Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wait For What Will Come by Barbara Michaels (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"She was the last of an ancient Cornish clan, and Carla Tregellas had inherited the pride of her family name - a huge mansion that loomed high above the jagged cliffs of Cornwall. She felt at home there right from the start, for everyone seemed so kind and welcoming. Everyone except Mrs. Pendennis, the eccentric housekeeper who advised Carla to leave at once to deter a tragic and inevitable fate. But Carla could not leave - for the invisible bonds of an ancestral curse were just beginning to take hold..."

My Thoughts:

Wait For What Will Come is my 3rd book by Michaels and has cemented my determination to read all of her books firmly in place. I adored the creepy atmosphere that the author created with this book; it reminded me of a gothic horror novel. It had all of the elements in place with an eerie, decrepit old house, an ancient legend, and of course mysterious happenings with little to no explanations. I found myself instantly caught up in the web that the author created...this book had me hooked and didn't want to let me go. And even though I found the book to be slightly predictable at times, overall I found that it didn't detract from my enjoyment whatsoever. I found myself lost in the mystery surrounding the house and couldn't wait to see what would happen next. The ending of the book did take me by surprise and I found it to be overall very satisfying.

All in all, I found this to be a very entertaining read and I'm eager to read more by this author! I love the gothic atmosphere and elements that she uses in her novels. Luckily enough for me, she has an extensive back list of books that I can choose from. I would highly recommend this author and this book!

Bottom Line: A creepy, atmospheric read...what more could you ask for???

Disclosure: Checked out from my local library. Now I'm off to check my library catalog to see what other books by her that they have available :)

The other two books that I have read by this author are Be Buried In The Rain (which I adored as well) and Into the Darkness (which I didn't care for as much but never ended up writing my thoughts on). After reading this book I do want to read the rest of the books that she has written eventually :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Sunday Salon - Mini Reviews (thoughts) #2

Good morning everyone! Spring has sprung and the craziness begins. Baseball begins this week for my very soon to be 9 year old. Practices twice a week add up to more reading time (hopefully) but less blogging time (I'm guessing). All of this beautiful weather also just begs for time spent outside which is what we have been doing. I'm thinking about attempting to grow a few vegetables this year. Anyone that knows me knows that I'm pretty bad when it comes to keeping plants alive but I still want to try. I think that I'm going to start off with a few tomato plants and a strawberry plant that my Mom gave us. Maybe some peppers....any suggestions on veggies that are easy to grow/keep alive??

Spring reading challenges are also beginning which has me super excited! I've already posted my list of books for the Spring Reading Thing Challenge and hopefully this week I will post my pool of books for the Once Upon a Time Challenge. Woohoo! Looks like there will be lots of good reading heading my way. I really enjoyed sharing my thoughts briefly on a few books that I hadn't reviewed in 2011 last month so I thought that I would do it again today :)

The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson

This is a book that I put off sharing my thoughts on for a number of reasons. So many bloggers loved it that I expected to be blown away. Unfortunately, I was only "meh" when I finished. There were aspects of the story that I really loved like the atmosphere and the descriptions of the setting. The author went into so much detail that I could feel like I was really there. But the characters and one of the two storylines left much to be desired for me. I didn't connect to Eve or Dom at all which meant that I didn't care what happened to the two of them. I was more interested in the side story involving Benedicte and her family. Now that part of the book I found really interesting. Overall, I was left with mixed feelings for the book. I believe that this is the author's first novel....I think that I would pick up more by her eventually. Recommended but with strong reservations.

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

I adored this book for a number of reasons when I read it last year. The author does an AMAZING job of creating a spooky and tense atmosphere. I felt like she was able to capture how it must have felt to live in London during the time of Jack the Ripper and she conveyed this sense of constant fear throughout the book. I loved the main character Rory...she was witty and filled with everything that you would want a main character to be. The book was one of those books that you don't want to put down. And even though it is going to be part of a series I felt like the author did a nice job of tying up most of the loose ends when the book was finished. Overall this book was one of my favorite reads of 2011. Highly recommended!

Dead On The Delta by Stacey Jay

Plain and simple, this was one of my favorite urban fantasy reads last year! I don't know what I expected when I picked this book up but I was blown away by how much I enjoyed it. The book was gritty and dark with a main character that is on a self destructive path. Annabelle has her issues and is trying to cope the only way that she knows how. I found it refreshing to read about a main character that didn't have everything together, made mistakes, and still had a good heart despite everything. I found myself immersed in this book- not wanting to put it down and reading it wherever/whenever I could. It snapped me out of a reading slump that I was was just unexpectedly SO GOOD! I cannot wait to get my hands on the 2nd book. I think that I'm going to break my book buying ban for Blood on the Bayou. Highly, highly recommended and another of my top reads from last year.

Whew! Another 3 books off of my list. I'm almost completely caught up from last year now! I'm currently reading Deadline by Mira Grant. I loved Feed when I read it awhile back and finally was ready to begin Deadline. I was worried that because I loved Feed so much that Deadline wouldn't compare. So far that hasn't been the case and I'm glad that I finally pulled this one off of my shelves. It is like visiting old friends. Zombies are involved but old friends :) Anyways, I'm off to begin the ENORMOUS task of cleaning my house and tackling laundry. The more I get done today, the less stressful this week will be. Hopefully. Happy Sunday everyone! I hope that you are all able to enjoy a good book today :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Reading Thing

Spring is here and I am beyond ready! It is such a good feeling to have all of the windows thrown open and to let the kids play outside for hours. And I love the rain so a good thunderstorm is always welcome :) Vasilly posted about the Spring Reading Thing 2012 Challenge and I just couldn't resist.

I decided to come up with a list of books for this challenge based off of categories. My goal is to read two books from the following categories:
  • 2 review books off my shelves
  • 2 NetGalley books
  • 2 books from own shelves (not for review)
  • 1 book that I have bought for my Kindle
  • 1 new release
  • 2 library books
  • 2 random reads
  • 2 award nominees
I think I can do pretty well with this challenge considering I can change my reading choices at any time :) Here are the books that I'm thinking about for this challenge (and yes, I think the fun part is coming up with a list of possibilities)

Is that too many??? Probably but I can't take any off because they all look too good. I tried to throw some fantasy choices in the mix....can you guess why??? Yep, be on the lookout for a post on the Once Upon a Time Challenge. Woohoo for springtime and fun reading challenges!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

An Affair With Mr. Kennedy by Jillian Stone (thoughts)

An Affair With Mr. Kennedy was a pleasurable mix of romance and suspense that I enjoyed until the very last page. Set in England, the main character Zac is a Scotland Yard detective on the hunt for the individuals that have been responsible for setting off bombs and causing trouble for the city of London. His new tenant Cassie has relations to one of the men he suspects to be behind the bombings which spikes his interest in her. But it is just Cassie that he soon finds himself completely enthralled with.

This was such a entertaining read and one that I just couldn't get enough of. I loved Cassie's character! She wasn't your stereotypical heroine....she was independent, feisty, and witty. I found her to be the perfect match for Zac as he was more uptight than she was. It was fun to see the two of them get to know each other, and they really fit well together. I was never really good at history so I wasn't familiar with some of the historical details shared in the story but it didn't affect my enjoyment of the novel whatsoever. In fact, it made me want to learn more about that time period. The suspense especially towards the end of the book really had me turning pages. When the book ended I was sad because I wanted to read more about Zac and Cassie. My only complaint with the book was how fast the relationship developed between Cassie and Zac. Since they were so different I wouldn't have minded seeing a little more give and take before they progressed to that next level. But that is my preference...I always like it when the main characters have to work a bit harder to develop their relationship.

All in all, this was a really solid romance and I can't wait for the next book to come out! I will be pre-ordering it for sure :) I have my fingers crossed that we will see more of Cassie and Zac...but honestly I just can't wait to see what the author comes up with next. I was in the mood for a good romance and this book definitely fit the bill. Highly recommended!

Bottom Line: A fun romance that instantly captivated me!

Disclosure: I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of this book from the author. This is my honest opinion on the book. But thank you again to the author for sending it to me!!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

On My Wishlist (Radar) #13

On My Wishlist is my way of sharing all of the books that I cannot wait to get my hands upon and read. These are a mixture of books that are about to be released along with some older titles that I really want to read as well. (All summaries are from Goodreads).

The Janus Affair (A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel) by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris

"Evildoers beware! Retribution is at hand, thanks to Britain's best-kept secret agents!!

Certainly no strangers to peculiar occurrences, agents Wellington Books and Eliza Braun are nonetheless stunned to observe a fellow passenger aboard Britain's latest hypersteam train suddenly vanish in a dazzling bolt of lightning. They soon discover this is not the only such disappearance . . . with each case going inexplicably unexamined by the Crown.

The fate of England is once again in the hands of an ingenious archivist paired with a beautiful, fearless lady of adventure. And though their foe be fiendishly clever, so then is Mr. Books . . . and Miss Braun still has a number of useful and unusual devices hidden beneath her petticoats."

Finally!!!!! A cover for the 2nd book in this series. And it is just gorgeous! I had to find the summary from Amazon since Goodreads doesn't have one posted but it sounds like my kind of book. I loved the first one so I'm chomping at the bit to get my hands on this one.

The Taken by Vicki Pettersson

"He’s a fallen angel. She’s a rockabilly reporter. Together they must solve a deadly string of murders plaguing the mortal and the immortal worlds.

Griffin Shaw used to be a PI, but that was over fifty years ago when gumshoes hoofed the streets . . . and he was still alive. Now he’s a Cent
urion, an angel who assists other murdered souls through their journey to the afterlife. But while Shaw might be an angel … he’s no saint. Haunted by the mysterious events surrounding his own death, he seizes a chance to wreak some vengeance when he witnesses a deadly attack on journalist Katherine “Kit” Craig.

Joining forces, the unlikely avengers take to the streets, hun
ting a killer whose trail of bodies stretches across Las Vegas and into an immortal netherworld. It is a dangerous trek that lead them into the darkest corners of Sin City and into the heart of an evil conspiracy extending beyond the lights of the Strip that could destroy them both."

I found this one on Goodreads and I WANT!!!!! The cover is gorgeous and it sounds like the book is going to be pretty darn good as well!

Shadow Bound by Rachel Vincent

"KORI DANIELS is a shadow-walker, able to travel instantly from one shadow to another. After weeks of confinement for betraying her boss, she’s ready to break free of the Tower syndicate for good. But Jake Tower has one final job for Kori, one chance to secure freedom for herself and her sister, Kenley, even if that means taking it from someone else…

The job? Recruit Ian Holt—or kill him.

Ian’s ability to manipulate the dark has drawn interest from every syndicate in the world, most notably an invitation from Jake Tower. Though he has no interest in organized crime, Ian accepts the invite, because he’s on a mission of his own. Ian has
come to kill Tower’s top Binder: Kori’s little sister."

Woot, woot!!! I am SO excited to read this book! I loved the first book in this series, Blood Bound, and can't wait to pick this one up!

Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton

"There is a fire and they are in there. They are in there...

Black smoke stains a summer blue sky. A school is on fire. And one mother, Grace, sees the smoke and rush. She knows her teenage daughter Jenny is inside. She runs into the burning building to rescue her.

Afterwards Grace must find the identity of the arsonist and protect her children from the person who's still intent on destroying them. Afterwards, she must fight the limits of her physical strength and discover the limitlessness of love."

I'm so excited because I managed to snag a copy of this on NetGalley! I've been wanting to read this author since her first book...and this one sounds even better!

Green-Eyed Envy and Blackhearted Betrayal by Kasey Mackenzie

(Summary is for Green-Eyed Envy)

"As a Fury, Marissa Holloway belongs to an Arcane race that has meted out justice since time immemorial. As Boston's chief magical investigator, it's her duty to solve any crimes committed by or against supernaturals.

Months have gone by since Riss discovered some unwelcome truths about her past--and managed to stop a supernatural war. Since then things have been quiet. Too quiet. But that all changes when the bodies of Bastai, shapeshifters also known as Cats, begin piling up in Boston's magical underbelly--even though the legendary shifters are supposed to have ninety-nine lives."

I just spotted the cover to Blackhearted Betrayal the other day and realized that I hadn't read the 2nd book in this series yet. I MUST remedy that soon! Now I'm super excited to read both of these!

Whew! I could keep going and going sharing all of the books that I want! There are tons of good urban fantasy and paranormal romance coming out wishlist is overflowing! And series books. I can't keep up! What have you added to your wishlist lately????

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson (thoughts)

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty is the kind of novel that sweeps you into its' pages and doesn't let you go. Told from three different viewpoints, it is the story of Ginny (aka Big), Liza, and Mosey. Three generations of Slocumb women discovering each other's secrets while trying to keep the most important secret from destroying them all.

Whew! This book carried me away into the story that the author had to tell and into the lives of the Slocumb women. I was easily entranced as I began to uncover some of the hidden secrets with each of the main characters. The story was told from three different viewpoints which had me wary at first, because I think that it is something that is difficult to pull off. And pull off well at that....but that is just what this author did! Each voice for the women was different and distinct from one another. I didn't have any problem differentiating between the main characters when the viewpoints switched while I was reading. Actually it made the reading experience that much more unique as we were able to see how each character was affected by the different secrets revealed throughout the book. I loved how the different storylines connected and intertwined with one another. I thought at the beginning that I had the book figured out but by the end I had realized that I was completely wrong in my expectations. This is my third book by this author and she is now going on my must read list!

All in all, this was another amazing read by this author. I loved the characters that she created in this story and was sad to see the book end. This is a book that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend. A very enjoyable read that had me thinking about it for days afterward. And if you haven't had the chance to read anything by this author I would also highly recommend Gods in Alabama. That was another amazing read as well!

Bottom Line: Another must read by this author!

Disclosure: I was lucky enough to get my copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Books Calling My Name...

Since I can barely pull my head out of Jaye Wells' Silver-Tongued Demon (I love this series!!), I'm going to make this short and sweet. Each one of these books is calling my name and they are all completely different. Now the question is which one to read next....

Which one would you choose?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kiss of Midnight by Lara Adrian (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"He watches her from across the crowded dance club, a sensual black-haired stranger who stirs Gabrielle Maxwell’s deepest fantasies. But nothing about this night—or this man—is what it seems. For when Gabrielle witnesses a murder outside the club, reality shifts into something dark and deadly. In that shattering instant she is thrust into a realm she never knew existed—a realm where vampires stalk the shadows and a blood war is set to ignite."

My Thoughts:

Kiss of Midnight was a fun paranormal romance and I will absolutely be coming back for more! What I liked about this book was how dark and moody it was. Gabrielle wasn't your cookie cutter damsel in distress...instead she was a well-fleshed out main character that was dealing with her own issues and past. Lucan enters her life and her entire world is basically turned upside down. The relationship that develops between the two of them is filled with heat and passion almost instantaneously. I loved the constant tension that there was between them (it was HOT!) I found the storyline to be quite engrossing as well and I am anxious to read the 2nd book to see what happens next. This book left a lot open and I'm guessing that we will continue to learn more in each book of the series. So hopefully all of my unanswered questions will be answered :)

All in all, this was a solid beginning to this paranormal romance series! It was exactly what I was in the mood for at the time while I was reading it, and I couldn't ask for more. I will admit to having a few quibbles here and there but overall I really liked it. I enjoyed the ride that the author took me on, and found myself eager to continue on with the series. All good things which means I would recommend this one!

Bottom Line: A steamy paranormal romance and most certainly worth reading!

Disclosure: Checked out from my local library...I want to say that I picked up this book based off of Christine from The Happily Ever After...'s recommendation or reviews of this series. I'm sure glad that I did!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Divergent by Veronica Roth (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all."

My Thoughts:

Divergent is one of those books that is SO engrossing and SO amazingly good that when I closed the last page I wanted to start immediately back at the beginning. And I expected everyone else that had read it to have loved it just as much as I did because it was just that good. I've seen some criticism of the book but I can't honestly think of a thing that I would want differently when it comes to a book like this. It sucked me into the world that Beatrice (or Tris as she was also known) lived in, and I didn't want to leave. I didn't think about how realistic this book was or if it could happen....instead I just lived and breathed this world for a few short days. This is a book that I can't wait to recommend (I'm sending my copy to my sister for sure) and talk about with others. I loved it. And now I NEED to read am I supposed to wait until May??? Aack! I'm keeping my thoughts on this one short and sweet so I don't give anything about the book away. Just take my word for is that good!

Enough gushing. Obviously, I just loved this book and I can't think of a bad thing to say. Highly, highly, highly recommended to just about everyone. Enough said :)

Bottom Line: 99.9% sure that this will be on my top 10 reads list for 2012. AMAZING.

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book from the publisher for review from a Shelf Awareness offer (I think). Embarrassingly enough, it was last year and this book has languished on my shelves this entire time. Thank goodness I finally picked it up.

Friday, March 2, 2012

February In Review 2012

This picture cracks me up for a number of reasons. One, it shows off my daughter's personality perfectly. I'm pretty sure that she could become an actress when she grows up. My oldest looks miserable (which he wasn't at the time) but it is still pretty funny. And my youngest has pink rain boots on. Yep, pink boots....his favorite :) This one is going in a frame!

February flew by for me this year. I managed to finish five books which isn't a great number but I was happy with it. I spent a lot of time this month on the computer bulking up my resume and putting in job applications. I've been at my current job for three years now but it is nearing the time where I move on. One of my goals for this year is to find the job that I plan on staying at (and hopefully retiring from). This meant a lack of reading time as I focus on other things. But that's okay because I did get some quality reading in there as well. And if I could stay off Twitter, I might be even more productive. But that can be a March goal :) Here is what I read in February:

Not a bad one in the bunch! My favorite read of the month would have to be Divergent by Veronica Roth. I actually loved all of them with the exception of Unclean Spirits by M.L.N. Hanover. That one was a good read for me but not great. All in all, another solid reading month in 2012 especially quality wise.

My goal for March is to read at least one book off of my own shelves. Last month I was able to read D is for Deadbeat off of my shelves (although now I'm planning on buying E is for Evidence which will be adding to my shelves. But you get the picture. LOL!). I would like to read two but let's be realistic. I would also like to read a chunkster of some sort. I meant to in February but it didn't happen so now it is a March goal. Personal goal wise, I'm working with my daughter on school stuff. My goal is to find a set time to work with her every day and to make that time fun for her while she is learning. I also need to carve out more reading time with all three kiddos. I'll keep you posted on how that goes :) Hope everyone has a wonderful month in March!