Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins #96





1. My favorite food seasoning is salt (I love salty foods).


2. My cats' purring is music to my ears.

3. Lucky is having bad weather on my flight home last week and landing safely (even though the plane shook uncontrollably).

4. Health is something I take very seriously.

5. Many people are voting this year.

6. Boots was the last thing I bought at the store.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to lots of trick or treaters, tomorrow my plans include grocery shopping and laundry and Sunday, I want to relax!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Booking Through Thursday



Mariel suggested this week’s question.


Are you a spine breaker? Or a dog-earer? Do you expect to keep your books in pristine condition even after you have read them? Does watching other readers bend the cover all the way round make you flinch or squeal in pain?



My Answer:


After I finish reading a book, it still looks like it's in mint condition. Sometimes I'd trade the books away and people would tell me it looks as if I haven't even read it yet. Once in a while, if a cover or page accidentally bends, I admit that I do cringe. Recently at an airport I saw someone reading and they had folded the book back which would have broken the spine and I was horrified. It took everything I had not to say something. LOL






Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Author Matthew Corey's Podcasts

I was recently contacted by author Matthew Corey to review his first novel, Like Glass. I will be reviewing it soon and I will be having an interview with the author as well. So, make sure to come back to read both.

For now, Matthew is doing podcasts on his blog -- you can check them out at http://chocolatefordogs.com/category/podcasts/ . He's also doing a "Mailbag" segment in where he answers questions that people send in. He's offering a free digital copy of his novel to the person who sends in a question that he answers for the "Question of the Week". Stop by his blog and see what he has to say!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday Thingers



This week's question: Legacy libraries. With which legacy libraries do you share books? Tell us a little about a couple of them and what you share.

To find which books you share with Legacy Libraries, click on "Statistics" from either your profile or your home page; then click on "Legacy Libraries" in the second row of clickable choices.

I had no idea this even existed. It's an interesting idea, but sadly I have no matches. I'm so lame.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I received an award!

Socrates' Book Review has received their first award! I'm so excited. It comes from Naida at The Bookwork (which is a really fun blog). Check it out by clicking here Thank you Naida!




The Sunday Salon



Another week has gone by and I can't believe we are only a month away from Thanksgiving! Amazing how fast time flies.

I just returned from a week's vacation to Florida. We had a great time, although the weather wasn't the greatest. Still, we visited with family, shopped and ate way too much food! Now, it's back to reality and work on Tuesday (I took Monday off to recuperate :))

I did manage to read two books while I was away. I read Familiar Oasis by Caroline Burnes and Paint It Red by Carla Cassidy. Both books are reviewed below. I enjoyed them both very much. I love romantic suspense and these were two books at their best. I'm now reading Hallowe'en Husbands by Lisa Plumley, Denise Lynn and Christine Merrill. It's an Harlequin Historical and an anthology. It's a cute read and timely :) I'm not sure yet what I'll read next.

I hope you all had a good weekend and have a great week!



Paint It Red by Carla Cassidy


Genre: Romantic Suspense

Two years ago artist Jim Abbot committed suicide leaving his wife, Vanessa, to raise their young son, Johnny, alone. Vanessa allows a local art gallery to show Jim’s remaining artwork. The showing is a huge success and the paintings bring in much money for the gallery and Vanessa. The evening is a personal success for Vanessa as she meets the handsome and sexy Christian Connor. After two years of mourning, Vanessa is finally ready to give herself to another man.

Then the gallery owner is found dead, covered with a splash of red paint, Vanessa becomes suspicious. The red mark was used by Jim when he was unhappy with one of his paintings. Suddenly, other dead bodies pop up with the same mark. Vanessa gets threatening crank phone calls. Red peace roses that Jim used to send are delivered to her house. Jim’s picture and his jacket are mysteriously being moved around the house. As strange as it may seem, she’s certain her dead husband is very much alive and out for revenge, but nobody buys into Vanessa’s theory. Vanessa fears for her life, as well as for her son’s life. Can she make them understand before someone else is killed?

I wasn’t surprised by the ending at all and found it to be a bit predictable, but I found this to be a great psychological thriller anyway – thanks to a very interesting plot. The story moved quickly and I found the main characters to be quite likeable. It kept me riveted and totally engrossed from the first page to the last. I have other romantic suspense books by Ms. Cassidy in my TBR and I will be pushing them higher in the pile.

For Reading Challenges:

Romance Reading Challenge
On the Porch Swing Challenge
Romance Club Reading Challenge

Familiar Oasis by Caroline Burnes



Harlequin Intrigue #673, August 2002

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Familiar, the sleek black cat detective, is at it again! Just as he’s about to go back home to the United States with his human family, he finds himself detained in Egypt trying to crack another mystery. This time the beautiful Amelia Corbet finds herself thrown into danger as she tries to help her sister. It seems as if the only ones to help her are a strange black cat and her sister’s new brother-in-law. Amelia doesn’t particularly like either one.

Although Harad Dukhan separated himself from his family’s life in the desert, he agrees to watch out for Amelia for his brother’s new bride. As soon as Amelia lands in Egypt, she becomes the target of several people who seem to think she holds the key to a mysterious plot in the desert. Harad has his hands full trying to keep her safe, but when she’s kidnapped, his only hope is Familiar. To add to his trouble, he finds himself falling in love with the beautiful Amelia.

This is one of my favorite series and it has been for years. This is the 15th book in the series and they just keep getting better. Familiar is a cat with attitude! It’s so much fun reading how he systematically tries to solve each mystery and always ends up bringing an unsuspecting couple together in the end. It’s a quick, fast-paced story that leaves you wearing a big grin after the last page is turned.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Interview with Lorna Barrett

I’d like to welcome Lorraine Bartlett (who also writes as L.L. Bartlett and Lorna Barrett) to Socrates’ Book Review. She is the author of Murder is Binding as Lorna Barrett and Dead in Red as L.L. Bartlett. Lorraine has graciously agreed to be interviewed on our blog and we thank her so much for giving up some of her time for us.

Sit back and relax as we get to know this excellent author a little better.

1.) What was your first book or article that was published?


I had a lot of short stories published in my early 20s in amateur magazines, but my first “professional” story was for a little romance magazine. I was paid $10 and I was thrilled.

2) How did you celebrate being a published author?


With a martini! (And I still celebrate that way,)

3) How did you create the Booktown Mystery series? Is it based on a real town and on real people?


The look of the town of Stoneham is based on the small village of Wolcott, New York, and one I visited in New Hampshire about a decade ago. At the time, I had no idea I would ever write about New Hampshire, or I would’ve paid a lot more attention.

4) Are the recipes in the back of Murder is Binding yours? Are they old family recipes?


They’re all recipes I’ve adapted, and they come from all over. Some I’ve made over and over again, and some I’ve only made for the book(s). I had a hard time with one from the second book and kept making it over and over again. My husband swears he will never eat another sausage and cheese muffin again!

5) Who are some of your favorite authors or books?


How much time do you have? Currently, I’m reading a lot of cozies. But I also read a broad range of other mysteries and a lot of non-fiction (especially decorating and cookbooks). I love Dick Francis, Barbara Michaels, John Mortimer, Lawrence Block, Julia Spencer-Fleming, yada, yada, yada -- but I’m also a huge fan of a lot of my friends’ work: Kate Flora, Sandra Parshall, Judy Clemens, Doranna Durgin, Sheila Connolly, Leann Sweeney, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Krista Davis, Roberta Isleib, and on and on.

6) Do you get to choose your own book titles and pick out your covers? Or is that strictly up to the publisher?


I’m terrible with titles, although I named Murder On The Mind and Dead In Red myself. I held a contest for the first couple of Booktown books (Murder Is Binding and Bookmarked for Death), I only came up with the title for the third booktown mystery two weeks ago: Bookplate Special.

Five Star, the publisher of my Jeff Resnick mysteries, welcomes author input for covers, and I did a mock-up for Dead In Red. Their cover designer found the perfect shoe (something I hadn’t been able to do) and did a dynamite cover. Berkley Prime Crime doesn’t encourage author input, but I feel very lucky with the first two covers in the Booktown series. Their Marketing and Graphics Departments really know what they’re doing.


7) Who influenced you the most in your writing career and who gives you the most support?

My first mentor really encouraged me to stretch as a writer. She hasn’t yet published a novel, but she’s working on it. And when it is published, I hope I can help her promote it. As for support, my husband strongly encouraged me to switch from amateur publications and go pro. He’s still my biggest supporter.


8) Have you ever written other genres besides mystery? Are you interested in writing other genres?

I’ve written a little romance, some SF (years ago), and some things that aren’t easy to pigeonhole. But I guess I just prefer the mystery genre.


9) How long does it take to write a book?


Forever!!! (No, it just seems that way during the first draft.) It took me 11 years to write and rewrite (and rewrite some more) Murder On The Mind and sell it. It was my first novel, and the first book I had published. During those 11 years, I wrote three more books in the series. Dead In Red took me just over two months. It just seemed to write itself. Because I’m under contract, I must finish my Booktown mysteries in nine months. That’s pushing it for me.


10) Was there ever something an editor wanted to cut or change from your book, but you fought to keep?

No. In fact, I’ve had little editorial interference. I’m either very good, or they’re very busy. (I tend to believe the latter.)

11) Do you have any advice for the aspiring authors reading this?


Read a lot and write a lot. There are a lot of writing how-to books out there, but nothing replaces plunking down in your chair, fingers on your keyboard, and just writing. You’ll learn a lot more that way. If you find the time to do it every day, all the better. Don’t give up. But don’t believe that a first draft will find a publishing contract. It’s all in the rewriting. And don’t be afraid to join a critique group. They don’t all work. Heaven knows I’ve been involved in a couple of real doozies. But for aspiring mystery writers, there’s no better place to find acceptance and learn the rules of the publishing industry that the Sisters In Crime chapter Guppies. No other mystery writer’s organization has this kind of support for the unpublished.


12) What is your next book and when will it be released? Can you share some info about it with us?

My next book out is Bookmarked for Death. A New York Times best-selling author is murdered at Tricia Miles store, Haven’t Got a Clue. The author’s obnoxious assistant/niece is the only suspect. And with a sheriff who provides more obstacles than answers, Tricia will have to take matters into her own hands--and read between the lines to solve this mystery….


Thank you so much for giving us this opportunity to learn a bit more about you and your work.

Thank you for having me!





Their Way Home, My Adventures as a Ghost Guide, by Melissa Van Rossum



Genre: Spiritual, Paranormal

Melissa Van Rossum was different than other people. She saw ghosts. She saw them everywhere, including her own home. She didn’t understand this or why it was happening to her, but she learned she had the ability to guide these ghosts to the Other Side.

This book is a collection of the experiences Ms. Van Rossum experienced and the connection she had with each of these ghosts. From a Hollywood sound stage to a grand hotel in New York City, you will share these experiences with the author and hear the stories she learned from these spirits.

This is not the usual type of book I read. It was quite different from my usual fictional books, but I found it fascinating. It’s up to each reader to decide for themselves if they believe in these stories, and I’m not sure I do, but the possibilities make for some interesting discussion and speculation.

The book is well written, a concise account of each episode. There is also a section that explains the process of being a Ghost Guide, what to expect and how to handle the situation.

It’s fast-paced and I was able to read it in one sitting. I found myself captivated with each story and opening my mind to the possibility that this could happen. This wasn’t just a ghost story, this was an emotional personal account from Ms. Van Rossum’s point of view and quite touching, as well.

Ms. Van Rossum created a process called TruAwareness and her first book is All You’ve Ever Known.

The Sunday Salon



I had a fairly good reading week...I listened to another audio book, Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot (the review is posted). It was cute. Then, I read a cute cozy mystery, Trick or Treat Murder by Leslie Meier. I just love her Lucy Stone mystery series. They are such fun to read. I'm finishing up a non-fiction book, which I will post a review later. It's called Their Way Home by Melissa Van Rossum. A very different read for me and very interesting.

I've been extremely lucky in having some authors agree to being interviewed on my blog. That's been a great experience and I hope to have more in the coming months. I will be posting one from Lorna Barrett (author of the cozy Booktown mystery series)later today.

Great things are coming to Socrates' Book Reviews...author interviews and some book giveaways!

Have a great week!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Trick or Treat Murder by Leslie Meier



Genre: Cozy Mystery

The citizens of Tinker’s Cove, Maine are getting ready for their annual Halloween celebration. Lucy Stone’s life is moving at a frantic pace – her teenaged son is rebelling, her daughters need Halloween costumes, the baby isn’t feeling well, her husband takes a seat on Tinker Cove’s Historic District Commission where he makes some very unpopular decisions and she agrees to bake twelve dozen cupcakes for the Halloween party.

Chaos breaks loose when the town’s oldest house is burned to the ground and a dear friend is killed in the fire. As more old homes are burned, there’s a growing fear that an arsonist is running around the quiet, quaint little New England town. Lucy begins getting threatening phone calls and she fears for the lives of her family. She decides to investigate the crime on her own. It’s a race against time as Lucy tries to prevent any dangerous Halloween tricks from happening.

I love the Lucy Stone Mystery series. This is the third book in the series and this book is as much fun as the previous two books. It’s a quick read that will keep you guessing who the culprit is as you get to the end of the story. The characters are all well-crafted and quite likeable. Readers will find themselves caring about Lucy and the members of her family. Picking up a Lucy Stone mystery is like re-visiting old friends.

Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot



Genre: Chick Lit

Lizzie Nichols is not only a fashion-history major on the verge of graduating college, but she is also the Queen of Babble. By her own admission, she physically cannot keep a secret. Whatever people confide in her, she tells everyone. She doesn’t mean any harm, but she simply cannot control herself.

She flies off to London to vacation with her boyfriend, thanks to her big mouth, she discovers he’s not the Prince Charming she thought he was. Instead, he’s nothing more than a man who defrauds the government and uses Lizzie for her money, what little she has. She makes a quick, unexplained escape, but where’s a girl from Michigan to go when she’s alone in London? She heads off to visit her best friend, Shari, who is vacationing in France.

On the train to France, Lizzie meets Jean-Luc. A handsome man who she confides her problems, to, including her most intimate boyfriend issues. Much to her surprise, Jean-Luc turns out to be an acquaintance of Shari’s. He takes her under his wing and makes sure she gets together with her friend. Secretly, Lizzie is mortified that she confided her deepest darkest secrets to this stranger who is no stranger at all. He’s going to be spending the week in the same house as Shari and Lizzie.

Queen of Babble is a cute story, but there were times I wanted to strangle Lizzie. I listened to the audio version and Lizzie’s naivetĂ© was just a bit too much. She also came off as a whiner in the beginning, but she did get better as the story went along. It is a light read with some laughs that will make you chuckle out loud. There are at least two more books following Lizzie’s adventures and I’ll get the audio versions from the library. It makes the drive to and from work a bit easier.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Interview with Author Kristin Billerbeck


In recent weeks I’ve been lucky enough to review not one, but two books by Kristin Billerbeck. They are part of her The Trophy Wives Club series. I am now lucky enough to get the opportunity to interview the author and share it with all of you. So, let’s all get to know this fantastic author together.


Q&A with Kristin Billerbeck


1. How did you begin a career in writing and what made you choose to write Christian Chick Lit?

I started writing late in the night when I had an MS flare-up and couldn't sleep. It gave me something to do. I soon became passionate about it and wrote my first book, Strong as the Redwood. My dad said if I got published he'd read it, so it is FILLED with Bible quotes, you know in the King James, just worked into standard conversation. LOL And incidentally, my dad never did read one of my books.


2. At what age did you begin writing?


29 with two young boys. I got my first rejection letter on my 30th birthday. : )


3. Who or what do you consider the biggest influence on your writing career?

I would say Thomas Hardy and Jane Peart. Hardy because when I read his books, I became immersed in them, in a way I didn't know was possible in fiction. I drank it in and wanted to write like him. Jane Peart (Brides of Montclair) made me realize I didn't have to really live up to the Hardy standard (and no harm meant to Ms. Peart, but you know, how many of us are Hardy?), but there was a Christian industry that was blossoming. I thought perhaps that was the avenue for me to take because I considered romance Pride & Prejudice. I was too prudish to read the romance novels in the stores.


4. How did it feel when you received the first call that your book was going to be published and what was that first book?


I didn't get a call like that. I received my manuscript back from Rebecca Germany at Barbour Books with a million corrections and a well-needed lesson on POV. If I cleaned it up, I might get published. So I did. I know publishers don't have that kind of time now, but I am eternally grateful to Becky, because I don't know if I would have pursued it. I keep the manuscript to this day. I love to even see it there, it reminds me how far I've come and not to get cocky.

5. The women of the Trophy Wives Club seem very realistic and people any of us would like as friends. Did you model them after anyone in real life?

When I write, it's like improv to me. I can see the characters and hear them talking. Okay, some might call it mental illness, but what I really try to do is give everyone a good side, and a bad side, to make them realistic. Isn't everyone you know like that?


6. We’ve read Haley’s story (The Trophy Wives Club) and now Lindsay’s story (Back to Life), should we look for any future books in this series? Will the rest of the women have their stories told as well?


No, I'm onto the next thing. I need a challenge constantly, so I'm always trying to change the game. My end goal is to write a book like a Maeve Binchy novel. I want the setting to come alive and the people to get into your lives, as if they're real. My next book is called Walking on Water and it's about a woman married to a man with schizophrenia and a good dose of narcissism. I did model his character after someone.


7. Which authors and genre do you read? Any favorite authors or books?


I read women's fiction, but I prefer a happy ending. My favorite authors are Maeve Binchy and Anne Tyler and my favorite novels are The Thorn Birds and The Accidental Tourist. I love the Russian novelists too, I tend to be all over the place, but I have a hard time staying with romance. My mind wanders too much.


8. Do you have a favorite book from your own work? Is there one particular project that is close to your heart?

She's Out of Control is my favorite. I can't really tell you why, other than I had a blast writing it, and it was the first book where I got to "let it all hang out" or be truly realistic. Plus, I think I took a special pleasure in "dumping" one of the heroes in the book.


9. Do you plan to write other genres or perhaps you already have?

I have written romance, but I got tired of it. Then, the chick lit, and now the women's fiction. I think my voice is pretty much the same in them all, but I like to move on and learn something new.


10. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?


Yes, read and do your research and don't stalk editors. It doesn't help and it gives you a reputation before you're out of the gate.

11. What are you currently working on and when will your next book be released? Can you tell us a little something about it?

I'm working on Walking on Water which will be out next Fall with Tyndale House. It's about second chances and redemption.

Thanks for all the great questions! Kristin




A big thank you to Kristin Billerbeck for taking the time to visit with us and a big thank you to Aurora Hughes, Associate Publicist at Harper Collins, for setting this up for us.




Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesday Thingers




Today's question: Early Reviewers- do you participate? How many books (approximately) have you received through the program? Have you liked them generally? What's your favorite ER book? Do you participate in the discussion group on LT?

My answer: I'm new to LibraryThing and immediately signed up for ER and received a book immediately. It was Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland. I loved it. I didn't get any books in the current selection, but that's okay. I'm not the fastest reader around - LOL! No, I've never participating in the discussion group, although I have read some of the posts. Just not enough time in the day, I guess.



Sunday, October 12, 2008

Back To Life by Kristin Billerbeck




Genre: Inspirational

“Back to Life” is the second book in Kristin Billerbeck’s The Trophy Wives Club series. It’s an absolute delight to get re-acquainted with our old friends from the first book. This one is Lindsay’s storyline. Sadly, Lindsay’s husband Ron passed away leaving Lindsay a very lonely woman. After a year of widowhood, the Trophy Wives Club feels it’s time for Lindsay to move on with her life and meet other men. However, Lindsay isn’t ready to stop mourning and fights her friends every chance she gets.

One day Lindsay opens her door to find Ron’s first wife, Jane, on her doorstep. To make matters worse, she learns that Ron named Jane the executor of his will and left one of his homes to his son Ron Jr. Lindsay is shocked, to say the least. Especially since she didn’t even know her husband had a son. A son in his mid-30’s and a very handsome man in his own right.

Much to Jane’s horror, Lindsay finds herself quite attracted to her late husband’s son. She tries to fight her feelings, but she can’t stop thinking about him. Then she discovers Jane has a few secrets, one of them has to do with her son. Lindsay does her best to keep out of their business, but she’s not very successful.

This is a “feel good” book. Readers will find themselves falling in love with all the characters and feeling a deep concern for these people. You will cheer for their happiness and want their story to continue. The book ends way too soon. I wanted to read more! I hope there will be a third book. If there is, I will be sure to read that one too. This is a 5 star story in my book!

For more on Ms. Billerbeck's book, check out this website... http://browseinside.harpercollins.com/index.aspx?isbn13=9780061378775&WT.mc_id=Pub_WM_AV

Sunday Salon




I had a pretty good week...I read and finished The Bachelor's Cat by L.F. Hoffman. It was a cute, quick read. My review of it is below. Now, I'm reading Back to Life by Kristin Billerbeck and I should be finished in the next day or two. I'm also listening to Meg Cabot's Queen of Babble on audio. It's okay. I'm not sure what will be up next for me, but it will be something that's a bit spooky in honor of Halloween. Or at least I think it will be, sometimes my mood swings change my reading mind. LOL

Last night I saw the play Menopause with some women from work. It was very good and alot of fun.

Next week I'm going on vacation to Florida, which should be a nice trip. I have the all important decision of which books to take with me.

Hope you all have a great week!


Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins #93





And...here we go!



1. One of the best concerts/plays/movies I ever saw that I really didn't think I'd like was Yes.

2. Chicken Marsala is a recipe I recently made (or meal I recently ordered) that was delicious!

3. It's time for relaxation.

4. Peace and quiet is quite refreshing.

5. If I never hear the word diet again, it'll be too soon.

6. To one side of the curving road was a tree, and on the other was a tree with me sitting under it and reading a book.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to seeing the play Menopause, tomorrow my plans include sleeping late and Sunday, I want to do grocery shopping!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Bachelor’s Cat by L.F. Hoffman


The Bachelor’s Cat by L.F. Hoffman

Genre: Romance

This is a cute, short story about a man emotionally torn between two women and how the appearance of one small kitten changed everything.

The Bachelor is a struggling artist with a beautiful girlfriend. One day he finds a small abandoned kitten. He decides to take the kitten in until the rightful owner can be found. When nobody claims the kitten, the Bachelor keeps him and names him Frankie. The kitten is frightened of the outside and sticks closely by the Bachelor’s side.

Although his passion is ignited by his girlfriend, he meets a woman who gives him much more than passion. However, she’s overly beautiful or thin and not the usual type of woman he usually dates. He was torn between which woman to choose.

At first I was a bit put off by the Bachelor’s hang up over superficial qualities, but the kitten’s presence in his life truly helps him discover what is important in life. This was a quick, read – only 120 pages and I was touched how a non-cat person became a cat person. Cats can do that to you! LOL

Booking Through Thursday




What was the last book you bought?
Playing Dead by Allison Brennan


Name a book you have read MORE than once
I have too many books to re-read anything.


Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?
I can't think of anything.


How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews
It's a combination of things for me. I base it on recommendations, the synopsis of the book and sometimes the author. I have a few author auto-buys. I rarely ever base my decision on the cover design or reviews (unless the reviewer is someone who usually shares the same interests in books that I do).


Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
Fiction


What’s more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
A gripping plot.


Most loved/memorable character (character/book)
I guess it would be Stephanie Plum from Janet Evanovich's series.


Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
Back to Life by Kristin Billerbeck (Book #2 of The Trophy Wives series)


What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?
The Bachelor's Cat by L.F. Hoffman - just a couple of days ago.


Have you ever given up on a book half way in?
I've wanted to, but I force myself to finish ever book I start. It wastes time, I know, but it's what I do.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sunday Salon - Fall is Really Here!




Well, I have to let go of summer...it really is fall...the leaves are starting to be on the ground and there is a chill in the air. I can't wear shorts anymore. It was bound to happen :) Although I must admit, fall is really is a beautiful time of the year. I love all the pretty colors.

I discovered a new-to-me TV show this week, Dirty Sexy Money and I'm hooked. I have the season 1 DVDs and watched a couple of episodes today. I'm addicted! It reminds me of the old TV show Dallas, one of my all-time favorite TV shows ever, except it's not set in Texas. Peter Krause is so handsome!

Now down to books...I listened to my second audio book, Hissy Fit by Mary Kay Andrews, the review is already in my blog. I'm still not 100% used to listening to audio books, but I'm getting the hang of it. Now I've started Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot. It starts off pretty funny.

I joined the Libray Thing Early Reviewers and read/reviewed my first book - Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland. It's been a long time since I read a book in the paranormal genre. It was good, although some of the characters didn't appeal to me. I'll read the book #2, though. My review is already up on LT and on my blog.

I received another book from Avon to review - Back to Life by Kristin Billerbeck. It's the second book in her "A Trophy Wives Club" series. I enjoyed the first one and I've been anxious to read the second. Hopefully my Sunday will allow some reading time.

Enjoy your week!



Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland




Genre: Paranormal

Former cop, Elizabeth Phoenix, lost everything that mattered to her – a great job, her partner and the man she loved. The reason for all her loss seems to stem from her psychic powers. She accepts a bartending job at the bar belonging to her partner’s widow, Megan. Megan has no ill feelings toward Elizabeth and counts her as a dear friend.

Elizabeth’s losses mount when she finds her foster mother, Ruthie, dead. Something attacks Elizabeth and she’s found unconscious next to the body. When she awakens, she learns the number one suspect in Ruthie’s murder is Elizabeth’s one true love, Jimmy Sanducci. To add to Elizabeth’s concerns, she learns the end of the world is near and she’s the only one that can save it.

Besides her psychic powers, Elizabeth begins to inherit supernatural powers from many different places. She goes through a brief training program with the sexy Sawyer to learn how to use these powers for the greater good.

The story leads to one huge battle as Elizabeth struggles to save, not only herself, but the world.

It’s been a long time since I read a paranormal and this was a good one. The story kept me hooked. It was a fast-paced story filled with demons, adventure, a touch of humor, and lots of sex. Parts of it were on the campy side, but it didn’t hamper my enjoyment of the book. My only problem was the two men in Elizabeth’s life – Jimmy and Sawyer. I didn’t find either one of them particularly lovable and both pretty much raped her in their own way. I couldn’t understand why she’d care about either one of them as the story moved along. That aside, I’m definitely interested in reading more of this series and will pick up book #2 when it’s released.

Hissy Fit by Mary Kay Andrews



Genre: Chick Lit

As Keely Murdock celebrates her upcoming nuptials at her rehearsal dinner with her family and friends all in attendance, she stumbles upon her fiancé and maid-of-honor having sex. Keely has an honest to goodness hissy fit and cancels the wedding, becoming the outcast in her small hometown of Madison, Georgia.

Her ex-fiance’s family takes their revenge by undermining her interior design company, which she owns with her aunt. Desperate for business, she accepts a job from Madison’s newest citizen, Will Mahoney. The millionaire recently bought the local bra factory and an old mansion. Keely’s job was to furnish the mansion and put it back into shape in only six months. Keely and her aunt needed the work and had no choice but to agree to his unfair demands. If he wasn’t such a difficult man to work for, Keely was sure she could fall in love with him or had she already fallen in love?

All of this leads to Keely stumbling upon a mystery which is dear to her heart – the sudden disappearance of her mother twenty years ago. Keely couldn’t imagine her mother walking out on her only child. Now, her father was ready to move on with his life and never was the truth more important then right now. It was a secret that could rock the grounds of Madison.

This book has it all – mystery, romance and tons of laughter. I listened to the audio book version and I had a hard time not laughing in my car. The cast of characters were quirky and downright funny. This is the second book I’ve read (listened to) by this author and it won’t be my last.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins #92




1. October makes me think winter is on the way.


2. Politics and the current state of the economy scare me!


3. Leaves are falling all around, it's almost Halloween.

4. My favorite horror movie is Psycho because nobody does horror as good as Hitchock.


5. Vacations = good memories.

6. It was a dark and stormy night and I was reading a thriller.


7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to watching TV, tomorrow my plans include getting my hair done and Sunday, I want to sleep late!