Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Comfort and Joy by Fern Michaels, Marie Bostwick, Cathy Lamb, and Deborah J. Wolf

Comfort and Joy by Fern Michaels

Angie Bradford took over her mother's gift wrap business in Eagle Department store, and ever since her and the store chief Josh Eagle have been butting heads and going to court multiple times. The store is failing and so she needs to get things renovated hopefully if Josh will agree to it. But with Josh leaving the store at the first of the year and unexpected snow coming, Angie never expects an miracle to come out of the blue.

This is not my first story by Ms. Michaels and certainly won't be the last. I am intrigued and definitely want to read more of her work. Her characters are full of emotions and stand up for what they believe. If only they can work together and get past some of the issues that hold them back.

A High Kicking Christmas by Marie Bostwick

Kendra Erickson needs a break from Christmas. Being a Rockette for the last ten years has drained all the joy out of Christmas for her. But breaking her leg sends her off to a small town in Vermont, she may just right smack in the middle of a Christmas pageant that needs help. Kendra just might see Christmas in a whole new light.

Re-birth of Christmas in Kendra's heart is such a great story that Ms. Bostwick has won me over. I am so glad I have another one of her books on my shelf cause I want to read it soon! Definitely an author who will warm your heart in every word she writes.

Suzanna's Stockings by Cathy Lamb

Suzanna's life has all been planned out. But waking up floating over her own body wasn't part of it. Now she's in a coma, how she isn't sure and she needs to figure out how to get her life back. Jack Benson never leaves her side but she isn't sure why. Can she figure out what to do in time?

The searching that Suzanna goes through keeps this story very poignant. She reflects on all that is going on around her. Ms. Lamb keeps things focused on everything in this small town as well as the wanderings of Suzanna. A story that will warm your heart.

Family Blessings by Deborah J. Wolf

Things seemed odd when Kacey's mother seemed to stare off into the distance or repeat herself. But when in the middle of September, Kacey visited to find her mother decorating for Christmas something just didn't add up. Reuniting her family isn't going to be easy but their mother is dealing with something serious. It just might bring the family together again.

Heart wrenching is what Ms. Wolf is good at. There is light at the end of the tunnel. This family must come together to let go of the past. It's a journey none will ever forget.

These four stories touched on the hope, love, peace and family that is so much a part of Christmas. I will certainly not forget these stories. I hope to read more by this authors soon.

Fern Michaels, Marie Bostwick, Cathy Lamb, Deborah J. Wolf, Christmas story, Romance, Family, 352 pages, 5 out of 5

Definitely a good book to end the year on! I'll post my year's book records tomorrow! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Season of Angels by Debbie Macomber

Three angels, Shirley, Goodness and Mercy are sent to earth to help three people realize their prayers might just come through if they stop holding onto them so hard. There is a memorable lesson in it and these angels will have the most difficult time getting through to their assignments. Now if they can keep on track and not get distracted along the way that would help too!

Ms. Macomber writes Christmas stories that will melt your heart. Wishes may come true but it takes time and patience to see them through. The angels are far from perfect and have to battle their wants for their assignments as well. This heart warming story will have you laughing and crying.

I definitely want to read more of this series! I am so glad I finally found time to pick it up. If you have never read this series, like me, take the time. You won't regret it one bit! These angels get into scraps and try to put their charges on the right path but is it what they want or what God wants?

Debbie Macomber/ Christmas Romance/ Angels/ Wishes/ 346 pages/ 5 out of 5

I hope to get in one more Christmas story for this month!! We'll see. :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Last Noel by Heather Graham

The O'Boyle family has a get away every year on Christmas Eve. Skyler, the matriarch of the family finds this very important. This year though will leave them wondering what will happen when three men show up on their doorstep. It's Boston, there is a storm coming, and one man is out for blood. Can this family play the games that they are asked and survive?

Ms. Graham always delights whether in romance or suspense. The characters are diverse and keep you guessing. The story line is amazing! The twists and turns this woman can come up with will leave you in the edge of your seat.

Between Skyler and David, Frazier, Jamie, and Kat this family is something else. Then you add in Uncle Paddy and it shows a completely different side of things. This family is going to have to stick together and make the best of things before losing their mother.

Even though it is a Christmas thriller, the family realizes that what is more important is their family. But is it too late? Can they save their family and can Kat get help to where they are at. It is storming and snowing, the prospects are not likely.

Heather Graham/Suspense/ Christmas story/Family/ 346 pages/ 5 out of 5

I am hoping to fit in a few more christmas books! LOL We'll see. :)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Nascar Holiday by Kimberly Raye, Roxanne St. Claire, and Debra Webb

Ladies, Start Your Engines by Kimberly Raye

Savannah Calloway wants to prove she is more than just a beautiful face. She has power in her that can make an engine sing. So she asks Mackenzie Briggs to help her, but can they find out what to fix in time? They just might see that love is more important that winning.

I love this story! Ms. Raye had me captivated. I was rooting for Savannah to get her act together. But she had a few battles up ahead of her. What a great christmas story!

Tis the Silly Season by Roxanne St. Claire

Nascar Busch Series driver Clay Walker wants to impress a potential sponser and will do anything to do it! Lisa Mahoney isn't sure how she fits into his plan but to give her sons their first Merry Christmas she is willing to go along with it. Even if that could include a kiss under the mistletoe.

Ms. Claire certainly held up the good things I have heard about her. This story kept me on the edge of my seat since there had to be lies told and children were involved. Enough said!

Unbreakable by Debra Webb
Dr. Maxine Gray didn't mind helping out for a study on a NASCAR racer. But little does she know how this man works. She's done her research but is it enough? Someone is out to hurt Rush Jackson but with Max watching him every second of the day, she's not sure how that could be possible. But can she see how fun it is through it all?

Ms. Webb shows how crazy things in the Nascar world was back then just a few years ago and still is today! Vying for driving positions, sponsors, the whole thing. Some do it because they love it others for the money. This story showed both sides and I really appreciated that. 99.9% is for the fun of it and because it is all they have ever known. Great job!

These four stories were a blast to read. I saw some of the authors had follow ups written with some of the minor characters in other stories and I hope to read those soon!

Kimberly Raye, Roxanne St. Claire, Debra Webb, New Authors, Christmas Romance, Nascar, 384 pages, 5 out of 5

Got this one finished up yesterday but was out with friends. :) Good stories! I am working on another Christmas story. :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Red Hot Santa by Cherry Adair, Leanne Banks, Pamela Britton, and Kelsey Roberts

Snowball's Chance by Cherry Adair

Kendall Metcalf is decking the halls for a client. Little does she know that there is a serial killer on the loose. Someone comes to protect her and she cannot deny that she has feelings for him. Getting naughty with him just might be on her list.

Ms. Adair is a fantastic author and though rather suspenseful still has Christmas at the heart! Definitely a good story that I enjoyed immensely!

Santa Slave by Leanne Banks

Hilary is determined to find where her best friend went. She thought it was too good to be true and now she is taking the same path. She has to find her friend only problem is meeting a man who is sent to protect her. Can she find out what she is looking for or not?

Ms. Banks has a way with words that just envelopes you itno the story. The struggle between Hilary and Rick is something else. You keep hoping that Hilary will be successful but then you wonder if it will be possible. Great emotional story here!

Bad, Bad Santa by Pamela Britton

Dr. Kaitlyn Logan is finally finding a way to track a birds' migration patterns. But someone wants to use it for the wrong reasons. Now she must find out what is going on and Chance Owens is sent to protect her. But can he protect her heart?

Ms Britton puts you on a fast paced thrill ride that is down right sexy. It's pace will keep your heart racing to find out what will happen next. These characters are up and down but they might just find their place ... in each other's arms.

Killer Christmas by Kelsey Roberts

Someone wants Meghan Beckham dead. Now the sole owner of the prestigious store by the same name, someone wants her dead. Her brother dead not that long ago, and she ruled it an accident. But it seems after a few more suspicious deaths, something just does not add up. In comes Jack Palmer, and he's about to turn everything upside down.

Ms. Roberts writes a romance that centers around two people kind of thrown together. The characters get into your heart and pull at your heart strings. Definitely a story that won't soon leave my mind.

All four stories center around an operatives agency and I loved how well they tied together. Even some repeat characters were a blast! All four authors did a wonderful job and I definitely want to read more by each one of them.

Cherry Adair/Leanne Banks/ Pamela Britton/Kelsey Roberts/ Romantic Suspense/ Christmas Romance/336 pages/ 5 out of 5

Off to go get some sleep. Merry Christmas every one!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Letters by Debbie Macomber

Katherine O'Connor loved helping people by writing their Christmas letters. Now she comes face to face with the man she believes is ruining the lives of her twin nieces. Now if only she can keep calm, but things aren't looking up for her. Dr. Wynn Jefferies has never been so insulted in his life. Yet there is something between them if they could only calm down to take the time to find out.

Ms. Macomber ties in her other shops so well with this story. I've read the other ones in this series and this one certainly didn't disappoint at all! This is one more wonderful story by this author. I couldn't put it down for nothing.

Katherine is as pig headed as they come but she has met her match in Dr. Wynn. Dr Jefferies is not about to take criticism lying down. But their neighbor connives to get them together. Sparks could just fly. They learn to agree to disagree and find they like each other. But will it be enough?

I fell in love with these characters right away! I loved revisiting old ones from the Blossom street series. Ms. Macomber knows how to suck you into a story till the last page is turned! I have a few more of hers to read at least two more Christmas books. I hope to read them this month!

Debbie Macomber/ Christmas Romance/ 256 pgs/5 out of 5

With getting behind yesterday with cleaning and then hurting my wrist, this book was definitely a much needed retreat. Up another Christmas anthology! I am so excited!!

The Wedding Secret by Michele Dunaway

Cecile Duletsky hadn't been with a man in awhile. Her last boyfriend Eric had turned out to be less thean expected not to mention the relationship flopped. Now going to little sister's wedding, she's not looking forward to it. But meeting one of the groomsmen is about to change her world. She just has no clue how much it will affect her life.

Ms. Dunaway is a fantastic author. I loved this story and how sexy it was. The characters truly must figure out what is important to them. There are struggles ahead and I was curious to see how they'd deal with them.

Cecile is a woman who knows what she wants but never really seems to take the time for it. After her last relationship soured, she decided to focus on her career. Luke Shaw, on the other hand, isn't afraid to throw caution to the wind no matter what. These two have so much in common but can they make it work?

This was a great story just bummed that again it's labeled as a holiday escape but no holidays mentioned really. Ms. Dunaway has captured my attention for sure! I look forward to reading her next work.

Michele Dunaway/Romance/256 pages/ New Author/ 5 out of 5

Okay got a Christmas book up next! So excited!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tempted By A Texan by Mindy Neff

Becca Sue Ellworth's luck with men hadn't always been the greatest. Her best friend Colby hangs around but it's torture. After ending their relationship, now seven years ago, she wonders if he remembers their drunken promise. But with the chance of him leaving, there's no reason to stick around. A chance encounter brings him back into her life but is it for good this time?

Ms. Neff is a fantastic author! I loved this story and would love to read the preceeding books in this series even just to see how the other ladies' faired and how they made their relationships work.

I'm not sure I would classify this as a holiday escape because not once was Christmas mentioned or even Thanksgiving. It's a great book but perfect for any time of the year. :)

Mindy Neff/ New Author/ 256 pages/ Romance/ 4 out of 5

Okay read this one faster than I thought I would. :) Going to read another Holiday Escape novel tomorrow. I just hope this one has to do something with the Holidays. :)

Santa Baby by Lisa Plumley, Elaine Coffman, Kylie Adams, and Lisa Jackson

Merry Merry Mischief by Lisa Plumley

Katie Moore has always longed for her relationship with Jack Brennan. But they had decided to let it fizzle out. When his baby niece shows up, could this be the one thing that could rekindle what they have while making a baby's first christmas the happiest ever? The party girl and the work aholic sure have a lot on their hands.

Ms. Plumley is a fantastic writer that sweeps you into the story with love and laughter. The characters are compelling but the situations will have you in stiches. A great love story that will keep you turning pages definitely!!

Holiday Stud by Kylie Adams
Audra Jarecki is dreading going home. After breaking up with her last boyfriend, she must have someone on her arm. That's where Colby Douglas comes into play but it just might be the best mistake she's ever made.

Ms. Adams has a hot sexy number on her hands. Professional giglos isn't what I would use for a dating service if I had the need. But boy is Audra in for a surprise or two. Definitely something to savor.

Under the Mistletoe by Elaine Coffman

Stanley Levine was looking forward to a nice quiet life in the small town. He got anything but that. His new neighbor has seven daughters and they sure make a lot of noise. Christmas may be coming but Stanley is not wanting to have anything to do with it and the unruly clan next door will not be able to change his mind.

Ms. Coffman has a fabulous story here. The changes that take place in the story are just a blast to watch unfold. Definitely an author I want to read more by.

A Baby for Christmas by Lisa Jackson

Annie McFarlane is finally over last year's christmas. Losing her hubby and no more babies in sight, she settles down to her new life. But a baby dropped off at her door step and an angry man to follow, turn her life upside down. What is she going to do now with Liam completely irrantional? The only man her sister dated that she found hot!

Ms. Jackson beats the last one with this one. Desires flare up and they have to figure out can they run away from them or not. I love how Annie cannot lie to save her life. This is a great story!!

All four stories had me laughing and crying. These authors sure know how to keep you entertained and loving what they write! I definitely need more books like this before Christmas.

Christmas/Lisa Plumley/Elaine Coffman/Kylie Adams/Lisa Jackson/New Authors/ Chunkster/416 pages/5 out of 5

Off to read another Christmas book shortly! I need some lunch first. :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Indemnity Only by Sara Paretsky

Indemnity Only by Sara Paretsky

Victoria, Vic to her friends, Warshawski is a Private Investigator who doesn't always get so far. Her father was a cop but she never saw herself doing that. Now she is asked to help on a case and comes face to face with a dead body. Then she is beat up on, this woman's job isn't going to be easy. But can she figure out how a bank, a mob, and a union are all linked?

Ms. Paretskey definitely writes a character that you root for. I loved Vic. She was tough as nails. This book is a little out of date but I still really enjoyed it. The characters and the action kept me turning pages. This is definitely a series with a lot of potential.

Victoria wasn't all stuff and nonsense. She had a heart too. Certainly not the type to keep a person hanging but her job came first especially if she was paid no matter the amount. I loved Lotty, her best friend and doctor extraordinaire. She was a hoot and kept keeping on Vic's case if it was needed. Definitely a good mother figure to have around.

All in all, I am glad I have the next one but might wait till January. I have some other books calling my name. But this is an author that won't soon disappoint you.

Sara Paretsky/ New Author/ 162 pages/ Mystery/ Chicago/ Thugs/ 3 out of 5

Off to start another Christmas story!!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Letter by Richard Paul Evans

In the conclusion to this series, MaryAnne is tired of feeling all alone. Since the death of their daughter Andrea, David has a difficult time dealing with it all. Now with the upcoming wedding of her brother, MaryAnne decides to go visit to take a break from it all. A letter found on Andrea's grave will take them all on a journey they won't soon forget.

Mr. Evans definitely knows how to grab of your emotions. This book did it for me more than the others. Having to figure out how to deal with the emotions of the time as well as what was going on in the lives of the main characters. As well as knowing the issues of the time period of the main story and making it all believable without being too crude.

MaryAnne is a woman who is so heart broken but knows she needs to move on with her life. David buries himself in work and never takes time for what really matters until its too late. These two have a lot to go through and realize how their love can get them through anything. It may take some time.

This book moved me and I loved seeing the full love story of this couple and how much it affected the lives of the man and his wife Kerri. I appreciated the whole thing and the understandings of the time were phenomenal. Definitely a new author that has completely won me over. A Christmas reading with emotion and heart.

Richard Paul Evans/ Christmas Story/ 336 pages/ 5 out of 5

Off to go get some writing done and then hopefully watch a movie tonight. :)

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Timepiece by Richard Paul Evans

A timepiece that has meaning is given to the man in the first story. He reflects on the story that surrounded it. MaryAnne is young and expecting and meets her future husband David. It is their life building together that has them get to know Lawrence who repairs clocks. All three lives will be entangled forever after one simple event.

Mr. Evans does it again! I love the bit of back story we get on MaryAnne and her Husband. I could see how she had become the woman she was in Christmas Box. The characters are full of such emotions. I was immensely pleased with his writing style.

Both MaryAnne and the father in the story again truly need to see the message not only in the timepiece but in life itself. There are a lot of lessons to learn and to see how life can be changed in an instant. This is a story that I'll not soon forget and an author that I have completely fallen in love with his writing.

Richard Paul Evans/Christmas story/ Adult Fiction/ 272 pages/ 5 out of 5

I was pleased that it flowed as similar as the movie since I had not read the book before. Now I hope to catch this month to compare it once again. :)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans

A young father tells the story of the Christmas that he'll never forget. Having to move into someone else's home is never easy. At first, it is difficult for this man to get over. Most of all, the change is most affecting his wife and little girl. The woman they move in with may just help this man figure out what he truly wants and needs for his life.

This story is heart warming. Mr. Evans has written a classic with this one. I've had it for awhile just took me forever to read. I am so glad that I did because it gave me the true meaning of Christmas to share with others and to love. This is one author that I will read more of.

Richard Paul Evans/New Author/ Christmas/ Family/ 83 pages/ 4 out of 5

I read this one yesterday but never got a chance to do anything since I wasn't home. lol I thought this was very close to the movie.

The Exchange by Inga C. Ellzey

Jewelle Dawson needed a break. Being in the witness protection program had been draining. She needs a break and wants to get out. Against the advisement of her friend, she decides to go ahead and go. She knows she will not be watched over but she doesn't think anything of it. Meeting two wonderful men, Max is a playboy gambler and wants Jewelle to come along and take risks with him. While Paul is a laid back kind of guy and just gently woos her. This trip will be one that she'll never forget.

Ms. Ellzey made me laugh. It all came back to mentioning the small town in Minnesota as well as Duluth. Being someone who has been there just made me smile cause it fit so well. There were a few grammatical and spelling errors but nothing major. I was pleased with how well the plot flowed and the surprises along the way. Ms. Ellzey has a new fan and I cannot wait for the sequel to come out.

Jewelle is a woman who just wants to embrace life. She never knew how a simple testimony could change her life. Now she wants to take a break from the life she had to start. Meeting other people on a cruise seems like the ideal spot. Little does she know that she'll change lives along the way.

This is a fascinating book that grabbed me from the beginning. It jumped from Jewelle to another character a little here and there. It never bothered me and I felt it flowed pretty well. It was a good well written story that the sequel to come out next year is definitely a must read after the cliff hanger you are left with at the end.

Inga C. Ellzey/New Author/ Adult Fiction/ Romance/ Chunkster/401 pages/ 5 out of 5

I would have posted this sooner but we lost power yesterday and forgot to copy this onto something so I could post it. lol Oh well! :)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Ghost Hunting by Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson, Jan

Awesome book! Okay serious it was, I got a glimpse into more of what they do and how they go about doing their work. There was some repetitiveness that drove me crazy from time to time, but I truly felt that they wanted to make sure they said things correctly so people would understand that this is serious work. It truly is, I used to watch the show. I say used to because I have a very vivid imagination.

I remember my first episode, I believe it was last year, all I remember is that they were at this old Physic Hospital that is now abandoned. I think that is what it is but what sticks in my mind is how there was a black form that they saw down the hallway. It “floated” out and “floated” back into the shadows. Steve and Brian (at least I think that is who it was lol) had to go over this a couple of times to make sure that they had seen it. It freaked me out till no end!!! No joke.

Reading about some of their old cases that I had never seen was interesting cause I got a better glimpse of how they did this. They do their best to find out what is really going on and that is what kept me going back to the show time and time again. But well having a young child in the house, not wise to watch it till he is asleep. That meant I couldn't watch the show till 10pm. Umm yeah, bad idea for me!

But I truly appreciated what these guys did and what they are doing now. They truly make sure they try to figure out what is going on whether it is faked, stuff in the house that is making the noises, or it is really real. So yeah, definitely a book to read if you love this show or if you're curious at what they do and not sure you can watch it. :) It still has some jumpy moments but not so scary at least for me. :)

Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson, Jan Michael Freeman, Non Fiction, Ghost stories, 5 out of 5

November Reads and Stats

Very slow month. Working 4 day weeks kept me hopping. So here is my list:
190. The List by Steve Martini 10-30-08 through 11-03-08 C
191.The School Run by Sophie King 11-03-08 through 11-05-08 B
192. A Death in Vienna by Daniel Silva 11-05-08 through 11-08-08 B
193. The Murder of Helen Jewett by Patrica Cline Cohen 11-08-08 through11-16-08 B
194. The Christmas Husband by Mary Anne Wilson 11-17-08 A
195. Once Upon A Christmas by Brenda Novak, Melinda Curtis, and Anna Adams 11-17-08 through 11-18-08 A
196. Prince of Fire by Daniel Silva 11-18-08 through 11-30-08 A

Total Books Read: 7
New Authors: 6
Fiction: 6
Non-fiction: 1
TBR: 2
Chunksters: 3
Books I Reviewed: 0
Christmas/Winter: 2
Romance: 3
Mystery: 3
From the Stacks: 7
Books I Bought: 2
PBS Sent: 6
PBS Received: 10
Total pages read: 2717 pages

Well, I have another book review to type up. This one read pretty quick. :)

Prince of Fire by Daniel Silva

Gabriel Allon is ready to do some work for a friend when Ari comes looking for him. This time there is more at stake than even Gabriel thinks. Can he play by the rules?

Mr. Silva does it again and the real situtaions that happened in this book were taken from history. He just tweaked a little. But then it is fiction so it is entirely possible. Once again I was swept up into this book.

I truly felt for Gabriel. He had to start with a new team and figure out how to solve the problem that was coming. He was also torn between Chiara and his wife Leah. Tough choices for a man who loves his art.

This is a good book but not as good as the last one. Though that one was more heart wrenching. This one had me on the edge of my seat. I will definitely have to get the next one in the series!

Daniel Silva/ Chunkster/ 400 pages/ Spy story/ 4 out of 5

I enjoyed this one. It was not easy to read at times but was interesting. Off to read a review book and then my first Christmas book for December!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

So cool!

I love authors seriously! I know it is a rare thing but the author I really like is sending me a copy of her book for my mom as a christmas gift. I was blown away. Here is the review of her book called My Life With Apache.

I am too excited about this. So now I plan on buying my mom something else to go along with it. :) Seriously this book is worth your time reading!

Off to read. Hours picked up so less time to read.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Just Like The Ones We Used to Know by Brenda Novak

Angela Forrester loves Kayla like she is her own daughter. But that is not the case, but now Kayla is wanting to know here “real” father. Angela isn't so sure at first and then decides to go back to where it all happened. She just hopes it goes better than expected.

Ms. Novak really gets to the heart of the matter. I loved this quick holiday story. :) So sweet and then full of heat. :) Definitely an author I would love to read more by.

The Night Before Christmas by Melinda Curtis

Emma Roberts was looking forward to helping her family with the Santa Express in her hometown. Now she gets an offer to drive a man to Las Vegas and she isn;t sure she wants it. Simon has the offer of a lifetime but has to scramble to find a driver. Emma may be the perfect one for the job but she just might find a way into his heart as well.

Ms. Curtis writes a sweet romance to life your spirits. Emma is a character you just want to hug. She has beliefs that she sticks to. You get a good glimpse into the life of Emma and her family. Simon may not be as hard of a nut to crack as he thinks.

All the Christmases to Come by Anna Adams

Andrew Durham takes being a single dad very seriously. Now his girlfriend is expecting and he isn't sure what to do about it. He is resigned to lose her because she wants more kids and he doesn't. But something keeps tugging at his heart.

Ms. Adams writes emotions that are so real in her characters. There are unsure people and then there are people who know what they want. You'll see both in this story. It may take an unplanned event to make them all see the same thing.

These three tales were so much fun to read! I couldn't get enough and definitely want to read more by all three authors. I was hooked with each one and didn't want to see any of the stories end. All three authors are truly talented and I am curious to see if they have written other Christmas stories.

Brenda Novak, Anna Adams, Melinda Curtis, Christmas, Romance, New Authors, 304 pages, 5 out of 5

Off to read Prince of Fire by Daniel Silva and hopefully some more writing. :)

Christmas Husband by Mary Anne Wilson

Madison Symthe loves being the voice of Dr. Love. She is able to help people even though she may be pretending on a few things. Now she is asked to be a Christmas present for someone including the husband that doesn't help her out. Now she has to contact an escort service for help, she would rather give up on the whole thing. But when she meets a man after talking to the lady who runs the service, she wonders if that could be the man for her.

Ms. Wilson writes a wonderful romance that heats up. I loved it from the beginning cause the boy really wanted his father around. It truly is a sweet Christmas story that is full of surprises. Ms. Wilson knew how to keep things interesting and keep you wanting to read.

Madison loved doing her job but never felt to take the time to take care of herself. When she is hit with an unexpected situation, I was curious to see how she'd handle things. It certainly was going to show her what she is made of.

This was a cute romance and I really liked it. I definitely would love to read more by this author whether Christmas related or not.

Mary Anne Wilson/New Author/249 pages/ Christmas/Romance/4 out of 5

I finished this one before I left for work. :) I loved this one. Now off to another Christmas book. :)

Holiday Book Giveaway

This author Brenda is giving away books on her blog.

Check it out!!

Okay back to reading. :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Murder of Helen Jewett

A prostitute murdered. A man aligned with her that is high in society. What really happened?

This author tries to delve not only into the facts around the death of Helen Jewett but the background of Helen and Robinson. Not to mention the times they grew up and lived in during the 1800's. I was over whelmed with all the information and the things that were going on.

Ms. Cohen truly digs into it all and shows all sides and presents a full picture for you to figure out what really happened. The fact that the trial ended the way it did probably did have something to do with it staying in their memories.

I agree that it had nothing to do with her being a prostitute. Now days, things might have been different and noting would have been thought of. But at that time, things were different. Men would regularly seek out women even just to talk to and pay for it. Impressed is how I would put this, I did get bogged down by all the foot notes so I would only read the ones where extra information was given since there was so much to read about.

Ms. Cohen did a fantastic job and maybe she gave this woman a voice like no other. I am definitely curious to see what else this author has written.

Patricia Cline Cohen/ New Author/ 512 pages/ Non-fiction/ Chunkster/ Murder/ 3.5 out of 5

It's been awhile since I posted, work has picked up and slowed down. Now it has picked up so I hope so more lighter fare in books. lol

Saturday, November 08, 2008

A Death in Vienna

Gabriel Allon is off chasing another thing for Shamron. But this time, it involves a friend of his and a bombing that happened in order to keep things quiet. Now Gabriel will risk his life once again to get the answers he wants . He’ll be all over the place. Now if only he can get back in one piece this time under the worst constraints.

Mr. Silva does it again. This book had me going from one end to the other with emotions. I was frustrated with what Gabriel found out about the man behind all the targeting and what his real name was and his involvement during world war 2. The amount of research this man had to do was insurmountable to me. I was truly impressed with how authentic things came across even if it was difficult to read at times.

Gabriel Allon is certainly coming along in this series. He is learning when to do what is needed though at times he just wants to give up on it all. I can certainly understand his emotions and the things he has to face in his past.

This is one series that never ceases to amaze me with what Gabriel is put through. I learn so much about him in each book that it is becoming interesting. I am not that big into spy novels but now I think I’ll pick up this author more often.

Daniel Silva/ Spy stories/ World War 2/ 390 pages/ 4 out of 5

Off to read a non-fiction and then to my first Christmas story of the year!!! YAY!!! lol

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The School Run by Sophie King

Five families all make the same run to school. Whether its the school teacher taking the bus, a mom who isn't sure about her marriage, another mom with a disappearing husband, a dad who is coping with the loss of his dead wife, or an au pair who thinks the children she is watching are horrible. Yet something will happen that will connect them all together.

Ms. King is a fantastic writer. She keeps things paced very well. The names when the character's stories changed helped a lot. I was impressed at how much depth you get into each character. That is not always easy to do.

Of all of them I really liked Pippa. She had the most she was dealing with in my opinion even more so than Harriet who wasn't sure about her marriage. Health issues make people think. All of them had their faults but getting the perspective really helped.

This is a good debut. I had parts where I would get upset. Other times not so much. I am curious to see what else she has written. She knows how to write all different kinds of characters and that makes her one well rounded author.

Sophie King/ New Author/ Family/ School/352 pages/ 4 out of 5

Off to reading some more. Just started another a Daniel Silva book.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The List by Steve Martini

Abby Chandalis just wants success. Yet as someone who has bombed on the NY Times best selling list, she isn't sure that it'll happen again. Unless she finds someone to play her pen name that she has created. But doing that just might be deadlier than she thinks.

Mr. Martini is a fabulous writer. There were points in the story that just dragged on and were slightly confusing. The writing was fast paced but never stilted. I was impressed with how developed the characters were as well as the surprises this author could put in his work.

Abby knew the writing industry. She could not try to publish again so her only option was a pen name.Yet she chose a male one and was left scrambling. I could see why she did that but at the same time,it almost blew up in her face. Jack was a guy who had quite the complex at times. He creeped me out a little but then his gun knowledge came in handy. Plus he was always conducting research ways. This
author definitely knows how to let you in the character's head.

This was an up and down book for me. There was a point I actually wanted to put the book down. I kept going along cause I was curious to see how it would all end. The twists and turns with all the characters involved kept me turning pages. Yet, at the same time, there were a lot more things that didn't always make sense. The ending truly wrapped things up and all was revealed but I am still not sure it saved
the book.

Steve Martini/ Author of the Month/Chunkster/ Fiction/Mystery/464 pages/ 3 out of 5

I finished this one yesterday but right before I left for work. I also didn't get the book read in time for last month. lol Have a great day, off to read some more!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

October Reads and Stats

Total Books Read: 15
New Authors: 8
Fiction: 13
Non-Fiction: 2
TBR: 2
Chunksters: 5
Books I reviewed: 4
Young Adult: 1
Romances: 4
Mysteries: 2
True Crime: 0
From the Stacks: 14
Books I Bought: 1
PBS Sent: 6
PBS Received: 5
Total Pages Read: 5,149

175.Final Analysis by Cathrine Crier 10-01-08 through 10-03-08 B
176. Peony in Love by Lisa See 10-03-08 through 10-05-08 B
177. Haunted Memories by Melanie Atkins 10-05-08 A+
178. Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot 10-06-08 A+
179. The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs 10-06-08 through 10-08-08 A+
180: Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky 10-08-08 B
181. Really Something by Shirley Jump 10-09-08 A+
182.Doggy Style by Jane Nay 10-09-08 through 10-10-08 A
183. The Manning Brides by Debbie Macomber 10-11-08 A+
184. The Confessor by Daniel Silva 10-13-08 through 10-19-08 B
185. The House at Riverton by Kate Morton 10-20-08 through 10-22-08 A+
186. Acting Class by Milton Katselas 10-22-08 through 10-25-08 B
187. Like Glass by Matthew Cory 10-25-08 through 10-27-08 B
188. The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde 10-27-08 through 10-29-08 B
189. The Secret Thief by Judith Jaeger 10-29-08 through 10-30-08 A

Back to reading before off to work. lol

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Secret Thief by Judith Jaeger

Connie doesn’t want to help her grandmother clean up the house since it is sold. That means giving up her summer before she starts to teach. Her mother pushes her into it, so Connie finally gives in. Her grandmother always is rough with her so she is not sure she wants to go out there. Yet while cleaning and going through boxes, she finds things she never knew about. She begins to question the things her mother told her and wonders what really is the truth.

Ms. Jaeger has such a way with words. I could feel into Connie’s heart. The small town was a hoot and it came alive in this story. Secrets are often hid back past things. I was pleased not only with how things came out but the ending of this story.

Connie does not mind using the five-finger discount but then she wonders if she is really doing her self any good. The things she has been told while growing up suddenly sound false. But she has to figure out what is the truth and what isn’t. It’s going to be tough but she might just finally see the world for what it really is. The grandmother keeps things close to her heart to make sure things don’t repeat themselves. Connie’s mother is very controlling and must keep things in order. She is hurt by the decisions she made in life and now feels better once she is able to control things.

This is a book full of ups and down but when you close it, you’ll just feel like everything was pretty much figured out. There aren’t many lingering questions but that is a nice change. The author truly lets you into the mind of Connie so you can see where she is coming from.

Judith Jaeger/ New Author/ 194 pages/ Family/ Secrets/ 4 out of 5

Well off to read the author of the month. :) Then another one from the stacks. :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde

Thursday is settling into her book Caversham Heights yet feeling like she is supposed to remember something. Her family is still there but her memories are becoming tainted. And with the promised changes to the Book World coming, things are definitely topsy-turvy. Help must come but will Thursday be able to remember anything of her life.

Mr. Fforde has such creativity in his books. I just cannot believe the things that he is able to imagine. I would love sometime to jump into a book just for an hour but in between chapters so as to not mess anything up. Thursday is a character who has a lot to deal with but I never felt things were cruel for her. There was a good balance of craziness and the normal every day things people deal with but in a book world.

Thursday has a lot to battle in this book. Her memory is slowly fading and she doesn’t understand why. The people in Justifiction are doing their best to train her. Her mentor is always there but there will be a point that she must start working on her own. But can she do that and work on what she is forgetting?

This is an interesting book in the series. There are a lot of cliffhangers in this one. I am just curious to see how it all works out. Mr. Fforde had a few scenes that I could see leading to other things. I definitely love how this author writes but it does take awhile to get used to the writing if you’ve not read him in awhile. Oh, and you must start from the beginning with They Eyre Affair.

Jasper Fforde/ Mystery/ Books/ Chunkster/ 416 pages/ 4 out of 5

Off to another review book and then one for the Author of the Month from my yahoo group. :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Like Glass by Matthew Cory

Rob hadn’t spoken to his brother or the love of his life in eight years. It almost seemed like he had forgotten it all now focusing on running his own business. But one phone call brings back memories from long ago. Now Janet needs his help with the death of his brother Bill, but can he forgive and learn to move on?

Matthew Cory presents a real hard look at forgiveness and betrayal. The characters have depth and you feel the emotions along with them. Yet forgiveness must prevail or all Rob could have might be over. Mr. Cory truly lets you into the world of the character. Flash backs are natural and you get a better understanding of the reasons behind the emotions that is not always easy to do.

Rob just wanted to move on. Feelings were ever present on his face. The man couldn’t hide anything. His past nagged at him from time to time but he never let it get to him. Bill was overpowering and boisterous to say the least. Rob struggled to get along with him. They had good memories but Rob felt so betrayed that he couldn’t let go of his anger. Now the grudge years later comes back to haunt him. Janet, his old love, is struggling since she moved on with her life. Can he see Janet as she is now and forgive? Or is it a hopeless cause?

For a first novel, there is depth, emotion, and a story to tell whether in the past or the present. Janet, Lisa, and Rob have to deal with the now. The brother he knew seems to be such a good guy. Things are changing all the time and Rob has to figure out how to keep up. Mr. Cory keeps things light at times but there is healing that needs to be done.

Matthew Cory/ 210 pages/ Adult Fiction/ Families/ Healing/ 4 out of 5

I was contacted by the author to do this review. That was nice. :) Great book and a little bit of romance as well. :) Off to Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde next!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Acting Class Take A Seat by Milton Katselas

Mr. Katselas has worked with some of the best names in the business. His main thing now is to teach acting classes. But he does it in a way that the students do all the work. He wants them to be able to do pretty much anything that is required and go after the roles that they think they would fit the best. He understands that type casting happens but you can break out of that too if you work hard enough. It all comes down to business. Reading through the chapters, I saw how difficult it is even for actors. The exercises presented in this book were great! I have taken an acting class and have seen similar things done.

They want the parts but they have to believe in themselves before they can get anywhere. They also have to prepare for any situation and script. There is a time and place for improvisation but rarely in that industry. You have to get along with others as well as cut the gossip. I can see everything he says is true. It is nice to have someone who spells it out as it is now. And with the involvement he has had, this one guy I would pay attention to.

I may not be an actor but I was impressed with how well things were laid out. This is one author who knows what he is talking about and not just writing for the fun of it. Lots to learn and knowledge to acquire; a must have for any one who is an actor or who wants to be one. Being involved whether in theatre or film, the principles still remain. I learned a lot from it myself.

Milton Katselas/Non-fiction/ Acting/ 320 pages/ 4 out of 5

Off to rest. I have one more review book and then back to my own pile. :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fun Stuff

I was contacted by an author yesterday to review his book. His name is Matthew Cory. The title of his book is Like Glass. I don't know a whole lot yet except for the blurb and the summary. So it will be interesting. He is having podcasts on his site. The link is:

He wants to a mail bag segment where he answers your questions.

So there you go, if he picks your question it sounds like he'll give you a copy of the book! It is most likely at random. But that is still really cool. It will be the question of the week winner. The one that stands out to him the most so far. So put your thinking caps on and check it out. :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Confessor by Daniel Silva

Gabriel is responsible for cleaning up an important painting. Yet when he finds that an old friend of his is killed. He feels he must solve the murder. There are a lot of twists and turns to get through and a lot of shocking things that Gabriel must prove in order to find out the truth. Problem is, that there is someone that wants this all kept quiet and will do anything needed.

Mr. Silva does good work in this book. Not to mention all the research he had to have done to make it accurate. I appreciate all his work. It made the book come across real knowing that he had done his work.

Gabriel is always meeting someone but it never works out. He has gotten to the point where his art restoring is his passion even more so. Yet when Shamron calls, he at least answers to find out what is going on. Friendships mean the most to Gabriel and that is one quality I find endearing. He won’t rest till he has some answers and will do whatever it takes to get them.

This book really impressed me. I liked the depth and the mystery that Gabriel had to solve. He was putting a lot on the line in this book and it was more than just his life. Mr. Silva has truly impressed me.

Daniel Silva/ Thriller/ 480 pages/ Spy/ Chunkster/ 4 out of 5

I enjoyed this book and am now working on reading The House At Riverton by Kate Morton.

The Manning Brides by Debbie Macomber

A Marriage of Convience

Rich Manning and Jamie Warren have been friends since high school. But they have only ever been just friends. Now Jamie is determined to have a child but she asks Rich to be the father but she has to agree to marry him. Rich wants more than just a marriage of convience for them.

Jamie is just so stubborn but she knows in her heart that there may have been there something all along. Everyone knew that Rich loved Jamie except for him. Can they make things work or will things fall apart?

Stand-In Wife

Paul Manning needs help raising his kids after his wife dies. Leah is more than willing to help she loves the children. But slowly feelings blossom between the two. Can they work it out or will things just fall apart.

Leah doesn’t want to remind Paul of his dead wife. Paul cannot believe he even has feelings for Leah. These two will have to figure something out as the baby Kelsey only knows Leah as her mother.

Ms. Macomber writes great fiction and I am glad that these were re-printed. Definitely a good read. I cannot wait for the next one in the series.

Debbie Macomber/528 pages/ Chunkster/Romance/ 5 out of 5

Okay got behind on my reviews. lol sorry

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Doggy Style by Jane May

Miles just wants his pack to be happy. Bob and Jennifer are so right for each other if only they could make up. Miscommunications are keeping these two apart even though at one time they were happy and got Miles. Now he just wants to see them back together but since they won’t do it on their own. It’s time to take things into his own paws.

Ms. May did something different with this story. Animals often play a part but this was amazing. Miles was so fun and I finally got to hear what they are thinking. I wish I had been able to do that with my own pets. Obviously there is more to it than that but I loved how she weaved this story.

Miles is quite the dog. He really just wants the people he loves to be happy. Jennifer is dating a man who is getting divorced as well as she is divorced. Trust issues are a problem for them. Bob just loves the women he is with and hopes she understands things take time to resolve.

This was quirky read that I loved it. It was different than her book Hooked, which I loved as well. Definitely an author who likes to do things differently but that keeps you focused on what you are reading at the same time. She has become one of my favorites and I hope she comes out with something new soon!

Jane May/ 304 pages/ Romance/ Animals/4 out of 5

I got this one done yesterday but was too wiped out to type. lol

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Really Something by Shirley Jump

Allie Dean is going back home and it is the last place she wants to go in all honesty. But scouting out a spot for the newest movie might just be the thing that will jump start her career. Though the first person she runs into when she gets into town is also the last person she wants to see. Duncan Henry broke her heart back in high school. He is not used to being stood up and has not had anyone to talk to since his best friend Allison left town. Allie is just after finding the place to shoot and Duncan wants her in his bed. Who will get what they want first?

Ms. Jump does a fantastic job at the whole coming home story line. I loved how Allie just wanted to prove herself and possibly get a little revenge. The characters were all over the board, which made this book come more alive. Even the minor characters were fantastic.

Allie had horrible memories but she knew this would be the perfect spot to film the B horror movie. It was not going to be anything flashy but Allie knew this was the stepping-stone to getting where she wanted. Duncan just wants someone to talk to but Allie seems to be a beautiful woman as well. He just keeps thinking he knows her from somewhere.

This book had me flipping pages fast. I could not get enough. The tension between Allie and Duncan was really great. There was going to be a lot to deal with if Allie would only come forth, but things might go better. She is just nervous. Duncan just enjoys someone to talk to and wishes for more. I just hoped the outcome would be one that would seem real no matter what it was.

Shirley Jump/New Author/Romance/ Family/Relationships/ 352 pages/ 5 out of 5

Off to go do some more writing!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Dara Snadowsky

Dominique is trying to figure out what to do with her life. She has only kissed a few boys and life is very normal. She knows she wants to be a doctor but there has got to be something more. Her best friend Amy hooks up all the time and Dom is starting to feel a little left out. Going to a track meet, she meets this sweetheart of a boy who helps her up after she falls. She wonders if she could fall in love with him. Amy helps her and before Dominique knows it, she is kissing and wanting so much more with Wesley. But she still is not sure.

Ms. Snadowsky writes a very emotional book that shows how relationships can be. At times, I was not sure I wanted Dominique to act on her feelings. But then she kept processing them and making sure that is what she wanted. This was not wilting flower by any means. The one thing that kept coming across for this author was that just keeping in mind what you want and talk things out.

Dominique being an only child had no one to share attention. That drove her nuts cause she wanted more freedom than her parents would give her most of the time. Boys were an unknown for most of her world but having found Wesley her curiosity got the better of her. Amy was so much experienced in most ways and Dominique was feeling a little left out. But she was not about to hook up with just anyone.

This book was up and down. I never really had the curiosities that Dominique had at her age. I will not say I was not boy crazy and wanted to have my first kiss. It just never happened till later. Dominique has a lot of things to deal with and I felt she handled them very well for her age. She was a senior in high school so I am not sure I would recommend this book for any one under the age of 16. But that is just me. There will be some curious teens but definitely let your parents read it first. It is not easy to discuss this kind of stuff with them but they have a lot more experience than one might think. I liked that the book was not detailed but you saw the emotions of Dominique throughout the book. Not an easy subject for a mother to read but definitely one I’ll keep in the back of my head.

Daria Snadowsky/ Young Adult Fiction/ Relationships/Growing Up/ 272 pages/ 3 out of 5

This book was well done and now I am not going to pick up another book till tomorrow.

The Friday NIght Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs

Georgia Walker never thought she would do much with her life. But having her daughter Dakota changed all that. She loves owning her own yarn shop Walker and Daughter. Her friends that help her run the business are fantastic people. They may have faults but know how to be good friends. She looks forward to her Friday Night Knitting Club, where a lot of fellowship happens but not always so much knitting. It is her one escape that she will not let go.

Ms. Jacobs has a fantastic story on her hands. Empowering woman is always a good thing. I loved watching each character step up in their own way. They certainly were not perfect but it was interesting to watch and a joy as well. It was all these women from all walks of life. Just doing what they do best be friends and to follow their dreams.

Georgia did her best on her own every day. She just hung in there and enjoyed getting help from her friends so she could run her shop. Her daughter Dakota was always the life of the party with the food she created for each Friday night meeting. Anita was a widow who was learning how to start over. How much well you’ll have to read the book. Peri was a woman who wanted to design something. She loved working with yarn and maybe she could find a way to connect the two. There are so many more women from Darwin Chiu, Lucie, and Cathy. They all had a role to play.

This is one series that I hope to pick up the next one soon. And with the third one coming out this month, I am certainly curious with what they are going to do next. The women in this book take you through so many things in their lives that by the end you feel like you’re old friends. Definitely a must read for anyone who loves stories about women whether you like to knit or not.

Kate Jacobs/ Women/ Friends/ Knitting/ 384 pages/ Adult Fiction/ 5 out of 5

I tried knitting but could never sit still. Now I am able to sit if I am reading or writing or sewing. Guess it just was not my cup of tea but this book certainly was. :)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot

Lizzie Nichols is finally getting married. Lure proposed and things seem to be falling into place. But every time Lizzie thinks about getting married, she gets nauseous and then hives start to break out. That is not the normal reaction a woman who has dreamed of marriage should be having. And her attraction for Chaz gets worse once she sleeps with him. She is not sure everything will work out or not but something has got to give.

Ms. Cabot has a fantastic way with her characters. Definitely a few dreamers in the bunch but then there are the straight shooters who could not tell a lie if they tried. The situations the characters find themselves are normal to outrageous. Having a wonderful imagination certainly helps this story. Not that the events in this story are not believable but certainly a little out of the ordinary for someone like me.

Lizzie is finally getting the success she wants and needs. A proposal should seal everything but again she sees how Luke may not be quite so supportive. The Henris are not sure what they will do with their booming business. Lizzie is just doing her best to keep it all together. Chaz supports her the whole way. But is that what she wants? Her best friend Shari says she needs to see past the façade of Luke and see the real person in Chaz.

This was a delightful book and I would love to see more in this story line. I’m not sure what could be done. If nothing else another adult book would be fantastic! I thought this was done well and now I am dying to pick up some of the young adult books that I have by this author on my shelf.

Meg Cabot/ Adult Fiction/ Family/ 288 pages/ 5 out of 5

I finished this one yesterday but got caught up in Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. Off to reading before work.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Haunted Memories by Melanie Atkins

Olivia Bartlett is not looking forward to going back to the house she grew up in. Memories are haunting her about her stepfather Walter. Hearing about his death has only made them overwhelm her again. Showing up at the house was the first step to regaining her life but she didn’t plan to run into her child hood friend Tucker. All she wants to do is locate a letter from her real father but someone does not want her to find something in this house. But what?

Ms. Atkins knows how to keep you on your toes. The creepy characters that she creates are definitely ones that will frighten you. They have their own agenda and will do whatever they have to so that can happen. The sizzling emotions between Tucker and Olivia seemed so real. Yet reality was kept in that Olivia was hesitant to get involved with another man. Her stepfather had kept her scared.

Olivia just wants to move on with her life. She keeps having dreams about her dead stepfather. She even starts to think that she sees him. Feeling like she is losing her mind is not helping her case nor getting anything accomplished. Tucker is there to hold her and comfort her if she will let him. Maybe she will finally be able to let go of the demons of her past.

This is not a book I would recommend reading it at night. I did and that was not my brightest moment. It is a scary book but I loved watching Olivia learn slowly how to become strong. It was not going to be an easy journey for her or Tucker. The town had a lot of secrets that it wanted to stay that way. I was very pleased with this book and I hope to read some more of hers soon!

Melanie Atkins/Scary/ Memories/320 pages/5 out of 5

I found a paper back copy of this book. I did some quick research and this book is out now through Cobble Stone Press in e-book form. It is definitely worth your time reading. My other favorite Blood Rite, which was my introduction to Ms. Atkins has not found a home yet but I would highly recommend any of her works.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Peony in Love by Lisa See

Peony has been entranced by the play The Peony Pavilion. Her father has been able to get a troupe of players to perform it for her sixteenth birthday. Peony catches sight of a man she falls in love with, but she is betrothed to another. That is the beginning of a journey that will change Peony’s life forever. She has a lot to learn and not time or space can change that.

Ms. See has written another book that will tear at your heartstrings. I got frustrated at times with the events in this book but I figured I would have a better understanding of it at the end. The dynamics of the story make you want to turn the pages. That the events may play out differently than what is laid out in the story.

Peony is a strong girl who just wants to be loved. Her parents push her and extol her to be better. Her father takes time to get to know her. The one thing Peony is good at besides writing is binding feet. The one time her mother praises her leaves her feeling flat because she knows it may not happen again. Falling in love with someone whom she is not betrothed to only makes her fall apart more and look for help in the pages of the Peony Pavilion.

This is a roller coaster of emotions presented in this book. I know there were traditions that Peony and other women of her time in the 17th century were doing their best to adhere to but I just got so frustrated. Ms. See writes with words in poems that the women could not express in any other way even to each other at times. The understanding of the play The Peony Pavilion transcends desire to hopefully finding whom that person is but family commitments do not always allow the heart to be followed. The story will certainly maybe difficult to read at times but I saw press through it. You’ll find it worth it in the end.

Lisa See/ Chinese/ Love/ Afterlife/Adult Fiction/320 pages/ 4 out of 5

I am about half way through Haunted Memories by Melanie Atkins. Definitely a book to not be read at night, and I am. Okey I think I lost my mind. lol

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Acessory to Murder by Elaine Viets

Josie seems to have a lot of things going wrong. Her best friend’s husband is now up for murder charges for the death of fashion designer Halley not to mention her mother keeps hounding her to go on a blind date. Josie wants to help her friend, keep her mom appeased even though her mother’s smoking habit is driving her crazy, and try to get her daughter to understand that it is okay for her mom to look at another man. Her boss is sending her on really crude assignments and Josie just wants to strangle him. She just wonders if life could be any easier?

Ms. Viets does it again! I got sucked in from page one and I cannot get enough of these characters. The situations that are created ring true for real society, which was kind of freaky actually. Josie tries her best to be there for Alyce. After all, the woman does go secret shopping with her. Ms. Viets is truly fantastic author.

At times, I wish I could have given Josie a GBH. Seriously what that woman puts up through, I kept thinking she was a saint. Hopefully her life will pick up soon! Amelia is trying at times but that is how daughters go or so I hear.

I am about to go pre-order the next one in the series. Ms. Viets writes good funny dialog while keeping things a little less gory. I definitely made me want to boost up my customer service skills once again no matter how unhappy I am with things that go on in the store. The customer should not suffer! Definitely a good read for anyone who likes to shop or works at retail stores.

Elaine Viets/ Cozy Mystery/ Secret Shopper/ Family/ 288 pages/ 5 out of 5

Off to go read the author of the month and clean!

Chopping Spree by Diane Mott Davidson

Finally getting success is making Goldy a very busy woman. Her best friend Marla says it is keeping her too busy. Goldy does the right thing and hires some help but that may not be enough to keep murder away. One of her new knives is the murder weapon and her assistant Julian is caught pulling out of the dead body. Goldy has to figure out how to solve this case so she does not lose the one friend who has seen her through so much.

Ms. Davidson has her hands full with her characters. I am surprised she is able to come up with the villains she does. The twists and turns in this book while being on the calmer side definitely leave me guessing till the end. Goldy and her family are definitely going through a lot of things. Secrets abound in this book that will keep pages turned.

Goldy is a woman who I have admired from the first page of the first book. She wants to be self-supporting but knows when to ask for help. It may not be easy but things are just completely out of her control. I loved seeing Julian and Arch back. Goldy truly has a gem in all of her family members and friends.

This is one book that just kept getting better. In spite of a few inconsistencies the book was really good! I definitely cannot wait to read the next one of these books. Ms. Davidson surely pleases with each new book.

Diane Mott Davidson/ Cozy Mystery/ Cooking/ 320 pages/ 4 out of 5

I finished this one yesterday and just forgot to write it up. :) So here you go! Off to write another review and then I have to clean. :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sticks and Scones by Diane Mott Davidson

Having a lull in her business is not good for Goldy. But a chance at preparing not only a luncheon for a bunch of donors at Hyde Chapel but a supper for Elk Park Prep students will definitely keep her busy. Not to mention the food she has to prepare will take most of her time. But when pot shots are taken at their house and Goldy thinks it might have something to do with the case some one she loves is working on, she needs to keep her head on straight. Things will get a whole lot crazier but can she come out successful?

Ms. Davidson creates wonderful mysteries without all that blood and gore. I was pleased with the intricacies that she could come up with for this story. Secrets are going to be revealed but how much will that change the people involved? The food is just one part of the book I love though I may never make it. She comes up with the best ideas.

I love Goldy. She is a woman who loves to help but knows when to quit sometimes. Nosy by nature helps solve the crime. I loved seeing more of Archie, Goldy’s son. That boy is growing up too fast. But it helps the story move along and the drama of her family is definitely something to chuckle at.

I am glad I have a few more books to go. This is one series that it may be months since I have picked up the last book but it feels like I am coming home. Ms. Davidson creates characters that have heart and learn how to work things out. Things are never easy in this book but I love them.

Diane Mott Davidson/ Cozy Mystery/ 389 pages/ Cooking/ 4 out of 5

Next up Chopping Spree and then newest Elaine Viets till the one in November comes out. :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

High Heels Are Murder by Elaine Viets

Josie Marcus is at it again. With her job as a secret shopper, she is really busy. This time though, she is after a shoe salesman. But when he ends up dead at the end of his staircase, Josie is left scrambling and is asked to help her childhood nemesis Cheryl. Something definitely is amiss but can she figure out before the person behind it all finishes their job?

Ms. Viets writes a great second book. I saw the characters change and grow a little. It was a nice change of pace. The thing that I liked was that through it all, Josie did her best to stay true to herself. Ms. Viets has a talent with making the characters come alive that really brought it home to me.

Josie has some tough decisions. Does she help the one person who looked down her nose at her? IT might just help her mom but can Josie go through with it? That is just the beginning to the hard decisions facing Josie. Jane, Josie’s mom was back and definitely there for her. Jane does drive me nuts at much but at the same time truly wanted what was best for Josie.

As not as great as the first one, I fell in love over time with it. I am addicted to this series and it gives me a whole different aspect being in the retail business for real. I truly need to make sure I do my best to help the customer and this is just one way that shows me how faulty it can be. Rude customers or sales people do not help certainly but Josie rewarded those who truly did work hard and helped her. Definitely cannot wait to read the next one!!

Elaine Viets/ Cozy Mystery/ Secret Shopper/ 288 pages/ 4 out of 5

Up next two Diane Mott Davidson books and then back to Elaine Viets. :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dying In Style by Elaine Viets

Josie Marcus is a woman who is doing her best to provide for her and her daughter. Her mother helps out quite a bit but Josie would not have it any other way. Amelia’s father is long gone and that makes Josie’s mother all that more prone to find her someone to marry. That is not on the top of Josie’s list. Being a mystery shopper is not the job Josie wanted but it pays the bills. Yet things seem to go wrong and even her mother disapproves when she has to mystery shop Danessa’s stores. It gets worse when Danessa is killed and Josie looks to be their prime suspect. Can she get herself out of this sticky mess?

Ms. Viets is a talented writer. Even though I won the latest in the series last year, I wanted to get the rest of them. I am so glad I did. I am hooked on Josie and the events in her life. There is always something going on and things keep her moving. I know the whole guilt trip mother routine yet I am proud of Josie standing up for herself. This is one author that I cannot wait to read more of and the second book is calling my name.

Elaine Viets/ New author/ Cozy Mystery/ Mystery Shopper/ 288 pages/ 4 out of 5

Boy am I glad I bought both books and there is fourth book comes out in November!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pointe and Shoot by Natalie M. Roberts

Jenny has competitions again and some one does not want her there. She has no clue why but luckily Tate is around to help her figure things out. She just wishes the craziness would end and maybe then she would have a normal life. If only she could win the prize money and then things might just settle down.

Ms. Roberts had me laughing once again. These characters are so funny and outlandish at times but just the right thing I need. She creates warmth and feelings and well I just could not get enough of them.

Jenny has a lot more doubts this time around. She gets help but she is not sure that will even be enough. I can understand her fears because sometimes I deal with the same things.

This is one series I NEED more of. The ending wrapped up quite a few questions I had but then there was something at the end and I want to see that resolved. Definitely a series I am completely addicted to and a long time coming in my mind.

Natalie M. Roberts/ Cozy Mystery/ 272 pages/ Dancing/ 5 out of 5

Off to start Dying in Style by Elaine Viets. :)

The English Assassin by Daniel Silva

Gabriel Allon thought he was done but there was another plan in mind. Now he shows up to his client and finds him dead. Having to prove he didn’t kill the man won’t be easy. Now he has to team up with the man’s daughter and keep her safe. He will have to battle for his own life against someone that he trained.

Mr. Silva weaves a spellbinding tale that really captivates. I had to see where he would take Gabriel’s character and what new situations he would have to deal with in this story. I love how much research this author does cause everything comes across as authentic. This is definitely an author who knows that authenticity helps the action along.

Gabriel has new battles to face but he has to help a young lady as well. He must keep in mind that his past is still around and he must figure out how to keep on top of it all. It certainly won’t be easy but he can do it if he can keep things straight and be focused.

This series gets better with this book. I cannot wait to see what he comes up with next. I have the next one in the series but I have other books I want to read as well. Keeping me entertained and get to spread the books out a little more.

Daniel Silva/ Mystery/ Spies/ 416 pages/ Chunkster/ 4 out of 5

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tarnished Beauty by Cecilia Samartin

Jamilet is a beautiful girl who has a huge birthmark that shows up on most of her body. She takes it all in stride. It has cost her a lot of pain but she lives her life day by day. She finally decides to leave her family and go out on her own. Her grandmother is all that is left since her aunt Carmen left months ago. This one journey will put her in the path with a man who has a story to tell. One she could only understand.

Ms. Samartin has a way with words that will wring emotions from your heart. There is joy; pain, love and loss weaved through these pages. I found it most difficult to put it down. The descriptions alone grabbed my attention but the heart that is described made me turn the pages even more so.

Jamilet just wants to be loved. She knows her mother does love her but after she dies, there is little left in the world for her. Even life with her aunt Tia is just more work. She wants to be rid of her birthmark and decides it is time to find a job. I really truly felt for Jamilet. She was a girl who wanted more from her life than she could get on her own. Yet can she find it is what I kept wondering? Senor Peregrino is a man full of life. He has seen so much and yet has to be kept alone in a room at a Sanitarium. Jamilet just might be the only one to hear what he has to say.

This is one book that kept me curious to know if the story that was told through the Senor’s eyes was true. I had to find out the ending along with Jamilet. There is much heartbreak in this story but there was so much going on. This is one author who has peaked my curiosity and I would love to read more by her.

Cecilia Samartin/ New Author/ Fiction/ 352 pages/ Stories/ Coming of Age/ 5 out of 5

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tapped Out by Natalie M. Roberts

Jenny Partridge is gearing up for a competition but when she is asked by her old friend Bill to teach as well. She is surprised since he wants her help. His teachers have disappeared on him. So now he has left scrambling, so Jenny agrees to help. Detective Tate Wilson comes into the picture cause she needs his help. Soon threats begin on Jenny to leave and not help Bill after all. Can her life get any crazier?

Ms. Roberts does it again. The antics that Jenny puts up with kept me laughing through most of the book. I felt horrible how people didn’t want to see her succeed mind you they had their own schemes for it. The characters will keep you turning pages to see if it all works out or goes even more horribly wrong. Jenny has a lot of issues she is dealing with and her family is not helping as usual. Well, they help a little but they are rather too nosey. But that is how families and makes the book more realistic. I am happy that there is another book but sad that after this the last in the series so far. I hope there is more to come!

This is one series that just does not know when to stop! I loved it! These characters keep me in stitches. Definitely a great second book in a series but you have to read TuTu Deadly first.

Natalie M. Roberts/ Cozy Mystery/ New Author/ Dance/ 5 out of 5

Working on a review book and then another one from my stack. :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fractured by Karin Slaughter

Detective Will Trent is working hard to solve this weird crime scene. A mother comes home to find her daughter brutally murdered and then a man comes chasing after her. Thinking he is the murderer, she does her best to overpower him. He is also teamed up with a female detective with her own issues. He swears there is another girl missing and the killer is still on the loose. But with little facts to go on, there is going to a lot of grunt work and things are going to hit way too close to home.

Ms. Slaughter is a fantastic writer. I love the twists and turns she puts on every page. I was shocked as the story was unfolding about things that were not as they appeared. She writes real characters that you not only feel for but also want to see them succeed. Not that they don’t have issues, and these characters were chock full of them.

Will Trent had a horrible life growing up and now he seems to see that everywhere in this case. Ms. Mitchell is not about to put up with Trent’s crap. She wants to be seen as vital to this case and hopefully get somewhere. Being a female cop is not easy for her but darned if she isn’t going to work just as hard if not more than the rest of them.

I truly felt for this family and what they went through. I was pissed along with the mother for instances not even relating to the case. This book will have you on a whirlwind ride that will puzzle even those who seem to know what happened from page one. Ms. Slaughter never ceases to amaze me with what she creates. Definitely becoming one of my favorite authors.

Karin Slaughter/ Thriller/Mystery/ Murder/ Family/ 338 pages/ 5 out of 5

Off to another one of my stack. :) I do have a review book I want to read but it looks good. :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

TuTu Deadly by Natalie M. Roberts

Jenny Partridge is a wonderful dance teacher. She just has one problem, Psycho Dance Moms. How she puts up with them day in and day out even she starts to wonder. But when one of them is poisoned by a batch of laced cookie dough, she feels like her world is about to fall apart. Two uber-hot detectives are trying to help her but she seems to have her whole family sticking their noses in where they don’t belong.

Ms. Roberts blew me away with her writing. Having been a dancer myself, this story had me laughing out loud at 11pm at night. Jenny is quite the woman. Plus the situations she deals with alone on a day-to-day basis should make her a saint. This is one book that I have wanted to read for a long long time. I am so glad I have the other couple of books to read still and I want more! I just don’t want to give away the plot line because it will have you on one heck of a roller coaster ride. Oh, and if James does not clean up his act, I want to bop him on the head myself. Definitely a mystery series that will please those those are in the dance world and those that are not.

Natalie M. Roberts/ Cozy Mystery/ Dance/256 pages/ 5 out of 5

It was a joy to read one of my books from the my leaning tower for once. :) I cannot wait to read the next one. As it did take me awhile, I am kind of glad, at least I have 3 to read before I feel like I have to wait forever for the next one. lol

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Kill Artist by Dnaiel Silva

Gabriel Allon had left the espionage world for a quieter life as an art restorer. Now he is asked for help again. At first he wants to turn it down until he finds out he will be working with beautiful fashion model Jacqueline once more. He does not know that there are secrets in the working and this may be his last chance to kill Tariq.

Mr. Silva is a fantastic writer. I could not believe how much research he had to do but it showed. I cannot say that I know the events he talked about but with the names of the books listed in the back from where he learned things, I can only hope that they are either true or names were changed.

Gabriel Allon is a man who has hurts. Yet he is able to stifle them at points to get done what is needed. I found that astonishing. The technology mentioned in the book may be outdated now who knows but I found what they were able to do very interesting. Jacqueline was such a sweetheart and I kept hoping she would get her heart’s desires.

Boy am I glad this was just the first book. I definitely want to read the rest soon!

Daniel Silva/New Author/ Mystery/ Espionage/Chunkster/ 448 pages/ 4 out of 5

Off to read a couple of review books and then something else from my pile. :)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

My August Reads and Stats

My Stats:
Total Books Read: 20
New Authors: 19
Fiction: 19
Non-fiction: 1
Chunksters: 5
Books I reviewed: 13
Romances: 16
Mysteries: 3
From the Stacks: 6
Books I Bought: 1
PBS Sent: 5
PBS Received: 5
Total Pages Read: 5, 484

Books I read:
. Twice Upon an Eventide by Shannah Biodene and Sheri McGathy 08-01-08 through 08-06-08 C
140. Taste of Liberty by Nancy Hunter 08-07-08 B
141. The Moon: Tigress by the Tail by Teresa D’Amario 08-07-08 A+
142. The Forgotten Princess by S.D. Grady 08-08-08 A+
143. Apple Blossom Time by Kathryn Haig 08-08-08 through 08-09-08A+
144. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde 08-10-08 through 08-11-08 C
145. Passionate by Anthea Lawson 08-12-08 A+
146.Holding the Baby by Margot Early 08-13-08 A
147. On Blue Falls Pond by Susan Crandall 08-14-08 A+
148. Mari’s Miracle by Fran Shaff 08-15-08 through 08-17-08 A
149. Passion’s Professor by Samantha Rhodes 08-18-08 A
150. Lost in A Good Book by Jasper Fforde 08-18-08 through 08-19-08 B
151. Enticing Mr. Wrong by Suprina Frazier 08-20-08 through 08-22-08 A+
152. Hostage to Her Heart by Chriss Hill (294) 08-22-08 through 8-25-08 C
153. Rogue by Rachel Vincent 08-25-08 A+
154. Venture by Bill Newman 08-25-08 through 08-27-08 D
155. The Frog Prince by Missy Lyons 08-27-08 C
156. True Stores of Law and Order by Kevin Dwyer and Jure Fiorillo 08-28-08 A+
157. Slave of Darkness by Stephanie Marble 08-29-08 A
158. Reluctant Hearts by Marty Rayne 08-29-08 through 08-30-08 A

I think I had a good month. lol

Thursday, August 28, 2008

True Stories of Law & Order by Kevin Dwyer and Jure Fiorillo

The 25 cases set in this book were a wide variety. They took ones that were used in the show to show how things were changed for television and what the real cases were like. I found it interesting that not a whole lot was changed. They stuck to the case pretty well. I did not remember all of them but the ones I did it was cool to see what the real story was like.

Mr. Dwyer and Ms. Fiorillo did a fantastic job of doing research and to get the real story out. None of them were too long since they had to put so many of them in one book. They made sure to state where things were said by other people and that if something was never solved that was put in too. The book was published in 2006 so maybe it was current when they were writing it.

I was truly impressed with this book and it made me more curious about how the justice system can work good or bad. I highly recommend this book for anyone who either likes the show or is a fan of true crime or both. It will keep your attention and will not be easy to put down.

Kevin Dwyer/ Jure Fiorillo/ New Authors/ True Crime/ Non-Fiction/272 pages/5 out of 5

Monday, August 25, 2008

Rogue by Rachel Vincent

Faythe is back. She is still working on establishing herself in the Pride of her family. Marc is around and trying to win her love more than ever. Her father Gregory is not making things easy for her so she is determined to work that much harder. It seems like something is coming back to get tabbies. That is not a good thing and it could all lead back to something she did before coming back to the Pride.

Ms. Vincent creates a world that just sucks you in from the beginning. I was so happy to read these characters again. The next one cannot come out soon enough for me. There is dynamics in this Pride that have me turning pages.

Faythe really is trying to make her name. But she cannot become a woman like her mother. She wants to be a career woman and help her father with the enforcers. Marc is a man/shifter who can only take so much. He has no idea who is behind it all but it will take him a lot to get through it.

I loved this book so much! It picks up pretty much where the other one leaves off. I liked that. I don’t want to give anything away at all. Now you need to read Stray first or this book will not make a whole lot of sense. But both are worth your time and I cannot wait for the next book to come out. There are a lot of strings that need to be taken care of so I am waiting with anticipation.

Rachel Vincent/ Shifters/ Chunkster/ 400 pages/ 5 out of 5

I have a couple more review books and then back to ones off my shelf before I read cozy mysteries next month. :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lost In A Good Book by Jasper Fforde

Thursday Next is back again. She has a lot to handle. She is now well known for some of her actions she has most recently taken. Cordelia Flank does not know when to leave the poor girl alone for press releases and all that entails. But when the love of her life is eradicated, she is furious! She must figure out how to get him back and that might mean she will have to become a book jumper apprenticed to none other than Miss Havisham from Great Expectations. A member of the Goliath Corporation promises her to get her love back if she extracts one of their own from the poem “The Raven.” But learning how to be a book jumper is not easy especially when a play thought to be lost suddenly appears. Side trips into Kafka and Beatrix Potter keep her busy. But then she thinks she is the victim of lethal coincidences but she cannot prove anything because every one thinks she is crazy if she mentions her love. What will this poor girl deal with next?

Mr. Fforde redeems himself with this book. The first one was not horrible yet I was not used to his writing style at all. I loved seeing Thursday’s father come back. He is such a sweet man. I have to say Mr. Fforde is definitely creative with what he comes up for this book.

Thursday is such a sweetie. But she is also a tough gal and will not put up with anything that is less than satisfactory. Not having a moment to lose, she is focused on finding out what happened wrong and helping her enemy if that is what it takes to get her love back. Her brother Joffy is quite the character being a minister. He is supportive in this book and I wanted to hug the man. Of course you cannot forget her partner Bowden Cable. The man is a saint with what he puts up with. He may be a minor character but he knows how to play off of Thursday as well as offer up unnecessary information. As I said before, I love Thursday’s father. He may jump in and out of her life literally but he is a dear.

The ending bummed me out but definitely left me wanting more. I want to get my hands on a copy of The Well of Lost Plots soon. I loved all the cross references between this and the last book. The literary things that happened in the book made me smile even when she had to jump in “The Raven.” What imagination this author has. He certainly has found a fan in me. I may not have liked The Eyre Affair as much but it is definitely important to read it. The books following will not make any sense without it.

Jasper Fforde/ Literary/ Chunkster/ 416 pages/ 4 out of 5

Hopefully off to another couple of review books and then a couple of my own choosing. :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cozy Mystery Challenge

My friend Kris is having a challenge

Here is my list for now:
Tutu Deadly by Natalie M. Roberts
Tap Out by Natalie Roberts
Pointe and Shoot by Natalie Roberts
Dying in Style by Elaine Viets
High Heels are Murder by Elaine Viets
Accessory to Murder by Elaine Viets
Wreath of Deception by Mary Ellen Hughes
String of Lies by Mary Ellen Hughes

Sticks and Scones by Diane Mott Davidson
Chopping Spree by Diane Mott Davidson

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Thursday Next works for the literary detection division of Special Operations. In England during the 1980’s, literature was stolen and false books were rampant. Now it seems an archenemy has come around and is determined to create some real problems. Characters are disappearing from books and when Jane is taken from the classic Bronte novel, Thursday has had quite enough. But can she put it all back together without affecting anything?

Mr. Fforde has created a fantastic world of intellect. It was rather smart to set it during 1985. There were times I shook my head but all in all, it was well done. The characters really stood out and I loved how they brought some of them out of the pages. I have not read Jane Eyre so I was bummed at the ending given away but oh well.

At first Thursday drove me bonkers. She is a sweetie but definitely fits in her job. She will risk her life to go after someone. But then that person was really elusive. With the help of her fellow special operatives, she hopes she can put things back where they belong. The one thing that plagues her is her time in the Crimea War and what the results were from that. Landen, her old beau, wants her to get over her fears and start life over. She thinks he is being ridiculous. Landen drove me bonkers because while I understood what happened I think he went about saying what he felt the wrong way. He only seemed to upset Thursday more.

This book was up and down. The book confused me towards the end with how it was written. I was starting to get a little upset. I do have the second one to read and I would like to see if it improves. The ending saved a lot of the book. Thursday has one quirky family but it was fun!

Jasper Fforde/ New Author/ Mystery/ 384 pages/ Literature/ 3 out of 5

Got two review books and then hopefully one from the stacks. :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Apple Blossom Time by Kathryn Haig

Laura Antsey has always wondered about her father. She knows he died in the war but not seeing his name on the memorial wall just puzzles her. Then serving in the ATS during World War 2, she gets taken to Egypt and learns about love. But she realizes the man she loves is closer to home. Yet in the back of her mind, her father haunts her. She just wants to know the truth not knowing how much it might cost her.

Ms. Haig has done a fantastic job! Having the experience in working in the military, everything seemed to follow the other novels set during this time that I have read. Her characters are full of curiosity but no one is perfect in this book. I think that is what appealed to me through out the book.

Laura just wants to know the truth no matter what. She may find secrets have kept from her for over twenty years but what will they reveal? Martin, her childhood friend, is there to support her along the way. But will she accept it? The one that boggles me the most is Laura’s mother. I can understand her wanting to get re-married but she did it so quickly. She did not think about the person she married, she just did.

This was a fantastic book! I had the most difficult time putting it down. War is still affecting us today but to get a better glimpse of what the Second World War was like just opened up my eyes. The practices that they held were odd and different when it came to the military but they really did not have much choice. A definite read for someone who loves books set during this time period. I would love to find more by this author!

Kathryn Haig/New Author/Historical/Family/ WWII/ Chunkster/ 458 pages/ 5 out of 5

Off to go read The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde then review books! lol

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

July Stats and Reads

115. Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler 07-01-08 through 07-02-08 A
116. Marriage Plot by Kelly Kirch 07-02-08 through 07-03-08 B
117. Love’s Winsome Warrior by Angela Verdanis 07-03-08 through 07-04-08 B
118. The Tenth Gift by Jane Johnson 07-05-08 through 07-06-08 A+
119. Black Hats by Patrick Culhane 07-07-08 through 07-08-08 B
120. Lovehampton by Sherri Rifkin 07-09-8 B
121. Enchanted Inc. by Shanna Swednson 07-09-08 through 07-10-08 A
122. The Likeness by Tana French 07-10-08 through 07-14-08 B
123. Summer People by Elin Hilderbrand 07-14-08 through 07-15-08
124. Risque Business by Tawny Weber 07-15-08 A
125. The Plausible Prince by K.G. McAbee 07-16-08 through 07-17-08 A
125. Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv 07-17-08 through 07-20-08 B
126. Letting Luce by Jenny Gilliam 07-21-08 B
127. Before Dawn Breaks by Rae Lori 07-21-08 through 07-22-08 C
128. Hungry Hill by Carole O’Malley Gaunt 07-22-08 through 07-24-08 B
129. The Killer Among Them by Anita Whiting 07-24-08 through 07-25-08 B
130. Bride of Passion by Connie Rachal 07-25-08 B
131. A Place Called Home by Lori Wick 07-26-08 A
132. A Song for Silas by Lori Wick 07-26-08 A
133. The Long Road Home by Lori Wick 07-27-08 A
134. A Gathering of Memories by Lori Wick 07-27-08 A
135. The Woods by Harlan Coben 07-28-08 through 07-29-08 A+
136. Romancing the Stones by Catherine Berlin 07-29-08 A
137. The Water Bearer by Wendi Christiner 07-29-08 through 07-30-08 A
138. Moloka'i by Alan Brennert 07-30-08 through 07-31-08 A+

Total Books Read: 25
New Authors: 17
Fiction: 23
Non-Fiction: 2
TBR: 1
Chunksters: 3
Books I Reviewed: 16
Romances: 7
Mysteries: 0
From the Stacks: 16
Books I Bought: 2
PBS Sent: 11
PBS Received: 5
Total Pages Read: 7,064

Working more hours has kept me from blogging. :)

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Moloka'i by Alan Brennart

Being a young girl is tough for Rachel Kalama. She misses her dad all the time. But when a pinkish stain shows up on her skin, she is sent off to Kaulupapa off the island of Moloka’i. All her dreams go up in smoke and she wonders how she will make it through it all. The sisters there are nice but will it be enough?

Mr. Brennart does his homework and it shows in this book. I was swept up in it. I was not sure I could handle all that Rachel went through. I was proud of those men and women for what they did for other people. It must not have been easy but they were willing to sacrifice their lives to help others. I could not imagine not seeing my family at all.

Rachel is so sweet and so naïve of the world. I truly felt for her and wished I could have hugged her. She was going to have to get used to her life on Moloka’i. I just hoped she could.

While at times, this book was very depressing. I wanted to see what would happen to Rachel and her family. The whole culture of that island amazed me as Rachel grew up. This is one story I will not forget for a long time!
Alan Brennart/ 400 pages/ Historical/ Hawaii/ New Author/5 out of 5

I don't want to give much of the plot away but this a book definitely worth your time.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Woods by Harlan Coben

Twenty years ago, four teenagers were murdered and one other teenager feels guilty most of all. But now, Paul Copeland is a successful as a district attorney but the case he is working on may have the parents of the boys involved wanting his past to come back. He knows the boys did commit rape but their parents will do anything to protect him. What makes things even more difficult, it seems that one of the teenagers thought to have died that night so long ago never did. He begins to question what happened that night and needs help. But will he get the answers he needs or his family come to ruin instead?

Mr. Coben does it again. He creates such characters that thrive on needing answers that keep you questioning with them that you never quite catch on. Or least that is how it is with me. I love the descriptions he gives not only of the characters but of their past which helps give me a better sense of what is going on.

Paul Copeland is a man who is still grieving for his dead wife. He loves his daughter and makes sure to spend as much time as he can. With the cases he takes on, that is not as much as he would like but she seems to understand. Lucy Gold has moved on with most of her life though she still goes and sees her father who is in a convalescent home. The tie that is between the two of them will blow their worlds apart and make them question what really did happen that night long ago.

Having had this book for a while on my tbr pile, I was happy to finally read it. This author creates twists and turns that leave me guessing till the end. Secrets are prevalent in this book in more ways than I thought possible. Paul’s past with growing up in Russia and the KGB swarming around his family just makes things more interesting. I am curious to see what the tie in is to Hold Tight. This is one author who never ceases to disappoint. Definitely a must read!

Harlan Coben/Thriller/416 pages/ Chunkster/5 out of 5

I am working on review books and then I hope to read another one of my own soon. My little boy's birthday is tomorrow so yeah may not be online much. I need to get some cleaning done. lol

A Gathering of Memories by Lori Wick

In this last installment, Ross Beckett has his hands full. Spending time with the Cameron family has got him desiring his own family. He has decided to leave his own town and set up in Baxter as a lawyer. He has fallen for the lovely Mandy. But he knows that what she is going on through that he needs to take it slowly. Mandy knows she has feelings for him. Will they both accept God’s will for their lives no matter what it is?

Ms. Wick has always amazed me with her writing. As sad as I was to see this series end, I was pleased with how well things were wrapped up. The characters once again do not disappoint. There are times where they show that they are not perfect. But they always admit it that they have made a mistake.

Ross was such a sweetie. But even he did not see how much his feelings for Mandy showed on his face. Mandy wanted to be around her siblings at all times. They needed to be close at this time that they were going through. I loved seeing the reappearance of all the Cameron family. It was a joy to see them all growing and having families. They are central to this story even though they are not the main features. It lightened the blow a little since I was not sure who would feature and did not recognize the name at first when I peeked at the blurb for this book.

I LOVED this book! It brought a lot of answers for me. The epilogue helped the most in this one because it was fun to see how the family changed. I was so pleased. Ms. Wick is a fantastic Christian romance author no matter what period she writes in. Definitely recommend this series but do please start with A Place Called Home. It will make more sense then.

Lori Wick/ Christian Historical Romance/ 250 pages/ Series/ Family/ 5 out of 5

I finished this one Sunday night after we got home. :) I have one more book review to post tonight and then it should be awhile again. :)

The Long Road Home by Lori Wick

Abigail Finalyson is bereft from losing her husband and his family wants nothing to do with her. She goes to see her Aunt Maggie in Baxter. Meeting the Cameron family blesses her life. One of the Cameron men is hurting and they want her to nurse him back to health. They’re afraid he won’t receive them. So she goes not knowing how much he is hurting as well.

Ms. Wick keeps the saga going and truly impresses me with each story. She creates a story line that I cannot get enough of. The Cameron family is fantastic. They are wonderful. I am almost sad that there is only one book left.

Paul, the youngest Cameron, has deal with a lot especially when it came to losing his wife. He became so bitter that he had to leave. Having an accident set him straight. Amy was the balm he needed but could he accept it? Abby never let go of God. She struggled but kept seeking God’s face.

I love this series. Being such a fan of all types of literature, Lori Wick has been my favorite since I was a teenager. I am finally glad to read the rest of the series since I only had the one book for the longest time. I am sad to see it end but since there is one more book, I get to enjoy the Cameron family one more time.

Lori Wick/Christian Historical Romance/ 190 pages/ 4 out of 5/ Family

I read this one on the way home from Iowa on Sunday.