Sunday, November 29, 2009

~Over The Top Award~

The awesome Lisa from Lit and Life has bestowed upon me the Over The Top Award! I haven't seen this award before, so I am super-excited to have received it. And...I love the little quiz that goes along with it. Thank you so much, Lisa!

Here are the rules for this award:

1.) Thank and post URL to the blog that gave the award.
2.) Pass the award along to 6 brilliantly over the top blogs (blogs you love!) Alert them so they know to receive the award.
3.) Copy and paste this quiz... Change the answers, ONE word only. (2 are acceptable!)

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse
2. Your hair? Short
3. Your mother? Dementia

4. Your father? Loving
5. Your favorite food?
6. Your dream last night?
7. Your favorite drink? Margarita
8. Your dream/goal?
Beach Condo
9. What room are you in? Office
10. Your hobby?
11. Your fear?
2. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Here
13. Where were you last night?
14. Something that you aren't?
15. Muffins? Corn

16. Wish list item? Wii Fit
17. Where did you grow up? New York
18. Last thing you did?
Drink Coffee
19. What are you wearing?
20. Your TV?
21. Your pets?
Beside me
22. Friends?
23. Your life?
24. Your mood?
25. Missing someone?
26. Vehicle?
Grand Am
27. Something you're not wearing?
28. Your favorite store?
29. Your favorite color?
30. When was the last time you laughed?
31. Last time you cried? Monday
32. Your best friend?
33. One place that I go to over and over? Work

34. One person who emails me regularly? Cecile

35. Favorite place to eat?
Cheesecake Factory

I am passing this award on to:

Cecile at All I Want And More
Kitten at The Bookkitten
Kaye at Pudgy Penguin Perusals
Ah Yuan at GAL Novelty
Creations by Laurel Rain-Snow
Laughing Stars at Stark Raving Bibliophile

~More 1994~

Things were going well in 1994. I loved my job and the people that I worked with. Things were good between Mark and was a great year.

My mom and her sister, my Aunt Jo, came down to visit for a week in August. We rented a condo at Ft. Myers Beach. It was a memorable vacation filled with laughter, shopping and good food.

I went with
Mark to a couple of concerts that year....I met Kathy Mattea and Vince Gill...two very very nice down-to-earth people. Kathy Mattea is from West Virginia so she and I had something in common to talk about. I love her music, as well as Vince Gill's.

That year I felt wrapped in a sense of security. I loved my husband and my pets. I loved my home and my job. I loved my co-workers too. When I think back on 1994, it brings a warm fuzzy feeling to my heart. And for this, I am thankful.

What were YOU doing in 1994?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

~Flashback 1994~


US GDP (1998 dollars): $6,947.00 billion
Federal spending: $1460.84 billion
Federal debt: $4643.7 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars):
Consumer Price Index: 148.2
Unemployment: 6.1%
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.29


  • Kurt Cobain kills himself. He was 27.
  • Ninety-five million viewers watch O. J. Simpson and Al Cowlings drive along Los Angeles freeways in history's most exciting low-speed chase.
  • Steven Spielberg wins his first directing Oscar for Schindler's List.
  • Woodstock '94 commemorates the original weekend-long concert. Green Day and Nine Inch Nails join Bob Dylan and the Allman Brothers.
  • For the first time in history, chain bookstores outsell independent stores, signaling what many fear to be the death of smaller booksellers at the hands of superstores.
  • Tom Hanks wins his second consecutive Best Actor Oscar. He won in 1993 for his role in Philadelphia and in 1994 for Forrest Gump.
  • ER and Friends debut on NBC, establishing NBC's dominance of the Thursday-night lineup.


  • Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, The Shawshank Redemption, Quiz Show, Nobody's Fool

Friday, November 27, 2009

~Book Review - Fear Itself by Barret Schumacher~

From the inside sleeve:

Devrie Haler has always believed that she can sense things that nobody else can. Whether it is the secret adventures of her third grade students or warnings of a near fatal car accident, Devrie gets signals from a place she cannot identify that tell her things she has no way of knowing. Her bizarre powers are charming, even amusing to her adoring husband, Reed. Until one of her premonitions comes true....the premonition of her violent death.

Overcome by grief, Reed stumbles upon Devrie's journal, in which she wrote her visions down. amazed by the accuracy of her predictions about her own death, Reed becomes obsessed with nine cryptic phrases that seem to hint at another death....this time of a little girl. Accompanied by an orphan dog present at the site of his wife's murder, Reed heads out on a roller coaster ride that will rip apart his beliefs on good, evil, scientific progress and the various forces that control our lives on Earth. He may have a shot at saving the next victim, if he can only come to understand what Devrie's writings are telling him.

My Thoughts:
First and foremost, this book got some luke-warm reviews on some other websites....which luckily I didn't notice before I read it. I think it would have given me a pre-conceived notion about it, and maybe I wouldn't have even given the book a chance. However, the first page grabbed hold of me...and held me until the very end.

I would definitely classify this as a "page-turner". When I wasn't reading this book, I was thinking about it, wondering what was going to happen next. The author, Barret Schumacher, is a master at creating very vivid and colorful scenes that play out in your mind as you read his words. Plus, adding an orphaned dog to the story was a great touch to this horrific tale. I was comforted by its presence, as it dutifully stayed beside the main character, Reed, while he is investigating his wife's death, and trying like hell to prevent it from happening again.

I loved this book, and I am disappointed to report that Barret Schumacher has not written any other novels to date. Fear Itself was published in 2002. I am going to keep an eye out for this author. If he ever writes another novel, it will definitely be on my list!


  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; 1st edition (January 5, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076530130X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765301307

~Let The Season Begin~

Thursday, November 26, 2009

~Book Review - Promise Not To Tell~

Product Description

Forty-one-year-old school nurse Kate Cypher has returned home to rural Vermont to care for her mother who's afflicted with Alzheimer's. On the night she arrives, a young girl is murdered—a horrific crime that eerily mirrors another from Kate's childhood. Three decades earlier, her dirt-poor friend Del—shunned and derided by classmates as "Potato Girl"—was brutally slain. Del's killer was never found, while the victim has since achieved immortality in local legends and ghost stories. Now, as this new murder investigation draws Kate irresistibly in, her past and present collide in terrifying, unexpected ways. Because nothing is quite what it seems . . . and the grim specters of her youth are far from forgotten.

More than just a murder mystery, Jennifer McMahon's extraordinary debut novel, Promise Not to Tell, is a story of friendship and family, devotion and betrayal—tautly written, deeply insightful, beautifully evocative, and utterly unforgettable.

My Thoughts:

This book really took me by surprise. I had seen it around, but had always avoided it for some reason....maybe the cover. The cover didn't appeal to me. But oh, what a treasure was waiting inside those pages!

This story was part mystery, coming-of-age, and part horror. I found myself cringing while reading some parts, or taking a deep breath and holding it while reading others. My husband was in the room with me while I was reading, and he stopped what he was doing to ask "What is going on in that book?"

The story built up to an ending that surprised me. I felt like it was tied up a little too neatly - however, it answered a lot of questions about what went on leading up to the finale.

I highly recommend Promise Not To Tell. Especially to those who love coming-of-age stories.


  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks (April 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061143316

~Have a Blessed Thanksgiving, Everyone~



Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Count on God instead of yourself.

~~Author Unknown.~~

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday

This is how it starts. With a joke.

Two brothers - Will and Jeff - and their friend Tom are out one night at their favorite South Beach bar when they decide to make a bet on who can be the first to seduce a mysterious-looking young woman drinking by herself. Pretty, dark-haired, blue-eyed Suzy has an innocent - almost ordinary - girl-next-door way about her. "Just waiting for Prince Charming to hit on her," Jeff says.

But Suzy isn't as naive as she seems. And she has an agenda of her own. Soon another challenge is born, only this one proves to be lethal.

Dark secrets, hidden passions and a story filled with intrigue, The Wild Zone will keep you in suspense until the very last page is turned.

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Atria (February 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141658529X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416585299
What are YOU waiting for?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
* Grab your current read*
* Open to a random page*
*Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! ;)

~My heart did a slow crawl into my throat and I could feel it pounding there, choking me. The command in matches stared up at me, daring me not to do as it said.~ pg 113, Promise Not To Tell by Jennifer McMahon

Whats YOUR teaser today????

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mailbox Monday

I hit the booksale one more time before it ended. Friday (11/20) was my birthday. I took the day off from work, and went to buy more books! Here are some of my finds:

A Perfect Arrangement by Suzanne Berne

Beyond The Waves
by Elizabeth Marek

Look Back All the Green Valley
by Fred Chappell

Every Night, Josephine! by Jacqueline Susann

Promise Not To Tell
by Jennifer McMahon

Island Of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon

A Certain Slant of Light
by Laura Whitcomb

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

An Ocean in Iowa
by Peter Hedges

What was in YOUR mailbox today??

Sunday, November 22, 2009

~More 1993~

In 1993, I was getting settled back into married life, after being separated from my ex husband for almost a year.

I moved back to Ft. Myers, FL, and went to work for American Mobilphone Paging, the same company that I had worked for previously in WV. One of my stipulations when going back to Mark was that I only wanted to work part time. I was able to work 12-5 each day. It was a small office, just like the one in Charleston. The general manager and office manager were both women, and there were 2 other women who worked the front office, helping customers. There were 2 outside sales reps, and the engineer. When I had worked in the Charleston office, the office manager there, Judy, had taught me so much, so I pretty much knew how to do everything that entailed running the office. My first day in the Ft. Myers office, I was handed a stack of folders and labels, and
was told to type the labels. I didn't have my own desk, and I felt resentment from everyone. It was terrible. I also did not like the office manager, Julye. She seemed unfriendly, and harsh. I was just going to make the best of it, from 12-5 every day.....

My birthday in 1993 was probably one of the best ones that I ever had! Mark and a friend of his that also worked at the radio station, got tickets to see Garth Brooks in Orlando the weekend of my birthday. Mark and I, and his friend Mike and his wife Keri, all drove up to Orlando for the weekend. That Saturday during the day, we had VIP passes fo
r Universal Studios, and spent the whole day there. That evening was the concert. We had back stage passes, and we got to meet was phenomenal. He was one of the nicest people I have ever met. He was still married to his wife Sandy at the time, and he shared his family photos with us. He was genuinely interested in meeting all of us...what a special night it was!

Our house got broken into one night while we were asleep. They smashed our kitchen window and reached in to grab what they thought was a purse off of the kitchen table
. What they actually got was an insulated lunch bag, which contained an apple and a Frank Sinatra cd! The break-in traumatized me so much, that we ended up having an alarm system installed. And we got a dog.

His name was Snoopy and he was a Samoyed. We found him at the Animal Rescue Center in Ft Myers. He was a year old and he LOVED to "Talk"....exactly the kind of dog I was looking for. He was smart; he could fetch, sit, lay down, roll over and "wave". I felt very safe with him in the house. Then I adopted "String" shortly thereafter. She was a tiny black and white kitten that someone had tied up in a plastic grocery bag and had thrown into a dumpster. Fortunately, someone found her, and brought her to the Animal Rescue Center (w
e were their best customers that year!). So, our little family was complete: My cats: Katie, Sam, Punkin and String, and our dog, Snoopy.

What were YOU doing in 1993?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Flashback 1993


US GDP (1998 dollars): $6,558.10 billion
Federal spending: $1408.68 billion
Federal debt: $4351.4 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars):
Consumer Price Index: 144.5
Unemployment: 6.9%
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.29

  • Federal agents besiege Texas Branch Davidian religious cult after six are killed in raid (March 1 et seq.). Fire kills 72 as cult standoff in Texas ends with federal assault (April 19).
  • Two police officers convicted in Los Angeles on civil rights charges in Rodney King beating (April 17); sentenced Aug. 4.
  • A 13-year-old Los Angeles boy accuses Michael Jackson of fondling him. Jackson vehemently denies the charge. The two parties reach an out-of-court settlement.
  • River Phoenix dies of a drug overdose on Halloween. He was 23.


  • Schindler's List, The Piano, Philadelphia, Six Degrees of Separation, In the Name of the Father

Friday, November 20, 2009


The Friendly Persuasion by Jessamyn West

A quintessential American heroine, Eliza Birdwell is a wonderful blend of would-be austerity, practicality, and gentle humor when it comes to keeping her faith and caring for her family and community. Her husband, Jess, shares Eliza's love of people and peaceful ways but, unlike Eliza, also displays a fondness for a fast horse and a lively tune. With their children, they must negotiate their way through a world that constantly confronts them-sometimes with candor, sometimes with violence-and tests the strength of their beliefs. Whether it's a gift parcel arriving on their doorstep or Confederate soldiers approaching their land, the Birdwells embrace life with emotion, conviction, and a love for one another that seems to conquer all.
The Friendly Persuasion has charmed generations of readers as one of our classic tales of the American Midwest.

A Good Enough Daughter: A Memoir by Alix Kates Shulman

Shulman's autobiographical novel, Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen, epitomized the intellectual and sexual awakenings of many young women in the 1960s. Now, like so many of her contemporaries, she's grappling with the loss of her parents, and with what it means to be a daughter. For Shulman, this undertaking is infused with guilt about the distance she imposed by choosing to live the literary life in New York City while her parents grew old in Cleveland, Ohio. But this memoir is more than just an effort to express the appreciation for her late parents that she couldn't quite bring herself to grant them in their lifetimes. What makes it satisfying are Shulman's wonderfully idiosyncratic reminiscences of two colorful and articulate parents who loved and encouraged their daughter. She elegantly interweaves such poignant events as dismantling the family home after her mother and father have moved into a retirement community with moments from the childhood years she shared with her adopted brother, Bob, who died of lung cancer at a relatively young age. The messager of this honest and well-written memoir is, in the end, one of redemption, reconciliation and affection. The rebellious ex-prom queen has become a caring daughter. Black and white photos.

Weeds by Edith Summers Kelley

First published in 1923, Weeds is a classic of American naturalism with a profoundly feminist turn-pioneer in a tradition of rural, working-class women's writing that includes such works as Harriet Arnow's The Dollmaker, Tillie Olsen's Yonnondio, and Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres. Set amidst the harsh life of rural Kentucky tenant farmers, Weeds is the moving story of a hard-working, spirited young woman who must painfully submit to the limitations imposed by her time, her class, and her gender.

Coming of age in Scott County, Kentucky, Judith Pippinger is intelligent, sensitive, and full of untamed energy. She falls in love first with the natural world around her, and then with a decent and loving man, Jerry Blackford. Judith and Jerry marry and work side-by-side in the tobacco fields; they are poor share croppers, but they hope each year will bring them a richer harvest.

But Judith soon finds herself in a deep, soul-destroying stuggle against the imprisoning duties of motherhood and of managing an impoverished household. As crops fail and her marriage falters, Judith yields at last. She resolves to bring up her children without hope that her life might be different; but as one of her daughters lies near death, she summons her last vestiges of strength and wills the child to survive.

In the tragic world of this powerful novel, both Judy and Jerry become victims of circumstance. The impossible economic conditions, the gruelling toil of tenant farming, the disease and isolation-all take a crippling toll on their spirits. They survive, but they are changed-Judith even more than Jerry. Kelley's deeply nuanced portrait is particularly remarkable in depicting a woman who suffers not from a lack of love-from her husband, her children, or her community-but from an unrequited longing for self-expression and freedom.

When Weeds was first published in 1923, the editors cut from the novel a chapter describing the birth of Judith's first child, deeming it too graphic for readers. This chapter has been restored to the Feminist Press edition.

What did YOU find today?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

~Book Review - Against Her Will by Robyn Heirtzler~

"One rainy morning. One selfish man. One evil act. In just a few terrifying moments, Carina's life changed forever."

Against Her Will is a novel of tragedy, healing, and forgiveness. Carina's life was forever altered early one morning while she was out for a run. A man took away her dignity, her respect, and her virginity...all in the space of a few short minutes.

Carina's boyfriend, Jove, is extremely supportive. She moves into his apartment with him while trying to heal from her nightmarish ordeal. Her best friend Jennifer is also trying to help her, by keeping her company each day. Carina knows that she won't get any support from her parents, so she relies on Jove and Jennifer to help her. Brought up in a loveless household, Carina carries the shame of being an "unwanted child."

Throughout the ordeal of talking with police detectives and getting medical examinations, Carina feels herself slipping further into depression. Nightmares fill her dreams each night. Her world has been turned upside down.
Then, there is an unexpected turn of events that Carina is totally unprepared for...

From the back cover:

In Against My Will, Robyn Heirtzler creates an intimate and emotional look into the life of a rape victim. Readers will follow Carina's journey as she deals with the emotional and physical effects of the rape, faces her attacker on the street and in court, and finds the courage and the will to fight back the overwhelming tide of despair and feel peace and happiness again in her world.

My Rating:

Very Good!

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Cedar Fort (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555179878

For m
ore information on the author, please visit her website:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cowboy & Wills by Monica Holloway

Cowboy & Wills by Monica Holloway was one of my Waiting On Wednesday picks not too long ago. When I first found out about the book, I knew that I wanted to read it. I then read some reviews by other bloggers**, and my desire to read it increased. In the meantime, I read Driving With Dead People, also by Monica Holloway, and fell in love with her as an author.

I have been contacted by Marni Wandner with Sneak Attack Media, who has been working with Monica on promoting Cowboy & Wills, to read and review the book! I am beyond excited!

Take a peek at the trailer watching for my upcoming review!

**Read reviews for Cowboy and Wills by these bloggers**
Smallworld Reads
The Novel World
Bloody Bad Book Blog

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: * Grab your current read* * Open to a random page* *Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! ;)

~The years had created a chasm between them as wide as the Grand Canyon, inhibiting their ability to communicate honestly and openly. But they were going to have to bridge that gap. Somehow. And soon.~ pg. 232, Within the Shadows by Brandon Massey

What's YOUR teaser today?

Monday, November 16, 2009

With the holiday season now upon us, have you left any hint – subtle or otherwise – for books family and friends might buy you for Christmas? Do you like to receive books, or do you prefer certificates so you can choose your own?

This year is the first year that I have actually made a wish list on Of course, it is full of....BOOKS! What else! I think there is one cd on there.

I have made my husband aware of the list, and have asked him to make his parents aware of it.

I absolutely love giving and receiving books. Gift Certificates for bookstores are also a favorite!

Last Christmas, I gave my father a book that totally took him by surprise. My father is one of the hardest people to shop for. He isn't a reader, either. He is a musician, and loves classical music, so I usually buy him cd's. Last year, while browsing on Amazon, I found a used book that was all about his Alma Mater, Morris Harvey College, located in Charleston WV. I ordered the book for him. When it arrived, it was signed by the author. Well, when he received that book from me, you would have thought I had given him a million dollars! The author of that book was one of my dad's old college professors! And he had signed the book, which made it even more special. I was so happy that I was able to give him such a special gift....

What about you?


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