Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Queen's Army by Marissa Meyer

At 12 years old Z is taken from his family and genetically altered to become a special soldier in the Queen's army. Forced to fight for pecking order in the pack Z soon finds his place in the middle, but will that be good enough to get him into the Queen's special army?

The Queen's Army tells the story of Z(who becomes Wolf in the book Scarlet). While I have been entertained by these two short stories(Glitches and The Queen's Army), I wish that they had both been novel length books.

The Pawn by Steven James

The first book in The Patrick Bowers Thriller series did not disappoint at all! If you like stories about serial killers and murder mysteries then you definitely have to pick this book up.

Patrick Bowers is called in when several girls have been found dead, the work of a serial killer with a signature of a chess pawn left behind. Patrick's wife has recently passed away from breast cancer and his 17 year old step-daughter Tessa is staying with his parents while Pat tries to help find the killer.

"The Illusionist" is what this serial killer calls himself. He prides himself on being one step ahead of the law. Part of the thrill he gets from the kill is the game. He's not interested in sexually assaulting the women he kills. The pain that he inflicts on them before they die is what he is interested in. When Patrick joins the team to find him the game becomes even more interesting.

Feeling guilty about his relationship with Tessa, Patrick insists that the FBI bring her to him so that he can make things "right" with her. Unfortunately this puts Tessa right in the sights of The Illusionist.

There are so many twists and turns in this book that it kept me on the edge of my seat! From government cover-ups, to the happenings in Jonestown(Jim Jones and the People's Temple Cult), to The Illusionists background, each story is interwoven together to make for an exciting read. There are definitely some graphic death scenes that would probably make some people cringe so I would recommend this book for a more mature audience. Tessa's character really got on my nerves. I wanted to reach through the pages and shake her. I found she acted more like a 12 year old than a 17 year old. My daughter had to remind me that after all Tessa had lost her mother recently and never had a father so therefore she wouldn't act like a "normal" 17 year old, but I still found her character annoying. As dysfunctional as Tessa and Pat's relationship is though, I found myself cheering for them when they did connect. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series to see that relationship develop.

Friday, January 25, 2013

We All Married Idiots by Elaine W. Miller

The author explains that the term idiots also means "common man" so essentially we are all idiots with Jesus Christ being the only UNcommon man that ever lived and therefore not an idiot.

Each chapter is broken down into the title of the chapter(one of the ten things you can change) and then a section to Meditate, a section to Reflect and a section to Change. Each meditation section gives scripture to meditate on concerning the subject that the chapter was about. Each reflection section does a bit of rehashing what the chapter covered and each change section offers up practical questions and activities to help strengthen your marriage.

Throughout the book the author talks about the enemy(satan) seeping into our marriages ready to pounce and destroy. She offers practical guidelines and encouragement for couples to stick with their commitment to each other.

A couple of quotes from the book:

How will you run your marriage marathon--like an idiot or like a fool? An idiot stumbles. An idiot makes mistakes. A fool runs the wrong way.

We choose to loosen up, strip down, let go, hold on, settle down, make nice, cheer on, sit tight, give up, and look up(the titles of each chapter). We choose to stay and fight for our marriages. We choose to obey God's command for a husband to love his wife and for a wife to respect her husband. Every day is a choice.

My Thoughts:

Not my favorite book on marriage relationships, but definitely it has benefits and truths that apply to all of us. I like how the author compared our marriages to running a marathon. Not giving up, sticking with it and continuing on. My husband and I have been married for almost 28 years and I think that even the most sound marriages need some fine-tuning now and then. That is why books like this are so necessary. We all need encouragement to stick with what we promised. Definitely a worthwhile read.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Rearview(7 Hours series) by Mike Dellosso


In each installment of 7 Hours, a character is visited by the enigmatic Thomas Constant, who makes a heart-stopping statement: "You are about to die. But you may choose from one of three options: Live seven more hours, travel back in time and relive seven hours, or accept the inevitable and die now."

In REARVIEW Professor Dan Blakely is falsely accused of sexual assault by a student whom he is going to flunk for cheating. Seeing that his career and family are going to be destroyed Dan takes a wild ride in the snow thinking to end it all. An accident that renders him moments from death has him regretting his rashness. When Thomas Constant shows up and offers Dan his three options Dan doesn't believe anyone can turn back time, but he figures he has nothing to lose by choosing an option. Requesting to live the last 7 hours over again, Dan hopes to change the events of the day and meet his wife and sons to tell them how much he loves them. REARVIEW is about the regrets that Dan has in his life and what he does to hopefully change those regrets into a life well-lived.

This is the third 7 Hours book that I have read. And it is the first one that I have cried over! While it wasn't my favorite out of the series so far, there were touching scenes and a message that speaks to a person's heart. 


Double Crossed by Ally Carter

Gallagher Girls meet Heist Society! Wow! This was such a fun short-story! If you like the Gallagher Girls series(which I love!) and you like The Heist Society(which I also love!) then you must read this book from Ally Carter.

 Hale(from Heist Society) and Macey(from the Gallagher Girls Academy) are both at the Calloway Ball when a group of gunmen dressed in Presidential masks take the group hostage. The scheme seems much more elaborate than just a normal grab the jewels and run type job. Hale and Macey join forces to thwart the thieves. Of course they have a little outside help from Kat and Abby. The thieves don't have a chance once the spy girl and the con join forces!

What a fun idea to link the two series together! I enjoyed it very much and am looking forward to the next installment of The Heist Society "Perfect Scoundrels" coming out February 5th. I haven't heard when the next Gallagher Girls book will be coming out, but definitely will be watching for it.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer

Adelaide Proctor has always dreamed about having her own family someday. When she follows the man that she has pinned all of those dreams on to Ft. Worth, Texas she finds that he was not the man she thought him to be. Once again acting impulsively Adelaide applies for a governess position for a ranch owner's daughter.

Gideon Westcott is an Englishman trying to prove to his father that he can make a go of a sheep ranch in the States. Isabella is his ward. Having promised Isabella's mother before she died that he would take care of Isabella, Gideon intends to do just that.

Adelaide instantly falls in love with Izzy and is just as determined as Gideon to keep her safe from the uncle who is determined to gain her inheritance. Gideon marvels at how Adelaide has transformed his Bella into the happy child that she was before her mother passed away. It isn't long before he is thinking of Adelaide and Isabella as "his girls." But it also isn't long before danger arrives to tear their new found family apart.

I enjoyed HEAD IN THE CLOUDS. It was a sweet love story mixed in with a bit of suspense and danger. That suspense and danger included a couple of more mature themes that would cause me to be careful who I recommend the book to. But in each of those scenes the circumstances bring the characters into a better understanding of who God is in their lives. I'm finding that Karen Witemeyer is becoming one of my favorite authors.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Mental-Pause And Other Midlife Laughs by Laura Jensen Walker

This book totally made me laugh out loud! So many stories that the author told I would say, " I have had that happen to me!!" In fact one of the first stories in the book was how women in menopause can look at an object and the word for it not even come to mind. I had just gotten done trying to tell my daughter something about a box and couldn't figure out the word box!!! I was making the shape of the box with my hands, the word box was in my head somewhere, it just wouldn't come out of my mouth! Oh my! So when I read that in the book I was much relieved that other women experience the same thing. For a light-hearted look at hot-flashes, age spots and the mid-life spread Mental-Pause is the book for you!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Whole Pieces(7 Hours) by Ronie Kendig

From Goodreads:

In each installment of 7 Hours, a character is visited by the enigmatic Thomas Constant, who makes a heart-stopping statement: "You are about to die. But you may choose from one of three options: Live seven more hours, travel back in time and relive seven hours, or accept the inevitable and die now."

My Description:

In Whole Pieces Haytham Kelley "Hawk" is part of a special op group in Afghanistan. When a young boy happens upon their group there is argument over whether to kill him or send him on his way. Their decision leaves all but Hawk dead. Fast-forward 32 years into the future as Hawk lays dying a broken and bitter man Thomas Constant shows up. When offered the opportunity Hawk chooses to go back in time to relive the seven hours before his unit was killed. Hoping to change the outcome of that fateful night is not even a question for him. Also hoping to gain even more time, as Hawk is spiraling back in time he manages to grab Constant's watch. Will Hawk be able to take the action needed to kill the boy this time around or will once again his unit fall to their deaths? 

My Thoughts:

This is the second book I have read in the 7 Hours series and I have to say I am hooked! I love the fact that each author brings their specific genre to this idea. Ronie Kendig writes military-type books and I loved her installment to the series. Throughout the story you could feel Hawk's emotions. From the bitterness he felt at being the only one left alive but yet body broken, to the desperation to go back and hopefully change the outcome of the night. I definitely am a fan of this series and of Ronie Kendig's writing.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer

Travis Archer and his brothers live in seclusion on their family farm. The only time that any of them have ever left was the time that Meredith Hayes trespassed onto Archer land and got caught in one of the game traps. That time Travis rescued her and despite his promise to his father to never leave the land unguarded he carried Meredith home.

Meredith is now a grown woman, but she has never forgotten Travis Archer. He has always been the featured hero of her dreams. Now Meredith's Aunt and Uncle are wanting to marry her off to a man that only wants her for her property. When Meredith overhears his plot to take burn the Archer's out of their land she must figure out a way to warn Travis. After all she owes him her life and must return the favor.

Forced to stay on Archer land while they protect it from their enemy, Meredith puts herself to good use. She gathers up all of the buckets and pots she can in order to have water ready for any eventuality. When she is accidentally kicked by a frantic donkey Meredith ends up staying a while longer on Archer land. Much to her Uncle's dismay Meredith's reputation is now in jeopardy.  Meredith's Uncle forces one of the Archer men to now marry her.

Travis wants to be the one to save Meredith's reputation, but the other brothers insist that they too would like the job. The solution to their problem? Draw straws for who gets to marry Meredith. Who will be the lucky man? And how will being the short-straw bride affect Meredith and the man that she marries?

Every now and then you just need a sweet romance and Short-Straw Bride filled the bill. I found it entertaining as well as comical in parts. Not all is fluff though, there is some danger and intrigue in the story as well that just added to the attraction for me. Looking forward to more books by Karen Witemeyer.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Recollection by Tom Pawlik


In each installment of 7 Hours, a character is visited by the enigmatic Thomas Constant, who makes a heart-stopping statement: "You are about to die. But you may choose from one of three options: Live seven more hours, travel back in time and relive seven hours, or accept the inevitable and die now."

About the book:

In Recollection Adrian Colfax awakens from a vision with a string of numbers running through his head. He can't remember what the numbers are for but there is an urgency for him to remember. Throughout the story Adrian keeps having visions. His conclusion is that his girlfriend is going to die and he only has a couple of hours left to change the outcome. Thomas Constant keeps reminding him in his visions that he may not like the outcome if Adrian manages to change the future. More than one life is affected by the change, is Adrian willing to take the risk?

My Thoughts:

This was the first 7 Hours book that I have read and I enjoyed it very much. The only thing that kept me from giving it 5 hearts was the ending. I hated the ending!! Recollection kept me on the edge of my seat trying to help Adrian figure out what the numbers meant(when they were finally revealed...WOW!), wondering what he was going to do when he did find out and then racing towards the ultimate ending of the story and the outcome. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the others in the series, each written by a different author. 


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Glitches by Marissa Meyer

Glitches is a short prequel to Cinder. It tells how cyborg Cinder comes to live with her adoptive family. From the very beginning her step-mother did not want her. Of her two step-sisters Peony is the only one that pays any attention to Cinder. Confused and rejected Cinder tries to find a way to fit in with her new family.

My only problem with Glitches is that it wasn't long enough! Having only 26 pages Glitches just gives the reader a taste(or tease) of what is to come in Cinder and Scarlet. Yes, worth the few minutes it takes to read, but again longer would have been even better.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Small World by Martin Suter

Konrad has grown up in the shadow of Thomas Koch. He's always been at Thomas's beck and call. Lately Konrad has become absent-minded. When he catches fire to one of the Koch family homes the family is sure that this will be the last time that Elvira(the Koch family matriarch) supports him. They are wrong. Elvira sets him up with a weekly allowance and a place to live.

More and more Konrad is forgetting things. Thinking that it is the alcohol causing his forgetfulness Konrad stops drinking. When he meets a woman and falls in love, Konrad decides to break ties with the Koch family once and for all.

Sinking further and further into Alzheimer's Konrad finally no longer recognizes his lover and has to be institutionalized.

When Thomas's son Urs marries Simone he carries on with his fathers philandering ways. When Konrad escapes the institution the Koch family find him on their property. Disheartened by Urs' behavior Simone decides to start visiting Konrad to find what his connection with the family is. Agreeing to set Konrad up in the guest house, Elvira believes that this will help her keep track of Konrad's memories. After all, there are family secrets that she never wants him to remember.

The blurb on the back says that this is a "gripping psychological thriller." I have to say that I did not find this in any way a thriller. Despite that, I found the story entertaining. I became attached to Konrad's story and felt for his decline into Alzheimer's. The majority of the book was mainly what was happening with Konrad's care, the last bit of the book did delve into some thriller-like aspects, but not enough to get the heart pumping.

Friday, January 11, 2013


This is a t-shirt that my daughter's in-laws gave me for Christmas:

Isn't it the truth? I have so many books that I want to read and there just isn't enough time in the day. I love the t-shirt!

And THIS is what I won in a contest given by author Julie Lessman:

 I tried to get a picture of me holding it with Julie's book showing, but the light and camera weren't cooperating. But anyway, new toy, new fancy cover for new toy and then Julie's book on my new toy! I love the cover of this book. It was designed by Julie's husband and their daughter is the model. Just beautiful! And the series is a MUST READ! Thank-You Julie for the fun contest and the WIN!!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Formula For Danger by Camy Tang

Rachel Grant's latest research has her creating a skin cream to help remove scarring. Break-ins to the family spa and to the greenhouse that is raising the plants that she needs are just the beginning of the danger to come to Rachel and her family.

Edward Villa owns the greenhouses that are raising Rachel's Basil plants for her project. Edward has distanced himself from Rachel because of her workaholic ways, but when he realizes how much danger Rachel is in he steps in to protect her.

Everything Rachel does is overshadowed by her perception that her father disapproves of her. She has pushed herself continually to please him and seems to have failed. Edward must help Rachel to see that the only one she needs approval from is her Heavenly Father and she already has His approval.

As the danger escalates both Rachel and Edward must increase their faith in the God of all creation and let go of their reliance on self.

Formula for Danger is a suspense-filled ride that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat! I enjoyed every bit of it. Camy Tang is a versatile writer it seems. I have read her Sushi for One series that is filled with humorous situations, and have read the first two books in her Protection for Hire series that also have a flare for suspense and have enjoyed every one of her books! This is the first Love Inspired Suspense that I have read, but with Camy Tang as the author I can tell I'll be reading more!

Other books I've reviewed of Camy's:

Weddings and Wasabi
Protection for Hire
A Dangerous Stage

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Waiting for Morning by Margaret Brownley

Molly would do anything for her young brother Donny. After all she believes that it is her fault that he is in a wheelchair. Molly has been working as a dance hall girl in order to support herself and Donny since their father has died. When the town they live in catches fire Molly barely escapes with Donny and a few clothes that she can save from her tent home that they share.

When Molly hears of a rancher looking for an heiress to run her ranch in Arizona Molly and Donny head there. The only catch to becoming the heiress is to sign a contract to agree never to marry. Molly doesn't believe that she will ever have a chance to be married. Every time she has been proposed to, when the man finds out about her invalid brother Donny the potential groom runs for the hills.

On their way to the Last Chance Ranch Molly and Donny meet Dr. Caleb Fairbanks. When his new horseless carriage backfires Molly believes they are being shot at. Molly has always protected Donny so she instantly gets out her rifle and shoots back! Caleb makes an even lesser impression when once again his carriage backfires and he starts a stampede that runs straight for Molly and Donny's wagon.

Caleb is attracted to Molly but Molly has put up many barriers to her heart. She believes that The Last Chance Ranch is definitely hers and Donny's "last chance". When Caleb starts working with Donny to help him build up his inactive muscles Molly is less than happy. Miss Walker the ranch owner is also less than happy when she realizes that Molly had failed to mention her brother Donny. But Molly is determined to make this last opportunity work for she and Donny. She promises Miss Walker that she will be able to care for Donny's needs along with all of her duties on the ranch.

Having been shunned and gossiped about in her former church Molly has had no use for churches since. She hates the fact that people judge her by her dress. Molly's reason for dressing loud is to bring attention away from her crippled brother. Through Caleb, Molly learns that she too has judged church people wrongly and therefore limited God in her life.  It is hard for Molly to realize that the guilt she has carried around for years was false guilt and that God has directed her path throughout.

Waiting for Morning is the second book in The Brides of Last Chance Ranch series. The first is Dawn Comes Early. Also the character of Caleb Fairbanks is from another book written by Margaret Brownley A Vision of Lucy. I'm really liking The Brides of Last Chance Ranch series and am hoping that soon Miss Walker will have her romance. I think that in Waiting for Morning she was starting to soften a bit so I'm looking forward to seeing what the author has in store for her and her ranch.

I received my copy of Waiting for Morning from Booksneeze.