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Showing posts from December, 2009

2010 is here!

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all the terrific people I've had the privilege of knowing, working with, being friends with and generally sharing my life with via this blog - a very Happy New Year!

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Excerpt - Decoding The Lost Symbol

Decoding The Lost Symbol: The Unauthorized Expert Guide to the Facts Behind the Fiction (A Touchstone Paperback Original; November 2009; 0-7432-8727-4; $14.99) is the first book available in bookstores analyzing the mysteries inside The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.

Simon Cox, bestselling author of Cracking the Da Vinci Code and Illuminating Angels & Demons, offers the first definitive guide to all the mysteries featured in Dan Brown's latest novel. Based on extensive research, this A-to-Z guide lists the real people, organizations, and themes featured in Brown's book. Easy to read and straightforward in its layout, it includes illustrations and color photos of the settings and artifacts referenced in The Lost Symbol.

It was April 2009, and I was just arriving at the London Book Fair at the Earls Court Exhibition Halls. I was intending on catching up with friends, my UK publisher, and having a general look at what was new in the publishing world. However, I knew that something …

Ian Rankin's Exit Music - Review & Giveaway

Exit Music (Detective John Rebus Novels)

Synopsis - It's late in the fall in Edinburgh and late in the career of Detective Inspector John Rebus. As he is simply trying to tie up some loose ends before his retirement, a new case lands on his desk: a dissident Russian poet has been murdered in what looks like a mugging gone wrong. Rebus discovers that an elite delegation of Russian businessmen is in town, looking to expand its interests. And as Rebus's investigation gains ground, someone brutally assaults a local gangster with whom he has a long history. Has Rebus overstepped his bounds for the last time? Only a few days shy of the end to his long, controversial career, will Rebus even make it that far?

One of the most engaging series set in Edinburgh comes to a suspenseful and spectacular finish with this book and I have to say I'm most sorry that it has ended. Sarcastic yet astute, Rebus can be termed as Holmes' Scottish counterpart - plus the intuition but minus the d…

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks - Review & Giveaway

Dear John

Synopsis - An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life--until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else.

Nicholas Sparks sure knows how to tug the heartstrings in yet another moving & romantic story of star-crossed lovers. I had the pleasure of listening to the audiobook edition which is read flawlessly by actor and voiceover artist Holter Graham. His voice is soothing and hypnotizing as he narrates the conflicts and the love and the bittersweet aspect of it all. And with subtle changes of tone and pitch, Graham is able to distinguish the various characters with apl…

Janet Chapman's A Highlander Christmas - Review & Giveaway

A Highlander Christmas
353p, Pocket Star

Synopsis - Camry MacKeage has absolutely no intention of telling her parents that she left her job as a NASA physicist for the small-town life of a dog-sitter -- which is why she's spending the holidays alone in coastal Maine with her furry friends Tigger and Max. Unfortunately, her irresistibly handsome rival, scientist Luke Pascal, accidentally spilled the beans. Now he's on a mission from her mother to tempt Camry home for the family's annual winter solstice celebration. But Luke is hiding his own secret, and he'll need a little bit of magic to earn Camry's trust...and a whole lot of mistletoe to seduce his way into her heart.

Books that feature our four-footed friends and that too at Holiday times have a way of nestling in my heart and mind. And so is the case with this wonderful, heart-warming book. Chapman has a knack for creating characters who make you fall in love with them and of course, with each other! There's…

Author Kelly Gay and Better Part of Darkness (& a Giveaway!)

Readers, please join me welcoming Kelly Gay, author of The Better Part of Darkness who's guest blogging here today! This book is an electrifying debut urban fantasy that introduces readers to Charlie Madigan, who Jenna Black (bestselling author of the Morgan Kingsley series) describes as "the epitome of the modern kick-butt heroine!"

Synopsis - Charlie Madigan is a divorced mother of one, and a kick-ass cop trained to take down the toughest human and off-world criminals. But now an insidious new danger is descending on her city with terrifying speed, threatening innocent lives: a deadly, off-world narcotic known as ash. Charlie is determined to uncover the source of ash before it targets another victim -- but can she protect those she loves from a force more powerful than heaven and hell combined?

And now, here's Kelly herself - Welcome, dear author!

When I was asked to write a holiday guest post for A Book Blogger’s Diary, I was thrilled. (Thank you!) :-) Being an…

Author Guest Post - Gayle Trent (& a Giveaway)

Gayle Trent authors two cozy mystery series, one for Bell Bridge Books and one for NAL. Her latest book is Dead Pan, the second book in the Daphne Martin Cake Decorating Mystery Series.

In Dead Pan, several people become sick at Brea Ridge Pharmaceuticals’ annual holiday party for its employees, and one–Fred Duncan–dies. Fred’s mother insists on Daphne’s help in learning why Fred died; and since none of the food has yet been exonorated, Daphne feels compelled to find out what made everyone so ill. She’s pretty sure it wasn’t her cake, but she can’t be certain until the police complete the lab results. Was this an accident? Or did someone set out to kill Fred?

Hmm...sounds like just the thing to read on a cold winter's night, doesn't it?! Want to win a copy? Read on...

Have you got a writer on your gift list? If you have (even if that writer is YOU), and you don't have a clue as to what gift to buy, I'm here to help.

Let's start with the simple things. I love these g…

Blog Tour, Review, Giveaway - Ivy & Bean : Doomed to Dance


I love books that have the power to make me feel like a young girl again, while at the same time making the adult in me laugh and shake her head to read the antics of the characters. That's exactly the case with Ivy and Bean : Doomed to Dance (book 6 of the series) in which author Annie Barrows shows young readers what happens when they get exactly what they ask for.

After begging their parents for ballet lessons, Ivy and Bean finally get what they want...well, not exactly. Much to their surprise, it turns out ballet lessons do not include karate chops and roundhouse kicks to the villain's heart. The girls have no interest in learning how to dance gracefully, but they promised their parents they would finish the entire ballet course!

When it comes time for Ivy and Bean to participate in the ocean-themed class recital, the girls must figure out a way to get out of it without breaking their promises. The result is the brainchild of some devious th…

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro talks about her Saint Germain Series


Readers, please join me welcoming Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, author of the popular Saint Germain series who's guest blogging here today!

If you have not read the series, Quinn Yarbro is well-known for her impeccable historical research and her Saint-Germain books are among her most popular works. This past summer, Quinn was a co-recipient of the Bram Stoker Lifetime Achievement Award from the Horror Writers Association. She was also the first woman to be named a Living Legend by the International Horror Guild (2006) and she is one of two women to be named a Grand Master of the World Horror Convention (2003). Her latest book is Burning Shadows. More information can be found on

Saint Germain and a Star’s Entrance 

In any long-running series about a single character, it is important to give that character a star’s entrance in every book — that is, a way of introducing the character to the reader in such a way as to focus …