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.


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 ♥

Farewell to Borders

As many of you may have heard, many Borders stores will be closing due to the company’s declaration of bankruptcy.  If you haven’t heard about this you can catch up here.  I really enjoy going to my local Borders and just hanging out.  When I have time I like to browse through the many shelves of books and displays.  When I am fortunate enough to have time to myself, I like to grab a book or a magazine and sit in the quiet and read.  While taking a college class I even chose Borders to do my observation at.  It was one of the best classes I had taken and I think that I picked one of the best places to observe human interaction!

I make a weekly trip down to Norman to check out my what’s new at my Borders store and to pick up a book or two.  When the news broke of stores closing, I was super shocked and wanted to make sure that my Borders wasn’t going to get the axe.  Thankfully, being surrounded by OU is keeping my Borders open!  *Yay!  Happy dance!*  Unfortunately, my back-up store, the one that usually gets the authors to come visit, isn’t so lucky.  It is closing and selling EVERYTHING, yes everything, in the store.

With much sadness over the closing of the store there was some joy in the discounted books!  I couldn’t help myself!  I was a little late for the sale but I was hoping to still get some books that I have on my To Be Read list (that will be a future post).  I have been  scoping out a bunch of books by Ellen Hopkins that I was really hoping snag at a great price.  Unfortunately all her books were completely cleaned off of the shelf.  Should be a good sign for her!  Bad news for me :(.

Not all was lost that trip to Borders, as I certainly was able to find a few books to grab.  One of the books that I picked up that I am really, really looking forward to is A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick.  So I snagged a few other books at a great discount as well as some other goodies that I always enjoy…I will share those all with you soon!

Is your Borders store closing?  If you haven’t seen the big going out of business sign and aren’t quite sure, you can check here!  If you get a chance, take some time and run into a Borders and pick up a few good reads.  If yours is closing you can pick up a few bookshelves and wire display racks too!

Haven is out TODAY!

I am not quite sure what it is about this book, but I have been excited for it to be released so that I can FINALLY read it!  I saw Haven by Kristi Cook on a list of Debut authors and immediately was intrigued and knew that would be the book I chose for my February Debut Author Challenge read and review!

Haven is out today!!  Yeah!!  Here is a little bit about the book…

A chilling destiny she can’t escape.

A devastating love she can’t resist.

Violet McKenna isn’t a normal girl with normal teenage issues; she has more to contend with than most people could handle. Violet thought she was just crazy when she had a vivid vision of her dad’s murder. Her life started falling apart when her premonition came true. She’s had flashes of other events too–the problem was nobody believed her until she found a new school: Winterhaven.

At Winterhaven, Violet finally feels like she belongs. She quickly finds a close group friends and discovers that they too have psychic ‘gifts’—as do all the students at Winterhaven. But as soon as she feels settled she discovers the most intriguing and alluring boy she has ever met, and things quickly go awry. As the attraction between them grows, intense visions of the boy’s death start to haunt her. In her premonitions, the secret he is unwilling to share begins to reveal itself. And to Violet’s horror, she learns that their destinies are intertwined in a critical–and deadly–way…

Excited yet?????  I am!  Join me in reading this great book…let me know what you think!  My review will be coming soon!

Be sure to check out Kristi’s website and her Facebook page.

February 22nd, 2011 Books, Everyday, everything 0 Comment

This week on Cici’s Theories…

A couple of things coming up this week…

  • FEBRUARY!  I love February, aside from it being cold it is the month of my favorite color-RED!  It is the month of LOVEand all around us there are hearts, chubby little cherubs, x’s and o’s and of course the other ex’s and oh’s too…but who doesn’t love Valentine’s?  I love making the cute little boxes with my kids and enjoy them reading their little cards from classmates and friends…just puts a smile on my face and warmth in my heart!  OH, and lastly, little Necco conversation hearts-YUM!
  • Photos will be posted for Two, yes TWO giveaways for the month of February!!  Hoping you all will share with my site with your friends! 
  • A great chance for you to get YOUR questions answered as I look to you for unique questions for two, yes TWO author interviews (and more GIVEAWAYS) that are coming soon!!
  • HUGE, HUGE snowstorm is making its way across the country and I am told it will be making a guest appearance here in Oklahoma City.  How much snow?  Well, it is hard to say, if you aren’t happy with the total one weatherman is predicting, all you have to do is change the channel and you can take your chances on his total…
  • My review of To Die For will be posted.

It is going to be a busy week, but it should be loads of fun!

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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