August 29, 2009

Review: Would-Be Witch by Kimberly Frost

Tammy Jo Trask comes from a family of witches but Tammy Jo herself has no magic in her whatsoever. Her family always thought she was a late bloomer but at twenty-three she’s already given up hope for good.

The one paranormal thing going for her is her ability to see the ghost of her great-great aunt Edie who lives in an heirloom locket. The only other person in their small town who can see Edie is the gay hair-dresser Johnny Nguyen so its easy to believe that her ex-husband, who is currently on-again, Zach thinks she’s nuts.

When Tammy Jo’s locket gets stolen in the middle of a city-wide crime spree, she has no choice but to turn to the only other magical being in their town, Bryn Lyons for help in locating the locket before Edie’s next appearance in less than a week. Normally it would be great that she has someone with power to turn to but Zach and Bryn hate each other and Bryn is on “The List of Nine” . It’s the list of families Tammy Jo and members of her family aren’t supposed to associate with for fear of the family being destroyed for all eternity.

Now Tammy Jo has more to think about than their macho egos. She has werewolves chasing after her and she feels a small tingle of power that suspiciously feels like she’s finally inheriting her family magic after all.

Tammy Jo is such a flaky nut. She’s hilarious at times and brilliant at other times. She has a lovable personality and the wit to match. The love triangle between her, Zach and Bryn is cute. Two good looking men who will do anything for Tammy Jo makes for a wonderful side story.

This is a great paranormal read and I can’t wait for the next book in the series, Barely Bewitched.

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August 26, 2009

Review and Giveaway: Daniel X: Watch the Skies by James Patterson and Ned Rust

WINNERS: Melissa in New York, Ms J. Evans in Canada and Amanda in Illinois

Product Description:
All's quiet in the small town of Holliswood, the television sets a-glow in every home. But not all is as perfect as it seems.

A terrifying outlaw has just arrived in town, with the goal of throwing it into chaos--and filming the pandemonium for the fellas back home.

Only one person can stop him and his thugs from destroying the city and everyone living there. Daniel X assembles an all-star team of his own creation, but not even he could imagine the enormity of this made-for-TV-villain's powers.

My Review:
In this second installment featuring the alien hunter Daniel X the plot doesn’t vary too much from book one. Daniel, an alien himself, is after the #5 alien on the list of very bad aliens leading up to the #1 alien who killed his parents. The method of chasing down and exterminating this alien varied a little but the story was essentially the same as the first book. I would still recommend this for young boys who love to read and I will be reading or listening to the next in the series.

  • To enter to win one of three copies of this audio book, tell me the title of one of your favorite reads from when you were growing up. The book that I always remember reading was actually a series from John Christoper: The White Mountains, The City of Gold and Lead and The Pool of Fire. I read the prequel When the Tripods Came later on in life and have always remembered these books. Also please be sure to leave me your email address if you don't have a blog or it's not in your Blogger profile.

  • For an extra entry, Tweet about the giveaway using the message below and leave me the Tweet link or your Twitter name in a seperate comment. Extra Twitter entries can be done once a day just be sure to leave a new comment each time you do.
  • @monie_g Win Daniel X: Watch the Skies at Reading With Monie ReTweet

  • For another extra entry follow or subscribe to my blog. If you already do, just post a comment letting me know.

  • Open to US and Canada only, no PO boxes please. One main entry per household. Twitter entries can be done once a day. Giveaway ends September 7th and the winner will have 48 hours to respond to the winning email or a new winner will be selected.

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    August 25, 2009

    Review: Goody Goody Gunshots by Sammi Carter

    Coming home from her brother’s house late one night, candy shop owner Abby Shaw, almost runs into a man limping across the street. Shaken, Abby takes a second to ensure she didn’t hit the man. Once that is clear a spark of anger is building up steam but before she can yell at the man to be more careful gunshots ring out and the man is hit. Now scared out of her wits Abby returns to her brother’s house to call the police and get her brother. When they meet the police at the scene of the crime, there is nothing. No body, no blood and no sign of foul play.

    Unable to prove what she saw Abby is dejected until she sees the man she almost hit a few days later. But trying to track him down is attracting all kinds of unwanted attention and pretty soon a body turns up and imagine everyone’s surprise when it’s the man Abby almost hit.

    Goody, Goody Gunshots was much better than the previous book in the series Peppermint Twisted. With cozies it gets pretty unbelievable when the main character keeps stumbling upon bodies and solving the murder each and every time but this one was a little different. Abby didn’t find the body. Yes she was nearby but she didn’t find it. And she didn’t start investigating the murder against the advice of her cop boyfriend she merely tried to find out who the dead man was. I enjoyed seeing this difference after her aggressiveness let me down in Peppermint Twisted. I’m looking forward to reading the next installment, Sucker Punch .

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    August 23, 2009

    Review: Intertwined by Gena Showalter

    Aden Stone is not your average sixteen-year-old. He has four human souls living inside him and each one has a special gift. One can time-travel, one can see the future, one can raise the dead and one can posses the body of another human.

    Life with these voices inside his head has lead to one adoptive family after another along with time in and out of institutions. In his current home, a ranch for troubled boys, Aden’s greatest wish is to attend the local high school instead of being home schooled. This is because a chance encounter with a local girl named Mary Ann Gray has given Aden a highly sought after moment of quiet. Somehow being around Mary Ann silences the voices inside his head.

    Strangely drawn to each other yet repelled at the same time Aden and Mary Ann soon meet another pair, Victoria and Riley. It seems as if they also special abilities and the four become friends with something in common.

    Intertwined was an outstanding paranormal young adult read. It had unique storyline with well developed characters. It was never predictable and very different than most paranormal books out there. Filled with supernatural creatures, Showalter gives just enough detail about each type that its easy to keep them and their powers straight.

    At 442 pages Intertwined is filled with so much adventure that the pages flew by and I finished it within 2 days. The story of one of the voices is resolved in the end and I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment of Aden's story. I recommend this book for anyone who loves young adult and paranormal reading.

    Reviewed for I Just Finished

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    August 14, 2009

    Review: Romance at the Edge: In Other Worlds - Anthology

    Product Description:
    A possessive cyborg captures a mutant thief come to steal a priceless Rock; he'll let her have it, if he can have her…for three days and three nights.

    A Dominant soldier demands repayment for rescuing a high society lawyer from certain death at the jaws of a giant saurian. She's dreamed of a man like him; he's starred in her wickedest fantasies. Now she has to submit…or else.

    A loyal, traditionalist male desires a Royal fem determined to live by the old, matriarchal ways. He'll claim her; she'll claim him; they'll claim each other. Once they settle the question of who's on top.

    An Earth yet to come, an Earth that may never be, and a planet far, far away… In Other Worlds, featuring erotic romances from NY Times and USA Today bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson, USA Today bestselling author Angela Knight, and introducing Camille Anthony.

    My Review:
    The only reason I selected this to read was because I'm a huge MaryJanice Davidson fan but I enjoyed all three stories in the book.

    My favorite was of course MJD's Beggarman, Thief. I just love her snarky heroines and easy to love heroes.

    Keep in mind that all three of these stories are all hot and steamy Erotic Romance stories. And although the acts in Stranded by Angela Knight are not my cup of tea the story was still very enjoyable.

    Camille Anthony finished up the book with Light on Her Toes. This was my least favorite of the three. The alien terms where hard to get through even though there was a glossary at the end. It just seemed too much work for a quick anthology but I ended up liking it.

    I recommend this one for anyone who likes their romance a little spicy.

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    August 13, 2009

    Giveaway: Dark Hunger by Rita Herron

    WINNERS: Crystal in Kentucky, Linda in Texas, Lorraine in Canada, Cheryl in Indiana

    Author's Website

    Reporter Annabelle Armstrong will go to any lengths to deliver a story, even track down Quinton Valtrez, a man she believes is a coldhearted assassin. Quinton has fought his demonic powers since he was a child. Now using his gifts for the good of national security, he can't let himself be distracted by the beautiful, determined Annabelle. A wicked enemy is out for vengeance, a demon who wants to draw Quinton into a life of pure evil and is willing to use Annabelle as bait. To save her, Quinton must achieve the near impossible: tame the sinister force that is both his inheritance and his curse before it claims him forever.

    “The chemistry between Annabelle and Vincent practically leaps off the page and leaves the reader hungering for more.” –

  • To enter to win one of five copies leave a comment here telling me what your name would be if you were a demon. Mine would be Monstro. LOL

  • For one more extra entry, Tweet about this giveaway and leave me the link in a comment. For your convenience, you can use the "share this" link on the bottom right of this post. Twitter entries can be done once a day.

  • Giveaway ends August 25th and winners have 48 hours to respond to the winning email or a new winner is selected. Open to residents of the US and Canada only. No PO Boxes please.

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    August 12, 2009

    Review: All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee

    Author's Website and Blog - Illustrator's Website

    Product Description:
    "Rock, stone, pebble, sand
    Body, shoulder, arm, hand
    A moat to dig, a shell to keep
    All the world is wide and deep . . ."

    In this lyrical and beautifully-illustrated book, a circle of family and friends explores the importance and connectivity of all things, great and small.

    My Review:
    All the world was such a cute book. I read it to my 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 year old nieces and both of them loved it. My younger niece was even reading along with me in some parts after the third reading. LOL

    Each portion of the book as a different rhyme that leads up to a different "All the world" saying. The story follows a brother, sister, mother and father through several locations interacting each other and the people that join the activities. The illustrations are well drawn with lots of detail in the scenery and muted colors that go very well together.

    Overall this was a fun book that I enjoyed sharing with my nieces and I recommend it for anyone with small children.

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    August 11, 2009

    Review: Mad Dash by Patricia Gaffney

    Late one night Dash Bateman finds an abandoned puppy cold and all alone on her front porch she immediately falls in love and wants to keep the poor girl. When her stuffy husband of twenty years, Andrew, balks at the idea she gets a wild hair and leaves him on the spot.

    Over the next few months Dash lives in their cabin in the mountains commuting to her photography studio all the while keeping their daughter, who’s away in college, in the dark. Without Dash at home Andrew is lost. Eating ice cream for dinner and wearing one blue and one black shoe to work yet he’s gone after Dash other times she ran in the past and this time he’s not about to go chasing her again.

    Feeling restless Dash yearns for time alone but now that she has it she doesn’t know what to do with herself. She alienates her studio assistant by being too motherly and her best friend is so promiscuous Dash can’t really relate to her. Just when her despair is at its lowest, she makes two friends in the mountains. One is Cottie, wife of the elderly handyman who takes care of the cabin. The other is Owen, Cottie’s son-in-law who is currently estranged from Cottie’s daughter.

    With mixed feelings about what’s going to happen between her and Andrew and Owen in her life Dash has some hard choices to make while getting through her mid-life crisis difficult time.

    Mad Dash is a sweet tale of love and lasting friendships but boy does it drag on. I really enjoyed all of the characters but especially fell in love with Andrew for his stuffy proper attitude and Cottie for her humor. Told in alternating view points from Dash to Andrew the book was filled with lots of funny moments and I think that Gaffney really hit the nail on the head with the empty nest syndrome but I just wish the book was just a few chapters shorter. Other than that this was a fun, breezy read that would be perfect for the beach.

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    August 10, 2009

    Review: Girl Stays in the Picture by Melissa de la Cruz

    Saint Tropez, the playground of the super rich. This summer it’s the location for the bio-pic Juicy starring none other than the pop sensation Devon fresh from rehab. Her co-star in the movie is Summer, the up and coming blonde next door who’s brought her friend Casey on the trip as her personal assistant. Also in town is Livia, daughter of Juicy’s producer who has lost over a third of her weight due to a gastric band surgery.

    Soon it becomes clear that Devon has been demoted as the star of the picture with Summer becoming the new focus. Devon is upset with the changes but certainly understands that making a comeback from her partying lifestyle will be a long hard road.

    Now that Livia has lost her weight she’s scored a major hottie, Trevor. The two light up the town but for Livia a friend she made last year when she was overweight becomes more precious to her than Trevor. However she failed to let him know she already has a boyfriend and he finds out the hard way.

    From lucky assistant to being treated like she’s nobody that matters, Casey is feeling lost and out of place in Saint Tropez. Plus the sweet guy she met at the airport turned out to be Jamie Lawson, a huge star that’s now dating Summer. Can things get any worse?

    Through the ups and downs of the summer scene the girls remain fast friends but someone is up to something shady. Just who can it be?

    I loved the fact that even though Girl Stays in the Picture is mostly about pampered rich kids it’s a fairly clean story that teaches an interesting lesson about friendship. Each girl learns something about themselves and who they are friends with before the summer is over.

    Filled with snippets of tabloid writings at the beginning of a lot of chapters I thought this was a unique way for De La Cruz to move forward in time and get quick plotlines thrown in at the same time. Girl Stays in the Picture was one of the better YA books that I’ve read in a long time and with the ending’s major cliff hanger I’m hoping this will be a series of books. I look forward to more of the girl’s adventures and plan on reading much more by De La Cruz. This is a must read for YA fans.

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    August 7, 2009

    Another one down!! My YA Challenge is complete.

    It seems like I've stalled on my challenges so it's a relief to knock this one out. It gives me a littre more time to concentrate on completing my 999 challenge by the 9/9/09 bonus date. I still have quite a few young adult books in my review TBR pile so I'll continue with this list through 2009. Whoo hoo!!

    1. Witch High Anthology
    2. Fade - Lisa McMann
    3. Dork Diaries: Tales From A Not-So-Fabulous Life - Rachel Renee Russell
    4. Elijah's Coin - Steve O'Brien
    5. Oh My Goth - Gena Showalter
    6. Speed Demon - Erin Lynn
    7. You Are So Undead to Me - Stacey Jay
    8. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
    9. Jennifer Scales and The Ancient Furnace - MaryJanice Davidson & Anthony Alongi
    10. Jennifer Scales and The Messenger of Light - MaryJanice Davidson & Anthony Alongi
    11. Dramarama - E. Lockhart
    12. The Dangerous Days of Daniel X - James Patterson

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    August 6, 2009

    Review: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

    The so called wintergirls Lia and Cassie have been best friends since they were young. Now at age 18 they are no longer friends, driven apart by their own eating disorders. Lia is anorexic and down to a scary 98 pounds. Cassie sees Lia getting thinner by the day and gets herself deeper into trouble with her bulimia. After a nine-month estrangement Cassie finally hits rock bottom and calls Lia for help but Lia doesn’t pick up the phone and her friend dies all alone in a run down motel.

    Now racked with guilt Lia is haunted by images of Cassie everywhere she goes. Cassie’s ghost is taunting her endlessly about her weight. On top of that Lia is having trouble dealing with her divorced parents. Her mother is controlling and her father doesn’t seem to care but as much as they each try to help, Lia is sliding further into trouble with her lies. Will everyone realize the depth of her sickness before she does permanent damage to both herself and her little sister?

    Wintergirls was a very emotional read. It’s shockingly realistic and Anderson makes it easy to visualize what might go through the minds of those suffering from eating disorders. It made me take a good look at how easily our society’s expectations might make a situation with a troubled teen worse.

    I listened to this one as opposed to reading it but from snippets and excerpts I’ve seen online Anderson had a really unique writing style with Wintergirls that doesn’t fully come across in the audio. Here’s a link from Amazon about it. In the print version she uses strike outs, different fonts and italics to get a clearer picture of Lia’s state of mind. The most striking thing that did come across in audio is Lia’s calorie counting. Every time she mentions food she whispers how many calories that particular food is and each whisper gave me chills.

    I’ve never had anyone close to me facing any of the issues in the book so I don’t know if this would hurt or help a struggling eater but I highly recommend it for YA readers.

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