Friday, April 29, 2011

I'm doomed.

Like I need more books, right? I'm doomed.

Tomorrow is the annual Ladies Auxillary Book Sale in my hometown. The ENTIRE ice arena is filled with tables of books. Tomorrow is the last day and for the morning from 8-12 it is only $4 for a bag. A BAG! After 12, it is free! FREE!

Why does this happen one month before BEA?

This event is fun and stressful at the same time. I get excited and continue filling up bags. Last year I agreed on ONE bag. I got FOUR.

Oh well...this is my destiny. To live surrounded my books that I may never read. Reading From My Shelves Project be damned.


red headed book child

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wrecker by Summer Wood (review #120)

Wrecker by Summer Wood
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: Fiction

What an extraordinary novel. I am so glad I signed on to do this tour. Before I go any further here is a description from the TLC Book Tour website.

After foster-parenting four young siblings a decade ago, Summer Wood tried to imagine a place where kids who are left alone or taken from their families would find the love and the family they deserve. For her, fiction was the tool to realize that world, and Wrecker, the central character in her second novel, is the abandoned child for whom life turns around in most unexpected ways. It’s June of 1965 when Wrecker enters the world. The war is raging in Vietnam, San Francisco is tripping toward flower power, and Lisa Fay, Wrecker’s birth mother, is knocked nearly sideways by life as a single parent in a city she can barely manage to navigate on her own. Three years later, she’s in prison, and Wrecker is left to bounce around in the system before he’s shipped off to live with distant relatives in the wilds of Humboldt County, California. When he arrives he’s scared and angry, exploding at the least thing, and quick to flee. Wrecker is the story of this boy and the motley group of isolated eccentrics who come together to raise him and become a family along the way.

This book had a feel to it that everything and nothing happened at the same time. Even though it spanned over 15 years, there was such a simplicity to the way the story was written. It wasn't a traumatic event one after the other, it just seemed that it was life; Wrecker's life. You take it. You leave it. You move on. Each character was touched on a bit and each got their moment in the sun, so to speak. I felt for each of them; Ruth's quirkiness, Melody's need for love, Willow's distance, Johnny's activism and Len's sorrow.
Their link was their love for Wrecker.
I especially felt for Wrecker. I just adored this character from the tough little 3 year old he starts out as to a smart, matter-of-fact, kind adult.
As a mother, this hit home. Summer Wood portrayed a unique blend of family. She carved out her own definition. I liked that Wrecker's biological mother, while in prison, was still very much his mother and not portrayed as a dead beat. She was a young woman who made a mistake and paid for it for 15 years away from her son.

They each cared for Wrecker in their own way and always knew the day would come when his mother would find him. The ending is quite simply life, as it happens; knowing, bittersweet and uneventful.

Review: 6/6
I highly recommend this book. It may not be for everyone but it hit home for me being a mother and putting such importance on family and caring for my child. It was a unique tale filled with a cast of eccentric yet heartwarming characters. It reads quick and when finished I was left a little sad that their story had ended. Summer Wood is a fresh voice in fiction and one I would read again.

Book Club Pick?
Yes. I think the core message here is that you create your own definition of family. That alone would get MY book club buzzing!

Don't miss the other stops on the tour:

Monday, April 18th: Scraps of Life

Tuesday, April 19th: Musings of an All Purpose Monkey

Thursday, April 21st: Book Club Classics!

Friday, April 22nd: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books

Monday, April 25th: In the Next Room

Tuesday, April 26th: Life in Review

Wednesday, April 27th: Boarding in my Forties

Thursday, April 28th: Red Headed Book Child

Monday, May 2nd: Joyfully Retired

Thursday, May 5th: Rundpinne

Monday, May 9th: Caribousmom

Tuesday, May 10th: Amused by Books

Wednesday, May 11th: I’m Booking It

Author Website:

The publisher has been kind enough to give away one copy of Wrecker to one of my readers. Please leave an email address and reside in the United States please.

Giveaway ends May 5.

Happy reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Monday, April 25, 2011

Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay (review #119)

Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Genre: Fiction

This book was on my TBR shelf from the first moment I saw this cover. I am a cover junkie and I just think this one is absolutely beautiful. I was excited to be on the blog tour for this.

Here is a synopsis from the TLC Book Tour site:

When Nina Revskaya puts her remarkable jewelry collection up for auction, the former Bolshoi Ballet star finds herself overwhelmed by memories of her homeland, and of the events, both glorious and heartbreaking, that changed her life half a century earlier. It was in Russia that she discovered the magic of dance and fell in love, and where, faced with Stalinist aggression, a terrible discovery incited a deadly act of betrayal—and an ingenious escape to the West.

Nina has kept her secrets for half a lifetime. But now Drew Brooks, an inquisitive associate at a Boston auction house, and Grigori Solodin, a professor who believes Nina’s jewels hold the key to unlocking his past, begin to unravel her story—setting in motion a series of revelations that will have life-altering consequences for them all.

From the very beginning of this book, there is a feeling of intrigue, a suspense that something has happened and there are secrets that have been buried. I always enjoy that mystique in books especially when it is written well. Kalotay did just that. She intricately laid out the stories of the central characters; Nina, Drew and Grigori. Weaving back and forth in time, you follow Nina in her rise to a successful Ballerina in the Bolshoi Ballet. Since having seen Black Swan, I am ever more intrigued with the art and sport of ballet. It was interesting to read about the lives of these performers especially during such turbulent times in Soviet Russia.

I am not familiar much with the history of Soviet Russia and this novel introduced me to the terrors and the hardships of that time. On the other extreme, it was lovely to read about Boston and reminisce about my time living there.

There are some books that leave you with nothing to say and others that leave you with words flying from your fingertips as you type. This one leaves me with a bit of both. It was a well written novel, impressive for a debut and obviously well researched. You could feel the passion that the author had for this story and for the characters. The author's note and Q&A at the back of the book are fascinating to read and hearing the inspirations and work behind this novel make it even better.

Review: 5/6
If you are looking for a rich, involved, passionate, layered story of love, loss and intrigue, pick this up. It takes some time. You have to pay attention to the details, for the story goes back and forth in time. Perhaps not the best for a beach read for the summer but more so a rainy spring evening.

Book Club Pick?
Yes, this would be a good choice. There are so many things going on in this book that there would be plenty to discuss; the politics of Soviet Russia, the oppression, the lack of support for the arts, the world of Auction Houses and the value of jewelry.

Author Website:

Other Stops on this Tour:

Tuesday, April 5th: Library Queue

Wednesday, April 6th: Luxury Reading

Thursday, April 7th: nomadreader

Monday, April 11th: A Few More Pages

Thursday, April 14th: We Be Reading

Tuesday, April 19th: Books Like Breathing

Tuesday, April 19th: Chefdruck Musings

Thursday, April 21st: Book Addiction

Monday, April 25th: red headed book child

Tuesday, April 26th: Red Lady’s Reading Room

Wednesday, April 27th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books

Thursday, April 28th: Calico Critic

Friday, April 29th: Wordsmithonia

Monday, May 2nd: Historical Tapestry

Tuesday, May 3rd: Man of La Book

Wednesday, May 4th: In the Next Room

Thursday, May 5th: Life in the Thumb

Friday, May 6th: she reads and reads

Happy reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hey, You Wrote a Book!

It's always lovely to meet authors that you enjoy reading but it's also quite lovely to have worked with a person who is now an author. Jessie Chandler is a former bookseller colleague of mine. We traveled in the same book selling circles for many years and I even attended a training session that she taught back in the day.
Well, turns out she has been very busy and now is a mystery author!
I went to my Sunday morning bookstore gig last week and my manager asked if I remembered her. I said, "Sure do!" and was quickly led to her book on our local author table.
How cool is that?

Well, when I got home I emailed Jessie and congratulated her and caught up. When I told her I had a book review site, she offered to send me a copy to read and review at my leisure.
Well, I can't pass that up, especially if it's a mystery!

So here it is folks, Bingo Barge Murder -Book 1 in the Shay O'Hanlon mystery. series
(description from author's website)

Shay O'Hanlon is a Minneapolis coffee shop co-owner whose life revolves around her work. Her best friend, Nicholas "Coop" Cooper is a vegetarian tree hugger who wouldn't hurt a fly. He works on a moored bingo barge on the Mississippi River. Coop has words with his boss, Stanley "Kinky" Anderson, and the talk ends with Kinky telling Coop, "You're fired!"

The next day Kinky is found dead in the bingo barge office, his head smashed in by a bronzed bingo dauber. Coop runs to Shay for help. They enlist the aid of Shay's mother-figure, Edwina "Eddy" Quartermaine, who's a 60-something, hip, lovable woman (also the owner of the Victorian house in Uptown where Shay's coffee shop is located).

After breaking into the barge to look for clues to who really bashed Kinky's head in, Eddy is kidnapped, and craziness ensues. Shay and Coop must locate a missing truckload of nuts and return it to two bumbling mobsters or they'll feed Eddy to the fish. During the search for these missing nuts, Shay and Coop do some additional breaking and entering, discover another dead body, acquire a Boxer dog named Dawg, and try to dodge JT, the Minneapolis detective working Kinky's murder case.

Will they succeed in their quest to clear Coop and nail the murderer? Or will their madcap inexperience doom Eddy forever?

Sounds like a lot of fun!
My review is to come since I just got it in the mail yesterday.
I am excited to stop by her book release party at Once Upon a Crime Mystery bookstore in Minneapolis on May 19.

It's so much fun to support local authors and it's even more fun to support the ones you know!

I hope you check her out.

Author Website:

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Coming Soon: A Lisa Lutz near you

Lisa Lutz is here. In my town. Minneapolis. Holy Crap!

Will I see her? You bet your pants I will!

Tonight at Once Upon A Crime Mystery Bookstore, she will be there with David Hayward to promote their book, Heads you Lose. NOT a Spellman book but funny still. I am only a few pages in and it is ripe with her humor!

I'm so excited! I hope I don't trip over myself in my nerdy fan glory.

More later.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Ladies Book Club: April

Book Read:
Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain

Ladies in Attendance:
4 regular members plus 2 new faces

Treats shared:
One of the ladies was lovely enough to keep our book club meeting on her birthday so the many treats shared were in the cheese variety, her favorite.
Bread & cheeses ~ Guyere & a smoked apple cheddar, Bread & baked ricotta, crackers & a cream cheese/pineapple chipotle salsa dip
Wine ~ purple moon (shiraz) & Charles Shaw (white zin)

To Read or Not to Read:
2 didn't get a chance to read any of it
1 read 50 pages & stopped
3 read about 1/2
(I could not attend but I read all but the last 2 chapters)

My Reaction:
Let's just first say that I love Anthony Bourdain. I have for many, many years. He is tough, bad ass and knows food and knows how to write about it. Many moons ago I worked in the restaurant biz, from a barista to a prep cook to a dishwasher to soda jerk. I was typically the "chick in the kitchen" at the many jobs I held. Because of this I always had wicked crushes on the male cooks I worked with. For many years, let's just say, I did not find it hard to get a date.
Anyhoo, at the age of 21 or something close to it, I was dating an older man who happened to be a chef and had been at several fine dining establishments throughout town. He was tough, bad ass and knew how to cook! He introduced me to Kitchen Confidential, Bourdan's first memoir, and in turn, introduced me to the world of awesome that Anthony Bourdain lives in.
Immediately I was drawn to the dead on description of life behind the lines. My boyfriend and his friends acted just like him. They were rough, opinionated, smart and they worked and played hard. At that time, I loved being a part of that "rock and roll" chef lifestyle. I could easily stumble in at 11:00pm and get treated with roasted garlic and mango chutney on flatbread, no charge with a wink and cocktail. I'd kick up my feet and wait patiently with my book while my "man" finished up business in the back.

Are you a little shocked by this point of my post?

I know. You are seeing a different side of me, right? Well, this is pre-bookstore career, post high school and smack dab in the middle of "I'm young. Who knows? and Let's go!" time in my life. Silly restaurant jobs, lots of cigarettes, lots of friends, cute boys and sleeping until noon.
I am surprised I remember it all. :)

Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential was easily readable and relatable to me at that time in my life. I have since followed his career to Food Network on A Cook's Tour and then to the Travel Channel on No Reservations. I even sneaked into a Minneapolis Culinary school event and met him. He signed my books, was just as awesome in person and made me the
forever fan I am today. Maybe I'll share that story in a different post some day.

Long story short, I was excited when we picked Medium Raw to read for our pick this month. I knew it would be a different one for most considering his very opinionated take on most things.
It was raw and in your face but there were moments that were touching. Since Kitchen Confidential he has remarried and is now a father of a little girl. The chapters he writes about her and only wanting to feed her the best were sweet and unexpected.
I liked how he and his wife would concoct these horrible stories about Ronald McDonald to instill a fear of all things Golden Arches in their daughter. I got a good laugh about that! I feel the same way with my son.
The moments that were raw were once again his blunt take on the state of food these days; his opinion on certain chefs, certain restaurants, the business of Food Network, etc. If I had not known anything about Anthony Bourdain and read this, I would think, most likely, he is a bit full of himself. But I am familiar and appreciate his candid take on things. In most cases, I feel the same way about certain...ahem, celebrity chefs and other things.

Overall, I enjoyed it. I had to read a few chapters at a time and digest, so to speak but got exactly what I figured I would get from it. A ball busting take on life in the food lane, Bourdain style.

The Ladies' Reaction:
Because I could not make it to this month's book club night, I asked Kari, the official hostess of our book club to take notes for me. These are her words and the opinion of the group.
Thanks Kari!

All thought it would be more of a cooking, food book ~ disappointed that it was more about him.

Thoughts & quotes from the ladies ~

"He's an arrogant prick" talks about himself & not a lot about cooking. It was frustrating.

"In Kitchen Confidential he was a pompus chef, in this he just comes off as a pompous sell out & he is ok with that."

"The reviews talked about how it didn't turn out to be a foodie book and how it was all about him and it didn't get very good reviews so I didn't waste my time reading it since it didn't sound like something I was going to read or enjoy."

"Lots about career management - what to do & not to do if you want to become a chef. Good insight if that is something you are interested in."

"Lots of ego trips, swearing & drug use - didn't like the bragging about driving high and cutting down lots of other chefs who are still actually in the business. He speaks somewhat proudly about those bad choices he made and really cuts down other famous chefs ... in an effort to make himself look like less of a sell out?"

"In his book he comes off a lot like his tv personality ~ very pompous. If you don't like him on tv you probably won't like his book."

Well, that was about it ~ it sparked a discussion on food prep for colleges and how that is a job he cuts down but is one that lets you cook & create with decent hours, pay & benefits. Also came around to school lunches we see, etc. "teacher talk" from a few of us... news about a school in chicago(?) that is banning lunches from home unless it is for a documented allergy reason due to less healthy sack lunches.

Good Book Club Pick?
For me, I wish I could have been there to participate in this conversation. It sounded like they all felt very strongly against it. I would have liked to have given a positive take.
It generated hearty conversation and that to me is a good pick.
Kari says...
Interesting conversation, the book didn't get rave reviews though.

Author Website:

Next Book Up:
We are currently taking suggestions from the group.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Did you know...

Did you know that Amber Benson, Tara from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, wrote a Sci/Fi series?

Where have I been? I am slacking on my Buffy know how.

Check them out here, Calliope Reaper-Jones Novels.

AND, she has her own blog, Amber Benson.

I think it's that time again to re watch my Buffy DVDs. (I do this every few years!) OOh, I may even listen to my Buffy, the Musical CD again.

"I'm under your else can it be?..."

Good times!

If you are a Buffy fan, who was your favorite character?

Mine? Angel...sweet Angel.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer (review #118)

The Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer

I became intrigued with this particular title because I have always wanted to read one of her earlier novels called, The Ten Year Nap. I could tell from the subject matter of that book and this that she was a smart woman with a lot on her mind.
I can safely say this novel was nothing like I have ever read before.
Here is a brief description from the TLC Book Tour website.

When the elliptical new drama teacher at Stellar Plains High School chooses for the school play Lysistrata—the comedy by Aristophanes in which women stop having sex with men in order to end a war—a strange spell seems to be cast over the school. Or, at least, over the women. One by one throughout the high school community, perfectly healthy, normal women and teenage girls turn away from their husbands and boyfriends in the bedroom, for reasons they don’t really understand. As the women worry over their loss of passion, and the men become by turns unhappy, offended, and above all, confused, both sides are forced to look at their shared history, and at their sexual selves in a new light.

As she did to such acclaim with the New York Times bestseller The Ten-Year Nap, Wolitzer tackles an issue that has deep ramifications for women’s lives, in a way that makes it funny, riveting, and totally fresh—allowing us to see our own lives through her insightful lens.

I didn't feel a lot of emotion throughout this book. The beginning was a bit hard to get into because I couldn't quite get the mood or the flow. It was a bit difficult to figure out where it was going. It starts out with the story of Dory and Robbie Lang, a married couple and both teachers at Eleanor Roosevelt High School. Smart, fun, well liked and the first to be hit by the spell...the sexless spell, that is. Their part was okay to read. I didn't find them overly exciting unfortunately. A little too bland in their perfection.
I started to get into it when it hopped to the next person the spell took over. Leanne Bannergee, the school psychologist. She was a bit more fun to read about. She was single, fun, and attracted to many men.

The spell eventually hits several other women in this small community, including Willa, the Langs' daughter and Marissa, the lead actress in the play that causes it all.
Lysistrata- the Aristophanes comedy where women stop having sex with men in order
to stop war.

The idea behind this book is quite brilliant. The affects of not having sex really impacted the lives of these people. In some ways it seemed silly but then in others it seemed quite realistic. I had the chuckle because at this time in my life, we are trying to have a second child so a spell like this would just...let's say, screw up the mojo.
It had a charm to it that peaked my curiousity in the characters, even eventually Robbie and Dory. Like I said before, it wasn't an emotional book for me. I didn't grow to care for the characters as much as I simply wanted to know how it would play out for them all.

Rating: 4 /6
It was cleverly written and once I figured out the writing style and the flow, I was able to read it pretty quickly. It was unique and probably not the book I would recommend reading first as an introduction to her. It has that magical realism quality to it and that might not be for some.
Overall, Wolitzer is a talented writer and worthy of a recommend.

Thank you to TLC BOOK TOURS for allowing me to be a host.
Here are the other stops on the tour.

Friday, April 1st: The Literate Housewife Review

Monday, April 4th: In the Next Room

Tuesday, April 5th: I’m Booking It

Wednesday, April 6th: The 3 R’s Blog

Thursday, April 7th: A Musing Reviews

Friday, April 8th: Chick Lit Reviews

Monday, April 11th: Red Headed Book Child

Tuesday, April 12th: Regular Rumination

Wednesday, April 13th: Lit and Life

Thursday, April 14th: Bewitched Bookworms

Monday, April 18th: Rundpinne

Tuesdasy, April 19th: Nomad Reader

Wednesday, April 20th: Peeking Between the Pages

Thursday, April 21st: Acting Balanced

Monday, April 25th: Everyday I Write the Book

Tuesday, April 26th: Book Vixen

Wednesday, April 27th: Debbie’s Book Bag

Author Info:

Meg Wolitzer is the author of eight previous novels, including The Ten-Year Nap, The Position, and The Wife. Her short fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize. She lives in New York City.

Connect with Meg on her Facebook page.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Dead Connection by Alafair Burke (review #117)

Dead Connection by Alafair Burke

This is a mystery I discovered while shelving at my library job. She was one of the authors that motivated me to start my own challenge (A-Z Mystery Author Challenge). She has written atleast five books, in two series, and I thought, There are so many authors like this that I have not read. What is stopping me? The large number of them? Sure, I suppose but that just makes me more curious. Why do we only know James Patterson? Janet Evanovich? Sue Grafton?
No, there is nothing wrong with these guys. They write just fine but what about these little guys, plugging away writing intricate mystery series of their own?
I want to know about THEM.

Alafair Burke was a good pick. She is the daughter of James Lee Burke, a well known mystery author of the Dave Robicheaux books. She is a professor of criminal law and works directly with police departments. Her experience working in these areas definitely comes out in her book.

I was intrigued with this series for another reason and that is because it is set in NYC. I am such a fan of cop shows set in New York. Law and Order, I'm all over! I realized that I don't read a lot of mysteries that are actually set in the Big Apple. The city becomes its own character.
Ellie Hatcher is the leading lady, a rookie detective with a shaky past. Her father, also a cop, lost his life in search of a serial killer. Wrongly labeled a suicide, Ellie tries to carry on knowing her father's killer will never be brought to justice.

Her known past is what leads her to begin work on a case involving FirstDate, an online dating service. She is brought in to work with seasoned detective, Flann on hunting for a possible serial killer targeting single women in the city.

This book really nailed it. Burke has a way with tweaking the story and letting it all play out so well. It wasn't too raw or too emotional or too suspenseful or too tough. It was real. The steps within an investigation, the breaking down of each suspect, the use of different technologies. It all seemed very matter of fact and true to the world of detectives. (like I know? really...HA!) I liked that Ellie was down to earth and pretty normal, considering. She was good looking but she didn't know it. She was smart and she let it show but it wasn't condescending. She was really dedicated and took her job seriously. She wasn't afraid to question and she wasn't afraid to lean in and get dirty.

This was going to be on my list a little later this year but then I got the opportunity to review the latest in this series, 212, for a blog tour in June. I snapped this up to get a feel for the character of Ellie and I am so glad I did. I look forward to continue reading this series.
Angel's Tip and 212 are the next two books in the line up.

Her website is really fun to read too. Burke seems to have a wicked sense of humor and her posts have been a blast to read through. Check it out.

Rating: 5/6
If you want a good mystery with lots of solid detective work, smart characters, bad ass bad guys, and a gritty back drop of NYC, this is your book. Ellie is a new gal I am excited to read more of and watch her grow as a detective.

Happy reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal (review #116)

by Francine Pascal
St. Martin's Press - Fiction

I'm not going to lie to you, when I saw this book at my bookstore, I squealed. Thank goodness we were not open yet and there was no one to witness my craziness. How did this escape me?
Well, gee, I'm not 16 anymore so that may have something to do with my
Sweet Valley radar slipping.

I immediately paged my boss, who too was an 80s child and loved all things Sweet Valley and exclaimed "Why is this book NOT on display? It MUST be!" She laughed and said, "I knew you'd get it. I brought it to everyone's attention last week at the meeting and NO ONE got it. NO ONE. " She thought to herself, Michelle would. Michelle would.

So I checked it out. One of the pleasures of still working in book retail.

And well, shoot...I wasn't but a mere 15 pages in and those darn twins do I say this? Bitchy and self absorbed. Were they always like this and I was just blinded by acne and hormones?
To give you a little heads up and unfortunately, a few spoilers...the plot goes like this. It is indeed 10 years later. Jessica and Elizabeth are at war. Turns out Todd...yes, the Todd Wilkins is in love with Jessica...always has been. What?!
Yes, and they want to be together. Elizabeth is pissed and vows to not talk to her sister again...
for REAL, this time.
Elizabeth works in the theater biz and now lives in New York and of course, everyone else still lives in Sweet Valley, including Todd and Jessica.
Ma and Pa Wakefield are still there, successful and gorgeous as ever. Lila is STILL Jessica's best friend. One thing that I got a chuckle at was that Enid was now a ball busting Republican and a success junkie. HA!

Anyhoo, the plot thickens with their new found reason to be mad at one another. It starts with the present and then it slips in the first part of Double Love, Book 1 of Sweet Valley High.
We get read about them having sex, drinking too much, etc and that just feels weird. I don't remember a lot of the Sweet Valley University books but this was just a little too adult wonderland for me. I found I wanted to keep those lovely little blonde twins safely tucked in their Sweet Valley home, sixteen years old forever.

I confess I skimmed the rest of the book and settled on reading the ending which gave a quick "Here's what happens next for everyone" snips. Did you know that Steven Wakefield is gay? Shh, don't tell. How exciting!! (total spoiler, I know)

In the end, Elizabeth becomes more like Jessica, having lots of sexy romps with Bruce Patman and Jessica marries Todd. Sigh. Okay, I guess.

Overall, it was a silly fun little scan through a time machine. Insert twins into present day with Twitter and Facebook and Justine Timberlake and sex. (how could that be? Wouldn't it be like 1995 or something if that was the case, ten years later? oh well, details)

Some things are best just left in the past. It was fun to see the gals again but I prefer to page through my ratty 75 cent paperback copies I got from my school's book fair.

Of course, I will see the movie, if they ever make one.

Check out her website:

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Year of Mysterious Giveaways (April)

The Year of Mysterious Giveaways

Welcome to another month of mysterious giveaways. I am very excited to share with you all this month's fabulous selection.

Belinda Bauer's Blacklands was a book I reviewed over a year ago. It still haunts me! This is for fans of psychological thrillers. I need to stress that. It is NOT for the faint of heart or someone looking for a cozy read or a neatly tied up ending. No siree. This one will leave you hanging, a bit upset but still enthralled. Thank you to the publisher for sending me a finished copy of Blacklands to give away.

Check out the description from the publisher's website.

EIGHTEEN YEARS AGO, Billy Peters disappeared. Everyone in town believes Billy was murdered—after all, serial killer Arnold Avery later admitted killing six other children and burying them on the same desolate moor that surrounds their small English village. Only Billy's mother is convinced he is alive. She still stands lonely guard at the front window of her home, waiting for her son to return, while her remaining family fragments around her.

But her twelve-year-old grandson Steven is determined to heal the cracks that gape between his nan, his mother, his brother, and himself. Steven desperately wants to bring his family closure, and if that means personally finding his uncle's corpse, he'll do it.

Spending his spare time digging holes all over the moor in the hope of turning up a body is a long shot, but at least it gives his life purpose.

Then at school, when the lesson turns to letter writing, Steven has a flash of inspiration . . . Careful to hide his identity, he secretly pens a letter to Avery in jail asking for help in finding the body of "W.P."—William "Billy" Peters.

So begins a dangerous cat-and-mouse game.

Just as Steven tries to use Avery to pinpoint the gravesite, so Avery misdirects and teases his mysterious correspondent in order to relive his heinous crimes. And when Avery finally realizes that the letters he's receiving are from a twelve-year-old boy, suddenly his life has purpose too.

Although his is far more dangerous . . .

Right? A little edgy, I'd say. Here's my review if you want to check it out before entering. I was really surprised and quite intrigued to find out that the author had another book coming out! Darkside comes out in May and I do not have a copy of THAT to give away but it will give you something to look forward to if you like Blacklands.

Here is a description of Darkside from the publisher's website as well.

In bleak midwinter, the people of Shipcott are shocked by the murder of an elderly woman in her bed. As snow cuts off the village, local policeman Jonas Holly is torn between catching a brutal killer and protecting his vulnerable wife, Lucy.

When the inquiry is commandeered by an abrasive senior detective, Jonas finds himself derided by his colleagues and ashamed to admit to Lucy that he's been sidelined. It seems his first murder investigation may be over before it's begun. But when he receives a series of increasingly sinister anonymous notes, Jonas is thrust back into the center of the case. Someone in the village is taunting him, blaming him for the tragedy. Someone thinks he's not doing his job; someone seems to know every move he makes. And soon Jonas has to ask: Who's hunting who?

Contest rules are:
* Follow my blog
* Leave an email address
* Reside in United States
* Answer "Do you have a favorite "type" of mystery?"

My favorite is a tie between suspense and psychological. I like the twists and turns of a suspense thriller but I also really enjoy the "extraoridinary" happening to the "ordinary" aspect of psychological mysteries.

Contest runs from April 4-April 29!

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child