Monday, December 31, 2012

Top Ten Reads of 2012

Oh my goodness you guys, I am just loving all of these top reads of 2012 posts!  If ever I have a great excuse to add to my never-ending TBR list, it is now reading your thoughts on your best reads of the year.  I love it!  I'm almost like a kid in a candy store with the only downside being that I want to read each book RIGHT NOW which is obviously impossible.  I just keep adding them to the TBR list with the hopes of an amazing reading year in 2013.  But it is definitely time to narrow it down myself and share my best reads of the year.  Unless I manage to squeak one more book in I finished 54 books in 2012.  Definitely not my best year if you are looking at numbers but I'm not too worried about it.  As my kids get older, life gets just a bit busier which definitely cuts into my reading time.  I've got some goals for 2013 (personal and bookish) that I'll talk about in a different post which will hopefully allow for me to find some more reading time.  Because for me reading = relaxation.  But for now let's look at the books that make up my top 10 reads in 2012:

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier was so AMAZINGLY good that I don't even have words.  From the very first page until the last, I was entranced and utterly captivated.  I know that a lot of other readers talk about Rebecca (which I also loved) but I loved this one SO MUCH MORE!  I loved it enough that I would put a copy of this book in each and every one of your hands if I could!  

Divergent by Veronica Roth was one of those books that just languished on my shelves and then left me kicking myself for it.  I could not and did not want to put this book down.  I loved it so hard that I happily placed it in my sister's hands who ended up cursing me when she loved it just as much as I did (and had to buy the 2nd book).  2013 will be the year that I follow-up and read Insurgent!  

Wait For What Will Come by Barbara Michaels officially solidified my love for this author's books!  Gothic suspense at its' best kept me up late into the night because I just HAD to see what was going on in that creepy house!  I've become quite addicted to buying this author's books and now have six more of her books waiting on my shelves.  

Deadline by Mira Grant was SO. EFFING. GOOD!  Seriously, I have some mad love for Feed (which may be one of my favorite books ever!) which led me to worry that this book wouldn't live up to my expectations.  Not so!  Deadline took those expectations and SHATTERED them!  This book was so flipping amazing and so much more than I could have ever expected that before I read Blackout I'm going back and rereading these.  My plan is to read all three of these books back to back in 2013.  2013 may be my best year of books ever if I do this.  I'm just saying.

The Janus Affair by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris is one of those rare books in a series that is even better than the first.  I found myself swept away by this book and immersed in the world that these authors created.  I loved how the two main characters have grown since book one and am chomping at the bit to get my hands on book 3.  Please write faster!!!  I need more!!

The Stranger You Seek by Amanda Kyle Williams was such an intense page turner that I couldn't put it down!  This book had one of my favorite main characters in Keye Street as we watched her deal with all of her personal demons while trying to solve such an intense case.  I loved the ending of this book so much that it kept me thinking about it for days afterward.  2013 will be the year that I read the sequel to this!!  (See what I mean about big reading plans in 2013???)

The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart was my first book by this author but definitely won't be my last!  I can't tell you how pleasantly surprised and pleased I was to find that I absolutely adored this book.  The mystery, the characters, the ending...I loved it all and was left wanting more.  I promptly added a bunch of her other books to my Kindle because this one was just SO GOOD!

Dead Scared by S.J. Bolton was one of the most intense and creepy reads that I read all year.  It almost feels like cheating to not add Now You See Me by Bolton as well because you NEED to read them both and they were both AMAZING!  But Dead Scared left me breathless with its' dark atmosphere and this was another book that I could not put down!  I WILL read all of this author's other books because these two were so good!

Bitter Night by Diana Pharaoh Francis was my favorite urban fantasy read in 2012!  This book was almost unexpectedly good in that way when you find yourself blown away by your current read.  Max was a kick-ass main character that I instantly adored...and one that I rooted for the entire way!  I liked the fact that the author was fearless in her choices that she made for her characters.  It left me wondering what could possibly happen next.  I cannot wait to read more in this series!!! 

The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman was a book that left me thinking about it for days afterwards.  One of those atmospheric and suspenseful reads that pulls the reader in before they even realize it, I found myself loving this one even more than Arcadia Falls which is the book I previously read by this author.  This book was deliciously good and I can't wait to read more by this author!

There are so many AMAZING reads here that it made it really hard to narrow it down from some of my other reads.  Here are a few honorable mentions that should of/could of made the list:

Gone by Mo Hayder:  Intense, creepy, and filled with suspense.
This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart:   Magical, enchanting, and captivating.
Too Wicked to Wed by Cara Elliott:  Romantic, lovely, and one that renewed my love for historical romance.

I could keep going but I might end up talking about all of the books I read in 2012.  LOL!  Here is to hoping that 2013 is another amazing year of reading in terms of quality!  Happy New Year to all of you and happy reading!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays!

I was hoping to fit in one more review but it isn't looking good.  Instead, I would like to take the time to wish all of you a wonderful holiday!  I'll be back later next week with a top ten reads post for 2012 and goals for 2013 (hopefully) and maybe even a review or two.  But until then, from my family to yours:

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mini Reviews on Wednesday

It's that time of year when I find myself playing catch-up a bit.  I love the idea of starting off the new year with a clean slate (when it comes to book reviews) but never find that it happens the way I plan.  Since I'm thirteen books behind, I've decided to write up some mini reviews.  I am thinking that this will also help me to share my thoughts on books that are part of a series which I really struggle to review while keeping spoiler free.

E is for Evidence by Sue Grafton was another very enjoyable installment in Grafton's alphabet series (is it accurate to call it that because I like it?).  In this one Kinsey finds herself under investigation thanks to an unexplainable deposit in her checking account and a questionable insurance claim.  Kinsey is in hot water but that isn't going to stop her from investigating and working to prove her innocence.

Kinsey is such an amazing main character.  She is smart, spunky and instantly likeable.  I love that this series is set back in a time period before technology was so advanced.  I enjoy watching Kinsey use her investigative skills as the mystery unfolds.  Each book in this series has been unique compared to the one before it all while staying true to Kinsey's character.  This book had me really worried about Kinsey at different points as she worked to prove her innocence.  And the storyline helped to ratchet up the suspense a few more notches as I waited for Kinsey to figure out exactly what was going on.  Just writing up my thoughts on this one makes me want to pick up the next book in this series.  If you are ever looking for an engrossing mystery series, than I would definitely recommend this one.  I do think that you should start at the beginning with A is for Alibi

Bottom Line:  A must read series and one of my personal favorites!

No Chance by Christy Reece is a romantic suspense that brings two young former lovers back together.  Skylar James finds herself in danger like she has never known after being kidnapped while trying to save a friend. Enter Gabe Maddox into the picture: former estranged lover hired to find Skylar and bring her back home safely.  Gabe and Skylar will both have to put the past to rest before they can truly find happiness again.

This was an enjoyable read at the time but looking back I've almost completely forgotten it.  I think that part of the problem that I had with the book was once again the character connection.  Whenever I don't connect with the characters, I find that the reading experience is a less memorable one or a book that I don't care for.  And I liked this book enough but it just didn't wow me like I had hoped.  The suspense was there but nothing that had me on the edge of my seat.  I did enjoy the romance between the two main characters as we watched them deal with their shared history.  It made it even better as they began to learn more about each other as they are now rather than the way they were back then.  Overall, if I did ratings I think that I would give this one 3 stars.  Not amazing but not a bad read either.  And a book I enjoyed enough to make me want to read more by this author.

Bottom Line:  An okay read but one that didn't blow me out of the water.

Secrets to the Grave by Tami Hoag brings back Anne Leone from Deeper Than The Dead as she is called in to act as the advocate for a young girl found laying across her dead mother's body.  Anne is swept away in this new mystery while still dealing with the after effects of the previous book's storyline (sorry trying not to share too much here).  The mystery of this book lies with with who the murdered woman was and uncovering all of her buried secrets.

I really, really enjoyed Deeper Than The Dead when I read it awhile back so I think that I went into this book with high expectations.  And while I found this book to be good/bordering on better than good, I never quite connected with this book either.  I just didn't like it as much as I did the previous book which really surprised me.  The suspense was there, the mystery was there, but for whatever reason I never connected. I feel like this is one of those "it's not you, it's me" moments.  That makes it sound like I didn't like this book (I did) but really I just didn't enjoy it as much as I expected to.  I did like the fact that many of the characters from the previous book were all still in this one.  I also appreciated how so much of what happened in the previous book tied into this one.  It made for a solid reading experience on that end.  And it made me look forward to eventually reading the 3rd book.  Hopefully, I'll have a better reading experience with the next book.

Bottom Line: A thriller that just didn't quite fit what I was looking for while still being enjoyable.  Mixed feelings anyone??

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Moment of Silence...

I'm sitting here trying to write up reviews and all that I really want to do is say how thankful I am for my blessings.  I know just how lucky I am to see these beautiful smiling faces every day.  What happened in Connecticut was awful but it served to remind me once again how much I have to be thankful for.  Before I can write up those reviews, I just want to take a moment.

A moment of silence for the lives that were lost.  And a moment to appreciate my blessings.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Twenty years ago, Jane Hudson left the Heart Lake School for Girls in the Adirondacks after a terrible tragedy. Now she has returned to the placid, isolated shores of the lakeside school as a Latin teacher, recently separated and hoping to make a fresh start with her young daughter. But ominous messages from the past dredge up forgotten memories that will become a living nightmare."

My Thoughts:

The Lake of Dead Languages was one of those books that pulled me into its' pages and left me thinking about it for days after.  After enjoying Arcadia Falls by this author a few years back, I had been meaning to read more by this author.  I'm so glad that I finally did as this book was even better than Arcadia Falls in my opinion.  Although I admit that after glancing over my review of the previous book, I'm surprised at the similar type of storylines/settings of these books.  Are all of Goodman's books set in private schools?  Or did I just manage to read the two that are?  Hmmm....I may just have to check that out.  Even though there are similarities between the two books, I didn't notice while reading this book at all.  Instead, I was caught up in the mystery of Heart Lake and learning about Jane's history with the school.  

Jane was one of those main characters whose motivation and intentions I never quite understood.  It lent an aura of mystery to her as I tried to figure out just who she was.  I loved the parts of the book that were her memories of her time at the school.  Once again, it made the book seem as if it was a story within a story but both stories intertwined and worked so well together.  There were aspects of this book that I found to be a bit predictable.  Rather than taking away from my enjoyment of the story, I instead was almost amused to find that I was right at figuring out parts of it.  And there were definitely parts of the story that I didn't see coming at all which ratcheted up the suspense level quite nicely.  The author created such an amazing setting and atmosphere that really made this book stand out for me.  I lived and breathed these pages while I read the book.  I loved the fact that I couldn't and wouldn't put this book down.  And after finishing, I thought about these characters for a few days after.  

Overall, this book solidified the fact that I will be reading all of this author's back-list of books.  And while this book wasn't perfect, it didn't matter to me as the author managed to create such an amazing reading experience for me.  This book quietly tugged me into its' layers and never let go.  The icy setting fit in perfectly with this time of year (and made me wish for some snow myself).  This was just a great read and one that I would highly recommend!

Bottom Line:  The setting and atmosphere made this book an unforgettable reading experience!

Disclosure:  Checked out from my local library.  Now to figure out which of her other books to read next...

Here is a link to my thoughts on Arcadia Falls if you are interested.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Read Sam Read (Mystery Edition)

Older books need love too!  These are all books that I've recently added to my TBR list and that were published before 2012.  The other day I was looking over my books read for 2012 and considering which ones might make my top ten list for the year.  And I was both surprised and pleased to learn that a good portion of the books that will make it as a top read are older books (for me that means that they weren't published this year).  Don't get me wrong....I love new books!  And pine for them on a constant basis.  But I really wanted to share with you all some of the books that aren't getting as much attention in the bloggy world because they are older :)  I've decided to group them by genre and do posts like this ever so often.  It will give me a chance to share with all of you those books that I've been adding to my TBR list in a fun way!

Today's TBR theme is mysteries.  I'm a huge fan of classic mysteries, and I'm always looking for new authors to try.  Here are some of the latest mystery reads that I've added to my TBR wishlist:

These are all new to me authors and most have huge backlists of books!  And they are all the beginning books in a series.  LOL!  I already have WAY too many series that I'm working on but that doesn't stop me from wanting to try these.  Now I just need to get my hands on some of these.  Looks like a visit to my local library will be in the near future!  What books have you added to your TBR list recently??  And are you a fan of newer or older books....or do you mix it up like I do?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dark Awakening by Kendra Leigh Castle (thoughts)

Dark Awakening was an enjoyable way to revisit one of my favorite paranormal romance authors.  Tynan MacGillivray is on the hunt for a special "Seer" that can help secure victory for the vampire clan that he works for.  Although he is considered to be an outcast among the vampires that he lives around and works for, he has a hope that finding this seer will make life better for him and his kind.  Until he meets Lily Quinn and his entire life changes...

There is nothing better than a good paranormal romance especially one written by this author.  I was completely enchanted with this book from the first page until the last.  Tynan is one of those tortured heroes that you can't help but love and root for.  I wanted to see him happy and in love, and Lily Quinn was the perfect match for him.  The chemistry between these two easily heated up the pages and had me cheering for them as a couple.  The storyline was fresh and original and I especially enjoyed the idea of Lucy being a Seer.  It was interesting to see some of the skills that she possessed and I'm guessing that we will see her develop more in future books in this series.  I'm just hoping that each book has a couple with a hot relationship like these two did.  Another thing that I appreciated with this book was the different "castes" or groups of vampires.  Tynan was a part of a group that was considered to be below other vampires which is one of the reasons that he was trying to make things better for his kind.  I really liked that about it him, it just endeared him to me all the more.  I found the ending of the book to be a strong finish even though it is part of a series which I really appreciated!  I get frustrated sometimes when authors leave too much open for the next book but luckily that didn't happen here.

What else to say about this book other than I loved it?  It was a fast paced read, I didn't want to set it down, and I wanted to read more about the characters after I was finished.    I'm eager to see what happens in the next book of this series.  In fact, I've already got it loaded onto my Kindle ready to go.  I'm a huge fan of this author and would definitely recommend this book to fans of paranormal romance.  If you haven't tried this author yet I would also recommend her MacInnes Werewolf trilogy.   

Bottom Line:  A must read author in my opinion!  And this book just serves to reinforce that!

Disclosure:  I checked this book out from my local library!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Library Loot (The Last for 2012??)

So I may have gotten off of work super early yesterday and figured that this was a PERFECT chance to go to the library by myself.  Yep.  By myself!  I had no plans of books that I wanted to grab or anything.  Just a quiet half hour browsing the shelves.  It was lovely and especially appreciated since the last time I had visited I spent part of the time *literally*chasing my two year old.  Turns out he is quite fast when you have an armload of books that you are holding.  I took my time yesterday and just looked.  I put books back and then ended up grabbing other ones.  But when it was all said and done here are the books I walked out with:

  • A Dangerous Liaison with Detective Lewis by Jillian Stone:  I grabbed this one to feed my current romance addiction.  And I loved the 1st book in this series!
  • Ill Wind by Rachel Caine:  This will be a reread for me.  I've only read the first two books in this series (and I don't think I've reviewed either) but it has been so long that I've decided to reread before continuing on.  
  • Little Face by Sophie Hannah:  Awhile back I read The Wrong Mother by Hannah and liked it although I didn't love it (that's another one I'm not sure I reviewed).  But I've always wanted to go back and read more by her, and this one sounds SO good!
  • Black Water Rising by Attica Locke:  I've wanted to give this one a try every since I read Jenny's review on it.  I'm intrigued plus it was nominated for the Edgar award!
  • The Water's Lovely by Ruth Rendall:  Because I've been wanting to read more by this author for some time now and I'm finally going to do it. 
This time of year never fails to remind me that there are so many books out there that I haven't found the time to read yet.  But I'm hoping that I will find a quiet evening here and there this month to read some of these lovelies!  What have you picked up from the library lately?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Blue Dahlia by Nora Roberts (thoughts)

Blue Dahlia is the story of Stella Rothchild, a recently widowed mother of two, as she begins her new life at Harper House.  The newly hired manager at In the Garden Nursery, Stella is ready to start over and begin anew.  Roz, her new boss, asks Stella and her boys to move into Harper house with her as she adjust to her new job and new life. But rumor has it that Harper house is haunted and Stella is about to find out how true that rumor may be. 

I should start off by saying that I went into reading this book with moderately high expectations.  I've read plenty of books by Nora Roberts and never have been disappointed.  I especially enjoy her trilogies which is why I decided to give this one a shot.  Whatever my expectations on this book, I just never connected with the characters in this story which led to a mediocre reading experience for me.  I went into this book thinking that I was going to love it but instead found myself detached from it.  Everything about the storyline kept my interest but only to a certain extent.  I don't know how to explain it any other way other than to say I found myself disinterested at times.  I found the history and mystery of Harper house interesting but I wanted more.  I'm hoping that the next two books have more details in regards to this but I'm not sure if I'll end up taking the time to read them or not.  I did also enjoy the romance that developed between Logan and Stella.  It came across in a way that was not only realistic but hopeful.  I really liked that aspect of the book especially as there was an instant attraction between the two of them.  While I didn't love everything about the book, I ended up finding it to be an overall okay read.  Everything except the ending which felt too rushed for me.  I'm guessing that this is because it is a trilogy and the beginning of one at that.

Overall, an okay read but one that didn't live up to my expectations at all.  Does that even make sense?  I didn't hate it and felt mainly "meh" about it although it had some good parts.  Not really sure if I'll pick up the second book or not.  Part of me wants to just to see what happens next and because I want more history in regards to Harper house.  And part of me thinks that there are just too many other books out there that I really want to read.  So I'm undecided.  I'm only going to recommend this book if you are a HUGE Nora Roberts fan or fan of contemporary romance with slight paranormal aspects.  I'm sure that there are a lot of other readers that will enjoy this book way more than I did.  But there you have each their own :)

Bottom Line:  An okay read that left me with mixed feelings.

Disclosure:  Checked out from my local library!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Filling My Kindle

Seeing as I will be posting this on Black Friday, I thought it would be fun to share some of the books that I have bought recently for my kindle.  I will not be shopping like some of you crazy folks out there...instead I will be at work enjoying the double time.  Yep, it may be no fun to work the day after the holiday but my paycheck will sure be liking it.  Especially since I can't seem to stop buying books for my kindle.  It is an addiction and entirely JUST TOO easy to buy books for it.  Because who can say no to books for $.99 or $1.99???  I sure can't!  Here are just a few of the books that I have purchased for my kindle:

I can't wait to read each and every one of these books!  Never mind that No Mark Upon Her by Crombie is the 14th book in a series that I haven't even started yet.  When I saw that it was on sale I snatched it up anyway.  Let's face it....I just have no self control when it comes to books.  Now I just need to find the time to read all of these.  What books have you purchased lately??? 

And to all of those folks brave enough to go shopping today, I hope you have lots of fun and find a few books to purchase as well :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Untraceable by Laura Griffin (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Private investigator Alexandra Lovell uses computer skills and cunning to help clients drop off the radar and begin new lives in safety. Melanie Bess, desperate to escape her abusive cop husband, was one of those clients. But when Melanie vanishes for real, Alex fears the worst, and sets out to discover what happened. Using every resource she can get her hands on -- including an elite team of forensic scientists known as the Tracers, and a jaded, sexy Austin PD detective -- Alex embarks on a mission to uncover the truth."

My Thoughts:

I love a good romantic suspense and this book was exactly what I was looking for at the time.  It was a fast paced, easy read that kept me caught up in the mystery the entire time.  There were twists and turns that kept me guessing and a nice chemistry between the two main characters. As soon as I began this book I found myself intrigued.  Alex is one those main characters with a hint of mystery surrounding her.  She helps these women find new lives which is a constant source of danger for her and the reader can't help but wonder why and how she has gotten in to a profession like this.  Plus, there is a history between her and Nathan Deveraux that gives hints as to why there is such an intense chemistry between them but never is fully explained.  These kinds of things added together created an underlying layer of suspense that really added to the book for me.  I NEED to read the next book in the series just to see if more is explained.  Or to see what happens next with this series.  I'm not even sure which of those things I want.  I just know that this book was good enough that I will be reading more.  

All in all, this was a solid read for me.  It had me on the edge of my seat quite a few times and I was definitely reading as fast as I could.  I liked the chemistry that developed between Alex and Nathan and am hoping to see more of them in future books.  I think that I'm just eager to read more by this author in general.  Recommended especially to fans of romantic suspense or if you are looking for a fast-paced read!

Bottom Line:  A suspenseful read that left me needing more!

Disclosure:  Checked out from my lovely local library!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Weekend Randomness

Happy Friday everyone!  What a long week!  I have been ready for the weekend since Monday even though I have to work on Saturday which stinks royally.  Yuck :/  But looking at these three smiling faces always makes it worth it.  This picture was taken a couple of Sundays ago before the Bears game.  I wish you guys knew how hard it is to get them all three sitting still long enough for a good picture.  It's ones like these that make me laugh though :)  Priceless!  So I just keep snapping these shots because you never know what you are going to get.  (And I have no clue what my youngest was looking at if you are wondering).

I'm thinking about unplugging at some point in the next few days.  Ideally it would be starting today, but as the idea has just come to me it isn't going to happen that way.  I'm thinking that I could find the time to write up a few reviews and schedule them for next week, and then just back away from the computer and internet for a bit.  I find myself browsing the internet and talking on Twitter for WAY too many hours in the day.  I have guests coming for Thanksgiving (including my sister...yay!) and I really, really need my house to at least be presentable.  Maybe even clean.  I have high hopes...but I also have three children who don't seem to know what the word clean means.  And maybe this will allow for some extra reading time which I can always use :)  Less computer time and more books sounds like a good plan of action to me!  So there is my goal for the next two days:  write up a few reviews, maybe an e-book post, and then step away from the computer for awhile which will allow for me to come back feeling refreshed.

In other reading news, I'm also planning on participating in Thankfully Reading Weekend next week which will be my only exception to the computer ban.  Obviously I'm going to want to jump on Twitter a few times during the weekend and share what I'm reading.  I think that is the whole point, isn't it??  It should be lots of fun.  I'm not planning out what I want to read or how much...instead I'll be playing it by ear and just reading as much as I can.  Besides I'm going to want to spend lots of time with my family because I don't get to see them enough as it is.  It is going to be so nice to have everyone together!  That's enough out of me for today.  I think I'll go work on those reviews I want to write.  May I wish you all a very early Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Dead Scared by S.J. Bolton (thoughts)

Wow!  Just wow.  Even now I find myself struggling to put into words just how much I enjoyed this book.  From the very first page and until the end I found myself utterly captivated by this book.  Dead Scared brings back DC Lacey Flint as she goes undercover at the notorious Cambridge college to investigate a recent string of suicides on campus.  Lacey is posing as a student in hopes of learning more about why these young students are choosing to end their lives in such unconventional and violent ways.  But Lacey soon realizes that she is in way over her head as her investigation spirals out of control.

I found this book to be so intense and creepy that I just couldn't put it down!  As soon as Lacey goes undercover the tone and atmosphere of the book goes dark and ominous which led to a deliciously good amount of tension.  I was turning the pages on my reader as fast as I could!  The author chose to switch viewpoints from character to character which worked well for me.  It kept me on my toes and definitely kept me reading for longer periods of time than I normally would.  I just can't emphasize how strong of a hold this book had on me.  This book was dark, it was thrilling, it was fast was everything that a good thriller should be.  It would have been perfect and an easy 5 star read for me if not for the ending.  The ending was a bit of a let down as it left too many things open.  When I finished I went back and reread and still felt the same way which was a bit disappointing.  I checked and there will be a 3rd book though which gives me some hope that we will get a bit more closure in the next book.  Overall although I found the ending mildly disappointing, the book itself was sooo good that it overrode any qualms that I had for it.  I need more Lacey Flint in my life!

Reading this book (and loving it so much) has catapulted this author and all of her books on to my must read list!  Seriously, I have plans to read anything and everything that she has written including all future books!  If thrillers with dark and creepy atmospheres are your thing, then you must give this author a try.  I strongly recommend that you begin with Now You See Me which is just as amazing of a book!  I honestly wouldn't be surprised if both of these books make it on my top ten reads of 2012 list.  And I'm gushing at this point so I'll end it with a very, very highly recommended!  Read it!

Bottom Line:  An AMAZING thriller!  That's all you need to know :)

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley.  My many thanks because this book was such a good read!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wordless Wednesday (Halloween Fun)

Halloween.  Lots of sugar.  Enough said.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

On My Nightstand: November Edition

(Sorry for the poor quality picture but I was being a bit lazy today)

Whew!  October has come and gone and now I find myself 4 days into November already.  I just can't keep up with this time of year.  Happily enough for me though, my reading has been coming along quite nicely.  Which is a major change since I feel like I went through a year long reading slump at times in 2012.  Now it just comes down to what books that I feel like I MUST read before the end of the year.  I can't even really make a list because there are just TOO many.  So instead of putting a bunch of pressure on myself to boost up my reading numbers (I'm at 47 if you are curious) and get some of those many books that I had planned on reading read, I'm just going to once again list a few books that I would like to read in November.  Here is what's on my nightstand for November:
  • Bitter Night by Diana Pharaoh Francis-  I'm currently reading this and it is OH SO GOOD!  I'm seriously wishing I had started this series sooner but at least I have the next two books to read as well for it!
  • House of Many Shadows by Barbara Michaels-  Because I can't finish out the year without reading at least one more book by Michaels and Jenny warned me off of one of the other ones sitting on my shelves.
  • Naked In Death by J.D. Robb-  Reread and my 1st audiobook.  Haven't quite figured out how to get it on my MP3 player but when I do I'll be starting it.  LOL!
  • On my Kindle I'm currently reading the same two books that I mentioned in the previous Monday reading post (Tarnished by Karina Cooper and When Blood Calls by J.K. Beck).  Because I totally bypassed my Kindle this week and read Too Wicked to Wed by Cara Elliott (which I adored).  
  • Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes-  I've heard really good things about this thriller so I'm hoping to finally take the time to read it in November.
  • The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton-  I just loved The House at Riverton by this author so it is beyond time that I read more by her.  Plus, the colder days just beg for a big chunky read like this so I'm looking forward to it.
Other than that I would really, really like to get back to IT this month which I had to send unfinished back to the library.  I hate when that happens :/   And I would love to knock out a few more books on my Kindle since I can't seem to stop buying them.  I already need to do another e-book post.  You know that saying of too many books and just not enough time, right?  Yikes!  What are your reading plans for November???

Monday, October 29, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Oct. 29th

"Welcome to It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!" 

I can't remember the last time that I did one of these posts but since I'm actually reading (and quite a lot for me actually) I thought I would share with you all some of the books that I am reading.  Because I may or may not have realized that there are only two months left in 2012 (*cough* thanks Lisa) and SO MANY books that I still want to read.  Yikes!  Last week I finished up:

The Trouble with Magic by Madelyn Alt was a fun cozy mystery and a great beginning to this series.  I believe Wendy's review on it made me want to read it and I'm so glad that I did.

Dead Scared by S.J. Bolton was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.  Until the end which wasn't as great but it didn't matter because the book was just SO GOOD!  I NEED the 3rd book!  NEED! 

This week I'm going to be working on a couple of ebooks that I keep putting aside (for no good reason other than I'm a moody reader):

I've barely started either of these but I started them both a month or so ago and set them aside during my reading slump.  Now that I seem to have snapped out of it, I'm ready to go back and revisit these worlds.  But I'll admit that I'm seriously considering reading this first:

After reading and loving My Scandalous Viscount by Galen Foley a couple weeks back I've been craving another good romance.  And this one has been on my shelves for way too long.  Hope you are all reading some good books!  And do you have any suggestions for books that I MUST read before the end of the year???  Inquiring minds want to know :)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Audiobooks......and Me?

I should start this post off by telling you how much I hate cleaning.  Except I really don't hate it since I love the results but obviously find it no fun.  But that's a sidenote and not really the point of this story.  The point is that I've been ignoring all of you.  Yes, I admit it.  Whenever I go through my Google reader I see multiple posts in regards to audiobooks that other readers have listened to and enjoyed.  Or posts where they talk about how much they just enjoy audiobooks in general.  And I can't count the number of times that it has been suggested that I try an audiobook for myself.  That listening to books is fun.  I have ignored it all.  Because if I am anything, it is stubborn and often late to the game :) 

I've decided that's all going to change.  Scrubbing my kitchen today got me thinking....and thinking some more about how maybe I should just break down and give audiobooks a go.  My house could definitely use a little extra TLC and I might not dread cleaning so much if I had a way to occupy my mind.  So I'm going to take the plunge and try my 1st audiobook.  Because I'm an audiobook newbie, I've decided the best way to go about this is check an audiobook out from the library.  One, because I'm cheap.  And two, because I have no idea how this is all going to work out for me.  I might not like it...I'm sure there is a reason that I've been hesitating for so long.  Or not.  Then I started playing around with ideas on audiobooks that I might want to try.  I've decided that for me the best way to begin is with some rereads.  That way if I can't completely concentrate (hello my lovely children) it won't matter as much since I've already read the book.  Here are a few of the books that I'm considering trying:

 I've purposely kept this list short because I just don't know yet what to try.  That's where you all come in.  Audiobook suggestions, please????  What are some AMAZING books that I should try in audio format?  And do you have any tips for a newbie like me?  I'm hoping that it won't be that hard to put books on my MP3 player but if you have any tips for that share as well.  I'm all ears.....quite literally!

Let's all hope that my house becomes sparkling clean from all of this :)  Because a girl can dream, right?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Perfect Evil by Alex Kava (thoughts)

When I read the last page of A Perfect Evil, I wanted more.  No...scratch that....I needed more.  And I found myself frustrated that I didn't have the second book sitting right there ready to be read.  Because obviously I didn't know that I was going to NEED to read the second book instantly especially when the beginning of this book didn't really blow me away.  But by the end....oh the end just left me wanting to continue on and keep reading.  But I'm getting ahead of myself so let me tell you what this book is about.

A Perfect Evil is a thriller that begins when a young boy is found murdered after he had gone missing a few days earlier.  The murder is eerily similar to a couple of previous killings with the problem being that the convicted murderer for those crimes has been recently executed.  The question remains if the police have a copycat killer on their hands.  And then another boy goes missing....

I'm going to admit that at first I didn't think that I was going to like this book.  As a parent it is never easy for me to read books where the crimes being perpetrated are against children.  Plus, the author isn't afraid to share all of the gory details that went along with the killings and I started to pull away a bit as a reader.  The saving grace of the book for me was Maggie O'Dell and Sheriff Nick Morrelli.  Both main characters came across so realistically to me and both were flawed.  I loved that!  I found it all too easy to connect with both of the main characters which is always a positive in my opinion.  I found that for me these two made the book.  I loved the chemistry that developed between them, I appreciated the obstacles that they were up against, and I cannot wait to see what future books have in store for them.  Because nothing in this book was easy to figure out including the mystery itself.  And just when I thought that it was done and everything was figured out, I realized that there was more.  And maybe even a little more after that.  Let me tell you that these twists and turns really had me turning the pages.  I've already mentioned the ending but it bears repeating that the ending left me wanting.  I'm so eager to continue on that I'm already planning on grabbing the 2nd book when I visit the used bookstore next time.  Or if I decide I can't wait until then a library trip will be in order. 

Overall, this was a very solid thriller that was made better because of the main characters.  I liked that the author didn't give us all of the answers, and I found that it just made me more curious about future books.  My only warning before recommending this book is the violence against children issue.  If you are squeamish at all (and I was at times) when it comes to this, then you might not enjoy this book as much as I did.  I was able to get past it though mainly because of my curiosity and connection to the characters.  Otherwise, highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  A thriller that made me wish I had book 2 instantly!

Disclosure:  I bought my copy of this book from the used bookstore.  I just passed it on to my Mom because I thought it was that good :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

E-Book Hoarder???

Please tell me that I'm not the only one that scours the internet for good deals on e-books.  Like once a day.  Seriously.  And I will also freely admit that I can NEVER not look at a blog post that advertises cheap reads for my reader.  Free books?  Even better!  I love, love, love finding good deals on books for my Kindle but the other day I came to realize that I'm turning into an e-book hoarder.  Maybe that's a little extreme....or maybe it isn't.  I will say that I seem to have quite the number of books loaded onto my e-reader ready for me to open up.  Yet I always seem to still want more.  I can't be the only one like this, can I????

I'm guessing I'm not the only reader out there that it finds it all too easy to click buy when the price of the book is right.  I thought it would be fun to share some of the books that I've picked up for my Kindle lately in the hopes that I will at least read a few of them sooner rather than later :)  Because I probably wouldn't feel so bad about acquiring all of these books if I was actually reading them.  LOL!  Here are the books that I've bought recently for my e-reader (a few were probably free):


What good e-book deals have you found lately????

In other news, WTF happened to being able to manipulate multiple pictures with blogger???  Do you see what my book covers look like on this post???  I don't even know how I managed to get them like this but I can tell you lots of R-rated words left my mouth.  And I hate it because I can't seem to align them the way I want to.  Why, why, why can I not figure out an easy way to put pictures side by side?  I HATE the new blogger because stuff like this should be easier and not harder.  Tell me someone has figured this out and can share tips with me.  I may end up stroking out otherwise :P