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There are TWO posts today...Sorry about that :)

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Review Disclaimer

I do not receive compensation of any kind, monetary or otherwise, for the books I review here. I give my honest opinion regardless of the source of the book as well. If I don't like a book, I will say so honestly, and not maliciously. Sometimes I won't even finish the book at all.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

So what do you think?

Ever since I started this blog, I have struggled with how it should look. I always wanted three columns, and that took me a while, and many mistakes. I ended up going with a template instead of editing the HTML, and then I couldn't have a header image. I had an online friend help me, Jill from Sneaky Momma Blog Design, and we still couldn't get it to work. So I gave up...for a while.

I played with my test blog, and created the tabs under the header. Then I monkeyed with the HTML and came up with what you see here. I thought it would be columns on either side of the main post page, but it's not, and I'm not sure why.
But I think I like it. It's different, and I like being a bit different.

My other issue was this blog represents me. Who and what I a brand. So what is my brand, or what do people associate with me besides books? Amy is My Friend Amy, Burton Reviews has that beautiful house and color scheme, and Linda of Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell has those fabulous paintings (my current header is one from the same artist as well. His name is escaping me).

So you see, I guess I am having trouble identifying myself, and I require your assistance. What do you think? Do you like what I have done with the place? Please be honest. I appreciate your thoughts, as always :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Winner of my 1st Blogiversary Contest

Congratulations to our three winners!

First place goes to Sharon54220 and her pick is The Red Leather Diary.

Second place goes to Nise' and her choice is Leagacy.

Third place goes to JoJo and her choice is Children of Dust

Thanks to all of you who that entered. If I could, I would have sent you all a little something. Your comments and readership mean a lot to me.
I am truly grateful :)

Take care and happy reading.

Winners of Searching for Pemberley

Congratulations to



Thank you to all that entered. I'm sorry that you all couldn't win but better luck next time :)

Take care and happy reading!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Review: Searching for Pemberley by Mary Lydon Simonsen

Author: Mary Lydon Simonsen
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Fiction, historical, romance
Trade Paperback, 496 pages
Book Source: Sourcebooks

From Sourcebooks:

Set against Regency England, World Wars I and II, and postwar England, three love stories intertwine in surprising and fateful ways.

American Maggie Joyce, touring Derbyshire in 1947, visits, Montclair, an 18th century Georgian country house, that she is told was the model for Jane Austen's Pemberley. More amazingly, the former residents of the mansion, William Lacey and Elizabeth Garrison, were the inspiration for the characters of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice.

Through letters, diary entries, and oral history, Beth and Jack Crowell, a couple who lives in the nearby village of Crofton, share stories of the people they say inspired Jane Austen. They also tell their own love story, made difficult by their vastly different backgrounds—she was one of the social elite while he was the son of a servant. When their son, Michael, travels home from his RAF station in Malta, Maggie may have just found her very own Mr. Darcy.

My Thoughts:

This book is much more than a Pride and Prejudice re-imagined, or continuation of the story. It takes the view that Austen was inspired by real events, relates that inspiration, and along the way tells the story of people living and growing up in England during two world wars. The author also explains Maggie's background and her life growing up in a coal mining town. Again, another tough way to live, but people did it and still do.

This story is fashioned in such a way that the reader forgets they are reading an Austen inspired book. I became wrapped up in the stories of the characters. The British are quite tenacious and let nothing stand in their way. I was transported to the past. Between food rationing and the immigrant experience in America, it became quite clear to me, that I am lucky to be living now. Simonsen clearly did her research, and relates these historical experiences into a great story.

There are indeed three love stories, and possibly four if you count Maggie's relationship with an American airman. Through him the reader learns what it was like to be a bombardier. It is not pretty folks. It is very sad and it amazes me that these young men were able to come back home and lead normal lives, for the most part. As a matter of fact, Maggie has two men vying for her heart; both airmen, one American one British. Two men in uniform, my word.

The only negative I have, is that in the beginning of the story, I was a bit confused between the characters from Austen's story and the real life inspirations. Simonsen does provide background on Austen's characters and who they are in real life, with some background in case you haven't read the original P&P. I was still a little confused at times but it passed quickly.

Overall this was a very enjoyable and engrossing story. I lost myself reading this story, and empathized with each and every character, along with their trials and tribulations. I just wanted to make them all a cup of tea.

My Rating: 98/100. Loved it!!!

Thanks to Danielle from Sourcebooks for my review copy.

Challenges Met: Everything Austen Challenge 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

2010 Reading Romance Challenge

This one is being held by Naida from The Bookworm

"Romance" isn't limited to steamy Harlequin novels. There is a huge selection of books in this category such as contemporary romance, historical romance, romantic suspense and paranormal romance to name a few. As long as the story has romantic love between the two main characters your selection will fit this challenge. The novels do not need to have a happy ending either, there can also be unrequited love.

2. Choose at least 5 novels read them between Jan 1st though Dec 31st 2010. You can change your choices at any time. Crossovers between other challenges are fine.

3. Read them at your own pace in 2010 then come here and post the link to your review(s).


1.) The Second Date by Simonsen
2.) Island of the Swans by Ware
3.) Mr. Darcy's Great Escape by Altman
4.) The Black Moth
5.) The Highlander's Sword

6.) The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas ! ! ! ! !

I hope you all have a happy, wonderful, and safe Christmas with your family and friends. Talk to you over the weekend :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Reflections (Dec. 20)

Hey all! I have not fallen off the face of the earth, however, I am currently snowed in under 22 inches of snow in Philly. We have never had this much snow in December. I think in like 100 years to be precise. Yesterday morning, early in the storm, I took Lucky out to walk to the store. She loves the snow. It must be the snow dog in her. We plan to go out again later today, after I try to open my front door. There is a big drift on my steps.

Snow aside, I hope all your holiday preparations are moving along nicely. As part of my holiday celebrating and sharing, I guest posted at My Friend Amy's. She has been posting about Christmas music everyday, so I helped her out with my story of what Christmas means to me. If you have a chance, stop by her place and check out all her holiday posts. Each Christmas song post comes with a video, of course, and there are some excellent songs highlighted.

I also took off from work every Friday in December to do holiday things, and not with the people I work with. That's another story for another day. The first Friday my mom and I went to a museum. That's a lengthy post I'll share later this week. The second Friday, I spent with my girlfriends, knitting, chatting, and ordering in Chinese. The weather was in the 20's that day or else I'm sure we would have went to the yarn store. The last Friday, the 18th, was Cookiepalooza.

Cookiepalooza?? What the heck is that? It used to be pizzellepalooza, but since the addition of other cookies, I renamed it. Basically I spent two days making cookies for friends and family. So here is what I made:

Chocolate chips because it is a MUST!

We also had some unfortunate victims of my forgetful mind. My oven is a little off and I always forget to lower the oven. If the recipe says 350 degrees, I have to go lower, 330 or 325. The cookies bake and don't burn.

The Peanut Butter Blondie Bars from The Recipe Club book. These came out pretty good. But I can't eat all of this, so I cut them into bite size pieces and gave them out.

I also made sugar cookies. The recipe is courtesy of Meghan from the Medieval Bookworm. These came out great except I overcooked some. Thank you Mr. Oven, but don't you worry, I'll eat those crispy suckers anyway.

Ricotta absolute favorite! They are light, delicious, and cake like. Plus the icing on top is perfect.

And the (say with French accent)piece de resistance are my pizzelle cookies. These little pretties are super time consuming, but everyone loves them, so how can I not?

There are so many stacks that it's a little overwhelming sometimes. A majority of these are going to friends and family.

When I wasn't visiting museums, knitting, or baking, I managed to get some reading done. I finished Searching for Pemberley, so I will have a review forthcoming. I absolutely loved the book. I don't like to include spoilers in my reviews, so it's a bit tough. My contest for two copies ends December 28th, so you still have time to enter.

I also borrowed Hunger Games from the library and This book is awesome. I can't believe I waited this long to read this book. But you all know this already.

That about covers everything. Hope you are all well, and enjoying the season.
Take care and Happy Reading :)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Winner of My Unfair Lady

Sorry for the delay folks! The winner of My Unfair Lady is....

Renee g

Congratulations!!! I'll be in touch for your information.
Thank you everyone for entering. I have two other contests going on right now so please check those out.

Take care! Happy reading :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Review: Defenders of the Scroll by Shiraz

Author: Shiraz
Publisher: iUniverse (June 29, 2009)
Genre: Fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, YA/Young teens
Paperback 264 pages
Book Source: the author


A teenage boy.A dark wizard.A mystic scroll. And the fate of a world hangs in the balance. . . When Alex "the Axeman" Logan is pulled from his world to help young princess Dara save her kingdom from the Shadow Lord, he thinks there has been a mistake. He's a teen guitar player close to failing 11th grade, not some defender of the realm. All he has are some school books, his wits, and his love of fantasy movies. Overnight his life is history. Alex must confront the Shadow Lord and his minions when he is thrust into a land that has changed from a magical paradise to a barren, hopeless, helpless realm invaded by a dark army.

But Alex is not alone. He has the help of Dara, a magic scroll, and a band of unlikely companions drawn from his own history books: a hardened Roman Legionnaire, a swift Japanese Samurai, a mighty African Warrior, a fiery Amazon Archer, and a spirited Shaolin Monk. Can Alex become more than he believes and lead his small band of Defenders to the Hall of Shadows, the birthplace of the Shadow Lord? The fate of the realm and everyone in it rests on him.

My Thoughts:

I really, really, really, wanted to like this book, but I just cannot. It's not the

*story: which I think is very good, or the
*characters: which are comprised of different races and backgrounds, or the
*morals: which are sprinkled throughout the story, for example, everyone should just get along, racial harmony, believe in yourself, etc.

It's the writing. I think it's written for young people, like ages 10 and up. This represented the real problem for me, because I could not get past that. After reading about half of the book, I skimmed the rest to get the basic idea and ending. I'm sorry but I just could not get past the writing. I felt as though it was written for young teenage boys, and that is completely cool with me. I am not meant to read and enjoy every book. I am not the target audience for this book, so I get that. Unfortunately, there are some things I can't ignore or push past.

As I stated previously, the basic story is quite good, and I like how the Defenders represent different cultures and times, to teach acceptance and harmony. That's awesome and I wish more books would do that. Alex also has a lot of self doubt but he realizes he needs to pick himself up and soldier on. You can't run from your problems, but give your best effort and at least you will know you tried. Another good lesson for kids to learn.

Oh, and I almost forgot, the art in the book, including the cover, are excellent. The pages of the book are made to look like pages from a scroll. There are also full page pictures/drawings/sketches that are amazing. It put me in mind of a graphic novel.

I do think it's me and not the book. Look at all of these awards and things it has garnered:

Winner in the Fantasy category of the 2009 National Indie Excellence Awards
Finalist in the Action-Adventure and Young Adult Fiction categories of the 2009 National Indie Excellence Awards
Finalist in the Multicultural Fiction and Best Overall Design Fiction categories of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Honorable Mention in the Sci-Fi category of the 2009 New York Book Festival
Honorable Mention in the Sci-Fi and Teenage categories of the 2009 Beach Book Festival
Honorable Mention in the Wild Card category of the 2009 San Francisco Book Festival

Someone likes this book. Therefore, due to the reasons delineated above, I will not be rating this book. I do not think it is fair, plus I don't know how to. It wouldn't be right. So I have compiled some other reviews for you to read and make your own decision regarding this book:


Violet Crush

Reader Reviews

A Bibliophile's Bookshelf

All Booked Up

Just trying to be honest folks :)

Thanks to the author for sending me this book. Sorry it didn't quite work out, but I think this post speaks for itself.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Interview and Giveaway with Mary Lydon Simonsen, author of Searching for Pemberley

Mary Lydon Simonsen is the author of the recent December release of Searching for Pemberley. She is also the author of the The Second Date. Please give her a warm and friendly welcome!


Thank you very much for stopping by today. I have been waiting anxiously for this interview ever since we started chatting. So let's get started.

Thank you for inviting me to appear on your blog, and I’m glad you like the cover. I do too.

I read that you have done extensive research on your family’s history and ancestry. Did this start out with stories you remembered from your grandparents, or was it something that interested you?

Searching for Pemberley actually started as a family research project, something of a passion for me. My ancestors sacrificed so much to come to America from Ireland. I wanted to make sure their stories were recorded. My main character, Maggie Joyce, grew up in a coal-mining town near Scranton. A lot of her experiences are those of my parents from the Depression Era and early World War II, including her desire to get beyond the Pocono Mountains and see what was out there in the wider world. Maggie travels to Germany and England. My parents made it as far as Washington and New Jersey.

You have incorporated this research into your storyline for Searching for Pemberley. How did these two pieces come together? Did a light bulb go off one day or did the idea percolate as you researched your family history?

I’ve often felt that I was born one generation too late. Except for not eating regularly and foreclosures, I liked everything about the 1930s and 1940s—the clothes, music, movies, etc. So I knew that any novel I wrote would be set in that time period, but I needed a hook. I thought about my other love, Regency England and Austen’s novels, and worked out a plot where I could combine the two interests.

[I also feel the same. Maybe that's why we clicked.]

What is your next favorite Austen novel? For me it’s a tie between Persuasion and Northanger Abbey.

Definitely Persuasion. Every time I read the letter from Captain Wentworth to Anne Elliot, I melt. “You pierce my soul.” Who wouldn’t want a guy who can write like that? Also, I like the idea that Anne is not a wide-eyed innocent. She knows how the world works.

I’ve read your fan fiction piece A Walk in the Meadow at Rosings Park. What was the inspiration for this?

I was thinking about what Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship would have been like if Darcy had skedaddled after the disastrous first encounter with Lizzy at the Meryton Assembly. When Lizzy sees Mr. Darcy in Kent, would she be able to forgive, forget, and look at Mr. Darcy in a more sympathetic light? Because Lizzy is intelligent and not one to hold a grudge, I decided to have her overlook Darcy’s abominable pride, and then I had the Master of Pemberley fall for her fast and hard. Of course, it was a short story, so I had to do that.

Have you always wanted to write or was it something you developed an interest in?

I’ve been writing since junior high school, whether it be short stories, bad poetry, or a neighborhood newsletter, but I never thought I’d actually publish a book. Writing Searching for Pemberley came about because I had knee replacement surgery, and I had a lot of time on my hands. So why not write a 400 page novel?

What is your writing process? Do you carry a notebook around or go to a separate room in your home? Do you dedicate time everyday to writing?

I don’t actually start writing until I have spent a lot of time thinking about the characters and the dialog. Only then do I sit down and start fleshing out my ideas. I might write down the odd note, maybe a historical nugget I happened upon, but 99% of it comes right out of my head. However, once I start putting the novel on paper, I am a virtual writing machine. I do all my writing in an office that I share with my husband, Paul, who is an architect. Our chairs are back to back for hours a day, and although we don’t talk much, we enjoy each other’s company.

You have written another book, The Second Date, Love Italian-American Style. How do you know about “gravy?” I live in South Philly and make a big pot of gravy and meatballs myself every Sunday. I have never heard anyone outside my neighborhood use this expression. I love it!

I’m of Irish descent, but growing up in North Jersey, I had a lot of Italian friends. I noticed that their families were more interesting than mine, and they ate better—a lot better. Lasagna versus ham and cabbage. The boy I dated all through high school and beyond was half Italian, and his mother never called her tomato sauce anything other than gravy (also pot cheese for ricotta and mozzarelle for mozzarella—no “a”). I received an e-mail from a reader who grew up in Delaware for that very reason. She wrote, “You say gravy, not sauce, and North Jersey, not New Jersey.”

Besides Austen, who are some of your favorite authors?

I love Charles Dickens. When I relax, I like to read mysteries where the author has a sense of humor. My favorite is probably Jamie Harrison who writes about a quirky town in Montana and its sheriff. I also like Clyde Edgerton.

What books are you currently reading?

I just finished Murder at Longbourn by Tracy Kiely, and I’m currently reading a biography of Andrew Carnegie.

Do you have any future projects in mind that you would like to speak about?

Thanks for asking. I have an Austen re-imagining coming out next December called Longbourn to Pemberley (working title) with Sourcebooks. As much as I love Pride and Prejudice, I feel that some of the characters lacked depth. In my novel, Anne De Bourgh and Georgiana Darcy are the ones who move Darcy and Lizzy through the story to their rendezvous with destiny at Pemberley. Anne is not the wooden Miss De Bourgh who sits on the couch and says nothing, and Georgiana is a vibrant teenager, who secretly writes romance novels. There is a lot of humor in the story because I am an admirer of Austen’s wit and wanted to be faithful to her style.


Thank you so much for stopping by today. I had a great time and feel I know you even better. Here's to that cup of coffee some day :)

About the Author

Mary Simonsen grew up in North Jersey with the exciting venues of New York City easily accessible. She is largely self-educated and is especially interested in American and European history and 19th Century novels. In Searching for Pemberley she was able to combine her love of history (World War II and postwar England) with Austen's characters, Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, and being a romantic, the novel includes three love stories from three different time periods, all thanks to Jane Austen. She lives in Peoria, Arizona. For more information, please visit



Set against Regency England, World Wars I and II, and postwar England, three love stories intertwine in surprising and fateful ways.

American Maggie Joyce, touring Derbyshire in 1947, visits, Montclair, an 18th century Georgian country house, that she is told was the model for Jane Austen's Pemberley. More amazingly, the former residents of the mansion, William Lacey and Elizabeth Garrison, were the inspiration for the characters of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice.

Through letters, diary entries, and oral history, Beth and Jack Crowell, a couple who lives in the nearby village of Crofton, share stories of the people they say inspired Jane Austen. They also tell their own love story, made difficult by their vastly different backgrounds—she was one of the social elite while he was the son of a servant. When their son, Michael, travels home from his RAF station in Malta, Maggie may have just found her very own Mr. Darcy.


I have two copies of this wonderful read to give away!

So here's the Giveaway scoop!

1. Open to residents of U.S. and Canada only. No P.O. boxes please.
2. Leave a comment with your email address so I can get in touch with you.
3. +1 entry for posting about this contest on your blog or side bar. Leave me a link please :)

Since it's such a busy time of the year, I am going to run this contest a little longer than usual.
Contest will end at midnight on Monday December 28th.
Good luck everyone!

Thank you to Danielle from Sourcebooks for arranging this interview and giveaway.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Review: My Unfair Lady by Kathryne Kennedy

Author: Kathryne Kennedy
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (December 1, 2009)
Genre: Fiction, romance
Mass Market paper back 384 pages
Book Source: Sourcebooks

From Sourcebooks:

A wild west heiress, Summer Wine Lee knows that she's not an acceptable bride for her fiance's knickerbocker family. She grew up in an Arizona mining town, cares more for critters than people, carries a knife under her skirts, and, worst of all, she has a highly improper secret from her past. But she also has high hopes that a real English Duke can teach her how to be a lady…

Were it not for his father's gambling debts, the Duke of Monchester would never have stooped to civilize Summer. But the more time he spends with her, and the more social scrapes he has to rescue her from, the more he finds it impossible to change her into a proper lady. How could he, when he's falling in love with her just the way she is?

My Thoughts:

This was a quick pleasant read. I liked Summer and her spunky self. As much as she tried to change herself to fit in with society, Summer would keep reverting back to her normal usual self, whipping out her knife at a moments notice. Maybe it's the street smarts in me, but I admire women who can take care of themselves. Summer's character reminds us that people and society should accept you for you. Whenever we try to change ourselves to fit in with a group, we lose our individuality. How fun and interesting would life be if we were all the same? Fortunately Summer realizes she is fine just the way she is and remains true to herself.

This story is mostly about Summer and unfortunately the secondary characters disappeared, like Maria. She was crazy and I liked her immensely. Maria's part of the story was wrapped up too neatly for me, and didn't mesh with the close relationship I read about between her and Summer. I was sorry to see her go.

With regards to the Duke, I liked him as well and enjoyed his interactions with both Summer and the other characters in the story. It was very easy to imagine the look on his face when he met Maria and the critters. The Duke finally opens up towards the end, and I was happy to learn his thoughts.

My one pet peeve with the story was Summer's use of the word "Tarnation!" I know that is a common expression for Summer's character to have, but she said it way too often. It was akin to someone saying "OMG" too much.

Overall I liked the story and the characters of Summer and Byron. It made for some great escapist reading and it was a joyful ride. I will definitely read anothe of Kennedy's books.

My Rating: 90/100

I am giving away one copy of this book to a lucky reader. If you would like to win a copy of this book for yourself, click here to enter. Contest ends midnight, December 14, 2009. Good luck!

Thanks to Danielle from Sourcebooks for my review and giveaway copies.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (Dec 8)

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Miz B of Should be Reading.
The rules are as follows:

*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

This is from an ARC so it is subject to change:

I must have seemed a little tense because Michael leaned over and said, "You're thinking you shouldn't be here, but my parents speak of you as if you were their daughter, although, I confess, I would have a hard time thinking of you as my sister."

pg 49 Searching for Pemberley, by Mary Lydon Simonsen

This book is a different take on Austen and I am enjoying it.

For more teasers, stop by here.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Review: The Recipe Club by Andrea Israel & Nancy Garfinkel

Publisher: Polhemus Press
Genre: Cookbook, fiction
Hard cover 359 pages
Book Source: FSB Associates

From the book's website:

Lilly and Val are lifelong friends, united as much by their differences as by their similarities. Lilly, dramatic and confident, lives in the shadow of her beautiful, wayward mother and craves the attention of her distant, disapproving father. Val, shy and idealistic— and surprisingly ambitious— struggles with her desire to break free from her demanding housebound mother and a father whose dreams never seem to come true.

In childhood, “LillyPad” and “Valpal” vow to form an exclusive two-person club. Throughout the decades they write intimate letters in which they share hopes, fears, deepest secrets—and recipes, from Lilly’s “Lovelorn Lasagna” to Valerie’s “Forgiveness Tapenade.” Readers can cook along as the girls travel through time facing the challenges of independence, the joys and heartbreaks of first love, and the emotional complexities of family relationships, identity, mortality, and goals deferred.

No matter what different paths they take or what misunderstandings threaten to break them apart, Lilly and Val always find their way back together through their Recipe Club…until the fateful day when an act of kindness becomes an unforgivable betrayal.

Now, decades later, while trying to recapture the trust they’ve lost, Lilly and Val reunite once more—only to uncover a shocking secret. Will it destroy their friendship, or bring them ever closer?

My Thoughts:

This is a wonderful way to make a book of recipes cute and fun. Each recipe reflects an incident or an occasion in the letter. For example, the break-up with a boy is tied to the recipe for Lovelorn Lasagna, because "How do you fix a broken heart? Maybe with ricotta cheese." (pg. 128) The recipes range from breakfast to dinner, with ones for Roasted Chicken, Meatloaf, and Salmon Croquettes. I have't tried any of them yet, but plan to make the Peanut Butter bars in a few weeks as part of holiday baking. I'll let you know how they come out.

With regards to the story, the girls,and their secret, I think it was pretty predictable. To be honest, I don't know why Val remained friends with Lilly. Actually I probably do, but lets not go there. Continuing on, I have friends with characteristics like Lilly, so I understand, to a certain extent, where they are coming from. However, the manner in which she treats Val, especially towards the end of the book is ridiculous. Val is not blameless in this story, but because Lilly had issues growing up does not excuse her behavior. Lilly could use a good slap back to reality, and Val should wash those footprints off her back.

Regardless, this really was a cute story and a very creative idea for a recipe book. Maybe it will make old friends or moms and daughters connect, who knows. Either way, those recipes sound delicious and I will definitely be trying some of those out.

My Rating: 88/100

The format of letters caused me some difficulty from time to time. The letters were not always back and forth, sometimes Val wrote a few in a row. Also, Lilly was very unreasonable at times and worked my nerves.

Thanks again to Caitlin from FSB Associates for my review copy.

I will let you know how those bars come out. I'm baking the weekend of the 18th, so keep your fingers crossed.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Winner of My Unfair Lady

Sorry for the delay folks. The winner of My Unfair Lady is....

Renee g

Congratulations! I 'll be in touch for your snail mail.
Thank you everyone for entering. I greatly appreciate it :)

Take care!

Winner of My Unfair Lady

Sorry for the delay folks. The winner of My Unfair Lady is.....

Renee G

Come on down! You are the winner. I will be in touch for your snail mail. Thank you everybody for entering.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's my 1st Blogaversary.....and I have a contest.

Happy 1st Blogaversary to me!

Today, December 3, marks my one year Blogaversary. I have learned so much, grown in terms of writing my reviews, and met so many lovely people this post year. I have made friends across the U.S, Canada, and Australia. When I started this blog, I never imagined I would have this much fun. Sure, sometimes it can be a pain in the butt and lots of work, but what isn't from time to time. That's life my friends. I have learned many new things, and discovered lots of new books and authors.

To celebrate my 1st Blogaversary, I will be giving away three of my gently read books, to three individual people.

You may choose one book from the following:

The Red Leather Diary by Lily Koppel
Children of Dust by Ali Eteraz
Pendragon's Banner by Helen Hollick
Legacy by Cayla Kulver (ARC)
Benny and Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti
Dancing with Ana by Nicole Barker
the Lie by Fredrica Wagman
The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
Honeymoon by James Patterson

So how do you enter?
Leave me a comment with your email address, and your three picks. I will do a random draw of three people. First person has first choice, second person, second, third person, third choice. I will try to accomodate your choices.

And since I am not rich, this is only open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.
Sorry to my Aussie posse and other international friends.

This contest is open until midnight, December 24th.

Good luck and thanks for making my first year a success and lots of fun :)

Here is an oldie but goodie. These were two of my favorite characters.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2010 Historical Fiction Challenge

This is hosted by Royal Reviews.

Here is the 411:

1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.

2. There are four levels:

-- Curious – Read 3 Historical Fiction novels.

-- Fascinated – Read 6 Historical Fiction novels.

-- Addicted – Read 12 Historical Fiction novels.

-- Obsessed – Read 20 Historical Fiction novels.

3. Any book format counts.

4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010. Only books started on January 1st count towards this challenge.

Click here to join in the fun.

My books are below:

1.) Island of the Swans
2.) The Black Moth
3.) The Highlander's Sword
4.) The Stolen Crown
5.) The Secret History of the Pink Carnation
6.) The Founding