The good news? Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer was my favorite of the first three. The bad news? I’m still not buying into the Twilight phenomenon. The story has a love triangle, which is interesting until it becomes a bit too boring and tepid. Jacob the wolf and Edward the vampire each vie for Bella’s love, but the two must learn to work together when Bella’s life is in great danger. Bella, worried about who is after her, thinks becoming a vampire herself will be the only way she can be safe again- and protect her family as well. I don’t think I’ll be spoiling this for anyone when I say that Bella chooses Edward as her soul mate, and they begin planning a wedding, to the happiness of the Cullen clan.
It took awhile (three very long books) but Bella finally begins to show some backbone in Eclipse. She stands up for herself again Jacob, and even is firm with Edward. That was nice to see. But she still lets Edward basically take her hostage during the weekend, and dismantle her truck so she can’t get away. I didn’t like that part. And honestly, there were a lot times where I was wishing she would end up with Jacob. He just seemed so much nicer than Edward, less controlling and moody. But what do I know about being seventeen and finding my “eternal love?” Not much I guess.
There were also a lot of things I did like about this book. It was much faster paced than the first two, which made me want to applaud. The action was there, making me more invested in the story and the characters. I liked the background Meyer provides on the other Cullen’s, which I do think was a bit overdue. I am not in any anticipation to read the fourth and final book. If it is offered to me, I will probably read it, but I will not buy it.
In My Mailbox: Week of February 27
Title: Tales From the Yoga Studio
Received: From Rubyna Mansuri @ FSB Associates
Synopsis: The yoga studio is where daily cares are set aside, mats are unfurled, and physical exertion leads to well-being, renewal, and friendship. An aggressively expanding chain of Los Angeles yoga “experience centers,” has Lee and her extraordinary teaching abilities in its sights. They woo her with a lucrative contract, a trademarked name for her classes, and a place for her handsome musician husband. But accepting the contract means abandoning the students at the homey studio Lee runs in L.A.’s Silver Lake district- and leaving behind four women whose friendships are suddenly more important to her than retirement benefits and a salary increase.
Tales from the Yoga Studio is an insider’s look at the current obsession with yoga, told with enough humor, wit, and warmth to charm and delight readers, whether or not they’ve ever done a Downward Dog.
Author: Cathleen Holst
Received: From Cathleen Holst
Synopsis: Cheating boyfriend aside, Everleigh Carlisle picks up the shattered pieces of her life, determined to put them back together. On a whim, Everleigh and her BFF Christina visit a voodoo priestess while celebrating Mardi Gras in the Big Easy, where an unspoken wish is granted, unknowingly altering the course of Everleigh’s life. Two years later, her dreams are set to come true when she lands her dream job as a columnist for New York’s premiere fashion magazine, Trés Magnifique. Everleigh’s life quickly becomes complicated when her ex re-declares his love for her, and she meets Robert Cates, only to discover three things: 1)She is extremely attracted to him. 2) She has the bizarre ability to hear his thoughts. 3) He is her new boss. Everleigh takes a long awaited bite from the Big Apple, but are her eyes bigger than her appetite?
Author: Erin Brockovich & CJ Lyons
Received: From CJ Lyons
Synopsis: Ten years ago, Angela Joy Palladino left home as a pregnant seventeen-year-old in trouble. Now, after winning and losing a career as an environmental activist, dubbed by the media as “The People’s Champion,” she hopes to start over by taking a new job with a lawyer who is fighting to stop mountain top removal mining.
As a single mom of a special needs nine-year-old boy, Angela is happy for any work she can get, even if it means returning to the West Virginia hometown she left in disgrace. But when her new boss turns up dead and his daughter’s life is threatened, Angela discovers that her own secrets aren’t the only ones her mountain hometown has kept buried.
Hitting rock bottom, Angela must face the betrayal of those once closest to her and confront the harrowing past she thought she had left behind.
Author: Cassandra O’Sullivan Sachar
Received: From Cassandra O’Sullivan Sachar
Synopsis: Told through the eyes of Candace Turner, a high school English teacher straight out of college, Little Miss Teacher details one woman’s struggles through the important initial stages of her career and her life as a grown-up. While teaching her students about writing and literature, Candace learns her own lessons about life. As she worries about fitting in with the faculty and conquering piles of essays to grade, Candace also pursues an old crush. Through her endless attempts to succeed in both her job and life, she has many adventures within and outside of her classroom walls. Ultimately, Candace hopes to finish the school year with a feeling of triumph at having touched the lives of her students… and having survived.
In the vein of both Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus’s The Nanny Diaries and Lauren Weisberger’s The Devil Wears Prada, Little Miss Teacher is a story about a young woman dealing with the ups and downs of work and life. In experiences that are sometimes amusing and sometimes sad, Candace endures everything from chaperoning the prom to helping a friend deal with a problem. In her earnest, self-conscious, conversational manner, Candace gives a voice and an all-access pass to the often embarrassing life of a young educator.
Chef Nancy Waldeck offered to send me Taste and Savor, her cookbook that features fabulous healthy recipes along with wine pairings to complement the meals. If you follow my blog, you probably already know that I am no master in the kitchen- I need all the help I can get! So I have been so fortunate that people are now sending me their cookbooks. Taste and Savor is one of the most unique cookbooks that I have looked through. The recipes are healthy, and more importantly- it doesn’t take a chef to re-create them. As a beginning wino, I loved the idea that Nancy told which wines would work for certain dishes, and gave a background on different wines. Not only did I find some great recipes, but I also learned a lot from reading the pages. I think the cover is beautiful, and the cookbook is light and easy to carry around if you would want to take it to the grocery store with you. Or it looks beautiful in the kitchen, waiting to be used. Another great idea in Taste and Savor is the bonus Get Creative ideas. I would definitely recommend this cookbook to everyone, whether you are a beginner in the kitchen or more advanced.
Millie Brady unexpectedly befriends best-selling novelist Oral Hart the afternoon that Millie gets dumped. Orla, suffering from a writing slump after a scathing review of her latest novel, decides Millie is just what she needs to get her creative juices flowing again. She proposes an idea to Millie regarding her next novel, and makes an offer Millie can’t refuse. As the heroine of Orla’s next romance novel, Millie’s needs a man- or two or three- to spice up her love life.
Millie’s Fling by Jill Mansell is light-hearted and comical. This novel follows all the chick lit guidelines, which made it a tad predictable, but there were some interesting plot twists to keep me on my toes. There was one major reason why I can’t say I love this book. For the first half, the story is told in Millie’s point of view- and only Millie’s. But then suddenly, everyone’s views were in the book! Orla, Millie’s mom, friend, and love interest, were all getting to speak their mind. I was thrown through a loop because I didn’t understand how suddenly I was out of Millie’s head, into Orla’s, then back out again. And there was nothing to break up the POV’s, not a new chapter or even a break in the story. The editor in me was screaming no, no, no!! If it wasn’t for that, I would have rated the book higher, but with conflicting POV’s I just couldn’t do it.
Bio: Stephenie Meyer graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in English. She lives with her husband and three young sons in Phoenix, Arizona. After the publication of her first novel, Twilight, booksellers chose Stephenie Meyer as one of the “most promising new authors of 2005″ (Publishers Weekly). She has since written follow-ups to Twilight, and a novel for adults. The Twilight series came to the box office in 2008, and debuted at #1.
Titles: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, and The Host.
Bio Retrieved from stepheniemeyer.com
As everyone could see from my review of Twilight, I didn’t fall for the story and become a Twihard. But, because a friend had loaned me the first three books, I decided to give it another try and read New Moon. I will say that I liked New Moon better than Twilight, but I still didn’t find it that enjoyable of a read.
The story picks up with Bella Swan, now the girlfriend of Edward Cullen and in on the vampire family secret. The Cullen’s are helping Bella celebrate her birthday, but the festivities go terribly wrong after Bella cuts herself and draws blood. Even though the Cullen’s do not go after humans, the scent is too much for the family. Edward understands that Bella is putting her life on the line by staying with him, so he does the only thing he feels is right- and flees. Bella is heartbroken, going through life in a haze for months. While she is still mourning over the loss of her eternal love, she meets Jacob Black, who brings a ray of sunlight into her bleak world. Jacob quickly becomes her best friend, and maybe even a love interest for Bella. But can she possibly love someone other than Edward?
Again, I liked this better than the first novel, but it still wasn’t great. I just don’t feel that Bella is that relatable of a character, and at times she just seems a bit pathetic. I wanted to shake her and tell her to snap out of it throughout most of the pages. While the action was missing from Twilight, it still doesn’t seem to be found here, and the writing is much more melodramatic and a little dark. And the same descriptive words were used again and again. Better than Twilight, but only by a half star.
Add another celebrity to the bump watch! Actress Alyssa Milano is pregnant, People.com has confirmed. This will be the first child for the Who’s The Boss and Charmed alum, who is due in the early fall. Milano, 38, married husband Dave Bugliari, 32, in August 2009. Bugliari works as an agent at the Creative Artists Agency.
Photo Credit: Alex J Beliner/BEImages
Bio: Dee DeTarsio is a television writer living in southern California. After growing up in Ennui, Ohio, she attended Ohio State University. After graduation, she ended up in Tucson, Arizona, producing the news for the CBS affiliate called KOLD-TV. She moved to San Diego where she worked in the SeaWorld entertainment department as a Producer/Writer, and then became a Producer/Writer with NBC for a live, comedy/variety show.
Currently: Dee still lives in San Diego with her husband John, a Director of Photography, and their two children Tyler and Gianna. She is also working on her third novel, Ros.
Titles: Til Somebody Loves You and The Scent of Jade
See my review of The Scent of Jade
Bio Retrieved from kindle-author.blogspot.com
Elizabeth Stevens is turning thirty-five alone and single. If that wasn’t bad enough, she also has to bake the wedding cake for her ex-husband and the woman he left her for. Her partner at their bakery A Taste of Magic booked the event without knowing, and the bakery is in serious need for cash and clients, so the Liz refused to turn them down. Then, her grandmother, kooky Grandma Verda, reveals to Liz that she has inherited magical powers on her birthday. Turns out, Liz is from a line of gypsies, and now the magic has been passed down to her. But she needs to find a way to control her gifts, because simple mistakes can lead to drastic changes for her family and friends. On top of that, Liz is trying to balance between the hunky cop neighbor and her perfect boyfriend material trainer, while juggling her overly nosy family and damn ex husband.
A Taste of Magic by Tracy Madison is cute and quite funny at times. Liz is very relatable, well, besides the whole gypsy magic part, but other than that, she is very down to earth and women would be able to connect with her. I liked the humor in some of the scenes, but the writing didn’t sit well with me. Madison tends to jump forward then back in the timeline of events, often confusing me. And there were a few plot points that I thought were simply unnecessary and could have been cut out. I thought Liz’s character was well built, but some of the supporting characters needed more development. Overall, it was a light read, not my favorite, and the writing needed to be sharper. I know A Taste of Magic is the first in this series, and I hope the others are more engaging.
I’m sure we’ve all heard that we need to drink eight glasses of water a day. Many celebrities boast that their camel like habits gives them great skin and trim waistlines. And doctors say that drinking water can reduce hunger, help us be more productive, and helps with digestion. All great reasons to drink eight glasses of water a day right?
So last week, I decided to keep count of how much water I consume each day. I usually drink only water at work, I rarely buy juice or soda, and have more water again in the evenings with my workouts. I was sure I drank at least eight glasses, if not more. I placed a check mark on my post-it each time another glass was consumed. On my first day of recording, I had only drunk three glasses! I had a glass in the morning with breakfast, another with lunch, and another during my afternoon break. I didn’t have any at home. So the next day, I tried to pay attention, and keep my water bottle filled at all times. I still only drank five glasses that day. I was shocked- I thought my water consumption was much higher. In order to start reaching eight glasses a day, I filled my water bottle right when I came to work, before I even started my computer. Each time my glass became empty, I would fill it again. I also started cutting back on my soda consumption, because I would substitute them with water. It became a game to me, making sure I could check off each glass each day. Now, I am much more aware of much water I drink. I challenge you to try to get to eight glasses a day as well. Start by seeing what you consume in an average day, and find ways to add in more. That may mean cutting back on your coffee drinks or sugary juices, but will only benefit you in other places. Good luck!