Monday, October 14, 2013

Cellar Full of Cole by Micheal Maxwell


Cole Sage is back in this latest installment of the Cole Sage mystery series by Micheal Maxwell.
Since the death of his love, Cole Sage has reinvented his life. He has lost weight, changed his attitude, and ultimately regained his faith in his own writing. It seems like everything is coming together like clockwork, and Cole could not be happier. So, when he has an offer to go work for a paper in San Francisco all it takes is the knowledge that he will be close to his newly found daughter and her family for him to agree immediately to the change in scenery.

However, it seems that his welcome will be a new mystery to solve. But this time, there's murder involved.

Little girls are being killed throughout the City by the Bay. The police think it may just be random, but Cole finds the connecting factor that concludes there is a serial killer somewhere. But the killer may be much closer than he thinks.

Can Cole put his sleuthing skills to good use and find who did this before other girls are killed? Or will his snooping finally be the end of him.

I loved this latest installment in the series. There was a happier feeling in this one, with Cole not weighed down by his past. AND you also get to experience what the killer experiences in this one. As the killer finds their next victim, you will delve into their mind and see their true reasonings behind these killings.

There is actually two mysteries to solve in this one, which seemingly become interconnected. While there is only one killer, there is also an acquaintance to the killer that is involved in something just as bad as the killings themselves. Involving children, of course.

There was a faster pace throughout this newest book that did not wane at all, and I cannot wait for more of Maxwell's work.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Viking Fire by Andrea R. Cooper


Kaireen, an auburn-haired beauty with a fiery temper to match, is furious with the marriage that looms ever closer in her future. It is not the marriage itself that angers her so, but her match. He is a Viking, a Lochlann, and in Kaireen's eyes this does not bode well. She sees the Lochlanns as no good and untrustworthy. She even sees him as a possible spy, infiltrating her family's lands. However, what her mind thinks and what her body thinks could mean an internal struggle for her once she sets eyes on her betrothed.

Bram is a man who knows what he wants, and he wants Kaireen. He tells her time and time again that they will marry, and seems to see through her protestations. This aggravates Kaireen to no end, causing her to want to resist him even more. However, a series of events will soon begin to change her mind.

This series of events is caused by the corrupted ways of one person. An enemy who is bent on seeing the destruction of Kaireen and her family's rule and who will not stop until this is fulfilled.

Bram could be the saving grace. But will he risk his life for a woman who wants so desperately to deny him?

I love this book so much. It has fire to it, and action. It is probably unlike a lot of the romances I have read before. I love the inner struggle for Kaireen as her body fights her mind regarding Bram. The way Bram kind of goads her at times regarding this struggle is priceless. But, even through all the goading, you can tell he truly does want to marry her. He truly does care for her, but it is all up to her to decide her own true feelings.

I recommend Viking Fire to anyone who loves romance and a fight, because you will definitely get both.

To see the book trailer and find out more about the author, visit: http://journeywithbooks.blogspot.com/2013/09/guest-book-review-viking-fire-by-andrea.html

Monday, September 30, 2013

Fly Away by Kristin Hannah


Tully Hart is still reeling over the death of her best friend Kate Ryan, even though it has been quite a few years. Her career as a television personality has gone down the toilet, her life seems hopeless, and she just doesn’t know how she can live anymore. When a bad decision, and a terrible car accident, critically injures Tully and brings her to Sacred Heart hospital, it might take facing her past to keep her alive.

Many people are called to her bedside. Her best friend Kate’s husband Johnny, who has held a grudge against Tully since his wife’s death. Kate’s oldest daughter Marah, a confused and hurt teenager when her mother died, now an adult hiding behind the pain she has felt since that dark day. Tully’s mother, Dorothy, a former drug-addict and alcoholic who has hurt her only daughter more times than she cares to remember. Even Kate, who has watched from the heavenly sidelines all these years since her departure.

I mainly chose the book Fly Away by Kristin Hannah, because of its cover. With its purplish hue and starry backdrop, it instantly reminded me of nights spent outside at my childhood home…fireflies flitting about and candles illuminating the darkness. Ironic, since the author wrote a book called Firefly Lane.
Kristin Hannah is not an author who was particularly familiar to me. In fact, I can honestly say that before listening to this book (I have the audio version of it), she was nonexistent in my mind. How I could have gone so long without hearing about her wonderful stories, I shall never know. Because the book Fly Away was truly wonderful.
The story is beautiful, it is emotional, and it was a stunning novel to listen to. I loved every minute of it, and will definitely have to read more of Kristin Hannah’s books.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Trees Beyond the Grass by Robert Reeves


Agent David Leas has just caused his latest case to go five steps backward, when an outburst against a suspected murderer of a woman and her two children makes his confession null and void. The judge who is presiding over the case has decided that because his outburst occurred minutes before the confession was made, the only logical thing to do it throw out the confession due to fear and intimidation brought on by Leas.
Leas is furious but knows he can catch this guy with the evidence already in custody. The question is, can he do it in the month before the trial?

While this conflict is going on inside his head, Leas is called in for a more recent murder. In the city of Dallas, a man by the name of Tony Patrick was just found dead in his living room. He seems to have been slashed multiple times by a knife and his hands have been cut off. The reason for Leas' presence at the scene, Patrick's murder is a possible link to another killing that took place in New York. A serial killer, perhaps? Or just pure coincidence.

Cole Mouzon is taking a much needed break away from the grind of life, heading back home to catch up with family and friends. However, when his sister is contacted by the FBI concerning a crazed killer on the loose who could want him dead, he begins to fear for his life and the lives of those he loves.

P, or Poinsett as she calls herself, has a past. An ugly past that has haunted her every day of her life since. And because of that past, she has become a killer. Taking away all those she believes should not deserve to live because of what happened to her. She has already taken two down, and her next unsuspecting target could be a goner as well.

These three characters are brought together in a thriller to beat all thrillers. It is a story of pain, retribution, and hauntings of the past.

I was hooked from the very beginning, and could not stop reading until the final page. In this story, the reader is able to experience the entire story. Cop, potential victim, and killer. We get to see how each of them tick, how their individual minds work. Most importantly, we get to know that pasts of each character, so we can better understand how they mesh into the story.
This was a truly enjoyable piece of work, and I cannot wait for more from this author.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Rift by S.K.N. Hammerstone


I have to admit that I was originally going to give this book a four out of five stars. The beginning, to me, felt more explanation than anything and fell a bit flat in my eyes. However, at some point, the story began to run away with me. It turned from explanation to action to deception to WHY DOES THIS HAVE TO END!!! I am officially obsessed now with how the story will play out in the future.

Now, to tell you a little bit about the story.

Rachael Taylor attempts to commit suicide at the beginning of this novel, and succeeds, but it seems something or someone of a higher power out there doesn't want her to go just yet, since she makes a miraculous recovery and ends up in the hospital. The bad news, she has no recollection of why she got there, how she got there, or who she is. This is aggravating to anyone in that situation, right?

Well, how about if everyone was trying to keep you from remembering. Or at least telling you that you had to remember for yourself?

Rachael goes on a reluctant hunt to find out what has happened to her to make her want to welcome death so easily, but what she ends up finding out will not necessarily make her happy. In fact, she might wish she was still clueless.

Because the truth of the matter is, her life is involved in something much, much bigger than herself. And I mean GIGANTIC!!

So, after being sent to an asylum by her bleep of a mother, weirder things start to happen to her. Things involving people with glowing red eyes, guardian angels, and a strange woman named Elizabeth.

Can she handle the destiny that will soon be handed to her? Or will something happen to deter that destiny from becoming reality?

Again must gush about this book. I love it. It gets faster as you read farther and farther into the book, and I must admit that I read it in a day.
Totally recommended for anyone who loves books with angels and demons as the main characters.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Anatomist's Apprentice by Tessa Harris


Sir Edward Crick is loved by few and disliked by most. He has a tendency to drink too much, gamble the same, and care mostly for himself. He is a sickly man...or say they say...and takes ill quite a lot.

Gossip meanders about, like a lady of the night, when he dies abruptly and painfully, it seems, in the grand estate he lives. Most suspect his brother-in-law, the man who was known to hate Edward most of all. But, Sir Crick's sister Lydia has much faith that her husband did not, in fact, do this horrible deed. So she searches for someone who can prove to everyone who the culprit truly is.

Enter Dr. Thomas SIlkstone, an anatomist from Philadelphia, who is currently studying in England under the tutelage of a renowned and retired surgeon. He is considered an outcast in his surroundings due to the nature of his particular line of work. What does he do, you might ask? Well, he relishes in working with corpses, Relishes might be a strong word. In fact, it is not the state of the body that he relishes (be it alive or dead), it is the fascination with the human body in general.

Anyway, Lydia makes her way into Silkstone's path, hoping he can do what others have refused. An autopsy on her brother's dead body. She has been told that the decaying process is too far gone for the cause of death to be determined as anything but natural. However, her heartfelt pleas about proving her husband's innocence in the eyes of the gossipers catches Silkstone's heartstrings, and he agrees to perform the autopsy on the badly decayed corpse.

He soon finds that Edward's death was, in fact, murder. But how...and why?

Could it have been a crime of passion or could the reasons behind his death be part of a much larger plot?

The moment I laid eyes on this book, I knew I just had to read it. It somewhat reminded me of The Alchemy of Murder by Carol McCleary. Well...the cover at least. The Anatomist's Apprentice is a phenomenal story and will definitely keep you guessing until the very end.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lyons' Girl by Amber Mosby


Jade has lived the past few years seeing fear in the eyes of her classmates and teachers. Her reputation precedes her, making her a person to avoid. The reason...she is not your average 17 year old girl. She has powers. Powers that most can only dream of. And these powers of hers have been what have caused her to shelter herself from others. That and a past she does not want to delve into. But all that is about to change.

When she is called in to the principal's office one day, a woman sits inside waiting for her arrival. She informs Jade that her IQ is off the charts, and that she is there to take Jade to a special school on a private island. She will be under the tutelage of a Mr. Lyons.

However, when Jade finally arrives the truth comes out. Well...Jade kind of forces it out, but either way Mr. Lyons tells his true reasoning behind bringing her to the island. It is not, in fact, for her IQ, but for the powers she possesses. Her and five other "students" from around the world have been brought to the island to hone their talents. To bring out the full potential of their superpowers.

Living in a place with five other people who are just like you can mean having to get to know them whether you like it or not. And as reluctant as Jade is to trust other people, there is one person in the place she is the most drawn to. One person who it seems is drawn to her in the same sense.

Can she let him in, or will her distrust make her run away from the guy who seems to understand her the most?

I love the concept of this book. I love the love/hate, lust/fight relationship that goes on between the two Main(ish) characters. This is a great story, and was definitely worth reading.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Diamonds and Cole by Micheal Maxwell


Cole Sage was once a well-known journalist, gaining recognition for his various Pulitzer prize worthy pieces. Now, his life seems to be taking a downward spiral. He no longer has the drive he once had for finding news and digging up the truth. He feels alone and hopeless, all his past successes seem moot now. They seem not so important as they once were.

However, he is about to be taken back to a time when he was once happy. A time before he lost the one thing that truly mattered to him. 

After witnessing a terrible incident of hostage situation turned murder, Cole Sage begins writing yet another story for the Chicago Sentinel, the newspaper that basically jump started his career but now seems to just be a reminder of his waning enthusiasm for his job. While busy typing away at his computer, he receives some news that will change his life in a way he never imagined. A former love has called him for help. A former love he believed to be gone forever.

Cole Sage immediately heads off back to his old home town to answer that call.

With trips down memory lane, a dying wish, and a scoop or two that could very well turn Cole's career back to what it once was, this journey back could turn out to be a very eventful one.

I truly thought Diamonds and Cole was very interesting and entertaining. I loved the memories that Cole has throughout the book and the fact that he seems to change as the story goes along, making amends with the past that has haunted him for the longest time.
I am happy that this will be the first in a series, because I cannot wait to see what is in store for Cole Sage in the future.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Kindreds: An Alliance of Bloods by Tani Mura


What would you do if you were suddenly taken out of the world you have known all your life, and told that there was more out there? Told there was more to see, more to know, more to fight for? Well, Raine has that exact problem.

In her world, Raine, as a woman, is destined to become a breeder. However, she desperately wants to defy that destiny and become part of the Jeysh, a military-like regime that protects the people of the Rims. The people look down upon her, because they say she is shirking her duties as a female. She brushes off their remarks, and works so hard to prove them wrong.

The day of her trials to become part of the Jeysh, she succeeds. Her years of hard training pay off. But she never has a chance to put that training to use as part of the Jeysh, because she is soon stolen away from the Rims and taken to a place she never even knew existed.

The people who steal her away, also manage to take her two best friends, Leif and Jem. They bring the three to a place where people are segregated by blood. Where one King rules all, and where mixed blood is considered illegal among the common people.

It is revealed that there is more than meets the eye with Raine, Leif, and Jem, but especially with Raine. They are not average in any sense, and were brought into the world with a plan in mind. A plan to finally bring together the people of this mysterious place. To finally make them equals in blood, and take out this segregation.

However, will they agree to take part in this plan. Or will the denial that this is truly real be the undoing of the Resistance trying to put the plan into action?

I loved this book. How could I not when Chapter One starts out with swordplay. Wooden swords, but still. There is action, there is intrigue, there is a fantastic storyline that sucks you in from the beginning. There are even some passages that reflect my own beliefs about the world around me.
This felt real. It felt like the authors had reached into my soul and written this book based on what I, myself, know to be right within my own heart. I loved this book with every fibre of my being, and cannot wait for future installments.

I received this book on Goodreads from the author for an honest review.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Wizard Heir by Cinda Williams Chima


Seph McCauley's powers as a wizard are becoming more and more out of control. So much so, that someone eventually gets hurt...seriously hurt...okay, killed. He is sent to an exclusive boys' school in Maine, one in many schools he has been sent to over time. In fact, he has been sent to so many schools, that he wholeheartedly believes this is just another temporary location until he screws up again. Boy, is he wrong.

What Seph soon finds out, is that the headmaster of the school is, in fact, a wizard himself. The school is just a facade. He created it solely for the purpose of finding people of Seph's talents...people of the Weir. He is brought in by the Alumni of the school, those who have magical power and have stayed on the grounds to help the headmaster. They treat Seph as one of their own, and tell him of the brilliance of learning under the headmaster's tutelage.

Seph soon finds that all is not as it seems. When the headmaster attempts to blood bind with him, telling him that this is the only way to become a true member of the group, Seph refuses, bringing the headmaster's wrath upon him. Seph is tormented by horrifying dreams in the time after, an attempt by the headmaster at breaking him. It will take surprising inner strength, magic spells, a much-needed escape plan, revealed secrets, and characters from the first book in this series to help Seph defeat the evil that the headmaster embodies.

This book was very well-written, and the storyline was completely amazing. I have not read the first book in this series, The Warrior Heir, but will definitely have to now. Not because I don't understand the happenings of this sequel (because this book holds its own entirely, even though it is part of a series), but because I want to know more of the story. I want to surround myself even further in the world that this wonderful author has created.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison


Chrysanthemum Everstar is not really the fairy godmother you would expect. She's not a doddering old lady wearing a baby blue cloak and holding a sparkly wand. In fact, she has bubblegum pink hair, loves to shop, and gets messages on her cell whenever her ward is in need of her services. She has a tendency to get wishes wrong and gets quite annoyed when anyone interrupts her fun.
This is everything sophomore Savannah Delano finds out when she discovers that her godmother is none other than Everstar.
But before we go into the goings on with this pair, let me state WHY, exactly, she was in need of a fairy godmother in the first place.
Let's see...Savannah Delano is everything I ever wanted to be when I was in high school. Okay, well, maybe not everything. She is popular, desirable, and tends not to use her brain as much as she probably could. Not saying she is dumb, more that she finds it unnecessary to study as much as she needs to.
Her sister, however, is quite the opposite in that regard. She is more reserved...more quiet...more studious.
So it is a definite surprise to Savannah when this studiousness causes her sister to catch the heart of Savannah's boyfriend, right before prom! WHAT TO DO??
Have no fear, the fair godmother is here!
Savannah learns so much throughout this book. She learns that the medieval times did not have great hair products, dragons can be killed by using a horse and gunpowder, and that goats can be very vengeful. She also learns that princes can come in the most surprising packages.
I enjoyed this book immensely, and worked myself up trying to lead the main character in the right direction. Every page was an adventure, and I cannot wait to read the next book telling of Everstar's newest assignment.

Friday, September 6, 2013

My Big Fake Irish Life by Caitlin McKenna


Linda Symcox has it all: fame, fortune, the perfect boyfriend....Well, that's at least what she wants to have. In reality, she is an aspiring actress who, for the last five years, has been desperately trying to get work. The problem is she doesn't have any qualities that allow her to stand out in the crowd.

Her solution: become someone else entirely.

When her sister invites her on a free trip to Ireland, Linda jumps at the chance to put her training to good use and learn all she can about the culture, the people, the accents, and the geography. When she comes back, she is an entirely different personality altogether.

Add a new hair do, a new wardrobe, and the luck of the Irish, and she becomes Meghan O'Connell, an Irish actress who is best known for her Lucky Charms commercial. (Surprisingly, many people fall for this throughout the entire book.)

Meghan is going to help Linda fulfill her dreams of fame and fortune. However, when her Irish world begins to clash with her American one, Linda may reconsider how good of an idea this really was.

I was first drawn to this book because of the title. Having red hair myself, I have always felt close to my own Irish roots...sparse as they may be. This was a very enjoyable read, and I am definitely going to look up more of authoress Caitlin McKenna's work.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Wrap-Up List by Steven Arnston


Gabriela Rivera is just your normal, everyday sixteen year old girl. She loves to hang out with her friends, she has a huge crush on a boy named Sylvester, and she has just received her death letter.
Okay...so maybe she is not so normal.
In this book by Steven Arnston, one percent of all fatalities in the world are brought about by these death letters. Letters sent by various deaths to unsuspecting humans letting them know they have only a certain amount of time left to live. In that time they must write their wrap-up list, A list of what exactly they want to accomplish before their remaining time comes to an end.
After the initial shock of receiving the letter, Gabriela gets to work on her own list. First kisses for her and all of her friends...and a pardon.
Everyone wishes for a pardon, because a pardon from your assigned death is the only thing that can save your life. The catch: she needs to figure out her death's secret weakness.
With the help of her friends, her dead grandfather, and her secret crush, Gabriela may just have a chance at staying alive.

I loved this book. It had a dark feel to it, but a beautifully dark feel. The concept of being escorted from the living world by an assigned death makes leaving the living behind seem a bit more bearable. In this wonderful story, you do not go alone.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Whodunnit: Murder in Mystery Manor by Anthony Zuiker


Ten guests arrive at Westlake Estate expecting a week of pampering and leisure. What they do not realize until it is too late...there is a killer among them. On their first day, during a wonderful dinner to kick off their week, one of the guests suddenly bursts into flames. The guest slumps to the floor dead, leaving the rest of the guests in horrored shock.

They are soon given the rules to a horrific game of life and death. A game that forces them to use their imaginations and their deductive reasoning skills to figure out how each grisly murder was committed. The cost of getting it wrong: becoming the next victim.

Each guest is pushed to their emotional limits as they deal with the killers ruthless attitude toward human life. They also begin to show their own true colours in the face of each tragedy. 

Sometimes, keeping your enemy close is the only answer.

Since I watched the show Whodunnit in its entirety, I was definitely intrigued and excited to read it in book form. The book does work like the show, but with one wonderful twist. Each death in the book can go so much farther than the individual deaths in the show could. Some of the bodies are actually dismembered! YAY! That is one point that made me extremely happy. I mean, you can only kill someone so many times while keeping their bodies whole, am I right?

Anyway...I actually listened to the audio book of this. Most likely because Giles the butler () was the one reading it. He was my favourite in that entire show!

Also, the audio book has some features that cannot be applied to the regular book. Mainly, the creepy music at the end. *Do not listen to at night if afraid of the dark.

So...I totally recommend this for fans of the show, and murder mystery buffs everywhere.

P.S.:
I CALLED THE KILLER FROM THE BEGINNING!!!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Sacrifice: The Only Way To God by Rev. Allen Smith


It always interests me to read anything pertaining the Bible, so I was quite excited when given the opportunity to read and review The Sacrifice by Rev. Allen Smith.
This document is very well-voiced, and brings up some very good points pertaining to sin and how God reacted to sin, and how he attempted over the years to help man make its way back to Him. From the banishment of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden to the sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross, this book explains not just how God reacted to sin, but how man reacted to sin as well. While reading this, I could actually imagine it as one of those educational shows on PBS. The author obviously has a wonderful knowledge in this topic, and it shows throughout his work. I will definitely have to check out more of his work.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

How Not to Murder Your Grumpy by Carol E. Wyer


Okay, must start this review out by saying that the book How Not to Murder Your Grumpy by Carol E. Wyer cracked me up when I first saw the title. Well…actually, I was more confused at first. I thought grumpy meant grandpa, and I originally thought the book was actually about murder. However, when I read an excerpt from it, I immediately knew I had to read this. Because it is not, in fact, about real murder and grandpas, it is about GOMs (Grumpy Old Men a.k.a Husbands) and wives who just want them out of their hair. It is about finding something to do in the retirement age.
I realized, though, that this book doesn't just have to apply to older people. It can apply to us younger generations as well. There are so many activities to be done around the world, so many interesting and wonderful things that can spice up life. In fact, this book gave me several ideas on things I might want to do in the near future. Things like hunting for sapphires and diamonds, or extreme ironing (something my cousin just recently started), or even putting together the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle (It is called Double Respect and has approximately 32,256 pieces…all half an inch in size.) No, I am not crazy…I just really like puzzles.
Along with informing the reader about things that we can do, there are also anecdotes, jokes, and the occasional fun fact.
For me, this book went very quickly and I quite enjoyed it.  From A to Z, Carol Wyer has included an activity for everyone. And I mean everyone…
Although, I would like to point out to Mrs. Wyer that Quidditch has actually become a real thing in the ‘muggle’ world. It was established as a real-live sport in 2005 in Middlebury, Vermont, and one of these days I vow to join a team.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves an interesting and entertaining read.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Mixer Flash Fiction Challenge

I actually had quite a lot of fun channelling the character of this story, so I hope you have as much fun reading it.

“Ah…Another customer…”
Camilla manned the postern leading into her brothel, her vibrant red nails taking a place of precedence on the doorframe. She watched seductively as a man walked toward her, through the dilapidated streets of the town she had known all her life. His head was down, eyes avoiding any contact with the ruffians in tattered rags who stared at him.
Camilla observed the clothes he was wearing. Black suit; tie; crisp, white shirt…He looked like a very wealthy man…someone who would not want her to bruit about him being there.
She smiled. Keeping secrets like this was her specialty…as long as they had the money to pay…
When he reached the doorway, she could see he was tremulous. Whether it be from nerves, expectation, or fear, she could not tell.
No matter.

She sensuously led him in, and shut the door behind them both.

150 words @bookwormattack

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Five Greatest Warriors by Matthew Reilly


As stated in the title of my review, The Five Greatest Warriors by Matthew Reilly is the third installment in the Jack West, Jr. thriller series. The first two books in the series are Seven Ancient Wonders and Six Sacred Stones, and provide many thrills and chills following Jack West, Jr.'s travels as he attempts to save the world from impending doom.

More specifically, he must find six pillars, cleanse them, and place them in six locations on certain dates and times, completing what is known as The Machine. All this must be done before the arrival of the "Dark Sun." A phenomenon which could mean certain death for everyone if Jack fails. However, this mission of his will not be as easy as it might seem, seeing as how there are so many people out to keep him from succeeding.

When we meet Jack in this book, he is falling down into the depths of a black abyss, alone, all except for a deadly enemy, and away from his fellow comrades.

Hope seems lost for our hero, until a surprise swoop-in by his trusty falcon, Horus, brings back his determination. Therefore, he makes it out of harm's way, for the time being.

Throughout the rest of the book, with the help of his team of misfits, Jack goes on the hunt for the final four pillars and their locations. There is much action, shooting, death among friends and enemies, and even quite a bit of betrayal and self-preservation.

I have loved the books before this one, and so it was not surprising that I loved this one as well. I hope that, as sort of implied in the Q & A portion at the back of the book, that Matthew Reilly writes some more on the story of Jack West, Jr. and his team. However, if it is not in the cards, I am happy to end on this one.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Frozen Heat by Richard Castle


I was very excited when, earlier in the year, I was finally able to buy this installment in the critically acclaimed Heat/Rook Detective series. Now, in past books of this series, Nikki Heat has not been as personal and emotional in her cases.  Yeah, she has shown some emotion, but we have never really known much about her own life besides the fact that her mother was murdered years before.
In Frozen Heat, however, Nikki must delve into her mother's past. Possibly far deeper than she may want to go.
When a woman is found inside a suitcase, dead and frozen in a fetal-like position, this seems like any other case. But things take an unexpected turn when Nikki finds that the suitcase the woman is stuffed in turns out to have belonged to her mother, Cynthia Heat. It was the suitcase taken from her apartment the day she was murdered.
Nikki begins the book in denial about the two cases possibly being connected, but with the help of Rook she finds that the past may just be the answer.
The author takes us through a story of  friendship, secret lives, and the possible betrayal of a nation. And we find that nothing is always as it seems, especially when it comes to tourists and photography.
I absolutely was not disappointed in this book. I was, in fact, shocked by some of the plot twists and turns, and always was anxious to turn the page and find out what was going to happen next.
Cannot wait at all for the next book, Deadly Heat, to be released this September. Have to know what happens next!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Murdock Tackles Taos by Robert J. Ray


At first glance, Murdock Tackles Taos by Robert J. Ray seemed like every other murder mystery I have ever read. There is a crime that is committed or a body that is found and someone attempts to figure out what happened before the perpetrator can strike again. However, what actually forced my hand in picking up this book to read it was a line in the description provided with the story. A girl had been found in the hills of Taos with an arrow sticking out of her back. Now, obviously, this isn't the exact line, but you get the gist. It got me wondering...why was she shot with an arrow? Why was she left in the hills of Taos? Who could have done this and what exactly is their agenda? So...I endeavored to find out the whole story...

In Murdock Tackles Taos, the sixth installment in the Matt Murdock Mystery Series (whew! Try to say that five times fast), we once again meet private eye Matt Murdock. He is searching high and low for a friend's daughter who has been missing for some time. While scouring for evidence concerning her disappearance, he comes across a hiker named Helene Steinbeck who is currently being targeted as a human dart board for some archers down wind. After saving her life from a deadly arrow-tipped fate, and causing the potential killers some well-deserved harm, he finds the cause of the archers targeting Helene. She had come across the body of a dead girl with an arrow in her back.

After much deliberation, Steinbeck and Murdock rightly deduce that there has to be a connection between the girl and the archers. Could they have killed her? If so, who are they and why did they do it? Could this be a human game of cat and mouse?

Murdock and Steinbeck come across potential suspects in the case when they stumble upon a cult who believes that the weak are fair prey. On top of that, the leader of this group has a gigantic pull with the rich community who believe that money can solve anything. Can the two sleuths give the dead girl the justice she deserves, or will the cult and their benefactors push the crime back into the shadows?

And can Murdock find his friend's daughter, or will her disappearance be permanent?

I absolutely loved this book. To me it had a different feel to it than some others of the same genre. It was faster paced than most, and told three different perspectives on the story. Helene's, Murdock's, and a third whose identity you will have to find out for yourself.

I give this a GIGANTIC 5 out of 5.

Recommended for people who love the thrill of the chase, and the feeling of catching the bad guy in the act.

Courtesy of ireadabookonce.com

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Divergent by Veronica Roth


I have to say that I was a bit reluctant to read this book at first. The main reason for this was that I had gotten a sample of the book quite a while ago, and at the time it just did not seem to interest me at all. However, when I found it in my local library I decided that the story deserved a chance to be heard. So I gave it that chance.

I was pleasantly surprised by how easy a read this book really was. It went quickly for me, and I was a bit sad to reach the end. Luckily for me, though, there are two more to read. Yay! Let's learn a bit more about Divergent shall we?

In this book, we are introduced to Beatrice Prior, a girl from the faction of Abnegation. She is a bit nervous, because she is about to go through a range of tests to determine what faction she will eventually live the rest of her life in. What are factions? Well, they are groups of people who devote their lives to certain virtues. The people of Amity reflect peacefulness, the people of Candor reflect honesty, the people of Dauntless reflect bravery, the people of Abnegation reflect selflessness, and the people of Erudite reflect intelligence. It is said that these factions are supposed to eliminate the chance of warring between people. They are there to keep a balanced world.

This system has supposedly worked...until now that is.

We discover early on that there is an unease between two of the factions. The Erudite suspect the Abnegation of using their virtue to hide their true intentions. This unease is starting to create a rift that could possibly destroy the balance, and cause even bigger problems.

We also discover that after her testing concludes Beatrice finds out something about herself that she must keep hidden. Her results, if revealed to anyone, could potentially mean the death of her as it has to many before her.

Can she keep her secret and find her place in the factions?

This book was a fast read for me, and a wonderfully vibrant one at that. I enjoyed every moment of this story, and cannot wait until I read the others.

I reccommend this to anyone who loves action, adventure, and the suspense of the unknown.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

NEW BLOG!!

I have been playing around with a new blog of mine titled this is me.

Check it out:http: //thisisme2112.blogspot.com/

Basically this newest blog is a bit more personal to my own tastes. With this previous blog, I was using it for my book reviews and story submissions.

So, go ahead and click on the link provided and tell me what you think.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Trifecta Entry: Deliberate

Came across this writing competition, and decided to give it a shot. Here is my entry for this week's word: Deliberate. Enjoy!


Callie walked with a deliberate pace, giving her time to think about the case before she confronted the victims’ family. It didn’t make sense. How could a perfectly healthy 21-year-old drop dead in the middle of the street? Something just wasn’t right.

Callie reached the front door of Mr. and Mrs. Madison’s house, and raised a fist to knock. However, something caught her attention and she lowered her hand. The door was open just slightly, giving the impression that someone had just gone in. She opened the door farther, and called out.

“Bill…..Harriet….”

No answer.

She took a step into the house and looked around. Nothing seemed out of place. Everything was as it had been the last time she had been there. The hair rose on her neck.

She walked to the living room and saw that the tea Harriet had served her just two days ago was still on the coffee table. The cups still half full of the dark amber liquid, now ice cold. Everything was EXACTLY as it had been the last time she had been there.

Callie headed toward the stairs leading toward the second floor of the house. Reaching the top, she began to investigate the rooms on either side of the landing. Each one she looked in was empty.

Except one.

She gasped at the sight of Bill and Harriet lying side by side on their bed. Their faces showed signs of fright, twisted and frozen in horrible expressions. A message in blood could be seen on their mahogany headboard.

YOU’RE NEXT!

264 words @bookwormattack

Thursday, May 9, 2013

55 Word Challenge Submission

Was feeling really sing-songy at the mention of this prompt. What fun could you have with zombies?....HMMMM.....

The Wonderful World of Taxidermy
JINGLE:
We stuff your zombies here
Oh, We stuff your zombies here
We stuff their heads
Who cares....THEY'RE DEAD!
We stuff your zombies here

It seems everyone wants a souvenir these days.

38 words and proud of it.

Good luck, everyone!

The Trouble with Charlie by Merry Jones

When I first heard of The Trouble With Charlie by Merry Jones, I snapped it up thinking it would be a typical murder/thriller novel where someone tries to find the killer. I was right, however, it is also so much more than that. It has a tad bit of humor (hopefully I'm not the only one who thinks this), a serious plot that seems to thicken throughout, and a possible haunting (if only in the heroine's mind). Now, before I go any further in my declaration of love for this novel, I must tell you a bit of what you will encounter if (and when) you decide to pick this phenomenal read up at your local bookstore.

The Trouble with Charlie introduces us to a woman named Elle. Her friends have yanked her arm and forced her to go to a bar to loosen up and forget about her soon-to-be ex-husband, Charlie Harrison. Being that she hasn't been out on her own "in a decade" (Elle's own words), she is uncomfortable being there. So, understandably, she decides to go home and confront her loneliness (ironically) by herself (and possibly reruns of NCIS). However, weird things start to happen after she arrives back at her own place. A rose begins to seemingly move by itself all over the house and Elle begins to hear her ex's voice and feel his touch wherever she goes. These happenings become more and more unreal when she discovers Charlie's body dead in his study, a knife from her kitchen protruding from his back.

Things take a downward spiral as Elle becomes a 'person of interest' in the case. Charlie's family suspects her, the police definitely suspect her and, after a bit of thought, she even begins to suspect herself. Holes in her memory give her doubts about what she truly knows. With the help of her four friends, a mysterious flash drive containing destructive evidence, and the will to be found innocent, can Elle find Charlie's true killer? Or will she be convicted for a crime she may, or may not have, committed?

Now back to my gushing.....

I loved this. It was written wonderfully, and the format of the novel surprised me in a way. I am a chapter girl so, looking through the book, I was shocked to find that it has no chapters! No book I have ever read has not had chapters. The parts are separated, of course, by little decorative lines (not sure about the term, haha) and IT WORKS! The story works with the format. In fact, I believe that chapters would have probably made it harder to follow the story. Kudos to you, Merry Jones, Kudos to you.

Nothing more to say, except: Five out of Five stars.

I recommend this book wholeheartedly to everyone who loves thrillers, for this has to be one of the best I have read.
 
For more reviews, and a chance to win a copy of this book, check out http://www.ireadabookonce.com/2013/05/review-trouble-with-charlie-merry-jones.html

Friday, February 22, 2013

Thursay Threads Submission

This was my submission for yesterday's Thursday Threads competition. Congrats to Honorable Mentions Theresa Breaux, Susan Hayes, J. Whitworth Hazzard, and David A Ludwig . Also big SUPER DUPER congrats to eight time thursday threads winner Cara Micheals. YOU ALL ROCK!

Enjoy!
 
They were small countries. However, in Luke's eyes, they were still worth taking over. He had conquered most of them already, but still had a long ways to go if he was to conquer them all.
His brain worked, constantly thinking of strategies and solutions. Only the inexperienced would jump in with no plan whatsoever.


The sight of his present adversary creeping steadily upon him warned Luke that he did not have much time. If he didn't do something soon, his advantage would be gone.

Suddenly, he had it. He knew what he must do to defeat this worthy opponent.

With just a few clicks of his mouse Luke distributed his armies, allowing him to command all of Australia and become the champion of this round.

A sense of respect for his electronic enemy grew in the depths of his very soul.
It had been a fight to remember.

Luke smiled in triumph. "Well played, computer. Well played."

55 Word Challenge Submission for Wednesday

Hey, guys. This was my submission for Wednesday's 55 Word Challenge. I would like to congratulate the HMs @j_m_blackman, @Lurchmunster, and @klingorengi. Everyone's stories were fantastic this week. KEEP IT UP!!!!

Here was my picture inspiration from the three given.

 
I watched my family die.
Watched them fall at the hands of the metal beasts ravaging their precious land.
I heard them cry out in terror and pain, saw them reaching for me in anguish.
Calling for me. Pleading for help.
But I did not save them.
No.
I ran.
Like a coward.....I ran.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pandora's Temple by Jon Land

 
I have to admit that I was a bit reluctant to read Pandora's Temple by Jon Land. The title interested me, but not to the point where I was actually excited to pick it up and read it. That all changed, however, when I read that dark matter would play a big part in the storyline. I have always been interested in the subject of dark matter and was intrigued by how it would be incorporated into this book. Therefore, I immediately decided right then and there that I would try it and see what happens.

Pandora's Temple is a continuation of a series of books by the author Jon Land with Blaine McCracken as the main character. The novel starts two years into McCracken's retirement (according to McCracken, What retirement?), when he is called to save four college boys who are being held as hostages. The culprit? A man by the name of Arturo Nieves Morales, head of the Juarez drug cartel. McCracken poses as a man looking to provide Morales with new routes to bring his supplies into the U.S. Of course, every person going undercover has to have some plan with which to foil his foes. McCracken, indeed, has a plan. So, after kicking some butt and showing Morales and his men who's boss, McCracken goes on his merry little way. Well....as merry as a rogue agent can be....

Cue Paul Basmajian, a friend of McCracken's, aboard the Deepwater Venture. An oil rig on the verge of making history, drilling to a level no oil rig has drilled before: past 32,000 feet. Mr. Basmajian senses that all is not as it seems concerning the rig. The location they are drilling, according to a cartoon rendering, shows no indications of the sandy sediment layers that signify oil beneath. He begins to wonder if there is something more to it. Something more to where they are drilling. And he is right.
A strange thing happens once the drill reaches past the target depth. A thing so bizarre that it causes the entire crew of the Deepwater Venture to just simply vanish.

The disappearance of the crew, along with the question of what could have caused it, brings McCracken back into the picture. He along with his buddies, Johnny Wareagle and Captain Seven, are called in to bring the situation to light. What they do not know is that what happened to the Deepwater Venture and its crew, is just a small factor in a much bigger plot. A plot that might, ultimately, mean the destruction of the world itself.

All in all, I have to say that this Pandora's Temple a very well-written novel. The action scenes were very vivid, and the more technical aspects seemed to be very well researched. Having never read a Jon Land novel in all my life, I was very pleasantly surprised to enjoy what I read. I look forward to reading many more books by Mr. Land, and hope to find each one as interesting and action-filled as this.

Recommended for people who love action, adventure, and a bit of science.
 
To enter for a chance to win an ebook collection of some more of Jon Land's novels, visit:

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Mixer Submission

This is my submission for today's Monday Mixer competition. Enjoy!

Moonlight crept in from the opening of the crevasse, bathing me in its wondrous blue light. It had been a while since I had seen the outside world, and I was desperate. The manacles on my wrists had long since cut into my flesh. The dried blood staining the cold ice beneath me a reminder of futile attempts at escape.
"Release me!"
My voice echoed around me. Turning from a plea to a derisive mocking, the words themselves seemed to laugh at my request.
I knew there was no chance to survive. No chance to escape this prison.
My teeth began to chatter, and my body to shake. Death was close at hand. I could just feel it. The cold seeped into my very soul and took my breath away, leaving but a husk of my former self. I slumped forward and closed my eyes for the very last time.

Wednesday's 55 Word Challenge Submission

 
This was my submission for last week's 55 Word Challenge on Wednesday. Congrats to my fellow HMs @awrenwriting and @PurpleQueenNL and Winner @JessicaMaybury.
ENJOY!
 

Lizzie took a deep breath and adjusted the pale pink glasses sitting atop the bridge of her nose. She looked at the crowds walking like robots past her, dressed in black and dripping with the ooze of societal conformity, and began to push her way opposite them. Her destiny would be decided by her alone.

Proof of Guilt by Charles Todd

Detective novels are exactly my cup of tea, especially ones that take place in a historical time period. In historical fiction the characters usually do not have the technology we have today to help solve their crimes. They have to use pure intellect and clever questioning to find out the 'who done it'. I respect those kind of stories and especially those kind of detectives.

Proof of Guilt by Charles Todd is a great example of that kind of story. It is an historical novel which takes place in the 1920s and stars a man named Ian Rutledge who is an inspector with Scotland Yard. I was overall quite intrigued when given the chance to read and review this book. The title sucked me in and made me want to read more, and the description on the inside cover of the book sucked me in even further.

In Proof of Guilt, Inspector Ian Rutledge is sent out on an inquiry regarding a dead man in the town of Chelsea. It looks like an open and shut case. The man has all the marks of a hit-and-run with a motorcar, and it looks like he's been dragged along the dusty road. However, Inspector Rutledge notices that the road bears no sign of anything being dragged across it. No sign that the man could have been hit where the body was found. He deduces, along with the help of a Mr. Belford, that the only plausible explanation is that the man was killed elsewhere, brought to Chelsea, and dumped. The only evidence they find even remotely resembling a possible identification of the dead man is a watch in his pocket.

With the help of a jeweler Rutledge knows, this watch is identified as belonging to a man named Lewis French. Mr. French is one of three owners of French, French, and Traynor, a wine exporting business started by his grandfather, Howard French. They are most famous for their Madeira wines, and Lewis French heads their business in London. The watch leads Rutledge on an investigation of French's work life, personal life, and an incident which happened when Lewis was merely a child. It also leads him to many people who had motive to cause French's disappearance and death.

I have to admit that this book did confuse me a bit in the beginning. Maybe it was because I had never read any Ian Rutledge novels before, or maybe because I was so intent on finding the killer and was distracted by writing down the suspects and evidence...I'm not sure which. However, as the book went on I became less confused and everything regarding the story fell more easily into place. The ending disappointed me only slightly, but overall it was a very well-written work and was full of red herrings, believable motives, and even more believable suspects. I recommend this book for people who love a good detective novel. People who, like me, love solving a good murder.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Valentine's Night to Remember-Shortened Version

This is my entry for The Inklingettes' Love Bites: An Anti-Valentine Blog Hop. This is the shortened version of the story below. Enjoy!

Francis looked in the mirror, turned to each side, and straightened the lingerie clinging to her form until it was just perfect. Maybe this would finally get his attention.
She walked down the stairs and stopped short at the bottom, seeing her husband sitting at the couch watching television. Taking a deep breath, she began the long trek over to where he was.
"Oh, come on!" Potato chip crumbs flew out of Billie's mouth and landed all over her freshly vaccuumed carpet. Francis flinched. Tonight is all about us. Tonight is all about us.
She repeated these words like a mantra, attempting to clear her mind of the sight of the disgusting mixture of chewed up chips and spittle hitting her floor.
Francis put her hand on her hip in a sexy fashion and cleared her throat.
Billy kept yelling at the game.
She cleared it louder, but to no avail.
Then, she cleared it so loud that it was almost a cough. That barely got her husband's attention.
"You sound sick, babe." He glanced quickly up at her and back at the television. He did a double take at the sight of what she was wearing.
"Well, no wonder, you're practically naked! Here, put this on." He held out a ratty old blanket and Francis took it. She wrapped it around herself and Billie nodded his head in satisfaction. "There. Better, right?"
Francis sighed, defeated, and began to walk back up to the bedroom to change.


Read everybody's amazing Anti-Valentine's Day entries here:

A Valentine's Night to Remember

This was the first draft of a story I have written for LOVE BITES: An Anti-Valentine Blog Hop. Since it is too many words, I am attempting to shorten it so that I can without fail post it on the site as a submission. I liked this version and decided to save it. Enjoy!

Francis looked in the mirror and looked at her scanitly clad body. She turned to each side and straightened the lingerie clinging to her form until it was just perfect. Maybe this would finally get his attention.
She walked down the stairs and stopped short at the bottom, seeing her husband sitting at the couch watching television. Taking a deep breath, she began the long trek over to where he was.
"Oh, come on. Ref! What, have you got your head up your butt? That was a good shot!" Potato chip crumbs flew out of Billie's mouth and landed all over her nice clean carpet. Francis flinched. Tonight is all about us. Tonight is all about us.
She repeated this mantra in her head, attempting to shove the sight of the crumbs and bits of spittle hitting her floor.
Francis put her hand on her hip in a sexy fashion and cleared her throat.
Billy kept yelling at the game.
She cleared it louder, but to no avail.
Then, she cleared it so loud that it was almost a cough. That barely got her husband's attention.
"You sound sick, babe." He glanced quickly up at her and back at the television. He did a double take at the sight of what she was wearing.
"Well, no wonder, you're practically naked! Here, put this on?" He held out a ratty old blanket and Francis took it. She wrapped it around herself and Billie nodded his head in satisfaction. "There. Better, right?"
Francis sighed, defeated, and began to walk to the kitchen. "Hey, Francis?" She turned around and expectantly waited for her husband to say You look beautiful or Happy Valentine's Day, but no such luck. "Can you get me another beer while you're at it?"
She walked back over to where he was, and grabbed the empty bottle in front of him.
"Love you." He airkissed in her general direction, not turning his eyes away from the television.
Francis walked into the kitchen and threw the empty bottle away. Then, she went over to the breadbox and opened it. A heart box of chocolates was stashed inside. She pulled open the box and began to eat.
Happy Valentine's Day to me. She rolled her eyes and continued chewing.
"Where's that beer?"
Francis ignored the call and thought to herself, I know where it's gonna be in a couple seconds.....