September 28, 2010


Linda K of California is the winner of the Fall Giveaway of ROOM!
Wind Warrior simi-finalists from Reflections with Coffee are  here

Matched and dystopian

author: Ally Condie
to be published November 2010

Matched opens with a group of 17-year-olds going to a banquet in order to find out his or her Match for life. When I read the first chapters, I immediately thought 1984.  Government control.   I'm old enough to have read Nineteen Eighty Four in high school long before 1984.   It became a year to dread, but when '84 actually rolled around, it was a year just like any other -- and our government was the same.

Dystopian -- a word I never heard of until the middle of this year.  Finally I figured out the meaning after reading some  YA reviews.   Wikipedia defines it here: 
Dystopian    Webster's says "an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives."  This leads me to remember some other dystopian novels I devoured aeons ago:   Brave New World and Animal Farm.

Sorry, went off on a tangent.  Now for a confession:  I didn't get to finish Matched.  I really wanted to, but it was time to mail the arc off to the next reader in the Around the World Tour.  Matched is very high on my wish list.  Can't wait to find out what happens next.

September 27, 2010

Contest Craze Mini Challenge #1

Mini Challenge # 1   
Princess Bookie's Contest Craze challenges us to name our Top Five Most Wanted Books of 2011.  It was easy to do after I thought about some of my favorites of 2010.

Forever by

Rage (Horseman of the Apocalypse 2) by Jackie Morse Kessler who wrote Hunger.  I want to see War's background;  have had so many students in the past with anger management issues.

Starstruck by Cyn Balog.  I adored her description of the Sandman culture.  I don't think we'll get to see Enron in this one though,  sigh.

September 24, 2010

review: Being Jamie Baker

Being Jamie Baker
author:  Kelly Oram
Plot from Goodreads:    An accident that should end in tragedy instead gives seventeen-year-old Jamie Baker a slew of uncontrollable superhuman abilities.
To keep her secret safe Jamie socially exiles herself, earning the title of Rocklin High’s resident ice queen. But during a supercharged encounter with star quarterback Ryan Miller she literally kisses anonymity goodbye. 
This was an interesting read.  I wanted to know what Jamie's accident was and what her superpowers were.  You know how when you eat too much sugar, your teeth hurt?  Towards the middle of the book, I grew tired of Ryan's perfection and persistence, so I began skimming the pages.  This book, like most YAs, has a clique of catty teenage girls.  Jamie, herself, was in the IN-group at her former school -- that added a different perspective.  It also seemed Jamie cried or had tears every two or three pages.  I suppose I would too if I were in her position -- grief does that to a person.

Book Blogger Hop
Book Blogger Hop asks the question:
When you write reviews, do you write them as you are reading or wait until you have read the entire book?
I usually wait until I've finished the book,  let it mull around in my head for a day or two, then write the review.

September 22, 2010

Fall Giveaway of ROOM - closed

Congratulations to Linda K of California.  She won ROOM.  Thanks to all who entered.

Welcome to the Fall Giveaway!   Over 50 book blogs are participating for one week:  September 22-29.  For a full list, click on the Fall Giveaway picture or here or scroll down.

I'm giving away one of the best books I've read this year:  ROOM by Emma Donoghue.  Amazon or Book Depository will ship it;  so please make sure your country is on the list that Book Depository ships to.  Here's my review.

Without much ado, because I know you want to enter the rest of the blogs, entering here is simple and you have a choice:
A. Fill out this form or
B.  leave a comment on this post or
C.  comment on the ROOM post
I need your name and email address.  The email is necessary so that you can be contacted if your name is drawn. The winner has 48 hours to respond. Would also like your blog URL (if you have one).

For an extra entry:  tweet this post and leave me the tweet URL.  Suggested tweet:
"Win ROOM #FallGiveaway @BettyMc "

Here's a full list of blogs participating.

September 21, 2010

review ROOM

Aurhor: Emma Donoghue
In the spring, my good friend Suzze who works at B&N in another state mentioned reading an arc of ROOM. I immediately was intrigued. Had to wait aeons before I could get my hands on an arc, thanks to Crazy Book Tours.

ROOM is told by five-year-old Jack who has lived his whole life in a 11 by 11-foot Room with Ma, Chair, Bed, Table and TV.   Jack has an endearing way of writing speaking as a five-year-old.  At times, he has temper tantrums.  Other times he speaks with wisdom. 

About Ma .... can you imagine yourself as a parent spending 24/7 with a child, raising him, and keeping him apart from Old Nick.  No respite; no babysitters; no Mother's Day Out.

Only one thing had me perplexed,   Jack mentions a floater in the eye.  How many five year olds know about floaters?   Hmmmm, all of Jack's knowledge is from Ma and TV, so perhaps it isn't so far-fetched.  

Here is a drawing of ROOM where you can see Bed, Chair and TV.   You can read the first chapter of ROOM at Amazon.

Once a year, maybe twice, I let out a sob when I finish a book because it has been such a satisfying read.  That's how high ROOM rates with me. 

CymLowellROOM will be given away beginning tonight through September 29 at the Fall Giveaway.   Click on Fall Giveaway picture at the top left sidebar for more blogs (over 50!).  Comments are welcome here to win a copy.   Please leave a way I can contact you if you win.

September 19, 2010

Half Birthday and Full Anniversaries

Lovie Mae and Jessie Dean Taylor
My grandmother was born July 12, 1891, and her older sister January 12, 1888.  That meant when one sister had a birthday, it was also the other sister's half-birthday.  Their mother made these days special occasions with tea parties either under one of the oak trees on Oak Lawn or inside the house.

On Maddox's half-birthday in 2009, he went to his Aunt Tracy and Uncle Tim's wedding. 
     Litton's Restaurant gave the cupcakes for Tracy and Tim's wedding.


Yesterday was Max's half-birthday again, plus his Aunt Tracy and Uncle Tim's first anniversary.   His granddaddy and I went to Litton's and got cupcakes for Max to split with his sisters (half a cupcake for each person, because it is a half-birthday!)  Tracy and Tim will get a Litton's gift card from us.

Today is Max's mommy and daddy's anniversary.  They will get a gift card to Litton's too.
Family traditions, old and new.  Fun to reflect upon.  Got to go now!  Babysitting while they go out to dinner!
Heather & Ryan

September 15, 2010

Blogmania Giveaways - Winners

 Winners are Connie B of Ohio and Brooke D of Texas.  They have replied to my emails and will receive their prizes. 
Thanks to Lynda, Gina, and Krystal for all their help on Blogmania. 

Welcome to Reflections with Coffee via Blogmania!
Two prize packages are here:  Reflections and Coffee.

Reflections Prize Package won by Connie # 468 of 499.

 Family and ancestors are something to reflect upon, especially if  one comes from an unusual family.    Harelequin Teen is giving a pair of books in a series:  The Iron King and The Iron Daughter. Both are about Meghan whose father disappeared when she was age six.  It turns out that her father is......  Let's hope you win this pair of books!

A halo necklace made of hammered sterling silver will reflect beautifully on your neck, thanks to Lily Lady Blue's Lovely Things etsy shop. 

Remember Alice and the Looking Glass? The next prize book is Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curious and Curiouser sponsored by FSB Media.  It answers questions such as why is the caterpillar blue?

Going with the book is a delightful handmade pin from Picture Purfect Design. Harry Rountree, a well known Golden Age Illustrator, brought his own unique style to Alice. The caterpillar is, well, blue! Just as Lewis Carroll described him to be. And to make it shine even more, three charms match up with the picture--a large silver toned bass relief mushroom, a 3D solid pewter caterpillar, and the fab double sided detailed pewter Alice.

Another pin from Picture Purfect Design is a fab front cover of a 20s edition of Vogue. A woman's need to check on her image. And she does just that with the fantastic 3D solid open pewter Makeup Compact charm.

Coffee Prize Package won by Brooke  # 5 of 499
Do you ever feel unraveled without your morning caffeine? Imagine how Aden Stone feels with four living souls living inside him!   The next pair of books sponsored by Harlequin Teen are Gena Showalter's mini-series Intertwined and Unraveled, published this month.

Wouldn't you love to curl up with your favorite cup of coffee or mocha or java or tea and read several books?  I would!  How about a book of confessions set in a coffee shop?  Coffee Confessions is a small fictitious coffee shop in Houston, Texas.   Seven stories range from inspirational to speculative fiction.

Speaking of coffee shops, want a Java Jacket with your favorite order printed on it?  Evelyn White will send you a Java Jacket personalized especially for you: your name and your order.   Grande?  Non-fat?  Whipped cream?

I'm also adding a set of four textured Espresso napkins that Evelyn made to keep with the Coffee  theme.  You can stick a napkin in your lunchbox to take to work or school.  That's what I do.  So much better than a rough paper napkin.  Who ever knew Espresso could be "green"!

 A problem with coffee chock full of caffeine is being awake past midnight.  But with a thrilling book such as Past Midnight, there's no complaining about staying up!  Thanks Harlequin Teen!

Here's a card Handmade by Rebecca  for you to send someone who is Just Your Type!

To enter leave your name and email address. The first name I draw through will choose either the Reflections package or the Coffee package.  The second winner gets the other.   Winners will have 48 hours to reply to me -- no reply, another name will be drawn.

September 14, 2010

At midnight!

Blogmania begins at 12:01 EST!   It is full of Creativity.

First there's Lily Lady Blue,  her life sounds awesome.  Here is what she has done:  " I am a vagabond princess, goth of the 80s, former dancer, one time pinup, shutterbug, Lucha Libre ring girl, Broadway laundress and wardrobe dresser, Yankees fan, and city glamor girl born in the wrong era who creates lovely things. I am inspired from everyone around me and it reflects in my jewelry and hair accessories."  She's giving away a  necklace she made.

Other creations include two items from Evelyn White, a Fine Fabric Fancier.  She weaves more than fabrics; take a look at her store. 

Then of course, there's creation with words.    Seven books to give away too!  Look at the sidebar on the left, and start drooling.

Another book  is Coffee Confessions  with a short story Caramel Surprise by Ja'Nese Dixon . It is a romance short story about Sandra James, owner of a quaint coffee shop in Houston, Texas. Sandra is going through "the change" -- not menopause -- when you look around and notice that your life is not quite what you thought it would be. She has a wonderful business, however, she believes it's missing something. She will enlist the help of her best friends to fill the void in her otherwise perfect life.

Valerie of The Village of Moms has written a wonderful poem 'Twas Minutes from Blogmania

I admire those people who have the talent and ability work with their creations.  Thank you for making our world a much more pleasant place!
If you can't wait until midnight, you can look at the TAB at the top of the page and do some extra entries.

September 10, 2010

Blogfest 2010 Giveaway!

The winner is the blogger of BURIED IN BOOKS  Congrats! 

Welcome to Blogfest 2010! 
Thanks to Cinnamon of A Journey of Books for organizing this! 

Update!   The prizes below are for US winners.   BUT if the first name I draw is an International or Canadian winner, I will send Room by Emma Donoghue through Book Depository as long as it delivers to your country.    Then I'll draw again for a US winner for the below prizes.

Today's giveaway is about Reflections with Coffee, the name of our blog.   Remember Alice, after Wonderland, went Through the Looking Glass?     Our giveaway is  Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curious and Curiouser sponsored by FSB Media.   This is a fantastic thought-provoking book.  Why is the caterpillar blue?  Why does the Chesire cat's grin remain?

Along with the book is a handmade pin from Picture Purfect Design of Alice Too Tall.  As Diane, the designer, wrote:  "Lucie Mabel Atwell created a different look for Alice--a little bit cuter than the usual illustration, but how neat! Look at this Alice's red hair and adorable dress--and the White Rabbit is not to shabby either?

Three spectacular charms add that perfect touch--A solid pewter key, a terrific double sided pewter Alice, and a decked out pewter White Rabbit, also double sided."

I love wearing Diane's pins!

Next up is Coffee Confessions,  seven original stories set in a small fictitious coffee shop in Houston, Texas. Owner Sandra James serves up coffee, books, music and good ole’ fashion customer service that keeps her shop full of eclectic patrons.  The stories range from inspirational to speculative fiction and just about everything in between.  Thanks to Nia Promotions for sponsoring this giveaway!

Over 200 blogs participating, so I'll keep the entry requirement short and sweet, just your name and email address (so that I can contact you if you win).   Winner will be chosen by 

Then you can head on to Odyssey Books in Australia.   If you get lost on the way, head back to A Journey of Books for the full list.  Better yet, use  the tracking site there which will allow you to track your progress through BlogFest 2010!  You can log on from anywhere at any time and continue where you left off.  The best part is that every blog that you visit and mark off through this tracking site will give you one entry into the massive giveaway!

Come back here Wednesday, September 15, for more giveaways!

September 8, 2010

Wind Warrior Tour and Giveaway

The five semi-finalists drawn from here by are:
Dani, CindyWindy, Won, Michelle L, and Kristy M.  Their names have been sent to author Cynthia Roberts.  Keeping my fingers crossed for them!

 Cynthia Roberts is celebrating the release of her newest, Wind Warrior, with five fabulous prizes. Wouldn't you love to have a willow picnic basket and enjoy the autumn season with your love? Or lie on your couch munching on some Godivas while reading. Or go out on the town wearing a pearl and crystal necklace. Or a gift card from Amazon.

I'll use to choose names of five semi-finalists. These names will be passed on to Cynthia Roberts on September 30. She then will pool all the names and choose five finalists.

Several reviews and an excerpt of Wind Warrior are at Cynthia's website Over 100 blogs are running this contest. You can enter at all of them.

September 7, 2010

Top Ten Words

The Broke and the Bookish Top Ten Tuesday is on "Words I Love"

1. supercalifragilisticexpialidocious - simply because it is the longest word I know

2. query - for one who is full of questions

3. serendipity -
desirable discoveries by accident, a coincidence

4. beatitude - be attitude, a Biblical word -- reminds us to watch our attitudes

5. purr - any cat-lover knows this one!

6. strengths - a nine letter word with only one vowel

7. appetite - mmmm, I'm hungry!

8. reckon - "I reckon" says a mouthful

9. family - Father And Mother I Love You; we learn and know love in our families

10. flax - simply because........