Friday, October 29, 2010

All Hallows Eve With Book Chick City

I've joined this fun Halloween Haunt over at Book Chick City.  I've read some scary books, and some that turned out to be not so scary, but that's ok.  I've also got a little scary story of my own to add.

Night Shade - John Saul
The Surgeon - Tess Gerritsen
Heart Shaped Box - Joe Hill
Step On A Crack - James Patterson
The Big Bad Wolf - James Patterson
The Good The Bad and The Undead - Kim Harrison

My contribution of a scary story....

Hauntingly Haunted!  

The Good The Bad And The Undead

The Good, the Bad, and the Undead (The Hollows, Book 2)

 The Good The Bad And The Undead
 Kim Harrison
 416 pgs

Amazon Blurb -
It's a tough life for witch Rachel Morgan, sexy, independent bounty hunter, prowlng the darkest shadows of downtown Cincinnati for criminal creatures of the night.
She can handle the leather-clad vamps and even tangle with a cunning demon or two. But a serial killer who feeds on the experts in the most dangerous kind of black magic is definitely pushing the limits.
Confronting an ancient, implacable evil is more than just child's play—and this time, Rachel will be lucky to escape with her very soul.


 Someone is killing the City’s best ley line witches and FIB wants Rachel Morgan to go undercover and help find out who it is.  She thinks Trent Kalamack is involved somehow, possibly the killer himself.  Capt. Edden assigns his son Greg to be her right hand man in this.  Of course her living vamp and house mate Ivy isnn’t happy about it at all after what Trent had did to her before, but Rachel is determined.  Nick is still with her and her pixie side kick Jenks too.  We get to see a bit more of Kisten and we meet Ivy’s Uncle and Master vamp Piscary.

Rachel has to go back to witch college as part of the investigation since the professor is one of the suspects.  Her assignment calls for a familiar which is usually a cat.  Familiars help when pulling on ley lines during spells and she is using a koi fish that she stole back for a client.  The problem was, the client found their fish and stiffed her the fee when they realized the mistake.  Well, snafu’s ensue when Nick is made her familiar, not the fish.  Demon Algaliarept is back and he wants to collect his debt owed by Rachel.

The plot thickens as we find out just what Trent is, and who is really behind the murders.   The tense relationship with Ivy and Rachel just gets worse as Ivy attacks her again, and has fallen off the blood abstaining wagon.   Nick is also in a pickle as Rachel’s familiar and their relationship hits some potholes.

I did like this book better since the world building is done.  What irks me is the Ivy/Rachel situation.  Rachel is afraid of Ivy yet she is the supposed dominant that keeps Ivy in check?  I don’t get that at all and I don’t like the relationship much either, it just weirds me out.  Of course I will continue, I do like Kisten ; ) 

3 cannolis

Hauntingly Haunted

I live in a beautiful town in sunny So Cali.  It was founded by wealthy mid-westerners and East Coasters who wanted a warm place to winter.  Hence the homes here don't have the traditional Spanish Mediterranean flair.  Instead you feel like you're walking in a New York suburb or an Illinois town.

There are a couple of famous houses here.  The Kimberly Crest Mansion, which was featured in Linda Blair's Hell Night.   The park the mansion sits on is supposedly haunted by a young girl who was murdered in it one late night.  She roams the park aimlessly in the evenings.  Next is the Morey Mansion which was featured on The Othersiders, a show of kid ghost hunters, yeah haunted too.

This is my house, and yes that is snow, what a great surprise that was!!  Built in 1893, it's a dream come true for us.  I said us, my kids say it's haunted so I think for them it's a nightmare.  My daughter Des is a hairstylist.  The salon owner has a friend/client that's psychic and was dying to "read" our house.  Sure whatever have at it.  The troop went up to the attic, which is now our master suite.  She claims Charlie is a ghost who stands in the back of our closet and is angry that changes are being made to his house without him.  Charlie was a carpenter.  My hubs said “tell Charlie to pick up a hammer and get busy then!”  She also claims that the play room on the second floor was once a nursery and is inhabited by a young child.  Of course my kids, all six are in a tizzy.  “Told ya mom, told ya!” they chant in chorus.

Things do happen.  The door to my bedroom will be shut tight by me.  I do this to keep my silly yorkie from taking a dump in the room.  I’ll go upstairs and low and behold, the door is ajar.  I keep my thermostat set at certain temps for the heat and air.  Well, I’ll be FREEZING and the a.c.will be just cranking.  When I check the setting, it’ll be buried all the way down as cold as it can go.  “Which one of you messed with the thermostat?”  I’ll yell.  All answer "Not me."

One Saturday five of them were in the playroom futzing on YouTube all laughing hysterical when there was this loud crash and the girls screamed.  I go running to the staris and ask what that was.  “We don’t know, nothing's on the floor in any of the rooms!”  they yell back.  Of course this has them just buzzing at this point.   “Ma , Ma, there’s nothing here!”  What made that loud crash then?”  “Told ya there’s a ghost here!”  Pish posh I tell them.  And yet…

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tome’s 500 pg challenge

And September’s wrap up.  Yes I’m behind I know :p  September was a mega reading month for me.  I just blew through the books at a mean clip.  Don’t really know why.  I read 9 books, some of them wonderful surprises, like the Godmother by Carrie Adams.  It wound up falling a tad short of the 500 pgs. but I’m not gonna quibble.

The Surgeon: A Novel
The Surgeon
 Tess Gerritsen
 521 pgs
 Ballentine Books

This month’s choice is The Surgeon by Tess Gerritson, and I’ve already read it, my review is *HERE*.  It came in at 521pgs large print, but it works for me!

I still haven’t taken the Kushiel’s plunge, I don’t know why just can’t wrap my brain around that one yet.

I’m in two Halloween challenges and I’ve been ready scary stories.  I’ve done some reviews for them.  My fave so far is The Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill.  I’m reading The Good The Bad And The Undead by Kim Harrison.  This is the Hallows series with Rachel Morgan.  I’ve met Kisten and am dying for these two to finally be together.  He seems delish.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Us Girls Gotta Stick Together

Ok, not the usual post for my book blog, but us girls have to take care of each other.  Yesterday I went and got my boobs squished, not fun I know, who likes having their boobs smashed in a panini press?  But it needs to be done on a yearly basis.  I'm sure each of us have someone we know touched by this disease.  My sister-in-law is a survivor.  My other sister-in-law's sister is a survivor.  God has blessed us with these beautiful bodies, and we need to keep it healthy.  Watch out for the girls and get those buhnewcheese mamo'd : )

One For The Money

One for the Money (Stephanie Plum, No. 1)

One For The Money
Janet Evonovich
320 pgs
St. Martins Griffin

 Amazon Blurb -

Stephanie Plum is so smart, so honest, and so funny that her narrative charm could drive a documentary on termites. But this tough gal from New Jersey, an unemployed discount lingerie buyer, has a much more interesting story to tell: She has to say that her Miata has been repossessed and that she's so poor at the moment that she just drank her last bottle of beer for breakfast. She has to say that her only chance out of her present rut is her repugnant cousin Vinnie and his bail-bond business. She has to say that she blackmailed Vinnie into giving her a bail-bond recovery job worth $10,000 (for a murder suspect), even though she doesn't own a gun and has never apprehended a person in her life. And she has to say that the guy she has to get, Joe Morelli, is the same creep who charmed away her teenage virginity behind the pastry case in the Trenton bakery where she worked after school. If that hard-luck story doesn't sound compelling enough, Stephanie's several unsuccessful attempts at pulling in Joe make a downright hilarious and suspenseful tale of murder and deceit. Along the way, several more outlandish (but unrelentingly real) characters join the story, including Benito Ramirez, a champion boxer who seems to be following Stephanie Plum wherever she goes.
Janet Evanovich shares an authentic feel for the streets of Trenton in her debut mystery (she developed her talents in a string of romance novels before creating Ms. Plum), and her tough, frank, and funny first-person narrator offers a winning mix of vulgarity and sensitivity. Evanovich is certainly among the best of the new voices to emerge in the mystery field of the 1990s.

I met someone for the first time this weekend.  Her name is Stephanie Plum.  Ya know what?  I love her!  What a fantastic character Evanovich has created here.  Plum is your every day gal.  She’s not a hard ass tough girl alla Anita Blake.  She’s not a mentally jacked up introvert like Eve Dallas, who I really like too, don’t get me wrong.  And yes, I understand the books of these protagonists are different, just wanted to give a personality perspective. She just is.  A little clumsy, just trying to get by wants to enjoy life.

Poor Stephanie has lost her job as a buyer for a second rate lingerie store.  Her Mazda Miata has been repo’d, she’s pawing her jewelry and furniture just to get by.  Her mom tells her about sleezy cousin Vinny needing a filer for his bails bond biz.  His secretary Lucille tells her she doesn’t want that job, why not pick up the cases that bounty hunter Mort has had to let go due to appendicitis.  The biggie’ll net her 10 grand!  Awesome, except the biggie is Joe Morelli, infamous heartthrob and s.o.b. from her childhood.

Steph and Joe have a past.  When they were six, she went in his garage and played choo-choo.  Joe was the train and she was the tunnel.  The result was his head up here dress.  At 16 they got it on behind the bakery counter she worked at.  Humiliated at falling for his charm, she never forgave him, and three years later she ran into him with her dad’s car breaking his leg and hasn’t seen him since.  He’s now a cop wanted for murder and still on every girls “hot damn” list.

The antics that ensue are hilarious!  From  her crappy Nova that she bought for $50.00 being spray painted by some hoodlums “Pussy Mobile” to her Grandma shooting off Plum’s gun at the dining room table, I was laughing hysterical!  Don’t get me wrong there was some very serious action.  The parts with boxing Champ Benito Ramirez, who reminded me of boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho, I always thought that guy was cracked, were pretty heavy.  The author has peppered it with humor to make this book light and very very entertaining.  Fellow hunter Ranger is an obvious hunk, her parents give the typical oh boy levity, her Grandma is a pisser!  And Joe, well what can I say, he’s a hottie, us Italians don’t know how to make em any other way.  I loved him.

I will continue with this series.  My sister-in-laws book club has picked Sizzling 16 for November, while I won’t get through all before that one, I’m excited to read more.

A quick word about the casting for the movie.  Some are ticked at Catherine Heigl being picked for Stephanie, and on thinking about it, imho, I think she would be great.  She can do comedy, just look at her and Gerard Butler in The Ugly Truth, but I think she can pull seriousness off really well too.  They have cast Morelli and I’m not too sure about that one, I pictured Joe Manganiello from True Blood, they’ve went with Jason O’Mara.  Ranger they are spot on with!!  He’ll be played by Daniel Sunjata, better known as Franco from Rescue Me.

5 cannolis

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Dark Of The Night

In the Dark of the Night: A Novel LARGE PRINT
In The Dark Of Night
John Saul
390 pgs
Ballentine Books

The lake was calm.  A complete contrast to the torment this poor man was fighting within himself while in his rowboat.  The voices were screaming at him, but he had to finish what he started.  It was hard for him to see in the dark, but he got the rope tied tight.  He lifted the cinder block to throw it over…

The Pines is a summer spot for the uppers of the city.  Situated around a picturesque lake, Eric Brewster wished his mother Merrill would finally cave this summer and they’d get a house there.  His best friends since kindergarten, Kent and Tad, have been going for years.  Last summer he got to spend a weekend with them and had a blast.  The three families are all very close friends and Kent and Tad’s moms are trying to convince Merrill.  The problem?  Merrill is a borderline panophobic, she worries and is afraid of everything!!  His father Dan finally makes the final decision and it’s on!  The whole family, ten year old sister Marci, Tippy the cat and the Moxie the dog will be going.

Eric is stoked.  He’ll be spending the summer meeting hot girls, jet skiing and fishing.  The house they’ve rented, Pinecrest is huge!  It belonged to a Dr. Darby, who worked with the criminally insane.  He mysteriously went missing seven years ago and no one knows what happened.  Of course this bit of info adds to his mothers worry, putting her in a tizzy.  She just keeps looking for reasons to scrap the whole thing.
While trying to find fishing equipment, Eric pokes around in the carriage house.  It’s filled with gobs of antiques of all kinds.  He feels this inexplicable pull and goes into a sort of daze.  He finally comes out of the carriage house to his father screaming at him.  “Didn’t you hear me?!  I’ve been calling for you for 30 minutes!”  Eric is stunned, he thought he was in there for only five, ten minutes at the most.  Of course this has him intrigued, coupled with the odd sensation of being “pulled” back to the carriage house.  He enlists his friends in the exploration and they all soon find that time passes oddly in the carriage house.  They find a hidden room that’s been bricked up and is filled with more odd objects and antiques plus a ledger showing how much Dr. Darby paid for each item.  As they pass their fingers over the items they get odd jolts through their bodies.  There’s also this indistinguishable murmuring of voices that they can’t quite make out.
They have opened an evil can of worms that has been waiting to be let out.  Very bad things start happening, beginning with his sister Marci’s cat Tippy being eviscerated.  Couple that with the town’s hateful bully, who has decided he hates Eric and friends, and tortures them every chance he gets, and slowly they are becoming terrified.

Well, I wasn’t even a little scared : (  While I wasn’t bored once I realized where it was going I thought it was a bit silly.  I can’t say anything had me on the edge of my seat.  The one thing I do wish is that someone would’ve tormented the crap out of the scaredy cat mom.  She just annoyed the crumbs outta me and so did his little sister.  Someone shoulda clubbed her on the top of the head while they were at it too!  I was also disappointed in who the killer turned out to be.  It wound up being very anticlimactic.  Oh well, what can  you do, two books into my horror challenge and I’ve still not been scared outta my pants!   Again, while Saul is good with his words, this one was just so so.

2 ½ cannolis

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Step On A Crack

Step On a Crack

Step On A Crack
James Patterson
400 pgs.
Little Brown and Co

Amazon Blurb -
Patterson and Ledwidge introduce a new hero in an exciting thriller set in the heart of Manhattan. NYPD detective Michael Bennett is concentrating on getting his family through a particularly difficult Christmas: he and his 10 adopted children are facing the loss to cancer of his brave wife, Maeve. But a major crisis calls him away: the funeral of a former First Lady at St. Patrick's Cathedral goes horribly awry when men storm the church and take hundreds of attendees hostage. Michael is asked to try to reason with a sinister man named Jack. Jack releases all but the most famous people, and makes his demands: he wants several million dollars from each celebrity hostage, including the mayor, a popular comedic actor, a beloved talk show host, and a pop starlet. Once Jack starts killing, Michael realizes he's up against a truly diabolical foe. Patterson has a knack for creating genuinely likable heroes, and Michael fits the bill. As readers rapidly turn the pages to learn how the tense hostage drama plays out, they will also be sympathizing with Michael as he faces the agonizing loss of his wife. Totally gripping and downright impossible to put down, this is a promising start to a potential new series.

Ok, this was not one of my favorites.  My hubs like it a lot more than I.  The plot really was fantastic, I liked protagonist Det. Mike Bennet, former hostage negotiator for the NYPD, liked his Grandpa Father Seamus, yes father.  When his wife passed, he joined the priesthood.  That’s where it ended for me character wise.
The plot is a massive kidnapping inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City during the First Lady’s funeral.  Hollywood and the entertainment industry’s who’s who as well as sports, Wall Str. Politicos and fashions best.  Someone called the “Neat Man” is the eyes and ears on the outside keeping the hostage takers informed of the FBI and the police’s moves.

Mike is called in as a fill in, Christmas is days away, and his wife is on her deathbed, having lost her brave battle with cancer.  Top it off with ten adopted kids and his plate is more than full.  If Patterson was trying to tug heartstrings here, I actually found all this to be beyond believable.  It was just too much and not needed.  I liked Mike, but I started getting twitchy with all the family drama.

Getting all the hostages out alive is the obvious goal.  Having these society elitists empty their bank accounts into the hostage takers off shore accounts is the ultimate prize.  Leader “Jack” has been talking with Mike.  All is going smooth till a priest is accidently killed.  It rapidly deteriorates from there.

Again, the premise was great.  I didn’t like the ringleader, he was too much of a wise ass, and the Hollywood personalities were just too stereotypical for me.  The kumbaya of his family was very predictable all they needed was the Blessed Virgin to appear and it would’ve been perfect.  If some of the b.s. was trimmed, you have a much better book right down to the surprise baddie at the end.  3 cannolis cuz the plot was a good one.

3 cannolis

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Heart Shaped Box

Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel 
Heart Shaped Box
Joe Hill
374 pgs.
William Morrow

 Amazon Blurb-
Do you sleep with the light on? Are you in the habit of checking your doors and windows before you go to bed? Maybe even checking under your bed? If you are about to crack open Joe Hill's chilling thriller Heart-Shaped Box, you might want to rethink your nighttime habits--Hill's story about an aging rock star (with a penchant for macabre artifacts) who buys a haunted suit online will scare you silly. But don't take our word for it. We asked bestselling authors (and masters of dark terror tales themselves) Scott Smith, and Harlan Coben to read Heart-Shaped Box and give us their take. Check out their reviews below, and you might want to pick up a nightlight while you're at it.

I don’t usually do this, but go to the playlist at the bottom of my blog and pick # 12, The Funeral, from Band of Horses to listen to while reading this, boy that song fits this book to a tee.

He could see the old man sitting in the chair at the end of the hall.  If he kept walking and didn’t look at him maybe he wouldn’t be noticed…

Do you wanna be scared?  I said, DO YOU WANNA BE SCARED?!!  Then you must read this book.  Joe Hill smashed this one right outta the park!

Judas Coyne is an aging rocker.  Kinda like Ozzie Ozborne, but not quite as fried as that poor dude.  He has a taste for the macabre and likes to collect the crazy crap.  Snuff film, cook book for the cannibal, you get the picture.  His assistant Danny calls Judas into his office; someone is auctioning off a ghost, a ghost that resides in its dead man’s suit.   Judas can’t resist.  No sooner does that sucker arrive in a black heart shaped box that the shit hits the fan big time!

In life his name was Craddock and he is gunning for poor Judas.  Craddock blames Judas for his step-daughter Annie killing herself.  Be sure there is much more to this than meets the eye.  Holy crap, I saw that SOB everywhere!  I sometimes couldn’t catch my damn breath.  Each page turned faster than the last.  You know that sensation you get in a nightmare where you’re just frozen?  You want to scream but you can’t?  Just paralyzed in terror?  There’s a part where Judas is looking out of Bammy’s kitchen window at poor little Ruthie and he’s trying to tell her to run and no sound is coming out.  I could feel that pressure in my chest at not being able to yell!  Whose Bammy and Ruth?  Read the book babe!

Hill has crafted some awesome characters here.  The banter and interaction is fantastic.  Yes he made me laugh out loud and choked me up too.  What a great author, what an awesome book.In the midst of all this tension he inserts levity that just cracked me up.   One occasion takes place with his aunt who cares for his dying dad, and his girlfriend Marybeth aka Georgia (he calls all his girlfriends by the state they come from). Marybeth’s thumb is infected where she got pricked by the suit; Judas’ finger was shot off during a fight with the gal who sold him the suit.   The aunt is a nurse and she is trying to help them –

Without any forewarning, she reached between them and snatched at Marybeth’s wrist, lifting her own bandaged hand for a moment.  The wraps were stiff and brown with dried bloodstains on them.  “What the hell have you two been doin?” she asked.  “It’s my thumb.” Marybeth said.  “Did you try to trade it to him for his finger?”

Scenes like this just had me laughing and helped with the intensity of some of what was taking place.  Find out who these people are and what happens, you won’t be sorry at all!
5 cannolis, that right 5 of em!

5 cannolis

The Surgeon

The Surgeon: A Novel

  The Surgeon
  Tess Gerritsen
  521 pgs
  Ballentine Books

 Amazon Blurb -
A serial killer is on the loose in Boston. The victims are killed in a particularly nasty way: cut with a scalpel on the stomach, the intestines and uterus removed, and then the throat slashed. The killer obviously has medical knowledge and has been dubbed "the Surgeon" by the media. Detective Thomas Moore and his partner Rizzoli of the Boston Homicide Unit have discovered something that makes this case even more chilling. Years ago in Savannah a serial killer murdered in exactly the same way. He was finally stopped by his last victim, who shot him as he tried to cut her. That last victim is Dr. Catherine Cordell, who now works as a cardiac surgeon at one of Boston's prestigious hospitals. As the murders continue, it becomes obvious that the killer is drawing closer and closer to Dr. Cordell, who is becoming so frightened that she is virtually unable to function. But she is the only person who can help the police catch this copycat killer. Or is it a copycat? To complicate matters even further, Detective Moore, often referred to as Saint Thomas as he continues to mourn the loss of his wife, is getting emotionally involved with the doctor.

This book was great.  My first foray into Tess Gerritsen and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Her writing style is smooth as silk.  No getting bogged down each page just kept turning.  It was a large print book, the only one the library had, 521 pgs and I read it in two days!!

Dr. Catherine Cordell is a survivor.  Let me tell you, I wouldn’t wanna be the kind of survivor she was.  Drugged, tied down and raped by a crazy serial killer who liked to take souvenirs, his victim’s wombs, before cutting their throats.  Sick S.O.B.!!  Catherine managed to free her arm and get the gun her father insisted she have because of these killings, and kill the nut.

Fast forward two years, she has left Savannah and now lives in Boston, a successful Dr., pushing that nightmare out of her mind.  One problem, there’s and copycat killer mimicking what was done in Savannah.  This killer knows things only an eyewitness would. and like the first has some form of medical knowledge, hence being dubbed “The Surgeon” by the cops.

Detectives Thomas Moore and Jane Rizzoli are on the case.  Rizzoli is a tough nut.  She is coarse and harsh, plain looking, just bitter.  Angie Harmon this chick ain’t.  I’ll have to delve into Rizzoli’s series at a later time to see if she improves.  Moore is the exact opposite, almost serene earning himself the nickname St. Thomas.  Rizzoli does some digging and finds the common thread of Dr. Cordell with these victims, so the two go to interview her.  Catherine has buried this horror and isn’t happy at all about reliving it.  As time progresses and another victim is found, that Catherine is the ultimate target for The Surgeon becomes evident.  He is taunting her terrorizing her and Det. Moore is falling for her.  This gets Rizzoli in a tizzy and the events that follow are troubling for both Jane and Thomas.

The suspense builds as they try to catch him and the ending was a major heart racer!  This book is a worthy read.  While I like a little more interaction with the killer, the book moved along nicely keeping you wondering who the bad guy was and then really grossing you out when you find out how he was discovered.  I did like the characters, while I had a hard time with Jane Rizzoli, you see why she is the sourpuss hard ass. I recommend it.

4 cannolis

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Night Shade


John Saul
399 pgs
Ballentine Books

An evil sick being is beating an innocent toddler.  The poor baby is trying to retreat into herself, but the blows hurt too much and she cries out.  The sick monster isn’t through with the torment.  The baby is brought to the cellar and locked in a cedar chest where she’s told to cry and scream all she wants now….

Matt Moore is a happy vibrant teenager.  Popular, on the football team, pretty girlfriend, he’s on his way to an awesome future.  Then his Grandmother moves in.  She suffers from Alzheimer’s and after nearly burning herself and her home down, his mom Joan brings her to their home.  There’s one problem, his gram is a bitter nasty hag.  She refers to him as “Joan’s bastard”, and is all around horrid to his mom.  His step-dad, Bill Hapgood, one of the towns elite, wants his mother-in-law in a home, what she’s doing to his family is straining his marriage and he can’t take it.
His stepdad winds up leaving because of the situation and Matt is hurt.  Bill is the only father he has ever known for the past 10 years, and all his mom can say in offer of an explanation is “but she’s my mother.”  Soon Matt starts suffering from blackouts.  Then there’s a terrible accident with Bill, followed by his grandma and girlfriend Kelly going missing.  What evil is lurking in that room that his grandmother insisted be made to look like the exact replica of his dead Aunt Cynthia’s….
Saul weaves a good tale.  I wasn’t shaking in my boots, but I enjoyed the suspense.

3 cannolis

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Deep Thoughts....

Well maybe not too deep, but some things I’ve been thinking about the last couple of weeks.

In my about me page, I shared how much I’ve loved books and reading since I was a little girl.  I really feel one of life’s greatest pleasures is the gift of the written word.  Books have the ability to transport us to eras gone by and to places we may never get to see.  If I am lucky enough to read an author who can invoke deep emotions, deep enough to make me cry, gasp or laugh out loud, then I’ve struck gold.

During my father’s illness and subsequent death last year, I began devouring books in an effort to calm myself and keep my sanity during what proved to be a devastating time for me.  Being so far away only compounded the issue.  Slowly I found I wasn’t reading souly for the joy of it, but for this competitive drive to see how many books I could read in a month or how many pages I could add to my running tally.  There’s nothing wrong with keeping a record of books and pages, the problem was this compulsion to have big numbers.  Visiting other blogs I’d see some were reading ten, fifteen, even twenty books a month and three sometimes four at a time and I felt like “man I need to get on the ball!”  I am so happy I never caved to the urge of becoming a philanderer and stayed true to the one book I was reading ; )  I am a monogamist at heart savoring that one book letting each page have my undivided attention never putting it down only to be tempted by another ; )

Then I discovered the ARC, and I dug myself deeper, having 10-15 books that I had to read and review.  Well guess what, nothing sucks the joy out of something than having to do it vs.wanting to.  What makes it worse?  If the book really isn’t all that good.  Normally I’d just stop reading, but a feeling I was obligated to do this out of respect for the author had me finish it.  I know I could’ve just said this book isn’t working for me, but that’s not how I am.   That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be honored to read an authors book if asked for an honest review.  I’m just not going to actively seek this out any longer, I’m going to move at my pace.  I think it’ll result in a much better reading experience and a more honest detailed review as well.

Now onto the blogs and the blogging world.  I love, Love LOVE blogging hence my having 2 blogs.  One devoted to my family and our life doings and my hobby of scrapbooking, and the other to my love of books.  A shock for me since I hate to journal, no matter how often I’ve tried to keep diaries I never liked it, but blogging I do.  This will be of no surprise to the 100’s of major bloggers out there – blogging is VERY time consuming.  Before you can blink your eyes, an hour and a half has gone by and you haven’t accomplished that much.  Couple that with being the CEO of the family and it’s a recipe for disaster.  I love the different memes there are, and the follows, Lord knows I flipping love the challenges, which I will NOT give up.  I am going to utilize Bloggers post scheduling tool so I can draft my reviews in one day and have them post throughout the week without my having to be on.  I’ll pick a couple of my favorite memes to participate in and go from there.  I guess what I’m trying to say is I will no longer blog for the sake of blogging.  I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity.  I’d rather have that one really nice Coach, Dooney and Bork or Vera Bradley bag than four or five knock offs ; )  If my posts make someone laugh out loud or make them says she’s a blooming idiot than I’m happy.  And I will NEVER sensor a comment!  If you don’t agree with me, I’ll post it alla Martin in Presumed Dead’s review.  Providing it isn’t filled with absolute vulgar vitriol, it’ll post.

That said there are three people in the blogging world I want to mention.  These gals have superb blogs, and you can really “feel” the genuine quality of these ladies.  They are class acts and each one likes a different book genre, so you’ll get a wonderfully eclectic view of books if you need some help deciding what you might like to read.  So many books so little time right?  So a little help never hurts : )

First is Miss Julie of Reading Without Restraint.  It is because of Julie that my blog looks the way it does and I am SO thankful.  Her contest is the gift that keeps on giving every time I come to my blog.  I just can’t help but smile.  This wonderful lady is a gentle soul who just loves books.  Her reviews are wonderful and her blog is a pleasure to visit.  I’m always happy after some time spent at the RWR ;)

Next is my PNR pal, Steph.  I LOVE Steph’s blog!!  Fangs Wands And Fairydust is fantastic.  It is such an eye catching blog too.  Steph’s posts are wonderful.   She has newsy posts that range from the cast of Twilight to the origin of Samhein and reviews in between.   I always feel like I’ve learned something after stopping by, be it trivial or very informative.

Last but not least, in any shape or form is my challenge cohort Marce of Tea Time With Marce.  Tea Time is so pretty, I love the slideshow that she has up, you can’t help but feel good while there.  I would love to share a cup of tea with Marce while talking about the latest psycho we’ve read about.  The badder the better and if the baddy is a girl, well we all know woman make the wickedest baddies ;)  Just read about Gretchen Lowell in Chelsea Cain’s series.  I know I can get a good tip on a real thriller from Marce.

I guess this long winded missive is my Jerry Maguire Mission Statement and I feel good about it too.  I hope you’ll come and visit, that you’ll feel good when you do and leave a comment.  There’s nothing worse than having a visitor come and take your just made eggplant parmagian hero and not saying whether they liked it or not ; )

Take care and read cuz ya love it!

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