Starmaker

December 31, 2011

Starmaker
By: Jay Bernstein
366 Pages

Summary:
Jay Bernstein has worked with the likes of Farrah Fawcett, Suzanne Summers, The Rat Pack, & many more. This is his story. the good, the bad, the fights, & the firings.

The glitz and glamour of Hollywood and celebrity has never been anything I wanted to have. Still, I've always been fascinated with how people lived with it. I heard all the cautionary tales and never forgot them. I learned through the years that what goes on behind the camera is often as exciting, or more, than what happens in front of the camera.

Jay came to Hollywood with $400.00 and a dream. Things didn't always go as planned, but he got to the top of his chosen field anyway. He launched Farrah Fawcett and Suzanne Summers. It was interesting to read how these women became household names. Jay was the one responsible for the famous Farrah poster.

Starmaker is honest. He doesn't paint himself as a saint. He owns up to doing lying to get whatever he wanted at the time. He tells you how he manipulated people and situations to achieve his goal. It was hard to read some of the Frank Sinatra stories, because the guy had such a mean streak. Jay also shows you how racism is alive in Hollywood and firebombed his house. The book was an interesting read. It's another reminder that Hollywood is not as easy as it looks.

Rating: Borrow From The Library

Carrie Goes Off The Map

December 8, 2011

Carrie Goes Off The Map
By: Phillipa Ashley
371 Pages

Summary:
What's a girl to do when her fiance calls off their wedding 2 weeks prior to it? Why go on a road trip of course. What's a girl to do when her friend can't go with her at the last minute? Go with an old acquaintance who you can't stand.

Carrie was set to marry Huw. However, two weeks before their wedding, Huw informs her he can't go through with it. if she thought that news devastated her, that was nothing compared to what she would find out later. A chance meeting in the bathroom is where Carrie learns that Huw is getting married that very afternoon, to the girl who people suspect he cheated on Carrie with. so what does Carrie do? She storms over to the wedding site with every intention of letting everyone know what was done. Instead of ruining the ceremony, she settles for destroying a flower arrangement instead. But, not before a wedding guest, and former school mate, tries to stop her.

Carrie's best friend, Rowena, decides what they need is some time off. Cue the girls only road trip! However, right as their about to get in an old VW van for their adventure, Rowena informs Carrie she's been offered a role on a medical soap opera. Fear not, for Rowena has found the perfect person to escort Carrie on her much needed vacation. Matt Landon. he went to school with them years before and also happens to be the very person who tried to stop Carrie from totalling the flowers at Huw's wedding. Wanting nothing more than to say no, Carrie goes ahead out of desperation to get out of town for a bit. The two set off on their trip, though it doesn't go as planned at all. Both are trying to escape their recent pasts. They are about to go on an adventure that changes their lives. And, just maybe, love will be the souvenir they take with them when it's over.

I'm a sucker for a book where characters go on road trips. This book was fun to read. While I was looking forward to a European backdrop, I did enjoy the alternative. I loved the characters Rowena and Matt. Both of them had sarcasm I lover and spunk. This book was a fun escape.

Rating: Borrow From The Library

Little Women & Me

November 8, 2011

Little Women & Me
By: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
314 Pages

Summary:
Emily's English teacher gives an assignment that changes Emily's life forever: Pick a book you love. Then list 3 things you love about it and 1 thing you would change if you could. As she re-reads the book, she is literally sucked into the book. How did she get there? Why is she there? How can she get back? And, what does she change?

Emily is the middle child and is suffering from sibling rivalry. She has a crush on the boy who likes her older sister. After informing him that her sister is with someone else, Jackson then decides to set his sights on Emily's younger sister. Well, that wasn't how it was supposed to go.

When she embarks on her English homework, her life changes. Emily must pick a book she loves and choose 3 things she likes about it. But, she also has to pick 1 thing she would change if she could. Emily chooses Little Women and sets out re-reading the book. Next thing she knows, she's no longer reading Little Women, but in the story itself.

Emily decides the reason she's there is to prevent Beth's death. She also decides that it will be her who ends up with Laurie- not Amy or Jo. But, all is not happy in the story while waiting for these to happen. Despite trying to force her way into situations, she never really feels like she belongs there.

But is she the only person who's been sucked into the book? Nope. Enter a plot twist! There are, not one, but 2 other characters in the story who were sucked into the book after criticizing it, too. Who are they? You will also see how they altered the book in a dramatic way. Once she learns what happened, Emily has a choice. She can either alter the story to suit her wants, or she can right the wrong that was done.

I loved Little Women And Me so much! This book was so creative from beginning to end. The whole idea of taking a beloved book and altering what you didn't like about it is an assignment I think English teachers should do today. Lauren Baratz-Logsted has such a talent for writing. I love how she merged the past and present so well. She didn't avoid making the obvious comparisons between the two eras, but embraced them with humor. I loved reading this book! I was sucked into it just as Emily was sucked into Little Women. Lauren Baratz-logsted is an author I will be reading more of in the future.

Rating: BUY IT!!

My Very UnFairy Tale Life

November 3, 2011

My Very UnFairy Tale Life
By: Anna Staniszewski
198 Pages
Ages 12+

Summary:
Jenny is an Adventurer. She travels to different worlds helping solve their problems. However, the charm of this is loosing it's sparkle. Klarr is her worst bad guy yet. Will she fight to save the land he's taken over, or will she opt for the quiet, mundane life of your average teenager?

This isn't my usual type of book, but I was curious. The plot sounded like it could be really good. I'm glad I read it, because I enjoyed it. It was a great fantasy read that, I think, many tweens enjoy as well.

Jenny has spent the last 3 years of her life going from one different world to another. Whenever there's a problem, she's sent to solve them. But Jenny has grown tired of going from one world to another. She longs for the boring life most kids her age hate: homework, school. She would love to get some sleep, too. When she learns the lengths the Committee has gone to in order to disguise what she's doing, Jenny has reached her limit. An evil sorcerer, dressed as a clown, named Klarr has proven to be her hardest challenge. What better time to call it a day? But can she walk away? Is the life she misses everything she thinks it is?

I loved the way Anna Staniszewski wrote My Very Unfairy Tale Life. The humorous way jenny sees things was a joy to read. She got things started off right away and kept them moving until the end. I loved the sidekick character, Anythony. His sarcastic nature and food munching was funny. Jenny and Anthony were a cute pair to read about. I also loved Dr. Bradley. I would love to have someone like him in my life.

This book was a pleasant read that I strongly recommend. My bookshelf has a spot waiting for it.

Rating: Buy It/Borrow From The Library

Reality Jane

October 31, 2011

Reality Jane
By: Shannon Nering
259 Pages

Summary: Jane moves from Canada to LA to work as a Producer on reality television. See how this Canadian transplant deals with the backstabbing nature of LA, interacts with the men she meets, and handles landing the "dream job" she desperately wanted.

If you have ever wondered what it's like behind the scenes of reality shows, you're about to get a front row seat. Jane starts working on a reality show called The Purrfect Life and finds out why she needed to report to work right away. The star of the show is less than nice, polite, & cooperative. Jane also gets a hard lesson in friendship dynamics in the work place. Not to mention trying to navigate dating in La-La land.

But everything changes when she applies for her  "dream job" on Fix Your Life. The show she thought she was going to be working for turns out to be anything but. Reality brings a cold hard slap on her face and Jane has to decide how long she can handle it in order to reach the goal she set for herself. Not only does she have to deal with her morals, but will she have to choose between her "dream job" and her dream guy? And will she burn bridges with real friends along the way?

Overall, the book was a fun read. This book was what really happened to the author. While names of shows have been changed, it's pretty obvious which shows they were. It was interesting to see how these reality shows work. I had to hand it to Jane, I wouldn't have lasted nearly as long as she did.

Rating: Borrow From The Library

Escape From Verona Romeo & Juliet Part 2

October 19, 2011

Escape From Verona  Romeo & Juliet Part 2:
The Lost Diary of Juliet Montague
By: David Gray
496 Pages

Summary:
What if Romeo & Juliet didn't really die in the tomb? What if they faked their death and escaped Verona in order to be together? How would they do it? Would they be able to do it? Can they escape their enemies before lies, false accusations, and murder are charges Romeo and Juliet are forced punished for?

*** I must preface this review with a confession: I have NEVER read anything by Shakespeare- including Romeo & Juliet. ***

Escape From Verona literally picks up where Shakespeare left off. The story begins with Romeo and Juliet in the tomb. Juliet awakens from the potion she took and is about to kill herself when she realizes that Romeo is not dead, but under the influence of the same potion Juliet took. From here she smears Paris's blood on herself and stages her own stabbing. Under the darkness of the night, Juliet smuggles herself and a deeply sleeping Romeo out of the tomb and out of the graveyard. However, they don't go unnoticed. A night watchmen comes upon them and Juliet leads him to think she is a witch, sending the watchmen to run in fright to report this. And here starts her charges of witchcraft.

Juliet manages to get them out of the city, but life is never the same again. Romeo & Juliet are now on the run for peace- and their lives. A cat and mouse game is soon begun between them and Ugo. Not born of noble birth, Ugo wants all that nobility gives, and isn't afraid to do the dirty work he has to do. He has quickly figured out that capturing the two lovers is key, and sets forth to manipulate everyone he can to his advantage.

While Rome and Juliet are running through the forests and country side trying to get out of Verona, Ugo is one step behind them staging murderous scenes. Ugo kills several and carves RM into the bodies so it looks as though Romeo is a murderer. Eventually Ugo manages to get ahead of them, all the while watching and waiting their every move.

I enjoyed this book very much. I worried that I may have trouble since I've never read the original Romeo and Juliet, but you are given all the information you need at the very beginning. The story of this book is every bit as good as the actual story itself. The original manuscript for parts of this book were buried within a house's walls centuries ago. David Gray tells you which parts are from the manuscript and which parts he adds. 

I loved that Othello makes more than one appearance in the book. There could have been other Shakespeare characters in here as well, but I only recognized Othello's. I loved how he's introduced and the role he plays in the book. His storyline, though brief, was thoroughly enjoyable.

The one aspect I struggled with was the missing romance factor. I found very little romance between Romeo and Juliet in this book. For being a legendary story, and for having gone to such extremes to be together, I would have thought there would be more time dedicated to that love. For a time in the beginning Romeo came off as impatient with Juliet. He seemed to have little tolerance for how hard everything was on her. While I understand the situation didn't call for a lot of a peaceful "honeymoon", I would've thought his attitude could have been slightly different. For about the first half of the book it seemed that Juliet was the smarter of the two, but that changed in the second half of the book.

This book is a good read. Fans of the legendary couple may or may not like it. You don't get a lot of the romance factor that made these two characters so famous. However, you do go on one hell of an adventure with the two. I wish there was more of a romance storyline, but there is a reason there isn't.

Rating: But It- I'd buy it if it were in the bargain section./Borrow From The Library

Eleanor Roosevelt's Life of Soul Searching & Self Discovery

October 17, 2011

Eleanor Roosevelt's Life of Soul Searching & Self Discovery
By: Ann Atkins
176 Pages
** reviewed by: Betsey Brooks **

Summary:
See how this remarkable woman learned to forge her own way in life even when the odds were against her. See how she stood on her own two feet and did things her way at a time when that was never what a woman was supposed to do.

I am a huge fan of Eleanor Roosevelt, so I was very interested to read Ann Atkins' book. Having read several books on Eleanor's life I was curious to see what new things I would learn about this amazing woman. The book starts by introducing  your to her parents and their world of wealth and high society.  This helped me to have a better understanding of how Eleanor was raised.  Her childhood was one of neglect and put downs. She was not the pretty, outgoing child her mom had wanted.  Eleanor learned to stay in the background as a way of protecting herself from being embarrassed by derogatory comments made in front of her.

The brightest spot in her world was her father who, unfortunately, was seldom with her. Being an alcoholic lead him to make many promises, but seldom kept them. After her mother's death, her grandmother decides to send Eleanor to a private school. This was her saving grace. She flourished and made many friends. One of her teachers took Eleanor under her wing and gave her love and encouragement. Eleanor proved to be a good student, made many friends, enjoyed discussing politics and finally learned to express her own opinions.  This was not a trait that was approved of in the world she returned to.

Meeting and marrying Franklin was a happy time except for his overbearing mother Sara Roosevelt. She doted on Franklin and continued to manipulate him throughout her life.  Eleanor had six children, but sadly lost their third child . Depression set in. Sara Roosevelt ran the household from choosing the place they lived to picking out furniture and continued on undermine Eleanor's place as a mother. Sara spoiled the children, showering them with gifts.  Eleanor didn't seem to be able to deal with this so she concentrated on her husband and helping him with his ambitions.

Life changed completely when she found out that Franklin had been having an affair with her social secretary and friend Lucy Mercer. Eleanor offered him a divorce. Once again Franklin's mother took control and threatened to cut him off from the money she doled out to him so lavishly. His dreams of a political career would be finished so he promised to end the affair. Franklin would continue to be involved with women for the rest of his life. Lucy Mercer would discreetly remain in the picture. Eleanor slowly established her place in his world.

Ann Atkins adds bits and pieces about the people of this time. It is interesting to see how she shows Eleanor mature and finally become the strong intelligent woman we all think of today. Many people helped to mold Eleanor.  The effects these people had on  Eleanor and history are amazing. She goes from being the lonely wife and mother to  a full time nurse for Franklin when he is struck with infantile paralysis and continues on to campaign for Franklin's presidential run.  Her campaigning and globe trotting helped to shape our history. One of her many achievements was the passing of  the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This book tells of many of the concessions she had to make to achieve her goals along the way. Eleanor Roosevelt continued to give to her country and the world until she passed away. 

I would recommend this book to those of you that enjoy reading about history and the people that helped make it. Enjoy.

Head Over Heel: Seduced By Southern Italy

October 11, 2011

Head Over Heel: Seduced By Southern Italy
By: Chris Harrison
320 Pages

I have always loved reading what I called "destination books". These are books that take you different countries in the story. Since I can't afford to travel abroad, I get to "travel" through the characters. A match made in Heaven, if you ask me.

Through Head Over Heel, I get to venture my way through southern Italy- one of my favorite places to explore. Between the beautiful scenery, delicious foods, and embracing customs I jump at any chance to read a book taking place in Italy. This book was no disappointment. Mr. Harrison has a talent for turning the supportive characters from people I will never meet to people I feel like I've known. He has an amazing talent for telling a story that pulls you in and holds you there..

Chris Harrison falls in love in an instant. But not just with anyone, a woman who is about to go back to her home country of Italy. Eventually he joins her there and the fun begins. You get to see how an Australian adjusts to life in a foreign country with customs very different from his own. Between the lax airport security to the slow pace of the Italian police you will have a pleasant read on your hands. More than once I chuckled at his descriptions and events that unfolded for him. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

Rating: Borrow From The Library/ Buy It

Always The Wedding Planner, Never The Bride

October 3, 2011

Always The Wedding Planner, Never The Bride
By: Sandra D. Bricker
320 Pages

Summary:
Sherilyn and her fiance, Andy, met and fell in love very quickly. They were engaged on their 10th date. On top of planning a wedding, they move back to their hometown of Atlanta. Both have pasts to put to rest and a future to get ready for. It would be a lot easier if her wedding dress choices would stop disappearing.

Sherilyn meet, fall in love, and get engaged all within their first 10 dates. As if that wasn't enough, they decide to move back to Atlanta. Sherilyn gets the wedding planner job at the Tanglewood, a wedding destination hotel. Both she and Andy make friends, but both are struggling with their past, and the rapid pace their relationship has been on. Andy freaks out when they tour a possible house, she may be allergic to him. Throw in a famous actor, known more for his behind the scenes antics than his talent, and you have cute visit.

I thought this book was cute. It was a great way to pass the time in between books and would be perfect to read after having finished a heavy read. I enjoyed meeting all the characters and watch them interact. Russel, the actor, was great! I thought I had Sherilyn's mysterious past upset all figured out, and I was wrong. This isn't a book you can't put down, but it was an enjoyable read.

A great, relaxing read. Get comfy in your favorite reading place and enter the world of Tanglewood.

Rating: Borrow From The Library

Barcelona Calling

October 1, 2011

Barcelona Calling
By: Jane Kirkpatrick
320 Pages

Summary:
Annie Shaw wants to make her new book the success her 2 previous ones weren't. Easy way to do that is to go on Oprah. But first, you have to get her attention...

Annie Shaw is a writer who has one successful release to her credit and two not-so-successful releases under her belt. She and her friends decide they need to get Annie's book on the Oprah show. From adopting a dog to getting a car stickered as a walking ad for the new book, Annie tries numerous things to achieve the goal she has set. However, none of them go quite the way they were supposed to.

I always enjoy reading about a character's attempts that go awry, and Annie Shaw has her share of them. There was the plan of posing as a maintenance worker so she could leave her book at a radio station. Hiding out in the bathroom wasn't part of the plan, but nor was 2 men mistaking the women's bathroom for the men's. Or the theory that using the same dog groomer Oprah used would be a sure fire way to get Oprah's attention. It did the job- but only because Annie's dog flipped out a little & got all the other dogs there to help destroy the place. And I couldn't leave out Annie's last ditch effort to get Oprah's attention. She decides to buy an old clunker of a car and give it a makeover: she turns it into a walking ad of her book for Oprah. Too bad the car caught fire... and took Annie's eyebrows with it.

Barcelona Calling is cute and charming, but not gripping. It wasn't a book I couldn't put down or couldn't wait to get back to. The book is cute, but not one you won't forget. Sadly, I don't see this book appearing on the New York Times Bestseller list. I just don't think this book is able to stand out among all the other choices of books it has to compete with.

Rating: Borrow From The Library

New Series Alert- The Shimmering

Attention all Fantasy & Science Fiction Fans! There's a new series for you to read and enjoy! May I introduce to you The Shimmering:



The Shimmering
By: William Westwood Jr
Book One Available Now
Read & Reviewed by: John Nelissen

An excellent and rapid read, The Shimmering introduces us to Michael who is fourteen years of age.  Embarking upon a hike he encounters a most unusual singularity and finds himself in another world.  He must make the choice to follow his "calling" and this results in a series of wonderful adventures.

Like Harry Potter you'll finish this book panting for the next installment.  The author indicates his affinity for the writings of J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien & Walter Farley.  To that I would add Robert A. Heinlein, as influences of all these are apparent.
A truly enjoyable book.  Mr. Westwood, when can we expect the next one???

1225 Christmas Tree Lane

September 29, 2011

1225 Christmas Tree Lane
By: Debbie MaComber
Reviewed By: Betsey Brooks

I love  reading Debbie Macomber book, but I especially enjoy her Christmas stories. They are always brimming over in Christmas Spirit.  She has continually taken me away for a delightful visit with the characters of Cedar Cove.

This story takes place during the Christmas holidays.  The story centered around  Beth Morehouse who owns and operates a Christmas Tree farm. After going through a heartbreaking divorce, Beth had relocated to Cedar Cove and purchased the farm and continued the business of raising Christmas trees. She also trains dogs and has been involved with rescued dogs. This year someone has dropped a litter of 10 puppies on her doorstep. Christmas is the perfect time to find owners for these puppies- so she thinks.

The reader will be amazed at where and how these puppies find homes. Beth's two daughters, Baily and Sophie arrive to spend the holidays. Along with them Beth's ex husband is also arriving. The memories of wonderful family Christmases had been drifting through her mind as she prepared to see Kent. These went from rosy warm to ice cold with the arrival of Danielle Kent's "friend". But fear not her mischievous daughters had plans for mom and dad and they didn't include dad's friend.

Throughout the story you  drop in and discover  what has been going on in the lives of some of the characters from other books in this series. From the cutting of the Christmas trees to Christmas Day dinner it is a wonderful visit.  But it wouldn't be Christmas without gifts and surprise. Both are sprinkled lavishly throughout the story.

This is the last book in the Cedar Cove series. I have enjoyed this series immensely and will miss the charming characters.  However I am anxious to see what new reading delights Debbie Macomber will share with us.

Sleeping Beauty

September 12, 2011

Sleeping Beauty
By: Charles Seddon Evans

Summary:
A Queen's dream to have a child comes true. While a kingdom celebrates and bestows gifts, a recluse brings a curse. Does the Princess die or fall asleep? Is she the only one? Read the story the Disney classic was based on. What was kept and what was kept out.

The story opens with the Queen longing for a child of her own. A magical frog appears during her bath and predicts that by the following year she will be holding her own baby. Sure enough, a beautiful girl is born. The Royal parents name her Briar Rose and celebrate her arrival with a christening a few weeks later. Lords and Ladies, Princes, Ambassadors from foreign countries all come bearing gifts for the beloved infant. While the kingdom's fairies all bestow gifts of virtues upon the infant, the lone recluse fairy shows her anger by giving the gift of death. she declares that on her 15th birthday, Briar Rose will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die immediately. During all this, one fairy has remained hidden, but comes forth to give her gift. She can't undo the horrible spell, but she does alter it: the Princess will sleep for 100 years, at which time a Prince will come to awaken her.

Sure enough, come her 15th birthday, the spell comes true despite burning every spinning wheel. However, it isn't just the Princess who falls asleep for 100 years, but everyone within the castle. 100 years later, and numerous failed attempts by other Princes, one Prince unfamiliar to the castle and it's spell asks about it. He sets out to be the one to break the spell and does.

I thoroughly loved reading this fairy tale. I thought Disney stayed pretty close to the story and what they did change made sense for the audience they were targeting. I thought I knew the story, but was pleasantly surprised to read the whole castle- with everyone & everything in it- fell asleep for 100 years as well. It was so interesting to read how the outer castle was taken over by plant and thorn growth, but only for so far. When the Prince tackles the thorns and plants he wasn't the only one surprised by the beautiful vegetation and castle found with in the growth- just there sleeping.

I look forward to sharing this fairy tale with my daughters once they get older. I have no doubt that I will read this one numerous times.

Rating: Buy It! Though it was a free ebook for the Kindle

Fairy Tale Reading

September 7, 2011


Like countless children before me, I loved fairy tales as I grew up. Thanks to Disney, many have been brought to life, with a new twist, and for generations to grow up with. But, what were the movies based on? I've often wondered and now I set out to find out. I recently found a handful of fairy tales to read. While I'm well aware of the fact that they may not be the original story, I am still curious to see how they were told.

I have decided to go on a little fairy tale adventure and I'm taking all of you with me. I've picked out 4 fairy tales to read, all of which I've seen the popular movie to. I'm going to read & compare the stories to what I grew up knowing of them. Here they are:
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Cinderella
  • Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp
Here's to Once Upon A Time...

A Marriage Carol

September 3, 2011

A Marriage Carol
By: Chris Fabry & Gary Chapman

Summary:
A Couple is on their way to sign their divorce papers. The snow storm causes their accident & life is never the same again. A Christmas Carol applied to a marriage. Can a look to the beginning, present, & possible future keep a once loving family together?

Marlee and Jacob Ebeneezer have been married for 20 years. Over the last couple of years, they haven't been happy. Life has taken them into different directions: she to her children, he to his work. Somehow, over the years, the spark burned out. After numerous tries to change the course they were on, they decide it would be better for the kids if they got divorced. As the story begins, they are literally driving to the lawyer's office to sign the papers. However, the snow storm they happen to be driving puts a kink in their plans when they get broadsided by a truck.

Marlee comes to and can't find her husband anywhere. She stumbles out of the car and sees a light off in the distance. Once there, she is welcomed by an older man, Jay. Turns out the house she came to is a marriage retreat. Jay tells her of three golden pots he says will change her life. As snow from outside melts within the pot, the holder is given a look into the past, present, and future. Marlee watches her relationship with Jacob go from dating all the way to marriage. She's given the a shock when she sees what the pot for the future shows her.

Marlee meets Jay's wife and is stunned to realize the woman and Jay are actually her and Jacob many years from now. She rushes out into the storm in the attempt to find her husband and Jay. Not only does she find them, but she almost crashed into them.

When Marlee comes to again she finds herself in a hospital bed surrounded by her children. Turns out,  all these visions occurred while she was unconscious in her hospital bed with a concussion. Together Marlee and Jay realize the accident was a blessing the Lord sent in disguise, because had it never happened they would have become divorced. Instead, they both realize that they want to take as long as it takes to recapture what they had.

A phenomenal read! I loved A Christmas Carol, so when I read about this book, I was immediately curious. I love how they were able to tell this story. So touching, so poignant. I felt this was a story that was not only relateable to many, but very well told. Once the story is over, there is a guide that follows it. I didn't read that, but was gripped by the story. I hope you read it and enjoy it as well. 

Rating:Borrow From The Library/Buy It

Blame It On The Mistletoe

September 1, 2011

Blame It On The Mistletoe
By" Joyce Magnin
320 Pages

Summary:
Something is going on at Greenbrier Nursing Home. One patient is riding a tricycle all around the place- complete with handlebar tassels & a bell she loves to ring; some are acting like lovesick teenagers. What is behind it all?

I am saddened to say that I wasn't able to get into this book. The description sounded cute and the story sounded so interesting. However, I just wasn't able to immerse myself into the story. I think the characters being much older than I am is a big reason- I'm not the target audience. I hung in for as long as I could, but I just couldn't stay interested. The main reason I read the book was to see if My Mom and her friends would like it, but I wasn't able to finish.

Rating: Borrow From The Library

Adorable Kids books

August 18, 2011

I've been given the pleasure of reading a couple of kids books that will be coming out soon. These 2 are so adorable, I thought I should share. My household is a BIG storybook household, so these are bound to become part of our library.

Honestly, Red Riding Hood Was Rotten
By: Trisha Speed Shaskan
23 Pages
Ages: 5+
Out now!

Summary:
Every story has 2 sides. Here's The Wolf's side.

I loved this book! It was so cute! It was interesting how the author turned Red into a little conceited girl. I laughed when the Wolf looked at Red Riding Hood, but only saw things she had in common with apples. Note to self: Always keep apples in the house!

Back-To-School Rules
By: Laurie B. Friedman
36 Pages
Ages 5+
Release Date: September 1, 2011
Summary:
Percy Isaac Gifford is headed back to school. Here's his list of Dos & Don'ts for school.

This book was so cute! I wish it had been released before my oldest started school. Percy's rules are great and so are some of his explanations for the rules he gives. This professional student has lots to share. I can picture this book in classrooms & libraries. It will definitely find a home on our bookshelves at home.

Reading Invitation- The Count Of Monte Cristo

August 4, 2011

Join Jen's Corner in reading:

The Count of Monte Cristo
By: Alexander Dumas

Oh how I have missed reading the classics! I've had a real itch to get back to them lately. I've never read The Count of Monte Cristo before, so I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone loves about it. My husband, Dave, has agreed to read it with me since it's his favorite book of all time. the latest installment of  my Journey Through The Classics reading list has been turned into a family reading. My Dad is even seriously thinking of reading it with us. I'm going to try and get my brother & sister in on it, too.

If you would like to read The Count of Monte Cristo feel free to join in! I would love to hear what people like or don't like about this classic. A summary of the book is below.

Dashing young Edmond Dantès has everything. He is engaged to a beautiful woman, is about to become the captain of a ship, and is well liked by almost everyone. But his perfect life is shattered when he is framed by a jealous rival and thrown into a dark prison cell for 14 years.

The greatest tale of betrayal, adventure, and revenge ever written, The Count of Monte Cristo continues to dazzle readers with its thrilling and memorable scenes, including Dantès’s miraculous escape from prison, his amazing discovery of a vast hidden treasure, and his transformation into the mysterious and wealthy Count of Monte Cristo—a man whose astonishing thirst for vengeance is as cruel as it is just.
 --bn.com


Happy Birthday

July 28, 2011

Happy Birthday
By: Danielle Steel
352 Pages

Summary:
Valerie has just turned 60 and she is not happy about it. Though she's the source on home decor, she doesn't want anyone to know she's now 60. April, Valerie's daughter, has just turned 30. Owner of a hugely successful restaurant that keeps her busy with 20 hour days, life is about to give a whopper of a birthday present. Jack has turned 50. The former football star is spending his birthday with a thrown out back when his fling the prior night is more than he can handle. These 3 characters are going to meet and become connected in ways they never thought they would.

It's been my experience over the last several years with her books, that Danielle Steel has become hit or miss with her stories. Sad to say, I didn't go into this book with high expectations. Truthfully, the story didn't sound like one of hers that I was going to melt into. Happily, I was wrong. I really liked this book. Color me shocked, but I actually thought she did a great job with Happy Birthday.

Valerie is the fictional Martha Stewart. She's made a very successful career out of it. Still, being 60 is not something she's embracing. While once upon many a year ago she was married, she doubts she ever will find love again at her age. Life for Valerie hits a massive turning point when several armed gunmen storm her building, taking over her floor. Valerie and numerous other people become hostages fearing for their life. While she is one of the survivors, she doesn't walk out of the situation unchanged. Can an almost stranger, turned hero be her knight in shining armor?

April has had one dream for as long as she can remember: own her own restaurant that people flocked to. Now that she has done it, she realizes that she only has her restaurant and not the husband & kids most people have by the time they were 30. However, a bad review alters everything. A one night stand turns into the one night stand that leaves a gift. The Daddy-to-be is anything but happy about it. Having lived through a miserable childhood, Mike is now afraid of repeating history. Can he overcome his fear? And will a kitchen fire change everything?

Jack is the former football player, now turned sportscaster. He plays the field with girls young enough to be his daughter. The king of one night stands may find love creep up on him when he least suspects it. But will he give it up when his network wants to relocate him to another state?

Happy Birthday was a great light read. It was nice seeing the stories unfold and connect. I liked watching Mike struggle with childhood demons. I have to admit, I didn't expect the outcome of it. I really had him pegged in a different outcome.

Rating: Borrow From Library/ Buy It (if in mass paperback or bargain)

1105 Yakima Street

July 26, 2011

1105 Yakima Street
By: Debbie Macomber
400 Pages

Summary:
Dear Reader,
You've probably heard that my wife has left me. Rachel's pregnant, and she says she can't handle the stress in our household anymore. My thirteen–year–old daughter, Jolene, is jealous of her. Maybe it's my fault. As a widower I spoiled her—
Jolene was reading over my shoulder just now and says that's not true. She claims Rachel ruined everything. But that's not true. The real question is: How can I get my wife back? I don't even know where she is. She's not with Teri Polgar or any of her other friends from the salon. The other question is…when will Jolene grow up and stop acting like such a brat?
Of course, I'm not the only one in town with problems. Linc Wyse's father–in–law is trying to destroy his business. And you know Charlotte Rhodes? Seems she's becoming forgetful, and the family's worried about her and Ben. Lots of other stuff going on—but Rachel is better at keeping up with it than I am.
If you have any idea where my wife is, give me a call. Please.

***Before we get this review started, I should let you know I didn't read this book. No, I enlisted my Mom- a HUGE fan of Debbie Macomber books. Seeing as this book is the latest in a series already well established, I thought she would be able to do a better job. ***

My Mom loved this book as much as all the other books she's read by Debbie Macomber. Like most of Debbie's fan, Mom loves how the story lines revolve around some of unwanted things that can happen, yet, shows the good that can come from them. In the case of 1105 Yakima Street, some of the characters are forced to deal with the affects of Alzheimer's, others deal with a stressful marriage and home environment. While Debbie Macomber doesn't shy away from these heart wrenching topics, she does leave you with a happy ending and the excitement to read the next book. She keeps you glued to the story to see how things play out.

My Mom loved the storyline involving Olivia the most. Olivia is a judge and, along with her brother, are noticing that Mom and Dad have begun forgetting things. For example, her parent's kitchen catches fire when her Mother leaves the stove on. A major decision is forced upon Olivia and her brother when, once back in their own house, Olivia discovers her parents not using the new stove because they don't know how to work it. Popcorn and cereal have become their new meals. At that point, the siblings have no choice but to accept a new reality. However, in classic Debbie Macomber fashion, this seemingly sad story has an incredibly happy ending.

Mom also loved the dynamic of Olivia's brother, Will, and the local artist he hires to help run his art gallery, Miranda. The two butt heads and eventually fall in love. Mom enjoyed watching Will grow from an adult/child into an adult.

She felt the storyline involving a pregnant Rachel who flees the house she shares with her husband, Bruce, and his daughter, Jolene, was good. Rachel and Bruce are expecting their child, but life in the house has become more than anyone can stand. Drastic measures are taken when Rachel moves out of the home they share and in with an old boyfriend and his roommates. Rachel doesn't want anyone to know where she is out of fear that Bruce will think she's now with the old boyfriend.

My Mom loved 1105 Yakima Street. In her words: "Debbie Macomber never fails to deliver a good story. The characters are people you would like to meet and be friends with." I think my favorite comment from my Mom about one of her favorite authors is: "Her books are like warm chocolate chip cookies." Enough said. I just may have to read this book myself.

Rating: Borrow From The Library/ Buy It!

The World Among Us

July 24, 2011

The World Among Us
By: Beth Ann Masarik

Summary:
In The World Among Us, Hades, the god of the Underworld, plots to take over the world, and remove Gaia, the head Deity, from power.  In order to do so, he plots against his own son, Damien, and cons him into killing his soul mate, the beautiful goddess of the moon, Selene.  Hades does so, because Gaia is his natural enemy, and Selene is her favorite grandchild.  He thinks that by killing off Gaia’s favorite grandchild, he will weaken her.  With Selene out of the way, Hades then moves in on the Creatures of the Night.  He wants to kill off their leader, Jason Aysel.  Jason is the go-between person between worlds, and another person that Gaia highly regards.  Hades manipulates and cons Jason’s best friend, Leon Greene, into murdering him, by offering him Jason’s position as his reward.  Because of these actions, a war is to take place on earth between the gods and other Creatures of the Night.  During this time, Selene is reincarnated, and kept hidden as a secret weapon to win the war against Hades.  In order to win the war of wars, the gods and some of the demons will have to fight together, and learn to co-operate with each other.  Will the Titans and Olympians be able to set aside their differences, and take back the world from Hades?  Or is the world as we know it, doomed to fall under dark shadows, forever? -- author

Imagine having to live through 3000 years of teenage angst. That is what the main character of this story seems to be forced to do. The story focuses around Damien, the son of Hades, who is also a vampire. He is a prince of hell and is due to inherit all of the powers of his father, but he is put into decisions that are very hard to make. On one hand he wants to please his father, and on the other hand he wants to break away from him. Hades wants to rule the universe, and his machinations require war with all of the other gods and titans. He has elaborate plans that force Damien to chose sides. Damien makes choices and regrets them; so he tries to make amends for his misdeeds. He dedicates himself to protecting his true love which forces his allegiances to be tested.

This book is written primarily for a teenage audience, so the plot is pretty straight-forward. The character development is not as advanced as it would be if it were intended for adult audiences. Sometimes the logic of the characters is not easily followed. For example: one character is having an audience with Hades, and Hades asks this person to promise to perform a deed before he is told what it is. If that were me, I would have serious reservations about agreeing to anything before I knew what it was; especially if it were for Hades. In the story it seemed that Leon Greene had little thought before agreeing to the deed, which of course he regretted as soon as he found out that he had to murder his best friend. The book makes good use of the Greek mythology, incorporating gods, titans (predecessors and often fathers/mothers of the gods), and even Gaia (the mother of all the titans). If you have teens that are into the “vampire” genre, this could be an interesting read for them. This isn't a genre I read, but I can see how others can be fascinated with it.

Blog Update...

July 21, 2011


I haven't been as diligent with posting as I should be. I have several reviews that need to get done, and I've got to get back on top of everything. The last couple of weeks I've enjoyed the summer with my family & taking it easy. However, I have now got to get back to the reviews.

Stay tuned because they are coming soon. I even have a guest review by dear Hubby. Yeah, I roped him into it. I hope you all have been having a good summer so far. I look forward to being back in the swing of things.  Again, I'm sorry for the lack of entries.

Jane Erye (Book Memories)

July 16, 2011

Jane Eyre
By: Charlotte Bronte

Prior to me ever reading this book, I had heard nothing but good things about it. Still, I had not idea what I was in for. This book was an unforgettable read. It has everything- romance, drama, suspense. By the time I finished Jane Eyre I felt like I had been on an emotional journey with Jane herself.

From the beginning of Jane Eyre to the last page you are rooting for Jane. Your heart breaks for her when she's sent to the school only to later lose her best friend there. Hope and anticipation for the future flows from the book's pages to you as she takes on the governess position. It isn't just Jane's curiosity that peeks as one experience or encounter after another occurs with the unknown house guest. With every passing page I found myself unable to put the book down. I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. There were times I was gripping the book so hard my fingers hurt. I loved every second of it!

If you're looking for a book that will take you on an unforgettable journey, have you traveling all over the emotional map, and grab you with an iron grip Jane Eyre is a book you need to read. It is one of those books that I have to have on my bookshelf. I know I will re-read this book numerous times.

Reader Frustration!!!! (HELP!!)

July 11, 2011


What the heck?!?!?!? The last several books I've read have sucked! There's no way around it- they were awful! Most of them didn't even make it to my blog because there was no point. For the most part, I didn't even finish them. What in the world?!

The last book I loved was The Last Letter From Your Lover. I should have known that it would be hard to top, but I had hope. Every book since that one has been bad. And these are all review requests! A part of me is just about ready to take a break from the requests and hit my long missed bookshelves.

I hate when this happens. I know it's bound to happen and there's really no way around it. Sometimes these slumps are brief. Sometimes they are lengthy ruiners of a beloved past time. All I know is that when they happen to me, I am nothing short of miserable. I miss getting sucked into a storyline. I miss not being able to wait to see what will happen next. I miss being drawn to the characters and their world.

AARRGGHH!! Has this happened to you? How did you get through it? Was there one book or author that restored everything? Any advise?

A Catered Affair

July 10, 2011

A Catered Affair
By: Sue Margolis
374 Pages

Summary:
When Tallulah gets jilted at the altar, she gets very drunk and starts making passes at the male wedding guests. She even propositions the caterer. But in the next few weeks, reality comes crashing down around her. Her difficult mother becomes more impossible than ever. Her lesbian sister starts trying to have a baby. Nana Ida gets busy matchmaking. What Tallulah is about to discover is that happiness doesn't always come in the form of the perfect doctor- and that sometimes real love doesn't require a catered affair.  --bn.com

I went into this book with high hopes. Sadly, it didn't deliver. By the time I was nearing on 100 pages, there was no wedding in sight. I felt that Sue Margolis spent too much time describing things that could've been done so in several paragraphs- not several pages. While you're waiting for the plot to kick in, you aren't amused much by the secondary characters and their own plots.

I feel this book has the potential to be good, but more editing needs to be done. Trim the excess and pointless. Beef up the secondary characters. If your book is going to be slow going, then make sure you have enough to keep the reader interested while they wait. Unfortunately, A Catered Affair didn't. I got to the point where I was no longer curious to see what would happen and how everything would play out. I had no doubt the ending would be happy. But I didn't care.

Rating: Borrow From Library

Smokin' Seventeen

July 8, 2011

Smokin' Seventeen
By: Janet Evanovich
308 Pages

Summary:
Dead bodies are showing up in shallow graves on the empty construction lot of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds. No one is sure who the killer is, or why the victims have been offed, but what is clear is that Stephanie’s name is on the killer’s list.
Short on time to find evidence proving the killer’s identity, Stephanie faces further complications when her family and friends decide that it’s time for her to choose between her longtime off-again-on-again boyfriend, Trenton cop Joe Morelli, and the bad boy in her life, security expert Ranger. Stephanie’s mom is encouraging Stephanie to dump them both and choose a former high school football star who’s just returned to town. Stephanie’s sidekick, Lula, is encouraging Stephanie to have a red-hot boudoir “bake-off.” And Grandma Bella, Morelli’s old-world grandmother, is encouraging Stephanie to move to a new state when she puts “the eye” on Stephanie.
With a cold-blooded killer after her, a handful of hot men, and a capture list that includes a dancing bear and a senior citizen vampire, Stephanie’s life looks like it’s about to go up in smoke. --bn.com

I've been a long-time reader and fan of the Stephanie Plum series. Every time I read the books I know I'm going to be laughing at the hilarity that ensues in each book. While this book was no exception, I didn't seem to enjoy the plot as much as some of the previous books in the series. The book itself, isn't lacking for much, I just wasn't as grabbed by it as I have been before.

Joe's Grandma gives Stephanie Vordo- a sex spell. So, there's a lot more sex in this book than there usually is. Stephanie and Lula endure one calamity after another in the name of chasing down bail jumpers. One has an enormous problem, that is usually front and center. Stephanie's mom wants her to settle down and finds her the "perfect" man in David, a guy Stephanie went to high school with. While he's an amazing cook, there's more to his frying pan than meets the eye. A not so blast from her past is looking to get revenge on Stephanie.

This book will have you laughing pretty much non-stop. It was a fun read.

Rating: Borrow From The Library/Buy It

The Last Letter From Your Lover

July 6, 2011

The Last Letter From Your Lover
By: Jojo Moyes
398 Pages (my review copy)

Summary:
It is 1960. When Jennifer Stirling wakes up in the hospital, she can remember nothing-not the tragic car accident that put her there, not her husband, not even who she is. She feels like a stranger in her own life until she stumbles upon an impassioned letter, signed simply "B", asking her to leave her husband.
Years later, in 2003, a journalist named Ellie discovers the same enigmatic letter in a forgotten file in her newspaper's archives. She becomes obsessed by the story and hopeful that it can resurrect her faltering career. Perhaps if these lovers had a happy ending she will find one to her own complicated love life, too. Ellie's search will rewrite history and help her see the truth about her own modern romance. --- bn.com 

This book is such an amazing read! I was glued to it the entire time. I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen and where the story was going to lead me. Absolutely beautiful. It was like I was there when Jennifer woke up and there when she finds the first letter. I was given the privilege of watching two characters fall in love and maneuver the hurdles thrown in their path. Like Jennifer, I was shocked to learn the lengths her husband went to. Through Jojo Moyes' writing style, I felt like a fly on the wall for all the highs and lows. I didn't want the book to end, but couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next.

The story begins with Jennifer waking up in the hospital after being the lone survivor of a car crash. She has no clue who the other passenger was or how the accident happened. The only thing she does know is that something doesn't feel right once she gets to her house and resumes her life. while cleaning her closets, she discovers a letter. Things start to come together after she discovers several more. Once she has these letters in her life again, nothing is the same again. Is the writer of the letters the fellow passenger in the car accident?

I don't want to give anything away, so I won't say too much more. I will say this: once you start reading The Last Letter From Your Lover, you will want to curl up and never stop reading it. Jojo Moyes has a bright and successful future ahead of her. She wrote a beautiful, telling story you don't want to put down. If you enjoyed The Notebook,  you will love The Last Letter From Your Lover. I fully intend for it to have a welcome place on my bookshelf.

Rating: BUY IT!

New Mystery Series!!!

July 5, 2011

Attention all mystery lovers!! There is a new series to get lost in! Famed mystery writer Jenn McKinlay has released book 1 in her new A Library Lover's Mystery series! Read and enjoy!


Lindsey is getting into her groove as the director of the Briar Creek Public Library when a New York editor visits town, creating quite a buzz. Lindsey's friend Beth wants to sell the editor her children's book, but Beth's boyfriend, a famous author, gets in the way. When they go to confront him, he's found murdered-and Beth is the prime suspect. Lindsey has to act fast before they throw the book at the wrong person.  --bn.com

I'm getting my copy today and can't wait to get started! I hope you enjoy it!

Growing Up Amish

July 3, 2011

Growing Up Amish
By: Ira Wagler

Summary:
"...in this heartwarming memoir, Ira paints a vivid portrait of Amish life—from his childhood days on the family farm, his Rumspringa rite of passage at age 16, to his ultimate decision to leave the Amish Church for good at age 26." bn.com

Prior to reading this book, I knew very little about what it's like to be Amish. I didn't know there were different types of Amish, let alone the rules for their church. To say the very least, reading Growing Up Amish gave me knowledge I wouldn't have otherwise.

Ira really does take you into the life of the Amish. You learn the courting ways, the church ways. You find out what it's like to attend a regular church service and a baptism. By the time I had finished the book, I felt like I had been living next door to the Amish. And while I may not be able to live the life they do, I have a respect for their choice I didn't have before.

Growing Up Amish not only takes you among the people, but it also takes you on the emotional journey Ira Wagler went on. Through the course of the book, you will read how he leaves the church numerous times only to come back. However, every time he returns he isn't able to find the peace he was hoping would be there. By the fourth time, he finally has a firm understanding on his life direction. My heart broke for him every time he left and every time he came back.

Rating: Borrow From The Library

Seduction & Scandal

June 28, 2011

Seduction & Scandal
By: Charlotte Featherstone
383 Pages (My Review Copy)

Summary:
With the scandalous nature of her birth to live down, Isabella Fairmont dreams of a proper marriage—even if a passionless one. She saves her deepest desires for the novel she dares to pen, wherein a handsome lord with dark powers seduces her. But then her courtship with an appropriate suitor is threatened by the sudden attentions of the reclusive Earl of Black…whose pale blue eyes and brooding sensuality are exactly as she described in her book.
Isabella tries to resist the mysterious Earl of Black.
Yet as he pursues her, with inexplicable knowledge of her past and kisses that consume her, Isabella fears she will succumb.
If only the earl could tell Isabella the truth. With very real, and treacherous, thieves endangering her life, Black will need to protect Isabella from the very people she trusts the most…. bn.com

I  had a hard time getting into this book. Finding out the main character, Isabella, was writing a novel at a time when women weren't really taken seriously for writing. The summary of the book got me curious. This isn't a genre I normally read, and this book wasn't able to change that.

While the chemistry between Isabella and Black was believable and strong, it wasn't enough to save the book, in my opinion. The pace of the book lagged in places. I wasn't glued to the book waiting to see what was going to happen next.

Fans of this author and this genre will probably enjoy Seduction And Scandal, but I wasn't able to. I wanted to love it, but just couldn't get into it.
Rating: Borrow From Library

Dead Giveaway

June 27, 2011

Dead Giveaway
By: Leann Sweeney
225 Pages (Nookbook)

Summary:
Abby's latest adoption case involves finding the birth parents of a baby who was left on a doorstep. The who, whats, whens, and whys will take you on an emotional journey.

I just finished this book and all I can say is, "Wow". Such a powerful storyline. Such an incredible story. Leann Sweeney out did herself this time. As I have been with the other books in this series, I was gripped throughout the entire book. I polished this book off in less than 2 days- and with 2 young kids, that's saying something.

Will is a star athlete from an incredibly close and loving family. However, they aren't blood related. None of them could have imagined what they were in for when they decide to locate Will's birth parents. When their biggest source of information is murdered, everything changes. Answers are searched hard for and all lead to an emotional climax. Will's birth parents had an enemy in his mother's parents. They stooped to new lows to keep the two apart. Two people in love have their lives shattered for no good reason.

This story takes you on a journey with stops in a prison and a successful church. It has you meeting people who give you faith in the good of humanity, as well as show the sadness only ignorance can bring. The ending had tears welling in my eyes. Such a great read!! I loved every single minute of it and was sad to see it end. Thank you, Leann Sweeney, for writing another wonderful read. You did an amazing job!

Rating: BUY IT!!!

A Dream Hosue For Me

June 18, 2011

The house where 2 of my favorite movies (Father of the Bride & Father of the Bride Part 2) were filmed is up for sale. I wish I could live there! All I have to do is get me a cool 1.3 million dollars and it's all mine! Now... why won't my money tree drop any money??

Anyway, if you liked the movies starring Steve Martin, I invite you to check out the link I provided. You get to look at pictures of the inside as well. http://www.tmz.com/2011/06/18/father-of-the-bride-house-for-sale-auction-million-alhambra-movie-arbor-martin-short-steve-martin/

The Man In The Rockefeller Suit

June 17, 2011


The Man In The Rockefeller Suit
By: Mark Seal
336 Pages (My Review Copy)

Summary:
At 17 years old, a teenager comes to United States. From one coast to another he changes names, backgrounds- he changes lives. He fools everyone he knows into believing him without question the vast majority of the time. At one point he becomes a "person of interest" in the disappearance of a California couple. However, the world knows him from his largest con- claiming to be a Rockefeller. See how this man pulled off the con of a lifetime, how it fell part.

I was given the privilege of reviewing this book through the publisher and I am very honored. I had read the excerpt of this book when it ran in Vanity Fair magazine and was enthralled. How was someone able to fool so many people for so long?! How did he start?

Mark Seal did an amazing job at telling you this man's incredulous story. He only dealt with the facts and not with theories of anything. He doesn't go off on tangents that have nothing to do with the story. He does not get you lost in an overly descriptive world so that you have no clue what happened. I thought he did a brilliant job of relating the story.

Through this book you will see how a child who loved to play role playing games- and who was very good at it- turned that obsession into a lifestyle. You will see how he was able to get a woman he hardly knew to marry him in order to get his green card. Through this book you will learn of his involvement with the citizens of San Marino, California and how he became a local celebrity. You also will discover how he got linked with the disapperance of the John and Linda Sohus. You will read how he has able to con his way into USC Film school.

I was baffled how this man was able to accomplish all he did without getting caught. He claimed to people that he worked on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, had brief stints on Wall Street. And, finally, let a famous name do all the work for him. I couldn't believe how easily and effortlessly he had people believing he really was a member of the Rockefller family. All he had to do was use this name and he was able to have doors opened for him.

If you are curious how a man was able to lie his way through his life, and be successful at it, I recommend this book. The story was entrancing. This man's story will baffle you, shock you.

Rating: Buy It

Mystery Month On Pause...

June 15, 2011

I have been given the honor of being able to read and review several up coming releases, along with a few newly released books. Since these books have a due date and time limit, I have to stop running my Mystery Month. Once things settle down, I hope to start it up again.

Thank you to all who read the reviews of the mystery books I have already put up. I hope you enjoy the upcoming reviews I'm working on.

Love, Jen

The Seven Dials Mystery (Mystery Month)

June 14, 2011

The Seven Dials Mystery
By:Agatha Christie
270 Pages

Summary:
Reclusive tycoon Sir Oswald Coote and his melancholy wife, Lady Coote, have hit upon the ideal plan to spice up their quiet lives. They'll host a lavish weekend party at Chimneys, their isolated estate, and invite only "bright young things." But the festive mood is clouded by doom. A practical joke involving seven clocks and a sleeping guest has ended in accidental death—and cause for alarm. For the guests may not be all that they appear. And as whispers of a strange club called Seven Dials echo through the halls of Chimneys, all hands will be pointing to murder... --bn.com

I love Agatha Christie. She's one of my go to authors when I'm in the mood for a mystery book. However, this book I struggled through. For whatever reason I had a hard time getting into the plot. At times I even got confused and had to reread parts to figure out what was going on. I have never had this problem with an Agatha Christie book before, so I'm a little shocked.

Despite it taking me longer to read than it should have, there were many things I did enjoy. Agatha is great at giving you a handful of characters that you get to know throughout the story. By the time you come to the end, you often find out several of them are not what they appeared to be- at all. I always try to see if I can figure out who the "bad guy" is, but I rarely do.

The whole secret society of Seven Dials was very creative. When the concept is first introduced to you, you think you have it pretty much figured out. I thought I did, but I was wrong. Agatha Christie is the master when it comes to creating interest in things you normally wouldn't give a second thought to.

Agatha Christie fans will enjoy this book. It may not be one of my favorites from her, but it was still a good escape.

Rating: Borrow From The Library

Reading Habits

June 12, 2011

I thought I'd share with you a couple of my reading habits. Granted, these are only the tip of my odd ice burg. I didn't want to overwhelm you, so I thought I'd do a couple at a time.

When you're reading a book, do you ever check to see how many pages the books is? I do that- every time. I'm one of those people who likes to know how long the book I'm reading is. And then, as I read the book, I keep track of how many pages I have left before I finish the book. For the most part, I'm not a fan of long books.

I don't just stop there. Nope, I have gotten into the habit of counting the number of pages in the individual chapters as well. I love shorter chapters. Being a person who ofter has to steal time to read, short chapters are wonderful. 10 pages,or less, are perfect to me. I've noticed that over the years, I've started seeing how long the chapter is that I'm about to begin. I don't really know why this is, but I do.

Funny how these were habits that formed over the last 5 years, or so. Growing up I don't remember being concerned with how long a book was, nor a chapter. Oh well. Things change as you get older. It does make me wonder what new habits I'll develop over the next few years. We shall see.

Murder Is Binding (Mystery Month)

June 9, 2011

Murder Is Binding
By: Lorna Barrett
271 Pages

Summary:
When she moved to Stoneham, city slicker Tricia Miles met nothing but friendly faces. And when she opened her mystery bookstore, she met friendly competition. But when she finds Doris Gleason dead in her own cookbook store, killed by a carving knife, the atmosphere seems more cutthroat than cordial. Someone wanted to get their hands on the rare cookbook that Doris had recently purchased-and the locals think that someone is Tricia. To clear her name, Tricia will have to take a page out of one of her own mysteries-and hunt down someone who isn't killing by the book.  ---bn.com

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. If I could, I would move to Stoneham, New Hampshire. However, it's a fictional place, so there goes that. I loved the idea of an entire street being devoted to different bookshops. I loved that this street was reviving the town's economy. I loved reading about it.

The plot was a little slow moving in areas, but  I didn't care because the book's setting kept me engrossed. The mystery itself was good. There were several times I thought I had it figured out, but I didn't. The plot twist was one I've only seen in soap operas. The characters were fun to meet and get to know.

For readers who enjoy light mystery without the blood, guts, and gore, this book may be one to try. If you love the book world, you will definitely like this book. This book is the first of the series and I look forward to reading the others.

Rating: Buy It

Eggs In Purgatory (Mystery Month)

June 4, 2011


Eggs In Purgatory
By: Laura Childs
280 Pages

Summary:
Suzanne, Toni, and Petra lose their husbands but find independence when they open the Cackleberry Club. Then their cozy cafe becomes the scene of a crime when a lawyer dies with a secret on his lips and egg on his face. What this all has to do with a religious cult and Suzanne's past could put her own life on the line. --bn.com

This was the first book I've read from Laura Childs, and I'm sorry to say I didn't like it. My Mom loved it, but I couldn't finish. While things happened right away, the plot slowed down very soon after. For me, this book took off from the gate, but couldn't keep up with the pace. Normally, in cases like these, I can hang on if the characters or environment the author has created it good. This was not true in this book.

I loved the idea of these women coming together and opening their own business, but I wasn't captivated by any of them. I really wanted to enjoy this book, but I couldn't keep myself focused on the book. Laura Childs has a few different mystery series she writes about, so I'm going to try a different one. I'm hoping I have better luck with that.

Rating: Borrow From Library

Blogspot Problems!!

June 2, 2011

I want to let you guys know that I've been running into problems with Blogspot lately. For some reason it hasn't let me leave comments in response to any you leave me. This has been an off and on problem for awhile, but I was able to work around it before. For some reason, that's no longer the case. I deeply apologize for this as I enjoy responding to what you guys have to say.

The other problem I'm having is Blogpsot not letting me insert pictures in my posts. I'm going to keep trying, so hopefully this problem is only a short term one. As of right now, I have one post that is being withheld due to this issue.

Thank you for your patience. I look forward to everything being worked out so I can get back to my postings & responses.

Love, Jen
 

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