March 31, 2011

Fool for Books Giveaway Hop

Winner is Rad Hall.  She has 48 hours to respond.
 winner was chosen by

Welcome to the Fool for Books Giveaway Hop!
Reviewed  here.

No foolin' -- Fairly Fairy Tales is fantastic!  A perfect weekend to give this away because I'm going to a Children's Lit conference focused on picture books Saturday and I'll see the person who told me about this book there.

Entering is simple, fill out the form below.  Not necessary to follow (but I'd love it if you do).  

Winner will be drawn by the morning of April 3rd and has 48 hours to reply   

Other blogs participating in this Giveaway Hop are listed here

Burma Shave

Booking Through Thursday reminds us we grew up reading everything under the sun and asks:
What’s the oddest thing you’ve ever read? (You know, something NOT a book, magazine, short story, poem or article.)
Sitting in a car
the miles go by
a  little red sign!
More to come
What fun!
Burma Shave

I grew up in the heart of Georgia,   my relatives lived north of Nashville.  Every time we went up to visit, we passed the turn for Rock City, but never stopped.   The Interstate didn't exist at the time, so it was easy to turn around and read the Burma Shave signs in the other lane.

ETA:   Five small signs along the side of the road with a sixth sign saying Burma Shave 1925-1963 ---  wiki tells more.  I scrolled down there and saw it was even mentioned in The Time Traveler's Wife.

March 19, 2011

If you can read....

Random org chose the winner: Dawn McVey of My Favorite Things  
Dawn has 48 hours to let me know her address.

Thanks to Cindy over at Princess Bookie for allowing me to host a mini-challenge as part of her Contest Craze.
 This is a card I made a few years ago and sent to my first grade teacher who also happened to be my mom!

Do you remember who gave you your love of reading?  Your mini-challenge is to scribble a quick thank you note to that person. 

Maybe it is a parent who read to you at bedtime, or an elementary school teacher or even a college lit professor.  If the person is no longer here on earth or you don't have the address, scribble anyway.   Then post it on your blog (and leave the link here)  or  tell us in the comments a bit about the person, and how he/she influenced you.

The prize is The Kitchen Daughter.
hardback donated by Simon and Schuster, Gallery Books 

a book of your choice up to $15.00  from amazon.

The winner (US only or with an US address) will be chosen by  Don't forget to leave your email addy or a way we can contact you if you win.  Contest entry deadline midnight March 30.

Mini-Challenge: TEAMS

A mini-challenge mission from Princess Bookie
-Write a blog post telling us about a team and which team you are on and why.
- Be Creative. Use a favorite love triangle, tv show, movie, book, etc.

Team Lily or Team Robin
Which girl has the most personality?  Changes her hair weekly or even daily.  Is a go-getter, encourager, loyal and true.  Although sometimes she can be a bit emotional.  In the photo, she's the leader with the rest of the crew cheering her on.    Lily Aldrin. 

Not that there's anything wrong about Robin Sherbatsky,  beautiful and hot.  Because of her job as a news anchor,  there's some repression of her true feelings and inner thoughts.  She stands by, stands there, looks beautiful with very little facial expression.  We viewers don't know yet who the kids' "Mother" will be,  Robin is "Aunt Robin" always,  Ted Mosby's second choice.   So, I'm on Team Lily!

How about you?  Which team do you choose?

March 18, 2011

Mini-Challenge: Most Anticipated

Princess Bookie's Mini-Challenge during her Contest Craze season asks us our most-anticipated upcoming book.
I'm looking forward to The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon which comes out on May 4, 2011.

This is the story of a young white woman with a developmental disability*  and an African American* deaf man.  They are locked away in an institution.  oooh!  Anticipate the abuse, culture clash and romance.

Simon's memoir Riding the Bus with My Sister  was a favorite years ago.  It was later made into an Hallmark Hall of Fame movie.

*politically-correct terms used here, although different terms were used back in 1968

Friday Blog Hops - March 18

Fridays are fun ---  a time to answer book-related questions and then see what others say.  The blog hops are sponsored by

Crazy for Books:   "Do you read only one book at a time, or do you have several going at once?"
Several always.  One or two are in the car in case I am stuck somewhere.  Three are on or under my bedside table.  One next to my La-Z-Boy in the living room.   More on my kindle app.  

Parajunkee's View:  Q. How did you come up with your blog name?
Easy peasy,  I tend to ramble on and on about what I remember of the Dark Ages.   And coffee, brewed in the Keurig, mmmmm.

March 17, 2011

Fairy Tales & Seven Imps - reviews

It is Maddox Eve!   That means Max turns two tomorrow.   When I read about this book on Seven Imps Before Breakfast, I absolutely had to buy it. 

Let me read you two pages, then show you a picture from the book.  

Red Hood?




Well, maybe.
Chavarri's picture borrowed from Seven ImpsClick on link to see Chavarri's work in progress.

I'm smitten.  Aren't you?  Imagine how sleek the wolf's fur is.   And how your favorite child would yell "NOOOOO!" when you read this book.

I'm also smitten with Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.   Jules and I worked together in the same school until her family moved away.  I'm still wiping away tears.   She started her blog way back in 2006;  oodles of pictures and interviews.   Jules is also a new columnist for Kirkus.   And has a book in the works ... not until late 2012.    NOOOO, such a long wait!

Time for me to go wrap the book for Max. 
Details   Fairly Fairy Tales
author: Esmé Raji Codell
illustrator:  Elisa Chavarri
published January 2011
source:  bought it for family

What's your favorite fairy tale?

March 14, 2011

a note, the difference - review

The other day I had two moods:  down and angry -- a double-whammy, two different reasons.  No need for details.  We've all had days like this. 

The mail came.  A package with a book.   I'm used to books in the mail: a swap from PaperbackSwap,   an ARC tour,  something ordered from amazon, a review copy.  So this is routine.   Opening the package I went  "??? Didn't expect this book???" 

Inside the book was a notecard envelope.  I started sobbing  (!!!) even before opening the envelope.    How much I needed that personal word, even though I don't know the person!   The note was a RAK (see sidebar) from Kristen of Bookworming in the Twenty-First Century.   Thanks, Kristen!

Cards.  Notes.  A letter.  A tangible thing to hold.   Not fleeting email.  Not a "forwarded-thought-you'd-like-this-and-please-forward-to-ten-friends." Such a difference!

DaySpring is perfect for this.  I have a pack of cards from (in)Courage.  Looking through these cards, I immediately thought, "This one is great for Lorraine.  This one for ......"  

I just now discovered DaySpring has a Heart Connection Card Club,  monthly pack of cards.   I'm signing up for this, even though I enjoy making cards by hand.     A word said goes a long way.   A word held goes farther.

I encourage you to mail some words for someone to hold. 

15% off on all card purchases. Coupon code: 15OFFCARDS through 06/09/2011

disclaimer:  DaySpring through  (in)Courage sent me these cards for review.

March 11, 2011

a date!

Well, a girl can dream!  Princess Bookie is encouraging us to dream.
Her Mini Challenge is
Date A TV or Movie Character
-Close Your Eyes!
-Imagine You Just Won A Contest Consisting Of A Date (Dinner And A Movie)! 
The rest of the description of the challenge is here.

The first qualification for this date is that we can communicate.  None of this trying to lipread nor writing notes back and forth.   He has to know my preferred language:  ASL.

So, it is ---- drumrollllll, and make it loud please for his sake.
Dr. Gil Grissom of CSI

Gil lives in Vegas; we'll meet at any restaurant of his choice --  my usual caveat is "any place except McDonald's"   With his background in forensics, he would know which restaurant to avoid because of connections with unsavory criminals and bugs.

Over dinner, we'd reflect on some of his most interesting cases.  He probably knows the top forensics expert  Dr. Bill Bass of the Body Farm in Knoxville.  I took a non-credit class in forensic anthropology under one of his grad students once  -- we handled skulls and skeletons.   So I don't think our dinner conversation would be too queasy.
But if it is, we'll change the subject to ASL and linguistics.

After dinner, Princess Bookie suggested a movie.  But while in Vegas, gotta do what Vegas is famous for --- a show!   Any Cirque du Soliel show!   There are seven to choose from.
And after that..... you know, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.   Gil is truly

March 8, 2011

Contest Craze begins

Princess Bookie Cindy's  Contest Craze begins tomorrow.
It runs until April 10.

Mini-challenges -- one will be here on Reflections.
Hint: you'll be asked to reflect.
Fun times ahead.
Many prizes! 

How many prizes?
Cindy already has two boxes of books from publishers, one box is 30 pounds.
I'm ready to join.  Are you?

March 6, 2011

pain mixed with beauty - review

A NEED So Beautiful
Suzanne Young
to be published June 21, 2011
source:  ARC from Around the World YA Tours

summary from the author's websiteA girl must choose between following the destiny that will leave her Forgotten, or staying behind--risking becoming a Shadow forever.

Charlotte Cassidy has needs  NEEDS.  When a need hits, she has immediate pain which worsen until she fulfills it.   Her need is to go to an address led by a flyer or a business card.   The pain changes when she draws near -- similar to the hot potato, cold potato game; then she meets a stranger.   Charlotte internalizes that stranger's past and says the exact thing the person needs to hear in order to move on in life.  

Suzanne Young describes the NEED much better than I did,  that's why she's the author!   My favorite parts of the book are when Charlotte approaches the individuals and fulfills the need.   I would have loved it if the whole book was about this!    Charlotte is quite a character, dealing with other characters in her life:   a foster mother,  a needy best friend, a hot boyfriend, and a boss at the clinic she works at.  A villain comes along, naturally. 

An unique read with original ideas.  Time passed fast while reading.

Sequel will be A Want So Wicked to be released summer 2012.   I have a need to read this!

March 5, 2011

master of verse - review

Kimberly Marcus
published February 2011
source: bought it

Short   Strong    Suspenseful

The story is about two high school Seniors who are forever-best friends.  They have an argument one night at their usual sleepover -- Liz tells Kate she should not major in history.  Liz storms out of the room;  lives are changed .... best you read for yourself.

This is only the second verse YA book I have finished!  Kudos to debut author Kimberly Marcus for the way she mastered verse, characterization, metaphors, plot.  She kept me flipping the pages to the end to find out what happens.   She made me want to re-read Exposed  immediately, this time more slowly to savor her poetry.  Here's a page:
Jack Daniels in Brewster
The first sip sears
the lining of my throat.

I swallow hard
because I need to feel 

I swallow more
because I need to feel
 Thank you, Kimberly Marcus, for time well-spent writing this.   More, please, more!

March 4, 2011

Friday Blog Hop - March 4

Book Blogger Hop
Today's question at Crazy for Books posed by Mia is:
"Who's your all-time favorite book villain?"
"Favorite" is the wrong word paired with villain -- I'll rephrase that to 
"Which book villain makes you shudder the most?"  
  • I used to read lots of serial killer fiction books such as Silence of the Lamb, Red Dragon, and Black Sunday.   But not these serial killers. 
  • Then there are Stephen King villains, the clown in ItCujo,  the woman in Mercy, and other long forgotten ones. 
  • The man in last year's best-selling book Room.
  • My final response is any character who does child abuse.   These villains don't deserve names.  I have a feeling the next book I'm going to read will have a character who makes me shudder.  Fortunately, that book is going to be short.

being different - review

One of the hardest parts of growing up is being different.  
"They'll laugh at me."    
Larry Peterson addresses this issue in Slippery Willie's Stupid, Ugly Shoes.
If you had to wear shoes like these, everybody would laugh like Elmo.
That is precisely what happens in the book.  Even though there's no Elmo, everyone rofls (rolls around on the floor laughing).  The kids in class, the teacher (!),  the principal (gasp).   Even the the jet plane in the sky tips its wings because people inside are laughing.  
What happens next?  Spoiler coming, but as we're all adults here and this is a children's book -- I'll go ahead and mention it.   Slippery Willie wakes up.  It was a dream.   He still has to wear these stupid, ugly shoes, but life is not as bad as he expected.  Why worry?

This is a sweet book, brings back memories.  I remember fussing at age 11 because my mother insisted I wear a certain dress to a family Christmas gathering.  Turned out the dress didn't matter, it was one of the most fun parties I remember.  But I digress.

Because of the long text on some pages, the book would serve better as a read-aloud book in the classroom rather than being a "reader" for children.  There are good discussion questions about differences in the back of the book;  the same questions can be found here.  If you have suggestions, please post there!

disclaimer:  I received a PDF of this book from Tribute Books to review.

March 3, 2011

the end?

Booking Through Thursday asks:  Do you cheat and peek at the ends of books? (Come on, be honest.)

I do peek, but I don't consider it cheating.   Reading nowadays isn't for a test or a grade;  it isn't  a competition.    If I'm getting bored,  I look at the last chapter to see if anything catches my eye.   Sometimes it does,  then I read chapters backwards.  Odd, but that's me.

picture credit:  Wikipedia
If I'm involved in the story, I won't look at the end --- don't like spoilers.  Sometimes I'm in a bind and have to read super-fast in order to mail a book off in time, then I combine  techniques.

How about you?  Do you look at the end to see if the story is worth it, or do you stick with a boring book?

March 2, 2011

Make a difference - giveaway

 Winner of the book You Were Made to Make a Difference is Julie at Knitting and Sundries.  
Julie has 48 hours to respond with her addy.

There is an archaeological excavation going on in the City of David in Jerusalem.  A problem, thousands of bags of dirt have to be hauled away.  How?

photos shot by Pat R.

You Were Made to Make a Difference
by Max Lucado and Jenna Lucado Bishop
publisher:  Thomas Nelson

Max Lucado and his daughter Jenna Lucado Bishop have teamed up to write stories of real-life teens who make a difference in their world.  There are pages for teens to scribble their thoughts.  Other pages give ideas on possible things to do.   Verses  and some Biblical history are included. A perfect book for the teen in your life!    One verse is from Psalm 33:  
13 The Lord looks down from heaven
       and sees every person.
 15 He made their hearts
       and understands everything they do.

I'm giving away a copy on March 20.  All you need to do is fill out the form below.

More excerpts here

disclaimer:  This book was given to me by Thomas Nelson Publishers, specifically Michael Hyatt.

March 1, 2011

Me Worry?

Maybe because of the MAD magazines I used to devour,  I don't worry.   Used to worry before doing something new like starting high school or waiting for the college admission letter or buying a house for the first-and-last time. 

Most of the time, I don't worry.  One summer just before my pre-teen daughter and I were to leave for a trip to the British Isles, my husband asked,  "What if the plane crashes?"   My instant reply:  "When God says it is my time to go, it is my time."  Shrug.

Our pastor had a sermon Sunday "Look at the birds in the air," more  specifically, Worry.   I chose a photo of a sign my friend Pat shot in Israel and added some scripture to it for our church website. 

 Before heading to church Sunday morning, I ran across a post Tomorrow will Worry about Itself on (in)Courage by Candace McQuain.

A young couple (former students of mine) sat in front of me in church.   Throughout Greg's sermon, they kept looking and nodding at each other in surprise, eyes wide.   His words meant something to them.

Afterwards, the couple told me they had recently seen a Japanese movie with the same theme,  don't worry.  I told them if you hear or see the same thing more than once, it can be a message from God.

One thing Greg said in his sermon was, "Worry is a sin."  I didn't quite understand.  How?

Another blog post just came through, this time from Hieropraxis,  Don't Worry about a Thing.  Ah, there's more explanation  -- worry is the sin of Pride.  A great post to read.

Come to think of it, Alfred E. Neuman of MAD magazine fame didn't influence me.  It is Faith and the knowledge that God and Jesus have our best interests in mind.