Saturday, December 12, 2009

Take Another Chance Challenge

The challenge will run from January 1, 2010 until December 31, 2010.

Here are the participation levels. Feel free to do whatever level you want. You can also switch up or down midway through the challenge.

A Small Gamble: Complete any 3 of the 12 challenges described below.
A Moderate Gamble: Complete any 6 of the 12 challenges described below.
Gambling It All: Complete all 12 of the challenges described below.
Each challenge you complete and link up in the correct Mr. Linky spots (which will be posted on January 1, 2010) will earn you entries into a prize drawing at the end of the challenge. Some of the challenges are harder and will earn you more entries. If you complete all 12 challenges, you will earn 5 extra entries into the drawing.

The prize is a book of the winner's choice from Amazon (worth $25 or less).
Crossover books from other challenges is fine.

So here are the 12 challenges for you to pick from. The "easier" challenges are listed first, followed by the harder challenges that are worth more entries into the prize drawing.
The 12 Challenges
Challenge 1: Read Your Doppelganger (worth 1 entry)

Find an author who has either the same initials, the same first name, the same last name, or the exact same name as you. Read a book by this author and write a post about it. (If you try to keep your identity anonymous on your blog, you don't have to reveal what part of the author's name is the same as your name.)
Example: If your name is Susan Kasischke, you might read a book by Stephen King (same initials), Susan Donovan (same first name), Laura Kasischke (same last name) or Susan Kasischke (same exact name).
Challenge 2: Blogroll Roulette (worth 1 entry)

Find a blogroll at either your book blog or a book blog you like that has at least 15 book blogs on it. Go to and, using the True Random Number Generator, enter the number 1 for the min. and 15 for the max. and then hit generate. Then find the blog that is that number on the blogroll you selected. (For example, if you get 10 at, then count down the list of blogs until you get to the tenth one). Go to that blog and pick a book to read from the books that they have reviewed on their blog. Read it and write a post about it. Be sure to link to the blog post you picked the book from!
Challenge 3: 100 Best Book (worth 1 entry)

Choose one of the lists below and go to the link provided. Choose a book to read from the list that you haven't read before. Read the book and write about it.

Radcliffe's Rival 100 Best Novels List
Top 100 Sci-Fi Books
100 Best Romance Novels of the 20th Century
100 Best Mystery Novels
100 Best Non-Fiction Books (pick from either Board List or Reader List)
2009 Best Books for Young Adults

Challenge 4: Prize Winner Book (worth 1 entry)

Pick one of the major literary awards from the list below. Click on the link for the award you picked. You will find a brief description of the award and links to past winners. Pick one of the past winners, read the book and write about it.
Booker Prize

Caldecott Medal
National Book Award
National Book Critics Circle Award
Newbery Medal
Nobel Prize for Literature
PEN/Faulkner Award
Pulitzer Prize
Commonwealth Writers' Prize
EMMA Awards

Challenge 5: Title Word Count (worth 1 entry)

Go to and, using the True Random Number Generator, enter the numbers 1 for the min. and 5 for the max. and then hit generate. Find a book to read that has that number of words in the title. Read the book and write about it.
Example: If you get 1 for your number, read a book that has a one word title. If you get 2, read a book that has a two word title and so on and so forth.
Challenge 6: Genre Switch-Up (worth 1 entry)

Go to this list of book genres and pick a genre that you have NEVER read before. Find a book from that genre, read it, and write about it. Note: If you seriously cannot find a genre that you have never read, then pick the genre that is as far away from what you normally read.
Challenge 7: Break A Prejudice (worth 1 entry)

We all have reading prejudices--authors we don't like, genres we don't like, or even publishers we don't like. For this challenge, think of a reading prejudice you have and then find a book that is an example of this type of book. Read the book and then write about the reading prejudice you had BEFORE you read the book and how reading the book either changed your prejudice or reinforced it.
Examples: I always say I can't stand James Patterson; therefore, I might read a James Patterson book for this challenge. Or, if you sneer at "chick lit" books, you might read a "chick lit" book. Or, if you think books published by Harlequin are pure drivel, you might read a book published by Harlequin. If you turn up your nose at the Twilight books, then you might read one of the Twilight books.
Challenge 8: Real and Inspired (worth 2 entries)

Many authors or books inspire others to pay homage to them by writing another book inspired by the original work. For this challenge, read both an original work and a book inspired by that original work. Write about both books in one post. Note: This might require some research on your part and requires reading two books so it worth 2 entries.
Examples: Christopher Moore's Fool is based on Shakespeare's play King Lear so I plan on reading both King Lear and Fool. Another example is Jane Austen, who inspired the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. For this challenge, you might read both Pride and Prejudice and the zombie version. (There are tons of other Austen-inspired books out there too.) Another idea would be a graphic novel version of a "standard" novel. The only real requirement is that the "inspired by" book must clearly state what original work inspired it.
Challenge 9: Same Word, Different Book (worth 2 entries)

Find two books that have the same word in the title. Read both books and write about them. (Worth 2 entries because you have to read two books).
Example: If you pick the word "Love," you could read any two books that both have Love in the title. To help you find books that have the same word, you could go to, type a word into the Search box and see what books come up with that word.
Challenge 10: Become A Character (worth 2 entries)

For this challenge, you can read any book you want. However, you have to write about the book as one of the characters from the book. The character can comment on his/her treatment by the author, other characters, the "untold story," what happened next, and so forth. You could even have two characters interviewing each other! Your imagination is the only limit. Because of the difficulty level of this challenge, it is worth two entries.
Challenge 11: All in the Family (worth 2 entries)

The writing gene often runs in the family. For this challenge, you need to find two authors from the same family (either by blood or by marriage) and read a book by each of the authors and then write about both books. Because of the research involved and having to read two books, this challenge is worth two entries.

Examples: The Bronte sisters; Stephen King and his wife Tabitha OR his son Joe Hill; Jonathan Kellerman (husband) and Faye Kellerman (wife); Michael Chabon (husband) and Ayelet Waldman (wife); Joan Didion (wife) and John Gregory Dunne (husband); Mary Higgins Clark (mother) and Carol Higgins Clark (daughter)

Challenge 12: Author Anthology Pick (worth 2 entries)

Find an anthology of your choice. Read at least 5 entries in the anthology. Of the 5 entries you've read, pick your favorite one and then find a book by that writer and read it. (If your first choice doesn't have a book, then pick your next favorite until you find a writer that has a book.) Write about the anthology, your favorite pick from the anthology, and the book you read by your favorite pick. Because of having to obtain and read two books, this challenge is worth two entries. Thanks to J.T. Oldfield at Bibliofreak who partially inspired this challenge.

Example: If you choose a poetry anthology, you would at least 5 different poems, pick your favorite, and then seek out a book of poetry by that poet. If you read a short story anthology, you would read at least 5 different short stories, pick your favorite, and then seek out either a novel or another book of short stories by that writer.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Review: Just Breeze by Beverly Stowe McClure

Just Breeze by Beverly Stowe McClure

Genre: Young Adult
Paperback: 196 pages
Publisher: 4RV Publishing LLC
Rating: 3.5 / 5

Breeze is the story of a young girl entering the 8th grade and trying to find herself by trying out different things in her school including her first dose of puppy love and yikes cheerleading!

Cam is the mysterious new boy that catches Breeze's eye and he likes her alot too but he speaks a whole nother language it seems and he has a big secret that could be deadly. Can they ever get it together?

This was a really clean and funny read but my heart went out to poor Breeze even though she didn't let things get her down. She actually took most things in stride. It's a great read for tweens because Breeze is so easy to relate to and goes thru so many things that torture the tween society of today.

Review Copy Provided by Author


Review: Evolution of a Sad Woman by Gale Laure

Evolution of a Sad Woman by Gale Laure
Paperback: 262 pages
Publisher: Trafford Publishing
Genre: Fiction

Five men from different wakes in life, a priest, a lawyer, a football player, a cab driver, and a cop are in love with the same wonderfully mysterious woman, Kizzy Theriot. They all are drawn together upon Kizzy’s murder and vow to make the person pay who is behind it.

Among many twists, turns, and discoveries they begin to unravel the life and death of the woman they all treasured and with every new revelation each mans future is changed forever….

WOW does not even begin to express how I feel about Evolution of a Sad Woman! This was an explosive debut novel by Gale Laure and one that held me spellbound until the last page. It immediately pulled me in and had so many different angles going at once that my fingers were ripping thru the pages trying to solve the mystery. Kudos to Gale for keeping me up well past my bedtime because once I started this book I couldn’t sleep until I knew who killed Kizzy! This novel was so awesome that I never correctly was able to guess who done it! I was totally surprised!

Review Copy Provided by Author.



Review: The Dog Ate My Planner by Pat Snyder

The Dog Ate My Planner by Pat Snyder
Paperback: 206 pages
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
Rating: 5/5

The Dog Ate My Planner had me laughing the whole time I was reading because so much of it I could relate to myself if not a member of my immediate family! Pat has divided sections of everyday life into chapters and provides humerous antedotes for each one. I love that she does a round up of each chapter with a "leash law"

Although I enjoyed reading the entire book and will probably refer to it many times in the future, I think my favorite section was the one on all our household gadgets that we believe we cant live without. My hubby and I read that section together and pointed fingers at each other.

Review Copy provided by author.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Review: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Ace; Later Printing edition
Rating 5/5

I had actually read this a coupla years back but never got around to reading any of the rest of the series and then the TV show came out which peaked my interest again and I have reread it.

I really loved it! A huge plus for me is the southern setting. With me being from the south I can relate so much with the characters and their drawl and speech, ect...

Sookie has a special talent of reading minds but she feels it is a curse because it's just downright unnatural and disturbing hearing the thoughts swimming around in anothers mind especially if there lewd and about her! Then Bill the vampire comes along and she cant read him and it's almost like she fell in love with him for that simple fact not to mention the fascination of him being a real live vampire! "Pun intended"

Sam the bar owner has always had a thing for Sookie but until he realized he may lose her to a vampire no less he never had the nerve to approach her with his feelings and now it may be to late.

Murders are piling up in Bon Temps and poor Sookie's brother Jason and vampire Bill are the top suspects!

I totally enjoyed reading this first book of the series and am looking forward to the rest. If you love a good vampire romance with a twist of mystery then this is your series!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Review: The Recipe Club by Andrea Israel & Nancy Garfinkel

The Recipe Club by Andrea Israel & Nancy Garfinkel
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Harper
Genre: Fiction

I LOVED this book! It opens with emails being sent between two old friends, Val and Lilly, who have not spoken in 26 years because of a disagreement and slowly progresses with them becoming friends again and reminicing about the past when they had a recipe club where they would mail recipes and letters back and forth.

The recipes are printed up for actual use so I have to say this book easily doubles as a cookbook! Hooray! and some yummy recipes they are too!!

I enjoyed the way the books story was told thru the recipes and made up into email like pages between them. It was a quick easy read and I highly recommend it to everybody who loves recipes and/or has ever had a BFF spat!

Review Copy provided by publisher.


Review: Hearts of Courage by John M. Trippets

Hearts of Courage by John M. Trippets
Perfect Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Publication Consultants
Genre: Non-Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5

John tells us the remarkable survival story of his father’s plane crash in the wilderness of Alaska and his mother’s faith that he was still alive even when the rest of the world had given up hope of ever finding the plane members alive.

Thru many photo’s, documents, and maps, John lays out the day to day ordeal his father and the other plane members suffered thru before they were ultimately found a month after their crash in the cold Alaskan mountains. I was shocked to read a story with so much faith and courage as what was shown in Hearts of Courage along with the sheer determination to live not just for one’s own self but for loved ones as well under such awful conditions as these folks went thru.

Review Copy provided by author.


Review: How to Lower Your Cholesterol With French Gourmet Food by Chef Alain Braux

How to Lower Your Cholesterol With French Gourmet Food by Chef Alain Braux
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace
Rating: 5/5

Chef Alaine has provided a mountain full of information and easy to follow recipes to help control ones cholesterol. He offers advice on which foods are beneficial and how to incorporate them into your daily menu's as well as the foods which you should totally avoid completely!

What I really enjoyed about Mr Braux's book was how smoothly it read and not like a reading a boring nutritional manuel or healthfood book and how he explains everything in humerous and simple terms so it can be easily read and understood by anybody.

I recommend this book for everybody whether your trying to control your cholesterol or not! It's a great and helpful book to add to your shelf!

Review Copy provided by author.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Harlequin/Silhouette Romance Reading Challenge


1) Challenge is from Jan 1 to Dec 31
2) All of the books must be from the Harlequin family of imprints
3) Read one book for each requirement (six books total)


1) Read 1 book with a weather condition in the title (i.e. storm, rain, snow)
2) Read 1 book with a person's name in the title (i.e. Mary, John)
3) Read 1 book with a Title in the title (i.e. King, Prince, Princess, Sheik)
4) Read 1 book with a color in the title (i.e. red, blue, white)
5) Read 1 book by an author whose last name begins with the letter "R"
6) Read 1 book with an element in the title (earth, wind, fire, air, spirit)

My Book List:

1) weather condition (i.e. storm, rain, snow):
2) person's name (i.e. Mary, John):
3) Title (i.e. King, Prince, Princess, Sheik):
4) color (i.e. red, blue, white):
5) author's last name begins with the letter "R":
6) element (earth, wind, fire, air, spirit):


Review: A Noble Journey by Dixie Phillips

One Noble Journey by Dixie Phillips
Publisher Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
Genre: Childrens
Pages: 16
My Rating 5/5

Summary: Dixie Phillips has delivered another delightful tale in One Noble Journey. Two cultures collide in the tiny village of Westbury. An orphan girl from the lowlands, the daughter of a Count from the highlands and a baby raccoon will entertain the hearts of children of all ages.

My Review: One Noble Journey is a beautiful story of two little girls from different worlds who desperately want to be friends but because one is an orphan and poor the father of the other doesn’t want them to play together. A twist comes in the story and all soon come to realize that “The ground is level at the foot of the cross.”

I really enjoyed this story and the message it brings and think it is a wonderful message for children to learn and understand.

Review Copy Provided by Author


Monday, December 7, 2009

Library Swap (1)

As promised here is what I nabbed from the library paperback swap this morning. I think I grabbed some neat books. Hopefully I will find some time to read them soon.  lol My TBR pile never gets to low.  lol  I build it up faster than the blink of an eye.

That Holiday Feeling by Debbie Macomber, Sherryl Woods, and Robyn Carr
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
Killer Mousse by Melinda Wells
A Killer Stitch by Maggie Sefton
Better Latte Than Never by Catherine Clark
Long Time Coming by Sandra Brown
Metro Girl by Janet Evanovich
Love Undercover by Jo Edwards
Six Geese A Slaying by Donna Andrews


Review: The Temples of Light by Danielle Rama Hoffman

The Temples of Light by Danielle Rama Hoffman
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Bear & Company
Paperback: 256 pages
Rating: 4 / 5

Synopsis: Danielle Rama Hoffman opens up sacred rites of passage that historically have been kept secret to forge a relationship with the temples of Egypt as allies and spirit guides. For example, the temple of Sakkara is associated with abundance; the temple of Abydos with remembering. The initiations in this book awaken intuition and the Sahu--the fully realized self--allowing connections to the power, magic, and wisdom of such sacred symbols as the Flower of Life, the Djed Pillar (the backbone of Osiris), the Ka, and the energy body. Hoffman’s guided meditations, rituals, and exercises also raise the reader’s vibration level, as we move from the Piscean to the Aquarian age. Embodying the wisdom of the open heart of these temples imparts a shift in consciousness from fear to bliss, from powerlessness to empowerment, opening the body, mind, and spirit to the infinite possibilities within. The book also includes a 50-minute CD of a guided journey of the Sphinx.

My Thoughts: Although I usually dont have much faith in things of this nature I would still like to say I have an open mind and am not totally against it either. This was very interesting reading and I feel I learned alot of knowledge on ancient Egypt and the exercises were totally great!  I must add that although I am somewhat of a sceptic, some of the exercises I did from the book put me in a peacful position and I plan on doing them again! A well written and easy to follow book!

Review Copy provided by Publisher.


Review: The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m Smart, and I Know everything) by Dr Barbara Holstein

The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m Smart, and I Know everything) by Dr Barbara Holstein
Genre: Tween
Publisher: The Enchanted Self Press
Paperback: 112 pages
Rating: 3.5/5

This is an adorable story told thru pages of a little girls diary.
In this diary “the girl’s” most intimate thoughts, hopes, and dreams are expressed as she begins reaching puberty.

She makes an entry every other day about topics such as the love of her life at age 10, Paul, and how she dreams of marrying him someday and having a family but gets mad at her mom for saying that she will fall in love many more times before then and that Paul will be forgotten.

She expresses how afraid she is of death, of growing up, and many other emotions including being teased at school and how sad it makes her but how happy she is about other things like birthdays and sleep overs.

I recommend this book for any little girl aged 10 and up or for any mother, sister, aunt, friend, ect.. Of a little girl reaching puberty.

Reading “the girl’s” diary brought back many feelings I had long forgotten and it was refreshing to be able to sit back and reminisce and say “Hey I lived thru those years and I did turn out okay!” just like Mama said I would!

Review Copy provided by Publisher.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Review: Elmer the Christmas Elf & Inside Out by Marilyn E Randall

Elmer the Christmas Elf & Inside Out by Marilyn E Randall
Genre: Children's Books
Pages: Inside Out - 17 pages   Elmer the Christmas Elf - 32 pages
Publisher: Lulu Publishing
Rating: 4/5

The following are 2 books from a series of 5 by author Marilyn E. Randall. Each of her childrens books has its own little lesson to teach and help children about Gods love and growing up among other things and she illustrates each one herself.

You can visit her site and take a look at the rest of the series HERE

The children and I loved reviewing these two of the series and the illustrations were so vivid and fun to look at as we read. The lessons were simple enough for younger children to understand and the stories were told alot thru rhymes which made them even more interesting and fun!

Inside Out is the story of a cute little frog who hated his looks and wondered if God had made a mistake in making him a frog? The lesson taught in this adorable book is that beauty is on the inside.

Elmer the Christmas Elf is her latest and it is about Elmer the Elf who spends all his time making toys for Santa and this year once Santa has come and gone, Elmer can relax in bed for his job is done when he sees one tiny toy that has dropped from the bag and he worries about that one child who wont have a toy this year. What can he do?

Review Copies provided by Author.


Review: Never Look Back by Robert Ross

Never Look Back by Robert Ross
Publisher: Pinnacle
Paperback: 384 pages
Genre: Mystery
Rating 3.5 / 5
Karen marries her dream man, the great author Phillip Kaye, or so she believes. Phillip leaves his new bride with his sulking teenage daughter to go on a book tour and all heck breaks loose as the mystery of his home and past life begins to unravel leaving them all in danger and fear for their lives!

I was not immediately taken in by the story and found it to be sort of a slow start. However, I always give any book a 50 page chance and I was thankful I did with this one because once the story of the house and it’s history began with the Lettie Hatch murders, I was highly intrigued and could not put it down!

I especially enjoyed the comparisons of the previous owners to the residents of the house now. That was really creepy, and I Love Creepy!

In My Mailbox (9)

Hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren!

I had a really really good week this week!
Permission Slips by Sherri Shepherd {I'm sorry I can't remember the blog}
The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent {thanks my-book-views}
None but should be some on the way!  :)
For Review:
The Wives of Henry Oades by Johanna Moran
The Silent Gift by Landon & Kelley
Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
The Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay
A Highlander Christmas by Janet Chapman
A Blue & Gray Christmas by Joan Medlicott
7th Heaven by James Patterson
What's My Pee Telling Me? by Richman & Sherth
Deep Kiss of Winter by Kresley Cole & Gena Showalter
From Book Mooch:
Blue Moon by Alyson Noel
Blue Bloods by De La Cruz
Kissed by an Angel Trilogy by Elizabeth Chandler

Review: Stranger In Paradise by Robert B. Parker

Stranger In Paradise by Robert B. Parker
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Mystery/ Suspense
Paperback: 320 pages
Rating: 5/5
A hit man is hired to find the wife and daughter of Louis Francisco, a bad guy from Miami. He wants his ex-wife killed and his daughter returned to him but somewhere down the road the hit man gets soft and decides to join forces with his adversary Jesse Stone over in Paradise.

I am a huge Robert Parker fan and love his books featuring Jesse Stone! Stranger In Paradise holds no punches and is a fast moving thriller mixed with a little hush hush hanky panky and a few unusual characters working together.

I especially fell for Crow the hit man. He is part bad guy, part Romeo, and part hero all rolled into one. How can one man be so much to so many? I had to fan myself while still flipping pages!