Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County

Title: The Litlle Giant of Aberdeen County
Author: Tiffany Baker
Reading level: All
Paperback: 341 pages
ISBN #:9780446194204
Received From: author
Publisher: Grand Central
Group Genre: Fiction
Cover: C
Overall: A

"When Truly Plaice's mother was pregnant, the town of Aberdeen joined together in betting how record-breakingly huge the baby boy would ultimately be. The girl who proved to be Truly paid the price of her enormity; her father blamed her for her mother's death in childbirth, and was totally ill equipped to raise either this giant child or her polar opposite sister Serena Jane, the epitome of feminine perfection. When he, too, relinquished his increasingly tenuous grip on life, Truly and Serena Jane are separated--Serena Jane to live a life of privilege as the future May Queen and Truly to live on the outskirts of town on the farm of the town sadsack, the subject of constant abuse and humiliation at the hands of her peers. Serena Jane's beauty proves to be her greatest blessing and her biggest curse, for it makes her the obsession of classmate Bob Bob Morgan, the youngest in a line of Robert Morgans who have been doctors in Aberdeen for generations. Though they have long been the pillars of the community, the earliest Robert Morgan married the town witch, Tabitha Dyerson, and the location of her fabled shadow book--containing mysterious secrets for healing and darker powers--has been the subject of town gossip ever since. Bob Bob Morgan, one of Truly's biggest tormentors, does the unthinkable to claim the prize of Serena Jane, and changes the destiny of all Aberdeen from there on. When Serena Jane flees town and a loveless marriage to Bob Bob, it is Truly who must become the woman of a house that she did not choose and mother to her eight-year-old nephew Bobbie. Truly's brother-in-law is relentless and brutal; he criticizes her physique and the limitations of her health as a result, and
degrades her more than any one human could bear. It is only when Truly finds her calling--the ability to heal illness with herbs and naturopathic techniques--hidden within the folds of Robert Morgan's family quilt, that she begins to regain control over her life and herself. Unearthed family secrets, however, will lead to the kind of betrayal that eventually break the Morgan family apart forever, but Truly's reckoning with her own demons allows for both an uprooting of Aberdeen County, and the possibility of love in unexpected places."

This was such a good book. It was heartwarming in a weird way if that makes any sense? The author brings together a sense of found family and a view on death that is so refreshing. She takes hard topics and flips them inside out in a way that will make you continue to read and build an attachment with each character. I really was impressed especially since this is the authors first novel. What a creative imagination and so much talent. Normally I'm not just a straight fiction fan but this book had the essence of fairytale qualities that kept me enamored. And the characters where to begin? You love them and hate them as if they were family. These are people you can relate to set in rural America just trying to live life (or die peacefully). I found that this novel felt like coming home and getting a big Truly sized hug! After finishing the book all cozy in my snuggie (hehe) I smiled and was just perfectly relaxed and happy. And all I have to say is do you like to smile, do you need a feel good moment because this book is just that! This Was Such A Good Book!

LOL=Lots Of Love

Monday, April 26, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. This week I'm reading Brighid's Quest by P. C. Cast. Last week I finished her first book in the Partholon series Elphames Choice. Since then my head has been up in the Partholon clouds I just can't get enough and have a NEED to know what happens next. I love how each book is a full complete story but leaves you wanting more so I'm back again this week in Partholon to discover the centaur Brighids story. And without further ado here's my teaser for the week:

"Tonight she would sleep soundly. Tomorrow she would consider all the ramifications of the turquoise stone and the soul-retrieval and the damned silver hawk she conveniently been to busy to mention except to Cuchulainn. Tomorrow would be soon enough......"

~pg 295 Brighid's Quest by P. C. Cast

I know I cheated a little and gave you an extra sentence, but it needed that little push to make it a teaser. And what if tomorrow isn't soon enough? I know overly dramatic me can't follow the rules. However; this book is so good so far that I think it deserves the lil extra ooomph! Let me know what you think and as always let me know where I can find your teasers at! I know last week I bought 2 books based on some of your teasers!

LOL=Lots Of Love

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Wild Irish

Title: The Wild Irish
Author: Robin Maxwell
Reading level: All
Hardcover: 378 pages
ISBN #:9780060091439
Received From: I bought it
Publisher: Harper Collins
Group Genre: Historical Fiction
Cover: B+
Overall: B-

"Elizabeth, Queen of England, has taken on the mighty Spanish Armada and, in a stunning sea battle, vanquished it. But her troubles are far from over. At home she is challenged at every turn by the brilliant but reckless Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, whose dangerous mix of passion and political ambition drives the aging queen to distraction. Just across the western channel, her colony—Ireland—is embroiled in seething rebellion, with the island's fierce, untamed clan chieftains and their "wild Irish" followers refusing to bow to their English oppressors. Grace O'Malley—a notorious pirate, gunrunner, and "Mother of the Irish Rebellion"—is at the heart of the conflict. For years, she has fought against the English stranglehold on her beloved country. At the height of the uprising, Grace takes an outrageous risk, sailing up the Thames to London for a face-to-face showdown with her nemesis, the Queen of England. The historic meeting of these two female titans set the stage for the telling of the little-known but crucial saga of Elizabeth's Irish war, a conflict at the very root of every subsequent Irish uprising. "

I love Robin Maxwell's books and this one was no exception. She has a knack for piecing together historical facts and fabulous fiction. Although this book wasn't my favorite (that would be Signora da Vinci) I still commend the author for writing about such a little known time period in Elizabeth I reign. I've always thought this time period to be overshadowed and really enjoyed Robin bringing it back into the light. Grace was a fascinating character and I loved the way she and Elizabeth butted heads. Also Essex although sickly, and winy was one of my most notable characters. But it seemed to me as is the author's writing style changed a little in this novel. It was more jumpy and I can see with it being more of a war based fiction (and also following the three main characters). But I love her other novels where you can really dig your heels in and get involved with the characters. In The Wild Irish there was soo many clans and courtiers and soldiers I feel as if I need to re-read the book (which isn't a bad thing) to grasp all the events that had occurred. I did however enjoy learning more about the Irish/English conflict and found it interesting to see both sides of the story. So in my opinion this was a good book with a great plot but if your looking for this authors best I would try one of her other novels (much praise for Signora da Vinci).

LOL=Lots Of Love

Blog Hop Time

Yay it's hop time again! Last week I found some amazing blogs and really enjoyed a hoppy birthday (haha bad joke). This week I'm looking forward to perousing the blogs and I love that we get to put how long we've been in the blogosphere! 4 months for me and I've loved every minute spent so far! So if you wanna join in on all the fun and see some really great blogs out there click here and start hopping!

LOL=Lots Of Love

Monday, April 19, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. This week I'm reading The Wild Irish by Robin Maxwell. I really enjoy Maxwell's books and her prospective into history. This novel is the story of the Irish-English conflict and is told from many different perspectives (which is a little different from her usual novels). So far I'm intrigued and can't wait to see how the lives of the characters pan out. But for now here is my teaser for the week:

"Guards were abounding that sunny morning, posted at the castle gate and all through the gardens, which were milling with English settlers and their Irish sympathizers. But my manner was calm and subdued, and I slipped in with no fuss a'tall, with not a soul recognizing me for who I was."

~pg. 175 The Wild Irish by Robin Maxwell

This book is intriguing because although it hasn't veered away from Elizabeth it focuses on a little told time in her life. I really hope the rest of the novel captures me as the the first half did! Well happy Tuesday everyone and I can't wait to see everyone's teaser for the week!

LOL=Lots Of Love

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Elphame's Choice

Title: Elphame's Choice
Author: P. C. Cast
Reading level: All
Paperback: 426 pages
ISBN #:9780373210152
Received From: I bought it
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Group Genre: Mythology/Fantasy
Cover: A
Overall: A+

" Worshipped. Set apart. Unable to connect with others. Though most girls believe she's different, Elphame knows she is. Odd. Strange. Unique. No one in Patholon has her abilities—or her connection to their goddess. And she has a destiny she is about to discover.... A restlessness has infused her, leading her to the other side of her country. There, the remnants of an evil war still linger. Will Elphame be able to redeem both her country and her soul mate, a survivor of that war? The choice she makes now may bring disaster–or a future in which she may never be alone again."

Once again P.C. Cast captures my imagination. I was a little leery at first upon purchasing this book, But I was just too darn curious and I'm glad I was! Cast's mixture of mythology, romance and fantasy to create her own world of Parthalon. Filled with centaurs, vampire like winged creatures, and medieval-esque humans you'll be captivated from the first chapter. And unlike her HoN series Parthalon appeals to not only YA but everyone. The language and actions weren't pure teen (which was my only complaint with House of Night) here I could really see people of all ages delighted. Being a huge mythological fan I loved the influences to Greek, Roman, and Saxon legends and tales. And the characters were so relatable even with their medieval flair. And my favorite part was that Cast has created her own world, her own myth. A place I could travel to in my imagination. I saw and felt the world of Parthalon and I can't wait to return in Brighid's quest. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a fantasy they can really get sucked in to. I myself could not put this book down and cannot wait till my weekend to go purchase the second in the series!

LOL=Lots Of Love

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Friday Blog Hop and Birhtday Wishes

Another Friday and another hop! But today is very special for this blogger because it's my 23rd Birthday (I know I'm getting really old haha). All I've asked for is books and some work stuff this year, so hopefully I'll have plenty of reviews for ya and maybe even finish my 100 book challenge! I'm really excited to try the new Gastro-pub with my boyfriend for Dinner tonight but don't worry that doesn't mean I won't have time to check out all the fabulous blogs in the hop! I hope you guys have a great week and I look forward to hopping around on my birthday!

LOL=Lots Of Love

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Countess Of Scandal

Title: Countess Of Scandal
Author: Laurel McKee
Reading level: All
Paperback: 326 pages
ISBN #:9780446544788
Received From: giveaway
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Group Genre: Hit/Fic, Romance
Cover: B+
Overall: A-

"As children, Eliza Blacknall and William Denton ran wild over the fields of southern Ireland and swore they would be friends forever. Then fate took Will away to England, while Eliza stayed behind to become a proper Irish countess. Years later, Will finally makes his way home-as an English soldier sent to crush the Irish uprising. When he spies the lovely Eliza, he is captivated by the passionate woman she has become. But Eliza's passions have led her to join the Irish rebel cause, and Will and Eliza now find themselves on opposite sides of a dangerous conflict.When Ireland explodes in bloody rebellion, Will's regiment is ordered to the front lines, and he is forced to choose between his duty to the English king and his love for Eliza and their Irish homeland."

Stunning and beautifully written I was truly captivated from page one. The characters are so vivid and ripe with emotion that you can't help but fall in love with Eliza and Will. And the backdrop of 1798 Ireland during their traumatic overthrow of the English lights the fire propelling the whole story. In fact the book reminded me a lot of Romeo & Juliet at times with the lovers turmoil filled lives and separate organizations beckoning their duty. I really got into this book and only had one problem with the entire novel......it ended so abruptly! I wanted more what happens now to Will and Eliza, how will Anna and Caro fare against all the odds. Supposedly Anna's story will continue but I really would have liked to see a complete end for our 2 main characters Will and Eliza. There just wasn't enough of an end to satisfy my curiosity and I can't stand to be left without closure. (I know I'm such a girl) However; the history is phenomenal (not many books take on this particular time in history)and the romance superb if your into hit/fic/romance you'll really love this book.

LOL=Lots Of Love

Monday, April 12, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. This week I'm reading Elphame's Choice by P. C. Cast. I really love her House Of Night series and figured I'd try her new Partholon series to see if she could work her magic on my mind twice. So far so good but here's my teaser for the week and maybe you can make your own assumptions:

"Elphame saw the winged being glance at her, and she saw too, that he realized that the boar was driving close to where she had fallen. With a terrible hissing sound, the winged creature leaped one last time, directly on the boar's back."

~pg 157 Elphame's Choice by P.C. Cast

Right now I'm enthralled with this book a crazy mixture of mythology, paranormal, fantasy, and romance. I hope the plot continues to thicken but for right now I really want to get back to this book!!! So funny what a good book will do to you it's kind of a drug and right now I'm definitely addicted. So I can't wait to see your teasers for the week but at this moment I have to find out what happens in this novel!

LOL=Lots Of Love

Friday, April 9, 2010

Queen Victoria:Demon Hunter

Title: Queen Victoria Demon Hunter
Author: A.E. Moorat
Reading level: All
Paperback: 374 pages
ISBN #:9780061976018
Received From: Birthday Present
Publisher: Harper Collins
Group Genre: Hit/Fic, Horror
Cover: A
Overall: B-

"London, 1838. Queen Victoria is crowned; she receives the orb, the scepter, andan arsenal of bloodstained weaponry. If Britain is about to become the greatestpower of the age, there’s the small matter of the undead to take care of first. Demons stalk the crown, and political ambitions have unleashed ravening hordes of zombies even within the nobility itself. But rather than dreams of demon hunting, Queen Victoria’s thoughts are occupied by Prince Albert. Can she dedicate her life to saving her country when her heart belongs elsewhere? With lashings of glistening entrails, decapitations, zombies, and foul demons, this masterly new portrait will give a fresh understanding of a remarkable woman, a legendary monarch, and quite possibly the best demon hunter the world has ever seen."

Before I start take this novel for what it is "a zombie parody on Queen Victoria's reign". That being said I do have a thing for parody's especially paranormal parodies! And I really wanted to get into this novel because I'm such a history buff (and I make desserts for a restaurant called Victoria & Albert's) but it was very hard to get into. The action was what I expected gory, at times gross, and brutal. However; I was missing out on a lot of the plot and character development. They all seem so flat i.e I'm in love so I'm going to become the greatest Demon hunter and get my man. And it was written so short, the book felt rushed at points. Even through the one dimensional plot and characters there was some laughter; I found Perkins to be like Igor from "Young Frankenstein" but with zombie hunger. He was truly a delightful giggle. And the minuscule interwoven history that was in the novel wasn't so bad; but it certainly wasn't a focal point. I kind of wish they had been able to bring out more character detail and historical elements than focus on gore. But that being said the gore was done well and Victoria's love for Albert really did triumph all in life as it does in the novel. At the end of the day I liked this book as a quick, fun read but wouldn't put the novel to much more than simple pleasure read. And the cover is great (if you haven't noticed it's a parody on a real portrait of Victoria). If your a zombie/demon/succubus/anything else demonic you might really get into the book. But it won't be hitting my favorites list anytime soon!

LOL=Lots Of Love

Friday Blog Hop

It seems like just yesterday that it was Friday doesn't it? But here we are again and ready to do another hop! Last week I found some very interesting and intriguing blogs. And I have to say many of them had swoon-worthy layouts! I'm excited to check out some new blogs this week. Remember all you have to do is leave your link and voila you can check out all the amazing blogosphere has to offer (and believe me there are some pretty phenomenal blogs out there). So hop to it and check out the weekly blog hop here!

LOL=Lots Of Love

The Merchants Partner

Title: The Merchants Partner
Author: Michael Jecks
Reading level: All
Paperback: 377 pages
ISBN #:9780060846565
Received From: Bought It
Publisher: Harper Collins
Group Genre: Hit/Fic, Mystery
Cover: D
Overall: B

"As midwife and healer, Agatha Kyteler is regarded as a witch by hersuperstitious neighbours in the village of Wefford in Devonshire, yet she has no shortage of callers, from the humblest villein to the most elegant and wealthy in the area. But when Agatha's body is found frozen and mutilated in a hedge one wintry morning, there seem to be no clues as to who could be responsible. Not until a local youth runs away and a hue and cry is raised. Sir Baldwin Furnshill, Keeper of the King's Peace, is not convinced of the youth's guilt, and soon he manages to persuade his close friend Simon Puttock, bailiff of Lydford Castle, to help him continue with the investigation. As they endeavour to find the true culprit, the darker side of the village, with its undercurrents of suspicion, jealousy and disloyalty, emerges. And while Sir Baldwin becomes increasingly distracted by the beauty of a neighbouring merchant's wife, Simon finds himself wondering what happened to the foreigner who visited the normally sleepy area only to disappear shortly after Agatha's death, riding down towards the moors ..."

This book took a lot of getting into! And to be honest I probably wouldn't have purchased the book had it not been for the little blurb about it being a "Medieval Mystery". That being said once I got through the confusion of the first couple of chapters I became intrigued! Not only is it hard to find a goood medieval novel but even rarer a mystery-medieval novel. But here were my two main problems: 1. The book switches points of view rapidly and for awhile I had no idea who was speaking or thinking these thoughts (which I guess adds to the clue-like game of who-dunnit) and 2. There were soooo many characters it took half the book to get them all straight and new ones kept being introduced. I know it's a crime scene and all but even CSI slows down once in awhile to let the folks at home catch up!

That being said after I finally got the characters and perspectives down the book became really good. It held my attention and actually had me guessing (of course I never guessed the real murderer, I would make a lousy investigator!) But all in all I enjoyed the novel after working through the kinks. However; I don't recommend it to those of you who are impatient because it took me half the book to finally figure out all the characters. But if your up for the challenge and love you some Medieval Mystery I say try this one out!

LOL=Lots Of Love

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Chase

Title: The Chase
Author: Clive Cussler
Reading level: All
Paperback: 448 pages
ISBN #:9780399154386
Received From: co-worker
Publisher: Berkley Books
Group Genre: Hit/Fic, Mystery
Cover: C+
Overall: B+

"1906: For two years, the western states of America have been suffering an extraordinary crime spree: a string of bank robberies by a single man who cold-bloodedly murders any and all witnesses and then vanishes without a trace. Fed up by the depredations of the "Butcher Bandit," the U.S. government brings in the best man they can find-a tall, lean, no-nonsense detective named Isaac Bell, who has caught thieves and killers coast to coast. But Bell has never had a challenge like this one. From Arizona to Colorado to the streets of San Francisco during its calamitous earthquake and fire, he pursues what is quickly becoming clear to him is the sharpest criminal mind he has ever encountered, and the woman who seems to hold the key to the bandit's identity. Using science, deduction, and intuition, Bell repeatedly draws near only to grasp at thin air, but at least he knows his pursuit is having an effect. Because his quarry is getting angry now, and has turned the chase back on him. The hunter has become the hunted. And soon it will take all of Isaac Bell's skills not merely to prevail . . . but to survive. "

What a thrill ride of a novel! And I have to admit at first I was skeptical because a co-worker had given me the book to read. The plot is outstanding with twists and turns all along the way. I love the two villains who are so intricately written. And viewing the perspective of both good and evil gives the reader insight into some pretty complicated minds. The cat and mouse game between both detective and thief is probably one of the best I've read of in awhile. I truly enjoyed this book and will be checking out further novels by this author. I have to give a massive thanks to Christine for letting me borrow this book! Also for bloggers if your looking for a vivid mystery with a little history thrown in check this one out of your nearest library. It really was a phenomenal roller coaster book filled with intrigue and suspense!

LOL=Lots Of Love

Monday, April 5, 2010

Contest @ Enchanted by Josephine

So I'm pretty obsessed with historical fiction (yea I know thank you captain obvious) but I really would love to win this novel. Mistress Of Rome by Kate Quinn has been on my must reads for awhile now. And Lucy over at Enchanted by Josephine is offering one copy for a most lucky winner. Even if your not really looking to enter the giveaway her blog is pretty amazing so you should definitely check her out! Also the author of Mistress of Rome has put up a guest post on her site which is really funny and definitely ponder-worthy! So check out her contest and blog here!

LOL=Lots Of Love

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. This week I'm reading (well technically re-reading) Tempted by P.C. and Kristin Cast. It is the sixth book in the House of Night series, which I seem to be obsessed with. Without further blabbering here's my teaser for the week:

"His head bowed, and he didn't seem to know I was there. As if I couldn't stop them, my feet moved toward him, and as I approached, I realized that he was kneeling exactly where I'd been standing when I'd flung myself off the rooftop."

I'm actually re-reading the series because the newest novel Burned will be coming out soon and I haven't read these in awhile. I'm kinda catching up on old acquaintances so to speak. And these books are so spellbinding I'm almost done in a matter of days with the series thus far. So I hope you enjoy my teaser and let me know yours as well! As always I love trying to read your mind!

LOL=Lots Of Love

Friday, April 2, 2010

Hopping Down The Bunny Trail

Yay my second blog hop. And so appropriate as it's almost Easter (ya know with the hopping and all and yes I'm a total dork)! I really enjoyed viewing some really amazing blogs last week and I think this is a great way to see the blogosphere. So all you have to do is head over to Crazy For Books, link up and start seeing some of the phenomenal blogs that are out there. Check out the hop here and enjoy!

LOL=Lots Of Love

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Author of the Month: Steve Berry

Happy April Fools Day everyone! And it's a new month (and my birthday month yay!) which means a new amazing author to introduce! This month I chose Steve Berry, an author who writes thrilling mysteries with historical and biblical tie-ins. But before I praise his work here's a little bio on him:

Steve Berry is the New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Vendetta, The Charlemagne Pursuit, The Venetian Betrayal, The Alexandria Link, The Templar Legacy, The Third Secret, The Romanov Prophecy, and The Amber Room. He has 10 million books in print, which have been translated into 37 languages and sold in 50 countries. Steve's road to publishing was long and arduous, spanning 12 years (1990 - 2002) and 85 rejections over 5 separate manuscripts. He's also an accomplished instructor, having taught the concepts of writing to many an audience across the globe. When Steve's not writing, you can find him either on a beach, or on a golf course, or traveling --- discovering more things lost --- thinking of the next novel.

Steve and his wife Elizabeth have also started a foundation, History Matters, dedicated to aiding the preservation of our heritage.

Not only does Berry keep the suspense coming but he's teaching at the same time which I always admire in an author. He creates drama and intrigues with each book written. I truly enjoy his books; a lot of them are of the cannot-put-down variety. If your a mystery fan like myself a Warning: You may become enthralled in these books, you may not be able to walk away from these action packed thrill rides of novels! And the best part I've not read a book by him yet that disappoints (and I've only have 2 more to read that are published). If you'd like to learn more about Steve Berry or his works check out his website here!

LOL=Lots Of Love

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