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Apr 30, 2009

GIVEAWAY: "Made in the USA" by Billie Letts

Thursday, April 30, 2009

"Made in the USA" by Billie Letts releases May 4, 2009.

I'll be hitting 100 Posts this May, so in honor of that we are doing a few more giveaways then usual! Be sure to stay tuned to my blog so you don't miss something awesome!

Thank you to Hachette books for offering this book for 5 copies to my lucky Blog Readers.

"Made in The USA" is a touching tale about about two children looking for a place to call home. Lutie McFee's history has taught her to avoid people, to places, and to almost everything. With her mother long dead and her father long gone to find his fortune in Las Vegas, 15-year-old Lutie lives in the god-forsaken town of Spearfish, South Dakota with her twelve-year-old brother, Fate, and Floy Satterfield, the 300-pound ex-girlfriend of her father. While Lutie shoplifts for kicks, Fate spends most of his time reading, watching weird TV shows and worrying about global warming and the endangerment of pandas. As if their life is not dismal enough, one day, while shopping in their local Wal-Mart, Floy keels over and the two motherless kids are suddenly faced with the choice of becoming wards of the state or hightailing it out of town in Floy's old Pontiac. Choosing the latter, they head off to Las Vegas in search of a father who has no known address, no phone number and, clearly, no interest in the kids he left behind.MADE IN THE U.S.A. is the alternately heartbreaking and life-affirming story of two gutsy children who must discover how cruel, unfair and frightening the world is before they come to a place they can finally call home.

The rules:
1. For your First entry, Follow Me, AND leave a comment with your email address. If you are already a follower, let me know that too.
2. For Two Extra Entries, Blog This Contest. Leave me the link to your Blog post.
3. For One Extra Entry, Twitter about this Contest. Leave me your Twitter name so I can check up. (I am BurtonReview on Twitter)
You do not need to leave separate comments, all in one comment is fine. I will use Randomizer to select the winners. You must be 18 years of age or older to enter. The giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents only. NO P.O. Boxes. One winner per household/IP address. I will email the winners and they must respond within 72 hours.
This giveaway will end on Saturday May 16th Midnight E.S.T.
Good luck!

Apr 29, 2009

Review: St. Thomas's Eve or The Kings' Confidante by Jean Plaidy

Wednesday, April 29, 2009
St. Thomas's Eve or Kings' Confidante by Jean Plaidy

Reissue of St. Thomas's Eve is called "The King's Confidante" and is available on Amazon with the following specs: (my copy is the one shown)

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press (April 7, 2009)
ISBN-10: 030734620X
The Burton Review Rating:4 stars

Blurb from my copy: "St. Thomas's Eve is a beautifully conceived story of Sir Thomas More - scholar, Chancellor or England, man of integrity - who was snatched from the peaceful life of his family home in Chelsea, to die on the scaffold as the price of the opposition to the wild desires of his King."

This was a pleasure to read about Sir Thomas More, a notable figure among the prolific Tudor court of Henry VIII. Thomas More was a brilliant scholar and wrote "Utopia." You can't read a Henry VIII book and not have mention of the infamous Thomas More. Yet, we never get to see him in a personal tone until you read "St. Thomas's Eve" by Jean Plaidy. This novel does not focus on Henry VIII, it follows Thomas More's personal life as he marries, has children, remarries and becomes a grandfather. His star rises in the courts, albeit unwillingly, because of his talented way with words, and as a lawyer King Henry enjoys his unique intellect. Thomas is portrayed as very religious and honest to a fault. He opened his home to others, housing an orphan and then a step-child, and taught several gentlemen on site as well.

There were several poignant scenes that I enjoyed that involved More's children. The novel features all of them quite well: the eldest Meg, Mercy Gigs (the orphan), Elizabeth, Cecily, Jack and the step-daughter Alice Middleton (Ailie). The story is about how this quaint little family evolves and grows, and even when the girls marry they all live under one family roof. There is emphasis placed on the bond between Thomas and his eldest daughter, Meg, who becomes a Mrs. Meg Roper. There are a few introductions to some of the other notable figures of the times, such as Erasmus, Hans Holbein, the Howards of Norfolk and the Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and many of the other names are mentioned in passing in a gossiping nature. We hear about the problems with Catherine of Aragon to the "Frenchified" and deformed Anne Boleyn and "The King's Secret Matter".

Plaidy seemed to be on a mission to make the novel not read like a book of the Court Life, but truly focused on the travails of this family who struggled to control the way the vengeful court affected it. The More family wanted for nothing but each other and the freedom of learning. Thomas More did not want to be a courtier but you cannot say no to a King. As the children grew, Thomas was away more and more at the beck and call of the King. His children had their premonitions that all would not be grand for long, one false step and tragedy would be theirs.

Once things were set in motion in Henry's love life, Thomas disapproved. He tried to step away, but the King did not want any of his towns people to flock to More's views. All Thomas had to do was to acknowledge King Henry as the Head of the Church, after the break with Rome due to the Pope's not allowing the divorce of Catherine and Henry. Thomas stayed fast to his virtue, would not sign the Act of Supremacy, and also would not condone the marriage of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII. Plaidy successfully demonstrates the sadness the family feels when they realize that the humble happiness that they crave will not come to fruition.

Although history tells us what fate befell Thomas More, I was still emotional as Plaidy spelled it out for me. The love that his family had for him is palpable and heartbreaking, and I am glad to have had a glimpse of the personal side of Sir Thomas More. Plaidy shows us the family behind the martyr, and I feel much more enlightened about one of the greatest scholars of our time.

Waiting on Wednesday

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sponsored by "Breaking the Spine". This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Twilight of Avalon: A Novel of Trystan & Isolde (Paperback)by Anna Elliott
Releases May 5, 2009

Another pretty cover, and since I'm on a Tristan/Isolde kick this week (see my mailbox) this was fitting. I saw one rating for 2 stars on Goodreads for it, but there was no review.

The Blurb:
"Seven years ago, on the battlefield of Camlann, the great King Arthur was slain by Modred, his traitor son. And in the aftermath of battle, Isolde, daughter of Modred, was married to Arthur's heir, Britain's new high king, in a desperate bid to unite Britain's warring factions. But now Isolde's husband lies dead on another battlefield, and the Saxon tide that Arthur turned back is once more threatening Britain's shores. Only Isolde knows the truth: that her husband was killed, not by the Saxon enemy, but by a powerful nobleman who will stop at nothing to become the next high king. Mistrusted among the king's council for her father's treachery, and branded a witch by many for her skill at the healer's craft, Isolde's only hope for survival is Trystan, a mercenary warrior with a shadowed past. Together Isolde and Trystan must fight to protect the throne from the king's murderer, and expose a treasonous plot that could destroy Britain itself."

Read an Excerpt on Anna Elliott's website.

What are you waiting on?

Apr 28, 2009

Tuesday Teaser

Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should be Reading:
♦Grab your current read. Let the book fall open to a random page.
♦Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
♦You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendatons if they like the teaser you’ve given!
♦Please avoid spoilers!

I just picked this book up this AM to start it at Lunch time. "The Unfinished Clue" is a mystery by Georgette Heyer, reissued by Sourcebooks 2009

Lola, seated in a high-backed arm chair, was looking bright eyed and heroic. As the doctor came in, she was saying with great complacency: 'For me this is an affair extremely terrible. It is known that the General - whom, however, I forgive, for I am a very good Christian, I assure you- has been most cruel to me....'

*Two giveaways going on right now so be sure to check around. Have a great day!

Apr 27, 2009

Review: "Follow Me" by Joanna Scott *Blog Tour & Giveaway*

Monday, April 27, 2009

"Follow Me" by Joanna Scott

Category: FICTION
Publish Date: 4/22/2009
Price: $24.99/$27.99
ISBN: 9780316051651
Pages: 432
The Burton Review Rating:3.75

The book opens up with a guy jumping off a bridge.. and then we meet Sally the younger who decides to write the story that her grandmother, also Sally, told her to never write. I found myself getting lost in the family saga that began with Sally Werner/Sally Mole/Sally Bliss and reaches the granddaughter Sally.. Sally Werner is a teenager in 1947 when her life takes a left turn as she gets pregnant and ends up walking away from her newborn son. The aptly titled "Follow Me" has us following Sally as she meanders through her turbulent life. She has no real goals, she hops on buses or bumps into people and then lives off of the good-will of others. Eventually, we read about Sally falling in love, getting older, making strange choices and just getting used to life where she finally settles in some imaginative town in New York. The characters she meets are pretty much one dimensional and predictable yet the descriptions of what Sally sees and endures are easily rendered through the author's imaginative writing technique, which you could either love it or leave it. This is her life story for all its worth, and the fact that there is a lot of drama and issues that Sally endures is what keeps it going, however incredulous some events may seem.

The narrative is told with a concurrent storyline by the granddaughter of Sally, with the focus switching back and forth between the granddaughter and the grandmother. I am not a big fan of this, especially when we are talking about bouncing between 20+ years. Once the story gets going with the elder Sally, it feels like you are chugging along on a train and then the whistle blows and the brakes are squealing and STOP you are smack back into 20 years later again listening to the younger Sally. I think the author was trying to go for suspense, since she always squealed the brakes right when we reach a climax to Sally's storyline. But we don't see the younger Sally for too long of a period during the middle, it gets back into the elder Sally's life pretty quickly so it's a minimal complaint. Towards the end of the book there is even another way the book reads, as we are hearing word for word the contents of a recorded tape.

The writing itself is again in a league of its own, with one liners or phrases that are streamed together as if to show the subconscious thoughts of Sally. One can only take so much of the chatter (at some points it seems to be paragraphs of mumbles, questioning) although again I think the author is pulling for a sense of whimsy. And Sally the elder is definitely an impulsive one; she gets herself settled after one hardship, then she is off again running. The author at one point used an analogy of a theme park ride, going around in circles and no matter how much Sally ran she always came back to whatever it was she was running from. How logical and believable it can all be is an entirely new ball of wax..

And yet, even with these few criticisms of the book, I enjoyed the pace of the novel and the fact that I was always eager to pick up the book to see what foolishness Sally would get herself into next, no matter how mad she made me sometimes. I found myself caring for Sally and her legacy, and hoping she would for once make a sound decision. The viewpoint is unique due to the nature of the younger Sally discovering the wonders of her parents' union through the journey that the elder Sally had told her. And then it all finally ties back to the original guy jumping off the bridge, hence the notion that the choices Sally Werner made in her crazy life affected a lot of people.

The book teaches us about the bonds of the family, the strength of love and what the outcomes are when people are selfish with their love. Putting the book together with all of the writing techniques and Sally's idiosyncrasies, this is a book to be enjoyed for the package deal. The saga of Sally Werner, along with the wide array of people she meets is actually overall a page-turner and I do recommend it for those interested in feeling better about their own dysfunctional families.

The author Joanna Scott has written several novels & short stories with which she has won critical acclaim and awards. Her novel "Liberation" also portrays the stream-of-consciousness type of writing, and it has gotten good reviews as well, I think I might have to look into that one.

The wonderful Miriam at Hachette Books is once again hosting a Giveaway for 3 copies of this book! To enter:

1. For your First entry, Follow Me, AND leave a comment with your email address. If you are already a follower, let me know that too.

2. For Two Extra Entries, Blog This Contest. Leave me the link to your Blog post.

3. For One Extra Entry, Twitter about this Contest. Leave me your Twitter name so I can check up. (I am BurtonReview on Twitter)

You do not need to leave separate comments, all in one comment is fine. I will use Randomizer to select the winners. You must be 18 years of age or older to enter. The giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents only. NO P.O. Boxes. One winner per household/IP address. I will email the winners and they must respond within 72 hours.

This giveaway will end on Saturday May 23rd Midnight E.S.T.

There are 50 Blogs scheduled to be on tour for this, which is MASSIVE!
The whole list is posted at Drey's Library, and I am going to list some of the Blogs that I see have the reviews up so that you know to go visit those blogs as well. I wonder how all of our reviews will differ?

Here is half of the list:
Booking Mama
Peeking Between the Pages
Write for a Reader
My Friend Amy
S. Krishna's Books
The Epic Rat

Jenn's Bookshelf
T.V and Book Addict
Medieval Bookworm
The Book Chick
Amber Stults - Book Reviewer and Author
Allison's Attic
Diary of an Eccentric
Seaside Bookworm Blogger
Kylee's 2009 Blog
Savvy Verse & Wit
B&b ex libris
Bookin' with Bingo
A Bookish Mom
So Many Books, So Little Time

The Tome Traveller
Diary of An Eccentric
BermudaOnion's Weblog
Cafe of Dreams

Let me know if you would like your link here.

Review: "The Noticer" by Andy Andrews & Giveaway!

Monday, April 27, 2009

"The Noticer" by Andy Andrews
Published by the Thomas Nelson Group
The Burton Review Rating = 5, recommended for Everyone!

"Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perpective."

Jones is the humble elusive man that comes at the perfect moment to the people in the story conveniently when they would need him the most. Jones waves his magic wand with words that bring understanding to those that were out of the loop. Jones introduces himself as "the Noticer", he is the one person who notices the small things that are harming a person's perspective, and therefore their way of life. Each story is deftly woven throughout and we move swiftly from one glimpse of personal salvation to the next. This is not a self-help book that is difficult to follow, nor does it ask you to outright focus on your negative qualities. This is a touching story of how one man changed a lot of people for the better in an easy yet skillful way, and if you want to be one of them the I suggest reading the book.

Some examples of the topics covered: Communication is always the key to a good marriage. But what are the ways in which we communicate? We learn that there are different dialects, and certain forms of communicating per person, be it through words, emotions, hugs, gestures, etc. The key is to understanding who communicates in what way.

Smart people are said to be more creative, therefore they could be more illustrious in imagining and expanding on their worries and fears. The author suggests that we can worry ourselves to the point of self-destruction, and on the other hand we can battle the same depressive thoughts with logic. Why do we worry about things that have already happened? We cannot do anything about the past any longer. He offers us little writing exercises to show us what is important to us and get us to focus on those. Are you feeling a little under valued? Do you think your time here is useless? This book has a few answers to that. Chapter by chapter, a new lesson, another person is helped along. And then when you are done with the book, there is a Reading Guide to help you put into words what you have learned and gained from the book. Inspiring and touching the reader with the simple prose of Andy Andrews' and the wisdom of one drifter in a small community, a message that can touch and heal the wounds of many.

Written in such a way to be entertaining yet enlightening, Andy Andrews' book "The Noticer" is not just your average self-help book with do-good deeds. This book is one to keep handy, to re-read and highlight certain lines and the hidden clues to enrich your life. These are real and manageable suggestions for the average set of problems we face every day. And everything boils down to your perspective.

Highly recommended for everyone! Please also see my Noticer Project post, a national virtual event which launched April 07, 2009. Who has helped you along the way? Who would you nominate as positive influences in your life?

You can also join the Facebook Noticer Project page.

As for the Giveaway:
1. Become a Follower and leave me your email address in your comment. You must do #2 as well.
2. In your comment you need to either leave me a link to where your post is that you yourself have noticed 5 people, OR tell me why you think you would benefit from this book.

You must do both 1 and 2 to enter!!

I have TWO books to giveaway to two lucky commenters who enters in the USA. Ends May 19th.

Also visit Books and Needlepoint for her review with some more enlightening information from the book.

Mailbox Monday

Monday, April 27, 2009
Happy Monday!! I bought lots of books, so my total is 15 books this week! Woohoo! And also a Busy Monday for me today in the Book Blog World!

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.

We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. And I am adding what I purchased. Here's what I received during the last week:

From Paperbackswap:
Dorothy Dunnett's Niccolo series: The Spring of the Ram (book 2), The Race of Scorpions (book 3), and Scales of Gold (book 4) Now all I need is The Unicorn Hunt, (book 5) and Gemini (book 8)

The Walsingham Woman, by Jan Westcott. Mine is the 1963 version shown here, pretty cool. This one is about Frances Walsingham, married to Phillip Sidney first then the Earl of Essex. This ties perfectly with Holt's "My Enemy the Queen" which I ADORED.

The Romance of Tristan and Iseult by Joseph Bedier, this is the vintage 1965 edition so I'll have to be careful with it.

Romanovs: The Final Chapter by Robert Massie "provides answers, describing in suspenseful detail the dramatic efforts in post-Communist Russia to discover the truth. This unique story, written by Pulitzer Prize winner Robert K. Massie, presents a colorful panorama of contemporary characters, illuminating the major scientific dispute between Russian experts"

From a Giveaway by TeddyRose at So Many Precious Books So Little Time.. I got GALWAY BAY by Mary Pat Kelly, which is AWESOME I cannot WAIT to read this!! Thanks to Hachette Books and TeddyRose :)

From my local Library Sale, I bought:
"The Hollow Hills" by Mary Stewart, "The Secret Woman" by Victoria Holt, "Daughters of England" by Phillipa Carr (I know these are both Plaidy/Hibbert etc), and also
"The Secret Supper" by Javier Sierra : "Milan, 1497: Leonardo is completing The Last Supper. Pope Alexander VI is determined to execute him after realizing that the painting contains clues to a baffling and blasphemous message that he is driven to decode. The Holy Grail and the Eucharistic Bread are missing, there is no meat on the table, and the apostles, shockingly, are portraits of well-known heretics and none of them are depicted with halos. And why has the artist painted himself into the scene with his back turned toward Jesus? The clues to Leonardo's greatest puzzle are right before your eyes...."

For the Book Tour on June 8th held RIGHT HERE from Irene Watson (also of Reader Views among many other things):
2 SIGNED copies of the "The Sitting Swing: Finding the Wisdom to Know the Difference" by Irene Watson (*That means Giveaway Alert!)
From Irene's website: Irene Watson's pretentious life could go no further until she faced her own past. Her inspiring memoir begins at the end, in a recovery center, where she has gone to understand a childhood fraught with abuse, guilt, and uncertainty. Read more

From LibraryThing Member Giveaway for review: "Highway Tourette's by proxy" by Khristian E. Kay "Social conscious poetry. An acerbic review of the American ethic by a sojourning poet"

I am quite proud of a purchase through A-1 Books, which I ordered on the weekend and arrived Friday. For a total of $8.65 I received book 2 and 3 of the Isolde & Tristan trilogy by Rosalind Miles: "The Maid of the White Hands: The Second of the Tristan and Isolde Novels", and "The Lady of the Sea: The Third of the Tristan and Isolde Novels" (Both Hardcover First American Editions and Beautiful covers!) I've been waiting for the first one to appear from Paperbackswap though.

I also wanted to do a quick self-promotion and inform my lucky blog readers about two different Blog Tours with Giveaways and reviews being posted today.... so be sure to check out my other posts for today. Click on the Header picture above of Bess of Hardwick's Chatsworth to get to the 'whole' site.

Apr 26, 2009

The Sunday Salon *Giveaway Winners*

Sunday, April 26, 2009
The Sunday

Happy Sunday to everyone! It's a bit rainy here in Texas but we enjoyed the outdoors yesterday with the frisbee and the kite.

I wanted to post the winners of my book giveaway for Kevin Roose's "The Unlikely Disciple":

The top 5 winners are:

NightDweller, Bridget3420, Sharon54220, TaterTot, and Alyce

Congrats to you... Please respond to my email so that I can get the addresses out to Hachette.
I am going to have about 5 book giveaways (2 starting tomorrow) during May, so stay tuned!

Have a great Sunday everyone.. I'll be doing laundry, maybe some housework, and watching cartoons and th purple Barney.. but I really want to continue C.W. Gortner's "The Last Queen".. it is really good and was worth the wait. On May 5th the author will be here with a guest post, I am really excited about that!
Juana of Castile, (1479-1555), daughter of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile; Sister to Catherine of Aragon (1st wife of Henry VIII). Also known as Juana La Loca, Juana the Mad, and referred to as Joanna in its Latin form, she was the mother of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. She married Philip the Handsome, or Philip The Fair, of Burgundy, who became the first Hapsburg ruler in Spain.

Children from this marriage:Eleanor (1498 - 1558) Charles V Holy Roman Emperor (1500 - 1558) Isabella (1501 - 1526) Ferdinand I Holy Roman Emperor (1503 - 1564) Mary (1505 - 1558)Catherine (1507 - 1578)

Some believe Juana suffered from schizophrenia, which was exploited by the people closest to her: her husband, her father, and her son. They used her, and lied to her, for their own power plays. Juana was locked away and imprisoned, just as her maternal grandmother was.

In C.W. Gortner's novel of Juana, he attempts to portray the Queen as determined and brave, and to shed light on the mystery of her 'illness' as he writes through Juana's eyes.

Apr 25, 2009

Review: "What Would Jane Austen Do?" by Laurie Brown

Saturday, April 25, 2009
"What Would Jane Austen Do?" by Laurie Brown
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (May 1, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1402218311
Price: $6.99
The Burton Review Rating: 3 stars

Welcome to Regency England, Eleanor.. our heroine is having a bad day (despite the 12-pack on the cover) when she meets up with some ghosts during her stay at a hotel for a Jane Austen Conference. Sure, as a costume designer she wanted to learn all about the costumes and nuances of Jane Austen's England but she had no idea that she was going to wake up in 1814 and be left to fend for herself while on a mission sent from two (ghosts!) sisters who need her help. Eleanor tries not to stick out like a sore thumb as she is socializing with Dierdre and Mina whom she had first met as ghosts. Their brother Teddy had died, and it is Eleanor who is sent to prevent his duel with Lord Shermont, who is an agent for the crown investigating Napoleon’s spies. Somehow in the middle of the romance and trying to conform to the mannerisms Eleanor needs to change history so that she can return to the present.

As luck would have it, Eleanor learns that she is being courted by Teddy, yet she immediately senses a strong attraction to the mysterious Lord Shermont, as of course all the ladies have.
Eleanor seems to enjoy herself in this fluffy romance and gets to meet Jane Austen and socializes with ladies and gents of the Regency Era.

I enjoyed discovering Regency England through Eleanor's eyes; it was written with a Regency flair with not a lot of major events until the novel picked up the pace towards the end with an unexpected twist which was fortuitous. There was a nice wrap-up at the ending, although a bit contrived and roses and rainbows.. but I was glad that we learn the outcomes of the supporting characters. If you are looking for something new specifically on Jane Austen, this is not it although she is referred to numerous times. The Napoleon intrigue was not very developed, if it had been, it may have been a little less confusing and made me more interested in that historical aspect. The book gives the impression of having glazed over its topics for the sake of expediency. This is specifically about what Eleanor does during her time travel experience and how the ghost sisters wind up. The character of Eleanor is not very dimensional as she was strictly focused on her mission. So if you are ready for more of a no-brainer chick-lit romantic beach read without any major expectations, this is it for you. The author did her research as far as inventions and the types of things that Eleanor missed, such as medicine, bathing and the bathroom necessities of our day. The time travel aspect is a fun idea, and the costumes, dances and supporting characters helped round this book out. Perfect for a summer weekend read while watching the kids play!

The author, Laurie Brown, was once asked "If time travel were possible, would you go and whom would you want to meet?" and voila... we have this book, which is not her first time travel book. Mrs. Brown has cleverly blended time travel and historical romance in her second novel. This is full of romance, a hunky guy, and even some Jane Austen to boot, which I think Regency romance fans would enjoy.

For those of you who are interested more in Jane Austen, please see this Blog which has a lot of great posts about Jane Austen: Jane Austen's World

Apr 24, 2009

Friday Fill-In and Wrap Up and 500th Anniversary

Friday, April 24, 2009

Happy Friday everyone!! What a week... and today is going to prove to be a busy one for me (at least I won't be bored right?) But nothing about the word Audit is pretty. On to the much better topic of Blogging Biz of The Day.. we go!

1. Apparently there's some sort of rebellion against orderly conduct at my house.
2. Let's hope tomorrow is a sunny day.
3. 2009 is looking encouraging so far.
4.Our feet sunk further in the mud and that was it.
5. For too long I've been neglecting my household duties, but I'd rather read.
6. I am not obsessed with Paperbackswap; I am not!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to resting my tired eyes, tomorrow my plans include getting windblown at Grandma's and Sunday, I want to do nothing but I somehow need to get AT LEAST the top layer of miscellaneous Toddler Toys off the floors!
:: The Burton Review News::
Ok, now for my Tidbits of Blogging World..
Please stop by the author interview for Robin Kaye that we completed this week, along with the review of her latest release "Too Hot To Handle" which hits stores May 1st.
April 27 is going to be "The Noticer" Review, Blog Tour with all sorts of positive feelings.. the 5 people who helped encourage me along the way are detailed here.

April 27 is also the "Follow Me" blog tour, by Joanna Scott, with a lot of great blogs participating and a giveaway here for 3 copies of the book, courtesy again of Hachette Books. This book released April 22nd. Please stop by, as many of you may have read the book I would love to know how we differ in our opinions on the book.

For the month of May I will be hosting a few more giveaways courtesy of Hachette, so be sure to check in if you are interested.
May 5th I will have the author of "The Last Queen" here, C.W. Gortner
May 12 there will be a new Guest Post here by author Kendra Leigh Castle, author of "Wild Highland Magic" releases May 2009.
::Henry VIII News:::

This week was also the 500th Anniversary of Henry VIII's Accession to Throne of England (April 22, 1509). And what a reign he had. All the lucky people living across the pond will be treated to many events to commemorate the anniversary. Henry was born at Greenwich Palace and Mary I and Elizabeth I, were born and christened there; there is an interesting article about it here. I wonder how Englishmen truly react to Henry VIII, since he did change the course of history for them in more ways then one. Is he esteemed? Is he ridiculed?
A Henry VIII tapestry is going on display, with the 'virtual restoration' of a tapestry that was at Hampton Court 500 years ago.
And finally, there are selections from Henry VIII's love letters to Anne Boleyn which were found in the Vatican library. A shame we do not have Anne's responses. But wonderful to read these letters by the smitten Henry!
Alas, what shall I do for love?
Alas, what shall I do for love?
For love, alas, what shall I do?
Since now so kind I do you find To kepe you me unto.
Alasse! (A poem by our Henry)

More information on the letter that is on display by The British Library Exhibition can be found at The

And the crazy show "The Tudors" has been picked up for a Fourth Season. I caught about a half-hour of the show the other day and I just can't ease into it without knowing who is who. The toddler chatter in the background drowns out the English accents and I can't concentrate. And I think if I want to watch it I will have to start from the beginning to do it justice.

What Henry VIII news do you have? What are your plans for the weekend?

Apr 22, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sponsored by "Breaking the Spine"
This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

'Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Mystery' by Eric Ives will be published October 2nd 2009.

Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell (October 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1405194138

From the Back Cover: "Lady Jane Grey is the queen England rejected. In July 1553, Edward VI, the heir to Henry VIII, died after only a brief reign as a minor. His death left the Tudor dynasty in turmoil. In the aftermath, Jane Grey was proclaimed queen only to be ousted after thirteen days by Mary Tudor, Henry VIII’s bastard daughter. Seven months later she had Jane beheaded.
History has portrayed Jane as both a hapless victim of political intrigue and a Protestant martyr, but most of all as an irrelevance, hence the popular but erroneous label, the ‘nine days queen’. Revisiting the sources surrounding Jane Grey’s upbringing, Eric Ives challenges these views, presenting Jane Grey as an accomplished young woman with a fierce personal integrity, and England’s outstanding female scholar. He teases out the complex evidence of the 1553 crisis and dissects the moves and motives of each of the other protagonists: Edward VI himself, feverishly re–writing his will during his dying days; Mary Tudor, the woman who ‘won’ the crown; John Dudley, Jane’s father–in–law, traditionally the villain of the piece; and her father, Henry Grey. As the story moves through the summer of 1553 to Jane’s execution, we see these people as agents in Jane Grey’s unfolding tragedy and her eventual moral triumph. The result is a new and compelling dissection by a master historian and storyteller of one of history’s most shocking injustices."

Because they are similar and I couldn't choose which one, I an cheating a little and mentioning another book that I am also waiting on The Sisters Who Would Be Queen: Mary, Katherine, and Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Tragedy by Leanda de Lisle (also releases in October)and the author is intending to visit the Lady Jane Grey Reference Journal for a Q&A, so keep that one in your blog roll to follow up with that one when it becomes available.

What are YOU waiting on this fine Wednesday?

Apr 21, 2009

Interview: Robin Kaye, author of the Domestic God series

Tuesday, April 21, 2009
It's the moment I've been waiting for. My FIRST Author Interview! Thank you to Robin Kaye for graciously offering 2 signed copies of her book, "Too Hot to Handle" during my giveaway. And also I thank Danielle from Sourcebooks Casablanca for setting this up for us.
As part of the giveaway, I had asked my readers to come up with Questions specifically for Robin to answer, and now we have those Answers! Pull up a chair, get your coffee/frappuccino/tea/soda and let's have a chat. (because we have some great questions and answers!) Feel free to comment along, as Robin will stop by to show me some love later :)

My review is here of "Too Hot to Handle"

First off a little background so you can get the feel of Robin; this is what I have learned from the web in a nutshell: Robin is New Yorker at heart, having lived in the midst of Italians with all that flavor she brings it out in her writing as well. After living in several different states, she is now in Maryland with her husband and three kids and her animals. "Too Hot to Handle" is her second published book with Casablanca Authors. You can find her new release at Sourcebooks.
And here we go, we really bogged her down with some awesome questions!


Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog and having everyone submit questions. What a wonderful idea. Thanks to all those who did. I just received my first copies of Too Hot To Handle today and will be sending them out to the winners as soon as I get back from Romantic Times. I hope to see some of you there!
Thanks again for everything.


Robin Kaye J

Questions from Marie here at The Burton Review:
1. How long was the process from when you wanted to write a book, to the point of actually getting a publisher? I was toying with the idea for a while, but if I started the clock when I began “working” toward publication—the day I began writing Romeo, Romeo—approximately 3 years. I was incredibly lucky.
2. If you could not be a writer, what other profession could you see yourself realistically doing? I have no idea. Before I left work to stay home with my children, I was in insurance and investments sales and I hated it. I’ve done so many things, most involving sales, but I found that after I’d learned everything about the job, and it was no longer a challenge; I was bored to death. That’s what I love about writing. Once I learn everything I can, the book is done and I begin another and start learning everything there is to know about that one.
3. “Romeo, Romeo” and “Too Hot to Handle” are about Domestic Gods. Do you have plans for more in this series? Rich Ronaldi’s book, Breakfast In Bed should be out in November or December. I just spent the weekend at the Washington Romance Writer’s Retreat with my editor and she’s asked for a fourth Domestic God book. {Insert Marie squealing with delight!}
4. Do you think you would ever write anything other than a Romance? I never say never, but as of now I have no desire to write anything else. But, if I did, I wouldn’t hesitate. I’ve always written songs, poetry, short stories, whatever comes to mind. I believe if you can write, you can write just about anything.
5. What authors do you enjoy reading the most? In romance? Gosh that’s hard because I read so many. Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Nora Roberts, Susan Donovan, Donna Kauffman, Suzanne Brockmann, Janet Evanovich, Susan Mallery, Rachel Gibson, Maureen Child. The list goes on and on and on.
6. Which authors have inspired your own technique? I don’t think I’ve ever thought, “Gee, I want to write like this person.” and emulated him or her. I admire many authors, but I think it’s like looking at a beautiful person. You can dye your hair the same color, you can cut it in the same style, but that’s not going to turn you into a clone of that person. I think everyone can improve their writing, but how you write is as individual as your fingerprints. It has to do with your voice, your word choice, your background, ethnicity, so many things.
7. You have lived in several states. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? There are four places I’d love to live. Boise, Idaho because I absolutely loved living there. The people are great, the weather is perfect, and I spent ten of the happiest years of my life there. Florence, Italy is another place I fell in love with immediately. I stepped off the train and felt as if I was at home. It’s gorgeous, I love the architecture and the museums and the people were terrific. Plus it’s Italy, what’s not to love about Italy? The Park Slope section of Brooklyn is also one of the places I always felt at home. It has the energy of New York, without the stress.The other place I can definitely see myself living is on board a 100-foot sailboat in the South Pacific. I’d cruise between New Zealand and Australia, writing on the deck under the sun, slathered with SPF 2,0000.
8. Does your husband see himself as a Domestic God? Does he read your books? I don’t know if he sees himself as a Domestic God but I do and really, that’s what counts. He cleans, does laundry, and is a passable cook. Best of all, he’s very supportive of me and our kids. He’s the best Dad I’ve ever known and he’s definitely the best husband I can imagine. Yes, he reads my books and he is a great critique partner. I couldn’t have done any of this without him.
9.How important to you are online reviews/reviewers? I think they’re very important. Especially the good ones. {grin} I like that they’re written by people who love the genre and not someone who only reviews romances because it’s part of their job.

Questions from Fellow Bloggers/Lurkers:

10. Do you ever get a sudden burst of inspiration and just HAVE to write? I mean, in the middle of the night, while you're in the shower, or at other not-quite-ideal times. If so, do you actually rush to your computer/notebook and start writing, or what? (from Tiffany) Yes, I have been known to get out of bed in the middle of the night because I woke up with the answer to a problem I’ve been having and I’m scared to death I’ll forget it. I remember once driving home with my husband and then running into the house and right up to my office, still wearing my coat, to write down whatever it was. I also carry around my laptop wherever I go and will pull it out at inconvenient times just to jot something down. My brain is sieve-like and ideas come and go, so I have to write them down before I lose them.

11. Laptop or desktop? Hard copy or all on screen? Which provides better inspiration: washing dishes or being in the shower? (I guarantee Ms. Kaye will get that last one) asked by Susan Helene Gottfried at WinABook. Both, I write on my laptop at Starbucks while my daughter dances. I usually write on my desktop at home except first thing in the morning when I’m in bed. I’ll pull out my laptop and work while my three-legged cat cuddles with me.I do most of my editing on screen but will use a hard copy on the final pass. As for inspiration, it’s kind of both. In the shower is always good, but I also get inspiration while my husband washes the dishes. I don’t do dishes if I can help it.

12. I've always wondered what authors come up with first, the plot or the characters. Do you make up the characters and then fit them into a story or vice versa? (From Florida98) I usually have a scene in my head characters and all and then write a book from that scene. With Romeo, Romeo I saw Rosalie’s family around the dinner table. Then I thought about who would be the perfect, or not so perfect hero for Rosalie. Nick popped into my mind and I went from there. In Too Hot To Handle, Annabelle awoke wondering if ghosts have sex. The guy in bed with her was a dead ringer for her deceased fiancé.

13. I would like to know what is the question that nobody asks you about being a writer, that you would like to answer in order to share your experience. And if it is not a question about writing, is it a question about yourself that you'd like to share the answer/experience? Thanks so much for your time, we blogger's and readers learn so much from author's interactions through the's an amazing time we live in today!From Darby That’s a hard one. Hmm….probably what it’s like working on deadline. Maybe because it’s obvious, why else would the word dead be part of it? That’s the hardest part of writing under contract, that and the fact you’ll be in the middle of writing one book and have to stop and do copy edits, galleys or revisions on another. Switching gears is really difficult and the deadlines tend to overlap. Right now I’m in the middle of a blog tour for Too Hot To Handle and I have 2 ½ weeks to complete my revisions for Breakfast In Bed and one of those weeks, I’ll be in Florida at Romantic Times. Deadlines are hell but it’s better than the alternative.

14. Are all of your characters based on people you know? If not, where do they emerge from? (From MJ Coward) Yes and no. Some of my characters have some of the characteristics of people I know, but except for Dave the dog, all the characters are amalgams of many people. Dave was actually my dog Clancy with a sex change. In my next book, Breakfast In Bed, I have Tripod, a three-legged cat who is exactly my cat named Raja (we had him before he lost his leg or I would have called him Tripod.) He’s as real as they come, believe it or not.

15. - What has been your greatest inspiration for your writing? Greatest inspiration – Life and boredom. Writing keeps me relatively sane. If I don’t write, I’m not happy. It’s a form of therapy. I’ve always had characters running around my head. I can’t control it, I don’t know where they come from, but they’re always there and they force me to write about them. It’s a gift.

- If you weren't writing, what would you be doing now? I’d be doing the same exact thing I’m doing now except I wouldn’t have deadlines. I’d write, I’d home school one of my kids, I’d drive her back and forth to dance and I’d write at Starbucks.

- What bothers you the most about other author's work? (All from Rachie) There is only one time I remember being so bothered, I threw a book against the wall and refused to finish reading the book. It was when the heroine did something that was so grossly out of character, I couldn’t believe it. That was it for me, but that’s only happened once. I get mildly irritated when authors use sayings like “he thought angrily.” If we’re in his point of view, we should know he’s thinking and we should know he’s angry without being told.

16. Do you know any men who can cook and clean really good? That would be so nice if you did know a man like that. (From Pretty) My husband is a great cleaner a passable cook, and can fix anything. I love that about him. He can build you a house and then clean it. I do know several Domestic Gods, they’re out there ladies, but they tend to be quiet about it. Why, I don’t know. If I were them, I’d be screaming it from the rooftops. There’s nothing sexier than a man cleaning and cooking and if he wears a tool belt at times, all the better. {vbg}

17. Having a household with a husband and kids, it is difficult to switch gears from being a mother to a writer? Do thoughts of all the things you have to do on a daily basis pop into your head when you are writing? Do you zone out or are you swarmed with "What do I make for dinner, I really need to do loads of laundry...etc"? (From Yes, yes, and yes. I zone out while I’m writing at Starbucks, at home it’s much more difficult to not think about errands, making the kids eye doctor appointments, home schooling and everything else.

18. I would love to know if author's base their characters on people they actually know or if they just randomly think up these people in their minds! I am not a writer and that is one of the main reasons why. My characters have absolutely no depth. (From Katie) Some characters have characteristics of people I know. For instance, Aunt Rose is a little of my great aunt and a little of a friend of mine. Vinny and Mike are unlike anyone I’ve known so it’s really a bit of both.

19. I would like to know how to you get over writers block and if you even suffer from it at all? (From The Give Away Diva)Yes, I suffer from writers block. I’ve been known to just sit there and stare at the screen, if that doesn’t work, I’ll write long hand. I also have a deck of cards, The Observation Deck: A Tool Kit for Writers (Past & Present) by Naomi Epel, I pull a few cards out and try doing what they suggest. Sometimes I find when I’m blocked it’s because something is wrong with the plot. I’ll go back and reread what I have and see if I can find the problem. If all else fails, I call my friend April and she says something like “Well, you’re just avoiding writing the black moment because it’s going to be difficult.” I realize she’s right and get back to work.

20. My question would be: what would you love to write about but don't feel you know enough about yet to go into? (From Valorie) If I didn’t know enough about something to write about it, I would do a lot of research until I felt comfortable enough to jump in. I know I want to write a book about a sailing team. I know it’s going to take a ton of research—which is probably why I have yet to write it. It’s next on my list of things to do after the 4th Domestic God book. I have a great source who is willing to put up with all my stupid questions and is fun to pester, so I’m looking forward to it.

21. Do you believe in ghosts? Yes. My cousin’s grandmother haunts her house. She is not a scary ghost, just mischievous. For instance, after she died all her tax papers disappeared until the day before they had to be filed. She’s even come to visit me once. I’d sent my aunt a Mass/Christmas card so someone would pray for her mother every day for a year. I loved the woman, but no one is perfect and I figured she might need some help out of purgatory. That day I had all the kids down for a nap and was doing the lunch dishes when my toaster oven dinged. I hadn’t turned it on, I hadn’t used it all day, but sure enough, it was warm. Then I went to call someone and I noticed that my telephone book and napkin holder were both missing (I always kept both on top of my microwave.) The napkin holder didn’t bother me, but it was the Christmas Season and this was before speed dial so I didn’t have anyone’s addresses or phone numbers for over a month. Then, one day, the napkin holder and phone book just reappeared.

What's your favorite book?Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice or Reflections Without Mirrors by Louis Nizer

How long does it take for you to write a book? (All from another Marie)I’ve written a book in 3 months but I wouldn’t want to do that again. It was absolutely no fun.

22. Where is your favorite place to write and what is is one thing you have to have with you? (From Debbie) The Starbuck’s at Carlisle Crossing in Carlisle, PA and I must have coffee.

23. Which character from a book you've read, no matter how long ago, do you still find yourself wondering about? (From Amy Castellano)Mr. Popper from Mr. Popper’s Penguin’s.

24. When did you know that you were going to be an author? Are we talking childhood ambition, teen inspiration, or adult-onset? (From Vanessa) I’ve always been a writer and knew that from before I can even remember, but it never occurred to me to be an author. Writing was fun and not work. I didn’t think I could get paid to have fun. It wasn’t until I was probably 2003 or so that a friend of mine read some of my work and told me I should get it published. As if it were that easy! At first, I thought she was kidding. She planted the seed and I began thinking about it. After I finished the project I’d been working on, I began writing Romeo, Romeo and working toward publication.

25. What is the cover story on your book? What did you think when you received the first cover copy on "Too Hot to Handle?" did you make any changes from the first printing? What is your favorite part about it? I love to read about cover story's! (From Polo Pony) I’m not sure what you mean about the cover story. I did have a nightmare cover with Romeo, Romeo. The first cover they came up with was a man’s hand in a green latex glove with a spray bottle. All I could think of was OBGYN or proctologist. I called my editor and told her very nicely that real men don’t wear latex, at least not on their hands. {grin} Thank God she agreed.I love the cover for Too Hot To Handle. I think it’s perfect. I didn’t ask them to change a thing. I was thrilled because the guy on the cover even has blonde arm hair—I have it as a screen saver so I can tell. {grin} I can’t stand when they have pictures of the hero or heroine on the cover of a book and the character looks nothing like them. I also love the yellow and blue kitchen. It’s fabulous.

There you have it folks!! I thank Robin for taking time out of her extremely busy schedule, and I am so excited that we can look forward to the third book coming, Breakfast In Bed should be out in November or December, and she has agreed to do a fourth!

Please read my review of "Too Hot to Handle", I really recommend the book as pick-me-up, it was delicious!

Teaser Tuesday

Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should be Reading:
  • Grab your current read. Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendatons if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

From "Follow Me" by Joanna Scott p 270:

"At home, her daughter grew prouder as she grew taller, her legs stretching into stilts, adding three inches to her height in a year. Nothing Sally did was right in the girl's eyes. She overcooked the hamburger, she undercooked the peas, she rode the bus to the grocery store, she drank too much and sang too loudly."

Ok, so I cheated with three sentences for effect.

Please check out my post for The Robin Kaye Interview, Brand Spanking New fresh for today. It was a lot of work for Robin, we really fired a lot of questions at her!

Apr 20, 2009

Review: "Too Hot to Handle" by Robin Kaye

Monday, April 20, 2009

"Too Hot to Handle" by Robin Kaye
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (May 1, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1402217668, Price $6.99
The Burton Review Rating= 4

In this snappy sequel to Robin Kaye's first Domestic God novel "Romeo, Romeo", the author Robin Kaye brings back supporting characters and makes Annabelle Ronaldi's love life the focus this time around. If you haven't read the first book, there is no need to worry. I haven't read it yet but plan on going back and reading it because "Too Hot to Handle" was so much fun I can't wait for more of it. This was my introduction to a Domestic God: he happily cooks, cleans, does your laundry and looks gorgeous doing it. (SOLD!)

This frisky story brings us to Annabelle and Mike as they meet up at Annabelle's sister's wedding. Mike is perfect in all ways but there are mysterious undertones in each of their lives that makes this book more than just your average romance romp. Annabelle is recovering from her past relationships, and Mike is pretty much the Knight in Shining Armor that any woman would love to have knock on her door, besides the fact that he's a doctor. Yet he too has the troubling background which adds itself to the mystery facet of the novel. As these mysteries unfold, their mutual enchantment with each other is threatened. The favorite characters from the first novel are brought back as the secrets and mysteries unwind, and their dysfunctional family twists add humor and entertainment.

This is one of those books that alludes to the major turning point in the mystery, yet you pretty much know what it is. This is my one criticism especially because it was hinted at immediately in the book, before actually letting the reader get involved in the suspense of it.
But I loved it for the rollicking sexual attraction and for the high-spirited style of writing which made it more than just a erotic love story. If you like Janet Evanovich as I do, you will enjoy Robin Kaye. This book is an easy victory for Robin Kaye and I look forward to more of her accomplishments.

I am just sorry I had already said I would give away my Advance Reading Copy. Dopey me.

Recommended for those who enjoy Contemporary Romance, and Chick-Lit.

You can also find Robin at The Casablanca Authors Blog, and you can read Chapter One of "Too Hot to Handle" here.

Robin is going to visit the blog to answer all the Questions that all of my commenters asked her last month!


Mailbox Monday

Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy Monday!! Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. And I am adding what I purchased.. bad, bad girl...
Here's what I received during the last week:
From a Surprise Giveaway from My Friend Amy : A box of chocolates & goodies for Easter woo hoo and oh yeah:

Etta: A Novel by Gerald Kolpan (Fictional account on the life of Etta Place, outlaw and paramour of William Sundance Kid Longabaugh)

The Glister by John Burnside (An abandoned chemical plant is slowly poisoning its rapidly declining population. Greed and indifference in a coastal town.)

The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. (Book 1 in the Trilogy) by Sandra Gulland
The Last Great Dance on Earth (book 3) by Sandra Gulland
Niccolo Rising, book one by Dorothy Dunnett
"Mary Tudor: The Spanish Tudor" By H.F.M. Prescott

"The Blue Notebook" by James Levine (Requested from ShelfAwareness) A haunting yet astonishingly hopeful story of a young Indian prostitute who uses writing and imagination to transcend her reality.

From Hachette Books to Review:
"Boneman's Daughters" by Ted Dekker
"Follow Me" by Joanna Scott (April 27 Blog Tour Book, got here a bit late!! But I'm halfway done)

Apr 19, 2009

Sunday Short: Giveaway Alerts etc.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hello All!

It's the end of the 24 Hour ReadAThon, and I am impressed with those that really were able to put their all into it! Maybe next time I can really participate but with little kids around that is doubtful. My measly progress was entered here on yesterday's post.

The Giveaway for Laura Rider's Masterpiece ended yesterday, and I put the list of names into the Randomizer.. The winners have been emailed and they are: Gwendolyn, Heidi, and CarolSue. Congratulations to you all, and Thank you to everyone who participated.

Speaking of Giveaways, go on over to So Many Precious Books, So Little Time to check out her post on Giveaways Galore!

Theere is also a Book Giveaway at Popin's Lair that ends April 22nd, for "The Lost Hours" by Karen White.

Visit Alaine's Reading Blog to see how she did on the 24 Hr. ReadAThon (she had so much fun!), and then check out her giveaway for the first two books in Christine Feehan's Drake Sister Series. Ends April 28th.

Gwendolyn is hosting her FIRST Giveaway EVER at "A Sea of Books" for Made in The USA by Billie Letts; ends May 10th.

Teddyree at The Eclectic Reader is hosting a giveaway for "The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas" by John Boyne, ends April 28th.

Drey at Drey's Library is celebrating Earth Day (April 22nd) with a major giveaway of 6 books total for 5 sets! Enter Here, ends April 30th.

Things to look forward to here at The Burton Review:
"The Unlikely Disciple" Giveaway ends April 25th
"The Noticer" Project Book Review & Giveaway will launch April 27
Blog Tour of "Follow Me" by Joanna Scott, April 27th (giveaway)

Guest Authors:
C.W. Gortner "The Last Queen" visits May 5th to promote his paperback release.
During the week of April 20th, Robin Kaye will answer your Questions that you submitted previously.. (my review to precede of "Too Hot To Handle")

Kendra Leigh Castle will visit May 12th, and giveaway for an ARC of her lastest Paranormal romance.. (My review to precede of "Wild Highland Magic")

I hope to see you visiting, and I will be visiting you!

Apr 18, 2009

Review: "The Girl She Used To Be" by David Cristofano

Saturday, April 18, 2009

"The Girl She Used To Be" by David Cristofano
Price: $22.99/$25.99
ISBN: 9780446582223
Pages: 256
The Burton Review = 3.5 Pretty Good!

This is a debut novel by David Cristofano and he really did very well; it is a suspenseful page turner with threats of violence and romance. Melody is a 26 year old woman who has been in the Federal Witness Program since she was a child. She lost her parents and has no one who knows who she is or who she was except for the bad Mafia guys. Full of psychological issues as she is trying to conform to what the Feds try to identify her as, she wants to fill the void and feel real. She has been assuming the made-up identity since she was six and fleeing from one place to the next for most of her life.

Then she meets one of the sons of the feared Mafia family, Jonathan, who is promising to help her. She is then torn between feeling alive and the reality of the situation. Should she trust him? Should she be swayed by his power, his good lucks or just the fact that someone is paying attention to her?
This is well written and fast paced; the sarcasms that Melody imparts are understandable and believable. The fact that Melody gives credence to one of the bad guys is a bit difficult to swallow regardless of how sheltered she has been, but the author tries very hard to convey the desperation that Melody was feeling. With a rush of Billy Idol and the Scorpions and a red convertible Audi, Melody is searching for the freedom to live as she never has before.

The finish of the book wasn't the predictable happy ending but was satisfying; I enjoyed it as a quick read and I would recommend it for those in search of a general fiction fix.

24 Hour Dewey Spring Read A Thon

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The First Meme for the Read A Thon:

Where are you reading from today?
"The Girl She Used to Be" by David Cristofano;"The Noticer Project" by Andy Andrews; "Follow Me" by Joanna Scott
3 facts about me …
How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? 3
Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)? I've got a family to attend to and laundry so I can't go all out and JUST read.. but I'll do my part :) If I can read those three books that would be awesome and to create their reviews.
If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, Any advice for people doing this for the first time? I am doing this for the first time.

The Burton Review Progress:
Book One "The Girl She Used To Be"
It's is 9:33am, I am on Book one, page 121 of 241.
10:30 AM After starting a load of laundry and a Cocoa Puff Debacle I am on page 174.
12:00 PM Finished! Have to check in on everyone, and write the review.
12:47 PM finished Review, the laundry.. the kids are a little stir crazy, but I hope to start Book Two at 1:00
3:25 pm ummm Not doing too good on the reading, but I am on page 48 of "The Noticer Project" book two. April 27th is the Virtual kick off for this book so check back then! (giveaway alert!)
8:34PM Finished "The Noticer", my book #2 and Review is written and scheduled to post 4/27/09.
SO Two Books Read aka roughly 410 pages
8:53 pm, about 14 hours after I picked up the first book, I am about to begin the third (Follow Me, by Joanna Scott)
UPDATE: I read to page 96, and fell asleep around 11:00 PM.. :) I knew there was NO WAY I could keep myself awake regardless of all the Tea I drank. So I'll just continue reading "Follow Me" today but I am not even in the mood to feel rushed through this one. It is a very good story so far, and a thick 420 pages. This is also the Blog tour scheduled for April 27. That's a big day for me (The Noticer Project) and of course I am being audited that day at work.
Others doing the ReadAThon:
S. Krishna at S. Krishna's Books; Alaine from Alaine's Reading Blog; TeddyRee at The Eclectic Reader
Are You Participating?

Apr 17, 2009

COOL BLOGS!! Why I blog..

Friday, April 17, 2009
Okay so I just wanted to my two cents in. I was doing my normal meandering around my blogosphere of fellow book junkies and read My Friend Amy's Post in reaction to another post.. I started writing this really long drawn out comment to that on her post, and I felt maybe I should do a post here myself. (I wonder if long comments on other's blogs are appreciated or irritating?)
And then as I do this post, I hope Amy doesn't think I'm stealing.. LOL.. so everyone go over to Amy's blog and comment OVER THERE too.. (Amy is COOL though so she won't mind)!

The issue is the fact that Blogs are at risk at becoming everything that implies a social network. This means the geeks, the jocks... lol... Can you imagine?! So amongst Book Bloggers, are we all nerds? Perhaps. Do we care how we are specifically labeled? Not really. Most book bloggers I "know" are simply here to be a book blogger. Some have goals, like Amy. Some are just doing it to pass the time and enjoy a brighter life because of it, like me.

So there is a discussion over there at ExLibrisBB about whether or not certain Bloggers are idolized regardless of their quality... I haven't really seen it happen that way though. People visit the blogs they want to. I do not see it as being a form of idolization. (Is that a word?) This actually is not high school, this is internet browsing pleasure and to try to conform a wide group of individuals is foolish.
Things that make you go hmmm..
As far as Bethany's question about reviews not being any better than anyone else's: Let me just say that I know I am certainly not one of the bloggers being idolized, I also know I do not have such fantastic reviews either. I am not a writer, I am a woman of opinions. Therefore I blog about books and how I reacted to them. Then if I can throw in a giveaway, woo hoo that's fun for everyone. If I write a review that makes someone learn something about a book, then I've done my job as a book blogger in my opinion. And I didn't intentionally start my blog as a BOOK Blog, if you look in the beginning of my posts you'll get some odd struggles for a start of a general blog. Then I found it easier to write a book review instead of a personal post, and that's how it evolved. No one in my family was interested in my personal thoughts .. boo hoo.. so I scratched that whole thing altogether.

So if I want to be serious about my blog.. which I am aiming to be seriously entertained by it, let's say my goal is to make as many friends as possible yet not feel stressed about maintaining a blog. And actually the way I am making friends is through commenting on OTHER people's blogs, so it wouldn't really matter if I had a blog or not, would it?
Am I cool? (Only when I want to be) Do I have a cool blog? (It works for me, so yes; I enjoy my playlist all day long)..
Are you cool? (Probably!) Does anyone really truly care? (Not really)

"I'M COOL... I'M COOL" (shake your hips..)
You go girl..

The End.