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In my mailbox

 

This week I was surprised by the speedy delivery of a parcel from Austria. The generous Birgit sent me tons of cozies, together with my prize from one of her Etsy giveaways from her blog The Picture Garden. All I can say is if you want to get spoilt go and befriend Birgit!

I got as gift

  • All the cozies in the picture
  • 3 hairclips
  • a small clutch bag
  • a lovely necklace with a reading chair on the pendant
  • a small mirror for my purse (not shown)
  • and some prints (not shown either)

Thank you so much, Birgit!

In my mailbox collage

Now, if you would like to know how to make a collage as the one above in no time at all, check out my blog post about basic photo editing where –among other things – I introduce you to Pic Monkey!

What was in YOUR mailbox recently? 

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The Literary Giveaway Blog Hop

Literary Giveaway Blog Hop Button

Welcome to the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop!

Hopefully you are enjoying your stay at my blog and have a look around. Lately I have been reviewing a lot of cozy mysteries and cook books, but if you look at earlier posts you will find a variety of genres and topics, my reading taste is rather eclectic. If you would like to know about future giveaways and new posts in general please consider subscribing to my RSS feed or follow me on twitter. You can also add me on Google+.

With the beginning of summer we are all thinking about vacation, sun, heat and (possibly) the odd lonely island. To put everybody in the right mood I chose “Robinson Crusoe” as my giveaway. It is a used copy in the sense that we had it on our shelf, but it is unread.

Cover Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

From Goodreads:

Who has not dreamed of life on an exotic isle, far away from civilization? Here is the novel which has inspired countless imitations by lesser writers, none of which equal the power and originality of Defoe’s famous book. Robinson Crusoe, set ashore on an island after a terrible storm at sea, is forced to make do with only a knife, some tobacco, and a pipe. He learns how to build a canoe, make bread, and endure endless solitude. That is, until, twenty-four years later, when he confronts another human being.

Enter the giveaway:

To enter just leave a comment telling me what books you would take on a lonely island (no books on how to make a boat/raft etc. or how to catch fish, please!). If you comment without answering I will delete your comment in order to make it fair for all participants.

The other participants

Don’t forget to hop on to the other participating blogs! You will find the complete list on Judith’s Leeswammes’ blog. Have fun and good luck with all the giveaways.

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Non-fiction giveaway blog hop winner

You are a winner!

Thank you everybody for participating in the first non-fiction giveaway blog hop. For another chance to win non-fiction make sure you follow my blog as I am planning to launch another blog hop with non-fiction giveaways in fall. Now, on to the winner:

Random.org drawing

Random.org picked comment no. 5 which is by Suzanne from Bibliosue. Congrats, Suzanne, you won a new copy of Alain de Botton’s “A week at the airport”. I will be in touch shortly. Happy reading!

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The non-fiction giveaway blog hop

The Non-Fiction Giveaway Blog Hop

Welcome to the first non-fiction giveaway blog hop. Non-fiction is a sadly neglected topic among book bloggers as most of us are mainly talking about fiction. So here we are to give non-fiction its much needed exposure. I am sure you will find a a book about a topic you would like to know more about among the participants’ giveaways. Make sure you visit all of them and sign up for their giveaways. After all…

"You know, everybody’s ignorant, just on different subjects."

~Will Rogers

You will find a list of the participating blogs below my giveaway.

What am I giving away?

week-at-the-airport

It’s a new copy of Alain de Botton’s “A week at the airport”. You can read my review of it here.

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment with your name and email and tell me what’s your favourite non-fiction topic, and your favourite book about it.

The giveaway is international and closes on April 29.

Now start hopping on to the other participants:

Rikki’s Teleidoscope (Int’l) – this is where you are right now

The Book Garden (Int’l)

Curiosity killed the bookworm (Int’l)

Ex urbanis (Int’l)

Bookchickdi (Int’l & US)

Snow Feathers (Int’l)

Buku-Buku Didi (Int’l)

Doing Dewey (US)

Saving in seconds (US)

 

Have fun and good luck!

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The Non-Fiction Giveaway Blog Hop

The Non-Fiction Giveaway Blog Hop

When I joined Birgit’s This isn’t fiction reading challenge I didn’t know that I would be going through quite a number of non-fiction books this year. I signed up for five books and already almost reached this goal and it is not even April! I know from her recent series about non-fiction that there are quite a few other non-fiction readers out there (after all somebody must buy all those tons of non-fiction books coming out every year). So, how about a non-fiction giveaway blog hop? A lot of those books are never re-read, why let them sit on the shelf and catch dust?

Join the Non-fiction giveaway blog hop and give those books to a good home where they will serve their purpose all over again! Alternatively give away a new book that you loved and want to share with other readers!

The rules:

The giveaway runs from April 26 to 29, 2013.

Everybody stipulates their own rules. One country or international, it is up to you.

The giveaway must be a non-fiction book, it can be a cook book, a craft book, a biography, it can be about whatever topic you want, as long as the content is not fictional.

Winners should be drawn within 5 days of giveaway closing and made public on your blog.

Sign up:

Please use the form below to sign up and make sure you add whether your giveaway is international or what country/continent it is limited to. Sign up closes on April 20. You will receive a reminder about the hop a few days before its start. Please, do not sign up if you do not intend to have your giveaway post up on the morning of April 26.

There is no obligation to write a sign-up post on your blog, but I would be eternally grateful if you did anyway to spread the word about this hop.

Join the Non-Fiction Giveaway Blog Hop and give a non-fiction book a new home!

"You know, everybody’s ignorant, just on different subjects."

~Will Rogers 

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The Literary Blog Hop Giveaway

Literary Giveaway Blog Hop

Welcome to the  Literary Blog Hop Giveaway!

I hope you are enjoying your stay at my blog and have a look around. If you would like to know about future giveaways and new posts in general please consider subscribing to my RSS feed or follow me on twitter. You can also add me on Google+, but I am not very active there. .

What am I giving away?

gargoyle

I am giving away a copy “The Gargoyle” by Andrew Davidson. I loved the book, and Marianne Engel is one of my favourite characters ever. I have blogged about The Gargoyle a few times already. You can compare its covers, read its beginning, read my review and see a few pictures of one of its locations which is not far from where I live. I will send the book to you via The Book Depository, so everybody who lives in a country that TBD ships to can enter.

Enter the giveaway

To enter the giveaway, please enter your details into this Google Form.

The giveaway is closed now. Random.org has picked Chantelle from Looking for the panacea as the winner. Congrats, Chantelle! 

The other participants

Don’t forget to hop on to all the other participating blogs and have fun! You will find a list on Leeswammes’ Blog. Thank you, Judith, for hosting this event again!

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Another Literary Giveaway Blog Hop is coming

Literary Giveaway Blog Hop

Once more Judith from Leeswammes’ Blog will be hosting the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop in February. It is already the seventh time she is doing that and I think I participated in each single one (yes, I checked and I did). Needless to say I will participate in this one as well. It is always fun to hop around, pick and choose which books you might want to win and get to know new blogs.

Want to join in on the fun? Hop over to Judith and sign up!

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The Literary Blog Hop giveaway winner

Random.org I still haven’t received them, but I already have a winner for my set of bookmarks. The winner is commenter no. 7 who is Caroline from Beauty is a sleeping cat (and just in case you are asking, I did not count one entry which was just a correction of an email address).

Congrats, Caroline! I will be in touch by email and will send the bookmarks off to you as soon as I can. Like I said it could take a little while, but I will not forget, promise!

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The Literary Giveaway Blog Hop

Literary Giveaway Blog Hop

Welcome to the Sixth Literary Giveaway Blog Hop!

It is great that you found your way here. I hope you are enjoying your stay at my blog and have a look around. If you would like to be notified about new posts please consider subscribing to my RSS feed or follow me on twitter. You can also add me on Google+.

What am I giving away?

Judith encouraged me to give away something different today. I digitally made this set of 2013 calendar bookmarks and I am giving away one set. However, I must let you know that I have not received my prints yet, so it will take a while before I can get the set out to the winner. But I won’t forget and I promise that you will get them before the new year, :).

Calendar Set 2013

Enter the giveaway

To enter my giveaway, simply leave a comment and tell me whether you are a bookmark user or a promoter of “dog earing”. Don’t worry, I won’t hold it against you, all the world knows I am a book abuser.

The other participants

For the other participants, please go to Leeswammes’ Blog. You will find the links to all the fifty participants there. There are great books to be won!

And now have lots of fun hopping!

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Bloggiesta giveaway winner

Only two people actually finished my Bloggiesta mini challenge about basic photo editing and posted the before and after images on their blog. So, random.org didn’t have a lot to do this time and chose the first entrant.

Random.org drawing

And the first entrant is Judith! Congrats, Judith! You won the e-book Real.Life.Photography by Rebecca Cooper. I will send you an email with the gift code.

real.life.photography 

Thank you everybody for checking out my challenge, for trying out Picmonkey and for playing.

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The Literary Giveaway Blog Hop is coming back

Literary Giveaway Blog Hop

You probably know the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop already. Judith from Leeswammes’ Blog is hosting it for the sixth time already. This fall it will take place from Oct 27 to 31 and it will a great event again, I am sure.

This is what Judith says about it:

This event is an opportunity to give away prizes and get more traffic to your blog. You will run your own giveaway, but it will be linked up to all other participants via a links list. That way, not just your readers, but also the readers from the other participating blogs will stop by your blog.

You can offer one or more books, a gift voucher (for instance, to amazon or bookdepository), or anything else related to books and reading. There is no minimum or maximum value that your prize should have.

The only restriction is that if you’re giving away a book, that it should have some literary merit. It does not have to be the most difficult classic ever, but please no romance, urban fiction or YA. Quality thrillers, poetry and non-fiction are fine, as are contemporary fiction, literary fiction and any other genres not in the categories above. If in doubt, please ask!

You can find more information about the hop and how to sign up over at Leeswammes’ Blog. What are you waiting for? It is going to be fun!

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Blogoversary giveaway #2

Blogoversary_image

And another giveaway to celebrate my blogoversary!

What am I giving away?

Today it is a used copy of Bernard Knight’s Crowner’s Quest, which is part of a great series of historical detective novels set around the end of the 12th century in England.

Cover Crowner's Quest by Bernard Knight

To enter just leave a comment for this post and tell me what other series of historical detective novels you enjoy.  The giveaway is international. Winner will be announced at the beginning of next week.

blogoversary_image_confetti
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4 year blogoversary kick off

Blogoversary image

It is four years today that I started this blog in order to have a place to rant about Laurel K. Hamilton and her Anita Blake series (which I gave up after book 9 or so when the “ardeur” set in). Since then this blog has changed its name once and the genres of books I talked about changed quite a few times as well. I prefer to keep it with Heraclitus who said that

There is nothing permanent except change.

During the course of the next week there will a few giveaways and a Quizzical Monday where you can win a small prize so make sure you check back a few times in the next days.

The lion, the witch and the wardrobeWe will kick off the blogoversary with a giveaway of a book that many of you probably know and love. I have a spare copy of C. S. Lewis “The lion, the witch and the wardrobe” to giveaway (due to a double purchase).  You can read more about The Chronicles of Narnia on this page here and my thoughts about “The lion…” here.

This giveaway will only last a couple of days, so make sure you don’t miss it!

To enter just leave a comment for this post and tell me whether you are already acquainted with Narnia and, if you are, what you thought of it.  The giveaway is international. 

The entries are closed now! 

And now, let’s celebrate!

blogoversary image confetti

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Literary Giveaway Blog Hop

Literary Giveaway Blog HopSnow falling on Cedars

Welcome to the fifth Literary Giveaway Blog Hop!

It is great that you found your way here, welcome! I hope you are enjoying your stay at my blog and have a look around. If you would like to know about future giveaways and new posts in general please consider subscribing to my RSS feed or follow me on twitter. You can also add me on Google+.

What am I giving away?

I am giving away a used copy of David Guterson’s Snow Falling on Cedars. Never heard of it? This is the blurb:

On San Piedro, an island of rugged, spectacular beauty in Puget Sound, a Japanese-American fisherman stands trial for murder. Set in 1954 in the shadow of World War II, Snow Falling on Cedars is a beautifully crafted courtroom drama, love story, and war novel, illuminating the psychology of a community, the ambiguities of justice, the racism that persists even between neighbors, and the necessity of individual moral action despite the indifference of nature and circumstance.

Above is a picture of the actual book you will be getting. It is in good condition, but it IS a used book, so please don’t expect it to be pristine!

Are you interested? Enter the giveaway below! All you need to do is answer one tiny question…:-)

Enter the giveaway

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The other participants

Don’t forget to hop on to the other participating blogs and have fun! You can find the full list at Leeswammes’ Blog. There are more than 60 participants, so what are you waiting for?

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Spring Fling Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Spring Fling Giveaway Hop!

The Spring Fling giveaway hop is hosted by I am a reader, not a writer and Eve’s Fan Garden.

I hope you are enjoying your stay at my blog and have a look around. If you would like to know about future giveaways and new posts in general please consider subscribing to my RSS feed and/or follow me on twitter.

 

Spring Fling GiveawayCover Jane and the wandering eye

What am I giving away?

I am giving away a used copy of Jane and the Wandering Eye by Stephanie Barron.

The blurb:

As Christmas of 1804 approaches, Jane Austen finds herself "insupportably bored with Bath, and the littleness of a town." It is with relief that she accepts a peculiar commission from her Gentleman Rogue, Lord Harold Trowbridge—to shadow his niece, Lady Desdemona, who has fled to Bath to avoid the attentions of the unsavoury Earl of Swithin.
But Jane’s idle diversion turns deadly when a man is discovered stabbed to death in the Theatre Royal. Adding to the mystery is an unusual object found on the victim’s body—a pendant that contains a portrait of an eye! As Jane’s fascination with scandal leads her deeper into the investigation, it becomes clear that she will not uncover the truth without some dangerous playacting of her own….

Above is a picture of the actual book you will be getting. It is in good condition, but it IS a used book, so please don’t expect it to be pristine!

Oh, and, by the way, this is the delightful and lively tale…period details bring immediacy to a neatly choreographed dance through Bath society that I asked for under No. 6 in my Quizzical Monday post here.

Enter the giveaway

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The other participants

Don’t forget to hop on to the other participating blogs and have fun!

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No strings attached giveaway hop

Welcome to the No Strings Attached Giveaway Hop!

The No strings attached giveaway hop is hosted by I am a reader, not a writer. There is no jumping through hoops in order to participate in this giveaway. One entry for everybody and no strings attached.

I hope you are enjoying your stay at my blog and have a look around. If you would like to know about future giveaways and new posts in general please consider subscribing to my RSS feed or follow me on twitter. You can also add me on Google+.

no_strings

What am I giving away?

I am giving away a used copy of The Shipping News by Annie Proulx.

This the blurb:

When Quoyle’s two-timing wife meets her just desserts, he retreats with his two daughters to his ancestral home on the starkly beautiful Newfoundland coast, where a rich cast of local characters and family members all play a part in Quoyle’s struggle to reclaim his life. As Quoyle confronts his private demons — and the unpredictable forces of nature and society — he begins to see the possibility of love without pain or misery.

The Shipping News

Above is a picture of the actual book you will be getting. It is in good condition, but it IS a used book, so please don’t expect it to be pristine!

Oh, and, by the way, this is the novel that is “Ambitious and accomplished…The characterisation is rich, the dialogue both original and convincing.” that I asked for under No. 5 in my Quizzical Monday post here.

Enter the giveaway
No strings attached giveaway, April 17-22

 

 
Contest is
OVER
164total entries
0/0entries earned
  • A used copy of Annie Proulx’ "The Shipping News"

And the winner is…

results powered by Random.org

Entry #104Black W.

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The Paris myth

Don’t get me wrong. I like Paris, it is a great city that is well worth visiting.

However, reviews of "Paris in Love" made me realize that people have all sorts of ideas about Paris. Yes, Paris is lovely, it is wonderful, beautiful when the cherry trees are in bloom (if there are cherry trees, that is), the people are friendly, the food is gorgeous and the people have an unequalled sense of fashion. Yes, but this is so in every other city on the planet when you go to the right spot, the orchard, the right restaurant, when you are in the right frame of mind and when you are off (and preferably everybody else is, too).

I don’t know what it is about Paris that people seem to think that it is different from any other metropolitan area on Earth. I am sorry to say it is not. Not every Parisian ambles down the street to meet his friends for a Pernod and spends two minutes kissing before settling down to chat for hours. Not every Parisian gets up leisurely before slowly taking a stroll to his local boulangerie to get a delicious croissant and then go home again to enjoy his French pressed coffee and breakfast on his cast iron balcony looking over the roofs of Paris while the sun is slowly rising on the horizon, bathing the Eiffel tower in a soft light.

Instead people are just as pressed for time as in every other part of the world, they hurry to work, complain about rude waiters, get mugged and spend hours in a tunnel in a stinking subway squeezed in between cursing commuters during rush hour because some miserable sap has committed suicide on the tracks ahead. I am talking from experience.

So, yes, there are picturesque scenes in Paris, just like there are in New York, Copenhagen, Riga and Tokyo. Please, don’t give me all that stuff about Paris being the ultimate romantic lovers’ city with rose petals scattered in the streets.  It is perfectly fine to project your dreams about the perfect place into Paris and conjure it up in your head, but don’t make it sound as if this was reality. Because it is not.

Animum debes mutare, non caelum. ~Horace, and later Seneca

Just to counteract all that Paris glorification I am giving away a used copy of “A year in the merde” by Stephen Clarke today.

Sorry – the giveaway has ended.  

year

Paul West arrives in Paris to start a new job – and finds out what the French are really like.

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Bloggiesta–Rafflecopter challenge

Bloggiesta

I saw the Rafflecopter challenge at The Competitive Bibliomaniac and want to give this Rafflecopter another try. I used it once but for some reason, entering did not work and I never figured out why.

So, here is another go at it. Maybe a few Bloggiesta participants want to help me out and see whether it works or not. Usually I do not require any following and what not, but for the sake of testing I added a few voluntary options to enter.

The prize is only small, but I am sure book lovers will know what to use it for anyway. Thanks for entering and letting me know whether it worked or not.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Charity hopping around the world

Welcome to Charity hopping around the world!

Charity hopping around the world is hosted by I am a reader, not a writer, Reading Away the Days and
Reading a Little Bit of Everything.

charity-hop

Today I want to introduce you to a charity dedicated to promote and support the inclusion of people with Down Syndrome. March 21 was World Down Syndrome Day, so this is the perfect opportunity to talk a little bit about them. One of our boys has Down Syndrome and those charities are close to my heart.

Sean

My local charity

The German charity DS-Infocenter is a charity that has its office close to where we live, so I have been there a couple of times and Sean has been one of their poster boys for the Down Syndrome Day the last two years, so I know the people there and what they do on a personal level. 

They have introduced regular consultation hours for children with Down Syndrome of up to four years at a local pediatric clinic to which people from far and wide are coming. They publish a magazine, organize regular events, like speeches by renowned experts on Down Syndrome, create information flyers for the public and much more. sean2

The photo shooting where these pictures were taken was done at a very discounted price by Conny Wenk, a photographer who also has a child with Down Syndrome (btw, the cutest girl ever). In return we gave permission to use the photos to promote their cause. Imagine my surprise when a few months later I went to the hospital with Sean’s older brother and Sean looked down at us from a huge poster in the waiting area! I was so enthusiastic that I completely forgot about Corin’s broken wrist (for a few seconds).

Links to Down Syndrome charities in other countries

Reading tips

  • Welcome to Holland by Emily Perl Kinglsey (a short essay you can read for free on the net)
  • Aussergewöhnlich by Conny Rapp (now Conny Wenk, the photographer I talked about earlier). A great book about mothers and her children with Down Syndrome. When we had Sean this was the best book to get. Nothing scientific, but heart warming, optimistic and uplifting.
    I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about DS organizations and have a further look around. If you would like to know about future giveaways and new posts in general please consider subscribing to my RSS feed or follow me on twitter. You can also add me on Google+.

 

What am I giving away?

The year my son and I were bornI am giving away a copy of The year my son and I were born by Kathryn Lynard Soper.

This is the blurb:

With six other children at home, Kathryn Lynard Soper was prepared for the challenges another newborn would bring. But after Thomas’s complicated birth, his diagnosis—Down syndrome—forced her to face her deepest fears and weaknesses, her ignorance and prejudice, and her limitations as a mother and as a human being. Her struggle, coupled with the demands of caring for a fragile baby and juggling her family’s needs, sparked the worst episode of depression she’d experienced in decades.
The Year My Son and I Were Born is Soper’s brutally honest yet beautiful account of how she escaped a downward spiral of despair and emerged with newfound peace. Antidepressant therapy restored her equilibrium, and interactions with friends and family brought needed perspective. But the most profound change came through her growing relationship with Thomas. His radiant presence shone through her outer layers of self, where fear and guilt festered, and reached the center of her very being—where love, acceptance, and gratitude blossomed in abundance.

I am ordering the book from The Book Depository for you, so the giveaway is open to all countries The Book Depository delivers to.

Enter the giveaway

To enter all you need to do is leave a comment and tell me why you would like to read this book. Please, don’t forget your name and email address.

The other participants

Don’t forget to hop on to the other participating blogs and have fun!

You can find a full list of participants either at I am a reader, not a writer or at Reading Away the Days and
Reading a Little Bit of Everything.

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Lunar love giveaway hop

 

 

 

 

 

 
Welcome to the Lunar Love Giveaway Hop!

The Lunar Love Giveaway Hop is hosted by I am a reader, not a writer and Bookworm Lisa.

I hope you are enjoying your stay at my blog and have a look around. If you would like to know about future giveaways and new posts in general please consider subscribing to my RSS feed or follow me on twitter. You can also add me on Google+.

lunar_love netley

What am I giving away?

I need more room on my shelves and therefore I am giving away a used copy of Jane and the Ghosts of Netley by Stephanie Barron. It is the 7th book in the Jane Austen Mysteries series and this is its blurb:

In her seventh captivating adventure, Jane Austen finds her crime-solving mettle put to the test in a confounding case of intrigue, murder, and high treason. Among the haunted ruins of an ancient abbey, Jane is drawn into a shadow world of dangerous secrets and traitorous hearts where not only her life is at stake–but the fate of England.

Above is a picture of the actual book you will be getting. It is in good condition, but it IS a used book, so please don’t expect it to be pristine!

Oh, and, by the way, this is “One of the season’s twistiest, tautest, most tantalizing tales of sleuthery!” that I asked for under No. 2 in my Quizzical Monday post here.

Enter the giveaway

To enter all you need to do is leave a comment. Please, don’t forget your name and email address.

The other participants

Don’t forget to hop on to the other participating blogs and have fun! You will find a list of participants at  I am a reader, not a writer and  at  Bookworm Lisa.