Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Review: Wolf Fever by Terry Spear

Wolf FeverWolf Fever, the sixth book in Terry Spear's Werewolf Series, did nothing but exceed my already high expectations.

Carol Woods is a nurse, who was inadvertently bit by a werewolf and turned into a lupus garou.  Not only does she NOT want to be a lupus garou, but she fights the urge to shift by distracting herself with visions of the future she has had since a child.  Her visions generally foretell a nearing disaster, so when she sees other lupus garou unable to shift from their wolf form, she knows something terrible is coming.  And as if that isn't enough to be dealing with, her pack leader is putting on the pressure by telling Carol that she needs to find a mate... and soon!

Ryan McKinley has come to the area to ask Carol a few questions about her "visions" after having solved a case he was working on with her help.  Carol feels an attraction to Ryan, BUT he is the alpha leader of another pack.  While he is there, Ryan becomes involved in Carol's pack when a red wolf is found in the area and it is believed one or more rogue red wolves may be trying to take Carol or Lelandi, the pack leader's mate.  Ryan becomes Carol's bodyguard and begins to question his doubt in the validity of her visions as they become reality and some pack members are unable to shift back to their human forms.

The story becomes a race against time to solve the question of who is coming after Carol, what they want, and how to stop the "Wolf Fever" that is all too real. 

I'm always so amazed at how well she writes her characters and the depth she gives them.  This book took the normal "pack" dynamics Ms. Spear writes so well and added more to it by adding to the complexity and involving many very strong characters.  Not only were there many things going on within the story, all of which were well-written making it easy to follow, but even the bad guys were written in a way as to make the reader question how bad they really were.  And finding a possible mate for Carol - Wow - she had many possibilities, and there were three that I was really torn between... I loved being kept on edge by so many aspects of the story!

The book touches on characters from previous books, but reads great as a stand-alone.  If you've already read other books from the series, you'll want to get this one, and if you haven't... well, give this one a shot!  I'll bet you'll be running out to find the other books in the series!  And even better?  The series is slated for at least four more books, two coming in 2011, and two following those.


Wolf Fever  (Werewolf Series, Book 6)
by Terry Spear

Sourcebooks Casablanca (December 1, 2010) ~ 416 pages
Fiction / Romance / Werewolf

Edition Reviewed: ARC - Review copy received courtesy of the publisher, many thanks to both the author and the publisher for sending me a copy to review!


About the Book:
She may be his destiny, but she's not his first choice...

Hospital nurse and newly turned red werewolf Carol Woods is being pressured by her pack leader to find a mate, but he's the only guy in the pack who remotely attracts her.

Why is he playing so hard to get?

The fate of the pack rests on his shoulders...
Gray pack leader Ryan McKinley doesn't want anything to do with Carol unless she's willing to embrace her wolf nature-no matter how beautiful she is.

But when a virus infects the local lupus garou pack, Ryan realizes just how wrong he's been not to seize the moment with the woman he's come to love. And now, it may be too late...

Excerpt (from the author's website):
Disgruntled with himself for slinking through Darien’s forest as a wolf so he could watch the house for any sign of Carol Wood, Chester Ryan McKinley hated his obsession. Even now when his P.I. practice had taken a back burner to his position as mayor and pack leader of Green Valley, he couldn’t give up thinking about Carol, whom he’d met five months earlier while investigating a murder case involving Darien’s pack. Ryan had found a lot of evidence against the murderer, but Carol’s testimony had solicited the confession and the truth of the matter.

Long-legged and stacked, with hair the color of the golden sun and eyes as deep and mysterious as a shadowed blue lake, she had often worn a troubled expression during the investigation. Most likely due to the mess she’d gotten herself into as a human. The fact she’d managed to get herself into such a predicament bothered him more than he liked to consider. As was his rescuing nature, he’d wanted to save her from her plight, ensure she didn’t become one of his kind, and shield her from what they were.

But how could he have? She’d recognized his kind were lupus garous through strange visions, or so she had said. There had been no way to change events. During an ensuing fight between gray and red lupus garou packs, a red had bitten her and turned her. Ryan sure the hell wished he’d been protecting her.

Carol had been an innocent, unprepared for what would happen and unable to fight back. He imagined she’d never before witnessed wolf combat, which for a human had to have been extremely unnerving. Although every ounce of logic he possessed told him that people couldn’t foresee the future, something about her—maybe her sincerity, the fear she’d exhibited, or the notion that she couldn’t have learned all that she had through any other means—chiseled away at his wall of doubt.

Most of all, he admired her for her fortitude and dependability. She hadn’t panicked or fought against her fate. Now he was sure Darien would be pushing for her to take a mate. For life… that’s how they mated. That she would need one bothered him more than he liked to admit. Those who were born lupus garous could do with or without having a mate. Their choice. But a newly turned lupus garou? Allowing a new werewolf too much freedom was too dangerous.

The drapes suddenly were thrust aside in the guestroom Lelandi had once used. And there, standing in the window in a diaphanous gown of pale blue silk, the blonde pondered the woods. Almost as if she knew he was there watching for her. Which sent an unexpected surge of feral desire through his bloodstream. What was wrong with him that she had such an effect on him?

Her appearance in the gown at this early evening hour surprised him. Had she worked a long shift at the hospital?

The lovely rounded form of her breasts and nipples, peaked in anticipation of a lover’s touch in the nearly see-through gown, became the focus of his attention. Hell. Not intending to enjoy the sight of her as a voyeur would nor to give into his wolfish yearnings, he stepped forward so she could witness she was not alone. He meant to encourage her to close the drapes and return to bed, to warn her that the wolves in these woods were much more than just wolves. They were also men, like any of his kind, with earthly desires that needed to be sated.

Instead of closing the curtains, she challenged him with those eyes of hers. What had caught his attention about the woman, even during the investigation, were her classically attractive facial features—the high cheekbones and the perfect skin, framed by golden hair, and the large, striking blue eyes that could swallow a man whole.

When she had spoken, full kissable lips had captured his attention more than once. She wasn’t movie-star gorgeous, having instead the wholesome, girl-next-door look, but that appealed to him even more.

She frowned at him and then yanked the drapes closed. Good. She’d finally come to her senses. He couldn’t let go of the notion that the nurse thought she had the ability to make psychic predictions. It was the principle of the thing, he told himself. He intended to prove to himself, and to her, that she had come by her information about the murder through means other than some form of sixth sense. Either she had subconsciously learned the truth, or she had meddled in the investigation and was unwilling to tell about it.

Yet something deeper plagued him about the woman. Some elusive feeling that she could be in trouble. She could be trouble—that was more like it. Any newly turned wolf certainly could be that. He tried to tell himself his being here wasn’t about anything other than resolving the doubts that plagued him; although… something else bothered him, and he just couldn’t put his finger on what.

Ears perked, he sat on his haunches, unable to take his gaze off her window and thinking of her returning to bed and then buried under her blankets. The unsolicited wish that he could be with her, snuggling and heating her up, flashed through his brain. Hell, he didn’t need to be sidetracked anymore than he already was.

Despite the case having been solved, and him having no real reason to come back to Silver Town, Ryan was attending the spring festival the next morning to learn more about Darien’s celebrations. Like he’d done before, Ryan would take the information back to his own people who wanted something of what Darien and his people had—a town run by the werewolf kind.

But Darien had only reluctantly allowed Ryan to investigate as an outsider to discover the murderer in the pack. He was sure Darien wouldn’t favor seeing him again under the circumstances, not when Ryan intended to question Carol further about her visions. Darien sure wouldn’t approve of Ryan lurking about his woodland estate early in the evening. Especially when Ryan didn’t have one good reason for being near Darien’s house like this, no matter how much he tried to convince himself he did.

A click on a backdoor lock got Ryan’s attention, and he quickly rose and backed into the woods to keep Darien or his people from seeing him. The door opened.

Ryan’s jaw dropped.

Little Miss Nightingale stepped out of the house onto the flagstone patio, peering in his direction. Not dressed warmly enough for the out-of-doors this evening, she wore a robin’s egg blue tam that was perched on top of her head, a matching fluffy sweater that caressed her perky round breasts, pale blue jeans that showcased her shapely legs, and a pair of fuzzy blue slippers that made her feet look twice their size.

He raised his brows. Hell. She had no business coming out into the night looking the way she did—soft and cuddly and vulnerable—with no way to defend herself in the event someone dangerous was lurking about.

What had she intended to do? Search for him? Ask him his business?

At first, she stood stock-still, just staring into the woods. At the very place from which he watched her through a grove of Douglas firs. But he didn’t think she could see him.

And then? She rubbed her hands together as if she were on a wolf-hunting mission and stalked toward the woods, headed straight for him! The notion that she’d hunt him down appealed on a strictly primal level. Her hell-bent determination wreaked havoc with his need to keep this on a purely professional basis. Willful is how he’d describe her actions. What if he’d been bad news?

But he wasn’t, although right now he had the strongest urge to circle around her through the woods and stalk her right back. A game between wolves. A competition. And more. Which made him wonder if she’d understand their wolf ways, not having grown up learning them. He also was curious just how far she’d go to discover who he was.

Instead of tracking her down, he moved deeper into the woods, as if luring her into his trap, and listened to her steady footsteps. They were more hurried now as she tried to reach the forest before he disappeared for good, he figured. Or maybe the fact he wasn’t in plain sight gave her more courage.

She stopped only a few feet away, the gray-green leaves of a Douglas fir brushing her arm, her eyes searching the dark woods as he watched her. His heart beat harder—the urge to hunt in his blood. Then she lifted her nose in a wolf’s way, trying to catch his scent.

Seeing her react the way his kind would—smelling for scents, tilting her head as she listened more carefully, attempting to track him down like a wolf on the hunt—he felt a new wave of respect for her wash over him. He hadn’t seen this side of her before. It suited her.

Quickly, she turned her head, and when she saw him, her eyes widened. Luminescent. Huge. Bewitching.

Unable to help himself when he should have been annoyed with her impulsivity at leaving the house without protection, he gave her a slight smile. The woman would be his undoing.

What now? He wanted to force her to return to the house. On the other hand, he’d probably never get another chance to question her in private like this. He laughed at himself. Yeah, he’d shift, stand here naked in the cold as a human, and question her as if she was a suspect in one of his cases. He’d make such an impressive and frightening inquisitor that she’d quickly spill her story.

(c) Terry Spear, 2009


About the Author: (from the author's site)
Award-winning author of urban fantasy and medieval historical romantic suspense, Heart of the Wolf named in Publishers Weekly's BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR, NOR Reader Choice for BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE.

Terry Spear also writes true stories for adult and young adult audiences. She’s a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and has an MBA from Monmouth University and a Bachelors in Business and Distinguished Military Graduate of West Texas A & M. She also creates award-winning teddy bears, Wilde & Woolly Bears, to include personalized bears designed to commemorate authors’ books. When she’s not writing or making bears, she’s teaching online writing courses.

*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate

Monday, December 27, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: To Tempt A Rake by Cara Elliott


TEASER TUESDAYS :
hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading ~



Teaser :
To Tempt A Rake (Circle of Sin)

"Please." A flicker of moonlight hung for an instant on her lashes, lighting the look in her eyes.

Marco forced himself to look away. "A diavolo- women!" he said through gritted teeth. "If you dare shed a tear I shall throw you into the lake."

"I'm a very good swimmer," she countered.

~ page 244 “To Tempt A Rake" (Circle of Sin, Book 3) by Cara Elliott

** Please note that this Teaser was taken from an Advanced Reader Copy and the final book may be slightly different.

About the Book (from Amazon):
Kate Woodbridge has spent most of her life sailing to exotic ports around the globe, acquiring an expertise in botany, along with a few less ladylike skills. So when a deathbed promise to her parents brings her to London to seek reconciliation with her grandfather, the imperious Duke of Cluyne, she feels like a fish out of water. Her outspoken views and fiery temper tend to set off sparks in Society-especially with the rakish Conte of Como.

A devil-may-care rogue, Marco finds the alluring and mysterious Kate a tempting target for his flirtations. But when murder strikes at the duke's country house party he begins to suspect that she's hiding a dark secret. He has his own clandestine reasons for offering to help her prove her innocence . . . And so begins a journey of dangerous deception that leads from England to the glittering ballrooms of Vienna, where Marco and Kate must duel with a deadly villain . . . and their own explosive attraction.
I always look forward to reading everyone's teasers! ~ Wendi

*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mailbox Monday: Books and Bracelets and Movies Oh My!


Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at The Printed Page, is on a blog tour! Last month's host was Julie @ Knitting and Sundries, and she did a fantastic job, and Rose City Reader kicks off 2011.

This month, Mailbox Monday is being hosted by Lady Q at Let Them Read Books, so stop by and join the fun!


It is so much fun to see what everyone is getting in the mail.

Thanks for taking the time to visit ~ I just love hearing from you! Please let me know if you have read any of these books - I'd love to hear how you liked them!! :)

I had a very fun mailbox last week, which was really special as it was also Christmas week!  (I hope everyone had a very wonderful Christmas holiday!)

Three for my mailbox last week:

Cinch!: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds, and Lose InchesCinch!: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds, and Lose Inches by Cynthia Sass ~ Health & Fitness / Women's Health ~ Available January 2011 ~ Received courtesy of the publisher and One2One Network for review
From Amazon: There are no calories to count; no points or grams to memorize.

Just begin choosing four daily meals from over one hundred delicious options (along with a mandatory daily chocolate escape), and you're well on your way to achieving your weight-loss goals. In thirty days on the Cinch! plan, you'll shed pounds and inches—and overcome emotional eating in the process.

Acclaimed weight-loss expert Cynthia Sass has arrived at the exciting secret to sustainable weight loss: her innovative combinations of clean, nutrient-rich foods not only maximize fat-burning but also deliver a faster, healthier metabolism forever. Following the plan is as simple as putting together an easy-to-understand fivepiece puzzle at every meal and enjoying four delicious, easy-to-prepare meals in addition to a chocolate treat. The Cinch! plan includes a full thirty days' worth of quick-fix, satisfying meals and teaches you a simple strategy for creating your own, so you know exactly what, how much, and when to eat, whether you're at home, at a restaurant, or on vacation. Cinch! makes weight loss simple, with meals you'll look forward to eating (no "diet" foods). And best of all, Sass starts her plan with an innovative five-day "Fast Forward," which jump-starts the plan's impressive results and will leave you feeling lighter and healthier.

If you've been trying to eat more clean, natural, and organic foods, but have lacked the structure needed to lose weight, this is the exact plan you've been waiting for. Cinch! includes every tool you'll need for weightloss success: Sass's proven plan, expert tips and advice, daily journals, grocery-shopping lists, chapters on exercise and emotional eating, and a month's worth of recipes—customizable for meat eaters, vegetarians, and vegans. You'll enjoy Chocolate Pear Ginger Smoothies, JalapeÑo Guacamole, and Chicken Pesto Pitas—to name just a few luscious Cinch! options!

Best of all, Cinch! weight loss is lasting weight loss. In one month, you'll recalibrate your body, freeing yourself from cravings and erratic eating, and begin a satisfying new relationship with food. With Sass's expertise behind you, you'll be empowered to continue creating Cinch!-friendly meals and feel inspired by a wealth of new eating habits—making this so much more than a diet.

 Mend Mark Bracelet ~ Received two Mend Mark bracelets (one to review, one to giveaway) from B&B Media
The Mend Mark tells a powerful story in two wordsHave you been “Marked?” The Mend Mark is a mission, a movement, an entire revolution. It is a bracelet meant to remind its wearers of Christ’s love and sacrifice, and its message is the passion of its creator, Hunter Harrison.

The Mend Mark is an innovative and distinctive bracelet that is designed to reflect the scars and nail holes of Jesus. When worn, the band resembles the deep holes of the nail driven into the wrists of Jesus during his crucifixion. By bringing the story of Jesus’ life and death to constant awareness by wearing a bracelet, Mend Mark is meant to powerfully remind wearers of the ultimate act of love Jesus made for all of humankind. One circle is imprinted with the word “love,” and the other says “remember.”

Harrison’s mission is to remind all to remember Christ’s love in both his life and death. But more than only a poignant recollection, the Mend Mark is meant to inspire and motivate wearers to live a life of service. Harrison strives to bring people together around the simplicity and power of love as lived by Jesus. But this is no example of passive love. The Mend Mark calls individuals in all walks of life to love with a profound sincerity and commitment great enough to change a neighborhood, a community, a world.

Harrison leads this call to love and sacrifice by example and joins hands with each Mend Mark bracelet purchaser to take the first step in global change. A portion of each bracelet sold goes to support Living Water International, an organization combating the clean water crisis victimizing over one billion people worldwide. Each $5,000 given will result in one well drilled, providing a community with clean water.
The Christmas Edition: A Journey to ParadiseA Journey to Paradise DVD based on The Christmas Edition  by Robin Shope ~ Fiction DVD ~ A win from the author's website. Thank you Robin!!  I can't wait to watch it. :)
As another Christmas approaches in the small Wisconsin town of Paradise, the local television news director, Lucy Collins, struggles to recapture the joy of Christmas after a traumatic event in her life just two years earlier.

When the mysterious but attractive Joe McNamara arrives from Chicago to apply for the station's associate producer position everything changes for Lucy, her family, and their small town independent television station. But, why has Joe really made the journey to Paradise? What are his intentions and why is he really there?

The answers just might surprise you. Joe is struggling too, but with what? Can truth be found where a lie began? "Journey to Paradise" is a suspenseful, romantic, and life affirming look at hope, faith, love, and finding the truth.

What was in your mailbox last week??

If you would like to participate in Mailbox Monday, head over to The Printed Page and grab the logo. Make sure to visit other blogs hosting Mailbox Monday and comment/leave your link!

*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate

Monday, December 20, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: Highland Hellcat by Mary Wine


TEASER TUESDAYS :
hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading ~



Teaser :
Highland Hellcat
"Ye are a barbarian."
He grinned but backed away from her.  "I'm a Highlander, lass."
"Well, so am I. That means I am no' without self-discipline when it comes to my..."

~ page 168 “Highland Hellcat" by Mary Wine

** Please note that this Teaser was taken from an Advanced Reader Copy and the final book may be slightly different.

About the Book (from Amazon):
He wants a wife he can control...

Connor Lindsey is a Highland laird, but his clan's loyalty is hard won and he takes nothing for granted. He'll do whatever it takes to find a virtuous wife, even if he has to kidnap her...

She has a spirit that can't be tamed...

Brina Chattan has always defied convention. She sees no reason to be docile now that she's been captured by a powerful laird and taken to his storm-tossed castle in the Highlands, far from her home.

When a rival laird's interference nearly tears them apart, Connor discovers that a woman with a wild streak suits him much better than he'd ever imagined...
I always look forward to reading everyone's teasers! ~ Wendi

*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate.

Review: The Snow Globe by Sheila Roberts - A Great Holiday Read

The Snow Globe
The Snow Globe by Sheila Roberts is a beautiful book that will warm your heart during this holiday season.  It is also perfect for a quick afternoon read and would fit really nicely in a Christmas stocking! Filled with laughter and tears, the story is sure to hold your attention till the very end... and make you wish for a continuation.  I found it very charming, with just a hint of the calamity of life to lend it a good dose of realism (I also found some great humor in it as well... especially the traditional family game at Kiley's family's Thanksgiving).

Three very special friends each need a miracle during this holiday season.  Kiley needs a job and wants to fall in love with the right guy... Allison misses the one person who truly loved her and spent quality time with her, her grandmother... and Suzanne is working too hard to have the perfect house instead of creating a home for her family.  Each woman is given a glimpse of something special as the snow settles in the snow globe Kiley brings home from an antique store she stopped at during their girls weekend away.


The snow globe gives Kiley hope that she can find a miracle after she shakes it and sees a local Pike Place Market (Seattle) toy store in the snowy scene.  Kiley does not know what to expect when she goes on a quest with her friend Allison to find the toy store, but she does know that the scene in the snow globe has given her hope.  Even Suzanne, who is skeptical of the snow globe's power and the legitimacy of Kiley's new found Mr. Right may change her mind after seeing her friend's happiness and catching a glimpse of something special within the snow globe.

The book is a hardback edition, and the dust jacket has wonderful little glittery details on it that really make it just perfect.  And to top it all off, I find myself taking the time to enjoy snow globes as I run across them now.






The Snow Globe
by Sheila Roberts

St. Martin's Press (October 26, 2010) ~ 176 pages
Fiction 

Edition Reviewed: Hardback - Review copy received courtesy of the author, Thank you Sheila for sending me a copy to review!


About the Book:
Discover an unforgettable holiday treasure in Sheila Roberts’ heartwarming tale of love and laughter, magic and miracles, friendship and coming home…

On a blustery afternoon, Kylie Gray wanders into an antique shop and buys an enchanting snow globe. “There’s a story behind that snow globe,” the antique dealer tells her. The original owner, he explains, was a German toymaker who lost his wife and son right before Christmas. When the grieving widower received the handcrafted snow globe as a Christmas gift, he saw the image of a beautiful woman beneath the glass—a woman who would come into his life, mend his broken heart and bring him back to the world of the living. For years, the snow globe has passed from generation to generation, somehow always landing in the hands of a person in special need of a Christmas miracle.

Kiley could use a miracle herself. This year, all she wants for Christmas is someone to love. A hopeful shake leads her on an adventure that makes a believer out of her. When Kylie shares the story of the snow globe with her best friends—two women with problems of their own—they don’t believe it. But they’re about to discover that at Christmastime, sometimes the impossible becomes possible and miracles really do come true.

Excerpt (found on Amazon):
One

Fawn Island, Pacific Northwest

Something drew Kiley Gray to the antique shop. It could have been the carousel horse in the window or the sight of tables and shelves beyond, crammed with cast-off treasures. Whatever was in there calling to her, she knew she had to go in. She was a big believer in that sort of thing.

Actually, Kiley was a big believer, period. She’d been sure Santa was real until she was ten and even after waking up on Christmas Eve to discover her father hanging her filled stocking on the mantel, she kept pretending for another two years. She’d believed in Prince Charming and Mr. Right clear through college. She’d even believed in happy endings until just this past October when her boyfriend Jeremy Horne dumped her at her own Halloween party (how was that for tacky?), announcing that he couldn’t fight his attraction for her sister any longer.

It had been a very scary Halloween.

A bell chimed over the door as Kiley entered the shop and her nose twitched as she caught a whiff of dust.

Another shopper, a middle-aged woman in a stylish wool coat, stood at the counter, raving over the pink Depression glass pitcher she’d found. “And just in the nick of time,” she added. “I’m going to have to dash to make that ferry.” With hurried thanks, she took the piece the shop owner had carefully wrapped and hurried to the door, stuffing bills in her wallet as she went.

One fluttered to the floor and Kiley scooped it up. It was a fifty, maybe not a lot for this woman, who was well dressed and obviously had money to burn, but to Kiley it was a fortune. “Wait. You dropped this.”

“Oh. Thanks,” said the woman, barely looking at it. She stuffed it in her purse and hurried out the door.

The shopkeeper, a portly man with thinning, gray hair, smiled at Kiley. “People get in too big of a hurry.”

“I can’t afford to be in that big of a hurry,” she said. She probably couldn’t afford to be in here at all. But browsing didn’t cost anything, she told herself as she drifted to where the carousel horse stood frozen in mid-prance. Who had owned this and how had it wound up languishing here? Kiley gave it a comforting pat then wandered past a table overflowing with nautical knickknacks toward an antique sideboard displaying tarnished silver and faded china, waiting for their glory days to return.

Then she saw something out of the corner of her eye. She turned and moved to the far side of the shop for a closer look. Tucked behind a clock with a brass horse and a chipped crystal vase sat an old snow globe. She might never have noticed it if it hadn’t gotten caught by a stray sunbeam that managed to slip past the gray clouds outside and in through the window.

She picked it up, charmed by the scene inside the thick glass: a toyshop in the center of an Alpine village. She gave the globe a shake and watched the snow swirl around the little angel standing guard in front of the shop. It was simply too charming not to buy. Anyway, purchasing treasures was an integral part of any girls’ getaway weekend so, in a way, she was almost obligated.

She took it to where the shop owner sat behind his cash register, now reading a book. “I didn’t see a price tag on this. I’m just wondering what you want for it.”

She gulped when he told her. Not exactly a wise purchase for a girl who had a steady job, let alone one who was now unemployed. Maybe purchasing treasures wasn’t such an integral part of a girls’ getaway weekend. At least not this treasure, not this weekend. Heck, at that price, never.

The man looked over his reading glasses at her and smiled. “But, I think, for the right buyer, I could come down in price.”

Not enough, she was sure. Still, she couldn’t resist asking, “What does the right buyer look like?” Hopefully, a skinny woman edging toward thirty with unruly brown hair, hazel eyes, a fashionably full mouth, and a nose she hated.

“It’s not exactly about looks,” the shop owner said. “It’s more about where you are in life. You see, this little snow globe has quite a story to tell.”

“I like stories,” said Kiley, leaning her elbows on the counter.

“This one starts back when snow globes were first being made. Nobody knows the exact date, but the first one appeared at the Paris Exposition in 1878, and by 1879 at least five companies were producing snow globes and selling them throughout Europe. The woman who brought this to me claims it was one of them, so you can see it’s very valuable.”

“If it’s that valuable I wonder why she didn’t take it to Antiques Roadshow,” Kiley mused. It seemed like the kind of thing that would go for a king’s ransom at Sotheby’s.

The man nodded his agreement. “She had her reasons. You see, its age isn’t the only thing that makes it valuable.” He removed his reading glasses and set aside his book. “Would you like to hear more?”

“I’m not in a hurry,” said Kiley. “But I hope this story has a happy ending. I’m kind of in need of happy endings these days.”

“Are you? Well, you be the judge.”

Chicago, December 1880

It had been one year since Otto Schwartz had lost his whole world. And he was still alive, if one could call moving through each day like a ghost living. This particular day he stood at his toyshop window, watching snow carpet the street. Delivery wagons passed, people walked by with paper-wrapped parcels, happily shopping for Christmas.

Two children, a boy and a girl bundled in heavy coats, hats, and mittens, ran ahead of their mother and stopped in front of the shop window to peer at Otto’s display of porcelain dolls, tin toys, and stuffed animals. They pressed their faces to the glass and pointed excitedly. One even smiled at Otto. He tried to smile back. A ghost of a smile.

The woman caught up with them, keeping her face averted. Taking the children by the hand, she led them off down the street. He could hardly blame her for not wanting to look at him. His toys called to one and all to step inside and find fun and laughter. But once inside people found Otto and they hurriedly left, recalling more pressing errands.

He watched them walk away and sighed. Children and toys were meant to go together. Men who owned toyshops should have children. And wives.

The sigh became a sob. He turned his back on the snowy Chicago street scene, then dug a handkerchief out of the pocket of his black suit and blew his nose. At least he’d tried to smile.

But the effort was coming late. People expected a man to mourn when he lost his wife and baby—a full year in black and no social engagements (as if he had wanted any)—but they also expected a man to continue to run his business, to set aside his sorrow and take care of his customers. Otto couldn’t even care for his own bleeding heart. How could he be expected to care if little Johann would like a wooden marionette or to take an interest in which porcelain doll little Ingrid would want most? At first he had been bereft. He had closed up the shop and shut himself inside his darkened house. Everyone in the city’s German community had understood. But finally his sister had shoved Brötchen, sliced ham, and an egg under his nose and commanded that he eat. And that he then go and reopen his shop.

“You are not the first man to lose a wife in childbirth. You will not be the last,” she’d said sternly. “Liesel and Gottlieb are in heaven.”

“And I am in hell,” he had growled, causing his sister to gasp.

She had recovered quickly, shaking a finger at him and retorting, “Then I suggest you crawl out. It is time. You have a business to run.”

And so he had gone from bereft to morose, and his friends and neighbors tried to be patient. But when he went from morose to ill-tempered people failed to understand and he lost many a customer. Now Christmas was right around the corner and Otto was trying to remember how to smile. Except that was almost impossible with the snow coming down outside, reminding him of happier times in the village in the Bavarian alps where he had grown up, with people strolling by outside on their way to warm, happy homes.

Peter the mail carrier entered the shop, bringing with him the scent of snow. From somewhere outside the sound of a child’s laugh slipped in also, grabbing at Otto’s heart.

“Otto, look what I have. Something from your sister in France,” Peter called cheerfully, his grin making his moustache dance. If Peter weren’t so content with delivering mail he would have made a great diplomat. He was always happy. Even on Otto’s grumpiest days Peter entered the shop smiling and left the same way. “Open it and let’s see what it is,” he suggested. A package from France was worth a five-minute delay in his deliveries.

Otto took the package, carefully unwrapping it and prying open the wooden box. Nested inside the excelsior he found something more amazing than all the toys in his shop put together.

“What is it?” asked Peter, his voice filled with awe.

“I don’t know,” said Otto. He picked up the delicate item. It easily fit in the palm of his large hand. A glass globe sat on an ornate ceramic base. Inside it was a nostalgic scene of a toyshop that looked like his father’s toyshop on a street in what could have been his village in the Bavarian Alps. Amazing! How had the maker managed that small wonder? The mountains, the snow-capped trees—oh yes, it could have been his village! In front of the toyshop stood a beautiful angel in a white gown with golden...
Copyright © 2010 by Sheila Roberts. All rights reserved.

About the Author: (from Amazon)
Sheila Roberts lives on a lake in the Pacific Northwest. She’s happily married and has three children. She’s been writing since 1989, but she did lots of things before settling in to her writing career, including owning a singing telegram company and playing in a band. Her band days are over, but she still enjoys writing songs. When she’s not speaking to women’s groups or at conferences or hanging out with her girlfriends she can be found writing about those things near and dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.

Visit her website at www.sheilasplace.com

*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mailbox Monday: Some Great Books For The Holidays And Beyond!


Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at The Printed Page, is on a blog tour! Last month's host was Julie @ Knitting and Sundries, and she did a fantastic job, and Rose City Reader kicks off 2011.

This month, Mailbox Monday is being hosted by Lady Q at Let Them Read Books, so stop by and join the fun!


It is so much fun to see what everyone is getting in the mail.

Thanks for taking the time to visit ~ I just love hearing from you! Please let me know if you have read any of these books - I'd love to hear how you liked them!! :)

Woo Hoo!!  Three weeks in a row here on Mailbox Monday!!  Can't wait to visit everyone and see what was in your mailbox.

Four for my mailbox last week:

Get Energy!: Empower Your Body, Love Your LifeGet Energy! Empower Your Body, Love Your Life by Denise Austin ~ Health & Fitness / Women's Health ~ Available January 2011 ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for review and giveaway

From the ARC Back Cover: With busy schedules, demanding careers, and little time, many of us battle just to stay awake. But energy is something that is in our control, even when time is short. Now 50 years young, fitness guru Denise Austin shows readers how to super-charge their lives, using her innovative lifestyle plan. She eats the right foods at the right time of day. She uses the power of stretching and breathing to feed her body with energy-enhancing oxygen. She uses mini-workouts to get energy even on her busiest days--and now you can too!

Denise shows how simple changes can add up to increased energy levels throughout the day. From the foods they consume to the way they sit in their chairs, readers won't believe how Denise's quick and easy plan will dramatically increase their energy levels. In as little as a week, results will be felt: radiant skin, more restful sleep, and a sharper mind...so follow Denise Austin and prepare for a fitness wake-up call!
Knight of Pleasure (All the King's Men)Knight of Pleasure (All The King's Men) by Margaret Mallory ~ Signed by the author ~ Historical Romance ~ Won from an On Strike For Christmas Red Carpet contest on Sheila Robert's site!  Thanks Sheila!!

THE GREATEST PASSION
Lady Isobel Hume is an expert swordswoman who knows how to choose her battles. When the king asks her to wed a French nobleman to form a political alliance, she agrees. But that's before the devilishly charming Sir Stephen Carleton captures her heart-and tempts her to betray her betrothed, her king, and her country.

IS WORTH THE GREATEST PERIL
Sir Stephen Carleton enjoys his many female admirers-until he dedicates himself to winning the lovely Isobel. So when a threat against the king leads Isobel into mortal danger, Stephen has a chance to prove that he is more than a knight of pleasure...and that love can conquer all.
Lakeshore Christmas (The Lakeshore Chronicles)Lakeshore Christmas (The Lakeshore Chronicles) by Susan Wiggs ~ Fiction ~ Another great win from an On Strike For Christmas Red Carpet contest on Sheila Robert's site! Thanks Sheila!!

Maureen Davenport finally gets to direct Avalon's annual holiday pageant, and she's determined to make it truly spectacular. But former child star Eddie Haven is turning out to be a tattooed lump of coal in her stocking. Eddie can't stand Christmas, but a judge's court order has landed him right in the middle of the merrymaking. He and Maureen spar over every detail of the pagaeant, from casting troubled kids to Eddie's original—and distinctly untraditional—music.
Is he sabotaging the performance to spite her, or is she forcing the show into her storybook-perfect notion of Christmas? And is it possible that they're falling in love?
On Strike for ChristmasOn Strike for Christmas by Sheila Roberts ~ Signed by the Author ~ Fiction ~ NOTE: This book was just made into a Lifetime Movie!! ~ Another great win from an On Strike For Christmas Red Carpet contest on Sheila Robert's site! Thanks Sheila!!


At Christmastime, it seems as though a woman’s work is never done. Trimming the tree, mailing the cards, schlepping to the mall, the endless wrapping—bah humbug! So this year, Joy and Laura and the rest of their knitting group decide to go on strike. If their husbands and families want a nice holiday—filled with parties, decorations, and presents—well, they’ll just have to do it themselves. The boycott soon takes on a life of its own when a reporter picks up the story and more women join in. But as Christmas Day approaches, Joy, Laura, and their husbands confront larger issues in their marriages and discover that a little holiday magic is exactly what they need to come together.

Sheila Roberts gives the best gift of all in this funny, heartwarming novel that touches the very core of Christmas spirit.

What was in your mailbox last week??

If you would like to participate in Mailbox Monday, head over to The Printed Page and grab the logo. Make sure to visit other blogs hosting Mailbox Monday and comment/leave your link!

*I am an Amazon Associate, and as such, if you make a purchase on Amazon after clicking through using a link on Wendi's Book Corner, I will get a very small percentage which will help me to buy more books!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy, Book 1) by Lauren DeStefano


TEASER TUESDAYS :
hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading ~



Teaser :
Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy)
Linden hooks his arm in mine and we begin to walk, not through the rose garden but toward the orange grove.  All traces of the party are gone, and now I can see it for what it really is: straggly and natural and pretty.  A place where I would want to lie on a blanket and read.

~ page 120 “Wither" by Lauren DeStefano

** Please note that this Teaser was taken from an Advanced Reader Copy and the final book may be slightly different.

About the Book (from the cover):
From the ARC Back Cover: In the not-too-distant future, because of genetic engineering, every human is a ticking time bomb - males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. To keep the population from dying out, girls are kidnapped and sold into polygamous marriages.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine is taken, she enters a world of wealth and privilege that both entices and terrifies her. She has everything she ever wanted - except freedom. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to escape before it is too late.
I always look forward to reading everyone's teasers! ~ Wendi

*I am an Amazon Associate, and as such, if you make a purchase on Amazon after clicking through using a link on Wendi's Book Corner, I will get a very small percentage which will help me to buy more books!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mailbox Monday: One New Arrival Last Week


Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at The Printed Page, is on a blog tour! Last month's host was Julie @ Knitting and Sundries, and she did a fantastic job, and Rose City Reader kicks off 2011.

This month, Mailbox Monday is being hosted by Lady Q at Let Them Read Books, so stop by and join the fun!


It is so much fun to see what everyone is getting in the mail.

Thanks for taking the time to visit ~ I just love hearing from you! Please let me know if you have read any of these books - I'd love to hear how you liked them!! :)

Woo Hoo!!  Two weeks in a row here on Mailbox Monday!!  Can't wait to visit everyone and see what was in your mailbox.

Just one for my mailbox last week, but it sure sounds good:

Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy)Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy, Book 1) by Lauren DeStefano ~ Teen Fiction ~ Available March 2011 ~ Received courtesy of the publisher via Shelf Awareness

From the ARC Back Cover: In the not-too-distant future, because of genetic engineering, every human is a ticking time bomb - males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty.  To keep the population from dying out, girls are kidnapped and sold into polygamous marriages.
When sixteen-year-old Rhine is taken, she enters a world of wealth and privilege that both entices and terrifies her.  She has everything she ever wanted - except freedom.  With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to escape before it is too late.

What was in your mailbox last week??

If you would like to participate in Mailbox Monday, head over to The Printed Page and grab the logo. Make sure to visit other blogs hosting Mailbox Monday and comment/leave your link!

  *I am an Amazon Associate, and as such, if you make a purchase on Amazon after clicking through using a link on Wendi's Book Corner, I will get a very small percentage which will help me to buy more books!

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Powerful Christmas Gift This Season: Join and Share in the Mend Mark Revolution, A Powerful Show of Faith

Still looking for a Christmas gift?

The Mend Mark tells a powerful story in two words
Have you been “Marked?” The Mend Mark is a mission, a movement, an entire revolution. It is a bracelet meant to remind its wearers of Christ’s love and sacrifice, and its message is the passion of its creator, Hunter Harrison. 

The Mend Mark is an innovative and distinctive bracelet that is designed to reflect the scars and nail holes of Jesus. When worn, the band resembles the deep holes of the nail driven into the wrists of Jesus during his crucifixion. By bringing the story of Jesus’ life and death to constant awareness by wearing a bracelet, Mend Mark is meant to powerfully remind wearers of the ultimate act of love Jesus made for all of humankind.  One circle is imprinted with the word “love,” and the other says “remember.”

Harrison’s mission is to remind all to remember Christ’s love in both his life and death. But more than only a poignant recollection, the Mend Mark is meant to inspire and motivate wearers to live a life of service. Harrison strives to bring people together around the simplicity and power of love as lived by Jesus. But this is no example of passive love. The Mend Mark calls individuals in all walks of life to love with a profound sincerity and commitment great enough to change a neighborhood, a community, a world.

Harrison leads this call to love and sacrifice by example and joins hands with each Mend Mark bracelet purchaser to take the first step in global change. A portion of each bracelet sold goes to support Living Water International, an organization combating the clean water crisis victimizing over one billion people worldwide. Each $5,000 given will result in one well drilled, providing a community with clean water.

But wearers should be prepared to be seen. Unique in its design, the Mend Mark is sure to be noticed and gives wearers an opportunity to share the story of the profound love of Jesus for each and every person. “It was important to me that the design was simple and generic enough that the observer had to ask about it to know what it meant. But I also wanted it to appear distinctive enough that it sparked curiosity,” reveals creator Hunter Harrison. “I wanted it to require the wearer of the product to engage in conversation about the love of Christ (and hopefully show that love to others) instead of just letting the product talk for them.”

Launched in late 2009 after a year and a half of packaging, material, and design development by Harrison, the bracelet has been sold across the United States, Canada, and the UK and has been featured in retail stores as well. The Mend Mark bracelet movement has grown to further fame after being worn during performances by American Idol winner Lee Dewyze, Idol runner up Siobhan Magnus, Decyfer Down, Israel Houghton & New Breed, Pillar, and Finding Favour, to name a few. Says Harrison, “I want it to be more than just another bracelet; I want it to represent a movement.” Based on the way things are going, a movement is exactly what it is becoming.
$9.99
Become a fan of Mend Mark on Facebook – Follow Mend Mark on Twitter (mendmark) 

Audra of B&B Media got to interview Hunter Harrison - to see their Q&A, visit here!

I think this sounds like a wonderful new way to share your faith!  Information has been provided courtesy of The B&B Media Group.  Stay tuned for an upcoming review and giveaway!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holiday Gift Giveaway Hop Winner!

And the winner is.... Susan of Craving the Savings!  Susan won a $25 gift card to the Safeway Companies grocers and 2 VIP Fiber One Coupons courtesy of Fiber One through MyBlogSpark.

Many thanks to everyone who entered!  Stay tuned for more great giveaways coming soon.  :)




~ Wendi

Fiber One was very generous and provided me with a Safeway gift card, VIP Coupons and information through MyBlogSpark, and they are allowing me to host a giveaway for one additional gift card with coupons to a reader!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: The Snow Globe by Sheila Roberts


TEASER TUESDAYS :
hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading ~



Teaser :
Meanwhile, the battle over whether a wild colored chick hat was acceptable snowman attire raged on. Finally, the girl who had accepted it wadded a couple of handfuls of snow into a giant snowball.

Uh-oh, thought Kiley with a smile.

But instead of throwing it the girl pushed her lump of snow onto one side of the snowman's chest, saying, "Then we'll make it a girl."

~ page 52-53 “The Snow Globe" by Sheila Roberts
About the Book (from the cover):
Discover an unforgettable holiday treasure in Sheila Roberts’ heartwarming tale of love and laughter, magic and miracles, friendship and coming home…

On a blustery afternoon, Kylie Gray wanders into an antique shop and buys an enchanting snow globe. “There’s a story behind that snow globe,” the antique dealer tells her. The original owner, he explains, was a German toymaker who lost his wife and son right before Christmas. When the grieving widower received the handcrafted snow globe as a Christmas gift, he saw the image of a beautiful woman beneath the glass—a woman who would come into his life, mend his broken heart and bring him back to the world of the living. For years, the snow globe has passed from generation to generation, somehow always landing in the hands of a person in special need of a Christmas miracle.

Kiley could use a miracle herself. This year, all she wants for Christmas is someone to love. A hopeful shake leads her on an adventure that makes a believer out of her. When Kylie shares the story of the snow globe with her best friends—two women with problems of their own—they don’t believe it. But they’re about to discover that at Christmastime, sometimes the impossible becomes possible and miracles really do come true.
I always look forward to reading everyone's teasers! ~ Wendi

Mailbox Monday: Disney Fun For the Family Arrives in the Form of Disney's Wonderful World of Reading Books


Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at The Printed Page, is on a blog tour! Last month's host was Julie @ Knitting and Sundries, and she did a fantastic job, and Rose City Reader kicks off 2011.

This month, MM is being hosted by Lady Q at Let Them Read Books, so stop by and join the fun!


It is so much fun to see what everyone is getting in the mail.

Thanks for taking the time to visit ~ I just love hearing from you! Please let me know if you have read any of these books - I'd love to hear how you liked them!! :)

It's been quite a while since Wendi's Book Corner has participated in Mailbox Monday, and I'm SO excited to be back!!  Hopefully next week will bring a better Mailbox... at least in the format of my post!  :)

Here are the books that came into my house last week:

Alice in Wonderland and Bambi Grows Up ~ Both Disney Wonderful World of Reading books.  I picked these up at a local Goodwill store as I'm always on the lookout for the titles I don't have... yes, it has turned into somewhat of an obsession as I'm collecting them for my son's book shelf and they are GREAT bedtime stories!  To see what I'm talking about and view the complete list as I've been able to piece together so far, visit my post here.

Bambi Grows Up (Disney's Wonderful World of Reading)


What was in your mailbox last week??

If you would like to participate in Mailbox Monday, head over to The Printed Page and grab the logo. Make sure to visit other blogs hosting Mailbox Monday and comment/leave your link!
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