Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day


Wishing you and yours a happy Memorial Day.
While out and about enjoying your time off, be sure to take a moment to remember the reason this day of observance was started.  A great post I stumbled upon recently at Juniper Park Patriots site, may be "an oldie" by post date, but it's "a goodie" by content and gets to the heart of this "holiday".

Best wishes to you all!
Until next time....

In My Shopping Bag (31)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.
Through her guidelines, your post does not actually have to be named the same and thus my post shall be..."In My Shopping Bag". (just fits with the "foodie" theme a bit better in my humble opinion)
Let's take a peek inside my shopping bag from this past week....

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For Review

All ARC's...
Days of Grace by Catherine Hall (05/2010)
A Stranger Like You by Elizabeth Brundage (08/2010)
Bill Warrington's Last Chance by James King (08/2010)
(courtesy of Viking Press, a division of Penguin Group USA)
Wow...a lovely surprise package from these wonderfuls folks!  In reading the backs of each, first impressions:  the 1st, I'm not certain; the 2nd, looks good; the 3rd, perhaps.  Then again, you can't truly judge a book by it's cover....



Insatiable by Meg Cabot
(courtesy of William Morrow, and imprint of HarperCollins)
Now how do you like that....it has my name (well a part of the SITE's name anyway) on it!  LOL.  This is the first I've heard of this book, but not the first time I've heard of this author.  Very curious....



Seven Year Switch by Claire Cook
(via author on Twitter)
I've been hearing good things about this one....can't wait to read it.



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Won

Morpheus Road:  The Light by D.J. MacHale
(via Kelsey at The Book Scout)
Can't wait to get into this one...


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Received

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
(via Nayuleska at Nayu's Reading Corner)
Aw, shucks...I picked the wrong version...this is the UK cover.  Oh well, the story is the same so I am still eagerly anticipating reading this one too!



So, what did you get this week?
The comments are open....

Until next time....happy reading!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Roving Reader

Yep, cover love once again!
Pretty colors, shiny appearance...and the info on the inside jacket flap is rather interesting too!

The Dreamer
by
Pam Munoz Ryan and Peter Sis


Check it out!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Roving Reader

Yeah...I posted this one.
With a title like that, how could I not?!
Seriously, what will they think of next...

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
by
Tom Angleberger

Check it out...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Book Blogger Hop (9)


It's that time again!  Time for the BOOK BLOGGER HOP, brought to you by Jennifer over at Crazy-for-Books! This idea was created as another means of finding, sharing, and otherwise connecting those in the blogosphere! How can you participate? Check out the main post on Jennifer's page, add your blog name and link into the MckLinky, and get "hopping" over to the other sites listed to make those connections!

Now that I've spread the news, I'm off to "hop" on over to a few other sites!
Have a great weekend everyone!
 
Until next time....happy reading!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Classical Twist: Little Vampire Women by Louisa May Alcott and Lynn Messina, Review + CONTEST!

Hello, hello!
Welcome back to another day, another post here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!  The BEA event in New York is still going strong and Twitter is all a buzz with news of signings, ARCs, panel discussions...*SIGH*  If your little green eyed monster is starting to come alive at the thought of it, not to worry!  For those unable to attend the event, there is something new this year called the Armchair BEA.  Hope over to the site and join the festivities...you know you want to (just wait til after the post...hehe)!  Anywho...


In the spirit of BEA, Armchair BEA and reading in general, today's post is not only a review, but a contest too!  I'll shed a little light on a recent read of my own and then you, my fair readers, get the chance to snag a copy of your own.  Sound good?  Alrighty, let's get this show on the road!  Today's featured title comes to us from the shadows of the past with a twist of current trends and still, after all is said and done, is a highly recognized title by most generations.  It's takes a little old, a little new...nothing blue, but red is surely seen.  Today's book of choice is....

by
Lousia May Alcott
and

Aw, yes..the March sisters, in all their crowning pale glory, are gathered round for the Christmas festivities.  We have the common food staples and the long desired plum pudding...and yet not a morsel of this feast is seen on the lips or plates of these young girls.  How odd!  *squeak squeak* What was that?  Oh look...a mouse!  Or perhaps I should say it WAS a mouse as it seems one of the sisters just stealthily reached out, plucked it mid-jump and drained the little critter dry.  Yep, that was unexpected...oh, wait....they are little VAMPIRE women this time around.  Never mind...TOTALLY expected. 

Here we find the March household, consisting of Marmee (their "mother"), Mr. March (their "father"), Aunt March (their feisty relative who always thinks that someone is plotting to kill her), Meg (destined to be the "belle of the ball"), Jo (first female vampire permitted to attend 'Gentleman Jackson's Preparatory Salon for the Training of Vampire Defenders'), Beth (a happy, quiet soul whose unlikely battle lies just ahead), and Amy (a tad bit vain but otherwise a self-important type of girl).  They laugh, they play, they live in society as any other citizen would....  That's right!  In this forward thinking society, vampires have "come out of the coffin" so to speak and live right alongside everyday folks just like you and me.  In fact, their next door neighbor and his grandson (Laurie, who is definitely a love interest although not exactly of whom you might think) are quite enraptured with the girls (though the grandfather was not quite as taken at first...ha ha, "taken"...he kind of is at one point, but that's a spoiler I intend to keep).  (Boy I'm using a lot of parentheses in this review....and this is another set....sorry!)

All is not well in their seemingly peaceful little town as a string of illnesses begin to creep across the land.  No worries, right?  I mean vampires are not of this world so they are immune to the ailments of the living, right?  Right?  WRONG!  In this case, perhaps dead wrong (that is if an undead person can indeed die once again of natural causes....).  The illness is quite sinister as it seems to be affecting vampires in a most peculiar way and the March family is in grave danger....on more levels than they know.  It seems that Aunt March may have been right in this case, but the who, where, and why are still to be determined.  Will the March's survive this battle against unseen foes?  Will Jo with all of her "slayer hunting" skills be able to unmask the culprits behind the grand scheme and expose the evil lurking around them before it is too late?  (dun...dun...dun...)

First things first (and no pitchforks or feathers please), I don't believe I've ever actually read the original novel.. (GASP! ShOcK! AWE!) Yes, yes, I know....it's a classic. It's a great story although the ending more often than not from what I gather alters from what readers would expect (and kind of wanted) to happen. Thing is, I'm fairly certain I've seen at least one or two movie versions of the story...but still none in their entirety. So, why did I fancy trying this one? Well, who says you have to read the original before you read a variation?  In some cases, it just might help you enjoy the story more...I'm just sayin'. 

Speaking of "just sayin", I have to comment really quick on the cover choice for publication.  If you notice, the ARC version (as seen at the top) includes all of the March girls, even the little blond child (okay, little "woman") Amy.  The final art...we see a zoomed in portrait of the other girls sans Amy....???  If I had to guess as to the final art choice reasoning, it'd be because Amy's blond locks and impish smile seem in direct contrast to the other sisters darker beauty..but then again, that's kind of the point (it makes sense when you read the story).  Just something to ponder I suppose.... (Curious though...which one do YOU like more?)

For me, it reads like a classic, using slow diligence to build a story of substance, centered on values and morals, and starring a family that takes care of its own...only, with a twist.  It also reads like a paranormal, the vampire aspect (of course), the mysterious plotting foes, and the bloodshed (most was necessary, and not overtly graphic).  Oddly enough, it also reads as a bit of a love story...quite unexpected with the other two aspects already so closely entwined.  What does all of that boil down to?  I enjoyed the book, perhaps not as much as others I've read recently, but I can't really say anything truly negative about it.  It is what it is and a good read is certainly where I would rank it. 

This book hit store shelves a little earlier this month so you can run off and satisfy your "need to read" right after this review if you like.  Recommended reading for young adult readers all the way through your great-great-great-great-great-great (you get the point) grandparents.  Everyone will take a little something different from it (happens that way with almost every book), but I'm fairly certain that there is a character with which they will identify and the storyline is a good combination of genres that will keep a reader motivated (but be forewarned, some small parts tend to drag a little...that's the classic coming out though...they pass).

Special thanks to Karen at Linwood Publicity for the review copy.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, check out the author's site.  To learn more about the original work by Louisa May Alcott, check out the wiki page on this book or search away for many other references.  And now...you've read the good part...let's move on to some more fun with a giveaway!  (YAY!)

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Thanks to Karen at Linwood Publicity, I am able to offer YOU a chance to WIN a copy of this book for your own READING PLEASURE.  Excited?  You should be!  Mash up novels are all the rage right now, but this one sits within the realm of the Young Adult genre so it's a great introduction to possibly a new favorite genre of reading for you.  Here's the details....

The prize:

(1) copy of Little Vampire Women by Louisa May Alcott and Lynn Messina


How to enter:
Fill out the form HERE.
(No filled out form = no entry...SORRY!  To access the form just click on the word "here" in red above.)


For EXTRA entries:
(all are listed on the form, but just to give you a lookie)
+2 - Comment on this post
+2 - OLD Blog follower
+1 - NEW Blog follower
+2 - Follow on Twitter
+1 - Tweet about the contest
+1 - Link the contest on your blog



The rules:
*Open to US/Canada mailing addresses only!  No P. O. Boxes please.
(Following the guidelines set by our gracious provider.) If you are an international participant with a friend in US/Canada willing to forward the book on to you, you are free to enter as well.
* Entries will be accepted from Thursday, May 27th, 2010 through Saturday, June 5th, 2010 at midnight CST.  The entries will be tallied and entered into the random.org randomizer, after which a random number will be picked by their number generator.
(This way all the entries are mixed up nicely.)
* All entries must be submitted using the form accessible through this post.  You MUST include your email address in order to be counted as well as contacted should you be chosen as the winner!
*Winners will be contacted via email by Monday, June 7th, 2010 and will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address.  Should they fail to respond in the given time, a new winner will be chosen.
*Winners name and address will be forwarded to Karen at Linwood Publicity for prize send out and then discarded.

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Until next time...happy reading!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Death, Drugs, and Muscle by Gregg Valentino and Nathan Jendrick

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!  To all of those off at the BEA event....take some pics for me!  To all of you still hanging around your humble abode...welcome to my world.  If you haven't checked out the Armchair BEA fun over at There's A Book, be sure to take a moment.  It's to help celebrate all the bookish fun to be had whether you fly to New York or not!  In other news, my YEAR ONE BLOGOVERSARY contest is still open...entries accepted through 05/31/10.  Don't forget there is a special link up with Nayuleska from Nayu's Reading Corner offering my international readers a chance to win as well!  That's all for the update, now let's focus in on the meat of today's post....



It seems more often than not that the instant someone does something wrong, everyone turns their backs on them.  I witnessed this recently with someone in our community.  What they may have done (okay, more than likely did as it looks now) is wrong....no questions asked, hands down, I agree.  HOWEVER, does that truly negate all the nice things they've ever done?  I'm not suggesting that the wrong doing go unpaid for, I'm merely saying that defacing their entire character by erasing the memory of all the good they accomplished is not right either.  The focus of today's book understands this lesson from a first person point of view quite clearly as I see it.  Today's book of choice is....

Surviving the Steroid Underworld
by
and
Nathan Jendrick

This is the story of one man's journey from upstanding citizen to a rider of the edge of the law.  Gregg Valentino...a name commonly heard in body building circles (no, I don't travel in them, but stay with me here...) for one of two reasons.  First, a top notch "professional" in his sport and the go to man to find out how to better your body for showing.  Second, a cautionary tale of "if it's wrong to start with it will catch up to you in the end no matter what your intentions really were".  From coming on the scene as a natural body builder avoiding all the steroids and drugs that can cast a shadow on the form they've reached to not only partaking of them (the steroids, not other drugs) but dealing them to others to increase their physique, this is a life filled with many lessons learned...the hard way.

I heard many times over messages of shock and awe that I was reading this book as it doesn't seem to fit (visually at least) the books that I normally gravitate towards. I can honestly say though that it was a great read. Honest, hardcore, and unflinching in the situations shared, this is one biography/memoir that is certain to "entertain" readers of many backgrounds and either sex. Revealing the life of the man made famous to the masses not only for his "huge arms" but the story of his "exploding arms" that snagged him a TV special and made him a household name or at least passing story. This however was merely an instant in his life, one which he covers in brief to shed some light on what really happened. From smack downs with Mark Wahlberg and crew to dealing drugs to put food on the table....the twists and turns will keep you tied to his story til the bitter end.

Despite the nature of the book, I found myself anxiously awaiting each chapter to see if and when the bottom dropped out of his carefully constructed world.  You could honestly see that he believed he was doing right by the people in his life and by some counts was in fact, but the overall picture was already building a darkness that would one day over power the scene...it was a given.  I mean you can't take care of your wife and children financially and still cheat on her with another woman and expect it to all be okay.  Even though the "other woman" is someone you saved from a continued life on the streets, it still doesn't make the other transgression any better.  Same goes with the steroid dealings...those clandestine affairs came close to ending his life on more than one occasion.

In the end, I will say that although my readers may have not thought this a book for me, I'm glad I read it.  Biography, autobiography, and memoir type books are still on the newer side of my reading "likes" and while I can't say I'll pick up every one I see....I'd definitely take a chance now and then.  You never know what diamond in the rough you might find.  Readers are strongly cautioned as to the content and language in this book....it is crass, it is harsh....but it is always "real".  Recommended reading for older teens and adults for these reasons alone. 

This book is in stores now so if you want a chance to see behind the public image, you merely need to seek it out.  Special thanks to ECW Press for the ARC copy to review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this book and other potential reads, check out their site or follow along on Twitter

COMMENT CREATOR
Here's the question that begs to be asked.  Out of the books you've read, which one would you say was out of your usual "box" or comfort zone that you still decided to take a chance on?  How was the experience?  The comments on open....


Until next time....happy reading!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

She's So Dead to Us by Kieran Scott

Good morning, everyone!
Welcome back to another day here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!  Hello?  Are you there? ~~echo~~ It's a bit eerie actually...Twitter and the blogosphere is so quiet now that BEA is in full swing.  For those of us not attending this year, it can make you a little moody.  HOWEVER, just because we can't be there in person, doesn't mean we can't celebrate books with a little event of our own.  Check out the Armchair BEA event over at There's A Book, going on now!  Not certain you want to participate in an event at all?  No worries.  We'll keep the fun rolling through with reviews for you right here. (Hey that rhymed!) Speaking of which....

The title featured in today's post is a fun read indeed.  Between the relateable characters and the Crestie (I'll explain that term later on) goings-on, there is drama, love, and some frustratingly "why-did-you-do-that" moments along the way.  In summary....it was GOOD!  Curious?  Well, let's cut the suspense for you.  Today's book of choice is....

by

Ally Ryan is one lucky girl.  She's great at basketball, decent in her studies, lives on the "crest" side of town and has wonderful friends.....in her dreams.  Up until about 18 months ago, that would have described her life.  Up until the day her father gave some not-so-good investment advice and caused most of the Cresties to lose significant amounts of their eternal nest eggs, she was considered one of them; a perfect match to her clique of friends, their Sunday dinners, favored activities and even a little trouble from time to time.  Up until that time, her life was for all intents and purposes, a fairytale.  Now?  Not so much...

You see, although she wasn't truly to blame for what happened, her friends (now former friends) still think she should pay for the mistake her dad made.  As they see it, all the bad things they've been through in her silent absence (they left town in a hurry and she never contacted anyone) would have never occurred if not for this one blunder.  One things for sure, you don't mess with peoples money.  When those people happen to be some of the affluential Crestie's that rule the school (and town for that matter), you better think twice before showing your face again.  Too bad Ally's mom doesn't understand this fact before moving both herself and her daughter back to town and trying to pick up where they left off (ridicule, back stabbing, the works...all waiting for them).  Too bad the old family mansion is now occupied by a new family and her old bedroom by one Bedroom Boy of hotness (that would be Jake Graydon) that would turn the heads of any female passer but seems to be developing feelings for his newest acquaintance (that's Ally).  Too bad he's a Crestie and she's a Norm; two things that never mix.  Or do they?

Ally Ryan is not your average girl.  She has strength (both internal and external), talent, and a back bone to boot (in most cases); she's not one to take things lying down.  Will that be enough to get her back in the good graces of her former friends?  Depends.  On one hand it's the old adage of "keep your friends close, your enemies closer" and on the other hand "leave well enough alone".  I'm not too certain either phrase is a person mantra of these girls after some of the antics they pull on each other, but let's just say that payback is a.....bad thing (what, I wasn't going to say what you thought I was....keeping it G or PG here...).
*WARNING* FAN GIRL MOMENT TO COMMENCE IN 3...2...1...*
OMG OMG OMG!  I literally just finished reading my ARC copy of this book yesterday around lunch time and simply could not wait to spread the love about it. (Seriously, I think I talked about the book to at least five or six people already and with this post...the masses...)  It was GREAT! One of those non-paranormal (since they are all the rage right now, this change was refreshing...) YA finds that comes along and begs to be read...in completion....in one sitting. Alas, I didn't have that time available, but I did finish it in record time given my availability. Started on Saturday, finished on Monday. Not bad, not bad at all....

The book is written with a two person point of view.  It alternates between Ally telling the story and her world through her eyes, then Jake telling his portion.  It's very easy to follow since the "chapters" are rotated along with their point of views by listing their name over the next section; not being a huge fan of multiple story tellers in a book, even I liked it!  I definitely identified the most with Ally's character; not so much in the "been-there-done-that" of her life experiences, but more in the personality department.  I could definitely see myself saying and reacting to several situations in the same way, as I'm sure many of you will.  Hopefully you don't identify with the more evil former friends, although without them and their antics both for better and worse you wouldn't have much of a story...gotta have the good AND the bad.  Let's not forget about Jake Graydon now.  You spend most of the book trying to figure out whether you love him, hate him, and mostly end up somewhere in between the two.  I think the author choosing to narrate through this character as well though really helps to make a case for him since you get to see the boy behind the image.  The struggles he faces, potential ridicule from others considered, and the final motivation to his decisions (which as it turns out is not always what you would think). 

The story takes place over the course of a school year and when the months change you get this little inserted page that reads like snippets of hallway conversations or text messages that might fly back and forth between the gossiping crowd.  Nice segway to show you public perception at the school.  For those non-Twilight fans (GASP!  The horror....but I totally forgive you!), there is a little bashing of the over zealous nature to adopt everything to Twilight-esque standings...especially when the prom theme is Twilight.  The up-to-date nature of the references and happenings definitely adds to putting you in the story as if it was happening right around you.  (Nice touch!)  Also, the cover...let me just mention that cover.  (Okay, so I mentioned it right there, but now I'm going to talk about it a little.)  It's a perfect fit for the story.  Simple in design, eye pleasing in color combo, and it cuts straight to the books core.  Think about it.  A string of pearls signifying wealth and women, broken to signify the connections that were there are now lost and really, who wants a broken strand of pearls (that's where the "dead to us" part plays in)?  To sum it all up....you won't want to put this one down and when the last page is turned, you'll be joining me in hoping for a follow up book...SOON!
The scheduled release date is set for 05/25/10 (TODAY) so be on the look out at your local book store!  Happy book birthday to author Kieran Scott!  If you happen to be reading this....any chance of getting a sequel pronto? Yeah, that would be FANTASTIC! ^_^  (Seriously....I can't wait!)  You can find out more about the author herself and her work via her site and Twitter.  Special thanks to Lucille at Simon and Schuster for the ARC to review.  (THANKS!)  To find out more about this title and many other fine reads, visit their site or follow along on Twitter.  (Gotta love Twitter...seriously puts readers in touch with publishers and authors they love...not to mention they get the instant pulse of the fans.)

Until next time....happy reading!

Taste Testing Tuesdays (29)


Good morning (or whatever time it is where you are), everyone!
Welcome to another installment of Taste Testing Tuesdays!
Taste Testing Tuesdays was inspired by 'Teaser Tuesdays', a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
On the menu this week ... a book that I technically finished yesterday but couldn't bare to not share (look for the review posting today as we celebrate a book birthday for the author) and another title that is coming along nicely.
Shall we have a taste?


I thought that the dingy gray condo in front of which I was now standing -- discernible as my new home solely by the fact that the movers had propped the storm door open with a cinder block -- was butthole hideous.  Although, on the bright side, it was exactly the same butthole hideous as every other condominium on this particular block of Orchard View condo complex, so at least it wasn't alone in its butthole hideousness.  -- pg 2, She's So Dead to Us by Kieran Scott (ARC)












My anticipation had as much dread as excitement.  I hoped an improved version of my brother would come home with his wife that nighht, but I knew that the arrogant sadist who'd left would probably be the one to return.  -- pg 70, My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares (ARC)


 
 








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Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
*Grab your current read
*Open to a random page
*Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
*Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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Until next time....happy reading!



Monday, May 24, 2010

Book Blog Tour: No Hope for Gomez! by Graham Parke

Hi there!
Happy Monday to you (or whatever day you happen to be reading this...I know how it is sometimes...)!  To get the week started off right, we are playing host to a blog tour courtesy of Pump Up Your Book Promotion and the featured title is a work of humor!  That's right!  HuMoR....but it also has a story to tell through its highs and lows.  Shall we begin?  Why yes, I believe we should....marvelous idea, simply marvelous..
Today's featured book of choice and blog tour guest is....

No Hope for Gomez!
by
Graham Parke

Gomez Porter is your typical everyday kind of man.  He gets up in the morning, puts his pants on one leg at a time...he even walks to work (okay, so that's not so everyday, but go with me on this).  One would think from the outside looking in, um, where's the story in this?  As the old adage goes though, looks can be deceiving. 

Upon closer inspection, Gomez is anything but ordinary.  He runs an antique store ever since the untimely demise of his parents (while traveling on an antiquing road trip no less) and along with that store came one Hicks.  What's a Hicks?  Oh, it's a person (whom Gomez sets to sell on eBay, but that is another story altogether)....a person with many different phobias.  Perhaps phobias is the wrong word to use though...it's not so much that he's afraid of everything, it's more that anything apart from his slightly-normal/slightly not-so-normal daily routine tends to put him on edge.  He's best put to sweeping in the store lest the filing boxes decide to be inappropriate towards him, or the clock change time unexpectedly (yeah, he's a character even though mostly a supporting role).  Back to Gomez....

Try as he might (might being the operative word), making ends meet proofs to be a task and a half.  Lucky for him, he signed up to play guinea pig...I mean, to work in a medical study.  What drugs they are or are not testing is a mystery, all he knows is that it's not something lethal and he gets a nice paycheck to keep bills in order and continue blogging til his hearts content.  Ah, yes...his blogs.  You see, he is a bit obsessed with them, but he can completely blame it on the experiments.  He was told to keep a log of his everyday activities and anything different or unusual that occurred.  Gomez didn't want to leave anything out for safety's sake and thus keeps a separate private blog for himself.  In this one is where his true self lies (probably more so than he even knows), the medical study one receives the edited version.  After all, not everything needed to be seen by there eyes.  One mustn't tell the doctor caring for them that they are madly in love and planning a way to make her his....especially when you become her stalker's stalker.  Same goes with his suspicions about a recent death involving another member of the medical study....he's thinking something far more sinister happened than a mere accident.  You know what?  He might just be right....

This is a madcap adventure for readers everywhere.  The book is written as blog entries (yes, BLOG entries) from Gomez himself.  Every day, every particular stream of thought he has written in as a separate blog post.  It's quite funny actually (and fun) once you get the hang of it.  Gomez is quite the character.  Between his paranoia about the smallest things to his ability to create a mountain out of a mole hill (even an ant hill), he imagination only reaches greater heights as he tries to figure out what is reality and what the drugs (or lack there of...hey, it's a drug trial, you never know if you're getting the real thing or a sugar pill) are making into his own reality.  Take all of that combined with a superbly talented downstairs neighbor (well, at least in his own eyes) and a case of "who-will-disappear-next", wrap it up, tape for shipping, wait a week for fermentation to occur, look at said package and try to remember why you were shipping it again and then drop it off randomly at a door of your choosing....it's quite a tale (of which I enjoyed).

I normally steer clear of quotes when reviewing (just a choice, nothing personal....I prefer to let you find your favorites is all) however there are times that something just grabs my attention and must be included.  This is one of those times.  With all the social networking options available, many choose one, two or even all!  You know who I mean....it's the person that has a blog (guilty), Twitter (guilty), myspace (nope), Facebook (nope), and the list goes on.  Though it's not necessarily a bad thing (though it can be a lot of work to keep updated at all times), it is still a personal choice.  The blog entry style of this book was novel to begin with , but this particular quote just made me giggle (not guffaw, but giggle) when I read it (it's all about the wording)....
I performed the only investigative task I could think of:  I looked Dietrich Norton up on the internet.  There wasn't much to find.  Some references to graduations and one or two low profile police cases, that was it.  He didn't have any blogs, homepages, or books for his face -- at least, not under his own name.  My leads quickly turned cold.  -- pg 83

In the end, I would recommend this for older teens and adult readers...younger than that may not appreciate the humor styling used (but of course, that's truly determined by the individual...I merely make a suggestion here).  It's a little hard to follow at first, but once you get into the swing of all things Gomez you'll be reading his blog version of life (both edited and un-edited) like a pro.  Special talent to notice...the unusual ways things and situations are interpreted by Gomez (the sound of boiling salamanders...hamsters on a stove...)...quite creatively even if at times a wee tad stomach churning.

Special thanks to Pump Up Your Book Promotions for the review copy and the chance to play host to this tour! (THANKS)  For more information on this tour, their upcoming events, or even the chance to sign up to be a host yourself, check out their site or follow along on Twitter.  To see what the creator of Gomez is up to, visit the author's site

COMMENT CREATOR
So...in the spirit of all that is funny, punny, and something in-between, let's have it....tell me your best (or worst, your choice) joke!  Laughing is good for the soul (and waistline...it can burn calories....SERIOUSLY!) and who couldn't use a good laugh on a Monday (or any day for that matter)?


Until next time....happy reading!







Sunday, May 23, 2010

In My Shopping Bag (30)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.
Through her guidelines, your post does not actually have to be named the same and thus my post shall be..."In My Shopping Bag".  (just fits with the "foodie" theme a bit better in my humble opinion)
Let's take a peek inside my shopping bag from this past week....
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For Review
Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin (ARC)
(courtesy of the author)
Sounds really good...



The Last Track by Sam Hilliard
Look for the blog tour to swing through in the coming months!




Plan B by Steven Verrier
Look for the book tour to make a stop here in the coming months!

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Purchased

The Killing Club by Marcie Walsh and Michael Maline
Was supposedly featured on a soap opera but the story line sounds interesting.



The Twilight Saga:  New Moon game
Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon by Nancy Atherton
Yes, I DID buy the game...hehe.  The book was a great find as well...the other title I read in this series was a lot of fun.


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That's all for now!
What did you get this week?  Do tell!

Until next time....happy reading!



The Roving Reader

Okay, I saw the cover and instantly captioned the little bug with TADA!
Very curious to know what exactly the masterpiece is and who created it?

Masterpiece
by
Elise Broach

Check it out!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Roving Reader

Looks like there is trouble brewing on the horizon in this eye-catching number.

Taken by Storm
by
Angela Morrison

Check it out!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bravely Be You: Virtual Tour: Interview with 'One of Us' Illustrator Penny Weber, Review + Contest!

Hello, hello!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!
It's been a busy week here on the site what with my one year blogoversary (with contest...have you entered?), and blog tour after blog tour...but admit it, you had fun, right?  (waits for nodding of head....ah, there it is...)  Prepare to have even MORE fun, starting......NOW!


Today's guest comes to us courtesy of Sarah at Tilbury House.  They are in the midst of preparing for the big New York event coming up next week....but never too busy to share news of great books coming your way.  The theme of this tour is "Bravely Be You".  What an empowering statement!  In their own words, this tour is "to not only honor girls and women who are doing inspiring things, but also to help readers find the courage and confidence to truly be who they are — to stand up for what they believe in, follow their passions, and not be afraid to go against the grain."  Well if that isn't an effort worth supporting, I don't know what is.  Since this post will contain not only a review, but also a great interview with the illustrator, special event details for their launch party, and contest information....I'll try to keep my ramblings short (hehe...yeah, I said "try"...)  The book of choice for today and virtual tour guest is....

by
Illustrated by

This is a story about one little girl trying to find her place in the world....in this case her world is a new school and we all know how FUN (read as scary, panic attack inducing, etc...) that can be.  Roberta James is a spirited child that is making her debut at Baker School two weeks after the start of the new year and just after moving to the neighborhood.  She approaches the first day with a small case of butterflies, but it's nothing she can't handle (strong girl!).  As she makes her way into class, she discovers many different groups of children collectively gathered due to their similarities.  There's the monkey loving crew (hangs out on the monkey bars and totes lunchboxes with monkey pictures on them), the fun hair girls, the flower lunchbox group....just to name a few.  So many to choose from...but what if you don't just fall into one category?  What if you and your interests are a blend of several?  Can Roberta sort through the kiddie hierarchy to find a place she belongs.....a place she can be claimed as "one of us"?

Okay...let's do a quick poll...how many of you have changed schools at least once in your life and been the new kid that knew no one at all?  (go ahead, raise your hand....no one can see except you and the screen....)  Now how many of you have felt out of place until you finally found a group of friends to call your own?  Yep, that's what I thought.  Most of us have been in Roberta's position, and it is not comfortable regardless of the age you were at the time.  I know in my experiences it was dreaded...hey, I was a shy child (still am to some degree...no smirking...really I am) and new situations with new people...not really my cup of tea.  The important factor here and one that is key to overcoming these situations in real life is that Roberta was brave enough to be herself.  She doesn't just squelch her other interests or change her appearance to suit the crowd.  She keeps moving, certain that she will find a place to call "home".  It's an admirable trait to be sure.

Aside from the wonderful story, this book is in fact a picture book and what makes it so?  The combination of the right words and fabulous illustrations.  This one in particular features the lovely artwork of illustrator Penny Weber.  The colors are strong and vibrant which each scene encompassing not only what the author speaks of but also little added touches of detail in larger unexpected scenes.  I was privileged enough to score an interview with this talented artist (thanks Sarah for the connect!), and pose a few questions of my own.  Here's what she had to say....

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Interview with Illustrator Penny Weber


I'm certainly not an art major, but I can definitely appreciate fine artistry. The illustrations in this book bring to mind the technique used by the likes of Van Gogh and other revered painters. What made you choose this style for your work?


I am certainly very happy to have a style compared to Vincent Van Gogh!  As I believe many artists will admit, my style just sort-of evolved and is still evolving everyday. I love to layer color and build textures and experiment with different techniques. I've gravitated to this style over the years and it feels very comfortable for me.


As an illustrator, a love of art is generally ingrained within your character. To whom do you look up to in this field?

This field is full of such wonderful illustrators that I admire.  I have been a huge fan of James Gurney of Dinotopia fame and I've studied his process and learned so much from him. The amazing David Wiesner and Brian Selznick are also favorites of mine. And of course I am a great admirer of Norman Rockwell, (who isn't!) because of his ability to capture emotion in the people he painted which is what I strive for. I am also lucky enough to be part of an fantastic critique group of children's illustrators who are a constant inspiration to me.



Creative minds often give a portion of themselves whenever they create something new. Is there a little of you within the characters we see in this book? Who would you most identify with?

What a great question! I definitely identify with Roberta. Peggy Moss wrote such a wonderful character that immediately reminded me of my school years. I thought of myself as a "floater" with many friends and interests although I believe Roberta was a bit braver than I was when it came to being herself. When creating her I definitely drew on my memories as a kid - I wore a lot of those striped shirts too!


The color palette used is in one word...whimsical. I love the variety and mixed feel of them all on the same page at once, definitely plays right into the story. What inspired you to make Roberta's world so colorful beyond the differences noted between the groups of children?

Color has always been my thing- I've tried limited palettes but it never quite works for me even though I love paintings and illustrations done in monotones or a few colors to create a certain mood. Like I said, all artists tend to evolve into their own style and mine is certainly centered around color, right now anyway. I loved how this story felt so alive and fun so the full color approach really seemed to work!



I noticed in your 'about me' information, you worked as a mural painter, greeting-card illustrator and portrait artist. Quite a career in the art world! When did you realize that this would be your calling?

I've always admired and desired to work in this industry. Many years ago I took a course at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. I worked one-on-one with a wonderful illustrator Deb Desiax (The Girl Who Danced With Dolphins ). She was so encouraging and inspirational but I was newly married and starting my family at the time. Illustrating greeting cards and painting murals were something I found the time to do but as soon as my third child headed off to kindergarten three years ago I have gone into children's book illustration full force and I have never looked back! I still do illustrate cards and I am refining my portrait skills but there is nothing quite like bringing stories to life!



Random Thoughts...

When I was younger, I wanted to be.... an artist!
If I wasn't an illustrator, I would be.... a weather girl on TV.
When I'm not plying my trade, I can be found.... reading or watching movies and sports with my family.
My favorite color is.... bright red!

On my nightstand is.... a note book for mid-night inspirations, a novel assigned by my book club (this month it's The Bridge of San Louis Rey by Thornton Wilder), and a non-fiction self help book, (this time it's The Seven Steps to Fearless Speaking since I have to do start doing school presentations!)  Oh and I can't forget my cell phone which wakes me up at 3am some days because I can't wait to get to work. (I do usually take a nap and go to bed by 9pm.)

The best advice I can give to future illustrators-in-training is..... make the time to learn to draw first by filling up many sketch books and drawing everyday, this is so important! And don't give up! A cliche but true, don't let anyone tell you it's too hard because if I can do it anyone can!


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Thank you so much for the interview!  It was a pleasure "talking" to you...your answers are great.  Really, a weather girl?  Huh...interesting alternative choice there and the advice you gave for future illustrators is tried yes, but SO true!  Congratulations on your work in this publication and best wishes on your future endeavors!  For more information on her work both past and present, check out her site or her blog.  There is also a rather interesting piece on her illustration process for this book in particular so be sure to check it out (it's on her site).

One of Us is scheduled for release on June 1, 2010 (as of this post).  In the mean time, as a special for visitors to this virtual blog tour, anyone who visits Choosey Chicks during the tour (May 17 - June 1) and enters the code "one of us" will receive 20% off their purchase of beautiful, inspiring shirts for women!  (Chance for more shopping AND a discount...YAY!)

Special thanks to Sarah at Tilbury House for the opportunity to participate in this great tour and the ARC for review.  (THANK YOU)  For more information on this title and more, visit their site or follow along on Twitter.  For those that will be in the New York area for the BEA events, you may be interested to know that Tilbury House is throwing a huge launch event.....Powered by Girl/One of Us Launch Reception.  It is taking place Monday, May 24th from 8:30 PM - 10:00 PM.  You'll have a chance to meet the authors, illustrators, listen to key speakers and meet Sarah, herself!  Last day to purchase your tickets to this event is tomorrow, May 22nd so if you're interested click here to find out more, check out the new flyer from Tilbury House here!  (...and of course, if you attend, be sure to stop back through and let me all the details!)

Until next time....happy.....HA!  GOTCHA!  I bet you thought I forgot about the contest, right?  Nope...here comes the info right now!  The lovely folks at Tilbury House are celebrating this virtual tour with a giveaway to delight readers of all ages.  Here's the scoop: 

Chance to win:
- A copy of One of Us, signed by author Peggy Moss and illustrator Penny Weber (5 available)
- A signed print of artwork by illustrator Penny Weber
- A shirt from the empowering t-shirt company Pigtail Pals

To enter:
1. Leave a comment on a participating blog post during the tour (May 17 - June 1)...including this one...
2. Spread the word about the tour on Twitter using the hashtag #bravelybeyou

To get you started on your way....a few stops along this tour....
05/20:  BriMeetsBooks:  Interview with YA author Carrie Jones
...........
05/22:  Miss Trimble's Trap Door:  New Crossword Puzzle on inspiring women
05/22:  Huck Hill Press:  Excerpt from Women Who Could...And Did

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Alrighty, enough from me...it' time to set you free!  Back into the bookish world you go.  Remember, spread the word for your chance to win as well as for the shear sake of supporting a great message....

Until next time...happy reading!

Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...
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