Thursday, August 20, 2015

No Place To Hide by Lynette Eason

Jackie Sellers and Ian Lockwood are on the run. Ian is being framed as a terrorist and Jackie is his accomplice. When Jackie hears that her old friend is wanted as a terrorist she knows something isn't right. So she goes to his house to find out what is going on. What she doesn't count on are the real terrorists trying to kill she and Ian. Ian is pretty sure that an email he received by mistake at work is what has put him in jeopardy. He doesn't want to put Jackie in danger, but in her line of work with Operation Rescue, rescuing is what she does. After narrowly escaping the terrorists Ian and Jackie and Ian's dog become two of America's most wanted. Afraid to turn themselves in because they don't know who they can trust, Jackie and Ian set out to clear Ian's name and find out exactly what the terrorists have planned. Will it be in time to avert a National disaster?

I love a book that starts out with a lot of action! It usually is a clue that the reader is in for a roller coaster of a ride. NO PLACE TO HIDE did not disappoint. It started out exciting and it kept the pace throughout the entire book. I liked the fact that Ian and Jackie knew each other in the past. The fact that Ian was picked on and Jackie was an abused child and they overcame those things in their lives made them strong adults and perfect for each other. Again, I enjoyed the pace of the book. The suspense of how the bad guys kept finding them, not knowing exactly who the person calling the shots was and trying to stay one step ahead of the FBI(and other agencies), made for a fast-paced and exciting read. If you haven't read any of Lynette Eason's books I highly recommend them, especially if you are a romance/suspense lover like I am.

**Thanks to the publisher through NetGalley for my copy for review. All opinions are my own**

 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs: Stay Peculiar Tour + Giveaway

The Third book of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is coming out soon. Check out Quirk Books for all of the information regarding the tour and a chance to Win a trip for two to one of the tour cities!

In the meantime Quirk Books is allowing me to offer one of my readers one of these cool looking totes:

Leave a comment in the comment section letting me know if you have read any of the Peculiar books, and I will choose a winner on Sunday August 16th!

WINNER: Tiffany Thomas! Congratulations!!




Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible for Little Ones by Jan and Mike Berenstain

Anything Berenstain Bears captures my attention. My girls grew up with me reading these and now my grandchildren get to hear these timeless stories.

The Storybook Bible for Little Ones is not really a Bible. It is a collection of popular stories from the Bible. From creation to the Resurrection this book depicts stories with pictures of the Bears acting out each story.

The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible for Little Ones is a hardback board book that is well put together and a quick read for those squirmy little ones that don't want to sit for very long. I think it would be a great way of introducing young children to appreciate God's Word.




**Thank you to BookLook Bloggers for my copy for review. All opinions are my own**

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Edgar and The Tree House Of Usher by Jennifer Adams

Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's short story THE FALL of the HOUSE of USHER this is a cute hardback children's book about 3 little birds. Edgar and his friend Roderick and Edgar's sister Lenore. Edgar goes to visit his friend Roderick who is playing in his tree house. Lenore decides that she wants to follow, but there are "no girls allowed" in Roderick's tree house.

There are definite nods to THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER in this story book for children, but the outcome is much better than the original tale for sure.

I enjoyed the illustrations as well in this BabyLit book. As always with the BabyLit books they are age appropriate while introducing the reader to classic literature.

I had never read the book THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER before so when I received this book I wasn't sure what the original was all about. So I got out my handy dandy all things Poe book and read the story.

*******************************************************************************

THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER by Edgar Allan Poe 


 So really I think Edgar Allan Poe was one twisted individual, but I really enjoy his stories, because there always seems to be a twist. In The Fall of the House of Usher Roderick Usher requests his friend to come stay with him in his time of need. Roderick appears to be a hypochondriac(mentioned a couple of times in the story) and the voice telling the story(the friend that went to help Usher) is surprised by how bad Usher has declined. Roderick and his sister Madeline are living in the family mansion that has become run-down. Madeline's health is declining as well and the friend only sees her once at the very beginning of the story. Roderick seems to also be slipping into madness living in the gloomy oppressive house. The friend feels the oppression as well. When Madeline passes away Roderick talks his friend into entombing her inside one of the vaults in the house for a fortnight before burying her in the family plot. To appease him his friend agrees. Then one dark and stormy night Roderick ends up coming to his friends room for comfort during the storm. The friend reads him a story, but throughout the reading they keep hearing banging and screaming from within the house. Guess who?! For the rest of the story you are going to have to check it out yourselves. I think it was worth the read.

 



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Queen by Steven James

Patrick Bowers is investigating a murder of a woman and her young daughter. Set up to look like a murder/suicide the local police are ready to wrap up the case. But Patrick has a more suspicious mind when it comes to dead people so he soon finds that things aren't always what they seem.

Patrick and his brother have a strained relationship because of something that happened when they were teens. It doesn't help that Patrick and his brother's wife Amber formed an emotional attachment while she and Sean were engaged.

Add to those tensions Tessa and her problems, along with an Eco-terrorist group, an assassin bent on seeking revenge on the person who killed his wife, a snow storm and past nemeses seeming to crawl out of the woodwork and you have an exciting tale sure to keep you awake long into the night.

I really do enjoy this series. The author knows how to build tension and to tell the story well. I do find myself rolling my eyes though at some points. Once again when the author uses words that you have to look up to figure out the meaning of it frustrates me rather than educates me or impresses me with his word usage. Seriously? Who uses words such as "frangible" and "susurrus"? Anybody?

Tessa is once again up to her usual bratty self. I find myself getting so frustrated with her character, but then I find myself feeling sorry for her. She is dealing with the after affects of killing someone which I totally understand will mess up a person's mind. But then when Patrick tells her to stay put and not drive in a snowstorm out she goes and does exactly what he tells her not to do. Gah! Seriously?!

I also have to say that if the author keeps killing off people that are an inconvenience to Patrick then pretty soon Patrick is going to be the only character he has left! Good grief! Be prepared for a few twists at the end and some unfinished business with Basque still out and about doing his dirty deeds. Looking forward to the next installment!


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Persuasion by Jane Austen




I participated in a read along for Persuasion. This is the book that my copy of Persuasion is in. I have to admit it was a bit difficult reading in an anthology. All of Jane Austen's books are in this book. The text is single-spaced and tiny! My bi-focals had a hard time with this!

Amber at SEASONS OF HUMILITY hosted this read along for 3 weeks.
Monday thru Thursday we would read 2 chapters each day and then post a quote to ponder and then answer a question that Amber posed. On Fridays we would discuss THE PRAYERS OF JANE AUSTEN:

This is a collection of 3 prayers that are beautiful and reverent. Each week during the read along one of these books was given away. I won one!! Can't wait to get it. I love the pictures in it and like I said, the prayers are beautiful. Check out my review HERE.

One of my favorite things that we did during the read along was to have a watch along! I have to admit that my Twitter skills are pretty limited, but it was fun to watch the movie with a group of ladies and see all of the quotes flying and the observations that everyone had. We watched the 1995 version of Persuasion and I have to admit that I think we all liked it but thought it was a bit choppy. I'm currently watching my 1971 BBC version which is a much longer version and (dare I say) a bit boring.


1995
1971





                                   



 
                                                                                                                                             
Over the years I have read all of Jane Austen's books except for Lady Susan. I've always maintained that my favorite of all time is Pride and Prejudice. But I think that each Austen book has it's merits. I enjoyed being a part of the read-along because it helped to focus my attention on the story and analyze the behavior of the characters and also their feelings. I've always found Jane's wit and sarcasm to greatly amuse me and Persuasion supplied many moments of hilarity with the antics of Sir Walter. His self-centered behavior and observations of others' attire and looks totally had me rolling with laughter. Anne's sisters were too much to be tolerated! Mary with her imagined illnesses and Elizabeth with her over-inflated pride had me gritting my teeth and rolling my eyes on more than one occasion. Their treatment of Anne had me wanting to reach through the pages and give them a piece of my mind. I loved the Crofts and their delight in each other and in life. I loved reading how Anne's character developed through the story. How she went from a meek girl content to be in a corner to a more independent and self-assured woman. I'm glad she stopped being led around by others and listened to her heart once she saw that Wentworth still had feelings for her. Ahhhh, Wentworth! Can we say that that letter was AMAZING?! I think there was a contented sigh as we all watched the movie together and I know there was a sigh when I read it in the book. Jane definitely was an observer of human behavior which is seen in each of her stories. It is no wonder that her stories have lasted through the ages.

I hope we do another read along. Discussing books is one of my favorite things to do, especially if we are all reading the same thing at the same time.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Bishop by Steven James

So many things going on in this story! Basque has been released from prison and I'll just say, that conversion he supposedly had in prison? Yeah, not so much! Tessa's real dad is now wanting custody of her. WHAT?! And a new murder investigation for Patrick Bowers and the FBI along with several other agencies.

Here's where I'm going to start with the SPOILER ALERT!

For the most part I really liked this installment of the Patrick Bowers thrillers. But, there were several things that stood out to me as either annoying, or just not necessary.

So yeah, Basque is out of prison and shows up at Pat's friend Calvin's funeral. I'm thinking that that would be enough to arrest the dude again, but evidently there's no problem for that. He then drops out of sight for a while after Pat gives him a mild threat to back the bus up.

Tessa of course has been going behind Pat's back and e-mailing her real dad. And now Paul wants to meet secretly with her. Bells and whistles go off in my mind over that. But they meet and he gives her a lame story of why he has been holed up on a mountain in Wyoming for so long. Tessa then learns that he is trying to get custody of her and she bails on him. That's another thing, Tessa is almost 18 years old. Like in a few months she will be 18! Crazy to go through all of the expense of a custody battle for a few months time. But anyway, she wants Pat to fight him and keep custody of her. But yet he keeps showing up randomly. Makes a person wonder what the heck he is up to. Major spoiler here***I thought it was a major cop out on the authors part when he killed off Paul's character. Isn't that convenient? In my opinion there are still unanswered questions about this whole deal and I'm wondering if they will ever be answered or if he is just conveniently dead and now Tessa has a further excuse to be miserable and impossible. Frankly Tessa still annoys the heck out of me. She vacillates between being a 17 year old young woman to acting like a 12 year old pre-teen. Whiny and then aggressive to get her way. Smart as all get-out but no common sense. Independent, but then vulnerable. So kuddo's to the author for evoking such contrary feelings in the reader.

There is also Pat's relationships with Lien-hua and Cheyenne. Because of course Cheyenne shows up at the FBI place to attend lectures and get drawn into this case. Honestly I thought for a while that Cheyenne may be involved in the killings. Pat is in love with Lien-hua, but he is also attracted to Cheyenne and not above using her to dump Tessa on when he needs a babysitter. I'm not a fan of the love triangle in most books and this one just annoys me. I do however like some of the discussions that Cheyenne and Tessa have. I thought the author was going to cop out again by killing off Cheyenne in the end as well, but that would have been even more convenient so thankfully he didn't go there.

There seemed to be a lot of "teaching" or "telling" in this story. I got bogged down in the genetics and such of monkey's and the human condition etc. I'm sure they served a purpose, but the only purpose they served me was to bore me. I think the author used some $10 words when a $5 word would have been perfectly acceptable. Examples:

"Cheyenne shook her hand convivially." Seriously? Convivially? Why use that when the words agreeably or friendly would have been more understandable. I got the gist of what he meant, but just now looked it up to make sure that's what I was thinking.

"A stretch of elegiac silence filled the room." WHAT?! I looked it up and I still don't get what it means. Something to do with elegies, so maybe referring to the solemness of a funeral? I don't know, but why use that word?

And one final one: "Neither did I find any procedures that seemed overly invasive, cruel, or tendentious." Huh?

So usually if I run across words that are little used and I don't know the meaning of I stop and look them up. This time I just wrote them down and looked them up just now for this review. I'm all for broadening my vocabulary when it is appropriate, but when it seems like the author went to a dictionary or thesaurus to find a more snobby or random way of using a word it again just annoys.

The actual murders and bad guys that Patrick was hunting this time around had me on the edge of my seat and as always managed to keep me wondering who actually was orchestrating the whole mess. There are several twists and turns that keep the reader guessing throughout the story and once again we are left with some loose ends with Basque still out there. Can't wait to start The Queen!