Tag Archives: books

Matrimony Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations Oakland Mama! You’re the lucky winner of the fabulous book, Matrimony, by Joshua Henkin!


Thanks to Josh for this great giveaway, and to all who participated — I encourage you to run right out and get this one for yourselves!

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Filed under Contest Winners

Dolphin Book Giveaway Winner!

Congrats Laura — you’re the new owner of the AWESOME Uncover a Dolphin book!


I’m thinking your boys will totally dig it.

Thanks to everyone who played along, and helped me spread the word about Swap Mamas — we’re up to 117 members! (Are you one of the 117? No? Gitcher butt over there and JOIN, Mama! Chop chop!)


Filed under Contest Winners

Memorist Giveaway Winners!

First off, let me say, I LOVED reading everyone’s Memorist comments — if past lives DO exist (and you already know I’m a total believer) you guys were a colorful bunch. Thanks so much to everyone for playing along!

Without further ado, I give you the book winners:


Which translates to Laural Out Loud (Comment #8), who spent a past life as a pampered British lady of leisure; and Erin of Irascible Crayons (Comment #20), who most likely spent some time in the 30s or 40s. Congratulations ladies!

Keep checking back — I have some pretty awesome swag to give away in the coming weeks, just in time for the holidays. I’ll give you a hint. It involves really, really cool footwear. And wildlife. And possibly more reading material.

Yee hoo! I feel just like Santa! A girl could get hooked on this Giveaway Gig …


Filed under Contest Winners

Yippee! It’s The Memorist giveaway!

Been offline a few days due to a little laptop/internet issue, which seems to have worked itself out just in time for my VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY!

I’m kind of excited.

It’s kind of cool.

I’m kind of getting ahead of myself.

Let me back up.

TLC Book Tours contacted me and asked if I’d like to try reviewing a new book by a bestselling author. They thought the topic would be right up my alley, considering my penchant for the paranormal. That, plus a deep-seated love of books had me squealing “Free book? Yes! Yes! YEEEESSSS!!”

Turns out The Memorist by M.J. Rose WAS right up my alley. I’m going to cheat a little and give you an exerpt from the book jacket:

The dreads are back. As a child, Meer Logan was haunted by memories of another time and place, always accompanied by the faint strains of elusive music. Now the past has reached out again in the form of a strange letter that sets her on a journey to Vienna to unlock the mystery of who she once was.

With each step she comes closer to remembering connections between a clandestine reincarnationist society, a lost flute linked to Ludwig van Beethoven, and David Yalom, a journalist who understands all too well how the past affects the future.

Here’s my take. With each short chapter, Rose expertly weaves multiple points of view to tell the story of a woman struggling against a belief in past lives — even when everything tells her she has lived before — and what happens when her past catches up with her.

memoristIf you’re NOT like me, and this all seems a bit hinky for your taste, add modern day terrorism, a ton of fascinating historical background and storytelling on par with The Da Vinci Code to the mix. If THAT powder keg combination doesn’t spark your interest … you’re beyond Mommypie’s help.

It’s clear from the fantastic historical detail that Rose did her homework. And the way she painted Vienna? Never a place I had much interest in visiting, it’s now in my Top 10.

If I had to come up with a negative, it would probably be the large cast of characters. While an effective means of heightening suspense, I have to admit, it took awhile to keep so many people straight. However, it’s the character development that could make this thriller a great candidate for feature film. IMHO of course. I can totally picture it.

With that, in a shameless attempt to appear all official-like, The Pie House gives this book four and a half out of five pies.


By now, you’ve probably guessed what the GIVEAWAY is, yes? I have two hardcover editions of The Memorist, hot off the press, just waiting to be read by two lucky commenters. All you have to do is leave a comment by Sunday, 6 p.m. MST and tell me the following:

If past lives DO exist, who do you think YOU were? It doesn’t have to be someone famous — chances are you WEREN’T anyway. (Yeah, sorry.) And if you don’t believe in past lives, think of it as a hypothetical. It won’t affect the drawing outcome one way or another.

Big thanks to TLC Book Tours — I can’t wait to read everyone’s thoughts!

P.S. TLC also sent along some copies of Rose’s bestselling book, The Reincarnationist, which preceded The Memorist. I’ll be reading it next — doing things a bit backwards is my specialty — and giving away THOSE extra copies soon!


Filed under Pie House Review

Wiping noses and drool(ing over the vamps).

So the Board of Directors Retreat? Missed it. Yep. Woke up early Thursday morning to a very sick MP. After finally getting her coughing under control with the nebulizer, I was debating whether to go. And then she threw up. There was no way, in good conscious, I could spend the night an hour away. I THINK Conservaboss was cool with it … we’ll see Monday.

It’s now Friday night and she’s sleeping soundly, bouncing back already. I had a feeling this one was coming. Bobo’s had the Crud for a week; and last weekend MP and I hung out with my old friend Cannonball and her kids, who had it too. One way or another, she was gettin’ it.

The Cannonball Family was back in town for a visit — staying at her parents’ ranch on the other side of the mountains. MP and I drove up for the afternoon.

While Mr. Cannonball was out hunting with Grandpa Cannonball, she and I sat in her kitchen, drinking wine, woodstove blazing in the middle of the day, while our kids played.

I don’t even know how we got on the subject.

CB: This is gonna sound weird. There’s this book I’ve been reading …

ME: Mm hmm …

CB: You’d totally love it. It’s about vampires, and the guy …


CB: YES!!!

ME: Edward Cullen?!?


ME: Hot.

CB: Uh, YEAH …

ME: I’m already on book three!

CB: I’m on book four!


CB: What is WRONG with us?

ME: Edward is HOT.

CB: Um, YEAH …

ME: And Jacob? With the werewolf thing goin’ on?



ME: We got issues.

CB: Totally.

So, for the uninitiated, the Twilight Series is a four-volume set of vampire books. Written for TEENAGERS. (Aaaand, it just gets more pathetic.) Chances are, you’ve heard of it, especially now that the movie’s coming out Nov. 21.

Oh yeah. CB had a People Magazine she’d picked up at the airport. We found a photo of the actor who’ll be playing hottie teenage vamp Edward Cullin. Which didn’t help things.



We are sick, sick, mommies.

Image borrowed from this chick.


Filed under Piece of Pop Culture

Nothing Like A Good Book

Mommy’s Martini tagged me with a books meme last week. I’ve been kind of excited to do this one, because it’s right up my alley. I’m a complete and total book geek. Always have been. It’s rare that I’ll be reading just one book at a time. But this tag turned out to be a bit harder than it sounded, which is why I’m just now doing it …

With that, here are the rules:

1. List three books you’ve always meant to read, but haven’t gotten around to reading.

2. Share the two books that changed your life.

3. Recommend the one book you’ve been talking about since the very first day you’ve read it.

And here’s what I came up with.

Three Books I’ve Been Meaning To Read Forever

1. The Bible. One of these days I’ll finish it. I’ve probably started it seven or eight times over the course of my life. I’ve never been able to read the whole thing. God knows I’ve really tried. I’ve even tried it on CD in the car. Inevitably, I’ve found it’s more of a bullet-point experience, with me taking away key points that, depending on my situation at the time, resonate on some level. Which is better than nothing.

2. The World is Flat. This has been sitting by my bedside for a good 10 months. I’ve yet to tackle it. It’s all about “the great changes taking place in our time, as lightning-swift advances in technology and communications put people all over the globe in touch as never before …”

Part of the book includes “an explanation of ‘uploading’ as one of the 10 forces that are flattening the world, as blogging, open-source software, pooled knowledge projects like Wikipedia, and podcasting enable individuals to bring their experiences and opinions to the whole world.”

Wake up! That probably put some of you to sleep, but I find it fascinating.

3. The Abs Diet For Women. The book I need to read the most. Ugh. The book that’s been collecting dust alongside The World is Flat for a loooong time.

Two Books That Changed My Life

1. Roots. This, I read about a year after it came out. I was 9 or 10. Reading this book sparked a fascination with Black History that has continued to this day. I know, some might think it a little odd, considering my background is waay whitebread. But if you read my True Confessions tab at the top, you know I believe in past lives …

Stories of the Underground Railroad — everything from quilts hanging out to dry that secretly pointed the way to safety, to the life of Harriet Tubman — absolutely transfixed me.

From Alex Haley, I moved on to Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings and Richard Wright’s Native Son. I have no doubt that, over the years, my immersion in the history of slavery and the struggle of African Americans has helped shaped the empathetic component of my personality.

2. A Moveable Feast. Given to me years ago by MP’s dad, this is Hemingway’s classic memoir of Paris in the 1920s. Interlaced with portraits of other expatriate writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, James Joyce and Gertrude Stein, this book solidified my love of all things French. Hemingway spends a lot of time recollecting his memories of the bookstore, Shakespeare and Company, where an amazing group of post-WWI writers would regularly gather. What I wouldn’t have given to be a fly on that wall.

So, with six years of French language studies under my belt (sadly, most of it forgotten over the years following college), I headed to Paris on my own in the spring of 2002 — spending four days completely immersing myself in the culture before meeting up with my BFF Tea in Barcelona. The first monument I visited wasn’t the Eiffel Tower. It wasn’t l’Arc de Triomphe or even the Louvre. It was Shakespeare and Company. And it was amazing. Now you REALLY know how big of a book geek I am.

My Book Recommendation

Stephen King’s The Stand. This probably comes as a surprise after the last book, but in my mind, the prolific King is this generation’s Mark Twain. He really is the most amazing storyteller. If you haven’t read any of his work, you may be under the impression he’s purely a horror writer. Not so. While most of his stories do have a paranormal bent, he also wrote Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. And don’t judge him by his movies. With a few exceptions, most of them don’t translate to the screen well at all, and just come across as hokey.

The Stand is a thick, thick book, but I think I probably read it in just a few days. I literally could not put it down. Very simply, it’s a story of good vs. evil after a virus wipes out most of the population, forcing mankind to start from scratch. The bad guys wind up in Las Vegas, Sin City. The good guys wind up in Boulder, Colorado. LOVED it.

Mkay, there you go. Still awake?

Now, I’m tagging Foolery, Domestic Goddess and of course, my old stand-by San Diego Momma. What’s on YOUR bookshelf? No pressure my Doogs — if this one’s not up your alley, I promise I won’t come through the monitor and beat you with a book or anything.


Filed under Literary Piece

Who Needs a Library Card?

Friday is Gymnastics Day.

Gymnastics and Errand Day.

Gymnastics, Errand and (ugh) McDonald’s PlayLand with MaggiePie’s Best Friend Day.

And then, after all that, if a major meltdown hasn’t occurred, and she hasn’t fallen fast asleep in her carseat…

Movie Store Day for Mommy’s Friday night entertainment! (Jealous much?)

So, as is tradition, today after gymnastics, PlayLand, and a gallon of Purell, we made our way to the almighty Costco. Mecca.

We like to make an event of it. After MP proudly flashes our card to a greeter, we take care of the first order of business, wheeling DIRECTLY, do not pass go, to the kids books. Yay! The Costco Free Library!

MP knows the drill – she picks out two or three books with the understanding they will be carefully read and returned before we check out. Cheap, you say? Why, yeesss.

It isn’t that I wouldn’t actually buy MP a book. Books are pretty high up there on my list of most treasured material possessions. It’s that:

a. She already has more books than most adults.
b. I want her to understand that she doesn’t get something every time we go to the grocery store, or the book store, or the toy store. That most of the time, we just look. I’m happy to report, it’s worked (for the most part).
c. She’s trained well. MP knows to be careful with the page turning, and not handle with sticky hands. (After all, eventually, someone is actually going to pay for this.)
d. Most importantly (you all know where I’m going with this) … having her occupied — not dealing with the near tearful, “I wanna help!” “Can I push the cart?” “I’m huuunngry” — is something you can’t put a price on. (Good, huh?)

Once she’s outfitted with a few reads (NO sticker books – this is important), her only concern is finding all “the ladies.” You know … THE LADIES. Grandmotherly women in hairnets, offering up tasty afternoon snacks to all good boys and girls. And maybe, if she’s lucky, MP and I will end the excursion by sharing a $1.50 Costco Meal Deal for lunch.

Mama lives large.

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