Friday, December 30, 2011

Year In Review

Another year is coming to an end and it never ceases to amaze me now fast it goes by. Did any of you have some pleasant surprises in your reading? I did, belonging to a book club has afforded me some unexpected ones as well as some I found on my own.

There were some I was just not looking forward to and wound up so engrossed in, like Picking Cotton by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton and One Thousand White Woman by Jim Fergus . There is nothing better than losing yourself in a great book. There were some let downs, Fifty Shades Darker by EL James was a bit of a disappointment for me after the first, About Grace by Anthony Doerr was just horrific, Little Bee by Chris Cleave just didn't do it for me either. Very depressing both. Loved the Fever conclusion with Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning, gosh that Jerricho!

I was sad to see Charlaine Harris' series with Harper Connelly end with only four books in it.  I found them really good, Harper and Tolliver were great characters.   Two books I found through review buzz that I thought were great - Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire and Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard.  Beautiful Disaster shocked the crumbs outta me because it is YA, and I vowed never to read YA again after the Twilight Saga, but this one was fantastic I have an enormous weakness for major alphas and don't really care how abrasive or rough they can be, you can read my quasi review and thoughts  *HERE*.  Same with Gabriel's Inferno.  Just loved the characters, Gabriel was very sexy.  My review is *HERE*

 I didn't meet any horrid baddies this year, read the latest in Chelsea Cain's series with Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell, she really is my all time favorite psycho, I recommend this series highly, the last(so far) being The Night Season.  Did you hear that January Jones has been cast as Gretchen?

What book moved me the most and was my absolute fave of the year?  The Help by Kathryn Stockett!!  Read, read, READ this book!  It was just wonderful.  My book club read this in January and then in August we went as a group to see the movie and it was just fantastic!  My review is *HERE* every character was just so awesome.  This book was incredible.

What book made me uncomfortable, yet I couldn't put down, intrigued me yet angered me, made me feel things that I don't like to feel?  Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James.  I love Christian, I don't like Ana.  This is a very rough subject, but like a bad accident I couldn't look away, he and it just pulled me in.  So dark yet thoughts *HERE*

I made some changes this year, I no longer will review every single book I read, just those I find so emotionally charged for me either with joy, anger, or disgust that I find I just need to share with you all, and that I don't need to post four or five times a week.  My life is full with so many other things that I love, I can't let blogging consume me to the point of not having time for them as well.  One thing you will always find here is my absolute honest opinion on the books I've read and what they made me feel.  I don't always go with the "crowd", if a book rots I say it!  You can always click on the book title to go to amazon and read the summary or the reviews.  I am not linked to their affiliate program, I just put it there so a fellow blogger can see what it's all about on their own whether I loved the book or not. I have another blog, you can get to it right on the side bar there, Mia Sogni Dolci, which is about me and mine, my crafting, cooking and family.  You'll find a bit more on that one so feel free to pop in to see what I might have baked or crafted or sounded off on.  I've posted what I baked and some family pics on it so check it out.

I have several I want to read in the new year, Discovery of Witches, The Night Circus to name just two that are at the top of my list and are sitting on my bookshelf.  Another that has been there for a couple of years now is Kushiel's Dart, I don't know if I can get into it yet, but I should just bite the bullet and give it a go.  I joined a great Serial Killers Challenge hosted my Marce over at Tea Time With Marce, just click her blog title to check it out.

Of course my TBR pile is just as giant as always, I don't think I can get that sucker down if I tried, there are just so many books and so little time....; )

Sunday, December 4, 2011

November Wrap Up

I feel like I just finished October!!  Wow this month just flew by.  Thanksgiving was wonderful filled with yummy food and family.  A very nice day.  Was hobbled since I blew my knee out and will be having surgery on the 9th, but the Dr. said I have to be up and around right away.  No going crazy, it take 6 wks for recovery, but after a few I can exercise, I won't feel good doing it, and he said we'll talk about running in time.  That bad meniscus just popped on me and it hurt like a b*tch!!!!

Got some reading done.  Read the latest in Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series,  Deeper Than Midnight.  This was Hunter's book, the Gen One creation of bad guy Drago.  Not bad, I'll keep going.  For my book club we read One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus.  Let me tell you the reviews were so bad I was dreading this, but I just loved it!  Great great book, and I recommend it.  It made me sad for some of the things that happened, but a wonderful story.  Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire was really good too!  You can read my review *HERE*Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard was another really good book for me.  My *REVIEW*.  Still don't know if the author is male or female. 

Just got done with Gideon by Jacquelyn Frank. I liked it, not too corny, I'll keep going on this one too.  # 4is Damien, the vampire, so I want to at least get to that one, and I think Noah's as well.  Not sure what direction I'll take next.  I'm in a thriller challenge, but I still feel like lovey  books with rough tough alpha males so we'll see.

For my book club we all had to come up with a list of possibles for the new year, here is my list -

Gods In Alabama is one I've been wanting to read for a while now.  Gargoyle's premise sounds real good, I hope it reads that way too!  Her Fearful Symmetry is another that has a good plot.  Of course Jodi Picoult tugs the heartstrings big time with Handle With Care and I think it makes for great book club discussion!  I'll let you know if we choose any of these books.

I have most definitely cut down in my reading these past couple of months, but that's ok, I've been real busy and will stay that way till the New Year.  I'm not missing the constant reviewing of every book I read, just one's that I feel really moved me.  Yes, I'm keeping track of what I read, not the pages, just what books.  I lose too many brain cells a minute to not do it, I don't like forgetting what I read.  I came across a blog post by Reading With Tequila about bloggers who brag about the goodies (freebies) they get.  Who cares what they do?  Who cares how many followers they have?  Is this a popularity contest to see who's liked the most?  There's a life to live out there folks, homes to take care of, children who need us, the gorgeous out doors to walk and enjoy in, time goes way to fast to waste it blogging for 6 to 10 hours a day!  Live people, read good books share about it, but get away from the puters and live!!!!

Till next time....

Monday, November 28, 2011

Awesome Challenge!

This is a challenge I just couldn't resist!  I love serial killers, love love love em!  Yes maybe I am a bit odd, but the nuttier the better.  While I haven't read my friend Marce's fave Silence of The Lambs, my oh my that movie was off the hook fantastic!

For those of you who haven't familiarized yourself with Gretchen Lowell from Chelsea Cain's fantastic series you should, she is about my most fave killer.  I look forward to discovering some unknown psycho's for me to get acquainted with in 2012!

Just go over to Marce's blog - Tea Time With Marce to sign up for this deliciously wicked challenge ;)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Beautiful Disaster

Amazon Blurb-

**For mature readers. Contains sexual situations and strong language**

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn't drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend America, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University's Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs--and wants--to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the charming college co-ed. Intrigued by Abby's resistance to his charms, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis' apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

I liked this book. It's the first YA I've read since Twilight and I am not sorry. This really could be adult fiction as I said in my monthly wrap up post since it dealt with a bit of a heavier storyline. I didn't find it tedious or childish at all.

Abby Abernathy is trying to escape her past in a new town going to college where no one knows who she is. Her best friend America, who's family has somewhat adopted her, comes with her so that she isn't alone. Starting fresh she wants to steer clear of anyone or thing that is remotely like her past. Well into her life struts, or I should say punches, Travis Maddox the college hottie/bad boy/everyone wants to be with/ guy.

Travis Maddox, he is something. Oh yes he is most certainly the school bad boy. He makes his money by being in a Fight Club. That's all I'm gonna say about that cuz everyone knows the first rule of Fight Club is you DO NOT talk about Fight Club. He is brash, full of himself, covered in tats, drinks like a fish, smokes, has a rockin body, oh and happens to be a straight A adoration for the bad boy doesn't show too much does it ;)

Abby is a smart pretty confident girl. Such a nice change from mousey clumsy plain Jane who wonders how the stud could possibly like her. She's a hustler in the gambling sense, she's a card shark and I love that!! The opportunity of a bet just gets her going, and this is where one of my criticisms comes in but I'll touch on that in a minute. Try as she might to avoid her feelings for Travis, it becomes impossible especially when she lives with him after the loss of her bet. Its not that she feels he's not a good person or not good enough for her. Quite the contrary, she keeps telling him how good he is. Its the lifestyle she wants to avoid, it being the rough and tumble fly by the seat of your pants adrenaline rush of an existence.

The struggles the two contend with as they move from being friends, and they truly are friends, to becoming lovers is sometimes very painful to read. They love each other very much but they are so volatile together. He is uber alpha literally beating the crap out of any guy who he perceives as wanting his Pidge. Her dorm mate Kara asks "don't you think its a bit unhealthy that he is so dependent on you." And here is where some will agree or disagree.

I don't think Travis is obsessed with Abby. Yes McGuire rides the cusp here big time. He is possessive of her, he adores her, and he is miserable without her. The two are very intense and passionate. Their love is very special and not many have relationships on that deep of a level so it may be hard to comprehend especially since the two are so young. Abby is not afraid of Travis. He never threatens her nor abuses her at all. He was fine on his own he's just learned that life with Abby makes him even better. She "completes" him :p I couldn't resist, heehee. True he his a tough mofo, but she's no wallflower herself. Obsessive love is no love at all. Telling someone I won't live without you or let you live is sick, telling someone you can do whatever you want just don't ever leave me is sick. That is not the case here in my opinion.

My criticisms - I would have liked to see the supporting characters fleshed out more and gotten to know them better. I liked America, Shepley, and Finch. I couldn't understand the reason for not revealing her past till so deep in. It isn't a story spoiler, the fact that her father is a piece of crap just would have added to it. That she loved the thrill of the bet yet wanted to escape her past was a bit of a contradiction. One would think she'd avoid all things that were remotely like her childhood. That just may be me though.  The ending seemed like a cop out on McGuire's part. It didn't ruin the book for me but it just didn't mesh with the rest of the story.   I was not happy with the ending.

This probably would make a great book club book just for the shear amount of discussion one could have over this subject matter. I'm sure I haven't touched on every point to be made but I've gone on long enough :)

The author is writing a book from Travis' pov which she says is not a sequel but will have a great epilogue so you get a glimpse of their future, and she is doing a B.D. spinoff on his brother Trent

All in all, if you like extreme alphas, don't mind some serious a$$ kicking read this book you'll enjoy it.

4 cannolis

Monday, November 14, 2011

October Reading

I love fall colors, I really am a true blue fall baby with it's rich jewel tones.  October is a great month and not just because it's my birthday month either ;)

Got some decent reading done.  Some pleasant surprises and one that fizzled on me very disappointingly.

Grave Secret by Charlaine Harris, the final in this series.  I liked it and am sad that this is the last one of theses books.

Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls.  My book club chose this for October and it was most certainly a pleasant surprise!  I wasn't looking forward to it at all, yet I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James.  Started out a page turner then quickly degraded for me.  My review is *HERE*

One might say it was a light reading month, but with wedding prep going on, and the fact that since I am no longer keeping track of my reading I don't quite remember what was this month or a past month, I had a nice selection and enjoyed them all for the most part.  I may just start keeping track again, with my memory becoming so poor I really don't like the fact that I can't recall what I read :p

I just finished Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard.  I really really liked this book.  Ya know, I have no idea if the author is male or female.  My instinct says male, and let me say if it is so, he writes love scenes beautifully, gentle, sweet and so tender, yet boy do you want more!  Just reading of their kisses melts you.  My review is *HERE* .  Finished Club Shadowlands by Cherise Sinclair in a day and a half and to be honest, these books are not for me.  While Fifty Shades was enjoyable, these just agitate me beyond my comfort zone.  I know it takes all kinds, but being punished, yes siring and master just don't sit with me.

Right now I'm reading Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire.  I really am liking this book so far.  It's marketed as YA, but I gotta be honest here, this is very easily an adult book, even with characters that are in college, 19-21 years old.  I DO NOT recommend this for any girl under 17.  Don't get me wrong, I know that teenage girls are no longer shielded from the blatant sexuality and behavior out there, I wasn't born yesterday and I remember when I was a teen, but it is strong.  Travis is major alpha, right up my alley, he is seriously jealous and possessive and won't hesitate to flatten anyone he feels is after his "Pidge".  Heard a little criticism of the "exotic" names of the characters, don't get it, and of the writing style, not having a problem with that either, I found Breaking Dawn much much worse and of the fact that it seems that it was self published?  I will definitely review this one since I am enjoying it.  I prefer the cover that they are showing now (#2) instead of the previous one, what do you think -

Enjoy your November fellow book lovers, Christmas will be here before we all know it!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Gabriel's Inferno

Amazon Blurb -

Professor Gabriel Emerson, a specialist in Dante and the art of seduction, believes he has already earned his exile to the lower circles of hell. Since redemption is impossible, there is no reason to refrain from indulging in a life of pleasurable sin, using his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm as a means to gratify his every whim. But when he meets Julia Mitchell, a brilliant, lovely, and innocent grad student with the achingly familiar eyes of an angel, all of his cynical convictions are challenged. Her mysterious allure and the havoc she wreaks on his self-satisfied existence cause him to lash out at her, while her quiet beauty and innate goodness consistently undermine his control, tempting him beyond measure. Despite surviving a traumatic childhood, nothing has shaken Julia's faith that redemption is possible for everyone-everyone but her. Her unworthiness torments her, since the only man she will ever love has managed to forget her very existence, failing to even recognize her when they reconnect. Too naive to see that Gabriel's hostility is a mask for his increasing obsession with her, Julia forces him to come to grips with his past while she continues to unwittingly torment his senses. His fascination grows into a dangerous preoccupation, for Julia is forbidden fruit . . . Will Gabriel survive the inferno, or will he succumb to the flames?

I really enjoyed this book.  It was definitely on the intense side.  The two protagonists  had their share of troubles.  Her's (Julia) from an S.O.B of an ex boyfriend who did such and emotional number on her, and Gabriel from his childhood issues into growing up.

If you're looking for tawdry this isn't it, if you're looking for love scene after love scene this isn't it.  This book was erotic, yet beautiful.  Gabriel was patient and wonderful and Julia was an innocent in the true sense of the word even though she wasn't "innocent".

I have to say, the similarities between this and Fifty Shades was unreal for me.  While Gabriel wasn't full BDSM, he was controlling like Christian in the fact of wanting to make sure she ate, kept pulling her bottom lip from her teeth, texting, amazing.

Enjoyed it, recommend it, there is another coming, but this works fantastic as a stand alone.

4 1/2 cannolis

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fifty Shades Darker

Amazon Blurb -

Daunted by the singular sexual tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house.

But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven, and demanding Fifty Shades.

While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront her anger and envy of the women who came before her and make the most important decision of her life.

Erotic, sparkling and suspenseful, Fifty Shades Darker is the irresistibly addictive second part of the Fifty Shades trilogy.


 Well to be honest, this book was a bust for me in the end. It started out as good as the last with me turning pages with baited breath, and then slowly deteriorated to juvenile style writing reminiscent of Breaking Dawn. Christian Grey became too sappy and lost his edge, Ana was just annoying. I would have thought at some point she would have become somewhat more confident. Unbelievable things in my opinion took place and it just grew tiresome.

Found the whole part with her boss ridiculous, right down to him being the saboteur. Christian suddenly wanting to be this domesticated man after being so jacked up.  I found Mrs. Robinson tedious, not believable at all.  The only part I did enjoy was his mother giving it to her.  If I had to read "there he his, my fifty" one more time I was gonna gag, and puhlease, I get the picture that he's drop dead gorgeous, but, EVERY. SINGLE. SOLITARY GIRL. goes gaga dummy when they see him?  The hotel check out girl's hand was trembling while checking them into the hotel, the waitress drooling, girls passing in the street with their eyes bugging out.  Yes poor Ana has to get used to aaaaallllll the ladies in the freaking universe going stupid over the sight of Christian Grey.

I don't know if I'll even bother with the last, and I am soooo glad that I borrowed it and didn't spend any $$ on it.  I'll give it 3 cannoli's only because it was a page turner and didn't drag even though I got annoyed.

3 cannolis

Will be super busy the next several days, my daughter gets married on Saturday and my family will be in doing the tourist thing as well.  Check into my other blog Mia Sogni Dolci to see whats going on :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lending Kindle Books

There are two sites out there that help you borrow and lend your kindle books.  One is, the other is Lendle will actually give you credits when  you lend a certain amount of books and send you an Amazon gift card.

The one thing that stinks about lending is you can only lend a book one time, that's it tutti finutti no more never again...that is unless the powers that be decide differently.  I don't think it's quite fair, if you own a traditional book that you paid for fair and square you can lend for the rest of your life, and of course we have our library's, so maybe in time that rule will pass.

Have  you seen the new Fire that Amazon has put out?  Looks great.  I myself just got an iPad from my hubby for my b'day, and I LOVE it!!  I will never give up my kindle, there is no glare at all on my screen, which the iPad does have, and the wireless connects almost anywhere with the kindle.  That said, my iPad rocks and so does my hubby, what an awesome device.

I actually haven't started The Thirteenth Tale yet, I must start my book club choice for October, Half Broke Horses, which while the other gals have said is good and a quick read, I'm procrastinating big time on it.  Next month is even worse with One Thousand White Woman, yuk, the reviews on my kindle where just excoriating!


Friday, September 30, 2011

September Wrap Up

I had a pretty good reading month, sure did make up for the crummy August.  That's ok though, August was super busy.

I read Fifty Shades of Gray by E.L. James, When Blood Calls by J.K. Beck, Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs, An Innocent Man by John Grisham, Changeless by Gail Carriger,  and Kiss Of The Night by Sherilyn Kenyon.

By far the one that affected me the most was Fifty Shades.  Gosh that book just roughed me up.  I will read Fifty Shades Darker since I need to see what happens, but my emotions were just shredded with it.  Christian is just amazing, so dark and frightening, yet much like Ana, I am Icarus drawn to the sun knowing full well I'll be burned up.

The worst or I should say most depressing was Innocent Man.  I haven't read Grisham in years and this was my book club choice.  I hate stories of the Justice system run amok, it makes me pray that me or mine never encounter such an event because when cops and the prosecution gets tunnel vision the real perp can dance in front of them to no avail.

I finally got to book two in The Parasol Protectorate series (Changeless) not quiet as good as #1, so I'm in no rush for #3. I loved Bone Crossed, Mercy is just great, When Blood Calls, eh, cosi cosi (so so) and The Dark Hunters are just great quick fun reading.  I'm dying to get to Ash's story, but I'll keep going in order I'm only on #6 which is Vane Kattalakis and Bride McTierney's story.

Right now I'm reading the last in the Harper Connelly series, Grave Secret, and I'm sad to see Miss Harris is not continuing it.  I'll have to get acquainted with  Aurora Teagarden and Lily Bard someday.

All in all I'd have to say I loved Fifty Shades the most.  Let's see what October holds for me....

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fifty Shades Of Gray

since hundreds have been stopping here to see my quasi review of Fifty, I thought I'd post a link to my rant on the whole series.  You can read it *HERE*  What started off as an excellent deep dark story turned to crap real quick.

"This is what you really like?  Me like this?"

Those were Anastasia Steeles words to the gorgeous Adonis Christian Gray after he has whipped her backside with a belt.  This is a book about bdsm, I am not going to really review it, you can go to Amazon for that, or to my friend Marce's blog to read her's, but I am going to discuss it with spoilers so if  you haven't read and want to don't go any further.

Here is Marce's review - Fifty Shades of Gray, she was kind enough to lend me her e-book and I am grateful since it was a page turner.

Poor Anastasia Steele is an innocent.  Even though she is days away from her college graduation, 23 years old, has two men who want to be with her, she is alone, not with any guy, kind of a wallflower in her own mind, not seeing how pretty she really is.  That is until she meets the mega rich and super good looking Christian Gray.  He misreads her innocence as being a submissive which just sets his dominant off on a quest to own her.

Ana gives in to him and is willing to try this lifestyle even though it isn't who she is since she has fallen so hard for this man, who in his own words is fifty shades of f*cked up.  She has to go through his list of "rules" on what she can and can't do, no looking in the eye, punishment, what to eat, exercise, gotta have  you supple and limber Ana.  I have such a hard time with this and her pain shredded me.  When he doles out her first spanking I felt as though I was being tied  myself and wanted to scream.  I felt like I was suffocating.  I read this book in a day and a half, and that was with me putting it down at intervals due to how intense it was. 

He is truly messed up from his childhood and being with his crack addicted mother till he was four.  Already to late to fix him I guess, even though he's seeing a shrink weekly and has lived with his lovely adopted family for most of his life.  This is who he is he tells Ana, hurting her sets him off.  Her statement from above to him was the breaking point for her and it slayed me, I wanted to cry, she loves him and he does her, but she is not going to put up with discipline like that.  What a tough subject, so intense at  times I couldn't breathe.  I will read the next since I have to know what happens yet I get queasy just thinking of it.

I knew it would do this to me so powerful a subject.  I did love their bantering emails, and her inner goddess and sub-conscious battling back and forth. If you can stand such intensity go for it.

4 1/2 cannolis

Monday, August 15, 2011

Adieu....For Now

Just wanted to take a minute to say that I will be pulling back from book blogging for a while.  Maybe just popping in to post a monthly wrap-up.  I have a full boat all the way through November and I no longer have this desire to review every book I read, nor keep such close track of what I've read or will read.  I miss the spontaneity of just picking up a book because I love it.  My tbr pile will never get that small because I love books just way too much and going to the library or bookstore, perusing as well as the Kindle freebies is a fun thing for me.

I will be ending the book-club as well so if one of you gals want to take it up please feel free to copy the image and go for it :)  It was great fun, but I belong to a book-club with some friends and family and that fills my time plenty.

I do have my other blog which is devoted to my life's doings and I will primarily pop in there when I have the time to do so.  I have made some great blogging friends, and will always stop by to see what they have going on.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Thrill Week Bloggers Event!!

Marce, my blogging buddy is hosting this awesome event!  You can catch all the details over at her blog - Tea Time With Marce.  I think this is going to be a lot of fun.  If you're a thriller/mystery/suspense/horror nut head on down to find out more.

I have always loved the thriller genre.  I started young, 12 or 13  yrs old when this, his first novel came out - Suffer The Children by John Saul and continued through to the master himself, Stephan King.  Now I have branched out to so many great authors.  I always gravitate to them, even though I do love my PNR and have become an official junkie, nothing gets me going like a good psycho thriller.

Pop in to see what all the thrill is about ;)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Monthly Wrap-Up

My summer is 5 days away from being over.  My kids go back on Wednesday, to a modified traditional school year.  Modified since they get the whole week of Thanksgiving off, three weeks at Christmas and two weeks of spring break.  Works well for me, they've been home since June 2nd, though getting up at 6:30 does NOT make me happy.  I like to sleep in and tend to stay up later.

July was a bit of a quiet month for me and so will August.  I have been planning my daughters bridal shower and don't have that much time to read.  What I did read was pretty good though.  This month my book club is going to the movies for August instead of reading a book.  We read The Help this past winter and we all decided to see the movie since we LOVED the book so very much and I can't wait.  I will blog about it and tell if it was as good as the book.  My review of The Help is *HERE*.  This was just a fantastic book, it moved me so very much and I can't wait to see how all the ladies are portrayed.

I read book three in the Harper Connelly series by Charlaine Harris, Ice Cold Grave and liked it.  Book four will be the last *pout*.  I really love this series and will be sad to see it end, my *REVIEW* Read Chelsea Cain's fourth in her Archie/Gretchen series Night Season , not any Gretchen but a brief glimpse, pretty good, not quite the thriller that the others were, that Gretchen knows how to get ya.  I'll review at another time, but the buzz is January Jones will play the beauty killer herself!  Great choice!  Read a couple of kindle freebies for my TBR challenge, Flowers For Elvis and A Little Death In Dixie.  Both were pleasant surprises, I only reviewed Flowers *HERE*.  Would recommend them both.  Could not finish The Sacrifice (forbidden) another Kindle freebie, just didn't do it for me at all.  I am now reading Ceremony In Death, and I think that'll be it for a while with Eve Dallas and Roarke, they're kinda boring me.  It's not that the story isn't good, it's just how much more can you do with this, obviously a gagillion according to Robb since there's like 40 of em!  But I may pick and choose which ones sound really good from now on instead of reading in order.

Here's my list for this month, maybe all maybe one or two all depends on how my month goes busy wise -

Ceremony in DeathMaybe This TimeThe Thirteenth Tale: A Novel
The Dragonfly Pool

Not too ambitious, the last is our August book club choice, and to be honest, I don't know if I'll get to it.  I'm not a YA reader at all, can't get into it feel there are just too many books on my shelf that I'd rather read than to dabble in YA.  I know the bloggisphere is filled with YA junkies, but I'm not one of em, nor do I wish to be.  I'll see how my month goes and decide if I want to do it or not.  In the meantime, enjoy August it's lazy days, September will be here in a blink, time flies way too fast!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Authors By The Alphabet Q-n-A

I've been slacking a bit on this.  Went to Vegas for some much needed r & r, and have also been waaaaay busy planning dd's bridal shower.  That said lets get to next month's book choice for the letter I, being hosted by Book Belle -

The Dragonfly Pool

Dragonfly Pool
Eva Ibbotson
384 pgs.

Now on to our q-n-a for July's book, Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris being hosted by Christine over at her blog, The Happily Ever After just click on the title to go right to the discussion :)

My review for this book can be found *HERE*


1.   Let's start with the obvious. Did you like the book? What's your overall impression?
I did like this book.  It was an easy read, great characters that I enjoyed, and the story moved and kept me interested.  Charlaine has the ability to keep you in suspense without going over the top, or dragging it out.

2. Did you like Harper?
Harper is a great character.  She has many layers and a lot of heartache inside that battered body of hers, which is why I think she comes across as cold.  After what she went through growing up it has become part of her defense.

3. What did you think of the murder mystery and the people of Sarne, Arkansas?
It was great.  Of course the typical southern smallmindedness was front and center here.  Though, it doesn’t always matter where  you come from people can be oblivious to what happens around them sometimes for their own self preservation other times just out of selfishness.

4. Do you think Harper will ever find out what happened to her sister Cameron?
At some point I do think she will find out what took place.  I know that whole situation and that with her little sisters is what makes Harper Harper.

5. What do you make of the relationship between Harper and Tolliver?
I find it entertaining to see the hoops these two are jumping through to try and deny what they feel for each other.  The fact that they aren't blood relatives just cements the fact that at some point one is going to come clean to the other.  What then?  Will their relationship end?  Will they both be happy?  Read on friends....

6. Do you think you'll continue reading this series?
Most certainly, I already have and will finish it up with book 4 which sadly will be the end according to Harris.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hippity Hop Friday

Interested in an online book-club?  We  have *Authors By The Alphabet*, each month an author is chosen by the letter of the alphabet we read, and then discuss, each month a different member chooses and then hosts the q-n-a.  We've read some eclectic books and are up to the letter H with Charlaine Harris' Grave Sight for this month.  Click on the club title to join. 

This Hop is hosted by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books, and it runs through the weekend, so if you can't today, hop on tomorrow!  Just remember, go to her site, follow the rules, visit some of the blogs and get to know em, if you start to follow tell em you met them through the hop!

This weeks ? -

What’s the ONE GENRE that you wish you could get into, but just can’t?

There isn't one.  If I don't read it it's because I can't stand it :p  One that comes to mind that I really would never even attempt is Sci Fi, have no desire can't stand it and don't ever wish I could try it.

Happy Hopping

Thursday, July 21, 2011

True Blood and Game Of Thrones

Warning - I will be divulging spoilers here, so if you don't want to know don't read on!

These are two programs on HBO that are based on books.  They are both absolutely fantastic shows.  There is one very great difference.  One has followed the book almost verbatim the other has been playing fast and loose.

When I started watching True Blood in 2008 I had no idea they were based on books.  For Christmas our older daughter requested them and that is what she got.  Well, we both read through them in about one month flat and fell in love hook line and sinker.  Since then we have read the entire series and it is one of the best I've ever read.  We were both VERY disappointed in season two with Alan Ball's horrific MaryAnn storyline. Season three redeemed itself quite a bit, but this season has me a bit in knots.  This season is based on book four.  This is a very pivotal book, Eric has amnesia due to a spell cast by evil witches, Jason is held prisoner, and the three supe groups come together to fight the witches regardless of the fact they they hate each other.  That is pretty important to note in my book.  What has me concerned?  Well, Jason's story is an amazing one and A.B. doesn't seem to be going in that direction.  What takes place with him and Crystal is very shocking and a great plot twist.  Jason being a baby maker for Hot Shot was not in the equation at all, nor was he held by the town, just the one crazy dude.

He has eliminated an entire storyline by killing Queen Sophie.  Same with Claudine, who I'm still ticked at for not being Megan Fox gorgeous, let alone looking like some troll when not glamoured.  When an author goes to great trouble to describe the breathtaking beauty of her characters, you had better find actors to fit that bill.  Not that it matters since Eric ate her up ;)  I know we're only 4 shows in, but the vibe I'm getting is that Marnie the witch is not evil, just possessed by one.  How can you have the ultimate showdown with all the supes working together to fight if she really isn't all that bad.  And what Sam turns into to do that was just majestic and fantastic.  I'm itching to see how A.B. handles Debbie Pelt, I hope Eric comes through here like the book.  I love Eric's personality with his amnesia, he is quite funny, so far so good on that.

Now for Game Of Thrones.  This series is amazing!!  The detail and the scenes are phenomenal.  The look of the whole show puts you right there.  When John Snow is on the wall, you feel the freezing cold.  When Calisi is in the tent with all the candles the ambiance just flows.  The cast is fantastic and we all are enjoying this and can't wait for season two.  My nephew has read all the books and my hubby had to get them too.  Our son is up to three and he said that so far book one is right on the mark.  Having not read the books I am loving the show, and will read them, the fact that it is staying close to the story itself doesn't bother me at all.

I have heard some say "Who wants to see a show just like the books?"  ME!!!  It doesn't have to be exact, but when you read something you expect to see similar otherwise just come up with your own screenplay so there's no disappointment.  There are characters who I love and am glad they weren't killed (Lafayette), some who were invented like Jessica who is awesome, Tommy who isn't.  Some who were changed like Tara, who I can't stand, and others who were dumped before their time.  The whole Arlene story might work out to be a good one, but in the book it was very good.  We'll have to see how that plays out. I know I know the element of surprise yada yada yada, well when you see it on the screen even if you know what's coming it still moves you in a different way.

Well there's my rant, I know everyone has a different opinion on this, but I had to express mine here.  I can't wait to see how this season turns out.

Monday, July 18, 2011

An Ice Cold Grave

An Ice Cold Grave (Harper Connelly Mysteries, No. 3)

An Ice Cold Grave
Charlaine Harris
280 pgs
Berkely Prime Crime

Amazon Blurb -

Bestseller Harris's exciting third Harper Connelly mystery (after 2006's Grave Surprise) finds the psychic sleuth faced with her most challenging and heartbreaking job to date: locating the bodies of runaway boys who the people of Doraville, N.C., suspect have become victims of a serial killer. After Harper locates eight long-dead bodies, much to the surprise of skeptical Sheriff Sandra Rockwell, a mysterious figure attacks Harper. Though all Harper wants is to go home and recover from her injuries, the local authorities and State Bureau of Investigation agents demand that she stay in town to help with their investigation. The cold case heats up fast, attracting media attention as well as Harper's friends, ailing psychic Xylda Bernardo and her doting grandson, Manfred, who make another gruesome discovery. Harper's changing relationship with her stepbrother, manager and confidant, Tolliver Lang, lends personal interest. Harris dependably delivers fear with charming down-home finesse. 

Harper and Tolliver are in North Carolina searching for several boys who have gone missing in the past few years.  The most recent one just 3 months ago.  This is a first for Harper, she has never dealt with a serial killer before.  Sheriff Rockwell isn't as skeptical nor nasty to Harper as she has dealt with in the past.  One of the missing boys grandmother has taken up a collection to pay her with, and Harper sets out to see what she can do.

Locating 8 bodies for them, Harper is horrified at how they died and just wants to get the heck out of there.  Unfortunately that won't be the case.  She's attacked, ends up in the hospital, and the State Bureau of Investigations wants her to stay and help them some more.  It becomes a media circus, friend and psychic Xylda Bernardo and her grandson Manfred come to town to lend a hand.

Manfred is sweet on Harper and this just drives Tolliver crazy.  Harper loves Tolliver, who is NOT her brother, but keeps it to herself for fear that he'll up and leave her.  As the story progresses, how she feels comes out and what Tolliver thinks does as well.

Filled with suspense, great storyline, and great characters, Harris has scored again with Harper Connelly.  You can breeze through this book and not feel bogged down, yet be fully engrossed by the action.  I look forward to the next book.

4 cannolis

Monday, July 11, 2011

Flowers For Elvis

Flowers For Elvis
Flowers For Elvis
Julia Schuster
248 pgs.
Bell Bridge Books

Amazon Blurb -

Flowers For Elvis is quirky Southern fiction with a literary edge, surprising humor and an uplifting spirit. In 1956, Olivia and her twin sister are born to a nun an old auto parts store turned convent in rural Mississippi. Little Olivia doesn't survive the day, but her spunky spirit hangs around and takes on the role of ethereal watchdog over her twin. When the Reverend Mother-and holy guilt-convince the nun's sister (a young pregnant newlywed) to secretly raise the baby as the twin of her own soon-to-be-born child, Olivia realizes the urgency of her presence and support. Not only is her aunt a fanatical Elvis fan, she's a renegade Southern belle, bent on self-indulgence and desperate to safeguard her multitude of sins. Without revealing which girl is her twin until the end, Olivia takes the reader on a flower strewn tour of misguided love and maternal betrayal which culminates at Elvis' funeral, where they finally discover the truth of their parentage and unravel the generations of secrets that shadowed their lives. 

During a rainy night in rural Mississippi, in the cold, a nun has given birth to twins.  One is still born the other lives.  Mother Superior takes the babies, has the nuns bury the other baby girl in the yard of the convent which was once an auto parts shop.  The year is 1958 and the twins were bi-racial.  Mother names the baby that has passed Olivia and guiltily feels relief that she has died due to her obvious mixed heritage.  Being in the south during this time would have been way to hard for that child in her mind. What does Mother do?  She has the nun's sister who is also pregnant and due any day come down to the convent and tells her she is going to adopt this baby and raise her as her own.  Genevieve was a wild child and wonders what the Mother wants from her and can't believe this is her request.  With a pocket full of confessions scribbled to her idol Elvis, is shocked by Mother's desire.  Genevieve has no clue that this baby is really her niece, she thinks her sister is away on some mission with the nuns.  Filled with guilt for all her "sins" Genevieve stays at the convent and gives birth three days later, and then comes home with both girls to be raised as twins.  Mother never tells the baby's real mother that one twin died, only that both were adopted by a wonderful family.

The sweet twist?  Olivia's spirit leaves her tiny body, and she follows the "twins" and their mother/aunt throughout their life sort of as a guardian angel.  Poor Olivia tries to steer them, the girls somewhat sense her presence, but she can't do all that much to help them.

You soon learn that these girls are funny and mischievous, being taught by a woman/child who they call Moody instead of mom because of all her crazy mood swings.  Their father has no control over them nor does their mother who really doesn't give them much guidance at all.  They go on Elvis stalkings with Moody, help with the family floral business meet their Aunt Willard for the first time, suffer the disappearance of their father, and grow into pre-teens.  This is where the trouble really takes shape.  Poor Olivia is usually helpless to stop what takes place and realizes that sometimes bad has to happen in life.  While their Mother pines for her long lost love, the girls fend for themselves. 

As they grow, you never know which girl belongs to which sister, all the way to the very end.  You keep guessing, and the roller coaster of who their parents are becomes quite a ride worth getting on.

Tragic, funny, and sometimes very aggravating, this was a really great story.  I can't give it 5 cannolis for two reasons, I hate infidelity, and there was blatant child molestation taking place here with no comeuppance to the perpetrator imho, some who have read it will probably disagree, but it was not to my satisfaction.  I do recommend this book.

4 1/2 cannolis

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