31. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction, Mystery

The Mummy's Curse by Penny Warner, read by Angie, on 10/30/2014

The Code Busters Club is a group of four friends who love to solve puzzles and codes. Cody, Quinn, Luke and ME are in 6th grade and learning about hieroglyphics. Their classes are taking a trip to the local Egyptian museum. At the museum they meet Ms. Cassat, the museum director, and Dr. Jordan, a forgery expert. The kids notice that an eye of horus appears to be fake and they start investigating what happened to the real one. Did Dr. Jordan create the perfect forgery or did Ms. Casset’s love of Egyptian jewelry get the better of her?

This is an interesting book. In some ways I really liked the fact that there are actual puzzles for the reader to solve along with the Code Busters. In others I became really frustrated by the fact that I had to keep flipping to the back of the book to find out the answers. I thought the mystery was good and not as obvious as some kid’s mysteries. I liked that all the kids were smart and did their parts to solve the mystery.

30. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jane, Thriller/Suspense

Burn by James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge, read by Jane, on 10/28/2014

Detective Michael Bennett finally returns to New York Cityand to the most unsettling, horrific case of his career.

At last, Detective Michael Bennett and his family are coming home to New York City. Thanks to Bennett, the ruthless crime lord whose vengeful mission forced the Bennett family into hiding has been brought down for good.

Back in the city that never sleeps, Bennett takes over a chaotic Outreach Squad in Harlem, where he receives an unusual call: a man claims to have seen a group of well-dressed men holding a bizarre party in a condemned building. With no clear crime or evidence, Bennett dismisses the report. But when a charred body is found in that very same building, he is forced to take the caller seriously – and is drawn into an underground criminal world of terrifying depravity.

30. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jane, Mystery

The Code of the Hills by Nancy Allen, read by Jane, on 10/24/2014

To uncover the truth, she’ll have to break the code of the hills …

In the Missouri Ozarks, some things aren’t talked about … even abuse. But prosecutor Elsie Arnold is determined to change that.

When she is assigned to prosecute a high-profile incest case in which a father is accused of abusing his three young daughters, Elsie is ready to become the Ozarks’ avenging angel.

But as Elsie sinks her teeth into the case, everything begins to turn sour. The star witness goes missing; the girls refuse to talk about their father, who terrorizes the courtroom from the moment he enters; and Elsie begins to suspect that their tough-as-nails mother has ulterior motives. To make matters worse, Elsie receives gruesome threats from local extremists, warning her to mind her own business.

While Elsie swears not to let a sex offender walk, she realizes the odds—and maybe the town—are against her, and her life begins to crumble. But amidst all of the conflict, the safety of three young girls hangs in the balance …

A powerful debut, with the haunting atmosphere of Winter’s Bone and the page-turning suspense of Alafair Burke’s thrillers.

30. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction

New Orleans! by Giada De Laurentiis, Francesca Gambatesa (Illustrations), read by Angie, on 10/29/2014

Alfie and Emilia are off to New Orleans in this adventure. They find themselves at the La Salle Royale restaurant and staying with the La Salle family. They get to experience New Orleans during the Jazz Fest and help the La Salles solve a mystery. This is again a nice offering from Giada. She really knows a lot about food and the places she writes about. It makes for interesting reading. It also makes me want to attempt to cook some of the dishes she describes.

30. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction

Hong Kong! by Giada De Laurentiis, Francesca Gambatesa (Illustrations), read by Angie, on 10/29/2014

Brother and sister Alfie and Emilia are always excited to see what Aunt Zia is going to cook up for them next. Her cooking is magic and able to transport the kids to a different place. This time they are sent to Hong Kong. They are mistaken for exchange students and stay with a family opening a new restaurant. They get to know Hong Kong and all the exciting things it has to offer all the while eating a lot of great food.

I haven’t read the first two books in this series but I don’t think you need to in order to understand it. It is a great book for fans of Magic Tree House. The kids are likable and Giada includes a lot of good information on the location and the foods available. It really isn’t a good series to read when you are hungry; you are going to be even hungrier after you are finished!

30. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Lisa

Searching For Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede, read by Lisa, on 10/29/2014

Cimorene, the princess who refuses to be proper, meets her match in the not-quite-kingly Mendanbar. With the aid of a broken-down magic carpet and a leaky magical sword, the two tackle a series of dragon-nappings.

30. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Cats, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Katy

How to Tell If Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You by Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal), read by Katy, on 10/29/2014

indexA hilarious, brilliant offering of cat comics, facts, and instructional guides from the creative wonderland at TheOatmeal.com.

30. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Apocalyptic, Fantasy, Fiction, Kira, Teen Books · Tags:

The Finisher by by David Baldacci, read by Kira, on 10/29/2014

index2 I hadn’t read anything by popular author David Baldacci, so when I saw this book in my favorite genre I thought I’d give it a try.  This strategy paid off when I discovered Nora Roberts’ fantasy trilogy Morrigan’s Cross.  It is a very fast-paced read with a rather different world, some sort of apocalypse, I believe, with perhaps magic or maybe its technology.  Things are Not as they seem, it took me awhile to figure out how this universe/world worked.  The main character Vega Jane (an orphan of course) sees her coworker being chased by tracking hounds followed by the City Council members.  Her friend is headed into the Quag – wherein there are only monsters and no sane member ventures into.  Yet things are Not as they seem.  Vega Jane’s transformation seemed a lot more believable than a number of heroes, I’m Not sure why.  I cannot wait for the sequels!

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30. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Jessica, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Heart of Light by T.K. Leigh, read by Jessica, on 10/30/2014

81BC7e1ASBL._SL1500_Twelve years ago, Jolene’s adoptive mother died. Twelve years ago, a man showed up at Jolene’s door and promised to take care of her. Twelve years ago, Jolene was happy. Then it all changed…

Jolene Bergio has spent the last twelve years of her life asking one question… Why? Why was she left in the custody of a man who would sell her each and every night to the highest bidder? After a few years, she shut off, giving up hope that anyone would ever find her. Until her luck changed one night and she escaped.

Twelve years later, she finally feels something she hasn’t felt in a long time… Free.

Almost.

Scared that her past will find her unexpectedly, she hides away in a rented beach house, trying to distance herself from everyone… Until Dr. Cameron Bowen enters her world and slowly tears down the walls that she has built up over the past twelve years of her captivity. Jolene begins to learn to love again.

And trust again.

But when a man from Jolene’s past emerges, will she be able to keep her identity hidden? When lies are told and hearts are broken, will the truth surface in time to bring Jolene back from the shadows that threaten to expose who she really is?

29. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Science Fiction, Tammy · Tags: ,

Doctor Who: The Forgotten Army by Brian Minchin, read by Tammy, on 10/27/2014

dr whoThe Doctor takes Amy to New York in the near future. He plans on buying her the best burger ever, the one that aliens travel across the galaxy and even back in time to eat. As they join the line they notice a police force moving through the streets. What is happening at the museum? Why are people running and yelling away from a new exhibit of a prehistoric woolly mammoth?

Turns out an army from a distant planet has come to overthrow the earth, but they thought they’d show up in the prehistoric era, not in the 21st century in one of the largest cities on Earth. In spite of this glitch the army is still determined to take over and enslave the humans instead of the large prehistoric creatures. Of course, at first the Doctor and Amy don’t take them seriously as they are only 3 inches tall but they are very clever and technologically advanced. Once they capture the Doctor what is Amy to do? Who can she trust?

29. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction

The Nethergrim by Matthew Jobin , read by Angie, on 10/28/2014

Many years ago a band of 60 went into the mountains to battle the Nethergrim. Three returned: the wizard Vithric, the warrior Tristan and the local John Marshall. The kingdom has been relatively peaceful since then. Edmund’s family owns the local inn but he really wants to be a wizard. He hoards his collection of books and tries to teach himself spells. Katherine is John Marshall’s daughter. She loves training horses and learning swordplay from her father. Tom is a slave to a horrible master. His friendship with Edmund and Katherine is the only light spot in his very dark life. Their lives change when several children are taken from the village, including Edmund’s brother, by the monsters of the Nethergrim. John Marshall sets off to rescue them, but the children can’t wait at home. Edmund, Katherine and Tom take off for the mountains on a perilous journey. They will discover scary truths about the Nethergrim, its history and what it wants with the children.

This book reminded me a bit of the Lord of the Rings. There is an evil in the world and a band of heroes must find a way to defeat it. It is a pretty dense book for a middle grade novel and does get a bit slow in the middle. I wanted the kids to set off on their journey much quicker than they did. There is a lot of backstory and preparations to get through before they head for the mountains. The last quarter of the book is pretty exciting with some interesting revelations about the Nethergrim and what happened to the band of men years ago. This is the beginning of a series so the next books will hopefully pick up the pace a bit.

29. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance, Tracy

Named of the Dragon by Susanna Kearsley, read by Tracy, on 10/29/2014

Tormented by horrific nightmares since the death of her baby five years before, literary agent Lyn Ravenshaw agrees to accompany an author to Wales, where she encounters an eccentric young widow desperately afraid for her own infant’s safety and a reclusive playwright who could be her only salvation

29. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Tracy

Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris, read by Tracy, on 10/26/2014

FIRST IN A NEW TRILOGY

From Charlaine Harris, the bestselling author who created Sookie Stackhouse and her world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, comes a darker locale—populated by more strangers than friends. But then, that’s how the locals prefer it…

Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town.

There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).

Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth…

29. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Thriller/Suspense, Tracy

Personal by Lee Child, read by Tracy, on 10/23/2014

Jack Reacher walks alone. Once a go-to hard man in the US military police, now he’s a drifter of no fixed abode. But the army tracks him down. Because someone has taken a long-range shot at the French president.

Only one man could have done it. And Reacher is the one man who can find him.

This new heartstopping, nailbiting book in Lee Child’s number-one bestselling series takes Reacher across the Atlantic to Paris – and then to London. The stakes have never been higher – because this time, it’s personal.

29. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Cats, Fiction, Humor, Tracy

Downton Tabby by Chris Kelly , read by Tracy, on 10/16/2014

Welcome to Downton Tabby

Here, the aristocrats of the animal kingdom dwell in stately splendor, sleeping, grooming, sleeping some more, and being fed by their downstairs cats, unaware that their way of life; providing work for others; is about to be swept away by the tides of history . . . and runaway cars.

The fur will fly.

This humorous parody provides essential information for preserving their Golden Age, including How to Keep a Secret at Downton Tabby, How to Argue with Lord Grimalkin About His Most Deeply Held Beliefs, and some Uninvited but Necessary Words from the Dowager.

29. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Tracy · Tags:

The Hawley Book of the Dead by Chrysler Szarlan, read by Tracy, on 10/02/2014

Revelation “Reve” Dyer grew up with her grandmother’s family stories, stretching back centuries to Reve’s ancestors, who founded the town of Hawley Five Corners, Massachusetts. Their history is steeped in secrets, for few outsiders know that an ancient magic runs in the Dyer women’s blood, and that Reve is a magician whose powers are all too real.

Reve and her husband are world-famous Las Vegas illusionists. They have three lovely young daughters, a beautiful home, and what seems like a charmed life. But Reve’s world is shattered when an intruder alters her trick pistol and she accidentally shoots and kills her beloved husband onstage.

Fearing for her daughters’ lives, Reve flees with them to the place she has always felt safest—an antiquated farmhouse in the forest of Hawley Five Corners, where the magic of her ancestors reigns, and her oldest friend—and first love—is the town’s chief of police. Here, in the forest, with its undeniable air of enchantment, Reve hopes she and her girls will be protected.

Delving into the past for answers, Reve is drawn deeper into her family’s legends. What she discovers is The Hawley Book of the Dead, an ancient leather-bound journal holding mysterious mythic power. As she pieces together the truth behind the book, Reve will have to shield herself and her daughters against an uncertain, increasingly dangerous fate. For soon it becomes clear that the stranger who upended Reve’s life in Las Vegas has followed her to Hawley—and that she has something he desperately wants.

Brimming with rich history, suspense, and magic, The Hawley Book of the Dead is a brilliantly imagined debut novel from a riveting new voice.

29. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Lisa

All Four Stars by Tara Dairman , read by Lisa, on 10/26/2014

Meet Gladys Gatsby: New York’s toughest restaurant critic. (Just don’t tell anyone that she’s in sixth grade.)

Gladys Gatsby has been cooking gourmet dishes since the age of seven, only her fast-food-loving parents have no idea! Now she’s eleven, and after a crème brûlée accident (just a small fire), Gladys is cut off from the kitchen (and her allowance). She’s devastated but soon finds just the right opportunity to pay her parents back when she’s mistakenly contacted to write a restaurant review for one of the largest newspapers in the world.

But in order to meet her deadline and keep her dream job, Gladys must cook her way into the heart of her sixth-grade archenemy and sneak into New York City—all while keeping her identity a secret! Easy as pie, right?

29. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Lisa · Tags:

School of Charm by Lisa Ann Scott, read by Lisa, on 10/16/2014

Who’s got time for hair curlers and high heels when you’re busy keeping baby turtles alive?

Chip has always been a tree-climbin’, fish-catchin’ daddy’s girl. When Daddy dies, Mama moves her and her sisters south to Grandma’s house and Chip struggles to find her place in a family full of beauty queens.

Just when she’s wishing for a sign from Daddy that her new life’s going to work, Chip discovers Miss Vernie’s School of Charm. Could unusual pageant lessons and secrets be the key to making Chip’s wishes a reality?

Full of spirit, hope, and a hint of magic, this enchanting debut novel tells the tale of one girl’s struggle with a universal question: How do you stay true to yourself and find a way to belong at the same time?

29. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Melody, Romance

Stay with me by J. Lynn, read by Melody, on 10/28/2014

At 21, Calla hasn’t done a lot of things. She’s never been kissed, never seen the ocean, never gone to an amusement park. But growing up, she witnessed some things no child ever should. She still carries the physical and emotional scars of living with a strung-out mother, Mona—secrets she keeps from everyone, including her close circle of college friends.

But the safe cocoon Calla has carefully built is shattered when she discovers her mom has stolen her college money and run up a huge credit card debt in her name. Now, Calla has to go back to the small town she thought she’d left behind and clean up her mom’s mess again. Of course, when she arrives at her mother’s bar, Mona is nowhere to be found. Instead, six feet of hotness named Jackson James is pouring drinks and keeping the place humming.

Sexy and intense, Jax is in Calla’s business from the moment they meet, giving her a job and helping her search for Mona. And the way he looks at her makes it clear he wants to get horizontal . . . and maybe something more. Before Calla can let him get close, though, she’s got to deal with the pain of the past—and some very bad guys out to mess her up if she doesn’t give them her mom.

29. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Fiction, Judy, Thriller/Suspense

The Partner by John Grisham, read by Judy, on 10/28/2014

Once he was a well-liked, well-paid young partner in a thriving Mississippi law firm.     Then Patrick Lanigan stole ninety million dollars from his own firm-and ran for his life.     For four years, he evaded men who were rich, powerful, and would stop at nothing to find him.    Then, inevitably, on th edge of the Brazilian jungle, they finally tracked him down.

Now Patrick is coming home.   And in the Mississippi city where it all began, an extraordinary trial is about to begin.     As prosecutors circle like sharks, as Patrick’s lawyer prepares his defense, as Patrick’s lover prays for his deliverance and his former partners wait for their revenge, another story is about to emerge.    Because Patrick Lanigan, the most reviled white-collar criminal of his tme,, knows something that no one else in the world knows.

He knows the truth……….