Monday, November 30, 2009

Weekly Finds - 11/30/09 - One Day Late

School has really been kicking my butt the past couple weeks and cutting into my reading time.  So...there's not too many books to add at the moment because I'm avoiding picking new ones up at the store.  I did pick a couple up these week from contests on blogs here.

Won from the blog Bookin With Bingo.

From the inside cover: Being dead can't put a damper on spirited, holiday-loving Bailey Ruth Raeburn.

Christmas is a time for family and giving, and a wealthy woman in Adelaide, Oklahoma, is about to embrace both.  Discovering that she has a young grandson, the dowager decidess to change her will to leave the bulk of her fortune to the young boy - an alteration that stuns the rest of her family.  But a scrooge of a determined heir makes sure she never signs the new document.  When she is found dead, it's up to that irrepressible spirit Bailey Ruth, on assignment from Wiggins and Heaven's Department of Good Intentions, to pretect a little boy, foil a murder, and save Christmas.

There's only one teeny hitch: how can Bailey Ruth figure out which family member was desperate enough to kill when everyone has a motive?

Another blog winning from La Femme Readers.  The picture to the left is not my copy, but it was the closest I could find short of scanning my own in, which I can't being without a scanner at home.  My is labeled as Advance Uncorrected Proofs - Not For Sale, otherwise is the same.

From the inside cover: Colt was with Julia for a year, but nobody else knew about it.  Julia lived on Black Mountain Road in a mansion - with servants - and had a country-club boyfriend to complete the picture.  But Colt definately didn't come from Black Mountain, and no one would have understood why they were together.  It never mattered to them, but when Julia dies in an accident right before her senior year, Colt is suddenly the only one who knows their secret.  He tries to pretend that life is the same as ever, but he's haunted by memories of Julia.  It gets even worse after the journal she kept about their romance falls into his hands.  Colt searches every entry for answers: Did Julia really love him?  Was he somehow to blame for her death?  But the ultimate question - one nobody can answer - is how he's supposed to get over someone who was never really his to begin with.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Day - or Not

I hope that everyone out there had a great Thanksgiving, and if you don't celebrate it, at least had a good week.  We had a rather non-traditional feast of enchiladas, cheesey potatoes, green beans, and macaroni and cheese.  For dessert there were Girl Scout Cookies and chocolate chip cheese cake with lil' smokies to snack on all night.  Needless to say, I ate a lot and there are still tons of leftovers which I will enjoy for the rest of the week!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Book Review: The Rapture by Liz Jensen

The Rapture by Liz Jensen

I wish I could remember who recommended this one, I owe them a massive thank you. It is definately one of my memorable reads for the year.

Bethany is troubled to say the least. Currently being treated in a youth mental facility after violently killing her mother. As a last resort the facility begins sessions of ECT, electroshock therapy. Suddenly, Bethany claims she can predict the natural disasters that are plaguing the world more and more often. Her new therapist Gabrielle, who is fighting her own personal demons, is put to the task of getting to the bottom of it, but the bottom is not what anyone expects. Bethany predicts a disaster like none that will be the end of everything as we know it.

Both Bethany and Gabrielle are fighting their demons, and they need each other to fight them off. The characters we both fascinating to me. The way they interact is perfect. Their story unfolds and brings other characters to them in a way that takes you to into the story as well. The story ends in a way that I never quite saw coming, and in a sad way everyone gets what they want (I'm really not giving much away here I promise).

If you can get your hands on this it. You will not regret it.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Weekly Finds 11/22/09

Reading has been a bit slow this week as my semester at school wraps up and I have several reports that are due right at the beginning of December.  I still picked up quite a few this here they are.

The Crossroads by Chris Grabenstein. Picked up from an order at Barnes & Noble this is the first book written in a series that my daughter wanted to start reading.

From the inside cover:  Meet Zack Jennings.

Average kid.
He has a hardworking father.
A new stepmother.
A new house.
Even a new dog, Zipper.
Things are looking up for Zack.
Except that is this ghost.
This really nasty ghost.
A ghost who kills people.
And Zack is on his list.

Seahorses Are Real by Zillah Bethell won through the Members Giveaway Program.

From the back of the book: Marly's had enough of the cramped  little rundown flat and wounded grey street where she lives with her fiance, David.  If they could just move away, escape to a rose-covered cottage by the sea, she's sure she would get better and everything would be alright...

Seahorses are real is a powerful debut novel of love and damage.  Zillah Bethell tells the haunting tale of a relationship warped by depression, at once tender and destructive, where violence is not only perpetrated by men and love is not necessarily enough.

The Nymph King by Geno Showalter, Book Three: Atlantis

From the back of the book: Females young and old, beautiful and plain crave Valerian's touch.  None can resist his blatant sensuality and potent allure...until he steals Shaye Holling from a Florida beach and holds her prisoner in his underwater kingdom.

The cynical Shaye wants nothing to do with the mighty warlord, but she's inexlicably drawn to him.  For underneath the warrior's arrogant beauty lies a complex and powerful man.  A man whose caress is like fire...

Now Valerian must fight for the privilege of claiming her as his own.  Because there's one thing Shaye doesn't know...

That when a nymph discovers his true mate: she's his for life.

Possession by Jennifer Armintrout, Book Two: Blood Ties

From the back of the book: My father always said fear was a weakness.  Well, that's easy to say when you don't have to worry about a vampire slayers or holy water.  I hate fear, but undead life goes on.  In the two months since I was attacked in the hospital morgue and turned into a vampire, I've killed my evil sire, Cyrus, fallen in love with my new sire, Nathan, and have even gotten used to drinking blood.  Just when things are finally returning to normal - as normal as they can be when sunlight can kill you - Nathan becomes possessed.  And then he slaughters an innocent human.

Now it's my job to find Nathan before the Voluntary Vampire Extinction Movement does, because they're just waiting for an excuse to terminate him - and anyone foolish enough to help him.  But it gets worse.  It turns out that Nathan's been possessed by on of the most powerful and wicked vampires alive - the Soul Eater.  And who knows what vile plan he's concocted.

With the Soul Eater and my possessed sire on the loose, I have a lot to fear.  Including being killed.  Again.

Prince of Twilight by Maggie Shayne, Book 12: Wings in the Night

Far older than his legend, the immortal Vlad Dracul had wandered the earth for centuries in search of the reincarnation of his wife, Elisabeta.  Now he believes hee has found the woman possessed by his beloved's soul and is prepared to make her his for all eternity.

Temmpest "Stormy" Jones is that mortal.  She has long sensed the other, someone insider her fighting to take control, a feeling that becomes even stronger when the dark prince is near.  But as Stormy denies the passion that burns between them, she also resists allowing Elisabeta to take over her mind and body to prevent her from claiming Vlad as her own.

But when Elisabeta discovers Vlad's feelings for Stormy, her wrath knows no bounds.  She demands that her destiny be fulfilled, and seeks to destroy her rival, leaving Vlad in anguish, tormented by what was... and what could be.  Now only he can choose - who will live and who will die.

Dark Seduction by Brenda Joyce, Book 1: The Masters of Time

Malcolm of Dunrock is a newly chosen Master, a novice to his extraordinary - and dangerous - powers.  But he has already broken his vows - and a oung woman's death is on his hands.  Malcolm is deternined to fight his darkest desires, denying himself all pleasure...until fate sends him another Innocent, the beautiful bokseller Claire Camden.

Since her mother's murder, Claire has done everything possible to make a safe, seccure life for herself in a city where danger lurks on every street corner, especially in the dark of night.  But nothing can prepare her for the powerful and sexual medieval warrior who sweeps her back into his time - a treacherous, frightening world where the hunters and the hunted are one in the same.  Claire needs Malcolm to survive, yet she must somehow keep the dangerously seductive Master at arm's length.  For Malcolm's souls is at stake - and fulfilling his desires could prove fatal...

Kiss of Darkness by Heather Graham

The woods have always been full of whispers in Transylvania, of terrors that go back centuries to the legendary Vlad Dracul himself.  Ignoring their professor's grave warning - beware those who would prey upon the innocent - several visiting students travel into the forest...and disappear.  Now their professor, Bryan McAllister, believes that a dark cult is at work - and that their next gathering will happen in America.

When psychologist Jessica Fraser is approached by Bryan for her assistance, she is hesitant.  Something about Bryan unnerves Jessica deeply, yet she cannot igmore the incredible pull she feels toward him.  Now, as reluctant allies, they unite to seek the truth.  The search takes them from the forested mountains to dimly lit clubs in New Orleans' French Quarter, where perversion goes beyond sexual to life-threatening.

And everywhere, whispering on the wind, is the dreaded word...vampyr.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I Wanna Read Too

I would like to introduce my kitten, Billie.  This picture was taken over the summer as she practiced one of her favorite hobbies - trying to get my attention.  I find it amusing that while she has grown up a bit, 3 months older now, she still uses the same tactics to distract me from reading.  The main difference is that now she takes up the entire book instead of just the center.  I have to say that she is the biggest attention hog I have ever seen in a cat of any age, it's the most annoyingly adorable things about her.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Weekly Finds

This week was a pretty good week to start a weekly blog that I hope to do every Sunday showing my recent haul of books.

From a contest I was very excited to win over at Libby's Library:

The Other Mr. Darcy by Monica Fairview

From the back of the book:  When Caroline Bingley collapses to the floor and sobs at Mr Darcy's wedding, imagine her humiliation to discover that a stranger has witnessed her emotional display.  Miss Bingly, understandably, resents this unknown gentleman very much, even if he is Mr. Darcy's American cousin.

Mr. Robert Darcy is as charming as Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy is proud, and he is stunned to find a beautiful young woman weeping brokenheartedly at his cousin's wedding.  Such a depth of love, is rare and precious.  For him, it's love at first sight.  Alas, regaining her good graces seems an impossible mission, and he is left to hope that someday their paths will cross again.

Another great contest win from over at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time!:

Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley

From the back of the book:  U.S. President Vanderdamp is so angry at the Senate for rejecting his Supreme Court nominees that his next choice is a doozy: Judge Pepper Cartwright, star of the most popular reality show on TV, Courtroom Six.

Will Pepper, a vivacious Texan, survive her confirmation battle?  Will it ruin her love life? And if she serves on the court, how will she get along with her eight highly skeptical colleagues, including the Chief Justice who legalizes gay marriages only to lose his wife to another woman?  Stay tunes...for a heady constitutional crisis, a reelection cammpaign the President wants to lose, annd oral arguments of a very romanitc nature.

After hearing so many rave about the Death on Demand series over at LibraryThing, I found this on sale and decided to pick it up.

Dead Days of Summer by Carolyn Hart

From the back of the book: Annie Darling, owner of the Death on Demand mystery bookstore, is understandably upset.  It isn't like her P.I. husband Max to abrupty disappear - and homicide is definately not his style.  But when his car is found abandoned on a remote road with brutally slain, once-beautiful young woman nearby and the murder weapon stashed in the trunk, Annie's worst fears seems justified.

The police have Max all but tried and convicted - except for Chief Billy Cameron, whose unshakable belief in his friend's innocence prompts his removal from the case.  And as the media circus descends on tiny Broward's Rock, Annie will have to place her own life in jeopardy to clear her husband's name.  But time is running out - and she has only one slim chance to unmask a killer who just may have committed the perfect crime.

Picked up at the bookstore on a small buying spree for my seven year old, this looked like something we would both enjoy reading together - we got to page 3 on the way home already.

V is for ... Vampire by Adele Griffin

From the inside cover:  Lexie Livingstong might be the first vampire to run for ninth-grade class president, but she holds a very human hope that her campaign will get dreamy Dylan's attention - even if it means running against perfect, popular Mina

Things would be going pretty well ... if it weren't for those annoying pixies!  Blix and Mitzi, unwelcome houseguests from the Old World, are wreaking backward-speaking, house-pinkifying havoc on the family.  Then they decide to help Lexie run a smear campaign against Mina - but how could that affect Lexie, just as she's trying to shed her evil vampire nature and become human?

Another bookstore find that I plan to read with my daughter.  Since this is the second in the series, we'll have to wait until the first comes in on our order to get started.

From the inside cover:  Zack and Judy Jennings, just your average ghost-seeing kid and his famours-author stepmother.  Off to enjoy a relaxing summer at a theater doing a production based on on of Judy's books.

But the director has another show in mind, and that production requires a child burn under a full moon.  A child who might not survive opening night.

And Zack?  He was born under a full moon.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Review Spring Drive by Chuck Guilford

Spring Drive: A North Country Tale by Chuck Guilford

Spring Drive is the story of two Canadian men, the McDonald boys, that travel to Menominee, MI to work in a logging camp. A series of events leads to their lynching by the town. These events are based on a true story.

The book is a great look at how “frontier justice” worked. The story is presented in a way that the reader sees all the facts and cannot help but be outraged at lack of proper procedures in this small town’s jail. This is a shorter story so I don’t want to give too much away. If you have a weak stomach you may want to avoid. While the ending is quite well written and brings the events to life, it is a bit graphic and violent.


This book was provided by the author in exchange for a review.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Giveaway Link - A Courtesan's Scandal

Drey's Library is hosting a giveaway for two copies of Julia London's book A Courtesan's Scandal.  She has her review as well as a brief author biography up.

To read more and enter click HERE.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Book Review - The Host by Stephanie Meyers

Now many I know did not have rave reviews for Meyer's Twilight series, and I generally gave it 3/5 overall. So why am I reading another one of her books?? To be honest, the description of the plot snagged me. I walked away a few times, but then broke down and picked it up.

It is a story of an alien species that call themselvs Souls, in our tongue. The souls require a host to live in to survive and have recently colonized the planet Earth and taken up residence in the humans. Wanderer's human host seems to be something special. Melanie's consciousness won't go away like most human's do once a soul as set up residence. In fact, her will is so strong that she holds complete conversations with Wanderer and talks her into trying to find her family.

I absolutely loved the relationship dynamics between Wanderer and Melanie. They way they interact was fascinating to me. The reactions of otheers to her unique circumstances seemed very fittingly varied and realistic. The plot moves nicely along most of the time. There are a few sections that I had to take a break from because they were slightly drawn out, but to be honest, I'm not sure how you could shorten them up and still make the point needed.

Stephanie Meyer's writing in this book seemed much more fluid and easy to read than her Twilight series and because of this I enjoyed the book much more.


Book Review - The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

This review was a long time coming. I just couldn't make my mind up about the book. I kept changing my mind as to whether or not is was even worth reading or not.

The Luxe follows the Holland sisters, Elizabeth (which I didn't enjoy) and Diana (which I absolutely loved), as they discover that their lives will not be continuing in the way they have enjoyed for most of their life. Both girls are put in a position of family before self and while outwardly they react similarly, their inner thoughts are quite different.

I've decided that "most" of it was worth reading. The characters were what was throwing me off at first. They are split about 50/50 between well written, dynamic people, and static, boring words that make up a person. The characters that drew me in were what kept me reading the book, and what also made me put the second in the series on my Christmas list to see if the remaining characters get any better (I'm a sucker for second chances).

The plot had a somewhat predictable path, but the story was very fitting for the time period it depicted, and moved along at a nice pace that kept the story moving forward (at least when it was focused on one of the characters I liked).

3/5 stars

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Gift - Giveaway Link

Bookin' With Bingo is having a giveaway for Cecelia Ahern's novel The Gift.  It looks pretty good to me.

To find out more and enter click HERE.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I, Alex Cross - Giveaway Link

Bookin' With Bingo is having a great giveaway for James Patterson's soon to be released book I, Alex Cross.  This is an amazing author and I can't wait to read it.

To enter click HERE

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Giveaway and Interview Link - The Queen's Mistake

Booking Mama has a fantastic interview with author Diane Haeger up on her blog.  What makes this post even more exciting is that she has two copies of Diane's book, The Queen's Mistake, to give away.  Head on over and sign up. 

Click HERE

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin

The third book in the Earthsea Cycle follows the wizard Ged and young Prince Arren as they search for the reason behind the forgetting of magic. Magic users across the many islands of Earthsea are forgetting the words of magic and going mad, and it seems to be spreading.

This is a great story of conquering your fears and overcoming what appears to be more than you can handle. It show the value of friendship and commitment. This was a wonderful follow up to the first two books. I have the fourth on my soon to be bought list.

My only complaint is again of the large gap with little to no information of what happens between the stories. I'm the type of reader that enjoys knowing even the more boring parts of the characters lives.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

To Desire a Devil Giveaway Link

Books and Needlepoint is have a giveaway for the book To Desire a Devil by Elizabeth Hoyt.  Head on over and get yourself entered.

Click HERE for more information.

Giveaway Link for Merry, Merry Ghost

Bookin' With Bingo has several copies of Merry, Merry Ghost by Carolyn Hart to give away.  Hurry up and enter before November 13 at 6pm.  Click HERE for more info!