29 January 2010

Well Said: Murder Takes the Cake

Also known for: Dead Pan
"Why did they need to recheck everything because Mrs. Watson received a cake she never even touched?"
Context note: Daphne stumbles across a dead body when she comes to deliver a cake. Now she is under investigation and possibly getting framed.

28 January 2010

Free eBooks

Authoress Fran Jacobs is looking for:
  • 3 book bloggers
  • With over 100+ followers
  • Interested in dark fantasy tales
She will provide you with a FREE pdf of her book in exchange for an online review.
Sound good so far?

Authoress: Fran Jacobs
Format: PDF
Goodreads: The Shadow Seer
Goodreads blurb: "For generations prophets have foreseen the birth of the Shadow Seer, the oracle of dark visions and fallen kingdoms. But by the time of Sorron, King of Carnia, their warnings have mostly been forgotten and his name is known only to a handful of scholars.

When Sorron's grandson, Prince Candale, falls deathly ill, the Seer's legends are brought to light once again by his saviour, a witch named Mayrila. She believes that Candale is the fulfilment of those long forgotten prophecies. She believes that he is the Shadow Seer..."

Interested parties should contact Fran directly at the_faery_queen(at)yahoo(dot)com

Speaking of FREE eBooks.
The following books are currently FREE on Amazon for the Kindle:

by Jeri-Smith Ready

by T. Greenwood

by Leslie Kelly

by Elizabeth Rolls

by Brenda Jackson

27 January 2010

Wishin' and Hopin': The Red Umbrella

The book I am aching to read this Wednesday is:

Scheduled to release in the U.S. May 11, 2010
Goodreads blurb: "The Red Umbrella is the moving tale of a 14-year-old girl's journey from Cuba to America as part of Operation Pedro Pan—an organized exodus of more than 14,000 unaccompanied children, whose parents sent them away to escape Fidel Castro's revolution.

In 1961, two years after the Communist revolution, Lucía Álvarez still leads a carefree life, dreaming of parties and her first crush. But when the soldiers come to her sleepy Cuban town, everything begins to change. Freedoms are stripped away. Neighbors disappear. Her friends feel like strangers. And her family is being watched.

As the revolution's impact becomes more oppressive, Lucía's parents make the heart-wrenching decision to send her and her little brother to the United States—on their own.

Suddenly plunked down in Nebraska with well-meaning strangers, Lucía struggles to adapt to a new country, a new language, a new way of life. But what of her old life? Will she
ever see her home or her parents again? And if she does, will she still be the same girl?"
Why?: My mami and her family fled Cuba in the 60s when she was about 14 years of age. I MUST read this.

Link: Click here to learn more about Christina Diaz Gonzalez and The Red Umbrella.

26 January 2010

Well Said: The Puzzle Ring

"She was shivering, both from the cold and from a sudden superstitious terror that made her wish she was somewhere warm and bright and ordinary."
The Puzzle Ring by Kate Forsyth

25 January 2010

The Secret of Joy | Book Review and Contest

Authoress: Melissa Senate
Pages: 330
Genre: Adult Fiction

My summary: Rebecca learns (on her father's death bed) that when she was two years old her kind doting dad once cheated on her mother and fathered another girl. A little girl he never saw, visited, helped support, or even acknowledged. Now, at almost thirty years of age, with nothing to lose and everything to gain Rebecca sets out to find her half sister.

My say: Some stories just resonate within you. They crawl up in side your chest and take residence. Some writers know just how to describe a feeling, thought, or emotion. They leave you thinking, "Wow. She felt and wondered the very same things I would have in her situation." That is how The Secret of Joy left me.

Main character: Beautifully resilient
Plot: Heartbreaking yet hopeful
Writing: Thoughtful and thought provoking
Setting: Alluring and welcoming
Story and theme: Believable

My verdict: Rebecca's journey through understanding why people cheat and what makes family family is an honest endearing venture through love's ugly (sometimes insecure and other times glorious) underbelly.

My recommendation: Read this when you are feeling reflective. No worries it is heavy but it is served light.

My cover thoughts: This fun lively cover is perfect for the story. If I knew how to do cartwheels I would be doing some right now.

My star rating: 5 out of 5 stars; I loved it so much I want to read it again.

My kiddie-o-meter: Sex, some foul language, and a strong base of infidelity and marital woes make this tale best suited for older teens and adults.

My adult-o-meter: Adults will love this story and the wide array of interesting female characters.

My shout-outs: I am so glad I won this book over at Reading with Tequila. I may never have read it otherwise and I am so grateful I did. Thank you Jennifer!

More reviews of The Secret of Joy can be found at:

My interest in the author: I am off to learn more about Melissa Senate.

My contest:
Because I love spreading the love please enter to win my gently used copy of The Secret of Joy. Comment with your email address below. Contest ends March 7th. You must be a follower and resident of the US or Canada to enter.

My final thoughts: This book got me thinking what would you do if you suddenly learned you had a half sister?

24 January 2010

News Flash: My Fair Godmother Part Deux?

Forgive me if you have heard this already...
According to Janette Rallison's blog
she is almost done with the sequel to My Fair Godmother.
Click here to read my review of My Fair Godmother.

22 January 2010

Well Said: The Secret of Joy

Also known for: See Jane Date
"I'll bet you like robots instead of princesses, like Rebecca. And I'll bet you love chasing after frogs in muddy creeks, like Rebecca. You're now at the age where you are likely wondering where your daddy is. I've never spoken to your mother since the phone call she made alerting me to your existence."
Context note: Rebecca is reading a letter written to her illegitimate half sister (by their father) on her sister's 5th birthday.

News Flash: Alice is that you?

Have you seen the newest soon-to-be released edition of

The special edition book is scheduled to release February 2, 2010
in conjunction with Tim Burton's highly anticipated film "Alice in Wonderland"
scheduled to release March 5, 2010.
It features illustrations by Camille Rose Garcia.

The product description on Amazon reads:
"Think Alice goes Goth, and you've got the magic of this special book."

So what do you think?
Creepy or keeper?
Curious or pass?
Will you buying a copy?

21 January 2010

Sam the Night Person | Book Review and Interview

Book: Sam the Night Person
Authoress: Lisa Ruszcyk
Genre: Fiction | Fantasy | Fantasy Mystery
Available formats: Paperback through Lulu, eBook through Amazon

My summary:
Azzy has been having dreams of a man she has never met. Finally, when she gets completely sick of the dreams consuming her real life, she ventures out to a find him in a place she has only visited in her mind's eye.

But meeting the man of her dreams is only the beginning of this fantasy mystery. Now Azzy has to figure out what Sam is, why is this happening to her, and who is in the shadows?

My say: Whoa Nelly! What I loved about this story is that from the beginning you think you understand the dilemma, eventual outcome, and formula. Then you are thrown for a loop when the story shifts and a very inventive premise takes over.

Sam the Night Person is a refreshing breakaway from what is out there right now. The female protagonist at first comes across as a weak lovestruck woman but as the story progresses you learn that she is in fact multi-layered, confident, and unapologetic.

My cautionary note: Sam the Night Person ends with a cliff hanger of sorts. So fans of tight endings beware. This one will leave you wanting more.

My cover thoughts: The cover is very folk artsy. I like it. This is the kind of story where a cover could reveal too much so I agree with the simplicity.

My star rating: 5 out of 5 stars; I honestly would not mind owning a hardcover copy of this one for my home collection.

My verdict: Sick of vampires, werewolves, and zombies yet? Check out this book out. It breaks the mold. I wish I could say more but I refuse to give anything away.

My recommendation: If you loved Meridian you will love Sam the Night Person.

My adventure-o-meter: High. Azzy spends the entire novel fighting off either nature, danger, or both at the exact same time.

My kiddie-o-meter: The story features some heavy nicotine usage. Everything else (mild occasional foul language, casual sex, and a best friend who with a questionable sexual identity) is handled tastefully and mostly skimmed over. Making this a great tale for adults and teens.

My Q & A with the author:
Q: Sam the Night Person is completely unique and fresh. How did you come up with the idea of the night people?
A: It was from a lot of daydreaming. That's pretty much how I get all the ideas for books. A lot of "what if?" questions, too.

Q: What character do you relate to the most and why?
A: I think I relate to Azzy, but I couldn't say why. I really enjoyed writing about her.

Q: If Sam the Night Person was being made in to a film and you had the opportunity to select the actors who would you pick to play Sam & Azzy?
A: I would like unknowns to play the parts.

Q: Sam the Night Person ends with a bit of a cliff hanger. Will there be a part two?
A: There already is a part two - it's called Full Moon in December. It was published by Club Lighthouse Publishing in December 2009.

Q: I love to collect recipes from authors. Do you have a recipe you don't mind sharing?

Chicken Divan
1 pound chicken
2 bags frozen broccoli
1 can cream of mushroom
1 can cream of chicken
1 cup mayo
bread crumbs,
cheddar cheese, grated
curry powder

Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and braze (boil in a little water) for a few minutes. Put chicken in a layer on the bottom of a baking dish. Mix both soups and the mayo together, then add curry powder to taste, about 1-2 tablespoons. Layer broccoli on top of chicken still frozen. Pour mayo and soup mixture on top of the broccoli. Put a layer of cheddar cheese on top of that. Finish up with a layer of breadcrumbs. Bake for about an hour at 350. Let it sit for about 10 minutes after taking it out of the oven.


My shout-out: Thank you Brizmus Blogs Books for bringing this excellent read to my attention. You rock!

My notes:
Click here to visit the author's blog.

My interest in the author: I MUST read part 2 (Full Moon in December)!

My final thoughts: I so want Sam's best friend Jeremy to find love. Who was the last secondary character you found your self rooting for?

Thank you SO much Lisa for making this review possible and for the great interview and recipe.
I can not wait to try this dish!

20 January 2010

Wishin' and Hopin': Big Girl

The book I am aching to try this Wednesday is:

Big Girl by Danielle Steel is scheduled to be released in the U.S. February 23, 2010
Goodreads blurb: "In this heartfelt and incisive new novel, Danielle Steel celebrates the virtues of unconventional beauty while exploring deeply resonant issues of weight, self-image, sisterhood, and family."
To learn more about Big Girl visit the Big Girl page on Goodreads.

19 January 2010

Contest Winners | Amazon eGift cards

The winners of my I swoon, wake-up, and announce a contest are:

Congratulations ladies! You have each won a $15.00 Amazon eGift card. I will be contacting you via email to confirm.

Thank you to everyone who entered. The winners were selected using Random.org.

If you have not already please check out my right hand side bar for details on how to enter to win my gently used copies of Powers, Through the Triangle, and Split by a Kiss and Extreme Kissing.

Well Said: Sam the Night Person

"With a smile, she wondered at how almost everyone could say they had a secret bond with the moon." Sam the Night Person by Lisa Ruszcyk

14 January 2010

Through the Triangle | Book Review, Interview, and Contest

Through the Triangle
Author: C.P. Stewart
Pages: 384 (Softcover)
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Genre: Adult Fiction | Science Fiction | Suspense
Available formats: Paperback, Kindle

My summary: What was suppose to be a short deep sea fishing trip on a private charter quickly becomes a nightmare when a boat is transported through the Bermuda Triangle. Now not only do they find themselves nearly three hundred years in to the future but they also have to face a semi human species that can see in the dark.

My say: On the off chance (while channel surfing) that I accidentally stumble upon C.S.I. it is utterly imperative I change the channel before I watch the opening murder sequence. Once the murder has taken place I am completely in. That was exactly what happened to me with Through the Triangle.

The first chapter began rather slowly but after the opening murder sequence - I was hooked. The danger, tension, and story continued to build and build from that point on. I never knew who was going to live or die.

Through the Triangle is different, smart, and kept me on the edge of my seat. I was guessing and hoping all the way to end and was left with a definite sense of satisfaction after reading the end and epilogue.

Plot: Thrilling
Characters: Relatable
Writing: Keen
Hero: Good

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My recommendation: LOST fans will love this. BUY this book, gobble it up, and then pass it on to your husband.

My cover thoughts: A very simple cover that totally works. I really liked that even the font conveys hazard.

My favorite parts:
1. Reading a book from a male perspective.
2. Reading about the supposed possible future of my home state Florida.
3. That Jake never loses his faith.

My favorite character: Juan (the young Latino) is a regular ninja! Given similar circumstances I would make this guy my best friend.

My Meter Readings:
Adventure-o-meter: HIGH!
Kiddie-o-meter: This one contains plenty of violence so it is best reserved for older teens and adults.
Adult-o-meter: Adults will relish in watching this group of travelers learn to survive and make sense of their surroundings.

My notes:

Click here to read my Tuesday Teaser quote from Through the Triangle.
Click here to visit the author's blog.
Click here to read Readaholic's mini review of Through the Triangle.
Click here to read Peace Love & Pat's review of Through the Triangle.

My shout-out: I can not forget to thank Ellz Readz for bringing this riveting read to my attention.

My author interview:
Q: What inspired you to write about the Bermuda Triangle?
A: I have been curious about the Bermuda Triangle since reading the original article in an old Argosy magazine, especially after finding that there are other places that exhibit similar anomalies. Actually anything labeled as "unexplained" grabs my attention. I am also very interested in time-travel and its possible ramifications.

Q: Which character do you relate to the most and why?
A: Probably Jake, because of his appreciation of new things, searching for the good in everyone until proven wrong, and his ability to remember bits and pieces of things he had heard or read, but sometimes not all the facts.

Q: While I am happy where you left the characters I must ask will there be a part two?
A: Through the Triangle was initially written as a stand-alone novel, but I had outlined a sequel for my own entertainment in case I ever decided to write it. Actually, since this is my first foray into writing, I didn’t expect the overwhelming positive response from reviewers and readers, many of whom expressed a desire to follow the characters through another novel. Sensing the interest, I set aside a different novel I was working on to concentrate on a sequel, but my vision went in a totally different direction from the plot I had previously outlined, so I have decided to write both sequels which will result in a trilogy. I have started posting my progress on my blog, http://throughthetriangle.blogspot.com for anyone who may be interested.

My contest: Interested in a chance to read Through the Triangle for FREE? Enter to win my gently used (SIGNED) copy of Through the Triangle!

Contest rules
To enter you must:
1. Be a resident of the US.
2. Be (or become) a follower.
3. Comment with your email address.
4. Note in your comment if you are a
new or existing follower.
5. Contest ends February 15th.

My final say: I honestly wanted to growl at people who interrupted me while I was reading this book.

Thank you Mr. Stewart for making this review, interview, and contest possible.

13 January 2010

Wishin' and Hopin': What Alice Forgot

The book I am aching to learn more about this Wednesday was first brought to my attention by the lovely Bookalicious Ramblings.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
UK Amazon Book Blurb: "Alice is twenty-nine. She is whimsical, optimistic and adores sleep, chocolate, her ramshackle new house and her wonderful husband Nick. What's more, she's looking forward to the birth of her first baby. But now Alice has slipped and hit her head in her step-aerobics class and everyone’s telling her she’s misplaced the last ten years of her life. In fact, it would seem that Alice is actually thirty-nine and now she loves schedules, expensive lingerie, caffeine and manicures. She has three children and the honeymoon is well and truly over for her and Nick. In fact, he looks at her like she’s his worst enemy. What's more, her beloved sister Elisabeth isn’t speaking to her either. And who is this "Gina" everyone is so carefully trying not to mention? Alice isn’t sure that she likes life ten years on. Every photo is another memory she doesn’t have and nothing makes sense. Just how much can happen in a decade? Has she really lost her lovely husband for ever? What Alice Forgot is a novel with a tremendous heart about the enormity of all the things that can happen to a person in ten years. It's a story about mothers and daughters, sisters and friends, husbands and wives, and of how you should never lose sight of the people that you love."
Click here to view What Alice Forgot on UK Amazon. Click here to read a great interview with Liane Moriarty.
Does anyone know when (and if) it is scheduled to release in the US?