Monday, January 31, 2011


Random Magic Tour: Vive L’Amour
Feb. 1-14, 2011

Tour organization: Lyrika Publicis
Tour prize coordinator: vvb32
Contact the tour: @RandomMagicTour

Win a sweet prize!
Play to win: The Language of Flowers
or Love: A Treasury of Verse

Feb. 1
Top Five: Most romantic flowers

Feb. 2
Twitter: @lindsiking
Top Five: Tempting sweets and treats

Feb. 3
Top Five: Vintage Valentines and quotes

Feb. 4
Romantic Reads - Reading circle
Discover some wonderful stories about love,
handpicked by a great group of international bloggers.

Twitter: @MissIrenne

Twitter: @Misha_1989

Twitter: @BooksAtTinas

Feb. 5
Twitter: @taramq
Top Five: Delightful dishes

Feb. 6
Top Five: Romantic places

Feb. 7
Twitter: n/a
Top Five: Aphrodisiacs

Feb. 8
Top Five: Fictional lovers

Feb. 9
Twitter: @Misha_1989
Top Five: Most romantic movies

Feb. 10
Top Five: Most unconventional couples

Feb. 11
Top Five: Mojo magic

Feb. 12
Twitter: @MissIrenne
Top Five: Historical lovers

Feb. 13
Twitter: @vvb32reads
Top Five: Most romantic poems

Feb. 14
He Said/She Said: Musical blog hop
Romance, flirting, mad passion,
melancholy regret and bitter heartbreak…
Find songs that share every nuance of love
from male and female points of view,
on this sweet musical blog hop!

Music hop menu (courtesy vvb32)

Twitter: @vvb32reads

Twitter: @BooksAtTinas

Twitter: @MissIrenne

Twitter: @taramq

Join me on the 10th for my Top 5 Unconventional Lovers and on the 14th for the music hop...and don't forget to check out the rest of the tour.  It's sure to be a romantic romp for Valentine's season!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

It's pictures like these that remind me that while I'm spending all this time online, I may be neglecting those I love.  Don't worry...Alice doesn't have to pull these tactics.  She is well-fed...maybe too much so...LOL!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Well, I did! I surpassed 300 followers in the past couple of weeks! I've just been too busy to acknowledge it.  I just wanted all you wonderful followers to know that I did notice and to thank you for following me.  I am putting together a book giveaway for you.  I am planning on giving away four gently used and/or new copies of older releases.  My question for you is:

Would you rather there be four winners--one book to each winner?


One winner for all four books?

Let me know your opinion in the comments.  Thanks!

I'll announce the giveaway soon. =O)


Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme where we share the book candy that came into our homes in the past week.  MM is now on monthly blog tours and this month's host blog is Rose City Reader.

(Click on book titles for book descriptions at Goodreads)


Here are the books I bought with the Barnes & Noble gift card I received for Christmas:

You Are More Than Enough Achievement Journal by Judi Moreo

Read This Next: 500 of the Best Books You'll Ever Read by Sandra Newman & Howard Mittelmark

From Amazon:

From Deals (a dollar store):

A Romanov Fantasy: Life at the Court of Anna Anderson by Frances Welch

I joined a ridiculous number of mail order book clubs during the holidays so I decided not to bombard you with all my purchases at once, but to share just a couple titles a week:

The Vampire Archive:  The Most Complete Volume of Vampire Tales Ever Published edited by Otto Penzler

The Vikings: A History by Robert Ferguson

These books were purchased on Saturday at a quarterly library sale I NEVER miss! These titles, plus three children's books for the boys, for $17.00...awesome:

Barn Blind by Jane Smiley
Codex by Lev Grossman
The Drowning Tree by Carol Goodman
Interred with their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell 
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
The Treasure Keeper by Shana Abe
The Ghost by Robert Harris
A Dog Named Christmas by Greg Kincaid

The Book of English Magic by Philip Carr-Gomm & Richard Heygate...from Wonders and Marvels

Jonas-Brother of Present by Birgitta Snyder...from the author

So....what delights came into your home in the past week?

Monday, January 24, 2011


No...I didn't get as much reading done as I wanted, but I enjoyed myself.  As part of the read-a-thon, I spent some time signing up for the reading challenges I'll be participating in this year.  I sign up for all reading challenges through my challenge blog, but I will have a post up here soon detailing which ones I joined.  Now here is what I read for the read-a-thon:

By Fire, By Water by Mitchell James Kaplan...what a great book! I will have my review up this week.
The Sword of Shannara by Terry 165 pages
Quicksilver by Joy Spraycar...112 pages--this one is a little slow going so far. did you do?  I hope you got some good reading in, but most of all, I hope you had fun.  If you do a wrap-up post, feel free to share the link in the comments.  Looking ahead, I already have the name for my Spring read-a-thon, which will be in April (no worries...I will distance it from Dewey's 24 hour).  I'm calling it Spring's Serenity Read-A-Thon.  I just have to come up with the dates.  Stay tuned!

Now for the two winners of signed copies of The Queen's Pawn by Christy English.  Drum roll please....

Kai Charles @ Fiction State of Mind

I have notified the winners.  Please respond to me with your mailing addresses within 48 hours.  Thanks!

I would like send out a special thanks to Christy English for her generous donation of our prizes for the read-a-thon.  And I'd also like to thank everyone who participated.  I'm looking forward to the next one.  Word is Unputdownables is having a 48 hour TBR the first weekend in February...can't wait!

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Here is what I have read this week for the read-a-thon:

By Fire, By Water by Mitchell James Kaplan


165 pages of 736 pages of The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

So...haven't accomplished quite what I set out for.  Had a busy week and I got in a fight with the Sleep Monster...and he won.  Seriously, I have been SO tired this week.  I had contemplated doing Bloggiesta this weekend.  I wanted to work mainly on my library blog, A Huge Library in a Small Apartment.  However, I decided against it because I want to focus on the reading for the rest of the read-a-thon.  I'll be starting Quicksilver by Joy Spraycar today and I'm hoping to get started on Captivity by Deborah Noyes before it's over as well.  We'll see...

I hope everyone has been enjoying the read-a-thon.  I will try to stop by Twitter tonight to see if anyone is chatting about the #readathon.

Now, I'm off to a library sale...hope I find some treasures today!


Every year, on this date, I take a moment to remember and recognize one of my favorite actors, Heath Ledger, who was taken from us much too soon on January 22, 2008.  Today, I pause with a moment of silence in honor of him......Heath, you are missed. =O(

Here's my favorite part of Heath's movie, A Knight's Tale.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

As many of you know, I'm hosting a week long read-a-thon this week.  Here are some visual aids for your enjoyment. 

This is what a read-a-thon is supposed to look like...

And this is what my read-a-thon has been looking like so far this week.  LOL!
I'm redoubling my efforts so the rest of the read-a-thon can be less of a fail...if I can stay awake, that is!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


The read-a-thon starts at midnight! Can you tell I'm excited?!

This is the official starting line post for the read-a-thon and my reading plans and list as well.  Remember, you do not have to sign in tonight.  You can sign in whenever during the week that you start reading.  Just remember to sign in so you will be entered in the INTERNATIONAL giveaway for the two SIGNED copies of The Queen's Pawn by Christy English.

Here is my plan for the read-a-thon...I'm going to try to read one book a day! I know, I know! You're thinking, "this from the girl whose read-a-thon participation is usually a major fail."  Well, I'm going to really go for it this time.  You see, I have a stack of 8 ARCs/for review books left over from 2010 that I really must get read and reviewed.  One of them I have already started so...  Plus, I have to read the section of The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks for my TuesBookTalk chat on Tuesday and I need to read a little bit of The Monk by Matthew Lewis for my 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die book club on Goodreads...before I get behind! So here is my list and a nice pic of my book stack.  Next, I'm off to decide what reading challenges I'm going to sign up for and sign up so I can count all my reading this week toward challenges...YEAH!
  • By Fire, By Water by Mitchell James Kaplan (to finish)
  • Quicksilver by Joy Spraycar
  • Dante's Journey by JC Marino
  • Captivity by Deborah Noyes
  • Blood and Silk by Carol McKay
  • Once Wicked, Always Dead by T. Marie Benchley
  • The Lucifer Code by Charles Brokaw
  • The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman
  • The Monk by Matthew Lewis (reading a bit for book club)
  • The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks (reading a bit for book chat)
So...welcome to the read-a-thon! I hope you have a wonderful week of reading and I look forward to checking in with you when I can and I'll be looking for you from time to time on Twitter as well (#readathon).  Happy Reading!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I have our official giveaway for A Winter's Respite Read-A-Thon.  Historical author, Christy English, has generously donated two SIGNED copies of her excellent Eleanor of Aquitaine novel, The Queen's Pawn!'s international! All you have to do to be entered is to sign in at the starting line (I will have the sign in linky up on Sunday evening) and participate in the read-a-thon.  Now remember, this is a flexible read-a-thon so you don't have to sign in on Monday at can sign in at whatever point during the week that you start reading for the read-a-thon.  Just so I know that everyone participated, I will have a linky for wrap up posts so I can track participation (no matter how much or little time was spent reading).  So...have I confused anyone yet?  Basically, I'm just saying sign in whenever you start.  If you can't start until Wednesday, sign in then and so on and so forth.  Then, at the end of the read-a-thon, link up your wrap up post.  Easy peasy! I have decided not to do a mini-challenge because I want the focus to be on the reading.  I will still be checking in on Twitter though (#readathon).  However, if any of you participants want to do a mini-challenge, by all means go ahead.  Just be sure to let me know so I can help get the word out.
Now, here is some info about The Queen's Pawn and the author, Christy English:

Princess Alais of France travels to England to marry Richard the Lionhearted, the son of King Henry II, armed only with her dowry, the valuable Vexin. When Alais arrives in the land of her father’s enemies, she is welcomed by the beautiful and powerful queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Eleanor, the richest and most influential woman in Europe, sees a kindred soul in the young French princess. Intrigued by the girl’s strength and fire, Eleanor adopts Alais as her protégée, teaching the girl what it takes to be a woman of power in a world of men. But Eleanor and Alais’ love for each other is threatened when the capricious and imperious King Henry meets the lovely young princess. Fascination with the king draws Alais deep into political intrigue, and she soon discovers what Eleanor is prepared to do to retain her position as queen. Alais, the one-time pawn, takes ruthless action of her own, as the two women become rivals both for the king’s love and the throne of England itself. (from Goodreads)

Read my review at this POST.

About Christy English:

When I am not writing about Eleanor of Aquitaine, Alais of France, and the Plantagenets of the 12th Century, I am driving across the Southeast, talking about them to whoever will listen. Join me on my continuing adventures at  (from Goodreads)

Thanks so much to Christy for being SO generous!

Less than 48 hours to go...are you ready to get your read on?!

Friday, January 14, 2011


Melissa over at Coffee, Books, and Laundry posted an insightful post about ratings and reviews.  Go HERE to read the entire post.
Here's what she asked:

What does a three rating mean to you? What do ya’ll think about ratings? Is the 1 through 5 system too plain? Most importantly though, do you debate whether you should give a book a try with a rating in the 3's on Goodreads or Amazon?

This was my response in the comments and it pretty much sums up how I feel about ratings and reviews:

I learned a long time ago that reviews are subjective. I first learned this with movie reviews when most of the movies I liked were given bad reviews. I then learned it with book reviews when I started blogging. There were several people that hated The Time Traveler's Wife and I loved it. Now what if I would have read their reviews before reading it and then not read it because of them? I would have missed out on a book I truly loved. So, while I read (some) reviews, I just keep them in mind. I do not let them influence what I read. I also do not give point ratings, except on Goodreads and on my Novel Glimpses (mini-reviews). Books just have so much to offer. There is often so much good along with the bad. I find it hard to put a number on it. And I find myself second guessing the ratings I have given on Goodreads a lot. A ratings system is just not for me.

In answer to your question, a 3 rating would not dissuade me from reading a book. Even a bad review doesn't do that. If I planned on reading the book and I read a bad review of it, I still read the book anyway!

So what is your opinion on this subject?  Feel free to share in the comments.

I also wanted to take a moment to introduce you to a new book blog that I'm pretty excited about.  My friend, Heather, who I met through Twitter and TuesBookTalk, has created her very own book blog.  Heather has great taste in reading and discussing books with her is very interesting and thought provoking.  So stop over at Between the Covers... and say hello...and be sure to tell her I sent you so she knows what a great friend I am...LOL!  ;o)  Welcome to the wonderful world of book blogging, Heather!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

This is what four unscheduled days off for the kids (inclement weather, bad roads) starts to look and sound like. Yes, I've wanted to give them a piece of my mind several times over and yes, I really can't afford to lose anymore of what mind I have...LOL!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Mailbox Monday's monthly blog tour is being hosted this month by Rose City Reader.  To join in, click on the highlighted title to visit and sign up.

This is a rather large mailbox post tonight and you'll probably be wondering, "how did she afford to buy all those books?"  Well, I'm listing what I bought first and let me just tell you...they all came from my monthly library sale and the Goodwill half price sale.  All these books cost me less than $30 and they are mostly hardcover editions! I'm nothing if I'm not frugal (even though I need more books like I need a hole in my head)!


Click titles for book descriptions at Goodreads

From top left moving left to right on each row

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows


For review:

The Arrow Chest by Robert Parry...from the author (gorgeous cover, isn't it?)

The Anatomy of Ghosts by Andrew Taylor...from Library Thing Early Reviewers

So...what treats came into your home last week?

Monday, January 10, 2011


Today, my younger son, Reece, is turning 8! My how time seems only yesterday I was holding him in my arms.  He still climbs up in my lap and snuggles.  I'll never get tired of that! I love you, son.  Happy Birthday and stay sweet!

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