Friday, April 30, 2010

Blogmania!!! Don't Miss This!!!

Today is the day for Blogmania!  I totally should have had this posted last night, but at least I'm putting out the word now!  Between the Pages is hosting Blogmania.  What it is, several new blogs are doing giveaways!  No work, all the links are listed for you!  My friend, Vera, at Luxury Reading turned me on to this.  I sure hope you guys will check it out!  Lots of giveaways!!!  It doesn't get much better!  The only downside is that it's only for 24 hours...today only!!  Get clicking!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sarah Mlynowski News

Teens are going to be so excited to see Sarah's new book, Gimme A Call!  When Devi is 17, her boyfriend breaks up with her so she throws her cell phone in the fountain at the mall.  After that, it only calls herself at the age of 14.  Devi decides to use the phone to instruct herself to make the right choices and change her life, but will her younger self listen?

What a wonderful idea!  I may be old, but I totally plan to buy and read this book! 

Reviews:  YAthenaeum  Michelle's Bookshelf  Once Upon a Boog Blog

Phoenix Fans

Liz Phoenix is back in Lori Handeland's fourth book in the Phoenix Chronicles, Chaos Bites.  The book is already in stores and luckily I was able to find plenty of reviews for it, which I'll provide links for.  This time, complete with a teenager and baby tagalongs, Liz goes to Jimmy Sanducci, her former lover, for help.  With Liz losing the supernatural war and allies dropping like flies, will this be enough help to get things back on track?  To read the beginning of the first chapter, go here :)

Reviews:  Genre Go Round  VampChix   Here is an interview with Lori, but beware..you must be of age to visit!  Jessica Rabbit's Corner

Stella Cameron News

Stella Cameron has announced the release of her third book in the Court of Angels series, Out of Sight.  For those of you signed up to receive Stella's newsletter, you'll find a coupon for $1 off your purchase of this book!  For those Cameron fans out there not signed up, I suggest you go to stellacameron.com and get signed up for future releases.  Instead of telling you about the book, I'm linking to a few review sites so that you can read more about it from people who've actually read the book.  Long and Short Reviews  Romance Author Buzz  In the meantime, here's an excerpt from the book:

Poppy Fortune edged through the crowd of partygoers in the spectacular St. Louis Street home of Louisiana senatorial hopeful, Ward Bienville. She had just arrived?very late?but the only thing she knew for certain was that she wanted to escape again. That was out of the question. She was there because she had to get out among people in the know. The hints and clues she needed would not be found by spending all her spare time alone or with her family.



Familiar faces circulated around her, people she had seen at her familyÂ?s club, Fortunes, and in photos from society events, Poppy didnÂ?t see anyone she would call a friend. She did get distant glimpses of one or two of WardÂ?s close advisors among a tight group of people at the far end of the room.


What she did see, bursting from among the crowd, were more super alpha brain clusters than she had ever seen in one place. In fact, she had never seen more than one at a time and very few of those. Okay, maybe just one or two altogether. But she frequently located clusters of superior but lesser strengths than these, and she translated the motives that drove the host minds. Love, hate, avarice were all very common. There was a very uncommon degree of heightened stimulation in this room. Slowly, swallowing hard to moisten her dry throat, she picked out first one, then another person with the telltale glowing chartreuse circle pulsing amidtight clumps of shocking violet spheres no bigger than fine dots. There were four super alphas, two men and two women and she didnÂ?t know any of them.


Poppy gasped.


They all had the same emotional trigger.


They were desperate. They wanted revenge and power. They wanted their own way.


They were afraid of failure.


She turned aside, breaking the intensely uncomfortable contacts. Of course there were strong minded people present, ambitious people. After all, only those interested in shaping politics and events would come . . .


She stepped outside into the warm, fragrant night and closed her eyes for an instant. The gallery was dimly lit and relatively peaceful, despite the noise behind her.


When she approached the grillwork railing, cold slipped over her skin Her heart speeded up and she wrinkled her brow. Rather than finding peace in the open air, agitation exploded through her. Sweat broke out along her spine and between her breasts. Her brow was instantly damp.


Voices rose from the street below. Laughter, high-pitched female yells punctuated by male bellowing. St. Louis wasnÂ?t a main party street. People tended to wander through on their way to Bourbon Street and the center of the French Quarter. The group down there went on their way and relative quiet filled in behind them.


Suffused light showed through shutters at the windows opposite. Overhead, blood-edged inky clouds slunk across a thin white moon. Breath caught in her throat.


She wasnÂ?t alone.


Champagne slopped from the glass and over her trembling hand. Of course she was alone. She looked right and left, peered into every corner. Nothing on the gallery moved other than hanging flowers caught by the faint breeze.


"Hi, Poppy, you seem edgy," a familiar deep voice said.


Poppy jumped and her knees locked.


Sykes Millet wasnÂ?t a man she would fail to recognize, even in darkness. "What are you doing here?" she said. "You werenÂ?t here just now."


"Of course I was," he said with a hint of laughter in his voice. "I saw you come out but you seemed preoccupied. I didnÂ?t want to make you jump."


He had done that anyway.

Elizabeth Lowell News

Elizabeth has announced the arrival of her latest book, Death Echo.  The book is scheduled for release on June 8.  Death Echo is the fifth book in the St. Kilda series.  St. Kilda is an elite security consulting firm.  In this book, Emma Cross and her new partner, Mac, are tracking a yacht with lethal cargo.  Since they aren't the only ones after the yacht, surely some enemy fire is imminent.  Here's a teaser of the book that Elizabeth has provided:

Emma chewed over the fact that she'd made a mistake. Blackbird's captain enjoyed her crop top, but it didn't affect his IQ. A hard man in every way that counted.



Time for Plan B: Honesty.


Yeah. Right.


"So much for light conversation," she said clearly. "I'm Emma Cross and I've got a qualified buyer for Blackbird."


"She's not mine. I'm just delivering her."


"So the owner is in Seattle."


Mac didn't answer.


"News flash," Emma said crisply. "Being rude will just make me more pushy. I have a job to do and I'm going to do it, with or without your charming help."


Mac almost smiled. "Charming, huh?"


"Yeah. Bet no one has ever accused you of that."


This time Mac did smile. "No bet."


Emma almost stepped back. The difference between this man with and without a smile was enough to make a woman think about doing whatever it took to keep the smile in place.


"Wow. You should try smiling more often, Mr. Whoever."


He shook his head and decided he was going to find out just what kind of trouble Emma was. Give her enough rope and she might just tie herself up.


Now that was an intriguing thought.

"MacKenzie Durand," he said. "If you want me to answer, call me Mac."

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Indivisible by Kristen Heitzmann

Release date:  May 4th
This book was provided for review by armchairinterviews.com

Battling his own personal demons, Police Chief Jonah Westfall has experienced the dark side of life and is committed to eradicating it.  When a pair of raccoons are found mutilated in Redford, Colorado, Jonah investigates the gruesome act, seeking to unmask the perpetrator before the crime escalates and destroys the tranquility of his small mountain town.  Jonah fights for answers-and his fragile sobriety-amid a rising drug threat and never-ending conflict with Tia Manning, a formidable childhood friend with whom he has more than a passing history.

But he can't penetrate every wound or secret -especially one fueled by a love and guilt teetering on madness. (Taken from the back of the book)


In the small town of Redford, Colorado, mutilated raccoons are drawing the attention of Police Chief Jonah Westfall. While attempting to unravel his own personal demons and fight a rising drug problem, he must find the perpetrator before it escalates into a threat to the safety of his town’s inhabitants.


The biggest reason I was intrigued to read this book is that I couldn’t figure out why mutilated raccoons deserved so much attention. Once I started reading, I immediately understood. I’ve read a lot of books and this is the first time I’ve ever come across this idea. The plot of the mystery in this book is pure genius. It makes sense but at the same time it’s not something you would normally think of.


I only had two slight problems with this book. At first I wasn’t sure I’d be able to read the entire thing. The first few chapters are worded as if the author spent hours and hours coming up with the most descriptive words she could. This is normally a good thing, except that the reading doesn’t flow. I found myself having to reread sentences several times because instead of having an instant image in my head, I found myself getting caught up in the wording. After the first few chapters, however, the book really begins to flow and has a more natural appeal.

The second issue I had with the book is that the culprit of the raccoon mutilations was entirely too obvious. I found myself yelling at the other characters in the book because they didn’t figure it out immediately. Normally, this would kill a story for me, but I found the ride along to be so enjoyable that it’s easily forgivable.


Overall, I found this book to be a great read. It’s not a quick, summer read, but definitely worth the invested time. Most of the story is well-developed and rounded with most readers in mind. Though it’s Christian fiction, there is no overpowering preachiness that will lead readers to put the book down. There is a lot of insight to be found for those who look.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer by Doug Koktavy

Beezer and Boomer is a new type of grief memoir.  It covers Doug's journey with two beautiful dogs who were terminally ill.  Searching everywhere he could think of, Doug was able to find lots of help for how to deal with a pet's death after the fact, but nothing to help along the journey.  His book does just that, but so much more.  Thank you, Doug, for sending me this book to review.

First, I have to make clear that I'm not a pet person.  I have two cats.  Each morning I sweetly suggest to them that they find new homes.  In return, they snuggle closely to me as if I've just given them high praise.  I'm not the person that carries a picture of my pets around in my purse.  I'm not the person that calls my sisters and says 'Guess what my cat did!'  I'm not the pet owner that has conversations with my pets, other than to suggest they find new homes.  I'm not neglectful or mean, I'm just not a pet person.  So, why did I ask Doug for a review copy of his book?  I have no idea other than something inside me compelled me to do so, and I'm thankful for it.

The B Brothers, Beezer and Boomer, came to live with Doug when they were just pups.  Immediately, they became important members of his family.  As Doug's personal life began to fall apart, the B Brothers were the ones that held him together.  When Doug found that the other pups from the same litter were being diagnosed with kidney disease, he became worried.  Beezer was the first to be diagnosed.  Later Boomer had his own illness. 

For pet peope, those whose pet is a member of their family, I can see the necessity of this book.  I can't imagine the heartache of watching a pet you love die from terminal illness and not knowing how to handle it.  Doug has created a useful tool in this book.  Along the way, Doug outlines the important lessons he has personally learned in coping with the impending loss of his pets.  Honestly, if you know a pet owner going through a similar situation, this book is worth it's weight in gold purely for the lists regarding hope and guilt.

So what does this book hold for us non-pet people?  Quite alot.  The principles that Doug learned regarding life and death with his pets also hold true for our lives and our relationships with others.  Also, Doug's memoir shows us a touching journey in his life, from coping with childhood issues with his father to balancing his day to day life.  Doug's writing is touching and alive.  I dare anyone out there, pet person or non-pet person, to read this entire book without shedding a tear.

To thank his canine brothers, Doug has started up the B Brothers Project.  Non-profit pet organizations can go to http://www.beezerandboomer.com/ to participate and earn up to 40% of book sales.  The B Brothers Project will help animal groups, large and small shelters, humane societies, pet adoption centers, animal advocacy organizations, rehabilitation sites, clinics and more.  Doug is also a proud moderator for Yahoo's kidney group as well as being a creditor's attorney and triathlete.  Release date for Beezer and Boomer is scheduled for June 21st and is now available for preorder.

My heartfelt sympathy goes out to Doug.  His third dog, Coral, passed away from kidney disease April 24th.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spotlight on Red Hats

As soon as I heard Damon Wayans was releasing a book, I immediately had to rush to Google and find out as much as I could.  For me, as soon as I think of Wayans, I jump straight to 'Major Payne'.  That movie has been a classic in my household for years.  Of course, he's also well known for his role in 'In Living Color' and for various other movies, such as the classic 'Blankman'.  Knowing Wayans' love for comedy, that's what I was expecting to find in his first novel.    Instead, we're going to see the more dramatic side, and I, for one, can't wait!

Red Hats is about a society of ladies over the age of 50.  This particular novel revolves around one particularly cantankerous old lady.  One night she tells her husband that she hopes he dies in his sleep and then he does.  Through the help of the Red Hats, she learns to forgive herself and find love.

Though this isn't what I expected from Wayans, I'm pretty sure that his dramatic side is going to be powerful with a nice hint of comedy.  I'm going to be searching online for book reviews and will post links as I find them.  Red Hats is due out May 4th and I can't wait to hear what you guys think about it!

Burning Lamp by Amanda Quick

Amanda has sent out notices to let readers know that Burning Lamp, the second book in the Dreamlight Trilogy, has been released to stores.  (The following taken from Amanda's notice)

Meet Griffin Winters, a London crime lord who has enough trouble staying alive and controlling his territories without having to deal with the family curse.  His only hope is a social reformer named Adelaide Pyne.  She does not think much of crime lords.

Here's a little taste of the story:

"Do you actually believe that the Joneses have decided to let you run an experiment on yourself?" Adelaide asked.

"Why not?"  Griffin said.  "If the lamp turns me into a human monster they still have the option of destroying me.  But if it works, if I become a stable multi-talent, they can destroy me, seize the lamp and use it on themselves."

"Oh, for pity's sake," Adelaide said.  "You really should have gone on the stage, sir.  Your suspicious nature is nothing if not high drama.  For the sake of argument, let us assume you are right.  Where does that reasoning leave us?"

"For the moment, I'm afraid it leaves you something of a prisoner in this house."

"I was afraid you were going to say that."

Monday, April 19, 2010

K.M. Groshek Bug's Adventure Series

Bug Goes through the Maze (Bug's Adventure Series)

Recently, K.M. sent me her Bug's series to review.  As soon as I took them out of the envelope the first thing I noticed is how bright and colorful they are!  The covers have a slick, shiny finish and each page is absolutely captivating.

Bug's Trip To The Store
When Bug realizes he needs gas, it's time for a trip to the gas station.  Poor Bug encounters several situations which frighten him along the way, but he finally arrives.  The moral of this book is to try things that may frighten you. 

Bug Meets His Friend
Bug has an entire day to play.  However, he can't decide if he wants to spend it at the playground or the race track.  When his friend, Cooper, shows up, they both agree to spend the day at the race track playing.  The moral of this book is that while doing things alone can be fun, doing them with a friend can be even better.

Bug Goes Through The Maze
Bug comes across a corn maze.  Once he gets to his first turn, he can't decide which way to go and becomes nervous.  He meets a few characters throughout the maze and learns to listen to his instincts and make smarter decisions.  The moral of his book is that if you persevere, you can accomplish.

I loved reading these quirky books.  As I mentioned before, the illustrations are definitely eye-catching.  The stories are written with whimsical rhyme that appeals to children.  Some of the words are too difficult for a child to read at such an age, but this would be a perfect book to read to your child.  As I was reading them, I was transported back to library class when I was in elementary school.  The librarian would sit and read us the most colorful, wonderful stories that I wouldn't have been able to read myself. 

Thanks, K.M. for allowing me to review these. I found them to be high quality, beautiful books that any young child (geared for ages 3-8)  would love.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Saul Fans

John Saul has announced that he's currently taking a much-needed break from writing. John is the author of books such as The Blackstone Chronicles, Manhattan Hunt Club, The God Project, and The Devil's Labyrinth (my personal favorite!). After writing 36 books over the past 33 years, John has decided that a vacation is in order.

For Saul fans that just can't get enough, House of Reckoning will be released in paperback this November. Also, the April/May issues of Hana Hou (Hawaiian Airline's in-flight magazine) has an article about John if you can get ahold of a copy.

Giveaway Notice

All winners of giveaways will be notified as soon as their name has been drawn. Each winner will have two weeks to respond in order to receive their prize. Prizes cannot be delivered without an email/physical address. Any prizes that are not claimed within a two week period will be forfeited.

Notice

All books (unless otherwise specified) belong to me already, have been borrowed, or are sent to me by the author, publisher or review company for review. I do not receive any monetary rewards for reviewing books. The opinions expressed in my reviews belong solely to me.