Saturday, October 31, 2009

Book Giveaway: The Gate House by Nelson DeMille

#1 New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille delivers the long-awaited follow-up to his classic novel The Gold Coast. When John Sutter's aristocratic wife killed her mafia don lover, John left America and set out in his sailboat on a three-year journey around the world, eventually settling in London. Now, ten years later, he has come home to the Gold Coast, that stretch of land on the North Shore of Long Island that once held the greatest concentration of wealth and power in America, to attend the imminent funeral of an old family servant.

Nelson DeMille is also the author of Wild Fire, Night Fall, Up Country, The Lion's Game, Plum Island, The Charm School, Word of Honor, The Talbot Odyssey, Cathedral, and By the Rivers of Babylon. He lives on Long Island, New York.

Hachette Book Group has given me the super opportunity to host a give away of  5 of The Gate House Books!  Thank you Hachette Book Group!

Entering is simple! You can have 3 entries in this giveaway.  DO NOT put them all in one comment! They will only count as 1 entry if you do that!  You need to make a separate comment for each entry!

+1 – Be a Blogger Follower with Google Friend Connect (Click here if you need help)

+1 – Subscriber by Email (Leave your email address in the top right corner of this blog and be sure to confirm in your email!

+1 – Post about this contest on your own blog with a link back to this post. You must provide a link to where you posted about the contest at in your entry.

Deadline for all entries is November 14, 2009  Winners will be chosen by Random.Org on the 15th and posted on this blog. Winners will need to email me within 72 hours with their mailing addresses. Contest is only open to US and Canada. No PO Boxes will be accepted!

One book per person. Winners will receive their prizes directly from Hachette Book Group. Book information was provided by the publisher.

Thank you for entering and Good Luck to All!

This giveaway is listed at All Things Bloggy.

Monthly Mixer Mele

Monthly Mixer Mele

All you have to do is read a book that begins with a letter of each month or read a book that begins with the authors name (first or last name, doesn’t matter).

There are 74 letters so you will have to have 74 different books to complete the challenge. Books can however be used to complete other challenges.

You don’t have to do the months in any kind of order, just fill in books as you go along until you have each letter a book by it.

Challenge begins November 1, 2009 and ends November 2, 2010 so you have a whole year to complete! Lets break out them books and get busy!

Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich
Bitter Night - Diana P Francis

Dark Stranger by Susan Sizemore
Chocolate: A Love Story by Max Brenner
Back to the Bedroom by Janet Evanovich


From Darkness To Light by Lynn Christopher Roby
Bite Me If You Can by Lynsay Sands

Cemetery Gates by MaryAnn Paige
How to Lower Your Cholesterol With French Gourmet Food by Chef Alain Braux

Life After 187 by Wade J Halverson



Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie Montana by Goyer and Fleiss

Girl on Top by Nichole Willams
Spot the Plot by J. Patrick Lewis
The Magic Warble by Victoria Simcox

Stranger In Paradise by Robert Parker
The Secret of Joy by Melissa Senate

The Christmas Secret by Donna VanLiere

If you decide to join me in the 2009/2010 Monthly Mixer Mele, create a post on your blog telling others about this event. In your post, be sure to include the link to this post on your blog. That way others can find their way here and join in the fun!

When you sign up under Mr. Linky, list the direct link to your post where your books will be listed in the URL spot.

No need to link your reviews to here just come back and let us know how your coming along in this same post. :) 

The most important thing is to have fun!

Weekend Nibbler

Do you like to nibble something while reading? I usually do.  lol  Here's a nice and quick recipe for some delicious orange balls. I LOVE these and can eat a whole batch all by myself. I am so bad!  lol

Orange Balls

1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup powdered sugar
4 cups graham crumbs
¼ cup light corn syrup
6 oz can frozen orange juice concentrate (thawed)
¼ cup melted butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar (for rolling)

In bowl stir crumbs, 1 cup sugar, and pecans. Make a deep hole in center and pour the orange juice, syrup, and melted butter. Mix well until dough forms. Roll into one inch balls and roll around in 1/3 cup sugar. Store at room temperature in airtight container.

Book Reviewing Policy (As of November 2009)

Authors and Publishers if you have a book you’d like me to review please contact me at

At this time I don’t really have a particular reading preference. I enjoy books/stories of a lot of different genre. It usually just depends on the mood I am in at the time. Should this change I will update my post.

Book Reviewing Policy (As of November 2009)

If I agree to review your book/story I will read and review it

1) In a timely manner unless a deadline is agreed upon in advance

2) Offer an honest and fair review.

3) Email you with links to all review sites I published your review

You will hardly ever see below a 3 rating on my blog unless I just am struggling with a book to finish it. My blog is not for bashing books or authors but for giving as honest and fairest a review as I can. I say you usually wont find below a 3 rating because I basically “know” what types of books I like to read and will hardly be accepting or buying those I don’t think I will be able to complete.

Take into account my opinions are my own. Just because I may not have really loved a book and gave it a beaming review doesn’t make it a bad book at all, only that it just was not my cup o’ joe.

No matter whether I bought, borrowed, won, or was given an ARC or review book from publisher/author will it have any affect on the outcome of my review. It’s as simple as this….either I liked it or I didn’t!

In good faith I will always try to complete any books/stories and find something I appreciated about them to review on. I was raised with the old saying “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say nothing at all” and I will keep that as my policy.

Thank you,
Jen’s Book Talk

Do-Over - Niki Burnham

Do-Over by Niki Burnham

Publisher Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 240 pages
My Rating: 3½

Summary: Girl meets prince. Girl looses prince. Girl gets prince back -- right? Well, that's what Valerie is hoping. She's back in Schwerinborg after spending some time with her mother in the good ol' US of A, and hopes that sparks are still flying between her and Georg. At first it looks like things are going great, until a ski trip to the Alps has Val and Georg's romance hitting some moguls. Could Val's love life be heading for a face-plant?

My Review: I got this in a stack of used books and at first glance tossed it on my “maybe read” stack of books because at the time it just didn’t appeal to me. However over the weekend was the Dewey 24 hour read-a-thon and since it was a short reader I gave it a try and added it to my read-a-thon stack. Needless to say, I picked it up began reading and could not put it down until I had read the whole book!

Poor Valerie has had a tough year what with her mom asking her diplomat father for a divorce and then dropping a bomb on them that she has been dating another woman on the side and they want to move in together! Then as if things can’t get any worse, because of her fathers high profile job at the White House and the president running for re-election having your ex-wife come out of the closet is not a good thing where your job is concerned so Val’s dad quietly, until after the election, has taken an equally great job as a diplomat in Europe.

This leaves Val torn between staying with her friends and moving in with her mom and her lover or moving millions of miles away with her dad and having to learn a totally different language and way of life.

She vouches for the latter and there she meets him; the prince They immediately form a friendship as they are close in age, will be attending the same school, and both even living under the same roof, even if it is a huge palace with lots and lots of wings!
I enjoyed the quiet relationship between Val and Prince Georg, but like them, long for the day they can go public and have fun like other kids their age. I felt so sad for Val longing for her old home and friends to be near but not wanting to lose this new found puppy love with Prince Georg either. I look forward to seeing what happens next and hope to get the opportunity soon to go back and read the first part of this series!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Emma Lea's Tea With Daddy - Babette Donaldson

Emma Lea's Tea With Daddy - Babette Donaldson
Genre: Childrens Books
Publisher: Blue Gate Books
Pages: 32
Reading Level: 4-8 yrs.
My Rating: 5/5

Summary: "Emma Lea and her father spend a day together while Mama is gone. Daddy has a list of chores but Emma Lea imagines something much more fun. "I'd rather have a tea party," she tell him. "Like you have with Theodosia Teddy Bear?" he asks. "Not a playtime tea. A real tea. Like Mama and me." Emma Lea creates a memorable afternoon for the two of them with the help of Grammie's recipes and Mama's crafts. She takes pride in being able to do most of it by herself. She teaches her father what's most important about tea parties. What do you think is the most important thing about teatime?"

My Review: This is a beautifully illustrated story of a little girl wanting to have a special tea party with her daddy while mommy is away. Emma goes about the tasks of setting the table, making the snacks, and dressing up while daddy finishes chores.

I really enjoyed this book with my little girl because I felt it introduced children to "helping out" and lets them know just because we have to do chores and make preparations, even for tea parties, that it doesn't mean we can't have fun while doing so and the biggest lesson to be learned from Emma Lea's Tea With Daddy is that spending time together is the most important gift of all!

Has a yummy cookie recipe in it!

Review Copy Received from Author

Killer Takes All - Erica Spindler

Killer Takes All - Erica Spindler
Genre: Novel Suspense
Publisher: Mira
Pages: 480
My Rating: 3/5

Summary: A friend's brutal murder turns former homicide detective Stacy Killian's life upside down. Unwilling to trust Spencer Malone, the overconfident New Orleans detective assigned to the case, Stacy is compelled to return to the investigative role she had fled.

The investigation leads Stacy and Spencer to White Rabbit, a cultish fantasy role-playing game. White Rabbit is dark, violent -- and addictive. As the body count mounts, they find themselves trapped in a terrifying game that's more real than life and death. Because anyone can die before the final moment when White Rabbit is over . . . and the killer takes all.

My Review: Killer Takes All  begins with a bang! The action starts immediately with Stacy's neighbors being killed and she stumbles upon the scene. The cops are called and Stacy, an ex cop herself, wants to help on the case. From there on the story is more or less all about her competing with Spencer to solve the case.

Being a long time Erica Spindler fan I must say I was dissappointed a bit with this book.  It is by far not one of her best! I wished the role playing game had evolved a bit more into the story and maybe alot more romance between Spencer and Stacy would have even helped me to enjoy it more. As it was the characters seemed choppy and disinteresting.

If your a die hard Erica Spindler fan it's well worth reading but if you have never read a Spindler novel start with one of her older books.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson

Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Puffin
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Pages: 224
Copyright: 2006
My Rating: 5/5

Summary: "Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud: "My throat is always sore, my lips raw.... Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze.... It's like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis." What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors' big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it's because her parents' only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she's been struck mute..."
My Review: This was a powerful book that had a huge impact on me.  I laughed, I cried, and I remembered! Melinda is every teenager who has ever been teased, laughed at, ridiculed, belittled, outcast, and tormented.
My heart went out to her thru-out her entire story. I felt her pain. I was in that closet with her. I felt her inner rage and anger that she didn't know how to release so she held it in. She was speaking as loud as she could yet nobody heard.  Nobody listened.
Everybody whether you be mother, child, father, teacher, pastor, sister, friend, or other needs to read Speak so you will be able to listen.

Monday, October 26, 2009

In My Mailbox (3)

The Touch of Twilight - Vicki Pettersson -Ebay
The Scent of Shadows - Vicki Pettersson -Ebay
The Taste of Night - Vicki Pettersson -Ebay
Emma Lea's Tea With Daddy - Babette Donaldson - For Review

Jack Daniel's Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook -  Lynne Tolley & Pat Mitchamore - For Review

Table Manners - Mia King - For Review
Sweet Life - Mia King - For Review
Good Things - Mia King - For Review

Eden's Hell l: The First by Dawné Dominique

Eden's Hell l: The First by Dawné Dominique

Publisher Purple Sword Publications
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance

Summary: In the beginning... God created man and called him Adam, a fine specimen replicated in his own image. He then created woman to ease Adam's loneliness and named her Lillith. Unfortunately, God realized his mistake too late in giving woman free will, for she would rule her domain-not man. When Lillith left Adam, God created another for his first-born son, and gave her the name Eve and a kingdom called Eden, but by then it was too late, for he'd unleashed Hell into the world of man.

My Review: Eden’s Hell opens with our hunky hero, Addison, getting ready to go out for a bite to eat... Umm, I forgot to mention Addison is a vampire, huh? Maybe I should say he was thirsty, but either way, he got interrupted by a human damsel in distress; Eva. Apparently she had signed up to become a pet of his ex-wife and at the last minute decided against it and had escaped from his ex-wife’s lair.
At this point of the story, only a few pages in, I am already hooked because I have all these questions floating about in my head like; is he going to bleed her? Will he ignore her or return her? Are they going to fall head over heels or be adversaries?
You’re in for a wonderful ride with Eden’s Hell. It picks you up on those first few pages and it’s really hard to set it down until you’re done. I enjoyed the relationships between the characters and I could almost feel what they were feeling. It was even hard to hate the bad guy/girl in the story because their emotions were so powerful.
With a huge unveiling of truth towards the end that gave me one of those Aha moments, and an edge of your seat battle between good and evil, the story wraps up nicely.
This was the first book I have read by Dawne Dominique, but it surely will not be my last!

Rated 4 Delightful Divas by Jennifer

Review Courtesy of Dark Diva Reviews

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Alex Cross's Trial Audio Giveaway

To enter please visit J. Kaye's Blog.  Winners will be announced October 31, 2009 so hurry!

Book Info

• Audio CD

• Publisher: Hachette Audio; Unabridged edition (August 24, 2009)

• ISBN-10: 1600248535

• ISBN-13: 978-1600248535


The year is 1906, and America is segregated. Hatred and discrimination plague the streets, the classroom, and the courts. But in Washington D.C., Ben Corbett, a smart and courageous lawyer, makes it his mission to confront injustice at every turn. He represents those who nobody else dares defend, merely because of the color of their skin. When President Roosevelt, under whom Ben served in the Spanish-American war, asks Ben to investigate rumors of the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in his home town in Mississippi, he cannot refuse.

The details of Ben's harrowing story--and his experiences with a remarkable man named Abraham Cross--were passed from generation to generation, until they were finally recounted to Alex Cross by his grandmother, Nana Mama. From the first time hear heard the story, Alex was unable to forget the unimaginable events Ben witnessed in Eudora and pledged to tell it to the world. Alex Cross's Trial is unlike any story Patterson has ever told, but offers the astounding action and breakneck speed of any Alex Cross novel.

This audio book is read by Dylan Baker

REVIEWS by Author's Last Name (A - K)

Anderson, Laurie H. - Speak

Burnham, Niki - Do-Over


Dominique, Dawn - Eden's Hell l: The First
Donaldson, Babette - Emma Lea's Tea With Daddy


Frances, Diana P.  - Bitter Night


Halverson, Wade J. - Life After 187

King, Mia - Table Manners
Kuehl, Heather - Fade to Black

A Separate Country Audio Giveaway

Enter to win this awesome Audio Giveaway on J. Kaye's Blog!
The winner will be posted there on October 31, 2009 so hurry!

Book: A Separate Country

Audio CD

Publisher: Hachette Audio; Unabridged edition (September 23, 2009)

ISBN-10: 1600247628

ISBN-13: 978-1600247620


A Multi-Cast Production

Set in New Orleans in the years after the Civil War, A Separate Country is based on the incredible life of John Bell Hood, arguably one of the most controversial generals of the Confederate Army--and one of its most tragic figures. Robert E. Lee promoted him to major general after the Battle of Antietam. But the Civil War would mark him forever. At Gettysburg, he lost the use of his left arm. At the Battle of Chickamauga, his right leg was amputated. Starting fresh after the war, he married Anna Marie Hennen and fathered 11 children with her, including three sets of twins. But fate had other plans. Crippled by his war wounds and defeat, ravaged by financial misfortune, Hood had one last foe to battle: Yellow Fever. A Separate Country is the heartrending story of a decent and good man who struggled with his inability to admit his failures-and the story of those who taught him to love, and to be loved, and transformed him.

This audio book is read by Sherman Howard, Isabel Keating, and Kevin T. Collins.

2009 E-Book Challenge

 2009 E-Book Challenge
This challenge is for readers who love eBooks!
Start and End Date: January 1 2009 - December 31 2009

My Progress: 2/10

My List:

01) Eden's Hell - Dawne Dominique
02) Fade To Black - Heather Kuehl
03) How to Lower Your Cholesterol With French Gourmet Food by Chef Alain Braux


The Printz Project Challenge

The Printz Project is a perpetual challenge to read the winners of the Michael L. Printz Award (and perhaps the honor books if you’re brave).
Since the Printz Award is a relatively new award, we’re structuring this site a little differently. Each Printz Award-winning book and honor book has its own post. When you read one of the books, head on over to its post and leave either a link to your review on your own blog or go ahead and post your thoughts right there in the comments. This format is designed to keep reviews on the same book together. Each book’s post has a picture of the cover and the synopsis from the publisher.


Jellicoe Road, by Melina Marchetta
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation; Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves, by M.T. Anderson
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart
Nation, by Terry Pratchett
Tender Morsels, by Margo Lanagan


The White Darkness, by Geraldine McCaughrean
Dreamquake: Book Two of the Dreamhunter Duet, by Elizabeth Knox
One Whole and Perfect Day, by Judith Clarke
Repossessed, by A.M. Jenkins
Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath, by Stephanie Hemphill


American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation; Volume I: The Pox Party, by M.T. Anderson
An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green
Surrender, by Sonya Hartnett
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak


Looking for Alaska, by John Green
Black Juice, by Margo Lanagan
I Am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak
John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth, a Photographic Biography, by Elizabeth Partridge
A Wreath for Emmett Till, by Marilyn Nelson


How i live now, by Meg Rosoff
Airborn, by Kenneth Oppel
Chanda’s Secrets, by Allan Stratton
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, by Gary D. Schmidt


The First Part Last, by Angela Johnson
A Northern Light, by Jennifer Donnelly
Keesha’s House, by Helen Frost
Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler


Postcards from No Man’s Land, by Aidan Chambers
The House of the Scorpion, by Nancy Farmer
My Heartbeat, by Garret Freymann-Weyr
Hole in My Life, by Jack Gantos


A Step From Heaven, by An Na
The Ropemaker, by Peter Dickinson
Heart to Heart: New Poems Inspired by Twentieth-Century American Art, by Jan Greenberg
Abrams Freewill, by Chris Lynch
True Believer, by Virginia Euwer Wolff


Kit’s Wilderness, by David Almond
Many Stones, by Carolyn Coman
The Body of Christopher Creed, by Carol Plum-Ucci
Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, by Louise Rennison
Stuck in Neutral, by Terry Trueman


Monster, by Walter Dean Myers
Skellig, by David Almond
Hard Love, by Ellen Wittlinger

Fall-Winter Mystery Reading Challenge

Fall-Winter Mystery Reading Challenge
Host - Ariel from Mysteries and My Musings

Dates - October 1, 2009 - February 28, 2010

Read 7 books within the 5 month challenge period

Ariel writes:

Suspense or police procedures and the entire menagerie under the mystery genre are all available for the challenge.

The 7 books should be split up as follows:

(1) Paranormal or gothic mystery for Halloween (level of spookiness up to you)

(2) Autumn/harvest/Thanksgiving related mystery

(2) Winter/snow/Xmas//Hanukah etc related mystery
The Christmas Secret by Donna VanLiere
Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich

(1) resolutions/new begininngs related mystery

(1) Romantic mystery/Valentine's related (chocolate, February...)

Dewey's Read-a-Thon - Final Hour

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Maybe Hour 20?

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
Speak - Laurie Halsa Anderson

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?No it was great!

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?Oh gosh I enjoyed it all but loved all the encouragement I got on my blog!

5. How many books did you read? 5 completed

6. What were the names of the books you read?
Speak - Laurie Halsa Anderson
Killer Takes All - Erica Spindler
Do-Over - Niki Burnham
Fade To Black - Heather Kuehl
Eden's Hell - Dawne Dominique

7. Which book did you enjoy most?  Eden's Hell - Dawne Dominique

8. Which did you enjoy least? Shokingly; Killer Takes All - Erica Spindler

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Definately as a reader!

Dewey's Read-a-Thon - Hour 20 Challenge

I am reading ad finishing up this hour the book "Speak"  by Laurie Halsa Anderson

Dewey's Read-a-Thon - Hour 21

4 or my all time favorie books at this moment are

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
Green Eggs And Ham