25. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Jessica, Romance · Tags:

Easy by Tammara Webber, 337 pages, read by Jessica, on 03/24/2013

Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…

He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…

The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.

Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth – and find the unexpected power of  love.

A groundbreaking novel in the New Adult genre, Easy faces one girl’s struggle to regain the trust she’s lost, find the inner strength to fight back against an attacker, and accept the peace she finds in the arms of a secretive boy.

25. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Jessica, Romance · Tags:

Perfect Game by J. Sterling, 379 pages, read by Jessica, on 03/23/2013

He’s a game she never intended to play. And she’s the game changer he never knew he needed. The Perfect Game tells the story of college juniors, Cassie Andrews & Jack Carter. When Cassie meets rising baseball hopeful Jack, she is determined to steer clear of him and his typical cocky attitude. But Jack has other things on his mind… like getting Cassie to give him the time of day. Sometimes life gets ugly before it gets beautiful…

25. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Jessica, Romance · Tags:

Twisted by K.A. Robinson, 331 pages, read by Jessica, on 03/20/2013

Chloe and Drake have found their happily ever after… Almost. When Chloe’s mother comes back into her life with a bang, it sets off a chain of events no one could have ever expected. Everyone has their demons, and Chloe and Drake’s hit them with a vengeance. Sex, drugs, money, a crazy ex, and Rock n Roll…. Can they survive it all? Things are beginning to feel a bit… Twisted.
25. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Jessica, Romance · Tags:

Torn by K.A. Robinson, 354 pages, read by Jessica, on 03/18/2013

Chloe hasn’t had the best life. With a mother who is gone more often than not, she has had to raise herself. After graduating high school, she leaves to start a new life away at West Virginia University with her best friends Amber and Logan, determined to leave her demons in the past. On her first day, she meets a stranger who takes her breath away at first sight. Until she met Drake, no one had ever sparked her interest. Now this tattooed and pierced bad boy is all she can think about, no matter how hard she fights it. Falling for Drake was never part of her plans, but when it happens, things seem to do anything but fall into place. Dealing with a tragic past, Drake has never cared about anyone else but himself and his band. But when Chloe takes the empty seat next to him in class, things start to change. Instantly drawn to her, he begins to wonder if one girl can take a cold hearted womanizer and change every part of him? Long hidden feelings are revealed and friendships tested to the brink.
25. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal · Tags:

The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop by Kate Saunders, 290 pages, read by Angie, on 03/24/2013

The Spoffard family inherits an old chocolate shop from their late great-uncle. But it isn’t just any chocolate shop and twins Lily and Oz soon find out. They have been summoned to the house by a magical, immortal talking cat and rat who work for a secret agency called SMU, the Secret Ministry of the Unexplained. They recruit Oz and Lily, because of their magical family background, and their neighbor Caydon, because he is a witch, to help stop an evil, immortal genius Isadore Spoffard. Isadore was one of the triplet Spoffard brothers. He turned evil and killed his other two brothers in 1938. Now he has an evil plot to sell his immortality chocolate to terrorists. But first he needs the chocolate molds belonging to his brothers. What follows is pure craziness. There are ghosts and goblins, an elephant ghost, secret agents everywhere, and madcap adventures. Through it all the Spoffard parents are completely clueless and unaware of what their children are doing.

I like books with magic, but I am not sure what to think about this one. On one hand I found the idea of a secret agency working to solve paranormal mysteries fun. They were very James Bond/MI6 in their set up and their adventures. On the other hand I wish this book was a little more thought out. It seemed slapped together at times; like maybe Saunders thought hey wouldn’t it be cool if the cat lost all its hair here or why not have a chocolate barrier that makes rats mutate and die. Interesting ideas that didn’t always fit smoothly into the story. I also found it completely unbelievable how obtuse the parents where. Their kids are basically taken away for days at a time and their are told they are at camps and such. Camps the parents had no prior knowledge of and gave no permission for their children to attend??? I think kids might like this one more than I did, but to me it was just an ok read.

25. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fiction, Teen Books · Tags:

Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross, 336 pages, read by Angie, on 03/24/2013

Mira has spent all of her fifteen years sheltered by her two godmothers. They have raised her since her parents died in a fire when she was a baby. On the eve of her sixteenth birthday, Mira decides to run away to her hometown of Beau Rivage to find out more about her parents and to find their graves. She concocts and elaborate scheme to run away with decoy emails and bribed classmates, but once she gets to Beau Rivage her plans fall apart. She has no idea how to begin her search so she camps out in a casino. There she is discovered by two brothers (separately). Blue, seventeen and surly, warns her away and tries to get her out of the casino. Felix, twenty-two and runs the casino, immediately offers her a room and anything she wants. Of course she falls for Felix, but she becomes friends with Blue and his friends. Turns out the town of Beau Rivage is full of fairy tale characters under curses from actual fairies. At some point in your childhood you will get a mark that identifies what type of character you are and what role you will play. Mira’s mark makes her Sleeping Beauty. She also meets Snow White, the Huntsman, Prince Charming and many others. But it is Blue and Felix’s curse that is the most mysterious. No one will tell her about it other than to warn her to stay away. But of course that doesn’t work mainly because Mira is pretty stupid.

I found this book fairly ridiculous. I love the concept of it. A town with fairy tale characters and curses and more along the lines of the Grimm tales not Disney. I think Once Upon a Time does this much better but it is still a fun concept. But then you get to the characters. Mira is so smart in making her plans to run away, but then once she gets to Beau Rivage it is like she took a stupid pill. She falls in love with Felix after a DAY! And all because he is nice to her and comps a room. No one mentions the fact that she is 15 and he is 22…hello illegal and creepy! Everyone tries to warn her about him (all very vaguely of course), which doesn’t work and only makes her more determined to be with her true love even though she is strangely attracted to Blue too. I will admit that I found Blue and Mira’s weird, mean courtship entertaining, but I still don’t get Mira. Almost all of the side characters were more interesting than her and a whole lot smarter. I can’t emphasize enough how irritatingly dumb she is. Even after Felix tries to kill her she is still starry-eyed and she has pretty much given up on her quest to find her parents. Whatever! I am not even going to mention the stupid ending and how unlikely that was. There are much better fairy tale books out there. Don’t bother with this one.

24. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Thriller/Suspense, Tracy

Cold Glory by Kent B. Anderson, 397 pages, read by Tracy, on 02/28/2013

This is one of those “what if” books about the Civil War. What if Grant and Lee signed a paper that formed a military coup called the Glory Warriors. When part of the paper is unearthed in modern times it starts the Glory Warriors on a mission to take over the government by killing the top three in power. History Professor Nick Journey has part of the document and finds himself on the run to find the rest of the papers. Fortunately he has help with some people in high places.

24. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction, Tracy

The Troupe by Robert Jackson Bennett, 485 pages, read by Tracy, on 02/21/2013

Sixeen year-old George Carole, uncommonly gifted at the piano, falls in with a strange troupe — and under the watchful eye of the enigmatic figure of Silenus, George comes to realize that the members of the troupe are more than they appear to be.

This book was very confusing or maybe it was just I’m not use to reading fantasy. It started out interesting following a troupe of vaudeville performers. I skipped a bit of the fantasy part.

24. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: History, Informational Book, NonFiction, Tracy · Tags:

Play Me Something Quick and Devilish by Howard Wight Marshall, 308 pages, read by Tracy, on 02/21/2013

Since I live in Missouri and enjoy bluegrass and old-time music this book was very interesting. Also nice that it has a cd with samples of different styles of fiddling. I also found a cd on Spotify with Howard Marshall playing. Lots of photos. Missouri is full of talented fiddlers.

24. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

Gideon's Sword by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child, 342 pages, read by Tracy, on 02/21/2013

The team of Preston and Child always has a good thriller story. The first in the Gideon books. Action packed and technology based story. Loved it.

24. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

Hit Me by Lawrence Block , 339 pages, read by Tracy, on 02/17/2013

Hit man Keller is a serious stamp collector. His hit man job finances his stamp collecting. Since he collects expensive stamps he needs a lot of money. He’s not really a bad guy, the people he is hired to kill are usually not very nice. Does that make it right, he figures somebody else will eventually do it so it might as well be him. You also learn a lot about stamps in this book.

24. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers, 270 pages, read by Tracy, on 02/15/2013

Always fun to read a Lord Peter Wimsey mystery. He has so many friends to help him solve crimes. In this book he helps a mystery writer, Harriet Vane, who is accused of poisoning her ex boyfriend with arsenic. Unfortunately she has just written a novel that involves poisoning. But Peter is convinced she didn’t do it and he also falls in love with her.

24. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: History, NonFiction, Tracy

Why Jazz Happened by Marc Myers, 228 pages, read by Tracy, on 02/07/2013

Not only is this a good source for the history of Jazz but it also discusses the record industry. How and why the 78 record evolved into the 45 and 33 long playing albums. Why ASCAP was started and how World War II helped musicians learn more and find jobs. The economy and geography of America had a lot to do with Jazz and still does.

24. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton, 481 pages, read by Tracy, on 02/07/2013

Kate Morton really knows how to tell a story. This one was hard to put down. So many twists and turns. World War II in London with all the bombs falling and young people falling in love is a perfect setting for this novel. It’s hard to describe but it keeps you on the edge til the last chapter. Secrets and second chances. You have to read it, I don’t want to give anything away.

24. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: History, NonFiction, Tracy

Consider The Fork by Bee Wilson, 327 pages, read by Tracy, on 01/02/2013

Look around your kitchen at all your gadgets and cooking tools and there is a reason they were all invented. Since eating is the most important part of living these tools made our cooking chores easier. Depending on what your culture and lifestyle is you may use different tools then the Chinese and French. Cooking was a dangerous job early on mostly because of fire and metal pots that might poison you. Bee Wilson did a lot of research finding out why our everyday utensils, like the wooden spoon, was invented. If you like to cook and eat this book is for you.

24. March 2013 · 1 comment · Categories: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Tracy

Habits of the House by Fay Weldon, 314 pages, read by Tracy, on 01/26/2013

This book was a lot of fun, not to be taken seriously. The rich elite in Victorian England usually don’t have a real job. They invest money they don’t have or money they inherited from the wife’s family. When things go wrong with the investments they try to marry their eldest son into money. The family in this series has a title so they try to set up the son with a young American lady who’s father is rich. Everyone has a secret that could be scandalous but there are ways to keep it covered up. Can’t wait for the next book.

24. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Thriller/Suspense, Tracy

Two Graves by Douglas Preston & Lee Child, 484 pages, read by Tracy, on 01/09/2013

It is a satisfying ending to this exciting and action packed trilogy about FBI Special Agent Pendergast’s search for his wife Helen.

24. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

Tunnel Vision by Sarah Paretsky, 464 pages, read by Tracy, on 01/13/2013

This is the first V.I. Warshawski book I have finished. I started one years ago but lost interest. This one held it longer but it was full of too much detail and too many characters. It’s the typical female PI with a cop as a boy friend. She is trying to help people but everyone is telling her she needs to let everyone help her so she won’t get hurt. I got tired of hearing that so I skipped a lot and read the ending to find out who the murderer was.

24. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Tracy

The Fine Color of Rust by Paddy O'Reilly, 283 pages, read by Tracy, on 01/05/2013

Loretta Boskovic is a single parent of two kids in a small country town in Australia. Her neighbor Norm owns a scrap yard and discovers that a new development is secretly being planned for the area. Loretta is already involved in a save-our-school project. She tries to be a good mother and help out the community but things and people get in the way. You can’t help but like her outlook on life and her daydreaming about meeting the perfect man. This story is funny and sometimes sad but a enjoyable read.

24. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

The Bughouse Affair by Marcia Muller, 269 pages, read by Tracy, on 01/22/2013

Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini, both well known mystery writers, have written this interesting detective novel. The two main characters live in San Francisco in the 1890’s and own a detective agency. Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon have been hired to find a pickpocket and a burglar. They are a team but work separately since they both have their own way of doing things. During the investigations they meet a man who claims to be Sherlock Holmes although he supposedly died in a waterfall accident in Europe. John takes an instant dislike in him but it’s mostly about competition. I liked this setting in San Francisco and it wasn’t a long complicated story so it was easy to follow. Hope they do another one.