Saturday, October 31, 2015

Books We didn't Finish - October Edition

Lexicon: The premise was promising, but I kept getting confused.  There was no world building. I didn't understand the motivation behind the academy or the poets. Just a lot of use of the word persuasion.  I'm sure the two story lines end up making sense in the end, but I just wasn't interested in getting there.  Guess it wasn't for me.

Blush:  I think I'm over reading dom/sub books.  I knew about 1/4 of the way
through I had read this story over and over.  I just wasn't interested in finishing.

The Cage:  I felt like this book and the premise was just creepy and weird.  The fact that it was YA made it even more so.  I don't specifically know what bothered me about it.  Something about the other beings watching all the time and the forced reproduction.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Blog Tour: After Alice by Gregory Maguire

Author: Gregory Maguire
Publisher: William Morrow
Date of publication:

Down the rabbit-hole, where adventures await . . .
When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice’s disappearance?

In this brilliant new work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings—and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll’s enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice’s mentioned briefly in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend but arrives a moment too late—and tumbles down the rabbit-hole herself.

Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. The White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the bloodthirsty Queen of Hearts—droll and imperious as always—interrupt their mad tea party to suggest a conundrum: If Eurydice can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or if Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. In any case, everything that happens next is After Alice.

I will confess, this is only the second book by this author that I have attempted to read.  I tried and failed to get through Wicked, but that was a long time ago. Long before I realized what the story was really about   I have always intended to give it another shot. Anyway, knowing that, I decided to give this one a try.  I love Alice in Wonderland, at least the commercialized versions of it since I have not had the pleasure of reading Lewis Carroll's original story. So what would be better than what happened after, right?  

Unfortunately, I didn't like this book.  I can honestly say, I tried, I really did.  But, I felt like I needed to have a dictionary and thesaurus with me while reading it.  I read the first few chapters a couple of times because I was so lost.  For instance, it took me a while to figure out that Ada had a new baby brother who had stomach issues and was not sleeping well.  It should not take me 3 re-reads to figure that out.  I'm not sure if the author was trying to mimic Lewis Carroll's writing style, but it just didn't work for me.  

About the author:

Gregory Maguire is the New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of an Ugly StepsisterLostMirror Mirror; and the Wicked Years, a series that includes WickedSon of a WitchA Lion Among Men, and Out of Oz. Now a beloved classic, Wicked is the basis for a blockbuster Tony Award–winning Broadway musical. Maguire has lectured on art, literature, and culture both at home and abroad. He lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts.

Find out more about Gregory at his website and follow him on Facebook.

Purchase Links

Gregory’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, October 27th: A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, October 28th: Books Like Breathing
Thursday, October 29th: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, October 29th: Reading Reality
Friday, October 30th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, November 2nd: Read. Write. Repeat
Tuesday, November 3rd: Snowdrop Dreams of Books
Wednesday, November 4th: Walking With Nora
Wednesday, November 4th: View from the Birdhouse
Thursday, November 5th: Booksie’s Blog
Friday, November 6th: Fuelled by Fiction
Monday, November 9th: Man of La Book
Tuesday, November 10th: I Wish I Lived in a Library
Wednesday, November 11th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Thursday, November 12th: Unabridged Chick

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Throwback Thursday: A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch

Author: Charles Finch
First published in 2007 by Minotaur Books

On any given day in London, all Charles Lenox, Victorian gentleman and armchair explorer, wants to do is relax in his private study with a cup of tea, a roaring fire and a good book. But when his lifelong friend Lady Jane asks for his help, Lenox cannot resist another chance to unravel a mystery, even if it means trudging through the snow to her townhouse next door.

One of Jane's former servants, Prudence Smith, is dead -- an apparent suicide. But Lenox suspects something far more sinister: murder, by a rare and deadly poison. The house where the girl worked is full of suspects, and though Prudence dabbled with the hearts of more than a few men, Lenox is baffled by an elusive lack of motive in the girl's death.

When another body turns up during the London season's most fashionable ball, Lenox must untangle a web of loyalties and animosities. Was it jealousy that killed Prudence? Or was it something else entirely, something that Lenox alone can uncover before the killer strikes again -- disturbingly close to home?

A Beautiful Blue Death is a book that I have been wanting to try for a while. I love Sherlock Holmes and historical english mysteries. I was hoping this book would be like those. I finally got the audiobook from my library.  I am sad to say that I got about halfway through the book and gave up. There were a couple of reasons that I didn't finish the book

First, the story was really dull.  I kept losing my place because I was bored.  I would have to re-listen to parts to figure out what I missed.  Second, there were too many characters with similar sounding  names.  I kept losing track of who was who.  I know that this is a series with the ninth book coming out next month.  I'm not sure if they get better.  Maybe I'll give it another try at a later date.  For now, I have too many things in my TBR pile!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Review & Excerpt: Before the Storm by Leslie Tentler

Leslie Tentler is back with another story of romance and suspense…this time in a small Southern beach town called Rarity Cove. What happens when a woman on the run has her dangerous secrets finally catch up with her? Find out in Before the Storm by Leslie Tentler…

 On Sale in Digital and Print: October 20, 2015
Amazon       B&N         Kobo       iBooks


Six years earlier, Trina Grissom disappeared, on the run for her life. Now living under an assumed identity—as Samantha Marsh—she still struggles with the dark secret she harbors and the fear she might one day be found. When she moves to the coastal town of Rarity Cove, South Carolina, to open a café, a handsome widower begins to chip away at the walls she’s built to protect herself.

Mark St. Clair lost his wife two years ago in a tragic accident. Head of the grand St. Clair resort, he distracts himself from his lingering grief by running the family business and caring for his troubled young daughter...until a beautiful restaurateur sets up shop in town. Before meeting Samantha, Mark was convinced he could never be drawn to another woman. But as his attraction to Samantha grows, the mystery surrounding her deepens.

As the two begin a hesitant courtship, double perils emerge. Someone from Samantha’s lurid past comes calling, threatening to expose her. And a powerful hurricane is forming in the Atlantic with the small beach town in its path. Trapped in the storm by the brutal man who wants vengeance on Samantha, she and Mark must fight for their lives.

My thoughts:

Before the Storm is a great book about second chances.  Both Samantha and Mark are at a time in their life where they are trying to rebuild and move on.  Samantha is in hiding and trying to be a different person  Mark is trying to recover from his wife's tragic death. I really enjoyed watching Mark and Samantha fall for each other.  Mark was just too cute in his attempts to get back into the dating game after two years of being off the market. He is just what Samantha needed.

I should warn you that there are a couple of harsh scenes in  the book. They were a little hard to read. But they didn't distract from the enjoyment of the story,  I highly recommend this book. It you like second chance stories, this one is worth checking out.


The Sea King Motor Court sat off the two-lane highway heading inland out of Rarity Cove. A good four miles from the beach, the one-story, painted cinderblock structure was outdated and somewhat run-down, with a small swimming pool surrounded by a chain-link fence next to the parking lot. Samantha walked past the unoccupied, darkened pool, clutching her purse that contained Lenny’s payoff.
Room six. She stood outside it and reminded herself to breathe. But her courage felt shattered, like so many broken shell fragments washed up along the shore. The porch light beside the door had either burned out or been purposely extinguished. If not for the moon overhead and the iridescent, droning orange of the motel signage, she would be in eerie darkness.
Nearly choking on dread, Samantha knocked. As she waited, her fingers roamed inside her purse until she felt the handle of the kitchen knife she’d brought with her from Café Bella. If Lenny tried to take more than the money, if he grabbed her and tried to force her…
Samantha shivered despite the evening’s humidity. Jittery, she knocked again, louder this time.
The muffled blare of a television came from another of the guest rooms. But the one in front of her remained silent. Samantha glanced at her wristwatch, checking the time again. Five minutes past eleven. An eighteen-wheeler pulled into the parking lot, its big tires crunching over gravel. It came to a stop at the far side of the motel. A driver wearing cowboy boots, jeans and a baseball cap climbed down from the cab. The man approached and nodded politely at her as he traveled past, then disappeared inside one of the rooms.
Samantha knocked again on Lenny’s door, this time with the flat of her hand. Her palm smarted with the effort. But again there was no response. What kind of game was he playing?
Weak with pent-up fear and growing frustration, Samantha moved to the window and tried to peer between the slit in the closed curtains. But the room’s interior appeared dark. She sagged onto the white plastic lawn chair next to the air conditioner vent. A thin trail of water leaked from the unit across the grimy concrete stoop, reaching her leather thong sandals. She hadn’t worn the requested stripper heels.
She wondered what to do. Keep waiting? For how long? She squinted at a line of plastic flamingos planted in the motel’s patchy Bermuda grass. They called attention to a sign urging passersby to inquire about weekly rent specials.  
Lenny wasn’t home, apparently. Samantha rubbed her hands over her upper arms, confused. Had he forgotten it was his payday?
That didn’t seem possible.

Grand Prize: $25 Amazon or B&N gift card

Two runners-up will receive their choice of an ebook from Leslie’s backlist 

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Leslie Tentler is also the author of FALLEN as well as the Chasing Evil Trilogy (MIDNIGHT CALLER, MIDNIGHT FEAR and EDGE OF MIDNIGHT). She was a finalist for Best First Novel at ThrillerFest 2012, and is a two-time finalist for the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense. She is also the recipient of the prestigious Maggie Award of Excellence.
Leslie is a member of Romance Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and Novelists, Inc. A native of East Tennessee, she currently resides in Atlanta.

Connect with Leslie:  Website | Facebook Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

Waiting on Wednesday Blitz: The Harder You Fall By Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter’s THE HARDER YOU FALL is coming! Being released on November 24th, this fantastic contemporary romance in the Original Heartbreakers series is a scorching tale featuring an aloof bad boy and the rowdy Southern belle who rocks his world, published by HarlequinHQN! Pre-order THE HARDER YOU FALL from the links below for an sneak peek opportunity! And don't miss the exclusive teaser we have for you below!

The Harder You Fall - Cover 

Pre-order THE HARDER YOU FALL here!

Amazon * Kindle * Barnes and Noble * Nook * Book Depository * Powells * iBooks * BAM * Kobo * IndieBound

  THE HARDER YOU FALL Synopsis: From New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter comes another scorching Original Heartbreakers tale featuring an aloof bad boy and the rowdy Southern belle who rocks his world… Millionaire video-game creator Lincoln West has a dark and tragic past. The sought-after bachelor lives by a rigid schedule and a single rule—one relationship per year, lasting no more than two months. No exceptions. When he gave up the big city for a small town, he hoped to escape the worst of his memories—until a brash beauty dredges up long-buried emotions. A reformed party girl, Jessie Kay Dillon is determined to walk the straight and narrow. But her love-hate sizzle with West is just too irresistible. They can't be near each other without tearing off their clothes, but the last thing she needs is to be his next two-month dump. Will she become the one exception? Because as any former girl-gone-wild knows: rules are made to be broken. "Emotional, heart-tugging, kept me turning the pages!" —Carly Phillips, New York TimesBestselling Author

Add it to your Goodreads Now!


Pre-Order THE HARDER YOU FALL, Register your Pre-Order and be one of the first to have a sneak peek at the newest book in the Lords of the Underworld series!

The Harder You Fall - Preorder teaser


Author pic- Gena ShowalterAbout Gena Showalter:

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series--Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles--and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series. In addition to being a National Reader's Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she's appeared onNightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black--if you ask her about it, she'll talk for hours…hours! Her books have been translated in multiple languages. She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at or  

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October Mini Musings

Best Kind of Broken: I'm not sure why but it took me forever to get through this book.  It ended up just being OK for me.  I think most of the issues would have been avoided had there been more communication between the two main characters.  What happened was tragic, but not their faults.  It was also kind of annoying to see Pixie and Travis with other people  throughout the book.   Not sure if I will continue with the series or not.

Bliss House:  I am getting tired of books being described as one type of book only to be really another type of book.  I wouldn't say this book was a ghost story or even about a haunted house.  Yes, there are some ghostly things that happen, but it is really more of a murder mystery. It was also pretty long with a so-so ending.  The reveals were pretty easy to figure out. There are some brutal scenes in the book, so I caution people with triggers.  I just wish it had been spookier.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Suzanne and Melanie Brockmann "Greater Than" Spotlight Tour and Giveaway

We have another exciting spotlight today for you!  Wild Sky, the latest by mother/daughter team  Suzanne and Melanie Brockmann have given us a special message for out readers. Also, enjoy the excerpt below.  Make sure to check out the giveaway for a chance to win a copy!

Authors: Suzanne and Melanie Brockmann
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Skylar is a girl with extraordinary power. A girl with a mission to use her Greater-Than gifts to stop the makers of Destiny from getting people hooked on their deadly drug. But Sky is still mastering her new abilities, and her first mission to destroy a Destiny lab leaves her best friend addicted to the drug. For a few days Cal will be able to walk again – until it kills him. Time is running out for Sky to save the world without sacrificing her friends, to become truly Greater-Than...

Message From The Authors Suzanne and Melanie Brockmann

Mel:  Wild Sky is a paranormal story, set in Florida, approximately fifty years in the future. In this world, a small percentage of people, mostly girls and young women, are born with a chemical in their blood that gives them superpowers like telekinesis or extraordinary strength.

Suz: Nicknamed “Greater-Thans” or “G-Ts,” these girls have been targeted for kidnapping by bad guys who harvest their blood and use it to manufacture a drug called “Destiny.” Destiny is extremely expensive, highly addictive, and ultimately fatal, but before the user dies from it, the drug reverses the aging process, heals illness and injury, and gives the addict super powers, too.

Mel:  It’s pretty scary stuff!  Oh, and just an FYI: Although Wild Sky is the sequel to Night Sky, you don’t have to read Night Sky for Wild Sky to make sense!

Suz:  All you really need to know is that in Night Sky sixteen-year-old Skylar Reid discovers that she’s a Greater-Than with some serious superpowers. 

Mel: And that Sky and her best friend Calvin--a really upbeat kid who’s spent most of his life in a wheelchair--have some dangerous adventures with another tough-girl G-T named Dana, and Dana’s extremely (ahem) attractive sidekick Milo.

Suz: Sky and Milo really hit it off, so in Wild Sky, they’re a bit of an item.

Mel:  A bit! In Wild Sky, Sky and her friends get into more trouble as they search for Dana’s sister, Lacey, who disappeared years ago and has been presumed dead.

Suz: But now Sky’s got reason to believe Lacey’s being held captive in a Destiny “farm.”  And of course, high jinks ensue, and our beloved character Calvin is put into extreme danger--although throughout most of it, he holds onto his crazy sense of humor!

Mel: We both love Calvin very much!

Suz: And Sky does, too!  When we developed the Night Sky series, we wanted to center it around a main character we could easily relate to. And even though we grew up in very different circumstances –

Mel: Mom has an older sister, I have a younger brother. My dad was a lawyer, my mom a writer. My mom’s parents were both teachers.
Suz: I grew up listening to the Beatles –

Mel: Christina Aguilera.

Suz:  Watching Star Trek.

MelFull House.

Suz: Paul Newman!

Mel: Bradley Cooper!

Suz: But despite all of those superficial differences, Mel and I shared experiences far too common to teenage girls. Waves of self-doubt, with occasionally soul-crushing periods of insecurity.

Mel: Yet even at our lowest moments, we knew that there were things we were really good at.

Suz: And that’s where Sky came from. A young woman whose primary goal is to fit in with her peers, but whose G-T status makes that virtually impossible. Or so she believes.

Mel: Of course, her friends recognize Sky for who she really is – a funny, loyal young woman with a huge heart -- whose superpowers only add to her awesomeness.  But for Skylar, nothing comes easy. Everything seems to be on shaky ground – her budding romantic relationship with Milo, her ability to help Dana find Lacey, even her friendship with Calvin.

Suz: It’s that very human mix of vulnerabilities and strengths that make Skylar so special.

Mel: We hope readers see Wild Sky as not just a really exciting, action-packed adventure, but a story about Skylar’s quest – and really every teenage girl’s quest -- to own her awesome.

Suz: Because we truly believe that everyone is born with abilities that – no matter how seemingly small or insignificant -- should be recognized and celebrated! It is our differences that make us Greater-Than.

Wild Sky Excerpt

I wish I could say I’d never witnessed a windshield shatter before, but I’d been in a terrible car accident a few years back, so I knew exactly what it looked and sounded like.

There’s a weird silence that happens immediately after something like that, in which everything seemed to occur in slo-mo. I forced my mouth to move.

“Gunshot!” I shouted, because I could see both Cal and Garrett looking wildly around, trying to process exactly what that noise was and what had justhappened. “Bullet to car window! Over to the right.”

The broken windshield belonged to a beat-up sedan parked two slots down from us in the Sav’A’Buck lot. Someone had fired a gun, just once, probably fromsomewhere near the grocery store’s front doors, judging from that broken front window. Shards of glass made tinkling sounds as they careened off the front of thecar and onto the pavement.

“Gunman at the store door, get down get down get down!” Calvin shouted, and I stupidly turned to look instead of diving onto the floor of his car, and he grabbedme by the shirt and yanked me down just as the shooter must’ve flipped the switch from one shot to massacre, and the gun began going off, popping bulletsthrough the air.


I braced for them to hit Cal’s car, covering my head as I prepared for a rain of glass, but the man with the giant gun must’ve been pointing it in a different direction,because I heard the ping of punctured metal and breaking glass, but it wasn’t from our car.

I could hear someone screaming—high-pitched and frantic—even as Garrett yelled, “Calvin, drive!

“Don’t,” I told Cal as I closed my eyes and focused on that glimpse I’d seen before he’d pulled me to relative safety.

Single gunman. Carrying…

big gun. And something else…?

I focused on calling up the image, and yes, he was carrying some- thing under his left arm, some kind of brightly colored sack, with his assault rifle tucked intohis right elbow—this tall, broad man, maybe twenty years old, buzz cut, scar above his eyebrow.

That screaming—it had been a child’s voice. She was silent now, but I realized with a flash that I hadn’t seen a colorful bag but instead the cheerfully patternedclothing of a little girl. That man with the gun was abducting a little girl. And I bet I knew why.

“Gimme!” I said and reached back to grab one of the water guns from beside Garrett.

“Sky!” Cal exclaimed. “Don’t—”

I didn’t wait to hear what he thought I shouldn’t do. I’d yanked my hood up over my head, hiding my red hair and as much of my face as I could, and I was alreadyout of the car and on the asphalt, heading toward the man who was still firing that gun. He was using it not to kill, thank goodness, but to keep the little girl’s familyfrom following him. I could see with just one glance that she was unconscious, as he tossed her none too carefully into the passenger seat of his shiny black Bimmer. Hehad a nice car. And I was pretty sure I knew how he’d paid for it—by kidnapping little girls like this one, like Sasha, too, and selling them to the Destiny makers.

Mother. Effer.

Hey!  I belted out. But my voice was buried beneath the cacophony of his weapon. I had to move fast, or he was going to get into his snazzy car and that little girl would be gone.

I took a deep breath and concentrated. Water versus bullets? Not normally much of a contest there.

But I could do this. Couldn’t I?

Suddenly, I heard Dana’s voice in my head, shouting Fail! Fail! What are you doing, Bubble Gum? You have no backup, you have no plan!

What was I doing? This was insane.

Still thoughts. I closed my eyes and pictured Milo. I breathed him, I felt him, I heard him. Still thoughts, Sky. Just let it go

And in that moment in which I was specifically not thinking about what I was about to do or what the consequences would be if I failed, I felt and then saw myenormous pile of plastic water pistols—there were sixteen of them total—shoot out from the backseat of Calvin’s car and through the passenger side windowthat I’d left open. They streamed toward me like metal particles toward a magnet.

Then, just as quickly, all but one—a little green one—swooped in front of me before lining up and hovering in midair.

The little green plastic water gun zoomed over to the man with the real gun and smacked him in the face.

“What the hell…?” He fumbled his weapon as he turned to see me standing there—me and that collection of water guns—and his eyes widened.

“Holy shit, Sky!” With the noise from the assault weapon silenced, I could hear Garrett shouting, and I winced inwardly because he’d used my name.

But whatever he said next was muffled, and Cal’s voice rang out instead. “Hoshitski, look out!”

It was an intentional misdirect, and I tried to stand like a Hoshitski might, no doubt surly from years of being teased. I pitched my voice lower and ordered, “Dropit! Now!”

The gunman’s wide eyes narrowed, and we both knew he wasn’t going to drop his weapon, so before he could turn and kill me, I let loose my TK andblasted him. All of those plastic guns shot water from their barrels with the intensity of sixteen narrow but powerful fire hoses, and it sent the man downonto the ground so hard that I heard his head as it smacked against the pavement.

The gun he’d been holding clattered to the ground.

All of my weapons ceased water-fire and dropped onto the pavement in front of the unconscious shooter.

The silence that followed was eerie. I felt a little dazed, standing there with a single, silly-looking pink water gun still in my hand, staring at the downedman and his big real gun, and then over at the bullet-riddled storefront of the Sav’A’Buck.

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Suzanne Brockman, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author, has won 2 RITA awards, numerous RT Reviewers’ Choice, and RWA’s #1 Favorite Book of the Year three years running. She has written over 50 books, and is widely recognized as a “superstar of romantic suspense” (USA Today). Suzanne and her daughter, Melanie Brockmann, have been creative partners, on and off, for many years. Their first project was an impromptu musical duet, when then-six-month-old Melanie surprised and delighted Suz by matching her pitch and singing back to her. Suzanne splits her time between Florida and Massachusetts while Mel lives in Sarasota, Florida. NIGHT SKY is Mel’s debut and Suzanne’s 55th book. Visit Suzanne at

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