Giveaway: Georgette Heyer Grab Bag of Three Books!



August 16th would be the 110th birthday of Georgette Heyer! As the current publisher of all 52 of Heyer's novels, Sourcebooks wants to celebrate her birthday by giving a lucky reader of my blog a surprise grab bag of three Heyer books!






To enter, help us celebrate by leaving a comment with your "Heyer Moment"- how did you discover her books? What is your favorite book by Heyer? What is your fave memory of reading her books? Why do you love her books, or even why you want to try reading her books if you haven't yet!

The prize pack consists of three surprise Heyer books, including 1 Romance, 1 Mystery, and 1 Historical Fiction. The books pictured are not neccessarily the books in the grab bag, it will be a surprise!

Contest will end on Georgette Heyer's birthday, August 16th!

Leave a comment with your "Heyer Moment" to join in the birthday celebration!



GIVEAWAY RULES:
Sourcebooks has generously provided a surprise pack of three of Heyer's books 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
  • 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 Sourcebooks, it is the publisher's responsibility to mail out the prizes. Please allow up to 8 weeks for delivery.
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Aug 16
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!  


Check out my reviews of two of Heyer's books here:

Book News: Cozy Classics

While surfing the net today, I found the most adorable new baby board books based on classics! Cozy Classics feature photos of needle-felted figures as the illustrations. They are published by Simply Read Books and written and illustrated by Jack Wang and Holman Wang. They are really retro to me in a great way :)

The two books in the series so far are "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen and "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville. What a great way to introduce little ones to the classics!

You can check out the website for the books to see more of the awesome illustrations here: mycozyclassics.com



 


"Sophomore Campaign" Review

"Sophomore Campaign : A Mickey Tussler Novel"
by Frank Nappi

Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: Apr 1, 2012
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
It 's 1949 and eighteen-year-old pitching phenom Mickey Tussler is back with the rejuvenated minor league Brewers in the sequel to The Legend of Mickey Tussler (the basis for the television movie A Mile in His Shoes). Despite Mickey 's proclamation that he will never play baseball again after last season 's violent conclusion, his manager and now surrogate father Arthur Murphy cajoles the emotionally fragile, socially awkward boy with autism into giving it another shot. Mickey reluctantly returns to the field and must once again cope with the violence and hatred around him. When a young African American player joins the team, the entire team is subjected to racial threats and episodes of violence, one of which Mickey witnesses firsthand. Struggling to understand such ugliness and hatred, and fearful of reprisal should he tell anyone about what he has seen, the boy 's performance on the field suffers. Mickey now must deal with a side of human nature he scarcely comprehends.

My Review:

Like the first book, The Legend of Mickey Tussler, Sophomore Campaign is another great baseball story with fantastic characters. In the second book we get to revisit most of the characters from the first book, like Murph, PeeWee, and Mickey's mother.  We also get to meet Lester, the new catcher for the team. Lester is an African American player, and in 1949, that means the team is up against more hate, and lack of acceptance, just like they were when Mickey joined the team and people didn't understand his autism.

The racism isn't sugar coated in this book, it's very scary and violent at times. Mickey never understands why people think differently of Lester just because his skin is a different color. Murph wants to win ball games by having Lester on the team but Lester has to deal with all of the hate and he isn't always sure it's worth it.

As with the first book, there is a lot for a baseball fan to love about this book. Many chapters are devoted fully to single games. At the same time, the book isn't completely about the sport, and the characters and plot lines are fully developed and will interest other readers besides just sports fans. The writing is so well done, readers will be caught up in Mickey's world both on and off the baseball field.


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

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


Bottom Line: A great addition to Mickey Tussler's story. I like the direction the book is going at the end and I hope there will be a third book!



If you think this book sounds interesting, please see my reviews of the first book in the series: "The Legend of Mickey Tussler" and the movie, "A Mile in His Shoes" which is based on the first book:

Please note that while the movie is for all audiences, the books were written for adults :) 

Fundraiser:
If you buy a copy of "The Legend or Mickey Tussler" or "Sophomore Campaign" before July 27, a portion of the proceeds will benefit Best Buddies International!

Frank Nappi, the author of "The Legend of Mickey Tussler" and "Sophomore Campaign," is donating part of the proceeds from the books to Best Buddies International.
In a blog, Nappi said, "In an effort to support greater autism advocacy and awareness, I am pleased to announce that with the sale of each paperback copy of The Legend of Mickey Tussler or Sophomore Campaign between Friday, July 6 and Friday, July 27 on Amazon.com, I will donate a portion of the proceeds to Best Buddies International - a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities." 
The Mickey Tussler series chronicles the coming of age of a young pitching phenom with autism on a minor league baseball team during the 1940s.



Waiting on Wednesday (221)


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:

"Strands of Bronze and Gold"

by Jane Nickerson
Alfred A. Knopf
Release Date: March 12, 2013

The following description is from goodreads.com:

A sweeping Gothic thriller based on the spine-chilling "Bluebeard" fairytale.

17-year-old Sophia Petheram has been sheltered by her doting family all her life, until the day her father dies. It's 1855, and with no money and few options, she goes to live with her guardian, the mysterious Bernard de Cressac, at the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey in Mississippi.

Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it's as if thread by thread, a silken net is woven around her. And when she begins glimpsing the ghosts of his former wives (all with hair as red as her own) in the forgotten corners and dark hallways of the Abbey, Sophie knows she's in de Cressac's trap.

With enchanting romance, chilling suspense, and dashes of the supernatural, Strands of Bronze and Gold is a compulsively-readable debut.
I love reading different retellings of fairy tales and re-boot of Bluebeard sounds especially dark and spooky! We'll be waiting a while for this one though!

What are you waiting for this week???

"Cornelia Guest's Simple Pleasures" Review and Recipe

"Cornelia Guest's Simple Pleasures"
by Cornelia Guest
 
Publisher: Weinstein
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Source: sent by publicist

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Partial Summary from goodreads.com:
Daughter of fashion icon C. Z. Guest and Winston Frederick Churchill Guest, polo champion and heir to the Phipps steel fortune, Cornelia Guest resisted eating animal products from childhood because of her passion for critters.” When her mother became ill, her research compelled her to take the leap to eat cruelty-free. In Cornelia Guest’s Simple Pleasures, she reveals the secrets of understated elegance she learned from her parents and the family’s extraordinary friends. Her favorite simple recipes are so delicious, even the most fervent carnivores do not miss the meat, and her tips on entertaining take the stress out of any event. Her ulterior motive is to inspire readers to have fun experimenting with healthy alternatives and to change the way they think about food.


My Review:

This cookbook, and entertaining guide, is really so nicely done. It is a beautiful book, with a gorgeous teal hardcover and beautiful photos and drawings inside. The photos are really inspiring and lovely to look at. The recipes themselves are vegan, so they may not be for everyone but I think anyone could find at least a side dish or breakfast item that they would enjoy making and eating.

The first half of the book is devoted to entertaining, something I don't do that often, so I really enjoyed the cooking portion of the book more. The author's style of entertaining is on the frou frou side so take that into consideration before reading the book. Even if her tastes for entertaining may be fussy, the photos are still beautiful to look at, and she shares the history of her family's home and it's nice to read about all of that history as well.

I loved the tiny sketches of little animals throughout the book, they are just too cute. I also loved that the author let her adorable pets model with the food for some of the photos. The book really is beautiful, and it would make a lovely and lasting gift for a vegan friend.

I want to try a lot of the recipes, they don't look too difficult and they are all made with fresh seasonal ingredients. The recipe portion of the book is split into the four seasons and consists of recipes and foods that pertain to that time of year. One of my favorite parts was the fall breakfast section. There are a lot of new things I want to try!

I liked that the author added basic instructions for cooking some vegan staples like grains and beans. It's helpful to have a list of cooking times and instructions for many grains and beans at a glance.

Bottom Line: A beautifully made book with lots of inspiration for cooking, entertaining, and even decorating.


 Bonus Recipe from the Book!

The publicist has given me permission to post two recipes from the book on my blog to celebrate the release of the book! I shared the Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad a few weeks back and today I'll feature Zucchini Blossoms Stuffed with Amaranth! Enjoy!!


Zucchini Blossoms Stuffed with Amaranth 
By Cornelia Guest,

Author of Cornelia Guest's Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking and Easy Entertaining
Serves 4
Total time: 45 minutes
Zucchini blossoms are so beautiful. This is so easy to make, and your friends will be very impressed. You can make the stuffing the day before so you can enjoy your friends, stuff the blossoms and have a great lunch. Amaranth is a gooey grain that works well as a stuffing. I serve this dish with iced tea with mint or a crisp white wine. Fresh tomatoes go well with the squash blossoms.
3 cups amaranth
1 medium onion
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 zucchini
1 small eggplant (you want to end up with 1-1/2 cups after its is cooked)
1 garlic clove
4 large blossoms per serving
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add amaranth. Simmer and cook until water is absorbed, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
2. Quarter the onion and cook in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 30 minutes over medium heat until caramelized.
3. Dice zucchini and sauté in 1 tablespoon olive oil until soft, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
4. Dice eggplant and garlic and sauté in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 10 minutes.
5. Mix the cooked vegetables with the amaranth and add parsley. Fill the squash blossoms with the mixture. Serve at room temperature.
The above is an excerpt from the book Cornelia Guest's Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking and Easy Entertaining by Cornelia Guest. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

© 2012 Cornelia Guest, author of Cornelia Guest's Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking and Easy Entertaining

I'm sharing with Weekend Cooking over at Beth Fish Reads!    

"Nom de Plume" Review

"Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms"
by Carmela Ciuraru

Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: May 29, 2012 (hardoover released 2011)
Source: sent by publisher 

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
Mary Anne Evans. Charles Dodgson. Eric Blair. William Sydney Porter. Or, as they are more commonly remembered, George Eliot, Lewis Carroll, George Orwell, and O. Henry. For these writers and many others, from Mark Twain to Stan Lee to Robert Jordan, the invocation of a "nom de plume "has been an essential part in the creation of an authorial identity. Now, in a captivating series of biographical snapshots exploring the lives of famous authors and their pen names, author Carmela Ciuraru delivers a unique literary history and a penetrating examination of identity, creativity, and self-creation, revisiting the enduring question--what's in a name?

My Review:

I really enjoy reading non-fiction, as they say-truth is often stranger than fiction. I especially like non-fiction when it's not too dry, and the writer makes the stories come to life. I can definitely say that this book was a quick and fun read. One thing that kept the book moving right along was that it consisted of a different chapter for each different writer. It was almost like reading short stories. Of course, all of the stories were connected by the same theme-the pseudonym, and the duality of self and personality that occurs along with it.

I admit that I was most interested in the stories of favorites of mine, Lewis Carroll and Mark Twain. I learned some new info about both of these writers. I also found most of the other writers' stories very interesting as well. I know a lot of readers will be interested in the Bronte sisters' stories.

For some of the writers, I was very familiar with their work, like George Orwell and O. Henry, but I really didn't know anything about their personal lives. This was a great starting point in learning the bios of many great writers all at once. Another great thing about this book is that now I'm really interested in reading books from some of the authors whose books I haven't read before.

The author has a great way of getting the reader's attention at the start of each chapter with a statement about one of the eccentricities of the upcoming writer. These were fun and a great way to entice the reader into reading the next chapter.

Bottom Line: A great read with lesser known and sometimes scandalous stories about some very influential authors.

Sunday Shout Out (11)


Recently, I introduced a new feature here at In the Hammock on Sundays. It's called "Sunday Shout Out" and it's a place where I can give a special shout out to those publishers and authors who have sent me books over the week, as well as those bloggers who have hosted contests that I've won! I'll also be giving shout outs to any other cool books, blogs or bookish news that I've spotted during the week.

Check out my first Sunday Shout Out post for even more info, here!

For Review

"Pushing the Limits" by Katie McGarry


I am so excited to read this one! I've heard nothing but great things about it.

"Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom" Heroes in Training #1 by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams


A new series by the authors of The Goddess Girls!

"Lady Louisa's Christmas Knight" by Grace Burrowes


 The newest in one of my favorite historical romance series!

"Deception" by Kris Kennedy


"Run the Risk" by Lori Foster


This will be my first book by this author, and the book also came with a fantastic blog tour press pass! So fun!

"Be Still My Soul" by Joanne Bischof


"Alexandre Reza" by Vivienne Becker


I received the layout for this book and it's gorgeous.

If you would like to do your own Sunday Shout out, please add the button that links back to this post, and leave your link in the comments section this weekend so I can check it out, and so that other readers can stop by too!!


Please remember to add the button so we can get the word out about the event!

(Original image from The Graphics Fairy)



Waiting on Wednesday (220)


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:

"Burn for Burn"

by Jenny Han
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: Sep 18, 2012

The following description is from goodreads.com:

BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY...
THEY GET EVEN.

Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister.

Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person– her ex-best friend– and she's ready to make her pay.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she's not the same girl anymore. And she's ready to prove it to him.

Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won't stop until they each had a taste.
This has the potential to be so good! And I love the washed out colors of the cover!

What are you waiting for this week???

Blog Tour: Summer with Jill Shalvis


As part of the Summer with Jill Shalvis blog tour, I would like to feature two upcoming books by the author, "At Last" and "Forever and a Day"! Both are titles in her wildly popular Lucky Harbor Series.


"At Last"
by Jill Shalvis

Publisher: Forever
Release Date: June 26, 2012
Source: sent by publisher

Summary from goodreads.com:
HER LOVE HAS COME ALONG . . .
Amy Michaels loves her new life in Lucky Harbor. A waitress in the local diner, she's looking forward to her first weekend hike through the mountains. But when a wrong turn takes her off the trail, she finds herself up close and personal with forest ranger Matt Bowers. And even though she's tempted to kiss that sexy smile right off his face, she won't make the mistake of getting involved with the town heartthrob.

A former cop whose life went south, Matt doesn't let anyone get too close. But something about the feisty beauty caught his eye the moment he first saw her in the diner. After a hot night under a starry sky, Matt can't deny their attraction-or the fact that for the first time in a long time, he feels the stirrings of something more. Now it's up to Matt to help Amy see that, no matter what is in their past, together they can build a future in Lucky Harbor.

"Forever and a Day"
by Jill Shalvis

Publisher: Forever
Release Date: July 31, 2012
Source: sent by publisher

Summary from goodreads.com:
LOVE CAN HAPPEN IN A HEARTBEAT
Grace never thought she'd be starting her life over from scratch. Losing everything has landed her in Lucky Harbor, working as a dog walker for overwhelmed ER doctor Josh Scott. But the day his nanny fails to show up, Grace goes from caring for Josh's lovable mutt to caring for his rambunctious son. Soon Grace is playing house with the sexy single dad . . .
With so many people depending on him, Josh has no time for anything outside of his clinic and family-until Grace arrives in town. Now this brainy blonde is turning his life inside out and giving a whole new meaning to the phrase "good bedside manner." Josh and Grace don't know if what they have can last. But in a town like Lucky Harbor, a lifetime of love starts with just one day . . .

Giveaway and Review: "Goddess Girls Super Special: The Girl Games"

"Goddess Girls Super Special: The Girl Games"
 by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

Publisher: Aladdin
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Source: sent by the authors

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Summary from goodreads.com:

The first-ever standalone superspecial in the Goddess Girls series—let the games begin!Athena, Medusa, Artemis, and Persephone are sick and tired of being left out of the annual boys-only Olympic Games. Their solution? The Girl Games! But as the Goddess Girls work to make their dream into a reality, they come up against plenty of chaos and competition. Told in alternating points of view, this superspecial is packed with Olympic spirit!


My Review:

"The Girl Games" is the first Super Special edition of the Goddess Girls series, and hopefully it won't be the last! Just in time for the Summer Olympics in London, the girls are hosting the very first Olympics just for girls! They have come up with some super cute finishing touches for their girl games including pink sand in the long jump pits, and the most adorable stuffed beanbag animals to hand off in the relays instead of batons.

The book is extra lengthy for those of us who can't get enough of the Goddess Girls and it features chapters told from the four main girls' alternating points of view. This style (which I like to call "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" style) is so great because everyone can read about their favorite character's point of view in the same book. Also, it makes the pages fly by, with so many different story lines to read about, there's never a slow moment.

My favorite storyline in this installment was probably the new kitten, Adonis. As soon as I saw the cover, I was wondering who the adorable little kitten was. Just like Aphrodite and Persephone, I was smitten with him from the beginning. The girls learn about responsibility, as well as sharing and jealousy, because of the new kitten.

I also really liked Artemis' story as the girl in charge of the Girl Games. She wants everything to be perfect, and thinks in order to get the results she wants, she has to do everything herself.

As always, I love the girls' crushes. Their romances are so adorable and age appropriate. Also, instead of taking center stage, they are mixed into the stories in perfect amounts.

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: A perfect read this summer during the Summer Olympics, and a great way to learn about competition and friendship.



GIVEAWAY RULES:

Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams have generously provided a finished copy of "Goddess Girls Super Special: The Girl Games" and a bookmark for one lucky reader of my blog!

All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and leave a comment on this post 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
  • Books will be mailed out by the authors, In the Hammock is not responsible for lost or missing books, or the amount of time taken to ship the books
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Mon Jul 30
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!



If you think this Goddess Girls book sounds great, check out my reviews for ALL of the books in the series!  

#1 Athena the Brain
#2 Persephone the Phony (one of my favorites in the series)
#3 Aphrodite the Beauty (another top pick in the series)
#4 Artemis the Brave
#5 Athena the Wise
#6 Aphrodite the Diva
#7 Artemis the Loyal 
#8 Medusa the Mean (another of my favorites)

Sunday Shout Out (10)


Recently, I introduced a new feature here at In the Hammock on Sundays. It's called "Sunday Shout Out" and it's a place where I can give a special shout out to those publishers and authors who have sent me books over the week, as well as those bloggers who have hosted contests that I've won! I'll also be giving shout outs to any other cool books, blogs or bookish news that I've spotted during the week.

Check out my first Sunday Shout Out post for even more info, here!

Contest Wins

"Heart of Brass" by Kate Cross


A romance by Kady Cross writing under a pen name.
For Review

"Big Sky Mountain" by Linda Lael Miller


This book came with an awesome blog tour press pass! Love it!

"Send" by Patty Blount

 

"A Royal Pain" by Megan Mulry


Book News
Paper Passion Perfume

What book lover doesn't love the smell of books?? Now Karl Lagerfeld, Wallpaper magazine, and Steidl have created a perfume with that freshly opened book smell! The packaging is even a book!


photo: NY Daily News via Wallpaper
Buy it: Steidl
And see the article here: NY Daily News
I originally saw this article at A Book Lover's Diary



If you would like to do your own Sunday Shout out, please add the button that links back to this post, and leave your link in the comments section this weekend so I can check it out, and so that other readers can stop by too!!

Please remember to add the button so we can get the word out about the event!

(Original image from The Graphics Fairy)




"The Legend of Mickey Tussler" Review

"The Legend of Mickey Tussler"
by Frank Nappi

Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: Apr 1, 2012 (original release: 2008)
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
In the late 1940s, the minor league Milwaukee Brewers are foundering yet again and manager Arthur Murphy is desperate. When he sees seventeen-year old Mickey Tussler throwing apples into a barrel, he knows he has found the next pitching phenom. But not everyone is so hopeful. Mickey 's autism a disorder still not truly understood even today has alienated the boy from the world, and he is berated by other players and fans. Mickey faces immense trials in the harsh and competitive world of baseball while coping with the challenges inherent to his disorder. An honest and knowledgeable book about overcoming adversity, and the basis for the television movie A Mile in His Shoes, Mickey 's powerful story shows that with support and determination anyone can be triumphant, even when the odds are stacked against him.

My Review:

I really enjoyed the movie that was made based on this book, "A Mile in His Shoes", so I was eager to read the original book. I was not disappointed in the book, and I found that the movie was very similar and at the same time reworked for a different audience.

Mickey has a form of autism, although it's never really spelled out as such in the book. It's really interesting to see things through his eyes. Somewhat surprisingly, the book doesn't focus entirely on Mickey though. A lot of the story is devoted to Murph, and the rest of team, as well as Mickey's mother. Sometimes, all of the different characters got slightly confusing, because the reader would be listening in on one character's thoughts and it would swiftly jump to another character's thoughts within the same paragraph. But once I got things straight, it was really interesting to know about so many varied characters.

This story is a great mix of a classic baseball story and deep, heartfelt characters. There are chapters devoted to play by plays of the Brewers' games for the baseball fans, but we also get to know about each of the character's personal life too.

As in the movie, Mickey and PeeWee were my favorite characters, along with Oscar the pig of course! Sometimes I thought maybe a little too much time was spent with the point of view of the villains, but that's something that never really works for me, it's just a personal preference.

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

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


Bottom Line:  I was really impressed by this novel, it will really appeal to fans of baseball stories, but it will also appeal to those interested in a great story with diverse characters and a lot of heart.


If you think this book sounds interesting, please see my review of the movie, "A Mile in His Shoes" which is based on this book:


Please note that while the movie is for all audiences, the book was written for adults :) 

Fundraiser:
If you buy a copy of "The Legend or Mickey Tussler" or "Sophomore Campaign" before July 27, a portion of the proceeds will benefit Best Buddies International!

Frank Nappi, the author of "The Legend of Mickey Tussler" and "Sophomore Campaign," is donating part of the proceeds from the books to Best Buddies International.
In a blog, Nappi said, "In an effort to support greater autism advocacy and awareness, I am pleased to announce that with the sale of each paperback copy of The Legend of Mickey Tussler or Sophomore Campaign between Friday, July 6 and Friday, July 27 on Amazon.com, I will donate a portion of the proceeds to Best Buddies International - a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities." 
The Mickey Tussler series chronicles the coming of age of a young pitching phenom with autism on a minor league baseball team during the 1940s.



"I Suck at Girls" Review

"I Suck at Girls"
by Justin Halpern

Publisher: It Books
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Source: ARC sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
Soon after Sh*t My Dad Says began to take off, comic writer Justin Halpern decided to propose to his then girlfriend. But before doing so, he asked his dad's advice, which was very, very simple (and surprisingly clean): "Just take a day to think about it." This book is that day. Crossing the warmth of The Wonder Years with the candour and observational humour of David Sedaris, this follow-up to the hottest comedy debut of last year is a hilarious, toe-curlingly true book about life, and love.

My Review:

You may have heard of another book by this author, "S*** My Dad Says." The book started as a Twitter feed, became a best selling book, and then became a tv show staring William Shatner. A lot of this book is more "S*** My Dad Says" but there is a lot about the author's experiences in dating too.

The advice and snippets that the author's dad actually says is awesome. It's so quick witted and funny, and most rings true. However, I think the snippets might be better as actual snippets, such as quick tweets, and one-liners. The rest of the book is only ok.

I really don't like separating books by gender, but I do think the book might appeal more to men than to women, especially softies like myself. Some of the book is just "TMI" for me personally. That's probably why I would have preferred just to read the snippets from Justin's dad. On the other hand, the book was a really quick read, and aside from a few cringe-worthy moments, I never really felt like I didn't want to finish the book.

As much TMI as there was in the book (does anyone else find this happening a lot with memoirs?), the overall message of the book was very sweet and heart-warming. I think this was really the charm of the book.


Bottom Line:  A great book for fans of the author's work, and for those who want to read more "S*** My Dad Says."

Waiting on Wednesday (119)


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:

"Defiance"

by C.J. Redwine
Balzer & Bray
Release Date: Aug 28, 2012

The following description is from goodreads.com:

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

Sounds like a bit of fantasy mixed in with dystopian to me. What do you think?

What are you waiting for this week???

"Skip Rock Shallows" Review

"Skip Rock Shallows"
by Jan Watson

Publisher: Tyndale
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
Lilly Gray Corbett has just graduated from medical school and decided to accept an internship in the coal camp of Skip Rock, Kentucky. Her beau, Paul, is doing his residency in Boston and can't understand why Lilly would choose to work in a backwater town. But having grown up in the mountains, Lilly is drawn to the stubborn, superstitious people she encounters in Skip Rock—a town where people live hard and die harder and where women know their place. Lilly soon learns she has a lot to overcome, but after saving the life of a young miner, she begins to earn the residents' trust.

Torn between joining Paul in Boston and her love for the people of Skip Rock, she crosses paths with a handsome miner—one who seems oddly familiar. Her attraction for him grows, even as she wrestles with her feelings and wonders what he's hiding.

My Review:

This was my first book by this author, and while it took awhile to get used to her style, I ended up really enjoying the story. At first, I thought the pace was a bit slow, and the characters and plot a bit too predictable. But soon, the characters and story were fleshed out and I really loved the slow, small town style of the story.

I think the things I enjoyed the most about the book were the setting of Skip Rock, KY, and the full, lively cast of supporting characters. Lilly's assistant, Ned, and her prickly but well-meaning friend, Almina, were two of my favorites. They really kept the story skipping right along. I also liked that the story had a lot of heart, but it wasn't a tear-jerker or depressing.

One drawback was that the romance seemed a little off for me. I really liked the characters together, but I felt like it wasn't really explained enough. I know they had history together, but I would have liked for their romance to be more explained in the here and now instead of both of them clinging to a very brief memory of the other. It seemed like they were more in love with the idealized memory of the other than with the real person.


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

Romance: 4/5

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


Bottom Line:  I really enjoyed this gentle, heart-warming novel.

Review: "The Most Improper Sophie Valentine"

"The Most Improper Sophie Valentine"
by Jane Fresina

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Source: ARC sent by publisher

My Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
"Wanted: one husband, not too particular. Small dowry, several books, sundry furnishings, and elderly aunt included. Idlers, time-wasters, and gentlemen with other attachments need not apply."

Scarred in a childhood accident, Sophia Valentine doesn't expect any takers on her ad for a husband in the Farmer's Gazette, until the mysterious Lazarus Kane shows up at her door. To Sophia, he is an exciting, enigmatic stranger. But Lazarus has known Sophia for years and has come a long way to find her. Things are about to get complicated for the mischievous Miss Valentine.

My Review:

This historical romance was cute and sweet, and a great light read for the summer. At times it felt a bit sluggish though, and I felt like I was reading too many details and not enough substance.

The main characters were quite cute. Both had a slight mischievous impish-ness about them that was a lot of fun to read about. The secondary characters were the ones that I felt a bit dragged down by. I didn't need to know quite so many details about them, and they weren't really that nice to Sophie!

The advertisement itself is so cute, you can read it in the summary above. I love that Sophie wrote it in a fit of spite against her family, especially her sister in law. The actual reveal of the advertisement within the story is adorable and unexpected.

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

Romance: 4/5

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


Bottom Line:  A fun, light beach read, great for summer!

Sunday Shout Out (9)


Recently, I introduced a new feature here at In the Hammock on Sundays. It's called "Sunday Shout Out" and it's a place where I can give a special shout out to those publishers and authors who have sent me books over the week, as well as those bloggers who have hosted contests that I've won! I'll also be giving shout outs to any other cool books, blogs or bookish news that I've spotted during the week.

Check out my first Sunday Shout Out post for even more info, here!

For Review
"Goddess Girls Super Special" by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams


"My Stubborn Heart" by Becky Wade


"Love in Disguise" by Carol Cox


"Temptation in a Kilt" by Victoria Roberts




If you would like to do your own Sunday Shout out, please add the button that links back to this post, and leave your link in the comments section this weekend so I can check it out, and so that other readers can stop by too!!

Please remember to add the button so we can get the word out about the event!

(Original image from The Graphics Fairy)




"The Gifted" Review

"The Gifted"
by Ann H. Gabhart

Publisher: Revell
Release Date: July 1, 2012
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
By 1849, Jessamine Brady has been in the Shaker Village for half her life, but in spite of how she loves her sisters there, she struggles to conform to the strict rules. Instead she entertains dreams of the world outside. When Tristan Cooper seems to step out of those dreams to entice her into the forbidden realm beyond the Shaker Village, her life turns upside down. Will Jessamine be able to survive the storms of the world? Or will she retreat back to the peace of Harmony Hill?

The thousands of loyal fans of Gabhart's Shaker novels will love this entrancing story of learning to trust the gifts God gives us and let him guide us through life.

My Review:

I always enjoy Ann H. Gabhart's Shaker novels, and this one is no exception. I may have liked this one even more than the others that I have read previously.

Jessamine was a great heroine, she definitely had her own mind even though she lived in the restricted Shaker community. I think this was very realistic because the Shaker lifestyle did have a lot of positives and benefits, which Jessamine acknowledged and appreciated. The Shakers took her in when she was only 10 and her grandmother passed away. Since then, she always had a great home, a roof over her head, and meals on the table. However, there were many drawbacks and restrictions to their lifestyle which she felt stifled her personal freedom. I think Jessamine's story could be a lot of real-life Shaker's stories.

I feel like the author explained the Shaker beliefs a lot more in this book than in her other novels. I liked reading the sayings and teachings that Jessamine had heard over the years, some good and some not so good. It really enriched the setting and helped me learn more about the Shakers and how they lived.

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

Romance: 4/5

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


Bottom Line:  Another great Shaker novel by this author.

Waiting on Wednesday (118)

Happy 4th of July, everyone!! I hope everyone is having a great summer!

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 Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart"

by Leanna Renee Hieber
Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: Nov 1, 2012

The following description is from goodreads.com:

For Natalie Stewart, a normal life has never seemed so far away. Her only solace, Lord Jonathan Denbury, is wanted for murder. To clear his name, Denbury must return to England and assume the role of his demon doppelganger. But Natalie begins to doubt his true motives, especially as a new gentleman begins whispering in her ear. Natalie and Denbury may be able to visit each other in their dreams, but they can't escape the darkening shadows. Amid spontaneous explosions, friends turned enemies and dangerous secrets revealed, there's still a demon who has Natalie's scent, and someone is trying to resurrect the ultimate evil.

I haven't read the first book in the series yet, "Darker Still",but the sequel sounds so unique! Sourcebooks Fire always does a great job with publishing unique types of stories, so I'm looking forward to this one!

What are you waiting for this week???
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