Sunday, July 31, 2011

Review - Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver

An encrypted text message sends James Bond to Serbia where he diverts what he thinks is a plot to derail a train containing toxic chemicals. He soon learns this is just the tip of the iceberg and follows clues that lead him to a recycling company’s owner with an obsession with death, decay and privacy. Flying all over the world, Bond races against time to save thousands of lives…from what, he himself doesn’t know.

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Without reading Ian Fleming’s 007 novels, it’s not possible to tell where the novels left off and the movies picked up. However Carte Blanche, Jeffrey Deaver’s endeavor to continue the series in print, certainly has a Hollywood-like feel to it.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Gerard de Marigny stops by...

Today I'm happy to welcome Gerard de Marigny, author of The Watchman of Ephraim, who's guest blogging here today.
About the Book - Aref Sami Zamani is planning a terrorist attack on American soil - codenamed "Antioch," a plot to detonate a nuke over the city of Las Vegas. The Watchman uncovers a connection between Zamani and a Mexican drug cartel but their agent goes missing before they can learn more. That's because Zamani has a spy working for The Watchman. Strange events start to unfold near the Nogales border crossing. References are discovered to something the Mexicans are calling "Noche Del Espantada" ...Fright Night," but can it mean something else?

Why I Write Thrillers

Friday, July 29, 2011

Review - Killer Move by Michael Marshall

William Morrow,
Isbn-0061434426
Bill Moore already has a lot, but he wants more . . . much more.He's got a lucrative job selling condos in the Florida Keys, a successful wife, a good marriage, a beautiful house. He also has a five-year plan for supersuccess, but that plan has begun to drag into its sixth year without reaping its intended rewards. So now Bill's starting to mix it up—just a little—to accelerate his way into the future that he knows he deserves.

Then one morning Bill arrives at work to find a card waiting for him, with no indication who it's from or why it was sent. Its message is just one word: modified. From that moment on, Bill's life begins to change. At first, nothing seems very different. But when things begin to unwind rapidly, and one after another, people around Bill start to die, it becomes increasingly clear that someone somewhere has a very different plan for Bill's future. Confused and angry, Bill begins to fight against this unseen force until he comes to a terrifying, inescapable realization: Once modified, there's no going back.

This is one of those books about which I'd heard a lot of, which had received a lot of hype and so I was eager to read it. Unfortunately, I couldn't get past the first chapter.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Review - Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy

St. Martin's Griffin, 541p,
Isbn-0312385242
In this thrilling collection of original stories some of today’s hottest paranormal authors delight, thrill and captivate readers with otherworldly tales of magic and mischief. In Jim Butcher’s ”Curses” Harry Dresden investigates how to lift a curse laid by the Fair Folk on the Chicago Cubs. In Patricia Briggs’ “Fairy Gifts,” a vampire is called home by magic to save the Fae who freed him from a dark curse. In Melissa Marr’s “Guns for the Dead,” the newly dead Frankie Lee seeks a job in the afterlife on the wrong side of the law. In Holly Black’s “Noble Rot,” a dying rock star discovers that the young woman who brings him food every day has some strange appetites of her own.

Urban Fantasy is one of my favorite genres, even though I arrived late to it. Too late, by the looks of this book. If you're a fan of any of the no-doubt wonderful authors who've contributed a story to this anthology, then you're going to LOVE this book. However if, like me, you're not familiar with them, then better go read some other book.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review - A Butterfly is Patient

Chronicle Books, ages 5-10, 40p
Hardcover, ISBN 9780811864794
The creators of the award-winning An Egg Is Quiet and A Seed Is Sleepy have teamed up again to create this gorgeous and informative introduction to the world of butterflies. From iridescent blue swallowtails and brilliant orange monarchs to the worlds tiniest butterfly (Western Pygmy Blue) and the largest (Queen Alexandra's Birdwing), an incredible variety of butterflies are celebrated here in all of their beauty and wonder.

My kids love nothing more than to play outdoors and this inevitably leads to them asking me many many questions. Some like, "what butterfly is this?" I'm now better able to answer thanks to this book which I received for review recently from Chronicle Books.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Review - Overbite by Meg Cabot

William Morrow, 288p,
Isbn-0061735108
Overbite's story picks up six months after where the previous (and first) Meena Harper story 'Insatiable' ended. Now Meena is officially working for the Vatican which believes Lucien has left NYC even though Meena knows otherwise. A misunderstanding has left the possible romance between Meena and Alaric Wolf in doubt. Torn between two men, and varying allegiances Meena tries to take the burden of everything upon herself and sets herself up for failure in a situation where failure is not only not an option, but a sure way of becoming vampire fodder.

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As I mentioned in my review, Insatiable is one of the best books I've read this year (even though it was first released last year). Overbite is its sequel and like all sequels, sadly falls short... way way short.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Review - Insatiable by Meg Cabot

William Morrow, 451p, Isbn-0061735086
Despite a talent for predicting people's death, Meena Harper doesn't believe in the supernatural. Forget vampires in real life...she doesn't even like them invading the reel life of soap opera Insatiable, for which she's a dialogue writer. 

And then at a neighbor's party, she meets and is instantly smitten by the intensely gorgeous and charming Lucien Antonescu, who seems to return her interest in him. Little does Meena know that this modern-day prince has a very dark side to him, one that will rip away all her illusions and defenses. Question is will she survive it?

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Leaving behind the YA world of Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot makes a stellar entry into the world of adult paranormal writing. I'd frankly grown sick of books starring vampires but was persuaded to pick up this one as Cabot has a knack for taking a tired plot and enlivening it with her particular fun and sizzling brand of adventure and romance.

And I'm glad I did as "Insatiable" fulfilled all my expectations and more! It is truly one of the best stories I've read so far this year.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Author Laurie Boris stops by...

Today I'm happy to welcome Laurie Boris, author of The Joke’s on Me, who's guest blogging here today.

Laurie Boris is an award-winning writer, former graphic designer, and closet stand-up comic. Her first novel, The Joke’s on Me is a story about family love and redemption as seen through the eyes of feisty former actress and stand-up comic Frankie Goldberg.

Behind the Scenes of The Joke’s on Me

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Review - First Daughter by Eric Van Lustbader

Forge Books, 434p, ISBN: 978-0-7653-6142-4
Synopsis - Jack McClure has had a troubled life. His dyslexia always made him feel like an outsider. He escaped from an abusive home as a teenager and lived by his wits on the streets of Washington D.C. It wasn’t until he realized that dyslexia gave him the ability to see the world in unique ways that he found success, using this newfound strength to become a top ATF agent.

When a terrible accident takes the life of his only daughter, Emma, and his marriage falls apart, Jack blames himself, numbing the pain by submerging himself in work. Then he receives a call from his old friend Edward Carson. Carson is just weeks from taking the reins as President of the United States when his daughter, Alli, is kidnapped. Because Emma McClure was once Alli’s best friend, Carson turns to Jack, the one man he can trust to go to any lengths to find his daughter and bring her home safely.

Having previously read and enjoyed some of this author's stories in the Bourne series, I was very interested to read this novel, the first in the McClure-Carson series. The premise promises much but delivers little.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Review - Press Here by Hervé Tullet

Press Here:  Children's book, 56 p, Isbn-0811879542, Ages 4-8, Guided Reading Level: I, HC

I continue to be amazed at the innovative books that are being published these days for children. Gone are the days of just blah-blah word stories, now there are books that invite you to step into their world and interact with them, just like another child would. A playmate who, as an added bonus, teaches only good things. And that's exactly how I found Hervé Tullet's Press Here, published and sent to me for review by Chronicle Books. Only this book exercises their imagination and involves a bit of physical activity as well - perfect for both the sit-still and can't-sit-still children!