Armchair BEA Giveaway Day! James Madison By Lynne Cheney


Armchair BEA

Armchair BEA is for those people who cannot attend Book Expo America in NYC.  It’s a way for them to stay connected and join in. Today is day 4: giveaway day! We’re all giving away great books. After you enter my giveaway, then go have a look at the rest.

I have one finished hard copy of JAMES MADISON by Lynne Cheney for giveaway! How cool is this! The wonderful people at Penguin Publishing are furnishing this amazing biography just in time for Father’s Day giving.  What a great gift.

Lynne Cheney

James Madison

Lynne Cheney, wife of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. She is the author or co-author of twelve books, including six bestsellers about American history for children and their families.  She holds a Ph.D from University of Wisconsin, and  has been studying Madison since 1987.  She is no slouch, as you can see.


Lynne Cheney

In order to be in the running to win this amazing history book, please leave a comment below. And, as usual. no P.O. boxes, please, and only residents of U.S.

This giveaway will end Friday, May 30. I am extending it so that the bloggers at BEA will have a chance for this great giveaway.

Good luck to everyone!

Giveaway: More Awesome Than Money by Jim Dwyer. And Announcing Winner of An Unseemly Wife by E.B. Moore

Jim Dwyer

More Awesome Than Money

If you’re reading this blog post, you’re online. That means your privacy is vulnerable. MORE AWESOME THAN MONEY, by Jim Dwyer, is full of sometimes scary information about social media, in particular, Facebook.

The subtitle of this expose is “Four Boys and Their Heroic Quest to Save Your Privacy from Facebook.” I have become more and more cautious what I put on social media. After all, there it is, out there for most anyone with access to a computer to see.  Even then, I got the strangest message from a total stranger on Facebook a few weeks ago. This from a guy from England who wanted to meet me because he liked the way I look. I was shocked. Then I received a second message asking me to please respond saying he was a widower with children looking for a relationship. REALLY! So I know that privacy is fleeting no matter how much caution is taken.

Jim Dwyer has written a careful and informative book about four young idealists who actually failed at their attempt to create a more noble social network. Dwyer is the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist who wrote 102 MINUTES. He resides in NYC. He also writes a column called “About New York” for the Times.

I have one copy of MORE AWESOME THAN MONEY, by Jim Dwyer, for giveaway. Please leave a comment below. Only U.S. addresses, and no P.O. boxes, please. I will choose a winner Friday, October 24. Good luck. And thanks go out to Viking publishing, a partner of penguin/random house.


The winner of AN  UNSEEMLY WIFE by E.B. Moore is….Karen Turono! Congrats Karen. I will contact you by email to get your mailing address. Book will come straight from publisher.

Against Football by Steve Almond

Steve Almond

Against Football

AGAINST FOOTBALL, by Steve Almond, is a well-written frustrated expose of the game of football as we know it today.

Steve Almond has written a  searing and passionate book about America’s most popular sport. He’s an award-winning writer with a whole lot to say, and you might want to listen to him.

“On any given Sunday football functions more like a national religion than a sport. Millions of fans gather to take in the grace, drama, and pageantry of the game. In fact, we love football so much we’ve become blind to its dangers. 

Simply put: the game isn’t good for us.”

Okay, so many of you are probably asking yourselves why I am reviewing a book about football. I don’t blame you. I’m a mom and a grandmother who is very concerned for the well being of young people playing the game.  It seems to become more dangerous every year. I hear about the deaths, yes, deaths, of high school and college players each season. This year has been the worse yet. I would not want one of my loved ones playing this game. It simply is not safe.

Steve Almond loved football. Was a big fan. But he’s seen the light and it isn’t pretty. His new book shines a bright unfettered light on this sport that pays its players inordinate amounts of money . But is this money worth it. I say an unequivocal NO. I also see the abuse some of these players are capable and do not endorse their lifestyles.  It is all shocking to this grandmother.

After hearing about the medical research related to brain damage and dementia, I have to wonder what any mother is thinking to allow her beloved child to play this game.

If you are concerned about the safety of this game, read this book!

My review copy came from Melville House. And you should see the blurbs from famous people endorsing this book!

Giveaway: An Unseemly Wife by E.B. Moore

E.B. Moore

An Unseemly Wife

AN UNSEEMLY WIFE, by E.B. Moore, takes place in 1867. It begins in Amish Country in Pennsylvania. But quickly moved our west  as Ruth’s husband uproots their growing family and heads to Idaho where there are promises of free land a plenty.

This pageturner got to me right away as Ruth who is nine months pregnant with her fifth child has no other option but to go along with her Amish husband’s rash decision to give up their loving farm and join an English wagon train. Women did not have choices in 1867. It’s hard for us to  even imagine.  When Ruth questions the logic of leaving before she has given birth, her husband poo poo’s this saying he’s helped birth animals; this would be easy. But when Ruth’s time actually comes…. Horrific!

I have one copy of AN UNSEEMLY WIFE, by E.B. Moore, for giveaway. You are going to want to read this one. Just leave a comment below. Only U.S. addresses, please, and no P.O. boxes. I will choose my winner Monday, October 20. Good luck!

Thanks New American Library, Penguin Group for providing my giveaway copy!

Grand Central…. Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion

Short stories

Grand Central

GRAND CENTRAL is more than just a book of short stories. It’s a rich,well-thought-out collection of extremely well-written prose. The notion that the stories all take place on the same day just after the end of WWII in the same place, Grand Central Station in NYC, brings so much to the book. I just loved it!

On any particular day thousands upon thousands of people pass through New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, through the whispering gallery, beneath the ceiling of stars, and past the information booth and its beckoning four-faced clock, to whatever destination is calling them. It is a place where people come to say hello and good bye. And each person has a story to tell.”

Ten best-selling authors inspired by this iconic landmark have created their own stories set just after the end of WWII in a time of hope, uncertainty, change, and renewal…

Melanie Benjamin, Jenna Blum, Amanda Hodgkinson, Pam Jenoff, Sarah Jio, Sarah McCoy, Kristina McMorris, Alyson Richman, Erika Robuck, and Karen White. These ten authors provide you with hours and hours of stellar reading about relationships, love, human nature, and WWII. This is not a book you can afford to miss. You are going to fall in love with it just as I have.

And, keep in mind, this is all fiction, however, you never know when secrets are tucked into fiction:)

Remembering Diego

Fav cat


We lost our precious Diego who would be turning fourteen the end of this month. He went to his next life on Friday afternoon. We recently discovered through an ultrasound that our boy had a massive tumor in his stomach. After a consultation with an oncologist we made the decision to treat it as non-aggressively as we  possibly could with prednisone.  For Diego, this was the only choice as we knew he would just go downhill if we had to drag him out of the house for any sort of treatment. He actually only lived less than one week from the time of diagnosis. So we know it was the right choice. And the prednisone allowed him to eat his meals, something he would not have been able to do without it. However, his passing was not easy.  And we are still reeling from the horror of it all. Cancer is a horrific disease.

I will always think of the first time I saw Diego. He was just five weeks old. His little tummy was as round as a golf ball and his his ears were too large for his head giving him the look of Yoda.  He was scruffy and tough and chased after his older sister (five weeks older) and his much older brother Maurice.  We have great photos of all of them.

Diego was born in the wild. Left to die alone. His siblings all perished as well as his mother.  We were so lucky to have him come into our lives. I can not tell you how much happiness and joy he brought to us and our family.  And we gave him a wonderful life full of the tasty food he loved and the special blankets and sunspots on the lanai and in the windows where he loved to spend his days.

Last Sunday Diego had a great day sleeping on the lanai in the sun with the gentle breezes drifting close to his senses. Thursday was another really great day for him. And Thursday night was very special. He ate his favorite dinner and spent the evening making doughnuts on his ottoman with his favorite blanket, purring his head off like he used to. Then he cuddled with Jack and me before settling down for the night. We are grateful for this last day and night.

To say Diego is missed is a gross understatement. But we want to celebrate his life.  And we thank him for all the joy he brought to us.


The Winner of Murder On The Îlle Sordou by M.L. Longworth is…..


Murder On The Île Sordou

Announcing the lucky winner of MURDER ON THE ÎLE SORDOU by M.L. Longworth is Kimberly. Congratulations Kimberly. You’ve won. I will send you an email so you can send me your mailing address. Your copy of the book will arrive straight from the publisher.

Thank you all for entering, as always. It’s you guys that keep my giveaways going! More to come, soon.

Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín

Colm Toibin

Nora Webster

NORA WEBSTER, by Colm Tóibín, is a  study of grief and widowhood like no other.

I read and loved BROOKLYN five years ago when it came out.  A quiet character study of a young woman from Ireland in exile in America. Now we have Nora Webster, a young widow in the prime of her life. Her beloved Maurice, taken from her and her four children. Maurice was the love of her life. How will she survive without him? She is so devastated that she bends inside herself and goes “under the porch.” That’s a term I use to describe the desperate inward wanderings of our minds when we can no longer abide this world. I’ve gone under the porch. I have friends who have gone under. I have even known dear pets to go under the porch in their minds. They need to heal.

Nora Webster lives in Wexford county, Ireland. She’s barely forty years-old, and is now widowed with four children to care for, plus, what remains of herself. She’s not left devastated financially, though they will have to pull it together and tuck in. But she’s left bereft and at sea as to what to do with her life. Her two daughters are off to higher education. It’s the two young sons who are left to suffer the most. You see, while  Nora nursed Maurice through his last days, they were left with a family member. Donal, who now has a stutter, is suffering in ways Nora doesn’t at first understand.

This unique and stunningly written character study of widowhood and life in Ireland in the  1960’s, beautifully captures the mind and life of Nora. It is full of the minutia of daily living that bring this lovely novel so to life.  This small world that is holding Nora prison in her chasm of grief and frustration of community, is the only place she knows. And it is full of Maurice and the life they’ve lived together.


Colm Toibin

In the background we quietly hear the drums of “Bloody Sunday” and the hush of the Catholics vs Protestants. Of course this hum is gathering strength and ambition throughout the story. It’s just there. Hanging.

When Nora is invited to take singing lessons through a woman who was once a nun, she begins to blossom like a flower. You can feel the transformation as Nora  discovers something that she did not have before with Maurice. This singing is hers, hers alone.

There are those who will say this novel is way too quiet for them. They will ask, “Where’s the action?” The action is in the mind. Tóibín is a brilliant writer. NORA WEBSTER is bound to win prizes.  Rightly so.

Murder on the Ile Sordou by M.L. Longworth: Giveaway!


Murder on the Ile Sordou

MURDER ON THE ILE SORDOU, by M.L. Longworth, is the fourth in the Verlaque and Bonnet Provencal mystery series.  I will tell you that I don’t usually begin a series on the fourth title, however, I could not resist this one. And now I want to read them

M.L. Longworth

Judge Antoine Verlaque and his girlfriend, law professor Marine Bonnet, are hoping for a relaxing holiday at the Locanda Sordou, but someone has other plans.

The setting on an island off the coast of Marseille, France, is breathtaking and then some. With subtle wit and a keen eye, Longworth brings this island paradise to life. She tosses in mouth-watering food, luscious wine, natural flora and fauna, and a cast of characters that are both unique and baffling.

The description of meals and landscaping are just divine. And just when you think you know who “done”it….

I love the story of Longworth’s arrival in Aix-en-Provence. It’s a lovely story that shows you why she writes of the area as she does. I know I will be reading the other three in this series, as soon as I can squeeze them in.

I have one copy of MURDER ON THE ILE SORDOU, by M.L. Longworth, for giveaway. The very nice publishing people at Penguin are offering this novel. Please leave a comment below. No P.O. addresses, please, and only U.S. addresses. With a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly, everyone will want to read this.  Good luck! I will post my winner next Monday, October 6.

Announcing The Winner Of My Mother’s Secret By J.L. Witterick.

A.L. Witterick

My Mother’s Secret

I am pleased to announce the winner of MY MOTHER’S SECRET by J.L. Witterick: Alexis, you are my winner! Congratulations! You are going to love t his little gem. I will be sending off an email to you today so you can send me your mailing address. Your book will come straight from the generous publishing house of Berkley/Penguin.

Once again, I’m sending out a big thanks to all of you who took the time to leave comments. This is what keeps the giveaways going! In fact, tomorrow looks like a great day for another giveaway. Stay tuned.

Thanks, Penguin!

Eat By Nigel Slater

Nigel Slater


EAT is a cookbook written by one of my favorite food writers: Nigel Slater. When I discovered this was being offered through Blogging For Books, well, I was beside myself with excitement.

I received EAT, by Nigel Slater, from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.

This is a more compact cookbook than Slater’s others. It’s meant to be.  It’s like he says,” Sometimes, we just want to eat.” And this smaller book is for those times.

With over 600 recipes, it doesn’t seem small. But compared to the other tomes, it is. He starts with a list of main ingredients, then moves on to recipes from soup to nuts.  Small photos accompany each recipe.  And I like that.  However, this is not my favorite of Slater’s cookbooks. The cover is dull. U.K. cover has his photo. This one is just dull. And so many of the recipes are a bit over the top for our country. Even though this edition of EAT has been edited especially for an American audience, I fear this is not enough. Mind you, I see some recipes in this book that I will give a try but,  this book is a disappointment for me. I hate saying it, but there it is.

I own two other cookbooks by Nigel Slater.

Nigel Slater


I received TENDER  a couple years ago. The photos in this fabulous book are beyond amazing. The recipes are both unique and wonderful.

Nigel Slater

Notes From The Larder

Then came NOTES FROM THE LARDER. Of course I had to have that one last year for Christmas. I Love it.

Nigel Slater


And, now I believe I simply must have RIPE to complete my collection!