Friday, August 29, 2008


Title: Candy Apple Red

Author: Nancy Bush

Publisher: Kensington

Copyright: 2005

ISBN: 978-0-7582-0906-1

Series or stand-alone: #1

Setting: Lake Chinook, OR

1st Sentence:

If I'd known they were about to find a body at the bottom of Lake Chinook, I never would have gotten myself into the whole mess.


This book was just okay for me. I think part of my problem was that it was blurbed by Lisa Jackson, saying "Move over Stephanie Plum, Jane Kelly has arrived!" and I expected more, because I love Janet Evanovich - and it wasn't as funny as a Plum book. Well, that and when I finished it to the back cover and found out that Lisa Jackson is her sister, well, I was a little perturbed by that. It was an okay mystery with some likeable characters and a dog that was my favorite part of the book. Maybe it was too cozy for me. I don't know. I do know that I don't know if I liked it well enough to read #2 and more.
Any thoughts?

August #4 - LIFE AS WE KNEW IT

Title: Life as we knew it

Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer

Publisher: Harcourt, Inc.

Copyright: 2006

ISBN: 978-0-15-205826-5

Series or stand-alone: #1

Setting:Howell, PA

1st Sentence:

May 7
Lisa is pregnant.


This is another favorite read of mine this year. Written in diary entries, sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family's struggles to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Weather goes crazy, gas prices soar, deaths abound and Miranda and her family hope only to survive. A wonderful story.


Title: Neptune's Children

Author: Bonnie Dobkin

Publisher: Walker & Co.

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-8027-9734-6

Series or stand-alone: Stand-alone

Setting:Isles of Wonder theme park

1st Sentence:

The plague struck like a snake, silent and deadly.


When biological terrorism hits, every adult on the Isles of Wonder theme park dies leaving young teens and children to face a world without authority. One teen, Milo, steps forward as King Neptune and together they build a society with the park.

I automatically thought of LORD OF THE FLIES when I read this book - the warring of good versus evil - and I truly enjoyed this book and it's modern day stance.

August #2 - POSSESSION

Title: Possession

Author: Jennifer Armintrout

Publisher: Mira

Copyright: 2007

ISBN: 978-0-778-324-18-8

Series or stand-alone: #2

Setting:Grand Rapids, MI - Death Valley, CA

1st Sentence:

Welcome back
He didn't know how long he'd been dead.


The only thing I have to say about this book is that I was so mad by page 2 that I was ready to chuck in the whole series. But I'd already purchased the other two books so I read on. And I was mad again by the end of the book. My girlfriend assures me that I'll like books 3 and 4. We'll see.

And it has nothing to do with the writing...the writing is just fine. It's the choices made by the author regarding characters that had me all spitfire and damnation bound.

Breathe...I'll get over it.


Title: The Screaming Room

Author: Thomas O'Callaghan

Publisher: Pinnacle Books

Copyright: 2007

ISBN: 978-0-7860-1812-3

Series or stand-alone: #2

Setting: New York, NY - Carbondale, PA

1st Sentence:

The rain had stopped.


Twins Angus and Cassie come from one hell of a childhood and they are doling out their own warped sense of justice on other pervs in the city when Driscoll and his team are called in to investigate. This was a good police procedural - I'd recommend to patrons who like John Sandford and the like.

July #7 - INFECTED

Title: Infected

Author: Scott Sigler

Publisher: Crown Publishers

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-307-40610-1

Series or stand-alone: #1

Setting: Ann Arbor, MI

1st Sentence:

This is the place...
Alida Garcia stumbled through the dense winter woods, blood marking her long path, a bright red comet trail against the blazing white snow.


I am not really a big fan of science fiction but I have a feeling this book will stay with me for a very long's been over a month since I read it and all I have to do is think of the "triangles" and I get a shiver. People are being "infected" with an unknown agent - triangles that turn them into homicidal psychos. Is it related to Morgellon's disease? Possibly. Biological warfare? Maybe. Perry Dawsey, one of the infected, fights back! Scary stuff! The second book, due out soon is CONTAGIOUS.


Title: My darling, my hamburger

Author: Paul Zindel

Publisher: Bantam Books

Copyright: 1969

ISBN: 0-553-12741-1

Series or stand-alone: Stand-alone

Setting: A waterfront community but never stated
1st Sentence:

"It was Marie Kazinski who asked how to stop a boy if he wants to go all the way," Maggie whispered.


I read this book because a friend of mine said it was her favorite book in Jr High and she remembered reading it and giggly uncontrollably. I think the fact that it was written before I was born had something to do with how I felt about it. Not that it was bad, but ish...really not my cup of tea. Anyone else have an opinion about this book?


Title: Fuzzy Navel

Author: JA Konrath

Publisher: Hyperion

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-1-4013-0280-1

Series or stand-alone: #5

Setting: Chicago suburbs

1st Sentence:

It's quiet in the suburbs.


Things I loved about this book: It's #5, a continuation of Jack Daniel's story, very fast paced (the whole book taking place in just a little over a 24-hour period.)
Things I didn't care for all that much: It's told from the viewpoint of 7 or 8 different characters, sometimes first person POV, sometimes third. Present tense, awkward at times, other times I didn't even notice. And the ending was a cheap shot and I've already spoken my piece with Mr. Konrath about it.
Will I read the next one? Heck, yeah!
Was I satisfied with this one...meh.


Title: Exit Strategy

Author: Kelly Armstrong

Publisher: Bantam Books

Copyright: 2007

ISBN: 978-0-553-58819-4

Series or stand-alone: #1

Setting: Ontario, Canada - New York - Las Vegas - West Virginia

1st Sentence:

Mary Lee pushed open the shop door.


Nina runs a hunting lodge in Canada. And, she's a hitwoman. "Jack", her mentor, calls her up when the Helter Skelter killer strikes. He's aiming the Feds towards hitmen and that would be really bad for business. Together, along with some other hired assassins, they must hunt the HSK - and find it could be one of their own. This was a great story with fun characters which I started reading coincidentally right after I saw the movie WANTED with Angelina Jolie in the theaters. I'm looking forward to book #2.


Title: The Turning

Author: Jennifer Armintrout

Publisher: Mira

Copyright: 2006

ISBN: 0-7783-2298-X

Series or stand-alone: #1

Setting: Grand Rapids, MI
1st Sentence:

I read a poll in the newspaper once that said the number-one fear of Americans aged eighteen to sixty-five is public speaking.


This is the first book in a four-book series featuring Dr. Carrie Ames who is attacked in the hospital and turned into a vampire. She meets Nathan and then her sire who she is blood tied to and he's like one of the most evil vampires on Earth. I loved this book and passed it on to several friends...and then there was book 2. You'll see shortly.

July #2 - LOTTERY

Title: Lottery

Author: Patricia Wood

Publisher: GP Putnam's Sons

Copyright: 2007

ISBN: 978-0-399-15449-2

Series or stand-alone: Stand-alone

Setting: Everett, WA

1st Sentence:

My name is Perry L. Crandall and I am not retarded.


Perry's gram taught him everything he needed to survive - how to write things down, how to play the lottery and who to trust. Then she dies, leaving him alone at 31 and he wins the state lottery of 12 million dollars and finds out he has more family than he knows what to do with. The book is about trust, loyalty and what makes us capable. I loved this story; it was one of my top 5 favorites this year. Perry is a wonderful character and it's kind of like reading Forrest Gump - a classic.


Title: Where are you now?

Author: Mary Higgins Clark

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-1-4165-6638-0

Series or stand-alone: Stand-alone

Setting: Manhattan, NY

1st Sentence:

It is exactly midnight, which means Mother's Day has just begun.


Ten years ago, Carolyn's brother, Mack, disappeared without a trace. Every year since, he calls his mother on Mother's Day. Since his disappearance, women have been disappearing. And one goes missing this year, just after his call. Carolyn will do everything in her power to find her brother and clear his name. This was typical Mary Higgins Clark material. I found the plot predictable, the characters okay although at times shallow. It was an easy read but nothing that made me shout, "hallelujah!"


Title: Fearless Fourteen

Author: Janet Evanovich

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-312-349-51-6

Series or stand-alone: #14

Setting: The Burg - Trenton, NJ

1st Sentence:

In my mind, my kitchen is filled with crackers and cheese, roast chicken leftovers, farm fresh eggs, and coffee beans ready to grind.


Stephanie gets wrangled into playing bodyguard to Brenda, an aging rockstar. She also gets roped into playing babysitter to Zook - the son of a skip who bears an eerie resemblance to Joe Morelli. The usual antics ensue. This book didn't have as much Ranger in it as I'd have liked but maybe 15. Hey, I ain't too proud to beg and I'll read these 'til there are no more so...


Title: Good girls ghouls do

Author: Julie Kenner

Publisher: Penguin Group

Copyright: 2007

ISBN: 978-0-425-21703-0

Series or stand-alone: #2

Setting: Austin, TX- Waterloo High

1st Sentence:

In case you're wondering, there are at least one or two things worse than getting turned into a vampire against your will.


This book is a continuation of Beth's search for a cure and the pressures of being a teenaged vampire. I will read this series as each book comes out; the books are fast and enjoyable. I liked the first book better than the second but that could have been my frame of mind at the time.


Title: Tempting evil

Author: Allison Brennan

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-345-50272-8

Series or stand-alone: #2 in Prison Break trilogy

Setting: Centennial Valley, MT

1st Sentence:

Eighteen months ago
"I should have killed the bitch when I had the chance."


Two escapees make their way toward Joanna's - one is obsessed with her, the other is just crazy. Brennan is another favorite author of mine. I worry about the day I can no longer keep up with all of these great authors! How will I ever choose?


Title: Feast of fools

Author: Rachel Caine

Publisher: Nal Jam

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-451-22463-7

Series or stand-alone: #4

Setting: Morganville, TX

1st Sentence:

It was hard to imagine how Claire's day - even by Morganville standards - could get any worse...and then the vampires holding her hostage wanted breakfast.


Amelie's father, Bishop, comes back to Morganville with revenge on his mind. A party is held in his honor with each vampire bringing a human gift, but when some vampires rebel, all hell breaks loose. This is a good installment in this series and one of my favorite series to read.


Title: Undead and uneasy

Author: Mary Janice Davidson

Publisher: Jove

Copyright: 2007

ISBN: 978-0-515-14504-5

Series or stand-alone: #6

Setting: St. Paul, MN

1st Sentence:

Once, there was a beautiful queen who was as terrible on the inside as she was glorious on the outside.


Betsy is planning her wedding to Sinclair, when out of frustration she wishes every would leave her alone. And they do. But when people are leaving her left and right, who's gonna watch her brother? And who's gonna come to her wedding? If there is one...

Typical Betsy Taylor fare - you don't have to be a rocket scientist to read it but then I'm not sure a rocket scientist would enjoy it! I enjoy them all!


Title: First Drop

Author: Zoe Sharp

Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks

Copyright: 2004

ISBN: 978-0-312-93704-1

Series or stand-alone: #1

Setting: Miami, FL and Daytona Beach, FL

1st Sentence:

For the third time that morning I shut my eyes tight in the absolute and certain knowledge that I was just about to die.


Charlie is hired to protect Trey - but it appears there are several people who want them dead. Charlie will do whatever she must to protect him.
This book was first published in the UK and the author is British which caused the only problem I had with this book. There are many British terms throughout the book, and I didn't mind having them come from Charlie, because she is British, but it was off-putting to hear an American teenage boy from Florida using them in casual conversation. The book, however, was great on suspense and kept me reading through to the end. I'll be looking for follow-ups, for sure.


Title: Boneyard

Author: Michelle Gagnon

Publisher: Mira

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-7783-2539-0

Series or stand-alone: ARC from author; #2

Setting: The Berkshires

1st Sentence:

Cougar flipped through the trail log.


A boneyard is unearthed with the bones of several unsubs. All DNA results point towards a certain group of people. But then, some of the kills are different from some of the others. Are there two killers loose in the woods? A great story, strong in suspense. Michelle has become one of my must-read authors and I was excited to get my hands on this before it was actually published.


Title: Dread Locks

Author: Neal Shusterman

Publisher: Penguin

Copyright: 2005

ISBN: 0-14-240599-X

Series or stand-alone: Dark Fusion Series; #1

Setting: None found

1st Sentence:

I've been thinking about it a lot.


Book summary: Accustomed to a carefree existence, 15-year-old Parker Baer meets the girl next door and finds his life taking a menacing turn as he begins to absorb some of her terrible powers.

This book is the retelling of the Greek story about Medusa and the Gorgon sisters. This was a great and interesting way to bring the old mythology story to life for kids' interests. I plan to read books #2 and #3 but haven't gotten there yet.


Okay, I know...I know. But better late than never, right? I'm going to try to get updated in the next couple of days so bear with me.

Title: The good girls' ghouls' guide to getting even

Author: Julie Kenner

Publisher: Penguin Group

Copyright: 2007

ISBN: 978-0-425-21391-9

Series or stand-alone: #1

Setting: Waterloo High in Austin, Texas

1st Sentence:

If he weren't already dead, I swear I would kill Stephen Wills.


Beth Frasier's junior year in HS is going great - until she gets turned into a vampire, so now she's out for blood - and revenge. Written in first person, this was a good YA vampire story and I'd recommend it to any of my Rachel Caine, Stephenie Meyer or Scott Westerfeld vampy books. I'll be reading the second in the series.

Monday, August 4, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things!

I decided to give you a meme before I resume posting books. I have just finished up with my first challenge, which I didn't complete because I set too high of a goal. Will I try this again? I'm not sure.

Apparently, this meme started out as “Suzie Q’s Favorites Game”. The rules are simple - for most people! There can only be ONE, count it, ONE answer for each question.

Here we go:

Sport: Hockey

Game: The word game

Color: Red

Movie: Grease 2

Broadway play I have seen: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF

Broadway Musical I have seen: RENT

Song: Devil Gate's Drive by Suzi Quatro

American city I have visited: Las Vegas

Foreign city I have visited: I've only been to Mexico and Canada, both when I was a child with my grandparents. I don't remember back that far.

Book: SHUTTER ISLAND by Dennis Lehane

Children’s Book: Any Trixie Belden book

Classic television show: The Match Game

Recent television show: American Idol

Actor: Hugh Laurie from HOUSE

Actress: Angelina Jolie

Perfume:Organza Indecence by Yves Saint Laurent

Food: Mexican

Dessert: Cheesecake

Chain Restaurant: Applebee's

Local Restaurant: El Senor Tequila (Mexican)

Car: Lexus 430SC

Condiment: Mayo

Kitchen Appliance: Microwave

Home Appliance: Computer

Beauty Product: Mascara

Piece of clothing: My Las Vegas Sweatshirt

HGTV Show: Design on a dime

Food Network show: 30 Minute Meals

Author: Janet Evanovich

Male Songwriter: Jonathan Larson

Female Songwriter: Janis Joplin

Holiday: Halloween

Ballet I have seen: THE NUTCRACKER

Disney character: Donald Duck (I even have a tattoo)

Flower: Silk

Alcoholic drink: Kahlua and milk

Non-Alcoholic drink: Dr Pepper

Magazine: People

Animated movie: Shrek

Television network miniseries: None

Season: Fall

Male vocalist: Elvis Presley

Female vocalist: Suzi Quatro

Day of the week: Monday

Household Chore: Washing dishes

Ice Cream: Mint Chocolate Chip

Candy: Candy bars but especially peanut butter and chocolate (Reeses, 5th Avenue)

Artist: Duane Hanson (Life like sculptures)

So, that's it. I drew some blanks on some of them and might have to change my answers at a later date when I have time to have some AHA! moment.

Stay tuned for book reviews...I'll be back!