Sunday, May 23, 2010

Not MY Giveaways

There's a few titles making the rounds of giveaways and blog tours that I've become VERY intested in. I've entered these contests; maybe you will, too!


ON FOLLY BEACH by Karen White

Bermudaonion's Weblog (05/31)
Jenn's Bookshelves (06/03?)
Luxury Reading (05/26)
Peeking Between the Pages (06/05)
Jo-Jo Loves to Read (05/26)
The Book Chick (05/26)

SAVING CEE CEE HONEYCUTT by Beth Hoffman

Diary of an Eccentric (06/06)
Savvy Wit & Verse (06/02)
Devourer of Books  (05/28)


MY NAME IS MARY SUTTER by Robin Oliveira

The Tome Traveller's Weblog (06/04)
Genre Reviews (05/27)
Booking Mama (05/30)
Crazy for Books (05/31)
Take Me Away (05/31)


RUMOR HAS IT by Jill Mansell

Diary of An Eccentric (06/06)
The Book Chick (06/02)
Apprentice Writer (05/30)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Giveaway Winner: THE MAP OF TRUE PLACES by Brunonia Barry


Graphic courtesy of Cupcakes for Clara.

The winner of a copy of THE MAP OF TRUE PLACES by Brunonia Barry is:

WANDA
(comment #38)


Congratulations, Wanda!


Thank you to everyone who stopped by and entered the contest.
Remember to check my sidebar for for ongoing giveaways.

Thank you to Harper Collins and Katrina at Wiredset
for making this giveaway possible.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: RUSSIAN WINTER by Daphne Kalotay

"WAITING ON WEDNESDAY"
is hosted by Jill from

Join in and tell us . . .

What are you waiting for?

My pick for this week is . . .

by Daphne Kalotay

Harper
On Sale: 9/7/2010
Fiction
Tr 9780061962165
$25.99 ($33.99)
480 pages

Description (from the publisher):
When she decides to auction her remarkable jewelry collection, Nina Revskaya, once a great star of the Bolshoi ballet, believes she has drawn a curtain on her past. Instead, the aged dancer finds herself overwhelmed by memories of her homeland and of the events—both glorious and heartbreaking—that changed the course of her life half a century before.

It was in Russia that she discovered the magic of the theatre; that she fell in love with the poet Viktor Elsin; that she and her dearest companions—Gersh, a dangerously irreverent composer, and the exquisite Vera, Nina’s closest friend—became victims of Stalinist aggression; that a terrible discovery led to a deadly act of betrayal—and to an ingenious escape that eventually brought her to the city of Boston.

Nina has hidden her dark secrets for half a lifetime. But two people will not let the past rest—Drew Brooks, an inquisitive young associate director at the Boston auction house, and a Russian professor named Grigori Solodin who believes that a unique set of amber jewels may hold the key to his own ambiguous past. Together, these unlikely partners find themselves unraveling a literary mystery whose answers will hold life-changing consequences for them all.

Artfully interweaving past and present, Moscow and New England, the behind-the-scenes tumult of theatre life and the transformative power of art, Daphne Kalotay’s luminous debut novel, an ingeniously plotted page turner of the highest literary order, captures the joy, uncertainty, and terror of lives powerless to withstand the forces of history, while affirming that even in the presence of evil, suspicion, and fear the human spirit reaches for transcendence and love.

About the author (from the publisher):
Daphne Kalotay attended Boston University’s Creative Writing Program, where her stories won the school’s Florence Engel Randall Fiction Prize and a Transatlantic Review Award from The Henfield Foundation. Author of the acclaimed fiction collection Calamity and Other Stories, she has received fellowships from the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the La Napoule Foundation, Yaddo, and the MacDowell Colony, and is a recipient of the W. K. Rose Fellowship in the Creative Arts from Vassar College. She has taught creative writing at Boston University, Middlebury College, and Skidmore College, and lives in the Boston area.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spotlight and Audiobook Giveaway: THE NINTH JUDGMENT by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro


Thanks to the generous folks at
Hachette Book Group,
I have been authorized to
 give away three (3) audiobook copies of
THE 9TH JUDGMENT
by James Patterson
and Maxine Paetro

Rules for entering this giveaway are at the bottom of this post.


THE 9TH JUDGMENT
by James Patterson
and Maxine Paetro
Read by Carolyn McCormick

Publisher: Hachette Audio
Category: Fiction, Suspense & Thrillers
Format: Audio Book
Subformat: CD (Audio)
Edition: Unabridged
Publish Date: 4/26/2010
Price: $39.98/$49.98
ISBN: 9781607881797
Pages: 0

Description (from the publisher):
During an intimate dinner party, a cat burglar breaks into the home of A-list actor Marcus Dowling. When his wife walks in on the thief, the situation quickly teeters out of control, leaving an empty safe and a lifeless body.

The same night, a woman and her infant child are ruthlessly gunned down in an abandoned garage. The killer hasn't left a shred of evidence, except for a foreboding and cryptic message: WCF, the letters written in blood-red letters.

With two elusive criminals on the loose, Detective Lindsay Boxer calls on the Women's Murder Club to help her stop them before they continue their spree. But before they can break either case, the Lipstick Killer changes his act and demands a ransom--not for a single victim, but for all of San Francisco. Lindsay puts her own life on the line--but will it be enough to save the city from this deranged killer?

Click here to listen to an excerpt.

Click here to visit James Patterson's website.

Author Information (from the publisher):
James Patterson is one of the bestselling writers of all time, with more than 170 million books sold worldwide. He is the author of the top-selling detective series of the past twenty years--the Alex Cross novels, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider, both of which were made into hit movies. Mr. Patterson also writes the bestselling Women's Murder Club novels, set in San Francisco, and the new series of #1 New York Times bestsellers featuring Detective Michael Bennett of the NYPD. He won an Edgar Award, the mystery world's highest honor, for his first novel. He lives in Florida.

James Patterson's lifelong passion for books and reading led him to launch a new Web site, ReadKiddoRead.com, which helps parents, grandparents, teachers, and librarians find the very best children's books for their kids.

Maxine Paetro is a novelist and journalist. She lives with her husband in New York.

RULES FOR ENTERING THE GIVEAWAY:

• Leave a comment on this post telling me you would like to win. Include an email address with your comment so that I can contact you if you do win. Use a spam-thwarting format such as geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com or geebee.reads [at] gmail [dot] com

You must leave an email address in order to qualify. If I can't contact you, you can't win!

• You can earn an extra entry by being or becoming a Follower or Subscriber of this blog and telling me about it in a separate comment.

• Blog about this contest and provide me with the link to the post in a separate comment, and I'll give you yet another entry.

• Tweeting about this contest and providing me the link in a separate comment will get you one more entry. I've added a Retweet button at the bottom of every post.

• Stumble this blog, Digg it, or Technorati Fave it, whatever, and leave a separate comment for another entry.

• Winners must provide a U.S. or Canadian street address. Hachette is unable to deliver to P.O. Boxes.

Deadline for entry is 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.

• Winners will have 48 hours to respond to my email announcing that they have won; if I don't hear from a winner, I will draw another name. I use Random.org to determine the winners.

Thank you to Anna
at Hachette Book Group
for making this giveaway possible.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

Monday, May 10, 2010

WINNERS OF APOLOGIZE, APOLOGIZE!


Graphic courtesy of Cupcakes for Clara.

!!  CONGRATULATIONS !!

The 3 winners of copies of the audiobook
 APOLOGIZE, APOLOGIZE! by Elizabeth Kelly are:


#11  Beth
#49  photoquest
#78  Anonymous







- All winners have been notified and confirmed.

- Thank you to everyone who stopped by and entered. If you weren't one of the lucky ones in this drawing, click here to hop on over to the contest page at Hachette Book Group for listings of other blogs hosting book giveaways.

- Be sure and check my sidebar for other ongoing giveaways.

A big thank you to Valerie and Hachette Book Group
 for making this giveaway possible.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Spotlight and Audiobook Giveaway: THE WAR LOVERS by Evan Thomas


Thanks to the generous folks at
Hachette Book Group,
I have been authorized to
 give away three (3) audiobook copies of
THE WAR LOVERS
by Evan Thomas
Read by Richard Davidson

Rules for entering this giveaway are at the bottom of this post.


THE WAR LOVERS

Publisher: Hachette Audio
Category: History
Format: Audio Book
Subformat: CD (Audio)
Edition: Unabridged
Publish Date: 4/27/2010
Price: $39.98/$49.98
ISBN: 9781607882046
Pages: 0

Description (from the publisher):
On February 15, 1898, the USS Maine exploded in the Havana Harbor. Although there was no evidence that the Spanish were responsible, yellow newspapers such as William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal whipped Americans into frenzy by claiming that Spain's "secret infernal machine" had destroyed the battleship. Soon after, the blandly handsome and easily influenced President McKinley declared war, sending troops not only to Cuba but also to the Philippines, Spain's sprawling colony on the other side of the world.

As Evan Thomas reveals in his rip-roaring history of those times, the hunger for war had begun years earlier. Depressed by the "closing" of the Western frontier and embracing theories of social Darwinism, a group of warmongers that included a young Teddy Roosevelt and Henry Cabot Lodge agitated loudly and incessantly that the United States exert its influence across the seas. These hawks would transform American foreign policy and, when Teddy ascended to the presidency, commence with a devastating war without reason, concocted within the White House--a bloody conflict that would come at tremendous cost.

Thrillingly written and brilliantly researched, THE WAR LOVERS is the story of six men at the center of a transforming event in U.S. history: Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, McKinley, William James, and Thomas Reed, and confirms once more than Evan Thomas is a popular historian of the first rank.

Click here to listen to an excerpt.

About the author (from the publisher):
Evan Thomas has been the Assistant Managing Editor of Newsweek since 1991. He is the bestselling author of six works of nonfiction: Sea of Thunder, John Paul Jones, Robert Kennedy, The Very Best Men, The Man to See, and The Wise Men. He lives with his wife and children in Washington, D.C.

RULES FOR ENTERING THE GIVEAWAY:

• Leave a comment on this post telling me you would like to win. Include an email address with your comment so that I can contact you if you do win. Use a spam-thwarting format such as geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com or geebee.reads [at] gmail [dot] com

You must leave an email address in order to qualify. If I can't contact you, you can't win!

• You can earn an extra entry by being or becoming a Follower or Subscriber of this blog and telling me about it in a separate comment.

• Blog about this contest and provide me with the link to the post in a separate comment, and I'll give you yet another entry.

• Tweeting about this contest and providing me the link in a separate comment will get you one more entry. I've added a Retweet button at the bottom of every post.

• Stumble this blog, Digg it, or Technorati Fave it, whatever, and leave a separate comment for another entry.

• Winners must provide a U.S. or Canadian street address. Hachette is unable to deliver to P.O. Boxes.

Deadline for entry is 11:59 p.m. EST on Mondy, May 31, 2010.

• Winners will have 48 hours to respond to my email announcing that they have won; if I don't hear from a winner, I will draw another name.

Thank you to Anna
at Hachette Book Group
for making this giveaway possible.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Spotlight and Audiobook Giveaway: DELIVER US FROM EVIL by David Baldacci


Thanks to the generous folks at
Hachette Book Group,
I have been authorized to
 give away three (3) audiobook copies of
DELIVER US FROM EVIL
by David Baldacci
and read by Ron McLarty

Rules for entering this giveaway are at the bottom of this post.

Read by Ron McLarty

Publisher: Hachette Audio
Category: Fiction
Format: Audio Book
Subformat: CD (Audio)
Edition: Unabridged
Publish Date: 4/20/2010
Price: $39.98/$49.98
ISBN: 9781600249648
Pages: 0

Description (from the publisher):
In South America a 96-year-old man of great wealth reads a book late one night and an hour later he lies dead in his bed, the secrets of his past starkly revealed. Six months later another mystery man lies dead at the bottom of his pool in a villa in Provence. This time, however, there's a witness at the scene: Shaw, the shadowy operative from The Whole Truth, who barely escapes with his life. Meanwhile, a half a world away, photojournalist Katie James is working on a story of international importance.



About the author (from the publisher):
David Baldacci lives with his family in Virginia. He and his wife have founded the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. He invites you to visit him at http://www.david-baldacci.com/ and his foundation at http://www.wishyouwellfoundation.org/, and to look into its program to spread books across America at http://www.feedingbodyandmind.com/.

RULES FOR ENTERING THE GIVEAWAY:

• Leave a comment on this post telling me you would like to win. Include an email address with your comment so that I can contact you if you do win. Use a spam-thwarting format such as geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com or geebee.reads [at] gmail [dot] com

You must leave an email address in order to qualify. If I can't contact you, you can't win!

• You can earn an extra entry by being or becoming a Follower or Subscriber of this blog and telling me about it in a separate comment.

• Blog about this contest and provide me with the link to the post in a separate comment, and I'll give you yet another entry.

• Tweeting about this contest and providing me the link in a separate comment will get you one more entry. I've added a Retweet button at the bottom of every post.

• Stumble this blog, Digg it, or Technorati Fave it, whatever, and leave a separate comment for another entry.

• Winners must provide a U.S. or Canadian street address. Hachette is unable to deliver to P.O. Boxes.

Deadline for entry is 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, June 2, 2010.

• Winners will have 48 hours to respond to my email announcing that they have won; if I don't hear from a winner, I will draw another name. I use Random.org to determine the winners.

Thank you to Anna
at Hachette Book Group
for making this giveaway possible.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

Spotlight and Audiobook Giveaway: MEN AND DOGS by Katie Crouch


Thanks to the generous folks at
Hachette Book Group,
I have been authorized to
 give away three (3) audio book copies of
MEN AND DOGS
by Katie Crouch
Read by Gabra Zachman
Rules for entering this giveaway are at the bottom of this post.


Read by Gabra Zachman

Publisher: Hachette Audio
Category: Fiction
Format: Audio Book
Subformat: CD (Audio)
Edition: Unabridged
Publish Date: 4/12/2010
Price: $29.98/$35.98
ISBN: 9781607881834
Pages: 0

Description (from the publisher):
In April of 1985, Buzz Legare went fishing. The next day all that was found was his boat and his waiting, faithful dog.

Twenty years later, his daughter Hannah still finds hope in believing, alone among her family, that he's still alive somewhere. She has a smart husband, a thriving business, a beautiful home in San Francisco-and a huge hole in her troubled heart. True to her trademark talent for self-sabotage, she finds herself one starry night climbing up the fire escape in a desperate (and drunken) attempt to win back her own husband--and failing disastrously.

Slightly worse for the wear, Hannah returns to Charleston to salve her wounds. There, old loves, unrepented crimes, and family legends are stirred up from the dust. Hannah's brother Palmer, the stoic with a secret of his own, cannot dissuade her from a manic search to uncover clues to the past, and they will both face shocking discoveries that lead them to reconcile their very different notions of loyalty and blind faith.

As she did so memorably in her bestselling debut, Girls in Trucks, Katie Crouch has created another great voice--spiky, tender, and hilarious--in the screwball heroine Hannah Legare. Much like Julia Roberts in My Best Friend's Wedding, Hannah follows the misguided impulses of a heart that's in the right place.

Click here to listen to an excerpt.



About the author (from the publisher):
Katie Crouch grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, and studied writing at Brown and Columbia Universities. She lives in San Francisco.

RULES FOR ENTERING THE GIVEAWAY:

• Leave a comment on this post telling me you would like to win. Include an email address with your comment so that I can contact you if you do win. Use a spam-thwarting format such as geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com or geebee.reads [at] gmail [dot] com

You must leave an email address in order to qualify. If I can't contact you, you can't win!

• You can earn an extra entry by being or becoming a Follower or Subscriber of this blog and telling me about it in a separate comment.

• Blog about this contest and provide me with the link to the post in a separate comment, and I'll give you yet another entry.

• Tweeting about this contest and providing me the link in a separate comment will get you one more entry. I've added a Retweet button at the bottom of every post.

• Stumble this blog, Digg it, or Technorati Fave it, whatever, and leave a separate comment for another entry.

• Winners must provide a U.S. or Canadian street address. Hachette is unable to deliver to P.O. Boxes.

Deadline for entry is 11:59 p.m. EST on Saturday, May 29, 2010.

• Winners will have 48 hours to respond to my email announcing that they have won; if I don't hear from a winner, I will draw another name. I use Random.org to determine winners.

Thank you to Anna
at Hachette Book Group
for making this giveaway possible.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Special Giveaway: THE MAP OF TRUE PLACES by Brunonia Barry

OOOOOOOO!
Have I got a treat for you!
HarperCollins is offering for giveaway
 two (2) copies of the new release
This is her highly anticipated second novel,
 and you don't want to miss it!
Details for entering are below -- but note
 -- it's a short giveaway!
Entries close in one week -- at 11:59 p.m.
on Wednesday, May 12, 2010.

“It is not down in any map;
true places never are.”
––Herman Melville


Pub. Date: May 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardcover, 416pp
Sales Rank: 13,656
ISBN-13: 9780061624780
ISBN: 0061624780

Description (from the publisher):
Zee Finch has come a long way from a motherless childhood spent stealing boats—a talent that earned her the nickname Trouble. She's now a respected psychotherapist working with the world-famous Dr. Liz Mattei. She's also about to marry one of Boston's most eligible bachelors. But the suicide of Zee's patient Lilly Braedon throws Zee into emotional chaos and takes her back to places she though she'd left behind.

What starts as a brief visit home to Salem after Lilly's funeral becomes the beginning of a larger journey for Zee. Her father, Finch, long ago diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, has been hiding how sick he really is. His longtime companion, Melville, has moved out, and it now falls to Zee to help her father through this difficult time. Their relationship, marked by half-truths and the untimely death of her mother, is strained and awkward.

Overwhelmed by her new role, and uncertain about her future, Zee destroys the existing map of her life and begins a new journey, one that will take her not only into her future but into her past as well. Like the sailors of old Salem who navigated by looking at the stars, Zee has to learn to find her way through uncharted waters to the place she will ultimately call home.



Click to visit www.themapoftrueplaces.com

About the author (from the publisher):
Brunonia Barry, author of the beloved New York Times and international bestseller The Lace Reader is back with The Map of True Places, an emotionally resonant novel of tragedy, secrets, identity, and love. The moving and remarkable tale of a psychotherapist who discovers the strands of her own life in the death of a troubled patient, The Map of True Places is another glorious display of the unique storytelling prowess that inspired Toronto’s Globe and Mail to exclaim, “Brunonia Barry can write. Boy can she write.”

RULES FOR ENTERING THE GIVEAWAY:

• Leave a comment on this post telling me you would like to win. Include an email address with your comment so that I can contact you if you do win. Use a spam-thwarting format such as geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com or geebee.reads [at] gmail [dot] com

You must leave an email address in order to qualify. If I can't contact you, you can't win!

• You can earn an extra entry by being or becoming a Follower or Subscriber of this blog and telling me about it in a separate comment.

• Blog about this contest and provide me with the link to the post in a separate comment, and I'll give you yet another entry.

• Tweeting about this contest and providing me the link in a separate comment will get you one more entry. I've added a Retweet button at the bottom of every post.

• Stumble this blog, Digg it, or Technorati Fave it, whatever, and leave a separate comment for another entry.

• Winners must provide a U.S. or Canadian street address -- No P.O. Boxes.

Deadline for entry is 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, May 12, 2010, 2009.

• Winners will have 48 hours to respond to my email announcing that they have won; if I don't hear from a winner, I will draw another name.

Thank you to Katrina at Wiredset
for making this giveaway possible.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

Wonderful Win: THE HERETIC'S WIFE by Brenda Rickman Vantrease




St. Martin's Press, April 2010
ISBN: 978-0-312-38699-3, ISBN10: 0-312-38699-0
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 416 pages

I started waiting for this novel back in September when I wrote about it in a Waiting on Wednesday post. (You can view that post here.) Then in January, Marcia of The Printed Page spotlighted it in her feature Cover Attraction and Wish List. As part of her Read it Forward program, Marcia then offered to send me her copy after she had received, read, and reviewed it. I was so thrilled by her generosity. I felt as though I'd won the Lottery!

Well, I don't know when Marcia's review will appear, but she sent her copy out last Friday, and I found it in my mailbox when I staggered home from the office late last night. I was so tired, I almost didn't even check the mail! Needless to say, I found the energy to read late into the night.

A giant THANK YOU! to Marcia for sharing what for most people would surely be a Keeper!

Here's a bit of info about the book and author (from the publisher):

From the bestselling author of The Illuminator comes a magnificent tale about the power of love and the perils of faith.

Tudor England is a perilous place for booksellers Kate Gough and her brother John, who sell forbidden translations of the Bible. Caught between warring factions—English Catholics opposed to the Lutheran reformation, and Henry VIII’s growing impatience with the Pope’s refusal to sanction his marriage to Anne Boleyn—Kate embarks on a daring adventure that will lead her into a dangerous marriage and a web of intrigue that pits her against powerful enemies. From the king’s lavish banquet halls to secret dungeons and the inner sanctums of Thomas More, Brenda Rickman Vantrease’s glorious new novel illuminates the public pageantry and the private passions of men and women of conscience in treacherous times.

BRENDA RICKMAN VANTREASE is a former English teacher and librarian whose bestselling debut, The Illuminator, was translated into over a dozen languages and chosen as a BookSense Reading Group Pick. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Waiting on Wednesday: SIMPLY FROM SCRATCH by Alicia Bessette

"WAITING ON WEDNESDAY"
is hosted by Jill from

Join in and tell us . . .

What are you waiting for?

My pick for this week is . . .



Dutton Adult
(August 5, 2010)
Hardcover
$25.95

Overview (from the author's website):
A luminous, tender-hearted debut novel about a young widow, a nine-year-old girl, and a baking contest that will change both their lives.

Rose-Ellen “Zell” Carmichael Roy wears her late husband Nick’s camouflage apron even when she’s not in the kitchen. She can’t remember the last time she wore a bra, and she speaks to her dog in the voice of a pirate. That’s her widow style.

It’s been over a year since Nick died tragically during a post-Katrina relief mission in New Orleans. Long enough, according to the grief pamphlets, to have begun moving on with her life. But Zell is still unable to enter her attic, which is full of Nick memories. She hasn’t even turned on her oven because cooking was Nick’s chore. That is, until she decides to enter celebrity chef Polly Pinch’s first annual Desserts that Warm the Soul baking contest, hoping to win the $20,000 grand prize to donate to Katrina survivors in Nick’s honor.

Meanwhile, in the adjacent apartment of Zell’s two-family house, nine-year-old Ingrid Knox is learning to cope with the loneliness of growing up without a mother. With an imagination as big as her heart, Ingrid treasures her doting father but begins to plot how she will meet her mother, whom she fiercely believes is Polly Pinch.

When an embarrassing baking mishap brings Zell and Ingrid together, they form an unlikely friendship that will alter both of their lives forever. Together, and with the help of a lively and loveable cast of friends and family, they embark on winning the Desserts that Warm the Soul contest – and learn that through the many sorrows and joys of life, with a little bit of flour and a pinch of love, anything is possible.

Click here to visit the author's website.

About the author (from the author's website):
Alicia Bessette was born and raised in central Massachusetts and graduated from La Salle University in Philadelphia. A pianist and freelance writer, she and her husband, novelist Matthew Quick, live near Philadelphia with their adopted racing greyhound, Stella. Simply From Scratch is Alicia’s first novel.

Book Review #48: CHERRIES IN WINTER by Suzan Colon


by Suzan Colón

Pub. Date: November 03, 2009
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Format: Hardcover, 224pp
ISBN-13: 9780385532525
ISBN: 0385532520

Description (from the publisher):
What is the secret to finding hope in hard times?

When Suzan Colón was laid off from her dream job at a magazine during the economic downturn of 2008, she needed to cut her budget way, way back, and that meant home cooking. Her mother suggested, “Why don’t you look in Nana’s recipe folder?” In the basement, Suzan found the tattered treasure, full of handwritten and meticulously typed recipes, peppered with her grandmother Matilda’s commentary in the margins. Reading it, Suzan realized she had found something more than a collection of recipes—she had found the key to her family’s survival through hard times.

Suzan began re-creating Matilda’s “sturdy food” recipes for baked pork chops and beef stew, and Aunt Nettie’s clam chowder made with clams dug up by Suzan’s grandfather Charlie in Long Island Sound. And she began uncovering the stories of her resilient family’s past. Taking inspiration from stylish, indomitable Matilda, who was the sole support of her family as a teenager during the Great Depression (and who always answered “How are you?” with “Fabulous, never better!”), and from dashing, twice-widowed Charlie, Suzan starts to approach her own crisis with a sense of wonder and gratitude. It turns out that the gift to survive and thrive through hard times had been bred in her bones all along.

Cherries in Winter is an irresistible gem of a book. It makes you want to cook, it makes you want to know your own family’s stories, and, above all, it makes you feel rich no matter what.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars -- Highly recommended - and quick, too!

My Thoughts:
You've heard the expression "Good things come in small packages." Well, CHERRIES IN WINTER by Suzan Colón is a delightfully good little book. At a diminutive 5 x 7.5 inches, it fits nicely in your hands and just feels good to hold. However, it's what's inside the package that really counts, and from the opening lines of the preface to the last few words of the acknowledgments, this little book is a feast of family fortitude. (I know, I've got to lay off the alliteration.) Colón's family members are by turn plucky, quirky, spunky, funny, hardy, and inspirational. I really wish I knew them. You'll wish so, too.

In an effort to trim her budget after being laid off, Suzan Colón digs out her grandmother's recipe folder from storage. Inside, she doesn't just find instructions for creating hardy and inexpensive meals. She finds a time capsule that introduces her not only to her grandmother who died when Colón was young but also to her great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother. Some of my favorite parts of the book were the brief glimpses into the daily lives of ordinary women over the course of the last hundred or so years.

One of the main principals to which Colón aspires is to be able to live frugally without being miserly. To achieve that requires mindfulness of one's choices and an appreciation for the gifts of mere existence. She conveys this beautifully in the little vignette from which the book derives its title. Believe me when I say I will most likely never eat cherries again without thinking of Manhattan.

I loved this book. When I give a book 5 out of 5 stars, it has to be more than really good. It has to have the "WOW! Factor." It's hard to define the WOW! Factor. It's a feeling of awe that comes over me as I'm reading a book. If that feeling is sustained throughout the entire book, it's a WOW! What made me say WOW! as I read this little book is that the author writes with a precision and economy that makes every word count. She manages to amuse and inspire as well as give us a little social history all while telling simple entertaining stories of her family. Just as CHERRIES IN WINTER is about how to economize while not feeling deprived, Suzan Colón's memoir provides us with a feast in just a few little bites.  


Click here to visit the author's website.

About the author (from the publisher):
Suzan Colón is a contributing writer and editor for O, The Oprah Magazine. Her articles have appeared in Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Rolling Stone, Details, and other magazines. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, Nathan.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Book Spotlight and Giveaway: STAY A LITTLE LONGER by Dorothy Garlock


Thanks to the generous folks at
Hachette Book Group,
I have been authorized to
 give away five (5) copies of
STAY A LITTLE LONGER
by Dorothy Garlock.

Rules for entering this giveaway are at the bottom of this post.


Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Category: Fiction, Romance
Format: Trade Paperback
Publish Date: 4/30/2010
Price: $13.99/$16.99
ISBN: 9780446540193
Pages: 384
Size: 5-1/4" x 8"

Desecription (from the publisher):
Louise Watkins has her hands full. Her mother had been the town midwife, but when her daughter Alice died under her care, she refused to assist in a childbirth ever again. Since then Louise has assumed the work. She also takes care of Alice's six-year old, Charlotte, because the child's father was lost in World War I. But Louise's principal job is running the boardinghouse that is the family's main source of income. One day, Charlotte befriends a stranger ill with influenza, a man who has taken refuge in an old cabin in the woods nearby.


About the author (from the publisher):
Dorothy Garlock is the author of over 50 novels that have sold over 15 million copies and are published in 15 languages. She lives in Iowa. (Click here for a more extensive bio at the publisher's website.)

RULES FOR ENTERING THE GIVEAWAY:

• Leave a comment on this post telling me you would like to win. Include an email address with your comment so that I can contact you if you do win. Use a spam-thwarting format such as geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com or geebee.reads [at] gmail [dot] com

You must leave an email address in order to qualify. If I can't contact you, you can't win!

• You can earn an extra entry by being or becoming a Follower or Subscriber of this blog and telling me about it in a separate comment.

• Blog about this contest and provide me with the link to the post in a separate comment, and I'll give you yet another entry.

• Tweeting about this contest and providing me the link in a separate comment will get you one more entry. I've added a Retweet button at the bottom of every post.

• Stumble this blog, Digg it, or Technorati Fave it, whatever, and leave a separate comment for another entry.

• Winners must provide a U.S. or Canadian street address. Hachette is unable to deliver to P.O. Boxes.

Deadline for entry is 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, May 26, 2010.

• Winners will have 48 hours to respond to my email announcing that they have won; if I don't hear from a winner, I will draw another name. I use Random.org to determine winners.

Thank you to Anna
at Hachette Book Group
for making this giveaway possible.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

Teaser Tuesday: MAGICKEEPERS: The Pyramid of Souls by Erica Kirov


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish memehosted by Miz B. of Should Be Reading.





Want to play along? Here's what to do:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:
"In the deepest basement of the Winter Palace Hotel and Casino was a vault of money: the one the family showed to the gaming commission, which oversaw all the casinos. But hidden there was another vault–one that housed all of the family’s relics and artifacts, the magic that they guarded and kept safe."

from an Advance Review Copy - Page 84, MAGICKEEPERS: The Pyramid of Souls (Book Two) by Erica Kirov

Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Ages 9+
978-1-4022-1502-5
May 2010
$14.99 U.S./ $17.99 CAN
Hardcover
Juvenile Fiction/Middle Grade

Monday, May 3, 2010

Book Spotlight and Giveaway: THE SECRET SPEECH by Tom Rob Smith


Thanks to the generous folks at
Hachette Book Group,
I have been authorized to
 give away three (3) copies of
SECRET SPEECH
by Tom Rob Smith.

Rules for entering this giveaway are at the bottom of this post.



Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Category: Fiction, Suspense & Thrillers
Format: Trade Paperback
Publish Date: 5/3/2010
Price: $13.99/$16.99
ISBN: 9780446402415
Pages: 448
Size: 5-1/4" x 8"

Description (from the publisher):
Tom Rob Smith-the author whose debut, Child 44, has been called "brilliant" (Chicago Tribune), "remarkable" (Newsweek) and "sensational" (Entertainment Weekly)-returns with an intense, suspenseful new novel: a story where the sins of the past threaten to destroy the present, where families must overcome unimaginable obstacles to save their loved ones, and where hope for a better tomorrow is found in the most unlikely of circumstances . . .

THE SECRET SPEECH

Soviet Union, 1956. Stalin is dead, and a violent regime is beginning to fracture-leaving behind a society where the police are the criminals, and the criminals are innocent. A secret speech composed by Stalin's successor Khrushchev is distributed to the entire nation. Its message: Stalin was a tyrant. Its promise: The Soviet Union will change.

Facing his own personal turmoil, former state security officer Leo Demidov is also struggling to change. The two young girls he and his wife Raisa adopted have yet to forgive him for his part in the death of their parents. They are not alone. Now that the truth is out, Leo, Raisa, and their family are in grave danger from someone consumed by the dark legacy of Leo's past career. Someone transformed beyond recognition into the perfect model of vengeance.

From the streets of Moscow in the throes of political upheaval, to the Siberian gulags, and to the center of the Hungarian uprising in Budapest, THE SECRET SPEECH is a breathtaking, epic novel that confirms Tom Rob Smith as one of the most exciting new authors writing today.

Author Q & A

Click here to visit the book's website.

Click here to visit the author's website.

About the author (from the publisher):
Tom Rob Smith graduated from Cambridge University in 2001 and lives in London. His first novel, Child 44, was a New York Times bestseller and an international publishing sensation. Among its many honors, Child 44 won the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

RULES FOR ENTERING THE GIVEAWAY:

• Leave a comment on this post telling me you would like to win. Include an email address with your comment so that I can contact you if you do win. Use a spam-thwarting format such as geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com or geebee.reads [at] gmail [dot] com

You must leave an email address in order to qualify. If I can't contact you, you can't win!

• You can earn an extra entry by being or becoming a Follower or Subscriber of this blog and telling me about it in a separate comment.

• Blog about this contest and provide me with the link to the post in a separate comment, and I'll give you yet another entry.

• Tweeting about this contest and providing me the link in a separate comment will get you one more entry. I've added a Retweet button at the bottom of every post.

• Stumble this blog, Digg it, or Technorati Fave it, whatever, and leave a separate comment for another entry.

• Winners must provide a U.S. or Canadian street address. Hachette is unable to deliver to P.O. Boxes.

Deadline for entry is 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, May 24, 2010.

• Winners will have 48 hours to respond to my email announcing that they have won; if I don't hear from a winner, I will draw another name.

Thank you to Valerie
at Hachette Book Group
for making this giveaway possible.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

Mailbox Monday: May 2, 2010


Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. If you'd like to join in, stop by Marcia's and leave a link - or just browse through the comments to see what new books have been showing up.

What's in your mailbox?


MAGICKEEPERS: The Pyramid of Souls
by Erica Kirov

from Sourcebooks





THE SEASON OF SECOND CHANCES
by Diane Meier

from Macmillan





HELLHOUND ON HIS TRAIL:
The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr.
by Hampton Sides

from Random House





THE SECRET SPEECH
by Tom Rob Smith

from Hachette Book Group