Saturday, September 28, 2013

Review: A Million Dirty Secrets By: C L Parker

A Million Dirty Secrets (Million Dollar Duet, #1)A Million Dirty Secrets by C.L. Parker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Since Fifty Shades there have been others that follow in the same path, I can't say that about this book though. Almost everything that I disliked in James' book was made up for in Parker's.
Looking for erotica, with multi-demensional characters - including secondary, for verbal banter that is as hot as the sex -- it's in here.
Delaine Talbot is tired of watching her mother die and her father close behind. Since her mother's illness, her father has lost work, health insurance, and the life that he once carried. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Lanie has no option but look for fast money and the only thing she has is her virginity and a contract for two years that she is willing to sign.
Noah Crawford lost his parents six years ago in a car crash, came home to find his soon to be fiancee having sex with his best friend and business partner, and then had nothing but problems thereafter. When he went to the auction, he went out of desperation, and what he found was Delaine.
What happens next is a courtship/ownership unlike any other.
You will like the characters and find it impossible to put the book down.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Review: The Wishing Thread By: Lisa Van Allen

The Wishing ThreadThe Wishing Thread by Lisa Van Allen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is Ms. Allen's first novel and within the pages you see the influence of those that came before, such as Sarah Addison Allen.
Enter a world filled with knitting and magic, a family with a history of making spells, a town in need, and sisters forced together under one roof because of a death.
Aubrey, Bitty, and Meggie have lost the woman that raised them, their Aunt Mariah. In Mariah's will she leaves The Stitchery to all the girls, although Bitty ran off and got married, Meggie lives like a nomad, and Aubrey was the "guardian" and stayed within the walls of their ancestors weaving the spells that were needed and storing the sacrifices. In some ways, this is perfect timing, for each of them need each other more than ever - Bitty has left her husband and taken her daughter Nessa and son Carson with her to live in The Stitchery, Meggie has been lost looking for the mother she barely remembers, and Aubrey has all but caved into herself and become one with the walls of her hallowed home and given up on love.
The town of Tarrytown (next door to Sleepy Hollow) has secrets and magic in the earth, but the Halperns have plans to demolish the Square and put up a shopping mall - leaving the Stitchery in the path of the bulldozer. It takes the growth of each of the Van Ripper sisters and the love they have to weave a story made for the believer.
A good story, a wonderful beginning from a new author, and perfect for this time of year. Enjoy the growth of even the unexpected, through sacrifice our needs can be met, and the magic that comes from within.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Review; Timeless Writing Tips from The Master of Drama Shakespeare for Screenwriters By: J M Evenson

Shakespeare for Screenwriters: Timeless Writing Tips from the Master of DramaShakespeare for Screenwriters: Timeless Writing Tips from the Master of Drama by J.M. Evenson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

*****************This is a First Reads Goodreads Giveaway, Thank You Goodreads **********

This should be a requirement in any writer's library, it will be a go to for many years to come. Unlock the development of character, story, setting development through the works of Shakespeare. Fifteen plays are looked at, dissected for their value, and compared to recent movies. Each chapter brings key points as a guide to remember to further your skill and challenge you to exercises to fine tune your writing and growth.
Written in a way that encourages and assures the reader/writer that when broken down, the works of Shakespeare can be analyzed to the basics and is not as intimidating as first thought. I found this book to be highly informative, a blueprint for skill development. I also loved the style that it is written in, giving guidance and exercises while not being pretentious in the teachings.
This book is one you will reference all the time, I recommend it for the shelf of a writer, dreamer, and even the Shakespeare fan.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Review; Unthinkable By: Nancy Werlin

Unthinkable (Impossible, #2)Unthinkable by Nancy Werlin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nancy Werlin has come back to make a prequel/sequel of Impossible. This is the story of Fenella Scarborough, the one who became trapped by Padraig and thus began the curse of the Scarborough women.
In Unthinkable, the reader gets a glimpse of what exactly happened to trap Fenella and how the loss of so many women has affected her. Since the curse's lift, Fenella has done nothing but beg for death, the four hundred years have taken their toll. After a confrontation with the Queen, she is told that she must do three tasks of destruction upon her family and if she fails she will return the curse upon herself and all of her ancestors. She is given the Queen's brother, Ryland, to help complete the tasks and he is changed into a cat that can telepathically talk and guide her.
Simple, not quite. When entering the home of Miranda, Lucy, and Dawn (Lucy's infant daughter), Fenella finds it is filled with love, strength, courage, and faith. Throw Walker, a vet in training with roots in nature, into the mix - Fenella might not find the courage inside to hurt those she will come to love.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Review; The Arrangement By: Mary Balogh

The Arrangement (The Survivors' Club #2)The Arrangement by Mary Balogh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**************** This is a First Read from Goodreads Giveaway, Thank You Gooreads **************

Sometimes the only obstacle standing between two people are themselves. Enter the second installment of The Survivor's Club and the story of Vincent Hunt, Viscount Darleigh. Wounded in war, Vincent has lost has lost his sight and gained a title. Being the youngest in a family filled with women, who smother him and have their hearts set on a marriage, he decides to run away, which at twenty three seems impulsive but is good for his independence.
When Vincent returns to his family home, where he grew up, he is beset upon with the townspeople and with the Marchs. Nothing is better for their daughter than a titled man, even if he is blind, and thus a dirty plan is set in motion to make it impossible for Vincent to do anything but propose. That is until Sophia (the mouse and distant relation ignored by the family) foils the plan and ends up betrothed to none other than the Viscount.
An arrangement is made that they both wish to live independent, they both have goals and wishes that do not necessarily include a spouse or child, and through the marriage after one year's time they can live the lives they so desperately long for. They are perfectly matched and as Sophia finds new ways for Vincent to gain his independence further she wonders if over time he will no longer need her.
A wonderful world Ms. Balogh creates, filled with characters that you are sure to remember and want to come back to. This time I think she outdid herself with such complex characters - one blinded and therefore physically wounded and the other emotional wounded through neglect and harsh, ugly words. As romances go this is one story you will recall and look forward to the next installment in the Survivor's Club.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Review: Austenland By: Shannon Hale

AustenlandAustenland by Shannon Hale
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ok, let me start with the dedication, "For Colin Firth You're a really great guy, but I'm married, so I think we should just be friends" --- I am now hook, line, and sinker. Is it something in the air, the Autumn sneaking up and my need to curl up with Mr Darcy that has radar choosing such wonderful books and sneaking Bridget Jones on a weeknight.
I am writing with a grin that will stay upon my face for the next few days, Austenland was simply wonderful. Jane Hayes has been given a gift of sorts. When her great aunt Carolyn passes away, Jane is bequeathed the vacation of a lifetime - three weeks in an exclusive resort that lives and breathes the era of Austen complete with wardrobe, actors, and set in the country as Pembrook Park.
Jane has had the fantasy most women have gotten caught up in, of THE Mr Darcy (especially Colin Firth as he exits the water in his wet shirt) but has not been happily set in any relationship, refusing to settle. Her aunt's wisdom of sending her somewhere to immerse her and make her want to run the other way, might just do the trick.
Enter an amazing secondary cast, filled with unforgettable characters, enter a gardener, Martin, and a gentleman, Mr Nobly and let the revelations come. Being at Pembrook is not all it is cracked to be and as Jane tries to enjoy it there is a part that loses herself in the sitting room, the garden walks, the ball and the other part that knows this is not real, a fantasy, and that the people around her are nothing more than actors saying their lines, playing their parts...aren't they?
You will not be disappointed in this book. Now I am waiting for the bookstore to open so I can run in and get another novel written by Ms. Hale

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Review: The Cross Gardener By: Jason F Wright

The Cross GardenerThe Cross Gardener by Jason F. Wright
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I will admit that Jason F Wright is one author that I constantly recommend or buy his books for presents. I am a fan, not just of his writing, but of the messages contained in such wonderful stories.

The Cross Gardener reaches in and teaches about love, forgiveness, mourning, and living. It teaches about the promises that have been made to us and that will be fulfilled. This is a story of John, who was born on the side of a road as his mother passed, a boy that entered a family and lost his brother, and a man that not only lost his adopted father but his wife and unborn son. He has his family's orchard and his daughter but until he takes the steps of listening and knowing, he could lose everything.

I LOVE this book and recommend it to anyone and everyone. I know this is one that I will re read over and over and one that must be shared.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review: Earth Bound By: Aprilynne Pike

Earthbound (Earthbound, #1)Earthbound by Aprilynne Pike
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

More accurately I would give this 3.5 stars.
Tavia is on the mend, miraculously surviving a plane crash that killed her mother and father along with everyone else on that plane. With her body broken and damaged she is released into the custody of her step-Aunt and Uncle.
Tavia has made a friend in Benson, a guy from the library that she wants more from, she goes to therapy with Elizabeth, lives in a small town and all seems normal that is until...
The world has an epidemic of a disease that is 100% fatal and is only spreading at a rapid rate, a man, Quinn, dressed in period costume makes contact with her, seeing triangles that glow, a mysterious person with sunglasses follows her, she manifests objects from nothing, and soon everything she thought she knew she doesn't.
Tavia is an Earthbound, a goddess that from the beginning had a job - to create. Over many lifetimes and with the one she is supposed to be joined with..Quinn. Caught in a war between the Curatoria and Reduciata, Tavia must find out who she is, what she is capable of, and what she must do next.
This is the beginning of a series and although I liked the premise and the action, I have to ask do I want to continue on this series. It was good but there is a lack of the magic that first drew me to Aprilynne Pike in her Wings series. Maybe this is best saved for checking out at the library or buying second hand and putting on a TBR shelf.

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Review: My Own Mr Darcy By: Karey White

My Own Mr. DarcyMy Own Mr. Darcy by Karey White
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have found a gem - a keeper - a book that had me laughing, crying, cringing, and jumping for joy and not necessarily rooting for Mr Darcy.
Elizabeth Barret has been in love with Mr Darcy since she was sixteen years old and saw the movie with Matthew Macfadyen. No one has ever gotten close enough to her heart, yet alone more than two dates out of her. When her best friend does a little intervention, demanding that she have ten dates with the next boy she goes out with, fate plays a trick.
Chad is nice, friendly, a high school teacher and coach, at first he didn't think Elizabeth was interested in him, but they keep seeing each other finding common ground and friendship. Enter a tall, brooding Matt who owns the bookstore two blocks from where she works and that he looks to have come right off the screen (along with his behavior).
Caught between a dream and what is real, sometimes you have to have the courage to change your dreams and know truly what it is you are looking for.
I truly loved this book and I am looking forward to reading more by this author.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Review: Me and Mr Darcy By: Alexandra Potter

Me and Mr. DarcyMe and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Confession: I have read this before and when I picked it up again I was not disappointed.
Emily Albright refuses to go with her friend and co worker to Mexico for the holidays and as chance has it she finds an ad at the bookshop where she works to go on a tour of Pride and Prejudice. With Mr Darcy being her first love and the dating market lately leaving a bad mark on her, she books the tickets and embarks on an adventure.
Following the style of P&P and Bridget Jones, with characters that are prejudiced and too proud, along with Mr Darcy becoming real to Emily... sometimes it's the real that you are looking for and the fantasy is better left to dreams.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Review: Happily Ever After By: Harriet Evans

Happily Ever AfterHappily Ever After by Harriet Evans
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Think One Day, When Harry Met Sally, anything by Nora Ephron, and a bit of Bridget Jones and you get Happily Ever After.
The book spans years of Eleanor (Elle) Bee's life. From the teen years glanced at filled with an unforgiving father, a mother with a drinking problem, and an older brother that has little understanding or patience for a younger sister. Enter the twenties and the discovery of what she enjoys and gets hired to do. The world of publishing comes alive, along with those people that enter her life and leave a mark (and come in and out for years to come). Due to heartbreak she moves from London to the US and embarks on living up to her potential. Unfortunately, a new sister-in-law that appears callus has designated her as the help her mother needs to get sober and on a trip back for a wedding, Elle is confronted with the realization and death of her mother. Being a survivalist all this gets swept under, until four years later the past confronts her in all it's glory.
I love that Elle is relatable, it takes time to come into oneself and to confront people and situations you were unable to at one time. She makes mistakes, runs from happiness, misunderstands, and is all so human. You will also enjoy the secondary characters that help with Elle's development and a deeper sense of her growth.

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Review: Chasing Rainbows By: Kathleen Long

Chasing RainbowsChasing Rainbows by Kathleen Long
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Bernadette (Bernie) Murphy hasn't had it easy. The death of her baby 5 years ago is too fresh, the death of her father two weeks ago have left a wound, and her husband leaving her for a woman that he got pregnant has toppled Bernie over. She stuffs her feelings, and her waist at times, only to have moments where she blows..and loses or quits or job. Her best friend unexpectedly is having a late life baby, with hormones and a teen daughter, Diane has more things on her mind than being there for Bernie.
Listless and left a book of cryptograms by her father, Bernie sets off on a journey at times she has no clue or inclination taking. Slowly a new her arises from the ashes of her life.
I believe I have found a wonderful author that captures a woman's soul. Ms. Long writes with depth and emotion, taking the reader with Bernie in a development of self. Chasing Rainbows isn't just a title but a way of life that some have stifled or fear, and a way that all hear the calling to take.

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Review: The Morning Star By: Robin Bridges

The Morning Star (Katerina, #3)The Morning Star by Robin Bridges
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The final book in The Katerina Trilogy holds up to the others and then some. The book begins with George and Katerina eloping, but with all things - it is not that easy. The lich czar Konstantin is held within Danilo's body, the Order of St John, the Order of St Lazarus, the Order of The Black Lily, and even the bogatyr/czar all come to a head when the search for The Morning Star leads to Egypt.
The Morning Star is a sword that controls the Grigori can only be touched and wielded by a "pure" necromancer, so everyone wants Katerina and is not above kidnapping, taking her to the Graylands, even using black magic rituals. The love that Katerina has for George makes the journey possible and although his body is weak and sick, there is nowhere that she can go that he won't find her or visa versa.
This book was filled with so much action, I was lost in the pages, exploring Egypt to St Petersburg. Filled with twists, turns, and a battle scene not to be missed. A great ending for a wonderful trilogy.

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Review: Figments of Imagination #1 The Pen and The Poet By: Carter Tachikawa

Figments of Imagination #1: The Pen and the PoetFigments of Imagination #1: The Pen and the Poet by Carter Tachikawa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*********This was a Goodreads Giveaway Read, Thank You Goodreads******

Kellan, from another place and time, has a story that is very haunted with a killer that brought the events that led to his demise. Yanagisawa Umi (Umi) lives in present day Tokyo, she is a writer or at least wants to be.
A mysterious pen is found, a even more mysterious death of a person that has no organs, a killer on the loose with the same M.O. as years before, and the link that transcends all possibility between Kellan and Umi. With similar backgrounds and the same drive to write there is more in common between the two than on the surface.
This is the first book in what is to be six. I look forward to seeing where and how this author is going to take the story. It is well written with some pages that you devour to delve further into the story. There is a "newness" to the writing, yet the story seems fresh and new that the reader finds easy to slip into. The more experience Ms. Tachikawa has the more her talent will develop.
Want a fantasy/thriller/mystery this will fill you, but be warned.. you might find the beginnings of a new author to follow.

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Review: Make The Grade By: Lesley Schwartz Martin

Make the Grade: Everything You Need to Study Better, Stress Less, and Succeed in SchoolMake the Grade: Everything You Need to Study Better, Stress Less, and Succeed in School by Lesley Schwartz Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Step By Step easy guide to help you or your child with school.
This guide provides helpful hints, creative tools, and the development of skills that will help them "Make The Grade".
I consider this a must have for your preteen/teen and would be great to work on and develop the lessons together to give that extra boost.

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