Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Avian cozy mysteries

I totally enjoy the avian cozy mystery series by Donna Andrews. Every book has a different type of bird in it and you learn little tidbits of info about those birds. Her newest one, Swan for the Money, is a hoot. By the way, the swans in this one are black and very intimidating as they are big birds and actually able to do some serious damage when provoked. But the part that was the hoot was the black and white, fainting goats ( supposedly there is such a thing). Just the thought has me snickering imagining them being startled and falling over in a faint. I know, I'm bad. In this book, Meg's parents have developed a new hobby: growing and showing champion roses. Who would of thought the whole business was so complicated. Meg gets roped into being the organizer for the rose show to be held on the grounds of a very strange, monochromatic woman's estate. Everything on the property is black and/or white, inside the house and out, to the point of being truly and obscenely obsessive. So we have a delightfully funny story about a rose show, a dog napping, attempts on the strange woman's' life with one fatality (case of mistaken identity?), guys showing up in the middle of the night to take animals and Meg wondering if she is pregnant but afraid to buy a pregnancy kit from the local drug store because the word would hit the town and she would be deluged with calls. These are should reads, people. Library book

Monday, October 26, 2009

Witchy good read

I backtracked on a series that I read the third book in a few weeks ago. The light, witchy fun chic-lit book called Sorcery and the Single Girl by Mindy Klasky is the second. In this one, Jane the librarian, newly developed witch, has to prove her metal to the area coven. She will have to prove herself to them that she is worthy of joining their ranks, by completing a task thought up by the coven. Jane brings a valuable copy of the Illustrated History of Witches, specific to that area, with a citrine stone binding it to the Coven Mother as a gift. It is then she learns she will be given the honor of setting the cornerstone for their new building to protect the coven. She practices and practices with her familiar and her warder, even with a distraction of a hunky british guy and some supposed help from one of the coven members. She quickly learns who is actually helping her and who is hindering her, which proves to be suspenseful and funny. At the end when she does her thing and finds out if she is in or not, is entertaining and surprising. This was another good read and I am now in search of the first! Library book

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Another smart one

Oh, you think I am so smart, don't you? I have been reading books about smart girls, that's why. Another one involving sisters called The Smart One and the Pretty One by Claire Lazebnick. What's interesting is that you start reading this story about two sisters, Ava is a lawyer and dresses frumpy and Lauren is a fashion diva and works as a clothes buyer. At the end, you have to really start wondering which one is classified as the smart one and which is the pretty one because it is sort of like they switch roles. So the facts are, Lauren is a over the top spender, on clothes, of course. Their mother has to do chemo for a small breast lump. Lauren is the one that takes the mom to chemo and meets a guy there that is also taking his mother for chemo. Humm, kind of a morbid relationship and probably is doomed. The next fact is Lauren finds a contract that had been signed by her parents about Ava, when she was a young girl, supposedly bonding her to a friends son for marriage. She calls the son and sets her sister up with her intended, which I think was a hilarious relationship from the start. So with all the matchmaking going on, it is with wonder that you find out how they end up happy. This was a good read. Library book

Monday, October 19, 2009

Smart girls think twice

Or in this case, the smart girl got the hunk. And what a hunk. A ex-extreme sport junkie. Another opposites attract. In this book, Smart Girls Think Twice by Cathie Linz, Emma decides to make good use of her time back in Rock Creek, due to her two sisters getting married two weeks apart, and publish a sociology study pertaining to why people are congregating to small towns. One of the first people she decides to interview is Jake, who is bar tending at Nick's while trying to find his birth mother. Secretly. Jake had had a epiphany when he was seriously hurt in a rock climbing accident in which his best friend dies. He disappears off the extreme sport scene to show up in Rock creek, supposedly looking for a place to put a resort in. So sets the story of Emma wanting yummy Jake and Jake finding it hot that a smart girl wants him. Good love scenes. A good hot read.

Unquiet Spirit

Nathanial Gye is a lecturer in parapsychology at Beaufort College and sort of moonlights as a paranormal investigator. Whether he wants to or not. This is the third in a series of books by Derek Wilson. Tripletree introduces the character and Nature of Rare Things is the second. Both I will have to find to read. When a professor is strangely killed while investigating a paranormal incident at St. Thomas' College in Cambridge, Nat is called in to put the spirit to rest, so to speak. The so-called spirit is of a demented student that apparently died of a drug overdose 10 years ago and is purported to be haunting his old room since then. Through a very twisting and turning investigation, he discovers more than he bargained for when figuring if it was murder or an accident. This was a very well written and gripping story and I really liked it. It is definitely a must read. And hopefully there will be more. Library book

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hot Flash

Okay so I read another foodie romance. I can't help myself. This one didn't so much talk about her job as she talked about her stage in life. In Hot Flash by Kathy Carmichael, Jill is a single mom just turned forty and working as a sous chef for a hotel restaurant. And she seems to be going through premenopausal symptoms, which she finds incredibly hard to believe. The beginning of each chapter starts with a letter she has just received in response to a survey she sent out to couples she saw in the anniversaries section of her newspaper. She wanted to know the secret to having a long and happy marriage. She gets some surprising answers but the one that seems to appeal to her are the ones that state the husband is either a traveling salesman and is gone a lot or the ones who are sports widows. So Jill decides to find a traveling salesmen and crashes the conventions at the hotel. After many debacles, the guy that is ultimately right for her is right under her nose but she fights it. It was a nice lighthearted read and funny. Library book

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Accidental Bestseller

Truly the title says it all. Wendy Max wrote a book about 4 authors who write a book together about 4 authors. supposedly loosely based on their own lives, and then the book hits the bestseller list. It wasn't expected. So the story mostly centers around Kendall, who is majorly dumped upon all at once, with not winning a coveted author award, finding out her publisher doesn't want her anymore and then to come home and figure out her husband is cheating on her. She finally leaves the house, after wallowing in self pity for days and takes off to a cabin in the North Carolina mountains. There she discovers a yen for DIY and seeks the local Home Depot and meets a handy hunky guy to help her get started. Anyway, with a deadline for her book looming, which she already has gotten an advance for and spent, she interestingly get the assistance of her writing friends to help write her book. The book quickly comes together and is sent off to the asst editor of the bitchy editor to review. She loves it and has to jump hoops to get it noticed. The book ends with their lives unfolding in ways they never imagined and pretty much a happy ending all around. This is a book everyone should read. Library book

Monday, October 12, 2009

Another foodie romance

All of these culinary romances are making me hungry. Another delicious romance I just finished is With a Twist by Deirdre Martin. I found out later it is sort of a sequel to Just a Taste, which I will now have to find. These books feature Vivi and Natalie, migrated Parisians, now working in Brooklyn. In this book, Natalie has decided to leave her half sister's bistro and venture out into Manhattan to be a restaurant manager. Lovesick Quinn, a newspaper reporter married to the job, persuades her to work at his parents Irish pub until such time as she can actually find someone to hire her as a restaurant manager. And so starts the relationship that proves to be very volatile. In pursuit of his great story, involving the Irish mob, he stumbles along believing his life is the job and women come second best. Of course for this story to work out right, he has to learn the error of his ways. It is quite amusing the interaction between Natalie and Quinn, French and Irish. With some suspense thrown in, the story moves along well and I feel was a good read. Library book

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Lost Recipe for Happiness

Okay so I am learning since I have been on a diet that I have been gravitating towards books that have to do with food. I discovered a delicious romance called the Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O'Neal. What drew me to the book was first it was about food and second it had ghosts. This is a story about Elena, who is lovingly haunted by ghosts of her family who died in a car accident that she survived only to be scarred for life. After she recovered, she moves on with her life to attend culinary school and to cook in a lot of different facets of the culinary industry. The story starts as she is fired by her chef partner Dmitri, who didn't like the fact she hogged the limelight in a recent restaurant review. As she leaves the establishment, the owner catches up with her and offers her a position as a executive chef in a new restaurant he is opening. She jumps at the chance and again moves on with her life. This is a heartwarming love story between two people who have been burned from bad relationships, that finally happens when both accept closure on their pasts. It is a very moving story that keeps you interested through the whole book. And even throws in a nicely written gay relationship between two of Elena's friends, too. I really like books that are constantly evolving and moving along. This is a should read. Library book

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Prince Harming Syndrome

I have always known that my relationships have always been a little off and now I know why. Because I pick the wrong guys to go out with. And so does my daughter. That's one of many eye opening revelations that I learned in reading The Prince Harming Syndrome: Break Bad Relationship Patterns for Good - 5 Essentials for Finding True Love by Karen Salmansohn. This was my first how to book that I have read that spells out what is wrong with the men I pick and why I picked them. It gave me insightful information on what I really should be looking for in a guy and important questions I should be asking them and myself about where relationships fit into our lives. Karen uses Aristotle's teachings, amongst others, to prove that there is a way to meet the right kind of guy, soul mate, for you and to boost your self esteem in the process. This book opened an line of communication between my generation and my daughters' to show that we all suffer from the same issue, except for a lucky few. Lack of true love. So even if you are in your prime and a little past, there is valuable information that you can glean from this book to give you a goal of a growing and nurturing life with your Prince Charming. This is a must read if you need good advice on the subject and will be donating my copy to my university library for all college girls to read .

Salt and Silver

I was attracted to this book because the thought that mere mortals could unwittingly open up a door to hell in the basement of a diner, by accident, was different. In a weird kind of way. But Salt and Silver by Anna Katherine is definitely different. Allie and her two friends get drunk and start spewing magic words to get wishes granted and wake up to find a doorway where there wasn't one before. Only this doorway lets in demons and such into this world and hotty demon hunter Ryan, showing up the day the door opened, sits outside it killing what ever comes through, be it vampire, demon or werewolf. The story starts after this has been going on for 5-6 years and everything is working well. And then one day the door disappears and others start opening in new places. That gets everyone in a uproar and it is decided that a small group of hunters, and Allie, have to go through a door into hell to find out how to stop them. They travel through nine different hells or dimensions and overcome many obstacles, to ultimately find out that someone has taken the door. I liked the story, a good read, and the sexual tension is hot. Library book

Monday, October 5, 2009

Knit the Season

Oh, I am now in the mood for seasonal books with the cold weather finally coming. And I read a really good one over the weekend. I received a ARC of Knit the Season by Kate Jacobs, fourth in the series of the Friday Night Knitting Club. I have read all the books so far and they are all keepers. I especially liked this one, centering on Dakota, and the countless memories of her mother and her learning things about her she didn't know. When her Mom's passing left her co-owner of a yarn store, Dakota is at odds over the running of the store and her desire to because a pastry chef. But she is able to find the best of both worlds and learns a lot along the way. Between all the events happening to the Friday Night knitters, from weddings, job offers, and secrets ultimately shared, we find a very thoughtful, warm story about family and friends. A great way to get into the Christmas season. This book invoked the all important needs for family, following your dream and keeping the traditions going. All Kate Jacobs Friday Night Knitters books are must reads! Knit the Season comes out on Nov 3 along with the pbk of Knit Two also being available. Amazon has it at 34%, off for 16.47, preorder price right now at I am a sucker for a good deal on books. Gave ARC to girlfriend to read.

Benny and Shrimp

Bennie and Shrimp, real name Desiree, is a captivating Swedish import by Katarina Mazetti. This is a story about two emotionally deficient people who meet in a cemetery, visiting their loved ones final resting place. Each one is from a vastly different walk of life and all it takes is a friendly smile to open the lines of communication. So what happens when you take a dairy farmer (mommas boy type), missing 3 fingers from a saw accident at an early age and combine it with a rather drab looking librarian, (recently widowed), who have really nothing in common except they both feel empty? You get a very hilariously funny story of the trials and expectations of two people who desperately want someone in their lives but not necessarily each other. You should read this book amd decide is it love or lust? Donated this book sent by publisher to review to university library

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Man Who Loved Books too Much

I am finally coming up in the world. I am getting Advance Reading Copies to review. I feel so special. So my first one I really wanted to read was one where Allison Hoover Bartlett gives you an insightful glimpse into the world of rare book collecting. In this world of e-technology, people seem to have gotten away from the bonding experience of holding a first edition of a old rare book and stroking it's spine, wondering where this book has been and who has touched it. Though you hear about all the glamorous thefts of priceless artifacts and paintings, you never really hear about old and fragile books that have been easily stolen and disappearing only to possibly showing up on Ebay for sale as there is no real means of tracking them. But there are people in this world who obsess about obtaining books through many illegal means, such as the ones used by the one this book is based, John Charles Gilkey. Allison shows you the workings of Gilkey's mind and his rational for stealing rare books for his amusement. She takes you through the many facets of rare book collecting, book fairs and exclusive rare books stores and introduces you to the many challenges of this collecting business. Because to some it is and to some it is a passion to possess these rare tomes. And on the other side you meet a special book dealer named Ken Sanders, who seeks justice for the victims of book theft and spends much of his time tracking down Gilkey, as a "bibliodick" for an organization of book sellers. To think it all starts with the delivery, to the author, of a 400 year old book supposedly not returned to a library on time and so it was pawned off from generation to generation, partly I'm sure of fear of the fines involved. This is a must read for sure!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bookbinder cozy

I just zipped through a really good cozy, about a rare book restorer, called Homicide in Hardcover: A Bibliophile Mystery by Kate Carlisle. First in a series, it had a very good story line and I admit, if the cozies have to do with books, I pretty much already like them. Anyway, Brooklyn, (cool name), is a relatively new bookbinder of rare books. She had been a apprentice/partner with Abraham Karastovsky, until she decided she was ready to go out on her own. During a showing of some book restorations that her mentor had completed, she finds him dying from a apparent homicide and hears his last cryptic words of "Remember the Devil". He had been in the process of restoring a copy of Goethe's Faust and now it rests in Brooklyn's' hands to finish the supposedly cursed book. She meets some interesting characters along the way, including a sexy British security agent, has some funny, outlandish family and friends and again stumbles across another dead bookbinder. Obviously not a safe occupation. I did figure out whodunit early on but it was a very rousing tale. It is definitely a should read. Purchased book and donated to city library