Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review: One Magic Moment by Lynn Kurland

From Goodreads:
Medieval studies scholar Tess Alexander is thrilled for the chance to live in a medieval castle. But then a trip to the village brings her face-to-face with the owner of the local garage, who looks a great deal like the man who married her sister...800 years in the past. She's determined to remain objective about magic and destiny, but she can't help wondering about that mysterious, sword-wielding mechanic.

Sometimes girl just needs a good medieval, time traveling, hunk of a stud knight with overprotective manners and a fast car.  Right?  One that makes you swoon with his awesome sword swinging and lute playing abilities.  That would be exactly what you would find in this book.  Now, I can't read these type of books, one right after another because then they all become the same.  But, with a year in between, um hum, I like 'em.  :)  I won this book on Goodreads.

For my friends who care about such things, there were many, many uses of hell and damn and a few arses thrown in as well.  Aside from the language, it was a clean romance.  (I was almost getting annoyed because it took SO long to even get a kiss going...)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop!

Hey Everybody!

I'm so excited to be a part of this Splash into Summer Giveaway and hop!  I think blog hops are so much fun.

I'm giving a book of your choice from Book Depository for $15.00 or less.

 If the Book Depository ships to your country, you can enter.  How happy is that?

You must follow my blog to enter. Leave me a comment with your follow name and email address.  For an extra entry, leave a comment on any book review that I have done.  Then leave me a separate comment here letting me know where you commented.  That's it!  Hop ends May 31st at midnight.

Happy Hopping!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Review: Will Work For Prom Dress by Aimee Ferris

Quigley Johnson is working hard at any job she can find to earn enough money for a prom dress.  Who cares if she doesn’t actually have a date yet.  There will be plenty of time to work that out.  A new job opportunity takes her to clothing design class where she is paired up with Zander who designs the clothes while Quigley models them.  He seems to be the guy dreams are made out of- hot, funny and talented.  At the same time, David, who has always seems to be Quigley’s arch rival at school, has taken a romantic turn and seems to be interested in her.  Prom, college applications, a best friend who can’t stay out of trouble and high school classes fill Quigley’s mind and attentions.  It is a lot for a girl to juggle.  Will Quigley pick the right guy?  Will she make it to prom?  Or will everything end in disaster?

Doesn't this author have the best first name ever?  I happen to really love it.  :)

This was a fun chick-lit read with plenty of humor. There are so many high school type situations that most people will relate to.

Quigley is a likeable character, going along with her best friend’s hair-brained schemes. I would say that we've all known people like Quigley's best friend, Anne.  Self assured, brave and outgoing, tending to get into trouble more often than not.  Or, Maybe you are the Anne personality!  I, myself, am more of a Quigley personality. I enjoyed seeing Quigley’s more reluctant and cautious personality work through her own insecurities to become more self-assured.  

This was almost a polar opposite of the last book I reviewed, Divergent.  What a great world where I can read both types of books and enjoy them for completely different reasons.  This is a great summer beach read.  Here's to chick lit.  (clink!)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Beatrice Prior lives in a dystopian Chicago society.  This society is divided into five different factions, all with specific ideas and purposes.  Beatrice’s family live among the Abnegation who are taught to always be selfless.  But at the age of sixteen, Beatrice, along with every other sixteen year old, is given a test.  This test determines which faction she is most compatible with.  Then she is allowed to choose to stay with her family and faction or abandon them for a faction more to her liking.  Beatrice has never felt like she belonged with the Abnegation, and when her test results show inconclusive, labeling her a Divergent, she is more confused than ever.  Her choice to accept the Dauntless as her new faction brings difficulty and fears she never thought possible and forces out a strength and courage she never realized she possessed.  Beatrice will need every bit of that strength and courage to live through the challenges and enemies that face her.   Her seemingly perfect society is unraveling and her label as Divergent is a death sentence.

This book is fast paced and full of action.  I know a book is well written when I can’t put it down and I can’t stop thinking about it.  Another sure sign is when I forget to review because I’m so caught up in the story and then I have to go back to make notes for the review.

(just as a cautionary note:  I'm going to use the word love way too much.  I can't help it.)  

I love Tris.  I love how she feels like a real person.  She battles with who she thinks she is and  where she thinks she fits in.  She wants to be loyal but she isn't sure who to trust.  Tris has never had to face fears outwardly, she has never had the opportunity to assert herself and I loved watching as she used the quiet strength she found with the Abnegation to develop strength with the Dauntless.

I love the way Tris comes to a knowledge of just how strong her mother is.  As teenagers, we think we know everything, but as we come to the experiences of adulthood, we start to see just how little we actually do know.  We generally find that our parents really were much smarter and stronger than we gave them credit for.  I also love the sacrifice of Tris's mother, how she loved her daughter so much she was willing to give her life.  The devotion of mother to child touched my heart strings.

And Four?  Wow, stud of a guy.  He is awesome.  Loved the focus on inner strength and using your head to overcome fears and weakness.  I felt like I was getting to know Four right along with Tris.  

I love the underlying messages in this book.  The idea of factions (segregation) where people focus on becoming only one thing, is so interesting.  It's found now, it was found all throughout history.  Yet really, being only peaceful, or only brave or only smart makes one so lop-sided.  We need a good balance of all attributes to really gain a stable society.  Segregation always brings people thinking they are better than others and then an eventual putting down of those considered weaker.  When in reality, it takes all kinds of people and ideas to make this world go round.

This was a book I wanted to talk to somebody about.  I still do!  The violence in this book is high, and at some times, uncomfortable for me.  I tend to be on the sensitive side when it comes to violence.  Overall though I found this book captivating, exciting and thought provoking.  

And, if you couldn't tell, I really did "LOVE" it.  tee hee  hee

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday

Q. It's circle time. Time for us to open up and share. Can you tell us FIVE quirky habits or things about you? We all have them...

Only FIVE things?

1.  Toilet paper must hang over not under.  I don't like having to search for it.

2.  I can't go to sleep unless I read.  Reading clears my mind so I don't think of everything in the world I need to do or fix or remember...

3.  I make lists for everything.  There is power in checking things off lists.

4.  Don't mess with my feet.  Don't touch them.  I don't want them rubbed or massaged or anything else.  Pedicures are a necessary evil.  I like the end result but I hate all the touching of my feet.

5.  I can bust out a song for just about anything.  My kids hate it.  Just a few minutes ago my husband said, "oh, the cat came back."  I started singing some song I remembered, "the cat came back, I thought he was a goner but the cat came back again....".  It's obnoxious.  But, some of my proudest moments are when I say something and my kids start singing.  :)  

Monday, May 16, 2011

Review: Tomorrow Girls: Behind the Gates by Eva Gray

Louisa and her best friend, Maddie, are off on a new adventure.  At least, that’s how Louisa views it.  Her parent’s wealth has bought her a place at the new boarding school called Country Manor.  With Maddie posing as her twin sister instead of her best friend, the two girls are allowed to stay together.  Nobody knows where Country Manor is and there is no communication allowed with family but nobody questions the governments stand that these rules will “keep you safe”.

Country Manor isn’t perfect or easy.  The girls have strict rules and classes that test their endurance and survival skills.  Luisa loves the challenge though.  She is doing things she has never had the opportunity to do before and finding that there are many things she can do very well.  Louisa loves the fresh air and the new friends while Maddie seems to struggle with everything.  Maddie seems to think that everything is not as it seems and something is really wrong with Country Manor but Louisa doesn’t want to listen.  Will Louisa catch on before it’s too late?

This dystopian adventure really surprised me.  I honestly wasn’t expecting too much from it, but I really enjoyed reading it!  It is one of the better JF books I’ve read this year.  I love Louisa’s enthusiasm as she is given new experiences and opportunities that her government has repressed her whole life.  The girls in this book are young- about 13 or so, and the attitudes and ideas of this age are very accurately represented.  The book I read is an uncorrected proof and it is labeled for a juvenile fiction audience.  The actual book, just released this month (May 2011) is labeled YA, but I find the content and reading level appropriate for about 5th grade and up.  I really think my younger girls are going to enjoy reading this series.

This is a clean read- free from language and sexual content.  :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Review: Fateful by Cheri Schmidt

From Goodreads:
A huge fan of Jane Austen, Danielle hopes to find her own Mr. Darcy when she leaves Colorado to attend art school in London. Of course she knows it's silly to wish for that, naive even. But she's met enough males who lacked respect for women, a growing trend it seemed.   However, on only her second night there she gets lost and is threatened by a stalker who proves to be immune to her martial arts training. Before she is completely overpowered, she is then saved by Ethan Deveroux. 

While Danielle does find the romance she seeks in Ethan, he's no Mr. Darcy. Her hero is held by a spell which fractures their chance at a happy ending. During the day Ethan is closer to mortal than immortal and can date her like any other man. Yet, as the sun sets, the powerful magic of an ancient curse returns and the evil of that spell is revealed. When that magic begins, Danielle's fairytale romance ends because Ethan Deveroux is a vampire. 

This book had a very Twilight-ish feel to me.  I guess when you write a story about good vampires that choose not to eat human blood, you are going to get that.  J  I did rather like that there was no love triangle to deal with.  It was just one guy and one girl, fighting to stay together.  I was glad I didn’t have to pick between two hot guys.  There were the typical good vampires/bad vampires and the clan leaders.  I liked that Ethan had hope of someday reversing the curse of being a vampire and becoming human again whereas most of the vampire books, it’s the human having to turn or be left behind.

I liked this book.  It had passion that you could feel.  It was fun to read and left me feeling happy. 
There were some inconsistencies in the story line, I thought.  Some places where I felt like the story was a bit under developed.  And there were some places where I was completely confused because scenes changed so abruptly.  That might have been because I was reading a kindle version and something was up with that.  ??  I don’t know.    Here is a girly dream quote from the book:

"They continued to play with her hair as Ethan kissed her, his lips caressing hers almost hungrily, almost devouring her. It was an exotic experience, and almost too unbelievable. She was standing in an enchanted forest, being kissed by a vampire, surrounded by hundreds of colorful fairies. This never could have happened in her wildest dreams, and she thought she was pretty creative. "

Schmidt, Cheri (2011). Fateful (Kindle Locations 3429-3433). Cheri Schmidt. Kindle Edition. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book.  It was light, easy reading.  A good paranormal romance.  And a steal for .99 on Amazon for the kindle.  For sure worth a dollar to read it!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Review: The Mountain Between Us

From Goodreads:
On a stormy winter night, two strangers wait for a flight at the Salt Lake City airport.  Ashley Knox is an attractive, successful writer, who is flying East for her much anticipated wedding.  Dr. Ben Payne has just wrapped up a medical conference and is also eager to get back East for a slate of surgeries he has scheduled for the following day.   When the last outgoing flight is cancelled due to a broken de-icer and a forthcoming storm, Ben finds a charter plane that can take him around the storm and drop him in Denver to catch a connection.   And when the pilot says the single engine prop plane can fit one more, if barely, Ben offers the seat to Ashley knowing that she needs to get back just as urgently.   And then the unthinkable happens.  The pilot has a heart attack mid-flight and the plane crashes into the High Uintas Wilderness— one of the largest stretches of harsh and remote land in the United States.  
Ben, who has broken ribs and Ashley, who suffers a terrible leg fracture, along with the pilot's dog, are faced with an incredibly harrowing battle to survive.   Fortunately, Ben is a medical professional and avid climber (and in a lucky break, has his gear from a climb earlier in the week).  With little hope for rescue, he must nurse Ashley back to health and figure out how they are going to get off the mountain, where the temperature hovers in the teens.   Meanwhile, Ashley soon realizes that the very private Ben has some serious emotional wounds to heal as well.  He explains to Ashley that he is separated from his beloved wife, but in a long standing tradition, he faithfully records messages for her on his voice recorder reflecting on their love affair.  As Ashley eavesdrops on Ben's tender words to his estranged wife she comes to fear that when it comes to her own love story, she's just settling.  And what's more: she begins to realize that the man she is really attracted to, the man she may love, is Ben.
As the days on the mountains become weeks, their survival become increasingly perilous.  How will they make it out of the wilderness and if they do, how will this experience change them forever?

 Wow, talk about a page turner!  A story of survival on so many levels.  I really loved reading this book.  I loved how the story unfolded and how the life of Ben Payne was slowly and emotionally laid out before me.  This book was a bit out of the norm for what I've been reading lately which is exactly why it was a perfect fit for today.  It made me so grateful for love and hope.  For good, faithful men who love their women.  I'm really glad I read this book.

Follow My Book Blog Friday

Q. Circle time! Time to share. What character in a book would you most like to be, what character in a book would you most like to date?

Tough question!  There are so many great characters that I have loved.  I think I would choose to be Lizzie from Pride and Prejudice.  I'd love to go back to that time and I'd love to be in that love story.  One of the greatest ever.  So I guess I'll stick with Mr. Darcy as well.  P&P is one of my all time favorites!  Although I LOVE Peeta from Hunger Games too.  I might want to date him too.  (:  

Review: Too Rich For a Bride by Mona Hodgson

Too Rich For a Bride
The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek- Book 2
By Mona Hodgson

Ida Sinclair has big dreams of making it big in business.  After finishing school, she heads from her home in Maine to the small western town of Cripple Creek, Colorado to join her sisters and hopefully gain employment from the infamous and successful Mollie O’Bryan.  The business world is still considered a man’s world and Ida finds plenty of hostility and disrespect in her pursuits.  Yet Ida is determined and focused until she meets Tucker Raines who puts an unexpected kink in her well laid plans.

This is an easy, quick read.  I wasn’t particularly drawn to Ida though I can appreciate her determination to be a successful and educated business woman in a time when such things were uncommon.  Tucker Raines was the character that kept this story moving.  It was his struggles that I connected and felt more with.  His loyalty to family and friends and his determination to help his father even when his father hurt and reviled him, made him heroic to me. 

While this was a nice read, it won't rank among my favorites.

This is a Christian historical fiction book which I received from Blogging for Books.  It is free from  language and sexual content.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Review: Cascade by Lisa T. Bergren

In this second book of the River of Time series, Gabi and Lia convince their mother to return with them back to the fourteenth century.  Gabi has left her heart there and is desperate to return to the man who holds that heart.  The people of Siena hail the sisters as heroes and a great celebration is held in their honor.  Meanwhile, the Florentines are plotting and planning ways to destroy Gabi and Lia and take over the Siena rule.  Gabi knows that to stay in this time with Marcello would be asking much of her family, who would also have to stay.  But, how can she leave the one person who has become everything to her?  And will they even survive the turmoil surrounding them to have the choice?

I loved this book.  Waterfall was a fantastic read, but Cascade was even better in my opinion.  I would get reading and totally forget that I was also supposed to be reviewing.  I’d have to try to go back and take notes on all the stuff I just passed over.  This book is fast paced and exciting.  I love strong and capable female leads to match those strong and capable (and hunky) male main characters.  I love the romance and developing relationships.  I just really enjoyed reading this book.  Bergren has really done her homework on the time period and it shows.

I was so excited when Lisa Bergren sent me a copy of this book to read and review prior to its release date.  I’m her newest, BIGGEST fan.  And even though I have an electronic copy, I went online and bought both Waterfall and Cascade so I could have them on my shelves.  My daughter is Lisa’s next to newest and biggest fan.  J  We will be anxiously awaiting the fall release of Torrent.
Cascade will be released June 1, 2011.

You can check out more about this series and Lisa Bergren at her website

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Review: Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

From Goodreads:
My name is Meghan Chase.
I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.
This time, there will be no turning back.

These books get better with each one.  I quite literally devoured this book.  In one day.  It was my favorite book so far.  But, I'm kind of getting to the point where I'd like some resolution.  I think I liked this book best because Meghan and Ash were together, on the same side, in love and working together.  How can you compete with the devotion of Ash?  Seriously?  <sigh>  I like that Ash is a guy that makes mistakes, he isn't perfect, but he is fiercely loyal.  Didn't love the ending and I'm hoping for that complete resolution in the next book.  Is the next book the last?  And now that I've caught up on this series, I'll have to wait forever to find out.  Bummer deal.

This book contained some language and sexual content.  There is implied sex though not described in any detail.