Saturday, July 31, 2010

Review - 101 Ways to Meditate by Linda A. Lavid

TITLE: 101 Ways to Meditate: Discover Your True Self
INFO: Paperback, Self-Help, 144 pages
PUBLISHED: Full Court Press, 2010
ISBN#: 978-0-9817070-2-0
HOW'D I GET IT: Received it from the author/Goodreads for review

FROM THE COVER/PUBLISHER:  101 Ways to Meditate:  Discover Your True Self is a primer to illuminate the landscapes within and beyond.  Easily explained and specific, 101 Ways to Meditate supplies a wide selection of Processing, Imagery, Release, and Inspirational meditations to make meditative practice life-affirming, insightful and fun.  Whether to explore metaphysical questions, experience higher awareness, or come to terms with the mystery within, meditation serves. 

MY TAKE:  I found this to be a small book with a lot of punch.  The author really does provide the 101 ways to meditate!  She writes in a very conversational tone that makes it easy to understand and easy to follow.  The last part of the book is a meditation journal with helpful quotations and space to write thoughts or doodle pictures.  The author appears to be quite knowledgeable on the subject and this makes for a book that is a great resource for those interested in meditation styles and techniques.


WHERE TO BUY IT:   101 Ways to Meditate: Discover Your True Self

Happy Reading!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Book Blogger Hop 7/30-8/2/2010

Book Blogger Hop
Hosted by
I decided to join in on the weekly Book Blogger Hop hosted by Crazy For Books.  It's a fun event where you sign up thru a Mr. Linky on her site and then hop around to all of the blogs (that you can) in the list.  It's a fabulous way to meet and interact with other book bloggers that you might not come across otherwise.

The hop lasts all weekend long so you have plenty of time to visit and chat with the other bloggers.  It's also a great way to find out about some new books out there.

Each week there is a question for the bloggers participating to answer.  This week's question is:

Who is your favorite new-to-you author so far this year?

My answer:  Well, he's not a new author by any means, but I've just discovered his work. 

George R.R. Martin

I'm looking forward to reading much more from him.

So I'm now off to check out as many of the other blogs that I can over the weekend.  It looks like there is a lot of great book blogs on the list.  Don't miss out on the fun!

Happy Reading!

Review - One for Sorrow, Two for Joy by Elise Juska

TITLE: One for Sorrow, Two for Joy
INFO: Paperback, Fiction, 270 pages
PUBLISHED: Pocket Books, 2007
ISBN#: 978-1-4165-1692-7
HOW'D I GET IT: Bought it

FROM THE COVER/PUBLISHER:  For two quietly unhappy years, linguist Claire Gallagher has been living deep in the New Hampshire woods, enduring a polite but strained marriage to a highly respected scientist.  Once a determined overachiever and academic star in her own right, she now spends her days avoiding her stalled dissertation and creating EZ crossword puzzles.  But for all Claire's knowledge of words and their meanings, the meaning in her own life eludes her.  One bleak morning in winter, she announces that she's leaving.

By nightfall, at the urging of her younger sister Noelle, Claire finds herself heading to the last place she thought she'd ever go:  Ireland--the birthplace of he abrasive, chronically ill mother and the country Noelle, a college dropout, now calls home.  In a small town on the Irish coast, Claire's struggle to move ahead with her life takes her deep into the puzzles of her past--in a world in which there are no simple answers, and the only questions are those of the heart.

MY TAKE:  As a lover of words myself, I really enjoyed that Claire was so firmly entrenched in the world of words and their meanings.  I liked that she was constantly running it through her head when a word came up and the definitions were those that described her life and her situation.

The main reason I bought it (at the thrift store) was that I liked the author's "Getting Over Jack Wagner".  Of course, the fact that the book was set in Ireland sold me completely.  Great descriptions of scenery and I want to go to the pub where Claire's sister Noelle works - sounds like fun.

Enjoyable read and a nice change of pace from some of the more "frivolous" books in this genre.  


WHERE TO BUY IT:   One for Sorrow, Two for Joy on

Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Review - Black Magic by Cherry Adair

Blog Tour participants:  Welcome to One Book Shy of A Full Library.  I hope you'll stick around and get to know me and come back again soon!  A big hello to all of my regular readers - I appreciate ya!
Black Magic

TITLE: Black Magic
AUTHOR/EDITOR:  Cherry Adair
INFO: Paperback, Fiction, 389 pages
PUBLISHED: Pocket Star Books, 2010
ISBN#: 978-1-4391-5381-9
HOW'D I GET IT: From Publisher for Review & part of a blog tour

FROM THE COVER/PUBLISHER:  She hates using magic...Ever since the death of her parents, Sara Temple has rejected her magical gifts.  Then, in a moment of extreme danger, she unknowingly sends out a telepathic cry for help-to the one man she is convinced she never wants to see again.

He's a powerful wizard...Jackson Slater thought he was done forever with his ex-fiancee, but when he hears her desperate plea, he teleports halfway around the world to aid her in a situation where magic has gone suddenly, brutally wrong.

They've been chosen to save the world...But while Sara and Jack remain convinced they are completely mismatched, the Wizard Council feels otherwise.  A dark force is killing some of the world's mos influential wizards, and the ex-lovers have just proved their abilities are mysteriously amplified when they work together.  But with the fate of the world at stake, will the violent emotions still simmering between them drive them further apart...or bring them back into each other's arms?

MY TAKE:  I enjoyed this book, devouring it quickly in an afternoon. The action started immediately and you were drawn into the thick of things well before getting to know the characters. You do learn more about their troubled relationship with each other, with magic, and the tangles with others that tend to take a toll on their happiness. The story comes to a quick and climatic finish in a whirl of magic and great adventure.

While I did really like the steamy scenes, I felt there could have been one or two less just to make room for a bit more of the wizardry and background on the magical aspect of the story.

It is an enjoyable book to spend a hot summer afternoon with. 

Thank you to the author and Stephanie at Simon & Schuster for including me in this book tour and for my review copy of 'Black Magic'.

MY RATING: 3.5/5

Happy Reading!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Review - Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale

TITLE: Chasing Francis:  A Pilgrim's Tale
AUTHOR/EDITOR: Ian Morgan Cron
INFO: Paperback, Fiction, 252 pages
PUBLISHED: Navpress, 2006
ISBN#: 978-1-57683-812-9
HOW'D I GET IT: Received for review from publisher

FROM THE COVER/PUBLISHER:  Postmodern Insights from a Premodern Saint....

Chase Falson has lost his faith--and he did it right in front of the congregation at his megachurch.  Now the elders want him to take some time away; far away.  So Chase crosses the Atlantic to visit his uncle, a Franciscan priest, where he encounters the teachings of Francis of Assisi and rediscovers his ancient faith.

Follow Chase's spiritual journey in the footsteps of Francis and then begin one of your own through the pilgrim's guide included in this book.  Come discover Francis, the first post-modern Christian. 

MY TAKE:  Saint Francis of Assisi has always fascinated me as he was truly the first environmentalist and protector of animals.  I wanted to learn more about this amazing man.

This book appealed to me as it is presented as a fictional novel about the search for the actual man by a fictional character.  I liked learning about Saint Francis and his life in this manner as some of the historical and religious texts can be quite oppressive and dry--boring. 

While the author is an actual priest, he's not a professional writer.  I didn't feel that I was being preached at, but told an interesting story.  I felt his characters (especially the Friars) were charming, funny and very engaging.  I came away with a better understanding of Saint Francis and his amazing life.  It is very interesting and a bit disconcerting to note the parallels of our modern times and those of Saint Francis.  He was grappling with many of the same problems that our world is facing today.

I highly recommend this book as it was a very enjoyable read.   I also think that everyone could find something that speaks to them in this story, regardless of their religion or belief system.  The story of Saint Francis, the man goes beyond those labels and lines.  


WHERE  Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale at

Happy Reading!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

One Cup of Coffee, Coming Up

I was recently contacted by CSN Stores to do a review on this blog.  It was funny when the email popped up because I happened to have a window open to their site.  I was shopping for a coffee maker for my best friend.

CSN Stores is an amazing site.  They have over 200 shops in their online family so you can find just about anything under the sun - most with free shipping.  That was only one of the reasons I was already on their site when the email message popped up.  They have great prices too.

My best friend is all about the color red!  The first car she bought,  a majority of her clothes, her office, and most importantly, her kitchen.  Whenever I shop for her, I try to find red gadgets for her.  While on CSN's website, I found these goodies:

But you know it's hard to shop for others sometimes.  Especially when you want what you're getting them for yourself.  My own color is purple.  So I'm thinking that for my birthday (in a few days..hint hint hint), I shall have to coerce someone to get me this:  Husband, are you reading this???

I'll be continuing my new CSN love affair when I conduct a review in the next couple of weeks.  In the meantime, be sure to spend some time at CSN Stores finding me something in PURPLE!

Curious minds want to know:  RED or PURPLE????

Have a Great Week and Happy Reading

The Weekly Wrap - 7/25/10

This feature is inspired by The Story Siren's "In My Mailbox" posts.  Let me show you the books that I've come across in one way or another for the past week. 

I Won!

Thank you so much to Blodeuedd and Kathryn Kennedy/Sourcebooks

Thank you to Nancy and Alan Goldsher/Gallery Books

Happy Reading!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Review - His Eternal Kiss: More Tales of Vampire Lore

TITLE: His Eternal Kiss
AUTHOR/EDITOR: Karla Hocker, Judith A. Lansdowne, Jeanne Savery
INFO: Paperback, Fiction, 263 pages
PUBLISHED: Kensington Books, 2002
ISBN#: 978-07582-0332-2
HOW'D I GET IT: Purchased it

FROM THE COVER/PUBLISHER:  Their manner is charming.  Their power is irresistible.  And their embrace is forever.  Guard your heart against the dark seduction of each of these mysterious and handsome noblemen, for something cursed, something dangerous, something wicked hides just inside... 

A Lady of the Night - Karla Hocker:  Anna von Hermannstadt has never forgiven her vampire mentor Vladim Szeben for transforming her into one of the cursed undead.  Though she despises the handsome immortal, she cannot completely escape the dark temptation of his calling...until she meets Viscount Gareth Rossiter, a man whose obsession with her may place them all in the gravest danger...

The Cossack - Judith A. Lansdowne:  It was by chance that Miss Aphrodite Coop uncovered a plot to assassinate the Czar.  But it is fate that grants her a protector - Count Stanislaus Kuecher, the romantic foreign gentleman who has stolen the hearts of London's belles.  To save a man's life, Aphrodite will have to trust a man she shouldn't trust at who could take her very soul...

Dark Seduction - Jeanne Savery:  The world of occult literature is what fascinates Tabitha Jerome.  She's devoted her life to delving into the rare volumes of spells and supernatural phenomena her father has collected over the decades.  But now, someone else is interested in them as well. A man with dark, piercing eyes who will do anything to possess the secrets Tabitha holds...

MY TAKE:  I enjoy stories about vampires, always have.  This collection of three short stories makes a quick afternoon read (I noticed I had a short attention span this past week, thus the collections I chose to read.)  It seemed to me that the common theme of these three stories was vampires who were fighting to be human/mortal again.  It was enjoyable, if not really all that memorable. 

MY RATING:   3/5

WHERE TO BUY IT:   His Eternal Kiss on

Happy Reading!

Retro Review - The MacGregor Grooms by Nora Roberts

In my new feature "Retro Review", I will be putting up posts on some books that are at least 10 years old.  I was on a site a few days ago where the blogger asked if people only wanted "new release" reviews or still enjoyed hearing about older books or those from an author's backlist.  Many, like me, were of the opinion that we needed to have a mixture of both.  

I like to be introduced to books that I didn't find on their first time around.  Because I pick up a lot of books from thrift stores (see last week's post :), yard sales, and swaps, many of my books are older releases.  I found two new-to-me series (and one for the hubby) on that last thrift store binge, even though one of them is over 15 years old.  Of course, I'm still on the hunt for new releases all of the time too. 

So, without further blah, blah, blahing ~ I give you my first Retro Review:

The MacGregor Grooms 

TITLE: The MacGregor Grooms
INFO: Paperback, Fiction, 329 pages
PUBLISHED: Silhouette Books, 1998
ISBN#: 978-0-373-28569-3
HOW'D I GET IT: Swapped it

FROM THE COVER/PUBLISHER:  The Matchmaking MacGregor.  It worked with his granddaughters.  Now Daniel MacGregor, powerful patriarch of the MacGregor clan, wants to see his three handsome, eligible-but stubbornly single-grandsons married.  So he's found just the women to tempt, tease, and torture D.C., Duncan and Ian all the way to the altar. 

And you can bet Daniel will be sitting by with his feet up, a glass of whiskey in hand, smugly watching his plans unfold.... 

MY TAKE:  I have always loved Nora Roberts' books.  The fact that it's about a bunch of mule headed Scotsmen and a much beloved old man who's manipulating all of them makes it even better.  The book was broke into three shorter stories about each of the three grandsons.  They were quite the quick read with the romances, pitfalls, and happy endings getting wrapped up in a hurry.  My favorite was the last story - about Ian and Naomi.  I would have liked that one to be much longer.  All in all, an enjoyable read. 


WHERE TO BUY IT:   The MacGregor Grooms on

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Review - I Know I Am, But What Are You? by Samantha Bee

TITLE: I Know I Am, But What Are You?
INFO: Hardcover, Autobiography, 242 pages
PUBLISHED: Gallery Books, 2010
ISBN#: 978-1-4391-4273-8
HOW'D I GET IT: From publisher for review

FROM THE COVER/PUBLISHER:  From Goodreads:  Samantha Bee's hilarious essays on everything from her parents' views on religion and sex to her pre-Daily Show stint as a Japanese anime character

MY TAKE:  I was really looking forward to reading this book after the publisher contacted me to do a review.  I've always thought Samantha Bee was very funny on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and thought her "memoir" would be a kick.  Unfortunately, I don't feel like that great sense of humor and quick wit really transferred well onto paper.  I would love to see her doing stand-up and telling some of these stories in person or on TV.  

There actually are some very funny anecdotes in the book which is why I didn't rate it lower than I did.  They are a crack-up, but they just couldn't carry the whole package.  She seems like she is such a likable person, but I was a little put off by some of the sexual context and language.  I couldn't see where it was necessary in almost every story to get a point across to the reader. 

I really wanted to enjoy this book like I have enjoyed watching the author, but I just couldn't muster it. 

MY RATING: 2.5 / 5

WHERE TO BUY IT:   I Know I Am, But What Are You? at

Happy Reading!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Weekly Wrap - 7/18/10

This feature is inspired by The Story Siren's "In My Mailbox" posts.  I'd like to start showing you the books that I've come across in one way or another for the past week.  (This first entry will actually be the last couple of weeks since I am just starting this meme and want to share my new treasures :)

Received for Review

101 Ways to Meditate;   Black Magic;   An Echo in the BoneChasing FrancisI Know I Am, But What Are You?The Olympic Charioteer


I Won!



My best friend & I went "thrifting" this week.
I hit the motherload of .25 and .50 cent books!
 I won't even try to name these right now.  I'm sure I'll review several of them as I dig in to my new summer reading pile!  Enjoy your week my friends.
Happy Reading!