Thursday, June 30, 2011

I So Don't Do Famous by Barrie Summy

Sherry is going to Hollywood!

Delacorte Press Books sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  This is the fourth book in this middle grade mystery series.  It is currently available at your local bookstore.

She was very surprised to find she's won a contest and gets to go Hollywood for presentation of her prize.  She's also disappointed that her new boyfriend didn't want to go with her.   So she asks one of her good girlfriends to go.  She also knows the ghost of her mother will be there, too, so she's ready for her new adventure.  

Then someone steals the purse with the diamond clasp during the presentation, and Sherry is faced with another mystery...

The story is fast paced, ghosts are involved, and it's a silly madcap adventure that should keep the young one's attention.  This is a fun book for middle grade students, why not pick up a copy for yours?

Happy reading!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

As a young woman, Marina was training as a medical doctor.  A blunder during surgery ruined that for her, so she moved into the world of pharmaceuticals.  She never expected to see her medical teacher again... 

HarperCollins sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It is currently for sale at your local book store and is on the shortlist for The Atlantic’s 1book140 selection for the month of July.

Marina is a complex character.  She's in love with her boss, likes her workmate, and thinks she is satisfied with her career.  But when she finds out her workmate has died in the Amazon forest and her boss sends her to find out what happened, her entire life changes.

Ms. Pachett's description of the Amazon forest adds depth and intensity to the story.  It's very easy to die there, but is that really what happened to Anders?  His wife doesn't think so.

This is the story of a middle aged woman finally recognizing who she is and how she fits in this world.  Her journey is not just to Brazil, it's a journey to the center of her being.

If you'd like my copy of this ARC, leave a comment here on the blog and email me at info at with your name AND address and tell me why you'd like to read it.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ghosts of Rosewood Asylum by Stephen Prosapio

Zach has a special power that allows him to communicate with spirits.  It takes its toll on him, but it has helped his TV show advance in ratings.

Otherworld Publications sent me a copy of the ebook for review (thank you).  It is available for sale as a hardcover, paperback and ebook now.

Spoiler alert:  Some important parts of the story line are disclosed below.

This is the story of Zach and his team of ghost hunters.  His next assignment is to go the most famous ghost facility ever that has been closed to the public for years.  He's really excited about this, but loses a bit of that enthusiasm when he finds out he has to share the show and investigation with his competitor in the ghost hunter field.  He has suspicions that they "salt" their sites with evidence to substantiate their findings, and he doesn't want that to happen on his show.

This is a fast flowing, well paced story that keeps your interest by throwing in a lot of history about the building and the people that lived there.  Residents are reticent about speaking to investigators.  Odd events happen onsite.  And Zach keeps having coffee with a ghost no one else can see.  There's a religious connection here, too, which seemed a bit weird, but fits well as a vehicle for Zach's power.

If you like paranormal stories, this one is well worth reading.  I'm not big on ghost stories, but this one appealed to me.  It has plenty of action, an old murder mystery, there's conflict on all sides in the past and in the present, and it comes down to a fight between good and evil.  You won't be bored.

Happy reading.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Blood Mesa by James Reasoner

Matt Cahill can never go anywhere without running into Mr. Dark...

Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin put together the Dead Man series and are working in collaboration with other authors to continue this chilling story.  The new story will be available in July.

This story was of particular interest to me because it was set in New Mexico.  The Anasazi Indians are part of New Mexico history and since no one really knows what happened to them, they fit well within the bounds of this supernatural thriller.

Matt feels the call of the mesa and knows trouble is there, so it's his next destination.  When he meets two doctors of archaeology who are having truck problems, he finds they are going there also and that they need a mechanic and general handyman.  He fixes the truck and since it aligns with his desire to get to the mesa he says yes.

Everyone is excited about the dig but Matt.  He tries to warn the doctors that they are on a dangerous site and there may be things there unseen, but the fever of the hunt is upon them and they ignore him.  

These stories always contain overwhelming horror and an intense fight of good versus evil.  This one is even more dramatic because it's played out on top of a mesa.

If you like stories that chill you, the Dead Man series will do that for you...

Happy reading.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

No Rest for the Dead

Was Christopher Thomas killed by his wife or was her execution an unwarranted death?

Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, will be publishing this book in July.  I was lucky enough to get an egalley for review (thank you).  

This story is the collaboration of twenty-six authors writing a single story.  Each chapter has the author identified.  I knew the majority of the authors but was still surprised by how well this worked and how their voices sounded different when read in tandem with many others.

This is a fascinating story.  I'm not sure which author chose to make this a devious mystery (maybe all of them?), but it's a wicked story.

Christopher's body was found in an iron maiden, putrefied.  Just a his belt, a piece of tooth, and his little finger remained to prove it was him.  There is evidence that points the murderer out as his wife, and she is sentenced to death.

Ten years after her death, there is a reunion of all the people who were there at the museum the night he died.  Her will instructed it, and everyone comes because they don't want anyone to think they are feeling guilty about anything.  It's like opening Pandora's box:  Rosemary has left a letter to be read aloud.  

The letter stirs action and the cop who watched her die is still convinced (after the fact) that Rosemary was innocent but framed.  He watches the people fray and goes after the loose ends.

There is a very ironic ending.  Justice does prevail in the end. But it's a real exciting ride along the way!  Why not get yourself a copy next month and see what I mean?

Happy reading.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Brains, Bugs, & Blood Sausage by Andrew Zimmern

Do you have a picky eater in the family?  Let them read this book and I bet they'll eat whatever you serve with no complaints!

Delacorte Press has published this book and sent me a copy for review (thank you).  You can buy a copy at your local bookstore now.

I thought this book would be a bit boring, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out it's not in the least.  Mr. Zimmern's quest for the ultimate food consumption takes him to far away countries, odd locations, and in some cases, dangerous situations.

I have no desire to go hunting in areas infested with snakes, eels, or other dangerous predators.  But he goes and takes his chances to get the exquisite food he desires.  He also eats a lot of raw stuff.  And he literally eats brains, bugs, and blood sausage.  Some of it made my lip curl to read about it, but he says it all tastes great.

If you'd like to go on a culinary tour and experience the harvesting of the food stuffs, this book is for you.  If you want to convince your child that what you serve for dinner is not so bad, this book should do it.

All in all, it was a charming read and a way to tour other countries without leaving my chair. Why don't you give it try?

Happy reading!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Collecting Cooper by Paul Cleave

Imagine a madman kidnapping a serial killer.  There, you have the main plot of this book.

Atria, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, sent me a copy of the egalley of this book for review (thank you).  It's being published in July, so you'll be able to pick up a copy shortly.

This story is full of perverted characters.  No one is what I consider normal.  At times the story gets so intense you want to set the book down and take a breather, but you also want to know what's going to happen next, so you don't.

The collector is the madman.  He's looking for a friend, a co-conspirator, and he has been following the professor.  He also knows some of the professor's secrets.

The professor himself is a sick man.  He kidnaps, rapes and eventually kills young women he desires.  He's only let one escape and she harmed him in return.  Now she seems to have become a killer herself.

The man trying to find the latest kidnap victim before it's too late used to be a cop, but lost his job.  He's a murderer, too.  He killed the man who killed his daughter and put his wife in a nursing home she may never leave.

This is a book of horrors, but it is all possible.  Don't read it if you don't like violence or have a soft heart.  But if you like reading books that will twist your mind, this is just the book for you.

Happy reading!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Warlock by Michael Scott

Subtitle:  The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel.  Sophie and Josh are off on another adventure and fleeing from danger again.

Delacorte Press Books published this book at the end of May and sent me a copy for review (thank you).  This is the fifth book in the series.  It's written for ages 12 and up.

This series is fascinating.  The author mixes mythological characters with historical and contemporary characters.  The story flows from present time to the past.  Everyone's motives are murky and the bad guys can't even trust each other.  The twins, Sophie and Josh, get separated and align with different factions of the ongoing war.

The story is tense, fast flowing, and complicated.  With magic, insanity and evil all happening at the same time, you have to pay attention every moment's events.

The last book will come out next year, and it appears it may turn into a stand off between Sophie and Josh.  I'll just have to wait until then to see how Mr. Scott finishes his story, but I'm hoping it isn't sad.

Here is a link to the website that will tell more about the author, the series and this book:

Why not pick up a copy now and read the new installment in the twins of prophecy lives?  

Happy reading!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Twisted Thread by Charlotte Bacon

When Madeline returns from her jogging, she finds the campus in an uproar.  It's right in front of her dorm and she can't imagine what happened.  Whatever she might have thought, she sure didn't expect to find a dead student.  And especially not one lactating!

This book is published by Voice, a Hyperion imprint, and was just recently released.  I got my ebook from Net Galley for review (thank you both).  

This is a complex academic mystery that has its roots in traditions and relationships from the past.  The dead young woman was extraordinarily beautiful, smart and talented.  Why would she have had a baby and hide it from everyone?  The answer to that question is sad.  Having everything you want doesn't mean you have everything you need...

Madeline is an intern and this is her first year with this school.  She finds the school harbors secrets and many of the instructors choose not to see all that's happening on campus.

With a missing baby, an unknown murderer and an unknown father, there's lots to occupy the investigators.  Every person in this story is carrying psychological baggage of some kind.  They've all had bad experiences that influence their actions now. 

This is a detailed almost depressing story about how one young lady's desire to hurt her parents and get attention backfires on her.  But there is also love in the air.  Despite the problems around them and the tattered lives left behind, people are finding new hope and a new chance for love.  It's well worth the read.

Happy reading!  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Robopocalypse by Daniel H Wilson

Imagine artificial intelligence coming to life and learning it is number fourteen; the thirteen previous experiments have been terminated.  This time the scientist is terminated...

Doubleday published this book earlier this month and sent me an ARC for review (thank you).  The author is robotics engineer and he uses his knowledge to enhance the story with real horror.

Elevators drop to the floor, small home use robots try to kill you, cars run over you in the street, garbage trucks with no drivers pick up the dead, the world has gone insane!

No one is safe.  Those in the city are being picked off.  Those in the country not only have to worry about equipment or robots being after them, but about the other humans they run across.  Then the robots being modifying themselves...

I had to read this one in pieces.  I normally can read right through, but it just got a bit too intense and I wanted time to savor what I had read and understand all the implications of the survivors actions.  This reminds me a bit of Bradbury's "I Robot" story.

This is a scary tale that is a little too believable to me.  As time goes on, such a thing could happen.  Let's hope not, but it could.

The ending has a twist I liked.  It reads fluidly, will definitely keep your interest, and it will make you think after you're done reading it.  What more could you want?  Why not get a copy and see what you think?

Happy reading!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tales of the Mermaids of Waiahuakua by Kohana Au

Do you like fairytales, mythology, folk tales and legends?  Then you'll love this book...

Friesen Press has published this book and the author sent me a copy for review (thank you).  You can get it in paperback or ebook form.  The print form is just lovely!  The illustrations are well worth the price of the softcover book.  They are luscious and delectable to the eye.

This book is filled with short stories and poems about the legends.  My husband and I have been to Hawaii three times and this book sings of the islands and the wonder of the scenery and flowers.  The islands are made of legends and it was fun to read about them again.

If you haven't had a chance to make a visit to Hawaii or any of the Polynesian islands, this is the best way to visit the magical land and hear about the legends.  It's a special part of the world, and Mr. Au does an excellent job of expressing that.

I highly recommend this book.  Check with your local bookstore and admire a copy, then buy it for your memories or imagination.  It would make a great gift, too.

To take a peek inside, visit this website:

Happy reading!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Friendship Doll by Kirby Larson

In 1927, fifty-eight doll-sisters were sent to the United States to serve as Ambassadors of Friendship.  This is the story of the Japanese Friendship Doll...

Delacorte Press sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It's currently available for sale at your local bookstore.

Ms. Larson imbibes her doll with a touch of life.  As she travels the land through time, she tries to help each person who owns her.  This is an interesting perspective and made the story captivating.  She travels from New York to Oregon, lives through the Great Depression and mourns her losses.  

You meet four different girls during different time periods.  The author researched the eras she writes about and it feels authentic.  The author also has another goal:  To find the missing dolls. Only forty-five are accounted for.  Have you seen one?  

Young teens will enjoy reading this story as it is based in fantasy but has a magical touch.  Why not pick up a copy for them now?

Happy reading!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

Emma lost her brother, her mother, and her stepfather almost killed her in a car accident.  So she's starting over in New York and living with her aunt.  But even a new start isn't making things easier...

Harper Teen is publishing this book at the end of the month.  I got my copy from Net Galley (thanks to both of you).  I expect this book to sell well.

Emma just wants to start fresh without carrying her past forward to the new school.  When she gets pinned with questions by a classmate, she lies about her previous school.  What surprises her is that the cutest boy in class stands up for her and says he knows that school, he's played basketball there.

She has few friends in school, a couple of bad enemies, and then there's Brendan.  He blows hot and cold in the relationship she'd like to build with him.  

There's a pendant, a ring, a legend, and a witch involved in the tale.  The story is full of action, bullying, and rage as well as love.  Can Brendan and Emma break the curse or is their love doomed too?

This was a very enjoyable read.  The paranormal influence in this story easily tied the story line together and made it more fun to read.  Why not get a copy for your teen and introduce them to Brendan and Emma?  I think they'll be back again in another book.

Happy reading!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson

Imagine waking up each day and not even knowing your name, much less where you are or who you are with...

Harper sent me an ARC for review of this book (thank you).  This book is currently for sale, check with your local bookstore. You can read excerpts and learn more about it on a Facebook page they have created:  Fan Page

I found the story mind-boggling.  This author has the ability to chill your soul.  Christine was badly injured and almost died.  When she recovers, she finds she has no memory of anything in the past or present.  She doesn't know how she injured herself, she doesn't recognize her husband or the house she lives in.  And whenever she goes to sleep, she must begin asking questions again because she lost what she learned the day before.

In an attempt to improve her memory, she goes to a doctor.  Her husband is against this since she's had so many doctors in the past, so she has to do it secretly.  This doctor, however, has her begin writing notes of what she has been told, what she remembers and what she should ask next.  Then she can read the journal the next day and move on to a new facet of her life.  But for some reason, she just doesn't feel she can trust anyone.  Not even her husband, Ben.

This is a psychological thriller that will make your skin crawl.  Christine's memory is fragile.  Her hold on life and what she knows is almost non-existent.  And when her memories don't agree with what her husband tells her are facts of her previous life, you don't know if it's her faulty mind or if he's lying.  She doesn't either...

Following along with Christine while she tries to patch her memories back together is a painful journey.  Not all her memories are good.  She's determined to get to the truth.  But the truth is worse than you could ever imagine...

I read this book in a day.  It's not one that you set down and get back to; it's one that you page through frantically trying to help Christine solve her problem.

Why not pick up a copy for yourself and see if you can guess  the totally ironic ending?  It's well worth the read.

I am giving away the ARC I received.  If you would like to win it, leave a comment here on my blog and email me at info @ (take the spaces out) with your name AND address and tell me why you'd like to snag it.  I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Happy reading!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Resisters by Eric Nyland

Ethan Blackwood finds himself kidnapped by two kids named Madison and Felix...

Random House Books for Young Readers sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It's for ages 10-14 and is currently available for sale at your local bookstore.

A long time ago, I watched a movie where the teenagers banned together and refused to trust anybody over 30.  This book uses the premise that it's not even safe to turn into teenager...

The kidnappers tell Ethan that the earth was invaded fifty years ago and now an alien collective rules the world and anyone who's a teenager or older.  Ethan doesn't believe them, steals a flying suit that resembles an insect and returns home.  But what he finds there after acquiring some knowledge from his kidnappers is heartrending.

This is a fast paced fantasy story with a smart young boy as the main character.  The flying suits are wondrous and the forces of evil are overwhelming. If your child likes playing video games, he or she will like this book.  Why not let their imagination fly?

The good news is that this is the first book in the series.  Ethan has more challenges and adventures ahead of him.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Calli Be Gold by Michele Weber Hurwitz

Poor Calli, everyone else in her family is perfect and she's just normal...

This is a Wendy Lamb Book for ages 8-12 that was published in April.  Thank you very much for sending me a copy for review.

It's hard being the youngest one in the family and having older siblings that are smarter and more active than you are.  It's especially hard when your parents are high achievers, too, and know that Calli must excel at something.  Maybe, but Calli hasn't found it yet...

When Calli finds Noah hiding at the skating rink and then under his desk in school, she wants to know why he does that.  Since the class is mentoring younger students, she chooses Noah as her partner.  And she learns that Noah is even less talented than she is.  She perseveres, though and Noah is drawn out of his shell.

She learns something from that and then even realizes something about her family that makes them even more like her than she ever realized...

This is a story of sibling rivalry, pushy parents, and a young girl finding her way.  It's well written, you learn why everyone is acting the way you do, and you learn that Calli is not the failure she thinks she is.  It's a positive story about a whole family finding itself.

Why not share a copy of this with your middle school child.  I'm sure they will be able to relate to the stresses of school and parent's expectations.  You might learn something, too.

Happy reading.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt

This is one of the oddest Westerns I've read.  It's almost like Eli finally becomes more than a shadow of his brother and begins to develop a conscience...

Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins, sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It was published in May, so you can find a copy of it in your local bookstore.

Charlie is the dominant brother in this story.  The Sisters brothers work for the Commodore and are essentially hired killers.  The Commodore gives them an order and they carry it out.  Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die.  But on the trip from from Oregon City to Warm's gold-mining claim outside Sacramento, Eli begins to think about how life might be different. 

Here is a link to the trailer for the book: 

Mr. DeWitt does not make his characters someone you'd to have to dinner, but he does make them interesting, unusual, and ruthless.  Much of the old west was like that.  Gunfighters usually didn't have long lives.  But he gives the brothers he's writing about at least some hope for a change in life for the better.  It costs both of them plenty, but there's hope.

If you'd like to travel the strange, twisted road of the Sisters brothers, I'm giving my ARC away.  Just leave a comment here on the blog and email me at info @ (take the spaces out) with your name AND address.  I'll pick a winner in about a week.

And one more special giveaway:  I also have a signed, numbered poster of the cover art that I can offer.  The publisher will be mailing that out.  How about some distinctive wall art?

You can't get the two above offers at your local bookstore, but they will have the book for you.

Happy reading!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dominance by Will Lavender

They intended to solve a literary mystery, but instead it turned into murder...

Simon & Schuster will be publishing this book in July and gave me an egalley to review.  If you enjoy psychological suspense, you will definitely enjoy this book.

The story is set on a small college campus.  An elite group of students who are very strong in literature are taking a college course through a satellite connection with convicted murderer.  The year is 1994.

The other half of the story is about the present day and the students left from that group.  The two tales are interwoven and what happened the first time to the class is being repeated; more students are dying.  The original killer was killed in 1994.  So who is killing the students now?

Throw in a couple of crazy professors, a student who is now a professor herself and thinks a bit too much of her smarts, and the rest of the students and mix them up in ancient, many roomed home and watch what happens...

There's psychological suspense, terror, and it has a thrilling ending.  Only it's not really the end.  Someone is still coming after Alex.  The question is if it's someone who is good or someone who is evil...  Watch for another book in the future.

This story kept my attention all the way through.  There are so many suspects it's impossible to figure out the outcome ahead of the story.  It was a very good read.  Why not get a copy and try it yourself?

Happy reading.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Blind Fury by Lynda La Plante

Someone is raping and strangling young women and leaving them near the freeway.  And it's been going on for a long time...

Simon & Schuster sent me a galley of this book for review (thank you).  It's due to be published the first part of July.

This is a disturbing book.  It sticks with you after you've read the last page and set it down as finished.  It's just a bit too real to be read and forgotten.

Ms. La Plante writes a tight, detailed story.  Her police characters are hard, gritty and determined to find the killer.  There is a past and present romance to tangle the web even more.  And it involves a lot of boring police work to help nail the killer.

This is pure police procedural:  following all the connections, checking all the possibilities, returning to the witnesses hoping to find new information and maybe even the truth, and even talking to a convicted serial killer who has a crush on Anna.  Does he know anything or is he just trying to see Anna again?

The psychological games in the story are part of what makes it so fascinating.  It's set in the UK, so you get a taste of England as you read.

This is a very complex story that is only unraveled by hard exacting police work.  The detail and minutia of the police work gets a bit overwhelming, but it's there to show how much it took to finally identify the killer.

If you like police procedurals or books about psychos, this is one you should add to your TBR list.

Happy reading.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Junie B.'s Theses Puzzles Hurt My Brain Book by Barbara Park

Do you have a bored child at home with "nothing to do"?  This book will keep them busy!

Random House Books for Young Readers sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you). It was published in May so you can run down to your local bookstore and pick up a copy now.

I always loved these kind of books, especially for camping trips.  I ran out of reading material right at the start of vacation, so these puzzles kept me busy and entertained for a while longer.

Junie B.'s puzzles are word searches, mazes, connect the dots, triangle puzzles, secret codes and more.  The illustrations hold signature Junie B. items that readers of her series will recognize.  And you even get to see how many words you can make out of "Stupid Smelly Bus".  What more could you want?

There are 219 pages of puzzles with answer diagrams at the back of the book.  Don't cheat now...

Happy reading!

Flip Flop! by Dana Meachen Rau

It's summer and so there's all kinds of choices on what these two young girls can do...

Random House Books for Young Readers published this book in May and sent me a copy for review (thank you).  It's available in your local bookstore now.

This is a Step Into Reading book with big type, easy words, rhyme and rhythm, picture clues, and two pages of stickers.

Young ones will have fun seeing what adventures the girls take and what activities they do.  They are, of course, wearing flip flops as they go.

It's a simple story with charming illustrations and fun stickers.  Your child will have great fun with this book.  Why not pick up a copy today?

Happy reading!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Deed to Death by D B Henson

Toni KNOWS that Scott did not jump.  He wouldn't have committed suicide when he was getting married to her in two days.  But no one believes her...

Simon & Schuster provided me an egalley to read and review (thank you).  The book will be published by their imprint, Touchstone, in July.  You can pick up a copy at your local bookstore then.

Toni is at the top of her career, 29 years old, and deeply in love with Scott.  Everyone else thinks he jumped, but she knows he had too much going for him to have committed suicide.

The more questions she asks, the less she knows.  People she trusts tell her that Scott had secrets.  She can't believe what they say is true, but it appears to be.  Was she so wrong in her choice for marriage?  Or are they lying?

This is a story of betrayal and loss with a spark of hope at the end.  As time goes on, Toni has no idea who to trust.  When someone keeps trying to kill her, the pace of the story ratchets up.  The plot is bit convoluted and the characters could use a bit more depth and reality to really flesh them out, but it's well worth reading. 

It's an interesting read and I was surprised to find out who the real killer was.  Why not get yourself a copy of this book and see if you can figure out who all the liars and thieves are before the end of the book?

Happy reading.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Samaritan by Stephen Besecker

Kevin "Hatch" Easter had never had it easy in his life.  And when things seemed to be settling down and he had a good job and a wife he loved, he thought he had it made.  Until she gets shot with her sister during a mob shakedown at a bar...

Bancroft Books will be publishing this book at the end of June.  I got my copy from Net Galley (thank you both).

According to the cops, the case was closed.  However, it wasn't really closed as much as it was covered up.  And a deadly man is killing mob members to take revenge...

The author does an excellent job of keeping you on your toes through the entire story.  You can't make any assumptions because none of it turns out that way.  Everyone is playing everyone else.

You have dirty cops, the Feds and the Mob holding hands in some cases, and a random killer no one can identify.  The CIA agents are both wounded warriors that have to be careful not to self-destruct.  And it's not until the final scene on the roof top that you find out who the killer is.  I had no clue, and when I read as much as I do, that's unusual.

This was an excellent read.  It's an action packed story with plenty of adrenaline in it.  I really enjoyed it.  Why not pick up a copy and see if you can puzzle out who the killer is before the end.  I dare you!

Happy reading!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

One fish two fish red fish blue fish by Dr. Seuss

This is the Party Edition book published for World's Oceans Day.  Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Random House Children’s Books, The Ocean Project, and the Associations of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) have partnered again to celebrate World Oceans Day (, held annually on June 8th. For the second year in a row, hundreds of aquariums, zoos, schools, and other organizations will host fun-filled “1, 2, 3 and the Seas: Counting on You” family events inspired by Dr. Seuss’s One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. Each year, World Oceans Day brings local attention to the global issue of climate change and its impact on ocean and animal life.

This year marks 50 years of Dr. Seuss books, and the party edition was published in January and is a limited supply.  If you'd like to get a unique copy of this shiny covered fun books for beginner readers, you'd better act now.

The book is filled with his silly illustrations and short fun rhymes that are easy to read.  Children will pick them up again and again.  Some of the characters will make you laugh out loud!

Share the magic of the classic Dr. Seuss series and the wonder of the ocean and the animals within.  Visit an aquarium today!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fun & Games by Duane Swierczynski

Charlie Hardie is hard to kill; maybe that's because he wishes he could die...

Mulholland Books is publishing this book on the 2oth of June and I got my egalley from Net Galley (thank you both).

Hardie had a really bad case in his past that caused his partner and the partner's family to die.  Hardie himself barely survived and he truly wished he had died then and they had lived.  He couldn't change what happened but he changed his career.  He was now a house sitter for the rich and famous.  It made a change, and he could watch old movies and drink all he wanted.  He was as happy as he was going to get.  At least he was relatively happy until he found out someone else was already in the vacant house he was supposed to sitting.  A very paranoid somebody else who was trying to kill him...

This is complex plot of Hollywood, contract killers, and cold blooded executives who only care about the money.  If Hardie is not very careful, he'll end up dead like he wanted.  But he suddenly realizes there is another family in danger, and he can't die without trying to fix that.

The story is fast paced with technological gadgets that are amazing.  Most of the characters are partly insane.  And Hardie is on the run for the whole story.  The ending is a kicker.  I expect there will be a sequel to this book.

If you like hardboiled detectives who live on mean streets, this book is for you.  Why is it when you'd like to die, you can't?

Happy reading.

Pet Noir by Pati Nagle

Imagine a genetically modified cat in outer space, then meet Leon!

Library Thing provided me with a copy of this ebook from Evennight Books (thank you).

Ms. Nagle knows cats and has a good imagination.  She creates Leon as a Maine Coon cat with thumbs and the ability to talk.  After his birth, he's moved out to a space station to help security with surveillance.  He has a human partner, but he soon makes friends with the other cats on the station.  He's even lusting after a beautiful Burmese lady...

This is in anthology form and Leon has different adventures all the way through.  The author has a good sense of humor and puts Leon and his partner in several funny as well as dangerous situations.

I found the stories amusing and good fun to read.  The cats mostly act like cats (only Leon is modified) and the men on the space station act like men.

If you enjoy fantasy and think your cat understands what you're saying, you'll really enjoy this book.  Why not give a try?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran

Claire DeWitt's whole life has been influenced by a book from a French detective named Jacques Silette called "Detection."  It should be noted that he never located his missing daughter and died unhappily...

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It was published on June 2nd, so you can pick up a copy at your local bookstore now.

Claire has sad memories associated with New Orleans, but she needed to get back to work doing private investigations.  She had fallen by wayside after the death of her mentor, and it was time to come back to the real world.  Claire's real world might not be like yours and mine, but it was the best she had.

Claire is tattooed, smokes pot, and drinks.  She can also tell if you are telling her the truth or lying.  And sometimes ghosts talk to her.  So she should be able to find a man missing since Katrina, right?

The author makes her female detective as hardboiled as any of the pulp writers made theirs.  Claire isn't someone you like, but she does get the job done.  Just remember she told you you might not like the answer to your question...

The story is fast paced, full of danger and will show you a side of New Orleans you wouldn't want to find on your own.

Take a walk on the dark side and see what Claire finds...

If you'd like to have the ARC, please leave a comment here on the blog and then email me at info @ with why you'd like to read it and your name AND address for mailing.  I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Happy reading.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

If Rocks Could Sing by Leslie McGuirk

You've heard of alphabet soup.  Have you ever seen a rock that looks like a letter of the alphabet?

Tricycle Press published this book in May and sent me a copy for review (thank you).  It's available at your local bookstore now.

This is a most unique picture book.  This author spent years combing the Florida seashore for odd shaped rocks; rocks that talked to her.  Then she created the artwork for the photographs in this alphabet book.  Each rock appears to be a letter of the alphabet.  And her illustrations are done using rocks also.

E is for elephant, for example, has an "e" rock and an obvious elephant's head.  You might have to use your imagination a little bit, but the rocks really do look like the letter or animal they are representing.  It's fascinating!

Why not share this book with your little one and then go rock hunting with them?  You never know what shapes you might find.  We used to walk the creek and pick up agates when I was growing up.  That's still one of my favorite memories.  Make some of your own memories with the young ones.

Happy reading!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Conor is living with three nightmares:  the one in his head, the one with the Yew tree, and the one with his mother in real life.

Candlewick Press and Net Galley shared this ebook with me for review (thank you).  It will be published this September.

Conor knows his mother is deathly ill.  He also knows a Yew tree can't walk.  And he knows he's becoming invisible at school because no one knows what to say to him or wants anything to do with him.  But he doesn't know why he has this awful nightmare that keeps him awake all night because he's fearful he'll dream it again if he goes back to sleep.

There is old magic in this story.  The Yew tree tells Conor stories and each story has an unusual message.  The ancient tree points out that there is more to the story than Conor sees at first; the obvious answer may not be the correct one.

This is the story of a boy coming to terms with his mother's terminal illness.  Using a Yew tree like an old man telling tales is a unique touch.  The pain in the story touches you and makes you wish there could be a happily ever after, but that's not how life works.

The author's story flows well and it's easy to empathize with Conor's emotional turmoil and pain.  Your young one may learn some things from the Yew tree's tales, too.

Why not pick up a copy at your local bookstore when it comes out in September?

Happy reading.

Eeny Up Above! Jane Yolen, Kathryn Brown (Illustrated by)

Eeny is a mole.  Her sisters are very happy in their home but Eeny is more adventuress.  She goes up and samples all of the seasons of the y...