Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week - "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind" Dr Seuss

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review of The Social Climber's Handbook by Molly Jong-Fast

The Social Climber’s Handbook
By Molly Jong-Fast
The Social Climber's Handbook: A Novel

            Upper East Side socialite Daisy Greenbaum is accustomed to the finer things – designer clothes, summers in the Hamptons, elite private school educations for her daughters, and a staggeringly expensive Park Avenue apartment. But Daisy find her well-heeled lifestyle on precarious footing after her husband, master of the universe Dick Greenbaum, learns about some shady dealings that threaten his position at The Bank.
            Daisy refuses to allow her family to slip down the social ladder, so she devises a madcap plan: anyone who jeopardizes her place to the top will simply have to be dispatched – six feet under. From Dick’s arrogant boss to his scheming former mistress to a pair of nosy bloggers, Daisy’s hit list is a who’s who of big names with even bigger secrets. But with the body count rising as the Dow Jones falls, can Daisy really get away with murder?

I was expecting so, so much out of this book but it fell flat – COMPLETELY flat. This was one of the biggest disappointments I have read in a long time.  I hated the language through out the book. It wasn’t that there was just swearing in the book it is just that pretty much the only swearing in this book is the F word! So it was stupid and just looked like she was adding it to just look ‘cool’. So it came off as childish.

It was not a funny or witty book at all despite the claims of such. I really usually enjoy books like this but this just didn’t turn out like the premise indicates. It could have been a really great story if it was more thought out and the characters more developed. I did love the main character Daisy Greenbaum and all of her secrets but it should have gone into that more and it didn’t. After all isn’t this about her and her serial killer-ness?

So I am giving this book 2 stars just for trying but that is being generous. I did receive this as an advance proof so maybe, just maybe the actual book may be improved upon before it published. I am just glad I didn’t have to pay for this book.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Review of Prince Etcheon and the Secret of the Ancient

Prince Etcheon and the Secret of the Ancient
By JoAnn Arnold

Prince Etcheon and the Secret of the Ancient
Prince Etcheon and the Secret of the Ancient

            Etcheon always believed he would live and die in his small village that he moved to with his grandmother, Granna Fela – safe, loved, and protected.But with Granna’s death comes new information about Etcheon’s royal heritage and destiny, which suddenly throws him in the middle of a battle against a wicked king. One the run from hideous beasts sent to kill him, Etcheon is saved by a mysterious girl, a tree with magical powers, and several amazing animals. With his new friends to protect and teach him, Etcheon undertakes a journey that will challenge his abilities and define who he needs to become – a warrior-prince charged to save his people.

            This is a review that I am doing for Media Guests online blog tour. I love the description of this book so I was very excited to get it and start reading right away. It took me about 20 pages to really get into this book. At first I just thought the book was a little slow getting started but it really is that the typeface is written small and that makes it harder to read for me. I had to really slow down and pay attention to get it all in until I adjusted to the smaller print. Once I realized that was what it was I couldn’t put this book down.

            Etcheon is just 17 years old when the story begins and the day his beloved Granna dies his life starts to change and go somewhere he never could have imagined. He finds out that he is a prince after he is attacked and almost killed by some very hideous creatures. He is taken away to another time by the beautiful Taraini so that he can learn all he can to become the warrior he needs to be to save his parents that he has never met. He is thrown into the adventure of a lifetime!  The enchanted animals teach him how to be kind, courteous, courageous, patient, learn to discern good from evil, how to lead an army, and many more virtues needed to be the Prince of the Hidden Kingdom. 

            This story is full of wizards, mystical creatures, hidden kingdoms, time travel, and of course my favorite – a great love story!  This is a well written fantasy book that will be loved by all ages. It is clean and fun to read. You won’t want to put it down but stay up late and turn page after page until all hours of the night. I give this book 4 stars!

Prince Etcheon and the Secret of the Ancient


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Blog Spotlight Tuesday - E & K Family Book Review

Here is another one of my favorite blogs! E & K Family Book Review is written by a mother/daughter team! I love that they share this passion of reading with each other. I only wish my kids would love reading as much as I do. My husband does and is reading more and more but his genre isn't the same as mine. Oh well it is a start!

Click the link to find out more about E & K in their about us section. E is so young at 8 years old but I love the books she chooses and blogs about. She is much more mature than her 8 years. I believe that this comes from reading. Kids are much smarter when they read. K is so patient and loving to spend the time to read with her daughter,  help her blog about books, blog about her own reads, and instill this passion in her family.

I love to read the reviews and have picked up many books because of their recommendations. I have passed by books in the store before but went back and bought them because of their reviews. I have not been disappointed either. There are many different genres of books to choose from at E & K too. Follow the link here to check out all of their reviews!
Don't forget to check out her super cute rating system! I need to come up with something fun and creative like this. Sadly I am not so creative so you all will just have to stick to my star rating until I find something better!

So go and start following E & K!  They just crossed over the 200 followers mark! Congrats! So you know people love to read their blog. Head on over and check them out! You will not be disappointed.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Moving & Painting = MIA from Blogging

It has been a crazy few weeks around here. I haven't been on since last Wednesday and it is crazy how you kind of miss it! So as I said before I have been painting and cleaning up a storm around here. I now have the main level of my house cleaned and painted! It was a lot of hard work but I am glad it is done. And it looks great too! I still have the hallway, stairs, and bonus room to do but I am well past the halfway point.
My sister and her three kids have lived with us for the past year and she just moved out this week. Not that I was much help on that front. I was just a virtual assistant. I did enlist my kids to help out though. Because of said back surgery I cannot do that kind of lifting anymore. So my boys had to help with the heavy stuff and my daughter did a lot of cleaning at the new place and helped with the smaller items. She is officially moved as of last night (I think). I haven't been to the basement where she stored her things but I think for the most part she is 99.99% moved. I am sure she is glad to have her own space and not share it with her ornery, moody big sister any more.
So this week is filled with cleaning the bonus room where she lived and putting a fresh coat of paint on it. I am quite excited! It is now going to be my office, sewing, and workout room.  Most of that stuff has been hanging out in my bedroom for the past year and it is getting a little crowded in there. I feel like I have a whole new house!
I have two great books that I am going to be posting this week so check back on Wednesday and Thursday to read about them.  I will of course have my Tuesday Blog Spotlight tomorrow so check out who I post about and then head over to their website.  Hopefully I can get on here for Book Blogger Hop Friday but I must get all of these things done around the house before my getaway with Hubby to the Oregon coast in just 12 days! I am so excited about having 10 days with just the two of us. We have been married for 23 years in June and we have never been able to go for this long alone before! I believe 7 days has been our max so this will be an adventure. I will post more about this upcoming trip next week.
Until then happy blogging and see you all soon!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Review of Maggy Thorsen mystery series by Sandra Balzo

Uncommon Grounds, Grounds for Murder, & Bean There, Done That
By Sandra Balzo
Uncommon Grounds (Maggy Thorsen Mystery #1)  Grounds for Murder (Maggy Thorsen Mystery #2)   Grounds for Murder (Maggy Thorsen Mystery #2)    Bean There, Done That (Maggy Thorsen Mystery #3)

            Patricia Harper is dead, killed by a hot-wired espresso machine, in Uncommon Grounds, her very own gourmet coffee store! Maggy Thorsen wants to know who killed one of her partners. Maggy needs the store to succeed. Starting over after her divorce, she’s quit her PR job to open the coffee store. And if things aren’t already tough enough, she begins to suspect one of her friends is responsible for Patricia’s murder. Maggy joins forces with Sarah Kingston, Patricia’s closet friend, to investigate her killing. Together, they uncover unsavory small town politics, bribes, kickbacks, and rampant infidelity. Before she’s through, Maggy’s sense of right and wrong will be shaken to its foundations. For once in her life, she is forced to draw her own line in the sand, and be prepared to defend it.

This is the blurb for Uncommon Grounds, the first book in the series of the Maggy Thorsen murder mystery books.  I am going to review the first three books in this review. These books have been out since 2004 and I believe there are now six books in this series published.  Just reading the above synopsis almost makes it sound like these books are a little cheesy. But please, please do not believe that!  These books are funny!  They are very well paced with action starting right from the beginning and it goes through all the way to the end. Each of these books are exceptionally written from Maggy’s point of view. She is a 40-something divorcee living on the outskirts of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  In each of these books she happens onto someone murdered. If she isn’t the first to find the body then she is somehow personally involved or related to the one murdered.

These books are reminiscent of The Women’s Murder Club series by James Patterson and the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. They are more like a great, creative combination of these two series.  Of course there is a love story involved in these too!!! I love good mysteries as long as there is a love story in there somewhere. It does not take over these books.  It is part of the background to Maggy so it does not overwhelm and take over the actual mystery involved in each book.

These first three books have a great mystery in each of them. They are quick, clean, easy reads and each one can easily be read in an afternoon.  Check out Sandra Balzo and all of her books. She is quick and witty and I love that in an author because she always adds that to her characters.  I love how Maggy tries to solve these murders even though she has no background whatsoever in law enforcement.  She loves to watch shows on TV about solving crimes. It is fun to see her go on a stakeout – and get totally busted by the county sheriff.  My favorite moment between the sheriff and Maggy is: 
            Pavlik was staring at me, fascinated. “Why do you do that?”
            I looked around uncertainly. “Do what?”
            “Start acting like some kind of bad TV private eye all of a sudden. It’s like talking to someone with multiple personalities.”

Really this is good stuff!  You laugh out loud all the time during this book.  I give these books 4 stars. Go out and get them for an afternoon of fun, love, and murder!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday Spotlight of A Good Day to Read

Today's spotlight is for A Good Day To Read. Cheryl Christensen is the author of this fabulous blog.  I am also lucky enough to know Cheryl personally. We grew up in the same small town in Utah. We are a few years apart in age so we didn't run in the same circles (no I won't say who is older either). We met up recently on Facebook and started getting acquainted through her blog. I absolutely love her blog (and Cheryl too)! The title of her blog says it all - A Good Day To Read! Cheryl has been known to remind us that EVERY DAY is A Good Day To Read! And yes it is!
I love to read her book reviews and you can look them up here. I have read books I wouldn't have normally chosen because of her reviews. It is always good to have someone to trust when picking out books and I trust Cheryl's reviews. She will read a variety of books and post them on her site.
I also love Friday's when she posts about A Day of Childhood. Who doesn't love to remember when? One of my favorites was about the book mobile coming to our town. Living in a small town we had some advantages but one disadvantage was that we didn't have a library. Which was horrible for us avid readers! The book mobile was our only salvation and you had to get there early or you missed out on the good stuff. 
Check out her A Day to Shine page to see author interviews.  She has made some good friends and has some great interviews getting to know these amazing people that write the books we love so much!
Now I could go on and on about Cheryl but what fun would that be? Go check her out at A Good Day To Read and start reading all about her and the great pages she has on her website.  Follow her on Facebook too. I love her cheery, optimistic posts each day. She has the best attitude and it rubs off on all of us and makes our days better and brighter.
Oh yeah and did I mention it was because of her I quit being a chicken and started my own blog page?  Well yes that is the case! She is that great of a friend to be supportive and helpful. Thanks Cheryl!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Review of Recovery by Alexandrea Weis

Recovery by Alexandrea Weis

            A killer is lurking among the ruins of Katrina-ravaged New Orleans. A killer she knows.
            Still devastated two years after the mysterious murder of her beloved David Alexander, Nicci Beauvoir surprises everyone in the Big Easy by returning to her hometown with a new admirer: the cool and contentious Dallas August. But the attractive stranger is asking a lot of questions about David’s death, making Nicci’s family and friends speculate about his true intentions. Only Nicci knows that Dallas, a high-priced corporate spy, has come to New Orleans to flush out David Alexander’s killer. Playing the part of her lover, Dallas escorts Nicci around town hoping to get closer to his possible suspects. But hiding amid the city’s elite is a jealous maniac waiting to make Nicci suffer. As the days pass and the danger grows, Nicci’s relationship with the handsome spy turns from adversarial to amorous. Despeerate to unearth the identity of David’s murderer, Nicci and Dallas decide to lure the killer out of the city for one final showdown. It is a deadly decision that could cost Nicci everything. But is maybe her only chance for...Recovery.

            I already told you a little about this book on Friday’s Book Blogger Hop. This is actually part of a three part series by Alexandrea Weis.  Recovery is the second in the series. To My Senses was the first in the series published in 2007. I haven’t read that book but would like to now that I have gotten involved with Nicci, David, and Dallas.  The third book Sacrifice does not have a date for release yet but I will definitely pick it up when it does get here. 
            I love the way Ms. Weis writes. She has you captivated from page one. No need to wait until you get into the book 20 pages to get the action started. I couldn’t wait to turn each page and find out what would happen next. I love the tension that is between Nicci and Dallas. Nicci still misses David and she has a hard time getting past that but what a better distraction than a totally hot, reclusive, spy?!?  It is not cheesy even though I just made it sound like that. It is great to have their relationship develop during the mystery solving of David’s death.  Very HOT! - But not Harlequinish.
            Even though it is written during the post-Katrina era Ms. Weis puts together a story that involved the empathy of those afflicted but lightens it up with the eccentric, debutante, upper class of New Orleans. It was a delight to get involved with the families of those that still care about class – the who’s who of their community.
            The pacing of this book is excellent and I loved the characterization she created with each and every one in this story.  I will give this book 4 stars!  It is a great love story mystery and would recommend to all who enjoys that genre of book.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop

Join the hop at Crazy for Books!

This weeks question is "Pick a character from a book you are currently reading or have just finished and tell us about him/her".

I have just finished Recovery by Alexandrea Weis. The main character is Nicci who is a writer with her first book just published.  Two years ago she lost the love of her life David. He was murdered and it was never solved. David had questionable employment and his employer, Simon, approaches Nicci to help solve David's murder. Nicci is pretty reclusive and isn't sure she wants to follow someone else's rules to get the job done. When Simon assigns handsome Dallas to work with her she is not happy. But she unexpectedly falls for Dallas as they follow the leads to solve David's murder. Nicci is torn between her love for David and her new found feelings she is having for Dallas. She isn't sure she can let go and move on and not feel guilty.  Nicci is fun, daring, and smart. Sometimes she aggravates you and others you want to be just like her!

Tell us about a character in one of your recent books.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day of Gratitude

I am starting my day today being thankful for many things. A year ago I had injured my back so bad that I could not even stand up straight. I couldn't dress myself and my kids had to help me put shoes and socks on. I have never been so low and depressed in all of my life. I went to several different doctors to find relief and to no avail. I finally found a doctor that could help after three months of this misery. I underwent back surgery in May 2010. I had felt that a miracle had happened. This past week I have painted half my house and deep cleaned it. It feels so good to be able to do such things after a long recovery. So I am thankful for great doctors and the technology they have available to them. I am thankful for a fabulous family that helped me through. I am thankful for my totally amazing husband who deserved sainthood after what he had to go through with me! I am thankful everyday for the little things we take for granted or complain about: grocery shopping, doing dishes, driving my car for errands, taking a walk around the neighborhood, cleaning the house. All the things I could not physically do a year ago I can today and I am grateful and will never forget or take them for granted again!

On a lighter note I am also thankful for:
~ hairspray - I love taking a Sunday nap and not having to re-do my hair:)
~ Dr Pepper - I don't drink coffee so this is my get-up-and-go each day. Some people call it an addiction; I call it relief
~ online shopping - see previous post
~ Tylenol PM - really should I even explain this wondrous over-the-counter miracle?
~ books - I know this should be obvious. I can't even explain my feelings about books to make another person understand this love or if you ask my family it is an obsession. (they don't use that word is a positive light either)
~ my dog Ranger - he is the best dog ever and is a part of our family. Those dog lovers out there know what I am taking about. We worry about him as much as we do our kids.
~ my blogger friends - I love to get comments and emails. I love that they spend time on their blogs for my entertainment. When I need a break during my day I just pull up other blogs and feel better after reading, laughing, and sometimes crying too.
~ Netflix - who doesn't love a movie at your fingertips whenever you want? Especially when the 300+ cable channels has NOTHING on!
~ spandex - No not like spandex shorts & workout gear. I mean like jeans that have a little spandex so you get just enough stretch so you can wear those cute jeans on your fat days instead of polyester and don't completely feel like a fat, bloated cow! 
~ my smartphone - I love I can email, facebook, and blog just from my phone! Somedays I feel lost if I misplaced it somewhere and other days I lose it on purpose to get some peace & quiet! Yes it is a love-hate relationship.
~ a soft, cozy blanket - Love to curl up in bed or on the couch with a blankee and relax
~ the rain - yes besides the fact we need it survive on this planet. I love to watch & smell the rain. Preferably inside with my previously mentioned soft, cozy blanket and a nice cup of cocoa or my life sustaining DP!
~ my in-laws - Yes I just said my in-laws! I have already mentioned my family but don't want to forget the in-laws. They are some of the funniest people I know. If you have ever tried to follow an email thread from the family you would understand.

Well I could go on forever but I have to get back to painting the other half of my house this week! Share with me what you are grateful for. Share here or on your own blogs. Or better yet share with those you love around you and don't forget to thank them for always being there in your life to make it better.

Have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Review of Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Desires of the Dead
By Kimberly Derting
Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2)

            The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.
            Violet can sense the echoes of those who’ve been murdered – and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.
            As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she’d turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike’s tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

This is the second in The Body Finder series. I believe there are going to be four books. The third will be out sometime next year – wow 2012! I really hate waiting a whole year in between books like that. Why can’t they do them every 6 months? Unfortunately the publishers don’t listen to me. Anyways back to the book – this was better than the last book. I loved  watching the relationship develop and grow between Violet and Jay. It is tender and sweet. But reader beware there is swearing in this book and also some sexual situations to be aware of. I thought it was written very tastefully for a sex scene but mind you the characters involved are not even 18 and so of course not married. Just an FYI for those that prefer not to read such things.  I don’t want hate mail if I didn’t include this in the review. I respect everyone’s opinion when it comes to what they will and will not read.

Great drama and mystery in this book. I actually thought I had something figured out and then found out I was totally wrong! I love that! So she adds some twists in this book with the crime solving and leaves Violet with some options on how and if she wants to use her ability in a more public light.  Fun read and I would recommend this to others. It is a fast read and leaves you wanting to read the next one and find out more about these characters. I would rate this 3 stars.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Blog Spotlight Tuesday - Serendipity's Library

I have decided to start using Tuesday's to spotlight some of my other favorite blogs! I am not going to post them in any particular order of my favorites because they are all my favorites!

Today I have chosen to spotlight Serendipity's Library!  This is a great blog written by a very funny lady. Jennifer fills her blog with a variety of different things from books, movies, writing (she is a great writer), the paranormal, and everything else. I love to read her blog each day because of the variety that she offers. She will write about work, the people she knows and her family. It is fun to hear of little adventures and stories she puts in about them all. You will definitely have to read about the 'black tongue' and use it in your own family. 

Don't miss out on reading about Charlotte and Edgar. She posted about them in March of this year. Look up those posts on the links on their names. I showed them to my daughter and she loved it! Probably because it wasn't something I did to her so she was able to think it was funny. Jennifer is a girl after my own heart. I love her sense of humor.

Did I mention she is also a fabulous writer?  Well she is and you need to check out some of her short stories she has written.  I especially loved the one entitled The Traveling Phlebotomists. Very good and of course I love that she wrote it for her friend at work who is scared of getting her blood drawn. I loved her post from today about her daughter - The Traffic Light.

Go over and check Jennifer out right now!!! Serendipity's Library is a must read each day. I am positive you will love her as much as I do! Your welcome:)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Review of The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

The Body Finder
By Kimberly Derting
The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1)

            Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies – or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world…and the imprints that attach to their killers.
            Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.
            Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer – Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer…and becoming his prey herself.

I apparently have some morbid curiosity of my own with books about the dead and people being killed. My 14 year old son tells me that all the time and wonders why I can’t seem to read anything nice. What can I say though these things fascinate me! I enjoy them more when there is a great love story involved too – and of course there is in The Body Finder as well!  Violet is a fun young girl that doesn’t think she is very pretty but just average. She isn’t the most popular girl in school but she does have plenty of great friends; one of them being Jay who she has been friend with since 1st grade. The romantic tension between these two is fun to watch and see how it will all turn out. You begin to wonder who will make the first move because they obviously both love each other.

Of course the other story here is about Violet’s unique ability to find dead bodies – both human and animal. She hasn’t found a human body in nearly 8 years so it is unnerving and surprising to her when she does while out with friends one summer day. Her best friend Jay, her parents, and her uncle are the only ones that know about Violet’s ability. She does her best to hide it from others. She is torn in the story about trying to stay anonymous and helping find a killer. But when the killer strikes close to home she knows she has to do her part before more of her friends get killed. She finds herself in the killer’s path along the way. 

Great suspense. The writing isn’t the most profound work I have read; however, the story is great. There are a few swear words in the book so I can’t give it a clean rating. I will give it 3 stars though and recommend it as great, intriguing read.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Review of Matched by Ally Condie

By Ally Condie
Matched (Matched, #1)

            In the Society officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.
Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one…until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no else has ever dared to follow – between perfection and passion.
            Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.

I passed this book by once in the bookstore. I was intrigued but wasn’t captured by the description. Ally Condie is a local author in the Salt Lake City, UT area and I usually always try to read and support them.  Well I read a review from another of my favorite bloggers at E&K Family Book Review and I knew I had to get this book.  I was not disappointed either.

I totally fell in love with Cassia. She follows the rules and never even thought about deterring from the path. Well until her Matching Banquet when the sight of another on her screen sets her mind into thinking on its own. She starts to think that there could be other choices out there in the world that are correct and not just what the Society officials tell you. So many other things happen with people in her family that confirm to her that she wants more than a ‘prescribed’ life. The hard part is that both of her loves – Xander & Ky – are each amazing. She is put in a tough position to decide on what to do. Should she follow her heart or just stick to the plan so no one else gets hurt even though she won’t be happy?

This is more than just a love story and that is why I love this book. Remember I love a good love story but I love a book so much more when they entwine that love story with drama and action.  Fabulous clean, easy read for any age. I give it 4 stars!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Review of The Witch's Daughter

The Witch’s Daughter
By Paula Brackston
The Witch's Daughter

            My name is Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, and my age is three hundred and eighty-four years. Each new settlement asks for a new journal, and so this Book of Shadows begins…
            In the Spring of 1628, the witchfinder of Wessex finds himself a true witch. As Bess Hawksmith watches her mother swing from the Hanging Tree, she knows that only one man can save her from the same fate at the hands of the panicked mob: the warlock Gideon Masters, and his Book of Shadows. Secluded at his cottage in the woods, Gideon instructs Bess in the Craft, awakening formidable powers she didn’t know she had and making her immortal. She couldn’t have foreseen that even now, centuries later, he would be hunting her across time, determined to claim payment for saving her life.
            In present-day England, Elizabeth has built a quiet life for herself, tending her garden and selling herbs and oils at the local farmer’s market. But her solitude abruptly ends when a teenage girl called Tegan starts hanging around. Against her better judgment, Elizabeth begins teaching Tegan the ways of the Hedge Witch, in the process awakening memories – and demons – long thought forgotten.
            Part historical romance, part modern fantasy, The Witch’s Daughter is a fresh, compelling take on the magical yet dangerous world of witches. Readers will long remember the fiercely independent heroine who survives plagues, wars, and the heartbreak that comes with immortality to remain true to herself, and to protect the protégé she comes to love.

I am assuming you know that I love a good witch story. Don’t know why I am drawn to these types of stories other than they are always fascinating to me. This book was a little slow going for me at first but I think it is because it is a hard read. The words are small and the lines close together. Sometimes a paragraph will consume a whole page which makes it harder to read too. The language of old English is something to also pay attention too. The book is well thought out and very well written. I will warn that this is NOT a young adult book. There is one scene in the book that is quite disturbing so beware. It is a demonic and sexual scene that gives a little too much detail for my taste. Other than that the rest of the book is pretty clean. So that is up to you to look over or to just avoid the book altogether.

I will give this book 4 stars. I almost gave it 3 stars but the story is so well written I couldn’t do it. So I will leave it at 4 stars with my warning above. The author did leave it open to have a sequel. If so, I will be reading it too.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Review of Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Night Road
By Kristin Hannah
Night Road

For a mother, life comes down to a series of choices.
 To hold on, to let go, to forget, to forgive.
Which road will you take?

For eighteen years, Jude Farraday has put her children’s needs above her own, and it shows – her twins, Mia and Zach, are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill moves into their small close-knit community, no one is more welcoming than Jude. Lexi, a former foster child with a dark past, quickly becomes Mia’s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable.
            Jude does everything to keep her kids on track for college and out of harm’s way. It has always been easy – until senior year of high school. Suddenly she is at a loss. Nothing feels safe anymore; every time Mia and Zach leave the house, she worries about them.
            On a hot summer’s night her worst fears are realized. One decision will change the course of their lives. In the blink of an eye, the Farraday family will be torn apart and Lexi will lose everything. In the years that follow, each must face the consequences of that single night and find a way to forget…..or the courage to forgive.

OK you all know how much I love Kristin Hannah! This book is fabulous – well in a heartbreaking sort of way.  I cried so much for these characters. More than I ever have in a book. It hit a little too close to home and that may be why but it was superbly and excellently written.  Don’t be afraid to read this even though it will stir every emotion up inside of you as you go through this turbulent ride. It is an unforgettable story and will tell of the courage it takes to forgive the people we love.

So of course I give it 5 stars! Ms. Hannah never fails to disappoint.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Review of Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

By Rachel Hawkins
Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2)

            Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (a.k.a. witches, shapeshifters, and faeries). But then she discovered the family secret. And the fact that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.
            What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must to go London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will either destroy her powers for good – or kill her.
            But once Sophie arrives, she makes a shocking discovery. Her new housemates? They’re demons!. Meaning someone is raising demons in secret, with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye, is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

I took the liberty of adjusting the blurb above so as not to give too much of the story away. Remember I HATE spoilers!!! So if you haven’t read the first book, Hex Hall, I won’t give anything away here.  Rachel Hawkins is brilliant again in the second in this series. I find her delightfully funny!  She makes teenager Sophie real. Not too old and not too young. Which I think is a difficult task to accomplish when you take into consideration the dangers Sophie has to face in her life. I believe she handles them the way a young 17 year old would do. I mentioned before the dry, sarcastic humor of Sophie that I love so much – well it is all here and more.  So I will leave you with a bit from the story to entice you to pick up these books.

“Last semester was intense,” I said to Dad.
“Intense?” he echoed, picking up my file. “Let’s see,On your first day at Hecate, you were attacked by a werewolf. You insulted a teacher, which resulted in semester-long cellar duty with one Archer Cross. According to the notes, the two of you became ‘close.’ Apparently close enough for you to see the mark of L’Occhio di Dio on his chest.”
I flushed at that, and felt Mom’s arm tighten around me. Over the past six months, I’d filled her in on a lot of the story with Archer, but not all of it.
Specifically, not the whole me-making-out-in-the-cellar-with-a-murderous-warlock-working-with-The Eye part.

Definitely 4 stars!! What are you waiting for? Go and buy this series!