Wednesday, July 27, 2011

After All by Mary Tyler Moore

Genre: Memoir
Distributor: Putnam
Acquisition: Used bookstore, hardback
Length: 317 pages but there’s pictures
Rating: PG 13
Starring: Mary Tyler Moore
Theme: I Will Survive
Comments: I like memoirs. This one was good. I thought Mary was honest, sometimes too honest. For such an upbeat Mary Richards and/or Laura Petri, the realize actress is pretty dark.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Last Light by Terri Blackstock

Genre: Inspirational General Fiction
Distributor: Zondervan
Acquisition: Free Kindle Book
Length: 578 pages
Rating: PG 13
Starring: The Brannings and their Neighbors
Theme: Survival among chaos
Comments: I think this is the first general fiction label I’ve given. I found this to be an ‘interesting’ book. When I tell my students their work is interesting, they always ask how. This book hooked me and disturbed me. Probably what the author wanted. Surviving in a world with all conveniences are good is not a situation I want to contemplate.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tuscan Holiday by Holly Chamberlin

Genre: Women’s Fiction
Distributor: Kensington
Acquisition: Free on Kindle
Length: 352 pages
Rating: PG 13
Starring: Elizabeth (Mom) and Marina (adult daughter)
Theme: Sometimes it takes a different setting and no distractions to connect.

Comments: This was free on Kindle. There were time when I looked forward to reading it because I liked the setting. There were times I skimmed. I agree with many readers that I didn’t care for the advice colum at the beginning. I also wish I could have see Peter get what he deserved.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ghost Ship by P. J. Alderman

Genre: Cozy Paranormal
Distributor: Bantam
Acquisition: Purchased for Kindle
Length: 368 pages
Rating: G
Starring: Jordan, her neighbors and her ghosts
Theme: Murder, Murder, Everywhere
Comments: This one did what it’s supposed to do. It sold the next one which I predict will be Charlotte’s story. Again, great characterization, excellent setting, and engaging writing. I’m still a little put off by everyone and their mother keeping journals. And, I don’t buy calling Charlotte – a soiled dove – innocent. I still want the ghosts to be more straight forward (and for this book, come on, what was the motivation for Garrett confessing that he ‘didn’t’ do it). Good job!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida by Debby Mayne

Genre: Inspirational
Distributor: Summerside Press
Acquisition: Walmart
Length: 320 pages
Rating: G
Starring: Amanda and her sister; Jerry and his parents.
Theme: It’s worth the wait
Comments: Amanda owns a bicycle shop and basically takes care of her youngest sister since their mother cannot. Jerry is an ‘oops’ baby who shoulders the care of his aging parents. Amanda and Jerry find love. The younger sister finds love. The aging parents fall in love again.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Haunting Jordan by P.J. Alderman

Genre: Paranormal Cozy
Distributor: Bantam
Acquisition: Kindle
Length: 432 pages
Rating: G
Starring: Jordan Marsh, town friends, ghosts
Theme: The obvious choice isn’t always the right choice and that everyone, 100 years ago, left a diary.
Comments: This was an easy read. I read from front to back in two days, and I wanted the second in the series badly enough that I paid money for it. However, the second one needs to be a bit better than this one. I don’t buy that everyone left a journal, nor that all the journals were in such great shape that they were readable. Too, I want more questions answered by the ghosts. If I were solving a mystery and I had a ghost handy from that time period, I’d be interviewing them. That being said, town was great, characterization good (on live people, want more on the dead people). I also did not guess the bad guy, which always makes me happy. I know who I wanted it to be, but I’m not going to say because now I have a good plot for a suspense of my own.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Defending Angels by Mary Stanton

Genre: Paranormal Cozy
Distributor: Berkley
Acquisition: Kindle
Length: 304 pages
Rating: PG because reader needs to be old enough to know that blatant misconceptions about angels contained in book
Starring: Rachel and her friends and family
Theme: You Can Right a Wrong and You Can’t Help What You Were Born to Be.
Comments: I went looking for a book at Barnes and Noble (I wanted to see if Carolyn Hart’s print book was on sale because I’m not paying the price Kindle wants). It wasn’t on sale, so I looked at other books. This one looked good so I went home and purchased it on Kindle. It was a good book. I’m so/so about buying the next. I like the plot, I like the characters, I like the concept. But, I need to know that Rachel’s going to get a backbone and stop accepting the things that happen to her and really say, “Tell me exactly what’s going on.” If the author does that, I’m on board for the whole series.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hexes and Hemlines by Juliet Blackwell

Genre: Paranormal Cozy
Distributor: Signet
Acquisition: Kindle
Length: 335 Pages
Starring: Lily Ivory and friends
Theme: Righting wrongs
Comments: Very few authors are a must buy. Juliet Blackwell is. This is the third book in the series and did not disappoint. From the angst over doing what a friend wants compared to doing what a friend needs, to the cult, to the cop, and even with snakes in the background, this was an engaging read.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Love Bites by Lynsay Sands

Genre: Paranormal
Distributor: Avon
Acquisition: Audio from Scottsdale’s Civic Center Library
Length: 384 pages
Rating: X
Starring: Rachel and Etienne
Theme: Even really stupid bad guys can foil a vampire’s plans
Comments: When I read my first Lynsay Sands’ vampire book I went to Borders (this was before I owned a Kindle) and tried to buy the whole series. I’m big on reading things in order. They didn’t have them. Since I have 2000 books in my tba pile, I sorta forgot to keep looking for them. Then, I found this one at the library. Books on tape cause a few dilemmas. See, in a book, if I’m reading something I know, I skim. On tape, hard to skim. This one had lots of redundancies. Still, I like how Rachel died trying to save Etienne’s life in her morgue. I like that he was a video game designer. I like Sands’ writing. This one, though, I had a hard time coming up with the theme, and I’m wondering if Sands’ did too.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Finders Keepers by Craig Childs

Genre: Memoir/Educational
Distributor: Little Brown
Acquisition: Purchased at closing Borders’ store when a hardback book became amazingly affordable (but I’m very sad that the Borders had to close down for this to happen).
Length: 288 pages
Rating: G
Starring: Craig Childs
Theme: Our quest into history is destroying history
Comments: For the SuperLibrarian assignment this Wednesday, I needed to read a contemporary. So, this is it. I love archaeology and the adventures of those we seek antiquities. This book looked at the southwest from an ‘expert’s’ perspective. It discussed all that is happening with its tangible history. There were gems in the book and it held my interest.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Merry, Merry Ghost by Carolyn Hart

Genre: Cozy Paranormal
Distributor: Avon
Length: 336 pages
Rating: G
Starring: Bailey Ruth Raeburn
Theme: Angel sleuth rights a wrong and saves the day
Acquisition: Bought this one after reading the first in the series.
Comments: Bailey Ruth is an angel and wants to have another adventure on Earth as an emissary. She’s soon back in her hometown taking care of a surprise grandson who shows up on his grandmother’s doorstep. Grandma is more than pleased. Unfortunately, her health is not the best and her distant family, all set to inherit millions, is not pleased at the appearance of an heir. You got it, Grandma dies prematurely. Again, I like that I didn’t guess whodunit, but I’m a little annoyed that I don’t think there was any hints that allow the reader to discern. Still, as soon as book three falls below $5, it’s a must-read. And, if I don’t fill my top 10 by December 31, this one will go on it. I liked it.

Summer at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs

Genre: Women’s Fiction
Distributor: Mira
Acquisition: Free Download on Kindle
Length: 400 pages
Rating: PG 21
Starring: Olivia and Connor
Theme: Sometimes the love of your life is the first love of your life, too bad life gets in the way. Comments: With a Dirty Dancing backdrop, this one was pretty engaging. Especially since I was with my son at his summer camp while I read it. You'll be getting about five reviews at one time since I had three days of straight reading. The main characters had a good arch. There were lots of blooming romances, setting the stage for later books. It held my interest, but I’m waiting for Kindle to offer 2.99 or less for the rest of the series.

Ghost at Work by Carolyn Hart

Genre: Cozy Paranormal
Distributor: Avon
Length: 336 pages
Rating: G
Starring: Bailey Ruth Raeburn
Theme: Angel sleuth rights a wrong and saves the day
Acquisition: Bought this one after hearing the author speak at the Poison Pen bookstore.
Comments: Bailey Ruth is an angel and wants to have an adventure on Earth as an emissary. She’s soon back in her hometown acting not only as a guardian to her niece but always solving a crime. This book inspired me to buy the next in the series and I’m reading it right now.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Promise to Keep by Kathryn Cushman

Genre: Inspirational Women’s Fiction
Distributor: Bethany House
Length: 320 pages
Rating: PG 13 because it deals with death of a child
Starring: Melanie and Andie
Theme: The pain will never go away but it will lessen
Comments: This was a free download from Kindle. Two women deal with the grief of losing their sons in a car accident. Wealthy mom only had one son; son pretty much caused t he accident. Barely getting by mom also has a daughter. Her son was innocent victim. This is a story about how pain can get out of hand and life can be one grief-filled misstep at a time.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran

Genre: Faction (historical event with both real and fiction happenings)
Distributor: Crown
Length: 440 pages
Rating: PG 13 (for the beheadings and gor)
Starring: Madame Tussaud, Marie Antoinette, Henri, Marat, Robespierre
Theme: Change is not always good
Comments: Michelle Moran is one of the few ‘must buys’ for me. When this one came out, only in hard cover, the $25.00 price tag gave me pause. When Borders went into real decline, I purchased the book during the last week of the store when all books were majorly cut in price. Here’s the truth. I’m not paying $25 dollars for a book (unless it’s the Bible). Now, about the book. This book was a change for her Egypt setting. We went to France. I’ve never really studied the French Revolution so it was a real learning experience for me. The details were awesome. This book indeed sold her next one – no matter the setting. That being said… I want Egypt back.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Gladiator by Carla Capshaw

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Distributor: Steeple Hill Love Inspired
Length: 288 pages
Rating: G
Starring: Gladiator Caros and accidental slave Pelonia
Theme: (1) No sin is too great. (2) Make the best of every situation
Comments: I went looking for this one on my Kindle after hearing good things about it. It’s an unusual historical series fiction in that it’s set in Roman times. Pelonia suffers greatly at the hands of evil men. She winds up being a slave to a man whose beginnings in slavery are much like hers. They fall in love. She’s still in danger because she’s a Christian. He’s in danger because he doesn’t believe he’s lovable.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Somewhere to Belong by Judith Miller

Genre: Amish Inspirational
Distributor: Bethany House
Length: 368 pages
Rating: G
Starring: Berta and Johanna and their families, beaus, and community
Theme: (1). Good can set a good example for Bad. (2). The havoc keeping secrets reaps.
Comments: This was a free download from Kindle and since we’re heading to Omaha soon and I want to visit the Amana colony, I moved it to the front of my TBR pile. Also, for my assignment from “The Misadventures of Super Librarian”, I’m supposed to read about either a marriage of convenience, an arranged marriage, or a pretend marriage. This book will fill the arranged marriage choice. It’s about two girls, one Amish, one not so much. Johanna is very good, very relying on God, and a good example. Berta is over the top selfish. She does start to grate on Johanna’s nerves. Johanna faces dilemma of family; Berta faces dilemma of family. Both find redemptions at the end. Johanna’s romance is with Carl, who comes to work for her father from another Amana colony. Berta, eavesdropping, soon hears Johanna’s parents discussing Carl as a potential husband for Johanna. Johanna is distressed that they’d be planning this without her knowledge. She worries that her family wants to use Carl as a surrogate son as her brothers are no longer in the colony. She pushes Carl away whenever there’s a chance at a one-on-one encounter. He doesn’t push easily.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Always the Baker, Never the Bride by Sandra D. Bricker

Genre: Inspirational romance –contemporary humor
Distributor: Abingdon Press
Length: 288 pages
Rating: G
Starring: Emma Rae Travis, Jackson Drake, Fee, the sisters, the parents, and more
Theme: Love can happen again and again, especially with God's help.
Comments: Emma Rae wins a contest for her baking. She’s then hired by the owner of the Tanglewood Inn to be his baker. He’s single; she’s single. He’s still mourning his late wife. It’s in her memory that he’s revamping the inn. Emma’s parents didn’t set the best example. Still, her life doesn’t need much revamping. Cute setting. Great characters. Easy read.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Genre: Action Adventure
Distributor: Tyndale House
Length: 384 pages
Rating: PG -13, lots of blowing up of people and things
Starring: The Bennets and their friends and enemies
Theme: Keep going for the goal no matter who gets hurt

Comments: Coming back from California (think long drive), I stopped at a quick mart for a soda and an audio book. I was quite impressed by the selection, especially how many were Christian. I chose this one because I’ve always been fascinated by the Dead Sea Scrolls. Jon and Erin get married, get a phone call, get sad, get mad, get excited about a treasure hunt, get going, get people around them killed, get close, get in danger, get help from lots of people, get many of those people killed, get the treasure.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Raising the Dead by Mara Purnhagen

Genre: YA paranormal
Distributor: Harlequin Teen
Length: 255 KB
Rating: G
Starring: Charlotte, her parents, her best friend, a cute boy, and more
Theme: It’s hard to act normal when you’re not
Comments: This plot was such a good idea – coffins floating in the streets, an old cemetery, items hidden in the coffins. You know what, the writing is good too. I liked the people (a mom and dad who actually act like a mom and dad) and what (paranormal investigators) and where (new neighborhood) they were in life. Now, if the author goes ahead and really develops the paranormal elements, I’ll be happy.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Carved in Bone by Jefferson Bass

Genre: Suspense
Distributor: Harper
Length: 352
Rating: PG 13, but only because there’s dead body gore, realistic, graphic gore.
Starring: Bill Brockton, Al, Waylon, Thomas, Jim, Miranda, and many more.
Theme: Dead men do tell tales
Comments: This was another freebie from Kindle, and again I'm a good audience and the marketing worked. I will definitely buy the next in the series (and probably all of them). I liked it that much. At the end of the year, if I only have nine in my top ten, then this one will go on it. I really enjoyed this book, didn’t want to put it down. It’s about the Body Farm and solving crimes based on what the corpse tells you. The main character, Bill Brockton , is still grieving his wife’s passing. Good. I like loyal men. An interesting corpse comes his way… actually Bill has to go out of his way to retrieve the corpse. Exellent. There’s a backwoodsy town. Oh, and the characters. Jefferson Bass nailed story and characters, which is why he’ll probably be in my top ten. He peels away (literally) the clues. I had three problems with the book. One, townspeople who too freely told him their secrets (Waylon and cockfighting; Jim and the ‘sang). Two, not enough motive for the hero to go after the bad guy at the end. I like that he went, but I don't want him to be stupid. Give more of a ticking bomb element and I'll love you. Three, an unnecessary reference to alternate lifestyles. The first one I’m thinking will improve with time. The second one, too. The third one I’m still wondering about since it did nothing for the plot. I guessed who the killer was, almost (if you read lots of suspense you’ll find that if there’s a religious bend in the story than there’s a religious bad guy - sigh). Oh, and few too many people died. I did not want the sheriff to die. The fact that this comment is long tells you how engaged I was with the story. So, good job, author.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Against All Odds by Irene Hannon

Genre: Christian Suspense
Distributor: Revell
Length: 335 pages
Rating: G
Starring: Monica and Evan: she in danger of being kidnapped; he is supposed to prevent that from happening.
Theme: It is possible to persevere even in darkness.
Comments: Monica is estranged from her father. His job puts her in danger from Middle Eastern fanatics. FBI agent Evan first comes to keep her safe. He finds he never wants to leave. She does indeed get kidnapped. Then, his job is to find her forever.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Constant Princess by Phillipa Gregory

Genre: Historical Faction
Distributor: Touchstone
Length: 393 pages
Rating: G
Author: Phillipa Gregory
Starring: Catherine of Aragon, Henry the 8th, Arthur
Theme: The Ruling Class is a Conniving Class
Comments: I confess, I love the Tudors. Catherine Parr is my favorite of Henry’s wives even though she had the bad taste to fall in love with Thomas Seymour. Catherine of Aragon is a favorite, too, even after this book. The Constant Princess is a story about a girl who was born to be Queen. Of course, for most of the book – maybe even a thousand times – she broadcasts, “I am the Princess of Wales.” Ten times would have done it for me. She marries (done very well in this book, especially the mention of Henry in white and the Duke of Buckingham’s welcome), puts up with, (with her future father in law and her ladies, and there’s a very rocky beginning with Arthur), falls in love (this was also done well), he dies (very quickly, but that’s also very true), and the rest of the book is a testament to her fortitude and conniving. This book had a lot of things to fall in love with, but with less soul searching narrations and repetitiveness, the book could have been longer so we could really see Anne Bolyn and then princess Mary in the conclusion. I honestly thought I'd missed a chapter when the end came. We went from victorious war with Catherine being honored to her trial and Mary was born and off stage.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Graveminder by Melissa Marr

Title: Graveminder
Genre: Paranormal
Plot: Taking Care of the Dead is one thing; Keeping them Dead is another.
Distributor: William Morrow
Length: 336 pages
Rating: PG 13
Author: Melissa Marr
Starring: Rebekkah Barrow, her grandmother Maylene,
Comments: This was a free giveaway at the Romantic Times Conference. If publishers wonder about whether or not giveaways work, I’ll tell you that this one did. I fully intend to buy her backlist and I’m mad that this is a first in the series because I don’t like to wait. Excellent book. Rebekkah has been picked to keep the people of Claysville safe. See, centuries ago their ancestors made a deal with… Mr. C… and it benefits both the living and the dead. But now Rebekkah is new to the job and before she quite figures out what is going on, the dead are making more dead.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Dark Mirror by M.J. Putney

Title: The Dark Mirror
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Plot: Girl with powers sent away to ‘fix’. She doesn’t need fixing.
Distributor: St. Martin’s Griffin
Length: 320 Pages
Rating: G
Author: M.J. Putney
Starring: Tory Mansfield, youngest daughter of an earl and a witch.
Theme: Sometimes when you lose everything, you gain what you really need.
Comments: Tory is a witch and no one in the gentry can abide witches. Her embarrassed family sends her off to a school to be fixed. Instead, she finds other magical people who becomes her good friends (and by the way, she is the best witch of all) and they start using their magic to help the right side of wars (both their present day and the 1940’s).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Gate to Eden by Cathy McDavid

Title: The Gate to Eden
Genre: Western
Plot: Women vow for justice and when the bad guy hires a gun, the man behind the gun not only falls in love but protects the good.
Distributor: Dorchestor
Length: 326 Pages
Rating: PG-18
Author: Cathy McDavid
Starring: Maddie Campbell and Scott McSween
Theme: Band of women survive despite the odds. This story is about their leader.
Comments: I'm reviewing this because today is Western day at the SuperLibrarian site, and this was the last western I read. It was very good. It combined the allure and danger of historic no-man's land Arizona with a strong heroine and an equally strong, but nurturing hero. When a mining accident kills a group of men, the widows are swindled and left to fend for themselves. They do it, but via cunning ways, make sure the mine owner pays in one way or another for his misdeeds. When he hires a former sheriff to find out and eliminate whoever is thwarting him. It's love and misdeeds galore. Good job, Cathy.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Listen by Rene Gutteridge

Genre: Christian Contemporary, non romance

Plot: Good versus evil

Distributor: Thomas Nelson

Length: Just right

Rating: G

Author: Rene Gutteridge

Starring: Damien, Kay, Jenna, and Hunter

Theme: The power of words

Comments: This was a free download from Kindle. It was an easy read, just took me three days. Someone is posting whole conversations on the web, and the conversations are causing grief and even pain, yet, the poster in his quest to make people see that words hurt doesn't seem to acknowledge that he's causing even more hurt: dead cat/hurt wife/kidnapped student. In the end justice prevails.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Angel of Death Row by Andrea D. Lyon

Title: Angel of Death Row

Genre: Biography

Plot: Lawyer of death row inmates tells why they shouldn’t be executed

Distributor: Kaplan

Length: long

Rating: PG 18 (no sex but a very raw look at how low some humanity can fall)

Author: Andrea D. Lyon

Starring: Andrea Lyons, lots of inmates, fellow lawyers, judges, cops, etc.

Theme: Thou Shall Not Kill

Comments: As someone who is for the death penalty, this book was eye opening. She didn’t completely change my mind. But, the number of innocent people who are on death row and the reasons they are there make me step back and say, revamp. However, you can’t revamp when dealing with humans. There are always going to be bad cops, cocky lawyers, and prejudiced judges. Luckily, there are even more good cops, dedicated lawyers, and fair judges. Book was well-written, though, at times, it got both a little jargonized and a little preachy.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory

Title: The Virgin's Lover
Genre: Historical Faction
Plot: Queen Elizabeth’s court: the first decade
Distributor: Simon & Schuster Audio
Length: Long
Rating: R
Author: Philippa Gregory
Starring: Queen Elizabeth, Robert Dudley, his wife Amy, and William Cecil
Theme: Woman Ruler
Comments: Epic writing that take Elizabeth from Bloody Mary’s death to the realization that her life is not her own because she is queen. It starts with the masses hating her, she has to win them over. She almost does but then starts an affair with a married man. She does little to keep this a secret and feels little guilt. She’s a wishy/washy ruler but maybe that’s because she’s young in this novel. Even the sanest character, William Cecil has an evil side and is willing to commit murder for the throne. Amy, Dudley’s wife portrays how little control and how dedicated to a man a woman have and be. Dudley is pompous but is portrayed as charismatic. Lots of good details.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Cowboy's Courtship by Brenda Minton

Title: The Cowboy’s Courtship
Genre: Contemporary series romance
Plot: Her life has never been her own. An injury makes him unable to live the life he’s always claimed as his own. Together, love heals a lot of wounds.
Distributor: Harlequin’s Love Inspired Romance
Length: 215 pages
Rating: G
Author: Brenda Minton
Starring: Alyson and Jason, plus a secret twin named Andie
Theme: Wounded hero and exploited heroine
Comments: It’s a little painful to watch a homecoming when the heroine should always have known about her home. It’s a little painful to watch a bull rider struggle with an eight minute memory instead of an eight second ride. It’s not longer painful when both Alyson and Jason realize they’re in love.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Cowboy's Family by Brenda Minton

Title: The Cowboy’s Family
Genre: Contemporary series romance
Plot: He needs help raising his kids; she needs to be needed. Love happens along the way.
Distributor: Harlequin’s Love Inspired Romance
Length: 218 pages
Rating: G
Author: Brenda Minton
Starring: Wyatt, Rachel, Molly, and Kat
Theme: Wounded hero and heroine
Comments: She’s never felt at home anywhere else but Dawson. He’s come home to give stability to his two girls after their mother commits suicide. He’s trying, but sadness is a tangible presence in their lives until Wyatt’s brother hires Rachel to clean their house. Soon, everywhere Wyatt turns, Rachel is there. Soon, his heart turns to love.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Cowby's Sweetheart by Brenda Minton

Title: The Cowboy’s Sweetheart
Genre: Contemporary series romance
Plot: Two people who have always loved each other have to realize they’re marrying for love and not just because they’re about to become parents.
Distributor: Harlequin’s Love Inspired Romance
Length: 217 pages
Rating: G
Author: Brenda Minton
Starring: Andie and Ryder
Theme: Secret baby
Comments: A single night changes the lives of Andie and Ryder. Andie has abandonment issues because of her mother walking out on her. Ryder’s family name is tainted because of his father. They’ve been friends forever. Part of the reason they’ve never been romantic is because they don’t want to risk their one-of-a-kind friendship. Then, Andie gets pregnant and now Ryder has to figure out he’s asking her to marry him because he loves her and not because she’s pregnant.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Curiosity Thrilled the Cat by Sofie Kelly

Title: Curiosity Thrilled the Cat
Genre: Cozy
Plot: New-to-town librarian discovers a body, becomes a detective, and winds up solving the crime with the help of her magical cats.
Distributor: Penguin
Length: 324 pages
Rating: G
Author: Sofie Kelly
Starring: Kathleen Paulson and her two cats
Theme: Amateur detective
Comments: Book was purchased from the Poison Pen bookstore during a lovely walk-about. It has a great cover, plus I’m a cat lover so seeing the brand “A magical cats mystery” pretty much assured a sale. I’m a lover of paranormal, right now, and this cozy didn’t have as much as I like, but I got the idea that later books delve more into the house on Wisteria and how the cats become magical.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Home by Julie Andrews

Title: Home
Genre: Biography
Plot: Julie Andrews, an entertainer, tells about her early days on the stage.
Distributor: Hyperion
Length: Long
Rating: G
Author: Julie Andrews
Starring: Julie Andrews, Tony, Rex Harrison, Blake Edwards, Mum, Pop, Dad, Carol Burnett, Walt Disney, Rogers and Hammerstein, etc
Theme: Up and coming star
Comments: This book was an impulse buy from Big Lots. I love biographies and as I was leaving the store it was face out and only $3. Okay, I bit. Truth is, I loved it from page one. It was well paced and engaging. She didn’t make herself out to be perfect and also she was honest (and a talented enough writer) without straying to a ‘dirty secrets’ type of tell-all. I now have the urge to see both My Fair Lady and Mary Poppins. Good job, Julie.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Vanished by Kristi Holl

Title: Vanished
Genre: Young Adult
Plot: Girls go missing at a boarding school and one student solves the crime
Distributor: Zonderkidz
Length: Short
Rating: G
Author: Kristi Holl
Starring: Jeri and her friends
Theme: Girl detective
Comments: This was a free download from Kindle. When I saw it was YA, I almost didn’t click on it, but I actually like YA and haven’t read any for awhile. I think if an 8 – 12 year old read this, they’d like it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Time Traveler's Wife

Title: The Time Traveler’s Wife
Genre: Present-day Literary paranormal
Plot: A man who because of genetics goes back and forth in his own time – his past and his future, seldom random – meets his future wife at both age 6 and age 20. He has to deal with the pain of never being constant but also knows what one true love really means.
Distributor: McAdam Cage
Length: Long
Rating: R
Author: Audrey Niffenegger
Starring: Henry, Clare, Alba, Gomez, Alicia, Cherice, Ingrid
Theme: Urban
Comments: I tried to read the book, at least three times. People kept telling me: READ IT. Finally, I check the audio book from the library. The first disc and a half almost made me give up. Then, disc three: magic. For twelve more discs I was hooked, spell-bound. I knew the characters and they were important to me. I wanted the ending to be much much more. If Audrey writes Alba’s story, it’s a definite sale.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Taste of Magic by Tracy Madison

Genre: Paranormal
Plot: Divorced woman overcomes her sorrow via both imagined and real witchcraft.
Distributor: Dorchester
Length: Just right
Rating: Mild
Author: Tracy Madison
Starring: Elizabeth Stevens, Nate, and Grandma
Theme: Chick lit
Comments: This was a free download from Kindle. It was an easy read, just took me three days. My favorite part of the book was the dedication in the back. I saw my good friend Lisa Mondello mentioned! Then, too, I had to laugh that I was reading about a quirky witch who was named Elizabeth Stevens. Hmmm, first name taken from Elizabeth Montgomery who played the quirkly witch Samantha Stevens on Bewitched. Hmmm.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Crossroads Cafe by Deborah Smith

Title: The Crossroads Cafe
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Plot: Two very, very wounded people find each other as they’re spiraling into darkness - just in time.
Distributor: Belle Books
Length: Long
Rating: Hot
Starring: Cathryn, Thomas, Delta
Theme: Southern
Comments: This was a free download from Kindle. I am commenting on it today because the theme assigned from the SuperLibrarian is ugly ducklings and after the heroine is burned, the theme is definitely ugly duckling – literally, although the character growth would be figuratively turning into a swan.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Serendipity by Cathy Marie Hake

Plot: Capable woman steps in and makes the world right: Maggie Rose cares for Todd Valmer’s mother and soon winds up caring (both literally and figuratively) for him. True love comes slowly thanks to an unhappy mother.
Genre: Historical
Distributor: Bethany House – who provided this book for review.
Length: Tradesize
Rating: Just right.
Author: Cathy Marie Hake
Starring: Maggie Rose, Todd Valmer, and the mother.
Theme: Love conquers all
Comments: It's been awhile since I've read an historical. Cathy's went back to a familiar setting in Texas and gave us quite a few characters. One of the things I like the most about this book was the mother-in-law. She really made me think about the ways people act in order to either get their way or to make it so they feel better about themselves. There was a part where Ma actually told Maggie to iron the sheets while they were not quite dry, and Maggie put them on the bed wrinkled. The visual was priceless (and as someone who always puts sheets on that are wrinkled, I didn't have to imagine too much). I also enjoyed how the simple act of bartering made the hero and heroine have to learn about each other - think Maggie trading jelly for medical purposes and a discussion following about whether the jelly was yours, mine, or ours.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Night of the Living Deed

Plot: Woman and daughter move into fixer-upper. Andrea Kirby almost immediately realizes someone or something wants her gone. Yup, both real and un-real. Andrea needs to figure out who killed the previous tenant before she and her daughter meet the same fate.
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Distributor: Electronic
Length: about 50,000 words
Rating: Just right.
Author: E.J. Copperman
Starring: Andrea Kirby, daughter, mother, a history teacher, two bad guys, and two ghosts.
Theme: Bed and Breakfast.
Comments: I'm on a kick where I want to read ghost stories. This one worked well enough for me. I liked the heroine... she reminded me a bit of Juliet Blackwell's heroine in If Walls Could Talk.