Monthly Archives: September 2011

Feature & Follow Friday

Feature & Follow Friday is hosted by Rachel of Parajunkee and Alison of Alison Can Read and allows book bloggers to connect.

Q. What book that hasn’t been turned into a movie (yet) would you most like to see make it to the big screen, and who would you like cast as your favorite character?

This is a tough question. Mostly because I really, really don’t like books turned movie. I suppose if I had to pick one, I’d like to see James Rollins’  Sigma Force books turned into movies. When I was first recommended these books, I was told they’re kind of like Indiana Jones in book format. And that’s true. We follow this secret government group, Sigma force, as they “investigate and secure sensitive information that could be a threat to the United States”. However, it isn’t just straight forward espionage and all that. There’s also this element of mysticism. Sometimes things happen that they try to explain via science but really can’t. It’s that element that turns it into something Indiana Jones-esque. You have a fun adventure and a bit of the unexplainable. I think that these books would be great for a nice action, adventure movie.

As for cast … I don’t have a preference really. Just make sure that whoever’s playing Painter is a really cool, hot guy. Since I started off with “Sandstorm” and Painter as my main protagonist, I’ve always had a huge soft spot for him even when he became a secondary character in the later novels.

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“Waiting” on Wednesday: How to Save a Life

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publication date: October 18, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Jill MacSweeny just wishes everything could go back to normal. But ever since her dad died, she’s been isolating herself from her boyfriend, her best friends–everyone who wants to support her. And when her mom decides to adopt a baby, it feels like she’s somehow trying to replace a lost family member with a new one.

Mandy Kalinowski understands what it’s like to grow up unwanted–to be raised by a mother who never intended to have a child. So when Mandy becomes pregnant, one thing she’s sure of is that she wants a better life for her baby. It’s harder to be sure of herself. Will she ever find someone to care for her, too?

As their worlds change around them, Jill and Mandy must learn to both let go and hold on, and that nothing is as easy–or as difficult–as it seems.

I feel like every WoW pick I have is always something I’d never pick up normally when just perusing the book story. I think these are always the books I’d love to read if I had time.

Add on Goodreads


Misty and the Single Dad by Marion Lennox

Publisher: Harlequin (June 7, 2011)
Kindle:  192 pages / 347  KB
Rating: of 5 stars

Teacher Misty Lawrence has lived her whole life in Banksia Bay, cherishing a secret list of faraway dreams. Just as she’s finally about to take flight, Nicholas Holt—tall, dark and deliciously bronzed—turns up in her classroom with his little son Bailey and an injured stray spaniel in tow.

We start off with the elementary school teacher, Misty Lawrence, who has a list of dreams she plans on going through once her responsibilities in Banksia Bay ends. However, Misty can’t help but be a good, dependable person despite her wishes to get away and live life.

Enter Nicholas Holt. He moved to Banksia Bay with his son, Bailey, to get away from excessive excitement, adventures and dangers. He wants to put down roots and make a safe haven for Bailey. Maggie is attracted to Nicholas and it seems inevitable they end up in a relationship, especially with the not-so-subtle meddling of the town veterinarian.

For a short Harlequin novel, Lennox certainly delivers. Misty is captured perfectly. While characterized as a dependable person, Lennox is able to accurately convey Misty’s feelings of unease and dissatisfaction. She grapples with trying to settle with her life without leaving any regrets of forgoing her dreams to pursue a happy relationship with Nicholas.

Nicholas likes Misty. But in his zealous efforts to secure a safe home for Bailey, he misses Misty’s unease in her attempts to stifle her dreams. The way Lennox plays out their relationship is fast paced but not overwhelmingly so. It is easy to follow. This is a good read for anyone looking for a short, sweet romance.


Sawyer by Lori Foster

Publisher: Harlequin Special Edition (July 1, 2007)
Kindle:  224 pages / 254  KB
Rating: of 5 stars

Sawyer Hudson, the only doctor in Buckhorn County, took it upon himself to rescue the beautiful but enigmatic woman who came literally crashing into his life. Though he knew he should keep things platonic and professional, around her his body had other ideas. And his heart was no more cooperative.

Honey Malone was on the run, fleeing a dangerous predator, when she lost control of her car, drove into a lake–and found herself up to her neck in breathtaking men. After the brothers nursed her through her injuries, she tried to leave, but she hadn’t bargained on their stubborn protectiveness. Or the passionate bond that tied her to Sawyer.

Review:

A pretty quick read, I had high hopes for “Sawyer”. The premise seemed interesting and full of potential. Foster created a diverse cast of enthralling male leads for her series. The focus of this one is, obviously, Sawyer. Honey, on the other hand, is not nearly intriguing. Sure, she has that whole mysterious-woman-on-the-run thing going on for her. But it’s not nearly enough. Her refusal to confide in Sawyer and his brothers makes sense, but it goes on for so long I’m left feeling irritated with her.

The one scene where she finally got on my nerves so much that I had to put the book down and take a break from it all was when she tried to “keep them safe by keeping them in the dark”. To achieve that goal she attempted to “borrow” (read: steal) Sawyer’s car to get away. Then, in the midst of all Sawyer’s anger, their inexplicable attraction erupts and they’re making out. This entire scene felt ridiculous and forced. I can see how perhaps it was headed here.

Sure the story has potential. The pacing of the story moves at a brisk pace, which helped to keep my attention on the book. But the characters/ situations weren’t developed enough for me. If you’re looking for just a quick romance and easy read, then this book and the others in the series should be a good fit.


“Waiting” on Wednesday: You Are My Only

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

You Are My Only by Beth Kephart

Hardcover: 256 pages
Publication date: October 25, 2011
Publisher: EgmontUSA

Emmy Rane is married at nineteen, a mother by twenty. Trapped in a life with a husband she no longer loves, Baby is her only joy. Then one sunny day in September, Emmy takes a few fateful steps away from her baby and returns to find her missing. All that is left behind is a yellow sock.

Fourteen years later, Sophie, a homeschooled, reclusive teenage girl is forced to move frequently and abruptly from place to place, perpetually running from what her mother calls the “No Good.” One afternoon, Sophie breaks the rules, ventures out, and meets Joey and his two aunts. It is this loving family that gives Sophie the courage to look into her past. What she discovers changes her world forever. . . .

Not really my norm. Which is nice. There’s a certain mystery to this that I can’t wait to see unravel. I’m excited to see where Kephart takes this.

Add on Goodreads.


“Waiting” on Wednesday: Eve

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

Eve by Anna Carey

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publication date: October 4, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins

Where do you go when nowhere is safe?

Sixteen years after a deadly virus wiped out most of Earth’s population, the world is a perilous place. Eighteen-year-old Eve has never been beyond the heavily guarded perimeter of her school, where she and two hundred other orphaned girls have been promised a future as the teachers and artists of the New America. But the night before graduation, Eve learns the shocking truth about her school’s real purpose—and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Arden, her former rival from school, and Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust . . . and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

In this epic new series, Anna Carey imagines a future that is both beautiful and terrifying. Readers will revel in Eve’s timeless story of forbidden love and extraordinary adventure.

Kind of scary to think about some deadly virus decimating most of the population, but Carey has an idea here that sounds fascinating. I can only hope the book will end up being as interesting as the summary.

Add on Goodreads.


Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperback (February 18, 2002)
Kindle: 352 pages / 415 KB
Rating: of 5 stars

Dear Reader,

Being trapped in a bedroom with a woman is a grand thing. Being trapped in hundreds of bedrooms over two thousand years isn’t. And being cursed into a book as a love-slave for eternity can ruin even a Spartan warrior’s day.

As a love-slave, I know everything about women. How to touch them, how to savor them, and most of all, how to pleasure them. But when I was summoned to fulfill Grace Alexander’s sexual fantasies, I found the first woman in history who saw me as a man with a tormented past. She alone bothered to take me out of the bedroom and onto the world. She taught me to love again.

But I was not born to love. I was cursed to walk eternity alone. As a general, I had long ago accepted my sentence. Yet now I have found Grace–the one thing my wounded heart cannot survive without. Sure, love can heal all wounds, but can it break a two-thousand-year-old curse?

Julian of Macedon

Review:

An oldie but a goodie? Maybe so. After a recommendation from a customer, I gave this book a chance. Not really knowing what to expect (sometimes I like to just jump into books without looking too far into the premise), I took the plunge into Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series with this book.

Though a bit scandalized by the content (which, I suppose, should have been expected since the main character did summon a “love-slave” from a book), the story played a lot with Gods, Goddesses and paranormal mysticism. The concepts Kenyon came up with were interesting enough to keep me reading.

One thing that did confuse me was where the “Dark-Hunter” part was supposed to come into play. It was only with a bit of research and the start of the next book that I realized that “Fantasy Lover” was more of a prequel of sorts.

The characterizations of the Gods and Goddesses that showed up felt fitting and appropriate. Or at least, Kenyon made it feel appropriate. I enjoyed how she portrayed them and her other characters.

Definitely a recommendation for those in the mood for a steamy romance, and enjoy that bit of paranormal.


Mephisto’s Covenant by Trinity Faegen

Publisher: Egmont USA (April 26, 2011)
Kindle: 448 pages / 5 KB
Source: Netgalley
Rating: of 5 stars

Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that puts her in grave danger—she is an Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and Eryx’s biggest threat.

A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant—God’s promise he will find peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, he’s finally found the girl he’s been searching for: Sasha.

With the threat of Eryx always looming, Jax knows he has to keep Sasha safe and win her over.  But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal life?

It’s an interesting premise that Faegen has created. The idea that a child of Hell could be redeemed by one known as Anabo, it’s unique.

The characters brought on a mixed reaction. Sasha is a character I didn’t fully like or understand. We start the story with her relentless pursuit of the truth behind her father’s death. So relentless in fact that is borders being obsessive to a dangerous degree. Sasha comes off as a super good person that anyone would be friends with when given the appropriate opportunity. (Which makes sense since she is an Anabo.) For anyone thrust into the situation Sasha found herself in, I’m sure we’d all like to go back to our days of ignorance. Sasha’s initial reaction makes sense, even as it irked me.

Jax is refreshing as a male protagonist. I’m so used to those heros who always felt the need to push away their love interests. It was good to see Jax pursue Sasha. Even as he’s trying to stay away from Sasha at her request, he does things for her that would have swept any girl off her feet.

The romantic tension between Sasha and Jax was obvious and enjoyable. Even as Sasha wanted to stay away from Jax, she couldn’t help but want to be with him at the same time.

A good read, with an intriguing idea. It’s a book to check out if the summary interested you even the slightest bit. With the struggle against Eryx not over, it’s a good thing Mephisto’s Covenant is only the first of six books. Mephisto’s Covenant comes out September 27, 2011 from Egmont USA.


“Waiting” on Wednesday: A Beautiful Dark

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publication date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins

On the night of Skye’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites—like fire and ice—Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move—only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.

I’ve seen the title and cover around, and I can’t help but be intrigued. Normally I’m very put off by triangles, so I hope this is done well enough to get past that distaste. September is (hopefully) going to be a good month for books.


Wild Magic, by Tamora Pierce

Publisher: Simon Pulse (December 8, 2009)
Kindle: 208 pages / 404 KB
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Since I’m working on a YA story myself, I get to revisit favorite YA authors that I used to read back in the day–all in the name of research! I was visiting a friend and while admiring her bookshelf I saw that she had a large collection of Tamora Pierce novels. I had enjoyed some of her novels as a young tween but seem to have missed a good deal of them. I had never read the Immortals series before, so I picked up the first one and just started reading.The first book of the Immortals series is called Wild Magic, and it was pretty good. Tamora Pierce is probably one of the best YA fantasy authors, and I think her world building skills are very good. All of the novels, including Wild Magic, that I have so far encountered are set in a fictional country called Tortall. They have some of the same characters that drift in and out of the plot, and I have to say that I really like this style. Many authors get a bad case of Sequel-itis, and tend to milk characters and plot lines for all they can, and then some. I like Pierce’s style because she uses her world but brings in new stories and characters and keeps everything fresh.This story centers around a simple country girl named Daine. Her journey begins when she is hired by the royal horsemistress to bring a herd of ponies to the training ground for the Queen’s Riders. Daine has an affinity for horses–a natural way with animals that leaves her new boss impressed and more than a little curious. It seems to be more than a knack, Daine actually has a magical gift that allows her to communicate with animals. It is a very valuable trait to Onua, her boss, when bringing the ponies back to the training grounds, but her gift also becomes instrumental in the battling of creatures who have escaped imprisonment in the realm of the immortals: Harpie-like vultures, ogres, and beastly creatures called “spidrens” are just a few of the enemies facing Daine and her companions.

The story has excellent pacing; it doesn’t waste a page getting into the action, and draws the reader right through to the final page. If I were to criticise one thing about the story I would say that Daine is a *teensy* bit of a cliche–she has a serious case of haunted/orphan/chosen one syndrome that I think has become all too common with fantasy novels. However, these sorts of things often come with the territory, and it really did not stop me from thoroughly enjoying the story. Pierce is really good with ensemble casts of characters; while the story focuses on Daine, she spins a web of friends around her with such finesse that you end up caring deeply about all of them by the end–from your friendly neighborhood shapeshifting mage to Daine’s own trusty steed, Cloud.

Reading this book has inspired me to plow through the rest of Pierce’s works, so expect more awesome Tortall-ian reviews coming your way!