Friday, May 27, 2011

Clarity by Kim Harrington

Clarity(Clare), her brother Periwinkle(Perry), and their mother Starla(Mary, but nobody better ever call her that) all have special psychic abilities. Clare can touch something of a person and can see and hear images of the past. Perry can speak to the dead and Starla can hear a persons thoughts. They give readings in their tourist town to make a living. 

Clare has suffered at the hands of her classmates for years because of her freakish ability. She has just gone through a breakup with her boyfriend Justin. When a young girl is found shot to death in a local motel a new detective moves into town along with his "hot" teen son. 

Clare, along with her former boyfriend Justin and the new hottie Gabriel are asked to help work on the case to find out who the murderer is. What is really wanted is Clare's ability to touch something that the victim had come in contact with in order to find out who the killer is. Law enforcement can't officially ask her because it would look bad to rely on a psychic for information.

What Clare doesn't count on is having her brother involved with the dead girl. Clare doesn't believe that he is the killer, but so many things are pointing in his direction. She finds that she doesn't know whom she can trust.

Regardless of what I believe about psychic ability this was a very good book! The suspense and mystery kept me turning the pages late into the night(or should I say morning!) in order to finish the book and find out "who dunnit". 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sequins, Secrets and Silver Linings by Sophia Bennett

   Nonie loves fashion. She has her own style that sometimes stumps her friends and family. At the beginning of the book you get the impression that she and her mother don't have much of a relationship, but towards the end it seems they develop a mutual respect for one another. Nonie seems closest to her older brother Harry.

Jenny had a small part in a recent hit movie. At first every time she shows up on the red carpet everything she wears looks totally disastrous on her. Instead of looking like a young starlet she looks miserable. She also has a crush on the boy who played her brother in the film. He is the new drool-worthy hot young hunk that all the girls are screaming about.

Edie is the humanitarian of the group. But for someone who has empathy for the downtrodden she can be brutally honest.

While shopping one day they meet Crow. She has set up a booth to sell her homemade clothing. They take her under their wings, and provide a place for her to create her clothing. They learn that she is from Uganda sent to live with her Aunt to get her away from her village and away from the rebels that kidnap children and make them into slaves or soldiers.

When approached to do a fashion show the girls set out to help Crow reach her dream of creating fabulous clothing. They also have the goal of raising awareness of what is going on in Uganda and to provide help for families to find their abducted children.

I really enjoyed this story. I enjoyed getting to know each girls' character. It was light-hearted yet there was compassion in each of the girls. The next book in the trilogy comes out in Spring 2012 entitled: Beads, Boys, and Bangles.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Next Book Club Pick

Thanks to those that participated in the discussion of Words by Ginny Yttrup. I think we all agreed that it was a pretty good book. Our next Book Club meeting will be July 2, 2011. We don't have a host yet. If you are interested let me know by commenting or emailing me.

Our next book is: Pompeii: City On Fire by T.L. Higley

Here's what you need to do to participate:

1. Secure a copy of Pompeii by T.L. Higley and read it between now and July 2nd.
2. There are questions in the back of the book. Choose 1 or more to address in a blog post. You may also post your review if you would like.
3. Schedule your blog post to run on July 2nd. You may copy and use the book club logo above if you’d like.
4. On Saturday July 2nd, we will post our reviews. The host will add a Linky to his/her post so that we can all link up and discuss the book.
5. That weekend we will hop around reading and commenting on the reviews and opinions of participating bloggers.
6. If you do not have a blog of your own, you can share your opinions about Pompeii in the comment sections of other blogs.
7. Have you already read Pompeii? Great, participate anyway! You’ve got a head start answering some of the questions!
Hope to see you on July 2nd! New members are always welcome!

I found discussion questions on T.L. Higley's website. If there aren't any in your book go to her site and get them. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

May Book Club-REVIEW of WORDS by Ginny L. Yttrup

This month's book club read was Words by Ginny L. Yttrup. Here is my review:

Sierra Dawn allows herself one day a year to think about the death of her baby 12 years before. Each year on the anniversary of Annie’s death Sierra goes to the grave, has lunch with her friend Ruby, and spends the rest of her day trying to forget. Sierra is consumed with guilt and anger. She knows that because she was addicted to drugs while pregnant with Annie that is the reason that Annie died. But she is angry at God because she feels that he could have prevented Annie from dying. Raised in a Christian home Sierra chose a different path to follow when she went to college. Ruby and Sierra’s parents think it is time for Sierra to relinquish the anger and guilt and get right with God. Sierra doesn’t  know if she ever can.  A trip to a secluded spot in the Redwoods changes her life forever.

Kaylee has been abandoned by her mother and left in the care of Jack her mother’s last boyfriend. The only things Kaylee has of her mother’s are her dictionary and Emily Post’s etiquette book. Kaylee hides them from Jack so that they will not be taken away. To escape the daily sexual abuse and neglect Kaylee reads the dictionary and memorizes words and their meanings. All of the words are bottled up inside of her as she has not been able to speak since her mother abandoned her to this evil man. Too afraid to run away because she worries that her mother has amnesia and someday will return to find her Kaylee suffers in silence and fear. One of her favorite spots is the hollowed out spot in a Redwood tree. She sits in a circle of pine cones telling herself that nothing can cross the pine cones to hurt her.

Sierra befriends Kaylee and realizes that neglect and maybe something more is going on in her life. She contacts Child services to find out what can be done. Once Kaylee is rescued she is placed in the care of Sierra. From that moment on healing for both Sierra and Kaylee begins.

WOW! This book was so good. It was heartbreaking to read about Kaylee’s abuse. I wanted to jump through the pages and administer justice myself! Ginny Yttrup was able to show that God can redeem us from our worst sins and give us peace and rest in Him through the trials of life.

As with Kaylee, victims of childhood sexual abuse often lose their “voice.” What types of circumstances silence you? How do you gain the courage to speak up when you’d rather remain quiet?
Some of my friends may not agree with me, but I am a shy person. So a lot of circumstances silence me. New situations silence me. Large groups of people silence me. Fear will silence me. One thing throughout life that has made me be more “vocal” has been my daughters. Whenever I have had to be their advocate whether at school or out in “life” those situations have caused me to gain courage and fight for my child. Unfortunately at the time Kaylee in Words was being abused she did not have an advocate with a voice to protect her.

Kaylee finds comfort in the words she reads in the dictionary. Who or what do you turn to for comfort?
First and foremost I turn to my Heavenly Father. I cannot imagine what my life would be like if I could not turn to Him in my time of need. I also have a wonderful husband that supplies a shoulder to cry on when I need to. And my family has always been there for me when I need advice, love or comfort.

Sierra’s dad encourages her to look beyond a person’s action to see the person’s heart--to look for what’s causing that person to act as he or she does. This was to help Sierra better understand people. How might this advice change the way you look at others?
I’ve actually been thinking about this off and on lately. We don’t know what trouble a person is bearing in their life. So the checker at the grocery store, or the random person I run into I try to be nice and not take some irritation I may have out on them. I’m trying to think outside of my own little world and care for others beyond my own circle of friends.

Now it is your turn. Link to your review and then answer a couple of the questions found at the end of the book. If you don't have a blog or website feel free to join the discussion by commenting.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

An Eye For An Eye by Irene Hannon

Mark and Emily haven't seen each other for 20 years. They fell in love the summer they both spent at Wren Lake. They lost touch with each other after that summer, but never seemed to forget their first love.

A chance meeting in the park brings them together again. While making arrangements to get together someone shoots at them. The shooter injures Emily.

The question is who was the shooter's actual target. Was it Mark who is on the Hostage Rescue Team? Could it be a criminal that he had put behind bars, or someone's family member out for revenge? Or could it be Emily who's job as a psychologist brings many troubled souls to her office?

Mark and Emily seem to fall right back into the chemistry they had as teens. Emily is afraid to open her heart though to another man in a high-risk job. Her fire-fighter husband died while saving a baby from a burning building. Mark too is tentative about a relationship with Emily. After all his job is miles away from her at Quantico.

While Mark and Emily explore their new relationship a killer is plotting revenge. Will the FBI be able to track him down before he makes his next move?

I enjoy a good suspense/romance novel and An Eye For An Eye did not disappoint!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Skeleton Creek: The Raven by Patrick Carman

Still trying to uncover the secret of the Crossbones Sarah and Ryan embark on another leg of the mystery. This time Sarah is heading back home from LA. On the way she will make several side trips looking for clues that The Apostle has left in various places.

Ryan is at home in Skeleton Creek fending off reporters trying to interview him about the discovery of the lost Thomas Jefferson books. The mayor of Skeleton Creek is encouraging him to answer as many questions as possible in order to keep Skeleton Creek in the news and on the map.

Between working in his fathers fishing store and returning reporters calls Ryan is unravelling the map that the Ghost of Old Joe Bush had given him. Between he and Sarah they unravel a mystery about Edgar Allen Poe that the Crossbones have been protecting for years. As things unfold the torch is passed to a new generation of Crossbones protectors.

I have enjoyed every book in the Skeleton Creek series. They are great mysteries and the video's that go along throughout the story help maintain the suspense of the mystery.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead

When Kit is late for a date with his girlfriend he takes what he thinks is a shortcut through an alley. He ends up in another time and place. He meets his great-grandfather Cosimo there. Cosimo entreats Kit to come with him and help him find the Skin Map. A map that is tattooed on a man's chest that shows travellers how to get from one time period to another.

Kit refuses to help Cosimo. He leaves the time he is in and goes back to London to meet with his girlfriend. When he tries to explain to Wilhelmina why he is late she refuses to believe him. Bent on showing Mina that all he has told her is true, Kit takes her to the place that he entered another time before. They are separated while making the "leap". Kit to his great-grandfather's and Mina to 1600's Prague.

Mina joins forces with  Etzel on his journey to Prague to open a bakery. Their business is lagging until Mina introduces coffee to the citizens of Prague. Her and Etzel open the first coffeehouse to huge success. When Mina meets a fellow traveller from another time period she is shrewd enough to learn all that he is up to.

Kit and Cosimo and Sir Henry are all trying to find not only the Skin Map, but also trying to find what time period Mina jumped to. Time is running short as they are constantly followed by Burley Men bent on following them to find the map and use it for their own nefarious schemes. Will Kit and Company be able to find the map before it is too late?

I have mixed feelings about this book. It drug in parts. I was most captivated with Mina's experience and wanted to flip the pages faster to get to her part more quickly. The ending was very disappointing in that I felt like I was right in the middle of some serious action and turned the page and it was over. I know that there is another book in the series that is coming out in September, but still felt a bit ripped off. Also, I received this book from BookSneeze. I thought that they were a Christian book distributor, but this book had little or no Spiritual content.  I honestly do not know that I would pick up the second book.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Meowmorphosis by Franz Kafka & Coleridge Cook

I have never read any of Franz Kafka's stories so was not familiar with The Metamorphosis. I went online to look it up and get kind of an idea of what it was about. I also read a bit of biography about Franz Kafka to get an idea of what he was like as a writer. So, after doing all of that I then read The Meowmorphosis, Quirk Classics mashup of  Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis.

In The Metamorphosis Gregor Samsa a salesman wakes up one morning turned into a bug of some sort. In The Meowmorphosis mashup Gregor Samsa wakes up as a cute little kitten.

I have to say I just didn't get it. I didn't know what the point of Gregor turning into a bug/or cat was all about. If Kafka was trying to impart some kind of message it was lost on me. My fault I am sure, as I am a pretty black and white kind of person. I want things spelled out for me.

All in all Gregor's life seems pretty depressing. He is evidently supporting his family. It seems that after he turns into a cat his resentment of that comes through. Once he no longer can support them his parents and sister have to find jobs in order to help them survive. They seem to be sunk in hopelessness as they do their jobs. It falls to Gregor's sister to take care of him which she does wholeheartedly at first but then comes to resent.

*SPOILER* Once Gregor passes, his family seem to come out of their funk and their burden is lightened and their hopelessness is lifted. So my question is, "What was the point?"

This is not to say that I didn't like the story. Coleridge Cook did a great job infusing funny little cat antics into the story to make it more amusing. I guess I am just not a fan of Kafka.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Bite Club by Rachel Caine

A new gym has opened in Morganville. From the time Shane visits it he is changed. Taken into a back room of the gym he is offered a deal he cannot refuse. Learn to fight with Vampire's. This seems to be just what Shane is looking for in order to get even with the Vampire's for what they have done to his family and friends.

Gloriana is a Vampire that has the ability to glamour the people around her. She has glamoured Shane into taking revenge on the Vampire's. Also she and Vassily have been supplying the fighters with energy drinks that seem to cause the humans to have super fast skills like Vampire's.

All of Shane's pent up rage spills over into his fighting and into his personal life. Eve, Michael and Claire try to find a way to rescue Shane from the club and from himself. Will they be able to save him before Amelie decides to mete out justice Vampire style?

As always living in Morganville does not provide a quiet existence for Claire. I was so stressed out reading this book! Mainly because I just couldn't stand the thought of Shane and Claire's relationship falling apart. I won't tell you how it all ended, but I will say that as always Rachel Caine has written an exciting story and I can't wait for the next Morganville Vampire book to come out!

Book Club Update

 Remember book club is May 21st. If you haven't gotten your copy of Words by Ginny Yttrup yet hop on over to Edgy Inspirational Romance and check out the information to get a free copy on your Nook.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry

For 7 months Tom has been training Benny, Lilah, Nix, and Chong how to survive in the Rot & Ruin. Preparing them for their trek east in search of the jet they all saw fly over them months before. Nix cannot wait to leave all of her memories behind. Lilah cannot wait to feel freedom outside of the fences. Chong is only going for an overnight camping trip to further his training and of course to be with Lilah for a little while longer.

Once in the Rot & Ruin though things do not go the way they planned. Things seem to be happening in the Ruin that indicate that Gameland is once again up and running. While checking out a dead body they encounter Preacher Jack. A man whose title doesn't match his evil countenance.

When they all become separated things go from bad to worse. Not only struggling against the living dead, they are also having to contend with an evilness in humans that they never thought possible.

Once again Jonathan Mayberry has kept me on the edge of my seat! There were times in the story that I would get so stressed out that I had to set the book down for a while! This is an ARC copy that I received at TXLA in April. Jonathan Mayberry was kind enough to autograph it for me. It comes out in stores in August of 2011. I cannot wait for the next book in the series!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bite Club by Rachel Caine

I'm going to go get a copy of this at Borders today. I'm a little scared to read it though. I told a friend that if Rachel Caine messes with Claire and Shane's relationship I was going to be mad. Obviously I am worried about that before I even start reading! We'll see...

UPDATE: I went to Borders and they didn't have it(but it was on order), then I went to Barnes and Noble and they didn't have it(but it was on order and they could put my name on a list)...finally I went to Hastings and there it was!!! Why didn't two of the biggest book chains have this already? Curious minds want to know!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo

Emma Grant's life seems to be falling apart. She found her husband in a compromising situation(on their dining room table) with her Teacher's Assistant. She was asked to leave the University she was teaching at for being accused of plagiarizing a paper. She has sold everything she has in order to buy a ticket to London to pursue lost letters of Jane Austen that may or may not exist. When she arrives she finds that she is not alone in the flat she is borrowing from her cousin. Her former best friend Adam is also staying there. Adam had tried to tell Emma that the man she was going to marry was no good. Unfortunately they had a falling out and have not seen each other for years.

Emma goes to see Mrs. Parrot once she arrives in London. Mrs. Parrot is part of a secret group called the Formidables. They have been entrusted to keep Jane Austen's letters secret. She sends Emma on different "tasks" to prove her worthiness to view the real letters. Emma immediately decides that once she gets hold of these letters she will be able to reinstate her status as a professor.

While trying to keep secret what she is doing for Mrs. Parrot, Emma becomes suspicious of Adam. He seems to be turning up wherever she goes. Anyone who gets hold of these letters would become famous. Throughout the story Emma is fighting her attraction to Adam. After all she believes that life does not hold Happily Ever After endings for her.

This was such a fast, fun read. I want to read Beth Patillo's Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart  as I am sure it will be just as fun.