Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Locked In

Author: Marcia Muller

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (October 15, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446581054

My Review:

Written with the precision of a master craftsman, Locked In, by Marcia Muller will excite her fans, just as her previous works have stirred and thrilled them in the past.

In this book, Detective Sharon McCone is shot in the head by an unknown gunman. The devastating injury leaves her unable to move or speak. She can only blink her eyes in response to questions, but her mind is as sharp as ever. The reader enters Sharon's thoughts and misery as she confronts her fears and her frustration. Is she going to die? Will she be taken off of life support? She cannot communicate, so how can she save herself, or find the person who did this to her? Sharon is on a rollercoaster ride between death and life.

Ms. Muller's latest mystery is well-developed, unique, suspense filled, and very moving. It was also a fast read. I finished it within 24 hours

Monday, September 28, 2009

Love You To Death

Author: Shannon K. Butcher
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Forever (September 29, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446510297

Book Description:
Delicate, expressive hands...long, graceful legs...One man is looking for his perfect woman--and he'll stop at nothing until he finds her.

It's been days since reporter Elise McBride has heard from her sister, Ashley. She's convinced Ashley has met with some kind of foul play, especially when she learns that bodies of other missing women have surfaced in and around Chicago--all victims of a brutal serial killer. Convinced her sister is still alive, Elise vows to risk everything to save her...The last thing ex-cop Trent Brady needs is more blood on his hands. Yet when he catches Elise breaking into her sister's house, full of reckless determination and fear, he knows she needs his help. But just as desire ignites between them, a twisted madman sets his sights on Elise. Hell-bent on possessing her for himself, this psychopath won't rest until he has his perfect woman.

My Review:

The story opens as reporter, Elise McBride, has just flown home from Hong Kong to look for her sister. Ashley hasn't been heard from in several days, so Elise knows something has to have happened to her... something very serious. Almost immediately after arriving at her sister's house, she meets Ashley's next door neighbor and former cop, Trent Brady. Elise is satisfied that her sister has met with foul play and sits out to prove it, not heeding the dire warnings of Trent.

Elise convinces Trent to help her look for Ashley, and they soon discover they are searching for a crazed serial killer who mutilates the bodies of his victims for his own deviant purposes. Eventually, the gorgeous Elise becomes the killer's idea candidate as he sets her up for murder. Can Trent save her from a gruesome death? Will they find Ashley alive?

The author delicately spins suspense and drama, touching on a bit of horror here and there, as the books forges on to it's dramatic climax. Building layer upon layer, character upon character, this well-developed story steadily unfolds, holding the reader spellbound with anticipation. Although, gory in some parts, it is fast moving, romantic, steamy, and very exciting.

I wish I could give it more than 5 stars.

(Thank you for the Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Chosen By Desire

Author: Kate Perry
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Forever (September 29, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 044654101X

Book Description:
It's down to the wire and Carrie Woods is leaving China without the proof she needs for her thesis: Wei Lin's journal. While on a final tour of the monastery, Carrie finally locates the scrolls and attempts to photograph the documents. Caught in a sticky situation, Carrie takes the scrolls, only to notice a mysterious monk watching her--the same monk that she's seen each time she's taken a tour. Unable to return the scrolls, she travels back to California and isn't too thrilled when she notices the monk at the airport.

Maximillian Prescott first came to the monastery as an orphaned teenager when he inherited the Book of Metal from a distant uncle he hardly knew. After spotting a woman stealing from the monastery, he follows her to get back the documents he knows she's stolen. Max is further intrigued when he finds out that the chatty woman is friends with his archrival, Rhys Llewellyn, and he will stop at nothing to get back everything he's lost.

My Review:

Carrie Woods, a scholar of Chinese history, has a burning ambition to teach at Cal, but first she needs something really special for her thesis--something that will get the attention of the board-something groundbreaking. To gain the information she needs, Carrie travels to a Chinese monastery, and there she steals (she calls it borrowing) precious ancient scrolls and documents.

The mysterious, Maximilian Prescott, a monk, who is living at the monastery is immediately captivated by her, but knows he must find a way to recover the manuscripts, while at the same time is sexually fantasizing about her.

Will Carrie fall in love with Max? Will he find out her secret? Will she risk her career goals to be with him? Can trust between them be restored?

This is a romantic paranormal mystery that is so erotic, so sizzling, the reader is in danger of being consumed by its heat. The book is filled with passion and danger. A very good read.

(Thank you for Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Diamond Rio (The Story of Diamond Rio)

Author: Diamond Rio with Tom Roland
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 15, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1595552685

My Review:

For over two decades, the formidable Diamond Rio has thrilled music fans by turning out hit after hit singles, like Meet Me In The Middle; Norma Jean Riley; Love a Little Stronger; Walkin’ Away; That’s What I Get For Loving You; Imagine That; Unbelievable; One More Day; and Beautiful Mess. I’ve been a fan from the beginning and was happy to see this book in print. So when Beautiful Mess (The Story of Diamond Rio) was released, I jumped at the chance to read it.

The book begins with their 2005 disastrous performance at River Front Park in Nashville, Tennessee and goes on to take fans and readers through the ups and downs of the bands career. Chapters include: Edge of Disaster; Tennessee River Boys; Marty Roe; Dan Truman; Jimmy Olander; Brian Prout; Gene Johnson; Dana Williams; Wild Ride; Team Rio; Nowhere Bound; Revived; and also includes a list of Diamond Rio’s Top 20 Country Hits, and their major awards and nominations. It is filled with photos of the band and their families.

The book did not disappoint me. In fact, I walked away with even more respect for the band members and their music. I highly recommend it to Diamond Rio fans.

(Thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishing for my review copy.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The First Thirty Seconds

Author: Stephen M. Armstrong
Paperback: 238 pages
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (July 1, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1439245894

Book Description:

The First Thirty Seconds offers suggestive prompts for improving the management of one's behavior, thoughts, emotions, and relationships. It is presented in a unique format juxtaposing a relevant concept with a suggestion for further reflection. The result is a book that is effective as a personal growth resource and a library of thoughtful guidance.

My Review:

I am completely delighted with this book of inspiration. Each page provides the reader with an insightful and life changing thought, with a reflection after each. It's an easy to read book which doesn't take a lot of time out of busy lives. I read one or two pages every day and try to apply what I've read to my life. Chapters include: Thoughts; Feelings; Relationships; Power; Living Ideas; Character; Spirit; and much more. It is the perfect book for anyone who is looking for the motivation to improve their life.

(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

Friday, September 18, 2009


The winner of Dreamer is DebbieF. Congratulations! Please email your address to me, so I can send you book.

Thanks to everyone who entered.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

DREAMER Giveaway

Author: Phillip Davidson
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: iUniverse (June 29, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1440149267

Book Description:
There are some things too terrible to forget. Even if you
manage to escape a memory, it will often return at night to haunt your dreams. Such is the case
for Major David Elliot in Dreamer by Phillip Davidson.

The images from a rainy Vietnam night have followed David to 1982 and still trouble his sleep.
On that night, he was ordered to execute a member of his Special Forces unit, Jude, who had
betrayed the team. But just as he was about to kill Jude, David's hand was knocked away by an
unseen force, allowing Jude to escape into the jungle.

What happens next affects the lives of each man in David's unit and follows them for many
years to come. When a crisis with David's wife, Sunny, brings the men begrudgingly back
together again, they come face to face with more powerful forces than they realize.
Dreamer offers an interesting perspective on the choices people make in life and the not-so-
subtle ways in which those choices are affected by higher powers. Davidson uses God and the
devil as characters who take the human form and are very much a part of the decisions people
make. The result is a compelling story that weaves elements of both fact and faith into one
cohesive narrative.
My Review:
I'm not going to do a long review, because there is enough said in the Book Description above, so I will just say this: Book lovers will know they have found a new favorite author when they read Dreamer. Powerful and thought provoking! (Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

I am giving away 1 copy Dreamer on September 18th.

Rules are:
*Leave a comment with your email address for 1 entry.
*Become a follower for 2 entries (let me know if you already follow)
*Open to US and Canada residents only
*No PO boxes, please.
Good luck and happy reading!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Looking For Dad

Author: Frank Gorin
Paperback: 268 pages
Publisher: Open Path Books (June 25, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0615216536

Product Description:

“Looking For Dad” is the quixotic, sometimes melancholy but more often funny confession of a youth searching for personal identity. It’s a search for a father figure (his own father died when he was two years old). What begins as a quest for God (“Father”) and a hunger to be a priest (“Father”) leads eventually to an emotional breakdown and abandonment of the dream. In middle age comes an awakening via Zen Buddhism and then, with reluctance, a renewal of his old journey, with a surprising, if unorthodox, finish. “You needn’t be unbalanced to make a complete fool of yourself in religion,” writes the author, “but it helps." The main events of “Looking For Dad” are a kind of time-piece, transpiring in the late 1950s and early 1960s, just before the Second Vatican Council changed the facade – some say the foundation – of Roman Catholicism. And so a good part of the story moves inside that musty, mysterious environment of authority, archaic symbols and Latin speech. The “oriental” aspect, covering experiences in Zen and Theravada Buddhism, will appeal to the growing number of readers interested in Asian spirituality topics, including fresh literary approaches to the Dharma.

My Review:
This is well-written... an interesting, thought-provoking book.

(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

On The Bluffs

Author: Steven Schindler
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: The Elevated Press; 1st edition (August 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0966240812

Book Description:

SOMETIMES THE BIGGEST LIES ARE THE ONES WE LIVE. While Brian DeLouise was working the graveyard shift at a conspiracy theory-crazed radio station his wife was alley-catting around Washington, DC. But a cheating wife and a dead-end job no longer made him angry or depressed. He was just numb. It took a daring brush with death to awaken his senses and a few clicks on Google to begin a journey to recapture a love he believed was gone forever. Brian finds his lost lover in a rundown mansion on the windswept bluffs of Cape Cod, where he must confront a fast approaching evil while he risks losing everything he now cherishes.

About the Author:

Born and raised in the Bronx, Steven Schindler's first two novels, Sewer Balls and From the Block, are artfully gritty portrayals of the neighborhood characters who hung out on the stoops, playgrounds, rooftops and barstools during the crazy days of the Bronx in the sixties and seventies. Both books offer a heavy dose of mad, inner-city youthful adventures laced with awkward teenage sex, rock and roll, and the search for the perfect egg cream, i.e. the essence of life itself. His third novel, From Here to Reality (Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books), is a hilarious send-up of a transplanted New Yorker's foray into the early days of reality television in Hollywood, and received praise from Jay Leno and Roger L. Simon (The Big Fix) Schindler's soon-to-be released novel, On the Bluffs, is a thrilling love story wrapped in a dysfunctional family mystery that begins on the trendy streets of Washington D.C. and winds up in a rundown mansion on the bluffs of Cape Cod.

My Review:

This book's author is new to me, so I didn't know what I would find or how I would like his writing. But to my surprise, I found a gifted writer. His story of Brian DeLouise is one filled with romance, mystery, suspense, and danger, with a little humor thrown in. The lead character gets a second chance at love, but also confronts evil.

This is a book that is superbly written, exciting, and unforgettable. It is one that I will read again.
(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Show No Fear

Author: Maliss Melton
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Forever (September 1, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0446509272

My Review:
Lucy and Gus were lovers in college, until she joined the CIA, for deeply personal reasons. After his father was killed in the World Trade Center, Gus joined the Navy Seals.

When the story begins, Lucy has become a respected CIA agent, and Gus, a top Navy Seal. As fate would have it, the two former sweethearts are reconnected when he is called to rescue her from certain death.

Much to their dismay, they are later assigned to pose as husband and wife, and sent on a secret mission with a UN team, to the jungle of South America. The mission is to negotiate the release of two American hostages. If their identities are discovered, the two could face torture and possible death.

As Gus and Lucy rediscover their passion for each other, Lucy deals with her own demons and inner darkness. Guilt has caused her to bury her strong affection for Gus, the man she adored in the past. Can Gus help Lucy overcome her demons and recover her deep love?

Together in the untamed jungle, fighting the war on terror, Gus and Lucy also fight for their life and love.

The book was well-written and gave some exciting details about the life of CIA agents and Navy Seals.
(Thanks to the Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Lori's Song

Author: Lori Foroozandeh
Paperback: 244 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (July 22, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1432738291

Book Description:
Though she endured a childhood of physical and sexual abuse, nothing would ever equal what happened to her in Iran the weeks following 9/11.

Lori, an American married to an Iranian, had been working and living as an ordinary member of Iranian society for almost 4 years when she had heard rumors that the U.S. was going to be attacked. That was on September 9, 2001. She tried and failed to call home and give warning.The news that all those rumors were horribly true came on September 11th 2001. That was when her husband suddenly announced that they had to go back to the States in case there were repercussions.

On September 12, 2001, Lori and her husband were at the Shiraz bus terminal intending to catch a bus to Istanbul and from there to Heathrow and home to the U.S.A. They were totally unprepared for the convoy of troop carriers that suddenly drove up and the armed men who came pouring out to take the hapless couple prisoner.There was no explanation offered. The men took Lori's husband one direction and she another, pushing them blindfolded into the back of the troop carriers with other prisoners, mostly Iranian. Who the armed men were was anybody's guess but they took their prisoners to POW camp in unfamiliar territory and there, Lori was held, tortured, raped, and starved with them for over a month. Her husband was not to be seen again.

Lori was rescued with one of her fellow inmates by the girl's family and, after riding a llama for 1-2 days over mountainous terrain; she arrived at the Iran Immigration center. By then, she weighed in at only 70 pounds, was still suffering from the many injuries she'd received at the hands of her torturers, and wanted badly to get home to her family in the USA. Even then, she had to fight Iranian Islamic bureaucracy to have permission to go, as the husband was unavailable to grant it. In any Islamic country, unknown to many western women, the husband or guardian's permission is always required for a woman to travel anywhere.

Lori had been married to Mohammad for 9 years and thought she could trust him but, since their arrival in Iran in 1998, his personality and behavior had changed so radically as to make this most recent nightmare highly suspicious.The events told here are true. It was no coincidence that this American citizen had been placed into a concentration camp. In fact, it raises many questions and should be a caution to many!

My Review:

Lori Foroozandeh tells her own story in this eye-opening book. This is the extraordinary true story of an extraordinary life. It is a must read that tells the heartbreaking story of one woman's pain, courage, and ultimate victory over evil.

(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

The Way Home

Author: George Pelecanos
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (May 12, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0316156493

My Review:

This thriller by the popular author, George Pelecanos, is set in Washington, D.C., and spins the tale of revenge and suspense. After reading The Night Gardener by Pelecanos, I knew I had found another great author. The Way Home is just as good--maybe better. It's no wonder President Obama took it with him to read on his summer vacation. Good reads!

(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Author: James Patterson
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (June 29, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316018775
My Review:
This was my first audio CD, and I could hardly wait to listen to the great James Patterson’s new work, Swimsuit. I figured I would listen to it while I drove on long trips, instead of listening to the same old thing on the radio.

The story is about Henri Benoit, a diabolical serial killer, who makes snuff videos for a group of perverted individuals. It was so perverse, so hideous, so disgusting; I got to about the sixth chapter and turned it off forever. I was depressed for days afterward. This was definitely not for me, and in my opinion had no redeeming value.
(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review CD.)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Distant Thunder

Author: Jimmy Root Jr.
Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: American Book Publishing (August 10, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1589825535

Book Description:

The prophet Ezekiel was never taken seriously when he predicted the destruction of Israel s enemies; unfortunately for them, he was right. The truth of Ezekiel s words will be felt by the entire modern-day world, and it seems chaos will reign supreme. In the midst of the ensuing mayhem, Pastor Ty Dempsey arises as the man who is able to connect modern-day occurrences to the teaching of old. Meanwhile, Israeli pilot Moshe Eldan starts to see the truth of the prophecies in his daily dealing with terrorists. Dempsey and Eldan soon realize that they are part of a bigger plan; however, they are not alone. This thriller provides an answer to an age-old question: What would happen if the entire world turned on Israel? This thriller provides the answer in a fast-paced read, filled with all the action and adventure that usually accompanies the end of the world.

My review:

If you love page-turning drama with biblical prophecy thrown in, then you are going to like this one. It's a thriller from start to finish and may even keep you awake some nights. A keeper.
(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

Frozen Tears

Author: Mary Ann MacAfee
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (May 8, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1439218196

Book Description:

In Alaska's stunning but brutal interior, where white and Native cultures clash, Kale Weaver struggles to survive a devastating tragedy that becomes the genesis for her allegiance to wolves and the circumstances making her target of a primitive superstition. Aided by her best friend, a worn-out helicopter pilot, and the bond shared with a wolf shaman, she then struggles against what follows: the bigotry and rejection imposed on her and her half-breed son,until she is challenged by the ultimate ordeal. Whatever the risks, she must fulfill a wish for her young son that she had never imagined for him. But above all, Kale's page-turning journey shows that love can triumph over life's most dire challenges and painful losses.

My Review:

Set in remote Alaska, this book offers all the elements for a good read-- love, loss, triumph over adversity, and the feel of a rich adventure in America's last frontier. Highly recommended.

(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Best Friends Forever

Author: Jennifer Weiner
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Atria (July 14, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0743294297

My Review:
Just when 9 year old Addie Downs needed a friend, Valerie Adler showed up on her doorstep. Valerie and her mom had just moved in across the street, and being the free spirit that she is, Valerie came over to introduce herself. Although they were complete opposites (they say opposites attract), from that day the girls became best friends and continued until high school.

After years of separation, and hard feeling between the two, Valerie shows up again at Addie’s door in the middle of the night, believing she has possibly killed a fellow classmate after attending a class reunion, and begs for Addie’s help. Addie is furious and can’t understand, after what happened in high school, how her former friend could have the nerve to face her. Addie finally agrees to help Valerie search for the body, which turns into an adventure she would never have expected.

Even though the book is terrifically descriptive and fun to read, it does begin to lag a bit in the middle, but redeems itself after a couple of chapters. It is definitely chick-lit, entertaining, and very witty.
(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)