Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It's Monday! What Are you Reading? (Dec 27, 2011)



Ok, so I know it's not Monday, but we were a day late in celebrating Christmas as a family - yesterday was our Christmas Day - so I am a day late on lot's of things this week!  What are you reading on Mondays is hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey - You can hook up with the Mr. Linky there with your own post - but be sure and let me know what you are reading too! 

You still have today to enter in the Midwinter's Giveaway Hop! 

Currently reading:
Family Storms by V.C. Andrews  - This is a good book, but I just can't seem to get anytime to read!






Books up this week:




Bathroom Book:




Books finished since last post:




Books reviewed since last post:





Until next week ----  Ready - Set - Read!





Sunday, December 25, 2011

Mailbox Monday (Dec 26, 2011)



 Mailbox Monday will be hosted in December by Lady Q at Let Them Read Books.  In My Mailbox is hosted Sundays at The Story Siren. Please visit these posts and take a look at what packages everybody else got this week! 
 
 

The Demi-Monde: Winter
by Rod Rees


The Demi-Monde:
1. A subclass of society whose members embrace a decadent lifestyle and evince loose morals.
2. A shadow world where the norms of civilized behavior have been abandoned.
3. A massive multiple-player simulation technology that re-creates in a wholly realistic cyber-milieu the threat-ambiance and no-warning aspects of a hi-intensity, deep-density, urban Asymmetric Warfare Environment.
4. Hell.

Welcome to the Demi-Monde, the ultimate in virtual reality -- a military training ground and vivid, simulated world of cruelty and chaos run by psychopaths, madmen and fanatics.  If you die here, you die in the Real World. . .

In the year 2018, the Demi-Monde is the most sophisticated, complex and unpredictable computer simulation ever created, devised specifically to train soldiers for the nightmarish reality of urban warfare.  A virtual world of eternal civil conflict, its thirty millian inhabitants -- "Dupes" -- are ruled by cyber-duplicates of some of history's cruelest tyrants: the fanatical Nazi butcher Reinhard Heydrich; Stalin's arch executioner Lavrentii Beria; the torture-loving Grand Inquisitor Tomas de Torquemada; the Reign of Terror's bloodthirsty mastermind Maximilien Robespierre.

But something has gone horribly wrong inside the Demi-Monde, and the U.S. president's daughter, Norma has been lured into this terrifying shadow world, only to be trapped there.  Her last hope of rescue is Ella Thomas, an eighteen-year-old jazz singer and very reluctant heroine.  But when Ella infiltrates the Demi-Monde and begins her hunt for Norma, she soon discovers the walls containing the evils of this simulated environment are dissolving -- and the Real World is in far more danger than anyone knows.  With the help of resistors determined to understand their world, Ella must race to save Norma and stop an apocalypse. . . but the clock is ticking.

Blending fact and fantasy, history and religion, military and existential themes, epic adventure and dark wit, dystopia and steampunk in a wholly original and driving narrative stream, The Demi-Monde: Winter is inventive fiction at its finest.





What Happened to Hannah
by Mary Kay McComas

As a teenager, Hannah Benson's one chance to save herself was to run away.  As the years have passed, she's never looked back, not even to find out what happened to the mother and sister she left behind.  Now, twenty years later, the past comes calling when her hometown sheriff, Grady Steadman -- Hannah's sweetheart in high school -- delivers some life-changing news: her mother and sister are dead, leaving her guardian of her fifteen-year-old niece.

Returning home to bitter memories and devastating secrets, Hannah must find a way to make this new challenge work without ruining lives -- or destroying her own sanity.  And when her painful memories of this small town become mingled with the new, happier moments she's creating with her niece -- and the rekindled feelings she has for Grady -- Hannah is faced with the most difficult challenge yet.

Mary Kay McComas's What Happened to Hannah captures the totality of a life filled with unfinished business, words left unsaid, and unparalleled heartache.





More Than Words Can Say
by Robert Barclay

A woman finds hope, long-buried secrets, and the chance to truly come into her own when she spends a summer at her late grandmother's lake cottage in this moving, multigenerational family story from the author of If Wishes Were Horses.

Though she and her grandmother had always been close, Chelsea Enright never expected to inherit her Gran's cottage in the Adirondacks.  No one had been to the cottage since Gran mysteriously closed it decades ago.  A letter accompanying the will makes it clear that this is no simple bequest.  The cottage holds secrets that go back decades -- secrets that Chelsea must uncover before she can decide whether to keep the place or sell it.

But a short trip becomes an entire summer in which she gets to know the cottage's caretakers and the rest of her neighbors -- including local doctor Brandon Yale -- who makes her realize that this cottage and her family's past are not so easily put behind her.  As the truth unfolds, the repercussions will be felt far and wide. . . if Chelsea lets them.






Lovesick
by Spencer Seidel

There's something wrong with Lee. . .

Late one night out on the Eastern Promenade Trail in Portland, Maine, the police discover an incoherent teenager sitting in a pool of blood, holding the body of his best friend and the murder weapon.  The girl they both love has been missing for weeks.

Dr. Lisa Boyers, forensic psychologist, receives a call from an old friend, a connection to her troubled past, Attorney Rudy Swaner wants her to interview the young killer, Paul Ducharme, who is claiming he doesn't remember the events leading up to the murder.

In her jailhouse interviews, Lisa helps Paul to recover his memories.  But Paul's disturbing love story forces her to confront her own ugly, violent secrets.

Lisa soon finds herself the focus of an over-zealous reporter and media hype that drags her unwillingly into the spotlight and threatens to uncover secrets she'd rather not share.




Gun Games
by Faye Kellerman

LAPD lieutenant detective Decker and his wife, Rina, have willingly welcomed fifteen-year-old Gabriel Whitman, the son of a troubled former friend, into their home.  While the enigmatic teen seems to be adapting easily, Decker knows only too well the secrets adolescents keep -- witnessed by the tragic suicide of another teen, Gregory Hesse, a student at Bell and Wakefield, one of the city's most exclusive prep schools.

Gregory's mother, Wendy, refuses to believe her son shot himself and convinces Decker to look deeper.  What he finds disturbs him.  The gun used in the tragedy was stolen -- evidence that propels him to launch a full investigation with his trusted team, Sergeant Marge Dunn and Dectective Scott Oliver.  But the case becomes darkly complicated by the suicide of another Bell and Wakefield student -- a death that leads them to uncover an especially nasty group of rich and privileged students with a predilection for guns and violence.  Decker thought he understood kids, yet the closer he and his team get to the truth, the clearer it becomes that he knows very little about them, including his own charge, Gabe.  The son of a gangster and an absent parent, the boy has had a life filled with too much free time, too many unexplained absences, and too little adult supervision.

Before it's over, the case and all its terrifying ramifications will take Decker and his detectives down a dark alley of twisted allegiances and unholy alliances, culminating at a heart-stopping point of no return.






The Starlite Drive-In
by Marjorie Reynolds

When human bones are discovered on the grounds of the old Starlite Drive-in, only Callie Anne Benton knows the identity of the victim who mysteriously disappeared thirty-six years ago.

It's the sweltering summer of 1956 when a handsome drifter named Charlie Memphis arrives at the Starlite to help Callie Anne's injured father run the theater.  Both she and her mother, Teal, fall for Memphis's rugged style and gentlemanly manners, but Callie Anne's father -- bitter in his role as caretaker for the rural drive-in and his agoraphobic wife -- doesn't like the drifter's increasing interest in Teal.

A disastrous turn of events changes their lives forever, and it's up to the grown up Callie Anne to unlock the secret of the decades-old mystery.

Told through the voice of Callie Anne, a whip-smart tomboy reminiscent of Scout Finch, The Starlite Drive-in is a vivid snapshot of 1950s America.  A compelling novel infused with hope, tragedy, and suspense, Callie Anne's story will strike a chord with readers both young and old.





Archon: The Books of Raziel
by Sabrina Benulis

There are some things worse than death. . .

For years, Angela Mathers had been plagued by visions of a supernatural being -- an angel with beguiling eyes and magnificent wings who haunts her thoughts and seduces her dreams.  Newly freed from a mental institution where she had been locked away for two years, Angela hopes that attending Westwood Academy, the Vatican's exclusive university, will bring her peace and a semblance of normality.

But Angela isn't normal.  With her stain of dark red hair and alabaster skin, she is a blood head -- a freak, a monster, and the possible fulfillment of a terrifying prophecy.  Blessed with strange, mystical powers, blood heads hold a special place in the Academy.  Among them, one special blood head is more powerful than them all: the Archon, the human reincarnation of the dead angel Raziel. And when Archon arises as foretold, it will rule the supernatural universe.

Barely in control of her own life, Angela has no ambition to conquer an entire universe, not when she's suddenly contending with a dangerous enemy who is determined to destroy her and a magnetic novitiate who wants to save her.  But the choice might not be her own. . .

Torn between mortal love and angelic obsession, the young blood head must soon face the truth about herself and her world.  It is she who holds the key to Heaven and Hell -- and both will stop at nothing to possess her.

In Archon, Sabrina Benulis has created  a dazzlingly imaginative tale set in a lush, vivid supernatural world filled with gargoyles and candlelight, magic and murder, in which humans, angels, demons, and those in between battle for supremacy -- and survival. 





Silent Kills
by C.E. Lawrence

Everyone has what he wants.
The killer picks her up in a Manhattan night club.  Another trendy victim of the latest downtown scene.  Young. Fresh. Healthy. Perfect.  The police find her body in a Bronx park.  Pale as a ghost.  Peaceful in death.  Her life has been drained away.  Slowly.  Methodically.  Brilliantly. . .

No one survives what he takes.
NYPD profiler Lee Campbell has seen the gruesome handiwork of the most deranged criminal minds.  But this is something new.  Something unbelievably twisted.  A blood-obsessed lunatic who chooses his victims with deadly, loving care -- and forces Campbell to confront the demons in his own life.  No matter who wins this game, there will be blood. . .





Kill Switch
by Neal Baer and Jonathan Greene

Meet Claire Waters, a young, dedicated forensic psychiatrist with unnervingly personal insights into the criminal mind.  Haunted by a disturbing childhood incident -- and driven by her demons -- Claire has always been drawn to those rare "untreatable" patients who seem to have no conscience or fear.  But one shocking case could make or break her career -- and it's waiting for her in the psychiatric wing of New York City's Rikers Island.

His name is Quimby.  A deranged inmate whose boyish good looks hide a sordid history of dysfunction and abuse, Quimby triggers something in Claire she'd rather not face.  As she tries to unlock Quimby's past, she unwittingly reveals her own painful secrets -- leaving herself dangerously vulnerable.  When the case propels her into the mind of another killer -- a homicidal maniac who's watching her every move -- it could only end in madness, or murder, or both. . .

Brilliantly constructed and breathtakingly suspenseful, Kill Switch is a masterful combination of murder, mystery, and modern forensics that will keep you turning the pages to the final shocking conclusion.


What books came home to you last week?



 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Great New Trailer for the Trylle Series!

From Amanda Hocking, million-copy bestselling author and internet sensation comes the Trylle series… it all begins with Switched, available everywhere 1.3.12. As a special gift to readers, Switched contains a new, never-before-published bonus story, “The Vittra Attacks,” set in the magical world of the Trylle.



The Trylle series continues with Torn, on-sale 2.28.12, and concludes on 4.24.12 with Ascend.

SWITCHED… at birth:

When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. Eleven years later, Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. She’s not the person she’s always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel—all because of Finn Holmes.

Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her. Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken…though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she’d ever admit. But it isn’t long before he reveals the truth: Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth—and he’s come to take her home.

Now Wendy’s about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that’s both beautiful and frightening. And where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she’s meant to become…



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mid-Winter's Eve Giveaway Hop (Dec 21-Dec 27)

A big thank you to Kathy at I am a Reader Not a Writer and Jessie from Oasis for YA  for hosting this event!
I have two books that I am giving away for this event, so there will be two winners.  It is open to U.S. entrants only.

The first book is The Night Sky by Maria Sutton.


This extraordinary and unflinchingly honest memoir takes us on a riveting journey into the hearts and souls of three enigmatic people whose destinies are forever changed by the events of World War II. The secrets of misguided love and passions are revealed as the author journeys between the past and the present to solve the mystery of a handsome Polish officer with piercing blue eyes and sun-colored hair. Maria Sutton takes us to the dark green hills and valleys of the ancient Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine, where the woody fragrance of birch trees and new-mown hay fills the fresh, crisp air after a heavy rain. Vicariously, we see a sunrise over Poland obscured by brightly colored swastikas on warplanes and then we will be taken into suffocating cattle cars, lice-infested stallags, and to the Dachau death camp. Further down a country road, the hearty laughter and beer steins clinking with each salute to the Fuhrer's astonishing victories can be heard.
As Maria takes us on this odyssey to solve a decades-long mystery, she learns the family secrets of untold heroism, quiet courage, and a mother's love -- and of tragedy, disillusionment, and heartbreak. At the end of her long journey, Maria uncovers a shattering and painful truth. But the secret, however heartbreaking, would also become the greatest gift she would receive.
The second book is The Kingdom of Childhood by Rebecca Coleman.

The Kingdom of Childhood is the story of a boy and a woman: sixteen-year-old Zach Patterson, uprooted and struggling to reconcile his knowledge of his mother's extramarital affair, and Judy McFarland, a kindergarten teacher watching her family unravel before her eyes.  Thrown together to organize a fundraiser for their failing private school and bonded by loneliness, they begin an affair that at first thrills, then corrupts each of them.  Judy sees in Zach the elements of a young man she loved as a child, but what Zach does not realize is that their relationship is -- for Judy -- only the latest in a lifetime of disturbing secrets.
There are four entries in this contest by using rafflecopter form below:
1. This is mandatory as I try to run the giveaways for my followers - please follow through GFC (top left sidebar) or email (mid right sidebar).
2.  Also mandatory - please leave your name and email address so that I can get in touch with you if you win.

3. Extra entry - leave a blog post telling me which book you would like to win.
4. Like my blog post on FB.

There are over 200 blogs participating in this hop - so be sure to take a look at the list below and enter them all!



a Rafflecopter giveaway




No Holly for Christmas by Julie N. Ford (Book Review)

Title: No Holly for Christmas
Author: Julie N. Ford
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press

About the book: As Brian McAlister struggles to move past being jilted not once, but twice by the only woman he's ever loved, he's all but given up on relationships. Then, on special assignment for the DA's office, he crosses paths with ex-socialite turned social worker, Holly Cavanaugh Winter-and romance blossoms.
Widowed, practically penniless, and reduced to shopping at WalMart, Holly is dreading the approaching Holiday Season. However, her angst isn't due to her husband's untimely death the previous December 25th, but because of a secret that could reveal itself unless she can find a way to avoid the coming Christmas.


Love at first sight quickly turns frigid for Brian and Holly when Holly gets pulled into a manhunt for an accused murderer who now has his sights set on her. His case unraveling, Brian finds himself tasked with keeping Holly and her two daughters safe while bringing an assassin and the powerful man who hired him to justice.

A heart-warming story of suspense, healing, giving and receiving, No Holly for Christmas is the perfect addition to everyone's holiday reading list.

My thoughts:  This book starts out pretty unassuming.  It had enough action to keep me interested, but not enough for me to feel like I just had to read it.  That is, until I was about halfway through. 

Brian gets thrown into a case that his father was handling as a D.A. when his father has to undergo heart surgery. Brian hates the D.A.'s office and all that it represents, so he goes into it with a closed mind. On his first day on the job he meets Holly, who happens to be the older sister of his assistant D.A. and a social worker who treated a suspect, under an assumed name, who showed up at her hospital with a gunshot wound.

Holly and Brian definitely had chemistry, but he was still hung up on his girlfriend from college -- which was many years ago and she was still distrustful of men because of what her husband had told her before he unexpectedly died. She was also not willing to have a casual relationship with anyone because of her two daughters. 

I loved Kirby, Holly's teenage daughter.  I had to laugh out loud every time Kirby would roll her eyes or those times when she would forget that she wasn't supposed to like Brian and was actually nice to him.  Then there was lovable Bridget, Holly's younger daughter, who, despite Brian's restraint, managed to get under his skin and in his heart as well.

Like I said above, about half way through, things started happening that I didn't expect.  The story seems to be wrapping up, but there are still 200 pages left.  Plenty of time for other secrets to be revealed and a romance to begin to blossom.  But whether or not that romance is actually going to come to fruition or whither and die is actually taken out of their hands -- again by the case that Brian is working on. 

This really isn't a mystery or a thriller, as we know right from the beginning who is behind everything and what they are doing -- but it definitely has some of the elements of a thriller.  It is suspenseful and there is plenty of action and while the romance in the beginning is low-key, it manages to take center stage toward the end.

I ended up really enjoying this book and have discovered that there is a prequel - The Woman He Married - that I will be adding to my reading list!

~I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from Tristi Pinkston Book Tours in exchange for my unbiased review.~


You can connect with Julie at her blog Julie N. Ford or on Goodreads.


Publisher/Publication Date: Whiskey Creek Press, 2011
ISBN: 978-1611602944
390 pages




Monday, December 19, 2011

It's Monday! What are you reading? (Dec 19, 2011)



What are you reading on Mondays is hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey - You can hook up with the Mr. Linky there with your own post - but be sure and let me know what you are reading too! The last What are you Reading post I did was before Thanksgiving!  Where does the time go??


Currently reading:
No Holly for Christmas by Julie N. Ford - I will be finishing this one tonight!




Books up this week:




Bathroom Book:
Daughters of Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt - I gave up on this one - While the idea of the book still intrigues me, I wasn't in the mood for the style it was written in - but I still might give it a try in the future.




Books finished since last post:




Books reviewed since last post:



Until next week ----  Ready - Set - Read!





Mailbox Monday



 Mailbox Monday will be hosted in December by Lady Q at Let Them Read Books.  In My Mailbox is hosted Sundays at The Story Siren. Please visit these posts and take a look at what packages everybody else got this week! 



Cinder
by Marissa Meyer


Even in the future, the story begins with once upon a time. . .

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing.  A deadly plague ravages the population.  From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move.  No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg.  She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness.  But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction.  Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future.

In this thrilling young adult debut novel, the first of a quartet, Marissa Meyer's rebooted fairy tale introduces readers to a heroine and a masterfully crafted world that isn't the Cinderella you remember -- but it's the one you won't forget. 



A Partial History of Lost Causes
by Jennifer duBois

In St. Petersburg, Russia, world chess champion Aleksandr Bezetov begins a quixotic quest: launching a dissident presidential campaign against Vladimir Putin.  He knows he will not win, but a deeper conviction propels him forward.  And in the same way that he cannot abandon his aims, he cannot erase the memory of a mysterious woman he loved in his youth.

In Cambridge, Massachusetts, thirty-year-old English lecturer Irina Ellison is on an improbable quest of her own.  Certain she has inherited Huntington's disease -- the same cruel illness that ended her father's life -- she struggles to find a sense of purpose.  Then Irina finds an old, photocopied letter her father had written to the young Aleksandr Bezetov, in which he asked the Soviet chess prodigy a profound question: How does one proceed in a lost cause?  Since he had never received an adequate reply, Irina travels to Russia to find Bezetov and get an answer for her father, and for herself.

With uncommon perception and wit, Jennifer duBois explores the power of memory, the depths of human courage, and the endurance of love.



The Night Sky: A Journey From Dachau to Denver and Back
A Memoir
by Maria Sutton

This extraordinary and unflinchingly honest memoir takes us on a riveting journey into the hearts and souls of three enigmatic people whose destinies are forever changed by the events of World War II.  The secrets of misguided love and passions are revealed as the author journeys between the past and the present to solve the mystery of a handsome Polish officer with piercing blue eyes and sun-colored hair.  Maria Sutton takes us to the dark green hills and valleys of the ancient Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine, where the woody fragrance of birch trees and new-mown hay fills the fresh, crisp air after a heavy rain.  Vicariously, we see a sunrise over Poland obscured by brightly colored swastikas on warplanes and then we will be taken into suffocating cattle cars, lice-infested stallags, and to the Dachau death camp.  Further down a country road, the hearty laughter and beer steins clinking with each salute to the Fuhrer's astonishing victories can be heard.

As Maria takes us on this odyssey to solve a decades-long mystery, she learns the family secrets of untold heroism, quiet courage, and a mother's love -- and of tragedy, disillusionment, and heartbreak.  At the end of her long journey, Maria uncovers a shattering and painful truth.  But the secret, however heartbreaking, would also become the greatest gift she would receive.



Gathering of Waters
by Bernice L. McFadden


Gathering of Waters is a deeply engrossing tale narrated by the town of Money, Mississippi -- a site both significant and infamous in our collective story as a nation.  Money is personified in this haunting novel, which chronicles its troubled history following the arrival of the Hilson and Bryant families.

Tass Hilson and Emmett Till were young and in love when Emmett was brutally murdered in 1955.  Anxious to escape the town, Tass marries Maximillian May and relocates to Detroit.

Forty years later, after the death of her husband, Tass returns to Money and fantasy takes flesh when Emmett Till's spirit is finally released from the dank, dark waters of the Tallahatchie River.  The two lovers are reunited, bringing the story to an enchanting and profound conclusion.

Gathering of Waters mines the truth about Money, Mississippi, as well as the town's families, and threads their history over decades.  The bare-bones realism -- both disturbing and riveting -- combined with a magical realm in which ghosts have the final say, is reminiscent of Toni Morrison's Beloved. 


What books came home to you last week?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fractured Light by Rachel McClellan (Book Review)

Title: Fractured Light
Author: Rachel McClellan
Publisher: Cedar Fort

About the book: I’m dying, I thought. This was unexpected and not at all how I envisioned my death. I was supposed to die gardening in a flowerbed as a hundred-year-old woman, not as a seventeen-year-old trapped in a lake beneath inches of ice.

Llona Reese is used to living on the run. After the Vykens killed her parents, she knew they would eventually come for her too. She can’t take any chances. But when she starts to make friends for the first time in her life, she gets careless and lets her guard down. Big mistake.

As an Aura, Llona can manipulate light and harness its energy. But if she wants to survive, Llona will have to defy the Auran Council and learn to use her power as a weapon against the Vyken whose sole desire is to take her light. Now she’s caught in something even bigger than she can understand, with a power she can’t wield, and no one she can trust, except, just maybe, a mysterious stranger.

In this breathtaking and romantic adventure, Rachel McClellan delivers a truly mesmerizing story that will keep you guessing to the very end.

My thoughts:  I really enjoyed this YA novel.  Something about Llona drew me in from the beginning.  She is living with her Uncle as her parents were killed (at different times) by a Vyken.  A Vyken hunts Auras because if they drink the blood of an Aura then they can walk in day light.  Problem is, you don't really know who they are.  All that Llona knows is that she thinks one has found her, probably the one that killed her parents, and she is tired of running.

All the way through this novel I kept asking myself - is it him? or is it him?  It wasn't until the very end that we find out for sure who the Vyken is that is after her.  But upon learning that secret, we also learn another secret - one that I don't think Llona really processed at the end of this story, but I am sure will show up in the next book. 

I really liked Christian and Llona's relationship too.  It would be so hard to hold back from a first love, especially when you are sure they have feelings for you too.  I like the way that they learned about each other and from each other.  I have a feeling that Christian will show up in another book as well.

Llona could do some very creative and interesting things as she learns to manipulate her Light.  I can't wait to see what she will do in the future!  One of the things that I really liked about this book is that it really kept me guessing.  I sort of knew who the Vyken was, but had no idea what he was going to do next.  I didn't see the ending coming at all - but it was pretty cool!  I have already told my daughter that I have a book that I want her to read over Christmas break.  I will let you know whether she does and if she likes it or not!

When is the next book coming out????!!!



~I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Cedar Fort in exchange for my unbiased review.~

Some great places to meet up with the author, the publisher, and learn more about Fractured Light:
Publisher Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/cedarfortbooks
Publisher GoodReads http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4202252-cedar-fort



Fractured Light
Publisher/Publication Date: Cedar Fort, Feb 8, 2012
ISBN: 978-1599559421
312 pages

Winners!

I have some winners to announce!   Some of these go back a ways - sorry about that!


Hold Me, Thrill Me, and Entice Me by Lucianne Rivers - 3 ebooks won by conniecape

Gratitude Giveaway Blog Hop - prize Iron House by John  Hart - won by ashlynn_jai.

WoMen's Literary Gratitude Blog Hop - prize E-book of Wedlocked by Bonnie Trachtenberg - won by Catherine Lee

Gift Card Hop - $25 Amazon Gift Card - won by Pinky Sade

Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis - won by Renee G


Congrats winners!  And stay tuned for more giveaways!

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's Monday! What are you reading? (Dec 12, 2011)



What are you reading on Mondays is hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey - You can hook up with the Mr. Linky there with your own post - but be sure and let me know what you are reading too! The last What are you Reading post I did was before Thanksgiving!  Where does the time go??


Currently reading:


Books up this week:

Bathroom Book:

Books finished since last post:


Books reviewed since last post:



Until next week ----  Ready - Set - Read!





Mailbox Monday (Dec 12, 2011)



 Mailbox Monday will be hosted in December by Lady Q at Let Them Read Books.  In My Mailbox is hosted Sundays at The Story Siren. Please visit these posts and take a look at what packages everybody else got this week! 

I took a break from posting for a few weeks, so these are the books that I received during the last three weeks.



The Lost Book of Mala R.
by Rose MacDowell

Three very different women, each trying to reconcile her dreams with reality, are drawn together by a hypnotic voice from the past.

In a once-grand Southern California neighborhood, Linda, a New York City transplant, is panicking over the disappearance of her precocious ten-year-old stepdaughter.  Christine, who has struggled to get pregnant for years, finds herself expecting a baby -- just as her husband is accused of murder.  And Audrey, who's always played it safe because of her family's history of bad luck, takes a romantic risk and suddenly finds herself facing a disaster of her own.

When an old journal surfaces at a neighbor's tag sale, the women are inexorably drawn into the life of Mala Rinehart, an itinerant Romany woman who wrote down spells and predictions in a cryptic, slanting hand.  As the three women feel the pull from across sixty intervening years, they vow to discover what became of Mala.  For through the worn pages, their happiness has intertwined with hers, their futures spelled out in her chants and recipes.  And as they unravel the mystery of Mala's origins, their lives transform in ways they never could have expected.

 



The Legacy of Eden
by Nelle Davy

"To understand what it meant to be a Hathaway you'd first have to see Aurelia."

For generations, Aurelia was the crowning glory of more than three thousand acres of Iowa farmland and golden cornfields.  The estate was a monument to matriarch Lavinia Hathaway's dream to elevate the family name -- no matter what relative or stranger she had to destroy in the process.  It was a desperation that wrought the downfall of the Hathaways -- and the once-prosperous farm.

Now the last inhabitant of the decaying old home has died -- alone.  None of the surviving members of the Hathaway family want anything to do with the farm, the land or the memories.

Especially Meredith Pincetti.  Now living in New York City, for seventeen years Lavinia's youngest grandchild has tried to forget everything about her family and her past.  But with the receipt of a pleading letter, Meredith is again thrust into conflict with the legacy that destroyed her family's once-great name.

Back at Aurelia, Meredith must confront the rise and fall of the Hathaway family. . . and her own part in their mottled history.




The Replacement
by Brenna Yovanoff

Mackie Doyle is the replacement.

Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, Mackie comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess.  He is a Replacement -- left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago.  Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is slowly dying in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with an oddly intriguing girl called Tate.  But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem.  He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

 


Variant
by Robison Wells

Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.

He was wrong.

Now he's trapped in a school that's surrounded by a razor-wire fence.  A school where video cameras monitor his every move.  Where there are no adults.  Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.

Where breaking the rules equals death.

But when Benson stumbles upon the school's real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape -- his only real hope for survival -- may be impossible.


 


 

The Eighty-Dollar Champion
by Elizabeth Letts

November 1958: the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City, one of the most prestigious sporting events in the country.  In the rarefied atmosphere of wealth and tradition, hotheaded thoroughbreds piloted by seasoned professionals awaited their turn to take on the course of towering hurdles.  Into the ring trotted the most unlikely of horses -- a drab white former plow horse named Snowman -- and his rider, Harry de Leyer.  They were the longest of all longshots -- and their win was the stuff of legend.

Harry de Leyer first saw the horse he would name Snowman on a bleak winter afternoon between the slats of a rickety truck bound for the slaughterhouse.  He recognized the spark in the eye of the beaten-up horse and bought him for eighty dollars.  On Harry's modest farm on Long Island, the horse thrived.  The even-tempered nag was wonderful with Harry's children and made a quiet lesson mount.  But the recent Dutch immigrant and his growing family needed money, and Harry was always on the lookout for the perfect thoroughbred to train for the show-jumping circuit -- so he reluctantly sold Snowman to a farm a few miles down the road.

But Snowman had other ideas about what Harry needed.  When he turned up back at Harry's barn, dragging an old tire and a broken fence board, Harry knew that he had misjudged the horse.  And so he set about teaching this shaggy, easygoing horse how to fly.  One show at a time, against extraordinary odds and some of the most expensive thoroughbreds alive, the pair climbed to the very top of the sport of show jumping.

Here is the dramatic and inspiring rise to stardom of an unlikely duo, based on the insight and recollections of "the Flying Dutchman" himself -- from the de Leyer family's farm in Harry's native Holland, through the horrors of the Nazi occupation, to Harry's hope for a new life in America, where his spirit and drive were matched by those of the plow horse he saved from the killer van.  Their story captured the heart of Cold War-era America -- a story of unstoppable hope, inconceivable dreams, and the chance to have it all.  Elizabeth Letts's message is simple:  Never give up, even when the obstacles seem sky-high.  There is something extraordinary in all of us.

 

 

Dead Head
by Rosemary Harris

"Fugitive Mom."  That's the tabloid headline that rocks a small New England town and has Paula Holliday searching for the truth when someone she knows is revealed to be an escaped convict.

Who hasn't fantasized about walking away from the house, the car, the family, and starting over, with a different name, a new driver's license, a new haircut, and a new past?

What if someone you knew actually did it because they'd been convicted of a crime, been imprisoned, and then escaped, only to reemerge as the person you thought you knew?  A still-wanted fugitive disguised as a friend or neighbor.

To Paula Holliday, the wise-cracking amateur sleuth in Rosemary Harris's latest Dirty Business Mystery, fugitives and secret identities seem like the stuff of novels or television dramas.  After digging up a mummified body and solving a murder in casino country, Paula has developed a reputation as a part-time detective, but all she wants is to get back to her real life -- keeping her small business afloat and enjoying coffee and donuts at the Paradise Diner, a local greasy spoon owned by friend and former rock and roller babe Chinnery.

When the well-heeled Caroline Sturgis approaches Paula with a business proposition, Paula has to think about it.  And she's still thinking about it when one of her friends is arrested.  Before she knows it, Paula is wrapped up in the case, and as she unravels the past, she finds that no one is exactly who she says she is -- including herself.

A quick-witted and even quicker-paced mystery featuring the smart and independent heroine readers across the country have come to love and identify with, Dead Head delivers Rosemary Harris's best suburban noir yet.

 

 

Arcadia
by Lauren Groff

In the fields and forests of western New York State in the late 1960s, several dozen idealists set out to live off the land, founding what becomes a famous commune centered on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House.  Arcadia follows this lyrical, rollicking, tragic, and exquisite utopian dream from its hopeful start through its heyday and after.  The novel particularly centers on a young boy -- Ridley Sorrel Stone, known as "Little Bit," and later, "Bit, " who is born soon after the commune is established.

While Arcadia and the Arcadians rise and fall and evolve across three generations, Bit, of course, ages too.  Played out against the backdrop of Arcadia is Bit's lifelong love affair with a young woman on the commune -- the lithe and deeply troubled Helle.  How does he, an extremely sensitive man, make his way through life and through the world outside Arcadia where he must eventually live?

What unfolds is an astonishingly beautiful and gripping novel.  With Arcadia, Lauren Groff establishes herself as one of the most gifted young fiction writers at work today.

 


 

Destined
(A House of Night novel)
by P.C. and Kristin Cast

Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side, and preparing to face off against Neferet -- which would be a whole lot easier if the High Council saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is.  Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together -- if he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow.

But there are new forces at work at the House of Night.  An influx of humans, including Lenobia's handsome horse whisperer, threatens their precarious stability.  And then there's the mysterious Aurox, a jaw-droppingly gorgeous teen boy who is actually more -- or possibly less -- than human.  Only Neferet knows he was created to be her greatest weapon.  But Zoey can sense the part of his soul that remains human, the compassion that wars with his Dark calling.  And there's something strangely familiar about him. . .

Will Neferet's true nature be revealed before she succeeds at extinguishing Light?  And will Zoey be able to touch Aurox's humanity in time to protect them all?  Find out what's destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.

 


 

No One is Here Except All of Us
by Ramona Ausubel

An isolated village tries to save itself from war through sheer force of imagination -- all at the suggestion of a young girl.

In 1939, the residents of a remote Jewish village in Romania feels the war close in on them.  Their tribe has moved and escaped for thousands of years -- across oceans, deserts, and mountains -- but now, it seems, there is nowhere else to go.  Danger is imminent in every direction, yet the territory of imagination and belief is limitless.  At the suggestion of an eleven-year-old girl and a mysterious stranger washed up on the riverbank, the villagers decide to reinvent the world:  deny any relationship with the known, and start over from scratch.  Destiny is unwritten.  Time and history are forgotten.  Jobs, husbands, a child are reassigned.  And for years, there is boundless hope.  But the real world continues to unfold alongside the imagined one, eventually overtaking it, and soon our narrator -- the girl, grown into a young mother -- must flee her villlage, move from one world to the next, to find her husband and save her children, and propel them toward a real and hopeful future.

A beguiling, imaginative, inspiring story about the bigness of being alive as an individual, as a member of a tribe, and as a participant in history, No One Is Here Except All of Us explores how we use storytelling to survive and to shape our own truths.  It marks the arrival of a major new literary talent.

 



The Goddess Test
by Aimee Carter

Every girl who has taken the test has died.
Now it's Kate's turn.

It's always been just Kate and her mom -- and her mother is dying.  Her last wish?  To move back to her childhood home.  So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry.  Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing.  He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld -- and if she accepts his bargain he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy -- until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead.  Now saving her mother seems crazily possible.  If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

If she fails. . .


What books came home to you this week?

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