Monday, February 28, 2011

Under The Green Hill by Laura L. Sullivan

The Morgan children, Rowan, Meg, Priscilla(Silly for short), and James are sent to live with relatives in England to escape the fever in the States. They are looking forward to exploring the house with many rooms and the countryside around them.

What they discover is a land of fairies. Shortly after arriving they find themselves in the midst of preparations for the fairy war. Every 7th year the Midsummer War takes place. The Seelie Court and the Host meet under the Green Hill to do battle. They choose one human from each side to fight to the death. The fairy queen is so beautiful that she has put a spell on Rowan who pledges to fight for her.

Meg is distraught and determined to find a way to save her brother from fighting in the war. What will be the outcome of this most interesting Midsummer War?

I enjoyed this story very much! It was entertaining and exciting to read. Meg's desire to save her brother at any cost was heart-warming. The writing was descriptive and beautiful. And I loved the cover!!

Friday, February 25, 2011


I have received 2 copies of this and the publisher is allowing me to give away the second copy! So if you comment on this post you will be entered into the drawing to receive this book. Here is my review:

Layla is a contractor. An unusual profession for a woman. But she is very good at her work. In fact she has just been nominated for a prestigious award. When one of the homes that she has built burns down and a dead body is found in the remains Layla becomes a suspect.

Maddox is the detective working the case. He too is good at his job. His one regret is that he was never able to find the person who murdered his mother. With a broken relationship with his father, and resentment towards a God that would allow his mother to die Maddox is only too willing to believe the worst of Layla.

Layla decides that she is going to try to discover who burned the house and murdered the person inside. While seeking answers from the various people that she contracted to work the site the killer realizes that she needs to be warned off. Layla is side-tracked when people she knows are brought to the hospital with bleeding noses that won’t stop and respiratory problems. The doctors can’t figure out what is the common denominator in the symptoms and they can’t identify what is causing the symptoms.

When Layla’s sister Alana’s fiance’ is hurt in an explosion, Maddox and his partner decide that they need to protect Layla from whomever is trying to hurt her. With their growing attraction for each other sparks fly! But Layla’s faith baffles Maddox. As the mystery unfolds and relationships are mended Maddox begins to see how faith is an important part of our existence.

As the killer becomes more desperate Maddox and Layla race the clock to find out the reason behind the killings. Will they be in time to prevent another tragedy?

Robin Caroll has written an excitement-filled story that will keep the reader wanting to turn the pages until the very end.

I will use to choose a winner next Friday March 4th. Comment on this post and leave your email address so that I can contact you if you win. If you don't leave your email address another name will be chosen.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Ask And The Answer by Patrick Ness(Kindle)

The book starts out where The Knife of Never Letting Go left off. Todd is being held in New Prentisstown by Mayor(self-declared new President) Prentiss. He won't tell Todd where Viola is or even if she is alive. The Mayor has seemingly walked into Haven and taken over without a fight. He has set himself up as President. He and his army have separated the women from the men.

Viola is in a house of healing. The healers running the place are women. They will not tell her whether Todd is alive or dead. When Mayor Prentiss shows up to question her he too will not tell her about Todd. He wants to know about her ships that are coming to New World.

One of the first things that President Prentiss has done is to take away the cure for Noise. Supposedly as punishment for not following orders. He seems to have no noise of his own though. And he is somehow managing to manipulate people's thoughts and actions.

When some of the women escape New Prentisstown and start an attack on the city calling themselves The Answer, it is the beginning of war. Todd feels that Viola has abandoned him. He is being manipulated by the President. He is sent to work at a monastery using the Spackle as slave labor. Davy Prentiss is in control of the site. It is a nightmare for Todd watching the Spackle being mistreated. Viola is desperate to save Todd but Mistress Coyle refuses to allow her to go on raids to rescue him. Only 8 more weeks remain before the ships are to arrive on New World. She failed to get a message to them to let them know what was happening in the new world.

With two people seemingly manipulating two different sides, war seems inevitable. On which side will Viola and Todd be? Or will they be separated forever by their doubts of each other and the manipulation of people over them?

Wow, there were some scenes in this book that were hard for me to read. The torturing of the Spackle and the women was horrible. For the most part though the book was fast paced and I was very invested in finding out how it turned out. If I hadn't been reading it on my Kindle I would have turned to the end of the book and read the last couple of pages(YES, I am one of those!), just to see how things turned out. As it is I didn't do that and it looks like I will have to get the last book in the series to find out how it all ends. This book had so many different emotions in it.  A son's desire for his father's approval, betrayal, love, loyalty, sadistic behavior, manipulation, power hunger, depression and many more that I am missing I am sure. It made me angry at times, made me want to shake a couple of the characters and say "snap out of it!", made me want to exact revenge(ah, there's another one!), made me nauseous a couple of times. A sign of a good book is when it causes your own emotions to come into play along with the characters in the book.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick

Jeffrey and his friend Tad are cancer survivors. They are starting their 8th grade year. Jeffrey's cancer treatment has left him struggling with certain subjects in school. Mainly Math. He is thrown for a loop when it is announced that in order to pass onto high school they must pass state mandated tests. Jeffrey knows there is no possible way for him to pass Math. Tad takes on the job as tutorer. Tad has been in a wheelchair for several years because of the cruel remarks of a girl. Jeffrey challenges Tad to work out so that he can walk across the stage during graduation.

A new girl from California comes to school. She becomes Jeffrey's girlfriend. So many things are happening for Jeffrey this 8th grade year. His brother, after years of caring for Jeffrey, has gone to Africa to "find himself". Jeff gets his first girlfriend. He is preparing for his annual bike ride to raise funds for cancer. All of that on top of being tutored by Tad.

When everything seems to be crashing down around his ears, Jeffrey finds he is surrounded by caring friends.

I have loved every one of Jordan Sonnenblick's books. This one did not disappoint me. I laughed and I cried!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The New World by Patrick Ness(Kindle)

Way too short! But I enjoyed it. You can read this prequel in about 30 minutes or less. It helped to read this in order to understand where Viola came from and why. It doesn't really have to be read before The Knife of Never Letting Go to understand that book though.

Erratum by Walter Sorrells

Erratum=an error in writing or printing.

Jessica has always felt like she doesn't belong. Her family feel the same way about her, but they accept her because they love her. Dale is her best friend because he too is  a misfit. He lives in a very poor part of town. He has 8 brothers and sisters and his parents have been beaten down by life. His father lost his hand at the sausage making plant in town and has been sitting in front of the TV doing nothing but drinking for years. His mom is bitter and old-looking. Dale doesn't spend much time at home. He has dreams of what he would love for his family to be like. His father throwing the football out  in the yard with him, and his mother baking cookies in the kitchen and caring for the family. Dreams that seem almost like reality.

When Jessica stops into an old bookstore that she has never seen before things are about to change. She finds a book in the store that has her name on it. The title is "Her Lif". As she starts to read she realizes that the book is the story of her life. When she reads that the owner of the store is about to kill her she barely manages to escape before it actually happens. From there things start getting weird. Her and Dale go to the local library where they manage to lose the book. While trying to find it they meet different people along the way and find that there are alternate universes and that it is up to Jessica to save this universe. The question is what reality is the "real" one?

Things start changing as a black hole opens up and starts deleting the town. It is imperative that Jessica find the book and set things right before the universe they know is obsolete. Dale is helping her until he finds his perfect family. Then he doesn't want things to change. It is just like he always dreamed. His father smiling and playing with him in the yard. His mother making fresh cookies in the kitchen and caring for her family. He starts to forget what his "old" life was and fits right in with his new. In the meantime Jessica finds that her family is not the same either. What she finds she does not like.

Once Jessica finds the book she has a decision to make. Will she keep what she knows is not real with a chance that the universe could be gone in an hour or a thousand years, or will she choose the reality that she does not like in order to preserve the universe the way that it should be?

I liked this story, but had a hard time following some of the science stuff in it. It was humorous and pretty fast-paced.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Love Stories

Joy over at Edgy Inspirational Romance featured a post on fellow bloggers love stories. Check it out! My husband and I are there:

July 2010-25th Anniversary

-July 06, 1985-wedding

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Happily Ever After by Susan May Warren(kindle)

Mona's dreams of opening a coffeehouse/bookstore are about to be realized. She has just purchased an old Victorian house with every dime she has saved up for the last 10 years. Mona is stubborn and determined to do all of the work herself. She realizes after her first look at the place though that she is going to need a handyman to help her in order to get it ready for the opening of tourist season in 6 weeks.

It is not easy for Mona to hire Joe. Mona is independent and does not need any romantic entanglements in her life. Plus there has yet to be a man who meets all of her requirements. She has only found that man in Jonah, a character in her favorite author's books. He is her ideal man and she refuses to settle for anyone less.

After she hires Joe several things happen to make her realize that someone is trying to sabotage her dream. She feels that she does not deserve to realize her dream. She feels that God could not possibly want to bless her with granting her dreams because of the deep guilt that she is carrying around.

Joe has his own secrets to keep. He has been wandering around for most of his life. He can't afford emotionally to become attached to Mona. From the moment they meet though he is drawn to care for her. Unable to forgive the father who left him and his brother and mother when he was 15 he can't seem to grasp that he has become just like him. Always running away from his troubles.

Joe has come to Deep Haven to visit his brother that he hasn't seen in years. He feels guilty about that but soothes his guilt with the fact that he has paid for his brother to stay at a group home. Even when he realizes he has feelings for Mona he cannot reveal to her the true nature of his brother's handicap. But he is keeping another secret from her that may even be more damaging than that.

For the most part I liked the characters of the book. I did get a little tired of the constant battle that both Joe and Mona had within themselves to keep their "deep dark secrets" and to deny the attraction that they felt for each other. Also there seemed to be a lot of teary eyes in this one. I'm not a fan of a character that constantly cries. It seemed like both Joe and Mona were always welling up. It got kind of old. Not only did Mona and Joe keep secrets from each other, it seemed that the author wanted to keep these secrets from the reader too. Maybe if some of Mona and Joe's reasons for keeping secrets had been revealed sooner in the story the tears and fears would have been more understandable to the reader.  

Monday, February 7, 2011

Fade To Blue by Julie Carobini

Welcome back to Otter Bay! This is the 3rd book in the Otter Bay series. I have read A Shore Thing but haven't read Sweet Waters yet. In Fade To Blue we read about Suzanne's story. She is Gage's(from A Shore Thing) sister who came with her son Jeremiah to live with him after her husband was sent to jail and divorced her.

Suz is working for a company that restores art. She is learning how to do the tedious job of restoring a piece of art to its original beauty. She finds out quickly though that this isn't her passion. She loves to paint murals.

Suz's world is set on end when she runs into an old flame. Seth was her boyfriend when she decided to marry Len her ex husband. It's a small world when she starts running into Seth everywhere she goes. He has bought a window washing company and they seem to be working on the same places. Seth is bitter about their old relationship.

When Len is set to be paroled he writes Suz a letter letting her know that he is a changed man and he wants to be involved with Jeremiah's life. Suz is confused about her feelings for Seth and her desire to give Len a chance to prove his new life.

Throughout all of Suz's struggles, her brother and his fiance' Callie are there to support her and offer advice and love. Also her friend Letty whom she works with. I'm hoping that there is another installment to the Otter Bay series and that it will be Letty's story.

I enjoyed Fade To Blue. I did get a bit frustrated with Suz lack of seeing the true colors of her ex husband. I think that she should have been more searching into the truth of her ex's conversion. For the most part I am becoming attached to the characters that make up Otter Bay.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hangman by Faye Kellerman

I have to say that this just wasn't my favorite Faye Kellerman book. I usually enjoy the Decker/Lazarus characters that she writes about. The editing of the book was pretty poor, just to be a bit picky. For an author that has this many books out I would think that the editing of one of her books would be a bit more carefully done.

I think there were about 3 different stories going on throughout the book. Decker first goes to be a liaison between Terry and her hit-man/husband Chris. A few days after the meeting between husband and wife Terry disappears. Chris claims he has no idea where she is. Whether dead or alive she has left behind their 14-year-old son Gabriel. Rina and Decker take him in.

Next a woman is found hanging from the rafters of a construction site. In the course of the investigation it is revealed that there could possibly be 2 serial killers on the loose. In the midst of all of his investigating Decker also turns 60 years old. Birthday and Shabbos celebration of course is hectic and interrupted by work but his sons and daughters and Rina manage to make it a special day for him.

I don't know, I guess I'm just a bit disappointed. I probably will pass on the next book.