Jaime Loves Stuff : November 2009


Search and Earn!

Search & Win

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Fundraising site for Emma's bike!

This is the widget that will connect over to paypal in which any funds that come in will go DIRECTLY to Freedom Concepts, the manufacturer of the bike. I will not see a penny, it goes right in to Emma's bike account. Once the full amount is raised, then the bike will be built and shipped to Emma. I love the Widget, it shows the progress. You can also remain anonymous. It's GREAT!




Below is the link to the site, just copy and paste to your browser so you can read more!
http://freedomconcepts.chipin.com/emma

Thank you! We know times are tough for everybody, even if you can forward to link to your readers, family, friends, and such, that would help so much. I am starting a new job on Monday, the 30th, so I won't be able to contribute for a few weeks and then not again until my tax refund has been sent to me. Then whatever is left at that time on the balance towards the bike, my tax refund should cover it! Will make a great Spring time gift for Emma!





Review: Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran

Cleopatra's Daughter (Library Edition)

Follows the incredible life of Cleopatra's surviving children with Marc Antony -- twins, named Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene, and a younger son named Ptolemy. All three were taken to Rome and paraded through the streets, then sent off to be raised by Octavia (the wife whom Marc Antony left for Cleopatra). Raised in one of the most fascinating courts of all time, Cleopatra's children would have met Ovid, Seneca, Vitruvius (who inspired the Vitruvian man), Agrippa (who built the Pantheon), Herod, his sister Salome, the poets Virgil, Horace, Maecenas and so many others!


Following the young life of Kleopatra Selene, Michelle Moran has once again brought history and leisure reading together in a fascinating tale beginning with the death of Marc Antony and Queen Kleopatra's suicide by snake venom following Selene from age twelve to fifteen. The only ones left of the Queen's line are Kleopatra Selene and Alexander Helios and they are kept "prisoner" by the Roman Caesar.

I have always been a big fan of Cleopatra and Egyptian history. I loved the name dropping and introductions of key players in history. An easy and enjoyable read, "Cleopatra's Daughter" satisfies both young adults and adults alike. Not as powerful as "Nefertiti" but a good book. My only disappointment is that this book ends at Selene's 15th year of life and with a small blurb on her life with Juba. For personal tastes, I would prefer to have had more of Selene's adult life but I definitely enjoyed the story of her adolescence and precociousness.


Disclaimer: A thank you to Michelle Moran for providing a copy of "Cleopatra's Daughter" to read and review. Acceptance of a review copy does not affect my ability to remain unbiased and provide a truthful, honest review. I am not paid for my reviews. I am just a book lover who enjoys books, I do not attempt to be a professional reviewer. I just want to read good books. Whether I buy them or they are provided, my review will remain untainted regardless of the source.

The Site for Emma's bike!

This is the widget that will connect over to paypal in which any funds that come in will go DIRECTLY to Freedom Concepts, the manufacturer of the bike. I will not see a penny, it goes right in to Emma's bike account. Once the full amount is raised, then the bike will be built and shipped to Emma. I love the Widget, it shows the progress. You can also remain anonymous. It's GREAT!




Below is the link to the site, just copy and paste to your browser so you can read more!
http://freedomconcepts.chipin.com/emma

Thank you! We know times are tough for everybody, even if you can forward to link to your readers, family, friends, and such, that would help so much. I am starting a new job on Monday, the 30th, so I won't be able to contribute for a few weeks and then not again until my tax refund has been sent to me. Then whatever is left at that time on the balance towards the bike, my tax refund should cover it! Will make a great Spring time gift for Emma!


Fundraising site for Emma's bike!

This is the widget that will connect over to paypal in which any funds that come in will go DIRECTLY to Freedom Concepts, the manufacturer of the bike. I will not see a penny, it goes right in to Emma's bike account. Once the full amount is raised, then the bike will be built and shipped to Emma. I love the Widget, it shows the progress. You can also remain anonymous. It's GREAT!




Below is the link to the site, just copy and paste to your browser so you can read more!
http://freedomconcepts.chipin.com/emma

Thank you! We know times are tough for everybody, even if you can forward to link to your readers, family, friends, and such, that would help so much. I am starting a new job on Monday, the 30th, so I won't be able to contribute for a few weeks and then not again until my tax refund has been sent to me. Then whatever is left at that time on the balance towards the bike, my tax refund should cover it! Will make a great Spring time gift for Emma!

Nuclear Iran and 72 Virgins—Is there a connection? Avi Perry Guest Blog

72 Virgins
Nuclear Iran and 72 Virgins—Is there a connection?

In my latest book—72 Virgins, some of the characters are members of a Jihad fraternity—a collection of Islamic fanatics, misguided by a faith-based hate, who seek martyrdom, whether it’s an individual or a collective goal. Iran is a leading force inside this mad fraternity—a point I was trying to make when writing the book. This is why Iran is so different from India, Pakistan, Israel, when it comes to the question of nuclear weapons.

It is a fact that among the official and unofficial nuclear club members none is controlled by an Islamic religious fanatic leader, whereas Iran is.

It is a fact that Islamic religious fanatics have no regard for innocent lives. They believe that Allah wants them to kill anyone who stands in the way to their version of world order. 9/11 proved that point.

It is a fact that Islamic religious fanatics take their orders directly from Allah’s earthly self appointed representatives and follow it blindly without a question.

It is a fact that Iran’s leader has already announced his intent to wipe Israel off the map. He clearly implied that he would use a nuclear bomb for the task had he had one.

There is a strong suspicion that Iran’s leaders view Israel as a requisite bus stop on the way to other Middle-Eastern countries, Europe, and beyond, in their Jihadic mission to cleanse the world from its infidels.

There is a strong suspicion that Iran may actually bring its nuclear bomb into play, or let its Islamic comrades experiment with it on real human beings. There is no analogous anxiety when it comes to other members of the nuclear club.

But what about Israel? Why does the Western World beg off pressuring the Jewish state to open its nuclear facilities to international inspections? Why is Israel given a preferential treatment on the issue?

Apparently, the West, and the US specifically, understand that Israel would not use its nuclear arsenal in battle unless it is attacked or about to be attacked with WMD first. They understand that the Israeli capability is defensive, while the Iranian aspirations are offensive. They understand that Israel is the only country in the world whose citizens rather than their government are targeted for elimination by its religious fanatic enemies. Israel is the only country in the world whose citizens are subject to a massive genocide by those aspiring to nuke it.

The North Korean government does not want to kill all of its Southern neighbor citizens. It wants to control them. India and Pakistan do not want to kill all of their enemy civilians. Their dispute is confined to territorial control. All recent wars among nuclear members and other nations amounted to wars, cold or hot, between governments over territorial or political jurisdiction. These objectives are in contradiction to the utilization of WMD.

Iran’s “wipe them off the map” call is clearly a departure from the norm. If these neurotic desperados place their hands on this WMD button, the world may actually witness mushroom clouds for the first time since Nagasaki. And that is why Iran should never be allowed to exercise the nuclear potential.


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Dr. Avi Perry grew up among many of the character-types depicted in his latest book 72 Virgins, then served in the Israeli Defense Forces and gained valuable and relevant experience in military intelligence, one that breathes authenticity into the setting. He was a professor at Northwestern University, a Bell Laboratories distinguished member and manager, and a Vice President at a hi-tech company. He is the author of Fundamentals of Voice Quality Engineering in Wireless Networks, published in 2007 by Cambridge University Press.

Visit the author’s web site at www.aviperry.org.
Follow him on Twitter @avpiap

Behind the writing of 72 Virgins

People keep asking. “What drove you to write 72 Virgins?” Why—after a long career as a professor in the academia, followed by a hi-tech stint as a technology chief—suddenly an author—a fiction writer. What happened?

My latest novel, 72 Virgins, carries a message, a prediction. Islamic terror is about to explode in the US. It’s a fact. Imagine. Attacks were thwarted even on the day the book was released. The real question is not whether Jihad terrorists’ plots will ever cease to emerge—there is no chance of that. The question the book seeks to answer is whether the next one will be stopped before it’s too late.

I was born in Israel. I served in the Israeli military during, before and after the Six-Day-War in 1967. I lived and breathed war violence, military intelligence, spy-craft designed for terror deterrence. I understand wars, military conflicts, and faith-based hate—an Islamic trait, since I grew up in that kind of a hostile neighborhood. I have been frustrated by the naiveté of my American friends and colleagues who keep asking, whenever I take a trip to my birthplace, “aren’t you worried? Isn’t it dangerous over there?

I keep thinking to myself. “Aren’t you worried as well?” Did you forget 9/11? Did you forget the following terror and potential terror attacks on US and Western interests all over and around the world?

America needs a constant reminder. Americans must be more alert and more aware. The economy is important. The healthcare system must be fixed. But security should not be sacrificed in the process. Without security - freedom, the economy and healthcare are meaningless. And if you don’t get it, try living in Afghanistan for a week.

There has been no serious terror attack in the US since 9/11. Americans have become complacent. The political left is on the attack—their aim is distorted. They go after the CIA, the law enforcement agency in charge of protecting us. They do not ask themselves the question that I am trying to answer in 72 Virgins—how is it that there has been no terror attack on US soil since 9/11? We all know (or at least those who read or watch the news), that there have been attempts; they failed; perpetrators were caught; we are safe. No!

I grew up in Israel, and I have seen it. You can’t fight a religion driven, faith-based hate by being nice, by making sure you don’t violate rules of war, by making concessions. These are means that apply to rational opponents—not ones steered by a holy book, but rather, by a selfish interest. I was trying to clarify that concept in 72 Virgins. I was trying to craft characters, through which the reader can grasp the new reality behind the type of terror we have been witnessing in the past twenty years.

I wrote 72 Virgins because I care about America, because I have grown distressed when witnessing the mounting naiveté among those who lack the understanding of history; those who are unable to learn from it and avoid repeating past mistakes.

I was trying to explain that suicide bombers are not desperate people. They are the most selfish animals in existence. They kill innocents, believing that that criminal act is martyrdom, qualifying them for an express ticket to heaven, next to Allah’s throne, where 72 Virgins would attend to their needs.

Avi Perry
www.aviperry.org



Thomas Riley and the Basics of Steampunk



I’d like to start by giving a heartfelt thank you to Jaime for letting me come here and guest blog today. This week rounds out my thirty two date book blog tour and it means a lot that these wonderful people have reserved a day especially for me. So Jaime, thank you!

My name is Nick Valentino. My first book is a Steampunk adventure novel called Thomas Riley. It was just published by Echelon Press and I can’t tell you how excited I am to tell you about it. If you don’t know what Steampunk is, I promise you will soon. Not just from me, but from the book and movie industry. Apparently it’s the genre that book agents and movie execs are looking for. Don’t worry; I’ll give you the scoop right now.

The setting: Victorian times (mostly in London or in this case Europe).

The culture: Inventions, science and alchemy dominate the popular culture of the day.

The style: Corsets, vests, overcoats, wire framed spectacles, bowler hats, goggles and cloves.

The twist: The world has experienced a huge boom in technology based on steam, clockwork mechanics and alchemy.

So the difference between Steampunk history and history as we know it is that steam powered inventions dominate the world. Hence dirigibles, steam weaponry, and everything as we know it is now powered by steam. So anything imaginable existed in the Victorian period, just with steam power and gears instead of fossil fuels and electricity. So take the pioneering and explorative spirit of the era and multiply it by the ability to fly great distances with heavy weaponry. Watch out though, the world is at war and dangerous sky pirates could be lurking in great airships just beyond the horizon.

If you like high adventure, classy yet rugged sky pirates and the untamable minds of two alchemists/inventors, Thomas Riley and the Steampunk genre may just be for you.

Here’s the back cover blurb to wet your appetite:

For more than twenty years West Canvia and Lemuria have been at war. From the safety of his laboratory, weapons designer Thomas Riley has cleverly and proudly empowered the West Canvian forces. But when a risky alchemy experiment goes horribly wrong, Thomas and his wily assistant Cynthia Bassett are thrust onto the front lines of battle and forced into shaky alliances with murderous sky pirates in a deadly race to kidnap the only man who can undo the damage: the mad genius behind Lemuria's cunning armaments.

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Find out more at:
http://www.sirthomasriley.com/

You can purchase signed copies at:
http://thomasriley.bigcartel.com/
or at Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Riley-Nick-Valentino/dp/1590807006/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1258935925&sr=1-1




Pendragon's Banner Winner!

Pendragon's Banner (Pendragon's Banner Trilogy, #2)


The Winner of Pendragon's Banner Giveaway is:

MarthaE said...
I guess I think of King Arthur as tough fighter but fair and glamorous leader. I'd like to read this version! Thanks for a chance to win.

Congratulations MarthaE! Please email me at booknerdextraordinaire@yahoo.com by midnight Monday, November 23rd or the book will be forfeited to a Twitter giveaway.

If you do not already follow me on twitter, click on the twitter button in the sidebar.

Speaking of forfeited books, I gave the winner of Wild Blue Under plenty of time to email me and the winner has yet to email. Therefore, the book is forfeited to a Twitter giveaway. I will be doing the Twitter giveaway tomorrow evening. I am going out of town tomorrow morning so be sure to watch twitter tomorrow night. It goes fast!

How I Review

I am a hobby reviewer and don't claim/want/ or pretend to be a professional reviewer. I just post quick reviews, did I like it or not, would I recommend it or not and reasons why I like it. I am not very detailed, and that is WHY I will never be more then a hobby reviewer :)

With that said, what are some things you do or don't like to read in a review?

Myself personally, a synopsis if there is already one quoted. For example, if I copy a synopsis from Goodreads, Amazon, the author/publisher's Site, etc., I won't add any more to that. I just jump right in to the review. I feel if a reviewer copies a synopsis, then goes back over what happened then it just become a book report.

I generally keep my reviews short, I am not an English or a Literature major (Accounting and Math major, to be exact! LOL), so I don't go through the nuances of the writing. My aim is at every day Joes and Janes who just enjoy a book and are not out to dissect every word, line and paragraph and that is the majority of readers. I just try to keep it simple, direct and to the point.

I have received some pretty snarky comments in regards to my reviews essentially being half assed and honestly, I don't care if the person reading my reviews doesn't like how I review. If they disagree with the review, that's fine. Bring forth the discussion, I agree to disagree. What I don't like, somebody else will and vice versa. As said in the paragraph above, I just keep it to the point and the bottom line is "Did I enjoy reading this book?". That's what's important.

The joys of being on the 'net, eh?




Review of Willoughby's Return by Jane Odiwe

Willoughby's Return: A Tale of Almost Irresistible Temptation

From Goodreads.com:
A lost love returns, rekindling forgotten passions…
In Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, when Marianne Dashwood marries Colonel Brandon, she puts her heartbreak over dashing scoundrel John Willoughby in the past.
Three years later, Willoughby's return throws Marianne into a tizzy of painful memories and exquisite feelings of uncertainty. Willoughby is as charming, as roguish, and as much in love with her as ever. And the timing couldn't be worse—with Colonel Brandon away and Willoughby determined to win her back, will Marianne find the strength to save her marriage, or will the temptation of a previous love be too powerful to resist?


Sense and Sensibility was such an awesome book by the fantastic Jane Austen starring the wonderful Dashwood sisters, the heartbreaking Willoughby, the brooding Colonel Brandon and an array of other wonderful characters.

I have been enjoying the selection of Jane Austen sequels, and Willoughby's Return by Jane Odiwe is right there leading the pack. Marianne,in my opinion, was spoiled, vivid and full of life and Jane Odiwe has maintained that spirit as she brings us to Marianne's life and her marriage to Colonel Brandon. I am a little saddened that Brandon didn't get a lot of scenes in this book however, I realize that Marianne is the focus and her conflicting emotions over Willoughby popping back into her life. I will admit though, I have always been partial to Brandon and always hoped that Marianne matures. Do you think she will? Read this book and find out :)

"Willoughby's Return" has maintained the spirit and life of it's predecessor, "Sense and Sensibility" and was such a strong, flowing read and I would definitely recommend this to any Sense and Sensibility fan who has wondered "well, what then?"







A thank you to Sourcebooks for providing a copy of Willoughby's Return to read and review. Acceptance of a review copy does not affect my ability to remain unbiased and provide a truthful, honest review. I am not paid for my reviews. I am just a book lover who enjoys books, I do not attempt to be a professional reviewer. I just want to read good books. Whether I buy them or they are provided, my review will remain untainted regardless of the source.





Blog Tour- Bitter Night by Diana Pharaoh Francis

Bitter Night: A Horngate Witches Book

From Goodreads.com:
SOMETIMES YOU CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES. AND SOMETIMES, THEY CHOOSE YOU...
Once, Max dreamed of a career, a home, a loving family. Now all she wants is freedom...and revenge. A witch named Giselle transformed Max into a warrior with extraordinary strength, speed, and endurance. Bound by spellcraft, Max has no choice but to fight as Giselle's personal magic weapon -- a Shadowblade -- and she's lethally good at it. But her skills are about to be put to the test as they never have before....
The ancient Guardians of the earth are preparing to unleash widespread destruction on the mortal world, and they want the witches to help them. If the witches refuse, their covens will be destroyed, including Horngate, the place Max has grudgingly come to think of as home. Max thinks she can find a way to help Horngate stand against the Guardians, but doing so will mean forging dangerous alliances -- including one with a rival witch's Shadowblade, who is as drawn to Max as she is to him -- and standing with the witch she despises. Max will have to choose between the old life she still dreams of and the warrior she has become, and take her place on the side of right -- if she survives long enough to figure out which side that is....



The first book of the "Horngate Witches" series, Bitter Night is full of bloody, gruesome, and high flying adventure. I can almost say, this isn't for those with weak constitutions. Some of the injuries Shadowblades and Sunspears endure are pretty gruesome and the author is very sadistic.. in a good way! LOL. For the first book right out the gate of this series, I have to say, not bad. Not bad at all. I definitely wouldn't say fantastic or anything but not bad. There were a few nuances with the changing in viewpoints I thought was odd and there was some inconsistency with the shifting of the viewpoint that caused me to backtrack a little bit to reconfirm who's view it was. Sometimes first books in a new series can be slow with attempting to build the characters, the scenery, back stories and so forth, Bitter Night definitely didn't lull. I could easily have read this in half the time it took me if I didn't have to eat, take a shower, feed the kid, shower her, put her on the potty, ya know.. all those responsibilities and believe me, breaking away was hard for me to do.

I really like Max's character. I felt we didn't get enough of the other Sunspears and Shadowblades to decide if I liked them or not. Akemi, Oz and Niko seemed cool. I am on the fence about Alexander, he was borderline weak and kind of grated my nerves. I don't see he and Max in a romantic relationship. I can't wait to find out what's next with the Horngate, the witches, the angels, and the war..

Sooo.. Diana Pharoah Francis, when's book two coming out? :D



A thank you to Pocket Books for providing a copy of Bitter Night to read and review. Acceptance of a review copy does not affect my ability to remain unbiased and provide a truthful, honest review. I am not paid for my reviews. I am just a book lover who enjoys books, I do not attempt to be a professional reviewer. I just want to read good books. Whether I buy them or they are provided, my review will remain untainted regardless of the source.


Book 5 of the Mercy Thompson series cover announced!



Patricia Briggs' 5th installment to her popular Mercy Thompson series is going to be Silver Borne! According to the author's website, Silver Borne is pending a release date of March 30th, 2010. Synopsis from Amazon.com:
All-new action in the #1 New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series

When mechanic and shapeshifter Mercy Thompson attempts to return a powerful Fae book she'd previously borrowed in an act of desperation, she finds the bookstore locked up and closed down.

It seems the book contains secret knowledge-and the Fae will do just about anything to keep it out of the wrong hands. And if that doesn't take enough of Mercy's attention, her friend Samuel is struggling with his wolf side-leaving Mercy to cover for him, lest his own father declare Sam's life forfeit.

All in all, Mercy has had better days. And if she isn't careful, she might not have many more to live...

From the author's site:
This will be the fifth Mercy Thompson novel. I may be premature putting it up, but a number of people write wanting to know if Bone Crossed was the last in the series. Happily, ACE has contracted for a total of seven Mercy novels, and it's possible the series could go even longer.

Coming March 30, 2010


I can NOT wait! I am such a fan of Patricia Briggs. I am waiting for Bone Crossed to come out in paperback so I can order it. I just ordered The Hob's Bargain by her, also.


Review: The Wildest Heart by Rosemary Rogers

The Wildest Heart

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:

New York Times bestseller with over 3 million sold - the #1 bestselling book from mega-bestselling author.
Rosemary Rogers' romances are known for their breathtaking pace, wide ranging and exotic locales, violent passions and unforgettable characters. The Wildest Heart is Rosemary Rogers'#1 bestselling book, with nearly three million copies sold.
Heroine Rowena Dangerfield is sensual, headstrong, and scandalously independent, the granddaughter of the governor of an Indian province under the British empire. After his death, she travels to England and then to New Mexico, where she arrives in grand style to lay claim to her inheritance.
There she discovers an affinity with the wild and untamed frontier and meets Lucas Cord, a devastatingly handsome half-Apache renegade, whose reputation as a feared outlaw both attracts and repels her. When he encounters the beautiful stranger, unlike any woman he's ever met before, he knows instantly that he'll have to win her for his own, and not even the treachery of desperate enemies is going to stop him.



A sweeping, beautiful epic historical romance, "The Wildest Heart" by Rosemary Rogers kept me entranced throughout 739 pages. Yes, 739 pages. Beginning in 1872 with Rowena in India, onto 1873 when upon her grandfather's death she is sent to her mother's (whom she has never met) in London, and off to America upon her finding out her father is dying and has left her his ranch in New Mexico and a very wealthy woman. These pages take you through her life to 1878 without disappointing and no obnoxious down time. When I first saw this book, I was overwhelmed. A romance THIS long? How much can the author write about? Obviously plenty and without disappointing the reader. This is a TRUE romance in my book. Lady Rowena is beautiful, fierce, independent and strong. Her life was never easy, she is The Wildest Heart. I felt so much of a connection with Lady Rowena, dislike towards Todd Shannon, unsure about Lucas Cord and of course, I eventually fell in love with him, and all the players. I love when an author can build other characters without losing her key players. The late 1800s was a time of wild, raucous and outlaws, especially in the west. The author has woven the time period in beautifully.

Just beautiful. I say this book is worth each and every page you read. I wasn't disappointed and I am sure other readers won't be either. I will even say this, this is definitely going into my re-read pile for another round. Be prepared to be captivated through the entire book

Thank you to Sourcebooks for providing this copy for my review. Acceptance of a review copy does not affect my ability to remain unbiased and provide a truthful, honest review. I am not paid for my reviews.

Giveaway!! The Heretic's Daughter

The Heretic's Daughter

Blurb from Hatchette Book Group:

Martha Carrier was one of the first women to be accused, tried and hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts. Like her mother, young Sarah Carrier is bright and willful, openly challenging the small, brutal world in which they live.

Often at odds with one another, mother and daughter are forced to stand together against the escalating hysteria of the trials and the superstitious tyranny that led to the torture and imprisonment of more than 200 people accused of witchcraft.

This is the story of Martha's courageous defiance and ultimate death, as told by the daughter who survived.

Kathleen Kent is a tenth generation descendent of Martha Carrier. She paints a haunting portrait, not just of Puritan New England, but also of one family's deep and abiding love in the face of fear and persecution.





See the Reading Group Guide
Become a fan on Facebook
Listen to a clip of the Audiobook
Podcast

With an enormous thank you to Hatchette Book Group, I am able to giveaway 5 copies of The Heretic's Daughter! Yay!

US and Canada only.
No PO Boxes.

To enter: Just leave a comment to enter!

That's it! Very simple!

If you would like to earn extra entries, you can tweet, blog, post on facebook, etc. just leave me a link in SEPARATE comments. Each will be worth an extra entry!

I do not require you to follow my blog, however, I will NOT contact the winner. Winner will be notified right here on my blog and it will be up to the winner to contact ME within 48 hours of my posting the winner. Another suggestion, if you don't want to follow is you can set up a Google Alert for your username. This contest ends on December 5th. Winner will be chosen randomly by Random.org.





Bikes!

Too make a long story short, Emma was born a happy, healthy normal baby until she suffered a horrific act of child abuse called "Shaken Baby Syndrome" (SBS). Emma suffered SBS with a blunt force trauma. She was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for one month following major brain surgery in which a portion of her brain had to be removed, part of her skull removed, a shunt placed to keep fluid off of her brain, and just overall recovery. After the month long stay, she was moved to the Neurological Rehabilitation Unit for another month in which she endured grueling physical, occupation and speech therapies. She had to learn to eat again, to sit up again, to smile, and regain all she had lost. She ended up being put on a feeding tube as she wasn't intaking enough calories and she was inhaling most of her fluids which put her at risk for pneumonia and other lung issues. She wore a helmet, a leg brace, an arm brace and had issues with her vision due to the brain damage.

Now 5 years later, she is just starting to walk, she has cerebral palsy on the left side of her body, she is cognitively delayed, speech delayed, and no longer wears a helmet after having major surgery this last July.

One issue we have is that due to her Cerebral Palsy, she can not walk very fast. Which means not enough cardio. The best way to get that heart beating is riding a bicycle! Today we were fitted for a bicycle along with several other special needs kids. These bikes are adapted for each child's different disabilities. These bikes, however, are not covered by insurance and are very expensive. We are going to do some fundraising activities so that all the children can own a bike and lead independent lives. These bikes, as I said, are expensive. However, they will last many years, to adulthood with changing a few things (seat, handle bars, etc) in the future. I am also going to call on those in the Blogosphere for help! This is going to be Emma's Christmas gift. Since I have been unemployed, I just don't have the money. I start a job at the end of November and hope I can come up with $500.

$1 will go soooo far in this quest. Let's say through the internet we raise enough to buy Emma's bike and THEN some, the left over money will go to the pot for other kids. I am brainstorming right now.

The company that makes the bikes is going to email me the estimate and a link to set up a page for Emma for donations. I am so excited. If I can get her this bike, it will be such an AMAZING gift for her. Hours upon hours of happiness. The chance to join other kids outside, to be independent, and just be happy. Most of the kids with disabilities don't get a chance to play with other kids because their free time is spent on therapies (Physical, speech, occupational), doctors, and just to do a normal activity takes much longer. They spend so much of their time working.

I just hope that when I get the link that I can ask you all to pass it around. Like I said, $1 will be sooo huge!!!!


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Merry Christmas Time!

Some of you may or may not know some of the history of my daughter Emma. I won't go in to too many details (You can also see my other Blog here!)

Too make a long story short, Emma was born a happy, healthy normal baby until she suffered a horrific act of child abuse called "Shaken Baby Syndrome" (SBS). Emma suffered SBS with a blunt force trauma. She was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for one month following major brain surgery in which a portion of her brain had to be removed, part of her skull removed, a shunt placed to keep fluid off of her brain, and just overall recovery. After the month long stay, she was moved to the Neurological Rehabilitation Unit for another month in which she endured grueling physical, occupation and speech therapies. She had to learn to eat again, to sit up again, to smile, and regain all she had lost. She ended up being put on a feeding tube as she wasn't intaking enough calories and she was inhaling most of her fluids which put her at risk for pneumonia and other lung issues. She wore a helmet, a leg brace, an arm brace and had issues with her vision due to the brain damage.

Now 5 years later, she is just starting to walk, she has cerebral palsy on the left side of her body, she is cognitively delayed, speech delayed, and no longer wears a helmet after having major surgery this last July.

One issue we have is that due to her Cerebral Palsy, she can not walk very fast. Which means not enough cardio. The best way to get that heart beating is riding a bicycle! Today we were fitted for a bicycle along with several other special needs kids. These bikes are adapted for each child's different disabilities. These bikes, however, are not covered by insurance and are very expensive. We are going to do some fundraising activities so that all the children can own a bike and lead independent lives. These bikes, as I said, are expensive. However, they will last many years, to adulthood with changing a few things (seat, handle bars, etc) in the future. I am also going to call on those in the Blogosphere for help! This is going to be Emma's Christmas gift. Since I have been unemployed, I just don't have the money. I start a job at the end of November and hope I can come up with $500.

$1 will go soooo far in this quest. Let's say through the internet we raise enough to buy Emma's bike and THEN some, the left over money will go to the pot for other kids. I am brainstorming right now.

The company that makes the bikes is going to email me the estimate and a link to set up a page for Emma for donations. I am so excited. If I can get her this bike, it will be such an AMAZING gift for her. Hours upon hours of happiness. The chance to join other kids outside, to be independent, and just be happy. Most of the kids with disabilities don't get a chance to play with other kids because their free time is spent on therapies (Physical, speech, occupational), doctors, and just to do a normal activity takes much longer. They spend so much of their time working.

I just hope that when I get the link that I can ask you all to pass it around. Like I said, $1 will be sooo huge!!!! You have no idea how GRATEFUL we will be!


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Twitter Giveaways

Hi everybody!

Watch tomorrow night (want to give everybody a heads up!) on Twitter for some quick, lightening giveaways! If you aren't already following me on Twitter, be sure to do so, the link is on the left side of my page!

Up for grabs are some unclaimed books or books that the winner let me know they had already won on another site, so it's YOUR lucky night tomorrow!

Up for grabs:
2 copies of Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly
4 copies of Run For Your Life by James Patterson


What I will do, as some of you may already know who have participated, I will post on Twitter something along the lines of "I have 2 copies of Nine Dragons for the first two to reply to my tweet" and I will tweet who won. You can say "I want Nine Dragons" or "Count me in", whatever. The first 2 will be the winners. I will only do one title at a time and I will give you notice of how much time is remaining for the next title. PLEASE DO NOT DM ME!!! There is a DELAY in the DMs (at least a minute) and your entry will not count!

Stay tuned tomorrow (Saturday November 7th) evening for more!!!


Prince of Persia Starring Jake Gyllenhall Trailer

Looks interesting, kind of reminds me of The Mummy in regards to the effects.. hmmm interesting!





Jane Odiwe Guest Blog and Giveaway!


Jaime, thank you so much for inviting me onto your blog to talk about my book, Willoughby’s Return. I thought I’d talk a little about Mr. Willoughby, that bad boy we find hard to resist!

Have you ever felt an irresistible attraction toward someone, and fallen so passionately in love with a guy that he made you throw all caution to the wind, so that your behavior became reckless and even a little wild? In Sense and Sensibility, Marianne’s relationship with John Willoughby escalates quickly into a whirlwind romance, so rapidly that the gossips assume they are engaged. Willoughby, dashing and handsome, is the man of her dreams – he enjoys poetry, music, and loves to dance. Marianne thinks she has met her perfect match until he breaks her heart. Scandal surrounds him, not only does he leave her for a woman with a fortune, but she finds out he is not the man she thought. Later, she is able to forgive him, especially when he tells her sister that he is full of remorse and regret; Marianne will forever be his secret standard of perfection. He has realized, too late, just how much he loves her, but by then Marianne has moved on and fallen in love with Colonel Brandon, an older, but much wiser, and kinder gentleman, far more suited to our heroine.
When I wrote Willoughby’s Return, I was full of questions about the ending of Jane Austen’s book - I couldn’t help wondering what might happen if John Willoughby came back to the neighborhood, as it is likely that he will inherit his benefactor’s grand house, Allenham Court.

Has Marianne really buried all her former feelings for Willoughby who once claimed her heart, and who has publicly made no secret of the fact that he still admires her. If they are thrown together in circumstances neither of them can avoid, what will happen? Will Marianne’s love for Colonel Brandon be tested?
Here’s an extract from the book. Marianne has met Willoughby again, and memories she thought were gone will not go away!

Seeing Willoughby again had disturbed her mind, and now she was travelling through countryside she could only ever associate with him. Pulling down the window to breathe the cool air, she could not help being reminded of a time, five years ago, of a season just like this one. She tried to dismiss her thoughts but they crowded in on her until she was forced to remember a particularly golden, autumnal day, when she had first been taken to see Allenham Court, which John Willoughby would inherit one day. The dwelling he had hinted would also be her future home was the place where he had first stolen more than a lock of her hair.

It was at his suggestion that he show her over the house. They travelled alone in an open carriage, bowling at speed down the green lanes, so fast that Marianne was forced to cling to his arm for fear of being thrown abroad.

He was so pleased and proud to show it off. “Do you like the house?” he asked, taking her hand and helping her down from the carriage. “Would it suit Miss Dashwood to live in a house like this?”
Marianne’s excitement knew no bounds. “This house would suit anyone, Mr. Willoughby,” came her fervent response, gazing up at the charming edifice.

He took her into the garden first. They strolled away from the house and into a leafy walkway. The fragrance of damp earth and the musk scent of leaves like amber jewels above her head in the arbour were smells she would associate forevermore with those feelings of longing and love. He crooked her arm in his and they wandered through thorned archways, gleaming scarlet with rose hips, embroidered with the lace of jewelled spider’s webs. It seemed like a dream come true to Marianne, and the thought that this might be her retreat some day brought on such ecstasies of happiness that she was lost for words. They walked in silence. All she heard were the leaves rustling under her feet, the birds in the trees calling out to one another. Her only desire was to link his arm in hers, and to feel the nearness of his face, his breath so close as to stir her curls. She could not have imagined greater felicity.
After going all round the grounds he took her inside. They crept about for fear of disturbing Mr.s Smith, who slumbered in her chair in the drawing room, quite unaware of their presence. He took her hand as they crept up the stairs with stifled giggles. The ancient oak door opened with a creak into a darkened room, the heavy, old-fashioned drapes drawn against the morning sun to protect the furniture.
Marianne’s eyes were not able to adjust to the gloom after the brightness outside. “I cannot see,” she whispered.

He caught both of her hands in his and whispered in reply, “Let me be your guide, Miss Marianne.”

© Jane Odiwe, Sourcebooks Landmark, 2009

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peak at Willoughby’s Return! Now tell me—who’s your favorite Austen hero and why?

Willoughby’s Return—In Stores November 2009!

A lost love returns, rekindling forgotten passions…

In Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, when Marianne Dashwood marries Colonel Brandon, she puts her heartbreak over dashing scoundrel John Willoughby in the past.
Three years later, Willoughby's return throws Marianne into a tizzy of painful memories and exquisite feelings of uncertainty. Willoughby is as charming, as roguish, and as much in love with her as ever. And the timing couldn't be worse—with Colonel Brandon away and Willoughby determined to win her back, will Marianne find the strength to save her marriage, or will the temptation of a previous love be too powerful to resist?

About the Author
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Jane Odiwe is an artist and author. She is an avid fan of all things Austen and is the author and illustrator of Effusions of Fancy, annotated sketches from the life of Jane Austen, as well as Lydia Bennet's Story. She lives with her husband and three children in North London. For more information, please visit her website, her blog or on Twitter!


Wasn't that fun? I love the Dashwood sisters and of course, how could we forget about that Mr. Willoughby! I am in the middle of reading Willoughby Returns so I can't yet give you my review however, I brought you Jane Odiwe who was so kind to grace my blog with her presence! I enjoyed what she had to say, how about you? Thank you Jane for coming on over today!

With another big thank you to Sourcebooks, I am able to give away one copy of "Willoughby's Return" to one lucky reader! Will that be you?

How to enter:
Answer Jane Odiwe's question: Now tell me—who’s your favorite Austen hero and why?

Rules:

1 Winner, US & Canada Only and Ends on November 18th.
I do not require you to be a follower of my blog, however, it is highly recommended as I will NOT contact the winner. Another option is to set up a google alert for your username. I will announce the winner on a post and it will be up to the winner to contact me within 48 hours of the announcement. Winner is chosen randomly via random.org.

Good luck!












Lots and Lots of Winners!! Woo Hoo!




Five Contests have ended and that equals a lot of winners with some great reading for November! Yay!

Winners have until Tuesday, November 3rd at Midnight (PST) to email me at booknerdextraordinaire@yahoo.com with their mailing addresses or their book(s) will be forfeited to a Twitter giveaway. Please make sure when you email me to put the book and your username in the subject line or I won't know who you are :)

Congratulations to all the winners and I am sorry I can't give a book to EVERYBODY, I would if I could but keep watching, I have many to list this month that I have been to lazy to post! LOL.

These were a lot of fun to read all of your answers!

Drum Roll Please..............

The Winner of Alec Thrace and The Lost Medallion by M.D. Griffith is:
Madwoman-doing-cartwheels who said...
Probably the wild west. I am kind of torn between wanting to be a dance hall girl or a pioneer wife. I love baths so because I think the dance hall girl would get more chances at the big tub I suppose that would be my choice.

For Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly:

The winners are...

Andrea
Deanna/ibeeeg
edmontonjb
etirv
Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write


The Winners of Run For Your Life by James Patterson are:

Stacie who said...
That`s easy- Michael Myers from Halloween. I still have nightmares about him!

Bethie said...
I remember the Son of Sam as kid and it scared me to death.

Sheila (bookjourney) said...
Michael Meyer... oh and Jason Vortez. Seriously any of those creepy non talking guys with the super slow walk..... AHHHHHHH!!!

donnas said...
For fiction characters - Hannibal Lecter
For real life - Charles Manson

MarthaE said...
I really like Patterson's books.
I have to agree with you - I think Freddy Kruger is the scariest serial killer. UGH!

The Winners of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold are:

Lynz Pickles said...
I wish Blood and Chocolate had never been made into a movie. Seriously, the book was so good! Why did they have to make a horrible movie of it?

Marian said...
I would love to see Colleen McCullough's The First Man in Rome be made into a movie. What an epic that would be.

MarionG said...
Hi I would like to see the book Outlander by Diana Gabdalon made into a movies. I love this series of books.

Indigo said...
I would love to see Patricia Briggs book "Moon Called" made into a series. I think the whole Mercy Thompson series would make better material for movies than the Twilight series.

robin_titan said...
I would LOVE it if The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer became a movie. Only if it became a REALLY good movie though. Not if they f-ed it up. I would hate that so much


Last but certainly not least, The Highlander's Temptation by Sue-Ellen Welfonder:

Sheila
holdenj
Mardel
Deanna/ibeeeg
Mary Ann DeBorde


All winners were chosen by using Random.org

For all winners EXCEPT Alec Thrace and the Lost Medallion, remember no P.O. Boxes and US and Canada only (Those guidelines were in the giveaway post!)

Once again, congratulations!



Review: Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

Iron Kissed (Mercedes Thompson, #3)

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:

When her former boss and mentor is arrested for murder and left to rot behind bars by his own kind, it's up to shapeshifting car mechanic Mercy Thompson to clear his name, whether he wants her to or not. And she'll have to choose between the two werewolves in her life-whether she wants to or not.


Book three of Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series, Iron Kissed brings another side to the ongoing saga that is Mercedes Thompson's life. Mercedes is taken deep into the mysterious world of the Fae to help investigate a murder of several Fae on the Fae Reservation and to help free Zee.

This book is a different speed of the previous two. There isn't as much action but is just as thrilling as the first two. I was glad to learn more about Zee and more about him as a "gremlin", more about the Gray Lords and also, more about Mercy's relationship with Adam and Samuel. This book is difficult to review without giving away too much. I just finished this last night and can't tell you whether it's my favorite of the series, but it definitely broke my heart. The first two books Mercy was tough and independent, in this book she hasn't lost either of those traits but she did get broken. Badly. I felt for her so much. Iron Kissed brought out a different side of Mercy, some people didn't like it but I liked it. She showed she can be broken down to the lowest form and rise above tragedy without completely losing herself. All of the main players in this series are crushed and show different sides in this book. This is definitely one to ponder after reading.

In my book, Mercy rocks and so does Patricia Briggs.



Disclaimer: I do not receive any financial compensation for my reviews. Iron Kissed was purchased by me from my local independent bookstore. Regardless of the source of my books, I review all books from my own intellect with out being influenced by whether I purchased or was provided the book at not cost.

Review: Day by Day Armageddon by J.L. Bourne

Day by Day Armageddon
post contains affiliate links







Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.com:

START INTERCEPT
SPORADIC NEW REPORTS INDICATE CHAOS AND VIOLENCE SPREADING THROUGH U.S. CITIES. AN UNKNOWN EVIL IS SWEEPING THE PLANET. THE DEAD ARE RISING TO CLAIM THE EARTH AS THE NEW DOMINANT SPECIES IN THE FOOD CHAIN.
INTERCEPT COMPLETE
SURVIVOR,
In your hands is the handwritten journal depicting one man's struggle for survival. Trapped in the midst of global disaster, he must make decisions; choices that ultimately mean life, or the eternal curse to walk as one of them.
ENTER IF YOU WILL INTO HIS WORLD. THE WORLD OF THE UNDEAD.


Day by Day Armageddon is written in a journal format of a man who is attempting to survive amidst the wake of zombies. As a matter of fact, not sure what his name is! The "author" is a military man who begins a journal as a New Year's Resolution and follows the mass destruction and chaos ensuing after this "virus" overtakes the world. He chronicles his killing, escaping and joining forces with a few other survivors he has met along the way. I have read some of the other reviews who state this is the best zombie book they have ever read and some that say that they don't like that the key character is so prepared. As for being the BEST zombie book ever, I don't know. This is my first one. I loved it. It was gripping, chilling, raw and crazed. I certainly don't have an issue with the key characters preparedness, he is military. If this was written from the view point of me, an average Jane, then prepare for it to have ended quickly as I wouldn't have had a clue what to do except RUN! Being as it is written from his viewpoint, I am all for his survival and game planning. I can't wait until the second book comes out and what's going to happen to these survivors housed at Hotel 23, an underground military facility. I can't help it, I need more!

During my search for more information on this book and author, I found a fan forum. I have enjoyed reading the threads. Check it out Here

Also, enjoy the book trailer:




Do you like Zombie/Apocalyptic genre books?

A thank you to Pocket Books for providing me with this complimentary review copy.

disclaimer: I do not receive financial compensation for any of my reviews. I do however from time to time receive complimentary advanced review books that are of no monetary value to read and post HONEST reviews, positive and negative. The acceptance of a book does not guarantee a positive review, it just guarantees a review.




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