Win a Free Copy of Mrs. Lieutenant!

June 24, 2008 at 8:51 pm | Posted in Books | 9 Comments
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller has graciously offered a copy of her novel to one of my lucky readers in conjunction with the blog tour stop today.  I would have posted about this earlier, but my daughter nearly broke her finger at day care today and I spent much of the day with her at doctor’s offices.  Thankfully, she is okay and sleeping peacefully.

Anyway, to the contest…

To win a free copy of Mrs. Lieutenant, all you have to do is comment on my review or this post (if you already have, you’re good).  If you link to this contest on your blog, you’ll get a second entry.  If I get more than 20 entries, I’ll throw in a second copy.  So encourage all your literate friends to sign up, it won’t hurt to enter and it may just increase your odds.

I’ll hold the drawing on Monday, June 30th at 5pm.

I would be extremely excited if the winner would be interested in talking with me about the book afterward.  As I mentioned in my review, this is one book that I really feel compelled to talk about.  If you win the book and have read it, I would love to call you, and I would post the interview on my blog.  It would be a great way to have a discussion.  No pressure, though.  I’d respect anyone who would prefer not to. 🙂

Good luck to everyone!!!

My Inner Archaeologist

May 27, 2008 at 4:16 pm | Posted in Books, LIfe | 7 Comments
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When I was in the 7th grade I decided that I wanted to be an archaeologist.  I cannot remember for the life of me what it was that triggered my interest in this adventurous and unusual career.  In the 8th grade my middle school offered a week long camp and one of the activities was archeology.  I still have the box full of “treasures” I discovered in a Michigan park.  I would have won an award for my archeological talents except for one flaw: I was too impatient.  I kept moving from square to square when I wasn’t finding anything.  For those of you who know me, this won’t come as a surprise at all.  Patience in the face of upcoming surprises, both known and unknown, is not my strong suit.

I never did pursue a career in archeology.  Just as with patience, math and science are not my strengths.  Also, I have a weak stomach.  After watching my first Indiana Jones movie, I was ready to retire to the calmer pastures of Political Science and English.  Still, I enjoy reading about archeology and what modern archaeologists are up to.  I don’t know if you caught the news that an archaeologist believes he has located Cleopatra’s tomb over the holiday weekend.  The timing of the publication of this article is perfect given that it coincided with the premier of the new Indiana Jones movie.  I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I can’t wait!  I hope that you liked it if you’ve seen it.  Let me know!

The timing of this archaeological find was also perfect for Michelle Moran, the author of Nefertiti.  She is getting ready to publish The Heretic Queen, a sequel to Nefertiti in September.  I haven’t read Nefertiti yet, but it’s on my list and just came out in paperback this week.

Cover of the Heretic Queen

In preparation for The Heretic Queen, Michelle has a really fun contest based upon the hieroglyphics used for the book cover.  Click here.  If you correctly translate the hieroglyphics, you might be one of two lucky people to win a 14 kt gold Nefertiti pendant, some Nefertiti chocolates, and a signed book!  I really had fun with this contest and I think you will, too.

So, get into the spirit of your inner archaeologist and enter this contest.  If you win – and I promise I won’t be (too) bitter if you do and I don’t – please let me know.  I’m dying to find out about those chocolates.

#66 ~ Gilding Lily

April 23, 2008 at 11:07 pm | Posted in Books, Culture, entertainment, Family, My Life with Books, Reading | 1 Comment
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Gilding Lily by Tatiana Boncompagni

Sometimes getting what you dream about can become a nightmare. At least that is Lily’s experience in this engaging, fun, and fast-paced novel. Gilding Lily tells the story of a young woman from a middle class background who marries into an established, wealthy family in New York City. Her romance with Robert Bartholomew, which brought her swiftly into society as one of New York’s “It girls,” rivals any Disney Princess story. Only for Lily, her wedding day didn’t signal a victory over a vicious step-mother or blood thirsty dragon. It was only then that her nemesis came out into the full light of day – Josephine Bartholomew, her mother-in-law.

Lily’s time in limelight in New York’s social scene ended as quickly as it began. She became pregnant before the ink was dry on her marriage license. Along with baby came Robert’s career crisis. By the time Will is a few months old, Lily hadn’t lost a pound of her baby weight, is having trouble making ends meet on the income from her husband’s trust, and is lonely and miserable. Robert, without the prospect of a job in sight, spends his days networking with his mother or playing squash at the club. At night he’s often out escorting Josephine to social events. Finally, after a particularly heated argument about the two Ms (money and mother-in-law), Lily decides to go back to work. Her talented writing, her connections, and her knack for getting stories other reporters could only dream of provide Lily with an opportunity to return to New York’s socialite scene. Soon she has to decide if getting the story, becoming a socialite in her own right, and, perhaps, earning her mother-in-law’s respect is worth the risk of losing the man she loves.

From the first chapter where we meet Lily tripping on the hem of couture dress on her way to gala, I was drawn in to the book. I got so involved in the characters that by the end I could hardly put the book down. In fact, if it were not for this book I might never have discovered that I have an unusual talent for reading a paperback while curling my hair and drinking the morning’s first Diet Coke. This novel revolves around New York’s elite, but the highly competitive animosity that often exists between women is universal. When push comes to shove, women are often our own worst enemies. So, where there is a group of women you will usually find a catty woman like Di or a Morgan who is trying to undermine everyone else to insure her position. When your disapproving mother-in-law is the queen bee of that social set, eventually all hell will break lose. As much fun as it is to watch the fur fly, you’ll be hoping along with Lily that having a happy family with Robert really isn’t too good to be true.

Boncompagni’s writing, which is smooth and easy to read, is what really made this book for me. So often when reading chick lit I get the impression that the author thinks nothing about the readers beyond the dollar signs. When reading Gilding Lily, you can sense the pride that Boncompagni has in her work. If this first novel is any indication of what is to come, hers will be a career to follow.


Gilding Lily will be published in September of 2008. As the publication date draws near, look for a contest here to win your own copy!

To buy this book, click here.

Last Chance

March 29, 2008 at 7:33 am | Posted in Free | 1 Comment
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Today’s the day I’m going to draw a name for a free copy of Robin Gerber‘s novel, Eleanor vs. Ike!


If you haven’t already contacted me and would be interested in receiving a copy of this book, please leave a comment here. I’ll be holding the drawing at 5pm EST, so time is running out. You’ve got nothing to lose and possibly a free read to win. What could be better than that?

Win a Free Copy of Eleanor Vs. Ike

March 22, 2008 at 9:53 pm | Posted in Books, Free | 4 Comments
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Now that my review and interview have been posted, it’s time for you to get involved. If you would like to win a free copy of Eleanor Vs. Ike from HarperCollins, please leave a comment here. I will draw a random winner on Saturday, March 30 at noon. I’ll announce the winner then. If you’re the lucky winner, I’ll contact you by email to get the information the publisher needs to send you the book. If you’re anything like me, you’ll enjoy going through an election with Eleanor.

Good luck!

Three Things I’ve Learned About Myself Today

March 19, 2008 at 3:12 pm | Posted in Books, Free, LIfe, My Life with Books, Reading, Writing | 1 Comment
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I’m working on transcribing my interview with Robin Gerber this afternoon during breaks.  During this process I’ve learned three things:

  1. After 11 years living in Virginia, I still very much sound like someone from Southwest Michigan – no matter what my family or anyone else has to say.
  2. LeeAnn, my youngest sister, and I have the same conversational tones and qualities.  I could hear a lot of her in my voice.
  3. I interrupt way too much and must work on that.  Sorry, Robin!

I’m hoping to post my interview tomorrow if at all possible.  Over the past week I’ve gotten a significant promotion at work (go me!) and then Allison caught a nasty virus.  So, I haven’t had much time until now to really work on this.

Don’t forget that you have an opportunity to receive a free copy of Eleanor vs. Ike!  Simply leave a comment or send me an email.  I’ll hold the drawing for the free copy a week after I post the interview.

An Exciting Opportunity Coming Our Way!

February 28, 2008 at 2:10 pm | Posted in Books, Free, Historical Fiction, LIfe, My Life with Books, Reading | 1 Comment
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Earlier this week I was approached by one of the Online Marketing Managers at HarperCollins to see if I would be interested in receiving an Advanced Readers Copy of Eleanor Vs Ike by Robin Gerber.  Here’s a short description of the book:

“Captivating and fast-paced, Eleanor vs. Ike pits the unforgettable Eleanor against the enormously popular war hero, Gen. Dwight David (“Ike”) Eisenhower. But while the opponents promise “an honest campaign,” their strategists have other ideas, miring the race in scandal and bitter innuendo. Suddenly Eleanor finds herself a target of powerful insiders who mean to destroy her good name–and Ku Klux Klan assassins dedicated to her death–as she gets caught up in a mad whirl of appearances and political maneuvering…and a chance encounter with a precocious five-year-old named Hillary Rodham.”

I will also have the opportunity to interview the author!  I’ve never done that before and am looking forward to it.  Check out the links to the book and the author.  If you have any questions you’d like me to ask, let me know.

Still,  the best part is that in the end I’ll have another *free* copy to be given out to one of my readers!  Let me know if you’d be interested by comment or by email.  A week after I’ve posted my review of the book and interview with the author, I’ll hold a drawing.  Fun, fun, fun!!!

I should be receiving my copy of the book soon.  I’ll keep you updated.  Reading a historical “what if?” is going to be new and interesting experience for me.

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