31 March 2010

Contest: My Double Life



Residents of the US and Canada comment below with your email address for a chance to win my gently used ARC of My Double Life by Janette Rallison. Contest ends May 6th.

My Double Life will be available for purchase May 13th.

Click here to read my 5 star review of My Double Life or here to visit My Double Life on Goodreads.

30 March 2010

Well Said: The Day I Shot Cupid

"In a relationship, don't look backward or forward, look right next to you. You are probably luckier than you realize." -The Day I Shot Cupid: Hello, My Name is Jennifer Love Hewitt and I'm a Love-aholic
Guilty pleasure alert! Sure I am married. Sure the dating world is (thankfully) behind me and this is a book about dating. But seriously how could I pass up a chance to read about Jennifer Love Hewitt? I have been a fan since way back when (i.e. Party of Five).

News Flash: New Stephenie Meyer Book


Stephenie Meyer is releasing a new book!
As a thank you to her fans it will be available for FREE at BreeTanner.com starting at noon June 7th and ending July 5th. Visit her web site Stephenie Meyer.com for details. Click here for the official press release.


CREDIT:
A huge thank you to the amazing diligent girls at Confessions of a Twicrack Addict for bringing this news to my attention.

29 March 2010

News Flash: Cook the Books?!


Tell me a festival centered around contestants bringing in edible book related art doesn't sound absolutely grand? Ah! I do wish I could afford a quick jaunt to the Pacific Northwest.

Click here or here for details. Visit them on Flickr for past examples.

Any Seattleites ever attended?

News Flash: got laughs?


Wanna laugh? Then visit Teens Read and Write today. The Kirk Gang interviewed authoress Bree Despain and asked some of the funniest questions I have EVER read in an author interview. Seriously, I am still smiling.


TRW Question: "You're running from a hoard of zombies and you trip in your stilettos that you never remember putting on. In front of you is a field of broken glass, how do you proceed?" Bree's answer: "Stand my ground. Stilettos make great tools for zombie dismemberment."
*
Click here to read my review of The Dark Divine by Bree Despain and enter to win my mini Dark Divine inspired purple pack. To read an except from The Dark Divine visit Bree Despain.com

{Photo credit: Girls Just Want to Have Fun 1985}

26 March 2010

Wishin' and Hopin': Jane Austen's Sewing Box


Ooo this may not be new but is to me and I can not wait to get my hands on it:
Has anyone read or tried it? What did you find this week?

First Words: A Tale of Two Cities


"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going to direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way."
First published in 1859, A Tale of Two Cities was referred to in Season 3 Episode 1 of LOST. For me a classic is a book the has the ability to still be pertinent and powerful many many years later. So far I can see immediately why this one is a classic and I'm impressed.

25 March 2010

Free Read: A Passion Most Pure


For those of my readers who don't mind Christian Fiction, A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman is available for FREE for the Amazon Kindle until April 3rd. Click here to download it. Don't have a Kindle but still interested? Download the Kindle reader for your for PC, BlackBerry, or iPhone (also for free) or keep checking back for a chance to win my paperback copy.

Contest Winners: Montana Rose and Titus and Atreus

Good morning dolls! It's contest announcement time...


The winner of my gently used copy of Montana Rose by Mary Connealy is Virginia!
Congratulations Virginia. I was rooting for you.

The winner of a brand new copy of Titus and Atreus by Meridi Myers is Celi.a from


I loved Montana Rose (click her for my review of Montana Rose) and can not wait to see what Celi.a thinks of Titus and Atreus. I will be contacting you both for your mailing addresses. Thank you to everyone who entered. The winners were selected with help from Random.org. Please stay tuned and continue to check my right-hand sidebar for more upcoming contests.

24 March 2010

The Dark Divine Blog Tour Review, Interview, and Mini Contest

Authoress: Bree Despain
Publisher: Egmont
Length: 372 pages (Hardcover)
Genre: YA Fiction | Fantasy
Goodreads: The Dark Divine

Tagline: "A prodigal son...a dangerous love...a deadly secret"

My summary: Grace's life changes completely when a childhood love returns to town shrouded in mystique. Can Grace unravel the mystery behind his disappearance and her brother's new found hatred for his boyhood friend?

My say: Whoa! If I had known this book was going to be this good - I would have read it ages ago. I adored this book and could not put it down. My only regret was when it ended. I ached a little when I was forced to let the characters go.
My verdict: Locked inside this young adult tale of mystery, passion, and "things that go bump in the night" is a story of love, redemption, forgiveness, and grace.

My recommendation: If you love fantasy you must try this book.

My star rating: 5 out of 5 stars; I am SO glad I own this.

My cover thoughts: I love this cover and I love that the purple material and nail polish appear at a pivotal moment when everything eternally changes for Grace.

Speaking of the cover, when I saw this ad I immediately thought of The Dark Divine. Despite the models having the wrong hair colors, doesn't the cascading fabric, hesitancy, and lingering passion just ooze Grace and Daniel?
{PHOTO CREDIT: THIS IMAGE IS PROPERTY OF CALVIN KLEIN
AND PROMOTES EUPHORIA FOR MEN.}

My slices:
  • Grace's father, the pastor, is a man who actively practices everything he preaches. I loved reading this type of man.
  • Daniel is amazing. It's easy to be good when life has been good to you but a character that can rise above violence and circumstance holds my awe and admiration. I may need a Team Daniel t-shirt.
  • Bree announced March 7th the next book in the series will be called: The Lost Saint and apparently has three different meanings. *squeaal*
My meter readings:
  • My kiddie-o-meter: This novel is pretty safe for even young teens. There is no sex, foul language, or social commentary. However, I should make you aware there are mentions to a child being physically abused and a moment when a young man tries to force himself on a young woman.
  • My adult-o-meter: Intrigue and forbidden young love? What's not to like?
My favorite steamy moment: "I couldn't help noticing the way his long, lean muscles and untamed hair made him look like a wild, powerful animal. For one small second, I wished he had pounced on me."

My Dark Divine Nail Polish Mini Contest:
Isn't the nail polish Grace wears in the book and on the cover gorgeous?
I have 3 bottles to giveaway!

To enter:
If you are a resident of the US simply comment 
with your email address below and answer this:
If The Dark Divine is made in to a film who do you 

think should play Grace and Daniel?
3 winners will be selected April 25th.

Mini contest includes:
(1) Purplish lip liner
(1) Pack of purple gum {Fruit Sensations}
(1) Bottle of The Dark Divine nail polish

   
My mini Bree interview:

Juju: Which character do you relate to the most?
Bree: I definitely relate to Grace the most. We have a similar upbringing and family dynamic, which comes with similar concerns and doubts. But I also think Grace is who I wished I’d been in high school. She’s like the stronger version of myself at 17. I’ve come into my own as an adult, but as a teen I was pretty shy. I love Grace because is a lot more prone to speaking her mind and standing up for herself than I was.

Juju: If Dark Divine received a movie deal, which actors would be your  first choice for Jude, Grace, and Daniel?
Bree: Oh, I used to think this was an easy question, but now I’m not so sure. Grace is easy but the boys are eluding me at the moment. (Seeing Emma play a character named Grace in VALENTINE’S DAY was totally trippy.)

  • I really love the idea of Emma Roberts playing Grace. She’s sweet and beautiful but still comes across as a strong and confident.
  • For Jude I used to picture a Tom Welling from the early SMALLVILLE years, but he’s definitely getting way too old to play the part.
  • For Daniel, I often picture Taylor Kitsch from his role in THE COVENANT playing Daniel. However, he’s getting too old for the part. (If only I had a time machine!) I could possibly see Chase Crawford playing either Daniel or Jude. Or possible Zach Effron after seeing him in 16 AGAIN. You might be able to bad-boy him up enough to play Daniel.
  • I am always happy for suggestions, so if readers want to throw some names at me, I’d love it!
Juju: Grace's mom is quite the cook and is always whipping up something magical. Would you mind sharing a recipe with my readers?
Bree: Sure thing! Here is the recipe for Meredith Divine’s Infamous Turkey a la King:

Turkey a la King
¼ cup melted butter
3 Tbsp flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1 small package of frozen peas
2 cups diced, cooked turkey

*Great use for left-over Thanksgiving turkey. Or you can use chicken, but I’ve never tried it that way.
Melt butter in a stock pot and then whisk in flour. Add broth slowly then add milk slowly, whisking constantly over low heat until sauce is thick. Add salt, turkey, and peas. Cook until turkey and peas are heated through.
Serve over lightly buttered and toasted hamburger buns, or if you want to be fancy, you can buy frozen Pepperidge Farms pastry cups at the grocery store.
(Not exactly low fat, but oh so tasty for a special meal!)

My notes:
  • To visit the next stop in The Dark Divine Tour visit So Many Books, So Little Time tomorrow.
  • To read an excerpt of The Dark Divine visit Bree Despain.com

My final say: Bree come to Florida! I love this book so much - I need to get my hardcover signed.


A huge thank you to the Kirks at Teens Read and Write
for gifting me this amazing read.

A giant thanks to Nisa for 
providing me with the amazing nail polish.

23 March 2010

Well Said: Daniel X: Watch the Skies

"Every speaker - on the computers, on the cell phones, on the iPods, on the radios, on the telephones, on the brand-new Sony flat screen with THX surround sound and every other TV set in the house, even on the "intelligent" microwave - began to blast a dance song from a popular old movie. A song that just happened to be the favorite of a very powerful alien."

Daniel X: Watch the Skies by James Patterson

Sounds good, right? Wish me luck...this is my first James Patterson ever!

22 March 2010

Skylight Confessions | Book Review Mini

Authoress: Alice Hoffman
Available formats: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, Audio
Genre: Adult Fiction | Magical Realism

My summary: In a moment of utter desperation Arlyn whispers a promise to love the next man she encounters. What follows is the twisted ghostly infused tale of their love, marriage, and the mistakes that plagued them.

My say: Skylight Confessions was like a walk through a thick dense fog. While the writing was magical, the lines between reality and magic remained lost in the haze. Despite my love for magical realism - this book never soothed my ache for happiness and resolution.

My recommendation: Alice Hoffman fans should check this one out from their local library.

My star rating: 2 stars

Kiddie-o-meter: The characters in this novel stumble and suffer through the side-effects of everything from premarital sex to drug abuse, infidelity, and the dangers of not paying attention to your children.

My final say: If you have never tried Alice Hoffman, forgo this one for Practical Magic. Have you seen or read Practical Magic? If so did you relate more to Sally or Gillian?

20 March 2010

Yackety-yak: Tell me tell me...

Tales of Whimsy is considering...
a full blog makeover.
*gasp*
I know I know.
Not again, right?
For now...I am brain storming and would like to open the floor to you
(my lovely sweet supportive amazing followers).

Which blogs (besides your own) have the best body and sidebar layouts?
Do you prefer two or three columns?
Do you prefer the columns on each side or both to one side?

Please tell me what you think.

19 March 2010

Whimsy Interview


Got a minute?

Hope to see you this weekend at the
____
P.S.
Authoress Cleo Coyle is at it again with her fabulous Twilight Cauliflower recipe.

First Words and Cover Talk of Skylight Confessions

UK vs US

"She was his first wife, but at the moment when he first saw her she was a seventeen-year-old girl named Arlyn Singer who stood out on the front porch on an evening that seemed suspended in time."

17 March 2010

The Girl Who Chased the Moon | Book Review and Contest

Publisher: Bantam
Release date: March 16, 2010
Formats: Hardcover, Kindle
Genre: Adult Fiction

Tagline: "Emily has just moved to a town full of inexplicable mysteries..."

What they say: "Emily Benedict came to Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother's life. For instance, why did Dulcie Shelby leave her hometown so suddenly? Why did she vow never to return? But the moment Emily enters the house where her mother grew up and meets the grandfather she never knew—a reclusive, real-life gentle giant—she realizes that mysteries aren't solved in Mullaby, they're a way of life.

Here are rooms where the wallpaper changes to suit your mood. Unexplained lights skip across the yard at midnight. And a neighbor bakes hope in the form of cakes.

Can a hummingbird cake really bring back a lost love? Is there really a ghost dancing in Emily’s backyard? The answers are never what you expect. But in this town of lovable misfits, the unexpected fits right in."

My say: Like a glass of sweet tea on hot Southern day, The Girl Who Chased the Moon is refreshing, rich, and deliciously Southern. The day my book arrived I had reached a reader's plateau. Nothing seemed interesting. Then I arrived home to a tiny package. Immediately (within moments of opening the parcel) I knew this was the book that would reignite my vigor for reading. Sarah Addison Allen doesn't write. She paints beautiful images with her words. The kind of words you can almost taste.

Characters: Perfectly flawed
Plot: Mysterious and engaging
Writing: Descriptive and scrumptious

My verdict: The Girl Who Chased the Moon is a magically infused tale of mistakes, forgiveness, and making peace with your past.

My recommendation: Go to your favorite bookseller and order this book right now. It is down right charming.

My star rating: 5 out of 5 stars; I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book and want a hardcover copy for my collection.

My meter readings:
  • Kiddie-o-meter: This tale is for grown girls and therefore features some mature themes that are best suited for older teens and adults. I hesitate to tell you what they are because I refuse to give away the mystery. Email me directly if you are itching to know.
  • Adult-o-meter: I can not think of a woman I would not recommend this book to.
My favorite quotes:
  • "It was like she was made of cake, light and pretty and decorated on the outside - with her sweet laugh and pink streak to her hair - but it was anyone's guess what was on the inside. Emily suspected it was something dark."
  • "It was one of life's great injustices, that you can move on and be accomplished and happy, but the moment you see someone from high school you immediately become the person you were then, not the person you are now."
My cover thoughts: I love this enchanting cover. It not only fits the story perfectly but it also comes from a passage in the book.

My notes:
Sarah Addison Allen has a beautiful web site that you simply must visit.
You can take a virtual tour of Mullaby or print recipes from the book like this one:

Southern Peach Pound Cake

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups fresh peaches, pitted and chopped

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Reserve 1/4 cup of flour for later, and sift together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually stir into the creamed mixture. Use the reserved flour to coat the chopped peaches, then fold the floured peaches into the batter. Spread evenly into a 10 inch tube pan that has been buttered and coated with white sugar. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes in 325 degree oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

My contest: Want to win my ARC of The Girl Who Chased the Moon? Comment with your email address below. You must be a follower and resident of the US or Canada to enter. Contest ends one month from today on April 17th.

My final say: Sarah's writing snapped me out of my plateau. Has that happened to you recently? What author helped your snap out of your last slump?


Thank you to Pump Up Your Book Promotion for making this review possible.