Tuesday, October 30, 2007

NEWSLETTER: BD Sneak Peeks: November 2007

Here is the first-ever compendium of Sting's lyrics, accompanied by his own commentary, in a beautiful, illustrated, keepsake edition.
Read Chapter One here:

Amazing Grace
Danielle Steel
Four strangers experience near miraculous changes after a terrible tragedy in this touching novel from New York Times bestselling author Danielle Steel.
Read Chapter One here:
Visit the official Danielle Steel Web site:
Enter the new contest to win books and videos.

The Giant's House
Elizabeth McCracken
Two seemingly mismatched people find each other in a small-town library in this beautifully written tale of the power and unpredictability of love. "A true marvel . . . Thoroughly enjoyable from its unlikely beginning to its bittersweet end" (San Francisco Chronicle).
Read Chapter One here:
Click here for the Reading Group Guide:

Plum Wine
Angela Davis-Gardner
Bottles of homemade plum wine, one for each year, trace a Japanese woman's secret life—and change a young American woman's future—in this "enthralling . . . perfectly rendered" (Publishers Weekly, starred review) tale.
Raed Chapter One here:
Click here for the Reading Group Guide:

Temperatures Rising
Sandra Brown
When resort developers threaten her tropical island home, Chantal duPont turns to engineer Scout Ritland for help. But soon intrigue and romance burn hotter than the island's volcano in this sizzling love story from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Long Time Coming.
Read Chapter One here:

On the Loose
Tara Janzen
A woman who once got caught smuggling hatches a plan to use her hunky ex-DEA captor in her next mission in this first of a sassy and sexy romantic suspense series from the author of the Crazy Love.
Read Chapter One here:
BONUS! Listen to Tara Janzen's podcast.
Click here to subscribe to the Bantam Dell Podcast:

The Wonder Years
The American Academy of Pediatrics
Filled with nearly 300 full-color photographs, a variety of fun-filled activities, and countless tips and hints, this accessible and essential guide from America's premier pediatric authority shows parents how to monitor and promote their child's development from birth to age five.
Read Chapter One here:

Bing West
Based on months spent with battalions and interviews at every level of command, this award-winning account of the battle for Fallujah is a testament to the American soldier and a cautionary tale about the interconnected roles of politics and war in our century.

James Bradley with Ron Powers
This #1 New York Times bestseller is "one of the most instructive and moving books on war and its aftermath that we are likely to see . . . its portrayal rivals 'Saving Private Ryan' in its shocking, unvarnished immediacy" (The New York Times).

G. J. Meyer
Remarkable and epic, award-winning author G.J. Meyer "presents a compelling account of the blunders that produced the world's first 'great war' and set the stage for many of the tragic events that followed" (Steve Gillon, Resident Historian, The History Channel).

James Hornfischer
The author of The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors "exhaustively details the full story: the visceral terror of a naval battle, savage treatment by Japanese captors, and post-traumatic stress disorder" (Entertainment Weekly) of the lost crew of one of America's most celebrated warships.

Malcolm MacPherson
In 2002, a special operations team was ambushed on a mountain in Afghanistan. Here is the searing account of their 17-hour battle for survival that "captures all the drama and sacrifice of war" (James Bradley, author of Flags of Our Fathers).


A Message From Danielle Steel

November 2007

Dear Friends,

Thanksgiving makes November a very special month, with friends and families gathering to give thanks for their blessings, enjoy each others' company, and open their homes and hearts. It's wonderful to share the holidays with one's family, but sometimes sharing it with friends can be just as special and warm and meaningful.

No matter how challenging our lives, we all have something to be grateful for, and it's good to be reminded of it from time to time. Sometimes in giving to others we derive the greatest and most unexpected blessings for ourselves. I hope that your Thanksgiving is all that you hope it will be, and that you share it with those who mean the most to you! Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!



P.S. You are always welcome to visit me at my home on the web:

NEWSLETTER: BD Reads: November 2007

November 2007
In this issue:

Dreamsongs: Volume I
George R. R. Martin
The New York Times bestselling author of A Feast for Crows has spent decades challenging the imaginations of millions. Now, take a journey through a lifetime of tales with this career-spanning anthology of short stories, novellas, teleplays and more from "the American Tolkien" (Time).
Read Chapter One here:
Bonus! Hear an exclusive interview with George R. R. Martin and excerpts from DREAMSONGS.
Listen to George R.R. Martin comment on his experiences and writing, and to excerpts from his newest title, Dreamsongs. Four genres, five decades and one unforgettable collection. Now on iTunes.
Click here to download:
Here is the first-ever compendium of Sting's lyrics, accompanied by his own commentary, in a beautiful, illustrated, keepsake edition.
Read Chapter One here:

Brother Odd
Dean Koontz
Odd Thomas, Dean Koontz's "most likeable creation" (The New York Times), has become one of our most beloved and unique heroes. Now, Odd enters a new world where he will face an adversary as old and inexorable as time itself.
Read Chapter One here:
BONUS! Listen to Dean Koontz's podcast.
To subscribe, use the links below.
iTunes: http://info.randomhouse.com/cgi-bin21/DM/y/evhl0Mx6Ij0V30oGU0Et
RSS: http://info.randomhouse.com/cgi-bin21/DM/y/evhl0Mx6Ij0V30oGV0Eu
BONUS! Watch the Brother Odd trailer.

The Collected Short Storise of Louis L'Amour: Volume 5
Louis L'Amour
The fifth volume in this acclaimed series is the first and only anthology to bring together 27 thrilling tales including the entire Cactus Kid stories.
Read Chapter One here:

Author to Watch

The Orphan's Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice
Catherynne M. Valente
Illustrated by Michael Kaluta
The author of The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden bewitched readers into a marvelous dream with her "lyrical, witchy" (Entertainment Weekly) "work of beautifully relayed, interlinked fairy tales" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). Now she returns to knot the final thread on this unforgettable tapestry of stories in book two.
Read Chapter One here:

Real Reads

The God Machine: From Boomerangs to Blackhawks: The Story of the Helicopter
James R. Chiles
Strap yourself in for a fascinating ride as author and pilot James Chiles unveils the scientific ingenuity and sheer determination behind the creation and development of the helicopter: an extraordinary machine that continues to change the way the military, rescue services and media operates every day.
Read Chapter One here:
BONUS! Listen to James R. Chiles' podcast.
Click here to subscribe to the Bantam Dell Podcast:

Book Club Feature

The Giant's House
Elizabeth McCracken
Discover the power and unpredictability of love as two unlikely people find each other in a small-town library in this beautifully written tale. "A true marvel . . . Thoroughly enjoyable from its unlikely beginning to its bittersweet end." —San Francisco Chronicle.
Read Chapter One here:

NEWSLETTER: Spectra Pulse: November 2007

November 2007
Spectra Pulse
Spectra Pulse recently asked Kim Stanly Robinson, author of Sixty Days and Counting, to give us an inside look at his writing life and his novels. Here's what he shared with us.
Writing habits:
I usually work Monday through Friday in the mornings after the family has gone off to school and work. If the weather is at all conducive to being outdoors, which it often is in the California central valley, then I take my laptop outside and work in our front courtyard on a cafe table under a Japanese maple. There is a swale that can become a pool if I want to look at water in between sentences. Gates can be closed to close me in, very important, and ever since writing The Years of Rice and Salt I will often light a stick of incense in order to mark the ritual nature of the moment, which says Now You Are Writing. The courtyard itself is something I've built in the last several years, putting in patio and table, and with the help of a friend, fence and then gates. I often have a boom box out there to play music, almost always instrumental and contemplative, like Debussy's piano music or Bach's cello suites. While doing first draft, that morning session is about as much as I can do in a day, though I look over what I've done in the afternoon sometimes, and revise. As I get closer to the end of a novel I put in longer hours, increasing to much longer hours, like every waking hour every day (and some sleeping hours too). Then the music shifts to Beethoven's late quartets, which mark You Are In the Final Stretch.
What challenges you the most about writing:
Getting started is hard. It's best to have that moment made into an invariable habit, and ritualized somehow, so there is less of a decision involved. It's like jumping into the ocean, the cold shock of starting is a bit intimidating. Once in, it gets better.
Best moment in the writing process:
The best moments are those hours that pass in what seems like a minute, because I am deep into it. That usually happens when revising; first draft is more stop and go, with time to think and notice time pass. But revision becomes a process of reading and changing, reading and changing, and that allows me to dive really deep. It's like meditation I suppose, though I have never been able to meditate so I'm not sure. Anyway it is certainly the best part of writing, and all of the rest of the business ranges from good to bad, but is more than worth it to support those writing hours.
Favorite scene/bit in the book:
I like all the scenes in which Washington DC is transformed into a snowscape suitable for cross-country skiing, winter camping, animals on the loose, Potomac frozen over, and so forth. Those were a lot of fun to imagine and to write.
Favorite character in the book:
Frank Vanderwal is I suppose my favorite, although I like all of them a lot. The scientist that is so scientific that they try to live their life scientifically is one of my favorite comic situations, in life and in fiction, and I've done it before: Sax Russell in the Mars books was that kind of character, starting as a kind of geek scientist; Frank Vanderwal starts as a jock scientist, and has a different character beyond that basic type, but his attempt to make up a "paleolithic postmodern" lifestyle based on "purely scientific" reasoning was one of the great pleasures of the book for me.
Scene in the book you're most surprised you wrote:
Now that you mention it, I'm surprised I ever found myself having to write a president's inaugural address. I wasn't expecting that but the book seemed to demand it, and I have started a little tradition of including unusual documents in my novels--constitutions, programs, journal abstracts, blog posts--so now when the book asks for such odd things, I try to comply.
The one line high-concept:
Climate change hammers us and we come out better than ever. This can happen if we play it smart.
Ways in which the book has fed back on your life:
There are so many of these. Now we have photovoltaic panels on our roof, which I did in part as research for the book (but too late as it turned out). Lifestyle changes, different awarenesses of how we live and why. Many attempts to burn less carbon dioxide. A lot of pleasure in the simplest pleasures.
Main inspiration for the book:
The Greenland ice core data at the start of this century showed that abrupt climate change can be as fast as three years, and change things drastically. We are probably headed for something like that, and it seemed like a good scenario for a science fiction novel, both interesting and important.
What's next?
I'm writing a novel about Galileo, which will be published in February 2009.
Book currently on nightstand:
I'm reading the Robert Penn Warren collection of Melville's poetry, and just finished Karen Joy Fowler's upcoming Ice City, and am also re-reading Clifford Simak's Time and Again, and John Banville's Doctor Copernicus, and am starting Balzac's The Wrong Side of Paris.
Place you'd most like to visit (real of fictional):
The Sierra Nevada (always), also Switzerland, the Shetland Islands, Nepal, Crete, Ross Island, Devon Island, Glacier Bay, Patagonia. Basically, you name it, I'd like to visit it.
Why do you read:
I read to get into other heads and live other lives, and think about what things mean.

Your Reviews for BLOODFEVER are in!
Karen Marie Moning
"If you liked the X-files, you are going to love Bloodfever! It had me at the edge of my seat from the first page. [Bloodfever] is full of suspense, interesting characters, and things that go bump in the night. I can hardly wait for the next book in the series." —Connie S., Scottsdale, AZ
"Bloodfever is chick lit gone bad in the very best way. Mac is engaging and compelling with her combination of pink-garbed debutante and savage warrior. I loved the book, and Darkfever, the first in the series, is now on my to buy list." —Margaret F., Reno, NV
"I couldn't put down Karen Marie Moning's Bloodfever. Her contemporary and creative interpretation of faery life is somewhere between fantasy and science fiction. The third installment of this series, Faefever, can't get on the bookshelves fast enough for me!" —Marjorie K., Saint Paul, MN
"I was enthralled and drawn into MacKayla Lane's life from the first page to the last page of Bloodfever and intend to go back and read Darkfever. This is not a traditional romance story, it follows along the likes of Laurell K. Hamilton, Kelley Armstrong, or Kim Harrison's series. I highly recommend this." —Linda N., Mableton, GA
"A real page-turner . . . as many questions are asked as are answered. My only complaint is that we have to wait another year for the next episode." —Kathy M., Richmond, VA
"Bloodfever is not a book that I would normally pick up, but I am so glad that I read it. I was captured by Mac's plight from page 1 and couldn't put the book down. I found Moning's writing style to be very entertaining—the book had the right mix of humor, fantasy, mystery, and romance . . . Very suspenseful right up to the last page. I highly recommend this book!" —Julie P., Mechanicsburg, PA
"Bloodfever was riveting from the beginning. I had never read this author before and soon realized that this was a sequel, but it was not necessary to read the first book to completely enjoy this one. Karen Marie Moning is an outstanding writer and . . . her vision is quite different than any other author I have read with similar themes. I strongly recommend both her Fever books." —David O., Shakopee, MN
"Bloodfever captured my complete attention. I just finished it a little while ago and I'm ready for more of MacKayla Lane and her mysterious protector Jericho Barrons. One of the most interesting books I've read this year."
—Vicki K., Longview, TX
"Bloodfever was a fascinating and exciting story. The romance and mystery is nicely blended together and . . . there were plenty of twists to keep me up reading late into the night. I look forward to many more books by Karen Marie Moning. I love the characters and will definitely recommend this series to my friends." —Linda H., Elizabeth, NJ
"Bloodfever is the first book by Karen Marie Moning that I've read but it won't be the last . . . hard to put down."—Brenda S., San Jose, CA
"This is a book that is easy to like as soon as you open the cover. I don't usually think of myself as a fan of romantic fantasy but I found the world that Karen Marie Moning has created to be appealing enough to consider a return visit." —Joel C., Placentia, CA
"Bloodfever, the second book in Karen Marie Moning's Fever Series, gets you from the beginning and keeps you hooked! MacKayla Lane comes alive on the page. The description of the Fae creatures she encounters in her search for a way to catch her sister's killer are so detailed that they are easy (and scary) to picture. I can't wait to see where she goes in the next book." —Jill B., Macungie, PA
"This second book in the series finds a stronger, fiercer, and more daring Mac. However, we meet a few new characters that will either hinder Mac or help her in her quest with what needs to get done. Will she be able to face and defeat the nightmarish monsters, or will she succumb to living a life far worse than a mortal death? Find out in this exciting second book in Karen Marie Moning's Fever series." —Bridget C., Port Charlotte, FL

Friday, October 26, 2007


LA USURPADORA finally ended last week Thursday(upper) on GALAXY TV, the climax being Carlos Daniel, finally free of his diabolical and prosmiscous wife Paola, married her more saintly twin Paulina(who HAD to be persuaded to marry him in the first place as she did'nt feel right about marrying her brother-in-law although she loved him). It also however ended on a sad note for Carlos Daniel's sister Estefania, who suddenly lost her mind after her horrible husband was thrown in prison for attempted murder and arson and her other brother Roderigo and his wife Patricia had to adopt her son.

Very strange how things turn out at the end of some telenovelas- in THE GADERNER'S DAUGHTER(LA HIJA DE JARDINERO) Luisa Fernanda married Carlos Eduardo, who most people around here don't seem to remember that he was her stepbrother,(her biological father, Luis Alejandro, was married to Carlos Eduardo's mother, Marissa) it disgusted my mum after I narrated the story to her but she hadnt been disgusted in NO ONE BUT YOU when Raquel fell in love with Antonio and vice-versa, who was her exboyfriend's stepbrother. Most of what happens in telenovelas cannot happen here in Nija but still... doesn't mean we don't enjoy the intrigue, right??

For all my vistors who requested for the full summary of CATALINA y Sebastian, it's going to take a lot of work and time but I'll do my very best.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

THE RICH ALSO CRY...a trip down memory lane

CUANDO SEAS MIA' hit our screens in 2005 after a long telenovela hiatus, the last,until then the Brazillian soap, 'SECRETS OF THE SANDS'.
Since then, more telenovelas have been pouring in; a far cry from the time when the practice was a new telenovela was presented AFTER its predecessor wrapped up, the only exception being the period when 'THE LADY OF THE ROSE' aired on Saturdays and Sundays at 10 p.m and 'WILD ROSE' was shown on Mondays to Thursdays on NTA 10 , immediately after the 10 o' clock News.
Most people have probably forgotten THE RICH ALSO CRY(Los Ricos Lloran Tambien), the first global telenovela and the VERY first Mexican soap to hit our screens, back in the 90s. It's a Telenovela that will forever remain in our memories, mostly because of the Principal characters;
Marianna played by Veronica Castro (who happens to be a year older than my Mum... it's true, the telenovela was produced in 1979),Luis Alberto played by the handsome and very macho Rogelio Guerra(right), Augusto Bendico(who sadly died at the ripe old age of 83 on January 19, 1992) played the family kindly but no- nonsense Don Alberto who took the orphaned Marianna in and treated her like the daughter he and his wife never had, including encouraging her to be a positve influence on his wayward son ,Luis Alberto but at the same time protecting her from being taken advavantage of. There's also Elena, Alberto's wife (first played by Alicia Rodriguez then later by Marilu Elizaga). And last but not least, the woman THE RICH ALSO CRY fans hated so much and was a constant thorn in Marianna and Luis Alberto's flesh, Elena's niece, Esther played by Rocio Banquells whose diabolical action caused most of the action in the telenovela but reports indicated that most people cried when she asked for forgiveness on her deathbed.
The whole story began with the orphaned Marianna going to the big city to locate her late father's lawyer friend who had recently visited them at the ranch(after Leonardo's death, her stepmother Irma, threw her out) but ended up in the household of Don Alberto who insisted on adopting her as his daughter instead of hiring her as a maid, much to her suprise and much to the displeasure of his wife and their niece,Esther who saw the much more beautiful Marianna as a threat to her plans to trap her cousin Luis Alberto, into marriage.
Luis Alberto and Marianna disliked each other on sight, he was spoiled and arrogant and she was the only person besides Alberto who could stand up to him. But gradually, her maturity and beauty won him over and instead of viewing her as an object of lust, fell in love with her and started showing postive change. But the cold hand of Esther split them up; she accused him of raping her while he was drunk and was now carrying his baby. Meanwhile, Irma discovered that there was a hiddden Will, naming Marianna as the sole heir to the ranch and she sent her lover Diego to look for her and then murder her, BUT when he finds her Diego decides to seduce her instead and marry her for her money.
However, Mariannna begins to date the son of Alberto's business associate instead, who is her father's name sake, Leonardo, as well as being closer to her in age , unlike Luis Alberto, who is 32,(she was merely 18). A friend of Diego and Irma-a ruthless gangster- sent a hitman but the man ended up killing Marianna's roommate instead, in their flat. Esther(after staging a miscarriage to cover her tracks) got pregnant for real by Diego and ran away, due to his and the fake doctor's blackmail but ended up very ill and the family learnt of her deceit but forgave her, including Luis Alberto and Marianna. Both Esther and her baby died and Luis Alberto and Marianna reconciled. The climax of the story was Diego killing his gangster friend, the discovery of the Will, and Diego and Irma's arrest.
The telenovela apparently ended with Luis Alberto and Marianna's wedding after she got back her inheritance from her even more diabolical stepmother Irma, but alas, NTA 10 didn't finish the story as they probably didn't want to shock us with what happened next...
Luis Alberto took over the business like his father had always wanted him to do- which meant he had to go on business trips. One day, when he wasn't at home, Marianna's ex-fiance,Leonardo, came to visit Alberto(at least that what he said) and while talking with her, she suddenly feels ill and faints, naturally he catches her to prevent her from falling on the ground. But at that same moment, Luis Alberto came home, saw Leonardo holding his wife and jumped to a VERY WRONG CONCLUSION. It turned out that the reason why Marianna had fainted was because she was pregnant but ALAS! Luis Alberto refused to believe the baby was his(out of jealousy) and refused to listen to Marianna's pleas; he stayed in Brazil attending to his business, leaving Marianna alone with Maria, Ramona and the other servants to console her. After several months, he sent a letter announcing he was divorcing her and Marianna threw a fit- she ran away and fainted on the street. She had her baby but due to the  shock of L.A's cruelty and the after effects of child birth, she lost her mind and gave her baby to a stranger- naming him Beto after his father and grandfather. 
A repentant L.A found her at a psychiatric hospital and begged her forgiveness, adopting a baby girl to make it up to her. But for years, Marianna could'nt
Marianna did'nt dare tell anyone but Marisabel later found out the truth & was distressed to discover she was actually adopted. Luis Alberto meanwhile gets very jealous and angry over Mariana's great affection towards young Beto and finally asked her for a divorce. Marianna then told Beto the truth and he was overjoyed the lady he was very fond of was his bio- mother. Luis Alberto entered the house just as Marianna and the children just finished having dinner; branishing a gun to defend his honour but Marianna & Marisabel revealed the truth to him just in time. She and Luis Alberto repaired their marriage after he tearfully apologised to her and begged her and Beto to forgive him.
I was absolutely shocked when I came across this info and just had to post it. Everyone who had watched this soap would of couse be on Marianna's side; i remember her as the epitome of virtue itself, why on earth Luis Alberto(who fought so hard to keep her loving him) would draw to such a conclusion in the first place but at least it ended happily at long last.

TRIVIA: The actor who played  the priest, Father Adrian, (Rafael Banquells) was not only  the director of  THE RICH ALSO CRY  but in real life the father of Rocio Banquells (Esther). 


8 Years memoriam...PILAR SOUZA

Stalwart fans of CATALINA Y SEBASTIAN would have noticed by now that there is a new and younger actress playing the character of Antoinette's maid, Josefa. The reason being that the lady who played her initially, Pilar Souza, died before this 1999 telenovela wrapped up, on July 18th, 1999, this year making it 8 years since she passed on. Pilar Souza made an impression in this telenovela and already I feel a void, now that she's no longer there, because Pilar's potrayal of the no-nonsense yet loyal maid of Antoinette was so realistic that it was quite a jolt to see another actress in her place and then experience the sad sight of her obituary at the end of that episode.
On behalf of the Nigerian fans of Catalina y Sebastian, I pray for Pilar's soul to rest in eternal peace, AMIN...