Monday, April 20, 2015

Guest Review: The Patriot Threat by Steve Berry


Guest Review – The Patriot Threat by Steve Berry

The 16th Amendment to the Constitution is why Americans pay income taxes. But what if there were problems associated with that amendment? Secrets that call into question decades of tax collecting? In fact, there is a surprising truth to this hidden possibility.

Cotton Malone, once a member of an elite intelligence division within the Justice Department known as the Magellan Billet, is now retired and owns an old bookshop in Denmark. But when his former-boss, Stephanie Nelle, asks him to track a rogue North Korean who may have acquired some top secret Treasury Department files—the kind that could bring the United States to its knees—Malone is vaulted into a harrowing twenty-four hour chase that begins on the canals in Venice and ends in the remote highlands of Croatia.

With appearances by Franklin Roosevelt, Andrew Mellon, a curious painting that still hangs in the National Gallery of Art, and some eye-opening revelations from the $1 bill, this riveting, non-stop adventure is trademark Steve Berry—90% historical fact, 10% exciting speculation—a provocative thriller posing a dangerous question.

What if the Federal income tax is illegal?

Cheryl’s review:

Last year I reviewed The Lincoln Myth ( and was happy to have the opportunity to review Steve Berry’s latest, The Patriot Threat.

Cotton Malone is one of my favorite recurring characters in a book and The Patriot Threat doesn’t disappoint. Berry writes with a mix of a history lesson and fast-paced action. As his third Malone book with the United States as the starting point, he creates a realistic conspiracy incorporating historical figures and politics. Reading this in April during tax season made it especially speculative: “What if the Federal income tax is illegal?”

Although I enjoy all Berry’s books, this one was particularly fun. I couldn’t help but imagine what the country would be like if the Federal income tax was illegal. I’m familiar with Andrew Mellon’s financial legacy, but I didn’t know when or how it came about. Secret conversations, blackmail, and deception related to a President’s decisions also make you wonder what may have happened in past administrations.

I always appreciate the depth of historical research Berry does. Starting with the facts, he creates a realistic and though far-fetched, a believable conspiracy. As an archivist and historian, I also enjoy when his characters do archival research or visit archives. His explanations at the end of the book are worth reading to sort through the fiction from fact. While reading the story it can be hard to tell the difference, which is what makes the book good. I look forward to seeing what he comes up with next!

Thank you, Cheryl!

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Feature: Aunt Dimity and the Summer King by Nancy Atherton

There are so many mysteries out there that it is hard to keep up! The Aunt Dimity series has been around for many years and I sort of overlooked them until now .I was given the opportunity to feature the newest title, book 20! I couldn't pass it up. I didn't realize they had a paranormal twist. That is certainly right up my alley.

Has anyone read any of these? What's your opinion?
They sound delightful.

Cozy mystery lovers’ favorite paranormal sleuth is back with her twentieth otherworldly adventure

There’s trouble in Finch. Four recently sold cottages are standing empty, and the locals fear that a developer plans to turn their cozy village into an enclave of overpriced weekend homes. But for once Lori Shepherd can’t help.

Her infant daughter, her father-in-law’s upcoming wedding, and the crushing prospect of her fortieth birthday have left her feeling inadequate and overwhelmed. Until, that is, she has a chance encounter with an eccentric inventor named Arthur Hargreaves. Dubbed the Summer King by his equally eccentric family, Arthur is as warmhearted as the summer sun. In his presence, Lori forgets her troubles—and Finch’s.

But Lori snaps out of her happy trance when she discovers detailed maps of Finch in the Summer King’s library. Next, a real estate agent comes knocking. Is Arthur secretly plotting Finch’s demise?

With Aunt Dimity’s otherworldlym help—and her new daughter in her arms—Lori mounts a crusade to save her beloved village from the Summer King’s scorching greed.

Though my list is long, I will add this one to my pile and maybe scratch off the letter A in my Mystery Author Challenge.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Audio Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

This book has been on my list for a few years now and I finally got around to it. I checked it out on audio and it is amazing. I have taken a break from dystopian/paranormal/teen fiction for awhile now and it was nice to get back into it with this one. Also, I really like books that take on well known fairy tales and twist them around. 
Cinder is a take on Cinderella, obviously. Cinder is a cyborg who falls for the Prince and battles the evil Queen Levana. 
"It is read by Rebecca Stolar who has narrated other Young Adult books before. She is magnificent!
 "Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future."

Highly recommended. 

Happy reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

So what happened to my reading/reviewing in 2014...

As I was driving home from picking up my son from school today, it hit me. MY reading has fallen by the wayside over the past year, as HIS reading and listening as flourished! And....I'm okay with that. But I had to get it all out in a post because, well, there is a bit of guilt for all the books that were sent to me having not produced reviews for most of them. Does this mean I didn't talk about them? Nope. Share them with others? Nope. It just means I didn't officially sit here at my blog and write a full page report. And....I have to be okay with that. I did what I could and all those books made their way to readers who ate them up.
So on to what I HAVE been doing. I have been watching and enjoying my son, now 7, become an amazing reader and lover of stories. We have been busy! We have always read every night but many times we read over breakfast AND we now listen to audiobooks!!!! In the car on the way to and from school or anytime we are in the car going anywhere. I'm so excited because he is at that stage of reading that I love! The early chapter book stage! Okay, who am I kidding? I love them all!

Here is what we have read over the past year together.
Ready, Freddy series by Abby Klein (all 28 of them!)
Andrew Lost series by JC Greenberg (6 of them!)
Charlotte's Web by EB White
The Best Little Christmas Pageant Ever
Stink by Megan McDonald
Calendar Mysteries by Ron Roy (all of them)
A-Z Mysteries by Ron Roy (A,B,C,D)
Capital Mysteries by Ron Roy (first one)
Captain Underpants series ( 1-6 and yes, we love them!)
Ricky Ricotta series (1-5)
Kitty Korner: Otis
Kung Fu Chicken series (book 1)
Eerie Elementary (books 1 and 2)

Listened to:
The Secrets of Droon series (books 1-8)
Magic Treehouse series (books 1-3)
Mercy Watson series (all of them)
Wayside School Collection by Louis Sachar (LOVED these)
Chet Gecko by Bruce Hale (books 104, read by Jon Cryer (Ducky from Pretty in Pink!!!))

I know I am forgetting some but man, it's been so much fun. So, alas dear readers, publishers, I AM reading and I will share your books you send me with the world but right now, at this wonderful age, I am enjoying reading with my son the most!

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Friday, February 6, 2015

2015 A-Z Mystery Author Challenge

It is Februrary 6 already and look at me, posting for a new year challenge! Go me. Obviously blogging hasn't been my top priority but here I am!. For those of you who wish to take on this challenge, please share your results in the comments below. I am not going to do a link this year. I hope to be a bit more successful in my mystery reading efforts this year than last. Overall, I was pretty slow in the reading process. Every year brings new hope, right?
-A-Z applies to the LAST name of the author in the mystery, thriller, crime, cozy , suspense, noir, etc. genre.
-Read as many or as little as you want.
-Post your links in the comments below.
-Challenge runs February 6, 2015-Febraury 6, 2016
-Have fun!
Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping!


Monday, December 29, 2014

Book Review: All the Bright Things by Jennifer Niven

My review:
Oh dear Lord, how I loved this book! Definitely one of my favorites this year! I have nothing good things to say. Just look for it in January, read it and talk about it!  

Book Summary:
An exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death. Every day he thinks of ways he might die, but every day he also searches for—and manages to find—something to keep him here, and alive, and awake.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her small Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister's death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school—six stories above the ground—it's unclear who saves whom. And when the unlikely pair teams up on a class project to discover the "natural wonders" of their state, they go, as Finch says, where the road takes them: the grand, the small, the bizarre, the beautiful, the ugly, the surprising—just like life.
Soon it's only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a bold, funny, live-out-loud guy, who's not such a freak after all. And it's only with Finch that Violet forgets to count away the days and starts living them. But as Violet's world grows, Finch's begins to shrink.
This is a heart-wrenching, unflinching story of love shared, life lived, and two teens who find one another while standing on the edge. (Author's website)

Author Website:
Jennifer Niven

Happy Reading and thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Audio Review: ROCKS by Joe Perry


I was pretty stoked when I saw this title on the list to review. I wouldn't say I'm a HUGE Aerosmith fan but I enjoy them enough to want to know the dirt. In general I am a huge Rock Doc and music memoir fan. I just love to read and/or listen to people talk about how they got to be where they are now. I like to hear about the lessons learned, the places they've seen, the people they've met, etc. It's exciting. Perry has this subtle Boston drawl which I love to listen to, reminds me of the days I lived there. 

He is extremely down to earth, even during the more famous times. He recounts his passion for music from an early age that drove him to search and search until he found it. Ultimately, even with the ups and downs he had with Aerosmith, he was still fortunate to find a band that has lasted this long.

He dishes about Steven Tyler, his flames, the musicians he admires and throughout it you get a sense that he has really lived and learned. He doesn't come across as "better" than anyone. He admits to being a douche bag sometimes. That's life.

Overall, it was a really fun listen. I enjoyed it so much in audio, having him to listen to was key. If there were another narrator it may have been different.

Lovers of music would love this memoir. Highly recommended.
Happy Reading and thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child