Saturday, May 30, 2009

Book Feature: Along Came You

Author: Karona Drummond
Illustrated by: Estelle Corke
Ages: 4-7
Publication Date: April 2009
Publisher: Zonderkidz
Cost $15.99
Description: A book written to tell a child from mother to daughter
how much life changed when they were born. In a fun way it explains all the things that they now get to do because there is a wonderful child in their life.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Book Review: Hunted

Hunted by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast (A House of Night Novel)

Description: Zoey and her friends saw the bird man Kalona unleashed on the school and its participants by headmistress Neferet at the end of the last House of Night Novel. They escape into the world only to be forced back into the school.

Zoey has always had special abilities and her loyalty to her friends as well as Nyx has served her well. She now is surrounded by different vampires then the kind that were originally created when teens like herself transformed. She knows it is up to her friends and herself to save the world. Kalona is out to get them - especially Zoey and she is the only one that can figure out a way to stop him.

Zoey has to figure out if all of those who seem to be her friends really are. Are the red fledglings someone she can trust? What about the students who are still back at the House of Night? Zoey has been burned before can she figure out who is good and who is bad in time?


Thoughts: I liked this series when I first started reading it. As time has progressed I have grown to like it more and more. You don't know who is the good guy and who are the bad guys. You instead focus on relationships of teens - within groups as well as individual friendships and romantic relationships. Tie all that in with a girl who maybe has a little too much responsibility and it may have hurt her in these relationships. But she is loyal - both to her friends as well as Nyx - the goddess.

The way things are progressing Zoey learns to rely on her friends a little more and more and that group is ever expanding. The red vampires, her special guards, as well as her circle. The story is interesting and inventive and if anything the only thing wrong with it is that it ends - and you keep wanting more.

I personally would recommend starting at the beginning of the series - as I think many of the things in it would be things you don't necessarily need to know about - but would start out as confusing (why are some of the teens dead, how do they become vampires, who Kalona and Neferet are and what is up with Heath the human teen who seems to be attached to Zoey).


What genre would you consider this?
Paranormal/Teen

Overall:

Winners of Anita Shreve's Testimony

  • kaela_kane
  • sharon54220
  • jwx4
  • batchcky
  • Misha

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Book Review: The Nonesuch

The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer

Description:Ancilla Trent is a woman who chaperones others. She is too old for marriage (at least according to society). She is assigned the duties of watching Tiffany Weld she is not looking forward to it as this girl is known to be difficult. Tiffany (a very selfish young lady) runs off leaving Ancilla to deal wit the scandal.

When Sir Waldo Hawkridge inherits an estate in Oversett - he is the one most surpirsed. Sir Hawkridge is used to a different sort of society - and can't believe that he is stuck out in a place where there is a little less going on. But society in Oversett embraces him.

Sir Waldo Hawkridge is a kind man who helps Ancilla deal with this horrible occurrence. And what they both learn is love can come at any age.

Thoughts: What can I say - Waldo is just such a nice man. The story is traditional Georgette Heyer - a touch of Jane Austen and a romance that will keep you entertained. Her charecters are so fun loving and have the most interesting debacles and adventures. It makes you want to keep reading more.

Mind you I don't know if these books are for the average quick historical romance reader. Think of this as a book closer to a Pride and Prejudice then a juicy and hot romance. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't read it - just that you have the correct expectations.

The details in Georgette Heyer's books are amazing. They make you feel like you are really there in that time and location. A great read for those that just can't get enough of those sorts of details.

What genre would you consider this?
Historical

Overall:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Book Review: Frederica

Frederica by Georgette Heyer

Description: Frederica comes to London with the hope of finding an advantageous marriage for her beautiful sister. Of course things are never as simple as they seem. Frederica decides to ask her distant cousin, the Marquis of Alverstoke for help with this and he can't deny her that.

Alverstoke quickly realizes that he has quite the bunch on his hands. He tries hard to distance himself - but who can deny them (and the trouble they get into)?

Thoughts: For those that are Jane Austen genre fan's this is the author to pick up. She has a variety of novels that we are lucky enough to have getting republished. I wouldn't think of her as a modern day historical romance novelist (as you won't have any graphic love scenes here) but instead of as a the woman who maybe allowed the genre to grow as her books became great sellers so did the genre open up.

The characters can't help but be loveable - from the sister who is beautiful and can't tell anyone no, to the brother who can't help but be ernest, to the heroine herself. It all keeps you coming back for more.

What genre would you consider this?
Historical Romance

Overall:

Monday, May 25, 2009

Book Review: Outcast

Outcast by Cheryl Brooks

Description: Lynx has spent years being abused by women and only being used for his sexual prowess. And that means he wants nothing more then to stay a million miles away from any woman that may find him attractive. Then he meets Bonnie. Bonnie needs him for so much more then a lover - she is alone and pregnant and has a farm to maintain. And Lynx is her answer.

Their time together makes each wonder if there is more to the other then meets the eye. Lynx has been damaged and Bonnie just wants love and devotion. Can both of their needs be met?

Thoughts:When I read my first book in this series (though not the actual first book in the series) which was the last one, Rogue, I thought there was potential. For me this potential was met in this book. I really liked the characters and wanted them to get together. The one thing that bugged me a little about the last book (the fact that in an effort to be nice the girl was with both brothers even though she really only loved one of them) wasn't in this one. But the hot scenes still were.

If you are the type to be put off by creatures of different alien species getting together this isn't the series for you. But personally I believe that it just added something extra to the story line in terms of imagination. It really is a series of which I have never read the likes of before. Many of them have the same old types of people in them - the added dimension of a different species and different qualities - adds to the story and yet doesn't mean that the author can't still have just a good old fashioned love story.


What genre would you consider this?
Romance/Sci-Fi


Overall:

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Book Feature: Drood

By: Dan Simmons
Read by: Simon Prebble
Playing Time: 10.5 hours
Price: $34.98
Publisher: Little, Brown

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Twilight on Audio

So I read all the Twilight series and really enjoyed it. I wasn't one of those people who didn't enjoy the 4th book at all. I thought it was a good wrap up of an interesting series.

So I thought lets get all the books on Audio and listen to them one after another. It allows me to semi-focus on other things while I listen - since I already know the story (some audio books require 100% focus in order to stay on top of the story.)

I just finished Twilight and while it was still good - I didn't enjoy it at as much as the first time.

Did any of you reread the books? What was your impression of it the second time around? Is it a side effect of listening to it instead of reading it?

What do you think makes a great book? For me it is both the first time reading it - as the last time reading it. If it is a good book I want to keep it and read it often. And every time I read it another nuance shows up that makes me love it even more. In terms of a series - it is the preparation in thinking ahead. A smart series alludes to what is going to happen in the future books - without making you think that is what happens. So that if you go back and reread it you see all the connections and intertwinglings that you hadn't realized the first time.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Book Feature: Cousin Kate

Author: Georgette Heyer
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication Date: Original 1968 - Republished 2009
Price $13.99
Pages: 272
Description: Kate is a poor relation - saved by her aunt to stay at a rich mansion - Staplewood. There is so much going on behind the scenes at such a place - intrigue and secrets. Kate starts to wonder if more is going on here then meets the eye. The only one who can tell her anything is her cousin Philip. Is he willing to tell the secrets he knows the answers too - if it means saving Kate?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Book Feature: Miranda's Big Mistake

By: Jill Mansell
Pages: 496
Price: $14.00
Publication Date: June 2009
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Description: Miranda is a girl who only wants love. But she can't seem to find the right man for her. When she finds Greg - she thinks finally a man that is perfect for me. But instead what she finds is a man who just left his newly pregnant wife - and doesn't even tell Miranda about it. This is just the first in a variety of experiences with men that could leave any woman heartbroken.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Win a copy of Obama's Blackberry

Same rules apply as usual - Please comment below if you are interested. Be sure to include some way for me to contact you (if I can't find you I can't get you the book). Five people will be drawn at random on June 19th!

This contest is eligible to those 18 years of age that are residents of the US and Canada. We will not be able to mail to P.O. Boxes. One entry per person.

All entries are due by June 19th - so enter now!

For more information on Obama's Blackberry read below:

OBAMA'S BLACKBERRY
By Kasper Hausner

When Obama stated that if elected, he would keep his Blackberry, debate echoed through Washington and among the ranks of the Secret Service. What would it be like to have a president who could Twitter, send text messages, and navigate the web with ease? What would it be like to receive a text message from inside the Oval Office and, most importantly, what would it say?

Now, for the first time, We The People are privy to our new leader's epistolary back-and-forths on his wily hand-held device. We're about to discover that his emails (and the replies, from his wife and daughters, Biden, Palen, Rush, Hannity, the new first puppy, and even Bush) are so tuned in to the language of electronic correspondence they come hilariously close to the brink of legibility.

This giftable, imagined glimpse into Obama's beloved Blackberry traverses the mundane and momentous contours of the Commander in Chief's life, from security briefings to spam, basketball practice to domestic bliss, and the panic of oops-I-hit-reply-all, to, of course, the trauma of dealing with the First Mother In Law.

Winners of our Audio Copy of No Matter What (Unabridged) By Lisa Nichols

Congratulations:
  • sharon54220
  • gaby317
  • scottsgal

Winners of a Girl Who Stopped Swimming

Congratulations
  • BUSY BEE
  • robin_titan
  • Theresa N.
  • Nicole D.
  • Sam F.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Book Review: The Step-Mother

The Step-Mother by Carrie Adams
Description:
Bea divorces Jimmy because he just isn't there for her. And you know what - even after the divorce things look like they haven't changed. But they have worked past many of their issues and are best friends again. They live for their children and Bea starts to wonder if they should be together again.

But Jimmy has met Tessa King and moved on. He has found a new woman to love. For Tessa walking into a ready made family complete with a mom/best friend is a lot to live up to. Jimmy talks about Bea as if she is perfection and maybe she is. Can a step-mother ever live up to that reputation? What does Jimmy and Bea's relationship mean for his relationship with Tessa?

If everyone is truthful can a wonderful couple and many friendships be made?

Thoughts: What a thought provoking book. You are married with children. You decide that you and your husband don't belong together (maybe because of communication problems and secrets) so you move on. Your ex-husband becomes your friend - but still has all the same issues that he had when you were together. But you realize how special he is too you and your life.

So you decide that you should be back together. But what you don't realize is part of the reason he is being so wonderful is because he has a new woman in his life - and it isn't you or your daughters. How do you deal with it?

What is it like to be the "other" woman? You want to make your new boyfriend happy - but you also want to make his children happy. Add a teen to that dynamic and things only get more complicated. Your husband still loves his ex (even if only as a friend and the mother of his children) so does that mean they belong together? Can you ever live up to his expectations or those of his children or family? How do you live with a paragon?

Add to that the fact that nothing is as they seem. The reason the couple broke up is not what you think it is. The life at home with the so-called perfect mother - isn't perfect at all. Can you be friends with your ex's new wife? What about your ex? How does that impact everything?

What genre would you consider this?
Family Dynamics

Overall:

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Book Feature: Women's Murder Club Box Set - Volume One

By: James Patterson
Playing Time: 23.5 hours
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Includes: 1st to Dies, 2nd Chance, and 3rd Degree
Description: Four women who are friends and want nothing more then to stop crime in their San Francisco town. Lindsay is a homicide inspector, Claire a medical examiner, Jill an assistant DA and Cindy a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. Together they can solve the murders, and put them away.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Book Feature: Run for your Life

By: James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge
Read by: Bobby Cannavale and Dallas Roberts
Price: $39.98
Playing Time: 7 hours
Publisher: Little, Brown
Description: A killer is loose in New York City. He calls himself the Teacher and his job is to teach those around him that bad manners will result in their death's if they are not careful. New York City Detective Michael Bennett takes on the case. If Bennett doesn't figure out what is going on in time - all of New York City may be a part of the Teacher's revenge.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Book Review: Hungry for More

Hungry for More by Diana Holquist

Description:Amy Burns is a gypsy who can tell who someone's "One True Love" is. It is a gift she has lived with for most of her life and it is one that she doesn't want to give up. Amy is more then just a psychic but she is also a conman and drifter. When her gift disappears she will do anything to get it back. When she hears rumors of a woman who works for Chef James LaChance who has the powers that Amy used to have she will do anything to track that woman down.

James loves women and women are his inspiration for his dishes. But when he meets Amy his creations take on a whole new complexity and tastiness that makes him want her even more. Can he convince Amy to give up what she thinks she wants most out of life?

Thoughts:
I thought this book was different and that is what I really enjoyed about it. Amy isn't the classic heroine who is good looking for a good man. In fact if anything Amy is a bit of a liar and a devil. But James brings out the best in her - just like she does for him.

I also enjoyed a touch of the supernatural twist in it that Amy is psychic. But the thing is Amy is so much more then just psychic and in some ways she feels like knowing "Ones True Love" is more of bad thing then a good one. It can change your life for either but in some ways it can destroy relationships.

What genre would you consider this?
Romance

Overall:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Book Review: Kiss An Angel

Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Description: Daisy Devereaux should be the classic rich girl who has everything who is spoiled and hates to work. But she isn't. Despite living a fun and care free life with her mother she is used to a different kind of work.

So when her mother dies and her father forces her to marry Alex Markov, she decides to treat it like just another job. Alex doesn't want anything to do with this former rich girl - he is used to protecting his heart and he isn't going to let her in no matter how hard she tries.

But once put together in a small town carnival - neither can resist the attraction that they have. Add to that the fact that they both have wrong impressions about who the other really is and you find a fun filled romance.

Thoughts: I really like Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Her romances are contemporary and fun - but give you rich girls gone bad (or really gone remarkably good). They have the sort of relationships where you can see a hint of real life in them but are a good portion fantasy. (At least I have no friends who marry guys who work in carnivals.)

I love the emotional component that is added. It is never just a misunderstanding that drives them apart - but instead some core differences. But true love always wins out in the end. And in this case even a manipulative and evil father can't stop them from being together.

My recommendation - if you are looking for a fun read that has the naive girl and the wordly man, with neither being quite what they seem at first - this is the book for you.

What genre would you consider this?
Romance

Overall:

Winner of What Would Jane Austen Do by Laurie Brown

Congratulations to Kristi - our winner.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Book Review: Handle With Care

Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult

Description: Charlotte and Sean O'Keefe are pregnant with their first child together. Charlotte has an older daughter already and is assuming things will be easy for them to expand their family. Because it takes longer then expected, when they find out they are expecting they are even more excited.

But things aren't what they thought they would be. Paritally through the pregnancy they find out that their child has osteogenesis imperfecta, a rare defect that can cause death or will break bones in their child's body with very little pressure.

Bills mount and yet they love their daughter Willow. Their whole lives must revolve around her. When an opportunity arises for them to sue someone in order to make the money that Willow needs to live - they go for it. But what does it mean for a child to know that their parent is suing someone because if they had known earlier they might never have had that child? What does it mean to have someone in a family that changes everything in your life so dramatically? Would you have a child if you knew there were going to be problems?


Thoughts: As a woman who is newly pregnant with her first child - this book scared me. The idea that the whole book would be about someone who if had the choice because of medical reasons might have aborted their child is something no pregnant woman wants to think about. You want to imagine that the child growing inside of you is perfect and going to grow up to be a happy, healthy and productive member of society. So I wasn't sure if I could really get into this book based on the situation (add to that pregnancy hormones and things get even iffyier).

But for me this book wasn't scary. The situation was horrible. A family that could barely make ends meet. Who's life revolved around one member who was incredibly sick. The fact that a teenage girl was left behind in terms of time and effort. You see that happen to all families when someone has needs that outweigh the others.

Yes it is scary. But as usual Jodi Picoult tells the story in a way that makes you wonder who is right and who is wrong. Multiple sides are told and while you may have someone you are rooting for - you know that behind any corner something could be revealed that make you think totally differently. My first and favorite Picoult book was My Sister's Keeper and I feel that this book is almost on par with that one. So definitely read it!

What genre would you consider this?
Family Dynamics

Overall:

Monday, May 11, 2009

Congrats to our Mother's Day Winners

Our Winners are:
  • Gwendolyn B.
  • Beth
  • Squiresj

Winner Announced of Robin Kaye's Too Hot to Handle

Congratulations: Cheryl S.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Don't forget our Mother's Day Contest

Win a set of five books!

Information can be found: Mother's Day Giveaway - Deadline: May 11th

Book Review: Wait Till Your Vampire Gets Home

Wait Till Your Vampire Gets Home by Michelle Bardsley
Description:
Libby Monroe and her parents travel from town to town looking for the paranormal. In fact her family is well known for their knowledge in all things vampires, werewolves, demons and others.

So when they stumble in to Broken Heart Libby expects another calm night. Instead she is confronted by the things she investigates. A real life vampire and werewolf. Add to that she is attacked by dragons!

When the encounter leaves Libby with more then just a charred set of clothes she gets brought into a world she never knew existed.

Thoughts:
This book was nothing about what I thought it would be about. I was expecting lots of vampires and instead got lots of dragons. I am not complaining though because the dragon stuff was interesting and different.

I loved the idea of a vampire dad who loves his kids so much that he would do anything to protect him. I don't know how I felt about the instant bonding of Libby and Ralph.

I would be interested in seeing what happens next for this couple.

What genre would you consider this?
Paranormal

Overall:

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Book Review: Undone

Undone by Rachel Caine

Description: A Djinn is a powerful being that can control all sorts of things. When Cassiel does something that her ruler Ashan disagrees with she gets the ultimate punishment. She is sent to Earth and forced to be human. She of course isn't completely human and needs something to survive - and she can get that from the Weather Wardens.

Cassiel earns her keep and gets a touch of power by working with the Weather Wardens. Of course things are never simple. Someone seems to be after her partner Manny Rocha. Something is threatening him and his family. Cassie doesn't think she had emotions like she does now -but she will stop at nothing to destroy those that want to destroy those caring for her.

Thoughts:
I have read several books in the Weather Warden series and enjoyed them. I thought they got harder to follow the more books into the series I got. I definitely like this almost resetting of the story with new characters.

Cassiel is one of those characters you start by loving to hate. She seems cold and mean but once you see her story progress you see her as a loving and protective person who wants what is best for all of those around her.

When finishing the book I have to admit that I was sad it was done. I wanted to know more about her history. I wanted more of the Rocha family. I guess we will see where the next book takes us.

What genre would you consider this?
Paranormal

Overall:

Friday, May 8, 2009

Win a copy of What Would Jane Austen Do by Laurie Brown

This is is your chance to win a copy of What Would Jane Austen Do by Laurie Brown!

Same rules apply as usual - Please comment below if you are interested. Be sure to include some way for me to contact you (if I can't find you I can't get you the book). One person will be drawn at random on May 12th so enter now!

This contest is eligible to those 18 years of age that are residents of the US and Canada. We will not be able to mail to P.O. Boxes. One entry per person.

All entries are due by May 12th - so enter now!

Guest Post - Laurie Brown

Thank you for the lovely review. It’s so gratifying to know all the hard work has been worthwhile.
And writing is hard work. Sure everyone can write, a memo, a letter, a school paper. But to put together four hundred manuscript pages (and have them flow and make sense) takes many hours with just the writer and the computer. Then there’s hours of re-write. And editing. And… you get the picture. I think it would be impossible to do if it weren’t a labor of love. I fall in love with my heroes and want to be my heroine’s best friend. I get caught up in the moment of the plot as if it was happening all around me.

I was working on one book and was near the end where there was a wedding. I had spent so much time with those characters that tears were literally pouring down my cheeks as I typed toward the emotional I dos. My teenage son saw me and came over to awkwardly pat my shoulder. “It’s gonna be alright,” he said. I nodded and tried to explain that I was crying because it was so beautiful, that the characters finally got the happy ending they so desperately deserved. He just shook his head and walked away muttering under his breath something about hoping crazy wasn’t a genetic condition. I didn’t bother with a retort because I was already back into the scene and there was still more to write.

Spending so many hours with a book is one of the reasons I like to add a little humor to my work. I have to for my own sanity. Don’t look to me to write anything dark and angst-y. Not that there’s anything wrong with that kind of book, it’s just that can’t seem to do dark. Maybe because I’d rather laugh than cry. (Unless there’s a wedding.) Although after reading the same passages four or five times I’m never sure anymore if it’s really as amusing as I first thought it was. That’s why I’m always glad to hear readers say they laughed out loud at a particular line of dialogue or a scene.

In my latest release What Would Jane Austen Do? I sent a modern heroine back in time to 1814 to meet the real Jane Austen. Eleanor has to cope with Regency society, lack of plumbing, and corsets, all without chocolate. She also attends a ball, prevents a duel, helps solve a mystery for two ghosts, and meets the sexy rake, Lord Shermont. I hope it’s as fun to read as it was to write.

Whatever type of books you like, happy reading,
Laurie Brown

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Book Review :What Would Jane Austen Do

What Would Jane Austen Do by Laurie Brown

Description:Eleanor travels to England to pursue her dream - historical clothing. When she stays at an inn she has stayed at before she is relegated to the tower room which is supposedly inhabited by ghosts. And what does she find? The ghosts themselves. They are two sisters that need her to go back in time to prevent a dual that killed their brother.

The next thing Eleanor knows she is back in the Regency era - living in the same house as the living, breathing versions of her ghosts. There is more behind the scenes then meets the eye with this family.

It gives Eleanor the opportunity to meet a man and fall in love with someone who is a true hero - even if it means leaving him behind when she returns to the present. It allows her to meet her very own favorite author - Jane Austen. The experiences that she has she would never give up. But she can't be distracted by all of that - she has a job to do as well!

Thoughts: What an adorable book. I have read Jane Austen books but wouldn't consider myself a Jane Austin-ophile. So while the premise of this book was interesting to me - I didn't anticipate that it would grab me and make me want to keep reading like it did.

Really Laurie Brown took a story that would be otherwise engaging and added a touch of a literary heroine to it in order to bring it together in even a better way. Yes, if you expect it to be mostly about Jane Austen you would be disappointed - but the story gives you so much more it is great.

You don't know who the man is that Eleanor is to save. Is the good guy the man that she is attracted to and can't help but be attracted to him either? Especially if he can't remember where he came from? Or is the guy the brother of the sister's that sent her back in time? It all is a fun story that keeps you intrigued. I also love that how with most time travel romances - the heroine either has no clue what to do - or seems to know exactly what to do. With this story it is all explained by the heroine's love of Jane Austen. Her books taught her so much about life lessons and other things that she knew what was acceptable and what wasn't.

A wonderful happy ending story that I highly recommend!

What genre would you consider this?
Romance

Overall: