Monday, April 14, 2014

April Kindle Fire Giveaway

Enter to win 1 of 2 great prizes.  Winner's choice of a Kindle Fire HDX or $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 Paypal Cash!

The first prize is available via the rafflecopter below. The 2nd is available only to bloggers who post about this giveaway. You can find info on how to enter the 2nd giveaway in the rafflecopter.

Kindle Fire April
Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)


Or $229 Gift Card (International)


Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)



Giveaway Sponsors:
I Am A Reader
Feed Your Reader
Inspired Kathy
Author Rachael Anderson
Author Carolyn Cooper
Author Kimber Leigh Wheaton
Laurie Here - Contemporary Fiction and MORE
Fabio Bueno, YA Author
A Book Lover's Retreat
Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews
Becoming Books
Fae Books
Author Christie Anderson
Author David Pandolfe
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Clutter Your Kindle
Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke
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Tressa's Wishful Endings
Author Rae Z. Ryans
Bella Street's Weird Romance
Bonnie Blythe's Pure Romance
Author Inger Iversen
Author M.A. George
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Buried Under Romance
Author Myrna Mackenzie
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Author Joan Leacott
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Jennifer Laurens - author
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The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something year Old Girl
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A Leisure Moment : A Casual Conversation about our love for Literature
Author Elizabeth Parkinson Bellows
Me, My Shelf and I
Author FA Michaels
The Reporter and The Girl
Author Ashley Stambaugh
Laurie Treacy, Author
Faithful Acres Books


Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Giveaway here:


Giveaway Details

1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7" HDX (US Only - $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International).

There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7", $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash.

Ends 4/30/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 12, 2014

8th Grade Super Zero Review

8th Grade Super Zero by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

Reggie McKnight is trying to survive 8th grade with the help of his friends Joe C. and Ruthie.  But it won’t be easy with bullies, elections, an embarrassing nick name, a ‘Little Buddy’ looking up to him, and questions about God and church.

Preachy.  Unfortunately that’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think of this book.  It wasn’t that I didn’t like reading it.  Or that I disagreed with what was being preached.  But it was a lot.  There are some really good themes presented.  Reggie has to learn how to stand up for himself and others.  He has to choose to do what is right when it isn’t easy.  He has to make choices about what is most important and what he is going to do about it.  He has to learn lessons about judging people and being a good citizen and a good role model.  He has to learn how to be a good friend when both are growing and changing.  All while he is dealing with questions of doubt and faith in God.  He is a likable kid who isn’t perfect and doesn’t have all the answers but is looking for them.  You care about him and want him to make the right choices and root for him and his friends.  The people who surround Reggie are a diverse bunch but all written well and well developed.  They are all believable as are the situations that Reggie manages to get himself into and his reactions to his challenging and changing world.  But he gets involved with a homeless shelter and the book hits the point of service to the community rather hard.  And that’s where it starts to get preachy.  It’s a good thing for kids to hear about but there is so much in the book you start to feel a little beat over the head by it.  It’s a good story about good characters that just pushes a little too hard at times.  It is still an entertaining book that left me caring about Reggie and his friends.  And wanting to read his comic book.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Seven for a Secret Review

Seven For a Secret by Lyndsay Faye

(from the back of the book)

Six months after the formation of the NYPD, its most reluctant and talented officer, Timothy Wilde, thinks himself well versed in his city’s dark practices – until he learns of the gruesome underworld of lies and corruption ruled by the “blackbirders,” who snatch free Northerners of color from their homes, masquerade them as slaves, and sell them South to toil as plantation property. The abolitionist Timothy is horrified by these traders in human flesh. But in 1846, slave catching isn’t just legal – it’s law enforcement.

When the beautiful and terrified Lucy Adams staggers into Timothy’s office to report a robbery and is asked what was stolen, her reply is, “My family.” Their search for her mixed-race sister and son will plunge Timothy and his feral brother, Valentine, into a world where police are complicit and politics savage, and corpses appear in the most shocking of places. Timothy finds himself caught between power and principle, desperate to protect his only brother and to unravel the puzzle before all he cares for is lost.

Seven for a Secret is the second book in the Timothy Wilde series. You will be able to enjoy this story and follow the plot just fine even if you don't read the other one first but some of the personal background bits might be lost on you. Faye once again does a great job of giving the reader a feel for the world that these characters live in. You can imagine what it would be like to live in New York at the time. She also gets you involved with the characters and takes you along for the journey with them. You can feel the worry, fear and gut dropping anticipation as Timothy realizes something is about to happen and doesn't know if he will be able to stop it. You worry for these people. Which I think is a testament to how well they are written. You wouldn't care about people who don't feel real. Timothy does spend a lot of time being introspective and talking about his feelings. Which can tend to slow the plot down a bit at times. And the whole interaction between him and his lost love does nothing for me and leaves me wishing it wasn't even there. But the relationship between Timothy and his brother, Timothy's own self-doubt and insecurity, the personable secondary character, the interesting plot and setting all combine to make a very enjoyable and engaging story. If you read and liked the first book I'm sure you will like this one too. And if you have not read Gods of Gotham, the first book, I suggest you do.

Monday, March 3, 2014

King Stakh's Wild Hunt Review

King Stakh’s Wild Hunt by Uladzimir Karatkevich

(from the back of the book)
King Stakh’s Wild Hunt tells the tale of Andrey Belaretsky, a young folklorist who finds himself stranded by a storm in the castle of Marsh Firs, the seat of the fading aristocratic Yanovsky family.  Offered refuge by Nadzeya, the last in the Yanovsky’s line, he learns of the family curse and terrible apparitions that portend her early death and trap her in permanent, maddening fear.  As Belaretsky begins to unravel the secrets of the Yanovskys, he himself becomes quarry to the Wild Hunt, silent phantoms who stalk the marshes on horseback and deliver death to all who cross their path.  He must uncover the truth behind the ghostly hunt to release Nadzeya from her fate and undo the curse that hangs over the marshes.

This is an eerie tale.  The whole story creates a creepy, dreary atmosphere and you can feel the oppressive weight hanging over these people and see the effect that constant fear has had on them.  It’s wonderful how it keeps you unsure of what is real or imagined, what is supernatural and what is the conniving of man.  It is a mystery and a ghost story and you are never sure what is going to happen next.  There is the quiet, slow horror of noises and apparitions in the hallways and the heart stopping terror of chasing (and being chased by) phantoms in the dark, dangerous marsh.  And Nadzeya’s belief and acceptance of the fact that she is doomed and there is nothing she can do starts to infect the reader as everything seems to go against her would-be savior.  The haunted and spooky environment will have you hearing footsteps when no one else is home.  It is a dark and creepy tale, but that’s what makes it fun.  In a read it with all the lights on sort of way.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Books of 2014

Last year I joined all these reading challenges.  I managed to read all the books but I only got about a tenth of the reviews done that I was supposed to do.  So this year no challenges.  I don't need the stress.  And as many times as I tell myself not to stress about it because it is supposed to be fun, I still stress about it.  I still want to keep track of what I'm reading though.  So I'm going to make a list and just keep track of a few things. 

O= I own this book
L= I got it from the library
GN= graphic novel
NF= non-fiction
HF= historical fiction
SF= science fiction
F= fantasy
M= mystery
YA= young adult

And I will also be listing the number of pages as well.

1. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith (O, F) - 317
2. Dragonbreath: Nightmare of the Iguana by Ursula Vernon (L, YA, F) - 202
3. Masked by Lou Anders (O, SF) - 399
4. Grave Peril by Jim Butcher (L, F) - 378
5. Thinking in Numbers by Daniel Tammet (O, NF) - 272
6. The Navigator by Clive Cussler (O) - 437
7. Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster (O, YA) - 254
8. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (O, SF) - 54
9. A Dismal Thing to Do by Alisa Craig (O, M) - 198
10. World War Z by Max Brooks (L, F) - 342
11. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (O) - 394
12. The Roaches Have No King by Daniel Evan Weiss (L) - 249
13. The Master of Ballantrae by Robert Louis Stevenson (O) - 219
14. Loitering With Intent by Peter O'Toole (O, NF) - 198
15. Dreamthief's Daughter by Michael Moorcock (O, F) - 460
16. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (O) - 97
17. The Technologists by Matthew Pearl (O, HF, M) - 470
18. The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart (O, M) - 178
19. Flash Gordon: Invasion of the Red Sword (L, GN)
20. Syrup by Max Barry (O) - 294
21. The African Queen by C.S. Forester (O) - 308
22. Elephants of Acid by Alex Boese (L, NF) - 266
23. Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell - (YA, O, F) - 324
24. The Trial and Death of Socrates by Plato (O) - 115
25. The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook by Joanne Rocklin (YA, O) - 218
26. The Black Rose by Thomas B. Costain (HF, O) - 403
27. Basic Elements of Christian Life Vol. 3 by Witness Lee (NF, O) - 39
28. Alien Agenda by Jim Marrs (NF, O) - 590
29. Conan the Conqueror by Robert E. Howard (F, O) - 222
30. The Lightning Catcher by Anne Cameron (YA, O, F) - 418
31. Spiritual Nourishment by Witness Lee (O, NF) - 36
32. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (O) - 463
33. Made in the USA by Billie Letts (O) - 355
34. Wild Born by Brandon Mull (YA, O) - 202
35. The Case of the Toxic Mutants (YA, L) - 208
36. Birdmen by Lawrence Goldstone (O, NF) - 386
37. Water Witches by Chris Bohjalian (O) - 340
38. The Feast by Randy Lee Eickhoff (O) - 239
39. Summer Knight by Jim Butcher (L, F) - 371
40. Consider the Fork by Bee Wilson (L, NF) - 279
41. The Dead Zone by Stephen King (L) - 402
42. Reflecting the Beauty of the Lord by Carol Albrecht (O, NF) - 62
43. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (O) - 368
44. The Hotel Majestic by Georges Simenori (M, O) - 170
45. Sundance by David Fuller (HF, O) - 336
46. The Bad Place by Dean Koontz (F, O) - 417
47. Shinju by Laura Joh Rowland (HF, M, O) - 367
48. Mythology by Edith Hamilton (O, NF) - 465
49. The Flight of the Iguana by David Quammen (O, NF) - 277
50. The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui Sutherland (YA, F, O) - 304
51. Scorpius by John Gardner (O) - 319
52. Timothy, or Notes of an Abject Reptile by Verlyn Klinkenborg (O) - 158
53. Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence (O) - 115
54. The Triumph of Deborah by Eva Etzioni-Halevy (O, HF) - 355
56. Red Rabbit  by Tom Clancy (O) - 618
57. When We Were Romans by Matthew Kneale (O) - 224
58. Graceling by Kristin Cashore (O, F) - 471
59. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut (O) - 191
60. Drawing From Memory by Allen Say (YA, NF) - 63
61. Kraken by China Mieville (O) - 509
62. Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers (O, M,) - 528
63. The Gift of the Magi and Other Short Stories by O. Henry (O) - 89
64. The Periodic Table by Paul Parsons (L, NF) - 240
65. The Boy and the Samurai by Erik Christian Haugaard (YA, O, HF) -221
66. Playmates by Robert Parker (O, M) - 222
67. SMASH: Trial by Fire by Chris Bolton (YA, L, GN) - 145
68. The Brendan Voyage by Tim Severin (O, NF) - 269
69. Broken Arrow by Elliott Arnold (O, HF) - 246
70. B is for Burglar by Sue Grafton (O, M) - 211
71. The Nine Giants by Edward Marston (HF, O, M) - 236
72. Fork it Over by Alan Richman (O, NF) - 319
73. The Way to Dusty Death by Alistair MacLean (O, M) - 213
74. Frank Lloyd Wright: A Gatefold Portfolio by Robin Langley Sommer (O, NF) - na
75. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris (O) - 159
76. The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee (O, NF) - 285
77. The Edge of the World by Kevin J. Anderson (O, F) - 565
78. The Man Who Would Be King and Other Stories by Rudyard Kipling (O) - 100
79. From Potter's Field by Patricia Cornwell - (O, M) - 369
80. Lost City of the Incas by Hiram Bingham - (O, NF) - 251
81. Inferno by Dante Alighieri - (O) - 178
82. Three Tales by Gustave Flaubert - (O) - 199
83. A Smarter Way to Learn Pool by George Fels - (L, NF) - 196
84, What of the Mormons? by Gordon B. Hinckley - (L, NF) - 222
85. Mindset by Carol S. Cweck, Ph.D. - (NF) - 246
86. Partnership by Vincent Collins - (NF, O) - 30
87. Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare - (O) - 75
88. The Twits by Roald Dahl - (YA) - 96
89. I, Iago by Nicole Galland - (HF, O) - 370
89. Brain Wars by Mario Beauregard - (NF, O) - 214
90. Faust by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe - (O) - 183
91. The Way Through the Woods by Colin Dexter - (M, O) - 320
92. Jimmy the Kid by Donald Westlake - (M, O) - 185
93. Beany and the Dreaded Wedding by Susan Wojciechowski - (YA, O) - 122
94. The Sword Bearer by John White - (YA, O) - 294
95. Bluffton by Matt Phelan - (YA, L) - 223
96. Mail-Order Mysteries by Kirk Demarais - (NF, L) - 148
97. Detection by Gaslight ed. by Douglas G. Greene - (M, O) - 258
98. Rise of the Roman Empire by Polybius - (NF, O) - 541
99. Chupacabra by Roland Smith - (YA, O) - 285
100. Hidden Things by Doyce Testerman - (O, F) - 325
101. Calico Joe by John Grisham - (O) - 208

= 27,509