Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cat Thursday

Couldn't miss Cat Thursday, even though I'm still sick.  Strep Throat sucks.  I've been on antibiotics since Monday night and my throat still feels like I swallow swords for a living...LOL! Let's just hope that it doesn't turn out to be mono.  The doc was so alarmed by my throat, she thought it might be.  "Come back if you aren't getting any better."  Oh dear!

Anyway, this one reminded me of one of the reasons I love cats.  Enjoy!

Join us and share your cat fave of the week!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

And she's down for the count...

I'm sick...very sick! It started Saturday with a sore throat, Sunday added fever, body aches and chills, and today, my fears were confirmed when I checked my throat and saw white and inflammation.  Low and behold...strep throat and an ear infection.  No work for 48 hours because of contagion and rest.  That's what the doctor ordered.  Unfortunately, I do my college online so I still have to complete my school work.  Bummer! This is the last week of school so two finals.  Ugh! =O(

So...please forgive my absence over the weekend and this week, as I'm recuperating and wrapping up the semester.  I am severly backlogged in reviews and I have an author interview to post.  I hate getting this behind.  I'm going to have to post my Mailbox Monday in a couple of days.  And my Google Reader is at 400+ new items! Hopefully, I'll feel a little better tomorrow and won't need to sleep as much so I can get some reading done. *fingers crossed*


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day

I was trying to think of something I could do in honor of Earth Day today.  I already recycle (although I could do a little better) and I use the energy efficient light bulbs in my home.  I try to do as much as I can in my small way, and on a very limited budget, to do my part.  But I wanted to do something specific today.  Well, thanks to my friend Stephanie at Misfit Salon, I found out.  I'm making my blog carbon neutral!

According to a study by Alexander Wissner-Gross, PhD, physicist at Harvard University and environmental activist, an average website causes about 0.02g (0,0008oz.) of carbon dioxide for each visit. Assuming an average blog gets 15,000 visits a month, it has yearly carbon dioxide emissions of 3,6kg (8lb.). This can mainly be tracked back to the immense energy usage from (mainframe) computers, servers, and their cooling systems.

One tree neutralises the carbon dioxide emissions of your blog.

Post about this carbon neutral initiative and the Arbor Day Foundation will plant a tree in Plumas National Forest in Northern California.  How great is that?!

To make your blog carbon neutral, go here and follow the fast and easy steps!

carbon neutral coupons with

Cat Thursday

I needed a good laugh this week and this one had me rolling! Honestly, sometimes I wonder how they get these cats to do some of this stuff.  Cats are pretty funny though...speaking from experience!

So...what kind of cat shenanigans did you come across this week?

Book review--Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus

About the book:

After her sister Athena's tragic death, it's obvious that grief-stricken Persephone "Phe" Archer no longer belongs in Los Angeles. Hoping to make sense of her sister's sudden demise and the cryptic dreams following it, Phe abandons her bubbly LA life to attend an uptight East Coast preparatory school in Shadow Hills, MA -- a school which her sister mysteriously mentioned in her last diary entry before she died.

Once there, Phe quickly realizes that something is deeply amiss in her new town. Not only does Shadow Hills' history boast an unexplained epidemic that decimated hundreds of its citizens in the 1700s, but its modern townies also seem eerily psychic, with the bizarre ability to bend metal. Even Zach -- the gorgeous stranger Phe meets and immediately begins to lust after -- seems as if he is hiding something serious. Phe is determined to get to the bottom of it. The longer she stays there, the more she suspects that her sister's untimely death and her own destiny are intricately linked to those who reside in Shadow Hills.  (from Amazon)

My thoughts:

I was very interested in reading this book as soon as I read the synopsis.  And let me tell does not disappoint! Almost immediately the author draws you into the mystery.  The main character, Persephone (Phe), doesn't do any pussy-footing around.  She arrives at her new school and goes straight into amateur Sherlock Holmes mode.  The town has a mysterious history dating back to the 18th century which makes it even more intriguing for a history buff like me.  And there is no lack of great-looking guys either.  The main male lead, Zach, sounds like he could be an Adonis.  The chemistry between him and Phe is very present, but there are no tawdry love scenes (this is a YA novel, after all).  However, some of the romantic scenes are a bit corny.  Maybe I've just forgotten what it's like to be a teenager. 

I will admit to a mild disappointment at the end.  It was a bit anti-climactic.  I guess it was such a great book that I was hoping for a bigger bang at the end.  Overall though, I really enjoyed this book.  It kept my interest, it was fast-paced and even a little creepy in parts.  So...I recommend it!

Read for blog tour with

Read for the following challenges:

Pages Read Challenge
New Authors Challenge
Countdown Challenge 2010
100+ Reading Challenge
Monthly Mixer Mele
ARC Reading Challenge 2010

I received this review copy for a blog tour.  I did not receive any monetary compensation and the book was mailed on to the next reviewer.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Contest: Sex Gone Wrong...Songs Done Badly

My friend Ryan (Wordsmithonia) is hosting this awesome contest! Here are the details:

This is a contest that grew out of a discussion I was having with a few friends the other day. After listening to Lick It from Roula in my friends car, we got into a argument about how bad the song truly is. We all loved it when it first came out, a thousand years ago, when we were in our early 20s and going out all the time, not so much anymore. Now I listen to it and find it horribly silly and immature. The sadder thing for me is that with all the songs about sex, which there are thousands of, most of them are not that sexy. A lot of them are just down right absurd.

So this is what I want to do, I want to hold a contest asking everyone what they view as the worst "sex song" ever made. It can be done right silly to the point you can't take it seriously, written with such horrible analogies and comparisons you never want to have sex again, or just down right gross and nasty that it leaves mind numbing images in your head. Even if it's the video that makes you blush and cringe at the same time, feel free to nominate it for that reason as well.

So Here Are The Rules: The contest will run in two stages. The first will be the nomination stage which will run for two weeks ending on 05/01/2010 at 11:59 PM. Anyone who wants to nominate a song will have to write a blog post detailing the contest and either a video or a link to a video that showcases the song they are nominating. Please write a short reason for why you think the song you are nominating is the worst of the lot. Come back to this post and leave a link to your post.

The second stage is that I will pick my 5 "favorite" nominated songs which will be announced in a second blog post. You will then have1 week, starting on 5/2/2010 and ending on 5/08/2010, to vote for your pick for Worst Sex Song Ever.

And Here Is The Reward: The winner will get a $15 itunes giftcard.

Here is my nomination:

I loved this song back in the day, but now that I'm older...and a really gives me the creeps.  Why?  Because it's about a grown man lusting after a teenage girl...ICK!

Cradle of Love--Billy Idol

Billy Idol - Cradle of Love - Click here for another funny movie.

What do you think?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Book review--Creeping Shadows by Alan Draven, Brandon Ford and Jessica Lynne Gardner

Creeping Shadows is an anthology of three short novels written by some very talented horror writers.

Vengeance is Mine—Alan Draven

A subject I have always been fascinated by—Jack the Ripper. Draven has taken the Whitechapel murders of 1888 with locations, dates, and victim names intact and retold the story from the killer's point of view. The killer gets a rush from killing and shows no remorse for his actions. It's an interesting and engaging story that gives a unique explanation for why the murders stop so suddenly and why the Ripper was never caught.

Merciless—Brandon Ford

This riveting and frightening story is based on true events in which a sadistic criminal kidnaps two teenage girls. This man has to be one of the most evil characters I have ever read. The things he does to these poor girls are unspeakable and what makes it all the more disturbing is that something like this could—and evidently did—really happen. Not for the faint-hearted, Merciless keeps you on the edge of your seat and leaves you praying for the girls to survive.

Sugar Skull—Jessica Lynne Gardner

Being a history buff, the Aztec civilization has always held a great interest for me. Sugar Skull is the story of a family secret entwined in the trappings of an ancient Aztec curse. The story has a mystical feel...kind of like a voodoo curse story (The Serpent and the Rainbow comes to mind). I really enjoyed the emergence of the story behind the ancient curse and there are some genuinely creepy parts too.

Creeping Shadows is a trilogy of novellas definitely worth reading, especially if you like a good scary story. This is a book to pull out every Halloween!

I am not including this book in any reading challenges because I started reading it in 2009.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cat Thursday

This is me...the final three week stretch of Spring semester,
along with sick kids, endless financial woes, and a severe
back log of reviews on this blog.  EEK!

Join me every week for Cat Thursday...add your link below. =O)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Did you watch The Diary of Anne Frank last night?

This is not a video, just a pic from

This is going to be a non-bookish post.  Also, I wanted to give forewarning that I will be posting a lot in the next few days as I have a back log of reviews and an author interview coming Mailbox Monday.

So...I had to post about last night's Masterpiece Classic adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank.  One of my favorite books from childhood, this wonderful adaptation really took me back to the story all over again.  It was very well-acted and I think it is probably the best movie version of the story I have seen.  Of course, we all know what happens in the end, but that still did not stop me from breaking down in tears while watching the families being marched out by the SS and reading the captions of their fate.  Anne had such an undeniable spirit.  It is a great tragedy that her life was cut short and in such a terrible way.

If you didn't get to watch it, there are encore presentations (check your local listings) or you can watch it online at the PBS page for the movie.  Click the link and it will take you to the site for more information on the program.


24 hour read-a-thon--MY Official Wrap-Up Post

So...after falling asleep early Sunday morning (my read-a-thon was to continue until 4:00pm due to starting 9 hours late), I decided to continue my read-a-thon indefinitely until I finished The Dark Divine.  Mission accomplished!

I still feel I had a less than spectacular finish again this read-a-thon, but seeing how I generally only finish one, maybe two, books a week, I think I did okay.

Books read:  Hush by Kate White, The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Books started:  Live a Life You Love by Dr. Susan Biali, M.D.

Pages read: 636

Not really sure how many total hours I spent's all a blur!

I won one read-a-thon giveaway:  My prize is a galley of Scarlet Contessa by Jeanne Kalogridis (I love her writing!)

In hindsight, I'm not entirely disappointed with the outcome this time.  However, I am hoping next time that I will not have any prior obligations or used book sales =O) to keep me from starting on time.  I'm looking forward to it again in the fall or if anyone else decides to have one between now and then!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

24 hour read-a-thon--End of Event meme (in name only)

I'm doing this now even though I plan to continue with my own read-a-thon until 4pm since I started so late yesterday (I may have to sneak in some Zs though)!

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? This last hour...I dosed off for about 30 minutes!

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Definitely Hush by Kate White and The Dark Divine is pretty engaging as well.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Why fix what isn't broken?

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? seemed to flow more smoothly this time.  Maybe because it wasn't my first time?

5. How many books did you read? as of now, I'm going to say two, but hopefully by 4pm today it will be more!

6. What were the names of the books you read? Hush, started Live a Life You Love, & working on The Dark Divine

7. Which book did you enjoy most? I'm going to say Hush

8. Which did you enjoy least? I'm not going to say I enjoyed it least (Live a Life You Love), but I do not recommend non-fiction for a 24 hour read-a-thon!

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? N/A
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?  I will definitely participate.  I will probably be a reader again, but I might just host a mini-challenge...we'll see!

Read-a-Thon--Update 3

I started at 4pm CT so total hours=12

Title of book(s) read since last update:
Live a Life You Love--read 59 pages (had to put down for awhile)
The Dark Divine--currently reading--read 24 pages

Number of books read since you started: 1 (completed Hush)
Pages read since last update: 83
Running total of pages read since you started: 288
Amount of time spent reading since last update: 2.5 hours
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 8.5 hours
Mini-challenges completed: Early favorites
Other participants you’ve visited: Bibliofreak, Aleksandra's Corner, 5 blogs from Read-a-Thon blog
Prize you’ve won: I won my choice of a book from Read-A-Thon blog for visiting 5 recommended blogs last hour...woot!

I'm off to pitch a tent in the bathroom (caffeine, lovely caffeine)!

Early Favorites Mini-Challenge

Hosted by Literally Speaking:

Little Women is the first book I can remember loving.  I read every version I could get my hands on.  I remember always identifying with Jo because I was like her.  Not really tom-boyish, but just marching to the beat of my own drum.  And I loved writing early on.  My aunt gave me a diary for my 10th birthday and I wrote in it faithfully.  I also liked play-acting, like the March sisters did in their attic...acting out stories that Jo had written.  I also loved Beth.  I think because I adored my younger (and only) sister and Beth and Jo's relationship reminded me of us.  In the late 70s, early 80s, there was a TV version of Little Women which starred Susan Dey (The Partridge Family) as Jo.  I remember being so excited for it.  I still love Little Women to this day.  I have reread the book a couple of times in adulthood and I watch the Winona Ryder version of the movie at least once a year!

Read-a-Thon--Update 2 & Title Teaser Mini-Challenge

So...I've completed 9 hours (sort of) of reading! I had to wait longer for my second update 'cause I wanted to finish Hush. (I actually spent the last hour computer is SO wanky tonight!)

Title of book(s) read since last update: Hush (wow! what a book! watch for my review early in the week)
Number of books read since you started: 1
Pages read since last update: 151 (started on page 136)
Running total of pages read since you started: 205
Amount of time spent reading since last update: 4 hours
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 6 hours
Mini-challenges completed: Bookish Movie
Other participants you’ve visited: Lost in Books
Prize you’ve won: none

Up Next:  Live a Life You Love: 7 Steps to a Healthier, Happier, More Passionate You by Dr. Susan Biali, M.D. (If I start getting sleepy since this is non-fiction, I may pick up The Dark Divine)

"Title Teasers" Mini-Challenge hosted by Write for a Reader: fill in the missing word of the title and answer as many correctly as possible!

(My answers are in bold)

1. The Dark Divine
2. An Irish Country Girl
3. The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott
4. Necessary Heartbreak
5. She's So Dead to Us
6. Fireworks Over Toccoa
7. Beautiful Dead
8. Scones & Sensibility
9. All Unquiet Things
10. Beautiful Creatures
11. Perchance to Dream
12. The Dead-Tossed Waves
13. I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It
14. Prophecy of the Sisters
15. Very Le Freak
16. The Girl Who Fell from the Sky
17. Marriage and Other Acts of Charity
18. Making Toast
19. White Cat
20. Letters to My Daughter

Saturday, April 10, 2010

R-A-T...Bookish Movie meme

The Lost Entwife is hosting this mini-challenge.

Have they optioned The Hunger Games for a movie yet?  If so, I haven't heard.  I'm currently listening to it on audio and I keep thinking what a great movie it would make.  It's got that post-apocalyptic, dystopian edge to it that makes for a great movie.  And with the special effects nowadays, imagine what the arena could look like!

For some reason, I'm picturing Ellen Page as Katniss.  She's small in stature, but she is tough and she has a lot of pluck.  And she is also great at displaying some vulnerability.  Perfect for Katniss, in my opinion.

- See more at: