Saturday, May 12, 2012

It's Always About a GoodRead. . .

I am often asked about the books I read and where I find my selections.  By visiting Mello and June, It's a Book Thang! Book Blog, you will note on the side bar the Goodreads section.  If you aren't familiar with this great website, it's a site where you can document every book you read, give reviews (which is important to any author), meet friends and find great books.  You may give or receive recommendations from users and it's a fun site to hang out.  It's like having a virtual library at your fingertips without ever having to leave the comfort of home.  There are countless books on Goodreads and one may purchase any of them wherever books are sold, and in the digital age, you may even download the books from and Barnes and Nobles, etc., the links are readily available to any Goodreads user.

Today Mello and June is celebrating Goodreads Authors.  There are a multitude of genres to choose from to satisfy every reader's intellect.  So sit back and enjoy the books listed.  And, if you're not using GoodReads, you should!  Not only can you find great books, but there are trivia games, sweepstakes, advertisements and book trailers to view.   So what are you waiting for? Come join this fun and exciting reading and writing community.

Everyone who knows her loves Lillian Veldeen Marshall. She is the small town matriarch of Westphalia, Michigan. Wife of over thirty years, mother of three, grandma and winner of pie contests, her titles go on and on. Lillian’s love for her family is nearly rivaled by her passion for organization and structure. Finding out that she is terminally ill, she sets out to write the lists and instructions her family & friends will need to live without her. The most challenging list materializes as she comes to the stark realization that her husband of over thirty years will be alone. This inspires her to swallow her pride and write a short list of women she approves for him to remarry.

What will Jerry do without her? How can he live in a world without Lillian? What will he do with Lillian’s List?

Pretty Dolls is an easy-to-read picture color book by award-winning Christian author and English teacher, Kimberly Dana. The book is about children's self-esteem and can be read by parents or a child in one setting. The storyline is not only positive but educational for young readers.

Kids will not only gravitate to the bright and vivid pictures on each page, but also follow along Gracie, who is Tasha's favorite doll who gets teased by Emile-Nicole, Lilly-Kate, Chloe-Anne for not being as pretty as they are.

Here is an excerpt from the book:

"Now one thing Tasha didn't know was after books were read, prayers were said, and lights were turned out, Emily-Nicole turned very mean. Perched on the tippy-top bookcase shelf, she glared down a Gracie nestled in Tasha's arms and grew jealous. She said things to Lilly-Kate and Chloe-Anne to make them laugh, like "Look at her silly hair sticking up!" and "Hahaha! She has only one nubby arm, and her eyes look like boo-boo bruises!"

 And Lilly-Kate and Chloe-Anne giggled as they sang:

Pretty eyes and pretty hair, We're the best dolls anywhere. If you were a pretty doll, you'd be up here standing tall. 

It is a story children will relate to and understand. Today, unfortunately many kids are bullied or teased about their looks, appearance, clothes, ... in school and Pretty Dolls cleverly tells this story in a unique way; which is why Author & Book Promotions highly recommends this book to children and parents!

From Andrew E. Kaufman, Author of, While the Savage Sleeps...His New #1 Bestselling Psychological Thriller...


But a minute was all it took to turn Jean Kingsley's world upside down--a minute she'd regret for the rest of her life. 



Because when she returned, she found an open bedroom window and her three-year-old son, Nathan, gone. The boy would never be seen again.


A tip leads detectives to the killer, a repeat sex offender, and inside his apartment, a gruesome discovery. A slam-dunk trial sends him off to death row, then several years later, to the electric chair. 


Now, more than thirty years later, Patrick Bannister unwittingly stumbles across evidence among his dead mother's belongings. It paints his mother as the killer and her brother, a wealthy and powerful senator, as the one pulling the strings.


There's a hole in the case a mile wide, and Patrick is determined to close it. But what he doesn't know is that the closer he moves toward the truth, the more he's putting his life on the line, that he’s become the hunted. Someone's hiding a dark secret and will stop at nothing to keep it that way.

The clock is ticking, the walls are closing, and the stakes are getting higher as he races to find a killer--one who's hot on his trail. One who's out for his blood.

"Passage" is an incredible true story of Grace Balogh and her courage during a turbulent time in American history.

Through her journals, "Passage" recounts the struggles of the Great Depression; America fighting two wars: one with unconditional public support and the other with public indifference; the letters from servicemen that are poignant and timeless; and the emergence of a Cold War that pits two ideologies against each other.

Threats to the American way of life prompt the FBI to recruit Grace Balogh as an undercover agent whose job is to infiltrate a cell planning violent overthrow of the United States government. Grace leads this secret life largely unknown to her family and friends.

"Passage" takes the reader on a journey into events of the 1930's, 1940's, and 1950's that read like the headlines of today.

Coraline's often wondered what's behind the locked door in the drawing room. It reveals only a brick wall when she finally opens it, but when she tries again later, a passageway mysteriously appears. Coraline is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like her own, but strangely different. And when she finds her "other" parents in this alternate world, they are much more interesting despite their creepy black button eyes. When they make it clear, however, that they want to make her theirs forever, Coraline begins a nightmarish game to rescue her real parents and three children imprisoned in a mirror. With only a bored-through stone and an aloof cat to help, Coraline confronts this harrowing task of escaping these monstrous creatures.

Gaiman has delivered a wonderfully chilling novel, subtle yet intense on many levels. The line between pleasant and horrible is often blurred until what's what becomes suddenly clear, and like Coraline, we resist leaving this strange world until we're hooked. Unnerving drawings also cast a dark shadow over the book's eerie atmosphere, which is only heightened by simple, hair-raising text. Coraline is otherworldly storytelling at its best.

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that's not safe. Because there's something she's trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

In a city-state known for magnificence, where love affairs and conspiracies play out amidst brilliant painters, poets and musicians, the powerful and ambitious Alfonso d'Este, duke of Ferrara, takes a new bride. Half of Europe is certain he murdered his first wife, Lucrezia, the luminous child of the Medici. But no one dares accuse him, and no one has proof-least of all his second duchess, the far less beautiful but delightfully clever Barbara of Austria.

At first determined to ignore the rumors about her new husband, Barbara embraces the pleasures of the Ferrarese court. Yet wherever she turns she hears whispers of the first duchess's wayward life and mysterious death. Barbara asks questions-a dangerous mistake for a duchess of Ferrara. Suddenly, to save her own life, Barbara has no choice but to risk the duke's terrifying displeasure and discover the truth of Lucrezia's death-or she will share her fate.

She is pretty and talented - sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But... they are brother and sister.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life's ordeals.

On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with Zoë at his side.
A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human only a dog could tell it.

In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, “old same,” in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she’s painted a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on fans, compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together, they endure the agony of foot-binding, and reflect upon their arranged marriages, shared loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their deep friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.


Author Betsy Talbot's message is simple:
"Speak up. Be proud of who you are, what you know, and what you do. Help other women do the same. When you change your world for the better, you make it better for the rest of us."

Talbot wrote this book for the "Good Girls" – women who go along to get along, never rock the boat, and put their own desires last.

Sound familiar?  In this book, Talbot leads readers through a striptease of the emotional layers that can suffocate our innate confidence, preventing women from reaching their personal, professional, and societal goals.

In her signature style, she marries learning with action, using deeply personal stories to illustrate breakthroughs and then guiding the reader through exercises to reveal their own flawed and fabulous selves. 
It is a bold book for women who want to live a life bigger than the one they have right now. And it is definitely a conversation starter at a book club!

Natalia Stefanovi, a doctor living (and, in between suspensions, practicing) in an unnamed country that's a ringer for Obreht's native Croatia, crosses the border in search of answers about the death of her beloved grandfather, who raised her on tales from the village he grew up in, and where, following German bombardment in 1941, a tiger escaped from the zoo in a nearby city and befriended a mysterious deaf-mute woman. The evolving story of the tiger's wife, as the deaf-mute becomes known, forms one of three strands that sustain the novel, the other two being Natalia's efforts to care for orphans and a wayward family who, to lift a curse, are searching for the bones of a long-dead relative; and several of her grandfather's stories about Gavran Gailé, the deathless man, whose appearances coincide with catastrophe and who may hold the key to all the stories that ensnare Natalia.

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet
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