Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Sunday Post #49 (11.30.14)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. I'm also going to link this up with Sheila's It's Monday post over at Book Journey
 

We had a very nice Thanksgiving up at my sister-in-laws and got to meet our newest niece!!! My husband did all the cooking and as usual the food was delicious! Of course, our trip up to Boston was a bit harried due to the Nor'easter, but we lucked out with just rain all the way up. At home, we ended up with a few inches, but I have a feeling it might all melt today as it's supposed to get up to around 50 degrees today - crazy weather once again! Now it's time to get into the Christmas spirit, but I think I'm going to wait until next weekend to start decorating...


Have a great week everyone!!!
  *****************************************************************************************
Last week on the Blog:                

* Review: The Burning Girl by Lisa Unger  
* Review: The Look of Love by Sarah Jio
* Review: Bones Never Lie by Kathy Reichs
* Short & Sweet Review: Grave Secrets by Kathy Reichs  
* Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in November 28

Books Read:          
* Ashes to Ashes by Tami Hoag (mine)      
* The Look of Love by Sarah Jio (review book)  
* The Cinderella Murder by Mary Higgins Clark/Alafair Burke (mine)
* Christmas in Dixie by Beth Albright (review e-book)
* Scorched Eggs by Laura Childs (review book)
 
Currently Reading:            
* Anything But Love by Beth Ciotta (mine)
 
* The Perfect Witness by Iris Johansen (audio book)            

Books Up Next:                  
* Hunted by Elizabeth Heiter (library book)
* The Distance by Helen Giltrow (review e-book)


Coming Up on the Blog:
* Month in Review: November 2014
 
* Review: Scorched Eggs by Laura Childs (with a Giveaway!!!)
* Review: Delicious! by Ruth Reichl 
* Review: Christmas in Dixie by Beth Albright
 
 
Book Haul for last 2 weeks:     
 
For Review:
* The Tapestry by Nancy Bilyeau (Netgalley via the Publisher)
 
Purchased:
* Hope to Die by James Patterson
 
* The Perfect Witness by Iris Johansen (audio via Audible)  
* Missing You by Harlan Coben (audio via Audible)

Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in November 28



  #BookBlogWalkers is hosted by Felicia @ The Geeky Bloggers Book Blog

I didn't do so great this week due to the holiday and our quick trip up to Boston to my sister-in law's. Plus, the weather was certainly not on our side. We ended up changing our traveling plans last minute due to the Nor'easter that came through on Wednesday - instead of leaving mid-day, we got up and left first thing, so my day got all screwed up. Luckily we only had rain during our drive, but it was cold and raw. The only bright spot of getting to my sister-in-law's early was that I got extra snuggling time with my brand new niece!!! 
 
Here's how my week went:  

Nov 22:  rest
Nov 23:  30 minute walk with dogs
Nov 24:  30 minutes walking & 30 minutes yoga
Nov 25:  30 minutes walking & 30 minutes yoga

Nov 26:  travel day
Nov 27:  Thanksgiving

Nov 28:  travel day
 
How did your week go?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Short & Sweet Review: Grave Secrets by Kathy Reichs (audio)

Title: Grave Secrets   
Author: Kathy Reichs     
Series: Temperance Brennan, #5      
Narrator: Katherine Borowitz  
Published: July 2002, Simon & Schuster Audio   
Length: 10 hours   
Source: Library    

It was a summer morning in 1982 when soldiers ravaged the village of Chupan Ya, raping and killing women and children. Twenty-three victims are said to lie in the well when Dr. Temperance Brennan and the team from the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation now dig. No records were kept. To their families, the dead are "the disappeared."

The team is packing up for the day when an urgent satellite call comes in. Two colleagues are under attack. Shots ring out, and Tempe listens in horror to a woman's screams. Then there is silence. Dead silence.

With this new violence, Tempe is asked by the Guatemalan police for her expertise on another case. Four privileged young women have vanished from Guatemala City in recent months. One is the Canadian's ambassador's daughter. Some remains have turned up in the septic tank. Unfortunately, Tempe knows septic tanks.

Teaming with Special Crimes Investigator Bartolome Galiano, and with Montreal detective Andrew Ryan, Tempe soon finds herself in a dangerous web that stretches far beyond Guatemala's borders. As power, money, greed, and science converge, Tempe must make life-altering choices.
 

Grave Secrets is powerful entertainment from a crime fiction superstar who combines riveting authenticity with witty, elegant prose.
***Short & Sweet Reviews are short, quick reviews. These will mainly be used for series books where I have already done full reviews on some of the earlier books or for books that I feel will suffice with a quick review. These will not be used for review requests or blog tours.

My thoughts: So after reading the final book in the series (book 17), I'm now back to catching up with where I left off. One good thing about being so far behind is that I can move through the books pretty quickly if I want and not have to wait around for the next book to be published!

This time around, we find Temperance working in Guatemala where she is helping to identify the bones of women and children killed during a horrific incident. While there, she gets pulled into another case that involves the Canadian Prime Minister, which of course, pulls in Detective Andrew Ryan. Added to the mix is Sergeant-Detective Galiano, which provides for a nice love triangle in it's loosest terms and leads to some witty banter going back and forth.

The action is non-stop and having Tempe working multiple cases only adds to that. Once again, I was not able to differentiate the bad guys from the good guys - they are all written so well that it's hard to tell them apart! But, that's what keeps me reading - I love when I am kept guessing and thinking!


Audio thoughts: I really like Katherine Borowitz's narration of this series. I listened to her narrate the most recent book in this series, Bones Never Lie, and thought she did a great job, and was happy to see she did this one. I only hope she continues to do the rest of the series.


Books in this series: 
  1. Deja Dead                                12.  206 Bones
  2. Death du Jour                       13.  Spider Bones
  3. Deadly Decisions                 14.  Flash & Bones
  4. Fatal Voyage                         15.  Bones are Forever
  5. Grave Secrets                        15.5  Bones in Her Pocket
  6. Bare Bones                              16.  Bones of the Lost
  7. Monday Mourning              16.5  Swamp Bones
  8. Cross Bones                            17.  Bones Never Lie
  9. Break No Bones
  10. Bones to Ashes
  11. Devil Bones

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Review: Bones Never Lie by Kathy Reichs (audio/print)

Title: Bones Never Lie     
Author: Kathy Reichs   
Series: Temperance Brennan, #17    
Narrator: Katherine Borowitz  
Published: September 2014, Random House Audio / Bantam 
Length: 10 hours 48 minutes  / ARC Paperback, 331 pages 
Source: Audio via Audible / Print via publisher

In the acclaimed author’s thrilling new novel, Brennan is at the top of her game in a battle of wits against the most monstrous adversary she has ever encountered.

Unexpectedly called in to the Charlotte PD’s Cold Case Unit, Dr. Temperance Brennan wonders why she’s been asked to meet with a homicide cop who’s a long way from his own jurisdiction. The shocking answer: Two child murders, separated by thousands of miles, have one thing in common—the killer. Years ago, Anique Pomerleau kidnapped and murdered a string of girls in Canada, then narrowly eluded capture. It was a devastating defeat for her pursuers, Brennan and police detective Andrew Ryan. Now, as if summoned from their nightmares, Pomerleau has resurfaced in the United States, linked to victims in Vermont and North Carolina. When another child is snatched, the reign of terror promises to continue—unless Brennan can rise to the challenge and make good on her second chance to stop a psychopath.

But Brennan will have to draw her bitter ex-partner out of exile, keep the local police and feds from one another’s throats, and face more than just her own demons as she stalks the deadliest of predators into the darkest depths of madness.

In Bones Never Lie, Kathy Reichs never fails to satisfy readers looking for psychological suspense that’s more than skin-deep.

My thoughts: While I usually try not to read books out of order when it comes to series, I jumped ahead to listen to/read (did a combo on this one) because I had the pleasure of actually meeting Kathy Reichs during BEA this year. She was one of the authors that was on my must-see list and while she was just signing books, it was still great to meet her in person and say how much I enjoy reading her books.

This is the 17th book in Kathy Reich's Temperance Brennan series and I am quite a bit behind - I've only read the first five books. The problem with jumping ahead in a series like this is that you miss a lot of the character development that has taken place in the previous books. On top of that, there is a killer involved in this book that was from a previous book - a book that I haven't gotten to yet. Now, that's not to say that I still didn't enjoy this book - I definitely did, but I think I wouldn't have had as many questions as I did if I had been caught up in the series.

What I did enjoy, though, was that we finally get to meet Tempe's mom. She plays a major role in this book and if I'm not mistaken, this is her first real appearance in the series. I loved her character - she is smart and sassy. Detective Ryan is also back in the game after a brief absence, but his relationship with Tempe is a bit strained. Then there's Tempe's partner, Slidell, who I guess has been in the last few books. I'm not sure what to make of him - will have to reevaluate once I'm caught up!

The action takes Tempe all over in this book - from North Carolina to Costa Rica to Montreal to Vermont back to North Carolina. All this moving around keeps the pace moving, with twists and turns around each corner. While we still learn a bit about bones in this book, there were some other rather interesting tidbits that come to light as the cases are investigated - the use of lip prints, using syrup to preserve the bodies, etc. This is where Kathy Reichs' background really shines through.

I really enjoyed this book and I think that once I finally do get caught up, I will reread it just so the character development makes sense. Plus, the case itself is interesting and I wonder if I would pick up anything along the way that I missed the first time! I'm very curious, though, to see what will happen next as the ending of this book took me by surprise - a good surprise, but a surprise none the less.

Audio Thoughts: This is the first time I've listened to Katherine Borowitz narrate and I really enjoyed listening to her. She was able to give the characters unique voices and I had no problem following along. My only complaint is that there always seems to be a different narrator for each book in this series. I love listening to this series but wish they had stuck to one narrator!


Books in this series: 
  1. Deja Dead                                12.  206 Bones
  2. Death du Jour                       13.  Spider Bones
  3. Deadly Decisions                 14.  Flash & Bones
  4. Fatal Voyage                         15.  Bones are Forever
  5. Grave Secrets                        15.5  Bones in Her Pocket
  6. Bare Bones                              16.  Bones of the Lost
  7. Monday Mourning              16.5  Swamp Bones
  8. Cross Bones                            17.  Bones Never Lie
  9. Break No Bones
  10. Bones to Ashes
  11. Devil Bones

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Review: The Look of Love by Sarah Jio

Title: The Look of Love   
Author: Sarah Jio   
Published: November 2014, Plume  
Format: ARC Paperback, 320 pages   
Source: Publisher  

Born during a Christmas blizzard, Jane Williams receives a rare gift: the ability to see true love. Jane has emerged from an ailing childhood a lonely, hopeless romantic when, on her twenty-ninth birthday, a mysterious greeting card arrives, specifying that Jane must identify the six types of love before the full moon following her thirtieth birthday, or face grave consequences. When Jane falls for a science writer who doesn’t believe in love, she fears that her fate is sealed. Inspired by the classic song, The Look of Love is utterly enchanting.

My thoughts: This is the first book I've read by Sarah Jio and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I do have a few books by her on my shelf but I just haven't gotten around to reading them yet - too many books, not enough time, but rest assured, those books will be read soon!

This is a sweet and captivating story, perfect reading around the holiday season! It's a fast read, but I still found that it resonated with me. I loved the character of Jane and felt that I could relate to her and all the couples in one way or another throughout the book. I'm a big fan of the multiple storyline format, but loved the way Jane was the connection to everyone. There were a lot of characters and different stories going on, but I never once felt lost - every change felt seamless and timed just right.

This is a story of love, loss and even sacrifice. As we follow Jane and the couples throughout the year, we see the ups and downs of the different types of love that Jane must observe. It's hard not to become invested in these characters' lives and want to know how things play out - good or bad; and it's just as hard not to shed a tear or two along the way - some happy and some sad. 

This book is definitely a keeper and I could even see myself rereading it - something I don't tend to do very often. I cannot wait to pick up another Sarah Jio book - based on my reaction to this one, I have a feeling I just found a new go-to author for me! I already have Goodnight June and The Violets of March on my shelf, so I'll be starting with those. If you're a fan of Sarah Jio, what is your favorite book of hers?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Review: The Burning Girl: A Whispers Story by Lisa Unger

Title: The Burning Girl: A Whispers Story   
Author: Lisa Unger    
Series: The Whispers, #2     
Published: November 2014, Gallery Books  
Format: ARC e-book, 75 pages   
Source: Netgalley   

From New York Times bestselling author Lisa Unger comes the second of three stories in an e-novella about a psychic medium and the strange secrets she begins to uncover--for better or for worse.

Ten years after Eloise Montgomery discovers her psychic abilities, she is a full-fledged working psychic, with a partner and a business. Now, in The Burning Girl, she's discovering some disturbing things: secrets about her genealogy that are, perhaps, best left in the past; that her granddaughter Finley has powers of her own; and that not all of Eloise's visitors actually want to be helped. Some of them are just looking for trouble...

Writing with the same taut prose that earned her critical acclaim for her explosive thriller Beautiful Lies, Lisa Unger delivers a spellbinding story that will leave you wanting more.

My thoughts: This is the second story in Lisa Unger's The Whispers novella trilogy. I really enjoyed the first one and couldn't wait to dive in to this next one!

Taking place ten years after the previous story ends, I was immediately pulled into the storyline and read this short story in one sitting. Eloise has continued to use her gift that developed after the death of her daughter and husband to help others, but still struggles with it. She has learned to use her visions when she can, but now she has a vision that she can't be ride of...the Burning Girl. This girl is full of rage and a danger to Eloise. 

I love the characters that Lisa Unger introduces us to in this story - some familiar and some new. We get to know a little more about Eloise and her family, finding out that Amanda, her daughter, has moved across the country and started her own family. Amanda's young daughter Finley has recently started having visions and Amanda is definitely not happy about this. Ray, the private detective that Eloise works cases with, has become more than just a work partner. Agatha, a local psychic, has become Eloise's mentor and business partner.

I definitely felt like there was more of a supernatural, ghostly feel to this installment, due to the burning girl appearances, and in some cases it was a bit creepy, but I still loved it! It was darker and a bit more unsettling, with things not as wrapped up as the first when it ends...but that just has me more eager to get my hands on that final installment!


Books in this series:
  1. The Whispers
  2. The Burning Girl
  3. The Three Sisters - due out Jan 5, 2015

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Sunday Post #48 (11.23.14)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. I'm also going to link this up with Sheila's It's Monday post over at Book Journey

So if you remember in last week's post, I mentioned that my sister-in-law was due to have her baby this past week...well, she did!!! She had a little girl - Ingrid Evangeline and that makes niece #11 for me! We are heading up to see them for Thanksgiving and I can't wait to get some snuggle-time in with her...there's nothing better than that new-baby smell! 

I managed to get back down to see my sister and baby Nora (niece #10) yesterday and give her her new blanket that I made this past week - luckily these blankets only take a few days to make! Now I just have to finish up Ingrid's blanket and then I can get back to finishing up the scarves I am making as Christmas presents for some of my other nieces.

Baby Nora, Me and Abbie. (And the Blanket I made Nora)
Have a great week everyone and Happy Thanksgiving to all in the U.S.!!!
  *****************************************************************************************
Last 2 weeks on the Blog:                

* Review: The Hidden Girl by Louise Millar
* Review: Nantucket Sisters by Nancy Thayer
* Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in November 21

Books Read:          
* Christmas on 4th Street by Susan Mallery (mine)    
* Yours for Christmas by Susan Mallery (e-book)  
* One of Us by Tawni O'Dell (review audio book)
 
Currently Reading:            
* The Look of Love by Sarah Jio (review book)

* Ashes to Ashes by Tami Hoag (mine)            

Books Up Next:                  
* Christmas in Dixie by Beth Albright (review e-book)
* Scorched Eggs by Laura Childs (review book)


Coming Up on the Blog:
* Review: The Burning Girl by Lisa Unger

* Review: The Look of Love by Sarah Jio
* Review: Bones Never Lie by Kathy Reichs
* Review: Delicious! by Ruth Reichl
 
 
Book Haul for last 2 weeks:     

For Review:
* Christmas in Dixie by Beth Albright (courtesy of Author)

* House Broken by Sonja Yoerg (Netgalley via Author)
* The Life Intended by Kristin Harmel (Netgalley via Publisher)
Purchased:
* You by Carolyn Kepnes (e-book - $1.99 deal!!!)

* The Cinderella Murder by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke (audio via Audible)
* Phantom Instinct by Meg Gardiner (audio via Audible)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in November 21



  #BookBlogWalkers is hosted by Felicia @ The Geeky Bloggers Book Blog

It was quite cold here this week, so most of my walking was done indoors. I also managed to do some yoga a few times this week. I didn't get to any actual classes, but just practiced at home. I've found quite a few yoga flows online that I like to do and always feel so good after doing them.
 
Here's how my week went:  

Nov 15:  rest
Nov 16:  rest
Nov 17:  30 minutes walking & 30 minutes yoga
Nov 18:  30 minutes walking

Nov 19:  45 minutes walking & 30 minutes yoga
Nov 20:  30 minutes walking

Nov 21:  60 minutes walking & 30 minutes yoga
 
How did your week go?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Review: Nantucket Sisters by Nancy Thayer (audio)

Title: Nantucket Sisters   
Author: Nancy Thayer 
Narrator: Kate Rudd  
Published: June 2014, Brilliance Audio   
Length: 10 hours 5 minutes   
Source: Library 


Friendship takes center stage in New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer’s captivating, emotionally charged novel featuring all the tenderness and wit, drama and romance that readers have come to expect from this insightful, much-loved writer.

When they meet as girls on a beach in Nantucket, Maggie Drew and Emma Hudson become fast friends—though Emma’s well-heeled mother would prefer that she associate with the upscale daughters of bankers and statesmen rather than the child of a local seamstress. But the two lively, imaginative girls nevertheless spend many golden summers together building castles in the sand, creating magical worlds of their own, and forging grand plans for their future.

Even as Emma falls for Maggie’s brother, Ben, and the young women’s paths diverge, the duo remain close friends. Then the unthinkable happens: a lifelong friendship is pushed to its breaking point with the appearance of the handsome, charismatic, charming, and incredibly sexy Wall Street trader Cameron Chadwick—upending both of their lives.

Struggling with the difficult choices they have made and the secrets they have kept, Maggie and Emma find the road to love and fulfillment is full of bumps and twists, as well as entirely unexpected and quite wonderful turns of the heart. They also learn that while true love may be rare, a true friendship is rarer still.

My thoughts: Nancy Thayer is another of my go-to authors that I look forward to reading or listening to each summer with her new book. I find that I can get lost in her stories and love when they are set on Nantucket, as this one happens to be.

Maggie and Emily become best friends despite their different economical backgrounds. Emily and her parents are summer people while Maggie and her family live on Nantucket all year. Meeting when they were young girls, we journey with them as them become adults and deal with their own sets of problems and accomplishments. I really enjoyed this story and loved seeing how Maggie and Emily's relationships changed throughout time. Not only their friendship, but the relationships they had with others in their lives.

What I love about Nancy Thayer's stories is that she tends to create really likeable characters. In this case, all the characters are likeable, even though they make mistakes and break the trust of those they care about most. What I find most compelling is that the strength of Maggie and Emily's friendship really comes through, despite all the bad that goes on. 

This was a delightful, heartwarming story that will have you yearning to reach out to your own bestfriend!

Audio Thoughts: Kate Rudd is a new narrator to me. I thought she did a great job narrating this story and found her voice pleasant to listen to. She was able to give the characters their own voices, even the young children. I will definitely be checking out what else she has narrated.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Review: The Hidden Girl by Louise Millar

Title: The Hidden Girl    
Author: Louise Millar 
Published: August 2014, Atria/Emily Bestler Books  
Format: ARC e-book, 400 pages   
Source: Netgalley  

From “a writer to watch” (Booklist), this gripping psychological thriller follows a young woman who uncovers a terrible secret in her idyllic suburban neighborhood—but who will believe her?

Hannah Riley and her musician husband, Will, hope that a move to the Suffolk countryside will promise a fresh start.

Hannah, a human rights worker, is desperate for a child and she hopes that this new life will realise her dream.

Yet when the snow comes, Will is working in London and Hannah is cut off in their remote village. Life in Tornley turns out to be far from idyllic, who are the threatening figures who lurk near their property at night? And why is her neighbour so keen to see them leave? Plus Will's, behaviour is severely testing the bonds of her trust.

Hannah has spent her professional life doing the right thing for other people. But as she starts to unbury a terrible crime, she realises she can no longer do that without putting everything she's ever wanted at risk.

But if she does nothing, the next victim could be her...

My thoughts: This is the first book I've read by Louise Millar and I decided to read it because I love psychological thrillers and am always looking for new authors in this genre.

This is a weird book. I wasn't sure what to expect going into it, but right from the start, I felt myself glued to the pages, wanting to know what was going to happen, feeling that sense of foreboding. The characters are all richly drawn and strange in their own right, adding to that sense of mystery and it's hard to know who can be trusted.

It's clear from the beginning that things aren't quite right between Hannah and Will. They've been through a lot even before the book begins and now that they've bought this country home outside of London, the stress seems to go way up. They are in the middle of adopting a child after many failed IVF and other fertility treatments. Wanting everything to be perfect, Hannah has created a tight schedule to get the house into ship-shape, but a snowstorm derails her plans when Will is stuck in London. And then, stuck in the house by herself, strange things start happening.

As I started my review out, I said this book was weird. There were strange things going on at the house that I wasn't sure about. Were they really happening? Or was it from all the stress that Hannah was under? I really was confused yet intrigued. I also found myself both rooting for and against Hannah and Will. There were times that I wanted them to fix their marriage, but other times that I felt they didn't belong together. I love when an author creates such a reaction towards characters. 

I think this is a book that I'm going to have to reread to fully appreciate it. Are there clues along the way that I missed? I still find myself thinking about it and despite it's weirdness, it was a really good book! It's addictive and kept me glued to the pages wanting to know how it all ends.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Sunday Post #47 (11.9.14)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. I'm also going to link this up with Sheila's It's Monday post over at Book Journey

This past week I became an aunt again...my sister had baby #2 - Nora Elizabeth and I'm once again head over heels in love!!! This makes niece #10 and I can't wait to start spoiling her rotten just as I do with all the rest of my nieces and nephews. I went down early to my sister's so I could watch her 19 month old, who happens to be my goddaughter and we had so much fun. Then I took her to the hospital to meet her new sister - she's not too sure about this new baby, but she can say her name and it's really cute! Now that I know what sex the baby is, I'll be working on Nora's baby blanket this week. And, I have another new niece making her debut this coming week (hopefully!!!)...this one on my husband's side. More details on that in next week's post.
   
Have a great week everyone!!!
  *****************************************************************************************
Last 2 weeks on the Blog:                

* Review: The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes
* Review: Close to Home by Lisa Jackson
* Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in November 7
* Review: The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain
* Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in November 14

Books Read:          
* Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella (audio book)    
* The Hidden Girl by Louise Millar ( library book)  
* The Broken String by Diane Chamberlain (mine) 
* The Oleander Sisters by Elaine Hussey (review audio book)
* Alex Cross, Run by James Patterson (mine)
 
Currently Reading:            
* Christmas on 4th Street by Susan Mallery (mine)
* One of Us by Tawni O'Dell (review audio book)  

* Ashes to Ashes by Tami Hoag (mine)            

Books Up Next:                  
* The Distance by Helen Giltrow (review book)
* The Look of Love by Sarah Jio (review book)
 
Recent Giveaway Winners:

* Us by David Nicholls...Suko

Coming Up on the Blog:
* Review: The Hidden Girl by Louise Millar

* Review: Bones Never Lie by Kathy Reichs 
* Review: Nantucket Sisters by Nancy Thayer
* Review: Delicious! by Ruth Reichl
 
 
Book Haul for last 2 weeks:     

Purchased:
* Ashes to Ashes by Tami Hoag (Audible)

* The Broken String by Diane Chamberlain (e-book)
From Library:
* Hunted by Elizabeth Heiter


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in November 14



  #BookBlogWalkers is hosted by Felicia @ The Geeky Bloggers Book Blog

This week was a little hectic, but I managed to still get in my 30 minutes every day. I was down at my youngest sister's for a few days because she was having baby #2 and I was in charge of watching her 19 month old, who happens to be my goddaughter. We had a great time together and I got to bring her to the hospital to meet her new baby sister (and my newest niece!). I forget just how much energy these little ones have!!!
 
Here's how my week went:  

Nov  8:  rest
Nov  9:  rest
Nov 10:  30 minutes
Nov 11:  30 minutes

Nov 12:  30 minutes
Nov 13:  30 minutes

Nov 14:  30 minutes
 
How did your week go?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Review: The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

Title: The Silent Sister    
Author: Diane Chamberlain     
Published: October 2014, St. Martin's Press  
Format: ARC e-book, 352 pages   
Source: Netgalley via She Reads


Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager.  Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she's in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary.  Lisa is alive.  Alive and living under a new identity.  But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now?  As Riley works to uncover the truth, her discoveries will put into question everything she thought she knew about her family.  Riley must decide what the past means for her present, and what she will do with her newfound reality.

My thoughts: This is one of the four books that the She Reads gals selected to be part of the "Books of Fall" book club selections and I was excited with this choice. I have read a couple of books by Diane Chamberlain and really enjoyed them, so I knew we would be in for a treat with this one. Little did I know just how right I would be!

This book pulls you in right from the first page and doesn't let you go until you reach the end. There are so many secrets and twists and turns that it's hard to say much without giving anything away. Suffice it to say, nothing is what it seems. Riley discovers a web of lies that literally changes everything.

I loved the characters in this book. Right off the bat, I sympathized with Riley. I felt for her, having to deal with her father's death and then learning all those secrets. I could really feel all the emotions that she went through throughout the book. Then there was her brother, Danny. I had a hard time figuring him out. He's closed himself off and I get that, especially after everything is revealed, but he's still a puzzle. 

This book is a rollercoaster of emotions and will beg you to keep reading to find out what will be revealed next. The writing pulls you in and the characters take hold of your heart. Diane Chamberlain is a master wordsmith and I look forward to reading more of her books. After finishing this, I found out she wrote a short story, The Broken String, that gives us some back story to Riley and Danny's relationship. I cannot wait to pick this one up, along with more of Diane's works. If you've read her books, can you recommend a favorite?





The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain is one of the She Reads "Books of Fall" reading selection picks. 
 
Head over to the She Reads website to read reviews and related posts of this book, as well as to see what the other "Books of Fall" are. 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in November 7



  #BookBlogWalkers is hosted by Felicia @ The Geeky Bloggers Book Blog

I've been trying to get outside and walk as much as I can. Yes, it's been quite cool here in NY, but I really do love walking outdoors and since I am back in training mood for my next 1/2 marathon, which is obviously an outside event, I prefer, when I can, to do my training walks outside. A few days, I did have to bundle up as it was only around 40 degrees, but it is quite invigorating, I will say! And, I even brought the dogs on one of the walks - and they loved it!!!
 
Here's how my week went:  

Nov  1:  rest
Nov  2:  rest
Nov  3:  3 miles outside
Nov  4:  2 miles indoors

Nov  5:  2 miles indoors
Nov  6:  2 miles outside

Nov  7:  2 miles outside (1 mile with each dog!) 
 
How did your week go?

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Review: Close to Home by Lisa Jackson (audio)

Title: Close To Home    
Author: Lisa Jackson      
Narrator: Joyce Bean  
Published: August 2014, Brilliance Audio  
Length: 15 hours 52 minutes  
Source: Publisher 


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jackson comes an atmospheric and riveting novel of suspense that uncovers the horrifying secrets buried within a ramshackle house. . .

Vowing to make a fresh start, Sarah McAdams has come home to renovate the old Victorian mansion where she grew up. Her daughters, Jade and Gracie, aren't impressed by the rundown property on the shores of Oregon's wild Columbia River. As soon as they pull up the isolated drive, Sarah too is beset by uneasy memories--of her cold, distant mother, of the half-sister who vanished without a trace, and of a long-ago night when Sarah was found on the widow's walk, feverish and delirious.

Ever since the original mistress of the house plunged to her death almost a century ago, there have been rumors that the place is haunted. As a girl, Sarah sensed a presence there, and soon Gracie claims to see a lady in white running up the stairs. Still, Sarah has little time to dwell on ghost stories, between overseeing construction and dealing with the return of a man from her past.

But there's a new, more urgent menace in the small town. One by one, teenage girls are disappearing. Frantic for her daughters' safety, Sarah feels her veneer cracking and the house's walls closing in on her again. Somewhere deep in her memory is the key to a very real and terrifying danger. And only by confronting her worst fears can she stop the nightmare roaring back to life once more. . .

My thoughts: This is the first Lisa Jackson book I've ever read and so, going into it, I wasn't sure what to expect. I was intrigued by the description of the book and since I was able to get an audio copy, I thought I would give it a go.

There are quite a few storylines going on and at first, I was confused as to how they were all connected - because as we all know, some how everything in a book ends up being connected in some way! What kept me hooked, though, were the characters. There was just something about the characters themselves - whether they were likeable or not, that drew me in and I just had to find out what would end up happening to them in the end. 

There's a good mix of suspense, mystery and even a little romance with some paranormal thrown in that keeps the story fairly well balanced. Even the house becomes part of the story - not only an integral part of the setting, but almost a character at times. The flashbacks that Sarah has throughout the book help to fill in some back story about Sarah's family, and that, coupled with the diary that Gracie finds hidden in the house lead to some interesting revelations.

All in all, this was a rather enjoyable book. I've been on a mystery/suspense kick lately and this certainly satisfied that craving. 


Audio Thoughts: Joyce Bean is one of my favorite narrators and so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that she was narrating this one. I thought she did a great job with the voices and was able to add just the right amount of tension and suspense to her voice as needed. She gave all the characters their own unique voice, including little Gracie, and the young teenage girls.


 

Always With a Book Copyright © 2010 Designed by Ipietoon Blogger Template Sponsored by Online Shop Vector by Artshare