Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Santa Cruise by: Carol Higgins Clark & Mary Higgins Clark

Title: Santa Cruise
Author: Carol Higgins Clark & Mary Higgins Clark
Publisher: Scribner
Pages: 272
Series: Regan Reilly Mysteries #12

Description:

Alvirah Meehan, lottery winner turned amateur sleuth, and private investigator Regan Reilly are guests, along with their spouses, on the "Santa Cruise." The cruise is a gift from Commodore Randolph Weed to a select group that "has made the world a better place." His largesse is prompted by the desire to create a buzz about his new cruise ship, the Royal Mermaid, as she sets out on her maiden voyage.

Alvirah, Regan, and her new husband, Jack head of the NYPD Major Case Squad are joined as guests on the cruise by a mystery fan convention celebrating a "ghost of honor," as well as ten men who donated time playing Santa Claus, now hoping for a restful post-season. That tranquility vanishes when two Santa suits disappear from a locked room, a storm develops, and an attempt is made on a passenger's life. As the Royal Mermaid sails through troubled waters, Alvirah, Regan, and Jack uncover clues that lead them to dangerous criminals not on the original guest list....


My Review:


I loved this one it was great as the Rilley's and Meehan's head on a maiden voyage called The Santa Cruise.  Just when they think they can relax trouble stirs when the nephew of the owner is sneaking criminals aboard the ship to smuggle them to their destination, Eric is quick to hide them here and there when he thinks no one is looking.


Aboard the ship are 10 Santa's for a getaway for their hard work during the Christmas season but are met with 2 missing Santa costumes.  Eric used the two suits to hide his guests.


 I really enjoyed reading the mystery and adventure and look forward to a time when the group gets back together again!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Christmas Thief by: Carol Higgins Clark & Mary Higgins Clark

Title: The Christmas Thief
Author: Carol Higgins Clark & Mary Higgins Clark
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Inc.
Pages: 204
Series: Regan Reilly Mysteries #9
Format: Kindle

Description:

"Alvirah Meehan, the lottery winner turned amateur sleuth, teams up with private investigator Regan Reilly to solve another Christmas mystery. 

In Deck the Halls, they rescued Regan's kidnapped father. This time they get in the middle of a case involving a beautiful eighty-foot blue spruce that has been chosen to spend the holidays as Rockefeller Center's famous Christmas tree. The folks who picked the tree don't have a clue that attached to one of its branches is a flask chock-full of priceless diamonds that Packy Noonan, a scam artist just released from prison, had hidden there over twelve years ago."

 "An excited Packy breaks his parole and heads to Stowe, Vermont, to reclaim his loot. Once there, he is horrified to discover that his special tree will be heading to New York City the next morning. With a bumbling crew consisting of Jo-Jo, Benny, and an unsuccessful poet, Milo, he knows he has to act fast." 

What Packy does not know is that Alvirah and Regan are on a weekend trip to Stowe with Alvirah's husband, Willy; Regan's fiancĂ©, Jack; Regan's parents, Luke and Nora; and Alvirah's friend Opal, a lottery winner who lost all her winnings in Packy's scam. 

On Monday morning when they're suppose to head home, they learn that the tree is missing, Packy Noonan may be in the vicinity, and Opal has disappeared.


My Review: 


As with any writing duo especially this mother daughter duo this book is definitely a cozy mystery.  Everyone heads up to Vermont for a getaway and while up there one of the members disappears and a tree also disappears.  The tree was suppose to be used for NYC at Christmas but hidden within in the tree is a gem to three criminals looking for a quick getaway to Brazil.


This book is great, full of action, adventure and bumbling criminals who seem to have screws loose.  Definitely a great follow up to Deck the Halls.  I hope these two continue writing these great Christmas treats for all to enjoy!

The Cat Who Talked Turkey by: Lilian Jackson Braun

Title: The Cat Who Talked Turkey
Author: Lilian Jackson Braun
Publisher: Jove
Pages: 256
Series: The Cat Who #26
Format: Kindle

Description:

James Qwilleran and his famous felines, Koko and Yum Yum, are back for another mystery-solving stint in the beloved bestselling Cat Who . . . series.

In Qwill's opinion, "A town without a bookstore is like a chicken with one leg," and since the late Eddington Smith's bookstore burned down, the town of Pickax has been somewhat off balance.

To the rescue comes the Klingenschoen Foundation, manager of Qwill's estate, which considers a new bookstore a worthy investment. Delighted by their good fortune, the people of Moose County prepare to celebrate the gala groundbreaking of the store on the site of the old. But no one is prepared for the discovery of the body of a man shot execution style in a wooded area on the very same day. Now Qwill and his clever cats have their work cut out for them.

My Review: 

As a teenager I got introduced to this series by my aunt, I was very impressed even at that age that the language was clean, it held my attention and the description of the cats and what they did mesmerized me.


What a great visit back to Pickax, we get to catch up with old friends and meet some new shady characters.  Polly is fast at work designing a new bookstore to replace the one that burned down.  Murder is running afoot and Koko seems to be on the prowl for the murderer.


Moose County is celebrating their 200th birthday with all sorts of festivities, between parades with floats to reenacting the great storm of 1913.  Also a local resident Alicia also know as Lish is back in town for what gain no one knows for sure.  Qwill knows something is off with the girl and her mysterious driver Lush.  More commonly around the two are known as Lish and Lush.


I always enjoy going back to this book series as we get to see what the wonderful kitty's are up to next and to see how the townsfolk are doing.


I was sad to learn recently that the author died in June.  I mean she was like 97 and no one lasts forever, but atleast her books live on forever.  Rest in Peace Lilian you deserve it!


Millennials, Joe Paterno, and Compassion Deficit Disorder

Millennials, Joe Paterno, and Compassion Deficit Disorder
Byline: Ange-Marie Hancock is associate professor of political science and gender studies at USC and the author of Solidarity Politics for Millennials: A Guide to Ending the Oppression Olympics (Palgrave).

As a former Penn State faculty member, I am overwhelmed and outraged by the stories we are hearing out of Happy Valley.  My colleagues across the country continue to ask me why so many students have rallied in support of Coach Paterno, despite revelations that clearly suggest merely following the letter of a reporting policy is insufficient in a case alleged to be this egregious.  Are Millennials – at least the thousands chanting, “We want Joe” – missing a sensitivity chip?

The answer, I’m afraid, is mixed. Paterno is part of “us.”  The now-young men at the center of this tragedy, on the other hand, are presumed to be outsiders. The Millennials who are more outraged about the treatment of their beloved coach than the alleged victims of Jerry Sandusky are displaying compassion deficit disorder.   Compassion deficit disorder means exactly what it says and it is part of our larger contemporary context, which is plagued by the Oppression Olympics, a term that describes what prevents us from recognizing our common ground and, worse, obscures common sense responses to outrageous violations of the public’s trust.

My research and work with Millennials over the past 15 years indicates that many Millennials boldly aspire to end persistent political problems in their lifetime. We as a society have done a great job cultivating that interest as parents, teachers, and citizens.  Moreover, Millennials are more tolerant on social issues than Generation X or Baby Boomers. But unfortunately tolerance alone cannot overcome the kind of compassion deficit disorder displayed by those Penn State students in the face of widespread evidence of institutional failure on behalf of “at-risk” boys at the Penn State football facilities. 

Are we stuck on tolerance?

Together with Millennials, we share some of the responsibility for compassion deficit disorder’s continued existence in our world.  After all, we’ve spent the past 30 years emphasizing tolerance as the gold standard for how we treat each other. particularly across divisions of race and class.  Tolerance is all that’s usually mandated across divisions of race and class, the precise groups that come to mind when we hear that the Second Mile Foundation targeted “at risk” youth. The problem with tolerance, however, is that it is a minimum-level of acceptance.  When I tolerate you, I don’t have to think about your well-being or be as concerned about you as I might be if you were my child or my little brother or sister.  I can therefore either do the minimum, to report up the chain of command in this instance, or simply not care at all.  That’s compassion deficit disorder.

Due to the length of time that has elapsed since the first allegations of assault, if or when the alleged victims of Sandusky reveal themselves to the public, most will be well beyond the tender ages that could spark our empathy. Paterno, on the other hand, has been as familiar as a grandfather to us. How might we proceed, knowing we risk looking at them solely as the young men they are now, rather than the young boys they used to be?

First, we can remind ourselves that simply being tolerant of others is not enough to spark our empathy for a group, particularly when they are not members of our own groups.  This obstacle makes it even more difficult to stand in solidarity with that group.  Eradicating compassion deficit disorder is key. As hard as it might seem, and as hardened as we have become, we need to care for each child as if they are our own going forward.

Second, we can work together to create an institutional culture that encourages speaking up and out to the right authorities.  Graham Spanier might have been the necessary authority, but he was not a sufficient authority.  State College police were the sufficient authority.  It’s not always popular, and yes you may risk repercussions.  But blowing the whistle doesn’t just stop the play on the field, it can facilitate finding common ground.

Last but not least, we can work together – Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers – on an intergenerational effort to take back our world from the Oppression Olympics.  Only by enacting our connections and contributions to each other’s well-being can we unleash our shared desire to fully pursue any deep and abiding interest in changing the world.  
© 2011 Ange-Marie Hancock, author of Solidarity Politics for Millenials: A Guide to Ending the Oppression Olympics

Author Bio

Ange-Marie Hancock, author of Solidarity Politics for Millennials: A Guide to Ending the Oppression Olympics, joined the Department of Political Science at USC Dana and David Dornsife College in 2008 after five years as Assistant Professor of Political Science and African American Studies at Yale University. Prior to graduate school at the University of North Carolina, Hancock worked for the National Basketball Association, where she conducted the preliminary research and wrote the original business plan for the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She has served as an international expert in American Politics for the U.S. Department of State and during the 2008 presidential election. She has been quoted in the New York Times, Forbes, on National Public Radio, KNBC, and she regularly supports USC's Annenberg TV News by serving as an expert. She currently serves as the associate director of the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) in the Dornsife College and as one of the inaugural Dornsife College Faculty Fellows.

Over the past eight years Professor Hancock has authored two books and 11 articles. She is a globally recognized scholar of the study of intersectionality -- the study of the intersections of race, gender, class and sexuality politics and their impact on public policy. Her first book, The Politics of Disgust and the Public Identity of the "Welfare Queen,"(2004, New York University Press) won two national awards.
For more information please visit http://www.ange-mariehancock.com, and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter


Love Triangles...oh my



I have seen this a lot and read about what others think on this topic.  Time and time again I've been noticing love triangles.  I will list some books that deal with it.


  • The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay
  • Matched, Crossed
  • Fallen, Torment, Passion
Those are just a few but I've noticed that when they have a good couple thing they tend to add another to the mix.  Just makes you wonder what is with love triangles.  I guess I'm just looking for a good boy meets girl they hook up and battle the world type book.

What are your thoughts on this?  Do you like triangles or are you getting tired of them yet?

Cantrip by: Rebecca McKinnon Review

Title: Cantrip
Author: Rebecca McKinnon
Series: The Refuge Triology Bk 2
Format: Kindle Edition
Virtual Blog Book Tour 11-28 til 12-2

Description:
She spent the summer in The Refuge. 
Now, she’s come home. 
Within days she realizes: 
She wants back in. 

Only two things stand in her way. The sister Narissa has protected for years can’t decide if she wants to go with her. And, of course, Narissa has no idea how to return to the splinter reality. 

Complicating matters, Narissa discovers she can no longer avoid the problems her unexpected trip allowed her to escape. 
Through it all, there’s one thing that keeps her going. She’s not the only person to have left The Refuge.


My Review: 

All I can say is OMG, I loved the relationship between Daman and Narissa, I loved watching it really take off.  Narissa leaves The Refuge to get her sister and hopefully bring her back, but finds out her sister really doesn’t need her anymore. 

The last thing Narissa counted on when she left The Refuge is the one who returned with her...Daman.  Daman followed her because to him his life is with her where ever she is.  Daman gets an eye opener on what life outside The Refuge is.

Meanwhile back at The Refuge Luke and his wife are doing their best to cover for Narissa and Daman, even going so far as quarantine them.  No one counted on Carol Daman’s mother deciding she wanted to be by her son’s side.  A son she shut out.  

Narissa learns the lengths her mother went through to get her hands on Narissa’s money.  In short order Narissa begins to work on plans for her family.  Insuring that her sister, would be safe from her mother and that her mother wouldn’t be able to spend the girls money.

Daman and Narissa take a leap in their relationship, which I think topped some of the great romances.  I love reading about their alone time just the two of them.  I also like Narissa longed for the return to The Refuge.

Guest Post: Rebecca McKinnon

Thank you Rebecca for taking the time to post with us today.  Her two books are Annexed and Cantrip.  I put these books up there with The Hunger Series, Twilight Series, in some ways I think they are far better than Twilight Saga.  Her characters to me seem more real and greater than most known books I have read lately.  Definitely a great trilogy! ~Paula~


One night, my two young sons kept me awake for hours on end. When I finally did get a little sleep, I was dead to the word. For a whole 30 minutes. Then one of them got me up again. Did I mind? Of course I did. But then I realized there was a whole world that had appeared in my mind during that catnap. 


It wasn’t just a world. There were people—with in-depth back stories. Traditions were pre-formed. And, most importantly, there was a girl who didn’t belong. 


Over the next two days, I could barely function. I went through the motions, of course, but my thoughts were solely on this world, and the story I knew took place there. It clawed its way into my brain and would not be dislodged. 


Finally, I decided I had to get the story on paper. Maybe then it would quit harassing me. 


Yeah, right. Total backfire. Instead of setting it aside, I’ve spent so much time in that world that I almost believe it exists. 


Annexed, the first book in The Refuge Trilogy, tells most of the story that stole my attention. I’ve changed things here and there to make it better, but most of it was already there. Cantrip continues the story, and while a few things carry over as part of the original story, most of it was purposefully woven from my imagination. 


If you haven’t had a chance to read Annexed (the first book in The Refuge Trilogy), this is a great time! Until the end of December, the Kindle and Nook editions are FREE! 


Enjoy!
Rebecca McKinnon
Rebecca's Website

Annexed Links:
Kindle
Nook

Cantrip Links:
Kindle
Nook

Monday, November 28, 2011

November Wrap Up


Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's Monday what are you reading? #22



It's Monday What are you Reading? Is a weekly bookish meme where we get together to share what books we've read in the past week, what books we're currently reading and what new books we're planning on reading in the coming week along with any reviews or interesting posts. It's hosted by Sheila @One Person's Journey through a World of Books

Finished and Reviewed:

During his career as a Boston cop, Jeff "J.W." Jackson saw enough of the evil that men do to last a lifetime. So he retired to the serenity of Martha's Vineyard to spend his days fishing for blues and wooing a sexy nurse named Zee. But when a local's boat mysteriously explodes off the coast, killing an amiable young drifter, Jackson finds himself reluctantly drawn back into the investigative trade. For there is a serpent loose in paradise -- and it's contaminating Jackson's lovely, peaceful island with its poisonous venom of drugs and death.



Adrienne Dealey has spent the past six years working for hotels in exotic resort towns. This summer she has decided to make Nantucket home. Left flat broke by her ex-boyfriend, she is desperate to earn some fast money. When the desirable Thatcher Smith, owner of Nantucket's hottest restaurant, is the only one to offer her a job, she wonders if she can get by with no restaurant experience. Thatcher gives Adrienne a crash course in the business...and they share an instant attraction. 



But there is a mystery about their situation: What is it about Fiona, the Blue Bistro's chef, who captures Thatcher's attention again and again? And why does such a successful restaurant seem to be in its final season before closing its doors for good? Despite her uncertainty, Adrienne must decide whether she'll move on, as she always does--or finally open her heart…


Currently Reading:


Angel Evolution- the first book in the young adult fantasy trilogy: The Evolution Trilogy... When Taylor meets Gabriel at college, she is in awe of the subtle glow that surrounds him. No one else, not even her best friend, seems to notice. Something about him scares her. Is all as it appears? While Taylor struggles for answers, she finds herself in the middle of a century old war centered on one miraculous revelation: evolution.


James Qwilleran and his famous felines, Koko and Yum Yum, are back for another mystery-solving stint in the beloved bestselling Cat Who


In Qwill's opinion, "A town without a bookstore is like a chicken with one leg," and since the late Eddington Smith's bookstore burned down, the town of Pickax has been somewhat off balance. 



To the rescue comes the Klingenschoen Foundation, manager of Qwill's estate, which considers a new bookstore a worthy investment. Delighted by their good fortune, the people of Moose County prepare to celebrate the gala groundbreaking of the store on the site of the old. But no one is prepared for the discovery of the body of a man shot execution style in a wooded area on the very same day. Now Qwill and his clever cats have their work cut out for them.


Books Won Recently:


There's a cat in the stacks...

...and he makes the purr-fect partner for a librarian-turned-sleuth.
Everyone in Athena, Mississippi, knows librarian Charlie Harris-and his Maine coon cat named Diesel that he walks on a leash. They also know his former classmate-turned-famous bestselling novelist, Godfrey Priest. 


But someone in Athena took Godfrey off the bestseller lists- permanently, and with extreme prejudice. Now, Charlie and Diesel must browse through the history section of the town's past to find a killer.




Angel Evolution- the first book in the young adult fantasy trilogy: The Evolution Trilogy... When Taylor meets Gabriel at college, she is in awe of the subtle glow that surrounds him. No one else, not even her best friend, seems to notice. Something about him scares her. Is all as it appears? While Taylor struggles for answers, she finds herself in the middle of a century old war centered on one miraculous revelation: evolution.



Becky Rivers craves love and security so carves out a home as companion-nurse to an weakened Texas matriarch with more opinions than horses. Bruised by years of neglectful foster care, Becky shuns the spotlight but is forced to team up with charismatic horse trainer, Dino Anders, in order to salvage the venerable stable. Soon she is caught between a murderer and a ruthless saboteur…and her only ally is a man she isn’t sure she can trust.


Maya’s shocked to discover it’s not the heaven she imagined; in fact, a life of adventure begins the moment you die.


Zachariah, her faithful spirit guide, explains the rules of the dead: in order to regain complete awareness and reunite with loved ones all souls must review their previous lives. 



Maya plunges warily into her turbulent pasts as a sociopathic High Priest in ancient Egypt; an independent mother protecting a dangerous secret in glorious Sparta; an Irish boy kidnapped and enslaved by Vikings; and a doctor’s wife forced to make an ethical stand in plague-ridden England. 



All the while, Maya yearns to be with those she cares about most and worries that she hasn’t learned all of heaven’s most vital lessons. Will she be forced to leave the tranquility of heaven to survive yet another painful and tumultuous 

life? Or worse, accept the bitter reality of having to go back alone?



Jimmy Evans has less than a year left to graduate from high school and move into his dream college, but relies on his stepfather's support to achieve his dream.


In his struggle to enter college, he comes across a special book, and a gorgeous girl. These two are linked in a way even young Jimmy doesn't know, until he finds himself in need of both of them.



The Enchanted Book is a typical Cinderella story with a twist.



Up Next To Read:
Slowly going through my kindle and nook and reading what is on my TBR list.  What are you reading this week?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Blue Bistro by: Elin Hilderbrand

Title: The Blue Bistro
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Format: Paperback
Pages: 358

Description:

Adrienne Dealey has spent the past six years working for hotels in exotic resort towns. This summer she has decided to make Nantucket home. Left flat broke by her ex-boyfriend, she is desperate to earn some fast money. When the desirable Thatcher Smith, owner of Nantucket's hottest restaurant, is the only one to offer her a job, she wonders if she can get by with no restaurant experience. Thatcher gives Adrienne a crash course in the business...and they share an instant attraction. 


But there is a mystery about their situation: What is it about Fiona, the Blue Bistro's chef, who captures Thatcher's attention again and again? And why does such a successful restaurant seem to be in its final season before closing its doors for good? Despite her uncertainty, Adrienne must decide whether she'll move on, as she always does--or finally open her heart…


My Review:

Adrienne has spent most of her life bouncing around from place to place.  When she ends up in Nantucket after her latest failed relationship, she ends up at The Blue Bistro where the food is heavenly and the owner is eager to hire her regardless of her lack of experience.

There she learns a little about Fiona the hidden chef that does not pictures and is all about the food.  She also learns about the relationship between Thatcher and Fiona who are business partners and best friends.

Adrienne didn’t anticipate falling for her boss.  They have many ups and downs due to the relationship between Fiona and Thatcher. 

This was a great romantic book without over emphasizing their relationship.  Definitely a great romantic read with lots of good cooking.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Beautiful Place to Die by: Philip R. Craig

Title: A Beautiful Place To Die
Author: Philip R. Craig
Publisher: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 224
Series: Martha’s Vineyard Mystery #1

Description:

During his career as a Boston cop, Jeff "J.W." Jackson saw enough of the evil that men do to last a lifetime. So he retired to the serenity of Martha's Vineyard to spend his days fishing for blues and wooing a sexy nurse named Zee. But when a local's boat mysteriously explodes off the coast, killing an amiable young drifter, Jackson finds himself reluctantly drawn back into the investigative trade. For there is a serpent loose in paradise -- and it's contaminating Jackson's lovely, peaceful island with its poisonous venom of drugs and death.

My Review:


This book follows retired Boston Cop Jeff Jackson, more commonly known as J.W. When a local ship blows up he is contacted by the sister of the owner to investigate to find out what happened.  Turns out the case involved illegitimate children, drugs etc. 


Jeff has his hands full as he becomes the target of an angry drug addicted kid.  Jeff also bonds with a nurse named Zee, they seem to be bonding very well in this budding friendship/romance.


This is a cute book that is full of mystery, action, catching fish and so much more.



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 2011



For those of us in the USA I wanted to take the time to extended a very Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at Community Bookstop to all of you.  For those not in the USA I will be working on some reviews to put up soon!

We are grateful for all the new bloggers, publishers and authors who have joined up with us on our site for book touring and reviewing.  Your ability to work with us has made this a very thankful year!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

It's Monday what are you reading? #21



It's Monday What are you Reading? Is a weekly bookish meme where we get together to share what books we've read in the past week, what books we're currently reading and what new books we're planning on reading in the coming week along with any reviews or interesting posts. It's hosted by Sheila @One Person's Journey through a World of Books

Finished and Reviewed:





Chasing down an uncertain future, Cassie makes her way to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky--taken by the Society to his sure death--only to find that he has escaped into the majestic, but treacherous canyons.  On this wild frontier are glimmers of a different life and the enthralling promise of rebellion.  But even as Cassia sacrifices everything to reunite with Ky, ingenious surprises  from Xander may change the game once again.



The Stakes have never been higher for the young Blue Bloods of Manhattan.  After their brief yet beautiful bonding ceremony in Italy, Schuyler Van Alen and Jack Force depart for Egypt, desperate to find the elusive Gate of Promise before Jack must face his twin, Mimi, for a blood trial.  A blood trial that one one of them can survive.  But everything Schuyler thought she knew about the gate turns out to be a lie, and they soon find themselves ensnared in a deadly battle against the demon-born.  Schuyler and Jack take up arms, only to realize that there is a much graver threat simmering in the Kingdom of the Dead.
Meanwhile, determined to the save the only vampire she still loves, Mimi has followed Kingsley Martin into Hell.  With the help of her new human Conduit, Oliver Hazard-Perry, Mimi makes a bargain with the Queen of the Dead that she may soon regret.  When the time comes to choose between love and revenge, both Mimi and Oliver will learn the true meaning of sacrifice.
Confronted by danger, betrayed, and loss at every turn, the Blue Bloods must find the will to fight--and love--another day.


When Link joined his best friend, Ethan Wate, on a quest through a mysterious network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, he knew the journey would be dangerous. But returning home to Gatlin, South Carolina was just the beginning...


Wounded during a climactic battle, Link discovers that tending his injuries won't be as simple as visiting a doctor and that healing his arm should be the least of his worries. For being bitten by a Supernatural does more than break the skin -- it changes a person, inside and out, turning Link into someone more and more like the dark creature who injured him.


In this never-before-seen short story by New York Times bestselling authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, readers witness Link's heart-racing transformation.


Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place her in mortal danger. Veronica Roth's young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.



Finished Not Reviewed Yet:



On What Grounds by: Cleo Coyle:
Introducing a delightful new series featuring Clare Cosi, manager of the historic Village Blend coffeehouse...



Clare arrives at work to discover the assistant manager dead in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere. Two detectives investigate. But when they find no sign of forced entry or foul play, they deem it an accident. Still, Clare is not convinced. And after the police leave, Clare can't help wondering...If this was an act of murder, is she in danger?

Currently Reading: 

Beautiful Chaos by: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl:
Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town.  But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home,have taken on new meanings.  Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena’s Claiming.  Even Lena’s family of powerful Supernaturals is affected--and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire.  As time passes, one question becomes clear: What--or who--will need to be sacrficed to save gatlin? For Ethan, the chaos is frightening but welcome distraction.  He’s being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn’t by Lena--and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life.  Even worse, Ethan is gradually loosing pieces of himself--forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories.  He doesn’t know why, and most days he’s too afraid to ask.Sometimes there isn’t just one answer or one choice.  Sometimes there’s no going back.  And this time there won’t be a happy ending.

The 58th Keeper by: R.G. Bullet (Book Tour):
The 58th Keeper is the story of a boy called Archy Bass, who stumbles upon a mysterious and powerful relic. The moment he touches it, two warring forces race to find his whereabouts. One side thinks he’s simply too young and too inexperienced to keep it, and the other just want him dead. Hold on to your seats! The 58th Keeper is a roaring trip that takes the reader on the most wonderful and hair-raising scenes imaginable. R. G. Bullet pulls out all stops in his debut novel to deliver an incredible journey with unforgettable characters. This book will resonate with you for ages past the last line. 


Up Next to Read: 

I've been taking a page out of what others have said about tackling their to be read list, mine is so high if I don't begin it now it will fall on me I think. So I'm going through my tbr list on goodreads and tackling them one book at a time.  Right now I'm focusing on mysteries, taking a break from young adult books.




On What Grounds by: Cleo Coyle

Title: On What Grounds
Author: Cleo Coyle
Publisher: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 275
Series: Coffeehouse Mystery #1

Description:

Introducing a delightful new series featuring Clare Cosi, manager of the historic Village Blend coffeehouse...

Clare arrives at work to discover the assistant manager dead in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere. Two detectives investigate. But when they find no sign of forced entry or foul play, they deem it an accident. Still, Clare is not convinced. And after the police leave, Clare can't help wondering...If this was an act of murder, is she in danger?


My Review:


Cleo Coyle really stirs things up with this coffeehouse mystery.  Her main character Clare comes to work at the Village Blend to find her assistant manager laying dead with coffee grounds everywhere.  She calls the police who come down and imply it looks like an accident and not homicide.  Clare doesn't buy that anymore than she buys bad coffee.  She is quick to put her sleuthing skills to the test to see if she can find out what happened.


Clare and her ex-husband Matteo are on track to find out what happened to their employee, with no short list of who did it, there is definitely a lot of colorful suspects.  A great book including references to great coffee, and how to make a great coffee.  Definitely a cute cozy mystery to say the least.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Author Article by: Deborah Coonts

Inspiration for the Lucky Series: A Sinful Escape
By Deborah Coonts,
Author of Lucky Stiff
When my then fifteen-year-old son suggested a family relocation to Las Vegas, my then husband and I started packing. Okay, maybe we didn't think it through, but after five years in suburban Maryland we had yet to find our niche, so we were ready for a change. Little did I know, the story I had been looking for was lurking in Sin City. In retrospect, perhaps it should've been obvious, but back then I was pretty naive.

With bags packed and good wishes ringing in our ears (The one I remember the best was: You're going to finish raising a hormonal teenage male in Las Vegas? Are you on drugs? I'm still thankful those 'friends' didn't call Social Services), we packed two cars and a moving van and headed toward the bright lights.

A lot of people say Vegas is an acquired taste -- not for me.
Where else outside of maybe New York City can you watch an everchanging cross-section of the world parade past and still go home and sleep in your own bed? Absolute heaven for a storyteller.
However, it is true that everyone sees something different in Vegas.
I see magic.

And this is the Vegas I wanted to write about. The fun stuff. Not bodies buried in the desert. Not mobsters. Not fools losing everything. But the real Vegas. The forty-five million visitors a year -- each of whom are on a mission of mischief, the celebrities, the singers, the shows, the amazing shopping -- that Vegas.
My Vegas.

Wanna Get Lucky?is the beginning of the story. Of course, the story had to be set in a huge strip casino/resort, and since I'm a storyteller, not a reporter, I created my own -- The Babylon. And who better to tell the story than a woman in her early thirties (old enough to know better, but young enough to ignore it) who is the Head of Customer Relations?

On a roll, I wrote the first sentence of the story -- I'm big on beginnings -- then came to a screeching halt.
Great, forty-three words into the next Great American Novel and I had writer's block. This was going to be harder than I thought.

That's when I started hearing voices.At first, I thought maybe this ought to worry me, but then I remembered an interview with P. D. James. When asked how she came up with her stories, she said something to the effect that she sat in a room with her characters, listened to what they had to say, then wrote it down. I was so there. And, by all accounts, Ms. James did all right. So, if it was good enough for her, it was fine for little ol' me.

Lucky, my protagonist, was the first character to speak to me. Apparently fed-up with my waffling, she spoke up loud and clear -- she told me her name -- while I was minding my own business sitting on the porch at the Grand Lake Lodge in Colorado. Vacation interrupts. Two women and one man (my then husband) do not make a great vacation. Of course, if we'd been in Vegas, that would've been just an interesting evening . . . or so I've been told.

But I digress. Being given my protagonist's name was a good start, but I was hoping for more. Lucky didn't disappoint -- she introduced me to her friends: The Great Teddie Divine (Las Vegas' premier female impersonator who is straight and, understandably, has a tough time picking up women), Miss Patterson (Lucky's plucky assistant and a cougar), the Beautiful Jeremy Whitlock (a private investigator and prime cougar bait), The Big Boss, and Mona (Lucky's bordelloowning mother).

The whole female impersonator thing sort of opened the door for me. I mean, some of the impersonators in this town are amazing. And then I started wondering . . . well, anyway, I finally ended-up wondering what would a straight guy do if he spent his professional life sheathed in Oscar de la Renta? How would he do with women? Of course, this being my fantasy, I decided he might do all right. Think about it. A man who can speak Jimmy Choo? A man who can help me with make-up (I'm not a girly-girly.) A man who would not only know who Rodgers and Hammerstein were, but who could even hum a few bars of I'm Gonna Wash that Man Right Outta My Hair. All this and sex too? Hey, a girl can dream, can't she? So, Teddie was born.

The cougar thing . . . well, I'm of a certain age -- old enough to find that concept interesting. Enough said.

And who wouldn't wonder what it would be like to have a mother in 'the business'? This is Vegas after all.

The cast set, I actually had to come up with a story. Porn stars and spouse swappers?

The genesis for the porn star angle was a chapter of a book, Skin City by Jack Sheehan. Jack is a Vegas author and quite wonderful. The vignette he wrote that inspired me was a recitation of his attendance at the real adult film awards held in Vegas each January. I laughed so hard I had tears rolling down my face. So, of course, I had to have porn stars -- of my own creation, of course.

And the spouse swappers -- that idea came right out of Sixty Minutes. Put the two together, along with a young woman who falls out of a tour helicopter, landing in the middle of the Pirate Show in front of Treasure Island, add some Vegas magic, and romance . . .

So, do you Wanna Get Lucky?
© 2011 Deborah Coonts, author of The Lucky O'Tool Vegas adventure series




Author Bio

Deborah Coonts, author of Lucky Stiff, says her mother tells her she was born in Texas a very long time ago, though she's not totally sure -- her mother can't be trusted. But she was definitely raised in Texas on barbeque, Mexican food and beer. She currently resides in Las Vegas, where family and friends tell her she can't get into too much trouble. Silly people. Coonts has built her own business, practiced law, flown airplanes, written a humor column for a national magazine, and survived a teenager. She is the author of the Lucky O'Toole Las Vegas adventure series.


Her first book, Wanna Get Lucky?, was released in 2010.
For more information please visithttp://www.deborahcoonts.com, and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.


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From of FSB Media

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Divergent by: Victoria Roth Review

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Harper Collin’s Children’s Books
Pages: 489
Series: Diverget #1

Description:

Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place her in mortal danger. Veronica Roth's young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.

My Review: 

"Tris" thinks taking the test won't be too hard.  She surprises herself when she becomes labeled by her tester as a Divergent which puts her in different categories where the choice lays with her with path she will choose.  Her brother indicates to her that she should choose what she wants and not what is expected.

The life of Dauntless is brutal at least, using guns, combat, and much worse.  She begins to question herself on the path she has chosen.  Whether it was the right one. She becomes know as the first to jump.  Al becomes the first to fight.  She quickly makes friends with Will and Christina.


Factions start rising up against Factions using Dauntless as killing machines, it is up to Tris's family and Tobias and Tris to fight against them.


Can't wait to see what happens in the next book this one was amazing to say the least!





Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gratitude Blog Hop Guest Post by: Raven c.s. McCracken

What I am thankful for
by: Raven c.s McCracken


As a writer, I'm thankful that my readers like my work. Writing, aside from being a compulsion, is one of the only things that I have complete control over. Since my fire 3 years ago, and the subsequent loss of all my possessions, I have come to be thankful for every day above ground. Nearly losing my life shook me out of a long complacency that had stopped me from writing. For years, I had let my desk collect dust-after creating Synnibarr in the early 1990s, a successful role-playing gaming system, I was content. Then came the inferno (roommate using both candles and tequila one night equaled disaster.) 


In the wake of the burn, I was completely adrift ... lost ... depressed ... suicidal even, and what came to my rescue, aside from all my friends, was my rebuilt computer. It seemed that, through a quirk of fate, my hard drive had survived!

As strange as it may sound, I suddenly felt that the fire was just what I needed ... It forged something deep inside. Without it, I may well have never written another book, let alone four this year! In a world where all seems uncertain, writing is my bastion of comfort. Ideas are so exciting to explore-new plots and characters all help me enjoy life and capture it, in print, where it will hopefully endure forever.

I think back to my youth, and the books that made my life worth living. Those works carried me through dark times and taught me much about life. Now, as an author myself, I'm thankful for the opportunity to be able to make the same contribution through my writing. 

And while writing novels is something I love, creation of a universe, where players can act out their deepest desires is, in my mind, something even more extraordinary! Unlike a novel, where all is completely my creation, a role-playing game adds the variable of the players. I build the universe, write the story, but the players live in it, push it, and make the adventure much more than a novel could possibly become. I am thankful for having written stories, rules, settings, and fictionalized diary accounts that still please the thousands of Synners around our Worldship Earth!

Looking forward, over the next year, I hope to have the best of both writing worlds: to release a new, revised version of my World of Synnibarr game as well as books set in my "Worldship Centiverse." I also plan to continue exploring other characters and settings in new novels as I did with this year's The Brides, Merlin's Knot, Velocity Syndrome and It's Always Spring Break Somewhere in the Galaxy. 

Again, my thanks to all the readers and their support - you make it all worthwhile.


Raven c.s. McCracken





Gratitude Blog Ebook Giveaway:
 all you have to do is comment below with your email address



Ebook Short DescriptionFollow the antics of The Misplaced, as they introduce the galaxy to rock and roll with Earth’s very first starship. Nothing stops this hardrockin’ group as they explore outer space, with an in-your-face attitude. 


Extended DescriptionJoin Dan, Lisa, Pony, Christine, and their new manager, the hive-being Bobbisocks, as they climb the charts, face deadly aliens bent on capturing the band, and discover “It’s always spring-break somewhere in the galaxy!”

If you love the inspired lunacy of Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett or William Goldman's Princess Bride, you ought to love the wild sci fi ride that It's Always Spring Break Somewhere In The Galaxy takes you on.

It's a rock and roll rollicking romp that's hilarious, has twists and dangers galore, and even some super sexy romance, human *and* alien. It's one you'll read over and over again.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dream Dark by: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl Review

Title: Dream Dark 
Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Pages: 75
Series: Caster Chronicles 2.5

Description:

When Link joined his best friend, Ethan Wate, on a quest through a mysterious network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, he knew the journey would be dangerous. But returning home to Gatlin, South Carolina was just the beginning...

Wounded during a climactic battle, Link discovers that tending his injuries won't be as simple as visiting a doctor and that healing his arm should be the least of his worries. For being bitten by a Supernatural does more than break the skin -- it changes a person, inside and out, turning Link into someone more and more like the dark creature who injured him.

In this never-before-seen short story by New York Times bestselling authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, readers witness Link's heart-racing transformation.

My Review:
a quaint little small tale about what happened when Link got bit by the hybrid John in book 2 of the Castor Chronicles.  Link thought the worst of his problems were when he despised his mother cooking but more things are going on then he knows about.  And then there is the drama Riley is facing as a mortal girl, ex-siren how will she handle it?


Lost in Time by: Melissa De La Cruz Review

Title: Lost in Time
Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Publisher: Hyperion
Pages: 342
Series: Blue Bloods
Format: Hardcover (Target)
Description:
The Stakes have never been higher for the young Blue Bloods of Manhattan.  After their brief yet beautiful bonding ceremony in Italy, Schuyler Van Alen and Jack Force depart for Egypt, desperate to find the elusive Gate of Promise before Jack must face his twin, Mimi, for a blood trial.  A blood trial that one one of them can survive.  But everything Schuyler thought she knew about the gate turns out to be a lie, and they soon find themselves ensnared in a deadly battle against the demon-born.  Schuyler and Jack take up arms, only to realize that there is a much graver threat simmering in the Kingdom of the Dead.
Meanwhile, determined to the save the only vampire she still loves, Mimi has followed Kingsley Martin into Hell.  With the help of her new human Conduit, Oliver Hazard-Perry, Mimi makes a bargain with the Queen of the Dead that she may soon regret.  When the time comes to choose between love and revenge, both Mimi and Oliver will learn the true meaning of sacrifice.
Confronted by danger, betrayed, and loss at every turn, the Blue Bloods must find the will to fight--and love--another day.

My Review:


The Blue Bloods are back and looking for saving in all the wrong places.  Sky and Jack are searching in Alexandria to learn that where they really need to be is Cairo.  Mimi and Oliver also in Cairo to rescue Kingsley who is in 7th level of Hell.  We also meet some unlikely characters in this book.  Lennox brothers who use to be part of Kingsley's team.  


Mimi begins to wonder after she talks to Kingsley whether he ever loved her.  Oliver trusts Mimi about as far as he can throw her.  Jack is trying everything he can think of to severe the bond with Mimi without killing each other.  And Sky thinks she may be with child and doesn't realize the bond is killing her slowly.  We also learn more about Allegra and her bond Charles Force.


What a great and thrilling journey this book takes you on.  I love the writing style and the stories in general how they end up overlapping each other.  Can't wait to read the next one!