Saturday, August 29, 2009

Book Review: The Devil's Queen

The Devil’s Queen by Anne Kalogridis

Description:Catherine deMedici was destined to be a great queen – and through fate and her own strong will she becomes one. But her dependence on those that foretell the future is not something that many of her people will understand. She just wants to be loved. She wants her children to grow and survive like she did. But did she do to much to get the children that she wanted? Did she touch the devil? Does that mean her children are destined to have the mark of the devil as well?

Thoughts:I haven’t read a lot about her time period/reign before. I like historical fiction and this is definitely an interesting read. It is not dry and doesn’t include too much fact so much that you feel like you are reading a history book. But at the same time it does include enough that you feel like you may be really there. I wonder what drove the obsession with those astrologers that would predict things for the people of that time. They walked a fine line between helping and connecting with the devil. This book made me wonder more about Catherine’s children and the deMedici family as I have heard them many times in the past but really didn’t know all that much about them. Now I can tell they are closely tied with the rulers of that time period.

What genre would you consider this?
Historical Fiction


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Book Feature: Aurora of the Northern Lights

Author: Holly Hardin
Pages: 32
Price: $18.95
Category: Christmas/Holidays
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc
Publication Date: Aug 2009
Description: Aurora goes off on her own after the death of her parents. Because of who she is no one will listen to her. With the holidays coming Aurora is able to use special gifts to find her way to her new home.

Book Review: The Princess Plot

The Princess Plot by Kirsten Boie

Description: Jenna is used to being the ugly girl on the block. She has a mother who is way to overprotective and doesn't let her do anything. Then a movie role comes up where she can go to a foreign country and play a princess. And wonders of all wonders - she gets the part.

So off she goes to Scandia. What Jenna doesn't know is that the countries princess is missing (and Jenna looks surprisingly like her). Imagine that when she realizes that they don't just want her for a movie role but for soemthing way more dangerous. Can Jenna get herself out of the sticky suituation she is in?

Thoughts: Generally I don't feel this way - but when reading this book I felt I was too old to enjoy it. I had been wondering if I would find the fact that it is translated to be an issues (sometimes the translation leaves a bit to be desired) and maybe the cultural differences is what gave me the biggest problem.

I really just couldn't get over the fact that a 14 year old girl decided to be in a movie, had a movie producer supposedly call her mother, and her overprotective mother just let her go. I know it was all a trick but are teen girls really that stupid? If they were I think there would be more than the already depressing number of them that disappear each day. I mean did she really believe that her normally technological unsavy mother all of a sudden learned how to text? Just in time to ignore her phone calls? It just was scary to me to believe that they could really believe that to be the truth.

The rest of the story was cute and Princess Diaries like (with a little more action) but because of the beginning I just couldn't get into the book.

What genre would you consider this?


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Well-Read Commuter Reviews: The Imposters Daughter

The Imposters Daughter
Laurie Sandell

Laurie Sandell is searching for the truth about who her father is. He didn’t leave when she was a toddler. In fact, she grew up in awe of her larger-than-life father, who told jaw-dropping tales of a privileged childhood in Buenos Aires, academic triumphs, heroism during Vietnam, friendships with Kissinger and the Pope. As a young woman, Laurie unconsciously mirrors her dad, trying on several outsized personalities. Later, she lucks into the perfect job--interviewing celebrities for a top women's magazine. Growing up with her extraordinary father has given Laurie a knack for relating to the stars. While researching an article on her dad's life, she makes an astonishing discovery: he's not the man he says he is--not even close. Now, Laurie begins to puzzle together three decades of lies and the splintered person that resulted from them--herself.

This book is presented in a type of comic book format with illustrations to go along with the text. While some might find it obnoxious at first (I did), but the end of the book you will wish you had thought of it. This book manages to be both deep and laugh out loud funny. Sandell is not just outing her father as she fact-checks his three decades of stories, she is on a sincere journey to find her own inner truth. What else can you say about a globe trotting femme who conquers all while stripping in Tokyo, having a lesbian fling in Israel and maintaining a long distance relationship with the help of an Ambien addiction. You will find yourself both feeling sorry for Sandell and wanting to be her best friend because she is so cool. I read this book in about 2 hours. It was really good.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Book Review: Kiss of a Demon King

Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole

Description: Sabine is the Sorceress of Illusions. She has been trapped by her brother (who wants more from her than she is willing to give) and knows her fate is to be the mate of Demon King. So when she gets the chance to meet her fate - she captures the Demon King in order to impregnate herself and finally have the power she always wanted.

The Demon King is a good man - who wants to have the perfect mate. She must be a wonderful Queen who would be good for his people. The last thing he wants is Sabine - who is the sister of his enemy. (And a great big liar)

Thoughts: This is the first book that I read in this series and i enjoyed it. The idea that a Demon King could be good and that Sabine doesn't have to be truly good to be a good queen and person is interesting. You can't help but root for them to be together. I will definitely be picking up the other books in the series. I will also say it wasn't difficult to start where I was - in terms of I would have liked to know more but it was fine knowing what I did know in terms of what was going on.

What genre would you consider this?
Paranormal Romance


Monday, August 24, 2009

Guest post by Linda Weaver Clarke

Deep-rooted Legends, a Tender Love Story, and the Bear Lake Monster is focus of New Novel

Enter the world of “Make Believe” and read about the legend of the Bear Lake Monster, long family traditions, a tender love story, and a few mysterious events!

Scotland has the Lock Ness Monster and Bear Lake Valley has theirs. Do they really exist? The mystery of the Bear Lake Monster has been an exciting part of Idaho history since the early 1800s. David begins to wonder about this legend in “David and the Bear Lake Monster” (ISBN: 978-1-58982-532-1). As the waves splash gently upon the shore and the full moon shines brightly upon Bear Lake, a deep foreboding is in the air and the fawn, sipping from the lake, can sense it. His ears perk up and he stands still. Only the sounds of nature can be heard, but the deer senses that he is in danger and quickly darts away. A few feet from shore, the water abruptly parts and exposes a gigantic brown lump about 90-feet long. Water trickles down its sides as it floats in the stillness of the night.

Midwest Book Review wrote: “With a blend of romance, this deftly written historical fiction series is well deserving of a place in community library historical fiction collections.”

When David returns to the Robert’s family for a visit, he learns about the great Indian legend: the Bear Lake Monster. When he discovers people still believe in this legend, he sets out to prove that it doesn’t exist but the community is insulted that anyone would try to discredit something they have believed in for years. Their legend is sacred to them and part of Bear Lake history. Searching for true happiness, David is reunited with the Roberts family, trying to overcome his troubles! David quickly becomes one with the town and its folk. He finds himself entranced with one very special lady and ends up defending her honor several times. She isn’t like the average woman. Sarah is different. This beautiful and charming woman has a disability that no one seems to notice. He finds out that Sarah has gone through more trials than the average person. She teaches him the importance of not dwelling on the past and how to love life. After a few teases, tricks, and mischievous deeds, David begins to overcome his troubles. As time passes, he realizes he must now face the dilemma of choosing between his work and matters of the heart.

David and the Bear Lake Monster will keep readers entertained right up to the last page,” wrote Kim Atchue-Cusella of Book Loons. “Linda Weaver Clarke creates another winner with this installment of her Family Saga in Bear Lake Valley series.”

About the Author

Linda Weaver Clarke was raised on a farm surrounded by the rolling hills of southern Idaho. She now makes her home in southern Utah among the beautiful red mountains. Clarke travels throughout the United States, teaching a “Family Legacy Workshop,” encouraging others to turn their family history and autobiography into a variety of interesting stories.

“David and the Bear Lake Monster” (ISBN: 978-1-58982-532-1, American Book Publishing, 2009). For more information, visit Publicity contact:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Book Review: Vision in White

Vision in White by Nora Roberts

Mac Elliot learned early in life to not depend on her parents. So instead her life revolves around her best friends - they are her family now. And the four women have taken their love of weddings (and their own skills and talents) to create Vows - one of the premiere wedding planning companies.

Being around weddings though doesn't mean you believe in Romance. And for Mac that is especially true (what do you expect when her mother has been married three times and her father several as well). When she meets Carter Maguire though she can't help but be smitten by him.

He is totally not her normal type. He is sweet and romantic and likes her from the beginning. Can Mac learn to not screw this relationship up like she has all the rest?

Thoughts: Sometimes I feel like a Nora Robert's groupie. I love her stuff whether it is J.D. Robb or Nora Roberts. When I see a new book come out I just get excited because I know that more often then not I am going to love the characters and the plot. And this one to be about weddings! Just made me even more excited. Almost wish that I was back at the planning stages of my own wedding (then again maybe not - if I could have hired someone to do all the work for me then maybe...)

I really loved Mac and Carter both. They both were just the right combination of cute and not perfect to make me happy. And the other girls that are in the story seem so likeable I hope the rest of the books in the series come out quickly.

It just leaves me wondering who will end up with Jack and Del. It has to be one of them !

What genre would you consider this?


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Book Review: Veil of Midnight

Veil of Midnight by Lara Adrian

Description: Renata is a special woman who has been trained to fight. She has special gifts which have come in handy in protecting her from the bad people in the world (and saved her life more than once). Nikolai's job is to find the bad guys in the Breed and serve justice. When he meets Renata he can't help but wonder why she seems to be the employee of an assassin.

But Nikolai can't deny his attraction to Renata. And Renata needs the help of someone and the only one around that seems to be capable is Nikolai. Can they solve their problems best by being together? What about their own histories that have scared their bodies and souls?

Thoughts: Am I in a book rut? I haven't seemed to find much that has been interesting me in terms of wanting to read. When I do read things I have middle of the row feelings on them. They don't astound me, but they also don't make me hate them enough to put them down. Do I feel like putting these books on my must read list - No. But is that more a by-product of the other things going on in my life? I really can't tell. It makes me sad - because I don't want to influence others' choices in books if it is just me being in a perpetual bad mood (then again I am not in a bad mood - I have a lot going on but overall am very happy with how my life is).

I guess my goals with this website was to give people another venue to find out what a book is about. Maybe find out why I liked it (or loved it - or hated it). Not that they should take my word as gospel - but more if you like the things I like - maybe you will find something listed here you wouldn't have picked up.

So that is how I feel about this book. Ambivalent. Not bad as in I am going to scratch my eyes out - but not great.

What genre would you consider this?
Paranormal Romance


Monday, August 17, 2009

Book Review: Secret Life of a Vampire

Secret Life of a Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks

Description: Lara Boucher is an officer who has been asked to come to a very disturbing call. It looks like it isn't just a bachelor party but instead a murder has happened. But she is confused. Someone seems to be messing with her mind. The one thing she does remember is being attracted to the man at the door - Jack. What she doesn't know about Jack is he is both a vampire and the son of Cassonova.

Can their attraction work out when she finds out who he really is? Can he tell her - he has been burned by loves before who couldn't handle what he really was.

Thoughts: In terms of this series I enjoyed the book but it wasn't my favorite in the series. (Maybe it is because I read them a touch out of order). I love the kids and wish I could see more of them in the books. They have such fun differences and you just don't know what is going on with their half human-half vampire selves.

I wonder if it is the fact that I know how it all will end that is causing my luke-warm feelings for these sorts of books. I mean you know in a romance novel the couple ends up together. So if that is the only plot twist then you aren't going to have to deal with much more.

But it is well written and the story is entertaining so I don't blame the author!

What genre would you consider this?
Paranormal Romance


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Book Feature: My Grammar and I... Or Should That Be Me?

By Caroline Taggart and J.A. Wines
Publisher: Readers Digest
Publication Date: 2009
Price $14.95
Pages: 175
Description: Part of the "I Used To Know That" series this is perfect for parents and other adults who have forgotten everything they knew from school. It reteaches you in concise, quick lessons everything you know about grammar.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Book Review: Stakes & Stilettos

Stakes & Stilettos by Michelle Rowan

Description:What else does an undead girl want to do but go back to her high school reunion. But like any girl - she doesn't remember totally what high school is all about. It is way more than just fun and friendship - there might be trouble there.

The Red Devil has returned as well. The vampire legend has him as someone who helps vampires - and he has been helping Sarah. So that means he can not be evil -right? But what does he really want?

Sarah wants the time to be a normal vampire girl. And focus on the fact that her 600 year old boyfriend is already married (don't tell her parents they won't understand). Can everything work out for these star crossed lovers?

I appreciated the class reunion feel in this book. I didn't return for my 10 year reunion - but that was because I went to my 5 year one and had enough for a while. Besides the people I truely wanted to see weren't going either. But I learned a lesson that I found to be helpful at my 5 year reunion. If I had been drunk in high school - I would have liked a lot more people a lot more. As in everyone has their past and people they hurt. Whether you are the cheerleader or the geek - somewhere out there is someone you hurt and you may not remember it. And you may have good reasons. But you affected their lives.

The Red Devil twist was something that just helped the plot move along. It was interesting but again not life changing in my reading tastes - which is why it only gets a 4.

What genre would you consider this?


Friday, August 14, 2009

Book Review: Night of the Loving Dead

Night of the Loving Dead by Casey Daniels

Description: Pepper Daniel's can see ghosts. Which is great considering she works in a cemetery. But when Pepper ends up in Chicago on a business trip the last thing she wants to do is solve another murder. But when a ghost asks her for help she has learned that the last thing she should do is ignore them.

What really seems strange to Pepper is this ghost's feelings for Dan Callahan. The ghost Madeline worked with Dan and seems to want Pepper to help save him. But from what? Is Madeline telling Pepper the whole truth? Can Pepper figure it all out in time?

Thoughts: I was ready to love this book. I had really enjoyed several others that were in similar themes and thought this would be a great addition to my reading list. Sadly, while this was good, it wasn't good enough to make me want to go back in the series and read the books that I had missed. It wasn't good enough for me to want to put it on my don't dare miss this book list. It was just ok.

I didn't appreciate the ghost Madeline or the history that Dan has with Pepper. I didn't know why Pepper didn't see that Quinn seemed to want something more from her. I jsut didn't get it. And maybe I would have if this was a series I had started from in the beginning.

But as I said it wasn't bad. The plot moved forward at a decent pace. The idea of a girl who falls and hits her head and now can see and communicate with ghosts is interesting. It has a lot of promise - but for me this book wasn't all I wanted it to be.

What genre would you consider this?


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Book Review: Lucky Streak

Lucky Streak by Carly Phillips

The Corwin curse says that if they love a woman bad things will happen to them. So when Mike Corwin goes to Vegas - drinks to much, meets a woman, and accidentally gets married - the last thing he wants is a real life wife.

But Amber is exactly what Mike wasn't expecting. She runs off with his money in the middle of the night to do who knows what - but she returns. What does she want from him? Can he save her from the demons that follow her? What does that mean for the curse?

Thoughts: I liked the previous book in this series and I liked this one as well. Imagine if you lived in a family where everyone got divorced. You wouldn't trust in marriage either. For this family - it is one step farther - they believe they are cursed.

So what follows is a man who is afraid of commitment (or at least of love) and a woman who is finally ready to open her heart. But of course there is always is a twist - and for her being a con-woman married to a police officer makes life a bit difficult. But it is fun. I liked the characters. I enjoyed seeing the progression of the people we had met before in this book. I can't wait to see how it all ends.

What genre would you consider this?


Monday, August 10, 2009

Book Review: Curse the Dawn

Curse the Dawn by Karen Chance

Description: Cassie Palmer is Pythia. That should bring power and rewards. Instead it brings death threat after death threat. The Council that should be accepting her is upset that she isn't under their power. The god that created Pythia's is mad at her and wants his power back (and to destroy the world). And Cassie doesn't know what to do with her power. What is she to do.

Cassie must learn to take her power under control and do soemthing with it if she wants to survive let alone survive until the end of the day.

Thoughts: This book has a very different tone then another book I read recently but it had the same problem. I like the series. But the book just didn't move forward enough for me. Am I asking to much? It isn't so bad (like some books I have read) where I feel like someone was pushing the author to make something so they did and no one is really happy with it. They are interesting, they progress the story forward, but there isn't enough meat in the story to make me happy. And while with some books it is because I feel like I am demanding (and that is why I want more) - I feel it is just that sometimes there are books that have to be more filler then meat - and that is so that when they get to the next book all the details have been set for something spectacular. Maybe I am being optimistic.

Cassie does confront Apollo. There is a lot going on in terms of little plots. But there is so much going on there is no big focus of the story.

What genre would you consider this?


Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Well-Read Commuter Reviews The Way Home

The Way Home
By: George Pelecanos
Narrated By: Dion Graham

What this book is about: Chris Flynn has been working hard to turn his life around. He is in love with a good woman, he works for his father’s business and he is getting his life and his strained relationship with his father back on track after a troubled youth. The fragile peace that he has been working for is threatened when Chris and a friend from his past find a large stash of cash.

Did you like this book: Delving into the subjects of redemption, youth rehabilitation, and complex family relationships this was a fast moving, interesting book with well developed characters and solid writing from start to finish. Pelecanos was called by Stephen King, “perhaps the greatest living American crime writer.” This was my first Pelecanos book and he is great. Pelecanos kept the story edgy, relevant and witty without getting too gory or too “CSI”. The story moves right along which makes the audio version a great road trip book. Dion Graham’s deep soulful voice

Friday, August 7, 2009

Help me please

I don't know if it is me or the economy forcing book makers to be more picky, but I am not finding anything that I want to read. The books that I am finding are not exciting me like they usually do. So am I missing something? Have I not read something that I should be reading? Or is there an older book that I should pick up because I missed something great? You tell me!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Author Post: Sean Beaudoin Author of Fade to Blue

I had a friend in high school. She was short and wore nerdy glasses and black skirts and really liked bands like The Cure and Bauhaus and Echo and the Bunnymen. I liked heavier guitar-oriented stuff, but when she’d come over and say hi to my mom, accept a cookie, and then tromp up to my room, I usually let her DJ. We never did anything particularly interesting. I had a small, dark room with ugly brown carpet and dark blue walls covered with posters of athletes I no longer cared about. We’d lay on the floor and listen to music. We’d prop our feet on pillows and make fun of things in low voices and cut up her fashion magazines. She used pinking shears and I used my dad’s army knife. She’d purposely spill the glue on me. I’d make her smell my sock. She’d talk about wanting to change her hair color and I’d talk about wanting to change it back. She always had some guy she liked who never approached her and I always had some girl I liked I was afraid to approach. It was utterly unromantic. There was never any thought that we’d be a couple and never any weird tension about it. We were cool and easy and it didn’t need a lot of analysis. She had a tiny little hatchback we drove around town in. My legs barely fit under the dash. It smelled like the baby of the aunt she’d bought it from, and was always running out of gas.

It went on like that for a year.

And then we just stopped hanging out.

I’m still not sure why.

When someone asks me what Fade To Blue is about, I usually give them a pretty stock answer: losing your mind, being paranoid, trust, having a little brother, ice cream, basketball, zombie fantasies, nurses, that guy, that girl, that parent. I tell them that because the truth is too hard to explain. The truth is that Fade To Blue is really about what it felt like for that year to be lying on my bedroom floor. With that friend. To not be worried about what you said or did or if you acted stupid or if your joke was funny enough. Being at ease and understood. Knowing someone’s reference before it even comes out of their mouth. Fade To Blue is about clangy music and bad sweaters and an entire pubescence of lousy stuff to choose from in the fridge.

And then losing all that. For no good reason. I wanted to capture that feeling, and somehow it just ended up becoming a book.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Book Review: Some Like It Wild

Some Like it Wild by Teresa Medeiros

Description: Pamela Darby needs someone to pretend to be a duke's long lost heir. So when she runs across Connor Kincaid as he is robbing their carriage - she knows he is exactly the man that she needs for this sort of thing. Pamela isn't normally a person who would lie and cheat to get what she wants - but she needs to find out who her mother's killer is (and stop her sister from selling herself to the highest bidder).

Connor and Pamela embark on a journey that will bring them the truths that they want and solve their mysteries. But will they be able to end up together?

Thoughts: Sometimes when writing these reviews I just don't know what to say. How do I say something for the 100 and something time and make it unique. You can't (or at least I can't because I am not that good of a writer - I don't do this to show my skills for writing. I do this because I like to share my thoughts on the things I read.)

Well this is a good historical romance. Is it totally different then anything I have ever read - no. But is it entertaining and has a good plot line that I don't read in every book at every corner - yes. If you like this genre it is probably not a bad idea to pick it up.

What genre would you consider this?
Historical Romance


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Book Review: City of Glass

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments)

Description: Clary has found out that her mother and her life isn't what she always believed it to be. She is a Shadowhunter with a special power. She can create new ruins with her stele. This allows her to fight the evil man that has put her mother in a coma and is trying to distroy the world - her father.

Her father started out being a good person but when his first child was born he changed. He became evil. And he took his son with him. Jace has always believed that he is evil and he is doing all he can to not be like that. Add to that his attraction for his newly found sister Clary and he can't help but thing that there is a possiblity that he cannot be good.

Valentine is now ready to declare war on all of the Glass City. The Shadowhunters cannot stop him by themselves. Can they trust Clary and Jace? What about the werewolves, vampires, and warlocks? Can they all learn to work together before Valentine wipes them all out?

Thoughts: I enjoyed this series when it first started out. I had no idea it was only going to be a trilogy - until I got to this book. Personally I would have liked to see it go on a little longer (because I both liked the series as well as because I thought there was so much thrown into the last book that I feel like things may have been a little rushed).

Overall though the series was a good series and I would recommend any of the other books as well - City of Ashes and City of Bones though it really is one of those series that I recommend starting at the beginning.

I don't want to ruin anything but I really started to wonder in this book about the relationship between Jace and Clary. I really didn't think at any point in this book that they could be brother and sister like we were led to believe. I mean they scream - soul mates. Some may feel that the way this ended was a good thing while others may feel like the ending in that particular matter was a bit of a cop out.

As a quick note - even though I think that it is almost nothing like the Harry Potter series, something about this last book reminded me of it. Maybe it was the big battle, maybe it was the evil guy, I just don't know - but it was interesting.

Another thing that I thought a good thing in this book is while it is definitely aimed at teens - other then violence there really is no sex or any sort of act that would be inappropriate. I even loved the way they inserted (even earlier in the series) a gay character who had to come out to his parents. Everyone felt the same about him- even though it was a hard and courageous thing to do.

What genre would you consider this?