Monday, June 30, 2008

The Dream Thief - Shana Abe

What an excellent read! This is the second book in Shana Abe's dragon series. The Dream Thief is a great example of Shana Abe's wondrous imagination, and her rich and evocative language. She is truly a gifted storyteller.

Zane, the ruler of London's criminal underworld, and Lady Amalia, the daughter of the clan's Alpha, set off on a journey to recover Draumr, the only gem with the power to enslave the drakon. With her ability to see into the future, Amalia is certain the Zane is her destiny but, can she trust him. With the diamond in his hand, Zane will have the power to control the drakon.

You can read my full review here.
Rating: 4/5
Pages: 277
Completed: 6/29/08

Saturday, June 28, 2008

What an Animal Challenge 2008

What An Animal

Here is another reading challenge that I just can't help joining. It is being hosted by Kristi at Passion for the Page. Here are the rules (copied from her page).

The rules are simple:

1. Read at least 6 books that have any of these requirements:
a. an animal in the title of the book
b. an animal on the cover of the book
c. an animal that plays a major role in the book
d. a main character that is or turns into an animal (define that however you'd like ;>)).

2. The animal can be any type of animal (real or fictitious)--dog, cat, monkey, wolf, snake, insect, hedgehog, aardvark...dragons, mermaids, centaurs, fairies, get the idea...

3. Challenge runs from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009. You can still sign up after July 1st as long as you can get 6 books read by June 30th ;>).

4. Books can be fiction or nonfiction.

5. You may make a list of books at the beginning of the challenge or just list them as you find them.

6. Books may be swapped out at anytime (assuming you made a list to begin with).

7. Crossover books with other challenges is permitted and encouraged.

8. You don't have to blog or write a review, but you can if you want to.

I have a few books already on my list - later, I will update my post with the rest of them.

Here is what I have so far:

  1. Rescuing Sprite by Mark R. Levin
  2. Marley and Me by John Grogan
  3. Chosen by a Horse by Susan Richards
  4. COVER - Tallchief by Dinah McCall 2/8/09; Review
  5. TURNS INTO - Heart of the Winter Wolf by Dani Harper 5/29/09; Review

I just love animal books (even the werewolf, vampire kind) and can't wait to get started on this challenge!!

Book Blowout Challenge 2008

Book Blowout

Mrs. S at Blue Archipelago is hosting the Book Blowout Challenge. It runs from July 1 to July 31. Set yourself a target number of books. Post your completed list by August 7th to complete the challenge.

  • Only read books through the month of July
  • You can include re-reads as long as you read them during the month of July
  • Books you abandon only count as half
  • Include children's books that contain more than 100 pages
  • You can include up to two graphic novels
  • You can included up to two audio books unless you have a visual impairment
  • Books read for other challenges are okay
  • Start a book before July but finish it in July, you can count as half a book

May goal for July will be 7 books. This might not seem like a lot, but I am still going to school and have a lot of reading and projects due for this course.

1. Rules of Prey - John Sandford - 07/08/08 - Review
2. Irish Thoroughbred - Nora Roberts - 7/12/08 - Review
3. Irish Rose - Nora Roberts - 7/17/08 - Review
4. Untamed - Nora Roberts - 7/20/08 - Review
5. Sam's Letters to Jennifer - James Patterson - 7/21/08 - Review
6. The Rescue - Nicholas Sparks - 7/28/08 - Review
7. The Australian's Housekeeper Bride - Lindsay Armstrong - 7/30/08 - Review

I hope everyone does great on the challenge!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Talk Before Sleep - Elizabeth Berg

I Heard it Through the Grapevine Challenge is a great challenge because I get to read books recommended to me by my friends! Lezlie at Books N' Border Collies recommended this book to me and I am grateful that she did. Elizabeth Berg is fast becoming one of my favorite authors!!

Talk Before Sleep is a gripping story of how two best friends come to terms with the fact that one of them is dying of breast cancer. Bookreporter states that "Talk Before Sleep's heartfelt sincerity makes a lasting impression on all who have read it, and it remains one of her most popular novels to date."

Thank you so much Lezlie for recommending this poignant tale of friendship and courage!

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 4.5/5
Pages: 210
Completed: 6/25/08

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Grand Passion - Jayne Ann Krentz

This was a delightful, fun read! Jayne Ann Krentz creates intelligent, offbeat characters that are fun to get to know. Grand Passion is a cozy mystery with romance interlaced throughout the book. It was a light easy read that had me feeling good at the end. I love to sit back with these kinds of books and relax knowing I am going to have an enjoyable time ahead of me.

I fell in love with Max and his cynical outlook. He was definitely a product of his upbringing, being transfered between foster homes, never having a real family or home. And Cleo, with her tragic past of finding her parents murdered.

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 3.5
Pages: 392
Completed: 6/21/08

Friday, June 20, 2008

4th Completed Challenge!

Completed another challenge...this one hosted by Katrina over at Callapidder Days. I loved this challenge - it kept me on track and helped me accomplish a lot of reading.

Here is the list of books that I completed.


Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris - Review


Light of the Moon by Luanne Rice - Review
"C" is for Corpse by Sue Grafton - Review
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - Review
Never Change by Elizabeth Berg - Review
The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe - Review
Someone to Love by Jude Deveraux - Review
The Master of Blacktower by Barbara Michaels - Review
Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts - Review
Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts - Review


The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux - Review
The Choice by Nicholas Sparks - Review
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield - Review
Summer at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs - Review


Aunt Dimity's Good Deed by Nancy Atherton - Review
Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris - Review
Blue Dahlia by Nora Roberts - Review
The Face of Deception by Iris Johansen - Review

I read a total of 18 books in all. Here is a link to my original post.

Katrina listed some specific questions she thought would be fun for us to answer about the challenge:

  1. Did you finish all the books you planned to read? Yes, I finished all 12 I had planned to read plus 6 more!!
  2. Did you think the challenge helped you read more? Yes, I read more than I thought I would, and I also read a few that were outside of my normal reading genres.
  3. What was your favorite book you read this spring? The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.
  4. What was your least favorite? Someone to Love by Jude Deveraux.
  5. Did you discover any new authors or genres that you now love? Yes, I discovered Iris Johansen and the genre of murder mysteries. I absolutely loved The Face of Deception and can't wait to get into the rest of the series by her.
  6. What did you learn about your reading habits and interests? I learned through several of my reading groups that you don't have to finish a book that you don't like. And that it is okay to start more than one book at a time. I love this new freedom as now I can put a book down, start another one that interests me, and then go back to the other book when I want to. I was really regimented in my reading.
  7. Are you interested in "Fall Reading Challenge?" Definitely, YES!!!

Thanks you so much Katrina for hosting this great challenge!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Face of Deception - Iris Johansen

I am sooooo behind the times. I just discovered a "new to me" series by Iris Johansen. Never mind that the first book was published in 1998!! I absolutely loved The Face of Deception which introduces Eve Duncan, forensic sculptor.

Iris Johansen

This is an exciting, fast-paced book about a frightening web of murder and deceit, terrifying secrets, and "the most shocking deception of our time..." The build up of suspense started at the first page and didn't end until the conclusion. I would have read this book in one sitting if I hadn't started it so late at night, but I did finish it the next morning!!

I already have the second book on order from the library. I can't wait to see what riveting story happens next.

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 4.5/5
Pages: 354
Completed: 6/18/08

Monday, June 16, 2008

Blue Dahlia - Nora Roberts

Blue Dahlia by Nora Roberts is the first book in the In the Garden trilogy about three women who meet at a crossroads in their lives. They form a friendship and bond that helps them to find new ways to grow and the courage to take chances.

It centers around the nursery, In the Garden, and is filled with beautiful descriptions of flowers, landscaping, and even has some cultivation thrown in. The underlying mystery of this book, as Nora Roberts always has a mystery, is the ghost that haunts the Harper mansion.

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 4/5
Pages: 296
Completed: 6/16/08

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Harlequin Challenge 2008

COMPLETED 12/31/08

I heard about this great challenge from J.Kaye over at J.Kaye's Book Blog. This challenge is being hosted by Yvonne and has its own blog The Harlequin/Silhouette Reading Challenge.

Harlequin Reading Challenge

I am really excited about this challenge because I absolutely love Harlequin/Silhouette books. They are my favorite type of easy, feel-good reads. And I have tons on my TBR list.

The rules are simple:

** Choose 5 Harlequin or Silhouette books from any of their series.
** Read them between now and December 31, 2008.
** Post a brief review about the books.

They can be from other challenges too. Here is the list of books that I have chosen:

  1. Cutting Loose - Susan Andersen (HQN) 9/19/08 - Review
  2. Irish Thoroughbred - Nora Roberts (Silhouette) 7/12/08 - Review
  3. Irish Rose - Nora Roberts (Silhouette) 7/17/08 - Review
  4. Untamed - Nora Roberts (Silhouette) 7/20/08 - Review
  5. The Australian's Housekeeper Bride - Lindsay Armstrong (Presents) 7/30/08 - Review
  6. Delicious - Susan Mallery (HQN) 9/9/08; Review

Thanks J.Kaye for blogging about this, and thanks to Yvonne for hosting the challenge!!!

Summer Challenge 2008


Summer is here and so is another challenge. After hosting such a great Spring Challenge, Kathleen at Rock Creek Rumblings has decided to host a Summer Challenge.

Summer Reading Challenge

The rules are the same as the Spring Challenge. List all the books you want to read this summer between June 1 through August 31, 2008. Then, get reading!! So, without further ado - here is my list for the summer:

  1. Lake News - Barbara Delinsky 8/7/08; Review
  2. Summer by the Sea - Susan Wiggs 8/20/08; Review
  3. Blued-Eyed Devil - Lisa Kleypas 8/22/08; Review
  4. Taming the Highlander - Terri Brisbin 8/15/08; Review
  5. The Dream Thief - Shana Abe 6/29/08; Review
  6. Blue Dahlia - Nora Roberts 6/16/08; Review
  7. The Face of Deception - Iris Johansen 6/18/08; Review
  8. Grand Passion - Jayne Ann Krentz 6/21/08; Review
  9. Nauti Boy - Lora Leigh 6/24/08
  10. Talk Before Sleep - Elizabeth Berg 6/25/08; Review
  11. Rules of Prey - John Sandford 7/8/08; Review
  12. Irish Thoroughbred - Nora Roberts 7/12/08; Review
  13. Irish Rose - Nora Roberts 7/17/08; Review
  14. Untamed - Nora Roberts 7/20/08; Review
  15. Sam's Letters to Jennifer - James Patterson 7/21/08; Review
  16. The Rescue - Nicholas Sparks 7/28/08; Review
  17. The Australian's Housekeeper Bride - Lindsay Armstrong 7/30/08; Review
  18. Legend - Jude Deveraux 8/28/08
  19. Winner Takes All - Nora Roberts 8/30/08
  20. Summer Pleasures - Nora Roberts 8/3/08

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Dead to the World - Charlaine Harris

I love the Sookie Stackhouse series. She is a fantastic heroine - just a working class woman trying to make it in the world of the supernatural.

She works for a Were and dates a Vampire. She has been hunted by a serial killer; sent to Dallas to find a missing Vampire; sent to Jackson to look for her missing boyfriend, Bill the Vampire; and in Dead to the World gets drawn into a dangerous battle between witches, vampires, and werewolves.

Eric, the master vampire has lost his memory, Bill has taken off to Peru, and Jason, her brother, is abducted. What more can happen to Sookie? All I can say is, delve into the wonderful world created by Charlaine Harris and find out.

I can't say enough about how much I enjoy this series and am looking forward to reading the next one - Dead as a Doornail. There are a few short stories that happen inbetween these two that I want to read also. But Dead as a Doornail is the next full length story.

You can read my full review of Dead to the World here.

Rating: 4/5
Pages: 291
Completed: 6/6/08

Monday, June 2, 2008

Aunt Dimity's Good Deed - Nancy Atherton

Aunt Dimity's Good Deed is the third book in the Aunt Dimity series written by Nancy Atherton. This is a really good cozy mystery series and I have enjoyed all three books that I have read.

Lori Shepherd is off on another adventure with Aunt Dimity, this time looking for her missing father-in-law, Willis, Sr. What should have been a second honeymoon for Lori and her workaholic husband Bill, turns into a trip with her father-in-law instead. Once they reach Aunt Dimity's English cottage, strange things start to happen. Willis, Sr. disappears, office supplies and furniture start showing up at the cottage, and Lori develops an unseemly attraction to Bill's dashing English cousin, Gerald.

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 4/5
Pages: 276
Completed: 6/1/08