Thursday, June 30, 2011

Follow Friday!!! 7/1/11

If you are new to the #FF fun, Feature & Follow Friday is a blog hop that expands your blog following by a joint effort between bloggers. First you leave your name here, then you create a post on your own blog that links back here and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them hi in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!
This weeks question:

Q. ACK! Your favorite book/movie character (example Hermione Granger played by the Emma chick) just walked into the room! Who is it and what would be your first reaction? You get extra points if you include visual stimulation.


Hmmmmm..........  One of my favorite book characters is Zsadist from

lover awakened

This is Book #3 in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J. R. Ward...also known as "The Warden".  These vampires are strong, gorgeous, and know exactly what to do and when to do it!
Zsadist is the "dark, brooding, scarred" type who lived a very rough life before being saved by his brother.  Underneath that rough exterior is one sexy man...scars and all!   If he were to walk into a room..... after having someone do CPR on me.... I would probably act like a total fan girl!!! I picture Vin Diesel as Zsadist.... the man is just yummy yummy yummy!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stand Up!!!

I was going through my reader tonight trying to catch up with all the blogs that I follow. I came across one that I have to share....for more reasons than one. 

Jessica over at Confessions of a Bookaholic is doing a post each day this week that I think is absolutely amazing.

There are many books out there today that discuss domestic violence.  Many of them are for adults but lately more and more are being aimed at YA.  Why??? Well, for that you would have to ask the authors and the publishing companies.  But I for one, am so thankful that these books are coming out.

Domestic violence doesn't discriminate with age, race, gender, religion, social or economic status.  It hits across the board.  According to Domestic Violence Resource Center, 1 in 4 women have experienced domestic violence; 3 out of 4 people know someone who has been a victim; and 3 women and 1 man are murdered EVERY DAY as a result.   Teens, this does not exclude you.  The site also says that 1 in 5 high school girls have been a victim.

As if those statistics weren't scary enough National Coalition Against Domestic Violence offers some more.  Females between the age of 20-24 are at the greatest risk for non-fatal domestic violence and women are most often a victim of someone they know.

Domestic violence just isn't physical. It also includes intimidation, coercion, isolation, blaming the victim, economical and emotional.

On Jessica's blog this week she will be talking with Deb Caletti, author of Stay, Jennifer Brown, author of Bitter End, and Mandy Hubbard, co-author of But I Love Him.  The authors will talking about their books and there is also a give away.  Don't just go for the give away though...these authors are doing a great job. 

Now a little story for you: 

There was a girl who had been dating this guy.  Things had been going well for about 8 months, then he became controlling, jealous and abusive.  She decided that she didn't want to be in the relationship any longer and told him that she was ending it.  For about a month, he kept calling her, telling her how sorry he was, how much he loved and missed her, and how badly he wanted to work things out.  She went to work one day and he called her at work asking if he could take her to lunch.  She thought that he really did want to talk about their relationship and was going to give him the chance to talk. They rode out of town so that they wouldn't have any interruptions.  She never returned to work that day.  Later that night, her friends and family found her body where she and her ex-boyfriend met for lunch.  He left a note next to her body saying "if I can't have you, no one will."  He took her from her mother, sisters, brothers, friends and her two young teenage children.  Her body had been beaten and hung.  This girl had been my best friend for almost 30 years, never got to see her children graduate high school and will never know her grandchildren. 

If you know of anyone who is going through abuse of any kind, or if you are yourself, there are resources to help.  Please get help! Everyone deserves to live a life without fear.

A VERY special thanks to Jessica for bringing this to the blogging world!! 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

IMM 6/26/11: Lots of great books!

"In My Mailbox" is a fun weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren where we get to see what goodies everyone has gotten the past week.  The books shared can be ones that were bought, borrowed, won, or received to review.

the russian affair force of habit

The Russian Affair won from Bookhounds
Force of Habit won from Armchair BEA
Thank you both so much!!

From NetGalley:

resurrection ward against death

those across the river frost

What goodies did you get this week??? 

Review: The Midnight Palace

midnight palace-crz

I fell in love with this author when I first read Shadow of the Wind a few years ago. This book originally published in 1994 in Spanish has recently been translated into English and released in May 2011. That being said... you can tell that it is one of his earlier works, but it doesn't take away from the story or the writing.

Zafon has an amazing way of writing that is both beautiful and haunting. How can that be? Well, let me explain. The storytelling is beautiful, the prose is beautiful, the story itself is absolutely haunting.

You are immeditely thrown into the story with a chase through the rain, mist, underground tunnels and dark streets of Calcutta in the early 1930's. Twins separated to keep them safe from a mysterious stranger who is determined to destroy them. Add to it a group of teens who have a secret society that the main goal is to always help each other no matter what, mysterious houses, a burning train that appears out of the mist with the sounds of screaming passengers, family secrets and a nasty, creepy villian and you have a fast paced horror/paranormal/thriller that is bound to keep you reading until the end.

The characters aren't as developed in this story as they are in Zafon's adult books. I wanted to learn more about each of the teens, but the story that was told about the villian made up for that. A villian who is haunted and full of revenge because of the past is what kept me reading.

It shows that this book is part of a series, but there is no indication that this isn't a stand alone book. It's definitely not your light and oh so sweet book....but if you want to escape into a good book during a rain-storm, power outage kind of night... then this is the book.

***I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley for free in exchange for my honest review. It in no way affected my opinion or review of this book. 

Buy this book:

        Barnes & Noble

Saturday, June 25, 2011

On My Wishlist: YA Version, 6/25/11

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too!
This week I'm going to focus on some YA titles.  There are so many good ones coming out in the next few months and some great ones that have just been released.

possession divergent

moonglass winters shadow

*****Possession by Elana Johnson (Possession #1)  June 7, 2011; Simon & Schuster

  Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

*****Divergent by Veronica Roth (Divergent #1)  May 3, 2011; Katherine Tegen Books
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

*****Moonglass by Jessi Kirby  May 3, 2011; Simon & Schuster

From Jessi Kirby, a debut novel about confronting the past in order to move ahead.

I read once that water is a symbol for emotions. And for a while now, I've thought maybe my mother drowned in both.

Anna's life is upended when her father accepts a job transfer the summer before her junior year. It's bad enough that she has to leave her friends and her life behind, but her dad is moving them to the beach where her parents first met and fell in love- a place awash in memories that Anna would just as soon leave under the surface.

While life on the beach is pretty great, with ocean views and one adorable lifeguard in particular, there are also family secrets that were buried along the shore years ago. And the ebb and flow of the ocean's tide means that nothing- not the sea glass that she collects on the sand and not the truths behind Anna's mother's death- stays buried forever.

*****Winter's Shadow by M.J. Hearle  June 1, 2011; Pan McMillian, Australia

Blake Duchamp...

He's all that Winter Adams can think of. Ever since their fateful meeting at Pilgrim's Lament. Ever since he looked at her with those emerald eyes. Ever since he saved her life.

But Blake isn't all that he seems. There is a strangeness about him, something dark and otherworldly. Something dangerous. In his attic is a secret he would kill to defend, but Winter seems to have a special ability to make him forget his duty. And he is her only protection against the gathering darkness.

The only problem is, to protect Winter, Blake must risk exposing her to an even greater danger. Himself.

What are YOU wishing for this week??

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Book Excerpt: The Day the Flowers Died & Give Away

The Day the Flowers Died written by Ami Blackwelder is a gently narrated historical romance novel. Set in 1930 Munich, Germany two strangers fall in love in the midst of a crumbling country. Eli Levin was raised in a strict orthodox Jewish home while Rebecca Baum grew up in an affluent Catholic family. Despite their differences, they stay true to each other and form a bond that lasts well after the war. Through-out family disapproval, social prejudice and a growing Nazi party, they struggle and overcome; but when identity becomes the difference between life and death, the two must make decisions that will change their lives forever.

Here's an excerpt: 
Saturday, October 1, 1932
Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year: Eli told Rebecca a week in advance about the upcoming Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of their New Year.  He invited her to participate in it with him at his family’s home.
Ezekiel, though disapproving of their relationship, was proud to see his son remember his heritage and invite Rebecca.  Ezekiel was also glad to see Rebecca willing to observe and learn a new tradition.
Last year on Rosh Hashanah after synagogue, groups of Nazis waited outside to brutalize the Jewish fellowship.  Brawls broke out, wounding many.  This year, Eli and Ezekiel worried something like that would also occur.
Rebecca rode with Eli to the Levin home on Saturday afternoon after they ate in Munich.
Ada opened the door, welcoming both Eli and Rebecca inside and then, out of social decorum, guided them to the living room where Eli’s family awaited.
When Rebecca turned the corner after a long walk through the corridor, she saw Miriam’s bright eyes shine out from under her mama’s arm where they sat on the sofa.  Sarah sat on the far sofa with her posture upright as Rebecca had been shown many times by her own mother.
“Welcome Eli and Rebecca,” Deborah said with warm affection and rose to hug her son and then Rebecca. The hospitality surprised Rebecca since their last visit ended after an argument between Eli and his father.  Rebecca accepted the hug and followed Eli to the sofa across from Deborah.  After Leah’s big brown eyes became bored of staring at the new guest, she returned her focus to the game on the floor.
“How was your trip, Eli?” Deborah asked in a curt tone, her attention divided between him and Miriam.  The girl put her fingers inside her mouth and wiggled them around until Deborah pulled her hand away from her face and held it down on her lap.
“It was good, Mama, always a pleasant journey.  Rebecca enjoys the scenery too.  It’s quite different from the busy city of Munich.”
“Which is why your father and I chose to live in this house, away from all the hustle.” Deborah’s words carried an air of sagacity.
Eli told Rebecca a couple months back that his mama was a soft hearted woman and did not much disapprove of him with her, but that his father, the strict center of the family, would rather Eli date a Jewish woman.  This soothed Rebecca’s nerves while she sat in the room with Deborah.  In fact, Rebecca began to feel more acquainted with Eli’s family than with her own.
Compared to this, her own home felt quite barren and, besides Mildred, who mostly raised her, and Rueben the chef, she did not have much of a childhood.  The time spent with her mother involved formal classes and direction, teaching her to be a lady, a German woman of sophistication. On occasion, she could steal a few laughs from her father when she managed to escape her mother’s rigid grip.
Rebecca rose from the sofa and sat on the floor with Leah, familiar with the game, one of the few she played as a young girl.  Leah looked up with her short bob swaying and smiled.
Rebecca reached her hand towards the jacks. “May I play?” At Leah’s nod, Rebecca lifted the jacks up high and then released them, letting them dribble to the wood floor.  Leah bounced the ball once and lifted one of the scattered jacks into her hands before the ball hit the floor again. They played this game for a few moments with concentrated efforts while Sarah, Eli and Deborah watched in amusement. Eli even saw Sarah sneak a smile at Rebecca and her childlike demeanor.

Buy this book:  Amazon  or Barnes & Noble

About the author: 
Ami Blackwelder is a prolific writer whose short stories and poems have been published in magazines and newspapers across the globe. She won a Best Fiction Award while getting her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Central Florida. She placed as a semi-finalist in the Laurel Hemingway short story contest and her work was subsequently published.

The next stop on the tour is: 


Top Ten Tuesday 6/21/11

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  The topics are different each week.  Be sure to stop by and check it out and join in!

This weeks topic is: Top Ten Reasons Why We Love Book Blogging!

1. I have been able to correspond with so many people that I may never had the chance to otherwise.  I have corresponded with other blogger, authors, and publishers that if it had not been for blogging, I never would have had that chance. 

2. Not many people in my real life (none that I can sit here and think immediately of), read as much as I do and they don't understand my love of reading.  Book blogging has given me the opportunity to share my love of reading with those just like me. 

3. Book blogging has expanded the types of books that I read.  Now I read more than I used to, if that is possible and I read just about any type of book.

4. I love that I can read others views and opinions on books. I may look at a book one way, but someone else down the blog road can read the same book and get something totally different out of it that I didn't think about. 

5. The book recommendations!!!!  I don't think that I would have picked up Delirium by Lauren Oliver had it not been for some of the reviews that I read.  And I am soooo glad that I did.  It's one of the best books I have read this year!

6. I get to learn or hear about books that are not yet published well ahead of time.  With things like GoodReads,  BEA, NetGalley, ALA, etc I have found some wonderful books that I am so looking forward to that are coming out.

7. I don't feel alone when I read a book.  I know that when I finish a book, I can come hear and post a review and know that I can actually have a discussion about the book with other people who love to read.

8. I get to recommend books to others!!!!

9. I can follow authors on their blogs, twitter and facebook. Before I started blogging... that was non-existent. 

10.  This is probably the main reason I love book blogging........the other bloggers!!  Book blogging has a sense of community (Anyone remember #YAsaves??)  In the real world, it doesn't seem that people stick together or stand up for one another.  In the blogging world, there are so many people that I follow and who follow me that I have no doubt would be some of my best friends in the real life simply because of their passion, dependability and their "gotcha covered" attitudes.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

In My Mailbox 6/19/11

"In My Mailbox" is a fun weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren where we get to see what goodies everyone has gotten the past week.  The books shared can be ones that were bought, borrowed, won, or received to review.

From NetGalley:

heart of iron
Heart of Iron

My Journey from Transplant Patient to Ironman Triathlete; November 2011
Kyle Garlett (Author)

Throughout his life, there was nothing Kyle Garlett hated more than losing, and he knew early on that four diagnoses of cancer could not match his spirit of competition. His appetite for victory and success and his love of life pushed him over his health hurdles—including a bone marrow transplant, hip replacement, and a heart transplant—and into the greatest challenge of his life: the Ironman Triathlon World Championship. Kyle tells his amazing life story, beginning with his diagnosis of lymphoma and continuing through years of chemotherapy that destroyed his joints and weakened his heart, leading up to his journey to the Ironman Triathlon, in which he competed not once but twice. His miraculous recovery and athleticism are recounted, along with his becoming an Olympic torch bearer, a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society spokesperson, and a motivational speaker.


Shards; October 2011
Ismet Prcic

Ismet Prcic’s brilliant, provocative, and propulsory energetic debut is about a young Bosnian, also named Ismet Prcic, who has fled his war-torn homeland and is now struggling to reconcile his past with his present life in California. He is advised that in order to make peace with the corrosive guilt he harbors over leaving behind his family behind, he must “write everything.” The result is a great rattlebag of memories, confessions, and fictions: sweetly humorous recollections of Ismet’s childhood in Tuzla appear alongside anguished letters to his mother about the challenges of life in this new world. As Ismet’s foothold in the present falls away, his writings are further complicated by stories from the point of view of another young man—real or imagined—named Mustafa, who joined a troop of elite soldiers and stayed in Bosnia to fight. When Mustafa’s story begins to overshadow Ismet’s new-world identity, the reader is charged with piecing together the fragments of a life that has become eerily unrecognizable, even to the one living it. Shards is a thrilling read—a harrowing war story, a stunningly inventive coming of age, and a heartbreaking saga of a splintered family.


Smuggled; July 2011
Christina Shea

Sweeping from WWII rural Romania to the cosmopolitan Budapest of 1990, Smuggled is the story of Eva Farkas, who loses her identity, quite literally, as a young child when she is smuggled in a flour sack across the Hungarian border to escape the Nazis. Five-year-old Eva is trafficked from Hungary to Romania at the end of the war, arriving in the fictional border town of Crisu, given the name Anca Balaj by her aunt and uncle and instructed never to speak another word of Hungarian again. Eva is dead, she is told. As the years pass, Anca proves an unquenchable spirit, with a lust for life even when political forces threaten to derail her at every turn. Time is layered in this quest for self, culminating in the end of the Iron Curtain and Anca's reclaiming of the name her mother gave her. When Eva returns to Hungary in 1990, a country changing as fast as the price of bread, she meets Martin, an American teacher, and Eva's lifelong search for family and identity comes full circle as her cross-cultural relationship with Martin deepens through their endeavor to rescue the boy downstairs from abuse. An intimate look at the effects of history on an individual life, Smuggled is a raw and fearless account of transformation, and a viscerally reflective tale about the basic need for love without claims.

For upcoming book tour:

in leahs wake

In Leah's Wake; October 2010
Terri Giuliano Long 

The Tyler family had the perfect life – until sixteen-year-old Leah decided she didn’t want to be perfect anymore.

While Zoe and Will fight to save their daughter from destroying her brilliant future, Leah’s younger sister, Justine, must cope with the damage her out-of-control sibling leaves in her wake.

Will this family survive? What happens when love just isn’t enough? 

From the author:

between land and sea

Between the Land and the Sea (Marina's Tales #1); March 2011
Derrolyn Anderson

Something extraordinary is lurking in the deep ocean waters off the coast of Aptos, California. In just a few weeks after moving to the small beach town, sixteen year old Marina has nearly drowned twice, enchanted the hottest guy in high school, and discovered a supernatural creature. If she can only manage to survive her increasingly dangerous encounters with unpredictable mermaids, she might just be able to unlock the mystery of her past to learn how to appease the mysterious forces that seem to want something from her...and maybe even find true love along the way.
Between The Land And The Sea is the first book in the series "Marina's Tales". Her story continues on in book two, The Moon And The Tide

the moon and tide

The Moon and the Tide (Marina's Tales #2); March 2011
Derrolyn Anderson

The Moon And The Tide is book # 2 in the Marina's Tales series.
Just when things seem to be all figured out, Marina discovers that there's a lot more going on behind the scenes than she ever imagined. When a terrible accident exposes her secret, she discovers that her whole life has been one big lie, and has to cope with more than one kind of betrayal.
A dangerous enemy arrives on the scene, putting her bravery to the test and forcing her to use all of her new-found talents to protect her family. Will good win out over evil? Can love triumph over jealousy?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

On My Wishlist 6/18/11

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too -
All synopsis from Goodreads:

coming up for air Coming Up For Air by Patti Callahan Henry

On the coast of Alabama, there is a house cloaked in mystery, a place that reveals the truth and changes lives... Ellie is in a dying marriage. She knows this. After her controlling mother, Lillian, passes away, Ellie's world is turned upside down when she discovers that her ex-boyfriend, Hutch, is in charge of a documentary that involved Lillian before her death. When Hutch shows up at her mother's funeral, Ellie's closed heart opens to the past. Fighting their feelings, Ellie and Hutch set out together to dig into Lillian's history. Using both a diary Ellie finds and a trip to the Summer House, a mysterious and seductive bayside home, Hutch and Ellie gamble that they can work together and not fall in love again. But in piecing together Lillian's unrequited-love story, they just might uncover the secrets in their own hearts.

lanternThe Lantern: A Novel by Deborah Lawrenson
When Eve falls for the secretive, charming Dom, their whirlwind relationship leads them to purchase Les Genevriers, an abandoned house in a rural hamlet in the south of France. As the beautiful Provence summer turns to autumn, Eve finds it impossible to ignore the mysteries that haunt both her lover and the run-down old house, in particular the mysterious disappearance of his beautiful first wife, Rachel. Whilst Eve tries to untangle the secrets surrounding Rachel's last recorded days, Les Genevriers itself seems to come alive. As strange events begin to occur with frightening regularity, Eve's voice becomes intertwined with that of Benedicte Lincel, a girl who lived in the house decades before. As the tangled skeins of the house's history begin to unravel, the tension grows between Dom and Eve. In a page-turning race, Eve must fight to discover the fates of both Benedicte and Rachel, before Les Genevriers' dark history has a chance to repeat itself.

Graveminder by Melissa Marr

Melissa Mar is known to young adult readers as the author of the popular faery series Wicked Lovely. Her debut leap into adult fiction lands her in the small community of Claysville, a town where the dead walk free unless there their graves are not properly tended. Into this eerie maelstrom, Rebekkah Barrow descends as she returns to a place that she once believed she knew. Kelley Armstrong justly described Graveminder as "a deliciously creepy tale that is as skillfully wrought as it is spellbindingly imagined." A new genre author to watch.

reign of madness Reign of Madness by Lynn Cullen
One of the most famous figures in all of Spanish history is Juana de Castile, who would come to be known as Juana the Mad. She was a fiercely intelligent princess who inherited Queen Isabel's throne and married a man so beautiful he was called Philippe the Handsome. But what began seeming like a fairy tale ended quite differently.
After Queen Juana's husband died, she was accused of insanity and locked away in a palace, unseen by her people for the next forty-six years. What happened between her fairy-tale beginning and a locked tower room? Sweeping, page-turning, and wholly entertaining, Reign of Madness is historical fiction at its richly satisfying best.

What's on YOUR wishlist this week?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Calling all Harry Potter fans!!!!

According to the second part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be released on July 15.

Here's the trailer for Part II to get you even more excited!!!  I must say, it looks pretty good!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Follow Friday 6/17/11

It's time for Follow Friday!!!!  Hosted by the lovely Rachel @ Parajunkee's View.  This week she is doing a give-a-way to win one of her blog designs as this is her #50 Follow Friday!

This weeks question is:

Q. Genre Wars! What's your favorite genre and which book in that genre made it your favorite?

   My answer would have to be Historical Fiction.  I love that you can "travel" to all parts and times in the world by reading this genre.  While you travel, you can also pick up bits of history in the process.  I was by no means a history buff in school... I was more of a science geek.... but now.... I love "going to" places like Russian, England, Asia, Africa and all places in between.  Not to mention the Knights, Kings, Queens, Roman Emperors & Gladiators... Or, I can go to WWII, War of the Roses, etc. 

As for the book that made it my favorite..... I would have to say that I have always loved it, but not as much as I do now... and that is thanks to two books:

mistress of rome

the bronze horseman

So, what's your favorite?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Review: The Restorer

the restorer

The Restorer by Amanda Stevens
Mira Books; April 2011
400 pages
ISBN13: 9780778329817

Picture the southern charm of Charleston, SC. The fern covered grounds, the moss hanging from the trees, the trees so full and thick that they form a canopy above you........ Now picture yourself standing in a graveyard staring at a ghost.

1. Never acknowledge the dead
2. Never stray far from hallowed ground
3. Never associate with those who are haunted
4. Never, ever tempt fate.

My father's rules....I've never broken them.....until now.

Now that you know the rules you have to keep them in mind throughout the story. Amelia is 9 when she sees her first ghost. Her father can see them as well. It's a secret between the two of them, even her mother doesn't know.

Amelia has a pretty interesting job in that she is a cemetery restorer. She has a special talent for restoring old deteriorating burial sites. These sites for various reasons have been neglected or forgotten over the years and she brings them back to life and beauty.

The main character is called in to consult on a case when a body is found in a cemetery she is currently restoring. This is where she meets the dark and brooding John Devlin. Devlin has a past that is slowly revealed in pieces throughout the story and it makes him even more intriguing. You wonder what he hides behind his distant eyes, dark circles and what it is about him that immediately pulls Amelia to him but at the same time instills fear in her.

The characters are well developed, introduced and intertwined perfectly, the background stories are brought out in perfect timing, and the details were wonderfully explained. It is very apparent that the author truly did her research on the subjects described. I loved how details of inscriptions on the headstones were explained revealing rituals, beliefs, and symbolism.

The twists and turns involving all the supporting characters were well done as well. Secret organizations, cover-ups, hidden past transgressions, old money, prestigious universities and the charming south. All woven together perfectly.

The creepiness factor is definitely there with the ghosts... staring in through the windows, the bursts of cold air, the feeling of someone touching your arm and the breath you feel on your neck. Trust me, these ghosts are no Casper...

"Just when sun bids farewell and the moon says hello, between day and night- twilight- a veil is lifted, the unrest sprits rise to roam the land of the living once more…"

***I received this book from Mira via Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review. It in no way influenced my review or opinion of this book. 

IMM: 6/5/11

"In My Mailbox" is a fun weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren where we get to see what goodies everyone has gotten the past week.  The books shared can be ones that were bought, borrowed, won, or received to review.

  These were purchased by me or received via NetGalley

the art of forgettingMarissa Rogers never wanted to be an alpha; beta suited her just fine. Taking charge without taking credit had always paid off: vaulting her to senior editor at a glossy magazine; keeping the peace with her critical, weight-obsessed mother; and enjoying the benefits of being best friends with gorgeous, charismatic, absolutely alpha Julia Ferrar. 

And then Julia gets hit by a cab. She survives with minor obvious injuries, but brain damage steals her memory and alters her personality, possibly forever. Suddenly, Marissa is thrown into the role of alpha friend. As Julia struggles to regain her memory- dredging up issues Marissa would rather forget, including the fact that Julia asked her to abandon the love of her life ten years ago- Marissa's own equilibrium is shaken.

With the help of a dozen girls, she reluctantly agrees to coach in an after-school running program. There, Marissa uncovers her inner confidence and finds the courage to reexamine her past and take control of her future.

The Art of Forgetting is a story about the power of friendship, the memories and myths that hold us back, and the delicate balance between forgiving and forgetting.

story of a beautiful girlIt is 1968. Lynnie, a young white woman with a developmental disability, and Homan, an African American deaf man, are locked away in an institution, the School for the Incurable and Feebleminded, and have been left to languish, forgotten. Deeply in love, they escape, and find refuge in the farmhouse of Martha, a retired schoolteacher and widow. But the couple is not alone-Lynnie has just given birth to a baby girl. When the authorities catch up to them that same night, Homan escapes into the darkness, and Lynnie is caught. But before she is forced back into the institution, she whispers two words to Martha: "Hide her." And so begins the 40-year epic journey of Lynnie, Homan, Martha, and baby Julia-lives divided by seemingly insurmountable obstacles, yet drawn together by a secret pact and extraordinary love.


legacyThe first boy disappeared on the day of his birth, on a night when the pale yellow moon of the nighttime sky turned red and bathed the heavens in the ghastly color of blood, on the same night the Kingdom of Cokyri abruptly ceased its merciless attack.
Across the land of Hytanica, under the shadow of the crimson moon, infant boys continued to vanish. Not until the blood had faded from the sky did the disappearances stop and the bodies of the murdered infants were found outside the gates of the city, a final word from the greatest enemy Hytanica had ever known. For the next sixteen years, peace reigned, but one mystery remained unsolved. The Cokyrians had abducted forty-nine newborns, but returned only forty-eight bodies.
Now, as seventeen-year-old Princess Alera of Hytanica is besieged from all sides by suitors vying for the Throne, a teenage Cokyrian boy, Narian, is encountered within the walls of her Kingdom, a boy who will show Alera a world where women serve a purpose and not just a husband. As Narian helps Alera find her voice, she struggles against an arranged marriage that will shatter the life she has scarcely begun to live. And when Narian's shocking past is uncovered, and war with Cokyri looms once more, he must fight to defy a fate ordained at his birth. 

in the belly of jonah
In the Belly of Jonah is a fast-paced mystery with a likable protagonist and an intricately woven narrative brimming with bizarre yet believable twists. The first in a series, the book expertly lays the groundwork for Liv Bergen, amateur sleuth, and her love interest, FBI Agent Streeter Pierce.
Liv becomes involved in the investigation of the murder of Jill Brannigan, a summer intern at the limestone mine Liv manages near Fort Collins, Colorado (a breathtaking setting that unwittingly becomes an accessory to crime). In doing so, she inadvertently puts her friends, her family, and herself at risk of being swallowed in the belly of a madman bloated with perverse appetites for women, surrealistic art, and renown.
Perhaps a bit too daring (and at times irreverent) for her own good, ''Boots,'' as Liv's eight siblings call her, soon realizes she has a knack for outsmarting and tracking down the Venus de Milo murderer--and she enjoys it! As the gripping plot of In the Belly of Jonah unfolds, Liv Bergen takes her place alongside the best female crime-solvers as a woman with smarts, self-confidence, and intuitive savvy.


girl in the steel corset 
In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the "thing" inside her.
When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch….
Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.
Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help—and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.
But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on—even if it seems no one believes her.

So did you get some that you wanted this week??? 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

RAK: Random Act of Kindness

Book Soulmates

 Isalys & Vanessa over at Book Soulmates started doing this feature a few months ago.  This will be the first month that I have participated in it and I'm really excited!

Here are the rules from their site:
  • Sign up each month that you'd like to participate.
  • Show off your participation by grabbing our RAK button :)
  • Create a wish list (on Amazon, Goodreads, or your blog etc) and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
  • If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wish list and contact that blogger for their address.
  • At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!  Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us :)
Let's keep our International bloggers in mind and in our hearts.
Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREE shipping!
If you would like to sign up for June, please see their post under June sign-up.
includes books that have been on TBR list for some time now...maybe this will help me clear it out.  Of course if I receive some, then they will be removed from the list.

Be sure to stop by and see them!!