In accordance with FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, A Chick Who Reads would like to let everyone know that books featured on this blog were either provided by the publisher or author or were purchased by A Chick Who Reads. The books received by A Chick Who Reads from publishers and authors were provided for review and no payment was received by me and did not influence my opinion of the material.
Author: Carol Marinelli Title: Wedlocked: Banished Sheikh, Untouched Queen Publisher: Harlequin Presents Publish Date: April 2010 Buy: Amazon Book Blurb: About to lose his kingdom, Xavian is marrying for power--his wedding night will be purely for duty. As he unveils his new queen, nervous and naked, bathed in fragrant oils, he's stunned that she's as beautiful as the desert stars...
This queen deserves a royal bedding worthy of the Arabian Nights...and in her arms Xavian discovers that, though he may not have a kingdom, he has the strength and power of a thousand kings.
But this untouched queen could be his undoing....
Review: This is a refreshing change when it comes to Presents. Both the hero and the heroine are strong characters. An alpha male and an alpha female! Wow!
I really loved Layla. She was really a well written character. Her love of her country and traditions really endeared her to me, not to mention her work ethic. She wasn't about to let her country down, even for her new husband. Bravo!
Then there was the plot twist Carol tossed in with regards to Xavian. To go into detail about that would spoil this story, and this is one Presents novel that is really a fantastic read. Carol Marinelli really knows how to get her readers interested and the twists and turns along the way make this book even better.
Carol isn't a name I'm familiar with in this line, but having read this story, I will definitely be looking for more by her in the future!
Author: Kate Austin Title: Dragonflies and Dinosaurs Publisher: Harlequin Next
Publish Date: April 2007 Buy: AmazonBook Blurb: Kate Austin makes a captivating debut in this luminous tale of an unconventional road trip... and one woman's metamorphosis.
At forty-two and given to the occasional panic attack, Randy Roman is taking a leave of absence from her life. After twenty years of working at a bank -- no husband, no kids -- she's hitting the road with her young nephews Mickey and Eric, and Dexter, a precocious dog they pick up along the way. With each passing mile of prairie, farmland and raspberry field, Randy feels the thrill of freedom....
Their destination is Cranberry Portage, a quaint lakeside town her mother loved and Randy can barely remember. But a surprise awaits them at journey's end. Call it fate, karma, or the chance for renewal, it will give Randy the courage to take a risk that will change.
Review: Usually when I read one of the books from the now defunct Next series, I wonder why Harlequin discontinued that line. I'm glad that this book wasn't my first impression of the series. In a few words, it was dull, depressing and slow.
This book took me nearly 2 weeks to read and it was only 300 pages long.
I just couldn't get into the characters at all. Randy was too self absorbed and everyone else seemed to float lightly on through the book, including her nephews Eric and Mickey who were with her on the trip across the country. The only hightlight was the dog Dexter, who really deserved more time in the book.
The book was more than halfway over before Tom was introduced. It is hard to believe that he was going to play any part in Randy's life, let alone be someone that might be instrumental in making her stay in her old hometown of Cranberry Portage.
What I truly didn't understand was Susan's desire to send her son's away while she was undergoing cancer treatment. I can grasp not wanting them to see you your worst, but sending them across the country with your sister who is going to spread your mother's ashes...well...it was just weird.
I wanted something more. Even as Randy started to understand herself and her mother better, I couldn't connect with her. This definitely was one book I regret picking up. It just didn't work out well for me.
Author: Connie Brisco Title: Money Can't Buy Love Publisher: Grand Central Publishing Publish Date: June 27, 2011 Buy: Amazon Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours and the publisher Book Blurb: Lenora Stone used to say if she didn't have bad luck, she wouldn't have any luck at all. At age thirty-eight, instead of socializing with Baltimore's A-list, she photographs them for Baltimore Scene, a glossy magazine filled with beautiful people who, unlike Lenora, never have to worry about car trouble and overdue bills. As much as she'd love to slam the door on her overbearing boss, quitting isn't an option. She's barely making her mortgage payments and, though her condo might not be a palace, it's hers. Lately even things with her boyfriend Gerald haven't been right. They've been together for three years but he can't seem to ask the one question she's been waiting for. But what Lenora doesn't know is that her luck is about to change...
Just when she thinks things can't get worse, Lenora wins the jackpot in the Maryland lottery. In a heartbeat, all her dreams become possible. She quits her job and indulges her every desire-starting with a shiny, silver BMW and a million-dollar mansion. Gerald is finally ready to put a ring on her finger and the city's most exclusive women's group is dying for her to join, officially moving Lenora from behind the lens, into the limelight. But in Lenora's lavish new world, all that glitters definitely isn't gold. Her old friend's are concerned about her sudden changes, and Ray, a sexy, young landscaper Lenora covered for the magazine is looking for more than a purely professional relationship.
As her life starts to come together, the things Lenora holds dear begin to fall apart. Has her world really changed for the better, or does fortune come with a heavy price?
Review: Grab this book for an afternoon read by the pool. This book has summer written all over it. It is light, not to thought provoking and a touch bit fluffy. Fluff is one of my favorite things but this book may overdo it just a tad, because it was heavy on predictability.
Lenora has a crappy life and it keeps getting crappier. The problem with her character is that there is no way you can have any sympathy for her. She digs her own holes and apparently she likes them pretty deep.
She also likes really horrible men. It doesn't take long for you to hate Gerald in this book. In fact most of the time I found myself screaming at her to dump his sorry butt. And Ray wasn't any better. Lenora is truly a character that gets what she deserves.
It was hard to believe that in the course of this book she didn't do one intelligent thing, and yet she was 37 years old and supposedly good at her job. How she got that far along without having any common sense baffled me, so I kept turning the pages hoping to see some signs of grey matter. But alas there were none forthcoming. Lenora was dumb. And because of that everything went wrong for her including winning 5 million in the Maryland lottery.
This book only took me a few hours to read, and though it wasn't the best thing I've read, it was fun. It let me think for those few hours that someone who could have had it all, f-cked up so badly that she had nothing...and then my life looked a lot better! Sure there are lots of deep thought proking books out there I could have read, but this one improved my outlook on my own life!
Rating: 3 flowers
About Connie Briscoe
Connie Briscoe is the author of seven novels, one novella, and one nonfiction book. Her third novel, A Long Way From Home, the story of her ancestors, was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Her work has appeared on the bestseller lists of the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly.
Her nonfiction title, a photo-essay book featuring luminaries such as actress Ruby Dee and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, was coauthored with celebrated photographer Michael Cunningham. The collection of novellas was coauthored with Lolita Files and Anita Bunkley.
Julieanne Lynch has created a great new series call A Shadows Trilogy. The first book In The Shadows is out now!
In the Shadows
By Julieanne Lynch
Published July 21st 2011
Strict Publishing International
“In The Shadows”, the first of The Shadows trilogy, is an urban fantasy of vampires and the supernatural, and much, much more. In the shadows you will find lust and passion, battles for power and for blood, and death and fear around every corner. In the shadows you are carried away to an unknown future. Your destiny awaits, and you are no longer who you thought you were. You have a thirst, for blood perhaps, but a thirst for very much more than that.
Giselle was a normal girl with an attitude common to most girls of her age. Her family might not have been perfect (whose is?) but she loved them, and her future looked bright. She had an awesome best friend and a steady boyfriend, but how could she possibly have been so wrong about someone she loved? And how could she have been prepared for the darkness and for what she was to become?
“In The Shadows is a must read for anyone who loves urban fantasy.” ~Review by Dawn and Wini Book Lovers
“ Julieanne writes so eloquently you can feel and picture everything Giselle is going through, with no question as to what role every character in the book plays.” ~Review by Ada McEwan
“Julieanne is a great story teller with a vivid imagination for the supernatural. I absolutely love everything about it.” ~Reviewed by Firefly and Wisp
About the Author:
Fiery Librian Julieanne Lynch is an author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Originally from Northern Ireland, Julieanne now lives in Ireland, where she works on her Shadows Trilogy and other series full-time. Before becoming a writer, she considered a few different career paths, a rock star being one of them. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at The Open University, and considered journalism as a career path. However, she decided writing was the way for her and believes all of her education and reading prepared her for it.
An avid reader, Julieanne has always had an encompassing fascination with folklore. When not writing, she enjoys crime series such as Criminal Minds, CSI, NCIS and Cold Case, and loves anything with Vampires, listening to metal, meeting new people, drinking lots of green tea, and sharing her dreams with her children. She is a self-professed goth wanna-be,and is happy when left to write into the early hours of the morning.
Author: Renee Ahdieh Title: Fanfare Publisher: Revolution Publishing Inc. Publish Date: May 13, 2011 Buy: Amazon Review Copy Provided By: The publisher and the author Book Blurb: Cris Pereira hates starring in a cautionary tale. Alas, her recent heartbreak relegates her to this unbecoming fate. The only good thing about being dumped a foot from the altar is the newest layer to her punchy sarcasm. All she wants is a do-over, but this is not your average fairy tale, and wishes don't come true in the real world.
One Sunday afternoon, she meets a movie star. Tom Abramson is intelligent, charming, and impetuous. In other words, he plays the role a bit too well. She isn’t falling for it. She knows better. All British men are not descendants of Fitzwilliam Darcy, and movie stars are genetic mutations gone awry: X-Men with statistical disadvantages and emotional handicaps. Keep your knight in shining armor. A modern girl can rescue herself, thank you very much. After all, dreams are for the foolhardy, nightmares are just a part of life, and . . . this is not your average fairy tale
Review: This is quite possibly one of the most fun romances I've read in a long time. Tom seems to be a more personable incarnation of Rob Pattinson or at least that's who I saw Tom as, especially as he was an actor in a film about a hugely popular YA novel film adaptation.
All that aside, he was so lovable and the premise of the novel...Actor falls for a "not a fangirl" and sparks fly and iPods are taken and love blossoms. This is the fairy tale romance that every girl/woman dreams of. (Only I'd take someone like David Tennant, Johnny Depp or Colin Firth over Pattison)
Granted, there are times when Cris' fatalistic views get to be annoying, sure she had a bad relationship but you gotta move on!! That's why, annoying or not you still find yourself rooting for her and Tom, because they are so perfect together.
If you love romance and a really fun story that will make you laugh and feel good, Fanfare is definitely the book for you. It also speaks to the fangirl in everyone of us that longs to have a celeb fall madly in love with us.
Author: Karina Halle Title: Darkhouse Publish Date: May 13, 2011 Publisher: Metal Blonde Books Buy: Amazon Review Copy Provided By: Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours and the author Book Blurb: There’s always been something a bit off about Perry Palomino. Though she’s been dealing with a quarter-life crisis and post-college syndrome like any other twentysomething, she’s still not what you would call “ordinary.” For one thing, there’s her past which she likes to pretend never happened, and then there’s the fact that she sees ghosts. Luckily for her, that all comes in handy when she stumbles across Dex Foray, an eccentric producer for an upcoming webcast on ghost hunters. Even though the show’s budget is non-existent and Dex himself is a maddening enigma, Perry is instantly drawn into a world that both threatens her life and seduces her with a sense of importance. Her uncle’s haunted lighthouse provides the perfect catalyst and backdrop for a mystery that unravels the threads of Perry’s fragile sanity and causes her to fall for a man, who, like the most dangerous of ghosts, may not be all that he seems.
Review: This is the perfect young adult/adult ghost story. I didn't find much of the story to be terrifying, but it did have a good bit of spooky and I really do love some spooky.
If I were to create a genre for this book it would be a YA/Spooky Chicklit. What a combination! Yet everything flowed well and the characters were exceptionally fun to read. Kind of like a grown up R. L. Stine.
I absolutely adored Perry, because she was so opposite of what YA and even chicklit heroines usually are. Perry gives new meaning to the term quirky, and I think that's why I really like her. She's not some gorgeous girl with bad luck who finds a hot guy. Nope, Perry isn't like that...though she does have bad luck and she does find a hot guy with Dex.
This is the perfect quick read for a dark and stormy summer night. It will keep your attention and keep you right on the edge of your seat until the last page is turned!
Here's the question of the week: What’s the ONE GENRE that you wish you could get into, but just can’t?
I actually pride myself on being able to read a lot of genres. I do wish I could get into more Thillers. I've read some...some that I've even enjoyed, but it isn't a genre that I go for when it comes to grabbing a book off a shelf, either my own or in a library or book store. I guess I prefer hot spicy sex and a little humor to having my pants scared off me! However in this heat, maybe I do need my pants scared off me!
I'm in Southwestern PA and I have to say...Yes is definitely the answer. We only have AC in a few rooms in our house, so reading is really difficult right now. Heck, playing on the computer is close to hell, as the room with my computer only has a tower fan that isn't doing much good right now.
All I want to do is sleep or find someplace cool to hide.
I never thought I'd say this after last winter and all the ice and snow, but I almost miss winter. I would love to have a normal fall....or spring. Extreme temperatures and me just don't get along.
So what about you...is it ever too hot or too cold for you to pick up a book?
There’s always been something a bit off about Perry Palomino. Though she’s been dealing with a quarter-life crisis and post-college syndrome like any other twenty-something, she’s still not what you would call “ordinary.” For one thing, there’s her past which she likes to pretend never happened, and then there’s the fact that she sees ghosts. Luckily for her, that all comes in handy when she stumbles across Dex Foray, an eccentric producer for an upcoming webcast on ghost hunters. Even though the show’s budget is non-existent and Dex himself is a maddening enigma, Perry is instantly drawn into a world that both threatens her life and seduces her with a sense of importance. Her uncle’s haunted lighthouse provides the perfect catalyst and backdrop for a mystery that unravels the threads of Perry’s fragile sanity and causes her to fall for a man, who, like the most dangerous of ghosts, may not be all that he seems.
Hey everyone. My name’s Karina Halle and I’m the author of Darkhouse and Red Fox, the first two books in the Experiment in Terror Series. This eight-part series centers on 22-year old Perry Palomino and her partner Dex Foray, a pair of amateur ghost hunters who discover that the only thing more challenging than dealing with the dead is dealing with each other.
Pithy blurb aside, I’m here today to talk about everyone’s favorite topic: Book Blogs! And mainly, why they are so damn awesome.
I’m no stranger to blogging. I started my personal blog, Anywhere But Here, in February 2006, as an experiment of sorts. My Media Law teacher in journalism school had encouraged us to explore it as the “next best thing” in the world of writing and journalism. Even though I’m notorious for never seeing projects through, my blog is still running to this day (though sadly neglected). That’s over five years of writing about everything from travel, to relationships, to photography, to fashion, to music and to whatever the hell it is now (aside from being sadly neglected). Having dabbled in all these genres, I have good authority to state that I’ve never seen such love and support as it I have in the book blogging community.
Sure, my personal blog, when it was just me bitching about my job(s) and stupid things I did, did draw a feeling of community and unity from other like-minded bloggers. And when I was travel blogging it was sort of the same deal. Then came the fashion side of things. Now, my blog was never “fashionista” enough to be a threat or even popular, so all the fashion bloggers I got to know were really sweet, kind people. But I would see it on other blogs, this impending wash of jealousy from bloggers who weren’t as big, didn’t get as many freebies and didn’t have as many hits as the more popular blogs did. You know, the “why does she get to design shoes for Urban Outfitters and I don’t”, “I’d get more freebies if I was that thin”, that sort of thing.
Music bloggers are even worse. For my day job I write for a well-known music blog (or two) and I can see how little support there is in that industry (in fact, I write for two competing sites). Though the smaller blogs are more likely to reach out and support each other, the bigger blogs are just as snarky as their hipster commentors. It’s all about the site visits, all about getting the latest scoop, about giving an album the fairest (or most scathing) review and getting the best access to concerts and festivals. I’ve even been swooped into that whole competitive mindset myself and it’s not a pretty place to be.
But book blogs…my, what a breath of fresh air! Now, being as I am not a book blogger and am just an impartial reader, I can’t say that book blogs don’t have behind the scenes catfights over ARC’s and who has more followers, because they might. But from what I have seen and heard, book bloggers, as a whole, have developed a delightful support system and online neighborhood. They read and recommend each other’s blogs, they partake in lively debates and discussions about books and reviews, they help each other out in locating copies of books or participate in book swaps. It’s wonderful, really. Maybe it’s because books are personal and subjective. Maybe because reading a book involves time, patience and commitment, so bloggers are less likely to get nasty about something that takes up so much of their time already. Maybe it’s because the book blogging genre is just becoming popular now, so we have yet to see what all the benefits of running a successful book blog would be. Maybe it will all change if certain blogs get press in the media or find ways to make a living off of it. You never know. But I sincerely hope not. As an author, your success relies entirely on unbiased yet kind word-of-mouth. If that were taken away and replaced with pettiness and immaturity, authors like myself would suffer, as would the readers who deserve a friendly place to come read up on the latest book and make friends with fellow bookmates.
So with that all said, what are your thoughts on the book blogging community?
Author: Keith Donohue Title: Centuries Of June Publisher: Crown Publish Date: May 31, 2011 Buy: Amazon Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours and the publisher Book Blurb: Keith Donohue has been praised for his vivid imagination and for evoking “the otherworldly with humor and the ordinary with wonder” (Audrey Niffenegger). His first novel, The Stolen Child, was a national bestseller, and his second novel, Angels of Destruction, was hailed as “a magical tale of love and redemption that is as wonderfully written as it is captivating” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). Centuries of June is a bold departure, a work of dazzling breadth and technical virtuosity.
Set in the bathroom of an old house just before dawn on a night in June, Centuries of June is a black comedy about a man who is attempting to tell the story of how he ended up on the floor with a hole in his head. But he keeps getting interrupted by a series of suspects—eight women lying in the bedroom just down the hall. Each woman tells a story drawn from five centuries of American myth and legend in a wild medley of styles and voices.
Centuries of June is a romp through history, a madcap murder mystery, an existential ghost story, and a stunning tour de force at once ingenious, sexy, inspiring, and ultimately deeply moving.
Review: Keith Donohue's novel Centuries Of June is hard to classify. It is several stories within a story and they all come together at the end. When I first started reading Centuries of June I wasn't sure what to make of it. The lead character is on the floor in the basement with a hole in his head. Then the women start coming in. Most don't seem to like Jack very much either. But as they arrive they have stories to tell, and none of them are pretty.
Once I got over the initial confusion of how the story was going to be told, I really got into the book. The women's stories really pulled me in, because they stretched across time. I was fascinated with Alice's story that revolved around the Salem Witch Trials.
Oh another interesting part of the story involves the Pittsburg (then without an H) Pirates. If I hadn't just read an article celebrating the H in Pittsburgh, I would have gone mad looking that up!
This book is definitely not light reading, but the storie are so captivating that they will grab you and take you along for the ride. There were times when I wasn't sure I was going to be able to finish this, but something would happen to pull me back in, and now I'm very glad that I did.
Keith Donohue is the Director of Communications for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the grant-making arm of the National Archives in Washington, DC. Until 1998 he worked at the National Endowment for the Arts and wrote hundreds of speeches for chairmen John Frohnmayer and Jane Alexander. He has written articles for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other newspapers. Donohue holds a Ph.D. in English from The Catholic University of America. His dissertation on Irish writer Flann O’Brien was published as The Irish Anatomist: A Study of Flann O’Brien (Maunsel Press, 2003).
“Totally different and totally enthralling…Fantastically good book…” Wendy, You Gotta Read Reviews
After a life filled with tragedy, rocker Gabriel Gunn thinks he's finally getting the better of his personal demons. Then he's attacked after a concert—and rescued by a warrior goddess brandishing a sword and white wings. As hard as it is to believe in an angelic bodyguard, Gabriel must face an even more impossible truth: he carries the devil's soul within him.
Amelia has been watching over Gabriel for years, using her angelic powers to prevent Lucifer's return. Now she must also protect him from warring angel factions with their own agendas. Amelia would do anything to avert another angelic war, even sacrifice her own emotions to avoid temptation. Yet with Gabriel she feels things she no longer wants to deny, and pleasure she never imagined.
But the closer Gabriel and Amelia get, the stronger Lucifer becomes. Will Amelia be forced to kill the man she's come to love to stop the war she's always feared?
J.K. Coi is a multi-published, award winning author of contemporary and paranormal romance and urban fantasy. She makes her home in Ontario, Canada, with her husband and son and a feisty black cat who is the uncontested head of the household. While she spends her days immersed in the litigious world of insurance law, she is very happy to spend her nights writing dark and sexy characters who leap off the page and into readers’ hearts.
I saw Plain Fear: Forsaken when I was looking for new reads on BOMC2 the other day. I have to say the book blurb really grabbed me, because it was such a strange mixing of genres...
Uh can you say, Paranormal Amish?
Oh yeah, I've got to read this one. It is either going to be absolutely fab or such an atrocity that it will be worth grabbing. Sometimes some things are so bad that they are good.
I can't wait to find out where this book fits in the grand sceme of things.
Here's the blurb for those interested: Leanna Ellis gives us a haunting tale of good versus evil in Plain Fear: Forsaken, as an Amish woman comes face-to-face with a vampire determined to claim her for his own.
Though Hannah’s Amish community seems peaceful on the outside, her own life hasn’t been very joyful since the death of her beloved Jacob. But now, Jacob’s brother Levi has started calling on her, and his attentions are finally drawing her away from her grief. Everything changes when the stranger Akiva comes to town. Because, as she soon learns, he is, in fact, Jacob! Except now he’s a vampire…and he wants her as his bride. And as he begins his dark seduction, it’s up to Hannah to choose between the two brothers…and between lasting love and eternal damnation.
Author: Ruth Yunker Publisher: Outskirts Press Publish Date: July 16, 2010 Buy:Amazon Review Copy Provided By: The author Book Blurb: Me, Myself & Paris is author Ruth Yunker's droll pastiche of her days, free and unaccompanied, in Paris. Three years in a row she rents an apartment, stays for six weeks, and takes on Paris, half resident, half visitor. She is a short attention span tourist, a wide-eyed voyeur, and irreverence saves the day when the chips are down. Her stories are about bonhomie and savoir-faire, American style, while treading the hallowed and slippery cobblestones of Paris.
It's about every day errands, and sorties into dutiful sightseeing. It's about run-ins with grocery store cashiers and metro ticket agents. It's about desperately trying to speak French. It's about attempting to emulate the chic, windblown Parisian woman wearing no lipstick, while Ruth wouldn't be caught bare lipped outside the boudoir.
She conquers the metro, no mean feat for a Californian glued to a car. She hears ghosts in cathedrals, and smells bread toasting every morning across the courtyard. She learns to make correct change without her reading glasses. Comes to understand that direct eye contact is a flagrant disregard of manners, even when she most needs a hug.
Me, Myself & Paris is what Paris looks like, feels like, smells like, tastes like, to an American woman, free and unfettered, sense of humor and bonhomie alive and well, alone and loving it, in the most beautiful and temperamental city in the world.
Review: I received this book for review awhile back...a long while back and always seemed to keep putting it off, until I read French Toast. I was a bit disgusted with that one and wanted to try another viewpoint. I'm glad I did.
Ruth sums up Paris much the same way as Harriet Welty Rochefort did, but more from a tourist standpoint. After all, she only spent 6 weeks there for several years, whereas Harriet was a transplaneted American in Paris.
Ruth however makes reading about the cultures more fun. She tells us her experiences through little vignettes that will keep you smiling the whole way through the book. I laughed at her experiences using the drier in her apartment, while feeling terribly sorry for her.
I'm not sure I connected with her through the story. It is often difficult to emphasize with someone that obviously has so much more than you do. I would have to sell my soul to Satan to make a trip to Paris just once for a week, let alone 6.
Oh and the one thing I did take away from reading about Paris and Parisians? I never want to travel there! Ruth and Harriet both paint the people of Paris and France really as a bit cold and unfriendly. However beautiful the country is, the description I received of the people that lived there really put me off.