If you had $100…

For Mother’s Day this year I received a $100 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble…I am so grateful it wasn’t over priced flowers again this year.  Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for any gift I receive, but in my opinion, flowers are kind of like gifting Big Red.  It’s quick, it’s easy and ever-so-exciting. Flowers are great for an impromptu pick up, but not really for a gift.  That’s just how I am…

Well, thanks to my well-trained 6 year-old daughter, I received a $100 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble.  I was so excited!  Although I did quietly remark how lame I have become.  Boy if cool teenage me could see the geeky old me…  Anyway, apparently when purchasing the gift, it was my daughter that urged my husband not to be cheap and go for the $100.  I am really raising that girl right, she’s something.  So, $100 it was, for me, to Barnes and Noble.  Sweet!

Now, it was difficult for me to not jump out of bed, shower and then ditch the family for a quiet trip to B&N.  But, I restrained myself.  After all, it was Mother’s Day and I couldn’t really just ditch the family, no matter how tempting.  So, I wait.  And I start to list some of the many books that I will buy with my free B&N money.

Now, I thought about buying a new Nook cover, but heck, that would eat up a little too much of my money, won’t leave enough for books.  I was just at Barnes and Noble on Friday and I had picked up numerous titles and authors and made a mental catalog of all those that I had wanted.  But now that I have “free money” I just don’t know which ones to get first.

Sooooo….I am going to turn to you all for a little help.  If you had $100 in Barnes and Noble cash, what books would you buy?  Lets get a list going and see what we come up with!



Guest Review…by IRL BFF Tracy :)

I am so happy to have my dear, dear friend Tracy finally post a review for me!  It is so good to know that her teenage daughter got her sucked in to this magnificent series!  You go M! :)  I really appreciate her taking the time to write this review of these two books for my site!  Thanks so much T!  XOXOXO

So here you go…Tracy’s debut review….

A Novel by Lisa Mangum, actually two novels, well really three but we will get into that later. I found myself devouring the first novel just so I could see what was going to come about in the second novel only to discover I HAVE to read a third. Sheesh, the way Lisa Mangum draws you in is crazy.

I started reading the first book titled The Hourglass Door. Although the Cover is not what drew me to the books in the first place I can see a bit of symbolism in the cover and its design. I think I would have liked to have seen more of an hourglass shape in the door that is on the cover. Did I just repeat myself? Moving on! The real reason I started reading the books was and is still the same, and I am happy to say it is appropriate for my 12 and 14 year olds to read. The other reason I even picked up the books is due in part to my getting the second book in a drawing while I was shopping at the bookstore. I was ready to check out when my name was called and I had won the second book titled The Golden Spiral. I love being a winner of anything even if it is a teenage appropriate book. My girls were with me at the time of my winning and my 14 year old chimed in with Ooooh I just saw those books, followed with “Mom, you really need to get the first book too.” “Really? Do I have to?” was my reply. I was already going to be spending enough money at the bookstore and now more. I retreated after I received the puppy dog look and then the big grin, “Fine” was my reply. And so a few minutes later I had in hand not one but two books in a two part series or so I thought.

The Hourglass Door is a fantastic read. I love Abby and her role in this book. She brings life to a lot of the book as the main character. She is into “living life without limits” as they say at Emery College. The college Abby would like to attend but that her friends and family know nothing about as they think she is interested in going to USC. Abby has a desire to see more in her life and her current boyfriend is predictable. She wants some spontaneity in her life. Cue gorgeous Italian exchange student walking into class. Abby can’t take her eyes off of him. Tall, dark and handsome would be the way to describe Dante. What woman doesn’t want tall, dark and handsome? Now Abby has something a little more exciting in her life and she has been assigned to help get Dante up to speed in the class. Poor Abby having to suffer like that, what is a girl to do?  She soon discovers things are pretty electric when ever she is near Dante and listening to him recite poetry tends to put her in dream land. I reiterate, tall, dark, and handsome with an Italian accent reciting poetry. What’s not to love? This is a sweet romance of two souls that were made for each other.

It did not take me long to finish The Hourglass Door only to turn around and pick up The Golden Spiral because I had to know the rest of the story. I began reading the second book and I’m pretty sure I finished that one even faster than the first. I wanted to know more about Abby, Dante, Jason, and Valerie. Jason is Abby’s ex-boyfriend you know the one before they cued the gorgeous Italian, Dante and Valerie is one of her best friends who needs her help. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and the way that everything is described in this series of books right down to how the air felt around Abby was the most mesmerizing and intoxicating world I was glad to be a part of by my ability to read. Lisa Mangum can describe things down to the smallest detail that it really makes you conjure up a vision in you mind of what it was like to be Abby. It was like you were in the scene and it was playing out before you. I felt like I was standing by the wayside watching these people in front of me. When I arrived at the last chapter of the Golden Spiral I turned the page thinking there would be another chapter. Instead I found the acknowledgements. I read through the acknowledgments thinking to myself the entire time this can’t be the end I want to know more. Why would you leave me sitting there wanting more and then I got to the last page in the book that said “The story of Abby and Dante concludes in The Forgotten Locket. Coming Summer 2011” What? Did I read that right? I read that again, I have to wait till the summer to read the next part of the series. I can’t wait that long. I read the last paragraph in The Golden Spiral again trying to savor it. Had I known this would be the end I might have read a little slower to make sure I got it all and to make sure I savored every last morsel of writing I could squeeze into my brain. Curse you Lisa Magnum for making me wait 3-5 months for the next book to come out. The page said summer 2011, so in my mind I’m thinking June 20th since that’s the first day of summer but what if Lisa decides to wait until the end of summer or the middle of summer. What will I do? What’ll I do? Well I know what I will do in the meantime. I will try to be patient and I know I will find myself reading the series again as it gets closer to summer. Great job Lisa on keeping me longing for more, but if Abby has indeed forgotten the locket and therefore does not have the key she needs that is not what I wanted to know as I sit and wait for your next book in the series to come out. Just saying.


Spring Blog Hop Winner


I hope you have all enjoyed the Spring Carnival Hop and had a great chance to check out some new blogs!  I find that these hops certainly introduce me to new bloggers and certainly to some new book titles!

I appreciate all who stopped by Cici’s Theories and entered for your chance to win a copy of Sara Gruen’s Water For Elephants and other goodies.  I have chosen one lucky winner with the help of random.org and the winner is…….

Michele Luker

Congratulations Michele!  An email has been sent and you have 48  hours to respond or I will have to choose another winner.

Thanks to all who entered!  Be sure to stop back soon!

Cici ♥

TGIF {5}

Thanks to Ginger over at GReads for hosting TGIF.  It seems here lately that I am punching through the week and going holy cow, TGIF!  So my posting has been lame and I am grateful that I am at least getting in on this weekly meme or I would be seriously lame!

This week’s topic is…….

Book Blogger Identity: what occupies

your time when you are not reading

and/or blogging?


That is pretty simple for me to answer, I am usually occupied with my three kids and their activities.  My 6 year old daughter is pretty active in gymnastics and I spend quite a bit of time with her between practices and meets.  I also have two older boys, 13 and 11, that stay quite busy with guitar, football and they have recently been taking improv acting courses.  Both of my boys are also active in Boy Scouts and church youth activities.  So, needless to say, I spend a lot of time with my kids and their activities.

My husband and I have also decided to remodel our house…can we say FUN?  So far it has been a blast.  I spend a bit of time talking to different contractors, then they spend a bit of time wasting a lot of time and then I get frustrated.  I just spent the morning learning how to put texture on walls because I was frustrated with the amount of time and money that would be put into a contractor.  So my other “free time” is spent trying to get my house up to par!  I will be completely honest and say, it is driving me absolutely nuts!

I keep telling myself that I will spend more time golfing, crafting, getting organized and so forth, but between my kids and house I am having  a bit of a challenge making extra time for that.  As the school year and gymnastics season is coming to a close I have had a hard time fitting in my reading and blogging.  But, I promise I will work a little harder to make the blog a priority.  I have really enjoyed blogging and I love to read and I cannot express how difficult it has been to put both on the back burner with all the activities and chaos.

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great weekend!  Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommies out there in the world!


Cici ♥

Spring Carnival Giveaway!!

Special thanks to the following blogs for hosting the Spring Blog Carnival Giveaway Hop…Candace’s Book Blog, Reading Angel, Pure Imagination, and The Book Swarm.  Be sure to visit the links at the bottom of the post during May 1-8 for the special activities and giveaways on those days!

I will be giving away to one lucky winner a copy of Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen, a fun little circus journal and a one-of-a-kind Water For Elephants bookmark!

The giveaway is simple, just leave me a comment with your email address and a little comment about your favorite spring activity or memory!  Of course I would love if you became a follower of the blog, Twitter or Facebook, but it isn’t required, but can you can add a +1 entry for each of those that you do!  Be sure to visit the other blogs on the hop and enter for your chance to win!

*This contest is open to U.S. residents only*

**Contest runs from May 1-8**

So, step right up and test your luck at the Spring Carnival Hop!

May 1st-

Reading Angel: Haunted House
Reading Teen: Fortune Tellers Booth

May 2nd-
Candace’s Book Blog: Food Court
The Mod Podge Bookshelf: House of Mirrors

May 3rd-
The Book Swarm: Roller Coaster
Actin’ Up With Books: Karaoke Booth

May 4th-
Pure Imagination: Kissing Booth
Lovely Lit: Once Upon a Time Booth

May 5th-
Awesomesauce Books: Gaming Booth
Books R Us: Medieval Booth

May 6th-
Extreme Reader Book Reviews: Guessing Booth
Colloquium: Cotton Candy Booth

May 7th-
The Minding Spot: Teacups Booth
Miss Remmers Review: It’s a Bad World Booth

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Colleen's bookshelf: to-read

Of Mice and MenAnimal FarmWhere the Sidewalk EndsThe Great GatsbyThe Catcher in the RyeTo Kill a Mockingbird

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Colleen Cook's to-read book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists