Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Baghdad, 2003: An elite group of private security contractors is charged with protecting the American who rules IraqIn May 2003 President George W. Bush appointed Paul Bremer as presidential envoy to Iraq. Bremer banned the Ba'ath party and dismantled the Iraqi army, which made him the prime target for dozens of insurgent and terrorist groups. Assigned to protect him during his grueling sixteen-hour days were Blackwater security expert Frank Gallagher and a team of former Marines, SEALs, and other defense professionals. When they arrived, Baghdad was set to explode. As the insurgency gathered strength Bremer and the men who guarded him faced death daily. They were not in the military, but Gallagher and his team were on the front lines of the Iraq War. This fascinating memoir takes the reader deep behind the scenes of a highly dangerous profession.

My Review

I can honesty say that I don't remember hearing about the big Blackwater scandal. Of course, I don't follow the news too much. I feel that the news that is reported is not a true and accurate account of events and is one sided. Not really freedom of speech. Plus it is so depressing to read the news anymore. All I see is crime, killings, and children dying. This is why I stick to the world of books. So anyways back to this book. If you have read my reviews then you are familiar with the fact that I enjoy reading military themed non-fiction books. I saw this book and was intrigued to know what it is like to protect the most threatened man in the world.

I have to say that it is no walk in the park. One of the funniest things I read was when Frank got the call to be part of the Blackwater team. He thought no big deal he would be gone for 30 days and come back. Man was he in for a rude awakening. I applaud guys like Frank and his team for what they do. It takes a special kind of person to risk their lives every day for someone else. I will know add people like Frank to my list of people to respect besides the military men and women. It is easy to honor the military as they are front and center but easy to forget about people like Frank. Again, you will never hear all the good things that these guys do but you will remember the bad from the scandal. This book really gave me a very insightful look into what it really is like to protect the most threatened man in the world.

Warning as there is language used in this book.

Chained by Night

MoonBound Clan Vampires book 2
Pocket Books
September 30, 2014
ISBN-10: 1476700184
ISBN-13: 978-1476700182
buy from: Indiebound | Borders | Amazon | Powell’s | B & N

Leader of the vampire clan MoonBound, Hunter will do what he must to save his people from extinction—or worse, a torturous eternity as vampire slaves and subjects of human experimentation.To keep his enemies at bay, he has agreed to mate a rival clan leader’s daughter in return for peace between the clans and an ally in the looming war with the humans.

But survival comes at a price. First, Hunter must break an ancient curse by successfully negotiating three deadly tests. Then he must resist the searing passions of the gorgeous vampire warrior he despises but is bound to mate. Will Hunter stay true to his word? Or will he risk everything for the woman he really loves: the vampire seductress’s identical twin sister?

My Review

I have read other books by this author but this is the first book I have read of the Moonbound Clan Vampire books. I have to say that this is how I like my vampires...tall, dark, sexy, a great lover, and protector. Just like Hunter. Even Hunter's name is a good one. Aylin is a excellent companion to Hunter. She is strong and very likable. Together, these two were hot together. Like if it was winter, there would be no snow as they would have melted it. Plus the story line for this book was a nice one as well. It was not just your typical vampires fall in love or even vampires against vampire hunters. It has depth. Also, there is a happy ending. After reading this book, I now plan to go back and read book one, Bound By Night.

MoonBound Clan Vampires book 1
Pocket Books
September 24, 2013
ISBN-10: 1476700176
ISBN-13: 978-1476700175
buy from: Indiebound | Borders | Powell’s | B & N | Amazon

Nicole Martin was only eight years old when the vampire slaves rose up in rebellion and killed her family. Now she devotes her life to finding a vaccine against vampirism, hoping to wipe out her memories—along with every bloodsucker on the planet. But there’s one thing she cannot destroy: her searing, undeniable attraction for the one man she should hate and fear the most . . .

 A member of the renegade vampire MoonBound Clan, Riker is haunted by demons of his own. When he recognizes Nicole and remembers how her family enslaved his loved ones, his heart burns for vengeance. But when he kidnaps Nicole and holds her in a secret lair, his mortal enemy becomes his soul obsession, his greatest temptation, and, perhaps, his only salvation—a hot-blooded lover who could heal him with her touch . . . or bury him forever.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Stone Cold Touch

Hey, Stephanie Meyers, this is how you do a love triangle. I tried to read the Twilight books but they were not for me. OR I should clarify that I attempted to read the first book. I did see the movies but only after the second one came out. I just never really felt the romance between Bella and Edward or even Jacob. Edward made me feel uncomfortable. Yet, I really felt and experienced the passion with Layla, Roth and Zayne. The heat was coming off the pages of the book. Although this time it was more between Layla and Zayne. Not that I am complaining as these two were hot together.

This book was really good. This is because the banter between Roth and Zayne was off the charts. They were whipping the one line zingers at each other so quickly I almost got whip lash. I was laughing at the insults they were giving each other. Layla's friends rocked too. They had bigger parts in the story as well. Also, it was cool to get to see the Warderns shape shift more. Layla and her powers are really growing and changing and making her very interesting. The way this book ended has me even more antsy to get my hands on the next book in this series.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Nick and Tesla's Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove

Bright siblings—and amateur inventors—Nick and Tesla Holt are back in this fourth installment of their whiz-bang middle-grade series. This time, the twins are out to save science itself, as they race against the clock to figure out why a robotic assortment of history’s greatest scientists and inventors keeps going haywire. Is this sabotage, robo-geddon…or something more sinister? To unravel the mystery, they’ll have to keep adding all-new gadgets to their cyborg glove as they stay one step ahead of a hidden adversary. Together with zany scientist Uncle Newt and their friends Silas and DeMarco, Nick and Tesla won’t give up until an answer is found…but can they do it before time runs out? In this book, readers will learn how to construct a super-cyborg gadget glove that has four incredible functions: LED signal light, ultra-loud emergency alarm, handy sound recorder, and UV secret message revealer. Science and electronics have never been so much fun!

My Review
I first started this series because I thought my nephews would like these books. They do but so do I. I have grown close to Nick, Tesla, their uncle, and friends. I enjoy seeing what fun mischief that Nick and Tesla will find themselves in next. Each book is a grand adventure in itself. Plus, I like the fact that the books feature step by step instructions on how to make some of the cool gadgets that Nick, Tesla and their friends use to help them solve each mystery. The one featured in this book really has me excited. So much in fact, that I just might have to make a super-cyborg gadget glove or two of my own.

Butterfly Skin


A new psychological thriller that will take you into the dark depths of contemporary Russia.

Moscow is plagued with a series of gruesome murders. Ksenia, an ambitious young editor in the news department of a small but influential online journal decides to track down the serial killer, devising an elaborate website to entrap him and thereby boost her company's profile. She soon realises, however, that her obsession with the psychopath reflects something more deeply disturbing: her own unconscious mixture of horror and fascination with the sexual savagery of the murders.

Through his riveting plot and singular characters, Kuznetsov explores the sometimes pathological fallout resulting from our instant connectivity in the emerging world of emails, facebook, twitter, and other forms of electronic “intimacy.” The novel has enjoyed a cult following in Russia.

Purchase a copy

My Review

This book is not your typical horror/serial killer book. It reads a little slow but it also reads like the poetic diary of a serial killer. Which sounds both intriguing and scary to climb into the mind of a psychopath. I am going to stop right here for a moment and throw out a huge warning that if you do not like gore then do not read this book. There is a lot of details spent talking about the murders. Which for me was not a problem. But for others it could be and even cause nightmares. One thing I did find interesting was how the killer talked about killing the women but in seasons. So, how spring affected the woman and how she died did differ from if the crime took place during winter. As much as I did like this book and the concept of it being very poetic, this very idea also kept me distant from the characters in the book. I did not become as emotionally attached and thus the reason that sometimes I struggled with the book in parts and stating it read slow. Overall, though I did like this book. International authors need to be recognized more for their work. With books like Butterfly Skin it does help.

About the Author
SERGEY KUZNETSOV was born in Moscow in 1966. In the 1990s he achieved a high profile as one of the pioneers of the internet in Russia, and has written for The New York TimesHarper’s BazaarPlayboyVogue and L’Officiel. His groundbreaking thriller BUTTERFLY SKIN has been translated into six languages, and in 2001 he became the first Russian journalist to receive a Knight Fellow scholarship from Stanford University. Besides being an entrepreneur and writer, he is editor-in-chief of Booknik, an internet publication on Jewish literature and culture. He lives in Paris.
About the Translator
ANDREW BROMFIELD has been a full-time translator from Russian for more than twenty years. He was a co-founder and original editor of Glas, a journal of modern Russian literature in English translation. His numerous translations include Mikhail Shishkin’s Letter-Book (The Light and the Dark), works by the Strugatsky brothers, Vladimir Voinovich, Pavel Pepperstein, Olga Slavnikova and Andrey Kurkov, as well as most books by Victor Pelevin and Boris Akunin, Mikhail Bulgakov’s A Dead Man’s Memoirs (A Theatrical Novel) and A Dog’s Heart (An Appalling Story), Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace – the Original Version and the two-volume Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


What do you do in your teenage years when you realize what your parents taught you wasn't enough? You must go out and find books and poetry and pop songs and bad heroes—and build yourself.

It's 1990. Johanna Morrigan, fourteen, has shamed herself so badly on local TV that she decides that there's no point in being Johanna anymore and reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde—fast-talking, hard-drinking gothic hero and full-time Lady Sex Adventurer. She will save her poverty-stricken Bohemian family by becoming a writer—like Jo in Little Women, or the Bront√ęs—but without the dying-young bit.

By sixteen, she's smoking cigarettes, getting drunk, and working for a music paper. She's writing pornographic letters to rock stars, having all the kinds of sex with all the kinds of men, and eviscerating bands in reviews of 600 words or less.

But what happens when Johanna realizes she's built Dolly with a fatal flaw? Is a box full of records, a wall full of posters, and a head full of paperbacks enough to build a girl after all?

Imagine The Bell Jar—written by Rizzo from Grease. How to Build a Girl is a funny, poignant, and heartbreakingly evocative story of self-discovery and invention, as only Caitlin Moran could tell it.

My Review

You know you are in for a wild ride when you crack open a book and one of the first lines in the first page of the first chapter is "I am not asleep." " I am masturbating." Yep, and from this point on the book only gets crazier and crazier. Joanna's father is one of those dads that you either like or don't like. There is no in between. Then there is Joanna's mother. I liked her a lot. She told it like it was. Finally there is Joanna. She is just like a typical teenager. She always has something to say. Often times without a filter. Also, Joanna seemed to have lits of angst. Which again could be because she is a teenager. I like that she did not let her "plus" size status keep her from being shy. A word that I would not use to describe Joanna. Thus the reason for the language. There is lots of language. However I was not offended by it because it actually had a purpose and was not just used to be used.

OMG line in book page 114 as quoted by Joanna's mother because Joanna was being dramatic about her job. "Maybe you could work in Argos as a prostitute." "They could list you in the catalog, and people could queue up and wait for you to come down the conveyor belt."

About this author

Caitlin Moran had literally no friends in 1990, and so had plenty of time to write her first novel, The Chronicles of Narmo, at the age of fifteen. At sixteen she joined music weekly, Melody Maker, and at eighteen briefly presented the pop show 'Naked City' on Channel 4. Following this precocious start she then put in eighteen solid years as a columnist on The Times – both as a TV critic and also in the most-read part of the paper, the satirical celebrity column 'Celebrity Watch' – winning the British Press Awards' Columnist of The Year award in 2010 and Critic and Interviewer of the Year in 2011. The eldest of eight children, home-educated in a council house in Wolverhampton, Caitlin read lots of books about feminism – mainly in an attempt to be able to prove to her brother, Eddie, that she was scientifically better than him. Caitlin isn't really her name. She was christened 'Catherine'. But she saw 'Caitlin' in a Jilly Cooper novel when she was 13 and thought it looked exciting. That's why she pronounces it incorrectly: 'Catlin'. It causes trouble for everyone.

Monday, September 22, 2014


On a hot summer night in a Midwestern town, a high school teenage prank goes horrifically awry. Alcohol, guns, and a dare. Within minutes, as events collide, innocents becomes victims—with tragic outcomes altering lives forever, a grisly and unfortunate scenario all too familiar from current real-life headlines. But victims can also become survivors, and as we come to know each character through his/her own distinctive voice and their interactions with one another, we see how, despite pain and guilt, they can reach out to one another, find a new equilibrium, and survive.

Told through multiple points of view in naturalistic free verse and stream of consciousness, this is an unforgettable, haunting tale.

My Review

I have to say that when I first picked up this book and saw that it was written all in verses I had my reservations. I thought ok, this is going to be a bust and I am going to put this book down in in a few pages. Well I did not put the book down. In fact, I actually really enjoyed the book. Although, all of the different points of views/voices coming at me all at once was a little difficult to get them all straight. As I kept reading then I was able to figure out who was who and it was better.

In the beginning, I did not care for some of the people in this book. Yet again as I got farther into the book, I grew to care about them all. I called them people and not characters as it felt like I was reading about real people and how they were reacting emotionally to this event brought me into their world. I did not leave until the end.

As I was reading this book, it made me instantly think of this poem. I now have a nice appreciation for books that are different and not written in the same standard format.

Drunk Driving Poem." (The author is unknown.)

I went to a party, Mom,
I remembered what you said.
You told me not to drink, Mom,
So I drank soda instead.
I really felt proud inside, Mom,
The way you said I would.
I didn't drink and drive, Mom,
Even though the others said I should.
I know I did the right thing, Mom,
I know you are always right.
Now the party is finally ending, Mom,
As everyone is driving out of sight.
As I got into my car, Mom,
I knew I'd get home in one piece.
Because of the way you raised me,
So responsible and sweet.
I started to drive away, Mom,
But as I pulled out into the road,
The other car didn't see me, Mom,
And hit me like a load.
As I lay there on the pavement, Mom,
I hear the policeman say,
"The other guy is drunk," Mom,
And now I'm the one who will pay.
I'm lying here dying, Mom...
I wish you'd get here soon.
How could this happen to me, Mom?
My life just burst like a balloon.
There is blood all around me, Mom,
And most of it is mine.
I hear the medic say, Mom,
I'll die in a short time.
I just wanted to tell you, Mom,
I swear I didn't drink.
It was the others, Mom.
The others didn't think.
He was probably at the same party as I.
The only difference is, he drank
And I will die.
Why do people drink, Mom?
It can ruin your whole life.
I'm feeling sharp pains now.
Pains just like a knife.
The guy who hit me is walking, Mom,
And I don't think it's fair.
I'm lying here dying
And all he can do is stare.
Tell my brother not to cry, Mom.
Tell Daddy to be brave.
And when I go to heaven, Mom,
Put "Daddy's Girl" on my grave.
Someone should have told him, Mom,
Not to drink and drive.
If only they had told him, Mom,
I would still be alive.
My breath is getting shorter, Mom.
I'm becoming very scared.
Please don't cry for me, Mom.
When I needed you,
you were always there.
I have one last question, Mom.
Before I say good bye.
I didn't drink and drive,
So why am I the one to die?