Category: Information


First let me apologize for the radio silence.  The past few months have been more than a little trying.  Shortly after my last post, my work had me working an insane amount of hours as we prepared for the holiday season.  Then I got sick.

And of course with me, it is never as simple as getting a cold or flu.  I thought I got the crud that everyone else had but with in 36 hours I was in the emergency room with a massive kidney infection.  Since November 16th, I have been in and out of the hospital 6 (or 7) times.  The first two times were for treating the kidney infection.  After the second stay, I went home with a long term iv catheter (called a PICC line).  6 days later, I was back at the hospital because my arm was swollen and hurt to move.  I ended up with blood clots in the arm because of the PICC line.  Because of the dangers and pain associated with the clots, I have been in and out of the hospital since.  My most recent stay was last week.

For some reason, when I’m sick I don’t read much.  And if I do read, it is always something I’ve already read, a comfort read.

I owe a huge apology to the authors and publishers who sent me books to read and review.  As things settle down here (I hope), I will start reading and writing my reviews again.

I hope everyone had a less eventful holiday season and new year.

Thank you for your support and patience.

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In My Mailbox #1

I’m not usually one to share the books I’ve been sent to review, but over the past few weeks my electronic and postal mailboxes have been over flowing with books for review in October and November! Some of these I’m extremely excited about, so I wanted to share with you!

First in my Electronic Mailbox….  I have received the second book by A ‘Jeeper’ Wade and Shiloh Walker’s 5th Grimm Circle book.  I also received The Worker Prince by Bryan Thomas Schmidt, but alas no cover image to share.

In my Postal Mailbox, I have received 8 books from Sourcebooks! Unfortunately, my cell phone camera doesn’t do these covers any justice. They are beautiful.

As some of you may know, I have been unemployed since last June. Because money has been tight around here, I have signed up to participate in the Affiliate Programs for Amazon and Barnes And Noble. From this day forward, anything to do with an author or an author’s book, I will be putting up links to both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. When a reader of my blog clicks on those links and purchase that item, I will get a small percentage (less than 10%) of the sale. I’m not doing this to get rich, just to supplement my husband’s income so we can more easily pay our bills.  I am also considering putting a PayPal donate button as well.  But please, don’t feel obligated in anyway to use the links I have posted, especially if you have a different retailer you prefer.

Thank you everyone for your support of my blogs!

In the life of a romance author today was a nerve racking day. Especially if you had one of the over 1,000 books nominated to receive Romance Writers of America’s (RWA) annual RITA Award or one of the 1,2oo manuscripts nominated to receive the Golden Heart Award.

Earlier today authors in 12 different RITA categories and 10 different Golden Heart categories received phone calls telling them that their book or manuscript was selected as a finalist. This is similar to Oscar Nominations for Romance Authors.

The RITA is named after the first President of RWA and is to “promote excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding published romance novels and novellas”. The Golden Heart Award is an award given for an outstanding romance manuscript by writers who have not accepted a publishing offer. The authors will find out who the RITA and Golden Heart Winners are on July 1st at the Awards Ceremony to be held during the Annual Romance Writers of America Convention which taking place in New York this year. For a full list of RITA and Golden Heart Finalists please click here.

I am extremely excited to announce that a good friend of PonyTails and a must read author for me had a book selected as a RITA Finalist! The book that was selected is currently my favorite book of the two she has published, however that might change with her third book which releases next week. So please help me congratulate our friend Joanne Kennedy!!!

 

Congratulations Joanne for being a RITA Finalist for Contemporary Single Title Romance with One Fine Cowboy!!


As a surprise for my readers, if you answer the following question by placing it in the comments, I will (hopefully with Joanne’s help, but I haven’t asked her yet) choose One lucky reader to receive a copy of One Fine Cowboy. The winner will have the most unique answer to the question below.

It will the winner’s choice of either Print, Nook, or Kindle. If the winner already has One Fine Cowboy, then they will receive a copy of Joanne’s newest book Cowboy Fever in print, when it is released next week.  This giveaway will end at 11:59pm on Weds March 30, 2011.

 

The Question: Why do you love cowboys? Is it their connection to the animals and the land? Or their rugged sexiness? Or do Wrangler Butts just drive you nuts?

 

Love Those Wranger Butts by Carol Miller

Love Those Wranger Butts by Carol Miller

Joanne Kennedy is an author of Contemporary Western Romances. Her newest book Cowboy Fever will be released April 1st!  Part of the sales, made through Barnes and Noble, of Cowboy Fever will be going to an organization that is close to Joanne’s heart, Cheyenne Therapeutic Equestrian Center.  I asked Joanne to visit PonyTails to discuss why she chose this organization.  I will be cross posting this to my regular blog and at the end of the post will be links to my reviews of Joanne’s first two novels Cowboy Trouble and One Fine Cowboy. My review of Cowboy Fever will be posted on April 2nd on my review blog.

Win, Win, Win! Therapy Riding is a Triple Triumph

By Joanne Kennedy

On April 2nd, I’ll be celebrating the launch of One Fine Cowboy with our usual “moveable feast,” beginning at Barnes & Noble and moving to Uncle Charlie’s Pub after hours. But it’s not all about me this time! The whole shindig is going to benefit Cheyenne Therapeutic Riding Center (CTEC).  I volunteered for this group a year or two ago, helping kids with autism learn from horses, and discovered that the folks who run CTEC have created a win-win-win situation.

Winner number one is the kids. Every child with autism is different, but most live their lives with no sensory filters.  To them, the sound of a refrigerator running battles with the buzz of a fluorescent light bulb, and the feeling of  a blanket under their hand can be as coarse and caustic as sandpaper.

To make matters worse, many are unable to communicate their distress.  Language, communication – many don’t have the ability to make those connections. It’s a mystery to them, just as they themselves are a mystery to others.

Imagine living your life confused and overwhelmed and unable to ask for help—and then  imagine meeting a kindred soul who understands your fear, who instinctively reacts the way you do to loud noises, sudden moves, and unexpected events.

Riding therapy builds self-confidence, helps kids focus, and often provides a gateway to communication. Many of the kids communicate more readily with the horses than with other people, and a simple command for the horse to “walk on” or “whoa” is often one of the first words they learn. The horse’s immediate response shows them the power of words, and they carry what they learn in the riding ring out into their daily lives.

The second winner  is the horses themselves. Many of the horses at CTEC are rescue horses, elderly animals who had lived out their usefulness in the rodeo ring or riding stable. Carrying rookie riders from one colored square to another or standing patiently while

a child tosses a Nerf basketball into a hoop might not sound exciting to you, but I firmly believe that most animals, like people, are happiest when they have a job and a purpose. The horses are specially chosen for their patience and their bomb-proof temperaments, and they seem to know they’re carrying precious cargo.

The benefits to the kids and horses are obvious, but the volunteers are the third group of winners. Working with the horses and kids has enriched my life and given me a new understanding of a syndrome that now affects one out of every 150 children.

I originally went to CTEC to help out my friend Laura when her daughter had a lesson. I worked as a side-walker, simply walking alongside the horse and making sure Leighann didn’t fall. I was so inspired by Leighann’s ability to focus on horseback—and by the way her face lit up as she rode—that I ended up helping all day and coming back for more.

Through the program, I met a number of kids with autism and their parents, and it’s a toss-up which I admire most. Bringing up kids is always tough; bringing up a child with autism is a challenge most of us can’t even imagine. The parents  never give up, and they’re always looking for new ways to help their kids. Their patience is never-ending, and their devotion even on the hardest day is a testament to the power of a parent’s love. That’s why Cowboy Fever is dedicated to my friend Laura and her family. They are my heroes in so many ways.

Part of the challenge parents face is that no two children with autism are alike. One may not speak at all; another recites lines from TV shows and cartoons. One may be afraid of the horse; another frighteningly fearless. Because they’re all so different, there’s no single solution to helping them learn. It’s like finding your way in the dark, turning one way, then another, feeling around for the doorway that will get you where you want to go.

But I’ve yet to see a child that wasn’t helped by the horses. Some resist it at first or are afraid of the animals, but all of them eventually come to look forward to their lessons, and when one of these kids smiles, it lights up the world.

My goal isn’t just to raise money for CTEC; it’s to let people know that horseback therapy is a legitimate learning tool. It may be recreation for most of us, but for these kids it’s a way into the world, a means of focusing and learning. Hopefully someday it will be recognized for the miracle it is. In the meantime, parents whose resources are often stretched to the limit have to dig deep for the money to pay for riding therapy, and many can’t afford it.

If you have a chance to stop by Barnes & Nobel Cheyenne on Saturday, bring your shopping list! If you let the cashier know that you support CTEC, a portion of your purchase will benefit the organization and let more kids experience the benefits of riding. We’ll also be passing the cowboy hat at the after-party for anyone who wants to help out.

And if you buy online between April 2nd and 6th, please use the code 10442713 at checkout to ensure that your purchase helps more kids get all the benefits riding therapy has to offer.

***********

Thank you Joanne for the wonderful post and the pictures of Leighann! Please help Joanne in supporting the Cheyenne Therapeutic Equestrian Center by purchasing Cowboy Fever between April 2nd and April 6th.  If you are in the area, please go meet this extraordinary woman at the release party at the Cheyenne Barnes and Noble.

About Cowboy Fever from Joanne’s website:

Miss Rodeo Wyoming Jodie Bryce is back from the big city to find that her childhood friend Teague Treadwell’s rugged cowboy charm never looked better. But Teague thinks Jodie’s success lifted her out of his reach, and now he’s got to shed his bad boy image to be worthy of the girl next door.

April, 2011
Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 9781402251412

Review Links (just click the title):  Cowboy Trouble and One Fine Cowboy

Thanks to the ladies at The Frugal Girls I found out that Amazon is currently offering 10 of Beatrix Potter’s children’s stories for Free!

The Free e-books can be read on a Kindle, Blackberry, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Windows Phone 7, or your PC & Mac!

And The Winner Is….

I used Random.org to pick my winner from the 5 entries I had.  And the winner of Sins Of The House Of Borgia is….

Joanne, you need to email me you mailing address so I can have Sourcebooks send you the book!

eBook Deals from Sourcebooks!

I just received an email from the wonderful Publicists at Sourcebooks asking me to spread the word about some free reads you can download until Sunday, February 6th.

Dreaming Anastasia

What really happened to Anastasia Romanov?

Anastasia Romanov thought she would never feel more alone than when the gunfire started and her family began to fall around her. Surely the bullets would come for her next. But they didn’t. Instead, two gnarled old hands reached for her. When she wakes up she discovers that she is in the ancient hut of the witch Baba Yaga, and that some things are worse than being dead.

In modern-day Chicago, Anne doesn’t know much about Russian history. She is more concerned about getting into a good college—until the dreams start. She is somewhere else. She is someone else. And she is sharing a small room with a very old woman. The vivid dreams startle her, but not until a handsome stranger offers to explain them does she realize her life is going to change forever. She is the only one who can save Anastasia. But, Anastasia is having her own dreams…

Love at First Flight

What if the guy in the airplane seat next to you turned out to be the love of your life?

Juliana, happy in her career as a hair stylist, is on her way to visit her boyfriend of ten years who’s working out of state. She’s wondering why they’re not engaged yet. Michael is going to his fiance’s parents’ home for an engagement party he doesn’t want. A states’ prosecutor, he’s about to try the biggest case of his career, he hates the distraction, and he’s having doubts about the relationship.

They sit together on the plane, and discover they’re on the same flight coming back. When the weekend is a disaster for each of them, they bond on the plane ride home. But life is full of complications, including their exes, who don’t want to let go, and when Michael’s trial turns dangerous, the two must confront what they value most in life…

Lydia Bennet’s Story

Lydia Bennet is the flirtatious, wild and free-wheeling youngest daughter. Her untamed expressiveness and vulnerability make her fascinating to readers who’ll love this imaginative rendering of Lydia’s life after her marriage to the villainous George Wickham. Will she mature or turn bitter? Can a girl like her really find true love?

In Lydia Bennet’s Story we are taken back to Jane Austen’s most beloved novel, Pride and Prejudice, to a Regency world seen through Lydia’s eyes where pleasure and marriage are the only pursuits. But the road to matrimony is fraught with difficulties and even when she is convinced that she has met the man of her dreams, complications arise. When Lydia is reunited with the Bennets, Bingleys, and Darcys for a grand ball at Netherfield Park, the shocking truth about her husband may just cause the greatest scandal of all …

The Greatest Knight

Royal protector. Loyal servant. Forgotten hero.

A penniless young knight with few prospects, William Marshal is plucked from obscurity when he saves the life of Henry II’s formidable queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. In gratitude, she appoints him tutor to the heir to the throne, the volatile and fickle Prince Henry. But being a royal favorite brings its share of danger and jealousy as well as fame and reward.

A writer of uncommon historical integrity and accuracy, Elizabeth Chadwick resurrects the true story of one of England’s greatest forgotten heroes in a captivating blend of fact and fiction. The Greatest Knight restores William Marshal to his rightful place at the pinnacle of the Middle Ages, reflecting through him the triumphs, scandals, and power struggles that haven’t changed in eight hundred years.

I don’t know about you, but my TBR pile just got bigger.  Happy Reading!

I am happy to announce that I will be taking part in Once Upon A Twilight’s blog tour for Killian McRae’s book 12.21.12. The tour will take place during the month of March and there are 27 different book bloggers participating. I will be doing a review of the book on March 19th, so be on the look out for it! Some of the blogs will be giving away copies of the book, when we get closer I’ll post a schedule of the blogs for you all.

From Author’s Website:

Archaeologist Sheppard Smyth has staked his career and the honorable memory of his deceased wife and partner on proving his widely-panned theory: Cleopatra VII, last ruler of Ancient Egypt, was murdered. When a statue of the doomed Queen is discovered in an Olmec excavation site in Mexico, Shep rushes to investigate and, hopefully, find the proof that has evaded him for so long. Soon, he finds himself in the middle of the rivalry between the sexy, enigmatic international thief, Victoria Kent, and infamous rumored Russian mobster, Dmitri Kronastia. Both hold pieces to the puzzle that will finally shed light on Cleopatra’s death, as they vie for Shep’s trust and assistance. As he is drawn further into their world of ancient gods, supernatural powers, and alternative history, little does Shep know that the fate of all humanity may hinge on his ability to discover the truth in between Victoria and Dmitris’ fragmented claims and hidden identities. Working to decode the ancient past while attempting to save the future, Shep becomes a common pawn played by forces working to see out a quest older than the pyramids themselves and cloaked by the Mayan prophecy of 12.21.12.

Image By Julia Freeman-Woolpert for http://www.sxc.hu

Welcome to my book review blog!

In the next few days, I am hoping to have a review or two posted here.  I will also use this site for just random book musings.

In the mean time, I do have reviews posted at the following locations and feel free to check out my regular blog.

Suite101
Associated Content
Tails From The Pony Tails Barn – Random Musings of a Horse Crazy Country Girl