Friday, January 31, 2014

The Devil Wears Tartan by Karen Ranney

Davina made a mistake and is ruined. Her aunt is marrying her off to a man she has never met. When she gets to the altar she is surprised.  He is very good looking. The Earl of Lorne is quite surprised at Davina's looks too.  He did not expect much. It turns out they are a good match.  She falls for him and he falls for her but does not let on.  He was taken prisoner in China and was tortured with opium.  He still has "spells". What will become of them?

Another predictable romance novel. Similar story to another book I read with "devil" in the title.

From the author:
The Devil Wears Tartan came to life because of something I read about Chinese history.  The article I was reading led to another link, which led to another, and like magic, the plot was born.
Marshall Ross and Davina McLaren are both flawed characters (love flawed people) who have made mistakes and paid dearly for them.  They are forced together by circumstances, but Fate, instead of being capricious in this instance, rewarded each of them with the other.  Marshall found in Davina a woman who could believe in him, and Davina found in Marshall a challenge, and someone who deserved both her loyalty and her love.
Pages: 372
Published: 2008

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Evermore by Alyson Noel

Ever was in a car accident.  Her parents and sister were killed. Now she lives with her aunt Sabine in the LA area. A new boy from New Mexico comes to her school. She cannot "read" Damen.  Since the accident, Ever is psychic. She picks up what people are feeling and thinking.  If she touches them she gets so much information.
Ever liked Damen but he is messing her around. He flirts with her and then ignores her and flirts with other girls.  She cannot figure him out.  But there is more to Damen and Ever is going to find out what.

From the author:
Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, Ever can see auras, hear people's thoughts, and know a person's entire life story by touch. Going out of her way to avoid human contact and suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen.
Damen Auguste is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy. He's the only one who can silence the noise and random energy in her head—wielding a magic so intense, it's as though he can see straight into her soul. As Ever is drawn deeper into his enticing world of secrets and mystery, she's left with more questions than answers. She has no idea just who he really is—or what he is. The only thing she knows to be true is she's falling deeply and helplessly in love with him.
Excerpt:
Chapter One 
"The only secret people keep is immortality."
   —Emily Dickinson
Guess who?"
Haven's warm clammy palms press hard against my cheeks, as the tarnished edge of her silver skull ring leaves a smudge on my skin. And even though my eyes are covered and closed, I know that her dyed black hair is parted in the middle, her black vinyl corset is worn over a turtleneck (keeping in compliance with our school's dress code policy), her brand new, floor sweeping, black satin skirt already has a hole near the hem where she caught it with the toe of her Doc Martin boots, and her eyes appear gold but that's only because she's wearing yellow contacts.
I also know her dad isn't really away on "business" like he said, her mom's personal trainer is way more "personal" than "trainer," and her little brother broke her Evanescence CD but he's too afraid to tell her.
But I don't know any of this from spying or peeking or even being told. I know because I'm psychic.
"Hurry! Guess! The bells gonna ring!" she says, her voice hoarse, raspy, like she smokes a pack a day, even though she only tried it once.
I stall, thinking of the last person she'd ever want to be mistaken for. "Is it Hilary Duff?"
"Ew. Guess again!" She presses tighter, having no idea that I don't have to see toknow.
"Is it Mrs. Marilyn Manson?"
She laughs and lets go, licking her thumb and aiming for the tarnish tattoo she left on my cheek, but I raise my hand and beat her to it. Not because I'm grossed out by the thought of her saliva (I mean, I know she's healthy), but because I don't want her to touch me again. Touch is too revealing, too exhausting, so I try to avoid it at all costs.
She grabs the hood of my sweatshirt and flicks it off my head, then squints at my earbuds and asks, "What're you listening to?"
I reach inside the iPod pocket I've stitched into all of my hoodies, concealing those ubiquitous white cords from faculty view, then I hand it over and watch her eyes bug out when she says, "What the? I mean, can it be any louder? And who is that?" She dangles the iPod between us so we can both hear Sid Vicious screaming about anarchy in the UK. And the truth is, I don't know if Sid's for it or against it. I just know that he's almost loud enough to dull my overly heightened senses.
"Sex pistols," I say, clicking it off and returning it to my secret compartment.
"I'm surprised you could even hear me." She smiles at the same time the bell rings.
Pages: 306
Published: 2009

Time Was by Nora Roberts

Cal crashes. Libby sees the crash and rescues him.  He is hurt, but not badly. After a day, he wakes and starts to realize something is not right.  After seeing a new book and furniture made from "real" wood, he realizes he went back in time from 2252 to 1989. Cal and Libby fall in love but they know he has to go back to the future.
This was an ok story.  Very predictable.

From fdb:
THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH

Studying the past hardly prepared anthropologist Liberty Stone for loving a man from the future. Caleb Hornblower, with hair as black as deep space and eyes as blue as the Oregon sky his ship had fallen from--made her level head spin. In his arms time stood still, but soon he'd go where she couldn't follow. 

Born in 2222, Cal couldn't believe he'd crashed through a gateway to the past and was being sheltered in a remote cabin by a captivating twentieth century woman-one whose strength and innocence filled him with an aching desire. He belonged in the future, but if Libby was part of the past, how could he leave it--and her--behind?

Excerpt from B&N:
He was going down. The instrument panel was a maze of wildly flashing numbers and lights, and the cockpit was spinning like a merry-go-round gone mad. He didn't need the scream of warning bells to tell him he was in trouble. He didn't need the insistent red blip on his computer screen to tell him the trouble was big. He'd known that the moment he'd seen the void.
Swearing, clamping down on his panic, he struggled with the controls, using one hand to shove the lever forward for full power. The vehicle bucked and shuddered, fighting the gravitational pull. The Gs hit him like a wall. All around him metal screamed against metal.
"Hold together, baby," he managed to say as his lips stretched back over his teeth. The floor near his feet ripped open in a jagged line three inches long. "Hold together, you son of a—"
He jammed hard due east, swearing again when it seemed that no matter how cleverly he maneuvered he and his ship would be sucked into the hole.
The cockpit lights went out, leaving only the whirl of kaleidoscopic colors from the instrument panel. His ship went into a spiral, tumbling end over end like a stone fired from a slingshot. Now the light was white, hot and brilliant. Instinctively he threw up an arm to shield his eyes. The sudden crushing pressure on his chest left him helpless to do more than gasp for breath.
Briefly, before he lost consciousness, he remembered that his mother had wanted him to be a lawyer. But he'd just had to fly.
When he came to he was no longer spiraling—he was in a screaming free-fall. A glance at his instruments showed him only that they were damaged, the numbers racing backward. A new force had him plastered back against his seat, but he could see the curve of the earth.
Knowing he could pass out again at any moment, he lunged forward to knock the throttle back and turn the ship over to the computer. It would, he knew, scan for an unpopulated area, and if God was in His heaven the crash control in the old bucket would still be functional.
Maybe, just maybe, he'd live to see another sunrise. And how bad could practicing law be?
He watched the world rush toward him, blue and green and beautiful. The hell with it, he thought. Flying a desk would never be like this.
Libby stood on the porch of the cabin and watched the night sky boil. The wicked slices of lightning and the blowing curtain of rain were the best show in town. Even though she was standing under the overhang, her hair and her face were wet. Behind her, the lights in the cabin glowed a warm, cozy yellow. The next boom of thunder made her grateful she'd set out candles and kerosene lamps.
But the light and warmth didn't lure her back. Tonight she preferred the chill and the crashing power that was barreling through the mountains.

Pages: 255
Published: 1989

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Devil's Wake by Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due

Kendra's parents are making her go to the hospital to get a flu shot.  She does not want to get one. The family is at the hospital and it is mayhem! Her father gets bitten by some crazy woman. But they manage to escape.
Terry is at a camp in the woods.  Troubled young adults help out there instead of going to jail. Vern, the camp owner, has gotten bitten by a crazed cop.
The world is going going to hell.  Some virus is making zombies. Kendra ends up with Terry's group.  They are traveling from Washington State to California looking for a safe place. Will they ever find one?

I really liked this book.  It was a quick read. A well told story but it ended abruptly.  There is a sequel.

From goodreads:
But this infection goes far beyond disease. Beyond even the nightmare images of walking dead or flesh-eating ghouls. The infected are turning into creatures unlike anything ever dreamed of . . . more complex, more mysterious, and more deadly. 

Trapped in the northwestern United States as winter begins to fall, Terry and Kendra have only one choice: they and their friends must cross a thousand miles of no-man’s-land in a rickety school bus, battling ravenous hordes, human raiders, and their own fears. 

In the midst of apocalypse, they find something no one could have anticipated . . . love.


Excerpt:


Thankfully, Longview's streets weren't stacked with cars and bodies.  Kendra drove past the industrial districts, those smokestacks that no longer belched white, the waterway now clogged with logs that, in saner days, would have gone to the Weyerhauser mill to build houses and make cardboard boxes.  Nothing moved.  Interstate 5 stayed mostly clear too.  Until she'd driven twelve miles down.
            There, just as the skies were growing dark, Kendra's headlights showcased an overturned truck that looked like an oil tanker blocking the road.  Kendra's heart danced with images of gas for life, until she realized it was only a milk truck. 
            Don't get greedy, girl.
            She slowed and decided the embankment was gentle enough to steer around the truck, amazed at how easily she'd adapted to the challenge.  Time was, she would have panicked at the blocked road, but she wasn't the same person she'd been yesterday.  Or even an hour ago.   Kendra pulled off, steering toward the dirt on the driver's side, her only clear passage. 
            Her tires had just left the asphalt when a man stepped out the shadows.  Kendra's eyes focused on him sharply, showing her every detail in her car's harsh light.  He was a big man, with dirty, pale, densely freckled skin.  A wild beard speckled white and black, with bits of yellow trapped inside.  When he grinned, his teeth looked like he'd scribbled on them with yellow crayon.   He'd been living outside.  His hands were behind his back as if she'd interrupted him while he was pacing, deep in thought.
            Or maybe, just maybe, he was a freak.
            Kendra remembered Grandpa Joe's warning never to stop for hitchhikers, and she and the stranger had nothing to talk about.  Without hesitating, she pressed her foot harder on the accelerator to make him think she would run him over rather than stop—and maybe she would.  She didn't know yet.
            That was when he whipped out his shotgun.  From four feet away, the barrel loomed as large and dark as a railroad tunnel.  He'd fire if she accelerated, and was too close to miss.  Heart thundering, Kendra rolled to a stop.  She felt her pulse drumming as her hands grasped the steering wheel, her heartbeat shaking her body. 
            Take your damned chances and drive over him!  Kendra's mind screamed.           
            But she didn't.  Instead, with her trembling hands raised high, she got out of the car.  She hoped she wouldn't lose more than the bicycle.  Maybe he wouldn't see her backpack. 
            "Heard the car from a mile off," the man said.  "Don't see too many cars no more.  And a pretty girl really ought not be out by herself.   Get out—and bring your stuff.  Everybody's got stuff."

Pages: 278
Published: 2012

Dreaming of the Bones by Deborah Crombie

Duncan's ex-wife, Vic, calls him.  She asks him to help her find out more about the suicide of a poet, Lydia Brooke, that she is writing a biography of. He grudgingly helps her.  Gemma is a little jealous. It looks as if Vic may be correct in thinking that it was not a suicide.  Then a murder occurs. Duncan and Gemma investigate on their own time and the results rock their world!

I really enjoyed this story.  When you find out the truth (about ) Lydia you will be surprised.

From the author:
Dr. Victoria McClellan, Cambridge feminist biographer, is writing the life of the talented but tortured poet Lydia Brooke, five years after Brooke’s tragic suicide. As a student at Cambridge in the early sixties, Lydia emulated her namesake, the romantic Edwardian poet Rupert Brooke, who formed a nature-worshipping group called the Neo-Pagans.
Now living in Grantchester, the village near Cambridge where Rupert Brooke and his friends gathered for their Bohemian frolics, Vic McClellan finds herself immersed in Lydia’s past. One of the female pioneers of the confessional voice in poetry, Lydia survived a tumultuous marriage, brushes with madness, and early suicide attempts. But Vic discovers that the poet achieved a new creativity and balance in midlife, and she finds it increasingly difficult to accept that Lydia died by her own hand. Why would she abandon her success in a final gesture of defeat?
So for the first time in twelve years, Vic calls her ex-husband, Superintendent Duncan Kincaid of Scotland Yard, to ask for his help in proving that Lydia was murdered. At first Duncan fears that Vic is too close to her enigmatic subject, that she simply does not want to believe that Lydia would take her own life. But he cannot refuse her request, and when he begins to investigate, he finds aspects of the case that arouse his own suspicions.
Duncan’s involvement with Vic and her son, Kit, complicates his fragile relationship with his partner and lover, Sergeant Gemma James. Then he receives some terrible news that will change his life forever.
As Duncan faces his greatest personal and professional challenge, he and Gemma embark on a quest for a murderer that will expose secrets that have reached out over thirty years and poisoned a dozen lives.

Excerpt:
The post slid through the letter box, cascading onto the tile floor of the entry hall with a sound like the wind rustling through bamboo. Lydia Brooke heard the sound from the breakfast room, where she sat with her hands wrapped round her teacup. With her morning tea long gone cold, she lingered, unable to choose between the small actions that would decide the direction of her day.
Through the French doors at the far end of the room, she could see chaffinches pecking at the ground beneath the yellow blaze of forsythia, and in her mind she tried to put the picture into words. It was habit, almost as automatic as breathing, this search for pattern, meter, cadence, but today it eluded her. Closing her eyes, she tilted her face up towards the weak March sun slanting through the windows set high in the vaulted room.
She and Morgan had used his small inheritance to add this combination kitchen/dining area to the Victorian terraced house. It jutted into the back garden, all glass and clean lines and pale wood, a monument to failed hopes. The plans they’d had to modernize the rest of the house had somehow never materialized. The plumbing still leaked, the rose patterned wall-paper peeled delicately from the walls in the entry hall, the cracks in the plasterwork spread like aging veins, the radiator hissed and rumbled like some subterranean beast. Lydia had grown used to the defects, had come to find an almost perverse sort of comfort in them. It meant she was coping, getting on with things, and that was, after all, what was expected of one, even when the day stretching ahead seemed an eternity.
She pushed away her cold cup and rose, tightening the belt of her dressing gown around her slight body as she padded barefoot towards the front of the house. The tile felt gritty beneath her feet and she curled her toes as she knelt to gather the post. One envelope outweighed the rest, and the serviceable brown paper bore her solicitor’s return address. She dropped the other letters in the basket on the hall table and ran her thumb carefully under the envelope’s seal as she walked towards the back of the house.
Freed from its wrapping, the thick sheaf of papers unfolded in her hands and the words leapt out at her. IN THE MATTER OF THE MARRIAGE OF LYDIA LOVELACE BROOKE ASHBY AND MORGAN GABRIEL ASHBY . . . She reached the bottom of the stairs and stopped as her brain picked out words from amongst the legalese. FINAL
DECREE . . . PETITION OF DIVORCE GRANTED THIS DAY . . . The pages slipped from her numb fingers, and it seemed to her that they drifted downwards, cradled on the air like feathers.
She had known it would come, had even thought herself prepared. Now she saw her hollow bravado with a sudden sickening clarity--her shell of acceptance had been fragile as the skin of algae on a pond.
After a long moment she began to climb the stairs slowly, her calves and thighs aching with the burden of each step. When she reached the first floor, she held on to the wall like an unsteady drunk as she made her way to the bathroom.
Shivering, shallow-breathed, she closed and locked the door. The motions required a deliberate concentration; her hands still felt oddly disconnected from her body. The bath taps next, she adjusted the temperature with the same care. Tepid--she’d read somewhere that the water should be tepid--and salts, yes, of course, she added the bath salts, now the water would be warm and saline, satin as blood.
Satisfied, she stood, and the deep blue silk of the dressing gown puddled at her feet. She stepped in and sank into the water, Aphrodite returning from whence she came, razor in hand.


Pages: 368
Published: 1997

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

This is book three of The Infernal Devices. I had a hard time getting through this one.  I think part of it is because I did not enjoy the story as much as I did in The Mortal Instruments series.
Jem is fading away. Will is struggling with his love for Tessa.  Cecily is settling in with the Shadowhunters without quite realizing it.
Mortmain is after Tessa. He sends some clockwork people after her. She finally learns more about herself about the same time Charlotte learns about her. The Shadowhunters go to rescue Tessa.

From the author:
THE INFERNAL DEVICES ARE WITHOUT PITY.
THE INFERNAL DEVICES ARE WITHOUT REGRET.
THE INFERNAL DEVICES ARE WITHOUT NUMBER.
THE INFERNAL DEVICES WILL NEVER STOP COMING.
Tessa Gray should be happy — aren’t all brides happy? Yet as she prepares for her wedding to Jem Carstairs, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to the Magister, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan of destruction.
He needs Tessa.
Tessa knows Axel Mortmain, the Magister, is coming for her, but not where or when he will strike. Charlotte Branwell, the head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain first. And the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa’s heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, and Will knows he should force himself to find someone else to care for, he is as much in love with her as ever.
In the last words of a dying Shadowhunter reside the clue that might lead Tessa and her friends to Mortmain. But the Shadowhunters of the London Institute cannot stand alone, and in their homeland of Idris, the ruling body of the Clave doubt their claims that Mortmain is coming. Deserted by those who should be their allies and with their enemies closing in, the Shadowhunters find themselves trapped when Mortmain seizes the medicine which is all that is keeping Jem alive. With his best friend at death’s door it is up to Will to risk everything to save the woman they both love.
To buy Will time, the warlock Magnus Bane joins with Henry Branwell to create a device that could help them to defeat the Magister. As those who love Tessa work to save her, and the future of the Shadowhunters that resides with her, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself —for in the discovery of her own true nature, Tessa begins to learn that she is more powerful than she ever dreamed possible. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?
Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

For the first chapter, click here.

Pages: 570
Published: 2013

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Black Country by Alex Grecian

Inspector Walter Day and Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith get sent out to the British Midlands also called the "Black Country". Three people have gone missing in a coal mining town.  The locals are giving the men a hard time about finding these people. Meanwhile there is some sickness hitting the townspeople. Dr. Kingsley, who works for Scotland Yard, comes to the town the next day. Between the three of them they figure out where the missing people are and what is causing the sickness.

I enjoyed this story and did not figure it out until the author gave the clue to the reader! I will be getting more books by this man. This was the second in the series.

From the author:
The British Midlands. It’s called the “Black Country” for a reason. Bad things happen there.
When members of a prominent family disappear from a coal-mining village—and a human eyeball is discovered in a bird’s nest—the local constable sends for help from Scotland Yard’s new Murder Squad. Fresh off the grisly 1889 murders of The Yard, Inspector Walter Day and Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith respond, but they have no idea what they’re about to get into. The villagers have intense, intertwined histories. Everybody bears a secret. Superstitions abound. And the village itself is slowly sinking into the mines beneath it.
Not even the arrival of forensics pioneer Dr. Bernard Kingsley seems to help. In fact, the more the three of them investigate, the more they realize they may never be allowed to leave…

Excerpt:
PROLOGUE
*****

It was an unusual egg. Not at all like other eggs Hilde had Iseen. It was slightly larger than a robin’s egg, white with a thin spiderweb of red, visible under a paper-thin layer of snow. A bit of dirty pink twine curled out from under the egg, and Hilde reached out, nudged it with her fingernail. The egg turned, rolling over in its nest of straw and feathers and bits of old string. Hilde could see now that the worm-thread was embedded in mud on one side of the egg and on the other side of the egg was a large colored dot, slate blue, darker than a robin’s egg ought to be.
She adjusted her position in the tree, resting her behind against a big branch to free her hands. She looked down at the ground, but there was nobody to see what she was doing or to tell her no. Carefully she reached into the nest and plucked out the unusual egg. It was slippery, not as firm as the eggs she had handled in the past, and its surface gave a little under the pressure of her fingertips.
She held it up to the pale sun, turning it this way and that. It glistened, a dappled branch pattern playing over its surface. She brought it closer to her face. The blue dot in the center ringed a smaller black spot and reminded her of something, but it was out of context and it took her a long moment to place it.
And then she did and it was an eye, and the eye was looking at her.
Hilde reeled back and dropped the eyeball. It tumbled down through the branches below, bouncing once, then twice, off the trunk, and disappeared into a pile of soft snow-covered underbrush. Her foot came loose from its perch on the branch and she felt herself slip. Her weight fetched up against a smaller branch to the side, but it didn’t hold her. She felt the adrenaline rush too late as she grabbed for the nest and it came loose in her hand. Her dress snagged and tore, and all of her sixty-three pounds caromed off the branch and slammed back into the tree trunk.
Still holding the useless bird’s nest, Hilde fell to the ground, screaming all the way.

Click here to read more.

Pages: 384
Published: 2013

Sunday, January 26, 2014

2014 Winter Olympics Reading Challenge

I found another fun challenge from Crazy Challenge Connection on goodreads!! I will post links as I read them.

2014 WINTER OLYMPICS on goodreads
DURATION: January 15 – April 30, 2014
 

1. Russia-  The host city Sochi  Read a book set in Russia or the former Soviet Union 
From Russia With Love by Ian Fleming 2/24/14

2. FLAME - Read a book with fire on the cover Divergent (Divergent, #1) Jan 16th

3. MEDALS/EVENTS - a book which has won an award of some sort and has a “medal” on the cover. Remember to post the book cover! The Giver (The Giver Quartet, #1) Jan 22

4. NEW EVENTS - Read a book published for the first time in 2014 What I Had Before I Had YouJan 25th


5. OPENING/CLOSING CEREMONIES -a book whose plot spans a time period of less than one month.  The Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan Feb 9

6. ALPINE SKIING Read a book in which things go downhill for one of the main characters 
The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort Feb 2

7. BIATHLON - Read a book in which a main character is or has been in the military The Unsung Hero Jan 21st

8. BOBSLEIGH  - Read a book with at least two main MALE characters The Death of Santini by Pay Conroy 2/14/14

9. CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING - OR a book with a snow-covered field/road on the cover 
Last Night at the Lobster Jan 23rd


10. CURLING 
Read a book with a residential house (not apartment/condo, etc.) on the cover 

A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy











11. FIGURE SKATING OR a book in which at least two characters must work together to solve a problem  On Tall Pine Lake by Dorothy Garlock

12. FREESTYLE SKIING Read a book in which a character has a bumpy ride  - Check out page 136
Bitter Night by Diana Pharaoh Francis

13. ICE HOCKEY - Read a book with a number in the title (1, 2, 3, etc., NOT First, Second, Third) My One Square Inch of Alaska Jan 26th

14. A LUGE  - Read a book in which a character jumps into a risky situation “feet first.”  Devil's Wake by Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due

15. NORDIC COMBINED Read a book in which a character holds at least two different jobs. 
Down London Road by Samantha Young 3/14/14

16. SHORT TRACK SPEED SKATING  OR book #4 in a series.  Dark Wolf Rising by Rhyannon Byrd

17. SKELETON Read a book in which a main character is a single parent.
Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy 3/9/14

18. SKI JUMPING  Read a book by a female author published in 2011, 2012, 2013 or 2014 
2014 Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen Feb 7

19. SNOWBOARDING Read a book in which a character must have special skills or equipment in order to do his/her job  Fire at Twilight by Lila Ashe  Feb 17

20. SPEED SKATING Read a book that is #2 in a series.  Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd


21. SPORTS IN THE WINTER PARALYMPICS Read a book in which a character has a permanent disability of some sort  Broken by Megan Hart

Stolen by Kelley Armstrong


In this story, Elena is looking for information about werewolves.  She contacts someone who posted on the internet.  She goes to meet the lady at a tea room in Pittsburgh, PA. It turns out that the ladies she is meeting are witches.  Some people they know have been kidnapped.  The older woman Ruth is on a council of supernaturals.  She feels that the werewolves need to be warned of what is happening.
Someone on the council must have told the baddies about the wolves because Jeremy, Clay and Elena were attacked.  Eventually, Elena gets captured. She meets people from other races. How will she escape?  WIll the baddies get defeated?

When I first started this, I thought, "Oh no, Elena gets kidnapped again!" But I enjoyed the story and was happy with the ending.  I found out that Elena and I have the same birthday but I am 6 years older! How funny is that?

From the author:
When a young witch tells Elena that a group of humans are kidnapping supernaturals, Elena ignores the warning.  After all, everyone knows there’s no such thing as witches. As for the thought of other ‘supernaturals’, well, she’d just rather not dwell on the possibility.  Soon, however, she’s confronted with the truth about her world, when she’s kidnapped and thrown into a cell-block with witches, sorcerers, half-demons and other werewolves. As Elena soon discovers, dealing with her fellow captives is the least of her worries. In this prison, the real monsters carry the keys.

Excerpt:
Chapter One - Demonic
"Please tell me you don't believe in that stuff," said a voice beside my shoulder.
I looked at my seat-mate. Mid-forties, business suit, laptop, pale strip around his ring finger
where he'd removed his wedding band. Nice touch. Very inconspicuous.
"You shouldn't read crap like that," he said, flashing a mouthful of coffee stains. "It'll rot
your brain."
I nodded, smiled politely and hoped he'd go away, at least as far away as he could on an airplane
flying at several thousand feet. Then I went back to reading the pages I'd printed from the
believe.com website.
"Does that really say werewolves?" my seat mate said. "Like fangs and fur? Michael Landon?
I was a Teenage Werewolf?"
"Michael . . .?"
"Uh, an old movie. Before my time. Video, you know."
Another polite nod. Another not-so-polite attempt to return to my work.
"Is that for real?" my seat-mate asked. "Someone's selling information on werewolves?
Werewolves? What kind of people would buy crap like that?"
"I would."
He stopped, finger poised above my papers, struggling to convince himself that someone could
believe in werewolves and not be a complete nutcase, at least not if that someone was young, female
and stuck in the adjoining seat for another hour. I decided to help.
"For sure," I said, affecting my best breathless blonde accent. "I mean, like, werewolves are
in. Vampires are so five minutes ago. Gothic, ugh. Me and my friends, we tried it once, but
when I dyed my hair black, it went green."
"That's, uh—"

To read more, click here.

Pages: 564
Published: 2002

My One Square Inch of Alaska by Sharon Short

Donna's little brother Will  is saving boxtops from Marvel Puffs to get a square inch of land in Alaska in 1953. This contest is based on a radio show.  Now it's a tv show and the company is using this contest to promote the new show.   It's the highlight of his life.  Their mother died years ago and their father is still grieving.  Donna is more like Will's mother than his sister. She works two part time jobs.  One at their Grandma's restaurant and and the other for their next door neighbor, Miss Bettina's Dress Shop.  Donna loves fashion design.  She has been remaking her mother's old clothing into new clothes for herself.
A bunch of bad things happen to Donna who is a senior in high school.  The most devastating thing is that Will is diagnosed with cancer.  He is eleven.  He gets Donna to tell him the truth.  He is going to die. Will wants to see his land in Alaska. So Donna, Will and Trusty, an abused junk yard dog that Will has rescued, take off from Ohio to Alaska.

I really enjoyed this book.  I liked the story and felt so bad for Donna and Will.

From goodreads:
A pair of siblings escapes—along with a Siberian Husky—the strictures of their 1950s industrial Ohio town on the adventure of a lifetime.

Talented high-school senior Donna Lane yearns to leave her Midwestern home in pursuit of a career in design, but she feels obligated to stay and care for her helpless father and her younger brother, Will. In fragile health and obsessed with the television show Sergeant Striker and the Alaskan Wild, Will’s dearest companion is a mute Siberian Husky named Trusty. The arrival of two outsiders inspires Donna to consider her dreams anew. Then Will falls sick, and Donna packs up their yellow convertible—with Will, Trusty, and a road atlas—and sets off for the Alaskan Territory. A portrait of a singular American moment, My One Square Inch of Alaska is a moving tale of exploration and love—human and canine—that dares to believe the impossible.

For an excerpt, look inside this....

Pages: 327
Published: 2013

Saturday, January 25, 2014

What I Had Before I Had You by Sarah Cornwell

Olivia is recently separated from her husband.  She decides to move her two children to her family's home in NYC.  Along the way, she stops in Ocean Vista, NJ to show the kids where she spent her childhood. They were walking on the boardwalk and 9 year old Daniel disappears.
Olivia reminisces back and forth from the past to the present, telling the story of her life.  Olivia's mother was a psychic. Myla is a strange woman.  She is always going on about a set of twin that she had that died. Olivia sees some twin girls that she thinks are the twins that her mother had.  Olivia discovers that she has a family that she did not know about and learns there is more to her mother's behavior than she knows.  This has an impact on her life and Daniel's life.

I enjoyed this sad story. This is the first novel from Sarah Cornwell.  I am hoping there will be more from her.

From the publisher:
In What I Had Before I Had You by Sarah Cornwell, a woman must face the truth about her past in this luminous, evocative literary novel of parents and children, guilt and forgiveness, memory and magical thinking, set in the faded, gritty world of the New Jersey Shore.
Olivia was only fifteen the summer she left her hometown of Ocean Vista. Two decades later, on a visit with her children, her nine-year-old son Daniel, recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder, disappears. Olivia’s search for him sparks tender and painful memories of her past—of her fiercely loving and secretive mother, Myla, an erratic and beautiful psychic, and the discovery of heartbreaking secrets that shattered her world.


Pages: 278
Published: 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

Monopoly Reading Challenge - Game Play

Check out the challenge here at Goodreads/Crazy Challenge Connection.

We all start at GO.

Round One

Roll One:
#1 - MEDITERRANEAN AVENUE: Read a book with a mostly purple cover 
My Choice - Stolen

Roll Two:
#4 - READING RAILROAD: a book by an author whose first and last names begin with the same letter, for example Michael Morpurgo or Cleo Coyle  Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Roll Three:
#3 -VERMONT AVENUE:   a book by an author whose first and last initials can be found in “VERMONTAVENUE” Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Roll Four:
#4 - ELECTRIC COMPANY: Read a book with a daytime scene on the cover 


Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

Roll Five:
#4 - ST. JAMES PLACE:  book set in Europe Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier replaced The Thirty Nine Steps because is was not long enough.

Roll Six:
#2 - TENNESSEE AVENUE: Read a book with a mostly orange cover 

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Roll Seven:
#5 - INDIANA AVENUE: Read a book with a mostly red cover 
Bitter Night by Diana Pharaoh Francis










Roll Eight:
#5 - WATER WORKS:  a book with a happy ending -  Ash by Malinda Lo

Roll Nine:
#4 - NORTH CAROLINA AVENUE: Read a book with a mostly green cover 


Entwined With You by Sylvia Day 
Roll Ten:
#6 - LUXURY TAX: Go to your Goodreads TBR list and read one of the first 75 books listed.
Buried in a Bog by Sheila Connolly

Roll Eleven:
#1 - BOARDWALK: Read a book  whose title starts with B or W 
The Billionaire Wins the Game by Melody Anne

Round Two

Roll Twelve:
#4 - BALTIC AVENUE: Read a book with a mostly purple cover  Cress by Marissa Meyer











Roll Thirteen:
# 1 COMMMUNITY CHEST #1: Read a book by one of your favorite authors. 
Friends With Full Benefits by Luke Young

Roll Fourteen:
#6VERMONT AVENUE: Read a book with a mostly white cover  Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder











Roll Fifteen:
# 3 ST. CHARLES PLACE: Read  a book by an author whose first and last initials can be found in “CHARLESPLACE”  A Cursed Embrace by Cecy Robson

Roll Sixteen:
# 3 VIRGINIA AVENUE: Read  a book set in Florida  - Friends With More Benefits by Luke Young

Roll Seventeen:
#4 TENNESSEE AVENUE: Read a book  by an author whose name includes two sets of repeated letters  Elegy For April by Benjamin Black

Roll Eighteen:
#4  CHANCE #2: Read a book by one of your favorite authors (NOT the same author as the previous Chance space, if you’re lucky enough to have landed on that earlier in the game)
Truly, Madly by Heather Webber

Roll Nineteen:
#6 WATER WORKS: Read a book which takes place on/near the water Edinburgh, Scotland on the North Sea/near the River Leith in the city  Down Jamaica  Lane by Samantha Young


Roll Twenty:
#2 GO TO JAIL: Roll the die again; move backwards that many spaces, and complete the task for that space. 

Roll Twenty-One:
#6 ILLINOIS AVENUE: Read a book  by an author whose name includes at least one set of consecutive double letters (examples: Steve BeRRy, DeBBie Macomber, Orson ScoTT Card)
Never Enough by Joan Elizabeth Lloyd

Roll Twenty-Two:
# 4 WATER WORKS: Read a book with a happy ending. Hard Day's Knight by Katie MacAlister

Roll Twenty-Three:
# 4 NORTH CAROLINA AVENUE: Read a book with a mostly green cover 




Fast Track by Fern Michaels







Roll Twenty-Four:
# 5 PARK PLACE: Read  a book whose title starts with P, A, R or K  Rush by Maya Banks

Roll Twenty-Five:
#SHORT LINE RAILROAD: Read  a book with the word “SHORT” or “LINE” in the title  
The Short Second Life of Bree Turner by Stephenie Meyer

Roll Twenty-Six:
#2 PARK PLACE: Read a book with a mostly blue cover OR a book in which at least one character is wealthy OR a book by an author whose first or last initial can be found in “PLACE”  ALL of these!!

Natural Causes by Michael Palmer





Roll Twenty-Seven:
#2 BOARDWALK: Read  a book whose title starts with B or W  
Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren


Round Three

Roll Twenty-Eight:
#4 BALTIC AVENUE: Read a book  whose title starts with B  
Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren

Roll Twenty-Nine:
#6 READING RAILROAD: Read a book by an author whose first and last names begin with the same letter. Murder by Mocha by Cleo Coyle

Roll Thirty:
#5 VISITING JAIL: Roll the die again, move forward and do the task for that property.




#2 ELECTRIC COMPANY: Read a book with a daytime scene on the cover.
Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis






Roll Thirty-One:
#6  TENNESSEE AVENUE: Read a book by an author whose name includes two sets of repeated letters.  Dark Witch by Nora Roberts  - 2 Os 2 Rs.

Roll Thirty-Two:
#5 INDIANA AVENUE: Read a book in which a character is a farmer, gardener or gardens as a hobby 
One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern

Roll Thirty-Three:
#5 WATER WORKS: Read a book which takes place on/near the water  - Mississippi River
Elysian Fields by Suzanne Johnson

Roll Thirty-Four:
#2 GO TO JAIL: Roll the die again; move backwards that many spaces, and complete the task for that space. 
#2 WATER WORKS: Read a book with a happy ending. Animal Attraction by Jill Shalvis

Roll Thirty-Five:
#5 COMMUNITY CHEST #3: Read any book from the CCC Bookshelf.
Soulless by Gail Carriger

Roll Thirty-Six:
#3 CHANCE #3: Read a book with a Goodreads rating higher than 3.0. 
Beauty From Surrender by Georgia Cates

Roll Thirty-Seven:
#2 LUXURY TAX: Go to your Goodreads TBR list and read one of the first 75 books listed. 
Murder and Marinara by Rosie Genova

Round Four

Roll Thirty-Eight:
#4 COMMMUNITY CHEST #1: Read a book by one of your favorite authors. 
Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris

Roll Thirty-Nine:
#5 CHANCE #1: Read a book recommended by a friend at the library. 
The Collector by Nora Roberts

Roll Forty:
#6 STATES AVENUE: Read  a book by an author whose first or last initial can be found in “STATES”
Then Came You by Jill Shalvis

Roll Forty-One:
#1 VIRGINIA AVENUE: Read a book set in one of the South Atlantic states (Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware)  Set in North Carolina and Georgia.
Burn For Me by Cynthia Eden

Roll Forty-Two:
#2 ST. JAMES PLACE: Read  a book set in Europe 
And Justice There Is None by Deborah Crombie

Roll Forty-Three:
#5 KENTUCKY AVENUE: Read a book by an author whose first or last initial can be found in “KENTUCKY” Manhunting by Jennifer Crusie

Roll Forty-Four:
#5 ATLANTIC AVENUE: Read a book whose title has at least two words that begin with the same letter  - Once Burned, Twice Bitten by Cynthia Eden

Roll Forty-Five:
#5 PACIFIC AVENUE: Read a book with a mostly green cover  Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Roll Forty-Six:
#6 PARK PLACE: Read a book by an author whose first or last initial can be found in “PLACE”.

Roll Forty-Seven:
#1 LUXURY TAX: Go to your Goodreads TBR list and read one of the first 75 books listed. 
Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio

Round Five

Roll Forty-Eight:
#6  INCOME TAX: Go to your Goodreads TBR list; read one of the first 10 books listed
Vintage by Susan Gloss

Roll Forty-Nine:
#4 VERMONT AVENUE: Read a book with a mostly white cover Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis

Roll Fifty:
#1 CONNECTICUT AVENUE: Read a book whose title starts with C Carnal Curiosity by Stuart Woods

Roll Fifty-One:
#5 VIRGINIA AVENUE: Read a book set in Maryland Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye

Roll Fifty-Two:
#1 PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD: Read a book with at least two generations of the same family 
Redwood Bend by Robyn Carr

Roll Fifty-Three:
#3 TENNESSEE AVENUE: Read a book by an author whose name includes two sets of repeated letters  After Dead by Charlaine Harris

Roll Fifty-Four:
# 2 FREE PARKING: Read any book of your choice.  The Promise by Robyn Carr

Roll Fifty-Five:
#6  ATLANTIC AVENUE: Read a book whose title has at least two words that begin with the same letter Back on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber

Roll Fifty-Six:
#3 MARVIN GARDENS: Read a book  whose title starts with M Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Roll Fifty-Seven:
#3 NORTH CAROLINA AVENUE: Read  a book by an author whose first and last initials can be found in “NORTHCAROLINA” Morning Light by Catherine Anderson

Roll Fifty-Eight:
#5 PARK PLACE: Read  a book in which at least one character is wealthy Emily: Sex & Sensibility by Sandra Marton

Round Six

Roll Fifty-Nine:
#6 BALTIC AVENUE: Read a book with a mostly purple cover Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews
Roll Sixty:
#6 CONNECTICUT AVENUE: Read  a book whose title (no sub-titles) includes at least one set of double letters, in consecutive order  Dirty Sexy Knitting by Christie Ridgway

Roll Sixty-One:
# 5 VIRGINIA AVENUE: Read a book by an author whose first and last initials can be found in “VIRGINIAAVENUE” Midnight Secrets by Ella Grace

Roll Sixty-Two:
# 3 COMMUNITY CHEST #2: Read a book in your favorite genre. Lending a Paw by Laurie Cass

Roll Sixty-Three:
# 4 KENTUCKY AVENUE: Read  book by an author whose first or last initial can be found in “KENTUCKY” Filthy Beautiful Lies by Kendall Ryan

Roll Sixty-Four:
#2 INDIANA AVENUE: Read a book in which a character  gardens as a hobby The Unexpected Millionaire by Susan Mallery

Roll Sixty-Five:
#5 WATER WORKS: Read a book with a happy ending The Ultimate Millionaire by Susan Mallery

Roll Sixty-Six:
#1 MARVIN GARDENS: Read  a book with a garden or plant/s on the cover OR a book by an author whose first or last initial can be found in “GARDENS” The Next Always by Nora Roberts

Roll Sixty-Seven:
#5 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE: Read  a book whose title starts with an A All Summer Long by Susan Mallery

Roll Sixty-Eight:
#4 LUXURY TAX: Go to your Goodreads TBR list and read one of the first 75 books listed. The Violets of March by Sarah Jio

Roll Sixty-Nine:
#3 MEDITERRANEAN AVENUE: Read a book with a mostly purple cover Awaken by Nina Lane

Roll Seventy:
#6 CHANCE #1: Read a book recommended by a friend/family member/co-worker.
Break the Sky by Nina Lane

Roll Seventy-One:
#2 CONNECTICUT AVENUE: Read  a book whose title starts with C  The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

Roll Seventy-Two:
#5 VIRGINIA AVENUE: Read a book with a mostly black cover Sweet Surrender by Maya Banks