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Showing posts from December, 2010

Post-Holiday Catch Up

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For Christmas, there was only one thing on my list. I was dying to own a Kindle. Despite my attempts, the Kindle became a challenge to order. Because I had Best Buy Rewards and Gift Cards to use up, we went there to order the Kindle in mid-December. Sure, I could have ordered from Amazon, but I had $40 in certificates so it made sense to shop local.

Our Best Buy was sold out, but promised they could get one in by Wednesday, so we went ahead and paid for it. Turns out that was a HORRIBLE mistake. Amazon told area stores (I checked Best Buy here and in neighboring states and Staples in Vermont and neighboring states) that the Kindles were in high demand again this year and they had orders to fill before they could accept additional orders. Shipping delays until after New Year's were guaranteed. I honestly didn't want to wait and opted for the Nook.

Now, I do understand the Nook doesn't have the same storage capacity, though I can add an SD card, so that's not a problem.…

Zombie Cupcakes - Zilly Rosen (Cookbook)

Released February 15, 2011

www.andrewsmcmeel.com
www.ivy-group.co.uk

If there's one thing that amuses me, it's a good, emphasis on good, zombie movie. Fido, Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, and even Norway's Dead Snow all are great representations on zombie movies of today that should become classics. When I learned of a cookbook that was presenting cupcake designs with zombie or Halloween themes, I was highly amused and couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of Zombie Cupcakes.

If you know of the Hello, Cupcake design books, you get the basic premise for Zombie Cupcakes. There are a number of different cupcake designs ranging from falling out eyeball cupcakes to a corpse's hand rising from the grave. Each "recipe" is rated so that you know if it is difficult to make or incredibly easy. A full list of necessary ingredients is given, along with some cake and frosting recipes. Cake recipes include basics like Red Velvet Cake, but also throw in some more uniqu…

I'll Be Home for Christmas - Julie L. Cannon

Released September 2010

www.summersidepress.com

Maggie Culpepper has given up on God. After her mother dies, Maggie decides there's no way she's going to freely give her heart to someone else only to have God snatch them away and leave loved ones heartbroken. With that, she enlists in the U.S. Navy WAVE program and heads off to serve her country during WWII.

William Dove has loved Maggie for most of his life. He knows she loves him too, so he's shattered when she enlists. One thing is certain, he is determined to change her mind and realize there is a happily ever after.

I'll Be Home for Christmas is a holiday romance that left me with mixed feelings. I adored William's character and really felt he was the most sensible of the lot. Given that, it's got to be obvious that Maggie did little for me. In fact, there were times I wondered how William could tolerate her. She's so angry with most everyone and everything that it's off-putting. She treats William …

Family Affair - Debbie Macomber

Released January 2011

www.debbiemacomber.com

I'll start off by saying this is not a new story. Debbie Macomber's Family Affair was first released in 1994 in Purrfect Love. This is not a long story, expect a total of 99 pages. The novella follows with a few recipes for homemade cat treats. Readers whose cats have sensitivities to grains, like my boys, should note that the recipes all call for whole-wheat flour and/or cornmeal.

In Family Affair, Lacey Lancaster moved to San Francisco after learning her husband was leaving her for another woman. Lacey's kept her heart locked away and doesn't think men are particularly trustworthy. The light of her life is her Abyssinian cat. She's not of fond of her neighbor Jack, a man she is convinced is cheating on his girlfriend.

Jack Walker noticed Lacey the day she moved in and he wishes she'd give him the time of day. One evening while he and his sister are having an argument, Lacy shows up at his door asking them to tone i…

'Twas the Night - Sandra Hill, Trish Jensen & Kate Holmes

Released November 2010

www.bellebooks.com
www.bellbridgebooks.com

'Twas the Night offers a trio of Christmas tales finds its way to Belle Books. Originally published by Leisure/Dorchester in 2001 under the title Here Comes Santa Claus, readers who missed this romance anthology of sorts have the chance to enjoy some fine holiday stories.

The basic premise involves a Christmas wedding in Maine. Sam, Kevin and Stan were foster children at the White Mountain Home for Boys in Snowdon, Maine. Now George, a man who means the world to all three of them, is about to get married, and he wants his "boys" to be his best men on his wedding day.

Each author writes the story from their character's point of view. Alternating chapters are written by one of the three authors--Sandra Hill, Trish Jensen and Kate Holmes).

Things start off with Sandra Hill's Sam Merrick, a Blue Angels pilot, heading to Maine. Unfortunately, a snow storm cancels flights all along the East Coast leaving S…

How Sweet It Is - Sophie Gunn (Contemporary Romance)

Released January 2011

www.hatchettebookgroup.com

Lizzie Carpenter understands the struggles single moms face. As a pregnant teen, her boyfriend up and left for Europe without a word. Fourteen years have passed and Lizzie is employed and spends as much time with her daughter as possible. Her home may need repairs but being a loving mom comes first.

When Lizzie and her daughter, Paige, receive a letter from the father Paige has never met, both fly into a state of panic. Lizzie is terrified he'll take her daughter away, Paige is ashamed he'll see the house and think poorly of them. Lizzie meets with her "Enemy Club" former high school enemies who are now friends and makes a wish that a handyman will knock on her door and start making repairs without wanting anything in return.

Enter Tay Giovanni. He's in the small New York town hoping to make amends for tragic situation he played a role in. While trying to work through his guilt, he overhears Lizzie's wish. He …

Goodnight Tweetheart - Teresa Medeiros

Released December 14, 2010

www.simonandschuster.com
www.teresamedeiros.com

First, let me say that Goodnight Tweetheart is very addicting. I am one of those thousands, maybe millions, that think Twittering is a fad that will eventually disappear. I have no use for Twitter and am somewhat saddened that people feel it's a good thing to share intimate details of your life. Too many sickos in the world for my liking to even think of doing that.

Given that, Goodnight Tweetheart is all about Twittering. After having a successful first novel, an Oprah pick no less, Abby Donovan's discovered that fame can be fleeting. Her publicist urges her to sign up with Twitter and start connecting with her fans through that medium. As a n00b, Abby connects with a college professor who is current on sabbatical. Mark Baynard shows her the ropes and soon a strong connection forms between the two.

While Mark's touring the world, Abby begins to realize she may have met Mr. Right. That is until the t…

Chronicle Books' Friends and Family Sale

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Friends & Family Holiday Sale Extended! Enjoy 35% off and FREE ground shipping
on our website for one more week! Use promo code FRIENDS at checkout
through Dec. 12. Happy Holidays! Start shopping.

Blackboard Books Giveaway

Congratulations to Meredith from Florida. Her name was drawn from the hat as the winner of the Blackboard Books Boxed Set of Grammar Guides.
Just in time for the holidays comes a second contest. Want to win? All you have to do is post a comment about your thoughts on these books, and I'll be choosing one winner from the posts. (Winner must have an address within the United States. Winner will be chosen Christmas Eve, so all entries must be received by noon EST on December 24th.)

Blackboard Books Boxed Set: 

i before e (except after c), My Grammar and I . . . Or Should That Be Me?,
and 
I Used to Know That

By Caroline Taggart, J.A. Wines, and Judy Parkinson
Published by Readers Digest
October 2010
$35.00 US
978-1606522202

The first three titles in the Blackboard Books series are now available in an attractive box set! Test your knowledge on all subjects, from English Lit to Western Civ, from Grammar to Idioms, from Physics to Math and so much more. Inside you'll find:

i before…

Love Finds You: Under the Mistletoe - Irene Brand & Anita Higman

Released September 2010

www.summersidepress.com
www.anitahigman.com
www.irenebrand.com

Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe is another entry into the Love Finds You collection of gentle romances. They are Christian novels to an extent given the scripture and Christian references, but I think anyone looking for a heartwarming story will adore the romances.

Irene Brand's entry, An Appalachian Christmas, shares the story of Julia Mayfield. She has no experience caring for children, but that doesn't stop her parents from sending Julia on a trip with her toddler nephew in tow. Julia's sister died during childbirth and the father of the baby died in WWII. Julia's heading to Mistletoe, Kentucky to introduce her nephew to his paternal grandparents. In Mistletoe, things don't go as planned when the boy's grandparents refuse to see him. She's taken in by David Armstrong's grandmother hoping they might come around. David Armstrong is hiding a secret that he can't r…

Kill the Dead - Richard Kadrey

Released October 2010

www.richardkadrey.com
www.eosbooks.com

Kill the Dead, the follow-up to Sandman Slim, brings readers into another glimpse of James Stark's, aka Sandman Slim, life. For those who, like me, are new to the story, James Stark came from the depths of Hell to seek vengeance for his girlfriend's death and rid the world of some evil in the process. He won't rest until he's found the man who put him in Hell.

Stark receives an unusual request this time around. Lucifer's coming up from Hell to oversee a biopic of his life. He's in his human form and needs protection. He wants Stark as a body guard, and it's not in Stark's best interest to say no. Things get hairy when a massive amount of undead known as "drifters" hit the area. Someone's released them and Stark needs to find out who and why. Stark's definitely got his hands full, but a Czech porn star/movie star in Lucifer's film is ready to help out and kick butt. With a …

The Long Road Home - Mary Alice Monroe

Released November 2010

www.MIRABooks.com

Originally published in 1995 by HarperCollins, Mary Alice Monroe's The Long Road Home is back. I have to admit, I was eager to read this romance. It's set in Vermont and I often find that authors who don't live or spend plenty of time here rely on untrue stereotypes that end up painting an inaccurate picture of the residents and towns. Given that, I was ready to see what Mary Alice Monroe had to say.

Relatively speaking, Monroe does a great job. Some aspects such as Vermonter's not being a "chatty group" are not necessarily true of all areas. The hick accent (yeh-up) is another thing that is not very common that tends to be heard mainly in Northeast Kingdom regions and only with the older Vermonters, particularly those who grew up on farms. I know many of today's farmers and they have no discernable accents and are generally grammatically correct in speech and writing.

Like many states and counties, different r…