Welcome to A Circle of Books.

Please visit Toni/CoolpinkOne (ME!!) at my new blog:


Hello and welcome to my book blog. This blog is dedicated to books everywhere and the people who write and read them. Thank you for stopping by.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mailbox Monday 6/29/2009

Hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. You have to check it out!

This week I received:

Bound to Please, by Lilli Feisty. I won it over at Drey's Library. Thank you Drey. I have to say that I got a little smirk on my face as I read the "steamy" disclosure on the back of the book. :)

And I got The Center of the Universe, by Nancy Bachrach, from Sarah from Moss L. Media Relations. Thank you Sarah.

Here is what Booklist had to say about this one:
   "Readers may well tear through this compelling book in a single sitting,"

Here is what Alexandra Fuller, Author of The Legend of Colton H. Bryant said:

"Bachrach is one of the funniest writers I've ever read, period. Make room on the shelf next to
Sedaris, Eggers, Wisely."

Look for my review soon also. I was compelled to open the package, and just start reading.

I also went out and bought: Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyer Yay.. I can't wait to sink into this one. I have a few days off work this coming week and I am putting all cares aside to finish this series and get my Bella and Edward fix!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Host - June Blog Tour - Winners!!!!

The Host, by Stephenie Meyer

(review - The Host by Toni)

I have to say thank you to Miriam from Hachette Book Group for organizing a fun and amazing month long tour for The Host, by Stephenie Meyer.

And the winners are:

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie)

I will be emailing the winners for your mailing address. Please feel free to forward ahead of time if you see this posting.

Thank you everyone for entering the contest and following A Circle of Books. Stay tuned for more book reviews, giveaway and other articles. I enjoy every one's comments and participation.

Stand the Storm, Breena Clarke - Winners

Stand the Storm

The winners are:
  1. Bonnie
  2. JoJo
  3. Julie
  4. Sandrak
  5. nomadreader

Thank you Valerie from Hachette Book Group for offering this great giveaway. And thank you for my review copy. I will be reviewing with my online book club this summer. Please stay tuned for details.

I'd like to encourage everyone to check out the Breena Clarke Reading Guide. It is a great reading resource for this book.

I will be emailing you all this weekend, please reply with your mailing address. If you see this posting feel free to forward your mailing address.

Thanks everyone for following and entering the contest.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hachette Audio Book Giveaway - The Juror

Audio Book Giveaway

The Juror

Annie Laird is Juror 224. A good citizen who has been summoned to what looks like a routine tour of civic duty. But the trial she is called to serve on is a mob trial, whose outcome has been meticulously orchestrated by a man of insidious power and deadly precision. THE JUROR is a tour de force of crime and obsession, evil and innocence -- a story that taps into fears so primal they linger long after the last page has been read.

Thank you Anna from Hachette Book Group for this great offer.

I have three copies of this audio book to offer. I can't wait to hear this one. It is one of my favorites!!!

US and Canada Only
Cannot ship to P.O. Boxes.

To enter:
Leave a comment on this post for an entry into this random drawing. Contest to run through Monday July 6th. Winners announced on or about July 7th.

Good Luck everyone.

Extra Pounds ... Sensible approach?

I have been complaining about some extra lbs that are continuously creeping and staying on my body. A very good friend sent me an article called

15 Ways to Speed Up Your Metabolism

I normally don't read a lot of that stuff. I am a life time WW member, I know about little snacks, protein, exercise, portions, I have a pretty dead metabolism so a lot of the time to me it is just reiterating stuff that I already know to be true.. but not always true for me. To loose weight I have to run 4 miles a day AND do Weight Watchers to a "T".
Well needless to say I haven't been doing either.

Well this article just hit the spot. Thank you Vicki!

While I am not doing everything just yet....

Here is what I am doing:

I am getting up an hour early and walking the dog for a brisk almost jog for 30 minutes. I am making the egg/egg white omelet, along with oatmeal and a banana. (wow it is hard to get that much food in, as I am not used to eating until work and then just usually a lousy diet yogurt).

I am doing some sort of WW lunch plans. Yesterday grilled chicken and green beans. Today a frozen entree (Tuna noodle casserole)

I am saving the yogurt for a snack in the afternoon. I do enjoy it more as a snack in the after noon rather than breakfast. The article suggests a protein snack.

I am drinking more water....and cold too!

I am sipping coffee. (yeah.. sounds odd.. but you gotta read the article).

I am going to bed 30-60 minutes earlier and trying to cut out the second glass of wine.

And there are some other things that I am going to try also, like green tea, fish oil pills, adding chopped green or red chili's, and iron rich foods. Along with a sensible Weight Watchers Eating Schedule.

To get the gist just read the article.. it makes sense.. I like sensible approaches to things. What do you think?

Here is a shot of Dex on the first day.. He is loving the extra exercises, he just starting moaning and whining when he sees the running shoes on in the morning. The second is a picture of my omelete. It is simple.. one egg, one egg white, on slice cheese in the middle, with salt and pepper. On my next grocery run I will get some onions and peppers to jazz it up.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mailbox Monday June 22nd

Hosted by Marcia at the Printed Page.

Another Great Week!!! I am really tickled pink. I am going to have an awesome summer/fall reading session. I can't wait to discuss these great books in blogville with everyone.

Stand the Storm, by Breena Clark (Thank You Valerie from Hachette Book Group).
(Please see current giveaway for info on this book) Also please check back this summer for book thoughts and reviews from The Page Turner Book Club.

Sacred Hearts, by Sarah Dunant - Thank You Random House via Shelf Awareness

A Summer Affair, byElin Hilderbrand. Thank you Valerie from Hachette Book Group.
(Congrats to the winners of this book. I hope we get to talk about this one together). Also please check back this summer for book thoughts and reviews from The Page Turner Book Club.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mailbox Monday - On Thursday?

Hosted by Marcia at the Printed Page.

I had a good week.

I received:
Cemetery Dance on Audio. My review copy from Anna at Hachette book Group.

I received:
The Castaways, by From Miriam at Hachette book Group.

I received:
Scottsboro, by Ellen Feldman from Library Thing Earlier Reviewers

and I received:
Star Gazing by Linda Gillard from the author. (It is fun to get Royal Mail from the UK.. I know I know it doesn't take much to excite me). Thank you Linda!

I have to say... I am pleased as punch with my haul.

I also got my signature name plates from author Kate Jacobs to put into my Friday Night Knitting Club and Knit Two books. ( I will try to post pics next week). I am pretty jazzed about that. Thank you so much Kate. It makes the whole experience of reading, having the chat with her and now having autographed books a real treasured experience. To see my review of Knit Two. Please click here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Winners - A Summer Affair by Elin Hilderbrand

We have winners for The Summer Affair by Elin Hilderbrand

Yippee... it looks like it will be a great summer read. Don't forget to check out the Reading Group Guide to get the max out of your summer reading.


Thank you Valerie at Hachette for offering a great giveaway.

And the winners are:

It's Just Me Wendy
Cindy (Socmom213)
Anonymous (Mary zenrei57)
Carrie K

Look for my email and please reply promptly with your mailing address. Thank you everyone for entering. Sorry for posting the winners a bit late.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Giveaway - Stand the Storm, Breena Clark

I am please to announce this Giveaway. I think this is going to be a terrrific read. I am reading this one with my book club this summer. Any knitters out there? Keep following my notes on this one as I have heard there is some really interesting knitting content in this one. Can you just imagine how excited that makes me?

Check out the reading guide here.

Book Information:

Even though former slaves Annie Coats and her son Gabriel have managed to buy their freedom, their lives are still marked by constant struggle and sacrifice--to the extent that Annie secretly recalls her days on the plantation with fondness. Washington's Georgetown neighborhood, where the Coatses are seeking to build their new lives--with Gabriel, a tailor, producing uniforms for soldiers and fine suits for pompous politicians, and Annie, a seamstress and laundress, catering to the nearby brothels and stately homes--is supposed to be a safe haven, a "promised land" for former slaves, but is effectively a frontier town, gritty and dangerous, with no laws protecting black people.

In fact, the city's own emancipation efforts in 1862 serve only to compromise the Coats family's status, putting Gabriel's three young daughters (each of them born free of free parents) at risk of becoming the property of the Coatses' former master. The remarkable emotional energy with which the Coatses rise their daily battles--as they negotiate with their former owner, as they assist other former slaves en route to freedom, as they prepare for the encroaching war, and as they struggle to love each other enough--is what fuels this novel and makes its tragic denoument so devastating.

Check out the Author's site here

Giveaway Details/Rules
To get an entry into the random drawing for this book. Please reply to this post with your email address.

Yes.. if you want additional entries you must tweet, follow, post or share the news of the giveaway. I am not picky. How about 5 entries for you if you do this? Let me know, put it in one post.. Or not.. I am not picky.

Giveaway to run June 15th - June 26th. Winners announced June 27th

US and Canada only.
No P.O. Boxes.

Thank you Valerie from Hachette Book Group for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway.

Happy Monday!

Hello everyone!

I had unexpected company yesterday and I am delinquent in posting the "A Summer Affair" giveaway winners. So those that are awaiting that news, it is coming. If it is any consolation I had a much needed good visit and movie with my mom.

I also will be posting another fantastic giveaway today. I am excited about this one.

Mailbox Monday for me is going to appear later in the week. For the bloggers that usually see me poking around in your mailboxes.. I will show up a bit late.

I wanted to note that there is a discussion of Beach Trip, by Cathy Holton going on tomorrow over at Books on the Brain. You might want to check it out.

Happy Monday Everyone.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Host Stephenie Meyer - My Review

Hi everyone!

I wanted to post my review separately so that people can comment and not have to say "please don't enter me" but be able to comment about the review. Actually am sure no one minds, but I like the idea of a review and giveaway separate. Also sometimes there is a lot to post on a book and it is nice to break it up. What do you think? Curious minds want to know.

PLEASE make sure you stop by HERE to check out an other stop on the blog tour.

My Review:

I was like many nervous to read a science fiction book and a honkin' one at that! I don't read them usually. So let me start by saying if that is your worry, just toss it aside and read.

For the plot summary refer to yesterday's post. Today I just want to give my thoughts on Melanie, Wanderer, Jared, Jaime, and Uncle Jeb. And then a little thought or two on the big book.

Melanie is one of a handful of humans left that have not been over taken by souls. In the book we learn why her mind is not overtaken as easily as the first humans that are inhabited. Her will to survive is very strong. Her love for Jared and her brother Jaime seem to infuse her with more than usual strength. She does a good job at frustrating Wanderer. She is not going down or out without a fight.

Wanderer is the soul that inhabits Melanie. She has lived on many planets and has been around for about 1000 years. She is a kind soul. It seems that she has been displaced in the universe for so long and has fallen into her nitch as soon as she inhabits Melanie's body and assumes her thoughts, and has access to her memories. As she does this she begins to have a change of heart about being a soul. She is conflicted. She begins to see that humans are not just violent people that can't take care of themselves. She begins to love in a human way, aside from just the influence of her host body.

And so begins the conflict of the story. Of course we want Melanie to be released, but we have come to grow a fondness for Wanderer. For me this alone is the reason to continue in the story. We want good things for both of them and yet there is a huge conflict on how they both can exist.

But wait there is a huge love thing going on. This is where Jared comes into the picture. Well he is already in the picture. He and Melanie are in deep and true love. He has become a vital protector for Melanie and Jaime who were surviving alone. They became a little family of sorts. Jared thought that Melanie was lost forever to the Soul that had overtaken her mind. And now her she in right in front of him. He wants to kill the soul that took his love away. And yet Melanie is still alive in well inside her own brain. Major conflict, as the remaining clan has no idea how to remove the souls from the humans.

And to make it more complicated there is Ian. (Have to read to find out more about Ian) And that makes it the most confounded "love triangle" I have ever read about.

Yes, this is a clever story with a multi-level, body/mind love theme.

Jamie is the little brother of Melanie. She loves and protects him like a mother. Their bond is very very strong. Later when their paths cross again there is proof that this bond can not be shattered. He has grown up in the resistance and he is a very amazing and trust kid despite what he has had to give up. He firmly reattaches himself to Melanie's body and befriends Wanderer. It is sweet and very touching.

I am going to let you discover Uncle Jeb on your own. I will just say this. You will love him. His twinkling eye, his raised eyebrows and even his shot gun! I just loved his wisdom. He keeps the cell of humans in line with his shot gun and his wise and just ways.

I am trying to cut this short. (I could almost do the review in two days also). What I liked most about the book is that is it easy to read and the characters are all likable. The first 160 pages flew by. I hit a spot after that where I was craving some action, and thank you Stephenie Meyer, it came! And for the rest of the book every time I was thinking.."okay.... I am ready for a little action.." it was delivered.

I really enjoyed The Host. I kept wondering if I was going to say I liked that it was long or that I wanted it shorter. I think in the end. I liked the journey and the story and I liked the length of time I got to be attached to the characters. So I say it is just the right length. I hate when a book ends too soon for me.

I will comment that I was looking for the book to be a bit more adult fiction. I mean a little grit. And I don't mean more violence, sex or swearing. Just a little more end of the world desperate behavior. Not saying I want the F-bomb dropped because that is not necessary. For me it would have been just a tad more adult fiction to grit it up a little. That being said I still enjoyed this book in it's squeaky clean form. Who can resist a true love? I would still say this is almost YA reading..just my opinion so don't go out and buy or recommend for your 12 year old before you preview it.

The story is infused with little life lessons and moral decisions. There are some human truths and weaknesses that are revealed along the way in the story making it more than just story.

If you are looking for a multi-leveled story for summer that isn't hard to sink into, I recommend the Host. I enjoyed the book start to finish.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Host, Stephenie Meyer - Blog Tour


It is my turn at A Circle of Books to Host The Host. Thank you Miriam from Hachette Book Group for providing me the review book, tour materials, and organizing this fantastic tour.

Today's Tour will include:

  1. Book Information
  2. Author Information and Web-site.
  3. A Giveaway! (I have three copies)
***My review will post separately tomorrow.

Please visit A Journey of Books Sunday, June 14th for the next stop on the Tour
Love Vampires on Monday June 15th for another stop.

Book Description:
The author of the Twilight series of # 1 bestsellers delivers her brilliant first novel for adults: a gripping story of love and betrayal in a future with the fate of humanity at stake.

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.

Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves-Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she's never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.

Featuring what may be the first love triangle involving only two bodies, THE HOST is a riveting and unforgettable novel that will bring a vast new readership to one of the most compelling writers of our time.

About the Author:

Stephenie Meyer graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English literature. After the publication of her debut novel, Twilight, booksellers chose her as one of the "most promising new authors of 2005" (Publishers Weekly). She lives with her husband and three young sons in Arizona.

You can visit Stephenie Myer's Website HERE to read and excerpt.

Please visit her complete website click HERE

I think this would be an excellent audio selection. Click HERE for details.

Now for the Giveaway:
All you have to do is leave one comment on this post with an email address.
The contest will run through Saturday June 27th. Winners announced Sunday June 28th.
  • US and Canada only
  • Books cannot be shipped to a P.O. Box.
Good luck! Don't forget to check back tomorrow for the review.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Secrets to Happiness by Sarah Dunn - Blog Tour

Book Description:

Holly Frick has just endured the worst kind of breakup: the kind where you're still in love with the person leaving you. While her wounds are still dangerously close to the surface, her happily married best friend confesses over a bottle of wine that she is this close to having an affair. And another woman comes to Holly for advice about her love life--with Holly's ex!

Holly decides that if everyone around her can take pleasure wherever they find it, so will she. As any self-respecting 30ish New York woman would do, she brings two males into her life: a flawed but endearing dog, and a good natured, much younger lover. She's soon entangled in a web of emails, chance meetings, and misguided good intentions and must forge an entirely new path to Nirvana.

From the author of The Big Love, Secrets to Happiness is a big-hearted, knife-sharp, and hilariously entertaining story about the perils of love and friendship, sex and betrayal--and a thoroughly modern take on our struggle to be happy.

My Review: TAKE TWO.

I am so bummed. I have to write this without notes or thoughts from my desk here at work. ( Lesson learned... do not edit blog post in bed at 4:20 am)

I enjoyed the book. I thought the story was quite different from what the cover portrayed. But I was glad that it didn't have a typical cartoon-y type chick-lit-y cover.

I thought the author wrote a contemporary relevant story. I was excited to read a book so current. I love current buzz about things in my everyday life such as Blackberry phones and what not. I enjoyed all the characters (which I had named in my previous post). I enjoyed the stories of all the people in the book. The book was about real life, marriage, affairs, divorce, babies, weddings, heartbreak, pets and moving on.

The cover ties in to a part of the story that I could have had embellished a little more as I love dogs, but since there was a LOT to cover in a short book it worked.

There were a lot of characters in a short little book. They were flawed, human and most were likable, even if they were misguided and made serious mistakes with serious consequences. I liked that it wasn't drawn out. It was great to just let several weeks pass in the story without every minor detail. I loved that about this book. I like to keep these stories moving.

I was in the mood for an adult book with adult themes. I didn't mind the sexual content or the language. However it was not entirely key to the story so I can see how some may not appreciate it. Personally I don't mind a little frank language and grit. :)

So I think it is a fun book. I enjoyed it. It was different than other books I have read lately. It is a very quick read. Enjoy!

Thank you Miriam from Hachette books for organizing our Tour and the review copy.

Check out some of the Blog Tours. Lots of Giveaways and Reviews.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Under Construction

Hello friends.

I am sorry for all the changes in the blog. I have been tweaking it to find the perfect layout and I over tweaked.

I am currently working on a permanent layout that I hope will please all, well most of the readers.

Please continue to visit, I have another giveaway posting on Saturday June 13th and one on Monday June 15th.

Thanks for your patience. Please keep the comments coming. I read and cherish them all.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mailbox Monday 6/8/2009

Mailbox Monday

Hosted by Marcia at the Printed Page.

If you have never participated before, basically, she is the host of this weekly blog activity, visit her site, read her stuff, comment if you'd like and list what books you got last week If you have a blog you can post your mailbox and post a link at the printed page. It is also fun to click on every one's links to see what books came into peoples lives this past week. It is great fun and she a welcomes everyone to join in.

This week I got:

The Lie, by Fredrica Wagman
Click here for my blog post.


For Glory, Elisabeth Lee (Author Web-site)

mailman image borrowed from here

Winners - Cemetary Dance Audio -

Hey there.. Happy Sunday! What a great way to start the week!

Special thanks to Anna from Hachette Book Group for this great giveaway.

And the three winners are:
Dawn M.

I will try to send the winners email tonight ladies. Feel free to email your address to me if you see this before I get around to it.

Congratulations to all the winners. Thank you for entering and I hope to see you all again in my comment section and future giveaways.

A Worthy Legacy - Book Review.

A Worthy Legacy, by Tomi Akinyanmi

Check out the Web-site here.

Brief Summary:

The Harmattan wind scorches across Nigeria, and an old man lies dying. His community gathers to pay its respects; their haunting songs echoing in the warm twilight. Around his bed his family is gathered and they listen as he speaks his last words. Yet in the face of death this old man doesn't talk of regrets, neither does he talk of petty grievances, instead he talks softly about life; how to survive, how to be happy and how to achieve self-respect I was deeply moved and impressed by the wealth of knowledge and insight from this beautiful simple story.

My Thoughts:

The book has a striking appearance with a rich quality through out the whole book. Quality paper, artistry, and yet the words are simple creating a rich reading experience. Reading this book was a spiritual experience for me. I immediately thought of all those that I love with whom I want to share the book.

I recommend this book for everyone living on this planet. I suggest you pick up a copy or two as I know you will want to pass it on to a child, niece, friend or co-worker.

The story over flows with wise words and practical advice for each and every one of us. I won't share too much more. I hope you are as pleasantly surprised as I was. I feel peace in my heart and mind after reading the book. I feel blessed to have received my copy from the author.

Thank you Tomi

There will be blog tours this June and July. I will link up and post more details as I get them.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Lie, A Novel by Fredrica Wagman

The Lie, by Fredrica Wagman

I got a pretty little book in the mail today. I am going to add it to my summer reading. I am curious if anyone else is reading it, plans to or has reviewed it.

My one word first page comment: "catchy"

Here is the synopsis:
Ramona Smollens has a chance meeting on a park bench with an older man, Solomon Columbus. The two became lovers, and soon Ramona is leaving the home of her mother and recently deceased father for marriage and the trappings of adult life. She takes with her a dark family secret, the sort of secret one simply did not talk about, one that would stalk her as she matured into her role as wife and mother. Coming of age in 1950s America, Ramona gets her cues about a woman's role from the world around her, and about female sexuality from the silver screen. But when experience teaches her that Hollywood's ideal is in fact "the lie," truth and desire collide with a force that is deeply moving and unforgettable.

Author Bio:
Fredrica Wagman is the author of six previous novels. She has four grown children and lives with her husband in New York City.

Author Web-site

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hachette Book - Giveaway - Elin Hilderbrand's

A Circle of Books Summer Reading Giveaway!
Thank you Valerie From Hachette Book Group.

The book: The Summer Affair by Elin Hilderbrand

You just have to check out the video HERE
***See the end of this post for Readding Group Guide information.

Book Information

Claire Danner Crispin, mother of four young children and nationally renowned glassblower, bites off more than she can chew when she agrees to co-chair the Nantucket's Children Summer Gala.

Claire is asked to chair the benefit, in part, because she is the former high school sweetheart of rock star Max West. Max agrees to play the gala and it looks like smooth sailing for Claire-until she promises a "museum-quality" piece of glass for the auction, offers her best friend the catering job, goes nose-to-nose with her Manhattan socialite co-chair, and begins a "good-hearted" affair with the charity's Executive Director, Lockhart Dixon.

Hearts break and emotions are pushed to the limit in this riveting story of one woman's attempt to deal with loves past and present, family, business, and high-powered social pressures. Elin Hilderbrand's unique understanding of the joys and longings that animate women's lives will make this her newest summer bestseller.

Giveaway Details:

Giveaway to run: June 1 - June 13th (Winners announced June 14th)
****Winners picked by Random Drawing from a list generator on random.org.

To get one entry for this book leave a comment on this post with your email address.
To get two entries for this book leave a comment on this post with your email address and your favorite beach, if you don't have one how about one you'd like to visit some day?

US and Canada Only.
Books cannot be shipped to P.O. Boxes.

Good Luck everyone and enjoy!

**** Book Clubs. Are you looking for a Summer book Club Read or information to beef up your book conversation?

Click Here to sign up for Hachette Reading Group Guide Newsletter.

Don't forget to check Hachette's Monthly Reading Group Highlights. (Each month, they have special author call-in offers for bookclubs also listed here)

And don't forget to stop by Reading Group Guides for all your book club needs.