Friday, January 22, 2010

WoWO Book Club Meeting and Happy Hour Review

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Last night was the very first book club meeting for the Women of Washington Oaks (WoWO). Since I organized this book club by winning copies from the author of Happy Hour, Michele Scott, it made sense it would be at my house to start. There were 6 of us last night and we had a ball.

Obviously the book chosen was Happy Hour by Michele Scott. In this story about friendship and support, are 4 friends who are going through some of the toughest times in their lives. Kat, a bit of a control freak - but who can blame her, is the divorced mother of 2 boys. Jamie is a wife and mother when tragedy hits and she's left to take care of her mother-in-law and raise a child on her own. Alyssa has a past that nobody knows about, until it comes back to find her in several ways. Danielle, mother of two girls, is trying to get her vineyard up and running when life takes an unexpected turn. Through their trials, at least these women have each other and their "Happy Hour" gatherings to get them through.

Here is a summary of what we thought of the book as a group:

We all found these women very relateable and would want to have these women as our friends. Over all , the women in the book club enjoyed the book and reading about the lives of these women. Favorite guys voted by the group were Tyler and Christian and most relateable woman was Kat.

The writing style, where each chapter was a different women's perspective, was split. Some of us liked that aspect of it, while others felt it was disjointed because once you got into a particular aspect of the story it jumped to someone else.

The average rating from the 6 of us was a 3.8. We thought that the book started off a bit on the slow side but by page 178 (apparently a favorite page for several of the girls) it picked up and enticed us to read on. Everyone was glad they stuck with it as it definitely paid off in the end.

We were split on whether or not we would want to see a sequel to Happy Hour, but mostly because we didn't want to see these women go through any more turmoil than they had already been through. The one thing we would like to see if a sequel were written is Alyssa and Darren happily married and Ian healed and healthy. Something tells me that we are invested enough in these characters that we would read a sequel if Michele Scott chooses to write it.

There was plenty of food to eat, an abundance of book chatter and the wine was flowing generously. All in all, I would say it was a very successful first meeting!

Next up for the WoWO book club will be Dear John by Nicholas Sparks. We will meet on February 21st and see the movie and discuss the two over dinner.

This book fits the following challenges and categories for my personal challenges:

  • The Romance Reading Challenge
  • RYOB Challenge
  • New Authors Challenge
  • PBT Jan Tag: Other
  • Monthly Mixer Mele Challenge: M in noveMber (Michelle)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Baby Card

I made this a while ago for my friend who had a baby and never posted it. Will be seeing her soon, can't wait to see the baby.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

2 More Valentine Cards

I made two more Valentine's Day Cards tonight.. Not sure what I'll do with all of these, but it's fun to make them!

Dexter by Design by Jeff Lindsay

Rating 4/5 Stars

Dexter is in for the challenge of his life when Deb gets stabbed and the person who stabbed her is on the loose. Dexter vows for revenge but things turn out different then they first seemed and there is no going back. Everything gets out of control and Dexter has to sink or swim and he's swimming for his life.

I think that Dexter on Showtime has ruined me for these books. Excellent story, but I can't separate the two characters from each other and I keep finding flaws in the books character that I'd never see in the Showtime character and it disappoints me. In the earlier books I could separate them, but in this one I just couldn't and it didn't live up to my expectations because of it.

Jeff Lindsay is amazing and has a great imagination. If it weren't for the showtime series, I'd have given it 5 stars.

This book fits the following Challenges and Categories:
  • RYOB Challenge
  • Thriller and Suspense Reading Challenge
  • PBT Jan Tag: Other
  • Monthly Mixer Mele - B in feBruary (by)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Romance Reading Challenge

Ok.. this is the last challenge - I swear! It's too good to pass up! Besides how can I say no to posting a picture of Gerard Butler on my blog!

The Romance Reading Challenge is being hosted by The Bookworm

1. "Romance" isn't limited to steamy Harlequin novels. There is a huge selection of books in this category such as contemporary romance, historical romance, romantic suspense and paranormal romance to name a few. As long as the story has romantic love between the two main characters your selection will fit this challenge. The novels do not need to have a happy ending either, there can also be unrequited love.

Here's a few suggestions:
*Twilight By Stephenie Meyer
*Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
*Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
*The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss
*Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen or any other novel by Miss Austen
*Frederica by Georgette Heyer
*The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
*Benny & Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti
*Beneath A Marble Sky by John Shors
*The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
*P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
*The Princess Bride by William Goldman

2. Choose at least 5 novels read them between Jan 1st though Dec 31st 2010. You can change your choices at any time. Crossovers between other challenges are fine.

3. Read them at your own pace in 2010 then go to The Bookworm's site (Link above) and post the link to your review(s).

As always, check my progress here on my blog:

1) Happy Hour by Michelle Scott
2) Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

3) Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris (3/30)
4) Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (4/07)
5) The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks (4/14)
6) Someone to Watch Over Me (4/16)
7) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (4/22)
8) House Rules by Jodi Picoult (4/25)
9) Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost (5/23)
10)Wild Heart by Lori Brighton (6/23)
11) The Education of Mrs. Brimley by Donna MacMeans (9/29)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

Rating: 3/5 Stars

I would not consider myself a Shakespeare fan and I only read this for the Marriage tag at the PlayBookTag group, but now I'm so glad I did. At first the writing bored me because I am not used to reading old English but after a time it fell right into place and I thoroughly enjoyed the witty banter between the male and female characters. As the story of Hero and Claudio and Beatrice and Benedick unfolds I found myself enthralled with their stories and their banter. A classic story of love and deception that I really enjoyed reading and very glad I did. I definitely want to see the movie that was based on this play now and introduce myself to more Shakespeare.

This Book fits the following Categories and Challenges for me:
  • PBT Jan Tag: Other
  • PBT Twelve Days of Christmas : Day Five - Marriage
  • Monthly Mixer Mele: M in noveMber

RYOB Challenge 2010

•Pick a number of books you’d like to read in one year

•Choose those books from your OWN collection

•Read them between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010And, that’s it!Some other guidelines for this challenge:

•Re-Reads are NOT allowed (the challenge is to get more of your own books read that have been sitting there waiting!)

•Audiobooks & e-books ARE allowed

•You do NOT need a blog to participate — you can leave comments on this post with your progress

Enter here:

Ok.. I know .. ANOTHER CHALLENGE? I just can't help myself! I am going to plan to read at least 20 books from my TBR pile but I hope to do more.

Check back for my progress here on my blog:

1. Dexter by Design by Jeff Lindsay
2. Happy Hour by Michelle Scott
3. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
4. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
5. Loves Music, Loves to Dance by Mary Higgins Clark
6. Raven Stole the Moon by Garth Stein

7. Dust to Dust by Tami Hoag

8. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (3/25)

9. Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris (3/30)

10. Supernatural: Nevermore by Keith R.A. DeCandido (4/17)

11. House Rules by Jodi Picoult (4/25)

12. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (4/28)

13.The Love Ceiling by Jean Davies Okimoto (5/7)

14. Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost (5/23)

15. Midwives by Chris Bohjalian (5/31)

16. The Alchemyst by Michael Scott (6/2)

17. Wild Heart by Lori Brighton (6/23)

18. Plenty by Alisa Smith & J.B. Mackinnon (7/12)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Finish That Series Challenge

This is an opportunity for you to finish all of those series that have been sitting on your book shelf looking at you. With this challenge you count series completed, not books read. The object of this challenge is to finish the series.

Challenge Guidelines:
1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.
--Non-Bloggers: Include your information in the comment section.

2. There are four levels:
-- Curious – Finish 2 series.
-- Fascinated – Finish 3 series.
-- Addicted – Finish 5 series.
-- Obsessed – Finish 10 series.

3. Any genre counts.

4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010.

6. When you sign up under Mr. Linky, put the direct link to the post about the Finish Your Series Reading Challenge. Include the URL so that other participants can find join in and read your reviews and post

--- For Me, I will be starting the challenge off as Fascinated with 3 Series.. but you never know, it will probably grow to more. Updated on 3/19 to Addicted!!!

1) Women's Murder Club Series by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

7th Heaven - Completed on 1/11
8th Confession - Completed on 3/8
9th Judgement

2) Alex Cross Series by James Patterson

Four Blind Mice
The Big Bad Wolf
London Bridges
Mary Mary
Double Cross
Cross Country
Alex Cross' Trial
I, Alex Cross

3) Gourmet Girl Mystery Series by Susan Conant and Jessica Conant-Park

Simmer Down
Turn up the heat
Fed Up
Cook the books (Mar 2010)

Added another on 1/11!
4) Argeneau Family Series by Lyndsay Sands

A Quick Bite
Love Bites
Single White Vampire
Tall, Dark and Hungry
A Bite to Remember
Bite Me
Accidental Vampire
Vampires are Forever
Vampire Interrupted

Added yet another on 3/19!
5)Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer
Eclipse - Completed 4/07
Breaking Dawn

Please check back for my progress!

7th Heaven by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

My first book of 2010 is finally finished!

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Book 7 of the Women's Murder Club is the best one yet. There are two story lines and as I always want but never get, until now, the stories converge! That's all the spoilers you'll get from me but it's really very well done.

The first story line is of deadly house fires happening in wealthy suburban houses that don't look exactly accidental. Leads to the case are hard to come by and catching whose responsible seems impossible but, Lindsay Boxer and her partner are on the case to figure out who is setting these fires and why. In the second story the son of a prominent political figure has been missing for some time and finally a lead pans out and information comes pouring in - with unsettling results. There are several other subplots that work around the Ladies of the women's murder club and keep things interesting for all involved.

All-in-all a worthy addition to the women's murder club series.

This book fits into the following Categories and Challenges for me:
  • Thriller and Suspense Reading Challenge
  • PBT Jan Tag: Other
  • Monthly Mixer Mele Challenge: H in marcH
  • Finish That Series Challenge

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Valentines Day Cards

I haven't finished any new books in a couple of days (Dexter by Design and 7th Heaven reviews coming soon!) but I did manage to do two valentines day cards.

So in the meantime, Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

New Birthday Card Created

For Christmas I received a subscription to PaperCrafts Magazine. I received my first issue over the weekend and I was excited to get started with some of the inspirations in the book. This is my first card of the new year and I'm really excited about how it turned out.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Happy New Year: Goodbye 2009

Its time to say goodbye to 2009 and hello to 2010.

But before we do that I would like to take a second and wrap-up December's reads:
  • The art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein - 5 stars (Favorite)
  • Beat the reaper by Josh Bazell - 5 stars (Favorite)
  • The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus - 3 Stars
  • For my Daughters by Barbara Delinsky - 3 Stars
  • Timeline by Michael Crichton - 3 stars
  • The princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherford - 2 Stars
Books read for the PBT Tag - Satire:
  • The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Books read for the PBT Tag - Other:
  • Timeline by Michael Crichton
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  • The Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherford
  • Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell
  • For My Daughters by Barbara Delinsky
Now on to the 2009 Year Wrap-up:

I read 63 books in 2009, which is great for me. With school and work, it's really hard to find spare time to read for pleasure but have made it more of a priority this year and it shows.

My favorite books from 2009 were:
  • Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell
  • The art of racing in the rain by Garth Stein
  • Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger
  • The adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson
Also rated 5 stars but not marked favorite for whatever reason were:
  • The Face of Deception by Iris Johansen
  • Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
  • Skinny Chicks don't eat salads by Christine Avanti
I have made 3 new book related New Years Resolutions:
  • Read more from my TBR pile
  • Borrow more from the library instead of trading or buying books available at the library
  • Stick to a 50 page rule. If the book isn't grabbing me by 50 pages, dump it and move on.
I have so many new challenges coming up in 2010 so I'm looking forward to new reading experiences.

I hope everyone has a fabulous 2010, thanks for reading my blog!