Saturday, February 28, 2009

Smart Girls Think Twice

Smart Girls Think Twice by Cathie Linz

What was this book about?

The last sister to be single – Emma Riley is surrounded by weddings. She is used to being the youngest, the smartest, and not exactly known for her good looks. But she is back in her hometown and ready to help her sisters plan their weddings – and – doing something good for her career. Emma is involved in a research project about her hometown.

In walks dangerous and sexy Jake Slayter. Jake has secrets and many of them involve why he came to this town. He is a bartender now – but he used to be an extreme sport superstar. Jake doesn’t usually like the smart ones but he can’t help but be attracted to Emma.

Will the secrets Jake is keeping tear them apart?

What did you think about the book?

I liked it. I always like to see the bookish girl get the non-bookish guy. Emma had so many interesting people surrounding her in her life. They brought out the fun part of the story. An interfering mother, a father who is misunderstood, an ex boyfriends little brother – not to mention her two sisters and brothers-in-law that we met in previous books.

Surrounded by weddings and her career Emma learns to focus on what is the most important to her.

What genre would you consider this?
Romance

Overall:

Question for You!

Have you done any extreme sports? What one would you love to do?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Rogue

Rogue by Cheryl Brooks



What was this book about?
Kyra is a timid piano teacher who decides to do something totally out of character. Get a job teaching the children of a Queen of another planet - a lizard planet called Darconia.

Kyra has no idea what she is in store for when she gets to the planet. It is hot and dry and has very little water. Something that humans definitely need. Once she arrives there Queen Scalia gives her something she doesn't know what to do with - one of her prized slaves. Queen Scalia likes to collect different species - unusual species and this is definitely one of those. He looks very much like a man but is part cat. And he drives Kyra wild with desire. What does that mean for her? Can she live on a planet like this?

What did you think about the book?
If you are looking for the normal run of the mill love story this book isn't for you. This book combines an extra terrestrial story with a hot and graphic sexual love story between Kyra and her cat-man Tychar.

I have to admit I wasn't sure what I would think of a love story like this that ties two different races (one closely tired with Tigers) together. But other then a few extra special sexual abilities Tychar (and his brother Trag) are much like any normal man.

The story is definitely different and inventive. A lizard planet. Political Power and war. Slavery vs. freedom. All sorts of topics are covered with the most interesting one being the relationship between Kyra and her man. Kyra is a nice person who you see grow sexually so that she becomes bold and sure of herself. And her relationship helped her do it.

What genre would you consider this?
Romance/Erotica

Overall:

Question for You!

What is your favorite part about fantasy novels set in space on different planets?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Author Post: Bruce Skye

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A former technical writer, detail is important to Bruce Skye. His research for the Deathsong Chronicles included medieval armor and fortresses, as well as Celtic names and magic. "If you create a world, it must be consistent. And that's what I strive for Grayrider's world to be. I've built a database of material for each of the Deathsong Chronicles. Those databases aid me in keeping the world the same from book to book.

"When I wrote Grayrider, I followed the advice of Stephen King. I did not write the book following any sort of outline. I have no more idea than my readers do when I write a novel what will happen in the midst of the story. It makes it more exciting for both the readers and myself."

You can visit his website at www.bruceskye.com.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Gabriel, the exiled king of Rivalin, comes before King Airell to warn him the Ansgarian army will invade his kingdom before the night is over. Airell tells him he has no one to send. Gabriel wants revenge for the murder of his family by the Ansgarians. He decides to fight the incursion without help.

As this takes place, Deirdre (Airell’s daughter), flees the kingdom of Cynyr north of Boadhagh. She knows now her mentor, Morrigan, created the Ansgarian army her father has fought for years. She goes south to warn him of her. Because Deirdre does not believe in herself, the young sorceress has difficulty in performing magic.

Once she is reunited with her father, she tells both he and Grayrider about Morrigan. Her power is growing; only Gabriel’s magical sword may yet destroy her. He must go to Cynyr to fight her. He agrees if Deirdre attends him, seeking her counsel. On that journey they fall in love and foil many efforts by Morrigan to kill Gabriel by both armies and sorcerers.

Grayrider fights Morrigan and sees his beloved slain by the sorceress before he is finally able to kill her. He returns to Rivalin brokenhearted. The ending is a complete surprise the reader will not expect at all.

GUEST POST:


When I wrote Grayrider, I followed the advice of Stephen King, who has written never to use an outline when writing a novel. And I have found that advice to be sound. I say that because of the number of reviewers who have commented on the number of plot twists the book contains.

I believe keeping the reader guessing about what may happen next is part and parcel of entertaining them. I want to keep my readers on the edge of their seats. I do that because that’s the kind of book I want to read.

Complex plotlines can be accomplished in various ways. But all of them should center on your characters. How will the hero do if the villain does this? If you know your characters and how they will respond to various situations, creating plot twists is easy. As well, the villain’s machinations can be a rich source for storyline twists.

This leads to an associated point: your characters themselves. Giving literary characters depth and background is important. It allows readers to “get into” the story. One reviewer wrote of Grayrider:

Volume One of The Deathsong Chronicles follows the pursuits of the noble Gabriel and his love, beautiful Deirdre. As battles ensue and the throne of Rivalin becomes an option for Gabriel, I found myself pulled into his life and cheering him on. Grayrider and his enemies and friends aren't one-dimensional, as they often are in this genre.

I write fantasy novels. But my heroes are both realistic and appealing so readers will want them to win. That also leads to suspense, for if you’re pulling for the hero to get through this deadly obstacle, you’ll keep reading to see if he does. Secondly, even though magic is a stable of this genre, having “real” people as characters makes the story much more credible to readers.

As I said before, my goal is to entertain my readers.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Grayrider

Grayrider by Bruce Skye



What was this book about?
Gabriel is Grayrider. Gabriel's parents were killed by the evil Morrigan and the Ansgarian army. He has become like a son to his parents friend - King Airell. When King Airell's lands are also threatened by the army - Gabriel will do anything to stop them (and reek revenge for his own losses).

But Morrigan is a powerful sorceress and will stop at nothing to get as much power as she can. Despite the fact that Gabriel has been blessed with a fire breathing horse -Windfire and a sword that has its own powers - Deathsong - it will be a long hard battle.

Thankfully King Airell's daughter, Deirdre has returned to the kingdom. She had left it many years before and what they don't know is that she was learning her magic at Morrigan's hand. With Deirdre's help Gabriel may be able to defeat her. When Deidre and Gabriel join forces - another thing happens - love.

Will love defeat all enemies? What does that mean for the kingdom?

What did you think about the book?
I very much enjoyed the story in this book. It was entertaining and kept me wanting to read. I found one thing both refreshing and at the same time wished for it a little more. With these chronicles of fantasy novels sometimes the prose outweighs the story. The author gets into such descriptive text that they forget to focus on the story. I didn't find that in this book. In fact at times (and only at a few times) I wished for a little more description. But in many ways it made this a quick and interesting read because you were able to use your own imagination a little more.

I am interested in seeing where this series goes next. It almost seems like things have come to some sort of conclusion. But there were a few extra little things that could come back to haunt our couple Gabriel and Deidre.

What genre would you consider this?
Fantasy

Overall:

Question for You!
What other Fantasy series do you like the best?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Midnight Alley

Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine (The Morganville Vampires)

What was this book about?

Claire is stuck in Morganville. And when we left off in the last book she had agreed to be protected by Amelie. Amelie is powerful and has a new thing that she wants Claire to get involved with – she is to study with a vampire.

Claire has a lot going on – she only signed to protect her friends. Her roommate Michael was a ghost and is now a vampire. Her boyfriend hates his best friend Michael now because he gave in and in his mind has become evil. They all, along with Eve live in the same house.

Dead women begin showing up all over the place. They are just trying to survive and now they are being framed for murder. Add to that Claire trying to keep her secrets from her parents and even a few from her friends and things get dicey quickly.

What did you think about the book?

I enjoy these Morganville Vampire books. You really do have to start reading from the beginning of the series though. They attempt to explain what is going on but there is so much history and so much going on that you need more then they can give you. Add to that the feeling that I get that each story is less its own mini-story and instead a book in the larger picture. I get very little satisfaction in that things are resolved in these books. It doesn’t take away from the story – but everything is one big cliffhanger that takes you to the next book.

Claire is a kind a generous person who will do anything for her friends and family. I like that. Some may say she is a little na├»ve but when it comes down to it – she handles things the best she can and isn’t afraid to make the difficult decisions.

What genre would you consider this?

Paranormal Teen

Overall:

Question for You!
Would you give up your freedom for your friends?

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Well-Read Commuter reviews Little Pink House: A True Story of Defiance and Courage By: Jeff Bendict

Little Pink House: A True Story of Defiance and Courage
By: Jeff Bendict



What was this book about?

You can’t fight city hall, or can you? Susette Kelo is about to find out. In 1997 the hard working forty-something Susette is looking to leave her country home and loveless marriage behind and lose herself in the quiet solitude of the Connecticut Coast. In the economically depressed city of New London she purchases a “handyman’s special” cottage with a breathtaking view, paints it Odessa Rose and goes about starting a new chapter in her life. However, just as Susette was busy striping wood floors and customizing granite flower boxes in her front yard, next to her property Pfizer was announcing plans to build its new global research and development center next door in an abandoned linoleum factory.

Hot on the heels of the success of Viagra, the world’s largest Pharmaceutical company is poised to give a major lift to the state’s second poorest city. The state immediately seeks to pave the way for the 300 million dollar facility by offering up 100 million to purchase and develop the properties in Susette’s neighborhood to make way for a five-star hotel and shopping complexes next to the Pfizer campus. Those who don’t sell and leave will be subject to Eminent Domain. Susette finds herself and her pink cottage in the way of progress and jobs and at the center of a perfect storm of the political and business powers of the day. It’s the story of a homegrown fight about individual rights, property rights and state’s rights that ends up in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

What did you think about the book?

I thought this was a good book. What I liked about this book is the author was not satisfied with just Susette Kelo’s view on the chain of events. Rather the author chooses to deliver a 360 degree view of the situation drawing multiple interviews, court transcripts and media interviews to tell the entire story. Unfortunately, developing a story involving so many characters makes it a bit dry in the first two chapters, but it is well worth getting up to speed on all the political and corporate forces that combine.

Refusing to leave her sanctuary by the sea so a parking lot and hotel can be built she challenges the state’s interpretation of the fifth amendment which allows the taking of private property with due process and just compensation for public use. Public policy geeks, such as myself, will love the real life application and debate about the Bill of Rights Fifth Amendment and state’s rights. You certainly don’t have to be a student of public policy to appreciate this story involving scheming, planning, late-night dumpster diving for documents or the depth of the political and corporate careers at stake. This interesting story told in a way that includes multiple perspectives will have you wildly flipping to change your opinion of who is right and who is wrong in this saga as you progress through the chapters. A thoroughly modern tale whose court implications will be felt for perhaps generations to come in the realm of urban development and personal property rights. The reason I often prefer non-fiction is because the truth is often stranger than fiction and this is no exception.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Running Hot

Running Hot by Jayne Ann Krentz (Arcane Society Novel)

What was this book about?

Grace Renquist is all alone in the world. She met someone who she thought would be her friend and her family and it turned out that he was open to doing some pretty bad things. She now will do what she has to to keep the evil out of the world (while still keeping her secrets).

She may be an Arcane Society librarian but she has an interesting twist on someone who can read auras. She can read them so well she can tell if someone is who she thinks they are just by their auras. So she is sent to Hawaii to match up with Luther Malone. Luther is an ex-cop who knows that Grace has secrets. He has a few of his own.

Can they get the job done and identify the bad guy? What is going on with all these other people who seem to be involved? Can they stop the evil Nightshade group – which is manufacturing a drug that makes psychic powers more intense (but also breaks the user down mentally?)

What did you think about the book?


I like these Arcane Society books. I love how they span the past and the present. And they bring up the characters from other books in the series without making you feel like they have been thrown in just for that reason.

For everyone in the books it is all about power and how sometimes the need to do anything to get power will corrupt you. There are people who have the power naturally or work to get it – but play by the rules – and bad things may happen to them but overall they overcome it all and come out ahead because of how they deal with it.

So take that and throw in some supernatural abilities and the need to find someone to love – who they fit in with and you have the classic Arcane Society Novel.

What genre would you consider this?

Romance/Suspense

Overall:

Question for You!

When picking your family – who do you consider part of your family – that isn’t a blood relative?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Talk Me Down

Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl

What was this book about?

Molly Jennings returns to the small town Tumble Creek, Colorado. It doesn’t take long for her to run into her old crush Ben Lawson. Ben is now the sheriff of the town. Molly has always had a thing for Ben –but she was too young and his friends little sister to boot. This time things might be different.

Everyone knows that Molly is keeping secrets. For Ben this is hard to take –he is used to finding out people’s secrets not living with them. Will it drive them apart or together? Will Molly ever fess up to him that her job is to write erotic fiction? How will a small town take that?

Something keeps throwing Molly and Ben together. Weird and dangerous things are happening to Molly. Who could be doing it and why?

What did you think about the book?

This book was just fun. It kept me entertained and excited to keep reading. The characters are likeable. Their interactions with each other leave you wanting more. Yes there is sex. But while it plays a large part in the story – it isn’t everything that there is.

I would definitely read more Victoria Dahl books. Anyone who likes contemporary romances with an edge – this is the book for you. The story is great and it is definitely one of those books when you start you don’t want to stop.

What genre would you consider this?
Romance

Overall:


Question for You!

What secret job that you always wanted – would you be afraid to tell your family and love ones about?

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Shiksa Syndrome

The Shiksa Syndrome by Laurie Graff

What was this book about?

Aimee Albert had a relationship that wasn’t moving in the direction she wanted. For one he just wasn’t Jewish – so he didn’t get what was going on with her.

So she decides to move on and as part of that she goes through a makeover process. All of a sudden she doesn’t look like the typical Jewish woman. She looks like a Shiksa. So when she meets a nice Jewish boy – who likes that she is a Shiksa she decides she just won’t tell him the truth.

She is forced to live a life of lies. Josh has his own ideas of what a Jewish woman is about – and is excited that he has a Shiksa in his life. But religion is important to Aimee so she can’t keep denying her heritage forever. What will happen with Josh when he finds out who she really is?s

What did you think about the book?


I am not Jewish and I really don’t know all that much about the Jewish faith. But I didn’t think that it would matter when it came to this book. I thought I might learn some things, see a portal into someone’s different life – isn’t that what book reading is all about?

Despite my genuine positive outlook for this book it didn’t take too long before I was just tired of it. It wasn’t a bad book and maybe if I could identify with what the person was going through it may have helped. But the lies about something that was so important to her even though it was for no good reason (getting a guy isn’t a good reason – protecting yourself and your emotions is a good reason) got to me. I realize that Josh was dealing with his own issues of stereotyping and that was the only way she could get him to like her. But any guy who won’t look at you for you isn’t worth it.

What genre would you consider this?

Romance

Overall:

Question for You!

Have you ever used any sort of dating service? What did you think about it?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

No Peeking by Stephanie Bond

No Peeking by Stephanie Bond (Harlequin Blaze – Sex for Beginners)

What was this book about?

Violet Summerlin helps those that need assistance – and are wealthy enough to pay for it. Whether it is walking your dog or checking out businesses she will do it for you. That means that Violet has had to be very disciplined and it as transferred to every part of her life.

This discipline is put on hold when she gets a letter she wrote to herself in college. She took a course – Sex for Beginners – that made her evaluate what she wanted in her fantasy life.

When Dominick Burns finds the letter in some other paperwork that Violet brings him – he can’t help but want to act on it. They have always been attracted and now he knows how to bring the best out from her.

Is this just a game for Dominick? What does it mean for Violet? Can she trust him?

What did you think about the book?

Interesting premise. Writing to yourself in the future – telling yourself what you want most out of a romantic relationship. No matter what the subject thinking of yourself in the future and writing down what you think you want and seeing if you get it is quite interesting.

In terms of the story itself – the strong points were – the main hero is fun. He likes things that are different and fun. And he helps Violet see that she can enjoy it as well. I liked that. This is a fast and fun read.

What genre would you consider this?
Romance

Overall:


Question for You!

Have you ever written something to yourself in the future? Did you save it and open it when you were supposed to?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Home for the Holidays

Home for the Holidays by Lisa Plumley

What was this book about?

Rachel Porter is the stylist to the stars. But when she finds her number one client in bed with her boyfriend she makes a career ending mistake. In an effort to get back at her cheating boyfriend and the starlet – she dresses them horribly. Instead it backfires and she is let go and now has nothing.

So what does a girl do then? Go back to mommy and daddy of course. So Rachel travels back to her home town. She is really looking to just hide out. But Kismet, Michigan isn’t a place she can hide in. The small town wants to show Rachel what it has and she can’t deny it.

Meanwhile, Reno Wright a football star turned hometown boy is in Kismet too. He can’t say no to anyone and the whole town relies on him to help them. So when he is asked to pick Rachel up – he isn’t going to say no.

They have an attraction that can’t be denied. But what about Reno’s best friend who believes he is love with Rachel? What about Rachel who really thinks that the place for her is back in Hollywood?

What did you think about the book?

This is a fun quick romance read. For me I loved how the small town wasn’t just a small town. It was a bunch of people with traditions, relationships, dependencies, but mostly a joy in helping one another. I lived in a small town for much of my life and enjoyed some of the benefits and also had to deal with some of the downfalls (wow gossip can move fast). I liked that this book promotes the small town in the background of a love story.

Rachel is fun and different for the town and Reno but you still think they belong together.

What genre would you consider this?
Romance

Overall:

Question for You!
Did you grow up in a small town or large one? What was your favorite part about it? Least favorite?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Zen and the Art of Vampires

Zen and the Art of Vampires by Katie MacAlister (A Dark Ones Novel)

What was this book about?

Pia Thomason decides for her soon-to-be fortieth birthday – she will treat herself. An adventure – to Iceland. She wants to find someone to love her and she doesn’t know if that is ever going to happen.

When she gets to Iceland weird things start happening. She is kidnapped and believed to be this Zorya thing. Then ghosts start appearing and she hears about these people called the “Dark Ones” (vampires). She doesn’t know who to believe. Who is good – who is evil.

Add to that the complication of budding attractions for two of the Dark Ones – Kristoff and Alec. Which one is the one she is meant to be with? What about the people that are after her? Who should she trust? And who should trust her?

What did you think about the book?

This book was very hard for me to get into. I think to start with the heroine was a little unsure of herself. She felt old and unattractive and spent a lot of time feeling sorry for herself. I don’t think 39 is old. Yes she wanted a relationship but still.

Then to move on to the rest of the plot – I spent half the book wondering whether she was going to get with Kristoff or Alec. I wanted her to be with someone – find her soulmate. But it is hard to feel that way when you think the book is a romance and she sleeps with both of the main heros before the book is halfway through. I can’t feel like she is with her soul mate when she sleeps with his best friend first.

I think for me part of it was finding the “genre” that I wanted to put it in. Was it a romance? Or was the book less about the relationships with the characters and instead about this overarching story? I thought it was the former at first but by middle thought it was the later, and then to end with the former. It just was difficult for me to get into.

What genre would you consider this?

Paranormal Romance

Overall:


Question for You!

Does the age of the characters in the book change anything for you?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Baron Thinks DOGS Are People Too!

Children’s Book: Baron Thinks DOGS Are People Too! By Laurie Dean Illustrated by Kevin Collier

I have decided to have children’s books follow a different format. When they are illustrated picture books that are only 20 pages or so it is hard to answer the questions that I have for the rest of the books. So we are going to try out something new and see how we like it!

Things that I think stuck out in regards to this book:

  • If your children like dogs – this will be a great book for them. The dog has human like emotions and bonds with his children. In the end the boy and the dog are the best of friends.
  • I think something that stuck out to me as something some children could identify with is the fact that one day the Dad had to go away and be with the Air Force for a while. While it wasn’t something that was a main plot part of the story – I could definitely see the fact that the kids in that book had something happen just like your child – would appeal to them.
  • I love the fact that the dog has to go to obedience school. It shows that misbehaving isn’t something that is good for a dog (or a kid). Maybe something that a child who’s dog is entering obedience school would like.
  • The artwork is really colorful and fills the entire page. Very visual!


Overall:

Author Interview - Robert B. Bolin Author of The Broken Parachute Man

Tell us a little about yourself:

I am an oncologist that practices general oncology in a small community in southwestern Oregon. I have practiced for over 24 years and have dealt with the pharmaceutical industry as one who prescribes their wares as well as an investigator for their promising products. I was educated at a small religious college, attended medical school at the University of Colorado, and postgraduate work at the University of Miami, University of New Mexico and the National American Red Cross Blood Program. I worked for eight years in the US Army's Medical Research Institute at the Presidio of San Francisco. It was there that I interacted with pharmaceutical companies on drug development and came to appreciate the "politics" involved. I love research, and what has been accomplished in the past thirty years, but it is hard work, high pressure and prone to failure.

What is your book "The Broken Parachute Man" about?
Basically it is a story about greed, the need to always do better and how the pressure can lead to bad decisions. In it, I make the "hero" a less-than-stellar pharmaceutical executive, who dreams of being great, a victim of a conspiracy in his company. He discovers data that, if true, will acknowledge his worth, but on the way to present the story to the FDA, his plane is hijacked and he is captured only to escape by inadvertently falling out as the terrorists get ready to parachute. He spends weeks in the winter mountains and, when rescued, he is accused by authorities as one of the hi-jackers. He escapes again, goes to Las Vegas as a street person. There he meets an HIV positive prostitute, a defrocked alcoholic doctor, a sociopath and a kleptomaniac. They help him solve the mystery through several adventures, including a murder, that takes them to Europe and back to the company's home in Chicago. As the plot unravels, the team realizes they must hurry before others, including patients, are victimized.

What prompted you to begin writing?

This is my second novel. The first was "Unwanted Inheritance" about three generations of a family with a cancer gene and how they deal with it. I have always wanted to write since college but never had the time. When at the Presidio of San Francisco, I wrote several research papers and was guided through the writing process by a wonderful editor who challenged me to go further.

Since 2004, my clinical responsibilities have reduced, and I have time to take writing again. I must say that creative writing is much different that technical writing. I have a new found appreciation of those that write to entertain.

What do you like best about writing? the least?

I enjoy the challenge to create an idea by researching a topic then organizing the information in a way that is creative for someone else's mind. I enjoy the proofing process with editors and critics. I find the process to publish a book overwhelming and frustrating.

What do you think is the one thing that people should know about the medical/pharmaceutical companies that they don't?

The industry is competitive and profit driven. We, as consumers, need to hold them accountable but, at the same time, appreciate what they can do for us.

What do you think your next project will involve?

I already know. It is a novel that has been brewing for years. A historical novel, based on true people, set in a small mining town, circa 1887, called "The Pepperbox Diary". Its theme is prejudice and how three people learn to cope with it. The story has adventure, period medicine and treasure seeking all wrapped up in intrigue.

Was there anything you wished I had asked you about that you couldn't wait to tell me?

That's a loaded question! Actually, yes: is there any truth to the science you present in the novel? Absolutely! The science is based on the ongoing research with chemical signals to cells to tell them to grow or die. This stuff is real and the exciting frontier in cancer treatment in my opinion.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Christmas Sweater

The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck

What was this book about?

For a long time Eddie was the average boy. He had a happy life with both his parents. While they weren’t wealthy – they had enough to put food on the table, buy his clothes, and enough for a few surprise extras. When Eddie’s father dies that all changes. His mother works multiple jobs just for enough money to keep him fed and clothed.

For any 12 year old boy this is a lot to handle. He wants to be like his friends and have new things. He doesn’t understand what is happening and why his life isn’t fair.

When Christmas comes the one thing he wants more than anything is a bike. He thinks he has been good, he prays to God for it. It means it must be coming – right? When instead he is greeted on Christmas morning by a sweater – for him it is the last straw. The decisions he makes that day affect the rest of his life. How can he find solace in the life that was given to him? Can he make his peace with God when he feels he has been so short changed?

What did you think about the book?

What grown up doesn’t look back on their life as a teenager and go – wow – I was a big pain in the butt. My poor parents. It isn’t that you aren’t a good kid. It is that you are a normal child – self-involved. You think of things revolving around you. How you didn’t get what you wanted for Christmas. How you want to spend more time with your friends. How you wish you had someone elses’ life. And inevitably that self-involvement leads you to hurt those that you love the most.

For me that is what a lot of this book was about. Someone was hurting. Bad things happen. You need something to help you through the hard times. For this character – it isn’t until he turns to God that he finds a way through the storm that life has dealt him.

For me this book is less about Christmas (though it does play a part) and more about how you treat others. It is about facing the good and the bad and doing what you can to get through. I think what I actually liked best was the ending where Glenn Beck talks about where the story “came from” in his mind. It isn’t a true story – but it has its roots in the truth of his life and that brings it all together for me.

Special thanks to my mother-in-law who gave me the book for Christmas. She always gives the best titles – that make you think (and sometimes cry).

What genre would you consider this?

Family Dynamics

Overall:

Question for You!

What book did someone give you (or loan) you – is your favorite? Why? Does the person who gives you the book impact your feelings on it?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Tantalize

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith

What was this book about?

Quincie Morris is an orphan who lives with her uncle. Her parents have both died and other then her best friend Kieren she feels like she has nothing. Kieren though has his own plans as he is half werewolf.

When Quincie’s parents business begins to fail her uncle decides to open a “vampire” restaurant. Something themed that will draw in the customers. For Quincie that means working with a cook to figure out the menu, and figuring out what they need to do to make it authentic.

Quincie’s cook is killed and no one knows who did it. There goes another family friend. This vampire restaurant seems to be causing a lot of problems for everyone. Is it really worth it?

What did you think about the book?

I wanted to like this book – but it just didn’t do it for me. It was well written and the story was somewhat interesting. I think the things that did it for me was – did the world know about vampires? There were just too many side plots thrown in (what was going to happen with her best friend etc.) And the fact there was so much leading up to the big moment and not enough of the moment itself and the fall out from it.

I imagine this book is one of a series and that many of the things that I didn’t like will be covered there. That is probably the reason for not including it here. The big thing for me is I want the original book to grab my interest on its story – before being concerned about what is going to happen in the sequel. If it the plot points that will draw me to the sequel aren’t naturally part of the story that is ok. If I liked the first book I will pick up the second even if I am not sitting on pins and needles waiting to see what happens next.

What genre would you consider this?
Teen/Paranormal

Overall:


Question for You!
Would you go to a vampire themed restaurant?