Thursday, November 26, 2009

Enter The Coach Handbag Giveaway Extravaganza!

If I had a Fairy Godmother like Cinderella,
I'd definitely want her to turn my pumpkin into a Coach but only if it were the kind I could carry on my arm!

I was just over visiting at The Fashionable Housewife's blog and Yowsa!
She is taking part in the most fabulous giveaway of this Holiday season.

She's teamed up with none other than Coach as one of the blogs that are participating in their "Holiday Blog-A-Day Handbag Giveaway"

Be sure and visit her blog and check out all the different ways you can gain entries to win a gorgeous bag just like the one pictured above.

You have until Dec.20th at 11:59 pm est to enter.
Good Luck!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Review: Children Of Dust by Ali Eteraz


Ali Eteraz's Children of Dust is a spellbinding portrayal of a life that few Americans can imagine. From his schooling in a madrassa in Pakistan to his teenage years as a Muslim American in the Bible Belt, and back to Pakistan to find a pious Muslim wife, this lyrical, penetrating saga from a brilliant new literary voice captures the heart of our universal quest for identity.

Children of Dust begins in rural Islam at the lowest levels of Pakistani society in the turbulent eighties. This intimate portrayal of rustic village life is revealed through a young boy's eyes as he discovers magic, women, and friendship.

After immigrating with his family to the United States, Eteraz struggles to be a normal American teenager under the rules of a strict Muslim household.

In 1999, he returns to Pakistan to find the villages of his youth dominated by the ideology of the Taliban, filled with young men spouting militant rhetoric, and his extended family under threat. Eteraz becomes the target of a mysterious abduction plot when he is purported to be a CIA agent, and eventually has to escape under military escort.

Back in the United States, with his fundamentalist illusions now shattered, Eteraz tries to find a middle way within American Islam. At each stage of Eteraz's life, he takes on a different identity to signal his evolution. From being pledged to Islam in Mecca as an infant, through Salafi fundamentalism, to liberal reformer, Eteraz desperately struggles to come to terms with being a Pakistani and a Muslim.

Astonishingly honest, darkly comic, and beautifully told, Children of Dust is an extraordinary adventure that reveals the diversity of Islamic beliefs, the vastness of the Pakistani diaspora, and the very human search for home

My thoughts:
I was interested in reading this book because since Nine-Eleven, I have attempted to gain some understanding into the Muslim beliefs and culture.
This book is a memoir of one man's reflection of his life growing up in the Islam faith. It begins with his humble childhood in Pakistan, and extends through his immigration to the US, ending up as a teenager in Alabama, then back to Pakistan.

The religious zeal with which he was brought up was actually not unlike a couple of people that I knew back in grammar school.
I knew a couple of girls in my class who weren't allowed to cut their hair or wear pants. There was no television in their household, no dancing or rock'n'roll, and wearing make-up was of course, out of the question.
Not surprisingly, it was these same girls who rebelled the loudest when we were all thrust into high school.
As they began to question their parents beliefs, and search for their own identities, out came the scissors and the eyeshadow.I recall one of them coming to school with huge welts on her calves from the whipping she'd received from her mother after she had defiantly taken a razor and shaved her legs for gym class.

Back then it wasn't considered child abuse for a parent to do that.

The Author's detailed descriptions of his youthful upbringing left me amazed at the all encompassing fervor of the Islam faith.
So many details and points to remember and live by. And the punishments seemed barbaric and harsh. At least to me.
I also couldn't help but wonder at the almost superstitious beliefs that the adults held on to and instilled in their young.
When his baby brother died, the women of the household actually blamed it on a barren sister-in law, as if she'd cast some sort of spell or curse in this case.
After reading this memoir I can't help but be grateful that over-zealous, religious baggage was the one thing that I didn't have to drag with me into adulthood.
Why should Life be such a struggle?
Thank you Mama.

About the Author from
Ali Eteraz, author of Children of Dust: A Memoir of Pakistan, was born in Pakistan and has lived in the Middle East, the Caribbean, and the United States. A graduate of Emory University and Temple Law School, he was selected for the Outstanding Scholar's Program at the United States Department of Justice and later worked in corporate litigation in Manhattan. He is a regular contributor to True/Slant; has published articles about Islam and Pakistani politics in Dissent, Foreign Policy, AlterNet, and altMuslim; and is a regular contributor to The Guardian UK and Dawn, Pakistan's oldest English-language daily. His blog in the Islamosphere received nearly two million views as well as a Brass Crescent award for originality. Eteraz has spoken publicly about the situation inside Pakistan, Islamic reform, and Muslim immigration. He currently divides his time between Princeton, New jersey, and the Middle East, and is working on a novel.

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: HarperOne; 1st edition (October 13, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061567086
ISBN-13: 978-0061567087

I received my review copy of this book courtesy of FSB

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

ALERT! HP Touchsmart 600 Computer Giveaway!

While perusing my emails this morning I came across this incredible giveaway that is going on at Jolly Mom's blog.

She's bringing us a fabulous giveaway with this incredible prize of the HP TouchSmart 600 computer valued at $1,497 retail! How awesome is that?
If you're in the market to upgrade your old machine (or etch-a-sketch with a cord as I fondly refer to mine) you'll want to get on over to JollyMom's and get your entry in.

The giveaway officially launches Monday, Nov.23 but JollyMom's generously offering us the opportunity to get in a few extra entries early on so click on over there and see what it's all about!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Review:The Manufactured Identity by Heath Sommer

I invite you to read this FIRST CHAPTER. As I was invited to read it by the author himself.

My thoughts:
The Manufactured Identity tells the story of lives that are connected by deceit of the worst kind.
Imagine if the person that you have spent your life with, and built a relationship with did not even really exist?
Their whole identity simply made-up.
How would you feel?
Would it change your perceptions of your memories of time spent with this person?
Would you begin to even doubt your own existence, if someone squandered your love and time this way?
Suppose you learned there were others involved.
Just like you.
Innocent and unaware.

Lory Latchley's husband is missing.
Unfortunately, several other ladies partner's have flown the coop also.

As Lory seeks to unravel the mystery of her husband's disappearance, she stumbles upon a common thread that ties them all together in this absorbing and suspenseful tale.
As a reader I found myself drawn in to Lory's character, and I kept reading to learn each new discovery about her husband as she made them.

While some of the characters storylines seemed disjointed, I knew they were all going to tie together somehow, but I admit that the ending surprised me.
This is probably one of the best psychological thrillers I've read all year.

About the author:

Doctor Heath Sommer earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Idaho State University and holds an additional degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development. A native of Sacramento, California, he has enjoyed many opportunities for public speaking and regularly conducts workshops/gives lectures on psychologically related as well as theologically related domains. In addition to his literary interests, Dr. Sommer specializes in the assessment and treatment of trauma, anxiety, and marriage, family, and child development.

For further information please visit the author's website at

Paperback: 308 pages
Publisher: Tate Publishing & Enterprises (June 23, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1606965506
ISBN-13: 978-1606965504

Disclosure:I received my review copy of this book courtesy of the author Heath Sommer.

And The Winner's Are...

The Funky silver bracelet goes to:

Pamela S said...
I love the "Rome" earrings. pamelashockley(AT)netscape(DOT)net

The Glacier earrings go to:

erma said...
I like the Hip Hoop Bling gold.

Congratulations to Pamela and Erma and a big Thank You to everyone who entered my impromptu little giveaway!

Remember if you didn't win you can always get the items at and be sure to sign up for their emails 'coz there is always something great happening there.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Blog Tour: To Desire A Devil by Elizabeth Hoyt

About the book from

Reynaud St. Aubyn has spent the last seven years in hellish captivity. Now half mad with fever he bursts into his ancestral home and demands his due. Can this wild-looking man truly be the last earl's heir, thought murdered by Indians years ago?

Beatrice Corning, the niece of the present earl, is a proper English miss. But she has a secret: No real man has ever excited her more than the handsome youth in the portrait in her uncle's home. Suddenly, that very man is here, in the flesh-and luring her into his bed.

Only Beatrice can see past Reynaud's savagery to the noble man inside. For his part, Reynaud is drawn to this lovely lady, even as he is suspicious of her loyalty to her uncle. But can Beatrice's love tame a man who will stop at nothing to regain his title-even if it means sacrificing her innocence?

Elizabeth Hoyt has done it again with this fourth installment of The Legend of the Four Soldiers series. In To Desire a Devil we follow the steamy and delicious tale of Viscount Reynaud St. Aubyn and Lady Beatrice Corning.
If you missed the first three books in this series
To Taste Temptation, To Beguile A Beast,and To Seduce a Sinner,
-not to worry.
Each is a "Stand-Alone" saga by themselves.

Be sure and check out these other stops along the tour for reviews and giveaways!
Tour stops:

Oct. 30: My Overstuffed Bookshelf, Maria's Space, Just Another New Blog,
Oct. 31: Bookin' with Bingo
Nov. 1: Froggaritaville's Bookcase,
Nov. 2: Readaholic
Nov. 3: Reading with Monie
Nov. 4: I'm Booking It, Book Soulmates, A Journey of Books, Find the Time to Read
Nov. 5: Bookfan, Seductive Musings
Nov. 6: Found Not Lost,Book Junkie
Nov. 7:Starting Fresh
Nov. 8: 'Manda Blogs About...
Nov. 10: My Reading Room, Anna's Book Blog
Nov. 11: Morbid Romantic
Nov. 12: The Eclectic Book Lover I ♥ Book Gossip

About the author from

Elizabeth Hoyt is a USA Today bestselling author of historical romance. She also writes deliciously fun contemporary romance under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in central Illinois with three untrained dogs, two angelic but bickering children, and one long-suffering husband. Please visit her websites for chapter excerpts, book extras, and author appearances: and

Disclosure: My copy of To Desire a Devil was provided courtesy of the Hachette Book Group for this blog tour.
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Vision (November 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446406945
ISBN-13: 978-0446406949

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Review: Feddie Girl by Nona David

Back Blurb: from

Carlotta Ikedi (A.k.a Feddie Girl) has never liked school. Not in California. Not in Oklahoma. When her exasperated parents ship her off to boarding school–in West Africa–Carlotta faces a life, culture, and existence unlike anything she’s ever known.

School rules and regulations, rising bell, lights-out, manual labor, inspections, dining time, prefects, punishments, mean bunk mates, and visiting days–it’s all here. But author Nona David takes Carlotta’s story a step further when her adventure’s lead to unfortunate incidents that threaten to drive her American family into the clutches of infidelity and organized crime.

Boarding school doesn’t get any better than this…

For those who have experienced the boarding school life, the adventures of Feddie Girl will bring those memories crashing back… For anyone else, get ready to see the world as Feddie Girl.

My thoughts:

I love to promote reading, especially for teens so I picked up Feddie Girl, and after skimming the back cover
I thought "Oh good, a YA book I'll pass along to one of my nieces after I'm through".
Not entirely so though as I was soon to discover.
The central character Carlotta aka Feddie girl, an almost stereotypical rebellious teen is after all, a product of her upbringing, whose parents I found dysfunctional as well.
Ward and June Cleaver they are not.

You have a philandering father with a somewhat shady past, and an alcoholic mother whose solution to being called to the Principal's office one too many times is to ship their daughter off to boarding school, preferably one halfway around the world.
And not just any boarding school.

Federal Government Girls College Uddah-or FGGC Uddah- is not your typical finishing school for well-bred young ladies, as Carlotta soon discovers. Thus begins Carlotta's life at Sapphire House where she soon learns to adapt to the rather institutionalized, somewhat rigid curriculum with rules set forth by the Senior girls or "Prefects" as they are called.

The cover of this book bears the description of "The Hilarious Adventures of an American Teen in a Nigerian Federal School"
I kept waiting to be amused, but maybe something got lost in translation because nothing that happened to Carlotta tickled my funny bone.

The book periodically would jump back to Carlotta's parents Richard and Shelley, but mainly told the story of Carlotta's adjustments and maladjustment's at school.There were also some rather improbable plot twists towards the end of the book which frankly, left me a little bewildered. Perhaps you had to have attended boarding school to appreciate this "adventure".

About the author from

Nona David currently lives with her husband in Cincinnati Ohio. She has a passion for foreign cultures and zeal to visit new places, learn new languages, and experience new things. Her background, friends, and experiences in Nigeria, West Africa is the major influence for her debut novel, FEDDIE GIRL...

disclosure: I received my copy of this book for review courtesy of

TITLE: Feddie Girl: The Hilarious Adventures of an American Teen in a Nigerian Federal School
AUTHOR: Nona David
GENRE: Women's Fiction, International Adventure, Thriller
PUBLISHER: Bernard Books Publishing
TARGET AGE: 13 and above
ISBN: 978-0-9824526-0-8