Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” —Groucho Marx

Friday, May 25, 2012

2 Giveaways at Booksandsparkles

Hop over to http://booksandsparkles.blogspot.com/   for a chance to win Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen and Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

Book Description from Amazon:
I don't do dangerous.
Smart, ├╝ber-careful, ordinary Samantha—that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me…something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It's like part of me is missing—and I don't know if I can get it back.
Then there's Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me….

About the Author
Michelle Rowen writes paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and young adult fantasy. She has been on the Waldenbooks/Borders Group romance bestseller list and was the winner of the 2007 Holt Medallion for Best First Book and the 2009 Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best Vampire Romance.
Please visit
http://www.michellerowen.com/ to learn more about Michelle and her books.

Michelle Rowen has generously offered a signed copy of Dark Kiss to one lucky winner.  US/Canada only.

Book Description from Amazon:
Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed—as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she's opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn't possible, she knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.
But her revival, and Ben's possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI agent father's files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something—but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what's right in front of her: Everything that's happened—the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben's sudden appearance in her life—points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she's going to need to uncover Ben's secrets—and keep from falling in love with him in the process.
From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl's fight to save herself, her world, and the boy she never saw coming. 
 Elizabeth Norris was awesome enough to offer to give away a signed hardcover copy of Unraveling to one lucky winner.  Open internationally!  
Now go!   Both sound like great young adult reads!    Visit  http://booksandsparkles.blogspot.com/


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Redheads are Soulless by Heather M White

First of all, is this not the most beautiful cover design?  It was designed by Heather of SupaGurl.   Our main character, Sofia is beautiful, but is obviously very unaware of it.   I do not know how that happens.   I have a friend whose daughter is beautiful and she doesn't realize it either;   it just makes her more awesome!    I fear if I had the good looks, I would know it and be totally unattractive as a result.   But moving on..

Sophia Black was the school outcast at her high school.   During her senior year, she sought anonymity.  She had lost her father when she was ten and as a result, had to care for her mother, Sarah Black...an alcoholic drug addict.   Sophia's life was not pretty by any means.

One day, Sophia's life encountered a change when Jason Morgan entered school and sought her out.  Her self esteem was so low, it took time for Jason's friendship to win her trust, but eventually she allowed him in.  Just when life appeared to be changing for the better, Jason's twin Robbie showed up and Robbie wanted her dead, or did he?  With these two brothers Sophia learned a lot of strange things.....about her father's death, about who or what she really was, and who these twins were... which one was the good brother? Which was the bad? 

The Storyline was interesting and the book moved along at a nice pace.   Sofie ended up with the brother I wanted her to, but I felt like this book could have been much more.  I did not feel the characters were developed fully.  This was book #1 in a trilogy and I look forward to book #2.    It's a trilogy full of potential and my interest is quite piqued!  I would recommend.    I based my review on an ARC copy of the book.   This book will be released tomorrow.

Til later Peeps, keep those peepers reading!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Morning Star by Desiree Finkbeiner

Good Evening!   I just finished reading Morning Star and let me say, it was a most refreshing and enjoyable read.   First of all , let me start by advising this is a fantasy read that you escape into and I really did...escape that is and I loved every minute of it.   The storyline moved right along, it captivated my attention, the characters were strong and well developed.   The only grievance I have is that it is part of a trilogy and I wanted it all right now.

Brianna is the main character and she was a college student who at the age of twelve found a unique mushroom and took it home for her collection.  She had not been able to find another like it mentioned in any of her research.   Brianna was knocked unconscious and put in the hospital to be accused of drug addiction.   Days later her mother was found unconscious also and the mushroom gone.    During this odd time, Brianna met an unusual young man (relatively speaking), named Kalen and he quickly steals her heart and she his.  He is a master of giant beautiful colored dragonflies.   (Now I want you to know, one of the dragonflies was named Nesbit and every time they mentioned him and his face I saw Michael Nesbit from the Monkees in his stocking cap...Lol)
Kalen's mission is to protect Brianna as the mushroom had chosen her to carry its magic as the Life Mother of Ethos.   She had become the balance of life for both Earth and Ethos.

Actually as great fantasy does, I was carried into another world and I felt like I was really there.   Now here of late I have been delving into the young adult lit and I'm liking it for the escape value.  If you are in need of an escape and a great clean romance story, this just may be what you need!   I would recommend it as highly enjoyable and a great escape from the cares of this world!!

If you are unaware, this site will send a daily listing of free kindle books for those of you who like free ebooks.   I do!   My preference is a real book, but I do love freebies and have obtained enough to see me through to the end of this year at least.
Just invite them in and choose your selections from all kinds of genres!   Enjoy!

Have a great week!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Novels, News and Notes from Your Northwest Neighbors FYI

Do you enjoy reading about book events and love seeing pictures taken at them?  Do you live in the Pacific NW, or even just love some authors that do?  Maybe you enjoy reading reviews/interviews/guest posts/giveaways and other goodies featuring authors from the Pacific NW?  And last of all, do you live in the Portland, Oregon or surrounding area and are looking for a YA book club?
The gals at Novels, News and Notes from Your Northwest Neighbors are looking for readers!  You do not have to live in the area to read the blog featuring the fabulous authors that we have in this corner of the world, they do not discriminate!  And right now they are giving away 3 fabulous prize packs featuring two awesome Pacific NW authors.  Go here to find out what you can win. 
Some (this is NOT a full list yet!) of the fabulous authors that you will find featured on Novels, News and Notes are:

Holly Cupala, Joelle Anthony, Stasia Kehoe, Lisa Schroeder, Colleen Houck, Kimberly Derting, Lisa Burstein, Inara Scott, April Henry, Maureen McQuerry, Cat Patrick, Conrad Wesselhoeft and many, many more.

Good Luck!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Devil in Pew Number 7 by Rebecca Nichols...a Review

This was a non fiction writing, about the five year reign of terror against a North Caroline pastor and his family.   Most of the story is told from the point of view of the five year old daughter.

Pastor Nichols truly had a call to serve and was as determined to stand firm as Hoory Watts was to have him and his family get out of Dodge.   Watts served up all kinds of incentive for the family to leave, from gunshots, bullet holes, cut phone lines, and even bombs and dynamite.   Eventually the absolute worst intimidation was dealt and the family lost a family member.   Pastor Nichols left the North Carolina town a broken man.

But the book continues on to tell what the parents, through their staunch stand against this man, and what their Bible had professed, taught their children about love and forgiveness.   Although I hated that the children had to experience such trauma at such early ages, it was probably what helped to shape them into the adults they are today.   Both learned the hard lessons of love and forgiveness.

I cried, I repented, I asked my husband to forgive me and I forgave him during the reading of this book.   It was so well written, so cohesive and the old adage, the truth is stranger than fiction is proven true in this writing.  I had no idea what to expect with this book, but it is one of the most shocking and touching books I have ever read.    I am sure it will go with me for the rest of my life.

This is a book I would highly recommend to anyone who loves God.   So very little has been asked of me and I am reassessing my life at this very moment!   I hope it speaks to every heart that opens its covers!

It's Sunday night and time for my TBR list:

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

The Red Book by Deborah Copaken Kogan

Dear Coca Cola by Terry Ravenscroft

You Don't Want to Know by Lisa Jackson

and last, Close Your Eyes by Iris Johansen

If I am ever fortunate to read all that I want to, I wonder if my eyeballs will have exploded or melted into nothingness!   But it sure will have been a great ride.    Like you, I LOVE TO READ11

Have a great week everybody!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Smitten: Part 1 Zerrin by Patria L Dunn....a Review

Alana Cassidy, 17 year old who lost her parents in a car accident five years ago,is now in foster care with the Pernickles and four other foster kids.  She is miserable and abused.  The Pernickles like to collect the checks for their fosters, but could care less about providing or caring for them.  Three months before Alana turns 18, the Pernickles learn that Alana's former home sold and she has an inheritance.  They make a secret trip to adopt her.

While gone, Alana finds an injured Merman- who offers her a plan of escape.   How can she refuse?   But how can she leave the four other fosters?

Now, I enjoyed the storyline.....abuse, escape, a better life?   I remember watching a movie with Shirley Temple as a mermaid from years ago when I was a child and I was totally fascinated by the beauty of the ocean creature.   So something long buried kept me interested in this very short novella.   The characters were well developed and I loved all five of the foster kids.  I did think of Harry Potter's Aunt and Uncle when it came to the Pernickles, as they seemed to be cut from the same cloth.  My only complaint would be that the book was too short.

In fact, I do not understand what prompts a trilogy out of such a short work as I understand the second and third books are shorter yet than the first.   Why not one book with three parts if need be?   But a trilogy?  But then of course, I haven't read books two and three yet, so I may be speaking out of turn.   I will read them as I am drawn into the story from book one and want to see how it ends for our young heroine.

Overall, I really liked Smitten and would recommend it for a light read!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Kekaju and the Hidden Swamp by Robert W Sweeting....a Review

Call me old, I am a grandma and I am not a boy.   I wanted to check it out for  my grandsons, but I just could not get into this book.  It was a book you had to jump into with both feet running and Fast!  Set in New Orleans, I enjoyed the Cajun dialect, however, the story crossed time, so we not only had time travel, but “magic”, exotic creatures and ghosts.   To me it was a rush of ideas, all jumbled together.   I will say most of the character development, was genius and be they human or animal, they were unforgettable! I am thinking my boys would like it,   we'll soon see!
Zach,age thirteen, lost his dad...a ghost girl pushed him in front of a bus.   Mom was long gone previously.
Zach had to go live with his Great Aunt Astoria.  While there he met a boy who lived in the swamp and
 confirmed his Aunt's story about hidden treasure.   Zach is determined to find the treasure.
But he can not do it alone;  it will take the help of Kekaju and a multitude of other swamp friends.
I love the name Kekaju;  he may look like a giant rat, but he's not a rat!!    

Monday, May 7, 2012

Stay Close by Harlan Coben...a Review

Now this book is one from my favorite genre...mystery suspense!  I could really relax and get into the story.   First let me say, there were plenty of plot twists, excellent development of characters  and plenty of page turning suspense!  It was the first book from Coben that I had read, but I will be anxious to read more from this author!

Megan Pierce led a double life.   Her past would have startled her husband.....if he knew...maybe even destroyed their marriage.   She was living the perfect life in the suburbs as the typical soccer mom, 2 kids, a girl and a boy, an adoring hard working husband...and what?   She's sort of bored?   Misses her former life as an exotic dancer?   Yeah, she missed the life.   So she drives into Atlantic City to attend a realtor conference and visits LeCreme' where she used to work.  Because of that one visit, her whole world may come crumbling down around her.

Detective Broome was still stuck in a case involving a missing man from seventeen years ago.   Oddly enough another man disappeared seventeen years to the day.   Was there a common denominator?  An odd relationship occurs between Megan and Detective Broome, both with an agenda of their own, but locked together in trying to solve the mysteries of the past and putting it to rest.

This was an excellent book for those who like mystery suspense...like putting a jigsaw puzzle together in dim light!  I thoroughly enjoyed it!

This week's TBR list will hopefully provide just as much enjoyment:

Violet Midnight by Allie Burke

Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout

Whispering Hills by Taryn Browning

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

A Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young

I guess it is only natural that the new books I am desiring to read are coming from the bloggers I follow.  So thank you for becoming my newest enablers!  Lol.    Have a great week reading and blogging!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Catching Fire/Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins...a Review

Now that all three grandsons have the trilogy boxed set of the Hunger Games And now that Grandma has finished reading them,  it is time for the final review.  I guess the first thing that strikes me about this trilogy is how very sad it struck me.  The Hunger Games were established by the Capitol to remind the districts of the rebellion which led to the establishment of the 12 districts governed by the Capitol.  The Games were meant to control the districts and in reality provided entertainment for the population of the Capitol.  If two contestants from each District were to enter the games with only one to survive at the end of the games, then twenty three families would lose a beloved family member.

Catching Fire , the second in the trilogy, returned Katniss and Peeta to District 12 as victors.  However, although they had received money, the food to their families and district was doled out on a less than regular and fulfilling basis.   Katniss learned that since she basically embarrassed President Snow at the Hunger Games this year, he  declared personal war on her.   Her innocent act to offer to take both her and Peeta out, was interpreted as an act of rebellion and feared as a spark to open rebellion throughout the districts. When they went on the victory tour, they had best convince President Snow and the districts it was just a silly act of "being so in love",  and was the only option SHE could think of.    Security tightened up in District 12, Gale was punished for hunting outside the fence, Katniss failed at convincing President Snow, and another Game (Quarter Quell) was called.  It was unheard of....Katniss and Peeta faced the arena again with a whole new bunch of competitors and a lot worse adversity from the gamekeeper.

Third in the Trilogy was Mockingjay.   Our young couple was separated and doing an enormous amount of suffering apart from each other.  Katniss experienced every agony and frustration imaginable while in District 13.  Peeta was held captive by the Capitol and tortured.   All the districts have now rebelled against the capitol and all but a very few Katniss loved have died in the rebellion.

The writing of this trilogy and the storyline captured my attention and I dearly loved the characters throughout the book.   Katniss, though not the most sociable person in district 12, and rather a loner, still maintained a gentle spirit and a kind heart for the underdog and the disadvantaged.   She understood that war equals death and loss and suffering.   There were two quotes that particularly touched me and caused my tears to fall as I neared the end of the book.   "....but they will never again brainwash me into the necessity  of using them.  I no longer feel any allegiance to these  monsters called human beings, despise being one myself.  I think that Peeta was onto something about us destroying one another and letting some decent species take over.  Because something is significantly wrong with a creature that sacrifices its children's lives to settle its differences...........The truth is, it benefits no one to live in a world where these things happen."   My thought is just how far  are we from that status today.    Maybe not here (yet), but in areas that are actively fighting.

The second passage:  "What I need is the dandelion in the spring.  The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction.   The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses.   That it can be good again."   Thank God there is always that hope.  

I will be having a conversation with my three grandsons when they finish the trilogy.   There is much room for discussion, especially when they are so oriented to the violent video games so prevalent today.   I hope this series touches their hearts as it did mine.

I apologize for the long post today.   May God Bless one and all.                            

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What did you read in April?

Happy May 2nd!!!  I was reading a post from the Book Instinct (http://thebookinstinct.com/2012/05/02/the-april-round-up/) posted by Renny Roo and the books read in April were listed.    How many books did you read in April?   I read 10 and if you have followed my blog, you know them already, but here is my list :

The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
5B Poppy Lane by Debbie Macomber
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
The Hollowlands by Amanda Hocking
The Dark Lake by Anthea Carson
The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith
Septimus Heap Flyte #2 by Angie Sage
I Never Met an Idiot on the River by Henry Winkler
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

What was my favorite of what I read?  The Hunger Games, I believe.
What book made me the happiest?   That's a tie between Henry Winkler's I Never Met an Idiot on the River and Eowyn Ivey's The Snow Child

I want to send out a big thank you to Brooke at LeeLou Blogs for designing the lovely blog button we now sport on our page.  Is that not cool?  Let me tell you, I am too old for most of this stuff in the techno world.    What I messed with for days, Brooke finalized in minutes!!  I'm so glad we all have our special talents!

And this is exciting news, May 30th we're participating in aYA paranormal Book Tour, our first!  So stay tuned.   I'm thinking can you say prize?

Reading brings such Joy!