Friday, December 31, 2010

Cads and Cadavers By Kelly Lougheed


Image courtesy Mundania Press




2.75 Stars
The author has a breezy, fun style of writing and excellent command of grammar and vocabulary.  I could not help but like most of the characters, Velma and Evelyn, especially. Both were narcissistic but always steadfast in their, often misplaced, desire to protect and defend each other. The title is outstanding; perfect for this book. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the satiric elements overpowered the storyline and I found myself becoming irritated at the parade of snarky quips guised as humor. For those who are tired of an over-saturated vampire romance market, however, this book is sure to plumb the depths of those jaded souls, offering respite from tortured, brooding heroes and lovely, na├»ve maidens.  Read the Full Review


2011 Shifter Challenge

Here is another challenge I just can not resist!! I have signed up to participate and so can you!





Highlights of the 2011 Shifter Challenge
(Please see the complete rules and sign up list at Parajunkee's View.)

1. Challenge goes from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011

2. The challenge is to read 20 books that have a SHIFTER as a main character, either protag or antagonist.

3. There will be a post that goes up for January 1 where you add each book as you read them and discuss books read in the comments.

2011 Vampire Challenge

This looks like FUN! I am a participant in the 2011 Vampire Challenge! Click the image below if you would like to join in!!





Highlights only - see full rules and sign up on Parajunkee's View
  1. Challenge goes from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011
  2. The challenge is to read 20 books that have a vampire as a main character, either protag or antagonist
  3. There will be a post that goes up for January 1 where you add each book as you read them and discuss books read in the comments

How Well-Read are You?


I saw this post on Universe in Words  and also on The Folded Page and thought I would post it here. You can see the original post here:  http://universeinwords.blogspot.com/2010/12/how-well-read-are-you.html.   And See A Folded Page's similar list here:

The challenge is to bold those novels that you have read in their entirety. The BBC has predicted that most people would have read only 6 of these 100 books.

I'm really feel quite proud of myself, by my counting I have read 59, so over half and almost 10 times more than the BBC predicted of most people.

I'm not sure where the list comes from and some of the books on there seem a strange choice, some aren't very literary at all. Still, I think it's an interesting exercise.

I always thought I had spent too much of my life lost in books!! Here's the proof!  I made the font Blue for the ones I've read as everything tends to look bold in my post template.


Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Harry Potter series – JK Rowling 
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
The King James Bible
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Nineteen Eighty Four (1984) – George Orwell
His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy 
Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
Complete Works of Shakespeare
Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger 

The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
Middlemarch – George Eliot
Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy 

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams 
Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh 
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
David Copperfield – Charles Dickens 
Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
Emma -Jane Austen

Persuasion – Jane Austen
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne 

Animal Farm – George Orwell
The DaVinci Code – Dan Brown

One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez  
A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins 

Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
Far From The Madding CrowdThomas Hardy
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Atonement – Ian McEwan
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Dune – Frank Herbert 

Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov 
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
On The Road – Jack Kerouac
Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy 

Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
Moby Dick – Herman Melville

Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
Dracula – Bram Stoker
The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
Ulysses – James Joyce
The Inferno – Dante
Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
Germinal – Emile Zola
Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
Possession – AS Byatt 

Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
The Color Purple – Alice Walker
The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom 

Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton 
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks 

Watership Down – Richard Adams 
A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
Hamlet – William Shakespeare
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
Les Miserables – Victor Hugo



Would be really interested to see anyone else's list, Just copy and paste the post to your blog and leave a link in my comments!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 Debut Author Challenge

Hosted by The Story Siren

The Debut Author Challenge highlights young adult and middle grade authors that are releasing their first novel in 2011. The challenge is to read at least twelve debut novels.




January Debuts that look good to me:

Unearthly
Title
Author
Length (pages)
Maurissa Guibord
352
Cynthia Hand
448
Teney Lynn Johnson
148
Alexandra Monir
288
Cameron Stracher
256
Beth Revis
416

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reader Recommended: Review: Human Blend by Lori Pescatore

Human Blend Check out this new review just posted on Reader Recommended !   Lori is a debut author who just had her first book signing in Doylestown PA a couple of weeks ago. Even with the horrible weather, her gig was a big success.  WTG, Lori!!


Reader Recommended: Review: Human Blend by Lori Pescatore

Sunday, December 19, 2010

RED BIRD'S SONG By BETH TRISSEL

Red Bird's SongRed Bird's Song
1-60154-812-5
Sep 2010
334 pgs
Historical Romance, Western
4.5 Stars



The author weaves a story of deep complexity. The descriptions of life among the nomadic tribe are simply without parallel. It is difficult to explain how deeply touching I find it to be.  In the Afterward, Ms Trissel confides that her ancestors settled in the Shenandoah Valley and that the family records document that some relatives were killed in Indian raids and others were taken hostage and later adopted into the tribe.  It seems clear that this story is exceptionally well-documented historically. I found it to be entertaining, thought-provoking, and educational. This book touched my soul even as it provided a thrilling fictional escape into a period of history I have always found fascinating.  Read Full Review

Night Owl Reviewer

Saturday, December 11, 2010

FALL OF KNIGHT By T L MITCHELL


      4.0 Stars
The story line is intricate and compelling.  It is told from Julie’s perspective throughout. She has a fresh, mostly jubilant and optimistic, but sometimes contemplative, voice that I found endearing and quite likable. The other characters, as well, were fully described and I had little trouble visualizing their actions in my mind as I read along. This provided a pleasing escape from reality. I am eager to read the next installment and will, most likely, backtrack to read the first book in its entirety so that I can get an even better defined and clearer picture of the world in which this cast of characters resides. Read Full Review


Night Owl Reviewer

Other books in this series:
3. Dawn of  kNight

Friday, December 10, 2010

SLOW & SWEET By STEPHANIE BECK

SLOW & SWEET
ISBN: 978-1-920468-39-2
Nov 2010
E-Book
$2.99
78 Pages
Paranormal Romance
Rating: 5 Cups

I absolutely adored this humorous and imaginative paranormal novelette. I relished the comraderie and byplay among all the characters, live and reanimated.  The love and sense of companionship between Abby and Dan made me feel happy.  Theirs is a sweet and caring relationship supported by a strong foundation of genuine friendship. This is a bright and amusing story made all the more unusual and compelling because of its subject matter which is normally depicted as gruesomely dark and horrific.  It left me completely satisfied and sporting a big smile.  I will be looking for more books by this author!  Read the Full Review



Other books by Stephanie Beck:
Poppy’s Passions
Between Elves
David’s Angel
Cross-Stitch and Brimstone A Winter Tale with Marshmallows

HOW I LEARNED TO LOVE THE WALRUS BY BETH ORSOFF

How I Learned to Love the WalrusHOW I LEARNED TO LOVE THE WALRUS
ASIN: B004A8ZVM0
Nov 2010

Clark Street Books
E-Book
$2.99
294 Pages
Women's Fiction
Rating: 5 Cups



I found this novel utterly riveting as I tagged along with Sydney on her adventures.  I was there to share her grief and heartbreak over the desperate plight of the small animal adrift alone in the deep waters of the Arctic. I commiserated with her as she was blasted by the fickle nature of love and desire.  But mostly I laughed as she courageously learned about herself and about the walruses. The serious topic of the effects of global warming on our wildlife is handled in an entertaining yet thought-provoking manner. Sydney is a plucky, likable lead character. The secondary characters are also endowed with plausible motives and individualized characteristics making this story an exceptional read.  Read full Review  




PROTECTOR MINE By ASHLYNN MONROE



ISBN: 978-0-9867225-5-4
Nov 2010
E-Book
$4.50
71 Pages
Paranormal Romance
Rating: 4 Cups


This dark, exciting tale held me spellbound in its tenacious grip.  The impending sense of doom was palatable throughout and I literally ached at times for Larissa and Dante as events unfolded and they were swept along by fate and circumstance. The secondary characters seemed real to me too. Larissa is fortunate to have been blessed with such supportive and loving parents and siblings. Truly, this is an exciting addition to the paranormal romance genre.  Read full review


Buy on Amazon Protector Mine

WAITING FOR THE MOON By TRACY ROWAN

Waiting for the MoonWAITING FOR THE MOON
ISBN: 978-1-920468-38-5
Nov 2010
E-Book
$2.99
71 Pages
Contemporary, Paranormal
Rating: 4 Cups


This is a haunting story with a distinctly gothic flavor.  I relished reading each new paragraph as the author kept building the story and finely tuning the tension; the impending sense of doom grabbed me and held me in its thrall.  The connection between Alec and Andy felt so right and so real, I mourned for both that they had endured such deep sadness, remorse and affliction. This is a beautifully written dark romantic tale that will linger in your thoughts long after the last word is read. Read the full review



Buy on Amazon  Waiting for the Moon

SWEET SURENDER, BABY SURPRISE By KATE CARLISLE

Sweet Surrender, Baby SurpriseSWEET SURRENDER, BABY SURPRISE-ARC
Duke Brothers Series Book 2
ISBN #:  978-0373730711-print /  ASIN: B004AYD5GS-Ebook
Dec 2010
Paperback/ E-Book
$4.75/ $4.25
192 Pages
Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 Cups

I read this entire story in one session. It flows smoothly from start to finish with a generous sprinkling of wit, sass, and humor.  The chemistry between Cameron and Julia makes me tingle; their love scenes vibrate passionately with good but not excessive description.  It is heartwarming watching Cameron become enamored with little Jake. Cameron’s noisy, boisterous, loving adopted family is depicted in a manner that is both believable and at times truly touching. The best part, though, is that little Jake is a central figure as he bounces, gurgles, and splashes with delightful abandon bringing love and laughter to all.  Read the full review



Duke Brothers Trilogy
Book 1 The Millionaire Meets His Match  (July 2010)
Book 2 Sweet Surrender, Baby Surprise

Buy on Amazon Sweet Surrender, Baby Surprise

BAD RELIGION By KATHLEEN SCOTT

BAD RELIGION
ISBN: 978-1-60737-886-0
Nov 2010
E-Book
$7.99
218 Pages
Futuristic Science Fiction
Rating: 4 Cups

This book is smokin’!  The action in the bedroom and on the road is practically non-stop. Underlying the whole story is the concept of power and how it can be used abusively by unscrupulous groups who desire strict homogeny and adherence to uncompromising, inflexible tenets.


Warning: Contains explicit graphic sexual language and content, including anal intercourse and threesomes.  
Read the full review

LOVE BITES By SCARLET BLACKWELL

Love BitesLOVE BITES
ISBN: 978-1-926950-03-7
Nov 2010
E-Book
$3.50
34 Pages
Erotic Paranormal Romance
Rating: 3 Cups


This story grabbed my interest and was entertaining. Sebastian is a domineering male who would probably be more at ease in an earlier era. Alex, though, is a modern, brave, self-assured woman and sometimes sparks fly as their relationship blossoms.  A few times Sebastian almost crossed the line from persuasion to force and that made me uncomfortable.  There are some unusual aspects to Ms Blackwell’s vamps that make this story different. The love scenes, in particular,  take full advantage of those unusual aspects making Sebastian’s and Alex’s love play all the more sensual and arousing. This is sure to provide paranormal fans a bittersweet digression from the ordinary. Read the full review

Laurie
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

Buy on Amazon Love Bites

HURRICANE WARNING By GINGER SIMPSON

Hurricane WarningHURRICANE WARNING
ISBN: 978-0-9865875-8-0
Nov 2010
E-Book
$.99
16 Pages
Sweet Contemporary Romance
Rating: 3 Cups


This sweet story entertained me though I was slightly put off when Carlos proposed the test for Linda. I felt the romantic element was strong already and the test just sort of lessened it. There was a delightful and obvious attraction between the couple and I felt Linda’s character, in particular, was beautifully portrayed. This is a feel-good story that will leave you smiling. Read the full review


Buy on Amazon  Hurricane Warning

TINSELTOWN By STEPHANIE TAYLOR



TinseltownTINSELTOWN
ISBN: 9781616502522
Dec 2010
E-Book
$4.50
129 Pages
Contemporary Romance
Rating: 3 Cups

The chemistry and humor between Zach and Deb made for delightful reading. There were a few poignant scenes that made me want to hug them both as each struggled with separate demons. At times I really questioned Deb’s decision-making skills and wondered how she could be so churned-up inside.  Overall, the story kept me and on pins and needles wondering if this glitzy Hollywood marriage could survive the unrelenting camera flashes of insatiable paparazzi. Read the full Review


Buy on Amazon Tinseltown