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

Rocks 

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

Monday, November 17, 2014

My Sister's Grave by Robert Dugoni Feature and Giveaway


TLC Book Tours is hosting My Sister's Grave by Robert Dugoni. Stop on by their website to check out some fellow blogger's reviews. If interested, enter our giveaway to win a copy for yourself!
Robert Dugoni’s bestselling legal thrillers have earned him comparisons to John Grisham, Scott Turow, and Nelson DeMille, among others. In MY SISTER’S GRAVE (Thomas & Mercer; October 14, 2014), Dugoni returns with the powerful and poignant story of a homicide detective determined to avenge the murder of her beloved younger sister – regardless of the cost.
Seattle cop Tracy Crosswhite was a high school chemistry teacher when her teenaged sister Sarah disappeared one night on her way home to their small town of Cedar Grove. A young ex-con, Edmund House, was quickly tried and convicted of her murder. Twenty years and a career change later, Tracy has dedicated her life to questioning whether the right man went to jail. When Sarah’s remains are uncovered from a newly-exposed lake bed, new evidence seems to support Tracy’s theory that the original prosecution was deeply flawed.
Working with a childhood friend, now an attorney, to exonerate House and find Sarah’s true killer, Tracy begins to uncover long-held secrets that point to a shocking – and potentially catastrophic – truth about what happened to her sister on that long-ago night. Somewhere in Cedar Grove, a killer is waiting, and Tracy must summon the strength to confront the past in order to save her future. (TLC Book Tours)
If you are a fan of thrillers, you should sign up to win a copy in our giveaway.

Please leave an email address.

Winner will be picked on November 23.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Whole lotta' fun

Pocket Books has sent me some delicious books as of late and I had to share them with you. Usually I don't go for this genre of book but I can be persuaded around the fall/Halloween time. 

First up, the new series Moonbound Clan vampires by Larissa Ione. 


Bound for Night #1

A WOMAN OUT FOR BLOOD
Nicole Martin was only eight years old when the vampire slaves rose up in rebellion and killed her family. Now she devotes her life to finding a vaccine against vampirism, hoping to wipe out her memories—along with every bloodsucker on the planet. But there’s one thing she cannot destroy: her searing, undeniable attraction for the one man she should hate and fear the most . . .
A VAMPIRE OUT FOR REVENGE
A member of the renegade vampire MoonBound Clan, Riker is haunted by demons of his own. When he recognizes Nicole and remembers how her family enslaved his loved ones, his heart burns for vengeance. But when he kidnaps Nicole and holds her in a secret lair, his mortal enemy becomes his soul obsession, his greatest temptation, and, perhaps, his only salvation—a hot-blooded lover who could heal him with her touch . . . or bury him forever. (Author blog)

Chained by Night Book #2

THE FUTURE OF HIS TRIBE
Leader of the vampire clan MoonBound, Hunter will do what he must to save his people from extinction—or worse, a torturous eternity as vampire slaves and subjects of human experimentation. To keep his enemies at bay, he has agreed to mate a rival clan leader’s daughter in return for peace between the clans and an ally in the looming war with the humans.
THE LOVER OF HIS SOUL
But survival comes at a price. First, Hunter must break an ancient curse by successfully negotiating three deadly tests. Then he must resist the searing passions of the gorgeous vampire warrior he despises but is bound to mate. Will Hunter stay true to his word? Or will he risk everything for the woman he really loves: the vampire seductress’s identical twin sister? (Author blog)

And then, my love for all things VC Andrews..
Christopher's Diary: Secrets of Foxworth
Jealousy, tragedy, survival, and revenge;the discovery of Christopher;s diary in the ruins of Foxworth Hall brings new secrets of the Dollanganger family to light and obsesses a new generation. With Flowers in the Attic and Petals on the Wind both now major Lifetime TV events, this first new addition to the Dollanganger story in nearly thirty years is a timely look at the events in the attic;from teenage Christopher's point of view. (Goodreads)

Seriously? How could you resist?

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Monday, October 13, 2014

Audio Review: A Sudden Light by Garth Stein

 

I am probably one of the very few people out there who did NOT read The Art of Racing in the Rain. I remember the many readers and customers from Borders raving about it but I just didn't get to it. I am, however, very happy that I got to his latest novel, A Sudden Light. 

I was sent a copy to review from Simon and Schuster Audio who have graciously filled my audio lovin' heart with amazing stories as of late.

This book was magical. The narrator was so talented in his abilities to bounce from one character to another, up to seven different voices.

Here's a quick description of this wonderful story:

In the summer of 1990, fourteen-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. Built from the spoils of a massive timber fortune, the legendary family mansion is constructed of giant, whole trees, and is set on a huge estate overlooking Puget Sound. Trevor’s bankrupt parents have begun a trial separation, and his father, Jones Riddell, has brought Trevor to Riddell House with a goal: to join forces with his sister, Serena, dispatch Grandpa Samuel—who is flickering in and out of dementia—to a graduated living facility, sell off the house and property for development into “tract housing for millionaires,” divide up the profits, and live happily ever after.
But Trevor soon discovers there’s someone else living in Riddell House: a ghost with an agenda of his own. For while the land holds tremendous value, it is also burdened by the final wishes of the family patriarch, Elijah, who mandated it be allowed to return to untamed forestland as a penance for the millions of trees harvested over the decades by the Riddell Timber company. The ghost will not rest until Elijah’s wish is fulfilled, and Trevor’s willingness to face the past holds the key to his family’s future. (Barnes and Noble)

This book is perfect for this time of year with all of the ingredients to spook you. You have the old haunted house, a family with secrets, and plenty of ghosts. I felt so strongly for all the characters, never really hating the ones you were supposed to or loving the ones who seemed to have the most to lose. They were all flawed and real and I was sad to leave them them in the end.

Listening to this story brought on such a power of empathy. Once again, the narrator nailed it. You really felt you were listening to multiple people telling this story. It made it even more real.

I highly recommend to audio book to lovers of solid literary fiction with a twist of suspense. Perfect for the Halloween season!

Author website:

Publisher Ordering Info:
 

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

The bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain presents a long-awaited new novel in which a boy trying to save his parents’ marriage uncovers a vast legacy of family secrets.

In the summer of 1990, fourteen-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. Built from the spoils of a massive timber fortune, the legendary family mansion is constructed of giant whole trees and is set on a huge estate overlooking Seattle’s Puget Sound. Trevor’s bankrupt parents have begun a trial separation, and his father, Jones Riddell, has brought Trevor to Riddell House with a goal: to join forces with his sister, Serena, dispatch the ailing and elderly Grandpa Samuel to a nursing home, sell off the house and property for development, divide up the profits, and live happily ever after.

But as Trevor explores the house’s secret stairways and hidden rooms, he discovers a spirit lingering in Riddell House whose agenda is at odds with the family plan. Only Trevor’s willingness to face the dark past of his forefathers will reveal the key to his family’s future.

Spellbinding and atmospheric, A Sudden Light is rich with unconventional characters, scenes of transcendent natural beauty, and unforgettable moments of emotional truth that reflect Garth Stein’s outsized capacity for empathy and keen understanding of human motivation—a triumphant work of a master storyteller at the height of his power - See more at: http://books.simonandschuster.com/Sudden-Light/Garth-Stein/9781439187036#sthash.8ZGYoy3Q.dpuf
The bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain presents a long-awaited new novel in which a boy trying to save his parents’ marriage uncovers a vast legacy of family secrets.

In the summer of 1990, fourteen-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. Built from the spoils of a massive timber fortune, the legendary family mansion is constructed of giant whole trees and is set on a huge estate overlooking Seattle’s Puget Sound. Trevor’s bankrupt parents have begun a trial separation, and his father, Jones Riddell, has brought Trevor to Riddell House with a goal: to join forces with his sister, Serena, dispatch the ailing and elderly Grandpa Samuel to a nursing home, sell off the house and property for development, divide up the profits, and live happily ever after.

But as Trevor explores the house’s secret stairways and hidden rooms, he discovers a spirit lingering in Riddell House whose agenda is at odds with the family plan. Only Trevor’s willingness to face the dark past of his forefathers will reveal the key to his family’s future.

Spellbinding and atmospheric, A Sudden Light is rich with unconventional characters, scenes of transcendent natural beauty, and unforgettable moments of emotional truth that reflect Garth Stein’s outsized capacity for empathy and keen understanding of human motivation—a triumphant work of a master storyteller at the height of his power - See more at: http://books.simonandschuster.com/Sudden-Light/Garth-Stein/9781439187036#sthash.8ZGYoy3Q.dpuf


The bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain presents a long-awaited new novel in which a boy trying to save his parents’ marriage uncovers a vast legacy of family secrets.

In the summer of 1990, fourteen-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. Built from the spoils of a massive timber fortune, the legendary family mansion is constructed of giant whole trees and is set on a huge estate overlooking Seattle’s Puget Sound. Trevor’s bankrupt parents have begun a trial separation, and his father, Jones Riddell, has brought Trevor to Riddell House with a goal: to join forces with his sister, Serena, dispatch the ailing and elderly Grandpa Samuel to a nursing home, sell off the house and property for development, divide up the profits, and live happily ever after.

But as Trevor explores the house’s secret stairways and hidden rooms, he discovers a spirit lingering in Riddell House whose agenda is at odds with the family plan. Only Trevor’s willingness to face the dark past of his forefathers will reveal the key to his family’s future.

Spellbinding and atmospheric, A Sudden Light is rich with unconventional characters, scenes of transcendent natural beauty, and unforgettable moments of emotional truth that reflect Garth Stein’s outsized capacity for empathy and keen understanding of human motivation—a triumphant work of a master storyteller at the height of his power - See more at: http://books.simonandschuster.com/Sudden-Light/Garth-Stein/9781439187036#sthash.8ZGYoy3Q.dpuf

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Audio Love

I am sitting on a pile of audio books that all sound incredibly amazing to me. I've started three of them. Here's a little bit of info on the gems that have been sent to me to review.

We are not ourselves by Matthew Thomas
This novel is getting a lot of attention. It is a debut novel full of engrossing drama and family dynamics. Narrated by actress Mare Winningham, whom I love. 

One Kick by Chelsea Cain
A new thriller for her. Stand alone. If you want a thrill, this would be for you.

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein
I am probably one of the only people left in the universe that has not read Art of Racing in the Rain. Well, I'm making up for it by LOVING this book. Narration not so tight yet but I can tell the story is going to be really good. 

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
I am a huge fan of Westerfeld's Uglies series so I was really excited to have an opportunity to check out another teen book of his. Haven't started this one yet but am really looking forward to it!


Happy Listening and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Monday, August 25, 2014

Blog Tour Kick Off and Giveaway! Solomon's Whisper by Sandra Brannan

Solomon's Whisper (Book 5 in the Liv Bergen series) 
by Sandra Brannan

As Liv Bergen investigates the long-ago murder of her niece, she uncovers a well-guarded secret—and stumbles into one the most prolific killer she’s faced yet.
Once an amateur sleuth, Liv “Boots” Bergen has now found her footing as an official FBI agent. It should be Liv’s dream career—she’s working closely with a bureau legend, Agent Streeter Pierce, as well as the exotic Agent Jack Linwood, with whom she shares a growing romance. Liv has proven to be an adept agent, and the whole office has been moved to a brand new, state-of-the-art facility in central Denver.
And yet, doubt plagues her. Liv is tormented by the knowledge that her work with the FBI could endanger her extended family—and has almost resolved to leave the bureau as a result. Agent Streeter Pierce, who harbors an affection for Liv that sometimes transcends the professional, comes up with an unorthodox plan to keep her around: she can investigate a cold case that’s especially important to her, the kidnapping and murder of her ten-year-old niece, Brianna.
Liv jumps at the chance, but her focus on finding Brianna’s killer is soon diluted. Piece by piece, the case reveals itself to be just one point in a harrowing series of murders. Spanning decades and the country, the web of crime Liv uncovers causes her to question everything—including the integrity of her own colleagues. (author website)
I'm told there will be 7 books in this series and I am grateful to have been a part of recommending them to a world of readers. I met the author back in 2010 at the Book Expo in NYC. We were both  new to that scene but hit it off and I, in turn, became a huge fan of her books. I am lucky to have been able to "kick off", so to speak, her blog tours of the last four books and I couldn't imagine not doing it again this  year. So here I am.
My reading and blogging pace has definitely slowed in the last few years but I am still an active reader and recommender of all the literary things I love. I am happy to report the all the Liv Begen fans out there, that #5 is a winner. I've liked all of the books but only the first and the fourth so far have really WOWED me. 
Book 5 Solomon's Whisper is just as personal as Noah's Rainy Day, this time dealing with the disappearance and the murder of her niece. I liked that family angle again, it brought even more depth to Liv's character. We see more of a romantic side to Liv, with her relationship with Jack and her partnership with Streeter in the FBI. She's not as clunky as she has been in past books. She is quick witted and becomes a bit more sure of her role, having now become an official agent with the FBI. And the ending? Well, that I did NOT expect. 
It's necessary to read these books in order, because of the simple evolution of Liv's character  and her relationships with those around her. This book is a bit dark dealing with child abduction, murder, rape and pedophilia. It's tough at times but any good thriller is going to have a bit of that graphic nature in it. 
If you are new to Sandra's books, check out my past reviews. In the Belly of Jonah, Lot's Return to Sodom, Widow's Might, and Noah's Rainy Day.
Sandra has a lot of fun things going on in conjunction with the release of this book. She has a fantastic giveaway going on.
*Readers, you may choose to enter to win either an Amazon Fire or a Nook Glo Light, along with a piece of Black Hills Gold Jewelry (worth $50).
Please leave a comment if interested and an email address. Winners will be chosen by September 2! 
Find out more about these great books and the author at the links below.

Author Links below:
Author Website
Facebook

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Whew. Here I am!

Wow. Okay. It's been almost two months since I posted. Sheesh. Summer is busy and blogging is NOT  happening. But I have been reading...kind of. I've been listening a lot more than reading but I feel like I'm still maintaining a literary life. :)

For my reading pleasure, I finished a few books...not anything overly stellar. I'm still waiting for that!
Out of Bounds by Dawn Ryder. I signed on to do an erotica review and well, I'm just not that into you. Sorry, erotica genre. You will have to go. I tried. I really tried.

Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson. This was fun. Read it for my book club. It made me extremely hungry! Love my foodie memoirs.

Prairie Tale by Melissa Gilbert. HUGE Little House of the Prairie fan so I obviously loved reading this one.

Coreygography by Corey Feldman. He was not my favorite Corey. I'm Team Haim all the way but this memoir opened my eyes up to him as a person and now I feel much differently towards. Very smart, well put together memoir about the realities of being a child star.

For my listening pleasure, I've been a bit busier.
The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon. WOW! How amazing this was. So spooky, so thrilling. Really hard to get out of my car while listening to this! Highly recommended.

Reality Boy by A.S. King
This was a sad tale of a very dysfunctional family. Narrator was right on but it was not a fun listen. I ended up hating just about everyone in there.

All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner
I've listened to her books before and they have always had amazing narrators. This was a downer of a book but really well told and written.

Telling it like it is by Tori Spelling
I had to do it. It was a quick listen narrated by her and it was super dramatic and over the top but pretty fun to listen to.

Fun literary news. I met Hilary Clinton last month at a book signing. Bought at copy of her book Hard Choices and got it autographed. Very fun. Very memorable event. :)

I am not saying yes to reviewing any books this summer or maybe early fall, just trying to enjoy what I have.

Hope all is well with all of you!

Happy reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child









Saturday, June 14, 2014

So...

I have been slowing reading and listening to what's on my list these days. I'm definitely at a slower pace than I have been in years past but I'm enjoying what I'm reading for the most part. What I'm not enjoying however is reviewing. I've hit the wall. I don't have anything to say about it aside from "I liked this book", "It was enjoyable" or "Meh. Wasn't for me". I've been doing this blogging thing for 5 years now and well, it's lost its shine. I'm not saying I'm going anywhere but reviews won't be so frequent anymore. Not that they have been lately. I've enlisted my guest reviewers to fill some time and I'm thankful to them!

Here's what I have read and listened to that is worth mentioning.

Love Life by Rob Lowe. LOVED it. Another fun memoir to listen to read by Mr. Lowe himself.
Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo. Really intense Amish thriller that I listened to. Really enjoy this series. First time listening to it on audio.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. AMAZING book. Enough said. I've recommended it to SO many. Definite recommend!
We Were Liars by e. lockhart. WOW! Just wow.

I will still pop in and post and update what I am reading and check out you all as well. I'm reading more chapter books with my son so you may see more of those kinds of reviews/updates these day. I'll continue to post comment on Facebook as well. Little bit easier to manage a "review" in a few short sentences than a larger review.

I'm going to hold off saying "yes" to book requests as well. I'm just falling behind on those obligatory reads and it ends up feeling like homework. Not good!

Thanks for stopping by and sticking around. My mood will pass I'm sure. We all need a recharge every once and awhile, right?!

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

 red headed book child

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

TLC Book Tour: The Year she left us by Kathryn Ma


The Year She Left Us











"The Kong women are in crisis. A disastrous trip to visit her “home” orphanage in China has plunged eighteen-year-old Ari into a self-destructive spiral. Her adoptive mother, Charlie, a lawyer with a great heart, is desperate to keep her daughter safe. Meanwhile, Charlie must endure the prickly scrutiny of her beautiful, Bryn Mawr–educated mother, Gran—who, as the daughter of a cultured Chinese doctor, came to America to survive Mao’s Revolution—and her sister, Les, a brilliant judge with a penchant for ruling over everyone’s lives.
As they cope with Ari’s journey of discovery and its aftermath, the Kong women will come face-to-face with the truths of their lives—four powerful, intertwining stories of accomplishment, tenacity, secrets, loneliness, and love. Beautifully illuminating the bonds of family and blood, The Year She Left Us explores the promise and pain of adoption, the price of assimilation and achievement, the debt we owe to others, and what we owe to ourselves. Full of pathos and humor, featuring a quartet of unforgettable characters, it marks the debut of an important new voice in American fiction."

My Review: 
I was really looking forward to this book because I have enjoyed stories about Chinese culture, history and the role of women within all of that in other novels. The author clearly had an understanding of Chinese women with how vivid her descriptions of them were. International adoption was also fascinating to me and the stereotypes of  well to do Americans adopting Chinese girls was explored as well in this story and seemed like something the author knew well. 

Because this was about three very different women and three very different perspectives, it helped that every chapter had a different voice. Sometimes that can get confusing or redundant but in this case, it helped flesh out the characters a bit more. and Ma did it quite well. Gran, yet quite a stinker, was a character I liked the best. Charlie was a bit wishy-washy but overall she was what she was. Ari was the one you were supposed to feel for. Unfortunately, my opinion overall was the book lacked depth. The author obviously was knowledgeable  about international adoption and what it is like to be Chinese living in an American culture.

I hoped for more. I hoped to enjoy it more. Overall, it was written with an obvious understanding for these characters. I just wished for a bit more depth.

See the stops below for more opinions, which is what reading is all about!

For other opinions...

Tuesday, May 13th: Books in the City
Thursday, May 22nd: A Bookish Way of Life
Tuesday, May 27th: River City Reading
Wednesday, May 28th: A Patchwork of Books
Monday, June 2nd: Drey’s Library
Tuesday, June 3rd: BookNAround
Monday, June 9th: BoundbyWords
Tuesday, June 10th: red headed book child
Wednesday, June 11th: Olduvai Reads
Thursday, June 12th: Book-alicious Mama
Friday, June 13th: From the TBR Pile
Friday, June 13th: Turn the Page
Tuesday, June 17th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Thursday, June 19th: The Infinite Shelf

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Friday, May 30, 2014

Guest Review - The Lincoln Myth by Steve Berry

Guest Review – The Lincoln Myth by Steve Berry 

September, 1861: All is not as it seems. With these cryptic words, a shocking secret passed down from president to president comes to rest in the hands of Abraham Lincoln. And as the first bloody clashes of the Civil War unfold, Lincoln alone must decide how best to use this volatile knowledge: Save thousands of American lives? Or keep the young nation from being torn apart forever?

The present: In Utah, the fabled remains of Mormon pioneers, whose 19th century expedition across the desert met with a murderous end, have been uncovered. In Washington, D.C., the official investigation of a international entrepreneur, an elder in the Mormon church, has sparked a political battle between the White House and a powerful United States senator. In Denmark, a Justice Department agent, missing in action, has fallen into the hands of a dangerous zealot – a man driven by divine visions to make a prophet’s words reality. And in a matter of a few short hours, Cotton Malone has gone from quietly selling books at his shop in Denmark to dodging bullets in a high-speed boat chase.

All it takes is a phone call from his former boss in Washington, and suddenly the ex-agent is racing to rescue an informant carrying critical intelligence. It’s just the kind of perilous business that Malone has been trying to leave behind, ever since he retired from the Justice Department. But once he draws enemy blood, Malone is plunged into a deadly conflict – a constitutional war secretly set in motion over 200 years ago by America’s Founding Fathers.

From the streets of Copenhagen to the catacombs of Salzburg to the rugged mountains of Utah, the grim specter of the Civil War looms as a dangerous conspiracy gathers power. Malone risks life, liberty, and his greatest love in a race for the truth about Abraham Lincoln —- while the fate of the United States of America hangs in the balance.

Cheryl’s review: 

I’ve been a huge fan of Steve Berry for years and had the pleasure of meeting him (briefly) at BEA a few years ago. I enjoy the conspiracy-theory-fast-paced novels that suck you in, and he always does.

Cotton Malone returns in The Lincoln Myth as do numerous other characters in the series. Cotton gets involved in a race against time, this time in a conspiracy that could change the United States forever. Berry does extensive research and takes facts and spins a tale that make you think “what if?” What if Abraham Lincoln really did what happens in the novel? What if how we think of the “united” states really hangs in the balance?

What Berry also does is develop his characters. Though the same people, circumstances and events change who they are to themselves and to each other. The twists and turns in this mystery will affect the characters in future books. The book is a perfect summer read and as always, it will be hard to wait another year to see what he comes up with next.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Guest Review: Desperate by Daniel Palmer


Cheryl returns to review Daniel Palmer's fourth book.


“Gage Dekker still blames himself for the car accident that claimed the lives of his first wife and young son. Then he meets Anna, who understands grief all too well. Within a year, Gage and Anna are married, his career is thriving, and both feel ready to become parents once more.

After a heartbreaking miscarriage, they begin the long adoption process, until fate brings Lily into their lives. Young, pregnant, and homeless, Lily agrees to give her baby to Gage and Anna in exchange for financial support. It’s the perfect arrangement for everyone. Seeing his wife’s happiness and optimism for their new life and child, Gage begins to feel a sense of hope he thought he’d lost forever.

But something isn’t right once Lily enters their lives. At work and at home, Gage is being sabotaged, first in subtle ways, then things take a more sinister turn. Every attempt he makes to uncover the truth only drives a wedge between him and Anna. Even as he’s propelled toward an unthinkable choice to save his marriage and his job, Gage discovers that the most chilling revelations are still to come…”

This is Palmer’s fourth book, and my fourth review of his books. He is cemented in my “I-really-look-forward-to-the-next-book” author list. And he doesn’t disappoint. I’ve mentioned his growth in writing in my previous reviews, and he continues to get better. When I started Desperate, I had no idea what it was about. I received an advanced copy which has quotes and blurbs but no description. As I read, I was continually stumped as to where the book was going, just the way I like a mystery.

What Palmer excels at is taking ordinary people and putting them in situations that push them to their limits, and then beyond. For happy newlyweds who want a baby, the coincidental meeting of a young, pregnant woman with no place to go is almost too good to be true. But as the planning begins, little things seem a little off to Gage. But his desire to start a family with his beautiful bride leads him to ignore his qualms. Until certain incidents force him to make a life-changing choice.

Like his other books, Palmer continually surprised me in this book. He is talented in leading you in a specific direction. As an avid mystery reader, I know that authors purposely divert you down a different path. Palmer does that very well, but always spins things into a different and unexpected direction and up until the very end, there were twists and turns. I like how he does this because even though there may be little hints, there’s often revelations that seemingly come out of nowhere but are very believable. Gage continually makes choices that dig him deeper, even though he knows he might never get out. As you experience Gage’s situation with him, you think about what you would do in the same situation.

Desperate is a fast-paced read, which I pretty much finished in a day. As always, the biggest disappointment is knowing that I have to wait a year until the next one. I put Daniel Palmer in the same group as authors like Harlan Coben, Linwood Barclay, Thomas Perry, and Rick Mofina. He’s an author that is addicting and rarely (if ever) writes a book that doesn’t leave me wanting more.
 
And check out my reviews of Stolen, Delirious, and Helpless.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Petals on the Wind by V.C. Andrews

 
 Summer is coming, everyone and V.C. Andrews should be on your beach book list, even if it is just for a re-read!

FICTION INTO FILM: Pick up Petals on the Wind May 20th and watch the movie May 26th!

WATCH: The movie trailer, and tune in to Lifetime on  Monday, May 26th, 9:00 pm ET to watch the World Premier of Petals on the Wind!

ENTER TO WIN: Go to the Pocket Books Facebook page beginning May 20th to enter the sweepstakes for a prize pack of Flowers in the Attic and Petals on the Wind, and the Flowers in the Attic DVD.  Visit right before tuning into Petals on the Wind late May for the sweepstakes giveaway (date to be announced)!

Petals on the Wind cast:
Heather Graham              as Corrine
Ellen Burstyn                      as Olivia
Dylan Bruce                        as Bart
Rose McIver                       as Young Cathy (played by Kiernan Shipka in Flowers in the Attic)
Wyatt Nash                        as Christopher (played by Mason Dye in Flowers in the Attic)

REVIEW:
If you were a child of the 80s, V.C. Andrews was your forbidden pleasure. Her books were not quite teen, not quite adult books; something in between that  gave you the thrill of wanting more. Tragic tales of families; betrayal, secrets, romance, hope. A soap opera world that one could not imagine.

Some months ago they re-released Flowers in the Attic and also made an updated movie version. (I think I've seen the 1987 movie version about 42 times now). 
This sparked my interest once again. 

Click on the links above to watch the new movie trailer and enter to win a prize pack. If you are new to V.C. Andrews, start with Flowers in the Attic and continue on to Petals. 
You will be in for a treat.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Sunday, April 20, 2014

TLC Book Tour: Black Chalk by Christopher J. Yates

My husband snagged this one before I got to it so I am going to let him review since he seems to have a knack for reviewing.

Description

One game. Six students. Five survivors.
It was only ever meant to be a game.
A game of consequences, of silly forfeits, childish dares. A game to be played by six best friends in their first year at Oxford University. But then the game changed: the stakes grew higher and the dares more personal, more humiliating, finally evolving into a vicious struggle with unpredictable and tragic results.
Now, fourteen years later, the remaining players must meet again for the final round. (TLC Book Tour website)



Sean's Review:
Do you think you know what it means to play games with somebody? Sometimes the game involves winning at any cost, perhaps even the players themselves are but pieces in another, more sinister game. This is the premise of Black Chalk. I found the book an excellent read, if at times a bit dark and twisted.  The main characters meet in school and when signing up for extra-curricular activities, find a mysterious trio billing themselves as 'Game Soc'. Exactly how far the games get is quite the psychological and moral dilemma as the players each become more entrenched. I would call this a good introspective psychological thriller. I found it to be a fun but dark read.

Thanks Sean for your review!

Author Info:

Christopher J. Yates studied law at Wadham College, Oxford from 1990-93 and initially pursued a career in law before he began working in puzzles, representing the UK at the World Puzzle Championships. Since then he has worked as a freelance journalist, sub-editor and puzzles editor/compiler. In 2007 he moved to New York City with his wife, and currently lives in the East Village.
For more information on Christopher, please visit his website, christopherjyates.com.
Stops on the Tour:

Monday, March 31st:  A Bookworm’s World
Tuesday, April 1st:  My Shelf Confessions - guest post
Tuesday, April 1st:  My Shelf Confessions - review
Tuesday, April 1st:  Books and Movies
Wednesday, April 2nd:  Chaotic Compendiums
Thursday, April 3rd:  Joyfully Retired
Thursday, April 3rd:  Bibliotica
Friday, April 4th:  Not in Jersey
Monday, April 7th:  Jenn’s Bookshelves
Monday, April 7th:  Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Tuesday, April 8th:  Booksie’s Blog
Wednesday, April 9th: Booksie’s Blog  author guest post
Wednesday, April 9th:  Reading Reality
Thursday, April 10th:  Read. Write. Repeat.
Friday, April 11th:  Book Journey
Monday, April 14th:  Book Dilettante
Monday, April 14th:  Daily Mayo
Tuesday, April 15th:  Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Wednesday, April 16th:  No More Grumpy Bookseller
Thursday, April 17th:  October Country
Friday, April 18th:  Daily Mayo – author interview
Monday, April 21st:  Kritter’s Ramblings
Tuesday, April 22nd:  Redheaded Book Child
Wednesday, April 23rd:  Sarah’s Book Shelves
Thursday, April 24th:  My Bookshelf
Friday, April 25th:  Between the Covers
Thursday, May 1st:  Books a la Mode
Friday, May 2nd:  Books a la Mode – guest post

The publisher has also agreed to do a giveaway! If any of you lovely readers are interested in reading this great title, please leave your email in the comments below.

Winner will be picked Saturday April 26.
Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!
red headed book child

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Scholastic Books: Branches imprint

I recently got the opportunity to review several chapters books published by Scholastic's new imprint, Branches.
 Their website describes it as such "Scholastic proudly presents Branches–a unique line of books specifically designed for newly independent readers who are ready to make the exciting leap from leveled readers, but not quite prepared for a traditional chapter book."
This is absolutely perfect for my son who just turned six, is in Kindergarten and is reading at a first grade level. I have reviewed a few children's books during my four years blogging but mostly have stuck to what I'm reading, personally. Even though we read together every night, we have started to read more chapter books verses picture books. 

I was very excited to see these books and they were kind to send me a sample of some of their series. These are the ones that we read and he just absolutely loved. Monkey Me was by far his favorite and we have read those a few times now. They all have a nice balance of words and pictures on the page. They aren't overly silly like some chapter books are to "get the kids attention". They are simple, sweet stories with fun characters. My son enjoys going through the Table of Contents and putting a book mark in  our spot and going back to the story the next night. It is a fun stage in his reading life. I'm looking forward to reading more. Click on the link above for further book descriptions.

 
Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Monday, March 31, 2014

Eerie Elementary: The School is Alive! by Jack Chabert


Eerie Elementary is one scary school!

This series is part of Scholastic's early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

In this first book in the series, Sam Graves discovers that his elementary school is ALIVE! Sam finds this out on his first day as the school hall monitor. Sam must defend himself and his fellow students against the evil school! Is Sam up to the challenge? He'll find out soon enough: the class play is just around the corner. Sam teams up with friends Lucy and Antonio to stop this scary school before it's too late! (Amazon)

I received this one last week and my 6 year old son and i devoured it in two nights! He is a pretty advanced reader and we are not venturing into more and more chapter books. He loved this one and is eagerly anticipating the second book in the series. It was fun and silly and a little creepy. It was easy to follow, nothing overly complicated. The kids were real, the school seemed like any old average elementary school with the little twist that is was haunted!!! Nothing too scary here though, more silly than anything. Young readers will enjoy this new series.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child