Thursday, June 30, 2011

Freedom Giveaway Hop (July 1st - 7th)

The Freedom Giveaway  Hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Simply Stacie. It will take place from July 1 - 7th.
My Giveaway? I'm giving away the book of your choice up to $15 from amazon or the book depository.  So whip out those wishlists and take your pick : )
Here's how it will work:

Friday Memes: Lazy Answers

Follow Friday Question of the Week:
ACK!  Your favorite book/movie character (example Hermione Granger played by the Emma chick) just walked into the room!  Who is it and what would be your first reaction?  You get extra points if you include visual stimulation.

I have no earthly idea and I don't want to think very hard (this happens).  So I'm picking A book/movie character, NOT my FAVORITE book/movie character.

I choose Six from I Am Number Four.  I never read the book but in the movie she was so super bad*ss that I wanted to be her.  I mean REALLY wanted to be her.  For those of you who read the book...Is Six as cool in the book as the movie?

Book Blogger Hop
Blogger Hop Question of the Week:
"What keeps you reading beyond the first few pages of a book, and what makes you want to stop reading a book and put it back on the shelf?"
Before I answer I want to give a shout-out to Jen.  Her Vlog was super fun and brave (I'm still afraid to give it a try).  I loved that she shook things up for the hop a bit.  As for me, I will continue the old fashioned way until I build some courage.

I keep reading a book because of fantastic characters and a story that sounds different in a way that I am intrigued and curious to find out what happens.  I stop reading a book if it starts out too confusing.  This happens when an author tries to introduce too many characters at one time.  I also stop reading a book if the writing style is to cliche and I feel like I've read it all before a million times.  I usually continue to read once I start because that's what I do.  But I have a massive attitude if I'm doing it just because instead of reading on because I am enjoying myself.

For those of you are new...thanks for stopping in.  My name is Alexis and I am a fairly eclectic blogger.  Welcome!  Waves!!  Come on in and take a seat.  If you get a chance, take a browse around.  I'd love it if you tell me who your favorite book sidekick is or check out my review on the newest Stephanie Plum novel.  If you are feeling some drama, I reviewed a book by Shawna Hill (boyfriend/girlfriend drama) and Kamala Nair (family drama).

I'm also participating in the Freedom Giveaway Hop so don't forget to enter :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why I Love Wednesdays...Favorite Sidekick

I am returning with my new feature... Why I love which takes place on Wednesdays. Today's proclamation of love concerns our Favorite Sidekicks.

If you want to play along, feel free to grab the image (there is a button on the right sidebar now) and link your post in the linky. Here goes.

When naming your link, please choose the name of your post. Mine would say "Why I Love...Book Blogs."
Please link directly to your post and not your blog.
Please participate :)

Why I Love...Rex, Tom, Watson, Hermione, and Ron

Everyone has their favorite character right?  I mean some characters are so super-duper bad they can't be stopped.  We can talk about them next week.  This week I am going to give a shout-out to the trusty sidekicks, the characters often found standing right beside our favorite characters.  These characters may or may not be as brave, smart, or fun but they are cool in their own way.  And in many instances our main characters wouldn't be the same without them.

That's why I LOVE my trusty sidekicks!!

Okay.  I couldn't choose just one because I really changed my mind like 12 times.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mini-Review: In Between Lies

In Between Lies by Shawna Hill
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Cultural (African-American)
Pages: 144 (ereader)
Source: Author
Facebook | Website

From Amazon:

After a devestating break up with her cheating fiance, Savannah Summers delves into her work as the Assistant to the VP of Production in a marketing/production company. Finding refuge in work and her best friends, she finally decides to try her hand at love one more time. This time around she vows to not give her whole self as before and keep her heart closer and guarded more than ever before. Kevin Styles is a smooth, handsome Meterologist at a local news station and is somewhat a local celebrity in his own right. When it comes to women, playing his cards right is his forte and he is just the man to wine and dine her. However, a known player to his heart, he's looking for the right woman to "tame" his wild ways. Just when things are going perfect, Naomi Sanders, a blast from Kevin's past blows through and the drama and lies begin. Shattered trust and betrayal is inevitable. Can their blooming relationship withstand Naomi's tactics, or should Savannah cut her losses and run?

My Rating:

Quick Thoughts: Surprising.  Drama.  Crazy.  Unexpected.
When I started reading I found myself rolling my eyes and feeling like the story was something I had seen before.  I felt like I knew exactly how the story would go and expected to be bored.  While I didn't connect with the characters, I found that I was completely wrong and this is not a predictable read.  It reminds me of one of those Real-Word of [insert city here] where you don't necessarily like the housewives but the drama and craziness is so addictive, you tune in because you can't help it.  I thought of it as a train-wreck that I couldn't take my eyes from (not the writing but the plot).  If you give this one a try, stick through the first 60 pages or so.   You'll be pleasantly surprised.  Read this one if you just can't help but like drama and craziness.

Monday, June 27, 2011

MidSummer Eve's Giveaway Hop Winner!!


Congratulations to Bookbelle who has won the book of her choice from  According to the form she wants a Connie Willis book.  Congrats!!

BlackoutDoomsday BookAll Clear

The winner will have 48 hours to respond with their address and confirm their book choice. If there is no response, I will choose a new winner. Thank you everyone for entering the giveaway. The winner was selected by

Didn't win this time?  No worries, I am participating in the Freedom Hop that starts this Thursday AND I have a big giveaway for 500/600 followers coming up (I'm trying to figure out something unique to do).

Review: The Girl in the Garden

The Girl in the Garden by Kamala Nair
Genre: Cultural (India)
Pages: 300 (ARC), 320 Hardback
Source: TLC Booktours
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (June 15, 2011)


The redemptive journey of a young woman unsure of her engagement, who revisits in memory the events of one scorching childhood summer when her beautiful yet troubled mother spirits her away from her home to an Indian village untouched by time, where she discovers in the jungle behind her ancestral house a spellbinding garden that harbors a terrifying secret.

My Rating:

My Review:

I'm kicking  off the book tour.  Let's Get It!

Shown through the eyes of a ten year old, this story introduces a family torn apart by secrets.  Secrets that have changed the lives, hopes, and dreams of an entire family.  Rakhee travels with her mother, Anna, to visit her family in India.  There she meets and plays with her cousins and learns of her family history.  After stumbling upon a secret garden and cottage, Rakhee searches for answers in an effort to keep her family together as it seems to be falling apart at the seams.

This is the perfect suspense though not a who-done-it.  The reader is able to piece together parts of the mystery by looking through the lens of a ten year old.  I might have reached the answer long before the protagonist but had to wait for her to catch up.  I found this to be an extremely dramatic and emotional book.  It didn't make me want to cry but it could be depressing at times.  I found myself so angry at Anna, like Rakhee and it saddened me to see a family continue to make the same mistakes.  This is one that will stick with you long after you have finished.  I didn't think I would like it for some reason, but I couldn't put it down. My husband and I had to push back our movie date so I could finish this book.  Thanks Sweets!  I recommend this to anyone who enjoys thoughtful/suspenseful reads.

For More Opinions visit more stops on the tour:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Review: Smokin' Seventeen


Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich
Genre: Humor, Mystery
Pages: 210 (Ereader)

From Goodreads:

Where there's smoke there's fire, and no one knows this better than New Jersey bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum. The bail bonds office has burned to the ground, and bodies are turning up in the empty construction lot. To make matters worse, Stephanie is working out of a motor home she shares with a dancing bear, and Joe Morelli's old world grandmother has declared a vendetta against her. And just when Stephanie decides it might be time to choose between the two men in her life, Morelli and Ranger, a third man from Stephanie's past moves back to Trenton...

My Rating:

My Review:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Friday Memes: Fairy Tales & Epiphanies

 Follow Friday Question of the Week:
In light of the Summer Solstice.  Also known as Midsummer...let's talk about fairies.  What is your favorite fairy tale or story that revolves around the fae?

I'm not sure that I've read many.  The only book that I can think of that involves the fae is the Sookie Stackhouse series.  I know that can't be right, but it is the first and only series/book that comes to mind.  I'm actually very unhappy with my simple and unoriginal answer.  There you have it folks.  I'm having an unoriginal day
As for favorite fairy tale... I think it has to be Cinderella... I have good memories of the Disney movie as a child.  It is also the first story I read to my little brother : ) 
Book Blogger Hop
Blogger Hop Question of the Week:
"When did you realize that reading was your passion and an important part of your life?"
I'm not quite sure when this realization hit me.  I think it might have happened in the second grade when I wrote an essay called "How the Library Changed My Life" as part of a school assignment.  My school submitted it to ALA and I won a contest.  In writing that short essay, it was the first time I articulated how I felt about books and why they were so important to me.  I think it was also the first time I actually thought about it and realized it myself.   After that tons of things happened: I spoke at the ALA convention, went to the Whitehouse and read the speech to President Clinton, and was given tons of free books by a children's tv show.  It was then that I realized that everyone didn't read like I did (they thought I was special or something).  I also realized that I shouldn't ever stop reading.
Okay I think that sounded more sappy than I meant.  Oops.

Don't forget to check out my Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Here!!

Review: Centuries of June (Book Tour)

Centuries of June by Keith Donohue
Genre: Fantasy
Pages:  352 (Hardback)
Source: TLC Booktours
Author | Facebook | Twitter

From Goodreads:

For fans of Nicholson Baker and David Mitchell, a multilayered, lively, and wholly original novel from bestselling author Keith Donohue.

Set in the bathroom of an old house just before dawn on a night in June, Centuries of June is a black comedy about a man who is attempting to tell the story of how he ended up on the floor with a hole in his head. But he keeps getting interrupted by a series of suspects--eight women lying in the bedroom just down
the hall. Drawing from 500 years of myths and legends in America, Centuries of June is a stunning tour de force by a writer whose last novel, Angels of Destruction, was hailed as "Beautiful and wrenching" (Washington Post Book World).

My Review:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Why I Love Wednesdays...Movie from a Book - Charlotte's Web

I am returning with my new feature... Why I love which takes place on Wednesdays. Today's proclamation of love concerns Movies based on Books.

If you want to play along, feel free to grab the image (there is a button on the right sidebar now) and link your post in the linky. Here goes.

When naming your link, please choose the name of your post. Mine would say "Why I Love...Book Blogs."
Please link directly to your post and not your blog.
Please participate :)

Why I Love...Charlotte's Web
Charlotte's Web - Book and DVD

By now everyone knows that I am a really big sappy person who is a sucker for Happily Ever Afters (HEAs).    Usually I'm very critical of movies based on books.  I mean let's face it.  When making a movie based on a book, they are often forced to leave a bunch of stuff out.  It's like reading an abridged book.  Who does that?  But there are a few examples of movies that just really got it right.  One of my favorites, just happen to be Charlotte's web.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop (June 21st - June 24th)

The Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Page Turners. It will take place from June 21 - 24th.
My Giveaway? I'm giving away the book of your choice up to $15 from amazon or the book depository.  So whip out those wishlists and take your pick : )
Here's how it will work:
  1. This is an international giveaway and open to anyone who can have books shipped from The Book Depository.  Check and see if you are listed here.
  2. You do NOT have to be a follower, but it would be much appreciated.
  3. No form this time. FILL OUT THE FORM HERE.
  4. I will use to choose a winner.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond.
  5. This contest will end June 24th at 11:59 PM.  I will announce the winner on June 25th.
  6. Good Luck!
Be sure to check-out the other giveaways below:

Review: Surrender the Night

Surrender the Night by MaryLu Tyndall
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction
Pages: 320 (Ereader)
Source: Netgalley

From Goodreads:
Step into a breathtaking novel of adventure and romance set amid the War of 1812. During an assault by an enemy sailor, timid farm girl Rose McGuire is saved by the least likely of heroes—a British Naval Lieutenant.Now that he’s wounded, she’ll have to heal as well as hide him. Alex Reed is being aided and abetted by his enemy—albeit an innocent and attractive one. But he might be doing Rose more harm than good if his presence on her farm is discovered. As their love blooms, trouble looms. Will this couple survive another British invasion?

My Rating:

My Review:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Review: A Dragon Forsaken

A Dragon Forsaken by Krystal McLaughlin
Genre: Fantasy
Series: The Enchanged Island Series
Source: Author | Blog
Pages: 157 (Ereader)

From Goodreads:

In a world of mystery and magic, Daphne is unique.

Unlike her friends, who have awakened to the magic inside of them, Daphne was born with it. Daphne was born a Dragon.

When her past begins to resurface, forcing her into a web of lies and deception, she is forced to accept unexpected alliances and risk everything for the sake of love. Something that she swore she would never let into her life.

As the newest installment of The Enchanted Island Series unfolds, she'll learn that nothing is ever what it seems, and when webs get this tangled, everyone's fate hangs in the balance, and nothing is coincidence.

My Rating:

My Review:

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Reflections: What Do You Think About Audiobooks

So I've been hearing around that June is Audiobook Month.  Which means this seems the right time to inquire about everyone's feelings about audiobooks.

I hadn't tried an audiobook before starting this blog.  Initially I mused..."Why listen when you can read?"  However, I came upon a time where I had a few roadtrips on the calendar and other bloggers made me oh so curious.  I decided to give it a try.  I've been experimenting for about five months now and have come to the following conclusions:
  1. If you can't read anyway, audiobooks are a viable option.  I would never choose an audiobook when I can read though.
  2. It doesn't really matter if the book is good if you don't like the narrator.
  3. I do zone out sometimes and have to go back a bit, but it doesn't happen often.  I thought it would happen all the time.  Nope.
  4. If a book sounds extremely good, I'll pass on the audio and read it instead.
  5. Listening to some audiobooks take a LONG time.  I get antsy.  I like short and sweet better.  BUT abridged versions are a no go.
  6. You can still use your imagination similar to reading books.  Audiobooks do not take that away.  However, it is a more passive experience.  It's like watching TV when you are cooking dinner.  Well for me anyway.
  7. I like listening to "classics" on audo over more recent books.
  8. I love it when the narrator sounds like the character (or how I think the character should sound) but sometimes (most times) sound effects are annoying.
  9. Books that change characters frequently are difficult to listen to.
  10. I prefer female narrators over male narrators (sorry guys).
  11. Audiobooks make me a more patient driver.
What are your thoughts on audiobooks?  Have you tried them?  Which did you like/dislike?  Where do you find your audiobooks?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Friday Memes: Genre Wars & TBR List

Follow Friday Question of the Week:
Genre Wars!  What's your favorite genre and which book in that genre made it your favorite?

Ummm... I think my favorite genre is historical fiction but that is likely to change in 2-3 hours or 2 days or whatever.  It's often whatever great book I am reading at the time.  I've been reading for a long long time and I'm not sure if I can pinpoint the book that started my love for historical fiction.  Maybe it was Little Women or maybe it was everything Charles Dickens.
Little Women  Little Women  Little Women (Collector's Series)
Speaking of which...what do you call books that weren't historical fiction when written but may be  considered so now, i.e. Jane Eyre?  Is that Historical Fiction too?  I'm just curious.

Book Blogger HopBlogger Hop Question of the Week:
"How many books are currently in your To-Be-Read (TBR) pile?"
Compared to many, mine isn't that bad.  I probably have about 50-60.  My TBR pile is kind of like my comfort books.  So when I want a new read, I usually buy one and don't go to my TBR.  Since I'm so moody I need to have something waiting for me IF I need it.  I also do have room for much more than that.
 Waves!!  Welcome!  I'm Alexis and I'm quite an eclectic reader and reviewer.  Come on in and get a look around.  If you have time, please take a look at my mini-review of Tuesdays with Morrie or my review of  The Stormchasers.

I also LOVE when people stop in and comment/participate in my weekly feature Why I Love Wednesdays.  

Thanks for stopping in :)

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