Philosophy is defined as a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of activity or thought. Well, my theory is if I can add at least 10 new books to my Wishlist and move at least 5 older Wishlist selections to my TBR list every month, then life is a ice cream sundae. And if I can find those 10 books from at least 5 new blogs each month then that's the cherry on top.


Well, I've made it almost 5 years now, so for better or worse, I continue on. I tend to blog in spurts as the urge to be creative erupts. As I don't have an artistic bone in my body, you will see very few changes in the layouts. Hey, I'm a reader not an artist like so many of the awesome bloggers I follow. I know you don't always have the time but if you stopped and looked, take a half a minute and say your piece. Recommend a book that you have enjoyed or hated for that matter. Thank you to all who visit.
Oh, and I moved my Google Friend Connect info and share this buttons to the top, as without our friends, who are we?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Evernight by Claudia Gray Free Read from Harper/Teen

Bianca wants to escape. 
She's been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in. 
Then she meets Lucas. He's not the "Evernight type" either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him. 
"I couldn't stand it if they took it out on you," he tells Bianca, "and eventually they would." 
But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart . . . and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed.

Want to rest this book? Harper/Teen has it available at their Browse Inside spot here .

You can check out my review here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mystify by Artist Arthur 3 1/2 *

Title: Mystify
Author: Artist Arthur
Genre: YA Paranormal
Rating: * * * 1/2
Publishers Date: January 18, 2011
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN: 0373534310
FTC Disclosure: ARC e-book from Net Galley

Sometimes being an outsider is the best way to fit in…

Sasha Carrington has grown up feeling like an outsider, and her parents are too concerned with scaling the Lincoln, Connecticut, social ladder to even notice her. They’d be really horrified to know about the supernatural abilities Sasha and her friends Krystal and Jake possess. But as part of the Mystyx, Sasha has found her place.
Now her parents have suddenly taken an interest in everything she does, and their timing couldn’t be worse. Sasha’s father wants her to become BFFs with snooty Alyssa Turner, who hates Krystal for stealing her boyfriend. Then there’s Antoine Watson, the boy Sasha has liked forever, the boy her parents would never approve of. But with the dark side getting more dangerous by the day, and the Mystyx’s own powers growing in unexpected ways, Sasha is facing choices that could affect her friends, her love life—and even her destiny…

One of the main things I enjoyed about this book was the main character, Sasha, she was a feisty kick-ass girl who despite pressure from family and so called friends, did not give in to the "I'm rich so therefore I'm better than you" train of thought. She was so much more refreshing than the whiny Krystal. I like that though tested, the friendship of the Mystyxs held firm. When you perceive yourself as "odd" and an outsider, it's comforting to have the unconditional support of friends. While this book did move along the storyline a lot more, I was a bit disappointed in the abrupt ending. Yes, it's a series so there's got to be a cliff hanger, but I guess I've been conditioned by series books to expect at least one bad guy per book to get his just desserts while the storyline moves on to the next character. I was pleased to see that "Mayham", (can't help but have the wonderful Allstate commercials flash through my mind, lol) book 3 centers around Jake and is due out on July 19th (WooHoo! my birthday) so I can't wait to tune back in for my Mystyx fix.


1. Manifest (2010)
2. Mystify (2011)
3. Mayhem (7/19/2011)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

CSN Winnings Spent

Traut - 4305B - Full Mini Cubby Bench in Black

A while back I won a $100 gift certificate from ~Terri at Alexia's Books and Such...and the great folks at CSN. As I was redecorating an empty bedroom and turning it into my office/library of course I decided to get a bookcase or desk to go in there. I spent hours pouring over the CNS for just the right item to go in my newly painted and papered office. I finally decided on the black Mini Cubby Bench by Traut. It arrived in a very timely manner and with nothing more than my electric screw driver, I had it very quickly put together. The instructions were very concise and easy to understand. As I had taken the louvered doors off the closet and opened it up to use for my office supplies, I decided to put the Cubby inside and put my All-in-one printer on top of it. This had it at an excellent level to use and with the extra cubbies, I had room to not only keep my copy paper and ink cartridges but space to keep my snuggy blanket that I often threw over my feet in the winter and other goodies. I’ve used this a couple of weeks now and it was an excellent use of the gift certificate. It is very sturdy and I whole heartily recommend it. I also saw that the same manufacture has a full sized bench that I plan on getting and placing in our mudroom. It will be an excellent place to sit and remove your outside shoes and store them in the cubby holes.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Philippa Gregory's "Earthly Joys" series- 4*

  I wonder what they do with all those flowers.
The Netherlands in May

 At first glance, it looks like a giant child armed with a box of crayons has been set loose upon the landscape. Yet far from being a child's sketchbook, this is, in fact, the northern Netherlands in the middle of tulip season. The Dutch landscape in May is a kaleidoscope of color as the tulips burst into life. The bulbs are planted in late October and early November. More than three billion tulips are grown each year and two-thirds of the vibrant blooms are exported, mostly to the U.S. and Germany

 After you enjoy these colorful pictures, check out this fabulous series by Philippa Gregory. If you like historical fiction or gardening, these are excellent books that give you some insight into the history of plants and gardens of the royal family. I loved them both and give them a 4* rating.

Tremendous historical novel of the early 1600s, as seen through the eyes of John Tradescant, gardener to the great men of the age. A traveller in a time of discovery, the greatest gardening pioneer of his day, yet a man of humble birth: John Tradescant's story is a mirror to the extraordinary age in which he lives. As gardener and confidante to Sir Robert Cecil, Tradescant is well placed to observe the social and political changes that are about to sweep through the kingdom. While his master conjures intrigues at Court, Tradescant designs for him the magnificent garden at Hatfield, scouring the known world for ever more wonderful plants: new varieties of fruit and flower, the first horse chestnuts to be cultivated in England, even larches from Russia. Moving to the household of the flamboyant Duke of Buckingham, Tradescant witnesses at first hand the growing division between Parliament and the people; and the most loyal of servants must find a way to become an independent squire.

Terrific, free-standing sequel to the historical bestseller EARTHLY JOYS, as John Tradescant the Younger witnesses the English Civil War and its aftermath from his position as royal gardener. John Tradescant the Younger has inherited his father's unique collection of plants along with his unerring ability to nurture them. But as gardener to Charles I, he confronts an unbearable dilemma when England descends into Civil War. Fleeing from the chaos, John travels to the Royalist colony of Virginia in America. But the virgin land is not uninhabited. John's plant hunting brings him to live with the native people, and he learns to love and respect their way of life just as it is threatened by the colonial settlers. In the new world and the old, the established order is breaking down and every family has to find its own way of surviving. For the Tradescants, through the upheavals of the Commonwealth and the Restoration, this means consolidating their reputations as the greatest gardeners in the country.



Their dazzling colors are thanks to the years in the 17th century when tulip mania swept the 
globe and the most eye-catching specimens changed hands for a small fortune. But like a 

Rainbow, this colorful landscape is a short-lived phenomenon. When the flowers are gone, 
the land will be cultivated for a rather more mundane crop of vegetables. The Netherlands 

produce more than nine million bulbs a year.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bonded By Blood by Laurie London 4 1/2 *

Title: Bonded by Blood
Author: Laurie London
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: * * * * 1/2
Publishers Date: January 18 2011
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: HQN Books
ISBN: 037377544X
FTC Disclosure: Provided by Publisher through

Movie location scout Mackenzie Foster-Shaw has always known that she's cursed to die young. No one can protect her from the evil that has stalked her family for generations - vampires who crave her rare blood type. Until one afternoon in a wooded cemetery, she encounters an impossibly sexy stranger, a man she must trust with her life.

For Dominic, a man haunted by loss, Mackenzie satisfies a primal hunger that torments him - and the bond they share goes beyond heat, beyond love. She alone can supply the strength he needs to claim his revenge. But in doing so, he could destroy her..

This was such an easy story to get sucked in to. When I started it, I was totally captivated. I loved the world that London built and was tickled to hear that this was a series. Dominic and Mackenzie were great characters and I can't wait to visit with them again in "Embraced by Blood" due out in June this year, London's next book that follows Dom's brother, Alfonso.
Mac has always known that her family was cursed. She doesn't know why, but members of her family have been disappearing for generations. While out scouting a movie location, she encounters Dominic who has been shot and left for dead. Because she is a "Sweetblood", her blood saves Dom but causes an unusual bonding with him. This bonding and world building by London were only two things that reminded me of the early Feehan books that started my love affair with this genre. The presence of "good" and "bad" vampires was another. I hope that this series has the longevity of Feehan's and certainly will be there for the ride. 

1. Bonded By Blood (2011)
2. Embraced by Blood (2011)

Aztec Gold by Caridad Pinero 4 *

Title: Aztec Gold
Author: Caridad Pineiro
Genre: Paranormal romance
Rating: * * * *
Publishers Date: January 3, 2011
Kindle: 264 KB 35,500 words
Publisher: Carina Press
FTC Disclosure: Net Galley

Six months ago, Cynthia Guerrera's lover and fellow archaeologist Rafael Santiago trekked into the Mexican jungle in search of one of the fabled Cities of Gold—and never emerged. Guilty over their parting, Cynthia won't rest until she knows what happened. When the discovery of a conquistador's journal corroborates Rafe's intended path, Cynthia is determined to finally leave the safety of the museum to rescue him, despite the conquistador's dire warnings, and her own traumatic past.

Arriving at a remote village deep in the jungle, Cynthia is both elated and angered to find Rafe alive. But he is far from well, having watched his team be decimated by a bloodthirsty demon-goddess. When Rafe reveals he has been gifted with supernatural powers—powers he plans to use to kill the beast and save his brother, still held captive in the temple—Cynthia must face her own inner demons to fight alongside the man she loves.

While I don’t normally buy or read novellas, since Aztec Gold was written by Caridad Piniero, I knew I had to give it a read. I loved the mythology and was amazed at the amount of storyline that was crammed in this short story. I can’t say that I connected with the romance, it seemed a bit on the surface, but the action and the pace of the story had me reading it in one seating. My hope is that this will be a prequel to a new series by Caridad. If so, I’ll be the first in line to buy it.

Brought to You by Robert


Fable of the Porcupine
It was the coldest winter ever.  Many animals died because of the cold.  The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided
to group together.  This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest
companions even though they gave off heat to each other.  After a while, they decided to distance themselves one
from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen.  So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their 
companions or disappear from the Earth.  Wisely,  they decided to go back to being together.  This way they learned 
to live with the little wounds that were caused by the close relationship with their companion, but the most important 
part of it was the heat that came from the others.  This way they were able to survive. 
The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but the best is when each individual
learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person's good qualities.
The Moral of the story:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Grilled Cheese Please! 50 Scrumptiously Cheesy Recipes by Laura Werlin

Title: Grilled Cheese Please!
Author: Laura Werlin
Genre: Cookbook
Rating: * * * * *
Publishers Date: 03/08/2011
Hardback: 184 pages
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
ISBN: 9781449401658
FTC Disclosure: Net Galley

Oooey, gooey ribbons of delectable melted cheese sandwiched between butter-crisped slices of sourdough, wheat, rye, and even focaccia and croissant, combined with favorite foods such as bacon, pequillo peppers, guacamole, seasonal veggies, caramelized onions, pears, herbs, and so much more—what is there not to love about the modern grilled cheese?
Inside Grilled Cheese, Please, award-winning cheese expert Laura Werlin presents 50 recipes that elevate the classic grilled cheese sandwich to a culinary center-of-the-plate meal changer through innovative and delicious recipes such as Say Olé (Two Cheeses, Guacamole, Bacon, and a Corn Chip Crust); Brie, Mozzarella, and Sautéed Pears with Blue Cheese Butter; and Cheddar, Chorizo, Apples, and Pickled Onions on Ciabatta. The recipes are divided into seven chapters that are arranged by topics such as Grilled Cheese on the Go, Ethnic-Inspired, Meat and Cheese, and Veggie and Cheese among others. Grilled Cheese, Please features full-color photography, along with sections highlighting the best cooking techniques, melting cheeses, and other "best" grilled cheese insights, as well as a list of restaurants, stands, and mobile trucks across the country where grilled cheese is the focus, not the side dish.
Perfectly timed to coincide with National Grilled Cheese Month, Grilled Cheese, Please encourages melted cheese enthusiasts to expand their grilled cheese horizons by enjoying these riffs on the original and in the process become seduced all over again by the velvety goodness found within.
Grilled Cheese, Please features full-color photography, along with sections highlighting the best cooking techniques, melting cheeses, and other "best" grilled cheese insights, as well as a list of restaurants, stands, and mobile trucks across the country where grilled cheese is the focus, not the side dish.

OMG, you will gain 50 lbs just reading these recipes. Grilled cheese sandwiches have always been a staple at my house, you know the ones you make slathered with real butter, lots of gooey cheese that drips out. OMG, my mouth is watering just thinking about them. My kids could fix a grilled cheese or grilled ham and cheese by the time they they were 8 or 9 (as long as I watched so they didn't burn my kitchen down) and it's always been what they wanted when they were under the weather or heartsick during different times of their life. There is NO greater comfort food out there. Nope not even chocolate ice cream. My son still exists on these during the week while his wife is away if he doesn't eat with us. 
The recipes in this book takes you to a whole different level of  ecstasy. While they do use a greater variety  of cheeses than I generally use, the philosophy and pictures will have you drooling and leaving wet spots on this book . One caution, DO NOT READ WHILE HUNGRY! If you do, you have been warned. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What Are Your Favorite “Nexts” In A Series for The 1st Half of the Year?

I know I'm always tooting the horn about BittenByBooks but "Toot, Toot!"
Their poll of the week was suggested by me. So be sure and go by and vote for your  "nexts" that you can't wait for. I felt like a fraud as ALL of these are only a sprinkling of the "nexts" on my list. I could have easily added another two dozen "nexts".

Go here to vote and see what else BittenByBooks has in store this week!

Welcome to the poll of the week!!
 Polling runs through Sunday 2/20/11 at or around 11:00 pm CST
“What Are Your Favorite “Nexts” In A Series for The 1st Half of the Year” are 
and why you chose your answers.

If you are a Fringe watcher (and who isn't) or Being Human watcher stop by their Screen Bites and tell us what you think about these shows and what will happen next.


  If you hover your arrow at the bottom of the books, you can see where my books came from.

Monday, February 14, 2011


If there was ever a book that personifies the classic line from Caddy Shack it's 
The Land of Painted Caves . The first book, Clan of the Cave Bears  
came out in 1980. So I think it's fair to say we've been waiting on this final book in the series for awhile.

Earth's Children

1. The Clan of the Cave Bear (1980)
2. The Valley of Horses (1982)
3. The Mammoth Hunters (1985)
4. The Plains of Passage (1990)
5. The Shelters of Stone (2002)
6. The Land of Painted Caves (2011)

The highly anticipated sixth book of Jean Auel's Earth's Children® series, THE LAND OF PAINTED CAVES, is the culmination fans have been waiting for. Continuing the story of Ayla and Jondalar, Auel combines her brilliant narrative skills and appealing characters with a remarkable re-creation of the way life was lived more than 25,000 years ago.


The winners of my giveaway are 140, 103 and 46.

Melissa Snow whose email starts with chaoticbookobs..
her blog is
Alissa Allen whose email starts with captainliss...
Sniffy Kitty whose email starts with snifflykitty
her blog is

I was able to add two additional gift certificates as we 
added 123 new followers.
I've emailed you all to verify email addresses for a $10 Gift Certificate from Amazon. You have until midnight on Friday Feb 18th EST to respond or a different winner will be chosen.
Theses winners was chosen by
Thanks to all who visited  and commented.
Be sure and watch for The Lucky Leprechaun Hop starting March 
17th for your next chance at a Gift Certificate from Amazon.

Thanks to all who stopped by. Hope you enjoyed it and to all of those who did not win here, good luck at the other blogs. Be sure and mark St Patrick's Day as we'll do it again.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Follower Love Giveaway Hop Feb 8th - Feb 13th

WooHoo! Okay, guys! We've added 102 more followers! That means at least three gift certificates! We are  working on adding yet a fourth and possibly a fifth one and still have most of Sunday yet to go. We could add another two or three more gift certificates so pass on the word.  I'll add an extra gift certificate for every additional 50 followers. Be sure and stop by all the other great blogs that are participating!

This Hop is brought to you by ~Inspired Kathy

The Follower Love Giveaway Hop runs from February 8th to February 13th with winners being announced on Valentines Day!

The hop will run from 12:01 AM on February 8th to 11:59 PM on February 13th. 
Winners will be chosen by
What do you like to get on Valentine's Day from your sweetie? 
Chocolate, flowers, sexy undies.
 Contest will be open to US and Canada.  I am giving away a $10 Amazon Gift card as these are the simplest and the best gift as far as I'm concerned.  If I get another 50 followers I'll make that two Gift Cards. Click here for your easy, peasy entry form. 

Mandatory Entry: Follow this blog via GFC and fill out this form to enter.

I am number 149 and  365 Days of Reading (USis in front of me and  AwesomeSauce Book Club is behind me. Click here for the full list of participating bloggers on the hop. This is a great way to meet more bloggers, win books, gift cards and more!

The Land of Painted Caves- Read the first three chapters!

Can't wait 45 more days to the release of the final book in this fascinating series? Random books is offering the first three chapters free. Go here if you want a taste of what's to come.

While I've been dancing around since summer in anticipation of this book,  you'd think I jump at this offer, but I'm waiting as I want to savior every minute of this book. If I read three chapters, I'm just going to be pissed that I have to wait 45 more days. That's six more weeks!!

I've got a copy coming via the man in brown  and I set aside the whole day (I'm telling you   "DO NOT LET IT SNOW THAT DAY" ) Please, no snow !
 I don't want any excuse for hubby not to work, as for some reason he thinks I just want to cook for him and talk to him when he stays at home.

The highly anticipated sixth book of Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children® series, The Land of Painted Caves, is the culmination fans have been waiting for. Continuing the story of Ayla and Jondalar, Auel combines her brilliant narrative skills and appealing characters with a remarkable re-creation of the way life was lived more than 25,000 years ago.
The Land of Painted Caves is an exquisite achievement by one of the world’s most beloved authors.
Three decades in the telling. The epic journey that began with The Clan of The Cave Bear continues as Ayla becomes the woman she was meant to be.

30 years ago when Sydney recommended "The Clan of the Cave Bears", I wasn't sure that I'd enjoy it. Just didn't seem like my cup of tea. Now after probably 5 or 6 rereads, I can honestly say, if I had missed reading this book, it would have been tragic. Thank you, Sydney! I'm so glad that I took this and other recommendations over the years.

Information about this is from Random's website.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Author Kate Pearce Release Party Celebration and Kindle Contest LIVE at BittenByBooks!

As a lover of Showtimes "Tudors" it tickled me to see the Boleyns depicted as vampires. Oh, I could so see this! Join me at to checked out what sounds like a simply fascinating series on two of my loves, Vampires and Tudor England.

 The second installment in Pearce’s Tudor Vampire Chronicles contains more rich historical details than the first book, making it exceptional. There’s something fun about rewriting history and making memorable characters like Anne Boleyn into vampires. Pearce expertly weaves her historical background and knowledge into a truly captivating tale.
4 Stars! Annette Elton, RT BOOK Reviews
When Rosalind Llewellyn had to join forces with her enemy, Christopher Ellis to defeat a rogue Vampire threatening Henry VIII, their alliance led to a surprising passion. Reunited after a years separation, they face a new threat that could destroy their last chance at happiness.
Christopher is delighted by the spectacular rise at court of his friends George and Anne Boleyn. But Rosalind suspects Lady Anne is up to no good-she may even be a Vampire who’s bewitched the king. Now Rosalind must fight to keep Christopher from falling under the woman’s mysterious spell. It isn’t until Anne reveals a dark secret that Christopher awakens to where the true danger lies-and he begins to play a desperate game in order to save the woman he loves…

First in a sexy new series that takes a bite out of the court of King Henry VIII
Desperate to defeat King Richard III and gain the English crown, Henry Tudor made a pact with the Druids that bound him and his heirs to the Druid’s deadly struggle against the Vampires. Ever since, the Llewellyns, an ancient Vampire slaying family, have been in the permanent employ of the monarchy.
Now Henry VIII is on the throne, and his father’s bargain has almost been forgotten. Until corpses drained of blood start turning up in the most inappropriate of places, including the king’s bedchamber. But are these people the victims of the Vampires-or of the Druids?
To save the king from a nameless assassin, Rosalind Llewellyn, Vampire hunter extraordinaire, must form an uneasy alliance with a known Druid slayer. Sir Christopher Ellis hails from a family that has protected the Vampires for centuries, yet Rosalind has no choice but to rely on his help. And with her life threatened and her loyalty tested, Rosalind may even have to acknowledge the unthinkable. This sworn enemy may be her soul mate.

American Vampire by Jennifer Armintrout

Title: American Vampire
Author: Jennifer Armintrout
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: * * * 1/2
Publishers Date: 2/22/11
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Mira
ISBN: 0778328783
FTC Disclosure: Net Galley

Buried in the Heartland is a town that no one enters or leaves. Graf McDonald somehow becomes its first visitor in more than five years…and he was only looking for a good party. Unfortunately, Penance, Ohio, is not that place. And after having been isolated for so long, they do not like strangers at all.
Jessa's the only one to even remotely trust him, and she's desperate for the kind of protection that only a vampire like Graf can provide. Supplies are low, the locals are ornery for a sacrifice and there's a monster more powerful than Graf lurking in the woods. New men are hard to come by in this lonesome town, and this handsome stranger might be Jessa's only hope for salvation.
Even if she has to die first…

Honestly, I’m still not real sure how I felt about this book. I finished it a couple of weeks back and thought I’d let it simmer for awhile. It wasn’t great but I didn’t dislike it either. I thought the whole idea of being stuck in a town and unable to leave to be a great plot idea but it fell short in the execution of the idea. Reminds me a bit of a Twilight Zone episode.  Why the monster (not the vampire) was there and how one of the other town’s people came to have it under his control wasn’t really explained very well. While I loved Graf and Jessa’s characters and their interaction was laugh out loud funny, the rest of the cast was pretty blah however. I was never able to discover if this was the start to a series ( I hope it is) but if so I’ll definitely give the next book a try as I hope the world building will go into more depth. I didn’t feel as if the vampire laws were fleshed out very well. Yeah, he had to stay out of the sunlight, needed blood and was some stronger than the humans, but it just wasn’t enough. It just really felt lacking. A bit more on Graf’s history would have helped too. I also felt that there were a lot of little side stories going on that either should have been better fleshed out or left out altogether. It sounds like I didn’t enjoy the book but I never had any problem finishing it and really wish that the ending hadn’t been so abrupt.