Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

A killer in Boston, MA is attacking women, seemingly safe in their own homes, and violating them in many disturbing ways. These killings are eerily similar to attacks from Years ago in Savannah, GA where there the last victim was left alive and the killer was left dead... Details that could only be known by the killer are being duplicated and more women are dying as time creeps on in the investigation. Detectives Jane Rizzoli and Thomas Moore need to protect the witness and find the killer and both tasks are proving harder than expected.

This book is gritty in detail and thick in medical jargon, which makes it all the more exciting and real for me. I like mysteries that I can get lost in and this definitely was one of them. I'll definitely read on in this series and read more of Gerritsen. I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dark, gritty books that are heavy on the details and get your heart thumping. Rizzoli comes off a little hard edged and bitter, but the explanations for that seem real. For a woman who works in a field that for a long time was considered a "mans world", I understand what that can do to a woman.

This book covers the following categories/challenges for me:

Booktivity November Special: I thank for... The Surgeon who did my knee surgery years ago did the surgery on the correct knee! (By Tess Gerritsen)
PBT Nov: Thriller
Monthly Mixer Mele Challenge (S in auguSt)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pitch Black by Susan Crandall

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Madison and her adopted son, Ethan, leave Philadelphia for a better life in a small town in Tennessee. Madison finally starts to open up to the town and a certain someone and allows Ethan on a camping trip when a tragic accident happens and all hell breaks lose in this small town. Madison and Ethan being outsiders have a harder time with the locals because of this event and figures get pointed everywhere but where they should.

This was my first Susan Crandall and I enjoyed her writing but I felt that too much was given away too quickly. I also didn't like how the narrator changed throughout the book, I thought it was a little too much flip flopping around.

This book fills the following Categories/Challenges for me:

Booktivity November Special: I thank for... ...not living in Pitch Black.
Fall Winter Mystery Challenge: Romantic Mystery
PBT Tag: Other
Monthly Mixer Mele Challenge (B in novemBer)

Dark Tort by Diane Mott Davidson

Rating: 2/5 Stars

Goldy is has a new client, she is making breakfast and meeting goodies for a local law firm. One night while Goldy is there to prepare bread for the next morning, she trips over her friend, neighbor and law clerk, Dusty, on her way in the door. Goldy plans to say far away from this one, but can't help but promise Dusty's mother she would help with the investigation.

I enjoy cozy mysteries and that is why I've tried over and over to get into this series. I don't know what it is about Goldy that I just can't grab onto and love. I do know that I get a little bored when the author goes into details regarding the food that is being eaten or prepared that particular moment and time and the background as to why... I think if these details were missing and the food was just mentioned (like other food cozies) I would like it more. I know this is a very popular series so for some people this works.. but it just doesn't for me.

A cute book and an original story, but all in all Goldy misses for me. The food/recipes do sound very yummy though!

This book fits the following challenges/categories for me:
Booktivity November Special: I thank for... Dark Tort .. Yum!
Twelve Days of Christmas PBT Challenge: Food
PBT Nov Tag: Other
Monthly Mixer Mele Challenge (D in December)

Lynsay Sands/Argeneau Family Reading Challenge

Another New Challenge!!

My Overstuffed Bookshelf is hosting this challenge and I've been dying to read this series so here is my chance!

The challenge runs from January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010


Here are the titles of the books in order:

1. A Quick Bite

2. Love Bites

3. Single White Vampire

4. Tall, Dark and Hungry

5. A Bite to Remember

6. Bite Me

7. Accidental Vampire

8. Vampires are Forever

9. Vampire Interrupted

Check back here for Updates!

Friday, November 13, 2009

BOOKS IN THE MAIL!!!

I just love getting books in the mail, it's like opening presents on Christmas day. I won a Amazon Gift certificate from Play Book Tag Group on Shelfari and I was happily able to spend it and get some good deals.

Turn Up the Heat (A Gourmet Girl Mystery) by Susan Conant and Jessica Conant-Park

This is book three of the Gourment Girl Mystery Series. I've only read the first book, but I loved it so much I have already have the 2nd in the TBR pile and couldn't help buy the 3rd. Im excited to continue the series.

Synopsis from bn.com:

Chloe Carter is helping her chef boyfriend with his new restaurant on Boston's posh Newbury Street, when a crabby waitress is found dead in a fish truck. Was this a prank gone awry? Or did somebody want her to sleep with the fishes?

Supernatural: Witch's Canyon by Jeff Mariotte

I love the Supernatural TV series so when I saw their were books that fit into the series between seasons, I jumped at the chance to read it.

Synopsis from bn.com:

Twenty-two years ago, Sam and Dean Winchester lost their mother to a mysterious and demonic supernatural force. In the years after, their father, John, taught them about the paranormal evil that lives in the dark corners and on the back roads of America...and he taught them how to kill it.

Sam and Dean have set out on a road trip to the Grand Canyon, but this is no vacation for the brothers. On a stretch of deserted ranchland just beyond the canyon's stunning vistas, mysterious murder sprees have occurred every forty years. The area's inhabitants have been few and far between in years past, but a nearby mega-mall is about to celebrate its grand opening—and attract thousands of fresh victims.

The Winchester boys are determined to protect locals and shoppers alike, but they never anticipated they'd be fighting a group of killers this vicious, this vindictive, this . . . dead. A deadly horde of animal spirits and human ghosts has arisen to terrorize this tiny corner of the Arizona desert. If Sam and Dean can't figure out why, the wide-open spaces of the West will once again become a desolate frontier . . . and the witch's canyon will be the brothers' final resting place.


Passion by Lisa Valdez

I don't normally go for romance novels but a friend of mine recommended this book highly so I thought I would give it a try. Looks pretty steamy!

Synopsis from bn.com:

Young widow Passion Dare thought she'd never love again. But a handsome earl has been pursuing her- and after a lifetime of propriety, Passion ponders throwing caution to the wind. After several heady encounters, the pair must face blackmail, learn a shocking truth-and choose between duty and desire.





This wouldn't normally be a book I would pick up on my own but one of my yahoo groups is reading it in December for a discussion and my library doesn't carry it, so the gift certificate came at the perfect time.

Synopsis from bn.com:

Caroline, Annette, and Leah St. Clair have spent their lives trying to escape the legacy of their wealthy, social-climbing mother, Virginia. Then, on the eve of her seventieth birthday, Virginia gives something to her daughters after a lifetime of taking...
Can't wait to read these and review them, check back for reviews.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How to Catch and Keep a Vampire: A Step-by-Step Guide to Loving the Bad and the Beautiful by Diana Laurence

Rating: 2/5 Stars


I received this book as an ARC request in early October. I was very excited to start reading this and although it was "cute" it really didn't live up to my expectations.


Diana Laurence writes a self-help book for vampire lovers. The idea of this book is fascinating to me, with all the vampire books, tv shows and movies out there these days - its the right time for a book like this. I however expected something a little more tongue-in-cheek. I felt that Laurence took a more serious approach instead of a quirky approach, which I think would have made this book at success.

Maybe the trouble is it was more written for a teen? Not sure but something was missing for me.


There were a few notable quotes from this book:
  • "Women just get so sick of being good that they are completely and utterly and downright chomping-at-the-bit ready for a nasty vampire. and when you are ready for nasty, what you need is a bad vampire."
  • vampire pickup line: "They say a diamond is forever -- I can promise you an eternity."

This book fills the following challenges and groups:

  • Booktivity November Special: I thank for... not needing to know how to catch and keep a vampire
  • Booktivity November: Activity
  • PBT November Tag: Other
  • Monthly Mixer Mele Challenge (V for vampire in noVember)

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Puppy Learns to Whistle

I found the cutest video today on wimp.com and I just had to share...

video

I've watched it 100 times already and I just can't help but love that little puppy!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

New Authors Challenge


Mostly because I have a sickness that doesn't allow me to stay away from a good challenge, here is another one I just signed up for:

New Authors Challenge


Here are the guidelines from the Literary Escapism Blog:

The challenge will run from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010.

Since this is an author challenge, there is no restriction on choosing your novels. They can definitely be from other challenges. However, the authors must be new to you and, preferably from novels. Anthologies are a great way to try someone new, but only a third of your new authors can be from anthologies. I want this to be an easy challenge, so you can pick to do either 15, 25 or 50 new authors. It all depends on how fast you read and how adventurous you want to be.

I will be of course tracking this challenge on my blog and will try for 15 new authors next year. Check back for updates throughout the year to see how Im doing.

1. Michelle Scott (Happy Hour)
2. Jeff Abbott (Fear)
3.Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)
4.Kate Atkinson (Case Histories)
5. Nicholas Sparks (Dear John)
6. Anne McCaffrey (Dragonflight)
7. Kathryn Stockett (The Help) - 3/25
8. Keith R.A. DeCandido (Supernatural: Nevermore) - 4/17
9. F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby) - 4/22
10. Laurie Halse Anderson (Wintergirls) - 4/28
11. Jean Davies Okimoto (The Love Ceiling) - 5/7
12. Jeaniene Frost (Halfway to the Grave) - 5/23
13. Michael Scott (The Alchemyst) - 6/2
14. Barbara Kingsolver (The Lacuna) - 6/5
15. Henning Mankell (Faceless Killers) - 6/15 *** FINISHED CHALLENGE!!!
16. Lori Brighton (Wild Heart) - 6/23
17. Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) - 6/24
18. Alisa Smith & J.B. Mackinnon (Plenty) - 7/12
19. Donna MacMeans (The Education of Mrs. Brimley) - 9/29
20. John Hart (the Last Child) - 9/30

Monthly Mixer Mele Challenge

I've found another new challenge that Im excited about.... Here's the challenge in Jen's words from Jen's book talk:Monthly Mixer Mele

All you have to do is read a book that begins with a letter of each month or read a book that begins with the authors name (first or last name, doesn’t matter). There are 74 letters so you will have to have 74 different books to complete the challenge. Books can however be used to complete other challenges.You don’t have to do the months in any kind of order, just fill in books as you go along until you have each letter a book by it.Challenge begins November 1, 2009 and ends November 2, 2010 so you have a whole year to complete! Lets break out them books and get busy!

Sounds fun right? I'll be tracking my progress on the left as usual with my challenges.

Check back for Progress Here:

Updated on 6/24/2010

N - The Nanny Diaries byEmma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

O - Someone to Watch Over Me by Judith McNaught
V - How to catch and keep aVampire by Diana Laurence
E - Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
M - Much Ado About Nothing - William Shakespeare
B - Pitch Black by Susan Crandall
E - Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert - 6/24
R - Rosie Dunne by Cecilia Ahern

D - Dark Tort by Diane Mott Davidson
E - The Education of Mrs. Brimley by Donna MacMeans - 9/29
C - 8th Confession by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
E
M - Happy Hour by Michelle Scott
B - Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell
E
R -Raven Stole the Moon by Garth Stein

J - Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
A - The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
N - Supernatural: Nevermore by Keith R.A. Candido
U
A - Fear by Jeff Abbott
R - House Rules by Jodi Picoult
Y

F - For My Daughters by Barbara Delinsky
E
B - Dexter by Design by Jeff Lindsay
R
U
A - Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
R
Y

M - Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog by Lisa Scottoline
A - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
R
C - The Love Ceiling by Jean Davies Okimoto
H - 7th Heaven by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

A - Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
P- The Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherford
R
I - Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris
L - Loves Music, Loves to Dance by Mary Higgins Clark

M - Midwives by Chris Bohjalian (5/31)
A - Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (4/28)
Y

J
U
N
E

J - Just one Look by Harlan Coben (9/30)
U
L - The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
Y

A - The Alchemist by Michael Scott (6/2)
U
G
U
S - The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen
T - Timeline by Michael Crichton

S - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
E
P - Panic by Jeff Abbott (8/30)
T - Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
E
M - Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell (6/15)
B - The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver (6/5)
E
R

O
C - The Last Child by John Hart (9/30)
T - Dust to Dust by Tami Hoag
O
B - Wild Heart by Lori Brighton (6/23)
E
R

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Twelve Days of Christmas Challenge

As usual the Play Book Tag Group at Shelfari is doing another great challenge that I can't miss out on.

Twelve Days of Christmas Challenge

Start Date: November 9

Objective: To read books that fit twelve tags inspired by the "Twelve Days of Christmas" holiday song.

Twist: Each book you read must be linked to the subsequent book.Challenge Winners:You can "win" in one of the following ways:

1. Complete all twelve reads such that they fit the tags.

2. Earn the most total points

3. Earn the most points in a given round

How It Works:

1. Every Monday, we will reveal a tag inspired by the song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas".

2. Players will select a book that fits the tag and read it. You will earn points for the following:a) Reading a book that fits the song tag = 2 pointsb) If the book also fits the monthly tag = 3 more pointsc) Review the book = 5 points

3. The following Monday, a new tag will be announced, and that will afford you with more point earning opportunities. The goal is to LINK the book you read this week with the one you read the week prior in one or more of the following ways:

a) Same author

b) Shares at least one word in the title (articles don't count)

c) Published in the same year

d) Won or was nominated for the same prize

e) Is in the same genre (as judged by the admins)

f) Is set in the same country

g) Come up with ONE additional bond using your own creativity

For each bond, you will get one point. So the more bonds between the books, the better.

4. Each week, you must report the following in a specially designated (weekly) thread: - the book you read- did it fit the challenge tag- did it fit the monthly tag- the bonds with the prior book. If you can calculate your point totals, great!!

5. A winner will be announced each week for the person who has the most points for that particular pair of books, but slower readers are still eligible to compete and may supersede previously announced winners should they earn and report more points.

6. This challenge will run for 12 weeks. At that time, the person with the most overall points will be announced as well as all the players who have completed the challenge. And of course, there will be some handing out of prizes :).

EXAMPLE OF HOW IT WILL WORK:

The monthly tag is drama.

The tag inspired by the song is: Single

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree. Read a book tagged "single".

So, let's say you read: Hamlet by William ShakespeareHamlet is tagged "single" and "drama", so you would earn 2 points for single and 3 more points for drama. Your total is 5 points. You write a review, and therefore get a total of 10 points.

The following week, the tag is: On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, two turtledoves: read a book tagged "love".

So now, you decide to read: Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Again, you would earn 2 points for love, 3 points for drama, and 5 points for your review - 10 pointsPlus, the book is written by the same author - 1 point.It's also in the same genre - 1 point

So, for this first round of the game (single/love), you would have 12 points. Your total score would be: 22 pts (10 for the first read and 12 for the second).

Sounds easy right? Ok, it sounds a little complicated but really fun. Can't wait to get started! I'll be tracking my progress on the left hand column of my blog, so check for updates regularly!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

October Wrap up

I can't believe October is over already, where are the days going. I'll be wrapping up some of my Group themes and creating new ones for November as well as summing up the books I've read in October providing Links to my Reviews.

All in all October was a very good month for me, a lot of new authors were read and some old favorites. Here are My October Reads:


My favorite for the month was definitely the Adoration of Jenna Fox, it was just a very well written book and I loved the uniqueness of the story. I would like to read more my Pearson.

The following are the group themes and/or challenges that are now closed.

BOOKTIVITY HALLOWEEN THEME Wrap Up


PBT OCT TAG: CONTEMPORARY FICTION

PBT OCT ADMIN TAG: DEBUT

PBT OCT TAG: OTHER

I was disappointed that I didn't read anything from the Author Author choices this month as I have a few in my TBR pile. I did however attempt to read Never Let Her Go by Ishiguro and couldn't get through it. I felt like something was wrong with me because so many people rated this book 5 stars that I thought I may as well not finish it now and some other day try again.

AUTHOR AUTHOR


November brings new themes and challenges from my groups and here they are:

Booktivity November: Activity (Anything in the title that is an activity/verb), I'm looking forward to this one.

Booktivity November Special: I thank for... (November is the month when Thanksgiving is celebrated (not in Germany though). Because of this occasion we are going to celebrate too! If you read any book with something in the title you would want to thank for please post your review for this book here.)

PBT Nov Tag: Thriller (Books that are tagged Thriller on Shelfari.com) - I have a lot of thrillers in my TBR pile , so hopefully I'll hit this a lot this month.

PBT Nov Tag: Other (Books read that are not tagged Thriller on Shelfari.com)

Author, Author Group

Featured: Nora Roberts

Alternate: Anne Rice

Alternate: O Henry

Looks like I'm in for some good reading this month. Also have a few ongoing challenges that I have to really kick up my reading plans for.

HALLOWEEN PARTY!

Last night I went to a Halloween/Birthday party and it was so much fun.

Happy Birthday CLAY!

Here are some photos: (I'm the red devil in the first two pics)