Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Always the Baker Never the Bride by Sandra D. Bricker

This book made me laugh out loud! I love a story that can do that. The dialog between characters was so witty and filled with humor. A very entertaining read.

Emma works in a bakery for a cranky boss. Emma has just won the prestigious Passionate Palette award for one of her mouthwatering wedding cakes. A cake that Emma has only had a taste of since she is a diabetic. Emma's eccentric friend Fiona also works at the bakery. When Emma reads about the Tanglewood hotel opening up and in need of a baker she sees it as her and Fiona's chance to shine and show her true baking abilities, with hopefully a less cranky boss.

Jackson doesn't know what to think of Emma when he stumbles into the bakery that she works in. He sees her as an annoyance when she tries to get him to drink hazelnut coffee instead of the plain black coffee he asked for. When she shows up at his hotel to apply for the job of baker he is less than thrilled. But some things are out of Jackson's hands, mainly his 3 sisters! Emma has charmed her way to their hearts and they just know that if Jackson hires her the Tanglewood will have it's start in making a name for itself.

The book really becomes entertaining once the sisters become involved and once Emma's "divorced" parents arrive. Add to that Emma's Aunt Sophie who keeps escaping from the assisted living home and it all adds up to one riotous laugh after another!

Another fun thing about the book that was fun was that at the beginning(or ending) of each chapter there was either a recipe for some delicious sweet or wedding tips and advice.

I downloaded this book for free from Amazon.

This is the 2nd book I have read for the Why Buy the Cow? reading challenge

Same Look, New Name!

Hey Everyone! This is the new name of my former blog My Only Vice. As I stated in a previous post unfortunately My Only Vice name coincided with an adult fetish site starting advertising on the web. They asked me if I would be willing to change my name. Since their company has been in business longer than my blogging days and since I in no way want to be associated with that industry I agreed to changing my blog name. So WELCOME to MY FAVORITE PASTIME! I chose this name to go along with my crochet blog that is called My Other Pastime. For those of you who were on my networked blogs you will need to rejoin this site. Also if you grabbed my button you will need to grab my new and improved(in my opinion) button. Thank you to my friend Karin who co-posts with me on Edifying and Edgy for all of the hard work she always does for me when I need computer help and blog management! She's a great teacher and friend!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

First off, don't you just love this cover?! From the first time I saw it I wanted to get this book and read it. Yup, I love a good cover!

Cinder is a cyborg. She lives with her guardian and 2 step sisters. Yes, this is a retelling of Cinderella. 

Cinder is a mechanic in the marketplace. She can repair just about anything.  Prince Kai, the soon to be emperor of New Beijing, brings his android for Cinder to fix. Cinder can't believe when the prince seems to be flirting with her. But Cinder knows that she can never be attractive to him once he finds out that she is cyborg.

When the dreaded plague attacks Cinders step-sister Peony, Cinders step-mother immediately volunteers Cinder to go to the palace research facility to be tested on for a cure. No cyborg that is tested on ever comes out alive.

When Kai's father dies from the plague Kai is made emperor. Being forced to marry the Lunar queen in order to save earth from war, Kai holds a ball to announce his coming marriage. Barely able to be civil to the queen, Kai is determined to save his people from war with the Lunar's. Cinder has found a hidden chip in Kai's android that will expose the Lunar queen's plans for war. She must go to the ball in order to inform Kai before it is too late.

I really enjoyed this story and am looking forward to the next book in the series. Cinder kind of reminded me of the Uglies, Pretties, Specials series by Scott Westerfeld. I don't even know why? Maybe because of the post-apocalyptic flavor to it? Maybe because of the advanced technology? Whatever the reason, with robots, spacecraft, cyborgs, romance and evil queens and step-mothers Cinder is a fun read and a great new twist to the Cinderella story!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Name Change

Imagine my surprise when I opened my email this morning and a notice was there that My Only Vice is also the name of an adult fetish company based out of the UK! They will be starting a new website and wanted to inform me before it went live that our interests may not be the same! YA THINK?! So I am currently thinking of different names for my blog. I will keep you all informed. I hope this won't be a huge production, but certainly wanted to distance myself from any pornographic references or companies. I in no way want to be associated with this type of industry and I certainly would not want anyone innocently looking for my book blog to come across objectionable material. I hope you all continue to visit my blog once I change my name. All will be the same except for the name.

Friday, January 27, 2012

For Love & Liberty by Stephen Grimble-February sale on Amazon

For Love & Liberty by Stephen Grimble will be offered as an ebook on Amazon for .99 for the entire month of February.

Here is a synopsis:

For anyone who enjoys history and a charming love story in age of disposable relationships  . . .

Since the Constitution's ratification in 1789, each generation of Americans has been called to honor liberty by securing its blessings to posterity. For over 200 years, every generation has answered this call to honor.

What will be the epitaph of the current generation?

The fictional protagonists in For Love & Liberty form the Madison Committee, named to honor the Father of the Constitution James Madison, and soon determine that a constitution convention, the first since 1787, must be called to consider and adopt seven amendments known as the Second Bill of Rights. If ratified, these amendments salvage the nation's honor and fulfill its sacred trust by securing liberty's blessings to posterity.

"A ruminative thriller" Kirkus Reviews

Here is the press release:
Calling our Founding Fathers
Author looks to the past to save our future in latest work

ALBUQUERQUE - In his second book and first fiction piece, For Love & Liberty (Wasteland Press, September 2011), Stephen Grimble, author, veteran, and history buff, asks, “What can we learn from our founding fathers to solve the crisis we're in today?”  

Inspired by the United States' current political and fiscal troubles, Grimble penned the novel with the belief in mind that the U.S. is long overdue for a renewed examination and application of the original constitutional principles. For Love & Liberty captures the spirit of the American Revolution and re-thinks the modern function of the American Constitution and Bill of Rights, combining both historical and futuristic perspectives...and a little romance, too.

"It's a distinct probability that we will not pass on the blessings of liberty to future generations if America is not restored to fiscal solvency and limited government," says Grimble.

Posing the questions "what will be the epitaph for the current American generation?" "will it be the first in the country's history to fail to answer the call to honor liberty?", For Love & Liberty is a cautionary tale that offers a possible solution to restoring limited constitutional government, individual liberty, and fiscal solvency, and what might happen if that solution is rejected. Grimble hopes this will inspire other concerned citizens to join him in his call for new action. 

STEPHEN GRIMBLE is a retired executive and a member of SouthWest Writers. He currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he continues to call fellow patriots to the founding ideals of the United States Constitution. 

NOTE: I have not read this book so I will not be doing a review of it. I was asked by the publisher to post about the sale of this book. If you choose to buy it and review it please come back and comment on this post so that I can read your review. 


New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

This year I'm participating in the Contentment Reading Challenge hosted by Katie at Legacy of a Writer. The challenge is to be content with what we have and to enjoy books that we have on our shelves and have already read. I have challenged myself to do the WADING level of this challenge. That is to re-read 10 books this year. New Moon is my first one that I have re-read.

New Moon is my least favorite book of the Twilight series. It is depressing how Edward decides to leave. It is more depressing to see how it affects Bella. And of course the most irritating part is that this is the book that Jacob becomes a key player in. Yes, I am an Edward fan! But New Moon is also the jumping off point for the last 2 books in the series. Eclipse and Breaking Dawn could not have been written without having all of the background of New Moon. So that is why when I re-read the series I never skip over New Moon even though I would like to.

The thing about re-reading books that is comforting to me is that they are like visiting old friends. Sometimes while reading other books the tension in the story gets to me, or there is anxiety over the angst that is being portrayed. In re-reading a book, I know what is going to happen, I know how the ending is going to turn out. There is no anxiety, it is JUST FOR FUN! I didn't start with Twilight because I re-read that last year. I think I will try to re-read the other 2 this year. We'll see what my mood is when I decide to re-read my next book.

So, here is my first book finished for the Contentment Reading Challenge for 2012. Head over to Katie's blog and see if you would like to participate in the Challenge!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Accused by Janice Cantore

Carly Edwards is a police officer sworn to protect the community she serves in. While out on patrol with a substitute partner she was involved in a shooting. Now she is working juvenile until the investigation is over.

Carly's personal life is also in a shambles. She has just recently divorced her husband Nick for being unfaithful. She can't get away from him though since he too works for the police force.

Carly wants nothing more than to be back out on the streets. She thinks she is being given the chance when she is called to the scene of where the missing mayor's body is found. In reality she was called because the juvenile in the car asked for her. He is the son of Carly's mom's friend. Carly is to question him and get him to confess to the mayor's murder. The only problem is that after talking to him she doesn't believe that he was involved.

When Carly is told to back off of the investigation she begins to think that something isn't right in the department. At first she can't believe that there is corruption among her brothers in law enforcement. Carly soon comes to believe though that there are few people she can trust in the department.

Bitter against God and angry at her ex husband, Carly struggles with whom she can trust. She doesn't want to believe her mother when she tells her of the peace that God has given her after her father died. Carly has to take notice though when Nick too becomes a believer. Regardless of what he did, she still has respect for him as a cop. She soon finds that Nick is the only one she can trust as a cop, even though he failed her trust as a husband.

I really enjoyed this book! The story was quick-paced and action packed while also filled with suspense. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series! Also I found that the faith woven into the story was real and not distracting or preachy.

Thanks to Tyndale House and NetGalley for my review copy.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Firethorn by Ronie Kendig

Things start to go terribly wrong for the Nightshade team. Griffin(Legend) is wrongly accused of murdering a high up official. He is in prison, depressed, wondering where he went wrong in life. He doesn't know how he will survive the rest of his life in prison, but he is determined to do it with honor and pride like the Marine that he is.

The Nightshade team are just back from a mission when their headquarters are attacked. They are separated and taken to different locations around the world. Two manage to escape before the others are whisked away. Their families are taken to a hidden location and given no information about where their men are.

Kazi has been hired to find the Nightshade team and get them back together. Nobody knows who is behind the setup to break up the team. Kazi's first mission is to break Legend out of prison. Kazi has hardened her heart to everyone around her because life has not been kind to her. She is afraid to allow her heart to care for anyone because that would make her weak in her goal. She is determined to earn enough money to allow her to buy herself back from the man that her brother sold her too years before. An attraction between Legend and Kazi could be dangerous to both their hearts.

One thing I like about the Nightshade books is that from the beginning of each book a person is in for a roller coaster ride of excitement! And then of course there is the romance in each one, I don't know that I could read a military style book if there wasn't a bit of attraction between the main characters! Firethorn is the last book in the Nightshade series. I don't know that a person has to read the books in order, but I think that it would definitely help if you did. I unfortunately have read them all out of order. I read Digitalis first, then Firethorn and I have Nightshade waiting for me to read and then I have to get Wolfsbane. While each book is about a different man on the Nightshade team I think it would have helped me to connect with the characters more if I would have started at the beginning. But still, I have enjoyed the ones that I have read!

Thanks to Barbour Publishing and NetGalley for my review copy.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

ALA-Dallas, Texas

My friend Karin and I are at ALA(American Library Association) in Dallas this weekend. We are getting lot's of free books each day. Here are some pictures:

 These are my haul from our first day-70 books! Today I got 60 books! Wonder how many I'll get tomorrow?
My shoulders are killing me from all of the bags of books that I have been carrying around! But so excited about all of the new titles I get to read!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

King Peggy by Peggielene Bartels and Eleanor Herman

Peggy is a secretary at the Ghanaian Embassy in Washington D.C. When she receives a phone call at 4:00am from her home town of Otuam in Ghana telling her that she is their new king. She thinks that the person is joking, but they are not, she truly is the new King.

When Peggy arrives in Otuam she finds that her town is poor. Children have to walk for miles to get drinking water for their families. Not many get to go to school because of the expense. She also finds the palace in shambles. It turns out her elders have been pocketing the money from the townspeople and using it for their own pleasures.

Peggy immediately begins to set things right much to the disappointment of her elders. She lets them know that just because she is a woman she will not be pushed around by them or any man.

Because of her love for her people Peggy is able to improve their lives by stopping the corruption, bringing in clean drinking water, repairing their beloved palace and giving them something to be proud of. It isn't an easy job. Peggy still has to work her job as a secretary in the United States. So she is gone the majority of the year. Her elders do not make it easy for her either by still going behind her back with their thieving ways. Add to that the disgruntled children of the former King who insist that their father does not deserve a decent burial. Peggy finds that her dreams for Otuam are very expensive for a secretary.

This true story follows the first 2 years of Peggy's kingship. Her frustrations and triumphs. I really enjoyed this strong woman's ability to take on the male leaders in her town, stop the corruption and gain the love of her people. I felt her frustration while dealing with these corrupt men who were set in place to help the people, but have only helped themselves. Peggy is able to uphold the customs of the people while maintaining the dignity and power of her Kingship. 

Thanks to Doubleday for my review copy

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I Shall Not Want by Debbie Viguie

Cindy Preston is a secretary at her church. She is helping Joseph, a member of the church, put on a charity benefit. Joseph breeds dogs and this benefit is a project that he came up with to put dogs and homeless people together. Each homeless person that adopts a dog also receives a voucher that they can use to feed their new pet.

Cindy has just recently helped the police stop a serial killer. It seems that her luck with dead bodies is still following her around. When asked to go find Josephs assistant Derick she finds more than she bargained for. Derick has been murdered and Josephs prize dog is missing.

When several murders happen and the owners dogs are missing Cindy is once again forced out of her comfort zone much to Homicide Detective Mark's dismay. He and his partner Paul insist that Cindy stay out of the investigation, but that is hard for Cindy to do since bodies keep turning up everywhere she goes!

I really enjoyed the story. I didn't read the first novel in the series The Lord is my Shepherd, I think it would have helped with some background with characters. But it wasn't too hard to jump into this book and understand what was going on. Cindy has a caring heart that seems to give her a knack for getting into trouble. I found it funny that she doesn't like danger and throughout the book talked about taking risks and expanding her experiences yet she has helped catch a serial killer and now in this book keeps getting into pickles. Her foray into speed dating cracked me up! But she may have found a match, maybe we will see in the 3rd installment of the Psalm 23 Mysteries? A little bit of romance, a little bit of mystery and a lot of suspense I Shall Not Want was a fun read for me!

I obtained my copy FREE from Amazon several months ago. It is no longer offered for free.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Injustice For All by Robin Caroll

Remington Wyatt worked for the FBI. She witnessed the killing of her godfather Judge Daniel Tate. Knowing who the killers are Remington decides quickly that she must make herself disappear. She doesn't know who she can trust in the FBI because she doesn't know how high up the corruption has gone. It is easy to make herself disappear.

Agent Rafe Baxter has been transferred to Arkansas. He is given the cold shoulder along with cold cases. One cold case happens to be Judge Daniel Tate's. Determined to pull his weight in his new job Rafe tracks down a clue that leads him to the small town of Hopewell, Louisiana. 

Remington has made a new life for herself. But after 3 years of hiding her old life seems to be catching up with her. Her godfather's killers are determined that this time she will not get away! Remington is also fighting a Spiritual battle. She has been angry at God for years. She blames Him for her parents' death and for her godfather's death. She is determined to have nothing to do with God. Her best friend Hayden Simpson has been praying that she will return to the Lord.

Packed with excitement, suspense and romance Injustice For All will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final page is turned...it did me! Injustice For All is the first book in the new Justice Seekers series. The next book will be Rafe's sister Riley's story. I hope to read more about Remington and Rafe in that one too! I'm also hoping that Hayden Simpson will show up in a future novel too, with a love interest of his own of course.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

The year is 2083 and chocolate and caffeine are illegal. Anya Balanchine is the daughter of a now dead crime boss. Anya is determined to keep herself, her sister and brother and grandmother separated from her family's notorious connection. Having seen her father killed right in front of her she wants nothing to do with the family business.

For all intents and purposes Anya at 16 is the head of her little family. Her grandmother is dying, her brother has not been "right" since he was in an accident that killed their mother, and her sister is only 13. When some Balanchine chocolate ends up poisoning Anya's ex-boyfriend, she finds herself in trouble with the law and her family in the media spotlight.

Amidst all of this Anya meets Win,  the new guy at school, and is attracted to him until she finds out who his father is. With ambitions to become the next DA Win's father asks Anya to stay away from his son. It wouldn't look good for him in an election if his son was dating a crime boss's daughter.

Win and Anya begin secretly dating and soon fall in love with each other. Will their love be able to withstand her family name and his father's ambition?

All These Things is the first book in a series. I found the characters very believable but wasn't attached enough to them to continue on in the series. The storyline plodded along and I found myself getting distracted by other things. I guess it just wasn't the story for me.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Legacy of a Writer's Blogiversary Going on NOW!

Don't forget to go check out Katie's blog this week! Day 1 has already started with a GREAT character interview and sweet giveaway! Stop by and say CONGRATULATIONS to Katie for her 2 year blogiversary!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Vicious Cycle by Terri Blackstock

Jordan's mother has talked her into leaving the New Day rehabilitation center. Fifteen-year-old Jordan is an addict and about to be a mother. When Lance Covington decides to go try and talk her into coming back to New Day he gets into more trouble than he bargained for.

When he arrives at Jordan's home he finds that she has already had her baby(at home), she is high on drugs, and her mother and brother are getting ready to give Jordan's baby to a questionable looking couple. Jordan doesn't want to give her baby to them. She has already made plans to give her baby up for adoption to a Christian agency. Jordan locks herself in her room and climbs out the window. She stows her baby in Lance's car. When Lance drives away he is surprised to find the baby there.

Not knowing what to do and hoping that Jordan will come get her baby, he takes the baby to his home. In the meantime Jordan's mother and brother are furious with her and make her call the police and tell them that Lance has kidnapped her baby.

Not knowing what else to do Barbara Covington calls Kent from Atlanta to help her try and get Lance out of jail. Will they be able to talk Jordan into dropping the charges against Lance? Will Jordan be able to break the Vicious Cycle that has become her life and finally be able to do something for someone besides herself?

Vicious Cycle had me biting my nails! I seriously had to keep putting the book(my kindle) down to take a break from the intense suspense that permeates every page of the story. The second book in the Intervention series once again delves into drug addiction, but this time add human trafficking into the mix and it all adds up to one heart-pounding, intense read! I have to say that a couple of times I got frustrated with the characters. Just like in Intervention the characters seem to not want to do what they are told. Lance is told to stay home, he goes out. Barbara is told not to go looking for Jordan, she goes looking for Jordan. Emily is told to stay home away from her old drug stomping grounds, she goes right into the worst house of them all. As the reader I sat there wanting to yell at them "YOU WERE TOLD TO STAY HOME!" I know that those all add up to what makes the book a great read, but it sure gives me heart palpitations!

Now I'm on to the next book: DOWNFALL, but you won't get the review until February when the book is set to release. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Intervention by Terri Blackstock

Barbara Covington is desperate to save her daughter from drug addiction. Emily has been in rehab before and has gone right back to the drugs that she craves. Barbara finally stages an intervention. Trish from Road Back Recovery Center arrives to escort Emily to rehab.

When Trish and Emily land in Atlanta Barbara's nightmare begins. Trish is found dead in the parking garage and Emily is missing. Barbara and her son Lance arrive in Atlanta where the police believe that Emily is the one who murdered Trish. Everyone sees Emily as a junkie willing to do anything for her next fix. Only Barbara believes that her daughter is not the cold-blooded killer that everyone believes her to be.

When Barbara receives a text from her daughter saying "mom help me" she is more than convinced that something horrible has happened to her daughter. Frustrated that the police seem to be doing nothing to help find Emily, Barbara is determined to go out on her own and find her no matter where it takes her.

Filled with the anguish and helplessness that a parent must feel when their child sinks into substance abuse the author captures those powerful feelings and emotions in each page of Intervention. At the end of the book Terri Blackstock shares about her own daughter's substance abuse. The feeling of first-hand experience and emotions are apparent throughout the story. The mystery and suspense of Intervention kept me on the edge of my seat. An excellent novel that has me ready to delve into the next book in the series Vicious Cycle.

Top pick of 2011

On our blog Edifying and Edgy Karin and I asked our readers to make a video of their favorite book of the year. This is my contribution:

There you have it, my number one pick of 2011.

May you all have a very blessed 2012! Happy Reading!