If you've come here through a link from a fellow bloggers' blog... I've moved!


For 3 weeks now we have been having issues with our DSL service. We are hoping/planning to switch to cable internet (and therefore, providers) this week. That should alleviate much of the issues with our connection.

I'm going to postpone the start of Summer Reading until... July 7th. That should give those participating enough time to get a copy of [insert your own personal drum roll effect] A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines.

Feel free to e-mail me at anytime: kylee [dot] books [at] gmail [dot] com It may take me a couple of days to access and respond to your e-mail (until our provider issues are resolved), but I WILL e-mail you back. =)


I found this game at Reading Adventures. It looked fun so I gave it a go. It took longer than I though, but it was fun!

The concept:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker. {Since there are 12 ?s I did a 3x4 like Marg did.}

The Questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name


Matt and I have been together for 3 1/2 years and haven't once taken a vacation; not even as a family. Thursday morning (early morning.... 5 o'clock in the morning!) the four of us (Matt, me and the girls) are going get into the car for a 5 1/2 hour drive to my mom and step-dad's house in Maine. I cannot wait. I have all these visions in my head of hanging out reading, peace and quiet. I'm sure it won't happen quite the way I see it in my head, but a girl can dream.

Those of you on my Notify Me list will not be getting an update e-mail this Friday. There isn't anything to update. =)

I posted my review of Meg Waite Clayton's The Wednesday Sisters earlier today. I was planning on offering the ARC as a raffle, but (due to an unobservant delivery man) it was left where it could get wet and it did. So, I'm planning on waiting until it comes out and buy a copy to raffle off.

I got my ARC of Farworld: Water Keep by J Scott Savage yesterday and I'm SO excited!

Back Monday!

The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton

Title: The Wednesday Sisters
Author: Meg Waite Clayton
ISBN: 978-0-345-50282-7
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Ballantine Books (division of Random House)
Price: $23.00
Release Date: June 17, 2008

Friendship, loyalty, and love lie at the heart of Meg Waite Clayton’s beautifully written, poignant, and sweeping novel of five women who, over the course of four decades, come to redefine what it means to be family.

For thirty-five years, Frankie, Linda, Kath, Brett, and Ally have met every Wednesday at the park near their homes in Palo Alto, California. Defined when they first meet by what their husbands do, the young homemakers and mothers are far removed from the Summer of Love that has enveloped most of the Bay Area in 1967. These “Wednesday Sisters” seem to have little in common: Frankie is a timid transplant from Chicago, brutally blunt Linda is a remarkable athlete, Kath is a Kentucky debutante, quiet Ally has a secret, and quirky, ultra-intelligent Brett wears little white gloves with her miniskirts. But they are bonded by a shared love of both literature–Fitzgerald, Eliot, Austen, du Maurier, Plath, and Dickens–and the Miss America Pageant, which they watch together every year.

As the years roll on and their children grow, the quintet forms a writers circle to express their hopes and dreams through poems, stories, and, eventually, books. Along the way, they experience history in the making: Vietnam, the race for the moon, and a women’s movement that challenges everything they have ever thought about themselves, while at the same time supporting one another through changes in their personal lives brought on by infidelity, longing, illness, failure, and success.

Humorous and moving, The Wednesday Sisters is a literary feast for book lovers that earns a place among those popular works that honor the joyful, mysterious, unbreakable bonds between friends.
I loved this book from the second paragraph. The book is mostly told from Frankie's point of view, but each of the other 'sisters' gets their turn. For reasons I will keep to myself for now (wouldn't want to spoil anything) I most identified with Ally. Though there was a connection with Frankie as well. I finished The Wednesday Sisters 4 days ago and those women are still with me and I think they will remain for quite awhile.

This isn't only a book about the relationships these women have with each other, but also about their relationships with BOOKS! Each of these women's favorite book has an influence on the way that they see life; the color of the glasses that color their world view.

Being that I was born in 1976, I was born after the main part of The Wednesday Sisters is finished. However, Meg Waite Clayton did a great job of giving the reader enough information to understand our culture at that time (1968 to 1974).

There are so many things that I want to say about The Wednesday Sisters, but I don't want to give away all of the best/juicy parts. This is a must read!

Murder at the Bad Girl's Bar & Grill by N.M. Kelby

Title: Murder at the Bad Girl's Bar & Grill
Author: N.M. Kelby
ISBN: 978-0-307-38207-8
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books (division of Random House)
Price: $23.00
Release Date: June 3, 2008

Take a slasher-movie actress, a Scottish circus clown, an FBI school dropout, a blind heiress, a junk-food-loving millionaire developer, and a Buddha-quoting bluesman, add a couple of murders in a normally sedate retirement community in south Florida, and you get an irresistible tale that’s part Carl Hiaasen and part Gabriel García Márquez. It all goes down as easy as a Key lime pie martini, the signature drink of the Bad Girl’s Bar & Grill.

N. M. Kelby’s last three novels have received glowing reviews in the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, People, and the Atlantic Monthly. Carl Hiaasen has called her “a natural-born writer,” and Kirkus praised her “black humor that sizzles.” Sit back, put up your feet, and get ready to lose yourself in a rollicking good story.
I have not read any of her other books so I cannot compare this to any of N.M. Kelby's other 3 books. This is one of the most refreshing mysteries that I have read in awhile. This is not one of the niche-cozies that seem to be everywhere (not that I don't enjoy those as well). Not that it doesn't have a food connection. Murder at the Bad Girl's Bar & Grill has it's own BBQ sauce. The characters are well written, the mystery is just that (she lets out just enough to keep you interested; keep you guessing).

Danni Keene slasher queen is an interesting protagonist. I mean that in a good way. I want to be her friend, I want to hang-out in her Tiki bar - drinking Key lime pie martinis (ingredients are listed in the book, but no recipe), even if I do have to wait until 'Wheel of Fortune' is over to have someone to sit next to. The Buddha-quoting bluesman, Jimmy Ray, is someone else I really enjoyed getting to know. Laguna Key itself is a character in this book.

Not only is the story inside terrific, but look at that cover! You can't tell me that those colors don't scream the Florida Keys. I will definitely look for Mrs. Kelby's other books and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a sequel to Murder at the Bad Girl's Bar & Grill.

UPDATE: I found some Key Lime Pie Martini recipes online. Both of these use cream/heavy cream and the one in the book uses the kind in the can (like Reddi Wip)


Don't forget: This is the final day to take the second survey for Summer Reading. As of now there is 1 book in front, but a 5-way tie for second place. I'm working on a 'button' for the Summer Reading group. {like the 2 in the right sidebar for "It's the End of the World" and "Weekly Geeks".

More other stuff

Yesterday was a great book day!

  • When the mail came I had not one, but two (!!!) books waiting for me. My copy of Unholy Domain by Dan Ronco arrived. (read here to find out how this book fell into my lap) I may have to wait until the end of the week to start it though. I owe Enchanting Reviews a review of Anna's Secret before I leave them.
  • The second book is Finn by Jon Clinch. I entered a contest on Shelfari and I was one of 50 winners!
I'm going to curl up with Anna's Secret for a little bit before I have to start dinner. =)

Just other stuff

Over at an adventure in reading raidergirl3 has blog series "It's Tuesday, where are you?" Every Tuesday she asks where you are in your book. Right now I am in 1970 Palo Alto, CA while reading The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton. I started it yesterday and read over 160 pages which is a lot for me in one day. Where are you?

J Scott Savage, author of the forthcoming Farworld series, says that ARCs will be on the way soon. I am very excited to be involved in his Blog Tour. You can read a sneak-peek in this post and see the bookmarks in this one.

  • I have finished Murder at the Bad Girl's Bar & Grill by NM Kelby. Great mystery... more on this book later in the week.
  • Click here if you would like to enter to win my copy of Dancing Above the Waves. Make sure I have a way to contact you.
  • I am currently on page 190 of The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton. WONDERFUL.
  • Don't forget to vote in the Summer Reading round 2 poll! We're narrowing down our choices.

Summer Reading Poll #2 - and other stuff

Hello Book Buddies-

There was a decent turn out for our first poll. I have already tallied and deleted our first poll and created a second poll with only 10 choices. You can still vote for as many as interest you, but try to limit it to 4 books. You don't NEED to have a teen to participate in Summer Reading. This idea just branched off my desire to do something bonding this summer with my oldest daughter before she starts high school (YIKES!). I have gotten reading guides for all of the 10 choices in this round. As with the last poll, it will be available until whenever I log on Friday morning (May 30).Please spread the word to others that you think may be interested in joining our Summer Reading fun!

  • Also see the post below for info on my very first giveaway!
  • One of my current reads is Murder at the Bad Girl's Bar & Grill by N.M. Kelby available June 3, 2008. My contact at her publisher has agreed to let me raffle off my copy when I am finished! I'm just over 1/4 of the way through it and am loving it. So stay tuned for my review and raffle!
  • Don't forget to vote in the survey for Summer Reading, spread the word and comment on the post below to enter to win Dancing Above the Waves.
UPDATE [5PM eastern]: The link is working and page totals [in the widgets to the right] are current!

Dancing Above the Waves Susan Wallerstein

Dancing Above the Waves

Title: Dancing Above the Waves
Author: Susan Walerstein
ISBN: 978-0-595-44940-8
Format: Paperback
Publisher: iUniverse
Price: $15.95

Dancing Above the Waves by Susan Walerstein is a terrific mystery. I don’t know if it’s because I read so many mysteries, but I generally figure out who the ‘bad guy’ (in this case a blackmailer) is well before the end. This was not the case with Dancing Above the Waves. I had it narrowed down to 4 people, but that’s as close as I could get.

From the Back:

Wealthy Bostonian Jack "Scooter" McCalister has it all - money, charm, and the devotion of two different women: Sherry, his high-society wife, and Erica, his island-born mistress. But while driving recklessly to catch a ferry one rainy morning, Jack strikes a young girl and leaves the scene of the accident, not even bothering to see if she is alive or dead. With this one fateful decision, Jack's perfect world shatters.

Like a coastline lashed by a wintry sea, guilt and confusion wreak havoc on Jack's carefully managed existence. He struggles to keep the pieces of his life together until a dangerous witness to the accident begins blackmailing him, threatening to expose the truth. Pushed to the brink by his unknown tormentor, a double life, a faltering magazine business, and his ever-present remorse, Jack is caught in a web of lies. Now, Jack must break free before he loses his career, his sanity - and his life.

I really enjoyed Dancing Above the Waves. Susan Walerstein does a wonderful job of immersing us in Jack and Sherry’s world of wealth and privilege. She does an equally wonderful job of showing us Erica and Carrie’s world of the blue-collar. There was a little bit of awkwardness in the teenage dialogue in my opinion, but not enough to pull the reader out of Clary’s Cove.

I don’t want to give too much away. I will say that any mystery/thriller fan should be sure pick up a copy of Dancing Above the Waves.

It's the End of the World Challenge

Since I have revamped my book related goal for this year, I thought I would join a challenge I discovered while blog hopping this afternoon. Becky at Becky's Book Reviews is hosting a challenge titled "It's the End of the World (As We Know It) Challenge". Do you have REM song in your head like I do? Between now and September 15th I need to read at least 3

books about "the end of the world." This includes both apocalyptic fiction and post-apocalyptic fiction. There is some overlap with dystopic fiction as well. The point being something--be it coming from within or without, natural or unnatural--has changed civilization, society, humanity to such a degree that it radically differs from "life as we know it." (Aliens, evil governments, war, plague, natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, hurricanes, depletion of resources, genetic manipulation, etc.) Here is a wikipedia article on the subject. Also see here.
I already know 1 book that I'll be reading; Scott Westerfeld's The Uglies. My oldest has the first 3 in a boxed set on her bookcase. I'd also like to read Stephanie Meyer's The Host if I can get my paws on it before the deadline. I've already read the teaser. I should come up with 2 more (in case I can't get The Host) any help would be appreciated. kylee[DOT]books[AT]gmail[DOT]com

Now, I'm off to enjoy my Pomegranate Pizzazz and Dancing Above the Waves on this chilly, rainy afternoon.

UPDATE: May 21, 2008

Earlier today I commented on a post on Blogger News Network (this post) about Susan Walerstein's Dancing Above the Waves. Paula with Author Marketing Experts, Inc saw my comment, Ms. Walerstein is one of their clients. Paula also saw this here post about Becky's Challenge, saw I was still looking for suggestions and told me about a book by another of their clients, Dan Ronco. The book is Unholy Domain and is perfect for the challenge and the trailer creeped me out, in the best sense of the phrase. She's mailing it out to me. Is there anything better for a bibliophile than free books?!

So that makes 2 definites on my list:
UPDATE May 25, 2008:
I have my 3!

What Your Mother Never Told You Richard M Dudum - review

I read/reviewed this for Amateur de Livre.

Richard Dudum does a fantastic job of talking to young women in this book. The language, on occasion, is blunt and may put off some parents reading this book, but please do not let that stop you.

I have a 14 year old daughter who will be starting high school in the fall and she WILL be reading What Your Mother Never Told You this summer. Mr Dudum makes so many great points in this book. This book is broken up into 10 parts (11 if you include the section of Appendices) beginning with “Perceptions and Communication Skills” which deals with, in part, “Body Language”. I think few girls understand that how they dress and act (flirting, etc) effect how boys will treat them. Should everyone treat everyone else the same, yes, do they, no.

With other subjects, such as “Your Parents”, Mr Dudum let’s the girls in on the secret that they didn’t come to us with a manual. We don’t know what we’re doing most of the time; most of us are winging it. He gives them tricks and tools for dealing with us.

In the Prologue Richard M Dudum states his wish that this book would become required reading for middle school girls. I wholeheartedly agree with him. This book is chock full of helpful and important information for young girls/women. In my humble opinion, this book should be in every middle school library for 8th grade girls to read. It should be in every high school library as well. What Your Mother Never Told You should become a reference book for these young women. A book to turn to when they are having trouble, because let’s face it, as much as we wish and want our children to turn to us when they have a question, they don’t always feel like we’ll listen to them. With this book in your home, you have a tool for your girls to begin a dialogue with you in an effortless manner (leave it out in the living room/kitchen with a bookmark in the appropriate chapter).

Thank you Richard M Dudum!

Poll Time

Here is the LINK to a survey that I created.

I'm hoping that you'll join me (and my oldest daughter) in a group read this summer. This will be the first of no more than four surveys to narrow down the choices. I'll leave the survey active until early Thursday (May 22) morning when I will create a new one with just the winners and put the link in a new post.

NOTE: You do not need to sign up after you fill in the survey. After you click submit it will bring you to the site that I created the survey on and it asks you to create an account. DO NOT create an account (unless you want to); it is not necessary to participate in my survey. Your answers will be recorded either way.

The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory - NKOTB - what I'm reading

I've been putting off writing my review of The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory; I finished it last Thursday (May 8th). I think I was hoping that my opinion would improve. I've read a few of her other Tudor books (The Constant Princess, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Virgin's Lover and The Queen's Fool) and really enjoyed them all except The Virgin's Lover.

It boiled down to the same issue with both of these books. Annoying , uninteresting main characters. The Boleyn Inheritance is written from 3 different points of view; Lady Jane Rochford (she is George Boleyn's widow and gave evidence against him and his sister Anne), Katherine Howard and Anne of Cleves. Of the 3 women, I only found one of the interesting. I really liked Anne of Cleves; she seems to be the only one willing to have and acknowledge her own opinions and desires. Katherine was 15 when she married King Henry VIII and sounds like every other self-absorbed, whiny teenager. Jane does what she's told and there is something else about her that just rubs me the wrong way... I can't put my finger on it though.

On a completely unrelated subject. I have NKOTB fever. I have been playing their new single "Summertime" over and over on my MySpace page. I saw them almost 19 years ago (speaking of whiny teenagers) and I'm excited that they have gotten back together. I wish I could see them in concert, but I doubt that will happen... I still love Danny, used to hate Donnie, now he's my favorite... go figure.

Currently Reading:

Weekly Geek #3

Weekly Geek #3 is fond memories of childhood books. When I read about this weeks geek one book came immediately to mind; "The Lucky Puppy". I don't remember NOT having this book. It's probably the book that my mom used to teach me how to read. I still have the book. My 14 year old read it when she was little. I've read it to my 2 year old. I really don't know if there is anything special about the story in particular, but it was my favorite as a child and I still enjoy it.

Here is MINE, complete with ancient orange crayon.

Book News

I received a message from Suzanne Kopoulos last night.

I got some good news yesterday. Little Miss Smarty-Pants was a finalist in the 2008 National Indie Excellence Awards - humor category. Woo-hoo!!!!
Big congrats to her!

Pay It Forward Book Exchange

My fellow PBSer ( Lori is having a contest. She is hosting a giveaway. The books (brand new) being offered are:

If I win one I will be offering it (slightly used) to one of you lucky reader to win.

Weekly Geeks: new blogs/reviews

This is week #2 but I just discovered this 'game'. This weeks challenge basically boils down to: If you have a blog and review (or have already reviewed) a book that I have also reviewed, send me an e-mail ( with the book and your link and I will add it to my review from now on.

I hope I got that all right. For convenience, click here to go directly to all of my posts tagged as reviews. You may need to click "Older" to see all of them.

The Prometheus Project: Captured Douglas E Richards

As you may or may not remember from my review of book 1 of this series (The Prometheus Project: Trapped) I e-mailed the author to ask him some questions. He was impressed enough with the review that he sent me copies of Trapped and its sequel, Captured.

I enjoyed Captured even more than Trapped! I already knew Ryan and Regan Resnick. I knew how clever they are and how well they work together. In Captured the alien city under Brewster, Pennsylvania is invaded by an as yet unknown and unidentified being. There are even more challenges and puzzles for the siblings to overcome and solve. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot in this review. I just hope that Mr. Richards will continue with this series at some point.

Right now I'm reading Philippa Gregory's The Boleyn Inheritance at night. During the day I'll be reading What Your Mother Never Told You by Richard M Dudum.

The Daughter-in-Law Rules by Sally Shields

The full title of this 4 star book actually is The Daughter-in-Law Rules: 101 Surefire Ways to Manage (and Make Friends with) Your Mother-in-Law! and there are some really smart ones! I don’t have any major issues with my fiancé’s mother, but if I ever do, I know just where to go for help.

The Daughter-in-Law Rules is broken up into very easy to navigate Parts: The Newlywed - On House and Home - Her Beloved Son - Before and After the Baby - Most of All. Each Part has its own smaller sections with pertinent rules. Best yet, it’s battle-tested. According to the Foreword (written by the author herself) this book was born

“whenever a bothersome incident would pop into my head, I jotted down longhand, on the back of napkins and any other scraps of paper I could get my hands on, a new strategy for dealing with my MIL. … Though this exercise started off as a tongue-in-cheek coping mechanism, once I began putting a few of these rules into practice, I noticed that my MIL’s attitude started to shift. I began to see her softer, gentler, more agreeable side …”

The Daughter-in-Law Rules should be given to all brides-to-be by their own mothers or their maid/matron of honor. Preferably when said Mother-in-Law is NOT looking! The book can be purchased most anywhere (Barnes and Noble & Amazon just to name two).


Little Miss Smarty-Pants by Suzanne Kopoulos

Little Miss Smarty-Pants is first the memoir I have laughed my way through most of. Suzanne Kopoulos really lets it all hang out. She didn't hold much, if anything, back. As you might expect, she did change the names. I give her a lot of credit. Granted I didn't have as diverse a life as Suzanne, but I couldn't sit down and write about my life like she has. Give Suzanne Kopoulos a gold star for guts!

She may be about 10 years older than I am, but I could relate to a lot of what she talks about in Little Miss Smarty-Pants. From a high-school boyfriend she calls Joe Trailer, whose only perceivable ambition in life was to own a double-wide trailer, to dying her hair the same orange-red as Lucille Ball. Suzanne develops a close friendship with a guy, Jack aka Pookie, while in her first year of college in 1982; a friendship that lasts to this day.

Giving this book 5 stars was easy. A book that keeps me reading until well past 10pm (I didn’t close the book until 1:30am the first night/early morning) is rare. Suzanne made me cry, feel her pain (Dr. Love), laugh and a few other emotions all in 320 pages. Please give this book a chance!

You really get a taste of her sense of humor in some of these answers. Here is her interview:

~Kylee’s Book Blog: Do you have any superstitions or rituals when you're writing? Is there anything in particular that inspires you?
Suzanne Kopoulos: I don't have any superstitions, but I DO need to have all of my chores done. I can't write unless the kids (Sadie Mae, Gumbo and Flipper Mae) have been fed, I've worked out (running, swimming or weight lifting) and any other daily chores have been completed. I don't like to have any outstanding tasks hanging over my head when I write.

I wouldn't actually say that I get inspired but ideas do pop into my head in the strangest places such as the shower, while walking the dog, or driving to the grocery store. I have notebooks stashed EVERYWHERE! Dialog seems to come to me while I'm in the shower. That's really inconvenient. I've lost count as to how many times I've actually gotten out of the shower and tiptoed to the study in search of a notepad while dripping water all over the floor.

KBB: If you had to describe your writing to someone in only 3 words, what would they be?
SK: funny, irreverent, heartfelt

KBB: What does your family think of your writing?
SK: My parents are proud of me. They've always wanted me to write. They have NO idea where my storytelling ability comes from. It makes them scratch their heads but they've both encouraged me to keep it up. However, they do wish I'd try writing fiction next time! My husband had been suggesting that I return to my journalistic roots by writing for our local newspaper. That didn't really appeal to me. I didn't want to write on anyone else's schedule. But he brought up the subject often enough that I guess it stuck in my head. When I said I wanted to write a book, his only request was that I limit my musings about our home life. He does not want to be the star of my next book!

KBB: What kind of TV shows do you watch? (comedies, dramas, etc)
SK: I watch TV as an escape. I really liked Pushing Daisies this year. It had just the right blend of humor, whimsy, and romance for me. I am also devoted to What Not To Wear. Clinton and Stacy are my idols. I'll do whatever they say. All of my friends know that I can't dress myself...not without a lot of help! I will also watch just about any gardening or home decorating show. And, I've recently become a BBC America freak. I really enjoyed Hex a few years ago and now I'm a big fan of Torchwood.

KBB: What is one item that you could not live without? What is your favorite junk/comfort food?
SK: I cannot live without some sort of lip color whether it's tinted lip gloss or lipstick. This girl needs some color on her face! Without it, I'm completely washed out. As for junk/comfort food, I'm a Mac & Cheese gal. I'm actually thinking about blogging about my obsessive love of mac & cheese.

KBB: Where can my blog readers buy your books?
SK: Your readers can find my book at,, and They can also ask any local bookseller to order it for them. I'm hoping to have the book stocked in a few local, independent stores in Chicago, but my publisher has to work out some issues with its distributor before that can happen.

KBB: Are you working on anything currently? If so, would you tell me about it?
SK: I have a few ideas rattling around in my head. A lot of people expect a follow-up to Little Miss Smarty-Pants. That's always an option. I definitely have plenty of material. Heck, I could write a book about the behind-the-scenes adventures of writing a book at this point. But I also have two ideas for fiction novels. Nothing too heavy. That's not my style. I'm most comfortable writing about friendships...with an alternative twist. There's a good chance I may begin spending an inordinate amount of time in Chicago's drag clubs!

KBB: Any other plug you would like me to give? (plugs are good!)
SK: If readers like Little Miss Smarty-Pants, please consider writing a review on and/or For a first-time writer from a small publishing company, friendly reviews from fellow readers are like gold!

Jaclyn's Ghost by Dorlana Vann

Jaclyn's Ghost is a very well written love story about Jaclyn Jade and Logan Smith. At the beginning of the story Jaclyn realizes, with the help of Logan, that she is dead. More specifically, she's a ghost. Logan died in the 1920s when the site of Sunset Apartments was a hotel. Dorlana Vann lends a great twist to the question of "where do we go when we die". "Hell" is really Earth, were we repeat our past mistakes or learn from them with each subsequent life. I really liked this take on it, of course I already think that our souls live more than one life on this planet. I've given Jaclyn's Ghost 'only' 4 stars out of 5 because with the paranormal and mystery elements it's not for everyone.

"Jaclyn stared at the stranger. Nothing made sense. He wore a black jacket over a double-breasted vest and dress pants. Clearly bought off the rack, but still, it was a bit much for a burglar. She wondered why he hadn't left when he had the chance."

Dorlana Vann was kind enough to let me interview her. Here are my (probably silly) questions and her answers. Nothing was cut or edited in any way except (!) where I have things written in [ ]s. That is stuff I have added as I typed this. =)

~Kylee's Book Blog: I read in your interview on Studio 3B Author Spotlight that you get a good chunk of your writing done in the early mornings. Do you have any superstitions or rituals when you are writing? Is there anything in particular that inspires you?
Dorlana Vann: All I need is a cup of strong coffee and complete quiet. My inspirations simply come from the types of stories that I like; I enjoy adventures, fairy tales, love stories, the supernatural, suspense ancient civilizations and treasure hunts.

KBB: If you had to describe your writing to someone in only 3 words, what would they be?
DV: Quirky, Supernatural, Fun

KBB: What does your family think of your writing?
They are my biggest fans and my biggest critics. I can always count on them to tell me exactly what they think – even if it isn’t pretty. They are very supportive and helpful.

KBB: What kinds of TV shows do you watch?
DV: I’m kind of a reality show junkie: American Idol, American’s Next Top Model, Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares and The Apprentice are my favorites. My all time favorite TV show is Angel – vampires and great dialogue, what more could you ask for? I hated to see it go.

KBB: What is the one item that you could not live without? What is your favoite junk/comfort food?
DV: At this point it would have to be my computer. I know it's the obvious anwer, but so true. And I love dark chocolate and cake... any kind of cake.

KBB: Where can my readers buy your books?

DV: [to make it easier, I have linked the image of Jaclyn's Ghost, both in this review and in the Featured Selections, to this address]

KBB: What are you working on currently?
I’m working on my next book, Passage to Mesentia. It is another paranormal mystery, but it is a little darker than Jaclyn’s Ghost. It will be released in ebook Jan 2009 and then will be in a 2 volume print book under Tease Publications Dark Tarot Series for the Death Card around March 2009. Here is a blurb:

After Wade and Bella find Bella’s archaeologist parents murdered, they are approached by a mysterious stranger who is searching for an amulet. He claims Bella’s parents smuggled it out of Cairo for him and convinces them to follow her parent’s clues to its whereabouts before its ancient curse is used for evil.

KBB: Any other plug you would like me to give? [I think all new writers deserve a lot of chances to advertise their groups and such]

DV: My writers group, Humble Fiction Café, has just release our first anthology, Split. You can find all the information and read one of my short stories from the book on my website –

Visit my blog ( ) Supernatural Fairy Tales, to read fairy tale inspired short stories, poems, and articles.

What are you paranormal and mystery fans waiting for? Click and buy!

The Seventh Tower: The Fall by Garth Nix

I actually gave The Fall two different star ratings. 3 Stars for anyone 13+ and 4 Stars for kids 9-12. I was a little bored by it; the book couldn't hold my attention. I'm also way outside the target. I think any 3rd to 6th grader would like this book. I think the back of the book describes The Fall better than I could.

From the back:

Tal has lived his whole life in darkness. He has never left his home, a mysterious castle of seven towers. He does not see the threat that will tear apart his family and his world.

But Tal cannot stay safe forever. When danger strikes, he must desperately climb the Red Tower to steal a Sunstone. He reaches the top...

... and then he falls into a strange and unknown world of warriors, iceships, and hidden magic. There Tal makes an enemy who will save his life - and holds the key to his future.

You can find out more about the books on the Scholastic site. Garth Nix has a trilogy that seems to be a YA series. I think I'll try the first of those because I really did enjoy his writing style.


Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss

Yes, that's right, 5 Stars for a book about proper punctuation. I fully expected to get through this book only for my 2008 Challenges. In my mind's eye I saw myself reading a page or two and then falling sound asleep from boredom. I could not have been more wrong.

Not only does Lynne Truss make punctuation interesting, she makes it funny. She knows just were little punctuation puns fit. Who knew there were 17 proper uses for the apostrophe?! There was, at onetime, a movement to have a special mark to indicate a rhetorical question. As is stated on the front flap,

"Through sloppy usage and low standards on the Internet, in e-mail, and now "txt msgs", we have made proper punctuation an endangered species."
(not to mention proper spelling)

I've given this book 5 Stars not only because I enjoyed it, but because I think all of us who have been out of the classroom for 10 years or more could use a refresher. Before I go I want to share with you part of what is on the back of "Eats, Shoots & Leaves".

A panda walks into a cafe. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.
"Why?" asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.
"I'm a panda," he says, at the door. "Look it up."
The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.
"Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves."

So, punctuation really does matter, even if it is only occasionally a matter of life and death.

Right now I am also reading, "The Fall" by Garth Nix. It's a children's book so I should finish it today. I have updated 2 links: 2008 Challenges and Books I've Finished in 2008. What are you reading?


This has nothing to do with books...

1-800-flowers is having a contest “Celebrate Mom For Who She Is Contest”. I've entered my mom and you should too. =)

You can enter your mom in one of 5 categories. Prizes vary by category:
Over $30,000 in prizes!

Green Thumb Mom:
• Trip for two (2) to New York. Trip includes 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® miles.
• One night accommodation at W Times Square Hotel awarded in the form of a $500 gift card.
• (2) Tickets to Martha Stewart Show in New York City
• (2) Tickets to New York Botanical Garden Event
• Patio set & garden tools from Plow & Hearth, awarded in the form of a $1,500 gift certificate to Plow & Hearth.
• A $1,000 Papyrus gift certificate for fabulous selection of personalized gifts and stationery.
• $500 Gift Card to Lowe’s

Gourmet Mom:
• Trip for two (2) to Philadelphia, PA. Trip includes 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® miles.
• One night accommodation at the Rittenhouse Hotel, a 4 course dinner for two at the acclaimed LaCroix Restaurant and opportunity to meet Chef Levine and breakfast for two.
• Keurig B60 Coffee Maker (Single-Cup Brewer) from Green Mountain includes a variety pack of 24 K-Cups of coffee
• (10) $50 Gift Certificates to
• $500 Gift Certificate to Cheryl & Co

Planet Friendly Mom:
• A Luxury Included™ Family Vacation for four (4) to any of the four (4) Beaches Resorts located in Turks & Caicos and Jamaica, with three nights luxurious accommodations, unlimited gourmet dining and premium beverages, unlimited land and water sports, daily and nightly entertainment, and daily activities with the Beaches Resorts Caribbean Adventure with Sesame Street, Kids Camps, Crayola® Art Camps, and more for two adults and two children ages 15 years and under.
• Trip includes 140,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® miles that can be redeemed for travel.
• $1,000 1-800-FLOWERS.COM® credit for a Year of Planet Friendly products.
• A $1,000 Papyrus gift certificate for fabulous selection of personalized gifts and stationery
• Green Mountain Coffee – 2lbs of coffee per month for 6 months

Mr. Mom:
• Trip and accommodations for two to Rancho Las Palmas Resort, 4-night / 5 days golf/spa package in Rancho Mirage, California. Package consists of (2) two rounds of golf, (2) two 50-minute spa treatments and (1) one dinner for (2) two.
• Trip includes 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® miles
• $200 Gift Card to Morton’s The Steakhouse
• 12 month snack of the month from The Popcorn Factory
• $500 Fannie May Gift Certificate

Red Carpet Mom:
• Trip and accommodations for two to Rancho Las Palmas Resort , 2-night / 3 day stay at Rancho Las Palmas Resort - in Rancho Mirage, California. Package consists of (2) two rounds of golf or (2) two 50-minute spa treatments.
• Trip includes 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® miles
• $1,000 gift certificate
• A $1,000 Papyrus gift certificate for fabulous selection of personalized gifts and stationery.
• A basket of Philosophy products:
o Basket includes: hope in a jar facial moisturizer (4 oz.), purity made simple facial cleanser (16 oz.), hope in a tube eye & lip firming cream (.5 oz.), microdelivery peel anti-aging treatment (2-piece set), help me retinol treatment (1 oz.), shelter spf 30 sunscreen(4 oz.), kiss me lip gloss in pink (.5 oz.), begin again shower gelee (24 oz.), Amazing Grace perfumed shower gel (16 oz.), Amazing Grace perfumed body emulsion (16 oz.), Amazing Grace eau de parfum (2 oz.), Amazing Grace perfumed salt scrub (23 oz.)
• $500 Gift Certificate
• A $600 1-800-FLOWERS.COM® Gift Certificate for three months of Preston Bailey bouquets - “Florist to the Stars.”

PLUS various other prizes for non-grand prize winners.

Raffle of "Pale Immortal"

Go to Amateur de Livre to enter to win a copy of this book. Just leave a comment on the post about this book; that's your entry.

"Little Altars Everywhere" Rebecca Wells

"Little Altars Everywhere" is the first book in a series. The second is "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" which I also have and will read and review at a later date.

The book is broken down into two parts each with there own chapters. The first part takes place in 1960's Louisiana. The second part is 1990's Louisiana and New York. Each of the chapters is from the point of view of a different person. This made the book as a whole feel somewhat disjointed. I enjoyed each story, the book is well written, but I felt somewhat disconnected. The stories are sad, funny, disturbing. It feels more like a book of related short stories than anything else.

The companion to the beloved bestseller Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, here is the funny, heartbreaking, and powerfully insightful tale that first introduced Siddalee, Vivi, their spirited Walker clan, and the indomitable Ya-Yas.

Reading now: "Regency Society Revisited" Susanne Marie Knight (ARC e-book, for Enchanting Reviews) & "Eat, Shoots & Leaves" Lynne Truss (you can find this on my "Possible Short-List" link)


Now here is something interesting

I came across a blog where, to promote his upcoming book tour, an author is making a contest out of giving away ARCs of his book. His name is J. Scott Savage, you can find the specific post here. I read an excerpt of the book and it intrigues me. I love the basic message that he has, "Every one of you has magic inside. All you have to do is start looking for it and eventually you’ll find it."

I have written an e-mail to him to enter to win an ARC of his book. By reading it and reviewing it I will be able to have one sent to a reader of my blog. So, what do you think? Sounds like a fun time!

"The Prometheus Project: Trapped" Douglas E. Richards

Reviewed for Amateur de Livre

“The Prometheus Project: Trapped” by Douglas E. Richards is geared toward middle graders. Obviously, at 32, I’m a little outside that age group, but as a mom of two I think that I can ‘read like a child’ (if that makes sense).

In “Trapped” Ryan and Regan Resnick are forced by their parents to move to Brewster, PA, ‘the middle of nowhere’ according to the children. After 6 weeks of boredom the kids are ready for adventure and boy do they find it! I don’t want to give away too much, but these kids get into (and cleverly out of) some trouble. The great thing (in my opinion) is the science back in science fiction.

Mr. Richards has a master’s degree in genetic engineering (and business). He is the father of two and wrote Trapped, as well as its sequel Captured, for his children after being unable to find an engaging sci-fi series for this age group.

I highly recommend this book for all middle school libraries. If you have a middle schooler that is into science or sci-fi, buy this book. If you have a reluctant reader who has an interest in science or adventure stories, buy this book.

Mr. Richards is currently working on an adult thriller and another kid’s thriller not set in the Prometheus Project universe. He hopes to write additional Prometheus Project books in the future as well.

On a personal note: I am especially interested in what happens to Regan Resnick. My youngest is named Reaghan (sounds like 'vegan') so I'm a bit attached to her. =)


This fast-paced science fiction adventure about an underground city built by an advanced alien civilization teaches children about science and technology while engaging their imaginations. Determined to learn why their scientist parents forced them to suddenly move to a boring town in Pennsylvania, Ryan and Regan follow them to work and discover that their parents are really working on a top secret investigation of an underground city. After cracking passwords, dodging barbed wire, and defeating laser beam alarms, they find themselves trapped in the abandoned city and under attack by a swarm of insect-like creatures. While trying to determine the nature of the creatures and how to escape them, scientific concepts such as the immune system, nanotechnology, and black holes are explained and explored.

"The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B." Sandra Gulland

"The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B." by Sandra Gulland is an historical fiction novel with (for me) a bit of a twist. It is written in diary form. At first I wasn't sure about reading a 'journal'. I thought it would feel disjointed, I was wrong. The journal hits all of the highs and lows. The feel is even more 'real' given that Ms. Gulland uses not just the dates and places where the entries were written, but also times of day in some cases and partial/entire letters written to Rose. She was known as Rose before she met, then married, Napoleon; he gave her the name 'Josephine'.

Finding out that she had a different name for her first 32 years was just one of many things that I learned from reading this book. "The Many Lives..." is the first of a series. I will definitely be reading the other two in this series.


In the first volume of a new trilogy that combines meticulously researched history and superb storytelling, Gulland recounts the story of a young Josephine Bonaparte, who is destined to become one of the most sophisticated and powerful women in history.

Another review can be found at:
Reading Adventures

Up Next was: "The Prometheus Project: Trapped" by Douglas E. Richards {review coming soon}

"Heart-Shaped Box" Joe Hill

For the first two-thirds of this book, I could only read it during the day. I got creeped out the first night that I was reading "Heart-Shaped Box". Every little noise that I heard was “something coming to get me”. Only one thing kept me from giving this book 5 stars; I don’t feel comfortable recommending “Heart-Shaped Box” to anyone who doesn’t like horror. There is gore.

In the beginning of “Heart-Shaped Box” by Joe Hill heavy-metal rock star Judas Coyne (formerly Justin Cowzynski) is told by his assistant, Danny, of a woman selling a suit online. A suit with the ghost of her dead step-father attached to it. Jude has quite a collection of occult and macabre items, not the least of which is a genuine snuff film given to him by a cop.

I am honestly trying to NOT compare this to any Stephen King book, but I can’t help it. The only other time I was this creeped out by a book was near the end of “Heart in Atlantis” (I kept feeling like someone was sitting on the other side of the bed and then getting up, sitting down, getting up…). I know that Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son, but seriously, comparisons would be made to the “King” of Horror even if that wasn’t the case. If you enjoy horror, you need to check out “Heart-Shaped Box”. I already have “20th Century Ghosts” (book of short stories by Joe Hill) on my WishList on PaperBackSwap.


Sooner or later, the dead catch up . . .

Judas Coyne was a collector. The bizarre, the uncanny, the grotesque. A cookbook for cannibals. A used hangman’s noose. A snuff film. Many of these objects were gifts from the black-clad fans who made his metal band a legend and made him rich.

But not all. When his personal assistant told him there was a ghost for sale on the Internet, Jude knew he had to have it for his private collection, didn’t think twice. He should have. Jude has spent a lifetime evading ghosts -- of an abusive father, of the bandmates he betrayed, of Anna, the suicidal girl he loved and abandoned. But this spirit is different. This one means to chase him to the edge of sanity.

His new acquisition -- delivered to his doorstep in a black heart-shaped box -- is the restless soul of Anna’s vengeful stepdaddy. Craddock McDermott swore he would settle with Jude for ruining his daughter’s life. Soon, everywhere Jude turns, Craddock is there: behind the bedroom door; in Jude’s restored vintage Mustang; outside his window; on his widescreen TV. Waiting -- with a gleaming razor blade on a chain dangling from one bony hand.

If ever there was a case of caveat emptor, this is it . . .