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

Monday, April 30, 2012

Celebrate "The Month of Mom" with Gone Reading!

Gone Reading is having a giveaway to celebrate moms through Mother's Day on May 13th.  They are giving away $100 worth of merchandise plus an additional $25 giftcard from Amazon.  If you are not familiar with Gone Reading, they donate 100% of their profit after taxes to fund new libraries and reading-related charities like READ Global and Ethiopia Reads.  I just placed an order with them myself and can't wait to get my package!

They are counting down the days to Mother's Day with some great gift ideas, such as:

The Reading Woman Boxed Notecards

To enter this giveaway and check out their other products - just visit Gone Reading today!

Spring Fling Giveaway Hop (May 1 - May 7)

Welcome to the Spring Fling Giveaway Hop, hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Eve's Fan Garden

One reader of Books and Needlepoint will get to pick two of any of the following audiobooks:

This giveaway is for US only and will end at midnight on May 7 EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Go enter some more giveaways!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Kitchen Aid Mania Giveaway (April 29 - May 9)


I don't know about you, but I know that I could use a new mixer!  I am still using the hand held one that my mother gave me when I left for college in 1984!   Speak up if you have one older that that!

Well, even if you don't, you can still enter the giveaway for a white KitchenAid KSM150PSWH Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer to one lucky reader! This is a perfect Mother's Day gift to every one who loves baking or simply just being in the kitchen! This was made possible by Bay Area Mommy, American Family and some of the most awesome bloggers!

What you would win:
- Retail Value: $349.99 
- Color: White 
- 325-watt mixer with 10 speeds; 5-quart stainless steel bowl 
- Tilt-back head for easy access to mixture 
- 1 piece pouring shield with large chute for adding ingredients 
- Includes flat beater, dough hook, and wire whip 
- Measures 14 by 8-2/3 inches by 14 inches; 
1-year warranty 

Giveaway will run from April 29 at 12AM EST to May 9 at 11:59PM EST. Open to the US only. Must be at least 18 years old to be eligible.

For whatever reason I cannot get the rafflecopter to load - so until I can get it fixed please visit Bay Area Mommy here to sign up. 

Mailbox Monday (April 30, 2012)

 Mailbox Monday will be hosted in April by Cindy at Cindy's Love of  Books.  I got some more nice wins this week and a couple of review books.  Come on in and take a look!

Review books first:

The First Warm Evening of the Year
by Jamie M. Saul

"The first time I saw Marian Ballantine she looked like a burst of bittersweet among the winter branches. . ."

And so begins a tale of love lost and found, the rekindling of a passion for life that two people discover with each other, and the complex dynamics of family and friendship.

Geoffrey Tremont is untroubled by his neat, contented bachelor life in bustling New York City, filled with sophisticated friends, an undemanding lover devoted to her own career, and his wise brother, a psychiatrist who is the only one who sees and understands him completely -- just the way Geoffrey wants it.  On an ordinary day, Geoffrey arrives home to find a letter awaiting him with a postmark from an unfamiliar town: Shady Grove, New York.  An old friend has named him the executor of her estate.  Twenty years ago, in college, Geoffrey and Laura Welles had been each other's confidant; as their lives diverged, they went their separate ways.  Now, she's reached out of the past to ask him a final favor.  Laura's death has also brought her brother, Simon, to Geoffrey's doorstep.  With his sister gone, Simon has no one but her old friend Geoffrey with whom to settle past grievances.

With Simon in tow, Geoffrey travels up to Laura's hometown -- the place she chose to live her final years -- where he meets Marian Ballantine.  A widow living in the shadow of an idyllic marriage, and now grieving the loss of her best friend, Marian knows a lot about Geoffrey, Laura often spoke of him, she tells him, and though he's flattered, he's also thrown off balance.  From the moment he first sees her, Geoffrey instinctively knows this attractive, plainspoken woman has the power to upend his cool, compartmentalized life.  What Marian knows is that life comes with no guarantees, no promises of lasting happiness, and although she finds herself unsettled by this persistent, compelling man, she's unwilling to trade her hard-won, quotidian existence for an indefinite future.  Faced with the decision to embrace the unknown or retreat to the safety of the familiar, they will both have to discover the courage it takes to tumble into the abyss of love.

The Big, Fun, Sexy, Sex Book
by Lisa Rinner and Ian Kerner, PH.D.

Just say O!

- Have flannel pj's replaced your silky negligees?
- Are you more likely to nod off cuddling the remote -- instead of your partner?
- Are you too tired for sex?
- Is foreplay becoming "boreplay"?

Sure, being comfortable in your relationship is great.  You can finish each other's sentences, love your partner's extra ten pounds, and know just the right buttons to push in bed (or at least think you do). But too much comfort can strip your sex life of the XXX rating and render your love life . . . lifeless.

New York Times bestselling author and nationally recognized sex counselor Ian Kerner and vivacious television personality Lisa Rinna, who spoke candidly about rediscovering her own lost libido in her New York Times bestseller Rinnavation, are on a mission to help you get from "no-go" to the Big O.

Mind-blowing sex is just pages away!  Turn down the lights and cozy up under the sheets with this intimate bedside guide to igniting your mojo.  Overflowing with candid advice, tips, techniques, personal revelations, sexercises, and even a ten-step plan guaranteed to rejuvenate your relationship and keep you and your partner coming back for more, The Big, Fun, Sexy Sex Book proves that knowledge isn't just power -- it's also pleasure!

Now, let's have some fun!

My Cross to Bear
by Gregg Allman

The definitive story of a man who has seen it all, and a band that lived to tell the tale.

As one of the greatest rock icons of all time, Gregg Allman has lived it all and then some.  For almost fifty years, he's been creating some of the most recognizable songs in American rock, but never before has he paused to reflect on the long road he's traveled.  Now, he tells the unflinching story of his life, laying bare the unvarnished truth about his wild ride that has spanned across the years.

The story begins simply: with Gregg and his older brother, Duane, growing up in the South, raising hell with their guitars, and drifting from one band to another.  But all that changed when Duane and Gregg came together with four other men to forge something new -- a unique sound shaped by soul, rock, and blues and brimming with experimentation; a sound not just of a band, but of a family.

Bringing to life the carefree early days of the Allman Brothers Band, Gregg holds nothing back -- from run-ins with the law to meeting girls on the road, from jamming at the Fillmore East to experimenting with drugs.  Along the way, he goes behind the scenes of some of the greatest rock music ever recorded, without shying away from the infamous and painful deaths of his brother, Duane, and Allman Brothers bassist Berry Oakley.  Speaking for the first time about the profound impact that his brother's death had on him, Gregg offers a tribute to Duane that only a younger brother could write, showing how, to this day, he still confronts the grief of losing his big brother, even as Duane continues to guide and inspire him.

Setting the record straight about the band's struggles in the face of death, Gregg shows how the decision to persevere came with a heavy price.  While the rock and roll excesses of drugs, alcohol, and personality clashes led to a series of breakups that culminated with the band's permanent reunion in 1989, Gregg fought his own battle with substance abuse, going to rehab no less than eleven times and floating through a string of failed marriages, including his tabloid-frenzied relationship with Cher, before finally cleaning up once and for all.

Capturing the Allman Brothers' ongoing, triumphant resurgence as well as his own recent fight against hepatitis C, Gregg presents a story as honest as it is fascinating, providing a glimpse inside one of the most beloved and notorious bands in the history of rock music and demonstrating how, through it all, the road goes on. . . forever. 

The Body in the Boudoir
by Katherine Hall Page

It's 1990, and Faith Sibley is a single young woman leading a glamorous life in New York City.  She has good friends, a cozy apartment, and her own flourishing catering business, Have Faith.  Then, at a catering event, she meets the handsome, charming Reverend Thomas Fairchild.  A daughter and granddaughter of clergymen, Faith has sworn to avoid a parish's fishbowl existence.  But it's love at first sight, and before she knows it her life is changing drastically.

To begin with, she's beckoned north to chilly New England to visit her future residence and prospective in-laws, not all of whom welcome her with open arms.  Thankfully, back home she has her adoring great-uncle Sky to rely on, even if his much younger wife has always struck Faith as slightly odd.  For the ceremony Uncle Sky has offered up the use of his mansion on Long Island, which would be the perfect location if only the brickwork wasn't suspiciously falling off the roof.

Her path to the altar is made even rockier when Faith faces two other baffling mysteries.  Her new assistant, Francesca, appears to be hiding a family secret with roots in Italy.  Then Faith's sister, Hope, becomes a target.  Who could be plotting to derail her high-stakes financial career?

In spite of being overwhelmed by her decision to leave her home in the Big Apple and the multitude of tasks involved in getting married, Faith has no doubts about being married to her beloved Tom.  But someone out there is dead set on making sure that she doesn't reach the altar.  Before it's too late, she needs to figure out who is trying to sabotage the wedding -- by eliminating the bride!

The Hunt
by Andrew Fukuda

Don't sweat. Don't laugh. Don't draw any extra attention to yourself.  And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.

Gene is different than the other kids at school.  He can't run as fast, he can go outside during the day and he doesn't have an unquenchable lust for blood.  Gene is human and each day is a battle to keep his secret locked away or risk being devoured by everyone around him.

When he is chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the few remaining humans, he is thrust into the fight of his life and into the orbit of a girl who makes him feel things he'd never thought possible. 

The following two books I won from Cassandra's Reviews:

Blood Noir
by Laurell K. Hamilton

Werewolf Jason Schuyler needs Anita Blake -- not as a vampire hunter, federal marshal, or necromancer, but as a friend.  He wants to pretend, just for a few days, that he's an everyday guy in an everyday relationship with a pretty woman who loves him, so he can say good-bye to his dying father.  It shouldn't be hard to keep their real identities under wraps for a few days in Jason's small hometown.

Really, by now, Anita Blake should know better.

Marmee Noir, ancient mother of all vampires, pick this weekend to make a move.  Somehow she has cut the connection that binds Anita and Jean-Claude, leaving Jean-Claude unable to sense what is happening.  Dangerous even as she sleeps, buried in darkness for a thousand years somewhere beneath the old country of Europe, Marmee Noir reaches for power.  She has attacked Anita before, but never like this.  In Anita she senses what she needs to make her enemies tremble. . . 

The Harlequin
by Laurell K. Hamilton

The Harlequin's warning to Anita Blake is presented in a gift box, left where she'd be sure to find it.  Inside, carefully wrapped in folds of pristine tissue paper, is a white mask, utterly plain.  The fact that it's white, Jean-Claude tells her, is the good news.  White means they are only being observed.

The flow of power that connects Anita Blake with Jean-Claude, vampire Master of the City, and with Richard, Ulfric of the werewolves, has been growing and changing, increasing exponentially.  Their power seems to have attracted attention, and it's a kind of attention no one would desire.  Jean-Claude and Richard need to be strong allies now.  Nathaniel and Micah need to give all their love and aid.  And Anita will need to call on Edward, whose utterly human ruthlessness in her defense makes him the right man for the job.

Anita Blake has the authority to pass judgment on vampires.  The Harlequin have the authority to pass judgment on her.  It is forbidden to speak of The Harlequin unless you've been contacted.

And to contacted by The Harlequin is to be under sentence of death. 

What books came home to you this week?


Congrats to the latest Books and Needlepoint Winners!

No Strings Attached Winner of $10 Amazon GC  -  Pairee

Showers of Books Giveaway Winner - Judy Cox

A Grand Murder Winner - Suz Reads

All winners have been notified by email and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Double Reveal!

New cover for Pyxis and cover reveal for Alight! AND… Pyxis is free for Kindle for a short time!

Pyxis: The Discovery (Pyxis Series Book 1) by K.C. Neal
Pyxis is free for Amazon Kindle today and tomorrow! (April 26-27)

Pyxis on Amazon.com
Pyxis on Amazon.co.uk

Corinne lives an average teenage life working at her dad’s cafe, hanging out with her best friend, and trying to forget a falling-out with her almost-boyfriend Mason. Then she discovers she and Mason are haunted by the same dreams of a dark force that consumes everything in its path. Pursued by shadowy figures and a dangerous woman with secrets from the past, Corinne must find out who her grandmother really was. In her quest to unravel her family’s history, she learns she is destined to protect this world--and the dark world of her dreams. She races to find the answers she seeks before her nightmares break free.

Excerpt from my review: I was instantly drawn to Corinne and was kind of rooting for her, even though I didn't know who or what I was rooting against.  She just came across as a really nice girl - the kind you want your daughter to be friends with, or your son to date (lol).  

Read more of my review: http://booksandneedlepoint.blogspot.com/search?q=pyxis#ixzz1t70WLpT0

Alight: The Peril (Pyxis Series Book 2)
Anticipated Release Date: July 27, 2012

When Corinne learns who the second Guardian is, she must find a way to make peace with the last person in the world she wants to deal with. As she struggles, her nemesis unleashes an otherworldly evil, and a mysterious illness strikes Corinne’s friends. Faltering under the weight of her destiny, Corinne escapes to the dream world. There, she meets Zane, an Australian guy with a hot accent and a revelation that binds them together and alters the path of Corinne’s life. She throws herself into fighting for everything she loves, but just as she’s certain she will prevail, she’s robbed of what she needs most.

Connect With K.C. Neal Online                                                
Blog: www.kcneal.blogspot.com                                          
Facebook: www.facebook.com/KCNealFanPage   
Twitter: www.twitter.com/KCNealTweets 
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/KCNeal

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/KCNealNews                                          

Monday, April 23, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading? (April 23, 2012)

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! 
Well, the readathon was a bust for me this year.  Everytime I sat down to read I had a new interruption.  I gave up fairly early and went to bed.  I think I read more on Sunday than on Saturday! Oh well, maybe next fall!

Be sure to check out the giveaways on the top of the page!

Currently reading: 

Books I need to finish:  (I decided to add a new category for those books that seem to languish from week to week!)
Blood Orchids by Toby Neal

Upcoming books:
The Book Lover by MaryAnn McFadden
More Like Her by Liza Palmer

Bathroom Book:
The Killing Circle by Andrew Pyper

Books read and reviewed since last week:

Books read but need to be reviewed:

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

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mailbox Monday (April 23, 2012)

 Mailbox Monday will be hosted in April by Cindy at Cindy's Love of  Books.  In My Mailbox is hosted Sundays at The Story Siren.  I got some more nice wins this week and a couple of review books.  Come on in and take a look!

Review books first:

Mind Monsters: Conquering fear, worry, guilt and other negative thoughts that work against you
by Kevin Gerald

Every day we are bombarded with negative messages—from society, the media, and even from self-talk in our own minds. Take a minute to think about these questions:

Do you lack peace because of your perspective? Do you focus on the problems around you? Do you have trouble recognizing the good things in your life? Do you feel despair or depression, despite your blessings?

 Answering yes to questions like these is evidence of mind monsters. Mind monsters are those negative thoughts we all battle, the creeping shadows in the corners of our minds that feed our insecurities, worries, and fears. They will steal your life…if you let them. But there is good news! You can take control. In Mind Monsters Kevin Gerald shows you how to recognize destructive thoughts, take them captive, and use biblical truths to overcome them.
Today you have a choice: Will you allow your mind monsters to take up residence, affecting who you are and God’s plan for your life, or will you conquer them and experience a life that is positive, abundant, joyful, and overflowing with peace?


Listening to Africa

by Diana M. Raab

Poet Diana M. Raab travels to the heart of Africa with her family to experience the beauty and fascination of another world. During her safari, she observes the distress, the delight, and the dignity of the humans and animals who live there and parallels them with her own quest for health.

The sausage maker's youngest daughter is heading for the fight of her battle-scarred life. It's the era of the counterculture and Vietnam. But twenty-four-year-old Kip Czermanksi is nowhere near her home in California. She's in a jail cell in her hometown in Wisconsin awaiting a court appearance in the mysterious death of her ex-lover, who happened to be her brother-in-law. Given her father is the small town's leading citizen; Kip isn't overly worried, at first. But the personal grudge the DA holds for all the Czermanskis is about to find a foil Kip. What follows is a wild ride through Kip's present predicament and her past. She'll come to regret leaving her life in LA, regardless of the good reason for which she returned, when family dynamics and sibling rivalries, magnified by her counterculture attitudes and feminist beliefs, lay Kip's life bare before the courtroom. Distrusting her legal team, her rebellious history well known, things both personal and legal spiral out-of-control. It doesn't look good for Kip Czermanski.

The Get Yourself Organized Project:

21 Steps to Less Mess and Stress

by Kathi Lipp

Finally, an organizational book for women who have given up trying to be Martha Stewart but still desire some semblance of order in their lives.
Most organizational books are written by and for people who are naturally structured and orderly. For the woman who is more ADD than type A, the advice sounds terrific but seldom works. These women are looking for help that takes into account their free-spirited outlook while providing tips and tricks they can easily follow to live a more organized life.
Kathi Lipp, author of The Husband Project and other "project" books, is just the author to address this need. In her inimitable style, she offers
easy and effective ways women can restore peace to their everyday lives 
simple and manageable long-term solutions for organizing any room in one's home (and keeping it that way) 
a realistic way to de-stress a busy schedule 
strategies for efficient shopping, meal preparation, cleaning, and more 
Full of helpful tips and abundant good humor, The Get Yourself Organized Project is for those who want to spend their time living and enjoying life rather than organizing their sock drawer.

Goodbye For Now

by Laurie Frankel

Sam Elliot works for an internet dating company, but he still can't get a date. So he creates an algorithm that will match you with your soul mate. Sam meets the love of his life, a coworker named Meredith, but he also gets fired when the company starts losing all their customers to Mr. and Ms. Right.

When Meredith's grandmother, Livvie, dies suddenly, Sam uses his ample free time to create a computer program that will allow Meredith to have one last conversation with her grandmother. Mining from all her correspondence—email, Facebook, Skype, texts—Sam constructs a computer simulation of Livvie who can respond to email or video chat just as if she were still alive. It's not supernatural, it's computer science.

Meredith loves it, and the couple begins to wonder if this is something that could help more people through their grief. And thus, the company RePose is born. The business takes off, but for every person who just wants to say good-bye, there is someone who can't let go. 

In the meantime, Sam and Meredith's affection for one another deepens into the kind of love that once tasted, you can't live without. But what if one of them suddenly had to? This entertaining novel, delivers a charming and bittersweet romance as well as a lump in the throat exploration of the nature of love, loss, and life (both real and computer simulated). Maybe nothing was meant to last forever, but then again, sometimes love takes on a life of its own.

The Innocents

by Francesca Segal

A smart and slyly funny tale of love, temptation, confusion, and commitment, "The Innocents" is a generous and deeply satisfying look at a close-knit society in which one young man's pre-wedding panic illuminates the universal conflict between responsibility and passion.

Newly engaged and unthinkingly self-satisfied, twenty-eight-year-old Adam Newman is the prize catch of Temple Fortune, a small, tight-knit Jewish suburb of London. He has been dating Rachel Gilbert since they were both sixteen and now, to the relief and happiness of the entire Gilbert family, they are finally to marry. To Adam, Rachel embodies the highest values of Temple Fortune; she is innocent, conventional, and entirely secure in her community—a place in which everyone still knows the whereabouts of their nursery school classmates. Marrying Rachel will cement Adam’s role in a warm, inclusive family he loves. 
But as the vast machinery of the wedding gathers momentum, Adam feels the first faint touches of claustrophobia, and when Rachel’s younger cousin Ellie Schneider moves home from New York, she unsettles Adam more than he’d care to admit. Ellie—beautiful, vulnerable, and fiercely independent—offers a liberation that he hadn’t known existed: a freedom from the loving interference and frustrating parochialism of North West London. Adam finds himself questioning everything, suddenly torn between security and exhilaration, tradition and independence. What might he be missing by staying close to home?

Momnesia was won from the author Lori Verni-Fogarsi in the Hoppy Easter Giveaway!


by Lori Verni-Fogarsi

She's smart, pretty, and runs her own business. So then why does she feel so dead inside? Between work, two kids, and a husband who finds her about as exciting as furniture shopping, this is the story of a (formerly-exciting but now way-too-typical) suburban mom who diagnoses herself with "Momnesia" and sets about finessing a new version of her old vivaciousness:

MOMNESIA (mahm-nee-zhuh) -noun-
Loss of the memory of who you used to be. Caused by pregnancy, play dates, and trying to keep the house cleaner than the Joneses.

She finds some adventure pursuing her own interests, and does make some new friends (including the battery operated variety), but still feels like nothing more than a caretaker.

In between dealing with her husband's manic-depressive behavior, drama with her friends, and some naughty Internet escapades, she keeps facing the question, "Is it that I haven't been myself? Or is it that I am being myself but just different than I used to be?" It isn't until she tosses the Invisible Rule Book altogether that she discovers life--and love--have more to offer than she ever imagined!

The next two books I won from Kathi at I am a Reader, Not a Writer from the Autism Awareness Giveaway: 

The Legend of Mickey Tussler

by Frank Nappi

Seventeen-year-old Mickey Tussler is recruited to play for a minor league affiliate of the Boston Braves. Arthur Murphy swears Mickey has the greatest arm he has ever seen, that anybody has ever seen.  And it might be true.  But Mickey's autism is prohibitive.  It keeps him sealed off from a world he scarcely understands.  Lost both in the memory of his former life with an abusive father and the challenges of a new world filled with heckling teammates, opponents and fans, there's no way Mickey can succeed.  But his inimitable talent -- one of the most gifted arms in the history of baseball -- gives him a chance. Can he survive a real life dream?  Or are the harsh realities of life too much for him?  This is the powerful underdog story of how a young man with an extraordinary gift comes of age in a harsh and competitive world.

Sophomore Campaign

by Frank Nappi

It s 1949 and eighteen-year-old pitching phenomMickey Tussler is back with the rejuvenated minorleague Brewers in the sequel to The Legend of MickeyTussler (the basis for the television movie A Milein His Shoes). Despite Mickey s proclamation thathe will never play baseball again after last season sviolent conclusion, his manager and now surrogatefather Arthur Murphy cajoles the emotionallyfragile, socially awkward boy with autism into givingit another shot. Mickey reluctantly returns to thefield and must once again cope with the violenceand hatred around him. When a young AfricanAmerican player joins the team, the entire team issubjected to racial threats and episodes of violence, one of which Mickey witnesses firsthand. Strugglingto understand such ugliness and hatred, and fearfulof reprisal should he tell anyone about what he hasseen, the boy s performance on the field suffers.Mickey now must deal with a side of human naturehe scarcely comprehends.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Titanic 2012 by Bill Walker (Book Review and Excerpt))

Title: Titanic 2012
Author: Bill Walker
Publisher: Bill Walker Designs

About the book: Best selling mystery novelist Trevor Hughes has no idea that attending his twentieth reunion at Harvard will forever change his life.

 Persuaded to go by his on-again-off-again girlfriend, Dr. Julia Magnusson, he meets up with three old friends: Solly Rubens, a self-made Wall Street millionaire; Ken Faust, a successful software entrepreneur; and Harlan Astor, New York real estate tycoon and the glue that holds their circle together. 

 That afternoon, over drinks at the Harvard Club, Harlan drops his bombshell: He is doing what James Cameron did not he is rebuilding the Titanic, and sailing the ship on the hundredth anniversary to honor those who died, including his great-grandfather, John Jacob Astor IV. Only Trevor is intrigued by Harlan's audacity. Touched by his friend's interest and concern, Harlan invites him on the maiden voyage to serve as the official chronicler. 

 On April 10, 2012, Trevor journeys to Southampton and, along with the hundreds of handpicked passengers, boards the Titanic. He is overawed by the immensity of the ship and the feelings that well up in him. His friend has made his grand dream a reality. 

 During the journey, armed with his DVD recorder, Harlan interviews both passengers and crew, eager to learn the reasons why they chose to sail on the reborn ship.

 Nearly every one of them claims to have been profoundly affected by Cameron's film, wanting to recapture the magic for themselves. And some of them are dying their last wish to be on the maiden voyage of the new Titanic. 

 Trevor is touched that his friend has allowed these people to come aboard, and is unprepared when he meets Madeleine Regehr, a beautiful, free-spirited woman who resists his entreaties to be interviewed, intriguing Trevor all the more. Slowly, and inexorably, Maddy draws him out of his shell, allowing him to love deeply and completely, for the very first time in his life. 

 But Trevor soon discovers a darker purpose for the voyage, a purpose that threatens to destroy him and the woman he loves. 

 In a race against time that pits friend against friend, Trevor must stop the unstoppable or risk a horrific replay of history.... --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

My thoughts: I could not tell you how many times that I have personally seen the movie, Titanic, but I have to tune in every time that I see it is on TV.  It does not matter at what point it is at in the movie, it is just a must watch for me.  So this book was an easy choice for me to read.

The beginning sets the scene that something has already happened aboard the Titanic, and Trevor must decide how or even if he wants to tell the story -- from there we kind of lapse back to the actual voyage.  Having seen the movie so many times, it was very cool to be able to imagine all the places that Trevor went to on the ship. To imagine what it would be like to see them in person, from the bow to the cargo holds. He explores them all -- except for the room behind the guarded and locked door.  He can't imagine what Harlan has locked up on the ship.

So he begins his interviews of the passengers -- meeting Maddy, a particularly engaging young woman to whom he is instantly attracted.  Underneath it all though he is uneasy, it seems like there is something out of place, but he just can't seem to put his finger on it.  He is a very curious one though, as I am guessing most writers are, and will not rest until he figures out what it is that is making him a little uneasy.

I really enjoyed Trevor's character and felt like he is someone that you could easily meet in your own neighborhood.  He was very down to earth -- not pretentious or uptight -- and always seemed to want to do the right thing.  He was also very much a Titanic fan and it wasn't hard for him to be swept up in the romanticism aboard the ship.

We don't get to know the other passengers as well as we know Trevor, as the book is from his point of view, but we do get some glimpses of them from their interviews.  It almost seemed like there wasn't enough material to fill the book, as there were some large chunks of time that Trevor slept through -- I found that a little odd, even though it did play into the story -- just didn't seem like it was flushed out like it could have been.

I did enjoy the book though and it makes me want to go back and watch the movie yet again.

~I received a complimentary ebook of Titanic 2012 from Partners in Crime Book Tours in exchange for my unbiased review.~

About the author:  A graduate of Emerson College's prestigious film school, Bill wrote and directed his first feature film, Pawn, while still a student. After graduation, he co-founded Newbury Filmworks, Inc., an award-winning production company renowned for making high-quality corporate films and commercials. 

In 1990, Bill relocated to Los Angeles, and began a freelance story analysis career for various studios and independent production companies, while devoting his spare time to the writing of novels, short stories, and screenplays. He is also a highly-respected graphic designer, specializing in book and dust jacket design. He has worked on books by such luminaries as: Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King. In addition, Bill is a member of the Authors Guild. 

He has won awards for his screenwriting, his two short story collections for Mid-Graders, Five-Minute Frights and Five-Minute Chillers, are perennial Halloween favorites, and his first novel, Titanic 2012 was enthusiastically received by readers. His second novel, Camp Stalag was released in 2001. Bill lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Debbie, and their sons, Jeffrey and Brian.

You can find Mr Walker on the web at Bill Walker Novels and on Facebook.

Please enjoy this excerpt from Chapter One:

Chapter One

 The furor in the media had just died down when Solly’s call came that rainy midweek day. I’d been hiding from the wolves of the fourth estate for nearly three weeks, holed up in my book-filled condo/prison in Charlestown, unable even to slip outside for a breath of fresh air without some cookie-cutter reporter, with a paint-by-numbers smile, sticking a microphone in my face and asking me the same tired question: "What was it like?"
As if the whole of my experience could be quantified in a sound bite. Truth was I was avoiding everyone, even Julia and her earnest attempts to help me sort through the miasma of doubt and pain.
Sweet Julia.
We’ve been on-and-off again for the last five years. And I hadn’t seen her for the better part of a year. I¬¬ guess she thought now was as good a time as any to mend fences. Christ, if she only knew....
And what was worse, the book I’d promised my publisher, the one that was supposed to chronicle all I’d been through, lay like a beached whale on the shore of my imagination. I was standing at the bay window overlooking the harbor, watching the rain sluice down the glass, wondering if I would ever have the courage to write again, when my gaze shifted to the pile of DVDs lying in a scattered heap on the teakwood coffee table.
My eyes filled with tears yet again.
"I’m so sorry, Maddy," I groaned, knocking my forehead against the cool glass. "I’m so goddamned sorry."
"You have a call," the computer intoned in a quiet contralto, making me wince. Even the goddamned computer’s voice reminded me of Madeleine. "Who is it?" I asked, expecting to hear it was yet another call from the Globe. Hometown reporters were the worst, the most ravenous.
And then I remembered I’d instructed the computer to screen all calls, allowing access to only a select few. "The caller has an Identity Block in place. Shall I take a message?"
I sighed.
To hell with it. I had to rejoin the human race at some point, even if I felt as if I no longer belonged in it. "Put it through," I said, making my way over to the sleek MacBook Pro sitting atop my writing desk. The screen came to life and Solly Rubens’ round face filled the screen. His saturnine looks were etched with concern, an expression that somehow looked ominous on him.
"Hey, Hughes, you okay? How are you holding up?"
The tiny "picture-in-picture" in the upper left-hand corner of the screen showed me what Solly was seeing, rendering his question moot.
I looked as if I’d taken the cook’s tour of Hell: blue eyes¬¬--red-rimmed and puffy--surrounded by dark circles, sandy hair greasy and disheveled, three-day growth of a patchy red-flecked beard, and the same clothes I’d worn since Monday. I looked sixty-two, instead of forty-two. All in all, I presented a picture about as far as one could get from what Boston magazine had called: "The World’s Most Eligible Author."
"How the hell do you think I’m holding up?" I said, staring back at Solly. His eyes blinked rapidly and I debated whether or not to instruct the MAC to disconnect, when he spoke again.
"Aw, man, I’m sorry. I really put my foot in it, didn’t I?" he said, trying to appear contrite. "Listen, I know we’ve never been the best of pals, but we had some good times back in school, didn’t we? I mean, Christ, we’ve been through a hell of a lot since Harvard. You a hotshot writer. Me hittin’ the big time. I still can’t believe it’s been a year--"
"What do you want, Solly?"
His porcine eyes darted somewhere off-screen, then riveted onto mine. "Ken and I thought you should get out of the house, maybe meet us at the Harvard Club. What do you say?"
"I don’t want to talk about it."
"You gotta talk about it sometime," he said, his Brooklyn tenor rising in pitch. "You’ve been avoiding us for weeks, you look like crap, and everybody--and I mean everybody’s--been trying to find out what the hell happened out there. And what about Julia? You shutting her out? You treatin’ her like dirt, too?"
I resented him bringing her name up, only because I knew he was using her as leverage, and not out of any real concern for her feelings.
Not that I was any better.
"She’s none of your business, Solly. Leave her out of this."
"All right, I’m sorry. But you know I’m right. You gotta get on with your life, for Christ’s sake. If you’re not gonna do it for yourself, do it for Harlan."
I leaned forward, my nose practically touching the screen. "Where were you when Harlan needed the three of us? Huh? Where the hell were you when the chips were down? Taking Karen to another Broadway show?" Solly’s lips compressed into a thin angry line. "Okay, I deserved that. But Ken and I have a right to know what happened."
So, that was it. Like everyone else, they wanted to know the truth about Harlan’s death--wanted to know all the gory details. Christ, they were no better than the goddamned muckrakers slinking around my front door. And why was it so important to Ken and Solly, anyway?
Would it bring Harlan back? Would it bring any of them back? Why the hell couldn’t they just leave me alone?
And then, all at once, the anger passed, as if someone had thrown a switch inside me. Suddenly, I wanted very badly to tell someone--anyone. And perhaps it was more than fitting to do it where it all began.
"All right," I said. "I’ll meet you guys at the club, Friday night at six." Solly cracked a grin, revealing crooked yellow teeth. "It’ll do you good, Hughes, you’ll see."
"Maybe.... But drinks and dinner are on you."
He chuckled.
"My pleasure. See you there."
The screen went dark, and I sat there for a long moment, wondering if I shouldn’t blow them off. And then I realized Harlan would want me to go. I doubted very much, however, once they heard the whole story, it would be any pleasure for any of us....

Titanic 2012
Publisher/Publication Date: Bill Walker Designs, Jan 2012
ISBN: 978-0615592398
288 pages


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