Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Autumn's Top 10 of 2013

(maybe not published in 2013 but I read in 2013)
The Never List by Koethi Zan
Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman
A Tale for the Time Being Ruth Ozeki
The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow by Rita Leganski
Race Across the Sky by Derek Sherman
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
The Love Song of Johnny Valentine by Teddy Wayne
The Wall by Marlen Haushofer
The Thicket by Joe R. Lansdale
The Tilted World Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly

Monday, December 30, 2013

Kari's Top 10 of 2013

In no particular order:

1. The Paladin Prophecy by Mark Frost
2. Help for the Haunted by John Searles
3. Darkness Rises by Diane Duvall
4. Complete Me by Julie Kenner
5. Splintered by A. G Howard

6. Chimera by David Wellington
7 The Best Man by Kristin Higgins
8. Kiss Me First by Lottie Moggach
9 Red Hill by Jamie McGuire
10. Beauty and the Billionaire by Jessica Clare

Sunday, December 29, 2013

December Books We Didn't Finish

The Dark Unwinding was boring and confusing.  I really don't like to have to work to keep track of what is going on.  It looked like a good premise, but I gave up on it.

Reboot - Another book with an interesting premise, but poor world building.  The story was getting too confusing with too many numbers for character names.  I also saw the potential for lots of angst and just couldn't listen.

A Million Dirty Secrets- I think this book fell in the same category of Fifty Shades of Grey.  he story was too unbelievable.  The main character sells her body/virginity to make money for her sick mother. Even though there is no guarantee that her mother's life can be saved. When Delaine starts acting like a bitch with Noah, even though she needs the money, I had to stop reading.  The whole story was just too crude.  No one talks like these people.  I won't be reading the sequel.

He's Gone - I was so bored by the fourth chapter that I didn't care where he went!

Havisham-I was so in love with the idea of this book.  Great Expectations is one of my favorites.  However, I got about 1/3 of the way in and I just was so bored with it.  I didn't care anything about it.  So much of it was about how rich they were and how they got rich and I was like who cares??  I just wanted her to be in love and it was like never getting to that point.

Reunion at Red Paint Bay-Boring.  There isn't much else to say about it.  I don't know why I decided to pick it, because it doesn't even really sound very interesting.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Thankless in Death by JD Robb

Author: J. D. Robb
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Date of publication: September 2013

Lieutenant Eve Dallas has plenty to be grateful for this season. Hosting Roarke’s big Irish family for the holiday may be challenging, but it’s a joyful improvement on her own dark childhood.

Other couples aren’t as lucky as Eve and Roarke. The Reinholds, for example, are lying in their home stabbed and bludgeoned almost beyond recognition. Those who knew them are stunned—and heartbroken by the evidence that they were murdered by their own son. Twenty-six-year-old Jerry hadn’t made a great impression on the bosses who fired him or the girlfriend who dumped him—but they didn’t think he was capable of this.

While not the best in the series, the latest book, Thankless in Death was still a pretty enjoyable read.   In the days leading up to a big Thanksgiving dinner, Eve Dallas is on the hunt for a killer.  The difference with his book was that we know who the killer is from the beginning of the book.  It was a nice change from the usual mystery in that the reader gets to see how Eve goes about catching a known killer.  It was a good and well laid out plot.  The book also contains the usual humor and the usual cast of characters.  It was nice to check in with the family from Ireland.  I think that fans of the series will enjoy the book.  I can't wait to see what is next for Eve and the crew!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Our Book Disappointments of 2013

Covet was on my Most Anticipated list for 2013 because I loved The Island so much, but Covet was so whiny.  I hated it a lot.

Fuse, well I had trouble with the first book but it still made me think a lot, I was holding out hope for the second book.  Second book was just eh.  Also, I had trouble following what was going on.  I don't know if it was that too much time had passed between publication of the first book and the second or what.  That's a risk you run when you publish these trilogies instead of just condensing your story down to ONE GOOD BOOK.

NOS4A2 wasn't as good as I had hoped it would be.  It got overly long and the story got really convoluted and weird.  I think if it had been about 1/3 shorter, it would have been perfect.

Cartwheel was good, but there was never really a clearly defined answer as to what actually happened.

Night Film:  OMG the ending sucked.

With the exception of Covet, which I didn't read, I have to agree with everything that Autumn wrote about the above books.  While I had a lot of book disappointments this year, to this list, I will add:

Red Moon had an interesting premise, but what a snooze fest!  I was so bored that I'm not sure why I finished it.

I wanted to love The Registry, but by the end of the book, I still didn't
know what was going on. It had so much potential.

Scowler was just too disturbing to even like.  I still have icky feelings when I think about the book.

Three Graves Full, another snooze fest.

Autumn and I have high hopes that next year will be a better book year!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Throwback Thursday: We have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson


Author: Shirley Jackson
First published in 1962 by Viking Books

Visitors call seldom at Blackwood House. Taking tea at the scene of a multiple poisoning, with a suspected murderess as one's host, is a perilous business.

Taking readers deep into a labyrinth of dark neurosis, "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" is a deliciously unsettling novel about a perverse, isolated, and possibly murderous family and the struggle that ensues when a cousin arrives at their estate.

I loved The Lottery and The Haunting of Hill House, so I was eager to try We Have Always lived in the Castle when it came up on my library's site on audio.  I am sad to say that I was pretty disappointed.  I guess I was expecting something a lot more creepy.  Instead, the book was pretty boring.   By the time I got halfway through, I didn't care what happened to Merricat, Constance, or Uncle Julian.  The "reveal" at the end was pretty easy to figure out.  There are enough hints in the book that it isn't a real big surprise.   I know that others seemed to love this one, but it just didn't do it for me.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas From Us to You!!

 Merry Christmas to all of our readers!  

We're taking a break today to spend the holiday with our families.  We'll be back tomorrow!

 Love, Autumn & Kari

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

I'll be Home for Christmas by Jessica Scott

Author: Jessica Scott
Publisher: Forever Yours (Grand Central Publishing)
Date of publication:  November 2013

There's nothing in the world Army Sergeant Vic Carponti loves more than his wife and his country. Smart-mouthed and easy tempered, he takes everything as a joke...except his promise to come home to his wife, Nicole, for Christmas. As he prepares to leave for his latest deployment into Iraq, Vic will do everything he can to shield his beautiful, supportive wife from the realities of war...and from his own darkest fears.

Did you ever wonder what happened to Vic Carponti (first seen in Because of You) and how he lost his arm in the war?  Well, I'll be Home For Christmas is his story.   I loved Carponti in Because of You. I was so excited to read this his story and even thought I knew what ultimately happens to him, it didn't take away from the story.

Carponti is always there with a joke or a sarcastic remark. He also obviously loves his wife. I liked his and Nicole's relationship  The short story did a good job of portraying what families and spouses go through when their loved ones are deployed.  I loved the things that Nicole and Vic did to try to keep the spice in their marriage, even though they are thousands of miles away.  I would have loved to see what the "man-dress" looked like. 

In addition to Carponti's story, there is also a bit more behind the scenes information about Davila and some of the stuff that happens overseas during the deployment.  It is a good set-up for the next book, Back to You (coming out in January 2014), which I hope will clear up the loose ends from the first book.   This is a great novella just in time for Christmas.  Definitely not one you want to miss!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Thrown by Colette Auclair

Author: Colette Auclair
Publisher: Pocket Star
Date of publication: December 2013

Professional trainer Amanda Vogel dreams of riding jumpers in the Olympics, but after seeing her best friend die in a riding accident, she’s so traumatized she can’t show. Broke and desperate, she takes a summer job in Aspen teaching some big-shot widowed movie star’s spoiled daughters to ride—even though she hates teaching kids. She braces herself for three miserable months. But by Labor Day, she has to choose between capturing a gold medal…and the man who has captured her heart.

In Thrown, Amanda is an Olympic hopeful who is crippled by anxiety after she watches her best friend die in a jumping accident during a competition.  After selling everything including her beloved horse, Edelweiss, because she is broke, she takes a job in Colorado to teach two young girls how to ride.  Their father is a famous movie star.  The girls are spoiled  and know no discipline. 

I enjoyed this story.   I was able to read it pretty quickly.  I liked that it gave both Amanda's and Grady's point of view.  The relationship between them grows slowly over the summer and that is was appealed to me the most.  It wasn't an insta-love, jump in bed kind of deal.  As for Grady and Amanda, I think I liked Amanda more.  I could feel her heartache every time she thought about the accident that took her best friend.  Her anxieties came across as real and believable.  I have to admit that I wasn't too keen on Grady through most of the book.  For a smart and successful actor, he was kind of clueless.  Frankly, I was surprised that Amanda even gave him a chance after he treated her the way he did.  Thankfully, he did redeem himself in the end.  I loved her surprised toward the end and have to admit to getting a little teary-eyed reading that scene.

There other characters in the books added some color to the story.  I loved Harris!  As for Wave and Solstice (really, who names their kids that?), I was happy  to see they changed.  Thrown is a good debut for this  Ms. Auclair.  I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Thicket by Joe R. Lansdale

by:  Joe R. Lansdale
published by:  Mulholland Books
publish date:  September 10, 2013

Jack Parker thought he'd already seen his fair share of tragedy. His grandmother was killed in a farm accident when he was barely five years old. His parents have just succumbed to the smallpox epidemic sweeping turn-of-the-century East Texas--orphaning him and his younger sister, Lula.

Then catastrophe strikes on the way to their uncle's farm, when a traveling group of bank-robbing bandits murder Jack's grandfather and kidnap his sister. With no elders left for miles, Jack must grow up fast and enlist a band of heroes the likes of which has never been seen if his sister stands any chance at survival. But the best he can come up with is a charismatic, bounty-hunting dwarf named Shorty, a grave-digging son of an ex-slave named Eustace, and a street-smart woman-for-hire named Jimmie Sue who's come into some very intimate knowledge about the bandits (and a few members of Jack's extended family to boot). 

Jack and his merry band of miscreants have to travel deep into the thicket to rescue his poor kidnapped sister Lula.  Jack is learning how to grow up fast to everyone in line and stay in control of his rescue attempt.  Jimmie Sue is speeding up the process by making a man of the virginal Jack. 

I loved this book so much.  It kinda reminded me of the movie True Grit, but at little more humorous.  I had been really looking forward to reading this book and it didn't disappoint.  The characters in this book were fantastic and defintely memorable.  I highly recommend this book and if you're looking for a last minute Christmas present, get this book. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher

by:  Annabel Pitcher
published by:  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
publish date:  November 12, 2013

Fifteen-year-old Zoe has a secret—a dark and terrible secret that she can't confess to anyone she knows. But then one day she hears of a criminal, Stuart Harris, locked up on death row in Texas. Like Zoe, Stuart is no stranger to secrets. Or lies. Or murder.

Zoe, through miscommunication and missed opportunities, ends up dating two brothers.  Because of a tragic incident one of them dies, and Zoe carries around the guilt of what really happened.  To help deal with burden she begins writing to a death row inmate without revealing her real name or address.

I ended up really liking this book, far more than expected to for a random YA pick from the library.  While I felt like the story seemed like it would be one for a little bit older character than 15, it did seem like a believable story.  

The story was set up in a way that the reader doesn't know who dies.  Only that someone it is someone close to Zoe, and eventually, one of the brothers that she is dating.  I enjoyed this storytelling style.  It built up the tension and definitely made it more interesting.

I liked it, it was well written, however I would probably steer this one to the older YAs.  

Friday, December 20, 2013

HAVEN by Laury Falter

Author: Laury Falter
Publisher: Audeamus LLC
Date of publication: June 2013

On an ordinary day in early September, Kennedy Shaw leaves for school unaware that within a few minutes the world she knows will be gone - succumbed to an outbreak of epidemic proportions. After finding a safe haven inside the security of her enclosed high school, she learns that four others have survived, one being a bold, mysterious transfer student from Texas whose unruffled demeanor harbors more than a cool interest in her. As they struggle to survive the dead fighting their way inside, will Kennedy discover there is more to life than survival? And will she and the others find a way to live in this terrifying new world?

Haven involves Kennedy and a small group of high school students who find themselves fighting for survival when there is a zombie outbreak.  They end up holing up in their school for weeks while the zombies roam outside.  The book is fast paced and has some pretty heart stopping moments.  There is also a lot of mystery surrounding Harrison, the boy that Kennedy has been eyeing for months.  

I felt like the characters were pretty realistically portrayed, especially in how the stress of their situations would have them acting.  The romance between Kennedy and Harrison was a little fast, but given the situation, I could see how it would progress that quickly.  There were a lot of unanswered questions that I hope will be addressed in the next book.

Haven is the second zombie book that I have read this year that I ended up really liking.  The story starts off at a run and doesn't let up until the cliffhanger ending.  January can't come fast enough for the sequel!  
About the author:

Laury Falter is a bestselling author of young adult romantic suspense and urban fantasy. She has three series out: the Guardian Trilogy, the Residue Series, and the Apocalypse Chronicles.
To learn more about Laury and her novels, visit her at her WebsiteTwitter pageFacebook page, and Goodreads page.
To download a Kindle ebook copy of Haven from AMAZON, click HERE
To download a NOOK ebook copy of Haven from Barnes & Noble, click HERE 
To download on Apple iPad/iBooks, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, click HERE

Laury Falter’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, November 18th:  Fiction State of Mind
Tuesday, November 19th:  Ageless Pages Reviews
Wednesday, November 20th:  Simply Stacie
Thursday, November 21st:  Must Read Faster
Friday, November 22nd:  Book Marks the Spot

Tuesday, November 26th:  Cheryl’s Book Nook
Tuesday, November 26th:  The Best Books Ever
Monday, December 2nd:  Sweet Southern Home
Friday, December 6th:  Patricia’s Wisdom
Sunday, December 8th:  Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Monday, December 9th:  Sara’s Organized Chaos
Wednesday, December 11th:  Reading Haven
Thursday, December 12th:  A Novel Idea
Monday, December 16th:  Book Nerd
Friday, December 20th:  From the TBR Pile

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Throwback Thursday: The Last Chance Cafe by Linda Lael Miller

Author: Linda Lael Miller
First published in 2002 by Atria books

When a blinding Nevada snowstorm and a broken-down truck force Hallie O'Rourke and her two young daughters into the warmth of the Last Chance Cafe, Hallie could not know she would find a new beginning at the roadside diner. Or that the handsome stranger she meets there would change everything she believes about home and family. Chance Qualtrough is a rancher with deep roots in Primrose Creek, and he's never met a woman as alluring -- or downright stubborn -- as Hallie. An undeniable passion is pulling them together, but Hallie is fleeing a danger so threatening she dares not let Chance into her heart. Will all that Hallie fears come back with full force, destroying her last chance for the life she's always dreamed of?

As I was listening to the audio-book for The Last Chance Cafe, I kept feeling like I was missing something.  Story threads seemed to die off and go nowhere.  Once the last disc was done, I realized that I had picked up the abridged version of the book.  For the record, nowhere on the case did it say "abridged".  Usually I am a lot more careful when it comes to audio-books. I detest abridged versions because I don't think they ever do a good job of breaking down the story.  I suggest that if you want to listen to the audio-book, make sure you get the full version. I'm sure it will make more sense.

Keeping that in mind, I did enjoy the romance part of the story.  I think I got enough of the gist of the book to like it.  I liked Chance and Hallie.  Their love scenes were pretty steamy.  I also loved their HEA.    I can't say much about the suspense part of the book.  It fell flat for me, but then I don't think I got enough of it to really like it. Maybe one day I'll try it again, only I'll read the entire book!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Blog Tour: The Pursuit of Mary Bennet by Pamela Mingle

Author: Pamela Mingle
Publisher: William Morrow
Date of publication: November 2013

For most of her life Mary Bennet has been an object of ridicule. With a notable absence of the social graces, she has been an embarrassment to her family on more than one occasion. But lately, Mary has changed. She's matured and attained a respectable, if somewhat unpolished, decorum. But her peace and contentment are shattered when her sister Lydia turns up-very pregnant and separated from Wickham. Mary and Kitty are bustled off to stay with Jane and her husband. It is there that Mary meets Henry Walsh, whose attentions confound her. Unschooled in the game of love, her heart and her future are at risk. Is she worthy of love or should she take the safer path? In her journey of self-acceptance, she discovers the answer.

The Pursuit of Mary Bennet is the first Pride & Prejudice "sequel" that I have read.  P&P is one of my favorite books so I was a little wary.  I did ultimately enjoy the book.  I think once I let go of the original story and just got into Mary's story, I was able to enjoy it more. For the most part, the author stayed true to the characters. This was a big concern and I was happy to see the book didn't read like a fan fiction story where everything is changed.

The story takes place a few years after P&P.  Mary is still living at home.  Lydia has left her husband, is hugely pregnant, and has moved home. Mary has come a long way and has matured some since we first met her.  It was nice to see how much she had changed.  I really felt bad for her.  She isn't treated well by most of her family.  As one of her sisters points out, she hasn't really felt what it is like to be loved.  Therefore, she doesn't really know how to love.  This definitely complicates things when Henry Walsh begins to show an interest in her.  I was hoping that she would get her HEA in the end.  There were a couple of surprises for the Bennets and, as always, a hint of scandal. 

The book is a pretty quick read and could be read in an afternoon.  I think any fan of P&P will enjoy reading this imagining of Mary's story.  As for me, I'm not sure I will seek out many more "sequels".  Unless, of course, they can be as good as this one.
About the author:

Pamela Mingle is the author of Kissing Shakespeare, a time-travel romance for young adults set in Elizabethan England. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Pikes Peak
Writers, Romance Writers of America, and the Jane Austen Society of North America.

Find out more about Pamela at her website, connect with her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Tour Stops:

Tuesday, November 26th: BookNAround
Wednesday, November 27th: Diary of an Eccentric
Monday, December 2nd: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, December 3rd: Savvy Verse & Wit
Wednesday, December 4th: Kahakai Kitchen
Monday, December 9th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Thursday, December 12th: BoundbyWords
Monday, December 16th: A Bookish Way of Life
Tuesday, December 17th: Book-alicious Mama
Wednesday, December 18th: From the TBR Pile

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Rake's Midnight Kiss by Anna Campbell

Author: Anna Campbell
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Date of publication: August 2013

Brilliant scholar Genevieve Barrett knows how to keep a secret. Her identity as the author of her father's academic articles has always been her greatest deception—until a charming housebreaker tries to steal the mysterious Harmsworth Jewel from her.

Sir Richard Harmsworth has been living a lie, maintaining a rakish façade to show society that he doesn't care about his status as a bastard. Yet long haunted by his unknown father's identity, Richard believes the Harmsworth Jewel will confirm his claim as the rightful heir. But when Richard sets out to seduce the bookworm who possesses the stone, he instead falls for its beautiful owner.

A Rake's Midnight Kiss is the second book in the "Son's of Sin" series.  I enjoyed the first one, Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed.  I liked this second one, but I didn't love it.  It was a little dull for me.  I really wasn't feeling the attraction between Richard and Genevieve. It felt forced and fell flat for me.  There was really no heat between them.  I think that kind of ruined the story for me.  I was hoping for more from Richard's courtship of Genevieve.  I did like their HEA and some of their banter was cute, but it wasn't anything wow.

The rest of the story was interesting. The bad guy was really slimy.  The carriage scene was very disturbing and icky.  I think the thing I liked most about the book was the end scene with Richard and his mother.  It was nice to see that he got his true happiness in the end.  I do look forward to the Cam's book, What a Duke Dares, coming out next year.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Deadline by Sandra Brown

Author: Sandra Brown
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Date of publication: September 2013

Dawson Scott is a well-respected journalist recently returned from Afghanistan. Haunted by everything he experienced, he's privately suffering from battle fatigue which is a threat to every aspect of his life. But then he gets a call from a source within the FBI. A new development has come to light in a story that began 40 years ago. It could be the BIG story of Dawson's career--one in which he has a vested interest.

Deadline is Ms. Brown's latest thriller.  I have to say that I really liked this one.  Dawson Scott is a journalist who suffers from PTSD as a result of being in Afghanistan.  His editor wants him to do a story on  blind balloonists, instead, he pursues an old cold case that his godfather never solved.  A man is on trial for murdering his wife and her lover.  The murdered man's DNA is a match to a child's blood found at the scene of the cold case.  The murdered man's ex-wife, Amelia, intrigues Dawson so he decides to stay.

It's a convoluted story, but bare with it because it will keep you guessing.  Just when I thought all of the secrets had been revealed, another surprise was thrown at me.  I loved that about this book. The relationship between Dawson and Amelia was definitely intense and very believable.  The other characters were a nice addition, especially the Amelia's sons.  This isn't one you want to miss, so make sure to check it out!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Reality Boy by A.S. King

by:  A.S. King
published by:  Little, Brown Books
publish date:  October 22, 2013

Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he’s still haunted by his rage-filled youth—which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle—and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school.

Reality Boy is about the dark side of reality nanny shows.  Gerald's mother can't control her family so she applies for one of the British nanny shows and they come to her house.  However, Gerald's mother is set on blaming all the family's problems on him, when it is clear to everyone else that the instigator is Gerald's psychopathic older sister.  Gerald's acting out, like pooping all over the house, bring in the rating though, so that's what the show focuses on.  In the end, nothing gets fixed and Gerald earns the nickname The Crapper and he becomes a very angry young man endlessly tormented by his sister.

Reality Boy was a fantastic book.  I loved the fact that it was a very realistic book.  When Gerald finally does allow a girl to come into his life, there is no instalove and their relationship is so slow and up and down and all around like a normal relationship usually is.  I really appreciated that aspect of the book.

This book deal with a lot of issues involving anger and mental health issues.  Some of them are on the mature side, shall we say.  So while this is a YA book, I would probably say this one is probably more for the older YAs.  

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Review: The Dark Witch by Nora Roberts

Author: Nora Roberts
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Date of publication October 2013
Audiobook by Brilliance Audio

With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends.


County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits.

I'm a big fan of Nora Roberts, so it pains me to say that I was a bit disappointed in this latest book.  I was really looking forward to The Dark Witch.  It's the first in a new trilogy.  I usually love her books when they have a bit of fantasy or supernatural thrown in.  While I didn't hate the book, I didn't love it either.

I loved the beginning/ prologue.  The book started out so strong with the telling of the first dark witch and her three children. I was pulled right into the story.  Then Iona showed up.  I really disliked her.  She was just too perky, too "Mary Sue Sunshine" and had absolutely no filter.  It was almost like she was a 5 year old at Disneyland for the first time.  It started to grate on my nerves after a while.  I liked the rest of the characters a lot.  Branna, Connor, Finn, Boyle and Meara seemed more normal to me. Well, as normal as a bunch of witches and their friends could ever be.

I just wasn't feeling the love or romance between Iona and Boyle. It felt just too forced.  I felt like Iona came across as a "poor me" type too often to have Boyle really fall for her. The one relationship I did like and want to read more about was the one between Finn and Branna. But, it looks like I will have to wait until book #3 for that one.  As for the bad guy, I thought he was kind of underwhelming.  He is supposed to be this charmer who seduces his prey, but I saw none of that.  Maybe he will try to seduce one of the other women?  The battle in the end was also kind of a let down.  I expected more.

I'm not sure if part of my issue was the fact that I listened to the audiobook.  I'm not sure that the narrator,  I'll probably go ahead and read the next two books in the trilogy to finish it up, but I'm not holding my breath that I will like them any better.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Blog Tour: Secrets and Lies (Cassie Scot Book 2) by Christine Amsden

Author: Christine Amsden
Publisher: Twilight Times Press
Date of publication: November 2013

Cassie Scot, still stinging from her parents' betrayal, wants out of the magical world. But it isn't letting her go. Her family is falling apart and despite everything, it looks like she may be the only one who can save them.

To complicate matters, Cassie owes Evan her life, making it difficult for her to deny him anything he really wants. And he wants her. Sparks fly when they team up to find two girls missing from summer camp, but long-buried secrets may ruin their hopes for happiness.

I have to admit it took me a little bit to get into this installment. I think it was due to the fact that it had been a while since I read the first book, so it took me a while to re-orient myself.  I do highly recommend that you read the first book in the series before this one or you will be lost.   It ended up being a fast read.

Overall, I enjoyed the story.  I thought the mystery of what happened to the two girls was very solid ans held a few surprises. On the family front, I thought the mindwalk between Cassie and her mother was interesting. While the story her mother told her was heart wrenching, I liked what she reveals about her magic in the end.  That was a cool twist.  I was hoping there would be more resolution to Evan and Cassie's relationship.  But, it was instead angsty and ended with a big cliffhanger.  Hopefully there will be a bit of happiness for them in the next book.
About the author:
Christine Amsden has been writing science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.
At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams. (You can learn more here.)
In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.
Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.