Thursday, March 31, 2011

Alice in Zombieland

Alice was sitting with her sister outside on the bank. Alice wished she was in the graveyard instead. She loved walking through the graveyard. Suddenly, Alice sees a black rat. A black rat is nothing to awe about but a talking black rat is. The rat goes racing by chanting about being late. Alice takes off after the rat and follows him. Alice ends up in a strange and bizarre world…filled with odd creatures. All Alice can think about is the horrific craving she has for eating fresh meat. What is this world and what is happening to Alice?

Alice in Zombieland is not the book you or I grew up on. Mr. Cook puts his own twists on a classic and makes it his own for the twenty-first century. I have been on a reading spree recently and have been reading a lot of zombie related books. This book did have the creep factor. The illustrations in this book were well done. This helped to add to the creep factor. As I was reading this book, I could not get over the fact that sweet Alice was a flesh, eating zombie. While, I did like this book, I would not say that it will ever gain the classic status that the original Alice in Wonderland is. This is what I do like about this book as it is a tongue and cheek read.


Daphne Martin has recently moved back home to southwest Virginia. Daphne has opened Daphne’s Delectable Cakes. Daphne’s first client is Yodel Watson. Yodel has a reputation in town for being a town gossip. She is also not a very liked person. So when Yodel is found murdered. There is no love lost. The million dollar question is…Who didn’t want Yodel dead?

Murder Takes the Cake is the first Daphne Martin Cake Decorating mystery novel. This book is a re-release with some added, new material. I like Daphne. She is nice but she is a bit naïve. At the same time, I liked this quality about Daphne and hope she never really wises up. There were quite the wide ranges of interesting characters in this book. While I did have fun reading this book, there were some parts in the middle where I did skim over as I felt that the story could have moved faster. This book is just what a cozy mystery novel should be like…good story line, interesting characters, and some twists along the way. I did enjoy this book. Mrs. Trent serves up a tasty morsel with Murder Takes the Cake!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

If you want to “Get Lucky” and score big than pick up a copy of this book today.

Marc works for the family business…King Fugitive Apprehension. Marc King has not had a vacation in a while. He deserves this break. Marc takes of for some rest and relaxation in Aspen, Colorado. Though, Marc is not really looking to hook up with anyone while on vacation, he can not help but notice the sexy, woman at the front desk, who checks him in.

London Brooke works at the Elk Ridge Lodge. London notices Marc but does not act on the attraction. Besides, London receives a package that distracts her. When London learns who Marc is, she turns to him for help. This is when things start to really heat up.

Get Lucky is the second Bounty Hunter novel. I thought Play Dirty was hot but Get Lucky is sizzling! Marc and London kept things nice and spicy. Enough to melt the snow. This book had a nice even balance between the main plot and the romance between the main characters. The location was a perfect setting for this story. Of course, I don’t say this just because I live in Colorado and Aspen is a few hours drive me where I live. Marc seemed like he fit in better to the mountains in Colorado than where he came from in California. I can not wait to read the next Bounty Hunter novel. If you want to “Get Lucky” and score big than pick up a copy of this book today. You won’t regret it.

The Ice Princess

Erica Falck has returned to her hometown of Fjallbacka, Sweden. While walking up the hill to the Hakebacken School, Erica hears her name being called. It is Eilert Berg. The only thing Erica hears from Eilert is the words…”She is dead”. Erica goes into the house to fine her friend, Alexandra Wijkner lying in the bath tub encased in frozen water with her wrist sliced open. Erica does not believe that Alex would take her own life. She does some investigation and what she uncovers about Alex will have her questioning just how well she really knew Alex.

When I first opened this book and started reading, I was memorized. The opening scene came fast and furious. After the first scene, I was left reading this book at a slow pace. While I did find this book interesting, I just wished that it kept up the fast pace as the beginning. It seemed like the storyline was a bit lopsided. Thee story focused a lot on Erica and her background, than I got to slowly learn about Alex and why she was killed and finally I got to meet the killer but briefly on and off through out this book at the beginning of each chapter and than finally at the reveal in the last half of the book. Overall, there was some glimmer of greatness in this book. I do plan to give author, Camilla Lackberg another try in the future. The Ice Princess did shimmer!

Monday, March 28, 2011

That's When I Talk to God

That’s When I Talk to God is a good, educational story for children. I liked the lesson that this book taught. That is that you don’t have to just talk to God at night but you can talk to him anytime…small or large. I liked the illustrations as well. I thought they were colorful. The only comment I would make about this book is that I did feel that this book would be better suited to a little older age group like five and older. I think that this age group has a better attention span and would understand the message that this book is telling. That’s When I Talk to God is a book that both parents and grand parents should read with their children. It is not only children that need to know that they can talk to God anytime but this is a good reminder to adults as well.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ever by my Side

Review by my friend Nancy.

Everyone who has ever owned a pet has, at one time or other, met a veterinarian. Some of us (myself included) have met surgeons. The people who, when things are decidedly not good, step in and perform miracles on our aging dogs and cats, hurt animals, young creatures with illnesses. Nick Trout is one of those vets. A veterinary surgeon in Boston, MA; Trout tells us of the years he wanted to grow up to be a vet and the years following his graduation. From Patch, the “Oh, by the way, dear we now own a dog” dog to Reggie (possible cat from Hell turned angel) and a course of others we learn how Nick Trout became a veterinarian and a surgeon at that.

His life is much like ours with a few kinks thrown in to keep it interesting. A father addicted to James Herriot, a mother addicted to golden retrievers and Nick in the middle trying to find his way amidst the dogs in his life. Mr. Trout, Sr. had envisioned Nick in Yorkshire Dales, sounding like Herriot and Dad at his side helping out in the office. Didn’t happen. When Nick goes into surgery, his father realizes that as Herriot-style life isn’t meant to be. When Nick moves to Boston for residency, he knows it for sure.

This book was lovely. Well phrased, even through tragedy; with real characters that could be sitting in my living room over a cup of tea discussing the latest football match. If you love animals you will truly enjoy this tale of dogs, a horrid/nice cat and a boy grown into his dream.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The British have Invaded!!

Sourcebooks has launched a new facebook page for their British authors. Check it out here. Also sign up to get the latest scoop of everything british. Also in honor of the new facebook page, sourcebooks is offering readers for this week copies of the following authors books for 99 cents in ebook format.

· The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick

· The Kingmaking by Helen Hollick

· Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine

· Amelia O’Donohue Is So Not a Virgin by Helen FitzGerald

· Miranda’s Big Mistake by Jill Mansell

· Dating Mr. December by Phillipa Ashley

· Willoughby’s Return by Jane Odiwe

· The Other Mr. Darcy by Monica Fairview

· Mr. Darcy Vampyre by Amanda Grange

· Beautiful People by Wendy Holden

Beware there is a Cold Wind blown in and it is a killer!

Game warden, Joe Pickett is back. He has just helped his oldest daughter move to college. Things are going well for Joe until his mother in law calls. Her husband has been gone for quite some time and she is worried. Joe offers to come out and help look for him.

When Joe finds him, it is not good. Earl Alden is dead. Sheriff McLanahan is quick to suspect Mrs. Alden, Joe’s mother in law. Joe must find a way to prove his mother in law’s innocent before it is too late,

Cold Wind is the first Joe Pickett novel I have read. I have been eyeing Mr. Box and this series for a while but just haven’t checked him out until now. What I read, I liked. I do plan to go back and start at the beginning with book one. I could see if me though from reading some of the other peoples thoughts on this book that I may have enjoyed this book more if, I had a stronger connection to the main characters, which would happen if I had been following this series since the beginning. The one thing that I did not care for was the fact that I was suppose to believe that a sixty year old woman could shot and kill her husband…ok, yes I can believe this but a sixty year old woman, who could kill her husband and than hang his body about six feet in the air, this I can not believe. So knowing this, I was just reading this book, in order to learn the real truth behind the killer and the motive. This book did keep up a good, steady pace. Beware there is a Cold Wind blown in and it is a killer!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Falling Apart in One Piece

Falling apart in one piece: One optimist’s journey through the hell of divorce is author, Stacy Morrison’s memoir. In this book, she shares her story of how her marriage came crumbling down around her and how eventually, she grew from it.

I must admit that I was not really feeling this book and gave up on it about a third of the way in. I did skim the rest of the book but didn’t feel like I really needed to read anymore. I did not take away anything from it, other than the fact that Ms. Morrison is better without her ex-husband. I did feel sorry for Stacy on one hand but on the other hand, I did grow tried of she keep asking herself why her and what is she going to do now. I could understand what a shock it was to Stacy and all the different stages she experienced as she tried to make sense of it all. My and my husband about a year ago went through a rough patch in our marriage. We separated for about two months. At that time, I did go through the different stages of grief, shock, denial, rage, and than I thought about my situation and realized that I had two choices…try to make things work or move on and start afresh. I felt that Stacy did move on and become stronger for it in the long run. Overall, I was not a fan of this book.

"30 Great Books That Teach Children to Be Green"

As we move into the future, one of the things that is very important to teach children and even adults is how to be more "green". So check out this list of all 30 books. Here is just some of the books on the list.

1.50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth: Check out this book that tells kids the many ways they can contribute to saving the Earth.

2.The Giving Tree: Shel Silverstein’s book teaches kids about the relationship between kids and the forest.

3.My Bag and Me!: My Bag and Me! can teach your child to be eco-friendly by using reusable bags.

4.A Drop Around the World: Kids can follow a drop of water around the world in this book.

5.The Great Kapok Tree: In The Great Kapok Tree, a man changes his mind about chopping down a large tree in the Amazon when he hears the pleas of the animals.

6.George Saves the World by Lunchtime: George saves the world with simple everyday actions in this book.

25.Giggles the Green Bean: Giggles the Green Bean learns environmentally friendly lessons and transforms his stinky town to green in this book.

26.The Curious Garden: The Curious Garden tells a story of a little boy who becomes a city gardener in an urban, factory town.

27.Dear Children of the Earth: Mother Earth writes to children to get their help in this book.

28.World Beneath Our Feet: Kids can read about the world that exists in the soil in World Beneath Our Feet.

29.The Berenstain Bears Don’t Pollute (Anymore): This family of bears learns about why we need to mend our polluting and wasteful ways.

30.Why Are the Ice Caps Melting?: Kids can read about the dangers of global warming in Why Are the Ice Caps Melting?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

You better book your reservation now with Staying with Daisy’s.

Daisy MacLean and her father, Hector manage a hotel. Tara Donovan works as a chambermaid at the hotel and is Daisy’s friend. The hotel will be busy. The rich and famous, Dominic Cross-Calvert is getting married at the hotel. When Tara learns who the marriage party is, she about loses it. Dominic and Tara used to be an item. Things will be just fine as long as Tara and Dominic aren’t alone together…too late. What else can go wrong?

Dev Tyzack is a celebrity. He is a sports hero. He is also the best man. Daisy and Dev hit things off. They are having a great time together. There is just one small problem…Daisy does not take the guests. I guess someone should not tell Daisy than that Dev is a hotel guest.

I have become a fan of author, Jill Mansell. I have read many of her books. I must admit that while I do enjoy them for the light-heartedness, the last couple of books were just ok. Staying with Daisy’s renewed my faith in Ms. Mansell. There were so many hilarious moments that I can not pick just one. I thought that Daisy and Dev were fun together. Dev helped Daisy to open up and let loose. Daisy needed a guy like Dev after her last relationship. What I loved the most about this book was all the kooky, hilarious characters. Each one just added to the story. You better book your reservation now with Staying with Daisy’s. You won’t regret it!

41 Reasons to Plant a Tree for Your Book=Money

With more than 180,000 trees planted so far on behalf of readers, authors and publishers working with Eco-Libris, it's no surprise we think planting trees to green up books is only natural, but we also want to hear what readers think about it and why they believe planting trees for books is a good idea.

Therefore, for 41 days, from March 13 culminating with Earth Day on April 22, Eco-Libris will publish the 41 best answers on our blog, one reply every day!

We have great prizes courtesy of our partners to all the readers whose replies we'll publish, including a $25 gift card for Strand Bookstore, audiobooks from Simon & Schuster Audio (such as The Half Life by Jennifer Weiner, American Assassin by Vince Flynn and The Essence of Happiness by the Dalai Lama) and great green books, including books from the Little Green Books series, Planet Home by Jeffrey Hollender, Spit That Out! by Paige Wolf and The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard . You can see the full list of the prizes on the campaign's webpage.

"Shimmer" with Alyson Noël

Alyson Noël, author of the Immortals series, continues her new series about Ever's younger sister, Riley.

Having solved the matter of the Radiant Boy, Riley, Buttercup, and Bodhi are enjoying a well-deserved vacation. When Riley comes across a vicious black dog, against Bodhi's advice, she decides to cross him over. While following the dog, she runs into a young ghost named Rebecca. Despite Rebecca's sweet appearance, Riley soon learns she's not at all what she seems. As the daughter of a former plantation owner, she is furious about being murdered during a slave revolt in 1733. Mired in her own anger, Rebecca is lashing out by keeping the ghosts who died along with her trapped in their worst memories. Can Riley help Rebecca forgive and forget without losing herself to her own nightmarish memories?

Find out more about Shimmer here, including audio excerpts and Riley's diary

50 Best Movies for Women’s History Month

I thought I would share something a little different. March is Women's History Month. Check out this list of 50 of the best movies for women.

Here are some of the movies on this list.

2.One Woman, One Vote: One Woman, One Vote documents the passing of the 19th Amendment by one vote.

4.Iron Jawed Angels: Hillary Swank stars in this movie about the women's rights movement in America.

5.The Passion of Joan of Arc: See the story of the powerful Joan of Arc in this movie.

6.Sisters of Selma: Catholic nuns had a large part in the efforts to secure voting rights for African Americans in Selma, Alabama, and this movie tells their story.

7.Nine to Five: These women show their boss that they can do a much better job than he can.

8.The Miracle Worker: The Miracle Worker shows Annie Sullivan's amazing work as Helen Keller's tutor.

9.Not for Ourselves Alone: Watch this movie about Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony to learn about the struggle for women's rights.

27.Warrior Queen: Warrior Queen offers the story of the Celtic queen Boudica, who shook the Roman Empire.

28.Madame Curie: Learn about the Polish woman scientist who discovered radium in Madame Curie's biopic.

29.Mona Lisa Smile: The female students in this movie are bright, but seem to be just waiting around for the right man to marry, but their teacher helps them reach their potential.

42.Companeras: Companeras offers the story of America's first all-female Mariachi band.

43.North Country: Watch this movie about Josey Aimes, a woman who went to work in the iron mines.

44.Norma Rae: Sally Field stars in this movie about a textile worker who stands up against deplorable working conditions.

Love Amid the Ashes will have readers cheering for more!

Before Dinah’s grandfather, Isaac died, he told Dinah that she must go with Job and marry his son, Ennon. Dinah’s grandfather knew that no one else would marry Dinah after she was found with Shechem, many years ago. Even though, she and Shechem were married and had committed no crime.

Job is a wonderful leader and man. He has gained great respect but he now finds himself under attack. Job knows the truth regarding Dinah but yet he does not feel he has to justify himself now or Dinah. Job brings Dinah back with him. Though Job has feelings for Dinah himself. He made a promise that he would only take one wife and while, he loves Dinah, he will not take another.

I had an enjoyable time reading about Dinah and Job. I thought that author; Mesu Andrews did a wonderful job portraying their story. Dinah showed great strength in adversity. Here Dinah was leaving her home to travel to a new city to marry someone that she did not know all because it was Dinah’s grandfather’s last wishes. Job was an honorable man. He stood for what was right and when he said something, he meant it. Job understood that Dinah needed time to adjust to her new life and he gave her that time. Job and Dinah were good together. Ms. Andrews brings her characters to life in this story. Love Amid the Ashes will have readers cheering for more!

Available March 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Chronicles of Nick ...vampires and Sherrilyn Kenyon

Check out the trailer for author, Sehrrilyn Kenyon's newest book, Invincible. The second book in her young adult vampire series, Chronicles of Nick.

**Note to Dark-Hunter fans. The Chronicles of Nick *is* Nick's real and true past.

"Nick Gautier?s day just keeps getting better and better. Yeah, he survived the zombie attacks, only to wake up and find himself enslaved to a world of shapeshifters and demons out to claim his soul.

His new principal thinks he?s even more of a hoodlum than the last one, his coach is trying to recruit him to things he can?t even mention and the girl he?s not seeing, but is, has secrets that terrify him.

But more than that, he?s being groomed by the darkest of powers and if he doesn?t learn how to raise the dead by the end of the week, he will become one of them..."

The New York Times-bestselling with over 19 million books in print, Sherrilyn Kenyon is renowned the world over as "the reigning queen of the paranormal genre that she pioneered long before the world had heard of Twilight."

Check out an excerpt of this book here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Chatting with authors, Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear

Young Wrass is still being held captive, along with several other children, in Gannajero’s camp. Wrass knows he can’t wait to be rescued. He has to organize the children for an assault on Gannajero’s warriors. Even if he dies, someone has to escape, to carry the story back to their Peoples. It’s the only way to stop the evil old woman.

But Koracoo and Gonda have not abandoned their search. They’re coming for the children, and they have allies: a battle-weary Mohawk war chief and a Healer from the People of the Dawnland. Together, they will find the children and destroy Gannajero. But not before many of the children have been sold and carried off to distant villages—and lost to their families and homes forever....

Question and Answer with Kathleen and W. Michael Gear.

Q: Why did you write this book?
A: We wrote the “North America’s Forgotten Past” series to chronicle the rise and fall of the magnificent native cultures that inhabited North America long before Europeans arrived on our shores. As archaeologists, we know the role these extraordinary cultures played in what America would become, but most people don’t.

Most Americans have no idea, for example, that their unique concepts of democracy, and even their very identity, was molded by Iroquois concepts of self, government, and liberty. The notion of one-person-one-vote, referendum and recall, and especially the notion of confederacy of states—or a United States--originated not in Europe or ancient Greece, but in the forests of upstate New York in the mid- 1400s.

Q: Does your story line develop organically or is it a gestalt before you begin?
A: Well, it depends. The story is based upon the archaeological information, as well as Iroquoian oral history, so we know the beginning and ending when we start. What we don’t know is exactly how the characters are going to reach that ending. As a result, characters evolve organically as they must deal with the stresses of the storyline.

Q: How does your archeological degrees and experience impact your story telling?
A: Our 35 years of experience as archaeologists heavily influences the story. Everything the characters wear and eat, the tools they use, the activities they participate in, are all based upon the archaeological record—what has actually been dug up.

Q: Do you have a favorite character in the book and if so why?
A: That’s like asking a parent which child is their favorite! We love them all or we wouldn’t have written their stories, but that said, we feel especially close to the children who are stolen from their homes during war raids and sold into slavery. Seeing warfare through the eyes of its youngest victims is a powerful experience for authors, and we hope, for readers.

Q: What do you like the most about writing?
A: Character creation is a kind of magic, you’re never quite sure where these people are going, and watching it happen is just plain fun. Additionally, we have had people explain how our stories have helped them in times of crisis. The notion that our fiction can help hurting individuals is really humbling.

Q: Where do your new story ideas come from?
A: They come from archaeological excavations and native oral history. With PEOPLE OF THE MOON, for example, we were touring the site in southern Colorado and the story just

Bestselling authors and award-winning archaeologists Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear are renowned for their novels on North American prehistory, a series that melds the latest archaeological findings with sweeping dramatic narratives and strong Native American tradition. The “North America’s Forgotten Past” series educates readers about our continent’s more than 15,000 years of prehistory and brings to life its natural and cultural heritage.

Beginning with People of the Wolf (Tor; July 1990), and continuing through to People of the Thunder (Forge Books; January 2010), the series provides a vital understanding of the history of North America in a way that is entertaining, full of cultural detail, and intelligent. One of the more recent novels, People of the Raven, won the Spur Award for Best Novel of the West in 2005.

Bringing more than 50 years of combined archaeological experience to their writing, Michael and Kathleen have written over thirty-three novels dealing with historical or anthropological themes. They have between fifteen and sixteen million copies of their books in print worldwide and their books have been translated into twenty-one different languages.

W. Michael Gear has a master’s degree in anthropology from Colorado State University, and has worked for twenty years as a professional archaeologist in the western United States. Kathleen O’Neal Gear has a master’s degree in history from California State University, and studied for her Ph.D. at UCLA. She received two special Achievement Awards from the Department of the Interior for work as an archaeologist in the Bureau of Land Management. Both Michael and Kathleen are principal investigators for Wind River Archaeological Consultants, a cultural resource firm in the Rocky Mountain region.
As archaeologists and novelists they have made appearances on CNN, NPR, and have been featured on “Greenroom” on PBS, as well as local network features. They currently live in Wyoming, bordered on two sides by the Wind River Reservation, and raise registered North American bison.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Bathsheba is a loyal wife. She knows her duty as Uriah’s wife. Uriah is a military man for King David. Uriah worries that when he leaves again for war that Bathsheba won’t have anything to keep her occupied. Bathsheba and Uriah’s love is more about honor than it is about feelings.

While attending an event, Bathsheba meets King David. It is not long afterwards that Uriah leaves for war. It is at this time that King David can not get Bathsheba out of his mind. He sends for her and they end up sharing the night together. How will King David and Bathsheba handle the consequences of their actions?

Bathsheba is book three of the Wives of King David novels. This book can be read as a stand alone novel. Though, after reading this book, I do plan to check out books one and two. I know this sounds silly but I thought that King David was going to be domineering and I would not like him. This was not the incidence. In fact I fell in love with King David. I thought he was so kind to Bathsheba and had a very strong head on his shoulders. I could see how Bathsheba could give in to her feelings towards King David. Of course, it was easy as her husband; Uriah was more focused on his duties in the military than Bathsheba. This book is worth your time and money.

“Available March 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Download an excerpt here.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


This book starts out with an old homeless woman being pursued by a man. The woman knows that if she keeps running, she just might be able to live another day. Unfortunately, the woman is not fast enough. The last words out of the woman’s mouth is…”They didn’t have to kill him…he never drink from the Altar of Bones. I got it back.”

The next scene takes reads back in time to 1937 in a Norilsk prison camp on Siberia, USSR. It is here that readers start to learn more about what the Altar of Bones is really about and why so many people are willing to kill for the location and what the Altar has to offer.

Now to the present day. When Zoe Dmitroff receives a letter from her grandmother, she learns that she is now the “Keeper” of the Altar of Bones. Zoe meets up with Ry O’Malley, an ex-DEA agent. Together they all over the globe to find out if the Altar of Bones really exist. It will be a dangerous trek.

I started reading The Altar of Bones right before I went to bed…bad idea. Right from the beginning I was instantly hooked by this book. I had to force myself to put it down and turn off the lights. There was intrigue, mystery, and adventure at every turn and it did not let up until the very end. Which I also thought was great. Sometimes books can start out strong and the ending can be a let down or seemed rushed. It was neither in the case of this book. Both Zoe and Ry were strong characters. I like that the romance between these two did not take away from the story. Altar of Bones needs to come with a warning…Beware of adrenaline rush!

Check out an excerpt of this book here.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Headhunter’s Daughter

The year is 1945 in the Belgian Congo.

Born-With-Cord-Around-His-Neck was just a young boy. Though if he wanted to be a man, he had to return to his village with the head of his enemy. While traveling along the river side, Born-With-Cord-Around-His-Neck comes upon a bear. The bear is looking at something. It is a baby girl…a white baby girl for that matter. Born-With-Cord-Around-His-Neck scoops up the baby and brings her back to the village.

While talking to one of the locals, Police Captain Pierre Jardin learns that there is a “white girl” living in of the villages, whose parents are Bashilele r head hunters. Pierre does not believe that is possible. When his girlfriend and missionary, Amanda Brown hears the news, she instantly wants to pay a visit to the village. What she learns about Ugly Eyes will be more shocking than a white girl being raised by headhunters.

The Headhunter’s Daughter is the first book I have read by author, Tamar Myers. While I did find this story fascinating, I never really connected with the characters. While I did like Ugly Eyes, I thought there was a mystery about her that was intriguing and the fact that she seemed so wiser. It was Amanda that had to warm up to. While I did appreciated her coming and trying to save Ugly Eyes, I felt that Ugly Eyes and the rest of the tribe should not have had interference from the “white people”. Amanda’s approach was just a little too pushy. As the story progressed, I was drawn into what was happened and could not wait to learn about where Ugly Eyes came from. You could by Mrs. Myer’s writing that she did have detailed knowledge of the Congo being raised there. Overall, I did think that this was a good read. The Headhunter’s Daughter did peak my interest. I think I may check out Mrs. Myers’s The Witch Doctor’s Wife.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Eminent Gangsters: Immigrants and the Birth of Organized Crime in America

When I first saw this book, I thought it looked like an interesting read. I don’t know much about the mafia gangs or where they came from. I just know that I have found them interesting and wanted to learn more about them. Mr. Fentress does not just tell readers what they may already know about the mafia gangs but really digs deep beyond the gangs and arms readers with the birth of the mafia gangs. I thought Mr. Fentress did a very good job of detailing how the gangs were formed. He started out with explaining that they were just immigrants who were looking to come to America for a better life.

A complaint I have with this book is that while I found the references that Mr. Fentress would refer to as sources at different points in this book, my preference is that I would have liked the foot notes or references to be inserted at the bottom of the pages versus at the back of the book. I just know in the past when I have read some books with foot notes that it is much easier to correspond the foot note when it is on the same page. Of course this does not take anything away from the book, it is just my preference.

I learned more than I ever thought I would about the birth of the mafia gangs by reading this book and I thought this book was well organized. For anyone who would like to learn more about the mafia gangs than check this book out. Eminent Gangsters: Immigrants and the Birth of Organized Crime in America would also make a nice gift for someone.

Check out this television interview with Mr. Fentress

Monday, March 7, 2011

I can not wait to rope myself up the next book, Dylan.

Tyler Garahan is in desperate need of money and fast. If he does not raise enough money soon, than he and his brothers will lose the Circle G ranch. When Tyler sees an ad in the newspaper “Wanted, Hardworking Man, Must have a strong back.” Tyler knows he is the right man for the job.

Right from the first moment, Emily Langley meets Tyler; she can tell that he is too nice for the job. The job…a male stripper. Emily feels for Tyler and does hire him but though Tyler may seem nice, she has her guard up around him. Can Tyler save the family ranch and show Emily that he will never break her heart?

Tyler: The Secret Life of Cowboys is the first book in a brand new series from author, C.H. Admirand. I have read a few of Mrs. Admirand’s books from her Irish Western series and enjoyed every book that I have read of her’s. This latest series is no exception. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for cowboys. I usually can not resist checking out a cowboy story, especially one that has a good looking cowboy on the front cover.

Tyler is 100%, genuine cowboy and all man. Plus, Tyler has manners. Instantly, I fell for Tyler. Emily started out a little boring and on the timid side but as the story progressed, she really blossomed. I believed the romance between Tyler and Emily. I like that Tyler took things slowly with Emily, knowing her past. I can not wait to rope myself up the next book, Dylan.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

It Happened One Bite…delivers a tasty, mouthful of romance and intrigue!

Years ago, vampyre, Lord Kettering James Maitland was put under a spell but five witches. When James awakes, he finds himself locked up in a dusty basement. James has been just bidding his time until he is released and can get his revenge.

Blaire Lindsay is convinced by her brother, Aiden to travel to Briarcraig Castle. They inherited the castle. Once Blaire and her brothers, Aiden and Brannock arrive, Blaire is already wanting to turn back. Blaire does feel a strong connection to the castle. It might because of the prisoner in the basement of the castle. When James meets Blaire, he just might wish he was still a prisoner.

It Happened One Bite is the latest release from writing duo, Tammy Falkner and Jodie Pearson as Lydia Dare. I read these ladies werewolf series and really enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to their latest series about vampires and witches. I was not disappointed.

Blaire called all the shots in this book. She told her brothers how it was and they for the most part obeyed her. The only person who was Blaire’s equal was James. Right from the beginning there was something about James and his manner that had me intrigued by him. Though, I enjoyed this book, I felt that it was more romance than a romantic paranormal story. I can not wait to take a bite out of the next book. It Happened One Bite…delivers a tasty, mouthful of romance and intrigue!

The Liberation of Alice Love is a barrel ride of laughs, witty characters, and a book that you will want to make a permanent spot on your bookshelf!

Meet Alice Love. Alice works at The Grayson Wells Agency and Alice is saving up for a place of her own. You could say that Alice lives a normal, quiet life. Alice is about to discover how quickly her life is about to get turned upside down. First it started with packages arriving to Alice of expensive purchases that she supposedly bought and then there was her credit cards being declined due to her reaching her maxed limit. The final straw is when Alice discovers that her bank account has been completely wiped out. Who could have done this to Alice and what type of glamorous life are they living?

The situations that Alice found herself in were priceless. Like for example when she moved in with a friend, who could not stop having sex with her boyfriend in every room. I felt sorry for Alice. It is bad enough if you hear someone having sex but to witness it with your own eyes that is worse. While I did love Alice, if it was not for her friends, Alice would seem a little boring.

I knew The Liberation of Alice Love was going to be a winner, when I read the first sentence…”It began with a vibrator. A smooth, stainless steel, jewel-encrusted vibrator. If this sentence does not grab your attention, than you might want to go to the doctor and make sure you still have a pulse. After this, there is no where else to go but up. The Liberation of Alice Love is a barrel ride of laughs, witty characters, and a book that you will want to make a permanent spot on your bookshelf!

Author Bio

Abby McDonald grew up in Sussex, England and studied Politics, Philosophy & Economics at Oxford University. She began writing at college, and graduated to work as a music journalist and entertainment critic; drawing on her loves of pop culture, film and feminism, and interviewing acts as diverse as LeAnn Rimes, The Kings of Leon, and Marilyn Manson. She is now a full-time novelist and screen-writer.

Her debut book for teens, ‘Sophomore Switch’, was published by Candlewick Press in 2009. It was a Kirkus starred review, ALAN pick, and has been translated into German, Dutch, and Polish. A second title, ‘Boys, Bears & a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots’, followed in April 2010, and a third, ‘The Anti-Prom’, will be published in Spring 2011.

Abby also writes for adults. ‘The Popularity Rules’ was published in the UK by Arrow Books in 2009; it was a Glamour Magazine ’must-read’ pick, and received a 4-star review from Heat magazine. Her second adult title, ‘The Liberation of Alice Love’, was published in July 2010, to glowing reviews in Closer and NOW magazines. Both titles will be published in the US in 2011 by Sourcebooks.

After spells in Montreal and London, Abby recently moved to Los Angeles, where she is enjoying blue skies, drive-thru everything, and an abundance of frozen yoghurt. She is twenty-five years old.

Patricia Selbert shares + Giveaway

What she thought would be the hardest obstacle to cross living in another country and hose she would tackle the barriers

The most difficult obstacle for me – and also the last one – was expressing humor in a new language. I remember saying something I thought was hilarious to initiate a conversation with a group of people, only to completely alienate myself. Humor is culture specific and often what one culture finds funny another may not.

There is a certain amount of underlying tension you have to cope with as you learn to function in an unfamiliar culture. That tension amplifies in the absence of humor and laughter, unless you are aware that humor is a skill that will have to be relearned.

I used to think that laughter was a pretty safe emotion and a sure way to connect with strangers but beware when traveling abroad – your joke might have a whole different meaning in a foreign land.

Thirteen-year-old Serena is torn from everything that’s familiar on her island home. “Everything will be better in America,” her mother tells her. They arrive in the US to find nothing as they expected. Speaking fluent Dutch, Spanish, and Papiamentu (the coloquial language of Curaçao), but limited English, Serena learns to pretend that everything’s fine while struggling to live up to her mother’s impossibly high expectations; always afraid to send her mother into another downward spiral of depression. She juggles responsibility for her mother’s well-being with school, a secret boyfriend, and a growing desire for independence, in a foreign land: Hollywood.

The wisdom of her grandmother, a mixed-race mystic, gives her solace, which she clings to tenaciously despite the thousands of miles between them. Coming of age in a foreign land, faced with enormous obstacles, Serena finds her own feet and the acceptance that sets her free.

Leave a comment with your email address to win a copy of this book. Contest ends March 14th. US and Canada only.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

25 Years Ago Today

Review by Nancy (my friend and fellow reviewer)

25 Years Ago Today by Stacy Juba

Life has had unexpected twists and turns for Kris Langley. A loner, an apparent disappointment to her mother, floating from job to job (jobs that do not make Mom happy, by the way!) she has finally found a semblance of peace acting as assistant editor to her hometown newspaper.

Always affected by insomia, working nights is the perfect job for Kris. She edits the obits, weddings, etc., and researches the past for articles for her “25 Years Ago Today” byline in the paper. That’s when all the trouble begins again. 25 years ago, Diana Ferguson was brutally murdered and the crime remains unsolved. Kris takes it upon herself to go past her usual research and the murder takes on a life of its own.

She is embraced by Diana’s family as a possible end to all their questions. They don’t know that, when she was 12, Kris was affected similarly with a murder of her own – that of her cousin, Nicole. Kris has hid a secret all these years and she’s not about to tell now.

This is a wonderful story! Well written, great personality in the lead character and a mystery that doesn’t let up. The scenarios have you thinking someone did it, but he really didn’t. Someone else did, though and the end is a total surprise. My favorite kind!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Addict in Me and Tales from the Yoga Studio

Lee is the owner of Edendale Yoga studio. Lately, her perfect life is quickly going downhill. Her husband, Alan moved out a few weeks ago. As if that was not bad enough, Lee is having money issues and had to make a decision about the future of Edendale. With some new clients, Lee decides to focus what she does best…teaching yoga and help others discover their full potential. Lee helps Katherine, her friend and masseuse, Graciela, a dancer, Imani, a famous actress and Stephanie, a screenwriter.

I would classify Tales from the Yoga Studio as a chick lit novel. Not that there is anything wrong with this, as every once in a while I need something to break up my books and a chick lit novel is the way to go. While I liked the ladies and the close friendship they formed, I never really connected with any one character in particular. This was a shame as that is one of the nice things about a novel like this is that usually you can relate to the characters. I found that it was really the other woman that helped lift up Lee and turn her around from being bitter and sad to happy again. This book is a quick read. Tales from the Yoga Studio would make a perfect reading for your next book clue selection.

The Addict in Me
By Rain Mitchell,
Author of Tales from the Yoga Studio

In advance of the publication of my novel, Tales from the Yoga Studio, I spent a portion of the fall talking it up to as many people as I could. I was trying to promote my book as a good reading group selection, and attempting to convince everyone I know who is either a big reader or a yoga practitioner (or both) that I thought they'd have a lot of fun with it.

In the midst of all this self-promotion, one friend said, in a slightly peeved tone of voice, "So what are you reading right now?"

I hesitated for a minute and then mentioned that big fat novel that everyone was supposedly reading, the one whose author was on the cover of Timemagazine and, even more famously, on Oprah.

"Enjoying it?" she asked.

"Well, I'm just at the beginning," I confessed.

What I didn't tell her was that I had bought the book over a month earlier and had barely read twenty-five pages. I'd given myself the usual excuses for why I hadn't made more progress -- too busy, book too dense, don't like the print. And so on.

But when I went home that night, resolved to dip into the book and really make a dent in it, I had to face the truth. For months (okay, years) I had been too Internet-involved/distracted/addicted to do even a fraction of the reading I did throughout my life. My mother was an English teacher, and my sister and I were brought up to love books. I never (and I mean never) left the house without carrying a book. No matter what happened -- car breaking down, traffic jam, mom in grocery store for too long -- it would be a perfectly fine day because I had my book with me, and that's all it took to make me happy. I'd choose the next book I was going to read before I was halfway through the one I was reading, and for my birthdays, I always asked for a gift certificate to our local indie bookstore. Vacations meant unlimited reading time, and I identify certain period of my life with the novel I was reading at the time.

But about five or six years ago, I began spending more and more time online. I'm not even sure doing what. I'm not a big Facebook person, I don't "get" Twitter, I don't gamble, and I've never (I mean it) had any interest in porn. But there were all those emails to check, all those YouTube videos to watch, all those news stories to read, songs to download, blogs to peruse, gossip sites to dip into, and real estate listings to drool over. Add it all up, and it spells hours. Hours. Daily.

Every time I sat down to read, I lasted about five or six minutes before I had to jump up and check my email or get a live update on something really important, like Angelina Jolie's marriage or a reality star's plastic surgery nightmare. The sad truth is, I had whittled down my attention span to seconds and had impaired my powers of concentration. As a result, for years, I had been struggling through a mere few novels a year instead of the two or three per week I had enjoyed before I ever heard of gmail.

When you spend a vast chunk of your life doing something that has no intrinsic value and robs you of the ability to do what you do love, something's off balance. I've watched enough episode of Intervention to know that I was hooked and out of control.

I decided, right then and there, to cut down to thirty minutes online per day. To monitor myself, I wrote down when I went online and when I went off, the way a dieter is supposed to write down everything she eats.

That lasted about twelve hours.

I went to a hypnotist recommended by a friend. I guess I'm not suggestible enough.

I tried to convince my nurse practitioner that I needed a prescription for Ritalin. She wasn't buying it.

Then, around Thanksgiving, I had the realization that instead of trying to convince myself to stop doing something, I should take a more positive approach. Why not just try to encourage myself to read more and see what happened?

In the past, checking my email was the last thing I did at night and the very first thing I did upon stumbling out of bed in the morning. My new plan was to make a cup of tea, lie on my favorite sofa, and read for fifteen minutes before I touched the computer, before I did anything. It's always good to start off slowly, as I learned in yoga classes.

What surprised me the most was that I initially found it painful to avoid the computer. I mean physically painful. For the first few mornings, I actually felt a kind of muscular withdrawal, as if my whole body was straining to sit down at the keyboard and go online. It hurt!

But fifteen minutes? I could do that. I was reading Maryann in Autumn, a novel by Armistead Maupin. Light, funny, and short chapters. Not too intimidating. Each morning, it got a little easier to avoid the computer, and by the fifth day, I found myself reading for half an hour. Then, without even realizing it, I started getting up a little earlier so I'd have more reading time before sitting down to write. A few chapters before the end of that Maupin novel, I was eagerly searching my bookshelves for the next book I was going to read.

Like any addict, I'm taking this one day at a time. But it's now over three months since I started, and I haven't missed a single morning. I usually read for at least an hour after I get up, and even better, I find myself reading instead of doing you-know-what in the evening as well. I'm back to reading about two novels a week, and I feel as if my concentration has improved in all kinds of other areas as well. I feel as if I have my life back.

When I was describing this to a friend, she said, "Gee, Rain, it sounds as if you're getting addicted to reading books." I happily admitted that I am. I always have been. And honestly, I can't think of a more wonderful addiction.

So now, let me tell you about this novel I wrote . . .

© 2011 Rain Mitchell, author of Tales from the Yoga Studio

Author Bio
Rain Mitchell, author of Tales From the Yoga Studio, began practicing yoga as a teenager and is currently at work on the second novel in the series. Rain's favorite pose is corpse.

Taste Me is a yummy morsel to what author, Tamara Hogan has to offer.

Many years ago, a bunch of refugees were traveling, when their ship crashed on Earth. The survivors formed a secret council known as the Underworld Council. The council is composed of incubus, sirens, werewolves, vampires, and valkyries. Most recently the council has allowed humans to have a seat in the council.

Lukas Sebastiani is an incubus. His father is the president of the Council. Lukas works for Sebastiani Security.

Scarlett Fontaine is the lead singer in a rock band. She is also a siren. Scarlett has been on the road for a long time and is ready for some rest and relaxation. Unfortunately, someone has other plans. Someone is attacking the people around Scarlett. It is up to Lukas to protect Scarlett, though who will protect him from Scarlett?

Taste Me is the first book in a brand new series called the Underbelly Chronicles. Not to be mistaken for paranormal but this book is definitely urban fantasy. It is darker, edgier, sensual and way hotter than paranormal. I thought Scarlett and Lukas were hot together, though the romance did not start until about middle way into the book. The story line surrounding the attacks was exciting. While I did enjoy this book and liked the various different characters in this story, I did wish that there was more happening. It did feel like the first book in a series with the build up to where the next book would be even better. Taste Me is a yummy morsel to what author, Tamara Hogan has to offer.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

California Schemin’ will have you in stitches…laughing your head off!

Even when Bella “Bree” MacGowan leaves Vermont for California to spend it with her boyfriend, she can not escape the dead. While out taking pictures, Bree watches in horror as a woman falls off a bridge into the water. Without a second thought, Bree dives into the water, only to discover that the woman has been shot in the head. As if things could not get any worse, Bree has to contend with the aftermass of a murder. Bree has to worry about the killer coming after her. Can Bree solve the murder before she ends up the next victim?

California Schemin’ by Kate George is the first book I have read but this author. This book is the second Bree MacGowan mystery story. It can be read and enjoyed as a stand alone novel. Bree is a hoot. She is not afraid to face fear head on and she is sarcastic to boot. Two of my favorite qualities. Of course the situations that Bree found herself in were pretty funny as well. The characters Bree meets are some interesting ones. They really made this story exciting. There were some surprises along the way. They are well placed ones. After reading this book, I plan to go back and check out the first Bree MacGowan novel, Moonlighting in Vermont. California Schemin’ will have you in stitches…laughing your head off!