28 February 2011

Contest Winners! Across the Universe

Congratulations to Carrie of the In the Hammock Book Reviews and Titania of Fishmuffins of Doom! You have both won my Across the Universe arc contest! I will be contacting you gals via email for your mailing addresses. Thank you to everyone that entered and thank you to the beautiful 1st daughter at There's A Book for co-sponsoring this contest. The winners were selected with help from Random.org.

Click here to read my book review of Across the Universe. Click here to visit Across the Universe on Goodreads.

25 February 2011

Well Said: Banalities

"She believed in the healing power of a touch, and other banalities."
The House on Oyster Creek by Heidi Jon Schmidt

24 February 2011

Free Kindle eBook Alert: Ravenous

Dig memoirs? Then head over to Amazon and grab Ravenous: A Food Lover's Journey from Obsession to Freedom by Dayna Macy for FREE for the Kindle right now.
Update: This book was only free on Amazon 2.24.11. However, it is available on NetGalley for free.

Don't have a Kindle but still interested? Consider downloading the Kindle reader (for free) for your for PC, BlackBerry, or iPhone. Own a nook? Check out Free Friday at Hott Books.

23 February 2011

Contest: Fin or Sheet

Welcome to my Fin or Sheet ARC Contest! To enter simply comment with your email address below and tell me if you prefer an entry for the mermaid story (Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs) or the ghostly tale (Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie). On March 14th, I will announce a winner for each gently used ARC. You must be a follower and US resident to enter.
Need more info before you can decide?
Click here to read my review of Forgive My Fins.
Click here to visit Maybe This Time at Goodreads.

21 February 2011

Musical Match: C'est Trop Beau

The book: My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud'Homme
The song: "C'est Trop Beau" by Tino Rossi
The connection: I must confess, I can not seem to rush My Life in France. I am relaxing and relishing every moment of it. Almost as if, I have taken Julia's pace. It also has me thinking of French Kiss (1995) with Kevin Kline and Meg Ryan (one of my favorite movies and soundtracks). Which is what lead me to this song. It is so deliciously sweet and old fashioned. It seems to embody Julia's love for everything around her and fits the time period pretty closely. I believe it means "this is too beautiful" and was recorded in 1952.

18 February 2011

Well Said: The Parisian Way

"Parisian restaurants were very different from American eateries. It was such fun to go into a little bistro and find cats on the chairs, poodles under the tables or poking out of women's bags, and chirping birds in the corner." - My Life in France by Julia Child
I love this line because it reminds of this French woman I met two Christmases ago in Louisville (Kentucky). I was standing outside of her shop with my dog (Christmas window shopping) and she said, "Come in! Come in! I'm French! In my country dogs go everywhere." Needless to say, I have never forgotten that and look forward to seeing it myself one day when I visit France.

16 February 2011

Semi-Review: Eat, Pray, Love

2¢ Worth: Liz, bless her heart, came off a bit wishy-washy woe is me. Sorry! Consequently, I ended up skimming almost all of the Eat and Love. However, I relished all the Pray. I admire Liz's passion for God, her hunger and drive to search for the divine, and her honest unconventional reflections on our creator. Plus, I found her writing style to be earnest and often funny. So even though I could not stand certain parts, I could not get enough of other parts. As a whole it wasn't for me but I can not knock her writing and have to ask, has anyone tried her novel Stern Men?

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert

Review Copyright © of Tales of Whimsy.com

15 February 2011

Free Kindle eBook Alert: Life From Scratch

You know that book with the spoon cover I've been raving about?
Well thanks to the super cool Belle Bridge Books, Life From Scratch by Melissa Ford is FREE for the Kindle right now.
If you like contemporary fiction, you have to check this one out.
Don't have a Kindle but still interested? Consider downloading the Kindle reader (for free) for your for PC, BlackBerry, or iPhone. Own a nook? Check out Free Friday at Hott Books.

14 February 2011

Yackety-yak: Happy Valentine's Day & Free Kindle Read

Happy Valentine's Day!
Thanks for being my bloggy pals.
Reading anything special in honor of the day?
Have any special plans for tonight?

For those of us in the mood for something a bit more serious and nostalgic this Valentine's Day, the fantastic Belle Bridge Books has Bridge to Happiness by Jill Barnett FREE for the Kindle right now.

Don't have a Kindle but still interested? Consider downloading the Kindle reader (for free) for your for PC, BlackBerry, or iPhone. Own a nook? Check out Free Friday at Hott Books. Valentine Image via Very Merry Vintage Style.

12 February 2011

Yackety-yak: Master List

I have been thinking...big writers, backed by big beautiful publishers, don't need help finding reviews. But small time writers, publishers, and marketing companies are always searching for good reviewers. I would like to keep a list of bloggers who accept lesser-known eBooks for review. That way the next time an author contacts me for a review that I am not interested in, I have a master list of blogger suggestions I can send them. I would like to keep a YA and Adult Fiction list.
So tell me, are you interested in being on my list of blogger suggestions?
If so, please leave me your url (web address) in a comment below and specify which list you would like to be on (YA or Adult Fiction).

Not sure you are interested? Think lesser-knowns books aren't any fun?
Click here to see a list of the eBooks I have read and loved.

11 February 2011

Yackety-yak: Memoir Review Woe

My trek to more adult genres has lead me to memoirs. So far I loved one and found the other annoying. While I am thoroughly enjoying the non-fiction storytelling, reviewing real characters is so much harder than fiction.
Saying someone bugged me suddenly feels more personal, ya know?
How do you keep it honest but nice when a person in a memoir irritated you?

10 February 2011

An Unusual Dual Review: Garden Spells & The Sugar Queen

Two books, both alike in dignity...

Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen
Authoress: Sarah Addison Allen
Genre: Adult Fiction, Magical Realism
Goodreads: Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen

Both (with the help of friendship or sisterhood) discuss mending wounds, overcoming the past, sorting through lies, and learning to believe and stand up for yourself.

-Garden Spells has a sentient apple tree that bears fruit that can reveal bits of your future.
-While Sugar Queen has a flame haired girl with a serendipitous relationship with books. Books appear as she needs them and if she doesn't read them, they follow her.

-Garden Spells: "She was so Southern that she cried tears that came straight from the Mississippi and she always smelled faintly of cottonwood and peaches."
-Sugar Queen:
"It had always fascinated him that she'd consumed so many words, that her head was full of stories, told a thousand different ways."

While both covers are beautiful, I wasn't pleased with the hair of each girl.
-Garden Spells should have had the darker haired Claire enjoying the garden.
-While Sugar Queen should have had the long dark curly haired Josey sitting at the window.

Wrapping Winner:
-The Polish cover of Garden Spells is my favorite.
-While the Vietnamese cover of Sugar Queen really captures Josey.

-Garden Spells has sex (the act, sexuality, homosexuality, promiscuity, and sexual abuse) as well as mentions to physical abuse.
-While Sugar Queen has infidelity, a minor sex scene, and mentions to suicide, murder, prostitution, and sexual abuse.

Word to the wise:
-Garden Spells will leave you ready to bake and mix herbs.
-While Sugar Queen will leave you craving sweet confections.

-Garden Spells is less fluid and tender then The Sugar Queen or The Girl Who Chased the Moon.
-While Sugar Queen was a beguiling instant favorite.

-Garden Spells is a 3 star (less witchy) tart Practical Magic with a good dose of Southern flair.
-Sugar Queen is a 5 star (ghostly infused) sweet tale about friendship and courage.

Review Copyright © of Tales of Whimsy.com

09 February 2011

Wishin' and Hopin': Let's Bring Back

While doing a bit of online gift shopping today, I came across this scrumptious little treasure: Let's Bring Back: An Encyclopedia of Forgotten Yet Delightful, Chic, Useful, Curious, and Otherwise Commendable Things from Times Gone By with this downright charming book trailer. I am incredibly tempted to buy it immediately.
Have any of you dears read it or seen it in person?
After watching that trailer, I have the sudden urge to play some records and try a bouffant.

08 February 2011

Well Said: Hell, Alton Brown, and Blogging

"Oh, sweetie, of course you're going to hell. That's where all self-pitying drama queens go."
"I'm like a kitchen ninja from an Alton Brown skit."
"Is it terrible that I'm thinking, through bites of my cupcake, about how this will make a fantastic blog entry?"
Life From Scratch by Melissa Ford is so charming I don't want it to end.

Contest: Across the Universe

So you have probably heard alllll over Blogland how seriously fantastic Across the Universe is but have you had a chance to read it yet? No?
Want to win a gently used ARC? If you are a resident of the USA, comment with your email address below.
Two winners will be announced February 28th. Good luck!

Click here to read my review of Across the Universe.
This contest is co-hosted by the stupendous There's A Book.

The Indefensible Winner!

The winner of my Indefensible contest is Tina of Tina's Book Reviews!
Congratulations sweet Tina!
I will be dropping you a line for info.

Click here to visit Indefensible at Goodreads.
Click here to visit Pamela Callow's website.

Thank you to everyone that entered. The winner was selected with help from Random.org. Please continue to check my sidebar for more upcoming contests.

06 February 2011

New Flash & Gripe: Bye bye Shelfari Login?

Did you hear? As of this week, to log in to Shelfari.com you now have to sign in with your Amazon login or start a new Amazon account. Blech I say!
While I love Amazon and enjoy Shelfari, I like them separate. Amazon is for me and Shelfari is for my blog. I might say good-bye to Shelfari.
Any thoughts? Do you use Shelfari?

04 February 2011

First Words: Rolling Pin

"June Cleaver beat the crap out of me with her rolling pin. In my dream, Martha Stewart, June Cleaver, Bree Van De Kamp, and Marion Cunningham (who they were all affectionately calling Mrs. "C") were baking a pie together in my kitchen and arguing about the best way to pit cherries. They hadn't really noticed me lounging around by the sink until I pointed out what a waste of time it would be to pit your own cherries when there were perfectly decent ones that you could get in a can when June Cleaver turned with a maniacal gleam in her eye and started beating me on the face and shoulders with her flour-dusted rolling pin. Just imagine what she would have done to me if I had suggested frozen pie crust."

Life from Scratch by blogger Melissa Ford is so cute and clever so far!

01 February 2011

Yackety-yak: Dear Shelf

Dear YA books sitting patiently on my TBR shelf: You're beautiful babies. But ah listen I have sorta been in the mood for something different and more mature. So for the time being, I am sticking to adult fiction. Sorry babies! Don't be mad. I promise I will be back before you know it! *wink wink* - Tales of Whimsy...
I have always been a mood reader. I have to be in the mood for certain storylines. But I usually stay within my favorite genres. Well for some reason, probably because my life has been a bit tougher than usual lately, I find that I am reaching and craving the kind of books I usually only read intermittently: adult books. Books with contemporary female characters struggling with life.
Anything you gals can recommend me?
I ran out today and bought Eat, Pray, Love. Wish me luck!

Free Kindle eBook Alert: Dreaming Anastasia

You've probably heard this already. But this little itch inside me said, "Pass it on. Just in case. Not everyone follows a zillion blogs." Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble is currently FREE on Amazon for the Kindle. Cool right? I have been wanting to read this for like ever. But race over there now because according to Book Rat, it is only available for today.

Sourcebooks also has the eBook available for FREE this week.

Don't have a Kindle but still interested? Consider downloading the Kindle reader (for free) for your for PC, BlackBerry, or iPhone. Own a nook? Check out Free Friday at Hott Books.