Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Teaser Tuesday May 29



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!


    Archie said, "Everyone in this painting is a suspect." "Nah!" Bogie argued, "She painted it before she was murdered."  

Question: What do you get the man with everything?


Answer: When that man is the heir of the late mystery writer Robin Spencer, retired homicide detective Mac Faraday, you get him cold case to solve.



In Shades of Murder, Mac Faraday is once again the heir to an unbelievable fortune. This time the benefactor is a stolen art collector. But this isn’t just any stolen work-of-art—it’s a masterpiece with a murder attached to it.



Ilysa Ramsay was in the midst of taking the art world by storm with her artistic genius. Hours after unveiling her latest masterpiece—she is found dead in her Deep Creek Lake studio—and her painting is nowhere to be found.



Almost a decade later, the long lost Ilysa Ramsay masterpiece has found its way into Mac Faraday’s hands and he can’t resist the urge to delve into the case.



A world away, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; former JAG lawyer Joshua Thornton agrees to do a favor for the last person he would ever expect to do a favor—a convicted serial killer. 



The Favor: Solve the one murder wrongly attributed to him.



Joshua finds an unexpected ally in Cameron Gates, a spunky detective who has reason to believe the young woman known to the media only as Jane Doe, Victim Number Four, was the victim of a copycat. Together, Joshua and Cameron set out to light a flame under the cold case only to find that someone behind the scenes wants the case to remain cold, and is willing to kill to keep it that way.



Little do these detectives know that the paths of their respective cases are on a collision course when they follow the clues to bring them together in a showdown with a killer who’s got a talent for murder!


Sunday, May 27, 2012

(38) Code Name Verity

Title: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
272 Pages
Genre: YA - historical fiction

I received an electronic ARC through netgalley for this title.  It was released on May 15.

Synopsis: In exchange for a temporary stay of execution and lesser forms of torture, a young female spy captured in Nazi-occupied France writes a confession of her activities in the Resistance. Her story is that of two women who should never have crossed paths, yet were destined to become the best of friends and embark upon the covert mission.

Review: I wasn't sure if I was going to make it through this book in the beginning.  It just seemed to be all over the place and I was finding it hard to follow but it quickly started to make sense.  The first half of the book is told by a woman captured in France as a spy.  She has been tortured and in exchange for the torture to stop she has said she would collaborate.  Throughout  her writing she is pained that she is collaborating with the Nazi's and you feel for her.  Her story is compelling and keeps you reading. The second half of the book is told by the captured spy's best friend. This is where the story really shocks you.  At this point I didn't even want to leave the house, all I wanted to do is finish this book.

Historically accurate, for the most part, in regard to female pilots during WWII, this is a fitting tribute to those women who served and died for their country.  Heartbreaking and compelling both stories keep you interested but the second half of the book keeps you on the edge of your seat.  This is one story that is going to stay with me for a while, I keep replaying it in my head.  The loyalty and devotion of two people who may never have met but seemed destined to, is riveting, heartbreaking and beautiful.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Teaser Tuesday May 22


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:  Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein  

    I dreamed I was back at the beginning and they were starting on me all over again, a side effect of having to watch them work on someone else. The anticipation of what they will do to you is every bit as sickening in a dream as when it is really going to happen.  


Synopsis: Two young women become unlikely best friends during WWII, until one is captured by the Gestapo. Only in wartime could a stalwart lass from Manchester rub shoulders with a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a special operations executive. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted to each other. But then a vital mission goes wrong, and one of the friends has to bail out of a faulty plane over France. She is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war. The story begins in "Verity's" own words, as she writes her account for her captors. Truth or lies? Honour or betrayal? Everything they've ever believed in is put to the test...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

(37) Torn

Title: Torn by Margaret Peterson Haddix - Book 4 of the Missing series
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
324 Pages
Genre: YA Time travel, mystery

Synopsis: Still reeling from their experiences in Roanoke in 1600, Jonah and Katherine arrive in 1611 only moments before a mutiny on Henry Hudson’s ship in the icy waters of James Bay. But things are messed up: They’ve lost the real John Hudson, and they find what seems to be the fabled Northwest Passage—even though they are pretty sure that route doesn’t actually exist. Will this new version of history replace everything they’ve ever known? Is this the end of time as we know it? With more at stake than ever before, Jonah and Katherine struggle to unravel the mysteries of 1611 and the Hudson Passage...before everything they know is lost.

Review: I love this series.  Based on the idea that time travelers stole key figures from history and brought them forward in time and placed them for adoption with unsuspecting families and now they are being asked to return to their time period in order to correct time.  The problem is that one of the time travelers named Second doesn't want to fix time, he wants to alter it to his liking.  In this book Second has sent Jonah and Katherine to 1611 where Jonah poses as John Hudson the son of Henry Hudson who discovered the Hudson River, among other things, and after a mutiny on his ship disappeared along with his son and several crew members. So besides being a fun read you get to learn about different incidents in history in a fun way. This is a great series for boys or girls.  I think boys would like the action adventure piece of the time travel, the girls might too but they also have Katherine who swoons over every "hottie" they encounter.  Its a fun series that is educational as well.  I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - May 15


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: Torn by Margaret Peterson Haddix - Book 4 of the Missing series

    There weren't even any tracers anymore to show how time was supposed to go. "Its weird - this guy never gives his name, but says he's going to hide notes all around the ship, so that the true story of the Discovery will get out even if all the good people are killed, Katherine told him as she pored over the papers.

Synopsis: Still reeling from their experiences in Roanoke in 1600, Jonah and Katherine arrive in 1611 only moments before a mutiny on Henry Hudson’s ship in the icy waters of James Bay. But things are messed up: They’ve lost the real John Hudson, and they find what seems to be the fabled Northwest Passage—even though they are pretty sure that route doesn’t actually exist. Will this new version of history replace everything they’ve ever known? Is this the end of time as we know it? With more at stake than ever before, Jonah and Katherine struggle to unravel the mysteries of 1611 and the Hudson Passage...before everything they know is lost.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

(36)The Guards

Title: The Guards: A Novel (Jack Taylor) by Ken Bruen
Publisher: Minotaur Books
291 books
Genre: Mystery

Synopsis: Still stinging from his unceremonious ouster from the Garda Siochana-The Guards, Ireland's police force-and staring at the world through the smoky bottom of his beer mug, Jack Taylor is stuck in Galway with nothing to look forward to. In his sober moments Jack aspires to become Ireland's best private investigator, not to mention it's first-Irish history, full of betrayal and espionage, discourages any profession so closely related to informing. But in truth Jack is teetering on the brink of his life's sharpest edges, his memories of the past cutting deep into his soul and his prospects for the future nonexistent.

Nonexistent, that is, until a dazzling woman walks into the bar with a strange request and a rumor about Jack's talent for finding things. Odds are he won't be able to climb off his barstool long enough to get involved with his radiant new client, but when he surprises himself by getting hired, Jack has little idea of what he's getting into.

Review: Not your typical mystery.  Jack Taylor is a raging alcoholic who hasn't met a drink he doesn't like.  He is completely self destructive but surprisingly good at his job during his few lucid moments.  Written in short poetic chapters there is more to this book than a simple mystery.  Jack falls in with quite a few bizarre characters who you can't tell if they are friends or foes.

When people aren't pouring him drinks or trying to beat him to a pulp he is trying to figure out if a young girl was murdered instead of committing suicide like people are saying. Being an ex Garda is sometimes a help and sometimes a hindrance. Jack's view of the world is twisted and dark, he pulls himself out of the bottle only to be lead back into it through the temptations of friends and the deaths of people close to him. I can't wait to figure out where this character lands next and if he can make it through another black out. Entertaining and dark this is a good beginning to a mystery series that I will definitely be following up on.

Friday, May 11, 2012

(35) Raising Abel

Title: Raising Abel by Carolyn Nash
Publisher: CreateSpace
332 pages
Genre: Memoir - parenting

Synopsis: A woman of remarkable resourcefulness single-handedly raises a troubled child all the way to manhood in this intimate and inspiring blog-to-book memoir. At 38, Carolyn Nash had a good job, no apparent struggles and few conscious regrets—save, perhaps, her weight and her childlessness. She remedies the latter by fostering and then adopting 3-year-old Abel, a victim of unspeakable parental abuse, most of it sexual. Abel is charmingly innocent yet uncontrollably violent, and as he grows, so do his PTSD symptoms. Through the lens of Abel’s trauma, Nash peers into her own nightmares—she too feels deformed and unlovable—and learns their sick source.

Review: This book drew me in from the prologue. Haunting, yet uplifting this book shows the real trauma that happens when children are abused at an early age and the strength, determination and love it takes to help them through it. Carolyn Nash might not feel like a hero but she is one to me. Many people might have given up on Abel but she never did.  She showed him what unconditional love really is.

This book is written in short episodes, which highlight dramatic events throughout Abel's childhood and Carolyn's own self discovery journey in therapy. If you are a foster parent, or thinking of becoming a foster parent this might be a good read.  Its honest and maybe a bit scary but shows that you can get through it and what a huge difference you can make in the life of a child.  This is a book that will stay with me for quite a while.

If you are an amazon prime member and have a kindle or the kindle app you can "borrow" this title for free from amazon

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

(34) Artistic Pursuits

Title: Artistic Pursuits by Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
200 Pages
Genre: LGBT

I received this ebook through Netgalley


Synopsis:An Art Series novel Frank Jennings is an FBI agent looking for redemption. Leslie Carlton is an Interpol agent looking for a thief. Attraction flares from the moment they meet on a case searching for a stolen triptych of unique Tiffany windows, but after a single night of stunning passion, Leslie is called back to London to continue his search there. When the case heats up again, Leslie returns to the States—and to Frank—but their investigation is complicated by their tumultuous feelings. Is it possible for two dedicated detectives to pursue each other while they’re tracking down stolen art and the unscrupulous man who steals it?

Review: I found Artistic Pursuits disjointed and a bit hard to follow.  There were many times I thought I missed a page only to realize I was reading an ebook.  Leslie's on again off again accent was also a bit distracting, one minute he sounded mildly British and the next he sounded like everyone else.

My other pet peeve was Frank, I just couldn't see how insecure FBI agent Frank, who masks his sexual orientation by being a jerk at work is this domineering  sexy top. From the first sexual encounter I was thrown off, the characters just didn't seem to fit the action.  Don't get me wrong the first sex scene was smoking hot, but some of the others were a bit confusing, one minute in the shower the next in bed and I just didn't see them in the roles that Grey wrote them in.
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However, the mystery surrounding the stolen art moved the story along and I liked the interplay between Leslie and Frank as they tried to trap the notorious art thief who hides behind liberal international laws. I loved Leslie putting Frank in his place but by far my favorite character was Karl.  I loved the rookie FBI agent who no one takes seriously and only thinks of as a tech geek but when he gets out into the field he proves himself a worthy partner.




Monday, May 7, 2012

(33) Political Savvy

Title: Political Savvy: Systematic Approaches to Leadership Behind the Scenes by Joel R. DeLuca, PhD
Publisher: Everygreen Business Group
250 Pages
Genre: Business

Synopsis: While most people are wary or organization politics, politically savvy leaders know how to manage them. They take initiative, and they forge consensus. Ultimately, they help others maximize their impact, so the organization can continue to thrive in a highly competitive future.

Inspirational leadership without a firm grounding in organization politics risks becoming hollow rhetoric. Political Savvy discusses how successful leaders at all levels in the organization operate ethically behind-the-scenes to work the darker side of organizational life.

The book helps you analyze your own political style, (yes, everyone has one) and understand the strategies and tactics used by ethical leaders. Through quotes, grids, tools, a case study, mapping techniques and examples, the book provides a systematic, practical guide to navigating political minefields so you can increase your influence in the organization, coach others, and obtain the career success, satisfaction, and meaning you want from work.

Review: As much as we'd like to think we can escape politics at work we can't.  Its human nature. So what can you do? Well you can sit with your head in the sand and say you don't want to play, sit back and watch the game and be a commentator, jump into the fray and defeat your enemies any way possible or jump into the fray and do the best you can in the most ethical way possible.

If the last description is the one you are interested in doing then pick up this book.  It describes the different styles of leaderships in companies, how to utilize influence to achieve your goal and do it in a way that doesn't throw someone else under the bus.  It gives great insight into how to spot the most powerful players in your organization (you may be surprised that its not always the people at the top) and how to utilize that knowledge for the best of the company.  Political savvy isn't about doing the best for you and only you its about doing the best for the company and hopefully you get rewarded along with it.

This is an easy to read and easy to understand book with some great ideas. I will be forever grateful that I had to read it for a graduate class on ethics.

Friday, May 4, 2012

(32) Good Bones

Title:Good Bones by Kim Fielding
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
200 Pages
Genre: LGBT/ supernatural

I received this book from netgalley.com

Synopsis: Skinny, quiet hipster Dylan Warner was the kind of guy other men barely glanced at until an evening's indiscretion with a handsome stranger turned him into a werewolf. Now, despite a slightly hairy handicap, he just wants to live an ordinary-if lonely-life as an architect. He tries to keep his wild impulses in check, but after one too many close calls, Dylan gives up his urban life and moves to the country, where he will be less likely to harm someone else. His new home is a dilapidated but promising house that comes with a former Christmas tree farm and a solitary neighbor: sexy, rustic Chris Nock. Dylan hires Chris to help him renovate the farmhouse and quickly discovers his assumptions about his neighbor are inaccurate-and that he'd very much like Chris to become a permanent fixture in his life as well as his home. Between proving himself to his boss, coping with the seductive lure of his dangerous ex-lover, and his limited romantic experience, Dylan finds it hard enough to express himself-how can he bring up his monthly urge to howl at the moon?

Review: I read a lot of different genres and I read a lot of LGBT fiction but for some reason I've never read an lgbt supernatural novel before and I'm sorry I haven't.  I would have to say that this is a male romance novel.  Boy meets boy falls in love but that whole turning furry on the full moon drives a wedge between them. It follows the same formula as female romance books but the main characters are men, hot men.  There are a few pretty hot and heavy sex scenes so if that makes you squeamish this might not be the book for you. I thought it was great.  I liked the main characters, the secondary characters and the story was fun.

The werewolf shifting scenes were very well done, and I could almost smell the forest as he ran after prey. She is very descriptive throughout the whole book which definitely makes the book more enjoyable and damn I want him to build me a house because the renovations on this country house made me envious! The only complaint I have about this book is the cover.  I'm sure there are plenty of hot guys out there that would have posed for this cover...the drawing just made it look like a campy, cheap young adult novel, and covers mean so much! Often I won't even pick up the book unless the cover attracts me - luckily I didn't see the cover before reading the blurb on the back.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

(31) Love Life

Title: LoveLife by Rachel Spangler
Publisher: Bold Stroke Books
254 pages
Genre: LGBT Romance

I received this book through netgalley.com 

Synopsis: Life coach Elaine Raitt is educated, elegant, and dedicated to her profession. Blue-collar boi Joey Lang is too insecure to even approach her—that is until her well-meaning but meddling best friend Lisa decides to break the ice and makes Joey a life-coaching appointment with Elaine. A session meant to bring clarity only leaves them both feeling more confused about their purpose in life and love.

Will Joey be able to find the strength to chase the woman of her dreams, and even if she does, will Elaine be willing to risk the life she loves for the woman who could be the love of her life?

Review: A well done lesbian romance.  There is a formula to all romance novels gay or straight and this is no exception.  Shy boi Joey meets the girl of her dreams in the coffee shop she works at and with the help of her meddling best friend makes a connection. Of course it doesn't go as planned and there is a big obstacle they have to overcome to be together.  The characters are fun, Joey is adorable and Elaine turns out to need some life coaching of her own but what therapist doesn't?  Isn't there a saying those that can't teach? Well that would be Elaine.  While I do hate that so many lesbian novels just seem to be populated with lesbians and very few straight people or gay men, it still is a fun read.  I do prefer a mix of friends and family, who aren't all gay but this seems to be something very few lesbian romance novels seem to do, either way it doesn't detract from the fun of the book.  What girl doesn't want to fall in love at first sight only to find the woman of her dreams is just as messed up as she is?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

(30) Black Boy, White School

Title: Black Boy White School by Brian F. Walker
Publisher: Harper Teen
246 pages
Genre: YA

Synopsis: Anthony "Ant" Jones has never been outside his rough East Cleveland neighborhood when he's given a scholarship to Belton Academy, an elite prep school in Maine.

But at Belton things are far from perfect. Everyone calls him "Tony" assumes he's from Brooklyn, expects him to play basketball and yet acts shocked when he fights back.

As Anthony tries to adapt to a world that will never fully accept him, he's in for a rude awakening: Home is becoming a place where he no longer belongs.

Review: Racism...that dirty work no one likes to talk about or brushes under the rug.  It makes people uncomfortable so we don't talk about it or only talk about it on a superficial level.

This is an easy read about a hard subject. "Ant" comes from a rough neighborhood, he doesn't want to go to Maine but after one of his best friends is shot and killed when they are together he makes the decision to go. What he finds is that fitting in might mean losing his identity.  People at school call him Tony no matter how many times he corrects them, they think he is from Brooklyn because thats where the other black kids at the school are from and when he stands up against a hazing tradition he is thought of as dangerous.

Fighting stereotypes is hard, trying to fit but maintain your identity even harder.  I think many people may not understand when "Ant" goes through but as a Puerto Rican Jew who lived in the city and went to school in the suburbs I felt "Ant's" story profoundly.  Oh I looked like I fit in with the other kids but I lived in a two bedroom apartment in a the city and they lived in mansions in a wealthy suburb.  I had one parent and they had two.  It was a struggle to fit in but when I was home it was also a struggle, school changed me.  I was learning about things that the people in my neighborhood couldn't relate to, I was going places they had never been.  When I was home I felt like a stranger and at school I felt like a square peg trying to fit in a round hole. Would I change my experience? Never but it wasn't always easy.

 "Ant" had it worse.  He couldn't even try to blend in.  He couldn't change his skin color and the well meaning people at the school had blinders on when it came to racism...if they ignored it or made platitudes it would go away.  But a influx of Somali refuges to the town create a tension in the small Maine town that ultimately lead to "Ant" teaching them a thing or two about race.  I can't recommend this book enough.  It was fabulous.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - May 1


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: Black Boy White School by Brian F. Walker

    "...They think they're supposed to be smarter and richer, live in better houses and everything. When they fall short of all that, they try to blame it on black people so they don't feel so bad about themselves....Its sad, when you really think about it. Expecting to go out and be the king of the world, but ending up stick in East Armpit, Maine." 

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