February 28, 2012

Review: Chance Escape by Lee Argus





In a world almost overun with the "infected", Ray realizes that in order to survive he has to leave the relative safety of his apartment attic and flee the city. So begins his journey to safety befriending different survivors along the way. But once he makes it to safety he just might be in even more danger than he would be on his own. Can he make it out alive and find some semblance of a real life?

The first story I read from Lee Argus was the short story The Road to Nowhere (my review). I enjoyed the story but found a few aspects too over the top. Also I thought Chance Escape was part two of the short story but it's actually a stand alone novel in the same infected world which was an awesome tie-in.

The story is your typical zombie survival adventure which is all the rage right now but Argus does a great job at writing characters who pulled at your heart strings. It was also a very believable story as far as apocalyptic stories go. I highly recommend this one for anyone who loves fast-paced thrillers.

February 24, 2012

Review: Under the Dome by Stephen King




In the small town of Chester’s Mill, Maine a pleasant fall day is suddenly disrupted by a dome appearing out of nowhere, cutting off the entire town from the outside world. No one knows why the dome came down, who made the dome appear or when it will disappear. With the dome in place the residents of “The Mill” have no choice to but to turn to the town leaders who are more crooked than any of the criminals their town has ever seen.

Fresh from reading and loving 11/22/63 (my review), I was excited about listening to Under the Dome. I wasn’t intimidated by the length even though it was over 34 hours which took me 21 days to listen to but I was sorely disappointed by the ending. Now I feel like all those hours were such a waste. The story was great in the beginning, had a good middle and a decent last part of the book but when the reason behind the dome was finally revealed I felt so let down. I’ll pass on recommending this one unless you’re one an extra-long road trip and can finish listening to it on one round trip.


February 23, 2012

Review: Gone to Ground by Brandilyn Collins






In the small southern town of Amaryllis, Mississippi there is a serial killer on the loose. In the past three years there have been five murders. Women of no particular race or age were stabbed in the neck and left in their closets earning the killer the nickname the Closet Killer.

When a sixth victim is found an unease rolls across the town but for three women in particular it’s not just unease. It’s fear. All three women are positive they know when the Closet Killer is and all three suspect a different man. Cherrie Mae Devine thinks it’s the mayor of Amaryllis, Tully Phillips thinks it’s her husband and Deena Ruckland thinks it’s her brother.

Gone to Ground was my first Brandilyn Collins book. It was a truly gripping suspense story. In most suspense books I can guess who the killer is soon into the book. With Gone to Ground I didn’t figure it out until the chapter it was revealed in. I was sincerely taken by surprise and it was a completely believable ending.

Collins writes memorable characters each with distinct personalities that make them come to life. I loved the way the women come together and begin to lean on each other while working to figure out the truth. I highly recommend this one for anyone who loves a great Christian suspense thriller. You won’t be disappointed.

February 22, 2012

Blog Tour, Q&A and giveaway with Jennifer Estep

Jennifer, welcome to Reading with Monie!! You are one of my favorite authors and I am so excited to to be a part of your blog tour!! Thank you for answering the questions below.

1. Who would you pick to play Gin, Mab, Finn, Bria and Owen if a movie were made based on your Elemental Assassin series?


JE: I think Jennifer Garner would make a good Gin. As for the other characters, I could see someone like Madeleine Stowe as Mab; maybe Hugh Jackman as Finn; someone like Emma Stone as Bria; and maybe Clive Owen or Daniel Craig (with dark hair) as Owen.


2. What title would you say was your favorite read in 2011?

JE: One of my favorite reads in 2011 was The False Princess by Eilis O’Neal. It’s a young adult book with an epic fantasy feel, and the story is about a princess who discovers that she’s not really a princess after all. I thought it was a cool twist on a princess story.

3. Which series was the most fun for you to write Bigtime, Elemental Assassin or Mythos Academy?

JE: I enjoy different things about all of them, and I enjoy going back and forth between the various worlds, characters, and series. I like writing the campy fun of the Bigtime series; the dark, gritty world and all the fight scenes in the Elemental Assassin series; and the mythology and being able to tell more of a coming-of-age story in the Mythos Academy series.

4. What's the biggest obstacle you face when writing and how do you overcome it?

JE: One of the biggest obstacles for me is just finding the time to write. There are so many other things that authors have to do – blogging, social media, answering e-mails, advertising, etc. – that it can be hard to just find the time to sit down and write. I just try to take it a month at a time and plan out what my deadlines are for that month and see what I have to do in order to meet them. It’s a lot of work, but I enjoy it.

5. What books do you have in the pipeline?

JE: THREAD OF DEATH, an Elemental Assassin e-novella, was released on Jan. 31. BY A THREAD (read my review), the sixth Elemental Assassin urban fantasy book, will be out on Feb. 28. WIDOW’S WEB, the seventh book in the series, will be out on Aug. 21.


Also, DARK FROST, the third book in my Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series, will be out on May 29.


Folks can visit my website at http://www.jenniferestep.com/ to find out more information about my books, read excerpts, and more. Happy reading, everyone!


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February 21, 2012

Review: By a Thread by Jennifer Estep







Retired assassin Gin Blanco, aka the Spider, has just conquered her nemesis Mab Monroe and now every wannabe thug and troublemaker out to take Mab’s place is gunning for Gin. Tired of having to hurt and sometimes even kill these aspiring bad guys Gin gives in to the idea of a vacation with her sister Bria to the small beach town of Blue Marsh where Bria grew up.

Thinking she was in for a relaxing weekend with Owen meeting her the next day, Gin is disappointed when she finds her sister’s best friend being threatened by a powerful vampire who controls most of the town. Feeling pretty invincible from defeating Mab Gin just might be in more trouble than she thinks by underestimating the vamp.

I know, I know, you’re probably tired of hearing me gush about what an awesome series this is but I just can’t help it. I love me some Spider!! By a Thead is the 6th book in the Elemental Assassins series and the books just keep sucking me in further with each new one. They are full of gritty action, hot romance and memorable characters. Jennifer Estep is a genius. Who else can get you to love an assassin? This series is a must read if you love urban fantasies.

Previous books in the series:
Book 1: Spider's Bite - review
Book 2: Web of Lies - review
Book 3: Venom
Book 4: Tangled Threads - review
Book 5: Spider's Revenge


February 20, 2012

Review: Dead Head by Rosemary Harris



 
With the economic slowdown, work has been slow for Paula Holliday’s Dirty Business landscaping company. Even so when one of her customers, Caroline Sturgis, offers a unique business partnership Paula hesitates thinking Caroline is just a rich, bored housewife with an unrealistic business plan. But when an anonymous tip to the police department reveals Caroline is really Monica Jane Weithorn, a fugitive from the law for over 20 years, Caroline’s stunned husband desperately begs Paula to find out who tipped off the cops.
 
Deadhead is the third book in the Dirty Business Mysteries series. They are definitely stand-alone reads as I read book two before one and had no problems understanding what was going on. I do recommend starting from one because they put the backstory in perspective when you read them in order and it’s such a fun series.

Paula continues with her witty personality and general calamity when investigating. Throw in her match making best friend Lucy and ex back-up singer and current diner owner Babe and you have the makings of a delightful trio of characters that should send this series to the top of any cozy lovers to-be-read list. Next up in the series is Slugfest which sounds even wackier then the first three!
 

February 19, 2012

Review: Gods and Fathers by James LePore




Matt Demarco is a successful prosecuting attorney with an ex-wife who married a rich Arab businessman and a son who he can no longer connect with. He has just about given up on mending his relationship with his son when Michael is arrested for the rape and murder of his girlfriend. Matt quits his job and will stop at nothing to prove his son is innocent. 

Gods and Fathers is my second LePore book. I love the author's non-stop action in both books. The one thing that prevents this book from being 5 stars for me is that I had a hard time deciphering some of the names, characters and organizations of the bad guys in the book. Other than that I was fully engrossed in the story and was impressed by the way I was sucked into the book by it's creep factor. I highly recommend this one for anyone who loves a great suspense thriller.    

February 5, 2012

Blog Tour: Q & A with Jennifer Haymore

Jennifer, Thank you for joining me during your blog tour and answering a few questions!! I look forward to reading SECRETS OF AN ACCIDENTAL DUCHESS.

  1. Who would you choose to play Olivia and Max in the movie version of SECRETS OF AN ACCIDENTAL DUCHESS?
    • Olivia-Dakota Fanning in a few years Max-Sam Worthington



  1. Who are your favorite authors to read?
    • I have eclectic tastes in authors and I read everything from literary fiction to romance to horror. My favorites vary at any given time. Right now, I’m enjoying reading fantasy author Jacqueline Carey.
  2. Can you tell us your best fan encounter story?
    • After my first release (A HINT OF WICKED), I figured no one knew me, but when I did my first book signing at Barnes and Noble, a fan came rushing up to me telling me how much she loved the book! I was blown away, speechless from the fact that not only had someone read it, she actually enjoyed it. It was awesome. :D
  3. How fun! You can read my review of A HINT OF WICKED here. What's next for you?
    • I'm getting 2012 started with a bang...two releases in one day! First of all, there's the ebook special, ONCE UPON A WICKED NIGHT, Donovan Book 1.5, and then there's the full-length novel, SECRETS OF AN ACCIDENTAL DUCHESS, Donovan Book 2. Both books release on February 1!
    • To celebrate, I'm going to party, and I hope you all will attend! For the whole month of February, check back at my website often for fun games, contests, and prizes. Take the quiz to see which Donovan sister you are, and win one of the fantastic prizes I'm giving away, including a $100 gift card to Victoria's Secret, books, romance baskets, and more!



February 4, 2012

Review: Paydirt by Paul Levine


Bobby Gallagher has it all. A great job as a lawyer for the Dallas Mustangs, a beautiful wife who he adores and a super intelligent son. But the owner of the team, his father-in-law, keeps making him compromise his ethics. After being told to buy another football player out of trouble, Bobby has had enough. He tries to fight back but ends up losing everything, including his family.

Two years later he is broke working as a chauffeur and bookie and still mourning his losses. When a known mobster comes to Bobby with a bet he knows he can win the trouble begins and to get out of it and win his family back Bobby has to do the unimaginable.... fix the Super Bowl.

Paydirt was one of those books that has characters that stay with you long after the book is finished. I so wanted to know more about Bobby and his family. The story was a fast and engaging read. I loved the way Levine built up the suspense about the super bowl while still keeping the story believable. This is a highly recommended read for anyone who loves a great fiction read. I am definitely a new Paul Levine fan.

 

February 2, 2012

Review: Hell's Corner by David Baldacci




Camel Club member Oliver Stone wants nothing more than to lead a peaceful life under the radar as a cemetery caretaker but when he is asked by the president to take on a mission involving a Russian drug connection, Oliver has no choice but to go back to work for the government. Pondering his choices while sitting in Lafayette Park, directly across the White House, Oliver is witness to a bomb going off and suddenly he has a new task. Figuring out who planted the bomb and why.

Hell’s Corner is the fifth book in the Camel Club series which I’ve loved up to this point but this one was a little too over the top for me to enjoy. Oliver is an old man and we’re supposed to believe that there was no one else more qualified to deal with the Russians. There was an explanation that Oliver was “Old School” and those techniques were needed on this mission but I’m still not buying it. Thrown in the mission detour and fellow Camel Club members acting foolish and have to say that I think this series has jumped the shark and Baldacci needs to go back to writing the seriously twisted plots that made me a fan of his writing.