Thursday, September 29, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (5)

Ok, so I'm a little late this week and I apologize.  I had things all ready to go and then just didn't get them typed out in time to make it on Tuesday.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week comes from Night of the Vampires by Heather Graham.
“That’s why I said that his death may be of extreme importance to you now,” Bickford said.  “He was buried in the old cemetary across the river – the one where you might find a haven or sanctuary for the diseased.  The one where you might find the mass infestation that seems to watch, lurk over Harpers Ferry now, watching – toying with us, perhaps, as cats toy with rats before honing in for the kill.” Pg297

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

His Lady Mistress by Elizabeth Rolls
Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction
Pages: 304
Acquired: 09/19/11
Book of Your Shelf? No
Why I read it: Free NOOK Book
Series: Harlequin Historicals

Verity Scott has lost everything...literally. Her mother died years ago and now her father has committed suicide, which means all his worldly goods are forfeit and he will be buried in an unmarked grave. As Verity is mourning and trying to figure out what to do Max Blakehurst, an old friend of her father's, comes as assists her in honoring his grave in what little ways they can. The young Verity instantly associates this man with safety, security, and love. But he is gone in the morning and she is sent to her Uncle's to live.

A couple years later and Verity no longer exists. Her uncle's family has changed her name and taken her in, not as a relative but a very poorly treated servant. When Max shows up to visit the family he doesn't recognize her but is instantly fascinated by her. He decides to "help" her by offering to set her up as his Mistress. Once her true identity comes to light and scandal is about to set in, he decides he must to the right and proper thing by marrying her.

I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed Verity. Many times in Harlequin Historicals the leading lady is a bit washed out, ready to fall into the arms of whatever man is nice to her. Not Verity. She insists on certain things being her way and when it all seems to be falling apart, she's not afraid to up and leave Max in London.

Max, on the other hand, drove me INSANE. He was very wishy-washy, constantly changing his mind about whether or not he loved Verity, trusted Verity, wanted Verity, would treat Verity with respect. He seemed to be apologizing for something every chapter. If I had been Verity I think I would have had enough long before the end of the book. Some of the things he said to her were positively awful.

If Max had been slightly more compassionate and likeable, this book would have been great. He was too much the villain at times for me to ever like him, which significantly lowered my enjoyment of the book.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Book Review: The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group by Catherine Jinks

Th Abused Werewolf Rescue Group by Catherine Jinks
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 416
Acquired: 08/29/11
Book of Your Shelf? No
Why I read it: NetGalley
Series: None

Tobias Vandeveld is in a bit of a bind. He's woken up in the hospital with no idea how he got there or what happened the night before. His mother is furious, the doctors are confused, and the police are involved. Apparently he spent the night in a dingo pen.....naked. Now his friends find this to be the best story of the year (they don't know about the naked part), but Toby and his family are getting concerned. They have been visited by a priest and a rather surly looking man, who claim that the reason for Toby's strange night is because he's a werewolf. Toby's mother flips out, what good mother wouldn't, and tells them both to leave before she calls the police. Of course no one really believes that Toby is a werewolf. But then the story continues and for once, Toby's mother is proven wrong.

Toby is your typical almost delinquent young teenager. He hangs out with the local boys and occasionally gets into trouble, but for the most part he's not too bad. But this whole werewolf thing really throws him for a loop. As much as he doesn't want to believe it, it all starts to make sense. His life takes a turn for the worse, when Toby is abducted by werewolf hunters and held in a secure underground cell. His friendships are tested and his mother is highly upset when it all comes out in the end.

The story was a great read with a "realistic" twist. If you were a werewolf in real life, there's a good chance this is how you would have to life. I enjoyed that part very much, it wasn't too fantastical. The story is told from Toby's point of view which has its pros and cons. It's great getting inside his had and watching the pieces fall into place, but at the same time I felt like I was missing out on a lot of the other characters. They just seemed a little flat to me.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Book Review: Life of the Party: A Political Press Tart Bares All by Lisa Baron

Life of the Party: A Political Press Tart Bares All by Lisa Baron
Genre: Politics, Memoirs
Pages: 272
Acquired: 08/23/11
Book of Your Shelf? No
Why I read it: Review Copy
Series: None

Lisa explores her life as a spokeswoman for several politicians, namely the head of the Christian Coalition. Her voice is humorous and insightful, immersing the reader in the chaotic life she led. But as scandal rocks the organization she is forced to realize that her mentor may not be as honest as she thinks he is. When a series of bad decisions attracts bad press like a magnet, Lisa's skills are put to the test.

A great and entertaining read full of very memorable quotes.


In My Mailbox (7)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by The Story Siren.

Free ebook from B&N

Downtrodden servant or gracious lady?

When Max, Earl Blakehurst, meets Verity he sees a downtrodden servant.  He doesn't recognize her as the daughter of a colonel under whom he used to serve, the girl he'd once helped years before.  The life Verity's now living is untenable.  So he proposes a shocking solution - he will set her up as his mistress.

It's only once that Verity's finally agreed, once Max is beginning to lose his heart to her, that he discovers her true identity.  Max is taken aback; he would never have suggested this lady become his mistress.  Now, to avoid scandal, they'll have to marry.

Contest win from the Supernatural Smackdown (signed) 

Keira Kelly, half-breed descendant of a powerful supernatural family, has chosen to live apart from her clan and among humans in the Texas Hill Country.  When she experiences a vision that foretells the vicious murder of her human cousin Marty, she vows to determine the truth.  Soon, Keira begins to uncover long-concealed secrets, and risks alienating everyone she knows - from her former lover, Sheriff Carlton Larson, to the enigmatic Adam Walker, who's become more than just an acquaintance.

ebook Review Copy
Haunted by tragedy, FBI profiler Rife St. Cloud is driven to find the person who brutally attacked six women. Unfortunately the only survivor, Keva Moon Water, has no memory of what happened, and the evidence makes her the prime suspect.

Keva cannot die. She has waited a thousand years to be reunited with the man she loves, whose soul sleeps within Rife. Though he refuses to believe her claims of immortality, there's no denying the passion that burns between them. Keva desperately hopes their sexual connection will be enough to awaken Rife's memories of the love affair that started a war and bound their souls together for all eternity.

But when Keva's own memories come trickling back, she realizes that a future with Rife depends upon confronting the mistakes of the distant past...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (4)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
 My teaser this week comes from Night of the Vampires by Heather Graham pg 54.
Maybe it was natural that Lisette should subtly suggest that Megan Fox wasn't here with the noblest of intentions, to insinuate to those who understood the undertone that Megan might possibly hold an agenda that involved infesting the capital with the plague - and thus getting the Union to capitulate to the South.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Book Review: Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 336
Acquired: 08/19/11
Book of Your Shelf? No
Why I read it: Giveaway Win
Series: Mythos Academy (1)

Gwen Frost is a gypsy. What does that mean? It means that she comes from a family with strange magic-like powers. In her case, she can seen the history of items and people just by touching them. It means that her power turned her life upside down and led to the death of her mother. It means that she has been uprooted from everything she know and sent to Mythos Academy, a school for the decendants of ancient mythical beings such as valkyries and Spartans, where magic and destiny are commonplace. But Gwen doesn't fit in. She just wants to go back to her old school and her old way of life.

But she needs to come to terms with the fact that her life will never be normal again. It all begins when the most popular girl in school, a Valkyrie named Jasmine, is brutally murdered in the school library. Gwen feels that like she is the only one that seems to wonder what really happened and may have found a use for her power after all, except now it doesn't seem to be working the way it should.

I loved Gwen. She was upset and lonely, but there was always a good reason for her emotions and actions. There was no random brooding moments. Throughout the story she begins to feel more like she belongs in some ways, and like she belongs less in others. She finds friends and allies in unusual places and she becomes quite the detective...her mother would be proud.

The mystery itself was quite engaging. The hints to solve it were scattered expertly throughout the story and it all linked up very nicely at the end with an ending that was suprising only in the fact that you didn't figure it out sooner. I will definitely be adding the next book to my wishlist.


In My Mailbox (6)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by The Story Siren. I got two new ebooks.  One is from netgalley and the other is for a tour that I will be hosting soon, so keep yours eyes out it.

As a soldier, Cole Granger fights to restore peace to a world divided by war and evil. His extraordinary talents are enlisted to prevent the president's horrific premonition from becoming reality. Nothing—and no one—will stop him from fulfilling his duty. Especially the mysterious young woman who claims to be his comrade's sister. Enemy or ally, he can't yet determine. But one thing he knows for certain is that he must keep her close. Very close.

Megan Fox's quest to uncover a family secret leads her to the center of vampire riots in West Virginia. To find the answers she needs—and clear herself of suspicion—she must join forces with Cole. They work undercover to bring justice, but they can't disguise the potent attraction and need that draw them together. Yet trust doesn't come easily for Cole…and when Megan unearths the grim, dark truth, can she trust him to believe her?

Legacy: The Nitecliff Evolution
Denise Topkins
Looking back on the wish she made on Midsummer’s Eve, Maddy Niteclif should have been more specific. She only wanted to escape the shadowy nightmares that plagued her nights, not to be thrust into a completely altered reality.

If a strangely familiar, sexy dragon-shifter named Bahlin, who causes a never-to-be-mentioned-again fainting spell, isn’t enough to make her question her sanity, his insistence she’s the Niteclif ought to do the job. Prophesied super-sleuth of the supernatural world—a world that desperately needs her help—isn’t a job she’s remotely qualified for no matter what her family tree says.

Catapulted into a very different London ruled by dark mythology, mystery and murder, Maddy makes a few startling discoveries. Paranormal creatures exist. Getting shot really sucks. And her body responds remarkably well to dragon magic—in more ways than simple wound healing.
But in this kill-or-be-killed world, reality bites. And Maddy must choose to go back to what she knows…or stay and fight for the man she knows she can’t live without.

Warning: This book contains a shape-shifting dragon with a Scottish accent, modern and archaic weapons, global inter-species politics that make democracy seem mild, some very steamy sex underground, a severed head, murder, and…oh yeah…a woman caught in the middle of it all.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Book Beginnings on Friday (1)

Thanks to Katy at A Few More Pages for hosting this meme. To participate, share the first line or two of the book you are currently reading and, if you feel so moved, let us know what your first impressions were based on that first line.  The book I chose to use this week is one I've been reading for awhile now.  I would have finished it long ago, but it's a very long one.  And with my reading schedule being a more interrupted lately it's taken longer than usual.

From Daughter of Dreams by Marshall Miller:
"Dr. Manning?  Do you want to comment on that?"
The voice came from far away.  It came from a world where it was important to give an opinion about a minor detail in the latest scientific theory.  It had ceased to exist for him 30 seconds ago, when the tiny implant behind his ear had buzzed.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In My Mailbox (5)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by The Story Siren.  Two books received from the LibraryThing early review program.  One is for me, and the second one is more for my daughter.  She loves math but gets a little bored doing the same old workbook problems.   We're going to start working through them next weekend.

It's the middle of the twenty-first century and the elite children of New Middletown are lined up to receive a treatment that turns them into obedient, well-mannered citizens. Maxwell Connors, a seventeen-year-old prankster, misfit and graffiti artist, observes the changes with growing concern, especially when his younger sister, Ally, is targeted. Max and his best friend, Dallas, escape the treatment, but must pretend to be "zombies" while they watch their freedoms and hopes decay. When Max's family decides to take Dallas with them into the unknown world beyond New Middletown's borders, Max's creativity becomes an unexpected bonus rather than a liability.

"Math Bafflers" requires students to use creativity, critical thinking, and logical reasoning to perform a variety of operations and skills that align with state and national math standards. The book covers real-life situations requiring math skills, such as distance, liquid measures, money, time, weight, sequencing, comparison, age, area, and percentages, along with operations such as fractions, exponents, algebra, place value, and number lines. Students will make hypotheses, organize information, draw conclusions, and use syllogistic thinking. Teachers can feel confident that they are providing challenges and reinforcing important skills in a format that students enjoy! "Math Bafflers" builds essential critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving skills; develops logical thinking in a fun format; uses relevant, real-life mathematical situations; and provides opportunities for differentiation.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Book Review: Dreamquake by Elizabeth Knox

Dreamquake by Elizabeth Knox
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Pages: 464
Acquired: 08/09/11
Book of Your Shelf? No
Why I read it: Series
Series: Dreamhunter Duet (2)

I read the first book in the Dreamhunter duet as part of the Most Underappreciated Book Contest earlier this year. It intrigued me enough that I went out and got the second. However, about half way through I almost put the book down. The characters seemed to be stuck in a loop trying to figure the same things out over and over again.

Things were just taking too long for me, but I stuck through it and the second half of the book made up it. The characters started to develop again and the plot become involved and was progressing once again.

Laura Hame is once again center stage of the story, and she has finally started to put things together about the mysterious Place. The pieces eventually fell together quite nicely and the story ended well.


Book Review: The Incumbent by Alton Gansky

The Incumbent by Alton Gansky
Genre: Political Thriller
Pages: 336
Acquired: 04/16/10
Book of Your Shelf? Yes (Nook shelf)
Why I read it: Free Fridays
Series: The Madison Glenn Series (1)

Maddy Glenn is the mayor of a small town, Santa Rita, in California. Small town politics are her daily business until her campaign treasurer is abducted. The only clue is a Madison Glenn business card with 4 drops of blood on it. And of course that's not all. As the crimes continue with more and more clues linking Maddy to the case, things begin to get dangerous. Police escorts, private investigators, angry fathers, and a van that seems to be following her all add up to lots of stress.

I really enjoyed Maddy as a character. She was a strong woman, but was had a deeper side to her than your stereotypical "strong female lead" role. She was compassionate to others effected by the crimes, and regularly complained about how over protective her parents could act, even though she had been out on her own for years. The characters surrounding Maddy were also very fun to read about. My only complaint were the main police characters seemed a little over the top. The disgruntled (and highly agitated) ex-husband of the first victim was an interesting addition to the story, but he almost played too large a part. However, since this is a series, they could just be setting the players for the second book.

The book was quite enjoyable, but I had the mystery figured out way too early to get excited about the big revelation near the end.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Book Review: Kushiel's Avatar by Jacqueline Carey

Kushiel's Avatar by Jacqueline Carey

Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 768
Acquired: ???
Book of Your Shelf? Yes
Why I read it: Series
Series: Kushiel's Avatar (3)

Ten years have passed for Phedre and Joscelin. Years of peace and happiness uninterrupted by intrigue. The only damper is the knowledge that her best friend, Hyacinthe, is stuck as master of the straights, fulfilling an age old curse. But one again the gods have a higher purpose for them, a message seen in dreams and in the form of a plea for help from the traitor, Melisande. her son, hidden away for the past ten years, has been kidnapped. Thus begins the most imporatant journey of Phedre's life. A journey to not only save an innocent boy, but finally a way to free Hyacinthe and thwart an evil that no one realizes even exists.

A fantastic conclusion to the trilogy. Phedre takes Joscelin to hell and beyond and pushed both of their vows, to each other and to their gods, to the test. As they decend into near madness they realize how great sacrifice can lead to such amazing rewards. The journey takes to places few have heard of and brings them back home full of rewards, but scarred for life.
This is my favorite book of the series by far. I keep wanting to say more about the story, but I don't want to give too much away for those that haven't read the first two yet. What I can say is that if you haven't read these yet, you must! There is a follow up series that I have all but the first one for, and I know that it has moved up to the top of my wish list for books to buy.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Music for Monday (1)

One of my favorite things to do, right after reading, is listen to music.  Growing up in the 90's, I was a grunge and heavy metal girl, and those influences are still very evident in what I listen to today.  My boyfriend, Dane, and I are both quite opinionated about what "good" music is, and thankfully we almost always agree.  So I've asked him to write up a little bit about music now and then to get the week started.  I hope you enjoy it!

Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

For those of you that have been living under a rock for the last fifteen years, I should inform you that the Foo Fighter’s are quite possibly the greatest rock and roll band on the planet. I only say “quite possibly” as to leave room for the small minority of those who also believe that the world is flat, the Moon Landing was a hoax and other nonsense that is hardly up for debate. This band combines the likes of The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Motorhead in such a spectacular, awe inspiring manner that it is almost beyond comprehension.

Which brings me to the point (yes, I have one). Wasting Light is the culmination of a catalogue that has changed the way we live, love and look at livestock…and Mentos. Although this record may not necessarily represent the apex of their career, it is certainly a conglomeration of all that is right with what is left of rock music. Meaningful lyrics. Quiet verses, loud choruses. Roaring guitars. Powerful drums. And Dave’s scream. Much like Clapton in the late 60’s, Dave Grohl’s divinity should be indefinitely ingrained on boxcars and overpasses across the country – reminding those of us meandering throughout the post-Cobain era that there is still hope. But I digress.

Wasting Light takes you through a turbulent journey of love, loss, self-doubt and self-preservation. It’s both beautiful and loud, often at the same time. Soulful ballads give way to riff-rock in a manner that would leave you to believe that they do it, well, just because they can. Even more impressive, Wasting Light was recorded on tape (that’s right, tape). In Dave’s garage. No holds barred, no apologies – just the way it should be.

So go ahead. Do some light stretching, maybe run around the block. Hell, eat a balanced breakfast. You’re going to need it. This album is a throat-punch to the soul that the music industry so desperately needs from time to time, maybe now more than ever. In a moment in time that is dominated by the tastes of a generation who is unfamiliar with the term “Reaganomics”, this album restores faith in humanity. Wasting Light, if nothing else, reminds you that there is a place – far beyond Disney pop, past Nu Metal and lousy Hip-Hop – a land called Rock and Roll. And it is ruled with an iron fist by the Foo Fighters. This is their propaganda.