Saturday, October 25, 2008

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month

Go to fullsize image

Before this month ends, I want to say my thing about breast cancer, since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

When I was in my early 20s (1985 :-O), my future mother-in-law died just a week before my wedding. She died of breast cancer, which had gone to the lungs. I didn't know her well, but from what I did know, she was a very kind woman who loved her family, and was deeply loved by them. She was probably at that time just in her late 40s/early 50s. She had fought breast cancer for many years, but it finally got too far. RIP Colleen Showers.

And then... my current husband's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999. On my wedding day, she had just finished up her chemo, was at my wedding in her wig, but with high spirits. We were all so hopeful. And then, in the spring of 2003, they found the cancer again, this time in her bones and liver. We heard the news just days after my second miscarriage. The last time I saw her, she was so sick, and I was 5 months pregnant. At least she knew her first born was going to be a father before she died. But, she didn't live to see Lydia. She was one of the dearest women I've ever know, and I'm so sorry that my daughter will never know her wonderful, beautiful grandmother. RIP Jean Ostromek.

Just now, I got a phone call - my dad's cousin, Linda, has just been diagnosed with bone cancer - without knowing the details for sure, I'm willing to bet anything it's breast cancer that has metastized. She went through treatment for breast cancer about 5 years ago. My heart is absolutely breaking for her right now.

And yet - I have a friend who has passed the 5 year cancer-free mark! Yay Jan!!!

The charity I donate to is the Susan G. Komen foundation. Maybe because they started locally, maybe because I try to do their annual walk/run each year, or maybe because I just like them and think they do a good job.

Anyway, I urge all of you to get your mammogram each year if you are over 40. And for all women, do your self-exam each month - I just the other day talked to a young mom - all of 36 years old - who just finished chemo for breast cancer after finding a lump during a self exam. She told me her story as we stood and watched our 4 year old daughters in ballet class. I send a prayer out right now that she stays cancer-free.

See your doctor each year, making sure they do a breast exam. Take care of yourself and eat healthy and exercise.

Be good to yourself. You are sooooooooo worth it.

Organize Your Corpses (A Charlotte Adams Mystery) by Mary Jane Maffini

Organize Your Corpses (A Charlotte Adams Mystery) by Mary Jane Maffini

This was a great cozy! I love Charlotte and the other characters. The mystery was terrific - a total surprise, which is always fun, and sometimes pretty rare in this genre :)

I'll definitely be reading the next one!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Magic and the Modern Girl by Mindy Klasky

What I\
Magic and the Modern Girl by Mindy Klasky

Another great book in this series! I really love the way the characters are evolving as the series progresses. In this 3rd book, Jane has been so involved in her "regular" life that she's neglected her witchcraft - and this leads to serious problems! She's begun to lose her powers.

As she tries to find ways to get her powers back to full strength, she struggles with the idea that maybe she doesn't want them back - that maybe a life of "normalcy" is what she really needs.

I was thrilled when I saw that there will be a 4th book coming! I can't wait :) I give this one 4 stars!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Killer Blonde (Jaine Austen Mysteries) by Laura Levine

What I\
Killer Blonde (Jaine Austen Mysteries) by Laura Levine

I had stopped reading this series after the 2nd book for some reason - but I'm so glad I picked this one up! It's really funny, the mystery is good with a surprise resolution, I love the characters! I'll definitely be reading the next one in this series soon :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Moon (The Twilight Saga, Book 2) by Stephenie Meyer

What I\
New Moon (The Twilight Saga, Book 2) by Stephenie Meyer

I think I actually liked this one more than the first book. The plot seemed more "full," whereas in Twilight, it seemed that the book had too many places where it was just repeating itself (Bella thought Edward was so beautiful, etc.)

I have the next two books ready here to be read, and hopefully will get to them soon!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tomato Girl by Jayne Pupek

Tomato Girl by Jayne Pupek

I just now closed this book, after spending as much time as possible today reading it! This is the first book by this author and I truly hope she has more coming (I'm off to look for that in just a bit!).

This is the story of Ellie, a young 11 year old girl struggling to deal with her father's desertion and her mother's insanity. She's one of the most engaging characters I've read in a long time - so real and believable. There are many heartbreaking episodes in the book, and the author writes them with such feeling that you can't help but be completely drawn in.

I loved this book so much - and it was oddly just a whim that made me pick it up off the library's new book shelf! Thank goodness I did :) I give this one all five stars :)

Catnapped (Animal Instinct Mysteries, No. 1) by Gabriella Herkert

What I\
Catnapped (Animal Instinct Mysteries, No. 1) by Gabriella Herkert

I really enjoyed this book - the characters were great! The mystery was a little too involved, and I had trouble following it and keeping track of some of the suspects, but overall it was well done. I'll definitely read the next one, and in fact, will probably buy it the next time I'm at the bookstore!

4 stars!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Busy Reading - Not enough time to blog!

Hopefully I haven't missed a book! I took a few days and read:

Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1) by Stephenie Meyer

I really ended up enjoying this book! I had actually started it before, got about 1/2 way through it, and put it down. BUT... I kept hearing so many people say they loved it, and I had a copy of the last book, Breaking Dawn, here, so I gave it another try. And I'm glad I did!

In this first book of the series, Bella has moved from Phoenix to the Seattle area to live with her father. At her new school, she makes friends, but is intensely curious about a group of students - especially one! Of course, these are the vampires, and she falls in love with one of them.

While some parts of the story are predictable, the story is engaging. I give it 4 stars!

And then I read:

Island of Lost Girls: A Novel by Jennifer Mcmahon

I loved it!
I finished it this morning, and I've found myself thinking of it several times during the day. This is the story of Rhonda (what a beautiful name by the way, lol!) who witnesses a child's abduction by someone in a rabbit costume. She involves herself in the investigation - manning the tip lines, questioning witnesses, etc. At the same time, she remembers a summer years ago when she was a child and she begins to find connections between then and the current situation.

In some way, the author has fallen back on predictible plot lines, but the writing is so wonderful and the characters are so real, that it can easily be overlooked. I give this one an easy 4 1/2 stars.