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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Help Support Cheerios 100,000 Book Giveaway!

Join Me In Support of Cheerios 100,000 Book Giveaway

Sponsored by The Cheerios family of cereals, First Book and Jon Scieszka, author of the popular "Trucktown" series and other children´s books

Product Reviewed: Many thanks to Cheerios, who provided me with the free product gift pack and information through MyBlogSparkTM!

Play a fun trivia game based on the fun "Trucktown" books written by Jon Scieszka and earn votes for the state of your choice! I got 72% correct ~ See if you can beat me!! Leave a comment and let me know how you did!

Your votes really DO count! My chosen state raised 1 spot in the ranking while I was playing!

To participate, visit this link: Firstbook.org

Perfect for : Supporting your local community, encouraging reading, and supporting your health!

I learned about this program from the wonderful people at MyBlogSpark, who very kindly sent me a box of Cheerios and some sample books to review. My family got to try out the Frosted Cheerios, which we all loved! We ate them for breakfast and also used them for snacks, and I felt great, because my family was still getting the same great benefits as normal Cheerios, but with a boost of sweetness. Some of the benefits are that they are lowfat, have extra calcium and over 12 important vitamins and minerals!

Our toddler loved both the Cheerios (which really do make a great snack for little fingers) and the books that Cheerios sent with for us to look through. One of his favorites is a Trucktown book by Jon Scieszka called Junkyard Fort. He loved the colorful pictures and all the different trucks! The book included both English and Spanish, and also had a small section of activities at the back. Thanks Cheerios!

From MyBlogSpark:
Access to books is essential to reading development. However, did you know that over 80 percent of childcare centers serving low-income children lack age-appropriate books? And a recent study shows that the ratio of books per child in middle income neighborhoods is 13 to 1, while in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio is 1 age-appropriate book for every 300 children.

The Cheerios family of cereals, First Book and Jon Scieszka, author of the popular "Trucktown" series and other children´s books, have joined together to deliver 100,000 books to community-based programs serving children in need - and we´d love your help! All you have to do is go online with your child and test your combined knowledge of children´s books by answering trivia questions related to "Trucktown" and other great children´s books.

For every trivia question answered correctly, you can cast one vote for the state you would like to receive books. The five states receiving the most votes will get 20,000 books each, for a total of 100,000 books. Visit www.FirstBook.org/Scieszka to test your knowledge and start voting.

About Jon Scieszka: (from the Firstbook.org page)

Jon Scieszka is the author of some of the best known and funniest books written for children including The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, The Time Warp Trio series and the Caldecott Honor Book The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Fairy Tales not to mention the first book in the Trucktown series, Smash! Crash! He is a former elementary school teacher, an avid promoter of literacy and the first National Ambassador for Young People's Literature appointed by the Library of Congress. Jon lives with his family in Brooklyn, NY.

About Cheerios Spoonfulls of Stories: (from the Firstbook.org site)

Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories began with two simple goals: to help young readers grow their minds and to put books into the hands of millions of kids.

For the past 8 years, Cheerios has given away more than 40 million books in boxes and donated more than $3.2 million to First Book to help provide new books to kids who don’t have books of their own.

It’s all part of the commitment of Cheerios to help you provide a healthy, nutritional and educational foundation for your growing child. It’s the very same reason we make Cheerios Cereal® with 100% natural whole grain oats, 1 gram of sugar and no artificial colors or flavors.

For more information on Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories, see www.spoonfulsofstories.com.
About Firstbook: (from the Firstbook.org site)

First Book provides new books to children in need addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books. An innovative leader in social enterprise, First Book has distributed more than 65 million free and low cost books in thousands of communities.

First Book supports the hardest to reach children and elevates the quality of the programs that serve them. First Book improves the quality of these programs by providing high quality books and educational resources and enhancing their overall effectiveness. Collaboration with First Book elevates the quality of education for the children who need our help the most.

Giveaway Details:
One of my lucky readers will win a Cheerios Gift Pack (pictured above, which includes: an assortment of books from Cheerios, a box of Cheerios, and a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card).

Want to win? Here's how!

1. Leave a comment telling me why your state should get 20,000 books OR How many trivia questions you correctly answered here. Please make sure to leave your email if it isn't in your profile. (1 entry for Your State Answer, 1 entry DAILY for doing trivia, which can be done daily!!)

2. Post a link to the giveaway on your blog and/or Facebook and report it here (1 entry)

3. Become a follower (link is on the right hand sidebar) and leave a comment here (or "remind" me you are already a follower so I know you want to be included in this giveaway) (1 entry)

The drawing will be held January 31st. 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.

~ Wendi

Monday, January 25, 2010

Review: Breakfast in Bed by Robin Kaye

Breakfast In Bed
by Robin Kaye

Sourcebooks Casablanca; 1 edition (December 1, 2009) ~ 384 pages
Fiction / Romance / Contemporary Romance

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

Perfect for : Personal Use

My Thoughts:
Robin Kaye has written a book full of romance and wit... along with a little tension... and some characters that you will love to fall in love with!

Once I picked up this book, I couldn't put it down. Rich is the ultimate LAZY bachelor, who still has his mother's help cleaning up his apartment and doing his laundry... he can't even make a cup of coffee for himself! Becca has strived to become a person people see for her own talent, not because of her family name.

Through circumstances beyond either of their control, they have both sublet the same apartment... Becca's loft/studio is being remodeled, and Rich has just moved to town, so neither one wants to move out! To make things more interesting, Rich's long-distance girlfriend is no longer "long-distance" and she tells him that he is not long-term relationship material. After a talk with his friend and mentor at work, he feels pressure to show that he has a serious relationship, so sets out to make himself into a someone that Gina will take back.

After talking to his buddies, he determines that he must become a "Domestic God" at home in order to try to win Gina back, so he approaches Becca for help to become what he thinks Gina wants. After some convincing, Becca decides to go ahead and help him, and over the course of his lessons, he seems to only be able to learn things the hard way, causing me to laugh a lot!

I love how the story turns out, and the supporting characters in the book, especially Rich's Aunt Rose (I challenge anyone NOT to simply adore her by the end of the book!), and Becca's cat Tripod.

I will say that I can't wait to go back and read the first two books as the characters from those books appear in this one, and now I've got to see how they grew in their relationships!

About the Book:

From the publisher: The third funny, sexy, contemporary romance from a fresh new voice in romance fiction…

Rich, the epitome of “anti-domestic,” can’t cook to save his life, and his idea of cleaning his apartment is to invite his mother over. But he’s ready to settle down, and he can’t stop thinking about the ex-girlfriend who got away. When he notices that his soon-to-be-married friends cooked and cleaned their way into their women’s hearts, he asks his friend Becca to help transform him into a nurturing man to win back his ex.

Rich is the only guy who’s taken the time to know Becca for herself. She decides she’ll give him the makeover he’s asking for, though she’ll be damned if she’s going to turn him into a domestic god for another woman. She wants Rich for herself, but how can she convince him that her kitchen and her bedroom are the only domestic locales he desires?

Excerpt: From the publisher's site

Rebecca Larsen shouldered open the door of her new Park Slope apartment and surveyed the wreckage. A pizza box lay open on the coffee table, containing the remnants of a sausage and mushroom pizza of indeterminate age. By this point, Becca was on her last nerve. Her cat had shrieked for the entire trip from Philadelphia to Brooklyn, and as Becca gazed about the room, she began to feel a sensation akin to entering the Twilight Zone.

Annabelle, Becca's best friend, sister-in-law, and resident of the apartment until two weeks ago, wasn't a neatnik by any stretch of the imagination, but Becca had never seen her leave this much of a mess. Empty beer bottles littered the remaining space on the coffee table, and a pair of very large shoes lay underneath. Men's shoes. Becca's sense of unease escalated. It definitely looked as if there was a man living there. Yep, the XXL fleece hoodie thrown on the couch was her first clue; the second was the singing that came from the direction of the bathroom seconds after the hiss of the shower started. Becca grabbed the baseball bat she found leaning against the wall by the closet and skulked to the bedroom. The bed was unmade, which wasn't startling, but the collection of men's jeans hanging off every surface as well as a mess of jockey shorts and socks on the floor certainly was. Not as much, though, as the voice coming from the shower. It was a rich bass baritone, and if she wasn't mistaken, he was singing an old '40s tune. God, who sings songs from the '40s? Whoever it was had a smooth, smoky, sexy-as-hell voice that was hot enough to make a woman melt like chocolate in a two thousand-degree kiln. The guy in the shower had one hell of a voice. Too bad he was also going to have one hell of a bruise.

She spent some time thinking about whether she should hit him while he was in the shower or wait until he got out. He'd gotten through the first stanza of his song and the whole chorus before she decided to wait until he emerged. The shower curtain might severely curtail the speed at which the bat would hit, and then there was the problem of proper aim.

Pushing the door open with the end of the bat, she watched the steam roll toward her and bring with it the scent of yummy-man. A man who smelled like that at any other time would have her following him just to get a whiff. His scent was clean, with citrus and spice overtones that made her mouth water. The body that stepped out of the shower bare-ass-naked stole the breath from her lungs, the attack plan from her memory, and made her thankful she was a woman who could appreciate the human form because she'd never seen one finer. Her eyes wandered back to his face just in time to see the corner of his full lips lift to form a grin. If looked at separately, each part of his face—the Roman nose, sapphire blue eyes, curled spiky black eye lashes—was almost pretty, but something about the way they fit together and the addition of his five-o'clock-shadow-before-noon, stole the prettiness from his face and made it arrestingly gorgeous. He was the Sicilian version of a Greek god. He had to be the most beautiful man she'd ever seen in person, and as a sculptor, she'd seen more than her fair share of beautiful people. Too bad she disliked him.
Rich Ronaldi looked over his shoulder to find his sister's best friend staring wide-eyed at his bare ass. Well, maybe it wasn't only his ass she stared at because when he turned, she got a load of the full monty.

Becca rested the end of the bat she carried on the floor. "Excuse me, but what the hell are you doing here?"

Rich had never been the shy type, but the women who got a load of him in the buff were usually invited to do so. Becca, Miss prim-and-proper-ice-princess, wasn't. He wished he knew where the damn towels were. He'd just moved in, well, in a figurative sense of the word. He'd stayed there for a few days, and he had a towel somewhere, but knowing himself, it was on the floor along with his dirty socks and underwear.

If he'd known she'd be coming by, he'd have kicked them into the closet or at least under the bed. But then, Becca was the last woman he'd expected to darken his doorstep. He had no clue why, but since their first meeting, he got the distinct impression she wasn't overly fond of him. "How did you get in here?"

Becca didn't seem to grasp the fact that standing naked in front of a woman who wouldn't normally give him the time of day is not the most comfortable thing to do. She didn't turn away or hand him a towel, not that there was one at hand. He brushed past her into the bedroom, saw a towel hanging off the footboard of his bed, and quickly tied it around his waist. The only reaction he saw from Becca was a blink.

"I used my key. What are you doing in my bedroom, taking a shower in my bathroom, which is conveniently located in my apartment?"
Rich let out a laugh. "Hold on. I'm the one asking the questions here. This is my apartment. I'm leasing it from Rosalie and Nick."

She crossed her arms, the action pulling her baggy sweatshirt taut across her chest. A chest he forgot she even had. When he realized he was staring, he returned his gaze to her face and found her rolling her eyes.

"You're impossible. So is your story since I'm subletting the apartment from Annabelle. It was her apartment, and now it's mine. You need to leave."
She looked like one of those sexy Anime cartoon characters. She was tall, just a few inches shorter than his own 6'3", and thin with long, long legs and short, choppy, platinum blonde, perpetually tussled hair that gave her a sexy as hell, just-been-fucked look. Rich mimicked her stance, careful not to spread his legs wide enough to dislodge the towel, though it would serve her right if he did. "You're wrong. Rosalie and Nick own the apartment. They rented it to Annabelle, who has since moved out. I moved in. If anyone is leaving, it's you."
"Well then, we have a problem. Because as of right now, I'm living here."
"Not with me, you're not."
He waved his arm to encompass the whole apartment, and the whole mess he had scattered across it. "Possession is nine-tenths of the law."

"The only possession I see here is your mess. Everything I own that's not in storage is now in the living room, so, in that respect, as in others too numerous to count, you come up…" She looked him up and down with a critical eye. "…decidedly short."

Rich had half a mind to whip off his towel just to show her how very short he wasn't. He was a man comfortable with his body and his um… size. Shit, he'd never had any complaints in that department, and from the look in Becca's eyes when she ogled him—and it was an ogle—she didn't have any complaints either. He was sure she was just trying to get a rise out of him, which she wouldn't. She wasn't his type.

No, Rich's type was a woman like his girlfriend, Gina: a little bombshell. She was all black-haired, copper-eyed, and built like a woman. She was a barely five-foot package of pure TNT. Gina dressed like a woman. You'd never find her wearing an old sweatshirt five sizes too big and a pair of low-slung baggy jeans. "Shit." He looked at the clock. He was going to be late. He was meeting his dean at the Harvard Club and then heading uptown for a date with Gina. "I don't have time to talk about this. I have somewhere to be. Why don't you go out to the living room and let me get dressed. I'll call Nick and Rosalie on my way and find out what to do about this mess. You can spend the night tonight because I have other plans, but I have to tell you, babe, you're gonna be looking for another place to rent."

Copyright ©2009 by Robin Kaye. All rights reserved.

About the Author: (from Amazon)

Robin Kaye is a professional writer and winner of the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart award for her first novel, Romeo, Romeo. Her romantic comedies feature sexy, nurturing heroes and feisty, independent heroines. She lives with her husband and three children in Mt. Airy, Maryland.
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