Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Downfall by Terri Blackstock

The Covington Family can’t seem to catch a break from the bad guys!

In Downfall the Covington’s have moved to Atlanta so that Barbara and Kent can be near each other to explore their feelings for each other. Barbara also was hoping that getting away from their old home would help Emily in her recovery. Unfortunately trouble seems to follow this family wherever they go.

First a bomb is planted under Emily’s car. On the same day a woman is murdered whom Emily knows. Putting the pieces together Emily realizes that a conversation she overheard at work may be unfolding. In a race to save another woman’s life Emily inadvertently sets herself up as a prime suspect in the murders.

In the meantime, Lance is having trouble at school. He isn’t fitting in. Nobody believes that he was a hero in his old hometown. They all make fun of him except for one girl. Alice has troubles of her own with her parents getting ready to divorce. When Alice starts to hang around a known drug dealer Lance once again tries to step in and save a girl’s life. 

With the killer’s acts escalating it is becoming clear that he is determined to ruin the Covington’s lives. What is the connection? Will they be able to stop him before his next target is one of them?

Okay, first off does anyone in this family listen when they are told not to do something? Kent tells Emily to wait for him, does she? NO! Lance is told to stay put, does he? NO! Barbara runs around screeching at everyone to do something instead of allowing the police to do their job and then Kent has to come in and clean up everyone’s mistakes for not listening and doing what they were told. BUT, all of that being said I still LOVED this novel! The suspense is excellent! Even though the behavior of the characters annoyed me sometimes I totally could relate with some of them. If one of my children were thrown in jail I too would be the hysterical mother screeching at someone to do SOMETHING! And what kid is going to stay put when you tell them too when they think they can solve the problem with no harm to themselves? All of them getting into these scrapes adds up to the intensity of the suspense in the novel and keeps the reader turning the pages late into the night. I believe this is the last of the Intervention series. I hope so for the sake of the Covington family as I don’t think they could take any more drama in their lives! 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Bourne River of Time Series 3.1 by Lisa T. Bergren

Bourne takes place right after the last battle in Torrent. Many have died in the battle and there are many injured at the Castello Forelli. Gabi must put in an appearance to all of the injured since she is now lady of the Castello. She and her family must do their best to stitch and bandage up all of the injured. They must also see to the proper burial of all those who lost their lives for the Forelli family.

Just when they think that there will be peace in the land a band of mercenaries is going around seeking revenge on the brotherhood. Already two castles have been attacked. Gabi, Lia, Luca and Rodolfo must warn the other brothers of what is coming. Once again the She-Wolves have been placed in peril. Will they be able to reach Luca’s family in time to save them?

Bourne is the first of three e- novella’s that will be published this year. Bourne didn’t lack any of the excitement that the full length novels carried. I was once again transported to 14th century Tuscany with the hunky knights Marcello, Luca and Greco. Bourne explores Lia and Luca’s relationship a bit more and also delves a little into how Lord Greco is dealing with his guilt about betraying his country. I feel so bad for Lord Greco! He needs to find a woman who will love him and whom he can love in return. He has so much passion to give and he really is a good guy, I hope that love is in his future! I’m looking forward to the next installments of The River of Time series. I can’t get enough!!

Today you can get your copy of Bourne on Amazon for .99: 

You can also get it at Smashwords:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/136620

Here's the NOOK link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bourne-lisa-bergren/1109160629?ean=2940013977914&itm=1&usri=lisa+t+bergren+bourne

This series was my number one pick for 2011. A must read!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

Nora, her best friend Chris, his girlfriend Adriane and Chris' best friend and roommate Max all  are working on a translation project for a professor. Nora is assigned to translating letters written by Elizabeth Weston over 400 years before. What she discovers is a recipe for a machine that is believed to open up channels to God.

This discovery leads to murder, secret brotherhoods and betrayal. When Chris is found murdered in his home, Adriane catatonic by his side in a pool of blood and Max the last person seen leaving the house, Nora is determined to prove Max's innocence in the murder and to put together the puzzle pieces of where Elizabeth hid the parts of the machine(Lumen Dei).

When Max contacts Nora she and Adriane sneak away from a class trip and head to Prague to meet Max. They are followed by Chris' cousin Eli who has family connections in Prague and also has family secrets he is unwilling to share with Nora. From the time they reach Prague they are faced with those trying to protect the Lumen Dei and others that are trying to find it for their own purposes. Nora soon finds that she doesn't know her friends as well as she thinks she does. Hers and Elizabeth's lives seem to mirror each others and betrayal is around the corner for her just as it was for Elizabeth.

My Thoughts:

I found myself comparing this book to a cross between The DaVinci Code and an Indiana Jones movie. It reminded me of The DaVinci Code with the secret sects protecting a spiritual being/object along with lots of supposedly spiritual connotations. It reminded me of Indiana Jones in the fact that once the object was acquired the greedy person seeking the power suffered a grizzly demise of supernatural dimensions. Not to say that being compared to these is a bad thing, but the fact that this is marketed as a Young Adult book had me scratching my head. The writing was fairly technical and also at times hard for me to slog through. If I had a hard time keeping my attention on the text I cannot imagine a teenager staying with it through to it's ending. I have to say though that I did become invested in the characters and continued to read on just to find out what happened at the end.

Pet Peeve:
Like I said, The Book of Blood and Shadow is marketed for 12 and up. I started seeing very early in the book that the author was peppering the story with words that were not common for most adults not to mention middle school grades or high schoolers. This was frustrating for me, but I began to write down each word that I either didn't know the meaning of or knew from the sentence what the author meant, but wasn't quite sure that a YA student would know the word. I then looked these words up after I finished the book. I probably should have looked them up while reading, but seriously, what Young Adult would stop reading during a story to look up a word? So here is my list of words:
Ameliorated-heard of it, but don't use it!
Iterations-never heard of it
Egalitarian-heard of
Disingenuous-heard of
Caesura-never heard
Karass-couldn't even find it when I looked it up
Vertiginous-heard of
Soporific-heard of
Ethos-heard of
Matrices-plural of matrix!
Defenestration-never heard
Inchoate-never heard

Those are just the words that stood out to me. There were other words such as detritus that I knew the meaning of, but is not really a common word. I understand an author wanting to enlighten and improve our vocabulary, but if I had to stop and look up every word then that to me would detract from the story.  And once again this is a Young Adult book, stick with what they know because the unfamiliar will lose them just as it almost lost me.

I received my copy as an ARC from ALA in January 2012. The Book of Blood and Shadow will be published and available for sale in April 2012.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Weekend Report

Melanie over at Christian Bookshelf Reviews does a weekend report. I thought I would try my hand at it this weekend.


This is the ARC copy that I received at ALA in January.

This is the cover that I'm assuming is for sale in stores.

I have to admit I am struggling getting through this book. I hope to finish it by tonight. I have about 130 pages left. 


 Excellent book! I'm posting my review on February 28th so come check it out.

My review will be posted in March. This is the 3rd book in the Emma Rae Creations series. I enjoyed it.

This was just a fun aside read from the Twilight series. HERE is my review.


I may devote the majority of March to reading some John Grisham books that have been languishing on my TBR shelf:
Plus I have this waiting on my Kindle to read:

And these two:

 So there you have it, my first WEEKEND REPORT. Let me know what you have going on in your reading endeavors.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide by Stephenie Meyer

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Twilight Saga is right here in this handy dandy guide. Let me tell you, IT IS A HEAVY BOOK! Filled with character descriptions, art work, quotes from the books and both vampire and werewolf lineage this has it all. What was fun for me is that each character has a total history that we may or may not have seen in the books. The Official Guide also gives a music play list that Stephenie Meyer used while writing the series. There is a Q & A section and then an interview section where Stephenie sits down with another author and chats about the books. I enjoyed the book very much!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bourne by Lisa T. Bergren

If you loved Waterfall, Cascade, and Torrent, then you will definitely want to read Bourne River of Time #3.1! This is the first e-novella of three coming out this year. I absolutely fell in love with all the characters again. Come back for my review on February 28th!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

So this once again brings to a close the Twilight series. I found this time around I got bored with how stinkin LONG this book is! I guess the pace keeps the story moving, but it is just long! Almost 800 pages! Good grief! Anyway, I still am happy with the "Happily Ever After" ending of the series. I'm still one of those people that didn't feel gypped about the non-existent fight scene. Frankly I don't think my heart could have taken it. I still cried when they were all saying good-bye to each other when they thought it was their last moment together. It didn't creep me out that Jacob imprinted on Renesme. I loved the honeymoon scene and thought the book did a much better job of closing the bedroom door at the proper time than the movie did. I love the interplay between Jacob and Rosalie! All of his blond jokes cracked me up. And then when she fashioned a dog dish for him I howled with laughter. I wish the movie would have showcased that relationship a bit better. I loved the scene when Bella realizes that Jacob had imprinted on Renesme...EXCELLENT!

Just so you all know, I have heard all of the arguments for and against this series. I have heard how reading these books "puts unrealistic expectations on spouses/future spouses." I think that anything that becomes an obsession can do that. I do not look at my spouse any differently than I did before I read this series. He still lights my fire! I still have eyes only for him. I don't lust for an Edward clone. I do however expect to be adored by my husband. I don't think that that is an unrealistic expectation. Edward and Bella adored each other. Why should I expect anything less for my marriage or for my children's marriages? And by the way, when I see my husband...he sparkles ;)

FYI:  I'm still resentful that Stephenie Meyer hasn't finished Midnight Sun which is Edward's story. BUT I'm still a fan of the series.

I'm counting this towards my Contentment Reading Challenge:

Interview on Danyelle Leafty's blog

Today I was interviewed on Danyelle Leafty's blog.

Danyelle is the author of the Fairy Godmother Dilemma Books. Catspell is the first in the series:

Thanks so much to Danyelle for having me on her blog today! It's always fun to meet new authors and find new blogs to enjoy.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Eclipse is the 3rd book in the Twilight series. I think that next to Twilight it may be my favorite in the series even though Jacob is a total pain in the butt in this one. I have to laugh every time I read when Bella punches Jacob's jaw and breaks a bone in her hand! Again though I feel sorry for Jacob. He loves Bella so much but even though she loves him, she cannot live without Edward. Gotta give the guy props for trying to gain her love though! I'm not a fan of Bella trying to use her whiles to get Edward to have sex with her and to also get out of marrying him. But still this is one of my favorite books in the series.

I re-read Eclipse because Breaking Dawn Part I came out on video and so I thought I would re-read all of the books. Sometimes I just need a little fluff to read and that is where I found myself while re-reading this. Also it counts towards my goal for the Contentment Reading Challenge:

I think this is my 3rd or 4th time reading the Twilight series. Yes, I enjoy it that much! And confession: I like the movies too! As cheesy as they are I just like them!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Curveball The Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick

Peter and his best friend AJ are the best baseball pitchers for their team. Their pitching skills are going to take them far. When Peter is pitching, AJ is catching then when AJ pitches then Peter is catching. They are quite a duo. That is until Peter messes up his arm and is told he can no longer pitch~EVER.

This does not seem to be Peter's year. Not only can he no longer pitch, but he is also starting his freshman year of high school. Also, there seems to be something disturbing going on with his Grampa. Peter's Grampa is a famous photographer. He has taught Pete everything he knows about cameras and taking the perfect picture. When his Grampa seems to miss the most perfect shot of all and then up and gives Pete all of his equipment Pete knows there is something terrible going on. His Grampa also seems to be frequently forgetting things.

Pete's mother insists that he enroll in an introductory photography class. Since he can no longer play baseball then she feels he needs to be in a "club" of some sort. Pete meets Angelika in class. They are soon put together as partners and things start to look up for Pete. Even though Pete has always told his best friend AJ everything he somehow can not bring himself to tell AJ about not being able to pitch again. The only one he really talks to about that is Angelika. She encourages him to not only be honest to AJ about his arm, but also to talk to his parents about what is going on with his Grampa.

Once again I love the emotions that Jordan Sonnenblick explores in his stories! Peter's relationship with his Grampa is so special and you feel for him as he watches his Grandfather fade into the world of Alzheimer disease. You feel for Pete in his awkward 9th grade self wondering what he is going to do with his life now that he can't play baseball. You admire AJ and Angelika for being Peter's best friends and helping him through his emotions. I have to say that once again Jordan Sonnenblick was able to bring a smile and tear to my eye in Curveball The Year I Lost My Grip.

I received my copy as an ARC from ALA in January.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Always The Wedding Planner Never The Bride by Sandra D. Bricker

More weddings are being planned at the Tanglewood hotel. This time around Sherilyn(Emma Rae's best friend from college) has been hired as the new wedding planner for the hotel.

Sherilyn and her fiance Andy have moved back to Atlanta, both with new jobs. They soon find the house of their dreams but has Andy gotten cold feet about marrying Sherilyn? And what's up with Sherilyn losing two wedding dresses?!

This second installment of the Emma Rae creation series was just as much fun as the first one Always The Baker Never The Bride. Each chapter has helpful hints for wedding planning and also some yummy recipes that Emma Rae bakes up in the story. I was quite pleased with the way the romance played out and the interaction of the characters. Looking forward to the next installment!

I downloaded my copy for free from Amazon. This is the 3rd book I've read in the Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Blue Moon Promise by Colleen Coble

Lucy Marsh is on her own trying to raise her young brother and sister. When circumstances become dangerous for this young family Lucy finds the only thing she can do is accept a proxy marriage to Nate Stanton.

Henry Stanton is Nate's father. He has come in search of a young Christian woman to marry his son. His offer helps get Lucy, Jed and Eileen out of a dangerous situation. She believes this is an answer to her prayers to protect her family.

Nate has problems of his own. The Stanton's and the Larson's have been enemies for years. Every since Henry bought out Larson land. Drew Larson is bitter about losing his family land and will never forgive the Stanton's.

Nate is not happy when his father brings Lucy home as Nate's wife. He cannot fathom how any woman would ever agree to marry a man by proxy. The marriage is legal and binding and Lucy has no intention of shirking her wifely responsibilities. She sets out to prove to Nate that she can do whatever it takes to help him run a cattle farm. 

Lucy has been relying on her own abilities for too long. Her independence immediately causes some friction between her and Nate. Lucy must learn to trust the Lord and relinquish her controlling nature to Him, which is hard for her to do since she has had to be in control of her sister and brother's care for so long.

I really liked the development of the love and attraction between Nate and Lucy. There was also a bit of mystery and suspense that in my mind played secondary to the relationship between Nate and Lucy, but added a bit of spark to the story and kept the pace moving along nicely. I really liked Nate and Lucy's characters. They both were willing to seek the Lord in their relationship. Nate was willing to be the man of the family and become a father figure to Jed and Eileen. Lucy learned to let go of her control issues and allow Nate to be the head of their family.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Blogger Interview

Crystal over at Just Another Book Lovin' Girl interviewed me today on her blog. Go check it out here: INTERVIEW

Thanks so much to Crystal for this feature that she has on her blog. I have enjoyed getting to know fellow bloggers through her blog!

Friday, February 3, 2012

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

That's the teaser on the back of this book. Of course it had me hooked!

Jazz is no ordinary teen, although he knows how to act like one. But when you have been raised by the world's most horrific serial killer it is hard to be "normal". Especially when your dad has taught you everything he knows in order to groom you as his successor. 

"Dear Old Dad" is now behind bars. Jazz really is trying to lead a normal life now. He has a girlfriend, he's in the school play. But Jazz' life is anything but normal. He lives with his crazy gramma, trying to keep the child welfare people from sending him to a foster home, his best friend Howie is a hemophiliac, and he lives in fear of becoming just like his father.

When a woman is found dead in a field with 3 fingers missing Jazz knows right away that another serial killer is on the loose. Unfortunately he can't get the law enforcement to agree with him before another murder is committed. Jazz joins forces with the police to catch the murderer. Jazz knows how a serial killer thinks and he wants to prove to himself that he is not like "Dear Old Dad". But it's a fine line he is walking because he understands the cravings to see a person's last breath seep out of them.

This is one of those books where I wish I had half hearts to give out. I would have given this a three and a half rating. I vacillated between really liking it and "it was just okay". I really liked the suspense of the story and the not knowing who the killer was until almost the very end. I disliked that this is a YA book. The theme was pretty horrific and sometimes goes into some gory details about what the killer did to his victims. Surprisingly the author kept the language fairly tame. I was offended by his use of Jesus, and g** d*** but other than that there really wasn't a lot of language, maybe because the theme was harsh enough? 

I Hunt Killers is published by Little Brown and will be out for sale in April 2012- I received my ARC copy at ALA in January.