Thursday, May 31, 2012

Quote of the Day

"What is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life." 
— Walt Whitman

Blood Oath

Nathaniel Cade is a White House operative and the President’s best kept secret and has been for 140 years. He is the President’s vampire, sworn to protect the president and his agents from harm through an ancient blood oath.

Zach Barrows is working his way up the White House ladder, about to be promoted to Chief of Staff – until he gets caught in the Lincoln bedroom with the President’s daughter. He is reassigned, his new post – Cade’s assistant.

Blood Oath (Nathaniel Cade #1)Zach is thrust into a world he thought only existed in horror movies and books. He quickly finds out that is not the case when a discovery leads Cade and Zach to Los Angeles and a longtime foe of Cade’s, Johann Konrad, and Zach discovers monsters do exist in his world.

Cade and Zach must stop a deadly strike against America but time is running short. Are they on the right trail and can they stop the evil before it harms anyone?

Blood Oath is the first book in Christopher Farnsworth’s Nathaniel Cade series. I think Farnsworth hits it out of the park with his debut novel. It’s fast-paced, laced with a dry sense of humor and it keeps you on your toes.

The plot is there, the tension is there and the badass vampire agent is there. Roll all of those up and you have an awesome book that will have you flipping pages like crazy trying to keep up with Cade.

My first impression of Cade was badass. My first impression of Zach was a whiny know-it-all. While my impression of Cade didn’t change, he continued to prove his badassness throughout, Zach did grow on me and he came into his own by the end of the book. But Cade wasn’t a one dimensional vampire agent, Farnsworth gives Cade a sympathetic edge to him as well and we are given a glimpse of how Cade came to be in the position he is now in.

Though Cade claims he is no longer human and has lost touch with that part of himself, we still see glimpses of his humanity at times with Tania, with Griff and even eventually with Zach. Who can resist a badass sympathetic vampire? Not this girl.

I really enjoyed this book and when I picked it up it was hard to put down. It’s easy to be swept away into a secret world of conspiracy and shadowy somethings that the author creates.

Not everything is wrapped up nicely at the end and I’m looking forward to seeing the conflicts that are sure to be there in future novels. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book in the series The President’s Vampire.

If you like thrillers or the supernatural, put this on your to be read list. Even if you don’t normally read this stuff, try it anyway, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Quote of the Day

“There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.” 
― Sarah DessenThe Truth About Forever

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted here, which spotlights new books we are anticipating. 

This week I am looking forward to Dorothea Benton Frank's new book, Porch Lights. I discovered this author only last year when I purchased Plantation at a discount table. I fell in love with the characters and the southern charm that is so rampant in Benton Frank's novels.

Titled LowCountry tales, they are stories of families and the lowcountry of South Carolina where most of her characters hail from. The Lowcountry becomes a character in itself in her books and it's always a pleasure to pick up one of her books and dive into the family dynamics and love and laughter so rampant. Porch Lights comes out June 12.

Porch Lights: A Novel

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


 Julia has known her house from the time she was five years old - not her family home, but the home she is supposed to live in. Just before her thirtieth birthday, Julia becomes the owner. As she settles into her new life in the country, she begins to have flashbacks to the seventeenth century and a beautiful woman who once lived in her house.

As the episodes continue, Julia’s brother suggests the possibility of reincarnation, that Julia possesses the soul of Mariana, the beautiful woman of her episodes. As Julia spends more and more time in Mariana’s world she is convinced of this herself and she must untangle to mystery of Mariana’s past in order to discover what fate has in store for her this time around.
Maybe the idea of reincarnation is implausible, maybe it’s not. The idea of two soul mates meeting again in different lives is such a romantic notion it makes you want the idea to be plausible after all. Mariana is a book of eternal love, of a love so great it spans centuries.

This is the second book of Kearsley’s that I’ve read and she has such a powerful ability to weave a beautiful, haunting story that will grip you from the first page. To say I loved this book would be an understatement. This is the kind of book that will pull you in immediately and won’t let go long after you’ve finished.  

The novel is broken into two storylines, the past as Mariana and the present as Julia. Both plotlines are wonderfully intriguing and filled with a host of secondary characters that compliment both storylines. The plot flows smoothly from past to present and the author weaves both together with an expert hand.

There were parts I wish would have been speeded up a bit but I understand groundwork needs to be put down and the story moves along fairly quickly. I sped through the book in two sittings. While I did believe in Mariana and Richard’s love, I would have liked to see a bit more of their interactions together, of the development of their love, instead we see the beginning and the end, and I needed more middle.

The ending has left me shocked and a little bereft – as if it wasn’t quite finished. I started writing my review shortly after finishing the book and had to walk away and sleep on it. I woke up the next day and popped out of bed thinking “That’s exactly what should have happened”.  I still could have used an epilogue though but I skimmed through the book again, and on second reading, there are definite clues that I missed the first time. I, like Julia was so involved in the story and what I wanted to see that I missed what was right there all along.

So overall, I think it was a great read. It was fast paced and thoroughly engrossing. I imagine the perfect setting for picking up a Susanna Kearsley novel for the first time is a gloomy, rainy day, snuggled under a blanket but that’s just whimsy, there is never a bad time to pick up a Susanna Kearsley novel. I can’t wait to pick up the next. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Coffee and Conversation

I cracked. It was such a hot, gorgeous day yesterday when I was finally able to sit and relax I wanted a hot, steamy read. I opted for an oldie but goodie. I haven't read Sea Swept in years but it has always been up there in my top romances (although Inner Harbor, the second in the series is up there in my top 10), I decided this was just the ticket.

Sea Swept (Chesapeake Bay Saga, #1)Set on the Chesapeake Bay, Sea Swept is the story of Cameron and Anna. Cam is a world renowned boat racer. When he receives tragic news from home. Cam races back but only with a few shorts minutes to say goodbye to the man that saved his life. In those minutes, Cam and his brothers Ethan and Philip promise to take care of Seth, the little lost boy Ray Quinn was trying to save.Anna is the social worker assigned to the case. There is instant attraction between them but can Anna and Cameron keep their personal and their professional feelings separate.

What better way to kick off the start of summer than a romance on the Bay? I'm off to read The Stand (unless I read Inner Harbor first). Whatever you're reading this Memorial Day weekend, stay safe and Happy Memorial Day (also Happy Reading!)

Quote of the Day

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Quote of the Day

The more one judges, the less one loves.

Coffee and Conversation

I've been on a roll this week with reading. I got a lot of reading done and wrote reviews for most of them as well. I've always been a fast reader, but it's gotten harder with a family to keep my previous pace.
I guess it helps that the books I've read this week have all been engrossing and hard to put down, plus no new shows on (besides Revenge). 

I'm sitting here trying to decide what to read next and not knowing what I'm in the mood for. I've been on a historical fiction kick for awhile this year (really should have joined one of those challenges) and I feel like I need to mix it up a bit.

I'm leaning towards finishing The Stand. I was on a Stephen King binge in January after finishing the wildly awesome 11/22/63 and I was enjoying The Stand but I started reading it at the same time I launched this blog and felt pressured to get reviews out there so I put it aside - something I never do and I've cringed every time I think about it.

Yet I just feel like I'm in a funk this morning, I can't make up my mind. It could also be I haven't had enough coffee yet. I have a pile of TBR, but there are some I'm holding off reading for certain reasons and the others just aren't jumping out at me.

I'll stick with The Stand for now but I might have to throw in a Jill Mansell or the new Nora Roberts for something light and fun. So, what are you reading this weekend? Whatever it is, Happy Reading to you!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Quote of the Day

“Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” 
― Albert Camus

Summer Reading for Kids

                                           Courtesy of (

Barnes and Noble is hosting a Summer Reading challenge for children. Read eight books and record them in a reading journal and you can pick a free book from a summer reading selection at your local store.
This is a great way to engage the kiddies in a fun summer activity or reward your little bookworms!

Check out the details here.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Rumor has it

Rumor Has ItTilly comes home one day to find her live-in boyfriend has taken everything that was his in the apartment and left her with just a note and a collection of romantic comedies. More upset about having to give up the apartment she loves; Tilly takes a weekend trip to visit her best friend Erin in the small town of Roxborough.

While scanning the town newspaper, Tilly sees an ad for a “Girl Friday”. More curious as to what the position entails, Tilly calls the number but when the phone isn’t answered, quickly forgets- until the next day. About to head back to London, Tilly’s train is delayed and she impulsively calls the number. Before she knows it, Tilly is the new Girl Friday for Max and his daughter Lou.

Tilly quickly finds out living in a small town has its pluses and minuses, the minuses being the hot-bed of gossip that quickly surrounds her. From the town hottie, Jack Lucas to Max to her best friend Erin, Tilly quickly realizes no one is safe from the gossip, including herself.

I really enjoyed this book and I absolutely loved the British-isms and the humor that was rampant throughout the novel. My new favorite line, courtesy of Jill Mansell and Rumor has it is “Tits Up” when something goes wrong. I love it and I was constantly laughing throughout reading this book.

Tilly’s storyline isn’t the only one, Mansell intertwines the secondary characters into the spotlight and not only are we seeing Tilly and her struggle to trust Jack, but we see Max and Lou’s struggle to overcome unfair prejudice and Erin’s relationship with a bitter soon to be ex-wife. I loved most of the secondary characters as well as Tilly so I was really happy to see their storylines, but I really didn’t care for Stella and I didn’t enjoy the Stella/Erin saga at all. I would have liked to see more of Tilly and Jack.

I loved Tilly and I enjoyed watching her come into her own. Her “handling” of Jack was fun and laughable at times but it did start to wear a little thin towards the end. Ma was hilarious and brought so much to every scene he was in. And Jack, well Jack is just your typical misunderstood hottie but damn it, you just have to love him, not to mention he has the patience of a saint where Tilly is concerned.

For the most part this is a light, fun read, but Mansell weaves in a few serious issues, from small-town homophobia to losing someone you love Mansell does a good job of tackling the issues and handles them well.

I would have liked to see more of Tilly and Jack’s relationship and felt the ending was a bit rushed; I was getting to the point where the resistance angle Tilly was playing was a bit of overkill and I get the book needs a happy ending but I think it would have been better with a more realistic ending.

I think this was a good, light, beach read. The characters are fun and the banter will crack you up. Put this in your beach bags this summer and treat yourself to a fun, often hilarious British chic lit. 

Quote of the Day

The trick of it, she told herself, is to be courageous and bold and make a difference. Not change the world exactly, just the bit around you. ... Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved if at all possible.
- David Nicholls (One Day)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted here, which spotlights new books we are anticipating. 

This week I'm waiting on the second book by Leila Meacham. Her first book, Roses was an excellent story and I fell in love with the characters. I'm eagerly anticipating her new novel, set to hit stores June 19. 

Synopsis from Goodreads:

TumbleweedsRecently orphaned, eleven-year-old Cathy Benson moves to the small town of Kersey in the Texas Panhadle, a community that lives and dies by its Friday night football games. She is quickly befriended by classmates John Caldwell and Trey Don Hall, up-and-coming gridiron stars with whom she forges a bond that will determine the course of their lives. Set initially against the delirium of Texas high school. football, teenage love, and a tragic event that shadows the boys into adulthood, the novel expands to follow the careers and lives of the three friends, uprooted from one another since graduation, until they reunite in Kersey at forty years of age. With all of Meacham's signature drama, unforgettable characters, and plot twists, readers will be turning the pages, desperate to learn how it all plays out

Quote of the Day

“If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” 
― J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Coffee and Conversation

On this dreary Tuesday, I can't stop thinking about Mariana by Susanna Kearsley. I finished it last night and haven't been able to stop re-playing various scenes over again. It was a beautiful story. The end left me bereft and I started writing my review last night only to stop and decide I needed to sleep on it. I literally popped out of bed this morning thinking "oh yeah, that does make sense now".

This is the second book I've read by Kearsley and I didn't think it was going to meet the high expectations I had after reading The Winter Sea but I am very happy to say it has, although I still rank The Winter Sea as my favorite, Mariana is not far behind.

It's a perfect book to snuggle up with on a rainy day (or any day), so I'm adding this to my favorite rainy day book list. I'll be posting a review next week since I already have this week's done (getting up ass early really pays off!). Click here to see some of Susanna Kearsley's titles. Happy Reading everyone!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Quote of the Day

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” 
― Oscar Wilde

The Shoemaker's Wife

The Shoemaker's Wife: A NovelEnza and Ciro meet for the first time as teenagers in the hills of the Italian Alps. They instantly feel a connection to each other that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.  Soon after they meet and Ciro promises to call on Enza, events force Ciro to flee to America.

Enza has dedicated her life to her family, nothing is more important. She works so that they may have a good life and when her family is faced with ruin, Enza offers to go to America to make money for her family. Together with her father, Enza sets off to a different country to save her family.

Enza and Ciro both find work in and around New York and they set out to fulfill their dreams. As the years pass, they have a few chance encounters but there is always something standing in the way of their being together until finally the power of their love changes both of their lives forever.

Not only is this a tale of love and loss but of family and friendships, of war and poverty, fate and destiny. As Ciro and Enza embark on their separate journeys, they discover themselves, create bonds of friendship that will last a lifetime and struggle to overcome their past in a new world.

The cover of this book is so beautiful and that’s what initially pulled me in and had me picking up the book and I’m so glad I did. Not only is the cover beautiful, but what’s inside is even more beautiful, an epic love story that spans continents and decades. Enza and Ciro are two characters that I won’t ever forget.

Adriana Trigiani has done a beautiful job of bringing Enza and Ciro to life. And that’s exactly is what she has done. Ciro and Enza became more than characters to me and I felt their pain and sorrow, joy and triumph along with them. The writing is so evocative, I felt as if I was in the Italian Alps and New York with them. The characters are as lush and vibrant as the landscapes Trigiani creates.

I’m always intrigued by the history of New York and the beginning of the twentieth century is a fascinating time in that history as waves of immigrants flooded the harbors seeking out new lives for their families.  As the reader, you are transported to a different time, when the America we know was still being built. Through their hard work and determination, Enza and Ciro forge new lives for themselves. But we are also given the chance to see the hardships and prejudice most immigrants were forced to endure.

The Shoemaker’s Wife is one of the best books I have read this year and it’s going in my all-time favorites list. Adriana Trigiani has done a phenomenal job giving life to this beautiful story.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Quote of the Day

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.” 
― J.D. SalingerThe Catcher in the Rye

Coffee and Conversation

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die
Happy Saturday!

I have been thinking about book challenges this morning and one challenge I have been seeing a lot of lately is Books everyone should read. I've seen the book, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die but shockingly I do not own this. There's a good list over at Goodreads, Books that everyone should read at least once.

 Perusing the first twenty-five or so, I've read a good amount of them, although some were read in college and since forgotten. There are some that I've always wanted to read and never gotten around to and others that make me shudder at the thought of trudging through them. I am curious to see what's in this book though and how many I have actually read. So I'm putting this on my to be bought list, which I can probably find on abebooks for a few bucks and slowly invest some time into reading these books.

This will be a perpetual challenge on my site and I will create a page dedicated to the list of 1001 books as I start, feel free to join in and power through with me. Happy Reading!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Quote of the Day

The Road Not Taken

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.” 

― Robert Frost

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Yesterday I finally received an email I have been dying to get. I won my first book giveaway, I'm so excited!
How To Raise A Good KidWhen I started my blog, I joined a few sites, one of them being Library Thing where they will host your online library (up to 200 books) for free. They also have a program on the site, Early Reviewers which allows members to request copies of books before they are released in exchange for a review and the Member Giveaway where members can give away books every month, most times in exchange for a review.

I won How to Raise a Good Kid by Starbuck O'Dwyer as part of the member giveaway. I'm really excited about it and can't wait to get my copy. Look for my review of How to Raise a Good Kid coming soon.

P.s. Although the title suggests a self-help book, this is not the case. The book is a collection of stories about childhood.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Quote of the Day

“I love you. I am who I am because of you. You are every reason, every hope, and every dream I've ever had, and no matter what happens to us in the future, everyday we are together is the greatest day of my life. I will always be yours. ” 
― Nicholas SparksThe Notebook

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted here, which spotlights new books we are anticipating.
This week I'm really looking forward to the new Rachel Gibson, Rescue Me. It will be out on May 29.

Rescue Me (Lovett, Texas, #3)
Synopsis from Goodreads:

She’s 33, unmarried, and stuffed into a Bubble Yum pink bridesmaid dress. And the whole town wants to fix her up with anyone with a dental plan… Who’s going to rescue Sadie Hollowell now? Everyone in Lovett, Texas knows Sadie has always been a ‘notional’ kind of gal. She got a notion to leave town asap , and never visit her daddy (bless his heart). Now, she’s back and got the notion to invite a good-looking, hard-muscled, total stranger to her cousin’s wedding. Better a stranger than some of the losers she’s dated. Vince Haven got his muscles the hard way—as a Navy SEAL in Afghanistan. He’s staying in Lovett to visit his crazy aunt—the proprietor of the local Gas N Go. Before he can get the heck back out of the small town, his aunt makes him an offer he can’t refuse. Maybe he’ll stick around Lovett for a while. Maybe he’ll make a ‘go’ of the Gas N Go. Maybe he’ll rescue Sadie out of that pink dress

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Quote of the Day

“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” 
― Marilyn Monroe

New Release Tuesday

This Tuesday brings the new John Sandford book, Stolen Prey, the 22nd book in the Prey series to bookstores. I can't wait to get my hands on this. I have loved the Prey books for years and will usually devour one in a day.

Stolen Prey (Lucas Davenport, #22)

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Lucas Davenport has seen many terrible murder scenes. This is one of the worst. In the small Minnesota town of Deephaven, an entire family has been killed—husband, wife, two daughters, dogs.

There’s something about the scene that pokes at Lucas’s cop instincts—it looks an awful lot like the kind of scorched-earth retribution he’s seen in drug killings sometimes. But this is a seriously upscale town, and the husband was an executive vice president at a big bank. It just doesn’t seem to fit.

Until it does. And where it leads Lucas will take him into the darkest nightmare of his life

Monday, May 14, 2012

Quote of the Day

“Goddamn it, do it yourself. You’re five hundred years old and you can’t use a telephone? Read the directions. What are you, an immortal idiot?” 
― Anne RiceThe Queen of the Damned

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden.  ~Attributed to Claudia Ghandi

Mom, when thoughts of you are in our hearts, we are never far from home.  ~Author Unknown 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Quote of the Day

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever. 
 ~Author Unknown

Friday, May 11, 2012

Quote of the Day

“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” 
― Arthur Conan DoyleThe Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

The Truth of All Things

The Truth of all Things is a historical mystery set in Portland, Maine in 1892. The protagonists, Deputy Marshall Archie Lean and Criminalist Perceval Grey are on the trail of a series of brutal murders.  As they dig deeper into the crimes, they find a connection to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.

The Truth of All ThingsIt’s June of 1892 when Archie Lean is called to the scene of a gruesome murder. A prostitute has been killed in a most horrific way; her body pinned to the ground with a pitchfork and laid out in a pentagram. When he finds out that “sticking” is a traditional way to kill a witch, Archie enlists the help of criminalist Perceval Grey and historian Helen Prescott. Together they must find a way to decipher the mystery the killer has lain out and delve into the dark places of the witch trials and the occult to unravel it.

I love the historical framework of the novel. The setting in Portland on the bicentennial of the Salem Witch Trials and all of the detail work that went into the framework for the time period was very well crafted. From the opium dens to the fascination with spiritualism, the author does a great job bringing 1892 to life.

I really liked both characters Lean and Grey and I loved seeing their relationship develop from distrust – Archie is still of the old school of criminal thought while Grey uses more modern techniques. As the story moves along, so does their relationship until it becomes one of grudging respect and eventually a friendship develops.

There were enough twists and turns to keep me interested and I was still guessing near the end. There were parts I saw coming but I don’t think that was a lack in the author’s ability but rather a good use of foreshadowing on his part.

There were times when the book dragged for me, I never stopped enjoying the book but I wanted it to speed up. Although I really liked the Salem Witch Trials incorporation into the plot, I think the research the detectives did was at times weighing down the story.

Overall it was a really good read. If you enjoy mystery, suspense, history or are just looking for a good read, put this on your to be read list. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Quote of the Day

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” 
― Thomas A. Edison

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Quote of the Day

“All the secrets of the world are contained in books. Read at your own risk.” 
― Lemony Snicket

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted here, which spotlights new books we are anticipating.
I have been reading John Sandford's Lucas Davenport novels for as long as I can remember. I love them. There hasn't been a book yet I didn't enjoy and I'm really looking forward to his newest Stolen Prey, out next Tuesday.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Stolen PreyLucas Davenport has seen many terrible murder scenes. This is one of the worst. In the small Minnesota town of Deephaven, an entire family has been killed—husband, wife, two daughters, dogs.

There’s something about the scene that pokes at Lucas’s cop instincts—it looks an awful lot like the kind of scorched-earth retribution he’s seen in drug killings sometimes. But this is a seriously upscale town, and the husband was an executive vice president at a big bank. It just doesn’t seem to fit.

Until it does. And where it leads Lucas will take him into the darkest nightmare of his life.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Last Boyfriend

The Last Boyfriend is the second book in the Inn Boonsboro trilogy by Nora Roberts. This book focuses on Owen Montgomery, the organized, efficient brother and Avery MacTavish, the ever hair color changing owner of pizzeria Vesta.

The Last BoyfriendOwen was Avery’s first boyfriend and she has never forgotten him. She was five and he was eight.  They have been lifelong friends and a chance kiss has them looking at each other in a new light. They each take the time to consider the risks of hopping into a relationship- both of them appreciate their friendship and neither wants to damage it. Both are attracted to each other and decide to take the next step in their relationship.

I am in love with this trilogy. I was captivated by the first book The Next Always and Nora does another good job in The Last Boyfriend. I loved Avery and Owen’s story. Because they were friends, they took their time figuring out next steps but for me, it made the story better.

The word play between the brothers and between Avery and Owen had me giggling like a schoolgirl by page fifty. There is not one character in this series that I am not in love with. Nora has done a fantastic job pulling these great characters together in one series.

The book heavily focuses on the Inn which becomes a secondary character to the plot, much as it did in The Next Always. The brothers are rehabbing the Inn and Avery, along with Clare and Hope is pitching in to help make it a success. The book gives a lot of detail to the renovation, focusing at times on minute details of each room.

The Inn also comes with a ghost. First discovered by Beckett in the previous book, Lizzy, as she is called gets a little bit more page time in this book as Owen and Hope try to unravel her mystery.
For me, the ghost and the Inn detail worked, they are as much a part of this trilogy as the actual characters, but I can understand how it might grate on some people.  I thought it helped enhance their romance but at the same time I would prefer to be shown the love, not told. I didn’t necessarily need less of the Inn/ghost; I just needed more Avery and Owen. Once they got together, the book focused more on Lizzy and the Inn than Avery and Owen.

 I was disappointed in the conflict of the story. You could see it a mile away and it was so clichéd. I would have much rather seen the focus on Avery and Owen and their relationship without the blast from the past.

There was a lot of buildup for Hope and Ryder’s story, The Last Hope, which comes out in November. Ryder made up half of my giggles in this book so I am highly anticipating their story.
Overall, I think it was a good read. I loved the buildup and the romance as well as the ghost story but I think this book is going to wind up being my least favorite in the trilogy. Don’t get me wrong, I did really like the book but between the Inn/ghost and the Ryder/Hope buildup, I just feel like Avery/Owen were a little shortchanged in this book. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Quote of the Day

“I have noticed that if you look carefully at people's eyes the first five seconds they look at you, the truth of their feelings will shine through for just an instant before it flickers away.” 
― Sue Monk KiddThe Secret Life of Bees:

Friday, May 4, 2012

Bookstore Bliss

Everyone's had one of those perfect bookstore trips when it seems the gods are smiling down at you and you walk away feeling like you hit the jackpot. Maybe you discovered a new book or a new author or you found more books than you intended. Maybe all of the above.
Yesterday was one of those days for me. It was a last minute trip, intended as story time with my son (which we missed) and time for him to spend with cousins and the train table. I figured I would pick up the new Charlaine Harris while I was there, but had no intention of really buying anything else.
After everyone left, Charlie and I wandered around for a bit and I discovered a new book and new author (well, two new authors).
Rumor Has ItJill Mansell is a British author and had been recommended by my BFF, so I happened on one of her books at a table, rumour has it
Tilly Cole makes an impulsive decision to apply for a "Girl Friday" ad in a small town but soon finds herself enmeshed in small town gossip and rivalry for the town's hottie, Jack Lucas. ( I would have bought the book for that name alone - perfection).
It looks really good and I enjoy a good British book so cross my fingers and I'll have a review up soon.

Then I headed over to the bargain table, one of my favorite stops in the bookstore. Filled with publisher's overstock and hidden gems. I found what I hope to be is my gem in Heresy by S.J. Parris.
Set in Elizabethan England, the book weaves together history and fiction (sold!). The plot follows Giordano Bruno, a monk, poet, scientist and magician as he is plucked by Queen Elizabeth to help discover a Catholic plot to overthrow her from the throne.

Heresy (Giordano Bruno, #1)
So, I discovered two new books/authors not to mention my son asked if he could get a book. Love love love it! Then, while checking out, the bookseller comments on Heresy and tells me it's the first of a series, now on it's third installment and she loves the series. So we got to talking and I told her about  my discovery the other day in a newsletter of The President's Vampire. It's about a vampire dating back to Andrew Jackson's presidency and the secret weapon of presidents since then.

The President's Vampire (Nathaniel Cade #2)The book happens to be the second in a series and I found the first on, for only a couple dollars, score! We chatted for a few more minutes until I took my bag of new treasures and went home for my own story time with my favorite little bookworm.
All in all it was an unexpected but highly satisfying trip, I'm still on a book high! Happy Reading to all!

Quote of the Day

"The truth is, some relationships are supposed to last forever, and some are only supposed to last a few days. That’s the way life is." 
— Sophie Kinsella (Can You Keep a Secret?)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Quote of the Day

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” 
― George Eliot

The Scottish Prisoner

The Scottish Prisoner: A Novel The year is 1760. Jamie Fraser is an ex-Jacobite on parole in England. He is haunted by dreams of his beloved wife, Claire and by the appearance of a former acquaintance, Tobias Quinn. Quinn wants to strike up the old cause and seeks out Jamie to lead an Irish Jacobite rebellion.

Meanwhile, Lord John is in possession of a packet of documents containing damning evidence against an English officer. The documents are written in Erse, the language of the Highlanders, and he is forced to seek Jamie’s help in translating.

Soon Jamie and John are thrust into an unwitting partnership that takes them to the shores of Ireland as they become involved in something much bigger than either of them intended.
The Scottish Prisoner is a Lord John Grey novel by author Diana Gabaldon. The Lord John books can be read in companion to the Outlander series (starting after Voyager) or as a stand-alone.

If you have read my blog once, you know I am obsessed with the Outlander books. This was my first Lord John book as I have had mixed feelings about Lord John and wasn’t sure I wanted to read his stories. I’m glad I finally did.

Frankly, Diana Gabaldon can do no wrong in my book. She has a beautiful way with words; her novels are so engrossing and multi-layered, filled with love and intrigue, battles and history. There is something for everyone in her stories. And they are so big! Speaking my language!

I was able to find a new appreciation for Lord John in this book. I have always had mixed feelings about him and never really connected with him as a character but I found in Scottish Prisoner he is a likeable character, very honorable and self-possessed and at times a bit witty.

The plot itself was intriguing, involving another Jacobite plot to put the Bonny Prince on the throne. Also a bit sad, for the plot is firmly entrenched in history and makes you mournful for all that was lost and the hope and desperation that went into the efforts of restoration.

Diana always does a fantastic job weaving historical detail into her novels and her accuracy is never in doubt. From the Irish plot to the secondary characters to the Erse translations, the author does a wonderful job blending history with fiction.

Whether you are an avid Outlander fan or are reading The Scottish Prisoner as a stand-alone novel, you will have no problem becoming enmeshing in the plotting and intrigue that wait within the pages. You will be spellbound from page one. I have the overwhelming urge to pick up an Outlander book now, but can’t decide which one. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Quote of the Day

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” 
― C.S. Lewis

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted here, which spotlights new books we are anticipating.
This is my first time participating and there are so many choices, I had a tough time deciding, but the book I am most anticipating right now is Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Synopsis from Goodreads:

"Together we lifted our feet and stepped into the unknown"—the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestseller A Discovery of WitchesDeborah Harkness exploded onto the literary scene with her debut novel, A Discovery of Witches, Book One of the magical All Souls Trilogy and an international publishing phenomenon. The novel introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont; together they found themselves at the center of a supernatural battle over an enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782.
Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending,Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens.
Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries, delivering one of the most hotly anticipated novels of the season.

I really loved the first book in this trilogy, A Discovery of Witches, which was also one of the first books I reviewed for my blog. You can read my review here. Shadow of Darkness is set to be released July 10, just in time for vacation!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Jamie!

Today is May 1, to Outlander fans around the world, today is also Jamie Fraser's birthday. I believe he would be 291 today. In honor of his birthday and my obsession with Outlander, I have compiled some of my favorite Jamie quotes. I went a little overboard and I could have added a lot more. My original intention was a quote from each book, clearly that didn't happen.
If you are an Outlander fan, enjoy the walk down memory lane, maybe crack open your favorite Outlander book and enjoy. If you're new to Outlander, I hope these quotes inspire you to pick it up and read it. Either way, Happy Birthday to the best leading man in fiction

Ye are Blood of my Blood, and Bone of my Bone,
I give ye my Body, that we Two might be One.
I give ye my Spirit, 'til our Life shall be Done.” 
― Diana GabaldonOutlander

“Ye werena the first lass I kissed," he said softly. "But I swear you'll be the last.” 
― Diana GabaldonOutlander

“For where all love is, the speaking is unnecessary. 
― Diana GabaldonOutlander

"I'll leave it to you, Sassenach," he said dryly, "to imagine what it feels like to arrive unexpectedly in the midst of a brothel, in possession of a verra large sausage."
Dragonfly in Amber,Chapter 12: L'Hopital des Anges 

"I will find you," he whispered in my ear. "I promise. If I must endure two hundred years of purgatory, two hundred years without you---then that is my punishment, which I have earned for my crimes. For I have lied, and killed, and stolen; betrayed and broken trust. But there is one thing that shall lie in the balance. When I shall stand before God, I shall have one thing to say, to weigh against the rest."
      His voice dropped, nearly to a whisper, and his arms tightened around me.
      "Lord, ye gave me a rare woman, and God! I loved her well."
Dragonfly in Amber, Chapter 46: Timor Mortis Conturbat Me 

"I have burned for you for twenty years, Sassenach," he said softly. "Do you not know that?"
Voyager, Chapter 25: House of Joy

"It's no just the bedding, ye ken," he said, drawing back a little at last. His eyes looked down at me, a soft deep blue like the warm tropic sea.
      "No," I said, touching his cheek. "It isn't."
      "To have ye with me again---to talk wi' you---to know I can say anything, not guard my words or hide my thoughts---God, Sassenach," he said, "the Lord knows I am lust-crazed as a lad, and I canna keep my hands from you---or anything else---" he added, wryly, "but I would count that all well lost, had I no more than the pleasure of havin' ye by me, and to tell ye all my heart."
Voyager, Chapter 27: Up in Flames

  "Damn you, Sassenach!" his voice said, from a very great distance. His voice was choked with passion. "Damn you! I swear if ye die on me, I'll kill you!"
Voyager, Chapter 63: Out of the Depths

He took both my hands in his, then, and kissed them---the left, which still bore the gold ring of my marriage to Frank, and then the right, with his own silver ring.
      "Da mi basia mille," he whispered, smiling. Give me a thousand kisses. It was the inscription inside my ring, a brief quotation from a love song by Catullus. I bent and gave him one back. "Dien mille altera," I said. Then a thousand more.
Drums of Autumn,Chapter 9: Two Thirds of a Ghost

"You are my courage, as I am your conscience," he whispered. "You are my heart---and I your compassion. We are neither of us whole, alone. Do ye not know that, Sassenach?"
Drums of Autumn, Chapter 16: The First Law of Thermodynamics 

 "So long as my body lives, and yours---we are one flesh," he whispered....And when my body shall cease, my soul will still be yours. Claire---I swear by my hope of heaven, I will not be parted from you."
Drums of Autumn,Chapter 16: The First Law of Thermodynamics

"Did I ever think to thank ye, Sassenach?" he said, his voice a little husky.
     "For what?" I said, puzzled. He took my hand and drew me gently toward him. He smelled of ale and damp wool, and very faintly of the brandied sweetness of fruitcake.
     "For my bairns," he said softly. "For the children that ye bore me."
     "Oh," I said. I leaned slowly forward, and rested my head against the solid warmth of his chest. I cupped my hands at the small of his back beneath his coat, and sighed. "It was. . .my pleasure."
The Fiery Cross,Chapter 13: Beans and Barbecue,

 "When the day shall come, that we do part," he said softly, and turned to look at me, "if my last words are not 'I love you'--- ye'll ken it was because I didna have time."
The Fiery Cross,Chapter 111: And Yet Go Out to Meet It, 

"I love you, a nighean donn. I have loved ye from the moment I saw ye, I will love ye 'til time itself is done, and so long as you are by my side, I am well pleased wi' the world."
The Fiery Cross Chapter 99: Brother