Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sex and the Single Vampire (Dark Ones, #2) by Katie MacAlister

Sex and the Single Vampire (Dark Ones, #2)Sex and the Single Vampire by Katie MacAlister

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If Allie doesn't find a ghost soon, her short career as a "Summoner" with United Psychical Research Association will be a thing of the past, so naturally she is delighted to find what she thinks is the tortured spirit of a gorgeous, naked, wounded man. But the cranky spirit, who looks exactly like the dishy man who has been haunting Allie's dreams, doesn't need her help since he isn't a ghost, but rather Christian Dante, best-selling author of vampire romances and Moravian Dark One. Of course, Allie wants some answers from the arrogant and domineering Christian, but he is more interested in working out the exact nature of their relationship, since fate has chosen Allie as his "Beloved."(



I really enjoyed this book once I got into it. The beginning was a little rough. We seem to be introduced to the main character, Allie, in the middle of her character development. She finally comes together further into the book as we learn more about her history but it made for a little confusion early on. I kept feeling like I had missed reading a previous book that should have told us more about her. (The author also gives her an annoying habit of saying 'Poop' that is a huge turn off). But as the story unfolds it got much more interesting to the point that I could not put it down and sat up well into the night to finish it. I look forward to more books by this author.

ETA-- 3/08 and I now realize why as this is technically #2 in the series. LOL Have the rest on MT. TBR.

ETA-- 6/20/14 -- I decided to reread this as I recently read the first book in the series and to be honest I did not really remember reading this one years ago. I guess that I have a greater appreciation for this type of book because I probably would have rated it 4 stars this time around.

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Friday, June 13, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.


Read this so that I could go see the movie with my daughters. I had seen somewhere that this was the modern 'Love Story' and I think that is a very accurate description. Fantastic, if heart wrenching read. Can't wait to see the characters come to life in the movie.

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Al Capone Does My Shirts (Al Capone at Alcatraz, #1) by Gennifer Choldenko

Al Capone Does My Shirts (Al Capone at Alcatraz, #1)Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Today I moved to a twelve-acre rock covered with cement, topped with bird turd and surrounded by water. I'm not the only kid who lives here. There's my sister, Natalie, except she doesn't count. And there are twenty-three other kids who live on the island because their dads work as guards or cook's or doctors or electricians for the prison, like my dad does. Plus, there are a ton of murderers, rapists, hit men, con men, stickup men, embezzlers, connivers, burglars, kidnappers and maybe even an innocent man or two, though I doubt it. The convicts we have are the kind other prisons don't want. I never knew prisons could be picky, but I guess they can. You get to Alcatraz by being the worst of the worst. Unless you're me. I came here because my mother said I had to.


I started this book with my 5th grade reading group. Unfortunately we were unable to finish it before the end of the school year, but I enjoyed it so much that I brought home a copy to finish over the summer.

This was a wonderful book that gives us not only a history lesson (none of my kids in the group had heard of Al Capone before and few had heard of Alcatraz so we were able to do a wonderful history lesson prior to starting this book) but some fantastic insight into autism and how it affects families.

While this book uses Al Capone as a draw it is really about how Moose deals with the frustration of having a sister who is different than other kids. Since this book is set in the 1930's and autism had not yet become a common diagnosis we are able to explore life with Natalie without the label of autism.

I would suggest this read for higher level 5th grade and above.

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Birthday Party Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #9) by Leslie Meier

Birthday Party Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #9)Birthday Party Murder by Leslie Meier

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The whole town of Tinker’s Cove is looking forward to the celebration marking former librarian Julia Ward Howe Tilley’s ninetieth birthday. Lucy Stone, Miss Tilley’s closest friend, dreamed up the party idea—at about the same time she decided she’s not getting old without a fight.

That sounds like a plan—until Lucy realizes her daughter’s fourteenth birthday bash, a coed sleepover, may turn her hair white overnight. What was she thinking when she agreed to let Sara have the party? On her mind, instead, was the shocking death of Sherman Cobb, the town’s oldest attorney, an apparent suicide. His law partner, however, thinks Sherman was murdered.

Poking about in Sherman’s papers, Lucy turns up an intriguing tie between the dead man and Miss Tilley. Meanwhile Miss Tilley’s own past has come back to haunt her in the form of a mysterious niece named Shirley and a biker great nephew named Snake. Soon no one can get to see the elderly librarian because the brash, bossy Shirley says she’s “failing.” Now, as a killer’s ruthless plan rushes toward a conclusion, Lucy needs answers fast—or else she and Miss Tilley won’t live long enough to make a wish and blow out the candles on this year’s birthday cake…


Another enjoyable visit to Tinker's Cove. I always enjoy the adventures that Lucy gets herself involved in. It was nice to learn a bit more about Ms. Tilley as well this time around.

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Big Five-OH! by Sandra D. Bricker

The Big Five-OH!The Big Five-OH! by Sandra D. Bricker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very enjoyable romance. I just recently hit the Big Five-OH so thought that it would be fun to read. I quite enjoyed the humor, romance and story line. The characters were great and I will definitely be looking for more books by this author.

Olivia Wallace has a birthday curse . . . or so she thinks. It was a broken heart on her 16th, a car accident on her 21st, pneumonia on her 30th, and a fall down a flight of stairs on her 35th. There were Ohio blizzards on her 38th, 39th, and 40th; and six days before her 45th, she lost the love of her life to a heart attack. Numbing grief stole that birthday and a couple more to follow and, on the morning of her 48th birthday, she received the call she’d dreaded ever since losing her mom so many years ago…she was diagnosed with stage-3 ovarian cancer. The doctors didn’t hold out a lot of hope, but Liv survived and maintained her faith. Months of surgeries and chemotherapy and radiation treatments followed.

But now, as her 50th birthday creeps up the icy Ohio path toward her, her hair has grown back, her energy level is up, and she is officially cancer free. It makes her nervous. After everything she’s gone through, Liv hates the idea of driving on icy roads and returning to work as an O.R. nurse in a local Cincinnati hospital.

Her best friend Hallie knows just the thing to break Liv out of the winter doldrums, while providing a safe haven of warmth, sunshine, and a time to regroup: a holiday in the Florida sunshine!

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***Kindle Edition

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Drayton Chronicles by Tony Bertauski

The Drayton ChroniclesThe Drayton Chronicles by Tony Bertauski

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Drayton Chronicles is a collection of novellas.

Blake Barnes commits suicide by freezing on Mt. Hood. As his life fades, he assumes Death has come to him in the form of a young man. In his last moments, he asks Death to find his family, to tell them he's sorry. Drayton honors this last request as he absorbs Blake Barnes' waning essence. He travels to the Lowcountry of South Carolina to find his family. But saying sorry is not always as easy as the words imply. Drayton seeks to unravel the mess Blake Barnes has left behind and the predator he's unleashed on his family.

Drayton finds Andrew Drummond dying on the roadside. He absorbs the last of his life, but not before Andrew demands vengeance. In those last moments, Drayton understands what Andrew desires. He sees all of his hardships, the crosses he has been forced bear. Drayton will find the source of his suffering. He will show his transgressor Andrew's pain. He will show him the depth and taste of true suffering.

Drayton spares the life of elderly Ms. Ruth Current. She was supposed to die, but her life is unresolved. Drayton intends to put to rest the blight she and her grandchildren have set loose upon the world.

Father Gordon suffers a life-ending heart attack during mass, but not before he looks into Drayton's eyes. In them, he sees his own sins and asks for forgiveness. Drayton grants him the opportunity for redemption. But asking for forgiveness is the first step in a very difficult journey.

Dr. James Gallagher has a good life until a new patient hands him a card scrawled with the number 5. His new patient tells him that he will die of a stroke in five days. Dr. Gallagher doesn't take him seriously since this new patient claims to be thousands of years old. He considers committing him to a psychiatric ward until he begins to have visions.

He sees how Drayton has become what he is today.


This was an interesting read. I have read other books by Tony and really enjoyed them, so when the first book in this set was free on Amazon I jumped on it. I read it, loved it and then bought the set. I do have to say that the first and the last stories in this set were the best for me. The stories in between had some very dark content and to me were not really about Drayton as much as about the other characters. I probably would have enjoyed them more if they had focused more on Drayton. He was by all means the most interesting aspect of these Chronicles. One thing that I can say about all of the stories that I have read by Tony Bertauski, is that they are thought provoking and that they stay with me, long after I finish reading them.

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***Kindle Edition

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Drayton, the Taker (Drayton, the Taker #1) by Tony Bertauski

Drayton, the TakerDrayton, the Taker by Tony Bertauski

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Drayton once believed he was a vampire. He doesn't know what he is. Or why he lives. He takes not his victim's blood but the silky essence of their soul during their last breath. Often mistaken for the Angel of Death, his victims sometimes ask for forgiveness. Sometimes he delivers. After all, he is not without sin.


I very much enjoy this author's work. His writing is captivating right from the beginning and he writes with such depth that even a short novella like Drayton draws you in and keeps you reading.

I picked this first novella of the Drayton Chronicles up free at Amazon, and I immediately purchased the entire set as soon as I finished reading this.

Drayton is such an interesting character and I am very curious to read more about him, especially his origins. To read about a creature like Drayton who seems to have turned his need to consume human life into something positive makes for a very interesting read. Looking forward to reading more......

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**Kindle Edition

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Cat Calls by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Cat CallsCat Calls by Cynthia Leitich Smith

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Tiffany's grandmother sees something wild in her future -- but is 16-year-old Tiffany prepared for the powerful shape it will take? When she takes over her grandmother’s fortune telling booth for a day, some really strange things happen… CAT CALLS is a short story by New York Times Bestseller Cynthia Leitich Smith -- set in the same dark universe as her novels Tantalize, Eternal, and Blessed.


This story was almost too short. Seemed like as soon as we were introduced to the main character it was over. I was a little put off by how there was no prior mention of shifters but the Tiff was so accepting of what she was. Would have been okay if this was tied into a series or another book, but as a stand alone just did not have enough meat.

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***Kindle Edition