ramirez) which is the first in the Magical Dressmaking Mystery series.  I haven’t cracked the spine yet but here is a synopsis of the book for you.  Maybe it will whet your appetite and you will want to get your own copy!

When her great-grandmother passes away, Harlow Jane Cassidy leaves her job as a Manhattan fashion designer and moves back to Bliss, Texas. But soon after she opens Buttons & Bows, a custom dressmaking boutique in the turn-of-the-century farmhouse she inherited, Harlow begins to feel an inexplicable presence…

One of her first clients is her old friend Josie, who needs a gown for her upcoming wedding. But when Josie’s boss turns up dead, it starts to look as if the bride-to-be may be wearing handcuffs instead of a veil. Suddenly Josie needs a lot more from Harlow than hemming a dress. Can Harlow find the real killer—with a little help from beyond?

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Posted in Winners on September 8, 2011

Thank you for visiting my blog and signing up for the Back to the Books Blog Hop!  Since we did get 60 people in the contest I am going to add 2 books, 1 for every 10.  Now I have no idea what the other 2 will be and will have to peruse my stacks of books at home but I’m sure it will be something good. 

Here are the winners (in no particular order)

Dorothy of The Alaskan Bookie has won Our Lady of Immaculate Deception
Ellie W has won Once Upon a Blind Date
Melanie L has won The Hope Chest
Gloria Schumann (author that I reviewed recently!)  has won Boiling Point
Lisa of A Casual Reader has won a mystery book
Becca of Becca’s Back Yard has also won a mystery book

 You never know what else might show up with the book….so Congrats again to the winners and look for your books in the mail soon!  If I have questions about your mailing address I will email you.

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