Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday Salon

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Another week has gone by and I've been very slack on my reading. I started reading Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland for a review. It seems like a great book, but I've been so busy that I haven't had much reading time. Hopefully that will change soon. In any case, I'm still reading this book and it's a good one.

I have a couple of books scheduled for reviews that I have to do plus a book for a book discussion on Shelfari. All of the books look good. It's all about making time for them. With the weather getting cooler and the rain getting heavier, I should be able to have more reading time. Life always seems to get in the way though.

I hope you all have a great week!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Tycoon’s Very Personal Assistant by Heidi Rice

Harlequin Presents # 2761

Genre: Romance

Nothing was going Kate’s way! She found herself wearing nothing but her underwear in the office of the hotel’s owner – the handsome and wealthy Zack Boudreaux. Her previous employer left her stranded without her clothes or money when she refused to be more than his assistant. She had no choice but to depend on Zack’s help.

Zack found himself very attracted to Kate. What man wouldn’t, since all she wore was her underwear? He was determined to find a way for him to spend more time with Kate and he came up with the perfect solution for everyone. He asked Kate to work for him as his personal assistant. She made it clear that this was strictly business and nothing more, but did she really mean it?

This is a cute book, although I couldn’t understand why Kate would allow herself to get into such a situation with Zack especially since her previous boss left her with nothing. However, it was a light, fun read and a great way to spend the afternoon.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins #91

1. Cooler weather and Halloween are some of the things I'm most looking forward to in October.

2. Sometimes I wish there were more hours in the day.

3. I lost 80 lbs and that's why there is a saying, "never say never"!

4. When I'm down, I get migraines.

5. In front of the computer or TV is where you'll find me most often.

6. A rainy day is good for reading and watching DVDs.

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

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

What was the most unusual (for you) book you ever read? Either because the book itself was completely from out in left field somewhere, or was a genre you never read, or was the only book available on a long flight… whatever? What (not counting school textbooks, though literature read for classes counts) was furthest outside your usual comfort zone/familiar territory?

And, did you like it? Did it stretch your boundaries? Did you shut it with a shudder the instant you were done? Did it make you think? Have nightmares? Kick off a new obsession?

My Answer:

It would probably be the Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. I read it for a book group discussion. It was compeltely different than anything I ever usually read and I had alot of trouble getting through it. I felt that I had to read the whole thing for the discussion - epecially since I was hosting the discussion.

This book was about a 12 year old and mixed fantasy into it. It was hard to keep up with. I'm not big on fantasy stories in the first place, although I do seem to enjoy books about psychics, ghosts or paranormal romances. This book was so strange, though, and just didn't do it for me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Interview with Author Clea Simon!

First, I’d like to thank Clea Simon, author of the Theda Krakow Mystery series, for agreeing to be the first author interview at Socrates’ Book Reviews. We greatly appreciate you giving us some of your valuable time.

Thanks for having me, Yvonne! Writing is essentially a very lonely profession and it's always nice to meet readers, even in the virtual world.

1. What or who influenced you to begin your Theda series?

I've always been an avid reader of mysteries, so you'd think I'd have started off writing them, right? Nope. I spent most of my early career as a journalist and wrote three nonfiction books, first. I think that doing research and reporting on facts made me feel like my writing was legitimate. I mean, who would want to read a story that I'd just made up? But after my last nonfiction book, "The Feline Mystique: On the Mysterious Connection Between Women and Cats," came out, I ended up talking with Kate Mattes, who owns Kate's Mystery Books here in Cambridge. She invited me to sign at her annual holiday party. I said, "But, Kate, Feline Mystique isn't a mystery." To which she responded: "You'd be surprised at the overlap between women who love cats and mystery readers." So I came to the party and I signed (alongside local authors like Linda Barnes and Susan Conant!). And at the end of the party, Kate turned to me and said, "You should write a mystery." It was like I'd been given permission. I went right home and started.

2. What made you include Musetta in the books and can you tell us a little about the real Musetta?

I guess it's that she's just such a big part of my life. And I knew that I wanted to pass along some of the real information I've learned about cats and pets in general, and so each of my mysteries has a slightly different angle on cats. But Musetta is a constant! We call her our little "riot grrrl," our little rock and roller. My last cat, Cyrus, was a quiet, stately gentleman. Musetta is more like a linebaker. She thunders up and down the hallway. She mews for attention - very loudly! She purrs so hard her whole body shakes. She's an in-your-face kind of cat, which is great fun.

3. We know who the fictional Musetta is based on, is Theda based on any real life person?

Not me, that's for sure! Theda is a lot braver (and in better shape) than I ever was. But Theda's job experiences spring from my own past as a rock music critic, back in the '80s.

4. Where do you do your writing? Do you have a cozy office set up in your home? Do you go outside your home?
I have a very cozy office in my home. It's my own separate room, with all sorts of things that have meaning to me on the walls - posters from New Orleans. A photo of a cat in a French Quarter Alley. My President's Award from the Cat Writers' Association. Photos. And lots of cat tchochkes -- little fetishes and statuettes and the like. I painted it light purple when we moved in, but you can barely see the walls now.

5. Are you a reader yourself? What genres do you enjoy reading and do you have any favorite authors?

Of course I'm a reader! I think writers have to be readers, or else why are we in this field? I have so many favorites, it's hard to say. But outside the mystery genre, I can tell you I will always be excited to hear there's a new book by Hilary Mantel or Valerie Martin (who writes very weird, dark books) or Sarah Waters. Within mysteries, I adore Robert Wilson, Denise Mina, and Henning Mankell. New favorites include Tana French and Ariana Franklin. I've read everything Elizabeth Peters has written, too, and hope she keeps on writing for a long, long time.

6. You’ve written both fiction and non-fiction books, which was more of a challenge?

Fiction! Because you can't fall back on interviews and research. There is no "right answer." You have to come up with a story that makes sense, that is right in its own way.

7. Do you do any research for your books? How?

I do. I'll do a bit of poking about before I start. For instance, I wandered through the closest hospital's emergency room so often I think they wondered about me. And I just had a nice, long chat with an animal control officer for the project I'm working on now. I'll go walk around areas I want to write about, try to get hte feel of the air, so to speak. Sometimes I just talk to experts - I did a lot of that for "Probable Claws," because there's a possible case of cat-food poisoning in that and I wanted to get it right.

8. What was the first book that you had published and what were your initial feelings when you “got the call” that you would be published?

My first book was "Mad House: Growing Up in the Shadows of Mentally Ill Siblings," which Doubleday published in hardcover in 1997. That grew out of a magazine story I'd written for hte Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. I'd been working there for a while as a copy editor and I'd approached the editor with the idea of writing about my own family, because I had a brother and I have a sister who have schizophrenia. Turned out the editor had a sister who had schizophrenia, too, so she thought it would be a great subject. Once the story was published, I got so much mail that I thought there would be a book in it and set about finding an agent. Then, once I did, he sent it out. The call came at work and I was overjoyed. At that point, i'd thought it would never happen. But we'd sold that book on the magazine story and an outline for what a full-size book could be. (This is normal for nonfiction.) So my first thought was "Yay!" And my second thought was, "oh,hell, now I have to write the thing."

9. Your next book “Probable Claws” (the fourth book in the Theda Krakow series) will be released April 2009. Can you give us a sneak peek?

Sure! This is what I sent Poisoned Pen for the catalog. I'll put an excerpt up soon on my website, at - it's not up yet. But I do have the cover! You can see that on my blog at

Here's the summary:

When cats start getting sick, feline-loving freelance writer Theda Krakow suspects an accident is to blame. But her shelter-owning rocker buddy Violet claims the contaminated kibble was poisoned, and when Theda starts looking at shelter politics she finds a litter of suspects. The big city shelter may be backing down from a healthy pet initiative, a series of threatening letters suggests a darker motive, and old-fashioned jealousy may factor in as well. The pressure mounts as Theda's editor grabs onto the idea of a hot story - and dangles a prime staff writing job as bait. But how can Theda investigate when feelings - and felines - run so high? As the music scene rallies to raise funds to save the cats, Theda finds herself on the outs with both her buddies and her longtime boyfriend Bill. And when she's caught at a murder scene, bloody scalpel in hand and only her beloved cat Musetta as a witness to what really happened, Theda must scramble to find the real killer before she, and Musetta, become the next victims.

Thanks so much for having me here today!
- Clea

cats & crime & rock & roll

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesday Thingers

Today's Question: Favorite Authors. Who do you have named in your LT account as favorite authors? Why did you choose them? How many people share your choices? Can you share a picture of one of them?

My answer: Rita Mae Brown, Janet Evanovich, Debbie Macomber, G.A. McKevett, Shirley Rousseau Murphy, Nora Roberts, Clea Simon, Denise Swanson. I absolutely love all of their books and follow their series. These are auto-buys for me. Alot of people share my choices. LOL! Instead of putting up author pictures, I have some cover pics!

Interview with Author Clea Simon!

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview Clea Simon, author of the Theda Krakow Mysteries. I'll have the interview posted tomorrow, so be sure to come back and check it out!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Sunday Salon

Another Sunday has arrived...that's a good thing :) I've been behind on everything this week as I try to recover from having the week of vacation. Seems like you end up paying for a vacation when you return - both monetarily and having alot to catch up on.

As for my reading, I finished HeartSick by Chelsea Cain, which was good. I needed lighter fare when I was done reading HeartSick, so I picked up a Harlequin Presents -The Tycoon's Very Personal Assistant by Heidi Rice. I'm almost finished with it. Can I just say that I wish a Tycoon would offer me a job like that? LOL My next book will probably be Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland. I'm reviewing it for LibraryThing. It looks really good.

Hope you all have a great Sunday and a great week!


"The Host" Contest Winner

Since I was unable to contact the winner of last month's contest for "The Host", another winner has been selected. The winner is....


Please contact me as soon as you can with your address so that I can mail it out to you. Thanks!

BBAW Contest Winner!

We have a winner....

Anita Yancey
Please contact me as soon as you can with your address so that I can mail these three books to you!
Thank you all for participating!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Book Blogger Appreciation Week - Book Giveaway!

Book Giveaway!

In honor of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, Socrates' Book Reviews is having a 3 book giveaway. We will be giving away.......

House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III

Colonel Massoud Amir Behrani was once a powerful and respected officer in the Shah of Iran's air force. Having fled the country with his family, he works by day spearing trash on California highways and by night as a clerk in a convenience store while deceiving his family into believing that he has a loftier job. Now, willing to risk the modest remainder of his fortune to restore his family's dignity, he buys a small house at a county auction, planning to sell it again for three or four times what he paid. But the house has been auctioned because of a bureaucratic error, and Behrani's fragile plans are jeopardized when Kathy Nicolo, the owner of the house, begins to protest the sale.

A recovering alcoholic and addict, Kathy is desperate to regain her only tie to stability — her home. In doing so, she enlists the help of Deputy Sheriff Lester Burdon, a married man who has fallen precipitously in love with her. As Kathy and Lester become obsessed with seeking justice by whatever means possible, the three characters converge on an explosive collision course. Combining unadorned realism with profound empathy, House of Sand and Fog is a devastating exploration of the American Dream gone awry.

Awaken My heart by DiAnn Mills

1803, the colony of Texas Marianne Phillips, the daughter of a wealthy rancher, has never agreed with her father's harsh treatment of the poor mestizos who first inhabited the colony of Texas. When rebels kidnap Marianne, in hopes her father will trade back their land for her freedom, she realizes her loyalty lies with her abductors, not her father, who plans to marry her off to the don of a nearby estate.

Armando Garcia is the locals' reluctant leader, but his people revere and depend on him. Knowing that without his leadership they'd be forced from their land, Armando accepts his role, but does not approve of the latest attempt to manipulate their enemy. When he learns that Marianne actually speaks his language, of her loyalty to his people, and of the faith that keeps her strong, Armando is faced with a difficult decision. Will his newfound love keep him from letting her go? Or will he set her free and risk losing their land forever?

Distant Heart by Tracey Bateman

Toni Rodden has escaped a life of prostitution and vows she'll never let a man control her again. After months on the wagon train, she's finally earned her place, albeit grudgingly from some, and has found a surrogate family in Fannie Caldwell and her two siblings. For the first time she can taste freedom and the possibilities of a new life. But as Fannie prepares to marry wagon master Blake Tanner, Toni realizes how alone she is and questions whether she'll ever find acceptance, or true love.

Despite Toni's conviction that no man will be able to see beyond her marred past, Sam Two-Feathers, the half-Indian wagon scout and acting preacher for the train, seems to know of a love that forgives sins and values much more than outward appearances. Will Sam have the confidence to declare his love? Will Toni be able to trust in a love that can forgive even the darkest past?

If you'd like to participate and win all 3 books, just post a comment saying you want to be entered. Please leave your email address or some way in which I can contact you if you win. The contest will last through BBAW and end on September 19th. The winner will be picked on the 20th. Good luck!

Friday Fill-Ins #90

1. There is no need for nastiness.

2. Where in the heck did the time go.

3. Surving the 'net is all I managed to do.

4. Prospects for winning a million $ aren't very good.

5. Relax is the message.

6. Simplicity and tranquility are very welcome.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to relaxing, tomorrow my plans include catching up on the week's TV and Sunday, I want to do grocery shopping!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

HeartSick by Chelsea Cain

Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Detective Archie Sheridan’s job was to find a serial killer. He never expected to be the killer’s victim, but the beautiful killer – Gretchen Lowell – tortured him and then released him. Archie was the only victim Gretchen didn’t kill, but why? Archie is on a mission to discover her reasoning. He makes a point of visiting her in jail every week, against everyone’s advice.

Now, another serial killer is out there and Archie intends to get this one by setting up a new task force. The local newspaper, Oregon Herald, has assigned a reporter to follow Archie around for a profile on the hero detective. The race is on for Archie to stop the killer before anymore deaths occur.

This story is similar to Silence of the Lambs, but I don’t think it’s quite as terrifying as that one. There are many twists and turns, but I didn’t find it to be a shocking end. It was an interesting psychological thriller to read and try to figure out what made these characters tick. Each character was unique in their own way. The author crafted a very intriguing book and made you feel as if you were right there with the characters, feeling their pain. I actually cringed a few times. There is a sequel to this book that sounds equally as captivating. I’m looking forward to that one as well and revisiting Archie and Gretchen.

Booking Through Thursday

This week's question:

Autumn is starting (here in the US, anyway), and kids are heading back to school–does the changing season change your reading habits? Less time? More? Are you just in the mood for different kinds of books than you were over the summer?

My answer:

I don't have kids, so that part doesn't effect me, but I do find my reading moods have changed. I'm already putting together books I want to read for October that have a more Halloween feel - not necessarily specifically geared for Halloween, but books of a paranormal nature. Then in November, I'll start putting together holiday type books. Usually when January comes I like to read books that have a "stranded in a blizzard" type of mood. LOL In the summer I do tend to read books that are set in a summery time. So, I guess my moods go along with the season.

As for reading time, I'm a huge baseball fan and for me (a Yankee fan) there won't be baseball to watch in October, so that will give me more reading time. Although, I'm also a couch potato and all the new TV shows are returning. So, I guess it's give and take.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Redlady's Reading Room Giveaway

Redlady's Reading Room is having a book giveaway. Here's the info...



Joanne Rendell was kind enough to send me an autographed copy of her wonderful debut novel to giveaway here to one of you for my first blog giveaway!! I am SO excited about this and hope that you are as well! Please check out my review below or click on here. You can also check out Joanne Rendell's website here.

Here are the rules:

Comment on this post for one entry.

Spread the word and blog about this giveaway and post a link back here for two more entries.

Just for the fun of it, share an example of something that you have stood up for with a group of female friends and what you learned from the experience, this will add another two entries.

Please make sure to leave an email or webpage when you enter so that I can contact you. U.S. and Canada only please, due to shipping costs. Please enter by Sunday, September 21st. Good luck!

Check it out at

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Sunday Salon

It's been a great week for me. My husband and I had a relaxing week on the Jersey Shore where we went to Atlantic City, Cape May and Ocean City. It was all fun. I brought a huge stack of books with me, but only managed to finish one and start another. That means I had a great time and had no time for reading :)

I finished The Trophy Wives Club by Kristin Billerbeck. I reviewed it in another post. I enjoyed it very much. I never read this author before and it's always fun to "discover" new-to-me authors.

Next up was HeartSick by Chelsea Cain. A chilling story of a serial killer. I'll review it when I'm finished. I have less than a 100 pages to go.

I'm not sure what I'll be reading next, but I think I need something like so it will probably be a Harlequin or Silhouette book.

Hope you all are having a relaxing Sunday and have a great week!

The Official BBAW Giveaway List

If you follow along for the festivities of BBAW at My Friend Amy, you will find many chances to win LOTS of goodies! Like what? Well have a look below. All of these things will be given away between September 15-19. There will be a huge variety of ways to win them and giveaways will be announced constantly throughout the week. So be sure to check in often!

A HUGE thank you to Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group USA, Harlequin, The B&B Media Group, Shera of SNS Blog Design, WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, Catherine Delors, Pamela Binnings Ewen, Andromeda Romano-Lax, Ceceilia Dowdy, Sormag, Book Club Girl, Savvy Verse and Wit, Cafe of Dreams, Fashionista Piranha, and Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'?.

Daily Raffles:
Monday--Books and Chocolate sponsored by My Friend Amy and Hey Lady! Whatcha' Readin?
Tuesday--Books and Going Green sponsored by My Friend Amy
Wednesday--Books and Coffee sponsored by My Friend Amy
Thursday--Books and Charity sponsored by My Friend Amy and Fashionista Piranha
Friday--Books and Movies sponsored by My Friend Amy

Win a Book Club Girl Hostess Survival Kit!
Do you find it's your turn to host book club and not only do you not know what to serve but you don't know what books to offer up for the next month's selection?! Let Book Club Girl come to your rescue with the Book Club Girl Hostess Survival Kit.

One lucky winner of the kit will receive:

* A basket of cheese, crackers, cookies and wine for up to 12 people
* 5 great book group books to vote on for your group's next pick. And Book Club Girl will then donate 12 copies whichever book is chosen for your entire group to read.
* 12 Book Club Girl mousepads to give out as party favors that night
* 12 Book Club Girl bookmarks to mark everyone's favorite passages
* 12 Book Club Girl coasters to protect your coffee table from all those wine glasses!

TWO SORMAG Goody Bags containing books and more!

A Special Pamper Me Basket from Cafe of Dreams!
From Avon Foot Works
~ Inflatable watermelon shaped foot tub
~ 3.4 FL oz Watermelon Cooling Foot Lotion
~ 3.4 FL oz Watermelon Exfoliating Foot Scrub
~ 12 count Watermelon Effervescent Foot Tablets
~ An ARC of So Long At The Fair by Christina Schwarz
~ A variety of Hot Chocolate and Tea mixes

A pre-made blog template from SNSDesign!

A Subscription to Poetry Magazine from Savvy Verse and Wit!

Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors
The Moon in the Mango Tree by Pamela Binnings Ewen
The Spanish Bow by Andromeda Romano-Lax
John's Quest by Cecelia Dowdy
Confessions of a Contractor by Richard Murphy
Acedia & Me by Kathleen Norris
The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell
The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer
Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley
A Tale Out of Luck by Willie Nelson with Mike Blakely
The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent
When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson
An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken
Exit Music by Ian Rankin
The Smart One and the Pretty One by Claire LaZebnik
Gunmetal Black by Daniel Serrano
Isolation by Travis Thrasher
The Miracle Girls by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
Every Freaking! Day With Rachell Ray by Elizabeth Hilts
Dewey by Vicki Myron
The Shiniest Jewel by Marian Henley
Keep the Faith by Faith Evans
The Book of Calamities by Peter Trachtenberg
A is for Atticus by Lorilee Craker
After the Fire by Robin Gaby Fisher
Mike's Election Guide by Michael Moore
War as They Knew It by Michael Rosenberg
Fixing Hell By Col. (ret.) Larry C. James
Wild Boy: My Life with Duran Duran by Andy Taylor
The Last Under-Cover: The True Story of an FBI Agent's Dangerous Dance with Evil By Bob Hamer
Border Lass by Amanda Scott
Insatiable Desire by Rita Heron
Hungry for More by Diana Holquist
Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee
Trespassers Will Be Baptized by Elizabeth Emerson Hancock
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not by Trish Ryan
Never Surrender by General Jerry Boykin
Dream in Color by Congresswoman Linda Sánchez, Congresswoman Loretta Sánchez
Beyond Belief by Josh Hamilton
Cobain Unseen by Charles R. Cross
Doing Business in 21st Century India by Gunjan Bagla
Branding Only Works on Cattle by Jonathan Salem Baskin
Launching a Leadership Revolution by Chris Brady, Orrin Woodward
How to Hear from God by Joyce Meyer
Knowing Right from Wrong by Thomas D. Williams
Pope John Paul II: An Intimate Life by Caroline Pigozzi
Pure by Rebecca St. James
He Loves Me! by Wayne Jacobson
So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore by Wayne Jacobson and Dave Coleman
Move On, Move Up by Paula White
The Rosary by Gary Jansen
Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts
The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
Right Livelihoods by Rick Moody
by George by Wesley Stace
The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold
Trunk Music by Michael Connelly
Hollywood Crows by Joseph Wambaugh
Dead Boys by Richard Lange
The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters by Lorraine Lopez
Sisterchicks Go Brit! by Robin Jones Gunn
Beyond the Night by Marlo Schalesky
With Endless Sight by Allison Pittman
Harlequin Titles: To Be Announced

Many other blogs are giving away books and prizes for BBAW as well! You can see the links to all of these giveaways here.

Interested in gaining entries into the daily raffles? Post this complete list on your blog with links and you'll earn two extra entries!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Trophy Wives Club by Kristin Billerbeck

Avon Inspire

Genre: Inspirational

At the young age of 20, Haley Cutler married handsome movie producer, Jay Cutler. Haley lived the life of a princess, she shopped at the best places, lived in a beautiful home and drove an expensive car. It all came to an abrupt end when Jay tossed Haley out of the house for a young starlet. Haley had no job skills and her friends dropped her quicker than she ever thought possible.

Haley tries to get Jay’s attorney, Hamilton Lowe, to get more alimony from her soon-to-be-ex-husband, but all he offers is a suggestion for her to attend a Bible study group called “The Trophy Wives Club”. He’s convinced they will help her learn to re-build her life, but all Haley wants is to make Jay pay.

This is a heartwarming story of a woman who has to learn to live on her own and survive the tough breaks that life sometimes throws in our way. The reader watches as Haley’s faith in people grows and she learns to open herself to new possibilities and possibly new romances.

I found this book to be fast-paced with well-developed characters and an interesting storyline. There is a sequel to this book called Back to Life. I’m looking forward to re-visiting this very interesting group of women.
I saw this on J. Kaye's Book Blog and thought it was cute. Check and see what your blog is rated!

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Scandal by Julie Kistler

Genre: Romance

Harlequin Blaze #268, August 2006

Jordan Albright teaches the course Scandalous Women 101. She’s doing her dissertation on one of the scandalous women of 1893, Isabella Tempest, who sculpted an arch filled with sexual content. A woman who had defied the beliefs of her time and stood up for herself. Something Jordan didn’t do in her own life, but praised women who took a stand.
Jordan’s fiancé Daniel liked Jordan just as she was. A woman who never made waves and always did what society felt was proper.

As Jordan researched her project, she found herself fantasizing about Isabella’s handsome older brother, Nick. Jordan’s dreams took on a life of their own to the point where she couldn’t stop thinking about him. She even kept pictures of him in her desk. She was falling in love with a man who had been dead for a 100 years.

During Jordan’s research, she discovered Isabella’s arch and suddenly found herself transported to Chicago. Chicago in 1893! She lands at Nick’s feet. He’s beyond shocked at this woman who was dressed in a short skirt and wasn’t wearing a corset. Her toes were even showing and they had paint on them. When Jordan started to speak, it was even worse. She was talking about odd devices like television and was openly discussing sex with him. Women just don’t do that in 1893.

Nick quickly found himself attracted to Jordan and she kept remembering her fantasies. Now, they were coming to life, much to her shock and happiness. However, she didn’t belong in 1893. She simply could not conform to society and wanted to go back to her own time. Talk about a long distance relationship. How could they survive a 100 year time difference?

This story was fun and sassy. There were several very hot scenes. I fell in love with these characters almost immediately. Julie Kistler never disappoints me and this book was no exception. It’s a fast read that leaves you feeling tingly all over.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Booking Through Thursday


I was looking through books yesterday at the shops and saw all the Twilight books, which I know basically nothing about. What I do know is that I’m beginning to feel like I’m the *only* person who knows nothing about them.

Despite being almost broke and trying to save money, I almost bought the expensive book (Australian book prices are often completely nutty) just because I felt the need to be ‘up’ on what everyone else was reading.

Have you ever felt pressured to read something because ‘everyone else’ was reading it? Have you ever given in and read the book(s) in question or do you resist? If you are a reviewer, etc, do you feel it’s your duty to keep up on current trends?

My answer:

Sure, I did it with the Diana Gabadalon Outlander series. I heard so many raves about them and went out and bought the first three (I'm not sure if there were more after this) and I couldn't even finish the first one. It just wasn't for me. I did the same thing with the Meyer's Twilight books, but I haven't even tried them yet. The good thing about thos is that I recently read Meyer's The Host and loved it. So, I'm hoping I'll have the same results with the Twilight books.

I do think it's important to keep up with the current trends, but I also feel it's important to read what you like and not what you think you should like. There are too many books and not enough time for that. It's taken me a long time to realize that.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Murder Passes The Buck by Deb Baker

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Gertie Johnson is suspicious when her neighbor, Chester, is shot. The shooting is chalked up to a hunting accident, but Gertie isn’t having any of it. She begs Sheriff Blaze Johnson to investigate before writing this off as an accident, but he wasn’t paying any attention to her. Her own son wouldn’t listen to her! What’s a mother to do? Conduct her own investigation, of course!

Gertie rounds up her own investigative team. Her best friend Cora Mae and a local citizen Kitty who demands to be Gertie’s bodyguard. The three sixty-something women begin searching for clues and it’s not long before they realize that Gertie was right. Chester was murdered, but who would have done such a thing and why?

Blaze is still not convinced. In fact, he’s sure his mother has really lost her mind. He takes her to court to try and have her declared unfit to care for herself. Gertie isn’t taking this lightly. Between solving a murder and fighting her son in court, she has her hands full.

Gertie reminds me of Janet Evanovich’s Grandma Mazur from the Stephanie Plum series. She has spunk and doesn’t take anything from anyone, not even her own family. I was laughing out loud from page one. Deb Baker creates a very vivid picture of a backwoods community in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula sprinkled with a cast of characters that are unique and fun to read about.

The mystery itself wasn’t very complex and I usually prefer more twists and turns in the books I read, but this was a light, fun read. The humor scattered throughout the book made up for it. This is the first book in Baker’s Yooper Mystery series and was a good introduction to all the characters. I will definitely read the next one, I already have it in my TBR.