Thursday, March 29, 2012

Book Trailer of the Day: The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck

This isn't really a book trailer, it's the audio of chapter 1.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Comfort and Joy of Re-reading

The Comfort and Joy of Re-reading --Marilyn Dahl, book review editor, Shelf Awareness
This was what I was planning on writing about today and then before I can start I get my Shelf Awareness for Readers email and laughed at the similar topics.
We re-read books for many reasons; among people I know, the main reason seems to be comfort and familiarity.
I love to reread books.  I tend to reread a lot of my favorite romance books, probably because to me they represent comfort and familiarity.  They are the best things when you can't sleep and it's 2 am and your mind won't stop running.  I grab a favorite romance and lose myself in the story.

My go to books are Christine Feehan's Drake Sisters series. They are stored in a drawer of my nightstand. I'll reach for one of the stories and skim a bit before settling in for my favorite parts.

This past weekend I was restless and reached into my drawer and pulled out Hannah's story (Safe Harbor) and followed up the next night with Joley's story (Turbulent Sea) and last night I started Elle's story (Hidden Currents) and I'll refinish it tonight. These three are my favorites in the series and I have no problem reading then over and over again. I do on occasion reread the whole series.
But what about books that are so compelling, so fabulous, that we re-read them as soon as we finish them, driven by a need to recapture the magic we felt only moments ago?
I know this has happened, where I finished a story and ended up opening the book up to reread at least my favorite parts again. I honestly can't remember what book(s) but I know I've done it and these books tend to be the ones I return to again and again.
What do you like to re-read?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Book Trailer Thursday - The Coincidence Engine by Sam Leith

I'm looking over a book order and I came across this book and between the blurb and the book trailer I'm intrigued.

Book Description from Good Reads:

A hurricane sweeps off the Gulf of Mexico and in, the back-country of Alabama, assembles a passenger jet out of old bean-cans and junkyard waste. An eccentric mathematician - last heard of investigating the physics of free will and ranting about the devil - vanishes in the French Pyrenees. And the thuggish operatives of a multinational arms conglomerate are closing in on Alex Smart - a harmless Cambridge postgraduate who has set off with hope in his heart and a ring in his pocket to ask his American girlfriend to marry him. At the Directorate of the Extremely Improbable - an organisation so secret that many of its operatives aren't 100 per cent sure it exists - Red Queen takes an interest. What ensues is a chaotic chase across an imaginary America, haunted by madness, murder, mistaken identity, and a very large number of unhealthy but delicious snacks. The Coincidence Engine exists. And it has started to work. The Coincidence Engine is consistently engaging - one of the most enjoyable, entertaining debut novels you'll come across for ages.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Book Club - March

This month we read two books. Officially our book was A Man to Trust by Carrie Turansky. She asked to come to our meeting to do a book talk. It's not really our kind of book but since we are associated with the book store we can't say no, so we read it. Then we unofficially picked Engaged in Sin by Sharon Page.

Carrie did a good talk on the Christian Fiction genre and even gave out prizes. Free stuff is always a big plus with me! We got cute retro romance cover notebooks and I won a free book. I don't have it near me now so I can't remember what I won, but it looked like it could be a really great story.

A Man to TrustA Man to Trust by Carrie Turansky

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I kind of feel this book would have been a 2.5 but I rounded it up.

Characters - I liked the characters but I just didn't have a great connection with them. I feel like Adrie dragged her feet a bit much and that Ross should have pushed harder. (1/2 Star)

Plot - The story was good, I really enjoyed reading this book. However, I would have liked a little less of Adrie dragging her feet towards the relationship and maybe more back story about her missionary parents and her life there. More back story on both of them would have been great. (1/2) Star

Setting/Accuracy - As far as I know this was all accurate. I know from the book talk with Carrie Turansky she did her research into the town and the area. The only thing that got me is how they would leave their business to be run but random people and that they randomly help out. To me that's not realistic, with all the labor laws and insurance issues out there, you're not leaving a friend to watch your store. (1/2 Star)

Genre - I'm not big on Christian Fiction. This was a book club pick for our group, but I did enjoy it and I will say it was right on track with other Christian Fiction books I've read. What I did like was how Carrie didn't force the religion at you. Quite a few of the books in this genre I've read seem to force their beliefs down your throat and here I didn't find that. Even though to me the praying before every decision is a bit much, I didn't think it went too far in this book. (1 Star)

That extra something - There really wasn't anything that was extra special for me. (0 Stars)

Engaged in SinEngaged in Sin by Sharon Page

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was our independent pick for our book club pick for March. This scored 3 1/2 stars but I rounded it down because I feel the story just dragged on a bit too much.

Characters - I really liked Anne and Devon. She's been dealt a hard hand in life but she hasn't let it get her down and she's determined in all that she does (though at times I wanted to smack her and tell her to back down on the stubbornness). Devon has also been dealt a hard hand, he went off to war and was blinded, he doesn't want to face the world now and has locked himself away. Together they work, Anne helps Devon out of his funk and Devon shows Anne that she doesn't have to be strong all the time. (1 Star)

Plot - Another reviewer mentioned this story suffers from the kitchen sink syndrome. There was just too much going on with this story. The first half or so of this book was great. But as soon as they return to London it's like every other plot device she could through in got added. Did we need all that stuff with the dead friend's son or the numerous times Anne runs off, or the last 60 or so pages? It just felt like way too much going on.(1/2 Star)

Setting/Accuracy - Everything was going good in this department until we hit the sex swing. That just threw me for a loop. I don't know the history behind them and they very well could of been around then but it just didn't work for me (1/2 Star)

Genre - It worked as a Regency era historical. The only complaint I had was about the decision of two ladies running off to London with no protection, but it wasn't completely unheard of or unthinkable. (1 Star)

That extra something - This started out with that little something special. Anne was a prostitute and Devon was blind. That's right was, he got his sight back. I think the story still would have been great if he stayed blind and didn't have those kitchen sink elements in it! (1/2 Star)

View all my reviews

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Since I'm lazy...

instead of an orginal blog post for today I'm just going to copy what I wrote for yesterday for the JASNA_CNJ blog:

Jane Austen Society of North America-- Central New Jersey Chapter: Read Jane...Now What? - Book Recomendations:

The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen
Lilly Haswell remembers everything--whether she wants to, or not...
As Lilly toils in her father's apothecary, preparing herbs and remedies by rote, she is haunted by memories of her mother's disappearance. Villagers whisper the tale, but her father refuses to discuss it. All the while, she dreams of the world beyond--of travel and adventure and romance.

When a relative offers to host her in London, Lilly discovers the pleasures and pitfalls of fashionable society and suitors, as well as clues about her mother. But will Lilly find what she is searching for--the truth of the past and a love for the future?

Blending romance, family drama, and fascinating historical detail, The Apothecary's Daughter is a novel to savor and share. (from

I really enjoyed this book. The characters were great and likeable and I became highly invested in Lilly's story. Lily struggles between two words and trying to decided what she wants out of life. There is the life she thinks she wants and the life she really wants. I had an idea which suitor she would end up with but at different times I kept routing for a different one, I think even Lilly didn't know who she really wanted any more than she knew which life she wanted.

His Good Opinion: A Mr. Darcy Novel by Nancy Kelley 
Mr. Darcy Speaks from the Heart:
Pride and Prejudice from his Point of View

Though tired of Society's manipulations, Darcy never thought to be enchanted by a country maiden. Yet on a visit to rural Hertfordshire, Elizabeth Bennet captivates him. Lovely and vivacious, she is everything he is not, and everything he longs to have.

Unfortunately, her connections put her decidedly beneath him, and the improprieties he observes in her family do not win his favor. Putting her firmly out of his mind, Darcy returns to London, but Elizabeth is not so easily forgotten.

When chance throws them together, Darcy can no longer deny his love, but Elizabeth, put off by his manners, refuses him. To change her mind, he must set aside his proud ways and learn how to please a woman worthy of being pleased. It takes a serious incident for his true character to shine, and for Elizabeth to learn just how valuable is…

His Good Opinion (from

I'm picky about my Jane Austen sequels and retellings. I've only really liked a few and this one I really liked. Nancy does a great job of getting inside Darcy's head. We are treated to new scenes that take place parallel to those we already know and these help us get a better understanding of Darcy's behavior, mood, and his "Darcyness".

Nachtstürm Castle: A Gothic Austen Novel by Emily C.A. Snyder 
Catherine Tilney had settled in for a quiet, respectable, distinctly non-Gothic English life in the countryside with her husband, the Reverend Henry Tilney. Unfortunately, a quiet, respectable, distinctly non-Gothic life had not settled itself for her. An original sequel to Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey, Nachtstürm Castle whisks the reader and its heroine away to the border countries in the Austrian Alps, where adventure, mistaken identities, lost heirs, and terrifying butlers lurk. (from goodreads)

Poor Northanger Abbey is one of the lesser loved Jane works, I personally love it and try to push people to read it. Emily does a great job of continuing the story of Catherine and Henry. What better vacation can Catherine hope for than to find herself in the middle of a Gothic mystery and that's just where they find themselves. Nachtstürm Castle has mysterious tenets, a creepy care taker, secret passageways and a family mystery that just needs to be solved.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Read an E-Book Week, March 4 - 10, 2012

So this week is Read an E-Book Week.

I'm currently reading A Man to Trust by Carrie Turansky which is our book club pick this month.

Description from Goodreads:
Following Her Heart

After years spent helping run her family's Christian bookstore, it's time for Adrie Chandler to give her own dream of playing her flute with a symphony a chance. But can she really trust the beloved shop to new manager Ross Peterson? The man is too handsome, too charming...too much a reminder of another dream Adrie had to let go of - marriage. Yet Ross surprises her by knowing a thing or two about making sacrifices. Suddenly, Adrie is questioning what she really wants. And whether the dreams she once thought unlikely are within reach after all.
So far I really like Adrie and Ross.  I'm liking the story line and how while there is talk of God and faith and praying, it isn't being forced at me like a lot of other Christian romances are written.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Month Ahead - March

Here's what I have planned for this month:

This months Book Club pick is a A Man to Trust by Carrie Turansky and it's an author even so Carrie will be at our meeting. Because this isn't our normal kind of book pick we also decided as a group we're going to independently read Engaged in Sin by Sharon Page.

I also have planned to read:

  • His Good Opinion by Nancy Kelley
  • For the Color Coded Reading Challenge I'm going to read the Green Mile by Stephen King.  My plan is to read it by volume.
  • Then I want to start putting a dent in my ever growing To Be Read pile.