Thursday, May 31, 2007

Deadly Appraisal by Jane K. Cleland

Josie Prescott is settling into her new life. She loves her business and has great employees. When she offers to do sponsor a Gala event for the Portsmouth Ladies Guild, she has nothing but great hopes for it. That all falls apart when one of the main members, Maisey dies suddenly on the stage before they can announce the winners of the different items auctioned. Josie is looked at as the prime suspect in the murder so she once again has to battle to clear her name. With her only support being her lawyer, she desperately does her best to hang in there. She has little successes throughout with her business but she wonders if she is just trying to do too much on her own.

I enjoyed the second book in the series by Ms. Cleland. She has a wonderful way of portraying the characters that emotions are felt when you are reading it. I was swept up in this book and didn’t want it to end. Boy I hope there is more!

I loved seeing past characters finding their way into the story like Sasha, Gretchen, Eric, and Fred. They are wonderful employees to have and I loved seeing the relationship between them and Josie deepens further. I got really irritated with Detective Rowcliff. I know he was just doing his job. Max put it wonderfully when he said the Detective had a problem of “persistent jerkitis” on page 245. I could not have described it better. Max really came to the top for Josie. He had done so in the last book but I really felt you got a better sense of whom he is. Josie is a sweet person but gets overwhelmed easily but when uncertainty is all around it makes complete sense.
I give this book a 5/5 because it carried the storylines from the previous book very well. I felt like I was coming home and I hope there are more to come. It was wonderfully written and expressed. I loved seeing how things changed and how Josie did get some more confidence. Great series and one I highly recommend but do please read Consigned to Death first.

Now I have a romance story to read and then Pyschic Eye by Abby Cooper. :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy

In the small town of Rossmore, Ireland, they are talking about putting in a new road to help direct lorries and trucks. But not everyone is okay with this because the new road not only will end up going through Whitethorn Woods but also right through were the statue of St. Ann and her well are placed. People don’t want the new change because of the St. Ann statue and all the miracles that it brought to the town.

Maeve Binchy does it again! I was very impressed. I normally do not care for short stories but I loved this one. I loved how each story connected to the other. The characters were wonderful because not only were they not perfect but the town had misconceived notions about certain people that were not true. Ms. Binchy weaves such a wonderful story that I had a difficult time putting this book down.

Father Brian Flynn was my favorite. He really was of two minds of what to do about the new road. He didn’t want it to be there but at the same time didn’t see the power in St. Ann. Plus the fact that Rome had never acknowledged what the well and the statue could do. My other favorite character was Neddy Nolan. He was thought to be soft in the head or something like that. The truth was he just let people believe that about him and took his own time at things. He was rather smart. The town made me laugh and cry.

I had not read a book I liked by her in awhile. I was nervous to pick this book up but I had to give it a try. I loved it! The characters were great and everything tied in with every story. You really got a full picture of the town. I give it a 5/5. I hope to go back and read other stories by her.
339 pages/Fiction

Off now to read Deadly Apparaisal by Jane K. Cleland then a romance novel and not sure what after that. I am pretty sick so plan to rest a lot! :)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Considering Doris Day by Tom Santopietro

Being a big fan of Doris Day, I have always wanted to know more about her. I was impressed with the very professional way that this author took on her life. I found sometimes that he over commented on some of her early movies. But then some of them I liked! I also liked getting more insight into how some movies were done and to learn that she even did a movie with Alfred Hitchcock titled The Man Who Knew Too Much.

I may be a young person by most people’s standards but I was raised to appreciate Doris Day. My mom almost met Doris when they both were in Paris the summer my mom turned 16. My all time favorite movie is Pajama Game and loved the comments that were written about that movie.

There were times that I felt awful for Doris because of choices that were made and contracts that were signed by her manager husband Marty. It was almost too little too late in some aspects but she seemed to take it all in stride. The one thing I never knew about Doris was that she is an animal lover and started her own animal foundation. That really impressed me! I loved seeing how humble she was about her acting career and it was almost to the point of her forgetting it. But I know with all the fan mail she gets that forgetting it is impossible. I am sure she has lovely stories she could tell but after reading this book I know that won’t happen. I also know that there were other books written about her life and I would love to read them. See what someone else has to say. But then there is a point where you can only read so many books about a person.

I give this book a 4/5 because it was truly fascinating. I loved it and enjoyed hearing more about her life in the movies. It was a great book and one I recommend.
383 pages/new author/non-fiction

Well off to read and review two romance novels. I would be more on top of things but feeling a little under the weather.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Step On A Crack by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

Michael Bennett is called in to go to the First Lady’s funeral because there has been a hijacking during it. So he must leave his 10 adopted children to help solve the crime and keep people from being killed. He struggles between helping save lives and keeping an eye on his children as his wife is dying from cancer. He gets help from his grandfather Seamus and is giving breaks but it never seems to be enough. Can he pull through it or will it end up being one big mess?

I have always liked James Patterson and most of his novels that I have read. Being that this is the first in a new series really led me to read it. The characterization is phenomenal and you get a really good picture of both sides whether it is the cops or the criminals. I have no idea who wrote what parts but it blended well together and was impressed by the extent of knowledge that had to be known in order to write this story.

Michael Bennett is a troubled soul but he is going through so much at one time. He feels the stress from his job as well as dealing with the death of the love of his life. I could not think of a more understanding woman than his wife. Though it appears that she has always been like that with him. The kids are so wonderful and I loved getting the little glimpses of each one and can’t wait to see how they end up dealing with everything. Seamus was a wonderful old man and he was my favorite character. He was a priest only because his wife died and he could never see himself getting remarried.

I give this book a 5/5 because it kept me turning pages till the very end. I couldn’t believe that I read it in one day but it was that compelling to me. It seemed like it was the first in the series so I hope there is more. I would love to know what happens next and how things are dealt with. I can’t wait to read more by this author and I hope they just keep getting better.

383 pages/Mystery

I didn't mean to finish two books in one day. It just happened. lol Now off to read two romances. :)

The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian

Laurel Eastbrook is attacked while a sophomore in college and her life is forever changed. She delves deep into photography and doing her best to help others. But when one of the clients of the center she works for dies, she learns that he was telling the truth that he was a famous photographer. So she works on finding out what led him to come to Vermont. She is afraid someone will take the pictures and keeps them with her all the time.

The story presented by Mr. Bohjalian is off the wall and sometimes odd. I found the descriptions done well and I really felt like I was feeling what Laurel was. He got into depth on a lot of things. The words were well put together. I thought the story was well done until the end shocked me.

Laurel was trying to get to back to her life. She was trying to reclaim it and thought she could if she only she could figure out what the pictures she had represented. She went all over the place and even went to see her assailant in jail. Her roommate, her boyfriend and her boss all tried to help her to comprehend what was really going on.

I give this a 3/5 because the psychiatrist’s notes along the way had me questioning from the beginning of what was going on. The twist at the end truly surprised me. I am not sure I could recommend this book cause it was weird! It was well written but my opinion your mind will change by the end of the book. I think this will be the only book I read by this author and that is not normal for me.

Off to read Step on a Crack by James Patterson than 2 romances.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Don't Scream by Wendy Corsi Staub

10 years ago, Rachel Lorent died on her birthday with her four closet friends nearby. She had jumped off a cliff and the four girls decided to make a vow to keep it all a secret. Now strange things seem to be happening that start with a birthday card from Rachel. It seems to the now women that someone else knows what happened that night but no one knows who that could be. They all hope and pray that it ends soon without too much more trouble. But they have no idea that before it is over that they all might be dead.

Ms. Staub does it again! I love this author and how creepy she can make the books. The book is so good that I had the most difficult time putting it down. She captures you with her lovely style of writing. I really felt like I was there with the characters. I even started to get a little jumpy myself.

The women came across as very real. Some focused on family while others focused on their careers. I have to say my favorite was Brynn Costello. She had two boys and her hubby was one of her former professors. She was focused on her family and really wanted a third child. She was the one who was the most freaked out by things. All four women really wanted to make sure that they had kept their secret safe since everyone else thought Rachel was dead. They start to question that fact and wonder if she might have made it. That was creepy in itself.

I give it a 5/5 because I just love how this author weaves a story. It kept me spell bound and captivated the entire run. I never lost interest and as I said before found it difficult to put it down. I liked how it was connected to Most Likely To Die but you could read it without the other book. It was well written and I can’t wait to read more by her.

Off to go read a review title and then after that Double Bind by Chris Bojhalian.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Simple Genius by David Baldacci

Sean King has to figure out how to make some money fast. His partner Michelle Maxwell is in the hospital after getting in a serious bar fight. She ends up going to a psychiatric hospital to not have to face criminal charges. Meanwhile, Sean gets a great opportunity of looking into a case near Williamsburg, Virginia. He has to figure out whether the genius was murdered or committed suicide and doesn’t seem to be getting much help from the people living in Baggage Town. So he really wishes Michelle were around but knows that is not possible or so he thinks.

David Baldacci does it again! I enjoyed this story even though I know little about the theme covered. I am not a genius and math was my least favorite subject. Everything was explained really well and I followed along wonderfully. I was impressed with how well he keeps you on the edge of your seat but carries the story along as well.

Sean is a hard workingman and stubborn to a fault. Michelle can be reckless at times and not think things through. I also liked the psychiatrist Horatio Barnes. He was quite the guy and very eccentric. It made the story even more enjoyable. Horatio was a very caring guy but would stick to his methods cause he knew that they would work. The other minor characters like Viggie, the autistic daughter and Ian Whitfield were interesting to read about.

The process by which they got things done was new to me. I enjoyed reading along. I give this book a 4/5 because it really kept me going and it was a wonderful read. I can’t wait to read more by this author.

I am off to read another short story romance novel and then after that will be Don't Scream by Wendy Corsi Staub.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Gourdfellas by Maggie Bruce

Lili Marino is starting to settle into the peacefulness of Walden Corners. She is teaching Connie Lovett how to work with gourds. But it all seems to come to a halt when a rifle drops from her bathroom ceiling. Lili becomes a suspect in the murder of Marjorie Mellon, the most out spoken person for the casino to come to town. Now Lili not only has to clear her name but take care of her brother Neill while he recuperates.

Ms. Bruce does it again in the second book in her cozy mystery series. The story line keeps you going and her characters come across as very real. She puts real emotions and real challenges to overcome and I really enjoyed all of them.

Lili is a wonderful person but she also has to figure out whom she really cares about. She wants a new relationship but has a few options. I also liked Elizabeth and Nora. These gals have been friends for a long time and it really shows. Neill was a great brother and a total sweetheart. He really was a big help to her and what a charmer.

I liked this book a lot but was difficult to write a review because I don’t want to give anything away. I give it 4/5. I hope the next one comes out soon. I hope there are more because I am dying to find out what happens next in Lili’s life.

Off to read 2 romances. :)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Innocent Man by John Grisham

The deaths of women are always difficult to deal with. Not more than most but when life is taken in its prime in a small town, life changes for the whole town. And most of all life changed for two men, Ron Williamson and Denis Fritz. They were convicted of a crime that neither committed. The thing that was most mind-boggling was how they couldn’t prove either way of their guilt or not. Too many snitches got involved and it was 15 years later that they both were exonerated. The process taken was long and drawn out but surprising to read.

This is the first book I have ever read by John Grisham. I enjoyed it a lot. It took me awhile cause there was so much information to pass along so that you could understand the undertaking not only of the men to try and prove themselves innocent but the process that they had to follow. Mr. Grisham had a lot of resources after the fact that he could look at to be able to write his book from letters to transcripts to even personal testimony from a lot of people involved. I was pleased how he didn’t bash the wrong doers for what they did yet he made sure to point out where they went wrong in their quest for the truth. I have seen with living in a small town how crime rarely happens of this magnitude but when it does there is serious pressure to get it solved.

I was thoroughly appalled by what happened to the men in this book who were not guilty and not just Ron and Dennis. Other men were mentioned of other cases at the time as side notes and it surprised me that people could get away with so much. I give this book a 4/5 because it seemed a bit slow. But there was so much information that he had to present and I am sure he left quite a bit out to make sure the book was still interesting. It could also be that I have not read Non-Fiction in quite some time. I recommend this to people who think the justice system has no faults. Nothing is perfect and I have come to realize that but when justice is truly served than one can only hope things will get better.

360 pages/ non-fiction

Now off to read Gourdfellas by Maggie Bruce and then two romance novels. LOL Oh joy! :)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky

Dana Clarke was looking forward to the arrival of her baby with her hubby Hugh. But when the baby is born, they are surprised by the baby’s complexion since it is darker than both Dana and Hugh. So Dana is determined to stifle the gossip that she had an affair by looking for the father she never knew. She is only hoping that she can do so in time before her husband might do something irrational.

Barbara Delinsky is a good author. I have read some of her other works and this one was certainly emotional. She really tackled the issues presented in the book very well. I found it to be all resolved or the majority of it anyways. The writing just flowed and I kept turning pages to find out what truly had happened.

Dana was a stubborn woman and held her ground. I truly appreciated her response to everything going on around her. I have not been in her particular situation but as a mom I could begin to imagine what it would be like to be accused of something that didn’t even happen. She took to her daughter Lizzie immediately and that was wonderful to see. Hugh had grown up in such a prominent family that he had to look at all sides even though it looked to Dana like he didn’t believe anything she was telling him. He frustrated me at times but then seeing that it all stemmed from his brother and father most of all helped me realize he was just trying to find answers for them. I didn’t think it was necessary to do so but then I guess I was never that privileged and never had to have unfounded worries.

This book was a wonderful read and I loved the knitting aspect to it as well. I look forward to reading more by this author. I give it a 4/5 because the story really told it self and the ending was a surprise for me. I love surprise endings! I recommend this book to anyone who wants a story with controversial subject matter.
360 pages/ Fiction

Now off to write another review and then to reading The Innocent Man by John Grisham. Then Gourdfellas by Maggie Bruce and then to two more romance novels. LOL

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Deep Storm by Lincoln Child

Dr. Peter Crane gets called to an oilrig in the ocean to help figure out the illness that is spreading among the workers. When he gets there, he finds out there is an advanced research facility called “Deep Storm” built two miles underneath the ocean. They have found something that they think is the lost city of Atlantis. But it turns out to be so much more and Dr. Crane tries to slow them down but no one wants to listen to him. Will anything good come of this?

This is my first by Lincoln Child and was impressively pleased with it. It was suspenseful, it kept me on the edge of my seat, and I found it to be very easy to follow. A lot of the technical things that were going on were explained very well. That made the book more enjoyable to read when I could understand what was going on and what they were trying to do.

The characters were great! Dr. Crane was really trying to help even though he seemed to be stopped at every turn. He really did all he could in his power to help the people. My other favorite character was Hui Ping. She was a scientist and ended up taking over the encryption of the codes that were sent to them from the ocean deep. Stubborn as the day is long but struggled to work through a few situations. I don’t blame her, since no one is perfect.

I enjoyed this book and will look for other titles by this author. I give this a 4/5 because it was intense and well written. But it took me a long time to get through it because there was so much information to process.
370 pages, Thriller

Next three romance novels. lol

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Books for the Month of April/Blood Price by Tanya Huff

Here is my totals for the month of April:
Total books read:22
New Authors:17
Fiction: 21
Chunksters: 1
Fresh new books I bought:6
Fresh new books sent to me:2
Total pages read: 5006

List of books:

Atlantis Rising by Alyssa Day 4-01-07 through 4-02-07 A+
The Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill 4-03-07 through 4-04-07 A+
A Blessing in Disguise by Shereen Verdam 4-04-07 A
One Wild Weekend by T. Sue Versteeg 4-05-07 A
The Witches by Ronald Dahl (Banned Book) 4-05-07 A
The Hard Core Diaries by Mick Foley 4-06-07 through 4-09-07 A+
A Knight in Halycon by Diana Bold 4-09-07 A
Marion’s Train by Lisa Dawn McDonald (73) 4-09-07 A
Prime Cut by Diane Mott Davidson 4-10-07 through 4-11-07 A+
In My Dreams by Elyssa Kyle 4-11-07 A
In a Heartbeat by Donna Richards 4-12-07 A
Earthly Joys by Phillipa Gregory (Chunkster) 4-13-07 through 4-18-07 A
Hide by Lisa Gardner 4-18-07 through 4-19-07 A+
The Tsarina’s Daughter by Helene Spence 4-19-07 through 4-20-07 A
Affinity by Viola Grace 4-20-07 A
Skin Deep by Selah March 4-21-07 A
Compromising Situations by Carolynn Carey 4-21-07 through 4-22-07 A
The Bone Thief by Thomas O’Callaghan 4-22-07 through 4-23-07 B
Sweet Surrender by Pam Marshall 4-24-07 A
Lisa’s Gift by Makenzie McKade 4-25-07 A
Unseen by Mari Jungstedt 4-25-07 through 4-28-07 A
Blood Price by Tanya Huff 4-28-07 through 4-29-07 A+

Review for Blood Price:
Vicki Nelson is trying to start a new life after leaving the Police Force in Toronto. Her first few cases as a private investigator are boring. But when she sees a man being killed, Vicki begins to see wonder what is going on. With the help of a vampire Henry Fitzroy, she hopes to get to the bottom of the case before anymore get killed. Yet with her old partner Mike Celluci getting in the way, she is not sure how much she will be able to do.

Tanya Huff has an amazing writing style. I truly believed everything that was happening. The research she had to do for this book must have been a lot. I really appreciate that the characters don’t just go in headlong. Ms. Huff really knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat. You are not sure if they are going to be able to figure things out in time or not. I loved how she weaved history into the book by making Henry the bastard son of Henry the 8th.

The characters were amazing! They were not all perfect and they had their faults. Yet when it was needed, they all worked together. I really enjoyed Vicki’s spunk. She was a woman who would not let her eyesight get her down and still worked her butt off. Henry was just hot!! It was not that he is a vampire, but that he could really be a help to Vicki and wanted to as well. Occasionally it took some persuading but he finally came along. I found Mike to be the biggest pain. He didn’t want anything to happen to Vicki but was completely blind to what was going on around them until the end of the book. Though knowing him, he still might deny anything can be out there.

I was impressed with how well this story was kept in the first episode of the series Blood Ties. This book is the first in the series and I look forward to reading the rest. I give this book a 5/5 because it kept my attention to the very end.
272 pages/Mystery

Now off to continue reading Deep Storm by Lincoln Child and then three romances. LOL