Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Serial Readers Challenge 2009






Here are the edited guidelines:


1. Read books in series/trilogies/related by author.


2. The Challenge will begin January 1st and last until December 31st 2009.


3. Post your list on your blog and link it back to this post.


4. Please rate and review each title on your blog.


5. There will be prizes!


6. To wrap up the challenge next winter, comment to this post linking your wrap-up post by December 31! Prizes will be awarded January 2010!



Here is my list:

Trust Me by Brenda Novak
Stop Me by Brenda Novak
Watch Me by Brenda Novak

I Hunger for Demons


Forensic anthropologist Vivien Cairn has been feeling weird lately. She wakes up having missed hours of time. Dain Hawkins is a sorcerer. He is part of a brotherhood, sworn to protect the space between humans and demons. Dain saves Vivien from a demon attack. For Vivien being rescued is just the start of how quickly things go from bad to worse for her. She gets propelled into Dain’s world filled with demons, sorcerers, succubus and other creatures. Dain has never seen anyone so beautiful as Vivien or felt such a strong attraction. But before Dain can make a move, he will have to stop a killer.

There is a succubus killing people. It has no mercy. It only knows one thing…that is thirst. The closer Dain gets to putting a stop to the succubus, the closer he puts Vivien in harms way. Dain may have to make a decision to which is more important to him…stopping a succubus or protecting Vivien.

Demon’s Hunger is the second book in The Compact of Sorcerers series by Eve Silver. I found myself memorized by this book. I came close to almost forgoing sleep to finish reading Demon’s Hunger, it was that good. The attraction between Vivien and Dain was hot. This is because they lusted for each other and they never hooked up till close to the end of the book. I have read many paranormal novels but very few of them were about demons. Eve Silver did such wonderful job with Demon’s Hunger that I find myself lusting for more. I have already made sure to pick up a copy of Demon’s Kiss as soon as possible. Now that I have discovered Eve Silver, I will be all the rest of the books to follow in this series.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Monster of Florence

I want to thank Anna with Hachette for sending me this audio book.







The Monster of Florence is based on a true story. The story is surrounding numerous killing that took place in Florence, Italy that transpired in the late seventies and early eighties. The killer was dubbed “The Monster of Florence”. By the time the year 1984 had rolled around, the Monster was the most talked about killer in the world. Around the same time, the killer had already killed about seven couples that the police knew about anyways. The killings went on for many years. The search for the Monster of Florence became one of the longest man hunts.

I have to admit that this is the first time I had ever heard about The Monster of Florence. Having said that, from what I heard about the accounts…I thought that Mario Spezi, a former crime correspondent and then newspaper reporter for La Nazione could be credited as one of the most influential people to help bring to light that Italy had a killer on its hands.

Author, Douglas Preston and his family were living in Italy for a while in the year 2000. This is where Mr. Preston first learned about The Monster of Florence as the olive grove behind the place they were living at, was the site of one of the murders. Douglas became intrigued by this information and seeked to learn all he could about this famous killer. Mr. Preston decided to go right to the source that could help him fill in the blanks…Mario Spezi. Together Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi met and set out to finally find the truth about who really was The Monster of Florence. In doing so, Mario Spezi was accused of involvement in the killings; in addition to Mr. Preston being accused of obstruction of justice, planting evidence and even being an accomplish to murder. Because of this, Mr. Preston can no longer return to Italy.

I listened to the audio version of this book. I have to say that while I found the recounting of this true story to be fascinating…if I had been reading the book, I know that I would not be agreeing with what I am saying now. This is due to Dennis Boutsikaris, who brought to life this story for me. I have always found true crime stories to be interesting. I have even tried reading a few of these types of books. I would find myself skimming over some of the parts in the book; because I would find them almost too much detail and it would start to bore me. I know this probably doesn’t make much sense. I am happy to comment through I have found a new way to enjoy these books in the form of audio books.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Scent of Oranges

I want to thank Lisa Roe for sending me this book.


Linda returns to South Africa to attend her father’s funeral. A lot has changed since Linda has been away. At least one thing Linda can still come home to is….her family’s orange farm. Before Linda’s father passed away, he wrote her a letter. The contents of the letter will change forever change Linda’s life.

Her father tells her that years ago, when her brother, Hannes was murdered that her father was so outraged. He wanted justice for Hannes’s murder and didn’t care what methods the police took to capture the killer. Within twelve hours, the police had arrested three black men and they were sentenced to death. Later Linda’s father learned that the police co-horsed the young men into signing a document admitting they were guilty. Now Linda must undertake the difficult mission of locating her brother’s real killer. It won’t be easy as South Africa is ruled by a democracy of ruthless men, who seek power and wish to keep secrets buried.

It was a great surprise how smoothly this story read. The Scent of Oranges by Joan Zawatzky is the first book I read by this author but hope to read more. I really enjoyed how each section was split out and had the theme of an orange. Right away I was transported to South Africa. I could picture everything Linda saw as if I were her. Joan captures the essence of South Africa with the mystery and intrigue of a murder. The Scent of Oranges just goes to show you that great books can be born from some unknown authors.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Sunday Salon





I want to share with you all a great new horror book I recently discovered.



Everything changed for Carl and his grandfather, Thaddeus; the day “Rita” came into their lives. Carl is the owner of Lenoir Auto Body. He came to the rescue of a horrific car accident. Before the police arrived on the scene and the driver of the vehicle died, he handed Carl an envelope containing a small black box that held a golden car key. Carl gave his grandfather the keys to an old ‘57 Chevy truck. The same truck that only a few days ago would could have been considered unsalvageable but now looking at the truck, you would never know it had been in any accident. Thaddeus takes “Rita” for a ride. After that, nothing is the same. Thaddeus ends up going for the ride of his life.

OK, so I have not read many horror stories though I love to watch horror movies. As I was reading The Ride, all I could think about was the movie Christine, adapted from a Stephen King novel. Also, I could help feel some elements of Dean Koontz mixed in as well. A book that infuses both classic Stephen King and Dean Koontz into the storyline has got to be a good one. I am happy to report that The Ride is that good. The story started out at a fast pace and kept picking up speed, all the way to the last sentence. Tom Brandner is a first time author for me but after reading this book, I now want to check out his first novel, The Rain.



Check out Mr. Brandner's website at http://www.tombrandner.com/

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Brass Verdict


After been on sabbatical for about two years, prominent defense attorney, Mickey Haller finds himself in business again. A former colleague of his, Jerry Vincent has been murdered. Now Haller may have just inherited, what could be considered the biggest case of his career. He client is famous Hollywood movie producer, Walter Elliot. Walter has been accused of killing his wife and her lover. Also, Haller is helping to solve the murder of his friend Walter. Someone doesn’t like Mickey sticking his nose in places where it doesn’t belong. For all of Haller’s troubles, he now has Vincent’s killer after him.

Police detective, Harry Bosch is on the case to solve the murder of Walter Vincent. IT seems Vincent was dealing something shady on the side. Bosch and Haller don’t really like each other but they do respect one another. Mickey is adamant about not backing down, even if it means partnering up with Bosch.

You could call me a late bloomer of author, Michael Connelly. I have seen his books everywhere but just never read one till Truck Music. After reading Truck Music, I just fell in love with this author and his writing style. He had me hooked. The Brass Verdict is only the second book I have read by Mr. Connelly. I plan to go back and check out all the rest of his novels. One of the reasons, I like reading this author’s books is because of the main character, Harry Bosch. Harry is this brass, loud mouth, in your face, gives it as good as he can dish it kind of guy. Not many people can write a character like this, who is annoying. Another reason I enjoyed this book is because it reminded me of The Runaway Jury meets Law and Order. I look forward to more great reads by Mr. Connelly.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Forever My Lady




Dio Rodriguez knows no other way of life then to strike first and strike hard. Maybe that’s why he now finds himself serving time at a prison camp. One of Dio’s bad decisions almost cost him the life of his girlfriend, Jennifer. As Dio waits out his time till his release, the rest of the world is passing him by. Dio believes that no matter how much time or how far, Jennifer and he may be separated, they will always be soul mates or will they? Will Dio come out a changed man or end up the same old Dio. Can or does Jennifer even want Dio back? All these questions will be answered in Forever My Lady.

Forever My Lady is Jeff Rivera’s debut novel. Author, Jeff Rivera, brought lots of raw emotions, depth to both the characters and storyline, and a no holds bar attitude. Because of all these elements that worked so well together is why I loved reading Forever My Lady. I really got into the plot as well as feeling like I was experiencing everything Dio went through, right along with him; all the way to the very end. Be prepared to clear yourself some time, because as soon as you start reading Forever My Lady, you will have a hard time wanting to put it down. So find a nice, quiet place to sit down; feed the animals and send the rest of the family away as you are going to love this book. I anxiously await Mr. Rivera’s next novel.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

For the Love of Pete

I want to wish everyone a Happy Holidays. I hope you are all staying warm. Hopefully you received lots of books.


I have a book I think you will like, it is called For the Love of Pete and it comes out Jan 09.


Sensational, best-selling author, Elizabeth Hoyt does it again. This time as Julia Harper. She brings readers a new romantic, comedy full of adventure and lots of wacky mayhem in For the Love of Pete.

Someone has kidnapped Zoey Addler’s niece, Pete. Zoey will do anything to get her niece back, even if that means putting up with Special Agent Dante Torelli of the FBI. Dante has never had problems with the ladies. He has just never had one jump into the passenger sit of his car and demand he chase after a kidnapper. The next few days will be the craziest ones of Dante and Zoey’s lives. What with being chased by the mob, dealing with a couple of obsessed spice loving ladies and all the while trying to keep from being killed.

If For the Love of Pete is any indication of what readers can look forward to from Julia Harper in 2009 then they are in for a treat. This was one of the best books I have read in a long time. The characters as well as the story line had me laughing the whole way throughout the book. Zoey is one of those people who can’t sit still for very long, where as Dante likes his peace and quiet. They are like Starkey and Hutch. Zoey and Dante are perfect together. Then there was Mrs. Savita Gupta and Mrs. Pratima Gupta, sister in laws and restaurateurs. They only had one thing on there minds and that was to retrieve their special Grade 1A Very, Very Fine Mongra otherwise known as Saffron from the bad guy. Now I can enjoy the best of both worlds with Elizabeth Hoyt as Julia Harper.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gothic Lolita



Chelsea and Miyo are just two normal girls, except they live on opposite sides of the world. Chelsea lives in Los Angeles and Miyo lives in Tokyo. They formed a bond through blogging. Everything was going good till the day Chelsea disappeared from the cyber world. It has been three years, since Miyo last communicated with Chelsea. She wonders all the time how she is doing. Chelsea has a secret and she is ready to share it will Miyo. What Chelsea has to say, will change Miyo’s live forever.

I have to admit that I was some what disappointed that this story read more like one continuous poem and not like the suspense thriller, I was expecting to read when I picked up this book. Miyo in my eyes was the pretty much the one and only main character in this story. She talked about how her and Chelsea’s friendship was formed, along with how the communication between them stopped the day that Chelsea stopped blogging. What I did like was the way Chelsea and Miyo met each other. I can relate as I just started blogging a few months ago myself and have met many great people. The way though Gothic Lolita started out; made me think that Chelsea didn’t even exist but in Miyo’s mind. I didn’t really care that much for the way Gothic Lolita read for me. The pictures inserted throughout this book were very beautiful.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Border Moonlight


The year was 1391 in Scotland.

You could call Lady Sibylla Cavers the original runaway bride. Lady Sibylla had already left three men at the altar, one of the men being Simon Murray, Laird of Elishaw. Sibylla’s feels quickly change for Simon when together they rescue a little girl from drowning in the river. Just because Sibylla sees Simon differently does not mean she is ready to become his wife.

Simon still feels a little embarrassed and his ego bruised from Sibylla’s rejection of him. He won’t admit that to her. The longer Sibylla and Simon keep company with each other, the more intense the passion between them increases. Neither one of them wanting to give an inch but they just might have to band together. A battle may erupt when Border activities arise and could disrupt Scotland’s truce with England.

I found Sibylla and Simon to be very likeable characters. I admire females who are strong and independent like Sibylla. Simon being a Lord could have been stuck up but he wasn’t. He was nice, dashing and caring. Border Moonlight is the second book I have read now by author, Amanda Scott. She writes Scottish novels. She is great at her craft. She brings her characters to life in her books in addition to having the perfect romantic setting…Scotland. You can't go wrong with an Amanda Scott novel.

Monday, December 22, 2008

This One is Mine

I want to thank Miriam with Hachette for sending me this book to review. It releases Jan 09. Be on the look out for it.



Violet Parry lived the type of life we all would envy. She is married to a rich, famous rock - and – roll manager by the name of David, has a beautiful daughter named Dot and a large, offensive house up in the LA hills. Unfortunately, Violet would trade you places in a heartbeat. All David can do is complain about what Violet doesn’t do like… clean out the dead gopher in the swimming pool or make sure all his favorite foods are readily available to him. Violet is ready to leave her all of it behind and she does when she meets
Teddy Reyes, a handsome bass player. Teddy charms his way into Violets heart with they love of music and good conversations.

Then there is Sally, who is David’s sister. You won’t be able to tell from looking at Sally that is fast approaching forty years old as she is trim and good-looking. She could have any guy she wanted, so why does she want quiet, awkward Jeremy?

I didn’t realize how much I actually was going to like this book till I started reading it. The writing was simple but flawless. The characters had great personalities, even if I thought Sally was a stuck up diva, Jeremy seemed like he was too quiet for Sally till I found out the reason why, Violet a wild-spirit wanting to be released, David was too self-absorbed and Teddy, an old soul. All in all I thought all the different qualities that these characters brought, worked well with each other. I can see why television shows like Arrested Development, Mad About You and Ellen all did so well. Thanks to first time book author, Maria Semple.


Check out Maria Semple's website at www.mariasemple.com

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Sunday Salon


This book releases March 10th, 2009.





The town and the people of Innertown have never been the same since George Lister’s chemical plant shut down, especially the woods. There is something evil in the woods. Every year a boy or two disappears, never to be seen or heard from again. The police won’t do anything about the disappearances as there is no sign of foul play. There are a few people who believe otherwise and they are town policeman, John Morrison in addition to Leonard and his friends. It seems that Morrison knows there is evil hiding in the woods but he just like the rest of the authorities will not do anything about it. So it is up to Leonard and his friends to fight the darkness, before it claims the rest of them.

Having never read any of author, John Burnside’s other previous works to go off of what type of author Mr. Burnside is; I thought The Glister was a hauntingly dark and gruesome piece of work. That is a good thing. It drew the reader in and enveloped them in Evil. I couldn’t stop reading. The Glister is like riding a horrifying roller-coaster ride that you can’t get abandon till the end, so all you have left to do is just hold on tight and enjoy the ride. I like that horror fans as well as anyone looking for a good scary will enjoy The Glister. This is one book you will want to get your hands on as soon as possible. You won’t regret it.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Try Darkness

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




Trial lawyer, Ty Buchanan is back again in James Scott Bell’s second novel Try Darkness. He left the glamorous life in LA and can now be found living with Father Bob, Sister Mary Veritas, a nun who can run laps around you on the basketball court, as well as the rest of the nuns at St. Monica’s.

Ty may have taken on more then he can chew with his new client. Reatta and her six-year old daughter, Kylie are living in a hotel. They are about to be evicted. Ty instantly takes a liking to Kylie. What Ty learns is that the people in charge of the goings on with the hotel are Ty’s old law firm agency and former best friend, Al Bradshaw. When Reatta is found murdered, Ty finds himself the sole custodian of Kylie. Join Ty as he takes the reader from the courtroom to the streets.

As far as lawyers go, Ty Buchanan is one of the good guys but don’t let him know that. Ty thinks of himself as kind of a bad ass. Being the mean guy isn’t always a bad thing as sometimes you need to be tough in order to get the job done. I have to say though that my favorite person in this whole book was Sister Mary Veritas. If it wasn’t for the fact that she dressed like a nun, who would never be able to tell she is a full-fledged nun. From her sharp-witted tongue to her smooth moves. I thought Try Darkness was a good book and I know want to pick up a copy of Try Dying. James Scott Bell has a great talent as an book author.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Paranormal 999 Challenge




Description: 9 books in 9 different categories, all read in 2009. For an added challenge, try completing your books by 9/9/09! This group is to help you track your progress on the Paranormal 999 challenge

You choose your own categories.... but you must have 9 categories and they must be paranormal....some examples are:

Vampires
Werewolves
Ghost
Witches
Wizards
Demons

Just post here and let us know how you're doing and the books you choose for the categories!

Group website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/paranormal999 Or sign up at Library Thing http://www.librarything.com/groups/paranormal999challen.


My List:

Vampires
1. Be Still My Vampire Heart by Kerrelyn Sparks
2. Night Play by Sherrilyn Kenyon
3. Stay the Night by Lynn Viehl
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.


Werewolves
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.


Witches
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9


Ghosts
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.


Supernatural
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

Audio Book Challenge


I say this challenge on J. Kaye's book blog and seeing as to how I am getting more into audio books, this sounds like a fun challenge.




Here are the guidelines:


1) You can join anytime as long as you don’t start listening to 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) When you sign up under Mr. Linky, list the direct link to your post where your audiobooks will be listed. If you list just your blog’s URL, it will be removed. If you don’t have a blog, leave the URL blank.


5) You do not have to list your books ahead of time. If you decide to, you can change them as you go.


6) Our goal is to listen to 12 audiobooks in 2009. No need to list your books now. You can do so as you go.


7) Feel free to post a link to your reviews in the comment section below. That way, we can visit your blog and read your review.





My List:


1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.

Murder on the Down Low



L.A. attorney, Vernetta Henderson is back for an all new case in this drama filled legal thriller titled Murder on the Down Low. Someone is killing successful business and family men. The police are clueless as to who has it out for these men. Vernetta and her partner, Special are helping to seek justice against a lawyer whose secret life has caused the murder of his girlfriend. What Vernetta and Special come to discover is that their case is connected to the murders.

Pamela Samuels Young likes to entertain her readers as well as educate them on important topics. Though I can’t say Ms. Young kept me entertained the whole though the book, I can say that she definitely educated me on the subject matter of men maintaining another life on the down low. Why for me I wasn’t interested in the story as I would have liked, is because I didn’t connect with the main characters and feel like I could really join in their world. If I can’t connect with the characters, then for me no matter how good a storyline a book has, I can lose interest really fast in the book. I do finish books that I have started but when this scenario happens, I kind of muddle along reading the rest of the book. I do have to say though that despite this fact with the characters, Murder on the Down Low was a pretty good book.




Check out Pamela's website at http://www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com/



I want to thank Tracee for letting me host.



Thursday, December 18, 2008

Simple Wishes


Adele Martin has not been back to her hometown for many years. That changes one day when Adele learns that she has inherited a cottage from her mother located in small, rural Pennsylvania. When Adele arrives, the first thing she notices is the peace and quiet from the big city of New York. As Adele tries adjusting to her new life; she meets her new neighbor. Jay Westvelt is a bit of a mountain man but he is not your ordinary scruffy man. He is a very talented artist as well as good looking. Now after meeting Jay, Adele is re-thinking her decision to move back to New York so soon. The mountains do have some great things to offer.

For someone who has lived in New York, Adele seemed like she either lived a sheltered life or was too busy to stop and enjoy the things and smells around her. It was fun getting to experience things like shopping, watching the sunset, etc through Adele’s eyes. Jay is the type of guy you want to snuggle with during a cold winter’s night. I enjoyed the nice, quiet atmosphere of the woods as the location for this story. Simple Wishes makes me wish I was somewhere, where it seemed like time stood still and all I had there was is me and my husband, sitting by a fire keeping each other warm. Lisa Dale did a good job with this book.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Interview with Susan Palmquist

I am happy to bring to you all a new author. Her name is Susan Palmquist and her first novel A Sterling Affair was just released December 5, 2008 with The Wild Rose Press.










I want to thank you for letting me interview you.


Please tell everyone about yourself? Also share something about yourself that people would be surprised to learn about.
I’m originally from London, England. I’m a freelance writer and once worked as a publicist for a publishing company. I love to cook and sometimes being in the kitchen helps me work out problems I’m having with the plot or characters in my novel. I’m also an avid gardener and dabble with some photography now and then. You’d surprised to know that after all these years of living in the US, I still have my English accent.




What is your favorite food to eat?
Easy one, chocolate.




Do you have a favorite vacation spot?
Majorca, one of islands off the Spanish mainland. I used to vacation there when I was a teenager. It’s a bit too far to travel to from the US, so my second choice would have to be the Pacific Northwest.



I read that you write everything from Psychology Today to now your first romance novel. Is it easy keeping everything organized?
I worked in PR for many years and was a publicist and you’ve got to be organized or you can mess things up really quickly. I think I’m a very organized person, but right now if you looked at the piles of papers in my office, you’d probably disagree.




How does writing Health and Psychology Articles differ from writing a fiction novel?
It’s very different because with fiction I can basically do what I want, I’m in control. With non-fiction, I have to conduct interviews, do lots of research, and write according to the outline my editors set for me.



You have interviewed yourself so very intriguing people. I was especially intrigued by the woman who played piano for silent movies. What was that like interviewing her?
She was great fun to chat with, and what you’d call young at heart. She had so many great stories and memories to share with me. And when I chatted with her she was about to play the piano for a silent movie at a local senior center.




Please describe your book A Sterling Affair.
It’s a paranormal romance set in London, England. It’s about an American widow whose children attempt to bring their father back to life but things don’t go quite as planned and they accidently bring back a man from the Regency period. It’s a clash of cultures, time periods, personalities, but these two people realize they’re in love and that life has given them both a second chance at finding their true love.



How did you react when you got the good news that your book was going to be published with The Wild Rose Press?
I didn’t react how I thought I would. I’d always assumed that I’d run into the street and shout, maybe even pass out on the floor, but I think I was in shock and maybe even thought I was dreaming. I got the news via e-mail and when I opened it up, I thought, here we go again, they like it, but… When I saw the words I love this story and I’d like to offer you a contract, I thought, it’s not a rejection, I’m finally going to be a published author.




What else do readers have to look forward to from you?
Lots of things. I’m working on three new books right now. Another paranormal, this one set in Ireland. Then there’s a crime novel set in England, and the other new work is a contemporary featuring what I hope readers will think is the sexiest man ever.




What is the one piece of advice you want to give your readers?
I advise them to keep buying my books. No, seriously, if you have a dream no matter how many people tell you it can’t be done; don’t listen to them, listen to your heart and follow your dream.



Thank you again for allowing me this interview. I appreciate it.


Check out Susan's website at http://susanpalmquist.com/



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Interview

As promised. Here is my interview with author, Maria Murnane.


I want to thank you for letting me interview you.

Oh gosh, it’s my pleasure. Really!


How do you like to start off your morning?


Every weekday morning I do the same thing—drag myself out of bed, make a pot of coffee, and sit down and read the New York Times for an hour. I love that time of day—and every morning I look out the window at the sea of cars driving into downtown San Francisco and remind myself how lucky I am that I don’t have to commute in traffic to a job I hate! Then after I’m done with the paper I walk about 20 feet into my office, check my email, and start my day. JWhat was your favorite book growing up?


As a kid I read every Beverly Cleary book I could get my hands on, and when I got a little older I also tore through the Judy Blume books. (“Deenie” was one of my favorites.) I also read a bunch of the Black Stallion books, and I remember being obsessed with “A Wrinkle in Time,” in fourth grade, although for the life of me I can’t remember anything about the plot.


When you want peace and quiet, where do you go: example take a bath, read, bedroom, vacation, etc?


Hmm, great question. Sometimes I like to play classical music and sit on my bed and write cards or letters to friends I haven’t seen in a long time. I also like to take a nice yoga class to mellow me out—I love my yoga studio because they play really relaxing music, and they teachers are just so full of positive energy. I could have the WORST day in the world, but after a yoga class I always feel better. It empties out your head for a little bit, which can be a good thing if your head is full of stressful thoughts!



I read you lived in Argentina for a year. What was it like living there? What was your favorite thing to do there?

I had an incredible year in Argentina, despite the humidity, which drove me nuts. I loved playing soccer there and traveling around other countries in South America, but I think my ultimate favorite thing was developing real friendships with people in another language. I even had a pretty serious boyfriend for a few months down there, and we only spoke in Spanish. It was really an amazing thing to communicate entirely in a language I had originally learned from a textbook—and I guess it proved that I hadn’t forgotten everything I’d studied in high school and college!


I loved the Honey notes that were at the beginning of each chapter in the book. Who came up with the sayings, besides Waverly?

I’m not sure I understand this question…? I made them all up on my own, so I guess the answer would be me, myself and I!


Waverly had come up with a plan to fake food poisoning, so she could get out of a bad date. Have you ever done anything like this before or known anyone who has? What is the craziest excuse you have heard?

Wow, love this question. I’ve never faked food poisoning to get out of a date and can’t think of anyone I know who has, BUT my friend Stu just told me last night about a friend of his who recently took a woman out to dinner, and the woman actually ordered her food TO GO and told the guy something had come up so she had to take off. Then she did. Can you believe that?


Waverly liked to cure a hangover with scrambled eggs and cheese. What do you recommend for a remedy?

Uh, that would be scrambled eggs and cheese. Did I mention Waverly and I have a lot in common?


What can readers look forward to from your next book?

A lot of people have asked me if I’m going to write a sequel—everyone seems to want to know what happens to Waverly! I would LOVE to write another book, so we’ll see. But first I have to get this one picked up by a publisher. So if your readers are interested in a sequel, please tell them to help spread the word about “Perfect on Paper” by writing reviews on Amazon, posting comments on my site (www.mariamurnane.com), becoming a fan of the book on Facebook, and telling their friends about it! I would be very grateful—and so would my very good friend Ms. Bryson




I want to thank Tracee for letting me host.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Nobody's Perfect

Ok, so I have seen this book popping up all over the internet. I knew I just had to read it for myself. So what is the book you ask? It is Perfect on Paper by Maria Murnane. Read my review below and than come back tomorrow for my interview with Maria.






Waverly Bryson has just been dumped by her fiancĂ©. Waverly is through with men. Luckily for Waverly she has friends like Andie and McKenna to help her pick up the pieces. Friends are great but nothing beats a couple good stiff drinks. Just one piece of advice and that is “Always drink in moderation”; unfortunately for Waverly she should have followed this advice, especially while attending a business event. Not a great way to represent Jag, the company Waverly works for in the sports public relation’s department. For Waverly not all is lost when she meets Jake. To find out if Waverly and Jake hook up, you will have to read Perfect on Paper for yourself.

Waverly has got to be one of the most hilarious characters I have met. When she around, you can guarantee there will never be a dull moment. One of my other favorite characters is Scott, Waverly’s best gay guy friend. Every girl needs to have at least one good gay friend in their lives.

Ok, so you want to know when you can tell if the book you are reading is a winner? I read a few of the Honey notes to my husband and he started laughing. When your man thinks the book you are reading is laugh out funny, that’s when you know you have a winner in your hands. I couldn’t get enough of Waverly and to see what the next day would bring for her. Right after I finished reading Perfect on Paper, the next day I already was recommending this book to my friend. Maria Murnane’s Perfect on Paper is a must read. If you aren’t reading this book than shame on you as you are missing out on some great laughs. I hope Maria’s next book also features Waverly.


I want to thank Tracee for letting me host.



Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Sunday Salon

I want to thank Mr. O'Brien for sending me this book to review.



Carl did not have the best childhood growing up. In fact, his father used to beat him and give him gifts that were not his to keep. Carl can remember the one time when his dad gave him a bike, only to have it have it taken away from him and Carl accused of being a thief. Carl is all grown up now but he has learned his lesson. When he gets something he hides it from the rest of the world, so no one can ever take it away from him again.

Young, married couple Paul and Amy McMurray just did the great thing they could ever do as a couple, give born to a baby boy, Eddie. One day something so terrible happened to the McMurrary’s; it can be considered every parents worse nightmare…Eddie gets abducted. It has been about twelve years since Eddie’s disappearance. Paul may have given up hope but Amy will never give up looking for her son. Amy senses in her heart and soul that her son is still alive and out there waiting for her to come take him home. Call it a mother’s intuition.

Only Son may not be like all of Mr. O’Brien’s that I have enjoyed reading so much that include a killer, who you don’t know the identity of till the very end; where as in this story there is no killer and you know who is causing the harm. There is an element in Only Son that is scarier then any of the other books. It involves an innocent boy, who did not get a choice in who would love him. Mr. O’Brien draws on raw emotions of fear, trust, friendship, and most of all love. I already have made Mr. O’Brien, one of my favorite authors and now with this book, it has only cemented my amazement of this great author’s. Kevin O’Brien will always have a fan in me.



Check out Kevin O'Brien's website at http://www.kevinobrienbooks.com/

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I once was Lost but now I am Found


Abby and her daughter, Cassie has both signed up to be part of a reality show called Lost and Found. Cassie has a secret that she couldn’t hide anymore from her mother. After Abby learns Cassie’s secret, she realizes that they have lost touch with each other. When Abby hears about the show, she hopes that by her and Cassie being a part of it, they can get back what they have lost.

Abby and Cassie will be joined by the other teams made up of: Riley and Trent, rich inventors, Juliet and Dallas, TV darlings, and Justin and Abby, who are unusual. It will be a circus and all that is missing is the ring leader, Eli, one of the producers and the star of the show, Barbara Fox, the crazy host.

The rules are fairly simple: Fly to a new location, during every segment of the show and following a trail of clues, the teams have to decipher them to figure out what item they have to pick up and take with them.

I liked the way this book was set up. Each chapter had a name of a character in the book and within that chapter you got to know a little more about everyone. The great thing about this was that you felt more connected and it helped the story keep from getting confusing with all the different people as you didn’t have to keep track of them. Lost and Found reminded me of one of my favorite reality shows, The Amazing Race but like the rejected version of what not to do if you want to make a good show

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Mighty Queens of Freeville

This book does not release till Feburary 3, 2009 but I thought I would share it with you now, so that you can put it on your wish list.






The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, A Daughter, and the People Who Raised Them is The Chicago Tribune; advice columnist, Amy Dickinson’s memoir. Amy shares with readers and fans an in-depth and personal look into her live. Nothing is keep back from her divorce to her ex-husband, being a single mother, friends, family and her job. Mainly though this memoir is really about Amy, her daughter, Emily and how they raised and took care of each other.

Amy takes us back to her hometown of Freeville, population 458, located in northern, rural, upstate New York. Emily, who is eighteen; one day up and declared her mother, herself, her grandmother and the rest of the women as The Mighty Queens of Freeville for the simple fact that they were all strong, independent women who could take care of themselves.

I found Ms. Dickenson’s memoir to be fun, intriguing and full of laughs and smiles. I always find it interesting to learn where someone came from and what their life was like growing up. Amy and Emily did a great job raising each other. The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, A Daughter, and the People Who Raised Them is the type of memoir that every memoir should be like. Everyone who reads this book is going to enjoy it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Gates of Trevalyan

I won this book from LibraryThing. It sounded good when I put my name in for the drawing but that is as far as as good it got, I am sad to say.



This story takes place after the Civil War in southern Georgia, particularly the Trevalyan plantation where our two main characters Jenny Mobley and Charles King make their home as they start their married life together. It won’t be easy as they adjust to each other. Jenny forms a friendship with her maid Tacey as well as having an eye for handsome, Alexander Stephens. It is a time when the only thing left to do is make friends.

The Gates of Trevalyan is a historical novel that encompasses some romance, friendship and some very famous figures like Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis to name a few. While I enjoy reading historical novels as that genre was one of the first types of books that I had a pleasure reading. Unfortunately I can’t say this is the case with this book. It moved very slowly throughout the whole book. I did finish reading this novel but had a hard time doing so. Even the characters that should have been interesting, I found to be dull and I never felt a connection with them. It did seem though that author, Jacquelyn Cook did have a good vision and I was able to see part of that vision. So the good thing is that I might someday check her out again.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Crown Conspiracy


I met Mrs. Sullivan on GoodReads. She offered to send me her husband's book for review. See my review.


Royce Melborn, who is a very resourceful and skillful thief and Hadrian Blackwater, a talented mercenary make the perfect team. They are so good at what they do that everyone knows they are the go to people, when you want to get the job done right. Every single one of their customers have been satisfied, but Royce and Hadrian’s services do not come cheap. Royce and Hadrian’s have been hired to retrieve the king’s dagger. What Royce and Hadrian soon discover is that they have been set up to take the fall for the murder of the king. Now these two men have only a short time to find a way out of their predicament before they lose their heads.

I picked up this book not knowing what to really expect from it. What I got out of it was an adventure of intrigue, suspense, friendship and honor. All great qualities that make a great book as well as interesting, loveable characters. Don’t let the size of The Crown Conspiracy by Michael J. Sullivan fool you at only 296 pages. It may be shorter then some of the books I have read but it sure does pack quite the punch. I say “The smaller the package, the greater they are”. This is the first book I have read by this great new author to me. I can’t wait to read what Mr. Sullivan comes out with next.


Check out Mr. Sullivan's website at http://www.michaelsullivan-author.com/index.html

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Just what the heck are Rubber Babes?


I want to thank Mr. Everett Jones for sending me his book to review.


Rollo Hemphill is back in another wacky, hilarious adventure. Rollo works for a high profitable charity foundation. One day he is approached by a Mr. Dieter Zittpopper. Mr. Zitt wants Rollo’s help. Mr. Zitt starts to explain to a condition called Keppelhoffer’s Syndrome that effected men. A condition that is very deadly. Keppelhoffer’s Syndrome is caused by Erectile Dysfunction drugs. Rollo agrees to help. What Rollo doesn’t know is that he is being set up to take the fall in a money laundering scheme. You have got to read Rubber Babes: Further Misadventures of Rollo Hemphill in order to find out if Rollo comes out on top. Plus if you don’t read this book, how will you ever discover what Rubber Babes are?

Rubber Babes: Further Misadventures of Rollo Hemphill is the sequel to My Inflatable Friend, the first book by author, Gerald Everett Jones to feature clueless but loveable Rollo Hemphill. I have not read the first book but luckily you don’t have to in order to enjoy reading the sequel.

When I first read the summary for this book, I thought I should get some laughs out of reading this story as it is a comic novel and my other thought was…I so have got to read this book to experience what exactly boy chik lot is all about. What I got out of Rubber Babes is lots of laughs from the titles of each chapter in the book, Mr. Zitts, working on a campaign to save men everywhere from the serious problem of Keppelhoffer’s Syndrome and finally to Rollo’s visit at a porn shoot. Every time I was sure Mr. Everett Jones couldn’t shock me anymore in a good way, I was wrong. He did it bigger and better the next time, Rollo went or did anything. I want to thank Mr. Everett Jones for turning me on to my first boy chik lit and for making it a good time. I now want to check out more of these types of stories. I just hope these types of books can live up to this high a standard now.



Check out Mr. Everett Jones's blog at www.boychiklit.com

Monday, December 8, 2008

Dark Highland Fire


Gabriel MacInnes is a werewolf. He has always been duty bound to protect the MacInnes wolves. Gabriel is a leader and good at what he does even if this means sacrificing waking up with a warm body in his bed. Now he must do everything he can to defend the wolves from Lucien Andrakkar, an ancient and pissed off dragon. Even if that means taking Rowan an Morgaine under his care. Rowan is a head-strong, princess. She never asked for Lucien to select her as his wife. Now she is learning just how much Lucien wants her. He will destroy anyone who stands in his way. So what happens when you pair up a werewolf and a princess to fight a dragon…you get a Dark Highland Fire.

Dark Highland Fire is a great afternoon read. There have been only a few werewolf books that I have come across that I actually enjoyed reading. I am happy to report that this book can now be added to me list as a favorite. This could not be made possible without Kendra Leigh Castle fantastic writing style. She made reading this book a breeze. Gabriel had a great sense of humor in addition to knowing how to handle himself in the bedroom. Rowan may have had a little bit of a spoiled attitude but she really only let her attitude show to annoy Gabriel. I am sorry to that I have finished reading this novel as I didn’t want it to end. I look forward to more books from Kendra Leigh Castle.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Sunday Salon





Everybody’s favorite witch, Jasmine Tremaine and her vampire and cop lover, Nikolai Gregorovich are back again in Linda Wisdom’s Hex Appeal.

Jasmine and Nick’s have started having some speed bumps in their relationship, which in turn is causing them to fight. Everyone has had nightmares once or twice in their life even witches but nightmares that fight back, now that is a new one. Someone has poisoned Jasmine’s dreams. It’s now getting harder to tell where the nightmares end and reality begins. Jasmine and Nick will do everything they can to get to the bottom of who is behind all this mayhem and why. They will have to move quick as time is not on their side.

Jasmine is not your run of the mill witch. She is a fashionista, sassy, and in charge. Ok so I am not a big shoe person but Jasmine has got two of the best kinds of shoes around that even I wish I owned a pair of each. The first are a pair of killer bunny slippers. These slippers should come with a warning “Beware of Fangs”. Fluff and Puff are bunnies with an attitude and if you don’t watch out they just might bite you. Then there is Croc and Delilah, Jasmine’s high heels. They love to flirt and will always make sure you are color coordinated. Just when I would start to feel bad for Nick having to deal with Jasmine, he would do or say something that made me know, these two were made for each other. So if you are looking for something new to read than try 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover and Hex Appeal.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Romeo, Romeo


Rosalie Ronaldi is a very career-driven, independent woman. She doesn’t really have time for men, much less her dog, Dave. You could tell this by the way Rosalie’s house looked when you stepped inside. Rosalie believed that if you ate over the sink than you didn’t have to contend with dirtying a dish.

Nick Romeo is not your typical guy but when he meets Rosalie, he is dressed as a mechanic. He decides to let Rosalie go on believing he is a mechanic. Rosalie never thought it would happen that she would fall for guy that she doesn’t mind having around. Before Rosalie can comprehend what is going on; Nick has moved in. Rosalie has started seeing the benefits o having Nick around. He has cleaned her house and is even bring her breakfast in bed!

Robin Kaye has a winner on her hands with Romeo, Romeo. Mrs. Kaye infused this book with tons of laughs, romance, and plain old goodness. Every once in a while women need a guy to take care of them like Nick. Nick is a great man to have around. He is tall, dark, and Italian. One of the stars of this story was Dave. He acted just like a person. This is one author you will want to keep your eyes on for a long time to come. I can’t wait to read more of Mrs. Kaye’s sense of humor in more of her books.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Jane Porter

I want to thank Miriam with Hachette for letting be be a part of hosting Jane Porter and her book, Flirting with Forty. The book was made into a Lifetime movie that features Heather Locklear. So make sure your plans for tomorrow night involve watching Flirting with Forty.


What you still haven't decided if you are going to watch the movie or not? Well hopefully after reading my review you will have no doubts about watching it.






For Jacqueline “Jackie” being a single mother is not easy. Her ex-husband, David has a hooked up with a younger woman. Jackie is ready to get away from everything for a little while and that is why she and her friend, Anne have been planning a trip to Hawaii. The day is here when it’s time for Jackie and Anne to head to Hawaii for fun and sun. Anne can’t go but she convinces Jackie to still go without her.

While in Hawaii, Jackie meets Kai, a hot, young surf instructor. Jackie starts spending time with Kai, out to dinner, and even learning to surf. Jackie can’t believe she is seeing a younger man, having just celebrated her fortieth birthday. Sadly before Jackie knows it, her time in Hawaii has come to an end as she heads home to Seattle. Once back home all Jackie can think about is Kai and how much fun they had together. Now all Jackie wants is for Kai and her to be together. It would take a miracle for that to happen as Kai hardly ever goes to the mainland. Oh well at least Jackie will always have her memories.

I have heard great things about Jane Porter but have never read a book by her till now. I enjoyed reading this Flirting with Forty. Jackie showed in the end that it doesn’t matter how old you are on the outside but how old you feel in the inside that really counts. No matter what the age difference is between you and the one you love. I could see why Jackie fell for Kai. He was hot, had a heart of gold and knew how to treat a lady. Life is short, savor every minute of it. So take that adventure and live a little. I already have the rest of Ms. Porter’s books on my to be read pile. After reading Flirting with Forty, they have all been moved up to the top of the pile.




Check out the trailer for the movie here.
http://www.mylifetime.com/on-tv/movies/flirting-forty

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pemberley by the Sea


Cassie Boulton is a Marine Biologist. She has worked hard to get where she is today. So when dashing, rich Calder Westing the third arrives in her lab, she has nothing but annoyance for him. Calder convinces Cassie to give him a chance. She agrees but what seems like a great idea should have stayed an idea. Both Cassie and Calder’s families do not approve of each other dating. So their family’s mending ways get the better of Cassie and Calder and they break up. Now Calder will do everything he can to convince Cassie they belong together; even if this means he has to write himself as Mr. Darcy and Cassie as Elizabeth Bennet in his own version of Pride and Prejudice.

I have never read Pride and Prejudice so I can’t compare Pemberley by the Sea to the original but I did think that this version by author, Abigail Reynolds was a good one. Cassie stood up for what she believed in and that was marine life. She is also not afraid to voice those opinions. Like the time she criticized Calder for wanting to order fish. What I liked about Calder was that he came from a wealthy family but you would never know it from the way her acted. He is courteous as well as a heart that cares. There were a few dry spots, where I did start to lose interest but other than this, the book overall was a good one.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dating da Vinci

I want to thank Danielle with http://www.sourcebooks.com/ for sending me this book to review.



Ramona Elise Griffen is thirty six years old and a widow of two boys. Ramona teaches English. Ramona was preparing for her class like any other time when he walked in. His name is Leonardo da Vinci. He is Italian like the other Leonardo but that is where the similarities end. Leonardo is a college student and he recently moved to Austin, Texas. Ramona takes Leonardo in as her houseguest. Soon after Ramona and Leonardo develop feelings for each other. Ramona starts viewing the sites and smells of Texas in a whole new light with Leonardo’s help

I thought Dating da Vinci by Malena Lott was a great upbeat and refreshing novel. Here Leonardo was a guy who could barely speak English and knew very little about America; yet he was teaching Ramona how to let go and live again through the power of friendship and love. This Leonardo may not be the famous artist we all know but Ramona’s Leonardo was a painter in his own way. He could paint you a picture and so you the good in everything and everybody. Ramona could have just given up when her husband passed away but instead she stayed strong for her sons as well as for herself. Marlena Lott is a first time author for me. She did a wonderful job with this book. I will read another book by Marlena again.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The King's Daughter

I want to thank author Sandra Worth for making sure I received a copy of The King's Daughter to review.


Seventeen year old Elizabeth of York loved and adored her father. She and him were very close. So she had no reason to doubt that her father's predecessor would be a just and trust worthy man, especially when that man is her uncle. Richard of Gloucester has barely become the new ruler of England and already hings are going very badly for Elizabeth and her family.

First Elizabeth learns that her father was a bigamist; which you can imagine made Elizabeth very irate as she thought her and her father had no secrets between them. With this new piece of information, the problem arises now that Elizabeth, her brothers and sisters are all illegitimate children and now no longer eligible to be considered for the throne. As if being declared a bastard isn't bad enough; Elizabeth's brother are taken into Richard's custody and supposedly killed.

How can Elizabeth ever respect a king who could be so cruel to his relatives? While assisting the Queen in her court, Elizabeth comes to understand and respect her uncle as king of England. Elizabeth matures was more beyond her years to turn into the lovely. beautiful mother to King Henry the eighth.

The King's Daughter by Sandra Worth is the first book I have read by this author. I have to tell you that I was very impressed. I found this book to be very true and accurate to what actually transpired back in that time. The King's Daughter is like reading a history lesson but much more exciting as well as enjoyable. Sandra Worth's writing is so realistic that I felt like I was Elizabeth. As far as historical novels go, The King's Daughter has got to be one of the best I have read in a while. I will be recommending Ms. Worth to all my friends. I plan on check out all the rest of Ms. Worth's books in the Rose of York trilogy.




Check out all of Ms. Worth's books at www.sandraworth.com

Monday, December 1, 2008

Book Contest

I wanted to let you all know about a contest my friend is holding over at http://grammasreads.blogspot.com/. She is giving away 5 copies of Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst. Courtesy of Hachette books.

You know the drill. Open only to US and Canada and no PO Boxes. So if you didn't win a copy here or abywhere else you still have a chance but hurry as this contest ends December 15th.

Ransom My Heart

I won this book from HarperCollins First Look program. This is the first time I have won anything from them since I joined. Yay me.



Mellana, Fiona’s sister has spent her whole dowry on trinkets. So now it’s up to Fiona to come up with lots of money quick. Fiona comes up with the perfect plan. She kidnaps a knight by the name of Sir Hugo Fitzstephen. Hugo is now Fiona’s prisoner and the only way he will be free is if he pays the ransom. Fiona successfully kidnapped Hugo but unfortunately she has a problem on her hands. Hugo feels an instant attraction to Fiona and enjoys being her prisoner. He knows Fiona feels the same way about him. Hugo will get her to admit it one way or another.

Ransom My Heart is the last book in author, Meg Cabot’s famous Princess Diaries series. This book is Fiona and Hugo’s story. Hugo and Fiona will win your hearts over with their story. Fiona may look like a lady but she is just as good with a sword as any man. Hugo is a dashing knight with a killer smile. When you think of a knight in shining armor, you need only imagine Hugo. If you are looking for the next best historical romance novel than look no farther then Ransom My Heart. This book features some wonderful characters, love, adventure, and even some comedy. I look forward to Meg Cabot’s next release. I am sure it will be good.