Limelight Review

TITLE: Limelight
AUTHOR: Melody Carlson
PUB DATE: October 2009
PAGES: 384


Claudette Fioré used to turn heads and break hearts. She relished the glamorous Hollywood lifestyle because she had what it takes: money, youth, fame, and above all, beauty. But age has withered that beauty, and a crooked accountant has taken her wealth, leaving the proud widow penniless and alone.

Armed with stubbornness and sarcasm, Claudette returns to her shabby little hometown and her estranged sister. Slowly, she makes friends. She begins to see her old life in a new light. For the first time, Claudette Fioré questions her own values and finds herself wondering if it’s too late to change.


I am a huge fan of Melody Carlson and I tend to devour her books rather quickly and this one was no exception. I really enjoyed reading the book.

Limelight is about Claudette who use to be the IT girl in Hollywood in her younger days. Claudette is now older and alone and wondering how she will be able to live on her own now that she has lost everything.

Claudette had it all in her younger days, the money, the servants, and staff doing her life for her. They made sure she was properly cared for and she didn’t have a care or worry in the world.

Realizing she has nothing left in Hollywood she has no choice but to head back to her old hometown and live there since she has a house she inherited. The only family she has left is her sister who is estranged from Claudette.

There was so many funny parts in the book that had you laughing out loud and wondered how will Claudette pull herself up from it. But she does perhaps not with grace.

I have to say that I had a hard time to put the book down Claudette sucked me in and I had to continue reading to find out if Claudette could actually rise above it all and come out the strong person that she is. She does and doesn’t let anything stand in her way.

To buy the book you can go here:

This book was provided for review by Water Brook Multnomah.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

Of All The Stupid Things Review

TITLE: of all the stupid things
AUTHOR: Alexandra Diaz
PUB DATE: December 2009
PAGES: 258

When a rumor starts circulating that Tara’s boyfriend Brent has been sleeping with one of the guy cheerleaders, the innuendo doesn’t just hurt Tara. It marks the beginning of the end for an inseparable trio of friends. Tara’s training for a marathon, but also running from her fear of abandonment after being deserted by her father. Whitney Blaire seems to have everything, but an empty mansion and absentee parents leave this beauty to look for meaning in all the wrong places. And Pinkie has a compulsive need to mother everyone to make up for the mom she’s never stopped missing. This friendship that promised to last forever is starting to break under the pressure of the girls’ differences.

And then new-girl Riley arrives in school with her long black hair, athletic body, and her blasé attitude, and suddenly Tara starts to feel things she’s never felt before for a girl–and to reassess her feelings about Brent and what he may/may not have done. Is Tara gay–or does she just love Riley? And can her deepest friendships survive when all of the rules have changed?


This is Alexandra’s debut novel. I enjoyed reading the book.

The book is told from the alternating points of view of three best friends and they are Tara, Whitney Blair and Pinkie. They are all high school students.

This is the opening line of the book “Of all the stupid things he could have done, Brent Staple had to go and do that.” In reading just that I had to find out what Brent had done. What did Brent do that was so stupid?

We quickly discover that Tara’s relationship with Brent isn’t so picture perfect as she thinks it is. Her best friend Whitney Blair is quick to tell Tara about a rumour she heard about Brent. Apparently this rumor is that Brent cheated on Tara. We all know that is bad enough but when Tara discovers that the person he supposedly cheated with isn’t a girl but a guy cheerleader. This news devastates Tara. She decided to move on and try to leave Brent and that rumor behind her.

Then suddenly a new girl named Riley moves to town and Tara is instantly drawn to her. I have to admit when I was reading it I kept saying to myself Tara watch out she isn’t who she seems to be.

Tara’s friends accuse Riley of being gay and that Tara is choosing her over her friends. Tara actually begins to questions her friendships with Whitney Blair and Pinkie wondering if they are really true friends and her own sexuality. Everything in Tara’s live is suddenly turned upside down. Is Tara gay? Can this friendship saved?

This book was provided for review by Egmont USA.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

Witch & Wizard Review

TITLE: Witch & Wizard
AUTHOR: James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet
PUB DATE: December 2009
PAGES: 320

The world is changing: the government has seized control of every aspect of society, and now, kids are disappearing. For 15-year-old Wisty and her older brother Whit, life turns upside down when they are torn from their parents one night and slammed into a secret prison for no reason they can comprehend. The New Order, as it is known, is clearly trying to suppress Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Being a Normal Teenager. But while trapped in this totalitarian nightmare, Wisty and Whit discover they have incredible powers they’d never dreamed of.


I am a huge James Patterson fan and this is my first young adult book of his that I have read. I have to admit that I have no idea why I haven’t read his other YA books but I will be now.

I really enjoyed this book and it was true Patterson form. Quick chapters that left me wanting to keep reading. I had a hard time putting the book down.

I was trying to find out more information about the book and if it was going to be a series but couldn’t find anything apart from this being book one. So it looks like there will be another book. Which I am really excited for because the ending left me wanting more.

The book is about Wisty and her brother Whit. They are basically your typical teenagers until one day The New Order bursts into their home and arrests them. The New Order is a new in town and they are hell bent on giving the world a whole new look out. The first task of the N.O is to rid the world of misfits and the undesirables.

Wisty and Whit go in front of the judge and are set to be exacuted on their 17th birthdays. They are confused and wonder why they are arrest in the first place. They are told they have magical powers.

Before long they discover that they do have magical powers and they are determined to get out of the N.O control and look for their parents. Will they manage to break out of jail? Are their parents still alive? Can they really trust the group they are with? Will they be able to gain control of their powers?

This book was provided for review by Miriam at Little Brown/HBG. Thanks Miriam for sending me an ARC of the book.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

Here’s The Deal: Don’t Touch Me Review

TITLE: Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me
AUTHOR: Howie Mandel & Josh Young
PUB DATE: November 24, 2009
PAGES: 240
GENRE: Humour & Autobiography/Biography

A frank, funny, no-holds-barred memoir that reveals the Deal or No Deal host’s ongoing struggle with OCD and ADHD–and how it has shaped his life and career.

Howie Mandel is one of the most recognizable names in entertainment–respected by his peers and beloved by audiences as the host of the enormously popular prime-time game show Deal or No Deal. With a career that spans three decades and many different show-business platforms–he’s a renowned stand-up comedian who continues to perform more than 150 sold-out shows a year, he created the award-winning TV show Bobby’s World, he’s starred in feature films and the hit TV series St. Elsewhere, and he’s also hosted his own daytime talk show–he’s one of the most versatile performers anywhere. But there are aspects of his personal and professional life he’s never talked about publicly–until now.

Eleven years ago, Mandel first told the world about his “germophobia.” He’s recently started discussing his adult ADHD as well. Now, for the first time, he reveals the details of his struggle with these challenging disorders. He catalogs his numerous fears and neuroses and shares entertaining stories about how he has tried to integrate them into his act. “If I’m making myself laugh,” he writes, “then I’m distracted from all the other things going on in my head that are, at times, torturous.” And he speaks frankly and honestly about the ways his condition has affected his personal life–as a son, husband, and father of three.

Fans who’ve been dying to know “the deal” behind Mandel’s remarkable rise through the show-business ranks will be rewarded with many never-before-told anecdotes, each one generously leavened with Mandel’s trademark humor. There are tales from every phase of his colorful career–from his early days as a teenage carpet salesman and aspiring stand-up comic to his stint opening for Diana Ross, his six years on St. Elsewhere, and beyond.

As heartfelt as it is hilarious, Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me is the story of one man’s effort to draw comic inspiration out of his darkest, most vulnerable places. It’s sure to please Howie Mandel’s legion of fans–and provide hope to the millions who strive to succeed in spite of OCD and ADHD.

I have to admit that I normally don’t read biographies but when I heard that Howie Mandel had written a book I was dying to read it. I have been a huge fan of Howie’s for the longest time and still am to this very day.

Howie’s book called Here’s The Deal Don’t Touch Me is a very personal and in your face book about Howie’s OCD and ADHD and how it affected his life and how he deals with it.

I was laughing through out the book. Howie is a kid at heart and admits to taking his practical jokes a little too far at times. So much so that his wife, Terry has issued a 5 mile radius from the house. There is even a chapter about it.

One of the funny tales he tells was when he was a teenager and being invited to a party. The party had moved to another room leaving Howie and another boy alone so Howie came up with the idea to remove all the photos that lined a wall. He even went as far as removing a nail so when the girl tried to put the photos back up she was left with one photo still to hang and she didn’t realize there was a nail missing and worked at it but still couldn’t figure out what was going on.

Howie just doesn’t play practical jokes on unsuspecting people or friends he even includes his family into them. He has mentioned a few funny things that involved his children. (Jackie, Alex and Riley)

I realized that Howie and I are very similiar about camping and roughing it for us is staying in a hotel that doesn’t offer 24 hour room service. I have never been a camper and camping just doesn’t appeal to me. He recounts the time he took his daughter to go and pick up floaties and Jackie saw tents. Curious about them she asked Howie about them and he promised he would take her camping. At this point I was thinking okay Howie is a germophob how in the world is he going to go camping? Well his solution was go camping in his back yard and then once his daughter was asleep he would bring her back into the house and he would sleep in his own bed.

This was a funny book and one that I really enjoyed reading. It was nice to be able to read about the man and what his life is like living with OCD. Simple things we take for granted and don’t think twice about causes Howie much stress in his life.

Also included in the book is various photos in color and black & white. I have to admit that I like Howie with no hair.

Check out Howie’s official site

If you want to buy the book you can go toRandom House Canada.

This finished copy of the book was provided for review by Jess from Random House Canada. Thank You so much Jess for sending the book to me.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

Books I have read in 2009

Hard to believe another year has ended. What a year it has been. Here is my list of books that I have read through out the year.

Anything with * is books not included in the 100+ Reading challenge.

The Misadventures of Oliver Booth by David Desmond
The Kings of Innocence by Michael Burns
The First Person & other Stories by Ali Smith
The Bishop’s Daughter by Tiffany L. Warren
Cross County by James Patterson
Daughter of Mine by Laura Fabiani
The Debs by Susan McBride
*You’re my woman because…by Patrick J. Murphy & You’re my guy because…by Patricia Storm
Across the Pond by Storyheart
Art of Compassion
No more us For You by David Hernandez

Kiss me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson
Kisses & Lies by Lauren Henderson
The Crazy School by Cornelie Read
Mixed Bags #1 by Melody Carlson
Stealing Bradford #2 by Melody Carlson
Home Coming Queen #3 by Melody Carlson
Viva Vermont #4 by Melody Carlson
Lost in Las Vegas #5 by Melody Carlson
*How not to look old by Charla Krupp
*Great Hair by Nick Arrojo
The Dead Guy by Doug Hewitt
Sum: Forty Tales by David Eagleman

Run For Your Life by James Patterson
The Spare Room by Helen Garner
Letters between Us by Linda Radar Overman
Not so simply Life #1 by Melody Carlson
Its a Green Thing #2 by Melody Carlson
The Next big Thing by Johanna Edwards
*Every day Indian Cookbook

Professor’s Wife Club by Joanne Rendell
Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn
Kitty goes to Washington by Carrie Vaughn
An Offer You Can’t Refuse by Jill Mansell
This One is Mine by Maria Semple
The Girl She used to be by David Cristofano
Secrets to Happiness by Sarah Dunn
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
Life Cycles by Neil Killion
Hindsight: What you need to know
Stop The Traffik
New York Debute #6 by Melody Carlson

Muder by Family by Kent Whitaker
What’s the best you can do? by Derek Rowlinson
Always Watching by Brandilyn Collins
Four Corners of the sky by Michael Malone
Klepto by Lori Weber
Split by Lori Weber
Tattoo Heaven by Lori Weber
Strange beauty by Lori Weber
Holly’s Inbox by Bill Surie

Last Night in Montreal by Emily St.John Mandel
Neil Armstrong is my uncle by Nan Marino
The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns by Elizabeth Leikne
Call me Mimi by Francis Chalifour & Worst Case Scenerio Book
Would you by Marthe Jocelyn
Dear Jo by Christina Kilbourne
Miranda’s Big Mistake by Jill Mansell
They called me red by Christina Kilbourne
The Chosen one by Carol Lynch Williams
Swimsuit by James Patterson

The Castaways by Erin Hilderbrand
Dead until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Two Years, No Rain by Shawn Klompareno
The Debs: Love, Lies and Texas Dip by Susan McBride
Summer House by Nancy Thayer

Obama’s Blackberry by Kasper Hauser
Truth or Dare #1 by Nicole O’Dell
All that Glitters #2 by Nicole O’Dell
The Hope of Refuge by Cindy Woodsmall
Undiscovered Gyrl by Allison Burnett
To Tempt the Wolf by Terry Spear
How it Ends by Laura Weiss
Millie’s Fing by Jill Mansell
The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

Bran Hambric: The Fairfield Curse by Kaleb Nation
Willow by Julia Hoban
Three Weddings and a Bar Mitzvah by Melody Carlson
Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
The Awakening by Kelley Armstron
The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall
Camp Fossil Eyes by Mark Abley
Good Neighbors Book 1 by Holly Black
Good Neighbors Book 2 by Holly Black
I am neurotic & So are you by Lianna Kong
Spiderwick Chronicles Book 1 by Holly Black
After the Moment by Garrett Freyman Neyer
Thanksgiving at the Inn by Tim Whitney
*Make A-Head Meals by Jane Dorion
*Simon’s Cat by Scott Tofield

Medina Hill by Tribly Kent
Tell me Something true by Leila Cobo
Step Back From the Baggage Claim by Jason Barger
Tyranny by Lesley Fairfield
Sins of the Fles by Caridad Pineiro
What Matters Most Book 3 by Melody Carlson
The Christmas Dog by Melody Carlson
The Housekeeper & Professor by Yoko Ogawa
Your Family Constitution by Scott Gale
Ripley’s Believe it or not

Limelight by Melody Carlson
The Christmas Secret by Donna VanLiere
The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman
Perfect Timing by Jill Mansell
All I Have to Give by Melody Carlson
More Pages from The Red Suit Diaries by Ed Butchart
Of All the Stupid Things by Alexandra Diaz
Witch and Wizard by James Patterson
Don’t Touch Me by Howie Mandel

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

All I have to Give Review

TITLE: All I Have to Give
AUTHOR: Melody Carlson
PUB DATE: July 2008
ISBN: 978-08007-1882-4
PUBLISHER: Revell Books
PAGES: 176

From the Inside Flap
What would you do to make Christmas special? Anna wants this to be the best Christmas ever, and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish that. But what happens when everything and everyone around her seems to be falling apart? Is this destined to be the worst Christmas ever? Fortunately for her, as often happens at this time of year, there are miracles in store. Just when Anna’s happy holidays look hopeless, the magic of Christmas works its way into her life. And what she unwraps for Christmas will surprise everyone.

From the Back Cover
What does it take to make the perfect Christmas? A picture-perfect tree? Piles of brightly wrapped presents? A sumptuous spread on a gorgeous table? Take some time this Christmas to rediscover what it means to give–and receive–the gift of pure love. It may not be what you expect, but it might be just what you need.

As you already know by now I am a huge fan of Melody Carlson and can pretty much devour her books in one sitting. This one was no exception I managed to finish in it about 2 hours.

The book opens up with Anna and Meredith talking about their martial relationships while they are cleaning up after Thanksgiving dinner. Anna thinks her husband is going through a midlife crisis’s. She thinks this because he has been distant and distracted lately.

As she is putting away her grandmother’s good china, Michael suggests that they make the baby’s room into a home office. Anna has been pregnant in the past but always ends up loosing the baby. This upsets her.

Anna has this nagging feeling something is wrong and she thinks she has cancer because that is what her mother died of. She research’s online and realizes she has some of the symptoms. She can’t go to the dr because they have no health insurance. She doesn’t tell Michael but makes it her mission for them to have the best Christmas ever because its been a few years since they have made a big fuss over it.

Anna begins to wonder if Michael is cheating on her and in all honesty I was beginning to think that yes he was cheating on her because he was always working late (he started his own business) and when she would call the office he wasn’t there, when she went to the office he wasn’t there when he said he was going there, he was spotted hanging out at a college coffee shop, and many other things. I felt bad for Anna because she was going through this all on her own.

No one knows what Anna is going through until she lets it slip to her sister who demands she goes to the doctors right way, health insurance or not. Meredith suddenly realizes something about Anna’s symptoms and puts two and two together and realizes that Anna might not have cancer but something else. Something that is much more exciting.

I really enjoyed the book and would recommend the book to anyone who wanted a love story this holiday season. Its not one of the mushy romance ones but a heartful loving one.

This book was a book that I won from Revell and I wasn’t asked to review it but I am only because any book I read I review.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

The Christmas Dog Review

TITLE: The Christmas Dog
AUTHOR: Melody Carlson
PUB DATE: September 2009


In The Christmas Dog, Betty Kowalski is not looking forward to Christmas at all. Disgruntled over her neighbor’s home “improvements” which involve an old pink toilet parked in his yard, Betty is sadly lacking in the good cheer department. And when a scruffy mutt keeps coming to her door, Betty gets fed up. Add to this a runaway granddaughter, and Betty feels like she’s up to her ears in troubles. But sometimes it’s the difficulties that bring the biggest rewards.


I am a huge Melody Carlson fan and I am slowly starting to read her previous books and I always devour her books when I read them. I always jump for joy whenever I am asked to review her books. You don’t have to ask me twice.

The Christmas Dog was a sweet and fun book to read. I also have to say at 170 pages it was a quick and light read. The right book to get you into the holiday spirit.

I felt like I could relate to Betty Kowalski because she is having a hard time getting in the mood for Christmas. (That has been me lately). Betty is an elderly lady (her husband died a few years ago and she is lonely) and she is spending Christmas by herself. She is afraid to go away for the holidays and leaver her house alone because of her new crazy neighbor Jack.

But its not what it looks like because she thinks that Jack is just the worst neighbor you could have. When one day a puppy appears in her back yard she presumes its Jack’s dog. Only because the puppy is between both houses. She thinks its Jacks and Jack thinks its hers.

Suddenly Betty’s grand daughter turns up at her house. Betty knows she has run away. (although you really can’t say she ran away because she is an adult) Betty allows her granddaughter to stay with her while she figures things out.

Avery sees the dog and instantly falls in love with it and decides that she will take care of the dog because neither Betty or Jack is. She even names the dog Ralph. Ralph is like a free spirit that likes to wonder off and one day he does just that. Betty has had enough of the dog and brings him to the shelter. When Avery finds out she isn’t happy and suddenly Betty realizes what she has done and tries to correct it but its too late.

Is it possible for Betty and Jack to get along? Is it possible for Ralph to make everyone see whats going on? Can Avery ever forgive Betty for what she has done?

If you are looking for a great holiday book then I have to say that this will make the great gift for that special someone on your list.


Melody Carlson is the prolific author of more than 200 books, including The Christmas Bus and All I Have to Give. She recently was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books. She lives with her husband in Oregon

This book was provided for review by Baker Publishing Group/Revell.
“Available at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.