Thursday, April 30, 2009

Book - True Mom Confessions

True Mom Confessions: Real Moms Get Real by Romi Lassally
Have you ever heard of a website named TrueMomConfessions.com? This book is a compilation of that website. With this site, Romi Lassally and other mothers around the world take the opportunity to share their deepest and darkest secrets with each other and the world, without the fear of being judged. From the simple or silly confessions, to the heartbreaking and difficult ones. The examples of how other mothers deal with their kids, cope with sad times or even help themselves better enjoy the great times. Nothing is off limits in the website, and this book has included many of it's entries. There is the two and three page stories, and there are your basic one liners.

***3 - The format of this book made it a very quick and easy read. Several short stories and page after page of the mom comments. This book covers things from little white lies to sexy mamas, lots of fun, lots of hard admissions from people that go through the same thing as a lot of us do everyday. Just knowing others go through and feel the same things I do makes it feel like I am not so alone in my mothering role. I don't read many non-fiction books, but this one is a B-day gift from hubby. Thanks sweetie!

Apr 30, 2009

Book - The Pirate Lord

The Pirate Lord (Lord Trilogy, Book 1) by Sabrina Jeffries
Living the life of a pirate takes a toll, Captain Gideon Horn known as the Pirate Lord, finally decided to settle down and live his life on an isolated Island. The crew agreed, all they needed was women to make their life complete. Stopping an English women convict transport would be just what they needed. Rescuing the convict women didn't go as planned because of the reformer, do-gooder Sara Willis. She was on board as the teacher of these women, trying to prepare them for going to the prison Island of New South Wales, but in reality, she was the step-sister to a great Lord. Sara was just the type of person to make Gideon's resentment of the English upper class boil over and drive him crazy.
*** 3 - Set in 1818, this is a basic Historical Romance. Very enjoyable, the characters could have had a little more depth. The only one that captured me was Gideon. Mostly it was predictable, the ending was a little bit of a cliche and wrapped up so fast. The build up was great, but the conclusion seemed rushed then the epiloge skipped some conversations that could have been great. This is the 1st in a trilogy, I enjoyed this one enough that I will look for the next one (The Forbidden Lord) and the third (The Dangerous Lord).

Apr 29, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Young Adult - The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Somehow escaping the house while the rest of his family was being murdered, a tiny child crawled up the hill to a graveyard and was adopted. He would become known as 'Nobody (Bod) Owens' or the 'live child' to all in the graveyard. Mister and Mistress Owens took him in and became his parents. While another known as Silas became his guardian as was able to go outside of the graveyard. Being raised by a graveyard full of ghosts had certain advantages for Bod, he was able to see int eh dark, he learned how to be almost invisible, he also learned history form a very unique perspective. Learning how to take care of himself if the man Jack (the one who killed his first family) ever came after him was something that would wait, but for how long.

**** 4 - Never look at a graveyard the same again, such an interesting and different way of telling a ghost story. As usual for a Neil Gaiman book, I started this one unsure how much I would read. It all sounded so strange in the beginning, but his writing seems to draw me in. Less than half way in I was attached to Bod and his unusual way of existing and learning and discovering. The character development is slow, but once I was connected, I found it hard not to wonder what was gong to happen in the graveyard next. It was well worth the wait.

April 27, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Book - Mrs. Miracle

Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber
The help of a good housekeeper was all Seth Webster thought he needed and after his twin six-year-old boys (Jason & Judd) had run off all of them that the agency had sent over, Seth was on his last thread. The arrival of Mrs. Merkle (Mrs. Miracle) was just that, a miracle. In a matter of a few days she had not only gotten his house back in order, but the boys were behaving better than ever. With Christmas approaching the Church program was important to so many people, so when the director left, everyone scramble to find someone who could manage the kids, and organize the volunteers in time to pull it all off. Reba Maxwell was just that sort of person, plus she needed someplace to be on Christmas Eve so she didn’t have to face parts of her family that she had been avoiding for the past four years. Finally having an excuse to meet, Seth and Reba found they had a lot in common. Their painful past gave them each a reason to be cautious, but finding a kindred spirit helped - to a point.

****4 Mrs. Macomber does it again. She has a way of finding the right combination to make every character so real, believable, annoying and sympathetic all at the same time. The addition of the in-laws and their troubles made Seth that much more of a loveable yet ‘lost soul’ type of person. The whole deal with Reba and sister Vicki was at first aggravating to me, then I got it, finally. As far as Mrs. Miracle is concerned, she seemed to have a little bit more of a connection then most do but, is she just intuitive or is she an Angel sent to help this group find the Christmas Miracle they all needed, wanted and deserved?

April 21, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Young Adult - The Locked Garden

The Locked Garden by Gloria Whelan
The loss of their mother and then the move to a new home so that their father (Edward Martin) could work at a new asylum, left twelve year old Verna and her younger sister, six year old Carlie (Caroline) to be looked after by their stern Aunt Maude. When the new help (Eleanor Miller), a patient at the asylum, started to become close to the girls, Aunt Maude became jealous of the relationship and started to take an even meaner approach to dealing with Eleanor and the children. Between the cruelty of Aunt Maude and of her own father, Eleanor had a set back causing Verna and Carlie to take drastic measures in order to help their friend.

This is a great children’s historical that has the main characters doing things that many kids would like to do. The decision making process is impulsive and selfish with no concern with how it may affect others. This wonderful story really brings across the lesson of consequences to Verna. There is a lot of sad parts to this book that also brings out how differently people respond to one another. Verna saw the patients of the asylum as friends while Aunt Maude saw them as something to be afraid of. For a youth book, this is dealing with serious emotional and social concepts that can leave a good opening for honest conversations. It is a historical so it also shows mental health treatment in its infancy and gives kids an idea of how different many things are now than it was just over 100 years ago.


This is an early reviewer copy from Harper Collins Children, it is not due to be released until June 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Book - The Greek Tycoon's Secret Child

The Greek Tycoon's Secret Child by Cathy Williams
Walking into a relationship with the expectations laid out in front of you is what both Matilda (Mattie) Hayes and Dominic Drecos needed after their most recent failures. The whole routine of finding out about each other, Mattie’s desire to better herself even in the face of pessimisms, Dominic’s controlling temperament and always getting what he wants. Then finding a way to make them both comfortable with the situation, that was the only thing either of them were really considering. Then Mattie found out about how much Dominic had really done to help her along in her career. Now the only thing they both were clinging to was that original set of expectations. They had both agreed to them, now they were both wanting to change the rules, but could they?

Have to say, it was a typical and enjoyable Harlequin Romance. The characters were well developed and I could feel for both of their positions, the plot was a simple, rich man wants poor women, how they get together and the communication problems of prideful people, that is the story. No real action, moderate love scenes, very enjoyable afternoon read. The title gives too much away, it almost spoils the ending because you know it is coming. Maybe Greek Tycoon’s Lover, less of a spoiler - ah well, it was a nice quick read anyways.
Enjoyed this as an audio book from http://www.audible.com/
if you decide to give it a try please tell them that Onyx95 sent you. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Book - Plum Lucky

Plum Lucky (A Between-the-Numbers Novel) by Janet Evanovich
Grandma Mazur is missing and Stephanie Plum, with the help of Diesel, and the girls from the office (Lulu and Connie) tracks her down in Atlantic City, gambling with what turns out to be a Mobsters (Lou Delvina) money. Grandma Mazur has stumbled into the money (literally) and since it is St. Patrick’s day, she believes that the leprechaun (Snuggy O’Connor) has left her the duffel bag full of money at the end of a rainbow. That leprechaun had other plans for the money, he wanted to save an old racehorse (Doug), now Doug and Grandma Mazur have been kidnapped and are being held in return for the duffel bag of money.

***3 Funny and quick to read, a light-hearted adventure that takes this strange group of friends on another interesting and unusual trip. Some of the characters are so off the wall it is hard not to laugh at their antics. Stephanie was a little (stress on the world little) more reserved this time, I mean her favorite grandma was kidnapped by a mobster. I really enjoyed some of Stephanie’s phone conversations with Ranger and Morelli, short and concise and never giving away too much information. “Who would put a horse in an apartment? That’s dumb.”

Monday, April 13, 2009

e-Book - Dirty Little Angels

Dirty Little Angels by Chris Tusa
Teenage years are tough, especially for Hailey Trosclair who has an emotionally absent mother, a cheating drunk for a father and a brother (Cyrus) who can find trouble without looking. A look into one of New Orleans more troubled sides of town shows how a sweet innocent girl can have a series of events that leads her to take desperate measures, for herself and for her family to survive. The trouble comes from multiple sides and leaves Hailey without many choices, or so she sees it.

**2 - I tried to love Hailey’s character, I even tried to like bad boy brother Cyrus - I couldn’t. I felt there was so much time spent on the use of adjectives in the descriptions that the character development missed several key elements that would have allowed me to be able to connect emotionally with these characters. There was a random feel to the story at times, almost like we were missing chapters that might explain how we got here or why. The basic plot line of following Hailey in the worst part of her life was good, but some of the dialogue felt awkward, not as ‘trashy’ as the characters seemed to be. The ending left me asking so many questions that it felt incomplete.

Apr 13, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Book - The Julius House

The Julius House (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries, Book 4)… by Charlaine Harris
Finally deciding on a wedding present for each other, Aurora (Roe) Teagarden and Martin Bartell exchanged gifts. Knowing Roe's fascination with true crimes, he gave her a home that had been the site of 3 missing persons almost 6 years ago. After the honeymoon was over, Martin went back to work and Roe jumped right into her investigation mode, trying to find out what had happened to the Julius family, with the help of the new garage apartment tenant, Roe was determined to find out what had happened in her home.

***3 Book 4 ….. The mystery of the Julius family has been around for a while, I really expected more out of the investigation process. I was disappointed in the amount of time that was spent on this mystery, it was too easy, too predictable and treated too much as a distraction from Roe’s marriage problems. I didn’t like Martin being put in such a negative light ( I really enjoyed his character - till now), I hope CH can save Martin and their marriage in the near future. The ending of the book was a large let down, the mystery was easily over and the marriage was left in a bit of a questionable position. Dead Over Heels is the next Aurora Teagarden mystery, it is time to track that book down.

Apr 10, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Book - Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving by Janet Evanovich
Having just met the small town of Williamsburg’s new pediatrician (Dr. Patrick Hunter) with the corky sense of humor, Megan Murphy was stunned that a young girl would assume she was his wife and drop a baby (Timmy) off. Deciding to give the young women a few days to come back, Megan ‘agreed’ to help take care of the child. Patrick was surprised at how quickly he became attached to Megan and Timmy. The more he thought about it, her realized that he was not in the position to take a wife, and child on, no matter what his or her parents thought of the idea during their joint Thanksgiving Day. She had already turned his joking proposals down, maybe she was right but Patrick could not let her ex have her back.

Janet Evanovich has a way of making it all so much fun. From the first time the bunny rabbit nibbled on Megan’s skirt to the last proposal (there were several), this was a fun and lighthearted story even through the few serious moments for them and the poor horse. A quick and enjoyable read, better than a dart in your backside if you know what I mean (it‘s in the book). This is an older story, it was originally published in 1988 but is part of Janet Evanovich’s re-releases, bringing happy reading to a new generation.

Apr 7, 2009
* * A little out of season, but how could I pass up a fun and easy read when it finally got to the library shelf. I have a few that I look for on a regular basis and after waiting, it finally appeared. This book takes place throughout November and on in to December with it's cold weather and the feel of a fireplace going. A few nice distractions from more serious things going on in the world. Isn't that what most fiction and specifically Romantic Comedy is written for - as a distraction.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Young Adult - The Lost Queen

The Faerie Path #2: The Lost Queen: Book Two of The Faerie Path… by Frewin Jones
After finally realizing that she was Princess from the Realm of Faerie, Princess Tania (Anita Palmer) went back to London in search of their mother, Queen Titania. The gift of being able to walk between worlds allowed Tania to search for the Queen and still be a part of some of the festivities that the Realm of Faerie has, until one night, all of a sudden she is no longer able to make the pass back to Faerie. Surprising her even more, three of her Princess sisters suddenly appear in her Mortal World bedroom telling tales of the disaster that has fallen on Faerie. Now only with the help of their long lost mother will they be able to return to Faerie and save the other sisters and their father, King Oberon.

** 2 Book 2 ..... I really enjoyed Faerie Path (the first book), this one should have been all about finding the mother, Queen Titania. It was very slow and the set up for the discovery of the Queen finally started and then I was let down more than once. The little action that is in the book is all in the last 25 - 50 pages and just when it actually started to get my attention, it was over. This whole book is just a set up, a background, a bridge between book one and book three. I am really hoping that The Sorcerer King (also published as 'The Seventh Daughter') has all the kick and fight that this one was lacking. Honestly, this 'bridge' did not need to be 335 pages, it could have been told in and extra 50 pages in one of the other two books. Some of it may turn out to be important to know in the next book, but I doubt it.

Apr 6, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Book - The Host

The Host: A Novel by Stephenie Meyer
The Seekers wanted to use the newest Host (Melanie Stryder) to insert an experienced Sole (Wanderer) so that they could get information on the humans that were remaining. The transition for host and sole did not go as usual, Melanie put up memory blocks that Wanderer was not use to. Finally finding the secrets that Melanie tried hard to keep, Wanderer began to understand her resistance. They worked together to find Melanie’s family, then again to try and convince everyone to believe them.

*****5 I had enjoyed the Twilight Saga, this one had mixed reviews, I needed to read it for myself. This is labeled as an adult science fiction, it was mild, not much action, gore, shock, romance, or mystery. The storyline was slow to start and predictable, there is a lot of characters and it is all simply written. All that is not negative in this case. The mild representation of the ‘body snatchers’ left this chick-lit version open to be about the wonderfully created characters and their emotional battles. It drew me into the characters so much, anger at Jared or Melanie, crying for Ian or Wanda. I could not put it down, and a bonus for me, I grew up in Tucson, I know the area and the visualization for me was so intense I could feel the heat on my skin, it was like going home.

Apr 2, 2009