Monday, October 31, 2011

The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian

From the bestselling author of The Double Bind, Skeletons at the Feast, and Secrets of Eden, comes a riveting and dramatic ghost story.
In a dusty corner of a basement in a rambling Victorian house in northern New Hampshire, a door has long been sealed shut with 39 six-inch-long carriage bolts.  The home's new owners are Chip and Emily Linton and their twin ten-year-old daughters. Together they hope to rebuild their lives there after Chip, an airline pilot, has to ditch his 70-seat regional jet in Lake Champlain after double engine failure. Unlike the Miracle on the Hudson, however, most of the passengers aboard Flight 1611 die on impact or drown. The body count? Thirty-nine – a coincidence not lost on Chip when he discovers the number of bolts in that basement door. Meanwhile, Emily finds herself wondering about the women in this sparsely populated White Mountain village – self-proclaimed herbalists – and their interest in her fifth-grade daughters. Are the women mad? Or is it her husband, in the wake of the tragedy, whose grip on sanity has become desperately tenuous?   The result is a poignant and powerful ghost story with all the hallmarks readers have come to expect from bestselling novelist Chris Bohjalian: a palpable sense of place, an unerring sense of the demons that drive us, and characters we care about deeply.  The difference this time?  Some of those characters are dead. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

 Night Strangers is a psychological thriller with paranormal elements.  It will have you turning the pages to discover the secrets of a small town in New Hampshire. Bohjalian’s tale is reminiscent of Stephen King and the Stand. I chose to read this over Halloween weekend and it was quite a thrill. The ending to this novel will simply blow you away.

The story revolves around the Linton’s.  Chip Linton is suffering from PTSD, after a plane he was piloting crashes in a lake and thirty-nine passages die.  In an effort to help her husband and children cope, Emily Lipton moves her family to an old Victorian home in Bethel, New Hampshire.  She hopes that by moving away from the notoriety surrounding them it will give Chip the peace he needs and the twins a chance for some normalcy.

The family moves in and Chip becomes obsessed with a sealed door in the basement. The door is sealed shut with thirty-nine carriage bolts. Thirty-nine passengers died on his airplane.  He and his daughter begin having nightmares.  He starts seeing and having conversations with dead passengers.  Meanwhile something strange is going on in this small town.  The neighbors are stepping up to help the Lipton’s adjust by befriending them, feeding them, and offering advice  but their interest in the Lipton’s twin girls is making Emily a little leery.

The POV is told in second and third person and it’s brilliantly done. You get a real sense of Chip’s struggle with his psychosis as it’s delivered in second person.  The way in which Bohjalian spoon feeds you this tale just adds to the suspense.  He weaves a tale that is creepy, horrifying, and yet eerily plausible.  The town, it’s secrets, Chip’s demons all spring to life and will have you turning on the lights...All of the lights.

I did not become particularly attached to any of the characters in Night Strangers, which whether intentional or not was spectacular on Bohjalian’s part.  Instead I became attached to the tale, the details, and the suspense.  I wanted to unlock the secrets and uncover the truth.
I highly recommend The Night Strangers  to anyone who loves a suspenseful psychological thriller.  Fans of King and Koontz will be well satisfied with this story.  I am adding Bohjalian to my list of must read authors.

I gave this book 5 coffee cups out of 5. 

Buy here: B&N or here: Amazon
Author's website: Chris Bohjalian

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Kissing Tree by Prudence Bice

After five long years, Georgiana McLaughlin returns to the only place she’s ever considered home—the same place she stole a kiss from Ridge Carson under the community “kissing tree.” But this time he’s a man, and reconciling their past is just the beginning. You’ll find yourself applauding each new chapter filled with fun, romance, and adventure in this captivating, heartfelt tale of love, friendship, and finding your way back. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

The Kissing Tree is a delightfully sweet historical romance. Although a year is not given, it takes place in early American history. Colorado has been settled. Small towns have been established around farming and cattle ranch communities. Crystal Creek is just such a small town.
When the story begins thirteen year old protagonist Georgiana McLaughlin has recently lost her father to a tragic horse accident. She and her siblings, along with their mother are traveling to New York to stay with Aunt Cecelia for the summer break. Before they leave, she steals a kiss from Ridge Carson under the kissing tree and runs. She doesn’t return home until five years later.
Georgiana returns to Colorado, leaving behind a young man waiting for her to accept a marriage proposal.  He is a charming man, who adores her, but she can’t bring herself to say yes. When she arrives home she finds Ridge all grown up and working on her grandfather’s cattle ranch.
The chemistry Bice creates between Georgiana and Ridge is delightful. Georgiana is all Irish fire and spunk. The way in which these to spar will have you giggling. There is wholesomeness to this tale that I find refreshing.
The Kissing Tree has a love triangle, villains and finds our heroine in danger. The tale unfolds at a wonderful pace. Bice writes a story with lots of twists, and wraps it all up in a bow at the end. She delivers the perfect romantic story that will leave you feeling good.
I am adding Prudence Bice to my list of authors to watch.  The Kissing Tree will be available on December 6, 2011. This would make the perfect gift for the romance reader on your holiday shopping list.
I want to thank netGalley and Cedar Fort Publishing for this ARC, in exchange for my unbiased review.
I give this book 5 coffee cups out of 5.

Buy here: B&N or here: Amazon
Author's website: Prudence Bice

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

"One Hundred and Fifty Follower" Thank you Giveaway !

Thank you Giveway

Stop by my Blog to Enter! 
The Lucky winner will receive a gift card.
 This is My Way of Thanking You for your Wonderful Support.
Follow the Directions below to enter and Good Luck!


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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lonestar Angel by Colleen Coble

Years ago Eden and Clay Larson's baby was stolen. Kidnappers demanded a ransom, but something went horribly wrong at the exchange: the kidnapper's car crashed into the river and was never recovered. Eden blamed herself, Clay lost himself in work. Their young and rocky marriage ended. Or so Eden thought.  Now she's met Kent. He's everything Clay wasn't: funny, stable, and eager to please her. Just as he's about to propose marriage at a romantic dinner, Clay arrives and tells Eden she can't marry Kent. She's still married to him. He never signed the divorce decree. Even more earth-shattering than this news is that he's never stopped looking for Brianna. Based on a tip, he thinks their daughter is in Bluebird, Texas, at a youth ranch. All five little girls there are the right age, but he's not sure which is Brianna.  To discover the truth, the couple becomes counselors to the girls at Bluebird Ranch. They move into small quarters in the bunkhouse and oversee the kids as they try to find out more. As they work together, their love for the children grows and their love for each other is rekindled. But as danger closes in, Eden and Clay realize they've been lured to this remote West Texas location; their lives and the lives of the little girls are in danger. But as Eden learns, "hope does not disappoint."( Synopsis from Goodreads)
Lonestar Angel is a suspenseful romance with a dash of faith.  This book grabbed me from page one. It has all the ingredients for the perfect book.  Eden and Clay both come from broken homes. They have a whirlwind romance that leaves Eden expecting. They  marry and have a beautiful daughter named Brianna. What they don't have is faith in each other, their marriage or communication skills. When Brianna is kidnapped and presumed dead...their marriage falls apart. Eden runs from the pain and believes Clay only married her to do the right thing. Clay has loved Eden since the moment he laid eyes on her. His own fear keeps him from chasing her. Until five years later, when someone sends a photo with a message that Brianna is alive. What follows, will have you reading by flashlight in the middle of the night. 
I really like protagonists Eden and Clay Larson. I found myself cheering for them and occasionally wanting to hit them both over the head. It is so obvious to the reader and characters in the novel that they love each other.  These too self-doubters can't see how much they mean to each other and are too afraid to open up.
 The children are so loveable and in need of a hug. Each child’s personality, fears and needs are beautifully expressed. I dare you not to fall in love with them.  The other characters in the novel add depth and bring the Bluebird Ranch to life. 
Coble spins a suspenseful tale.  The mystery around Brianna's kidnapping, the recent letter and tragic events that occur, will have you turning the pages to discover the secrets. This is a faith based novel, but it isn't over salted and the romance is sweet. 
I will be adding Colleen Coble to my favorite authors list and encourage you to read this delightful novel. Lonestar Angel would be the perfect holiday gift for anyone on your list who enjoys suspenseful romances. 
I want to thank Book sneeze for this ARC, in exchange for my unbiased review.
I gave this book 4 coffee cups out of 5. 

Buy here: B&N or here: Amazon
Author's website: Colleen Coble

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Dearly, Departed (Dearly #1) by Lia Habel

Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?
The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.
But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.
In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

 Dearly, Departed is a YA horror novel with a splash of romance. It contains elements of steampunk, fantasy and a post-apocalyptic dystopia.  This is Lia Habel’s debut novel and despite some flaws, I found it to be refreshing and delightful.
The futuristic world of New Victoria is fascinating.  It’s exactly how you might picture the world in 2195 with a few twists.  The place is riddled with technology. Some neighborhoods are built below ground, complete with holographic skies and trees that blow in the wind.  There are micro-chip ID’s, digital diaries and flat screens everywhere.  The homes, transportation, clothing and social classes all resemble the late 1800’s to early 1900’s Victorian era in England. Habel’s history of how this new world comes to be is interesting and believable.  I love this world she creates, and could easily immerse myself in it.  There has been an on-going war with outsiders known as the “punks”.  This war has consisted of propaganda and border skirmishes, stemming from a difference of opinion in social statuses and government.

The zombies in this world are caused by the “Laz” virus.  Habel’s explanations regarding zombies, their cravings, classifications and needs are clever.  When reading a zombie book, I expect slow moving, mindless, flesh craving monsters.  Habel provides these and they are referred to as the “Grays.”  She also provides us with smart, witty, caring zombies.  These zombies are part of "Company Z."  They are comrades, they like music, care about clothes, music and the living.  They may be dead, but they don't want to be dead-dead.

The story is told from the POV of five characters. I enjoyed reading the different perspectives, including those of the villain. My problem is that it pulls the reader into too many directions and makes the overall flow of the story cumbersome.  If the story had been limited to the POV of Bram and Nora, it would have been brilliant.  Nora Dearly is a strong, witty, brave, young woman.  I like that Habel made her fearless.  She is a girl of privilege, who lost her mother early in life, was pushed away by her father and eventually lost him.  She was left in the care of her self-serving Aunt and she could just as easily have been a spoiled, hateful, brat.  Captain Bram Griswold is sixteen years old and leader of "Company Z."   He is brave, charming, smart, thoughtful and dead.  The romance between Nora and Bram is sweet, innocent and heart-breaking.  Habel makes you believe a romance between a zombie and a human is possible. It is pure magic.  Despite the fact that I disagree with Pam having her own POV, I loved this spunky, lower class, zombie kicking girl.  I hope to see more of her in future books.

The overall theme is compelling and I became immersed in the storyline. Dearly, Departed starts off slowly, as Habel lays the ground work for this tale, but stick with it.  The middle was riveting and the ending set the stage for book two.  I enjoyed Habel’s writing style and imagination.  Her characters each have their own voice and personality.  The banter between them is witty and I love how she combined Victorian era dialect with modern futuristic dialect.  The details regarding this world, the war and the disease are wonderful.  I question the validity of some of the characters and sub-plots in the novel, but since this is to be a series, I will take a wait and see approach.

 I will definitely be reading book two of this series entitled Dearly, Beloved.  It is my hope that it will deliver all that Dearly, Departed was capable of. Without the above mentioned flaws this book would have easily received a five coffee cup rating from me. I thoroughly enjoyed Dearly, Departed and recommend it.

I want to thank netGalley and Random House Publishing Group for this ARC, in exchange for my unbiased review.

I give this book 4 coffee cups out of 5.

Buy here: B&N or here: Amazon
Author's Website: Lisa Habel

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

I am having a blast participating in the:

Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-Thon

October 21-23rd
Hosts: Bex @ Kindle Fever and April @ My Shelf Confessions
Here is what I have been reading:
To Kill A Mockingbird chapters 17 to 24
Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
Lonestar Angel by Coleen Cobel
To Kill A Mockingbird chapters 25 to 31
100 reviews on 100 blogs :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thrown Out: Stories from Exeter by Jennie Coughlin

Travel to Exeter, Massachusetts, where old grudges, buried secrets and lifetime regrets haunt the residents of this small town — and sometimes trip up unwary newcomers. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

The book, Thrown Out: Stories from Exeter, was a delightful collection of four short stories.  All of the tales took place in the college town of Exeter. I really enjoyed each of the stories, which doesn’t often happen in a collection of works.

I have often been disappointed by short stories because they lack substance. These tales were well developed and the writer had strong command of them from beginning to end. Coughlin delivered stories that quickly immersed me into the tale. The characters had depth and some of them crossed over into different stories. The storylines were compelling and spanned over 40 years. They touched on tough subjects such as homophobia, town secrets, spousal abuse and fear of commitment.

My favorite story was “Thrown Out”. This story dealt with homophobia and the ugly truth behind it.  Chris is a young man who knows firsthand the pain this hatred can inflict.  I was touched by his story. Coughlin brings into perspective what it is like to be different in a small town.

I thoroughly enjoyed Thrown Out, and was sad to see it end. The book was a mere eighty-eight pages long, but worth the read. I will be looking for more of Jennie Coughlin’s work in the future.

I want to thank the author for providing an ARC , in exchange for my unbiased review.

I gave this book 4 coffee cups out of 5. 

Buy here: B&N or here: Amazon
Author's website: Jennie Coughlin

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Last Cowboy by Lindsay McKenna

The iconic Cowboy: Pure alpha male, fiercely protective of all he holds dear. The last of a dying breed. Otherwise known as a pain in the rear.
City girl: It was written all over her like a sign warning him to keep off. Sure, Slade McPherson would train her horse… With his ranch one bad day away from foreclosure, he can’t afford to turn away a paying customer. But no way is this cowboy getting involved with a woman like Jordana Lawton—no matter how pretty she looks in a saddle.
Yet everything can change in an instant. A terrifying run-in with an angry bull tilts Slade’s world off its axis, leaving him wounded and unable to compete in a race that could change his future, for good. With Jordana by his side, he just might stand a chance. But what happens when this old-school cowboy finds himself falling for a modern city girl? (Synopsis from Goodreads)

The Last Cowboy had all of the elements necessary to create the perfect feel good western romance.  The backdrop for the story was Jackson Hole, Wyoming near the Teton Mountains. McKenna had me longing to see this picturesque country side.  Next, she stirred in sexy, heart weary rancher, Slade McPherson. She introduced Dr. Jordana Lawton, a woman who could see through his stubborn exterior. Then, she sprinkled on a villainous neighbor, an estranged brother, disaster and a couple of beautiful horses.

The Last Cowboy grabbed me at page one and held me till the final page. The characters had depth and the plot moved quickly. The storyline was believable and the romance felt fresh. The sub-plot to the novel dealt with horse training and McKenna’s knowledge of the subject was apparent.This took up a large portion of the book but I found it to be interesting and it made ranch life burst to life. 

While this tale offered nothing new it was the perfect read for a rainy day and I enjoyed it immensely. McKenna left the door wide open for follow up stories to this tale, and I’d be happy to go back again.

I want to thank netGalley and Harlequin Publishing for the ARC, in exchange for my unbiased review. This book will be released around November 29, 2011 and is available for pre-order. 

I gave the book 3 coffee cups out of 5. 

 Buy here: B&N or here: Amazon 
 Author's website: Lindsay McKenna

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Monday, October 17, 2011

A Ripple in Time - Angel of the Titanic (Celtic Cousins' adventures) by Juliet Hughes

Wren's dreams become entangled with those of someone who lived 100 years ago. Fearing he is losing his mind, Wren googles the name of young girl he dreams of. He finds her story in a book entitled 'Survivors of the Titanic.'
Through Wren, the girl becomes aware of the tragedy awaiting and manages to avert disaster by warning the crew. What happens next tears the very fabric of time itself, creating an alternative history. If this world is not to become reality, Wren must use the mythical sword Excalibur to turn back time, harnessing the power of ancient standing stones.
Wren is trapped at Stonehenge. Stepping from its protective circle means he will cease to exist. Here at least he has some kind of half life in spirit form.
As days then weeks pass, this version of the world becomes more solid, and his chances to turn back time and restore reality fade.
Wren needs to convince his cousin Rhyllann to bring the mystical sword Caliburn (Excalibur) to Stonehenge. They must turn back time, and ensure that the Titanic fulfils her destiny.
Unfortunately, the only person who can see him is a crazy old woman. Luckily she has a feisty granddaughter. Carrie only plays along to humour Gran at first. But soon she is running for her life. She comes to realize that although Wren may not be on the side of the angels, he is certainly on her side.
Without so much as a kiss, Carrie begins to fall in love with the enigmatic Wren. Too late, she discovers just how ruthless he can be. Too late she discovers the true secret of the stones. In order to reverse the order of the stars, Wren not only needs Excalibur. He also needs the blood of a virgin. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

A Ripple in Time - Angel of the Titanic was a time traveling fantasy.  It started off rocky for me, so stick with it.  I felt like I was dropped in mid-story and it took me a while to get my bearings.  My reward came to fruition quickly, as I embarked on an exciting quest; filled with famous characters, places, events, villains and lovable heroes.

The premises behind the tale started with Wren's dream of the sinking of the Titanic. His dreams became entangled with those of a young girl who lived a hundred years ago. Based on those dreams, her knowledge averted the sinking of the ship. This action altered the course of history.  Wren (who no longer existed in his current timeline) had to convince his brother Rhyllann and Carrie, the granddaughter of the young woman from Wren’s dreams to help him restore the timeline. The story that unfolded was delightful. 

Hughes wove a tale using both fantasy and fact. While there were some errors in her historical references, her knowledge of the subject was apparent. It was highly entertaining the way she brought famous persons throughout history to interact with our heroes. Character development was good, and the romance that developed felt fresh and believable.  I found Rhyllann, Wren and Carrie to be enchanting.  I cheered this trio on throughout their quest. Hughes tale posed several questions regarding the butterfly effect. The novel emitted many emotions from me and I did get weepy at the end. 

A Ripple in Time - Angel of the Titanic, is currently only available as an eBook, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys mystical fantasies.

I want to thank the author Julia Hughes for sharing this book with me, in exchange for my unbiased review.

I gave this book 3 coffee cups out of 5. 

Buy here: Amazon or here: Smashwords
Author's website: Juliet Hughes

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Once Upon a Decade: Tales of the Fifties by Clark Zlotchew

The narratives in this collection paint a picture of the 1950s. Many of the elements of this culture will repel: racism, sexism and homophobia, for example. Yet this was an era in which neither the threat of terrorism nor the scourge of AIDS existed for the average American. These stories deal with love and death, triumphs and defeats, adolescent angst and the tension between ethnicity and assimilation. Some present adventure on the high seas as well as a glimpse of Havana night life on the eve of the Castro Revolution.(synopsis from Goodreads)

 Once Upon A Decade: Tales of the Fifties offers a diverse collection of short stories. They broach such subjects as segregation, young love, homophobia, navy life, adventure and teen mischief. As with any collection of short stories, there were some I truly enjoyed and others I did not. 
Zlotchew is a wonderful writer and delivers an engaging short story. He masterfully controls his stories and quickly draws the reader in. Many of the tales had some of the same characters in them, helping to add more depth and familiarity.  Some of the writing contained a dark, gritty edge and touched on unpleasant subjects. A few of the stories surrounded Navy life and shore leave; state side and abroad. Zlotchew captured the dialect of his characters making their conversations authentic.  Three stories I enjoyed were Storm Warning, Witch's Brew and Going For Gold.  This was an engaging, thought provoking read and very true to the era it represents. Once Upon a Decade was selected as one of three finalist in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. (In the short story category.) I would recommend this to anyone interested in the setting and culture of the fifties. 
I want to thank author Clark Zlotchew and Comfort Publishing for the ARC, in exchange for my unbiased review. 
I gave this book 3 coffee cups out of 5.

Buy here: B&N or here: Amazon
Author's website: Clark Zlotchew

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Next Thing I Knew (Heavenly) by John Corwin

When Lucy Morgan drops dead along with everyone else on Earth she refuses to take death lying down even if, technically, her corpse is.
She drags her ghostly social life back from the grave and enlists her friends to figure out the rules of the afterlife. More importantly, they want to discover who or what killed everyone and why the heck anyone would do such a mean thing.
But what they discover changes everything. And if they can't figure out how to put their new found ghostly powers to work, humanity will be extinct for good. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

The Next Thing I Knew is an interesting YA science fiction/fantasy novel.  Seventeen year old, protagonist Lucy Morgan wakes up to discover she and everyone else on the planet are dead; ghosts. 
Lucy is a well rounded character who comes into her own as the story progresses.  She is funny and sees the good in others.  She ultimately becomes the leader of a small group of teens.  They set out to discover what happened and save Earth.  The plot is a unique, post-apocalyptic story.  Typical of most YA books, the story developed at a fast pace keeping the reader on a roller coaster ride.  There is some romance and implied sex, but the story line revolves around saving the earth.

Corwin’s imagination and writing style is well thought out and enjoyable.  While it isn't completely believable, it fits into the realm of fantasy.  Fantasy fans will enjoy the aliens and ghosts.  Fans of science fiction will love the technology scattered throughout the tale.  The Next Thing I Knew touched on good versus evil along with religious and moral issues.  Overall, this is a good read and I recommend it to those who enjoy fantasy and science fiction in a young adult genre. 

I want to thank John Corwin for sharing this novel with me in exchange for my unbiased review. 

I gave this book 3 coffee cups out of 5. 

buy here: B&N or here: Amazon
author's website: John Corwin

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bride of the Night by Heather Graham

She's the vampire that could destroy a nation.

At least, that's what Pinkerton detective Finn Dunne thinks of Tara Fox. Capturing her aboard a ship sneaking its way northward, he's convinced she's been sent to take out President Lincoln. While she's certainly the most attractive assassin he's ever faced, that won't keep him from his duty.

Tara has always been caught between worlds. As a vampire born and raised in Key West, she has many friends among the humans. Many friends that are now fighting and dying in the raging Civil War.

When her strange dreams began, she thought of them as abstract visions. But she now knows that she must travel to Washington, D.C., and protect the president at all costs. Finn still won't trust her, despite what he's seen. And if Tara has to go through him—or bring reinforcements—to save Lincoln, she will do whatever it takes, even if it costs her her heart. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

Bride of the Night is a paranormal romance at its heart. Heather Graham has woven historical events, people and places from the Civil War into this tale. Graham is so skilled at using just enough references to historical events that it gives an authenticity to the tale.   Protagonist Finn is determined to eliminate all threats to his beloved President, Abraham Lincoln.  Tara wants to protect the president as well, but Finn isn't sure if she is a threat.  When dark creatures attack, they battle to save soldiers and civilians. The battle scenes were explosive. Other key characters had depth and developed personalities.  The chemistry between Finn and Tara was wonderful, heated and felt genuine. I found myself rooting for them as a couple. If you have read any of Graham's works; you know she keeps the plot moving at a fast clip. She captures your attention from the first few pages and holds you there till the end .I truly enjoyed this book and recommend it to paranormal romance, mystery and historical romance readers alike.  Bride of the Night will be available in paperback and eBook on November 22, 2011. Pre-order now. 
I want to thank netGalley and Harlequin publishing for providing me with an ARC, in exchange for this unbiased review. 

I gave this book 3 coffee cups out of 5. 

Buy here: B&N or here: Amazon
author's website: Heather Graham

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The New Death and others by James Hutchings

Death gets a roommate...

An electronic Pope faces a difficult theological question...

A wicked vizier makes a terrible bargain...

44 stories. 19 poems. No whiny vampires. There's a thin line between genius and insanity, and James Hutchings has just crossed it - but from which direction?(synopsis from Goodreads) 

The New Death and others is an interesting collection of short stories and poems.   As with any collection of stories, I liked some of them, hated a few and others were just OK for me.   Two memorable ones were “How the Isle of Cats Got Its Name" and "Weary Love" 

James Hutchings has an active imagination. This body of work is a smorgasbord of myths, fables, parodies and puns. There were political and religious views woven into a lot of the work. Some racial and ethnic profiling may upset the unsuspecting reader. In all honesty, a lot of the intended humor missed its mark with me.   I would have liked to have seen an overall theme to this novel. When I purchase a collection of works, it is usually because the stories or poems all share a common theme that interests me. While some of the tales had a good story line, I felt cheated.  They weren't developed enough and felt rushed. I would have preferred  a longer story with more details.  Hutchings’s fantasy stories show promise. This collection is available as an eBook . 
I want to thank author James Hutchings for providing me with a copy of his eBook in exchange for my unbiased review. 
I gave this book 2 coffee cups out of 5. 

Buy here: Amazon or here: Smashwords
Authors website: James Hutchings

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Three-Day Town (Deborah Knott Mysteries #17) by Margaret Maron

Judge Deborah Knott and Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant are on a train to New York, finally on a honeymoon after a year of marriage. January in New York might not be the perfect time to visit, but they'll take it. The trip is a Christmas present from Dwight's sister-in-law, who arranged for them to stay in an Upper West Side apartment for one week. While in New York, Deborah has been asked to deliver a package to Lt. Sigrid Harald of the NYPD. Sigrid offers to swing by the apartment to pick up the box, but when they reach the apartment, they discover that it is missing and the doorman has been murdered. Despite their best efforts to enjoy a blissful getaway, Deborah and Dwight soon find that they've teamed up with Sigrid and her team to catch the killer before he strikes again. (synopsis from Goodreads)

Three-day Town was a suspenseful, plot twisting murder mystery. The plot contains the perfect setting, witnesses and suspects.  Maron, shares this story from the POV of Deborah and Sigrid.

Judge Deborah Knott is feisty, smart and loves shoes. She is excited to be spending a week in New York with the love of her life, Sheriff’s Deputy Dwight Bryant.  After celebrating their one year anniversary they are finally getting a honeymoon.  Dwight’s sister-in-law owns an apartment on the Upper West Side and has arranged for them to stay there in January.  Cold or not these southerners are looking forward to a week in the big city.

Deborah is asked to deliver a package for a distant relative.  Once in New York she makes arrangements for the package to be picked up.  Before it can, they discover the package has been stolen.  To make matters worse, there is a dead man in their apartment. Ironically the package was intended for the mother of Lt. Sigrid Harald of the NYPD.  Sigrid is assigned as lead homicide detective..  Together they try to solve this murder and recover the package. The story that unfolds is believable and compelling.

 I enjoyed the colorful characters in this novel.  The suspects and witnesses were unique and added intrigue to this complex murder case.  Author Margaret Maron chose the perfect setting for this crime. It paved the way for a multitude of possible suspects, scenarios and an array of witnesses.   I was completely immersed in the tale she masterfully painted. Three-Day Town is the seventeenth book in the Deborah Knott Mysteries Series. This book can be read as a standalone. I had no problems understanding any past connections. I look forward to reading more of this authors work.

I want to thank netGalley and Grand Central Publishing for this ARC. It was given in exchange for my unbiased review. This book will be published on November 21, 2011.

I gave this book 3 coffee cups out of 5. 

Buy Here: B&N or here: Amazon
Author's website: Margaret Maron

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