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Are you the Tito Puente type?  Like to live your life to the beat of hot latin rhythms?  Then it’s time to get yourself plugged into the Latin Giants of Jazz.  I’ve been mamboing my way through the house and down the street to the sounds of two of their CD’s: Ven Baila Conmigo! and Trip to Mamboland.  Both CD’s play homage to Tito Puente, and they do it masterfully.  In fact, Ven Baila Conmigo! includes several all-stars from the former Tito Puente Orchestra.  There’s just something about the Puente musical style that won’t let you sit still, from the moment you press play.  Each CD contains 13 tracks, so you know you’ll be moving for awhile! 

Perfect background music for a tropical summer party, The Latin Giants of Jazz goes well with mojitos and Cuba Libres, friends and lively conversation – or turn it up louder and rip up the dance floor!  Don’t believe me?  Just check out this video of No Me Molesto shot live at Birdland, NYC.  

Incidentally, you can hear No Me Molesto on their Trip to Mamboland CD on sale at CDBaby.  And of course for more Latin Jazz fun, be sure to check out their CD Ven Baila Conmigo!  Your parties will never be the same again.  Nor will your dancing shoes…

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In their new CD Altamira, guitarist Gabor Olgyay and percussionist Aurel Hollo of Hungary give us an intensely entertaining blend of world music and jazz.  While the musical stylings vary throughout, the most present sounds are those of the classical guitar, the meringue and wind instruments as well as occasional gentle vocals.  The compositions range from a more classic Spanish feel and hints of Hungarian folk, to more experimental jazz and new age flavored pieces, and each song progresses throughout the CD from the classical to modern jazz, making for a most enriching musical journey.

In this journey, listeners will start out with Abel, a gorgeous melody rich with the sounds of a Spanish inspired classical guitar, flute, bass guitar, even maracas.  Sunny, mediterranean, and a little jazzy, the feeling remains throughout the CD, but merges more often with gentle jazz rhythms and a decidedly contemporary sound.  The overall impression is of a warm and vibrant collection of Old World meets New, making Altamira a project worthy of an earnest listen.

Want to win your own copy of Altamira?  We have TWO to give away! ($12.97 retail, each)

Or if you can’t wait…

Multiple Options for Entry:

1.) Just visit the Altamira CDBaby page and listen to a few samples in the left-hand column.  Tell me what you like about the music and why. (You may enter once a day.) Remember, leave an interesting comment.  If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Email subscribers get an extra entry for as long as their subscription is active.

     Already a subscriber?  Leave me a separate comment on this post to let me know you’re interested in this giveaway.

     Want to subscribe?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the left. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.  Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – I may have to approve it first.  My blog might think it’s spam but gosh darn, I certainly don’t!)

4.) I’m feeling Twittery.  If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry! (I’m dkmommy if you want to follow me.)

Feel free to do all four to gain several entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Thursday, May 14, 2009, to enter.

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Number 2 of the Charlie Chan Series, The Chinese Parrot: A Charlie Chan Mystery lands our master detective in the California desert.  But this time, he not only must find a murderer, he must discover who’s been murdered!  Helping Bob Eden deliver a string of pearls to a buyer started out sounding simple enough; now Charlie Chan finds himself undercover and is painfully forced to speak bad English – not such a comfort for our intellectual sleuth who prides himself in the well-formed and poetic sentence.

Biggers manages to make the second book of his Charlie Chan series, The Chinese Parrot: A Charlie Chan Mystery even better than the first.  Great dialog reminiscent in style of some of my favorite old movies, an even more complex mystery plot than the first, and a lot more of Charlie Chan himself, are all to be found in The Chinese Parrot.  And as before, Biggers jumped decades ahead of his time by subtly taking on the misconceptions of race to stereotypes while keeping his audience guessing, laughing, and completely riveted in yet another compelling mystery I, for one, am impatiently awaiting Academy of Chicago’s fall release of numbers 3 and 4 of the Charlie Chan series.

Want a shot at winning The Chinese Parrot?  Here’s your chance!

Multiple Options for Entry:

1.) Just tell me a real mystery you’ve encountered – solved, unsolved, one sentence or ten!  Baffle me… (You may enter once a day.) Remember, leave an interesting comment.  If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Email subscribers get an extra entry for as long as their subscription is active.

     Already a subscriber?  Leave me a separate comment on this post to let me know you’re interested in this giveaway.

     Want to subscribe?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the left. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.  Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – I may have to approve it first.  My blog might think it’s spam but gosh darn, I certainly don’t!)

4.) I’m feeling Twittery.  If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry! (I’m dkmommy if you want to follow me.)

Feel free to do all four to gain several entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Wednesday, May 13, 2009, to enter.

Check out all current giveaways for both my blogs here.

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It’s time for Mother’s Day, and this year you may want to try something a little different than the usual flowers.  How about some tea?  Red Leaf Tea has a great selection, something for everyone’s mom. They even have a new variety called “Mama-to-Be“.  This new tea is a wonderful blend of nettles, chamomile, spearmint, raspberry leaf,ginger, oatstraw, rose petals, and lemon balm.

Whether the mom on your shopping list is waiting for a new baby, or still calls you baby, Red Leaf Tea has some great varieties that she’ll love.  For a great shopping experience, Red Leaf Tea is offering 20% off and free shipping to carp(e) libris reviews readers.  Just use this code: carp(e)libris at checkout.

Want to win some?  Red Leaf Tea is giving away one 1.6 oz. container of “Mama-to-Be” tea, or any other tea up to $9.99 value.  Read on to enter!

Multiple Options for Entry:

1.) Just tell me which Red Leaf Tea your mom would like and why.  How does it match her personality?  (You may enter once a day.) Remember, leave an interesting comment.  If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Email subscribers get an extra entry for as long as their subscription is active.

     Already a subscriber?  Leave me a separate comment on this post to let me know you’re interested in this giveaway.

     Want to subscribe?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the left. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.  Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – I may have to approve it first.  My blog might think it’s spam but gosh darn, I certainly don’t!)

4.) I’m feeling Twittery.  If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry! (I’m dkmommy if you want to follow me.)

Feel free to do all four to gain several entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Tuesday, May 12, 2009, to enter.

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If you’ve been visiting this blog long enough, perhaps you remember one of my favorite books from 2008, Locke 1928 by Shawna Yang Ryan.  I love being able to follow up on authors whose works I’ve reviewed, and it’s such a great feeling to discover a book I favored is going even stronger now than last year!  

For anyone who knows a little about the publishing industry, you’ll know how hard it is for an author’s work to not only go from a paperback to a hardcover, but from an indie press to one of the big guys.  That’s just what Shawna Yang Ryan has done with Locke 1928, which has recently been republished by Penguin Press in hardcover under the title “Water Ghosts“.  

I’m really proud to have been given the opportunity to review Ryan’s book under its first publication with El Leon Literary Arts, and it’s pretty exciting to see the book reaching an even wider audience.  Here’s a bit of the description I gave in my review: “When three Chinese women float to shore on a dilapidated boat after having been adrift at sea for over a month, the men of the town line up to woo them. The madame of the local brothel begins having visions she takes as a warning. The pastor’s wife, the only “whitewoman” in town who isn’t a prostitute, takes two of the women under her wing, and it could be a big mistake.” You can read the review in its entirety here: Locke 1928. This book will transport you to 1920’s Locke, California.  The town was real, making the story even more enticing.  By the time you finish reading, you’ll swear the characters were real too.

A big congratulations are due to Shawna Yang Ryan.  We look forward to hearing about your continued success!  Just remember us when you finally meet Oprah…

I have two copies of Water Ghosts in its beautiful new hardcover format (retail $25) to give to a couple of very fortunate carp(e) readers!

Multiple Options for Entry:

1.) Just tell me a short ghost story! It can be one sentence or a paragraph; this book is about what happens when a Chinese ghost story comes true, so give us a scare. (You may enter once a day.) Remember, leave an interesting comment.  If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Email subscribers get an extra entry for as long as their subscription is active.

     Already a subscriber?  Leave me a separate comment on this post to let me know you’re interested in this giveaway.

     Want to subscribe?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the left. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.  Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – I may have to approve it first.  My blog might think it’s spam but gosh darn, I certainly don’t!)

4.) I’m feeling Twittery.  If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry! (I’m dkmommy if you want to follow me.)

Feel free to do all four to gain several entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Wednesday, May 6, 2009, to enter.

Check out all current giveaways for both my blogs here.

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Nabil Khemir’s music commands a lot of attention. And why not?  His unique style of jazz fusion incorporates the incredible hybrid instrument, the RayJam, which was created by Khemir himself.  This one-of-a-kind electric guitar/lute combo allows Khemir to seamlessly move back and forth between the two instrumental sounds, producing a flavor that is all his own.  He’s been so successful with it that in 2007 he was decorated by the President of the Republic of Tunisia, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, for his cultural contribution to the country and his performance.  

Khemir’s third music collection, RayJam, offers five tracks featuring his masterful blend of Arabic-Andalusian and jazz.  Listeners will be giving their ears a real treat, something you certainly won’t find anywhere else for Nabil Khemir is certainly a one-of-a-kind musician.

Nabil Khemir is kindly offering an EP of his latest work, RayJam, to one of you.  The winner will be able to instantly download the high-quality electronic version of RayJam.  Want to win?  Options for multiple entries are listed below the video clip!

Multiple Options for Entry:

1.) Just watch the above video and tell me why you’d like to win Nabil Khemir’s EP RayJam.  (You may enter once a day.) Remember, leave an interesting comment.  If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Email subscribers get an extra entry for as long as their subscription is active.

     Already a subscriber?  Leave me a separate comment on this post to let me know you’re interested in this giveaway.

     Want to subscribe?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the left. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.  Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – I may have to approve it first.  My blog might think it’s spam but gosh darn, I certainly don’t!)

4.) I’m feeling Twittery.  If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry! (I’m dkmommy if you want to follow me.)

Feel free to do all four to gain several entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Thursday, May 1, 2009, to enter.

Purchase RayJam in EP format here.

Check out all current giveaways for both my blogs here.

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I’m a sucker for Latin jazz, especially the likes of Afro-Cuban and the sounds of the Charanga era.  Perhaps that’s why I’ve found myself lost in the sounds of Bomba, a latin-jazz group based out of Toronto, Canada.  The clean sounds of Cuban and improvisational jazz have been a real treat to my frazzled ears.  Mellow, crisp instrumentals, lively vocals and violin, and on-the-spot Latin congas and percussion give their latest CD, Cuatro Caminos, a winning sound that will appeal to a variety of jazz lovers.  

Bomba is led by percussionist Mario Allende and bassist Rubim de Toledo.  This CD also includes drummer Raul Tabera, violinist Aldo Aguirre, and singer Luis Emilio Rios.  What results is a phenomenal Latin group that has toured the world to great acclaim.  Bomba has even been heating things up globally, having played in the UK, Italy, Cuba, and even South Korea’s top international drumming festivals, but I’ve no doubt they’re just getting warmed up.  A musical force to keep your eye on!  

Ready to win your own copy of their latest, Cuatro Caminos?  Multiple chances to win listed below the video clip.

 

Multiple Options for Entry:

1.) Just watch the above video (from their previous CD Entre Sol y Luz) or visit their CDBaby page to hear clips, and tell me why you’d like to win Bomba! Cuatro Camino.  (You may enter once a day.) Remember, leave an interesting comment.  If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Email subscribers get an extra entry for as long as their subscription is active.

     Already a subscriber?  Leave me a separate comment on this post to let me know you’re interested in this giveaway.

     Want to subscribe?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the left. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.  Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – I may have to approve it first.  My blog might think it’s spam but gosh darn, I certainly don’t!)

4.) I’m feeling Twittery.  If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry! (I’m dkmommy if you want to follow me.)

Feel free to do all four to gain several entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Thursday, April 30, 2009, to enter.

Check out all current giveaways for both my blogs here.

I wanted to make sure everyone who reads carp(e) libris reviews knows about a special week at my other blog, dkMommy Spot.  Starting today (April 20, 2009) we’re having a full week of giveaways and informative articles to help raise awareness of breast cancer prevention.  Please stop by and feel free to enter the giveaways!  We’ll be giving away health and beauty aids, anti-oxidant rich goodies, and chemical-free cleaning products so don’t miss out!

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“My name is Diane Kidman and I’m a pen addict.” That felt really good to confess.  You see,  I love the physical act of writing – in fact, I write a lot of my reviews by hand; even wrote this review by hand and with a most incredible writing instrument.  Ryan Krusac makes pens, but these aren’t your usual plastic variety.  His writing instruments are works of art.  Most are made of fine hardwoods that he turns on a lathe and then hand buffs to a glossy finish.  My Ryan Krusac Studios pen is a little different even still – Asian River Buffalo Horn with a wonderfully warm and subtle patina.  I chose the River Buffalo Horn because I’m partial to all things Asian, and strangely, to water buffalos.  I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity of having Ryan create one of these pens just for me.

Each Ryan Krusac Studios pen is made to order – this means the end result is all the more special knowing it’s being hand crafted just for you rather than cranked out in a factory and sold by the bag.  I chose a fountain pen because that’s always been my preference.  I don’t use fountain pens for, say, check writing and grocery lists, but I reserve them for special things like my daily journal writing (yet another obsession), letters, and any other writings I feel are important.  There’s something about sitting down with a fine pen – for the creative writer, that may mean that extra edge between good writing and great writing.  Is a pen a muse?  I’m not sure, but holding a writing instrument made of natural materials certainly does something to the creative spirit.

I am truly enjoying the experience of this pen.  Ryan Krusac has a great attention to detail – from the gentle curve of the pen barrel to the Rhodium and black titanium appointments, as well as the lovely German made nib which produces an easy flowing, smooth writing.  Don’t do fountain pens?  Ryan also offers finely crafted ballpoint pens and rollerball pens too.  But I’d highly recommend giving the fountain pen a try.  The pen’s balance is just perfect for the fountain pen lover, and it’s a real joy to write with.

If you’d like a chance to win your own, Ryan Krusac is going to create a work of art specifically for one of you.  With graduation time nearing, this would make an extraordinary gift.  Or perhaps you’re due a grand gift to yourself.  Either way, one of you will be receiving a real keepsake!  

Here’s what you could win:  A wooden pen of your choice from the Ryan Krusac Studios fountain pen page.  (You may choose to have the pen made as a rollerball if you wish.) The pen’s hardware will be like what you see in the photo to the right, and you’ll be able to choose from any woods (excluding rosewood burl and banksia pod).  Open for worldwide entry!!!

Multiple Options for Entry:

1.) Just visit the Ryan Krusac Studios fountain pen page and tell me what pen you might choose if you won and why.  (You may enter once a day.) Remember, leave an interesting comment If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Email subscribers get an extra entry for as long as their subscription is active.

     Already a subscriber?  Leave me a separate comment on this post to let me know you’re interested in this giveaway.

     Want to subscribe?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the left. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.  Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – I may have to approve it first.  My blog might think it’s spam but gosh darn, I certainly don’t!)

4.) I’m feeling Twittery.  If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry! (I’m dkmommy if you want to follow me.)

Feel free to do all four to gain several entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Tuesday, April 21, 2009, to enter.

Check out all current giveaways for both my blogs here

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Written in honor of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, Voice Over is a collection of poetry which serves as a final farewell to Breyten Breytenbach’s dear friend.  The series of poems found in Voice Over were created shortly after the death of Darwish, and they were written as the author traveled through Catalonia and Friesland.  What results is a moving collection of verse.

This small 41-page collection gives a powerful look at the language of Breyten Breytenbach, a writer and human rights activist from South Africa. He’s taken a lifelong stance against apartheid and was even imprisoned for seven years for high treason after sneaking back into his country illegally.  Such a turbulent and strongly humanitarian past is evident in the voice of his prose. 

 Winner of the Hertzog Prize for Poetry (1999 and 2008), Breytenbach has written numerous books and produces countless paintings and drawings which have been viewed worldwide. He is considered to be one of the greatest of the Afrikaans poets. Still very active in taking a stand, Breytenbach divides his time between the U.S., Europe, and Africa.  Definitely a writer worth looking into, this creative powerhouse will give you some real literature to sink your teeth into.  

Voice Over is published by Archipelago Books.