And The Winner of TIME OF MY LIFE Is…

SJ!!

Congratulations SJ!  You have won my ARC of Allison Winn Scotch’s September 30th release, TIME OF MY LIFE.  I hope you enjoy it!  I will e-mail you in regard to your mailing address soon.

Thank you to everyone else who entered this giveaway!  I really appreciate you visiting Planet Books and entering my contests.  I love discovering your blogs in this fashion and I try to check out every one.

And The Winner of “The Art Of Racing In The Rain” Is…

… Lucile @ The Book..Spot !!

Congratulations Lucile!!  I used Random.org to get the winner and your name was chosen.  You have won a signed copy of Garth Stein’s beloved new book, The Art Of Racing In The Rain.  I will e-mail you in regards to getting your mailing address and so I can mail your book to you ASAP.  I hope you enjoy this wonderful story as much as I do. 

Everyone else, thank you so much for entering in this giveaway contest!  So many of you are interested in this book which I think is wonderful.  You also wrote some very kind words meant for me in your comments and I would like to thank you very much.  I am sorry that there could only be one winner. 

Remember that I am still running a giveaway for my ARC (advanced reading copy) of Allison Winn Scotch’s upcoming release, Time Of My Life through Monday at Midnight.  You can check it out and enter HERE

 

Book Review & Giveaway ~ Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch

This Giveaway Concluded On Friday, September 26th @ Midnight EDT 

Summary ~ If you could live your life over again, what would you change?  One woman finds out in this funny and poignant tale of what-ifs and second chances.  Jillian Westfield has the perfect husband, the perfect baby, and the perfect lemon-scented house in the suburbs, and yet, still, she finds herself wondering about the life she left behind.  Back then, her boyfriend, Jackson, was unreliable, her job at an ad agency was demanding, and her West Village apartment wasn’t exactly picturesque.  But those days were full of possibility.  Now, discontented in her faltering marriage, Jillian can’t help but think about what her life would be like if she hadn’t married Henry or quit her job to be a stay-at-home mom or spurned her mother’s attempts to reconcile after two decades of silence.  What if she’d stayed with Jackson in their bohemian apartment?  What if she’s answered her mother’s query?  What would her life be like now?

One morning, Jillian gets a chance to find out.  She wakes up in the old apartment, right in the middle of her life as it was seven years ago, before she’d made the decisions that would change everything.  With twenty-twenty hindsight, Jillian has the chance to discover “what if” once and for all – and to decide which life is the one she really wants.

What would you do if you daydreamed about your old life to the point that you were given the chance to relive it for a second chance at happiness?  That is what Jillian, the protagonist of Allison Winn Scotch’s upcoming release, Time of My Life, is faced with. 
Sure we are always seeing the greener grass on the other side of the fence of life but we are in the life we are in because of the paths we chose that brought us here.  Sometimes I wonder how I got here.  Here being in a fun, loving and loyal marriage; living in Okinawa; having great friends literally all over the world and being as happy and busy as I am.  But some days I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t taken that temp job in Hubby’s building and met him, if I had stayed in Denver ten years ago and not run home to Maryland full of homesickness.  If you don’t have moments of wonder and reminiscing than you just aren’t human.  It is human nature to always wonder, “What if?”

Allison Winn Scotch replaces Jillian in her past seven years back.  Into a relationship with the man she still wonders “what if” about when her marriage to Henry doesn’t feel shiny and perfect anymore.  In her old life she is a mother of an adorable little girl, the wife of a overworked husband who she pushes away when he is home because he’s just in her way, and a desperate housewife who is always going at full speed in order to make life seem perfect and desirable from the outside looking in. 

When Jillian ends up seven years in her past after a freak chi experiment administered by her gorgeous massage therapist Garland she wonders if this is her second chance at being happy.  Jillian discovers that she is still in a relationship with Jack (the love that took place before her relationship with husband Henry), is still living in their New York City apartment and she is still working in her old advertising job.  Well, when you know what happens things can happen a little more smoothly the second time around.  Promotions happen faster because Jillian knows what “Coke” wants in their ad campaign before they do and a tumultuous relationship that ends like a car wreck on the Brooklyn Bridge is suddenly saved and enjoyed because the land mines are clearly marked by memories of what happened last time when that fight was picked. 

The underlying story line in Time of My Life was the relationship, or lack there of, between Jillian and the mother that deserted her and her family when she was just a child.  After discovering that this woman who haunted her in both the future and the past is just a stones throw after all this time, Jillian begins to realize what may have caused her mother to leave all those years ago.  The fears that Jillian faces as a mother herself are overwhelming and terrifying at times and when she looks back and actually moves towards a relationship with her mother, she begins to understand.

But after all the fun and wondering if this is really a second chance or just a freak of nature/time space, Jillian starts to realize what she thought she wanted and regretted were not in her past but right in front of her in her “real” life. 

Time of My Life was an okay read but for some reason it didn’t grasp my attention like I wished it had.  I don’t know if it was the books concept or the voice of the main character, Jillian, that bored me.  I wanted to enjoy this great idea of a woman who appears to time travel (still don’t know exactly what happened, if Jillian actually stepped backwards in time or was just dreaming) and gets a second chance with one of her great loves as well as the opportunity to rebuild a broken relationship with her own mother.  I wonder if I was just reading it at the wrong time for me?

{Rating: 3 out of 5}

TIME OF MY LIFE will be available in stores on October 7th, 2008.  Allison Winn Scotch is also the author of THE DEPARTMENT OF LOST AND FOUND.  You can learn more about Allison at her website  www.AllisonWinn.com.  Allison also has a great blog at http://www.allisonwinnscotch.blogspot.com/

*I received an Advanced Reading Copy of TIME OF MY LIFE from www.BookBrowse.com in return for my written review on their website. Because it’s BBAW (Book Blogger Appreciation Week I thought it would be great to do another book giveaway here.  If you would like to win my Advanced Reading Copy of TIME OF MY LIFE, please leave a comment on this post by Monday, September 22nd @ Midnight EDT to be eligible. 

Sunday Salon ~ September 14th, 2008

This evening AFN (Armed Forces Network) aired the USAA “America United In Support Of Our Troops” special which aired in the States last Sunday on ABC.  It was great seeing a special drawing attention to the men, women and families who give so much to our great nation every day.  At a time of year when patriotic emotions run strong in our country due to the now seventh anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States, it was nice to see that positive attention was being brought to our armed services. 

Living over here in Okinawa and being dependant on the U.S. Military for so many things has opened my eyes to a life that I didn’t know anything about four years ago.  Now some of my best friends are some of the strong and brave military spouses who sacrifice so much of themselves for their country.  One of the interviews on the USAA special was the spouse of a Marine Corps pilot.  She said that she loves our country because she gives her husband to us on multiple deployments and that some would call her a hero, she believes that she is married to one.  And she is. 

Just a reminder that a great organization is out there to help bring support to our troops and their families.  It’s called “America Supports You” and you can learn more about them at http://www.americasupportsyou.mil/

Now on to what I read this week.  I finally finished Allison Winn Scotch’s Time of My Life for a book review I had to write for BookBrowse.com.  I was a disappointed with this book and thought it could have been so much better.  I will be posting my review here later this week. 

Now I am reading Driving Sideways by the darling Jess Riley.  What a fun, well paced and enjoyable book!  I am almost halfway done and find myself laughing out loud constantly as I’m reading.  This week I will also be hosting another giveaway.  I just have to choose which of four books I have waiting to giveaway will be the lucky title for this week.  I’ll let you know soon!

What are you reading this weekend?  Now that school is back in session for the kiddos, do you find yourself with more time for reading and the stuff you really like to do for yourself or are you even busier?  I don’t have kids but most of my girlfriends do so the social calendar has been busier over the last three weeks and continues to fill up as we get further into fall.  Well actually here in Okinawa its more like an extended summer.  The temps don’t start to drop till the end of October here.