Thursday, December 31, 2015

Clink 2016

I clink you ;-D

mmm, bubble-icious

250 million bubbles are in an average bottle of bubbly
-per champagne maker, Moet & Chandon

TIME to put the book down and get up to shake that booty ;-)

Y'ALL !!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Postcards from the Sky: Adventures of an Aviatrix by Erin Seidemann

Postcards from the Sky:
Adventures of an Aviatrix
by Erin Seidemann

Find out more about this book and author:

Just released: November 10, 2015
Publisher: She Writes Press
Genre: Memoir, Travel
Paperback: 231 pages
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
I am an unlikely traveller.

The aviation world is a man’s world―it always has been, and it continues to be so today. In fact, women make up a mere 5 to 6 percent of the total pilot population worldwide. But from the first time Erin Seidemann experienced what it was like to see the world from a small plane’s perspective, she was hooked―and she’s spent much of her time since then fighting her way into becoming one of that 5 to 6 percent.

Postcards from the Sky: Adventures of an Aviatrix tells of the struggles and adventures one encounters as a woman in the male-dominated space of aviation. With humor and equanimity, Seidemann recounts her varied experiences as a female pilot―from the chauvinistic flight instructor she makes the mistake of falling in love with to the many, many customs agents who insist she can’t possibly be her plane’s owner (“Where’s your boyfriend?”)―while at the same time giving insight about just what makes flying so incredible . . . and so very addictive.

Frank, funny, and full of adventure, Postcards from the Sky is an entertaining foray into a world few women have dared enter.

My two-bits:

Very enjoyable read that gets into the life of a modern day female pilot. Her passion to fly is impressive and inspiring to read about.

I liked reading (and living) vicariously through Erin's stories that include her adventures and experiences flying solo to island locales.

Loved the photo inserts.

About the author:
Erin Seidemann was born and raised in New Orleans in Southeastern Louisiana, a part of the state often described as “south of the South.” Erin is as Southern as a rich café au lait enjoyed in a rocking chair in 100% humidity! She attended Loyola University New Orleans and graduated cum laude with a degree in English Writing. Her professional career started with a job in San Francisco editing financial research. Since that paid about what you’d expect any English degree job to pay, she became licensed as a Supervisory Analyst, someone who approves research for compliance, making sure all the rules are followed. While working in San Francisco, Erin took up flying lessons and immediately became addicted. She bought her beloved plane, which she named Orion, while she was still a student pilot. She also took up tailwheel flying, aerobatics, and helicopters, always in search of the next aviation thrill. After four years in San Francisco, it was time to move back home. Her flying base and essentially second home is Lakefront Airport New Orleans. In the little bit of time she doesn’t spend working or flying, Erin is also a voracious reader, a rabid runner despite the threat of heat stroke, and insatiable traveler. She recently earned her commercial pilot license. She owned a Cessna 172SP for over ten years and recently bought a Piper Seneca.


* review copy courtesy of BookSparks Fall Reading Challenge 2015 (details) @booksparks #FRC2015

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Audio Book Challenge 2016

Audio Book Challenge 2016
Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2016
hosted by The Book Nympho and Hot Listens (details)

The goal is to find a new love for audios or to outdo yourself by listening to more audios in 2016 than you did in 2015.

Books must be in audio format (CD, MP3, etc.)

ANY genre count.

Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.

You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, Shelfari, Facebook, LibraryThing, etc.

Updates will be posted every 6 mo/ Giveaways every 6mo.


As I have been adding audio books to my mix of entertainment over the past year, I thought this would be a fun challenge to keep up with.


In 2015 I listened to 39 audio books.

In 2016 am going to go for: My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30+

The done pile:

1. The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli -my review
2. Our Souls At Night by Kent Haruf -my review
3. The Invaders by Karolina Waclawiak -my review
4. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson -my review
5. In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware -my review
6. The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey -my review
7. Zone One by Colson Whitehead -my review
8. Chasing River by K.A. Tucker -my review
9. All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker -my review
10. Siracusa by Delia Ephron -my review
11. Smoke by Dan Vyleta -my review
12. The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George -my review
13. My Paris Dream by Kate Betts -my review
14. Persuasion by Jane Austen -my review
15. How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran -my review
16. The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan -my review
17. Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler -my review
18. Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan -my review
19. You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas by Augusten Burroughs - my review
20. House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz -(no review)

Monday, December 28, 2015

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass
by Sarah J. Maas

Find out more about this book and author:
Twitter @SJMaas

Published: 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Hardback: 416 pages
Rating: 5

Throne of Glass series:
Throne of Glass
Crown of Midnight
Heir of Fire
The Assassin's Blade (5 novellas)
Queen of Shadows

First sentence(s):
After a year of slavery in the Salt Mines of Endovier, Celaena Sardothien was accustomed to being escorted everywhere in shackles and at sword-point.

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Zombie sighting:
Celaena pulled another book toward her and grinned It was as if someone had read her mind. It was a large black volume entitled The Walking Dead in tarnished silver letters.
-chapter 27, page 209


My two-bits:

Totally lived up to the hype for me.

Awesome tough female heroine who is more that what she seems and that is exposed in this first book. There are definitely more things to discover about her background and skills that will be fun to learn about.

There is plenty of action with physical challenges and fight scenes that are not overdone or too violent.

The various relationships (especially love oriented) are equally interesting to follow with humorous and romantic adorable scenes. Yes, a love triangle occurs, but not annoying. I'm looking forward to finding out the final coupling.

MUST continue with the rest of this series!

About the author:
Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Queen of Shadows, Book 4, will be out in September 2015), as well as the A Court of Thorns and Roses series (out 5/5/15).

Sarah lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV. When she's not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.


*image source: quote

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Stacking the Shelves - 12.26.15

Stacking the Shelves
hosted by Tynga's Reviews (details)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!



A Brief History of Seven Killings
by Marlon James
-Historical, Literary, Mystery
Amazon | Goodreads

=====> This is one of those special must-read books that has been winning awards and recognition all-around.

by Chuck Palahniuk
-vinyl --> yes, going to play it on a record player

As the official vinyl audiobook accompaniment to both Dark Horse's Fight Club 2 ten-comic maxiseries and Doubleday's new story collection, Make Something Up: Stories You Can't Unread, Rare Bird is very pleased to announce the first vinyl audiobook release featuring Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club prequel, Expedition, in a beautiful single LP and format with art by David Mack.

=====> Spotted this in my local bookstore and curiosity made me pick it up. And of course, HAD to pick up one of those nifty portable record players from Urban Outfitters - xmas gift to self ;-)

Freebie: (from contest)

The Silent Sister
by Diane Chamberlain
-Mystery, Thriller, Women's Fiction
courtesy of publisher -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads

=====> This is one of those surprise prizes! I got this book a few months ago as a review copy, so it is my second copy received. IF you would like to read this, I will send it to you. Let me know in comments with your email address and I will send it your way. Offer ends: December 31, 2015.


The Mistletoe Inn
by Richard Paul Evans
-Holiday, Romance
Amazon | Goodreads | my rating: 5

At thirty-two Kimberly Rossetti, a finance officer at a Lexus car dealership, has had her heart broken more times than she wants to remember. With two failed engagements, a divorce and again alone with no prospects, she hardly seems the type to dream of being a published romance author. Dreading another holiday alone, she signs up for The Mistletoe Retreat, a nine-day writing retreat in Savannah, Georgia. Deep inside Kimberly knows she's at a junction in her life and it's time to either fulfill her dream or let it go. The other reason she decides to attend the conference is because famed romance writer, H.T. Cowell, once the best selling romance writer in America, and the author whose books instilled in her the desire to be a writer, will be speaking in public for the first time in more than a decade.

In one of her breakout sessions Kimberly meets another aspiring writer, and one of the few men at the conference, Zeke, an intelligent man with a wry wit who seems as interested in Kimberly as he is in the retreat. As Kimberly begins to open up to him about her stories and dreams, she inadvertently reveals her own troubled past. As Zeke helps her to discover why her books fail to live up to their potential she begins to wonder if he's really talking more about her life than her literature. But as she grows closer to him, she realizes that Zeke has his own darkness, a past he's unwilling to talk about.

The theme of The Mistletoe Inn is that like literature, relationships must be lived with passion and vulnerability to succeed.

=====> Wonderful, feel good holiday romance :-) Just right for the season! Looking forward to next year's addition to this series.


From Owlcrate package (details & signup):
OwlCrate is a subscription service that sends you magical monthly boxes tailored to a chosen theme. Each OwlCrate will contain one new Young Adult novel, as well as 3-5 other bookish treats to help you get your nerd on. @owlcrate

DECEMBER Box includes:
- Da Vinci's Tiger by Laura Malone Elliott
- Da Vinci's Tiger themed poetry magnet set
- Reading journal
- Book Lovers' Soy Candle by Frostbeard Studio
- To Do list pad by Boy Girl Party
- The Little Prince Magnet by Sandra Vargas

Da Vinci's Tiger
by Laura Malone Elliott
-Historical, YA
Amazon | Goodreads

Young, beautiful, and witty, Ginevra de’ Benci longs to take part in the artistic ferment of Renaissance Florence. But as the daughter of a wealthy family in a society dictated by men, she is trapped in an arranged marriage, expected to limit her creativity to domestic duties. Her poetry reveals her deepest feelings, and she aches to share her work, to meet painters and sculptors mentored by the famed Lorenzo de Medici, and to find love.

When the charismatic Venetian ambassador, Bernardo Bembo, arrives in Florence, he introduces Ginevra to a dazzling circle of patrons, artists, and philosophers—a world of thought and conversation she has yearned for. She is instantly attracted to the handsome newcomer, who admires her mind as well as her beauty. Yet Ginevra remains conflicted about his attentions. Choosing her as his Platonic muse, Bembo commissions a portrait by a young Leonardo da Vinci. Posing for the brilliant painter inspires an intimate connection between them—one Ginevra can only begin to understand. In a rich and enthralling world of exquisite art, elaborate feasts, and exhilarating jousts, she faces many temptations to discover her voice, artistic companionship, and a love that defies categorization. In the end, she and Leonardo are caught up in a dangerous and deadly battle between powerful families.

AND binge watching:

Secret Garden (2010)
tv series, season one
Director: Kwon Hyuk-Chan, Woo-Cheol Shin
Writer: Eun-sook Kim
Starring: Ji-won Ha, Hyun Bin, Sang-Hyun Yoon
-Korean Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance imdb | my rating: 5

A rich young CEO falls for a poor stuntwoman despite class differences, cultural traditions and the man's firmly objecting mother.

=====> With elements of Pride and Prejudice courtship, it is sure to please Jane Austen fans. First foray into the Korean drama tv series realm. Enjoyed it! This series it a delightful hoot and made me happy this holiday break.

A little cheer...

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
at NYC's Empire State Building
-be treated to the sounds and check out the lovely light action


* some of these may be offered as giveaways within the next two months

* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

* per usual, check out the sidebar for my current giveaways offers

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

PopSugar Ultimate Reading Challenge 2016

PopSugar Ultimate Reading Challenge 2016
hosted by PopSugar
Details | Goodreads group

Spotted this challenge on Freda's Voice (here). When thinking of next year's reading schedule I was feeling like doing less challenges and more from my TBR pile. But this particular challenge has an interesting and fun mix that I thought I would give it a try. Instead of a usual linky for signups there is a Goodreads group for social interaction.


A book translated to English
I Have The Right To Destroy Myself by Young-Ha Kim
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

A book set in Europe
A Midwinter Ball by Heidi Ashworth, Annette Lyon, Michele Paige Holmes
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

A book that's under 150 pages
Maggie's Song by Karey White
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

A New York Times bestseller
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
Powells | Goodreads | my review

A book that's becoming a movie this year
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by Kim Barker
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

A self-improvement book
The Book of Yes by Sarah Von Bargen
Goodreads | Website | my review

A book you can finish in a day
The One-of-a-Kind Cat Book by Ciye Cho
Goodreads | my review

A science-fiction novel
Storming by K.M. Weiland
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

A book that is published in 2016
Broken Things to Mend by Karey White
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

A book that takes place during Summer
The Invaders by Karolina Waclawiak
Powells | Goodreads | my review

A book from the library
The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli, Christina MacSweeney
Powells | Goodreads | my review

An autobiography
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

A book that takes place on an island
A Sudden Crush by Camilla Isley
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

A book that's more than 600 pages
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Powells | Goodreads | my review

A murder mystery
The Whites by Harry Brandt
Powells | Goodreads | my review

A book set in your home state
Moondancers by E. Van Lowe
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

A book with a blue cover
The Goodbye Year by Kaira Rouda
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

A book with a protagonist who has your occupation (pretty close)
The Assistants by Camille Perri
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

A book that's guaranteed to bring you joy
The Big Interview by Libby Kirsch
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

A graphic novel
Get Jiro! Blood & Sushi by Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose, Alé Garza
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

A YA bestseller
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child , Parts I & II by J.K. Rowling
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

A book recommended by someone you just met - Thanks M.G.!
#30 Collante Street by Lisa Suguitan Melnick
Carayan Press | Goodreads | my review

A book based on a fairy tale
The Regulars
by Georgia Clark
courtesy of BookSparks Blog Tour -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

The first book you see in a bookstore
You Will Know Me
by Megan Abbott
-Mystery, Thriller
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

A book about a culture you're unfamiliar with
Please Look After Mother
by Kyung-Sook Shin
-Family, Korea
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

A book from Oprah's Book Club
A book of poetry
A National Book Award winner
A book you haven't read since high school
A romance set in the future
A book written by a celebrity
A political memoir
A book at least 100 years older than you
A book recommended by a family member
A book and its prequel
A book written by a comedian
A dystopian novel
A classic from the 20th century
A book about a road trip
A satirical book

Monday, December 21, 2015

Winner for December pt3

Here are the winners for giveaways that
ended December 18, 2015

Thanks to all contestants!


Best of 2015 Giveaway HOP -signup
Winter by Marissa Meyer
Winner: skyblue527


* to see the original giveaway offer, click on the signup link

* I will email winners for mailing addresses within two weeks.
Winners, feel free to contact me with your info if you don't get my email
or if you are just too darn excited and want to let me know -- like NOW ;-D

* contest policy

* if not this time, maybe next time

--> check out the current giveaways and upcoming events on my sidebar

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Word Game by Steena Holmes

The Word Game
by Steena Holmes

Find out more about this book and author:
Twitter @steenaholmes

Just released: November 3, 2015
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Women's Fiction
Hardback: 210 pages
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
In this moment, at the core of who she was and all she wanted to be, Alyson Ward was happy.

For overprotective parent Alyson Ward, any time her daughter, Lyla, is out of sight is reason to panic. So it’s a big step for her when she lets Lyla attend a sleepover at her cousin’s house. Comforted by the knowledge that her sister, Tricia, is the chaperone, Alyson does the one thing she never thought possible: she lets go and trusts that her daughter will be safe.

But Alyson’s sense of peace is short lived. When Lyla comes home the next morning, she reveals something that could tear apart not only their family but also the entire community. Now, Alyson and Tricia must confront their painful shared past as they come together to help a little girl who they fear might be harboring terrible secrets similar to their own. Will the sisters be strong enough to face their demons in order to protect the child, even if it means telling their most private truths?

My two-bits:

This story is told in many voices - mostly female. The process of how to deal with serious issues. Hmmm, sorry do not want to put in a spoiler so do not want to reveal.

Along with the main issue though, the characters must battle with their own issues from the past that relate to the main topic.

Overall, the story was told well and did not get too deep or emotional. It presents the main topic in a way that gives a small pause for thought.

About the author:
Steena Holmes grew up in a small town in Canada and holds a Bachelors degree in Theology.

In 2012 she received the Indie Excellence Award. Holmes was inspired to write Finding Emma after experiencing a brief moment of horror when she’d thought her youngest daughter was missing.

She currently lives in Calgary with her husband and three daughters and loves to wake up to the Rocky Mountains each morning.


* USA Best Book Award Winner in General Fiction

* review copy courtesy of BookSparks Fall Reading Challenge 2015 (details) @booksparks #FRC2015

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Images from: Lovelytocu