Saturday, December 31, 2011

Book Review: Patience, Princes Catherine

Author: Carolyn Meyer
Title:  Patience, Princess Catherine
Publisher: Gulliver Books
Publish Date: Jan 2009
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: England anxiously awaits Prince Arthur's betrothed--the Spanish princess who will be its future queen. But when Arthur dies not long after the wedding, Catherine of Aragon's fate becomes uncertain. Will the king and Catherine's parents arrange a marriage with Arthur's brother, Henry, or will she return to Spain a widow? Through all this turmoil, the young princess's resolve remains unshaken: She will one day be England's queen . . . no matter how long it takes.

Review: This is the second book by Meyer that I read this year. The first was The Bad Queen. I wasn't as fond of that one as I am of Patience, Princess Catherine. I think Catherine of Aragon is one of the Tudor wives that gets pushed aside because Anne Boleyn is so much more interesting. This book is part of her Young Royals series, geared toward young adults.

Meyer really brought Catherine to life, and you really liked her and felt sorry for her, because she was a pawn in so many ways between the Spanish and the English.

This book also paints an interesting picture of the Henry, who we see first as the Duke Of York and then as the Prince of Wales when his brother Arthur dies suddenly. Henry is much more likable than I've found him when he became King Henry VIII.  Meyer shows the sibling rivalry well and they come across as any other brothers, even though they are royals.

I like Meyer's writing style. As much as I love authors like Jean Plaidy and Phillipa Gregory, sometimes the story can become really dry. With Meyer that's not the case. She humanizes these historical figures, making them down to earth.

If you are interested in historical fiction and like a more young adult approach to writing, Meyer's books are definitely for you.

Rating: 5 flowers


2012 Regency & Victorian Reads Challenge

Hosted By Royal Reviews

The rules are simple:
-Any sub-genre of Regency/Victorian Reads counts (paranormal, historical, contemporary, young adult etc.)
-To join this challenge, put a post on your blog saying that you are participating in the challenge. You may post a list of the titles that you are planning to read, or you can add them as you go. (Don’t forget to link your review to the book title on your challenge post.)
-Don’t have a blog, but wish to participate? Leave your information in the comment section.
- Any format counts except audio book.
-Challenge begins October, 2011 and ends March 1st, 2012
-Please signup using Mr. Linky, include your name and the link to your Regency & Victorian Eras Book challenge Post, *NOT* the post to your blog. (Don’t have a blog just leave a comment in the comment section)
Challenge Levels:

--Countess/Earl-Read 4Regency/Victorian Books
--Duchess/Duke- Read 6 Regency/Victorian Books
--Princess/Prince-Read 8 Regency/Victorian Books 


I'm going for the Princess/Prince level

I failed miserably but I didn't realize that this challenge started back in October..so I'm just going to do it Jan-Dec.


1. Manda Collins - How To Dance With A Duke (1/12/2012)
2. Lauren Willig - The Garden Intrigue (3/6/2012)
3. Jennifer Haymore - Secrets Of An Accidental Duchess (3/15/2012)
4. Jamie Carie - The Forgotten Duke (4/26/2012)
5. Marta Hart Perry - The Wild Princess (7/11/2012)
6. Charlotte Featherstone - Temptation and Twilight (7/18/2012)
7. Liz Carlyle - The Bride Wore Pearls (8/31/2012)
8. Regan Walker - Racing With The Wind (9/17/2012)
9. Eloisa James - The Ugly Duchess (9/21/2012)
10. Nadia Notariani - A Practical Arrangement (10/3/2012)
11.Lorraine Heath - Lord Of Temptaion (10/19/2012)
12. Gaelen Foley - My Scandalous Viscount (10/25/2012)
13. Karen Hawkins - A Belated Bride (10/28/2012)
14. Stephanie Laurens - The Lady Risks All (11/13/2012)

2012 Cruisin Through The Cozies Reading Challenge

hosted by Socrates' Book Reviews

the rules...

1. Choose the level you wish to participate:

Level 1 - Snoop - Read at least 6 books
Level 2 - Investigator - Read 7-12 books
Level 3 - Super Sleuth - Read 13 or more books

2. The challenge runs from January 1, 2012 and ends December 31, 2012.

3. You don't have to choose your books in advance. If you do, you can change your list at any time during the year. Books can overlap with other challenges.

4. Books can be in any format - paper, audio, ebooks...it all counts!

5. You don't have to post a review, but I'm sure others would love to know about the books you are reading and may even want to add it to their reading lists.

NOTE: If you don't have a blog and want to participate, that's fine. You don't have to have a blog, just post in the comments section as you finish books.

6. Take the button above, put it on your blog and post about the challenge. Then add your name to Mr. Linky below...Please use the link of your challenge post, not the link to your home page.

I'm going for level 2, so I don't overextend myself this year!

Completed

1. Joanne Fluke - Apple Turnover Murder (1/28/2012)
2. Joanne Fluke - Blueberry Muffin Murder (2/1/2012)
3. Laura Childs - Blood Orange Brewing (2/14/2012)
4. Rhys Bowen - Her Royal Spyness (2/17/2012)
5. Melissa Glazer - Murderous Glaze (2/21/2012)
7. Joanne Fluke - Carrot Cake Murder (2/23/2012)
8. Madelyn Alt - Home For A Spell (3/3/2012)
9. Jim and Joyce Levene - Pretty Poison (3/10/2012)
10. Tamar Myers - Too Many Crooks Spoil The Broth (3/20/2012)
11. Leslie Meier - Trick Or Treat Murder (3/30/2012)
12. Leslie Meier - Bake Sale Murder (4/9/2012)
13. Tamer Myers - Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Crime (4/12/2012)
14. Donna Andrews - Murder With Puffins (4/13/2012)
15. Joanne Fluke - Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (4/17/2012)
16. Leslie Meier - Valentine Murder (4/29/2012)
17. Joanne Fluke - Sugar Cookie Murder (5/5/2012)
18. Laura Childs - Death By Darjeeling (5/13/2012)
19. Carol Culver - Never Say Pie (5/31/2012)
20. Tori Carrington - Dirty Laundry (6/27/2012)
21. J.M. Griffin - Murder On Spyglass Lane (7/6/2012)
22. Terri Thayer - False Impressions (7/21/2012)
23. Tori Carrington - Foul Play (8/5/2012)
24. J.M. Griffin - Faerie Cake Dead (8/7/2012)
25. Shirley Ann Wilder - Too Many Cooks (8/17/2012)
26. Laura Dunham - Better Off Wed (9/11/2012)
27. Susan Elia MacLean - Princess Eliazabeth's Spy (11/12/2012)

2012 Amish Reading Challenge

”Reviews
From Reviews By Molly

The Rules:
1. The goal is to read 15 or more books. Anyone can join.

2. Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Library books, Novellas, Young Reader, Nonfiction – as long as the book has an ISBN or equivalent or can be purchased as such, the book counts.

3. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.

4. Crossovers from other reading challenges count.

5. Challenge begins January thru December, 2012. You can join at anytime.

6. GRAB the button and spread the word!

Completed!

1. Jodi Picoult - Plain Truth
2. B.J. Hoff - Rachel's Secret
3. Amy Clipson - A Life Of Joy
4. Beverly Lewis - The Secret
5. Kate Lloyd - Leaving Lancaster
6. Karen Harper - Return To Grace
7. Beverly Lewis - The Missing 
8. Kelly Long - Arms Of Love
9. Emma Miller - Leah's Choice
10. Beverly Lewis - The Telling 
11. Karen Ann Hopkins - Temptation
12. Ruth Reid - Brush Of Angel Wings
13. Tricia Goyer - The Memory Jar
14. Laura Bickle - The Hallowed Ones 
15. Anna Schmidt - A Groom For Greta

Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Challenge Update

I think I started too many challenges this year. I didn't complete several of them...and two I gave up on before I really got started. Bad me.

I'll start out with the challenges I completed.



The 2011 e-book Challenge was a breeze I finished 20 ebooks in June.

You can see my full list of books read for this challenge by clicking here.

I definitely read more than 20, but I stopped keeping track there because it was making me crazy, especially as half of the books I read this year were e-books.

I love my Nook!

 
I finished the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge this week.  I read a combination of historical novels about royalty, romance and mystery. I really enjoyed this challenge and I'll probably be participating in it again this year.

You can see my reads for this challenge by clicking here

Oh and one of my favorites from this category was the new book by Juliet Grey, Becoming Marie Antoinette!

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I finished my 12th book for the Historical Romance challenge this week! Woo hoo!

Historical Romance is actually my favorite genre, so I'm really puzzled at why it took me so long to finish this one.

My reads which overlap some with the Historical Fiction Challenge can be found by clicking here

My favorite reads from this challenge? Victoria Alexander's His Mistress By Christmas and Adrienne Basso's The Christmas Countess. I'm a sucker for all things Christmas!!


I finished this challenge up in the past week too. I read a lot of cozy mysteries for this one.

Have I mentioned I'm a sucker for cozy mysteries?

Check out my reads here

There were quite a few memorable reads in this category. The book that sticks out the most is Amanda Steven's The Restorer. If you haven't read that book yet, I suggest you go find it. Ann Charles' Nearly Departed In Deadwood was a great read too, especially if you are a fan of the Stephanie Plum series.

Now for some challenges I didn't do so good on.

I had hoped to read 20 YA books in 2011. I ended up with 16. There's one review I need to post for that one. So though I didn't make the challenge, I think I did pretty good.

Right?

My reads can be found here.




Another challenge I failed to finish was the Vampire Challenge. Again I'm not exactly sure how I manged to blow this one. I've read a lot of vampire fiction. I guess maybe I'm burned out on vampires.  Ah well.

I blame Edward Cullen on that. I've had the last two books of the Twilight series on my TBR pile for a year and I keep putting off reading them.

I did read 11 of the 20 books required for this challenge.

You can see those reads by clicking here

I think it is time for me to give up on those fanged creatures.

Then there was the Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge and the Goodreads Challenge. I set them both to 180.

I'm a big failure there. I'll probably close the year out at reading 152, which is down from last year. But then again, I had some personal issues this year, so that's probably part of it.

As for the other challenges on my list..well I didn't even start them. Bad me.

This year, I vow not to over challenge myself.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Book Review: A Merry Little Christmas


Author: Catherine Palmer, Jillian Hart
Title: A Merry Little Christmas
Publisher: Steeple Hill
Publish Date: 2006
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Unto Us a Child... by CATHERINE PALMER

Jeremiah Maddox agreed to let university administrator Lara Crane house international students in his guest cottage. But he never expected to host a married couple with three children--or babysit the family's infant at Christmastime. And what he least expected was to fall for the woman responsible for turning his life upside down!

Christmas, Don't Be Late by Jillian Hart

A misunderstanding caused millionaire Colton Nichols to be taken for Santa Claus by Amanda Richards's son. And the letter Jeremy sent broke his heart--Jeremy asked only that his sick sister be well and his mom's heart not be sad. Colton found himself praying for just that--and wishing this family were his own.

Review: This book is two novellas, both very different but both centering around Christian values and family. I'm very impressed with the writers for the Steeple Hill/Love Inspired line. They bring faith into fiction without shoving any religion down your throat. That is very refreshing.

The first story Unto Us A Child is very sweet. It is about an international student and his family and the man who takes them in. Oh and the love interest is the woman that runs the program. They all learn things from each other. But most of all two people that had really bad trust issues come together. (Lara had a bad 6 year engagement and Jeremiah had a bad marriage)

The things that happen with the international student and his wife and children will make you laugh out loud, especially his baby Tobias. This was truly a sweet holiday story.

Christmas, Don't Be Late may make you think of chipmunks, but the story itself will bring tears to your eyes. Amanda's youngest child has cancer and her health is declining, she's short on money, faith and just about everythign else. Through a broken down vehicle she meets her new neighbor Colt who is a millionaire.

Sure their love is a bit cliche, but Colt is the perfect Knight in Shining Armor, who swoops in and makes everything right. This is what we all want. And you cheer him on the whole time. You also find yourself praying for Jessie, in hopes that something will send her cancer into remission for awhile.

This was a heartwrenching read, but a beautiful one as well.

Rating: 4 flowers

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Book Review: A Promise For Ellie

Author: Lauraine Snelling
Title: A Promise For Ellie
Publisher: Bethany House
Publish Date: August 1, 2006
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Ellie Wold can't wait to graduate from high school. She and Andrew Bjorklund have been waiting to get married since...well, since forever, and in June they will finally wed. When Andrew announces they have to postpone the wedding, she's disappointed but takes it in stride--there must be a good reason, or Andrew's pa wouldn't ask it of them.

But Andrew is angry and can't understand why Ellie isn't upset too, especially when they'd been planning to "marry up" ever since they were in grade school. Disgruntled, he works out his frustration in stubborn determination to finish building their barn and mail-order house, working himself to exhaustion. But just when the new house is nearly finished, an unthinkable tragedy occurs. Throwing aside the vow he made to Ellie, Andrew seeks revenge...

As their plans unravel, it looks as if their love may not survive.

Is this the end of their dream?

Review: A Promise For Ellie is the first book in Lauraine Snelling's Daughters of Blessing series. Blessing is a small town in North Dakota where many of Snellings books take place. They also revolve around members of the Bjorkland family. This story takes place in 1900 and its main characters are Ellie Wold and Andrew Bjorkland.



These two have planned to marry since they were kids. From the beginning you can see that they are good for each other. Ellie is a stabling influence on Andrew who has a tendency to be a bit hotheaded. (Something that will get him into a lot of trouble later on)

I really loved Ellie. She was very sweet and hardworking. She loved both her family and Andrew's. Snelling makes that easy because all of her characters are so wonderfully written and enjoyable to read about.
I was surprised at the fact that Ellie's feelings of desire were written. This is a Christian Historical. Most books in this genre skip over physical love, but in this story Ellie feels the first stirrings of desire and to me that made things so much more realistic from that standpoint.

What I found harder to believe was how easy Andrew got off when he got into a fight with Toby Vanders and nearly killed him. I know the laws were different then, but he could have killed a man, and well, that part of the story didn't sit well with me.


This was my first book by Lauraine Snelling, and it made a good impression on me. I definitely want to try some of the other books in this series and her other series.



Rating: 4 flowers



Monday, December 26, 2011

Book Review: The Christmas Countess


Author: Adrienne Basso
Title: The Christmas Countess
Publisher: Zebra
Publish Date: Oct 1, 2008
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb:  Rebecca Tremaine’s family told her that her baby was stillborn, and that it was for the best, since her fiancĂ© had tragically died. While going through her recently deceased father’s papers, Rebecca discovers that her daughter lived and was given to Cameron Sinclair, the Earl of Hampton, and his wife. When Rebecca insists on meeting with her daughter, Cameron reluctantly invites her to spend the holidays with his family, never expecting that she could help him forget the loss of his wife. Love, family, and the magic of the holiday season bring two different couples together in Basso’s latest richly emotional and elegantly written Victorian historical romance.

Review: This was an interesting plot for a Christmas romance. Usually these are light fluffy reads, and though there is still some holiday fluff, there is also the heartbreak of Rebecca finding out the child she believed born stillborn, was given away without her consent at childbirth.

That's pretty deep for a romance and it really doesn't seem plausible that the actions of characters in this book could have happened, but then again, the things that happened in the film Titanic probably couldn't have happened either and everyone and their grandmother loved that film. (Except me).

In the case of this book, I actually enjoyed it. However, I enjoyed the subplot best of all. There are actually two romances going on in this book. Rebecca and the Earl and Daniel and the Earl's sister Charlotte. For some reason I loved Daniel and Charlotte best of all.  I think it was because Daniel fell in love with her inspite of her infirmity (which is one leg shorter than the other). The scenes between those two were so much more romantic.

Rebecca and Cameron had too many inner struggles to make their romance easy to take. For one, Lily, was the child born of her love for her fiancee who happened to die before they married, so that allows you to believe that though she's a free thinking woman, she's also free with her favors, and that doesn't quite sit right with a woman who is a vicar's daughter. She is also very prim and proper in a lot of her doings with Lily.

Overall both romances worked for me in the long haul. I was happy that everyone was matched up in the end. I only wish that in the epilogue there could have been something to show readers how Daniel and Charlotte were doing.

Rating: 4 flowers

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Now that most of the craziness is behind us, even Santa should be able to sit down and catch up on his reading. That's what I'm going to be doing as soon as dinner is done..that and watch Doctor Who and The Tudors!!

What books are you going to dive into on the last week of the year?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Book Review: Santa Clawed


Author: Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown
Title: Santa Clawed
Publisher: Bantam
Publish Date: Nov 24, 2009
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb:  As Harry well knows, there’s hardly a place on earth cozier than Crozet, Virginia, at Christmastime. Snowflakes, carolers, it’s all picture-perfect until Harry and her husband, Fair, find the tree they’ve chosen grimly decorated with a corpse. The tree farm is run by the Brothers of Love, a semimonastic organization whose members live atop the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. Now, as the season grows merrier, a murderer is growing bolder. One by one, prominent men of Crozet are being crossed off Christmas shopping lists and added to the morgue. And if Harry and her four-legged helpers aren’t very good–and very careful–this Christmas will be her last.

Review: Santa Clawed is one of the most fun cozy mysteries I've read this holiday season. Harry and her brood of helpful animal sleuths are fabulous. I love Mrs. Murphy, Pewter and Tucker.  These furrballs are some of the most well written animals in fiction.

The mystery involves the murder of two monks from the Brothers Of Love and a prominent doctor. There's a lot more to the Brothers Of Love organization than just spiritual life too, and that's what brings about many of the twists and turns in the story. Most of the monks have a criminal past or something scandalous that they are repenting for.

Harry discovers the first body in the Christmas tree she wants to buy at the lot run by the Brothers, but it isn't until much later when her animals find a large sum of money that she really gets drawn into the thick of it and lands her in the ER.

The whodunit wasn't quite what I expected but as I think about it now, it should have been a little more obvious to me, but hey, you shouldn't be able to pick out the killer easily!

This is the first book from this series that I've read, and I look forward to hunting down some of the others!

Rating: 4 flowers


Cover Reveal: Tiffany Truitt - The Chosen Ones

Isn't this one of the most beautiful covers you've ever seen?

I really want to read the book now!! Its part of a new dystopian series and should be out in April. Here's a blurb from Tiffany's blog about the book.

Tiffany Truitt’s CHOSEN ONES, in which a condemned seventeen-year-old Natural forced to serve penance at the Council of Creator’s training and breeding facility falls into forbidden love with a flawed, artificially-bred Chosen One, forcing both to question what it means to be created — or human — and how they can stop those who would play God with humanity

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Year End Wrap Up To Do List

1. Make sure all my reviews are linked in the Review post for 2011.

2.  Update all my challenge posts.

3. Cross post any needed reviews to Goodreads.

4. Update the sidebars and header links.

Going into 2012, I'm going to be more careful with challenges and tours that I sign up for. I'm not going to go challenge crazy like I did this year. I think out of the 9 challenges, I'll have completed only 3 of them. I've even failed to read as much as I did last year, though there has been a lot going on in my life that has prevented me from reading as much as I'd like.

I may change some of my tags to include genre, but I'm not sure yet.

What changes would you like to see on this blog?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Book Review: Chocolate Dipped Death


Author: Sammi Carter
Title: Chocolate Dipped Death
Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: March 7, 2006
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: When poisoned bon-bons end the life of a town trouble-maker, candy shop owner Abby Shaw finds herself trapped in an extremely sticky situation.

Review:  This is the 2nd book in the Candy Store Mysteries series. It is a fabulous cozy mystery. It has everything you've come to expect from this kind of book; a spunky heroine, a boyfriend in some area of law enforcement, an absolutely adorable pet, a shop of some sort and a dead body. (You mustn't forget the dead body!!)

What I loved about Abby is that she has a little of what readers love about Stephanie Plum, but she's not quite the Hot Mess, that Steph is. She has problems in her life; her family, trying to run a candy shop etc, dead bodies, but things don't blow up around her...well at least cars don't.

The mystery involves the murder of the town bad girl/trouble maker who has returned for a candy making contest at Abby's shop, Divinity. To say Savannah is disliked is an understatement, so when Abby finds her dead, there are a lot of suspects. Savannah was pretty much a nasty thing to everyone in Paradise, Colorado, when she was in high school. Oh and these people know how to hold grudges too! That makes it harder to figure out "whodunit."

I found Sammi's writing to be really great and I breezed through this book and now I'm longing to find the rest of the series, because I really enjoyed the characters and want to get to know them better. I also want to see how Abby's relationship with Jawarski develops over the next few books.

There were a few things that didn't quite sit right with me at the end...uh, you can't reach the PD? I'm sure there's a thing called 911 in Colorado, even in a small town. There were a few other things too, but nothing detracted me from the story.

Definitely a good afternoon read!

Rating: 5 flowers

Book Review: Dangerous Lord, Innocent Governess


Author: Christine Merrill
Title: Dangerous Lord, Innocent Governess
Publisher: Harlequin Historical
Publish Date: June 21, 2011
Review Copy Proved By: Net Galley
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Daphne Collingham is convinced that her beloved cousin died at the hands of her husband, Timothy, Lord Colton, so decides to masquerade as a governess in his home to discover the truth. What Daphne hasn’t bargained on is how the brooding Lord will make her feel under his dark gaze… Lord Colton is suspicious of the alluring new governess – and with the scandal surrounding him he must control his passion.
But a man has his limits, and the delectable Miss Collingham is pure temptation…

Review: When I first started reading this book, it felt like something I had already read, but I kept plugging on, because I really wanted to learn what really happened to Lord Colton's first wife, Clare.

This book is definitely more gothic than most historicals that Harlequin puts out. The mystery around Lady Colton's character really takes center stage and makes Lord Colton seem villanous even though you know that he's not a killer. After all, it wouldn't be a romance novel if the hero killed his first wife.

The author did a good job at making him come across as more than a little dark and brooding. I would have loved to have known more about the reasons for the voices in his head, that disappeared a bit too quickly for my liking. It was probably one of only two things that really bugged me about this story.

The other thing that bothered me a bit was Lady Colton. We were told a lot about her from Tim's side, but there wasn't a lot mentioned of why she was really such an influence on Daphne. It would have made the story a bit more rounded had we had a way of really seeing her.

Daphne's turn around from a spoiled girl to a woman in love worked well for me. She didn't have her fall instantly for the children, which was good, considering she professed to not really know how to deal with them, least of all as a governess.

This is a great historical with a touch of mystery for those that like the gothic style, plus it has some spice for those of us that like some action in the bedroom in our books. Definitely a good read for a cold winter's night.

Rating: 5 flowers






Monday, December 19, 2011

TLC Book Tours Book Review: The Chicktionary

Author: Anna Lefler
Title: The Chicktionary: From A-line to Z-snap, the words every woman should know
Publisher: Adams Media
Publish Date: Nov 18, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: The publisher and TLC Book Tours
Book Blurb: You're all over the definitions of "low lights," "ruching," and a "tankini." But can you spot a "Mrs. Potato Head" when you see one?



That's where this book comes in. With the help of Anna Lefler and her collection of 450+ must-know words and phrases, you'll be in the know when faced with terms like:

Aberzombie: Derived from the name of the popular clothing stores, Aberzombie refers to any of nation of plaid shirt-and-tank-top-wearing undead that can be seen staggering through the food courts of malls across America.

Bandeau: From the French word meaning "there's no way that's staying up," this is a type of woman's top that consists of a strip of fabric encircling the chest at breast level and remaining aloft through snugness and prayers.
George Glass: Originally invented by Jan on The Brady Bunch after "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" won yet another boy's heart, "George Glass" is now the generic term for an imaginary boyfriend. It is most often invoked in an effort to hide the fact that you are single or currently sleeping with someone else's husband.

So whether you are dealing with a Residual Girlfriend, diagnose yourself with a bad case of Basset Knees, or need to go on a Briet, you'll be prepared for all that comes your way. At the very least, this book will serve as a delightful reminder that everyone has a skeleton in her closet--right next to her fat pants.

Review: Keep this book around at all times. It isn't necessary to read it through like a novel. Why? Because its really a dictionary....but of "girlie" terms, you know like Hipsters (underwear) to "Not So Fresh Feeling" (We don't need to define this for you, right?)
If you need a pick me up, just open to any page and read for a bit. Its a guarantee that in a few minutes you'll be laughing and smiling.

Its also a given that you'll know many of the words Anna defines in this book. Of course you may not know everything about those words. So crack the book and be prepared to laugh for hours on end.

I actually read most of this when my father was in the hospital near Thanksgiving, and let me tell you, it helped me keep a smile on my face. Plus I learned a few things. ~ wink wink ~

Oh and the book also has some fun facts that we all will be nodding our heads over. Case in point

If you've been waiting impatiently for a package to arrive, slip into your rattiest t-shirt, liberally apply the facial mask of your choice, then sit back and wait. Your doorbell will ring.

This book is definitely the best $12.00 a girl can spend.

Rating:  5 flowers


About Anna Lefler

Anna Lefler is an award-winning writer and humorist whose work has appeared online at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Big Jewel, Funny Not Slutty, and My Pheme, among others, while her essays on modern motherhood have been nationally syndicated. She is the author of the comic novel ACT BUSY and recently completed her second, DOING TIME IN THE GARDEN OF HAPPINESS.
Anna has performed standup comedy in Los Angeles clubs including the Hollywood Improv, the Comedy Store, Room 5 Lounge, and M Bar. She has presented her humorous essays at Women Who Write in Los Angeles and has appeared in the “Listen to Your Mother” show in the Los Angeles cast of its national program. Anna’s fiction has been presented onstage by WordTheatre Los Angeles.
Anna writes a popular humor blog called Life Just Keeps Getting Weirder, where she ponders what a Jedi smells like and wonders why more men don’t wear urban sport kilts. She has twice been asked to speak on the topic of comedy-writing at BlogHer, the world’s largest conference for women in social media.
She lives in Santa Monica, California with her husband, their son and daughter, and some judgmental dogs.
Connect with Anna on her website and her blog, Life Just Keeps Getting Weirder.

Anna Lefler’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, November 14th:  Life in Review
Tuesday, November 15th:  Amused by Books
Thursday, November 17th:  Reviews from the Heart
Friday, November 18th:  Chick Lit Reviews
Monday, November 21st:  I Am A Reader, Not A Writer – author Q&A
Wednesday, November 23rd:  The Betty and Boo Chronicles
Friday, November 25th:  Melody & Words
Monday, November 28th:  Silver and Grace
Thursday, December 1st:  Chick Lit is Not Dead
Friday, December 2nd:  Overstuffed
Monday, December 5th:  Silver and Grace – author guest post
Monday, December 5th:  A Musing Reviews
Tuesday, December 6th:  Peeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, December 7th:  Peeking Between the Pages - author guest post
Thursday, December 8th:  Sara’s Organized Chaos
Monday, December 12th:  Write Meg!
Tuesday, December 13th:  Suko’s Notebook
Wednesday, December 14th:  She is Too Fond of Books - Spotlight on Bookstores
Thursday, December 15th:  Life… with Books
Friday, December 16th:  Colloquium - author guest post
Monday, December 19th:  A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, December 20th:  2 Kids and Tired

Saturday, December 17, 2011

2012 Historical Romance Challenge

I'm trying to cut back on my challenges for 2012, but this one is a nice easy one!




Here are the rules from Romance Book Junkies


1. Please post the challenge button on your blog sidebar.
2. Sign up using the linky tool below. Please put your name and your blog name in the linky tool. (example: Danielle @ Romance Book Junkies)
3. The challenge is to read 12 Historical Romance novels in a year. Each month you will post your review using the linky tool in that months post. Your book can be a paranormal, fantasy, erotica etc. as long as it takes place in history and is a romance novel. If you have a question as to whether your book qualifies you can email me at romancebookjunkiesdanielle@yahoo.com. You can also use the same review for other challenges as long as its ok with the other blog.
4. Every month there will be a chance to win a bookmark made by Miss Bohemia similar to the ones pictured on her website here so go check them out.
5. At the very end of the challenge who ever has read their 12 books will be entered to win a grand prize.
6. All the giveaways will be international.
7. Be prepared to have some fun. :)

Completed!

1. Manda Collins - How To Dance With A Duke (1/12/2012)
2. Wanda E. Brunstetter - Sarah's Choice (1/16/2012)
3. B.J. Hoff - Rachel's Secret (2/10/2012)
4. Jennifer Haymore - Secrets Of An Accidental Duchess (3/15/2012)
5. Linda Ford - The Cowboy Father (3/29/2012)
6. Allie Pleiter - Homefront Hero (4/16/2012)
7. Portia Da Costa - In The Flesh (4/20/2012)
8. Jamie Carie - The Forgotten Duke (4/26/2012)
9. Lauren Hawkeye - My Wicked Gladiator (5/8/2012)
10. Kelly Long - Arms Of Love (5/10/2012)
11. Charlotte Featherstone - Temptation and Twilight (7/18/2012)
12. Terry Irene Blain - Kentucky Green (8/3/2012)
13. Terry Irene Blaine - Colorado Silver, Colorado Gold (8/12/2012)
14. Liz Carlyle - The Bride Wore Pearls (8/31/2012)
15. Eloisa James - The Ugly Duchess (9/21/2012)
16. Nadia Notariani - A Practical Arrangement (10/3/2012)
17. Lorraine Heath - Lord Of Temptation (10/19/2012)
18. F.J. Wilson - Celeste: The House On Rue Du Maine (10/20/2012_
19. Gaelen Foley - My Scandalous Viscount (10/25/2012)
20. Karen Hawkins - A Belated Bride (10/28/2012)

21. Stephanie Laurens - The Lady Risks All (11/13/2012)
22. Anna Schmidt - A Groom For Greta (11/20/2012)
23. Marguerite Kaye - The Lady Who Broke The Rules (11/22/2012)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Book Review: Blackout At Christmas


Author: Beth Cornelison, Sharron McClellan, Jennifer Morey
Title: Blackout At Christmas
Publisher: Silhouette Romantic Suspense
Publish Date: Nov 2009
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 
During a Christmas Eve blizzard in Seattle, three couples find themselves in a citywide blackout...

"Stranded with the Bridesmaid" by Beth Cornelison

When their car skids off the road, the best man and bridesmaid are snowbound. While struggling to stay warm, they spend long hours getting to know each other in the most intimate ways....

"Santa Under Cover" by Sharron McClellan

On a trip to see Santa at the mall, the lights go out and a child goes missing. To stay alive, this couple must outsmart the Christmas bandits holding them hostage.

"Kiss Me on Christmas" by Jennifer Morey

Stuck at a coffee shop during the blackout, a man and a woman must share a hotel room for the night. Will this pair of opposites discover what they've been missing?

Review: The three stories in this collection are all winners as far as holiday short stories go. I really loved the last one "Kiss Me On Christmas." The only problem I had with this set of stories is that only one of them really fit the imprint that they were published under.

There was absolutely no suspense in the first and last stories. Santa Under Cover was the only one that had suspense, thus it was a little light on the romance. A nice trade off, as these short stories had everyone jumping into bed mere hours after they met!

Stranded With The Bridesmaid was cute, though the plot was a little bit cliche.  A bridesmaid and a groomsman stranded together...who would have thought they'd fall in love? This one could have been longer. There were things I really wanted to know about each character that were kind of left open, like who the Senator was that Zach worked for. (You get the impression that it might be his father but it is never told to you)

Santa Under Cover definitely had the suspense going on. A jewelry store robbery, a missing child and Christmas! Plus the hero is a hot guy in a Santa suit! What more can you ask for?

Kiss Me On Christmas is my favorite of the three. It centers around a coffee shop owner and guy who comes in with many many dates from an online dating service. The blizzard leaves them stranded and the resulting situation makes for a sweet and somewhat steamy read.

This isn't a perfect set of stories, but definitely a good holiday read!

Rating:  3 flowers

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Book Review: Anna's Gift

Author: Emma Miller
Title: Anna's Gift
Publisher: Love Inspired
Publish Date: Sept 2011
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: No one in Seven Poplars, Delaware, expects Anna Yoder ever to marry. Among her six pretty, petite sisters, big and plain Anna feels like a plow horse. But then Samuel Mast, the handsome widowed father she has secretly loved for years, asks if he can court her. Surely Anna has misheard—Samuel has his pick of lovely brides! She's convinced he seeks a wife only as a mother for his five children. Or could a man like Samuel actually have a very romantic reason for wanting Anna by his side forever?

Review: Anna's Gift is part of the Love Inspired mini-series Hannah's Daughters. It is a sweet love story between a widower and a younger Amish girl.

I've read a lot of Amish books this year and this one stands out among them, because it really was a simple love story. There was conflict but it was normal conflict that is experienced in day to day life whether you are Amish or an "Englischer."

Anna wasn't the typical romance novel heroine. She's fat. Yup, I said it, fat. Sturdy is what many of the characters called her. She considers herself to be very plain, but she has a heart of gold. She's forward thinking but not so much so that it would be considered bad in regards to her faith.

There's a lot of interaction between families in this story and a lot of problems between family members with jealousy and just regular life stuff. I'm glad Emma focused a lot of Samuel's children as well as Anna's grandmother who came to live with them from Ohio. Her grandmother, Lovina is a true character. She's a woman with early onset Alzheimer's and it really is a struggle to deal with her. Anna does well with her and grandma is wonderful with Samuel's youngest daughter Mae.

Watching this couple really start to fall in love, even when Anna had misgivings about letting him court her was a delight.  You saw love in its purest form. This is definitely a must read for anyone that adores Amish fiction. I also look forward to reading Emma Miller's next book.

Rating: 5 flowers


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Book Review: Becoming Marie Antoinette

Author: Juliet Grey
Title: Becoming Marie Antoinette
Publisher: Ballentine Books
Publish Date: August 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: 
This enthralling confection of a novel, the first in a new trilogy, follows the transformation of a coddled Austrian archduchess into the reckless, powerful, beautiful queen Marie Antoinette.

Why must it be me? I wondered. When I am so clearly inadequate to my destiny?

Raised alongside her numerous brothers and sisters by the formidable empress of Austria, ten-year-old Maria Antonia knew that her idyllic existence would one day be sacrificed to her mother’s political ambitions. What she never anticipated was that the day in question would come so soon.

Before she can journey from sunlit picnics with her sisters in Vienna to the glitter, glamour, and gossip of Versailles, Antonia must change everything about herself in order to be accepted as dauphine of France and the wife of the awkward teenage boy who will one day be Louis XVI. Yet nothing can prepare her for the ingenuity and influence it will take to become queen.

Review: This is the second novel about Marie Antoinette that I've read this year. I have to say, of the two, I liked this one better, though it only focused on her young life, up until the time she became Queen of France.  There will be 2 more books that will continue her life story.

This book really makes Marie human, rather than the flighty woman who says "let them eat cake." It is true that she wasn't a very intelligent girl, but she wasn't evil or really a bad queen. For the most part, she was a young girl who wanted things that young girls want, pretty clothes and shiny things! Plus you must understand, this girl was shipped off to become dauphine at 14!! She was Queen of France before she was 20 years old. It is no wonder she had the problems she had! She was just a child.

Juliet Grey does a wonderful job bringing Marie, Louis and Maria Theresa to life on the pages. Marie's mother is a formidable woman, who would probably make the Tiger Mom's of today pale in comparison.

There isn't much new to be said in this novel. There are countless books written about Marie Antoinette, so why read this one?

The reason is in the simplicity. This novel doesn't bog you down with lots of history. It is a novel, not a history book. It is a fun read, and a good introduction into the life of a queen that history will not forget. I'm looking forward to reading the next two books in this series.

Rating: 4 flowers

 
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