Monday, January 31, 2011

Downton Abbey- Masterpiece Theater- 1-30-11 Episode

The last episode of Downton Abbey, until the second half ,was filled with a lot of surprises. The pregnancy of Lady Grantham was really unexpected, but unfortunately it ended in a mis-carriage when she fell on a bar of soap deliberately left by her maid. Lady Mary was going to accept Matthew's proposal when she returned from her trip,but he wasn't sure of her motives and said he was leaving Downton.Anna learns from Bate's mother that he took the blame for his wife's theft.
As an act of revenge toward her sister, Lady Mary prevents Sir Anthony from proposing to her sister. Lord Grantham announces the beginning of The First World War. Stay tuned.

Second Chance blog tour wraps up at Bookingly Yours, Manga Maniac Cafe and Holy Family Institute

Second Chance: How Adoption Saved a Boy with Autism & His Shelter Dog blog tour stops at:

Bookingly Yours (book review)

Manga Maniac Cafe (book review)

Holy Family Institute (book review)

Screen Actors Guild award winners

BEST ACTOR: Colin Firth -- The King's Speech

BEST ACTOR: Colin Firth -- The King's Speech

BEST ACTRESS: Natalie Portman -- Black Swan

BEST ACTRESS: Natalie Portman -- Black Swan

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christian Bale -- The Fighter

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christian Bale -- The Fighter

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Melissa Leo -- The Fighter

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Melissa Leo -- The Fighter

BEST ENSEMBLE: The King's Speech

BEST ENSEMBLE: The King's Speech

BEST ACTOR (TV DRAMA): Steve Buscemi -- Boardwalk Empire

BEST ACTOR (TV DRAMA): Steve Buscemi -- Boardwalk Empire

BEST ACTRESS (TV DRAMA): Julianna Margulies -- The Good Wife

BEST ACTRESS (TV DRAMA): Julianna Margulies -- The Good Wife

BEST ACTOR (TV COMEDY): Alec Baldwin -- 30 Rock

BEST ACTOR (TV COMEDY): Alec Baldwin -- 30 Rock

BEST ACTRESS (TV COMEDY): Betty White -- Hot in Cleveland

BEST ACTRESS (TV COMEDY): Betty White -- Hot in Cleveland

BEST ENSEMBLE (TV DRAMA): Boardwalk Empire

BEST ENSEMBLE (TV DRAMA): Boardwalk Empire



Mailbox Monday - Admission

I received for review Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz from Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways.

"Admissions. Admission. Aren't there two sides to the word? And two opposing sides...It's what we let in, but it's also what we let out."

For years, 38-year-old Portia Nathan has avoided the past, hiding behind her busy (and sometimes punishing) career as a Princeton University admissions officer and her dependable domestic life. Her reluctance to confront the truth is suddenly overwhelmed by the resurfacing of a life-altering decision, and Portia is faced with an extraordinary test. Just as thousands of the nation's brightest students await her decision regarding their academic admission, so too must Portia decide whether to make her own ultimate admission.

Admission is at once a fascinating look at the complex college admissions process and an emotional examination of what happens when the secrets of the past return and shake a woman's life to its core.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Office- 1-27-11- Episode

Andy decided to have a small business seminar to increase his low sales. He didn't know how to handle the meeting , so he called on a few of his co-workers to assist him. As you would have guessed that didn't go over to well. Michael and Holly even posed as a Greek couple interested in his pitch to help him get sales,and ended up getting him a few. All and all ,the show didn't keep me laughing too much. I hope it's funnier next time.

Does Katie Holmes make a good Jackie Kennedy?

Now that the History Channel has refused to air the miniseries The Kennedys starring Katie Holmes and Greg Kinear - will it ever air?

Five Question Friday

1. If you had $1,000 to donate to a charity, which would you choose?
The Sisters of the Poor and the Griffin Pond Animal Shelter

2. Snow days: Do you welcome them happily or are they a pain in your butt?
They get old after awhile and make getting around a pain in the butt.

3. What talent did you wish you had and why?
I wish I could sew and crochet like my mother did.

4. Are you a news, politics or celebrity gossip junkie?
Yes, I watch the local and national news every night, and I like to keep up on the celebrity gossip on Entertainment Tonight or the E! Channel. I'm not all that into politics.

5. What is your favorite "cocktail"? (Are you a beer person, a kiddie cocktail junkie, or perhaps your more the "Cosmo" kind?! Anything flies...doesn't hafta be alcoholic!)
Vodka and 7-Up with a twist of lime

My Book Blog Follow Friday

What is/was your favorite subject in school?

My favorite subject was probably high school French because my brother, Joe, was my teacher fresh out of college and back at his alma mater.

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop "What book are you most looking forward to seeing published in 2011? Why are you anticipating that book?"

I'm looking forward to the second installment of the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince.

I am anticipating this book because I really enjoyed the first in the series, Clockwork Angel and I want to see what happens next with Will and Tessa.

For more information, visit

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Andrea Talarico of Anthology New & Used Books - We will miss you!

Today, we received the sad news that our friend, Andrea Talarico is moving on from the helm of Anthology New & Used Books in Scranton, PA to pursue the completion of her college studies.

We, here at Tribute Books, will miss Andrea very much. Since she started at Anthology over three and a half years ago, she has been a source of constant support and encouragement. Whenever we had a new title ready to release, she would always book the first signing in the Northeast PA area. She made sure to keep the local history section stocked with copies of Jay Luke's When Coal Was Queen or David Wenzel's Scranton's Mayors. Her unwavering commitment to community authors remains unparalleled. She was not afraid to give an unknown, unproven writer a chance in a bookstore environment - a rare and precious thing.

But the most important thing is that she made you feel welcome in Anthology. From taking special orders to talking about the latest releases, she was a knowledgeable, yet unpretentious, host behind the counter. Her dedication and enthusiasm have made Anthology what it is today. Her hard work has allowed Scranton the privilege of being home to an independent bookstore. If it wasn't for her, the local literary scene would be a lot less vibrant.

Thank you, Andrea, for everything you've done for Tribute Books. We wish you nothing but the best!

Ghost Hunters International - 1-26-11 Episode - The Huissen House & The LJmuiden Fortress

The GHI team were off to the Netherlands to investigate the Huissen House, which was known as the most haunted house in the country. Four women were hung in the attic & the chandelier swung on it's own. The owner said he had bad luck since he moved in and believed he was cursed. After investigating , they assured him to think differently about the house & he should be fine.
Then at the LJmuiden Fortress , the team discovered hand prints on the wall, by shining a black light on it. This was thought to be the result of the paint that was used. The fortress was old bunkers that were used during World War Two.

Maggie Gyllenhaal Off-Broadway in Anton Chekhov's "Three Sisters"

Back in October 2008, I had the pleasure of seeing the Broadway production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull starring Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard and Kristin Scott Thomas.

Currently playing at the off-Broadway theater, the Classic Stage Company, Sarsgaard is once again tackling Chekhov, but this time along with his wife, Maggie Gyllenhaal, in the Three Sisters.

Due to strong ticket demand, the Classic Stage Company’s forthcoming production has been extended for two weeks, through March 6. The play began previews on January 12 and will open on February 3.

Three Sisters features Maggie Gyllenhaal (Masha), Jessica Hecht (Olga), Juliet Rylance (Irina) and Peter Sarsgaard (Vershinin).

Three Sisters is a naturalistic play about the decay of the privileged class in Russia and the search for meaning in the modern world. It describes the lives and aspirations of the Prozorov family, the three sisters (Olga, Masha, and Irina) and their brother Andrei. They are a family dissatisfied and frustrated with their present existence. The sisters are refined and cultured young women who grew up in urban Moscow; however for the past eleven years they have been living in a small provincial town.

Chekhov's initial inspiration was the general life-story of the three Brontë sisters, i.e., their refinement in the midst of provincial isolation and their disappointment in the expectations they had of their brother Branwell.

Moscow is a major symbolic element: the sisters are always dreaming of it and constantly express their desire to return. They identify Moscow with their happiness, and thus to them it represents the perfect life. However as the play develops Moscow never materializes and they all see their dreams recede further and further. Meaning never presents itself and they are forced to seek it out for themselves.

To purchase tickets, click here.

Mad Men fans - check out January Jones new Versace ad - 1960s glamor

Booking Through Thursday

What’s the largest, thickest, heaviest book you ever read? Was it because you had to? For pleasure? For school?

Without a doubt, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book #5) at over 850 pages - and I read it totally for pleasure!

Second Chance blog tour continues at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

Second Chance: How Adoption Saved a Boy with Autism & His Shelter Dog blog tour stops at:

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer (book review)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Review - High Spirits: A Tale of Ghostly Rapping and Romance by Dianne K. Salerni

Book Summary:

In mid-nineteenth century America, spirits knock and tables tip for Maggie and Kate Fox, two teenage sisters who convince people they can talk to the dead with their mysterious rapping noises. Before long, neighbors are begging Maggie and Katie for the chance to receive messages from dead relatives and older sister Leah realizes that their "prank" has real money-making potential.

Soon, the sisters hit the road to bamboozle newspaper editors, politicians, and the public at large and start a national craze for spirits and ghosts. Their fame grows--but could their powers actually be real? See the good and the bad that can happen when three sisters land in the limelight and come to their own conclusions about what's true, what's right and what's important.

My Thoughts:

Although the story of Maggie Fox was fictionalized by the author, it is a true one. When I began reading this book about the three sisters, Maggie, Kate, & Leah and the early ages they began ghost rapping as small children, I became interested to see how far they would go with this trickery.

They became well known as the years went by taking them to places they never been. Leah, the eldest encouraged it wholeheartedly for the sake of their income. As Maggie became older, she caught the eye of Elisha Kent Kane, a world adventurer, who didn't believe in deception. This meeting would eventually change her life from then on, as she is so smitten, she just wanted to be his wife, even though his family did not approve of her.

She had many set backs and disappointments with him, but her determination didn't sway her from waiting for his return. He claimed he loved her, but he could not accept her true identity of being who she really was inside. He had a high opinion of himself, he should have been satisfied with the person he fell in love with.

Overall, Maggie's life was filled with a lot of rejection and sorrow for what she did and who she loved. It was a good read.

High Spirits: A Tale of Ghostly Rapping and Romance by Dianne K. Salerni is available for $9.99 at and

A review copy was obtained through

Congratulations to our giveaway winner: Carol M.!

Dexter - Season 4- Part 1

I am now into season 4, part 1 of Dexter. It intrigues me how instrumental he is in getting away with murder and his cover-ups, right under the noses of the Police Dept. In this season opener, Dexter is now married with three kids, one of which is his own baby. The rigors of married life and sleep deprivation plays a big toll on him. He is making mistakes which he cannot afford, but somehow finds his way out.
John Lithgow comes on as the Trinity serial killer from many years ago. Can't wait to see what happens next.

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted here, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:


By Maggie Stiefvater
Publication date: July 2011

The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stievater

In Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

Wonderous Words Wednesday


1. acceptance without protest
2. agreement with a statement or proposal to do something

From the book Respect-Me Rules (page x) by Michael and Shelley Marshall.

Second Chance blog tour continues at Book Dads, Lynn's Corner, Putting Words Down on Paper

Second Chance: How Adoption Saved a Boy with Autism & His Shelter Dog blog tour stops at:

Book Dads (book review)

Lynn's Corner (book review)

Putting Words Down on Paper (author guest post)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Being Human- 1-24-11 episode

Thought I would watch the second episode to see if I would still be interested in the show. I was in suspense , after last week's ending, waiting to see if the werewolf was going to change in front of his sister and give himself away. The vampire came to his aid after receiving a cell phone call from the werewolf to help him.All ended well, after the vampire came and wisked her out of the room.
I like the characters in the show and the problems they will have to face dealing with day to day human life. Another turn of events happened when last weeks victim returned ,she was bitten by the vampire and now looking for someone to prey on .

Second Chance blog tour stops at Passionate Perseverance &

Passionate Perseverance
January 24, 2011

Mary's Book Basket - "Second Chance" by Sandra J. Gerencher
by Mary Lenaburg

I was honored when Tribute Books approached me to review the children's book Second Chance:How Adoption Saved A Boy with Autism and His Shelter Dog by Sandra J. Garencher. This is a touching story about an autistic boy named Ryan, his shelter dog Chance and the loving adoptive mother that brings them together.

This tale is told from the point of view of Chance, the adopted shelter dog. I thought that was a wonderful little twist by the author which allows her to really explore what adoption is and how wonderful it feels to be part of a family from the adoptee's point of view.

I chuckled a time or two over some of Chance's interactions with his "brothers and sisters" the three other dogs in the home. They were too funny.

When Ryan "speaks" to Chance and explains what adoption really means your heart just sings. It's beautifully written and I highly recommend it.

Happy Reading,

January 25, 2011

Children's Book: Second Chance by Sandra J. Gerencher
by CF Mathews

“The lady looked at me, took my head in her hands and said, ‘Well Chance, today’s your day for a second one.’ A second what? Was I getting a new bone, a second bowl of food? What?…Was I going for a walk? Was this the second one the lady was talking about? Maybe she didn’t know I hadn’t had a first walk.” Humorous and creatively told from an adoptive dog’s point of view, Second Chance by Sandra J. Gerencher, is a book any child will enjoy. It follows the introduction of a shelter dog, “Chance,” into his new family. In this family, there are already three Pomeranians, some of whom are adopted and an autistic boy named Ryan, who is also adopted. The story is based on the author’s real-life family.

Second Chance parallels the adoptions of Ryan and Chance. The difficulty of being moved around from home to home and the joy of finally being given a permanent home are experiences they both share. Ryan helps Chance by loving him and Chance helps Ryan to come out of the isolated shell of autism. Chance observes, “It’s funny that he is able to look me in the eye. He doesn’t make eye contact when others talk to him.” Second Chance firmly encourages adoption and shows how it can work with a lot of love and patience. Chance sweetly muses, “Adopted can’t be a bad thing because they all seem happy…adoption means to be loved forever.”

Illustrated softly with watercolors, the paintings take center stage while the text occupies a relatively small part of the page. This makes for a unique and contemporary presentation.

Sandra J. Gerencher has been working in special education and special needs care for about 20 years. For the past 10 years, she has taken an interest in adopting dogs from “high kill” animal shelters. A portion of the proceeds from this book benefits the Humane Society. The book has been awarded the “PBS Kids Recommended Title.” Second Chance has a myspace page and Tribute Books has a page where you can purchase it.

Tribute Books is a publishing company, started by Nicole Langan, an entrepreneur from Pennsylvania. They accept new manuscripts-instructions are on the website. Topics and types of books include: children’s books, history, historical fiction, humor, photo books, poetry, reference, relationships, religion and sports. Tribute Books also provides opportunities for fundraising.

Top Ten Tuesday - Top 10 Best Debut Books

Top Ten Best Debut Books

1. J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone
2. Laura Hillenbrand - Sea Biscuit
3. Nicholas Sparks - The Notebook
4. Stephenie Meyer - Twilight series
5. Cassandra Clare - City of Bones
6. Becca Fitzpatrick - Hush, Hush
7. Tommie Lyn - ...And Night Falls series
8. Cheryl Malandrinos - Little Shepherd
9. Tricia Dower - Silent Girl
10. Elizabeth Kostova - The Historian

Teaser Tuesday - Respect-Me Rules

Here is my teaser from Respect-Me Rules by Michael and Shelly Marshall (Page 2):

"I suffered twenty-five years of verbal and emotional abuse from my husband. I lost myself in that sick situation. I was so messed up from all the abuse, I became fragmented emotionally. He did all the classic behaviors. He alienated me from family and friends. He belittled me in front of my children. He made fun of my religious beliefs. He refused me money for nice clothes and made fun of my physical appearance. He spent what he wanted on himself. He ruined our credit. I had suicidal thoughts all the time. He punched holes in the walls, yelled, cursed, ranted and raved, and threatened to take the kids from me. He was always insanely jealous. I just endured it. My children have been scared, and needless to say, severely affected by this cycle of abuse also."

-Dee N.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Second Chance blog tour stops at Putting Words Down on Paper, The Story of a Writer and YA Cove

Putting Words Down on Paper
January 24, 2011

A Review of Second Chance
by Susanne Drazic

Second Chance is a wonderful story about adoption, love, and belonging. It is told through the point of view of Chance, who is a rescue dog. Chance is adopted by a nice lady and her autistic son, Terry. Chance goes home to live with them and their three other dogs, P.J., Little Rascal, and Shelby. New words like "adopt" and "autism" are confusing to Chance. As he learns more about his new family and his new home, he also learns what "adopt" and "autism" mean.

I must admit that when I read through Second Chance, I was not a fan of the pictures. There was no definition to the pictures and they just seemed too blurry to me. The pictures in no way take away from the beautiful story that is being shared.

Second Chance is a story that so many people will enjoy reading, but will also learn from. It is an easy way to teach someone about adoption, but also about autism and being accepted when different from others. This would be a wonderful addition to any public, school or home library.


The Story of a Writer
January 24, 2011

A Wonderful Story About A Dog and His Author
by Beverly Stowe McClure

Animal shelters are filled with dogs and cats and other creatures waiting for someone to love them, for someone to give them a forever home. With each visitor to the shelter, their hopes rise that this person will be their new mommy or daddy. Their hopes die when they aren’t chosen.

Author Sandra J. Gerencher has written a story about Chance, a four-month-old Rottweller, German Shepherd mix, that lives in a pen at the shelter with his buddy, Ruffles. One day a lady and little boy are looking at the animals, and when she hugs and kisses Chance he knows he has “the lady eating out of my paw.” The lady adopts Chance and soon he’s living in his new home with the little boy and three other dogs, who he later discovers are all adopted, except for one dog. From the beginning Chance and the boy have a special connection. Chance can talk to the boy, who talks back to him. The author's book Second Chance, gives a lovely picture of the special relationship between a special boy and his dog.

Telling the story from Chance’s viewpoint allows the reader to see how a dog might view his world and the people who inhabit it. We witness humor and wonder as Chance adjusts to his family. Many of the words he hears confuse Chance. What does adoption mean? What is autism? In his new home, Chance has rules to follow, as do his new brothers and sister, as well as the boy Ryan. The author cleverly weaves information about autism into this touching story about being different. This would make a good supplemental reader for school classes to help students understand that some children and adults are different, but that this difference makes each of them unique. Once you read this book, you'll want to run to the nearest shelter and take all the precious animals there home with you.


Moonlight, Lace and Mayhem: YA Cove
January 22, 2011

Featured Author: Sandra Gerencher
hosted by Carrie Hinkel-Gill

Exploring the Animal/Autism Connection
by Sandra J. Gerencher

Children with disabilities are my inspiration. It's real life. It's what goes on every day. The people in my life inspire me such as my adopted son with autism and my special education students at school. I was once told my son, Terry, would never speak in full sentences. Yet he speaks to our dog, Chance, as if he can understand him.

We don't know what's going on inside an autistic child's brain, but there's something different in my son’s thought processes when he’s talking to the dog. When I stand outside his room, I hear him asking the dog, “Are you hungry? Do you want to play?” It helps him cope with some of the issues he's dealing with.

I think animals can sense the good in people. He is more animated with the dog. They play together constantly. When Terry misbehaves I tell him, '”Chance is sad.” Then I ask, 'What would Chance want you to do?'' He always wants to make Chance happy. When I put it in terms of the dog, he responds right away.

My goal is to make children aware that there are kids with special needs. Kids nowadays aren't exposed to people with disabilities. Being naturally inquisitive, they need to be taught why others are different. As an educator and mother, if I've accomplished that goal with one child, then that more than satisfies me.


Sandra J. Gerencher is the author of the children’s book, Second Chance: How Adoption Saved a Boy with Autism & His Shelter Dog. She is a special education teacher in Pennsylvania's Bangor Area public school system. For over 20 years, she has worked with children and adults with special needs in such areas as counseling, behavioral research, crisis intervention and abuse therapy.

Downton Abbey - Week 3

The relationship between Lady Mary and Matthew seemed to improve until sibling rivalry got in the way. When Lady Mary's sister, Edith, encouraged her to compete for the affections of an older man, Mary rose to the challenge hurting Matthew's feelings in the process.

The vengeful ladies' maid, Miss O'Brien, purposely promotes the bad feelings among the sisters for her own wicked gains. She is a master manipulator pulling the strings. She found out Daisy's secret - Lady Mary and her mother dragging the dead Mr. Pamouk's body from Lady Mary's bedroom in the middle of the night - and exploited it by getting her to tell Edith. Edith then wrote a letter to Mr. Pamouk's Turkish embassy.

The servants of Downton Abbey have the best story lines and are the more likable characters. The valet, Mr. Bates, confessed his feelings to the dutiful maid, Anna, but said that he could not act on them because of a mysterious wife in his past. With Lady Sybil's help, the maid who wants to be a secretary, Gwen, tried to go on a job interview that ended in disastrous turn of events when Lady Sybil's horse threw a shoe and they had to walk back to Downton Abbey through the mud. Lady Sybil spread her wings and wore a flapper-style pantaloons outfit to dinner while talking to their chauffeur about women's rights and the socialist movement. While Thomas pushed his fellow footman, William, aside in order to play with Daisy's affections when he really has no interest in her. Daisy also took the brunt of Mrs. Patmore's abuse when the cook admitted to going blind after seasoning the dessert with salt instead of sugar. The head housekeeper, Mrs. Hughes, went on a date to the local fair with a farmer who proposed to her in her youth. He asked her to marry him again, but she turned him down feeling her loyalty was to her place of employment and not her heart.

The February 2011 issue of Vogue features a piece on Downton Abbey entitled "House Proud: Joan Juliet Buck Delights in the Drama and Deceit of Downton Abbey":

The irresistible new PBS Masterpiece series Downton Abbey politely welcomes us into a great house that's somewhere between Brideshead and Gosford Park, and then hits us with a stack of surprises. Imagined and written by Julian Fellowes - who wrote Gosford Park, is married to a descendant of Lord Kitchener, and had just been given a seat in the House of Lords - it's great storytelling with perfect details. There's no complacency in the saga of the Grantham family, their relatives, and their servants, despite the familiar upstairs/downstairs setup. The lawns are green and the trees are even greener, the maids wear caps, the footmen iron the newspapers, but the first bit of news is the sinking of the Titanic. It's April 1912, and the Earl of Grantham's heir has gone down with the ship, leaving his eldest daughter, Lady Mary Crawley, heir to the estate but not to the title. Then it turns out that the legal heir is a young lawyer from Manchester, and all manner of forces come into play; material, genetic, social, and emotional. Hugh Bonneville is the liberal but soft Earl of Grantham, and Elizabeth McGovern his American heiress wife. His cold daughter Mary is Michelle Dockerey; Dan Stevens is the new heir, Matthew Crawley; and a magnetic new actor named Theo James plays a Turkish visitor who gives the plot its sexy central twist. Downstairs is a treasure house of actors: Phyllis Logan as the housekeeper, Siobhan Finneran as the main ladies' maid, the wonderful Brendan Coyle as the gimpy new valet Bates, and Sophie McShera as the shrill little kitchen maid Daisy. Lording it over them all as Violet, dowager Countess of Grantham, is Maggie Smith at her imperious best, who utters the impossible phrase, "I'm tougher than I look."