Monday, December 27, 2010

Review: Home In Time For Christmas by Heather Graham

ISBN-13: 978-0-7783-2823-0 (sc)
Page Count: 285
Copyright: 2009

About the Author:
(Taken from inside back flap)

New York Times bestselling author Heather Graham has written more than a hundred novels, many of which have been featured by the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild.  An avid scuba diver, ballroom dancer and mother of five, she still enjoys her South Florida home, but loves to travel as well, from locations such as Cairo, Egypt, to her own backyard, the Florida Keys.  Reading, however, is the pastime she still loves best, and she is a member of many writing groups.  She's a winner of the Romance Writers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award, and is currently vice president of the Horror Writers' Association.  She's also an active member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America.  She is the founder of The Slush Pile, an author band and performing group.

(Taken from back cover)

Centuries ago rose petals drifted gently to the ground ... like the snow on this Massachusetts night.

Melody Tarleton is driving home for Christmas when a man - clad in Revolutionary War-era costume - appears out of nowhere, right in the path of her car.  Shaken, she takes the injured stranger in, listening with concern to Jake Mallory's fantastic claim that he's a Patriot soldier executed by British authorities.

Bringing Jake to her parents' house, Melody concocts a story to explain the handsome holiday guest with the courtly manners and strange clothes.  Mark, her close friend who wishes he were more, is skeptical, but her family is fascinated.  So is Melody.  Jake is passionate, charming and utterly unlike anyone she's ever met.  Can he really be who he claims?  And can a man from the distant past be the future she truly longs for?

My Review:

I've always been intrigued by the stories where time travel is a part of the plot.  And, just like those past novels, this story intrigued me.

This novel was an extremely engrossing and easy read.  It is a definite page turner making you want to keep reading until the story ends. 

I do love happy endings in these types of stories and, for awhile, I wondered if a happy ending is what I would get.  The slight suspense made the story more enjoyable for me.

The characters in the novel were well-depicted, well-rounded and highly believable ... as if they were based on real individuals.

Overall, this novel is one of those stories that you enjoy reading simply for the pleasure of getting lost in a story for awhile.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


I know I have been a little lax lately in posting reviews and participating in the various meme's.  My lack of participation has been due to the holidays and all the craziness that goes with it.  I have not stopped reading though! =)  I will be back in full swing once all the holiday craziness has died down.  In the meantime, I hope that you all have a wonderful and safe holiday season.  =)

Decorated Christmas Tree Displays in Window, Oregon, USA Photographic Poster Print by Steve Terrill, 12x16

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Review: Triune by Willow Polson

ISBN #: 1453828265
EAN-13: 9781453828267
Ebook Page Count: 321 Pages
Copyright: 2010

About the Author:
(Taken from the last page of ebook)

Willow Polson has been a professional writer and editor for over 20 years, and has five prior non-fiction metaphysical books out through Kensington Publishing of New York.  Triune marks her entry into the world of fantasy fiction, her first love, and she credits Ray Bradbury for giving her permission to follow her bliss.

You can click here to view her website.

(As given to me by the author)

Triune brings readers along on the Mason brothers' shared journey of discovery, because where one brother goes, the other two follow, sometimes kicking and screaming. Not everything is heavenly for these three men tossed into strange new circumstances without an instruction manual, and being an angel isn't as easy as it sounds. But with the thorns there are roses, and for the suddenly-immortal Mason brothers, the journey is only beginning.

My Review:

My oh my .... where do I begin?

I became a fan of Frank Peretti once I read his novel, This Present Darkness.  Anybody that has read it knows it's about Heavenly angels helping humans and fighting the good fight against Satan's minions.  I bring this up because Willow's book Triune brings back that same feeling of awe that I got when I read Frank's novels.

Triune is about three brothers who, one day, get their angelic wings and abilities (not all on the same day, but close enough).  They assist humans who are in life-threatening situations.  They do not fight any evil minions in this novel.  For those that are wondering, yes the brothers are angels, but I would not define this book as Christian fiction.  It is simply a fiction novel about three brothers who turn into angels and complete missions.  There is some foul language in the novel, but not overly so.
I started reading this book this past Friday night.  My intentions were to read the first chapter or two and then begin another book ... as I usually do when reading more than one book at a time.  However, once I started Triune, I literally could not stop.  I had to keep going.  I had to find out what was happening next.  The only time I stopped Friday night was when my eyelids would no longer stay open.  As soon as I woke up Saturday morning, though, I was right back at it.

When I did reach the end of the novel, I was shocked.  The ending just sort of happened all of a sudden on me.  I was so engrossed in reading the novel that I didn't realize I was on the last page.  (Laughing...) As a matter of fact, when I did reach the last page it read, "WHAT? IT'S OVER?"  Reading that took me a few seconds to register that those words were not part of the novel.  When it did register with me, I started talking back to the e-book begging it not to be over so soon.  I even scrolled back and forth between the last two pages to make sure I hadn't missed anything.  I know, I know ... I maybe got a little TOO into it, but I love novels that make me get that way.

I don't even know if I can aptly explain what makes this novel so great ... I love the dynamics between the three brothers.  Their repertoire was natural and felt real.  I laughed with them.  I felt their pain.  I really got the sense that I knew these men.  I think this speaks highly of the author's skills when presenting characters in a story.

This is another novel that has become one of my favorites and I will read it again.  =)  I'm hoping to do a giveaway on this novel after the holidays.  I have been conversing with the author about this and we shall see what becomes of it.  If I happen to not do a giveaway, please please please go buy this book and check it out.  I think you'll like it.

Happy Reading! =)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Review & Giveaway: Lovers & Beloveds by MeiLin Miranda

Lovers and Beloveds: An Intimate History of the Greater Kingdom
Smashwords Edition
211 Pages
Published: 9/7/2010

About the Author:
(Taken from last page in ebook)

MeiLin Miranda writes the fantasy novel series "An Intimate History of the Greater Kingdom," and the free online serial "Scryer's Gulch: Magic in the Wild, Wild West."  She is on Ravelry as MeiLin, where she issues knitting patterns based on her books.  You can also find her at, where she indulges her perfume addiction, and at, where she is beginning her fountain pen addiction.  MeiLin lives in Portland, OR with her husband, two daughters, two cats and a floppy dog.

There are no pictures of MeiLin on the internet that I could find, so I chose a picture of a carved plum jade rose.  Why, you ask?  Because her pseudonym, 'MeiLin,' means 'plum jade.'  And, as Paul Harvey was wont to say ... "Now you know the rest of the story."

(Taken from Smashwords)

Haunted by his mistakes, naive Prince Temmin must confront the intimate history of his ancestors and decide between the direct, pragmatic path to power offered by the King, and the more spiritual path of the Lovers' Temple. With the help of his family's immortal advisor Teacher, Temmin must make his choice. One will lead to ultimate glory for Tremont, the other to its end, but which one is which?

My Review:

This book surprised me.  I didn't expect to be drawn into an erotic fantastical story like this one, but I was.  When it ended, I wanted to know more ... What happened during Temmin's two years and two days as a Supplicant?  What was the result of Teacher finally knowing that 'it was time?'  What happened to Mattie and the guy that helped her when she twisted her ankle?  There's so many questions that I have that I want to read the second book in the series (hint hint MeiLin!!!).  =)

Reading Lovers and Beloveds brought to mind all of the mythology stories I've read over the  years.  This story has the same type of vibe to it.  There were gods the mortals worshipped, presented gifts and sacrifices to and the gods sometimes possessed the bodies of mortals.

There were definitely some erotic situations in this story.  If you like that sort of thing, which I do on occasion, then this book is for you ... Just make sure you have your sweetie around for when you're finished reading for the night!  =)


The author has graciously agreed to giveaway five ebook copies.  If you would like your chance to win a copy of this fantastic book, just fill out the form below.  Since it will be an ebook, this giveaway is international.  The contest will be open until December 22nd at which time the winners will be chosen and notified via email.  Winners will have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be chosen in their place.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

In My Mailbox (#7)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi, The Story Siren.  This meme was began so we could all share what books we received the previous week ... whether it was in the mail, from the library or what we bought at a store.

The Advent of Lena: A tale of Beauty and the BeastThe Advent of Lena by Neil M. Campbell:  For Park, spiritual bankrupt with the perfect looks, only beautiful women count until he insults Chloe, a stranger, and the ugliest female he has ever seen.  At once he is struck down by Eddie, her friend and protector.

Park, on his knees, perceives in an epiphany that solely with the help of the woman he has outraged can he find deliverance from the bonds of nihilism and self-regard.

He resolves to win Chloe.  But, bewildered by his attentions and repelled by his egotism, she wants no part in his quest; until his persistence and her own curiosity about his motives eventually soften her distrust of his sincerity.

Tentatively, she allows him into her life, thereby initiating trajectories of self-discovery, commitment, and betrayal along which all involved - including tormented, Park obsessed, Miriam - hazard toward nemesis ... or redemption.

The Job: Based on a True Story (I Mean, This Is Bound to Have Happened Somewhere)The Job: Based on a True Story (I mean, this is bound to have happened somewhere) by Craig Davis:  Joe B. enjoys the sweet life as a vice president at Universal Whirligig.  Then one day he arrives at his job only to find he's been demoted to the mailroom, with no explanation or warning.  Joe B. downsizes his hope right into the circular file as he tries to meet with the Big Boss, and receives advice from some of the worst friends ever.

Raven Wings and 13 More Twisted TalesRaven Wings and 13 More Twisted Tales by Frank G. Poe, Jr.:  What happens after we die?  Why should we be vigilant about our health?  How is racism put to rest?  Which religions are correct?  Whose mystery is solved after 160 years?

Frank G. Poe, Jr. answers all of these questions and more in the shocking, must read, introduction of Raven Wings and 13 More Twisted Tales, a collection of fourteen stories guaranteed to entertain.  Eerie and sometimes humorous, the twisted tales result in a thought provoking experience about our society, relationships, health and money.  The author holds us up to the mirror so we can take a good look at ourselves.  It's easy to see how Poe's new book will become a proven literary hit.

After the eye opening introduction by the author, the stories range from a sensual, yet humorous, encounter at Wal-Mart to macabre satire.  The adult oriented collection is full of ghosts, monster trucks, ninjas and spiders, oh my!

Review: The Zombie Night Before Christmas by Craig Dorfman

ISBN #: 978-158173822-3
Page Count: 30
Copyright: 2010

About the Author:
(Taken from inside back flap of dust jacket)

The legendary Craig Dorfman applies his boundless creative gifts to the familiar tale of one man's sleepless night and Santa's annual visit.  The result is a hilarious, almost mind-numbingly brilliant fusion of Christmas cheer and Dawn of the Dead.  If you're not careful, you might just die laughing - or your brain might explode with the sheer force of one writer's genius.

(Taken from back cover)

This classic children's poem gets a gothic makeover when some uninvited (and undead) guests show up hoping to find their stockings full of "Braaaiiin!"  It looks like we'll never see Christmas morning, but then a lean, mean Santa shows up to deliver the greatest gift of all: survival!

My Review:

I had to read this book due to the fact that I love Christmas, but it had that dark side to it that appealed to me so much! =)

I loved this version of the classic story.  I found it funny and a refreshing change.  Some of my favorite lines were:

They didn't take long finding our house in the night:
My dumb kid - as always - had left on his light.


We'd just reached the sidewalk when from the horde
Burst out Santa Claus with a samurai sword.

Those little ditties just made me smile.  I love them.  And the artwork in the book is done in dark colors, which works well for the story.  Also, this is one of those rare hard cover books where the hard cover looks exactly like the dust jacket ... which I've always thought was a nice feature.  Because, I mean, what if you lose the dust jacket?  You wouldn't want a plain book on your bookshelf.  Well, with this one, it wouldn't be.

I would recommend this book to those who like the traditional 'The Night Before Christmas' but enjoys a dark side, too.  Oh, and a warning before you read this to your children ... the word 'asses' is in this story.  =)

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Teaser Tuesday #6

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Mizb at Should Be Reading.  To participate, you need to:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers
  • Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser
This week's teaser comes from:

Lovers and Beloveds: An Intimate History of the Greater Kingdom

"I hate discussing these sorts of things with you," said Jenks.  "If the Embodiments wish to take an ... experienced ... person as a lover, nothing stands in the way; they simply pursue a normal courtship. But inexperienced people are a different issue."

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Review: Hatteras Girl by Alice J. Wisler

ISBN #: 978-0-7642-0732-7
Page Count: 310
Copyright: 2010

About the Author:
(Taken from inside book)

Alice J. Wisler was born and raised in Japan as a missionary kid.  After graduating high school, she got her BS in Social Work from Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia.  She's enjoyed staying at a number of bed and breakfasts in the South, in Japan, and in England, and would secretly like to run one if it just wasn't so much work.  The Outer Banks is one of her favorite vacation destinations.  Currently, she lives in Durham, North Carolina, with her husband, Carl, and three children, Rachel, Benjamin, and Elizabeth.  In memory of her son Daniel, she gives online grief-writing courses, designs remembrance cards, and speaks across the country on Writing the Heartache.  To find out more, visit her Web site at

(Taken from back of book)

Jackie Donovan prays for two things: an honest, wonderful man to marry and to own a bed-and-breakfast on the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina.  In the meantime, she works for Lighthouse Views, writing articles about local business owners, and intrepidly goes on the blind dates set up by her well-meaning but oh-so-clueless relatives.

There's one specific property Jackie dreams of purchasing: The Bailey House, a fabulous old home located right next to the ocean, a place where Jackie spent many happy childhood afternoons.  But the Bailey House has strange stories and secrets surrounding it - not to mention its outrageous price tag.

When Jackie meets handsome Davis Erickson, who holds the key to the Bailey property, she believes God has answered both her prayers.  But as Jackie learns some disturbing details about Davis's past, she begins to wonder if her heart has lead her astray.  Will she risk her long-held dreams to find out the truth?

My Review:

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  If you would like to review books for Bethany House Publishers, you can click here to sign up.

This is a story that grabbed you from the beginning and wouldn't let you go until the end.  I loved Jackie, the main character.  She was down-to-earth and easily likable.  As I read her story, I wanted to warn her against the guy that seemed too good to be true.  I was hoping that his true colors would show and that Jackie would realize who her perfect match was.

The font was just the right size to make you want to keep reading.  I also loved the cover of this book.  It just looks so peaceful and relaxing.  It made me wish I lived closer to the ocean.

If you're looking for a delightfully entertaining read, then you should pick up a copy of this book and give it a go.

Happy Reading! =)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Blog Tour & Review: Red In The Flower Bed by Andrea Nepa

ISBN #: 9780981461991

About the Author:
(As given to me by the publisher)

Andrea Nepa is the mother of an adopted Vietnamese daughter named Leah. In 2001, Adoptions from the Heart assisted with the international adoption. Andrea dedicated her book to her daughter: "For my dear Leah, whose journey in her young life has already taken her to far away and unexpected places." In 2006, Leah was diagnosed with cancer. She is currently in remission. Andrea lives with Leah and her husband, David, in Haddonfield, New Jersey. She is a registered dietitian for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

You can click here to visit Andrea's Facebook profile.

(As given to my by the publisher)

The journey of adoption is beautifully depicted with the comforting imagery of a poppy flower who is welcomed into a garden family. It is a charming story of "seeds" being planted in the perfect place - exactly where they belong. Children and adults will enjoy this simple yet meaningful story and homespun illustrations. The book's loving approach helps children to understand adoption.

My Review:

I was contacted by Tribute Books inquiring if I would like to host a stop on the blog tour for this book.  Being a supporter of adoption, I agreed.

The book is absolutely precious.  I love the rhymes and the use of the flowers metaphor to represent the author's daughter.  It is a lovely children's story.

The artwork was refreshing and wonderful as well.  Instead of being actual drawn illustrations, they looked more like what you would see in a scrapbook; which ignites that feeling of warm memories and things that should be remembered and cherished.

To preview the book, you may click here.  You may also visit Tribute Books' website, Twitter page and/or Facebook page.  You can also visit this book's blog by clicking here where all of the blog tour hosts are being featured.

Happy Reading! =)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Review: Santa Claustrophobia by Mike Reiss

ISBN #: 0-14-240376-8
Page Count: 29
Copyright: 2002

About the Author & Illustrator:
(Taken from inside back cover)

Mike Reiss (author) has won four Emmy Awards for his work on The Simpsons.  His other books for unconventional children include How Murray Saved Christmas, The Boy Who Looked Like Lincoln, and The Great Show-and-Tell Disaster.

David Catrow (illustrator), who also illustrated How Murray Saved Christmas and The Boy Who Looked Like Lincoln, is a nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist and the illustrator of many books for children.  He has twice been honored with the New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year award.

(Taken from back cover)

Meet Doc Holiday.  As a therapist he's helped everyone from the Thanksgiving Turkey, with his nightmares about Pilgrims, to Cupid, who's remarkably shy for a guy with no pants!  But when Saint Nick himself develops a fear of chimneys, the Doc has to round up the rest of the holiday gang to handle Christmas while Santa recuperates.  The challenges become obvious when the Easter Bunny paints all the toys pastel colors, Lincoln and Washington fight over who's in charge, Columbus insists he must sail west to go east to make the deliveries, and the April Fool manages to do everything wrong!  Christmas is out of control, and it's clear that only one person can set things right ...

My Review:

I wanted to start off this Christmas season by reviewing a Christmas book.  Now, I won't be reviewing Christmas-related books only for the month of December, but I will have a few interspersed here and there.

When I went to BAM! the other day, I saw this book on the $2 cart that was outside the store.  Right away, the cover art drew me in and I wanted to read it.

The illustrations were colorful and expressive.  They made you want to keep turning the page to see what else was drawn to coincide with the story.  After reading each page, I just kept looking at the illustrations to see every detail.  I don't remember the last illustrated book I viewed that made me want to just keep looking at the pictures.

The story ... or poem, I should say, for it was written in rhyme ... was adorable.  I loved it as well.  I like the fact that Santa has a breakdown due to stress and that the other holiday representatives pitch in to help him out.  It was cute, funny and made me smile.

This is definitely one Christmas story that I will read year after year.  =)

Book Blog Hop Friday #7

Book Blogger Hop

This is a weekly meme hosted by Jennifer at Crazy for Books.  This is a chance for people to visit other book-related blogs that they normally wouldn't find and/or visit on their own.  To participate, a question must be answered. 

Before we get to the question, I would like to welcome any new viewers/followers to my blog.  If you're an 'oldie but goodie' ... welcome back! =)

Now, this week's question is:

"What very popular and hyped book in the blogosphere did you NOT enjoy and how did you feel about posting your review?"

For this question, I will have to agree with Jennifer at Crazy For Books.  I try not to read a book while it is popular and hype.  I usually try to wait until the hoopla dies down before I'll even consider whether or not I want to read it.

What about you?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Review: Amy Inspired by Bethany Pierce

ISBN #: 978-0-7642-0850-8 (se)
Page Count: 320
Copyright: 2010

About the Author:
(Taken from back cover)

After completing a master's in Creative Writing and working as a visiting instructor at Miami University in Ohio, Bethany Pierce now lives with her husband in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she is a member of the McGuffey Art Center and continues to write.  Her first book, Feeling for Bones, was one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2007.

(Taken from back cover)

Amy Gallagher, aspiring writer, has an unabashed obsession with words.  She gave up a steady, albeit unexciting, job to pursue a life of writing.  However, two years and one master's degree later, she finds herself almost exactly right back where she started.  Discouraged by the growing pile of rejections from publishers and afraid that she has settled, Amy knows something has to change.

Then she meets the mysterious, attractive, and unavailable Eli.  Amy finds herself struggling to walk the fine line between friendship and something more with Eli, even as she tries to cope with the feeling that her friends and family are moving on without her.  When the unexpected begins pouring in, Amy doubts the love and fulfillment she seeks will ever come her way.  Forced to take a close look at who she has become, the state of her faith, and her aspirations for her life, she must make a choice: play it safe yet again or finally find the courage to follow her dreams.

My Review:

I received this novel from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  If you would like to review books for Bethany House Publishers, you can click here to sign up.

I am one of the many individuals who has thought about taking up the art of writing ... not a novel necessarily, but writing nonetheless ... so, to read about a writer's life (even fictionally) was intriguing for me; for I know that, in some way, all fiction is based on a semblance of truth.

The major characters in the novel were well thought out and interacted well with each other.  The supporting characters had just enough depth to them that you felt like you recognized them as members of your own family.

Reading the novel made me feel several emotions: humor, sadness, indignation and thoughtfulness.  To have a novel invoke those feelings means that the author has written his/her story well ... which is what an author is supposed to do, correct?  Make you feel?  Whether it be passion, or anger, or humor, etc.

Some of you may even like to know that, even though this is a Christian novel, you weren't really "slapped in the face" with Christianity.  You knew which characters were Christians, but they weren't radical about it.  The author stuck more with what was going on with the characters.  The spiritual portions accentuated what was going on in the novel, rather than being the reason the novel was being written ... if that makes any sense to ya'll ...

It really is a novel that you would enjoy reading at least once, so why not pick up a copy? =)
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