Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday - Sept. 30, 2009

This weekly event is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we get to share which upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on.

My pick for this week is:

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting, release date of March 16, 2010

From Goodreads:

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.

I haven't actually found this cover art anywhere else except on Goodreads, but the premise sounds very cool and I can't wait to get my hands on it! What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Review: Trust Me by Peter Leonard

Let me start by saying, this is not the type of book I would normally read, but it seemed to have a strong female character, so my interest was piqued. When it comes to small time thugs and shylocks and such, I usually watch them in movies. Then, when I learned that Peter Leonard is the son of Elmore Leonard, I was further interested, having seen Get Shorty and Be Cool (incidentally, this is where I learned what the term "shylock" means.)

Within the first few pages, there's an attempted robbery at the home of Lou Starr and his fiance, Karen. This becomes the seed for a plan that Karen has been trying to devise since splitting with her last boyfriend, who kept the $300,000 she had given him to invest. Karen trusted the wrong man and is now looking for a way to get her money back.

As the plan unfolds, we meet Bobby, Samir, Ricky, and O'Clair, among many others, each person looking for their piece of the proverbial pie. The book twists and winds you through everyones story, while not losing you in it. It's fast paced and anything but boring. Within a paragraph or two, the author is able to easily describe the players involved while maintaining the flow of the story and you are kept guessing about what will happen next, as this cast of wayward criminals run rampant through Detroit and Chicago.

From the first page, I was hooked! Peter Leonard has created situations and characters that I could visualize with ease. There are gruesome acts, acts of kindness, and lots of humour. I definitely look forward to seeing more from Peter Leonard in the future and won't hesitate to pick up this type of story again.

For more information on Peter Leonard and his books, check out his website here:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mailbox Monday - September 28, 2009

This weekly meme, hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page, is where we get to share what awesome books we received in the mail over the last week.

After last week, I gave my mailbox a good talking to - and it worked! Check out my goodies for this week:

So, I'm definitely going to be a busy little reader! What did your mailbox bring you? Leave me a link here and let me know.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Friday 56

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Storytime with Tonya and Friends.
*Post a link along with your post back to Storytime with Tonya and Friends.
* Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

"Through this tribute, Willoughby executed a mocking gesture with his hands, holding the flat of his palm below his nose and wiggling his fingers in comical imitation of Brandon's deformity."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Review: Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men by Molly Harper

Recently, it seems my book choices have been leaning towards the supernatural or otherworldly. Vampires, werewolves, angels, zombies, ghosts, they've all made appearances in my book choices of late. So, Molly Harper's Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men fit in very well with this theme.

You would think that a newly-turned vampire could only experience a certain number of problems, like where to find the next feed or where her day time resting place should be, but Harper has created such scenarios that poor Jane Jameson is up to her preternatural eyeballs in difficulties.

Jane was once a simple girl, dreaming of "marrying Mark-Paul Gosselaar from Saved by the Bell." Now, knee deep as maid of honour at her best friends' Titanic themed wedding, she has a loved-crazed she-wolf bride to contend with. She has also just lost her most recent step-grandfather to an unfortunate misunderstanding of "dosage on his 'little blue tablets' " he had taken to celebrate their anniversary. It's beginning to look like her Grandmother is single-handedly, albeit accidentally, doing away with all of the octogenarian males in Half Moon Hollow, Kentucky. Not one to be alone for long, Grandma brings a date to the funeral, but Jane suspects there's something not quite right with Wilbur. Much fun ensues as Jane works her way through these issues and more.

I have to admit, I was pretty much expecting it to be similar in feel to Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Series but I was pleasantly surprised to find this wasn't entirely the case. Harper writes with wit, sarcasm, and is just plain silly at times, which I found refreshing. While it wasn't the most face paced story, her use of pop-culture references and self-deprecating humour (from the main character's point of view) made it a lot of fun for me to read. It has always been my assumption that to be successfully funny you must first be very smart and I get the sense that this holds true for Molly Harper.

I will have to go back now and read the first book in the series, Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs, and anxiously await the publication of the next installment in the series, Nice Girls Don't Live Forever, due out December 29, 2009.

To read an excerpt from the book click here

Book Excerpt: Trust Me by Peter Leonard

Trust Me
Chapter One
by Peter Leonard,
Author of Trust Me

Lou Starr was in bed reading, covered to the waist by a sheet. He'd set the air at sixty-eight and heard the compressor kick on outside. He pushed up the glasses that were falling off the end of his nose and stared at the signature hole of a new Robert Trent Jones PGA golf course called Whispering Palms.
He fondled the medallion that was hanging from a gold chain around his neck, resting on a sweater of chest hair. Lou said, "Want to see the best-looking new hole in golf?" He tilted the magazine toward Karen on the other side of the king-size bed, two feet of mattress between them.
Karen didn't say anything. She was propped up on pillows, the bedsheet angling across her chest revealing the pale white skin of her shoulder and the round curve of a breast. She was watching a sitcom on a Sony flat screen that hung on the wall a few feet away.
"It's a six-hundred-yard par five," Lou said. "Longest one in golf." He grinned now, imagining himself on the tee looking down the fairway. He took a couple practice swings with his Fusion FT-3 driver and blasted the ball 325 yards straight down the pike. Hey, Tiger, beat that.
Lou hit his second shot over a bunker and a water hazard -- on in two. He lined up the putt and sent the ball forty feet over a swale -- left to right -- for an eagle. He grinned big and closed the magazine and placed it on the table next to the bed. He took off his reading glasses, put them on top of the magazine and turned off the light.
Lou slid over next to Karen, touched her shoulder with his index finger, tracing a line down her arm to her elbow. He was horny. She'd been putting him off for a couple of weeks. First it was her period. What could he say about that? Then her allergies kicked in. What allergies? She'd never mentioned them before. And the past few nights she'd been too tired. From what, Lou wanted to know? All she did was go to the mall while he worked his ass off. He was wondering what he'd gotten himself into. They'd been living together for eight months and he was sure there were monks who got laid more than he did. Well he was going to get some to night. He'd demand it.
Lou moved his hand under the covers, stroked Karen's thigh, her hip, the smooth round point of her pelvis under the nightie.
Karen pushed his hand away. "Come on, Lou. Not now."
"Not now," Lou said, "when?"She was watching Pardon My French, this stupid fucking sitcom.
Karen said, "Chuck's getting married."
She sounded like she knew him. "Well, we're engaged," Lou said, "in case you forgot. How about my right to a piece of ass every couple months whether I need it or not?" He slid away from her, rolled over on his side.
A few minutes later it was over. He could hear the announcer's voice say: "Pardon My French has been brought to you by Levitra. The more you know about ED, the more you'll want to know about Levitra."
Lou got a kick out of that, Levitra for all the losers who couldn't get it up. He was fifty-six and still had a hard-on like a steel post. He glanced at Karen -- hoping she'd slip her nightie off and attack him -- this good-looking woman who was more interested in TV than sex. What was wrong with this picture?
He watched her yawn and close her eyes. The switcher slipped out of her hand and fell on the bed. Her eyes flickered open. She yawned again, picked up the remote and turned off the TV. It was dark, the room was quiet except for the ticking of his clock.
He'd been asleep for some time -- he was sure of it -- when he heard the noise. It was loud too, like something breaking, a window maybe, he couldn't tell. He looked at the clock. It was 2:48. He turned toward Karen. She heard it too, her eyes were big, a nervous look on her face.
"What was that?" Karen said.
She sat up and opened the drawer of her bedside table, took out her Airweight .357 and turned toward him. He was bringing the .45 out of his drawer, racking it. They got up with their guns and moved around the bed and went through the doorway into the living room.
Bobby saw them come in the dark room, holding guns, barrels pointed up like TV cops. They didn't go together, Bobby was thinking. The guy was short and hairy like a little gorilla. The girl was something though -- lean and pale with skinny arms and nice jugs he could see hanging under the thin fabric of her nightie. He knew their names, Lou and Karen.
Bobby made his move coming in behind them, pointing the .32, telling them, if they moved, he'd blow their fucking heads off. Delivering the line like he meant it, surprised by the sound of his voice in the quiet room.
They bent down and placed their guns on the carpet, and now Lloyd entered from the other side of the room."Folks, step back here, have a seat, will you?" Bobby said it friendly and polite, no reason to be rude now that he had their attention. He waved the gun motioning them toward the couch.
Lou said, "What the hell do you want?"
"Have a seat over here, we'll let you know," Bobby said.
Lloyd picked up the .357 and the .45. Bobby was wondering why these suburbanites were armed in the first place, not to mention with large caliber handguns. Lou grabbed an afghan off the couch wrapped it around the Karen's shoulders and they both sat down.
"Come with me," Bobby said to Karen. She didn't hesitate, got up and headed toward the bedroom.
Lou said, "Hey . . . where you taking her?"
Lloyd sat in a chair across from the guy, pointing the .45 at him.
Lloyd said, "We catch you and the little lady getting after it?"
"What the hell business is it of yours?" He was mad letting Lloyd know it.
"I'm making it my business," Lloyd said. "I got the gun. You didn't wimp out maybe you'd be holding on me. But you froze like an amateur." He glanced around the room, checking things out. It was dark, but his eyes had adjusted and he could focus now. The furniture looked like it should be on a porch, not in somebody's living room, but he liked it. Real comfortable too, bent wood frames with khaki cushions.
Neither of them said anything for a while, sitting in silence like strangers on a bus until Lloyd said, "Nice place you got here. Is that a real one," pointing to the zebra skin rug on the floor.
"What do you think?"
Lloyd said, "Where'd you get it at?"
"I shot it," Lou Starr said.
Lloyd said, "You mean like on safari?"
"No, in the backyard."
"I hunt too," Lloyd said, "with a bow and arrow."
Lou Starr said, "Congratulations."
"What kind of gun you use?" Lloyd said.
"You don't give up, do you?"
"I was just wondering," Lloyd said, "that's all."
" A 30.06, okay? You happy?"
Lloyd wondered if the guy was always this grouchy. He was making a real effort to be friendly and it wasn't working.
In the dressing room, Bobby fixed his gaze on Karen. She was a knockout, red hair and pale creamy skin. He'd always had a weakness for girls like her.
"Do you think I'm going to overpower you?" she said.
"Huh?" He wasn't paying attention, his eyes staring where the afghan didn't cover her.
"The gun," Karen said. "You don't have to point it at me. I'm not going to try anything."
He was surprised she was so relaxed, like people broke in her house in the middle of the night on a regular basis.
"Do you mind if I put something on? This thing itches," Karen said. She didn't wait for permission; let the afghan slide off her shoulder onto the floor. She grabbed a robe off a hanger and slipped it on, tying the sash around her waist.
There was a framed sign hanging on the wall that read: "Everybody's a Star at Lou Starr's World Famous Parthenon." There was a photograph of a storefront and the word "Parthenon" in neon surrounded by a silver border of stars. He said, "What's that?"
"It's from Lou's restaurants," Karen said. "You get one when you eat there. Lou thinks it makes people feel special."
"He make you feel special?" Judging by the angry look on her face he would've guessed, no. "What the hell're those for?" He was staring at the wig stands, three of them on a shelf -- two had salt-and-pepper hairpieces on them.
"They're Lou's."
"No kidding. I thought they were yours." He glanced at her and felt himself grin. He lifted one of the hairpieces off the stand and studied it. It looked like a furry little creature in his hands. He was going to try it on but didn't want to mess up his own hair. "Is it real?"
"Yeah," Karen said. "It's hair from a fourteen-year-old Chinese girl."
"Does he put it on, and get a yen for chop suey?" Bobby grinned big. He couldn't help it. He surprised himself sometimes.
"He has them custom-made in London," Karen said. "The same place Burt Reynolds gets his."
Bobby said, "Burt Reynolds wears a rug, come on?"
"Are you kidding," Karen said, "his hair looks like it was made by Karastan."
"What's a custom rug cost these days?" Bobby said.
"They start at $700 and go up from there."
"That's a lot of money to look like an idiot. Why's he have three?"
"They're all different lengths so it looks like his hair's growing," Karen said.
"Where's the third one?" Bobby said, eyeing the blank wig stand.
"On his head," Karen said."Duh," Bobby said.
How'd he miss that?
Lloyd was staring at a framed picture on the end table next to him. The guy across from him was in a safari outfit and there was a dead animal at his feet. Lloyd turned the frame toward him so he could see it. "Look at you. What is that, a lion?" Lloyd put it back on the end table. "What's a lion weigh?"
"Three fifty, four hundred," Lou Starr said. "This one went four twenty-five."
He finally got the grouch's attention. "Four twenty-five, whoa hoss, that's a big cat, ain't it?" Lloyd grinned at him. "You were in Africa, right?"
"That's been a dream of mine," Lloyd said. "Get some sahibs to carry all the shit, go out every day and hunt. Smoke any of that homegrown they got over there?"
He stared at Lloyd. Maybe he didn't know what homegrown was. Lloyd was just trying to be nice to the guy, making conversation, trying to pass the time and he was being a real dickhead. "Ever hunt whitetail?"
Lou Starr said, "Uh- huh."
He wasn't giving him much. "You prefer a tree stand or a blind?"
"Who the fuck cares?"
"Ever got yourself a trophy buck?" Lloyd said. "One that made book? I'm not talking about seeing it while you're up on a limb. I'm talking about nailing it, bringing it home."
Lou Starr looked across the living room to the bedroom, glanced at his watch. "That's it," he said, standing now.
Lloyd aimed the .45 at him. "Don't be a dumbass. Sit down."
He dropped back on the couch, covered his face in his hands. He had a huge diamond ring set in gold on his little finger. Lloyd hadn't noticed it before, too busy looking at other stuff. "I like your ring," Lloyd said. "Always wanted one of those."
"I got an idea," Lou Starr said grinning. "When you get out of prison, get yourself a job and start saving up."
Bobby stared at a hanger-rack-ful of Lou's guayabera shirts: white and blue and yellow, reminding him of the shirts barbers wore, same style with the open collar and little vents on the tails. But these had a decorative quality to them and he imagined a roomful of short compact Latin men in the same kind of shirts, dancing and drinking wine.
Bobby turned and looked at her. "What nationality is he?"
"Take a guess," Karen said.
"Something Mediterranean," he said. "Italian or Sardinian."
"I'll give you a hint," Karen said. "Lou's real name is Starvos Loutra."
She was sitting in a chair now, chiseled legs visible, sticking out of the bottom of the robe.
"He doesn't have a brother named Spartacus, does he?" He smiled thinking he was funny and she smiled back telling him she did too. "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts," Bobby said, "and don't bend over and pick up the soap. That exhausts my knowledge of Greek heritage."
"I'm impressed," Karen said. "I can see you're a real scholar."
Bobby said, "Where's the money at?"
"What're you talking about?" Karen said.
"The $9,600 Lou won at the casino."
Karen said, "It's locked in the safe at one of his restaurants."
"I'm not walking out of here empty-handed," Bobby said.
"Do you want to make some real money?" Karen said. "Two hundred fifty thousand, maybe more."
"What do you think I just fell off the back of a turnip truck? Do I look that dumb?" She stared at him and he wondered what she was thinking. "Where's it at?"
"In a house in West Bloomfield," Karen said.
"Whose house?"
"We can get into all that," Karen said. "Does this sound like something you might be interested in?"
A quarter mill and a shot at her, hell yes he was interested. But he didn't trust her. How could he? You didn't break into someone's house in the middle of the night and expect to get propositioned. He fixed his gaze on her and said, "Are you scamming me?"
"No," Karen said. "I've been waiting for you."

The above is an excerpt from the book Trust Me by Peter Leonard. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Copyright © 2009 Peter Leonard, author of Trust Me
Author Bio:
Peter Leonard, author of Trust Me, lives in Birmingham, Michigan. His first novel, Quiver, received wide-spread critical acclaim.
For more information please visit

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mailbox Monday - September 21, 2009

This weekly meme, hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page, is where we get to share what awesome books we received in the mail over the last week.

I must admit, my mailbox disappointed me a little bit last week. I'm waiting on some great stuff coming, but it just didn't show up when I was expecting it. I guess there's always this week, right?

Here are the two books I did receive:

From the publisher:

Book Description

Meet Matt Prior. He's about to lose his job, his wife, his house, maybe his mind. Unless . . .

In the winning and utterly original novels Citizen Vince and The Zero, Jess Walter ("a ridiculously talented writer"—New York Times) painted an America all his own: a land of real, flawed, and deeply human characters coping with the anxieties of their times.

Now, in his warmest, funniest, and best novel yet, Walter offers a story as real as our own lives: a tale of overstretched accounts, misbegotten schemes, and domestic dreams deferred.

A few years ago, small-time finance journalist Matthew Prior quit his day job to gamble everything on a quixotic notion: a Web site devoted to financial journalism in the form of blank verse. When his big idea—and his wife's eBay resale business— ends with a whimper (and a garage full of unwanted figurines), they borrow and borrow, whistling past the graveyard of their uncertain dreams. One morning Matt wakes up to find himself jobless, hobbled with debt, spying on his wife's online flirtation, and six days away from losing his home. Is this really how things were supposed to end up for me, he wonders: staying up all night worried, driving to 7-Eleven in the middle of the night to get milk for his boys, and falling in with two local degenerates after they offer him a hit of high-grade marijuana?

Or, he thinks, could this be the solution to all my problems?

Following Matt in his weeklong quest to save his marriage, his sanity, and his dreams, The Financial Lives of the Poets is a hysterical, heartfelt novel about how we can reach the edge of ruin—and how we can begin to make our way back.


From the author:

New novel finds black humor in crime on fringe of society Murder in the Magick Club, a novel by attorney Byron A. Lorrier, tells the story of a murder mystery that takes place in a bar that caters to witches, goths and everything in between

Largo, FL - Sep 2, 2009 - Murder in the Magick Club, a novel by attorney Byron A. Lorrier, is an occult-themed murder mystery set in a pagan-themed night club, which follows a cast of rundown characters who live on the outskirts of society.

The last thing beleaguered nightclub owner Bryn Thomas needed was a dead body out back. After all, he already deals with annoying psychic flashes of his infinitely unfulfilling past and future lives, a worsening drinking problem, a disabling load of debt and running his ratty yet inexplicably popular club. But when he discovers the body of an old man by the dumpster behind the club, it soon becomes apparent that someone he knows is more than a make-believe witch or warlock.

"The book is a down-and-dirty stab at black humor wrapped around a mystery," Lorrier says. "Readers will relate to the need for delusional, magical escape from their day-to-day encounters with vile villains and financial stress."

The Magick Club mystery is complicated by Thomas' incompetent staff, including Cal, the thuggish hustler, Robert, the clumsy, catty instigator, and Magdeline, the oblivious, battered, drug-addled butt of everyone's jokes. Everyone who frequents the club becomes a suspect and the truth may be impossible to find in the midst of séances, witchcraft and enlightening effects of mugwort tea.

I'm really looking forward to getting into these books. What did you mail box bring you?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Waiting On" Wednesday

"Waiting on" Wednesday, hosted by Breaking the Spine, is a weekly event where we get to share what upcoming releases we just can't wait to read.

For those of you that have been following me for a bit, I'm sure you've noticed my interesting book choices. Anyone new to my blog, let it just be known, I have peculiar tastes, sometimes!

I've been a fan of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for a while and am familiar with Richard Belzer's character, Detective John Munch, though not as familiar with him when he was on Homicide: Life on the Street. It doesn't take many episodes to understand that Munch is the conspiracy theorist/know-it-all on the show. So, when I saw that he also writes books, I was intrigued. You never know how much a TV character reflects the actor's actual personality or how it translates to fiction

In his previous book, I Am Not a Cop! and this recent installment, Richard Belzer portrays himself in a fictitious setting...boy, I'm a bit confused! Nonetheless, I'm really looking forward to checking it out

The book releases on October 6, 2009 from Simon and Schuster.

Is there anything you just can't wait to get your hands on? Let me know!

Review: Water Witch by Deborah LeBlanc

I'll be honest, this started off slightly difficult for me to get into. First, the prologue set a gory tone that I'm not used to. Then there was the subject matter: Dunny Pollock, a woman that has an interesting appendage with some extraordinary abilities, is asked by her sister for help. Two local children, a seven year old girl and an eight year old boy, have gone missing. It's suspected the children have been abducted from their hometown of Bayou Crow, Louisiana. Having a seven year old daughter myself made this tricky for me especially when I read what was intended to happen to them. I wasn't sure I would be able to stomach it, but, I gave myself a good talking to, realizing it's only fiction, and continued on.

Am I ever glad that I did! Deborah LeBlanc has created some wonderful characters that give substance and humour to the story. Her lush descriptiveness is unlike other books I've read, for example:

"Most of southern Louisiana appeared to be swamp, a giant fertile womb always giving birth. It kept its offspring close, nurturing it with an exotic amniotic fluid that created beauty out of dark and foreboding."

The scene is complete with water moccasins, swarms of mosquitoes, alligators, craw fish and any number of other wild creatures as well as ghostly apparitions that seem to ooze from the swap. I could feel my clothes clinging to me as the humidity sprung to life from the pages and I'll admit, had to sleep with the light on one night (I am a paranoid freak about some things, namely ghosts). After reading Water Witch, there's a very slim chance I'd ever be caught in a Louisiana swamp after dark!

LeBlanc keeps you guessing till the end (at least I was, but I may just be a very bad guesser). I wasn't sure what to expect, but given the author's background, I'm not surprised that Water Witch is quirky and fun, but, at the same time, dark and compelling. Though my initial reactions almost made me set the book aside, I understand now that the disturbing feelings I got were just a sign that Deborah LeBlanc was doing an excellent job of story telling.

Author Bio
Deborah LeBlanc is an award-winning author from Lafayette, Louisiana. She is also a business owner, a licensed death scene investigator, and an active member of two national paranormal investigation teams. Deborah's unique experiences, enthusiasm, and high-energy level make her a much sought-after speaker at writer's conferences across the nation. She also takes her passion for literacy and a powerful ability to motivate to high schools around the country.

She is the president of the Horror Writers Association, the Writers' Guild of Acadiana, Mystery Writers of America's Southwest Chapter, and an active member of Sisters in Crime, the National Association of Women Writers, and International Thriller Writers Inc. In 2004, Deborah created the LeBlanc Literacy Challenge, an annual national campaign designed to encourage more people to read, and soon after founded Literacy Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting illiteracy in America. For more information please visit

For more information on Deborah LeBlanc, check out her website:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly event hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Here is how it works.:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2 or 3) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Right now, I'm reading Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men by Molly Harper. Here's your tease from this (so far) very funny book:

"Exhausted by what was really just a moment's effort, I opened my eyes to find a smug smile stretched across Ms. Barnes' face. "Better luck next time, dear."

Did I just get psychically pimp-slapped by a little old lady?"

And there you have it. Hopefully, I'll have the review up for this book before the weekend. I'm having a blast with it!

BBAW Interview with Eva from A Striped Armchair

This being my first year blogging, I was thrilled with the idea of an interview swap. There is still so much that I feel I need to learn, so having a seasoned veteran like Eva from A Striped Armchair as my interview partner has been great. To check out the other side of the interview (my answers) click here.

Without any further ado, I present Eva:

You say you read as often as possible, how many hours per week do you think would be the average?

Let's reading is cyclical. When I get really sick, I can't read at all, and I watch a ton of TV and movies. Then when I'm feeling a little better, I got on a total reading binge because I've missed it so much, reading 8-10 hours a day. Then I'll settle back to normal, which is probably 3-5 hours a day. So that's what, 21-35 hours a week? Probably closer to the 35! (This is just book-reading,not internet-reading!)

After all the places you've lived in or visited, where would you chose to stay , if given the choice (money, etc, are no object)?

I'm a Texan at heart, but my number one life goal is to live all around the world (I want to live on each continent but Antarctica at least once). So I'm not sure if I'd pick one place to stay forever,but there are three cities I'd go back to in a heartbeat to live a few years: Edinburgh, Cairo, and St. Petersburg.

Was there a specific person/blogger that helped to get you started on your own blogging adventures?

Right at the end of 2006, I somehow stumbled across Iliana's bookblog, Bookgirl's Nightstand (
www.bookgirlnet). I immediately wanted a book blog for myself. :) But I didn't have a mentor.

Are you fluent in Russian and/or French?

I don't like the word 'fluent,' lol. But I'm very comfortable with Russian in all aspects, verbal and written. As far as French, I'm much better at reading and writing, since I didn't study abroad there. I took Latin in high school, which makes the French vocab a bit easier too. :)

Is there a particular book or series of books that you tend to read over and over?

Any time I'm feeling really down, I turn to a Jane Austen book. This year, I'm rereading Laurie King's Mary Russell detective series, which has been great! And if I need a lift, I prefer childhood favourites like Anne of Green Gables. I used to reread books all of the time,but since getting into book blogging I've sort of stopped doing that.:/ I want to get back into it though!

Until you have your perfect reading nook set up, where do you do most of your reading?

I have four main reading spots in my house: the couch in the living room, which is great because I can lay on it or turn the end into an easy chair (it has foot rest) and it's right near an outlet. Since I have to use a heating pad to help my muscles a lot, the couch is my fave right now. Then there's the backyard porch. I have a gorgeous backyard that turns into foothills of the Rockies, with deer often stopping by. We have great patio furniture with super-padded chairs,and during great weather I'm out there a lot. Then there's the bathtub-soaking in super hot water is a good way to help fibro, so my tub is tricked out. I have a padded bathmat in there, as well as the perfect inflatable terrycloth pillow. And an awesome pumpkin spice candle I can easily spend two hours in the bath! Finally there's my bed, which I don't use that frequently since it doesn't provide as much neck support. But I might read there right before I fall asleep. And it's where I lay when I'm too sick to read and thus listening to audiobooks.

Have you ever tried writing anything (other than what's required at school)?

Nope. Well, back when I was in elementary school I wrote a book series set in Australia with characters like Peter the Platypus and Katie the Kangaroo. But I have no real interest in writing fiction!I have started keeping a journal again recently, and I kept one when Iowas studying abroad in Russia. Nothing for publication, though,outside of academic stuff!
Are you connected with any other online book related site (like LibraryThing or Goodreads)?
I used Shelfari for maybe two weeks. lol But no-book blogs keep me busy enough as it is! If I spent any more time online, I'd never get any books read.

You are very honest on your blog about your condition. Have you ever read a fictional book where there's a character that has fibromyalgia?

I haven't, and I'm not sure that I'd want to. (I have read nonfic stuff about fibro; my favourite is A Delicate Balance: Living Successfully with Chronic Illness.) Unless the author actually had fibro, I'm sure that a fictional character would just annoy me. There are so many misconceptions and prejudices out there about fibro; when they started advertising that prescription med for it, I hated it.Now, when I tell new people I have fibro, half the time I get a response similar to "Oh, like those whiny old women in the commercials?" But I've veered off onto a whole different issue!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Another great contest!

Check out the Saturday Spotlight over at Park Avenue Princess. The Princess introduces us to blogger Kristen of Bookworming in the 21st Century. This is a very cool feature with a contest too! While on her site, check out the other great contests here. You definitely don't want to miss all of these great opportunities.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Word Verification Balderdash (The Thursday Thing)

This is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at One Persons Journey through a world of books where you take the verification characters you have to input when commenting on other blogs and make up definitions for them.

I was going to skip this week; as of this morning I had 4 on my list and it wasn't looking promising. Then I went on a commenting blitz and found I had a bit more to work with, so here goes:

emiater - the robotic invention that was created to shred or eat all of the Emmy nominations received by Susan Lucci when she did not actually win the award (the unsuccessful nominations were in the millions at the time of its creation)

iminabu - chant sung by the Bu tribe, found at the northern most tip of Nunavut, traditionally used during the ceremony of transition from childhood to adult. It is also used to describe the disease that has caused the loss of body parts as a result of the ceremony being performed naked in sub-arctic temperatures.

radicedy - a term used to describe the small groups of radicals that don't believe in working or contributing to society in any normal fashion but always seem to find the funding to travel first class to the next protest and are ready at a moments notice.

ungnsi - African tribal term to indicate the least desirable place in the village, that area where all outhouse drainage's converge

And there you have it! It seems my Balderdash's have all ended up in the ungnsi this week...maybe better luck next week ;-)
Let me know what you think and what you've come up with.

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Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Jenny at Take Me Away who says, "It is the time each week to recognize those older books… an older book you’ve always wanted to read, or one that you have read and love; maybe one from your childhood; or review an older book -- how about even a classic!"

So, I'm pitching in this week with my selection: I've picked up books recently that have either been written by authors who have been compared to Douglas Adams of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fame or have quoted/made reference to the book(s). I'm excited to add that I received an email yesterday advising me of its imminent shipment! Considering that I've read so many of Kurt Vonnegut and Tom Robbins over the years and have recently added Christopher Moore and Victors Gischler to my repertoire, it's amazing I haven't picked this one up sooner. Now, I just have to locate some Thomas Pynchon books.
Leave me a comment below with your throwback pick and of course, head over to Take Me Away to give props to the host.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My ABC's

I was tagged by Issa at Fiction Does it Better and seemed it fun so, well, here are my ABCs. :)

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you

2. Share your ABCs

3. Tag three people at the end by linking to their blogs

4. Let the three tagged people know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website

5. Do not tag the same person repeatedly but try to tag different people, so there is a big network of bloggers doing this tag

Here goes. . .

Available or single? Available

Best Friend? Melissa

Cake or Pie? Cake

Drink of choice? Twinings Lady Grey tea or Tazo's Awake

Essential item for every day use? Tooth brush, the day can't start until I've brushed my teeth.

Favorite color? Purple

Google? YES, I love Google!

Hometown? Whitby, Ontario

Indulgences? Books, music, movies

January or February?'s one month closer to spring

Kids and their names? 1, Jordan

Life is incomplete without…? my daughter

Marriage date? July 13th, it wasn't a Friday, lol

Number of siblings? None.

Oranges or apples? Oranges

Phobias and fears? Roller coasters!

Quote for the day? "Whoever is happy will make will make others happy too." - Anne Frank (okay, I kind of was the Google quote of the blog has my fave book quotes on it constantly, lol)

Reason to smile? My daughter's's so bad! But the fact that she can sing now, where she couldn't 2 years ago, always puts a smile on my face :-)

Season? Spring

Tag 3 people:
I'm not sure if they already did this but here goes:
Eva at A Striped Armchair

Krista at Life or Something Like It

Mel at He Followed Me Home/

... and anyone else who would like to play!

Unknown fact about me? I played the clarinet for years in school...i don't announce that fact these days :-p

Vegetable you hate? Celery, It's the most useless, tasteless thing ever discovered! ( I do apologize to all the celery lovers out there, but try as I might, I just can't bring myself to like it, even when it's been doused with vodka in a caesar!)

Worst habit? Googling/blogging when I supposed to be working (just don't tell the boss, k?)

X-rays you’ve had? Chest, wrist, neck

Your fave food? Mushrooms

Zodiac sign? Leo

"Waiting On" Wednesday

"Waiting on" Wednesday, hosted by Breaking the Spine, is a weekly event where we get to share what upcoming releases we just can't wait to read.

I am in need of some humour. After finishing The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks and The Divorce Partys by Laura Dave, both of which have heavy topics, I feel it's time for some good old silliness. Again, it's a two-parter for me, one book has already been released and has been getting great comments (plus has been sitting on my bookshelf for about a month now), the other comes out in October 2009:

So, what book is it you just can't wait to get your hands on this week?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Review: The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

The first thing I'd like to say about Nicholas Sparks is that all of his books should come with a box of tissues. This should be a prerequisite to reading them.

In his newest novel, The Last Song, Sparks tells the story of Ronnie a teenager on the verge of adulthood. She has been going through a rebellious phase, arguing constantly with her mother and not speaking with her father for the past three years. This comes to a head when she and her ten year old brother are forced to spend the summer with their father, whom she blames for the breakup of the marriage.

Upon arrival in Wilmington, North Carolina, she continues her alienation of her dad while finding herself mixed up, once again, with the wrong crowd. Over the summer, though, she discovers that being an adult has deeper meaning than just independence. It means protecting those you love from harsh truths. It involves love, loss, forgiveness and ultimately the need to keep faith in yourself and those you love.

Sparks has remarkable insight into the mind of a struggling teenage girl faced with many obstacles as she embraces maturity. He is consistent in making us open our eyes, through all of his characters, to see the big picture and realize what should be most important in our lives.

So go out, pick up this book and get ready for the emotional roller coaster that The Last Song will inevitably take you on.

Review: The Divorce Party by Laura Dave

The first and only time I'd heard about a divorce party was on an episode of CSI:Miami. Of course one of the participants is murdered and cheesy sunglass removal ensued. This translates to zero knowledge of what to expect at an actual event.

In The Divorce Party, Laura Dave tells the stories of Maggie, a former writer turned, along with her fiance, Nate, future restaurant owner, and of Gwyn, Nate's mother, who is preparing to celebrate the end of her thirty-five year marriage to Thomas.

Maggie is the proverbial rolling stone, having stayed in eight cities over eight years. She must look at her life and her history to find out if she can finally settle down with Nate.

Gwyn is the woman that has been taken for granted. Everyone thinks that, in her, what you see is really what you get. But she has a few things up her sleeve.

Maggie sets out to meet Nate's parents for the first time, on the night of their Divorce Party (what a strange night to be introduced to you future in-laws, no?) and instead finds out truths about Nate and about herself that could jeopardize their future together.

As the two woman take a good hard look at themselves and at the others in their lives, Dave gives, through them, voice to the question most people in relationships have - whether we can ever truly know someone, regardless of how much time you've been spent together, or if knowing everything about someone really matters in the end.

The book was an easy read, quick yet still thought provoking. At times the writing was a bit repetitive, but this was the method the author choose to get her points across. Overall, fairly enjoyable.

Click here for an excerpt.

Review: Vampire a Go-Go by Victor Gischler

In Vampire a Go-Go, we have the story of a modern man, our intrepid hero, Allen Cabbot, whose greatest ability to date is his uncanny ability to research anything, "Imagine a superhero whose mutant power was prying out library's secrets...Perhaps in his youth he'd been bitten by a radioactive librarian." A self proclaimed geek with a penchant for having his heart broken by the wrong type of girl, he unwillingly gets mixed up in mysteries, folklore and magic . Then again, what do you expect when you attend a school named Gothic State University?

On the other side of things, we hear tell of a couple of alchemists who, long before Harry Potter and his involvement with the Philosopher's Stone, made it their mission to find this notorious item, namely Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelley. The story is generously narrated by none other than Edward Kelley, or at least the author's approximation of him (Dee and Kelley were actual alchemists, back in the day). Having been abandoned by Dee then left behind, spiritually, at Prague Castle since the late 16th/early 17th centuries, Edward is now the man in the know.

Visiting internet cafes and bars, ancient libraries and the former seat of the Roman Empire, this cast of characters are all in search of the "stone" that will finally allow its possessor to turn lead into gold. Well that should help out the world economy, right? In addition, it is thought that perhaps the stone could bring eternal life, and who doesn't want that?

The novel delves into deep issues like can a large Jesuit priest be left in charge of purchasing a bra or if zombies have a shelf life and if so, how best to contain them; hard pressed matters that I'm sure we've all encountered at times in our lives.

With several organizations working towards the same goal, it's unclear who we should be rooting for but, of course, each group has their own agenda. Perhaps a conference call amongst the groups would have alleviated some of their struggles from the beginning, uniting them in the battle against the true bad guys, but where would that have left us with a story?

Lycanthrops to a Freemason based society of witches and wizards, the story is a mixture of National Treasure meets Harry Potter , with a dash of the Southern Vampire Series . We're taken on a fast paced romp around Prague, where no stone is left unturned (pun fully intended!)

Gischler has finally voiced warnings that members of my generation have known all along about dealing with the supernatural, "Split up?...I've seen enough episodes of Scooby Doo to know that's a bad idea."

Vampire a Go-Go is fun, gruesome, smart and well worth the read.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

From Me to You Award

I received this uber-aborable award from Ryan at Wordsmithonia and send out much gratitude to him.

From Me to You Award

And now I pass it on to the following blogs:

Mel at He Followed Me Home

Sara at My Life is an Effing Fairytale

Alexia at Alexia's Books and Such

Lezlie at Books n Border Collies

Remember to go check out Ryan's blog and then pop by to congratulate these other awesome bloggers.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Word Verification Balderdash, week 4

Here's my fourth installment of the weekly meme, hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey through a world of books.
To play along just take the word verifications you get when making comments on other blogs and make up definitions for them (these would be for the non-words we come across.) Then link back to me here and show me what you've come up with.
This is what I've come up with for this week:
Lonetas - a mid-1980's crime fighter who got his name from riding around solo wearing his Bon Jovi-esque tasseled leather jacket. His exploits in his small northern town have become world renowned. Since his retirement at the end of the glam-rock era, his jacket has been housed next to Liberace's cape and Elvis' white jumpsuit in Vegas
indum - the state of being that arises when a person is holding a conversation then totally forgets what they were talking about...wait, what was I saying?
nifixi - the non-action word describing the moment you discover your spouse on the sofa watching TV instead of repairing any broken household item that should have been attended to the hour/day/week before
erwed - the pause that a groom takes at the altar while clearing his throat and very quickly rethinking the whole marriage thing before finally being convinced to say "I do" (usually as a result of the bride's glare or light punch to the ribs)
And there you have it folks. I'm pretty sure that's Webster's phoning me right now to have these added. What new "words" have you discovered this week?


Check out the contest over at Book Resort. To celebrate the blog's 6 month anniversary, the contest features a 6 book giveaway. How cool!!

Review: 206 Bones by Kathy Reichs

Temperance Brennan, fresh from her disastrous but brief fall from the wagon, is back and trying to sort out her life, from the meaning behind the collapse of her sobriety to her feelings for the men in her life. While this is a background theme, in the forefront she continues to do what she does best: solve crimes through her vast knowledge of bones, along with her powers of observation and her partner/ex-boyfriend Detective Andrew Ryan.

Together, they set out to investigate a series of deaths involving elderly ladies, trying to determine whether they are related. Tempe is also attempting to search out the source of allegations that could be potentially harmful to her career.

This time, we also meet Vecamamma, Tempe's former mother-in-law, along with a host of other in-laws. These characters are a great addition to the book, offering up a whole new dimension and lots of added humour. At one family dinner, we meet Cukura Kundze, a neighbour of Vecamamma's, who is in her eighties and has not lost her appetite for life. She relates the story of her "boyfriend's" missing grandson, imploring Tempe to help.

With three seemingly unrelated cases, we're wound through the mysteries in a fashion unique to Reichs, who can tell us about the many facets of the human skeleton while having the ability to inform the reader about pop culture or geographical references, with ease and interest. The dialogue shared by Brennan and Ryan, is smart, witty, and just plain fun, making it my favourite element in the book (it is completely true that I enjoy the books when the Ryan character is involved front and center far more than the others, something I'm sure the author hears all the time.)

I'm not sure if it's just me, but I felt that 206 Bones offered more in the line of humour than any of the others before it, which for me had been the biggest difference between the book and the TV series. I look forward to more of this. Tempe Brennan is a smart woman, that has certainly experienced life, but there are still times that you want to shake her and tell her, "Open your eyes!", that sometimes the answers are so obvious. This is what makes the character so rich, though, because many of us have the same issues of no being able to see what's right in front of us.

From the first Kathy Reichs' book I read, in which a murder suspect is picked up while driving on the 417 Highway (a road that runs through Ottawa, one which I am on frequently), I knew she would keep me as a captive audience as a result of elements familiar to me and 206 Bones proved no different.

The story culminates in a particularly Canadian way and for that, I say to Kathy Reichs: Cheers!

For mor information about Kathy Reichs and her Temperance Brennan novels, check out her website:

Check out other reviews for this book:
He Followed Me Home
Books n Border Collies
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