Thursday, April 28, 2011

TBR Thursday Week 3

The purpose of TBR Thursday is to share some of the books on our TBR piles. You can post book covers or pictures of your TBR pile if you choose, but mostly we want to know some of the books on your TBR piles! Or for those of you that love your Ereader, you TBR shelf!

So much stuff on my TBR pile! This week I'm going to focus on my TBR shelf on my Nook.

Last Chance Saloon
I've heard good things about Marian's books I have a few others on my TBR pile that is taking over the floor in my computer room.

Last Chance Saloon is a probably going to be the first one I tackle. Followed by Sushi For Beginners. If I like those, I'll explore more of Marian's back catalog.

Growing Up Amish: A MemoirThe next book is one I found on Net Galley this week. It is a memoir called Growing Up Amish. It is written by Ira Wagler and it won't be out until July 1st!

I'm hoping to read and review this one sometime this month. Anyone that knows me, knows that I have a fascination for Amish things. I guess that comes from many family vacations to Lancaster, PA.

I think it will be interesting to see what life was like for a member of the community.


So what's on your TBR pile?


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Book Review: The Well Of Truth

The Well of Truth: Kindred Blood, Book Two
Author: Amber Riley
Title: The Well Of Truth Kindred Blood Book 2
Publisher: iUniverse
Publish Date: Jan 24, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: The author
Book Blurb: Kaden has made a promise to the Iustitia. In exchange for helping the vampire hunters rid Rome of their supernatural infestation, he will never be hunted by the church—assuming he makes it out of the country alive. With a master vampire who is letting the city be terrorized, Kaden must uncover his true motives before it is too late.

Something dangerous is closing in on Kaden, and he cannot afford to be weak. Inside Vatican City, the vampires are more vulnerable than they have ever been. But with his independence on the line, Kaden is breaking every rule in the book, putting everyone’s lives at risk. Worse yet, he is feeling things again—things he has not felt in centuries. He must find a way to completely sever his ties with the past. Unfortunately, in a city that is supposed to be off limits to all vampires, Kaden finds more than he bargained for—and loses even more.

The Well of Truth tells a haunting tale in which a hardened vampire will realize that some secrets are better left in the dark.

Review: My first reaction upon finishing The Well Of Truth is, OMG get me off the cliff that I'm hanging from.  Amber Riley is good for leaving you this way. She did that at the end of The Flash Of The Firefly too

Now I'm eager to see what happens next....more than just eager, a little bit antsy.

For those that haven't read the first book, Kaden is a fantastic vamp, and his friends are too. They are such an ecclectic mix of personalities and it is great fun to watch those personalities clash.  Kaden strikes me as the Lestat type of vampire. He's got guts and a really strong character. The two books are told from his point of view. This is a definite plus for me, because the girls in most vampire stories end up being to wishy washy.

This book is the second in the Kindred Blood series and it is definitely better to have read the first book, The Flash Of The Firefly first so that you can make sense of all the things that happened to bring the vampires to Rome.

The Well Of Truth is still short like the first in the series. It is only 176 pages, but those pages are full of action, that keep the reader turning the pages. You have to find out what happens next and you want answers to the questions that keep cropping up.

1. What the heck has happened to Lyn. (Even though she's becoming increasing difficult to like)
2. What will Tobias do now that he's been set free from under the Vatican!
3. Will Kaden and Co continue to work with Iustitia? It seems like they will but so much has happened that it might not really be possible.

Amber has definitely left her readers with questions...and with a mounting anxiety for Lyn. It is going to make the wait for next book in this series very difficult. Highly recommended!!


Rating: 5 flowers

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Book Review: Falling Out Of Bed

Falling Out Of Bed (Harlequin Next)
Author:Mary Schramski
Title: Falling Out Of Bed
Publisher: Harlequin Next
Publish Date May 2006
Buy: Amazon
Blurb: Melinda had never questioned her perfect life. Why should she? Her husband's successful, she's not working for the first time in years and their only daughter is in college. Her father--a workaholic, perfectionist, runner and health nut to boot--is happy and healthy too. — Or so Melinda thought until her father quite literally falls out o... more »f bed. Suddenly her formerly robust parent is in jeopardy, and their roles are reversed. Melinda's life changes in the blink of an eye.

But with changes, unexpected blessings come her way, too. Because as she and her father bond, Melinda realizes she's been sleeping through life--and starts discovering what really matters.

Review: This book was beautiful and yet very depressing. It also goes to show that Mary Schramski is a wonderful writer. She gives her readers a wonderful story of a daughter who is caring for a once fit father, who now has prostate cancer that has spread.

Perhaps Melinda is a little bit too much in denial to be believed throughout the better part of the book, but that doesn't take away the message of the story, which is to live life to its fullest.

Her father was a work-a-holic who divorced Melinda's mom when she was about twelve. He has always been the picture of health, and that really is what keeps Melinda in denial.

This book really gives the reader a clear impression of what it like to have a loved one suffering from cancer. It may be a little sugar coated, but it is all there. You have hope, depression, denial, fear, frustration and a myriad of other feelings. What I felt was really driven home in this book was how people cope with illness. Many of Stanley's friends deserted him as his illness progressed.

There's even a touch of the spiritual to the book, bring a bit of religion, into Melinda's life again. It is nicely done too.

The only thing that didn't quite sit right with me, was how together Melinda was, as well as her husband, David. Thoughout Stanley's illness they didn't have much conflict, and even the conflict that Melinda had with Jan, Stanley's second ex, it didn't really explode as it really ought to have when tensions were the way they were.

Still this story is a wonderful family drama. Your eyes won't be dry at the last page.

Rating: 4 flowers

Book Review: The Me I Used To Be

The Me I Used To Be (Harlequin Next Tall)
Author: Jennifer Archer
Title: The Me I Used To Be
Publisher: Harlequin Next
Publish Date: Oct 2005
Buy:Amazon
Blurb: That Was Then

Me, Allyson Cole. Age sixteen. Living in the world of endless summers, of going wherever you wanted. And yes, my parents may have worried that I was riding into trouble -- but I was young and in love, and growing up was something I had to do....

And This Is Now

Me, again. Allyson Cole. This time, age fifty-one. I have everything I always wanted -- almost. I don't have him...and I don't have me. Now's the time to find what I lost. To do that, I have to hit the road, and find the father of my child. And start a journey I never could have anticipated....

Review: Jennifer Archer paints a vivid picture of a mother who gave up a child for adoption and how it comes back to haunt her in a good way.

The characters in The Me I Used To Be are very complex and very human. But aren't all people that way. Allyson goes to Woodstock with her bad boy boyfriend and when it is over she's left alone and then later finds out she's pregnant.

Flash forward 30 some years and a teenage boy shows up telling her he's her grandson and that the daughter she gave up has died of cancer.

Wow!

Pass the Kleenex!

Through this meeting, we watch Allyson finally grow up and come to terms with her past. She makes peace with the man/boy she loved first and finds herself able to commit to the man she loves now.

It may be a lot to pack into about 290 pages, but Jennifer Archer does it well and she even inserts some humor as well. Life isn't all about the serious stuff. It was hard not to laugh when Allyson and Nick are climbing over a fence at the carnival to get away from a Pitbull and to get in to the carnival for free. And then there was the fight with the biker over a dog, that landed them in jail for a few hours. It was moments like that really leave you smiling.

There are a lot of moments when you will cry while reading this. Daughter Sarah's journals will definitely do that, but all in all this is a beautiful book about a second chance to make things right.

Rating: 5 flowers

Guest Post: Savannah Kline Author Of Beloved Of The Fallen

Today we welcome Savannah Kline to A Chick Who Reads thanks to Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours. Savannah is the author of Beloved Of The Fallen, which I reviewed here.


Beloved of the FallenFirst Jobs and Fallen Angels


"I had selected his features as beautiful …"

--Mary Shelley, Frankenstein


I learned a lot about fallen angels from my first job ever, in a walk-through maze at a local theme park's annual Halloween event. I played the role of a girl who had been attacked by zombies and escaped with her life, but unfortunately, not her sanity.
I loved that job. Not only was it a bona fide acting gig, but it also meant I'd get paid to do two of my favorite things: dress up in costume and stay awake all night long. Perfect!

Most of the people working this maze were hidden in the shadows along the path the guests would walk. These "zombies" wore masks or full makeup that completely hid or disfigured their faces. They would jump out at the guests, going for a "jack-in-the-box" scare.
But for me there was something different. The makeup artist didn't conceal my features; he emphasized them. I was made up to look like I'd been through a really traumatic experience, my complexion livid and blood trickling down my face.

And, unlike the "zombies" who wore layers of gaudy ripped clothes á la Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video, I wore a pair of ordinary jeans and a sweater, artfully spray-painted so it looked like it had been dragged across half a mile of asphalt.

I was then stationed at the front of the maze and told to try and warn approaching guests of the terror lurking within.

So, every night from about seven p.m. to one a.m., I'd pace at the head of the line, panting as if I'd just run out of the attraction. I'd scream, cry, hyperventilate, and beg people not to enter the maze. There were these things in there, terrible, look what happened to me …

Most people would pause to stare, trying to figure out where the makeup ended and my real features began. They would start to wonder if I was simply acting or genuinely freaked out. I would try to interact with them until, in their minds at that moment, I really appeared to be a monster's victim gone insane. Until I saw the look that said: There's a human being behind that mad face. And she used to be normal.

The masquerade worked like a charm. Of course, once I'd informed people that something monstrous had gotten to me in the maze, they just had to go investigate. Some people acted apprehensive. But in the end, the temptation proved irresistible.

Why are "the fallen" so appealing? Whether it's an angel thrown out of Paradise or a human being gone wrong, something about a fallen creature makes us want to analyze, to find out what happened, how things will play out—and what we might do in a similar situation.

Certainly we wouldn't make the same mistakes, wouldn't put ourselves in a dangerous spot or ethical quagmire. Even if we did, we would find a way out somehow. Or would we?

In my novel Beloved of the Fallen, the angel Valentin allows himself forbidden feelings that seem harmless enough at first. His emotions are human, understandable, but they lead to his fall from grace.

As I wrote the story, I found myself even more fascinated with Valentin because he had fallen. He wasn't the lovely angel he'd been before. But he now had a reason to seek redemption. He understood his place in heaven was not something to be taken for granted, but a privilege.

Maybe that's what is so compelling about fallen characters. They provide a way for us to explore the forbidden without experiencing the misery, and to realize that sometimes "normal" is a blessing.

As a former zombie victim, I can attest to that.

Join Savannah on Facebook or Twitter @savannahkline.



Monday, April 25, 2011

What's Beside Your Bed




 



This meme is hosted by the lovely Nanny @ Getting Naughty Between The Stacks

The point is to share what books are on our nightstands or our current reads.

What's really beside my bed? Actually I have a small bookshelf their, but I'll be honest...I'll share the two books I'm currently reading this week. The first is a print book, the second is my Nook book.

The Me I Used To Be (Harlequin Next Tall)To Kill A Warlock, an Urban Fantasy (Dulcie O'Neil Series, Book #1)


I'm almost done with The Me I Used To Be...and To Kill A Warlock is book 1 of a series I'm going to be reviewing for a book tour early next week. 


Book Lovin' Bitches Book Tour Book Review: Beloved Of The Fallen

Beloved of the FallenAuthor:Savannah Kline
Title: Beloved Of The Fallen
Publisher: Ulysses Press
Publish Date: July 10, 2010
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours and the author
Book Blurb: HOW FAR IS THE FALL INTO TRUE LOVE?

An elegant combination of fantasy, thriller and romance, this debut novel from rising-star science fiction author Savannah Kline is a breathless tale of love, seduction and redemption.

Intelligent and ambitious, Kira Castlemaine is a beautiful young attorney with an exciting future. But the sudden death of her U.S. Congressman father turns Kira’s life upside down. Almost immediately, she is swept into politics and swept off her feet.

As the high-stake political intrigue unfurls, Kira finds herself at the epicenter of a congressional battle that will determine the fate of America and humanity. Helping guide her through this ordeal is her new lover—the handsome, shrewd political consultant Valentin. But what shadowy secret is the seemingly heaven-sent Valentin truly hiding?

Review: There are a lot of books about angels out there now with many different spins on these celestial beings. I'm really glad that Savannah chose to make her angels the more traditional variety.

The first 30 pages are an introduction to Valentin. We see him as he first was, before he fell from grace. Savannah portrayed him as an angel that very much is in touch with humanity and that brings about his downfall when it comes to "The Destined."

When next we see Valentin we are in modern times and he's no longer on the side of The Almighty. However he isn't truly a demon. Savannah writes the transition for him well. Plus the Castlemaine family is intriguing and they almost feel like "The Kennedy Family." Savannah transitions from ancient Babylon to modern times easily.

She quickly draws her reader in. The Castlemaine's are an interesting family and Kira seems to be the typical daughter of a politician. She's part bad girl and part savy media conscious lawyer, with political aspirations. The twists and turns in the plot really keep things moving along quickly. We see the death of her father....her campaign to take his House seat and then we see her as a Congresswoman. We also see how the Devil/Lucifer works to try to ruin humanity.

This was really a face paced read. Definitley one that could be devoured at one sitting if you have the time. It was very hard to put done. Valentin and Kira are two characters that readers will really love.  Savannah did a great job with the politics in the story. She didn't over do things, for those readers that might not be interested.

She also tied up things neatly, if not in the way that readers would expect. Yet the story does have a happy ending for each of the main characters.

The other thing I really liked with this book was the spirituality. Savannah did a good job with the good v/s evil thing, without coming across as preachy.  All in all, this was definitely a great read, and one of my favorites for the year.

If you like a little paranormal romantic suspense, this is definitely a great book to pick up.

Rating: 5 flowers

Author Info:

Website/Twitter




Sunday, April 24, 2011

Book Lovin Bitches Book Tour & Review: Cursed Mates

Cursed MatesAuthor: Cara Marsi
Title: Cursed Mates
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing
Publish Date: Dec 20, 2010
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours and the Publisher
Blurb: Nick Radford is a reluctant werewolf who's been fighting the Beast within for nearly 500 years. He's never killed a human, but the Beast is gaining strength and Nick may not be able to ward off his inner demon much longer.

Kyla Yaeger is an elite were-hunter with a scarred past. Her life's mission is to slay the werewolves that slaughtered her parents. Her quest has brought her to Maine, where she's been summoned to destroy the werewolf terrorizing the quaint little village of Heavensent. The last thing she needs is to get distracted by her mysterious—not to mention hunky—new neighbor, Nick Radford.

By the time Kyla learns Nick is her target, she's already fallen for him, making her task of killing him that much harder. She is torn between her love for him and her duty to kill her sworn enemy. Nick fights his forbidden love for Kyla, knowing she is duty-bound to kill him. Kyla and Nick must join forces to fight an even bigger threat—one that will destroy all humanity. Only by their combined powers, can they destroy the evil and bring an end to a centuries old curse.

Review: Cursed Mates is a really interesting take on the werewolf legend.

The heroine is a were-hunter. The hero is a werewolf, who really has had enough of his existence.

Girl meets wolf. Girl has to kill wolf, but Girl falls for wolf. Only the girl is the wolf hunting equivelant of Van Helsing or Buffy. Falling for a werewolf is something not in her game plan. Her backstory is reason enough why this shouldn't happen, but it does.

This is the kind of book that a reader will devour like candy. You know its bad for you, but oh its so good and I really enjoyed it.

I loved the twists and turns of the plot and all the interesting paranormal elements of the story. I especially loved the concept of the white wolf and the black wolf. But there's more than that...there's witches and Native American spirit guides oh and some pretty evil demons too.

The characters were engaging and fun to spend a few hours with. Cara Marsi is definitely an author I will read again. This was a great read! I highly recommend it to those of you that like this genre, and even those that want to give it a try.


Rating: 4 flowers




Author Info:

Website/Goodreads





Saturday, April 23, 2011

Catching Up Read-A-Thon Day 3




Today I was such a slacker today, which is not good, but I did get more than halfway through The Me I Used To Be...and I started Cursed Mates. Since I spent the last 2.5 hours at the Easter Vigil service at our parish, I'm well rested.

A word to the wise, never go to this service feeling sleepy. You will nod off and I'm pretty sure that's a bad thing! Of course when the first hour of mass is in the dark, it is hard not to fall asleep.

But I digress. I'll be doing some reading well into the night tonight. That is, after I watch the first episode of the new season of Doctor Who!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Catching Up Read-A-Thon Update 2

This is Day 2, but it is really the first day that I truly could devote any real time to reading. I finished Beloved Of The Fallen this afternoon and started two others. I'm probably going to finish Cursed Mates first, because that's part of a book tour and I need my review posted on Easter.

Seems funny to be reviewing a book like that on Easter!

The Me I Used To Be (Harlequin Next Tall)However the book I'm really enjoying right now...that has kind of trumped the others is Jennifer Archer's  The Me I Used To Be.

It was from the Harlequin Next Line.

Oh how I loved those books. They were more chicklit than romance, and the heroines weren't always twentysomething and totally gorgeous.

I don't know why the series that are really great never seem to last....kind of like the Love and Laughter line. Those were some fun books too.

Now I'm going to sit down with my travel mug filled with free Italian Roast from Starbucks and some of my own carmel creamer and read for a few hours! Tomorrow there's lots to do and lots of reading to get done, you know, in between making a mess coloring the Easter eggs!

Hopping On Friday

Book Blogger HopIt has been awhile since I've done a Hop. So this week I thought I'd give it a go again.

The Hop comes from Crazy-For-Books

This week's blog hopping question:

"If you find a book you love, do you hunt down other books by the same author?"
I think my yes answer is a given. When I discovered Jennie Tremaine who is Marion Chesney, back when I was in high school, I had to hunt down all of her books and that was no easy fete.  That also happened with Janet Evanovich and Wanda Brunstetter too.

I think it is pretty much a given that if you find one book by an author that you like, you'll probably try to find at least one more, to see if you really love them.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bookish Babbling

There are times when you know you would be better off sitting at Starbucks with a cup of coffee in one hand and a book or a Nook in the other.

Tonight was one of those nights.

I started out making spaghetti for the family with my mom doing her usual supervision. Then the distractions started. The sauce almost burned. Then we had to add water to get it...erm saucy...then the flavor disappeared.

Just when I thought it was safe, the garlic salt attacked.

That said, dinner was a disaster and everyone ate McDonalds.

ARGH!

I keep thinking of all the time I could have been reading instead of making and ruining some poor defenseless spaghetti.

Tonight's dinner was definitely not one of my finer moments. I think I need to get back to my book.

Catching Up Read-A-Thon Update 1

This is my first update for the read-a-thon. I have gathered the books and the ebooks I hope to tackle over the next few days

Currently I'm on page 98 of Beloved Of The Fallen by Savannah Kline I hope to finish this book today.


Beloved of the Fallen

Here are the other books I hope to finish this weekend




The Well of Truth: Kindred Blood, Book TwoCursed MatesMe, Myself and Paris: One Toe Under the Eiffel Tower, The Other In the Grocery StoreOutwitted (Sadie Witt Mystery)
There are a few others I'd like to get to by Tuesday but these are my hopefuls, in order of how I'll likely be reading them too.

TBR Thursday Week 2

The purpose of TBR Thursday is to share some of the books on our TBR piles. You can post book covers or pictures of your TBR pile if you choose, but mostly we want to know some of the books on your TBR piles! Or for those of you that love your Ereader, you TBR shelf!

This week I'm going to share some of the books that I really hope to get to on the Catch Up Read-A-Thon this weekend

Me, Myself and Paris: One Toe Under the Eiffel Tower, The Other In the Grocery Store
I received Me, Myself and Paris  by Ruth Yunker for review awhile back, and everytime I was about to reach for it, something fell in my lap that I had to read.

Plus the cover is so cute!

This weekend I'm determined to get this one started and finished!

Outwitted (Sadie Witt Mystery)The next book from my TBR pile that I hope to tackle over the holiday weekend is Beth Solheim's Outwitted. It is a Sadie Witt Mystery.

This is another review copy that I've had for awhile, and I've really been on a cozy mystery kick. So I'm hoping to get to it this weekend as well.

How many books can I read in 4 days anyway?
Wicked AppetiteLastly, I've been really wanting to start reading the new series Janet Evanovich started.

I loved Diesel in the Between the Plums novels, so I want to give this one a go.

I know that like so many authors that write "character series" her books are getting to be a bit too much same ole same ole, but for some reason they always make me feel better.

Kinda like a raspberry Godiva chocolate bar or a Venti Cafe Mocha with a shot of Raspberry @ Starbucks.  Its good for the soul!
So what's on your tbr pile right now?
 
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