Saturday, July 31, 2010

Winners - Into the Beautiful North - Luis Alberto Urrea

And the three lucky winners of a copy of Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea, courtesy of The Hachette Book Group are:

1. Melanie L
2. Esther
3. Genevieve Drouin

Congratulations! I've contacted you by email for your mailing addresses. Please respond within 72 hours. Check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways.

Giveaway - New Tricks - David Rosenfelt

Thanks to the generous folks at The Hachette Book Group I have 3 copies of New Tricks by David Rosenfelt to giveaway.

From the publisher:

"Attorney Andy Carpenter is about to represent an adorable Bernese mountain dog puppy, whose owner was brutally murdered, in a custody fight. Few can rival Andy's affection for dogs, and he's determined to keep Waggy from falling into the wrong hands. But this playful pup possesses a valuable secret that some people will resort to violence to obtain. It will take more than Andy's usual courtroom theatrics to save Waggy, including help from the lawyer's golden retriever, Tara. Andy soon discovers that everyone around him is in danger, including his longtime girlfriend, Laurie--and only some high-risk new tricks will save those he cherishes most."

Read an excerpt of New Tricks.

Simply leave a comment to be entered. Open to US and Canada, no po boxes please. Ends Saturday Aug 28th at 6 pm EST. Good luck and check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Two Years, No Rain - Shawn Klomparens

Two Years by Shawn Klomparens isn't a new book, but it is a book that is getting a lot press lately thanks to author Catherine McKenzie. Catherine started a campaign on Facebook called 'I Bet We Can Make These Books Bestsellers.' And the first targeted author? Shawn Klomparens. I had read and reviewed Catherine's debut novel Spin earlier this year and really enjoyed it. So I kind of figured if she liked Shawn's writing, I just might too. And I really did!

I was hooked after the first few pages of Two Years, No Rain. Andy Dunne is a nice guy, too nice really. He never gets upset and lately just takes what life is dishing out to him. His wife has just left him. But she thoughtfully marked the few things he could keep with sticky notes. Notably the condiments in the fridge. His job as a radio weatherman is on shaky ground. And he harbours a not so secret attraction for Hillary, a married woman - who is happily flirting back.

When the bottom does fall out of his job, an unexpected interview leads Andy to his his next career - as a host for a children's television program. The clouds just might be parting.

The more I read, the more addicted I became - what was going to happen next? Andy's journey as he rediscovers himself and faces the heartache from the past is compelling. He's the kind of character you're just rooting for. The supporting characters are just as engaging. I quite enjoyed his niece Hannah. The relationship with her uncle is refreshing. I wasn't as sold on Hillary though. Although she is portrayed as somewhat enigmatic at first, I was somewhat dismayed with how she uses Andy to fill a gap in her own life. Their relationship is a main focus of the book. But I enjoyed Andy's journey to mend his life the most. As Andy the tv host says every show "The answer was always inside me, the whole time." Klomparens uses weather analogies with great effect. The drought and hope/need for rain mirrors much of Andy's life.

I found it refreshing to read a male perspective by a male author. Kind of male oriented chick lit. Fans of Nick Hornby would enjoy Two Years, No Rain.

And if you do decide to purchase of copy of Two Years, No Rain or Jessica Z., you can be entered into a draw for a Kindle. Details here.

 Read an excerpt of Two Years, No Rain.    Readers guide available.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Over the Counter #17

Perfect Porches by Paula S. Wallace was the latest book to catch my eye as it passed over my library counter and under my scanner this week.

There's no better place to watch the world go by than on a porch. I have fond memories of my grandmother's stone porch in her small town. It was always so cool. The hosue was set close to the sidewalk and after dinner we'd sit out and say hello to everyone out for their evening walk.

.... and DH if you're reading this - I'd really love it if you could finish ours.....        

What's your favourite porch story?

From the publisher Clarkson Potter:

"A well-designed porch is like a welcoming committee that invites friends and family to share stories, catch up on neighborhood news, or quietly enjoy the breezes of a sultry summer evening. Porches bridge our public and private worlds, and convey the essence of one’s home.

In more than 250 stunning photographs of forty homes, Perfect Porches illustrates how varied these iconic American spaces can be. A wealth of structural appointments are presented, such as the extended eaves of a rain porch along the Gulf Coast, the shimmering copper flooring of a converted Amish cattle barn in Bluegrass country, and Outback-inspired painted thresholds in California’s wine region. Unexpected ornaments, including Moroccan pendant lamps, a vintage watering can collection, or a majolica menagerie can transform even the most modest porch into an oasis. This book also reveals a host of practical ways to bring privacy to urban porches, chic accents to old-fashioned verandas, and coziness to modern environments. Home owners share colorful stories about using their porches as communal stages for magical and sometimes mythological events, telling of ghosts encountered, arias sung, and families reunited.

Whether you seek to reawaken a cherished memory of a childhood porch, create an adorned haven of your own, or take an enlightening journey across the nation, this volume is certain to become a treasured companion as well as a source of fresh inspiration."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Madonnas of Echo Park - Brando Skyhorse

The Madonnas of Echo Park is Brando Skyhorse's debut novel. It wasn't a book I'd heard of so I started read without any preconceived notions. I was so glad I read the author's notes in the beginning - it absolutely captured me. Brando grew up in Echo Park, a ethnically diverse neigbourhood in Los Angeles. The novel sprang from an interaction he had at a 6th grade class dance party. Aurora Esperanza asks Brando to dance to the first song - Madonna's Borderline. He declines, but with the phrase "I can't dance with you - you're a Mexican." When he returns to school the next week, he is ready to apologize, but Aurora is gone. When he asks his teacher " How am I going to apologize to her?", she replies "You'll have to find another way to do it." Twenty five years later - here is the apology - the fictional book, The Madonnas of Echo Park. Now ironically - Brando's mother brought him up to believe his biological father was native, not Mexican. He was unaware of this until later in life.

The novel is a series of short stories, with each linked to the next. It begins with Aurora's estranged father waiting for day labour. We see the neighbourhood of Echo Park through his eyes. The story then segues through seemingly unrelated stories - a bus ride gone very wrong, a woman who believes she has seen the Virgin Mary, a young girl shot down as she dances to Madonna music on a street corner, and more until we 'meet' Aurora in the last chapter. The links are sometimes very surprising, jumping out and heading in a direction you least expect. (Madonna did film the video for Borderline in Echo Park)

Brando brings this neighbourhood to life and the characters, locale and dialogue have the ring of authenticity. The stories are powerful and some are unsettling. The fourth story, Rules of the Road, is about Efren, a Mexican born naturalized American who starts a race war after inadvertently killing a black man. His mind set and determination to follow the rules was unsettling.

Skyhorse presents many different voices and outlooks, male and female, all with equal talent. This was a completely different read for me, but I really enjoyed it. A really strong debut novel. The follow up -
Things My Fathers Taught Me - about life with 5 stepfathers - should be an interesting read as well.

And did the 'real' Aurora ever read the book? Brando did meet and talk to her, but wasn't sure if she would read the book.

Read an excerpt of The Madonnas of Echo Park. There is a reading club guide prepared as well.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Guest Post & Giveaway - Doug Magee - Never Wave Goodbye

I reviewed Doug Magee's debut thriller Never Wave Goodbye yesterday. Doug has a rich and varied background and I wondered how much of that was used in the writing of his novel. Doug responds....

"First Get The Facts

I’ve always enjoyed the quote attributed to Ben Franklin, “First get the facts, then distort them at your leisure.” I think it quite apt for most politicians, especially during campaigns, but recently I’ve been realizing it applies to writers of fiction as well. We who supposedly make up stories are often taking our own snapshots of the real world and, well, distorting them at our leisure.

In my own case I know how specifically this worked in my novel Never Wave Goodbye. The story is about a woman whose daughter and three other children have been kidnapped by a man pretending to be from the camp they were to attend. This idea, this hook, came to me a few years ago and then, when I sat down to write the novel, the question arose as to how to develop it, what to look at, whose part of the story to tell.

I made the decision to spend large parts of the book with the families of the kidnapped as they lived through the horror of not knowing what had happened to their children. I wanted to see that part of their experience that the media wouldn’t see, that perhaps their friends and neighbors wouldn’t see.

But I didn’t come to this decision arbitrarily. In 1980 I published a book of profiles of the families of murder victims (What Murder Leaves Behind) which was a look at the experiences of these survivors in the aftermath of the nightmare that had happened to them. In going around the country talking to families I found that many of our assumptions about their experience comes from inaccurate media portrayals, mainly news sources in which the survivors face a camera and say pretty much what the reporter wants them to say about their grief and anger. But back in their houses their experiences were quite different.

So when I wrote Never Wave Goodbye, I drew heavily on the interviews that I had gathered for the earlier book, trying to make the characters as real as possible, their responses to their tragedy as varied as I know they are in real life. But I also was aware that I was writing fiction and that characters in fiction need to be exaggerated in many cases in order to fix themselves in the reader’s mind. And so I followed Ben Franklin’s dictum and distorted at my leisure.

From reader’s responses I’ve had so far I think the strategy may have paid off in one regard. I’ve found a lot of people saying the novel makes them ask the question, What would I do if this happened to me? That makes me feel two things. First that I haven’t strayed too far from the “facts” to distance the reader from reality and secondly that I’ve distorted those facts in a way that allows the reader to keep involved in the story.

I didn’t do so but I probably should have added this line to the book’s acknowledgments. “Many thanks, Ben.”

Thanks so much Doug! Here's your chance to win a copy of Never Wave Goodbye for your summertime reading list. Simply comment to be entered - open to both Canada and the US, ends Sat. Aug 21 at 6 pm EST.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Never Wave Goodbye - Doug Magee

As a parent, it was always hard when I let my children 'go away' to overnight sleepovers the first few times, let alone weekend tournaments and across the country meets. Doug Magee has come up with a chilling premise for his first novel Never Wave Goodbye.

What if you put your child on the van for camp, waved goodbye....and then the real van came.........

Four families put their nine and ten year olds on the van for a two week stay at Camp Arno. JD, the personable driver, seems great with the kids. No bells go off with any of the parents. JD delivers the kids not to camp but to his partner Mr. Everett and from there -  they disappear - JD is not even privy to where they're headed.

 A ransom email for one million dollars is delivered to all four sets of parents. Magee teases us, slowly revealing each parent's secrets, flaws and shortcomings through small hints and foreshadowing. Surely none of them could have anything to do with the crime - not their own child? Lena Trainor provides the most frequent point of view for the parents. Out of all the parents, we come to know and empathize with her the most. Her daughter Sarah becomes the 'leader' of the kidnapped children. I was intrigued by these chapters and would have almost liked to see a bit more focus on them. The kidnappers and their point of view was chilling.

Much of the focal point is on the interaction between the parents of each child and each other. Magee has captured and portrayed the pain, anguish and feelings of  parents put in a situation that seems inconceivable.

There were a few inconsistencies that I found a bit jarring. I liked Lena up until page 129 when she argues about one family offering to part of another family's part of the ransom. It seemed out of character with her earlier actions and feelings about getting the children back at any cost. And this one is just a little complaint - I doubt there are many 10 year olds who know how to use Facebook but not how to email.

Never Wave Goodbye is full of twists and turns that build tension and  will have you suspecting almost everyone, including one of the police, until the end.  A strong debut novel and a great page turning read -  I look forward to Magees's next novel.

Read an excerpt of Never Say Goodbye.

Make sure you stop by tomorrow for a guest post and giveaway with Doug!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Giveaway - Red Hook Road - Ayelet Waldman

Thanks to the generous folks at Doubleday Publishing, I have two copies of Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman to giveaway.

From the publisher:

"Set on the coast of Maine over the course of four summers, Red Hook Road tells the story of two families, the Tetherlys and the Copakens, and of the ways in which their lives are unraveled and stitched together by misfortune, by good intentions and failure, and by love and calamity.

A marriage collapses under the strain of a daughter’s death; two bereaved siblings find comfort in one another; and an adopted young girl breathes new life into her family with her prodigious talent for the violin. As she writes with obvious affection for these unforgettable characters, Ayelet Waldman skillfully interweaves life’s finer pleasures—music and literature—with the more mundane joys of living. Within these resonant pages, a vase filled with wildflowers or a cold beer on a hot summer day serve as constant reminders that it’s often the little things that make life so precious."

Read an excerpt of Red Hook Road. You can find Ayelet on Facebook and Twitter.

Simply comment to be entered. Open to US only, no po boxes please. Ends Sunday August 15th at 6 pm EST.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Winners - The Castaways - Elin Hilderbrand

And the three lucky winners of a copy of The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand, courtesy of The Hachette Book Group are:

1. A Real Librarian
2. dvice
3. Melissa

Congratulations! I've contacted you by email for your mailing addresses. Please respond within 72 hours. Check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways.

Winners - The Nobodies Album - Carolyn Parkhurst

And the two lucky winners of a copy of The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst, courtesy of Doubleday Publishing are:

1. Nan

2. Dawn M

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

Winners - April & Oliver - Tess Callahan

And the three lucky winners of a copy of April & Oliver by Tess Callahan., courtesy of The Hachette Book Group, are:

1. J T Oldfield
2. Andie
3. Colleen Turner

Congratulations! I've contacted by email for your mailing addresses. Please respond within 72 hours. Check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways.

Giveaway - The Disappearing Spoon - Sam Kean

Thanks to the generous folks at The Hachette Book Group, I have two copies of The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean to giveaway.

From the publisher:

"The Periodic Table is one of man's crowning scientific achievements. But it's also a treasure trove of stories of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. The infectious tales and astounding details in THE DISAPPEARING SPOON follow carbon, neon, silicon, and gold as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, the arts, poison, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.

We learn that Marie Curie used to provoke jealousy in colleagues' wives when she'd invite them into closets to see her glow-in-the-dark experiments. And that Lewis and Clark swallowed mercury capsules across the country and their campsites are still detectable by the poison in the ground. Why did Gandhi hate iodine? Why did the Japanese kill Godzilla with missiles made of cadmium? And why did tellurium lead to the most bizarre gold rush in history?

From the Big Bang to the end of time, it's all in THE DISAPPEARING SPOON."

Read an excerpt of The Disappearing Spoon.

Open to US and Canada, no po boxes please. Simply comment to be entered. Please make sure you either leave an email or have it in your profile. Ends Saturday Aug 14 at 6 pm EST. Good luck and check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways!

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Truth About Delilah Blue - Tish Cohen

If you're a regular reader, you may remember me raving about Tish Cohen's book Inside Out Girl. I was thrilled to see she had a new release The Truth About Deliah Blue - and yes I will be raving again!

Delilah Blue moved with her father Victor from Toronto to Los Angeles when she was eight. She has always believed that her mother abandoned her. Victor has always been overprotective, sheltering 'Lila' from anything or anyone he perceives as a possible danger or threat. As a result Lila has become a bit insular. She has always loved art, as did her mother. For financial reasons, she is unable to attend college. She boldly decides to step out of her comfort zone and do nude figure modeling so she can 'attend' the classes.

Victor is not behaving like himself lately though - he seems to be forgetting things, though he struggles valiantly to hang on to his normal routines. He is only 53. In the midst of this....Delilah's mother appears - along with her young daughter Kieran. She tells a very different story than Victor's. Delilah doesn't know who or what to believe.

Wow. Cohen's forté is character development. Victor's struggle to adhere to his regular routine, picking just the right tie, remembering that a special client likes a certain type of donut, but forgetting salient details was heartbreaking. He knows that something is wrong, but doesn't acknowledge the elephant. Flashbacks to the past are part of the memories Victor hangs on to and slowly but surely we learn how father and daughter came to be in L.A.  Lila's struggle to step outside of the invisible fences that surround her will have you silently urging her forward. Lila's mother Elisabeth evoked strong feelings in this reader the more we got to know her. Kieran is a moving character as well - having lived with the loss and her mother's memories of Delilah her entire life.

Cohen explores every character's expectation of what is right and what shoud be done. Not all were what I expected, which I appreciated. A great page turner that I truly enjoyed.

Fans of Lori Lansens and Jodi Picoult would enjoy this book. Read an excerpt of The Truth About Delilah Blue.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Rembrandt Affair - Daniel Silva

Today's post is part of a TLC book tour featuring The Rembrandt Affair by Daniel Silva. It's a little different from regular reviews. Everyone has been asked to answer a series of questions instead - lots of fun!

If you were to write a blurb in fewer than three sentences for THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR, what would it be?

Silva skillfully weaves history and modern spycraft together to produce an action packed thriller. The Rembrandt Affair has great characters and a frighteningly real plot  that will have you turning pages late into the night. A great series!

Gabriel Allon is a talented spy and assassin, but also a master art restorer. If you could have two careers that seem to be complete opposites, what would they be?

 I wouldn't change where I work now - I'm very happy in a library setting, surrounded by books. But I would also enjoy working in the theatre, creating sets and costumes. (Although I would have been happy 150 years ago as a pioneer as well!)

What three words would you use to describe the character of Gabriel Allon?

Stalwart, adroit, staunch (yes I had fun with the thesaurus!)

THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR takes the reader all over the world. Of all the locations mentioned, which would be your ideal vacation spot?

I would love to visit England someday. I am drawn to the history of London particularly, but would also enjoy seeing the countryside. (As a Commonwealth nation, Canada still has ties to England.)

Art theft plays a major role in the novel. If no crime were involved, what piece of art would you like to have in your home?

I am drawn to the work of folk artist Maud Lewis (1903-1970 Nova Scotia,Canada) Her personal story is amazing, as is her art.

Zoe Reed is a powerful female character in the novel. Tell us about an influential woman in your life.

Both of my grandmothers were very influential in my life. They both lived into their nineties, survived both world wars and the depression. Their strength and fortitude despite many hardships and personal tragedies has always been a source of inspiration for me. Their devotion to faith and family always provided a secure and safe foundation. Their lives touched and affected so many in such a positive way - I can only try to follow in their footsteps.

Who was your favorite “good guy” in THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR and why?

I think I will have to say it was Gabriel Allon. This was the first book I had read in this series and my first introduction to Allon. (It definitely won't be my last) Allon is calm, cool, caring, clever and charming. (more fun with the thesaurus) His character was convincing and never over the top.

All of the technology discussed in the novel is real. Does any of it surprise you?

The ability to take control of someone's cell phone and computer and have all interactions monitored isn't surprising, but it is frightening. More and more, we are able to be 'found' through technology.

What celebrity would play Gabriel Allon if THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR were on the big screen?

I think Pierce Brosnan would be perfect for this role - his past roles as James Bond made me think of him.

Which fellow book-loving, blogging friend do you think would enjoy THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR? Tag them here and we will mail a finished copy of the novel!

Hmm, I think Michele of Reader's Respite would enjoy this book. Tag!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Over the Counter #16

The Gallery of Regrettable Food by James Lileks was was the latest book to catch my eye as it passed over my counter and under my scanner.

Honestly, it was priceless! And my old nemesis from childhood - the pineapple and carrot shreds solidified in a block of flavoured gelatin makes an appearance......
From The Crown Publishing Group:

"The Gallery of Regrettable Food is a simple introduction to poorly photographed foodstuffs and horrid recipes from the Golden Age of Salt and Starch. It's a wonder anyone in the 1940s, '50s, and '60s gained any weight. It isn't that the food was inedible; it was merely dull. Everything was geared toward a timid palate fearful of spice. It wasn't non nutritious -- no, between the limp boiled vegetables, fat-choked meat cylinders, and pink whipped Jell-O desserts, you were bound to find a few calories that would drag you into the next day. It's just that the pictures are so hideously unappealing.

Author James Lileks has made it his life's work to unearth the worst recipes and food photography from that bygone era and assemble them with hilarious, acerbic commentary: "This is not meat. This is something they scraped out of the air filter from the engines of the Exxon Valdez." It all started when he went home to Fargo and found an ancient recipe book in his mom's cupboard: Specialties of the House, from the North Dakota State Wheat Commission. He never looked back. Now, they're not really recipe books. They're ads for food companies, with every recipe using the company's products, often in unexpected and horrifying ways. There's not a single appetizing dish in the entire collection.

The pictures in the book are ghastly -- the Italian dishes look like a surgeon had a sneezing fit during an operation, and the queasy casseroles look like something on which the janitor dumps sawdust. But you have to enjoy the spirit behind the books -- cheerful postwar perfect housewifery, and folks with the guts to undertake such culinary experiments as stuffing cabbage with hamburger, creating the perfect tongue mousse when you have the fellas over for a pregame nosh, or, best of all, baking peppers with a creamy marshmallow sauce. Alas, too many of these dishes bring back scary childhood memories."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Curtain Falls - Stefanie Pintoff

Stefanie Pintoff won an Edgar for In the Shadow of Gotham, her debut novel.. A Curtain Falls is the second in the Detective Simon Ziele mystery series.

I'm very used to reading modern day mystery/detective novels that use the latest technologies and methods to pursue the case. It was a treat to go back in time when fingerprinting, graphology and profiling are just being accepted as  a possible means to solve a case. A Curtain Falls takes place in New York City in 1906.

Although there are references to Ziele's previous case in the first few chapters, it didn't deter me from enjoying this book, but it did whet my appetite for the first case.

Two chorus girls, dressed in leading lady finery, are found dead in two different theatres with no apparent means or manner of death. Their bodies are 'staged.' It is only the poetry included with the bodies that link the murders to one killer. Ziele is called in to help his former partner Captain Mulvaney.

Pintoff has crafted a careful, well pace mystery in keeping with the time period it is written in. Social mores and stations dictate how the case progresses as much as political machinations. The personal life of Ziele is just as interesting as the case he is pursuing. Isabelle and her father in law Alistair are fascinating characters. The unresolved tension between Isabelle and Simon provides an interesting subplot.Ziele is a character I enjoyed. He is headstrong and sometimes acts before he thinks, but he is honest and forthright.

Pintoff has done her homework - the flavour and feel of time is accurately captured and portrayed. I look forward to reading the third book in the series - An Oath of Silence - due out in 2011.

Fans of historical mysteries, such as Caleb Carr and Charles Todd, would enjoy this series.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Promises to Keep - Jane Green

When I think of Jane Green, I automatically think 'chick lit'. Promises to Keep is chick lit, but with a lot more depth than I expected.

Steffi just goes with the flow in life. When she's tired of a job, she moves on to the next one. She's great at what she does though - she's an amazing cook. It is this skill that introduces her to Mason, a well to do publisher, who loves her cooking. When things start to fall apart with her latest boyfriend and her current job has lost it's oomph, Mason's out of the blue offer looks really good. Dogsit for a year while he's in London - and stay at his country home in Maine. Steffi jumps at the chance and as a bonus she'll be closer to her big sister Callie.

Callie has it all from the outside looking in - two great kids, a job she loves (photography) and a husband who loves her, even though he works too much.

What starts out as an idyllic summer changes everyone's lives forever when unexpected news arrives.

I fell in love with Steffi as soon as she was introduced. She's warm, caring, thoughtful and someone you'd like to know. Callie is as well, but a bit more reserved. As the book progressed, Callie's character is opened up more and I became more invested in her. Green's exploration of the relationships between the sisters is genuine. The supporting cast is filled with rich characters as well. Callie's best friend Lila is larger than life. The relationships between parent/child/spouse and friends are all thoughtfully examined and portrayed.

I don't want to reveal any of the details of the plot, but I had to grab the Kleenex box by the end.

Green also infuses Promises to Keep with chick lit elements as well. Steffi's romance or lack thereof is a great subplot. Also included at the beginning of most chapters are some of Steffi's recipes. (The spinach quiche with quinoa crust was absolutely delicious!)

A contemporary novel about the ties that bind us - family, friendship and love - and what happens when those ties are threatened. Promises to Keep will make you take a second look at your own life - don't wait until 'someday'.

It wasn't until I read the author's notes at the end that I realized how much of a personal note Green has injected into her latest novel - more Kleenex was needed.

Fans of Jennifer Weiner and Emily Giffin would enjoy this book.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Giveaway - The Iron King - Julie Kagawa

Here's your chance to win one of two copies of  The Iron King -  the first book in the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa! The second book - The Iron Daughter releases August 1st.

What's it about?

"Meghan Chase has a secret destiny—one she could never have imagined…

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart. "

Open to both the US and Canada, no po boxes please. Ends Sunday August 1st at 6 pm EST. Simply comment to be entered!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Winners - Fever Dream - Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

And the three lucky winners of a copy of Fever Dream by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, courtesy of The Hachette Book Group, are:

1. sphinx 63
2. cass
3. Linda

I've contacted you by email for your mailing addresses. Please respond within 72 hours. Check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways!

Giveaway Scout

I love offering giveaways to my readers. You'll now be able to find my giveaways and many many more on Giveaway Scout. You can subscribe to receive the latest giveaways in lots of categories -- Fashion, Home & Garden, Jewellery and more. But ummm - it's books for me! Check them out!

Winners - Deliver Us From Evil - David Baldacci

And the three lucky winners (chosen by of an audio book copy of Deliver Us From Evil by David Baldacci, courtesy of The Hachette Book Group are:

1. Sunny Dreemz (who says the first entry never wins!)
2. Salander Servant
3. just peachy 36

Congratulations! I've contacted you by email for your mailing addresses. Please respond within 72 hours. Check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways.

Giveaway - Private - James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

This is a new character from James Patterson and thanks to the lovely folks at the Hachette Book Group, I have three audio book copies of Private to give away.

What's it about?

"Former Marine and CIA agent Jack Morgan inherits his father's renowned security and detective business--along with a case load that tests him to the breaking point. Getting to the bottom of an NFL gambling scandal and an unsolved LAPD investigation into 18 school girl slayings would be enough. On top of all that, Morgan takes on solving the horrific murder of his best friend's wife.

As Morgan fights the urge to exact brutal revenge on that killer, he has to navigate a workplace imbroglio that could blow the roof off his elite agency. And it's an especially explosive situation . . . because the love affair is his own."

Listen to an excerpt of Private. Or if you'd rather - read an excerpt of Private.

Simply comment to be entered. Open to US and Canada, no po boxes please. Ends Saturday August 14th at 6 pm EST. Good luck and check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Canadian Book Challenge 4!

I'm just a wee bit late getting this posted but...It's that time again! July 1st was Canada Day and the beginning of the fourth Canadian Book Challenge hosted by John of the Book Mine Set. Feel free to join in!

"It's time once again to explore, celebrate and promote Canadian books. You have one year to read 13 Canadian books and review them somewhere online, Canada Day, July 1st, 2010- Canada Day, July 1st, 2011. There will be check-ins at the beginning of each month to see how everyone is progressing and have their current status marked in the sidebar of this blog. Participants are encouraged to read each others' reviews, discuss the books, and cheer one another on.

It's the fourth year of the challenge and we've had a lot of fun. Participants are mostly Canadian but we've had participants from the U.S., the U.K., India, South Korea, Spain and more. In true Canadian fashion, all are welcome!"

Last year was my first time participating. I really enjoyed reading everyone's reviews and seeing how many great Canadian books we read!

1. The Truth About Delilah Blue - Tish Cohen - July
2. Still Missing - Chevy Stevens - August
3. Room - Emma Donoghue- September
4. Coppermine - Keith Ross Leckie - October
5. Juliet - Anne Fortier - October
6. Too Close the the Falls - Catherine Gildiner - October
7. After the Falls - Catherine Gildiner - November
8. Knit the Season - Kate Jacobs - November
9. My 60's Trivia Notebook - Scribbler Mania - December
10. Beautiful Buttons - Cathrine Ann - December
11. Arranged - Catherine McKenzie - January
12. Bride of New France - Suzanne Desrochers - January
13. A Red Herring Without Mustard - Alan Bradley - February
14. The Midwife of Venice - Roberta Rich - February
15. Now You See Her - Joy Fielding - March
16. One Bird's Choice - Iain Reid - March
17. Home to Woefield (AKA The Woefield Poultry Collective) - Susan Juby - March
18. There's Lead in Your Lipstick - Gillian Deacon - April
19. The Guilty Plea - Robert Rotenberg - April
20. Whole Foods to Thrive - Brendan Brazier - May
21. Roads - Mark Schacter - June
22. The Witch of Babylon - D. J. McIntosh - June

Babushka's Beauty Secrets- Raisa Ruder & Susan Campos

Raisa Ruder has a Beverly Hills salon, but uses many of the recipes and tips she learned from her grandmother in the Ukraine. Her celebrity clients absolutely love them. She's joined forces with Susan Campos to write Babushka's Beauty Secrets.

"Why spend hundreds at a department store makeup counter when you can create it yourself for a fraction of the price?" The big plus for me when I heard about this book was the 'natural' element. Many of the 'beauty remedies' can be made from common ingredients you already have at home such as olive oil, green tea, honey, milk (and!)

There are lots and lots of ideas from setting up your own home spa, to specific remedies for eyes, lips, hair, hands and feet and more. Here's a couple of ideas I thought were worth trying...

On the rare occasions I wear mascara, I use an eye makeup remover, but it is chemical based. Raisa suggests using a mixture of olive and canola oil. I'm going to give it a try. Dry hair? Lavender oil and coconut milk. Dark circles under your eyes? Mayo, lemon and hydrogen peroxide. Rough hands? Honey, lemon juice, almond oil and oatmeal.

Many of the recipes are for skin cream, face and body, using such food ingredients as yogurt, milk, sour cream and cottage cheese! It was easy to try some of the recipes as I already had most of the ingredients. And cheap! (And they worked!!)

There are many more tips, recipes and anecdotes and words of wisdom in this little volume - definitely lots more I'll try!

Read an excerpt of Babushka's Beauty Secrets.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Over the Counter # 15

I had a treehouse at the cottage when I was younger. I absolutely loved taking a picnic and a book and whiling away the afternoon in it. I wish I had one today! Exceptional Treehouses by Alain Laurens and La Cabane Perchée was the latest book to catch my eye as it passed over my counter and under my scanner.
From the publisher Abrams Books:

"In Exceptional Treehouses, author and treehouse builder Alain Laurens reveals 30 gorgeous treehouse structures, 25 of which are entirely new creations, all illustrated with Daniel Dufour’s beautiful watercolors as well as photographs by Jacques Delacroix, commissioned specially for this book.

As in his first book, Treehouse Living, Laurens demonstrates his commitment to sustainable building and environmentalism with his designs, all executed with ecological ideals in mind. In 2000 Laurens started his company, La Cabane Perchée, to design and build treehouses around Europe. Each house takes into account the local environment, as well as the tree in which the structure stands, and the photographs show details of how the treehouses are constructed without driving nails into any part of the host tree. Exceptional Treehouses is the perfect inspiration for treehouse lovers, eco-friendly architects, and enthusiastic amateurs.

Alain Laurens worked for 25 years in the advertising business; he left his position as the president of an ad agency to found La Cabane Perchée, inspired by The Baron in the Trees, by Italo Calvino. To date, his firm has built 120 treehouses in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Portugal."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fever Dream - Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

I've been following the adventures of FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast since Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's first collaboration. Fever Dream is the tenth book in the series.

Pendergast has just uncovered evidence that points to murder, not an accident as was accepted,  in the death of his wife Helen almost 12 years ago. Pendergast is a bit of an enigma - he plays his cards close to his chest, so learning more about his personal life is a revelation. He calls on his dependable sidekick  NYPD Detective Vinnie D'Agosta to help him. Vinnie agrees against the wishes of his girlfriend, Homicide Captain Laura Hayward.

Inexplicably, it seems that Helen engineered meeting Pendergast to use his connections to a folio of works by the famed artist John James Audubon. As the pair dig deeper, following a trail that leads to the bayous of Louisiana, Pendergast finds himself knowing less and less about the woman he married, but still determined to avenge her death.

There's a great subplot involving Pendergast's mysterious ward Constance Green as well.

I love this character, from his slow southern drawl to his mysterious powers of deduction and his seemingly inexhaustible store of knowledge. The cases usually involve interesting pieces of history as well. The books are definitely action and plot driven. They're great fun for escapist reading or listening.

I listened to Fever Dream. Réne Auberjonois has quite a few books in this series and his voice conjures up Pendergast perfectly.

The ending is happily set up for the next in the series!

Listen to an excerpt of Fever Dream. Or start reading an excerpt.

AND - you've got until Saturday July 17 at 6 pm EST to enter my giveaway for one of three audio book copies of Fever Dream!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How to Be an American Housewife - Margaret Dilloway - Review & Giveaway

How to be an American Housewife is the debut novel of author Margaret Dilloway.

We meet Shoko and her American husband Charlie in their retirement years. Shoko is Japanese born, but married Charlie at the end of the war.  She survived the bombing of Nagasaki, but her heart has been affected. As her future is not certain, she decides it is time to deal with the past at last. In the first part of the book, through flashbacks and memories, we learn of Shoko's childhood, her dreams, her secrets and what reality, her parents and society dictated she must do.

She is estranged from her brother Taro, having neither seen nor spoken to him
for the 50 years she has lived in the States. Unable to make the trip, she asks her daughter Sue to make the trip for her. Sue agrees and takes along her teenage daughter Helena. Their trip is the focus of the second part of the book.

Every chapter in the book is prefaced by an excerpt from a fictional book called 'How to Be an American Housewife'. Some of the excerpts are downright funny, but some are heartbreaking. An early one reads -
"When you marry and integrate with Americans, it is only natural not to have friends. Most American women will dislike you. Perhaps looking for other Japanese women will be possible, but probably not. Expect to be alone much of the time. Children help relieve this melancholy."
Shoko's life in America is very much different  - the food, the language, the customs and so much more. With political sentiment running high, she is never really accepted. Shoko stays true to herself though, coming up with some truly memorable lines...

"I kept my head high and said Hello! It didn't matter whether peple said hello back or not. I was holding up my end. What they did was their own business."
Shoko's son Mike and daughter Sue also find acceptance difficult as they are 'mixed.' Charlie is truly a 'good guy' though. I wish more of his feelings and thoughts had been explored as well as those of Mike.

But the true focus of the book is the relationship between mothers and daughters - Shoko and her mother, Shoko and Sue, Sue and Helena. Shoko did not agree with the path laid out for her but acquiesced to her parent's wishes. Sue finally has the opportunity to discover and explore her heritage. As the youngest generation, Helena shines with her acceptance of everyone and everything.

Dilloway's personal story is what made this debut novel such a poignant read. Dilloway's own mother was a Japanese war bride who did pass away from heart related illness. The fictionalized  how to manual is based upon a book her father gave her mother to help her with her new life. I wonder how much of Sue is from Margaret's own life. An impressive debut from a new voice - I look forward to her next novel.

This would be a great selection for a book club. A reading guide is already done for you. You can find Margaret on Twitter  and on her blog. Margaret is on tour with TLC Book Tours this month - check out the other stops.

And I have a copy to giveaway!! Simply comment to be entered. Open to Canada and the US, no po boxes please. Ends Sat. Aug 7th at 6 pm EST.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Farm Fatale - Wendy Holden

Oh I've got another great chick lit title for your beach bag! Wendy Holden was an author new to me but one I will be reading again for sure. In Farm Fatale, Rosie has her heart set on moving to the country from London, England. Her boyfriend Mark only says yes after his newspaper agrees to let him write a column about the goings on in Eight Mile Bottom - the village they move to. Their little cottage needs some work and there are some issues with the neighbours, but Rosie is determined to make it work.

Also moving into Eight Mile Bottom are Samantha and her husband Guy. Samantha saw a magazine spread about a country estate and decided she should have one too. With more money than common sense, they end up buying a local manor house.

But not everything is coming up rosy in the country.....

Holden has created a wonderfully warm, funny, lovable character in Rosie. She's real and is the kind of person I'd like to have as a friend. Her search for love and happiness is one we can all identify with. Who hasn't dreamed of escaping to the country?

But it was the character of Samantha that had me laughing out loud. She is just so blatantly over the top, it's hilarious. The details of the designer (Basia) who redoes her London house are priceless.

" the vase, more than a meter square, which Basia had placed in the center of a coffee table the size of a double bed. Vase fascism, Samantha had hotly retorted, is a central tenet of Basia's design philosophy. She wanted to challenge the fact that I filled the same vases in the same place with the same flowers every week."
I also really enjoyed Samantha's daydreams - she writes the copy for the magazine articles she envisions herself in. Holden perfectly captures and delightfully skewers every glossy magazine layout you've ever read.

The supporting cast of characters are no less engaging. I particularly enjoyed the local pub owner - his dialogue was quite witty, as were his various tee shirt logos.

There's lots of misunderstandings, missed cues, romantic entanglements and untangling along with the search for greener pastures. A light-hearted read chock full of witty dialogue and fun!

Read an excerpt of Farm Fatale.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Winners - Babushka's Beauty Secrets - Ray Ruder & Susan Campos

And the three lucky winners (chosen by of a copy of Babushka's Beauty Secrets by Raya Ruder and Susan Campos, courtesy of The Hachette Book Group are:

1. Robbie Burns
2. Debbie F.

Congratulations! I've contacted you by email for your mailing addresses. Please respond within 72 hours. Check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Giveaway - The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake - Aimee Bender

Oh, this is one of the summer's must read books! Oprah's got it on her list! (And so do I!)

And thanks to the generosity of the great folks at Doubleday Publishing, I have two copies of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender to giveaway.

From the publisher:

"The wondrous Aimee Bender conjures the lush and moving story of a girl whose magical gift is really a devastating curse.

On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents’ attention, bites into her mother’s homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the cake. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother—her cheerful, good-with-crafts, can-do mother—tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes a peril and a threat to Rose.

The curse her gift has bestowed is the secret knowledge all families keep hidden—her mother’s life outside the home, her father’s detachment, her brother’s clash with the world. Yet as Rose grows up she learns to harness her gift and becomes aware that there are secrets even her taste buds cannot discern."

Read an excerpt of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. There's a reader's guide as well.

Simply comment to be entered. Open to the US only, no po boxes please. Ends Sat. Aug 7th at 6 pm EST.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Deliver Us From Evil - David Baldacci

David Baldacci returns with another thriller! Deliver Us From Evil is the second book in the Shaw and James series.

Shaw and his partner Frank are surveilling a businessman named Evan Waller in Provence, France. Waller's latest deal, if completed, would lead to the deaths of many. Unbeknownst to them, another group, including female operative Reggie Campion, is also watching Waller. But they know him as Fedir Kuchin, ex KGB and wartime mass murderer.

The two groups eventually become aware of each other. With different agendas, can they work together to bring down an evil man or will he get to them first?

Baldacci provides lots of action, international intrigue and a plot that's very current. But, the descriptions of Waller/Kuchin's torture tactics were too gruesome for this listener. They detracted from the story rather than adding to it. Some of plotting seemed a bit far fetched. The plans laid by Reggie's group are overly 'cinematic'. The decision by some of her group to walk into certain death seems unrealistic. A romantic triangle involving Reggie, Shaw and Katie James (from the first book in the series - The Whole Truth) provides an interesting subplot. However, Deliver Us From Evil is full of non stop action and is definitely an entertaining listen.

This book was narrated by Ron McLarty - one of my all time favourite readers. His voice is rich and expressive. He creates a 'voice' for each character and they are easily identifiable.

For me, not one of Baldacci's best, but still enjoyable. Listen to an excerpt of Deliver Us From Evil. Or read an excerpt.

Judge for yourself! You've got until Sat, July 17th at 6 pm to enter to win a copy!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Think of a Numb3r - John Verdon

Well, John Verdon's debut novel had my number, that's for sure. I'm a big fan of suspense and thrillers and Think of a Numb3r had me right from the start...

Dave Gurney is a retired NYPD Homicide Investigator. He's moved to the country with his wife Madeleine to enjoy the quiet life. (Mind you, his new hobby is exhibiting serial killer photographs...) Mark Mellery, an acquaintance from college sends Gurney a somewhat desperate note asking for his 'professional' help. Mark has received a series of cryptic notes - the first asking him to pick a number between 1 and 1000. When he mentally does, he then opens a second envelope to find that exact number. How could anyone know what number he would have picked? The notes have escalated in tone and Mellery is now quite frightened. Who wouldn't be.... "What you took you will give when you get what you gave. I know what you think, when you blink, where you've been, where you'll be. You and I have a date, Mr. 658."

Against his better judgement (and that of Madeleine) he is drawn into the investigation. What an utterly imaginative and creepy crime Verdon has come up with! It begins with the notes, but the crime scenes themselves are out of the ordinary as well. I love not being able to figure out the whodunit and the howdunit. Verdon kept me enthralled from start to finish. Very, very clever!

The relationship between Dave and Madeleine is also a big part of the book. Gurney is good at the detective stuff, but is having trouble with his own relationships. I'm still making up my mind about Gurney. I think he's a work in progress. I found the enigmatic Madeleine to be fascinating and I think there are depths to plumb there.I definitely hope that this becomes a regular series as I think there is much left to explore, know and develop with Dave Gurney. Some of the supporting characters, notably the police captain and the district attorney, were a bit over the top, but provided a good foil for Gurney.

A wonderfully creepy read that will have you guessing to the end! Read an excerpt of Think of a Number.

Check out the Think of a Number game at Crown Publishing. The Youtube book trailer is pretty good too.
John is on tour this month with TLC Book Tours - here's the rest of the stops - see what everyone else is thinking! ( TLC will be running this book as their book club contest in August - 10 copies to be won!)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Book of Spies - Gayle Lynds

Gayle Lynds is an author I'd definitely heard of, but I'd never read any of her nine novels until I picked up The Book of Spies.

I'm glad I finally did! And how could I not - there was a library at the centre of things - the legendary Library of Gold - Ivan the Terrible's collection of lost works. And the opening line of the book? " A library could be a dangerous place." Hooked! One of those books - The Book of Spies has been stolen and has come to light. The secret cabal that controls the library desperately wants it back and is willing to do anything. The CIA is brought in when a connection between the owners of the fabled library and terrorism is uncovered. Book curator Eva Blake and CIA operative Judd Ryder scramble to find the book and stay ahead of those that want them dead.

Generally the world of espionage/spy thrillers seems to be dominated by men. Lynds is referred to as the Queen of Espioage and rightly so. The Book of Spies is action packed, the plotting is tight, the historical detail is fascinating, the characters are engaging.... shall I go on? There are a few coincidences near the end that seemed a bit too neat, but did not detract from my overall enjoyement of the book. The name of the game here is action.

And I loved this library quote near the end of the book....

"Don't give me the cold tomb of a museum, but the fire-breathing world of words and ideas. Give me a library."

Lynds has included author's notes at the end regarding the history used in her book - quite fascinating.

If you enjoy Dan Brown and Robert Ludlum, then you would really enjoy Gayle Lynds. I would definitely read her again. Read an excerpt of The Book of Spies.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Island Beneath the Sea - Isabel Allende

Translated from the Spanish by Margaret Sayers Peden.

Stunning, breathtaking, just an absolutely fantastic read. I started Island Beneath the Sea last night and literally could not put it down. I've just turned the last page and am wondering why have I never read Isabel Allende before!?

The novel opens with a prologue in which Zarité expresses her love of dancing.

"..he invited me to lose myself in the music, the way you do in a dream. Dance, dance, Zarité, the slave who dances is free...while he is dancing, he told me. I have always danced."

Zarité or Teté as she comes to be known, was sold as a slave when she was only a few months old. In 1770 she lives on the island of Saint-Domingue. She is sold again to plantation owner Toulouse Valmorain to look after his wife. Life in the French colony is becoming more and more unsettled. By 1793 the island is extremely dangerous - the blacks have rebelled and are massacring the whites. Valmorain, his family and Teté escape to Cuba and then to Louisiana.

The brief synopsis I've provided doesn't even begin to touch the rich, sweeping saga Allende has written. The story that Allende has woven is simply mesmerizing. But is is the character of Teté that captured me completely -her strength, fortitude, endurance and spirit. Teté is a resilient woman, facing seemingly unbearable situations with quiet dignity. Her life and that of Valmorain are inextricably intertwined as she bears two of his children - the products of repeated sexual violence, beginning when she was eleven. Despite the violence visited upon her, she has an unflagging love for her children and hope for her own future.

But it was the descriptions of the treatment of the slaves that brought tears to my eyes many times. The cavalier and cruel actions by the whites was appalling. Indeed, there were over 60 classifications of mulattoes, based on the amount of white blood.

The supporting characters were no less captivating. Tante Rose, the local healer and voodoo leader, the freedom fighters, including Gambo, Teté's lover and Violette,the mulatto courtesan desired by many. Parmentier, the local white doctor who has secrets of his own. Each one of their stories are rich and vibrant as well.

The Island Beneath the Sea is historical fiction at its' absolute best. The detail was fascinating. I had no idea of the roots of the island we now know as Haiti, the slavery that started long before it reached America and the long war between Spain and France over this small piece of land. Descriptions of the social lives and customs of this time period were incredibly illustrated.

The title? Slaves chose to kill their children and send the to 'the island beneath the sea' rather than have them live as slaves.

Allende's ability to weave factual events with fiction is truly spectacular. Highly, highly recommended.

Read an excerpt of Island Beneath the Sea.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Winners - Innocent - Scott Turow

And the three lucky winners of an audio book copy of Innocent by Scott Turow courtesy of The Hachette Book Group are:

1. LA Musing
2. Scat 413
3. Benita

Congratulations! I've contacted you by email for your mailing addresses. Please respond within 72 hours. Thanks to all who entered - check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Giveaway - The Imposter's Daughter - Laurie Sandell

Here's something a little different from the great folks at the Hachette Book Group. Laurie Sandell's memoir, The Imposter's Daughter is told in graphic novel form - but it's not for kids - it deals with adult topics.

From the publisher:

"Laurie Sandell grew up in awe (and sometimes in terror) of her larger-than-life father, who told jaw-dropping tales of a privileged childhood in Buenos Aires, academic triumphs, heroism during Vietnam, friendships with Kissinger and the Pope. As a young woman, Laurie unconsciously mirrors her dad, trying on several outsized personalities (Tokyo stripper, lesbian seductress, Ambien addict). Later, she lucks into the perfect job--interviewing celebrities for a top women's magazine. Growing up with her extraordinary father has given Laurie a knack for relating to the stars. "

Read an excerpt of The Impster's Daughter.

Five copies up for grabs - simply comment to be entered. Open to US and Canada, no po boxes please. Ends Sunday August 1st at 6 pm EST.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day!!

"Canada Day (French: Fête du Canada), formerly Dominion Day, is Canada's national day, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act (today called the Constitution Act, 1867), which united two British colonies and a province of the British Empire into a single country called Canada. Canada Day observances take place throughout Canada as well as internationally."