Friday, May 29, 2009

*~*~*~*~* Giveaway! *~**~*~*~*

Welcome to my first ever giveaway! I am giving away an Advanced Readers Copy of The Physick Book Of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe.

This giveaway hopes to mark the start of a regular feature, which I will call Win A Book Weekend! It may not be every weekend, but I promise that when I do a giveaway, it will be on the weekend.

All you have to do to win is post a comment on this post with your email address. I will use to pick a winning number. Once the winner has been announced I will mail out the book via USPS Media Mail.

I am sorry, but due to the fact that I work retail, ( and I am poor. LOL.) I can not ship out of the United States. Please don't hate me. *grin*

The contest will go from 12:01 AM Saturday May 30th, 2009 to 11:59PM on Sunday May 31st, 2009. Central Standard Time.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or add it to the comments on the blog. I look forward to having fun with this & look forward to giving away my pile of "Already Read, But Don't Really Need To Keep Books!"

(44) The Physick of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe - On Sale June 9

This book is going to be a fabulous summer read! You are going to LOVE it!

First you need to know, according to the blurb on the back of the ARC, that this debut novel was written for National Novel Writing Month. Let this book be an inspiration to those of you who have a novel idea buried deep in the files of your mind. Mark my words, this book is going to be a RAGING success!

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane is part "current" novel (set in 1991) and part historical fiction, set it in the times of the Salem Witch Trials. The alternating chapters tie the whole story together. And oh, what a story it is.

Connie Goodwin is a history grad student at Harvard. She has just finished her oral exams and is looking forward to a summer of research for her dissertation when she receives a phone call from her mother, Grace. While Grace is "cleaning auras" in the Southwest, she needs Connie to go to Marblehead to clean out her late Grandmother's house and prepare it to sell. Connie reluctantly agrees.

She arrives in Marblehead with her roommate, Liz and her beloved dog, Arlo. But this is when the story starts to get good. Her grandmother's house was originally built in the 17th century. It is without electricity and overrun with plants. It looks like it will be quite the task, but she is ready to get started so she can return to Cambridge & get on with her dissertation.

Her first night in the house, Connie finds a Bible that dates back to the original owners of the house. A key & a slip of paper fall out of the Bible. The paper has a name written on it, Deliverance Dane.

The name, Deliverance Dane, triggers Connie's inquisitive nature and she starts researching Deliverance Dane and the history of the house. Soon, Connie realizes that while the Salem Witch Trials persecuted innocent women, the existence of a book of spells is a very real possibility.

With the help of Liz and her new friend, Sam. Connie spends her summer trying to find this book that started with Deliverance Dane. And in the process she finds out some dark truths about her advisor, Manning Chilton, and her own family history.

Like I said, FABULOUS book. It has mystery, intrigue, folklore, and just a hint of romance. AND the author, Katherine Howe, is herself, a descendant of Elizabeth Howe & Elizabeth Proctor, two women accused of witchcraft in Salem. Katherine Howe has done her research well and has written a story that will cast a spell over you.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Look Out Harry Potter!

I will be the first to admit that I don't really read Young Adult books. I already have a thousand adult books in my TBR pile, I don't really have time, right now to read kids books as well.

But, that doesn't mean that I don't know what sells. It is my job to know what sells. And Rick Riordan has a hit series on his hands. The kids *LOVE* it. The latest book in the Percy Jackson series,The Last Olympian, released on the same day as the latest Sookie Stackhouse, Dead & Gone book & Percy Jackson kicked Sookie's butt in sales. Hands down. In fact, this summer, Rick Riordan & the Percy Jackson series is the Barnes & Noble Summer Reading author. Kids (and parents) love him.

This may be old news to some of you, but I heard the name, Percy Jackson, on Access Hollywood tonight & started digging. It looks like Percy Jackson will be hitting the screens February 12,2010. With an All Star supporting cast, (I call Uma Thurman, Rosario Dawson, & Kevin McKidd All Star, to name a few) there is no doubt that the movie will be a hit.

If you have tweens, boy or girl, and you are not already familiar with Percy, you might want to check it out. I am pretty sure you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

So Many Book Websites, So Little Time....

If you have been on the Information Super Highway for more than five minutes, you are likely familiar with social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. If you are book lover, you may even be familiar with the social networking websites dedicated specifically to books. The latest rage for book lovers is to transfer their libraries to the World Wide Web for all to see.

So the question is, which website is best? Which is the cheapest? Which has the most active community? Which website is the most user friendly? I have decided to start a series taking a look some of the more popular websites. Every Wednesday for the foreseeable future I will take a look at the pros & cons of these websites. I know that some of my readers are already members at some of these sites and may even be more skilled at navigating them then me. So I encourage your feedback and helpful hints to get the most out of my time on the Information Super Highway.

In no particular order I am going to start with Library Thing. Library Thing was the first website of this kind that I joined. I first joined in March of 2007. Library Thing does cost, but at different rates. The free membership allows you access to the entire website, but you can only log up to 200 books. You can pay for a year's membership for only $10 or a lifetime membership for $25. Because of these fees, Library Thing is ad free.

Library Thing also has this nifty little tool called The Cuecat. The Cuecat is a little scanner that attaches to your computer via your USB port and it allows you to scan your books into your Library Thing library without having to type in every title or ISBN. It is a very reasonable $15 and can make your life much easier if you have a large library to catalog.

What I like about Library Thing is that they have a pretty well established message board area. You can peruse the "Talk" area by sorting it down to groups that you are part of or read them all in order of most recently posted. When posting book titles or authors, users can use touchstones [ ] that instantly create a link to information about the book or author. Occasionally there is a glitch in that system, but for the most part it runs pretty smoothly.

Another thing that I like is they have an established Early Reviewers program. This allows any member who has joined the Early Reviewers group to request a free copy, usually an Advanced Readers Copy, of a book. The stipulation being that once you have read the book, you post a review of the book in your library. There are theories amongst the members that there is an algorithm factoring in your library and number of the number of reviews that you have posted that determines who gets what requested book. Theory or no theory, I have received several books through this program and have enjoyed many of them.

Like Facebook or MySpace, you can "friend" people and browse through other member's libraries. Your home page is easy to navigate and you can customize the page to suit your needs. My home page includes a "This day in history" feature as well as a list of Talk posts that I have either followed or responded to. Not to mention "Local Events" that may list book club meetings or author signings in your area.

Library Thing also has a "Widget" function which allows you to embed the code for your library into blogs or other websites. The Widget function at Library Thing gives you several options to customize your Widget. From how many rows/columns you want to display to what books in your library you choose to feature, it is pretty user friendly and a neat feature to add to your blogs or websites.

In order to make my "free" membership last a little bit longer, I only add books that I actually have read and own. I also take snippets of my reviews here and add them to the reviews for the books. Until recently, I have used Library Thing the most, probably because it was my first, and that is what I am familiar with.

For the most part, I enjoy using Library Thing. Is it perfect, no. Though, having been a member for over two years, I have seen the website come along way in the last few years and I look forward to seeing what other upgrades and improvements they may have in store for bibliophiles like me. My Library Thing username is CharlotteG, feel free to "friend" me. I would love to browse through your libraries.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Happy Tuesday!!

One thing I have discovered working at the bookstore is that nothing good ever really comes out the day before or after a holiday. Unless it is Thanksgiving. Then Publishers really duke it out for shelf space. Fourth of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day, not so much. Those are holidays known for traveling, camping, and vacations. They are not known as "Shopping Holidays". So, because of that, not a whole lot is being released today. Maybe there is something you would like to read, though. So Happy Tuesday!

Out in paper back this week.

Monday, May 25, 2009

(43) Hedge Fund Wives by Tatiana Boncompagni

Before I forget, I would like to thank TJ Dietderich from Planned Television Arts for the copy of Hedge Fund Wives.

If you are unfamiliar with Tatiana Boncompagni, I encourage you to run right out and pick up her first book, Gilding Lily. And don't forget to get Hedge Fund Wives while you are at it.

Ms. Boncompagni has written yet another book about the social elite of New York City and just like her previous book, Ms Boncompagni has shown us that not all of the social elite have it easy.

Marcy Emerson and her husband, John, have moved from Chicago to New York City so that John can take a job managing a Hedge Fund for Zenith. With John's busy work schedule, Marcy is thrown to the wolves. The Hedge Fund Wives. Wading through the sharks is a difficult task, but she has found good friends in Jill & Gigi. They will watch her back through thick or thin, right?

John & Marcy are in New York a little more than a year when the housing market collapses, the stock markets take a dive, and the life Marcy has become accustomed to as a Hedge Fund Wife comes crashing down. She finds that her perfect marriage is far from perfect and that some of her friends really aren't. Can Marcy survive the Hedge Fund Wives when she is no longer one of them?

I will never be a Hedge Fund Wife. I will never have millions of dollars to decorate my apartment. But, no longer do I believe that all Hedge Fund Wives are like the women of "Real Housewives of New York City". Tatiana Boncompagni has written a great book at a real woman. A strong woman dealing with hard issues. Not only does Marcy Emerson survive, she thrives.

Hedge Fund Wives is a great book. I thoroughly enjoyed her engaging story and dynamic characters. I look forward to the next book she writes.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

(42) The Last Child by John Hart

I absolutely LOVE a good mystery. I love it when an author can pull one over on me. John Hart has done it two me twice now. First with Down River which won the Edgar Award for Best Novel and right now, can be found in the bargain section at your local B&N. And now with The Last Child. I thought I had it figured out and I did, kinda. But there was that twist that surprised me at the end.

Thirteen year-old Johnny Merrimon has had a rough year. A year ago his twin sister, Alyssa went missing. His small town was turned upside down with no results. Not too long after that his father ran off. Leaving him & his mother vulnerable to the town bully, and her ex-boyfriend. After a year, the police have all but given up. Johnny has not. He has taken to the streets and has started his own door to door campaign. Determined to find his sister. While his mother is drugged up and out of her mind with grief, Johnny has free reign to search for his sister. Detective Clyde Hunt has other ideas though. He is drawn to Johnny's mother and his own guilt over not finding Alyssa eats away at him. He keeps a close eye on Johnny and hopes to keep the kid out of trouble.

Then another girl goes missing. And the body count keeps rising. Johnny Merrimon is at the heart of it.

The Last Child is not a fluff mystery book. It is dark and chilling and it will haunt your dreams if you let it. Missing children, drug abuse, child abuse, bad kids, and even scarier men. The book is fast paced & frightening. You will not be able to put the book down!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Some Authors Write More Than Books

Being the true bibliophile that I am, I have learned how to properly stalk my favorite authors. It usually starts when I have read a book I like, then try to find out more about them. A quick Google search often reveals websites that some publicist has built in their honor. But there are some authors out there, are a little more accessible and have real life blogs. I am thrilled when they reveal bits and pieces of their daily lives.

One of my all time favorite authors to stalk is Meg Cabot. Meg Cabot is not just the author of the Princess Diary series, but also several Chick Lit book for adults.

Like Queen of Babble and the Size Twelve Is Not Fat, the Heather Wells series. If you are not familiar with them, then check them out. Fun, fluffy way to spend the afternoon. In the meantime, check out her blog. I think I want to be Meg Cabot when I grow up. She is lives in Key West, lives close to Judy Blume, and gets to write all day. Her blog is fun & fresh. She writes about current events, pop culture, and what life is like as a Bestselling Author. She updates frequently & you never know what she is going to say!

I have recently posted my obsession with Jen Lancaster. I was thrilled with Pretty in Plaid. Check it out! She even updated today!

Jane Green has been one of my favorite authors for a while now. I absolutely loved

Bookends. Actually I loved all of her books. If you start with her early books and work your way through them in order (although it is not necessary to do so) you can see how Jane Green has truly written what she knows. The books start out about young women trying to find love & happiness in London. Then they start to be about married women having issues. And in To Have And To Hold her character moves to the States from London (as does Jane Green) and the rest of her books have been set in the States.
Jane Green is another one that updates regularly. Her blog is all about being a mom while being a famous author in Connecticut.

Kristin Hannah's blog confirms what I have learned through her books, she would be a really cool friend to have. Especially for a book club. She comes across as a calming presence with lots of hidden thoughts below the surface. I am currently listening to Firefly Lane on Audio book and I love to "hang out" with the woman that created Kate & Tully.

Like Jen Lancaster, there is another blogger that I "stalk" because his blog was developed into a book. Waiter Rant
I am not really in the food service industry (unless you count the B&N Cafe) but I find the "behind the scenes" stuff fascinating. In any industry. And The Waiter did such an excellent job with his book, it was one of my favorites of 2008. He is a dedicated blogger & will share all sorts of details with his readers. He let it slip a while ago that his story is being developed into a sitcom. I can't wait to see how it plays out.

Finally there is Charlaine Harris. Charlaine Harris has exploded into Superstar status recently with the HBO series True Blood, based off of her Sookie Stackhouse series. Now I hate to brag, but I have been a fan of Charlaine Harris long before Anna Paquin even knew who she was. I don't even remember when I discovered her & started reading her books, I just remember always waiting for the next one to come out. I have even had the opportunity to meet her once. She was in KC for her daughter's softball tournament & stopped in the store to do a "stock signing". A stock signing is when there isn't an official book signing, but for whatever reason an author stops in to sign all of his/her books that we have in stock. She was super nice & dressed like your typical Sports Mom. One of the things I enjoy about her blog is the fact that it is obvious Charlaine Harris is an avid reader herself. I get great thrill out of knowing a World Class, Bestsellig author reads the same kind of books that I do.

There you have it. I have an entire "favorites" folder dedicated to authors. Some haven't been updated in years. Some, like Jodi Picoult & Jane Green, even have message boards on their websites. My favorites, though, are the ones that have dedicated, current blogs. They have earned my loyalty & I will continue following their careers.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Happy Tuesday!!

Thank you all for your encouraging comments with last Tuesday's post. I am glad that you enjoy the new weekly feature. With Father's Day right around the corner, it looks like most of this weeks New Releases are geared towards Dad's. Not many are on *my* TBR list, but maybe they are on yours. Happy Reading!

The Hardcover New Releases may not be appealing to women, but there are some awesome paperback releases this week, as well.

Monday, May 18, 2009

(41) Mercury in Retrograde by Paula Froelich -- on Sale June 2, 2009

Mercury in Retrograde is the perfect book to take with you to the beach, or in my case, the deck. I sat outside this afternoon and read this book in virtually one setting. The perfect way to spend my day off.

Mercury in Retrograde is the story of three women. Penelope Mercury, Dana Gluck, and Lena "Lipstick Carcrash" Lippencrass. The three women couldn't be more different. Penelope is a lowly reporter for a NY Newspaper, Dana is a high powered lawyer on the fast track to make partner, and Lipps is a New York Socialite. They have nothing in common, but with Mercury in Retrograde, anything can happen. And all three women find themselves living in the same SoHo apartment building.

With the help of mutual friends, the women become unlikely friends. They started out by just meeting for Yoga, but soon they come to rely on each other for advice, support, and love. With support like that, it is only a matter of time before the women start to put their lives back together and take the City by storm.

Mercury in Retrograde will not change your life, it will not raise your IQ, but it will provide you with a nice afternoon of entertainment. Be sure to pick it up for your beach bag. The book is on sale June 2, 2009.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

(40) Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster

Pretty in Plaid is the perfect book to read after such an intense book like Columbine. If you have not had the pleasure, you need to read Jen Lancaster. Her biting, self-deprecating sense of humor is guaranteed to make you laugh.

Pretty in Plaid is no different. Ms. Lancaster tells us the story of her life in fashion. No, not working in the fashion industry, but the clothing she wore during the events that shaped her life. Starting in the late seventies. Oh yeah, I can relate. What girl can't relate? I don't remember specific outfits until the junior high years. But I remember trends. What girl doesn't? Can you honestly tell me that you made it out of the 80's without wearing leg warmers? Or coveting a brand of jeans? For Jen Lancaster it was Jordache. For me it was GUESS? I wanted a pair of GUESS jeans like you would not believe. Fashion is a big part of growing up as a teen girl. Kind of like "Where were you when...." this is a "What were you wearing when..." for Jen Lancaster.

Jen Lancaster has taken her memories & her past fashion mistakes and wrapped it all up in a funny book. And Jen Lancaster knows how to do funny. She is one of the first authors that I recall doing the "footnotes". With footnotes like this one:

47. They're so tight around the crotch region that I technically may not be a virgin anymore.

Or this

69. In my day we didn't have Internet memes! We had paper quizzes! And we answered them in longhand! Uphill! In the snow!

You get a glimpse of Jen Lancaster's humor. If you really want to crack up, check out her blog. Jen Lancaster (sidenote: YAY ME! I figure out the "link" function in blogger!) I stalk her blog regularly, because I know that she (and her blog readers) are guaranteed to make me giggle. And sometimes we all need a good giggle.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

At The Movies

We are embarking upon the Summer Movie Season. And as always this summer's expected Blockbusters got their start on bookstore shelves. For years, readers have been buzzing about these books & playing the "Who Would You Cast?" game. Now producers are bringing the characters to life and the die-hard fans are eager to see if they got it right.

First up, Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. I read this book over five years ago, and I will be the first to admit the details are a little fuzzy. I read the book on a road trip to my Uncle's funeral and I remember being unable to put the book down. I may have to re-read before seeing the movie.

Next up is My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. This is probably one of the most antipated movies by woman readers My Sister's Keeper has been a book club favorite ever since it was first published. There has been a lot of buzz that the ending of the movie deviates from the book in order to provide a more "satisfying" ending for viewers. Of course that has outraged fans. But will the outrage be enough to keep them out of the theaters?

The True Crime fans will love Public Enemies. And so will Johnny Depp fans!

And who could forget Harry Potter? Although, I believe that I am the only person on the planet who has not read the books or seen the movies. One of these days I will have a marathon and either read them all or watch them all.

Julie & Julia by Julie Powell is one I am excited for. I have the book, found it in a "Last Chance" Bargain Table at work. But, like a million other books, it is still on my TBR pile. I will get to it. I promise. The trailer looks really cute. And I adore Meryl Streep.

There is one more movie due out in August that I have been waiting years for. I scoured the internet, but was unable to find a trailer. Hopefully that doesn't mean the movie is horrid, but that they are still in the editing phase. I will let you know as soon as a trailer for The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger hits the web.

So what do you think about this summer's batch of movies? Are there any you are eager to see? Have you read the books? Did they get the casting right? Will the movies do the books justice? That is yet to be determined. If nothing else, hopefully they will provide entertainment for the hot summer months.


ETA: I have sized & resized these trailers & they are still a little too big for the screen. It is my first attempt at embedding & I will take any suggestions you may have!

Thank You!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

(39) Columbine by Dave Cullen

I will never forget April 20, 1999. I had just gotten off of work, in fact, I may have left early. My normal time off was 2:00PM. I remember settling into my green la-z-boy. The quilt my Aunt made me thrown over my lap. Settled in for General Hospital & my afternoon nap.

Instead of General Hospital, I found that ABC had gone live to Littleton, Colorado. And I sat in my chair & watched the events unfold. I remember crying as I watched Patrick Ireland fall out of the library window into the arms of the SWAT team. I remember seeing Danny Rorhbough laying on the ground. Not fully comprehending that he was dead.

We all remember those images. We all remember those days following April 20. Overnight the entire country became afraid of Goths. The phrase "Trench Coat Mafia" became synonymous with mass murderers.

It is now ten years later and the truth is finally coming out. Dylan Klebold & Eric Harris were NOT Goths. They were not bullied or picked on. They were not racists or Anti-Semitic. Nothing caused the boys to "snap". Eric Harris was a psychopath. And he took Dylan Klebold along for the ride.

"We remember Columbine as a pair of outcast Goths from the Trench Coat Mafia snapping and tearing through their high school hunting down jocks to settle a long-running feud. Almost none of that happened. No Goths, no outcasts, nobody snapping. No targets, no feud, and no Trench Coat Mafia. Most of those elements existed at Columbine - which is what gave them some currency. They just had nothing to do with the murders." -- page 149

And that is what pisses me off reading this book. I remember the fear. I remember the scrutiny & public ridicule that Goths went through after Columbine. And it was all for nothing. FOR NOTHING. Because the Media was desperate to be the first to have Breaking News about anything. They took hysterical kids & put them in front of the camera within minutes of having their lives turned upside down & inside out.

Make no mistake Columbine is a very disturbing read. Cullen gets graphic and detailed in his description about what went on in the high school that tragic day. It was hard to read through the tears in some places. And I couldn't sleep last night replaying the events & the words in my head. It is a disturbing book. But then again, Eric Harris & Dylan Klebold were very disturbing kids.

But Cullen is also very thorough in making sure that all sides of the story are told accurately. From the parents of the killers, to Principal D, to the law enforcement trying to piece it all together, Cullen leaves no stone unturned.

I will say that I was a bit disappointed that Cullen did not give equal "page space" to all of the victims. And that could be because their families chose not to be part of the book to that degree. And that is okay. Everyone heals in their own way. At least, that is the assumption I am going with.

I am putting Columbine in the "Best of 2009" category. Even though it is a disturbing read, it is well written, objective, and thorough. Maybe with the publication of this book all of the myths, rumors, and misconceptions can be put to rest. Maybe now, the country and Columbine can move on.

Happy Tuesday!!

For those of us who work in bookstores, every Tuesday is like Christmas. It is New Release Day!

For whatever reason, Tuesday is the day that Publishers, and Studios for that matter, have chosen to be the day for new titles to hit the street. They are known as "Strict on Sales" or referred to as having a "Street Date" or a "National Lay Down Date". The publishing houses have written into contracts with sellers that these designated titles can not be sold before the "National Lay Down" date. Publishers can impose fines or withhold future titles if the Street Date is violated. Now not every book is an S.O.S. Just the big ones. With Harry Potter, booksellers were threatened with execution if they even DARED to open a box before midnight on their Street Date. Well not really, but you get the idea. They take this stuff pretty seriously.

Street Dates are pretty much set in stone, but the publishers have been known to move a date up to coincide with a media blitz. Most recently, Elizabeth Edward's Resilience originally had a street date for today, but due to her appearance on Oprah, the publishers moved the street date to last Friday. Which was smart. Oprah has been known to sell books. They would have missed out on sales had they waited until today. Out of sight, out of mind.

With the history out of the way, with this post, I am going to start a weekly "Happy Tuesday" post. I will share with you the new release titles that I think will be of most interest to you. Some weeks, there will be a lot, other weeks not so much.

So, now that you know the history of New Release Day, HAPPY TUESDAY!!.

I have the ARC of this book & I tried to get it read before today, but it just didn't happen. But it is shooting to the top of my pile. I read Down River last year and it was an amazing mystery. John Hart is gifted at the Art of Mystery and I look forward to his next book.

This is for those of you with kids. Last week was the big Percy Jackson release and this week is the next book in the Pendragon series.

I have never read a book by these authors, but I know they are popular.

There you have it! Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 11, 2009

(38) Face of Betrayal by Lis Wiehl

There is nothing like a good mystery.

So often when I read a mystery I have the "whodunit" figured out and just stick with the book to find out if I was right.

Well, that was the case with Face Of Betrayal. I guessed who it was fairly early in the novel, but I wasn't sure if I was right. The author did an excellent job of keeping me guessing.

Face of Betrayal is the debut novel of The Triple Threat club. Three women who reunited at a high school reunion & discovered that they all have something in common. Their work revolves around the crime industry. Nicole is an FBI agent specializing in cyber crimes. Allison is a prosecuting attorney. And Cassidy is a news reporter for a Portland TV station. The three women meet & discuss their lives over dinner & dessert. Which is where the Triple Threat Club got their name, from their favorite dessert.

Right now all three of them are focused on Katie Converse. A seventeen year old intern who is home for the Christmas break. Katie went never returned home after walking the dog one evening. As the three women separately dig a little deeper, Katie's blog reveals some inappropriate connections to a very powerful man.

Did Katie run away? Did she kill herself? Is the Senator hiding her or did the Senator kill her? Or was it his wife? The woman who has looked the other way for a very long time?

Each chapter is told in the alternating viewpoints of Allison, Cassidy, & Nic. Each of the three women are at different places in their lives & their careers. And each woman looks at the crime from different angles. THAT is what keeps this book interesting, long after you figure out "Whodunit".

Face of Betrayal is a well written suspense thriller. The author has done her research and it shows in the little details. The book is a fast paced read. But it leaves you wanting more. I am already looking forward to book two of The Triple Threat series.

Friday, May 8, 2009

(37) The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand - On Sale July 7, 2009

There is something about Nantucket that seems magical to me. Maybe it is just because I have read about it so often. Maybe it is because Elin Hilderbrand makes Nantucket seem like such a magical place.

The Castaways is a little different. Instead of longing for the island, this book makes you long for the friendships. The friendships that have formed between eight people, four couples dubbed The Castaways.

There is The Chief & Andrea. Eddie is the chief of police for Nantucket & Andrea is his lovely wife. They are like the parents of the group. Always the levelheaded ones.

Tess & Greg McAvoy are the free-spirited ones. They are both teachers & draw people to them like moths to flames. They make every party fun, they make every outing special. Tess is also Andrea's younger cousin.

Phoebe & Addison are the rich ones. Addison is "THE" real estate agent on the island. He closes multi-million dollar deals on a weekly basis. Phoebe is his, wife. Her twin brother's death on 9/11 has sent her into a chemically induced descent into hell.

Jeffrey & Delilah are the odd pair of the group. They are complete opposites. Jeffrey is salt of the earth. A farmer. Delilah is the free spirit.

The group is shattered when Greg & Tess are found dead after they went for a sail to celebrate their anniversary. And that is how the story is told. The book is written in alternating viewpoints from all of the survivors. With each chapter, you realize that The Castaways all had secrets. Dark secrets. Some darker than others. Infidelity, drug abuse, accusations by one of Greg's students. Not all of their memories are good ones. But was their death really an accident? That is what The Chief has to figure out. Why was traces of heroin found in Tess's tox screen? Can they ever get past the death of their friends? Will The Castaways live on?

The Castaways was a bit hard to read at first. Each chapter is told from a different person's point of view. It took about a third of the book before I was able to keep everyone straight. A flow chart is almost necessary. Once the couples become defined, the grief is plapable. But for different reasons. The book is a great read. Even though the couples all have problems, their friendship, their bond, their love is strong. And even with the death of Greg & Tess. They survive.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

~*~*I want your input, please! *~*~*

So far, I have kept my blog to be strictly a report about books that I have read. But, now I am asking you, the readers, if you would like more.

Due to the nature of my profession, there is information about authors, books, characters & such that I could share with you, the reader. I have been approached by authors & publicists to take part in blog tours and author interviews. Up until now, I have declined these requests.

But I ask you, would you be interested in reading about book related things on my blog, in addition to reviews of books I have read?

I am going to create a poll & leave it up until June 5, 2009. Please, vote and let me know what you think.

Monday, May 4, 2009

(36) Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen (Audiobook)

Yes, I know I am about the last person on the planet to read this book. But I really did not think that it would be a book I would like. So I avoided it. And then I saw the audio book at Goodwill for $3.99.

OK. I can give it a shot for $3.99.

Oh my goodness.

As most of you know, Water For Elephants is the story of Jacob Jankowski. The story is told in two voices, that of a young Jacob, and that of an elderly Jacob. As a young man Jacob's world is ripped apart in the early 20th century when his parents are killed in an auto accident. Unable to really process the fact that they left him nothing, he literally hops the train in hopes of escaping his pain.

He soon discover that he has hopped into another world. That of the traveling circus. The Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. With characters like Walter, Uncle Al, August, Marlena & of course Rosie the elephant you are soon entering that world with Jacob. He struggles with the loss of his parents. He struggles with his growing feelings for Marlena. He struggles with his conscious as he watches August continuously abuses Rosie. And Marlena.

Listening to this book on audio created the ultimate "reading" experience. There were two narrators, Young Jacob & Elderly Jacob. And the difference between the two really accentuated the difference between the two men. It was amazing. And to really hear the quivering in Elderly Jacob's voice at his disappointment. Well. It made me want to visit my elderly Grandmother. It really hit close to home.

I can not say enough positive things about this book & the people in the book. Camel, Walter, and Qweenie all came to life for me. I cried when they cried and I thought my heart would break when. . .

If you are like me & have been putting off this book, do so no longer. You will thank me later.

Friday, May 1, 2009

(35) The Glamorous (Double) Life of Isabel Bookbinder by Holly McQueen

Well. I didn't *Hate* this book. But there is no way a "Chick Lit" book should take me a week to read. I stuck with it though, because I wanted to see how the author wrapped things up without making Isabel Bookbinder seem like even more of a twit than she already does.

Isabel Bookbinder is twenty-seven years old working in the publishing industry, but not as an Assistant Editor, like her father believes, but she measures the space around the columns to ensure that everything fits properly.

But have no fear, Isabel is going to write a book & become a world class novelists. And become rich & show her arch enemy, Gina, who really is the best.

Sounds like the premise for a good book, right? Not really. Because Isabel Bookbinder is a twit. She gets herself into stupid situations that makes Becky Bloomwood look like a Rhodes Scholar. You think I am joking? Read the book. You will see I am not joking.

I am sorry, Ms McQueen, but Isabel Bookbinder is the kind of woman that I would strangle, slap, or just flat out beat her ass, for continuing to be so clueless about what is going on around her. It is just downright scary to think that there are really women out there this stupid.

Oh wait, it is fiction!

There really can't be women out there who think the most important thing about writing a book is looking good?

It is fiction, right?

Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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