My Interests

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Avid reader who loves finding new authors with well written books. Am interested in reading and reviewing various genres and am always looking for the next good read.

Upcoming Books to Read and Review

  • 44 Charles Street by Danielle Steel
  • Code Blue by Richard Mabry
  • Fantasy in Death by J.D. Robb
  • Vandalism of Words by Derek Haines

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Review

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See, 2009, 288 pages

In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, an "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 written 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 the fan and compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together they endure the agony of footbinding and reflect upon their arranged marriages, their loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace in their friendship, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their relationship suddenly threatens to tear apart.


Lisa See's Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is an engrossing and interesting story of women's friendships set in rural China in the 1800's. It is an excellent, well-written novel and is fascinating on so many levels. Lily, the main character and the narrator of the novel is in her eighties (which is exceptionally long lived during the 19th Century) and is looking back on her life. She shares the stories of her foot binding, women's secret writing, and the various friendships that she experienced.

Lily starts out as a young girl from a poor family who has "beautiful" feet and it is decided when they are bound they might become perfect lilies and thus secure a marriage of high standing. She also finds out that she will be getting a laotong or "old same" - a special contractual friendship with a girl in a higher family- named Snow Flower which will help her family over time as well. This novel chronicles Lily and Snow Flower's lives and the messages they write on their secret fan. It transports you to a world we know nothing about. It is a book about the depth of their friendship, deceits, strengths and it is quite fascinating to read about a society and entire culture so different from our own.

It takes you on an emotional roller coaster and culminates with peace, understanding and acceptance in the end. If you have not yet read it, I would recommend doing so.

Rating 4 1/2 out of 5

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Shanghai Girls Sequel BREAKING NEWS

I have recently heard from the author of Shanghai Girls, Lisa See, that she is indeed working on the sequel. I am so glad as I had so many unanswered questions. HURRAY!!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Shanghai Girls

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See, 2010, 336 pages

This was one of our Book Club selections and I really enjoyed this book as did the members of the book club. It was a very emotional and powerfully moving novel about the bonds of sisterhood and family and the trials and brutality of war.


"May and Pearl, two sisters living in Shanghai in the mid-1930s, are beautiful, sophisticated, and well-educated, but their family is on the verge of bankruptcy. Hoping to improve their social standing, May and Pearl’s parents arrange for their daughters to marry “Gold Mountain men” who have come from Los Angeles to find brides.

But when the sisters leave China and arrive at Angel’s Island (the Ellis Island of the West)--where they are detained, interrogated, and humiliated for months--they feel the harsh reality of leaving home. And when May discovers she’s pregnant the situation becomes even more desperate. The sisters make a pact that no one can ever know.
A novel about two sisters, two cultures, and the struggle to find a new life in America while bound to the old, Shanghai Girls is a fresh, fascinating adventure from beloved and bestselling author Lisa See."

I enjoyed this book and thought it was a very quick read. You wanted to keep reading to see what happened to the characters. There were some characters who were introduced and then disappeared never to be heard from again which was a bit frustrating. This may be the first book of a series (not sure) but the way the ending was done, it felt like there was so much more to tell. They embarked on an exciting turning point in the story at the end but it didn't play out and we do not know what happened to the characters. The characters are left in a state of crisis with no known resolution. If there is no sequel to come then the ending is very disappointing.

I found the story to be at times beautiful and at other times quite brutal. The world surrounding the "beautiful girls" was like a fantasy and very dreamy and lovely and then you get a good dose of reality which in the time of war would have been very brutal. The girls went through so much going from privileged "beautiful girls" to their long journey to America where they had to work very hard for their money and live in very small accommodations. I thought that the prejudices and racism was realistically portrayed. There were also some happy moments and it was nice to see people working together to achieve their common goals. War always brings death and it did so in this novel as well.

Very good book and it would make me very happy if there was a sequel as I really felt that the book didn't really end.

Rating 3 1/2 out of 5 (Need to know more about what happens to the characters)

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Blackberry Diaries

The Blackberry Diaries: Adventures in Modern Motherhood by Kathy Buckworth, 2009, 200 pages

Her humorous insight into new technology and the correlations between toddlers and blackberries is hilarious. Kathy Buckworth says it best "Owning a BlackBerry smartphone is a little like adding another child to your family. The device is constantly buzzing, poking and distracting its owner from whatever it is she's trying to accomplish. It bears an uncanny resemblance to the uncoorperative two-year-old hanging off Mom's leg at the Motor Vehicle Office. And is that holder really any different from a Baby Bjorn? Still not convinced? Consider: They both "start up" the minute you visit the washroom; they both go off in the middle of the night; they're both heartier than you think, but sometimes the slightest thing can lead to a complete break down."

When reading this book, I could think of so many personal examples that it was actually pretty scary. I don't have a BlackBerry but do have an iPhone and agree 100% with all of the comparisons Kathy Buckworth makes. You can tell that she is a mom who has actually gone through or is going through all of these things and it makes you feel like you finally have someone who really understands and can voice how you are feeling.

She is Canadian and is a mom to 4 children and is a regular on the radio and tv. I would suggest checking out her blog at: to find out more information about her and her wonderfully entertaining books.

Rating 4 out of 5

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Secret Life of Super Mom Review

The Secret Life of Super Mom by Kathy Buckworth, 2005, 304 pages

"For a Super Mom, a good day is a day when no one throws up on you, splatters food in your face or calls you a poopeyhead." Just had to include that quote LOL!!!

This book was a laugh out loud read from the moment that I started it. The way it made fun of everyday things was hilarious and I could definitely see a similarity with myself. It is a great read for mother's who work outside of the home and also for the "homers' who work at home.

It is a very easy and quick read and a great escape on those crazy days when you just need a good laugh.

I think that we have all done many of the things that she does in her book, like sending a child to school even when they are sick hoping that the medication will suffice...she unabashedly admits to all her "Super Mom" flaws and how we do not have to be perfect.

You should definitely pick it up for a light hearted read. This was Kathy Buckworth's first book and a fine book it is.

Rating 3 1/2 out of 5

Friday, March 5, 2010

Interview with Destiny Blaine

Win a copy of Destiny Blaine's Novel (see Contest details after interview)

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Destiny Blaine who writes erotica romance, suspense, and mainstream fiction. Writing sensual romance under several pen names now, she continues to explore other genres under her real name and has several books in print. Her books are available in e-format as well as trade paperback. Many of her titles have spent considerable time on various best seller lists. (Excerpts taken from
Here is one of Destiny Blaine's novels to give you a taste of what she has to offer. Please check out all of her novels on her website at:

Members of Jason Lory's original pride coalition warned of the shifter-mates remaining. Some were thought to be man-eaters. Others, the nomads, were considered volatile and unable to shift successfully without the stimulation of five rings, only no one knew with absolute certainty what these rings were or where to find them. Jason Lory figured out the mystery.  

1. What led you to write paranormal and erotic romance books?

When I made the leap from ghost writing and non-fiction to romance, pretty much everything I submitted was returned with conditions and editorial notes suggested hotter content. Soon, I decided if I wanted to find a publisher in romance, I’d conform to expectations, as well as submission guidelines. As for paranormal: I hate to say I wrote to please the market but…I wrote to please the market. Paranormal was selling. I needed to sell my own work or face the possibility of returning to ghost writing so I submitted paranormal manuscripts and haven’t looked back.

2. What was your inspiration behind the Sports Wives Series?

I grew up in a family full of gamblers, cowboys, and sports enthusiasts. Sports Wives: Love, Lust, and Scandal in Professional Football began as a short story and turned into so much more. After sales motivated this writer toward more installments, other ideas developed. However, I think Suzy’s story (Sports Wives Four: Damaged Goods) is really where sports and romance cross in the middle.

3. You have recently released books 4 (Damaged Goods) and 5 (Love’s Unselfish Gift) in your Sports Wives Series. Can we expect more to be released in this series?

Love’s Unselfish Gift will release later this year. I’m working on the sixth installment. The seventh manuscript is loosely outlined, but I may consider combining it with the sixth novella and say farewell to the Sports Wives. There are other projects that demand more of my attention and I really want to focus on those right now.

4. Which fictional character in your books do you most identify with?

In some ways, certainly not all, Audra Alexander from Lying Eyes has some of my personality. This is best seen when she banters back and forth with Max at the poker table.

5. What was your favourite book as a child?

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

6. What is your favourite part of writing?

Typing ‘The End’ and gaining a sense of satisfaction that one more manuscript is ready for submission.

7. What is your least favourite part of writing?

8. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I’m not sure if it’s a quirk or not but when I’m in the right frame of mind or as my son says, ‘the zone’ then I can write for what seems like endless days. It’s as if the only obstacles I face are my fingers keeping up with my brain. Under one pseudonym, I wrote a western that marked its place on various best seller lists taking full advantage of one of these rare writing moments. If folks knew how long it actually took to write the book, they’d never believe me—wish I’d kept a camera live for documentation! Today, the e-sales for this title are approaching 10,000 copies for a book that hasn’t been out long and it’s gained high praise from reviewers which is interesting, considering the time spent on writing this particular novel. Now, if only I could slip into the writing zone and stay there!

9. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

I find inspiration everywhere.

10. What are you working on now?

Writing under another name, I have a western series that keeps me grounded and very focused. I’m also working on two of the Winning Virgin titles and always keep a short story on the back burner. The short stories I write are usually penned while sitting at a baseball field or waiting in between volleyball games. It’s not surprising that these novellas have sports-elements and many of them aren’t what I consider hot romance.

11. Is there a book you’ve read over and over again?

I’ve read a few over and over again but most of the time, I don’t have the patience or the time to read something again and again if I already know what will happen at the end!

12. Would you be interested in writing any other genres?

I’m always writing in other genres but often under different names. I have a huge backlog of books to write in the western genre. By backlog, I mean stacks upon stacks of yellow legal pads with my ideas sketched out and outlines, character histories, etc. Might as well go ahead and pimp myself here too—if you’re in the market to represent a few mainstream westerns, in a few months I’ll have some ready. Agents: I could make you a fortune! *Smiles* Okay, so that was bold but in this business, you have to be and the bolder the better. Right now, my muse travels to mainstream romance or very dark fiction in various subgenres. I hope to get these represented appropriately to those selling to large e-pubs or possibly New York. However, I like the royalties in e-publishing and trade paperback so that’s why I’m not hard pressed to go anywhere else.

13. What do you think makes a good story?

Strong characters with a hot alpha male, or maybe two or three.

14. How many books have you written and published?

I'm really not sure and may very well be the only writer in the world that doesn’t know. That’s not because I’ve written so many books, it’s just to say that I really didn’t keep up with what I was doing when writing as a ghost writer. There really isn’t a way to answer this question without giving out pen names and client names, which I can’t do.

15. What job would have if you were not a writer?

I have a true talent for marketing so maybe I’d do something in marketing. Thank God I’m a writer.

16. I noticed a link on your website for the ONE campaign (Campaign to make Poverty History) – what is your involvement? Is this a campaign close to your heart?

One of my pen names and my children are active with the ONE Campaign but it’s more about passing out the literature, making phone calls, and asking others to just sign up for more information. We ask folks to visit the site where they’ll gain a new awareness about AIDS and poverty. Our hope is that they’ll take that knowledge and spread ONE’s message to the world. On a local level, we try to do small things to help with poverty, especially now with so many people out of jobs, but we could always do more. To find out more about ONE, visit: Please take a moment to visit Make-a-Wish Foundation as well:

Winner: s7anna   CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Win an e-copy of one of Destiny Blaine's novel. Open INTERNATIONALLY

To enter:
- Leave a comment with your e-mail address so that you can be contacted if you are the lucky winner.
- Indicate any bonus entry information, if applicable

Bonus Entries:
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Thanks again to Destiny Blaine for taking the time to do this interview and for offering an e-copy of one of her amazing books. Check out her works at, you will not be disappointed.