Thursday, September 29, 2011

Stolen: Song of the Sidhi #3 {review for Indie Wednesday on Friday}

Title:  Stolen:  Song of the Sidhi #3
Author: Jodie Cooper
Publisher:  Jodie B. Cooper
Available: Now on Amazon for Kindle or Smashwords
Source:  author

genre:   ya paranormal
rating:  pg13 

About the book:
This is a love story for Katrina and Eric, only Eric doesn't know it.  Vampires listen to their synth crystal to determine their lifemate.  Katrina knows that Eric is her one and only, but Eric hasn't gone through vampire puberty yet to hear his sing for Katrina.  Along comes Clarisse, who for reasons of her own, decides that she deserves Eric.  Katrina must fight for Eric even though she may lose her family in the process and more importantly may even lose her only chance for a life mate.

My take
Great premise for a series.  Even though this was book 3 in the Sidhi series, I didn't feel totally lost, especially since a Sidhi glossary was included!  I enjoyed this short story (22,000 words) and am going to look for the first two books in the series to find out more about Sidhi culture and ways.  Character development was pretty good for such a short story (at least for the main characters).  I have learned that another of Ms. Cooper's novels has more of the characters that appeared in this book.  I think that this could be a great addition to the libraries of those who love series books.  I don't know how far Ms. Cooper will take the Song of the Sidhi, but I could see it continuing for awhile.  It was a very fluent read and I'd recommend this for all vampire lovers...or even for those who aren't into vampires but love those true love stories!

About the author:
She's a writer and a reader currently living in Oklahoma.  She can be found in numerous places including the Sidhi Blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Go buy a copy for your e-reader!

I was given a copy of this from the author for review.  No other compensation was given and I was not required to give a positive review.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Southern Fried Sushi {review}

Title: Southern Fried Sushi
Author: Jennifer Rogers Spinola
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Available: 10/1/2011
Source: Netgalley

About the book:
Shilo Jacob's had it all in Tokyo, a great job, a handsome boyfriend and all the Japanese food she could handle. She didn't have a family who cared, but found her life's ambition in the chaos and busyness of Japan. So, when she received the phone call about her mother and everything else in her life started to spiral out of control, she found herself in rural Virginia and hating every minute of it. She had a lot to learn about her mother and her own preconceived ideas of rural Virginia and their people and strange food. She couldn't understand how the mother she remembered and the mother that was deeply cared about here could be the same person. She really didn't understand how a church and their God could change her mother and knows she won't be so easily persuaded by these so called good people.
My Take:
This is a great Christian fiction (romance) book. I know...that's a lame let me further elaborate! The settings, both in Japan and in Virginia were so realistic (found out later that she lived in Japan and the deep south) that I would love to visit both places. I especially love books that can let me escape to another world and her descriptive prose definitely did it with this book. The plot...while a little crazy at first...I mean who has all those things happen at one time.. works for the rest of the story. The writing was like a fine hot pepper... slow to simmer but hot to the point and kept the heat on during the whole book.The characters each had their own believable flaws that kept me reading. The romance isn't the heart of the's a fiction but the romance adds a great touch. Very highly recommend!!!!
The author:
This is her first novel with 2 more in this series coming out in 2012. I can't wait!!! She also has another romance novella coming out in 2012/2013 as well. She currently lives in Brazil with her Brazilian husband and adopted son. If she is anything like her writing and her wonderful website and blog.. I'd invite her for a starbucks any day!

7 out of 7 thumbs up...perfect for everyone!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

In My Mailbox {9}

Wow did this week fly by or what?  It's time for another In My Mailbox. My mailman was quite the busy man this week!  So thank you to The Story Siren for this weekly meme! And now for my mailbox...

For Review:

Blog tours in October..
Reclaiming Lacy by Patti Lacy
Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist
The Baker's Wife by Erin Healy

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Thank you to Kathy at I am a Reader and Jen at I Read Banned Books for hosting!

As I was looking over the list of banned or threatened books on the ALA website I was quite shocked that even today some of the more well known books are challenged in our schools.  I do think that in a school there should be some sort of rating system (one of the reasons I have added a rating system to books I review) I don't think that banning a book from the school will solve anything.  I wasn't allowed to read those romance novels as a teen and you better believe that I actively searched out those titles and read them behind closed doors.  Harry Potter and Twilight have been challenged in many schools over the last decade, but HP especially has brought out many non-readers into our wonderful world of fantasy!  I do think it is the responsibility of teachers and parents too make sure that their child knows fact from fantasy and keep involved in their child's reading list and answer those questions that can crop up!  No matter what your view is on this subject.....
 Just please Keep Reading (authors have to eat too)! my soapbox and on to the prize!

For anyone who has access to The Book Depository
$10 Gift Certificate to buy your banned or challenged book
Did you know A Wrinkle in Time has been challenged?

For more bloghopping fun here's the linky trail!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fun With Rafflecopter Giveaway Winner

I love Rafflecopter so I'll probably be using it for all my giveaways!  If you aren't a fan of Rafflecopter, please let me know your reasons!  Speaking of giveaways..Banned Book giveaway starts TOMORROW!  Come back and visit for an International Prize!  But onto this winner...

The winner is:
Image by

Image by

She has been contacted (another reason I love rafflecopter it will automatically take you to their mail!)

Lots of books to give away so please keep watching!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Review {The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Title:  The Keeper of Lost Causes
Author: Jussi Adler-Olsen

Watch the trailer

Publisher:  Penguin Group
Available:  Now
Source:  Netgalley

About the book:
Carl Morck used to be a very good detective, but then a case goes bad and he loses one colleague to death and the other will never be the same and Carl blames himself and loses all ambition in the job.  All of the sudden he's in charge of his own department, Department Q, a new investigational tool to review cold cases.  Carl is now in charge of nothing but drinking coffee and surfing the web.  When Hafez el Assad becomes his new assistant, they soon find themselves covering a cold case with renewed interest.  There lives become involved with a case revolving around a lost politician and quickly learns there was more to the disappearance then the politician simply committing suicide.

My take:
This crime novel kept the suspense up and going through the end.  It took me a bit to get into as the first 20 pages or so set the reader up for the rest of the book, but I was glad I kept going, because once I got into the storyline it kept me reading.  The style was a bit halted in some spots, but I think it is a translation issue not the actual writing because I felt the same about parts of Stieg Larsson's books.  This book has been renamed several times in different markets from "Woman in a Cage" in the Danish market to "Mercy" in the UK version and now "The Keeper of Lost Causes."  I can understand the name change because that is the reason behind the Department Q, but I really liked the other names better.  The characters all have their own issues and the author has done a brilliant job of giving each character their own personality..(I really like Assad and can't wait to learn more about him).    The reader really has to watch the years in the first few chapters because going between Merete (the politician) and Carl can be a bit confusing.  There is a book 2 and 3, but I don't know when or if they are being published in the US but I will be on the lookout for them!

6 thumbs up!  Give it a read soon!

I was given a copy of this book via the publisher through netgalley for review.  No other compensation was given and I was not required to give a positive review.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Early Chapter Book Review {The Mystery of the Blue Ring}

Title:  The Mystery of the Blue Ring (Book One in the Polk Street Mysteries)
Author:  Patricia Reilly Giff
Publisher:  Open Road Media
Available:  Now
Source:  Netgalley

Genre:  Children's fiction (mystery)
Rating:  E (good for everyone)

About the book:
This book will seem familiar to many.  It was first published in print in the 80's but Open Road has brought the series back to life for e-readers.  The mystery is about a ring that the owner thinks is stolen by Dawn, who knows she can solve the mystery and become friends with Emily again. 

My take:
For parents who want a little more realism in their children's reading this will fit the bill nicely.  It is actually a problem that younger children have and Dawn solves the mystery with a lot of creativity.  This is a straight forward book that doesn't have vampires or hidden passageways or any of the other fantasy scenes that are taking over the children's department.  Ms. Giff has cleverly weaved a message of tolerance and ingenuity into an early reader's book.  Not alot of words, but all the words count!  If your youngster is getting into reading online or with an ereader, I would highly urge you to take a closer look at this book.

About the author:
Ms. Giff is from NY and has many award winning books under her name.  She created the Polk series as well as several middle grade books.  She now lives in Connecticut with her husband. 

All thumbs! Buy it now!

I was given this book via netgalley and open road media in return for an honest opinion.  No other compensation was given.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Must be Author Debut Monday {How do you Hug a Porcupine by Laurie Isop}

Title:  How do you Hug a Porcupine
Author:  Laurie Isop
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Available:  Now
Source:  The Library

About the Book:
Laurie Isop was the winner of the Cheerio new author contest and now is writing many other children's books.  One boy is on a quest to learn how to hug his porcupine when he sees all other animals being hugged in all sorts of ways.  Written in a fun and lyrical prose it is a book that is begging to be read over and over.  The pictures are so cute with very simple watercolor drawings. 

My take:
I love this book!  It is another version of "everybody has problems, but we all deserve love.  It has some creative ways to hug various animals and will add to a child's vocabulary in a fun way.   It will be a great read for those bedtime stories or for those who are just starting to read.  I will be adding this to my niece and nephew's Christmas presents!  I would talk more about the book, but well...don't want to give away the ending! 

7 out of 7 thumbs up!

Got it from the compensation given for this honest review!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

In My Mailbox {8}

In my Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren and allows us to share with the world the contents of our mailboxes or library hauls for the week!  So here's mine!
(all links go to goodreads descriptions)

Flawless by Carrie Lofty {blog tour Monday the 26th)
Along Wooded Paths by Tricia Goyer {blog tour in October}

Won from Penguin Facebook

From PaperbackSwap

From NetGalley

So that sums up my week!  Better start reading!  What's in YOUR mailbox and like always...leave a comment with your blog address and I'll come visit!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Non-fiction Review {Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD}

Title:  Wheat Belly,
          Lose the Weight, Lose the Wheat, and Find your Path Back
Author:  William Davis, MD
Publisher: Rodale
Available:  Now
Source:  NetGalley

Parental Guidance Rating:  G

About the Book:
Although I usually like to blurb the book my own way to give readers a different view from the promotional blurbs, I thought with this book I would give you the publisher's take so I don't forget anything.

Every day, over 200 million Americans consume food products made of wheat. As a result, over 100 million of them experience some form of adverse health effect, ranging from minor rashes and high blood sugar to the unattractive stomach bulges that preventive cardiologist William Davis calls "wheat bellies." According to Davis, that excess fat has nothing to do with gluttony, sloth, or too much butter: it's due to the whole grain wraps we eat for lunch.
After witnessing over 2,000 patients regain their health after giving up wheat, Davis reached the disturbing conclusion that wheat is the single largest contributor to the nationwide obesity epidemic─and its elimination is key to dramatic weight loss and optimal health. In Wheat Belly, Davis exposes the harmful effects of what is actually a product of genetic tinkering and agribusiness being sold to the American public as "wheat"─and provides readers with a user-friendly, step-by-step plan to navigate a new, wheat-free lifestyle.
Informed by cutting-edge science and nutrition, along with case studies from men and women who have experienced life-changing transformations in their health after waving goodbye to wheat, Wheat Belly is an illuminating look at what is truly making Americans sick and an action plan to clear our plates of this seemingly benign ingredient.

My Take:
This is an extreme eye opener for those of us who consume wheat and its' products, which is a lot of us. This book is very easy to read and follow and comes with a lot of different recipes to help the carb addict overcome their dependency on wheat. I really liked how Dr. Davis talked to his readers through the book as intelligent human beings and not dumb monkeys who can't understand anything. He also didn't go too far the other way and talk way over his readers' heads. I did try to eliminate all wheat for awhile after reading this book, but I'm a horrific carbaholic and I really missed my bread. I didn't get a chance to test the recipes before the time on my review copy ran out, but I think I am going to try again after I locate a hard copy of this book. I was really surprised that he didn't even touch the subject of sugar to any degree, but most of the recipes were not laden with the fine white stuff. If you are really looking to change your eating habits, pick this up. If you like carbs, yes even the whole wheat breads and bagels and cereals, this book will probably not be for you unless you would like just a little more information on wheat through the years. (there are a few case studies that he used in the book that have had some harsh criticism associated with them, so make sure you come to your own informed opinions after your own research)

About the author:

Dr. Davis is a cardiologist in Wisconsin who treats many patients with this elimination of wheat products from their diets. He has had much success in his patients with this lifestyle change. 
I was given this book by the publisher in exchange for a review.  No other compensation was given and all thoughts are mine alone.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fun with Rafflecopter Giveaway

I was just given entrance into Rafflecopter and thought I'd try it out with a fun giveaway.  With all the hype surrounding The Help, I thought I'd pass along my hard cover copy of The Help by Kathryn Stockett. 
Thanks for entering and following!  Let's see how this works!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Indie Wednesday {The Apocathary by Samantha Jillian Bayarr}

Title:  The Apothecary
Author:  Samantha Jillian Bayarr
Publisher:  Livingston Hall Publishers
Available:  Now
Source:  The Author

About the Book:
Claire Mayfield loses her mother and becomes entangled in a paranormal mystery that becomes stranger and stranger as the days go by.  The rumors she had always heard about the strange mansion and the death and murder of all family members was well known in the community and suddenly it all fell in Claire's lap.  With the help of her new husband, Ben and his family and her best friend, Emily she tries to solve this 100y year old mystery with the assistance of a few not so real relatives. 

My take:-
A very light ghost story of sorts.  It was a entertaining paranormal that flew really quickly.  I loved the whole story line, even the fact that two virtual strangers get married so fast it makes a head spin.  All love stories have to start somewhere!  I do wish there could have been more character development. We never really got to know any character besides Claire and even that was a bit shortsighted.  I think it could have been a bit longer than it's almost 200 pages and things would have came together more. I did figure out what was happening pretty early on, but Ms. Bayarr still came up with things that held my interest, although not always answered!   However, if you are in the mood for a light read with a little paranormal activity I'd say pick it up.  

About the author:
She was a paralegal until she found the joy of writing and publishing.  Her grandfather had a publishing company that had been lost upon his death and she has since started her own publishing company in his name.  She has a Livingston Hall Publishers website that offers several giveaways and glimpses into all of her books.  She writes in various genres so maybe you can find something that interests you if paranormal isn't  your cup of tea!

5 out of 7 thumbs up!  It was pretty good!

I was given a copy of this book by the author for review.  No other compensation was given and I was not obliged to give a good report!

If you are hosting or reviewing an Indie author and would like to join this blog hop please link up below! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Help Wanted (Indie authors needed)

I'm going to be starting a new weekly meme to highlight those awesome Indie authors that I have come across.  If anyone has suggestions of some really great Indie authors I should tell the world about please leave me a comment to let me know.  If you are an Indie Author looking for a shoebox to stand on...guest posts or interviews are more than welcome here!  (of course reviews too)

Also looking for a banner or button that highlights Indie authors!  Anyone??

Monday, September 12, 2011

Must be Author Debut Monday {The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab}

Title:  The Near Witch
Author:  Victoria Schwab
Publisher:  Hyperion
Available:  Now
Source:  Library

About the book:
This book takes place in the town of Near, where children are warned about the Near Witch, but only as a bedtime story.  Then a stranger enters the town where there are no strangers.  Children disappear without a word or sign and Lexi knows she was taught to hunt by her father for this purpose.  She alone will be able to find out what happened to the children and who the stranger is.  She is strong and courageous yet at times timid and fearful.  The story is tagged as part fairy tale and part love story and delivers on both parts!

My take:
What a debut.  Lyrical prose moved this story far more than the actual plot.  I love the way Ms. Schwab wrote this book, so many descriptions that the wind from the moor seemed to seep into my room.  The mystery/suspense part of the book wasn't as well developed because I was able to figure out what was happening quite early on in the book.  However, the writing was really good that I wanted to hear the story just to hear the song in my head!   I would let my preteen read this with no language or sex just a good read! 

About the author:
According to her bio, she's a product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills dad and a southern upbringing.  This is her first book with a second called The Archive in January.  This is definitely one author you probably want to keep on your radar.  For more info you can read about Ms. Schwab on her website

6 out of 7 thumbs up!  Awesome..pick it up!

Not given anything for this review...I read the book because I had heard great things about it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox {7}

Most people know that In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren
 and allows readers to hop all over blogosphere to add to their already piled up TBR piles and see a little bit of other blogger's lives! 

For Review

I am so looking forward to reading Like Sweet Potato Pie by Jennifer Rogers Spinola.  I enjoyed her first book, Southern Fried Sushi, so much that I can't wait to read the second in the sequel.  Sorry for all those reading that neither book is actually released yet!  Southern comes out in a month and I am hoping that I'll have a copy for giveaway!!!!!!!!!!  I love Jennifer!  Thank you Netgalley!

The Train of Small Mercies by David Rowell is a story of a few of people whose lives changed as Kennedy's funeral train makes it's way to it's final destination.  Looks very interesting!

Hades by Alexandra Adornetto is the second in the Halo's series.  I'm going to try and get Halo from the library before I start this one! 


I did manage to snag a win during the Back to Books Blog Hop with The Choice by Lorhainne Eckhart.  It's an e-book and I just received it yesterday!  Thank you Ms. Eckhart!  Looking forward to reading it.

From the Library!

Sweetly is Jackson Pearce's newest novel.  If you don't follow her on twitter you should...she's hilarious!

The Near Witch is a debut novel by Victoria Schwab and I've heard great things about this one too. 

Well..that's it for mailbox!  What's in yours?  Leave me your blog name and I'll stop by and visit you too if I haven't already!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back to the Books Giveaway Winner!

I can't believe it's been seven days already!  What a great hop!  Thank you so much for stopping by and allowing me to enter your contests as well..(even if I haven't won anything yet)!  I hope you continue to stop by because I'm almost to 200 followers and there will be another great giveaway!  But...the announcement of the day!  The winner of the 2011 Back to Books Hop is:

Jennifer from Fictitious Musings! 
She chose Behemoth and said Starcrossed is on her top 2011 list.  I had several mention this book..guess I should read it!

Thank you again for allowing me to take part!  Hope you all read something good today!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Must be Debut Author Monday {Review Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman}

Title:  Stealing Jake
Author:  Pam Hilman
Publisher:  Tyndale
Source:  Netgalley
Available:  now

About the book:
Livy O'Brian got a second chance at life in a sleepy town outside of Chicago, IL with the help of Mrs. Brooks and her faith in Jesus.  The residents of Chestnut have no idea what is going on behind closed doors and Deputy Jake Russel is beginning to find out.  When Livy and Jake meet under less than ideal circumstances, they both can't seem to get the other out of their minds.  Livy finds it hard to trust anyone, yet somehow keeps finding herself drawn back to Jake and maybe even learning to trust.  With a houseful of orphans and street kids being blamed on the thefts in the town, can she really trust Jake?  Jake knows she is lying, but what can be so important that she has to keep something from him.  Can they both learn to trust God and His wisdom to help one another?

My take:
The story is very fast paced with lots of action and glimpses of God at work.  At times the story seemed hurried and almost too fast paced, but there is a lot of information to get through.  The dialogue scenes felt a little halted to me at times and I wish there was more dialogue to get points across instead of 'reading' about what was happening.  A few minor historical inaccuracies, but it is a fiction story!  Otherwise, this story is a great read for those times when you don't want anything really heavy.  While the orphans and street kids make it a little heavier than a quick love story, it doesn't weigh a reader down.  I liked it and it did read rather quickly.  If you are in the mood for a 'sweet' romance with a little action and a lot of God at work, pick it up!

About the author:
While this is Pam Hilman's first novel it is not her first foray into writing.  She has published several short stories and nonfiction works.  She lives east of the Mississippi but loves all things old west.  She has placed in several writing contests and I think we haven't heard the end of Pam Hilman.  Looking forward to her next work!  You can visit Pam at her home on the web!

Five thumbs up!  Pretty Good!

I received a copy from Tyndale via Netgalley for the purpose of a review.  No other compensation was given and I was not required to give a positive review.  All thoughts are mine.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


In My Mailbox

For Review

Shelter by Harlan Coben (his debut in YA)
Out of Control by Mary Connealy


DemonGlass by Rachel Hawkins (I loved Hex Hall)


Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare  Thank you so much  Courtney at Fuzzy. Coffee. Books.

Bought (I forgot when I took the pic)

Blameless by Gail Carriger

Changeless by Gail Carriger

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

The Hollow by Jessica Verday

Some other books for future giveawaways to be named later!  I didn't know that Waldenbooks was a Borders store til this week and when I went everything was at 60 % off or more...and well...I have no WILLPOWER!  Thinking of going back this week and not spending money. 


You are my Only by Beth Kephart

Slayers by C.F. Hill

The Way we Fall by Megan Crewe

That's it for me!  What a week!  If you leave me a link to your mailbox I'll come and visit!  I love getting new book ideas (the reason I bought Blameless and Changeless and Sisters Red)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Craft Activism {non-fiction book review}

Title:  Craft Activism
Author: Joan Tapper, Gale Zucker
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Available:  September 27
Source:  netgalley

About the Book:
Handmade items are making a BIG comeback.  Etsy and Ebay and cottage shops all over the world are showcasing various talents and people are coming together because of these handmade items.  This book is all about sharing, giving, making and connecting.  Crafters all over come together in this grassroots phenomenon and  share their experiences, tips, and advice on living, teaching, and promoting a more meaningful DIY lifestyle. With this book you can learn to use your talents to further a cause, connect with others and make a difference in the world. 
My Take:
This book is huge!  Even if you have no idea how to hold a knitting needle or how to sell your items this book will teach you.  Some of the projects are pretty simple that a beginner can pick them up and a talented artisan can still find something new and original.  I especially enjoyed the chapter on making a difference with your craft.  Therewere even links to various organizations to help the reader make that difference.  This would be a to buy book, because of all the great pictures and instructions. 
About the authors:
JOAN TAPPER was the founding editor of National Geographic Traveler and editor of the award-winning Islands magazine. She is the author of seven books, including Shear Spirit, which she co-authored with Gale.

GALE ZUCKER is an award-winning location photographer and avid knitter. Her work has appeared in TV Guide, the New York Times, USA Weekend, Mason-Dixon Knitting: Outside the Lines, and other commercial, editorial, and corporate projects.
7 thumbs up!

I was given a copy of this book to review by netgalley.  No other compensation was given and I was not required to give a positive review.  All reviews are my own thoughts!