Tag Archives: read in 2012

Wondrous Word Wednesday

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme from Bermuda Onion where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading.  If you want to play along, grab the button, and write a post.

My words this week are from Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness.

elocution - the skill of clear and expressive speech, esp. of distinct pronunciation and articulation.

“I would be happy to give you elocution lessons, Mistress Roydon.”

prescient - having or showing knowledge of events before they take place.

“If you are so prescient, then you should have foreseen what your betrayal would mean to me.”

crenellations - the battlements of a castle or other building.

“Smoke came from chimneys tucked out of sight behind the towers’ crenellations, the jagged outlines suggesting that some crazed giant with pinking shears had trimmed every wall.”

oubliette - a secret dungeon with access only through a trapdoor in its ceiling

“When she failed, Satu threw me into the oubliette.”

hippocras - wine flavored with spices

“By the time the hippocras started flowing and a delicious nut brittle made with walnuts and honey was passed along the table, their commentary was downright ribald and Matthew’s responses were just as barbed.”

 

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Wondrous Word Wednesday

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme from Bermuda Onion where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading.  If you want to play along, grab the button, and write a post.

My word this week is from The Journeys of John and Julia in Chapter One by aurelia.

ersatzadj. made or used as a substitute, typically an inferior one, for something else.

“However, spatial proximity was only the obvious reason for his close relationship with this ersatz grandfather.”

 

What words did you encounter this week?

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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!

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Armchair BEA – 2012 – Networking about Books

Armchair BEA is for book bloggers who can’t attend Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Convention in New York this June (June 4 – 8, 2012).  So we don’t have to miss all the fun – this virtual convention is the place to be!

Have you ever wondered how bloggers get so involved outside the nuts & bolts community of book blogging? Well, now’s your chance to learn from the experts! From partnering with their local indie bookstores to coordinating events at their local libraries, we’ve got tips to share with you to help you become more involved with your local bookish community.  Guest post from top bloggers (Emily from Emily’s Reading Room, Tif from Tif Talks Books and Pam from Bookalicious) about how they were able to work together with their local bookish community to benefit everyone involved.
I don’t feel like I have a lot of experience to talk about with regard to meeting other book bloggers, (which I hope to change in the future) but I have a favorite author signing to share.  I always try to read the books that my daughter is assigned in school so we can talk about them.  She was assigned the book Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone, and the author came to her school to answer questions about her book.  That was exciting, but it was even more exciting to be able to meet Ms. Malone one-on-one at our local bookstore and have her sign the book, answer individual questions my daughter and her bestie had, and pose for a picture with them.  Such a great experience for my budding book lover!
Here’s a picture of my lil’ heart with the author.

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Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read.
Open to a random page.
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This teaser is from Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich.  And, I typically share more than just two sentences.

“Lula and I stood in the living room, looking at Grandma’s foot.

‘It looks broke all right,’ Lula said to Grandma.  ‘That’s one heck of an ugly foot you got there, but I like the polish you got on your toes.  What’s the name of that?’

‘Red Hot Rapture.  Lucky I just painted them yesterday.  Imagine breaking your foot when your toes weren’t done up.’

‘Yeah,’ Lula said, ‘I’d hate that.  Does it hurt?’

‘It used to, but I took a couple snorts of Jack Daniels, and I’m pretty happy.’”

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May – It’s a Wrap!

Here is a list of the books I read for May – and looking at this list versus the number of reviews I’ve written, is in a word, sad.  I have got to do more review writing!  I get so busy reading that I don’t sit down enough to write more reviews.

Four to Score by Janet Evanovich

High Five by Janet Evanovich

Hot Six by Janet Evanovich

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry

The Shunning by Beverly Lewis – My Review

Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James – Kindle E-Book

Fifty Shades Darker by E. L. James – Kindle E-Book

Seven Up by Janet Evanovich

Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich

To the Nines by Janet Evanovich

Ten Big Ones by Janet Evanovich

Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich

Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich

Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich

City of Lies by Lian Tanner

Legend by Marie Lu – My Review

Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich

The Treehouse Book by Pete & Judy Nelson

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer – Kindle E-book – My Review

All Through the Night by Grace Livingston Hill

A Stolen Life by Jaycee Lee Dugard – My Review

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Finger Lickin’ Fifteen by Janet Evanovich

As you can see, I’ve read almost the entire Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich this month.  Is it possible to read too many of these books?  I saw a read Firebird the other day and my first thought was, “Oh, there’s Lula!”

24 books in May puts me at 87 for the year, a little more than half-way to this year’s goal of reading 150 books!  Another goal I’ve made, mid-year (actually just now), is to write more reviews!!!  :)

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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.

 

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Bookish News & Dystopian Novels

I read today that Charlaine Harris plans to end the Sookie Stackhouse series next year.

You can read the GalleyCat article here.  She said her last book, Dead Ever After, would go on sale May 2, 2013.  Deadlocked, the twelfth book in the series was release May 1, 2012, which makes Dead Ever After the thirteenth and final book in this series.

Just this morning I was going through a couple of the many books stored in my garage.  As I go through them I mark if they are part of a series, and if so, what number.  I was surprised at how many long-running series there are.  For example, Rage by Jonathan Kellerman is the 19th book in the Alex Delaware series, and Dead Midnight by Marcia Muller is the 21st book in the Sharon McCone series.  I am starting Finger Lickin’ Fifteen by Janet Evanovich as we speak.  I love long-running book series, but sometimes they run out of steam long before the author comes to closure with the series.  What are some of the series you’ve read and enjoy?

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20th Century Fox acquires self-published novel Wool by Hugh C. Howey.  Wool is a dystopian novel written in the summer of 2011, and Howey has since written another four books in the series.  Wool was picked up by Century, a division of Random House, and coincidentally the publisher for 50 Shades of Grey.  You can read the first three chapters of Wool here.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has acquired the eBook rights to “We Can Remember it For You Wholesale,” the short story by the late Philip K. Dick that inspired the Total Recall movie in 1990 and an upcoming remake.   See trailer below.

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I have become a big fan of dystopian and zombie novels this year, and here are some of my favorites that I’ve read so far:

  • Passage by Justin Cronin
  • Legend by Marie Lu
  • Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
  • Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry
  • The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker
  • Hollowland byAmanda Hocking
  • Hollowmen by Amanda Hocking
  • Sundered by Shannon Mayer
  • Bound by Shannon Mayer
  • Dauntless by Shannon Mayer

Some that are on my To Be Read (TBR) list are:

  • Wool by Hugh Howey
  • Tomorrow, When the World Began by John Marsden
  • The Twelve by Justin Cronin
  • Prodigy by Marie Lu
  • Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
  • The Remaining by D. J. Molles
  • Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
  • Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry

I get into a type of book and I run with it – I may spend months reading Sci-Fi, then go straight to murder mysteries, or non-fiction – who knows! Right now I’m in dystopian/zombie mode and Janet Evanovich.  I’ve only got three more to go before I’m done with the Stephanie Plum series, so I’ll have to find something else to get into.  What type of books are you into right now?

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Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read.
Open to a random page.
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week my teaser is from another Janet Evanovich book – I can’t stop reading them, I just finished the fourteenth, and there are 18.  Maybe after #18 I can move on to something else!

“‘I’m feelin’ faint,’ Lula said.  ‘If he bends over one more time, I’m gonna pass out.  I can’t stop lookin’.  I’ts a train wreck.  It’s like the end of the universe.  You know, when you get sucking into that thing.  What do you call it?’

‘Black hole?’

‘Yeah, that’s it.  it’s like staring into the black hole.’

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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:

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