Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winner- The Christmas Journey by Donna VanLiere

I hope everyone had a wonderful and restful holiday. I am sorry for the delay in announcing the winner of The Christmas Journey, but I have just returned home from being at my parents, who have no internet.  I had a lovely Christmas with the family and our newest little addition. She survived the travel and visiting of family pretty well. 
The Christmas Journey
Anyway, the reason I am here, the winner of this lovely book is... Joy. Conratulations! Please email me your mailing address to marireadsATyahooDOTcom. 

Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Book Review and Giveaway- The Christmas Journey by Donna VanLiere

The Christmas JourneyThe Christmas Journey by Donna VanLiere

I love the design of this small book. It is filled with beautiful watercolor illustrations  and a beautiful story. VanLiere has written a realistic view of Mary and Joseph's  arduous journey to Bethlehem. You get a better understanding of what it must have been like and makes them feel much more real. 

I really mean small book, by the way. It only took about half an hour to read but will definitely be reread again and again each Christmas. It has definitely gotten me into the spirit of the holiday and I believe, sometimes, it is good to remind ourselves what Christmas is all about. 


Source: Thanks Anna for providing book for review.

Thanks to Anne Staszalek I have one copy of the book to give away.  To enter to win The Christmas Journey by Donna VanLiere leave a comment on this post.  Contest is open to US and Canadian residents.  I will use to determine the winner. Contest ends at midnight PST Friday, December 24th.   The winner will be announced on Sunday, December 26, 2010. 


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mailbox Monday

And the books keep coming. Yay.
I won a book from Library Thing's Early Reviewers November batch.

Friday Mornings at NineMarilyn Brant's Friday Mornings at Nine.

Excited to read this one. I really enjoyed her first novel According to Jane.

The Mailbox Monday Blog Tour can be found at Let Them Read Books this month.

My copy of Dark Moon of Avalon by Anna Elliot, which I shared in last week's Mailbox Monday, is up for giveaway. Go here and sign up to win my copy.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Giveaway- Dark Moon of Avalon by Anna Elliot

Dark Moon of Avalon: A Novel of Trystan & Isolde (Twilight of Avalon Trilogy)

The young former High Queen, Isolde, and her friend and protector, Trystan, are reunited in a new and dangerous quest to keep the usurper, Lord Marche, and his Saxon allies from the throne of Britain. Using Isolde's cunning wit and talent for healing and Trystan's strength and bravery, they must act as diplomats, persuading the rulers of the smaller kingdoms, from Ireland to Cornwall, that their allegiance to the High King is needed to keep Britain from a despot's hands.
Their admissions of love hang in the air, but neither wants to put the other at risk by openly declaring a deeper alliance. When their situation is at its most desperate, Trystan and Isolde must finally confront their true feelings toward each other, in time for a battle that will test the strength of their will and their love.
Steeped in the magic and lore of Arthurian legend, Elliott paints a moving portrait of a timeless romance, fraught with danger, yet with the power to inspire heroism and transcend even the darkest age.

As mentioned before, my bookshelves can't hold any more books and our SF apartment is too small for more bookshelves so I am giving away my gently used copy of Dark Moon of Avalon. Find my review here.

To enter, leave a comment on this post and an email address where you can be contacted. You have until midnight PST on Tuesday, December 14th. Giveaway is open internationally.

Extended to Dec 17th.

Book Review-Dark Moon of Avalon by Anna Elliott

Dark Moon of Avalon: A Novel of Trystan & Isolde (Twilight of Avalon Trilogy)Dark Moon of Avalon by Anna Elliott

I am a big fan of English Historical Fiction, so I was very excited to get a copy Dark Moon of Avalon. This was not a book I had heard of before but it sounded like a book I would enjoy. 

"The young former High Queen, Isolde, and her friend and protector, Trystan, are reunited in a new and dangerous quest to keep the usurper, Lord Marche, and his Saxon allies from the throne of Britain."

My only knowledge of Trystan and Isolde comes from listening to the music by Wagner and the movie with James Franco, so I really enjoyed reading and learning about them in Anne Elliot's book. The story is captivating, filled with the legend of King Arthur and the love between Trystan and Isolde carry it along.

The Prologue, and the way it is written, had me a bit worried. Written in the first person and stylized to sound poetic perhaps. It would have been hard to read the whole book this way. Thankfully, I didn't have to. 

Dark Moon of Avalon, which was released in September, is the second book in the trilogy. The first book is Twilight of Avalon and the last book, Sunrise of Avalon, will be available September 2011.

I do wish I had read the first in the series but it did not ruin my enjoyment of Dark Moon. This most definitely can be read as a stand alone book.  I look forward to reading the first in the series and getting the last in the trilogy.


About the author:

The daughter of two English literature Ph.D.s, Anna Elliott grew up in Wilton, Connecticut, in a house filled with books. She is a longtime devotee of historical fiction and fell especially in love with Arthurian legend and Celtic history while at university.

Anna was expecting her first child when she woke up from a vivid dream in which she had told her mother that her next book project would be about Modred's daughter, Isolde. She was very grateful to her daughter for being an excellent sleeper even as a newborn and allowing her the time to turn her dream into a finished trilogy. The trilogy comprises Twilight of Avalon, Dark Moon of Avalon, and the upcoming Sunrise of Avalon.

She now lives in the Washington, D.C. Metro area with her husband and two daughters.

Source: Stephanie of BookSparks for Book Tour

Giveaway: If you would like my gently used copy of Dark Moon of Avalon enter here.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

TSS: Holiday Movies

Happy Holidays!

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, isn't it? I have the Christmas decorations up and have wrapped some gifts already. There is also a ton of Christmas programs on TV.  So many favorites. What is your favorite holiday movie? I am still waiting for A Christmas Story to come on.

Here are some others you might want to check out:

Donna VanLiere’s Christmas Movies will be airing on Lifetime TV and we have the schedule:
There is also a contest to win all of Donna’s Christmas books, including an autographed copy of A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY that ends on December 14th:

My review of Donna VanLiere's The Christmas Journey will be posted on Dec 15th. There will also be a giveaway open to US and Canada residents. Be sure to stop by to enter.

I reviewed The Christmas Secret last year. You can find my review here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mailbox Monday

New books have come in for review. I have books to share! This month, the Mailbox Monday Blog Tour is hosted by Julie @ Knitting and Sundries. Go visit and see what books others have received this week. 

I am getting a little more time to read so it is now time to start reviewing again. My review of Royce Buckingham's The Dead Boys was the first. Go check it out here.
The next will be these two coming later this month. There will be giveaways, too! Check them out and be sure to come back to read review and enter the giveaways.

Dark Moon of Avalon: A Novel of Trystan & Isolde (Twilight of Avalon Trilogy)
Dark Moon of Avalon by Anna Elliot 

Review and giveaway scheduled for Dec 8th.

The Christmas Journey
The Christmas Journey by Donna VanLiere

Review and giveaway scheduled for Dec 15th.

Mailbox Monday will be hosted by Lady Q @ Let Them Read Books for the month of December.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Book Review-The Dead Boys by Royce Buckingham

The Dead Boys
The Dead Boys by Royce Buckingham

Teddy, with his mom, move to a new house in a new town when she gets a new job at the nuclear plant. Mom is anxious for Teddy to make new friends but he finds that it isn't going to be easy especially when the boys he does meet are in strange situations and then they disappear. It turns out the boys are somehow related to the sinister sycamore tree in the neighboring yard that seems to be trying to get him..

The mysterious boys, the creepy tree and Teddy's adventures kept me entertained and wanting to read more. Interesting and scary plot will keep young kids reading as well. And moms, it isn't too scary but if you have an easily frightened child check it out first. This book is meant for middle grade kids. Good book to get boys reading.

This book was passed on to my 11 year old nephew and I look forward to hearing what he thinks about it.  He loves all things scary. I think he will enjoy it.


Source: publisher


Monday, November 15, 2010

Christmas Shopping for a Reluctant Reader

I can't believe how fast Christmas is creeping up on us. Not many more shopping days left especially for me who has a hard time getting out with my fussy little girl. I am thinking books purchased online is the way to go. 

My 9 year old niece has already put in her request for Meg Cabot's Allie Finkle books. I have read the first in the series and know these are the perfect books for her. I have never had a problem with getting books for her. She loves reading and I have had a lot of fun introducing her to the books I loved growing up.

Now my 11 year old nephew is completely different. He reads but not for fun like his sister, aunts and grandma. The books I get him have to be just right for him to read. Nothing too challenging or too long. There has to be lots of action and preferably scary. He loves the Goosebumps books.

So, my question for all of you: Do you have any recommendations for books a reluctant 11 yr old reader will enjoy?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Green Books Campaign 2010

Green BabyI received a copy of  Green Baby by Susannah Marriot for  Eco-Libris' Green Books Campaign. I chose this book since I wanted to be as green as possible when it came to taking care of my new little girl. There were a few things I had already decided before reading the book, such as organic bedding and mattress for the crib and breast feeding, but there is so much more I could be doing.

This very nice looking book, put out by DK Publishing, has a lot more really great green ideas that I will be looking into. Ideas on laundering, diapering and feeding once little one is eating solids. I am really thinking about making my own baby food.

This book is really nice to look at, its design is very modern and brightly colored. Text is different sizes, there are beautiful photographs, pages are different colors. On top of that, "this book was made with care". The paper was sourced from responsibly managed forests, their printer generates their own electricity, they used vegetable inks, no dust jacket means less paper and energy. I would say their company is doing all they can to reduce their carbon footprint and put out a "cleaner greener book". 


Monday, November 8, 2010

Mailbox Monday: Box full of Vampires

Emma is actually napping in her crib right now! Woohoo. I am sure it won't be for very long, so it is time for some quick typing.
Today is Monday, which means it is time for Mailbox Monday. I haven't posted in awhile so we are now on to a new Blog Host for November. This month you will find Mailbox Monday at Knitting and Sundries hosted by Julie. 
Awhile back my sister sent me all her Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris. My sisters and I are all big fans of True Blood and my younger sister is as much a reader as I am. We are big on sharing our books. Older sister, not so much. :)
So in the box were:

Dead Until Dark
Living Dead in Dallas
Club Dead
Dead to the World
Dead as a Doornail
Definitely Dead
All Together Dead

I had already read Dead Until Dark, just finished Living Dead in Dallas and have just started Club Dead. It is nice to finally have a little more time to read. It helps that I have figured out that paperbacks are easy to read one handed while feeding Emma. Now I need to figure out how to knit one-handed. Haha.

Happy Monday!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Book Review- The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, MD

The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer
The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, MD

This book has been a lifesaver. Lots of great info on babies' fourth trimester and need to still feel safe and secure in the womb. The 5 S's are exactly what we needed to help our little girl calm down and sleep longer at night. We have gone from 1.5-2 hr to 3-4 hr stretches at night. Also purchased the DVD. 

Get them if you have a baby on the way, a fussy baby, or know someone who will be having a baby. This would make a great gift.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Baby knits

Wanted to share some of the knits I made for Emma awhile back. Already the hats are too small. At least I got them on her a few times.

First, Wee Leaf Baby Set by

I made this one to match the Helena Cardigan from

Baby cardigan

The cardigan is still a little big for her, so she won't have a matching hat unless I find time to make another one a bit bigger. :)

I have some other knits I really want to make for her. I just need to find the time. I have the yarn, the needles, the patterns...I just don't have the time yet.