Saturday, May 30, 2009

Winners - Giveaway - The Girl Who Stopped Swimming

And the five lucky winners (chosen by of a copy of The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, courtesy of The Hachette Book Group are:

1. John Ferris
2. Becky
3. lindaw
4. 07Violet
5. Amber

I've contacted you by email for your mailing addresses. Please respond within 48 hours. Congratulations and thanks to all who entered. Check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways.

** updated June 01- I never heard back from two of the original winners, so on to the next two on the list**

Giveaway - The Way Home (audiobook) - George Pelecanos

One more crime offering this week! Yes another George Pelecanos giveaway - this time in audio format.

Thanks to the generosity of The Hachette Book Group, I have three copies to giveaway.

What's this one about? From the publisher:

"Christopher Flynn is trying to get it right. After years of trouble and rebellion that enraged his father and nearly cost him his life, he has a steady job in his father's company, he's seriously dating a woman he respects, and, aside from the distrust that lingers in his father's eyes, his mistakes are firmly in the past.One day on the job, Chris and his partner come across a temptation almost too big to resist. Chris does the right thing, but old habits and instincts rise to the surface, threatening this new-found stability with sudden treachery and violence. With his father and his most trusted friends, he takes one last chance to blast past the demons trying to pull him back. Like Richard Price or William Kennedy, Pelecanos pushes his characters to the extremes, their redemption that much sweeter because it is so hard fought. Pelecanos has long been celebrated for his unerring ability to portray the conflicts men feel as they search and struggle for power and love in a world that is often harsh and unforgiving but can ultimately be filled with beauty."

Listen to an excerpt of The Way Home.

Watch a video trailer for the Way Home.

Read an excerpt of The Way Home.

For this giveaway, tell me why or what you like about an audiobook. An extra entry if you're a follower (let me know) Open to both US and Canada, no po boxes. Please ensure I have a way to contact you, either by email or through your blog. Giveaway ends Tuesday June 23 at 6 pm EST. Good luck and check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Winners - Giveaway - The G-Free Diet

And the three lucky winners ( chosen by of a copy of The G-Free Diet, courtesy of The Hachette Book Group are:

1. Stacie
2. Cindy
3. dolls123
4. Heather
5. KPort207

I've contacted you by email for your mailing addresses. Please respond within 48 hours. Congratulations and thanks to all who entered. Check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways!

Giveaway - Cemetary Dance (audiobook)- Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

If you have't discovered the writing duo of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child yet, here's your chance to listen to their latest - Cemetary Dance. Thanks to the generosity of The Hachette Book Group, I have three audiobook copies to giveaway.

Cemetary Dance bring back favourite characters (Pendergast!) from this ongoing series. (But they're great as stand alone reads as well!)

From the publisher:

"Pendergast-the world's most enigmatic FBI Special Agent-returns to New York City to investigate a murderous cult. William Smithback, a NY Times reporter, and his wife Nora Kelly, a Museum of Natural History archeologist, are brutally attacked in their apartment on the Upper West side of Manhattan. Eyewitnesses claim and the security camera confirms the killer seen leaving the building was their strange, sinister neighbor--a man who, by all reports, was already dead. Captain Hayward leads the official homocide investigation, while Pendergast, D'Agosta, and Nora undertake a private quest for the truth. Their serpentine journey takes them into a part of Manhattan they never imagined could exist: a secretive and deadly hotbed of Obeah, the West Indian Zombii cult of sorcery and magic. And it is here they find their true peril is just beginning."

Listen to an excerpt of Cemetary Dance.

Read an excerpt of Cemetary Dance.

To be entered, leave a comment. An extra entry if you are or become a follower (let me know!) Please ensure I have a way to contact you, either by email or through your blog. Open to both US and Canada, no po boxes please. Giveaway ends Saturday June 20th at 6 pm EST. Good luck and check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Giveaway - The Scarecrow (audiobook) - Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly is one of my all time favourite mystery/thriller authors.

And thanks to the generosity of The Hachette Book Group I have three audiobook copies to offer for giveaway!

What's it about? From the publisher:

"Forced out of the Los Angeles Times amid the latest budget cuts, newspaperman Jack McEvoy decides to go out with a bang, using his final days at the paper to write the definitive murder story of his career. He focuses on Alonzo Winslow, a 16-year-old drug dealer in jail after confessing to a brutal murder. But as he delves into the story, Jack realizes that Winslow's so-called confession is bogus. The kid might actually be innocent.Jack is soon running with his biggest story since The Poet made his career years ago. He is tracking a killer who operates completely below police radar--and with perfect knowledge of any move against him. Including Jack's."

Listen to an excerpt of The Scarecrow.

Read an excerpt of The Scarecrow.

Sounds great doesn't it? To be entered, simply leave a comment. And in a blatant attempt to increase my followers, an extra entry if you follow. Open to both US and Canada, no po boxes. Ends Friday June 19th at 6 pm EST.Please ensure I have a way to contact you, either by email or through your blog. Good luck and check back tomorrow for yet another giveaway!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mating Rituals of the North American WASP - Lauren Lipton

Mating Rituals of the North American WASP is another great selection from Miriam at the Hachette Book Group for an Early Bird BlogTour!

Peggy has been living with her boyfriend Brock for seven years now. As she heads to Vegas for a friend's bachelorette party, she gives Brock an ultimatum - they need to be engaged within a year or she'll leave. Peggy has a great time in Vegas. Maybe too great. She wakes up the morning of departure to find herself (fully clothed) in bed with a nice looking man (fully clothed as well.) She has no idea who he is or what she did the night before. (Except maybe drink a little too much) She sneaks out of the room, meets up with her best friend and business partner Bex and they head back to New York.
Bex has no answer either when Peggy asks "What did I do!". But someone does. She gets her answer when she gets a call from someone named Luke - who informs her that they got married that night in Vegas! Luke is Luke Silas Sedgwick of the New Nineveh, Connecticut Sedgwicks. (said with a slightly nasal upper crust tone...) They both agree that an annulment would be appropriate. That is until Luke's great aunt makes them an offer neither can refuse. Stay married for a year and they'll inherit millions. Both need the money, so they agree to the terms.

And that's as far into the plot as I'm going to get. What follows is a tale of near hits/misses, he thinks/she thinks, missed opportunities and a fairy tale ending. Is there such a thing as love at first sight?

Lipton has crafted an entertaining read with likable characters. I especially enjoyed Aunt Abigail - a feisty 90 year old, who seems to know a bit more about Luke and Peggy than they do. The depictions of 'society' were quite funny. Bunny, Liddy, Topher, The Daughters of New England, the importance of wearing just the right clothes, not eating at get-togethers and painting your house white with black shutters provided a fun look at the 'upper crust'. Peggy herself was a great character, warm, funny and caring. Her boyfriend Brock is a perfect dolt. Luke is that fairy tale prince - poetry writing, sensitive and romantic.

None of the story will be a surprise, but Lipton has crafted a thoroughly entertaining feel good book. The movie What Happens in Vegas has a similar plot. Although, I could see Matthew McConaughey starring in a movie of Mating Rituals.

If you're looking for the perfect book to stick in your beach bag or read in the hammock (that's where I read mine!) then this is the book for you!

Want a sneak peek? Read an excerpt of Mating Rituals of the North American Wasp.

You can catch up with Lauren on her website, her blog or on Facebook.

Thanks to Drey for putting together a list of other stops on the tour for Mating Rituals fo the North American WASP.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Giveaway - The Night Gardener - George Pelecanos

Yes! Another great giveaway courtesy of The Hachette Book Group! Five copies of The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos to be won.

What's it about?

From Publishers Weekly - Starred Review.

"Pelecanos (Drama City) delivers a dignified, character-driven epic that succeeds as both literary novel and page-turner. In 1985, the body of a 14-year-old girl turns up in a Washington, D.C., park, the latest in a series of murders by a killer the media dub "The Night Gardener." T.C. Cook, the aging detective on the case, works with a quiet, almost monomaniacal, focus. Also involved are two young uniformed cops, Gus Ramone, who's diligent, conscientious and unimpressed by heroics, and Dan "Doc" Holiday, an adrenaline junkie who's decidedly less straight.Fast forward 20 years. Detective Ramone, now married with kids of his own, investigates the murder of one of his teenage son's friends. The homicide closely resembles the earlier unsolved Night Gardener murders. Holiday, now an alcoholic chauffeur and bodyguard, follows the case on his own and tracks down Cook, long retired but still obsessed with the original murders. While the three work together toward a suspenseful ending, Pelecanos emphasizes the fallacy of "solving" a murder and explores the ripple effects of violent crime on society."

Listen to an excerpt of The Night Gardener.

To be entered, simply leave a comment. Open to both US and Canada. No po boxes please. Please make sure I have a way to contact you - either by email or throught your blog. Ends June 27 at 6 pm EST. Good luck and check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways.

Winners - Giveaway - The Calling

And the three lucky winners (chosen by of a copy of The Calling by Inger Ash Wolfe, courtesy of McClelland & Stewart are:

1. Canadian Giveaways
2. Marie
3. Pissenlit

I've contacted you by email for your mailing addresses. Congratulations and thanks to all who entered. Check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Crazy for the Storm - Norman Ollestad

Subtitled: A Memoir of Survival

I'm also going to reprint the small paragraph on the cover. It grabbed me and I'm sure it will do the same to you.

"On February 19, 1979, I was in a plane crash with my father, his girlfriend Sandra and the pilot of our chartered Cessna. Sandra was 30 years old. My dad was 43. I was 11. Just after sunrise, we slammed into a rugged 8,600-foot mountain engulfed in a blizzard. by the end of our nine-hour ordeal I was the only survivor."

Hooked? This is a stunning, yet heartbreaking memoir. Knowing the outcome of Crazy for the Storm in no way detracts from the enjoyment of the book.

Norman Ollestad had an unusual childhood. He literally grew up on the beaches of Topanga Beach in California, part of a surfing community. He also excelled at competitive skiing and most other areas he attempted. Behind him, encouraging him, driving him was his father, also named Norman Ollestad. The senior Ollestad was a child actor, appearing in the original "Cheaper by the Dozen" movie. He was an FBI agent, under Herbert Hoover, but quit after a year and exposed the dirty secrets of that administration in a book called Inside the FBI. He was also a successful lawyer. Ollestad himself describes his father as 'larger than life'. But he was what most people would see as a risk taker, living in and for the moment. He pushes his son to do the same.

This new release from Harper Collins Canada is told in alternating chapters. It opens with the horrendous crash and the realization of their plight. It then abruptly switches to the author's childhood. At first I found this disconcerting as I was caught up in one story or the other. But I quickly realized that this dual story telling leads us the climax, where both stories collide on the top of a mountain.

The author had what would be seen by many as an idyllic childhood. But after his parents divorced, his mother's boyfriend moved in. This man was physically and mentally abusive to both Norman and his mother, but his mother chose Nick many times over her son. Luckily young Norman has a surrogate mother in a family friend - Eleanor.

Author Norman has a difficult relationship with his father at times. He laments that he wants to be a 'normal' kid sometimes, hanging out in a neighbourhood with friends. His father instead encourages him to excel and that step beyond in surfing and skiing. It is on the way to a ski competition that the plane crashes. Some of the childhood tales are incredible. On the way to Mexico to deliver a washing machine to his grandparents, they are chased and shot at by federales. They end up living in a remote village with locals for a bit before rescuing the vehicle and continuing.

To me, this memoir seemed to be a way of honouring and making peace with his father and the loss of him after many years. It is a personal journey that we are privileged enough to share.

As an adult and parent Ollestad physically revisits his childhood home, the crash site and the people involved. He realizes that without his father pushing him all those years, he never would have survived the crash. And he can see what his father wanted him to see.

"Off the point at Topanga Beach I stared into the eye of a distant wave. Somewhere in the oval opening I grasped what Dad had always tried to make me see. There is more to life than just surviving it. Inside each turbulence there is a calm - a sliver of light buried in the darkness."

There are colour photographs included with the book - images of his father and candid shots of the family.

This is a memoir of survival - not just a plane crash, but of his life. A totally arresting read.

Read an excerpt of Crazy for the Storm.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Giveaway Winner - Follow Me - Joanna Scott

And the very lucky winner (chosen by of a copy of Follow Me by Joanna Scott, courtesy of the Hachette Book Group is:


I''ve contacted you via email for your mailing address. Please respond within 48 hours. Thanks to all who entered and check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Little Stranger - Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters is an amazing author. She has won many, many prizes for her previous novels. Her writing takes a different direction in this new release from McClelland & Stewart.

It is 1949. Britain is still feeling the effects of the war. In rural Warwickshire, Dr.Faraday is called to Hundreds Hall to check on the well being of a servant in the Ayres family home. As a child Dr. Faraday was in the house once. His mother was a nursemaid there when she was younger. He was captivated by the house, the family and their wealth. On this visit, he is dismayed by the decline of both house and family. Mrs Ayres lives there with her son Roddie, who was injured in the war and is struggling to keep the family home afloat. Daughter Caroline was called home to help when Roddie returned from the war and never left. The only live in servant left is a fourteen year old girl.

From that first visit, Dr. Faraday slowly becomes part of the family's life. He is called on often to treat Roddie. Something ails Roddie besides his physical injuries. The young servant girl insists there is something 'wrong' with the house. Caroline begins to wonder this as well, as more misfortune befalls the family.

" This house is playing parlour games with us, I think. We shan't pay it any mind if it starts up again."

She confides in Dr. Faraday and enlists his help.

" I don't know what's going on here, any more than you do. But I'd like to help you figure it out. I'll take my chances with the hungry house, don't worry about that."

This is a tale with a 'gothic' feel to it, a ghost story of sorts. But it doesn't involve overt frights or over the top scenarios. Instead it is all the more delicious for the subtle and insidious manner in which the story unfolds. Everyday items and occurrences suddenly take on a sinister bent.

The interplay between the characters is just as much a part of the story. Dr. Faraday is a bit of an enigma. He is from a lower social class than the Ayres. At times he is made painfully aware of this. At other times, the Ayres family seems to depend on him excessively. Is he there for himself, for personal gain or simply to be in the house again? The other main character Caroline is also a mystery. At times she is playful, other times aloof and practical. What does she really want from the good Doctor? Many of the other characters give us a glimpse into the social life and mores of the time period.

Waters is a master of building a story. The tension grows and we are left wondering if the house is indeed perpetrating these calamities or is it the residents of the house?

Has anyone else read this yet? I'd love to discuss the ending with you.

Read an excerpt of The Little Stranger.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Guest Post and Giveaway - Bill Surie (aka Holly Denham) Author of Holly's Inbox!

Well if you didn't read my blog yesterday, you missed my glowing review of what I think is one of the best chick lit books of the year! A Bookworm's World is thrilled to have the author of Holly's Inbox, Bill Surie (aka Holly Denham) guest posting today! I asked Bill where and how did he come up with the idea for Holly's Inbox.

"What’s grey and pink and bruised all over?”
I knew where this was heading; I just couldn’t see a way out. It was only 11 am but already his breath stank of whisky, his eyes danced and he bristled with anticipation. The director was getting ready to pounce.

I was temping there as a receptionist and couldn’t wait for the contract to end, it wasn’t so much his sense of humour, (we laughed at all his jokes, although none were funny) but being the only other male in the company he felt it necessary to wrestle with me. He would jump out at me from behind cupboard doors; and he was an elderly man (and my boss) so I never fought back.

For me temping proved to be very useful. It was able to show me just how badly you could run a company if you’re an ageing eccentric with a drink problem.
I liked temping though and finally I took a position as a recruitment consultant. A few years later I was married and along with my wife we set up our own temping agency which specialised in providing receptionists.

The idea for the site came one day when we had to trawl through an ex-employees work email account. The woman in question was single, extremely flirtatious and had always loved us to bits. We discovered she was married with four children, and couldn’t stand the sight of us. The life she was leading was so full of mystery, intrigue, romance (and many many lies) that it made me wonder what it would be like to read a story told in this way.

The basic plot had around two email exchanges a day and we launched . The site’s popularity spurred me on, but it soon became obvious I had grossly underestimated the amount of emails I needed each day to keep people on the site… so I began writing in real-time.

Not many people enjoy criticism, and I had always been particularly scared of receiving feedback. However Holly’s Inbox initially had a LIVE forum, where readers could immediately let off steam if they were unhappy, sometimes before I had even finished a sentence. If it wasn’t funny, they would say so (and the emails miraculously disappeared), if it was too obscure I’d make it clearer, too slow and I’d make it faster… basically they taught me to write and I will be eternally grateful to the fantastic forum fans. Holly still keeps in touch with them on Facebook and Twitter.

As the story reached it’s climax I began to panic. The site would be over and I had no idea what I was going to do next, so I began emailing as many agents as possible the web link; without knowing what I wanted from them. At last a wonderful fabulous woman replied and told me it would work in a book… and it did. Holly’s Inbox has now been translated into 6 different languages but the one place I had always dreamed about being published was of course the USA, and Sourcebooks have at last let me achieve this dream!!!! (Bill is British!)

The site has been re-launched and is now live with emails being sent and received by Holly Denham; I hope you like it."

Thanks Bill for stopping by! And readers - here's your chance to win a copy of Holly's Inbox, courtesy of Sourcebooks. Open to both US and Canada. Giveaway ends Tuesday June 9th at 6pm EST. Leave a comment on this post to be entered!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Winners - Giveaway - Made in the U.S.A.

And the five lucky winners (chosen by of a copy of Made in the U.S.A., courtesy of the Hachette Book Group are:

1. Little Eagle
2. Patti V
3. Angela
4. Renee
5. Sarah

I've contacted you by email for your mailing address. Please respond within 48 hours. Congratulations and check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways!

* updated May 21 - Ladytink, Ashley and Cheryl kindly let me know they had already won a copy, so the next on the list have been notified.

Holly's Inbox - Holly Denham

Okay, get out your pen out and add Holly's Inbox to your must read chick lit list!

Holly Denham begins work as a receptionist at the banking firm of Huerst and Wright. It's a busy place, requiring two receptionists. Policy also forbids conversation unless it is business related. The next best thing? E-mail! The entire book is a series of emails from Holly's Inbox! We meet Holly's two best friends who both work at her last job - reception at a large hotel. Jason is incredibly funny, Aisha is a bit of a runaround. We get to live Holly's life vicariously through the corresponcence of these three. And really, doesn't everyone have a bit of peeping tom in them? We meet her meddling mother, her siblings (one who wants her to deliver some frozen rats to Spain) and her gran, who has just discovered the world wide web. She helps Holly out by signing her up for cheap flights and dating services.

But Holly doesn't seem to need the dating services. She begins to date one of the traders from the bank. But then.....

And that's where I'm going to stop. I don't want to spoil the story. And I could go on and on, as I couldn't put the book down. Devoured in two days! Reading it was like eating a bag of candy, one more piece, one more page until sadly the whole thing was done. Mind you, at almost 700 pages, it was satisfying!

This is an charming, amusing, entertaining read. One of the best chick lit books of the year for me. Holly's Inbox covers the first five months at her new job. I can only hope that it continues! If you'd like to check out Holly's Inbox online you can - at Really - it's her email account.

This was a phenomenal hit in the UK and Sourcebooks is releasing it in the US. I guarantee it will be a bit hit in North America too. Want a chance to read it yourself? Stop by tomorrow for a guest post by author Bill Surie. Who? Yes, Holly Denham is really Bill! Find out how he came to write Holly's Inbox and enter to win your own copy in tomorrow's post.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Happy Victoria Day!

WooHoo! Happy May 2 4 !!!

Or as it is formally known - Happy Victoria Day! Yes that is a picture of Queen Victoria on the left. And her birthday is a statutory holiday in Canada. Although we mark it as the beginning of summer!

Here's the official explanation:

"In Canada, the celebration of Victoria Day occurs every year on Monday, prior to May 25th. It is the official celebration in Canada of the birthdays of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II. Victoria Day was established as a holiday in Canada West (Now Ontario) in 1845, and became a national holiday in 1901. Before Victoria Day became a national holiday, people had celebrated Empire Day, beginning in the 1890s as Victoria approached her Diamond jubilee in 1897. Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and empress of India was born on 24 May 1819. She ascended the throne after the death of her uncle King George IV in 1837 when she was only 18. She ruled for 63 years until her death in 1901 when her son Edward VII became King of England. "

Enjoy your day off everyone! I'm off to plant my veggie garden!

Friday, May 15, 2009

To My Senses - Alexandrea Weis

Nicci Beauvoir is part of privileged society in New Orleans, wealthy and established. However she really has no real interest in this life. Instead she has chosen to become a nurse, simply for practical reasons. But while attending her cousin's debutante ball, her interest is captured by David, a young artist attending with an older society woman. The consensus is that he's a gigolo. But the attraction between Nicci and David is undeniable and inevitable. They fall in love.

Weis skillfully builds the tension between Nicci and David, chronicling an affair from beginning to end. It is romantic, passionate and beautiful to read. I did say 'to end'. David is not quite as he has presented himself to Nicci. Nicci discovers his manipulations and ends their relationship. She settles for a relationship with a doctor her aunt introduces her to. But it isn't the same. She is existing, rather than living life.

I love the characters Weis has created in To My Senses. Nicci was a complicated protagonist, sure of herself one moment and unable to find her way the next. The supporting characters were great. I especially enjoyed Nicci's father and uncle. They play a key role in the culmination of this tale. Comedic relief is provided by Aunt Hattie and cousin Colleen - descriptions of their situations and clothing are quite funny. Some of them though, are sad as well, a closing of the ranks to prevent 'outsiders' from knowing their business at what seems to be a steep cost. I wondered how much of this world Weis knows personally.

I enjoyed reading about the setting as well. (Pre-Katrina New Orleans) The descriptions and pace of life are incredibly appealing.

It certainly didn't end the way I expected or wanted it to. Weis completely caught me off guard. And isn't that what a reader wants? A romance but with a little added something. A good read that kept me turning pages.

Weis has been working on the sequel to this book, called "Recovery". She has entered the first 25 pages into the Breakthrough Novel Awards contest and has made it to the quarter finals. You can read those first twenty five pages here.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Giveaway - Becoming Beauty - Dimitri James

Thanks to Dimitri James of Skinn Cosmetics, I have three copies of his latest book, Becoming Beauty, to giveaway!

Any of the following interest you? From the publisher:

"Internationally recognized beauty, hair and skin care expert, Dimitri James, shares his 25 years of experience in creating total head to toe “make-over magic!”

Get the most out of your look by learning the simple building blocks of skin care, make-up, hair, clothing and accessories to build the best you possible!

• Become your own brand by discovering your personal unique style.

• Make a powerful impression by discovering the secret language of color.

• Look like you stepped out of a magazine cover on your wedding day.• 50 ways to beat acne for good.

• Disguise figure faults by choosing the right clothing for your body type

.• Strengthen your internal beauty and project a stronger more powerful image.

• Never have to ask “how do I look” ever again.

• Look 10 years younger with skin care recipes you can make in your own kitchen.

• Learn the right hair style and hair color for your personal face structure and never have a bad hair day again."

Dimitri is a TV personality on ShopNBC, The Shopping Channel Canada & TVSN Australia. He is a cosmetologist, hair stylist, wardrobe stylist, educator & founder of SKINN Cosmetics.

Giveaway is open to both US and Canada. Simply leave a comment to be entered. Please ensure I have a way to contact you - either by email or on your web page. Ends Sat. June 6 at 6 pm EST. Good luck and check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Four Corners of the Sky - Michael Malone

Four Corners of the Sky introduces us to Annie Peregrine. She travelled the country with her father Jack until she was seven. Jack then left her at his boyhood home with his sister Sam, promising to return for her. He never did. Annie is twenty six and a Navy pilot when her con artist father finally contacts her, saying that he is dying and needs her to bring the plane he left at the homestead to him in St. Louis. Annie reluctantly agrees, but only if Jack gives her the one thing she doesn't have - the name of her mother.

Annie has been raised by her Aunt Sam and Sam's lifelong friend Clark, whom she comes to call uncle. These two become Annie's parents and devote their lives to her.

"So Sam and I just get to hang around here waiting?" She laughed. "That's what parents do."

Sam runs a video rental store and is obsessed with old movies.

"..movies showed people how to live their lives with a great score and the boring parts cut out. In movies you could be braver and luckier than in your real life. And better looking."

Another family friend, D.K. teaches her to fly. Annie has excelled in everything in her life, except for her marriage to Brad, another pilot.

Annie does head to St. Louis with the plane to see her father. At this point in the story, I thought this would be an interesting character driven relationship novel. I was intrigued by the premise and curious to see the meeting of the two. However the story is much more than that. Jack has hidden a priceless gold, jewel encrusted statue. He now needs to get the statue back to give to a mobster to pay off debts. Because Cuba is claiming the statue, the FBI is involved. Local police as well.

Sound complicated? I felt like I was reading two good stories that had been smooshed (yes I realize that's not a literate term) together. I would have enjoyed either one on it's own, but felt that the crazy search for the statue as a vehicle to repair the relationship was too over the top.

I did enjoy the supporting characters but in some ways felt they were too much of a caricature. Aunt Sam is a lesbian, Uncle Clark a lonely shy doctor, DK is a wheelchair bound black veteran. Best friend Georgette is very smart, but can't meet the right man. Husband Brad is a womanizer. Jack's best friend is a Cuban ex-con who philosophizes in almost every piece of dialogue he is given.

Although they play a part in the plot, I quickly grew tired of numerous movie references and quotes. Some stuff was just too cute for me and by the third time is growing old. Peregrine for a last name for a pilot. Singing Annie P. Goode to the tune of Chuck Berry's song.

I truly enjoyed the character of Jack. He has lived his life with no apologies and few regrets. I would have enjoyed having him fleshed out a bit more. I never did connect with Annie. I can't even really tell you why. She just never resonated with me.

I kept reading as I was really curious as to the outcome of the search for the statue. I was sure I had reached the end a number of times, but there seemed to be just one more chapter. The Four Corners of the Sky is 560 pages long - about 100 too many.

Michael Malone is a veteran author, having won an Edgar, an O.Henry and an Emmy (as head writer for the soap opera One Life to Live '91-'96). Sadly, this latest novel from Sourcebooks just didn't get off the ground with me.

I'll add some links to what I am sure will be differing opinions from other bloggers.

The Review From Here.
Becky at My Thoughts, Your Thoughts
Tricia at Library Queue
Grace's Book Blog
Sandie at Booksie's Blog
Books Are My Only Friends
Anna at Diary of an Eccentric
Serena at Savvy Verse & Wit

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Crossing Places - Elly Griffiths

~A Ruth Galloway Mystery~

The Crossing Places is set on the Norfolk Coast in England, near a salt marsh - a marshy area between solid land and the ocean. This particular salt marsh has many secrets.

Forensic Archaeology Professor Ruth Galloway loves the marsh and it's isolation. She participated in a dig on the marsh ten years ago that uncovered an ancient henge. She has chosen to make her home on the lonesome wetland.

When DCI Harry Nelson is called in to investigate what looks to be child's bones discovered in the marsh, he asks Ruth for help, given her expertise. When the bones are proven to be over 200o years old, Harry is disappointed. He was hoping they were the remains of a child named Lucy, who disappeared over ten years ago. No trace of her was ever found and the case has haunted Harry ever since. But when another child is taken, it seem the marsh may hold even more secrets.

Griffith's language and descriptions capture perfectly the barren beauty of the marsh. (It made me want to visit this area) Ruth herself is an wonderful character. She isn't a cookie cutter mystery heroine. She is highly intelligent, but unsure of herself in social situations. She worries about her weight, but at the same time doesn't give a damn. She lives by herself with her cats. Ruth interests Harry -

"Like all forceful people (he calls it forceful rather than bullying), he prefers people who stand up to him, but in his job that doesn't happen ofter. People either despise him or kowtow to him. Ruth had done neither. She had looked him in the face, coolly, as an equal. He thinks he's never met anyone, any woman quite as sure of themselves as Ruth Galloway. "

The interpersonal relationship between Ruth and Harry provides an intriguing subplot. Populated by curious and enigmatic supporting characters, this is a mystery that is character driven. The plot is excellent as well and involved enough red herrings to keep me guessing until almost the end. But it is Ruth and Harry that intrigued me. The ending has been left open for further books featuring these two and I, for one, will be looking forward to it. I'm thrilled to discover a mystery author with a different take on the genre.

Elly Griffiths is a nom de plume for Domenica de Rosa. This is her first crime novel. The Crossing Places is newly released from McLelland & Stewart.

Read an excerpt of The Crossing Places.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Libby Malin -Fire Me - Guest Post

I'm thrilled to have Libby Malin, author of Fire Me stopping by to guest post today!

The Flawed Heroine….and Her Transformation

Fire Me’s story follows Anne Wyatt as she makes her way through one insane day at the office. The lunacy of the day, however, is her own doing—after learning her business guru boss will be laying off an employee by the end of the day, Anne discards her letter of resignation and decides to go for the pink slip instead, along with its generous severance package. She engages in a series of wild pranks in order to grab her boss’ negative attention, her antics growing crazier as the day progresses. Along the way, she gets more than she bargained for—lessons in love and life and the choices she’s made and is about to make.

Writing Fire Me was a fun challenge, and it’s been really gratifying to hear readers and reviewers say it’s laugh-out-loud funny. Just as rewarding has been readers’ observations about Anne and the deeper story that plays out in her life as she discovers what’s important and how to move toward a brighter future. Anne, in fact, is a flawed heroine who’s made a bunch of bad choices in life.

I have to admit that I have a special sympathy for the flawed heroine, the woman who knows she needs to make changes, thinks she’s mapped out a path to those changes, and then is walloped with the realization that the road to change might be different than the one she’d imagined. In other words, life smacks her upside the head! LOL! I think many people have been in that position, suddenly discovering they made mistakes and wanting to make things right again.

This is what happens to Anne over the course of this one twenty-four hour period. Yes, she knows she’s been less than wise or loving in the past, but she’s going to change all that, by golly, by handing in her resignation, taking a new job, and showing her friends and family just how responsible she can be.

Then along comes….opportunity. She just can’t pass up the chance to win some money, and she certainly doesn’t see anything wrong with sticking it to a boss who is treating his employees like contestants on Survivor, with the weakest being voted off by the end of the day.

But as she turns on the switch for this “opposite” day (doing everything opposite the way she’d normally handle it), another switch is flicked to life. She starts reevaluating everything, from how she’s treated her supportive family to how she’s handled love. She starts noticing her co-workers more, especially good-hearted and good-looking Ken, who is concerned about Anne’s sudden shift into Bad Employee of the Year. She even starts rethinking whether her move to the new job is an admirable fresh start…or a cowardly running away from her past.

By the time the day ends, she’s gone through a transformation, feeling remorse for all those stupid decisions she made in the past, wanting to make them right, and seeing her future with clearer eyes.

It was a fun challenge, as I said, to write this book, and not just because looking for the right comedic moments was sometimes difficult. I also wanted to tell this deeper story of a less-than-perfect woman who stands at a crossroads, wondering which choice will now be the right one when she’s made so many bad choices in the past.

Thanks for having me as a guest on A Bookworm's World. If readers would like to learn more about Fire Me and my other books, they can visit my website at

Thanks so much for stopping by Libby! - Luanne

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Grrrrrr!!!! I've just come home from work, made a cup of tea and was all set to sit down and catch up on my google reader. First I thought I would check my email. Some &^%$# spammer has been at it again. I got hit by the other idiot and thought (foolishly) that it was a one off. I should have turned on comment moderation then. Nope now I had some idiot plastering shoe ads. So it will take awhile but every last one is being removed!

So, dear readers, I have enabled comment moderation for the foreseeable future.....


Friday, May 8, 2009

Nobody Move - Denis Johnson

A Bookworm's World is happy to welcome a new guest blogger - my good friend Julia, who will hopefully become a regular contributor!

Nobody Move by Denis Johnson releases today from Harper Collins Canada.

Denis Johnson once said, “What I write about is really the dilemma of living in a fallen world, and asking: Why is it like this if there's supposed to be a God?" In Nobody Move Johnson takes the reader on a wild ride in a God-less world with a gambling addict who runs into a beautiful con-artist, is chased by hit men, and crashes at a run-down café frequented by bikers. Along the way guns are fired, people are injured, cars are stolen, and the story behind the beautiful woman, Anita, and $2.3 million only emerges in pieces. Although it sounds like a formula “thriller” novel, Johnson’s dark humour and quirky characters put the book in a different league.

This is a book best read in one sitting. The pace is fast and the action non-stop. You need to keep reading to keep up with Jimmy Lutz and his attempts to stay one step ahead of the hit man, and one step closer to the big payout promised by Anita. It is hard to understand why Jimmy makes the choices he does, but the reader understands that this is someone whose life is out of control. Jimmy makes the decisions he thinks he has to make, on the spur of the moment, and given some pretty bad alternatives.
Truly, Denis Johnson has written a book detailing the dilemma of living in a fallen world. When the choices are “shoot or be killed”, the decisions become easy. There is no God to rescue Jimmy, Anita, or any of the other broken characters in Nobody Move.

Thanks Julia!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Winners - Elegance

And the three lucky winners (chosen by of a copy of Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro, courtesy of Harper Collins Canada are:

1. Not Nessie
2. Melly
3. Annie

I have contacted you by email for your snail mail addresses. Please respond within 48hours. Congratulations and thanks to all who entered. Check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways!

Giveaway - Mix Shake Stir - Danny Meyer

Okay, summer is coming .... really. And with summer comes... sitting on the patio, the porch, the deck with....well, how about a cocktail?

Thanks to the generous folks at the Hachette Book Group I have 3 copies of Danny Meyer's latest book, Mix Shake Stir to giveaway!

From the publisher:

"The bartenders at Danny Meyer's wildly popular restaurants are known for their creative concoctions. Guests at Union Square Café or Gramercy Tavern expect not only the finest cuisine but also Meyer's special brand of hospitality that often begins with a Venetian Spritz or a Cranberry Daiquiri. In MIX SHAKE STIR, Meyer offers all the tips and tools needed to become a masterful mixologist and supplements the cocktail recipes with gourmet takes on bar snacks. There are over 100 recipes of bar classics, signature favorites, and original, refreshing libations--from the Modern's elegant mojito made with champagne and rose water to Tabla's Pomegranate Gimlet. Shaken or stirred, straight up or on the rocks, these cocktails make this collection an invaluable resource for elegant entertaining.

Want a chance to kickstart your mixology skills? To be entered, leave a comment with a summertime memory, favourite activity, plans, anything along those lines. Open to both the US and Canada, no po boxes please. Make sure I have a way to contact you. Giveaway ends Thursday June 4th at 6pm EST.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Alexander Cipher - Will Adams

This is a genre I absolutely love - combining historical fact with fiction. Will Adams has admirably done both in The Alexander Cipher. This was Adam's debut novel - and the first in the Daniel Knox series.

Knox is an Egyptologist. His primary interest is in Alexander the Great. For years, historians and archaeologists have been trying to find the final resting place of this fabled leader. When an unexplored catacomb is uncovered during the building of a parking lot, it may hold some answers. There are many groups who want to be the ones to find Alexander. For a group bent on restoring Macedonia to it's former glory, they see this discovery as a catalyst to further their cause and will stop at nothing. For Daniel, it would be the find of his life, but will it be at the cost of his life?

The story cuts between seemingly disparate stories in the beginning, but all are connected to Alexander and his lost tomb. Adams gives us enough history to whet our curiosity, but not so much that your eyes glaze over. Many times I went and googled part of the story, fascinated with the history Adams presents. The undercurrents of greed, betrayal and manipulations are skillfully combined with history to produce a novel full of action, intrigue and adventure. The thrill of discovering the unknown is conveyed in his writing.

Read an excerpt of The Alexander Cipher from the Hachette Book Group.

Fans of Steve Berry, Dan Brown, Clive Cussler and James Rollins would enjoy this book.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Giveaway - The Girl Who Stopped Swimming - Joshilyn Jackson

Thanks to the generosity of the Hachette Book Group, I have five! copies of The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson to giveaway!

From the publisher:

"Lauren Gray Hawthorne needs to make things pretty, whether she's helping her mother keep family skeletons in the closet or sewing her acclaimed art quilts. Her estranged sister, Thalia, is her opposite, an impoverished actress who prides herself on exposing the lurid truths lurking behind middle class niceties.While Laurel's life seems neatly on track-- a passionate marriage, a treasured daughter, a lovely suburban home-- everything she holds dear is threatened the night she is visited by the ghost of her 13-year-old neighbor Molly. The ghost leads Laurel to the real Molly, floating lifelessly in the Hawthorne's backyard pool. Molly's death is an unseemly mystery that no one in her whitewashed neighborhood is up to solving. Laurel enlists Thalia's help, even though she knows it comes with a high price tag. Together, they set out on a life-altering journey that triggers startling revelations about their family's haunted past, the true state of Laurel's marriage, and the girl who stopped swimming."

Sounds good doesn't it! You can read an excerpt of The Girl Who Stopped Swimming.

Jackson is also a blogger or you can catch up with her on Facebook.

This great giveaway is open to both the US and Canada, no po boxes please. PLEASE make sure I have a way to contact you, either by leaving your email or through your webpage. Ends Saturday May 30th at 6pm EST. Leave a comment to be entered. Good luck and check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Fire Me - Libby Malin

Put Fire Me by Libby Malin on your summer reading list. Newly released from Sourcebooks, this is perfect beach bag chick lit!

The Burnham Group provides consulting, lectures and it's latest venture - ' camps' for management teams to work on trust issues among it's services.

Anne Wyatt works at the Burnham Group and was in a relationship with CEO Mitch Burnham. She heads to the office on Pizazz Day (another team building exercise) to hand in her resignation and move on with her life.

But before she can do that, Mitch announces that they need to tighten their belt a bit and he needs to let a staff member go. However, he will be fair and that person will get a generous severance package. Well, Anne could use that severance money. The problem is that a few other people in the office could as well. Sheila and Ken were planning on leaving as well. The money would be an added bonus. Ken was last hired, so he feels pretty confident it will be him let go. But Anne and Sheila are taking no chances......

The entire book takes place over the course of that day in the office. Anne and Sheila do their best to become the worst employee ever, with absolutely hilarious results. It begins with simple things, jamming the copier, bad coffee, loud music and progresses to TV parties, gifts for everyone and completely inappropriate behaviour in an office. Sheila is a formidable competitor though as their efforts to outdo each other escalates. I had to check if Malin had ever worked in an office (she has) as her descriptions of office antics and politics had me laughing out loud. Each chapter begins with excerpts of wisdom from Mitch that are oh so clever! I saw past managers flash before my eyes. (If you like the television show The Office, you will appreciate the office antics in Fire Me)

With nothing left to lose, Anne begins to see her life with newly opened eyes. Is she really happy? And what about that Ken - he is sweet and nice looking, maybe.... And Sheila, why didn't she ever talk to her before this? The closer the end of the day and the decision comes, the freer Anne feels.

Who gets fired? I'm not telling!

Malin has written a light-hearted romp of a book. The race to be fired is the part I enjoyed the most. The romantic and self discovery elements are there, but play a smaller part. I found this to be a quick, fun read. Libby's website mentions that Fire Me has been optioned for a film. I think it would make a great comedy.

Read an excerpt of Fire Me.

Make sure to stop by A Bookworm's World on Monday May 11 - Libby Malin will be guest posting!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I'm blushing....

Thanks to Karen over at Bookin' with Bingo for awarding me The Heartfelt Award. Thanks Karen!!

"Do you reach for a cup of cocoa or tea when you’re relaxing, seeking comfort, sharing a plate of cookies with family & friends?You know that feeling you get when you drink a yummy cup of cocoa, tea ~ or a hot toddy? That is what the Heartfelt award is all about feeling warm inside"

Hmmm - cookies... No, I've given them up, but the cup of tea sounds good! And I do usually have a cup of tea in hand when I finally get around to my Google reader. I'm going to pass this on to ( But I could have listed lots more but my reading is sooo behind!)

Elizabeth at As Usual I Need More Bookshelves
Cathy at Kittling:Books
J.Kaye at J.Kaye's Book Blog
West of Mars - Win a Book
Marie at the Burton Review

And thank you to Cindy of Cindy's Love of Books for giving me the You Don't Say Award. Thanks Cindy!!

"We give and get awards for having a great blog and being a good friend. What I want to award is those people whose comments have meant THE WORLD to me. It takes time to visit a blog and leave a comment ... I wanted to recognize some special bloggers whose comments have made such an impact on me. The “You Don’t Say?” Award is awarded to these special bloggers in hopes that they will pass the award along."< I appreciate each and every comment left on my blog. I'll mention a few of my faithful commenters, but again, thank you to everyone who stops by.....

Kathy at BermudaOnion
Jen at Up Close and Personal with Lady Tink
Anna at Diary of an Eccentric
Serena at Savvy Verse& Wit
Jeanne at Necromancy Never Pays

Pass them on!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Winners - Giveaway - Bobbi Brown Living Beauty

And the five lucky winners (chosen by of a copy of Bobbi Brown Living Beauty courtesy of the Hachette Book Group are:

1. Trishden
2. Smooshy
3. BermudaOnion
4. Caroneko
5. Arielle

Congratulations and thanks to all who entered. As mentioned in the giveaway I would love it if you would sent me a few sentences on your thoughts of the book once you receive it and I will include those in my review. I have emailed you for your mailing addresses. Please respond within 48 hours. Check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways.

**updated Monday May 4. Unfortunately I did not hear back from two of the winners, so have had to go to the next two on the list.**

**updated Wed, May 6. Okay, really how hard should it be to giveaway a fantastic book? Redrawing to get one last winner - yet again.**

Winners - Giveaway - How Not to Look Old

And the five lucky winners (chosen by of a copy of How Not to Look Old, courtesy of the Hachette Book Group are:

1. lisagee
2. Jaclyn
3. The Prophecy Girl
4. Beth
5. Demmi

Congratulations and thanks to all who entered. I have contacted you by email for your mailing addresses. I hope to include some of your thoughts in a future review of this book. Please respond within 48 hours. Check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways.

**updated Monday May 4th. I didn't hear back from Mineola, so on to the next on the list!**

Friday, May 1, 2009

Meet my Buddy....... Book Buddy that is. When Mandy at Reading Comfort asked me if I'd be interested in trying out a Book Buddy, I was intrigued.

I have been propping up my books on a pillow in my lap for years. My physiotherapist told me this would be easier on my neck and shoulders. And it is. But it still didn't fix the problem of having to hold the book. I have arthritis in my thumbs and gripping a book for long periods of time is painful. This ingeneous little pillow solves both issues. The pillow itself is lightweight and moldable, unlike the heavy clunker I've been using. But the most inventive feature are the ribbons used to hold the book in place. No more gripping! The straight ribbons hold down the front and back covers locking your book in place and the diagonal ribbons can mark your place or hold down the pages you've already read. All the ribbons can be cinched with adjustable bobbles. I tried this with both hardcover and paperback and it worked well for both sizes of books. And my thumbs were happy!

Here's the cool thing - the Book Buddy comes with an acrylic 'desktop' that you can attach to the pillow with the diagonal ribbons. It's securely attached and can be used as a writing surface. But I am going to use it for my laptop. Yes, you may remember me telling you earlier that I did a lot of my blogging with my computer on my lap and setting it down on soft surfaces. Not good for my neck or the laptop - I could feel the fan heating up. The acrylic top lets it 'breathe'. Because it's securely fastened to the pillow, you can choose the angle you want.

As a sewer myself, I had to check out the workmanship. The seams are sturdy and the ribbons are securely sewn in. And now for the pretty stuff - it comes in lots of designs and colours. (Not sure how you knew Mandy but mine perfectly matches my library!)

I've been using it for a week, 'test-driving it' if you will, and I'm really, really happy with it. It would make a perfect gift for a book lover, someone who has difficulty holding books, a student, or just treat yourself. They are available online or at many retail locations. Yes - there's one in Canada too! Reading Comfort also sells other book related items, such as bookmarks, bookcovers and blankets.