September 30, 2010

Review of "Mr. Darcy's Obsession" by Abigail Reynolds

Description:  What if Mr. Darcy never had the opportunity to propose to Elizabeth Bennet at Hunsford, and did not meet her again until her circumstances were reduced? In Mr. Darcy's Obsession, Mr. Darcy has an even greater social distance to bridge if he wishes to marry Elizabeth. Add in some Fitzwilliam relations with links to the Prince Regent and the loose morals typical of Regency high society who feel that Elizabeth is the material of which mistresses, not wives, are made, and Mr. Darcy has to make a painful choice between the demands of a decadent society and his personal moral sense. The background of this novel is the morally bankrupt ton which Jane Austen knew well, but did not describe in detail in her novels, perhaps because it was a given to her and her contemporaneous readers. Against this backdrop, the characters of Mr. Darcy and Miss Bennet shine brightly as they seek to find an alternative to the bounds of decorum that constrain Darcy's usual marital prospects.


I considered myself very fortunate to have read what I considered a splendid Pride and Prejudice retelling in Kara Louise's Darcy's Voyage; now, I must considered myself blessed by Jane Austen herself to have read an equally worthy retelling in Abigail Reynolds' "what if" Mr. Darcy's Obsession

Ms. Reynolds takes an especially fertile prospect - -the death of Mr. Bennet putting the Bennet ladies into the hands of relatives due to the entailment on Longbourn and in much reduced circumstances - - and weaves an intriguing and romantic tale.  Her obvious affection for the characters of Darcy and Elizabeth permeate each page and, happily, neither characters strays from the path that Jane Austen herself structured two centuries ago.  Had Ms. Austen written Pride and Prejudice with the death of Mr. Bennet featuring in the novel, I have no doubts that she would have followed a similar path to the joining of Lizzy and Darcy. 

I was fascinated by Ms. Reynolds' colorful and decadent details of the immoral side of "ton", which is rarely featured in either Jane Austen's writing or in more contemporary tales of the Regency period.  Such descriptions took the story out of the more insulated and protected Longbourn, Pemberley and Netherfield and give the reader a better idea of what actually went on behind closed doors and in certain gentlemen's establishments and clubs.  As such, a great deal of the story and action takes place in London, rather than in Hertfordshire. 

Ms. Reynolds also takes creative license with a few of the secondary characters, with shocking and yet pleasing results, leaving this reader very content with the outcomes.  The introduction of characters wholly new or briefly mentioned in Pride and Prejudice is very welcome and adds a satisfying, as well as amusing, new divergence to the story. 

The writing flows smoothly and Mr. Darcy's Obsession was a relatively quick read, due to my desire to resume the story and learn the resolutions.  Austen lovers, including purists, will appreciate the novel take on the beloved classic, as well as additional characterization we get for several of the characters, including Georgiana Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam.

I would not hesitate to recommend Mr. Darcy's Obsession to any devoted reader of Jane Austen and historical fiction and romance readers. This book easily ranks in my top ten of Austen sequels, that's how enjoyable I found it.  I have read a few other Abigail Reynolds books and Mr. Darcy's Obsession is so far my favorite. 

Mr. Darcy's Obsession is available for purchase now at major booksellers, including Amazon. I am an Amazon affiliate. If you make a purchase through my link, I will receive a small commission.

For more information on author Abigail Reynolds, please visit her website


Review copy of this book provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. In no way did the provision of the book affect the outcome of my review.


This book qualifies toward my JANE AUSTEN IS MY HOMEGIRL READING CHALLENGE.


Please be sure to stop back by Psychotic State Book Reviews on October 11, 2010, when Abigail Reynolds will be here for an interview!


September 23, 2010

Interview with Author Kara Louise

I am delighted to welcome Kara Louise, author of the newly published Darcy's Voyage, to Psychotic State. She has graciously agreed to answer some questions for me and my readers.


Hi Kara, welcome to Psychotic State and thank you for taking the time to chat with me and my readers.


Thanks! It’s great to be here. Thank you for inviting me!

First things first, I recently read Darcy’s Voyage and absolutely fell in love with it! What gave you the idea to move Pride and Prejudice to the open sea?

My biggest inspiration was after reading Richard Henry Dana’s book, Two Years Before the Mast. It chronicles his adventures on board a ship in the 1840s. After reading that book, I was very much inspired to put Elizabeth and Darcy on a ship – all I had to do was figure out how.

When you began writing your first Pride and Prejudice “what if” book, did you originally conceive it as a series or did it evolve as you wrote that first book?

As I wrote Assumed Engagement, my first ‘what if’ story, I knew there were elements that I could carry on into a sequel, but I also knew I would be stretched in writing a book that was beyond the years of Pride and Prejudice. I actually delayed writing the sequel, Assumed Obligation, for close to a year as I gathered my thoughts and did some research on different aspects of that book.

Why Pride and Prejudice and not another Jane Austen work?

I have never been affected by a story as much as I was by Pride and Prejudice. I had seen the Emma and Sense and Sensibility movies, and while I enjoyed them, they didn’t prompt me to sit down, read the novel, and write stories about them. Since then, however, I have read all of Jane Austen’s novels, and probably would consider doing a Persuasion story because that is my second favorite novel. I do have a story I am contemplating writing that is a back story to a character in another of her novels.

If you could go back to the Regency era for one day, what would you imagine would be the best part of that, and the worst part?

First of all, I would hope to end up in a nice country manor, not in a squalid area of London. But even at a nice country manor, I would obviously miss the conveniences that we take for granted now: running water, bathrooms, electricity, phones, etc. But in the same way, it would be wonderful to experience life in that time with all the simplicities they had. Life was lived at a much slower pace and I think I would enjoy that. But my greatest fear would be that my ignorance of social etiquette of the time would most likely cause a lot of embarrassment to me!

Did you always want to be a writer?

I never, ever imagined I would be a writer. I had little stories that swam about in my head, but I never thought I would have the patience to draw them out in words. I remember trying years ago to type out a story but I didn’t get past the third page. While I never had thought about it seriously before, the desire to write must have been in my genes, because from the time our son was 4 years old, he would make up stories and recite them to us and have us write them down. In college he had a split major and creative writing was one of those majors. But he has never done anything with it. I think it’s odd (and he must, too), that now I am the one writing.

Your first book was originally self-published. What advice would you give a struggling, unpublished writer?

I truly feel that you must write out of a love for writing, but you must also write with the thought that it might get published. In other words, write because you love to write and write what you love to write, but always strive for excellence in your writing so that your finished manuscript will be something a publisher might look at and accept.

Besides Jane Austen, are there any particular authors that inspire you or that you enjoy reading?

I have been going through Georgette Heyer’s books this past year and find them so much fun to read. She has such wonderful characters and takes them on these amazing journeys. I’ve read about ten of her books and have greatly enjoyed them. The very first author, however, that I remember truly enjoying was Irving Stone. He wrote the biographical novels, Lust for Life about Vincent Van Gogh and Agony and the Ecstasy about Michelangelo. He was truly able to make these historical figures come to life.

Can you take us through a normal day in the life of Kara Louise?

A normal day has me wake up at about 6:00 a.m. (I am a morning person, but it’s much easier when it’s light outside!) We have an outdoor shop that is almost like a little guest house. My husband’s office is in there along with some furniture, an unfinished bathroom, and an exercise bike. Each morning (well, almost each morning) I go out and ride the bike for a half an hour. Then I get ready for work. I work 3 ½ days at my church doing publications, website updating, buying office supplies, and a variety of other jobs. I usually leave between 2 and 3 o’clock in the afternoon and come home and relax. I usually end up at the computer checking email, blogs, and a variety of other things. Then I make dinner, feed our goats and horses, and hopefully when my husband gets home dinner is ready. If I do any writing, it is usually in the evening. I don’t watch too many TV shows (although I must confess I love Castle), so that’s when I either read or write.

Can you give us any hints on projects you are working on now?

I have been cleaning up a few of my self-published novels while formulating two other Jane Austen related stories. One is the one I mentioned above, a back story to a character in another novel. There is also another variation of Pride and Prejudice I have been mulling over.

What can you tell us about the new Austen Authors blog?

The Austen Authors blog is something that Abigail Reynolds and Sharon Lathan dreamed up. I know when I was asked to join, they were hoping they’d have enough authors that we would only have to post a blog about twice a month. If you have visited the site, you know we have about 25 authors (it’s constantly changing!), which makes it barely possible for all of us to post once a month (that’s if we don’t do Saturdays or Sundays). The response has been amazing, and it came at a most convenient time for me with the release of my book. To be associated with such well-established authors is an honor and a privilege.  (Lori's note:  Check out the Austen Authors blog here)

Back to Darcy’s Voyage . . . how long did it take you to write it, start to finish?

I can’t recall for sure. I actually wrote it about 8 years ago. I think it probably took me between 6 and 8 months from the time I began thinking about it, researching it, and then actually writing it.

Which character (main or supporting) did you most enjoy writing?

I love writing Colonel Fitzwilliam. I see him as one who is so opposite from Darcy, and loves to tease him. It’s a fun character to write, and I love to use him to bring about a reluctant smile on Darcy’s face. Unfortunately, he’s always just had a minor scene or two in my stories. Someone else asked me this and it got me to thinking that I should write a book with him as a central character.

Other than Elizabeth and Darcy, which character from Darcy’s Voyage would you most like to devote a book to?

Just answered that above – Colonel Fitzwilliam.

If you could use one word to describe Darcy’s Voyage, what would it be?

My husband had to help me with this one – enchanting.  (Lori's note:  Enchanting is perfect.  Read the book and you'll see)

And lastly, being from the home of The Wizard of Oz . . . Tin Man, Scarecrow or Cowardly Lion?

You realize that you’re asking me to tell you whether I lack a heart, a brain, or courage! At least you didn’t include the wicked witch of the east in my choices! I do love the Scarecrow; he is a lot of fun and I love to decorate with scarecrows in the fall. But I think the one I have an affinity for is the Tin Man. It’s certainly not that I don’t have a heart – in fact, I was born on Valentine’s Day, so I love hearts! (I collect them, wear them, put them in my tag line…) But since it turns out in the end that he really had a heart all along, I’ll go with him. (This has to be the most unique question I’ve been asked!)

Thank you so much, Kara, for taking the time to answer my questions and best of luck with Darcy’s Voyage!



DARCY’S VOYAGE BY KARA LOUISE – IN STORES SEPTEMBER 2010

A Tale of Uncharted Love on the Open Seas

In this enchanting and highly original retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet sets out for the new world aboard the grand ship Pemberley’s Promise. She’s prepared for an uneventful voyage until a chance encounter with the handsome, taciturn Mr. Darcy turns her world upside down.

When Elizabeth falls ill, Darcy throws convention overboard in a plan that will bind them to each other more deeply than he ever could have imagined. But the perils of their ocean voyage pale in comparison to the harsh reality of society’s rules that threaten their chance at happiness. When they return to the lavish halls of England, will their love survive?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ever since Kara Louise discovered and fell in love with the writings of Jane Austen she has spent her time answering the "what happened next" and the "what ifs" in Elizabeth's and Darcy's story. She has written 6 novels based on Pride and Prejudice. She lives with her husband in Wichita, Kansas. For more information, please visit her website, Jane Austen’s Land of Ahhhs.

To read my review of Darcy's Voyage, please click here



And now for a GIVEAWAY! The lovely Danielle Jackson at Sourcebooks has offered a copy of Darcy's Voyage to TWO lucky readers!   I loved this book - - trust me, this is a terrific giveaway, so don't miss out!  (And what a beautiful cover!)


To enter, simply leave me a comment and let me know what character from any of Jane Austen's books you would like to see a variation or sequel devoted to.  That's all!  Leave me a comment with your name and email address and you're entered to win your own copy of Darcy's Voyage!

U.S. and Canada only (my apologies to our overseas friends) and no P.O. boxes.

NO EMAIL ADDRESS WITH YOUR ENTRY = NO ENTRY!

Contest to end on Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 11:59 P.M. PST and the lucky winners drawn by randomizer.org on Friday, October 8, 2010.

Good luck!

September 22, 2010

Review of "The Partnership" by Steven J. Harper

Description:  The Partnership opens a window into a secret world.



A mysterious death, illicit romantic liaisons, courtroom drama, and crises of personal conscience frame a titanic struggle at the nation’s most lucrative law firm. A twenty-first-century legal thriller with a twist, The Partnership reveals what happens to rich and powerful insiders as the business school mentality extends its tentacles across a once-noble profession. The themes resonate; The Bonfire of the Vanities still burns.


Albert Knight has reached the pinnacle of power as one of the magnificent seven—leaders of the international legal powerhouse Michelman & Samson. Only one step remains: Knight and his archenemy Ronald Ratkin are front-runners to replace the Executive Committee’s retiring chairman.


Knight and Ratkin were once best friends, but that was long ago. Despite their twenty-year animosity, each has embraced the firm’s transformation to a bottom-line business and the stunning wealth it produces. As the price of success, they endure and inflict profound personal damage along the way.


When gifted trial lawyer Ronald Ratkin’s $100 million client defies protocol by interrupting the sacrosanct Executive Committee meeting, all seven attorneys are suspicious. The news, Ratkin suspects, could upset his ongoing billion-dollar trial, send stocks plummeting, and destroy his client, his law firm, and his personal wealth. But the wily Ratkin has a foolproof plan. Or will his own greed and that of his fellow partners undo him? (from the author's website)

Steven J. Harper's The Partnership is like a fine wine that takes time and age to appreciate, although in this case the "age" refers to the pages of the book.  Lacking the volume of a John Grisham legal thriller, it does not lack in rich characters or in slowly building development and a heck of a payoff.

As a worker in the legal field myself, I found The Partnership to be authentic in its legal dealings, if not a little bit disconcerting in the struggling and backstabbing that goes on behind closed office doors.  Mr. Harper's litigation roots come through in his descriptive writing without the novel sounding technical or simply spouting legal jargon. 

Unusual in a novel, the main characters are not wholly likable nor people you would normally root for.  They are all flawed, some more deeply than others and some so driven by their compulsive need to win at all costs that they could be absolutely unrelatable if not for Mr. Harper's slow but steady interweaving storyline. 

And its core, though, The Partnership is about a struggle for power and control, between good and evil, with love, lust, greed and corruption in the eye of the political hurricane.  The measured and deliberate crescendo that builds throughout the book reminds me of the one-time popular miniseries, with the first night being the set up and the payoff coming on the last night. 

Read The Partnership and you will think twice about how glamorous the legal profession is in the large, major law firms and you will also get an unfettered look into the board room without the rose colored glasses. 

I recommend The Partnership to any readers who enjoy the legal genre and legal thrillers but don't expect high action on every page.

The Partnership is available for purchase now at major booksellers, including Amazon

About the Author

Steven J. Harper is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University and a contributing writer for The American Lawyer. For 30 years prior to his recent retirement, he was a litigator in a large international law firm, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, which he joined upon graduation from Harvard Law School (magna cum laude) and Northwestern University (combined B.A/​M.A. degrees with distinction and Phi Beta Kappa). He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has been included in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business and The Best Lawyers in America.


His first book, Crossing Hoffa: A Teamster's Story was published in June 2007. Straddling Worlds: The Jewish-American Journey of Professor Richard W. Leopold (Northwestern University Press) was published in January 2008. His debut novel, The Partnership, was published in May 2010. For more information about author Steven J. Harper, please visit his website and his blog

Review copy of this book provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. In no way did the provision of the book affect the outcome of my review.


This book qualifies toward my Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge
 

Waiting on Wednesday: September 22, 2010

Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

I Still Dream About You
by Fannie Flagg
Publication Date:  November 9,2010
Synopsis (from Barnes & Noble): 


The beloved Fannie Flagg is back and at her irresistible and hilarious best in I Still Dream About You, a comic mystery romp through the streets of Birmingham, Alabama, past, present, and future.



Meet Maggie Fortenberry, a still beautiful former Miss Alabama. To others, Maggie’s life seems practically perfect—she’s lovely, charming, and a successful real estate agent at Red Mountain Realty. Still, Maggie can’t help but wonder how she wound up in her present condition. She had been on her hopeful way to becoming Miss America and realizing her childhood dream of someday living in one of the elegant old homes on top of Red Mountain, with the adoring husband and the 2.5 children, but then something unexpected happened and changed everything.


Maggie graduated at the top of her class at charm school, can fold a napkin in more than forty-eight different ways, and can enter and exit a car gracefully, but all the finesse in the world cannot help her now. Since the legendary real estate dynamo Hazel Whisenknott, beloved founder of Red Mountain Realty, died five years ago, business has gone from bad to worse—and the future isn’t looking much better. But just when things seem completely hopeless, Maggie suddenly comes up with the perfect plan to solve it all.


As Maggie prepares to put her plan into action, we meet the cast of high-spirited characters around her. To Brenda Peoples, Maggie’s best friend and real estate partner, Maggie’s life seems easy as pie. Slender Maggie doesn’t have to worry about her figure, or about her Weight Watchers sponsor catching her at the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop. And Ethel Clipp, Red Mountain’s ancient and grumpy office manager with the bright purple hair, thinks the world of Maggie but has absolutely nothing nice to say about their rival Babs “The Beast of Birmingham” Bingington, the unscrupulous estate agent who hates Maggie and is determined to put her out of business.


Maggie has heartbreaking secrets in her past, but through a strange turn of events, she soon discovers, quite by accident, that everybody, it seems—dead or alive—has at least one little secret.


I Still Dream About You is a wonderful novel that is equal parts Southern charm, murder mystery, and that perfect combination of comedy and old-fashioned wisdom that can be served up only by America’s own remarkable Fannie Flagg.



I just love Fannie Flagg.  Have you read Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe or Redbird Christmas or Standing in the Rainbow?  She tells a wonderfully warm story with incredibly colorful characters, all with a Southern focus.  She certainly doesn't write books quickly enough to satisfy me, so I am looking forward to this newest work of hers. 

What's your "waiting on" pick this week?




September 19, 2010

And The Winners Are . . .

krbiwasaka
&
Ruthie

krbiwasaka and Ruthie are the lucky recipients of a brand new copy of Larry Levin's Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love, a heartwarming tale of a former bait dog who overcame the odds to live and find a family to love.

Congratulations, kriwasaka and Ruthie! If you will forward me your mailing address, I will see that your new book gets out to you.




Thank you to all who visited my blog and entered this giveaway. I do appreciate each one of you taking the time to visit and post here. I hope you will stick around for future giveaways, reviews and interviews.   And be sure to check back in the next week or so, when I will have my review of Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love up. 

Thank you again to Anna Balasi and the Hachette Book Group for making this giveaway possible.

Compliments to randomizer.org for selecting the lucky winners.


And now a question to my loyal readers . . .

During this giveaway, a reader mentioned that she did not believe it was appropriate to have posters' email addresses where they could be seen by any and all (as one of my requirements is I have an email address to contact the winner(s)).  The alternative to not requring an email address with the entry would be for the winner(s) to contact me within a certain number of days after the winning post is made (and if the winner does not contact me within the predetermined amount of days, a new winner selected).

I have seen it done both ways on different blogs.  What do you think? 

September 16, 2010

Throwback Thursday: September 16, 2010

Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews
Originally published in 1979

Description:  It was a case of tender, loving murder.  


The four children had perfect lives. They lived in a golden family filled with happiness. But their father dies suddenly, their mother throws themselves on the mercy of her parents - who had disowned her long ago.


Their mother promised they would stay only long enough to inherit the fortune. But gradually she forgot how much she adored her family. Kept hidden in the airless attic, the children now lived alone except for fleeting visits from their mother. Visits that became increasing infrequent... and increasily deadly...


Flowers in the Attic: the compelling story of a family's betrayal and heartbreak, love and revenge.  (from Goodreads)

Flowers in the Attic was the first adult fiction series book that I remember reading. It was on the bestseller shelf of every bookstore and most girls in my high school were reading it, so I decided to give it a try. I was hooked from the first page.


Flowers is the story of Cathy, Chris, Cory and Carrie - - four children living the "perfect" life with their golden parents, until their father is killed in a car accident and, penniless, their mother is forced to return home to the parents that disowned her years ago for marrying the children's father. The twist? The parents, particularly the Grandmother, are bitter, zealously religious and glad that their daughter's husband is dead. While the Grandmother knows about the children, the grandfather apparently does not, and in order for their mother to inherit her family's estate (the monstruous Foxworth Hall) and riches, she must pretend that she is childless. Hence, the plan - - the children will stay in the attic of one wing of the massive Foxworth Hall, in hiding, waiting for the ill grandfather to die and leave their mother everything.

As with most well-intentioned plans, everything goes awry. What was originally going to be just for a few days, a few weeks or a few months turns into three years. The mother changes before her children's eyes - - becoming materialistic, selfish and gradually distancing herself from them. The Grandmother despises them and employs harsh corporal punishment on them simply for existing, and reminds them daily that they were brought about by sin, according to the Bible, and are evil.

Most importantly, Chris and Cathy are allowed to grow up together, with only each other, in a single room. Not surprisingly, they fall in love with each other.

How long will they have to wait for the grandfather to die before they are freed? Will the Grandmother ever love them? Accept them? Why won't their mother just leave, with them? Do they have to inherit the money? What is going to happen to them, if Chris is in love with Cathy?

Flowers is not a masterpiece of literature - - far from it - - nor is it a trashy dime-store novel. The story is engrossing, the main characters endearing. The pain and suffering of the children, particularly Chris and Cathy, and their longings jump off every page. The horror of what greed and materialism can do is shocking.

Where Flowers is the weakest is in the writing.  Its not completely shabby but don't open the first page expecting to find Dickens.  What you will find is a compelling story, the late 70s/early 80s equivalent of Twilight

Flowers is a great beach or vacation read.  Be warned - - once drawn in, you will be investing in the other books in the series (four not including Flowers).

Flowers in the Attic has been challenged or banned due to its "offensive passages concerning incest" and for its explicit sexual content.  Let's celebrate Flowers in the Attic, among other works, as well as our right to read them!


FTC Disclosure: I purchased this book at a local bookstore.  I was neither compensated nor paid in any way for this review.


 

Book Review of "Movie Confidential: Sex, Scandal, Murder and Mayhem in the Film Industry " by Andrew Schanie and a Giveaway!

Description:  Truth really is stranger than fiction — just look at the film industry. The product on the screen is no match for what goes on when the cameras stop rolling. Movie Confidential lays out the story-behind-the-story of Hollywood’s most sordid true tales. Encompassing sex, scandal, murder, and mayhem, it dishes the dirt on stars of the past and present. From what really happened in Fatty Arbuckle’s infamous room at the St. Francis Hotel to Eddie Murray’s "I was just giving her a ride" defense, from PCP-laced chowder on the set of Titanic to Judy Garland’s strange visions, to mysterious deaths, mistakes in filmmaking, and a multitude of other irresistible tales, this cheeky collection covers the gamut. Packed with photos and presented in the style of vintage scandal magazines from the 1950s, Movie Confidential is a compulsively readable look at filmdom’s seamy underbelly.  (from Amazon)



I am a self-avowed Hollywood junkie.  I love all things Hollywood, most particularly classic Hollywood, and I hoped that Movie Confidential would provide me with new or previously undisclosed information.  While I found the book enjoyable reading, I was a bit let down by the expectation of discovering new tidbits.

That's not to say that Movie Confidential is a bad book - - far from it.  I was delighted to find chapters on such past (and less recognized) Hollywood greats as Roscoe Arbuckle and Olive Thomas, although I do wish their chapters had been a bit more substantive.  Also granted an entire chapter (and rightfully so) was Clark Gable, whose extramarital dalliances and alleged illegitimate daughter were detailed by Mr.  Schanie, along with the tragic loss of his beloved wife, Carole Lombard.  Not included?  The longstanding rumor of Gable's involvement with director George Cukor and the rumor that Gable committed manslaughter while driving intoxicated.  I don't know if either tale has any merit but it made the chapter feel somewhat incomplete.  (Although I do understand this wasn't a book solely on Gable but on a motley variety of Hollywood-ites). 

Also worthy reading were the chapters on Charlie Chaplin and the Red scare, Paul Bern's sudden death and Judy Garland's taperecorded, drug-induced ramblings. 

Which leads me to my biggest gripe about Movie Confidential . . . how Mr. Schanie chose the subjects and topics that were highlighted.  Entire chapters were devoted to stars who died too young, as well as those who chose to leave this world by their own hand - - sadly, there were and are many of each.  I felt many who should have been included were missing.  Perhaps this was due to my excessive reading on the subject, perhaps my standards in this area are too high.  It certainly could fill an entire book alone.

I also felt that Mr. Schanie missed an opportunity including stars who had been charged with serious crimes (again, a sadly lengthy list) as well as those to whom murderous tragedy befell.  What Hollywood tell-all book a la Hollywood Babylon is complete without discussion of the murder of Sharon Tate?  Or the O.J. Simpson case?  And from the classic Hollywood angle, the first true murder of the Hollywood set, the William Desmond Taylor case?  (For the record, the Taylor case was mentioned but only in a two brief paragraphs). 

I would have preferred lengthier chapters on the early deaths, with more inclusions, or a new chapter on Hollywood murders, to the tale of LSD on the set of Titanic and Peter Jackson eating vomit. 

Again, Movie Confidential is not a bad book.  It's a fun, entertainig look at the movie industry through the decades, a veritable meringue of a book . . . light and fluffy but without a lot of substenance.   Think of it as you would a 3 week excursion to every country in Europe, where you get just enough taste of each country to help you decide where you want to return for another visit.   Movie Confidential may whet your appetite for Clark Gable or Jean Harlow, to name but a few, sending you to seek out biographies on them and watch their movies, but for the experienced Hollywood-ite, it won't shed any new light on the shadows lurking around the HOLLYWOOD sign. 

Movie Confidential is available for purchase now at major booksellers, including Amazon

Review copy of this book provided by Library Thing in exchange for a fair and honest review. In no way did the provision of the book affect the outcome of my review.

And now to the GIVEAWAY!!  I have my lightly read, like new copy of Movie Confidential up for grabs.  If you'd like to have your own copy of this book full of dirt, gossip and mayhem, simply leave me a comment with your email address and you're entered.  NO EMAIL ADDRESS, NO ENTRY!

For this contest, I am offering extra entries if you visit one or both of my other blogs and leave a comment at a post of your choice and/or become a follower at either or both blogs (1 extra entry for each action).  Go to Chick Flick Heaven and/or Television Nirvana for those extra entries.  Please be sure to let me know in your comment here if you have left comments at the other blogs or become a follower so you can receive your extra entries. 

U.S. and Canada only (my apologies to our overseas friends) and no P.O. boxes.

Contest to end on Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 11:59 P.M. PST and the lucky winner selected by randomizer.org on Sunday, October 3, 2010.


Good luck!

Click the link HERE



September 14, 2010

Another Reading Challenge!

I am looking at another reading challenge, this one designed to scare you sh*tless, compliments of Donna at Bites.   So directly from the pumpkin's mouth, here is a tidbit of what Donna has to say about the new challenge:



Do you get a sick pleasure out of things that go bump in the night? When you read a scary story, do you turn the lights down as far as you can and read by candlelight with a blanket over your head? Do you wait until nighttime to break out those macabre tales? Does the month of October make you giddy?



If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you're ready for Bites' Scared Sh*tless Reading Challenge! What is the Scared Sh*itless Reading Challenge you ask? Well that's simple! When you sign up for the Scared Sh*tless Reading Challenge, you're vowing to read something, or many somethings, horrifying during the month of October (and this does not include Sarah Palin's autobiography).




What do you think, Psychotic readers?  Sound fun?  Sound interesting?  Sound SCARY??  To read more about the Challenge and sign up yourself, click on over to Bites!

I don't know how many scary books I will be able to complete during October but I am putting Ghost Story by Peter Straub as number one on my list.  I have wanted to read it for ages and heard it's deathly scary so it seems the perfect book for this challenge.

How about you?  Up for the challenge? 

Teaser Tuesday: September 14, 2010

Image from Freda's Voice

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


* Grab your current read


* Open to a random page


* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)


* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"On the plaza bench, a short, stocky man in his early seventies and wearing a gray fedora stopped reading his copy of the Chicago Tribune - - curiously out of place in Midtown Manhattan - - and calmly folded it as he watched the subject of his latest assignment climb into the car's backseat.  Ever eager for the center-stage spotlight, Ratkin remained oblivious to the one person who followed his every move."

~ p. 25, The Partnership by Steven J. Harper


PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your 2 ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog).


Happy Reading!





BBAW Blogger Interview: Genre Reviews

As part of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, participating blogs were assigned interview partners, to get to know fellow bloggers and highlight their blogs.  I was given the lovely Debbie from Genre Reviews to interview and so, without further ado, meet Debbie!


When and why did you get into book review blogging?


I started my first book blog, Genre Reviews, on March 28, 2008. One main reason I started it was because I don’t enjoy books that have a lot of bad language, graphic or gratuitous violence, or explicit sex. While I do read Christian fiction, I also enjoy secular fiction, so I thought I’d start a book blog to tell people with similar tastes which novels had what level of content in those categories. Of course, I also explained what I liked and didn’t like about the novel. Since then, I’ve also started pointing out other common pet peeves that I’ve heard people complain about.

Since there aren’t any book stores nearby to me, I also wished that someone online gave me the information I needed in order to feel safe buying a book that I hadn’t personally flipped through. That’s the reason I include short excerpts with my reviews. That’s not so much a problem now, though, since more online book stores are providing “Look Inside” features.

Anyway, after running my fiction book blog for a bit, I decided I’d like to put up reviews for my non-fiction reads (history, memoirs, social issues, etc.), too. But they didn’t fit Genre Reviews, so I simply made a new book blog: Different Time Different Place. And then I thought it’d be fun to run an online Christian non-fiction book club, so I made ChristFocus Book Club (where I also review books). But no more blogs for me: three are enough!

What is your favorite part of being a book blogger?

Due to the pitches I receive for review copies, I get to learn about a lot of books I wouldn’t otherwise hear about. I also have the chance to try new authors that I might hesitate to read if I had to buy the book. I enjoy having these opportunities…though knowing how many interesting books are out there can be a very bad thing for a book addict like me.


Care to share what you are reading now?

I’m currently reading 4 books. Usually I read books one after the other, but a review date got switched on me, and then a review copy came that I couldn’t resist taking a peek at (and then kept reading). That one is “The Action Bible: God’s Redemptive Story” from David C. Cook. It’s a picture Bible for children illustrated by Sergio Cariello in a comic-book style. It’s in chronological order and flows together like one long adventure story about how God relates to mankind. So far, I’m impressed, and I can hardly put it down! I’ll review it on my ChristFocus Book Club blog.


Any favorite books from this year you would like to mention?

From my Genre Review blog, I think "Disaster Status" by Candace Calvert was my favorite so far. It’s a suspenseful medical drama with some romance. A hazardous material spill brings together two people whose coping mechanisms--picked up from their parents and grandparents--threaten to destroy any chance of a lasting relationship.


Any book that was a favorite of others, or a bestseller, that you just didn’t “get”?

I don’t “get” most best-sellers. Most recently, I don’t understand why people—especially parents with teen kids—would enjoy reading “Hunger Games.” I grant that the novel is exciting, but anytime kids die (especially in large numbers and/or in cruel ways) in a novel, I really don’t enjoy the book.


If you could switch places with any literary character, who would it be and why?

There’s no way you’re going to get me to switch places with a character. Well, maybe if I can start at the “Happily Ever After,” but probably not even then. I like my life.


Do you have any particular indulgences when reading and reviewing books? (i.e. tea, special pillow, music, etc.)

Hmm, well, I tend to crawl into bed early and read for several hours before going to sleep. Yes, I even read thrillers right before sleeping! But that's one reason why I avoid horror novels. Also, since I live on the same farm as my parents, we eat supper together and then my mom reads a mystery novel out loud to us for several hours. I drink a cup of tea while listening to the story, and we all take turns trying to guess who-done-it.


I know that “Pride and Prejudice” is your favorite book (mine too!) but what would you consider your least favorite Jane Austen book and why? (I know, speaking ill of Jane!)

Well, I’ve never read “Lady Susan,” so perhaps I can safely say I don’t like it as well as all of the ones I have read. ;)


Outside of reading, what other hobbies do you enjoy spending your time on?

I’m a mentor, a hobby-farmer (garden, small orchard, chickens), and involved in prison ministry.


You’re packing for an indefinite stay on a desert island. Which 3 books? What 3 movies or tv shows? What 3 foods? What 3 daily “must have”s?

I’m taking you too seriously, but:


Books: The Bible, an “everything you need to know” book about desert survival, and a book about desert food gardening.


TV: I have a TV on the island? Um, the local weather channel and regional news? I don’t really watch TV or movies very much.  (A note from Lori:  Yes, in my fantasy desert island, there is electricity.  I'm not much for roughing it!)


My favorite foods: Supreme pizza, burritos, and spelt bread.


Must-haves: fresh, drinkable water; a food supply; and a working satellite phone.


Summer, fall, winter or spring?

Fall. The trees have lovely leaves, the weather is cooler but not cold, and my outdoor work load slows down.


Coffee or tea?

Tea. I don’t like the taste of coffee.


Physical book or e-book?

Physical books. I don’t have an e-Reader, so I find it too tiring (on eyes and body) to read books off the computer.


Facebook or My Space?

Neither. But I blog, I’m on Twitter (@genrereviewer), I use Goodreads, and I’m on several ning sites.


Edward Ferrars or Colonel Brandon?


Colonel Brandon  (note from Lori:  Me too!)


Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen?

In terms of their portrayals of Darcy, I like Colin Firth’s better (though I really liked Matthew Macfadyen’s character in “Little Dorrit”). If you’re referring to screen appeal, I’m not particularly attracted to either.

Sum up your blog in 5 words.

Searching for well-written, clean fiction.



Thank you, Debbie, for taking the time to answer my questions - - and I'll even forgive you for not finding Colin Firth attractive (wink).  

You can read my interview with Debbie on her blog Genre Reviews.

Thank you to Danielle Smith for organizing the interviews.

To my readers, celebrate BBAW by visiting Genre Reviews and giving Debbie a shout out.  And feel free to leave comments here!



September 13, 2010

BBAW: First Treasure



To kick off Book Blogger Appreciation Week, let’s talk about that first treasure today.



For those of you who participated in BBAW last year, what’s a great new book blog you’ve discovered since last year’s BBAW?


For those you new to BBAW, what was the first book blog you discovered?


Tell us all about this blog and why you love it…why do you keep going back for more?



I am new to BBAW and the first blog that I discovered was Darlene's Peeking Between the Pages.  I loved the way she wrote her reviews (you won't find any one sentence "I really liked this book!" reviews on Darlene's blog) to thoroughly highlight what she liked and what she was let down by, while remaining informative.  And I dare you not to love her reading pal, Buddy.




Must Read Review: I'd So Rather Be Reading's Review of "Unwind"

During the week I normally run across at least one book review that is so inspiring, so well-written and whets my appetite for the book so much so that it sends me scurrying to my Goodreads To-Be-Read list like Scrooge scurrying after a penny. My Must Read Review for this week is . .



KELLI from I'd So Rather Be Reading's Review of Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Earlier today I noticed the link to Kelli's review, thanks to my Google dashboard.  I had never heard of this author or this book and I normally don't read YA or sci fi but I'm glad that I stopped to read this review.   From the brief description it sounds like something that I would likely enjoy - - a strange future where children between the ages of 13 and 18 can be harvested for their organs for a variety of reasons.

The story is interesting on its own merit but Kelli's review was so enthusiastic, so descriptive and in-depth, it left me wishing that I had this book in my hand so I could experience the emotions she did while reading it.  And thank you, Kelli, for whetting my appetite for this book without giving away any spoilers!

Enjoy these little snippets of her review:

I was totally blown away by this book. Simply blown away.

I will say, however, that the way Shusterman weaves the interrelating parts of the story together was both heartbreaking and awe-inspiring.

Unwind was one of the best books I've read this year; in fact, it's one of my all-time favorites.

The emotion, the suspense, the way it made me feel: it was all stunning.

For the full review, please go HERE (and I encourage you to!)

For more information about author Neal Shusterman, please go HERE

Thank you, Kelli, for the fantastic review! 

Did anyone else come across a must-read this week? 



Guest Reviewer: Karl Wallullis

“Too Rare to Die”: A Review of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas


The cultural and historical significance of Hunter S. Thompson’s work in the latter half of the 20th century is hard to overstate. The “Gonzo” style he developed in his writing for Rolling Stone and his many novels, letters and essays influenced a generation of writers and had a profound effect on the evolution of American journalism and literature. His most famous work, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream has inspired legions of devoted fans and a Hollywood film treatment by director Terry Gilliam, starring Johnny Depp as Thompson, alias “Raoul Duke,” and Benicio Del Toro as his sidekick “Dr. Gonzo.”

Fear and Loathing walks a fine line between fact and fiction. Ostensibly a retelling of Thompson’s excursion to Las Vegas to write captions for the Mint 400 motorcycle and the National District Attorneys Association's Conference on Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, the narrative frequently delves into surreal digressions and drug-induced hallucinatory fugues. These colorful passages earned the novel praise as the one of the most hilarious, original and mind-bending works of 20th-century American literature, frequently drawing comparisons with Burroughs’ Naked Lunch and Mailer’s An American Dream. Steadman's ink illustrations depicting the nightmarish scenes both real and imaginary have become perhaps even more recognizable and ubiquitous than the novel itself.

Any summary of the plot of Fear and Loathing will hardly do justice to the complex narrative that demands multiple readings to unravel the enigmas and allusions contained within. The book opens with Raoul and Gonzo en route to Las Vegas, the trunk of their car looking like a “mobile police narcotics lab. Both having recently ingested unsafe amounts of psychoactive substances, and the following sequence of events, in which Raoul hallucinates “an array of bats” and the couple pick up an unsuspecting hitchhiker, gives the reader a clear indication of the wild ride they are in for.

SPOILER ALERT

After the duo arrive in Las Vegas, their attempt to cover the motorcycle race and drug conference quickly goes off the rails, and a constant infusion of uppers, downers, pills and potions fuels the author’s half serious pursuit for the “American Dream,” or in the absence of that, some sort of explanation for the cultural decay precipitated by Timothy Leary’s “Turn on, tune in, drop out” countercultural movement. Raoul and Gonzo find themselves caught up in a web of police, gamblers, drug dealers, racers and hitchhikers that embodies the seamy underbelly of Las Vegas, and by extension modern America.

END SPOILERS

At its best moments, the novel manages to simultaneously celebrate and critique and the culture of drug-addled decadence that swallowed up Thompson’s glory years. Its greatest success lies in how it successfully induces in the reader the same mental state experienced by the heavily intoxicated protagonists while painting an accurate picture of the cultural and political landscape of the late 1960s from a highly personal yet still detached perspective.

Fear and Loathing isn’t the easiest book to read—especially if you aren’t familiar with the work’s convoluted backstory—but is well worth the effort for those interested in the ‘60s drug culture, modern journalism, American politics, or experimental fiction in general. The 1998 Gilliam adaptation is slightly more accessible than the book, and can provide additional visual corroboration to the excellent Steadman illustrations in decoding some of the more outrĂ© drug riffs. Fear and Loathing will shock, anger, and perhaps even repel you, but the emotional core underlying the work ensures that you will be thinking about it long after you’ve put it down.


Karl Wallullis is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and a writer for Guide to Online Schools.


Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

Description:  First published in "Rolling Stone" magazine in 1971, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" is Hunter S. Thompson's savagely comic account of what happened to this country in the 1960s. It is told through the writer's account of an assignment he undertook with his attorney to visit Las Vegas and 'check it out.' The book stands as the final word on the highs and lows of that decade, one of the defining works of our time, and a stylistic and journalistic tour de force.  (from Barnes & Noble)

 
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is available for purchase at major booksellers, including Amazon

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas has been challenged or banned by persons who object to its offensive language, disrespect for religious, political and legal authority, and sexually explicit and emotionally disturbing scenes, including rampant drug and alcohol use and violence.  Let's celebrate Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, among other works, as well as our right to read them!


Thank you, Karl, for stopping by and sharing with us your well expressed and vivid review of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I hope that my readers will check out other wrirtings by Karl through the links above.

Readers, do you agree with Karl's review? 
 
I have not read Fear and Loathing myself but I do think if a book has you considering it long after you have put it down, even if your mind is peppered with thoughts of repulsion and anger, as Karl noted, it's either a book with good writing and/or a good story.  And isn't that what we bibliophiles adore? 



September 9, 2010

Review of "Darcy's Voyage" by Kara Louise

Product Description: 
A Tale of Uncharted Love on the Open Seas . . . 



In this enchanting and highly original retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet sets out for the new world aboard the grand ship Pemberley's Promise. She's prepared for an uneventful voyage until a chance encounter with the handsome, taciturn Mr. Darcy turns her world upside down.


When Elizabeth falls ill, Darcy throws convention overboard in a plan that will bind them to each other more deeply than he ever could have imagined. But the perils of their ocean voyage pale in comparison to the harsh reality of society's rules that threaten their chance at happiness. When they return to the lavish halls of England, will their love survive?  (from Amazon.com)



I am an Austen snob and as addicted as I am to Austen sequels and inspired books, I can be very demanding with them.  Taking on established and very beloved characters is a risky business for an author - - readers will inevitably ask "Would Jane Austen have allowed Lizzy to do that?  Would Mr. Darcy have said such a thing?"

Kara Louise's Darcy's Voyage (previously published as Pemberley's Promise) is nothing short of a virtual love letter to not only Jane Austen but Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.  I absolutely loved each and every page and was enthralled with the story and with how Ms. Louise painted Elizabeth and Darcy. 

I found the concept itself of Elizabeth and Darcy meeting on a carriage and then on board a ship headed to America rather than at a town dance fascinating and novel (no pun intended).  While changing their initial meeting caused other aspects of the original story to be slightly altered, there were other features that remained true to Austen's original masterpiece and I had fun picking up on them. I enjoyed the variations that Darcy's Voyage set forth and believe them to be an inspired alternative to Pride and Prejudice

Ms. Louise's writing style was engaging and yet still remained true to the Regency period.  She was faithful to the characteristics Austen firstly penned for Elizabeth and Darcy while giving new insight into their actions and behaviors.  So closely did she mirror Austen's vision that Darcy's Voyage could have been a colloboration between the two. 

Original Pride and Prejudice characters, including the Bennet family, Aunt and Uncle Gardiner, Georgiana Darcy, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Wickham, provide solid support in Darcy's Voyage

I would not hesitate to highly recommend Darcy's Voyage to any devoted reader of Jane Austen and historical fiction and romance readers.  Out of the many Austen sequels and Austen inspired novels I have read, Darcy's Voyage easily ranks in the top few, based on writing style, story and interpretation.  This was my first novel by Kara Louise but I am so in love with Darcy's Voyage that I will eagerly snap up her five other Pride and Prejudice inspired variations.

Darcy's Voyage is available for purchase now at major booksellers, including Amazon.  I am an Amazon affiliate.  If you make a purchase through my link, I will receive a small commission.

For more information on author Kara Louise, please visit her website HERE and her blog HERE

Review copy of this book provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. In no way did the provision of the book affect the outcome of my review.

This book qualifies toward my JANE AUSTEN IS MY HOMEGIRL READING CHALLENGE

Please be sure to stop back by Psychotic State on September 23, 2010, when Kara Louise will be in the house for an interview!

September 5, 2010

Review of "What Alice Knew" by Paula Marantz Cohen

Description:   Under Certain Circumstances, No One Is More Suited to Solving a Crime than a Woman Confined to Her Bed.



An invalid for most her life, Alice James is quite used to people underestimating her. And she generally doesn't mind. But this time she is not about to let things alone. Yes, her brother Henry may be a famous author, and her other brother William a rising star in the new field of psychology. But when they all find themselves quite unusually involved in the chase for a most vile new murderer-one who goes by the chilling name of Jack the Ripper-Alice is certain of two things:


No one could be more suited to gather evidence about the nature of the killer than her brothers. But if anyone is going to correctly examine the evidence and solve the case, it will have to be up to her.



I was absolutely thrilled to be asked to read and review Paula Marantz Cohen’s new novel, What Alice Knew, as I have read nearly every book (nonfiction and fiction) about Jack the Ripper I can get my hands on and I enjoy certain aspects of the Victorian era.

I was not disappointed by this marvelous book, which alternated between darkness and stinging intelligence but always remained descriptive. Ms. Cohen brought to life the bleak disparity between the lucky (the upper class) in London and abject (below working class poor ) residing in Whitechapel of 1888. Turning each page, I could detect the slight lavender from a well to do gentleman’s handkerchief, to the aroma of a nice beef bouillon soup and then, just as quickly, the heavy scent of drink and hopeless despair from the squalid streets and back alleys. So vivid were her words that I could easily picture each chapter and event as though I were watching a film, or as if Ms. Cohen were describing such occurrences from memory.

Ms. Cohen takes real persons of note, such as Henry James, William James, Alice James, Oscar Wilde and John Singer Sargent, but to name a few, and spins a fascinating, complex novel. Reading What Alice Knew, it was relatively easy to forget I was reading a work of fiction, based upon actual persons, and not an exact accounting of a horrible season in London in 1888.

Taking on real life persons can be a risky business, nevermind the as-yet officially unidentified Jack the Ripper. Ms. Cohen does so with aplomb. I was fascinated with how she wove her literary web surrounding this black figure and more than pleased and satisfied with how she resolved the mystery.

In all, I thoroughly enjoyed What Alice Knew and found it surpassed my expectations. So good and engrossing was the read that I handily zipped through it in just over 2 days and it left me wanting to read more books of the period, including those of central character Henry James himself.

If you like period dramas, mysteries and thrillers and fictional takes on the infamous Jack the Ripper, I encourage you to pick up this book. You won’t be sorry.


What Alice Knew is available for preorder now and will hit bookstores on September 7, including Amazon.   
For more information on author Paula Marantz Cohen, please visit her website HERE

Review copy of this book provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. In no way did the provision of the book affect the outcome of my review.

This book qualifies toward my Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge, as well as my R.I.P. Reading Challenge

September 4, 2010

Book Blogger Hop Friday (on Saturday)

ABOUT THE HOP:


In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING through the list of blogs that are posted in the Linky list at Crazy For Books!!

The Hop lasts Friday-Monday every week, so if you don't have time to Hop today, come back later and join the fun! This is a weekly event! And stop back throughout the weekend to see all the new blogs that are added! There are over 300 links every week!!

Your blog should have content related to books including, but not limited to, book reviews.

RULES:

1. Enter your book blog link in the Linky List at Crazy For Books.

In your link, please state the main genre that you review: eclectic, contemp. fiction, YA, paranormal, mystery, non-fiction, etc. Please do not list every genre you review - if you are review a variety, please put eclectic! The Hop gets jumbled up if the title is too long, so please limit to one genre. I will be limiting the number of characters in the title to ensure the Hop doesn't look messy! Thank you!

Example: Crazy-for-Books (literary fiction)

NOTE: You no longer have to enter the length of time you've been blogging, but do let us know if this is your first time hopping with us!

2. Post about the Hop on your blog. Spread the word about the book party! The more the merrier! In your blog post, answer the following question (new question each week!). If you have a question that could be used in a future Hop, leave it in the comments! Thanks!

This week's question comes from:
 
Sarah @ SarahReadsTooMuch
 
Do you judge a book by its cover? 
 
My answer:  Absolutely, positively yes.  Oftentimes, if I am browsing at the library or bookstore, it's the cover that will determine whether I will pick the book up and give it a browse (unless it's an author I know and am devoted to).  So, good cover will get at least a second glance from me, whereas a bad cover may relegate it to stay on the shelf. 
 
3. Visit other blogs in the Linky List! Make new friends! Follow new book bloggers! Talk about books! Rave about authors! Take the time to make a quality visit! Check out other posts and content, make a new friend! Don't randomly follow someone if you never intend on actually following them! No spamming please! (Please do not leave your link and not visit other blogs - it's just not cool and not in the spirit of the Hop!)


And just as an FYI - this event is not something you should feel that you have to participate in every week. If you want to join in and link up once a month, GREAT! It's up to you how often you participate!

So, have fun HOPPING and enjoy your BOOK PARTY weekend!!!