Friday, December 30, 2011

Shopaholic on a budget??

I love No More Rack, the new deal site I found this week.  They have great deals and it's fun to check everyday.  If you're familiar with Woot and other deal a day sites like Groupon, you'll love No More Rack.  New deals are loaded everyday at 11:59am EST.  This means you don't have to be up until midnight to catch a great deal!  Check out this video to see how it works.  Check out today's deals by clicking here:

Enjoy your next great deal!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Christmas Wish...

Glitter Graphics

Have a wonderful holiday with your family and friends!!  Thanks for reading and interacting with me throughout the year!  I look forward to 2012 and another year of wonderful books!!  Make sure to check out these wonderful titles which will be reviewed here soon!

by Sarah Jio

by Jude Deveraux

by Kristina McMorris

by Kristin Hannah


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More Than Words Can Say

From the author of If Wishes Were Horses comes a novel of long-buried secrets and self-discovery, showing us that sometimes what goes unsaid is more powerful than words. . . .
Chelsea Enright never expected to inherit her grandmother’s lakeside cottage deep in the Adirondacks—a serene getaway that had been mysteriously closed up decades ago. This is no simple bequest, however, because when Chelsea finds her grandmother’s WWII diaries, she’s stunned to discover that they hold secrets she never suspected . . . and they have the power to turn her own life upside down.
Even more surprising is the compelling presence of local doctor Brandon “Yale, and Chelsea soon finds her “short stay” has stretched into the entire summer. She cannot put this cottage and her family’s past behind her easily—and the more she learns about the woman her grandmother truly was, the more Chelsea’s own life begins to change . . . and nothing will ever be the same again.
Robert Barclay, author of If Wishes Were Horses, sold his successful consulting business and moved from upstate New York to south Florida, where he could devote his full attention to what he always wanted to do—write. He also enjoys weightlifting, Shotokan karate, and going to the beach to do absolutely nothing.

My Review:  I have a sick daughter so I am posting this quickly!  I enjoyed this book!  Robert has a great writing style.  Among that he created a interesting and intriguing story.  I am reminded that actions speak louder than words and it really was interesting to see a story form around the unsaid....  I love stories that involve family history or diary finding.  It's always interesting to me to read about someone's life through their diary or loved one finding their diary.  I would recommend this novel!  It's a great read.

Highly Recommended

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

His Mistress by Christmas

Author: Victoria Alexander
Publisher: Kensington Books
Source: Crazy Book Tours

For three years, Lady Veronica Smithson has been perfectly happy as a widow — and thoroughly independent. Still, the right gentleman could provide the benefits of marriage without the tedious restrictions. And in Sir Sebastian Hadley-Attwater, renowned explorer and rogue, Veronica is sure she has found him. Sebastian will come into his inheritance in a matter of weeks — if his family deems him responsible enough. There’s no better way to prove his maturity than with a home and a wife. But though the lovely Veronica will share his bed, she steadfastly refuses to marry. However, Sebastian has a plan. An intimate sojourn at his new country house will surely change Veronica’s mind. For Sebastian never takes no for an answer. And even in the midst of mischief-making relatives and unexpected complications, he intends to persuade his Christmas mistress that they belong together — in this, and every season to come...
My Thoughts:
I am a huge fan of historical fiction and love historical romance.  To add to this, I LOVE Christmas novels.  Basically, I love Christmas…  Anyhow, His Mistress by Christmas intrigued me due to these two facts and the storyline.  I was pleased to read this novel and still feel fulfilled.  Sebastian is a man who knows what he wants and makes sure to see that he gets it.  Lady Veronica seemed to be the perfect match for this personality quality in Sebastian.  Though she is fully able to take care of herself and be self-sufficient, she’s not above having someone to help take care of things, as long as she can remain independent.  I enjoyed both of the characters in this romance.  Victoria Alexander is a wonderful author.  She created imaginative and noteworthy characters with an interesting and unique storyline.  I enjoyed how both characters were considering marriage from a practical standpoint instead of love.  I felt this really fit the time period, where marriages were more a match of good wealth and social standing than love matches.
This book is complete with interesting characters, intriguing story line, Christmas magic and cheer and of course romance.  I enjoyed how the book fit right in with the era and made me feel as if it could have happened.  Based on this book alone, I would read more by Victoria and I do recommend it to read.
Recommended this Season
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Summer In Europe

Author: Marilyn Brant
ISBN: 9780758261519
Publisher: Kensington
Source: Crazy Book Tours

On her thirtieth birthday, Gwendolyn Reese receives an unexpected present from her widowed Aunt Bea: a grand tour of Europe in the company of Bea's Sudoku and Mah-jongg Club. The prospect isn't entirely appealing. But when the gift she is expecting -- an engagement ring from her boyfriend -- doesn't materialize, Gwen decides to go. At first, Gwen approaches the trip as if it's the math homework she assigns her students, diligently checking monuments off her must-see list. But amid the bougainvillea and stunning vistas of southern Italy, something changes. Gwen begins to live in the moment: skipping down stone staircases in Capri, running her fingers over a glacier in view of the Matterhorn, racing through the Louvre, and taste-testing pastries at a Marseilles cafe. Revelling in every new experience -- especially her attraction to a charismatic British physics professor -- Gwen discovers that the ancient wonders around her are nothing compared to the renaissance unfolding within...

My Thoughts:

If you've never read anything by Marilyn Brant before you need too!  Summer in Europe is another wonderful example of her talented writing skills.  Marilyn grabbed my attention and kept me engaged throughout the novel.  I didn't want to put it down.  The story flows smoothly and effortlessly making it easy to read.  My favorite aspect of this novel was the escape I felt while reading it.  It's almost as if I was in southern Italy and on a much needed vacation!  In short, this is a great story that engages the reader and leaves you wanting more from Marilyn!  Her characters are charming and interesting.  They come alive in your imagination due to Marilyn's ability to create well developed characteristics.You should read it and then check out her other novels! More to come.....

**Read an excerpt on**

Don't miss it!  Must Read!

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Her Sister's Shadow

Author: Katharine Britton
ISBN: 978--0-425-24174-5
Publisher: Penguin
Source: TLC Book Tours
Follow the Tour Stops
Rating: Highly Recommended

About the Book:

Lilli Niles is at home in her North London flat when she receives an unexpected call.  her elder sister, Bea--at the family homestead in White Head, Massachusetts has just lost her husband, and she wants Lilli to fly home for the funeral.

Lilli, a painter, is preparing for her latest gallery opening.  And more to the point, there are reasons she moved all the way to England to escape her older sister, reasons that have kept them estranged for decades.

But something in Bea's voice makes Lilli think it's time to return to New England, to the stately house she loved as a child, to the memory of a shared loss-- and to a time when simple sisterhood was enough to overcome betrayal and resentment.  In this emotional debut, Katharine Britton explores the divergent paths we take in life--and the road that ultimately brings us back to each other.

My Thoughts:

The book opens quickly with Bea's call to Lilli regarding her husband's death.  From this point on, it is clear Bea and Lilli are estranged though the reasons are not revealed until later.  I instantly found myself enthralled with their shared secret.  The tension between the two is evident, yet I didn't know why it was there.  I wanted to find out what happened to make these two sisters become so far apart, though their love for each other is obvious, their dislike and discomfort is even more so. 

The author uses the family home as a resting place for memories, secrets and past that will be revealed.  I enjoyed this element of the book.  I have vivid memories of my past that take place in my childhood homes.  While I may not remember much about some memories, there are others where I can still visualize everything about the room I was in.  It's as if your transported back in time.  Lilli's connection to her childhood home reminded me of these moments.  I also loved how the author uses the relationship of sisterhood between Lilli and Bea, as well as their other siblings, Charlotte and Dori.

The novel is written using the present and reflecting on the past, switching between the two.  I am personally a fan of this set up in novels, so I enjoyed reading both sides of the story.  I felt I was given a well rounded look at the events and characters since I was introduced to them as a grown woman and a teenage girl.  In the present,  The sisters are old enough to have knee problems, aches, pains and grown children in the present which enables the story to have a deeply rooted past.  Since the hurt, loneliness, loss, and love run so deep, the story is emotional and spellbinding.  It holds you captive as you watch the scenes unfold and secrets spill out.  I found myself emotionally connected to the characters in a variety as their story unfolded. 

Katharine Britton is a talented debut author.  I enjoyed her writing style.  This novel was easy to read, captivating and paced well.  While I didn't speed through the pages, I didn't find myself bored either.  The pace is thoughtful and deliberate.  I would highly recommend this book to others.  Based off it, I would also read more from Katharine Britton.

About the Author:

Katharine Britton has a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from Dartmouth College.  She teaches at Colby-Sawyer College, and at The Writer’s Center.  Her screenplay, Goodbye Don’t Mean Gone, was a Moondance Film Festival winner and a finalist in the New England Women in Film and Television contest. Katharine is a member of the League of Vermont Writers.

When not at her desk, Katharine can be found at her Norwich garden, waging a non-toxic war against the slugs, snails, deer, woodchucks, chipmunks, moles, voles and beetles with whom she shares her yard.  Katharine's defense consists mainly of hand-wringing, after the fact.

Connect with Katharine online at her website,, her blog, and on Facebook.
Highly Recommended

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Author: Chandra Hoffman
ISBN: 9780061974311
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: TLC Book Tours
Follow the Tour
Rating: Recommended Read

About the Book:

It all begins with a fantasy . . .
caseworker in her “paperwork-signing” suit alongside beaming parents cradling their adopted newborn: this is the blissful picture that keeps Chloe Pinter, director of Portland’s Chosen Child domestic adoption program, happy as she juggles the demands of her boss and the incessant needs of adoptive and biological parents.
But the dream job that offers Chloe refuge from her turbulent personal life soon becomes a nightmare involving three very different couples: the college sweethearts who, after suffering fertility problems, are now expecting their own baby; the wealthy husband and desperate wife for whom adoption is a last chance; and the couple who has nothing—except the baby everyone wants. But when a child goes missing, perceptions of family and future are challenged, posing the questions: What happens when you get what you thought you wanted? How far would you go if it wasn’t what you wanted after all?

My Thoughts:
Wow, if the synopsis doesn't catch you what will?  This book is riveting and somewhat haunting. I can't imagine going through the nightmare that Chloe and the couples involved do.  This book gives awareness to the trials of infertility, the difficulty of giving your child up for adoption and the fears all adoptive parents face plus some. If your looking for a climatic page turner, this one is for you.
Having said that, I wish the evident would have taken place earlier in this book.  The reader is told in the synopsis as well as multiple times in the beginning of the book that a child goes missing, though you're not aware who has done what, how the child goes missing or what happened.  While the story builds, tension becomes tighter and I was left to keep turning the pages in hopes of getting to the climatic part of the story.  When it finally happens I wasn't shocked but kind of relieved.  If the child went missing earlier in the novel and then back story was given or information was revealed I would have enjoyed this one more.  While it is not a huge issue, it did throw me.  I kept waiting for something to happen and wondered when the child would go missing, whose would be missing and why.
The characters are well developed, dramatic and realistic.  I loved that Chloe was optimistically naive.  She is a character who feels her job is perfect because she unites unwanted babies with loving and devoted parents who want nothing else but a child.  Unfortunately, Chloe doesn't realize the dramatic pain and hurt that happens right in front of her. Chloe gains insight as the book progresses and starts to realize that its not easy, emotionally, for a birth mom to give up her child.  I feel like a lot of people would see the job of an adoption case worker in this light if they weren't paying attention to the whole picture.  Each couple in this novel brings something different to the table.  The emotional heartache and excitement for each was compelling.  
Overall, this book was a good read.  Though I wished some elements were introduced earlier in the novel, I was never bored reading this. Ms. Hoffman has her own unique writing style and tells her story in an engaging manner.  The novel has plenty of story and switches between characters, giving a well rounded understanding of the whole scenario. Chosen is a well written, engaging and emotional novel that keeps you reading.  I loved how informative and well portrayed the adoption process is in this book.  I know couples who have adopted and are adopting, this novel fits the trials and joys of adoption well.
About the Author:

Chandra Hoffman has been an orphanage relief worker in Romania, a horse trainer in the Caribbean, a short order cook in a third world hospital, the director of a U.S. adoption program, and an event planner for Philadelphia’s Main Line elite. A graduate of Cornell University and Antioch’s MFA program, she has settled back in her hometown outside of Philadelphia with her husband, three young children, and an ever-changing menagerie. Chosen is her first novel.
Visit Chandra at her website,, and follow her onFacebook and Twitter at @chandraKhoffman.

Recommended Read

New Fiction You Won't Want to Miss!

The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards: Book Cover
Author: Kim Edwards
ISBN: 9780143120360
Publisher: Penguin
About the Book:

At a crossroads in her life, Lucy Jarrett returns home to upstate New York from Japan, only to find herself haunted by her father’s unresolved death a decade ago. Old longings stirred up by Keegan Fall, a local glass artist who was once her passionate first love, lead her into the unexpected. Late one night, as she paces the hallways of her family’s rambling lakeside house, she discovers, locked in a window seat, a collection of objects that first appear to be idle curiosities, but soon reveal glimpses of a hidden family history. As Lucy explores these traces of her lineage—from an heirloom blanket and dusty political tracts to a web of allusions depicted in stained-glass windows, both in her hometown and beyond—a new family history emerges, one that will link her to a unique slice of the suffragette movement, and yield dramatic insights that will free her to live her life to its fullest and deepest.    
With revelations as captivating as the deceptions at the heart of her best-selling phenomenon, The Memory  Keeper’s Daughter, Kim Edwards now gives us the story of a woman’s homecoming to the lake of her childhood,  and the discovery of a secret past that will alter her understanding of her heritage, and herself, forever. A powerful family narrative and a story of love lost and found, The Lake of Dreams is an arresting novel in which every vibrant detail emerges as an organic piece of a puzzle.  With her signature gifts for lyricism, suspense, and masterly storytelling, Kim Edwards’s new novel will delight those who loved The Memory Keeper’s Daughter and mesmerize millions of new fans.  

Available for purchase at the following retailers:

Happy Reading!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Remembering You

Author: Tricia Goyer
ISBN: 9780824948122
Publisher: Guidepost
Source: Litfuse Publicity Tours
Follow the Tour:

About the book:
35-year-old Ava Andrews' dream job is interrupted by an unusual request--fulfill her 84-year-old grandfather's last wish by joining him on a battle site tour of Europe. Ava is sure her boss will refuse her request. But, instead, he gives her a directive of his own--to videotape the tour and send it back as mini-segments for the show she produces.

As if juggling these two things isn't hard enough, Ava is soon surprised again ... twice. First, Ava and Grandpa Jack arrive in Europe, only to discover the tour is cancelled. Unwilling to let down her grandfather or her boss, Ava and Grandpa Jack head out on their own. Then, while they're on their way, the pair soon meet up with Paul, her grandpa's best friend, and his grandson Dennis. The same Dennis who just happens to be Ava's first love.

Before she knows it, Ava and Dennis are swept down memory lane as they visit the sites that are discussed in the history books. And even though Ava's videotaping old soldiers, she can see their youth, their hopes and fears, and their pride in their eyes. Soon Ava learns the trip isn't just for them ... it's for her too--especially for her heart.

Read an excerpt, watch a video and find out more here.

My Thoughts:

Taking your 84 year old grandpa to Europe for a reunion and tour of World War 2 battle sites is not exactly a dream trip, but for Ava, a TV producer, the trip couldn't have come at a better time.  Recently jilted by her fiance and currently stressed about her career, Ava sees the trip as an opportunity to film the veterans as they re-visit the past.  The problem??  Grandpa Jack.

Grandpa Jack isn't quite as excited about Ava's plans to film the tour.  When the tour is cancelled, Jack and his best friend Paul decide to head to Europe and visit the sites without an official tour.  Jack and Paul take Ava and Paul's grandson Dennis with them.  While the grandfathers hope to re-unite Ava and Dennis, who have a past, haunting memories emerge.  Ava is left to learn forgiveness, understand pain, and realize that not all expectations can be met by those we place them on.  As a love story, a past, a mystery and a future unfold so does a gripping and compelling story that will keep your nose in this book!

Poignant, dramatic and compelling, Remembering You was an enjoyable and thoughtful read.  I loved the characters, the storyline and the pace of this book.  It's much different than other novels I've read by Goyer.  I found myself highly engrossed in the history, touched by the tribute to those who have served and entranced with the story.  I would highly recommend this read.

About Tricia:
Tricia Goyer is the author of thirty books including Songbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. On Tricia's weekly radio show, Living Inspired, she shares stories of inspiration and encouragement. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.

For more about Tricia and her other books visit
Buythe book:

Highly Recommended
*I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review and participation in this tour.  All thoughts are my own based off my interaction with this book.*

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving to you all....

No matter how you spend your day, who you spend it with or what you eat, I wish you a happy and thankful filled Thanksgiving!  Enjoy the day, remember your blessings and not your trials.  Tell someone you love how thankful you are for them and why.  Thank you for following my blog, caring about my reviews and leaving comments!  You all have made blogging so much fun for me.  Whenever I get in a reading slump I remember you and it pulls me out!  I am thankful for eyes that enable me to read wonderful books by wonderful authors.  Without them life wouldn't be the same.  Reading has molded and shaped my personality.  I love and enjoy books.  When I no longer have the ability to read I will appreciate audio books on a whole new level!  Anyhow.... HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  Enjoy the day!!

Tiffany - A Cozy Reader's Corner Reviews

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dollars to Donuts

Author: Kathleen Kole
ISBN: 978-0986895647
Publisher: Sublime Coyote Media
Source: Chick-lit Plus Blog Tours
About the Book:
Take one newspaper columnist; move her from the anonymity of her home city to a sleepy, small town; add a dollop of nosey, suspicious and just plain odd neighbors; a dash of mystery in the form of a stained garbage can and a rodent and, finally, a large pinch of unsettling attraction to a virtual stranger and you’ll find yourself with a recipe that imitates April Patterson’s life.  Sound strange? It is.

April Patterson had no idea that when she decided to follow the path of family and love, she would find herself an unwitting player in an eyebrow raising cul-de-sac mystery, grasping for her privacy as she plays “Dodge the Neighbor” and being forced to examine her relationship motives … all before she had unpacked her last box!
Taking a deep breath, and a large bite into a comforting donut, April consoles herself with the knowledge that it will all work out. It always does … doesn’t it?

Dollars to Donuts is the first novel I’ve read by Kathleen.  I have to admit the title intrigued me.  Usually it is the cover that grabs my attention first, but not this time.  I don’t know if I was hungry or just amused by the title but the book follows the titles suit.  Dollars to Donuts is a charming and entertaining read.  I laughed but also cringed.  April’s character is completely opposite of my own.  I found myself understanding where her sister Jessica was coming from in regards to her bouncing lifestyle. 
What did crack me up was April’s neighborhood drama!  Cole comes up with some interesting and quirky characters that would make me move from a neighborhood quickly.  It was funny to read, but I certainly felt for April when she had to deal with them all.  The story takes its stride after April’s sister Jessica advises her to take control of her life instead of letting life control her.  April, who is living with her boyfriend, starts to lose all control when her boyfriend’s attractive friend Gerritt moves in after his house catches on fire in a freak accident.    In the midst of chaos April learns a little about love, a little about life and a whole lot about the heart.  The reader quickly finds out that not everything in life can be controlled and if you don’t agree check out her crazy neighbors!
This novel is well written, flows smoothly and keeps you entertained.  It has lots of funny dramatic moments and bits of seriousness without being deeply heavy.  I enjoyed sitting down with this book.  I can think of specific friends who would enjoy reading this novel.  If you want something different, this one is for you.
About the Author:
Born in Edmonton AB, Kathleen began storytelling in grade school. She has many fond memories of passing summer afternoons, out on the swings in her backyard, creating tales that entertained her neighborhood friends. When she finally decided to venture from her backyard, Kathleen pursued a career in storytelling. She graduated from college with a Diploma in Radio and Television Arts and traveled the path of freelance writing for numerous local newspapers. Many years later, too many to talk about without seeming rude and nosey, Kathleen has channeled her imagination to the pages of her novels. She hopes that you enjoy her tales and encourages you to feel free to read her stories on the swing set in your own backyard. Kathleen has traveled from Edmonton, to a new backyard with a lovely mountain view. She spends time there with her beloved husband, adored son and silly dog. They let her tell them stories and always laugh in all of the correct places. She’s lucky, and she knows it.
Recommended Read

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bonjour 40

Author: Karen Chase
Publisher: Self-Published, Karen Chase
Source: BookSparks PR
Rating: Highly Recommended

About the Book:

If Karen A. Chase absolutely had to turn forty, she decided she could do it gracefully in Paris… for nearly forty days. What began as a blog to communicate with friends and family, became a travel journal filled with over a months’ worth of humorous and insightful glimpses into her Paris adventures, each of which could be read in about forty seconds. Journal entries are interspersed with Chase's own inspiring photography. Additional, longer stories richly fill in details allowing readers to reflect upon her experiences with food, travel, photography, Parisians, writing, and love in the City of Lights. Through her Parisian- and self-exploration, comes a book that brings to life the richness of Paris as seen through the eyes of a romantic travel junkie. Chase shows readers the joys of turning 40, and with her magical view of Paris, they'll be ready to board a plane before they've turned the last page.


I've always wanted to go to Paris!  Unfortunately, I hate to fly.  I detest it so much that I avoid flying unless absolutely necessary.  Since I don't have the funds to head to Paris, the flight is nowhere near necessary for me so I live vicariously through others.  I saw all this to say that I loved living vicariously through Karen.  If you want to feel like your in Paris and enjoy Paris through the eyes of a charming and down to earth woman, read this book. 

At 134 pages this memoir is a quick and easy read.  It is very enjoyable to follow Karen on her 40 day trip. I thought the author celebrated her 40th birthday in the most perfect way!  Everyone should celebrate a memorable birthday by doing something they have always wanted to do.  It was inspiring.  The book itself is a travelogue of sorts.  I enjoyed her travel stories.  I found myself entertained with her humor and enlightened with learning. 

For those who love Paris, want to love Paris or simply want to escape or travel, this book is perfect.  It is honest and natural since the author's real life story is spilled across pages that tell a story within her story.  Since she has nothing to loose and everything to give, this book is an insightful look at Paris, it's people, a culture and a woman in the prime of her life.  Hello 40! Are you ready?? Read it, you'll enjoy it.

Highly Recommended

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Jessie Harrell
Publication: November 17th
Publisher: Mae Day Publishing
Length: 368 pages

When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear.
As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she's come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.
 Destined is a fresh and heartachingly romantic retelling of the Cupid & Psyche myth from debut novelist, Jessie Harrell.

A Sneak Peak…
Chapter 3 --

When the door was closed, I spun around, eager to see who Aphrodite had brought with her.
I was two steps into my room when they changed. Expecting a goddess, I couldn’t have been more stunned by the additional visitor.

Or wrong.

Those soft blonde curls and piercing blue eyes didn’t belong to any goddess. Only the most amazing guy - god? - I’d ever laid eyes on.

My heart took off at a sprint and the blood rushed to my cheeks. He shot me a coy smirk that made my stomach slush with uneasy delight. So when a pair of pristine white wings unfurled from his back, my knees almost buckled. And here I’d thought he couldn’t be any more magnificent. No doubt about it, this guy was divine.

Aphrodite threw her arms wide, demanding I place my attention on her. “So, are you surprised?” she asked.

Although she’d never hugged me before, I knew it was what she wanted me to do. To sweep myself into her embrace and prove myself grateful of my new role as her mortal daughter.

“Surprised isn’t the half of it,” I mumbled, stepping into an awkward hug.

Her arms tightened around me as she rocked me side to side. “This is so exciting for you. And for me.” She pushed me back at arms-length and stared at my face, her eyes searching mine. “You’re the one I’ve been waiting for. I can just tell.”

Beside her, the boy’s wings ruffled. “You’ve had your little mother-daughter reunion. Can we go now?”
Still keeping one arm draped over my shoulder, Aphrodite wrapped the boy up with her other arm. We were so close I could almost smell him, just a hint of rugged sunshine. “Don’t be silly, Eros. We all have much to discuss.”

Eros? Like the god-of-love, shoots-everyone-with-magic-arrows, son-of-Aphrodite Eros?

“Do we have to do it here?” His gaze swept my room and obvious distaste curled down the edges of his lips, wiping away that delicious smirk. “It’s so... pedestrian.”

What’s that supposed to mean? My temptation to bite his head off was tempered only by my need to stay on topic.

“Aphrodite --” I started. “I’m not supposed to call you ‘mom’ now or anything, am I?”

That infamous smile of hers pulled her lips tight and a perfect dimple flared on her right cheek. “Not yet, sweetie. Soon,” she shot a knowing look at Eros, “but not yet.”

I felt like I needed to sit down. Was the room spinning?

Rubbing at my temples, I tried again. “Okay. I’m sure I don’t understand most of what’s going on today, but we really need to talk. Because what my parents are planning makes no sense either.” Aphrodite perched on the edge of my vanity and cocked her head like she was waiting for me to continue. “See, here’s the thing. My parents are really happy.”

“They should be,” Eros half-coughed into his fist.

I shot him a glare before continuing on my rambling speech. “But, they think you’ll want me to get married right away. Which is just insane, right? I mean, you said I’d help you promote the worship of beauty, but we never talked about your other ... well, attributes. And so anyway, my parents are sending out requests for suitors, and my sister is going to get married off too, and this is all just ... wrong. Please tell me this is wrong.”

“Completely wrong,” Aphrodite confirmed with a wave of her hand. I didn’t realize how tightly I’d been squeezing my fingers until I let them go and the blood rushed back.

“Well, maybe not the part about your sister, but definitely about marrying you off.” She gave this throaty chuckle that erased all the insta-relief I’d had just a second ago. “Your parents don’t get to pick your husband. I do.”

Eros snorted and dropped onto a tripod stool on the other side of my room. “Yeah, and we all know how well that turned out last time.”


If you leave your e-mail address in your comment, you'll be automatically entered to win an e-copy of Destined. The contest will stay open for 48 hours after the post goes live, and then Jessie will use to select a winner. Available formats include .mobu, .epub and .pdf.
And please be sure to visit the other stops on Destined's official blog tour for chances to win copies of Destined and other goodies.  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Betsy-Tacy Treasury

Author: Maud Hart Lovelace
Illustrated by Lois Lenski
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Source: TLC Book Tours
Follow the Tour
Rating: Highly Recommended

About Betsy-Tacy:
There are lots of children on Hill Street, but no little girls Betsy’s age. So when a new family moves into the house across the street, Betsy hopes they will have a little girl she can play with. Sure enough, the moment Betsy meets Tacy, one of the most heartfelt friendships in all of children’s literature begins.
The Betsy-Tacy Treasury brings together the first four books in Maud Hart Lovelace’s classic series: Betsy-Tacy; Betsy, Tacy and Tib; Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill; and Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown.

Tracing the girls’ lives from early childhood to the brink of adolescence, Lovelace illuminates their innocent, mischievous fun and their eye-opening adventures exploring the world around them—from the stories Betsy spins from their neighborhood bench and the sand stores they run in their backyards, to their first experiences at the library, the thrill of the theater, and the sight of their first automobile.

The Treasury includes forewords by Judy Blume, Ann M. Martin, and Johanna Hurwitz.

Take a journey to the past with this nostalgic read!  Whether you’ve loved Betsy-Tacy all your life or you’re just being introduced, this collection of novels brings an enjoyable and comfortable essence to your reading experience.  The collection includes the first four novels written by Maud Hart Lovelace in 1940.  Reading the Betsy-Tacy Treasury was like reading “Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret” or playing with a Cabbage Patch Kid.  It reminded me of the pencils I loved as a little girl, you could buy them at book fairs, they were mechanical in the sense that you changed the tip and smelled like whatever flavor was represented on the writing unit.  Books like the Nancy Drew mystery series, American Girl collection and Beverly Cleary novels are remembered in the nostalgic and timeless way that Betsy-Tacy is remembered.  What I love about literature is its ability to surpass generational differences.  Though the first book in this collection was published in 1940, it is still a wonderful read for children today.  My five year old daughter enjoyed these stories as I read them aloud to her.  The novels are something her great grandmother, grandmother and mother can all enjoy with her.   It’s simply priceless. 

The Betsy-Tacy Treasury is full of fun, humor, applicable life lessons and history.  There were multiple sections that peaked my daughter’s interest since life has changed since Betsy’s days.  In a time period that does not include the technological advances of today; I was able to enjoy the simplicity of the era while enjoying how different our world has become in the last 60 years or so.  I enjoyed the timeless stories of childhood that make up this treasury.  Betsy and her friends have fun and adventure with their imaginations along the road of life.  Whoever you are, whatever your age, these books are great reads.  Simplistic and enjoyable, The Betsy-Tacy collection is sure to be part of your library for generations to come.

About the Author:
Maud Hart Lovelace was born on April 25, 1892, in Mankato, Minnesota. Like Betsy, Maud followed her mother around the house at age five asking such questions as “How do you spell ‘going down the street’?” for the stories she had already begun to write. Soon she was writing poems and plays. When Maud was ten, a booklet of her poems was printed; and by age eighteen, she had sold her first short story, for ten dollars, to the Los Angeles Times.
The Hart family left Mankato shortly after Maud’s high school graduation in 1910. They settled in Minneapolis, where Maud attended the University of Minnesota. In 1914, she sailed for Europe, and spent the months leading up to the outbreak of World War I in England. In 1917, she married Delos W. Lovelace, a newspaper reporter who later became a popular writer of short stories, and in 1926 her first novel was published. Five more historical novels followed. Maud wrote two of them in collaboration with her husband.
The Lovelaces’ daughter Merian was born in 1931. Maud would tell her daughter bedtime stories about her childhood in Minnesota and it was these stories that gave the author the idea of writing the Betsy-Tacy books. Maud did not intend to write an entire series when Betsy-Tacy, the first book, was published in 1940. But readers asked for more stories, so Maud took Betsy through high school and beyond college to the “great world” and marriage.
The Betsy-Tacy books were based closely upon Maud’s own life. Almost all of Betsy’s experiences were also Maud’s. “Of course, I could make it all up, but in these Betsy-Tacy stories, I love to work from real incidents,” Maud wrote.
Maud Hart Lovelace died on March 11, 1980. But her legacy lives on in the beloved series she created and in her legion of fans, many of whom are members of the Betsy-Tacy Society, a national organization based in Mankato.
Find out about the Betsy-Tacy convention in 2012 and the Betsy-Tacy Society.

Tour the Betsy Tacy House:

Highly Recommended