Thursday, September 30, 2010

DIno Vicelli Review

Dino Vicelli, Private Eye in a World of Evils by Lori Weiner

(from the back of the book)
This story transports the reader to an alternate-reality version of New York City, in which talking dogs interact regularly with humans, the hero, Dino Vicelli, is a private investigator who just happens to be a sharply dressed Italian greyhound with a great fondness for cigars. He takes on what initially appears to be a routine missing person case but soon finds himself in the midst of a sinister plot that involves kidnapping, murder, and bizarre scientific experiments aimed at controlling the world. As he investigates this strange case, Dino repeatedly encounters mortal danger, while also finding romance with a beautiful blonde Afghan dog.
With its unusual twists on the traditional detective story genre, this book blends elements of humor, suspense, and fantasy.



Dino Vicelli is a quirky little novella that has some fun moments. It also has some issues as well. It’s cute and I like the interesting twists of the talking dogs in a noir setting and the other fantasy elements involved. And I know that it is to add to the noir feel of the book but ‘doll face’ and ‘lambie pie’ and the like were used slightly too much and started to feel overbearing. I also think that a bit of editing might have helped a lot. Sometimes the writing was awkward. Phrases like ‘he pulled her over to a big steel drum as they climbed in,’ or saying that someone went to the ladies’ room to get coffee or that someone had an uncanny resemblance to himself were just enough to be distracting. I know some of it is nitpiking but once I noticed it, it started to jump out at me everywhere and interfered with the story. It’s fun, goofy and quick. I think there is potential here for some fun adventures with Dino in the future but I’m not sure we are quite there yet.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

BookHounds

BookHounds has a lot of stuff going on and you should head on over!

For GoD and DoG by Wendy Franciso go here. US and Canada, no PO boxes. Ends October 2nd.

For Tracy Anderson's 30 Day Method go here. US and Canada, no PO boxes. Ends October 2nd.

For Dare to Take Charge by Judge Gledna Hatchett go here. US and Canada, no PO boxes. Ends October 7th.

For the audiobook The Postcard Killers by James Patterson go here. US and Canada, no PO boxes. Ends October 11th.

For the September Romance giveaway go here. US and Canada, no PO boxes. Ends October 13th.

For Two Lethal Lies by Annie Solomon go here. US and Canada, no PO boxes. Ends October 13th.

For Simply Irresistable by Jill Shalvis go here. US and Canada, no PO boxes. Ends October 14th.

Monday, September 27, 2010

When Rose Wakes

The Book Butterfly has a wonderful interview with Christopher Golden and a chance to win a signed copy of his book, When Rose Wakes.

To enter all you have to do is fill out a very simple form. You get extra entries for being a follower too.

Rules:
1.You must be 13 year or older to enter.
2. Open to entrants with a valid U.S. mailing address only.
3. Entries must be received by Midnight EST on October 11th 2010.
4. Once contacted, winners have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Friday 56, Appointment with Death

Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Storytime With Tonya and Friends.
*Post a link along with your post back to Storytime With Tonya and Friends.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

The book this week is Appointment With Death by Agatha Christie. You can’t really go wrong with Agatha Christie.

The sentence:

It’s really much better to be friendly – and kind. You could be if you tried.

I don’t know. I think it depends on who you are supposed to be friendly and kind to. Some people make well-nigh impossible.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Number One Novels

Number One Novels has an interview with Toby Ball and is giving a copy of his book, The Vaults.

To enter:

1. Leave a comment after the interview. (+1)
2. Follow the blog. (+1)
3. Post about NON (mentioning "Number One Novels") on your own blog and leave the link. (+1)
4. Tweet about this interview and contest (mentioning "Number One Novels") and leave the link. (+1)
5. Purchase something from the Official Number One Novels Amazon Bookstore* and leave the date and name of your purchase. (+10 per purchase!)

It is open to the US only and ends at midnight on September 26th.

And if you don’t win (or even if you do) you should go back next week and see what new and exciting book Number One Novels is giving away.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

WWW Wednesdays (September 22nd)



To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

Leave a link to your post (or the answers themselves if you do not have a blog) in the comments of Should Be Reading.

What are you currently reading?

Appointment With Death by Agatha Christie

Fragment by Warren Fahy
I haven’t gotten very far and someone has already been eaten so that’s a good sign but some of the characters can very easily turn into clich├ęs so I’m reserving judgment for now.

What did you recently finish reading?

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
I think I might have been expecting too much from this book. I had heard great things. It was good and I liked it but I was expecting something more.

What do you think you'll read next?

Donegal: Irish Justice by James Lower
I got it from the Members Giveaway on Librarything and they asked for a review so I want to get to this one soon.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Roma Review





Roma by Steven Saylor

(from the back of the book)
From its mythic beginnings as a campsite along a trade route to its emergence as the center of an extensive, powerful empire, Steven Saylor’s breathtaking novel brings to vivid life the most famous city in the ancient world. Told through the tragedies and triumphs of the descendants of two families, Roma shows the events, the people, and the turning points in history that have come to symbolize ancient Rome in the modern imagination.



Roma covers 1000 years of history. It does this by skipping over large chunks of time and stopping along the way at important and often famous events like Romulus and Remus’ founding of Rome, Hannibal, the building of the Appian Way, the assassination of Julius Caesar among others. Saylor manages to keep a sense of continuity and maintains a flow through the entire 550 page narrative by following one family through time. The setting and the characters are well written and even though the characters keep changing and you only spend a small portion of the book with each of them you get to know them all and get a good look at the world they live in. You also get to learn about Rome; how her famous roads were built, religious ideas and ceremonies, the changing of politics over time. And even though the time span is so long it does not feel like the book tries to cover too much. Having everything laid out together gives you a nice perspective on all these famous events as they relate to each other and to the passage of time. I found it very interesting the way Saylor would recount an event when it happened or show you the beginning of a religious rite and then show you how the event was remembered centuries later so you could see how things passed into legend and became part of tradition. Saylor brings to life many of the famous stories of Ancient Rome in an entertaining and very readable way.

Urban Fantasy Galore

All Things Urban Fantasy has turned one. And there is a great giveaway to celebrate the blogoversary. Hop on over and fill out the very easy form to enter.

One winner will get all 35 titles in this list.

•Bad to the Bone (WVMP Radio, #2) by Jeri Smith-Ready
•The Best of Dreams of Decadence by Angela Kessler
•Blue Diablo (Corine Solomon, #1) by Ann Aguirre
•Captivate (Need, #2) by Carrie Jones
•Crave by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz
•Darkfever (Fever, #1) by Karen Marie Moning
•Darklight (Wondrous Strange, #2) by Lesley Livingston
•The Dead Girls' Dance (The Morganville Vampires, #2) by Rachel Caine
•Double Cross (The Disillusionists Trilogy, #2) by Carolyn Crane
•Dust by Joan Frances Turner
•Faefever (Fever, #3) by Karen Marie Moning
•Foresight: The Gods of Fate - Book I by Sherry D. Ficklin
•Grave Witch (Alex Craft, #1) by Kalayna Price
•Happy Hour at Casa Dracula (Casa Dracula, #1) by Marta Acosta
•The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey, #2) by Julie Kagawa
•Lasher (Lives of the Mayfair Witches, #2) by Anne Rice
•Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2) by Ilona Andrews
•Magic Lost, Trouble Found (Raine Benares, #1) by Lisa Shearin
•Midnight Alley (The Morganville Vampires, #3) by Rachel Caine (CD audio book)
•On the Edge (The Edge, #1) by Ilona Andrews
•Once Bitten, Twice Shy (Jaz Parks, #1) by Jennifer Rardin
•Prospero in Hell (Prospero's Daughter, #2) by L. Jagi Lamplighter
•The Quotable Slayer by Micol Ostow
•Rebel (Eyes of the Republic, #3) by Claire Delacroix
•Silver Borne (Mercedes Thompson, #5) by Patricia Briggs
•Sins & Shadows (Shadows & Inquiries, #1) by Lyn Benedict
•Spiral Hunt (Evie Scelan, #1) by Margaret Ronald
•Stray (Shifters, #1) by Rachel Vincent
•Touched by an Alien (Katherine "Kitty" Katt, #1) by Gini Koch
•Tyger Tyger (Goblin Wars, #1) by Kersten Hamilton
•Unholy Magic (Downside Ghosts, #2) by Stacia Kane
•The Vampire Kitty-cat Chronicles by Ray Rhamey
•Wicked Appetite (The Unmentionables, #1) by Janet Evanovich
•Wicked Game (WVMP Radio, #1) by Jeri Smith-Ready
•Wondrous Strange (Wondrous Strange, #1) by Lesley Livingston


Contest is open until October 15th.
Open to the US only.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Friday 56, Let the Right One In

Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Storytime With Tonya and Friends.
*Post a link along with your post back to Storytime With Tonya and Friends.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

The book this week is Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

The sentence:

He felt a flicker of worry in his stomach but took no notice of her.

That’s right. Never let them see you sweat.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tea in a Teashop? Outrageous!

I’m going to rant a little here because this is my blog and I can do that if I want. Anyway…

I hadn’t planned to go out for lunch but as lunchtime rolled around I found I could really use a cup of tea. Because tea sometimes has the ability to make me feel better. But that doesn’t work if it is sold to me by some pompous condescending nitwit who makes me feel like I’m mentally challenged for wanting to buy a single pre-made cup of tea. Now part of it is my fault for going there in the first place. When a Teavana opened up near where I work I, of course, had to rush over and try it. Well, it didn’t go well but I thought I would give them a chance to work out the kinks. But after a few more bad experiences with the place I swore it off. There was a Tealuxe down the street the other way and they were cheaper and nicer. But then I was having tea withdrawals and happened to be near Teavana and gave it another shot. It went much better this time and I lifted the ban on the place. So I went in today. I knew what I wanted and asked the guy behind the counter if I could have a cup of the Youthberry (even though I felt a little silly saying it.) The guy raises one eyebrow ever so slightly and says ‘You caaan,’ in a tone that meant he obviously didn’t recommend it. And then he asked me if I had even gotten tea from them before. I had and I told him so. And he told me it was cheaper to get the loose tealeaves. First, pointing out that your tea is outrageously expensive does not seem like the best pitch to me. Secondly, what? I want a cup of tea. Now. How are tealeaves going to help me? Why can’t he just give me what I want without making it sound like I’m stupid for ordering tea in a teashop? So I swore the place off again. Usually when I need a cup of tea I want to relax not be aggravated by bad service, long waits for no discernable reason, and condescension from the servers.

WWW Wednesdays (September 15th)



To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

Leave a link to your post (or the answers themselves if you do not have a blog) in the comments of Should Be Reading.

What are you currently reading?

I just started Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

Also I’m still reading Monster Planet by David Wellington. This book is taking me a lot longer than I thought it would. I can’t really get into it for some reason.

What did you recently finish reading?

Silver by Edward Chupack. It was okay and I have a fondness for pirate tales so I liked it but there were parts that dragged and I was a little disappointed that when Jim Hawkins finally showed up the story was nothing like Treasure Island.

What do you think you'll read next?

Since I don’t know how to pace myself I am again getting notices from the library that my books are due soon. Books I have already renewed but have not started reading yet. Books like Fragment by Warren Fahy and Jennifer Government by Maxx Barry. So probably one of those.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Another Faust Review

Another Faust by Daniel and Dina Nayeri

(from the book jacket)

On a single night, five children suddenly vanish from their homes in Paris, Glasgow, Rome and London. Years later, five enigmatic teenagers make an impressive entrance at an exclusive New York holiday party with their strange governess, Madame Vileroy. Rumor and intrigue follow the Faust children to the elite Manhattan Marlowe School, where their very presence brings unexplainable misfortune.

Using “gifts” given to them by Madame Vileroy, these mysterious teenagers rise to suspicious heights at Marlowe. Though at first their abilities seem almost childlike in their simplicity, they soon learn that their newfound talents for cheating, stealing, hiding, and lying are far more potent then they had ever imagined – and far more addictive.

Ignoring the side effects of pursuing their individual obsessions, bargaining with the very devil in their midst as they claw their way to the top, these five ambitious teens draw ever nearer to their goals… until two of them uncover a secret even more shocking than their owe most unforgivable sins. Dialing up the ancient dilemma of indulgence versus redemption, this modern-day retelling of the Faustian bargain story, set in twenty-first-century Manhattan, provides a look into the cutthroat world of high-school competition that is both bitingly funny and scorchingly wicked.




I think it’s too long. I like how the book starts out by giving you a look at the life of the children so you can see why they made the deals that they did. But then the book kind of settles into them at school and I felt I was waiting for the point. It was good to see how the children were affected by the gifts and how they made use of them but the children’s stories seemed separate from each other to some extent and I got bored waiting for it to all come together. The sick, twisted relationship between Vileroy, the governess, and the children is interesting, the way that none of them like her but they want to please her and be her favorite. It’s kind of eerie to see the children become so dependant on her even though they know there is a cost for every ‘gift’. And you know Vileroy is evil as you see her manipulate the children but there was something about the way that it was written that had me waiting for something else. I was expecting something diabolical. I was expecting to find out she had a big plan and my expectations were disappointed. The climax of the story let me down too. The tension is building and you think there is going to be a reckoning but then it abruptly stops and fizzles out. There are some interesting ideas at the end and I appreciate that the ending isn’t perfect and sweet but I had a hard time getting there.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Miscellanious Vocabulary

I feel like I haven’t blogged in forever. I’m going to try to get back on track here with a little vocabulary.

99 Coffins by David Wellington

Taboosh: a red hat similar to the fez worn especially by Muslim men

Incarnadine: having the pinkish color of flesh


Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart

Bracts: a leaf from the axil of which a flower or floral axis arises


One of Us is Wrong by Samuel Holt

Ratiocinate: to reason; carry on a process of reasoning

Atavistic: of, pertaining to, or characterized by atavism; reverting to or suggesting the characteristics of a remote ancestor or primitive type


Walking Through Walls by Philip Smith

Lecithin: any of several waxy hygroscopic phospholipids that are widely distributed in animals and plants, form colloidal solutions in water, and have emulsifying, wetting, and antioxidant properties; also : a mixture of or substance rich in lecithins (huh?)

Kundalini: the yogic life force that is held to lie coiled at the base of the spine until it is aroused and sent to the head to trigger enlightenment

Akashic Records: a term used in theosophy (and Anthroposophy) to describe a compendium of mystical knowledge encoded in a non-physical plane of existence

(Theosophy is a doctrine of religious philosophy and mysticism)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

WWW Wednesdays (September 8th)



To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

Leave a link to your post (or the answers themselves if you do not have a blog) in the comments of Should Be Reading.

What are you currently reading?

I just started Silver by Edward Chupack. It’s about Long John Silver and I haven’t gotten very far yet but I’m already a little worried. I’m hoping I can get more into it when Long John stops ranting and gets to the story of his life.

Also I’m reading Monster Planet by David Wellington. Third in a trilogy of zombie books. I’m glad to be finishing another series but either this one isn’t as good as the others or the other zombie books that I’ve liked recently make me appreciate this one less.

What did you recently finish reading?

Roma by Steven Saylor. Covers 1000 years of history. I like the continuity of following one family through time and the way you get to see how legends and festivals started and then how they were remember later.

Also The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell. Zombies again. I like the main character here. The story is mostly told from her point of view and she has an interesting outlook on the world.

What do you think you'll read next?

I don’t have a clue really. Hopefully I will actually get to Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist because it has seriously been sitting around for a long time and it’s borrowed so needs to be returned. But that was the plan before and it didn’t happen so…

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Friday 56, Treasure Island

Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Storytime With Tonya and Friends.
*Post a link along with your post back to Storytime With Tonya and Friends.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

The book this week is Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. That’s right. It’s not just for twelve year old boys any more. I still find it surprising how many of the classics I have managed not to read yet.

The sentence:

“Well,” he said, with an oath, “it’s not for ever.”

I thought this was a very bad sign; for, up to that day, the men had gone briskly and willingly about their business; but the very sight of the island had relaxed the cords of discipline.

There are a lot of semicolons in this book.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Feel a cold coming on?

Cold and flu season is quickly approaching so be prepared!

Run on over to So Many Precious Books, So Little Time where you can enter for a chance to win a copy of Ah-Choo! The Uncommon Life of the Common Cold by Jennifer Ackerman.

Up to 3 copies will be given away depending on the number of entries. So help us all out and enter!

To enter all you have to do is leave a comment with your email address. But if you want more entries you can blog about the giveaway (you will also get entries for everyone who says you sent them) and for 5 more entries you can become a follower or subscriber of So Many Precious Books. (If you are already a follower or subscriber that counts too but be sure to mention it.)

This one is open to the US and Canada, no PO boxes.
Ends September 16th.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Books I Finished in August

12. Although I think I might be cheating by counting some of them.

99 Coffins by David Wellington
An army of evil vampires. You can’t beat that. I like the historical aspects that Wellington added to this one. It gives the vampire story a new twist.

Vampyre: The Terrifying Lost Journal of Dr. Cornelius Van Helsing by Dr. Cornelius Van Helsing (Mary-Jane Knight)
More vampires. I don’t know if I should even count this one as it is basically a picture book with flaps to lift and tabs to pull and all of that. But it does have a lot of words too. Fun in a goofy sort of way. I wouldn’t say it is scary exactly but probably not for young children either.

Walking Through Walls by Philip Smith
Philip Smith had an unusual childhood. It was interesting but I’m not sure how much I buy into this physic healer stuff.

Murder Mirage by Kenneth Robeson
Doc Savage. Classic pulp. I was surprised because I thought they would all be basically the same but I didn’t like this one as much as some of the others.

Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart
Lots of interesting tidbits in here. I’m not quite afraid to eat fruits and vegetables or take a walk in the woods. But it’s a near thing.

Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier
Dashing pirates and true love.

Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
There are flaws but still very entertaining. Although the Mistress can get a little self-important sometimes.

Generation Dead by Daniel Waters
Talking, intelligent zombies. It’s a YA book so there is a little coming of age too.

Appaloosa by Robert B. Parker
I have read some of Parker’s Spencer novels but this is the first western of his that I’ve read. I really liked it. I love these characters and I was happy to find out that there are more books in this series.

The Passing of the Third Floor Back by Jerome Jerome
It’s a play so it isn’t something I read a lot of and the stage directions got no my nerves a little. The only other thing I’ve read by Jerome Jerome is Three Men in a Boat which I thought was hilarious and I was kind of expecting this to be the same. It isn’t, but it is still interesting.

Impostor’s Daughter by Laurie Sandell
Another memoir. This one is graphic novel format. I’m not a fan of the drawing style here so that didn’t help. Is it possible to be completely honest in a memoir and still not go very deep into a story? I don’t know exactly what it was but it left me oddly unsatisfied.

Poison by Chris Wooding
Girl goes on a quest into the dark land of faerie. I was not overjoyed with it but I didn’t hate it either.

WWW Wednesdays (September 1st)



To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

Leave a link to your post (or the answers themselves if you do not have a blog) in the comments of Should Be Reading.

What are you currently reading?

Still reading Roma by Steven Saylor. I have about 200 pages still to go.

I have also started Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. I know the story of course but I don’t think I ever actually read the book. Or if I did it was so long ago I can’t remember.

What did you recently finish reading?

Poison by Chris Wooding
It was okay but if you don’t read it I don’t think you are missing all that much.

What do you think you'll read next?

Well, my track record with this question isn’t all that great but I’m going to answer it anyway, even though I will probably be wrong. I’m going to say Silver by Edward Chupack. It is about Long John Silver so I think it is appropriate that I read it after Treasure Island.