29. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Helen, Horror

Bottled Abyss by Benjamin Kane Ethridge, 332 pages, read by Helen, on 04/04/2013

Herman and Janet Erikson are going through a crisis of grief and suffering after losing their daughter in a hit and run. They’ve given up on each other, they’ve given up on themselves. They are living day by day. One afternoon, to make a horrible situation worse, their dog goes missing in the coyote-infested badlands behind their property. Herman, resolved in preventing another tragedy, goes to find the dog, completely unaware he’s on a hike to the River Styx, which according to Greek myth was the border between the Living World and the world of the Dead. Long ago the gods died and the River dried up, but a bottle containing its waters still remains in the badlands. What Herman discovers about the dark power contained in those waters will change his life forever…

28. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

The Intercept: a Jeremy Fisk novel by Dick Wolf, 387 pages, read by Tracy, on 04/27/2013

My favorite show on tv is Law and Order. When I saw this book by Dick Wolf I knew it would be good and it is a top notch thriller. Jeremy Fisk works for a special branch of the NYPD. It was formed after 9-11 and not many people know about it which is how they want it. An attempted plane highjacking seems to be straight forward but Jeremy is finding that the terrorists aren’t who you think they are. Couldn’t put it down and looking forward to the next episode.

28. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

The Dark Vineyard by Martin Walker, 309 pages, read by Tracy, on 04/19/2013

I really like the main character Bruno the policeman in Saint-Denis France. He cares about his town and the people. When a rich American winemaker decides to buy a lot of land and build a big winery and hotel Bruno is against it even though it would bring jobs. Also when there are two deaths he is even more suspicious. Looks like I found another author I like.

28. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

She Walks These Hills by Sharyn McCrumb, 448 pages, read by Tracy, on 04/17/2013

Sharon McCrumb has roots in the Smokey Mountains. This book is partly about a young woman who was taken by the Indians from her family in the hills. She escapes and her ghost walks the hills. A professor of local history decides to hike her route of escape. He doesn’t know anything about hiking and the timing is bad. The local police are also looking for an escaped prisoner who is serving a life sentence for a brutal murder many years ago. He is trying to get home and be with his wife and baby who is grown now. Sharon has written other books like this and they are all interesting and enjoyable.

28. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller/Suspense, Tracy

Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child, 443 pages, read by Tracy, on 04/13/2013

So far this was my favorite Reacher book. Couldn’t put it down. Jack Reacher is so observant but does miss things occasionally. In this book he is riding the subway and watches a lady closely who shows all the signs of a suicide bomber. But things are not what they appear to be.

28. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Tracy

The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister, 240 pages, read by Tracy, on 04/12/2013

If you are enjoy cooking and eating you will love this book. Lillian owns a restaurant and also teaches cooking classes. The students learn more about the senses than about essential ingredients. You can follow a recipe but it’s not just about measurements. We all eat for different reasons and after reading this your reasons might change.

28. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Teen Books

Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott, 320 pages, read by Angie, on 04/28/2013

Dani and her mother are thieves. They have been for as long as Dani can remember. They move from place to place, ending up wherever the next job is. The current job is in Heaven. Heaven is a small beach town with a very wealthy neighborhood. Dani and her mom are going to rob one of the houses. Problems begin when Dani starts to realize she likes Heaven; she likes the house they are staying in; she likes the people she is meeting. She becomes friends with Allison, who just happens to be the daughter of the house they are targeting. She also captures the interest of local cop Greg, who is as interested in Dani as she is in him. All of this makes Dani question her lifestyle and realize everything she has been missing.

I adore Elizabeth Scott. I think her books are wonderful and tragic and fascinating. This is not your typical Elizabeth Scott book. It isn’t tragic even though it is a little bit sad. It has the snappy dialogue and interesting story of her other books, but the entire time I was reading it I felt like something was missing. I wanted the sadness and the tragedy and the loss. Scott always uses those things to help you realize there is hope. I think without them this book was lacking the power of her other books. It isn’t a bad story, but it is not what I was expecting from Elizabeth Scott.

28. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Science Fiction

RASL Pocket Book One by Jefff Smith, 232 pages, read by Brian, on 04/28/2013

Jeff Smith is the award winning author of BONE.  In the RASL series he takes a dramatically different turn with a high-paced, adrenaline flowing mystery.  Our hero is an art thief who travels different dimensions to steal art, when he stumbles across a mystery.  The mystery has others following him through the dimensions trying find his secrets, putting himself and everyone else in peril.  Using the works of Tesla and other scientist the mystery starts to unravel.


28. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Science Fiction

RASL Romance at the Speed of Light by Jeff Smith, 120 pages, read by Brian, on 04/27/2013

RASL Romance at the Speed of Light is volume three of the series about an art thief who jumps from one dimension to another to find a big score.  In each dimension he sets up a new life with people he new from the other dimensions but of course, do not know him. He is being pursued by lizard looking man who believes this younger man processes the scientific journals of Telsa.


27. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Science Fiction

RASL The Fire of St. George by Jeff Smith, 120 pages, read by brian, on 04/26/2013

RASL The Fire of St George is the second book in series of a genius art thief who use technology to jump from dimension to dimension to steal art and set up different lives.  A lizard looking spy is chasing the young thief believing he knows more about the technology then he lets on.  He is also kills the girlfriends of the art thief in each dimension.  The story is fast paced and very satisfying.

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27. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, Fiction, Graphic Novel

New Avengers Breakout by Brian Michael Bendis, 160 pages, read by Brian, on 04/18/2013

The Avengers are disbanded after Scarlet Witch has a break down and three members are killed.  Taking advantage of the situation, a long standing villain disrupts the electrical systems of a maximum security island prison setting loose some of the worse criminals ever.  Captain American must assemble a new group of avengers including the likes of Spider-Man & Wolverine to save the world.


27. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Jessica, Romance

Broken At Love by Lyla Payne, 340 pages, read by Jessica, on 04/27/2013

When a knee injury ends twenty-year-old Quinn Rowland’s pro tennis career, he’s not only dumped by his hot Russian girlfriend but ordered to attend college by his disinterested billionaire father. A rich kid who’s not used to being disappointed by life, Quinn and his sociopathic half-brother Sebastian create a frat house game intended to treat girls how they see them—as simple game pieces to be manipulated for their pleasure. College sophomore Emilie Swanson knows Quinn’s reputation—after all, he did send one of her sorority sisters into therapy earlier in the semester—but the game and his charm bring them closer together and soon she starts to believe there’s more to Quinn than people think. But what if the more is something darker than a game of toying with emotions and breaking hearts? Quinn and Emilie might be falling for each other, but there are secrets he’s not ready to tell—and lifestyle changes he’s reluctant to make. She willingly stepped on the court, but if Emilie finds out she started out as nothing as a pawn in Quinn and Sebastian’s twisted game, she might never forgive him. To his surprise, Quinn finds that he might finally care about someone more than he cares about himself…even if that means letting Emilie walk away for good.


27. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Poetry, Teen Books

Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill, 336 pages, read by Angie, on 04/26/2013

The events of the Salem Witch Trials are fairly well known. Young girls started having fits and claimed to be attacked by witches. Many were accused, some died, but most were eventually freed. We do not know what motivated these girls to accuse so many (around 200) people of cavorting with the devil. Hemphill attempts to shed light on what might have driven these girls down such a path. She uses the voices of three of the afflicted, Mercy, Margaret and Ann, to tell the story of Salem. In Wicked Girls, the girls are not being attacked by the devil, but are acting in order to gain status and attention in the town. It all starts out as a game as they accuse those who have wronged them or their families. But remorse sets in when people actually start to die because of their accusations. This novel in verse very accurately captures the paranoia and frenzy that infected the area. It shows how lives were ruined and communities divided.

26. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fiction, Paranormal, Teen Books

School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins, 304 pages, read by Angie, on 04/26/2013

School Spirits is Rachel Hawkins spin off series from Hex Hall. This book centers around Izzy Brannick who we met in the Hex Hall series. Izzy is one of the last of a long line of Brannicks who fight monsters, except it is now just her mom and her. They are now working for the Prodigium Council tracking down monsters instead of just killing them. A case leads them to Ideal, Mississippi and Izzy’s first stint in high school. She quickly becomes friends with the teen’s in the Paranormal Management Society (PMS–horrible acronym). They are interested in a ghost named Mary who is supposedly haunting the school. She has been a ghost for over a hundred years, but has recently amped up her activity. Izzy, along with Romy (peculiar girl extraordinaire) and dreamy Dex (who may or may not be magic) have to figure out what Mary is doing before she hurts anyone else.

I love the Hex Hall series. They are fun and witty and entertaining. I think this is going to be another fun series to follow. The banter between Izzy and Dex was wonderful. I also enjoyed the ghost storyline, mainly because it didn’t turn out like I thought it would. I am intrigued by this new focus on the Brannicks and can’t wait to see where the rest of the series goes.

I received a copy of this from the publishers on Netgalley.com and thoroughly enjoyed it.

26. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fiction, Paranormal, Teen Books

Spellbinding by Maya Gold, 272 pages, read by Angie, on 04/26/2013

Abby is doing school project on her family tree and discovers that she is a descendant of Sarah Good, one of the accused witches at Salem. This discovery coincides with the strange dreams and blinding headaches she has been having. While researching in Salem, Abby meets dreamy Rem who seems to know a lot about her and can talk to her in her head. Back at school she is crushing on dreamy Travis, the popular, athletic, heart of gold senior who just happens to be dating the world’s meanest and worst person Megan. Abby’s research uncovers a book of spells which she just has to try; a love spell on Travis works like magic. Soon Abby is caught between Travis and Remy and an evil circle of witches who want to unleash revenge on Salem on prom night of course.

I found this book entertaining, but very cliche. It reads like your typical teen paranormal B movie. Everyone is pretty one-dimensional and predictable. The idea is intriguing, a girl descendant of the Salem witches coming into her power; however, the execution was not that great. For one thing, I found Abby fairly unlikable once she started practicing magic. She was all about self-gain and revenge, which doesn’t make a very good heroine. I found the circle of witches thing ridiculous. Seriously ridiculous. They wait hundreds of years so they can have witches of all four elements (earth, air, fire, water) so they can do a big spell and bring revenge on Salem, even though the people in Salem today have nothing to do with the original witch hunts. It seemed so contrived like the author really just needed more paranormal activity. I won’t spoil it, but the ending was definitely made for a movie…contrived and cliche. I feel like this has been done before and better.

I received this book from the publishers on Netgalley.com.

26. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: History, Kim B, NonFiction

Moscow: December 25 1991: The Last Day of the Soviet Union by Conor O' Clery, 316 pages, read by Kim, on 04/25/2013

This was a very good book to read about the demise of the communist regime in Russia and the great rivalry that existed between Gorbachev and Yeltsin.

26. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Christian, Fiction, Romance, Sarah

The Chance by Karen Kingsbury, 320 pages, read by Sarah, on 04/25/2013

If you had only one chance to meet up with your childhood sweetheart, would you take it?  Even if it meant admitting that you’ve made some poor choices along the way?  Ellie was forced to move from Georgia to California with her father when she was fifteen years old.  She lost touch with her mother and her best friend, Nolan, for eleven years.  Nolan has grown closer to God during this time, but Ellie has decidchanceed that God can’t possibly love her for so many terrible things to happen to her.  They made a pact the night before Ellie left that in eleven years they would return to their spot in the park to dig up letters that they wrote to each other that night.  Will they keep that pact?  Or let the time slip away from them forever?

This book was emotionally and spiritually very powerful.  God is willing to give us a chance if we just give him the opportunity to work in our hearts.  I highly recommend it.



25. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fiction, Science Fiction, Teen Books

The Rules by Stacey Kade, 416 pages, read by Angie, on 04/24/2013

Ariane Tucker is not like ordinary girls. She has a secret that she and her father work very hard to conceal. Ariane isn’t quite human. She was born in a lab at GTX and spent the first six years of her life as a guinea pig. Her adopted father broke her out of the lab and has been raising her ever since. He has given Ariane a set of rules to live by, which basically means she has to be average and not stick out. That works just fine until she and her one friend Jenna become the target of mean girl Rachel. Suddenly everyone is noticing Ariane including cute boy Zane. Can Ariane keep her secret and survive high school?

This was a fun scifi story. Ariane is an alien/human hybrid with telekinesis. She can move things and make lights flicker. She is kind of Carrieish in the way her powers act up. The science behind how she was made and what exactly the her purpose will be is kind of glossed over. It is hinted that she came from the Roswell crash, but we really don’t get a lot of information about it. I actually like that Ariane isn’t your typical alien beauty. She is weird and looks a little off. I found the romance between Ariane and Zane fairly believable and interesting; however, most of the other characters were pretty one dimensional. This is the start of a series so I am sure some of the unanswered questions will be resolved in future books.

I received a copy of this book from the publishers on Netgalley.com.

24. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Apocalyptic, Brian, Fiction, Horror · Tags:

World War Z by Max Brooks, 342 pages, read by Brian, on 04/22/2013

World War Z is the first hand account of those around the world who survived the near extinction of the Zombie War.  Max Brooks travels the world to interview men, women and children to document this historical event.  The book is chilling and makes you think of present times.  My favorite part is when a man commented on how whales got the worst of it when the plague broke out.


24. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Jessica, Romance

Promise Me Darkness by Paige Weaver, 350 pages, read by Jessica, on 04/23/2013

“He was my darkness and I was his light. We couldn’t exist without each other.”

For me, life was simple. I went to school and studied. I spent time with my friends and stayed out of trouble. I didn’t drink or swear and I only dated gentlemen. I was the typical good girl with a bright future. My world seemed perfect.

But that was about to change.

Ryder Delaney was the one imperfection in my life. He was the bad boy, the black sheep, the one your mother always warned you about. He had only one hard-and-fast rule – Don’t fall in love.

But some rules were meant to be broken.

We were best friends, inseparable since childhood despite our differences. I knew the real man hiding behind the tattoos and bad attitude. He knew all my secrets and dreams. But he didn’t know there was one thing I wanted and couldn’t have…him.

But sometimes Fate has a way of intervening. Soon our world collapsed. War erupted. Darkness prevailed. Alone and on the run, our only goal was to survive and to ignore the feelings we had for each other. But love is powerful…

and so is the darkness.