Friday, August 30, 2013

(46) Breeding in Captivity

Title: Breeding in Captivity: One Woman's Unusual Path to Motherhood by Stacy Bolt
Publisher: Skirt
180 pages
Genre: Autobiography/memoir

Synopsis: Breeding in Captivity takes us on Stacy Bolt’s journey to have a child at "advanced maternal age," first with the help of a Really Expensive fertility specialist, and then ultimately through a local adoption agency.

Review: I feel I should start off by saying I am one of those annoying women who you just look at and I seem to get pregnant.  Although my GYN told me I may have trouble conceiving due to some complications I had as a teenager, they were wrong, very very wrong.  So although I can not first hand understand all the feelings, emotions and gut wrenching moments that Stacy went through during her journey to parenthood I can empathize with her since I spend my days helping women like her to adopt.

This book has to be one of the most funny yet honest looks at a woman's journey to parenthood.  I have had friends go through these different steps and I have witnessed it first hand in my work and its hard. Stacy has a way of telling her tale with a light touch and a wit that will keep you laughing and smiling but you can also feel the pain, the desperation and finally the relief when her journey finally ends with her adopting.

Her journey through the adoption process is spot on.  The hoops she jumps through the feelings of euphoria and then the disappointment of a failed adoption. The anger that she has to fill out 120 questions and have someone "judge" her when women on meth and crack are having babies all the time with no issues.  This book is honest and spot on while also being light hearted. This is a great book for those experiencing the pain of fertility struggles to know you are not alone and for those entering into adoption to read first hand some of the ups and downs that go along with that process as well.  All paths to parenthood are a roller coaster, but each is a little different.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

(45) Joyland

Title: Joyland (Hard Case Crime) by Stephen King
Publisher: Hardcase Crime
288 pages
Genre: Horror, Thriller,

Synopsis: Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever.

Review: I am not a die hard Stephen King fan in fact I think this is only the second of his books that I have read (I read Cell and hated it) because it was handed to me and I was told I "have to read this!" So I did, because you don't question it when your partner tells you to read something and you want a happy home life.

I was really pleasantly surprised.  This is not a horror book, more of a coming of age story with a little mystery and romance thrown in. You get to relive the thrill of being at a carnival for the first time, being a kid and seeing your favorite character come to life and see how life isn't always peaches and cream. Joyland is a roller coaster ride.  King brings you up and then brings you down only to wind you back up again.  I really enjoyed this book and I loved the evolution of Devin, how he went from an innocent boy to a man.  Finally I can understand what all the fuss over Stephen King is really about.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

(44) What We Saw at Night

Title: What We Saw At Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Publisher: Soho Teen
243
Genre: YA

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through netgalley.com - This title was released January 2013

Synopsis: The story of three outsiders, teens with a deadly allergy to sunlight that forces them to live a life opposite of everyone else in their small town. When they discover the extreme sport Parkour, it seems that they've finally found something uniquely theirs—even if leaping from buildings in the dark feels somewhat suicidal. Everything changes when they witness a horrible crime while practicing on an allegedly empty building. Worse: what they see, sees them, too.

Review: I've had this book on my list for a while I'm not sure why I just got around to it, but I'm actually quite glad since the 2nd book in this new series, What We Lost in the Dark , is due to be released December 17, 2013 so I have less time to wait!

What at first feels like a book about 3 teens doing Parkour actually turns into more of a coming of age, mystery novel.  One night while doing Parkour Allie looks in a window from a balcony and sees a man standing over the body of what looks like a beaten and dead woman.  When a series of ever more disturbing sightings and events start happening Allie is determined to find evidence against the guy who she things is hurting woman in their area but is protected by his high profile family.

Allie and her friends face death every day, not just when they do Parkour but with their diagnosis of XP or a deadly allergy to the sun. People with XP don't have full life expectancies so looking forward is often difficult and scary.  Mitchard does a good job of showing us the conflict in Allies head about learning to live for whatever amount of time she has and not letting anything hold her back.

I really enjoyed this book.  As I said in the beginning I can't wait for the second one.  It was full of suspense, teen romantic angst and really interesting characters.

Friday, August 9, 2013

(43) Rituals

Title: Rituals: A Faye Longchamp Mystery (Faye Longchamp Series) by Mary Anna Evans
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
250 pages
Genre: Mystery

I received this book as an e-galley from netgalley.com it is to be released November 2013

Synopsis: Faye Longchamp doesn’t believe in ghosts. But she’s an archaeologist—dead people are her life.

While working in Rosebower, a rural New York town founded by Spiritualists, Faye is surrounded by people who talk to the dead on a regular basis. When the most influential Spiritualist in town, Tilda Armistead, invites Faye and her project assistant to commune with the dead, she can’t say no. Curiosity is also a cherished part of an archaeologist’s life. 

An hour after her crystal ball shows Faye things no rational mind can explain, Tilda is dead. The evidence says that someone trapped Tilda in a small room, nailing its one door shut before setting Tilda’s Victorian home afire. There is no possible way for Tilda to have escaped the blaze, let alone drive for miles before finding Faye and dying in her arms. Yet Tilda did. How? And why?

Anywhere but Rosebower, these people would be dismissed as crazy. As Faye watches the psychics and charlatans jockey for power, and sends an SOS to her shrewd husband Joe, Tilda’s sister, Myrna, is slowly dying. Will Rosebower reveal its secrets, and the Armisteads their history, to Faye before more goes up in flames?

Review: This is the newest book in the Faye Longchamp series.  Faye is an archeologist who finds herself mixed up in a small town mystery.  I wish I had read the other books in this series because I found this one to be a fun and quick read, although I also feel like I missed some back story about Faye.  Not that this book can't be read as a stand alone because it can, I think I just liked Faye and wanted to know more about her and her daughter Amande. Faye and Amande are strong independent women but that doesn't take away from Joe, Faye's smart and gorgeous American Indian husband.  

Rosebower is a town filled with psychics or at least that what most of them claim to be.  Psychics, spiritualists, etc...Faye is hired to help out at the local museum but during her research she befriends sisters Tilda and Myrna who have been around as long as the town has.  She also finds herself in the company of Toni, a woman who is writing an expose on fake psychics, something that is sure to set off the towns ire.

Fun, light, mystery, I am running over to amazon to purchase one of the other books in this series and do some catching up.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

(42) The Silver Chain

Title: The Silver Chain (Unbreakable Trilogy, Book 1) by Primula Bond
Publisher: Mischief
369 pages
Genre: Romance/ Erotica

This book was received as an e-galley from netgalley.com  The kindle version is available now, the paperback version will be released in January 2014.

Synopsis: Bound by passion, she was powerless to resist.

The Silver Chain is the first in the sexy, passionate and addictive Unbreakable Trilogy by Primula Bond.

One dark evening in London, photographer Serena Folkes is indulging her impulsive side with a night-time shoot. But someone is watching her – mysterious entrepreneur Gustav Levi. Serena doesn’t know it yet, but this handsome stranger will change her life forever… Serena is fascinated by Gustav, the enigmatic owner of the Levi Gallery, and she soon feels an irresistible pull of attraction. The interest is mutual, and Gustav promises to launch Serena’s photographic career at his gallery, but only if Serena agrees to become his exclusive companion. To mark their agreement, Gustav gives Serena a bracelet to wear at all times. Attached to it is a silver chain of which he is the keeper. With the chain Gustav controls Serena physically and symbolically – a sign that she is under his power.

As their passionate relationship intensifies, Gustav’s hold on the silver chain grows stronger. But will Gustav’s dark past tear them apart?

A seductive and beautifully written novel perfect for fans of erotic romance.

Review: I found this book to be inconsistent.  Some of the scenarios really took a lot of stretching my imaginations while others were believable.  The romantic action was few and not as steamy as some others, but it had potential.  I didn't start to really care about the characters until 3/4 of the way in and the semi-shocking ender is something I wasn't expecting so I will probably read the second one just to find out what happens.

I think perhaps if the author had set out just to write a romance and then twisted it into an erotic story the relationship would have seemed less strange and more believable.  I did enjoy it but I wasn't in love with it. 
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