It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?


Welcome to It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

I love being a part of this and I hope you do too!  As part of this weekly meme I love to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme.  I offer a weekly contest for those who visit 10 or more of the Monday Meme participants and leave a comment telling me how many you visited.  **You do not have to have a blog to participate! You receive one entry for every 10 comments, just come back here and tell me how many in the comment area.

This past weeks winner:

Lauren from Housekeeping Can Wait

Congratulations!  Please email me your book choice out of the recently cleaned up and LOVELY

Reading Cafe at 

Another week has gone by already!  A little fun fact, this is the 136th week that I have hosted It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading?  That kind of blows me away.  That’s over two years.. and as I think about it, I have not missed a week.  It’s Monday has come to you from Florida when we were on vacation that very first week I did this in February of 2010, and a couple of times it has come to you from Honduras, when I was on mission trips.  That kind of makes me smile…

Ok enough with the memories…. 😀  This past week, once again audio dominated my book time.  Seems like my sitting and reading time has become a bit rare lately but my on the move and listening to audio has prevailed and saved me.  Here is what happened on the blog this past week:

My world book night recap!  Oh that was FUN!


Birthmarked by Caragh MD Brien (the 2nd post by Camryn, YA reader and reviewer extraordinaire!)


The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan


Whole Latte Life by Joanne Demaio (yes and actual BOOK review!)


Dance Upon The Air by Nora Roberts (I found the perfect way to enjoy a re-read!)


I signed up for Meg Cabot read-along!  You should join too!


The Snowman by Jo Nesbo…. for me, I think this author is a “Nes-NO”


Cami Checketts is celebrating her upcoming book release in a BIG way with an amazing fitness giveaway – sign up to win here!


Do You Judge A Book By It’s Author? 


Not a bad week (it always surprises me when I get to the end of the week and realize, oh yeah, I did read something!  😀  I feel I have a good week coming up as audio is coming to an end all over the place leaving me open to new audio which is always exciting, plus for the first time in two weeks, I am adding books to the reading mix:


Still Aliceis a compelling debut novel about a 50-year-old woman’s sudden descent into early onset Alzheimer’s disease, written by first-time author Lisa Genova, who holds a Ph. D in neuroscience from Harvard University.

Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children and a house on the Cape, is a celebrated Harvard professor at the height of her career when she notices a forgetfulness creeping into her life. As confusion starts to cloud her thinking and her memory begins to fail her, she receives a devastating diagnosis: early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Fiercely independent, Alice struggles to maintain her lifestyle and live in the moment, even as her sense of self is being stripped away. In turns heartbreaking, inspiring and terrifying, Still Alice captures in remarkable detail what’s it’s like to literally lose your mind…

This is out book club read for May.  I am a bit nervous as I find this to be such a heartbreaking topic…



In this irresistible memoir, the New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize Anna Quindlen writes about looking back and ahead—and celebrating it all—as she considers marriage, girlfriends, our mothers, faith, loss, all the stuff in our closets, and more.
As she did in her beloved New York Times columns, and in A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Quindlen says for us here what we may wish we could have said ourselves. Using her past, present, and future to explore what matters most to women at different ages.

I have read very little of Anna Quindlen through the years, but from what I have heard from this audio so far… I need to read more.  She is really incredible and she reads this audio herself.



Mary Lennox, grew up in India, and had everything she ever wanted as long as she stayed out of the way of her parents. Upon her parents death, Mary was sent to live with her widowed uncle who also had no time for her.  Mary took to exploring the gardens and found way more than she had bargained for in a very pleasant way.

True.  I have never read this, and thanks tot he heads up from April from Good Books and Good Wine who gave me a twitter heads up on the $4.95 sale on, I grabbed this one up for listening hopefully this week!



Years ago, they were all the best of friends. But as time passed and circumstances changed, they grew apart, became adults with families of their own, and began to forget about the past—and the terrible lie they all shared. But now Gordon (“Go-Go”), the youngest and wildest of the five, has died unexpectedly and the other four have come together for the first time in years. Suddenly each of these old friends has to wonder if the dark secret they’ve shared for so long is the reason for their troubles today . . . and if someone within the circle is trying to destroy them all.

Whoa right?  I mean really… I cant wait!



Some bonds can never be broken…

Addie Downs and Valerie Adler will be best friends forever. That’s what Addie believes after Valerie moves across the street when they’re both nine years old. But in the wake of betrayal during their teenage years, Val is swept into the popular crowd, while mousy, sullen Addie becomes her school’s scapegoat.

Flash-forward fifteen years. Valerie Adler has found a measure of fame and fortune working as the weathergirl at the local TV station. Addie Downs lives alone in her parents’ house in their small hometown of La Prairie, Illinois, caring for a troubled brother and trying to meet Prince Charming on the Internet. She’s just returned from Bad Date #6, when she opens her door to find her long-gone best friend standing there, with a terrified look on her face and blood on the sleeve of her coat. “Something horrible has happened,” Val tells Addie, “and you’re the only one who can help.”

Best Friends Forever is a grand, hilarious, edge-of-your-seat adventure; a story about betrayal and loyalty, family history and small-town secrets. It’s about living through tragedy, finding love where you least expect it, and the ties that keep best friends together.

OOH this could be an awesome week in books!


So thats the BIG plan but a lot is audio so I think I will at least get started on them.  Now I am hoping to see what you are all reading this week!  There are a lot of good books out there and I love seeing what treasures you have found!  Please link up below where it says click here:

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and those of you who read mainly children’s through YA reads – please also link your post here:

Do You Judge A Book By It’s Author?

Come on… admit it…

nobody is watching….

nobody knows you are reading this post right now…

admit it…

you’ve done it…

shoot, I HAVE DONE IT.

and more than once.

You read a book, it s not a fit for you for whatever reason.  There is a good chance that unless that author has some sort of reputation that makes you want to try again, you are most likely probably out for future books by this author.

And maybe that is the right thing to do.


There are always exceptions to every rule and I want to bring out some examples today of yup, I was wrong, books that I feel are our of an authors norm, and for me personally, a better author for it. 

*Note:  The authors I am about to mention are well established authors who know what they are judged for in their writing, I am not dissing them, or anyone who enjoys reading them.  Instead, what I am trying to do here is point out that if you have a pre notion of what an authors writing is like, these are examples of where it is different and mainly to prove my point here – that we shouldn’t give up on an author after one book.  😛

Nora is known for being an author of many many books.  She has been putting them out since 1981 and that is impressive.  When I think of Nora Roberts I think trilogies… I think the first book will introduce three men or three women…, one of these men or women will take the protagonist role for that book and somewhere early on a love interest will be introduced and by the end of the book – yay!  They are together.  The second book will take one of the two characters that were introduced in the first book and wallah, now they are the protagonist and the same thing will happen, and then again in the third book.  It is a tried and true formula.  It has worked time and again for Nora Roberts.

Now it is true that not all her books are trilogies, she does write some stand alone reads as well, many times with the same outline as I dictated above, but no, honestly I don’t think all. 

For me personally, I have never been a fan of the romance read.  The handsome men or the beautiful women all finding ways to each other does not a page turner make for me.  And that’s just me….

however, here is where Nora Roberts scored big with me.

Now I know you are looking at these three books and  thinking “Sheila, are you off your rocker?  It’s a trilogy!  There are three!”  And if you have read these then you also know… there is a little romance in them and then you may want to say, “Sheila, I know these books!  They are about three women!  They meet three guys throughout the three books…. this is the Roberts formula tried and true!  How are they any different?”

And for you I say, these are different… because the women….

are witches. 

It’s true, the story line in my opinion is superior and the strong independent modern-day women with powers is well… they are three of my favorite all time books. 

And as long as we are discussing Roberts, she does it again here:

Mmmm hmmm, yeah yeah yeah… another trilogy – yes three strong women again but again… with powers!  I don’t know why that gets me… but it does and I love that! 

Ok one more example:  Stephen King.  What comes to mind?  Sure, Christine, a possessed car.  Carrie, yes a possessed girl.  Thinner, creepy thin guy… yup.  It, ugh, probably the creepiest as I really don’t like dolls and It is a clown or to me… a big doll.  Pet cemetary, yes, people and pets back from the dead… gross, but keep going!  Cujo, spooky book and movie, and CRAZY scary dog.  Misery, yes crazed book fan, oh wait… I like that – no no I am kidding of course, she is nutso!  Anyhoo, you got this… Stephen King writes deep creeptastic stories.

And then… he writes this:

So what is this?  This is historical fiction, it is a little time travel…. it is a great “what if” story that simply blew me away when I listened to it a few months back.  This is not your typical Stephen King, in my opinion, it is some of his best work.  There is no more creep factor in this one beyond a bit of intense moments, and average mystery type happenings.    If you have not gone here…. do so.  Soon, if not now.  😀

Now it can happen in reverse too… I read Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard forever ago.  Laughed out loud silly and funny.  Every Linda Howard I have tried since… flat line.  Cant get into them. 

Now I turn this over to you.  I would love to hear your examples of the books that seem out of an authors normal writing genre or pattern that made you look twice at an author you perhaps would not have .  Please share your experiences below.

Dead Running By Cami Checketts – Celebration and HUGE GIVEAWAY!

Cassidy Christensen is running.
Running from the mercenaries who killed her parents.
Running from a scheming redhead intent on making her life miserable.
Running from painful memories that sabotage her dreams of happiness.
With two very tempting men competing for her attention, she hopes she’ll finally have someone to run to, but can she trust either of them? When secrets from her past threaten her family, Cassidy decides to stop running and fight for her future.

I first encountered Cami Checketts when she approached me just a few months after I had started blogging with an opportunity to read and review hew book The Sister Pact.  I was so impressed with her book that when I was done reading it I approaches her to see if I could interview her about the book, her writing life, and her life outside of books.  She said yes, and in fall of 2009, I learned a lot about Cami.

Even then she was a huge fitness enthusiast, and so it was so surprise to me when Cami approached me about her new book, Dead Running, that is was indeed centered around a character who works out.  I knew I wanted to read it and Cami not only rushed the books into my hands, she asked me if I would be one of the blurbs on the back on her book.  (oh yeah, insert SSSQQQUUUEEE here!) 

I couldn’t wait to get into this book, and expect a review this week, as it is currently out in E book format, the print version will hit the shelves in just a coupe days, on May 1st.

Today what I am here to chat about is the HUGE promotion that Cami has going along with the books release. 

Cami is working with the following companies to give away the following:

Experienced and beginner yoga packages from Hugger Mugger

Two MIO Global Active Watches

Three months online personal training from Fitcore Fitness

Three Lebert Stretch Straps

Fitness Apparel from Running Chics

One pair of running shoes from Altra Zero Drop

iFrogz Earbuds and Armbands

Six month adult membership: Smithfield Recreation Center

One month membership: Crossfit UAC

Autographed copy of Dead Running by Cami Checketts (SSQQUUEE!!!!)

To enter please leave a comment on this post as to what your exercise of choice is and why.  I want to know, what gets you moving?  It can be as extreme sport as you want, or it can even be a little dancing while cooking dinner…  😀

Your comment will enter you into a chance to win one of these amazing prizes.

If you have read this book, or you are planning to, a review of it on Amazon will earn you ten extra entries.

This giveaway will close on May 18th.

You can enter on all the blogs participating if you wish, they are listed below:

Morning Meanderings… Sunday Salon


Wow.  Sunday again.  Already!  My past week was a crazy busy one…


And now here I am on Sunday already.  I was supposed to go on a bike ride today around Mile Lacs lake with one of my bike teams and I am bowing out.  😦  Mainly because there was something I was hoping to get done last night and not have to do today but that did not happen. 

The ride today would bring me home late afternoon and I just have too much to do to escape for the day.  I am bummed… but there will be other rides. 

I did get a few books in the mail:


With the first week of May sneaking up on us here I will have some reading to do this upcoming week for a book tour and for my book club! 

What are your plans for this Sunday?

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo

"Nesbo", "The snowman"

On a chilly November evening in Oslo Norway, the snow if falling.  It is the first snowfall of the season.  When Jonas awakens in the night he discovers that his mother is gone, and in the yard a snowman has appeared, eerily facing the home instead of the street… and oddly wearing his mother’s scarf around its thick white neck.
Police Investigator Harry Hole is called to the scene of the crime and as the pieces start to fall where they may – Harry starts to see a pattern… many women throughout a series of years that have gone missing, on the first snowfall of a year.  When a letter addressed to him arrives all mysterious and creepy, Harry starts to see that he too is becoming a part of the killers master plan…
It looks like The Snowman may be a movie some day...

Jo Nesbo is an author I have heard much about.  I liked the titles and covers of his books and have felt for some time now that getting a Nesbo book under my belt was a must do.

Having now done that, I think I can check Nesbo off my “to do” list and move on.

What I liked about the book:  I can understand the fanship that has been created around Nesbo’s books.  He is well written, and the storyline is dark, yet fascinating.  The crime itself is well thought out and detailed so you can not only understand how Harry picks up on the clues and moves forward, but you can also understand how the killer thinks as well.  Well yes, CREEPY, it is also very well-developed both factual and fictionally.  The narration by Robin Sachs is melt in your mind fantastic!

What I didn’t like about the book:  Harry Hole (oh don’t even get me started on his name...) is in my humble and honest opinion… disgusting.   The language in the book at times made me cringe, even more so, the actions and descriptions of the many sexual acts that Harry is involved in made me come close to shutting off the audio many times and making an understandably DNF (Did Not Finish) claim to the book and move on.

Why I didn’t turn it off:  Unfortunately for me, and probably a win for Nesbo, is that if you could take out all the language and crap that made me want to vomit, the story line is a good one.  While this book as a whole did not appeal to me, I can see why it does appeal to others.  Nesbo can write great characters (ummm… not in their character itself, but as characters….) and great realistic descriptions.

Will I read Nesbo again?  Most likely no, while I did enjoy the writing, he would have to change into a completely different format for me to even consider cracking open one of his books or pushing play without cringing on an audio player. 

I had heard a murmur that these books were a bit like Stieg Larsson’s writing (Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), which I had only read one of his books but did not finish the series, I personally feel this book is darker and cruder that Stieg Larson ever was.

Ok, I will quit beating a dead horse…. errr, snowman here. 

Now… just because I love doing Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking, and I also love tying food into books I read… I am adding a simple recipe, but one that I would totally use if my book club was going to read this book (and I assure you, they are not!) as a group..

Cherries In The Snow

  • 1 (8-ounce) tub fat-free cream cheese
  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 (12-ounce) carton frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed
  • 8 cups (1-inch) cubed angel food cake
  • 1 (20-ounce) can light cherry pie filling


Beat cream cheese at medium speed of a mixer until smooth. Gradually add the sugar, beating until blended. Gently fold in whipped topping.

Place half of cake cubes in a large glass bowl; top with half of cheese mixture. Spread half of cherry filling over cheese mixture. Repeat layers with remaining cake cubes, cheese mixture, and cherry filling. Cover and chill.

*Not my recipe, this is from a favorite recipe site:  My

Goodreads Review

Here are some other reviews on The Snowman by bloggers I respect:

Leeswammes Reviews

Literate Housewife

Rhapsody In Books

Book Chase

You’ve Gotta Read this!

This audio was a win and a thank you to Jennifer from Literate Housewife,

even though I did not love this one, I am thankful for the

opportunity to experience Nesbo.

Morning Meanderings… Pics From Recent Life Stuff

Good morning and happy Saturday!  My FAVORITE day of the week.  I have had (I didn’t finish this post before I had to leave) a commitment this morning so need to get to the point today  so I am really late putting this post up this morning.  D

I want to participate in Alyce’s Saturday Snapshots but have not really thought of a theme or event of current interest so thought I would give you just a splattering of life happenings in the past two weeks or so…


You ever have people in your life you just have a blast hanging out with? My friend Amy here is one of them. A couple of weeks ago we went out to dinner with them and had a great time!


Hunger Games was my World Book Night hand out - SO FUN!


This is just one of the gorgeous items that was on the silent auction I was at for Camp Benedict on Thursday



The pups got a haircut on Friday... L: Sam (the stray we inherited three weeks ago) and R: Bailey, who has been with us for 13 years.


The gorgeous throw I won during The Dewey Read A Thon for playing one of the mini challenges arrived this morning. I will be curling up with this today on this cold afternoon while reading. 🙂


Please stop by and say hi to Alyce, the host of Saturday Snapshots and see who is else is showing pictures of their corner of the world today.  🙂

In other news… I am joining the Meg Cabot read a long because it sounds like good summer time fun! 

As for this cold breezy day in Minnesota, I think I will spend part of it under the above lovely throw reading a bit of the afternoon away, and finishing the audio books of The Snowman and Home Front, both of which are on their last cd.  I may see if hubby would like to go out to dinner or something tonight. 

How are spending your Saturday?

Dance Upon The Air by Nora Roberts

Nell Channing finally did what was long over due.  She found a way to escape her abusive marriage.  Feeling free for the first time since she can remember, she changes her look, and finds herself stepping off a ferry on to a quaint place called Three Sisters Island.  Nell was drawn to the stories around the island, the folklore that said the island was created by ancient witches in 1692 and still to this day carried the magic of years gone by.

Nell felt like she had found a home in this touristy island, and quickly secured a job at the local Book Store, Cafe Books, owned by the mysterious, Mia Devlin.  Mia had many island rumors circling around herself as well.. she owned the beautiful house on the cliff that could be seen from the ferry and was believed to have powers handed down from the generations of powerful women of the island before her.

And then there is Ripley, sister to the handsome sheriff, Zak.  Ripley, as Mia knows, is the second of the”three sisters” on the island that still carry magical powers, yet as much as Mia embraces her powers, Ripley rejects them, hates that this is a gift handed down to her from the island, and does everything she can to deny it.

But Mia, and with her pulse on the island itself is well aware of the power the island has given her.  She is also well aware that the island is called Three Sisters Island, and to complete the circle, there is to be a third.  Mia has a strong feeling the third part of the sisterhood just came to the island in the form of a small woman who is currently in her employment and seems to be running from something.  And that something, seems to be coming towards the island like a dark cloud that Mia can see and feel clearly, and she knows it will take the power of three to ensure the survival of all involved.


The audio was FANTASTIC!

Two things are true:  1.  This is not your typical Nora Roberts book.   2.  This is one on my all time favorite reads.

I first read Dance Upon The Air in August of 2001.  I know this for a fact because it was the first book our book club read together and because the book touched me so much that it graces my book shelf in triplicate, so I can always have a spare to give out to someone.

I LOVE books that have to do with strong, independent women, and if these women have powers… all the better.  Dance Upon The Air covers all this well, I often refer to this book as paranormal, before paranormal was cool.

There is so much I love about this book and the two that follow it, Heaven and Earth, and then Face The Fire – all written in typical Nora Roberts fashion with her trilogies, each book features one of the three women.  All equally awesome – which is rare in trilogies.

I have wanted to read this one again for a long time, but as book lovers know – its hard to get back to the ones you have read before when so many awesome reads are waiting to still be read…

I think I have found the secret to the re-read, try it in a different format.  In this case, I listened to this book on audio and I am so over the top thrilled that I did.  It is narrated beautifully by Sandra Burr  and I cant even tell you how relieved I was that this older read was delightful as well in audio.

Do yourself a favor and give this book (or audio) a try.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised and this is definitely a do not judge a book by its author.  (and yes, watch this weekend for a post on that!)

Goodreads Review

Here are a few other awesome book reviews and their thoughts on this book:

Irregular Tammie

The Best Reviews

Belle Wong

World According To Books

I purchased this audio from