December 31, 2011

A Sugar Shack Novel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sexy , romantic scenes is all I can remember and that he ends up with the girl in the end . Actually that cat on the cover is quite fitting as I recall he got her a kitten for christmas and she called it 'lucky' because it is how she felt . Awwww . sorry, if this isn't the same story. Which book was I thinking about anyway?

I lost my review for this one that I was working so hard on , but I think it's good enough to reread.
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One More For Good Measure

Dustin's Christmas AdventureDustin's Christmas Adventure by Kimberly Irish-Tarbox
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A kid with behavior problems is invited on a ride on Santa's Sleigh. Dustin is very sensitive to being thought of as naughty and actually cries when he thinks he's being naughty like when he loses Santa's hat . Dustin does not appear to be a bad kid at all.
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The BLI Holiday Reading ChallengeI thought I could fit one more christmas themed book in towards my goal before the cut off  . It's a very short story mind you . This will be my 7th book which makes me a Candy Cane-aholic ! I am proud to say that at least I fulfilled one reading challenge and it is my very first one ever! I hope I can continue this pattern in the new year . Thanks so much to Stella @ ex libris for hosting such an event , it's been a blast! 

December 29, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday

Q: The New Year is here — and everyone wants to know your New Years Blogging Resolution! What are you going to try to revise, revamp and redo for 2012 on your blog?
I just started book blogging this year and I intend to continue reading and reviewing books . I look forward to participate in the many reading challenges I joined in 2012 and I love changing the way my blog looks and feels every now and again. I think spending money and time on your blog is a good investment.

I also intend to have more fun this year 

Clockwork Prince

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As this was my first book in the series, it was hard for me to understand each character and where they were coming from . I knew I had to read Clockwork Angel to get a better idea of what the story was about.
There were so many unanswered questions and I just saw Will Herondales' sister , Cecily , as just another character that I knew nothing about yet she shows up in the end announcing her desire to be a shadowhunter, which was cool , in an odd way. This, after Charlotte, Henry, Jem, Sophie , Tessa and Will come back from the Consul meeting , which would determine Charlotte still the head of the Institute instead of that bad guy, Benedict Lightwood .
We also learned that Tessa accepted Jem's marriage proposal and I was disappointed Will wasn't the one who asked her first. It's too late now apparently. SO WHAT if Tessa thinks there is a cure for Jem!! It's disgusting to think she would marry someone who is dying. I mean really .... I feel sad for Will also because he wasted five years of his life thinking he was under some curse .
As I was near reading the end of the book one night , I came to the part where Magnus Bane was summoning up the demon for Will who began drawing a pentagram . I had to stop because I was too scared to read any further ; not because of what was in the book but because I really believe there is a devil , so I finished the book the next day in brood daylight haha.
I'd say this isn't a good first book to start reading from. I still don't know who the clockwork prince is .

“If no one in the entire world cared about you, did you really exist at all?”

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December 26, 2011

My Bookworm Santa Reveal

The Magic AtticThis post is about sharing what I've sent and what I've received , and to REVEAL who My Bookworm Santa was. Thanks to Bree from the Magic Attic and Michelle from BookBriefs for hosting this event.

If Melissa could please let me know she got her gifts . I heard no mention of anything . I sent "The Grimm Legacy" by Polly Shulman and "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman through Amazon I might add. I couldn't be more happy with their fast , easy and prompt service . They giftwrapped both books as I had ordered and did what I asked from the looks of it . A-ma-zing!

You can visit Melissa's blog HERE Melissa's twitter name is @myeclecticbooks

I regret to inform everyone I haven't received anything yet . I guess I'm not the only one ;/ I am very disappointed about that since I assumed everyone knew the rules .

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Last week I read 
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert . The only thing I liked about it was that she took us on her travels through Italy, India and Indonesia . The rest of the story didn't matter as I can say honestly it didn't change my life one iota.
Any Given Christmas a sugar shack novel by Candis Terry. I got ticked off when I lost my review on goodreads but I liked it nevertheless.

I am currently reading 
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. I don't know what all the hype is about . I am reading this to my boyfriend one chapter at a time so it's going to take me awhile to finish. I'm on chapter eight and we just learned that 'cold' Will was cursed and anyone who loves him would die , like his sister did , hence why he left his family too. We also learnt something interesting in Tessa's vision . Something about a boy who John Shade called the clockwork prince . Is it Will? So many unanswered questions for not having read clockwork angel :(
Will & Tessa Christmas art

I plan on reading
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov next ...stay tuned 

December 25, 2011

A Child is Born

Copy pasta Christmas Thoughts from Fr. Tony - don't know who he is but I like the message because the world is living in darkness mostly . I chose the picture from google though just to illustrate :p

" Because of the faithful love of our God, in which the rising Sun has come to visit us, to give light to those who live in darkness and the shadows dark as death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace" (Luke 1: 78-79)

Historically Christmas is placed in the darkest time of the year, Jesus comes at this time of darkness bringing His Light which takes away all darkness from the world of today, the darkness of apostacy, war, violence and breakup of family life. The feast of Christmas is a sign of Hope, a hope that the world cannot give, and a Hope that the world cannot take away.

This entry of God into His Creation was foretold by the Prophet Isaiah:

"For a son has been born for us, a son has been given to us, and dominion has been lain on his shoulders, and this name he has been given, " Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace"(Isaiah 9: 5-6)
Merry Christmas!

December 22, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday

Q: If you had to spend eternity inside the pages of a book which book would you choose and why?

There is no other book I'd rather be in then the Book of Life except for maybe the book of awesome :)  I suppose then I'd truly experience eternal life

The Holidays Are Here! Bring on the Nog!!

I love Eggnog! When I pour myself a cup,  it's an immediate pleasure. The rich, thick, creamy substance made with cloves and nutmeg puts me in a trance until the last drop, and I close my eyes in ecstasy. I am not vegan but this replacement raw healthy version is something to consider.

Holiday Nog

1 cup almonds, soaked for 3 hours
¼ cup cashews, soaked for 3 hours
2½ cups filtered water
3 frozen bananas, cut into chunks
8 dates, soaked and pits removed
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla flavor
? teaspoon Himalayan salt


1. Blend the nuts and water, and strain out nut pulp using a nut milk bag.
2. Add the remaining ingredients to the nut milk and blend until creamy smooth.
Sprinkle a dash of nutmeg on top, and enjoy!

Happy Holidays!

For the 12 days of Raw Christmas, click here 

My Favorite Family Gatherings

Plinky Prompt

What are your favorite types of family gatherings?
One with a lot of beer and food where we get to watch home movies/videos/film on a large screen on the wall. My brother has a projector and he made some home movies out of old filmstrips belonging to my mother when she had a movie camera . These are precious fun filled memories worth gathering for.

My favorite type of gathering is also when we play games together and mostly chat about the memories we had as kids and funny experiences and lessons we learnt . I love my brothers and sisters and it's a lot of fun when we get together.

The last little get together wasn't quite with the whole family but it was my birthday and so I decided to make it a taco tuesday birthday celebration. There was a lot of beer but it was only celebrated with two of my sisters .

Mothers day this year was very memorial . Our whole family got together again after 30 years or more and it was fun . My parents are divorced and they both were there . We watched home movies with popcorn and lots of alcohol .

December 20, 2011

What Ever Happens to Jacob Marley's Ghost?

A Christmas CarolA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Kindle Edition, 80 pages
Published August 11th 2004 by Public Domain Books (first published 1843)

I watched a favorite film version of "A Christmas Carol " (Albert Finney Scrooge) right after I finished reading the ebook. Personally I have always found it a little boring but what do I know ? I still really liked it as it is a christmas classic and would probably have never known scrooge otherwise.
I wonder what ever happens to Jacob Marley's Ghost? Does he ever get released from his chains for coming to warn his fellow friend of a fate like his? He must have cared enough about scrooge and wouldn't that be enough to warrant his salvation? I can't believe Jacob was in hell because I always thought once you are in hell you cannot get out but then again what do I know ?
Anyway I will assume everyone has heard of this story and will just say in the words of Tiny Tim "God bless Us, Every One!"
Favorite quotes

  • I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me.
  • "If they would rather die," said Scrooge, "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."
View all my reviews
From Fuzzy.Coffee.Books Trivia Question # 7 
Q: How long did it take Charles Dickens to write "A Christmas Carol?" 
A: Six Weeks! 

A Christmas Carol 

by Dean Morrissey
Scrooge was a miser. His money was his life. Then, one Christmas Eve, Scrooge received a trio of visitors who showed him not only the true meaning of Christmas, but the true meaning of life....As Scrooge leaves for home on that fateful Christmas Eve he seemingly heads away from the light and joy of the holiday represented by both the carolers and a Father Christmas further down the street. Yet, these are actually his first steps towards redemption.

A Boyfriend Before Christmas

A Boyfriend Before Christmas (Finding Love, 1)A Boyfriend Before Christmas by Caedem Marquez
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
kindle edition
This is a short story about a women , Mama Bird who tries to find a boyfriend for Rachel, a girl whose parents died and works at the chocolate shop, but instead finds a man for herself , which was wierd. It was sad because Mama Bird and her new husband die in a car accident leaving Rachel the responsibility of running the shop .

View all my reviews

December 18, 2011

It's Monday! What are you reading?

This week I got two books from the brokeandbookish holiday swap and the book I won in the weekly contest from Sheila@book journey came last week too so thank you!

I read and reviewed
The Santa Shop by Tim Greaton
A Love Story How God Pursued Me and Found Me by Samantha Ryan Chandler
Santa's Diary
A Karma Girl Christmas (Bigtime #3.5) by Jennifer Estep
I haven't reviewed it yet but I liked it and would like to get the bigtime series

I'm currently reading
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert paperback
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens Kindle Edition
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp Kindle Edition
A boyfriend before Christmas by Caedem Marquez

Next week I hope to finish the ones I'm reading .
Merry Christmas !

Santa's Diary

Santa's Diary (The Christmas Connection)Santa's Diary by Santa Claus
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm not sure what else to think besides incredulously cute . Santa keeps us updated throughout his busy year at the north pole starting in January . We read about Rudolph getting the flu and their new operating machine that makes wrapping presents quicker , but when something goes wrong and an elf goes missing , santa thinks he's out getting new parts at the store to fix it but we learn that the missing elf was caught in the machine , giftwrapped and shipped to some far away country, but he came back eventually.

View all my reviews
Norad Tracks Santa

The Santa Shop

The Santa Shop by Tim Greaton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Buy It on Amazon

The Santa Shop is Christmas seen through the lens of suicide, a quick, simple and emotional story that will have you questioning everything from homelessness to charity [ from Tim Greaton's Blog - The Perfect World]

Goodreads Review

Skip Ralstat is a man so steeped in grief and despair that life seems no longer possible. After the death of his wife and child, Skip blames himself. He has given up his friends, his job, and even his home. Now, homeless, he survives on the mean streets of Albany. He knows it can't go on, that life must end. But will it? Come join him on his most unusual road to redemption. The salvation of one life...lies along this road. Let the healing from "The Santa Shop" begin.

This story was fascinating. It gripped my heart from the start. I enjoyed the main character, Skip Ralstat, who I thought was writing his memoirs, that's how real the story felt to me! Tim Greaton definitely knows how to tell a good story and his awareness of homelessness and suicide is appreciated.

Here are a few mustard seeds I felt were some of the main points you could get from reading the book
His wife and child needed their father home and Skip needed to be with his family but because of neglecting to be there on that fateful day of the fire , he might of spared himself all the pain, misery and despair it caused.
Don't turn your back on those in need.
- Mustard Seeds

All people are important and they have their own unique stories to tell . It just reminds me of the Santa Shop . Had this place not been available for Skip and David , they wouldn't have been so fortunate . They weren't forgotten
Don't forget the poor.
- Mustard Seeds

Would you rather visit a cemetery or the grim reaper? like Skip who was on the verge of a precipice(a bridge)...
Next time you think things are not going well for you visit a cemetery. Things could be a lot worse. Take heart, look up, have faith, and rejoice in life.
- Mustard Seeds

This is what's awesome about this story . Skip was homeless and had nothing to give, thinking suicide but after being visited by santa clause aka the grim reaper, his life was turned around and was the one to bear gifts to needy children. He received a whole lot more i.e: a house , another wife, a job, a purpose , a life . It became apparent the Santa Shoppe was there to help those heading for a Christmas Leap on river road aka suicide.
Everybody has a need to give.
- Mustard Seeds

View all my reviews

About the Author

Tim Greaton lives in Maine with his beautiful wife and three amazing children. They share seven acres with one dog, two cats and a population of ducks that varies with the weather. He is a full-time corporate writer and novelist. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in forums all around the globe. You can find his novels in paperback and ebook formats at all quality book retailers. Sometimes referred to as "Maine's Other Author" (TM), he prefers just Tim.

December 16, 2011

So we may never stop learning

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” — Jorge Luis Borges

December 15, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday

Q: When you’ve read a book, what do you do with it? (Keep it, give it away, donate it, sell it, swap it ?)
I only have so much space in my apartment that I don't have the option of getting a bigger bookshelf so I don't have a choice BUT to get rid of 'em.

If I haven't so far it's because I only started reading and acquiring more books which I probably should decide what to do with soon.

There is only so many totes you can have to store books in also.

.........there is another solution to the problem ... Kindle ebooks ! The page I am currently reading is from Ann Voskamps :One Thousand Gifts

A Love Story How God Pursued Me and Found Me: An Impossibly True Story

A Love Story How God Pursued Me and Found Me: An Impossibly True Story by Samantha Ryan Chandler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In an attempt to describe her life experiences , a terrible divorce and how she coped with it Samantha's story lacked in detail . I would have liked to know more about her. I felt it exaggerated, calling her ex Darth Vader and herself , Pollyanna. I understand the need to come up with metaphors but Darth Vader? Lol! It's hard to believe she's a Pollyanna as well. I'm not trying to be mean however I don't get the sense that the author is innocent . Losing her 3 girls, he(DV) made them think she was an unfit mother, which I can sympathize with .

I'm glad the author found writing about her life , cathartic, as she will tell you herself that she wrote the book to herself and told her friends "Please do not read my book!" I assume she didn't want to face ridicule. It's understandable. I wouldn't trust my heart to strangers but I do commend her for writing a book.

I can't say I can relate or understand what growing up with an abusive mother is like . It's unfortunate that some kids are left when there is real abuse and some kids are taken when there isn't.

I don't know how I ended up with a copy but it came in the mail yesterday and I regret throwing the package out. I don't remember ordering it .

Another thing was, I didn't really appreciate reading whole chapters of scripture. If I wanted to read the bible I would.

12 Days of Raw Christmas

I just signed up to the special "12 Days to Raw Christmas" Giveaway launched by Karen Knowler!
Every day for 12 days, between the 14th and 25th of December, she's sending out a special raw-related gift from a different raw food expert , COMPLETELY FREE!

There's going to be masses of delicious raw food recipes for Christmas, raw chocolate recipes, detox and fasting ideas for pre- and post- Christmas and Karen's gift on the 25th is going to be something very special.

To make sure you get the gifts too, simply go to and sign-up .You don't want to miss this. It takes less than 30 seconds and you will receive an email to the 12 awesome gifts (all downloadable) one per day - and get access to all the ones you've missed.

Merry Christmas : )

December 14, 2011

Fuzzy.Coffee.Books: Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway!

Did y'all know that the actual Twelve Days of Christmas are the days after Christmas, from December 26th and Epiphany (Jan. 6th)?

YES I DID! In fact the Wise Men weren't anywhere near Bethlehem when Jesus was born . They saw the Star Shining in the East and followed it exactly to the place where He lived. Jesus was already 9 months old when the wise men arrived .I bet you didn't know that .

Anyway I like Christmas Trivia too . This should be fun . Courtney aka bookjunkie @ Fuzzy.Coffee.Books is going to celebrate Christmas by giving some trivia for the next 12 days from now until Christmas Day!

She is hosting a giveaway too! Listen to this.... the winner of the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway will get their choice of one new book release every month for an entire year!!!!! Check it out.

Here is the first Trivia Question: Q: How many gifts would you receive from the "Twelve Days of Christmas" song?
Add them all up equals 78 gifts ! :I was wrong the answer is 364 . 

Here is Christmas Trivia Question #2
Q: What New York City newspaper first published the famous editorial, "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus"?
The New York Sun : correct!

Christmas Trivia Question #3
Q: In Tchaikovsky's popular Christmas ballet, "The Nutcracker Suite," who was the Nutcracker's main foe?
The Mouse King : correct! 

Christmas Trivia Question #4
Q: In 1967, Oliver Cromwell, a Puritan leader in England, banned all Christmas celebrations. How long did this ban last?
Oliver Cromwells ban on Christmas was from 1642-1660 source  : 13 years 

Christmas Trivia Question #5
Q: Who kisses Lucy in "A Charlie Brown Christmas"?
Snoopy : correct !

Christmas Trivia Question#6
Q: Who was the first U.S. President to decorate the White House Christmas Tree?
Franklin Pierce : Correct!

Christmas Trivia Question #7 
Q: How long did it take Charles Dickens to write "A Christmas Carol?"
Six Weeks : Correct !

Christmas Trivia Question #8
Q: What popular Christmas carol was originally written for Thanksgiving?
Jingle Bells correct !

Christmas Trivia Question #9 
Q: What were the first and last states to recognize Christmas as an official holiday?
Alabama and Oklahoma correct!

Christmas Trivia Question #10
Q: Which American department store created Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer as a promotional tool?
Montgomery Ward correct!

Christmas Trivia Question #11
Q: What was the original title of the poem "The Night Before Christmas"?
A Visit from St. Nicholas correct!

Christmas Trivia Question #12
Q: In the movie, "It's A Wonderful Life," what book is Clarence the Angel reading before throwing himself in the water to save George Bailey?"
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

December 13, 2011

A Simple Story

One day, a Rich Dad took his son on a trip. He wanted to show him how poor someone can be. They spent time on the farm of a poor family.

On the way home, Dad asked, " did you see how poor they are? what did you learn"?

Son Said, " We have one dog, They have four
We have pool, they have rivers.
We have lantern at night, they have stars.
We buy foods, they grew there's.
We have fence & walls to protect us, they have friends.
We have encyclopedia's they have bible.

The boy added," Thanks dad for showing me how poor we are."

The Broke and Bookish Secret Santa

I received a package from the broke and bookish secret santa today . I signed up for the Secret Santa exchange last month. It actually came yesterday while I was out . It was from Michelle Bergeron so Thank You! She sent me Lolita and Crime and Punishment . They weren't on my wishlist but I am happy I got Lolita. I had a chance to read this book last year on a myspace reading group but never did. I don't know much about Crime and punishment either but it looks interesting .
I also got what looks like an ornament but there is tea inside . It smells like candy cane , chocolate and peppermint all wrapped up in one. It's called Davids Tea and the tag says Santa's Secret :) How wonderful ! It's Chinese black tea, peppermint leaves, candy cane sprinkles, cloves, cinnamon, orange peel, and natural flavouring. I can't wait to try it.

UPDATE: I found out my secret Santa Victoria Bugdal @ Vicentine Design just got my package yesterday. She explains in a blog post what I got her and I loved seeing it in pictures . She's a great photographer. I can honestly say the broke and bookish secret santa holiday exchange was a success and I am very happy for the both of us . Yay!

Here's her tweet ...

I received my Broke & Bookish Secret Santa gift yesterday from @joliejackie! Thank you so much! |
Dec 14, 6:35 AM via web 

December 12, 2011

Succinctly Yours

Use the weekly photo as inspiration for a story of 140 characters OR 140 words. It doesn’t have to be exactly 140, just not more.

Photo for Monday, December 12th
"Had our team played more diligent we would have won the grey cup , instead of those B.C lions making field goals with soiled muddy boots. "
141 characters

Sarah's Key

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Paperback 293 pages
Published September 30th, 2008 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published March 8th, 2007)
I own a copy

This book taught me about the history of the Velodrome d'Hiver of Paris, which I knew nothing about before reading Sarah's Key: how the German Gestapo's got the French police to round up all the Jews living in Paris at that time _ July 16, 1942.

Sarah Starzynski, a little Jewish girl of 12 years old, lived in an apartment in Paris with her mom and dad and her younger brother, Michel. One day they were brutally taken away by the French police to Vel'd'Hiv. She locked her younger brother in a cupboard and promised she would return. While she was separated from her parents at Beaune-la-Rolande, she escaped with a friend and ends up with a family who later adopts her. All she could think about was her little brother. The family from Orlean helped Sarah get back home, and she found her brother dead. It had been two weeks

It is a story that is interwoven between two main characters, Julie and Sarah. I found it difficult making the switch back and forth between the two at first. I preferred Sarah's voice to Julie's because it was more real and I would have to say Sarah would typically be someone I would like to meet in real life.

Julie finds out from her uncle in law that the place they were moving into was the same place Sarah's little brother Michel had died. This was Rue de Saintonge.

It doesn't happen in the book, but I imagined Julie and William getting married in the end.

It's Monday! What are you reading?

I just finished reading Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay . You can view my not-so-good review by clicking on the picture below
Last week I finished One Imperfect Christmas by Myra Johnson
Next week I will consider either some more Holiday ebooks or I can start reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert .

These are some Free holiday ebooks I will consider reading next week