Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Comments by

The Penthouse Man by Kea Noli

Fiction, Drama

Kea Noli

Release Date:
September 2012


Socialite Stephanie Borge and her sister Trixie Brandt are co-owners of Lavender and Lace Lingerie. Steph’s husband, Vell, is the director of the company and their cousins are shareholders. Steph and the cousins all think everything is going perfectly well, but Trix is ready to turn their world upside down, with the help of Vell.

The company isn’t doing as well as the women think. Trixie and Vell are planning to take it over and oust Steph and the cousins. Not to mention that Trixie is in love with her sister’s husband while her sister appears to live in her own version of reality in which she identifies pain with love.

When I first started reading, I was turned off by the fact that Trixie was in love with her sister’s husband. Then, Steph was so self-centered and mean that I didn’t care. Their family was made up of dysfunctional people from the cousins to their mother and Vell was nowhere to be found for most of the story. However, it worked. It all played out in a way that I could see what motivated the characters, even if I didn’t agree with the way they handled things.

This is a short story, but very powerful. I think it’s screaming for a full length novel so we can learn more about what drives these characters. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. I became totally engrossed in the drama of the situation. I wanted to find out how this would all end and why the characters behaved as they did. Kea Noli succeeded in keeping my interest and succeeded in keeping me up late until I finished reading.

FTC Disclosure: The author provided me with a copy of this book to review. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between! This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

I finished reading...


I finished listening to...

I'm currently reading...

I'm currently listening to...

Next up?

I'm not really sure yet.

What's on your list?


Sunday, December 30, 2012

The End of 2012

2012 is about to come to an end and it wasn't a great one for me.  

I lost my two beloved fur boys...




I still can't believe they are really gone.

Of course we did welcome the adorable Trudy into our lives.

and I can't post without mentioning my beautiful Cookie who rules all of us

And my books...

According to Goodreads, I read 84 books.  That's probably correct.  My goal was for 100, so I'm a bit short as far as that goes.  However, my new goal for 2013 will still be for 100.  It's a nice, round number :)

My favorites for 2012 (aka my 5 star reads):

Citizen Insane by Karen Cantwell
Melinda & The Wild West by Linda Weaver Clark
Hot Chocolate by Dawn Greenfield Ireland
Little Shop of Homicide by Denise Swanson
Murder Buys A T-Shirt by Christy Fifield
An Appetite for Murder by Lucy Burdette
Cats Can't Shoot by Clea Simon
Copy Cat Killing by Sofie Kelly
Desert Intrigue by Linda Weaver Clark
Quilt or Innocence by Elizabeth Craig
Giving Up The Ghost by Marilyn Levinson
Corpse in the Crystal Ball by Kari Townsend
Beef Stolen-Off by Liz Lipperman
Pies & Prejudice by Ellery Adams
Firefly Beach by Meira Peterman
Bruja Brouhaha by Rochelle Staab
Impeccable Petunia by Katie Christine
On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves
What's in God's Name by Simon Rich
Because of You by Jessica Scott
Driving Mr. Yogi by Harvey Araton
Iced Chiffon by Duffy Brown
Sweat by Mark Gilleo
The Cat, The Wife and The Weapon by Leann Sweeney
Curiosity Killed the Kat by Elizabeth Nelson
Playing with Poison by Cindy Blackburn
A Novel Way to Die by Ali Brandon
The Prophet by Ethan Cross

Reading Challenges...

I hosted:  4 in 2012 and completed 2
I joined:  21 in 2012 and completed 6

The first book I read in 2012 was Larceny and Lace by Annette Blair.

The last book I finished in 2012 was The Power of Happiness by Timothy McKinney

On New Year's Day I will have my plans for 2013.  I hope you all have a great New Year's!

The Power of Happiness: A Comprehensive Guide to Daily Joy and Well-Being by Timothy McKinney


Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Release Date:


Timothy McKinney gives the reader insight to happiness…what it means, how to gain happiness, dealing with unhappiness, how emotions effect your goal to happiness and so much more! The book goes into great detail, provides a workbook for readers to analyze their own search for happiness and gives us results from different studies that have been performed.

There were so many excellent points that I knew on a logical level, but never really put into practice. The author gives many exercises to use as tools in achieving your own search for happiness. There isn’t an easy answer to obtaining happiness, but this is a great motivational book. So many of his examples hit home. I want to start putting some of these practices in place NOW!

This is a quick, fast-paced read. I zipped right through it. It was written in a way that was most enjoyable and never boring. I’d love to be able to follow up this book with a seminar based on this book. It certainly motivated me – I feel as if I’ve been given a new lease on life.

FTC Disclosure: The author provided me with a copy of this book to review. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Sunday Post - December 30th

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

Can you believe it's the end of the year?  This is the last Sunday post for 2012.  Where did the time go?  I'm hoping to make a few changes next year starting with less review books and more books for myself.  I'm hoping the reading challenges I join will help me with that.  I'm still planning to join one or two more.

Today I watched the movie The Jane Austen Book Club and now I want to read Jane Austen books!  Does anyone know of any Austen reading challenges for 2013?  I've looked everywhere and can't find any.  I'm wondering if I should do one myself.  If I do, maybe I'll do it as a perpetual challenge.

Here's what's been happening at Socrates' Book Review Blog this week...

Blog Tours and Reviews I Hosted 

Thursday - A Hard Act to Follow by Henry Bushkin

My Reviews

Austenland by Shannon Hale

Posts This Week

Monday - What Are You Reading?

Wednesday - Wordless Wednesday

Thursday - Cat Thursdays

Friday -     Feed My Reader Friday
                 The Friday 56
                 Follow Friday Four Fill In Fun Blog Hop


What was your week like?

I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Know Me Better - 12/29

I "discovered" a "new-to-me" meme that looks like fine. It's hosted by Inspired Kathy at I Am A reader, Not A Writer.

Here's the info...

Each week I will pick 5 questions off of my author interview list to answers.

I invite you to share your answers to these questions as well. You can share them as a comment on this post or share them on your own blog and link up to this post.

This Week's Questions:

Favorite restaurant?
What is your view on self publishing?
How do you feel about banned books? Do you have a favorite?
Are you for or against books being made into movies?
Top 3 things on your bucket list?

My answers...

Favorite restaurant?

There are so many great restaurants and I like so many different kinds of foods. Italian food is probably my favorite so the local pizza places are always good, plus Olive Garden. Yum! Applebee's is good too. The Cheesecake Factory...I could go on and on :)

What is your view on self publishing?

I think it's wonderful and a great way for some really talented authors to get their work out to the public. Of course, like any industry, you have to take the good with the bad...not all self-published books are good, but there are quite a bit out there that are amazing.

How do you feel about banned books? Do you have a favorite?

I'm not a fan of banning books. I believe that everyone has the right to choose what they will read or not read. The only exception would have to be children and reading age-appropriate books, but that doesn't mean they should be banned. Just not made available to children. I don't have any particular favorites.

Are you for or against books being made into movies?

I don't mind them, if done right. Of course that's not always the case but it doesn't bother me if they'd like to try and do a book justice.

Top 3 things on your bucket list?


1. Retire from my full time job and concentrate on my writing. Hopefully someday I'll be published.

2. I'd love to travel around the world. That would have to be after we are retired and can take a few months to do this.

3. Read more from my TBR!

Blue Moonlight Giveaway Winner!

The winner of Blue Moonlight by Vincent Zandri is....

Entry #19  Natasha D.

  Congrats to Natasha and thank you to all who participated!

Friday, December 28, 2012

2013 Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge

I get a ton of freebies for my Kindle and for my Nook. How many do I end up reading? None, absolutely none and I'm determined to make that change which is why I'm joining this challenge. I want to finally read my freebies! Here are the details...

Things you need to know: This challenge is for free LEGAL downloads of books. These can be books offered through bigger sites, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, or smaller sites, such as Smashwords and All Romance Ebooks. Ebooks offered through author or publisher websites are acceptable as well, provided they are available free to everyone at the time of download. ARCs, library books, books free through Amazon Prime, books won or gifted, and galley ebooks DO NOT count toward this challenge.

Here's how it works:

Should you choose to participate in this challenge, your goal is to read at least twelve (12) legally obtained FREE e-books. While twelve is the minimum there is no maximum limit.
Anyone can join. You don’t have to be a blogger, and you don’t have to live in the United States.
Any E-Reader will work for this challenge, including: iPad, Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony Reader, enTourage.
Please Note: If you don’t have an e-reading device, you can still join in with Amazon’s Free Kindle Reading Apps which you can download for your iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, Blackberry and more.
The challenge runs from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013. You can join at any time.
e-books in ANY genre count for this challenge as long as it was FREE at the time that you downloaded it.
Every month in 2013, I will make a post for the 2013 Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge so you can link your reviews. Based on participation, monthly link ups may be combined.

Challenge Guidelines:

If you have a blog, create a post announcing your participation in the challenge. Please include a link back to this post.
Non bloggers: participate by linking up your profile URL from the site you plan to post your reviews on such as Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.
When you post your book review, you MUST reveal how you obtained the free & legal download. Please make your source clear. We do not condone piracy of any sort.
You can list your books in advance or list them as you read them.
Crossovers to other reading challenges is acceptable, but ARCs/galley e-books DO NOT count. Again, this is a Reading Challenge to read as many of the FREE e-books legally offered for your e-reader. To get started, check out the Top 100 Free books on Amazon, or the Free e-books on Barnes & Noble.

Coupon Clipper: 12 Books
Penny Pincher: 24 Books
Buying in Bulk: 36 Books
Super Saver: 50 Books
Extreme Couponer: 100+ Books

If you'd like to join, sign up here.

I'm going with the Coupon Clipper level and will list my books here:

1. One Snowy Night Before Christmas by Pamela Fryer (Click here to read my review.)

2. Her Master's Kiss by Vivien Sparx (Click here to read my review.)

3. Jingle My Bells by Kelli Roberts (Click here to read my review.)










What's In A Name 6 Reading Challenge

Although I don't intend to join as many reading challenges as I did last year (and believe me, I joined way too many), there are still a couple I want to add to my 2013 reading challenge list and this is one of them. I always do terrible in this challenge, but that's okay...I'm willing to try again :)

Here are the details...

Between January 1 and December 31, 2013, read one book in each of the following categories:

A book with up or down (or equivalent) in the title: Deep down True, The Girl Below, The Diva Digs up the Dirt
A book with something you'd find in your kitchen in the title: Loose Lips Sink Ships, The Knife of Never Letting Go, Breadcrumbs
A book with a party or celebration in the title: A Feast for Crows, A Wedding in Haiti, Cocktail Hour under the Tree of Forgetfulness
A book with fire (or equivalent) in the title: Burning for Revenge, Fireworks over Toccoa, Catching Fire
A book with an emotion in the title: Baltimore Blues, Say You're Sorry, Dreams of Joy
A book with lost or found (or equivalent) in the title: The Book of Lost Fragrances, The World We Found, A Discovery of Witches

The book titles are just suggestions, you can read whatever book you want to fit the category.

Other Things to Know

Books may be any form (audio, print, e-book).
Books may overlap other challenges.
Books may not overlap categories; you need a different book for each category.
Creativity for matching the categories is not only allowed but encouraged.
You do not have to make a list of books before hand.
You do not have to read through the categories in any particular order.

I will list my choices here...

1. A book with up or down:  Fatal Descent by Beth Groundwater (Click here to read my review.)
2. A book with something you'd find in your kitchen:   Topped Chef by Lucy Burdette (Click here to read my review.)
3. A book with a party or celebration: Ceremony in Death by J.D. Robb (Click here to read my review.)
4. A book with fire: Steamed to Death by Peg Cochran (Click here to read my review.)
5. A book with an emotion: Payne & Misery by Catherine Leggitt (Click here to read my review.)
6. A book with lost or found: Finding Colin Firth by Mia March (Click here to read my review.)

If you'd like to sign up, click here.

The Friday 56

This is a fun meme to do hosted by Freda's Voice. If you'd like to join on the fun go to The Friday 56.

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it here.

It's that simple.

I'm reading...

This is approximately 56% on my Kindle...

On the next page, you'll list 99 things that make you happy. Note that by "things" we don't necessarily mean material possessions. A new baby, a warm loving relationship, meaningful work, or increased health can count as a "thing" on your list.

Feed My Reader Friday

I found a new meme that looks like fun called Feed My Reader Friday. This is hosted by I Am A Reader. 


Just put up a post sharing the new ebooks you've added to your reader, computer, phone, etc.

Here's what I got this past week...I know there are alot of books listed here, but most were freebies...I love freebies :)


Just A Kiss Away by Jill Barnett
The Tea-Olive Bird Watching Society by Augusta Trobaugh
Eyewall by H.W. "Buzz" Bernard
Players by Tony Wilson
Life From Scratch by Melissa Ford
Fallen by B.J. Daniels
The Sleeping Night by Barbara Samuel
Desperate Housedogs by Sparkle Abbey


Charlotte Collins: A Continuation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice by Jennifer Becton
Highland Blessings' by Jennifer Hudson Taylor
Ruby Lake by Sherrill Willis
Unexpected Gifts (A Christmas Castle Mountain Lodge Romance) by Elena Aitken
Border Crossings: A Catherine James Thriller by Michael Weems
The Marriage Bargain by Sandra Edwards
RUNNING' by Patrice Fitzgerald
Bah, Humbug! (A Romantic Comedy Christmas Novella) by Heather Horrocks


KICK ASS: A Boxed Set by Julie Leto
Guilty Pleasures: A Collection of 3 Super Sexy Novellas by Janelle Denison
Decorah Security Collection by Rebecca York
 Neighbors and More (High Rise Series) by Mona Risk
 Closed Doors (Sisters of Spirit #2)' by Nancy Radke


Walk the Right Road Series by Lorhainne Eckhart
Catch Me If You Can by Nina Bruhns


Reinventing Rachel byAlison Strobel
 Momnesia by Lori Verni-Fogarsi
 Much Ado About Mavericks (Hearts of Owyhee) by Jacquie Rogers
Here Among Us by Maggie Harryman
Knockout! A Passionate Police Romance by Emma Calin 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Follow Friday Four Fill In Fun Blog Hop - Week 92


This is a fun meme and it's hosted by Hilary at Feeling Beachie. Check out her lovely blog, if you'd like to participate.

This week’s statements

1. without fail, whenever I fly I catch up on reading.

2. I used to be extremely shy, I'm still shy but not as bad as when I was younger.

3. When I wake up early for work I just want to go back to sleep.

4. My greatest fear is someone in my family being sick.

Romance Reading Challenge 2013

I've been waiting for this challenge to be announced.  Naida at The Bookworm hosts this and I've been joining for the last few years.  It's fun and one of the few challenges I actually complete.  These days I read mostly mysteries, but romances are kind of like going back to my roots in reading :)  So many wonderful romance authors out there and I can't wait to start this challenge.

Here are the details...

1. The challenge runs from January 1st, 2013 through December 31st, 2013.

2. "Romance" isn't limited to steamy Harlequin novels. There is a huge selection of books in this category such as contemporary romance, historical romance, romantic suspense and paranormal romance to name a few. As long as the story has romantic love between the two main characters your selection will fit this challenge. The novels do not need to have a happy ending either, there can also be unrequited love.

3. Choose at least 5 novels to read. You can change your choices at any time. Crossovers between other challenges are fine.

All kinds of books count, ebooks and audiobooks too.

If you are looking for suggested reading see Best Romance Novels Today or Romance Novels on Wiki or check out Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

4. Read your book selections at your own pace in 2012 then post the link to your review(s). You don't need to have a blog, posting your reviews on Goodreads and LibraryThing counts as well. If you do have a blog and are joining us, please consider linking back to this post either with text or with one of the buttons provided below to help spread the word.

I will list my books here, but I'm not sure yet what I will be reading...

1. One Snowy Night Before Christmas by Pamela Fryer (Click here to read my review.)

2. Dangerous Relations by Marilyn Levinson (Click here to read my review.)

3. Dead Running/Dying to Run by Cami Checketts (Click here to read my review.)

4. Million Dollar Mistake by Meg Lacey (Click here to read my review.)

5. Secret Desire by Susan D. Taylor (Click here to read my review.)

If you'd like to sign up, go the The Bookworm by clicking here.

A Hard Act To Follow by Henry Bushkin



About the Book

"A Hard Act to Follow," is a non-fiction literary account of Henry Bushkin's tenure as Johnny Carson's lawyer, business partner, and friend.  The book gives genuine insight into the 'Carson behind Johnny' with candid personal vignettes about the two, during the rollicking years when Johnny was the undisputed king of television.  This is an engaging, eye-opening, anecdote-packed story about a young lawyer and his client, one of the biggest celebrities in the country.  This funny, unfiltered account gives readers a look at the Johnny Carson that none but a select few really knew.

My Review

Before there was a Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel, or Jimmy Fallon...there was Johnny Carson.  A regular fixture in the late night talk show world.  He's the late night talk show host I grew up with and the man truly paved the way for the current crop of talk show hosts.

This book is written by his lawyer who became one of Carson's closest friends and someone who knew Carson better than anyone else.  Bushkin gives us an inside look into the man and the world he lived in.  We learn what drove Carson, his heartbreak, and we even learn about those who tried to take advantage of him.  I guess that's to be expected when you are rich and famous, but how horrible when you can't even trust those who are supposed to be friends.

Henry Bushkin's book is one of the better Hollywood memoirs I've read.  He gives the reader a clear picture of Johnny Carson - both the good and bad.  He does this in an interesting way that does not bore the reader.  There were times I forgot I was reading a memoir and felt as if I was listening to someone talking to me.  Bushkin has a wonderful storytelling style and I truly enjoyed this book.

You can read more about the book, from a recent Book Blast I posted.  Just click here.

FTC Disclosure: The author provided me with a copy of this book to review for the blog tour. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Cat Thursday - December 27th

Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! This fun meme is hosted by The True Book Addict. Go over to her site to join in the fun.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Evening in Paradise!

For more Wordless Wednesday if you click here.

Austenland by Shannon Hale



Macmillan Audio

Release Date:
June 2008

Synopsis from Fantastic Fiction:

Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane's fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined.

Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen--or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them. It's all a game, Jane knows. And yet the longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?

My Thoughts...

I absolutely loved listening to this on audio.  It's the perfect book for me to listen to (although I'm sure I would have loved reading it, too.)  I've been wanting to read more of these "take-offs" (for lack of a better term) of Jane Austen books and this was fun.   I wish I went on a trip like this.  What fun it would be!

Anyway, this was a sweet, cute story that made me want to read more from this author - as well as more books in the Jane Austen genre.  Is it okay to put her in her own genre whether it's books she's written, sequels or take-offs?  I hope so, because I loved this and will be reading more!

FTC Disclosure:   I took this book out of the library for my own listening pleasure.   All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between! This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

I finished reading...

I finished listening to...

I'm currently reading...

I'm currently listening to...

Next up? Still trying to get to this one - It looks sooooo good...

What's on your list?