Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween.
Don't steal all the good candy from your children.
And may your nightmares not be too scarey.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sam' Quest: The Royal Trident

Welcome to Ben Furman's Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tour.
Samantha "Sam" Costas and Prince Buznor "Buzz" are back in another adventure. Sam goes back to the world world under Mile High Mountain; when the Crimson Crystal begins to glow. It indicates that Buzz is in trouble. When she finds Buzz, they have to go save King Kaylan. He is being held by the Pax, a new kind of enemy. The friends find the Originators, the keeper of the Crimson Crystal and the savior of the Awokian people. They end up helping the Originators in their defense against the Pax.

Sam's Quest: The Royal Trident is the second book in the Sam's Quest series by Ben Furman. I found to be just as enjoyable as the first book Sam's Quest for the Crimson Crystal if not more enjoyable.

I did have one problem with this book. I did not like that Sam's parents die. I feel that this is similar to other Young Adult fantasy I have read. Furman should have taken a risk and kept the parents alive. The parents could have moved to the farm so that Sam could for to the innerworld when needed.

Overall, I found The Royal Trident to be a good, fun and exciting adventure. I liked the new creatures that Furman incorporated into the story. Some of the creatures are the lenkas who are transparent water creatures and the Paxs which are the villainous big insects with a two-headed leader.

Sam is one tough cookie even if she does not see herself that way. She is able to handle herself very well in the final battle of the book. I can't wait for my daughter to read this series, because I believe that Sam is a good role model for her. I look forward to more of her adventures in the innerworld.

About The Author:

Ben R. Furman, former FBI counterterrorism chief, has drawn on this experience to write about high-tech terrorism, chemical, biological, and nuclear threats, and transnational criminal cartels. During his career he investigated kidnappings, extortions, bank robberies, led SWAT teams and was the FBI counterterrorism chief assigned to address threats against the United States by terrorists of all stripes. He also writes fantasy adventure novels with positive messages for the young adult, juvenile market and is the Rexus CEO, a corporation that conducts international corporate investigations involving industrial espionage, internal theft, business due diligence and background screening. You can visit his website at

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Haunting of Hill House

This book is considered one of the best literary ghost stories written in the 20th century. According to wikipedia, Stephen King's The Shining was inspired by it. The Haunting of Hill House was originally published in 1959 by Shirley Jackson. This book also inspired two Movies The Haunting a 1963 version and a 1999 version, which departs from Jackson's story.

Dr. John Montague is a Doctor of philosophy. He also has a degree in anthropology. But he feels his true vocation is to analyze supernatural manifestations. He begins to look for a "true" haunted house. He then hears about Hill House and decides this is the house for him. He wants to bring a group of people together to live in Hill House and help investigate and document any supernatural manifestations. He writes to a group of people and only two show up. He also has to take into his party a representative of the family who owns the house.

The party encounters inexplicable noises and doors that close by themselves. One of the guests walks into her room and found blood splattered all over the walls and her clothes. Another guest thinks she is holding her roommates hand in terror and wakes up from sleep realizing she was holding another hand.

The House chooses one of the guest and slowly begins to posses the guest. She believe that she is becoming part of the House and the House wants her to stay.

Over all I did not find the book very scary. It was more of a psychological ghost story. It focused more on what the people were thinking and doing then what was scaring them. It was more of the reactions to the events and the what the house did to one person in particular. It took a while for me to complete this book. I was able to walk away and come back. I did not find it as scary or intense as I think a scary ghost story should be.

I have not read The Shining so I cannot compare it to The House of Hill Street. I have read scarier books; for example Dean Knootz's books and Amityville Horror.

Happy Reading

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

American Quest

Welcome to Sienna Skyy Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tour.
American Quest is a rousing contemporary novel filled with unforgettable characters, passionate relationships, dazzling magic and epic drama. It is the premiere of a quartet of novels that will capture your imagination and your heart.

Two supernatural forces - the benign Auxilium and the malevolent Pravus - are attempting to affect the balance of life on Earth. The mission of the Auxilium is to aid humanity in its quest to make the most of itself. Its "angels," a consortium of entities that work for a common purpose, offer various forms of assistance and protection, but cannot fight our battles for us.

The mission of the Pravus, however, is to destroy all that is good in humanity. Its "demons," led by an oligarchy of supreme despots known as Macul, regularly interfere in the affairs of man, actively seeking to undermine humanity's nobility and pursuit of enlightenment and evolution. For each of our noblest qualities, a Macul leads a team of lesser Pravus to destroy it.

For the most part, the opposing forces balance each other out. Occasionally, though, the stakes rise to a new level when a person imbued with extreme potential unites with another person of extreme potential. When a match of this sort occurs, humanity gains the opportunity to make major leaps - unless a Macul can subvert it. If the Macul succeeds, it will gain so much power that the entire world - humans, Auxilium, and all other Pravus alike - will become its plaything.

American Quest is the story of two lovers, Bruce and Gloria, whose intense passion for life and for each other has made them unwitting pawns in this cosmic battle. Enervata, the Macul who opposes romantic love, captures Gloria. To save her, Bruce must embark on a quest across America, armed with only the scantest of clues, to collect the Four Pillars of Humanity before he can battle the enormously powerful demon.

Several people join him on his quest, including his best friend, a rocker, a stand-up comedienne, a little old Italian lady, an old-beyond-her-years child, and a strangely visionary fortuneteller. The questers face challenges from Enervata's minions at every turn and struggle mightily in their quest to uncover the Pillars...all the while unsure of Gloria's fate.

At once a spirit-stirring fantasy, a moving love story, and an endearing tale of friendship and sacrifice, American Quest introduces a wonderful new storyteller to the public and presents us with a thrilling new vision of our world.

I had a hard time getting into this book, but I kept reading and it became better. I found the interactions between Gloria and the evil dark spirit Enervata unbelievable to me. They did not connect with me. I did not feel a bond with these two characters.

That said I will say that I found the quest that Bruce had to gone to find the four pillars of humanity to be thrilling. I was drawn in the search and battle for the pillars. I was intrigued about how Bruce was going to find the pillars and save Gloria. Of course this leads up to the final battle; where Bruce has to save Gloria and thus the world. I did like the intensity of the final battle.

American Quest is the first of four books in a series by Sienna Skyy. The next book in the series is Otherworld Quest.

New Publishing House:The Story Plant:
American Quest is the first novel published by the new publishing house The Story Plant. This new publishing house was greeted with excitement within the publishing and writing communities. Seen as a fresh approach to discovering new talent at a time when many houses area reducing the number of titles they publish, it's also the start of a unique partnership focused on nurturing authors from the grouping up. The Story Plan is founded by Peter Miller and Lou Aronica.

About the Author:
Sienna Skyy comes from a long line of storytellers, and from the moment she learned to speak she began telling tales of her own, many of which were reflections of the beautiful city where she lived. She got her start by exploring lyricism in the form of song, and was inspired the combination of literary fantasy and rock music that was prevalent in her early years. (Nowadays they call it classic rock.) She believes that art and music and literature are different forms of the same wonderful thing. She also believes that knights exist today though they’ve stopped wearing shining armor, and that magic is waiting just beyond the surface of the things we see. Sienna Skyy lives in Gotham City, and is surrounded by animals, of both the human and non-human variety. She is currently working on the next novel, Otherworld Quest.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mailbox Monday

I received one book this week. I am to read it for Pump Up Your Book Promotions. It is called The House On Tradd Street. This is a short description. Melanie Middleton can see ghost. She has just inherited a house with a family of ghost. They have something to tell her. It sounds good.

I still have another book that I am to review for PUYBP that I am waiting to receive and I order a whole bunch of books form eHarlequin. I went a little crazy because the books were 3 dollars each. I will tell you more when I receive them.

Visit The Printed Page to see what others received in the mail.

Happy Reading

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cold Rock River

Welcome to J.L. Miles Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tour.

Adie Jenkins begins to go into labor with her daughter. Willa Mae Satterfield is waiting at Adie's cabin and helps with the birth. As the labor progress it becomes more difficult. Adie asks about the notebook that Willa Mae carries. Willa Mae lends it to her to read. As Adie reads she discover a diary of a seventeen-year -old slave girl, Tempe Jordon. When life becomes overwhelming, she turns to the diary and reads about the life of Tempe.

Tempe writes about how her children were sold to the speculator man. She becomes determine to find her lost children. After "the freedom" comes Tempe searches for her children. She meets and marry another freed slave, Tom Barber. They have one daughter, Heart. But the diary raises more questions for Adie.

Willa Mae and Adie become close after Adie's daughter birth. Adie confides to Willa Mae about how her baby sister, Annie, survived choking on a jelly bean only to drown in Cold Rock River a few months later. Willa Mae tells her that her two children, Georgia and Calvin drowned in the same river. But she will not explain how or why it happened.

I loved this story about Adie Jenkins. I found Adie to be a wonderful character. She is a strong woman. Her life does not go as plan, but she perseveres. She becomes pregnant and marries her boyfriend, Buck. Nether she or Buck are ready to face the responsibility of marriage and parenthood. Buck gets a job at the local store and begins a "friendship" with the daughter of the store owner. Adie has to focus and try to keep her little family together.

J.L. Miles writing style is relaxed, which makes for easy reading. I found her characters easy to relate to. Miles was able to pull me in from the very beginning. She uses a foreshadowing technique that kept me reading. For example statements like "Basically, that's a good description of how events that led to my sorrow got started." I am thinking what! So I could not stop there; I had to keep reading to see what happens next. I did not put the book down until I finished it.

The references to canning and pies made me think of my grandma and all the canning and cooking she did. All I can say is country folk do know how to cook. There are recipes at the end of the book for those inclined to try them.

When you read Cold Rock River by J.L. Miles you will read Adie's story and Tempe's story. As you read the book these two stories merge to become one story.

I like this book so much that I will try to find J.L. Miles first book, Roseflower Creek.

About the Author:

Jackie Lee Miles, a resident of Georgia since 1975, hails from Wisconsin via South Dakota. She considers herself “a northern girl with a southern heart”. Her paternal grandfather was christened Grant Lee by her great-grandmother in honor of the many fallen soldiers on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. Ms. Miles is a former D.I.A.L. Systems Engineer for Baker/Audio Telecom, one of the premier forerunners of voice mail. In addition to systems application, she provided voice tracks for several major companies, including Delta Airlines and Frito-Lay Corporation.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Darker Side

Welcome to Cody McFadyen's Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tour.

The Darker Side by Cody Mcfadyen is the third book in the Smoky Barrett series.

About the Book:
A lie, a long-ago affair, a dark desire- everyone has secrets they take to the grave. No one knew that better than FBI Special Agent Smoky Barrett. But what secret was a very private young woman keeping that led her to her very public murder? And what kind of killer was so driven and so brazenly daring that he'd take her life on a commercial airliner thirty thousand feed in middair, a killer so accomplished that he'd leave only a small souvenir behind?

These are the questions that bring Smoky and her handpicked team of experienced manhunters from L.A. to the autumn chill of Washington, D.C., by order of the FBI director himself - and at the special request of a high-powered grieving D.C. mother.

As a mother, Smoky knows the pain of losing a child - it nearly killed her once before. As a cop with her own twisted past, she takes every murder personally, which is both her greatest strength and her only weakness. Brilliant, merciless, righteous, the killer Smoky is hunting this time is on his own personal mission, whose cost in innocent human lives he's only begun to collect. For in his eyes no one is innocent; everyone harbors a secret sin, including Smoky Barrett.

Soon Smoky will have to confront a flawless killer who knows her flaws with murderous intimacy.

OK, it is almost 11:00 at night and I have to start this review all over. Somehow as I was getting ready to post, I lost my Internet connection and all that I had written was lost. So as I have to get up early and finish my lesson plan for work I will keep this review short.

Secrets are central theme to this book. We learn about Smoky's secret, which she has to come to terms with so that her relationship with the man she is seeing, Tommy, can move on to the next level.

The Serial Killer wants to be hunted. He leads Smoky and her team on a cat and mouse chase. They need to solve the clues before there is a next victim.

Cody McFadyen is a visual and detailed writer. He has done his research well. He makes everything believable.

I found The Darker Side to be a suspenseful read. I was one the edge of my seat as I read the book. I can't wait until book 4 comes out so that I can continue to read about Smoky and her team adventures.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Mailbox Monday

I did not think that I was going to write about getting any books in the mail this week. Then on Saturday, I found a box at my front door. I forgot that I order some books from Harlequin. I bought two and got one free.

Unmasked by Nicola Cornick: about a lady Robin Hood

The Queen's Lady by Shannon Drake: about a lady in waiting to Mary, Queen of Scots

Scandalizing the Ton by Diane Gaston: about Lady Wexin a widow who is with child. The Question is who is the father.

They are all historical.

I also received a work related book in the mail. From Lullabies to Literature : Stories in the lives of Infants an Toddlers by Jennifer Birckmayer, Anne Kennedy, and Anne Stonehouse. I normal don't include work related books; but I found out today that the bosses want us teachers to read this book. They must have received it in the mail as well. So I have to put off my other reads until I finish this book.

Visit The Printed Page to see what others received in the mail.

Happy Reading

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Shadow Man

After reading The Faces of Death by Cody McFadyen, I wanted to read the first book in the Smoky Barrett series. I went to the Library and checked out Shadow Man.

We met Smoky after she has been knifed and scarred, raped and her family is killed by a serial killer that her FBI team and her have been tracking. She is trying to decide if she should live or die; when she learns that her best friend from high school has been killed and that the killer tied her friend's daughter to the body and left the girl there for three days. Smoky receives a message from the killer taunting her. Something awakens in Smoky that she thought was died and she goes in search of the killer who calls himself Jack the Ripper 2.

After reading The Faces of Death, I had high expectations for Shadow Man. It did not live up to my expectations. The book started out slow. I had a hard time getting into the book but around page 200 things got better. The chase was on to find out who the killer was and stop him from killing again. Things became more intense and fast. I understand that this was Cory McFadyen's first book and he was still refining his writing style. I wish it had the same intensity as The Faces on Death.

I figured out who the killer was early and then I made the most cardinal sin a reader can do. I read ahead to see if I was right and I was. Reading ahead can be a good thing or a bad thing in this case it was a bad thing. It made a slow book slower.

If you want to read a book in the Smoky Barrett series, either read the series in order or start with The Faces of Death and not read the Shadow Man. Wow I did not realize how much I did not like this book until I wrote the review. Sorry Cody.

But I did love The Faces of Death. You can check out my review at I just began to read the third book in the Smoky Series, The Darker Side. So far it is good. A murder on an airplane and no body saw anything. How does that sound, chilling?

Happy Reading