Category Archives: review

Raven Cursed – Review

Raven Cursed by Faith Hunter
Released: January 2012
Publisher: Penguin Group
Age Group: Adult
Pages: 353
Source: Birthday Present!
Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker and vampire hunter for hire. But lately instead of just slaying vampires, she’s been working for them.

The vampires of Asheville, North Carolina, want to establish their own clan, but since they owe loyalty to the Master Vampire of New Orleans they must work out the terms with him. To come up with an equitable solution, he sends an envoy with the best bodyguard blood money can buy: Jane Yellowrock.

But when a group of local campers are attacked by something fanged, Jane goes from escort to investigator. Unless she wants to face a very angry master vampire, she will have to work overtime to find the killer. It’s a good thing she’s worth every penny.  (from faithhunter.net)

My Thoughts:

I love Jane Yellowrock – not only is she tall and rides a motorcycle, she totally kicks butt!  This is the fourth book in the series by Faith Hunter, following Skinwalker, Blood Cross, and Mercy Blade.  

Jane is a skin-walker, and as far as she knows, the last of her kind.  This makes her different than the were-animals present in these books. She is also a vampire slayer.  Specifically, a rouge-vampire slayer – when one goes crazy and begins killing humans or other vampires, Jane is called in to stake them – or whatever it takes to eliminate them.  The “person” who calls her is Leonard Eugene Zacharie Pellissier, the Master Of the City of New Orleans, who controls the hunting license for every vampire below the Mason-Dixon line, from the eastern border of Texas at the Sabine River, east to the Atlantic, and south to the Gulf, with the exception of Florida and Atlanta, GA.

In Raven Cursed, Jane has traveled to Asheville, North Carolina to provide security for a vamp parley.  Lincoln Shaddock, the most powerful “fanghead” in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, had been applying to Leo for sixty years for the right to become a master of the city.  Leo had turned him down – until now.

Jane is running a security team to provide safe transport to the arriving vamps, and Gregoire, Leo’s representative and heir.  This should be a relatively easy assignment, as the hotel has provided vampire safe suites, and Leo has provided armored SUV’s.  Unfortunately they didn’t plan for rouge werewolves, a grindylow (a “pet” who polices were’s to make sure they don’t purposefully infect anyone), murders, witches using blood magic and Ricky Bo – her on again off again boyfriend.

Jane’s personal and professional life collide, and she faces the possibility of losing both her friends and her job.  This book includes vampires, witches (both good and bad), were-cats, were-wolves, grindylows, and human law enforcement officers.  In a world where humans have accepted the existence of supernatural beings formerly believed to be legend, the burden of proof is on the “supernats” to maintain their innocence in the murders happening around Asheville.  Jane risks her life, her inner beast and her closest friends to protect the vampires who hired her, and protect innocent humans and other supernats from the vengeful werewolves wreaking havoc in the North Carolina mountains.

I always enjoy Jane Yellowrock, and if you like Paranormal Fiction/Paranormal Romance, give Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series a try!

2 Comments

Filed under reading, review

Review – “Life As We Knew It”

Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors #1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Released: October 2006
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 337
Source: Library

From Goodreads:

“Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.

Told in journal entries, this is the heart-pounding story of Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all–hope–in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world.”

My review:

As I’ve mentioned before, I really enjoy dystopian novels, whether they involve zombies or not.  Another blogger, Brittany, read this book before me and said, “It was dystopian without having to go far into the future and very realistic. It really made me think that things like this could really happen and how scary that would be!”  After reading it, I totally agree.  While the story didn’t have super fantastical elements, such as virus’, walking dead, survival camps, mass evacuations or martial law, the very fact that it is realistic is the scary part!

A large meteor hits the moon, and shifts it’s orbit.  As the moon gets closer to earth, tsunamis, floods, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes decimate thousands of acres, cities and even entire states, hundreds of thousands of people are dead, and the government systems are defunct.  Miranda’s mother immediately tasks the family with filling multiple shopping carts with non-perishable food, hygiene products and first aid supplies.   When Miranda’s oldest brother, Matt, returns from college they begin chopping and stockpiling wood, months prior to winter.

As the season’s progress and food sources run low, the electricity is out, natural gas is gone, the well runs dry and schools close down.  The family’s world gets smaller and smaller as communication ceases, gasoline supply is exhausted, the volcanic ash turns the sky gray and the air polluted, the family is confined to their home.  Diseases spread, the volcanic ash has killed their garden and there is no more food to be had, their strength wanes and lack of privacy wears on their disposition.

Miranda’s father and his new wife, Lisa, are expecting a baby, but are unable to reach the kids since the phone system has been down.  As the rare radio station program reads lists of the dead, the future seems very uncertain, and in fact, improbable.  Miranda doesn’t know if her father is dead or alive, if Lisa has had her baby, or if they are even still alive.  As asthma, infections and the flu spread in Miranda’s hometown, the remaining citizens begin leaving for other places in hopes of finding a utopia in the midst of despair.

The scary part of this book is the fact that it is so realistic.  While a zombie apocalypse probably won’t happen, a major depression, or some natural or nuclear disaster is possible, and the results would probably be much the same as a large meteor displacing the moon.  Lack of electricity, sporadic news or  lack of wide spread communication, rations on gas – all of these things have already happened with lesser cause.  (Consider Hurricane Katrina for example.) While this novel is a work of fiction, it deals with a future that could be very realistic.

Now, excuse me while I empty my truck, and head to Sam’s Club to buy in bulk….

I rated this book a 3.5 out of 5.  I enjoyed it.

Other reviews on this book can be found here:

TeenReads

Books N Tea

And the book trailer:

The second book in the Last Survivor series, The Dead and the Gone, also has a book trailer:

5 Comments

Filed under other blogs, reading, review, youtube

Review – “A Stolen Life”

 

From Goodreads:

“In the summer of 1991 I was a normal kid. I did normal things. I had friends and a mother who loved me. I was just like you. Until the day my life was stolen.  For eighteen years I was a prisoner. I was an object for someone to use and abuse.

For eighteen years I was not allowed to speak my own name. I became a mother and was forced to be a sister. For eighteen years I survived an impossible situation.

On August 26, 2009, I took my name back. My name is Jaycee Lee Dugard. I don’t think of myself as a victim. I survived.

A Stolen Life is my story—in my own words, in my own way, exactly as I remember it.”

My review:

Before I read A Stolen Life I saw an interview with Jaycee Dugard by Diane Sawyer, and was amazed at her inner strength and positive attitude.  She didn’t act or present herself as a victim, she wasn’t full of hate or regret, but was thankful for her freedom, her family and her daughters.  When I saw her autobiography at the library, I wanted to read it.  If she had presented herself negatively in her interview, I probably wouldn’t have picked up her book.

She describes her abduction and subsequent abuse with candor, but as tastefully as possible.  The book isn’t full of gory sexual details, but she tells you enough to understand her abductor’s sickness and that he is the father of her children.  She misses her mother and sister, but rarely mentions them in her journals because it is so painful.  The book tells the story of her life during her captivity, of the animals that kept her company, her tentative relationship with her abductor’s wife, the birth of her daughters, and her desire for them to learn what they were missing by not being able to attend school.  She had only achieved a fifth grade education before her abduction, but when granted access to the internet for her abductor’s fledgling printing business, she found websites for homeschools that enabled her to educate her daughters beyond her own grade-level.

Her daughter’s were raised to believe she was their sister, and called her Alissa, a name she chose when she was told she could never use or speak of her real name.   While she longed to be the girl’s mother in their minds, she knew that she has to cooperate with her abductor to keep her girl’s safe.  Her first child was born when she was 14 yrs old, and her second child followed two year later.  When she was 29 she finally admitted to concerned officers who she was, and that she was the girl’s biological mother.  Her daughters were 13 and 15 at the time, and had rarely been out of the “secret backyard” that had been their home.

Her story tells of her fears and struggles after her abduction, her feelings about her abductors, her hopes to be reunited with her family, and the reunification with her family after her identity was known.  She shares such a positive outlook on her life, and appreciates her freedom and opportunities that she had given up hope of having ever again.

As a mother, this story scares me nearly to death!  To imagine my daughter going through what Jaycee went through is horrifying – to imagine not being with my daughter for 18 years is grievous.  Its something no family should ever go through.

I rated the book a 3 out of 5.  While the writing style wasn’t extremely compelling, her inner strength and love for her family made for a positive retelling of her life.

 

1 Comment

Filed under reading, review

Review – Legend by Marie Lu

Legend by Marie Lu

Synopsis by GoodReads:

“What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.”

Review:

This book is set in Los Angeles, CA, written from alternating viewpoints – one chapter from Day, and one chapter from June.  I’m a fan of dystopian novels anyway, and I’ve heard lots of good things about this book.  It’s been compared to the Hunger Games, but I can’t say that it grabbed me the same way.  I did enjoy the book though!  Day and June become characters you can believe in, and feel emotion for.  Although Day is labeled as a wanted criminal, his crimes resemble Robin Hood.  He steals from the rich (the government and military) for the poor.  He gives them money, food, clothes and other items he is able to steal.  He also sells things he “finds” to people who can afford them, and saves the money to take food, clothing and other necessities to his family.  All but his oldest brother, John, believe him to be dead from being sent to a work camp after his failure to pass the Trials.  Children of the Republic are tested when they turn 10 – they have to pass an interview and physical challenges as well as an intelligence test on a written exam.  Only one person in record has ever “aced” the Trials test with a score of 1500 – June Iparis.

June and Day seem to be complete opposites – one a prodigy from a wealthy family, and one a failure, reduced to stealing to feed himself, sleeping in abandoned buildings, and hiding from the Republic military.  Their paths cross in an unexpected way, and they are immediately drawn to each other.  June is recovering from the loss of her beloved brother, Captain Maties Iparis, while Day is struggling to get enough money to buy a plague cure for his youngest brother, Eden.  Their attraction is the beginning of a young romance.

As they each struggle to accomplish vastly different goals their paths continue to cross.  June is searching for her brother’s killer, and eventually believes it to be Day.  Day is struggling to feed and medicate his family, and learn the secrets of the Republic.  Will they survive their repeated interactions?  What is the Republic government hiding, and who does it affect?  Who does it betray?

I enjoyed Legend and am looking forward to the 2013 release of Prodigy.  I rate it a 3.5 out of 5.

Marie Lu started writing Legend, her debut novel, when she was only 14 years old.  Here are some excerpts from her web page – questions and answers about her work.

How did you come up with LEGEND?  One of the main characters in LEGEND, the boy criminal Day, has been in my imagination since I was 15. He started out as a teen rebel character in a fantasy novel I wrote in high school. I always had trouble thinking of a good rival or enemy for Day, though. I wanted someone who could match him.  Then, one day in 2009, I was lying on the carpet in my living room (this is how I daydream), and the movie version of Les Miserables was on. The Jean Valjean vs. Javert concept started me thinking about Day, and the central idea for LEGEND came almost right away: Day vs. an equally sharp detective agent. I was so glad that I could bring Day back to life, because he’s a character very close to my heart.

  • When is the sequel to LEGEND coming out?  Legend is the first book of a trilogy. The second book is titled Prodigy, and comes out on Jan. 29, 2013!
  • When did you start writing? I remember writing as early as 4 or 5 years old. When I was 5, I wrote a “book” (i.e. 10 sheets of notebook paper stapled together) about farm animals. I was always stapling together books of all shapes and sizes. Another time, when I was 7 or 8, I wrote out a bunch of short fairy tales about unicorns and cats, and stapled those together as well. I wrote my first “novel” (80 handwritten pages) when I was 11, a fantasy heavily influenced by Brian Jacques. I remember thinking about how to mass-produce that and bring it to the public. Little did I know there were publishers who did that …. somehow I thought every book at the library was magically distributed and printed by each individual author and delivered directly to the library. I started writing seriously at 14 when I finished my first official manuscript.
  • I hear that June started out as a boy! How would the story have been different if that were the case?  Yes, initially June started out as a boy because I was basing it off the ValJean/Javert relationship in Les Miserables, so that was the first thing that came to me. :) However, when I pitched this to my boyfriend, he immediately frowned and said, “You know, it’d be so much more interesting if the teen detective was a girl.” And all I could think was, “omg, that fits SO much better.” A lot of elements would probably have been the same–there still could’ve been a romance between the two leads either way, still the same action and the same emotional arc….but I think making June a girl added a strong female presence that was lacking from my original idea. I think she really helped round out the girls present in the story.
  • Will LEGEND ever be a movie or TV show?   I hope so! Currently CBS Films holds the film rights, with Temple Hill (Twilight) producing. I think it would make a cool movie–but then, I’m a little biased. :) I also think it’d make a great cartoon show along the lines of Avatar: The Last Airbender or Teen Titans, something for the 8-12 age group, about Day’s adventures as a boy fugitive before the events of LEGEND.  (This is good news!  I’d love to see CBS make Legend into a movie!)

Here is a link to the finalized cover art for Prodigy, as well as the exclusive first chapter on USA Today’s Book Buzz.
Other blogger’s review of Legend:
If you enjoy Legend, you will probably like:

Leave a comment

Filed under fiction books, reading, review

Catching Up – Travels – News – Review

I feel like I’ve been totally out of touch this week!  I’m recovering from acute bronchitis, it’s been a while since I’ve felt that bad!  I didn’t check Facebook or Email, only went somewhere if it was absolutely necessary (doctor, pharmacy, school).  I still feel like I’m coughing up a lung, but I’m pretty sure I’m not dying!  I couldn’t say that for certain on Monday!

I hope everyone had a good weekend, I know that a holiday weekend can be a wonderful family time, and it can also be a time of bittersweet memories.  Thankfully, I still have my mom, mother-in-law and grandmothers.  I know it won’t be that way forever, and I’m very fortunate to have them.  This past week we traveled to GA where one of our daughters and son-in-law are stationed, and spent time with them and our darling grand-daughter for Mother’s Day.

I wrote my Mailbox Monday and Teaser Tuesday posts before we left town, so I was able to simply post them, but haven’t felt like doing much of anything since, compliments of the bronchitis.  Today I’m up and around, and the housework is calling my name.

I’ve come across some interesting things online lately, and thought I’d share a couple of them.

Here’s a neat article about book art at the WebUrbanist website.  See some of the artwork below:

The art on the top left as well as the bottom left is done by Su Blackwell,  top center and right is done by Thomas Allen, and the bottom right is a piece I haven’t been able to credit yet.  Another artist whose work I really like is Brian Dettmer’s.

While I am too attached to books to use them even for the most beautiful art, I love these pieces.  Their websites show a lot of other pieces they’ve done – just amazing!  I love that books are such a fascinating medium.  There are so many old books that no one seems to want that are stored, or left behind, it wonderful that they can be used for something so lovely.  I’ve seen a lot of book crafts on Pinterest, and again, while they are lovely, I’m not sure I could cut up books.  I grew up with a great respect for books, no matter their age.  My mother wouldn’t allow us to turn down the corner to mark our place (which is why I use almost any random thing as a bookmark), lay the books facedown while open, mark in them, or do anything else that might make them less than pristine.  I had a hard time writing or highlighting in my textbooks, thanks to her!

Here’s are some Pinterest finds using books:

 A book/clock using Where The Wild Things Are

Painting on Book Bindings

Book Page Wallpaper

Vintage Book Expandable File

Vintage Book Necklace

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here’s a news tidbit that made me cringe, considering we spent a couple of days last week on the road and eating fast food – “Teen Finds Finger in Arby’s Sandwich”.  I’m not a fan of fast food normally, but then when you read about stuff like this it makes me positively nauseous.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have a few TV shows that I really like, I DVR them, then on a weekend, or unexpected downtime I watch them sans commercials.  I came across a list of the shows cancelled in or after the 2011-2012 season.  Some of my favorites are being cancelled – USA cancelled “In Plain Sight”, TNT cancelled “The Closer”, NBC cancelled “Harry’s Law”, FOX cancelled “Terra Nova” and “Alcatraz”, CBS cancelled “CSI Miami”, and ABC cancelled “Combat Hospital”, “Expedition Impossible”, and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”.  There is a show that’s coming back that I’m excited about is ABC’s “Secret Millionaire”.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Review: Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich

As the thirteenth book in the Stephanie Plum series, if you know Stephanie from previous books (or the One For The Money movie), you have a general idea about how this book goes.  Stephanie just wants to do her job.  Her job gets complicated.  She gets in over her head.  Ranger & Morelli work together to rescue her.  And, as always – it’s funny.

Stephanie was a lingerie buyer for a local department store, and when she got laid off she blackmailed her cousin, Vinnie, into giving her a job as a BEA (Bond Enforcement Agent) chasing down skips or FTA’s (Failure to Appear).  She has no training or experience, and another bounty hunter, Ranger, (ex-special forces military, who is totally hot and invests in stocks and real estate) mentors her, and adds an interesting triangle to her on-again off-again relationship with Joe Morelli, plain clothes detective who took her virginity behind a canolli case years before.  Other characters:  Lulu is an ex-hooker who was beaten almost to death, and changed her career path to file clerk at Vincent Plum’s Bail Bonds.  Connie Risolli is Vinnie’s “guard dog” receptionist, and Grandma Mazur moved in with Stephanie’s mom and dad after her husband died, and drives Stephanie’s mother to drink.

The particulars of this book are that Ranger asks Stephanie to visit her ex-husband, Dickie Orr, and plant bugs in his office.  Dickie is a lawyer, and the guy who, as the books say, cheated on her about 15 minutes after their marriage, and who she divorced about 15 minutes after that.  When she goes to his office with her trusty sidekick’s, Lula and Connie, she sees a picture of Dickie with her mortal enemy, Joyce Barnhardt, and goes nuts.  She assaults Dickie in front of multiple witnesses.  The next day Dickie has disappeared, leaving only a trail of blood in his house.  The general public consensus is that Stephanie picked up where she left off at the law office, and eliminated Dickie.  With Joyce generating theories about Stephanie’s guilt and following her every move.  With Dickie’s law partners dropping like flies, disappearing then turning up dead, is Dickie going to show up dead next?  Stephanie has no alibi – will this be the shenanigan that puts her on the wrong side of the law?

Other Reviews:  Book Reporter, Read it, Read it, Loved it, Alison’s Book Marks, and The Book Addict’s Guide.

While all of Janet Evanovich’s books are funny, I found this one less funny than most of them.  I still enjoyed it, and am moving right on to Fearless Fourteen.  So far I have rated this entire series as 4 out of 5 stars, but this one I rated 3 out of 5 stars.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

2 Comments

Filed under fiction books, reading, review

The Shunning – Review

This is the first book I’ve read by Beverly Lewis, although I’ve heard of her books for years.  I saw the movie trailer for The Shunning, and wanted to read the book before I watched the movie.

The Shunning is the first book in the “Heritage of Lancaster County” series.  It was published in 1997 Bethany House, an imprint of Baker Publishing Group.

This book details the life of a young Amish woman, Katie Lapp.  She lives with her family in Hickory Hollow, and is preparing to wed the widower, Bishop John Beiler, and become mother to his five children.  She is not in love with the Bishop, as her heart belongs to an Amish boy whose life was cut short by tragedy.  But Daniel Fisher is long gone, and with only her memories of him and the music they made (music not belonging to Ausbund, a hymnal filled with songs teaching character), she struggles to move on and fulfill her duty to become a “gut” Amish wife and mother.

Katie is preparing for her upcoming wedding, and seeks her mother’s wedding dress in the attic, and with it, she finds a tiny baby’s dress – made of beautiful rose-colored satin.  The name “Katherine Mayfield” is stitched in the facing of the dress.  Why would her mother have something like this, something so “English”, and obviously not for a Plain child?  When she asks her mother about the dress, Rebecca faints, and the next day refuses to discuss it.

As Katie struggles with her “sins”, loving beautiful clothing, loving the guitar belonging to Daniel, and continuing to play and sing the songs they wrote together, she feels more than ever that she will never be a good enough Amish woman to fit in with her community, much less the wife of a bishop.

When a long black limousine shows up in Hickory Hollow, with an English woman looking for someone named Rebecca who has a daughter in her early 20’s, people in the community begin to ask questions.  When a letter is delivered to Katie’s mom, Rebecca, from the English woman, Laura Mayfield-Bennett, Katie feels that her parents are hiding things from her that would explain her struggles.  Will her questions and struggles drive a wedge between herself and her family, her church and the Amish community?  Will she be punished with the Meinding , a shunning from the entire community?

~~~~~

 My thoughts on The Shunning:  While I am not familiar with all the customs of the Amish, I  was raised in a highly religious/conservative home.  I remember when people, even family members, left our church and chose another path, we were pressured to cut ties with them.  I can’t imagine my childhood curiosity, and grown-up questions being the cause of a complete shunning by my family, and the people I was closest to in our church community.  While Katie struggles with her questions and doubts, even knowing that the Meinding is possible, she is truly trying to seek answers for herself.  Others in the community label her as rebellious and unrepentant, but her struggle to understand are clear.  As the first book in a trilogy, I know there are many loose ends that will be settled in the following novels.  I was sad along with Katie as she made her choices, knowing that it was possible she would never be able to see or speak to her family and friends again, not even her mother or her lifelong best friend.  But I also understood her questions, and her journey to find the answers.

Even if this is not a genre you typically find yourself reading, being drawn into the story is easy.  You begin to know the characters, and become invested in their life.

I give this book a 3.5/5 rating.  If I had not seen the movie preview, I might not have ever sought out this book/author, but now that I’ve finished this portion of the story, I plan to read The Confession, and The Reckoning as well.

2 Comments

Filed under fiction books, made into movie, review

Firefly Lane – by Kristin Hannah – Review

Firefly Lane is the first book I have read by Kristin Hannah, and I really enjoyed it.  When I finished the book, crying and blubbering everywhere, I might add, I immediately added more of her novels to my hold list at the library.  (Which reminds me of something funny my little one said to me this morning – Me: Honey, it’s the last day of school before Spring Break!  Be sure and find out if you have to turn in your library books.  Her: We just went to the liBerry to get them!  Me:  It’s liBRary, not liBerry.  Her: Aw, Mom, I made up a great joke about liBerry, it only works if I say liBerry, not liBRary, can I just keep saying liBerry?  Me: No, no you can not!)  Anyway….back to the book.

Fireflay Lane is about two teenage girls who live on Firefly Lane, and meet at the bus stop.  One has lived there all of her life, the other just moved there with her mother, who does lots of drugs, and randomly disappears from her life.  As opposite as these two are, a personal tragedy for one brings them together.  Soon they are inseparable.  TullyandKate.  Through thick and thin (and high school), they are best friends.  When Tully’s mother gets arrested (again), she is sent to live with her grandmother.  After her grandmother’s death she comes back to Firefly Lane, where Kate’s family takes her in as one of their own.

The girls head off to college together, and Tully dreams of them being newscasters together.  Tully has a big personality, and is nicknamed Tropical Storm Tully.  She knows what she wants, and she goes after it.  Kate, however, isn’t sure she wants to go into news-casting at all, although she is about to graduate with a degree in communications/broadcast journalism.  Tully has landed an internship at a local station, and drags Kate along to work in the office.  Tully catches some lucky breaks, and begins to make a name for herself in the news industry, while Kate feels further and further from her own dream.

As the years pass Tully becomes highly successful, and travels the globe reporting the news, while Kate gives up her career to have a baby.  Though their paths have diverged, they still maintain their close friendship.  Tully lands her own day-time talk show, and lets her desire for ratings get the best of her when she brings Kate and her daughter on the show under false pretenses.  Kate ends their friendship, and is both angry and grief-stricken over the rift.  Months pass without the two connecting, but then a big life change brings them back together.  (To tell you more would be a huge spoiler).

I enjoyed this book so much!  I look forward to reading more of her books!

Here is the link to the author’s website.  Here is the information about the book from her site.  Here is the goodreads review.

4 Comments

Filed under fiction books, reading, review

“And One Last Thing”

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been in a book slump.  For as much as I like to read, I hate to quit a book almost as much.  Something I dislike only slightly less is to not feel drawn in to a book, like I’m reading it because I’m bored, and not because I really want too.  That’s how I’ve felt for the last couple of weeks.  I admitted this to a good book friend, and my librarian.  Both assured me that I would get through it shortly, and that they wouldn’t dump me over it!  Color me relieved!  It was embarrassing to be in a book slump.  The good news is I think I’m out of it!  Yay, me!

I picked up a book on a whim, one that had been on my shelf for probably close to three years.  I hadn’t read anything by this author, and it was the only book by her that I had.  I read Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs on a whim, and within a few pages I was really enjoying it.  Molly Harper, the author, is a former humor columnist, and it shows.  I have laughed out loud, usually by myself in an empty house, or in bed, waking my husband, and have loved every minute of the book.  It was a quick read, and I immediately searched my library for Ms. Harper.  I found this book, And One Last Thing, which was her first book about someone that doesn’t have fangs, or turn four-legged and hairy on the full moon.  I enjoyed this book too, and thought I ‘d share a little of it with you.

Lacey Terwilliger is a stay-at-home wife, supporting her husband, Mike, in his prospering accounting firm by joining charities and volunteering with other “corporate wives”.  The first chapter starts out with this sentence:  “If Singletree’s only florist didn’t deliver her posies half-drunk, I might still be married to that floor-licking, scum-sucking, receptionist-nailing hack-accountant, Mike Terwilliger.”  If that doesn’t make you laugh and keep reading, I don’t know what will!  The aforementioned half-drunk florist, Cherry Glick, knocks on Lacey’s door to deliver a beautiful bouquet of peach colored roses.  Lacey is pleasantly surprised, and opens the card in the arrangement.  It read, “To My Bumblebee, Happy Anniversary, With all my love, Stinger”.  Mike has never called Lacey by a nickname, and he’s never referred to himself, or been referred to by Lacey, as “Stinger”.  It is also not their anniversary.

Confused, Lacey tells the stumbling Cherry that she’s delivered the arrangement to the wrong house.   When Cherry assures her that the delivery is from Mr. Terwilliger, Lacey checks the billing envelope and sees that the florist was supposed to deliver the “albatross arrangement” to the Terwilliger office.  At first Lacey thinks perhaps Mike is bringing the roses home to her, and giving her a new nickname, Bumblebee.  In her confusion it takes a bit to realize that coincidentally, Mike’s assistant’s name is Beebee.  You can imagine where it goes from there.  Surprisingly, Lacey shows great restraint in dealing with Mike.  She doesn’t tell him about the mis-delivered roses, or that she saw him in his office with Beebee after the mis-delivery, or that she found his new email account, thestinger@quickmail.com, with the password Bumblebee, or that she’s seen all the raunchy emails and photos attached.

Mike continues on his merry way having “client dinners”, “working late”, and generally behaving as usual.  Meanwhile Lacey is vacillating between being angry and disbelieving.  When Mike asks her over dinner how the monthly newsletter is coming along, she gets a vengeful inspiration.  The idea solidifies when Mike instructs her to call Beebee and do a “getting to know you” interview so the clients will be familiar with her when they call the office.

The fourth chapter is titled, “Hell Hath No Fury…Like a Woman with a Mailing List”.  This is a small spoiler, so if you want to read the book, you could just go get it, and forego reading this right here.  She starts off by saying, “As we head into those dog days of July, Mike would like to thank those who helped him get the toys he needs to enjoy his summer”.  She details his purchases, including a bass boat and a condo in Florida.  Then she goes straight for the jugular, “…and a $2,000 set of golf clubs…which he has been using as an alibi to cover the fact that he has been remorselessly banging his secretary, Beebee, for the last six months.”  At this point I am holding my sides laughing!  How many of us have been through something like this, or know someone who has, and we’ve been angry, hurt, devastated, and vented to our closest friends, but not done a public thing about it?  Lacey continues the newsletter, telling Mike’s clients, “I learned that cheap motel rooms have been christened.  Office equipment has been sullied.”  When referring to BeeBee, she writes, “I’ve had a hard time not blaming the conniving, store-bought-cleavage-baring Oompa Loompa-skinned adulteress for her part in the destruction of my marriage.  But considering what she’s getting, she has my sympathies.”  The last paragraph of the newsletter starts with, “And one last thing”, and ends with “Mike Terwilliger will own up to being the faithless, loveless, spineless, useless, dickless wonder he is.”

I am delighted by this book, and this is only chapter four!  With her life in shambles, and after becoming the defendant in Mike’s defamation lawsuit, Lacey retreats to the family cabin on the lake to hide out.  The story is appealing and humorous.  Lacey has to learn to sleep alone, shop for herself, without caring what Mike’s preferences are, and survive being a media punch line.

Lacey is approached by Maya, the owner of a small greeting card company called “Season’s Gratings”, with card lines such as “Arsenic and Bold Face”.  Maya proposes that Lacey join her company, and write newsletters and emails for other women who have experienced similar circumstances with their husbands.  While the idea is appealing and would provide an income for the newly divorced stay-at-home wife, will this keep her in a mindset of revenge and anger?  Lacey’s transition to a single functioning adult after being a support person to her philandering husband is tricky, emotional and hilarious!

If you get a chance to read And One Last Thing, I hope that you enjoy it.  And if you like humorous, romantic and supernatural stories, you would probably enjoy her two series, “Good Girls Don’t….”, and the “A Naked Werewolf”.

You can read more about Molly Harper and her books at her website.  She also has a companion blog, “Single Undead Female“.

Leave a comment

Filed under fiction books, other blogs, review

Voices of Dragons

I picked this book up at the library on a whim – I’ve read Carrie Vaughn’s entire  Kitty Norville series and really like them.  I hope hope, fingers crossed, that this book is the start of a new series.

This book is about seventeen year old Kay Wyatt who lives in a border town with her father, Sheriff Wyatt and her mother, a member of the FBBE (Federal Bureau of Border Enforcement).  She loves to spend time hiking and climbing the cliffs near the border.  One afternoon she finishes her climb and stops at the creek to rinse off.  She slips and falls in, and is saved by a dragon from the other side of the border.  The dragons haven’t been seen much in the last 60 years since a treaty was reached between the dragons and humans.  At the risk of being punished, or causing political upset, they become friends and continue to meet.

The first chapter grabbed me about four pages in.

“The rock must have had a wet spot, or she hit a crumbly piece of boulder – gravel instead of stone, it slid instead of holding her foot.  Yelping, she toppled over and rolled into the creek.

The chill water shocked her sweaty, overheated body, and at first she could only freeze, numb and sputtering, hoping to keep her head above water.  The current carried her.  These mountain creeks were always deeper and faster moving than they looked, and she tumbled, dragged by the water, buffeted by rocks.  When she finally started flailing, struggling to find something, anything, she could grab to stop her progress, she found nothing.  Her hands kept slipping off mossy rocks or splashing against the current.  She’d always discounted the idea of someone drowning after getting swept away in one of these creeks, when they could just put their feet down and stand up.  But she couldn’t seem to get her feet under her.  The current kept snatching her, turning her, dunking her.  she was already exhausted from her climb, and now this.

When something grabbed at her, she clung to it.  A log, some kind of debris fallen into the creek.  That was what she though.  But her hands didn’t close on sodden bark or vegetation.  The thing she’d washed up against was slick, almost like plastic, but warm and yielding.  And it moved.  It closed around her and pulled.  Water filled her eyes; she couldn’t see.  The world seemed to flip.

Then she washed up on dry land.  She lay on solid, gritty earth and smelled dirt.  She sepnt a long moment coughing her lungs out, heaving up water until she couldn’t cough anymore.  Hunched over, learning how to breathe again, she got her first look around and realized she’d ended up on the north side of the creek.  The wrong side of the border.

A deep, short growl echoed above her.  She rolled over and looked up.  she was in shadow, and a dragon hunched over her.  A real dragon, close up.”

I really enjoyed this book, and hope there are more to come!  I give it four stars out of five!

You can read the Goodreads review here.

Leave a comment

Filed under fiction books, reading, review

Honey Badger Don’t Care

“Honey Badger Don’t Care: Randall’s Guide to Crazy, Nastyass Animals”

by Randall

Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC

82 Pages

This book is HILARIOUS!  I wasn’t prepared for how funny this was going to be.  As usual I was going to read “just a few pages” before going to bed, and then I find myself on the couch laughing out loud to an empty room while everyone else is trying to sleep.  It actually is an informative book about different animals, but its told in such a funny sarcastic tone that you don’t even realize you’re learning while you read.

Did you know that the Honey Badger has no known enemies?  Or that the Aye-Aye looks like Don Knotts?  Or that when Tasmanian Devils feel threatened they fart?  (I didn’t know that either!)  I also didn’t know that the Emporer Tamarin lives for up to 17 years!  I also learned that Sloths are born upside down and spend 9-10 hours a day sleeping upside down!

Table of Contents:

  • The Honey Badger
  • The Aye-Aye
  • The Tasmanian Devil
  • The Emporer Tamarin
  • The Pink Fairy Armadillo
  • The Tarsier
  • The Opossum
  • The Solenodon
  • The Wombat
  • The American Bullfrog
  • The Sloth

I think you’ll laugh while you learn at this fun little book!

Releases Jan 24, 2012

 

1 Comment

Filed under New Books, review