Banned Books Week - September 24 - 30

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesdays on the Trail(er)--Scrooge (4)

***You will find the music player in the right sidebar and there you may turn off the auto play music before enjoying the trailer***


New feature showcasing a favorite or newly discovered book trailer every week.  Also, cross hosted over at Castle Macabre with the only difference being that horror movie trailers will also be featured since CM is technically a horror book/movie review site.  Please feel free to join in every week, if you would like.  I hope you enjoy it!

Not a book trailer this week, but this is a clip from one of my favorite A Christmas Carol adaptations.  My favorite song in the movie.  My husband and I are always singing this every year. =O)

Scrooge (1970), starring Albert Finney


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

TTBA Weekly News and Mailbox Monday (super late edition)

This feature was inspired by It's Monday! What are you reading? hosted by Sheila at Book Journey and by The Sunday Salon.

Yes, super late edition.  I can't seem to get it straight right now.  Well, really...do I ever?! The word organized and on time do not quite fit into my personality, unfortunately.  I do struggle to overcome these traits, but I'm afraid it's going to be an ongoing and never ending struggle.  I would like to take a moment to congratulate my fellow writing friends who are winners at NaNoWriMo this year.  Regrettably, I did not complete 50,000 words.  However, I did get a good beginning going on my novel and I continue to participate in the ongoing writing challenge, ROW80.  You can follow my progress at my writing blog, The Story Inside Me.

Be sure to stop by my home library blog, A Huge Library in a Small Apartment, where I have posted some pics of the process of sorting and shelving my 2000+ fiction books.  Trying to get this completed this week so I can get the Christmas decorations put up.  I usually have most everything up by now, except for the real tree, so I'm grossly behind this year.

EVENTS/NEWS
HAREM KINDLE IMAGE.jpg
Historical fiction author Colin Falconer shares his knowledge of harems in honor of the re-issue of his novel, Harem.  Check it out HERE and enter for your chance to win an eCopy of the book.


The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge is in full swing.  You can still sign up and join us, there is no deadline for sign-up.  You can find out the details and sign- up over at The Christmas Spirit HERE.



My annual season long event, Sharing the Joy, is going on now at The Christmas Spirit.  You can read all about what I have planned for the month at the INTRO POST.  I'm extending an invitation to any authors or bloggers who might like to contribute a guest post.  Please contact me at truebookaddictATgmailDOTcom, if you're interested.  Would sure love to have you!


Save the date! My winter read-a-thon, A Winter's Respite Read-a-Thon, is scheduled for January 23 -29, 2012.  Be watching for details and sign-up coming some time in December.

WHAT I'M READING
Last week:
--The Nine Lives of Christmas by Sheila Roberts (Review)
Yesterday:
--Catherine by Sigrid Weidenweber (Review)
Currently reading:
--What Alice Knew by Paula Marantz Cohen...for TuesBookTalk
--Bag of Bones by Stephen King for the read-a-long at Castle Macabre (see above)
--Lost December by Richard Paul Evans
--The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: 101 Inspiring Ways to Enjoy Christmas by Candy Paull
Coming up:
--The Hypnotist by M.J. Rose, blog tour December 6 (review) and 9 (guest post/giveaway)
--I'm going to be doing a lot of Christmas reading from now throughout Christmas, including The Gingerbread Bump-Off by Livia J. Washburn, Tumbleweed Christmas by Beverly Stowe McClure (12/8 at Christmas Spirit), and Next Christmas in Girouette by Michael Welch (all for review), Little Shepherd by Cheryl C. Malandrinos (12/16 at Christmas Spirit).


Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia and is currently on tour. This month, Marcia is hosting it herself on the Mailbox Monday dedicated blog HERE.(want to read a book description? Clicking the book covers will take you to the book's page on Amazon).

GIFT:
Graveminder
Graveminder by Melissa Marr...from Marcia (see above)...thank you!!!

FOR REVIEW:
The Temple Mount Code (Thomas Lourds, #3)
The Temple Mount Code by Charles Brokaw....from Tom Doherty Associates, publicist
Little Shepherd
Little Shepherd by Cheryl C. Malandrinos....from the author

MUSIC:
Downloaded from Amazon
A Very She & Him Christmas
A Very She and Him Christmas--She and Him
Holiday Spirits
Holiday Spirits--Straight No Chaser

Monday, November 28, 2011

Book Tour: Review of Catherine by Sigrid Weidenweber




My thoughts:
Anyone who visits my blog will immediately know of my admiration for Catherine the Great because of her presence in my slideshow of favorite historical figures at the top of my blog.  That being said, I really have not read in depth about Catherine.  I know the basics about her achievements and her life, but I have never delved particularly deeply.  Then, along comes this wonderful historical novel by Ms. Weidenweber, that, although it is fiction, is so thoroughly researched and informative, I have learned so much more about Catherine.  Now, all I want to do is read more about her in the non-fiction arena.  Again, historical fiction has fulfilled its most important task, in my opinion...sparking a further interest in a historical topic or figure.

The author has written a long book--well, it showed 853 pages on my Sony Reader--which is why I am so late with this review.  It's not a light summer read.  It takes some time and attention, but it is well worth it.  I'm honestly going to read it again when I'm not in such a time crunch so I can truly appreciate its merits...and believe me, it has many merits.  Catherine is the first book in the trilogy, The Volga River Flows Forever, the second and third books being The Volga Germans and From Gulag to Freedom.  I really can't wait to read the rest of the series.


About the book:
“You look astonishingly pretty,” admits Johanna when Sophia steps out of her bedroom dressed in Ulrika’s magnificent gown. Sophia is stunned, halting in mid-step. This is rare praise from her cold mother, so she must, indeed, look very good. At Frederick’s side during the elaborate court dinner, Sophia shines and sparkles with youth and wit. The monarch is very pleased with his choice. Indeed, he is so enamored with the girl that he opens his purse to outfit mother and daughter, both woefully deficient in material matters appropriate for court life.

So begins the transformation of Princess Sophia of Anhalt-Zerbst into Catherine the Great of Russia. The personal and professional triumphs and tribulations of this remarkable woman are retold by Sigrid Weidenweber, whose research into the life of Catherine reveals a new perspective on Catherine, from the inside out. Sigrid portrays with heartfeld understanding what it was like to have been such a major European political and military, social and cultural figure during the eighteenth century.


About the author:
Born in Germany in 1941, Sigrid Weidenwber remembers the horrific aftermath of fascism. At the end of the war, she found herself living under communism. After the Berlin Wall was built, she managed to escape the repressive environment with the help of friends and a French passport. To this day she does not speak French.

She holds degrees in medical technology, psychology and an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Concordia University of Portland, Oregon for her trilogy “The Volga Flows Forever.” In her trilogy she brings to life Catherine the Great in her multiple roles as monarch, woman, lover, mother, grandmother and head of the general staff of the army, in Volume one. The following two historical volumes deal with the Volga Germans brought to Russia by Catherine’s edict.

Tour Page and Schedule


Buy the book on AMAZON



DISCLOSURE:  I received an eBook copy of Catherine in exchange for an honest review.  I was not monetarily compensated.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lena Sledge's Blog...Lena's Kindle Touch 1,000 Followers Giveaway!


Lena Sledge is giving away a Kindle Touch for achieving 1000 followers! Head over to the link below to check it out.

Lena Sledge's Blog... Books, Reviews and Interviews: Lena's Kindle Touch 1,000 Followers Giveaway!: I'm so excited to have so many wonderful people following me on my literary journey. I said when I make it to 1,000 followers through ...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Book Nooks (2)



Book Nooks
*Every weekend*
Show us something pretty!



Commentary:  Okay, this is just simply gorgeous.  So inviting at this time of year.  Another dream nook of mine!

Details: Location and artist unknown, not given in original post.
Source: http://avoidingmadness.tumblr.com/page/5
Join in: Add your own Book Nooks post 


Happy Haul-idays from Chronicle Books!




Chronicle Books is hosting it's second annual Happy Haul-idays giveaway where you can win a haul of books ($500 worth) from Chronicle Books. If you comment on my blog post, you can also enter into the giveaway and if I win, I get to randomly choose a commenter on this post to also win $500 of Chronicle Books.

For bloggers:
You can enter by writing a blog post about Happy Haul-idays with the haul of books that you'd like to win and go to Chronicle Books to enter your name. That's it! If you win, you and a commenter on your post can both win $500 of Chronicle Books.

For non-bloggers:
You can enter by commenting on my blog and other participating blogs. There is a list of participating blogs on the Chronicle Books page. 

LogoMy charity--Reading Tree
Over 4 million books have been donated and delivered to schools, libraries and children!

We are a non-profit organization that delivers an effective solution to two, domestic problems:
--Scarcity of books in disadvantaged areas
--Excess books thrown into landfills


My Chronicle Books choices:
By Russell Ash,and Bernard Higton
Fairy Tales from Hans Christian Andersen: A Classic Illustrated Edition
By Han Christian Andersen
The Magic Flute
Retold by Anne Gatti,Illustrated by Peter Malone
By Nick Bantock,and Edoardo Ponti
By The Beatles
By Chris Baty, Lindsey Grant, and Tavia Stewart-Streit of National Novel Writing Month
By Martha Zamora,Translated by Marilyn Sode Smith
By Mila Boutan
Wookiee Cookies: A Star Wars Cookbook
By Robin Davis
By Lynn Gordon,Illustrations by Karen Johnson
By J. W. Rinzler,Foreword by Ben Burtt
By Yoda
By Michaela MacColl
By Gary Ghislain
By Frankie Frankeny,and Wesley Martin
By Sarah Billingsley,and Amy Treadwell,Photographs by Antonis Achilleos
By Anne Taintor
By Mario Garza
By Gina Triplett

Head over to Chronicle Books and fill out the entry form, but don't forget to leave a comment here first...you just might win $500 in books too! Good luck!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cat Thursday--Happy Thanksgiving!

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)

May you and your families have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
Funny Pictures - Cute Kittens

funny pictures - And all was right                    with the world



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Christmas Reading Challenges!


Okay, so although I've already started reading my Christmas books, I'm just now officially signing up for my own reading challenge! Yeah, I'm pretty much late for everything.  It's the cross I bear. =O(

Here are the levels for The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge.  You can read all the rest of the details HERE.
            --Candy Cane:  read 1 book

            --Mistletoe:  read 2-4 books
            --Christmas Tree:  read 5 or 6 books (this is the fanatic level...LOL!)
          Additional levels:
            --Fa La La La Films:  watch a bunch or a few Christmas movies...it's up to you!
            --Visions of Sugar Plums:  read books with your children this season and share what you read
          *the additional levels are optional, you still must complete one of the main reading levels above

I'll be reading at the Christmas tree level and will be doing Fa la la la films and Visions of sugar plums levels too! Here are some of the books I'll be reading:

BookBox: embed book widget, share book list
I actually already finished and reviewed The Nine Lives of Christmas by Sheila Roberts today.  Read my review HERE.

There will probably be other selections added to this list or swapped out.  Never know where the mood will take me!

I'm also overlapping with this challenge:

christmas in july
Christmas in July in Dec., hosted by Wall-to-Wall Books  Here are the details:

So here's the challenge -
*During the month of December to read only Christmas books (or as many as you can) there is no set number as to how many Christmas books you have to read. Read at least one and post about it.
*To do giveaways involving Christmas books (I have quite a few planned!) Please do at least one Christmas book giveaway for the challenge.

My first giveaway - is any Christmas book from Amazon under $10.00 - I will have it shipped to your house! You have till Nov. 30th to sign up.
Winner will be chosen and announced on Dec. 1st.
And Reading Challenge will begin Dec. 1st.
*This giveaway is for Bloggers only!
*Any Blogger who signs up to do "Christmas in July, in Dec.", and posts about it, will be entered!

Sign up HERE.

Since I'm already doing a giveaway for my challenge and I'm doing another Christmas event with another blogger with a giveaway, I have that covered! However, I will not be able to read only Christmas books, as I have a few review obligations.  But, as you can see above, I'm still planning on doing a lot of holiday reading. =O)


Wednesdays on the Trail(er)--The Greatest Knight (4)

***You will find the music player in the right sidebar and there you may turn off the auto play music before enjoying the trailer***


New feature showcasing a favorite or newly discovered book trailer every week.  Also, cross hosted over at Castle Macabre with the only difference being that horror movie trailers will also be featured since CM is technically a horror book/movie review site.  Please feel free to join in every week, if you would like.  I hope you enjoy it!

I have this on my Sony Reader.  I really need to read it!




Book Tour: Review of The Nine Lives of Christmas by Sheila Roberts

The Nine Lives of Christmas


My thoughts:
Give me a book with a cat and Christmas in it and it's a surefire bet that I'm going to like it.  The Nine Lives of Christmas is a lovely Christmas tale told partially from a cat's point of view.  The cat is named Ambrose and he is a yellow tabby who is on his last life.  Ambrose is so engaging.  Sheila really captured what most of us cat lovers know about cats...little lovers with attitude.  I enjoyed the parts featuring Ambrose best, with his inner monologue all focused on how he is going to achieve a long and comfortable ninth life.  Of course, some matchmaking is in order.  It wouldn't be a Christmas story unless there was a little romance thrown in.

I was afraid at first that this book might end up very sad.  It seems that a lot of the stories featuring animals often do.  Luckily, this book filled the bill of a fun and heartwarming Christmas tail (tale...sorry, had to use Sheila's witticism) that just adds to the fun and magic of the season.  Thank goodness Nicholas Sparks doesn't write Christmas books.

If you love Christmas themed books, you will really enjoy this book.  I know it has become part of my permanent Christmas book collection and, I'm sure, will get a reread in Christmases to come!

The Nine Lives of Christmas Virtual Book Publicity Tour November 2011

About the book:
Bestselling author Sheila Roberts brings us a humorous, heartwarming Christmas novel about a matchmaking cat who brings a couple together just in time for the holidays.

When a guy is in trouble, he starts making deals with his Creator…and Ambrose the cat is no exception. In danger of losing his ninth and final life, Ambrose makes a desperate plea. He’ll do anything—anything!—if he can just survive and enjoy a nice long, final life. His prayer is answered when a stranger comes along and saves him, and now it looks like he has to hold up his end of the bargain.

The stranger turns out to be a fire fighter named Zach, the quintessential commitment- phobe who’s in need of some serious romantic help. If Ambrose can just bring Zach together with Merilee, the nice lady who works at Pet Palace, it’s bound to earn him a healthy ninth life. Unfortunately for Ambrose, his mission is a lot harder than he ever anticipated. Now it’s going to take all his feline wiles—and a healthy dose of Christmas magic—to bring them all together in time for the holidays. (Goodreads)

Sheila Roberts 2

About the author:
Writing since 1989, Sheila Roberts has had 26 books published, both fiction and nonfiction, under different names. Her books have been chosen for book clubs, Readers Digest Condensed books, and her popular novel ON STRIKE FOR CHRISTMAS was made into a movie and appeared on the Lifetime Movie Network. Her novel ANGEL LANE was named one of Amazon’s Top Ten Romances for 2009.

However, before she settled into her writing career, she did lots of other things, including owning a singing telegram company and playing in a band. Writing and helping others to find ways to better themselves are her greatest passions and her popular newsletter SUPER YOU, is dedicated to helping women improve their lives.

When she’s not making public appearances or playing with her friends, she can be found writing about those things near and dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.

Sheila Roberts lives in the Pacific Northwest. She’s happily married and has three children.

Visit Sheila:  Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook



Disclosure:  I recevied a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Pump Up Your Book! I received no monetary compensation.  

Monday, November 21, 2011

TTBA Weekly News and Mailbox Monday

This feature was inspired by It's Monday! What are you reading? hosted by Sheila at Book Journey and by The Sunday Salon.

Thanksgiving just a couple of days away and Christmas right around the corner...where does the time go?  This time of year means non-stop busy for me.  How about you?  Oh, and I saw Breaking Dawn on Saturday and I LOVED it! Can you believe I cried almost through the whole movie?  I always cry at weddings...and difficult pregnancies. *L*

EVENTS/NEWS
HAREM KINDLE IMAGE.jpg
Historical fiction author Colin Falconer shares his knowledge of harems in honor of the re-issue of his novel, Harem.  Check it out HERE and enter for your chance to win an eCopy of the book.
We're only one week in on the Bag of Bones read-a-long over at Castle Macabre.  Why not join in?  At this point, you can still catch up.  You can check out the details HERE.  Come spend a month with the king of horror, Stephen King! The mini-series adaptation of Bag of Bones is coming in December on A&E.

The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge started yesterday.  You can still sign up and join us.  You can find out the details and sign- up over at The Christmas Spirit HERE.


My annual season long event, Sharing the Joy, starts Friday on The Christmas Spirit and I'm kicking off with a charity post by Melissa Ann Goodwin, author of The Christmas Village.  You can read all about Friday's kick-off and what I have planned for the month at the INTRO POST.  I'm extending an invitation to any authors or bloggers who might like to contribute a guest post.

Save the date! My winter read-a-thon, A Winter's Respite Read-a-Thon, is scheduled for January 23 -29, 2012.  Be watching for details and sign-up coming some time in December.


WHAT I'M READING
Last week:
--finished The Women of the Cousins' War by Philippa Gregory et al (Review)
Currently reading:
--What Alice Knew by Paula Marantz Cohen...for TuesBookTalk
--The Nine Lives of Christmas by Sheila Roberts...for review
--Bag of Bones by Stephen King for the read-a-long at Castle Macabre (see above)

I'm participating in the Goodreads Cover to Cover Challenge group's week long read-a-thon week (sort of).  They let you pick which day you want to do the 24 hour portion and I'm thinking about doing that on Wednesday.  We'll see!

Coming up:
--I'm going to be doing a lot of Christmas reading from now throughout Christmas, including The Gingerbread Bump-Off by Livia J. Washburn, Tumbleweed Christmas by Beverly Stowe McClure, and Next Christmas in Girouette by Michael Welch (all for review) and some Christmas titles of my own, like Richard Paul Evans's new one, Lost December, among others.
--For review next week, Catherine by  Sigrid Weidenweber
--The Hypnotist by M.J. Rose, blog tour December 6 and 9


Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia and is currently on tour. This month, Marcia is hosting it herself on the Mailbox Monday dedicated blog HERE.(want to read a book description? Clicking the book covers will take you to the book's page on Amazon). 


BookBox: embed book widget, share book list

FOR REVIEW:
Next Christmas in Girouette by Michael Welch...from the author

FROM MYSTERY GUILD (INTRO PKG):
The Sherlockian by Graham Moore
The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma
11/22/63 by Stephen King
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Candy Paull
Very Merry Cookies from Better Homes and Gardens

  WON:


From Sharon at Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews:
--Debbie Macomber Christmas books:
   The Perfect Christmas
   Touched by Angels
   A Season of Angels
--Cedar Cove, Washington coffee mug filled with coffee and tea
--Debbie Macomber Cedar Cove recipe cards
--bookmark/swag



From Lori at Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book
--Sup with the Devil by Barbara Hamilton
--Dollycas totebag
--Cozy Chicks blog button/pin
--a pencil
--flip-flop notepad (cute)
--lots of bookmarks/swag

Guest Post and Giveaway: Harem by Colin Falconer (eBook)

WINNER:  Margaret  Congratulations!


In the nineteenth century the Orient Express opened up the decaying Ottoman world to tourism. The heady mix of the exotic and the erotic immediately captured the Victorian imagination and 'Orientalism' became fashionable. A French artist, Henriette Browne, accompanied her husband on a diplomatic trip to Constantinople, and became an instant sensation when she exhibited one of her paintings, Harem Interior, in Paris.

It seems rather tame now, depicting some veiled, long robed women gathered under Oriental arches, but it lit a fire under the public imagination of the time. European artists were soon flocking to the train stations and the docks with their easels under their arms heading to Turkey to paint dream-like canvases of half naked young women, soaping each other in Asiatic day spas. 

Such images still inform much of how we imagine the Ottoman harem today. 

Did the sultan really flick his handkerchief at his girl of choice for each night? In theory - yes. 

Were rebellious concubines put into weighted sacks and thrown into the Bosphorus? Apparently - also true. 

Did the Sultans surrender themselves to debauch and die content?

No.

First, let's look at how girls were chosen; it's a common fantasy to imagine the Sultan sleeping with a different woman every night, and it is true that some Sultans gave full rein to their appetites. For example Moulay Ismail, the Sultan of Morocco from 1672 to 1727, fathered 867 children in thirty years. It was said he had over 500 concubines at any one time. 

But more commonly the Lord of Life, as the Ottoman Sultan was known, spent his nights with one of his favourites. He had a secretary to keep a diary of his nocturnal visits to ensure he shared himself out fairly, in an effort to prevent jealous disputes among his women. It wasn't that these ladies adored him so much; this was about status. It was about children. Ultimately it was about power.

For any concubine the only way out of a life of boredom and neglect was to insinuate herself into the Suleiman's bed, became a favourite and then bear him a son. If that son then ascended to the throne she then became the most powerful woman in the Empire while still remaining, technically, a slave. 

Imagine a palace full of a hundred scheming, jealous Ann Boleyns and one Henry and you are starting to form a clearer picture of the Ottoman harem.

Were rebellious or wayward concubines tied in a sack and drowned in the Bosphorus? This was certainly true. Although it cannot be proved that Sultan Ibrahim 1 actually did drown all 280 girls in his harem on a whim, many girls did meet a grim end this way. It was the traditional way for a Sultan to be rid of his brother's wives when he assumed the throne, or to punish a girl who had somehow found a way to get pregnant by one of the white eunuchs. 

The white birds that wheeled silently above the Bosphorus were known to the Stamboulis as the Damned Souls, for it was believed they contained the spirits of the houris who had been drowned in the waters below. The mud at the bottom of the harbor was said to be thick with the whitening bones of former wives and odalisques.

Were the Sultans happy? Their greatest Sultans, Suleiman the Magnificent, found no measure of contentment, as evidenced by the writings he left behind. It was his story that first attracted me to this place and time. 

On the face of it, it was the perfect love story. 

He gave up his entire harem for one slave girl, Russelana. He freed her from slavery, brought her to live in his palace and even, against all Ottoman tradition, married her and made her his queen. 

And yet.

And yet his life after that was riddled with tragedy and at the bottom of every desperate act we see the shadow of another hand; that hand may well have belonged to his queen. But why and how? 

The why and how is the reason I came to write the book. The Ottoman harem was no paradise on earth. It was a snakepit. Ann Boleyn? Elizabeth the First? They would have lasted five minutes. Russelana would have had them for breakfast. 

As Suleiman wrote at the end of his life: "What men call empire is worldwide strife and ceaseless war. In all the world the only joy lies in a hermit's rest."


Colin Falconer has been published widely in the UK, US and Europe and his books have been translated into seventeen languages. You can find him at his blog at http://www.colin-falconer.blogspot or his web page at http://www.colinfalconer.net/



Leave a comment for a chance to win an eBook copy of HAREM.  Giveaway will end on December 5, 2011 at 11:59pm CST.  Open worldwide.

- See more at: http://www.techtrickhome.com/2013/02/show-comment-box-above-comments-on.html#sthash.TjHz2Px9.dpuf