Monday, December 15, 2008
It's a vampire book, yep. Seems like they all are these days. What is with everyone's obsession with vampire novels? I couldn't tell you, even though I read them!
Part of the reason that I picked up this book was the Egyptian imagery in the background. I love Egyptian culture, and if it can be integrated into my romance novels, even better! The premise of this story is that a pharoah was poisoned during his rule. Before he died, he drank a potion that allowed him to live again, thousands of years later.
Arisen again and now named Adrian King, he lives in Las Vegas and owns a casino. He meets Egyptologist Christine who has been dreaming of him for years. He shares his secret with her, and she helps to fight his soldiers who have also been raised with him.
I loved the new twist that this author put on the vampire story. I felt like the characters were believable and that the author had done enough research about Egyptian history and culture to sound believable. I'm no expert on Egyptian history myself, so I can't contradict any of her facts. Definitely worth the read, especially if you're always looking for a new twist on the vampire story like I am!
Friday, November 21, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
This was actually the fourth in a series of books called the Shadow Saga. I'd heard of Christopher Golden before, but this was the first book of his that I'd picked up. I decided to read it because of the horror label. I guess I've been trying to scare myself recently!
The story begins in a bar where a magician has made several people disappear. The bartender calls in a guy he knows, Peter Octavian. It turns out that the magician is not a magician, but a demon, and he's swallowed the people who "disappeared." He vanquishes the demon and the people come sliding out of the demon's stomach.
Meanwhile, Keomany is having problems. She owns a sweets shop in Vermont. She comes home from a festival to find the sky a pumpkin orange and demonic creatures have eaten or possessed many of the people in her town. Keomany is an earthwitch with magic of her own to fight back with and manages to escape the village.
Peter and Keomany team up with a priest, Peter's former lover Nikki, the vampire shape-changer Allison, and Kuromaku, a former samurai vampire. A Hellgod has opened a portal from his world into their world and is slowly taking cities from the earth, unleashing his demons upon the unsuspecting citizens of the world. Peter and his team must find a way to defeat the Hellgod and send him and his Whispers back to their own dimension.
While I enjoyed this book, it took more suspension of disbelief than I can muster at times. I can get on board with demons, but evil creatures who eat and destroy are not as believable for me. Also, I wasn't very comfortable with the Earth magic that Keomany had. Overall, it was an interesting book, but not as scary as I would have wished because of my disbelief.
If you believe in earth magic and creatures from another dimension, this book is for you.
I've been on somewhat of a horror/scary streak, which is appropriate since it's October. This was a ghostly read!
Nikki leads a tour group around what may be the most haunted city in the United States, New Orleans. She's drawn even further into that world when one of her friends, an employee appears in her bedroom late at night.
The next morning, she discovers that her friend has been murdered, and at the time when she appeared in Nikki's bedroom. Nikki goes to the police after multiple sightings of her friend's ghost as well as the ghost of a man who it turns out was an FBI agent. The police don't believe her, but Brent Blackhawk does. He's a paranormal investigator and a man who can also communicate with the dead.
The two of them embark upon an investigation to find out who killed these two people. Brent joins Nikki's tour company and is able to add some stories to the repertoire of the tour guides since he can speak to the dead and find out what really happened!
I enjoyed this book. There was some steam. There was plenty of action and suspense. I really enjoyed the ghost stories of New Orleans. If you are a believer in ghosts, it may be scarier than you can handle.
This is one of a trilogy of books, and I've already put the other two on my To Be Read list!
Caleb Edge is one of three brothers who is gifted with paranormal abilities. Caleb can "rewind" into the past and influence the way things happen. He can also heal, among other gifts. He uses his gifts in service to the T-FLAC paranormal unit, working to find terrorists and other evildoers.
Caleb and his brothers are subject to a family curse. One of their ancestors spurned a woman, and she gave them both their paranormal gifts as well as cursing them to lose the women they love. Caleb and his brothers have sworn never to fall in love in order to stop the family line and beat the curse.
Caleb has just been released from the hospital when he is sent after Heather Shaw. Heather's father has disappeared, along with billions of dollars belonging to terrorists who want their money back. Heather has gone into hiding in order to stay safe from the men who would use her to get to her father.
Caleb's been ordered to watch Heather to find out if she is part of her father's scheme as well as to track down her father. Heather is completely unaware of her father's actions or his whereabouts.
The two are (of course) instantly attracted to one another, and steaminess ensues. This one is somewhat graphic, so if that is not your style, choose another book. I really like paranormal romance than involves psi powers, so this book was another hard to put down for me. I would definitely recommend it to those who are interested in paranormal romance, and especially psi powers.
I picked up this book because I thought it was going to be similar to Dan Brown's DaVinci Code. I was quickly proved wrong. Yes, it involved the Catholic church. However, there was no mystery to be solved.
Yin Daoming is a priest in the People's Republic of China. He has been imprisoned most of his career as a priest. He attained the rank of bishop, but was unable to attain a higher rank due to the need of Cardinals to make a trip to Rome to accept their positions. Unbeknownst to the world, he has been made a cardinal in pectore, a Secret Cardinal by the Pope.
The Pope knows his life is coming to an end, and he wants Yin freed. He sets Nolan Kilkenny to the task, along with a group of Chinese men in the armed forces. Soon after he turns this group to the task, he passes away, starting the Conclave to choose the next Pope. Surprisingly, Yin's name shows up to be counted among the papabile, those eligible to become the next Pope.
Yin will be unable to assume the office of Pope if he is not rescued from the Chinese prison where he has spent decades of his life. Kilkenny puts a dangerous plan in place that has a slim chance of success.
I won't give away the ending, but it left me in tears. I really enjoyed that the author brought an issue to light that I wasn't really aware of--the plight of Catholics in China. There was an afterword by the author with several facts, and I think I will probably do some more reading on the subject in the future.
This book was more adventure than religion. However, if you're not interested in religion or the Catholic Church, I would avoid this book. I felt like the details were well-researched. If they weren't (and I don't know enough to say for sure), they were definitely believable! Great book.
I like reading about vampires. But I don't want to read the same old story over and over again. I was thrilled to find a new twist on the vampire story in Touch of Evil! It's somewhat similar to Laurell K. Hamilton's vampires in her Anita Blake books, so if you like Hamilton, you'll likely enjoy this book.
Kate lives in a house she owns and is slowly renovating into several different apartments. She's also a courier, flying expensive items to the four corners of the earth. As she's returning from a courier trip, Tom shows up to rent her apartment. He's been illegally evicted from his apartment for being a lycanthrope. Kate is immediately attracted to him, and the feeling is mutual.
Kate has a history with the Thrall, this book's version of vampires. There are Hosts, who share their bodies with the vampires through the laying of eggs in their bloodstream, and there is the Herd, those who feed the Thrall. Each Herd is led by a Queen. Kate has been bitten by a vampire after being given to them by her former fiance. She also defeated the Queen, so she is considered Not Prey and off-limits for hunting or feeding.
Something changes, and the Thrall begin to come after her. It turns out that they want her to be their next Queen, and it leads to a confrontation between her, the Thrall, and the area's lycanthropes.
The book was action packed, and I couldn't put it down. The vampires are not pretty in this book, and that's something I've thought since I started reading vampire books! They're evil parasites, and the authors certainly made them evil in this novel. I would highly recommend this book to pretty much anyone who enjoys paranormal romance. I know I can't wait to read the next in the series!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
In the mean-time, one of my friends has a giveaway for a mini wallet going on here. I think it's quite pretty. All you have to do is swing by and leave a comment about the charity organizations you support or have supported in the past!
I'd love to hear what's going on for everyone else who reads my blog. Please comment! I love to read what you have to say.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
In an alternate evolution of life on earth, Alaska became its own country instead of being sold to the United States. It's not a democracy, but a monarchy. This is the story of the oldest daughter of King Baranov, Alexandria.
Alexandra is having nightmares about an incident that happened in Davidson's previous book about the same family, The Royal Treatment. Her father decides that she needs some time off, so he sends her and her entourage to North Dakota as a liaison to an aquarium there. She meets Dr. Shel Rivers who is determined to think of her as the stereotypical spoiled princess. Alex shows Shel that she isn't at all stereotypical and he helps her get over her nightmares.
This book was not really my type. I liked the idea of Alaska becoming a monarchy as opposed to being part of the United States. It's being difficult to avoid snarky comments about a particular political candidate right now...
The characters were rather rough around the edges. They were meant to be--Alaska is a wilderness. I haven't met many people from there, but the stereotype is that it's mostly men, and mostly manly men. However, I have relatives who live in Alaska, and they're not that type. There was a lot of profanity in this one, and it was pretty steamy, romance-wise. If you're looking for a quick bit of fluff to read and don't mind profanity or explicit romantic scenes, this book's for you.
I really like these books! Each one I pick up has such realistic, well-rounded, solid characters. They seem like people that I would like to get to know.
Willow, the main character in this book, has moved in with her brother Preston after quitting her job as a nurse. Her husband, a police officer, was killed in the line of duty, and she suffered a miscarriage shortly after. Her brother manages a small apartment building for Dr. Graham Vaughn.
Shortly after Willow's arrival, Preston's house burns down. Preston is injured in the fire, and Willow loses all her belongings. The police find the accelerant used to start the fire in Willow's car, throwing suspicion on her. The forensics point in other directions, so the police allow her to obtain a hotel room with the promise that she will not leave town.
Other suspicious events happen, and Willow becomes convinced that someone is trying to harm her. Graham and his sister Ginger take Willow in and help her to solve the mystery of who is out to get her.
I really can't say enough good things about these books. I really enjoy reading them. If you enjoy suspense/mystery and you want a book with Christian values, these books are perfect for you. There's also a bit of romance thrown in, the perfect combination.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Maybe there have been other discussions about this. I haven't come across any as of yet. If you know of any, please send me a link. Otherwise, I'd love to hear your thoughts. What makes a book young adult as opposed to children's or adult?
I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this book. I had picked it up because my dad was reading it, we have similar reading tastes, and because the cover looked interesting. It was certainly worth the read.
The story begins by telling the stories of different parties, but brings them all together eventually. You meet Brother Va, a monk, and Elenya who follows him around. Va's brother monks have been murdered, his monastery burnt to the ground, and a dozen mysterious books have been taken. There's Benzamir, who has nothing, but is able to bluff his way into being given camels and other valuable things. Along the way, he meets Said, the servant of a sheikh's son, Wahir, a boy with a way with camels, and Alessandra, a woman who bargains with the diggers. All the characters come together to search for the books from Va's monastery.
The author didn't do much explaining about the back story of the book, and it was left to me to figure out. I read the summary on the inside flap after I'd read the book, and it made the book a lot clearer! At one point, one of the characters reads a sign in Arabic that says that it was written in the year 2987, so the story is set in the future of Earth. Benzamir is a descendant of those who left Earth, while people called the Users destroyed the Earth and knocked technology back to the dark ages. Benzamir attempts to disguise his technology at first, but eventually lets his companions in on the past as he knows it.
I enjoy figuring out a puzzle, so I kept at the book, especially since the characters were well written. I like books that play with history or predict what the future might be like, so I really enjoyed it. I thought the author's subtle social commentary about the Users and their destructive technology was a good point, and I appreciated it. There was some violence, but only what was necessary. On top of that, the main characters were very distressed when anyone was killed. There was a tiny bit of romance, but it wasn't the usual genre that I read! The book is labeled Young Adult, and I certainly agree with that categorization.
If you want a book that has plenty of action, is somewhat of a puzzle to figure out, and has an alternative history, you'd enjoy this book. If you want something that is modern and clear-cut, this is definitely not for you. I'd encourage you to go out of your way and read something a little different, however. This book is an excellent choice, and I would certainly recommend it!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2008-10-08 04:00:54 UTC
The winner is: Shelly Burns who said
The book that I would most like to read is Sign of the Cross. I also read and loved The DaVinci Code...saw the movie, though. I even picked up Angels and Demons when I heard it was to become a movie...loved it too!
Congratulations Shelly! I've sent an email, but if you don't get it, please contact me by all means!
Monday, October 6, 2008
I've read so many werewolf and vampire novels lately that this book came as a bit of a relief. I like books with telepathy and telekinesis better, to be honest. There was a bit of both in this book.
Aidan of Awe, also known as the Wolf of Awe, is a Master of Time, defender of the Innocent. His father, Moray, is a deamhon, and he is determined to turn Aidan to the dark side. He does this by killing Aidan's son, Ian.
Through the centuries, Brianna feels Aidan's pain. They met at a time when Aidan was in the year 2008 saving innocents, and a bond was instantly forged. Unbeknownst to Brianna, she calls for him after she feels his pain. He leaps through time and saves her from a gang of boys, only to take her back to his time with him.
Aidan has spent 66 years grieving over the death of his son. He has amassed an army composed of men who enjoy murder and mayhem and men who are demon-possessed. He has also been committing crimes of pleasure, draining women of their life force. Unlike most, he does not kill the victims of his pleasure crimes.
Brianna is determined to find the Aidan she once knew under the layers of anger, hatred, vengefulness, and depredation he uses as armor to keep people away. Together with the Masters of Time brotherhood that Aidan used to be a member of and the help of Brianna's psychically gifted cousins and friends, they search for a way to stop Aidan's father, Moray.
This was a supremely satisfying book. It was completely up my alley since I love psychic talents. Of course, men in kilts certainly aren't any deterrant for me! I didn't particularly like Aidan, to tell the truth. Brianna is a better woman than me in dealing with him. I really liked how the book ended. I was really happy with how the ends were tied up.
Be sure to look for Joyce's other books, Dark Rival and Dark Seduction!
I've got to balance out the evil werewolves and vampires with some good Christian lit. This is the first in a group of books about a small town called Hideaway. The books aren't a series--each one has different characters. I've read a couple of the books so far, and I expect to see the same characters keep turning up. One has, but in a very small way.
These are listed as romantic suspense, but I honestly didn't find a lot of suspense in this first book. The suspense showed up at the end, although there were hints of it throughout the book. The lack of suspense did not dampen my enjoyment of the book at all whatsoever. I really liked it, and I'm probably going to go through the books I have before I move on to any other books I have on my TBR list.
Cheyenne Allison is an ER doctor. She is on duty one night when her sister comes in, fatally injured in a car accident. Cheyenne does her best to save her beloved sister, but nothing can save her. A month later, Cheyenne is still working despite her struggle with insomnia. Her boss sends her on mandatory leave, and a nurse at her clinic who is a good friend convinces her to take her vacation in Hideaway at a house she has inherited.
In Hideaway, Cheyenne meets Dane Gideon, the owner/mentor/director of a ranch for troubled boys. The boys are not juvenile delinquents, but youth who have stumbled on hard times in their lives. The ranch is an alternative to a group home or foster care. Dane and his boys show city girl Cheyenne how to cope with country living while she uses her medical knowledge to care for her neighbors.
This book won a place in my heart because of several things. First, Dane's faith is amazing. He uses his blessings and his money in such wonderful ways in God's name. Secondly, both Cheyenne and one of Dane's boys, Blaze are dyslexic. Cheyenne helps Blaze to overcome his dyslexia because of her experience, and I love hearing stories like that as a special ed teacher. And lastly, I love how the authors portray this small town. I grew up in a very small town, and the portrayal rings true to me.
I just have to say it again: I highly recommend this book!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Everybody likes free books, right? : ) All you have to do is tell me which book I've reviewed so far that you'd most like to read!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
So, if you like Dan Brown's work, you'll most likely enjoy Sign of the Cross. There's so much mystery to the papacy, and Kuzneski dug up an era that I didn't know anything about. In a way, it was somewhat similar to Brown's novels. I felt that Kuzneski managed to come up with enough "new" historical material and conflict, however. It was enough to keep me up reading until 4:30 a.m.!
Several different stories are woven together at first until the main characters come together about halfway through the book. Maria and Dr. Boyd are investigating an archaeological site in Orvieto, Italy when they are threatened by a helicopter and armed men. Jon Payne and David Jones have been arrested and held without charges in Spain. A mysterious man shows up to offer them a deal in exchange for their release if they pursue the now-missing Dr. Boyd.
The only complaint I have about the book is that the author felt it necessary to warn the reader that something was coming up by saying things like "because tomorrow would be filled with even more excitement than today." There was plenty of excitement in the book, and the author certainly didn't need to preface it! I don't know how his editor let things like that get through. It got pretty predictable, eventually.
I think that part of what I love so much is the search for the truth, for the historical details. It amazes me when people know so many languages, both dead and alive and can translate obscure paintings and manuscripts. This was a page turner that kept me going!
Be sure to pick up Kuzneski's next book, Sword of God as well.
Don't forget to enter this month's giveaway!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Book Dept or Sales Dept
702 SW 8th Street
Bentonville, AR 72716
Gennita Low's Editor (Publisher?)
225 Duncan Mill Rd.
Don Mills, ONT M3B 3K9
Gennita Low's Editor
233 Broadway, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10279
In addition, Gennita is giving away a free downloadable e-book at her website: A Low Profile
Visit her blog, have a look around, and help her out by buying her book Virtually His new. I am certainly one who would like to thwart Wal-Mart's evil ways, so let's all band together to do that. Get them to carry her book!
Speaking of cats, I picked up this anthology of short stories the last time I was at the library. I've read these anthologies before in the past, and always enjoyed them. This one has been no different. I started reading at bedtime, thinking that I'd get to sleep earlier if I had short stories to read instead of a longer novel. Unfortunately, that didn't work all that well since I loved the stories that I read and kept going on to read the next story and the next one, and you get the idea.
If you're a cat lover, you'll certainly love these anthologies. In this particular anthology has been a story about a cat who opened a portal from a British ship to a Nazi submarine in order to help defeat the sub and avenge his former shipmates, a cat whose courage helped a girl save her family from the Chinese emperor, a cat who simply wished to make his mate happy by bringing home kittens for her, and a woman whose service to Bastet in caring for the cats in her life saved her own life.
The stories are great, and I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of this book or any of the other Catfantastic anthologies--there are quite a few. You'll find yourself cheering for the cats (and the people), and sometimes even crying at the bravery and dedication of these cats!
He has his moments when he cuddles up with us, sure. But those times are few and far between. He'd rather gnaw on our hands or feet!
We've been thinking about getting another cat on the premise that the current cat doesn't really know how to be a cat. He was only 3 weeks old when we adopted him. His behavior isn't getting any better, and I'm afraid that he's always going to be wild if we don't do something now. Anyone have any hints, tricks, tips, advice?
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
This copy is not brand new, but it is in near new condition. You can find my review of the book here: Full Moon Rising review
What do you have to do to win? It's pretty simple, really. Look back through my reviews so far and tell me which book I've reviewed so far that you would most like to read and why! Leave a comment by 10 pm on October 7th in order to win my copy of this book. Make sure you leave a way to get in touch with you, either via your blog or via email! Winner will be chosen using Random.org. Good luck!
EDIT: I didn't mention that the 10 pm was EST! So, because of that, I'm going to extend the time to 12 midnight EST. There's still about 90 minutes left to enter! : )
Mira is a psychic bookstore owner. She lives with her 15-year-old daughter Annie, her (also psychic) grandmother Nadine, and her fiance Shep, an FBI agent in the Florida Keys. As a storm that is predicted to rival Andrew's category 5 hurricane heads towards the Keys, Mira is asked by Shep's supervisor to read a crime scene at a local jail where two inmates have been broken out by a man in an armored Hummer.
As Mira's grandmother says, her readings end up entangling her life with the lives of those she reads. Mira, Shep, Nadine, and Annie end up entangled with Tia, Crystal and Billy Joe. The hurricane is coming closer, and preparations for it must be made. At the same time, the FBI and local law enforcement are trying to find these dangerous fugitives before the hurricane hits land.
This book was really complex, with the stories of the different characters woven together. The author did an excellent job of weaving the stories in such a way that you never lost track of what was going on with any of the characters at any given point in time. In my opinion as a writer, that's definitely a difficult thing to do!
It was action-packed and a real page-turner until the last. I was kept anxious about whether the hurricane would hit or not, and whether law enforcement would locate the fugitives or not. I really related to all the characters, and the psychic "powers" were wholly believable. I wasn't happy with what happened between a couple of the characters in the end, so I'm going to have to read the next book to make sure that things turn out the way I think they should!
I would recommend this book to people who are interested in the paranormal, weather, and thrillers!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I've read several of Armstrong's paranormal romances, and I had high expectations for this book. It's the story of Nadia, a disgraced police officer turned hitwoman from Canada. I'm generally not okay with books about professional assassins. I did read one recently that was pretty funny and that I enjoyed. Generally, the professional assassin has to do vigilante-type killings in order for me to be willing to read about it. That's Nadia, in a way.
Nadia joins forces with a few other professionals in order to track down a hitman turned serial killer. The professionals don't want themselves linked with a serial killer, so it's all in self-interest. She works with her mentor Jack, the game-playing Evelyn who tempts her with vigilante hits, Felix, and Quinn, who is also an FBI agent.
The five of them leapfrog across the US, keeping their identities secret, changing appearance on a regular basis, and planning traps for the hitman-slash-serial-killer. Along the way, Nadia finds herself irresistably attracted to Quinn, but unable to even think about entering into a relationship because of their shared profession. She takes risks and puts herself in the position of bait in order to catch the killer.
While it sounds pretty exciting, it really wasn't. The only part that had me turning pages was the end. Because of the nature of the assassin profession(I imagine), we didn't learn a lot of personal facts or quirks of the characters other than Nadia. I don't want to just get acquainted with one character--I want to know all of them. It didn't feel like an ensemble, didn't feel cohesive, didn't feel like real people.
I think I would recommend giving this one a miss.
So, Delilah takes herself, her car, and what's left of her belongings to Las Vegas on the trail of an actress on CSI V who is identical to her. Right after she gets to Vegas, she meets Ric, a.k.a. the Cadaver Kid. Ric and Delilah's abilities combine to not only find bones, but to see the circumstances under which the victims died.
Delilah ends up living with the reclusive, strange producer of the current CSI incarnation, tangling with vampires, werewolves and half-werewolves.
I was excited about this book. I've been on a big paranormal romance kick lately. I found myself feeling disappointed at the end. First, there were too many questions and not enough answers. I got lost in the storylines sometimes. There were too many paranormals that were introduced in a rush and not thoroughly explained. There wasn't a lot of choice in the romantic relationship. While I like a certain amount of that sometimes, it didn't feel like it was done right in this book.
There was a lot of backstory that wasn't really explained well. I felt like I was getting into the story in the middle, but I didn't have a chance to ask questions. It seemed a little like the author was flailing around for her story/explanations. Maybe that she didn't have a plan before she started writing.
The story and the concept has a lot of promise, however, and I plan to read the next few books. If they don't get any better, I'll move on to another author/series.
One of my friends does a third Monday of the month giveaway as well. She's had fun stuff like awesome Post-it notes, a little wallet-sized pouch, a cell phone charm made out of a bottle cap, and the like. You can find her website at 5 foot 4 (dot) org. She's got a great photography business, so if you live in or near east Texas, check it out. She does awesome work and I make props for her when possible.
I think I will be doing some giveaways here soon as well. I've got a copy of the very first book I reviewed to give away. I've also got a copy of Keri Arthur's first in the Riley Jensen series. Stay tuned for more!
Monday, September 22, 2008
If you're a Christian who likes Chick lit, you're in for a treat with these books. I read the first one and was absolutely hooked right away. The first book, She's All That is Lilly's story. Lilly, Poppy, and Morgan met at Stanford and have been friends ever since.
Lilly has an MBA in finance, but works for a harridan of a fashion designer. She does all the designs, but hasn't been promoted since she started working in design. Poppy is a chiropractor and alternative health guru. She avoids additives and preservatives, and practices aromatherapy. Morgan is a diamond heiress who wears her father's diamonds to society functions. The three of them couldn't be more different, but bonded over their differences at a spa on the central coast of California. Every time one of them has a bad day, the three are off for a spa weekend.
Lilly lives in a tiny apartment with her roommate Kim, who works at the same design label. Lilly does all the designs, and Kim is a seamstress. Lilly wants to find a boyfriend, but seems to only stumble across losers. She's dating Robert, but gets dumped. Her upstairs neighbor Nate kisses her, but says that it's a mistake. Lilly decides that she's got to do something other than working at the design label, but doesn't want to return to the world of finance. She decides to start her own label instead. Her former boss supports her, and suddenly, she has to come up with enough designs for a show. Read the book to find out whether Lilly gets her man and comes through the fashion show unscathed.
A Girl's Best Friend is Morgan's story. After her escapades at Lilly's fashion show, Morgan is fodder for the San Fransisco gossip pages. As a diamond heiress, she was already in the public eye, but now the papparazzi are following her around. Morgan has led a privileged life, but reality is about to come crashing down. A man follows her and her spa sisters to their spa where Lilly challenges her to live on the same meager salary that she does. She thinks he's a journalist, only to find out that he is a lawyer. Morgan, a silent partner in her father's diamond business and is being charged for tax evasion along with her father. Morgan has to find a job and learn to live on much less than she's accustomed to while navigating the dating world with her horrible track record and emotional baggage. Read the book to find out whether Morgan ends up in jail!
Cool, Calm & Collected is Poppy's story. Poppy has her own chiropractice practice and alternative medicine practice in the Silicone Valley. She is training for a half triathalon, and loves to run. Her next-door-neighbor in her office building is a plastic surgeon who goes to church with her. She wears her mother's skirts left over from the sixties, and Lilly and Morgan are forever trying to get her to upgrade her wardrobe. Poppy's not really interested in dating, but has to find a date for Morgan's upcoming wedding before Lilly and Morgan set her up on a blind date. She makes a deal with Dr. Jeff the plastic surgeon, but can't stop thinking about her patient Simon. You'll have to read to find out who she finally ends up with because Poppy keeps you guessing until the end.
I really loved these books. I can't wait to read more of the author's books. I didn't even know that such a genre existed! I felt like I could really relate to the characters and their foibles. I felt like I was most like Poppy! They felt like real people that I would have loved to meet and hang out with. I want a group of spa girls of my own. I would say that my only criticism is that I didn't like the way the last book ended. I didn't like Poppy's choice, and there were several storylines that were left open. I'm hoping for another book that ties everything up and where Poppy changes her mind!
Seriously worth the read. I can't say enough good things about these books. Go pick them up today!
Friday, September 19, 2008
Silly me, I picked up the second book in this series to read first. I didn't realize it until after I'd already started reading. Thankfully, it's not one of those books that is incomprehensible if you haven't read the first book. I enjoy that sort of book, but it's often difficult to find them in order at the library, at BookMooch, or even at the bookstore.
I've actually been quite surprised at the number and popularity of paranormal romances recently. There are books about werewolves, books about vampires, and books about demons, among others. I wonder at the appeal of beings that are generally viewed as being so quintessentially evil. And yet, I still read them.
Dominic Diavolo is the son of a demon and a human woman. He was kidnapped by his father at the age of 8. Nic doesn't remember his life before that, and his father told him that he was in an accident and had amnesia.
In truth, Nic has an older brother, Derek, who has been searching for him in the twenty-some years since he was kidnapped. Derek is a member of the Realm of Light, an organization of demon hunters. Shay is also a member of the Realm of Light, and she feels a connection with Nic. She manipulates it so that she is the one who is used to bait Nic.
Shay has a difficult task getting Nic to believe that his father was a demon, as well as overcoming the betrayal Nic feels over his kidnapping. Once Nic catches sight of his first demon, he becomes a believer and joins in the efforts of the Realm of Light to overcome the Sons of Darkness. In the end, he has to fight to master his inner beast, his demon.
I really enjoyed this book, and picked up the first book at the library once I realized there was another. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series as well. I would recommend this book for those who enjoy paranormal romance.
This book's spine labeled it as romance. It was, but it had a very strong Fantasy bent as well. I would probably have labeled it fantasy over romance.
I enjoyed this book once I got through the acronyms! The book is set on another world with a whole different set of physics rules. Instead of engines or gas, vehicles move by using psychic power. Most people on the planet have some small amount of psychic talent. People with more psychic talents become either ghost hunters or tanglers. Ghost hunters summon or dissipate the energy of ghosts. Tanglers either set or untangle traps found in the cities left by the people who inhabited the planet before the current inhabitants came through the curtain.
Lydia Smith used to be a para-archaeologist who explored the cities of the past. After a weekend caught in a psi-trap, she loses her job because no one has ever come out of a trap before. She now works at Shrimpton's Museum, which is along the lines of a wax museum. She is trying to start her own consulting business on the side.
She is meeting a new client, Emmett London, when the two of them stumble upon the body of Lydia's shady friend, Chester. Emmett has come to Lydia to get help with finding a curio cabinet that came through the Curtain with his family. Lydia comes to find that Emmett is not telling the entire truth, and the two of them are pulled into a tangle of disappearing teenagers, untrained ghost hunters, and dreamstone that has been worked when it usually crumbled during mining.
My favorite part of the book was Lydia's pet dust bunny. I want to have a dust bunny as a pet! They have six legs/feet and two sets of eyes. They're predators, but they love pretzels.
I would recommend this book to people who like romance, suspense, mystery and fantasy. If you don't like fantasy, move along and find another book.
These days, I go to the library looking for a good romance. I'm hoping that I'll move along into other genres soon because while I like a good romance, I like those other genres. Some people choose their books by their covers, some people choose their books maybe by titles or by blurbs. I choose my books for their spines. Since I'm on the romance trend, I look for books that say romantic suspense on the spine. I actually don't like straight up romances.
Unfortunately, the suspense was missing in the Jasmine Cresswell's Missing. The story was a very, very slow start. I had no idea who the romantic coupling was supposed to be until at least halfway through the book. I had my suspicions, but it took forever for the author to actually let the reader know.
The book was rife with family disfunction. It begins with the death of Ron Raven, who it turns out is a bigamist! He has two families--one in Wyoming, and one in Chicago. While the two families are recovering from the shock of both Ron's death and the discovery of his other family, Ron's daughter Megan embarks upon a journey to find out what happened to her father with Adam Fairfax, the brother of her father's other wife.
Once the suspense finally arrived in the book and the main characters were in danger, the book was great. Overall, however, I'd have to advise giving this book a miss. It simply moved too slowly to really be considered suspenseful.
If you are interested, Cresswell has two follow-up books as well: Suspect and Payback.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I'm also working on the President's Challenge. You can find that website here. This is a way to track your activity online. If you complete 6 weeks worth of daily activities, you are eligible for a Bronze Award. I'm working on the basic Active Lifestyle program. I've been spending entirely too much time sitting on my couch book blogging, writing letters, watching television, and crocheting. Again, if you're participating, leave a message. I'd love to find other people who are working on these programs, too!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Nearly a thousand years ago, Konstantine Varinski made a deal with the devil. In exchange, he and his sons gained the ability to transform into animals--wolves, hawks, panthers, and other predators. The family has terrorized the citizens of their country for the thousand years, raping and pillaging. Any offspring who are born, always boys, are delivered to the Varinski compound and left for these fierce, dangerous men to raise.
The current day Konstantine has broken off ties with the family, changed his name to Wilder and moved to America. He has three sons: Jasha, Rurik, and Adrik who has disappeared. He also has the only daughter that has been born into the family in a thousand years: Firebird. His wife, Zorana, has the Sight and has prophesied that she and Konstantine will be forever apart in the afterlife if the Wilder sons do not find the pieces of the Varinski family icon. Time is of the essence, as Konstantine is dying of a rare genetic heart condition.
Jasha is a prosperous vintner in California's Napa Valley. His assistant Ann, who is also in love with him, has followed him to Washington in order to bring him some paperwork to sign. Ann makes it safely to Jasha's house only to witness Jasha's transformation from wolf to human!
Ann runs and is hunted down by Jasha. In her flight, she uncovers a small ceramic tile with a painting of the Madonna. While she is still scared, she gives into Jasha's overwhelming passion. The two return to Jasha's house where Jasha manages to anger Ann with his apparent distrust of her. Ann jumps into his car and begins to drive away. Her flight is halted when she sees Jasha being shot by an arrow and must dodge bullets herself.
Ann and Jasha go on the run to get away from their persuers. It quickly becomes apparent that they are Varinskis and they are determined to hunt down and kill Jasha and the rest of the Wilders.
This is a great paranormal romance. Plenty of steam for those who like that in their books. The prophecy and its history make the change of the Varinskis and Wilders from men into animals quite convincing. The characters are endearing and believable. I liked the pacing of the book. There was plenty of action, without any noticeable slow parts. I was drawn through the book and this was another that I had a hard time putting down. I really enjoyed this book and the next in the series, the only ones I have read so far.
Be sure to check out the next books in this series, Touch of Darkness, Into the Shadow, and Into the Flame.
Monday, September 15, 2008
With that said, this is a very new book blog. I've posted a few reviews, but not all that many yet. If you have any suggestions for new books to review, I'd love to hear them. I'm going to start blogging a bit about my real, non-bookworm life.
I'm a special education teacher to pay the bills. I recently moved from California to Kentucky. Unfortunately, I moved too late in the summer to secure a permanent position. I've been keeping an eye out for positions opening. It happens--more students enroll or are identified as having learning disabilities. Teachers crack under the pressure and quit. However, no luck so far. My father teaches in an adjoining county, and said that there is a possible opening. I called the school and they said they would know about the position at the end of September/beginning of October. I don't really want to wait that long for a job, to have money coming in. I still have bills to pay.
I did apply and had an interview last week with a youth home. I'm overqualified for the position, actually. I'll take it if they offer it to me, but I'll quit for a teaching position in a heartbeat. The youth home position asks for nothing more than a high school diploma. I've got a college degree and further work in order to get my teaching certification. Teaching pays more, and I think it's probably got better benefits. My best friend called today and said that they'd called her for a reference. She said that she couldn't think of any weaknesses that I have, which was very sweet. They have to have at least three references, so that's all I'm waiting for. Maybe a background check as well. If you're the praying type, say a little prayer for me, please!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Riley lives in Australia and works for the Directorate of Other Races. Her boss is a vampire. Riley? Well, she's part werewolf. She's also part vampire. She lives with her twin brother Rhoan. She's a liaison for Guardians--the operatives who hunt down rogue vampires and werewolves. Her brother is a full-blown Guardian, and her boss wants her as a Guardian, too.
Riley, however, is looking for a mate, one that she can promise herself to under the moon. She has two werewolf mates to help with the monthly moon heat that all werewolves have to cope with. Then, she meets Quinn, an ancient vampire. Her brother is abducted, she is betrayed, and Riley is drawn further into Directorate business than she wants to be.
Riley Jenson is a strong female character that you will root for. She is believable, and you feel for her dilemmas. Arthur draws you into the action, and you can't put the book down. It's a real page turner, and you'll be driven to find out what happens to Riley and Rhoan. Definitely a must-read book!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Living off the coast of Miami, Peter DeLaSangre is the only child of Don Henri DeLaSangre. He is also a dragon, a shapeshifter, and feeds on the humans that are within a short distance. Peter, along with Don Henri think that they are the last of their kind, the last of the four families of dragons that were exiled from Europe.
One night, Peter catches the scent of a female dragon. He embarks upon a journey south, where he meets Elizabeth, one of the Blood family. He defeats another male and claims her as his mate.
The two head back to Miami to start their life only to face the suspicion of the brother of a human woman that Peter ate before meeting Elizabeth. Peter does his best to abate the man's suspicions, but his bad taste in cuisine coupled with other bad decisions lead to disastrous consequences.
The novel was written in first person, and was an interesting twist on dragons. I wanted to dislike Peter for eating people, but he was still a sympathetic character. I am not sure that I would reccommend the book to anyone, although it wasn't a bad book. It was simply forgettable. If you like dragons, and enjoy action, you would probably enjoy this novel, however.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Thanks and happy reading!
This book is in the Da Vinci Code-esque tradition: Religiously themed with a mystery to discover.
David Shepard keeps a journal. All that is written in his journal are names. Names of people he doesn't know, names of people he's never met. He's been "hearing" the names since a near-death accident during his childhood. David doesn't think that the names are real people until he decides to Google the names in his journal. The names in David's head turn out to be people across the world and across the centuries.
David embarks on a journey to discover what these names mean and why he has these names in his head. He meets Rabbi ben Moshe who introduces him to Kabbalah and the Lamed Vovniks. The Lamed Vovniks are the hidden ones. There are 36 of them, and they hold the goodness of the world. When they are killed, it has dire repercussions.
David is horrified when one of the names is the name of his stepdaughter, who has been adopted by her new stepfather. He witnesses the death of the rabbi and goes on the run to Israel with Yael HarPaz. Meanwhile, the secret cult of the Gnoseos is trying to kill the last of the Lamed Vovniks, gain possession of David's journal, and kidnap his stepdaughter.
If you like Dan Brown and James Rollins, you'll most likely enjoy this book.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Morgan Kingsley is an exorcist called to exorcise a demon from a little girl in Kansas. She begins her ritual only to find herself the one confined after the child touches her during the exorcism. After her fellow exorcist and friend Valerie is brought in to check, Morgan is declared demon-free and returns to her job and lawyer boyfriend, Brian.
Morgan is troubled by sleepwalking incidents that soon escalate into written notes when she is apparently asleep. She discovers that she has been illegally inhabited by a demon, Lugh. Lugh is just as reluctant to possess Morgan. He has been forced into possession by Morgan's brother Andrew, who is legally possessed by the demon Raphael. Morgan has such a strong will that the only opportunity Lugh has to control her body is when she is asleep.
After more than one attempt to murder Morgan, Lugh confesses that he is the recently crowned king of the demons. His brothers Raphael and Dougal are trying to usurp his position as king. Morgan reluctantly seeks the assistance of Adam, Director of Special Forces and demon-possessed and his lover, Dominic, whose demon she has recently exorcised.
Morgan, Lugh, Adam, and Dominic fight to trust one another, to keep Morgan and Lugh alive, and to avoid God's Wrath, an extremist group looking to wipe out all demons, demon possessed, and exorcists.
This was a book that I found difficult to put down. Black found a way to make demons believable and sympathetic. Morgan is a compelling character who you can't help but feel for through the difficult decisions she has to make.
This is a collection of four short novellas by well-known paranormal romance authors Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Kelley Armstrong, and Lori Handeland.
Ivy, a living vampire is the main character in the first story, Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil by Kim Harrison. Ivy works for Inderland Security in Cincinnati. The Inderlanders are those who aren't quite human--the vampires, the werewolves, the banshees, and other creatures of the night. As a living vampire, Ivy has as much of a need for blood as the undead vampires. She struggles with this need as she investigates a murder, meets banshees and tries to resist giving her blood to the seductive Art, her undead vampire partner.
If you pick this novel up, skip over this first story. Ivy's struggle with bloodlust and her heritage is unconvincing. The whole premise of her struggle is not compelling, and the story was uninteresting, in my opinion.
The second story, The Claire Switch Project by Lynsay Sands is a story you don't want to miss! Claire, an assistant in a science lab, is zapped by a destabilizer in the course of her job, before the process has been approved for human testing. Her supervisor and long-time friend Kyle takes her home in order to observe her for any negative side affects. Claire and Kyle's twin sister Jill soon discover that Claire has the ability to shapechange and look like anyone. Hilarity ensues when Claire agrees to go to their high school reunion as both Kyle's and Jill's date!
Hope has a legacy from her father in Kelley Armstrong's Chaotic--she's half-demon! She thinks that she's put her nose for chaos to good use until she attends a museum event and encounters Karl Marsten, a werewolf jewel thief. Hope soon learns that she's been duped by a sorcerer and she and Karl run for their lives. Armstrong's heroine is fun and intriguing, and the story unfolds in a satisfying way.
Kit is a mild-mannered literary agent living in New York City, until she has an unfortunate date with a dead man in Dead Man Dating by Lori Handeland. Fortunately, she's rescued by Chavez, a tattooed, pierced man who looks like he would be more at home in a biker bar than as the rogue demon hunter he reveals himself to be. Kit thinks that she is safe, but soon finds out that the incubus inhabiting her date's body is going to keep coming after her. Chavez protects her and the two embark on a journey to discover what exactly it is that the incubus is after and how to defeat it. The lackluster characters make this is another story that could be skipped in this particular anthology.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I felt like reading something a little different, so I picked up a mystery/thriller. This is 14th in Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpettta novels. I've read one of Patricia Cornwell's books before, a nonfiction investigation into Jack the Ripper. I've never read any of her Kay Scarpetta novels before, however. After this book, I don't intend to read any of her other Scarpetta novels.
The book weaves the stories of Dr. Scarpetta, her niece Lucy, her boyfriend Dr. Benton Wesley, and an unnamed other character. Dr. Scarpetta is the head of the Academy that trains forensic scientists and death investigators, and is funded by her niece Lucy. She works closely with Pete Marino, an ex-cop with a love for motorcycles. Dr. Wesley is in Massachusetts working with the Predator project, an attempt to map out the brains of serial killers while Scarpetta is in Florida investigating the disappearance of two women involved in a cult and the two South African boys they have adopted.
Unfortunately, the stories of the main characters do not weave together smoothly. They are jerky and often unrelated. Even after re-reading or returning to earlier episodes in the book with the characters, I was confused about how the stories were related. I had difficulty seeing how the unnamed character fit into the story until the very end of the novel. Usually, it's a good thing to keep some parts of the story unrevealed until the end in a mystery, but Cornwell could have done a much better job of bringing this character into the story without revealing the extent to which the character was involved.
The book was written in the present tense, which is an unusual choice for a book unless it is also written in the first person. Cornwell's choice of tense felt awkward and uncomfortable. I had difficulty finding a connection with or feeling for any of her characters. It is possible that I have missed some nuances in the characters by reading one of the novels that is deep into the series as opposed to one that is at the beginning. I may have to go back and read one of her first Kay Scarpetta novels just to find out.
Overall, I would probably not recommend this book to anyone unless they are a die hard mystery/thriller or Patricia Cornwell fan.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
http://www.BookCloseouts.com. Check it out.
Secondly, there are a ton of book giveaways from book bloggers on the internet. I hope to join the ranks eventually, but I'm such a new book blogger that I don't have the resources yet. I'll post links to book giveaways as I find them. Here's the first: http://bookroomreviews.wordpress.com/
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Set in England during the 1800s, the novel tells the story of Victoria who is born into the Gardella family. She is the last of the direct descendants of the Gardella line, and she is a Venator, a vampire hunter. The reader follows Victoria as she navigates through society while keeping her occupation as a vampire hunter a secret. She is aided by her great-aunt Eustacia, her aunt's companion and Victoria's trainer in martial arts, Kritanu, the mysterious Max, and her lady's maid, Verbena.
Things get truly difficult for Victoria when she meets the Marquess of Rockley, Philip. The two were acquainted as children, and a romance quickly springs up between the two. Victoria is forced to hide her destiny from Philip
Meanwhile Lilith, queen of the vampires has moved to London with her entourage of vampires. She is searching for the Book of Antwartha, and Victoria and her allies must keep the book from the vampires.
Along the way, Victoria enlists the aid of Barth, Verbena's carriage-driving cousin. She learns how to dress while still carrying stakes. She discovers how to excuse herself so that she can kill vampires without offending society ladies or permitting anyone to remember when they've seen a vampire. She is bitten by a Guardian vampire, a step up from your run-of-the-mill vampire, and has to clean her wounds with salted holy water. She frequents a bar where the clientele is mostly vampire and befriends the owner, the enigmatic Sebastian Vioget.
If you like books about vampires or books with a historical setting, you'll enjoy this book. Victoria is a strong lead character, and it's easy to believe in her. There is a strong romantic aspect to the story, but it does not overshadow the main thrust of the book--vampire hunting. The love scenes are very tastefully and discreetly done, and the action is compelling. Overall, it's a great read!