Friday, April 29, 2011

Follow Friday and Blogger Hop

Good morning everyone and welcome to another Follow Friday! This week's question from our host Parajunkee is:

Q. Keeping with the dystopian and apocalypse theme that seems to be running rampant on, I have one very hard question for you: If you were stocking your bomb shelter, what books would you HAVE to include if you only had space for ten?

Wow. I actually had to go and sleep on that one and I am still not sure. Let's see if I can do this.
1. Hunger Games
2. Outlander
3. Forest of Hands and Teeth
4. My Nook (until the power goes out!)
5. Breathers
6. Twilight
7. Bird Sisters
8. Visual Guide to Crochet
9. Southern Living Cookbook
10. Fannie Farmer Cookbook
That was tough. I know I will change my mind and have to switch things out at least once. If it comes down to it, I was actually thinking about what you would need if it went all post apocalyptic. Has anyone read Life As We Knew It ? It is the book about the moon coming close to the earth and everything going crazy? The power goes out, volcanoes erupt and all the Walmarts run out of Twinkies. Wait. Maybe that was Zombieland. Whatever. Anyway. Twinkies. Or, in my case, vanilla zingers with cream filling. Orange cupcakes too. OMG. How would I live without orange cupcakes?
This week my washer went out and it has been the biggest pain ever. It reminded me of the hurricane a couple of years ago when we were out of power for several days and had to try and cook what we could from the freezer on the gas stove and grill outside. Kind of feels like that I guess. At least there is a laundry facility down the street even though I hate going there.
I digress. What would I need if the world did go nuts and I had to build a bomb shelter or at least start hording can goods or something? Ten things. Here we go.
1. Lots of can goods.
2. Orange cupcakes by the case.
3. Dog food by the ton. (furry kids)
4. Water. Lots of bottled water.
5. Granola Bars
6. Toilet Paper. (no comment)
7. Knitting needles, crochet hooks and yarn.
8. A weapon of some sort to kill anyone who threatened my zinger supply. (Just sayin.)
9. Soap and deodorant
10. A book on how to garden, because I think we may need more than canned yams eventually.
Now for more hopping...
"Summer is coming quickly - what 2011 summer release are you are most looking forward to?"
Wow. There are so many. The first one I am dying to get my hands on is the new Charlaine Harris book in the Sookie series. Dead Reckoning. It is my birthday Sunday and it is on the list!
Thanks everyone for visiting on the Hop and Follow Friday! If you want to join the linky list, head over to:
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will "Like" the new Facebook fan page while you are here. I love my followers and twitter peeps, so I hope to see you around! Stay tuned for more awesome contests coming up soon!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Etsy Artist Feature: Bocade Jewelry

Etsy artist Brooke Melko opened her Etsy shop in January 2010 and it has been growing ever since. She is a visual artist with a BFA in graphic design, Master of Science in Art Education, entrepreneur and mother. She lives in Southern Conneticut. She enjoys creating, reading, exercising and learning. Jewelry is a medium she loves and gets very excited knowing that someone across the country is wearing a piece that she made.

Here are some of my favorite picks from her shop. Pop over for a visit if you get the chance!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Review: The Bird Sisters

When a bird flies into a window in Spring Green, Wisconsin, sisters Milly and Twiss get a visit. Twiss listens to the birds' heartbeats, assessing what she can fix and what she can't, while Milly listens to the heartaches of the people who've brought them. These spinster sisters have spent their lives nursing people and birds back to health.

But back in the summer of 1947, Milly and Twiss knew nothing about trying to mend what had been accidentally broken. Milly was known as a great beauty with emerald eyes and Twiss was a brazen wild child who never wore a dress or did what she was told. That was the summer their golf pro father got into an accident that cost him both his swing and his charm, and their mother, the daughter of a wealthy jeweler, finally admitted their hardscrabble lives wouldn't change. It was the summer their priest, Father Rice, announced that God didn't exist and ran off to Mexico, and a boy named Asa finally caught Milly's eye. And, most unforgettably, it was the summer their cousin Bett came down from a town called Deadwater and changed the course of their lives forever.

Rebecca Rasmussen's masterfully written debut novel is full of hope and beauty, heartbreak and sacrifice, love and the power of sisterhood, and offers wonderful surprises at every turn.


I received this book from the publisher and was thrilled. Just reading the cover and looking at the beautiful cover art was enough to get my interest piqued. Reading it, I was just as enthralled. The Bird Sisters is a novel about hope, heartbreak and the true meaning of love and sacrifice. I was very interested to find out that the inspiration from this book was from Rebecca's own family. When her grandmother passed away, Rebecca received her journals. Forty years of her grandmother's life was laid out for her. She and her sister lost their parents at a very young age and each dealth with the tragedy in different ways. The journals helped Rebecca to flesh out the characters for The Bird Sisters.

Sisters Twiss (I love that name) and Milly are completely different but are each other's best friend. They are based on Rebecca's grandmother and her sister. The summer that Bett, their cousin, comes to visit from Deadwater will test their love, faith and the promises made and kept in the dark of the night. In this debut novel, author Rebecca Rasmussen weaves a clever tale that keeps you turning the pages until there are no more. It was a true delight and I will be looking forward with great anticipation anything that Rebecca writes in the future.

The cast of characters in this novel is very interesting. Sometimes, I honestly didn't know how to feel about them. At times I felt bad for them and at times angry enough to want to shake some sense into them.  Part of the theme of this book is promises and how they can be broken or not lived up to. I think that can be true in most relationships, but is especially seen in the relationship between Twiss and Milly's parents. The father was a professional golfer and the mother a daughter of a jeweler. Both had expectations of married life together that were never realized, and the disappointment permeates nearly every action of the characters. Add in Bett, the cousin. She came seeking refuge from her own troubled family and instead turned another family upside down. (Not saying any more! No spoilers!) 

Father Rice, the one legged priest was an interesting character. So was The Beetle. I find myself wondering if these were people that Rebecca's grandmother wrote about in her journal.

The most powerful relationship in the book was Twiss and Milly. If you have a sister, then you know it can be very much a love hate thing. Love in the sisterly bonds that can sometimes bind and strangle, but can ultimately save. In the book, Twiss and Milly learn who they can and can't rely on to support them. In many instances, it is a hard and very painful journey. Switching from present to past, the story moves artfully between the love and sacrifice that made the relationship between the sisters so great. It touches my heart that Rebecca could breathe such life into her characters. I feel like I know them.

I loved this book. Reading it over Easter weekend was perfect. It talks about hope, sacrifice and the ultimate meaning of love. Rebecca, this was a marvelous book, and a tribute to your family. I know they would be so very proud.

You can reach Rebecca on Facebook and her webpage: She is an amazingly supportive person and will write you back. Rebecca lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband and daughter. She teaches writing and literature at Fontbonne University. She loves to bake pies and is training for a half-marathon in the fall. She loves all things old and antique. Hope chests and house dresses are a favorite. She continues trying to put up jam like her grandmother used to do, but loves her thermal windows and air conditioning.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Follow Friday

Happy Follow Friday!

Welcome to another Follow Friday and Blogger Hop. To sign up on the linky lists, make sure you visit our host's sites at: and

This week's question from Parajunkee is:

What is on your playlist right now?
My newest thing as a blogger is to review music. I love it. is where you can find some of my reviews, along with my new music blog:
Salon of Refuse is the review I just turned in and now my new favorite band. Check my site for posting on the review in the next couple of days. They have a free demo that is supremely awesome. The vocals soar and just stick in your head. I love them. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Tell them Dana sent you!

"If you find a book you love, do you hunt down other books by the same author?"

Oh yeah! Books, music and chocolate!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Follow Friday and Blogger Hop

Feature & Follow Friday #41

Happy Follow Friday everyone! Let me tell you a little bit about this HOP. Every friday or really Thursday evening we all get together and say HI! But, we need to know how to find you, so please leave your link in the Mr. Linky below. Also on Follow Friday we have a Feature...because alliteration is the way we roll. Each week is a different feature from the book blogging community. They are picked randomly or I give in after multiple harassing emails. Just depends on the week. If you want to be next weeks feature...leave your link. Also, I've had a recent rash of people signing up on the linky weeks later, which sort of defeats the purpose. If you want to participate check back here on the next Friday!

Our feature this week is...

Marie and Brie @ Romance Around the Corner


Our names are Marie and Brie, and we both are behind Romance Around the Corner. We divided the responsibility of telling you about our blog and so Brie wrote the first paragraph and Marie the second one.

We met a long time ago on the first day of college, and we have been best friends ever since. Every time we saw each other we talked about the books we were reading, I recommended a new author to her, she recommended one to me, and that’s pretty much all we talked about, well, besides gossips and men -and Brad Pitt cheating on Jennifer Anniston (I told you we met a long time ago)-. Now Marie is overseas and we decided to start the blog mostly as a way to keep with the tradition of talking about books (and because Marie just couldn’t live without me and was really sad and depressed, I’m that great!), also because I’ve been a blog stalker for years and I like reading reviews almost as much as I love reading the books, and we always wanted to participate in the romance community as more than silent readers.

Well, I think to remember things a bit differently, Brie nagged at me until I agreed to do the blog (to be honest it didn’t take that much convincing for me to agree), anyway. What we are trying to do with our Blog is write the type of reviews that we like to read, we explain why we love a book or why it didn’t work for us. We are fans of romance, we particularly love happy endings and steamy sex scenes (although I have read my fair share of books with bittersweet endings). In our Blog you are going to find reviews about everything that has some romance in it: Contemporary, Paranormal, YA, Women’s Fiction, Erotica, Historical, Suspense, GBLT and everything in between. We do have our preferences, Brie loves Contemporary and Erotica and I love pretty much everything, but if I had to choose one subgenre it would be Romantic Suspense, and YA, and Paranormal, and Comedy, Brie says that I’m a book’s garbage disposal because I’ll read and like pretty much anything, I guess she’s right!

Q. Do you have anyone that you can discuss books with IRL? Tell us about him/her.

Let me tell you a little something about my mom's neighbor. You see in my area of town we like to sit on porches and drink. Drink wine. Why go anywhere else when you have these big beautiful porches and this great weather. My mother has a great porch and I bring my 3 year old over there and she plays with the neighbor's kids and I sit on the porch and book gossip with my mom's neighbor and her tons of sisters that stop by and say hello. Think BIG Italian family, lot of kids, lots of loudness. It is so much fun. Last weekend we discussed Karen Marie Moning and the hotness that is much fun is that. The tipsier you get the raunchier the conversation gets, until my mom walked out on us and we were discussing The Harlequin (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 15) and why we stopped reading the series.

My answer:

My Mom and sister both love "vampire smut." I used to read it more than I do now. They love to tell me about the latest book they have found and how hot the guy is. I still read it from time to time, but I am in a YA mode right now. I still have my shelf of spicy material though...

To comment on the Anita Blake series, I used to really like it until it became so focused on extreme erotica. I like that, to a point. You just have to have a plot and focus on that. A little bit of love scene goes a long way. If it is every other page, you are going to lose me as a reader.

Now for the Follow Fun!

To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers -
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
  5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  6. If you're new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

Happy Follow Friday!

Follow it up with your twitter address if you want to get that one out!

"Pick a character from a book you are currently reading or have just finished and tell us about him/her."

My answer:
I just finished Vanished by Sophie Jordan. This is the second book in the Firelight series. The main character's name is Jacinda. She is a Draki, part human/part dragon. She is also the only fire breather in her pride. Because of her unique talent, she is a prize.
In Firelight Jacinda's mother takes her and her sister Tamra away from the pride to live in the desert, hoping to kill the Draki within Jacinda. Tamra had no manifestations, and reveled in the human world. Jacinda was miserable and wanted nothing more than to go back. Until she met Will.
Jacinda is a strong character. She makes the Firelight series a real page turner. Her devotion to Will conflicts with the need to save the pride from danger, and as a reader, you think you know where she is going but are continually surprised by the outcome of events.
This book is being made into a movie and I can't wait to see who the lucky redhead will be! Jacinda is a force of nature and I will be one of the first in line to see this wonderful character brought even more to life on the big screen.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Acadian Collection

Recently, I had the extreme pleasure to do a product review for Peter Pauper Press on their Acadian Collection. It is lovely, and I wanted to share it with you.

The entire collection is just beautiful and I love having it on my desk! Perfect for a gift. The pen is smooth and has refills available. For more information and to see the rest of Peter Pauper Press's wonderful gift selections, please visit: They are also on Twitter and Facebook.

A book you have to read: The Maze Runner

In case you missed it: The Forest of Hands and Teeth Trailer

Friday, April 8, 2011

Follow Friday and Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop and Follow Friday is here again!

Welcome everyone and I hope you had an amazing week! A big hello to our Hop guests and a welcome back hug for returning followers.

Don't forget to rush over to my three contests on my other blogs if you haven't been there yet!

I am also happy to announce that Zombie Girl Shambling has
it's own Facebook fan page! In the weeks to come, I will be adding fan pages for all of my blogs, so stay tuned!

Bookgirl Knitting also has it's own Fan Page!

Hope to see you there! Drop me a like and watch for updates...

Check out the linky to join the hop!

Happy Follow Friday everyone! Let me tell you a little bit about this HOP. Every Friday or really Thursday evening we all get together and say HI! But, we need to know how to find you, so please leave your link in the Mr. Linky below. Also on Follow Friday we have a Feature...because alliteration is the way we roll. Each week is a different feature from the book blogging community. They are picked randomly or I give in after multiple harassing emails. Just depends on the week. If you want to be next weeks feature...leave your link. Also, I've had a recent rash of people signing up on the linky weeks later, which sort of defeats the purpose. If you want to participate check back here on the next Friday!

Our feature this week is...


Hi there, my name is Lesley from My keeper shelf, I live in Scotland in the UK.

I'm fairly new to the world of blogging although I have always checked out other blogs for what to read next suggestions. It kind of started with joining Goodreads last year to help me keep a track of all the books I had read and to find suggestions for fab new books from like minded paranormal romance and urban fantasy readers. I then progressed into joining a few groups on Goodreads to discuss my favourite authors (Karen Marie Moning, Stacia Kane, Ilona Andrews and Nalini Singh to name but a few.) and was then inspired to start my own blog focusing on the types of books I love the most- paranormal romance and urban fantasy (although I do love a good smexy cowboy book now and then!)

I love reviewing books but I am in no way a professional reviewer providing amazingly insightful critique, I like to keep it simple. I'm a reader first and foremost. I pick up a book because something about it interests me: the story, the authors previous work or the gorgeous cover. I absolutely love to drool over book covers and have realised that I often, ok I admit it always, judge a book by it's cover so I like to include new covers on my blog and well, drool.

I came up with the name my keeper shelf as that's how I categorise books. If I love a book it goes on my keeper shelf. This usually means I have folded down or bookmarked pages at the "good bits" and I will go back time and time again to reread my favourite pages. My blog is simple but fun (hopefully!) I would love it if you would come over and say hi.

Q. Do you judge a book by it's cover?

Yes. Yes. Yes. I'm a graphic designer, to me things should look pretty. If a cover is so bad, I won't even pick up the book. I have been surprised though. A book that I thought had a horrendous cover...I really enjoyed. Here it is, what do you think? Great book though...

My answer:

Yes. I have misjudged a book by it's cover. Take the Hunger Games. For the longest time, I thought it looked boring because of the black cover. No swirling big dresses. So vampish girls looking sultry on the cover. Nada. Just this weird bird pin looking thing.

Suffice it to say I was so wrong. Awesome book!

Thanks for visiting for the Hop! See you next week!


Monday, April 4, 2011

Coming out tomorrow! The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

View the full version of this book online

The Emerald Atlas (The Books of Beginning #1)

Kate, Michael, and Emma have been in one orphanage after another for the last ten years, passed along like lost baggage.
Yet these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil of devastating power, an evil they know nothing about.
Until now.
Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey to dangerous and secret corners of the world...a journey of allies and enemies, of magic and mayhem. And—if an ancient prophesy is correct—what they do can change history, and it is up to them to set things right.
The Emerald Atlas brims with humor and action as it charts Kate, Michael, and Emma's extraordinary adventures through an unforgettable, enchanted world.


This book looks like a great adventure. I am looking forward to reading my copy. Many thanks to the publisher for sending me the advance copy. Here is a preview book trailer to get you ready for tomorrow.