Thursday, August 27, 2015

Book Review: Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge,from William Morrow, via Edelweiss,
for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it


And now back to our Halloween is coming thought for the week. It's now officially 30 days to FALL!

So how about a 'horror' tale?



Synopsis:

In San Francisco, the souls of the dead are mysteriously disappearing—and you know that can’t be good.
Something really strange is happening in the City by the Bay. People are dying, but their souls are not being collected. Someone—or something—is stealing them and no one knows where they are going, or why, but it has something to do with that big orange bridge. Death Merchant Charlie Asher is just as flummoxed as everyone else. He’s trapped in the body of a fourteen-inch-tall “meat puppet” waiting for his Buddhist nun girlfriend, Audrey, to find him a suitable new body to play host.
To get to the bottom of this abomination, a motley crew of heroes will band together: the seven-foot-tall death merchant Minty Fresh; retired policeman turned bookseller Alphonse Rivera; the Emperor of San Francisco and his dogs, Bummer and Lazarus; and Lily, the former Goth girl. Now if only they can get little Sophie to stop babbling about the coming battle for the very soul of humankind .

Review:

Once again, Christopher sucked me in with one quote:

"Forty miles east of Reno, the hellhounds had killed a Subaru and were rolling in its remains as two horrified kayakers looked on"

Once I got done laughing, I was struck by how immediate the visual picture had come to me of that scene. 2 dogs the size of horses, but with Mastiff/Great Dane looks tearing apart a car, while its yuppie owners stand looking on in their yellow shirts over wetsuits. 

And that is Christopher's great talent. He can take something so preposterous, but let you feel like you are actually SEEING it. It makes sense to you, a natural reality if you will. This book is actually the followup to A Dirty Jobbut you are told enough of the previous book, that is you hadn't read it, you can keep up. But I highly recommend reading them in order, as it makes this book more meaningful.

 This is a delightful story that will have you laughing, snorting, snickering and wanting to call a friend to read them a quote, more than once! part of the allure of Christopher's books is letting go of standard reason and thought, and just putting yourself in place for the pure joy and entertainment his writing gives the reader. He's the sarcastic, creative, insane friend we all love and can't imagine life without. You just may not bring him out when the preacher is around! LOL I'd swear he was from NOLA, as he has the sense of drama, religion, excess and rebelness, that you'd expect from a Louisiana writer. So in honor of our Katrina week,, consider this book NOLA-esque!

Don;t miss this one!


Book Excerpt:

You can read Chapter One of this book over on Christopher's blog!


About the Author:

Christopher Moore is the author of eleven previous novels: Practical Demonkeeping, Coyote Blue, Bloodsucking Fiends, Island of the Sequined Love Nun, The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, Lamb, Fluke, The Stupidest Angel, A Dirty Job, You Suck, and Fool. He lives in San Francisco. Check out his website for more fun stuff and links to his current book tour!

Chamilia Knows Your Daughter is YOUR Friend at Heart!

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this product, free of charge,from Chamilia, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it



blast off back to school banner

Has your college coed gone off to college yet?

Feeling an empty nest?

Is your daughter calling home a lot?

How about a special gift, to remind you each of the love you share for each other,
to start the new school year off right?




Chamilia by Swarovski Group knows it can be tough for moms and daughters to stay close as summer break ends. Its charm messaging this year is all about the friendship that keeps relationships close as daughters grow up. 

So they decided to make special beads for their memory bracelets, in matching styles, so you both can share the same memories as well.



My Daughter, My Friend—Sterling silver charm with Clear Swarovski Crystal and lavender enamel accent. I showed you both beads, so you can see both sides at once, but you only get one bead each! As you can see the enamel is subtle, but Miss Grace adores the purple, claiming the color combinations were perfect, as blue is Mom's favorite color! 


My Mother, My Friend—Sterling silver charm with Clear Swarovski Crystal and blue enamel accent . I love how pretty these beads are- every time we've worn them, we've both been complimented on them! I love how the beads are two sides- it's like having a secret message!



And if you want to make your gift even more special- you can enter to win a special Birthstone Chamilia bead right now on their website! 3 winner will win one every month!

You could also add their special Forget Me Not slower of the month bead, or add a new bracelet from their colorful Fall collection!

So remember, if you want to make Back to School special, remember Chamilia!

And don't forget....Christmas will be here sooner than you think, and memory bracelets are the gift that keep on giving!





History Corner: Aftermath Lounge by Margaret McMullan (review and giveaway)

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge,from PR By the Book, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

Continuing our 10th Anniversary blogs about Hurricane Katrina, today I have a book of stories, dealing with before, during and the aftermath.

aftermath lounge cover

Synopsis:

Aftermath Lounge: A Novel in Stories is a compelling tribute to the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Resurrecting the place and its people alongside their heartaches and triumphs, McMullan creates a riveting mosaic that feeds our wish to understand what it means to be alive in this day and age. The stories are connected by a setting near to the author’s heart—the McMullans’ home, which was originally constructed in 1845 and restored by her father numerous times over the years.

Review:

This is a collection of intersecting 22 stories. Some are very short, others longer, but in each a sense of transition and change is either eminent or already occurred, and how that unexpected change affects the characters, is ways good and bad. As the characters go from story to story, the reader sees changes in them and the Gulf Coast area.The parallels are both obvious and subtle. As the area returns to a resemblance of what it was before the Hurricane, so do the characters, yet they can't be the same, They all have been changed, in ways man made and natural, that prohibit an exact return. is it for the better, or for worse? The author allows the reader to make their own decision on that, while subtly showing the way.

This is an interesting read, and one that may evoke haunting memories for some, but a valid addition to the Hurricane Katrina collection.

About the Author:

Margaret McMullan is the author of seven award-winning novels. A recipient of a 2010 NEA Fellowship in literature, a 2010 Fulbright at the University of Pécs in Pécs, Hungary, and the National Author Winner of the 2011 Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award.

She witnessed the destruction and aftermath of Katrina firsthand, and worked at home and on a community level to provide relief and restoration to the Pass Christian area. McMullan and her family have longtime ties with the Gulf Coast region that was devastated by Katrina in 2005. Their historic waterfront Pass Christian home has since been restored and profiled in home magazines such as Southern Accent. She was awarded a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship to write Aftermath LoungeShe currently teaches at the University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana, where she is Professor and Melvin M. Peterson Endowed Chair in Literature and Writing. Check out her website for more



flashing Win


Giveaway:

One BTHM reader will win this review copy of Aftermath Lounge

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: A Look Back to Where it Started....







miss grace irish dancing


Book Review: Project Inspired by Nicole Weider with Kristin Billerbeck

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge,from Zonderkidz, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it



blast off back to school banner



And now a new book perfect for the new school year!



Synopsis:

Nicole Weider is on a mission: to help young girls avoid the traps that culture sets. The trap that baits you into thinking you must sacrifice your self-worth in order to be beautiful and popular. Nicole launched Project Inspired in 2010 (www.projectinspired.com), a website for teen girls that analyzes pop culture and explores ways girls can live in their authentic beauty.
In Project Inspired, Nicole shares tips for you to stay true to yourself—to how you were created to be—as well as how to dress modestly yet fashionably, how to make a positive difference in the world, and how to enjoy your teen years while standing firm in your faith. With photographs, real behind-the-scenes stories from inside the fashion world, and an honest look at living a life that looks great on the outside and feels great on the inside, Project Inspired is a book you’ll turn to time and time again.


Review:

This certainly isn't the first story of a beautiful woman who became a model, and then realized the cut throat world was not for her, as it took her away from her Christian beliefs and morality. But what it IS is a guide for pre-teens and teens that shows how you can be beautiful, inside and out, staying true to your faith and still be modern and hip. As you can see from the picture above, her recommended dressing tips are on the classic side, and even the 'edgy' look on the right, is something every parents would breathe a huge sigh of relief over! Skin care and makeup tips are also along the same line. Nicole takes a simple idea and shows how she applies it, to show how you do not have to be over the top in your look and attitude.

The book is based on Nicole's website, and the website would be a great way to see more of the themes (dating, friendship, faith in motion) from the book in action, and great way to change the discussion to a web-based media discussion between parents and teens. This is a lovely book and I highly recommend it for the 13-14 yr old crowd, to get girls off on the right foot!


About the Authors

Nicole Weider is a former model and actress who founded the online community Project Inspired, which focuses on helping girls find their inner beauty. Nicole is married to Eric, and lives in California with their son. Visit her online community at www.ProjectInspired.com.
 Kristin Billerbeck is the author of numerous Christian novels, hitting the CBA bestseller list and winning the coveted ACFW Book of the Year in 2004 for What a Girl Wants and again in 2006 for With this Ring, I’m Confused. She has been featured in the New York Times, USA Today, World Magazine, the Atlanta Journal Constitition and been seen on the "Today Show" for her pioneering role in Christian Chick Lit. She has a bachelor’s degree in advertising from San Jose State University.