Thursday, November 29, 2007

Chirstmas with Anne and Other Stories by L.M. Montgomery

Christmas with Anne and Other Stories by L.M. Montgomery

Being a huge Anne of Green Gables fan, I picked it up when it first came on in 1996. It has been sitting on either a shelf or a box for the longest time. Picking up for my Christmas Book Challenge, I figured this would be a good time as any to finally read it. I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I was pleasantly surprised at how wonderful L.M. Montgomery can write. I loved all of her novels whether it was Anne or Emily of New Moon or some of her stand alones.

The two stories taken from the Anne stories were so familiar to me thanks to the movies that were done that I could hear the characters speaking in my mind. The rest of them each had a moral lesson and it was wonderful. The characters were so vivid and I couldn’t get enough of them.

This was a refreshing Holiday read because it showed the simple Christmas where you give more than you receive is important. I really liked that. I wish I could hug Ms. Montgomery for all the imagination she stirred up in my life. And bonus to Rea Wilmhurst for putting these stories together.

L.M. Montgomery, Edited by Rea Wilmhurst, 214 pages, Christmas Stories, AN2R Christmas Challenge, 5 out of 5 stars

Now off to a few other review books. :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Creepers by David Morrell

Frank Belanger is wanting to do a report on people who like to go through abandoned buildings. They are referred to as creepers since they come in at night and risk their own lives for the adventure. The five people are suspicious of him but figured since that the guy leading up this expedition seems to be okay with everything. There is a mystery surrounding the Paragon Hotel. A reclusive millionaire built it; the structure is magnificent. It is marked for demolition so to get in there before it is gone is the key. But what will they find?

Mr. Morrell certainly has a morbid mind. And in this case, it made the book pretty scary. Yet that helped the essence of the man who built the hotel and other quirky characteristics come alive. The idea that time can be frozen into place was really evident in this novel. People often leave things behind them and so things are remembered as they once were. Also the millionaire who owned the hotel kept buying the same furniture.

I really weren’t too sure about any of these characters at first. Yet the prize for them was seeing old things as they once were. Frank seemed to just be along for the ride. Yet as it went along his motives really became clear. The three people that followed the professor were interesting in that they all knew each other from college. Yet they had been able to stay friends and two of them were married. There was a lot of back-story to the novel but it played up so much of what ended up happening.

I would recommend this book pretty highly. It’s creepy but fairly fast paced which I like. It was a quick read for me and I hope to read more by this author. I really like the group I am involved in because then I try new authors. Ones that I may have heard of or like in this instance I didn’t know anything about Mr. Morrell and I definitely want to try another one of his books.

Next up is christmas with anne by L.M. Montegormery. Then I have 2 books I need to review.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Christmas Child by Max Lucado

A Chicago journalist needs to go to Texas for an assignment over Christmas. He and his wife Meg had a fight. So he decides to stop in the town of Clearwater to find out the meaning behind the picture of the church there that was sent to his father a long time ago. The only thing the guy knew about it was that he was born there but he was adopted. But there is more to the town than meets the eye. He meets an old man who knows a story to be told about a young girl’s faith, a wooden manager scene, and a scarlet cross that will lead the journalist home.

Mr. Lucado is a fabulous writer. Though a short book in length, there is so much emotion poured into it. It is a story that will make you tear up and all that happens. The characters are strong and want to be there to be peace made.

The journalist in this book does not have a name and it really does not matter to some extent. The journey he goes on is one that can be for anyone. He has a lot ahead of him and it could be overwhelming. Yet he takes it all in stride. He is not perfect but he understands what is given to him and that is what helps him the most.

I absolutely loved this book. It is a sweet story and one that can be read all through the Christmas season. Once will not be enough for me. This is one I would even love to own. Forgiveness is something that can always be given. Mr. Lucado does a wonderful job telling the story and I look forward to reading more of his work.

Update on Nano

Well I am over 33,000 words. If I continue to write 1,975 words a day, I'll make my goal no problem. :) Well off to writing, before I have to go to work.

Stone Cold by David Baldacci

Oliver Stone is hard at work again. This time, the Camel Club’s friend Annabelle needs their help. She has a man after her and she can’t get rid of him on her own. Problem is, members of the elite team Oliver was on keep dying one by one. The only man behind it is Harry Finn. Oliver will have met his match on this one and hopes the team can do both tasks so that everyone will be okay.

Mr. Baldacci is quite the author. I am not a big political thriller type reader but his characters are so compelling that they pull me in and don’t let me stop reading till it is done. A few changes were made in the time frame of things but Mr. Baldacci explained them at the end. Truly don’t read that note till the book is over. It gives away a few things that surprised me. The action in the book never really seems to stop and that is what I enjoyed so much.

Oliver doesn’t do well with facing his past. Harry certainly does not help with that. Things seem to go from bad to worse in this story. Oliver relies on his friends and they back him up. He also does his best to help out whenever he can. Even if that means working with the enemy from time to time, Oliver is determined to keep some of the stuff in his past buried. The world wouldn’t know what to do with it if they found out.

I can’t say enough about these characters. I hope there are more stories to come about The Camel Club. They are a fun bunch and they really do know their stuff. Plus Mr. Baldacci has to redeem himself. One of the deaths in this book upset me but I won’t say who it was. Definitely a good read for anyone who likes politics and thrillers mixed together.

David Baldacci, Fiction, Political, Spies, 388 pages, 4 out of 5

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Valley To Die For by Radine Trees Nehring

Carrie McCrite had shared a dream with her husband of moving to the Ozarks to start a new life after he retired. But after he dies in a hunting accident, Carrie decides she will keep the dream alive. Her best friend and neighbor Joanne Harrington keeps her busy between walks and the committee to get the quarry out of their little town. Yet someone decides to kill Joanne and so Carrie must not only figure out who did it but why. Her new neighbor and retired cop Henry King thinks that Carrie was the real target. Carrie thinks it is ridiculous. But it is no more so than the secrets Henry is keeping to himself.

Ms. Nehring knows her area. She does live there but she makes it come so alive. I felt like I was on the walks with Carrie. Everything is heart felt and wonderfully written. Some secrets can hurt others while some are just kept to protect others in the long run. The characters in this book are created beautifully. I couldn’t get enough of this story.

Carrie is a spunky woman. I truly enjoyed her as a character. She looked out for the best interests of others. She truly wanted to be the best person she could be and pursued it fully. She clung to her faith and used it as her lifeline. Her world is turned upside down but she faces it head on every day. Henry King has a few issues he needs to deal with. He is headstrong but has to figure out when to ask for help. He is a kind man but he drove me up the wall a few times.

I cannot wait to see how the rest of this series pans out. It kept me from the very beginning. Life is definitely in an uproar in this small town but the citizens will not go down without a fight. Small towns are wonderful even if they know all about you. There seems to be a greater want to help others than I have seen in big towns. I hope to pick up the next book soon because these characters are ones you just love to read about.
Radine Trees Nehring/New Author/Mystery/ 284 pages/Ozark Mountains

Okay quick update, I am now at 27,334 words for Nanorwrimo! SO the end is in sight and there is a little more to figure out yet! So I just might be able to do this! Yay! I have one book to review and hope to fit in one more of my own before I review another one. :) After Thanksgiving, I'll be reading a lot of my own Christmas books.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Jinx by Meg Cabot

Jean had to get away from home. Her parents sent her to New York to live with her Aunt and Uncle. But even that hasn’t stopped bad things happening. Least of all is her cousin Tory who is not pleased to have her around. Being jinxed her whole life may just be the thing that keeps her safe.

Meg Cabot does it again. She can pretty much write anything and I enjoy it. She writes characters that come across as very real. I don’t necessary like the idea of witches. Yet I know they are out there and that the pre-conceived notions we have are not always accurate. Ms. Cabot really wanted there to be some truth and I appreciated that.

Jinx just wants to get rid of her jinx. Being known as Jean would be a nice change. Her cousin Tory certainly is not helping. Zach is always on her mind but she doesn’t want to deal with past issues. Being 16 is not easy but when family hurts you, life is so much more difficult.

Being one who reads almost anything, I really enjoyed this book. Jean aka Jinx had to learn to embrace who she is before coming to terms with her past. It may not happen necessarily in that order but Jean needs to take the time to figure it all out. I disliked Tory because she’d do awful things to her cousin to be the center of attention. That is just wrong though I know of people who have done that. Jean handled it all very well which made the book even better.
Meg Cabot/ 262 pages/Witches/Young Adult Fiction

Well I started one of my books fore review. Now off to write some more. For an update as of yesterday I had 18, 053 words done! So off to write!

Stray by Rachel Vincent

Faythe is one of the last breeding were cats left. She left her family’s Pride and started a life for herself. It all changed when a stray came after her. She was summoned home for protection. Two other tabbies had disappeared. She wasn’t the type to sit still but she really didn’t have much of a choice.

Ms. Vincent created a world that bit back. Others may have tackled this world before but this one was enticing from the beginning. I had to see where she was going to take things. The characters truly felt emotions and were willing to kill if they had to. They would rather work things out and get information but they knew sometimes that was not an option.

Faythe is a were cat who can handle her own. She didn’t put up with much and was very determined to make her own decisions. Marc, the were cat her dad picked as her mate, had to understand that Faythe needed her freedom. She never looked for taking up huge responsibilities when it comes to her Pride. She liked the human world and would rather stay there then go back home. But if needed, could she embrace it?

I saw somewhere that this might turn into a series. I truly hope it will because there are more stories to be told about the Pride even if they don’t focus on Faythe. There are plenty of characters to write about. This was a book I couldn’t put down for nothing. Ms. Vincent fills her books with character and tension that will keep you turning pages. The page amount didn’t get in the way. I never realized how many pages I read till I was finished.

Rachel Vincent/Paranormal/ 624 pages/Chunkster/New Author

I really liked this book but have not had time to post it. :) I have one more to post too, the review for Jinxed. :) Off to read review books!

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Seance by Heather Graham

Christina Hardy has always known she had a gift even as a child. But was told to suppress it, but at her house they start talking about the “Interstate Killer” murders that stopped 15 years ago. Then she is asked to bring out her Ouija board, and the spirit of Beau Kidd shows up. He was considered the chief suspect when his partner killed him. Now he has come back to clear his name and only Christina can see him. It seems that the killer is still out there and Christina’s life is hanging in the balance.

Ms. Graham does it again. I cannot get enough of her books. They are creepy, scary, and have great romances in them. Most people would find that combination odd but I love it! This book had me going from the beginning. The characters are full of life and you want to see them do well. The plot is full of twist ands turns and I had no clue who was behind the killings. It threw me for a loop! She is that good at surprises!

I loved Christina and her family. They were a good Irish family. That helped me fall in love with them. I also liked Jed Braden. He wanted to fall in love but had a hard time accepting that things were out there that he could not see. That was completely normal for me and I really got to like his character. Those two really knew how to heat things up!

I loved seeing the Harrison Investigation team again. Jed had to understand what was happening to Christina. It just takes time like any relationship. There was a lot of stuff to figure out cause it is not smart to just point fingers. Jed and Christina had to work with the police so things could be handled in the correct manner. Though I could understand the times that Christina just wanted to jump ahead. This was a good suspenseful book and even though I thought I might know who was behind it all. I never came close to figuring it out.
Heather Graham/Paranormal/384 pages/ 5 out of 5

Quick sidenote, I made it to 3,720 words today. :) Off to reading review books!

My Stats and Reads for Oct

Here are my stats:
Total books read: 26
New Authors: 35
Fiction: 22
Non-Fiction: 4
Scary Books: 3
Cozies: 5
Chunksters: 1
Books Reviewed: 15
From the Stacks:
Books I Bought: 8
PBS Sent: 7
PBS Received: 2
Total Pages Read: 6,137 pages

216. Beyond the Mommy Years by Carin Rubenstein, PhD 9-28-07 through 10-01-07 B
217. Don’t Make A Scene by Valerie Block 10-01-07 through 10-03-07 C
218. Plenty Good Room by Cheri Paris Edwards 10-03-07 through 10-04-07 A+
219. Dead Men Don’t Lye by Tim Myers 10-04-07 through 10-05-07 A+
220. Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Free Thinking Dog by Ted Kerasote 10-05-07 through 10-09-07 A+

221. The Ghost and Mrs. McClure by Alice Kimberly 10-09-07 A+
222. Fernseed for Fairysight by Sally Odgers 10-09-07 through 10-11-07 A
223. The Tunnels by Michelle Gagnon (Scary Book Challenge) 10-10-07 through 10-13-07 A
224. The Rules of Darkness by Tia Fanning 10-13-07 through 10-14-07 A
225. One for the Money by Janet Evanovich 10-14-07 through 10-15-07 A
226. Weirdly by Various (Scary Book Challenge) 10-15-07 through 10-17-07 D
227. The Dead Guy Interviews by Michael A. Stusser 10-17-07 through 10-18-0-7 A
228. Summer Wine by Helen Ravell 10-18-07 through 10-19-07 A
229. Keepsake Crimes by Laura Childs 10-19-07 through 10-20-07 A
230. Photo Finished by Laura Childs 10-21-07 A+
231. Bound for Murder by Laura Childs 10-22-07 A+
232. You’ve Been Warned by James Patterson and Howard Roughan (Scary Book Challenge) 10-22-07 through 10-23-07 C
233. Away by Amy Bloom 10-23-07 through 10-24-07 C
234. Always A Warrior by Patricia Bruening 10-24-07 A
235. Between the Gutter and the Sky by Babe King 10-24-07 through 10-25-07 A
236. Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani 10-25-07 through 10-26-07 A
237. Redemption by Keira Ramsay 10-26-07 through 10-27-07 A+
238. Plato and A Platypus Walk Into A Bar by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein 10-27-07 through 10-28-07 A
239. The Prayer Chest by Joel Fontios and August Gold 10-28-07 A
240. Sacred Ground by Rita Karonapp 10-28-07 through 10-29-07 A
241. Ardenwycke Unveiled by Kelly Ferjutz 10-29-07 through 10-30-07 A

I did not finish The Seance by Heahter Graham in time so that is the first book for November. I hope I am able to read quite a few books but with writing we'll have to see.