Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Coming For Money by F.W. Scheidt



Coming For Money by F.W. Scheidt

How much money is too much? And how fast is too fast in life? Investment star Paris Smith steps onto the top rungs of the corporate ladder, only to discover he is caught between his need for fulfillment and his need for understanding, between his drive for power and his inability to cope with his growing emptiness where there was once love. When his wife disappears from the core of his life, Smith’s loneliness and sense of disconnection threaten to overwhelm him. When he tries to compensate by losing himself in his work, he stumbles off the treadmill of his own success, and is entangled in the web of a fraudulent bond deal that threatens to derail his career and his life. Forced to put his personal life on hold while he travels non-stop between Toronto, Singapore, and Bangkok to salvage his career, the embattled financier is deprived of the time and space he needs to mourn the absence of his wife and to objectively assess his future options. In the heat,
turmoil and fast money of Southeast Asia half a world from home and half a life from his last remembered smile Paris Smith finds duplicity, comradeship, and power. He also finds a special woman who might heal his heart.


This author is very talented. This book is fast paced, a page turner until the novel ends. The characters are believable, realistic and come to life. This book makes you still think after you finish reading it. This is a must read for anyone.


Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Blue Butterfly Books (October 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0978498283
ISBN-13: 978-0978498283

A field guide to burying your parents by Liza Palmer




Grace Hawkes has not spoken to her previously tight-knit family since her mother's sudden death five years ago. Well, most of the family was tight-knit-- her father walked out on them when she was 13 and she and her two brothers and sister bonded together even closer with their mother as a result.

She's been doing her best to live her new life apart from them, but when their estranged father has a stroke and summons them, Grace suddenly realizes she's done the same thing he had done...abandoned those who need her most.

And need her they do, for inside the hospital halls, a strange war is unfolding between the pseudo-kindly woman who is their father's second wife and the rest of the original Hawkes clan. Upon reconnecting with her brother and sisters, Grace will find a part of herself she thought was lost forever. As they unravel the manipulative deception of the second Mrs. Hawkes, Grace will finally be able to stand up for her family-- and to remember what a family is, even after all these years.

This is a fast paced, great read. I couldn’t stop reading since I had to know what happens next. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a quick fast read and look forward to read more by this author.

To Desire A Devil by Elizabeth Hoyt



To Desire A Devil by Elizabeth Hoyt

NOTHING IS MORE INTOXICATING-
Reynaud St. Aubyn has spent the last seven years in hellish captivity. Now half mad with fever he bursts into his ancestral home and demands his due. Can this wild-looking man truly be the last earl's heir, thought murdered by Indians years ago?

OR DANGEROUS-
Beatrice Corning, the niece of the present earl, is a proper English miss. But she has a secret: No real man has ever excited her more than the handsome youth in the portrait in her uncle's home. Suddenly, that very man is here, in the flesh-and luring her into his bed.

THAN SURRENDERING TO A DEVIL.
Only Beatrice can see past Reynaud's savagery to the noble man inside. For his part, Reynaud is drawn to this lovely lady, even as he is suspicious of her loyalty to her uncle. But can Beatrice's love tame a man who will stop at nothing to regain his title-even if it means sacrificing her innocence?


This novel was just ok for me. I love reading this author but was a little disappointed in the last book of this series.

Pub. Date: October 2009
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Format: Mass Market Paperback,
384 pages
Series: Legend of the Four Soldiers Series, #4
ISBN-13: 9780446406949
ISBN: 0446406945

Let’s Find You by Jeffrey D. Barbieri



Let’s Find You by Jeffrey D. Barbieri

Let's Find You chronicles Ben's remarkable upbringing in a singularly unique family, one where a new crisis is always just around the corner.
Told in a mix of prose and poetry, the compelling coming-of-age narrative follows Benjamin from a young boy into early adulthood.
He and his brothers routinely fight, and his mother remains an elusive figure in his life, constantly moving the family from place to place.
But there's also plenty to laugh over - from the wacky garbage men tale to the creature he encounters along the way.
Can Benjamin survive his family, and find his true sense of self?
Let's Find You is the ultimate guide into the heart and soul of a teenage boy as he journeys through car crashes, near-death experiences and melted chocolate...


I enjoyed this novel and liked the characters. This novel is touching and emotional and I was able to relate to the characters. I believe every one of us can somehow relate to this story.
The author did a wonderful job with this novel and I am looking forward to read more by this author.


Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (July 31, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1432743651
ISBN-13: 978-1432743659

Until Now by Denise Skelton




Until Now by Denise Skelton

Terry Meyers’ life seems to be falling apart. Her husband left her and their 2 sons for a woman 10 years her junior, she has a mortgage that she can’t afford, a car that stays broken more than it works and a son who’s going through puberty and seems set to drive her crazy in the process. Add to that the desire to go into business with her cousin, who is adamant that that will never happen and Terry believes her life could not get much worse.

Wade Nelson has moved back to Chicago to work as the new English teacher at Jefferson high. His strained relationship with his father has kept him away for many years. What his family doesn’t know is that Wade has another agenda for being back in Chicago.

As things seem to go from bad, to worse, Terry decides it’s time to take stock in her life. First on the list, handle her deadbeat future ex-husband. Second, find a new career. Third, swear off men, what’s the point, she always chooses the wrong one, always ends up being used or hurt… Until Now…

When Wade meets feisty Terry Meyers, the last thing he’s thinking about being in a relationship with anyone, let alone a woman who has two children, but Terry has a way of finding herself in rather strange situations and he just happened to be the one there to bail her out. With a past that he has never put to rest, Wade. by no means, considered the idea of settling don. Until Now…


This novel is a fun fast-paced easy read. I was laughing out loud at some of the situations Terry got herself into. Until Now kept my attention until the last page and I would recommend this book to anyone who likes romance with a little mystery.


Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: First Chance Publishing (November 6, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0979087732
ISBN-13: 978-0979087738

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dear John



Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life—until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else. "Dear John," the letter read...and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love—and face the hardest decision of his life.


This is an awesome novel by Nicholas Sparks. Wonderful quick read that was hard to put down. This is a touching love story without the conventional ending and sometimes I had tears in my eyes reading it.

Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (July 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446618306
ISBN-13: 978-0446618304

Monday, November 16, 2009

Embellish by R.L. Sloan




Embellish by R.L. Sloan

Revenge has never tasted so sweet...

As a young girl, Solis Burkes is raped at the hands of ruthless school bullies-an incident that haunts her into young adulthood. Then she meets Nacio, a strikingly handsome man who seems to know everything about her-including the painful past Solis hasn't told anyone about. But what Solis doesn't know is that Nacio has been with her every step of the way, protecting her ever since that fateful episode.

It's a destiny he's been working up to for the last 257 years.

Now, as Solis enters a dark world of vampires, voodoo, and passion, she'll need all the protection she can get. Unbeknownst to her, those responsible for Solis's rape have returned. Connected to the evil voodoo Priestess Aldicia, they'll stop at nothing in their plans to spew violence and mayhem throughout the city. And an old family feud dating back centuries puts Solis first on their list of targets. But not if Solis can unravel the clues fast enough, and inflict her own brand of revenge...

Embellish mixes sexy romance with high-stakes paranormal intrigue for a keeps-you-guessing, fast-paced and savvy thriller, right up until the shocking finale.


R.L. Sloan did an excellent job with this novel. This is a great fast-paced paranormal romance thriller which makes you want more. I read this book in two nights. Was not able to put it down once I got started reading. This novel has well developed characters and is well written. I am looking forward to read the next novel by this author and recommend this book to anyone who likes some good paranormal romance.

Paperback: 244 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (June 23, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1432740326
ISBN-13: 978-1432740320
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nine Dragons



Nine Dragons by Michael Conelly


LAPD Detective Harry Bosch is off the chain in the fastest, fiercest, and highest-stakes case of his life.
Fortune Liquors is a small shop in a tough South L.A. neighborhood, a store Bosch has known for years. The murder of John Li, the store's owner, hits Bosch hard, and he promises Li's family that he'll find the killer.
The world Bosch steps into next is unknown territory. He brings in a detective from the Asian Gang Unit for help with translation—not just of languages but also of the cultural norms and expectations that guided Li's life. He uncovers a link to a Hong Kong triad, a lethal and far-reaching crime ring that follows many immigrants to their new lives in the U.S.
And instantly his world explodes. The one good thing in Bosch's life, the person he holds most dear, is taken from him and Bosch travels to Hong Kong in an all-or-nothing bid to regain what he's lost. In a place known as Nine Dragons, as the city's Hungry Ghosts festival burns around him, Bosch puts aside everything he knows and risks everything he has in a desperate bid to outmatch the triad's ferocity.


A great thriller with many action, twist and turns. This novel is fast-paced and unpredictable. Nine Dragons kept me interested to the last page. It was hard to put this book down.

Pub. Date: October 13, 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Format: Hardcover, 377pp
Series: Harry Bosch Series, #15
ISBN-13: 9780316166317
ISBN: 0316166316

True Blue




True Blue by David Baldacci

A mysterious high-profile homicide in the nation's capital collides with the dark side of national security in David Baldacci's new, heart-stopping thriller.

Mason "Mace" Perry was a firebrand cop on the D.C. police force until she was kidnapped and framed for a crime. She lost everything-her badge, her career, her freedom-and spent two years in prison. Now she's back on the outside and focused on one mission: to be a cop once more. Her only shot to be a true blue again is to solve a major case on her own, and prove she has the right to wear the uniform. But even with her police chief sister on her side, she has to work in the shadows: A vindictive U.S. attorney is looking for any reason to send Mace back behind bars. Then Roy Kingman enters her life.

Roy is a young lawyer who aided the poor until he took a high-paying job at a law firm in Washington. Mace and Roy meet after he discovers the dead body of a female partner at the firm. As they investigate the death, they start uncovering surprising secrets from both the private and public world of the nation's capital.

Soon, what began as a fairly routine homicide takes a terrifying and unexpected turn-into something complex, diabolical, and possibly lethal.


This was a good book. Quick and easy read. The plot could be realistic, but it is a little unbelievable in how much trouble Mace was able to get into, and always got away.

About the Author
David Baldacci lives with his family in Virginia. He and his wife have founded the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. He invites you to visit him at www.david-baldacci.com and his foundation at www.wishyouwellfoundation.org, and to look into its program to spread books across America at www.FeedingBodyandMind.com.

Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (October 27, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446195510
ISBN-13: 978-0446195515

Monday, November 9, 2009

I, Alex Cross by James Patterson




I, Alex Cross by James Patterson

You can't run
Detective Alex Cross is pulled out of a family celebration and given the awful news that a beloved relative has been found brutally murdered. Alex vows to hunt down the killer, and soon learns that she was mixed up in one of Washington's wildest scenes. And she was not this killer's only victim.

You can't hide
The hunt for her murderer leads Alex and his girlfriend, Detective Brianna Stone, to a place where every fantasy is possible, if you have the credentials to get in. Alex and Bree are soon facing down some very important, very protected, very dangerous people in levels of society where only one thing is certain—they will do anything to keep their secrets safe.

Alex Cross is your only hope to stay alive
As Alex closes in on the killer, he discovers evidence that points to the unimaginable—a revelation that could rock the entire world. With the unstoppable action, unforeseeable twists, and edge-of-your-seat suspense that only a James Patterson thriller delivers, I, Alex Cross is the master of suspense at his sharpest and best.

I am a big James Patterson fan. He is one of my favorite writers and I was not disappointed in his newest novel.
This novel is a great suspense which left me wanting to read the next book written by this author. I was not able to put down this book and had to know what happens next. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great suspense with lots of twists and turns.


Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (November 16, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316018783
ISBN-13: 978-0316018784

Chocolate- A Love Story



Chocolate - A Love Story

With gigantic vats of churning chocolate, desserts like their famous chocolate pizza, and 12 varieties of hot chocolate served in custom mugs, Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man has turned their line of hip, colorful themed restaurants into an international sensation.. Chocolate: A Love Story is a vibrant new cookbook that includes 65 original recipes narrated in the quirky, captivating voice of Max Brenner, the restaurant's visionary founder and "bald man." Bold original illustrations inspired by Art Deco poster graphics, full-color photographs, easy-to-follow, delicious recipes, and a serving of Max's unique vision for spreading "chocolate culture" around the world make this book a must for every chocolate lover.


The few recipes I tried were great. An awesome cookbook for a chocoholic like myself. Easy to follow cooking directions and great tasting. I love the Metric Conversions on the last page in the book.
I would recommend this book to any serious chocolate lover who likes to try something a little different.


Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (November 2, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316056626
ISBN-13: 978-0316056625

Monday, October 12, 2009

Show No Fear by Marliss Melton



Show No Fear by Marliss Melton
Lucy Donovan always gets her man. As a fiercely independent CIA agent, she's survived hundreds of death-defying missions. But her latest may just get her killed. Weighed down with a secret she's desperate to keep, the last thing Lucy needs is to be sent undercover with a man who brings out the best--and the worst--in her.Navy SEAL Gus Atwater never turns down an assignment, even if it means working with the only woman he's ever loved and lost. So with a volatile mix of desire and distrust, Lucy and Gus confront their tangled past. Pretending to be man and wife is risky enough, but now the clock is running out. As their mission escalates from desperate to deadly, will Lucy's secret expose them both?


This is the first time I read a novel by Marliss Melton and have to say that I enjoyed this book very much. I got into the story and did not want to put the book down. This novel is a great thriller combined with romance. It is intense and full of action from start to finish. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes action and romance.
 
 
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Forever (September 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446509272
ISBN-13: 978-0446509275

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tall, Dark & Fangsome by Michelle Rowen


Tall, Dark & Fangsome by Michelle Rowen

Sarah Dearly's vampire life is not all B-positive cocktails. A curse made her a nightwalker, the most vicious vamp there is; the charm she wears to curb her deadly tendencies is losing its juice; and a hunter from hell is turning up the heat. Gideon Chase will kill the ones she loves most if she doesn't obey his orders. That includes breaking up with master vampire Thierry and turning Gideon into an immortal vamp so he can escape a doom of eternal hellfire.Making things worse are Sarah's growing feelings for Gideon, a bad boy who keeps showing a vulnerable side . . . but is it for real? Will Sarah's dark side take over? Or can she cure herself of the nightwalker curse in time to stop Gideon and finally live happily ever after with Thierry . . . forever?
 
Wow, what an awesome book. This book had me on the edge of the seat. This novel is fast paced, I could not put it down and had to keep on reading. There are many twists and turns and when you think it finally slows down a little, something else is happening. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good vampire novel.
 
 
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Forever (September 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446505854

Monday, October 5, 2009

Permission Slips by Sherri Shepherd





Permission Slips by Sherri Shepherd

Covering topics such as "It's Jesus or Jail,""Marriage, the Hard Way,""Children: The Gift You Can't Give Back," and "All the Things I Don't Know...And All the Things I Definitely Do," stand-up comedienne, actress, and ABC's The View co-host Sherri Shepherd comically chronicles her struggles to keep up with the many roles-professional, wife, mother, daughter, and friend-that women must play in today's world. Sherri urges women to pursue their most important dreams and to never give up, but also let's readers know that it's okay to give themselves "permission slips" when things don't always work out the way they want them to. As her many fans know, Sherri is never hesitant to speak from the heart, and her bubbly personality shines through in this delightful autobiography.

I have watched Sherri Shepherd a few times on “The View” and was curious about her book.
This book is a great, quick and easy read. It is part autobiography and part comedy.
Shepherd gives her views on lots of things in this book. She tells about her life and tribulations and is not holding back.
Shepherd's faith in God is very clear in this book. She tells how God influences every moment of her life and how God always comes through for her.
I think every woman reading her book will be able to relate in one way or the other.



About the Author

Sherri Shepherd currently serves as a co-host on ABC's The View, which airs five days a week on ABC affiliates nationally and consistently draws more than 3 million viewers per show. She also plays a recurring character on NBC's 30 Rock.

Sherri has had a long career as a regular cast member on some of America's best-loved shows, including Suddenly Susan, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and her own show, Less Than Perfect. Sherri has also been in countless other TV shows and films including Beauty Shop, and Guess Who.

Sherri currently resides in New York with her son.


Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (October 5, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446547425
ISBN-13: 978-0446547420

Seaside Letters by Denise Hunter



Seaside Letters by Denise Hunter

Their letters could lead to lasting love . . . or expose Sabrina's mortifying secret.
Sabrina Kincaid didn't intend to fall for Nantucket native Tucker McCabe, the man she serves coffee to every morning-a man tied to a past she deeply regrets. But she has. And she's fallen hard.
But she's kept this a secret from her handsome customer. And now Tucker wants to hire Sabrina to help locate his friend "Sweetpea"-the mysterious woman he's falling in love with online. Sabrina is not inclined to help, but if Tucker hires someone else, it could spell disaster. Because if someone else sifted through the emails and figured out the truth-then Tucker would discover that the person he's trying to find is . . . her.


This novel grabbed me from the first few pages and I did not want to stop reading. The outcome is predictable but it is still a cute love story where I had to know what happens next and how Sabrina wiggles herself out of the situations she gets herself into. Sabrina was dumped by her fiancée and betrayed by her cousin six days before her wedding and ran off to Nantucket to work in a diner as a waitress. She met Tucker online and started corresponding with him under an alias name. Things began to spin out of control when Sabrina told her first lie- sending a photo of her cousin Arielle to Tucker.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes love and romance.


Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 13, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1595542604
ISBN-13: 978-1595542601

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Make - Ahead Meals For Busy Moms



Make - Ahead Meals For Busy Moms

Make Ahead meals are not just for Moms who work outside of the home. It's a way of cooking that helps all families, big and small. It all comes down to a little planning. Make a meal or two in advance when you have some extra time. Then you'll be rewarded with quick, delicious home-cooked meals when you really need them!


I love this cook book. Tried out a few recipes and they were great. I let my customers and employees taste some of the food and everyone loved it. Some of my favorites as of right now are the Seafood Quiche, Tiramisu (this is a true Italian recipe) and Teriyaki Chicken. Of course the favorites will probably change when I try more of the recipes in this book.
I also really like the volume and weight conversions toward the end of the book. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to make some quick cook- ahead meals which can be frozen or served the next day.
Make-Ahead-Meals For Busy Moms will be one cookbook that I will be using often.



Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (August 17, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1432720864
ISBN-13: 978-1432720865

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Book Giveaway September 22- September 30

Congrats to the winners of this giveaway

Madeleine444
Libneas
Melacan



Book Giveaway September 22- September 30


Spooner by Pete Dexter

Many thanks to Miriam and Hachette Book Group who make it possible for me to give away 3 copies of this book.

Description
Warren Spooner was born after a prolonged delivery in a makeshift delivery room in a doctor's office in Milledgeville, Georgia, on the first Saturday of December, 1956. His father died shortly afterward, long before Spooner had even a memory of his face, and was replaced eventually by a once-brilliant young naval officer, Calmer Ottosson, recently court-martialed out of service. This is the story of the lifelong tie between the two men, poles apart, of Spooner's troubled childhood, troubled adolescence, violent and troubled adulthood and Calmer Ottosson's inexhaustible patience, undertaking a life-long struggle to salvage his step-son, a man he will never understand.

I enjoyed reading this book. This novel is entertaining, moving and funny. The author grabbed me from the first chapter and I was laughing really hard sometimes. Very well written novel, looking forward to read more by this author.

About the Author

Pete Dexter (born 1943) is the author of the National Book Award-winning novel Paris Trout and five other novels: God's Pocket, Deadwood, Brotherly Love, The Paperboy, and Train. He has been a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News and the Sacramento Bee, and has contributed to many magazines, including Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Playboy. His screenplays include Rush and Mulholland Falls. Dexter was born in Michigan and raised in Georgia, Illinois, and eastern South Dakota. He lives on an island off the coast of Washington.

Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (September 24, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446540722
ISBN-13: 978-0446540728



Rules:
To enter the giveaway you must leave a comment. Please leave your email address otherwise we will not be able to get in touch with the winners.

Winners will be drawn Tuesday September 29th, at Noon Eastern Time and posted September 30th. Winners will be contacted by email and have until Saturday, October 3rd to contact us via email with their mailing addresses. If the winner has not contacted us by the due date, we will randomly choose another winner as this is only fair to the other participants.

Alternate winners will be drawn Sunday at Noon.


Ways to earn extra entries:
+1 for commenting on the giveaway post

+3 for being a follower of my blog
(Please indicate this in your comment)

+2 for comments on my other book reviews
(Please indicate this in your comment)

+2 More Entry: Post this Giveaway on your blog
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This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only. No P.O. boxes.
*Feel free to contact me via email at barras31063(at)yahoo(dot)com should you have any questions*

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Way Home by George Pelecanos


Christopher Flynn is trying to get it right. After years of trouble and rebellion that enraged his father and nearly cost him his life, he has a steady job in his father's company, he's seriously dating a woman he respects, and, aside from the distrust that lingers in his father's eyes, his mistakes are firmly in the past.

One day on the job, Chris and his partner come across a temptation almost too big to resist. Chris does the right thing, but old habits and instincts rise to the surface, threatening this new-found stability with sudden treachery and violence. With his father and his most trusted friends, he takes one last chance to blast past the demons trying to pull him back.


This is the first time I read this author and have to say that I had a really hard time putting this book down. This is an amazing novel, a page turner from the first few pages to the last page. Mr. Pelecanos makes you feel like you know the characters, like you are right there beside them.
I am looking forward reading more books by this talented author.



Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Pub. Date: May 2009
ISBN-13: 9780316156493
Sales Rank: 5,004
336pp

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Murder in the Magick Club


“Pure porn!” the critics cry. “Throw it on the fire!” Murder in the Magick Club is an occult-themed murder mystery; perfect for your next banned-book bonfire. Murder in the Magick Club takes place in the exotic, faraway land of Tampa, Florida and offers an insider’s exposĂ© of the “Salem of the South” . . . written straight from the spleen. Murder in the Magick Club is the first in a series wherein the victim needs killin’ and the murderer always gets away with it . . . maybe. All of the characters—moochy customers, cops, self-absorbed and wastrel staff, and the impotent, financially longsuffering owner of the Magick Club—are always ready with an easy bit of slander and perhaps an easy bit of murder. Murder in the Magick Club is a ripping good read to grab on the way to the beach, or to help set just-the-right-tone before the reader jumps off the Skyway Bridge. Perfect to curl up with a steaming hot cup of mugwort tea, a bottle or two of merlot, the beer bong &/or the hashish-stoked hookah.

This is an awesome book if you want to read something a little different. It was a fun book to read which made me laugh out loud at times. The characters are lively, wonderful and unforgettable.

Paperback: 354 pages
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (May 3, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 143920831X
ISBN-13: 978-1439208311

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Murder of King Tut by James Patterson and Martin Dugard


A secret buried for centuries
Thrust onto Egypt's most powerful throne at the age of nine, King Tut's reign was fiercely debated from the outset. Behind the palace's veil of prosperity, bitter rivalries and jealousy flourished among the Boy King's most trusted advisors, and after only nine years, King Tut suddenly perished, his name purged from Egyptian history. To this day, his death remains shrouded in controversy.

The keys to an unsolved mystery
Enchanted by the ruler's tragic story and hoping to unlock the answers to the 3,000 year-old mystery, Howard Carter made it his life's mission to uncover the pharaoh's hidden tomb. He began his search in 1907, but encountered countless setbacks and dead-ends before he finally, uncovered the long-lost crypt.

The clues point to murder
Now, in The Murder of King Tut, James Patterson and Martin Dugard dig through stacks of evidence--X-rays, Carter's files, forensic clues, and stories told through the ages--to arrive at their own account of King Tut's life and death. The result is an exhilarating true crime tale of intrigue, passion, and betrayal that casts fresh light on the oldest mystery of all.


Another great book by bestselling author James Patterson. I truly enjoyed reading this book and could not put it down. This is a great nonfiction Thriller and brings to life the history of Eqypt. I still wonder if the Child King Tut got really killed or if he died of the accident. This will still be out for debate. I would recommend this book to anyone.



Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (September 28, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316034045
ISBN-13: 978-0316034043

Selfless by David Michael Slater


In 1980 s Pittsburgh, Jonathan Schwartz's carefree life is under assault. His sisters seem intent on doing him irreparable psychological harm. There s Nadia, with her unfathomable Machiavellian schemes, and Olivia, tease and temptress, whose beauty wreaks havoc among his friends. And his Holocaust survivor grandparents? There are no words. When his father, the acclaimed writer, is accused of stealing the books that made him famous, Jon's family implodes once and for all, and he must set off in search of what has been lost. His is a journey that ultimately requires him to find more than answers. It requires him to find himself.


Another first time author for me. Mr. Slater did an excellent job writing this book. I did not want to put down this book because I had to know what happened next. The characters in this novel are something you wont forget to easily. I had to laugh a few times and wondered what would happen next. Definitely a must read.


Paperback: 415 pages
Publisher: Absey & Company; First edition (March 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1888842563
ISBN-13: 978-1888842562

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Never Pals by Rocky Kuznik


Frenchy Mandril, considered Frank Bingham as his best salesman and top producer. Many times throughout their many years together, Frenchy would still be held spellbound and amazed by Frank's natural ability to close deals when certain customers were just in shopping and not prepared to buy anything. On many occasions he would step out to the curb of his lot and yell across the busy boulevard to his competitors... "I wish I had a hundred and twenty Frankie's working for me! I'd sell out every hour...!"

Frank Bingham being in his early forties, held contrary views and opinions of his boss. This was evidenced by most of their senseless conversations, where his ending thoughts would be something similar in effect to- "Why did his parents choose to drop that perfected moron and afford him breathing space on this planet?"..!"

January Thornton, also single for years and about Frank's age, lived next door. This however did very little to develop any facet of their relationship for more than twelve years. In plain talk, they had nothing in common except a hedge line dividing the properties and the like kind of people they individually worked for or others they held in short term friendships. In addition, there was this wayward thinking on their part that kept both of them mired in their individual and dysfunctional circumstances.

Jan was and has been employed by a national hotel chain for a number of years, at one of it's northern Ohio locations. Here he was it's head chef and restaurant manager. His director was a W.Wenchman, for whom Jan had less then a finger tip of respect. This was brought about by most of their so called business conversations, which were of the off the wall variety and applicable to very little. Whenever W.W. summoned him to his office it always was verbal launch time, directed toward Jan. -After knocking lightly and slowly opening the door, he said. "I'm here boss, is it okay for me to come in?"-"Now what the hell do you think Thornton? Like maybe I should come out there? Another thing! I was getting tired of holding my breath waiting for your appearance!"("Dam! I should have waited another five minutes and then no more Wenchman.") Thought Jan.

Will a two week vacation to Florida bring about change to their stale lifestyles and personal relationships? Some reading of their exploits may find them a bit humorous or even hilarious. But the main characters seem to accept them as a matter of fact occurrences.

This book was enjoyable and fun to read. The pals trip goes from Ohio to Florida and makes an interesting read. I am looking forward to read more by this author.


Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (February 13, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 143270303X

Knockout Entrepreneur


Knockout Entrepreneur by George Foreman

Readers remember George Foreman as the Former Heavyweight Boxing Champion and the spokesman for the popular George Foreman Grill. What they may not know is that he is also a successful entrepreneur whose portfolio today boasts the George Foreman Grill, George Foreman's Knockout Cleaner, a line of clothing with Casual Male, fitness videos, Elgin watches, and many more. In The Knockout Entrepreneur, Foreman shares his success secrets with aspiring and current entrepreneurs.

As a small business owner this this book was an interesting read for me. This book is well written and easy to read. It gives you the basics principles and strategies on how to start and run a business.
At the end of each chapter there are "Knockout Ideas to Stimulate Your Success" which I really enjoyed reading. It makes you think about what you read in the chapter and answer some questions.
This book is a Nelsonfree book and along with the hard copy, you also get an ebook and an audio version.



Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0785222081
ISBN-13: 978-0785222088

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks



Seventeen year old Veronica "Ronnie" Miller's life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alientated from her parents, especially her father...until her mother decides it would be in everyone's best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie's father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church.
The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story of love on many levels—first love, love between parents and children — that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that love can break our hearts...and heal them.


I was fortunate to receive an ARC of this book. This is another must read novel by one of my favorite authors. An unforgettable story of love in all its myriad forms-- first love, love between parents and children--- The last Song demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that love can break our hearts… and heal them. This great love story will have you in tears at times.


Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (September 8, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446547565
ISBN-13: 978-0446547567

On The Bluffs by Steven Schindler



On the Bluffs by Steven Schindler


SOMETIMES THE BIGGEST LIES ARE THE ONES WE LIVE While Brian DeLouise was working the graveyard shift at a conspiracy theory-crazed radio station his wife was alley-catting around Washington, DC. But a cheating wife and a dead-end job no longer made him angry or depressed. He was just numb. It took a daring brush with death to awaken his senses and a few clicks on Google to begin a journey to recapture a love he believed was gone forever. Brian finds his lost lover in a rundown mansion on the windswept bluffs of Cape Cod, where he must confront a fast approaching evil while he risks losing everything he now cherishes.


This is the first book I read by this author and I am looking forward to read more books from Steven Schindler. It was hard for me to put this book down for a few minutes. I just wanted to keep on reading, finding out what happened next. ON THE BLUFFS is very well written, I loved the characters, they are so believable and makes you think you know them.

Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: The Elevated Press; 1st edition (August 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0966240812
ISBN-13: 978-0966240818

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Stand the Storm by Breena Clarke


Even though Sewing Annie Coats and her son, Gabriel, have managed to buy their freedom, their lives are still plagued by constant struggle and sacrifice. Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood, where the Coatses operate a tailor shop and laundry, is supposed to be a promised land for former slaves but is effectively a frontier town, gritty and dangerous, with no laws protecting black people.
The remarkable emotional energy with which the Coatses wage their daily battles- as they negotiate with their former owner, as they assist escaped slave en route to freedom, as they prepare for the encroaching war, and as they strive to love each other enough- is what makes this novel so powerfully affecting.

Stand in the Storm will be in your mind for a long time after you finish the book. This is a powerful novel that includes drama, romance and history.
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (June 24, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316007056
ISBN-13: 978-0316007054

Spooner by Pete Dexter



Warren Spooner was born after a prolonged delivery in a makeshift delivery room in a doctor's office in Milledgeville, Georgia, on the first Saturday of December, 1956. His father died shortly afterward, long before Spooner had even a memory of his face, and was replaced eventually by a once-brilliant young naval officer, Calmer Ottosson, recently court-martialed out of service. This is the story of the lifelong tie between the two men, poles apart, of Spooner's troubled childhood, troubled adolescence, violent and troubled adulthood and Calmer Ottosson's inexhaustible patience, undertaking a life-long struggle to salvage his step-son, a man he will never understand.

I enjoyed reading this book. The author grabbed me from the first chapter and I was laughing so hard. Very well written story, looking forward to read more by this author.




Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (September 24, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446540722
ISBN-13: 978-0446540728

Dutch by Teri Woods



James Bernard Jr., a.k.a. Dutch, has become the most dangerous criminal in New Jersey. From his early skill as a car thief, Dutch recognized the opportunity to rule the streets and he seized it. Feared by all, and completely fearless, Dutch and his dangerous clique take over the lucrative heroin business of a local African drug lord. With both the protection and respect of the Mafia, Dutch becomes the most terrifying force on the streets. District Attorney Anthony Jacobs is determined to take down Dutch and his crew, and he's confident that his witnesses will testify against them. But a sudden turn of events will soon make the DA's job harder than he imagined.

A great novel by Teri Woods. Very well written, easy to read. I enjoyed this novel very much, it gripped me from the very first page and I read the book in a few hours. Can’t wait for Dutch II to come out next year in April. If you like to read crime novels then this is a must read for you.



Paperback: 256 pag
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (September 23, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446551538
ISBN-13: 978-0446551533

Cult Insanity by Irene Spencer



Life for Irene Spencer was a series of devastating disappointments and hardships. Irene's first book, Shattered Dreams, is the staggering chronicle of her struggle to provide for her children in abject poverty and feelings of abandonment each time her husband left to be with one of his other wives. Irene was raised to believe polygamy was the way of life necessary for her ticket to heaven. The hard knocks of her environment were just the beginning of Irene's shocking tale. CULT INSANITY takes readers into her story to uncover the outrageous behaviour of her brother-in-law Ervil - a self-proclaimed prophet who determined he was called to set the house of God in order - and how he terrorized their colony. Claiming to be God's avenger and to have a licence to kill in the name of God, Ervil ordered the murders of friends and family members, eliminating all those who challenged his authority. CULT INSANITY is a riveting, terrifying memoir of polygamist life under the tyranny of a madman.


This is a good read if you want to learn more about polygamy. It was very shocking to me to read how these people live. Ervil the self-proclaimed prophet is evil and terrorizes everyone. This book will stick with you for a while and make you think about what some of these people go through every day of there lives.



Publisher: Center Street
Pub. Date: August 2009
ISBN-13: 9780446538190
352pp

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

On theBluffs by Steven Schindler



ON THE BLUFFS by Steven Schindler

SOMETIMES THE BIGGEST LIES ARE THE ONES WE LIVE While Brian DeLouise was working the graveyard shift at a conspiracy theory-crazed radio station his wife was alley-catting around Washington, DC. But a cheating wife and a dead-end job no longer made him angry or depressed. He was just numb. It took a daring brush with death to awaken his senses and a few clicks on Google to begin a journey to recapture a love he believed was gone forever. Brian finds his lost lover in a rundown mansion on the windswept bluffs of Cape Cod, where he must confront a fast approaching evil while he risks losing everything he now cherishes.


This is a pretty good novel. The author did an excellent job. I really enjoyed reading ON THE BLUFFS. This novel has some mystery, romance and humor. The characters make you feel like they are real, like you are right there. Definitely a must read.



Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: The Elevated Press; 1st edition (August 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0966240812
ISBN-13: 978-0966240818

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Alex Cross's Trial by James Patterson & Richard DiLallo




Alex Cross’s Trial by James Patterson and Richard DiLallo


Separated by time
From his grandmother, Alex Cross has heard the story of his great uncle Abraham and his struggles for survival in the era of the Ku Klux Klan. Now, Alex passes the family tale along to his own children in a novel he's written--a novel called Trial.

Connected by blood
As a lawyer in turn-of-the-century Washington D.C., Ben Corbett represents the toughest cases. Fighting against oppression and racism, he risks his family and his life in the process. When President Roosevelt asks Ben to return to his home town to investigate rumors of the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan there, he cannot refuse.

United by bravery
When he arrives in Eudora, Mississippi, Ben meets the wise Abraham Cross and his beautiful daughter, Moody. Ben enlists their help, and the two Crosses introduce him to the hidden side of the idyllic Southern town. Lynchings have become commonplace and residents of the town's black quarter live in constant fear. Ben aims to break the reign of terror--but the truth of who is really behind it could break his heart. Written in the fearless voice of Detective Alex Cross, Alex Cross's Trial is a gripping story of murder, love, and, above all, bravery.


James Patterson did an excellent job with this novel. Detective Alex Cross tells an ancestor's story, in this astonishing account of one man's bold pursuit of justice in the face of racism and violence.


Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (August 24, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316070629
ISBN-13: 978-0316070621

Mercury in Retrograde by Paula Froelich



Mercury in Retrograde by Paula Froelich


When Mercury is in retrograde, the only guarantee is anything that can go wrong, will.
Penelope Mercury, an intrepid reporter at the New York Telegraph, has pounded the pavement for five years from city borough to borough, carrying out her boss's eccentric orders to break stories that seem inconsequential to everyone but him. Finally, she is inches away from being promoted to her dream job — covering courtroom drama for the paper — but after one spectacularly disastrous day, she is fired instead.
Lena "Lipstick Carcrash" Lipp encrass has a pretty fabulous life, even by a socialite's standards, as a top editor at the high fashion magazine Y. Long lunches with her girlfriends and afternoons spent shopping at Bergdorf's are all in a day's work. But when Lena's always indulgent parents abruptly cut off her cash flow and kick her out of her beloved West Village duplex for refusing to work for the family business, she is forced to confront the reality of what it takes to pay the bills.
Dana Gluck, a workaholic lawyer, had been married for two years to a man who was perfect on paper but increasingly critical in reality. She hoped that her dreams of motherhood would be fulfilled soon, which surely would also fix their marriage problems. Instead, her husband leaves her for an exchange student/model who, to make matters worse, promptly gets pregnant.
When fate conspires to have these three very different women move into the same SoHo apartment building, they soon discover that having their carefully planned lives fall to pieces might be the best thing that could have ever happened to them.

Ms. Froelich writes like a seasoned Author. This story is full of adventure and some suspense and glamour. Full of real life dreams. This author has a very promising future.



Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
ISBN-13: 9781416598930
272pp

Monday, August 3, 2009

Thug Lovin by Wahida Clark


Tasha and Trae, the hood's favorite couple, are still together following the events of Thug Matrimony. Even with their relocation to sunny Los Angeles, the drama of New York cannot be escaped. From running a nightclub to dealing with models, shady lawyers, big money, new kinds of temptations, seductions, and drugs-not to mention new love interests-can this infamous couple weather all the storms and keep it together?



This is my first read by this author and I have to say Ms. Clarke did an excellent job. The novel is very gritty, real life meets the streets.Very captivating, it makes you feel like you are right in the mist of what is happening. Great read, one you will not be able to put down until it ends.



Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (August 10, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446178098
ISBN-13: 978-0446178099

Friday, July 31, 2009

Alibi by Teri Woods




Alibi by Teri Woods

Two men think they've found the perfect opportunity--a chance to rob the stash house of Simon Shuller, one of Philadelphia's biggest drug lords. But their plans are spoiled when one of Shuller's men catches them as they break into the stash house. Temperatures flare as the men capture Shuller's worker, Poncho, and force him to show them the goods. What they didn't expect was for Poncho's partner to be armed and very dangerous. An altercation breaks out and when the smoke clears, Nard, Poncho's accomplice, is the only one left standing. Thinking quickly, Nard cleans shop and makes his escape, but not before being spotted by a few neighbors. Not wanting to kill anyone else, he makes a mad dash for the streets but wonders if the witnesses will give up his identity. What he needs now is a plausible alibi. If he doesn't come up with one fast, it could mean life in prison, or death on the streets.
Daisy Fothergill needs money-fast. Life as a stripper and barmaid isn’t paying the bills, so when her boyfriend offers her cash to provide an alibi for his friend, Daisy is more than happy to oblige. Once Daisy realizes she is aiding and abetting a cold-blooded killer- and that the FBI is on to her- she decides to bolt…from both Nard and the government agents. But someone is watching Daisy, and her time is about to run out.


I love Teri Woods and enjoyed this crime thriller as much as all of her other books. This novel was a quick read with 239 pages. I am looking forward to read Alibi II and wonder if we hear more about Daisy.


Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pub. Date: August 2009
ISBN-13: 9780446581691

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Italian for Beginners by Kristin Harmel


Italian for Beginners by Kristin Harmel

Thirty-four-year-old Manhattan accountant Cat Connelly has always lived life on the safe side. But after her little sister gets married, Cat wonders if she has condemned herself to a life of boredom by playing by the rules. She decides to take a chance for once, accepting an invitation to spend a month with an old flame in Italy. But her reunion with the slick and gorgeous Francesco is short-lived, and she finds herself suddenly alone in Rome. Now, she must see if she has the courage to live outside the lines for the first time - and to face a past she never understood. It will take an unexpected friendship with a fiery Italian waitress, a whirlwind Vespa tour of the Eternal City with a handsome stranger, and a surprise encounter with an old acquaintance to show Cat that life doesn't always work out the way you expect, but sometimes you have to have fall in order to fly.


This is a cute fun book to read. This novel brought back lots of memories for me. I was thinking of all the good times and the crazy things I did as a teenager on my many vacations in Italy. Oh do I want to go back and ride the countryside on a Vespa again and eat all that delicious food.
If you like romance and adventures this is the book for you to read
.

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: 5 Spot (August 13, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446538302
ISBN-13: 978-0446538305

I can see you by Karen Rose


I CAN SEE YOU by Karen Rose

Evie Wilson was the victim of the villain in DON'T TELL, an assault which resulted in paralysis on one side of her face. After her injury, Evie retreated into the virtual realm, seeking refuge from the public eye by interacting with online friends. Now, with the help of a surgeon, Evie's face is restored and she is ready to return to the real world. However, she remains connected to the Internet for her graduate thesis on using the virtual world as therapy to improve self-esteem. She has become an online shopkeeper who sells faces and bodies to users interested in building a new avatar on a website called "Shadowland." In her new role, Evie maintains "surveillance" over her test subjects to ensure they don't become too caught up in the intoxicating virtual realm.

Meanwhile, homicide detective Noah Webster has been investigating a string of suspicious suicides that he believes are connected murders. Noah's investigation leads him to Evie when one of her online test subjects is found dead of apparent suicide, but Evie believes otherwise.

Evie is shocked to find herself drawn to someone for the first time in many years and she's reluctant to trust Noah. However, he's the only one who believes her story about the suspicious death of her test subject, and he soon discovers that many of the apparent suicides in his case had avatars in "Shadowland."

As murder victims connected to the website begin to appear more frequently, Noah asks Evie to be his virtual guide in the investigation. However, they don't realize that the killer is closer than they think--and that he holds a special grudge against Evie.



Excellent romantic thriller with lots of mystery. Well developed characters. This novel kept me on the edge of the seat and I could not figure out who the killer was until the very end. I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes a great suspense.


Publisher: Grand Central
Hardcover: 496 pages
Publishing (August 5, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446538345
ISBN-13: 978-0446538343

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Book Giveaway July 23- August 2" easy on the eyes"



Congrats to GwendolynB, the winner of our giveaway


easy on the eyes by Jane Porter

At 38, Tiana Tomlinson has made it. America adores her as one of the anchors of America Tonight, a top-rated nightly entertainment and news program. But even with the trappings that come with her elite lifestyle, she feels empty. Tina desperately misses her late husband Keith, who died several years before. And in a business that thrives on youth, Tina is getting the message that her age is starting to show and certain measures must be taken if she wants to remain in the spotlight. It doesn't help that at every turn she has to deal with her adversary--the devilishly handsome, plastic surgeon to the stars, Michael Sullivan. But a trip away from the Hollywood madness has consequences that could affect the rest of her life.


Thanks to Miriam and Hachette Book Group, I have 1 copy of this book to give away.

Rules:

To enter the giveaway you must leave a comment. Please leave your email address otherwise we will not be able to get in touch with the winners.

Winners will be drawn Sunday, August 2nd at Noon Eastern Time and posted August 3rd. Winners will be contacted by email and have until Wednesday, August 5th to contact us via email with their mailing addresses. If the winner has not contacted us by the due date, we will randomly choose another winner as this is only fair to the other participants.

Alternate winners will be drawn Friday at Noon.


Ways to earn extra entries:

+1 for commenting on the giveaway post

+3 for being a follower of my blog
(Please indicate this in your comment)

+2 for comments on my other book reviews
(Please indicate this in your comment)

+2 More Entry: Post this Giveaway on your blog
(Please indicate this in your comment)


*Feel free to contact me via email at barras31063(at)yahoo(dot)com should you have any questions*

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

HOW TO SCORE by Robin Wells




HOW TO SCORE by Robin Wells

HER LIFE COACH
Museum curator Sammi Matthews isn't just in a dating slump, she's putting men on the injured list. After giving one date a black eye and cracking another's rib, Sammi decides she needs professional help. Enter life coach Luke Jones, who advises Sammi on how to overcome her klutziness. And their phone sessions work! Sammi soon meets a sexy FBI agent who seems to know just what she needs.

IS CHANGING HER LIFE
When his brother Luke goes into federal protection, FBI Special Agent Chase Jones agrees to cover for him. Then Sammi's hot voice sizzles down the line, and the usual "phone only" rule is out. With "Luke" coaching her by day, and Chase dating her by night, Sammi's confidence soars, along with her appeal. Chase falls hard, but how will Sammi feel if and when he comes clean? Chase would rather she break all his bones than risk breaking her heart.



This is a great book, an easy to read, romantic, funny novel. I was laughing so hard wondering what Sammi is doing next to this poor guy. Sammi is just one big klutz since she left her ex boyfriend and is doing lots of damage to every guy she meets. I recommend this book to anyone who loves romance and likes a few good laughs.


Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Forever (June 1, 2009)
Language: English ISBN-10: 044661842X
ISBN-13: 978-0446618427

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Finger Lickin’ Fifteen by Janet Evanovich




UNBUCKLE YOUR BELT AND PULL UP A CHAIR. IT'S THE SPICIEST, SAUCIEST, MOST RIB-STICKING PLUM YET.

Recipe for disaster:
Celebrity chef Stanley Chipotle comes to Trenton to participate in a barbecue cook-off and loses his head —literally.

Throw in some spice:
Bail bonds office worker Lula is witness to the crime, and the only one she'll talk to is Trenton cop, Joe Morelli.

Pump up the heat:
Chipotle's sponsor is offering a million dollar reward to anyone who can provide information leading to the capture of the killers.

Stir the pot:
Lula recruits bounty hunter Stephanie Plum to help her find the killers and collect the moolah.

Add a secret ingredient:
Stephanie Plum's Grandma Mazur. Enough said.

Bring to a boil:
Stephanie Plum is working overtime tracking felons for the bonds office at night and snooping for security expert Carlos Manoso, A.K.A. Ranger, during the day. Can Stephanie hunt down two killers, a traitor, five skips, keep her grandmother out of the sauce, solve Ranger's problems and not jump his bones?

Warning:
Habanero hot. So good you'll want seconds.



I have read all the Stephanie Plum novels and enjoyed every one of them. This novel as all of the Stephanie Plum books is a light, fast read and I laughed out loud a few times. You can’t help but love the characters, especially Lula and Grandma Mazur. I admit it is not one of JE’s best novel but it did the job for me.



Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pub. Date: June 2009
ISBN-13: 9780312383282
320pp

A CIRCLE of SOULS by Preetham Grandhi



Following the senseless and brutal murder of a ten-year-old girl in a small Connecticut town, a tenacious doctor and a brilliant FBI agent uncover a disturbing paranormal phenomenon linking the victim with a child in a psychiatric ward.

This is a must read if you like thrillers.
A CIRCLE OF SOULS is a very well written, fantastic thriller with well developed characters, many unexpected twists and suspense. This novel had me captivated from start to finish. The author has done an outstanding job of keeping the reader guessing and entertained right to the end.
I am looking forward to read more of this talented author’s work.



Publisher: Cedar Fort, Incorporated/C F I Distribution
Pub. Date: June 2009
ISBN-13: 9781599552354
Sales Rank: 587,180
342pp

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sold by Patricia McCormick



Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her family in a small hut on a mountain in Nepal. Though she is desperately poor, her life is full of simple pleasures, like playing hopscotch with her best friend from school, and having her mother brush her hair by the light of an oil lamp. But when the harsh Himalayan monsoons wash away all that remains of the family's crops, Lakshmi's stepfather says she must leave home and take a job to support her family.

He introduces her to a glamorous stranger who tells her she will find her a job as a maid in the city. Glad to be able to help, Lakshmi journeys to India and arrives at "Happiness House" full of hope. But she soon learns the unthinkable truth: she has been sold into prostitution.

An old woman named Mumtaz rules the brothel with cruelty and cunning. She tells Lakshmi that she is trapped there until she can pay off her family's debt-then cheats Lakshmi of her meager earnings so that she can never leave.

Lakshmi's life becomes a nightmare from which she cannot escape. Still, she lives by her mother's words-Simply to endure is to triumph-and gradually, she forms friendships with the other girls that enable her to survive in this terrifying new world. Then the day comes when she must make a decision-will she risk everything for a chance to reclaim her life?


Sold is an excellent quick read but also very deep. This book is very powerful and well written. It is a true, very sad story about child prostitution in Nepal. Unfortunately these things still happen in other countries and it will open the minds of many people.


Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (April 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0786851724
ISBN-13: 978-0786851720

easy on the eyes by Jane Porter



At 38, Tiana Tomlinson has made it. America adores her as one of the anchors of America Tonight, a top-rated nightly entertainment and news program. But even with the trappings that come with her elite lifestyle, she feels empty. Tina desperately misses her late husband Keith, who died several years before. And in a business that thrives on youth, Tina is getting the message that her age is starting to show and certain measures must be taken if she wants to remain in the spotlight. It doesn't help that at every turn she has to deal with her adversary--the devilishly handsome, plastic surgeon to the stars, Michael Sullivan. But a trip away from the Hollywood madness has consequences that could affect the rest of her life.


I was not able to put this book down, great characters, I fell in love with Tiana and rooted for her throughout the book. I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes to read a great chick lit.



Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: 5 Spot (July 22, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 044650940X
ISBN-13: 978-0446509404

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Book Giveaway July 10-July 17



CONGRATS TO jennilovevirgo, OUR WINNER OF THIS GIVEAWAY
FACES BY MARTINA COLE

Just before Danny Cadogan's fourteenth birthday, his father leaves. Having drunkenly run up a gambling debt he cannot pay, Big Dan Cadogan takes the wrath of the men sent to collect the debt. Determined to protect his mother, brother and sister, something changes in Danny and, overnight, he turns into a young man set on making his way in a violent and dangerous world. And so, with his childhood friend, Michael Miles, providing the brains behind the operation, Danny Cadogan becomes a Face. Not just a Face, but the most feared Face in the Smoke. Out for all he can get. At any cost. But Danny's ruthlessness on the streets of London doesn't stop at his front door. He rules his wife, Mary, and children with an iron will -- and his fists. But if Mary breaks her silence, it could shake Danny's criminal empire; right to the very core. And for a Face at the top of his game, there's only one way to go. Down. Because, after all, debts can be paid even without money.
 
Thanks to Miriam and Hachette Book Group, I have 1 copy of this book to give away.

Rules:

To enter the giveaway you must leave a comment. Please leave your email address otherwise we will not be able to get in touch with the winners.

Winners will be drawn Saturday, July 18th at Noon Eastern Time and posted July 19th. Winners will be contacted by email and have until Tuesday, July 21st to contact us via email with their mailing addresses. If the winner has not contacted us by the due date, we will randomly choose another winner as this is only fair to the other participants.

Alternate winners will be drawn Wednesday at Noon.


Ways to earn extra entries:

+1 for commenting on the giveaway post

+3 for being a follower of my blog
(Please indicate this in your comment)

+2 for comments on my other book reviews
(Please indicate this in your comment)

+2 More Entry: Post this Giveaway on your blog
(Please indicate this in your comment)


*Feel free to contact me via email at barras31063(at)yahoo(dot)com should you have any questions*

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Faces by Martina Cole




Just before Danny Cadogan's fourteenth birthday, his father leaves. Having drunkenly run up a gambling debt he cannot pay, Big Dan Cadogan takes the wrath of the men sent to collect the debt. Determined to protect his mother, brother and sister, something changes in Danny and, overnight, he turns into a young man set on making his way in a violent and dangerous world.

And so, with his childhood friend, Michael Miles, providing the brains behind the operation, Danny Cadogan becomes a Face. Not just a Face, but the most feared Face in the Smoke. Out for all he can get. At any cost.

But Danny's ruthlessness on the streets of London doesn't stop at his front door. He rules his wife, Mary, and children with an iron will -- and his fists. But if Mary breaks her silence, it could shake Danny's criminal empire; right to the very core. And for a Face at the top of his game, there's only one way to go. Down. Because, after all, debts can be paid even without money.



Excellent novel. I am fascinated with any books that have to do with the Mafia or Mobsters and this book was a great read for me. This is not an easy read, has lots of violence. I will be looking for more books from this author.


Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pub. Date: July 21, 2009
ISBN-13: 9780446179973
512pp

The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand



Greg and Tess MacAvoy are one of four prominent Nantucket couples who count each other as best friends. As pillars of their close-knit community, the MacAvoys, Kapenashes, Drakes, and Wheelers are important to their friends and neighbors, and especially to each other. But just before the beginning of another idyllic summer, Greg and Tess are killed when their boat capsizes during an anniversary sail. As the warm weather approaches and the island mourns their loss, nothing can prepare the MacAvoy's closest friends for what will be revealed.

Once again, Hilderbrand masterfully weaves an intense tale of love and loyalty set against the backdrop of endless summer island life.


Quick and fast read. A great mystery and the ending is so unexpected. I recommend this book as a great beach read.

• Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
• Pub. Date: July 07, 2009
• ISBN-13: 9780316043892

Ravens by George Dawes Green


The Boatwrights just won 318 million dollars in the GeorgiaState lottery. It's going to be the worst day of their lives.

When Shaw McBride and Romeo Zderko pull up at a convenience store off I-95 in Georgia, their only thought is to fix a leaky tire and be on their way again to Florida-away from their dull Ohio tech-support jobs. But this happens to be the store from which a 318,000,000 million dollar Jackpot ticket has just been sold -- and when a pretty clerk accidentally reveals to Shaw the identity of the winning family, he hatches a ferociously audacious scheme: He and Romeo will squeeze the family for half their prize.

That night, he visits the Boatwright home and takes the family hostage, while Romeo patrols the streets nearby, prepared to murder the Boatwrights' loved ones at any sign of resistance. At first, the family offers none. But Shaw's plot depends on maintaining constant fear-merciless, unfaltering terror-and soon, under the pressure, everyone's sanity begins to unravel . . .



This is one book I couldn’t put down once I got started reading. This novel is a page turner from start to finish with many twist and turns. I really enjoyed reading this novel and look to read more from this author.

• Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
• Pub. Date: July 2009
• ISBN-13: 9780446538961

Daniel X Watch the Skies by James Patterson & Ned Rust




All's quiet in the small town of Holliswood, the television sets a-glow in every home. But not all is as perfect as it seems.

A terrifying outlaw has just arrived in town, with the goal of throwing it into chaos--and filming the pandemonium for the fellas back home.

Only one person can stop him and his thugs from destroying the city and everyone living there. Daniel X assembles an all-star team of his own creation, but not even he could imagine the enormity of this made-for-TV-villain's powers.


I am a huge James Patterson Fan but this book kind of disappointed me. I expected more from one of my favorite authors. Maybe it is that I am just not that much of a sci-fi fan. If someone likes sci-fi you may like this book.



• Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
• Pub. Date: July 27, 2009
• ISBN-13: 9780316036184

Hollywood is like High School with Money by Zoey Dean



Twenty-four-year old Taylor Henning has just landed her dream job as an assistant at a major movie studio. But when her catty coworkers trick her into almost getting fired, she realizes that the old saying "Hollywood is like school with money" just may be true. The thing is, Taylor wasn't exactly a social butterfly in high school-how is she supposed to do any better the second time around?

That's when she meets her boss's popular sixteen-year-old daughter Quinn, and has an epiphany: maybe this teenager can teach her how to use her queen bee tactics to succeed in the Hollywood popularity contest. Quinn comes up with a plan to teach Taylor one lesson a week-everything from "Fake it 'til you make it" to "It's *never* your fault"--and soon Taylor finds herself winning the war against rival assistant Kylie. Until, that is, she's directed to steal Kylie's boyfriend, and something happens that's not in the game plan: Taylor falls for the guy. Now she must do the impossible-- harness her inner mean girl while staying true to herself.


Quick, fun to read novel. I was laughing out a few times when I read this book. This is a good beach read. I am looking forward to read more from this author.



• Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
• Pub. Date: July 23, 2009
• ISBN-13: 9780446697194

I’m so happy for you by Lucinda Rosenfeld



What if your best friend, whom you've always counted on to flounder in life and love (making your own modest accomplishments look not so bad), suddenly starts to surpass you in every way?

Wendy's best friend, Daphne, has always been dependably prone to catastrophe. And Wendy has always been there to help. If Daphne veers from suicidal to madly in love, Wendy offers encouragement. But when Daphne is suddenly engaged, pregnant, and decorating a fabulous town house in no time at all, Wendy is...not so happy for her. Caught between wanting to be the best friend she prides herself on being and crippling jealousy of flighty Daphne, Wendy takes things to the extreme, waging a full-scale attack on her best friend-all the while wearing her best, I'm-so-happy-for-you smile-and ends up in way over her head.

Rosenfeld has a knack for exposing the not-always-pretty side of being best friends--in writing that is glittering and diamond-sharp. I'M SO HAPPY FOR YOU is a smart, darkly humorous, and uncannily dead-on novel about female friendship.



This is a fast paced, easy book to read. This is the story about two best friends and what happens when your best friend starts getting everything you desire. I would recommend this book.


Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Pub. Date: July 29, 2009
ISBN-13: 9780316044509
288pages

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Death of a Pope by Piers Paul Read



Description:

Juan Uriarte, a handsome and outspoken Spanish ex-priest, seems to be the model of nonviolence and compassion for the poor and downtrodden. So why is he on trial, accused of terrorist activities? His worldwide Catholic charitable outreach program is suspected of being a front for radicals. The trial is covered by Kate Ramsay, a young British reporter, who sets out to uncover the truth about Uriarte and his work. She travels with him to Africa to see his work first hand but soon finds herself attracted to him.
Meanwhile an international conspiracy is growing, one that reaches into the Vatican itself. When the death of Pope John Paul II brings about the conclave that will elect Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI, a terrorist plot involving blackmail, subterfuge, and mass murder begins to fall into place... a plot that could spell disaster for the Catholic Church and the world.
Piers Paul Read's powerful tale combines vivid characters, high drama, love, betrayal, faith, and redemption in a story of intrigue, church espionage, and an attempt to destroy the longest continuous government in the world the Papacy. The Death of a Pope races toward an unexpected and unforgettable conclusion.


This is the first time I read a novel by this author. I couldn’t put this book down. This novel is a great page turner and a quick read.Great characters and interesting plot. I would recommend this book.


• Hardcover: 215 pages
• Publisher: Ignatius Press (May 15, 2009)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 1586172956
• ISBN-13: 978-1586172954