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Showing posts from July, 2008

Guest Post - Phyllis Zimbler Miller (and a Giveaway)

Author Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of Mrs. Lieutenant and is herself a former Mrs. Lieutenant and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book "Seasons for Celebration." She has recently written a teen guide based on her coaching of young people and lives in Los Angeles. Visit her website.

The author has graciously agreed to do a guest post here on A Book Blogger's Diary. Please welcome, Phyllis Zimbler Miller:

My book MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL was released in April. The book takes place in 1970 during the Vietnam War and tells the story of four young women who meet as new officers’ wives at Ft. Knox, Kentucky. As people can tell from the cover of the book, the four women are quite diverse.

Here are frequent questions that I get:

What prompted you to write a book about this era? Was it personal experience?

Was your info on the four different wives taken from the lives of family and friends or of strangers? Are you portraying yourself in one of the four w…

In the Mailbox (30 July 08)

There's no dearth of books in my home. In fact, the piles heaped here, there, everywhere make navigation a hazard. Makes me long to have one of those cartoon jet-shoes - they'd really help. There are books I've won, books I've got for review (many thanks to the senders - keep 'em coming), those I've borrowed from the library, exchanged with friends, etc etc etc. Books galore. I'd love to review them all, but being an ordinary human (instead of SuperBookworm that I've always dreamt of being - just tear off my ordinary work clothes, emerge in the comfiest pjs, and then read everything ever written - {dreamy sigh}) that might not be possible. I might still review some of them, but in the meantime I've decided to feature them in these Mailbox posts which will come to you every Wednesday (hopefully!).

That's not all. Amid all this reading, I've still been known to miss some much anticipated reads, all because I didn't know the books had rel…

Book Review - The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

The Sugar Queen
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Bantam

Josey Cirrini is 27 years old, a tad overweight and has doomed herself to a lifetime of servitude to an ungrateful mother. She's rich and she longs to escape her North Carolina winter resort town of Bald Mountain, but feels helpless to effect any change. The coming of snow heralds a new chapter into Josey's unsuspecting life as one early winter morning she opens her closet door and finds someone living inside.

Specifically, Della Lee, a woman with a record, known for her fast life and who now shows a desperate desire to stay in Josey's closet to avoid something monumental. What it is, Della Lee isn't telling. Josey wants to dislodge her uninvited closet guest, but soon gets subtly blackmailed into letting Della Lee stay in the closet alongside Josey's hidden stash of junk food, specifically sweets, of all kinds, shapes, and colors.

At Della Lee's constant and no-nonsense urging, …

Tuesday Trailers - Meg Cabot, Terry Pratchett and More

I'll be starting a new feature from today wherein I try and bring you some Book Trailers or Book related videos every Tuesday. If you know of any, or want your book's video/trailer featured here, email me the details.

First up is Meg Cabot and her new book, QUEEN OF BABBLE GETS HITCHED. It's a must watch. I can see how she got inspired to write Babble and why she's the queen of hilarity!

This is a trailer for Felix Gilman's debut fantasy novel, Thunderer. The trailer neatly summarizes as well as tantalizes.

In this video Padma Vishwanathan speaks about her book, The Toss of a Lemon, which gives us a richly detailed and intimate vision of an India we've never seen. Watch now to find out which part of the book her grandmother described as "a very, very shy part."

Terry Pratchett talks to The Book Show on Skytv about his works.

*NEW* Joy Book Gi…

Tuesday's Treasures (29 July 08)

Carp(e) libris is giving away Iris Johansen's latest, Silent Thunder. Ends July 31st.

Simple Mom is giving away a copy of The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule. 3 winners. Ends August 1st.

Anna over at Diary of an Eccentric has interviewed Phyllis Zimbler Miller and is giving away a copy of her book, Mrs. Lieutenant. Ends Aug 1st.

Shana of Literarily blog is hosting her first book giveaway - an ARC of Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell.

Mel, A Dramatic Mommy is giving away three (new) paperbacks: The Wife of Reilly, Tales from the Crib and Reinventing Mona.

Coco @ Mommyhood & Life is giving away Mary Engelbreit’s Dining Out Cookbook.

Melissa is giving away "one of the most interesting, yet the most controversial Christian fiction books to come out in a long time" The Shack by William P. Young. She's also giving away a Christian Suspense Book Pack

Learning Mama has a copy of White Tombs signed by Christopher Valen himself to give away.

1-2-3 Get O…

Bloggy Giveaway Carnival - The Bible Salesman by Clyde Edgerton

This Giveaway is part of the huge Bloggy Giveaways Carnival that's happening this week. If you see posting's a bit down till the weekend, that's the reason for it. Find more details over at Bloggy Giveaways.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group USA, I have 2 much-anticipated books to give away. Don't forget to enter my other Bloggy Book giveaway - here.

This giveaway is for The Bible Salesmanby Clyde Edgerton (releasing August 11th)
Preston Clearwater has been a criminal since stealing two chain saws and 1600 pairs of aviator sunglasses from the Army during the Second World War. Back on the road in post-war North Carolina, a member of a car-theft ring, he picks up hitch-hiking Henry Dampier, an innocent nineteen-year-old Bible salesman. Clearwater immediately recognizes Henry as just the associate he needs--one who will believe Clearwater is working as an F.B.I. spy; one who will drive the cars Clearwater steals as Clearwater follows along in another car at a safe distance. He…

Book Review - Delicious

Author: Sherry Thomas
Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Bantam (July 29, 2008)


Famous in Paris, infamous in London, Verity Durant is as well-known for her mouthwatering cuisine as for her scandalous love life. But that’s the least of the surprises awaiting her new employer when he arrives at the estate of Fairleigh Park following the unexpected death of his brother.

The lawyer Stuart Somerset worked himself up from the slums of Manchester to become one of the rising political stars of England’s Parliament. To him, Verity Durant is just a name and food is just food, until her first dish touches his lips. Only one other time had he felt such pure arousal—a dangerous night of passion with a stranger, a young woman who disappeared at dawn. Ten years is a long time to wait for the main course, but when Verity Durant arrives at his table, there’s only one thing that will satisfy Stuart’s appetite for more. But is his hunger for lust, revenge—or that rarest of de…

Bloggy Giveaway Carnival - Off Season by Anne Rivers Siddons

This Giveaway is part of the huge Bloggy Giveaways Carnival that's happening this week. If you see that posting's a bit down till the weekend, that's the reason for it. Find more details over at Bloggy Giveaways.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group USA, I have 2 much-anticipated books to give away.

The first one is Off Season by Anne Rivers Siddons (releasing August 13th)
For as long as she can remember, they were Cam and Lilly--happily married, totally in love with each other, parents of a beautiful family, and partners in life. Then, after decades of marriage, it ended as every great love story loss. After Cam's death, Lilly takes a lone road trip to her and Cam's favorite spot on the remote coast of Maine, the place where they fell in love over and over again, where their ghosts still dance. There, she looks hard to her past--to a first love that ended in tragedy; to falling in love with Cam; to a marriage filled with exuberance, sheer life, and safety-- to t…

Innovative Monday - Edition Five


My dream couch.  Yours as well?

How to make a Sticky Post

Originally posted @ A Bookworm's Diary

One of the most frequent questions I get from my readers is "How do you make that sticky post?" I've explained this many times via email. So today, I finally decided to make a blog post out of it. Hopefully many of you who wonder but hesitate to ask, will also benefit from this.

What I'm about to explain below is for Blogger blogs only. If you're using some other blogging platform (like Wordpress, Typepad etc) then please check your individual platform's help or FAQ section to find out how to achieve the same for your blog.

Q: What is a STICKY POST?

It's a post that's stuck or pinned to the top of a blog or a forum. Let me explain.

Generally the way Blogger (or any other type of blog platform, I'm assuming) shows blog posts is in descending order of dates. So, a post dated say August 12, 2008 will show on top of a post dated July 24, 2008.

So you can also call a post-dated post as a Sticky Post.

Q: What…

Book Review - Everything Nice by Ellen Shanman

Everything Nice
Author: Ellen Shanman
Publisher: Bantam Discovery
Releasing: July 29, 2008


With wry humor and complex characterization, Ellen Shanman tells a stellar story of an intelligent woman who doesn’t know how to be herself.

Mike is not your normal everyday woman. She’s distant, she doesn't flirt, she doesn't tolerate fools and she doesn't know how to be social, particularly with other women. She doesn't play on her considerable looks or beauty, hates the attention it garners her and is almost mannish in her dress and address. Looking back, a reader should hate her. That instead they fall in love with this spunky tomboy of a woman is a tribute to Shanman's writing.

As the story unfolds, Shanman reveals how Mike's social awkwardness is directly related to her upbringing by a clueless Doctor Dad, whose own grief at his wife’s passing keeps him from ever truly connecting with his only daughter. Young Mike in turn absorbs the distancing behavior she’s …

Weekend Edition of Contests and Giveaways

Here are Book News / Giveaways for this weekend. I'm always happy to promote books, authors and other book bloggers. So if you have something to share (news, reviews, giveaways etc), just let me know via the contact form (link above in the menu bar, above the header) or email me at abookblogger at gmail dot com with the details.

I'll be back on Monday with more (or earlier if I find something I must share :).

Happy book-end!


Blood Muse has five paperback copies courtesy of The Wheel of Darkness by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child to give away. Enter before August 1st.

From LA Times: IDW Publishing, a comics company best known for horror titles (most notably "30 Days of Night") and adaptations of movies and television shows, is going into the beltway world by publishing "Presidential Material: Barack Obama" and "Presidential Material: John McCain," a pair of graphic novels that chronicle the life of the two men who b…

Book Review- The Questory of Root Karbunkulus

** This Book Review is part of Pump Up Your Book Promotion's Virtual Blog Tour for Kamilla Reid **
The Questory of Root Karbunkulus: Item One - The Miist
Author: Kamilla Reid
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 316 pages
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing


In the village of Charm, Root Karbunkulus is an ordinary teenage girl living in a horrid halfhouse, used as an unpaid slave by her two grotesque aunts. Until one day she wakes up to the sound of a phone ringing - a ringing, that peculiarly, only she's able to hear. When she finally tracks down the phone to a secret room hidden under a trapdoor, she gets a riddle to solve by Argo Bumplekins. Solving the riddle on full moon night leads Root into the DréAmm, a mysterious world "three feet above you".

Once there, Root comes to know that she along with more than a 100 other kids, were all born in DréAmm but sent to live among Humans for their own protection. Divided into teams of three, these special kids are then in…

Book Review - The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

The Summoning Author: Kelley Armstrong
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Harper Collins


We've all seen or heard about that movie with the kid who whispers "I see dead people". That's what teenager Chloe Saunders sees as well. Only she doesn't realize what she's seeing. It all begins with a nightmare (or is it a memory?) of little Chloe lured into a dark basement by a malevolent ghost. But the now 15-year old wakes up, shrugs it off and goes to Art school where she pretends to have as normal a life as a teenager can have. Then BAM! she suddenly gets her period and it's like putting up an 'Open House' sign for all resident ghosts. Naturally, she freaks out ... in school ... in front of disbelieving teachers who attempt to subdue her but whom she attacks in her panic-stricken state.

This gets Chloe sent to Lyle House, a remedial home for "disturbed teens". Wanting to check out of there asap, Chloe takes her pills,…

Book Review - Upside Down Inside Out by Monica Mcinerney

Upside Down Inside Out
Author: Monica Mcinerney
Publisher: Ballantine Books (June 24, 2008)

Eva Kennedy is in a rut. After seven years of working at her uncle’s Dublin delicatessen, her artistic aspirations have slipped by the wayside and her latest relationship has fizzled. Hoping to shake things up and find inspiration, Eva takes a break and ventures to Melbourne, Australia, to visit her old friend Lainey, who, for fun, gives her an exciting new identity. Eva is now exotic and adventurous and . . . not herself.

Joseph Wheeler is a successful London designer. Unfortunately his firm is thriving at such a high level that he doesn’t have time to actually design anymore. And his love life is nonexistent. In Australia on business, Joseph meets Eva, and the sparks fly–even as Eva is stuck pretending to be someone she’s not. Little does she know that Joseph has some secrets of his own. . . .

When what starts as a holiday fling quickly blossoms into something more, Joseph and Eva dis…

Jean Holloway Giveaway Winner

July 21st came and went. And with it ended author Jean Holloway's giveaway! A lot of you were intrigued by the giveaway challenge posed by Holloway, who asked readers to define her novel "Ace of Hearts" which released on July 3rd. Called everything from Erotic Thriller to Alternative Mystery, readers had a blast with their guesses!

Today, it was time for Jean to decide which among all the great reponses deserved to be the winner. Here is her message :

I guess erotic thriller it is! As for the winner, I like:
MaMa said on July 17, 2008 2:29 PM

Based on some reviews I've read of this novel, I'd say it sounds more like an erotic thriller. This sounds like a violent, sexually charged and captivating novel and when you throw in a serial killer of women and a female cop, well the tension most be off the charts! I would love to read this book! Thanks for hosting.

mistyfuji [dot] yahoo [dot] comPlease thank your readers for me. I loved this!

Heartfully Yours,
Jean Hollow…

How to Keep Kids Reading this Summer

Worried about your child forgetting all about reading while in the throes of vacation? Then here're some interesting tips for you, courtesy of some cool authors.

Below is a link to the TV clip, which may be a great starting point for your own discussion on how to keep kids reading through the dog days of summer. Jane O'Connor (Fancy Nancy) gives tips for the young readers, MAC (Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink) advises the 9-12 crowd, and Scott Westerfeld (Uglies) saves teens from summer boredom. Jane and Scott are of course NY Times Bestsellers; and MAC is an "up & comer" who recently sold out of her debut novel at its sneak preview during NY Comic Con.

And if you need more ideas, MAC has a lot more creative tips for summer reading on her blog at
*NEW* Author Guest Post : Jasmin Rosemberg (…

Innovative Monday - Edition Four

The Ceiling Bookshelf is a great idea to store your books if your space is limited. Except for lighting fixtures and ceiling fans, almost no other use is made of this space in a room. It's basically empty. This bookshelf a truly innovative way to make use of it.

As you can see, all you need is a ladder to reach the books....every time you feel like picking up one...every single time. And then there's always the chance a book might land on your head most unexpectedly!

Swim or sink, you decide!


Monday News and Giveaways (21July 08)

I couldn't get the weekend post up this week. So here are some Book News / Giveaways to wake you up this Monday. As always, I'm always happy to promote books, authors and other book bloggers. So if you have something to share (book release, news, reviews, giveaways... anything you want to share), just let me know via the contact form (you'll find the link in the above menu bar, just above the header) or email me at abookblogger at gmail dot com with the details.


Don't forget to check out Tammy Lynn Whisman's Sliced Ice Cream. An exquisite collection, delivering a set of lushly crafted poems ranging from the expansive, mildly jangling to smoky sophistication... sure to beguile and seduce.

Planet of the Owlsby Mike Philbin has a split-narrative story that tells of the time-and-space traveling powers of the Gods who have finally arrived on planet Earth in the guise of birds: robins, crows, magpies and owls.

Breaking Cover, the ne…

Book Giveaway - Joy is the Greatest Gift

Originally Posted at my other blog, A Bookworm's Diary!
Ever since I was lucky enough to become a Mama, I've been re-discovering the joys of simple things that I'd taken for granted. The sight a sparrow chirping on the windowsill. A thunderstorm. The Moon floating in the night sky. When you see them through the wide eyes of a child, you can't help but appreciate them all over again!

It is that kind of innocent joy that Focus Friends, a Colarado-based company created by 2 Moms, seeks to spread and inspire with their new line of quality books and products for young children, ages 2 to 9, based on unique characters they call Focus Friends. Each Focus Friend character possesses the essence of a special gift or trait and shows children how to apply that quality to their lives.

Their debut title, Joy is the Greatest Gift, written by Marks and illustrated by award-winning artist Eris Klein, introduces the first Focus Friends character, Joyann, who shares with readers her gift o…

Some Bloggy Book Giveaways

Things have been pretty hectic around here and each time I look it seems yet another new book giveaway is happening. So here's the freebie Book list again. Go for it!

Booking Mama is at it again. This time she's reviewed and is giving away a copy of Queen of the Road. You have until July 18th to leave a comment.

The divine Devyn Quinn is guest blogging at this Friday, July 18th. Mark the date on your calendar and stop by on the day itself for the interview, juicy excerpts and a fabulous book giveaway! For an extra chance in the giveaway, just blog about the event and paste the link in your comment.

Help Is Not a Four Letter Word“ by Peggy Collins is the final book giveaway prize says Clever Dude. Leave a comment to enter before July 18th.

Promises, Promises by Amber Miller is up for grabs at A Mom Speaks. Be warned, the book has a page with a  pen mark in it. Just leave a comment on the post by July 20, 2008.

Deborah's also giving awa…