Friday, August 22, 2014

Lisa Scottoline "Guilt Trip Giveaway"


Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella are back with another collection of warm and witty stories that will strike a chord with every woman. This four book series is among the best reviewed humor books published today and has been compared to the late greats, Erma Bombeck and Nora Ephron. Booklist raved of the third book in the series, Meet Me At Emotional Baggage Claim,  “readers can count on an ab-toning laugh session, a silly giggle, a sympathetic sigh, and a lump in the throat as life’s moments are rehashed through the keen eyes and wits of this lovable mother-daughter duo.” This fourth volume, Have a Nice Guilt Trip, maintains the same sterling standard of humor and poignancy as Lisa and Francesca continue on the road of life acquiring men and puppies. Ok, to be honest, Lisa is acquiring the puppies, while Francesca is lucky enough to have dates with actual men. They leave it to the listeners to decide which is more desirable and/or or easier to train.

GIVEAWAY:  one set of FIVE books--Lisa and Francesca's new essay collection, plus the 4 previous collections. The following titles will be included in the prize pack, all for ONE lucky winner!!!!!

Displaying ScottolineGiveaway2.jpg

Have a Nice Guilt Trip
Best Friends, Occasional Enemies
Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim
My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space
Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog


About the Authors:

Lisa ScottolineLisa Scottoline is the New York Timesbestselling author and Edgar award-winning author of 22 novels, including her latest, KEEP QUIET. She also writes a weekly column with her daughter Francesca Serritella for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled "Chick Wit" which is a witty and fun take on life from a woman's perspective. These stories, along with many other never-before-published stories, have been collected in four books including their most recent, Have a Nice Guilt Trip, and the earlier, Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim, Best Friends, Occasional Enemies, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog, which has been optioned for TV, and My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space. Lisa reviews popular fiction and non-fiction, and her reviews have appeared in New York Times, The Washington Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Lisa has served as President of Mystery Writers of America and has taught a course she developed, "Justice and Fiction" at The University of Pennsylvania Law School, her alma mater. Lisa is a regular and much sought after speaker at library and corporate events. Lisa has over 30 million copies of her books in print and is published in over 35 countries. She lives in the Philadelphia area with an array of disobedient pets, and she wouldn't have it any other way.

Francesca Serritella was born in Philadelphia, and grew up in its suburbs. She went to Harvard, where she majored in English. After a year or two of feeling entirely intimidated by the place, she found her stride and went on to receive the Charles Edmond Horman Prize and the Baron Russell Briggs Prize for creative writing. Her senior thesis, a novella, won the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize, and she graduated with honors.

Her mother is Lisa Scottoline. She's a bestselling author, her best friend, and her hero. Together, they write a weekly humor column in The Philadelphia Inquirer called "Chick Wit." She contribute once a month to offer a younger perspective on their wacky family and life in general, and if you aren't an Inquirer subscriber, you can find a selection of her columns here. The column has been published as a series of collections of essays. The first and the second, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog, and My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space, have some of her essays but not her name on it. The third, fourth, and fifth, Best Friends, Occasional Enemies, Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim and Have a Nice Guilt Trip, have her name on the cover!

Currently, she live in New York City with her dog, Pip. When she’s not writing, she’s probably taking cell phone pictures of Pip and marveling at how cute he is, so if you want to see those, he has his very own page here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review Round-Up

After Her

The New York Times bestselling author of Labor Day and The Good Daughters returns with a warm and haunting novel of sisterhood, adolescence, sacrifice, and suspense

"Maynard illuminates the human experience."-People magazine

It's the summer of 1979, and a dry, hot, northern California school vacation stretches ahead for Rachel and her younger sister Patty-the daughters a larger-than-life, irresistibly handsome and chronically unfaithful detective father who loves to make women happy, and the mother whose heart he broke. 

Left to their own devices, the inseparable sisters spend their days studying record jackets, concocting elaborate fantasies about the life of the mysterious neighbor who moves in down the street, and playing dangerous games on the mountain that rises up behind their house.

When young women start showing up dead on the mountain, the girls' father is charged with finding the man responsible, known as The Sunset Strangler. Seeing her father's life slowly unravel when he fails to stop the murders, Rachel embarks on her most dangerous game yet: setting herself up as bait to catch the killer, with consequences that will destroy her father's career and alter the lives of everyone she loves. 

It is not until thirty years later that Rachel, who has never given up hope of vindicating her father, finally smokes out the killer, bringing her back to the territory of her childhood, and uncovering a long-buried family secret. 

As with her novel, Labor Day, Maynard's newest work is part thriller, part love story, Loosely inspired by the Trailside Killer case that terrorized Marin County in the late seventies, her tale delves deep into the alternately thrilling and terrifying landscape of a young girl's first explorations of adult sexuality and the loss of innocence, the bond between sisters-and into a daughter's tender but damaged relationship with her father, and what it is to finally trust a man.

Another capturing tale woven my the master story teller, Joyce Maynard.  Told in a distinct voice that Maynard is known for, you will be pulled into the story. Maynard writes a descriptive story which can read long, but there are always twists and turns that come at unexpected times.  When you read a novel by Maynard you know you will be entertained  and will enjoy the journey she takes you on.



Yes Mommy: The Mayhem and Madness of Not Saying No

What kind of mother doesn’t say no to her kids? One who is clearly angling for the Mother of the Year trophy – or an extended stay in a mental institution. After deciding to eliminate the words no, don’t and stop from her parenting vocabulary for one month, Amy Sprenger documents what life is like with her three young children. Spoiler alert: she’s still alive, so her experiment didn’t actually kill her. It just felt like it might most days.

You’ll cringe when the kids turn feral in Whole Foods, sympathize when Amy hides from them behind the locked bathroom door and question her sanity when she consents to a day as Yes Wife. But throughout, you’ll laugh at Amy’s month of mothering missteps and misadventures. This is what happens when you stop saying no and start saying yes – to everything.

I just finished reading Amy Sprenger's honest, funny and charming book....well it was more like a parenting experiment. You are allowed to follow her on her outrageous and fun experiment with her children! I found Sprenger to be refreshing and heartwarming.  She writes in ways any parent can relate to! Yes Mommy is a book you will think about long after you finish it and will make you reconsider what you say to your child!!!  Another 5 star hit!



Help for the Haunted: A Novel



One Hundred Names: A Novel

A beautiful story about so much more than a mystery needing to be solved, it is one of those books that grabs you as a person and changes you after you read it.  You learn things about yourself in the is a book that speaks to the reader directly through the written word and a moving story. It is a honest, true and sincere story. I am sure any reader can take something away from this novel....5 stars

Here's Looking at You

The new novel from the bestselling author of You Had Me At Hello. What if the last person you wanted to see was the person you needed? After the runaway success of You Had Me At Hello, Mhairi McFarlane is back with a new cast of characters in her second book, Here's Looking At You. In essence it's an ugly duckling tale. Our heroine Aureliana returns to school after fifteen years for a reunion. School doesn't hold happy memories for her, as being a roly poly Italian (known as the Italian Galleon), and always armed with a Tupperware full of pungent Mediterranean food, she was bullied incessantly throughout her years there. Now in her 30s, Aureliana wants to put the past behind her once and for all and face up to the bullies who made her life hell. But she is much-changed from the girl she once was - all curves and because I'm worth it hair - and no one recognises her when she arrives. Losing her bottle, she backs out on her plan for revenge and slinks off, hoping never to be reminded of her years at school again. But fate gets in the way, and after the reunion her path keeps crossing with James - major hunk and Aureliana's major crush back at school. But alas, as a cronie to the bullies, Aureliana to this day believes that his beautiful exterior hides an ugly interior. As they continue to cross paths a love/hate relationship ensues until eventually something shifts, and they both start to discover what the person underneath is really like...Full of Mhairi's trademark laugh out loud humour, Here's Looking At You is a novel about facing your demons and being happy with who you really are.
McFarlane is a new favorite author of mine!  Such humorous stories with well fleshed out characters that play out like a movie in your mind.  The misadventures are easy to relate to, original and have I said they are FUNNY, because it is laugh out loud funny!   I said the same thing about YOU HAD ME AT HELLO, another great read.  I want these books to become movies!  Loved it...5 stars!
Breakwater Bay
An abandoned baby, a glorious old Newport mansion, and awakening romance combine in Breakwater Bay, an engaging story that echoes the flair, humor, and emotional depth of Kristin Hannah's popular novels
The Hurricane Sisters
Filled with her trademark wit, sassy, heartwarming characters, and the steamy Southern atmosphere and beauty of her beloved Carolina Lowcountry, The Hurricane Sisters is New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank's enchanting tale of the ties and lies between generations.

Ah, motherhood. Butterfly kisses. First steps. Sippy cup missiles aimed directly at your feet. Now, for every mom who's dreamed of a global uprising against goodie bags, or who's gotten caught throwing out her preschooler's latest interpretive finger painting, there is Mommy A to Z -- an alphabetical exploration of the everyday absurdities involved in raising tiny humans. Topics include:
  • A is for Art Projects: Or, what to do with that one-eyed "penguin" in your kid's backpack.
  • F is for Fashion: How to go from Hot Mama to Baby Mama in 5 easy steps.
  • H is for Holidays: Prepare to cash out your 401(k).
  • I is for Imaginary Friends: Why they're not weird. Or creepy. Or weird.
  • M is for Movies: Or, everything my kid learned about death, she learned from Disney.
  • P is for Play Dates: Why they're like blind dating--with apple juice.
Combining personal anecdotes with a dash of sarcasm, plenty of humor, and lots of love, Mommy A to Z is the perfect antidote to grocery-store meltdowns, potty-training showdowns, and birthday-party burnout.
An honest and humorous look at parenting and all its up and downs.  Easy to read and practical in its tips. 3.5 stars


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Children's Books Review Round-Up!!!!



Paddington Bear had traveled all the way from Peru when the Brown family first met him in Paddington Station. Since then their lives have never been quite the same.... For ordinary things become quite extraordinary when a bear called Paddington is around.

This sumptuous treasury celebrates Paddington's enduring popularity by bringing together six of his most popular stories:

PaddingtonPaddington at the PalacePaddington at the ZooPaddington in the GardenPaddington and the Marmalade MazePaddington the Artist

My Review:
Brilliant, classic and something to be cherished!  Paddington is what childhoods are built around, reading this treasury was like stepping back into the days of youth.  Watching my children's eye expand and interest peeked when reading this aloud to them was such a gift.  This is a book that needs to be in every child's library and one that would make a perfect baby gift!  5 stars!



Snakeopedia tells the whole story of these amazing creatures. From the enormous Green Anaconda to the tiny Zootaxa, the book includes hundreds of snakes and all 12 families. You an learn about identifying features, habitats, their dangerous venom, how they can swallow such large prey, and unusual snake behaviours. Along the way, colourful callouts offer tons of cool facts. You can meet pythons that can survive as long as a year between meals, spitting cobras that can squirt venom eight feet away, and even flying snakes, which can sail from branch to branch to catch lizards! From vipers to rattlesnakes, boas to cobras, Discovery Channel Snakeopedia is the ultimate encyclopaedia for snake fans of all ages.

My Review:
Slithery, sneaky and quite frankly fascinating Snakeopedia is a informative, interesting book a all things snakes.  What I loved about this book is the colorful pictures, the easy to read facts and the wide variety of snakes covered.  My boys loved looking at the pictures and reading all the facts.  I will never look at snakes the same way again!  This was a great book to have over the summer on long car rides.  It keeps interest and there is so much to look at and learn time just flies when you are reading it!  4.5 stars!

Sports Illustrated Kids!!!!


How often do golfers make a hole in one? What are the chances you'll catch a foul ball at a baseball game? How often do Number 1 draft picks become Super Bowl winners? 

This book is the perfect combination of little-known stats, amazing plays, and fun facts. Not only will we address all the burning questions that curious sports fans want to know, this book will highlight some incredible moments and underscore exactly how special those highlight-reel plays are.

My Review:
I just have to say that Sports Illustrated Kids has some of the best books out there for lovers of the game, no matter which game it is that you love.  What Are The Chances?  The Wildest Plays in Sports is jam packed with some of the most amazing plays in history from rare, to really rare, to super rare to nearly impossible to never happened!!!!  Any sports fan is going to eat this book up.  My kids could not get enough of all plays.  They were blown away by the fact and figures and the great and colorful pictures added so much to the reading experience!!!!  5 stars



See how all aspects of football have evolved in this highly visual book filled with history and trivia about the game. You'll see a football transform before your eyes from a melon-like ball crudely stitched together to the aerodynamic pigskin it is today; or watch as a quarterback evolves from a scrawny helmetless player of the 1930s to a hulking play caller of the modern era. 

From rules to equipment to the all-time greats, this book is a journey through the game spanning the years

My Review:
Are you ready for some football??????  Yes, it is that time of year again and I am so pumped up, as are my kids.  Football:  Then to WOW!  is a great book to introduce a child to the game of football.  This book covers it all from the basics, to the players, to the strategy to the fan experience and so much more!!  It takes you on a time line of how the game has evolved over the years!  It is such a perfect book for the coffee table in your sports room or the gathering place of sports fans.  I really loved seeing all the Super Bowl tickets from 1967  to 2014.  You will be amazed in the how much money one ticket was back in the day compared to now!!! I just think this book is AMAZING!!  5 stars! 


Join Tako on an adventure as he makes a brave choice and proves that heroes come in all shapes and sizes 
When little Ricky Lee finds a puppy on the side of the road, he takes him home and names him Tako. Ricky's parents say that they will allow Tako to stay only if he is a good dog and follows the rules--or it's off to the pound he goes! 
Tako wants more than anything to be a good dog and stay with Ricky, but when greedy Mr. Prichard hatches a plan to put the Lee family's bakery out of business, Tako has to break the rules to protect his new family. Will he be able to spoil Mr. Prichard's plan and be a hero, or will he end up in the pound?

My Review:
A heart warming story about a sad and lonely dog that eventually finds himself a family and becomes a hero.  The illustrations are beautiful and the story original.  As a mother and a teacher, I just loved this book.  There is a lesson of love, compassion and caring wrapped up in the the story that any child or parent would appreciate!!!  5 stars!


There is a storm brewing on the Flying Dragon, and it's not about the weather. When the crew finds themselves parched and not enough juice to go around, blame falls on Matie the goat, Hallie's friend. Divided, they square off, ready for a fight and Captain No Beard must teach his crew that not only is bullying wrong, they must learn to value and respect each and every member of the crew. Watch the crew of the Flying Dragon learn an important lesson about being a true friend.

My Review:
4.5 stars SERIES REVIEW: An awesome adventure books that my kids and I have read over and over again! Great stories, amazing pictures and a great cast of characters! The books are more than just books...they are hours of fun. After we read one of the books I created a treasure hunt for the kids, with a map and real treasure! Such fun when books becomes more than just books and become bonding moments and amazing memories! 4.5 stars


Join Whaley on his big adventure in the ocean as he meets Whales of all different sizes. Written by 5 year old Alexander Luke and presented by his grandmother, award-winning children's author Carole P. Roman, this oceanic adventure of whale sized proportions will teach youngsters about the different whales that live in the oceans.

My Review:
Charming and adorable, this story was written in story form, but is filled with amazing facts about whales.  An adventure in friendship and facts Whaley's Big Adventure is one worth checking out!  4 stars


Friday, August 8, 2014

Mandy's Review Round-Up!!!



Old Blue Line by J.A. Jance

About the book....
Butch Dixon has been taken for a ride …

Not a jump in the car, see the sights kind of ride. He's been taken for everything he has. He's lost his house, his restaurant business, his savings, his car, his best friend, his faith—all to his conniving ex-wife. But that was seven years ago. He picked himself up, left Chicago, and started over in Peoria, Arizona, running the Roundhouse Bar and Grill. He doesn't look back on those bad years; there's no point. Not until two curious cops show up at the Roundhouse.

Faith, Butch's ex-wife, has been murdered, and the evidence points to him. Stunned, Butch quickly realizes that the black-hearted woman is going to ruin him again, from her grave. Lucky for Butch, the Old Blue Line, a group of retired—but still sharp and tenacious—former legal and law enforcement coots, have taken it upon themselves, as a favor, to make sure he doesn't cross that thin line. After the dust settles, Butch's life is again upended—when a little red-haired ball of fire, Sheriff Joanna Brady, takes a seat at his bar.

Mandy's Review:
Old Blue Line is a story about Butch Dixon and how is life is turned upside down upon the death of his ex-wife.  The twists and turns in this story kept me in till the very end of the story.  It was a fast read but a good one.  I give it 4 stars.


Scared Scriptless by Alison Sweeny

About the book....
Maddy Carson is a mass of contradictions. She loves her job as Script Supervisor on a hit TV show, but hates "Hollywood." Super-organized and down-to-earth, Maddy is clearly one of the best at her job, and her strict dating rule - "No Actors!" - helps her keep focused on her career. However, a budding relationship with Craig, one of the executives at her company, may even propel her into the big leagues. Could Wolf County, her beloved hometown in the mountains, be saved from a financial crisis by creating a reality show featuring the eccentrics in the small ski village? Maddy is determined to try, even when she learns that Craig's agenda doesn't exactly line up with her altruistic goal. 

Meanwhile, Maddy still has a full-time job to manage, her family to deal with, and a gorgeous new actor, Adam Devin, determined to wear down her resistance. Eventually Maddy must learn to break all her self-imposed rules and simply follow her heart.

Scared Scriptless offers an engagingly relatable heroine, laugh-out-loud humor, and a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how television is made.

Mandy's review:
A good book to read.  Alison Sweeny does a wonderful job of telling the story and making the reader feel as if they are part of the story.  I was well entertained and the book moved along a good pace.  I give it 3 stars.



City of Whores by Mark B Perry 

About the book....
New Year's Eve, 1951. Hollywood, California. As Tinseltown rings in the twilight of its Golden Age, a young man arrives from Texas hell-bent on exploiting his brooding good-looks in exchange for a shot at stardom--only to become dangerously entangled in the lives of one of the most powerful couples in show business. As his dream devolves into a lurid nightmare, he must choose between fortune and fame or sanity and survival. For more information, please visit the book's website

"Subtly powerful…a Truman Capote-like piece…deeply affecting and tinged with pathos…" - Kirkus Reviews 

"A delicious debut novel. Perry weaves his small town hero Dexter Gaines through 1950s Hollywood, featuring guest appearances by Tallulah Bankhead, Rock Hudson, Judy Garland, and many others. Sexy, dishy, and filled with duplicity, sometimes Hollywood endings don't turn out exactly the way you'd expect. Pour yourself a champagne cocktail and enjoy." - Ann Hamilton, author of Expecting 

"…a page-turner with a big heart. It's irresistible." - Bill Barol, author of Thanks For Killing Me 

City of Whores is the debut novel from Mark B. Perry, Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning writer-producer of such series as Revenge, Brothers & Sisters, Pasadena, Party of Five, Law & Order, Picket Fences, Northern Exposure, and The Wonder Years.

Mandy's Review: 
In his debut novel Mark Perry brings 1950s Hollywood to life for his readers.  We watch Dexter Gaines work his way through Hollywood and what unravels is just captivating.  This book is a great debut novel and a must read.  I give it 4 stars.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...