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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Journey to Her Dreams by Iris Blobel


Summary:
Would you travel around the world to uncover the reason for your dreams?

Hollie Anderson does.

A young woman from Tasmania who lives on a farm just outside Launceston, she has got good looks, likes her job and loves to hang out with her friends. She should be happy, right?
But it’s a recurrent dream that throws her daily life into chaos and takes her on a journey to Ireland. While on her quest for answers she meets Sam in Dublin under unusual circumstances and both women, so different in many ways, find out that one thing they do have in common – and it changes their lives from then on.
Summary taken from
Goodreads.com
Length: 332 pages
Source: Review copy from author
Publication Date: November 9th 2011

Awhile back I was approached by Iris to review her book and I was so excited to read it because it fits in with my Around the World challenge because much of it takes place in Australia, and I love supporting new writers.

First off I enjoyed the book quite a bit. I thought the premise was good and it was a quick read. The beginning really caught my eye and before I knew it I was halfway through the book in the first night! The fact that it was told from alternating characters really appealed to me because while it isn't my favourite style of writing I do enjoy it a lot and for this novel it really worked. In fact without it I don't think it could have been as successful as it was. I also enjoyed the fact that while the majority of the novel focused on Hollie in Tasmania it was broken up by Sam's side of the story taking place in Dublin. I also like how each of the girl's stories fit together so well. Hollie while being a bit naive for my tastes was my favourite character and I liked her far more than Sam who I found to be obnoxious, rude and self centered.

I did have some dislikes for the book though, I thought that the ending was pieced together a little too fast but that could be because I was enjoying the pace of the book and it suddenly sped up and was over all of a sudden. I also wish I knew exactly how old Hollie and Sam were (if it was mentioned in the book I must have missed it). I like knowing how old characters are because it helps me create a better mental picture of them.

All in all I thought this was a good book and definetly worth the read even if the ending could have been a little more drawn out (just my opinion) and the good news is is that it's $2.99 on Kindle right now and it's worth the money spent on it. I hope that Iris keeps writing because despite my minor dislikes for the novel she is a good writer and I can't wait to read the other book she wrote sometime in the near future. Hopefully she'll remember me and let me review her next book whenever she writes it. And who knows maybe I'll make my way to Australia and will meet her one of these days since I have family there.

To purchase the book from Amazon CLICK HERE
To follow Iris via Twitter CLICK HERE
To follow her blog CLICK HERE


*I would like to thank the author, Iris Blobel for sending me a copy of her book in exchange for my free and honest review.

★ ★ ★ 1/2

The Great Penguin Rescue: 40,000 Penguins, a Devastating Oil spill and the Inspiring Story of the World's Largest Animal Rescue by Dyan deNapoli


Summary:
On June 23, 2000, the iron ore carrier MV "Treasure "foundered off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, spilling 1,300 tons of oil into the ocean and contaminating the habitat of 75,000 penguins--thus threatening to decimate 41 percent of the world's population of African penguins. A massive rescue effort was launched, with penguin expert Dyan deNapoli--better known as The Penguin Lady--serving as a rehabilitation supervisor. By the end of a grueling, but ultimately rewarding, three months, she and her fellow volunteers had de-oiled, nursed back to health, and released into the wild nearly all of the affected birds. "The Great Penguin Rescue "is the extraordinary and heartwarming true story of the world's largest and most successful wildlife rescue and a moving portrait of these captivating birds.
Summary taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 304 pages (hardcover edition)
Source: Toronto Public Library
Publication Date: October 26th 2010

African "Jackass" "Donkey" Penguin

First off I have to say that the little guy in the picture above is the sweetest thing, since this book is kind of heavy (subject matter wise) I thought it would do you all good to see what exactly is at risk if things do not change.

I love animals. I love Africa. I love reading about both and most importantly I enjoy reading about the efforts people are taking to help save our fellow animals in their times of need. I think that it's important. Remaining ignorant of the plight of our animal brethren is 100% not the right way to go about things. In fact I'm convinced that if certain changes do not occur...we'll be too late. So the fact that I was able to get my hands on this book made me happy. When the Treasure sank on June 23rd 2000 I had just turned 10 years old a few weeks before, and I remember still 12 years later seeing reports in the paper and on the television about the plight of the oil spill and the hardships the penguins and their rescuers were facing. Since then I've always wondered what really happened...and how the penguins fared. Unfortunately life got in the way and it took me until last week to finally find out what happened.

Dyan deNapoli wrote a wonderful tell all book about the ups and downs of rescuing 40,000 penguins who without the help of the more than 12,500 volunteers would have perished otherwise. What I loved most about her book and the way that she wrote it is that she did not make herself the focus as others would tend to do in writing a book on their experiences. Instead she paid an awesome tribute to all who participated in this monumental and miraculous rescue that is the biggest rescue of any animal species ever accomplished.

Yes she told her story and shared her experiences but she also shared stories from other volunteers. She didn't toot her own horn or make her contribution to the rescue seem more important than others. She writes with respect, and completely honesty that her part in the rescue was neither greater nor lesser than the other 12,500 people that volunteered their time to come and help save half of the worlds population of the African Penguin.

The 12,500 that volunteered came from all over the planet. At the time that the schools in South Africa were closed for vacation and so there was an outpouring of students who volunteered. The young, the old, the rich, and the poor people of South Africa came from all over the country. Then there were the international volunteers that came on their own dime to help save the animals. The support from the international community was amazing! To read about all these people coming together in a country where the apartheid regime was still in practice 6 years before was wonderful because it didn't matter what colour a person's skin was, people from all walks of life volunteered to help the penguins and put up with the most menial tasks like cleaning the guano (poop) off of the pools where the penguins were kept. Another hazard of working with these animals is that they have rather sharp beaks. I have two budgies as pets and when they bite they draw blood...now when you take into consideration that they're about the size of a hamster and then you think of how large these penguins are it really puts into perspective how nasty and formidable their beaks are.

This is a truly inspiring book about how strong we don't realize we are until fate puts us in a situation in which our abilities, and limitations are tested. Dyan's were severly tested while she was working in South Africa to aid in the rescue. She was there for 18 days and came home 20 pounds lighter, a whole lot more bruised, scared and weary. The physical toll was nothing compared to the emotional and mental toll that effected her as well as other rescuers. In pushing themselves to the limits of their abilities they were left with the after effects of being emotionally drained would follow some volunteers around for years to come.

I highly recommend that you check out this book, learning is the key to keeping this planet of ours clean and healthy. The oilspill that occured on that fateful day in 2000 has been repeated many times all over the world and it is up to us to ensure that the waters are safe for us and the animals that we have been charged with being the caretakers for. They do not have the ability to help themselves and because of that the responsibility of that falls on our shoulders. Without the help of organizations like SANCCOB and IFAW as well numerous others the rescue would not have been as successful as it was. If people can continue to come together with a single goal much can be achieved and learned. The rescue of 40,000 wild penguins is proof of that.

This book will teach you things about the world that you probably didn't know. Upon reading this I had no real knowledge of the African Penguin but since reading it I feel smarter and more well informed about this little creature that while highly vocal also poses a deep intelligence that I think we should attrribute to all animals. This book will help restore your faith in humanity if you are in need of that, it certainly did for me. I'd like to thank Dyan for writing this book and educating the world on the plight of penguins, as well as giving a stunning tribute to all those who volunteered. I hope this isn't the last we hear from her in terms of writing because her words were eloquently written. Hopefully one day I'll get to thank her in person, but until then I'll be content with her maybe reading this one day and knowing that I appreciate her efforts and all those who helped in the rescue.
To purchase the book CLICK HERE
To visit Dyan's website CLICK HERE
To visit Dyan's Facebook Page CLICK HERE
To visit Dyan's Twitter CLICK HERE
To visit Dyan's blog CLICK HERE
To visit SANCCOB's website CLICK HERE
The links I've provided will get you started in helping out the penguins and learning more about them.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Monday, February 27, 2012

Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel García Márquez


Summary:
On the eve of his ninetieth birthday a bachelor decides to give himself a wild night of love with a virgin. As is his habit–he has purchased hundreds of women–he asks a madam for her assistance. The fourteen-year-old girl who is procured for him is enchanting, but exhausted as she is from caring for siblings and her job sewing buttons, she can do little but sleep. Yet with this sleeping beauty at his side, it is he who awakens to a romance he has never known.

Tender, knowing, and slyly comic, Memories of My Melancholy Whores is an exquisite addition to the master’s work.

Summary taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 115 pages (hardcover edition)
Source: Toronto Public Library
Publication Date: November 14th 2006

My main motivations for reading this book were very simple. I needed to read a book by a Colombian author for my Around the World challenge,  and I've been meaning to give this author a try ever since I saw his book Love in the Time of Cholera in the  2001 movie Serendipity starring Kate Beckinsale and John Cusak. Plus lets be completely candid here, I'm 21 and am allowed to be immature at times so I also wanted to read the book because of the title. Sue me. So when I saw this short little book sitting high on the bookshelf at the library I thought...that now was as good a time as any to finally see what all the hype about him was about.

I knew right off the bat that this was going to fall in the more poetic side of novels and I was fine with that, despite my misgivings about novels like that I was more than willing to go into this one with an open mind. Now it may surprise some that I actually liked a lot of the story. I found the character of our unnamed protagonist to be fascinating, at 90 years old he calls a madame requesting a virgin for the night to help him celebrate.

Now I request that you get your heads out of the gutter because while the book is sensual there's no other words for it, it is not sexually explicit. In fact if you read it you'll know what I'm talking about.  Most of the book actually focuses on the man reminiscing about what he has missed out in in life as well as his recollections with whores.

Despite the fact that I liked this book more than I thought I would I feel as though I didn't get what I expected out of reading it. I thought that it would be better and more...captivating. Perhaps it's because that it's a novella and that to fully experience this writers obvious talents I will have to read one of his longer works, of which I have every intention. However, I'm thinking that it will be a long while before I pick up anything written by him. I appreciate the book for what it was and his writing style is beautifully poetic and I adore it. For me it was the story that was slow and lacking.

I would recommend this to people who enjoy novellas, poetic novels, fans of the author or other people who want to give this author a try but are not sure where to start. Like always, I encourage you to try the book for yourself and see if you like it. If you do. Leave me a link to your review.

★ ★ ★


It's Monday! What are you reading? #3




It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey and is a great way for others to find out what you are planning to read this week and, best of all, see what others are reading.

Here's what I'm planning on reading this week, though with me my reading plans change at the drop of a dime!:

 How to Walk a Puma: And Other Things I Learned While Stumbling through South America
 by Peter Allison

Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson

Love in a Nutshell by Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly

Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich

Conversations with Myself by Nelson Mandela

A Prisoner in the Garden

Tangi's Teardrops by Liz Grace Davis
Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison


Now, what are YOU reading this week?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People by Douglas Coupland and Graham Roumieu


Summary:
In the grand tradition of Edward Gorey's Gashlycrumb Tinies, Tim Burton's Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Hillaire Belloc's Cautionary Tales for Children, comes Douglas Coupland and Graham Roumieu's Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People.

Ever wonder what would happen if Douglas Coupland's unhinged imagination met Graham Roumieu's insane knack for illustrating the ridiculously weird? The answer is seven deliciously wicked tales featuring seven highly improbable, not only inappropriate, characters, including Donald the Incredibly Hostile Juice Box, Hans the Weird Exchange Student, Brandon the Action Figure with Issues and Kevin the Hobo Minivan with Extremely Low Morals. If you are over the age of consent, seriously weird or just like to laugh, you'll love the unlovable miscreants who unleash their dark and unruly desires on every page of these unsuitable, completely hilarious tales.
Summary taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 131 pages (Hardcover Edition)
Source: Toronto Public Library
Publication Date: October 25th 2011

So there I was. Looking at the books in the library and then the title of this one popped out at me. Then when I saw the cover I was convinced I had to give it a go. If only for the giggles. Now I admit I didn't go into reading this book with high expectations. In fact I actually went into it with very low expectations.

At only 131 pages I knew I wasn't going to be wowed. I was just looking for a quick and easy read because I seem to be falling behind this month in terms of my reading goal for the month. I was how every pleasantly surprised. 

My favourite part about the book was the artwork done by illustrator Graham Roumieu. They reminded me of Quentin Blake's style. Blake as some of you may recall illustrated famous children's novelist Roald Dahl's books. So this book offered a bit of nostalgia even if the drawings weren't done by Blake .

I though the stories we sort of funny but not as outrageous as I had thought they might be given the ttle especially. I thought they were more quirky than anything and while they weren't anything special they did provide enough entertainment for me to derive a few laughs from.

So if you've read the author's works before and liked them I think you have a good chance of liking this one as well, at least a lot of people seem to say that. However if you're like me and hadn't read any of the author's previous books yet I suggest that you not purchase this one. Instead please check it out from your local library.

★ ★

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Diary of a Part-Time Ghost by Vered Ehsani

 

Summary:
In the first book of the ‘Ghost & Shadows’ series, fifteen-year old Ash wants nothing more than to be a normal kid and avoid trouble. And then his birthday gift transforms him into a ghost and zaps him back in time to the beginning of the American Revolution. If he thought that was bad, it’s about to get a whole lot worse. Armed only with an ancient history book and the quirky advice of an annoying mentor, Ash must rescue his ancestor from one danger after another, including an implacable enemy who controls the very shadows. What starts out as a brief experiment in time travel rapidly changes into a race for his very survival, and Ash is running out of time. Despite his efforts to stay out of trouble, Ash finds plenty of it as he must decide what his role will be in the shifting balance of forces. As he moves through one shadow- plagued adventure after another, Ash gradually discovers that true power lives in the most unexpected place: himself. Humorous and action-packed, Diary of a Part-Time Ghost will hold readers in its grip from the first sentence to the last.
Summary taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 248 pages
Source: Review copy from the author
Publication Date: March 2nd 2011

A few months ago I was approached by the author Vered Ehsani on goodreads.com to review her book Diary of a Part-Time Ghost, and because I was had so many books on the go it wasn't until a week ago that I was finally able to read it.

I found the character Ash to be snarky and funny at the same time which I really liked. I also really liked BiBi, who is Ash's great aunt (if I remember correctly). I thought she was cute. Her advice to Ash throughout the book reminded me a lot of Yoda because she wanted Ash to figure things out for himself when it came to the Book of History.

As for the story, I thought it was neat. I always love time travel fiction be it juvenile, YA or adult and I haven't read any in a while so that gave this book a huge plus from me. I liked how the plot wasn't laid out in the way I thought it would have been. The whole time I read it I was left guessing as to what would be coming next. The fact that Ash was a part-time ghost added a unique aspect to the story especially when he travels back in time to meet a relative of his from 1773 and is able to become solid (there's no other word I can think of right now to describe it). The whole deal with Kali (you'll meet him when you read the book) left me puzzled and confused, but I'm guessing all will become clear in the next book.

All in all I really enjoyed this book by Vered Ehsani and I hope she releases the second book soon! I would recommend this to any YA/Juvenile fiction lovers. It's a light and easy read that will surprise you with all of its twists and turns. For a first time author I'd definetly say that Vered Ehsani is on her way to success and I hope when she does release her next book she'll drop me a line and let me review it for her as well.

To purchase the book on Amazon click here!
To visit the author's website click here!

*I would like to thank the author, Vered Ehsani for sending me a copy of her book in exchange for my free and honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★

Thursday, February 23, 2012

It Rains in February: A Wife's Memoir of Love and Loss by Leila Summers


Summary:
On the 24th of February 2007 my husband, Stuart, drowned himself at sea, leaving me widowed with two young daughters aged six and four. I knew it wasn't an accident, even though the medics and police never suspected suicide. Stuart had been talking about ending his life for a year. His most recent suicide attempt had been only three weeks earlier. Afterwards, he explained that day as the most peaceful day of his life. Sitting next to the dam, he smoked his last cigarette. He drank a hundred sleeping pills and did a final check to make sure everything would look like an accident. The last thing he remembered was swimming out into the crystal clear water. He said that he was no longer scared of dying, that there was nothing scary about it. Living was the scary thing.

It Rains In February: A Wife's Memoir of Love and Loss is the true story of a husband's depression and obsession, not only with another woman, but also with ending his life. In this honest and heartfelt narrative, Leila Summers weaves a compelling tale of the year that led up to Stuart's suicide and the grief, profound loss and self discovery that followed. Although each suicide is unique, this book gives the reader an insider's view from one perspective by way letters and e-mail messages.
Summary taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 232 pages
Source: Review copy supplied by author
Publication Date: October 24th 2011

A couple months ago I was approached by the author Robyn who goes by the nom de plume Leila Summers. Usually I don't read books like this but after I read the summary I was convinced that I would  have to read it.

A few days ago I finally got around to read it and I'm glad I did. Ever since finishing it though I've been struggling with how I should review it. I mean this isn't a work of fiction...it's some one's life I'm reading about. In fact I don't even think I can properly put into words how I felt about this memoir but I'll give it the old college try.

This book was an emotional read for me. Robyn really took me into her world with her words. I loved the way in which she wrote her memoir. For me it was as if I was reading a love letter to her husband, it was deeply personal and very intimate. Several times while reading it I had to stop because I had a sense that I was invading her privacy while there were other times when I had to put the book down because Stuart was making me so angry.

The book is about Robyn's husband Stuart's last 2 years of life, the disintegration of a marriage and a family...and ultimately Stuart's suicide. I really admire Robyn and the rest of the people that stood by Stuart like his sister Ruth. Despite his continued deterioration and that which they themselves endured they still loved him, and unlike many people they didn't turn their backs on him when he fell to pieces.


Even though I read the book I cannot comprehend how much strength it took Robin to keep loving the man that was so willing to walk away from their marriage on the hopes that the woman he had been having an emotional affair with for 2 years before marriage broke up would leave her family. The memoir was raw with emotion and was written beautifully.

Robyn truly inspires me. She held her head high for her daughters and dealt with blow after blow delt by Stuart. Yes she had a difficult time of it, and yes she would get angry at her children because she was so stressed out but that is perfectly understandable given the situation all can be forgiven.

To say I enjoyed this book would be wrong. How could I enjoy a book like this? Yet, that doesn't mean that I didn't love it. This book is a shining example of how a woman had to come to terms with her family falling apart because of her husband's love for another. It took me on a journey that showed that while Robin sometimes wavered, the strength and love she had for her husband stayed throughout the book. She did all she could to save his life, but unfortunately...it was not meant to be. I found myself to be incredibly moved by Robyn's writing and I do hope that she realizes that she has a gift, one that I hope she continues to use because I would love to read more from her.


This book is highly recommended to everyone. It will make your heart hurt...and it will make you feel compassion something that I find is often lacking in the world today. It will take you on a journey of love, forgiveness, and acceptance.

To buy it from Amazon Click Here.
To visit Robyn/Leila Summers' Website Click Here

*I would like to thank the author, Robyn "Leila Summers" for sending me a copy of her book in exchange for my free and honest review.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #1


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine and is where we can talk about books we are looking forward to being released!

The book I'm most excited about is:

Summary:
The new installment in the perpetually delightful and bestselling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.
Precious Ramotswe is back and, as usual, her plate is full! She's called in to tackle a mysterious disciplinary problem at her adopted daughter's school...Her infinitely trustworthy assistant, Grace Makutsi, is having trouble adjusting to wedded bliss, a problem to test even the formidable talents of Mma Ramotswe...And the estimable Clovis Andersen, author of The Principles of Private Investigation--the No. 1 Ladies' prized manual has arrived, right there, in Botswana, on a case of his own. Bush tea anyone?
Summary taken from Goodreads.com
Publicaton Date: April 3rd 2012

I've loved this series since I first started reading it a back in 2010 and I cannot wait to see how it progresses in this new installment. The only trouble is it's released on Mr. Turning The Pages' birthday so I won't be able to get it that day :(

What book are YOU waiting for to be released?!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The WWE Championship: A Look Back at the Rich History of the WWE Championship by Kevin Sullivan (GUEST REVIEW)


Summary:
Suddenly it’s over, and in the center of the ring, one man is victorious. The referee raises his hand, and from somewhere (you’re not quite sure where because you’re still cheering), the shining symbol of this momentous win appears. With the crowd still roaring, the winner stands alone in the ring and raises the championship belt high over his head. The lights shine off the WWE Championship title belt, and in that instant, the winner’s life will be changed forever.
For over half a century, Superstars have battled to win the WWE Championship. While the name may have changed, the prestige attached to the champion­ship has exploded. That is due in no small part to the immortals of wrestling who have held this coveted title—Bruno Sammartino taking the title from the first holder, Buddy Rogers...the totally unexpected win of “Superstar” Billy Graham...Hulk Hogan’s win over the Iron Sheik, who had refused a payoff to injure Hogan...Andre the Giant’s surrender of the title to Ted DiBiase...the newcomer win of the Undertaker...the commanding wrestling abilities of Bret Hart...Shawn Michaels’s win in Montreal...the stunning victories of Stone Cold Steve Austin...the triumph of the People’s Champion, The Rock...Triple H playing the game...the never-surrender attitude of John Cena.
This is the chronicle of how the title that is now known as the WWE Championship became sports-entertainment’s most coveted prize.
Summary taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 320 Pages (Hardcover Edition)
Source: Personal copy
Publication Date: November 23rd 2010



This was an interesting review to write. Wrestling books are known as being either very good or on the other hand infamously bad. One of the best examples of a poorly written wrestling related book would be Hollywood Hulk Hogan by Hulk Hogan,and Michael Jan Friedman . Complete dribble it was I say! However, on the opposite end of the spectrum there are some very well recieved such as  Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling by Bret Hart  and Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks by Mick Foley.

While this book isn't nearly as bad as Hulk Hogan's afore mentioned book was it was also not on par with the other books mentioned in the preceeding paragraph it is still a decent read. I think that it's a great book for any wrestling fan to add to their library, especially if the fan is interested in the history of the WWE Championship.

When I finished reading this book I really realized how rich the history of the WWE title reallyis. The title itself has been around for over 50 years whis is amazing. Greats such as Bob Backlund, Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan (despite the horrible autobiography), Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, John Cena and of course Bret Hart have all held the title at one point or another. 

The book really does a good job of educating the reader about the different title holders, the tile changes and the story behind it all. Since this is a WWE produced book and they have a tendendacy to rewrite their own history it was nice to see that the book was actually pretty accurate.

The only real problems I had with this book was that I wish it had been a little longer and that it had gone into more detail about the title holders, the title change and the story behind that. But other than that it's a solid book that most wrestling fans should enjoy.

P.S. I'd like to thank Kimberly for letting me a guest reviewer on her blog, I had fun.

-Mr. Turning The Pages
★ ★ ★1/2

Monday, February 20, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading? #2




It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey and is a great way for others to find out what you are planning to read this week and, best of all, see what others are reading.

Here are the ones I'm currently reading:
 
Journey to Her Dreams by Iris Biobel
Fearless Fourteen (Stephanie Plum #14) by Janet Evanovich

Conversations with Myself by Nelson Mandela

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne


But if I have time I might read a few others!

What are YOU reading this week!?






Saturday, February 18, 2012

Dreams and Nightmares by Ann Werner


Summary:
"When he tried to get up, Ruby saw the gun. She reacted without thinking. She pulled the trigger and the blast tore into his face, splattering his brains up against the wall of the cabin. He didn't even have the time to be surprised.

The boat was still speeding across the bay and the fog held them in its blind grip.

Ruby screamed out her frustration as she realized she had to do something. Gingerly she stepped over the bodies, careful not to slip in the blood that was fast covering the deck. She looked at the array of controls before her, panic chittering away in her chest. Her breath came out in short raspy gasps as she tried to keep her balance and figure out how to make the damned boat stop, or at least slow down. She saw a large knob and pulled it down. The engine quit and the boat slowed. They drifted."

Summary taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 232 pages
Source: ARC received from author
Publication Date: July 19th 2011


This book was different.

In a good way though, not a bad way at all. At first I really wasn't sure what genre it was because the beginning started off way differently then I thought it would. I liked the beginning but I found it was a bit slow, though I see now that I've finished the book that this was all a build up and setting up the characters for the rest of the book but it took about 70 pages for me to really get into the book.

This is my first book by author Ann Werner and I really enjoyed it. Her characters believable and she didn't over think them and they didn't come off as mechanical in their reactions to the plot or each other. Often times I find that with a newer author that's what happens but like I said I was pleased to see that was not the case in this novel.

I also enjoyed how the author took her time unravelling the plot even though she was sometimes repeatitive using phrases and words too often but I know that that happens sometimes. She made a good effort to keep the reader involved and entertained at the same time. This had all the elements of cozier type of thriller novel. I'm not sure if that's how the author would describe her work but it's how I would because to other thrillers/suspence novels this one is very light which just might make it more appealing to readers who enjoy lighter crime fiction or readers who are new to the genre. Those are who I would recommend the book most to.

All in all the story held up, the characters were strong, the plot didn't start to vear off suddenly in the middle of the story and like I said after the first 70 pages or so for me at least it definetly picked up the pace and rounded out. I really enjoyed where the novel was set and how there were 3 main characters and the book focused on each of them rotating them in a way and I highly encourage readers to try this up and coming new author a try.

To purchase the book through Amazon CLICK HERE.

*I would like to thank the author, Ann Werner for sending me a copy of her book in exchange for my free and honest review.

★ ★ ★ 1/2

I'm Participating in the Review Copy Cleanup!


Since I've been falling behind and getting swamped with review requests for books I thought I would join  Vicky @ Books, Biscuits and Tea and Celine @ Nyx Book Reviews for their Review Copy Cleanup :)  Why don't you sign up and join us? There will be tons of challenges and giveaways so how can that not entice you to read more :)

Challenge guidelines:

✦ This challenge runs from 1 to 31 March, 2012
✦ Sign-ups are open until 15 March 2012. After that the linky list will be closed and participation in the challenges and giveaways won't be possible for anyone who hasn't previously signed up.
✦ To sign up, just fill in the Mister Linky form below. Link to your sign up post directly, please! The Linky is the same for both our blogs, so you only have to sign up once.
When you post your sign up post on your blog, either include the challenge button with your post or link it back to this article so that people know where to sign up. Thank you!
✦ Every book you received for review counts towards the challenge, both ebooks and hard copies, including all genres and lengths.
✦ You don't need to follow the two hosts in order to be able to sign up for the event (although it's appreciated), but you do have to follow us in order to be able to enter our giveaways. In order to be entered in the giveaway, simply complete the given challenge and add the link to your post in the linky list.
✦ Challenges will be posted every week on Fridays and will last throughout the week until Thursday the next week. Every challenge ends with a giveaway. To enter in the challenges and giveaways, simply add the link to your challenge post in the Linky list in the main challenge post. It will be posted on both blogs.
✦ At the end of the event we will host our Massive Giveaway. This contains tons of prizes donated by awesome authors. All you'll need to do in order to enter this giveaway is to fill in a Rafflecopter form - as simple as that. :)
✦ Most of our giveaways will be open INTERNATIONALLY but you'll find all the relevant info about each giveaway when we post the challenges.
✦ Feel free to use the #RCCleanup hashtag on Twitter for your RCC related tweets or join in the Twitter party at http://tweetchat.com/room/RCCleanup and meet lots of lovely bloggers :)

✦ March 2 - Show Off Your Pile
✦ March 9 - Cuddle Up With a Book
✦ March 16 - Don't Be Such a Tease!
✦ March 23 - Mysterious Meet-up
✦ March 30 - Love Will Find a Way

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum #13) by Janet Evanovich



Summary:
MISTAKE #1
Dickie Orr. Stephanie was married to him for about fifteen minutes before she caught him cheating on her with her arch-nemesis Joyce Barnhardt. Another fifteen minutes after that Stephanie filed for divorce, hoping to never see either one of them again.
MISTAKE #2
Doing favors for super bounty hunter Carlos Manoso (a.k.a. Ranger). Ranger needs her to meet with Dickie and find out if he’s doing something shady. Turns out, he is. Turns out, he’s also back to doing Joyce Barnhardt. And it turns out Ranger’s favors always come with a price...
MISTAKE #3
Going completely nutso while doing the favor for Ranger, and trying to apply bodily injury to Dickie in front of the entire office. Now Dickie has disappeared and Stephanie is the natural suspect in his disappearance. Is Dickie dead? Can he be found? And can she stay one step ahead in this new, dangerous game? Joe Morelli, the hottest cop in Trenton, NJ is also keeping Stephanie on her toes—and he may know more than lets on about her…It’s a cat-and-mouse game for Stephanie Plum, where the ultimate prize might be her life.
Summary taken from Goodreads.com
Length:  330 pages (paperback)
Source: My own copy
Publication Date: June  19th 2007


Oh my goodness what a ride this one was!

After a spat in her ex-husband's law office her soon goes missing and everyone in the Burg thinks that Stephanie our accident prone half Hungarian have Italian heroine had something to do with it. As she works to unwind the disappearence of her husband while trying to keep Lula and Grandma Mazur in line and trying to balance Joe an Ranger at the same time.

This one was one of my favourites in the series. Then again I tend to say that with each and every book because they're that funny. Seriously! I love this character and sometimes I really wish I could be her though I have to say that I would not want to have her luck with cars...especially in this one. She really gets herself into some trouble.


I think what I loved most in this book is that Stephanie did not let the ***** Joyce her arch nemises and woman who she found Dickie playing hide the salami with on her new kitchen table not long after they had been married get to her. She held her own and even managed to have a taxadermied beaver explode all over Joyce and her would be lover. Have I said how much I hate Joyce? Because I really do hate her character.

The characters seem to get crazier and crazier as the series goes on and Stephanie always manages to get into mountains of trouble but I love her for it. I loved seeing the usual cast of characters especially Joe because we all know I'm on team Morelli. Ranger is great and all but nothing tops Morelli. He's italian after all :D

Instead Stephanie seems to take everything all in stride even though she trips a few times. I really liked the mystery in this one (even though these aren't really mystery novels). I thought she showed a lot of gumption and in the words of Grandma Mazur she's a real pip of a bounty hunter.  Please, please, PLEASE if you haven't read this series you have to start. You really do. Every book in the series will have you laughing outload and they are perfect feel good reads. If you like lighthearted books then these might just be the books for you. Especially if you want a little murder and intrigue. I highly recommend them!

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

200 FOLLOWER GIVEAWAY


As a thank you to all my followers I thought I would hold a giveaway to celebrate reaching 200!
The giveaway will run from February 15th to March 6th.
It is open INTERNATIONALLY!
There will be 3 winners!
Here are the prizes:


1 paperback copy of :

1 paperback copy of:

1 hardcover copy of:

Note: The first winner will get their choice of books and then the 2nd winner will win their choice of the remaining two books while the final winner gets the book that remains.


IF I GET TO 300 FOLLOWERS I WILL ADD AN EXTRA PRIZE!





Monday, February 13, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading? #1


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey and is a great way for others to find out what you are planning to read this week and, best of all, see what others are reading.


This week I'm reading:
*These are the ones I'm reading now I may read more later.




However...those of you who know me will remember that I stop and pick up other books so who knows if I'll have stuck with these :)

Now, What are YOU reading this week?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Book Tag

Rules:
1. You must post the rules.

2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people that you have tagged.

3. Tag eleven people and link to them on your post.

4. Let them know you've tagged them!
Questions given by Ttoria
Questions:



1. Where in the world do you live? I live in Toronto Canada :)
2. When and why did you start book blogging? I started blogging at the end of October 2011 for the simple fact that I love reading and sharing my love of the written word with everyone. Also it's come in handy since I read so many books now I can go back and see what I did and didn't like about the books I've read.
3. Who is your favourite author? I don't have a single favouirte author so I'll give my top 5, Clive Cussler. J.K. Rowling, Diana Gabaldon, Jean M. Auel and Janet Evanovich.
4. What was the novel that first ignited your love of reading? Oh lord I have no idea. I've had a library card since I was 3 so I don't think it was a particular book that ignighted my love of reading but a person who ignited it and that person is my Daddy. He instilled a great love of reading in me from a very early age and it's stayed with me.
5. If you had to choose one genre to read for the rest of your life, what would it be? I think I would choose historical fiction since I love history.
6. What book or series would you love to be made into a movie adaptation? Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.
7. Who is your ultimate fictional crush and why? Joe Morelli from the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich because he reminds me a lot of my  man :)
8. If you had the option of taking two random books by unknown authors or one of your favourite books, to a deserted island; which would you choose?  I love reading books by new authors but I'd take one of my favourites.
9. What was the last book you read that almost, or did, cause tears?



The Men Who Killed Me: Rwandan Survivors of Sexual Violence by Sandra Ka Hon Chu, Anne-Marie de Brouwer (Editor), Samer Muscati

10. Has there been a novel so bad you've struggled to, or been unable to, finish it
I hated Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro .
What a stupid book it gave me migraines!

Here are my questions:
1. What was your favourite book as a child and why?
2. Why did you first start your blog?
3. What genre of books best describes you?
4. Who is your favourite author?
5. If you could meet any author dead or alive who would it be?
6. If you could be a character in a book who would you be and from which book?
7. Do you stick to one genre or are you all over the map with your reading choices?
8. Do your family/friends follow your blog?
9. If you had one piece of advice to tell a newbie blogger what would it be?
10. What is the most rewarding thing about blogging for you?
I tag: