Monday, March 28, 2011

The Thieves of Darkness by Richard Doetsch winner!

Another winner has been chosen in The Year of Mysterious Giveaways. For March I had
The Thieves of Darkness by Richard Doetsch to give away and
DarcyO is the winner!

Winner has 48 hours to respond! Thanks to all of those who signed up!
Thank you again to the publisher for supplying a copy to give away!

Stay tuned next week for April's pick.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Friday, March 25, 2011

Amaryllis in Blueberry by Christina Meldrum (review #116)

Amaryllis in Blueberry by Christina Meldrum
Gallery Books (Simon and Schuster)- Fiction
978-1-4391-5689-6 - $15.00

A unique title for a unique book. Top it off with a beautiful cover and you got a winner to recommend. Though compared to The Poisonwood Bible, Amaryllis in Blueberry has its own very strong voice.

From the publisher's website:

Meet the Slepys: Dick, the stern doctor, the naÏve husband, a man devoted to both facts and faith; Seena, the storyteller, the restless wife, a mother of four, a lover of myth. And their children, the Marys: Mary Grace, the devastating beauty; Mary Tessa, the insistent inquisitor; Mary Catherine, the saintly, lost soul; and finally, Amaryllis, Seena's unspoken favorite, born with the mystifying ability to sense the future, touch the past, and distinguish the truth tellers from the most convincing liar of all. When Dick insists his family move from Michigan to the unfamiliar world of Africa for missionary work, he can't possibly foresee how this new land and its people will entrance and change his daughters—and himself—forever. Nor can he predict how Africa will spur his wife Seena toward an old but unforgotten obsession. In fact, Seena may be falling into a trance of her own. . . .

There are a lot of books out there that write about families and I have indeed read a fair amount of them. I can say that the Slepy family was certainly one of the more upsetting bunch of individuals to read about. The father, Dick, right out of the gate was not a likable character to me. It is explained early on how he became obsessed with Seena and insisted on calling her by her birth name, Christina. Their courting was quick and soon their family had started. He had ambition but it masked with his need for perfection and control. His faith seemed strong though to me it felt like a sham. Not my cup of tea, this man.

Seena, I went back and forth on. At times I could feel how trapped she was and I felt for her. But then there are other times when she was so absent and in her own head, that I wanted to shake her and remind her that she had children to raise. She was obviously an educated woman, and throughout the book, she speaks of Greek mythology and history and how it pertains to her life. She was a mixed bag and overall, intriguing to read about.

The four girls were all so brilliantly different and could each have their own book written about them. It wasn't a long novel, 360 some pages. Their characters were explored though bits at a time. Once they get to Africa, Grace and Catherine take a bit more a center stage. Catherine begins to fast and almost dies. Grace, being the wild one of the bunch, discovers she is with child from her tryst with a local boy back home (a tiny spoiler) and is offered marriage by an African man. The same African man that Catherine has fallen for and so begins their battle.

Tessa explores Africa with a young African boy and Amaryllis follows behind, much like their routine back home in Michigan. Tessa is curious but watchful and at times begrudgingly watches over her younger sister.

I liked Amaryllis. I wanted to care for her. She got a lot attention but it never seemed to be the right kind. I felt she was searching and I wanted her to be cared for.
That's just the mother in me, I guess.

The reader finds out in the beginning that Dick is murdered and Seena is on trial. Throughout the book you get a bit more of Amaryllis' story, when she tells of the "after", after her father was killed. Her and Seena both have their own parts told like that. The rest of the book is five parts going back and forth in time from Michigan to life in Africa.

Rating: 5/6 stars
It was heavy book but I could not let it go. It pushed me along to the end. It was written beautifully and the characters, though at times I wish had more time to develop, were written carefully enough that I felt invested in them. I recommend this novel for fans of serious fiction, especially lovers of Barbara Kingsolver.
Along with the well written characters, you also get a richly described Africa. I felt the fear they all had in the amount of diseases you could get there; the care in boiling the water, surviving the heat and the bugs, and the claustrophobic attention they received from the locals. I was tense reading some of those parts and certainly felt their discomfort.

Book Club Pick?
Yes, without a doubt. This novel explores so many topics; marriage, faith, infidelity, American culture vs. African culture, obligation, desire and survival.
Book clubs will be buzzing.

Author Info:

Places to Purchase:

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake (review#115)

The Postmistress

by Sarah Blake

Genre: Historical and Women's Fiction

Publisher: Berkley

The Postmistress has been one of those titles that has been floating around the blogosphere for a little while now. It definitely has been on my radar.

I have read a few reviews some time ago, before I had agreed to review it, and they have been both favorable and not so.

When I got the opportunity to review it, I knew I had to give it a go. And after completion, I am glad I did. I seem to remember reading Grange House, the first novel by Sarah Blake, a long time ago but I couldn't tell you what it was about from memory. I remember being some what intrigued by the gothic story line of it all and that's about it.

The Postmistress is a bit different from her first book. Set in 1940, both in a small coastal town in Massachusetts and in London, it focuses on the lives of three very different women.
Iris is an older woman who holds the position of Postmistress or as she calls it the Postmaster position in the town of Franklin, MA. She is smart, a bit serious, somewhat guarded but clear in her role in her job and well received in the community.

Emma is the young new wife of Franklin's new doctor, Will. Orphaned as a child, she holds deep rooted feelings about being alone, being left and being invisible. Will changes that and makes her feel alive and connected to life in a way she hasn't felt.

Frankie is the quick witted, ballsy war reporter based in London. Working along side Ed Murrow, her job is to tell the world what is really happening in those early years of the war.

These women collide in a somewhat fractured but thought out story. It seems to fall to Will, Emma's husband that starts it all. Will decides he needs to go to London to help the war victims. He gives Iris a letter to give to Emma if he does not return alive. Will runs into Frankie in London while hiding out in a bomb shelter. What happens there is the climax, I guess, of the book and ultimately what cements the women's lives together.

That's the basic story in a nutshell and overall, I was engaged enough to continue reading. It seemed to fall pretty heavily on Frankie and a lot of her experiences getting out into the thick of it and reporting the war news. At times, this got a little heavy handed and seemed to get away from the story as a whole. I liked the parts with Iris and Emma and their small town. Iris had her love story with Harry, the older man who sat on top of his roof looking out for German tanks. Emma had her side story when she discovers she's pregnant and pines for her husband to come home.

I find the time period around World War 2 to be fascinating and tragic at the same time. I liked that Frankie was trying to bring it home to the whole world that was listening that war was indeed upon us all. I was intrigued that in Franklin, Iris and her community didn't seem to feel affected.
The author did portray those differences in geography quite well.

This was a quiet, somber read. I was expecting a bit more surprises but overall I was pleased enough with it to continue reading. The ending had enough of what I needed for the story to wrap up. It was matter of fact but still bittersweet.

Rating: 4/6
I do recommend this book for fans of any women's fiction, even those who like historical fiction. It does go into the politics and the war with Frankie's portion but it also has some powerful love stories and strong female characters. I can't say that I would passionately recommend this but I do think it has a strong enough story and well written characters, that it deserves a readership.

Book Club Pick?
Yes, I think this book would be a perfect fit for book clubs exactly. It has that blend of women's roles, history, love, marriage and loss. I think it has enough going on in it to generate a good discussion. I, for one, am passing it along to my mom who I think would love it.

Author Website:

Thank you to TLC Book Tours. Please join in on the rest of the stops.

Monday, February 28th: The Literate Housewife Review

Tuesday, March 1st: You’ve GOTTA Read This!

Thursday, March 3rd: Amusing Reviews

Friday, March 4th: Musings of an All Purpose Monkey

Monday, March 7th: Caribousmom

Thursday, March 10th: Book Reviews by Molly

Tuesday, March 15th: Book Club Classics!

Wednesday, March 16th: Debbie’s Book Bag

Thursday, March 17th: In the Next Room

Friday, March 18th: One Person’s Journey Through a World of Books

Monday, March 21st: Peeking Between the Pages

Wednesday, March 23rd: Red Headed Book Child

Thursday, March 24th: Diary of an Eccentric

Friday, March 25th: Life in Review

Monday, March 28th: Suko’s Notebook

Tuesday, March 29th: Books and Movies

Wednesday, March 30th: Stephanie’s Written Word

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I'm going to BEA! Are you?

Folks, it's been a tough decision this year. I battled with lots of feelings about taking a trip for myself again and NOT taking one with my husband this year.

Do we have enough money? No, not really.

Am I comfortable traveling alone? No, not really.

What if I'm pregnant? Well, that's not happening right now, no matter how hard we try. :(

So, I made the decision to just do it. Money be damned! (okay, the tax money helped a bit!) My husband is very supportive and we are planning on a mini camping trip for the summer, he and I. YAY!

So, I will be going Tuesday, May 24 through Saturday May 28. This is going to be completely 100% Red Headed Book Child meets NYC. Last year, i went with friends and we did a lot of NON book blogger stuff. This year I plan on maximizing all there is to do with tours, cocktail hours, dinners, etc!

I am planning on rooming with Stacy from A Novel Source. YAY! And I plan on hanging out with Steph from Steph the Bookworm. I am SO very excited to meet these ladies and have tons of fun in the Big Apple.

Are you going?

If so, what do you have planned?

Are you going alone? With other bloggers?

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bite Me by Christopher Moore (Guest Review)

Bite Me by Christopher Moore
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: William Morrow
Out in stores

This guest review is done by my good friend, Rachel. I've written about her a few times before. She and I go back to my bookstore days. She was one of the employees I supervised. Aside from not being a morning person and habitually arriving five minutes late, she was a peach for an employee! I pretended to be all professional and did not pursue a friendship but alas, we hit it off splendidly and couldn't resist hanging out with her outside of work.
Now, being the busy bees that we are, we gather together at least once a month at our favorite Japanese noodle shop. Her with the Soba and me with the Udon.
I, for some reason, STILL get them mixed up.

She is super sassy and smart and addicted to all things crafty. I see her one day owning a farm and while on breaks in her barn, see her sitting surrounded by chickens wearing knee high mud boots and a crocheted hat on her head.

Here is her blog:
Please follow her. I am her only follower. :(

Though she may prefer craftiness to reading most days, she does have quite a bit of good book taste. When I was approached to review this book, I thought of her right away. A bit on the cyncial and feisty side, Rachel and Christopher Moore fit like two peas in a pod.

Here she is folks. Rachel, my Guest Reviewer of Bite Me by Christopher Moore.

Nothing is sacred in Christopher Moore's novels. Nothing is irredeemable either. The duality between raw, goofy, biting and at times juvenile humor, and the sweetness and heroics of his characters always makes for a smart, entertaining read. His characters are at the same time grating and endearing; but always funny.
I was introduced to Moore through his Christmas release, The Stupidest Angel; A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror. In truth, I was sold on the title alone as anyone who has ever done so can attest that working retail during Christmas makes a person fairly cynical about the holiday. Needless to say, I loved it. I mean really, what isn't there to love about Christmas and Zombies? Since then I have read very nearly all Mr. Moore's books, and have become a devoted fan.
When the RHBC asked me to review Bite Me, I was thrilled!
Bite me is the third installment of Christopher Moore's vampire series. Fans of the Twilight or Anne Rice variety vampire will be sorely disappointed, I am afraid. However, fans of the show True Blood, or of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse books will find some common ground with Moore in this series. Also, readers of Pratchett, Gaiman, Vonnegut and Douglas Adams will appreciate the zany antics, absurdity and sarcasm of Moore. Quite possibly also readers of the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, etc. books.
This story begins in the San Francisco Bay Area. A hoard of vampire cats is roaming the city. Vampire minions Countess Abigail Von Normal, backup emergency mistress to the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, her boyfriend and scientist Foo Dog, and her pathetically gothic best friend Jared attempt to contain the outbreak. Unfortunately, the two vampires that can help the minions have been encased in bronze. Well, to be more accurate, the minions encased them in bronze in the previous book, and they are pretty sure that the vamps will be pretty pissed off, and hungry when released.
Also fighting the vampire cat hoard are The Animals, a group of night-shift grocery store working vampire hunters,The Emperor of San Francisco, a homeless gentleman with his trusty dog companions, detectives Cavuto and Rivera, who have recently become aware of the supernatural ongoings of the Bay area, and a mysterious elderly Japanese gentleman with a sword in day glow orange socks. Hilarity ensues as all the groups of "hunters" with differing motives engage the vampirism outbreak in their own way.
This was a refreshing break from "serious" vampire novels, and vampire romances.
Highly recommended for those who appreciate irreverence.

Wow. Doesn't she write an awesomely wicked review?
Kudos Rachel!
Thanks for stopping by and sharing with us your thoughts!

Stop on by and check her out at her blog above.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Jane Eyre, the movie

Jane Eyre (click to watch trailer)

Just a few days ago I had the pleasure of seeing the 2011 movie version of Jane Eyre. I have never read the book nor have I read anything by the Bronte sisters. Let's just say, it was extraordinary! It starred the young woman from The Kids are Alright. She was magnificent!
I received Advanced Screening passes so the theater was super crowded, every seat full and my friend and I were crammed in the second row. This may have affected my viewing pleasure if the movie had not been so good.

The casting was superb, the landscape was gorgeous and moody, and the dialogue was beautifully witty. I'm told that this version was focused more on the gothic love story of it all. Knowing nothing about it, I thought it was perfect.

Those that I talk to about Jane Eyre have mixed opinions about the book and their experience with it. Some have said it bored them to tears, others said they found Jane to be a silly little school girl with too many crushes on boys and others have loved it. I came to the conclusion that I must read it myself.

There is a challenge for all things Bronte hosted by She's Too Fond of Books. I discovered it from Lisa at Lit and Life (one of my favorite blogs!). You can find the link to the challenge from Lisa's sidebar. Haven't decided if I want to venture THAT far yet but Lisa mentioned she may do a read-a-long of Jane Eyre soon and I am thinking of hopping on board with that.

What about all of you? Have you read Jane Eyre? If so, what do you think about it?

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Raising by Laura Kasischke (review #114)

The Raising

by Laura Kasischke

Publisher: Harper Perennial
Genre: Literary Thriller
Price: $14.99
Available at Barnes and Noble, Borders, Amazon, or Shop Indie

This book was a no brainer for me to sign up as a reviewer. From the brief description of it on TLC Book Tour website, I knew it would be right up my alley.

It takes place mostly on the campus of a prestigious university and even more so at the Godwins Honor Hall. Perry and Nicole are both from the same small town of Bad Axe and they both came to this university as two of the brightest students. Both extremely different yet connected by that link, they develop a friendship during their freshman year as study buddies. Craig is Perry's roommate and far from the ideal student. He gets in on a favor of his fathers who happens to know the Dean. Smart, yet unmotivated, Craig sails through his days mostly smoking pot with another slacker named Lucas.

The friends lives are forever changed when Craig begins dating Nicole and not long into their relationship, an accident occurs. Nicole dies and everyone blames Craig. But the details do not match up and that is where the rest of the cast of characters enter the picture.

Shelly, an older woman who works at the campus Chamber Music Society, was the first witness to the accident. Though she gives her exact telling of the accident, the paper nor the college take the correct information down. After several attempts to correct their mistakes, Shelly begins to see that something is trying to be covered up.

Mira is a professor of Death Studies on campus and gets approached by Perry to learn more about the what happens to us when we die. Turns out he keeps seeing Nicole around campus and Perry is convinced she is not dead.

And then there is Josie (by far, the character I hated the most), Nicole's roommate and sorority sister at Omega Theta Tau. Flighty, self absorbed and totally manipulative, she uses her position as a work study student with Shelly to further cover up the "death" of Nicole.

It's impossible to sum up this book. So much happens and it weaves back and forth in time every few pages. There has been some comparison to The Secret History by Donna Tartt and though I read that book over a decade ago, I would agree to an extent. They are both very complicated, involved thrillers surrounding a bunch of students at a upper crust college. But really I think that's where the similarity ends.

This novel was almost 100 pages too long. I really enjoyed it and kept going back to it excitedly at every chance I could but the going back and forth in time made it a bit lengthy. I appreciate the fact that the author wanted to really give depth to many of the characters but some of the story didn't need to be told for the sake of the greater story.

I was chopping at the bit to figure out what really happened. I knew all along that Nicole was not all she was supposed to be. She is described as being such a virginal beauty, great at school and a kind soul and perfect all around. Bleh! I knew something was up. At the same time, I knew that Craig wasn't the screw up he was portrayed to be either. As he grew more in love with Nicole, his softer and fragile side came out.

The ending was a bit abrupt for me. I won't give any spoilers but it was summed up as a flashback almost. The last part was written so many years later. It did get summed up but I had to adjust to the changes in the characters that I had been reading so closely about and get used to them as older adults.

Rating: 5/6
Overall, I felt is was a very well written literary thriller. It was not a light read. It was almost too heavy at times with the sadness of Craig, the secrets of Nicole, the bitchiness of Josie, and the doom and gloom of the other characters, especially Mira. Mira, though very educated on her subject as a professor, lives a very dysfunctional life with her husband Clark and her two toddler sons. You get to go along with that at the same time she is helping Perry in his research about the dead.
With that, I still recommend this to serious fiction fans along with those who like a layered mystery. It is a bit hefty in size, roughly 460 pages. Because of the detail to the story, it wasn't a skimmer. You had to pay attention to the flow of time and how the story meanders.

Book Club Pick?
For my club, I think it would be a bit dark but that doesn't mean that it wouldn't be a good pick for others. Being that it takes place on a campus, discussion topics can include academia, hazing, pressure, etc. With Mira's studies of the dead, there is quite a bit of history of ghosts and sightings and superstitions. If you are prepared for some heavier conversation, then it would be a good pick for you.

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for letting me be a part of this tour.

Wednesday, March 16th: Books Like Breathing

Thursday, March 17th: Life in the Thumb

Wednesday, March 23rd: In the Next Room

Thursday, March 24th: Life In Review

Friday, March 25th: Book Club Classics!

Wednesday, March 30th: Amusing Reviews

Tuesday, April 5th: Jenn’s Bookshelves

Wednesday, April 6th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Thursday, April 7th: Wordsmithonia

Friday, April 8th: Proud Book Nerd

Author Info:
Laura Kasischke teaches in the University of Michigan MFA program and the Residential College. She has published seven collections of poetry and seven novels including In A Perfect World. She lives with her family in Chelsea, Michigan.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Ladies Book Club: March 2011

Book Read:
Water for Elephants
by Sara Gruen

Ladies in Attendance:
5 regular members plus 2 new faces

Treats shared:
Ahh, the spread. We do know how to bring it that's for sure. This time around we had wine and spiced cider. Cookies with sprinkles, chocolate chips and M&Ms. Tasty artichoke dip with crusty bread. Stinky blue cheese and crackers. Homemade Oreos. Oh and deviled eggs! Feast for Queens!

To Read or Not to Read:
4 ladies read the whole book.
1 lady read 1/2.
1 lady did not read it.

My Reaction:
This book is another one of those bestseller books that have been on my shelf and on my reading lists for YEARS. Why I have not read it before now, I do not know. My friend Cheryl loves this book and one of the ladies in our club has brought it along as a suggestion about four times now. Considering the movie is due out next month, we all agreed this was the time to read it.

I'm so glad I did. It was so very enjoyable and well written. The book is told from the perspective of Jacob. It is told in two parts. First part is current day as a 93 year old man living in a nursing home. And the second part is when he is a young man beginning his life in the circus.
Jacob's parents die before he is to take over his father's veterinarian business and out of despair, Jacob disappears and stumbles across a traveling circus. There he begins work as the circus vet and falls in love with Marlena, the show's beautiful performer. Problem is, she is married to August, the other star performer. This story is filled with so much; the class struggles within the circus, the depression in the world at the time, the sad stories of the circus workers, the good and bad treatment of the animals, and the familial feel of the circus life.

Jacob's current story is just as exciting to read as his memories of the circus. He has grown to be a feisty, whip smart man simply wanting to be understood and treated as an individual instead of one of the herd. He lashes out to a fellow senior when they admit they too worked for a circus in their youth and carried water for elephants. He becomes close to Rosemary, one of his caregivers and the only thing he looks forward to is the chance to go see the new circus coming to town.

Overall, between present and past, I thought this book was marvelous. I loved the time period, the life of the circus, the politics of it all, the love between Jacob and Marlena, the personalities of the animals and the idea that memories hold on to you until the very end.

The Ladies' Reaction:
They all loved it. Not one said they didn't enjoy it from cover to cover. There were no lulls in the story line and they all agreed it was wrapped up perfectly. (no spoilers)

We went through the Reading Group Guide at the end of the book and answered most of the questions raised even though most of the themes were already brought up in our own discussion. It was nice to be official:) These include the difficult time in history and the affect the circus had on people and how entertainment was so needed. It also included the idea of family and though hard and very classist, the circus certainly cared for its own.

We also discussed in detail the connections between the biblical story of Jacob and how it was tied to this book. The reading group guide brought it up though we all didn't seem to get the connection we all discovered our strong ties to religion and each of us had a Catholic or Lutheran school story in our past.

We all agreed that we would all go see the movie together next month even though we disagreed quite strongly with the casting of Reese Witherspoon as Marlena. In the book Marlena is quite young, strong and honest but not quite seductive. The trailer gives clips to what seems like a sultry Reese. Even though Robert Pattinson did not fit the description of Jacob for me, he does seem to empower the quiet strength that the character had in the book. This, of course, is just from a two minute trailer. More to come on that.

Good Book Club Pick?
Once again, we hit it the nail on the head! This one was another charmer and brought up a lot of discussion. One of the ladies is actually from the hometown of which the Ringley Brothers Circus started. We all felt so strongly for Jacob's story and just immediately got wrapped up in it all. It felt like a modern day classic to me. Discussion points include familial obligation, class struggles, forbidden love, prohibition, animal abuse, growing old, etc. So much was going on, our conversation never dwindled.

Author Website:

Movie Trailer:
Water for Elephants starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson

Next Book Up:
Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain

*Read for 2011 Read From My Shelves Project

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Guest Reviewers: Yes or No?

I have decided this year that I am going to allow more Guest Reviewers to review on my website. Does this make me a lazier blogger? Does this mean I'm "giving up" my blog to someone else? Does this mean I will lose readers because the "voice" will sometimes not be mine?

Well, No, No, and I hope not.

I was tentative at first about allowing guest reviewers on my site because of those questions I swirled around in my head. But then I decided I was being silly.

My site will always be mine. I am always in control of it.

I try very hard to squeak as much blogging time in as I can. Lazy? No. Lazy when it comes to cleaning my toilet? Yes.

My voice is my own. My review style is my own. But the individuals I choose to review on here are crucial people in my life. They mean the world to me. I trust their opinion. I know they know and love books. And they are all wicked smart. Having them stop by on occasion, I feel, shares a bit more of me with all of you.

In the next week you will all get the opportunity to "meet" Rachel, my other good friend, who was the brains behind "Loosely Bound:Tales of my Literary Life" and my Opera buddy. She will be my third and final guest reviewer. She will join the ranks with Cheryl and the ol' husband. She has kind enough to read and review Bite Me by Christopher Moore.

My Guest Reviews will not be often, like I have said before. I really try to match up the right book with these three readers in my life. I am honored and thrilled with all of the opportunities for reviewing that I get but I know I can not read everything asked of me. It is nice to have a few extra hands in the mix. It's all about letting the readers know about good books, right? The more the merrier.

So what do you all think of Guest Reviewers? Do you every use them?

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Book Signing, some shameless promotion, Adele and some Tea

What do these things have to do with one another?
Well, they sum up my weekend.
First, a book signing. Above you see a very fuzzy, snowy picture of a bookstore called
Once Upon a Crime. This is one of my favorite little shops to pop in every now and then in Minneapolis. They are exclusively a seller of all things mystery. It's tiny. Very tiny. But it works. I never leave there without a list a mile long. And they have amazing author events. They get the big local authors, sure but they also get a lot of the well known national authors as well.
On Saturday they had both local, to me, and national author, Laura Childs. She was there to sign her newest book in her Tea Shop mysteries. I was there to see her and also to partake in a little of the tea action. Yes, there were treats. Finger sandwiches, scones, yummy Chai tea. Delicious!
I have only read her first two books in her Cackleberry Club series and her first book in the Tea Shop series. I brought all of those and she was lovely enough to sign them for me. I also brought the one copy I had of her scrapbooking series as well, which I have not read.
She was incredibly delightful and kind. Her husband tried to take our picture but it didn't quite turn out. Too fuzzy! That's okay. It was a pleasure to see her as she is becoming a favorite cozy mystery author of mine.
Fun fact: She is actually from my dad's hometown and her father knew my grandpa.
Small world, isn't it?
Overall, it was a pleasant way to spend a bit of my afternoon.
Which leads me to the shameless promotion piece...

For those of you new to my blog, you will not know that I met a fabulous new mystery author last year at BEA. Her name is Sandra Brannan. She was at the Book Blogger Convention and we had a chance to have breakfast and chat a bit. Well, long story short, she is delightful and I read her book, In the Belly of Jonah, on the plane ride home. I LOVED IT and I was lucky and honored to be the blogger that kicked off her book release that September.
At that time, I tried to get her book in the bookstore I was working at then and also suggested to the publisher to try Once Upon a Crime. I thought maybe with some of my contacts and whatnot I could put in a good word. Well, it didn't happen.
So, being that a I was there, I decided I was going to go for it and tell them all about Sandra Brannan's book. (I had just received ARCs of the second book and was totally stoked to read it!). I basically talked the owner's ear off for a bit about how they should stock it and told them how wonderful Sandra is, yada yada.
Cross your fingers that it works out and they carry her book. It's an amazing bookstore with an amazing reputation. To be a mystery author and have your book there is a good thing.

More on Sandra later. I will be having a giveaway of her second book in May and lots more fun stuff. So keep your eyes open for it all. I hope to spread the word even more with this second book because Sandra deserves all the success she gets!

Whew! Must wrap this up. Last thing of the weekend was my recent discovery of Adele. Do we all know her and her wonderful music?? Holy cats, is she amazing! I have been listening to the song Someone Like You over and over again. (please click on the link and listen) Of course, I am also crying my eyeballs out a bit too remembering how bloody full of angst I was as a young twenty something and how much I would have been ALL over this song back then.

Anyhoo, there is my weekend in a nutshell. Reading? Well, I did finish one book.
That's something, right?

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Friday, March 4, 2011

I purchased my own Domain name

Boy, I hope I didn't screw anything up. should soon be

Thank you to Natalie at Coffee and a Book Chick for helping me out!

Happy reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Blog Hop 3/4-3/7

Hello everyone. It's Friday and it's time to hop! Jennifer at Crazy For Books is the hostess once again. Every week she asks a question of us and here is my answer.

"Who's your all-time favorite book villain?"

I would have to say Redd from Frank Beddor's The Looking Glass Wars trilogy. She was just mean as can be but really fun to read. I don't read or review much Young Adult anymore but this is one of my very favorite series.

If you are new to my blog, I read and review Literary Fiction, Mysteries and Memoirs. I love ALL books but I stick to those Top 3 favorites of mine on here. I am a former bookstore manager and now a stay at home mom who works part-time at my local library.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Year of Mysterious Giveaways (March)

It's a new month and that means that it is time for another mysterious giveaway. If you haven't heard, I am calling this year The Year of the Mystery. I created my first mystery challenge. I'm reading more mysteries. My guest reviewers are reading more mysteries. I thought it would be only fitting to give away some wonderful mysteries. So here we are, The Year of the Mysterious Giveaways (insert spooky music here).

This time around the publisher has offered to give away a copy of Thieves of Darkness by Richard Doetsch. I LOVED The 13th Hour by him. Read it and reviewed it last year! This one sounds just as thrilling!

Here's the description from Amazon:

Michael St. Pierre, a reformed master thief, thinks he has left his criminal days far behind him, when he receives word that his best friend, Simon has been locked up and sentenced to die in a brutal desert prison. Breaking into jail for the first time in his checkered career, Michael is stunned to discover that his new girlfriend, KC, is connected to Simon’s case.

With a madman on their heels, the three adventurers make their way to Istanbul in search of the mysterious artifact that landed Simon behind bars in the first place: a map containing the location of a holy place lost to the mists of time, a repository of knowledge and treasure predating Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Testing their courage and wits, Michael and his team are forced to plot a series of daring thefts that take them inside some of the city’s most celebrated (and heavily guarded) sanctums, from the imperial harem of Topkapi Palace to the tombs of the Hagia Sophia itself. More than priceless artifacts are at stake—the lives of loved ones and perhaps the fate of humanity itself hang in the balance.

A globe-trotting adventure that wings from the glittering banks of the Bosporus to the highest peaks of the Himalayas, The Thieves of Darknessconfirms Richard Doetsch’s place as the modern-day master of pulse-pounding suspense.

Author Website:

Richard Doestch

Contest Rules:

* Please be or become a follower of my blog. I appreciate the company!
* Please leave a valid email address.
* Please live in the United States.

Winner will be picked March 28 and book will be sent out by Simon and Schuster.

Stay tuned for next month's giveaway (starting April 1) of Blacklands by Belinda Bauer. Her newest thriller, Darkside, will be out in May.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child