Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Salon - The Week and Month In Review



If you'd like to participate with The Sunday Salon, just click the button above.


I've been busy this week as far as my book obsession goes.

I took over the What An Animal III Reading Challenge. I've enjoyed this challenge the past two years and it's one of the challenges I actually completed both years. If you're interested in signing up, check out my post.

I have two book giveaways going on, for those who are interested - The Man Looked Down by Dorothy Garlock and Worst Case by James Patterson.

I only finished one book this week, The Ghost and Mrs. McClure by Alice Kimberly and absolutely loved it.

Now for my February wrap up...I read six books...

The Baby Album by Roz Denny Fox
The Tail of the Tip-Off by Rita Mae Brown
Dino Vicelli Private Eye - In A World of Evils by Lori Weiner
Dead Game by Jennifer Chase
Probable Claws by Clea Simon
The Ghost and Mrs. McClure by Alice Kimberly

I enjoyed all the books I read, but I think the last three were my favorites. They helped to put me back into a reading mode after being in a month long reading slump.

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Unearthed – An anthology with stories by Shawn McPike, David A. Stelzig, Seth E. Lender and Edmond Cheng




Genre: Mystery

I was asked to review the story by Edmond Cheng, “Illusion”. So, this review is only about that one.

The story opens with a couple tossing a dead body into the sea in the middle of the night in Hong Kong. Nobody sees this and the couple is satisfied their mission is accomplished.

The reader is hooked into this story right from the start. Things only get more mysterious.

A top executive at a leading Hong Kong firm, Thomas Chen, receives the promotion of a lifetime. He has a beautiful wife, Karen, and he’s on top of the world. Then, his best friend’s mother visits him at his office with a dire warning begging him to help Jonathan and his marriage. She warns Thomas, if he doesn’t help, there will be consequences to pay. He doesn’t get a chance to tell Jonathan anything when he learns that his friend’s mother died several weeks before she came to Thomas’ office, but how is that possible?

Thomas receives a call from Jonathan and races to his apartment only to find he’s been murdered and Thomas is about to pay the price. Someone has framed him and he’s sure it’s Jonathan’s wife. When his own wife is kidnapped, Thomas doesn’t know where to turn as the police don’t believe a word he says.

Strange things happen to Thomas and he’s more confused than ever.

Readers will have fun trying to figure this story out as it takes so many twists and turns. Things aren’t always as they seem. This is a story filled with intrigue, mystery, deception and illusions as well as a cast of characters that will both delight and horrify.

Mr. Cheng’s writing is very smooth and he puts the reader right into the story. You really feel as if you are in Hong Kong going through everything with Thomas. Just when you think you know what’s going on, you find out you’re very wrong. It’s a quick read and I’m looking forward to reading more stories by this author.

You can learn more about this book at Midnight Showcase.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Fill-In #165



If you'd like to play along on Friday Fill-Ins, just click the button above.

1. A cup of tea is very soothing.

2. Love makes a place feel like home.

3. Everything has its beauty if you look for it.

4. Do you like the taste of strawberries?

5. Art makes me smile.

6. LOL I just noticed I forgot to check on the laundry and instead I'm playing on the computer.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to resting, tomorrow my plans include going grocery shopping and celebrating my father's 75thbirthday (if I can get out with all this snow) and Sunday, I want to catch up on reading and TV!

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Ghost and Mrs. McClure by Alice Kimberly




Genre: Cozy Mystery

After the death of her husband, Penelope Thornton-McClure moves to Rhode Island to help her Aunt Sadie manage a mystery bookshop, Buy the Book. What she doesn’t know is that Jack Shields was murdered in that bookstore in 1949 and continues to haunt the bookstore to the present day. His murder remains unsolved. To add to the mystery, she’s the only one who can communicate with the ghost.

Pen is very excited to get a bestselling author, Timothy Brennan, for their first book signing at the store. Things quickly take a bad turn when the author announces it will be the last book in his popular series. As the crowd tries to absorb this shock, the author falls over and dies.

It’s not long before the police determine that Brennan was murdered and Pen becomes the prime suspect. If she doesn’t want to spend the rest of her life in jail, leaving her young son parentless, she must solve this murder and fast. Fortunately, she has a live-in ghost, who used to be a private investigator in 1949, to assist.

I’m a huge fan of cozy mysteries and have had this book in my TBR for years. I don’t know how I could let it just sit there. This book is wonderful. The characters are loveable (some, not so much but they aren’t supposed to be), the story is fast-paced and the setting is so quaint.

Alice Kimberly also writes as Cleo Coyle, author of the Coffeehouse Mystery series. I’ve read a couple of the Coffeehouse mysteries, which I’ve enjoyed, but this series has surpassed that one to me. First of all, I love the idea of a mystery bookshop and the addition of a live-in ghost is priceless. The interaction between Pen and Jack is delightful. This was a quick read for me and you know I’ll be reading the rest of the series.

If you’d like to read them, here is the order they should be read in…

1. The Ghost and Mrs. McClure
2. The Ghost and the Dead Deb
3. The Ghost and the Dead Man’s Library
4. The Ghost and the Femme Fatale
5. The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion

Of course I’m also giving it the Socrates’ Great Book Alert medal. The third book in a row that I’m giving it to…I’m on a role!



For Reading Challenges…

A to Z Reading Challenge
Mysteryreadercafe Reading Challenge
Read Your Own Book Reading Challenge


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A-Z Wednesday


This is a fun meme hosted by Reading at the Beach


Welcome to A-Z Wednesday!!

To join, here's all you have to do: Go to your stack of books and find one whose title starts with the letter of the week.

Post:

1~ a photo of the book

2~ title and synopsis

3~ link(amazon, barnes and noble etc.)

4~ Come back here and leave your link in the comments.

If you've already reviewed this book you can add it also.

Be sure to visit other participants to see what book they have posted and leave them a comment.

(We all love comments, don't we?)

Who knows? You may find your next "favorite" book.

THIS WEEKS LETTER IS: "C"



My book this week is........



Here is the synopsis from Amazon:

Lots of women put their careers aside once the kids come along. Kate Connor, for instance, hasn't hunted a demon in ages.

That must be why she missed the one wandering through the pet food aisle of the San Diablo Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, he managed to catch her attention an hour later-when he crashed into the Connor house, intent on killing her.

Now Kate has to clean up the mess in her kitchen, dispose of a dead demon, and pull together a dinner party that will get her husband elected to County Attorney-all without arousing her family's suspicion. Worse yet, it seems the dead demon didn't come alone...

It's time for Kate Connor to go back to work.


Check it out at Amazon.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Book Giveaway: Worst Case by James Patterson

BOOK GIVEAWAY!!!!!!






Thanks to the wonderful people at Hachette Books, I am able to give away three audio book copies of James Patterson's latest book Worst Case.

If you want to have a chance to win a copy of this book, here are the rules.

1. You must comment here and leave your email address so I can contact you. (Without a valid email address, you will not be entered into the giveaway!)

2. The contest is restricted to residents of the US and Canada. No PO Boxes!

3. The contest deadline is midnight, eastern standard time on Friday, March 19th.

For one extra bonus entry each:

1. Blog about this on your blog and link back to us. Please leave me your direct link for the post in your comments.

2. Become a follower - if you already are a follower, let me know in your comments.

3. Follow me on Twitter - if you already do, let me know in your comments.

Good luck everyone!

Teaser Tuesdays - February 23rd




If you'd like to play along on Teaser Tuesdays, just click the button above.


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My book this week is The Ghost and Mrs. McClure by Alice Kimberly. It's the first book in her "Haunted Bookshop Mystery" series and I'm loving it. Just an FYI, this author is also Cleo Coyle who writes the coffeehouse mysteries (another series I love).

The teaser...

That voice wasn't in the room; it was inside my own head.

But how can that be? How? I asked myself. It wasn't my voice. Or my thoughts. I'd never thought such crude things in my entire life!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Musing Mondays - Keeping Books



If you'd like to join in on Musing Mondays, just click the button above.

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about a keeping books.

Do you keep all the books you ever buy? Just the ones you love? Just collectibles? What do you do with the ones you don’t want to keep?


My answer...

I used to keep all the books I bought. Then, I only started to keep the ones I love. I still do that to some extent, but mainly I don't keep the books I read anymore. There's just not enough space. I will keep books that are part of a series though. That way I can always look back and refresh my memory when I read the next book in the series.

As for the books I don't keep, I either put them up for trade at Book Mooch or Paperback Swap. Or I might give them away at a giveaway on my blog or I will donate them to my local library.


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Mailbox Monday - February 22nd




If you'd like to join in on Mailbox Monday, just click the button above.

I had a good mail week...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

What an Animal III Reading Challenge



I've been doing this challenge for the last two years. Unfortunately, Kristi at Passion for the Page can no longer host this challenge, so I volunteered to take it over. I'm really excited about hosting this one. For the most part, the rules are all the same from the original challenge.

1. Read at least 6 books that have any of the following requirements:

a. there is an animal in the title of the book

b. there is an animal on the cover of the book

c. an animal plays a major role in the book

d. a main character is (or turns into) an animal (define that however you'd like).

2. The animal can be any type of animal (real or fictitious)--dog, cat, monkey, wolf, snake, insect, hedgehog, aardvark...dragon, mermaid, centaur, vampire, werewolf...you get the idea...


3. Challenge runs from March 1, 2010 to February 28, 2011. That’s a full year to read at least 6 books (you can read more if you’d like). You can still sign up after March 1st as long as you can get 6 books read by February 28, 2011 ;o).


4. Books can be fiction or nonfiction.


5. You may make a list of books at the beginning of the challenge or you can just list them as you find them.


6. Book titles may be swapped out at anytime (assuming you made a list to begin with).


7. Crossovers with other challenges are permitted and encouraged.


8. You don't have to have a blog or write a review, but you can if you want to.


If you'd like to sign up, please use Mr. Linky below!

Here are my choices...

1. How to Wash A Cat by Rebecca M. Hale Click for review
2. Take the Monkey and Run by Karen Cantwell Click for review
3. Dewey Nine Lives by Vicki Myron Click for review
4. Bloated Goat by Manley Peterson Click for review
5. Making the Rounds with Oscar by David Dosa, M.D. Click for review
6. Murder Past Due by Miranda James Click for review

Please sign up using Mr. Linky below. Please make sure your url is the direct link to your post about this challenge and not to your main blog!



Please use Mr. Linky below to post your reviews, if you have any. Please make sure you list your name and/or blog name and the url should be the direct link to your reviews.



The Mr. Linky below is for your wrap up posts. Once you complete the What an Animal III Reading challenge, please post your wrap up post on your blog and put the link to that post on Mr. Linky below...

Another Award


This is so nice! I was just awarded another award. I'm so honored. This one is from CMash Loves to Read . I love the blog world...I'm always meeting new friends and fellow bloggers along the way.

Now for the criteria of the award:

The rules for accepting this award:


1.Thank the link to the person that gave you the award.

2.Pass this award on to 15 bloggers you've recently discovered & whom you think are fantastic

3.Contact said Blogs to let them know they've won

4.State 7 Things about yourself!


These are the "new-to-me" blogs I'm passing this award to...

Reading with Monie
A Bookworm's World
All Booked Up
Book Dilettante
Nan's Corner of the Web
The Crowded Leaf
My Cozy Book Nook
The Introverted Reader
Bella is Reading
Book Chatter
Books, Books Everywhere
Book-A-Rama
Medieval Bookworm
A Sea of Books
Confessions and Ramblings of a Muse in the Fog


Now...7 things about myself...

1. I'm married.
2. I'm the mom of three beautiful cats.
3. Socrates is actually one of my cats.
4. I'm a TV, book and movie addict.
5. My TBR is too big too count.
6. I love chocolate.
7. I love to travel.

Sunday Salon - February 21st



If you'd like to participate with The Sunday Salon, just click the button above.

I had a great reading week. I completed two books, Dead Game by Jennifer Chase and Probable Claws by Clea Simon. I loved both books so much. The unfortunate thing is that the next book I choose to read is going to have a lot to live up to. Both of these books put me in a reading mood which I've been missing for a few weeks. I'm excited about reading again :)

A few years ago I read the book My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult and thought it was excellent. When the movie was released, I heard mixed reviews about it so I held off watching it. However, today I broke down and watched the movie. I thought it was done very well, although I thought the book was better (and a bit different), but I usually do find books to be better than the movies anyway. I'm glad I saw the movie, though.

The weather forecast for next week doesn't sound very good, but maybe that will mean more reading time for me.

Hope you all have a great week!

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Probable Claws by Clea Simon



Genre: Mystery

One of my favorite kitties is back…Musetta and her human, music critic Theda Krakow, is in big trouble.

When cats start getting sick at her friend Violet’s cat shelter, Theda is convinced that this is no accident. Encouraged by Violet’s claim that her animals were poisoned, Theda begins an investigation which leads to some nasty political views, threats and eventually murder. Things get worse when Theda is the prime suspect and the police have no intentions of looking any further.

It’s not long before Theda finds herself losing her job and friends, not to mention that her boyfriend, Bill, isn’t happy with her either. The only one to stand behind her is her beautiful cat Musetta, but Theda’s investigation could mean they are both in danger of being the next victims.

This is the fourth book in the Theda Krakow series and these books just keep getting better. Clea’s writing clearly shows she knows her cats and, for a cat lover like me, it’s so much fun to read. The story took a few twists and turns along the way. I kept changing my mind who the culprit was, but it all came to a satisfying conclusion. This is a fast-paced book that left me wanting more.

It’s my second book in a row that I truly loved and am giving my Socrates’ Book Review Great Book Alert medal to.



For reading challenges:

A to Z Reading Challenge
Cat Sleuth Reading Challenge
Read Your Own Book Reading Challenge

Friday, February 19, 2010

Prolific Blogger Award



I'm so honored to have received this award from Reading At The Beach Thank you so very much!

A Prolific Blogger is one who is intellectually productive… keeping up an active blog that is filled with enjoyable content.

Every winner of the Prolific Blogger Award has to pass on this award to at least seven other deserving prolific bloggers. Spread some love!

Each Prolific Blogger must link to the blog from which he/she has received the award.

Every Prolific Blogger must link back to this post, which explains the origins and motivation for the award.

Every Prolific Blogger must visit this post and add his/her name in the Mr. Linky so that we all can get to know the other winners.

Here are the fellow bloggers I am passing this award to...

Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell
BookHounds
Books We Read
Desert Rose's BookLogue
Great Books and Fresh Coffee
Mysteries and My Musings
Park-Avenue Princess

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Booking through Thursday - Olympics



If you'd like to play along with Booking Through Thursday, just click the button above.

This week's question...

You may have noticed–the Winter Olympics are going on. Is that affecting your reading time? Have you read any Olympics-themed books? What do you think about the Olympics in general? Here’s your chance to discuss!

My answer...

This is an easy one for me. I'm not really interested in the the Olympics and I don't watch it at all, so nothing has changed for me as far as my reading time goes. The only sport I watch is baseball...now that effects my reading time. I watch every Yankee game and that limits my reading time, but that won't be happening for a month or so.



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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Book Giveway at Suko's Notebook




In celebration of St. Patrick's Day, a review of the final book in the Family Saga series, "Elena, Woman of Courage: A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho" is being reviewed at Suko's Notebook

Stop by and enter the contest, which ends March 7th, just in time for St. Patrick's Day (March 17th). Remember the luck of the Irish! Perhaps your luck will double if you find a four leaf clover. Good luck, everyone!

A-Z Wednesday


This is a fun meme hosted by Reading at the Beach


Welcome to A-Z Wednesday!!

To join, here's all you have to do: Go to your stack of books and find one whose title starts with the letter of the week.

Post:

1~ a photo of the book

2~ title and synopsis

3~ link(amazon, barnes and noble etc.)

4~ Come back here and leave your link in the comments.

If you've already reviewed this book you can add it also.

Be sure to visit other participants to see what book they have posted and leave them a comment.

(We all love comments, don't we?)

Who knows? You may find your next "favorite" book.

THIS WEEKS LETTER IS: "B"



My book this week is........



I haven't read it yet and there's one book before this in the series, but it looks so good.

This is a synopsis from Fantastic Fiction...

Detective MC Riggio can't wait to get married. She is desperately in love with her fiance Dan, and is counting down the days until the wedding. Best of all, her big Italian family have welcomed Dan with open arms, her mother ecstatic at the thought of more grandchildren. But MC never does marry Dan or have his children. A few weeks before the wedding day he is shot dead ? and MC's world crumbles into pieces. Detective Kitt Lundgren is there to support her colleague. She knows grief only too well ? her only daughter has recently died ? and she knows that MC's only concern now will be to find out who killed her fiance. So the two women work day and night to discover what happened to Dan. But there is a ruthless killer on the loose, a killer who knows no fear. And Kitt and MC have put themselves right in the firing line...



Check it out on Amazon.com

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dead Game by Jennifer Chase


Outskirts Press, Inc.
Genre: Thriller

Emily Stone is passionate in her quest to catch child kidnappers and killers. She does this without the help of any official law agency. She finds the culprits and emails all pertinent documents to the police. She has ways of finding things they can’t. With the help of her beloved Rick Lopez, an ex-police detective, they try to make the streets safe for the children of the world.

When a friend of Rick’s is found dead, Emily and Rick secretly do their own investigation. The police are convinced it’s an accident, but Rick and Emily aren’t so sure. Suddenly, others are found brutally murdered with their only link being their addiction to a video game, Eagle Eye. Each murder is videoed so they can be played over and over again for this twisted killer. Upon further investigation, Rick and Emily discover Rick’s friend had a connection to the company that produced the game. It’s not long before they realize they have a serial killer on their hands.

Emily and Rick race against the clock in an effort to stop this crazed killer before he or she takes their next victim. They are taken into the high-tech world of video games and meet with the most evil villains they have yet to come up against.

This is edge-of-your-seat reading at its finest. I had a hard time putting this book down. The characters are incredibly well defined and come to life with each and every page. The plot is well crafted and leaves readers wanting more.

Last year, I reviewed the first Emily Stone book, Compulsion, and loved every minute of it. I didn’t think it could get better than that book, but it did with this one. I hope there will be more Emily Stone books in the future.

If you’d like to read more about this author, check out her website at http://jenniferchase.vpweb.com/

I have to give this book a 2010 Socrates’ Great Book Alert medal. I haven’t given any out this year, but it’s the first book that I’ve read in 2010 that I’ve absolutely loved.



For reading challenges:

A to Z Reading Challenge
Read Your Own Book Reading Challenge

Monday, February 15, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays - February 16th




If you'd like to play along on Teaser Tuesdays, just click the button above.


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!



This is from Dead Game by Jennifer Chase.

Derek continued, "It makes no sense that he was so careless and died liked that by accident."

Rick moved toward the living room. "That's what we're here for, if there's something here we'll find it."

The front door burst wide open with a bang that caused everyone to jump.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Musing Mondays - Reference Books



If you'd like to join in on Musing Mondays, just click the button above.

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about a reference material.

Do you keep reference books on your shelves at home? What’s your first port of call when you need information – the internet or a book?


My answer...

If I need to look up any information, I go on the internet. It's been amazing for me with alot of different things. We like to travel and have been able to find out which places to go to and which to stay away from. We do alot of research online before going anywhere. It's been very helpful.

Recently, when I learned I had to have open heart surgery, I was also able to learn anything and everything about the subject. It helped me calm down a bit, as much as anyone can before surgery. It, also, put me in touch with others who either were operated on by the same doctor or went through the same exact procedure.

The internet can be a wonderful thing. The best thing is, if a topic comes up suddenly, I go right to the computer and look it up. I don't need to keep reference books or anything else around the house. What do you do for reference material?



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Mailbox Monday - February 15




If you'd like to join in on Mailbox Monday, just click the button above.

Only three this week...



Sunday Salon - Happy Valentine's Day!



If you'd like to participate with The Sunday Salon, just click the button above.

Slowly but surely I'm starting to get back into reading and blogging. I'm not 100% there yet, but I'm getting there. I'm dividing my reading time between reviews and challenges. Not easy, but I'm trying!

Right now I'm reading Dead Game by Jennifer Chase. Last year I read her first book Compulsion and loved it. This is proving to be just as good.

So, what does everyone have planned for Valentine's Day? We may go out to dinner, but that's pretty much it. Over the years, we've become homebodies. I just love being home with my husband and the kitties. What a bore I am! LOL

Whatever you are all doing, I hope you have a great Valentine's Day! Enjoy!




Friday, February 12, 2010

Book Giveaway: The Moon Looked Down By Dorothy Garlock

BOOKGIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!!



Thanks to those great people at Hachette Books, Socrates' Book Reviews will be hosting another book giveaway. This one is for a book by Dorothy Garlock. It's The Moon Looked Down and this book sounds wonderful.

We have (5)five copies to give away, so that means five winners! If you want to have a chance to win a copy of this book, here are the rules.

1. You must comment here and leave your email address so I can contact you. (Without a valid email address, you will not be entered into the giveaway!)

2. The contest is restricted to residents of the US and Canada. No PO Boxes!

3. The contest deadline is midnight, eastern standard time on Friday, March 5th.

For one extra bonus entry each:

1. Blog about this on your blog and link back to us. Please leave me your direct link for the post in your comments.

2. Become a follower - if you already are a follower, let me know in your comments.

3. Follow me on Twitter - if you already do, let me know in your comments.

Good luck everyone!

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