Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dewey Read-a-thon Wrap up

I made it thru another 24-hour Dewey Read-a-thon. Yea!! It's always fun to pick out books to read and share with other folks and even more fun to meet new readers, book bloggers, and hosts of the event.

This is an event that I do every year. I highly recommend it!

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

The most daunting hour was at about hour 14. I had to get up, get some caffeine, eat some peanut butter, and walk outside to keep me going. But it worked!

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

For me, what works the best is to read books under 300 pages. They are long enough to suck you in to the story, but short enough to keep you awake and move on to the next one.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

Honestly, I cannot think of a thing that would improve the read-a-thon.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

The Twitter hashtag #readathon was tremendous! A terrific way to meet other participants and to keep up with the mini-challenges, etc. Love the cheerleaders!

5. How many books did you read?

This time I read 6 books. After the first two long reads I had to switch it up and grab a couple of short reads.

6. What were the names of the books you read?

'Til Death by Sharon Sala
Let the Dead Sleep by Heather Graham
Dark Fire by Elizabeth Lowell
Fever by Elizabeth Lowell
Sweet Wind, Wild Wind by Elizabeth Lowell
Dangerous Refuge by Elizabeth Lowell

7. Which book did you enjoy most?

I liked them all, but I am always partial to Sharon Sala so I loved 'Til Death.

8. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

Are you kidding? I look forward to this event twice a year. I will be there in long as it's not the same weekend as the Marine Corps Marathon. Please don't let it be the last weekend in October. :-)

The end is near

The end of the Dewey 24-hour Read-a-thon is near. Way to go!!

How'd you do? Did you stay awake? What snacks or exercises helped you do it?

My last book for this read-a-thon is Dangerous Refuge by Elizabeth Lowell.

Here is a little about the book:

On the surface Shaye Townsend has little in common with Tanner. He's a hard-edged big city cop come home to the historic Davis family ranch to settle his uncle's estate. She's working for an environmental conservancy that acquires and protects old ranches—and she wants to preserve the Davis homestead.

When the suspicious death of Tanner's uncle at his ranch throws the two opposites together, tempers flare and sparks fly. While they have trouble seeing eye to eye, Shaye and Tanner agree on one thing: They need to uncover the truth.

Combining their unique skills—Shaye's low-key approach and local connections and Tanner's experience as a homicide detective—the unlikely pair share long nights in the pursuit of justice. Before they know it, the friction they generate turns to heat, igniting a love neither ever expected to find.

They believe passion this intense cannot last. But when Shaye becomes a killer's target, Tanner realizes he'd give up anything to protect her—including his life.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Halfway point of Dewey Read-a-thon

I've made it twelve hours into the Dewey 24-hour read-a-thon and I'm still kicking. However, I have to change up the pace. I need a couple of quicker reads. I'm going to read a couple of shorter books, something around 200 pages.

How goes it with all you other readers? Have you caught some cat naps? Got those healthy or unhealthy snacks and loads of caffeine to keep you motivated?

Say hi and thanks to the cheerleaders!

My next books will be a couple of older books written by Elizabeth Lowell.

Here's a little about the Fever:

Lisa Johansen had been raised around the world in the most primitive cultures her anthropologist-parents could reach. Finally they sent her back to the United States to find a husband. But Lisa wanted something more…

Ryan McCall had been raised with the best his wealthy father could provide. Now his father impatiently awaited the arrival of grandchildren. But Rye wasn’t interested in any of the well-trained beauties his father kept sending. Rye wanted something more…

In McCall’s meadow, both of them find the fever that burns through flesh all the way to the soul. But can that fever survive the civilization beyond the meadow’s timeless beauty?

Next up is Dark Fire. Here's a liitle about the book:

Cindy McCall wanted only one thing—to be loved for herself rather than for Big Eddy McCall’s fortune.

Trace Rawlings never knew his father or his mother, but he had made a home for himself in the beautiful, treacherous cloud forests of Ecuador.

When Trace accepts a job guiding Cindy McCall safely through the wild forests, he believes he is being paid only for his local knowledge. Cindy believes she has hired Trace for his skill. Both are wrong.

When Big Eddy’s deception is revealed, Trace and Cindy have to fight to hold on to what they found deep in the cloud forest--the dark fire of love.

On to book two of the Dewey Read-a-thon

Five hours into the Dewey Read-a-thon and I just finished reading Sharon Sala's latest novel, 'Til Death. Excellent read! Of course I expect nothing less when it comes from Sharon.

Now I'm taking a quick break and getting ready to read a book by Heather Graham, Let the Dead Sleep.

Hope all you Read-a-thon readers are doing well and getting to read some good books. Keep going! Happy reading!

Here's some information about Let the Dead Sleep:
An object of desire? Or of fear?  It was stolen from a New Orleans grave—the centuries-old bust of an evil man, a demonic man. It's an object desired by collectors—and by those with wickedness in their hearts.  One day, its current owner shows up at Danni Cafferty's antiques shop on Royal Street, the shop she inherited from her father. But before Danni can buy the statue, it disappears, the owner is found dead…and Danni discovers that she's inherited much more than she realized. In the store is a book filled with secret writing: instructions for defeating evil entities. She'd dismissed it as a curiosity…until the arrival of this statue, with its long history of evil and even longer trail of death.  Michael Quinn, former cop and now private investigator, is a man with an unusual past. He believes that doing the right thing isn't a job—it's a way of life. And the right thing to do is find and destroy this object weighted with malevolent powers. He and Danni are drawn together in their search for the missing statue, following it through sultry New Orleans nights to hidden places in the French Quarter and secret ceremonies on abandoned plantations.
Cafferty and Quinn already know that trust in others can be misplaced, that love can be temporary. And yet their connection is primal. Mesmerizing. They also know that their story won't end when this case is closed and the dead rest in peace once again.

Ready, Set, Go!

Let's get this Dewey Read-a-thon started.

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

1) I'm reading from my home in New Hampshire where the sun is shining bright today.
2) All of them. This year I am reading the lasted novel from several of my favorite authors.
3) Oh! I've got these wonderful protein bars that I have stashed in the refrigerator ready to go.
4) I'm a writer as well as a reader. My next novel, At Face Value should be released sometime this summer.
5) This is my fourth read-a-thon. The thing to remember is that you are not in it alone. Get on Twitter and facebook. Check the 24hourreadathon site to see what is going on. And remember to thank those cheerleaders. When you feel your most exhausted and think you can't keeo your eyes open...walk outside for some fresh air.

Dewey Read-a-thon! Are you ready?

What a gorgeous weekend for the Dewey Read-a-thon! 24-hours of reading!!

Are you ready? Only 30 minutes before the clock starts on 24-hours of reading.

Have your To-Be-Read pile stacked up next to your favorite chair? Is your refrigerator stocked with cold sodas for when you need that caffeine buzz? Are your cupboards stuffed with snacks?

Is your Kindle fired up and battery charged or are you going the paperback route?

Me: Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

Got your blog all set to let everyone know what you are reading?

Me: Yes. I will post something about each and every book I read in the next 24-hours. I'm looking forward to reading other blogs and seeing what folks say on Twitter and Facebook.

Which book are you starting with?

Me: I'm starting with one of my favorite authors, Sharon Sala and her latest novel, 'Til Death. Cannot wait!

Here's a little about the 'Til Death:

He left in handcuffs. Now it's time to set himself free.

Nearly twenty years after he was wrongly convicted of setting the fire that killed his father, Lincoln Fox returns to Rebel Ridge, Kentucky. There, deep in the Appalachians, the truth of that terrible night lies buried—and he's sworn to uncover it.  His plans take an unexpected turn when, in the midst of a blizzard, he rescues Meg Walker from her wrecked car. Suddenly Linc discovers another reason to clear his name. Meg, his high school sweetheart, had always believed in his innocence, and if he wants a future with her, he has to show the world proof that she was right.  As the community chooses sides, those who once let a teenage boy take the fall for their crime are forced to raise the stakes. They kidnap Meg, leaving her to the mercy of the mountain. And a second rescue may be more than even Linc can manage….

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Second thoughts about the Marine Corps Marathon?

This week’s tragedy at the Boston Marathon shocked and devastated the world. I personally spent days crying, not understanding the why. As someone who runs and loves it, I could not imagine anyone wanting to hurt an event as iconic as the Boston Marathon. I mean, we are just a bunch of runners, out there doing our thing, challenging our bodies to accomplish what most people wouldn’t even think of doing.

I wasn’t at the Boston Marathon this week, but I had a friend who was down at the finish line with his family waiting for his brother to cross. Mike and I had been texting and talking via cell all morning and early afternoon as I watched his brother’s stats and kept him up to date from where they stood at the finish line.

When I got word of the bombing, I was sitting at my desk at work. My cell phone started ringing off the hook, text messages poured in, and co-workers showed up at my desk to tell me the news. I actually hung up on my father without talking to him because I had to find Mike. I called and texted and generally freaked out when I got no response.

Of course, I called my father back, who, like so many other friends and family members wanted to make certain I was safe. (Thank you everyone who thought of me during that tragic event. You touched my heart.) Dad wanted me out of Boston…I obliged him. When a father asks you to do something, you do it. I left my office immediately, all the while trying desperately to get in touch with Mike.

Finally, about two hours after the explosion, I heard from Mike. They were safe. (Breath a huge sigh of relief.) Then I heard from Mike again when he and his family were well away from ground zero and then home. Throughout this week, Mike and I kept in touch via text. Whenever something new was aired, we touched base. Mike knew I was very solemn. How could one not be? I admitted to crying off and on all week. He admitted that I wasn’t alone. (Gotta love a man who makes those kind of admissions.)

Rita, a friend of mine who signed up to run the Marine Corps Marathon in October with me, texted me that night. She was in Florida with her family when she got word of the tragedy. She asked if I had second thoughts about running the Marine Corps Marathon.

I never even gave it a second thought before I responded, “Of course not. I am more determined than ever to run that race.”

As a member of the large running community, I will tell you this, we run for ourselves. We run for the love of challenging ourselves and seeing what we can do. While you might be on the streets with hundreds or even thousands of other runners in a race, you are only running against yourself.

While we run for ourselves, running is one of the few sports where if you see a man down you stop to help him up. If a runner is about to tip over, you will see two other runners grab her by the arms and help get her to the finish line. We cheer each other on and boost other runners to that finish line. That’s who we are.

You can wear the silliest clothes to the most simple, or technical. You can be a neighbor or friend, you can be a total stranger, and you may not even speak the same language. You can be fit as a fiddle, wide as a house, or somewhere in between. Maybe you ride in a wheelchair, push a stroller, or just walk. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you showed up and you make it to the finish. Those two things and you’ve earned the respect of every runner there.

If you’ve never been to a running race, you wouldn’t know that the spectators and the race volunteers are the other half of the equation. They are the people out there on their own time, handing out water or Powerade or operating a first aid station. The spectators hold up signs that make you laugh, encourage you to persevere even when the pain grabs your thigh or calf muscles and you think you can’t possibly go on. But you do! You do because the spectators and volunteers with their cowbells and banners in hands call out your name or number to let you know that they are behind you and want you to succeed.

That’s the running community! As a member of this amazing group of people, I can tell you that we will survive, we will heal, we will move forward from the tragic events at the Boston Marathon. We will be stronger, tighter-knit, and even better. It is in our nature and it is something we have to do or they (the bombers) win. That cannot happen!

I ran my first race since Monday's bombing yesterday and was happy to see so many people show up setting a record for the event. Nice to see that it did not scare people away. One volunteer there handed out blue and yellow ribbons for those of us who wanted to wear one to show our support for Boston. I was more than thrilled to pin it to my chest and will continue to do so.

I am dedicating every race this season to Boston, its courage and heart, and the people who came together in crisis. I will run every race this year with Boston on my mind and in my heart, and a blue and yellow ribbon attached to my shirt.

We are and I am BOSTON STRONG!

See you at the Marine Corp Marathon.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Dewey Read-a-thon Signup

Mark your calendar for April 27 and don't forget to sign up for the Dewey Read-a-thon.

Twice a year the Dewey Read-a-thon is put on and twice a year I sign up. You should too!

Got a large TO BE READ pile of books? Been wanting to read a really good book, but just haven't had the opportunity? Have a New Years' resolution to read a certain number of books or to read more?

Now is the time! Sign up for the Read-a-thon and make the time to read.

What is the Dewey Read-a-thon?

The Dewey Read-a-thon is a reading challenge, only everyone participates at the same time. For 24 hours! For 24 hours you read books, post in blogs about your reading, and visit other readers’ blogs. You also participate in mini-challenges throughout the day and win prizes.

It is 24 hours of self-indulgence. You sit in your favorite chair, under a nice cozy blanket and read. Since the read-a-thon is for 24 hours don't forget to pack up on the snacks and caffeine to keep you going.

Speaking of keeping you going...If you can't spare the time to read then why not participate in the read-a-thon as a cheerleader and egg those of us that are crazy enough to do it on? Sign up as a Cheerleader.

Help promote reading! Sign up, tell your friends and your relatives and have them sign up. Make an event out of the event.

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