Monday, December 27, 2010

What Do You Do?

What happens if you get an ARC that really, well, stinks?  Do you feel bad?  Do you write a scathing review?  Or do you just contact the publicist or editor and tell them you can't do this it was just too bad.  This is a quandary for me, I don't want to hurt ones feelings, yet if the book is a real baddie, I'm not gonna write otherwise.  If I've bought it out of my own pocket, I don't have that hard a time saying it's a real stinker, but when you're getting something for free, that guilt just jabs me in the gut.

I'm just curious as to what some others do when presented with this situation.  I'm not seeking ARCS as I was anymore, since I'm trying to whittle my tbr (see my challenge *here*) and I want to read for the joy of reading, but if I come across one that seems interesting to me, or I happen to get a request to read something, I will always say yes.  Maybe I just have to grow a thicker skin since what they're looking for is an honest review.

Postcard Killers

The Postcard Killers

Postcard Killers
James Patterson & Liza Marklund
384 pgs.
Grand Central Publishing
Net Galley E-ARC Edition

Amazon Blurb -

Paris is stunning in the summer

NYPD detective Jacob Kanon is on a tour of Europe's most gorgeous cities. But the sights aren't what draw him--he sees each museum, each cathedral, and each cafe through the eyes of his daughter's killer.

The killing is simply marvelous

Kanon's daughter, Kimmy, and her boyfriend were murdered while on vacation in Rome. Since then, young couples in Paris, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, and Stockholm have been found dead. Little connects the murders, other than a postcard to the local newspaper that precedes each new victim.

Wish you were here

Now Kanon teams up with the Swedish reporter, Dessie Larsson, who has just received a postcard in Stockholm--and they think they know where the next victims will be. With relentless logic and unstoppable action,
The Postcard Killers may be James Patterson's most vivid and compelling thriller yet. 

In this latest from Patterson, you know who the killers are from the beginning, two absolute cuckoos who go through Europe with a sick twist on art and death.  Jacob Kanon's daughter Kimmy was one of their victims and this battered NYPD detective is just sick with grief and won't stop till he catches them.  Plowing through Europe for the past six months, he teeters on the brink of suicide, just the burn of vengeance keeping him on track.

Dessie Larsson is a Swedish reporter who has been sucked in this mess by the killers themselves, and goes on a ride that she will never forget.  She finds Jacob to be a loose cannon who she slowly falls for and helps to track these nuts.

The aggravation brought on by the ignorance of the Swedish police makes you wanna scream!  I understand the hatred of American's due to what is thought of as arrogance, but cops from N.Y. are so on the ball and the blundering could have been avoided if the Swedes would have just conceded that from the get go.  I really enjoyed this book, Patterson has scored another winner for me!

3 1/2 cannolis

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Authors By The Alphabet January Book Choice

I just wanted to put up January's book choice chosen by Marce -

The Stormchasers
The Stormchasers
Jenna Blum
Paperback, 384 pgs

From Publishers Weekly

Blum (Those Who Save Us) visits Tornado Alley in this vivid novel about a set of twins with a dark history. At home in Minnesota, Karena Jorge gets an unexpected call informing her that her twin brother, Charles Hallingdahl, whom she hasn't seen in the 20 years since something went very wrong during a storm chase, has been admitted to a Kansas mental hospital. Charles suffers from rapid cycling bipolar disorder, and all Karena knows is that he refuses medication, he can be a danger to himself and others, and he is still obsessed with storm chasing. When she rushes to the clinic and finds he has already left, Karena joins a professional storm-chasing tour company, hoping to find her brother in the caravan of watchers who follow major storms. In the course of the tour, Karena confronts the past and the way it has shaped her life. The unpredictable and dangerous storms provide a framework for an exploration of the bond between siblings (and its limitations), and Blum renders the stormy backdrop as richly as she does her nuanced characters.

This sounds like a good book and I look forward to reading it!  I hope you all do too.  We will meet up at Marce's blog - Tea Time With Marce the last week of January for the Q - n - A, I will post a reminder on my blog as well.

Friday, December 10, 2010

How Do You Rate?

Fellow blogger Marce read my review of Beach Road and was very surprised that I didn't give it 5 cannolis since I really enjoyed it.  I told her I'm very stingy with em, and something really has to wow me to share my yummy pastries.  Ya know, I'm all the way in So Cali now, far from the former walking distance of  Alba's on 18th Ave in Brooklyn where I can get hold of a delicious delight.  Finding a good cannoli out here is like finding a needle in a haystack so I keep those babies close to the vest ;)

What constitutes a 5 cannoli rating?  Well, it really has to move me big time.  Like aggravate me and have me on the edge of my seat almost screaming, or break my heart and have me cry.  The crying part is no easy feat, let me tell ya.  It's only happened a couple of times.  Outlander by Diana Gabaldon had me in hysterics, to quote myself, crying big fat baby tears.  That book ripped me to my core.  Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell's crazy a$$ relationship in Chelsea Cain's series keeps my nerves raw!  And yahoo! there will be another episode with those two!!  The Night Season comes out in March 11!!!

Now there are series I have read that I just love, but not every book in the series is worth 5.  There is one who has been consistent the whole time and I can't wait for the next to come out in January.  That is the Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning.  I LOVE that series, and for me, every one of em was off the hook!  Mac is just a great character and she has evolved something fierce, and Jerricho Barnes, well don't get me started.  Shadowfever will be on the shelves  January 18th.  Sadly, the Black Dagger Brotherhood has not hit the mark every time, nor has Sookie Stackhouse.  The thing is, I love these characters and I love the books, I've invested a lot of time in them, so when a new one comes, even if the last left me flat, I will get the book.

Authors like Patterson have made me very happy and I've given him the big 5, so did Joe Hill with Heart Shaped Box, but basically I'm a hard-a$$ when it comes to rating, and I think that's ok since when you see that 5 you know it had to be good!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lover Mine

Lover Mine: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood

Lover Mine
J.R. Ward
656 pgs.

Amazon Blurb -

New or casual readers of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series will be lost in its eighth installment (after 2009's Lover Avenged), but Ward's fans love her soap opera storytelling and are happy to forgive unpronounceable names and occasionally overeager tough talk (at a solemn wedding, [the bridegroom] was smiling like a motherfucker). Newly made vampire John Matthew vows to free his mate, the symphath Xhexania, from Lash, a paranoid coke addict who's transmuting into a nontemporal entity like his vampire-killer father, the Omega. Once freed, Xhexania joins the Brothers in battling the Omega, but refuses to acknowledge her emotional connection to John. Meanwhile, sexually promiscuous Qhuinn, shockingly jealous of his cousin Saxton's new lover, wonders whether he should have seduced Saxton when he had the chance. Complicated subplots and tortured heroes abound, but attentive readers will love putting it all together.

Well I gotta say, the Warden has done it again.  She makes you happy you took the time to get to know the brothers.  She doesn’t always hit it outta the park, Butch and Phury’s, especially Phury’s story was less than good, but this one was worth the time.  Not too much of my favorite brother V, John Matthew is the star here, with Blay and Qhuinn’s story riding the sideline.

Lash and the Lessers are the root of what’s wrong.  Taking Xhex at the end of Rhev’s book, this picks up from there.  Lash has shielded Xhex so that she cannot be seen by anyone, even if they’re standing right next to her.  What he’s done to her for the past four weeks is nothing less than brutality.  John Matthew is devastated and heartbroken.  He’s on a mission to get her back, just hoping she isn’t dead.

We also have a couple of back stories taking place.  We learn more about Tohr and Darius’ relationship as we are brought to the past and the two embark on a quest to rescue one of the glymera family’s daughters who’s been kidnapped.  A television show about paranormal incidents is the next bit of mystery and didn’t quite fit in and you don’t get it till the end.  Gregg and Holly the producer and host are in South Carolina staying at a bed and breakfast supposedly haunted by Eliahu Rathboone, the former plantations’ owner.  Payne, the Scribe Virgins daughter and Vishous’ twin, becomes a bit clearer as well.

The Brothers are just very small shots, as they battle the Lessers,  Wrath, the Blind King continues his sparring sessions with Payne, you really barely catch sight of the girls but for Doc Jane, who I still don’t like.  She’s their personal physician and she cares for all of them when they get injured.  I wish there was a bit more of them. We meet Saxton, Qhuinn’s cousin, and Blay’s sorta love interest, and I don’t like him either.  He comes off very smarmy to me.  I would find it a major turn off, but I think Blay is just so lonely he doesn’t care anymore.  I feel bad for both Qhuinn and Blay.  Qhuinn loves Blay, but he won’t act on it and Blay, well, he’s hopelessly stuck on him and just coming to terms with the fact that it’s not to be.

Of course, Ward is the reigning Queen of branding!!  Herradura this, Escalades and Hummers that, Jay Zee blasting on the player, only the Warden can get away with it.  Some of the lingo is just corny, true, but you can deal ya feeling me ;)  It was good, not her best, there was a bit too much going on at once, but I still enjoyed it and can’t wait for the next, which was previewed at the end titled, Lover Unleashed and is Payne’s story.  I’ll give it 3 ½ cuz I just love the Brothers.

3 ½ cannolis

Friday, December 3, 2010

Beach Road

Beach Road 
 Beach Road
 James Patterson,
 Peter De Jonge
 400 Pages
 Little, Brown and Co

 Amazon Blurb -

Bestseller Patterson shows signs of having gone to the well too often in this slapdash collaboration with de Jonge, his coauthor on The Beach House (2002). Tom Dunleavy, a former professional basketball player and local East Hampton legend, is getting by as an underworked and unmotivated attorney. His sports glory days and his one true love are long in the past, but he gets second chances at personal and professional redemption when three locals are gunned down, apparently in the aftermath of racial tensions arising from a heated pickup game of hoops. The police seize on Dante Halleyville, the country's best high school star, as their suspect, and Dunleavy must dust off his old courtroom skills and enlist his lost love, Kate Costello, as his partner. Patterson readers know to expect a surprise ending, but he leaves too few possibilities for many to be genuinely fooled. Fans can only hope that Patterson soon returns to the level he achieved with his Alex Cross series.**********

WOW!  Again, WOW!!  This book was just unbelievable and I can’t wait for hubby to read it and see how fast he figures it out.  I was clueless right to the damn end.  Man o’ man what took place here was just incredible.  Co-authored with Peter DeJonge, Patterson just slammed dunked this one and shattered the back board to smithereens!

Tom Delaney is a so-so lawyer a pro basketball player for about ten minutes till he blew his knee out, living in his hometown of the ritzy Hamptons on Long Island New York.  All the townies are pretty thick, and they have a pick-up game on the smoking court of one of the millionaire residents.  Dante Hayerville is the hottest High School player since Coby Bryant, could be drafted now, but decides to go to college at least one year for his Grandma.  He gets into it during the game with the local surfer dude, Feif, and Dante’s friend pulls a gun.  Tom defuses the whole situation, but when Feif and two other townies are murdered, Dante gets tagged with the crime.

Tom knows Dante is innocent, but doesn’t feel confident enough to take this case on himself, so he goes into Manhattan to ask former love and fellow townie, Kate Costello, whom he dumped ten years ago to help him.  Kate is still royally ticked at him and says no at first, but then climbs aboard.  Of course since the victims are hometown boys, Tom is the target of some major harassment and no one will even acknowledge him anymore.  Kate doesn’t care since she left years ago so it doesn’t affect her the same way.

It becomes very clear that drugs and money are behind the whole deal, and the web is weaved so tightly that those who are thought to be good really aren’t.  You get brought on a rollercoaster ride that whips you up into a frenzy!!!  Movie stars and Hollywood elitists who hobnob in this east coast haven rally around the case and Tom and Kate too.  There’s even Al Sharpton and Johnnie Cochranesque characters.

Hands down this ranks up there in awesome books, I loved it and as you can see, I don't agree with Amazon's blurb at all!  I was guessing till the end, then nearly had a coronary!!

4 cannolis

Sizzling Sixteen

Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum)

Sizzling Sixteen
Janet Evanovich
320 Pages
St. Martins Press

Amazon Blurb -

In this tepid Stephanie Plum adventure from Evanovich (Finger Lickin' Fifteen, etc.), a personal case distracts the Trenton, N.J., bondswoman from tracking the usual group of eccentric skips--the kidnapping of her cousin, Vinnie, who's being held for ransom in the high six figures. As Stephanie, sidekick Lula, and office manager Connie soon realize, Vincent Plum Bail Bonds is seriously in the red due to Vinnie's gambling. Vinnie's also gotten caught up with local mobster Bobby Sunflower in a complicated scheme. Even though her sleazy cousin isn't her favorite person and chasing oddball felons isn't her ideal career, Stephanie knows family loyalty counts for something, plus she owes him for giving her a job all those years ago. So with Lula and Connie in tow--and romantic interests Morelli and Ranger lurking in the background-- Stephanie must save the day once again. Evanovich is at her best spinning the bizarre subplots involving Stephanie's bail jumpers, but the larger story simply recycles elements from previous installments.  

Stephanie’s cousin and boss, bail bonds biz owner (wow say that 10 times fast!!) Vincent Plum has been kidnapped by Sunshine, a drug dealer, numbers runner all around bad guy.  She has to find him before he gets wacked.  Connie, Vinny’s secretary, and Lula former pro now file clerk for the biz, are all in for the ride. This goes way deeper than Vinny just owing the bookie.  Never mind the fact that he’s in for over $700,000!!!  This has to do with him tampering with bail money to cover bets and the company that overwrites and foots the bill for the bonds not being on the up-n-up as well.

This final book didn’t have quite the same hilarity that one and two did.  Granny Mazur wasn’t as prominent, but stoner, Mooner and his Hobbit obsession were quite funny.  There is one scene where Mooner fixes Vinny’s clothes and I use that term quite loosely, I was laughing so hard I was crying.  Of course my family just couldn’t understand what I found so funny.  Joe Morelli and Ranger are here for the ride as well.  Ranger supplies her with some rockin wheels, as well as letting her know how he feels about her in his own Ranger way.  Gotta come clean, while Joe may be the devastatingly handsome Italian boy, Ranger is the dude.  There is something dangerous and sexy about him, and he’s pretty darn good looking too with a body to match.  Mishaps with stink bombs and a crocodile, bombs going off and stealing from the bad guys takes you for a ride in # 16 of Janet Evanovich’s Plum series.

I enjoyed it, might go back to read the hook up between Steph and Ranger, but don’t find it necessary to read all the books now.

3 ½ cannolis

Friday Follow

I've been away from the Follow for a bit so I thought I'd pop in again :)
 To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:

  1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list
  2. Follow our Featured Bloggers - Icey Books
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
  5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post! 
This weeks ? - 

What other hobbies do you have besides reading/reviewing?

Well blogging used to take up enormous chunks of time in my life and so I've cut down big time in that.  I am an avid scrapbooker, the mother of 6, with 5 still at home, 1 of which is getting married next year, so they keep me on my toes.  Love to cook and bake especially at this time of year :)

I Want More - Book Challenge


This challenge is being hosted by my challenge partner in crime - Marce, from Tea Time With Marce , you can click on the picture as well to get to her sign-up page ; )

The whole premise is to read some books by an author you enjoyed, wanted to read more of but haven't gotten to it.  There are different levels of participation as well.  2-4, 5-8 and 9-12.  Only stand alones, no series, and I'm going with the 2-4.  It's running from January 1st - December 31st 2011.  I'm leaning towards Tess Gerritsen, but not 100 % sure yet.  Hhhhmm so many books and authors, so little time.....

And yes, Tess Gerritsen will be the winner for this challenge, and I'll come back here to update what I've read.  I haven't made my first choice yet, so I need to get a lookin :)

Update - No Tess will not be my choice!  I can be so very fickle, that's why I don't decorate a room till some time has passed, I like one thing and the next week it's another, and this is one of those times.  I so enjoyed my book club choice for February - Bet Me by Jennifer Cruise, that I am choosing her!   I will let that book be #1 on the challenge list adn it will be linked to my review :).

  1. Bet Me
  2. Maybe This Time
  3. ?
  4. ?
I haven't chosen the other 2 yet, but I will ;)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tome's 500 Page Challenge and Monthly Wrap Up

My choice for December -

Lover Mine: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood
  Lover Mine
  J.R. Ward
  656 pgs

 Yay!!!  I finally got it!!  I think this one came out in Oct of 09!  I have them on Kindle, but I just wouldn't spend the $12.99 for it.  It was irking the crumbs outta me that the digi edition was almost as much as the hardcover.  I stuck to my guns and waited for the paperback to come out because they still haven't dropped the price.  So, someone on paperback will be getting it when I'm done.  This baby is a real chunker at over 600 pgs, but Ward never disappoints and I miss V, so I'm looking forward to it
November sure as heck flew by!!  I read some really good books this month.  A couple were e-arcs that I had to get to, they've been waiting on me since July and August.  Of all the books, the most disturbing was Damage.  This is an older book, released in digital format for the first time I guess.  My Tome challenge was great.  I really like Rachel Morgan's series.  Kim Harrison is a very good author.  This month will be busy busy busy, I have a few that I mapped out in last months wrap up and I'm looking forward to them.  Right now I'm reading Beach Road by James Patterson for my book club and the J.P. challenge I'm in.  This book isn't just good, it's flippin fantastic!!  It grabbed me right outta the gate, awesome.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Authors By The Alphabet

Ok girls, here we go again!  We will be restarting this baby in January with some new rules.  Each participant will host a month at their blogs with the wrap up Q-n-A at the end of the month and they will pick the book for that month.  If one of us has read it, we can always just give a quick skim to refresh our memories this way there's no checking back and forth waiting to see who did or didn't or does or doesn't want to read it.   A book club is to expose ourselves to things we might not normally read and each of us will have a chance to hit our fave genres when we host :) We will go in order of sign-ups from Mr. Linky.  I will post the book choice and have it on my sidebar as well.  Questions are easy enough, a lot of books have ?'s all ready to go and you can find them online, if not, there are generic ?'s that you can use as well.

We will start with the letter B and have the ?'s on the last Monday of each month.  We can stop by the host's blog, copy and paste the ?'s answer them and then post in the comment section.

I'm looking forward to this, I'm glad we're doing it this way, it makes it much easier!  Sign up below, and whoever snags #1 and 2, start looking for that B and C author book!

TBR Challenge

Well, before you can blink  your eyes it'll be January of 2011, imagine that!?  2011, sounds so darn freaky! And with the New Year I really wanna concentrate on whittling my tbr pile.  I'm going to make it a mission to try not to buy books if I don't have to.  Since I belong to a book club, I may not have a choice if the library isn't cooperating ; ) and there are a couple of books that I have to make exceptions for, Black Dagger Brotherhood, Shadowfever, Sookie and such :p  On the whole though, I have kindle editions and traditonal that has grown to a crazy amount.

Make sure to have the link-up to your roster so progress can be seen.

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