Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
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: PeterLeonardBooks.com
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
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
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
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.
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
Monday, September 21, 2009
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:
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.
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.
"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."
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
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!
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.
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 http://www.theleblancchallenge.com/
For more information on Deborah LeBlanc, check out her website: deborahleblanc.com
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Open to a random 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!
"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!
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 see...my 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
Thursday, September 10, 2009
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.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
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? February...it's one month closer to spring
Kids and their names? 1, Jordan
Life is incomplete without…? my daughter
Marriage date? July 13th, 1991...no 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 cheated...it was the Google quote of the day...my blog has my fave book quotes on it constantly, lol)
Reason to smile? My daughter's singing...it'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 :-)
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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: KathyReichs.com
Check out other reviews for this book:
He Followed Me Home
Books n Border Collies