Thursday, March 31, 2011

Third Sentence Thursday (5)

Third Sentence Thursday

Third Sentence Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books for beating back the forces of OTHER sentences!

1) Take the book you are reading now and post the third sentence
2) Review this sentence anyway you want (funny and silly reviews encouraged)
3) Post a link to your sentence in the comments

This week, my third sentence comes from Tomorrow's Guardian by Richard Denning:

Tomorrow's Guardian

Edward sidestepped to dodge the attack and clipped the enemy on the back of the head with the butt of his revolver - the blow sent the warrior stumbling to the ground.


It's only the third sentence and already we have action.  I hope the remainder of the book stays as engaging as the first few sentences!  One does wonder, though, why they're even fighting in the first place.  Is it a war or a personal affair?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Review: Desperate Desires by Terri Wolffe

ASIN #: B004MME1HA
Page Count: 216
Copyright: 2011


Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

The cunningly audacious Lady Lucinda Davenport is by no means a conventional woman. Smart and fiercely determined, she’s more comfortable adding numbers than she’ll ever be socializing with highfalutin members of the ton. When desperate straits force her into action to save her home and lands, she finds herself faced with only one option. Summoning every ounce of her courage, she sets in motion a wild and raunchy scheme that would set the ton on fire if they ever caught wind of her actions.

Lucien Brandford, fourth Duke of Carlsborough, is a dangerous man. Wealthy beyond imagination and handsome to a fault, the Duke is sought after by nearly every woman of the ton. Single, widowed, or married, ladies vie for his attention with cutthroat precision. But the Duke has no tolerance for the machinations of his title and fortune-hungry peers. He seeks his pleasure from women who require no commitment.

That attitude ensnares the Duke in Lady Lucinda’s plan. Caught unawares, Lucien finds himself at the mercy of a bold and luscious woman whom he cannot decide if he wants to strangle or bed.

The sensual dance that follows between captor and captive as they engage in a volatile battle for control, culminates in a seismic eruption—both psychological and sensual. As tempers flare and sparks fly, an intense and erotic interlude of passion ensues.

The temperamental lovers soon discover what all the world knows: that in order to possess the love of a lifetime, they must submit to one another to conquer their own Desperate Desires.

Sensually spiced with a heavy dose of passion, this romantic bestseller comes complete with a memorable cast of characters. You won’t want to put this one down!


Mandy's Review:

Warning:  Adults Only, Please!!!

Cover

The cover is a standard portrayal of a romance novel.  You know ... sexy, muscular man in a romantic embrace with a voluptuous, half-dressed woman.  I'm a fan of the red on the cover, though.  =)

Plot

The story started off uniquely enough with the abduction of a Duke.  It didn't take long for the storyline to sizzle.  Every time you flip a page, the two main characters are having a go.  Speaking of which ... I had never heard sexual intercourse be referred to as a "tup," being "tupped" or "tupping."  I rather enjoyed learning a new word for the act itself.  I get tired of seeing "making love," "fucking" (sorry, but I did warn you this was for adults only) or "sex."

I am getting a little bored with all the main male characters in romance/erotica being well-endowed.  Think about it ladies ... how many well-endowed men do you really know?  I've ... "met" ... a few in my day, but the majority of the men are average or below average with a rare few being extremely below average (poor things). 

I do understand why all the main male characters in romance novels are this way, though.  I mean, this is a fantasy.  What woman doesn't want a well-endowed man thoroughly "tupping" her while telling her what to do and what he's going to do to her?  ...   ...  hhmmm ... ... (*shaking head*) ... anyhow, back to the review ... =)

Main Characters

Lucien - A rich, well-endowed, muscular, single, domineering man who rather enjoys "servicing" and being "serviced" on occasion ... yeah ... I think that about covers it =)

Lucinda - One of the co-conspirators behind the Duke's abduction.  She is amazingly inexperienced and is an apt pupil for the Duke's teachings.

Overall

If you like spice, this short spicy novella is just for you.  Just be forewarned ... have your lover near by.  You're going to want to either act out what you read or create your own spice!  =)  Muy Caliente!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Review: Expert Assistance by Robert Collins

Expert Assistance
ISBN #:  978-1456510084
Page Count: 170
Copyright: 2007 (Paperback) & 2011 (Ebook)


Book Summary:
(Taken from book jacket)


To get out of debt, spacer Jake Bonner takes on odd jobs. The first, chauffeur pop star Evvie Martini on her tour; the second, helping Daniel and Clarissa Rosen overthrow their planet’s tyrannical ruler. Unfortunately for Jake, Evvie finds out about his second assignment and, hoping to advance her career, invites herself to the revolution. From there the absurdity grows for Jake and his band of “freedom fighters.”


Charlie's Review:

A starship owned by Jake Bonner docks at a space station and finds that it will not be allowed to leave until Jake comes up with cash for a past-due debt. He reluctantly takes on a job of escorting a young pop star on her tour. He is also contacted by a couple from a colony planet, Antioch Two, that offers to pay him 5% of all planet mining profits, each year, for life, in exchange for his help in overthrowing the current owner of the colony, Sordius Maxis. While onboard the ship, pop star Evvie Martini finds out about the plan, and sees it as a great way to promote her career. Jake reluctantly agrees to let her help, and the revolution begins.

Expert Assistance was a fast-paced read. There were several grammatical errors, but nothing that truly slows you down. Sci-Fi fans will love the technology described in the book. Lots of details regarding tele-porting, robotics, and communication fill the pages. There was very little violence involved in this revolution, which makes it so much easier to cheer the underdogs on.

I would have liked to see the characters a little more developed, and possibly a few more insights from the side of Sordius Maxis, but overall, it was a light, enjoyable read.

Teaser Tuesday #17


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:

Mieradome by Kate O'Hegarty

"Colors will burst from your ears and mouth and tongue.  And your head will be promptly displayed hanging from the castle walls!"


Already, this sounds like a wonderfully colorful (pun intended) story that I will enjoy ... we shall see when I post my review.  =)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Review: Tales from the Yoga Studio by Rain Mitchell

Tales from the Yoga Studio: A Novel
Provided to me by FSB Media in exchange for a review
ISBN #: 978-0-452-29691-6
Page Count: 279
Copyright: 2011


Book Summary:
(Taken from back of book)

The Yoga Studio is where daily cares are set aside, mats are unfurled, and physical exertion leads to well-being, renewal, and friendship.

In Los Angeles, yoga teachers have become celebrities and designer tank tops can cost a small fortune.  Still, many students flock to the relatively unglamorous Edendale Yoga in the hip, out-of-the-way Silver Lake neighborhood.  It's here where Lee uses her extraordinary teaching skills and unusual empathy to help students gain control of their bodies and possibly their lives as well.

But will Lee's students have learned enough from their beloved teacher to help her when she faces financial problems and a marital crisis of her own?


Mandy's Review:

Cover

The cover promotes a sense of peacefulness, friendship and a oneness with others.  I was automatically drawn to this cover when I first received the book and am still drawn to this cover.

Plot

We're all familiar with story lines where there is unity among a group of women (i.e. Sex & the City, Waiting to Exhale, Steel Magnolias), which was portrayed throughout this book.  Though their stories were interwoven, you got a feel for them outside of the group as well.  You understood what brought them together and united them ... other than the Yoga Studio ... =)

Characters

Lee is the teacher at Edendale Yoga.  I found her to be nice, but overly so.  She ignored obvious signs of betrayal because she chose to be "blind."  Purposeful ignorance tends to get on my nerves, especially when it's a woman being purposefully ignorant.

Katherine is Edendale Yoga's masseuse.  She is grateful to Lee for helping her during some rough times.  Katherine is funky and fun, but a little too hard on herself sometimes.  She tends to sabotage any decent relationship that comes her way.  Will she ever be able to get over her past?

Graciela is gorgeous and an excellent dancer.  She winds up at the Yoga Studio due to an injury that she's trying to heal before an audition for a famous singer's video.  Graciela is hard-working and much more tolerable that I would be.  She has poise and appears to be a wonderful friend.

Overall

This was definitely an easy read.  It is geared towards women and promotes women's empowerment.  I would recommend this to women (and possibly men???) who enjoy stories about women's relationships reminiscent of those mentioned above.

Review: The End of the World by Andrew Biss

The End of the World

ASIN: B004RZ26E2 (ebook)
Page Count: Approx. 104
Copyright: 2011


Quick Update - As you can see from the links on the right side of my page, I am looking for a team of reviewers for this blog.  This review is the debut of the newest Literary R&R review team member, Charlie.  Let's make her feel welcome, shall we?!!! =)


Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

Valentine's parents have decided that the time has come at last for their son to make his own way in the world. Valentine, accustomed to a life of cosseted seclusion, isn't so keen on the idea. But go he must, and soon he finds himself venturing forth into the vast world beyond. His new adventure is soon drawn to a halt, however, when he is mugged at gunpoint. Frightened and exhausted, he seeks shelter at a bed and breakfast establishment run by the dour Mrs. Anna. Here Valentine encounters a Bosnian woman with a hole where her stomach used to be, an American entrepreneur with a scheme to implant televisions into people's foreheads, and a Catholic priest who attempts to lure him down inside a kitchen sink. Then things start getting strange.

Charlie's Review:

This short novel, adapted from the play of the same name, is described by Mr. Biss as “A tale of life, death, and the space in-between.”

The main character, Valentine, after being raised in a sedentary, secluded environment, is sent out by his parents to “fend for himself.” He almost immediately becomes a victim of a mugging at gun point. Valentine, rather lost and frightened, seeks shelter at a bed and breakfast named, The End of the World where he meets some very interesting, and I might add, unsettling, characters, ranging from the man in the fridge, to a cleric from within the kitchen sink.

Inherently dark, and at times, intensely verbose, The End of the World exists in a place that we all tend to ponder, which is; what exactly comes next? While I certainly hope not to run into any of these characters, I did find redeeming qualities, as well as lessons, from them all. The references to appliances left me pondering the symbolism behind them, and then again, pondering if I was over thinking them.

Overall, this novel left me with more questions than answers. Occasionally hard to follow, the last few paragraphs redeemed the storyline and left me feeling as if it all made sense after all. And that perhaps, nothing is as simple as it seems.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

April's BintoM Monthly Giveaway (#3)

Time for the BintoM Monthly Giveaway meme began, and hosted, by me! =)  I began this because I know I have a habit of comparing books to movies, and vice versa, when a movie is based on a book.  This meme is not to bring attention to those books that were written AFTER the movie, but before.

Here's how it's going to work:

  • Towards the end of the month, I will post the next month's giveaway. 
  • I will leave it open for 2 to 3 weeks.  At that time, a winner (or winners, if I'm feeling generous) will be chosen and notified. 
  • I will expect the winner to acknowledge the winning email within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen in their place. 
  • This is now open internationally
  • You do not need to be a GFC follower to win.  Yes, I would like it if you followed me, but I am not making that a stipulation to participate or to win.

I've added a section to the form below for recommendations for future BintoM Monthly Giveaway prizes.  Let me know what you want to see.  =)

So, for April, thanks to your votes in last month's BintoM Giveaway, we have Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood book/movie combo as the prize.  This giveaway will end on April 11th. 

Here's a little bit about both:


Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (Full Screen)


I have a slightly used copy of the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood written by Rebecca Wells that I bought from the local used bookstore before they went out of business.

Summary:  When Sidda asks her mother, the aging belle Vivi, for help in researching women's friendships, Vivi sends her daughter a scrapbook. From this artifact of Vivi's own lifelong friendship with three women collectively known as "the Ya-Ya's," and from Sidda's response to it, a story unfolds regarding a dark period in Vivi and Sidda's past that plagues their present relationship.

To go along with the book, I have a brand new copy (very slightly damaged during transit to me) of Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood the movie:

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (Full Screen)

Blurb:  Like mother, like daughter: neither New York playwright Sidda Lee Walker nor her eccentric Louisiana mother Vivi will likely take steps to mend the rift between them.  No, this is a job for the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

The Ya-Yas - sworn lifelong friends of Vivi - stage an unorthodox "intervention" to bring daughter and mother together in this warm adaptation of Rebecca Wells' bestsellers, written for the screen and directed by Callie Khouri (Thelma & Louise).

DVD Bonus Features:

8 additional scenes

Cast Commentary with Ashley Judd and Director/Screenwriter Callie Khouri

Fillmaker Commentary with Callie Khouri, Executive Producer Lisa Stewart, Producres Bonnie Bruckheimer and Hunt Lowry, Editor Andrew Marcus and Composer T Bone Burnett

2 Featurettes:  Unlocking the Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and the Ya-Ya Sisterhood Scrapbook

Alison Krauss Sitting in the Window of My Room Music Video

DVD Info:

116 Minutes

Rated PG-13 for Mature Thematic Elements, Language and Brief Sensuality
(Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13)

Widescreen Version

Main Actors:

Sandra Bullock
Ellen Burstyn
Fionnula Flanagan
James Garner
Ashley Judd
Shirley Knight
Angus MacFadyen
Maggie Smith 

Enter below for your chance to win and good luck!

Blog Tour: A World I Never Made by James LePore

ISBN #: 978-0-9816087-2-3
Page Count: 262
Copyright: 2008, 2009




Welcome to James LePore's A World I Never Made book blog tour hosted by Tracee at Pump Up Your Book.  Below you will find a book summary and my review.  Enjoy! =)








Book Summary:
(Taken from inside dust jacket's flap)

Pat Nolan, an American man, is summoned to Paris to claim the body of his estranged daughter Megan, who has committed suicide.  The body, however, is not Megan's and it becomes instantly clear to Pat that Megan staged this, that she is in serious trouble, and that she is calling to him for help.

This sends Pat on an odyssey that stretches across France and into the Czech Republic and that makes him the target of both the French police and a band of international terrorists.  Joining Pat on his search is Catherine Laurence, a beautiful but tormented Paris detective who sees in Pat something she never thought she'd find - genuine passion and desperate need.  As they look for Megan, they come closer to each other's souls and discover love when both had long given up on it.

Juxtaposed against this story is Megan's story.  A freelance journalist, Megan is in Morocco to do research when she meets Abdel Lahani, a Saudi businessman.  They begin a torrid affair, a game Megan has played often and well in her adult life.  But what she discovers about Lahani puts her in the center of a different kind of game, one with rules she can barely comprehend.  Because of her relationship with Lahani, Megan has made some considerable enemies.  And she has put the lives of many - maybe even millions - at risk.


My Review:

Cover

I get a sense of the mystery of this book by looking at the cover:  The lady on it ... is it Catherine or is it Megan?  Why is she standing in a hallway all by herself?  Is she looking for someone?  Waiting on someone?  Is she friend or foe?

Plot

The book was set in European countries, which helped lend an air of mystery to the story.  The characters were extremely realistic and believable.  Even though there were some back-and-forth moments in the book, the story flowed smoothly and flawlessly.  The reader will remain engaged and wanting to know more the entire book.

Characters

Pat is Megan's widowed father.  He appears to be the strong and silent type.  He feels guilty for how he was never around while Megan was growing up.

Megan is a wanderer with a gypsy spirit.  She doesn't like to be tied down in one place for too long and her lifestyle reflects that.

Catherine is a detective helping Pat search for Megan.  She lost her husband in a bombing several years ago ... much to her relief.  She is feminine, yet strong.

If you want to know more about Pat and Megan's backgrounds, James LePore's Anyone Can Die gives you a great glimpse of that.  I previously read Anyone Can Die (see review here) and went back and re-read it after I finished A World I Never Made and found it to be a wonderful addition.

Overall

I loved this novel.  It was suspenseful and kept you on the edge of your seat until the end.  The story flowed naturally.  I would put this novel in the same category as Dean Koontz's suspense novels.  It is a definite must read for mystery and suspense fans.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Book Blog Hop Friday #12

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:

"If you could physically put yourself into a book or series…which one would it be and why?"

My Answer:

This answer will probably sound somewhat expected, but I would love to physically put myself into the Harry Potter series.  I would love to go to school at Hogwarts and meet Dumbledore.

I would also love to put myself in Dorothy James' novel A Place to Die.  The culture and the people just seem like a place I would love to be a part of.


What about you?  =)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Third Sentence Thursday (4)

Third Sentence Thursday

Third Sentence Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books for beating back the forces of OTHER sentences!

1) Take the book you are reading now and post the third sentence
2) Review this sentence anyway you want (funny and silly reviews encouraged)
3) Post a link to your sentence in the comments

This week, my third sentence comes from The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers:


The Murderer's Daughters

Essentially, Mama regarded me as a miniature hand servant ...


I'm confused ... don't all parents treat their children like that when they're old enough?  Of course this seems to be coming from the child's point-of-view and if you're a parent, you know how distorted this can be sometimes.  Not that they can help it.  It's just that they think they know all the facts of every situation around them when, sometimes, they have no idea what their parents (or step-parents) go through.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Review: Do the Speak by Rick Boven

Kindle ASIN #: B004MDLNF2
Page Count: 52
Copyright: 2010


Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

DO THE SPEAK looks into the mind of a young and accomplished artist finding his place in life and in the creative realm. A unique memoir piece, the book recounts a fractured narrative of the early artistic endeavors of filmmaker and author Rick Boven through a series of paintings he sent out into the world. Boven seeks connection and validation by mailing this artwork to anyone he can find…and reaching unexpected and oftentimes humorous conclusions.

The book opens in early 2006, at a point when Boven has lost his artistic identity. At the crossroads of adult life, he’s having difficulty convincing himself that the cartoons he has drawn since grade school hold merit now, into adulthood. Compounding this insecurity was a longing for other artistic passions including acting, film, and literature; but if his cartoons are unimportant, won’t his films and writings follow suit?

In the midst of his preoccupation with women, substances, and all forms of escape, Boven mails people paintings. Random people. People he has met once at a party. People he has known for ten years. Celebrities and artists he admires. It’s through this accidental project thrust onto others that a clear portrait of the artist comes into focus. DO THE SPEAK is an honest examination of the struggle with identity, the validity of expression, and the decisions of adulthood. Boven’s journey underlines the universal question: Do you like what you see in the mirror?


My Review:

Cover

I like that the cover looks like a framed blank canvas which will be filled with the artwork inside.

Plot

I wouldn't say there's a plot, per se.  This book is more of a memoir depicting pieces of the author's life with the artwork being a portrayal of said moment.

Characters

The main character is the author himself, who is also the narrator.  Through each story you can catch a glimpse of who the author is.

Overall

I loved the artwork in this book.  The author is extremely talented.  The stories that go with each artwork are an often humorous peek into the author's past.  I don't know that this book would educate anyone, but it definitely is an entertaining read.  I would recommend Do the Speak to those who like something different and quirky.  =)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Review: The End Is Near by Harry Ramble

ISBN #: 978-0-9816502-2-7
Page Count: 356
Copyright: 2010


Book Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

On his forty-fifth birthday, as his hostages dozed fitfully and state police prepared to take him by force, Nathan Huffnagle penned nine last words into a journal recounting a remarkable week's worth of events.  Then he placed the cold steel circle of a shotgun barrel beneath his chin, gripped the trigger, and pulled.  And his life began again.

Nathan had hoped to pay back one injustice with another, and tip the scales back to even.  But so few of us have a real talent for havoc and vengeance and violence.  And our cherished grievances and justifications rarely match up so neatly with the realities of our lives.  Now, frustrated at every turn and pestered by a series of seemingly angelic visitors, Nathan makes a hospital-bed deal with Death - the Big Guy himself.  Will he receive the release he desires?  Or a new lease on life?

The end is always near, but it's never too late to live.


My Review:

Cover

When I first received the book and saw the cover I wondered what in the world it had to do with the end being near.  Then, I read the summary on the back and wondered if the items on the front cover were what Nathan took with him during his hostage situation.

I'm not going to tell you if that was correct or not, but the items on the front do come into play in the book.  Needless to say, I like the cover because it made me think and ponder over the meaning of it.

Plot

Right away, the book introduces the reader to hospital-bed Nathan.  Then the reader meets pre-hostage situation Nathan.  The reader then journeys back-and-forth between these two Nathans until hostage situation Nathan is introduced.

From there, the reader gets to take a Scrambler-like ride (for those familiar with fair rides) between the three Nathans until the end of the book.  You get comfortable heading in one Nathan-direction then get jerked back towards another Nathan-direction.  While this sounds like a mind-bending situation, it actually promotes a feeling of intrigue and makes the reader want to know and read more.

Characters

Nathan is a sad, sad man.  I cannot imagine holding the grudges he did.  While I know that there are people out there that actually do hold these types of grudges, I still cannot imagine being able to do such a thing.  Nathan comes from a broken, abusive home and is very unpopular in school and in life.  I think it's safe to say Nathan had self-esteem issues.

Randy was a bully growing up.  This was his way of acting out his broken-home life.  He grew up to be a pretty decent human being who regretted how he treated people in high school.

Death is a person often talked about in this book, but not seen until the very end.  When Death finally is revealed, it is in an unexpected form ... something no reader would expect.

Overall

I would recommend this smartly-written novel to those who enjoy a good hostage situation that has some unexpected twists and turns.

Teaser Tuesday #16


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:
Hunters & Prey (Immortalis #2)
Immortalis: Hunters & Prey by Katie Salidas

We passed the concession stand, and a pleasing scent teased my nose: the musky perfume of the attendant behind the counter making the popcorn.  His satisfying aroma called out to me.


Three words: nom nom nom.  =)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop Winners!


What a fun weekend!  This was the first giveaway hop I decided to participate in.  My original intention was to give one winner their choice of book from The Book Depository worth up to $15 U.S.  Well, when I saw the overwhelming number of entries I decided to change it up a bit.  I still left it open internationally, but decided to choose one winner for every 50 entries.  At the end, I ended up choosing 6 winners for the 318 entries I had.  So, who were the winners and what did they choose?

Winner #1:

Anita from Slovenia

She Chose:


Winner #2:

Emilie from France

She Chose:


Winner #3:

Natasha from Malaysia

She Chose:


Winner #4:


She Chose:


Winner #5:


She Chose:


Winner #6:

Elle from Simple Wyrdings

She Chose:



THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED - YA'LL ARE AWESOME!!!

Review: Immortalis: Hunters & Prey by Katie Salidas

ISBN-13: 978-0-9844196-5-4
ISBN-10: 0-9844196-5-9
Page Count: 300
Copyright: 2010


Book Summary:
(Given to me by the author)

Becoming a vampire saved Alyssa from death, but the price was high: the loss of everything and everyone attached to her mortal life. She’s still learning to cope when a surprise confrontation with Santino Vitale, the Acta Sanctorum’s most fearsome hunter, sends her fleeing back to the world she once knew, and Fallon, the friend she’s missed more than anything.

Alyssa breaks vampire law by revealing her new, true self to her old friend, a fact which causes strong division in the group that should support her most: her clan.

Worse yet, her revelation entangles Fallon in the struggle between vampires and hunters and The Acta Sanctorum is ready to attack again, with a new army of hybrid creations: the Frenzy Soldiers.

If Alyssa hopes to survive and keep her mortal friend safe, she’ll have to be willing to make a deal with the enemy, and regain her clan’s support. It will take everyone working together in a precarious truce to fight against the Acta Sanctorum’s new threat.


My Review:

Cover

The Vegas sign lets you know that the story will take place in that city.  The woman on the cover looks comfortable and relaxed in her own skin, portraying how Alyssa is feeling more and more every day.

Plot

While this is a continuation of Katie's first novel, Immortalis: Carpe Noctem, it is a novel that can stand on its own.  Reading the first novel, though, will help you gain knowledge of the clan members and who they are.  In this novel, the clan bonds together with an unexpected ally in a fight against an old enemy.  The action in this novel is fast, furious and will keep you guessing what will happen next.

Characters

Fallon is Alyssa's human best friend.  She is disgusted with the fact that Alyssa is now a vampire.  While she's glad Alyssa's alive, she's also disgusted with how Alyssa now has to survive.  It is debated whether Fallon is the clan's liability or asset.

Santino has been a long time enemy of vampires.  He was introduced in the first book as a vampire hunter working for the Acta Sanctorum.  While he still dislike vampires, he is grudgingly willing to ally with them in a fight against his current boss.

As for the characters that I mentioned in my first review, their development in this book has progressed flawlessly from the first book.  While reading, you get the sense that, not only are you getting to know the characters better, but so is the author.  There's a real fluidity between the clan members thanks to the author's comfort level with these characters.

Overall

This was an exceptional transition from the first book.  Once started, it was hard to stop reading.  The story draws you in and takes you on a journey, rooting for the vampires all the way.  I'm excited to see what Katie has up her sleeve for the third installment in this series, Pandora's Box (planned to be published in 2012).

By the way, this is still an adult novel due to sexual situations ... No kiddies allowed! =)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Review: Eat Your Peas Daughter by Cheryl & Mom Karpen

ISBN #: 978-1-4041-8983-6
Page Count: Approximately 75
Copyright: 2011


Book Summary:
(From the back cover)

Between the covers of this tender little book are words to grace the relationship between mother and daughter.

They are words of affirmation and praise, encouragement and love.

But most of all, a promise ... a promise to be there whether going through joyful times or painful setbacks.

It's a 3-minute celebration giving voice to a mom's love and gladness to a daughter's heart.


My Review:

Cover

It's bright, colorful, girly and really draws your eye to it when you see it in person.

Plot

Like the summary said, it's a book of affirmations for a person's daughter.  They are uplifting, positive and touching.

Characters

Surprise!  You, the reader, are the character.  The narrator is speaking to you as you read.

Overall

When I first saw this book, (sent to me from the great people at BookSneeze) I thought it would be for little girls below the age of 7 or 8.  However, when I started reading it, I could picture my own mother giving this book to me ... and I'm over 30!  I loved this book.  I like that it's part of a series.  I like that it's positive and uplifting.  It made me say "Aawww..." a few times while reading ... and it really is a 3-minute book (unless you read fast).  I would recommend this book to all the mothers, aunts, grandmothers, etc. to give to their special girl family member.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Guest Post: Just Write!

Welcome Lillian & Dave Brummet, published authors & experienced writers, the executive producers & hosts of the Conscious Discussions Talk Radio show, manage the blog Brummet's Conscious & offer a bi-weekly newsletter, Brummet's Muse.

Dave and Lillian Brummet offer tips, interviews and resources to inspire hope in individuals; helping them realize the value of their efforts, encouraging them to become more positive, proactive in life. - Visit them at: http://www.brummet.ca/

"Putting words on paper can be one of the greatest gifts we leave behind, so write - no matter what. Where-ever you are you know you have those characters, those scenes, those memories and experiences… they are always in your mind and you are mulling it over during every quiet moment in your day. Get it out there. You never know what kind of influence you can have out there on this planet, the difference you could make in someone’s life."

"One of the most common ways that a person often talks himself or herself out of writing is that “their work will never be published”. So what? The words you write today in your memoir, for instance, could have a profound impact on the family, especially after you have passed on. The project you are working on today might just evolve over the years into something worthy of publishing, too – so don’t give up on a piece. It is important to keep your writings, you never know when you might need that special something for your next novel or character you are trying to develop – and that something just might be in your previous writings."

"I know from personal experience that reading has taught me about the culture surrounding older generations, cultures that I could never fully understand without feeling it through reading. It has enabled me to build things and garden more efficiently and improve my career. Whereas writing helped me overcome the neglect and abuse I experienced as a child, and develop strong relationships with others. This gift opens up a world of understanding for ourselves, our place in this world, the society we live in."

"Writing provides a way for the average individual to make a lasting, positive difference with the time we are given. So when you are writing, just write for writing’s sake. Sometimes we have to set aside the editor in us and just write – get it out – you can always come back and fine-tune the piece. Allow the emotions and words to flow without destructive inner criticism. Each person has their own experiences, their own skills and knowledge that can easily benefit another and if it isn’t written down it can be lost forever."

~ Lillian Brummet: Award winning author, book marketing guru, owner of the award winning Brummet’s Conscious Blog, and both the host and executive producer of the Conscious Discussions Talk Radio show.

More Info:

If you're interested in knowing more about the Brummets, you can click on any of the links below:



I will be partnering with the Brummets to expose their articles to a wider array of followers.  Their articles will be a bi-weekly feature on my blog.  How long will this last?  I'm not sure ... that depends on you, dear followers ... =)

Comments or questions?  If so, just leave a comment below and someone will be sure to get back with you.

Happy Reading ... and Writing! =)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Review: The Shifters of 2040 by Ami Blackwelder

ISBN #: 1453785132
e-ISBN #: 9781453785133
Page Count: 326
Copyright: 2010


Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

Set in Alaska in 2040, Melissa Marn and Bruce Wilder must work under the iron fist of the SCM, while still trying to maintain humanity. Discovering a world of shifters and hybrids, the scientists must struggle with human prejudice and betrayal. With the original ancestors, dubbed shifters, still living on earth, humans are in the midst of a fifteen year old war. As the eldest hybrids, Unseen and Diamond, learn about humans the hard way, with the loss of loved ones and sacrifices, love on planet earth proves challenging.


My Review:

Cover

The cover lets you know that the "shifters" are, apparently, human-like creatures.  With the face in blue on the cover, it makes you wonder if that's the color of the shifter's skin or is it night at this moment in time ...  ???

One small correction I feel I need to make you aware of.  This is actually book three in this series.  It is not a prequel to anything but the books that come after it.

Plot

It was set in a futuristic Alaska, but it wasn't overdone.  You could actually imagine that this will be what our future will turn into.  Believability, when writing anything futuristic, is an important factor.  Yes, there are fantasy novels that delve into worlds that we know will never exist, but I like the element of futuristic fantasy that seems attainable.

Characters

Melissa is very dedicated to the military and her job as a scientist.  However, she allows that to stop her from living her life for herself.  From what I can tell, this would be one boring chick to try and get to know in real life.  What she does outside of work and home (besides the occasional trip to a bar once in a blue moon) is beyond me.

Bruce seems to have a balance between work and play.  As a matter of fact, he has tried to draw Melissa out of her work shell once or twice, but she wouldn't allow herself to be drawn out.  Bruce seems to be the patient type ... almost to the point of exasperation ... Love can be a many splendor thing, but it's also blind as a fruit bat!  =)

Brendan is Melissa's babies daddy, to put it simply.  The man has an animal magnetism that Melissa felt herself drawn to the one and only time I read about her getting out and going somewhere!  He is a shifter and is very protective over those he's drawn to and loves.  He would do anything, even risk his life, for the people he cares for.

Overall

This was a well written story with a lot of wonder and charm.  The interactions between the characters were realistic and extremely believable.  The entire plot was cohesive from beginning to end and left plenty of room for prequels and sequels.  I would recommend this series to those who enjoy a little sci-fi with a little fantasy thrown in with some military while adding a dash of romanticism.

Third Sentence Thursday (3)

Third Sentence Thursday


Third Sentence Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books for beating back the forces of OTHER sentences!

1) Take the book you are reading now and post the third sentence
2) Review this sentence anyway you want (funny and silly reviews encouraged)
3) Post a link to your sentence in the comments

This week, my third sentence comes from A World I Never Made by James LePore:

A World I Never Made

She was fourteen or so, selling flowers on the Street of Flowers, and had the look of a young Madonna.


Do we have a Street of Flowers in the States?  Is this in another country?  Is the author referring to Madonna the singer or the Virgin Mary?  Why is the author even mentioning the girl selling flowers?  Is she a vital part of the story to come?  I am intrigued and want to know more ...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop!


Hey ya'll!!!  This is my first giveaway hop that I've decided to participate in, so ... away we go!

First, and foremost, this hop is graciously hosted by Books Complete Me and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.

There are over 250 blogs participating in this amazing annual hop!!! 



Now, for the prize on my blog ...

I wanted to do something internationally, to give more people a chance to win, while giving the winner their choice of book.  So, I am letting the winner choose their choice of book up to $15 U.S. from The Book Depository.

Just fill out the form below to enter and don't forget to visit the link above to enter the other blogs' Lucky Leprechaun giveaways ... Good luck!!! =)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Winner: March's BintoM Giveaway

It's time to announce the winner of March's BintoM Giveaway!!! 

The winner will receive a brand new 10th Anniversary Edition of the novel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson as well as Speak, the movie adaptation starring Kristen Stewart, Eric Lively, Elizabeth Perkins, D. B. Sweeney and Steve Zahn.

And this month's winner is ....


Linda from Kissimmee, Florida!!!


Congratulations Linda!  I hope you enjoy both the book and the movie! =)


Along with each person's entry into March's BintoM Giveaway, I asked them which title they would like to see for April's BintoM Giveaway.  After tallying the votes, here are the results ...

Tied for 4th Place

Bridge to Terabithia
Requiem for a Dream
Flipped
Princess Bride
Water for Elephants
Anything from the Classic Literature category

Tied for 3rd Place

Casino Royale
Lonesome Dove
Bridges of Madison County

2nd Place

The DaVinci Code

1st Place and April's BintoM Giveaway title will be...

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood


Thank you to everyone who submitted an entry and I look forward to March 27th when I post April's BintoM Giveaway form.

Happy Reading! =)

Teaser Tuesday #15


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:
Deed So
Deed So by Katharine A. Russell


"Everybody wants that.  In the end."


Now I'm intrigued ... What is it everybody wants?  I'm ready to finish reading this and find out! =)
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