Showing posts from February, 2013

Review: Real Mermaids Don't Need High Heels

Title: Real Mermaids Don't Need High Heels (Real Mermaids #3)
Author: Helene Boudreau
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jaberwocky
Published: February 1, 2013
ebook, ARC
ISBN-13: 9781402264580
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Source: Netgalley
recommended age: 9 and up

Goodreads Summary:

The only thing that terrifies Jade more than the ocean is dancing at the Fall Formal. Because Jade has two left feet—er, flippers. Who knew being a high school freshman is even more awkward than being a plus-size aqua-phobic mer-girl? At least her only drama is of the human variety...
Or not.
The Mermish Council has just declared that all land-dwelling mers but return to the ocean. Pronto. But there's no way Jade is going to let her mom, or Luke, her...boyfriend? mer-guy-friend?, disappear into the deep, dark ocean. Again. After all, a girl's got to have a date to her first dance.
If Jade can stop mer-mageddon, finding a plus-size dress that doesn't look like a shower curtain should be a piece of ca…

Guest Post: Cari Kamm

For Internal Use Only
For Internal Use Only is a modern-day romance that uses social media and modern technology. It deals with the sensitive fact that it’s not always a given that we know everything about a person just because the information is more readily available. With the ability to be whoever we want to be, ambiguity has never been higher. The story is told through a unique social commentary, and although entertaining, it also debates the pitfalls of today’s level of transparency.

Inspired by the notion that women grow up with ideas of true love and destiny, For Internal Use Only approaches those ideas with a decidedly twenty-first century viewpoint. By incorporating problems inherent with today’s dating world, this book is meant to enlighten readers to stop chasing fairytales and start creating their own. My goal was to write a humorous love story with an edgy and dramatic twist that gives each of us a new fairy tale to look forward to; our own.

Chloe Kassidy has just been ac…

Review: Eve of Darkness by S.J. Day

Title: Eve of Darkness (Marked #1)
Author: S.J. Day
Publisher: Tor
Published: January 8, 2013
Paperback, 348 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7653-3748-1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Urban Fantasy

Goodreads Summary:

Years ago, Evangeline Hollis spent a blistering night with a darkly seductive man she can’t forget. But that evening of addictive pleasure has become a disaster of biblical proportions: She’s been branded with the Mark of Cain.
Thrust into a world where sinners are marked and drafted to kill demons, Eve’s former one-night stand, Cain, is now her mentor—and his equally sexy brother Abel is her new boss.
Now Eve has become the latest point of contention in the oldest case of sibling rivalry in history...
Cursed by God, hunted by demons, desired by Cain and Abel... All in a day's work.

My thoughts:
I was drawn to Eve of Darkness by the mention of Cain and Abel, the oldest feud in the history of the world. It was interesting to see the twist that Day put on these two infamous chara…

Give@way: Kaylee's Ghost

Grandmother Miriam, thrilled that her granddaughter, Violet, seems to be psychic, wants nothing more than the chance to mentor her the way her own Russian grandmother, Bubbie, had done with her. But Cara, Miriam’s daughter, a modern businesswoman who remembers all too well the downside of living with her psychic mother, digs in her heels. As things become more fractious in the family, Violet, a brilliant and sensitive child, is torn between her mother and grandmother, until Miriam’s gift back fires, bringing terrible danger to those she loves. Can Miriam put things right in time, or is it already too late? A mesmerizing story about life here on Earth and after we've passed on, Kaylee’s Ghost is also a domestic drama spanning five generations, a tale about forgiveness, letting go and discovering who we are meant to be, no matter how unusual
Rochelle Jewel Shapiro is giving away three books to three of my readers. This giveaway is limited to Canada and US addresses o…

Guest Post: My Character is a Phone Psychic Like Me

My Character is a Phone Psychic Like Me by Rochelle Jewel Shapiro. 
Writing classes tell you to write about what you know, and I do. Miriam Kaminsky, my heroine for Kaylee’s Ghost, is a phone psychic with clients from every walk of life, and sometimes every crawl or trot if an animal is involved. She also had a Russian grandmother like me from whom she inherited her psychic gift as I did. I sense her around me at all times. I smell the lavender talc she powdered on her creased neck, see her sit at my dining room table, sipping a glass of tea, the steam rising steam fogging her silver-framed glasses.
Kirkus Review says, Kaylee’s Ghost is “a mix of family drama and contemporary fantasy.” But I can tell from the types of books posted on this site and comments by readers that most of you would feel that Kaylee’s Ghost is well-grounded in reality because you’ve had these experiences yourselves.
Wouldn’t you think that as a psychic I could just channel the book? Be a typist for the spirits rath…

Give@way: The Ghosts of Nagasaki by Daniel Clausen

The Ghosts of Nagasaki: A Novel
New Novel Explores Pain, Memory, and Spirituality in the Backdrop of
Nagasaki, Japan

The numerous workdays have taken a toll on Tokyo investment banker Pierce Williams. Each day he wakes up, and each day the weight where his heart should be grows heavier. One morning, without knowing why,
he sits down at his desk and begins typing something. Soon he realizes that without meaning to he has begun typing the story of his first days in Nagasaki four years ago. As he types he realizes that the words on his screen are more than he could have imagined. Instead of simply remembering the past, he is reliving it in ways that fundamentally alter his present. In his manic writing are the ghosts of his past, a chilling vision of his future, and the possible key to his salvation. Somehow he must solve the mystery of four years ago. A
mystery that involves a young Japanese girl, the ghost of a native writer, and an oppressive ureaucrat/samurai bent on crushing his sp…

The Book of Lost Fragrances is now available in paperback!

Paperback Publication Date: March 13, 2013 Publisher:  Atria Books Paperback; 384p ISBN-10: 1451621485 
SYNOPSIS: A Secret Worth Dying For.

Jac L’Etoile is plunged into a world she thought she’d left behind when her brother, coheir to their father’s storied French perfumery, makes an earthshattering discovery in the family archives, and then suddenly goes missing— leaving a dead body in his wake. In Paris to investigate his disappearance, Jac becomes haunted by the legend of the House of L’Etoile. If there is an ancient perfume developed in Cleopatra’s time that holds the power to unlock memories of past lives, possessing it is not only worth living for . . . it’s worth killing for, too.

Fusing history, passion and suspense in an intoxicating web that moves from Cleopatra’s Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet’s battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris, this marvelous, spellbinding novel comes to life as richly as our most wildly imagined dreams.

Read a…

Review: Loving Miss Darcy

Title: Loving Miss Darcy (Brides of Pemberley #2)
Author: Nancy Kelley
Publisher: Smokey Rose Press
Published: January 23, 2013
Ebook, ARC
Genre: Pride and Prejudice Variation, Historical Fiction, Romance
Source: Author

Goodreads Summary:

Georgiana Darcy watches daily as her brother and his wife fall more deeply in love and dreams of similar love and a home of her own. However, after the disaster years ago with Wickham, she does not believe that any man will have her; thus, the idea of a Season in London holds no appeal for her.
Richard Fitzwilliam was tasked with watching over Georgiana and seeing her married to a deserving gentleman. The problem is finding a gentleman he approves of; not even his closest friends are deemed worthy of her hand.
When scandal breaks and all Georgiana’s worst fears seem to come true, will Richard realize in time how deep his affections run, or will they lose their chance at happiness?

My thoughts:
Loving Miss. Darcy is the second book in…

Q&A with Dan Andrews

1. Please describe your memoir, Sons of Suicide, in three words. In three words, Sons of Suicide is cathartic, emotional, and helpful.

2. Why did you decide to write a memoir about this painful time in your life? My main motivation for writing Sons of Suicide was that I encountered a great deal of people struggling with tragedy. As a result of these encounters, though, I discovered that no one had written a book dealing with the topic of suicide in an intimate and personal manner. Everything I could find was generally taken from a how-to or psychological approach. So, realizing that I had an opportunity to share my particularly unique insights and stories, I set out trying to help and fulfill a need for people.

3. You're donating $1 for every book sold to the Will to Live Foundation. Why is this organization important to you? The Will to Live Foundation is special to me because they are focused on preventing teen suicide and bringing attention to the epidemic that is currently takin…

Review: The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen

Title: The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen
Author: Syrie James
Publisher: Penguin
Published: December 31, 2012
Paperback, 422 pages
ISBN: 978-0-425-25336-6
Genre: Fiction
Source: Publisher

Goodreads Summary:

The minute I saw the letter, I knew it was hers. There was no mistaking it: the salutation, the tiny, precise handwriting, the date, the content itself, all confirmed its ancient status and authorship…
Samantha McDonough cannot believe her eyes--or her luck. Tucked in an uncut page of a two-hundred-year old poetry book is a letter she believes was written by Jane Austen, mentioning with regret a manuscript that "went missing at Greenbriar in Devonshire." Could there really be an undiscovered Jane Austen novel waiting to be found? Could anyone resist the temptation to go looking for it?
Making her way to the beautiful, centuries-old Greenbriar estate, Samantha finds it no easy task to sell its owner, the handsome yet uncompromising Anthony Whitaker, on her wild idea of…

Let's start this Monday off right -- With a give@way!

Summary: Upon unifying the seven warring states under one banner, the First Emperor of China began solidifying power for what he envisioned as a thousand-year reign.

Using those he conquered, the Emperor began a series of arduous projects, Including the first Great Wall, the Linqu Canal, and a national system of highways. Ignoring the physical and emotional toll exacted upon the people, his insatiable desire to further his own power has led to a growing, and secretive insurgency.

One such organization is the Dragon's Spite who wishes to usurp control of the throne by nearly any means. But first they must marshal their forces strewn throughout the kingdom. More importantly they seek out three extraordinary girls who hold vast supernatural powers that can tip the balance in their favor. But do these unknowing heroines realize the talents that they possess? Will the Dragon's Spite reach them before the agents of the Emperor?

Thanks to Troy Jackson I have 5, yes 5,e-copies(.pdf, …

Gabriele Wills Guest Post and Give@way

My Favourite Places to Visit in Canada By Gabriele Wills

I crave being by water, and the ruggedly beautiful lake district of Muskoka is where I go for soul food. Its allure stems not only from the island-dotted lakes carved out of the sparkling granite of the Precambrian Shield, but also from the unique history that is still evident in the architecture of the summer homes and the ornate boathouses that shelter antique mahogany launches, many of them built in Muskoka in its heyday. Wealthy and powerful North Americans have been summering there for well over a century, including U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, and these days, Hollywood stars like Goldie Hawn and Tom Hanks. You can still experience some of Muskoka’s elegant past with a cruise aboard the 125-year-old R.M.S. Segwun, the oldest operating steamship in North America. It’s little wonder that National Geographic Travel editors selected Muskoka as the #1 summer destination of 2011. Because my “Muskoka Novels” are set there – and I…

Review: Elusive Dawn

Title: Elusive Dawn
Author: Gabriele Wills
Publisher: Mindshadows
Published: September 2012
ISBN13: 9780973278095
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Book Tour

Goodreads Summary:
It happened slowly at first. Thread by thread, the fabric of privilege and complacency enveloping the Wyndham family began to unravel. A carefree summer at their island house, disrupted by the arrival of long lost kin, ended in tragedy, betrayal, and war. Now, in the compelling sequel to the acclaimed epic, The Summer Before The Storm, Ria and her friends find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control. It's late summer, 1916. While some members of the Wyndham family revel in the last resplendent days of the season at their Muskoka cottage, others continue to be drawn inexorably into the Great War, going from a world of misty sunrises across a tranquil lake to deadly moonlight bombing raids, festering trenches, and visceral terror. For Ria, too many things have happened to hope that life …

Highland Defiance Blog Tour and Give@way

Thank you so much for having me over. As promised at Butterfly-o-Meter Books on Monday, I will continue to interview Adlin and Mildred, the hero and heroine of Highland Defiance, here today at To Read or Not to Read.
Allow me to share a bit of their backstory. Though older and far wiser in the original MacLomain Series, Adlin and Mildred clearly share a strong love that withstands time. As requested by readers, I’ve finally started to share all those untold MacLomain love stories in my new, MacLomain Series- Early Years. Naturally, first on the list to have their tale told was Mildred and Adlin.
Though each of them was interviewed separately, their responses are listed one right after the other. Let’s see how well they really know one another!
SKY:   Reflecting more on that first moment you met, share the very first thing he/she said to you.
MILDRED: How could I forget? He said, “It took you long enough, lassie.”
ADLIN:  I can’t quite recall. My mind was too focused on making her feel w…

Review: The Lies That Bind by Lisa and Laura Roecker

Title: The Lies that Bind (The Liar Society #2)
Author: Lisa and Laura Roecker
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Published: November 6, 2012
arc paperback, 316 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4022-7024-6
Genre: Mystery, Young Adult
Source: Publisher

Goodreads Summary:

Just when Kate Lowry thought she had life at elite private school Pemberly Brown figured out, she cracks open a fortune cookie to find a message from her best friend Grace--who's supposed to be dead.
Another Sister Gone
A classmate has gone missing, and Kate soon realizes that the disappearance is tied to the secret societies that rule her private school. Her best friend died for their secrets, and there's no way she'll let them get away with it twice. It's up to quirky outsider Kate to get some answers, but in a school where every answer leads to more questions and nothing's as it seems, who can she trust?

My thoughts:
*Spoiler Alert* This review will contain spoilers for the first book, The Liar Society.
Lies That Bind …

What the World in Panoptemitry Is Like: Guest Post By Sarah Baethge

What the World in Panoptemitry Is Like By: Sarah Baethge Panoptemitry at first seems like it takes place in a very future universe, yet the story is disconnected from the Earth in such a way that it could be happening now. I suppose I can’t say ‘A long time ago… far, far away…’ but it’s the same basic premise.
At whatever time the story happens, the action is carried out within our own galaxy. At the forefront exist two major factions; those who gratefully use the S.Y.M.A.C.{Stellarly Yielded Manipulation Algorithm Computer} network (a galactic internet), and The Caytalan Church that opposes this far-reaching network.
Within my story, these two ‘teams’ are officially at war, but have been for so long without any significant progress by either side that their disagreement has more drawn out into endless disagreements and refusals in trade than any ongoing tactical threats.
Of course, this whole uneasy peace lingers on the verge of ultimate collapse because of the actions taken by Emilija…

Siren Vs. Vampires Guest Post and Give@way

A lot of readers have asked whether it would be more fun to be a vampire or a siren. I guess, for me, it depends on which version of vampires we’re talking about. The vampires in Dracula are very different than those in Twilight, while the vampires in Celia Graves’s world are very different than in other series. With a very few exceptions, the vampires in the alternate Los Angeles in the Blood Singer series are feral. They have no memory of their former life as a human and attack people in dark alleys like packs of wild animals.

Celia’s siren family, on the other hand, has a lot of characteristics of vampires in other series and movies. They’re charismatic, beautiful, long lived, and have psychic and influential abilities that can make people voluntarily do things that they wouldn’t normally do. Celia is frequently disturbed by how the ability to influence can affect the moral compass. If a prisoner has information that can save lives, should a siren wor…

Review: Whip Smart by Kit Brennan

Title: Whip Smart: Lola Montez Conquers the Spaniards
Author: Kit Brennan
Publisher: Astor + Blue Editions LLC
Published: January 1, 2013
Ebook, arc
ISBN13: 9781938231476
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher

Goodreads Summary:
A wild and sexy romp through history based on the real-life adventures of the audacious, Lola Montez. It is 1842, London, and the gorgeous, ever-capricious 22-year-old Eliza Gilbert, (aka Lola Montez) is in deep trouble and seeks escape from a divorce trial. Desperate to be free, Lola accepts an alluring offer of a paid trip to Spain, if she will only fulfill a few tasks for Juan de Grimaldi—a Spanish theatre impresario who is also a government agent and spy for the exiled Spanish queen, Maria Cristina. Lola soon finds herself in Madrid, undercover as a performer in a musical play. But when she falls dangerously in love with the target, General Diego de Léon, Lola becomes a double agent and the two hatch a plot of their own. Disaster strikes when the plo…

Audio Book Review: Island of Silence by Lisa McMann

Title: Island of Silence (The Unwanteds #2)
Author: Lisa McMann
Narrated by James Langton
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio
Published: September 4, 2012
Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
ISBN-13: 9781442353077
Source: Publisher

Goodreads Summary:
Following the life-altering events at the conclusion of The Unwanteds, the stark world of Quill and the magical haven of Artimé are now home to whoever wants to live there, whether they are Wanteds, Unwanteds, or Necessaries.
In Artimé, Alex Stowe and his friends continue to hone their artistic magical spells while welcoming newcomers, wondering how long this peace between Quill and Artimé will last. Alex is stunned when Mr. Today comes to him with a very special request—one Alex questions his readiness for, until circumstances offer a dramatic answer.
And back in Quill, Aaron Stowe, Alex’s twin, faces a very different path. Devastated by his loss of status after Justine’s defeat and seething with rage toward Alex, Aaron is stealthily planning his…

Review: The Lady Who Broke The Rules by Marguerite Kaye

Title: The Lady Who Broke The Rules (Castonbury Park #3)
Author: Maguerite Kaye
Publisher: Harlequin Historical
Published: October 1, 2012
ebook, arc,
ISBN13: 9781426876738
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: NetGalley

Goodreads Summary:

'Your rebellion has not gone unnoticed...'

Anticipating her wedding vows and then breaking off the engagement has left Kate Montague's social status in tatters. She hides her hurt at her family's disapproval behind a resolutely optimistic façade, but one thing really grates... For a fallen woman, she knows shockingly little about passion!

Could Virgil Jackson be the man to teach her? A freed slave turned successful businessman, his striking good looks and lethally restrained power throw normally composed Kate into a tailspin! She's already scandalised society, but succumbing to her craving for Virgil would be the most outrageous thing Kate's done by far...

My thoughts:
The Lady Who Broke The Rules is part of the Castonbury Park s…

Live Chat with Pam Jenoff

Who:  Pam Jenoff
What: BookTrib LIVE CHAT with international bestselling author Pam Jenoff, the author of The Ambassador’s Daughter.
Where: -- of course!
When:  Tuesday, Feb. 5, 3:30 p.m. ET

LOVE, LIES & WAR: Like the PBS/ITV hit show “Downton Abbey,” international bestselling author Pam Jenoff’s new novel has it all. The Ambassador’s Daughter delves deeply into a time period and world war not often explored in books and movies—Paris in 1919, just after the end of WWI.

Tune into  Feb. 5 at 3:30 p.m. to chat live with Ms. Jenoff about the mystery and foreign intrigue of the period, her new novel and her fascinating background. Oh, and they'll be giving away copies of  The Ambassador's Daughter too! Hope to 'see' you there.

Review: The Little Book of Heartbreak

Title: The Little Book of Heartbreak
Author: Meghan Laslocky
Publisher: Penguin
Published: December 31, 2012
Paperback, 353 pages
ISBN: 978-0-452-29832-3
Genre: Non-Fiction
Source: Publisher


What's the best way to mend a broken heart? Forget ice cream, wine, or weepy movies. Award-winning journalist Meghan Laslocky advises: read through the pain. From divorce cases in ancient Rome to the art of crafting the perfect “I'm over you” mix CD, The Little Book of Heartbreak is a whirlwind tour through love's most crushing moments, including:
• How Ernest Hemingway cheated on his wife and then stole her job
• Painter Oscar Kokoschka's attempt to win back an ex by creating (and having liaisons with!) her life-size replica
• Morrissey's personal creed about how sex is useless
• What to watch, listen to, and read to forget an ex faster than you can say “rebound"

My thoughts:
I knew from the first sentence, "The older I get, the more irked I become that tim…