Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Posted by Stephanie at 8:05 PM
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Dear Annie from Words by Annie is hosting the What's in a Name Challenge. Annie is a remarkable 11-year-old. I'm telling you, this girl rocks!! She made my day a couple of weeks ago by telling me I had won the contest from her challenge for the month of January. This week I received my prize in the mail. Many apologies Annie for not posting my sincere thank you sooner. She sent me the neatest journal (which I LOVE), a beautiful angel bookmark, and Dove Dark Chocolate Raspberry Caramel chocolates (YUMMY!) Annie, I think you are my new best friend!! I love all of it!! So....THANK YOU!!
Finally, a quick shout-out to Bibliolartist for bestowing upon me the You Make My Day award. I really appreciate it, and just know you made MY day!!
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
I had a post ready for today, but I liked this suggestion from Chris even better, so … thanks, Chris!
Here’s something for Valentine’s Day.
Have you ever fallen out of love with a favorite author? Was the last book you read by the author so bad, you broke up with them and haven’t read their work since? Could they ever lure you back?
As EVERYONE who reads this blog knows, Stephen King is probably my very favorite author. I HEART his work. Of course, there have been books I haven't enjoyed (need I remind anyone of The Tommyknockers??) With the amount of books and stories he has written, I'm going to give him a break on the few clunkers he's published. So the answer is NO. I have never fallen out of love with Uncle Steve. I will never break up him!!
Now....that being said, I used to be a big fan of James Patterson. I though his Alex Cross series was fantastic. At first. Then he started pumping out the books so fast that I was afraid they would start to lack content. And they did. Each new book was the same as the last....the stories started to become so formulaic that I just quit reading them. And really, I don't see myself wasting any more time on them. So, I guess I did break up with Mr. Patterson!!
Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Neil Gaiman, how do I love thee....let me count the ways!! When I get a chance to post a review for Coraline, I will. Till then, you must settle for a sneak peek of the animated movie that will be coming out in 3D (supposed next February...but that seems so LONG!)
Bonnie also gave me a Friendly Site Award. And I know I need to pass this along, but I'm limited on time. So expect to see another post soon!!
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Sheesh. What a week. Forgive me for my lack of posting, but it's been CRAZY this week. The ups and downs of the polls. Work, work, and more work (have I mentioned that today is my first day off since January 13th!!). Snow, snow, and freezing cold temps. Slumber parties (NOT at my house!) and preparing for Valentine's Parties. And a massive migraine that about put me out for a day or two. Computer problems. (Oh yeah. Chris, as much as I love you, your move to Wordpress has been HELL for me!! Trying to upgrade to a different IE explorer wiped out all my settings....and has almost made it impossible for me to log on at all. I still can't get to my email!!)
So today, on my only day off in a month, I'm sitting by the fire (today's high so far has been 6, and the wind chill hasn't left the negative numbers). I'm messing around on the computer. And I've got a stack of books that I would love to dive into....soon!! Although I did go out for some breakfast with the kids, I'm now getting ready to take a HOT bubble bath and throw back on the flannel pj's. There is nothing like a little lounging to make the body feel good!!
As far as the polls go, I'm incredibly boistered to see that my man Barack is doing well!! I love that this country is finally putting aside color and making a decision based on content. If you've ever heard the man speak, you would understand what I mean by this. He really makes me excited about the future of this country! As much as I would love to see a woman in the White House, I really don't think Hillary is the candidate for me. She's a politician through and through. And her sell-out to the health care industry just leaves me with a bad taste.
But enough about politics. I hope all is going well for everyone. I'll try to catch up on your blogs tonight. I seem to have baraged with requests for reviews. That's something I never thought would happen to me!! The review books are pouring in...and I haven't the time to read at all!! So far this month I've received:
- Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
- Irreparable Damages by Karlene Heinkel
- The UnValentine by Sam Beeson
- The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright
- The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
- The Forgery of Venus by Michael Gruber
- My Soul to Keep by Melanie Wells
- Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos
Yeah...I've got a lot to do!! Finally, Teddy from So Many Precious Books, So Little Time tagged me for a short little meme. Thought I would play along!
The rules of this particular meme are:
1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages)
2. Open the book to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence
4. Post the next three sentences
5. Tag five people
So....from Coraline by Neil Gaiman:
"Beside the decapitated rat, a smug expression on it's face, was the black cat. It rested one paw on the gray glass marble. "I think I once mentioned," said the cat, "that I don't like rats at the best of times." "
Hmmmm...that is an interesting quote!! I'm not tagging anyone this time. I'm quite sure you are all tired of my tags.....but please play along if you like!!
Now....It's time for my bubble bath!!
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Today is Super Tuesday for many of us, here in the US. And I, for one, am extremely excited. For the first time, in 8 long years, I see a light at the end of a very black tunnel. I'm tired of my Constitutional Rights being tramped on by a select few who think they have that right. Politics is an extremely polarizing topic. And I don't plan on jumping on my soapbox. Because, if I did, this post might never end!! Let's just say, I'm VERY political in nature and I have a lot of very strong opinions.
Right now it's our chance to let our voices be heard. It's time to make a stand. This country needs change. So, please get out there and vote.
Stephen King, my very favorite author...as you ALL know.....wrote an article in EW about the presidential campaign. He is a bit concerned about how "pop" the election is becoming. Personally, I think it's a good thing. It's about time people take an interest in the way this country is being run. Today, when I went to vote, I was so proud to see that the election officials at my precinct were young. College kids. Even some high school kids were there. To me that says something. As a Generation X'er, I have lived through decades of apathy from the masses. (Man...I said I wasn't going to get on a soap box. Damn)
Finally, I want to leave you with this:
I guess this shows you where my feelings are!
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Why did I read Erec Rex: The Dragon's Eye by Kaza Kingsley (400pgs, Firelight Press)? I had bought the book for my son for Christmas. He loves anything Dragon related. But I have to admit, *I* only picked up the book when Ms. Kingsley asked me to take part in her blog tour. But I have to tell you, I'm very glad I did!!
On one of his very first days in New York City, Erec Rex awoke to find that his mother had gone out. She had left all six of her adopted kids with a sitter, and had left their very, very modest apartment before everyone had gotten up. But when Erec saw her glasses on the sink in the bathroom, he knew something was wrong. His mother NEVER left her glasses. In fact, she actually slept with them on a chain around her neck. In that moment, Erec got one of his "cloudy" feelings. Sometimes, when something bad was going to happen, Erec would get a "cloudy" thought....and he would be commanded to do what it told him. He had no control over himself. This time, the cloudy thought ordered him to find his mother! And the first place to look was Grand Central Station.
After a little bit of deception from his brothers and sisters, Erec was able to get away from the babysitter. Armed with only a picture of his mother, her glasses, and the cloudy thoughts, Erec set off for Grand Central Station. He showed his Mom's picture to all the vendors, and yet no one claimed to have seen her. Finally, the young girl at the Newpaper stand, told him to meet her away from the stand. She knew where Erec's mother was, but couldn't be seen talking to him by the owner of the stand, her uncle Earl. The girl's name was Bethany, and she had seen Erec's Mom go with some men, under the station. And not just under, as in subway. But through a hidden entrance under the street!!
Erec and Bethany soon set off on a magical journey to far-away lands. In a world where magic is the norm, and all the people in "Upper Earth" are losers who have forgotten the magic. A world where Kings and Queens rule, although their time is almost at an end. To find the new rulers of the land, a contest is taking place....a contest in which Erec and Bethany find themselves thrust in the middle.
When Harry Potter went into legend status, a lot of people tried to use the same formula to sell books. Boys and Magic. But this series, while using the magic background, is so much more than a blatant Potter rip-off. The worlds that Erec finds himself in are so different from our own. It's fun to see Erec and Bethany, two kids from "Upper Earth" try to make their way through the magical lands of Alpium. And while we get a small glipmse of who Erec Rex really is, the backstory about him and his brothers and sister is only touched on in this first book in the series. There is a lot of mystery surrounding this family, and a lot of questions still left to be answered. So I guess I'm going to have to continue on to find any really answers!!
All in all, I really enjoyed this book!! It was fun, mysterious, and magical. I think it's a great book for kids and adults alike, especially if you have a love of fantasy. Even if you don't, you will probably find Erec a really great character. Fun read!! 4.25/5
Saturday, February 2, 2008
For the entire past week, I've been in some sort of funk. Guess all I needed to do was come here and seek a little help from my friends!! You are all so sweet!!! So here is a little bit of why my day was much better:
Both Debi and Nymeth left me posts that said they had given me the "You Make My Day Award"!! Talk about making some one's day. Debi and Nymeth are two of my favorite bloggers (and not just because they said nice things about me! Which they did.) But because they are both kind, genuine people. I really want to thank them for making my day just a little bit brighter.
Debi's daughter Annie is the host of the What's in a Name Challenge. Talk about a prodigy. Annie is 11! I think Debi has done wonders homeschooling her. Not only is she a voracious reader, Annie is destined to be a famous author. She completed NaNoWriMo (something most adults couldn't do!) And I read her intro. It's fantastic! As the host of the challenge, Annie is having contests and giveaways throughout the year. And guess what?? I won for January!!
Finally, yesterday at work I got a surprise. As you know, I work for the Red Cross, Biomedical Division. Our region, The Heart of America region, services over 45 different hospitals, including a few in Chicago such as Rush, Northwestern, and U of Chicago. Of those 45, we also have 5 local hospitals, and a whole bunch of smaller, country hospitals. We have certain set deliveries to each of these hospitals, and we also do emergency runs to them as well. To do this we rely heavily on volunteers. My admiration for these men is huge. They do this out of the kindness of their hearts, and that's it. The don't get any pay. Some of them drive hundreds of miles a day. A round-trip drive can be over 350 miles. All of them are retired. They don't get to meet the people they help. And yet, they go out whenever they get a call, even in the snowstorms. Their level of commitment just amazes me.
Now I tell you all this because it makes my day to talk to these gentlemen. (Walt is 87, and yet he drives for the Red Cross at least 3 X a week!) Last week I was talking to Bob, one of our local drivers. He comes in one day a week, and spends his entire day driving to all the local hospitals. Some times many times to each. I was asking him if he had any plans for the weekend. He said he was going to do this and that...and then he said the magical words: Book Sale!! It was the Lakeview Museum Bi-Annual booksale. My eyes must have lit up because he asked me if I like the read!! Duh, that was an easy one. So we started talking about books. I had really wanted to go to the sale, but I had to choose that or go see my brother (who I haven't spent any time with in over a year). Luke won out, but it was close!!
Bob came in yesterday for his volunteer day. He knew I wasn't able to go to the sale, but I asked him if he found a lot of good things for himself. He proceeded to pull out a bag of books...that he bought for me!! Bill Bryson's Walk in the Woods, a couple of thrillers and even some fantasy hardback books by Tor!! He apologized because he didn't know anything about fantasy and hoped they would be good. I almost started crying. Isn't that just about the sweetest thing you've ever heard of?? I gave Bob a hug, and now I have to think of something to do to repay him for his kindness.
All in all, yesterday was a great day. I feel so much better....mostly because of the kindness of others. A heartfelt thanks to all of you!!