Winner Revealed!

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Drum Roll Please……

Thomas M. was randomly selected to win this amazing giveaway!

A huge thanks to Brittany and Warner Bros. for giving Books in the Burbs an opportunity to host this!

Don’t forget, there is still another giveaway going on!

Click here to enter the giveaway!

Happy Friday!

Getting Organized

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Yesterday was my first Twitter chat with Bloggiesta!  It was quite helpful to know that many other bloggers have the same issues I have!  Yes, we are all a little bit crazy…about blogging and books!

I learned the best way for me to keep track of my blogging is to simply write it down.  I have tried every online program, used my iphone, my ipad, and still, I can’t keep track of it all.  I’m just old fashioned…I prefer the paper calendar!  Yep, I bought a huge one, the one I actually used to use when I counseled clients.  It’s the one that has time slots, per day.  It helps me to stay focused, has not only my blogging tasks, but my family meal plans and appointments for my kids, hubby, and myself.  So far, it’s worked.  My family is happy to have home cooked meals, and I feel more productive.

I am learning to navigate myself through social media.  Honestly, it’s all overwhelming and so redundant.  It’s like having 5 different phone providers: they all work the same way, just through different networks.  Same thing with Twitter, FB, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Bloglovin’, etc.  The worst part- I feel like I’m missing out if I don’t belong to every single one!!! Yeah, I’m OCD and I overanalyze everything!!!  It’s all a learning process and I’m definitely looking at deleting some of them.  I hope you won’t be disappointed.  I just don’t want everything to be so redundant and I certainly want stay true to my blog: so blogging is my bigger priority than being a part of so many social media sites.  It’s a work in process, of course.  Any suggestions? Let me know!

I also liked the idea of incorporating other non-bookish memes on my blog, but not anything that would cause any of you to simply click “delete” when you see my post pop up! So, I ‘d love some ideas from you!

If you haven’t already, go to my sidebar and click on the book covers for book giveaways I’m hosting.

 

The Hidden Girl by Louise Millar

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Click on book cover for synopsis.

My Review:

This is a psychological thriller, that is definitely a mystery and can drive the protagonist mad! Will and Hannah are married, and have been unable to have a baby.  After countless IVF’s and other fertility treatments, they decide adoption is their best option to expanding their family.  What is typical for couples: rather than grieve their inability to have a biological child, they immediately venture into the world of adoption, without even talking about where they are as a couple.  As a result, Will is a bit put off by the huge move they make into the country, which will make his commute 4 hours!!  I know….I wouldn’t do it either!

However, after a failed adoption attempt, Hannah is determined to make sure everything is perfect and feels having a house (rather their apartment) will increase their chances to having a child.  Sadly, Will is really distant (literally), upset about the move, and missed the “old” Hannah.  Hannah is hyper-focused on fixing up their new home, which needs a lot of work.  Due to heavy snows (think “The Shining”), Hannah is left alone in a desolate area, where she has to fix the house and repair many things, too! Will, on the other hand, is stranded at work.  Really, though, he is connecting with an office mate, and making great music.

With lots of strange happenings, and people who reminded me of the town in “Children of the Corn”, Hannah has to solve the mysteries happening in and around her home.  She has strange neighbors, who all have their own agenda, and a “ghost” who has an agenda, too.

I enjoyed the book and storyline, but found myself so frustrated for Hannah.  I always tell people that if an author can make me detest an unlikeable character, then she did her job…and Louise Millar certainly nails this one! I found Will to be uncaring, very self-centered, and selfish.  Understanding he was dealing with the failed adoption in his own way, he still made me so angry! I really wanted a different ending for Hannah because of how brave and strong she is.  However, it is their dream to have a family and their relationship can overcome.  I would have liked the book to have been longer, so that we could see how Hannah and Will deal with their relationship and come together to decide how to move forward.  Nonetheless, it’s a fast past paced novel, lots of mysteries to uncover, and a great book that kept me up late at night because I was determined to know how it all ends!

great cupcake rating 4*This book was provided by the publisher and NetGalley.  No forms of compensation were given.

 

It’s All About Bloggiesta!

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This is the first time I’ve been invite to participated in Bloggiesta!! I am so excited, because it’s about bloggers getting together, supporting one another, and getting some work done on our blogs that we’ve put on the back burner for awhile.

Bloggiesta will actually run from September 18-21, so that means that I will be doing lots of blogging, working, and reading!

My List of Things to Complete:

1.  Create a couple more Memes for my blog.

2.  Clean out my emails of past book tours I’ve already completed.

3.  Visit more blogs and comment on their fantastic posts!

4.  Add on my Review page, why I don’t link books to retailer sites.

5.  Add any reviews I haven’t already listed on Goodreads and LibraryThing

6.  Read more!

So, that’s my HUGE to-do list!  But, I’m ready for my challenges up ahead!  I hope you will stop by and visit often, encourage me, and join in on the conversations happening here and at the other participating blogs!!

I’m ready for Bloggiesta! Ole’!!

Monday Madness!

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mondaymadness

 

How is your Monday so far? If you are like me, it’s usually my busiest day, with errands and to-do lists to complete.  This is why I love Monday Madness.  It’s a place to check in and pause for a moment.  Below, I have links to blogs hosting giveaways!  I know I am not alone in thinking this, but as a blogger, the best part of blogging is giving away free books! Book bloggers tend to be the most giving and most helpful community I’ve belonged to, and the friendliest!

Giveaway

I currently have 2 book giveaways happening right now!!  So, be sure and check these out!

 

 

Other Giveaways:

http://girlslovetoread.com/2014/09/win-the-lost-boys-the-lost-girl-by-lilian-carmine/

http://www.bibliophiliaplease.com/2014/09/blog-tour-review-giveaway-dark-aemilia.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BibliophiliaPlease+%28Bibliophilia%2C+Please%29

http://nblo.gs/ZWzjR

http://melissaseclecticbookshelf.com/3rd-blogoversary-extravaganza-giveaways-including-boxes-of-books-signed-arcs-and-gift-cards/

http://whatsarahread.com/2014/09/10/mini-review-giveaway-fangirl-by-rainbow-rowell/

http://www.iamareader.com/2014/08/queen-someday-stolen-empire-novel-sherry-d-ficklin-trailer-giveaway.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IAmAReaderNotAWriter+%28I+Am+A+Reader%2C+Not+A+Writer%29

*Bloggers: Is your giveaway not posted? Please send me the link to your giveaway and I will post it on Monday Madness Meme each week!  Please email me at: booksintheburbs(at)gmail(dot)com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Doubt by Drusilla Campbell

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Please click on book cover to read synopsis.

 

My Review:

About a month ago, Victor Marx visited our church.  He is an advocate for children and visits them often in juvenile detention centers and prisons for young men and women.  He has a great testimony about how he survived the torment, sexual, physical, and emotional abuse of his step-father, the abandonment of his biological father, and how he overcame those challenges.

When I read this book, it made me think of the many children and young adults he works with.  Children don’t just wake up one day and decide to kill or hurt someone.  Something triggers inside of them, someone pressures them, but the child is the one left standing alone.

In this book, Drusilla weaves a story around the social issues of abused children, poverty and community, social injustices, and abuse of power.  Sophie is a defense attorney, who has her own internal struggles to contend with.  She has the image of her teenage years, her ex-husband (the prosecuting attorney), her family expectations, and trying to establish herself in the community.

Donnie is a young boy, who shoots the Governor, in front of many people. Donnie has his own secrets and isn’t willing to open up to Sophie, who has to establish a case to defend him.  Donnie is a quiet child, who used to be in a group home, has a narcissistic mother, and is willing to be the “fall guy” for something, someone else wanted him to do.

It’s a story that takes time to build, but after the first few chapters, it moves at a fast pace as Sophie is racing against the clock.  This is a book that has some loose ends, that will make for an awesome book club discussion! There is plenty to discuss and questions to answer!!  Overall, a great book!

great cupcake rating 4

*This book was provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest opinion.

I Shall Be Near to You by Erin Lindsay McCabe

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Click on image to read synopsis.

My Review:

First, I absolutely love the title and book cover.  I understand there is another book cover, but the one I have is the cover I have posted up top.  The title sends chills down my spine, now as I reflect back on the love between Rosetta and her husband, Jeremiah.  The cover is a depiction of Rosetta (and any other female solider disguised as a man).  I have to admit, I don’t really enjoy reading about war.  I already know that there will be blood, gore, death, and family separation…and it all just makes me sad.  However, when I read the synopsis, I knew this book was an exception.  I’m so glad that I did read this book!

Based on a compilation of true stories, Erin brings to life the characters of Rosetta (Ross), Jeremiah, and the troops they fight with.  During the Civil War, I was shocked that there were many soliders (disguised as men), who fought in the war.  I realize I may be in the minority, but again-I’m not a war book reader, however it wasn’t until this book that I learned about the brave women-who fought alongside brave, young men, too.  Back then, physicals weren’t given and it was just your word and a signature that allowed you to join up for war.  Before the era of social media and internet, soldiers didn’t have ways of delivering and receiving mail often from their loved ones.  So, there were months before a letter was received.  Erin is so detailed in sharing more about the life of a solider, during a time when communication was limited, resources were scarce, and the unknown was their greatest challenge.

Despite all the war details in the book, Erin weaves a beautiful love story, in the midst of a very brutal, bloody, and horrific war.  These were soldiers on the battle front, who had to walk into the line of fire and see their comrades blown to bits, injured, and even had to bury those who were killed.  I can’t imagine the PTSD all these soldiers experienced!!!

I love the character: Will!!  He is also a solider, who has a “secret”, and shares it with Ross.  I love their relationship as friends, and the way they treated each other as equals.  Ross is one tough woman and I love the way her character is portrayed.  She is tough on the battlefield, is a loyal friend to her comrades, and is a devoted wife to her husband.

There are so many layers to this book: the role of women, the issues of battle, family issues, death, and friendships.  It’s an excellent book to read!  While there is some subject matter that readers may be concerned about (the details of a horrific war, homosexuality (only lightly discussed), some sexual implied scenes), it is relevant to the storyline, and is not graphic (besides the war).  None of those issues should dissuade a reader from buying and reading this book. I absolutely loved this book!  If you do read it, grab some tissue…there are some tearjerker moments!

*This book was provided by Blogging for Books, in exchange for an honest review.