Monday, December 31, 2012

2013

Another year has come and gone.  I didn't have as much time for reading as I had hoped this past year still struggling to reach my goal of 100 books in a year.  I used to be able to do this but life has gotten in the way.  Moving, school, kids, etc...I can't wait until 2013 - I will not be moving again, I will be finished school and summer looks to be filled with nice long days on the beach.  Sounds like a good time to me.

I wish everyone a safe and happy beginning to 2013 - and many happy reads in the coming year.

I am once again hosting the LGBT reading challenge so please sign up...the more the merrier...always looking for more titles to add to my list.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

My favorite Books of 2012


This is my top 10 favorite books that I've read this year.  That does not necessarily mean that they were published this past year some may have been published long ago and some may not be published until 2013 but all the books on this list were read by me in 2012.

This list is in no particular order I just put them down as I remembered them.

This was a tough year of reading for me.  I've been in Grad school and I moved.  Luckily I am done school in April 2013 so I'm hoping my favorite reading list for 2013 won't be as hard to create!

  1. Papillion by Henri Charriere
  2. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  3. Cross in the Closet by Timothy Kurek
  4. Even Tough Girls Wear Tutus by Debra Jiang Stein
  5. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  6. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks
  7. Tyger Tyger Burning Bright by Justine Saracen
  8. Snow Angels by James Thompson
  9. The Calling by Inger Ash Wolfe
  10. Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan

Thursday, December 20, 2012

(77) What He Can Expect When She's Not Expecting

Title: What He Can Expect When She's Not Expecting: How to Support Your Wife, Save Your Marriage, and Conquer Infertility! by Marc Sedaka
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Inc
189 pages
Genre: non-fiction - infertility - surrogacy, ivf, adoption

Synopsis:

Tips and advice from a man who’s been there, for the six million couples struggling to get pregnant.

Marc Sedaka stood by while he and his wife endured endless rounds of drug therapies, sixteen artificial inseminations, ten in-vitro fertilizations, three miscarriages, and, finally, a gestational surrogate (“womb for rent”) who carried their twin girls to term. He was as supportive and loving as he could be, but he really wished he’d had a book like What He Can Expect When She’s Not Expecting during the process. Most books about dealing with infertility are geared toward women, leaving the man to his own devices when it comes to comfort and encouragement (never a good idea). With the help of his own infertility doctor, Sedaka provides straightforward guy-friendly advice on situations such as:
  • What questions you should ask at the consultations.
  • How to help rather than annoy.
  • What kinds of tests you and your wife should expect.
  • How to console a wife who appears inconsolable.
  • How to enjoy procreation sex.
Review: This is a great book.  It really explains the infertility testing process and IVF in laymans terms and with humor.  It lets men know what they are in for without having to ask the doctor or feeling like they are the only ones experiencing these hormonal ups and downs.  One of the best sentences is when he explains how guys may want kids, but women need kids, and while this may not be true for all men and women, those going through the rigorous process of infertility are certain to have this ring true.  

Marc uses his own experiences to help guide men around and through pitfalls that he and many others have encountered.  Using sports metaphors and eliminating most of the scientific and gross descriptions this book could be very helpful to any man helping his wife through the infertility process.  There is a little bit at the end about other options for forming your family egg donation, embryo donation, gestational surrogacy and adoption.  

(76) The Prophet

Title: The Prophet (The Graveyard Queen) by Amanda Stevens
Publisher: Mira
352 pages
Genre: paranormal/ fantasy

Synopsis: My name is Amelia Gray.

I am the Graveyard Queen, a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. My father passed down four rules to keep me safe and I've broken every last one. A door has opened and evil wants me back.

In order to protect myself, I've vowed to return to those rules. But the ghost of a murdered cop needs my help to find his killer. The clues lead me to the dark side of Charleston—where witchcraft, root doctors and black magic still flourish—and back to John Devlin, a haunted police detective I should only love from afar.

Now I'm faced with a terrible choice: follow the rules or follow my heart.

Review: This is the third book in the Graveyard Queen series.  I liked this one much better than the last book, although I think the ending was a bit rushed.  You are left hanging waiting for the next book, and while this is good for TV I'm not a fan of it in books.

Amelia has broken all the rules her father taught her when it comes to interacting with ghosts and now she is starting to question that decision.  In the last book of this series she discovered her roots and why she may have these strange powers to talk see the dead. She also found something something evil that was seeking her.

In this 3rd book of the series Amelia returns home to the broken and haunted cop, John Devlin, She can't seem to get out of her system. Of course the ghost of the John's wife doesn't want Amelia around..or does she?  Amelia is also being haunted by the John's ex partner in the police force- and lover of his dead wife. He believes he is there to get Amelia's help to solve his murder but maybe there is more to it than he believes.

Can Amelia save herself and the man she is in love with?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

(75) More Blood, More Sweat & Another Cup of Tea

Title: More Blood, More Sweat and Another Cup of Tea by Tom Reynolds
Publisher: The Friday Project
285 pages
Genre: non-fiction

Synopsis:  What happens behind closed (ambulance) doors
Meet Tom, an Emergency Medical Technician for the London Ambulance service. It is Tom who shows up to pick up the drunk tramp, the heart attack victim and the pregnant woman who wants to go to hospital in an ambulance because she doesn't want to call a taxi. Tom is also a man who rails against the unfairness of it all, who bemoans the state of the NHS and who ridicules the targets that state that if the ambulance arrives within eight minutes and the patient dies it is a success and if the ambulance arrives in nine minutes and the patient's life is saved it is a fail.

 Welcome to the topsy-turvy world of the emergency services. From the tragic to the hilarious, from the heart-warming to the terrifying, Blood, Sweat and Tea 2 is packed with fascinating anecdotes that veer from tragic to hilarious; heart-warming to terrifying and Tom deftly leads the reader through a roller coaster of emotion.

In the brilliant and bestselling Blood Sweat and Tea Tom gives a fascinating – and at times alarming – picture of life in inner-city Britain and the people who are paid to mop up after it.

Captures the thrills, heartbreak and frustrations of medicine in a way that resonates with readers around the world.

Review: Stories from his blog, Tom writes about his experiences working on an ambulance in London. He isn't too keen on General Practitioners (GP's) or those who don't seem to care about their patients after they have called the ambulance and his mood doesn't improve when he gets called to help people who are just too lazy to call for a cab.  He is not thrilled with the state of the system he works within and believes (and I have to agree) that those who use the ambulance as a taxi service should have to pay instead of the taxpayers whose money supports the ambulance service. It sounds like he is very down on his job but its exactly the opposite.  I think he loves what he does, and believes that the people deserve more.  Ambulances that don't show up for way too long because there aren't enough, or are out on bogus calls, and equipment that just isn't available and should be are some of the things he hopes to remedy.  Maybe the government should read his book and take a look at their system.

Often written as humorous anecdotes, Reynolds short snippets inside the life of an ambulance worker are inspiring as well as sad.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

(74) Why I Let My Hair Grow Out

Title: Why I Let My Hair Grow Out by Maryrose Wood
Publisher: Berkley Books
218 pages
Genre: YA

Synopsis: Being sent to your room is one thing. But being sent to another country?

Morgan's boyfriend dumped her on the last day of school-it seemed the only thing to do was to hack off her hair and dye the stubble orange. Unfortunately, Morgan's parents freaked and decided a change of scenery would do her good. So they're sending her off on a bike tour of Ireland.

But Morgan gets more than she bargained for on the Emerald Isle-including a strange journey into some crazy,& once upon a time corner of the past. There, she meets fairies, weefolk, and a hunky warrior-dude named Fergus, and figures out that she's got some growing to do-and she doesn't just mean her hair.

Review: This book took me by surprise, I wasn't sure what to expect but the beginning made me think I was in for another angsty teenage drama but I was wrong.  Oh sure there were the snarky teenage comments but it isn't one big bitch fest and Morgan actually learns a lot about herself and how helping others isn't a drag but actually feels pretty good.

I love the Irish folklore thrown in throughout the book when Morgan gets transported back into some time long ago to find that she has another half that flits back and forth through time because she has faerie in her. This book is witty, fun and actually has a lesson of sorts.  I'm glad I found it buried on my shelves.

Monday, November 26, 2012

(73) The Kingdom

Title: The Kingdom (Graveyard Queen) by Amanda Stevens
Publisher: Mira Publishing
384 pages
Genre: Mystery, paranormal

Synopsis: Deep in the shadowy foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies a dying town…

My name is Amelia Gray. They call me The Graveyard Queen. I've been commissioned to restore an old cemetery in Asher Falls, South Carolina, but I'm coming to think I have another purpose here.

Why is there a cemetery at the bottom of Bell Lake? Why am I drawn time and again to a hidden grave I've discovered in the woods? Something is eating away at the soul of this town—this withering kingdom—and it will only be restored if I can uncover the truth.

Review: I got hooked on this series when I read the first one which I received as an advanced readers copy. This installment of the series delves into Amelia's past and adds even more supernatural aspects to this story.  Amelia has always seen ghosts but was warned about interacting with them.  She followed those rules until recently and now it seems like she is drawing them to her.

Amelia accepts a job to help restore a cemetery on a remote island, that seems to be calling her.  But is the island really calling or is it her trying to escape the ghosts that haunt her most recent romance with a police officer?

I really liked the story, the ghostly tension, and the romantic tension but I think it pushed the envelope with some of the unknown supernatural aspects. The information you discover about Amelia and her past from her trip to this remote location gives you enough chills without adding anything to it. While I don't want to disclose it for fear of spoilers I just felt that some of the added fantasy detracted from the story instead of adding to it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Teaser Tuesday 11/20/12


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser Tuesday is from: The Boys in the Trees: A Novel by Mary Swan

"And then he was running through the long grass, wiping at the blood that made it hard to see but not slowing, still running.  The roaring fell away behind and he knew mother would step into the worst of it, but he didn't care; at that moment he didn't even care."

Thursday, November 15, 2012

(72) Lucretia and the kroons

Title: Lucretia and the Kroons (Kindle Single) Victor Lavalle
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
100 pages
Genre: YA

 I received this book as an advanced electronic galley from netgalley.com

Synopsis: Being young doesn't protect you. Horrors come for kids, too is a lesson Lucretia "Loochie" Gardner learns the hard way in this gripping novella. Loochie is a plucky 12-year-old from Queens living in an apartment complex rife with rumored creatures from the underworld. She struggles to come to terms with her best friend Sunny's ongoing battle with cancer, as the two have been inseparable for years. When Sunny returns home from her latest round of treatment, the girls make a plan to hang out at Loochie's--without parental supervision. But Sunny doesn't show, and Loochie dives into twisted waters in her quest to find her best friend.

Review: Creepy and spooky I'm not sure this is a novella for children.  Loochie winds up in an in-between place where she is chased by Kroons (decaying broken crack addicts), flying rats and saved by her best friend Sunny.  It is a tale of friendship, loss. This is such a disturbing little story I'm not sure if I liked it or didn't but it certainly made an impression.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

(71) Mother Number Zero

Title: Mother Number Zero by Marjolijn Hof
Publisher: Groundwood Books
180 pages
Genre: YA, children

Synopsis:  No one in Fay's family looks like anyone else, because Fay and his sister, Bing, were adopted. Fay only knows that his birth mother escaped the war in Bosnia, and that he arrived in his new home with nothing more than a squeaky toy and a few clothes. But when Fay meets Maud, the new girl in town, she's curious about his birth mother and about what it's like to be adopted. And on top of that, she says smack in the middle of the street that she likes him.
Suddenly Fay is full of questions — mother questions and Maud questions. Who is his birth mother, or mother number zero, as he calls her? Why did she give him away? Is it bad to want to find her? And what should he do about Maud? Could he be in love without realizing it? With his parents' help, Fay begins to look for mother number zero, and as the search unfolds, he finds some surprising answers to his questions.

Review: This book is great to get the conversation started about birth parents, their situations and what happens when one child is able to find their birth parent and the other isn't. The emotions were very realistic and the conversations were well done. This would be a great read for parents whose children are starting to question where they came from and also for kids 9 and up.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

(70) Leadership & Self Deception: getting out of the box

Title: Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publisher
216 pages
Genre: Business, Self-help

Synopsis: Leadership and Self-Deception uses an entertaining story about an executive facing challenges at work and at home to expose the precise psychological processes that conceal our true motivations and intentions from us and trap us in a “box” of endless self-justification. Most importantly, the book shows us the way out.

Review: This is a great book that can help you take a step back and really look at what is going on both at work and at home.  By using or being aware of the concepts in this book and being able to step out of the box we can help improve our relationships at home and at work.  It will also help make our work environment more productive and if the entire organization were to learn these lessons it could make the company work more effectively and more productively.

The book is written in the form of a story which makes it very easy to read and to understand.  Of course "getting out of the box" isn't as easy as it seems. While the concepts are easy, the practice of getting out of the box is difficult. It takes a lot of self awareness and practice.  I believe that it is an ongoing process and it is very easy to fall back into the box.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

(69) Easy

Title: Easy by Tammara Webber
Publisher: Berkley Trade
336 Pages
Genre: YA

Synopsis: Rescued by a stranger. Haunted by a secret. Sometimes, love isn't easy... He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior... The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he'd worked so hard to overcome, and the future she'd put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart. Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth--and find the unexpected power of  love.

Review: Dumped by her high school sweetheart Jacqueline is trying to find her way without him.  Skipping most of her classes she tries to get herself back on track with the help of an email tutor Landon and her room mate. After a frat party Jacqueline finds herself in a scary situation, a boy from her class Lucas, comes to her rescue and saves her. As Jacqueline tries to piece back her life she finds herself torn between her email tutor Landon and her real life savior and bad boy Lucas.

This book was better than I expected and the way Webber deals with rape and the emotional toll it takes is fabulous. She does a good job of showing the emotional toll on the woman and those who love her. Although this is a heavy subject matter the story doesn't feel heavy. As well as a story of survival it is also a story of taking back your power and learning who you are.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

(68) Papillion

Title: Papillon (P.S.) Henri Charriere
Publisher: William Morrow Publishers
576 pages
Genre: Autobiography

Synopsis:  Henri CharriÈre, called "Papillon," for the butterfly tattoo on his chest, was convicted in Paris in 1931 of a murder he did not commit. Sentenced to life imprisonment in the penal colony of French Guiana, he became obsessed with one goal:escape. After planning and executing a series of treacherous yet failed attempts over many years, he was eventually sent to the notorious prison, Devil's Island, a place from which no one had ever escaped . . . until Papillon. His flight to freedom remains one of the most incredible feats of human cunning, will, and endurance ever undertaken.

Review: An unbelievable story of adventure and redemption.  Henri called Papillon or Papi by his friends is sentenced to life imprisonment and makes it his goal to escape.  He escapes once and winds up with a native tribe where he lives for almost a year.  He leaves still bent on revenge against the people who wrongly imprisoned him.  Leaving behind 2 pregnant wives and a new family of friends he  tries to make his way back to France, but is captured and sent back to prison where he spends 8 years trying to escape again. Although he keeps trying to escape he wants to do it with as little impact on the other prisoners or the guards and wardens.  He finally gives up his idea of revenge and decides to move forward and just live.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Teaser Tuesday 10/23/12


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser Tuesday is from: Papillon (P.S.)by Henri Charriere

Synopsis: Henri CharriÈre, called "Papillon," for the butterfly tattoo on his chest, was convicted in Paris in 1931 of a murder he did not commit. Sentenced to life imprisonment in the penal colony of French Guiana, he became obsessed with one goal: escape. After planning and executing a series of treacherous yet failed attempts over many years, he was eventually sent to the notorious prison, Devil's Island, a place from which no one had ever escaped . . . until Papillon. His flight to freedom remains one of the most incredible feats of human cunning, will, and endurance ever undertaken.

"These people had made the "cavale" worth doing. Even though it was a failure, my escape was also a victory because of the way these extraordinary people had enriched my life. No, I didn't regret any part of it. "

Thursday, October 18, 2012

(67) The Cross in the Closet

Title: The Cross in the Closet by Timothy Kurek
Publisher: Blue Head Publishing
352 pages
Genre: non-fiction, lgbt, religion

Synopsis: Timothy Kurek, raised within the confines of a strict, conservative Christian denomination in the Bible Belt, Nashville, Tennessee, was taught the gospel of separation from a young age. But it wasn't long before Timothy's path and the outside world converged when a friend came out as a lesbian, and revealed she had been excommunicated by her family. Distraught and overcome with questions and doubts about his religious upbringing, Timothy decided the only way to empathize and understand her pain was to walk in the shoes of very people he had been taught to shun. He decided to come out as a gay man to everyone in his life, and to see for himself how the label of gay would impact his life. In the tradition of Black Like Me, The Cross in the Closet is a story about people, a story about faith, and about one man's "abominable" quest to find Jesus in the margins.

Review: Timothy made a brave journey that not only showed him what it was like to be gay but also what it was like to be in the closet as he hid his true heterosexual identity from his family and the others that he met.  Similar to Morgan Spurlock's experiments in his movie Super Size Me and his TV show 30 Days: The Complete Series  Timothy decided to "come out" to his family and friends and live as a gay man for 1 year to answer questions for himself about who he was as a person, his faith and how it fit with loving your neighbor as you love yourself.

Timothy doesn't gloss over his struggle.  He reveals how he belittled gay people when he was younger thinking he was better, how he hid behind his religion and the scripture but never really sat down to understand it.  Timothy's journey was not an easy one.  He had to overcome his prejudice and open his eyes and his heart to learning more about himself as a person and who he wishes to be. This is a riviting read - I can see how some critics may say that he was swayed by the devil or even the "gay agenda". But I believe that in opening his eyes and his heart he may have learned a more about humanity, hate, prejudice and compassion than he ever could have before.

Timothy shows us his journey through dialogue fights with himself. In these he reveals how his feelings changed from one of being bigoted against gay and lesbians to one of being bigoted toward conservative Christians and then finally finding a middle ground of love and acceptance of all people.  Bravo Tim, your journey can teach us all a thing or two.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Teaser Tuesday 10/16/12


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser Tuesday is from: The Cross in the Closet by Timothy Kurek


Synopsis: Timothy Kurek, raised within the confines of a strict, conservative Christian denomination in the Bible Belt, Nashville, Tennessee, was taught the gospel of separation from a young age. But it wasn't long before Timothy's path and the outside world converged when a friend came out as a lesbian, and revealed she had been excommunicated by her family. Distraught and overcome with questions and doubts about his religious upbringing, Timothy decided the only way to empathize and understand her pain was to walk in the shoes of very people he had been taught to shun. He decided to come out as a gay man to everyone in his life, and to see for himself how the label of gay would impact his life. In the tradition of Black Like Me, The Cross in the Closet is a story about people, a story about faith, and about one man's "abominable" quest to find Jesus in the margins.


"The people I condemned most heartily have shamed me by walking more closely with the faith I have proclaimed so boldly. Talk really is cheap. "

Thursday, October 11, 2012

(66) Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend

Title: Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend: A Novel by Matthew Dicks
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
321 Pages
Genre: Fiction

I received this book as an advanced e-galley from netgalley.com.  It was released on August 21, 2012.

Synopsis: Imaginary friend Budo narrates this heartwarming story of love, loyalty, and the power of the imagination-the perfect read for anyone who has ever had a friend . . . real or otherwise.

Budo is lucky as imaginary friends go. He's been alive for more than five years, which is positively ancient in the world of imaginary friends. But Budo feels his age, and thinks constantly of the day when eight-year-old Max Delaney will stop believing in him. When that happens, Budo will disappear.

Max is different from other children. Some people say that he has Asperger's Syndrome, but most just say he's "on the spectrum." None of this matters to Budo, who loves Max and is charged with protecting him from the class bully, from awkward situations in the cafeteria, and even in the bathroom stalls. But he can't protect Max from Mrs. Patterson, the woman who works with Max in the Learning Center and who believes that she alone is qualified to care for this young boy.

When Mrs. Patterson does the unthinkable and kidnaps Max, it is up to Budo and a team of imaginary friends to save him-and Budo must ultimately decide which is more important: Max's happiness or Budo's very existence.

Review: Very original story told in the voice of the imaginary friend.  Not only do you learn about Budo and Max but you learn about the lives of imaginary friends and the world in which they live. There are rules to being an imaginary friend.  Some can walk through walls, some look human and some don't it really depends on the person who imagined them.

Regardless of what they look like all imaginary friends eventually fade away.  As their friends get older and don't rely on them or forget about them they start to fade and eventually cease to exist. Most imaginary friends don't really worry about this because they aren't imagined that way but Budo is different.  He is smart, can learn, think, travel and worry and  Budo is very worried about what happens after Max stops believing in him.  He has seen so many imaginary friends just disappear.  He equates it to death and constantly worries about when Max will start to forget him.  But Max is not a regular boy and he needs Budo's help to get through life, until Mrs. Patterson kidnaps him.  Leaving Max on his own and Budo stuck not being able to help.

Thoroughly original and engaging this is a very entertaining book. The characters are believable and I really cared about what happened to them.  Budo's take on people, their motives and the way they interact with the world really gives you something to think about.  What is real and what isn't? I really felt for Budo he may be imaginary but he was very real.

Monday, October 8, 2012

(65) The Dead of Summer

Title:The Dead of Summer (Volume 1) by Mari Jungstedt
Publisher: Stockholm Text Publishing
262 pages
Genre: Mystery

I received this title as an e-galley from netgalley.com It was released on May 3, 2012

Synopsis: The most isolated island in the Baltic Sea, Gotska Sandön, north of Gotland, serves as the setting for her perfect crime story.  A husband and father of two is mysteriously murdered while on holiday, taking a morning jog.  With no evidence of a motive or suspect, assistant commissioner Karin Jacobsson is assigned to her first major case to lead the investigation while her boss, Superintendent Anders Knutas is away on holiday. Meanwhile, TV reporter Johan Berg keeps pace with the police team, while at the same time distracted in trying to win back his former love and the mother of his child, Emma, who resides on the island.

Review: While I really enjoyed this book I wasn't quite sure who the main character was.  The book really focuses on so many characters. I believe the police man Knutas was supposed to be the main player,  but there were so many other more intriguing characters that he sort of got lost.  I was more drawn into the story of Johan Berg the TV reporter who seemed to be one step ahead of the police and the Assistant Commissioner Jacobsson whose power is given a back seat when her boss Knutas returns from vacation early.

This is your typical slower paced Scandinavian mystery.  There is no clean wrap up at the end, the characters are all flawed, and while you know that something happened in the past to spark these murders you aren't quite sure what.  I almost feel like many of these books are more character studies with the mystery as secondary.  Either way its a very enjoyable read.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

(64) Dying Echo

Title: Dying Echo: A Grim Reaper Mystery (Grim Reaper Series) by Judy Clemens
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
250 pages
Genre: Mystery

I received this book as an electronic ARC from netgalley.com.  It was published August 7, 2012

Synopsis: It's been years since Casey Maldonado visited her hometown, and the only reason she's returning now is to get her brother Ricky out of jail, where he sits after being arrested for the brutal murder of Alicia McManus, his girlfriend of several months. Casey believes in her brother's innocence, but proving that to the cops is a different thing altogether. As Casey and her ever-present companion Death investigate Alicia's murder, it becomes clear she was not who she claimed to be, from her name to her non-existent past. Instead of a solid history, she left only questions when she died. Where did she come from? What secrets did she know? And, most importantly, who were the three people she spoke of when Death carried her away?

Review: This is the 4th book in this series and after reading this one I think I am going to go back and read the others.  Casey is a broken woman, her husband and young son were killed in a car accident that Casey barely escaped.  But escape she did and she has been torturing herself ever since, begging for death, who is now her traveling companion, literally.  The grim reaper travels with Casey helping her with information that she needs, and nudging her toward life.  He is fun, quirky and has a killer sense of humor.

Casey returns to her hometown when she finds out her brother has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend.  As she digs into the case she discovers that the girlfriend is not who she seems to be, in fact no one seems to know who she really is, with the exception of Death. Since she can't go to the police with information obtained from a supernatural being she sets out to uncover evidence that she can use.  Along the way she is aided by a man she met in the last book who wants more from Casey than she is ready to give.

This book left me wanting more.  Casey is so emotionally wrecked that you can feel her pain ooze off the pages, and Death give a great levity to the whole book.  He always has a quick witty remark or snarky comment to make.  He is fascinated by electronics and is constantly creating mobile phones and ipads to occupy himself. I believe he wants Casey to move on and learn to live again but also will miss her if she decides to embrace life once more.  This is definitely a series to keep your eye on.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Teaser Tuesday 9/25/12



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Synopsis: It's been years since Casey Maldonado visited her hometown, and the only reason she's returning now is to get her brother Ricky out of jail, where he sits after being arrested for the brutal murder of Alicia McManus, his girlfriend of several months. Casey believes in her brother's innocence, but proving that to the cops is a different thing altogether. As Casey and her ever-present companion Death investigate Alicia's murder, it becomes clear she was not who she claimed to be, from her name to her non-existent past. Instead of a solid history, she left only questions when she died. Where did she come from? What secrets did she know? And, most importantly, who were the three people she spoke of when Death carried her away?


"Casey thought of her own travel bag, which hadn't included any photos until Ricky had sent one the week before - probably only a day or two before his own life had been destroyed. Death had always given her a hard time about not carrying pictures."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

(63) Duck Boy

Title: Duck Boy
Publisher: Biting Duck Press
294 pages
Genre: Sci fi, YA

This title is due to be released on October 20, 2012.  I received an electronic ARC of this book through netgalley.com 

Synopsis: Steve is a 14 year old boy whose mom disappears. The police are called in and conclude that she has left the family – run away. Everything falls apart for him after that. School is a disaster--he's failing his classes, and ever since an ill-fated attempt to save a bird from a frozen pond, bullies call him "Duck Boy."

During the first Christmas since his mother’s disappearance, Steve’s dad has to travel for work, just to keep his job, and Steve is forced to stay with his Great Aunt Shannon. Aunt Shannon introduces Steve to alchemy, and shows him that alchemy may have caused his mother's disappearance. Then his great aunt disappears while she is experimenting.

Steve begins his own experiments, and finds his philosophers stone, and through an accident discovers that the two most important women in his life have gotten lost in an in-between dimension. In order to save them, he must keep his promise to the lord of the “world of pieces” and give himself to the world. Steve decides to jump into the world to keep his promise quickly and completely, just as he did when he saved the duck. He finds that instead of dissolving him, the alternate dimension is now at his command.

Review: This is a great story about a misfit boy whose world is turned upside down when his mother disappears. His father is distraught and doesn't know how to cope and so the two of them are just floundering through life, until Steve is sent to stay at his Great Aunt's house for Christmas. That's when his world changes.

Through his fantastical adventure to save his mother, his Great Aunt and a new friend Steve finds his inner strength and his self esteem.  He learns that he has skills that not everyone else has and his determination and will are stronger than he ever thought.

A fun, fantastical adventure and coming of age story.

(62) Explosive Eighteen

Title: Explosive Eighteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich
Publisher: Bantam
352 pages
Genre: Fiction

Synopsis: Before Stephanie can even step foot off Flight 127 Hawaii to Newark, she’s knee deep in trouble. Her dream vacation turned into a nightmare, and she’s flying back to New Jersey solo. Worse still, her seatmate never returned to the plane after the L.A. layover. Now he’s dead—and a ragtag collection of thugs and psychos, not to mention the FBI, are all looking for a photograph he was supposed to be carrying.

Only one person has seen the missing photo: Stephanie Plum. Now she’s the target. An FBI sketch artist helps Stephanie re-create the person in the photo, but Stephanie’s descriptive skills are lacking. Until she can improve them, she’ll need to watch her back.

Over at the bail bonds agency things are going from bad to worse. Vinnie’s temporary HQ has gone up in smoke. Stephanie’s wheelman, Lula, falls for their largest skip yet. Lifetime arch nemesis Joyce Barnhardt moves into Stephanie’s apartment. And everyone wants to know what happened in Hawaii?

Morelli, Trenton’s hottest cop, isn’t talking about Hawaii. Ranger, the man of mystery, isn’t talking about Hawaii. And all Stephanie is willing to say about her Hawaiian vacation is . . . It’s complicated.

Review: The word that always comes to mind after reading a Stephanie Plumb book is mind candy.  There really is no substance just wacky fun.  The characters are like your favorite pair of pants that are broken in, in all the right places.  The problem is that they are getting worn pretty thin.  I really need her to throw a wrench in the works.

After 18 books that are pretty much all the same.  Bumbling bounty hunter bungles captures, eats lots of cluck in the bucket and tools around with her sidekick Lula, and is caught between hunky Morelli the cop and spicy dangerous Ranger the ex special forces bounty hunter. Oh and did I mention everyone who seems to be on her capture list is crazy?  They are all quirky and nuts.  This book was just as fun but I would like something new to happen.  Which I'm hoping was briefly foreshadowed in this book when she realized she may have goofed on her birth control! A baby Plum would be an interesting addition...not to mention she probably doesn't know whose kid it would be...flip a coin, Ranger or Morelli

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

(61) The Magdalen Martyrs

Title: The Magdalen Martyrs (Jack Taylor) by Ken Bruen
Publisher: St. Martin's Minotaur
274 Pages
Genre: Noir fiction

Synopsis: Jack Taylor is walking the delicate edge of a sobriety he doesn't trust when his phone rings. He's in debt to a Galway tough named Bill Cassell, what the locals call a "hard man." Bill did Jack a big favor a while back; the trouble is, he never lets a favor go unreturned.
Jack is amazed when Cassell simply asks him to track down a woman, now either dead or very old, who long ago helped his mother escape from the notorious Magdalen laundry, where young wayward girls were imprisoned and abused. Jack doesn't like the odds of finding the woman, but counts himself lucky that the task is at least on the right side of the law.

Until he spends a few days spinning his wheels and is dragged in front of Cassell for a quick reminder of his priorites. Bill's goons do a little spinning of their own, playing a game of Russian roulette a little too close to the back of Jack's head. It's only blind luck and the mercy of a god he no longer trusts that land Jack back on the street rather than face down in a cellar with a bullet in his skull. He's got one chance to stay alive: find this woman.

Unfortunately, he can't escape his own curiosity, and an unnerving hunch quickly turns into a solid fact: just who Jack's looking for, and why, aren't nearly what they seem.

Review: I thought I would spend a little more time with Jack Taylor and I'm not sure I'm happy I did. This series is dark and not in a spooky, creepy kind of way, just a sad, lonely depressing kind of way.  I'm not sure how much longer I can stomach this series but I have two more books so I will tackle those and hope there is some redemption.

Jack is a broken man, and if the alcohol doesn't kill him, someone else surely will.  He used to be a good cop now he just stumbles through life making drastic mistakes and taking drastic measures to clean up his mess.  That's how he became indebted to Bill Cassell in the first place.

Jack's saving grace is books and if you ever wanted a small sampling of all different books this is where to find them because he is often quoting different books and authors to get him through his life.

The Magdalen story line is very interesting - The Magdalen Martyrs were unwed mothers who were placed in a Franciscan home until they had their babies.  They were routinely tortured and beaten as sinners and the worst offender was a woman they called Lucifer.  Jack is charged with finding a woman who used to work in this home.  Throughout the book are little stories about what went on in the home which were sad and dark but gave the story depth between the drunken, drug induced binges.

All in all I felt this one was better than the last two - the pacing was better and it wasn't as all over the place.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

(60) The Killing of the Tinkers

Title: The Killing of the Tinkers: A Novel (Jack Taylor) by Ken Bruen
Publisher: St. Martin's Minotaur
244 Pages
Genre: Noir mystery fiction

Synopsis: When Jack Taylor blew town at the end ofThe Guards his alcoholism was a distant memory and sober dreams of a new life in London were shining in his eyes. In the opening pages of The Killing of the Tinkers Jack's back in Galway a year later with a new leather jacket on his back, a pack of smokes in his pocket, a few grams of coke in his waistband, and a pint of Guinness on his mind. So much for new beginnings.

Before long he's sunk into his old patterns, lifting his head from the bar only every few days, appraising his surroundings for mere minutes and then descending deep into the alcoholic, drug-induced fugue he prefers to the real world. But a big gypsy walks into the bar one day during a moment of Jack's clarity and changes all that with a simple request. Jack knows the look in this man's eyes, a look of hopelessness mixed with resolve topped off with a quietly simmering rage; he's seen it in the mirror. Recognizing a kindred soul, Jack agrees to help him, knowing but not admitting that getting involved is going to lead to more bad than good. But in Jack Taylor's world bad and good are part and parcel of the same lost cause, and besides, no one ever accused Jack of having good sense.

Review: What do you know another drunk detective...but unlike Harry Hole, from Redbreast by Jo Nesbo Jack doesn't go on the wagon. In fact he is so deeply under the wagon I'm surprised he functions.  Every time he wakes up without a hangover he is stumped.  Fast paced, hard hitting and dark this Irish mystery can leave you scratching your head if you don't know or can't pick up some of the slang. I'm really trying to like Jack but its difficult, he is almost beyond redemption in his spiral downward. Even his friends are a quirky mess.

Jack is approached by the head of the Gypsy's to help solve the murders of several of his kin because the police don't seem to care.  Of course this plunges Jack into a crazy and unfortunate series of events that leaves him even more broken, and on the edge. I don't feel sorry for Jack and by the end of the book I am almost starting to like him.  I'm not really sure about this series...I guess I will have to take a few more books about Jack for a spin before I make up my mind.

(59) The Redbreast

Title: The Redbreast: A Harry Hole Novel by Jo Nesbo
Publisher: Harper Collins
553 Pages
Genre: Nordic Mystery

Synopsis: Detective Harry Hole embarrassed the force, and for his sins he’s been reassigned to mundane surveillance tasks. But while monitoring neo-Nazi activities in Oslo, Hole is inadvertently drawn into a mystery with deep roots in Norway’s dark past, when members of the government willingly collaborated with Nazi Germany. More than sixty years later, this black mark won’t wash away—and disgraced old soldiers who once survived a brutal Russian winter are being murdered, one by one. Now, with only a stained and guilty conscience to guide him, an angry, alcoholic, error-prone policeman must make his way safely past the traps and mirrors of a twisted criminal mind. For a conspiracy is taking rapid and hideous shape around Hole . . . and Norway’s darkest hour may be still to come.

Review: I wasn't quite sure about this book in the beginning.  I think I'm getting tired of burned out drunk detectives, but this one surprised me.  Flipping back and forth between the present and the past we learn about a dark spot in Norway's history and what can push a man over the edge.  It was a little confusing at first trying to figure out how things tied together but as you get further along it really takes off.  I really started to like Harry by the end of this book and look forward to the next one. He was flawed but he wasn't broken, and he learns how to play the political game very quickly.  I also like that there were strings left hanging for Harry to pick up in the next novel.  It wasn't all neatly wrapped up in the end but you also weren't left with a cliff hanger, it was just a path untraveled.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

(58) Altar of Bones


Title: Altar of Bones by Philip Carter
Publisher: Pocket Books
672 pages
Genre: Mystery


Synopsis: "They didn’t have to kill him…He never drank from the altar of bones.” Cryptic dying words from a murdered homeless woman in present-day San Francisco unlock a long-buried secret that alters history. Now, a pair of ruthless assassins are sent to cut the few living “loose ends.” And a young, resourceful woman on the run encounters a determined man with his own connected past and vengeful agenda. Forced to partner for survival and answers, a fast-paced and deadly game of cat and mouse ensues, whisking the duo from the winding streets of Paris to the faded palaces of Budapest to the frozen lakes of Mongolia...where destiny, passion, and further betrayal await them.

Review: Ancient secrets, hidden treasures, and the fountain of youth all things that people would kill to learn more about.  The secret of the Altar of Bones has been kept by Zoe's family for generations, but Zoe has never heard of it.  A murdered homeless woman who she finds out is her grandmother who she thought had been dead  for years leaves her a cryptic note and clues to find a treasure that others will kill for.

Ry, an undercover DEA agent comes home from an assignment to find that his father is dead, and has told his brother an impossible tale of treason and murder. Before he can find out more assassins attempt to kill him leading Ry fighting for his life and into Zoe's path where they must fight for survival together and discover the location and the secret of the Altar of Bones, and who is trying to kill them for it.

Fast paced, with great twists and turns this was a great read.  What would you do if you found the fountain of youth but with long life also came insanity...would you still drink?

Teaser Tuesday 9/4/12



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


    "The problem is that if all the colleagues of this trigger happy liaison officer of yours consider the promotion conspicuous and start to think of the title as a window-dressing, then we haven't got very far. That is, we haven't got anywhere at all. If they suspect a cover-up, rumours will immediately begin to fly, and we will give the impression that we have consciously tried to hide the fact that we, you, this policeman, committed a blunder."  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

(57) Extraordinary Leadership

TitleExtraordinary Leadership: Thinking Systems, Making a Difference by Roberta Gilbert
Publisher: Leading Systems Press
224 pages
Genre: Psychology, Family Systems Theory,

Synopsis: Today's leaders face increased individual and societal anxiety that affects their organizations. Unfortunately, their training has not provided them with any understanding or guidelines that show how to manage themselves in the emotional chaos and intensity. Bowen family systems theory provides the needed understanding. It has proven itself enormously effective not only in families, but also in non-family groups as businesses, institutions, and congregations. Extraordinary Leadership examines organizations as emotional systems through the lens of Bowen theory. The types of questions addressed include: What is an emotional system? How do leaders handle themselves in stirred up organizations? What are high-level and low-level leaders? Do organizations need principles? What about difficult people? What is a relationship master? As the subtitle suggests, Extraordinary Leadership teaches leaders how to think systems and how that makes a difference.

Review: I loved this book.  I think it was very helpful in using systems theory in work place settings and seeing how we all tend to fall into certain roles.  It helps you identify when you are emotionally hijacked and different ways of behaving.  You can't change other people but you can change yourself and your behavior and it is amazing how small changes in the way you interact with people will change the situation.  This is great for people who want to take a look at themselves and figure out how to improve their home or work environment.  Gilbert's books do tend to be a bit repetitive so reading both this book and the 8 concepts book might be too much - if you have to choose I would pick this one.

(56) The Eight Concepts of Bowen Theory

Title: The Eight Concepts of Bowen Theory By Roberta Gilbert
Publisher: Leading Systems Press
138 Pages
Genre: Systems Theory, Psychology

Synopsis: The Eight Concepts" is a clear and concise description of the basic concepts of Bowen family system theory. Beginning with the fundamental concept of the nuclear family as the emotional unit, the other concepts -- differentiation of self scale, triangles, cutoff, family projection process, multigenerational transmission process, sibling position, and emotional processes of society -- are explained as they evolve out of the fundamental concept of the emotional unit. The emphasis is clarity of presentation and purity of presentation of theory.

Review: Short with a basic overview of Bowen Family Systems Theory.  If you want to know more about Triangling, Over and Under functioning, cutoff, sibling position etc...than this book can help.  I personally enjoyed her book Extraordinary Leadership better.  I thought this was a bit too basic for me.  But if you are just starting out and would like to know more about Family systems and how to identify and possibly break patterns that may be holding you back at work or in your personal life this might be a good book.

Teaser Tuesday 8/28/12



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser Tuesday is from: Altar of Bones by Philip Carter

    "It was the third man in the film, the one in the railroad uniform, the one who'd taken the rifle from Ry's dad, broken it down, put it in a toolbox, and then walked away with it into the sunset. The flaring eyebrows, the pronounced widow's peak that pointed like an arrow to the hooked beak of a nose, the full lips that looked too Angelina Jolie for a man. He was much older now, nearly fifty years older, but it was still him. The man who had helped to kill President John Fitzgerald Kennedy."  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

(55) The Hunter

Title: The Hunter by John Lescroart
Publisher: Dutton Adult
400 Pages
Genre: Mystery

Synopsis: Raised by loving adoptive parents, San Francisco private investigator Wyatt Hunt never had an interest in finding his birth family-until he gets a chilling text message from an unknown number: "How did ur mother die?"

The answer is murder, and urged on by curiosity and the mysterious texter, Hunt takes on a case he never knew existed, one that has lain unsolved for decades. His family's dark past unfurls in dead ends. Child Protective Services, who suspected but could never prove that Hunt was being neglected, is uninformed; his birth father, twice tried but never convicted of the murder, is in hiding; Evie, his mother's drug-addicted religious fanatic of a friend, is untraceable. And who is the texter, and how are they connected to Hunt?

Yet in the present, time is running out. The texter, who insists the killer is out there, refuses to be identified. The cat-and-mouse game leads Hunt across the country and eventually to places far more exotic-and far more dangerous. As the chase escalates, so does the threat, for the killer has a secret that can only be trusted to the grave. 

Review: This was a great book, it really captured me from the start.  Because I have ties to the adoption community I found this book to be even more intriguing.  Throw in some Jim Jones and you have me hooked. I am always fascinated by cults and how or why people just do strange things like force their kids to drink the Kool Aid and then drink it themselves.  Fascinating stuff.  The search for Wyatts birth parents and his feelings about it only made it more real. I think I found myself a new author to catch up on!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Book Shelves!

I have been living out of boxes for the last few weeks but the worst part is having the 25+ boxes of books cluttering up my living room while I had a new book shelf built.  Its finally done!  I feel so much better now that my books are mostly away.  Now the house finally feels like home.


Teaser Tuesday 8/21/12


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser Tuesday is from: The Hunter by John Lescroart

    "Its been a challenging couple of weeks," he said. Then figured what the hell and came out with it. "An employee of mine got killed on a job I sent him on."  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

All my books are packed! Eeek

My life is starting to get back to normal so I will start posting reviews again...I didn't fall off the face of the earth I just moved...which is sort of like falling off the face of the earth because I'm buried under boxes...but now that most of them are unpacked and my bookshelf is almost complete I will be able to restock the shelves and sit back and read again...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

(54) Secret of the Wolf

Title: Secret of the Wolf (Warriors of the Rift) by Cynthia Gardner
Publisher: Forever
336 pages
Genre: Romance/ Paranormal

I received this book from the publisher through netgalley.com - it was released June 26 2012


Synopsis: Once a generation, the rift between the paranormal world and the human world opens, allowing supernatural entities to cross. Vampire, demon, or shapeshifter, they can save the world-or send it spiraling into chaos.

As a werewolf liaison to the Council of Preternaturals, Tori Joseph is used to straddling the world between humans and immortals. She plays by the rules and always delivers justice, no matter the cost. But after a string of increasingly brutal attacks results in humans turning into werewolves, Tori doesn't reveal her horrifying suspicion: Someone very close to her might be responsible.

Investigating the paranormal violence, no-nonsense detective Dante MacMillan believes Tori is hiding something. His search for the truth draws him into greater danger as he gets closer to the dark realm of the immortals-and to the sexy werewolf who stirs his primal lust. Now with evil closing in around them, Dante must convince Tori to trust him . . . before her deadly secret destroys them both.

Review: This is apparently the second book int his series but I don't think it really mattered.  I didn't feel lost or like I was missing anything by reading this one first.

Apparently Werewolves, vampires and demons have crossed into our world from their planets and now inhabit the bodies of humans. This is an interesting twist and one I wish would be explored more because it seems that humans are worried that when the rift opens back up they may find themselves inhabited by one of these immortal creatures and no longer be themselves.  

There is also the main story of a string of brutal murders and unsanctioned turnings of people into werewolves and a mysterious device that no one knows what it does.  It is up to Tori and Dante to figure out what the device does and catch a killer.  Not to mention that Dante and Tori have a steamy passion building between the two - the tension runs high and its like watching an early episode of the x-files where you aren't sure you really want them to get together or just keep that sexual tension building.

Most of the book really centers on family.  Dante and his sister are very close and he has been taking care of her since she has been sick with Cancer.  Tori has been alone on Earth of the past 150 years not knowing where or how to find her brother when he unexpectedly shows up.  There is a lot of tension between Tori and her brother despite her wanting that close relationship that Dante and his sister share.

This was a fun read I am looking forward to the next one to see what is going to happen with the mystery device and the underlying plot by some of the Preternaturals to bring more of their kind through the rift...and for what purpose they are trying to do it.

Monday, July 16, 2012

(53) The Rose of Fire

Title: The Rose of Fire by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Publisher: Harper Collins Ebooks
36 pages
Genre: Mystery

Synopsis: Set at the time of the Spanish Inquisition in the fifteenth century, “Rose of Fire” tells the story of the origins of the mysterious labyrinthine library, the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, which lies at the heart of Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s novels The Shadow of the Wind & The Angel’s Game.


Review: I have always wanted to know more about the Cemetery of Forgotten Books so when I saw that there was a short story available I jumped at it.  It didn't fulfill my entire wish to know about this weird and wonderful place but it at least was a start.  You find out where the plans came from and whose hands the eventually fall.  Now I want to know who built it and why they decided to store books in this amazing labyrinth etc.  Definitely leaves you wanting more.  Which I guess is half the point since the newest novel by this author was just released.

Friday, July 13, 2012

(52) Deadlocked

Title: Deadlocked: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris
Publisher: Ace
336 pages
Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis: It’s vampire politics as usual around the town of Bon Temps, but never before have they hit so close to Sookie’s heart…

Growing up with telepathic abilities, Sookie Stackhouse realized early on there were things she’d rather not know. And now that she’s an adult, she also realizes that some things she knows about, she’d rather not see—like Eric Northman feeding off another woman. A younger one.

There’s a thing or two she’d like to say about that, but she has to keep quiet—Felipe de Castro, the Vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), is in town. It’s the worst possible time for a human body to show up in Eric’s front yard—especially the body of the woman whose blood he just drank.

Now, it’s up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl’s fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who’s set out to make Sookie’s world come crashing down.

Review: I figured since it took me so long to read the last Sookie book that I would just jump right into the latest while I still was in the groove.  I liked this one much better than the last one.  There was more action, more drama and more mystery.  I'm still not sure what she is doing to Sookie and Eric because their relationship is not following how it used to be, Eric's character seems to be acting out of character but maybe thats the point.  He is under stress...if vampires get stressed with the King in town and everything else that is going on that he doesn't like to divulge to Sookie. Yet he still seems a bit off.

This book also flowed better the story lines converged better and it didn't seems as stunted as the last one.  I know a lot of people were disappointed with this book as well but I just didn't feel that way.  I actually found it entertaining and I liked where she took it with the exception of Sookie and Eric.

I'm still finding it hard to separate the TV show True Blood from the books sometimes, like when Tara had her babies and they were all pink - I was thinking uhm Tara is African American...then I remembered she is Caucasian in the book.
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