Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Post #24 and Stacking the Shelves April 19th, 2015

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted  @ 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. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme.

Last week on the blog:
My mini-reviews are going pretty well.  It was nice having them all done for this past week ahead of time.  Later today I'm going to try to get all of them done for this week.  It was nice realize that I'm halfway done with the challenge as well.  As much as I'm enjoying being a part of it, I don't always do some of the other memes I do because of it, and I do miss those.

This week on the blog:
  • A to Z Challenge:  Q-V posts
  • Review:  An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  • Review:  The Replaced (The Taking #2) by Kimberly Derting
  • Possible Reviews:  Of Shadow and Stone by Michelle Muto or Be Not Afraid by Cecilia Galante
  • Trailer Reveal:  Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidit
  • Cover Reveal:  The Gatherers by Ashley Ehlers
I'm trying to sign up for less tours that I have to review the book, just because I have so many e-galleys to read I'm not getting to books I have sitting on actual bookshelves!  I only work one night at the bookstore this week, so hoping to get a lot more reading done.  I've got a few e-galleys I downloaded from Netgalley that I'm going to just give a quick feedback on as I had trouble getting into them, and that will hopefully help bring my percentage up on that site.

My Fit/Walking Goals:
I'm trying to work on getting back into shape, and I am a walker.  I've got a Fitbit and so I'm using the steps on that until I get better/more time to walk.  I'd like to get back to my 20 miles of walking a week.  For now I'm walking when I can, and trying to get about 10,000 steps a day.  Starting next week I'm going to post a daily update of steps on this post, as well as how many miles I walked.  My 20 miles a week is separate from how many steps I get a day. While those steps from the miles count towards my daily step goal, the normal daily steps don't count towards my 20 miles.  Does that make sense?
Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected.
HI, my name is Lisa, and I'm a bookaholic.  (I'll pause while everyone reading says "Hi Lisa").  I sometimes can't believe how ridiculous I am about books.  It's like a serious addiction. There is no way I will ever get to all the books I have sitting in my house to read, yet I keep adding more!  Anyway, here's the past week's additions.

Physical copies of books:

-->




I checked the first one out from the library.  I've seen the sequel's egalley up somewhere and it reminded me that I'd wanted to read the first one.  Hope to get around to it.  The 2nd one was a strip cover from the bookstore, and I don't like this cover as much as the hardcover one, but it may make more sense for what it is about. And I found the third book at Half Price bookstore for less than half price, and I really need to finish that series!

For Book Tours:

Free ebooks:

I haven't read either of these series, but this novella was free, so I thought maybe I'd try reading it and see if it got me interested at all in the two series.

E-galleys:
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Both are from Edelweiss.  I've still asked the publisher for a physical ARC of Persuasion, because I got an ARC of the first book last summer at BEA and would like to have a matching set, but we'll see what happens!

Those are the things I added this week.  What about you?  What are your plans for the week?  What have you added to your shelves?  And don't forget while you're here to enter my month long giveaway that goes with my A to Z Challenge below!

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

A to Z April: P Reviews - Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen/The Pride of the Peacock by Victoria Holt





For the last post this week I've got an old romance novel and a YA paranormal story.  Both are books I really enjoyed, and remember well.


The first book I want to talk about is one that I did actually review on my blog. But it is a series that I don't think gets enough attention.  So I want to bring it back by linking you to my reviews of the first two books in the Past Midnight series by Mara Purnhagen HERE.  And then I'll share the blurb from Goodreads below.  I just loved the ghost story, the characters, the mystery, such a great story!
Let me set the record straight. My name is Charlotte Silver and I'm not one of those paranormal-obsessed freaks you see on TV…no, those would be my parents, who have their own ghost-hunting reality show. And while I'm usually roped into the behind-the-scenes work, it turns out that I haven't gone unnoticed. Something happened on my parents' research trip in Charleston—and now I'm being stalked by some truly frightening other beings. Trying to fit into a new school and keeping my parents' creepy occupation a secret from my friends—and potential boyfriends—is hard enough without having angry spirits whispering in my ear.

All I ever wanted was to be normal, but with ghosts of my past and present colliding, now I just want to make it out of high school alive….



The second book is one that I happened upon by chance.  I had been hanging out with my aunt and cousins for the day because my parents were busy for something I can't remember now. We'd gone over to her grandmother-in-law's house.  I was bored, it was before I always remembered to bring a book with me.  So I saw a book sitting on a table and asked if I could read it.  Or maybe I picked it up and started reading, and the lady who it belonged to actually told me I could take it with me when we left. I'd always thought peacocks were cool, so that is one thing that got my attention. The other thing is that opals were my birthstone, and in this book I first learned about black opals, and probably became really obsessed with all types of opals.   Here is the blurb for it from Goodreads:
Victoria Holt demonstrates her mastery once again in her most exciting novel set in turn-of-the-century England where a young woman grows up in the shadow of the great estate - and privileged way of life - that was once her family's birthright. But a unique inheritance compels Jessica Clavering to marry the owner of a fabled opal mine and leads her to faraway Australia. There she will discover the mysteries - and evil - surrounding the greatest opal ever found. There she must confront the danger that lust for the stone has aroused even in her own husband - and there she must find love.

Actually both books I've chosen today have ghosts in them!  Or seem to maybe have ghosts.  And romance. Have you read either of these?  I am friends with the author of the first one, Mara Purnhagen, on Facebook.  And I've asked her what book is next. Nothing so far.  But I enjoy her writing so hope there will be more soon.  I've tried other books from the 2nd author, but haven't found any I loved as much as this one.

While you're here, enter my giveaway below!

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Review and Blog Tour: Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke (Prisoner of Night and Fog #2) by Anne Blankman (And Giveaway)


First, thanks to Balzer and Bray and Edelweiss for allowing me to read an e-galley of this book.  I requested it clear back in November, as soon as I saw it available because I LOVED the first book, Prisoner of Night and Fog, and you can go read my review of that one HERE.  What I love about this series is that it is about Hitler, but it starts after World War I, and we are seeing his rise and leading up to World War II.  I have always been fascinated and had to read all things about World War II. Rarely did I ever really get my interest peaked by World War I history. But the first book did that for me.  To see how they really were all connected, and one really led to the other, and that is why I love this book, and now its sequel, so much. 

BOOK DETAILS
Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke (Prisoner of Night and Fog #2)
by Anne Blankman
416 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: April 21st 2015

At the end of the first book Gretchen and Daniel had escaped from Germany and Hitler.  Gretchen had always looked up to Hitler, he had been her Uncle Dolf.  But when she fell in love with a Jew, and found out that Hitler was behind the murder of her father, she was now no longer his darling.  She lost her mother by having to run away, and her mother had to go live with her parents.  Her brother was now dead, also because of Hitler.  Daniel had to leave his family as well.  This book begins with Gretchen staying with her friend that had lived in the boarding house her mother ran in the first book.  He is a psychologist, and had been there to try to learn more about Hitler and study him.  He's now invited Gretchen to live with his family and continue her schooling.  Daniel is working for a paper in England, only instead of the hard-hitting reporting that he was used to, he is now doing the social/gossip page.  He gets a message that someone in his family needs him and he goes back to Germany, even knowing it will be dangerous for him there.  When Gretchen gets a coded message saying that Daniel has been charged with a murder and is on the run, she knows that she must go back and help him.  Back in Germany they must try to prove Daniel's innocence while staying out of the hands of Hitler and his men, who will probably execute them on sight.  It is a very suspenseful story, but so much stuff to learn about the time period.  German gangsters, how the police became part of Hitler's group, how all the political parties used to get along in the country.

I really just love how the author weaves true historical facts and events in with wonderful fictional characters that you really care about.  Characters that don't make it through everything unscathed, they suffer tragedies and losses and even permanent debilitating injuries.  And for the most part, they do act the way you would think people really act.  Even if there is still some of the silly stuff that people in love in books seem to do.  And it was like watching the Titanic movie, you rooted for the people, even knowing that in the end the really bad things, like the boat sinking or in this case Hitler rising to power, are still going to happen.  Even though you know if they do prove what they try to prove, it won't actually end up saving Germany and all the people in the Holocaust, you still root for them to do what they can.  So irritated that the copy of the first book I ordered for the school library where I work hasn't arrived yet, because reading this sequel made me want to talk and share the first one again with teachers and students. 

BOOK LINKS:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22838220-conspiracy-of-blood-and-smoke?ac=1
Amazon paperback: http://tinyurl.com/l8ecbco
Barnes and Noblehttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/conspiracy-of-blood-and-smoke-anne-blankman/1120020441?ean=9780062278845
Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Conspiracy-Blood-Smoke-Anne-Blankman/9780062278845
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/conspiracy-of-blood-and-smoke/id903967365?mt=11
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/es-ES/ebook/conspiracy-of-blood-and-smoke

OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:
Prisoner of Night and Fog: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17668473-prisoner-of-night-and-fog

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Anne Blankman may have been meant to be a writer because her parents named her for Anne of Green Gables. She grew up in an old house with gables (gray, unfortunately) in upstate New York. When she wasn't writing or reading, she was rowing on the crew team, taking ballet lessons, fencing and swimming. She graduated from Union College with degrees in English and history, which comes in handy when she writes historical fiction.

After earning a master's degree in information science, Anne began working as a youth services librarian. Currently, she lives in southeastern Virginia with her family. When she's not writing young adult fiction, she's playing with her daughter, training for races with her husband, working at her amazing library branch, learning to knit (badly), and reading.

Anne Blankman is the author of PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG, the first in a three-book deal slated for publication in spring 2014 from Balzer + Bray | HarperCollins. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

AUTHOR LINKS:
Website: http://www.anneblankman.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7012378.Anne_Blankman
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnneBlankman

TOUR SCHEDULE:
 http://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2015/02/tour-schedule-conspiracy-of-blood-and.html

GIVEAWAY
Details: 3 prizes
GRAND PRIZE: Win a signed ARC of PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG and a signed ARC of CONSPIRACY OF BLOOD AND SMOKE (US Only)
FIRST PRIZE:  Win (1) of (2) signed ARCs of CONSPIRACY OF BLOOD AND SMOKE (US Only)

Starts: April 13th, 2015
Ends: April 22nd, 2015


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A to Z April: O Reviews - The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory/Out of Time by Caroline B. Cooney





Today I'm sharing two books that kind of deal with history.  The first one is definitely called historical fiction, and the second one has characters that time travel, so it is both contemporary and historical.


First is The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory.  I ended up reading this one because of the movie that was going to be coming out soon at the time.  This was back when I had time and tried to read the book before I saw the movie. These days I'm running out of time, or learning that it is often more disappointing to read the book first in case they do a bad job on the movie.  But this book, and the movie, got me more intrigued by the actual history of Henry VIII.  And that was right in time for the HBO series The Tudors as well.  I guess this book might be a 2nd in a series, but I don't know that I'll read any others.  Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
Two sisters competing for the greatest prize: the love of a king.

A rich and compelling novel of love, sex, ambition, and intrigue, The Other Boleyn Girl introduces a woman of extraordinary determination and desire who lived at the heart of the most exciting and glamorous court in Europe and survived by following her heart.

When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of Henry VIII. Dazzled, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family's ambitious plots as the king's interest begins to wane and she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. Then Mary knows that she must defy her family and her king and take her fate into her own hands.


The second book is one by a pretty popular author, it is Out of Time (Time Travelers #2) by Caroline B. Cooney, and again I'm just picking the 2nd one because of the letter, and I plan to talk about the whole series.  It does have the dreaded love triangle that everyone moans and complains about, but that I firmly insist is nothing new, but an old, old, old part of stories, and I can name some if you want!  It starts with a girl who kind of has always felt that she was born too late.  Until one day she is transported back in time where she falls in love, even though she does have someone back in her own time period.  The series follows her and some other characters to time periods such as around the late 1800s, medieval times, and even ancient Egypt.  Here is the blurb from Goodreads for this second book:
Annie Lockwood exists; everyone admits it. Everyone has seen her. But only Strat insists that Miss Lockwood traveled one hundred years back in time to be with them in 1895. Now Strat is paying an enormous price: His father has declared him insane and had him locked away in an asylum. When Time calls Annie back to save Strat, she does not hesitate, even though her family is falling apart and desperately needs her. Can Annie save the boy she loves, or will her choice keep her a trespasser out of time?

So what historical time periods fascinate you?  Have you read either of these books, or maybe a different book by one of these authors?

Don't forget to enter my giveaway below.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

A to Z April: N Reviews - The Next Big Thing by Johanna Edwards/North and South by John Jakes





Okay, I haven't had a chick lit review in a few days, not since last week actually!  So thought I'd share one today.  The other book has romance in it, but is a great saga kind of book.



First is The Next Big Thing by Johanna Edwards.  As a single woman who has had several points in my life where I've been overweight (like the present) this book about a single woman wanting to lose weight as part of a reality tv show really was fun for me.  Here's the blurb from Goodreads.com:
In this funny, poignant debut, a plus-size heroine becomes a reality TV show contestant and discovers she's already beautiful enough to be the next big thing.

Kat Larson figured she had nothing to lose by becoming a contestant on the new reality show From Fat to Fabulous-except maybe a few dozen pounds. Then she'd finally be able to arrange a face-to-face meeting with Nick, the British hunk she met online, who still thinks she's a size four. She'd finally be confident and graceful and thin-and there's that big cash prize, too, to pay for all those slinky new clothes she'd need. She'd finally have the perfect life.



Second is North and South by John Jakes.  I first was made aware of this book when the tv series was on in the 1980s.  The one that starred Patrick Swayze.  From the show I came up with a name that at one time I wanted to use for a girl if I ever had kids. But now, I can't have kids, but if I could, thanks to Ashton Kutcher, I wouldn't be able to use it because people might think I chose it because of him.  (Ashton is the name, I wanted to do an Ashton Leigh, and call her Ashleigh for short).   The Civil War is also a time period that is always fascinating to read about, at least for me.  If you haven't heard of the book or tv mini-series, here is the blurb from Goodreads:
When their two sons meet as West Point cadets, the southern, plantation-owning Main family and the industrialist Hazards of Pennsylvania find their lives interlocked, as the nation moves toward Civil War.
Wow, that didn't tell much, but it does give you the main idea.



Have you read either of these?  Have you seen the North and South mini-series from the 80s? 

Don't forget to enter my giveaway below!

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Blog Tour - Excerpt and Giveaway: Never Sleep by Cady Vance


Book and Author details: 
Never Sleep by Cady Vance
Publication date: March 15th 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Synopsis:
Thora Green had a life once upon a time.  But that ended the day her parents enrolled her in a sleep clinic prison. At the facility, her chronic months-long insomnia is observed by scads of doctors, but she is never actually treated for her dire disease. In a feat of desperation, Thora escapes for New York City. Buried deep in the city’s underbelly, there is rumored to be a secret haven called the Insomniac Café: a place where people like Thora can find relief.

As Thora joins forces with Aiden and Florence, two fellow insomniacs, their midnight quest will take them from the dusty bookshelves of The Strand, to the smokey underground clubs in the Lower East Side, to countless taxi and subway rides. Clues leading to their final destination are waiting for them at every turn. But so are Sleepers—a powerful core of sworn-enemies to all Insomniacs—who wish to see Thora and her friends destroyed at any cost.


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24490083-never-sleep?ac=1

Purchase:
--Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Never-Sleep-Cady-Vance-ebook/dp/B00S5J4IKG

AUTHOR BIO:
Cady Vance is the author of YA and NA speculative fiction. After growing up in small-town Tennessee, she decided to embark on a grand adventure by packing up her bags and moving to NYC. Now, she studies for her PhD in the UK and dreams of seeing the universe.
Author links:
http://www.cadyvance.com/
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter


Excerpt:
There is a knock on my door. A timid, quiet knock that becomes a rapid staccato when I don’t answer right away. I sigh and heave myself up higher on my pillows, squint at the door.
“Yes?” I call out to Nurse Lucianne, who must be back on shift by now, replacing Nurse Julia. I squint at the clock. It’s 6 A.M. The night is finally over. “What’s up, Nurse?”
A terrifying, bloodcurdling scream rips through the silence. My spine stiffens, and I blink hard at the door, fear roaring through my head like a hurricane.
Not real, not real, not real! I squeeze my eyes tight and will myself to snap out of my hallucination with all the strength of my soul.
Instead of the real world crashing down around me, my Clinic room door swings open wide. Instinctively, I scoot as far away as I can, pushing my back hard against the cold wall. Doctor Jeremy rushes into my room, his bulky frame blocking out the light of the hallway behind him. I breathe a sigh of relief. If he’s here, I must not be in the middle of a sleep terror…but then that means that scream was real.
“What’s going on?” I ask. “What was that?”
“We don’t have much time.” He quickly crosses the room in long, confident strides, and I notice his jaw is clenched even tighter than it was during our last session. With a quick glance, he takes stock of my state. “How are you feeling?”
“Um. Fine?” I blink at him, utterly confused as to what’s going on.
Another scream pierces the air. This time it feels as if it tears through my head and into my soul. My breath hitches and I open my eyes wide at the Doc, but he doesn’t seem to pay the noise much attention.
“Please tell me what’s happening,” I say, my voice almost caught in my throat.
“Don’t worry. Everything’s fine.” He holds out his large, calloused hand to me. “I need you to get out of bed as quickly as possible. We don’t have much time.”
“You said that when you first came in.” I take his hand and throw my legs over the side of the bed. “Don’t have much time for what?”
He glances quickly at the open door, then back to me. His eyes burn bright with something I’ve never seen in them before. Fire. “I’m getting you out of this place.”


What do you think?  Sounds good doesn't it!  Follow along with the rest of the tour HERE.

Giveaway:

Tour-wide giveaway (INTL) - Ends April 23rd
  • A paperback copy of Never Sleep
  • A "Dreaming of New York" sleep mask


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A to Z April: M Review - Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle/Meg by Steve Alten


Today I have another kind of religious book to share, although it also has a science fiction edge and is part of a YA series. The other book is a science fiction series I love, and an author that I devour all of his books!

First is Many Waters (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet) by Madeleine L'Engle.  I know a lot of people have heard of and probably read A Wrinkle in Time at some point in their childhood.  As did I.  But at the time I also then wanted to read every book by that author, especially those that were in a series.  The reason I chose this book is because there was one thing that really stood out for me. Something that others may know more about from the book The Red Tent by Anita Diamont.  The tent that the women stay in, separate from the men, during their "time of the month".  I know that it was not a good thing, it was a way of discriminating against women, they were considered "unclean" during that time.  But today all I can think is that how awesome would it be if I could just sit and rest and be away from the rest of the annoying world during that time.  :-)  Right girls?  That's not all the books is about obviously, that's just what stood out in my head.  Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
A touch of computer keys, a blast of heat, and suddenly the Murry twins, Sandy and Dennys, are gasping in a shimmering desert land. If only the brothers had normal parents, not a scientist mother and a father who experiments with space and time travel. If only the Murry twins had noticed the note on the door of their mother's lab: EXPERIMENT IN PROGRESS. PLEASE KEEP OUT.

But it's too late for regrets. There's a strange -- and very small -- person approaching, with a miniature mammoth in tow....

At last it's Sandy and Dennys turn for an adventure -- an adventure that turns serious when they discover that "many waters" are coming to flood the desert. The twins must find a way back home soon, or they will drown. But how will they get back to their own time? Can they?



Second is Meg by Steve Alten.  This is an awesome science fiction story about the giant Carcharodon megalodon, an ancient prehistoric shark that has found its way from a hiding place deep in the ocean up into our world.  I could totally see the SyFy channel doing a movie of this series, but what I'd really love is if the people who did Jurassic Park would do this, using all the awesome technology and special effects to make it into the movie it deserves to be.  This actually is a series, there are 4 books in the series.  And this author has other great books as well.  Here is the blurb for this first book in the series from Goodreads:
On a top-secret dive into the Pacific Ocean's deepest canyon, Jonas Taylor found himself face-to-face with terror. The sole survivor of the mission, Taylor remains haunted years later by what he saw. Written off as a crackpot, he insists that the prehistoric shark known as Carcharodon megalodon still swims the deep underwater chasms.

Only an urgent call for help from one of his oldest friends can persuade him to return to those deadly waters. Now Taylor will relive his darkest nightmare, only to find that what he saw before was only the beginning. For what lies deep beneath the waves is a horror that could turn the tides blood-red until the end of time....



So, did you read A Wrinkle in Time when you were younger?  Are you a science fiction fan?  I love all things dinosaur and other prehistoric creature related, so Meg just fascinates me no matter how unrealistic the story may be.

While you're here, you should enter my giveaway below!

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A to Z April: L Reviews - Lamb by Christopher Moore/Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins





Today I have kind of a theme like yesterday, in that both of today's books are somewhat based in religious.  The first one is more of a humorous look at Jesus' life.  The second one is a very dramatic series based more on the book of Revelation in the bible.



First we'll start with the more lighthearted book, Lamb:  The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore.  I believe I first heard about this around the time I had become a big fan of Kevin Smith after his movie Dogma.  I enjoyed the more human, if extremely inappropriately humorous look at what Jesus' life might have been like from this kind of viewpoint.  If you've read any other of Moore's books, you'll understand exactly what I'm talking about.  Here is the blurb about it from Goodreads.com:
Verily, the story Biff has to tell is a miraculous one, filled with remarkable journeys, magic, healings, kung fu, corpse reanimations, demons, and hot babes. Even the considerable wiles and devotion of the Savior's pal may not be enough to divert Joshua from his tragic destiny. But there's no one who loves Josh more - except maybe "Maggie," Mary of Magdala - and Biff isn't about to let his extraordinary pal suffer and ascend without a fight.


Second is a series that I picked up and read at a time when I hadn't really been doing much religiously for awhile, the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.  But it was a great series, and got me really thinking about all of it again.  It's also left a lot of thoughts in my head about when things remind me of the end of the world from this books. Things that we see in the news, people that are big in the world in real life, make me think Antichrist based on what I read in this series.  I was able to kind of read past some of the stuff that was not what I was used to in my religious upbringing as just part of the story, and therefore was able to enjoy it as a story more than a bible study type of read.  I do highly recommend the series still, even if you are not religious, again, as a great suspenseful read.  This is a pretty well known series, there were a few made into low budget movies starring Kirk Cameron, and then just recently Nicholas Cage starred ina more big budget version.  I haven't seen the new one yet, but had hoped maybe it would spawn a new interest in making the books into big budget films, since I think they would make great movies.  There are even a few tv shows now that seem to be riding on the coattails of this series.  Here is the blurb from Goodreads if you haven't heard of it:
In one cataclysmic moment, millions around the globe disappear.
Vehicles, suddenly unmanned, careen out of control. People are terror stricken as loved ones vanish before their eyes.

In the midst of global chaos, airline captain Rayford Steele must search for his family, for answers, for truth. As devastating as the disappearances have been, the darkest days may lie ahead.


So, those are my reviews I'm sharing today.  Do you read many religious books?  Have you read either of these?  Have you seen the movies, or do you watch the tv shows?

And don't forget to enter my giveaway below!

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Revew and Blog Tour: Supervision by Alison Stine (Giveaway)


First I have to say thanks to XPresso Book Tours for allowing me to read an egalley of this and be a part of the tour, you can check out the tour schedule HERE.  It took me a minute or two to get into the book. But once I got into it I needed to know where it was going, and so it kept me turning pages, or actually swiping the screen of my Nook to get to the next page.  First, here is the information about the book and author.

Book and Author details:
Supervision by Alison Stine
Published by: HarperVoyager
Publication date: April 9th 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Synopsis:
Something is wrong with Esmé.

Kicked out of school in New York, she’s sent to live with her grandmother in a small Appalachian town. But something is wrong with the grandmother Ez hasn’t seen for years; she leaves at midnight, carrying a big black bag. Something is wrong with her grandmother’s house, a decrepit mansion full of stray cats, stairs that lead to nowhere, beds that unmake themselves. Something is wrong in the town where a kid disappears every year, where a whistle sounds at night but no train arrives.

And something is wrong with the cute and friendly neighbor Ez’s age with black curls and ice-blue eyes: He’s dead.


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23945188-supervision?ac=1

Purchase:
--Amazon
--Barnes and Noble

AUTHOR BIO
ALISON STINE’s first novel SUPERVISION will be released by Harper Voyager UK in 2015.

Also the author of three books of poetry: WAIT (University of Wisconsin Press, 2011), OHIO VIOLENCE (University of North Texas Press, 2009), and LOT OF MY SISTER (Kent State University Press, 2001), she has worked as an actor, an artist’s model, a high school teacher, and a professor. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Ohio University, and is an avid urban explorer.

Author links:
http://www.alisonstine.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/683318.Alison_Stine
https://www.facebook.com/alisonstineauthor?ref=hl&ref_type=bookmark
https://twitter.com/AlisonStine

My Review:
It starts with the main character, Esme, who is not happy living with her older sister in NYC.  Their parents have passed away, and her sister, who she calls "The Firecracker" after an old news story about her dancing, threatens her with going to live with their grandmother whenever Esme causes problems.  Well, when Esme can't find her boyfriend, and sees a message from him in the subway, she goes looking for him and gets trapped in a subway tunnel.  The police offer not to press charges when her sister says she will be sending her away.  At her grandmother's house she is being treated as if she is invisible, in fact everyone in town seems to treat her as if she doesn't exist. And that's not the only weird thing, she is seeing ghosts.  Some of these ghosts, Tom and Clara, seem to think that the reason no one can see Esme is that she is dead like them. But she's not, at least she's pretty  sure she's not because she can still bleed. And unlike her new ghost friends, her wounds don't just fade away.  So now she has to figure out why she seems to be invisible to everyone, and why all of a sudden she can see ghosts.  She does figure out that maybe she can help ghosts pass on, like it seems maybe her grandmother does.  But trying to do that may get her in trouble, even hurt, by the not so friendly ghosts that are still around the house and town.  Especially when she learns about all the area children that have gone missing or died over the past years.  And she might find love, with a ghost.  And she might get a chance to work on the relationship with her sister, who really is there for her throughout the whole time, sometimes the only living person that seems to still know she is around.

I have to say not knowing why she was invisible, but still alive, was a huge thing as I read.  And we don't really get close to knowing till the last fourth of the book.  I guess that was a good way to keep us hooked though.  And in the end I like the way it was solved, mostly. Although if it was a bit quick maybe?  But in the end, if that's what it took to solve the bad situation, then it would be pretty quick.  Definitely a pretty good read.  There were a lot of typos, but as this is an egalley, I would assume all that will be fixed for the final story.  There was a link to Esme's family and the house when it was built, but we didn't really get it till the very end, and I think some of that, along with the parts about her mother, could have been interspersed a bit more.  Still, had some definitely creepy ghost parts, as well as some interesting ghosts.  It pulled in the Underground Railroad, as well as the Orphan Trains, both historical things that I find very interesting to learn about.

Now while you're here, make sure that you enter into the tour giveaway below!

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A to Z April: K Reviews - The Kachina Doll Mystery by Carolyn Keene/Killer Pancake by Diane Mott Davidson


To start off this week I've got a couple books to share that are part of a series. Neither of my choices are the first in that series. But one is one of my favorites from the series, and the other is my way from the few K books I've read to fit this series in during the month.


First is The Kachina Doll Myster (Nancy Drew #62) by Carolyn Keene.  I always credit the Nancy Drew series for being a part of my love of reading.  I remember exactly the time when my family was shopping at the local Sears Outlet store, and they had a bunch of the Nancy Drew books there to buy for very reasonable prices.  My mom let me pick up several, and from the minute I started reading them, I was hooked.  I know we had several trips to the bookstores throughout the next few years as I had to buy more and more.  This one was always one of my favorite ones, I think I read it many, many times.  Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
When Nancy arrives at the McGuire's fitness ranch in Arizona, she discovers that the future of the ranch is being threatened by unexplained accidents. Teaming up with a ghost, Nancy begins her search for a precious collection of ancient Kachina dolls and hunts for her elusive adversary, who is determined to prevent the ranch from operating.



Second is Killer Pancake (A Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery #5) by Diane Mott Davidson.  I first discovered this series when I started working at the B. Dalton bookstore at our local shopping mall.  I have never been a big mystery reader, not like these anyway. But as I paged through one and saw the yummy looking recipes, I decided to take one when it was a stripped book and I could try it for free. From that point on I had to buy them.  I'm ashamed to admit that I was lucky enough to get an ARC of the latest book this past year, and then I never got around to reading it.  My reading of adult books sadly gets pushed to the side for all the awesome YA books there are these days.  Here is the blurb from Goodreads for this title:
When Goldy, owner of Goldilocks' Catering, faces the challenge of whipping up a sumptuous lowfat feast for the Mignon Cosmetics' company banquet, she rises to the occasion brilliantly...only to discover just how ugly the beauty biz can be!

On the day of the banquet Goldy finds herself confronting an angry mob of demonstrators--"Spare the Hares"--who object to Mignon Cosmetics' animal-testing policies. As she struggles to carry forty pounds of lowfat fare from her van to the mall where the banquet is being held, she hears an ominous
squeal of tires and a horrifying thump. Seconds later, a Mignon employee lies dead on the pavement. And soon the police discover that this hit-and-run was no
accident.

Now Goldy is enmeshed up to her saute pans in a homicide investigation.  Could the murder have had something to do with Spare the Hares--or with the exotic flower found near the dead body? Though busy serving up Hoisin Turkey and Grand Marnier Cranberry Muffins, Goldy decides to start digging at Mignon's
million-dollar cosmetics counter. But when another murder takes place and Goldy herself is attacked, the caterer turned sleuth knows she must step up her
search for a gruesome killer. For this time was only a warning. Next time she'll be dead--and it won't be pretty.


Those are my two reviews for today.  Have you read either of these series?  Are you a mystery fan?  I guess without realizing it I featured two mystery series today.

And while you're here, enter my giveaway below!

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