Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Alison Wonderland - Review

Alison Wonderland by Helen Smith

Synopsis from Goodreads:
When Alison joins Mrs Fitzgeralds Bureau of Investigation as a private detective, her new job takes her on a series of loosely linked adventures involving an abandoned baby, a transgenic animal and secret tunnels under The Thames. She travels from London to the seaside town of Weymouth and back again with her new best friend Taron, a girl with a hundred candle smile. But someone is betraying her. Is it Taron? Is it Jeff, the sweet-natured inventor who writes her poetry? Or are there darker forces at play? 'Only occasionally does a piece of fiction leap out and demand immediate cult status. Alison Wonderland is one.' The Times

My Take:
Genre: Adult Contemporary Fiction
5 Stars! I LOVED this book! 
First, I love the cover of this book! Alison Temple, aka Alison Wonderland, as she is looking out at London across the river Thames, with the London Bridge in the background, from her perspective! To find out how the last name of Wonderland figures in, you have to read this book! It is hilarious! If only I could think of neat plays on words like this, as this author, Helen Smith, does throughout her book!
Helen Smith's prose is pure British colloquialism, which for the American reader, does take a bit to adjust to, as we are not quite used to it. After adjusting to it, and it has to be appreciated, oh, there is so much humor! In fact, this is part of what makes this book so appealing, entertaining, descriptive, thought provoking, and hilarious at times! I love the British slang and trying to figure out what some of it meant. I needed a little help along the way, and did find it. Some British slang is so different than what we are used to, it gives this book an edge above the rest. You won't easily find sassy writing like this very often, and when you do, it is truly a flavorful treat to enjoy! 
The author also brings to light several current events and talks about them from Alison's perspective throughout the book, for instance one of them being about  genetically modified foods, which is a HUGE concern of mine as well, and continues on still today. I'm glad she brings several of these issues up. These issues 'do' need to be made more aware of and she does this in a great way through the characters.
This story starts of with Alison hiring a PI to find out whether or not her husband is cheating on her. The answer is yes. She spray paints a nasty message on her wedding dress just for her husband and leaves him. My kind of girl! 
Alison ends up getting a job with the same PI firm she used in her hometown of London to spy on her husband with, Fitzgerald's Bureau of Investigation (the FBI). She is given several different assignments to work on at a time, which includes all types of various things to do, including stakeouts and more! Actually, she is given quite a variety of different assignments. 
Alison has a great way of being very descriptive of people so well, at this point, especially a particular co-worker, that they are things we think about people, maybe feel a little guilty thinking this way, wondering if other people think the same way, and they do! I really enjoyed this! Alison tells us a lot about the different characters in this book. It's so descriptive it's quite enjoyable!
Aside from Alison's job at the PI Firm, Alison's new best friend, Taron, wants her to find out where people leave, or drop off babies when they are not wanted. Taron decides she wants to get one of those babies and raise one. Alison's not so sure Taron is quite up to this task.
On a whim, Taron decides she and Alison should go on Holiday (vacation) to the coast in Weymouth, England, and they go on the spur of the moment! What fun and a joy to read! You never really know what's coming next in this story at times, which makes it so fun to read!
I HIGHLY recommend this book if you like true British writing!  You will definitely find that here and can really learn to appreciate it! This is a great, FUN, short book to escape with! Enjoy!

I received this book for “FREE” from the Author, Helen Smith, for free, in exchange to read the book and write a review about it.  It is NOT required for the review I write to be either positive or negative, but, “of my own opinion.”  I was provided with “NO MONIES” to read and write this review for this book, except for the pure enjoyment of reading it.  I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255,
Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Comments are welcome!!!!
As a matter of fact, I was lucky enough to talk to the author, and she gave me some links to some of the areas in London where this book took place! I won't list them here as I don't want to add 'spoilers' to this review, but IF you have read this book, and are interested in knowing where some of these events took place, leave a comment with your email addy and I'll get back to you!

About the Author:
From Amazon:


Helen Smith is a member of the Writers Guild of Great Britain and English PEN. She traveled the world when her daughter was small, doing all sorts of strange jobs to support them both - from cleaning motels to working as a magician's assistant - before returning to live in London where she wrote her first novel, which was published by Gollancz (an imprint of the Hachette Group). She writes novels, children's books, poetry, plays and screenplays, and was the recipient of an Arts Council of England Award. She's a long-term supporter of Freedom From Torture and mentors members of an exiled writers group to help them tell their stories.

She is currently under commission to write a play and has a pilot for a TV series in development. She's also working on a new novel. She likes knitting but she doesn't like driving. She likes dancing. She has a blog at Come and say hello!

Below is the NEW COVER as of January 2012 for this book, in the Amazon LINK to purchase the book below. I'm kind of disappointed because I felt the cover that is at the TOP of this review fits the book the BEST!  As I said in my review, it is Alison's view of London through her eyes. I LOVE that cover! Well, this is THE "NEW" COVER! It's beautiful as well, but I still feel the original cover fits the book best! If you would like to purchase this book to read and enjoy it yourself, available in paperback or in Kindle format, just click on the ICON below! It will take you directly to the page where you can purchase it! ALL sales go toward supporting this Blog! I thank you ahead of time! Best of all, enjoy this book! It's well-worth the wild, fun escape from what can be doldrum days at times! This book will definitely keep you entertained, the British way!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March 2012 Review Copy Clean Up Challenge!

This Challenge is  hosted and posted by our wonderful Blogs: Books, Biscuits and Tea  and  NYX Book Reviews A HUGE "Thank You" to them!

Well, this week our challenge is the Mysterious Meetup Challenge in which we can have a conversation with our favorite book character of all times. Who would you want to meet? What questions would you ask them? We get to share our Mysterious Meetup with you! 
I had to really think about this one! Well, I AM a little late on this week's challenge as I've been under the weather, life happens, and I've been reading and reading and reading! Be SURE to watch for several reviews starting in the next few days on many books, but ONE of the BEST books, "Defending Jacob" by William Landay, was absolutely awesome! 
So, thinking about who my favorite author is . . . . it is . . . 
KATHY REICHS! I LOVE her books! She now has 14 Temperance Brennan books and I have read EVERY one of them, except for her most recent release, which we'll talk about in the interview with Tempe! 
There is a double reason why I chose 'this' character. I LOVE the TV show Bones, and thought I would interview Temperance Brennan from the books and the TV show! The TV show helped me to 'find' Kathy Reichs, and boy, I did NOT know what I was missing! If any of you have read her books, they ARE AMAZING! 

I miss this show, Bones, on Fox Network, so DEARLY right now!! The actress who plays Temperance Brennan/Tempe, Emily Deschanel is on maternity leave right now, and so is the show! Darn! I AM glad, though, that Tempe and Booth FINALLY GOT TOGETHER on the TV show!!! Geeze, it's taken YEARS for that to happen! ALL the tension of will they or won't they get together! FINALLY!!! Now we will have the little pitter patter of baby feets running around! We will have a little baby Tempey OR Boothy! I can't WAIT to find out what the baby is and what they name it! I can't wait to see how they handle being parents, child care and all the every day duties of being a parent! I want to see Booth ga-ga'ing over the baby! There is nothing sexier than a drop-dead handsome man goo'ing over a baby! Okay, on with the questions!

Question:  Temperance, I love all of the cases you have worked on in all of the stories that Kathy Reichs has told us about you. What was your favorite story you worked on and why?

Answer:  I like Spider Bones, Kathy's 13th Temperance Brennan book the best because the case was quite a spectacular one! Don't you think so?

Question:  Absolutely! I LOVE that book! The story was GREAT! Do you like how your stories have been adapted to a completely different version of you?

Answer:  It's okay, I don't mind because that leaves all of you viewers out there wondering what the stories are about in the books!

Question:  That was a good answer!  Would you like to meet Seeley Booth?

Answer:  No, I would not. I think he's pretty hot looking, but I would like to keep it mysterious as it is now. If I met him, it would take away every fantasy I've had of him, much less the viewers! Don't you think so?

Question:  Temperance! Oh, my! You are so different from your character in the book versus the TV show! Oh, my! You do always surprise us! Yes! Seeley Booth IS pretty HOT! Do you like your character on the TV show?

Answer: No! I don't! Half the time they make me look like I don't know anything, and I have how many degrees! Tempe on TV doesn't even have common sense sometimes and that makes me mad! Although I will admit we are the same when they state I would rather go to a dig in a different country at Christmas time than spend it with family! In that regard we are very much alike! No one seems to be able to quite grasp that, but wouldn't you rather go somewhere exotic and dig up a whole new community of people and their city that once existed?

Question:  Yes, I'd have to agree! It would be nice to get away from the same ol' routine sometimes! Hey - you keep asking ME questions! I'm supposed to be  asking you questions and you are turning the tables on me! Okay now! Question for YOU! Would you like to have a baby with Andrew like Tempe is with Booth?

Answer:  No. I have to much fun working on the cases in the books. Plus, I already 'do' have a daughter in the books! People like to disappear and live another life in the stories I am in, and they don't want to read about the same mundane stories of regular everyday family life all the time. Reading is an escape, and especially in my books it is definitely an escape!

Question:  I'd have to agree with your answer on that one! Thank you for NOT asking 'me' a question this time! Now for your question! You said Spider Bones was your favorite book out of all the books Kathy Reichs has written about you. Why is that?

Answer: Well, Spider Bones has been the most interesting of cases yet, to date. Which brings me to a complaint I have! I have NOT seen the light of day in almost 2 years now! Kathy - Come on! Bring me back! I have MORE cases that are waiting to be solved! You understand that! You are spending to much time Producing the TV show! I know, there are die-hard fans out there who LOVE Bones, but . . . I want to come back!

Question:  Temperance - Did you FORGET THAT KATHY JUST RELEASED A "NEW" BOOK ABOUT YOU??? It's called "Flash and Bones"! The Hardcover was released at the end of August 2011! HOW could you forget? Now the Paperback is available as of the end of February 2012! 

Answer:  Oh yeah! Yes, it was! "I" was testing YOU! Ha, ha! You almost fell for it, too! Flash and Bones has to do with NASCAR!!! Also, there is a dead body found in a dumped in a barrel of asphalt in the landfill next to the Charlotte Motor Speedway. It gets even better, but I'm leaving the rest of this up to YOU! I know ALL the Kathy Reichs fans out there are going to want to read this book, so . . . on that note, I will say goodbye for now! Thank you, Laurie, for interviewing me! This has been so much fun! Can we do this again in the future? Without people like Kathy writing about me, or Readers interviewing me like you are, I am stuck in those books!

Me: Absolutely! Well, Temperance, thank you for allowing me to interview you! This has been fun, even if you did turn the tables on ME! You ARE quite a character! No pun intended!
Now that we ALL know the NEW BOOK is available in paperback, we will all be rushing over to our closest bookstore, or, be buying it from Amazon (Amazon has a wonderful Q&A with Kathy Reichs all about this new book! The Q&A outstanding as it covers a lot of her books and also does talk about the TV show as well! is or whatever bookseller we like! That is Flash and Bones by Kathy Reichs, everyone! We'll have to keep watching for the NEW EPISODES of Bones once they are back! From what I hear, they are coming back on Monday nights! I'm really glad about that because I cannot find anything to watch on Monday nights! Usually Mondays are one of my reading nights as I am recovering from my son being over on the weekend! Wow! He can wipe out anyone! Oh, to be so young again! The energy, WOW! 
And, Temperance, I am looking forward to seeing you in the new book by Kathy! You know, I'm sure it won't be to long now before book #15 may be coming out?  Kathy has gotten to take time off for Tempe's maternity leave, so that should have given her MORE time to write! 
Kathy Reichs HAS written 2 Young Adult books which is a series. Her first book is called Virals and her second is Seizure! Please be sure to check those out for those of you who love Young Adult books!

ANY time you purchase ANYTHING from my Blog or others, you help to support them! It helps with Gift Cards and books in the giveaways and more! ANY time you need to purchase ANYTHING, there is a search box in the top left column to do so! It really helps us to help you! I hope you will purchase your Amazon purchases from Blogs ALL the time! It benefits everyone!

And, Kathy Reichs Young Adult series:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

This Challenge is  hosted and posted by our wonderful Blogs: Books, Biscuits and Tea  and  NYX Book Reviews A HUGE "Thank You" to them!

This weeks Challenge is "Dont Be Such a Tease!"
What is this Challenge? Here it is, copied and pasted from the Blog of Books, Biscuits and Tea and here is what the Challenge is:

The Don't Be Such a Tease challenge is all about being the biggest tease possible. We are all reading books that aren't published yet, and what is more fun than showing other readers how awesome your current read is! The challenge is to share a few sentences from the RCC book you are reading right now, so we can all get a little taste. 

Well, for this Challenge I have learned a VERY important lesson! To ask the authors I am doing reviews for, the ones whose books are NOT YET RELEASED, for a photo of the cover of their books! "IF" they have one!! Right now, I ONLY have '1'!
Honestly, usually the books I am reading and have scheduled to read, do NOT have their covers finished yet. It seems as if most ALL of the authors save this step for last. They want the review right away and ready to GO!
Thanks to this Challenge, though, I WILL ASK ahead of time if their covers ARE AVAILABLE YET! Thank you, Challenge! I've always been VERY EAGER TO ACCEPT the offer to review their books, but have NOT asked for the covers, OR the author has told me the cover is not available. I've been taking this ALL for granted. No longer shall I do this!
I DO have ONE photo of a book I will be reading to post a review for!!! YEAH!!!!
This book is called, "Open Heart", Book Two of the Farsighted Series, by Emlyn Chand! Here's a photo of it!
Here is the Goodreads Synopsis of it as well!
Falling for the guy who's trying to kill you? Bad idea. 

Simmi Shergill's life is a mess. Her powers of psychic feeling are on the fritz, and Grandon Township's sudden population boom has brought quite a few unsavory characters to town. She also looks like an over-blown balloon in her size 14 pants, but not even starving herself seems to be working as a diet plan. Well, at least her boyfriend, Alex, loves her so much he'd do anything for her. Last summer he even risked his life to protect her from the mysterious boy everyone was convinced wanted to kill her. 

The problem is, she's not so sure she feels the same way. Is Alex really the man of her dreams? And why can't she stop fixating on her would-be killer, Dax? Whenever he's around, part of her wants to run screaming in the other direction while the other part longs to run into his embrace, no matter who she’d hurt or what she’d risk. 

Simmi's loyalty is on the line. Who will she choose—the blind seer who loves her, or the charming telekinetic with "bad idea" written all over him? Emotions run high as the tension mounts in book two of the Farsighted series. 

I AM looking forward to reading this one!! I have read her first book, Farsighted! It was super good!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Twenty Weeks
by Melisa M Hamling

I LOVED THIS BOOK! It is AMAZING! I HIGHLY recommend ALL Young Adults read this book, including the guys!  Adults, too! I LOVED this story, and it has SO many issues to bring to the attention of everyone. This author has written an outstanding story!
This book is SO FULL of action, "of life as it happens", that when you start reading it, the  next thing you know, it is over! You don't even think of putting this book down because the story is SO gripping and compelling. It is so full of events, you are completely immersed in this story. The author does such a compelling job of bringing these characters in this story to life, you feel as if you know and have known them their entire lives. As you are reading along, the next thing you know, it is over, and you do feel a variety of mixed emotions, but still very satisfied.
The author wrote this book beautifully, and the story is so good, very realistic, interesting, and shocking at times, that we don't even think of putting this book down. I just read, and read, and read! This story could happen, and does happen to ANY one of us or our children, or our friends and their children, etc. This story is very realistic as to what can really happen in real life, and I believe this is what held my attention and kept me cut off from the rest of the world for several hours, knowing this does happen, and happens every day.
WARNING ABOUT THE CONTENT: This book IS about Teen Pregnancy, Abortion and other life events that are not very ideal, but DO happen. It is a VERY realistic account of what could happen during a procedure such as an abortion, and also contains other subject matter relating to a suicide,  drugs and one other bad thing (if I say what it is, it will be a spoiler to the people who read this book, so I will not mention it.) If you are a parent that does NOT want your child to read about these very realistic life occurrences that DO happen in real life every day, that is your choice. I can only HOPE you would allow your child to know of the things that are of our world so your children are aware and prepared if they come across some of these issues. They need to be prepared for life as it happens, and to keep them sheltered from life is not a good thing, in my opinion. Our kids DO NEED to know what IS out there. I happen to feel that ALL Young Adults DO NEED to know these types of things 'do' happen, or could happen, and this book 'should' be read by EVERYONE! Parents 'should' want their children to know what really COULD AND DOES happen in life, but I DO warn/caution you as to the subject matter of this book. NO ONE should be denied learning about the truth of the real things that do occur today, and yesterday for that matter, yesterday it was just much more secretive.
Personally, I am a "realist" when it comes to life, or at least I try to be as much as I possibly can be, as much of what I know, I want my kids to know. The hard part is when even the parent does not know what is going on! It happens!
About reading this book, if my son or daughter were younger, probably at age 12, I would have asked them to please read this book. They are older now, and I will EVEN NOW ask them to read this book, even if they are older. I have always given my children the the tools necessary to have the opportunity to know what the 'real world is really like in realistic terms', so they can move ahead and make informed decisions without wearing 'rose-colored glasses'. I want my children to KNOW what life could bring their way in their future, and for them to know I have never held anything back from them, of what I know about, of which they 'should' know as well. This is one book I would definitely WANT them to read! I think ALL Young Adults SHOULD read this book! Including the guys as I stated above!
Yes, our SONS 'need' to read this book, too. When it comes to 'Teen Pregnancy' and other decisions to be made, our Young MEN ARE JUST AS MUCH RESPONSIBLE OF A RESULTING PREGNANCY AS OUR DAUGHTERS ARE AND THE DECISIONS THAT NEED TO BE MADE! Both sexes have an equal part in the sexual encounter(s), so the decision making does NOT fall on just ONE PART of the COUPLE. It is not "JUST" the woman's issue to deal with, but  BOTH partners should be equally responsible/involved, which is why I believe BOTH sexes SHOULD READ THIS BOOK. I'm going to use the common phrase of 'you play, you pay', so be prepared to live with ANY consequence!
This book can/could be VERY controversial as well, depending upon your position of abortion, but that is NOT the issue the author is bringing up in this book. It IS discussed between the parents in this book, but this book is NOT PRO, NOR ANTI-ABORTION, IT IS JUST A PART OF THE STORY.  I want to make this clear from the start so no one decides NOT to read this book because I feel it is such a powerful book that everyone should read it. I am only covering this as it 'could be' a possible issue to some people. Some people may think it could be Pro or Anti and make the decision right there to NOT read it based upon that right off the bat. That is NOT what this book is about at all. PLEASE READ THIS BOOK! I believe it is VITAL!
The author covers SO much information about these two young teenagers' lives, it is a good story and very well written, NOT to be missed!
This book is about two young teenagers, Maya, who is 16, and Andrea, who is 19. They happen to meet at an Abortion Clinic. They become fast friends. They are both pregnant and both are considering having an abortion. This visit, when they meet, happens to be their first visit to the clinic, to find out how far along they are in their pregnancies, to get a tour of the clinic, are given information to take home to read about abortions, as they must wait 48 hours before making a final decision to abort the 'glob of tissue' they are told, or not. It is the law. They exchange phone numbers, but Andrea tells Maya NOT to call her, that she will call her at all times. She is very serious and adamant about these instructions. Maya wonders why Andrea is so strict about this.
Maya and Andrea become fast and great friends. Maya ends up spending a lot of time at Andrea's house when her father is not home. She is not allowed to be at Andrea's house when her father is home. Andrea also has a little sister who is a doll. She wants to be included in all the fun these girls have together. Maya starts to learn some things that makes her question things about Andrea, and it leaves her puzzled.
The two girls have two days to decide what to do. They make their appointments and they just happen to be on the same day within a few hours apart.
Now you know the premise of this story. For me to go on any further would spoil this book for you because SO much happens! This really is all the information you need to know for now, and all I can tell you. Now it's up to you to purchase this book and read the rest of this story and just get lost in it! You really will get lost in this story. Some of it is quite shocking. You will laugh, you will cry, you will be stunned. At times you won't know how to feel. This story is so moving and touching.
The author did such a wonderful job writing this story, as I said above, you really can't put this book down. She really got into the heads of these characters and let them tell their story, and these characters did tell their story. You MUST keep reading to find out what happens next. Again, this book is so realistic, I guess that is why some of the things that happen are so shocking and the story so gripping. We find ourselves cheering Andrea on when things happen in which she needs to stand up for herself and more. This character really grows up, in maturity as well, in a short amount of time. I loved this character. She is so true-to-life, you feel as if you have known her your whole life. All the characters are written with such substance like this. The author did a TREMENDOUS job with all the characters.  She also made it so this book is by no means predictable at all! You may 'think' you might know what is going to happen next, but you don't. I think this is another reason I could not stop reading this book! I HAD to know what happened next! I can say this book held my interest from the time I opened it to the first page, until I put it down done! I HIGHLY recommend it! This is a DEFINITE 5-STAR BOOK in my opinion! If I could rate it a "10", I WOULD!
Enjoy reading this one! Make sure you have some time to set aside because I'm dead serious, you will NOT want to put this book down! I think IF I 'had' to put this book down, I would not have stopped thinking about it! I would have done whatever I had to in order to get back to it. I just LOVED this book, and you will, too! Enjoy!

I received this book for “FREE” from the Author, Melissa M Hamling in exchange to read the book and write a review about it.  It is NOT required for the review to be either positive or negative, but, “of my own opinion.”  I was provided with “NO MONIES” to read and write a review for this book, except for the pure enjoyment of reading it.  I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255,
Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

You can click on the photo/link below and purchase this book for $3.49 from Amazon right now. ALL proceeds go to help support this blog in the form of Giveaways, etc.! Thanks for your support!

Review Copy Clean-Up 
2012 March Challenge!
This week's question is:
This week's question, March 9th to the 15th:
Cuddle Up With A Good Book
"My Favorite Place to Read Is":
To find out the answer to this week's question, click on this link:
This LINK takes you to my Challenges Page! ALL of my Posts for this Challenge WILL BE POSTED ON THIS PAGE, for future reference. I will still list the LINK every Post here on the Home Page for your ease. Now go on over to read my answer!

Monday, March 12, 2012

2012 Review Copy Clean-Up!

March 2012 Review Copy Challenge CleanUp!
I NEED this Challenge!!
I want to share this with ALL of you as this Challenge as the sign-up is until March 15th - this Thursday!
Go sign up if you want to!
I did! Check this out!!!

This information for this Challenge IS COPIED AND PASTED out of ease, as there is SO MUCH INFORMATION, I felt it was best to do it this way so you can read ALL the information that is needed for this challenge. This is directly from this site where it is hosted and posted:  and the Co-Host is at Go to either site to sign up!

Welcome to the 2012 Review Copy Cleanup!

My bookish friend, Celine from Nyx Book Reviews and I were getting swamped in review books. We decided to make it all a bit more fun and are challenging you all to read your review copies with us! Clean up that big pile of books this March and join the Review Copy Cleanup. We have lots of fun challenges and tons of prizes in store for you guys, so make sure to join us on a quest to clean up our review copy pile and to have some fun in the process. 
Challenge guidelines:

✦ This challenge runs from 1 to 31 March, 2012
✦ Sign-ups are open until 15 March 2012. After that the linky list will be closed and participation in the challenges and giveaways won't be possible for anyone who hasn't previously signed up.
✦ To sign up, just fill in the Mister Linky form below. Link to your sign up post directly, please! The Linky is the same for both our blogs, so you only have to sign up once.
✦ When you post your sign up post on your blog, either include the challenge button with your post or link it back to this article so that people know where to sign up. Thank you! 
✦ Every book you received for review counts towards the challenge, both ebooks and hard copies, including all genres and lengths.
✦ You don't need to follow the two hosts in order to be able to sign up for the event (although it's appreciated), but you do have to follow us in order to be able to enter our giveaways. In order to be entered in the giveaway, simply complete the given challenge and add the link to your post in the linky list.
✦ Challenges will be posted every week on Fridays and will last throughout the week until Thursday the next week. Every challenge ends with a giveaway. To enter in the challenges and giveaways, simply add the link to your challenge post in the Linky list in the main challenge post. It will be posted on both blogs.
✦ At the end of the event we will host our Massive Giveaway. This contains tons of prizes donated by awesome authors. All you'll need to do in order to enter this giveaway is to fill in a Rafflecopter form - as simple as that. :)
✦ Most of our giveaways will be open INTERNATIONALLY but you'll find all the relevant info about each giveaway when we post the challenges.
✦ Feel free to use the #RCCleanup hashtag on Twitter for your RCC related tweets or join in the Twitter party at and meet lots of lovely bloggers :)

Challenge schedule:
✦ March 2 - Show Off Your Pile
✦ March 9 - Cuddle Up With a Book
✦ March 16 - Don't Be Such a Tease!
✦ March 23 - Mysterious Meet-up
✦ March 30 - Love Will Find a Way

Now I need to go catch-up!
And it's YOUR turn to go sign and have fun!
You will be able to find ALL my answers to this Challenge on the "Challenge Tab" up above, OR click on THIS LINk:
Thanks and wish me luck in completing this!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Magic of Ordinary Love by Lilli Jolgren Day

          "Lunar Love
     Giveaway Blog Hop!"
 March 8th to March 13th at 11:59pm!

HUGE thanks to I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and to Bookworm Lisa!

The rules of this giveaway for the participants are:  This hop begins on the day of a full moon and will feature books with paranormal, supernatural, science fiction or space travel element or books that have something to do with the moon or have a moon on their cover.

The book I am giving away, thanks to the Author, Lilli Jolgren Day, is:

Everything on this cover has meaning to it! Everything! This is such a COOL book! I loved it and MUST "HIGHLY SUGGEST READING IT"!

There are "4" AWESOME PRIZES!
(1st and 2nd prizes are ONLY US and Canada because of the shipping costs/3rd and 4th prizes are International! The Ebooks)

3rd Prize: An Ebook
4th Prize: An Ebook 

Synopsis from Amazon:
Bobby Weaver is a young writer with an unfinished novel: a murder mystery involving two strangers hiking on the Appalachian Trail who slowly fall head over heels for each other. However, there's a caveat to Bobby's work -- Bobby's in a coma, deteriorating both physically and mentally while still painfully aware of what's going on around him. As Bobby strives to tie up loose ends in his final story, if just for himself and his characters, the reader is given a glimpse of the life he's left behind in the form of day-in-the-life vignettes of his family. A vibrant, original story steeped in symbolism and family ties, this haunting debut explores the subtle ways lives are connected, broken, and renewed by love. 

My Take:
This book is brilliantly written! It is very well thought out and very well executed! It's quite something to read a story about a man, Bobby Weaver, a successful author prior to this coma, who is completing his novel while in a coma, and then to read about this same man as a person who happens to be in a coma, and loved very much by his family.
I have to say I really enjoyed where this story took place! It took place in Detroit and the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. There were many references to Michigan that I just LOVED! Especially the reference about the weather! HOW TRUE! It had me laughing SO hard! I had to read that part out loud to my husband who could relate SO well! There were other mentions, such as The Detroit Tigers, and more! Really neat if you live in Michigan!) 
Sounds interesting, isn't it! The only way to understand how wonderful this book is is to read it! It's an amazing story! This review may seem sketchy and you may not quite understand it all, but I can't go on any further without ruining your experience of reading this poignant story and ruining the experience for you. I can't give away to much so as to ruin the story! 
Each chapter of this book is told by a different family member and how each person interacts or doesn't interact with him. It's how he relates to each of them, and the part he plays in each of their lives.  
As we are reading this book within a book, we learn a lot about Bobby and his family. When Bobby is not writing, (which no one knows he is doing so in his head, and, as a matter of fact, all the medical tests show he is brain dead), someone from his family is usually there at his bedside.  His entire family comes to visit him every day, including his very special 4 year old niece, Chloe. She is the spirit of life. So young, so innocent, yet wise beyond her years. Bobby loves Chloe. He loves this little girl more than any other character in this book. It is truly sweet to hear her talking to him. Somehow I believe she knows he hears her, especially through one very touching moment. She is, after all, his very special little niece and she happens to know this, even though she can't hear him. Other family members who come to visit him, he's not quite so fond of. Come and read this book and hear what he has to say about all of the other characters. 
There will never be another book quite like this one to be able to hear the magic of what a man in a coma thinks, or to hear his responses of what others are saying. Come read this book to find out the haunting way as to how he ends up in this coma. This is where the title really rings true: The Wonder of Ordinary Magic!
Bravo! HIGHLY recommended!
I received this book for “FREE” from the Author in exchange to read the book and write a review about it.  It is NOT required for the review to be either positive or negative, but, “of my own opinion.”  I was provided with “NO MONIES” to read and write a review for this book, except for the pure enjoyment of reading it.  I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255,
Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

About the Author:
From Amazon:


LILLI JOLGREN DAY was born and raised in a state shaped like a mitten, somewhere between New York and L.A. She writes, takes way too many photos with her Canon 5D, and thinks the squirrel she feeds by hand at the back door is the reincarnation of her cat, Garfield. She doesn't have any fancy writing awards to brag about, but she does have a portrait of herself inside a big pink heart, drawn eons ago by one of her children proclaiming, "Mom I know is a good mom. I love you mom". She takes it out and reads it whenever she doubts herself and loses her way.

Lilli is the mother of two grown children, wife to Doug, a battered but grateful Celiac/CFS warrior, and like most writers, she loves to curl up with a good book and steal away on a magic carpet of words. THE WONDER OF ORDINARY MAGIC is her debut novel. She hangs out on the web at

Author Interview:
Each chapter in this book is in the voice of a different character, all of them family members of the main character, Bobby, who is in a coma. Was it difficult to write from the different age and sex perspectives of so many characters and then also change your writing style in the novel Bobby was finishing?

It wasn't really difficult, but I did find it best to work in one voice at a time. In other words, I rarely jumped from say, Chloe's 4 year old perspective to her mom to her grandpa's voice, it would have been confusing to have so many people wandering around in my head all in the same day! As the narrative of the 24 hour period of Bobby's life unfolded, having multiple points of view was inevitable and became central to the theme of connection. Writing from Bobby's viewpoint was unique since he was bedridden, in a coma, and was deteriorating both physically and mentally as the book progressed. The murder mystery he was finishing was a little tricky since that was a different genre and I was narrating it in another author's completely different style of writing...come to think of it, this was actually a very complicated book to write!

Are any of the characters based on people you know? How do you think you would get along with the main character, Bobby, if you met him? Do you think he would want to hang out with you?

More than being based on people I know, each of the characters in this book seem to be the embodiment of a small part of me. Of course, there are some moments and traits plagiarized from the lives of people in my life, but when the book was done I realized many of the characters were fleshed out pieces of my own personality, which was totally unintentional but not surprising I suppose since I created them! Bobby however, is the least like me I think, and no, he probably wouldn't be interested in hanging out with me. He's a young man in his 30s, a successful (somewhat arrogant) writer, a poker-playing-beer-drinking-cigar-smoking guys-guy, while I am a rather reserved middle-aged woman, a first time author who doesn't smoke cigars, drink beer, and who hates playing cards (although I do like solitaire). The truth is, while I like Bobby and think he made for a compelling protagonist, we are very different and I was actually relieved to get his hyper, testosterone driven persona out of my head by the time the book was finished!

You mentioned connection as being part of the book's theme, can you explain what you mean?

By "connection" I mean the idea of shared humanity. What I hope the book acknowledges is the notion that while people may be different, live in different countries, speak different languages, practice different religions, in many ways we are connected by the same universal needs and experiences. The obvious desires for adequate food and safe shelter go without saying of course, but we also long to love and be loved in return, we all hope that our story is relevant and worthy of telling, and most of us want to make a contribution that matters. These are obviously complex ideas so my goal as a writer was to simplify and narrow the focus of this theme. Bobby is the nucleus of my narrative and was the first character that came to me, I then simply sat back and watched to see how the lives of his family intersected and orbited his story.

Without spoiling the ending for those who haven't read the book yet, did you know before you started writing the book what happened to Bobby all along and why he was in the coma?

No, I write like Bobby, without an outline, and I had no idea where the characters were taking me. When the final chapters began to move in that direction, I actually tried to steer the story another way and look for different ending. I wasn't sure I was comfortable finishing in that particular place and time. But again, I like to let the story reveal itself and once it started down that road I couldn't think of a way to change it and have it all still make sense. So I let the characters lead the way and went back after I wrote the final chapters so the timeline and plot was successful.

What do you do when you're not writing?

I'm happiest when I'm doing something creative. I love photography, I sell stock photos online at iStock and Getty. I do a some jewelry beading and I like to quilt, I recently finished a quilt for my new grandson and I make children's quilts for a great organization called Quilts for Kids that donates handmade quilts to hospitals and women's shelters. I blog, tweet, Facebook, and instagram online, and I enjoy my book club meetings with friends and going out to dinner for a monthly girl's night out. For exercise, I practice a little light yoga and Pilates, mainly so I can keep up with my two grandkids when I babysit! My husband and I travel occasionally in the fall and winter, and in the summer we hang out by the pool and work in the garden.

The Author's Website:

WANT TO ENTER TO WIN? Click on this "LINK!"

Friday, March 2, 2012

NEA Logo
Today is NEA's   

Amazon is celebrating this day by having a Sweepstakes to WIN a Kindle FIRE + an Amazon Gift Card worth $2,000! Wow! That IS if I read it correctly?! Wow! That is a LOT of money on a Gift Card!!! This is in conjunction with Dr. Seuss' "THE LORAX" movie! The next paragraph below has the LINK to go and ENTER for YOUR chance to WIN!!!

You can ENTER for a chance to WIN at this LINK: The LORAX! Enter to win a Kindle FIRE + Gift Card!

Celebrate Read Across America

Read Across AmericaThe theme is green for a very special 2012 Read Across America celebration. NEA's Read Across America campaign will showcase the Lorax book as well as Dr. Seuss' The Lorax (featuring the voices of Taylor Swift, Zac Efron, Danny DeVito and Betty White).

 Read more

                NEA's "Read Across America"
Can be accessed at this LINK: which is where I got this photo of the children below! The first paragraph explaining what this is is copied and pasted from the link above:

Today is NEA's Read Across America Day!
Lorax stars Zac Efron and Danny DeVito join NEA President Dennis Van Roekel at the New York Public Library today for the national kickoff of NEA's Read Across America while millions of readers around the country are sharing their love of reading in places large and small. Have you checked the RAA pledge site to see what's happening in your state.  
Again, this is the LINK 

Even MAZDA is involved! Check this out! SAME LINK AS ABOVE whic is this:  (The following is copied and pasted from the LINK. Please check it out!)

Mazda to raise $1 Million for public school libraries

Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) has teamed up with Universal Studios, NEA’s Read Across America, and the NEA Foundation to benefit public school libraries nationwide. Mazda has pledged up to $1 million in support of the nation’s public school libraries through a unique test drive program. For each test drive of a Mazda vehicle between Feb. 21 and April 2, Mazda will donate $25 toward public school libraries nationwide, up to $1 million. Administered by the NEA Foundation, this donation will provide vital funds to help the nation’s struggling public school libraries. (click here
Author, Theodor Seuss Geisel
 "A person's a person, no matter how small," Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, would say. "Children want the same things we want. To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained and delighted." 

This biography was provided by the author or their representative. 
Click on this link here for MORE about Dr. Seuss! About the Author - Dr Seuss!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

To ALL the people I RAK'd books to, I did NOT realize I needed to write your names down to include in my Wrap-Up Post. I sent out SO many RAK's this month, my memory of everyone I sent them to is NOT working! I'm sorry I did NOT include your names and what I RAK'd to you, but,

Please scroll down to the NEXT POST to see ALL the THANK YOU'S to the people who RAK'd me! OR, click on this link: to see my THANK YOU POST!
RAK February 2012 Wrap-Up Post

I am one day behind, but that does not mean I wish to express A HUGE "THANK YOU" to these people who RAK'd me! 
            THANK YOU!!!
Mary @SweepingMe - She RAK'd me with "Finding Kate Huntley by Theresa Ragan! Thanks, Mary!

LRentfrow/Rottweiller Lover - She RAK'd me with "Wanderlove" by Belle Mallory Thank you!!

And, one from January that I did not find until February! It was hidden in ALL my emails! A HUGE THANK YOU TO:

Temara Sheppard for RAK'ing me with "Homeward" by Melody Carlson THANK YOU!!!!

I made one mistake: ALL the books "I" gifted to people I did not write ALL YOUR information down. I'm sorry! I was having FUN buying books for a LOT of people this month, and I honestly forgot to write down ALL your names! I hope you are happy with your gifts! HAPPY RAK!!!