Friday, December 10, 2010

April Showers Blog Design Giveaway!!!

Photobucket Here is a little about April from her website. "I started designing blogs almost two years ago, and thanks to lots of  demand, I was able to quit my day job (June 2010) and hire some help to  beautify the blog world! I graduated with two Bachelor's Degrees in  Advertising and Radio/TV/Digital Media Production. Blogging, online  media, and of course - design - are my passions, secondly only to my  wonderful husband. I love babies, Band Hero, Facebook, running,  swimming, and have a serious love for shopping. I hope we can make your  blog a functional work of art that inspires you too!"

 Where you can find her online:
Her Design Blog
Her Personal Blog
Facebook
Twitter

She does blog design, business identity, and invitations and announcements.  She also has a freebie section with layouts and buttons for use.

In addition to blog design, April also offers design classes.  I took her Blog Design class back in September and it was great!!  You also get a copy of the class so if you miss something or forget you can watch it later.  You can see her new workshops that are being offered in 2011 {Here}!!  You save $20 if you sign up before Dec 13th!!


She has a giveaway going on right now.  Starting today and ending Dec 17th, you can enter to win a Full Blog Design or a Workshop Registration.  The values ranges from $85 to $320!!! depending on what you pick and if you have Blogger or Wordpress.  Go enter!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

AMAZING BlogFest Giveaway!!!!

Do you want to win a brand new Kindle from Amazon??  Then head on over to Bitten by Books and enter their BlogFest contest!!!   (Or don't- I really want to win!!  LOL) They have tons of ways to enter and the only mandatory thing is comment with your First Name and Last Initial and your country.  Sorry everybody else!  This giveaway is only open to US peeps.  Have a great weekend and Good Luck (but not too good.. I need all the really good luck!)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Author Interview: Cheryl Snell

Here are some questions I asked Cheryl Snell author of Shiva's Arms


Where are you from?
Alberta, Canada, eh.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I published a poem in an excellent journal whose rep dwarfed my previous publications

What inspired you to write your first book?
Inspiration didn’t enter in. I had published about 65 poems and a few stories in lit journals and the logical next step was to put together a collection of poetry.

Do you have a specific writing style?
I write in a lyric narrative style. A critic/professor recently said I was an American surrealist. I like that.

How did you come up with the title, Shiva’s Arms?
It came to me when I was at McDonald’s with my Mom one day. It had all the elements I needed, incorporating the Hindu god of creation AND destruction, comparing that entity to Amma (who did plenty of C&D herself). All the god’s arms reminded me of Amma’s push-pull with Alice.

Is there a message in Shiva’s Arms that you want readers to grasp?
Much of literature focuses on the idea of Home, and I thought it would be interesting, in this book, to take a culture clash, complicate it, and see how the characters worked out a way to see one another as individuals as well as family.

How much of Shiva’s Arms is realistic?
The basis for the story is drawn from my life (American girl marries Hindu boy) but the characters are fictional. Details are drawn from South Indian culture, researched and fact-checked. Like Emily Dickinson, I want to put “real toads in my imaginary garden”.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The action in the story certainly could have happened to me, if I had married a more traditional guy. In our social circle, there are plenty of attitudes similar to those I write about, and I’ve witnessed the results in real life, from my place as observer.

Did you learn anything from writing Shiva’s Arms and what was it?
Aside from learning how to shape a long narrative and control my characters, I learned that societal memes do perpetuate. Traditions in old cultures will continue to be passed down, and change will only come slowly. But the Christian ideal of reconciliation has great power.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in Shiva’s Arms?
No. After many drafts and remodels, I’m quite satisfied.

What books have most influenced your life most?
Looking at my library of a thousand or so volumes, my eye goes straight to Shakespeare’s plays and Flaubert’s Sentimental Education.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Alice Munro, for her wisdom.

What book are you reading now?
I like to read several at once: Bellow’s Humboldt’s Gift, and Roth’s Dying Animal are right on top of the pile on my bedside table.

What are your current projects?
Another volume of short stories, another book of poetry with art by my sister, and a new novel. Working on several types of writing at the same time prevents writer’s block!

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My father liked to write and I followed suit, writing little poems and stories for family birthdays and celebrations.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Knowing when a piece is finally finished. For awhile afterward, the characters still seem to want attention, one last try for another effect or plot point. Overworking a piece can leave it blurred, all the spontaneity drained. You have to know when to quit.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
“Killing your darlings” in order to make it new.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Standard advice: write every day, and read more than you write. Workshops are good, or at least a fresh pair of eyes to look at your work. “Write what you know” may be good advice, but I’d rather learn something new well enough to be able to write about it.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I’d like to thank them for reading my work. It’s the highest compliment for any writer.

Thank you!!!
It was my pleasure.



**If you would like to win a copy of Cheryl's book Shiva's Arms leave a comment or question for her and your email address. I will notify the winner by email and they will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway ends 7/8**

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thumbing Through Thoreau Book Review

Title: Thumbing Through Thoreau: A Book of Quotations By Henry David Thoreau

Authors: Kenny Luck
Illustrators: Jay Luke and Ren Adams
Publisher: Tribute Books
Published: April 19, 2010
ISBN: 978-0982256541

Summary: "On July 4, 1845, when Henry David Thoreau moved into his cabin on the shores of Walden Pond, he was probably unaware that his abode in the woods, and the impact and influence of that endeavor, would forever echo through time. Thoreau was an uncompromising idealist; an ardent maverick who criticized his fellow man. He urged that men and women ought to live more simply, and more deliberately. "The mass of men," he famously wrote, "lead lives of quite desperation." Yet the scope of Thoreau's message is much wider than social criticism. He speaks of spiritual transcendence in Nature and the unbounded potential of the individual. Thoreau is a dreamer and he speaks to dreamers. In a word, shun dogmatism and demagoguery; see beyond the immediate conventional religious explanations to reap a higher understanding. In our commodified contemporary American society, with the rise of religious intolerance and fundamentalism, materialism and mass consumerism, Thoreau's message is needed now more than ever. Author Kenny Luck has thumbed through Thoreau's voluminous journals, correspondences and other publications to make this the most comprehensive collection of Thoreau aphorisms available."

I love quotes. One of my favorite reference books is my Dictionary of Quotations. I love to find ones that match my mode or whose subject is of interest to me. I was thrilled to get the chance to review this book of quotes by Thoreau because, although he lived over 150 years ago, his quotes are timeless and many address issues still present in current society. If you have never read anything by Thoreau, I think you might be pleasantly surprised by his relevance.

Another amzing thing about this book is the illustrations. Both of the illustrators drew and painted all of the drawings included in the book. I received a review copy which was in black and white so one thing I am curious about is if the sketches are in color or black and white. Some look like they were done as pen and ink sketches but others could be anything.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes.

* "There are thousands who are in opinion opposed to slavery and the war, who yet in effect, do nothing to put an end to them."

* "I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life."

* "...not until we are lost do we begin to realize where we are..."


This is a great book and if kept as a true coffee table book, I bet would spark tons of interesting conversations. I highly recommend this book to everyone!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!! What Would Rob Do??

Forget Someone's Name? What Would Rob Do?

By Rob Sachs,
Author of What Would Rob Do?: An Irreverent Guide to Surviving Life's Daily Indignities

When nobody else has been around to help out, I've also tried getting someone to talk about her own name. I'd say something like, "I used to get made fun of all the time when I was little because people would call me names like 'Saxophone' or 'Sexy Sachs' or 'Rob my sacks of cats.'" (Okay, nobody ever used the last one.) After sharing my story, I'd ask if she ever got teased, hoping she will give me a funny story that I can use to remember her name. Or sometimes I'd inquire, "What did your family call you when you were little?" Hopefully, it won't be Princess.

If you're not so good at face-to-face reconnaissance, there are less invasive methods for procuring names. In college I used to peek in backpacks, binders, notebooks, or anything that might have a name written on it. Now you can use social Web sites like Facebook or MySpace to see if you can figure out who somebody is through your circle of friends. You can also befriend someone who is really good with names and have him act as your personal Rolodex. Another "more advanced" technique is to challenge a person to a rap battle. The trick is to begin your rhyme with the words, "My name is . . . " Mine goes something like this:

My name is Rob,
I'm on the job
And though I eat with my hands,
I ain't no slob.

Then tell her it's her turn and she needs to follow the same format. Sit back and wait for her to give up the goods.

These tricks don't always fly in a work setting (though it would be fun to rap battle with some of my coworkers). There are times when the easiest thing to do is to come clean about forgetting someone's name. Within the first thirty seconds of talking to someone, it's okay to say, "I'm an idiot and I've forgotten your name." If you're not feeling self-deprecating, a simple "Oh, remind me of your name again?" will do as well. Letting a conversation go longer than five minutes without saying that makes you not only an idiot but a jerk, since the person you're talking to thinks you've been duping him the whole conversation.

My career at NPR has taken me from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles and back to D.C. I knew there
would be a lot of people I'd recognize but whose names I'd forget. To get some new tricks for the workplace, I called memory expert Harry Lorayne. He holds memory seminars all the time and has a full line of memory-related products. He was at first reluctant to talk to me, since people usually pay a lot of money to get the information he gives. Fortunately, I got him to open up on my specific problem of forgetting names, and he gave me a few hints.

He said that most of the names we forget are ones we never heard in the first place. Many times when people tell us their names, we're not really paying attention. When you hear someone say his or her name, you have to flag it in your brain as a vital piece of information. Lorayne recommended repeating the name right away to try to commit it to memory.

Let's say you're meeting me. I'll say, "Hi, my name is Rob Sachs." You can first verify that you heard it being pronounced the right way. Say it back to me. "Rob Sachs, is that correct?" Second, you can make a quick association with the name, or start talking about it in the conversation. Ask if Sachs has any relation to Saks Fifth Avenue or Goldman Sachs. (There is none, by the way.) The more you talk about the name right away, the more likely you are to remember it.

Another possibility is to try to associate someone's name with one of his physical characteristics. For instance, if you meet someone named Ben Green and you notice he has green eyes, you can repeat that in your head. Ben Green with the green eyes. Ben who has eyes that are green. Ben's last name is Green. My trick for remembering a name like Mikhail Gorbachev would be to think of the red splotch on his head as being gory. "Gory splotch" sounds like "Gorbachev." This might be a stretch, but it can work. The idea is to have a visual cue that correlates to the name.

Lorayne said another great thing to do is to use the name as often as you can over the course of your conversation. Try to eliminate all pronouns and just say the person's name instead, while always being careful not to say the name too much, since that can be a little creepy. "So Rob, what do you think about the weather? How about those Phillies, Rob? Rob, what brings you here?" I've tried this out, and to my amazement, it works. People also appreciate hearing their own name, because it makes them feel you care about them, or are a thoughtful person.

Harry Lorayne is a pro at this. He can repeat the names of a whole roomful of people he's just met. He told me that if you practice a lot and work on it, over time you will get better at it. These techniques have already started to help me in the office, though I still have one more trick. If I didn't catch someone's name or have forgotten it, I now go to the new searchable online database of NPR employees that contains everyone's picture from their photo ID. It's my own little office facebook, and I've lost more than a few hours of productivity studying it.

The above is an adapted excerpt from the book What Would Rob Do?: An Irreverent Guide to Surviving Life's Daily Indignities by Rob Sachs. Check out my review on his book later today!!



Copyright © 2010 Rob Sachs, author of What Would Rob Do?: An Irreverent Guide to Surviving Life's Daily Indignities



Author Bio

Rob Sachs, author of What Would Rob Do?: An Irreverent Guide to Surviving Life's Daily Indignities, has spent the last ten years as a producer, reporter, and director for NPR shows, including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Tell Me More. He created the podcast What Would Rob Do? in 2006 and serves as its host.



For more information, please visit www.WhatWouldRobDo.com
Follow the author on Twitter: @robsachs
Follow the author on Facebook: facebook.com/whatwouldrobdo

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

WooHoo!!

Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaways!!  Except for the 6 romance books giveaway, if you entered you won!

The winner of the 6 romance novels is...#20 Marianna!!  She said "I follow your blog on GFC"  I emailed her and she has 48 hours to respond or random.org will choose a new winner.  Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway and Happy Reading!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Book Giveaway Week!!!

From 6/4 until 6/11 I will post a new book giveaway each day!!  I have some great titles you can enter to win!!  I might even through in a surprise or 2!!  Make sure to check back in tomorrow for the first giveaway!

Giveaway #1~ 6 Romance Books (1 Winner)
Giveaway [and Review] #2~ 101 Things I Learned in Culinary School (3 Winners)
Giveaway [and Review] #3~ Still the One (4 Winners)
Giveaway [and Review] #4~ I Has a Hotdog  (3 Winners)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Book Giveaway Week!!! Giveaway #4

Title: I Has a Hotdog
Author: Ben Huh (AKA Prof Happycat)
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Published: April 20, 2010
ISBN: 978-0446566384

Summary: "I HAS A BWAIN!!!  An you thawt we dint! Now Professor Happycat tells you what's in it and, from I HAS A HOTDOG.com and beyond, lets over 200 LOLdogs loose on the world, all barking the truth about kibble, toys, and bad kitties. This collection of favorites and never-before-seen photos will have you barking for more!  For all you hoomins, a LOLdog is a kay-nine picture with a funny, misspelled caption."

SO FUNNY!!  I had not heard of ihasahotdog.com but figured I would give this book a try.  At first I was worried it might be stupid not all that good. But I had another thing coming.  It is very funny and the pictures are so cute. 

They are snapshots of dogs from their owners.  My favorite is one of a bulldog dressed up for Halloween as a pumpkin and the caption reads "For this I kill you in your sleep!"  I was laughing out loud!!  So then the kids came over to see what I was laughing at and then I had to read the book outloud and let them see the pictures of the puppies.

This was a surprising (at least to me) cute and very funny book!  I gave it Photobucket


How To Enter

Mandatory Entry:
Follow me on one of the following: GFC, Twitter, Facebook. Leave me up to 3 comments with your email address (I will email the winner! So if you don't post it, make sure it is on your profile!!)

Extra Entries:
*Post my button on your blog for 2 entries (Leave 2 comments)
* Blog about the giveaway for 3 extra entries (Leave 3 comments and the link)
*Tweet or post about the gveaway on FB for an extra entry (Leave a comment once per day)



Hurry up and enter!! Giveaway ends 6/15 at 9 pm eastern. There will be 3 winners chosen. Good Luck!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Book Giveaway Week!!! Giveaway #3


Title: Still The One
Author: Robin Wells
Publisher: Forever
Published: May 1, 2010
ISBN: 978-0446555982

Summary: "After Katie Charmaine's husband is killed in Iraq, all she has left is a closet full of his clothes, a few pictures, and fond memories. She not only lost her love, but her last chance to have the children she's always wanted. Until Zack Ferguson shows up in town . . . with the daughter Katie gave up for adoption nearly seventeen years ago.

Zack Ferguson has never forgotten Katie, or the one magical night they spent together. Seeing her again brings up a tidal wave of emotions: regret over the way he left her, anger at the secret she kept, and desire he hasn't felt in years. But he's in town for Gracie. Their daughter is sixteen, angry at the world, and-worst of all-pregnant. She needs the love of her two parents now more than ever. Can these three forgive the hurts of the past and open their hearts to each other?"
 
Aawww!!  This is a super cute romance that is very well written.  I normally don't read romance because they tend to be very sappy and fairly short (so I read them in about an hour.) but this was a very well written novel.  It has 432 pages so it lasted me more than an hour!  LOL
 
I really liked the way the characters come to life.  You meet a lot of people and you see them as if you are actually there.  Katie's daughter is in goth clothes with (badly) dyed hair and too much makeup.  You can very easily picture exactly what she looks like and even what her attitude may be like.

I also like how the characters in this book act like normal people.  They cuss, lose their temper, and make mistakes.  No one is perfect in real life and the same goes for the people in this book.
 
This is the first Robin Wells book I have read, but I will definetly be reading more!!  If you haven't already go read the Guest Post she did about a month ago.  Makes me like her even more!  I highly reccomend this book to all the romance junkies and those who don't think romance is worth their time.  This romance is!!
Rating Photobucket
 
How To Enter

Mandatory Entry: Follow me on one of the following: GFC, Twitter, Facebook. Leave me up to 3 comments with your email address (I will email the winner! So if you don't post it, make sure it is on your profile!!)

Extra Entries:
*Post my button on your blog for 2 entries (Leave 2 comments)
* Blog about the giveaway for 3 extra entries (Leave 3 comments and the link)
*Tweet or post about the gveaway on FB for an extra entry (Leave a comment once per day)



Hurry up and enter!! Giveaway ends 6/15 at 9 pm eastern. There will be 3 winners chosen. Good Luck!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Book Giveaway Week Giveaway #2


Title: 101 Things I Learned in Culinary School
Authors: Louis Equaras with Matthew Frederick
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Published: May 20 2010
ISBN: 978-0446550307

Summary:  "Louis Eguaras, a renowned chef at the Le Cordon Bleu Program at the California School of Culinary Arts, provides readers with a terrific overview of what is truly involved in the preparation, cooking, and presentation of meals. He also provides invaluable insights into just what is involved in making this one's chosen profession.


The book will feature a wide range of illustrated lessons, from how to properly hold a knife... to the history of food... from food preparation and presentation... to restaurant hospitality and management, and much more.

The book will be presented in the distinctive and highly-attractive packaged style of 101 THINGS I LEARNED IN ARCHITECTURE SCHOOL, and will be the perfect gift for anyone who is thinking about entering culinary school, is already enrolled, or even just the casual chef."

This is my review/giveaway of the book 101 Things I Learned in Culinary School. This is a great book for foodies and chefs alike.  Even if you are culinarily challenged you will get tons of info out of this book.  It starts with the basics such as the different types of pans: skillet, saute, sauce pan.  It explains why you only need 5 different knifes and that 90% of the time you will probably only use one of the 5.

It goes onto the different types of sauces: white sauce, bolognese, pesto.  And they are differnent and basic ways to make them. It discusses tools that are important (meat thermometer) and those that are not necessary.  It is a very quick and easy read and you get so much information out of a little volume.
Rating:  Photobucket


How To Enter


Mandatory Entry: Follow me on one of the following: GFC, Twitter, Facebook. Leave me up to 3 comments with your email address (I will email the winner! So if you don't post it, make sure it is on your profile!!)

Extra Entries:
*Post my button on your blog for 2 entries (Leave 2 comments)
* Blog about the giveaway for 3 extra entries (Leave 3 comments and the link)
*Tweet or post about the gveaway on FB for an extra entry (Leave a comment once per day)

Hurry up and enter!!  Giveaway ends 6/15 at 9 pm eastern.  There will be 3 winners chosen. Good Luck!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Book Giveaway Week!!! Giveaway#1

This is actually a set of 6!!  (yes 6 books!)  They are all in the romance genre.  They are:

Still the One ~Robin Wells (Look for my review later this week{I Loved it!!})
Montana Destiny ~R.C. Ryan
To Surrender to a Rogue ~Cara Elliott
Knight of Passion ~Margaret Mallory
Ravished by a Highlander ~Paula Quinn
Desire Me ~Robyn DeHart

How To Enter
Mandatory Entry: Follow me on one of the following: GFC, Twitter, Facebook.  Leave me up to 3 comments with your email address (I will email the winner! So if you don't post it, make sure it is on your profile!!)

Extra Entries:  *Post my button on your blog for 2 entries (Leave 2 comments)
* Blog about the giveaway for 3 extra entries (Leave 3 comments and the link)
*Tweet or post about the gveaway on FB for an extra entry (Leave a comment once per day)

Hurry and enter!!  All of my Book Giveaways will end 6/15 at Midnight Eastern Time!!


***Disclaimer: I received these books free from Hachette Book Group.***

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Lights Camera Blog Action!!!

I was featured over at Page Turners.  Thanks Becky!!!  Go check it out.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Guest Post by Robin Wells Author of Still the One

I always wanted to write a novel -- that’s been my dream ever since I was a little girl. In fact, was such a closely held dream that I almost didn’t do it, because I was afraid to put it to the test. I mean, it takes a lot of work to write a book; what if I did it, and it wasn’t any good? So I put it off. I worked in advertising and public relations, and built a pretty successful career.

I finally decided to get serious about writing a novel after I had my first child. It made me think big thoughts: what did I want for my daughter? Well, I wanted her to follow her dreams, and it made me painfully aware that I hadn't followed my own. Watching that little baby grow and change was like watching time fly, and it made me realize how easily my "someday" could turn into "never."

So I dove into writing headfirst-- I took a course, I bought lots of how-to books, I joined a local chapter of Romance Writers of America, I joined a critique group of other aspiring writers, but most importantly, I wrote. I sat down every day and put words on the computer.

I was intimidated by the length of the books I liked to read, so I decided to start writing category romances-- they’re about 200 pages instead of 400. It took me a year to write the first one. I sent it out, then started on another one right away. By the time I learned that my first book had been rejected by every possible publisher of the genre, I was already halfway through another one, so I told myself, “well, I need to keep going. Hopefully this one will sell.” And sure enough, it did!

That night, my family and I celebrated with a Chinese dinner. My fortune cookie read, “Romance moves you in a new direction.” It gave me shivers!

My advice to beginning writers is to just do it. Learn all you can, write and revise, and be persistent. Try to always have something in the mail so that you’ll always have the possibility of getting good news.


--Robin Wells

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Traveling Story...Wanna Join In??

We are looking for writers to help us with our Traveling Story.  A traveling story is one where each part is written by a different writer.  A new story (it is chick lit but we have other genre stories going on too!) will start tomorrow. Romance in the Backseat is going to do part 1 and then pass it to me for part 2.   Each part will be 500-1000 words long and leave the readers with a choice to make: Scenario A, B, or C. Voting lasts 2 days and then the next writer takes over with the winning scenario. When you post your part, you post a link to the part before yours and to the next writer after you. Love writing? Wanna join in? All you need is an active blog and to email romanceinthebackseat@gmail.com Leave comments with any questions you may have. Need an example? Go check out  Cheeky Reads!   Thanks!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Book Blogger Hop


It's Friday! Time for another Book Blogger HOP!!


This is for ALL BOOK BLOGGERS (NEW AND OLD) and READERS! Let's make some new friends and have fun! It's FRIDAY!!!

ABOUT THE HOP:
In the spirit of the Friday Follow, I thought it would be cool to do a Book Blogger Hop to give us all book bloggers and readers a chance to connect and find new blogs that we may be missing out on! So, I created this weekly BOOK PARTY where book bloggers and readers can connect to find new blogs to read, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start PARTYING!!

The Hop lasts a full week so if you don't have time to Hop today, come back later and join the fun! This is a weekly event!

This weekly Blog Hop is hosted by Jennifer @ Crazy for Books.


Thanks for stopping by to check out my blog!!  Check back later today I have about 4 book reviews to post and maybe a giveaway or surprise.  Have a great Friday!!  If you follow (Thanks!  Love new followers!!) me please leave a comment with your blog address so I can go and follow you back.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Book Review I Love You- Now Hush by Melinda Rainey Thompson & Morgan Murphy


Title: I Love You- Now Hush
Authors: Melinda Rainey Thompson
              and Morgan Murphy
Publisher: John F. Blair
ISBN: 978-0-89587-378-1
Published in 2010

Summary:  "The grass is ablaze, the lawnmower blade dangles from a tree, and your frustrated husband is hiding in the garage. You (a) tell him you’re going shopping, (b) ask him if everything’s okay, or (c) sneak back into the house and pretend you didn’t see him reading the instructions.

Your wife says she’s “fine” after an argument. You (a) assume she’s fine, (b) go back to watching the game, or (c) duck and cover.

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, then this book is for you. Two of the South’s funniest voices have come together to write this hilarious, heartfelt collection of essays about the nature of men and women. From keeping house to romance, from yard work to money, their fresh take on these common arguments will make you laugh out loud and maybe even instill a bit of insight when it comes to the opposite sex. Also covered are quite a few not-so-common squabbles, such as proper singing etiquette and hoarding mayonnaise jars. "

Have you and a member of the opposite sex ever looked at the same thing and saw two completely different things? When putting something together (oh let’s just say the TV stand) do you read the directions, plan how to build said TV stand, lay out all the pieces/tools/screw/nails and only then begin building? Does your husband think instructions are only for people who don't know what they are doing? (Not that I know this from personal experience or anything. I have just heard things. And who’s TV stand is still standing? And who’s collapsed?) This is only one example of the vast differences between men and women.

I Love You- Now Hush is a hilarious look at all of those differences and how the differences affect our relationships. The book is split into topics. Melinda will discuss the topic from a woman's (read correct) point of view and then Morgan will respond with a man's (read crazy) point of view. Even the titles of each essay showcase the differences between the sexes. For example: Melinda's "Save that for Me" and Morgan's "A penny saved is just a penny."  I love it!!! 

If you are looking for a very funny book to read then this is your book.  I was laughing out loud in so many parts, my husband kept asking "What's so funny?" Duh!  The book I'm reading. Men!  LOL I also really liked that as the Battle of the Sexes rages on it is all in good fun and is never serious or mean.  It is not a man bashing (or for that matter woman bashing) book.  It is just a funny look at the differences that have and probably always will split the sexes!


This book would make a great wedding gift since it is a humorous look at life as a married couple. Or even an anniversary present ot the couple who has been married forever.  Rating: Photobucket


** Disclaimer: I received the opportunity to review this book because of my membership with Business 2 Blogger ***

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Book Review Easy as Pi by Jamie Buchan

What is the subject that is almost every student's least favorite?  MATH.  I think that most people dislike it because they don't realize how much of our life is made of numbers.  We use numbers everyday without even realizing it.  I personally find math pretty easy and was really interested to read this book.  Now this book is not really indepth about math so don't get scared.  Before you turn and run just listen.  This book is about all the ways we use numbers in our daily lives.  Have you ever said seventh heaven or cloud nine?  Have you ever wondered why we say the phrases we say?  Well this book answers those questions and more.

I found this book is very interesting!  It is broken down into 5 parts: Numbers in Language, Number in Fiction, Numbers in Culture, Numbers in Mythology and Religon, and Numbers in Math and Science. 

Some interesting facts I learned was that in the novel Catch-22, the author made up the phrase Catch-22.  He tried it with a few other numbers first but they were discarded for various reasons and finally settled on 22.  I had thought it was a common phrase.

Have you seen The Number 23 with Jim Carey?  Did you know that there is actual people who believe those superstitions about the number 23?  I had thought that it was just made up for the movie.

You should read this book because it is very interesting and you will learn a lot about things you think you already know about.  Rating:Photobucket

Guest Post by Jamie Buchan author of Easy as Pi

Brushing Up on Math is Easy as Pi


By Jamie Buchan,
Author of Easy as Pi: The Countless Ways We Use Numbers Every Day

"World War II? I don't know much about it. You've lost me. I'm sorry, I was always terrible at history. I just don't have the brain for it!"

Few people would willingly admit to this level of ignorance about key events that shaped the world. But when it comes to math -- which shapes not only the world but the entire universe -- many otherwise highly intelligent and educated people will happily proclaim ignorance. In many cases, there's the implication that math is boring and difficult -- the exclusive domain of the severely geeky.

This may seem merely frustrating for mathematicians and scientists in social settings, but it has serious and wide-ranging consequences. On an everyday level, a lack of confidence about math makes it hard to split a bill, work on a spreadsheet, or help a child with homework (and this can easily become a vicious circle, since anxiety about math can be passed on to the next generation).

If you feel like you're math averse, be not afraid: the book Easy as Pi can help. Math itself is based on a limited number of very logical rules and, whether we like it or not, it surrounds us in everything we do. As Pythagoras (the guy behind the famous Theorem) remarked: "Number is the ruler of forms and ideas, and the cause of gods and demons." The head of a sunflower has evolved with mathematical precision into a double-spiral pattern that packs the most seeds into the smallest available space. The computer on which you're reading this, and every electronic device -- from cheap digital watches counting seconds and minutes to NASA's Columbia supercomputer, which simulates the collisions of entire galaxies -- is powered by a vastly complex system of ones and zeros, which only works at all because they can be interpreted mathematically.

Just like our explorations of science, humanity's understanding of math has advanced amazingly since we were counting how many mammoth hides it takes to wallpaper a cave. The concept of zero -- a number representing nothing -- is taken for granted today (apart from anything else, how could all that electronics work otherwise?). However, for centuries it was a thorny philosophical and mathematical question. Roman numerals stopped being used in Europe when medieval Italians learned the zero from the Arabs, who in turn had picked it up from India. The ancient Greeks gave us much of our understanding of geometry, and the Romans put it into practice with structural engineering. We've come a long way. The Pirahã tribe, a few hundred people living in a remote area of Brazil, reminds us just how far -- with almost no contact with outside cultures, their math is limited to counting "one, two, many."

Numbers have also slipped into our language and culture in various ways -- the third degree, the fourth estate, and fifth columnists spring to mind. And have you ever been asked to "deep six" something? Intelligence agencies use "numbers stations" -- radio stations broadcasting strings of numbers -- to communicate in code with spies in other countries. And they've gained a cult following of fascinated civilian listeners. The controversial conviction of the Cuban Five came after FBI agents found a decryption program for a Cuban numbers station on their computers.

The influence of numbers in our everyday life also seeps into our superstitions. The number 666 -- still feared by many people as the "number of the beast" -- is believed to be based on gematria, a form of numerically encoding Hebrew words, which is also at the root of claims about a "Bible code." Math anxiety and ignorance allows people who practice numerology and astrology to make a lot of money by claiming to imbue numbers with a spiritual and cosmic significance. Not only is this completely unproven, it masks the far greater beauty of a mathematically ordered universe.

To sum it all up, math and numbers are everywhere, and they are embedded in our lives in every respect. Anxiety about them is really worth trying to overcome. The benefits they bring us are countless.



© 2010 Jamie Buchan, author of Easy as Pi: The Countless Ways We Use Numbers Every Day

Monday, April 19, 2010

Book Review The Raindrop by Brian D. McClure

I love kids books, but after reading the same ones over and over I get bored.  I was so excited to be able to review The Raindrop!!  The illustrations are beautiful, they look like oil paintings. 

About the author: Brian McClure is an Ohio native and founder and president of The Universal Flag Company.  Inside his Universal Flag program, he has set up a non profit, whit benefits suffering in third world countries.

"I am just a raindrop; I am smaller than small.  What am I doing here? I have no use at all..."    The raindrop feels like he is insignificant and only a small drop of water.  What does it matter what he does? The Earth is in the middle of a drought and needing every drop of water it can get.  As the raindrop makes his way through the water cycle, he learns that while he is only one drop when all the drops add together, they make a huge impact.

This is a great story with a moral that everyone can relate to.  My older kids like to read it because they are learning about the water  cycle and this stiry helps hammer the concept home.  The smaller kids love the gentle rhymes that are easy to read outloud.  they also love to just look at the pictures and make up their own stories.

If you haven't read any of Brian D. McClure kids books, I reccomend you definetly go check them out!! Rating:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Book Review: Hiking Through by Paul V. Stutzman

Title: Hiking Through
Author: Paul V. Stuzman
Publisher: Synergy Books
ISBN-13: 978-0984076055
Release Date: April 6, 2010

Summary (from author's website):
"After losing his wife to breast cancer, Paul Stutzman decided to make some big changes. He quit his job of seventeen years and embarked upon a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, a 2,176-mile stretch of varying terrain spanning fourteen states. During his nearly five-month-long hike, he battled brutal trail conditions and overwhelming loneliness, but also enjoyed spectacular scenery and trail camaraderie.

With breathtaking descriptions and humorous anecdotes from his travels, Stutzman reveals how immersing himself in nature and befriending fellow hikers helped him recover from a devastating loss. Somewhere between Georgia and Maine, he realized that God had been with him every step of the way, and on a famous path through the wilderness, he found his own path to peace and freedom."

This is a great book! This is a book that everyone should read. It is a book not only about hiking, not only about dealing with cancer, but a book about living each day as if it is your last. Paul V. Stutzman stresses the importance of never taking anything for granted and realizing the importance of our words. Those harsh words could be the last we speak to that person.

Stutzman has a way of writing that brings his characters to life. You really feel as if you are meeting these people as you hike the Appalachian Trail. Another great thing is that while you are reading about the amazing descriptions of scenery and people, you can go to Hiking Through.com and see his photos from his 5 month trip through the AT. Once Stutzman begins the AT, every chapter has photos (except Chapter 4) that you can view. They really bring the book to life. By the end you feel as if you hiked the AT with Stutzman, and that you two have become best friends.

He does a great job of weaving background into his trip on the trail. The narrative flows seamlessly from past to present and back again as he attempts to explain why he gave up everything to hike the trail. And how by giving up everything he found something even better: peace and hope. He hikes through snow and rain and sleet. But he keeps hiking. His journey itself is one that should remind us all how we should never give up. Many of us back down from difficult tasks but we should all strive to tackle these tasks head on.

I can't begin to imagine how hard it would be to lose a spouse after 32 years of marriage. I really admire Paul for having the courage and enough faith, to quit his job and hike the AT. I live about 10 minutes from Erwin, TN, one of the many points that the AT crosses. I have never been up there, not even for a day hike. Granted I was born and raised in San Diego, CA but I have lived in TN almost 2 years. That will change this summer. I was so touched by Paul's story and the random acts of kindness, or Trail Magic, he encounters that I want to make some trail magic of my own. And maybe one of my gifts of magic will end up making all the difference for a thru hiker.

I highly recommend this book for everyone, religious or not, married or not, hiker or not. It is a must read that will remind us all how fragile life is and how any day may be our last. It is also a book about hope and that everything happens for a reason, and that God is still relevant in our lives even after a tragedy.
Rating: Photobucket



*As a side note, I have received many books to review, most from PR companies or publishing companies but a few come directly from the author. When Paul V. Stutzman sent me my copy of his book he wrote a personal message inside for me, thanking me for my interest in his book and his life. I think that his story is amazing mainly because he is an extraordinary man. I wish him good luck, not that he needs it, and can't wait to read his next book about his cross-country bike ride.*

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Book Review: The Language of Secrets by Diane Dixon

Title: The Language of Secrets

Author: Dianne Dixon
Publisher: Doubleday
ISBN: 978-0-385-53063-7
Release Date: March 23, 2010

Summary: (taken from the author's website)
"Justin Fisher appears to have the perfect life—a beautiful wife, a baby son, a glamorous job as a luxury hotel manager, and the lavish spoils of his prosperous in-laws. But beneath this charmed existence, lies a dark secret: Justin’s past is a puzzle with missing pieces. His search for the truth begins with his attempt to reconnect with his parents: a visit to 822 Lima Street—the house where he was born—a place made unforgettable by a haunting song his mother sang to him when he was a child.

Justin is shocked to discover his mother and father are dead. But the real jolt comes when he visits their gravesite. There, he finds a weathered headstone bearing his name; and an inscription that says he died before his third birthday. And so begins Dixon’s intriguing tale spanning almost four decades and thousands of miles—from the lush shores of California to the coastal hamlets of Connecticut."

I couldn't wait to read this book after reading this summary!  This sounds like a book I would totally love. But since I had to wait to recieve it in the mail, I went to Diane Dixon's website to see if I could read some of her other books.  I was amazed to find out this is her debut novel.  However she has been writing for television for many years so it wasn't as if she picked up writing out of the air. 

Diane Dixon is very successuful in her portrayl of the characters in this novel.  They come to life in a way that is hardly ever seen in current literature.  This book is a great read for almost everyone.  The only problem may lay in that it is not really a happily ever after book.  It is a very real book, and as in real life, nothing is ever perfect. But I think we can all learn something from this book.

My favorite part of the novel is the way every other chapter is about Justin and current times and the ones in between are from his remembered mother's perspective and are when Justin is a small child.  This novel takes many twists and turns and always leave the reader guessing.  I wish I could tell you more about the plot but then I would give out spoilers and that wouldn't be fair to you. 

This is a great book!! I give it 5 stars Photobucket It is a must read book.  I have read thousands of books by a lot of different authors and this book is right there at the top.  I'm not sure exactly where the book rates (that would be like picking my favorite child!) but it is definetly in the top 5.  This book came out March 23.  Why haven't you went out and bought it yet??  You will not be sorry.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I Love Clowns...

Check out my new blog at alwinfield.com

For Mama Kat's Writers Workshop this week's topic is What I fear most and why. Hmmm.  Do you hire high school kids to come to your child's birthday party dressed as clowns so that your child will tramatized for their whole life?  Do you let your children watch It (ok now that movie is cheesy and I recognize the actor who plays the clown but then..) and then not even thinking about it you by said child a clown doll?  Are you crazy or just really mean?  Come on Mom you traumatize me and then wonder why as a teenager/adult I will have nothing to do with clowns?  Really?


Do you know any normal people who put on crazy make up and then play with kids?  I don't think so.  Demented thats what they are!!


Even dogs in clown costumes are scary.  That dog used to be nice and sweet, but now he is Cujo.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Book Review: Queen of Your Own Life


Summary:
“Queen of Your Own Life is a philosophy, a decision and an invitation to happiness for women who have made the tough but rewarding journey to the midpoint in their lives. Kathy Kinney (best known as Mimi on The Drew Carey Show) and Cindy Ratzlaff (marketing genius behind the launch of The South Beach Diet) have been best friends for more than thirty years, and have helped each other navigate the ups and downs of their lives with humor and grace.”

This book is geared to women who are over 40 and entering the second half of their life. However, even though I am not 40, I think that this is a book every woman should read regardless of their age.  The authors do an amazing job of helping women fix the problems in their life that are preventing them from being truly happy. 

As a woman I usually blame my happiness or unhappiness on my circumstances.  If I had a better job, or a boyfriend, or was finished school, then I would be happy.  This book explains why thinking like that is unhealthy and counterproductive to being happy.  We as women need to take control of our life and our happiness.  This book shows how instead of wishing life were different, we should stop and assess where we are and where we have been.  We may be surprised at "bad things" that happened that actually brought us good changes and "good thing" that actually caused us heartache.

After assessing our life, we need to pick out our positive traits and proudly display them.  We also need to figure out what kind of woman we want to be and start being her.

I love the idea of having a crowning party.  I can just see a bunch of women sitting around eating snacks and drinking wine.  The Queen to Be has a crown on her head and might be wearing a broach.  The guest all watching as the excitement builds!  The Qeen to Be is now offically a queen and with her new title, she says "From this day forward, I will remember I am an extraordinary woman - beautiful, intellegent, brave, and powerful.   With the wisdom and tools I have gained,  I am excited to embark on the adventure that is the glorious second half of my life.  I am now truly, the Queen of my life!"

I think this is a great book for lifting your spririts and for helping you decide how to change your life.  This is a MUST read for all women!   Rating: Photobucket

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sunday Stealing




It's that time again. Leave me a link if you steal this, so I can read your answers!!  I got this form Cute Stuff, who got it from the host (click on banner) and he stole it from someone.


36. If you suddenly became single or are single, do you think you could last in a relationship for 12 months or more?  Yes

37. Do you forgive or forget?  Forget

38. Do you trust people?  No, everyone lies

39. What are you not looking forward to? My oral Spainish presentation

40. Do you get mad easily?  Sometimes

41. Tell us about the last time you were told you that you have pretty eyes.  It ha been a while

42. Do you have strange dreams?  Yes

43. Ever licked someone's cheek or forehead?  LOL  Yes

44. Tell us about the last time you fell asleep in someones arms.  I always fall asleep in someones arms

45. When did you last play a game?  We played Life a couple of weeks ago

46. What do you have on you at all times?  My cell phone

47. Do you go out in public without getting all dressed up?  I get dressed, not really dressed up.

48. Do you like fruity or minty gum?  Minty

49. Favourite musician or group?  Can't narrow it to just one

50. Do you like anyone?  I like lots of someones

51. Favourite computer game?  Cubis

52. First album you ever went and bought with your own money?  Janet Jackson IF

53. Think back five months ago, were you single? No married 10 years in Dec

54. Do you believe in celebrating anniversaries?  Read 53.

55. Do you think someone is thinking about you right now?  Of course

56. Last thing you bought?  Easter Basket Supplies

57. Are you a jealous person?  No not really

58. Does it take a lot to make you cry?  Yes

59. Do you have a friend of the opposite sex you can talk to?  Yes my hubby

60. Have you ever had your heart-broken?  Yes

61. Have you ever done something while drunk that you still cannot believe you did?  Not that I remember

62. Is there anyone you secretly wish you could be spending your time with right now?  Not secretly but I do wish I was with someone

63. Do you text?  Yes

64. Do you wish someone would call or text you right now?  Sure

65. Is your life anything like it was a year ago?  No not reall. We were in San Diego and I was preggers.  Now we are in TN and Mason is almost 10 months old.

66. Go back one year on your blog. Leave us a link to your favorite post.  Only d my blog since July

67. You can only drink ONE liquid for the rest of your life, what is it? I probably should say water but I really like Dr. Pepper

68. Tell us about someone that you have lost contact with someone you wish you didn't.  I got back in contact with her.

69. What is the last thing you said out loud? DO THE DISHES!!!

70. Will this year be better than last?  Hope so.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Drumroll please...

And the 3 winners of Just Let Me Lie Down are
* Kayla
* Tabatha
* Glenda

Congrats!!  You have 48 hours to respond to the email I send you or else random.org will pick a new winner.  Thanks for entering my giveaway!!

Book Blog Hop

I am participating in this week's Book Blog Hop hosted  by Crazy for Books!!  Head over their and add yourself to the McLinky if you want to join.  If you are visiting me from the blog hop, leave me a comment with a link to your blog so I can check out your blog and return the love.  BTW...My giveaway of Just Let Me Lie Down, ends tonight at 9 pm eastern.  Have a great weekend, thanks for visiting, and enjoy my blog!!

Are You Wearing Blue?? The Autism Book Giveaway

Since today 4/2 is World Autism Awareness Day, I am giving away 3 copies of The Autism Book by Dr. Robert W. Sears.  The book summary says "What every parent needs to know about early detection, treatment, recovery, and prevention." 

In Jan of 2008, I was taking a class classed called Working with Children with Special Needs.  One of the assignmnets was a book report.  So I had asked my mom to look on amazon.com and see if she could find any interesting books.  She called me a little while later that she found a book and it was about Jacob.  My son was almost 22 months at the time.  She said the child in the book lined up his toys and then would leave them and if anybody touched them he would freak out and throw tantrums.  When I asked her what the book was she wasn't sure but was going to look it up again.  She called me a little later and said it was about autism. 

This was a turning point in our family.  If you don't have expereince with speacial needs and the bureaucracy involved, it is a very time consuming endeavor.  Starting in May 2008, Jacob was receiving home therapy 5 days a week for 3 hours a day.  In November 2008, Jacob was diagnosed as autisitic by Children's Hospial of San Diego.

However in March 2009, when Jake turned 3 he no longer qualified for special needs services. He is now in a early intervention class for 3 & 4 year olds at the elementary school where my other kids attend.  But he is a typical child not classified as a special needs student.  He still has some issues with behavior and social abilities but he has made huge strides.  This is an example of how important early detection and early intervention services are!!

How To Enter:


Mandatory Entry:
*Follow me with GFC. Leave me a comment saying that you are a new/old follower and your email address. (I will notify the winner by email.)


Extra Entry:
* Tell me your experience with Autism for 2 extra entries.  (leave 2 comments)
*Follow me on Twitter or Networked Blogs for 1 extra entry (up to 2). Leave a seperate comment for each. (Each comment counts as an entry.)
*Tweet about the giveaway for 1 entry Leave a comment with the link to your tweet (You can do this once a day up to 10 times)
* Putting my button on your blog counts as 2 entries. (Leave 2 comments)
* Blog about giveaway 3 entries (Leave 3 comments)







HURRY UP and Enter!!! LOL Contest ends  Friday 4/16 @ 9 pm Eastern.  Check back then for my review of this book also.








**Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for my honest review. I was given the opportunity to review and giveaway this product because of my membership at The Product Review Place**  

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays are hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just answer the following three questions……



**What are you currently reading?

**What did you recently finish reading?

**What do you think you will read next?

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My Answers:


What are you currently reading?:  Queen of Your Own Life by Kathy Kinney & Cindy Ratzlaff

What did you recently finish reading?:  Citizen Dick by  Richard Arneson

What do you think you will read next?: The Language of Secrets by Dianne Dixon

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Stealing



It's that time again.  Leave me a link if you steal this, so I can read your answers!!

1. How far away is the last person you kissed?  Downstairs.

2. Has someone ever told you they would be with you forever?  Yes

3. Last person you were in a car with?   Everyone

4. Any plans for tomorrow?  Spanish test

5. How long does it take for you to take a shower?  10-15 minutes.

6. Best friend or close friends? Close friends.

7. Is tomorrow going to be a good day?  As long as I do well on my Spanish test.

8. Did you kiss anyone friday?  Yes

9. Ever thrown up in public?  Only when I am pregnant.

10. What's on your mind RIGHT NOW?  DJ- Get you lazy ass out of bed!!!!

11. Who was the last person you talked to?  On the phone...Sara

12. What is the WORST subject they teach at school?   CHEMISTRY!!!

13. Have you seen anyone lately that you don't get along with?  The neighbors

14. What is your favourite colour top to wear?  Black

15. Have you ever been in a car accident?  No!

16. What's the closest thing to you that's green?  My shirt

17. Where would you like to be right now?  ROME!!!!!

18. Write down some lyrics to the song you're listening to?  Scooby Doo Zombie Island  "No one brings contraband food into our country huh Scoob?"

19. How many dogs do you have? 0
20. Is anything bugging you right now?  Only the kids.  LOL

21. Is life going right for you now?  Yep we are doing good.

22. Is there someone you care about more than yourself?  I'm a mom...What do you think?

23. What made you laugh today?  The kids.

24. What was the last movie you watched?  Scooby Doo Zombie Island

25. Whats the last conversation you had about?  Not fingerpainting with Trix Yogurt.

26. What were you doing at 7:00 this morning?  Sleeping!  WooHoo

27. Do you like your hair long or short?  Either but not the in-between-length that it is now.

28. Do you want to see somebody right now?  Yes.  A lot of somebodies.

29. Do you like the rain?  Sometimes.

30. Did you have a valentine this year?  Yes I had 6.  LOL

31. The last person you kissed needs you at 3 am, would you go?  Since he is in my bed I guess I could help him.

32. Would you honestly say you'd risk your life for someone else?  Yes

33. Honestly, if you could go back 1 month and change something would you?  Maybe actually study for the Spanish test.

34. How do you feel about boys smoking?  GROSS!!

35. Could you see yourself with someone forever?  Yes.  My hubby

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Writer's Workshop 3/25

I am participating in Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. Here is what you must do:
*Choose a prompt that inspires you most.
*Write.
*Come back this Thursday and paste the URL from your actual post (do this by clicking the title of your post after you hit publish, an extended URL will come up in the address bar. That’s the URL you want to use) into the Mister Linky that will be up…this way anyone can click on your name and head over to your place to see what you wrote.

Feel free to write on more than one prompt if you so desire. Mama Kat does it all the time, but it’s her game…and she doesn’t know how to shut-up…so it should be expected. And remember the more comment love you give, the more comment love you get so comment comment away.

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Here is the writing prompt I chose this week.
3.) I Wanna Be MADE! You remember the MTV series where nerdy high school kids are made to be popular and what not? If you could be MADE into anything…what you be made into?


I want to be MADE...Successful? I guess that is what I want. Some may say that I am already very successful in that I have a wonderful husband and 5 perfectly annoying, adorable children, all of whom are healthy and happy.

BUT I want to move on to the next phase in my life. I want to finish school, have my career and be out of this world, blissfully successful and happy. I already did the married with kids thing and now I want more... (Did you just have a Little Mermaid flashback moment too?) Is that too much to ask? I don't think so.

I guess one problem with this scenario is that in order to be MADE into a woman who has a wildly successful career I just might need to know what that career is. I am majoring in English with a minor in secondary education. My plan right now is to be a high school English teacher while I get my masters degree. But is my ultimate career goal to be a teacher? Principal? Superintendent? Secretary of Education? Or a writer?

I think I would really love to be a writer. I read all the time and I am a (at least I think) fairly decent writer. The problem is that writing is one of those careers like photography (which I also love). How could I major in photography? What if I turned out to not be that great (and unable to make money as) a photographer? Then what would I do? What if I quit my teaching job to be a writer fulltime? What if I failed? I suppose that is the real problem I have with writing...I am too much of a control freak to chance failure.

Hopefully my career will evolve into what it is supposed to be. And I know that I will be successful in whatever I end up doing.

So maybe instead of being MADE successful, I should be MADE confident.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Book Review/ Giveaway Just Let Me Lie Down

"Kristin van Ogtrop knows she's lucky--fulfilling career, great husband, three healthy kids, and, depending on the hamster count, an impressive roster of pets. She also knows she is tired. Always.

Using stories and insights from her own life, she provides a lexicon for the half-insane working mom. Anyone who has left a meeting to race to the Halloween parade immediately understands van Ogtrop's definition of "Kill the messenger" as "The action you must take in order to forget about the office for a time--that is, to remove your Blackberry/Treo/iPhone/whatever from your person and store it as far away as your neurotic self will allow." Filled with essays, lists, and resonant observations, JUST LET ME LIE DOWN establishes van Ogtrop as the Erma Bombeck of the new millennium."
 
This was a hilarious book that every Mom can relate to.  It is a quick, comical look at life as a Mom.  Trying to juggle life, kids, work, volunteering, and personal time can be overwhelming, but van Ogtrop helps us see the humor when everything goes wrong.  I think this is a must read for every mom!  Rating: Photobucket

 And thanks to TCG, I have 3 copies to give away!!!  
 
 
How To Enter

Mandatory Entry:
* Leave me a comment that says you are a GFC (old/new) follower and your email address. (I will notify the winner by email.)


Extra Entry:
*Follow me on Twitter or Networked Blogs for 1 extra entry (up to 2). Leave a seperate comment for each. (Each comment counts as an entry.)
* Putting my button on your blog counts as 2 entries. (Leave 2 comments)
* Blog about giveaway 3 entries (Leave 3 comments)



HURRY UP and Enter!!! LOL Contest ends Friday 4/2 @ 9 pm Eastern.




**Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.  I was given the opportunity to review this product because of my membership at The Product Review Place**

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

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

1. Grab your current read.

2. Open to a random page.

3. Share two (or three or four, if you're me) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.

4. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

5. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

**********************************************************

Currently Reading:  Citizen Dick by Richard Arneson. 
"Dick shared his first day with 3 other newly hired employees and Herm, a young, round manager in HR whose tic caused his head to jerk to the left every 15 seconds.  His primary responsibility at CommGlobalTeleVista was to press "play," "stop," and "pause" on the VCR."  Page 177

Book Review The Sun and the Moon by Brian D. McClure

The Sun and the Moon is a great book for kids of all ages.  "This is a story about you and me, but for the protection of us..."  The sun and the moon get in a big fight and both decide they are tired and through.  So even though they both know it will be harmful to the Earth, they leave.  The Earth starts to freeze and animals and insects are frozen too. 

What I like is that in the middle of the story, instead of just making a general point that fighting is bad, the author address why humans fight.  People fight because of fear.  Fear causes problems everyday.

After lots of fighting, Sun and Moon realize that they are both in the wrong and that they should be friends.  They also realize that they are connected not only to each other but to you and me as well.  When they realized their connection, they both went back to "work" and Earth defrosted. 

The author then restatrs the story to show how the Sun and the Moon should have handled their fight.  My favorite part is the ending.  "Before you go, there are a few things the Sun, the Moon, and I would like you to know.  You are a great gift to the world!  You are loved every second of everyday.  You are one with everything there is!"

All of my kids loved this book.  Kayla, at 7, likes to read it because it has easy to read aloud rhymes.  Jacob at 4, loves to hear the story read to him.  Cody is 2 and a half and he mostly likes to look at Sun and Moon's faces in the illustrations (which are rich, beautiful oil paintings) and say "He is really, really sad" over and over all through the story.  And then at the end he gets all excited and jumps up and dances around!!

This is a must read for kids of all ages.  It was a great story with a great message.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

**Book Review** Popes & Bankers by Jack Cashill

In today's dire economic conditions, Popes and Bankers looks at how we got here. It starts in ancient times and discusses how in Dante's Inferno, money lenders and murders share the same circle of hell. It then goes through history discussing the public and political, and occasionally religious views on money lending.


I'll admit it...At first I was kind of scared of a book about the history of credit and debt. I know nothing about finance (except that I like money!) and was worried that with the author's finance writing background, the book would be hard to understand and not very relevant to me. However, I found the opposite to be true! Not only is it very easy to understand but it is more of a humorous history text than one about finance. If you have an interest in finance, history, or religion than you should read this book.  I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars. 5 is a must read and 1 is a book I couldn't finish reading.

*I received a review copy of this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review of the book*

Friday, March 19, 2010

Blog Hop Friday!!

I am participating in 2 Friday Blog Hops.  Here is a link to Crazy for Books' post.  3/19 Blog Hop!!  And here is the link to Follow Me Friday at Trendy TreeHouse!!  Thanks for checking out my blog.  Leave me a comment that you stopped by so I can visit your blog. Thanks!!



MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, March 15, 2010

I love getting mail!!!

I got 2 new books in the mail today!  Look for the reviews on both in the next week or so!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Stealing Sunday

I got this idea from Cute Stuff who got it from someone else and so on and so forth.  If you want to play leave me a comment with a link to your post so I can check out your Stealing Sunday answers!


1. What were doing 10 years ago?   10 years ago yesterday my husband and I had our first date!!  We went to Spaghetti Factory for dinner and then went and saw the movie Pitch Black. AWWW!

2. Five snacks that you enjoy in a perfect, non weight-gaining world
*Chocolate mousse   * BBQ chips  * My onion dip (made with carmelized onions and sour cream)
* Dr Pepper  and   *Gelato  (BTW I eat all of these in the regular weight gaining world.)

3. Five things you would do if you were a billionaire:
* Buy a house with enough rooms so that every kid would have their own room and play room (do you think that would end fighting?)  *Hire a maid to keep all 10 of those rooms clean.   * Hire a massuese to be on call 24/7.   *Hire an amazing chef to come give me in-home cooking lessons.  * Design my kitchen to be the ultimate cooking/entertaining spot  *Buy houses for all of my family members (Mom, Dad, both sisters and DJ's family). 

4. Three of your habits:  *Wake up 10 times a night to tend to crying kids  *Check my email compulsively  *Eat M&M's in groups of 2 matching colors

5. Five jobs that you've have had:  *Booking clerk in a men's jail   * Real estate agent  * Clerk in a bakery  *Cashier Supervisor in grocery store  *Pre-school teacher

6. Five places that you've lived:  *El Cajon, CA  *Santee, CA   *Spring Valley, CA  *Johnson City, TN  *Jonesborough, TN

7. Five things that you did yesterday:  * Checked my email  *Made the kids some food   *Checked  my email   *Went to Fun Expedition    *Checked my email

8. Five people you would want to get to know more about:  My 5 newest followers

9. Abortion: for or against it?  Personally I would not have one but I am pro-choice.

10. Do you think the world would fail with a female president?  I think that if we don't get one soon the world will fail.

11. Do you believe in the death penalty?  Yes

12. Do you wish marijuana would be legalized already?  It's not really a wish but I think if it was legal our jails would be a lot less overcrowded.

13. Are you for or against premarital sex?  As a person- sure.  As a mom- No way.  In fact you should wait until you are married and at least 30.

14. Do you think same sex marriage should be legalized?  Of course.

15. Do you think it's wrong that so many Hispanics are illegally moving to the USA?  Yes.  Come over legally.

16. Should the alcohol age be lowered to eighteen?  No.

17. Should the war in Iraq be called off?  Yes.

18. Assisted suicide is illegal: do you agree?  No

19. Do you believe in spanking your children?  Yes and on occasion I believe in spanking other peoples' children.  LOL ;)

20. Do you worry that others will judge you from reading some of your answers?  Not really.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Follow Me Fridays

The Trendy Treehouse


I am participating in Follow Me Friday at Trendy Treehouse.  Thanks for checking out my blog.  Happy following.




MckLinky Blog Hop

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My First Award!!

I very pleased to announce that I Heart Books has recieved its first award! 

The rules of having this reward;


1. Put this on your blog, whether as an entirely new post like I'm doing, or on your sidebar.
2. Choose 15 other newly discovered bloggers that you love, and award them with this.
3. Send them a message/comment to let them know. My favorite 15 blogs are:

1.  Sarah @ Blogger Chix Designs
2. Kimbo @ A Girl and A Glue Gun
3. Malinda @ A Gift Worth the Wait
4. Stephanie @ Dirt and Lace
5. Sarah @ Cars, Trucks, and Teething Rings
6.  Julie @ Busy Julie
7. Diane @ Created By Diane
8. Aunt Becky @ Mommy Wants Vodka
9.  Emilia @ My Little World
10. Christine @ Cute Stuff
11.  Mama Kat @ Mama's Losin' It
12. Meg @ In Which a Girl Reads
13. Tree @ Mother of Pearl It is
14. Kelly Jo @ Typing One Handed
15. The Girl @ The Girl Next Door Grows Up

Go check out these awesome bloggers!!  And thanks again to Stacey at A Novel Source for the award!!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Stealing Sunday

I got this from Cute Stuff who got it from someone else and so on and so forth.



1. Are you currently in a serious relationship?  Yes.  We have been married 10 years in December.

2. What was your dream growing up? To be a doctor.

3. What talent do you wish you had? I wish I was more "crafty"  Check out A Girl and a Glue Gun for someone who is very crafty!

4. If I bought you a drink, what would it be? Dr. Pepper

5. What was the last book you read?  Full Tilt by janet Evenovich

6. What zodiac sign are you? Aquarious

7. Any tattoos and/or piercings? Explain where.  2 holes in each ear lobe, cartilage pierced in left ear, tongue pierced, Tatoo of 3 (needs to be updated to 5) stars representing each of my kids.

8. Worst habit?  Swearing like a "drunken sailor".  LOL

9. What is your favorite sport? Football

10. Do you have a pessimistic or optimistic attitude? Realistic- a little of both.

11. Worst thing to ever happen to you?  Nothing? I am very blessed.

12. Tell me one weird fact about you. I love the smell of gas and chlorine.

13. Do you think clowns are cute or scary?  Super scary!!!

14. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be? Lose my 20 pounds of Baby weight.

15. Would you be my crime partner or my conscience? Partner in crime!

16. Ever been arrested? No but I worked at San Diego Central Jail for over a year.

17. If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it? Redo my living/dining room/kitchen area.

18. What's your favorite place to hang out at? Home

19. Do you believe in ghosts? Yes

20. Favorite thing to do in your spare time? Read.

21. Do you swear a lot? Didn't you read #8?

22. Biggest pet peeve? So many things...people who can't drive,  people who litter, people who are stupid...

23. In one word, how would you describe yourself? Smart

24. Do you believe/appreciate romance? Yes (what the hell kind of question is this?)

25. Do you believe in God? Yes

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sarah Addison Allen prize pack!

The Introverted Reader is giving away a 3 book prize pack.  Go check out her blog for all the details!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

400 Followers giveaway!!

In Which a Girl Reads is giving away a free book since she reached over 400 followers.  Contest ends tomorrow at 11 pm (eastern). So hurry and enter!!