Books in the Burbs News

Liebster Award!

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I was nominated for the Liebster Award from Ivory Owl Reviews!  Thanks so much, Rhiannon!!

I am super excited because this blog started 4 years ago, with just a desire to talk about books and give a few away.  It means a lot that I have you reading my little blog, and that you have joined me on this blog journey!  This December will be 4 years that I have been book blogging! Can you believe it?

What is the Liebster Award?

An award given to book bloggers by book bloggers.

The Rules 

  • Link and thank the person who nominated your blog
  • Answer the eleven questions they asked you
  • Pick eleven bloggers with less than two hundred followers to nominate
  • Ask them eleven questions
  • Let them know that you’ve nominated them by commenting on one of their posts

Here are the questions I have been asked to answer:

  1. What is your favorite book of 2014 so far?  This is a tough one, because I’ve read so many great books from different genres, that I love! However, the one that stands out the most to me is:  Help for the Haunted by John Searles.  This book had me crying, angry, sad, and hopeful.  It’s also a book that can easily be considered for multiple genres, too!
  2. Do you re-read any books on a regular basis?  I don’t re-read books regularly, but I do have books that I do re-read!
  3. How long have you been book blogging?  It will be 4 years this December!
  4. What is your favorite book blogging link-up?  I love to link up to Bloglovin’.  I have found so many great blogs using Bloglovin’ and it’s fairly easy to link up to it.  I also link up to Goodreads and LibraryThing, so that I can share my reviews and keep track of the books I’ve read.
  5. How many books do you usually read each year?  I typically read under 100.  However, I have been reading a lot this year and may pass 100.
  6. Do you save all your books or do you do regular purges?  I am book hoarder. I love books.  However, having a blog has helped me to “purge” by providing book giveaways.  I have also donated books to local shelters, which helps the community and helps me to clear out my bookshelves.  Of course, book hops are always great, too!  The books I do keep are the ones that have inspired me, impacted me in a profound way, and/or I have developed a great relationship with the author. The ones kept are typically autographed, too. Now, the bad part- I don’t purge any e-books.  So, I have an extensive library on both Nook and Kindle.
  7. What book really sparked your love of reading?  I have been reading since I was a little girl.  Because I grew up in the barrio, where books were scarce, I devoured any book I could get my hands on.  I borrowed any book I could (didn’t matter the genre), and I lived at the library. I loved books then, and do now!  So, it’s hard to know which book was my first.
  8. Do you have any authors that you have read everything they have written?  Yes! I have read everything from Jane Austen (I’ve reread her books, too!), Judy Blume, Julie Klassen, Julie Farley (love her book series), Sarah Jio, Melanie Benjamin, Suzanne Collins (her series), Stephenie Meyers (yes, even the unpublished chapters she shared), and probably more that I have left out.  Sorry!! My mind is blank right now.
  9. What is your favorite reading snack?  Frozen grapes-the purple ones!
  10. What is your least favorite book?  I don’t know which is my least favorite because I typically won’t finish a book that is not capturing my attention.  If I had to pick one-it would be anything that has a lot of grammatical errors.  Granted, I am not an English teacher and I am sure I have my fair share of errors, too.  However, if I can catch them, then that’s pretty bad.
  11. What time of day is your usual reading time?  At night.  I love reading right before bedtime! It’s how I calm my mind from the day and enter into another world with characters that I want to know more about!
I am so thankful for this great award! I can’t wait to share it with some of my fellow book bloggers!
I nominate the following bloggers:
For those who have been nominated, answer the same questions I answered :D

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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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!


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



Other Giveaways:

*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.













This Is Where I Leave You-HUGE Giveaway!

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Sadly, I never read the book. The book was released in 2009, and I know during  that time, I was very busy with the arrival of our little baby girl.  However, I am really glad that a movie has been made about this book!

It’s not very often that book bloggers rally around a movie, that is based on a book. However, this is one of those exceptions.  The author, Jonathan Tropper, actually wrote the screenplay!  So, it’s his vision, his story, his duty to make sure the movie is authentic to the book…which I absolutely love!

The all-start cast alone, is what will have people wanting to watch this movie!

All-Star Cast:

Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Rose Byrne, Adam Driver, Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard, Jane Fonda

Genre: Dramatic Comedy

Rated: R

Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures

Directed By: Shawn Levy

Screenplay By: Screenplay by Jonathan Tropper, Based on the novel “This Is Where I Leave You” by Jonathan Tropper

Produced By: Paula Weinstein, Shawn Levy, Jeffrey Levine; Executive Producers Mary McLaglen, Jonathan Tropper


When their father passes away, four grown siblings, bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Confronting their history and the frayed states of their relationships among the people who know and love them best, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption that only families can provide—driving us insane even as they remind us of our truest, and often best, selves.

What I love most about this trailer is that Jonathan Tropper said that he “opened the book and found the movie”.  He knows there is a challenge with translating a book to a movie, but he was up to the challenge and as the writer, he is the best one to do that!

Book to Screen Featurette:

Visit all TIWILY websites – #TIWIL

Visit the official website

Like This is Where I Leave You on Facebook

Follow @wbpictures on Twitter

Follow on Google+ and Instagram


movie giveaway pack

The Giveaway Details:

Win a copy of the book (that has the movie cover on it)


$25 Visa card for tickets to the movie!

Giveaway ends September 18, 2014.

Prizing provided by Warner Bros. Pictures

Giveaway open to US addresses only

* Please note: 1 random winner will be selected to win the prize pack.  The winner’s information will be sent to the representative at Warner Bros., so that the prizes can be mailed.  No other information will be disclosed to any other parties.  Also, any information filled out in the Contact Form is not publicly visible.


Monday Madness

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This is a new post I plan to do each Monday! It’s Monday Madness!!  So, what is that? 

Every Monday, I will post books I’m reading and books I am giving away.  I will also post other blog links, where book giveaways are being held, so that you can also enter them. I know, I am :D

its monday logo

Book Giveaways:

Because we all love a great mystery in October, I’m giving away a mystery this month! That way, whoever wins will have a great mystery to read, the following month!

Click on the book cover to read the synopsis!

  One random winner will be selected.  Because I have a lot of readers from all over, this will be open to international readers, too. 

Fill out the information in the Contact Form, along with a comment below. 

In the comment below, answer this question, ” What do you most enjoy about the Fall?

Giveaway ends September 30, 2014.

Please Note:  Your information in the contact form is not visible, when you fill it out.  Also, none of your information is ever shared privately or publicly with anyone.  Only I am privy to your information for the sake of mailing out the book to winners.

**The Contact Form & question in the comment section below must both be filled out to be eligible for this giveaway.

Okay, those are 4 giveaways you can now apply for! I hope you win a book!!

Enjoy your Monday!

*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.

Graduation Memories

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Honestly, just typing this post has given me anxiety.  I am still the parent, walking in a daze, who refuses to believe her little boy grew up into a young man and graduated high school this year!  My son is the first to leave our little bird’s nest, and I am so immensely proud of him.  He worked so hard in school, took honor’s courses, and it all paid off!

Because this was a huge moment for our family and since we didn’t have any family pics that were recent, I seized on the opportunity to combine graduation and family pics.  After a series of unfortunate events, one photographer came forward and rose to the challenge quite well.  I had already picked the place I wanted the pictures taken-just a small local park with such natural beauty, that it seemed to represent us as a family well.

Sophia Danielle Photography is owned and managed by Sophia Loaiza.  She is quite young (anyone under 30 is young to me!), but don’t let that dissuade you.  She has a great eye for poses and listened to my suggestions, too.  She was quite flexible with me, since it was a last minute photo shoot and took as many pictures needed to ensure we had some great shots.  I especially needed pictures for my son’s graduation announcements, which came out so amazing!

The picture below is one of my favorites, because it captured the special relationship between our daughter and her daddy.

**There were many other great pics, but respecting my children’s wishes, I chose this one to show you.

selah and daddy
Daddy & Princess

My friend and cake owner, Jennilicious Desserts, made my son’s cake and cupcakes.  She is a genius when it comes to designing each cake. In my opinion, it’s all about the cake, if you are celebrating an occasion.  I just started working with Jennifer Duran, this past year, and have loved the cakes I’ve ordered from her so far! I simply tell her what I want, in terms of themes, colors, flavors, and she works on some designs and from there, we narrow it down to what is perfect for that occasion!

jennilicous cakes
Photograpy from Ann Milazzo, owner of Never A Missed Moment

The venue was easy to select.  We called my son’s favorite restaurant, Sushi Coast in Houston, and they were quite accommodating and helped make my son’s graduation luncheon a wonderful success!

sushi coast owner
Sushi Coast owners, Harry & Maggie, even joined in on the fun! Photo courtesy of Ann Milazzo, owner of Never A Missed Moment

I knew I wanted a photo booth for my son’s luncheon.  It’s different, and people of all ages can join in on the fun!  Ann Milazzo was my point of contact, and she is FANTASTIC to work with.  She listened to what I wanted, gave great suggestions, and really helped make the event go smoothly.  While she is the owner and photographer for Never A Missed Moment, she also works as a liaison for Event Mojo.  She was so kind to take pictures of everyone, aside from the photo booth, and is very professional and so creative!

I also love Event Mojo!!  Here’s why:

1.  They do the setup and take down of all props

2.  There is a great variety of props to work with

3.  Each person in the photo booth received their copy of the picture!

4.  My son automatically received a copy of the picture, which was placed in a scrapbook, for guests to write their well wishes on!

5.  The staff is family owned by a husband and wife team.  I spoke with Bridgette (the owner) about the layout of the photo card, and she was just a wonderful person to talk to!  The staff is very personable and didn’t get annoyed by the countless pictures my nieces and nephews took!  Taking pictures in a photo booth is addicting and fun, so it’s obviously going to be a huge hit for kids, too!

The best part: each picture was like a postcard with my son’s information on there, to show what we were celebrating!  Bridgette worked with me to select the best design that reflected the graduation.

If you do need a photographer or want a photo booth at your next event, I have each name highlighted.  By clicking on the name, you will be directed to their page for additional information.

Photo courtesy from Event Mojo.

As you can see, us moms had a blast, too!

My son, his brother, and cousins, also enjoyed celebrating!

Photo courtesy from Event Mojo

The best part of all of this, is that close friends celebrated such an important day with us, and our family was there to enjoy it, too!

My son is excited about the next step in his journey: college! So, it was quite nice to revisit this day with you, and share all the wonderful people who helped contribute.

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HFVBT Book Blast: The Lost Duchess by Jenny Barden

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An epic Elizabethan adventure with a thriller pace and a high tension love story that moves from the palaces of England to the savage wilderness of the New World.
Emme Fifield has fallen about as far as a gentlewoman can.
Once a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, her only hope of surviving the scandal that threatens to engulf her is to escape England for a fresh start in the new America where nobody has ever heard of the Duchess of Somerset.
Emme joins Kit Doonan’s rag-tag band of idealists, desperados and misfits bound for Virginia. But such a voyage will be far from easy and Emme finds her attraction to the mysterious Doonan inconvenient to say the least.
As for Kit, the handsome mariner has spent years imprisoned by the Spanish, and living as an outlaw with a band of escaped slaves; he has his own inner demons to confront, and his own dark secrets to keep…
Ever since Sir Walter Raleigh’s settlement in Virginia was abandoned in 1587 its fate has remained a mystery; ‘The Lost Duchess’ explores what might have happened to the ill-starred ‘Lost Colony’ of Roanoke.

About the Author:

I’ve had a love of history and adventure ever since an encounter in infancy with a suit of armour at Tamworth Castle. Training as an artist, followed by a career as a city Jenny (Portrait 2)solicitor, did little to help displace my early dream of becoming a knight. A fascination with the Age of Discovery led to travels in South and Central America, and much of the inspiration for my debut came from retracing the footsteps of Francis Drake in Panama. The sequel centres on the first Elizabethan ‘lost colony’ of early Virginia. I am currently working on an epic adventure during the threat of invasion by the Spanish Armada.

My work has appeared in short story collections and anthologies and I’ve written for non-fiction publications including the Historical Novels Review. I am active in many organisations, having run the ‘Get Writing’ conferences for several years, and undertaken the co-ordination of the Historical Novel Society’s London Conference 2012. I am a member of that organisation as well as the Historical Writers’ Association, the Romantic Nevelists’ Association and the Society of Authors. I’ll be co-ordinating the RNA’s annual conference in 2014.

I have four children and now live on a farm in Dorset with my long suffering husband and an ever increasing assortment of animals.

I love travelling, art, reading and scrambling up hills and mountains (though I’m not so keen on coming down!).

Author Links

Jenny Barden’s Blog
English Historical Fiction Authors Blog


Virtual Tour & Book Blast Schedule

Monday, May 26
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Book Blast at Reading the Ages
Book Blast at Literary Chanteuse
Book Blast at Bibliophilia, Please
Tuesday, May 27
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews
Book Blast at Flashlight Commentary
Book Blast at To Read or Not to Read
Wednesday, May 28
Review at Carole’s Ramblings and Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell
Book Blast at The Little Reader Library
Thursday, May 29
Book Blast at The Maiden’s Court
Book Blast at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Book Blast at Book Reviews & More by Kathy
Friday, May 30
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Book Blast at The Mad Reviewer
Book Blast at Curling Up by the Fire
Saturday, May 31
Book Blast at From L.A. to LA
Book Blast at Gobs and Gobs of Books
Sunday, June 1
Book Blast at Lily Pond Reads
Book Blast at So Many Books, So Little Time
Monday, June 2
Review & Giveaway at The Tudor Enthusiast
Book Blast at The Bookworm
Book Blast at CelticLady’s Reviews
Tuesday, June 3
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Book Blast at West Metro Mommy
Book Blast at bookworm2bookworm’s Blog
Wednesday, June 4
Review at The Wormhole
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Book Blast at Kelsey’s Book Corner
Thursday, June 5
Book Blast at Books and Benches
Book Blast at Book Lovers Paradise
Friday, June 6
Interview at Dianne Ascroft Blog
Book Blast at Kincavel Korner
Book Blast at Caroline Wilson Writes
Saturday, June 7
Book Blast at Royal Reviews
Book Blast at History Undressed
Sunday, June 8
Book Blast at Book Nerd
Monday, June 9
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Book Blast at The Musings of a Book Junkie
Tuesday, June 10
Review at She Reads Novels
Book Blast at Just One More Chapter
Book Blast at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Wednesday, June 11
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession
Book Blast at Books in the Burbs
Thursday, June 12
Book Blast at Big Book, Little Book
Book Blast at Historical Fiction Notebook
Friday, June 13
Review at Susan Heim on Writing
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Saturday, June 14
Book Blast at Hardcover Feedback
Book Blast at One Book at a Time
Sunday, June 15
Book Blast at Passages to the Past
Monday, June 16
Review at Layered Pages
Review at Starting Fresh
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Tuesday, June 17
Review at The Lit Bitch
Book Blast at Griperang’s Bookmarks
Wednesday, June 18
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Thursday, June 19
Review at A Bookish Affair
Book Blast at Girl Lost in a Book
Friday, June 20
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Review at The Musings of ALMYBNENR
Guest Post & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair