September 30, 2009

Review and Giveaway: Tall, Dark & Fangsome by Michelle Rowen

WINNERS: Crystal in Kentucky, Mary in Illinois, Tawanda in Pennsylvania, Terri and Renee in Canada

Still dealing with the nightwalker curse that a witch put on her, Sarah Dearly is desperate to reverse it since she just found out that the necklace keeping the monster inside her under control is losing its power. Turning to The Darkness, a wizard that can reverse the curse, seems like it good idea until she finds out there are side effects. Not to mention that former vampire hunter Gideon Chase is expecting Sarah to sire him to rid his body of the pain he feels from the hellfire that invaded his body when he vanquished a demon.

Plus Sarah is now being shadowed by The Red Devil. The vigilante vampire asked to look after Sarah by her currently off again boyfriend, Thierry. The Red Devil just might keep her from completing either task which will have dire consequences.

OMG! I had no idea the Immortality Bites series was ending with this book. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED Tall Dark & Fangsome but I’m devastated that the series won’t continue. Sarah, George, Amy, Thierry and even Barry and Veronique are such fun characters that I fell in love with them and the series from the first book.

I really enjoyed the way Rowen wrapped up all the cliff hangers and made the storylines come to a natural ending. I can’t wait to read more of Rowen’s books and sincerely hope that Sarah and the others make it back into print soon. This book and entire series are a must read if you love paranormal books.

To enter to win one of five copies of this book tell me that name of any series that you have loved reading.

For extra entries Tweet about this giveaway using the "ShareThis" button at the end of the post or tweet your own message. Just be sure to leave me the link to your Tweet in a separate comment. Twitter entry can be done once a day for maximum entries!

Giveaway open to US and Canada only. Please, no PO Boxes. Winners will be selected October 9th and will have 48 hours to respond to the winning email. Please be sure to leave me an email address in your comment if it's not in your profile or your post using anonymous.

BookBlips: vote it up!

September 24, 2009

Review: The Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children by Keith McGowan

In this modern retelling of Hansel and Gretel Sol and Connie Blink move to the town of Schoneberg with their Dad and step-mom. Sol is an 11-year-old whiz kid who looks after his trouble making eight-year-old sister and together they set out to explore the neighborhood.

Little do they know that their Dad and step-mom have an ulterior motive behind moving to Schoneberg and when Sol meets neighbor Fay Holaderry, he has his suspicions about the kind of bone her dog is gnawing on.

Determined to get to the bottom of the situation they discover Fay’s journal and it soon becomes clear what their Dad has planned but will they make it out alive before it’s too late?

The Witch’s Guide to Cooking with Children reminds me of the Goosebumps books that my son and I used to read. It was a very light scary story toned way down for kids. Spaced throughout the book we get to read little bits of the witch’s journal and I really enjoyed those sections since they were whimsical enough to get a chuckle.

I did think the story was a little bit choppy and it didn’t flow well in some parts but I don’t think younger readers would notice or mind that at all. The illustrations by Yoko Tanaka were very well done. The kids faces were a little bit creepy looking but it matched the tone of the story well. Overall this is a recommended read for kids aged 10 and up.

BookBlips: vote it up!

September 23, 2009

Complete: My 2009 eBook Reading Challenge

I've completed one more challenge by reading at least 12 e-books this year. I'll continue the list here and have the sidebar link to this post since I know I'll be reading a couple more e-books before the year is up. By completing this challenge I have just one more to finish this year.

  1. Invisible - Kimber Chin

  2. Dirty Little Angels - Chris Tusa

  3. Pleasure Unbound - Larissa Ione

  4. The Blue Pen - Lisa Rusczyk

  5. Host - Stephenie Meyer

  6. The Elf and The Princess - Anna del C. Dye

  7. Trouble in Elf City - Anna del C. Dye

  8. Elfs in a Conquered Realm - Anna del C. Dye

  9. Str8te Boys - Evangeline Anderson

  10. Man of Her Dreams - Robie Madison

  11. Selling Forever - Kimber Chin

  12. My Soul to Lose - Rachel Vincent

  13. Romeos Dead but Juliet Faked It - Christine McKay

  14. Raising Atlantis - Thomas Greanias

BookBlips: vote it up!

September 20, 2009

Review: Raising Atlantis by Thomas Greanias

When an earthquake in Antarctica reveals a mysterious monument, the US Military sends a team to investigate. Having a military presence in Antarctica is strictly forbidden by NATO so the operation is highly secret.

The man in charge of this operation, General Yeats sends for his adopted son, archaeologist Dr. Conrad Yeats to assist in the discovery. Meanwhile the Vatican gets wind of the activity in Antarctica and sends in the former nun and current environmental activist, Dr. Serena Serghetti who just so happens to have a past with Conrad.

Together they discover that the monument is the top of pyramid larger than any found in Egypt. After gaining access inside it becomes clear that they just may have found the lost city of Atlantis. But unearthing the city will cause catastrophic changes to the environment and leave those in the lost city in a position of power and they’re not the only ones aware of this fact.

I loved the premise and the storyline but some parts of the book just didn’t work for me. A lot of what Conrad did to discover the lost city and while inside it was very technical and dealt with astrology and the information wasn’t explained properly. One minute we’re getting just bare bones about what’s going on and the next moment Conrad is spinning obelisks and opening walls. The explanations just didn’t fit with the action. Those parts of the story just didn’t mesh for me. Other than that it was a great action story and I’ll definitely be reading the next two books in the series, The Atlantis Prophecy and The Atlantis Revelation.

BookBlips: vote it up!

September 16, 2009

Review: The Rasner Effect by Mark Rosendorf

Author's Website

After a failed attempt to capture and disband a group of hired killers called The Duke Organization, Jake Scarberry is forced into the Witness Protection Program. Now all Jake has to look forward to is cleaning up after frat boys who party 24/7.

In the showdown between Jake and The Duke Organization a New York City bridge was blown up and many innocent people were killed. Luckily Rick Rasner survived the explosion but he has no memory of his former life.

After seven years have passed Rick has worked hard to remember his past but only has occasional blurry flashbacks that don't tell him anything about who he was. Now working as a therapist at Brookhill Children's Psychiatric Residence he has a chance to help others and he's drawn to fifteen-year-old Clara Blue.

The facilities director, Katherine Miller, seemingly has it in for Clara but Rick sees potential in her and sets about trying to make her life bearable while in the home but the remaining few members of The Duke Organization have finally tracked Rick down and they're coming for him sooner rather than later.

WOW! This book was a total shock. Nothing I imagined the story to be was what I expected. There are curve balls galore inside the pages but I can't reveal any of them without giving away any spoilers. There was a fast action-packed second half with a first half that gets you totally immersed in the characters. This is a must read for all suspense & thriller lovers.

BookBlips: vote it up!

September 13, 2009

Review: Ginger High by Melissa Burmester

This gently used book available for only $5.50 in my inventory. Check out all the low prices on other great books, too!

After her high school was burned down by a student named Fredrick, freshman Daisy Fisher is sent to attend Ginger High. She soon learns Ginger High is not an ordinary school. Only kids with special powers are allowed to attend. These kids are descended from parents who long ago came to earth from the parallel universe of Animist. Ginger High is where they will learn what their powers are and train how to use them and it turns out Fredrick is a new student there too.

When unexplained murders start taking place at the school four men, Amanta, Matthias, Brian and Taeru are sent to the school from Animist to investigate. Amanta is a healer keeping a secret from his brother, Taeru. Brian is a Tribe king in Animist and Matthias is Amanta’s best friend who has sworn to protect him.

Soon Daisy and her new friends are working with Amanta, Matthias to get to the bottom of the mysterious deaths while learning the truth about someone isn’t who he claims to be.

What really amazes me about this book is that Melissa Burmester wrote it when she was only fourteen years old. When I was fourteen all I was worried about was not wearing the same outfit to school twice in one week.

The storyline is mystery with a hint of fantasy and paranormal. A little bit of it was confusing because there is no build up or back story on the parallel world and the characters but once you get to know who is who it all falls into place. The ending is tied up nicely but it seems like it was also left open for a series or sequel. I’m hoping there is because if Burmester writes this good as a teen I can only imagine what’s next. This is a recommended read for teens and adults who like their books with just a hint of sci-fi & fantasy.

BookBlips: vote it up!

September 10, 2009

Review: The Chocolate Bear Burglary by JoAnna Carl

To attract more winter tourists, the town of Warner Pier is putting on a Teddy Bear Getaway promotion this year. Most of the retailers are participating and that includes TenHius Chocolade’s owner Nettie TenHius and her niece Lee McKinney. Besides filling the display cases with tons of teddy bear shaped chocolates Nettie has several antique molds decorating the store on loan to her by Gail Hess who owns the local antique store.

In the middle of the night Lee’s ex-stepson, Jeff, interrupts a burglary in progress. Knowing the only thing of value in the store are the molds Nettie promptly sends them back to Gail and the next day Gail is dead and Jeff is found standing over her body.

This series is so refreshing. I said the same thing about book one but I’ll say it again about this one. This is not your typical cozy. Heck there wasn’t even a dead body until about 100 pages in. The story is so focused around Lee, Nettie and other Warner Pier residents that you forget that someone is going to die and Lee is going to solve the murder. It’s all so natural.

I was a little disappointed that the relationship between Lee and Joe that looked so promising at the end of book one remained flat but I can live with that if the next book in the series follows the same unconventional cozy formula. This is a must read if you’re a fan of cozy mysteries.

It looks like I'm going to miss the 999 completion bonus date of today 9/9/09 by just one book. Oh well, I'm still completing the challenge in the next week or so, so it's not too bad. I'll just have to plan my categories better next year.

BookBlips: vote it up!

September 8, 2009

Review: The Chocolate Cat Caper by JoAnna Carl

Fresh from a divorce, Lee McKinney returned to the small Michigan town of Warner Pier to help her aunt run her chocolate shop, TenHuis Chocolade. When Lee takes a $2,000 order for custom chocolates she’s ecstatic. That is until her aunt Nettie finds out the chocolates are for Clementine Ripley. Clementine is a high profile defense attorney who successfully defended a drunk driver who then went on to kill Nettie’s husband in another drunk driving accident five years ago.

Hired as a business manager Lee convinces Nettie to accept the order regardless of how she feels about the lawyer but when Clementine ends up dead by cyanide laced chocolates both Lee and Nettie start to look like murder suspects.

I’ve had almost all the books in this series sitting on my shelf for about two years. Now that I’ve come down to the wire in completing my 999 challenge by the bonus date of 9/9/09 I decided to read this and mark it off as one of my cozies and I’m so glad I did. In fact I just might round out the last 2 spots in my challenge with the next to in the series.

The Chocolate Cat Caper wasn’t your normal cozy. Lee wasn’t running around questioning people and trying to solve the murder. The story flowed naturally around several characters not just one person with a penchant for snooping. That alone made this read very enjoyable but I also liked the way Carl left us hanging with Lee’s relationship with another local boy that returned home after life in the big city. I’m looking forward to seeing how that turns out in The Chocolate Bear Burglary.

BookBlips: vote it up!

September 6, 2009

Review: Barely Bewitched by Kimberly Frost

Just a week after she was fired and learned that her magical powers are finally coming into existence, Tammy Jo Trask learns that she has a new set of problems. It seems that the World Association of Magic found out she’s been using her powers without their permission and she can be in some big trouble for it.

They’ve set up a challenge for her to pass so that she can become a level one witch. The problem is that Tammy Jo still has no control over her power and the one person she can ask for help, Bryn, is forbidden to assist and warned to stay away. Instead the WAM sends two wizards to train her, one a weak wand-wielding warlock and one a ruthless killer who can command fire with a flick of his wrist.

When a spell the two warlocks use to learn the truth behind last weeks trouble leads to a magical mishap, pixie dust is released throughout the town and the residents of Duvall begin running amok. Torn between training for the challenge, helping the townspeople and tracking down her pawned and accidentally sold family jewelry Tammy Jo runs into even more trouble when she casts a spell that makes all the plant life in Duvall have a years worth of growth in just a couple hours. Soon she’s dodging fireballs, fairy spells and plants that rival Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors.

You know that saying that if it wasn’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all? Well it could have been invented for Tammy Jo. This poor girl gets into more trouble that she can handle all in just a few days. She’s got maniacs chasing after her and she’s still caught in a love triangle with her ex-husband Zach and the super rich Bryn. The good thing though is that through it all she has her pet ocelot Mercutio to help her through these trying times. In fact the cat is so smart I’m wondering if in later books in the Southern With series we learn that he’s a human trapped in the wild cats body. Hhhhmmm??

The beginning of the book was a little scattered with a whole lot going on but the good thing was that I just finished reading Would-Be Witch a few days ago so it was easy enough to catch up. I would recommend reading book one first but it does stand alone if you missed out on the laughs in that one. This is a must read if you love zany and light paranormal books.

BookBlips: vote it up!

September 5, 2009

Review: Lifeguard by James Patterson and Andrew Gross

After an embarrassing accusation ruined his teaching career in Boston, Ned Kelly fled to Florida and took a job as a lifeguard and part time caretaker of a posh Palm Beach mansion. One afternoon on the beach, he meets a beautiful woman, Tess, who he instantly connects with.

They meet for lunch and have a wonderful afternoon but soon he has to leave her. Ned’s cousin and a few good friends have an easy score and Ned is in. All he has to do is trip a few house alarms with some minor vandalism. Hoping to keep Tess as pampered as she deserved something goes terribly wrong and soon enough it’s clear that Ned’s life is in danger from more than one source.

As far as the James Patterson collaborations go this one was pretty good but not great. Ned wasn’t an endearing character and his adventure was pretty mellow compared to most of his other suspense books. Save this one as a library read or borrowed from a friend if you love suspense thrillers.

BookBlips: vote it up!