Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Sunday Salon

I want to thank Rai Aren for sending me Secret of the Sands to review.

Alexandra "Alex" and Mitch are both archaeologists.They have been on many dig sites but none of them have been as exciting as this latest dig at never the Great Sphinx at Giza in Egypt. Alex and Mitch discover a chest. Hidden inside of the chest are some cylinders. One of the cylinders contained a book filled with paintings and writing in as well as many other artifacts, dating as far back as 12,000 B.C. This is a great discovery for Alex and Mitch but there is just only small problem...these artifacts should even exist, so what does this mean? Strange things have started happening. Alex's dreams are filled with people, she doesn't know, living in another world. Alex and Mitch try to figure out how these artifacts came to be here as well as what Alex's dreams are trying to tell her. These are the types of questions Alex and Mitch will try to answer in Secret of the Sands.

Authors Rai Aren & Tavius E. both share a common love of ancient Egypt and archeology. It shows in their first novel Secret of the Sands. It is always a great thing when you can read a book where an author incorporates their interests into the story because than me as a reader senses this in the storyline and the characters, which in turn gets me really excited to read that book. Secret of the Sands mixes mystery, ancient Egypt, romance, and as well as paranormal elements to make a fascinating novel. I am sure authors Rai Aren & Tavius E.'s sequel Destiny of the Sands will be just as good if not better.

For more information about this book or the sequel. Head on over to

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Scoundrel Days of Hobo Highbrow

I want to thank Annette with Schwindt-PR for sending me this book to review.

Hobo Highbrow lives by himself. He is a writer. He keeps pretty much to himself works except for occasionally going out with friends like Helle. She was the girl of his dreams. The one thing you can always count on with Hobo is that he is consistent. You could set your watch by him. So you could imagine what happens when Hobo’s life gets shook upside down and things start unraveling. Hobo turns to the one thing that can help him cope with this ordeal and that is...listening to a-ha music.

Mr. Jon Buscall's translation from Norwegian to English is pretty good. Hobo Highbrow seemed a little narcissistic to me in the way that he had to have everything looking, sitting, feeling, acting a certain way. For Hobo this worked for him as he always had a reason for his madness, which is why I found him to be so interesting. I found this book interesting. For me as I was reading it, I felt like I was reading a script for a play…a very modern but yet sad, romantic play. Where sometimes you just can’t find the right words to describe how you are feeling and the only way to do so is though an a-ha song. I found the story to be simple yet very thought provoking in a good way. Mr. Christiansen did a good job with The Scoundrel Days of Hobo Highbrow.

You can purchase this book on Mr. Christiansen's website at

Starting Monday till the end of the year you can purchase this book for a discounted price. So head on over now and check it out.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County

Here is another book that releases January 2009.

By the time Truly was born, she had already been big news. Truly’s mother died giving born to Truly that it was speculated that Truly killed her mother. Dr. Morgan said Truly’s size was a new record. Truly and her older sister, Serena Jane are complete opposites. Truly is a big gal, that when she was growing up she had to wear boy’s clothing; where as her sister, Serena Jane looked like a china doll with her blond hair and petite frame. Truly turned out to be the star of Aberdeen but not the kind of star anyone wants to be. While Truly tries to get by day by day; her sister Serena Jane has caught the attention of Dr. Morgan’s son, Robert. Robert thinks Serena Jane s the most beautiful woman he has ever seen and he wants her for his own. He will do anything to keep her.

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County is a charming, endearing read. In my opinion Truly was the prettier of the two sisters. Truly is beautiful both on the inside as well as the outside. She had a big heart that reached everyone; no matter whether they liked her or not. Serena Jane could have sided with the rest of the town and rejected her sister but she loved her sister and it showed in the end. Tiffany Baker shows just how talented she is with her debut novel The Little Giant of Aberdeen County. Tiffany has just gained a fan in me.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Can you Beat the Reaper

First I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving Day and if you don't celebrate, I hope you have a great rest of the week.

My treat to you is a brand new book that you will want to add to your wish list to get when it releases in January 2009.

Peter Brown is not your normal Manhattan ER doctor. When it comes to skeletons in the closest, he has tons. One of those skeletons he forced him to enter into the Witness Protection Program. Peter has been fighting with his demons for years. Peter was ready to start his day out like any other morning…with a walk in the park but there he gets mugged, than he receives an invite by a sexy pharmaceutical nurse for some TLC, and finally as if Peter’s day couldn’t get any worse, he new patient has tie ins with the Mob and is someone who happens to know who Peter Brown really is from his prior life. Now Peter his to keep his new patient from dying or pay the consequences.

Josh Bazell is one of the freshest new authors I have read. Beat the Reaper starts off 2009 the right way. Peter Brown lays it all out. He holds back no punches and tells it like it is…no bullshit. This is why I like Peter. I do have to admit that at first when Peter would travel back in time to his prior life and than the present I did get a little lost but I blame this on the fact that I was so focused and into the book that the storyline ran all together for me. Once I figured out what was going on after the first time, I really got back into the story again. The footnotes that Mr. Bazell inserted throughout the book with his medical knowledge were very informative and helped add a little something extra to the book. I hope to see another book soon from Mr. Bazell.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

2009 Suspense & Thriller Challenge

J. Kaye is hosting this book challenge again. Seeing as to how I love to reading this genre and I learned about this challenge too late this year. I am glad to see J. Kaye hosting it again.

I am signing up for this challenge. You should too. LOL. It will be fun! Click this link to sign up

Rules of this challenge:

* Read TWELVE (12) different sub-genres of thrillers in 2009.
* You do NOT need to select your books ahead of time. Also, you may change as you go.
* Your books can crossover into other challenges.
* You don't need a blog to join in this challenge. For those who do, this is important. When you sign up under Mr. Linky, list the direct link to your post where your S/T books will be listed. If you list just your blog’s URL, it will be removed.

This is the list of sub-genres of thrillers we've discovered so far:

Action thrillers - often feature a race against the clock, contains lots of violence, and an obvious antagonist. Treasure hunt, search for a lost archeological site, the world's lost meteorite, a mystery lost to time--action-adventure brings back our childhood fantasies of being the adventurer. Examples are Sahara by Clive Cussler, Thunderhead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Tyrannosaur Canyon by Douglas Preston Amateur Detective mystery - solved by an amateur, who generally has some profession or affiliation that provides ready access to information about the crime.

Comic Thrillers - a thriller played for laughs, whether through a spoof of the genre or wisecracking interplay between the protagonists.

Conspiracy thriller - In which the hero/heroine confronts a large, powerful group of enemies whose true extent only he/she recognizes. The Chancellor Manuscript and The Aquitane Progression by Robert Ludlum fall into this category. Cozy mystery - takes place in a small town—sometimes in a single home—where all the suspects are present and familiar with one another, except the detective, who is usually an eccentric outsider.

Crime thriller - offers a suspenseful account of a successful or failed crime or crimes. This subgenre often focuses on the criminal(s) rather than a policeman. Crime thrillers usually emphasize action over psychological aspects. Central topics of these films include murders, robberies, chases, shootouts, and double-crosses are central ingredients. I think the Dexter series would work well here. Eco-thriller is where the protagonist must avert or rectify an environmental or biological calamity - often in addition to dealing with the usual types of enemies or obstacles present in other thriller genres. This environmental component often forms a central message or theme of the story. Examples include Nicholas Evans's The Loop, C. George Muller's Echoes in the Blue, and Wilbur Smith's Elephant Song, all of which highlight real-life environmental issues.

Futuristic Eco-thrillers are of the Science Fiction genre that proposes ideas that will or may occur and include such works as Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy and Ian Irvine's Human Rites Trilogy. Erotic thriller simply put consists of erotica and thriller. The genre includes such books as Basic Instinct by Richard Osborne, and Fatal Attraction.

Disaster thriller - In which the main conflict is due to some sort of natural or artificial disaster, such as floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, etc., or nuclear disasters as an artificial disaster. Examples include Stormy Weather by Carl Hiaasen, Tremor by Winston Graham, and the 1974 film Earthquake.

Drama thriller - In which the story consists of the elements of a thriller and drama film. These films are usually slower paced and involves a great deal of character development along with plot twists. Examples include The Illusionist, The Interpreter and The Prestige. Forensic mystery - solved through the forensics lab, featuring much detail and scientific procedure.

Futuristic mystery/thrillers - a crime set in the future. Hard-boiled mystery - is tougher and grittier than soft- or medium-boiled stories. They often incorporate violence, no-holds-barred descriptions of crime scenes, and sexual encounters. They usually feature a lone-wolf private detective who is cynical yet quixotic. Think Sara Paretsky, Ian Rankin, Raymond Chandler, Michael Connelly, James Elroy, Clyde Ford (The Long Mile).

Historical Thriller are thrillers set in the past, usually combined with other subgenres. This particular subgenre is rather uncommon. Examples of this are Black Order by James Rollins and The Jester by James Patterson and Andrew Gross. Hitman Thriller would be where victims are being hunted by a hitman. Dean Koontz's The Good Guy is an example.

Horror thrillers has the conflict between the main characters are mental, emotional, and physical. Examples of this include World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks and 28 Days Later: The Aftermath by Steve Niles. What sets the horror thriller apart is the main element of fear throughout the story. The main character(s) is not only up against a superior force, but they are or will soon become the victims themselves and directly feel the fear that comes by attracting the monster's attention. Other well-known examples are Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and Thomas Harris's The Silence of the Lambs.

Inverted mystery - one where the killer is know and the story is about how the police go about proving and catching the killer- The Columbo movies were based on this genre.

Legal thrillers are where the lawyer-heroes/heroines confront enemies outside, as well as inside, the courtroom and are in danger of losing not only their cases but their lives. The Pelican Brief by John Grisham and the Jack Swyteck novels by James Grippando are good examples of the type.

Literary thrillers concern rare books but this one was about art crime. (added by Violette Severin) Locked Room - mystery in which the crime is apparently committed under impossible circumstances (but eventually elicits a rational explanation).

Medical thrillers are which the hero/heroine are doctors or medical personnels working to solve an expanding medical problem. Robin Cook, Michael Palmer, and Tess Gerritsen are well-known authors of this subgenre.

Military Thrillers - a thriller featuring a military protagonist, often working behind enemy lines or as part of a specialized force Murder Mystery - focuses on one type of criminal case. Usually, there is a murder victim, and the detective must figure out who killed him, the same way he solves other crimes.

Mob Mysteries or Thillers are about mobsters, and their life account. It can describe the crimes they have committed, or the mob's general development.

Police Procedural Thrillers - a crime thriller that follows the police as they work their way through a case. Political thrillers where the hero/heroine must ensure the stability of the government that employs him. Good examples are Protect and Defend by Vince Flynn, Presidential Games by Alvin E. Hargis, and Happy Holidays: A Political Thriller by J.D. Smith.

Private Detective mystery - Focused on the independent snoop-for-hire, these have evolved from tough-guy "hard-boiled" detectives to the more professional operators of today. Psychological thrillers have (until the often violent resolution) the conflict between the main characters is mental and emotional, rather than physical. The Alfred Hitchcock films Suspicion, Shadow of a Doubt, and Strangers on a Train and David Lynch's bizarre and influential Blue Velvet are notable examples of the type, as is The Sixth Sense by M. Night Shyamalan and The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (who also wrote Strangers).

Religious thrillers were popularized by the blockbuster, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. This subgenre uses the rich and long history of religion to build stories with high stakes and deadly politics. More examples are Map of Bones by James Rollins, The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry, and The Last Cato by Matilde Asensi.

Romantic thriller is where the protagonists are romantically involved.

Sci-Fi thrillers - Michael Crichton's first novel, The Andromeda Strain (1969), still ranks as one of the top science fiction thrillers of all time. What could be scarier than microscopic killer germs run amok? Representing the larger end of the weird-creature spectrum, Mammoth by John Varley (2005) imaginatively spins a yarn starring a billionaire, a brilliant nerd, and a gifted animal wrangler whose newest charge happens to be a woolly mammoth.

Serial Killer thriller is an extremely popular subgenre of thriller. In this subgenre, a serial killer is terrorizing a group of people with horrific violence. The detective's goal is to stop the killer before he takes his next victim. Examples here are The Skin Gods by Richard Montanari, The Narrows by Michael Connelly, Seduction in Death by J. D. Robb Spy thrillers (also a subgenre of spy fiction) are where the hero is generally a government agent who must take violent action against agents of a rival government or (in recent years) terrorists. Examples include From Russia with Love by Ian Fleming, The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum, and television series such as Mission: Impossible and 24 (the latter demonstrating a break from the norm by Robert Ludlum, as it is as much a psychological thriller as a spy thriller.)

Supernatural thrillers are in which the conflict is between main characters and a supernatural powers. Carrie by Stephen King and Unbreakable by M. Night Shyamalan are notable examples of this genre. This type of thriller combines tension of the regular thriller with such basic horror oriented ingredients as ghosts, the occult, and psychic phenomenon; the supernatural thriller combines these with a frightening but often restrained film. They also generally eschew the more graphic elements of the horror film in favor of sustaining a mood of menace and unpredictability; supernatural thrillers often find the protagonists either battling a malevolent paranormal force or trapped in a situation seemingly influenced or controlled by an other-worldly entity beyond their comprehension.

Techno-thrillers are work that usually focuses upon military action, in which technology (usually military technology) is described in detail and made essential to the reader's/viewer's understanding of the plot. Tom Clancy defined and popularized the genre with his The Hunt for Red October, and is considered to be the "Father of the Technothriller."

Terrorist thriller is when someone blows up a building and are usually from the middle east or destroys something. True-Crime thrillers - The most famous book in this nonfiction genre is Truman Capote's In Cold Blood (1966). The author spent months in the Midwest painstakingly retracing the steps of two young rural killers -- and then wrote about it chillingly. Another excellent and more recent true-crime book is Green River, Running Red by Ann Rule (2004), the true story of the notorious Green River serial killer who terrorized the Seattle area for decades.

Where is Justice?

John Carr otherwise known as Oliver Stone and the rest of the Camel Club are back in David Baldacci’s latest book Divine Justice.

John is on the run after his recent assassinations have pissed off some people, particularly Macklin Hayes with the CIA. Now John is American’s most wanted man. John makes his way to the small town of Divine, Virginia. A town where the biggest attractions are its mine and Dead Rock State prison. John figures no one will find him in Divine. To John’s misfortune he becomes the town’s hero. He saves two young men. In the process of saving one of the young men, Danny, John starts forming a close relationship bond to Danny’s mother Abby. John was not planning on staying in Divine, Virginia but now he doesn’t want to leave just yet. It seems this small town has a secret of its own. Some people feel John has worn his welcome out and it is now time for him to leave. Plus the CIA is closing in on John.

John Carr has seen and done it all so dealing with some small town bad guys is like a snack before the main course to him. If If there was an award for being one of the best assassins’s than it should go to John Carr. I have to admit that I have not read any of the other books in this series, so I was surprised by how easily I enjoyed this book. I read it in a matter of a few hours. Having said this, I never felt like I had missed too much by not reading the other books. I now want to go back and read all the rest of the books in the Camel Club series.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Child 44

Leo Stepanovich Demidov is a member of the MGB, the State Security Force for the Soviet Union and one of MGB’s top investigative detectives. When it comes to loyalty, Leo is the most loyalists of men. He serves his country well and for that he is rewarded handsomely. In a country where any talk of disloyalty whether it be from reading a book or talk of being a traitor, can be punishment by death.

Suddenly Leo finds himself in a moral situation. He is put in charge of investigating his wife, Raisa. Accusations have been made against Raisa saying she is a traitor to her country. Leo now has to make a choice whether he turns his wife in like a good agent or stand up for him and his wife. The choice is obvious. Leo gets demoted to the lowest of lows when he is sent away to be part of the militia. His duties now consist of him cleaning prisoner’s cells. When the body of a fourteen year old girl is found with her mouth filled with dirt and her intestines ripped out, Leo believes this was no accident but indeed a murder. He starts investigating and what he discovers is more heinous than anything Leo could imagine.

I kept seeing Child 44 showing up everywhere on the web. People were saying good things about this book. I am proud to say I too can’t stop saying wonderful things about Child 44. This can only be achieved by an author like Tom Rob Smith. Mr. Rob Smith fused this book with such raw emotions of love, loyalty, loss, and trust. When you take a character like Leo, who experiences all of these emotions at the same time you end up with something truly amazing that will leave readers talking about Child 44 for a long time to come. I know I will. Child 44 is Tom Rob Smith’s first novel. He should be proud of it. I give this book five stars and if I could give it more I would. I anxiously await his next novel.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Simon the ColdHeart

I want to thank Danielle with for sending me this book to review.

Simon of Beauvallet otherwise as known as Simon the Cold Heart for a good reason, quickly rises from barely being anyone to someone of great importance and close friend to King Henry. Simon may seem quiet and soft spoken but he didn’t talk just to be the center of attention. When Simon spoke it was because he had something important to communicate and you better listen. Because of this fact, Simon earned the respect of everyone he managed under him, though it might seem harsh or even cold hearted at times and thus the name Simon the Cold Heart came into play. After the Battle of Agincourt, Simon is ordered to take control over the city of Belremy. There Simon meets the lovely Lady Margaret. Lady Margaret is not easily persuaded by Simon’s advances towards her. So than a game begins to see if Simon can woe the Lady Margaret over with his…heart.

I found Simon the Cold Heart to be a very interesting man of both statue and chivalry. I am sad to admit that I have not read Georgette Heyer before though I enjoy reading historical novels. Ms. Heyer’s love of history showed in her writing. She really did her research down to the very smallest of details. I can see why now so many readers love reading Georgette Heyer and her books. Her writing can become very addictive. One minute you are reading and the next thing you realize hours have pasted because you go so engrossed into the story.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Sunday Salon

I want to thank Ryan with for sending me this book to review.

When Qanta A. Ahmed, MD. was a little girl, her and her family moved to England. Her family is Muslim. While growing up Qanta was free to live and dress how she wanted, although her mother did wear the traditional abbayah. Qanta attended the University of Nottingham Medical School where she earned her medical degree. To Qanta’s surprise the government will not extend Qanta’s visa to stay any longer. So she heads back to her homeland, where she experiences a culture shock.

First there are the women covered from head to toe, women should not go anywhere alone as this is just asking for trouble, and the men are in charge of everything. For Qanta she was not used to this, so everything was a new experience for her, even though she was Muslim. Qanta kind of expected that when she returned to her homeland that she would be accepted right away and that was not the case.

Qanta shares her journey as well as the lessons she learned in her memoir titled In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom. I found this in depth look into a country I knew little about to be intriguing. I got to read how the people there lived and how it was if you were a woman. Qanta is very courageous for standing up for what she believed in, as it was not a easy task. Qanta found herself in a country she herself has barley known. As far as memoirs go In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom is a very good one.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Soul and Shadow

I want to thank Susan McLeod for sending me her book to review.

Lily Evans is an artist, who specializes in ancient Egyptian portraits. Maybe that’s why Dame Ursula Allingham approached her for Lily’s help. Ursula is a famous archeologist who unearthed Amisihathor. Lily will never forget the day that Ursula told her these words “I have a story to tell you”. Mrs. Allingham wants Lily to solve the true story about what happened between Amisihathor and Kahotep, her lover. Lily agrees. As Lily starts reading up on Amisihathor, something magical happens and it’s like Lily has gone back in time to another century.

At just one hundred and twenty-four pages, Soul and Shadow is a quick but fun read. You can read Soul and Shadow when you are needing a break from your everyday activities. Susan McLeod mixes mystery and romance into this book. I thought the way she intertwined Lily and Amisihathor paths together was interesting. I felt like I was right there with Lily every step of the way. Susan made ancient history appealing again. I don’t know what else I can say about this book other than well done Ms. McLeod.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Angel of Mercy

I want to thank J. Kaye for sending me this book to review.

For Mercy Hollings, who is a hypnotherapist having an extraordinary talent of helping people get over their problems comes in handy. The only people that know about
Mercy’s special power is her best friend Sukey and boyfriend Sam. Mercy has a problem and that is she cares too much for people that when something bad happens to them, Mercy loses control and all I have to say is that the bad guys better watch out as she is coming after them. Mercy may have taken on her toughest case yet, when a little girl by the name of Grace requires Mercy’s help. Mercy discovers that something very terrible has happened to Grace. Now Mercy is on the prowl to bring justice for Grace.

Angel of Mercy is the second book to feature Mercy Hollings. Beg for Mercy is the first. The only thing both books have in common is that they both have Mercy as the main character but that is where the similarities end as Angel of Mercy can be read as a stand alone book. I can tell you though that this is one series you will want to read from the beginning as Toni Andrews will go on your list to read for a long time. Mercy is someone who when you first meet her comes out very harsh but once you get to know her, but if she likes you then thank your lucky stars as you have just inherited an Angel on your side. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Death List

I want to thank J. Kaye for sending me this book to review.

Mystery author, Matt Wells was in a bit of a stump. His books weren’t best sellers anymore and he was receiving rejections for his new ones. Matt seems to have maintained one faithful fan. This fan corresponds with Matt by email at least three times a week. At first the emails were innocent enough but recently they have started getting more personal. All Matt knows is that this fan calls himself The White Devil. The White Devil seems to be holding all the cards in the deck by teasing Matt. The White Devil starts killing everyone that has ever scorned Matt Wells. The police’s number one suspect is none other than Matt. Matt decides to take action but will it be too late?

The Death List plays on something that you have to admit you probably wished would come true at least once or twice and that is…making your own death list made up of all the people you didn’t like and won’t feel bad if something bad happened to them. Think of The Death List as the new Misery, with Matt Wells playing the author and The White Devil in Kathy Bates’s role as the psycho fan but only ten times more gruesome. I give Paul Johnston two thumbs up for a job well done with The Death List. I am making my own list of books that I want to get and you can bet that Mr. Johnston’s next release, The Soul Collector will be on the top of my list. So for this Christmas instead of making it a white one, instead make it a black Christmas by reading The Death List.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Immortal Warrior

Two hundred years ago, Ivar Graycloak, a warrior with the Vikings was cursed by a sorceress to live a life as an eagle by day and a man by night. Ivar has lived alone, which is fine with him till the king commands Ivar to marry. Ivar thought he would have a hard time finding someone to settle down with but that was before he laid eyes on Lady Alaida.

When Lady Alaida first met Ivar, she despised him and never wanted to see him in her presence again. In fact Alaida hated Ivar so much; she was planning on running away to keep from marrying him. There was just something in Ivar’s eye that convinced Lady Alaida to change her mind and give Ivar a second chance. Second chances really do count when you know how to make the best of them. Ivar did just that in the bedroom on his and Lady Alaida’s wedding night. How long through can Ivar keep up his charade before Lady Alaida grows weary of it.

Immortal Warrior is the first book in a new series by Lisa Hendrix. At first I thought Ivar’s character was a very tortured soul but after reading more, I realized he lived a life we would all love to live. The freedom to soar by day and come home at night and be with the one you love. Unfortunately I did get lost a few times thoughout the book but even with this factor, I still liked this book. Immortal Warrior turned out to be a good start to this new series by Lisa Hendrix. I am glad to say that I would give Lisa Hendrix another try and read the next book in the series.

Thank you Tracee for letting me host Lisa Hendrix.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

You want to play a game?

I want to thank J. Kaye with for sending me this book to review.

FBI agent Nicole and Private investigator Griffin thought when they ended the Beauty Queen killer that the nightmares would end but they were wrong…dead wrong. Nicole Baxter and Griffin Powell team up once again to stop a serial killer only this time it wasn’t by choice. They both received a personal invite by the killer himself. Nicole and Griffin will do everything in their powers to put a final stop to the madness.

The killer or as he likes to call himself “the hunter” is glad that both Griffin and Nicole have accepted his challenge. He was ready for a new and worthy opponent to hunt and he has just the perfect prey in FBI agent Baxter. The hunter likes to play with his victims first by letting the women experience temporary freedom and then hunting them down for the ultimate kill. Also this killer scalps the women for trophies. Agent Baxter’s scalp will be his pride and glory.

The Murder Game is the second book in this series. The Dying Game is the first. Though I have not read The Dying Game yet, you don’t necessarily have to read it in order to enjoy The Murder Game. It’s been a little while since I have read a Beverly Barton book and after reading The Murder Game a book that I have been wanting to read for a little bit now, I am excited to say I won’t let another long period go by again without reading one of Ms. Barton’s books again. Once I started this book I had a very hard time wanting to put it down. It moved at a great pace. The way the killer took on his prey was very sinister and I loved it. I am already on the hunt for the next book I am going to read by Ms. Barton.

Monday, November 17, 2008

What do you get when a mystery author decides to turn jewel thief?

I want to thank Caitlin with for sending me this book to review.

Jewelle Dawson knows all about secret identities as she has been living in the Witness Protection Program for many years. She was put into the program as she maintains some very personal knowledge of the Gambrelini mob. Jewlle appreciates everything her handler, John Murray has done for her but Jewelle has grown weary and wants to life again. She tells John that she is taking a trip to Barcelona, Spain on a cruise ship. John tries to talk Jewelle out of the trip as the mob is still looking for her. Jewelle is aware of this fact but still proceeds to make her plans.

Aboard the Emerald of the Sea are some very interesting characters. There are mystery and eccentric author, Frances Wakefield and her husband, Randy and her mother, Sarah Picco, Kenny Scott, a Vietnam veteran, as well as Max Caldwell, a wealthy, handsome playboy and gambler and Paul Rosini, a widower and airline pilot.

The last thing Jewelle expected was to fall in love with two men. Max intrigues Jewelle with his hobby as a gambler. Max is teaching Jewelle how to be a professional gambler. Jewelle has never felt such a high. Than there is John, who is the complete opposite of Max. John is quiet, charming and a romantic. He has swept Jewelle off her feet. Jewelle doesn’t know it but the mob have discovered her identity and are moving in quickly.

When I first read the summary for this book, I thought this sounds like something I would enjoy reading. I didn’t realize just how much I would enjoy this book. A big factor that played a part in my reading pleasure was all the different characters. Each one brought something fun and exciting to the scenes. There was not a dull moment to be found in this story. I have to admit, I can see why Jewelle had such a hard time choosing between John and Max as they were both nice guys. Ok, so the best and worse part in The Exchange was the ending and let me tell you why. It ended as a cliffhanger but gave me hope that Inga C. Ellzey would continue with these characters and for that I am glad. I can’t wait.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Contest Winners

Sorry I am late posting winners. I had two book contests end yesterday and they were for 5 copies each of Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips and Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst.

Lost and Found Winners are:

S. Krishna
Shooting Star Mag

Gods Behaving Badly Winners are:

Gwendolyn B.
A Real Librarian

100+ Book Challenge

J. Kaye is hosting this challenge. Since I read tons of books this challenge seems like it will be easy! LOL

Here are the guidelines:

1) You can join anytime as long as you don’t start reading your books prior to 2009.

2) This challenge is for 2009 only. The last day to have all your books read is December 31, 2009.

3) You can join anytime between now and December 31, 2009.

4) If you don’t have a blog, please join our Yahoo Groups.

5) When you sign up under Mr. Linky, list the direct link to your post where your 100+ books will be listed. If you list just your blog’s URL, it will be removed.

6) All books count: children’s, YA, adults, fiction, non-fiction, how-tos, etc.

7) Feel free to post in the comment section or on Yahoo Groups your monthly progress as well as your favorite books that month.

8) If you have any questions, feel free to ask below or email me at Comments usually get a quicker response. ***Update: You do not have to decided on your books ahead of time. You can add or subtract from your list during the year.

Books for this Challenge: (I have to decide which ones but my goal is 125)

1. Return of the Rogue by Donna Fletcher
2. Night Play by Sherrilyn Kenyon
3. Captive of my Desires by Joanna Lindsey
4. Be Still my Vampire Heart by Kerrelyn Sparks
5. Trick My Truck but Don't Mess with My Heart by Luann McLane

Romance Reading Challenge 2009

My Friend Naida from The Bookworm is hosting again the Romance Reading Challenge. Since I do read these types of books and the rules sound simple I am joining.

Here's the rules:

1. Now, "Romance" isn't limited to steamy Harlequin novels. There is a huge selection of books in this category such as contemporary romance, historical romance, romantic suspense and paranormal romance to name a few. As long as the story has romantic love between the two main characters your selection will fit this challenge. The novels do not need to have a happy ending either, there can also be unrequited love.

2. Choose at least 5 novels read them between Jan 1st though Dec 31st 2009. You can change your choices at any time. Crossovers between other challenges are fine.

3. Read them at your own pace in 2009 then come here and post the link to your review(s).

4. Link your "RRC" choices here with any of these graphics.

5. Ready? Sign up here

Books for the Challenge are:

1. Trick My Truck but Don't Mess with My Heart by LuAnn McLane
2. Be Still My Vampire Heart by Kerrelyn Sparks
3. Return of the Rogue by Donna Fletcher
4. Night Play by Sherrilyn Kenyon
5. Captive of My Desiers by Joanna Lindsey

The Sunday Salon

I want to give a big thank you to Mr. O'Brien for sending me Final Breath to review. It does not release till December 30, 2008. You are in for a trick because Watch Them Die also re-releases in December.

Sydney Jordan is a newswoman for a weekly television show called Movers & Shakers. It is a show about normal people who have done heroic acts of kindness for others. It seems that someone does not appreciate all these different people getting their fifteen minutes of fame. In fact this person knows just how everyone should be rewarded for their acts. You know how you make someone laugh so hard they can’t stop. Some times that person will say “Stop it you are killing me”, well that’s exactly what the killer has in mind but this situation won’t be no laughing matter.

Someone is killing off one by one everyone that has ever been interviewed by Sydney for Movers & Shakers. Each time someone dies, that just means the killer is one step closer to killing his ultimate victim Sydney and when the times comes for him to make Sydney a star, he will take great pleasure on acting out the final scene. Because the killer will make sure that the last words coming out of Sydney’s mouth is her Final Breath.

One of my favorite genres to read is suspense thrillers and it will always be one of my favorites, thanks to outstanding, wonderful authors like Kevin O’Brien. Mr. O’Brien really knows how to keep his readers sitting on the edge of their seats filled with anticipation for what comes next. I first discovered this author when I read The Killing Spree and ever since then I have become hooked. Whenever I hear of a new book being released by Kevin I know without a doubt that I will be purchasing it. I know that picking up a Kevin O’Brien book is worth my while as well as a smart investment. I will leave you with just one final thought to ponder “Always watch your back, because you never know when you might draw your Final Breath”!

To check all Mr. O'Brien's book go to his website at

Saturday, November 15, 2008

To My Senses

I want to thank Alexandrea Weis for sending me a copy of her book to review.

Nicci Beauvoir is a debutante. She is not your typical society girl, which is hard to find in The Big Easy, New Orleans. Just because Nicci attends all the galas does not mean she likes going. The only good thing Nicci has to say about going to all the different parties is that she never gets bored; watching all the snobs making mockeries of them selves. Plus attending the galas helps Nicci keep track of who is dating whom. While attending one of the many galas, Nicci meets the most intriguing man by the name of David Alexander. Mr. Alexander has many talents as both a painter and part-time gigolo. David and Nicci soon become lovers but this budding romance may end before it’s even begun if certain people have anything to say about this relationship.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I shouldn’t be surprised as the characters were great and the storyline was seamless. Nicci turned out to be a good female lead. She had grace, compassion as well as actually being human. Not to say that debutantes are uncaring but because Nicci was the complete opposite of what I know of socialites that is why I fell in love with her and David’s story. A lesson to be told from this book is that “You can’t help where you came from but you can choose who you give your heart to”. To My Senses by Alexandrea Weis is a wonderful debut novel by an up and coming new author. To My Senses is like finding a diamond amongst a pile of cubic zirconiums.

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Wicked Enemy

I want to thank Renee with for sending me this book to review.

Carson Phillips is a witch. She has served a famous mage by the name of Alvaro Magellan for years. Carson has just learned of Alvaro’s true nature and his plans for her. Carson escapes, taking with her a very powerful stone talisman. Alvaro sends some of his men after Carson. He wants the talisman and he doesn’t care how it comes back to him, which means Carson may live or die.

Nikodemuis is a demon warlord. He has an assignment…to take down Alvaro and his army including Carson. From all the things Nikodemuis has learned about Alvaro and Carson, he believes this will be one of the easiest tasks he will complete. Carson ends up running right into Nikodemuis arms. You know what happens when a witch and a warlord experience feelings for each other…the end product is My Wicked Enemy.

My Wicked Enemy is a great novel by Ms. Jewel’s. I can’t believe I haven't read a book by Ms. Jewel’s before, as she has been writing for years. I have read many paranormal stories about witches and warlords and I have to say that My Wicked Enemy is right up there with the best of them. It was packed full of energy and contained one heck of a steamy romance. I think that Nikodemuis is the first demon warlord that I have really liked. For a witch I thought Carson seemed weak at the beginning but when it came time to step up to the plate, Carson proved she could keep up with the best of them. I am happy to have discovered a new author in Carolyn Jewel.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wife in the North

I want to thank Julie with for sending me this book to review.

Wife in the North is Judith O’Reilly’s journey. Come along as Judith and her children are taken hostage to the North-Eastern part of England, especially Northumberland. Ok, so maybe Judith wasn’t really taken hostage for real but it felt like it to her. Who in their right mind would want to move from the city of London to the North? The answer is no one, that’s exactly what Judith is going to blame it on when she agreed to move…her mind. She blames it on her hormones due to the fact that she was pregnant with her and her husband’s third child. Now Judith has to learn to adapt to farm life, mud, horses, and worst of all no friends.

This has got to be one of the funniest books I have enjoyed reading in a long time. The way Mrs. O’Reilly would describe things and events that took place were priceless. Each situation in the book had a title. These titles were one of the things that made this book so much fun. Another fact was Mrs. O’Reilly’s children, especially her five-year old. Oh if the world could always see things through a five-year old’s eyes, out problems would seem so much simpler. I felt like I got to know The O’Reilly family and I fell in love with them. For anyone who wants to escape their dull, boring lives then you have got to read Wife in the North. You won’t be sorry you did.

If you want to learn more about this book then go to .

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Lady Flees Her Lord

I want to thank Danielle with for sending me this book to review.

Lady Lucinda Denbigh is stuck in an awful marriage that contains a husband who both physically and emotionally abuses her. Lucinda can’t tolerate it anymore. She runs away. Along the way she meets Lord Hugo Wanstead, a dashing man on the outside but a bear on the inside. With the death of his wife haunting Wanstead; he has become bitter. Plus it’s been way too long since he felt the touch of a woman. When Wanstead invited Lucinda into his home, he wasn’t prepared for the attraction he would feel towards Lucinda. The first time Lucinda met Hugo he was seemed unapproachable but after spending time with Hugo and living at his home, Lucinda has come to realize that under Hugo’s tough persona that he just might have a heart of gold. The only thing left between these two is…who is going to make the first move.

Historical romances will hold a dear place in my heart. I used to read them all the time, then slowly moving away from them but recently found myself going back to them. There is just something about time period books that I love. Every time I read a historical romance novel, I am instantly transported back in time to a place where the people are friendly and chivalry was at its highest. Regrettably though I have had a hard time finding a good historical romance book till now. The Lady Flees Her Lord is not only good but a winner! Michelle Ann Young should be proud of this book as it is everything a fan like I needed to really get excited about these types of stories again. I gladly look forward to reading Michelle’s next release.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Join the Fun

Yesterday you saw my review, well now read my interview with author, Cyndia Depre.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

Now that you have written a couple of books, do you find that you don’t need to stick to a schedule as much?

Absolutely. If I don’t feel like writing, I don’t write. That could also be a function of enjoying having ‘me’ time after so many years working for others. If anything is forced, it’s not fun. The same is true of writing. I’m afraid if I forced it, I wouldn’t love it as much as I do.

What drew you so much to writing that made you close your business that you had been running for ten years?

I’d always wanted to write, but knew the chances of making a living at it were small. So I became an accountant. Finally, when I was in my mid-forties, it hit me. Exactly when was I planning on writing a book? When would I begin to live my dream? I remember that day so clearly. It was the 4th of July and I was sitting in the gazebo with my dog, watching my husband putter around with his golf clubs. My mind wandered and I thought of an Oprah show I’d just seen and I noodled with book ideas, which is a common hobby of mine. That’s when I wondered when I planned on sitting down and doing it. I went inside, wrote the ending of Amanda’s Rib, and changed my life forever. A few weeks later I shut down the business and began seriously writing.

What did you spend your money on from your first sale?

This is funny, but I was so pleased with my purchase. I bought all different sizes and shapes of food storage containers. Then I tossed all those old margarine and Cool Whip containers I’d been using for leftovers. I still love those new containers. Maybe I should mention I’m kind of a nerd. Like my Olivia character, owning things doesn’t do a lot for me. My car is 17 years old. But it runs. My boat is 22. The motor works just fine. In my opinion money’s greatest value is not what it buys you, but the worries it frees you from. I hope that makes sense. I’m a saver because I don’t want to worry.

If one of your books was made into a movie, who would you want to play the male and female leads?

I’m so out of it with actors and actresses these days. I suppose Linda Hamilton would make a good Amanda Winslow. I haven’t seen her in a movie for a while, but I remember her as pretty in an interesting way. What’s his name, Aaron something, from No Reservations, would be a good Jack Lindsey. The gal with gorgeous eyes, Heather something, Roller Girl from Boogie Nights, would be a great Olivia Chatham. So would Rene Zelwinger (sp). Tucker Monroe…humm…I’m stuck. Maybe Robert Downey Junior. He’d be good. The ages of these people are all over the place, aren’t they?

Your books have your characters solving mysteries. Were you always interested in these types of books?

Always. I loved my Agatha Christie and Nancy Drew and Bobsey Twin books. Mysteries have always been my favorites. But I grew up reading everything. My parents got the Reader’s Digest Condensed Book series, and I’d read them cover to cover. History, biography, fiction, classics, everything was between those covers. Buying those books was probably the best money my parents ever spent.

Who are your favorite authors to read?

Dennis Lehane, Martha Grimes, Carroll O’Connell, Jeffery Deaver, Elizabeth George. There are a lot more, but these always leap to mind when thinking of my favorites. Their characters are so real I feel I know them.

If you could save three books, what three would they be and why?

What a good question! And nearly impossible to answer. It’ll change by tomorrow! But right now I’d say Shutter Island or Mystic River by Lehane, A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George, and A Maiden’s Grave by Jeffery Deaver.

What is the one thing that you hope your readers get out of your books?

Don’t judge others. Just accept people as they are, knowing most are only doing the best they can. I’d hate a world where we were all alike. Embrace and enjoy our differences.

What other future projects can we look forward to?

Another mystery! This one has new protagonists, but brings in characters from Amanda’s Rib and Oblivious. It will stand alone, but I know Amanda and Olivia and Jack and Tucker so well it helps to have them pop up once in a while.

Thank you again for this interview. Thank you

Check out Cyndia's website at

Again I want to thank Tracee for letting me host Cyndia Depre.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Are you Oblivious

Olivia Chatham has moved back home after she finds her husband, Sam getting it on with the exercise trainer. Now at thirty-years old, Olivia I finding her life may have hit rock bottom, especially with her living at home with her parents. Don’t count Olivia out just yet. Things are starting to shape up now that Olivia has met the sexy, Tucker Monroe. Professor Cheryl Mecklenberg body has been discovered and Tucker ends up becoming the number one murder suspect. Whether Olivia wants to or not, she will be dragged into this case, as she is part of Tucker’s alibi. Oh what’s a girl to do?

I really enjoyed reading Oblivious. This book was such a fun, quirky, comedic read. You know the saying “Always a bride’s maid, never the bride”. Well that saying was like Olivia, she was always the side kick till now. This story gave Olivia her chance to shine. She is a star. Olivia is the rich, spoiled girl with a heart of gold. That is why I fell in love with Olivia was because she was so nice and not stuck-up. This book had so many laughs that it made my reading fly by. I have not read many comedic mystery stories but after reading Oblivious, I realize that I need to check this genre out some more. Cyndia Depre is a newly discovered author for me but now that I have found her, you can bet I will be checking out more books by Cyndia.

I want to thank Tracee for letting me host Cyndia Depre. Come back tomorrow and see my interview with Cyndia.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Sunday Salon

I want to thank Mr. Cory for sending me a copy of his book to review.

Rob Jackson and his brother William”Bill” have not had the closest of relationships with each other. In fact they have not spoken to each other in five years. To Rob five years is still not long enough. So you can imagine when the phone rang that Rob had plenty to say but what he didn’t expect was to hear a female’s voice on the other line crying. Janet, Bill’s widow calls Rob to tell him that his brother Bill is dead. Rob hops on the first plane out. Bill’s death brings bad a flood of memories both good and bad of times that Rob and Bill spent with each other. Rob can also remember the first time he met Janet and took her out on a date. Janet was the love of Rob’s life. Then something happened that would change Rob, Janet and Bill’s lives forever.

At first the story started out a little slow and it didn’t really flow for me but once I got father into the book, I was greatly surprised to find myself getting into a good rhythm and I mean a good rhythm as I finished this book in one sitting. Rob had the worst luck that I have known of someone; he not only lost the girl of his dreams to his brother of all people but then Rob has to confront Janet. Plus Rob got cheated out of ever getting the chance to see if he and Bill could mend their relationship and become brothers again. I felt bad for Rob but because I could feel a connection with him, it helped when Rob would act or say something because then I understand where he was coming from. Even though Bill was a jerk, I felt sorry for him that he might never get to experience true love due to his wild ways. I think Janet feel victim to loving two brothers. Overall I have to say that Like Glass is a pretty good first novel by author, Matthew Cory.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Book Challenge

I discovered this new challenge over at J. Kaye's blog. It sounds like fun. I signed up, will you?

New Author Challenge

Here are the guidelines:

The challenge will run from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009.

Since this is an author challenge, there is no restriction on choosing your novels. They can definitely be from other challenges.

I want this to be an easy challenge, so you state how many new authors you want to try this year and then that’s your challenge.

For me, I’m trying another 50 new authors. If you want a number given to you, try for either 25 or 50.

Add your name to the Mr. Linky below. If you do not have your own blog, you can join the group blog here.

Bloggers or Non-Bloggers alike are welcome

When you read a new author, write your review (either at your site or the group blog) and then come back here and post a link to your review.

So head on over to Literary Escapism to sign up now

Contest Winners

I want to thank everyone for entering to win a copy of To Seduce a Sinner by Elizabeth Hoyt.

I have choosen my 6 winners and they are...


Dead Ringer

I want to thank Joan with Publishing & Media Consulting for sending me a copy of Dead Ringer to review.

There is a serial psychopath on the loose. He is killing off women one by one but this killer loves his women. Each body is found with a necklace engraved with the names of Ruth, Martha and Judith. There’s just one small thing…each of the women have a strong similarity to Channel 10 news anchorwoman Kendall Shaw. Kendall loves to cover the top stories but she never thought she would end up becoming one herself.

Kendall has always been the picture of a successful, independent woman but she has a secret…a secret so terrible that she keeps having nightmares. It seems this psychopath wants to dig out all of Kendall’s skeletons in the closet for the public to see. Police detective, Jacob Warwick is on the case and he will go to great lengths to protect Kendall. However Warwick was planning on shielding Kendall I don’t think death came into the picture, because Warwick just might need to sacrifice his life for Kendall in order to save her.

I really liked Dead Ringer. It grabbed my attention from the first page and held it till the very end. The plot had some great twists and turns that I felt helped build up the suspense throughout the storyline, which really helped with the ending of this book. Let me tell you this ending even took me by surprise. This doesn’t happen often to me but when it does it means the author did their job. I liked all the characters in the book but the star for me was the killer. He had this really strong presence throughout the story in addition to the fact that when he did appear it was like I was experiencing everything through his eyes. Usually the killer starts out strong and then dwindles till the end but not in Dead Ringer. I give Mary Burton an “A” plus! Fans of suspense will fall in love with Dead Ringer.

Check out Mary Burton's website at

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Bible

I want to thank Lisa with for sending me this book to review.

Bible Illuminated is one of those books that you want to put on display for all to see and read. It is written in such an easy text that anyone can read it with no problems. The pictures shown throughout this book are so breathtaking, they are like art. They are so crystal clear you can stop even the smallest of details not to mention that the pictures just jump off the page at you.

Every time I pick up this book I discover something new. It is like Christmas every day…you never know what you are going to get but when you open your present you are delighted. Mr. Forlaget did a good job with Bible Illuminated considering the subject matter. He could have injected his beliefs and thoughts into this book but instead he kept it pretty true to the original but just with some modernization. Which I felt did not hurt or hinder this book in any way. Pick up a copy of this book and read what every one else is talking about.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

She is the Talk of the Town

Daily Mail’s it gossip guru, Rebecca Covington has never been more on top of her game till now. After a scandalous incident with a senator, Rebecca is now finding herself in a position she never thought she would be in. When the new CEO, David Sumner arrives, he has demoted Rebecca to food columnist. David’s motto is “Out with the old and in with the new”. New, younger, fresh, hip; those are all the things David is looking for in his new it girl. Now Rebecca will do everything in her powers to climb her way back to the top. There’s just one small problem…Rebecca has found herself falling for her boss, David. Now what’s a girl to do?

The comments that Rebecca would make in her columns on food analogies and how they related to real life had me smiling and laughing the whole time. I have to admit that even though David was supposed to be the bad guy, I still liked him. Talk of the Town was such a tasty delight that I wanted seconds, and thirds. This was a fun, up-beat, romantic comedy. If you are looking for something to take your mind of these long, cold winter months then look no farther then Talk of the Town. Sherrill Bodine is magic. I am definitely recommending her to all my friends.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Beware of Gods Behaving Badly

I want to thank Miriam with Hachette for sending me this book to review. Read my review below and if this book sounds of interest to you then enter to win a copy now. I am giving away 5 copies.

As the times change and we move forward into the twenty-first century, you have to wonder now what will the gods do? Well you don’t have to worry anymore as the mystery has been solved in Gods Behaving Badly. Come join Artemis; goddess of hunting, who is now a professional dog walker, Aphrodite; goddess of beauty and telephone sex operator, Apollo; god of the sun and television’s psychic guru and the rest of the twelve Greek gods and goddess as they learn to adapt to modern times; while living with each other in one household. It will be one of the craziest as well as funniest times to be had by all.

I have been wanting to read this book ever since I first heard about it. I have to admit that Gods Behaving Badly was so much better then I thought it would be. It was pure gold. I haven’t had this much fun and enjoyment reading a book in a while. I thought I knew everything there was about these Greek gods and goddess but I was wrong…way wrong. Take Apollo for example, here is a very good-looking god who you would assume would have no problems winning the ladies but like any other male either gods or human; Apollo can actually lose the girl. Then there is Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty, who has such a potty mouth that she, could even make a sailor blush with the things she says. It takes a good storyteller in addition to a creative imagination to come up with these types of crazy antics in Gods Behaving Badly and I credit it all to a wonderful new author by the name of Marie Phillips. I can’t imagine how Ms. Phillips will top Gods Behaving Badly but I am sure she will give it her best with her next novel.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Just Playing Dead

Claire O’Brien knows all about liars. Her father, Tom is still lying even after being convicted fifteen years ago of murdering her mom and her mom’s lover. Claire is now all grown up. Claire has only one regret and that is testifying against her father. Maybe that’s why Claire wants so bad to believe her father is innocent, especially when Claire learns her father has escaped prison but is Claire setting herself up for a big heartache putting faith in her father. FBI agent, Mitch Bianchi has been following the O’Brien case for a long time, so when he sees his chance to get close to Claire he seizes the opportunity.

Unfortunately the more time Mitch spends with Claire, the harder it is for him to keep his secrets from her. All of Claire’s digging makes her the prime target for a serial psychopath that will stop at nothing to keep the truth hidden.

Playing Dead is the third and final book in Allison Brennan’s Prison Break trilogy. I have enjoyed reading this trilogy, though I have to say not as much as Ms. Brennan’s No Evil series. This book started out good and ended on a high note. I was glad to see that Claire was no wall flower, just because she was surrounded by lots of male testosterone. The mystery that FBI agents bring to the table I think really makes them sexy as well as attractive. Mitch definitely had both qualities, which made him a great male lead character in this story. I have been hooked on Ms. Brennan’s book since I read her No Evil series and still remain a fan. I can’t wait for her next series.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Come inside a Thug's Life

I am pleasured to present author, Darrell King. He is going to share what motivatd him to write.

THUG LIFE" by Author Darrell King (Mo'Dirty:Still Stuntin')

I first began my interest in writing street literature during the late 80's and early 90's when I was in my early twenties. 2Pac, Biggie and N.W.A. were in constant rotation in the cassette deck of my old 1981 Toyota Corolla. I especially liked "All eyez on me"(2Pac),"NotoriousThugz"(Bone,Thugz, & Harmoney Feat. The Notorious BIG) and "Boyz in thehood"(N.W.A.) These gangsta classics blend well with my environment that I lived in at the time.

I resided in Landover, Maryland's hostile” Dodge Park" apartment complex. A most turbulent area where nightly shootouts over drug turf, violent domestic squabbles and armed robbery was the order of the day. It was 1990, and back then the novels of ChesterHimes, Iceberg Slim, and Donald Goines littered the top of my mattress and hardwood floor of the bedroom in the modest little two bedroom apartment which I called home. I could barely keep up with the various titles because friends of mine would always borrow them with only a select few returning my beloved street collection to me. During this time I'd often travel back down to South Carolina, in order to visit with family and old childhood friends on the weekends. My first cousin Ernie would always show me a great time. He was that area's biggest dealer and it was he who inspired my lead character Marion "Snookey" Lake from my novels "Dirty South" and "Mo' Dirty:Still Stuntin'.

A major Cocaine distributor, it was nothing for him to own no less than ten high end vehicles at a time on his sprawling property. Pit bull terriers barked fiercely from behind a large wooden gate out behind his huge double wide trailer, while assault weapons and hefty bags of Colombian coke sat among half eaten boxes of Chinese carry-out on the kitchen table. Mean while a slew of assorted cousins and neighborhood friends would saunter in, take their seat at the table and begin the tedious task of dividing, cutting, weighing and bagging the powder for street sales. Cooking up the remaining cocaine to be sold as crack to the less wealthy customers of the wealthy Hilton Head Island neighborhoods. I'd never before seen a human being murdered until one hot, mid-July night in 1990.

A drunken local stood on a dirt road corner arguing with a female dealer over a transaction gone sour, when all of a sudden two loud shots rang out and I witnessed the man's head literally explode in a sickening shower of red. His blood and dura matter splattered over everything near it, including several other dope fiends who stood in line behind him trying to cop a fix. As for me...I was petrified with fear. I couldn't move a muscle. It was as if my shoes were stuck in cement. People began screaming and running all around past me. Some stumbled to the ground and were trampled by others who fled the scene. The gunman had to be no older than maybe 12 or 13. He was a handsome youth who wore his hair in corn rows and had an almost angelic like face. A white wife beater clung tightly upon his thickset torso."S'up Dee?!

You tryin' ta get da shoes off dis cat's feet? you know them's da new Jordan's right?" He said smiling calmly at me with a mouth full of gold teeth. I stood speechless. So he shrugged his shoulders and immediately went about the business of removing the expensive sneakers off of the dead man's feet. He then smiled back at me and calmly walked over to an awaiting late model Monte Carlo with his spoils and got inside along with a group of about five or six other boisterously loud teens. The car squealed away leaving me in its dust. He knew who I was. For I had lived among the Gullah community for most of my childhood, and I too was one of them and though we now lived totally different lives they still treated me warmly, unlike they did each other.

I just stood looking at the dead crack fiend who'd just gotten his brains blown all over the sidewalk, until one of my cousins whisked me away from that strip. When I returned to DC I was so very shaken by that scene that I consulted the diley counsel of a local Baptist pastor. Later that same month I was informed through a long distance phone conversation that the young man who'd pulled the trigger on that humid night, had recently met the same bloody fate. I attended his memorial service down south, and was surprised to see the large numbers of gang members who crowded the little country church with their scowling presence. It was these series of events that made me think deeply on the grim issues of life and death in the hood that became the foundation for my novel's dark and gritty plots. To me the dynamics of most youth street gangs are basically the same.

Older gang members usually show off their spoils of their ill-gotten wealth through displays of fancy jewelry, large wads of cash, flashy cars and designer apparel not to mention the attention of desirable young women. All these things attract young, poor and naive teen boys to affiliate themselves with neighborhood gangs and drug dealers. Street lit, like its musical sibling Hip Hop, expose the cold, harsh reality of this world to its respective audiences. However, few if any readers of the Urban lit genre have ever heard of these hardcore tales told with a Gullah/Geechee flavored twist the likes of which you'd find in either "Dirty South”, or "Mo'Dirty:Still Stuntin'". Which makes for an interesting change from the norm. The street gangs of the deep south in general and those in the low country regions of South Carolina and Georgia in particular had origins during the’ Roaring Twenties’ when prohibition caused many poor share croppers to seek supplement to their meager incomes via the manufacture, distribution and sale of illegal alcohol better known as "bootlegging".

Sea Islanders off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia were bold rum-runners who were skilled at producing their booze or "moonshine’ during the late night hours. Many times literally working their stills by the light of a full moon as campfires or flashlights would invite trouble by way of the local authorities or "revenuers" who'd not only arrest the bootleggers but destroy their homemade liquor stills as well. To counteract this as well as competition from other rum-runners and bootleggers. Many blacks as well as poor whites began forming armed militias. These early gangs were made up of teens and young men mostly in their twenties who'd protect their illegal interests by any means necessary. Thus began the birth of southern youth gangs. As the 1920's and prohibition came to a close.

The 1930's and the Great Depression brought about a new wave of thugs. The bold and shocking news headlines of the day covering the exploits of the infamous John Dillinger,Bonnie & Clyde and Babyface Nelson to name but a few during what would go down in history as the” Midwestern Crime Spree" inspired many an impoverished youth to take up arms and begin a fledgling criminal career of their own. All these examples of youth gang participation including the popular culture references to gang activity such as the novel "RumbleFish"(1975,S.E.Hinton),and movies such as 1979's "The Warriors" (from Sol Yurick's 1965 novel),and 1988's "Colors" have inspired me to pen the novels "Dirty South" and "Mo'Dirty:Still Stuntin'" as a study in urban criminal culture.

I want to thank Tracee for letting me host Darrell King.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Sunday Salon

I want to thank Mrs. Cohen for sending me this book to read and review. It releases on Election day, so while everyone else is waiting to see who will be the next president, you don't have to worry as you can make the right choice and pick up a copy of Killer Knots!

Marla Shore is ready for some fun, sun and getting to spend quality time with her fiancĂ©, police detective, Dalton Vail and his fourteen years old daughter, Brianna aboard a cruise ship. What Marla didn’t realize was that Dalton had other ideas about how to spend their quality time together and it involved Marla getting to know her soon to be future in-laws! It seems though that Marla won’t be spending much time with anyone. She already has a new case just calling her name in the form of a personal note addressed to her…ok so maybe the first name was made out to Martha and not Marla but still…Marla can’t stop herself from getting involved.

Marla discovers that art and cruise ships don’t mix. Marla meets a group of museum employees that were all invited to have fun on the same cruise liner. While at an art auction, an very valuable art pieces shows up, painted by an artist who’s died under mysterious circumstances. Can Marla solve this case before she is all washed up?

Marla is such a fun loving gal. There isn’t any case too big or too small that Marla can’t solve and you can guarantee that Marla will look good doing it. If you think Marla’s one tough cookie when she’s on the case you should see her take on every woman’s nightmare….the dreaded split ends! I liked this book so much that I read it in one sitting. Killer Knots is the ninth book in this series featuring everyone’s favorite hairdresser and sleuth, Marla Shore. It can be read as a stand alone book. I hope to see this series go on for a long time. Nancy Cohen is a new favorite author of mine.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Book Contest

A suburban mom, her troubled daughter, divorced brothers, former child stars, born-again Christians, and some young millionaires have all been selected to compete on LOST AND FOUND, a daring new reality show. In pairs of two, they will race across the world to compete for a million-dollar prize. The only question is not only who will capture the big jackpot, but at what price.

Thanks again to Hachette I am giving away 5 copies of this book as well.

You know the drill. Open to US and Canada only and No PO Boxes. Thanks

Leave a comment for 1 entry

Spread the word about this contest and let me know you did for 2 entries

Tell me would you do anything for a million dollars? Answer this question for 3 entries.

I will choose the winners November 15th.

Contest Winners

Good Morning. I hope everyone had a safe and fun Halloween. Two of my contests ended yesterday and I have chosen the winners. They are...

Winners of autographed sets of both of Mr. Rye James's books


Winners of Jodi Thomas's latest release Tall, Dark and Texan with some fun goodies.


Book Contest

Being a Greek god is not all it once was. Yes, the twelve gods of Olympus are alive and well in the twenty-first century, but they are crammed together in a London townhouse-and none too happy about it. And they've had to get day jobs: Artemis as a dog-walker, Apollo as a TV psychic, Aphrodite as a phone sex operator, Dionysus as a DJ.

Even more disturbingly, their powers are waning, and even turning mortals into trees-a favorite pastime of Apollo's-is sapping their vital reserves of strength.Soon, what begins as a minor squabble between Aphrodite and Apollo escalates into an epic battle of wills. Two perplexed humans, Alice and Neil, who are caught in the crossfire, must fear not only for their own lives, but for the survival of humankind. Nothing less than a true act of heroism is needed-but can these two decidedly ordinary people replicate the feats of the mythical heroes and save the world?

Does this sound like a book you would like to read? Well thanks to Hachette I am giving away 5 copies. Sorry but this contest is open only to US and Canada. No PO Boxes.

Multiple Ways to enter to win.

1. Leave a comment with your email address and get 1 entry.

2. Spread the word about this contest and tell me about it and get 2 entries.

3. For every person you refer to my blog who mentions your name you get 3 entries.

Contest ends November 14th.

Hey..Did you know "Your Roots Are Showing"

I want to thank Miriam with Hachette for sending me this book to review.

Lizzie Buckley didn’t have the perfect life but she did live a happy one with her husband James and her twin children. One thing Lizzie never imagined she would experience is depression…postpartum depression to be specific. Before Lizzie can even say one… two… three, she finds herself moving to the country with her children and living in a run down cottage. James has left Lizzie and it’s all her fault. Lizzie accidentally sent an email to James. Some of the items written in the email were really hurtful. Do you know just how hard it is to take care of two children, deal with your marriage; all while trying to put yourself back together? That is the million dollar question that Lizzie will try to find an answer to.

I thought Your Roots Are Showing was a simple but sweet book about love, sadness, joy, freedom and cherishment. This book just goes to show you that writing what you know can produce great results. Though I can’t say I can relate to Lizzie, I do know that I felt like I really connected with her and her family from the first moment I met them. I dare you to put this book down and walk away from it; you will find yourself having a hard time doing so. For anyone who is looking for a new and fresh voice to read then you have got to check out Elise Chidley’s debut novel Your Roots Are Showing.