"Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country" Review

"Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country"
by Allan Richard Shickman

Publisher: Earthshaker Books
Release Date: Sep 265, 2009

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:


The prehistoric saga continues in Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country, the sequel to the award winning Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure. In this story, Zan s troubled twin brother, Dael, having suffered greatly during his earlier captivity, receives a ruinous new shock when his wife suddenly dies. Disturbed and traumatized, all of his manic energies explode into acts of hostility and bloodshed. His obsession is the destruction of the wasp men, his first captors, who dwell in the Beautiful Country. When he, Zan-Gah, and a band of adventurers trek to their bountiful home, they find that all of the wasp people have died in war or of disease. The Beautiful Country is empty for the taking, and Zan s people, the Ba-Coro, decide to migrate and resettle there. But the Noi, Dael s cruelest enemies and former tormentors, make the same migration from their desert home, and the possibility develops of contention and war over this rich and lovely new land.

My review: 

In the sequel to "Zan-Gah", Zan and his  tribe move to a more fertile land called The Beautiful Country. While we don't see quite as much of Zan in this book, we do get to meet fascinating new characters in his world.
Dael, Zan's twin brother, descends into darkness again after his wife's death, which causes even more problems for Zan and his tribe.

We meet Zan's wife, Pax, who is a match for him in all ways. She's a fantastic hunter, very rare for women in their tribe. Zan's twin, Dael, looks down on Pax's skills as a hunter but Zan admires her and sees her as an equal. I love Pax's character, she's such a strong girl, but vulnerable in her love for Zan.


I also love the character Rydl, the boy from the opposing tribe that Zan took under his win in the first book. Rydl marches to the beat of his own drummer and because he's small, he uses his wits to win battles instead of brawn. Rydl's relationship with Sparrow is very well-drawn and heartbreakingly honest. 



Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5

Setting: 4/5

Romance: 4/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 3/5
Writing: 4/5



Bottom Line: I enjoyed this book just as much as the first in the series, because I got to see how interesting the other people in Zan's life are. I hope to see another installment of Zan's story, he's a great hero with a great story to tell.


 

Book Blog Follow and Book Blogger Hop Dec 31

Happy New Year, Everyone!!

It's time for Book Blog Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee.com and The Book Blogger Hop hosted by Crazy for Books!






My answer to this week's question: Try to keep blogging and reading fun!!


My answer: no question posted yet :)

If you're visiting for the first time, I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and say hi!! :)

"Zan-Gah" Review

"Zan-Gah"
by Allan Richard Shickman

Publisher: Earthshaker Books
Release Date: July 15, 2007

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

Zan-Gah, seeking his lost twin brother in a savage prehistoric world, encounters adventure, suffering, conflict, captivity, and final victory. In three years hero passes from an uncertain boyhood to a tried and proven manhood and a position of leadership among his people. Themes include survival, brotherhood, cultures, gender roles, psychological trauma, and nature's wonders and terrors. This is the electronic version of Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure, which has been awarded Mom's Choice Gold Medal for Series, the Eric Hoffer Notable Book Award, and was a finalist for ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year.

My Review:

I really enjoyed Zan-Gah's story. This book is totally unique and I think it's great to see prehistoric men and women given a voice and a story.

The book was written almost like interconnected short stories. Each chapter was like a new adventure where we met a new character or entered a new battle.


The story is about survival and coming of age, Zan grows in many ways throughout the book. I liked how he handled physical problems better than emotional ones because emotions are so hard to deal with.

The characters are all well-developed and Zan is a great hero. He stands up for what is right in his world. I also had a soft spot for Zan's uncle Chul, a lovable, simple man balancing on the edge of good and bad, and also completely ruled by his wife and child.

There is a lot of violence in the book, but it's always very clear that it's for survival. San's people respect even the animals they must kill for food or for safety. When his wayward twin Dael has a violent outburst, Zan doesn't approve. I think the right message is sent for the age group about the violence that goes on. 


Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5

Setting: 4/5

Romance: 3/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 3/5
Writing: 4/5



Bottom Line: I really recommend this book to both young readers and adults. I think you'll be fascinated with Zan's world, and surprised to see how similar it is to our own.

Waiting on Wednesday (50)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!

This week I chose:

"The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels-A Love Story"
by Ree Drummond
HarperCollins
Release Date: Feb 1, 2011

The following description is from goodreads.com:


"That's when I saw him—the cowboy—across the smoky room."
I'll never forget that night. It was like a romance novel, an old Broadway musical, and a John Wayne western rolled into one. Out for a quick drink with friends, I wasn't looking to meet anyone, let alone a tall, rugged cowboy who lived on a cattle ranch miles away from my cultured, corporate hometown. But before I knew it, I'd been struck with a lightning bolt . . . and I was completely powerless to stop it.
Read along as I recount the rip-roaring details of my unlikely romance with a chaps-wearing cowboy, from the early days of our courtship (complete with cows, horses, prairie fire, and passion) all the way through the first year of our marriage, which would be filled with more challenge and strife—and manure—than I ever could have expected.
This isn't just my love story; it's a universal tale of passion, romance, and all-encompassing love that sweeps us off our feet.
It's the story of a cowboy.
And Wranglers.
And chaps.
And the girl who fell in love with them. 
This looks so great! Love the cover!! The author's website is so fantastic, and this book looks awesome with a big dose of my favorite element-romance!

What are you waiting on this week??

Teaser Tuesday (20)

Yay for "Teaser Tuesday" from MizB of Should be Reading!!

Teaser Tuesdays
is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser Tuesday pick:


" 'They claim you and I are fated to be enemies, and they at least implied that you can win the struggle between us. In every particular they have lied to you.'  "


p 38 "The Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer" as told by Lucy Weston

Winners Announced!! "Duchess of Sin"

Winners Announced!!
The winners of the "Duchess of Sin" giveaway are:

 rubynreba
kim
cecile
marcie
deepali


Winners were chosen via random.org random number generator. Congrats to the winners!! I have emailed the winners for their mailing addresses. Winners have 3 days to respond :) A huge thank you goes out to Hachette sponsoring the contest and to everyone who entered!! Congrats!!

Teaser Tuesday (19)

Yay for "Teaser Tuesday" from MizB of Should be Reading!!

Teaser Tuesdays
is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
 
My teaser Tuesday pick:


" She began to watch them when they were in each other's presence, and the suspicion was confirmed: Zan loved Lissa more than her. It was their embarrassment in each other's presence that betrayed them, rather than overt attentions.  "


p 14 "Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country" by Allan Richard Shickman

My New Vintage Blog :)

Hi everyone! As some of you may know, my other passion besides books and reading is vintage! So I've decided to pursue it and open my own vintage shop on Etsy!



To go along with my new shop, I have opened a new vintage blog called "In the Hammock Vintage".  I want to invite all of my awesome In the Hammock readers to hop over to my new blog and see what you think!



If you love vintage like I do, you may want to stay awhile :) If vintage isn't your thing, I will still be running In the Hammock the book blog as usual so don't worry that I'll only be doing the vintage blog now!

Thanks so much everyone for reading In the Hammock for over one year now! It's been a great year for this little blog and I'm looking forward to another even better year next year!!

Winner Announced!! Artemis the Brave Swag Bag

Winners Announced!!
 
The winner of the "Artemis the Brave" Swag Bag giveaway is:
 
 
tanya904!
 

Winner was chosen via random.org random number generator. Congrats to the winner!! I have emailed the winner for her mailing address. Winner has 3 days to respond :) A huge thank you goes out to Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams sponsoring the contest and to everyone who entered!! Congrats!!

"The Winter Sea" Review

"The Winter Sea"
by Susanna Kearsley

Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc
Release Date: Dec 1, 2010

Source: sent by publisher


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

Carrie McClelland came to Scotland to research her next book. Renting a cottage in the same town where her story takes place, Carrie embarks not only on her novel, but on a romance with her landlord's handsome son, Graham Keith. When the boundary between past and present begins to blur, Carrie finds herself channeling memories not her own. Pulled deeper and deeper into the memories of the past, Carrie realizes these visions are more than the means to another bestselling novel, but also a way to right the wrongs of the past and create a future with the man whose love is her destiny.

My review:

This book was along the lines of an epic movie. There was a lot of history and a lot of emotion here. Carrie finds herself almost "predicting" the past as she writes her book. Or rather, the book basically writes itself. Then, Carrie discovers piece by piece, that her version of history is actually the truth. The author has based this on the theory of genetic memory, that Carrie has the memory of her ancestor hidden deep within herself. 

The theory of genetic memory is very intriguing. The reader definitely has to have an open mind to really feel the story and believe all that is happening. 

For me, I liked the notion that Carrie has memories from the past, but there's almost too much historical detail for me to get really lost in the story. While I really enjoyed the historical characters, there were a lot of details and facts to keep straight that took me out of the story a little.


Main Characters: 3/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5

Setting: 3/5

Romance: 3/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 3/5
Writing: 4/5



Bottom Line: This is an excellent "time-travel" story with alternating chapters set in modern time and in the past. I would definitely recommend this book to those who love an epic story rich in historical detail.



In My Mailbox (49)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.

contest wins: 

"Clockwork Angel" by Cassandra Clare


"Firestorm" by Rachel Caine

"Frostbite" by Richelle Mead

I won a fantastic contest from the very sweet and awesome Elin at Norwegian Book Girl! She not only sent the three books above, but she also sent a TON of Norwegian chocolate and candy!! This was so fun to open, not to mention a little exciting to get a package from Norway. The candy is yummy!! Thanks, Elin!!

 This pic is Elin's, I didn't get a chance to take a pic before some of the candy was eaten LOL

"The Heir" by Grace Burrowes
  I won this historical romance from Blodeuedd, the fantastic owner of the awesome blog The Book Girl of Mur-y Castell! Thanks Blodeuedd and Sourcebooks!

for review:

"Brooklyn Story"by Suzanne Corso

"Children of the Lost" by David Whitley

What did you receive in your mailbox this week???

Book Blog Follow and Book Blogger Hop Dec 17

Happy Friday, Everyone!!

It's time for Book Blog Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee.com and The Book Blogger Hop hosted by Crazy for Books!






My answer: The characters 100%!!

If you're visiting for the first time, I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and say hi!! :)

Winners Announced!! "Sundays at Tiffany's"

Winners Announced!!

The winner of the "Sundays at Tiffany's" giveaway is:

gcpeach17!
Winner was chosen via random.org random number generator. Congrats to the winner!! I have emailed the winner for her mailing address. Winner has 3 days to respond :) A huge thank you goes out to Hachette for sponsoring the contest and to everyone who entered!! Congrats!!


Sourcebooks: Free Jane Austen eBooks and Spin-offs


To celebrate Jane Austen's 235th Birthday on December 16th, Sourcebooks is offering many of their Jane Austen ebook editions for FREE!! Both the original editions and many of their popular spin-offs and sequels. Check out this page for links to Kindle, Nook, and iBooks formats!

Sourcebooks has extended the offer until tomorrow, Dec 17th!!

Check it out here: http://www.sourcebooks.com/component/content/article/63-marketing-and-publicity/1583-jane-austen.html

Thanks, Sourcebooks!!

"The Bronte Sisters Power Dolls" Video

What if the Bronte Sisters had their own action figures?? Unfortunately, these dolls aren't available for purchase :(



This video is hilarious and awesome for book lovers! My boyfriend found it and I had to share!!


Waiting on Wednesday (49)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!

This week I chose:

"The Revenant"
by Sonia Gensler
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 14, 2011

The following description is from goodreads.com:

When Willie arrives in Indian Territory, she knows only one thing: no one can find out who she really is. To escape a home she doesn't belong in anymore, she assumes the name of a former classmate and accepts a teaching job at the Cherokee Female Seminary.

Nothing prepares her for what she finds there. Her pupils are the daughters of the Cherokee elite—educated and more wealthy than she, and the school is cloaked in mystery. A student drowned in the river last year, and the girls whisper that she was killed by a jealous lover. Willie's room is the very room the dead girl slept in. The students say her spirit haunts it.

Willie doesn't believe in ghosts, but when strange things start happening at the school, she isn't sure anymore. She's also not sure what to make of a boy from the nearby boys' school who has taken an interest in her—his past is cloaked in secrets. Soon, even she has to admit that the revenant may be trying to tell her something. . . .

This one is an historical with a bit of the paranormal element thrown in. I am really interested in learning about the Cherokee history in this one.

What are you waiting on this week???

"Pemberley Ranch" Review

"Pemberley Ranch"
by Jack Caldwell

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Release Date: Dec 1, 2010

Source: sent by publisher


My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

In the aftermath of the Civil War, the Bennet family has just moved from Ohio to the town of Rosings, Texas, set on creating a fresh start. But their daughter Beth still prefers the familiarity of Ohio to the plains of Texas-that is, until she encounters Will Darcy, the reclusive owner of Pemberley Ranch. Will and Beth are instantly smitten, but pride, prejudice, and a gang of villains determined to take over Rosings threaten to keep them apart. This fresh idea in the world of Jane Austen retellings brings together the world of Pride and Prejudice with the struggles of the antebellum South.

My review:

I was so excited to read a western retelling of "Pride and Prejudice" and let me say this book delivers! The author retains everything we love about the original, while still making the story different enough that you have to keep reading! He stays true to the characters and themes, but it's not a scene-for-scene rehash of the original, he mixes it up a lot.

I love reading about American history in historical novels and I feel like it's pretty rare to find an historical book set in America.  It was great to see such a personal side to the Civil War and it's aftermath. Also, it fit the story so well for Beth to be prejudiced against Darcy at first because he's from the South and she's from the North. 

Darcy and Beth are fantastic lead characters, I especially have a soft stop for Darcy. Sure, he makes some silly mistakes in wooing Beth, but you couldn't ask for a more upstanding hero. His heart is always in the right place, and he is always willing to stand up for his high moral standard. Beth is a confident and no-nonsense lady, she's used to taking care of herself and her family on their farm. She doesn't need to be pampered like some of the ladies in the story. Beth is definitely not a swooner but I wouldn't blame her for swooning when Darcy calls her "Miss Beth," with his Texas charm.

Beth's family is funny and loving, and all of the secondary characters are vividly drawn. A few other Austen characters pop into the story briefly, even Knightley! 


Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5

Setting: 5/5

Romance: 5/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Writing: 5/5



Bottom Line: I loved this book, both as a "Pride and Prejudice" spin off and on it's own. I'd love to see the author write more Austen tie-ins. 

Teaser Tuesday (18)

Yay for "Teaser Tuesday" from MizB of Should be Reading!!

Teaser Tuesdays
is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 
My teaser Tuesday pick:


" It wasn't because Caroline was outright mean, Beth would later admit to herself. She would have to be noticed first by the blasted woman to be directly insulted. "


p 101 "Pemberley Ranch" by Jack Caldwell (ARC)

In My Mailbox (48)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.

for review:
"Falling Under" by Gwen Hayes

"Vixen" by Jillian Larkin
  
Wow, I'm so excited to read this one!! I love reading about the 1920's! :)

"The Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer" as told by Lucy Weston


What did you receive in your mailbox this week??

Book Blog Follow and Book Blogger Hop Dec 10

Happy Friday, Everyone!!

It's time for Book Blog Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee.com and The Book Blogger Hop hosted by Crazy for Books!






My answer to this week's question: Undernoticed author: I can't help but say Julie Berry, author of The Amaranth Enchantment and Secondhand Charm.


My answer: I like the reviews and giveaways the best, and also Waiting on Wednesday posts and In my Mailbox so I can see some exciting upcoming releases!

If you're visiting for the first time, I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and say hi!! :)

"Secondhand Charm" Review

"Secondhand Charm"
by Julie Berry

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Release Date: Oct 12, 2010

Source: sent by publisher


My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

In a secluded village, magic sparkles on the edges of the forest. There, a young girl named Evie possesses unusually strong powers as a healer. A gypsy's charms—no more than trinkets when worn by others—are remarkably potent when Evie ties them around her neck. Her talents, and charms, have not escaped the notice of the shy stonemason's apprentice. But Evie wants more than a quiet village and the boy next-door. When the young king's carriage arrives one day, and his footman has fallen ill, Evie might just get her chance after all . . .
Berry's debut novel garnered glowing reviews and strong sales—and now she's done it again with a beautifully woven tale to keep all readers, young and old, absolutely charmed.

My review:

"The Amaranth Enchantment," Julie Berry's first book, is one of my favorite books of the year, so I couldn't wait to read "Secondhand Charm." This book is filled with all of the things I loved about the first book, magic, adventure, a strong heroin, and a sweet, swoon-worthy romance. 



I loved Evie's bond with her leviathan and how the story touched on how this had caused jealousy in past generations of her family. Her leviathan had many qualities of a loyal puppy, if your puppy could instantly morph from cute and cuddly to a huge sea monster.


Aiden was incredibly sweet. He's the hard-working boy next door who suddenly seems like more than a friend. Aiden is so so supportive of Evie and wants to know more about her secrets but never judges or dismisses her because of them.


The author puts an awesome twist on the typical fairy tale at the beginning of the story. The King comes to the small village of Pylander and singles out Evie and her best friend. But in this story, it's not because they are the prettiest girls in town, it's because they're the smartest. The King gives them both scholarships to the university based on their high grades. It's empowering to see girls moving forward in life based on their merit, not their appearance.



Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5

Setting: 5/5

Romance: 5/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 5/5



Bottom Line:Another fantastic, magical adventure from Julie Berry!

Waiting on Wednesday (48)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!

This week I chose:

"The Vespertine"
by Saundra Mitchell
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's
Release Date: March 7, 2011

The following description is from goodreads.com:

It’s the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him.

When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia’s world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she’s not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.




I've seen this one around a lot lately, and it looks amazing!! I love historical YA and I'm glad to see more of it around. Also, I love that it's set in the US, I love reading about US history!

What are you waiting for this week??

Giveaway and Review: "Duchess of Sin"

As part of the "Duchess of Sin" blog tour, I have my review and a giveaway of 5 copies of the book, sponsored by Hachette!

"Duchess of Sin"
by Laurel McKee

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: Dec 1, 2010

Source: sent by publisher


My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads.com:

Blonde and beautiful Lady Anna Blacknall is in the mood for mischief. Entering Dublin's most notorious den of vice, she finds herself in the arms of a mysterious, emerald-eyed Irishman. And although he is masked, his tender kiss is hauntingly familiar.

Conlan McTeer, Duke of Adair, has come to Dublin to fight for a free Ireland. But he's suddenly reunited with the young Englishwoman who had once claimed his heart, and his passion turns from politics to pleasure. When their sizzling encounter brings danger to Anna's door, she must decide where her loyalties lie-and quickly. For someone will do whatever it takes to destroy Conlan . . . and anyone he dares to love.


My Review:

"Duchess of Sin" is just the kind of historical romance that I love. The love story is so sweet and heart-stoppingly romantic. The lead couple is caring towards each other, and the secondary characters are vivid in their own right. The plot is fast-paced while still focusing on the romance.

Anna and Conlan aren't stereotypical romance characters, they're both fully developed and have many sides to their personalities. In fact, one of the things Conlan loves so much about Anna is that he is always learning something new about her.

I love that Anna is a bit wild and reckless (but not to the point that she's stupid or puts herself in real harm). She's so different from most of the super innocent and straight-laced society ladies we generally see in historical romance.

Conlan plays the role of dark, brooding, reclusive duke to a tee. However, he's also kind, caring, and heroic to anyone who cares to look past the surface.

As an added bonus, there are two more romances woven into the story. Anna's sister, Caroline, finds herself almost falling for 'the wrong man', a story that looks like it will be continued in the next book in the series. And Anna's mother, Katherine, has her own romance with Caroline's gorgeous and sensitive art tutor. I loved all of the supporting characters just as much as the leads.

The Irish history was not the typical historical romance fare, either. I really enjoyed reading about this time period in Ireland's history.

The story does have a bit of Christmas spirit, one part of the book focuses on a house party celebrating the season. It's fun to see the holiday traditions they took part in.

Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5

Setting: 5/5

Romance: 5/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 5/5



Bottom Line: I loved this story, the leads were perfectly multi-dimensional and I really cared about what happened to them. Laurel McKee has just become one of my must-read historical romance authors.

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GIVEAWAY RULES:
Hachette books has generously provided FIVE copies of this historical romance for readers of my blog!



All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and leave a comment on this review with your email address!

Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :) Also, if you aren't comfortable leaving your email here, go ahead and leave a comment and then send me an email with your email addy.

Extra Entries:
  • +1 Tweet this contest (leave link in comment)
  • +1 Post link in sidebar of your blog (leave link in comment)

Rules:
  • US and Canada only
  • No PO Boxes please
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Extra entries are optional and can all be left in the same comment
  • Leave a comment with your email address
  • Books will be mailed out by Hachette
  • Ends Monday Dec. 20
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

Teaser Tuesday (17)

Yay for "Teaser Tuesday" from MizB of Should be Reading!!

Teaser Tuesdays
is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser Tuesday pick:


" 'And you brought them up here and left all the other bouquets in the drawing room. Everyone says he is courting you, but then again so is every man in Dublin. ' "


p 30 "Duchess of Sin" by Laurel McKee

Check back later today for my review of this one and a contest to win the book!

Review and Giveaway! "Goddess Girls: Artemis the Brave"

Authors Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams have generously provided an awesome Artemis the Brave Swag Bag and a copy of the book for one lucky reader of my blog! See contest info after the review!

"Artemis the Brave" (Goddess Girls #4)
by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

Publisher: Aladdin
Release Date: Dec 7, 2010

Source: sent by author


My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

The Goddess Girls by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams put a modern spin on classic Greek myths!

My review:

"Artemis the Brave" is book #4 in the awesome age 8-12 series "The Goddess Girls." When I received this book, I was so excited to see that it's longer than the previous books-more to read, more to love!

All of the Goddess Girls have their own vivid personalities and Artemis is no exception. Artemis is very into her sport, archery, which she and her twin brother, Apollo, excel at. I loved seeing Artemis's great relationship with her brother. She really feels terrible when they argue because they are so close.

I love that all of the girls are so different but they all respect and appreciate their differences. None of the girls try to change each other, they accept that they're all different. Artemis's friends aren't into archery or sports, but they value her skills and never try to change her.

As with the other Goddess Girl books, there's a healthy dose of girl power. Artemis quickly learns that Orion's handsome face isn't all it's cracked up to be. Artemis also learns about her inner bravery. Everyone thinks she's very brave, but she has to work hard in order to actually feel brave herself.

This book would be great for girls who love animals because Artemis has three dogs who go with her everywhere.

Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5

Setting: 4/5

Romance: 4/5 (perfectly age appropriate)

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 5/5 (LOVE all the covers!!)
Writing: 5/5


Bottom Line: Another fantastic installment of the Goddess Girls series, with lots of friendship, fun, and a great message.
Check out my reviews for the first three books in the series:


More info on the series at: http://www.joanholub.blogspot.com/


GIVEAWAY RULES:Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams are generously providing one lucky reader an Aphrodite the Beauty Swag Bag!! The swag bag was carefully put together by the authors and includes:

* Artemis's puppy! An 8 1/2 inch plush dog named Amby--short for ambrosia, food of the gods! (Yomiko)
* Nail polishes (Sally)
* Bangle bracelets (mudd)
* Goddess Girls bookmark
* Autographed copy of Artemis the Brave


All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and leave a comment on this review with your email address!
Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :) Also, if you aren't comfortable leaving your email here, go ahead and leave a comment and then send me an email with your email addy.
Extra Entries:

  • +1 Tweet this contest (leave link in comment)
  • +1 Post link in sidebar of your blog (leave link in comment)

Rules:
  • US only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Extra entries are optional and can all be left in the same comment
  • Leave a comment with your email address
  • Ends Sunday Dec 19
How cute is that puppy?? Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!



In My Mailbox (47)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.

for review:

"Wither" by Lauren DeStefano



sent by the publisher-this one looks so awesome, I love the cover!

contest wins:


"Betraying Season" by Marissa Doyle


won from Enduring Romance, sent from the author. I've been waiting to read this one ever since I read "Bewitching Season" last year. I loved the first book-a YA historical with romance and magic!


"A Passion Most Pure" by Julie Lessman


won from Juju at Tales of Whimsy! I have heard SO much about this author's books, I'm so glad I'm getting a chance to read her first book!


What did you receive in your mailbox this week??


"Why? Because We Still Like You" Review


"Why? Because We Still Like You: An Oral History of the Mickey Mouse Club"
by Jennifer Armstrong

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: Oct 29, 2010

Source: sent by publisher


My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

This book will tell the behind-the-scenes story of how The Mickey Mouse Club paved the way for all that came after, from its humble beginnings as a marketing ploy, through its short but mesmerizing run, to the numerous resurrections that made it one of television's first true cult hits--all through the recollections of those regular kids-turned-stars who made it a phenomenon. It will reveal, for the first time ever, the untold stories of Annette, Darlene, Cubby and Karen, Bobbie and the rest of the beloved cast. It will explore, through the reminiscences of former fans who grew up to be some of television's finest minds, what made the show so special. And it will examine why the formula the creators of the show invented is more relevant than ever, and whether we'll ever see yet another Club for a new generation.

My review:

Today's kids watch reruns of shows that I used to watch when I was kid, like "Full House" and "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." When I was a kid, I watched what my parents loved when they were little: "The Mickey Mouse Club."

This book was one of the most fun books I've read for a long time. It didn't seem overly gossip-y and I loved that the author actually interviewed most of the "Mice" herself. There were a few who were unable to comment, including the most popular Mouse herself, Annette. Armstrong used credible sources, like Annette's autobiography for her information about the missing Mouseketeers.

It was so fun to see all of the behind the scenes information. One moment that stands out is some of the girls giggling over seeing Guy Williams, aka Zorro, in the commissary eating lunch. These day to day tidbits were something I had never heard about before in all of my Mickey Mouse Club fan moments. While I was reading, I really felt like I was at Soundstage 1 on the Disney backlot, like I was one of the Mice too.

The book is separated into chapters detailing auditions for the Mickey Mouse Club, the early days of the show, the phenomenon years, "Spin and Marty", and the aftermath.

I'd recommend this book for a true fan of the show. There's no mean-spirited gossip here that would ruin anyone's feelings towards the show, but there is some great insider information straight from the sources. I don't think this book would take away any of the "Magic" of the show, or ruin any idealized notions a huge fan would have. It's all done respectfully.

Bottom Line: True Mickey Mouse Club fans will not be disappointed in this book. Just like the original Mouseketeers, the book has a heart of gold with nothing but fond memories for the show. Now, please excuse me while I try to track down the out of print "Spin and Marty" dvd set on eBay!

Book Blog Follow and Book Blogger Hop Dec 3

Happy Friday, Everyone!!

It's time for Book Blog Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee.com and The Book Blogger Hop hosted by Crazy for Books!



My answer to this week's question: I collect vintage clothing, accessories and other treasures :)



My answer: I didn't really like "Fallen" as much as others did. I didn't feel bad about my review though, I didn't hate the book and I didn't bash it, I just felt like it was a little slow.

If you're visiting for the first time, I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and say hi!! :)

Waiting on Wednesday (47)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!

This week I chose:

"Tempest Rising"
by Tracy Deebs
Walker Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 10, 2011


The following description is from goodreads.com:

Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her—and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance.


I love all the mermaid stories that are coming out next year! This one sounds really interesting, and the cover is gorgeous! Have you seen any upcoming releases featuring mermaids that you'd like to share??

What are you waiting on this week??
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