Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 comes to an end!

I  felt like I should do an end of the year post. a short summary of my year maybe? Maybe, that is too personal?
Health wise  2010 was not a great year for me. I have been having some health issues, (ongoing for a couple years)and had a couple of surgeries in September. I don't feel much better after the surgeries. They didn't really solve the problems we were hoping to solve. But, I see the doctor again in a couple of weeks, and I hope 2011 will be a healthier year!
I haven't really made any New Year's resolutions, as I general tend to fail at those!
Last year I did set a few reading related goals after being encouraged to do so by a few of the ladies in one of my online book groups.
I was aiming to read 50 books in 2010, which may not seem like a lot to some people, but with my family life, it seemed like a reasonable goal for me.  I surpassed that goal, and read 80 books!!
 I used to read the same few authors all the time, and generally books belonging to the mystery and suspense genre, so I also challenged myself to read at least 10 new authors. I am happy to say I also surpassed that goal by reading 51 " new to me" authors!   By reading 51 new authors, I also branched out into other genres!  ( It also means I have more authors to stick!)
I would like to share with you  my top ten reads of 2010.  ( The first 2 on the list are the top 2, the rest are in no particular order)
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Hidden Wives by  Claire Avery
The Insider  by Reese Hirsch
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen  (I never would have read this before. But after A LOT of recommendations by members of my  online book groups, and finally a dare, I read it, and LOVED it)
The Storm Front trilogy by Sharon Sala ( Blown Away, Torn Apart, Swept Aside)
Still Missing  by Chevy Stevens
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Mister X by John Lutz ( I had no idea it was book 5 in a series. It read so well as a stand alone. So many twists and turns, and keeps you guessing "whodunit". I now MUST find the first 4 in the series!)
Interestingly enough, every book that made this list was written by an author I had never read until 2010!
I have set some reading goals for 2011 as well, but I won't be sharing them right now, as I want to hit publish post before midnight!!  I also  have a few personal goals that I would like to achieve, but I am not calling them resolutions, because I feel that if I call them resolutions I am destined to fail, as that is generally how it works for!

Myspace New_Year Graphics - More New_Year Images

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge !!

Once again I will be participating in the Mystery and Suspense reading challenge hosted by  Book Chick City!  
Here are the basics :

  • Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011
  • To read TWELVE (12) mystery & suspense novels in 2011 (12 is the minimum but you can read more if you wish!)
  • You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go, so I will be adding them as I read them!

Want more info? Want to sign up?  Click here!   or click on the Mystery and Suspense Challenge button in my left sidebar.

I Want More Book Challenge 2011

This challenge is being hosted by Marce at Tea Time with Marce

Have you read a book and at the end said you must read another by this author but haven't? Then this Challenge is for you, what are you waiting for. :-) There are so many amazing authors but sometimes we get caught up in reading all the new, that we forget about the authors that have already impressed, excited us, gave us what all readers want, a great read, that wow moment, so this Challenge is to show all the authors that have pleased us already how thankful we are by reading more of their literary works.
* Challenge Dates: January 1, 2011 - December 31, 2011
* All Genres are Welcome
* This challenge does NOT include series, only stand alone
* All forms of books will count - eBooks, Audiobooks, etc
* You do not have to list the chosen books ahead of time and your choices can crossover into other challenges you have joined.
* Monthly Giveaways - More details to follow soon
Levels of Participation
Waited too long: 2 - 4 books
Give me more: 5 - 8 books
Never too much: 9 - 12 books
***you can increase your participation level at any time but, you cannot decrease once signed up.
Sign up here!!

I will be participating at the Waited Too Long level!   

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


As you may know from my about me section, I live in southern Ontario. More accurately, Waterloo Region. We are fairly close to Stratford, Ontario, where Justin Bieber was born and raised. I would guess less than a half hour drive. Apparently, our shopping centre is one of the best in the region.
This afternoon my 12 year old daughter was really excited and  told me that she heard Justin Bieber would be shopping at our mall today, and asked if she could go. I didn't think he would actually be there, but I allowed her to go, just in case he was. I didn't want to take the opportunity to meet him away from her. Of course, I thought the odds of her actually seeing him at the mall were really really slim.
Well, she did in fact get to meet him. She thought she saw one of his friends whom she recognized  from a youtube video or something, in West 49, and there were people standing in front of the store facing out, like security!  She got excited, as did a bunch of other girls that heard my daughter yell " OH MY GOD!!!JUSTIN BIEBER IS IN WEST 49!!" All of the sudden the guys that were standing there tell her she can't go in there, and block the entrances with little posts with ropes ( you know, like at the bank, or movie theater).  My daughter stood there, right at the front as they put those up in front of her.
A few minutes later Justin came up to where the crowd of girls was forming and told my daughter that he liked her jeans. She didn't really respond, as she was starstruck I guess. So then he said, " hey, I like your jeans!", and she thinks she said thank!  Anyway, then he took her hand and asked her if she wanted him to sign it to which of course she replied yes!!

It's a little blurry, but my camera is broken, so in order to get the picture onto the computer she took a picture of it with the webcam!
Needless to say, excited and happy are understatements for her mood when she got home!  And I am glad I let her go, and am not one of the moms that said no because it would be a waste of time blah blah blah! I know a few 12 year old girls that are quite upset with their mom today! It took awhile for my daughter to find a friend to go with, as moms were saying no because it was a waste of time (like staying home on the computer wasn', and he wouldn't be there.  today, Rich and I  are cool parents!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Celebrate the Author 2011


Becky over at  Becky's Book Reviews has hosted this challenge in the past. She has decided not to host this one in 2011, and has passed it on to me!!  (Thanks Becky!)
Here are the details
For this challenge participants “celebrate” author birthdays.  The challenge is designed to ‘celebrate’ the special bond–the connection–that occurs between the author AND the reader as well as the connection between readers. It is very easy to “bond” with other readers over certain works, certain authors, etc 
Challenge runs from January 1 st 2011 until December 31st 2011
Choose one author for each month of the year. 
Read at least one book a month. 12 authors. 12 birthdays. If you like, you can read MORE than that. Read the books in any order you wish.  As long as you've got one book representing an author birthday from each month of the year by the end, then you're good.
You can choose picture books, poetry books, early readers, chapter books, fiction for middle grades, fiction for teens, adult reads, nonfiction, whatever you want. If it is a book, it counts!
 To find out author birthdays, visit these helpful sites: 

Author birthdays by date (pdf),author birthdays by name (pdf)kidsreads.comteenreads.comauthor birthday directory, etc. or conduct google searches of your own. (Hint: typing the authors name, a “+” and the word ‘birthday’, tends to work if you assume that wikipedia gets such things right.)

No lists are necessary. You can make a list if you like. But you don't  have to  make a list and stick to it.
Sign up by leaving a comment (include your link if you wish)!

If you'd like other participants to keep track of your progress, then I'd suggest having one post on your blog where you keep an as-you-go list. (If you don't have a blog, then don't worry about it! You're still welcome to join in on the fun.) 

Monday, December 13, 2010

One gift out of the way!!! (Almost!)

So, I think I have decided that I will be doing my Christmas shopping from the comfort of my home! does have just about everything!  While browsing their luggage department, I found the perfect gift for my sister.  A briefcase!!

I really think this will make a great gift for her. She just went back to school this year, and could use this to carry her laptop, as well as anything else she would normally carry in her handbag!   
This particular item is less than $25 (US), offers free shipping, and guaranteed to arrive before December 24th!   
Of course, I will pay a small fee for shipping, and international fees since I am in Canada, but it is well worth it to me! For just about $40 my sister will get this great gift, delivered right to her door in time for Christmas,  and I don't have to leave my house!!
I haven't placed my order yet! I would love it if you would check out the selection, and come back and leave a suggestion in the comments area!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Shopping???

It is nearly the middle of December, and I have not yet started my Christmas shopping!!!  I dread the thought of heading out to the malls. I am totally kicking myself right now for not having started (and finishing) my shopping yet. I am not the kind of person that loves to go out shopping, which is one of the reasons  I have put it off. The problem with that is now I will have to brave the crowds.
Christmas shopping  is usually a stressful event for me. I don't really have all that many people to buy for, but I do have a few hard to buy for people on my list! I tend to have a hard time figuring out what to buy for my sister, my brother in law, and my mother.  I go out hoping that I will see something that I know would make a great gift for them, and before I have figured out what to buy them, I have a cart full of things I just HAVE to get my kids, and I am back where I started!
I am thinking maybe it doesn't have to be so stressful. Maybe a lot of  my shopping can be done from the comfort of my home this year!  I don't usually do much shopping online, but this year, I think I might!

Unless, maybe one of you wants to do it for me.....

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thriller and Suspense Challenge 2010

Timeline: 01 Jan 2010 - 31 Dec 2010
Rules: To read TWELVE (12) thrillers in 2010

I signed up for this challenge earlier this year, before I started my blog. Since I did not have a blog, I did not do a post! I have been keeping track of  all of the challenges that I signed up for in a discussion thread on .   I was surprised at how many books I have read this year that fit into this challenge. ( here is a great list of all sub genres included for this challenge.) I have exceed the requirements for this challenge!! YAY me!

Here are the books I have read that fit into this challenge from January 1st 2010
  1. Dead Irish  by John Lescroart
  2. The Vig by John Lescroart
  3. The Return by Sharon Sala
  4. Numbers by Rachel Ward
  5. Never Tell by Karen Young
  6. The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano
  7. 7th Heaven by James Patterson
  8. 8th Confession  by James Patterson
  9. 9th Judgment by James Patterson
  10. The Postcard Killers by James Patterson
  11. You've Been Warned by James Patterson
  12. Smoke Screen by Sandra Brown
  13. Smash Cut by Sandra Brown
  14. Tough Customer by Sandra Brown
  15. The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard
  16. I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman
  17. The Insider by Reece Hirsch
  18. Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
  19. Mister X by John Lutz
  20. Blown Away by Sharon Sala
  21. Torn Apart by Sharon Sala
  22. Swept Aside by Sharon Sala
  23. Bloodlines by Dinah McCall (penname for Sharon Sala)
  24. Bundle of Trouble by Diana Orgain
  25. Motherhood is Murder by Diana Orgain
  26. Sizzle by Julie Garwood
  27. Drop Dead Gorgeous by Linda Howard
  28. The Calling  by Inger Ash Wolfe
  29. Ricochet by Sandra Brown
and I am not sure if I should count this one or not......Safe Haven  by Nicholas Sparks.  I have seen other readers refer to it as a cozy mystery. To me it was a Nicholas Sparks type of romance with elements of suspense thrown maybe I will  count it!    Yeah....I am going to count it so I end with an even 30!!!