Friday, December 18, 2009

Author Interview-Kelly Gay

Kelly Gay, an author of urban fantasy books, has answered some questions about herself and her writing.

Why did you pick this genre to write in? Is it the genre you read most from? I don’t really think of genre before I start writing. I write whatever story is in my head at the time, though I naturally lean toward paranormal, fantasy, and strong heroines. Once I had the world and characters in my mind for THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS, I knew immediately that the story would fit best in urban fantasy. I read a lot of UF, but not when I’m writing rough drafts in the same genre. I like to have a clear head when I write new material, so I’ll switch to paranormal or contemporary romance, straight fantasy, or young adult. I love historical fiction and anything with a paranormal vibe.

I noticed on your website that you have had a plethora of jobs that are in all different areas. Can you list some of those? Do you think any of those jobs gave you ideas or story lines for your writing? Yeah, I’ve had a few odd jobs for sure! I’ve done many different jobs in construction, working for my dad—framing houses, roofing, driving backhoes and dump trucks. I worked at bookstores, movie theaters, in retail, at restaurants… But none were as fun as working with horses. I managed barns, groomed for show riders, and watched over foals at a breeding farm. Oddly enough, none of them really gave me inspiration for stories, but a lot of the jobs allowed me to day dream and stew on story ideas so that I could write later when I got home.

What path did you take to becoming a writer? The long one. J It took over a decade of writing, first screenplays and plays, and then fiction to finally get published. I have piles of scripts and about six or seven novels stacked in my office. My rejection pile might even rival my manuscript pile. My path consisted of writing manuscripts, honing my craft, submitting to agents and editors, pitching at conferences, and entering contests. I had some successes and near-misses, but it wasn't until 2008 that I finally sold to Pocket.

What is your writing schedule like? Do you write full time now or hold a job in addition to your writing career? I have three books contracted (the sequel to THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS, and then two young adults novels with Simon Pulse that I’m writing as Kelly Keaton), so I work full-time now on the writing. I usually work from 9 AM until 4 PM, writing new material in the mornings and editing in the afternoons, unless I’m under deadline for something, then I’ll focus on what’s needed. The biggest adjustment has been managing my time and being self disciplined.

What has been your experience in the publishing world? Positive/Negative? Definitely positive. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have teamed up with the folks at Pocket. They are talented, down to earth, fun people to work with.

What upcoming projects do you have? The sequel to THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS is up next. It’s called THE DARKEST EDGE OF DAWN, and releases Aug. 31, 2010. Then, in Spring of 2011, my first young adult book, a dark post-apocalyptic urban fantasy set in New Orleans, will debut under my penname, Kelly Keaton.

If you could meet one author for dinner, who would it be? Herodotus. Ancient history geek, here. I’d be in heaven, sitting down and chatting with the author we call the Father of History.

Do you have fascinating hobbies or guilty pleasures? My guilty pleasure is online role playing games. Massive time sinks, but I love to veg out and go running through some fantastical landscape as a mythological being and battle things. It’s very therapeutic!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Reading Guide: The Magician's Book by Laura Miller

The Magician's Book by Laura Miller was given away here on the blog and was won by Jaime in Colorado. Congrats Jaime! I am currently reading the book and wanted to share the reading guide with you all. If you haven't picked up a copy of this book, I hope you will. I am thoroughly enjoying it.

1. Laura Miller was introduced to the Chronicles of Narnia by her teacher and was immediately swept into their magical world. Describe your own discovery and reaction to them.

2. When Miller writes about her most powerful reading experiences while growing up, she cites Island of the Blue Dolphins, Five Children and It, and the Little House on the Prairie series. Name some of the formative books of your childhood and discuss why they were important to you. What about them has stayed with you into adulthood?

3. In the excerpt that opens The Magician’s Book, Lucy encounters the best story she has ever read. Afterward, she is unable to remember what happened in the story or to reread it. Have you ever lost yourself in a story as Lucy did? What were you reading? How old were you? Discuss why you think you were able to forget yourself so completely. How do our daily lives affect the way we read? What does this say about the role readers play in the creation of a story’s meaning?

4. Neil Gaiman and Jonathan Franzen note the importance of C. S. Lewis’s books in their own lives and work. Discuss the similarities and differences between their books and the Chronicles of Narnia. Have you noticed Lewis’s influence on other writers? If so, which writers? And why does their work remind you of the Pevensie children’s adventures?

5. Does Miller’s description of C. S. Lewis’s life and personality alter your view of his novels? In what ways? Have your opinions of other books changed after discovering personal details about the author? Why does biographical information affect our interpretation?

6. Laura Miller writes that she will not address the religious symbolism in the Chronicles, focusing instead on the stories and their creator. Do you agree with her decision? Are there other aspects of the books you would have liked Miller to address?

7. When Miller discovered Narnia’s Christian messages, her feeling of betrayal drove her away. Eventually, she returned and reexamined the books as an adult. Why was she upset by her new understanding? Discuss the role that the passage from innocence to understanding played in her reaction. Is one experience more valid than another?

8. Part memoir, part biography, and part literary criticism, The Magician’s Book touches on the many factors that shaped the author’s relationship with the novels. Discuss the extent to which each reader’s knowledge informs and shapes his or her interpretations of stories.

9. At its core, The Magician’s Book is the story of Laura Miller’s attempt to regain her childhood enchantment with the Chronicles. Have you reread the Chronicles of Narnia as an adult? If so, how has your enjoyment or understanding of them changed? Do you think it is possible to regain the childhood experience of reading? Why?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Giveaway-When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson

I have three copies of this book to giveaway. This contest is open to US and Canadian residents. Sorry but no PO Box addresses. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. If I can't contact you, another winner will be chosen. Winners will be selected on January 30. The Reading Guide will be posted for this book on January 30.

Book Summary:
On a hot summer day, Joanna Mason's family slowly wanders home along a country lane. A moment later, Joanna's life is changed forever...

On a dark night thirty years later, ex-detective Jackson Brodie finds himself on a train that is both crowded and late. Lost in his thoughts, he suddenly hears a shocking sound...

At the end of a long day, 16-year-old Reggie is looking forward to watching a little TV. Then a terrifying noise shatters her peaceful evening. Luckily, Reggie makes it a point to be prepared for an emergency...

These three lives come together in unexpected and deeply thrilling ways in the latest novel from Kate Atkinson, the critically acclaimed author who Harlan Coben calls "an absolute must-read."

Giveaway-Rules of Engagement by Chad Hennings

I have five copies of this book to giveaway. The contest is open to US and Canadian residents. Sorry, but no PO Box addresses. Please leave a comment with your email address to enter. If I can't contact you, another winner will be chosen. The winners will be selected on January 25.

Book Summary:
In all of the roles Chad Hennings has been privileged to play in life he has seen that the persistent "go-it-alone" myth in our society traps men from connecting in a meaningful way with other men. In fact, men in our society are emotionally disconnected from each other and from God.

In this book Chad wants to share the lessons he has learned that will make a difference in men's lives and tear down the walls that separate men from each other and their true selves.

This book will offer men a plan for a new approach to life that stresses:

Crafting character and vision for ones self
Healing the troubled past
Developing a work ethic
Commiting to self-care
Finding fulfillment
Living with spirituality
Making a strategic life plan
Serving the family
Male bonding
Developing an understanding of money
Community service
Redefining success

About the Author:
Although best known for his role with America's Team, Chad Hennings' successes began long before his professional football career. An accomplished lineman in high school, Hennings was offered full scholarships from universities across the nation. Instead, he chose to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he racked up numerous honors academically and on the gridiron. Named most valuable athlete at the academy, he earned defensive player of the year honors from the Western Athletic Conference and was named to the WAC's All-Decade Team.

In addition, he received the 1987 Outland Trophy, given to the country’s outstanding lineman, and the most valuable player designation at the 1988 Freedom Bowl. A two-time Academic All-American, Hennings was inducted into the GTE Academic All-American Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

His exemplary achievements put him at the top of many draft lists and earned him a spot on the Dallas Cowboys’ roster, but Hennings postponed his entry into the National Football League to fulfill his commitment to the U.S. Air Force. He entered the Euro-NATO program, a training program for top pilots, and soon found himself at the controls of the A-10 Thunderbolt.

During his four-year stint with the Air Force, Hennings flew 45 missions in support of Operation Provide Comfort in northern Iraq, an effort that helped provide relief and humanitarian aid to Kurdish refugees. He received two aerial achievement medals, a humanitarian award and an outstanding unit award for his actions in the service.

After his discharge, Hennings joined the Dallas Cowboys, quickly earning a starting position as a defensive lineman. He spent his entire 9-year professional football career with the Cowboys, retiring in 2001 with three Super Bowl rings.

Chad lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area where he is involved in commercial real estate. He frequently speaks on the topic of commitment. He is the founder of Wingmen Ministries and serves on the board of Happy Hill Farm Academy and the Advisory Board for Christian Community Action.

Chad is married to Tammy and has two children, Chase and Brenna.

Giveaway-The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker

I have one copy of this book to giveaway. The contest is open to US and Canadian residents. Sorry but no PO Box addresses. To enter, please leave a comment with your email. If I can't contact you, a new winner will be chosen. The winner will be selected on January 22. The reading guide for this selection will be posted on January 22.

Book Summary:
When Truly Plaice's mother was pregnant, the town of Aberdeen joined together in betting how recordbreakingly huge the baby boy would ultimately be. The girl who proved to be Truly paid the price of her enormity; her father blamed her for her mother's death in childbirth, and was totally ill equipped to raise either this giant child or her polar opposite sister Serena Jane, the epitome of femine perfection. When he, too, relinquished his increasingly tenuous grip on life, Truly and Serena Jane are separated--Serena Jane to live a life of privilege as the future May Queen and Truly to live on the outskirts of town on the farm of the town sadsack, the subject of constant abuse and humiliation at the hands of her peers.

Serena Jane's beauty proves to be her greatest blessing and her biggest curse, for it makes her the obsession of classmate Bob Bob Morgan, the youngest in a line of Robert Morgans who have been doctors in Aberdeen for generations. Though they have long been the pillars of the community, the earliest Robert Morgan married the town witch, Tabitha Dyerson, and the location of her fabled shadow book--containing mysterious secrets for healing and darker powers--has been the subject of town gossip ever since. Bob Bob Morgan, one of Truly's biggest tormentors, does the unthinkable to claim the prize of Serena Jane, and changes the destiny of all Aberdeen from there on.

When Serena Jane flees town and a loveless marriage to Bob Bob, it is Truly who must become the woman of a house that she did not choose and mother to her eight-year-old nephew Bobbie. Truly's brother-in-law is relentless and brutal; he criticizes her physique and the limitations of her health as a result, and degrades her more than any one human could bear. It is only when Truly finds her calling--the ability to heal illness with herbs and naturopathic techniques--hidden within the folds of Robert Morgan's family quilt, that she begins to regain control over her life and herself. Unearthed family secrets, however, will lead to the kind of betrayal that eventually break the Morgan family apart forever, but Truly's reckoning with her own demons allows for both an uprooting of Aberdeen County, and the possibility of love in unexpected places.

Giveaway-Who Owns The World: The Surprising Truth About Every Piece of Land by Kevin Cahill and Rob McMahon

I have five copies of this book to giveaway. This contest is open to US and Canadian residents. Sorry but no PO Box addresses. To enter, leave a comment with your email address. If I can't contact you, another winner will be chosen. Winners will be selected on January 15.

Book Summary:
You don't have to be a student of geography or cartography to have an interest in the world around you, especially with globalization making our planet seem smaller than ever. Now you can IM someone in Alaska, purchase coffee beans from Timor-Leste, and visit Dubai. But what do we really know about these lands?

WHO OWNS THE WORLD presents the results of the first-ever landownership survey of all 197 states and 66 territories of the world, and reveals facts both startling and eye-opening. You'll learn that:

--Only 15% of the world's population lays claim to landownership, and that landownership in too few hands is probably the single greatest cause of poverty.
--Queen Elizabeth II owns 1/6 of the entire land surface on earth (nearly 3 times the size of the U.S.).
--The Lichtenstein royal family is wealthier than the Grimaldis of Monaco.
--80% of the American population is crammed in urban areas.
--The least crowded state is Alaska, with 670 acres per person. The most crowded is New Jersey, with .7 acres per person. --60% of America's population are property owners. That's behind the UK (69% homeownership).
--And much, much more!

With its relevance to contemporary issues and culture, WHO OWNS THE WORLD makes for fascinating reading. Both entertaining and educational, it provides cocktail party conversation for years to come and is guaranteed to change the way you view the U.S. and the world.

Giveaway-Hearing From God Each Morning by Joyce Meyer

I have five copies of this book to giveaway. This contest is open to US and Canadian residents. Sorry but no PO Box addresses. To enter, leave a comment with your email address. If I can't contact you, a new winner will be chosen. The winners will be selected on January 11.

Book Summary:
In the hustle and bustle of today's busy world, sometimes it's hard enough to hear yourself think, much less take a minute to stop and listen for the voice of God. But learning to recognize God's voice and the many ways in which He speaks is vital for following His plan. This devotional; drawing from How to Hear From God, Knowing God Intimately, and The Power Of Simple Prayer shows the reader through a daily reminder, how God speaks through their own thoughts and feelings, their dreams, and the words of other people.

About the Author:
Joyce Meyer is one of the world's leading practical Bible teachers. A #1 New York Times bestselling author, she has written more than eighty inspirational books, including The Secret to True Happiness, 100 Ways to Simplify Your Life, the entire Battlefield of the Mind family of books, her first venture into fiction with The Penny, and many others. She has also released thousands of audio teachings, as well as a complete video library. Joyce’s Enjoying Everyday Life radio and television programs are broadcast around the world, and she travels extensively conducting conferences. Joyce and her husband, Dave, are the parents of four grown children and make their home in St. Louis, Missouri.

Book Giveaway-Career Comeback: Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want by Lisa Johnson Mandell

I have five copies of Career Comback to giveaway. This contest is open to US and Canadian residents. Sorry, but no PO Box addresses. To enter, please leave a comment about your dream job. Be sure to leave an email address, if I can't contact you, another winner will be chosen. The winners will be selected on January 8.

Book Summary:
Unfortunately, getting older can be a career killer. That's what entertainment journalist Lisa Johnson Mandell discovered when she sent out a resume that made her sound like an aged veteran. Her new career makeover guide-expanded from the Wall Street Journal article about revamping her "older" image to land her dream job-acknowledges that experience matters, but looking and acting up-to-date matter just as much. Mandell provides ten strategies for putting a youthful spin on resumes, Web pages, and personal presentation.

About the Author:
Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal and Forbes, as well as on Dr. Phil, Rachael Ray, Bravo, the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, Fox News and many other media outlets. She is a popular international speaker, and her blog,, is a helpful resource for all job seekers.

Lisa currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband James and their Golden Doodle, “KC.” When she is not helping people land jobs they love, she’s probably interviewing movie stars or preparing film reviews for Entercom radio stations and for

Book Giveaway-Points of Power by Yolanda Adams

I have five copies of Points of Power by Yolanda Adams to giveaway. This contest is open to US and Canadian residents, but no PO Box Addresses please. The winners will be chosen on January 4. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. If I can't contact you, another winner will be chosen.

Book Summary:
Over five million listeners tune in to hear Yolanda Adams's Points of Power, a segment in her daily radio show that inspires people by applying biblical truths to present-day realities. In her first book, Yolanda Adams transfers that winning segment into a reader's delight. In this highly accessible manual for daily living, she shares stories from her and others's personal experiences, showing readers how to access God's love and grace in their modern world and troubles. By revealing how Yolanda and other human beings have transcended the world's difficulties, POINTS OF POWER empowers readers to face trouble with confidence in the God who never fails.

About the author:
Yolanda Adams is listed among the artists who have achieved the greatest critical and commercial success in blending R&B styles with gospel music. She has released twelve albums, two of which were certified platinum, one gold, and has won over twenty awards for her music. She currently hosts The Yolanda Adams Morning Show and makes her home in Houston.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Book Review-Searching for Pemberley by Mary Lydon Simonsen

Searching for Pemberley by Mary Lydon Simonsen

I received a free copy of this to review for this blog.

Maggie Joyce finds herself working in London after World War II where she makes friends with a coworker. Little did Maggie know that she would stumble upon an adventure that would take her on a search for the identies of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. The couple made famous in Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice. What if the characters in Pride and Prejudice were based on real people but made to appear fictitious? What if descendants of these characters were still alive? What if Maggie could discover the real truth?

The book gives a character synopsis so that you can catch yourself up for the story if you are not familiar with the Pride and Prejudice characters. I think Jane Austen followers, as well as those that have never read a word of Jane Austen, will love this book. It delves into a world where every reader can get excited about the possibilities of what might have been. It allows the reader to go on the search with Maggie and figure out the mystery as if they were Maggie.

I highly recommend this book!!!

Book Review-My Unfair Lady by Kathryne Kennedy

My Unfair Lady by Kathryne Kennedy
Sourcebooks 2009

I received this book free to review from the publisher.

An American woman from the Wild West takes on Victorian London as she tries to learn how to impress her future mother in law. Summer Wine Lee decides to hire a Duke to teach her how to become refined and fit into the society she is soon to be a part of. As you can imagine, romance will bloom and those that seek change should maybe stay the way they are. My Unfair Lady has been described as a new take on My Fair Lady. I will let you decide if that is a correct comparison, yet, I urge you to delve into a wonderful world of romance and lose yourself in this world. I think this book is very well written and I lost myself in the pages as I imagined myself moving along with the characters as if I was one of them. I quickly found myself finished with this book and wishing it would continue.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Book Review-Ciao Italia by Mary Ann Esposito

Ciao Italia: Five Ingredient Favorites by Mary Ann Esposito
St. Martin's Press, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-312-37769-4

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher to do a review for the blog.

Mary Ann Esposito has written an Italian cookbook where all of the recipes use five ingredients. Ms. Esposito's philosophy is that five ingredients can create a delicious meal and be economical for a family. The book contains 75 recipes to include every course of a meal. The book starts off with the five ingredients every kitchen should have in the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer at all times. I think this was a good starting point for the book to prepare a cook's kitchen.

I particularly like how the recipes are laid out in the book. The ingredients are all listed as a side bar on the page to separate them from the actual recipe on the page. I think this gives easier access as I know many times when I have used cookbooks, the ingredients and recipe seem to run together and it isn't always easy to scan what you need without continually reading through all of it. Ms. Esposito also includes handy "Chefs Secrets" with recipes to give helpful hints on storage or small extras you can do to make the recipe work better for you.

At the end of the book, a five course seasonal menu is given for each season. I love this part of the book as it is an easy guide for giving dinner parties and knowing exactly what to serve for the time of year. I think it allows the average cook to become a gourmet chef for that special occassion.

There is such a good variety of dishes in this book that a family will never be bored eating Italian food. I know that I can't wait to try more recipes from this book and use it as a guide for entertaining.

Book Review-The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Vintage Books-A Division of Random House
ISBN: 978-0-307-45454-6

I purchased this book for my reading pleasure.

I had heard about this book numerous times but did not really know what it was about. I was perusing the aisles at Barnes and Noble recently and decided to give it a shot. I started reading this immediately and was less than impressed. However, at about the 50 page mark, this book took a turn from slow and I really don't like this to things are now moving and this is fantastic. The book starts out with Mikael Blomkvist going to trial and being convicted of libel for an article he wrote about a prominent business man. The journey will follow the next year of his life as he is enmeshed in a mystery with the Vanger family and the quest to tell their story. Although the story line starts out with Blomkvist, there are many characters and story lines that are separate, yet intertwined.

The book is very well written and keeps the reader guessing at the twists and turns that will happen next. This book is the first of three in a series and I can't wait to read the other two. Although, the author passed away shortly after the publication of this selection, the other two were already written and set to be published. The second book entitled The Girl Who Played With Fire was published in July 2009 and the third will follow shortly.

Book Giveaway-Denise's Daily Dozen by Denise Austin

I have five copies from Hachette Books of Denise's Daily Dozen by Denise Austin to giveaway. Please leave a comment and your email to enter. This contest is open to US and Canada residents, but no po boxes please. Winners will be selected on January 18.

Book Summary:
From Denise Austin comes the perfect health book for anyone who wants to live better but just can't seem to find the time. Much more than just another exercise book, Denise's Daily Dozen covers a whole range of health and diet related concepts yet manages it all in a no-stress, time-conscious program of 12's. At it's core, this book contains the minimum daily requirements to keep the reader flexible, strong and trim. Organized simply into seven chapters, which equal the seven days of the week, it covers a full week in daily allotments. Each day will have it's own focus from Monday being "fat burning day" to Sunday's "recharge and rejuvenate."

Denise has created a total body program, including a 7-day balanced meal plan that includes healthy recipes, and a workout that encompasses 12 exercises done in 12 minutes each day. Everyone can take just 12 minutes, at whatever time of the day works for them, and turn it over to these simple and fun exercises. Cardio, toning, yoga and breathing exercises...they're all here but in a way the maximizes effect while minimizing time.

Beyond a dozen exercises for each day of the week this book will include many other of Denise's dozens for each day.

Blog Tour Announcement-Denise's Daily Dozen by Denise Austin

The new year is almost here and it isn't too early to start thinking about the usual New Year's Resolution to get in shape. Hachette Books has a blog tour that will run from January 18-25 for fitness guru Denise Austin's new book. There will be book giveaways, reviews, and interviews at various blogs during this time. I have included a list of all the blogs that are participating so you can get all the goods on Denise and her new book and try to get a copy for yourself.

Participating Blogs: Review 1/18/2010 Review 1/18/2010 Review, Giveaway 1/18/2010 Giveaway 1/18/2010 Review and Giveaway 1/18/2010 Review 1/18/2010 Review 1/18/2010 Review, Giveaway 1/18/2010 Feature, Review, Giveaway 1/18/2010 Review, Giveaway 1/18/2010 Feature, Giveaway 1/18/2010 Review, Giveaway , Q&A 1/18/2010 Giveaway 1/19/2010 Giveaway 1/19/2010 Review 1/19/2010 Review, Giveaway 1/20/2010 Review, Giveaway 1/20/2010 Giveaway 1/20/2010 Giveaway 1/20/2010 Giveaway 1/20/2010 Giveaway 1/20/2010 Review, Giveaway 1/20/2010 Review, Giveaway 1/20/2010 Review 1/21/2010 Review 1/21/2010 Review, Giveaway , Q&A 1/21/2010 Feature, Review, Giveaway , Q&A 1/21/2010 Giveaway , Q&A 1/21/2010 Giveaway 1/22/2010 Q&A, review, and giveaway 1/22/2010 Feature, Review, Giveaway 1/22/2010 Giveaway 1/23/2010 Feature, Review, Giveaway 1/23/2010 Review, Giveaway 1/24/2010 Review 1/24/2010 Review, Giveaway 1/25/2010 Review 1/25/2010
http://therempels4.blogspot Review, Giveaway 1/25/2010 Review, Giveaway 1/25/2010

Book Giveaway-Prime Time Health by William Sears

Hachette has given me five copies of Prime Time Health by William Sears to giveaway. Please leave a comment with your email address to enter. This contest is open to US and Canada but no po box addresses please. The winners will be chosen on December 28.

Book Summary:
Twelve years ago, renowned physician and author Dr. William Sears was diagnosed with cancer. He, like so many people, wanted-and needed-to take control of his health. Dr. Sears created a comprehensive, science based, head-to-toe program for living a long, fit life-and it worked. Now at the peak of health, Dr. Sears shares his program in PRIME-TIME HEALTH. This engaging and deeply informative book will motivate readers to make crucial behavior and lifestyle changes. Dr. Sears explores how to keep each body system healthy and delay those usual age-related changes.

Book Giveaway-A Good Talk by Daniel Menaker

I have five copies of A Good Talk from Hachette books to giveaway. Please leave a comment with your email to enter. This contest is open for US and Canada residents but no po boxes please. The winners will be chosen on December 27.

Book Summary:
A GOOD TALK is an analysis of and guide to that most exclusively human of all activities-- conversation.

Drawing on over forty years of experience in American letters, Menaker pinpoints the factors that drive and enliven every good conversation: the vagaries (and joys) of subtext; the deeper structure and meaning of conversational flow; the subliminal signals that guide our disclosures and confessions; and the countless other hurdles we must clear along the way. Moving beyond self-help musings and "how to" advice, he has created a stylish, funny, and surprising book: a celebration of "the most excusively human of all activities."

In a time when conversation remains deeply important-- for building relationships, for relaxing, even for figuring out who we are-- and also increasingly imperiled (with Blackberries and texting increasingly in vogue), A GOOD TALK is a refreshing celebration of the subtle adventures of a good conversation.

Book Giveaway-Beyond Blue by Therese Borchard

I have five copies from Hachette Books of Beyond Blue to giveaway. Please leave a comment with your email address below to enter. The contest is open to US and Canada residents and no po boxes please. The winners will be chosen on December 26.

Book Summary:
Therese Borchard may be one of the frankest, funniest people on the planet. That, combined with her keen writing abilities has made her Beliefnet blog, Beyond Blue, one of the most trafficked blogs on the site.

BEYOND BLUE, the book, is part memoir/part self-help. It describes Borchard's experience of living with manic depression as well as providing cutting-edge research and information on dealing with mood disorders. By exposing her vulnerability, she endears herself immediately to the reader and then reduces even the most depressed to laughter as she provides a companion on the journey to recovery and the knowledge that the reader is not alone.

Comprised of four sections and twenty-one chapters, BEYOND BLUE covers a wide range of topics from codependency to addiction, poor body image to postpartum depression, from alternative medicine to psychopharmacology, managing anxiety to applying lessons from therapy. Because of her laser wit and Erma Bombeck sense of humor, every chapter is entertaining as well as serious.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Win A Fall Feast of Cookbooks

A blog that I follow is hosting a fall feast of cookbooks. You can enter until December 6 to win. You can go to the blog to enter at or you can click on the button that says Mom Saves Money right here on my blog. Good Luck and go enter!