Sunday, March 28, 2010


Here comes a new week, with Sheila's Journey Through Books hosting our celebration.

Last week was not as productive as it could have been, but I'm still happy with it.

Books I Finished:
1) The Genius - Jesse Kellerman  - Reviewed here.
2)  Lost and Found - Carolyn Parkhurst - Review
3)  Deception - Denise Mina - Review will be up tomorrow

Still Reading:
1)  Audition - Barbara Walters
2)  House Rules - Jodi Picoult

Planned for This Week:

The Space Between Before and After, by Jean Reynolds Page, sounds compelling.  On Amazon:

In this complex, multilayered book, Page (Accidental Happiness) revisits familiar themes in the story of one family coming to terms with loss and past events. On the morning of the space shuttle Columbia disaster, Holli Templeton is sick with worry, as NASA milestones have proven to be harbingers of raw, personal events...
The Hand That First Held Mine, by Maggie O'Farrell, is an exploration of motherhood, the artist's life, and all that these experiences entail.

On Amazon, we read:

In the thrilling, underground world of bohemian post-war London, Lexie Sinclair is making an extraordinary life for herself. Taken up by magazine editor Innes Kent, she learns to be a reporter, to know art and artists, to embrace her life fully and with a deep love at the center of it.

Later, in present-day London, a young painter named Elina dizzily navigates the first weeks of motherhood. Her boyfriend, Ted, traumatized by nearly losing her in labor, begins to recover lost memories. He cannot place them. But as they become more disconcerting and happen more frequently, we discover that something connects these two stories--these two women--something that becomes all the more heartbreaking and beautiful as they all hurtle toward its revelation.

A stunning portrait of motherhood and the artist's life in all their terror and glory, Maggie O'Farrell's newest novel is a gorgeous inquiry into the ways we make and unmake our lives, who we know ourselves to be, and how even our most accidental legacies connect us.

This week, I'm trying to be realistic and not pile too many on my stack, since I haven't finished everything from last week!  There are always more books in case I get through them!

What books are awaiting you?  Hope you'll stop by and share.

                                                    Check out my Creations here.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Sheila, at Journey Through Books, hosts this marvelous meme that allows us to collect our thoughts and plan our reading weeks.

Books Read Last Week:
1)  The Smart One and the Pretty One - Claire LaZebnik - Review
2)  The Friday Night Knitting Club - Kate Jacobs - Review
3)  Surrender, Dorothy - Meg Wolitzer - Review
4)  Run for Your Life - James Patterson - Review

Books Still Reading:
1)  Audition - By Barbara Walters
2)  Lost and Found - Carolyn Parkhurst

Current Book Selections:

The Genius, by Jesse Kellerman, is from my TBR Stacks, which are gradually growing smaller!  Read this Amazon tidbit:

Greed gets Ethan Muller, a 33-year-old Manhattan art dealer, into hot water in Kellerman's superb third stand-alone thriller (after Trouble). When reclusive artist Victor Cracke disappears, Muller winds up taking possession of the boxes and boxes of intense, disturbing drawings that Cracke left behind in his shabby Queens apartment...
Next, I will probably read Deception, by Denise Mina, another graduate of my TBR stacks. Take a peek at what Amazon says:

When psychiatrist Susie Harriott is convicted of murdering Glasgow serial killer Andrew Gow, her husband, Lachlan, embarks on a frantic search for material that may help with her appeal. But in going through her files, he finds layer upon layer of nasty secrets... or does he? Lachlan's diaries tell the dark and complicated story, claiming, variously, both absolute fact and deliberate fantasy... 

Finally, what can I say about House Rules, by Jodi Picoult?  

Amazon blurb:

The prolific Picoult crafts a cunning whodunit that explores what it’s like to be not only a teenager with Asperger’s syndrome but also an AS kid accused of murder. Congenitally incapable of interpreting common social behavior or properly expressing his feelings, Jacob Hunt takes refuge in Crimebuster reruns and forensic science, often to the chagrin of the local cops. When the badly battered corpse of Jacob’s social-skills tutor, grad student Jess Ogilvie, is finally discovered, police first suspect Jess’ hot-tempered boyfriend. But when TV news footage shows Jess’ body wrapped in Jacob’s favorite quilt, his mother, Emma, reluctantly realizes her son might somehow be involved. After Jacob’s arrest, legal machinations go toe to toe with medical ethics, while Emma never realizes that Jacob’s younger brother, Theo, is struggling to conceal his own dangerous secret, one that will directly impact the outcome of Jacob’s trial...
Now I'd better start reading, as I have some catching up to do.  Hope you'll stop by, leave some comments, and link back to your own reading goodies.

                                          Check book specials here at my Creations website


This lovely basket came to me from Natalie, at The Book Inn.

There are rules to how this works, so here goes:

How can we do this together? It’s simple:
  • Participate to Hershey’s Better Basket Blog Hop of giving away virtual Easter Baskets by creating a blog post with specific rules described here.
  • Hershey Company will donate $10 per each blog post to CMN, up to total of $5,000.
  • One blog post per URL counts towards the donation, but you can give as many virtual Easter baskets as you want.
  • The Hershey’s Better Basket Blog Hop will officially begin at 12 AM EST on March 18th and end at 12 PM EST on April 4th, 2010. Blog posts submitted to us before or after that time period will not be counted for.
  • The blog post link has to be submitted to us for the donation to be counted.
  • In addition copy and paste the following text in your blog post:
  • Copy and paste these rules to your blog post.
  • Create a blog post giving a virtual Easter Basket to another blogger – you can give as many Virtual Baskets as you want.
  • Link back to person who gave you an Easter Basket.
  • Let each person you are giving a Virtual Easter Basket know you have given them a Basket.
  • Leave your link at comment section. You can also find the official rules of this #betterbasket blog hop, and more information about Better Basket with Hershey’s there.
  • Hershey’s is donating $10 per each blog participating to the Better Basket Blog Hop to Children’s Miracle Network (up to total of $5,000 by blog posts written by April 4th, 2010).
  • Please note that only one blog post by each blog url will count towards the donation.
I'm forwarding mine on to these great bloggers:

1)  JoAnn, at Lakeside Musing
2)  Becca, at Bookstack
3)  Diane, at Bibliophile by the Sea
4)  Shellie, at Layers of Thought

Hope that all of you will happily participate!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


This A Buck A Book Reading Challenge is one that puts dollars in my pocket.

As soon as I heard about this one, I was in!  Getting paid to read?  A no-brainer.  Of course, the money is coming from my own pocket, but if I do it right, it won't even feel that way.  A dollar for every book completed.

I was already keeping track of the books I'd read this year...I wanted to be able to have a complete and accurate picture of what I had accomplished in a year.

So I created a document in which to list them, and at this moment, there are thirty-one books completed this year so far!

My next task was to create a page listing these books—a page I could link to, which I have done HERE.

                                              CREATIVE JOURNEYS HERE

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

BEST CHOICES VS. RIGHT CHOICES -- A Review of "The Smart One and the Pretty One"

Two sisters, living widely disparate lives, come together to support their mother through a medical crisis. Lauren Nickerson, living beyond her means in New York, is the "pretty" one—fashion conscious, obsessed with new clothes, she is on the verge of financial disaster. She flies home to LA to help out while their mother goes through chemotherapy. Smart Ava Nickerson is a lawyer, very conscious of making good financial choices, she hardly ever thinks about fashion, and already lives close to home and has been the conscientious "good" daughter.

When they first meet up in this family crisis, Lauren is worried about her finances and hopes to borrow money from Ava; Ava's response is to hook her up with a credit counselor, and firmly suggests that she not make any purchases except necessities. Frustrated, Lauren vows to get "revenge." So when she discovers an old "contract" between two mothers that "betroths" Ava and the neighbor's son Russell Markowitz, she sets out to stir things up a bit.

What could have been a clich├ęd story about sibling rivalry and conflict, turns, instead, into a clever, funny, and quite compelling read about how we perceive ourselves as opposed to how others see us, and how sometimes the "right" choices are not necessarily the best ones.

The Smart One and the Pretty One was a quick and completely page-turning story that I thoroughly enjoyed, thus earning five stars from me.

                                                       MY CREATIVE JOURNEY IS HERE

Monday, March 15, 2010


Sheila, at Journey Through Books, hosts this exciting meme.  Poised at the "beginning" of our work week, it offers the opportunity to organize, plan, and then dive into our new books.

To sum up last week first, however, I completed the following:

The Imposter?, Kip Kreiling; here's the review.
Once in a Lifetime, by Cathy Kelly, here's the review.
The Next Thing on My List, by Jill Smolinski, and I reviewed it HERE.

I'm still reading Audition, by Barbara's an on-again-off-again read, but so enjoyable!

And then I've almost finished The Smart One and the Pretty One, by Claire LaZebnik; the review will be up later today.

 The Friday Night Knitting Club, by Kate Jacobs, is a book I planned to read last week, but didn't get into it yet!  So it goes with this week's selections!

Now that wraps up the books that I either started last week, or carried over from the week before!

My totally new haul is right here:


Jesse Kellerman's The Genius, has been on my stacks for awhile. It's about a 33-year-old Manhattan art dealer...and what happens when reclusive artist Victor Cracke disappears.  Muller winds up taking possession of the boxes and boxes of intense, disturbing drawings that Cracke left behind in his shabby Queens apartment...

Lost and Found, by Carolyn Parkhurst, is another lingering read from my huge stacks.  Here's a fast-paced novel featuring a reality TV show that is like The Amazing Race and Treasure Huntcombined. Contestants have personal secrets and have been chosen specifically because producers hope that they will spill their guts for ratings...

Run for Your Life, by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge, is another "graduate" of my TBR stacks.

A calculating murderer who calls himself the Teacher is taking on New York City, slaughtering the powerful and the arrogant...

Surrender Dorothy, by Meg Wolitzer, also from my stacks, is about:...Sara Swerdlow and Adam Langer are in many ways the ideal Manhattan pair. Their relationship is unvexed by the strains of sexual attraction, since both prefer men, and has even survived Adam's huge early success as "the gay Neil Simon."

House Rules, by Jodi Picoult, is one I added on...and I'll bet I will find a way to read it this week, despite the rather large selection of books you see here.  The prolific Picoult crafts a cunning whodunit that explores what it’s like to be not only a teenager with Asperger’s syndrome but also an AS kid accused of murder.

So these are my rather ambitious book selections, but as you can see, I often carry some forward.

What are you reading this week?  Hope you'll stop by and SHARE!

Happy Reading!!


Saturday, March 13, 2010


The other day, much to my surprise and glee, I found this lovely award from T, at Reading Schtuff..

Here's what this award is all about:

A Prolific Blogger is one who is intellectually productive… keeping up an active blog that is filled with enjoyable content.

1. Every winner of the Prolific Blogger Award has to pass on this award to at least seven other deserving prolific bloggers. Spread some love!

2. Each Prolific Blogger must link to the blog from which he/she has received the award.

3. Every Prolific Blogger must link back to This Post, which explains the origins and motivation for the award. Passing it on to:

1) Alayne, at The Crowded Leaf 
2) Jenny, at Take Me Away 
3) Sheila, at Journey Through Books 
4) Ryan, at Wordsmithonia 
5) Rachel, at Home Girl's Book Blog
6) Becca, at Bookstack 
7) The Koolaid Mom at In the Shadow of Mt. TBR 

Everyone on this list has inspired me in one way or another with their terrific blogs.  So Happy Award Day to you, and may we all meet again over the comments and links!

                                            CURL UP WITH THESE CREATIONS

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Rainy days are the perfect opportunity for reading—or blogging and creating stuff—and today has been no exception.

Curling up to read is a great way to get through either rainy days or Mondays, as this blog can attest.

Today I posted an author interview of Sunny Frazier—hey, another weather reference!—on Dames of Dialogue.

Then I participated in a few Wednesday memes, watched a little TV, and plunged into my current read, which is a lovely book, BTW.

Once in a Lifetime is a cozy read, totally perfect for a rainy day.  Even if it's not Monday!

Hope you're all having a great day!

                                               EXPLORE MY CREATIVE JOURNEY

Monday, March 8, 2010


This wonderful meme is hosted by Sheila, at Journey Through Books.

What a fabulous reading week I've have, and I'm so looking forward to this week's reads!

Last week, I finished these books:

Little Face, by Sophie Hannah, reviewed HERE.
Godmother:  The Secret Cinderella Story, by Carolyn Turgeon; here's the REVIEW.
Keeper of Secrets, by Anjuelle Floyd, reviewed at EMBRACE THE WHIRLWIND.
Big Stone Gap, by Adriana Trigiani, reviewed HERE.
Swallow, by Tonya Plank, and I'll have the review up later today.

I'm still reading Audition, by Barbara Walters, and The Imposter? by Kip Kreiling.

My new stack includes these books:

The Friday Night Knitting Club, by Kate Jacobs, has been on my TBR stacks for quite a long while.  I'm really happy to see it in this week's selections.

Here's an Amazon snippet:

Georgia Walker's entire life is wrapped up in running her knitting store, Walker and Daughter, and caring for her 12-year-old daughter, Dakota. With the help of Anita, a lively widow in her seventies, Georgia starts the Friday Night Knitting Club, which draws loyal customers and a few oddballs. Darwin Chiu, a feminist grad student, believes knitting is downright old-fashioned, but she's drawn to the club as her young marriage threatens to unravel. Lucie, 42, a television producer, is about to become a mother for the first time--without a man in her life. Brash book editor KC finds her career has stalled unexpectedly, while brilliant Peri works at Walker and Daughter by day and designs handbags at night. Georgia gets her own taste of upheaval when Dakota's father reappears, hoping for a second chance. The yarn picks up steam as it draws to a conclusion, and an unexpected tragedy makes it impossible to put down. Jacobs' winning first novel is bound to have appeal among book clubs...
Then we see The Next Thing on My List, by Jill Smolinski, another TBR book.  An Amazon blurb tells us:

June Parker's life is meandering along until a freak car accident leaves Marissa, her 24-year-old passenger, dead and June wracked with guilt. June discovers a list Marissa had been keeping of 25 things she wanted to do by the time she turned 25. After a run-in with Marissa's brother, June resolves to complete the list...
The Smart One and the Pretty One, by Claire LaZebnik, was a prize from Journey Through Books.

Ava is the smart sister, an L.A. lawyer who hasn’t dated in years. Lauren is the pretty sister, an unemployed New York stylist buried in debt. Lauren returns to L.A. when their mother is diagnosed with breast cancer. Between chauffeuring her to chemo appointments, Lauren finds an old “contract” betrothing Ava to Russell, the son of family friends, and decides a reunion is in order. Though Ava finds herself uncharacteristically falling for Russell, she can’t believe a man would choose her over her glamorous sister. She nearly lets her skepticism ruin her shot at love until Lauren meddles again. LaZebnik, author of Knitting under the Influence (2006), writes a funny and endearing novel that truly captures the devotion and rivalry between sisters. Whether they relate to the smart one or the pretty one (or both), readers will find this book irresistible. --
And finally, an Amazon Vine read by Cathy Kelly, we have Once in a Lifetime.

Here's a blurb from Amazon:

Kelly (What She Wants), whose novels routinely hit #1 on bestseller lists in Ireland, sets her seventh heartbreaker in Kenny's Department Store in the small Irish town of Ardagh. Kenny's provides the captivating center for a sprawling saga that reads like three books slowly tied together in which a collection of women discover their inner strength through adversity. Star Bluestone is a psychically gifted artist pondering her lost love for David Kenny, a poet who left her to run the family business. He married Ingrid Fitzgerald instead, who becomes a famous TV journalist. Ingrid is shattered when David suddenly dies of a heart attack and then shocked to learn about his romantic past with Star and his all too recent affair with the much younger Steffi. Into the mix, Kelly weaves other stories, including those of Ingrid's best friend, image guru Marcella Schmidt, and Kenny employee Charlie Fallon. The magical Star is the treasure of the book, heads above the rest of the conventional cast. She only appears a few times, yet becomes the lodestone for this poignant reminder of how once-in-a-lifetime-love transforms lives...

Now I can't wait to get back to reading, but first, I'm heading over to Sheila's to check out other books and to enter my link so you can come here and comment (hopefully!) and share about your own books.

                                                Happy Reading!!  My Creations are HERE

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