Pages

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Last Book Ever Written by Jonah Kruvant

Author: Jonah Kruvant
Publisher: PanAm Books
Date of publication: April 28, 2015

In a futuristic American society where all citizens have computerized chips in their brains and insert needles into their veins to enter a virtual reality, Victor Vale leads a fairly typical life.  He is an officer of the law with greater ambitions, a family man, and a dutiful citizen of the Nation.  Yet when The Chief assigns him a case to go undercover and expose a community of illegal “creators,” Victor finds himself strangely compelled to write.  For the first time, he starts to question the world around him, and becomes involved in a web of lies, uncertain of whom to trust, and unable to distinguish between virtualism and reality.  As he searches for answers, Victor slowly begins to unravel hidden truths about the world, and even uncovers an astonishing secret from his own past.

The Last Book Ever Written satirizes our competitive, success-driven society, foresees the effects of the economic recession, and warns what could happen if we let technology go too far.

I was looking forward to reading this book.  The title alone really caught my attention.  Imagine, no more books being written ever!  In this age where things are going more and more digital, it seems like it could be a reality.  I would think a book like this would be relevant even in today's world.  

Unfortunately, I had a hard time engaging with the book.  I got about 20% in and I still didn't have a feel for the world I found myself in. I have a hard time reading stories where I can't connect with the "world".  I was distracted by all of the trademarks next to "product" mention in the book.  I know that this book was supposed to be in part a commentary on how society is today, but I felt like it was too blatant and that was a little off putting. 

I do know that this book has received great reviews, so I think it will be well received with the right audience. I just don't think that is me.

About the author:

A writer, teacher, and student of the world, Jonah Kruvant received his Bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College, his Master’s degree in Teaching from Fordham University and his MFA degree from Goddard College. After living abroad in four different countries, Jonah lives in New York. Visit his website at www.jonahkruvant.com.


Jonah’s Tour Stops
Thursday, April 30th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Friday, May 1st: A Book Geek
Monday, May 4th: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, May 12th: Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Wednesday, May 13th: Jenny Waldo
Monday, May 18th: Every Free Chance Book Reviews
Tuesday, May 19th: Ace and Hoser Blook
Thursday, May 21st: Jancee Reads
Sunday, May 24th: Palmer’s Page Turners

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

by:  Lucy Christopher
published by:  Chicken House
publish date:  October 3, 2013

Emily’s dad is accused of murdering a teenage girl. Emily is sure he is innocent, but what happened that night in the woods behind their house where she used to play as a child? Determined to find out, she seeks out Damon Hillary, the enigmatic boyfriend of the murdered girl. He also knows these woods. Maybe they could help each other. But he’s got secrets of his own about games that are played in the dark.

This was an audiobook I picked out from the library.  I thought it was be an nice easy listen in the car.  For the most part it was.

Emily's dad is suffering from PTSD.  He spends most of his time in the woods where he feels safe.  He has a bunker out in the woods where he spends his nights until one night he brings home a dead girl.  Emily's dad is going to prison for murder unless she can figure out what happened in the woods that night.  What Emily doesn't know is that some of the kids from her school including the girl that wound up dead at her house play deadly games in the woods.

So, in general, I thought this was a good book.  The one thing that really annoyed me about it was that "The Game" kept being referenced and it was wasn't explained until very late in the book.   The whole time I was like "just tell me what the stupid game is, I promise it won't ruin the book for me!!"  Ultimately, I don't think finding out what the game was did in terms of giving away the story, but if I had to wait to find out what it was, you have to wait too!

This book was a little bit predictable, but overall it was a pretty easy listen/read.  It doesn't seem to be classified as YA, but it doesn't seem to be an adult book either as the main characters are teenagers.  So maybe this is one of those sort of NA books.  If you're a YA mystery reader, I think you'll like this one.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Blog Tour: The Inn at Ocean's Edge by Colleen Coble

Author: Colleen Coble
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Date of publication: April 2015

In 1989, Claire Dellamare disappeared from her own fourth birthday party at the Hotel Tourmaline on the island of Folly Shoals, Maine. She showed up a year later at the same hotel, with a note pinned to her dress but no explanation. Nobody knows where Claire spent that year—and until now, Claire didn’t even know she had ever been missing.

But when Claire returns to the Hotel Tourmaline for a business meeting with her CEO father, disturbing memories begin to surface . . . despite her parents’ best efforts to keep them forgotten.
Luke Rocco lost his mother under equally mysterious circumstances—at the same time Claire disappeared. After a chance encounter reveals the unlikely link between them, Claire and Luke set out together to uncover the truth about what happened that fateful year.


With flashbacks swimming just beneath her consciousness and a murderer threatening her safety, Claire’s very life depends on unscrambling her past . . . even if her family refuses to acknowledge it. Someone—maybe everyone—is hiding something from Claire Dellamare, and it will cost her everything to drag the truth out into the light.

The Inn at Ocean's Edge is the first in a new series by Colleen Coble.  She is quickly becoming a go to author for me when I am looking for an intriguing, yet clean romantic suspense to curl up with.  This book definitely fit that description.  I really enjoyed it and finished it very quickly.    The story involves Claire who travels to Folly Shoals for a business meeting.  When she gets there, she discovers that when she was 4, she went missing for a year.  She has no memories of that time.  But, when she comes to the island, she begins to have flashbacks.  She also discovers that someone will do anything to keep her quiet.

This one is a hard book to review without giving away any of the key points of the plot.  I'll just say that it sucked me right in and kept me on my toes.   About halfway through the book, I thought I had it all figured out, only to find out I was wrong in the end.  You all know I love when that happens. 

I found the resolution shocking and truly felt badly for Claire. How do you cope when you find out everything you thought you knew was a lie? The book really made me think about how one decision can impact several lives forever.   I liked how Claire's faith kept her grounded throughout her ordeal.  The romance between Claire and Nate was subtle, but very sweet.  I enjoyed the slow build and the HFN ending.  It just felt right.

The next book in the series, Mermaid Moon comes out some time in 2016.  I look forward to reading it and already have it on my "want to read" list.



Celebrate the release of The Inn at Ocean's Edge by entering to win a Kindle Fire and RSVPing to her May 5th author chat party!

oceansedge-400

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • A copy of A Heart's Disguise
  • A copy of A Heart's Obsession
  • A copy of The Inn at Ocean's Edge
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 7th. Winner will be announced May 8th on Colleen's website. Plus be sure to clear your calendar on the evening of May 5th because Colleen is hosting an author chat party on Facebook to celebrate her A Journey of the Heart series and the release of The Inn at Ocean's Edge! RSVP here!

oceansedge-enterbanner

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on May 5th!

About the author:


Best-selling author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice and the Booksellers Best. She has more than two million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband, Dave, in Indiana. To keep up with Colleen Coble, visit www.colleencoble.com, become a fan on Facebook (colleencoblebooks) or follow her on Twitter (@colleencoble). 

Colleen Coble will be hosting a Facebook party on May 5th at 8:00 PM EST to celebrate the release of The Inn at Ocean’s Edge and connect with her readers. Watch for updates on Coble’s Facebook page. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Blog Tour: Lowcountry Boneyard by Susan Boyer

Author: Susan Boyer
Publisher: Henery Press
Date of publication: April 21, 2015

Where is Kent Heyward? The twenty-three-year-old heiress from one of Charleston’s oldest families vanished a month ago. When her father hires private investigator Liz Talbot, Liz suspects the most difficult part of her job will be convincing the patriarch his daughter tired of his overbearing nature and left town. That’s what the Charleston Police Department believes.

But behind the garden walls South of Broad, family secrets pop up like weeds in the azaleas. The neighbors recollect violent arguments between Kent and her parents. Eccentric twin uncles and a gaggle of cousins covet the family fortune. And the lingering spirit of a Civil-War-era debutante may know something if Colleen, Liz’s dead best friend, can get her to talk.

Liz juggles her case, the partner she’s in love with, and the family she adores. But the closer she gets to what has become of Kent, the closer Liz dances to her own grave.

I can honestly say that Low Country Boneyard is a great addition to this series. I enjoyed the second book, Lowcountry Bombshell and was eager to visit with private investigator, Liz Talbot again. This time around, Liz is hired to find a missing woman.  Her family hasn't seen her in a month and the police have not been able to find her.

I thought the mystery was really good and sucked me right in.  It definitely kept me guessing.  Once again, the list of suspects is a cast of quirky characters who were always good for a laugh.  Colleen, Liz's spirit guide, was back as well.  I really liked that aspect of the story as it adds a unique element to the story.  Liz and her partner/lover Nate work well together, although they do hit a bit of a rough patch this time around.  I was rooting for them to fix it by the end because I love them together.

I think the next book is supposed to come out later this year.  I can't wait to go on another adventure with Liz!



About the author:


Susan M. Boyer is the author of the USA TODAY bestselling Liz Talbot mystery series. Her debut novel, Lowcountry Boil, won the 2012 Agatha Award for Best First Novel, the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, and garnered several other award nominations. Susan loves beaches, Southern food, and small towns where everyone knows everyone, and everyone has crazy relatives.  You’ll find all of the above in her novels.

Susan lives in Greenville, SC, with her husband and an inordinate number of houseplants.

Find out more about Susan at her website, and connect with her on Facebook andTwitter.

Purchase Links


Susan’s Tour Stops
Friday, April 24th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, April 27th: Lesa’s Book Critiques
Wednesday, April 29th: A Bookish Way of Life
Thursday, April 30th: The many thoughts of a reader
Friday, May 1st: From the TBR Pile
Monday, May 4th: Bibliotica
Tuesday, May 5th: FictionZeal
Tuesday, May 5th: Mystery Playground
Wednesday, May 6th: Book Loving Hippo
Thursday, May 7th: Ms.Bookish.com
Monday, May 11th: Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Tuesday, May 12th: Walking With Nora
Wednesday, May 13th: Bell, Book and Candle
Friday, May 15th: Worth Getting in Bed For
Monday, May 18th: Reading Reality
Monday, May 25th: Priscilla and Her Books
Wednesday, June 3rd: Jane Reads


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Throwback Thursday: A Taste for Murder by Claudia Bishop


Author: Claudia Bishop
First published in 1994 by Berkley

A delightful new series featuring two sleuthing sisters who run the Hemlock Falls Inn. While Sarah takes care of business, her sister Meg runs the inn's kitchen. During the annual History Days festival, a mock witch stoning takes a grisly turn when a guest at the inn is substituted for the fake witch.

A Taste for Murder was a random pick from my  library.  I have never read a book by this author or any other in this series.  It looked like it would be an amusing cozy mystery,  so I gave it a try.  The basic premise is 2 sisters who leave their careers to open a bed and breakfast in Hemlock Falls.  They get entangled in a murder investigation and Sarah, who everyone calls Quill, is determined to solve the crime.

I thought this one was  just OK.  I had a few issues with the story that will probably keep me from reading any of the other books in the series.  I didn't really care for any of the characters or their actions in the book.  I found nothing amusing about Meg putting ipecac in a customer's food when she disagrees with them.  That was extremely unrealistic and very childish.  Sarah annoyed me because the woman just could never say "no" to anyone in her town.  Finally, I was annoyed because while Sarah is the one who does all of the investigation, it's Meg who out of the blue solves the crime.   It was a huge WTF moment for me.    

It's an OK read if you have nothing better to spend your time on.  I won't continue with the series.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Book Spotlight: Elle by Emma Mars

Author: Emma Mars
Publisher: Harper Perrenial
Date of publication: April 2015

Emma Mars delivers the sexy, enticing sequel to her first novel Hotelles and follows the adventures of a young French woman as she continues her carnal education in a mysterious Parisian hotel.

In a hotel room in Paris, a young woman named Elle experiences the most exquisite freedom and sensual pleasure she has ever known, thanks to Louie, the man who has conquered her completely.

So many things in life have changed since they first met. Her engagement to Louie’s deceptive brother, David, has been broken. Her mother has died. Yet Elle is wholly fulfilled with Louie, the master who heightens her senses and unleashes her deep, seductive power.

In the alluring Hôtel des Charmes, Louie takes Elle beyond her wildest fantasies. Exploring the boudoirs devoted to other courtesans—Mademoiselle Josephine, Deschamps, Kitty Fisher, Cora Pearl, and Valtesse de La Bigne—Elle willingly opens herself further. In sublime self-abandonment she discovers absolute ecstasy, absolute sweetness, absolute desire.

Then David unexpectedly returns, stirring up painful memories and threatening their bliss. Elle fears her education may soon be over. . . .
She does not understand that it has only just begun.

Purchase Links

And don't miss the first book Hotelles!

Paris, a hotel room, the middle of the afternoon . . .

So begins the story of Annabelle, a young escort in Paris who has accepted her final proposition before marrying the powerful and generous man of her dreams, media mogul David Barlet. But the mysterious handwritten notes she has been receiving—notes that detail personal fantasies no one could possibly know—don't prepare her for the fact that her new client is her fiancé's brother, Louie. Through visits to the Hotel des Charmes, where each chamber is dedicated to one of French history's great seductresses, Louie awakens Annabelle's body and her psyche, delivering her to heights of ecstasy and fits of passion.He pushes her beyond her limitations to tap into her deep seductive power—and she discovers that true freedom comes only when you fully surrender to desire.

Funny, sensual, candid, and revealing, Hotelles is a titillating novel of mysteries and surprises by a radiant new voice.
 


About Emma Mars
Emma Mars is the pseudonym of an author who lives in France.
Check out Hotelles on Facebook.


Emma’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, April 7th: Bell, Book and Candle
Wednesday, April 8th: Book Loving Hippo
Thursday, April 9th: fangirl confessions
Friday, April 10th: Kissin Blue Karen
Monday, April 13th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Tuesday, April 14th: Good Girl Gone Redneck
Thursday, April 16th: Raven Haired Girl
Monday, April 20th: Love Between the Sheets
Wednesday, April 22nd: Button Tapper
Monday, April 27th: Romance Novels for the Beach
Tuesday, April 28th: Hot Guys in Books
Wednesday, April 29th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, April 30th: Giraffe Days
Friday, May 1st: Books and Bindings


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My Sister's Grave by Robert Dugoni

Author: Robert Dugoni
Publisher: Thomas Mercer
Date of publication: November 2014

Tracy Crosswhite has spent twenty years questioning the facts surrounding her sister Sarah’s disappearance and the murder trial that followed. She doesn’t believe that Edmund House — a convicted rapist and the man condemned for Sarah’s murder — is the guilty party. Motivated by the opportunity to obtain real justice, Tracy became a homicide detective with the Seattle PD and dedicated her life to tracking down killers.

When Sarah’s remains are finally discovered near their hometown in the northern Cascade mountains of Washington State, Tracy is determined to get the answers she’s been seeking. As she searches for the real killer, she unearths dark, long-kept secrets that will forever change her relationship to her past — and open the door to deadly danger.


My Sister's Grave was a random pick from my library.  I had never heard of the book, but it looked like an intriguing story.  I ended up really liking it.  Tracy Crosswhite is a chemistry teacher turned homicide detective who had never been satisfied with the way the disappearance of her sister was "solved".  She knows that the man who was put away is an evil rapist, but she was convinced his conviction was fishy.  When her sister's body if found 20 years later, she decides to try to get to the bottom of the case and find out what really happened.

I thought this was a good solid mystery.  I was definitely surprised in the end so that was a bonus. I don't want to talk about the plot too much because I don't want to spoil the story for anyone. The story waffles between the present and 20 years earlier revealing details of what happened to Sarah at just the right moments.  I liked Tracy and couldn't blame her for not giving up on trying to find to what happened to her sister. We do also get a little bit of romance in the story so that was an unexpected bonus as well.

One of the things that I struggled with was the question of letting such a despicable man like Edmond House go free.  If he didn't do that particular crime, he shouldn't be in prison.  And will letting him out put other women at risk all these years later?  It left me with something to think about.  

I read in a Q&A with the author that this is the first in a series.  I look forward to reading the next book. This is the first book I have tried by this author.  I know I'll be seeking out some of his earlier works while I wait!




Monday, April 27, 2015

Hero by Samantha Young

Author: Samantha Young
Publisher: NAL
Date of publication: February 2015

Alexa Holland’s father was her hero—until her shocking discovery that she and her mother weren't his only family. Ever since, Alexa has worked to turn her life in a different direction and forge her own identity outside of his terrible secrets. But when she meets a man who’s as damaged by her father’s mistakes as she is, Alexa must help him.

Caine Carraway wants nothing to do with Alexa’s efforts at redemption, but it’s not so easy to push her away. Determined to make her hate him, he brings her to the edge of her patience and waits for her to walk away. But his actions only draw them together and, despite the odds, they begin an intense and explosive affair.

Only Caine knows he can never be the white knight that Alexa has always longed for. And when they're on the precipice of danger, he finds he’ll do anything to protect either one of them from being hurt again…


I had to sit on this book for a bit to decide if I liked it or not.  Hero is definitely a frustrating book. Basically, a long time ago, Alexa's rich and spoiled father gave Caine's mother drugs and left her to OD in a hotel room.  It was all covered up and people were paid off.  Alexa's father was disowned by his rich family. It's kind of a convoluted story, but Alexa's parents were never married because her father was already married with a family. When Caine finds out who Alexa is, he decides he hates her even though she had nothing to do with is mother dying. He gives her a job as his assistant and basically treats her lower than the dirt under his shoe. There is more to the story, but that is the basic outline of it.

In the end, I can't say I ultimately enjoyed the book.  I found the relationship between Alexa and Caine frustrating.  First, I don't understand women who fall for men who treat them like crap.  Lust is one thing, but how can you fall in love with someone who is basically an asshole to you.  At one point Alexa asks her self why she liked this jerk.  I had the same question all the way through.  Is the way Caine treats Alexa in the beginning the equivalent of a little boy pulling the hair of the little girl he secretly likes?  The sex was definitely hot between them, but for me that is as far as it went.  

The other thing that bothered me was the relationship Alexa had with her grandfather.  He is another guy she allows to treat her like crap.She has secret meetings with him because he wants to know her, but won't acknowledge her as an heir in public or to the rest of the family.  Every time he dissed her in public, I wanted to yell at him to grow a pair and yell at her for allowing it to happen.  

They do get their HEA, but it just took too long for them to get there.  I swear I was exhausted by the end of the book.  I will say that I am glad this was a stand alone book.  I have to give the author props for not dragging this dysfunctional relationship out over three books! 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Books We Didn't Finish - April Edition


The Bookseller - I found this book extremely boring. I didn't like the main character as I found her very depressing. I didn't like the back and forth between the two realities.  In the end I just didn't care to find out which one was real.

The Taking - I know Autumn finished this one.  She will be sharing her thoughts later in May.  I just couldn't get into it.  I had a hard time with her suddenly being attracted to her boyfriend's younger brother. She is 21 and he is 17, that was creepy to me.I thought her anger toward everyone for the changes in relationships was irrational.  I mean she had been gone for 5 years.  Cut them some slack!


Forgers - I found this one dull with no likable characters.  I have a hard time reading a book when I don't even like the main character.


The Wicked Girls - I think this was the month for the boring books.  I had a hard time getting through the first 10% of this book.  It was depressing and boring.  I didn't like any of the characters enough to push through to the end.

Autumn:  Ok, so my class work has slowed down and I had spring break so I was going to READ.  I did actually finish some, but I'm clearing out a whole bunch of DNFs right now!

Ritual-When I'm in school I like audiobooks of series because I don't have to think too terribly much.  I already know the characters and such.  I just finished Mo Hayder's The Treatment and loved it, so I moved on to Ritual.  However, I couldn't get into it.  I couldn't even figure out what was going on an hour into the audiobook.

Signature Kill-It was too much like every other murder mystery.  The whole time I kept flipping back and forth checking to make sure I hadn't already read it, because it seemed so familiar.  It felt like mashup of several movies I've seen.
Blood of My Blood-I liked the first two books in this series, but I guess I hit the
third in the wrong mood maybe.  I felt like it was violence overload.  Especially for a YA series.  I understand it's no worse than anything kids would probably see on TV, but jeez it was pretty brutal.  I wasn't really interested in subjecting myself to that.

The Geography of You and Me-Every now and then I like to break up my dark and scary reading with some light and cutesy YA.  For the most part it usually makes me happy.  This book just didn't do it for me.  Maybe I was just in a cynical mood, but I had a hard time believing that in this day in age that the upstairs girl would give the time of day to the basement boy, and that the sullen teen boy would even take off his headphones to talk to her.  Therefore, this story would have never taken place.

Descent-It started off well.  I was really interested in where this story was going.  Then when part 2 started, the whole thing went off the rails and I got so confused about what was going on.  I couldn't figure who was who and what story line was going where.


The Burning Air-Too many characters!!  I felt like I needed a pen and paper for just the first couple of chapters to keep everyone straight.  It was so confusing.  It was too time consuming to keep flipping back and forth to figure how everyone was related.

H20-I had this book on my Amazon wish list FOREVER.  I was so excited to finally read it.  Oh I was so disappointed.  I didn't care for the author's style of writing.  The main character was terribly unlikable.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood

by:  Alex Marwood
publisher:  Sphere
publish date:  June 19, 2014

Everyone who lives at 23 Beulah Grove has a secret. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be renting rooms in a dodgy old building for cash—no credit check, no lease. It’s the kind of place you end up when you you’ve run out of other options. The six residents mostly keep to themselves, but one unbearably hot summer night, a terrible accident pushes them into an uneasy alliance. What they don’t know is that one of them is a killer. He’s already chosen his next victim, and he’ll do anything to protect his secret. 

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up liking this book.  The beginning was really confusing and I almost gave up on it, but I stuck with it.  The story was worth it!

It tells the story of 6 residents that live in a house with a disgusting landlord.  They all have their reasons for living in this sketchy building with this landlord that does pretty much whatever he wants.  All the residents are hiding from something.  It might be the outside world, it might be their past, it might be their parents or their home country.  What they don't realize is that there is a serial killer among them.  However, the sweltering heat of the summer and a series of crazy incidents will force his hand.

This book ended up being quite enjoyable.  The characters became likable and fun to read about.  The ending was exciting and I was really happy how it tied everything up.  That was the first Alex Marwood book I've read, but I'll definitely be looking for more in the future.