Sunday, June 30, 2013


When I started this blog back in March, I knew nothing about blogging... absolutely nothing.  I came upon blogger while I was using my Google account and just started playing.  I thought it would be cool to have a blog about books since I am the only avid reader in my family.  I searched, "blogs about books" and was amazed and excited that there were already so many people doing this.  I finally had people to share with!

So started me learning how to create a blog.  My header was my first challenge and once I spent many hours experimenting with Picmonkey and Photobucket, I finally created header that was both the right size and that I thought fit my blog nicely.  Slowly, I also learned how to use gadgets available on Blogger, and then moved on to adding gadgets from other sites.  I made my own button, added social media buttons, learned how to "follow" people, joined Book Blogs, Goodreads, Bloglovin, participated in hops and memes, and tried to write book reviews that didn't give away too much but were still fun to read.  I'm still working on that... :)

This weekend, I created my second blog to use in my classroom when school starts in the fall.  I'm so excited by all I have learned and all that I plan to do with my fourth graders this year with this new tool.

So thanks to all you book bloggers out there.  Your blogs inspired me to hunt down and teach myself how to  make my blog nice to look at and interesting (I hope) to read.  I'm still learning more every day and I can't wait to see where I go next.  Maybe I will be brave enough to try a giveaway once I get a few more followers... :)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Feature and Follow

Increase Blog Followers

I'm trying for 100 followers by the end of summer and then I am going to do my first giveaway.  So...It is time to participate in Feature & Follow hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  Check out their websites for the info and join the Hop! Follow me and I will follow back.  Thanks!

Q: What is your preferred reading format? Hardcover, eBooks, paperback etc?

I have to say that I really like eBooks.  I have always loved to own the newest tech gadget so when I got a Nook a few years ago for my birthday, I never went back.    I usually use the Nook app on my iPad and love the fact that I can recommend favorite books or share favorite passages with others just by scrolling through my library of ebooks and tapping my finger.  Plus, I admit I do just love looking through the covers of all my books... lol.  When I take the kids to the pool or beach, I'll bring my actual Nook with me and do my best not to get sand in it.  :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson Series #5)I have so many books that I'm waiting for!  I'll pick the one coming out the soonest for this post:

Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones.  This is the fifth book in the Charley Davidson series.  I fell on the first book by accident and absolutely loved it.  I ripped through the rest and then realized that the fifth book hadn't come out yet.  

From Barnes and Noble:
Never underestimate the power of a woman
on a double espresso with a mocha latte chaser high.
Charley Davidson isn’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill grim reaper.  She’s more of a paranormal private eye/grim reaper extraordinaire.  However, she gets sidetracked when the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, moves in next door. To further complicate matters, Reyes is her main suspect in an arson case.  Charley has vowed to stay away from him until she can find out the truth…but then dead women start appearing in her apartment, one after another, each lost, confused, and terrified beyond reason.  When it becomes apparent that her own sister, Gemma, is the serial killer’s next target Charley has no choice but to ask for Reyes’ help.  Arsonist or not, he’s the one man alive who could protect Gemma no matter who or what came at her. But he wants something in return. Charley. All of her, body and soul. And to keep her sister safe, it is a price she is willing to pay.
Charley Davidson is at it again in Fifth Grave Past the Light, the sexy, suspenseful, and laugh-out-loud funny fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling series by Darynda Jones.
Can't wait!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Review: Crescendo

It was just as I predicted.  As good as Crescendo was, and it was excellent, I was frustrated through most of it because Patch and Nora just couldn't get it together.  This installment had a ton of action and a few really good moments between the two main characters between the turmoil, which is mostly caused by Nora's jealousy over who Patch is spending his time with.  We are also introduced to Scott, an old childhood friend who suddenly moves back to Coldwater.  However, he has secrets of his own and we aren't sure throughout most of the story whether he is a hero or villain.  Vee continues to crack me up.  She is always there when Nora needs her, unless she has something better to do, like make out with her new boyfriend who just happens to be Patch's best friend Rixon.

This book focuses more on what really happened to Nora's dad.  She is sent a few threatening messages and keeps thinking that she sees and hears her dad.  She is determined to find out the truth but finds out that sometimes, the truth isn't really what we want to hear.

And again, at the end, just when I think Patch and Nora have overcome yet another huge obstacle, I read the excerpt from the next book and find that yet another hurdle is in their way... and here we go again.  Next up, Silence.  :)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Review: Hush Hush

Well, you can definitely tell that school is out and summer has started.  I'm on a roll and today I finished Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick.  I wasn't big on the title but I kept seeing it over and over again on various blogs and book sites so I picked it up.

I loved it...

Sure, it gave me a bit of Twilight "Deja Vu," but it was still a page turner.  I couldn't wait to find out what our tall, dark, and dangerous fallen angel Patch was going to do next.  The chemistry between Patch and Nora was intense and you could feel the sizzle during some of the scenes between them even though there was no actual sex in the book.  It was the author's way of detailing how Patch looked at her, how close he got, and his general actions when Nora was with him.  Was Nora the smartest 16 year old around?  Absolutely not.  She made lousy decisions that consistently put her in danger and I wanted to yell at her a few times for being so stupid.  What was kind of cool though was that Patch was not always coming to her rescue like Edward did with Bella.  Nora was on her own for several dangerous moments throughout the story and although her common sense was lacking, I still found myself liking her and hoping she and Patch would prevail.  I had some hunches throughout the story about who the real villain was going to be but it was not overly predictable like many YA novels I have read.

Now, as much as I want to read the next one right away, I am feeling a bit wary about it.  Hush Hush ended in a way I really liked and I know that if I read the next one, I am 90% sure that something is going to happen to  This is what happened recently when I went on a reading binge of Obsidian, Onyx, and Opal.  At the end of Opal, I wanted to throw the book across the room.  I couldn't of course, since I was reading on my iPad and it would have been a very expensive fix.

But, like Nora in this novel, I am most likely going to make a bad decision and my next review will be for Crescendo instead of the original book I had planned to read next.  Hopefully, I will not feel the urge to throw things when I finish it.  

Happy reading!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Review: The Night is Watching

I've read several sets of Heather Graham's "Krewe of Hunters" novels and enjoyed them.  They always have a nice combination of suspense, romance, and mystery, usually involving something "ghostly."  The criminal's however, are usually human.

This book focuses on Jane Everett, an FBI agent who can often see the dead and who is also a forensic artist.  She is called out to a small, supposedly haunted town in Arizona to investigate a very old skull that was found in a theater.  The Sheriff there is the "oh so good looking" Sloan Trent, and while the two main characters do get off on the wrong foot, they soon work as a team and then of course, take it to the next level.

Jane soon begins seeing the ghosts of two people who were murdered years ago, one of them being the great great grandmother of Sloan.  Apparently, there was a plan to steal a stagecoach filled with gold and those who found out about this plan were murdered before they could talk.  In the present, new attacks and a murder or two also occur and Jane and Sloan need to put together the past to uncover what is happening in the present.

I read this book in one day, as I usually do with Heather Graham's stories.  It wasn't too long and I thought it was fun to try to guess who was really the true criminal and why they committed the crimes.  Heather's novels aren't really deep, they are just good all around fun for those people like me who just enjoy a good paranormal mystery.  She has two more books coming out in this set, one in August and the third in September.  If you want to start at the beginning to see how this FBI branch that investigates the paranormal was created, start with Phantom Evil.  Her books run in sets of three with each set focusing on different characters in the Krewe of Hunters.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Finds

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever!

Well, I have five Friday Finds and I did just purchase all of them since most of the books on my wish list are pre-order only at this point.  

1.  The Night Watching by Heather Graham.  I have read a few of her books and didn't realize she had started a new trilogy so I picked it up.
2.  Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick.  I keep seeing this one on other blogs with good reviews.
3.  Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden
4.  Second Sight by Amanda Quick.  Heard good things about the Arcane Society series also so going to give that a try.
5.  The Heist by Janet Evanovich and  Lee Goldberg

These should get me through until mid July when a few of the books I am waiting for become available.  

Against the TideThe Night Is WatchingSecond Sight (Arcane Society Series #1)
The Heist (B&N Exclusive Edition)Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush Saga #1)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Review: The Firebird

As predicted, I loved this book!  Historical fiction with that little bit of fantasy and romance woven into it.  Susanna Kearsley has never let me down and this story definitely goes into my top five so far for this year.

Click here for the "official" synopsis on the Barnes and Noble site.

There are two main characters in this story.  The first one, Nicola, lives in the present and has the special gift of "seeing" the details of the items she touches.  When an older woman in need of money comes to her with a small carving of a firebird, she hopes to find proof that it once belonged to Empress Catherine of Russia so that she can sell it,  Nicola knows it is authentic just from touching it but has no proof but her "gift" of knowing.  She enlists the help of a old boyfriend Rob, who has the same gift and they go on a journey that takes place both in the present and the past to find proof that the carving is indeed authentic.  The other main character the story is Anna, whose life we see through the visions of Nicola and Rob as they try to unravel the mystery of this firebird.

Susanna Kearsley sucked me immediately into this story as she always does and I found myself completely engrossed in both of the female lead characters and in the details of the historical time period.  If you read either The Shadowy Horses or The Winter Sea, you will notice that she bring a few of the minor characters from those stories and features them more prominently in this book.  I love how she travels from past to present and back again without the writing being choppy or confusing for the reader.  We read one chapter focusing on Nicola and Rob and then move back to the 1700's and join Anna.  When I closed the book at the end, I was both satisfied with how each story ended but also sad that it was over.   I will be eagerly awaiting Susanna Kearsley's next novel!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

Here is my Teaser Tuesday!

Sometimes at night she heard a woman weeping, softly distant, and the melancholy sound stole down the corridor and seemed to wrap around her own small body lying silently in her bed, and give a voice to her own misery. 

The Firebird
Susanna Kearsley 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Review: The Collector

This was just a fun YA novel about a 17 year old boy named Dante who died and is now a soul collector for the devil.  He is a hot teenage bad ass.  The kind of guy every girl loves and he knows it.  The big guy downstairs is ready to give him the ultimate promotion but he has to bring in one last soul, that of Charlie Cooper.  Dante is surprised and confused when he meets her because he can't imagine why the big guy would want someone like her, but he plans to just do the job a be done with it.  However, things don't quite turn out the way they are supposed to.  He slowly finds himself caring about her and wanting to protect her instead of steal her soul... a sure dilemma.

I won't give the story away but if you like YA books that include fantasy, romance, some humor, and a little bit of action thrown in, you'll love this.  I started out loving Dante but couldn't possibly imagine how he could fall in love with the female lead, Charlie.  Once I realized what they were going to do with her in order to make it believable, it began to work.  It actually reminded me a bit of the Ugly Duckling story or even the movie Grease.  My moral self can't decide if the change in this story is a good thing or a bad thing.  I did enjoy it immensely though and plan to read the second one when it comes out this summer.  It is a fairly quick read so it would be great to take to the beach or on any vacation.

On to my next book, The Firebird.  I am really looking forward to it because I have loved every Susanna Kearsley book I've read.  :)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Review: The Hit

This is my second David Baldacci book.  The first one I read was The Innocent, which  introduces the reader to Will Robie and his life as a government assassin.  When I completed the first book, I was left wishing there were more to the story. When I read the teaser and reviews for The Hit, I was excited to read that my beloved characters had returned.  I bought it immediately but didn't get exactly what I was hoping for.  I quite enjoyed the book, don't get me wrong, but I expected more.  It started slowly and I was disappointed that Julie and Vance who were in the first book, were only very minor characters in this story.  I had been hoping that Robie and Vance would get together or at least be led in that direction.  Instead, we are introduced to Jessica Reel, who everyone believes is an assassin who has gone rogue but who is really just knocking off the high ups who are involved in a doomsday plan.  Robie is originally brought in to kill her but eventually notices that things aren't making sense.  They end up working together to uncover the truth.  While I still loved Robie's character, I couldn't really connect to Jessica.  She just didn't do it for me.  I also thought that the book didn't flow quite as smoothly as The Innocent.  However, it did have plenty of action, a decent plot, and wrapped up nicely.  I'm not sorry I read it, I just would have done things differently.  All in all, if you like David Baldacci's books, you will probably enjoy this one as well.  On to the next book!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Beach Reads!


Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  

This weeks theme is beach reads, and one of my favorite places to be is on the beach with my two kids playing, the waves lapping my chair, and my Nook in my hand.  Beach reads to me are quick, fun, guilty pleasure books that are perfect for vacations.  Here are my top 10 beach reads:

1.   One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
2.  Soulless by Gail Carriger
3.  Heartbreaker by Julie Garwood
4.  Phantom Evil by Heather Graham
5.  First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
6.  Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
7.  Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
8.  Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James
9.  Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout
10.  Untraceable by Laura Griffin

Enjoy your summer reading, wherever you are!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Musing Monday


Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!
Here is my Musing for Monday, June 3, 2013:
I'm sure someone has posted about this before but I always wonder how Barnes and Noble chooses which books to make, "Lend Me" books and why more new releases aren't included.  I am the first to admit that I spend a ton of money on books!  My husband often says that we personally keep B&N in business (which is of course ridiculous but he feels a need to remind me that I overspend in this area).  I have a good amount of Nook friends but whenever I check their books or just browse the on-line store in general, I am just less than impressed with the choices offered to borrow.   I was thrilled to see that they did offer the entire Hunger Games trilogy but it did me no good at that point because I had already read them all and so had most other people I knew.
I guess I understand that by putting newer books that are more in demand on the "Lend Me" list, everyone would want to borrow them and money would be lost.  It would be still be nice however, if once a month, they did something like a "hot book of the month" and gave us a great title that we only have a short time to grab or only offer to a limited number of people to grab it first come, first serve... There has to be a way to make this great idea more fun and more valuable for everyone.

Just my thoughts...  Happy Monday!  :)