Monday, January 31, 2011

Review: Empty by Suzanne Weyn ... Thought Provoking And Entertaining! What Would Happen In A World Running Low On Oil?

EmptyEmpty has been one of the most profound and thought-provoking books I've read lately! Yes - it's true... I was enthralled for a few hours by a children's fiction book (Grades 7-10) that explores what will happen when the world runs low on oil.  $80.00+ per gallon of gas when you can even find it, high priced food and necessities... when you can find them, alternate forms of transportation,

Set in the small town of Sage Valley, New York, readers will meet Gwen, Tom, Niki, Brock and Hector, as well as Gwen's brother Luke, some parents, and a few teachers (mainly Mr. Curtin and his wife).  There is a love triangle, and typical teen issues are briefly explored (popularity, image, dating), but it is all resolved quite nicely in the end.  On top of facing issues caused by oil shortages, the teens also survive a super-hurricane and the devastation it leaves behind.

Also interesting are the news articles scattered throughout the book.  The author included news articles that helped readers to see a bigger picture of what was really happening throughout the story in other areas of the world, as well as the politics involved.

The things that really shine in the book are the circumstances and how the characters lives change in order to survive in a new era.  It is ultimately a book about survival...  What choices need to be made in the future to ensure safety and survival?  Days later, I still find myself thinking about what I can do around our house to become more eco-friendly and less dependent on natural gas/utilities (although I think that will be QUITE a challenge!), and I loved the idea/concept of the Whippersnapper III home (fully self-sufficient, sustained living).  I highly recommend this book simply because it will challenge younger and older readers alike to think about the world a little differently.

Note: this is a very easy read as an adult, as it is written for children/teens.



Empty
by Suzanne Weyn

Scholastic Press (October 1, 2010) ~ 256  pages
Fiction / Young Adult / Environment


About the Book:
It's the near future - the very near future - and the fossil fuels are running out. No gas. No oil. Which means no driving. No heat. Supermarkets are empty. Malls have shut down. Life has just become more local than we ever knew it could be.

Nobody expected the end to come this fast. And in the small town of Spring Valley, decisions that once seemed easy are quickly becoming matters of life and death. There is hope - there has to be hope - just there are also sacrifices that need to be made, and a whole society that needs to be rethought.

Teens like Nicki, Tom, and Leila may find what they need to survive. But their lives are never going to be the same again.

About the Author: (from the author's site)
Suzanne Weyn was born in Flushing, New York, and raised on Long Island. She is the oldest of four children. As a girl she was very interested in theater and in reading. Louisa May Alcott was her favorite author. Suzanne lived pretty close to the ocean and going to Jones Beach was one of favorite activities. Even today, if she goes too long without seeing the ocean, she starts feeling restless. In times of stress it is her first destination. She has a big poster of a giant wave in her living room.

Suzanne now lives in upper New York on a former horse farm in a cottage from the 1930s. There are active horse farms all around her and they help inspire her middle grade horse series, Wildwood Stables, which began in March of 2010 and is still going on with new books being added every few months.

Suzanne has written lots of books for kids and young adults. The most recent are The Bar Code Tattoo and its sequel The Bar Code Rebellion. The Bar Code Tattoo was selected by the American Library Assoc. (ALA) as a 05 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers and was a ’07 Nevada Library nominee for "Best Young Adult Fiction". It is currently translated into German and was nominated for the 07 Jugenliteraturpreis for Young People’s Literature. Her mystical historic romance, Reincarnation, was published in January 2008 from Scholastic hardcover. In 2009 Distant Waves received a starred review from booklist, calling it "wholly original" and praising its "sweeping action, mysticism, and romance."

Suzanne’s next Scholastic Hardcover, coming in October 2010, Empty, explores the impact of world oil depletion and global warming on the teens in a small, rural community much like the one where she lives.

Teaser Tuesday: Trapped by Michael Northrop (ARC)


TEASER TUESDAYS :
hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading ~



TrappedTeaser :

I looked around at the others because it didn't get much more "outlying" than this Podunk school on a dead-end road out in the middle of what used to be farmland. I could barely see their faces, though, and I realized that the emergency lights out in the hallway had blinked out again.

~ page 117 “Trapped" Uncorrected Proof by Michael Northrop

**Note: This teaser was taken from an Uncorrected Proof edition, so may be different from the final book.

About the Book (from Amazon):
The day the blizzard started, no one knew that it was going to keep snowing for a week. That for those in its path, it would become not just a matter of keeping warm, but of staying alive....

Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason are among the last seven kids at their high school waiting to get picked up that day, and they soon realize that no one is coming for them. Still, it doesn't seem so bad to spend the night at school, especially when distractingly hot Krista and Julie are sleeping just down the hall. But then the power goes out, then the heat. The pipes freeze, and the roof shudders. As the days add up, the snow piles higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision....
I always look forward to reading everyone's teasers! ~ Wendi

*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mailbox Monday and In My Mailbox


Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at The Printed Page, is on a blog tour! Last month's host was Lady Q at Let Them Read Books, and she did a fantastic job (she posted some GREAT recipes!), and Library of Clean Reads will be up next in February.

This month, Mailbox Monday is being hosted at Rose City Reader, so stop by and join the fun!

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren!

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!! :)

Four for my mailbox last week, and I hope you'll stop and check out my new weekly feature called Weekly ARC Expo, Bringing New Life to ARCs via an ARC Swap... here is the current one!

The Iron Queen (Harlequin Teen)The Iron Queen ARC by Julie Kagawa ~ Fiction / Teen / Sci-Fi/Fantasy  ~ Available Now ~ Received courtesy of the Publisher via Shelf Awareness
My name is Meghan Chase.

I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.
The Life Ready Woman: Thriving in a Do-It-All WorldThe Life Ready Woman: Thriving in a Do-It-All World by Shaunti Feldhahn and Robert Lewis ~ Non-Fiction / Christian Life / Women's Issues  ~ Available Now ~ Received courtesy of the Publisher for a tour with LitFuse Publicity
Whether a stay-at-home mom or an airplane-hopping executive, a student or a senior adult, most women need a contemporary, encouraging vision for what it means to be a godly, biblically guided female in the twenty-first century. A biblical woman takes God's Word seriously not just at church but also in the everyday walk of life.

But can a significant and satisfying twenty-first-century womanhood really be defined from Scripture? One that can apply to all women and yet not be guilty of cookie-cutter sameness, pressing everyone into a common mold? One that will stay fresh even as a woman grows older? One that can guide her to the best in life? The answer is yes, and the result is a femininity without excesses and regrets that mark those who just go with the flow of the world.

In Life Ready Woman, best-selling author Shaunti Feldhahn helps readers take five faith steps drawn from the Bible that will help to define the best life possible. Each one is easy to understand, but requires bold faith to activate. The reward is being ready for the deeper life that God has planned.
Minding Ben ARC by Victoria Brown ~ Fiction / Romance/ Paranormal  ~ Available April 2011 ~ Received courtesy of the Publisher via Shelf Awareness
The Nanny Diaries meets The Help in a riveting debut novel that follows an idealistic young woman as she leaves Trinidad for a new life in New York City---as a nanny.
WordsWords by Ginny L. Yttrup ~ Fiction / Christian / General ~ Available February 2011 ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for review
"I collect words. I keep them in a box in my mind. I'd like to keep them in a real box, something pretty, maybe a shoe box covered with flowered wrapping paper. Whenever I wanted, I'd open the box and pick up the papers, reading and feeling the words all at once. Then I could hide the box. But the words are safer in my mind. There, he can't take them."

Ten-year old Kaylee Wren doesn't speak. Not since her drug-addled mother walked away, leaving her in a remote cabin nestled in the towering redwoods-in the care of a man who is as dangerous as he is evil. With silence her only refuge, Kaylee collects words she might never speak from the only memento her mother left behind: a dictionary.

Sierra Dawn is thirty-four, an artist, and alone. She has allowed the shame of her past to silence her present hopes and chooses to bury her pain by trying to control her circumstances. But on the twelfth anniversary of her daughter's death, Sierra's control begins to crumble as the God of her childhood woos her back to Himself.

Brought together by Divine design, Kaylee and Sierra will discover together the healing mercy of the Word-Jesus Christ.


*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What Valentines Day Means To Me! Share What It Means To You For A Chance To Win 25 Free Shutterfly Valentines Day Cards!

Valentines Day can mean so many things for me... with so many fun memories... 

...As a child, it was a day of making that really fun Valentine Mailbox at school and filling it with treats and Valentines...

...As a teen, it was a day that was planned for... extensively!  I wanted to get my special friends or boyfriend a special surprise... and it was still a day of treats and Valentines...

... As a single adult... it was often a day filled with fun plans, of flowers, a gift, and maybe a special dinner... and chocolates!... with someone special (keep in mind here, I married my high school sweetheart, so I never really felt single, but we had many years between graduation and walking down the aisle)...

...As a mom... it is now a day of fun toddler/preschooler crafts, and extra hugs...

... As a wife... it is finding little ways to show my husband how much I love and appreciate him, it is working with the boys to make decorations, and making fun and romantic treats...

Valentines Day is a special day for me... not because of gifts or candy, but because it gives me a reason to do special things for those that I love   It is a day where I stop and take time to let those close to me know how much they mean to me.


This year, I am going to do all those things and then some.  I am going to share some fun family memories by sending out some Shutterfly cards.  They have a really nice selection of Valentine cards and photo gifts. (Also check out their baby shower invitations, graduation announcements, and thank you cards.)


Shutterfly has very generously offered to send both me and one of my readers 25 free Valentines Day Cards!!

Want to win? Here's how!

Leave a comment (more than one is ok) and let me know that you:

1. Tell me what Valentines Day means for you!
2. Follow via Google (link is on the right hand sidebar)
3. Follow via Twitter
4. Subscribe via Feedburner
5. Follow via NetworkedBlogs
6. Join Wendi's Book Corner on Facebook
7. BONUS ENTRY: Come back and share fun Valenentines Day traditions (crafts, favorite desserts, things you do to celebrate!) (Available Daily!!)
8. BONUS ENTRY 2: Share this giveaway with others via Twitter, Facebook, Blog, etc (leave a link here) (Available Daily!!)

The drawing will be held February 2nd, so you have time to order your cards and send them out!! Winner: I will send you an email, please reply quickly so you can get your code!  ** Please note that the winner may need to pay shipping for the cards

This giveaway is open to residents within the United States, no PO Boxes.

~ Wendi

* Disclosure:  I am receiving 25 free Valentine Cards for myself and 25 to share with one winner in exchange for sharing what Valentines Day Means To Me and for sharing links to Shutterfly's site.  Even without this incentive, I love using Shutterfly and their wonderful photo services.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Weekly ARC Expo: Bringing New Life to ARCs (ARC Swap) Stop By And See If You Want An ARC I've Got, Or If You Have One I'm Looking For!


In the hopes of giving new life to ARCs that tend to accumulate near my bookshelves and most likely near yours, I'm starting a Weekly ARC Expo, a place for bloggers to share their available ARC list (and wish lists too) in the hopes of being able to send some out to new homes and getting new books to read in return.  It should be a win-win! 

The Weekly ARC Expo is simple to participate in.  Each week, simply link your Weekly ARC Expo post up here with the provided Mr. Linky, then visit other bloggers.  If you are interested in a book or happen to have a book (ARC or regular) another blogger has wish listed, leave a message on their post and arrange postage (the person requesting a book should pay the postage via PaperbackSwap, Paypal, etc).

I can think of three ways to do this, so please post your preferred method: 1. Buddy a credit over via PaperbackSwap, 2. Send the book via Bookmooch for a credit there, 3. Arrange to send postage via Paypal. ** Note: If you want to print postage via your computer, an easy way is to have the person request a book you have on Paperbackswap (must be a Buddy to request directly from you), then weigh the book and send it with the postage you can print on the site.

When listing your ARCs, please include the title and author (genre, date available, etc are optional).  Your post should also include whether you are willing to ship internationally, or which countries you will send to.

Overall it should be a fun and easy way to give new life to old ARCs... as well as a great way to get some of those books from your wish list!

As this is a new meme/weekly post, we will probably need to iron out a few wrinkles along the way.  PLEASE feel free to leave a comment or email me with any suggestions!  Is this a good day or should I post on another day??

I will try to get postage estimates to post as well.

NOW - Onto my ARC lists!!

Available ARCs (More Coming VERY Soon I Hope... I misplaced my recently read pile so these are a bit older!)
Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee, YA Feb 2009
Cathy's Ring by Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman, YA May 2009
I, Lorelei by Yeardley Smith, Grades 3-7, Dec 2008
The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker, Fiction Jan 2009
The Rapture by Liz Jensen, Fiction Aug 2009
Wish List
Fallen Angels by Heather Terrell
The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti
Highland Heat by Mary Wine (Sourcebooks)
Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa Received from the publisher!!
It Happened One Bite by Lydia Dare (Sourcebooks)
Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright
Torment by Lauren Kate

I'm a member of Paperbackswap and Paypal

I can send ARCs within the US (anyone already know how to mail internationally?)

I hope you will help me spread the word!

~ Wendi

Monday, January 24, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner


TEASER TUESDAYS :
hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading ~



Teaser :
The Tudor Secret (The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles)
Dead silence followed my words. To my dismay, her entire person stiffened. This time, she did come to a stop. She turned to me, regarding me as if from a height I could not possibly hope to scale.

~ page 50 “The Tudor Secret" by C.W. Gortner

About the Book (from Amazon):
The era of the Tudors was one of danger, intrigue, conspiracy, and, above all, spies.

Summer 1553: A time of danger and deceit. Brendan Prescott, an orphan, is reared in the household of the powerful Dudley family. Brought to court, Prescott finds himself sent on an illicit mission to the king’s brilliant but enigmatic sister, Princess Elizabeth. But Brendan is soon compelled to work as a double agent by Elizabeth’s protector, William Cecil, who promises in exchange to help him unravel the secret of his own mysterious past.

A dark plot swirls around Elizabeth’s quest to unravel the truth about the ominous disappearance of her seriously ill brother, King Edward VI. With only a bold stable boy and an audacious lady-in-waiting at his side, Brendan plunges into a ruthless gambit of half-truths, lies, and murder. Filled with the intrigue and pageantry of Tudor England, The Tudor Secret is the first book in The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles.
I always look forward to reading everyone's teasers! ~ Wendi

*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate.

Star Wars Costume Review

If you have children, you know that their imaginations have no limits, and they love to pretend that they are superheros, fire fighters, princesses, Disney characters, etc... their imaginations really are the limit!  And what better way to encourage their creativity and imaginations than by letting them play dress-up. I recently became aware of an online company called Costume Discounters. They have a ton of great costumes for infants, toddlers, children, teens and adults. On top of a great selection, they also have a Low Price Guarentee.

Costumes are not limited to Halloween.  They are good for any time of day or night, they are worn to the store, to outings, to birthday parties, and for fun at home.  That was why I was so excited to be given the opportunity to review a GREAT costume from Costume Discounters

I have a four year old who LOVES Star Wars.  He just got his first Build-A-Bear for his birthday, who now has the Darth Vadar outfit, the Jedi outfit and the Clone Trooper outfit (along with Batman, Spiderman and Buzz Lightyear)... can you tell that my son is into superheros and big characters?  He also has four light sabers and we have light saber wars as a family.  So when I saw that Costume Discounters has a huge selection of Star Wars costumes, I KNEW that my son was going to BECOME a Star Wars hero with our next family light saber fight night. :)

I don't know if you can imagine my happiness when my son literally started jumping up and down when I opened up the costume when it arrived at our door.  I could not help him into it fast enough, and all of a sudden, he WAS Anakin Skywalker.  He ran to find his light saber, and here is what happened next...


Hours later, my son was still happily pretending that he was Anakin... and when my husband got home from work, he thought it was the coolest costume ever!

Another exciting thing coming up for this costume and my son??  We are going to go to the Star Wars Exhibit at the Pacific Science Center in March, and our son is SO excited that he gets to wear his new costume when we go.  :)  Yes... he will be one of THOSE fans all dressed up.


Now, a little about the costume itself.  I was really surprised at how well it was designed and how nicely it was put together.  It has three main pieces: the pants/boots are one piece and will fit over shoes very nicely, the tunic and vest are one piece, and there is a two part belt.  Overall the quality is very good, in fact, much better than I had expected.  The only minor flaw is that the tool belt it came with (the darker one on top of the brown belt) is big enough to fit a slim adult, so in order to get it to work I overlapped it at the back and used the brown under-belt to tie it in place and it worked just fine.

The costume itself is sized small (4-6) and while it fits my four year old, I've got to tuck the pants up a bit, so I am confident that he will get a few years of use out of it, which is great.






Deluxe Anakin Skywalker Costume
Costume Discounters
Retail Value $59.99, Costume Discounters Price $29.97

Edition Reviewed: Boys Small (4-6), Ages 3-4 - Deluxe Anakin Skywalker costume received from Costume Discounters via their Blogger Review Program for the purpose of this honest review.  Many thanks to Costume Discounters for sending me a copy to review!


About the Deluxe Anakin Skywalker Costume:

Kids Anakin Skywalker Deluxe Costume

Parents, if your child has been in the Star Wars frame of mind lately then this costume would be a great choice. Our Deluxe Anakin Skywalker Child costume will get him ready for battle with a tunic with attached matching shirt, pants, printed belt and attached boot tops. Your child will look just like he stepped off the movie set, just in time for Halloween! This would also be a fun costume for daily imaginative dress up play. Don’t forget to add our Anakin Skywalker Lightsaber, found elsewhere on this site, to ensure your child gets the best Anakin Skywalker look possible! You’ll love all the fun photo opportunities you get, especially if you’re a Star Wars fan yourself! Don’t forget one of our six inch glowsticks to keep him safer this Halloween. Don’t wait for this popular costume to go out of stock. Just get your Deluxe Anakin Skywalker child costume today!

Includes: Tunic, shirt, pants, belt and boot tops
Care Instructions: Hand Wash
Available Sizes: Small, Medium, Large
Retail Value: $59.99
Our Price: $29.97

About Costume Discounters: (from their site)
Cheap Halloween costumes is the name of the game here at Costume Discounters. Our Incredible Lowest Price Guarantee ensures you'll get exceptional value when you buy your costume for Halloween or other occassion. Costume Discounters brings you the latest and best costumes at the lowest prices...all year round. From Halloween costumes, kids costumes, toddler costumes, adult costumes and sexy costumes. We will make sure you can have costume fun and save all year round!

You will be amazed that saving big at Costume Discounters does not mean you have fewer choices to buy costumes. From the hottest trends in Halloween costumes like Hannah Montana, Power Ranger, Iron Man and Batman, to the most scandalous sexy Halloween costumes from Playboy and Leg Avenue. Costume Discounters offers a huge selection of adult Halloween costumes, toddler Halloween costumes and teen Halloween costumes! Making it the best online halloween costume store for shoppers in search of good value.

We want you to shop by selection, not location so we strive to make our costumes shippable all over the world. We ship Halloween costumes and accessories to Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. Shipping to Canada can take from 1 to 8 days, shipping a costume to Australia can take from 1-11 days and shipping one to the UK can takes as little as 1-3 days. This makes us the perfect choice for online costumes on three continents!

Low discount prices on all costumes and Halloween costumes for all ages!

Costume Discounters is UpFront
And at the end of the day, I have a VERY happy boy, who loves his new costume!  Thank you Costume Discounters!!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mailbox Monday and In My Mailbox


Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at The Printed Page, is on a blog tour! Last month's host was Lady Q at Let Them Read Books, and she did a fantastic job (she posted some GREAT recipes!), and Library of Clean Reads will be up next in February.

This month, Mailbox Monday is being hosted at Rose City Reader, so stop by and join the fun!

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren!

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!! :)

Six for my mailbox last week, and I hope you'll stop and check out my new weekly feature called Weekly ARC Expo, Bringing New Life to ARCs via an ARC Swap... here is the current one!

Cowboy FeverCowboy Fever ARC by Joanne Kennedy ~ Fiction / Romance / Western ~ Available April 2011 ~ Received courtesy of the Sourcebooks for review
Cowboy Fever features a compelling love story between an independent woman and a heart-of-gold cowboy. A former Miss Rodeo Wyoming, Jodie Bryce thought all she ever wanted was to get out of town, After gallivanting for six years in the big city, Jodie realizes she’s ready to return to what she knows best, riding horses and her small town life. But she never expects to return home to find her childhood best friend, Teague Treadwell, a changed man—still ruggedly handsome, but perhaps something more…

Teague remembers Jodie before the beauty pageants, when she was just a girl looking for time to ride her horse, and while they were good friends, he always felt different about Jodie. When Jodie returns, Teague thinks her success has lifted her out of his reach, and he’s spent the last six years shedding his bad boy image to be worthy of the girl next door. Will Jodie believe he’s truly changed? And can Teague relate to Jodie after she’s been gone for so long?
Demons Are a Girl's Best FriendDemons Are A Girl's Best Friend ARC by Linda Wisdom ~ Fiction / Romance/ Paranormal  ~ Available April 2011 ~ Received courtesy of the Sourcebooks for review
Feisty witch Maggie enjoys her work as a paranormal law enforcement officer, until she’s assigned to protect Courtney, a teenager with major attitude and a sleazy boyfriend. A group of satanic Mayans priests has decided Courtney has a drop of divine blood in her—making her the virgin sacrifice they need to release their God and rule the world.

To prevent this catastrophe, Maggie must team up with half fire demon Declan, the proprietor of Damnation Alley, an underground club and busy demon portal. Declan will be damned if he’ll allow his demon race to be blamed for the malicious acts of some evil Mayans. He decides to seduce the sexy witch in an effort to discover what the law enforcement agency knows about the Mayan’s plans, but when things get more than a little hot, Declan finds himself entangled with the sexiest woman he’s ever met…
The Making of a Rogue ARC by Shana Galen ~ Fiction / Romance/ Historical ~ Available April 2011 ~ Received courtesy of the Sourcebooks for review
Equal parts action and passion, this third in a Regency romance trilogy by acclaimed author Shana Galen features the featuring the swashbuckling Sebastien Harcourt, Marquis de Valere. After escaping France on a privateer’s ship, Sebastian becomes the notorious privateer Captain Cutlass. But when a British Admiral Russell sets out to capture Cutlass, Sebastien may pay the price for his former master’s crimes with his life.

Daughter of the admiral and a nautical genius, Raven Russell believes Captain Cutlass is responsible for her fiancĂ©’s death. But when the fiery beauty crosses swords with the irresistible Sebastien, Raven isn’t so sure she wants him to change his wicked ways…
The Return of Black Douglas ARC by Elaine Coffman ~ Fiction / Romance/ Time-Travel ~ Available April 2011 ~ Received courtesy of the Sourcebooks for review
For years, readers have begged Elaine to tell the stories of the ancestors of the Mackinnons in the Scottish Highlands, and bring back the devious Black Douglas ghost… The Return of Black Douglas tells the tale of Isobella Douglas who is transported to 16th century Scotland by the powers of the mischievous ghost of Black Douglas, and finds herself among the Mackinnon ancestors. Dropped in the middle of a clan skirmish, Isobella is at Castieal Marrach, the seat of the Mackinnon clan.

Alysandir Mackinnon rules his clan with an iron fist. He has no time for softness or as he sees it, weakness, in his life. But when he encounters a bewitching English “spy,” with her strange magic contraptions—an iPod?—Alysandir’s hard heart softens toward the intriguing, if at times infuriating, lass. But the more time they spend together, the more Isobella begins to wonder if this is where she belongs after all…

The Tudor Secret (The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles)The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner ~ Fiction / Historical ~ Available February 2011 ~ Received courtesy of the the publisher and Pump Up Your Books Promotion for review Feb. 10th
The era of the Tudors was one of danger, intrigue, conspiracy, and, above all, spies.

Summer 1553: A time of danger and deceit. Brendan Prescott, an orphan, is reared in the household of the powerful Dudley family. Brought to court, Prescott finds himself sent on an illicit mission to the king’s brilliant but enigmatic sister, Princess Elizabeth. But Brendan is soon compelled to work as a double agent by Elizabeth’s protector, William Cecil, who promises in exchange to help him unravel the secret of his own mysterious past.

A dark plot swirls around Elizabeth’s quest to unravel the truth about the ominous disappearance of her seriously ill brother, King Edward VI. With only a bold stable boy and an audacious lady-in-waiting at his side, Brendan plunges into a ruthless gambit of half-truths, lies, and murder. Filled with the intrigue and pageantry of Tudor England, The Tudor Secret is the first book in The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles.
When All My Dreams Come True (Colorado Runaway Series)When All My Dreams Come True by Janelle Mowery ~ Fiction / Romance ~ Available February 2011 ~ Received courtesy of the the publisher and CFBA for review Feb. 28th
Bobbie McIntyre dreams of running a ranch of her own. Raised without a mother and having spent most of her time around men, she knows more about wrangling than acting like a lady. The friendship of her new employer awakens a desire to learn more about presenting her feminine side, but ranch life keeps getting in the way. Ranch owner Jace Kincaid figures the Lord is testing his faith when a female wrangler shows up looking for work. Bobbie has an uncanny way of getting under his skin, though, and he?s surprised when she finds a home next to his heart. But when his cattle begin to go missing and his wranglers are in danger from some low-down cattle thief, can Jace trust God, even if it may mean giving up on his dreams? An adventurous novel of faith, hope, and love in the Wild West.

Product Review: Hamilton Beach Electric Kettle (Makes Hot Water Quickly And Easily)

Hamilton Beach 40870 10 Cup Electric Kettle - StaiI love the Hamilton Beach Kettle I inherited from my Mom! Over the holidays I had a really bad sinus infection, and after ending up in Urgent Care twice and going through two rounds of antibiotics.  My Mom brought this handy electric kettle over to make me some tea, and she ended up giving it to me. I think one of the best things I did was drink hot water and tea all day. And the best part?  I'm still drinking lots of hot water every day (instead of pop!!  Yeah!!). 

And you know what?  I've discovered other great uses for it as well.  I've used it for hot water and tea (obviously), for sanitizing dirty plastic toys, for hot water when cleaning out the sink pipes, and for cleaning sticker residue off glass bottles (for craft projects) and picture frames. 

I've also heard that you can use it to make coffee (although I don't want to get the coffee flavor in the kettle), and use it for instant oatmeal and soups.

Hamilton Beach Electric Kettle

by Hamilton Beach

Kitchen / Small Appliance
$30

Edition Reviewed: The Kettle my Mom brought me from her house - thanks Mom!!


About:
Tea? Hot chocolate? Instant soup? If you have a taste for it, Hamilton Beach® Kettles can have it ready in minutes. Incorporating the best of Good Thinking?, the powerful rapid-boil system provides fast heat-up from any standard outlet and the auto shut-off function helps keep kettles from boiling dry. Hamilton Beach® Kettles are great looking and easy to use. Plus, most kettles include a 360-degree rotating or cordless base for easy serving. Hamilton Beach Kettles feature a stay-cool handle and drip-free spout that makes pouring easy.

PRODUCT FEATURES
• Faster than a microwave, safer than a stovetop kettle
• Cord-free serving
• Auto shutoff with boil-dry protection
• Concealed heating element
• Drip-free spout
• Water-level window
• 1500 Watts boils water quickly
• On/off switch
• Power indicator light

About Hamilton Beach: (from their site)
Our Company and Brand
Where Good Thinking™ and good value intersect.

As one of the country's leading distributors of small kitchen appliances, Hamilton Beach Brands, Inc. sells over 35 million appliances every year.

Our company's most famous brands -- Hamilton Beach®, Eclectrics®, Proctor Silex® and TrueAir® -- are found in households across America, Canada and Mexico. Now we're expanding into new areas as well, delivering our "Good Thinking™" approach throughout the home.

We're proud that our product quality, wide variety of options, superior customer service and brand name strength continue to earn us kudos with consumers. And we're committed to helping make your day a little easier, more creative and flavorful through Good Thinking™ applied to the style and function in all of our small electric appliances.
*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Review and Giveaway: Progresso Soup Gift Pack “Souper You Debut” (Win VIP Soup Coupon for Free Soup, Yoga Mat and Carrier, Water Bottle, Exercise Bands and Sport Headband and Wristbands)

I've always got a few cans of Progresso Soup on my shelf for those times when I'm feeling like a quick bowl of soup... or one of my family members wants some soup. It is also great when you need a really quick meal (yes - even breakfast!). While my local grocer doesn't carry all 40 flavors of Progresso's soups, they do carry quite a good variety, and a few of my favorites are the Light Italian-Style Meatball with Penne and the Light Savory Vegetable Barley!

I've even used the soups in recipes!  If you haven't, you really should give cooking with soups a try, it can really make it easy, and add flavor!  To help, Progresso has posted a few recipes that include soup on there site here.

Did you know that Progresso Labels include Points from the Weight Watchers system? That makes it easy to grab a quick meal or snack and stay within your points. Many of the Light soups are only 1 or 2 points.

They also have some Gluten-free soups!!

Visit their website here and you can sort the soups and find one that meets what you want!  In addition to being able to see the soups by type (traditional, light, vegetable classics, reduced sodium, rich & hearty, high fiber, and world recipes) you can also sort by: 100 calories or less, gluten free, fiber source, low fat and reduced sodium.  So if you have special dietary needs, make sure you stop by the site and discover the right soups for you!

Available in 40 delicious flavors with 100 calories or less, Progresso® Soup can help curb your hunger, making it easier for you to stick to your weight management plan all year long. With hearty ingredients like pasta, beans, corn and rice, and flavor-packed vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, and peppers, Progresso Soup varieties with 100 calories or less offer a good source of fiber and a full serving of vegetables.

To help kick off a new outlook on the New Year, Progresso is excited to announce the return of the "Souper You™ Debut" contest! From January 3rd through March 16th, you and your readers can visit Progresso on Facebook to enter for the chance to win a full makeover in New York City.

Three grand prize winners will be awarded a trip for two to New York City from May 20th-22nd. The prize includes roundtrip airfare, a two-night stay in an NYC hotel, a full makeover, a guided wardrobe shopping spree with a personal consultation at a New York City department store, and $1,000 in spending money.

To enter, you’ll need to do the following:
  • Go to Progresso on Facebook to learn more and enter the contest
  • Submit your essay (200 characters or less) telling Progresso why you love their soups that contain 100 calories or less, and why you deserve a chance to win a trip to NYC for a full fashion overhaul
  • In addition, please submit a photo of yourself that visually reinforces the theme of your essay
Once the 10 finalists are announced, you can visit Progresso on Facebook from March 30th through April 13th to vote for your favorite.

Visit the Facebook page to download a coupon for $1.00 off four (4) cans of Progresso Soup and to check out makeover videos provided by MyStyle.com and the Style Network. Be sure to also "Follow" Progresso on Twitter to keep up with the latest news from Progresso.
Giveaway:
The wonderful people at Progresso and MyBlogSpark have also provided me with an additional gift pack that contains a VIP coupon for a free can of Progresso soup, as well as a yoga mat, water bottle, set of aerobic bands, sport headband and two sport wristbands, to give away to one of my readers.


Want to win? Here's how!

Leave a comment (more than one is ok) and let me know that you:

1. Tell me your favorite Progresso Soup, or the one you would most like to try!
2. Follow via Google (link is on the right hand sidebar)
3. Follow via Twitter
4. Subscribe via Feedburner
5. Follow via NetworkedBlogs
6. Join Wendi's Book Corner on Facebook
7. BONUS ENTRY: Share this giveaway on you blog, twitter or facebook and leave a link here. (Available Daily!!)

The drawing will be held February 5th. Winner: I will send you an email, please reply with your address so I can forward it to the wonderful people at MyBlogSpark!


This giveaway is open to residents within the United States, no PO Boxes.

Disclosure: Progresso provided me with the free product, information, and giveaway through MyBlogSpark! Thanks Progresso and MyBlogSpark!

Giveaway has been posted in these great sites!
Free Sweepstakes and Contest
WinPrizesOnline: Sweepstakes

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Weekly ARC Expo: Bringing New Life to ARCs (ARC Swap)


In the hopes of giving new life to ARCs that tend to accumulate near my bookshelves and most likely near yours, I'm starting a Weekly ARC Expo, a place for bloggers to share their available ARC list (and wish lists too) in the hopes of being able to send some out to new homes and getting new books to read in return.  It should be a win-win! 

The Weekly ARC Expo is simple to participate in.  Each week, simply link your Weekly ARC Expo post up here with the provided Mr. Linky, then visit other bloggers.  If you are interested in a book or happen to have a book (ARC or regular) another blogger has wish listed, leave a message on their post and arrange postage (the person requesting a book should pay the postage via PaperbackSwap, Paypal, etc).

I can think of three ways to do this, so please post your preferred method: 1. Buddy a credit over via PaperbackSwap, 2. Send the book via Bookmooch for a credit there, 3. Arrange to send postage via Paypal. ** Note: If you want to print postage via your computer, an easy way is to have the person request a book you have on Paperbackswap (must be a Buddy to request directly from you), then weigh the book and send it with the postage you can print on the site.

When listing your ARCs, please include the title and author (genre, date available, etc are optional).  Your post should also include whether you are willing to ship internationally, or which countries you will send to.

Overall it should be a fun and easy way to give new life to old ARCs... as well as a great way to get some of those books from your wish list!

As this is a new meme/weekly post, we will probably need to iron out a few wrinkles along the way.  PLEASE feel free to leave a comment or email me with any suggestions!  Is this a good day or should I post on another day??

I will try to get postage estimates to post as well.

NOW - Onto my ARC lists!!

Available ARCs (More Coming VERY Soon I Hope... I misplaced my recently read pile so these are a bit older!)
Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee, YA Feb 2009
Cathy's Ring by Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman, YA May 2009
I, Lorelei by Yeardley Smith, Grades 3-7, Dec 2008
The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker, Fiction Jan 2009
The Rapture by Liz Jensen, Fiction Aug 2009
Wish List
Fallen Angels by Heather Terrell
The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti
Highland Heat by Mary Wine (Sourcebooks)
Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
It Happened One Bite by Lydia Dare (Sourcebooks)
Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright
Torment by Lauren Kate

I'm a member of Paperbackswap and Paypal

I can send ARCs within the US (anyone already know how to mail internationally?)

I hope you will help me spread the word!

~ Wendi

Monday, January 17, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Empty by Suzanne Weyn


TEASER TUESDAYS :
hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading ~



Teaser :
Empty
"Wow," Tom murmured. He'd never spent much time thinking about what it meant to be wealthy. Now it hit him, in a much bigger way than before, how much of a difference money could make.

~ page 43 “Empty" by Suzanne Weyn

About the Book (from Amazon):
It's the near future - the very near future - and the fossil fuels are running out. No gas. No oil. Which means no driving. No heat. Supermarkets are empty. Malls have shut down. Life has just become more local than we ever knew it could be.

Nobody expected the end to come this fast. And in the small town of Spring Valley, decisions that once seemed easy are quickly becoming matters of life and death. There is hope - there has to be hope - just there are also sacrifices that need to be made, and a whole society that needs to be rethought.

Teens like Nicki, Tom, and Leila may find what they need to survive. But their lives are never going to be the same again.
I always look forward to reading everyone's teasers! ~ Wendi

*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mailbox Monday


Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at The Printed Page, is on a blog tour! Last month's host was Lady Q at Let Them Read Books, and she did a fantastic job (she posted some GREAT recipes!), and Library of Clean Reads will be up next in February.

This month, Mailbox Monday is being hosted at Rose City Reader, 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!! :)

Five for my mailbox last week, and I hope you'll stop and check out my new weekly feature called Weekly ARC Expo, Bringing New Life to ARCs via an ARC Swap... here is the current one!

EmptyEmpty by Suzanne Weyn ~ Fiction / Young Adult ~ Available Now ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for review
It's the near future - the very near future - and the fossil fuels are running out. No gas. No oil. Which means no driving. No heat. Supermarkets are empty. Malls have shut down. Life has just become more local than we ever knew it could be.

Nobody expected the end to come this fast. And in the small town of Spring Valley, decisions that once seemed easy are quickly becoming matters of life and death. There is hope - there has to be hope - just there are also sacrifices that need to be made, and a whole society that needs to be rethought.

Teens like Nicki, Tom, and Leila may find what they need to survive. But their lives are never going to be the same again.

The Girl Who Fell from the SkyThe Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow ~ Fiction ~ Available Now ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for review
 
This debut novel tells the story of Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I. who becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy.

With her strict African American grandmother as her new guardian, Rachel moves to a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, blue eyes, and beauty bring mixed attention her way. Growing up in the 1980s, she learns to swallow her overwhelming grief and confronts her identity as a biracial young woman in a world that wants to see her as either black or white.

In the tradition of Jamaica Kincaid's Annie John and Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, here is a portrait of a young girl— and society's ideas of race, class, and beauty. It is the winner of the Bellwether Prize for best fiction manuscript addressing issues of social justice.

Tyler (The Secret Life of Cowboys)Tyler (The Secret Life of Cowboys, book 1) by C.H. Admirand ~ Fiction / Romance ~ Available March 2011 ~  Received courtesy of Sourcebooks for review
DESPERATE TIMES CALL FOR DESPERATE MEASURES...
When Tyler Garahan said he'd do anything to save his family's ranch, he never thought that would include taking a job as a stripper at a local ladies' club. But the club's fiery redheaded bookkeeper captures Tyler's attention, and for her, he'll swallow his pride...

AND ONE GOOD TURN DESERVES ANOTHER...
Emily Langley feels for the gorgeous cowboy. It's obvious that he's the real deal and wouldn't be caught dead in a ladies' revue if he wasn't in big trouble. And when he looks at her like that, she'll do anything to help...

Working days on the ranch and nights at the ladies' club, Tyler is plumb exhausted. But could it be that his beautiful boss needs him as much as he needs her...

Paris Was Ours
Paris Was Ours by Penelope Rowlands ~ Essays ~ Available February 2011 ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for review
Paris is “the world capital of memory and desire,” concludes one of the writers in this intimate and insightful collection of memoirs of the city. Living in Paris changed these writers forever.

In thirty-two personal essays—more than half of which are here published for the first time—the writers describe how they were seduced by Paris and then began to see things differently. They came to write, to cook, to find love, to study, to raise children, to escape, or to live the way it’s done in French movies; they came from the United States, Canada, and England; from Iran, Iraq, and Cuba; and—a few—from other parts of France. And they stayed, not as tourists, but for a long time; some are still living there. They were outsiders who became insiders, who here share their observations and revelations. Some are well-known writers: Diane Johnson, David Sedaris, Judith Thurman, Joe Queenan, and Edmund White. Others may be lesser known but are no less passionate on the subject.

Together, their reflections add up to an unusually perceptive and multifaceted portrait of a city that is entrancing, at times exasperating, but always fascinating. They remind us that Paris belongs to everyone it has touched, and to each in a different way.

Pictures of YouPictures of You by Caroline Leavitt ~ Fiction ~ Available now ~ Received courtesy of the publisher for review
Two women running away from their marriages collide on a foggy highway, killing one of them. The survivor, Isabelle, is left to pick up the pieces, not only of her own life, but of the lives of the devastated husband and fragile son that the other woman, April, has left behind. Together, they try to solve the mystery of where April was running to, and why. As these three lives intersect, the book asks, How well do we really know those we love—and how do we forgive the unforgivable?

*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate
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