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.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Love in Mid Air Blog Tour and Giveaway and Review

The story of a woman who meets a man on an airplane and, suddenly, is willing to risk everything: her safe but stale marriage, her seemingly perfect life in an affluent Southern suburb, and her position in the church. As Elyse embarks on a risky affair, her longtime friend Kelly and the other women in their book club begin to question their own decisions about love, sex, marriage, and freedom. In the end it will take an extraordinary leap of faith for Elyse to find--and follow--her own path to happiness.

My thoughts:
I think it is a solid book on a topic that affects many in this day and time.   I believe the story to be believable.  Affairs happen, and many times it effects more than just the couple.  I liked the style of the book and the different angles of the effects of Elyse's actions.  You don't have to condone affairs to enjoy the book.  You can be for a person and not the action.  You don't have to take sides.   Just read the book and see what you think.    I think the book stirs up interesting conversation and questions. This would be a great book club selection.  I was drawn into the story right away.  I wanted to keep reading to find out Elyse's path. From the beginning I was on this "ride" with Elyse, with pretty much no judgment.  I don't relate with the story because I am not in an unhappy marriage, but I can understand what the pain of an unhappy marriage (or just emotional pain in general) can do to a person to set them on a course that seems to medicate the/ a situation.

I have five copies to giveaway courtesy of Hachette Book Group.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with an email address.  This contest is open to all readers of A Circle of Books.  Unfortunately only open to US and Canada at this time. No P.O. boxes.   You do not have to be a follower of this blog and this is a ONE Entry per person giveaway.
This contest ends April 14th, 2010. 

***As part of a special promotion the first five people to enter this contest will win a special bottle of complimentary body lotion from Naturally Luxurious Bath and Body Company.  (US only, sorry)  To check out the products go to the website. 
These are provided by my son who is doing some promoting of these products.

There are other stops on this tour.  Here are a few!  My post is long so I trimmed the stops. 

March 29
(Guest post included)

March 30

March 31

April 1

April 2

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Bride Collector - a review by Toni

The Bride Collector, by Ted Dekker

I really enjoyed this book.  I thought it was going to be a super scary slasher book and it was not.  It was a good serial killer mystery.    I mentioned before that this is my first Dekker book and I was not let down.    I was able to connect with all the characters and stay connected and enjoy the plot through out the whole book.  I read the book in a few sittings because it was "that interesting."   I could totally see the movie version of this book while I was reading.

I liked how the plot included  the patients at the Center for Wellness and Intelligence. I enjoy plots that have this element of  "weaker" individuals that rely on their unique gift or intelligence to help in the race to stop a killer.   It is also reminder that not all mental illness is a curse and that there can be a wealth of intelligence behind those that are otherwise doomed to a medicated life of seclusion. (It sparked an interest in this topic for me).

To read more about the book check out my giveway post.   Anymore that I have to say about the characters or connections in the story I feel spoil the plot. I also think it will spoil whether I say I love or hate the ending.  You are on  your own for this! 

I liked the book and had have a great time participating in the Blog Tour.    Thank you Hachette books for my free ARC copy. 

This book comes out 4/13/2010. Snatch it up for your Summer Reading.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

60 Days of Ted Dekker - The Bride Collector Blog Tour and Giveaway!


The Bride Collector Blog Tour and Special Giveaway!

Ted Dekker has a new book coming out on April 13th, 2010.  You have got to check out his blog here.  It is a great site! This is my first Ted Dekker Book.  I will be reading more.  Please tune in tomorrow (3/26) for my review.   Today we will talk about the book and the author.

About Ted Dekker:
TED DEKKER is a New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels with a total of more than 3 million books in print. He is known for thrillers that combine adrenaline-laced plots with incredible confrontations between good and evil.
About the book: (from  Hachette Book Group Web-site) 
FBI Special agent Brad Raines is facing his toughest case yet. A Denver serial killer has killed four beautiful young women, leaving a bridal veil at each crime scene, and he's picking up his pace. Unable to crack the case, Raines appeals for help from a most unusual source: residents of the Center for Wellness and Intelligence, a private psychiatric institution for mentally ill individuals whose are extraordinarily gifted.

It's there that he meets Paradise, a young woman who witnessed her father murder her family and barely escaped his hand. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, Paradise may also have an extrasensory gift: the ability to experience the final moments of a person's life when she touches the dead body.

In a desperate attempt to find the killer, Raines enlists Paradise's help. In an effort to win her trust, he befriends this strange young woman and begins to see in her qualities that most 'sane people' sorely lack. Gradually, he starts to question whether sanity resides outside the hospital walls...or inside.

As the Bride Collector picks up the pace-and volume-of his gruesome crucifixions, the case becomes even more personal to Raines when his friend and colleague, a beautiful young forensic psychologist, becomes the Bride Collector's next target.

The FBI believes that the killer plans to murder seven women. Can Paradise help before it's too late?

Ted Dekker become a fan on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter.

Thank you Hachette Books (Miriam and Henry).  I have five copies of this new book to offer!  As a special offer for followers of this blog I have knitted a little spooky man doll. (see the above photo).  He is the perfect companion while reading this suspenseful, cool, book. Unlike Dexter, he doesn't drool.  If you win, you get the book and the doll. Four others will get the book only.

To enter, leave a comment on this blog with your email. (unless it is available on your profile).  This will get you one entry into my random drawing.  You must follow my blog.  If you don't blog, it is easy to make a quick google account and start following. 

If you want an extra entry, you can tweet, blog or announce this contest. Just do something to ham it up a bit.  Let me know what you have done for the extra entry.  It is okay to sum it all up in one comment.
US and Canada Only.
No P.O. Boxes
You must enter by April 10th.  Winners will be announced on April 13th!!!

Friday March 26th -  Me, My Book and the Couch will continue on the 60 day Blog Tour.  Join the Tour, it is not too late.

Have fun everyone.    Thanks for following and tune in for a my review on Friday.

Disclosure: The spooky doll is made from acrylic and wool, a blend with Poly Fiberfill stuffing.  It is not intended for children under five.  I do have an inside dog so if you have allergies, I warn you that Jack has been exposed to Dexter fiber.   The books are shipped from the publisher.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mailbox Monday 3/22/2010

Welcome to Mailbox Monday.
It is hosted by Marcia at the Printed Page.  It is a fun weekly book activity where we get to share what books we got this week.  If you don't have a blog, I still would love to hear what you are reading and what came in the mail.

From Harper Perennial:  I got a galley (uncorrected proof) of:

The Queen of Palmyra by Minrose Gwin.

Here are some reviews of this one. I can't wait to read this one.  (my cover is very different from this one...I will have to post a photo of it soon!)

“The most powerful and also the most lyrical novel about race, racism, and denial in the American South since To Kill a Mockingbird.”
— Lee Smith, author of On Agate Hill
“Exquisitely beautiful… The novel grips the reader from its first page and relentlessly drives us to its conclusion.”
— William Ferris, author of Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues 
An atmospheric debut novel about growing up in the changing South in 1960s Mississippi in the tradition of Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees and Kathryn Stockett’s The Help. In the words of Jill McCorkle (Going Away Shoes), “Minrose Gwin is an extremely gifted writer and The Queen of Palmyra is a brilliant and compelling novel.”

Book Description
"I need you to understand how ordinary it all was. . . ."
In the turbulent southern summer of 1963, Millwood's white population steers clear of "Shake Rag," the black section of town. Young Florence Forrest is one of the few who crosses the line. The daughter of a burial insurance salesman with dark secrets and the town's "cake lady," whose back country bootleg runs lead further and further away from a brutal marriage, Florence attaches herself to her grandparents' longtime maid, Zenie Johnson. Named for Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, Zenie treats the unwanted girl as just another chore, while telling her stories of the legendary queen's courage and cunning.
The more time Florence spends in Shake Rag, the more she recognizes how completely race divides her town, and her story, far from ordinary, bears witness to the truth and brutality of her times—a truth brought to a shattering conclusion when Zenie's vibrant college-student niece, Eva Greene, arrives that fateful Mississippi summer.
Minrose Gwin's The Queen of Palmyra is an unforgettable evocation of a time and a place in America—a nuanced, gripping story of race and identity.

I also received:
Broken Birds, by Jeannette Katzir.  (Thank you Jeannette)
For more about this book visit this awesome web-site.

Broken Birds, The Story of My Momila, is Jeannette Katzir's achingly honest memoir of the enduring effects of war.  From her parents' harrowing experience during the Holocaust to her own personal battles, Katzir exposes the maladies of heart and mind that those broken by war inevitably and unintentionally pass down to the generations that follow.
From Algonquin: (Thank you) I received:

I Thought You Were Dead, by Pete Nelson.

About I Thought You Were Dead

For Paul Gustavson, a hack writer for the wildly popular For Morons series, life is a succession of obstacles. His wife has left him, his father has suffered a debilitating stroke, his girlfriend is dating another man, he has impotency issues, and his overachieving brother invested his parents' money in stocks that tanked. Still, Paul has his friends at Bay State bar, a steady line of cocktails, and a new pair of running shoes (he’s promised himself to get in shape). And then there’s Stella, the one constant in his life, who gives him sage advice, doesn’t judge him, and gives him unconditional love. However, Stella won’t accompany Paul into his favorite dive bar. "I'll roll on dead carp, I'll even eat cat turds, but that place grosses me out." Stella, you see, is Paul's aging Lab-shepherd mix, and she knows Paul better than he knows himself.

In I Thought You Were Dead, author Pete Nelson delivers a novel that is all at once heartwarming, heartbreaking, and heart-wrenchingly funny. Most of all, it’s a story that proves that when a good dog is by your side—especially one with whom you can have an engaging conversation—life can be full of surprises.

From Jenna from Mariner Books:  (Thank you!!) I received:

The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight, by Gina Ochsner.
The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight is a bewitching novel of post-Soviet lives. It moves between the magical, the comical and the transcendent to portray a people who rely on dreams to defy the coming of dereliction and decay. Tanya tries to persuade American benefactors to revitalize her very dusty provincial museum, where fake exhibits have been lovingly crafted from cardboard, wire and glue. Meanwhile, in the courtyard of Tanya's apartment complex, a corpse refuses to decompose, taking flight, and dispensing more advice than anyone desires. "A heartbreaking comic masterpiece that already has a place in the literature of protest," says The Guardian.

Have a great week!   I owe a few email replies, please bear with me.  All the giveaways have been finished..but tune in later this week for a great giveaway!  I will have some more giveaways and reviews coming this month.

Disclosure:  I received all of the above books free of charge from the publishers.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Winners- Black Hills by Dan Simmons - Audiobook

I owe some winners some audio books.  Thanks for your patience!

Congratulations to:


They have won an audiobook copy of Black Hills by Dan Simmons.

Thank you Anna from Hachette Books for this fantastic giveaway. 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mailbox Monday 3/8/2010

Welcome to Mailbox Monday.  Hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.
You know it is bad when I thought I got nothing last week and wasn't going to post.  But soon remembered a small stack of winnings that showed up on my doorstep this week.  I had a nice little pile in the hallway set aside to share.  

I'd like to thank Bookin' with Bingo for sending me two books that I won her her blog.
  • close encounters of the third-grade kind - Thoughts on Teacherhood by Philip Done (ARC)

  • 20 Boy Summer, a novel by Sarah Ockler (ARC)

I'd like to thank Jenn from Jenn's Bookshelves for sending me:

  • Home is Where the Wine Is, by Laurie Perry.  (For those that know me..this is my life theme mantra! Just kidding...sort of....

Have an outstanding week all! 

Winner !!! Last Snow and First Daughter by Eric Van Lustbader

.....is the winner of Last Snow and First Daughter by Eric Van Lustbader! (click here for book info.

Congratulations to you!!!   I will contact you to get your mailing address soon!  Or feel free to forward at your convenience!  Dexter is tickled pink for you!

Thanks to Anna, The Book Report Network, on behalf of Forge Books for this great giveaway.

Cane River by Lalita Tademy - A Review by Toni

I just finished Cane River by Lalita Tademy.  My book club read this for our February Selection.  I am not writing an in depth synopsis of this book.  I just want to note that I 100% loved the book.  It is a saga about generations of women living in slavery in pre-civil war, during and after, along the Cane River in Louisiana.  The author researched her own family history and wrote an unforgettable novel of strong women with unbreakable family ties.   While there are parts of this story that will tear your heart out, you will be able to rejoice in the bonds of the family and fall in love with the inner strength and beauty of these fine Southern women.  I appreciate the author was able to tell this honest story without having to add graphic sex scenes for drama as the unimaginable acts of against these brave women are not what defined them or their legacy.

I give the book five stars and endorse it with my highest recommendation.   I read the book and I also have listened to several segments of the abridged audio. The audio book is well read and I recommend it also.   Cane River would make an excellent reading group selection.

I purchased both the book and the audio book with my own funds.