Monthly Archives: June 2012

Bookish Funny Friday (8)

Here is my eighth entry for Tina’s BFF picture parade.

This has to be the cry of every bibliophile!  It resonants throughout every book blog – and now we can let the cry go free, announce our need to the world.  “Just think,” you can tell your friends, “You’ll never need to wonder again what present to buy for me!”

Have a great weekend everyone.

There’s more information on BFF under my heading Fun Things which has a link to Martina’s blogpost and the meme picture in my RH sidebar also links to Tina’s post.  Come and join us and have some fun!

Advertisements

Bookish Funny Friday (7)

This is so me!

Here is my seventh entry for Tina’s BFF picture parade.

I would really like to have one of these on my wall!  I’ve linked (click on the photo) to the site that sold them, but I couldn’t find that they still had them in their catalogue 😦 Then again, since the quote is not copyright, I could design my own poster / painting / mural.  Watch this space (on my wall)….

Have a great weekend everyone.

There’s more information on BFF under my heading Fun Things which has a link to Martina’s blogpost and the meme picture in my RH sidebar also links to Tina’s post.  Come and join us and have some fun!

Tuesday Totals (2) 2012: Week 24

Tuesday Totals – 10 – 17 June 2012

As I’m getting a bit behind with books reviews and blog changes, I am writing a weekly round-up of my blog activities – accomplished and planned – to try to keep myself on track, focused and with a sense of achievement! There are seven sections of activities; this post details their status for the week 11–17 June 2012.

Currently Reading

1. The Secret Chamber by Patrick Woodhead (p45 of 410)

I bought this paperback at the supermarket.  It’s already taken us to three remote locations on three continents.  I want to know what’s happened to Joshua.

Finished This Week

1. Gull on the Roof by Derek Tangye

I picked up this book to find out more about Lama, one of Derek’s cats. She finally made an appearance on the very last page! Luckily there are lots more of Derek’s books to discover and she will be in those 🙂

2. Unforgettable Embrace by Joanne Clancy

Most of the review is written – plus I have notes I took whilst reading this book. Now I just have to knit all the bits together into something coherent.

3. Columbus Avenue Boys by David Carraturo

I won this book on an ebook giveaway by the author. I’m enjoyed this book…I like the writing style and the technique of jumping around between decades and generations. I’ll be starting the next in the series in the coming week and getting the review for this one written in June – as promised!

Reviews in Manuscript

I like writing with a pen (or pencil) and paper. In addition, it is more convenient to write by hand, since in the time available, I don’t have access to a computer 🙂 Look out for these reviews coming soon:

1. Defying Drakon by Carole Mortimer
2. Hot Girl’s Friend by Lisa Scott
3. Salsa Invertebraxa by Mozchops
4. The First Rule of Ten by Gay Hendricks & Tinker Lindsey
5. Scarlett’s by A. L. Collins
6. The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells
7. The Wedding Story by Dee Tenorio
8. Little Girls: A Novella by Elton Lord
9. Unforgettable Embrace by Joanne Clancy

Reviews Posted

1. Echos of the Sun by Kathleen Ann Gallagher
2. Horses of the Sun by Leanne Owens

TBR Shortlist

I’ve been using a very rough priority scheme to choose my next book to read: author gifts (AG) get priority, followed by First Reads (FR) wins and then anything else I fancy! I thought it might be a good idea if I gave this a little more thought and also worked in some of the NetGalley (NG) books for which I’ve been approved.

My immediate reading list is:

1. Cameron Nation by David Carraturo (AG)
2. Growing up Wired by David Wallace Fleming (AG)
3. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (NG)
4. Timepiece by Myra McEntire
5. Catastrophically Consequential by Stephen C. Bird (FR)
6. Doll Parts by Wayne Simmons (FR)

Blog updates completed

1. Tuesday Totals – two posts made, template created
2. Bookish Funny Friday – three more posts scheduled

Blog Updates Planned

1. Review Policy – mostly written, partly typed
2. Reviews: My thoughts and philosophy – written, partly typed
3. Tuesday Totals – explanation page to be written, a logo would be nice, but not sure what (and how)
4. Monthly Musings – explanation page to be written, logo to be created; two posts written, need to be typed
5. Blog Improvements – section needed with to do list

Some progress made in the last week; it’s been a busy one in real life. Having a list to go to means I make useful and directed progress though 🙂
What do you have planned for your blog?  How do you decide which book to read next???

Sunburnt by M. D. Keating: review

SunburntSunburnt by M.D. Keating

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An unemployed alcoholic writer, coping with the death of his father, is unwittingly drawn into a scandal of EPIC proportions, when his estranged childhood best friend, now a very successful offshore banker, disappears with BILLIONS of dollars that don’t belong to him … Follow our unlikely hero through a collage of rogue characters into a dangerous world of CORRUPTION, GREED, DRUGS, ARMS, and WAR …

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sunburnt is nicely printed and bound, with easy-on-the-eye text. When I flicked through the book after opening my package at work, my first thought was “Oh heck, it’s a play!”, but I started at the beginning on page 5 (I’ve wondered since I was small why some books start numbering the story pages by counting the leaves in the book…) and by the time I got to page 7, I was hooked!

I had to stop to cook tea, feed the cats and so on, but I finished the book in around 24 hours elapsed time.  It is an excellent fast-paced book. I found the layout easy to read; the centre justification was different without being distracting.  Being a very visual person, this novel way of laying out a book really appealed to me.

The story itself was interesting; I found the change of viewpoint that came from the introduction of different interleaved characters refreshing. I enjoyed the twists of the plot and I really cared about the characters and wanted the best for them. The ending tied up all loose ends to my satisfaction.

All in all, a great read and one I would recommend to anyone.

Thank you M.D. and Goodreads for picking me to receive Sunburnt in the Goodreads Giveaway.

_._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._

View all my Goodreads reviews

I’m claiming this book as No. TBC/150 in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge.
[Link in right hand sidebar]

In My Mailbox (10): Sunday 17 June 2012

__

__

__

Welcome to
In My Mailbox!!

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren and Letterbox Love is a British take on the idea. If you want to know more, there is information under the Fun Things heading above, or you can click on the pictures at the top of this post to take you to the hosts’ blogs.

These posts are to tell you about the books I have acquired recently. I know most bloggers call all such posts “In My Mailbox”, however, as I’m English, my physical post comes through my letterbox and my electronic mail arrives in my mailbox (or my inbox…). So I have decided to use the following terms:

In My Letterbox (IML) for the physical books I aquire;
In My Mailbox (IMM) for the NetGalley books or ebooks sent to me for review by authors;
In My Inbox (IMI) for the free Kindle ebooks I compulsively download!

***************************

Here is a list of some of the books for which I’ve been approved on NetGalley.  I have downloaded all of these, the ones I haven’t listed aren’t available in kindle format and I haven’t yet installed Adobe Digital Editions.  I have to say, if that means I can only read them on a computer, rather than my kindle, I probably won’t read them.  However, since all the ones below are in kindle format, I shall be reading and reviewing them.

NETGALLEY Books RECEIVED during APRIL:

1. A Pocket Full of Kisses by Audrey Penn

Publisher: Tanglewood 15 May 2006

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

2. Bandwidth by Angus Morrison

Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing,LLC 08 October 2010

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

3. Ravens Cove by Mary Ann Poll

Publisher: YouDOPR–PublicationConsultants 01 November 2010

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

4. Temperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World by Dominick A. DellaSala

Publisher: Island Press 08 November 2010

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

5. Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim

Publisher: Flaming Chalice Press 17 December 2010

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

6. Fearless Fair Isle Knitting by Kathleen Taylor

Publisher: The Taunton Press 15 February 2011

I’ve always wanted to know how to do Fair Isle knitting properly…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

7. Lucia’s Eyes & Other Stories by Marina Sonkina

Publisher: Guernica Editions 25 April 2011

I thought the title sounds intriguing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

8. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion 15 May 2012

I have read so many enthusiastic reviews about this book that I was delighted when the publishers released as copy to me. This is very high on my TBR list 🙂

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

9. COLOSSUS: STONE & STEEL by David Blixt

Publisher: David Blixt 25 May 2012

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

10. HER MAJESTY’S WILL by David Blixt

Publisher: David Blixt 25 May 2012

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

11. THE MASTER OF VERONA by David Blixt

Publisher: David Blixt 25 May 2012

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

12. Good Thinking by Denise Cummins

Publisher: Cambridge University Press 30 May 2012

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

13. Timepiece by Myra McEntire

Publisher: Egmont USA 12 June 2012

…………………..

Another mixed bag of styles and genres.  I intentionally looked for some already released books as well as some which are close to release.  I shall be reading and reviewing the latter first.  I hope that some of these catch your attention and interest and that you hunt them out and enjoy them!

See you all next week – meantime be sure to leave a link to your post in a comment and I’ll pop over.

Bookish Funny Friday (6)

This book has a message for you

Here is my sixth entry for Tina’s BFF picture parade.

I think this is a really clever thing to do – applied origami.  I have seen quite a few of this type of image around and about; I may include a few more in future BFF posts.

Have a great weekend everyone.  Remember what the book said.

There’s more information on BFF under my heading Fun Things which has a link to Martina’s blogpost and the meme picture in my RH sidebar also links to Tina’s post.  Come and join us and have some fun!

Horses of the Sun by Leanne Owens: review

Horses of the Sun (Outback Riders, #1)Horses of the Sun by Leanne Owens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sunhaven Downs, a drought ravaged cattle station in outback Australia, is the home of Dane, Lani and Matthew Winter, three young outback riders whose lives revolve around their horses. When their city cousin, Amy King, comes to live with them for a year and declares she hates horses, they know their year will be ruined. What they don’t know is that Amy has a secret – a secret she is desperate to keep from her outback family, something that will ultimately save their lives on the night the drought breaks.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I read this delightful book in an afternoon. I thought it was well written, although the “she didn’t realise that she would need this when disater struck” comments at the end of each of the early chapters were a little annoying. The plot moved along nicely with most of the actions staying within the bounds of reality. I found some of the “epilogue” actions a little unlikely, but hey, it all felt good!

I enjoyed reading this book although it is aimed mostly at the 10-14 year old market.  It is well written, with a clear plot and good characterisation.  The plot is outside the ordinary but is close enough to most people’s “real life” that it will be understood by the target audience (and they’ll all want to be Amy!).

Some of the episodes involve high drama and some difficult subjects.  These are dealt with in a straight-forward yet senstive manner.

I was particularly impressed with Leanne’s portrayal of Amy’s emotional life.  I thought Any’s reactions to events was very realistic and typical for her character.

The language of the book does not patronise its readers, and yet explains all the important parts to those who may not be familiar with them.  This is a delicate balancing act well executed.

This is exactly to sort of book I devoured as a child and I’m sure will be loved by today’s children.  It took me back to my chidhood when I hunted for new books in the “Brumby” series at my local library.  I think I may have one or two copies (bought in the library sales) stowed away in my childhood book boxes.  I may have to dig them out and read them again!

I may be persuaded to lend my copy of Horses of the Sun to my horse-mad neices! I shall look out for more books by Leanne.

I received this book after winning a Goodreads Giveaway. Thanks Leanne.

_._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._

View all my Goodreads reviews

I’m claiming this book as No. TBC/150 in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge; and No. 3 in the First in Series Reading challenge..
[All links in right hand sidebar]

Tuesday Totals (1) 2012: Week 23

Tuesday Totals – The First

As I’m getting a bit inundated with books and reviews, I thought I would start a weekly round-up of my blog activities – accomplished and planned! There are seven sections of activities; their status for the week 04–10 June 2012 are all given below.

Currently Reading

1. Gull on the Roof by Derek Tangye (65%)

I started this some time ago; it’s a print book I picked up at a table top sale. I recognised the author’s writing style from a cat story anthology I have. In a fit of tidying up, I “lost” the book, finding it again this week. A few “before sleep” sessions should see it finished!

2. Unforgettable Embrace by Joanne Clancy (55%)

I got this ebook during a weekend Amazon giveaway. It’s been a slow read, partly because I’ve also been catching up on the print books I’ve won and I’ve found this book not very inspiring.

Finished This Week

A Vampire’s Dominion by V.M.K. Fewings.

This is a Goodreads First Reads win from a few weeks ago. My review will follow.
The was the only book I finished this week because I’m trying to catch up on reviews, and I’ve been doing quite a bit of blog tidying and improving.

Reviews in Manuscript

I like writing with a pen (or pencil) and paper. In addition, it is more convenient to write by hand, since in the time available, I don’t have access to a computer 🙂 Look out for these reviews coming soon:

1. Defying Drakon by Carole Mortimer
2. Hot Girl’s Friend by Lisa Scott
3. Salsa Invertebraxa by Mozchops
4. The First Rule of Ten by Gay Hendricks & Tinker Lindsey
5. Scarlett’s by A. L. Collins
6. The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells
7. The Wedding Story by Dee Tenorio
8. Little Girls: A Novella by Elton Lord

Reviews Posted

1. Snakes by Travis Heermann: a further review
2. Twined by A.L. Collins
3. Hal Spacejock by Simon Haynes

TBR Shortlist

I’ve been using a very rough priority scheme to choose my next book to read: author gifts (AG) get priority, followed by First Reads (FR) wins and then anything else I fancy! I thought it might be a good idea if I gave this a little more thought and also worked in some of the NetGalley (NG) books for which I’ve been approved.

My immediate reading list is:

1. Columbus Avenue Boys by David Carraturo (AG)
2. Cameron Nation by David Carraturo (AG)
3. Growing up Wired by David Wallace Fleming (AG)
4. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (NG)
5. Timepiece by Myra McEntire
6. Catastrophically Consequential by Stephen C. Bird (FR)
7. Doll Parts by Wayne Simmons (FR)

Blog updates completed

1. First in a Series Reading Challenge updated with comments and books claimed
2. Second in a Series Reading Challenge updated with comments and books claimed
3. WBTC2012 Reading Challenge updated with comments and books claimed
4. Fun Things section reordered, with a separate page each for BFF, IMM and Letterbox Love.

Blog Updates Planned

1. Review Policy – mostly written, partly typed
2. Reviews: My thoughts and philosophy – written, partly typed
3. Tuesday Totals – explanation page to be written, a logo would be nice, but not sure what (and how)
4. Monthly Musings – explanation page to be written, logo to be created; two posts written, need to be typed
5. Blog Improvements – section needed with to do list

All that should keep me busy!

Echos at Dawn by Kathleen Ann Gallagher: review

Echoes at DawnEchoes at Dawn by Kathleen Ann Gallagher

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

The strangely intertwined lives of a widowed woman, and a charismatic bachelor come together in order to show that in life, there are no coincidences… only destiny.

Waterfront restaurant chef Madeline Young adores her job. If only her love and family’s lives were as successful as her career. With a teenage son, who spends time in the emergency room for alcohol poisoning and a dementia-plagued mother, Madeline doesn’t know how much more she could handle. Then her mother enlists the help of her deceased twin sister, Mary, to guide Madeline to find true happiness. An early dawn visit from the spirit directs Madeline to volunteer at the local hospitals center for addiction recovery, where she comes alive for the first time in many years under the attention of Nat Griffin.

Nathaniel Griffin, a part-time counselor and contractor, fascinates his clients with his lectures. In keeping with his philosophy of professionalism, Nat prefers to keep his personal life private. When attraction tests his beliefs, Nat must confront his marred past. Is he willing to face his demons or take the easier path and remain isolated?

Can unworldly ghosts save this couple from their own self-destructive behavior?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For those of a delicate disposition, I’ll warn you now that this is not a positive review. It’s a while since I read this book, and my original review appears under my Goodreads account. I’m doing some catching up on reviews on my blog and this book has come to the top of the pile.

I downloaded the ebook from Amazon when rummaging through the free ebooks there; the blurb intrigued me – the set up isn’t a standard love story (although I suspected that there would be a love story in there). I wasn’t expecting high literature; but I was expecting an interesting, thoughtful, and entertaining read. Boy, was I disappointed.

When I got to 7% in I was seriously wondering if I could bear to read the rest. I was not impressed with the writing, feeling that there was no flow whatsoever and no character interest. Quite frankly, I didn’t like the main characters. Why is a 40+ widowed mother of three obsessed with dating? [Ed’s Note: before all the middle aged ladies get up in arms, I should point out I’m close to that age myself and not a twenty-something who thinks things like that stop when one turns 30!]. She wants to start a restaurant, but doesn’t have time…because of her dating, it seems, which only makes her miserable. I decided to persevere and see if it improved.

The next day, I’d made it as far as 12% and decided that life is way too short to spend time reading such badly written drivel. Most of the time, the author failed to make her point since she seems unable to paint pictures, even simple ones, with words. She clearly does not understand the rich layering of stories made possible by using tenses to convey things happening in the story, instead she uses a mixed of the perfect and present throughout, whatever the relative temporal location of the events. In this case, the story would be better told in the perfect and pluperfect, since the events take place in the immediate past and more distant past. Since the story has a bunch of character-told flashbacks, there really ought to be a far bit of pluperfect about…but there wasn’t (“It was time for me to leave; I saw enough for one day”), just lots of present tense. This makes things both confusing and gives a child-like quality to the prose.

The author seems unable to tell a flowing story. Sentences are rarely more than 10 words long. They jump from one subject to another in a single paragraph. This make the story very jerky. This paragraph is intentionally very jerky! Her biography at the end is similarly disjointed. It becomes impossible to follow the events of any one scene, let alone follow a plot.

When Ms Gallagher does try to write longer paragraphs using commas – I skipped to the last page to find some- they are incorrectly used and lead to a muddled sentence.

At around 10-12% in, the main character Madeline, goes to the hospital for her volunteer training. At least I think that’s what is going on; it was unclear whether Nat’s talk was a orientation session for volunteers or patients. On a ward with locked doors and buzzer entry, Madeline is not asked to sign in and allowed to wander around the ward unsupervised, yet meets no patients. I couldn’t work out why the staff ignored her or why she didn’t speak to the staff. It seemed odd that the counsellor in a rehab centre would carry and smoke cigars on ward. Whilst in the ward we are told by Madeline, “I counted the moments until my orientation at the medical center. I could not wait to learn what secret (sic) would unfold, or life changing experience waited for me inside the mysterious ward.” This after she sees a patient subdued by nursing staff; I thought this a strange and inappropriate reaction. I could not find any point of commonality with Madeline, and hence had no empathy with or sympathy for her.

I know that alcoholism is a serious disease and I do not wish to belittle the subject; this book, however, does do that in my opinion. It is sanctimonious in its tone and unrealistic in its portrayal, in my opinion. Nat, the counsellor, is “scarred for life” because his oft drunk (from the descriptions provided, I’m not convinced alcoholic is the correct description) hit him once. Many people suffer much more serious abuse from alcoholic parents, so I didn’t find this back story convincing. Prior to the start of the book, Madeline’s 16 year old son comes home from a party “with drink on his breath” so she packs him off for a six week course with a counsellor. No wonder in Chapter 1 he’s drunk himself to a vomiting stupor – typical teenager rebellion. Whilst I don’t condone under-age drinking (not unsupervised anyway), isolated incidents shouldn’t lead Madeline to assume her son is an alcoholic. Encouraging him to moderate his drinking would be sensible, but she goes off and becomes a volunteer at the local rehab centre – using up what little free time she has from her “executive chef” job and thus spending even less time with her son. Perhaps if she put the time and energy she’s prepared to spend at the rehab centre into building a proper relationship with her son, he would act more sensibly.

Oh heck! I sound as if I’m preaching! It’s just that the whole story line is so unreal, that it’s made me really angry at how out of touch the author is, and that while she (presumably) thinks she’s furthering the discussion of an important topic, instead she is trivialising it.

The reason Madeline starts to volunteer at the rehab centre is that her Aunt Mary’s ghost writes the name of the hospital on the ceiling…that was a particularly badly written and unrealistic scene…yet when Madelaine gets to the hospital, Aunt Mary appears and glares at her, then disappears,  and Madeline carries on blithely wandering around. The “visions” seem to have no connection with anything else, including the plot.

From reading the last page, it seems the point was to get Madeline and Nat together. I don’t know (or care) what happened to Jeremy, the 16 year old son. I don’t care because the author didn’t write him or any of the other characters in a way that caused me to care.

I got this book as a free kindle download from Amazon. Quite frankly, it was over-priced. The writing is of high school standard, not published book standard. For example take four sentences from 12% in:

“It was such a beautiful day. I decided to stop at the waterfront. Since it was still early, I took the scenic route. I needed time to unwind, before I went home”

Why not write this as:

“I needed time to unwind before I went home. Since it was still early, I decided to take advantage of the beautiful day and drive the scenic route to the waterfront.” ?

OK, that could still do with some work, but at 0115 hours and very little effort, it’s still better than the original.

This is the point at which I stopped reading; I really couldn’t stand any more of the drivel.

In my opinion, the whole book needs the aid of a really good, fearless editor. The author probably has, from her nursing career, a good knowledge of the problems associated with and the treatment of alcoholism. She could make a difference, but not with this book as it currently stands. It fails to address the subject in a realistic and sensible manner.

I Did Not Finish this book. That’s a rarity for me – I estimate there are fewer than 24 books in my life that have this “honour”.

_._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._

View all my Goodreads reviews

In My Mailbox (9): Sunday 10 June 2012

__

__

__

Welcome to
In My Mailbox!!

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren and Letterbox Love is a British take on the idea. If you want to know more, there is information under the Fun Things heading above, or you can click on the pictures at the top of this post to take you to the hosts’ blogs.

These posts are to tell you about the books I have acquired recently. I know most bloggers call such posts “In My Mailbox”, however, as I’m English, my physical post comes through my letterbox and my electronic mail arrives in my mailbox (or my inbox…). So I have decided to use the following terms:

In My Letterbox (IML) for the physical books I aquire;
In My Mailbox (IMM) for the NetGalley books or ebooks sent to me for review by authors;
In My Inbox (IMI) for the free Kindle ebooks I compulsively download!

***************************

Hello there! Welcome back to my blog and to an IMM that contains two author gift eBooks and a virtual pile of Kindle books that I’ve bought from Amazon.  If you’ve read, or are planning to read, any of these books, I’d love to hear your thoughts on them.

Enjoy the browse – I hope you find something to pique your interest.

eBOOKS won on AUTHOR’S Private competitions for REVIEW:

1. Cameron Nation by David Carraturo

Cameron Nation: Going All-In to Save His CountryCameron Nation: Going All-In to Save His Country by David Carraturo

Frustrated with the current political climate self-made billionaire, Chris Cameron retires from a successful hedge fund to focus on philanthropic endeavors. With the notoriety received after he competes in the World Series of Poker to raise money for his newest charities, the Tea Party member is introduced to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. A driven, charismatic, and brilliant leader by nature, Cameron soon finds himself invited into the elite world of professional politics.

When Chris is asked to be the running mate on the GOP ticket, he leaps at the opportunity. The duo is elected and with the assistance of a super-majority Republican-controlled Congress they quickly implement a far-reaching agenda to restore the United States to its rightful place atop the geopolitical stage.

Cameron Nation tells the story of how a street smart kid from the suburbs of New York City leverages a deep understanding of economic theory, the business world and the capital markets combined with the savvy of an experienced poker player to provide overwhelming strategic support and gain the trust of the new president and the growing conservative movement.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’ve entered a few competitions to win this one, so I was really pleased when I won David’s Goodreads competition for one of twenty e-copies of the book.  Looking forward to reading this one – and aiming to get the review out before the end of the month!!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

2. Colombus Avenue Boys by David Carraturo

Columbus Avenue BoysColumbus Avenue Boys by David Carraturo

Salvatore Esposito, Anthony Albanese, and Christopher Cameron—the Columbus Avenue Boys—are somewhat related, as they share lineage back to before the turn of century. Having grown up together in a small community north of New York City, each became successful in his own right. Chris moved to Dallas to be a portfolio manager with a financial firm while Sal and Tony earn their living the hard way—by being enforcers and major earners for the mob.

Tony’s grandfather, Pops Scala, tells them a horrific secret from the Scalamarri Family past: twelve members of their family were massacred at the hands of Bugsy Siegel and his ruthless gang from Murder Inc. in 1935. Pops was the sole witness and lone survivor, and he was more than happy to pull the trigger and end Bugsy’s murderous life.

Now fifty years later, Pops convinces the Columbus Avenue Boys they must leave the underworld life for good. Since one cannot just give two weeks’ notice to the Gambino crime family, the three blood brothers devise a plan to infiltrate the inner workings of the Mafia in the 1990s to avenge the massacre in their family tree.

Columbus Avenue Boys chronicles the Scalamarri family tree throughout the twentieth century and presents a historical perspective of the life and struggles of an Italian immigrant family as well as that of America’s organized crime.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As with Cameron Nation, I’ve entered several competitions to win this book – and was one of the first five to respond to David’s Goodreads competition!  Now all I need to do is win a copy of Cameron’s Court and I’ll be able to review the set 🙂  Again, I’m aiming to have the review posted before the end of the month. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

eBooks (kindle) bought from amazon

1. The Flute Keeper’s Voyage (The Flute Keeper Saga #2) by Ashley Setzer

The Flute Keeper's Voyage (The Flute Keeper Saga, #2)The Flute Keeper’s Voyage by Ashley Setzer

Just as she’s settling into her new life in Faylinn, Emma Wren stands accused of causing a horrible curse that drains Ivywild castle and all the Fay living in it of their magic and vitality. Faced with banishment back to the human world, Emma becomes a fugitive and convinces the ever contrary Lev Hartwig to help her clear her name by curing the curse. The journey for the cure takes them to the high seas, where they must match wits with a wily Hobgoblin captain and her crew of pipe-smoking Gremlins, one very hairy cook, and a doctor with a split personality.
With the Fay army on her trail and a traitor racing her to reach the cure first, Emma is pushed to the limits of her burgeoning power. Though she treks across oceans, forests, deserts, and into the heart of a ghost city, she never walks the path alone. Friends old and new are on hand to help with bar brawls, flying serpents, and other travel hazards. When an evil greater than the curse is uncovered, Emma’s journey becomes a battle to save not just her home, but her friends as well.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I decided the the 77p Amazon were asking for this book was worth it (LOL) since Book 1 was free and the reviews make me think I’ll want to read the set.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

2. The Flute Keeper’s Training (The Flute Keeper Saga #3) by Ashley Setzer

The Flute Keeper's Training (The Flute Keeper Saga, #3) The Flute Keeper’s Training (The Flute Keeper Saga, #3) by Ashley Setzer

Princess Chloe’s sixteenth birthday is looming near, but an attack by a strange, half-mechanical monster leaves Emma little time to bother with the upcoming birthday ball—that is, until a certain handsome, blonde guest shows up early and sweeps both girls off their feet. The rivalry tests Emma’s loyalty to her best friend, as well as her devotion to her new job as a priestess trainee. To make matters worse, Lev Hartwig appears to be shunning her in favor of late night meetings with another girl. Ivywild castle is bursting with secrets and it is up to Emma to decide who she can trust and who the real monsters are before it’s too late.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As with Book 2, this was on offer at 77p, so I’m set for plenty of time with the Flute Keeper.  I’m not sure when I’ll get to read these…there are so many other books in my TBR list, some with deadlines!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

3. Never Forgotten (DCI Victor Moyes) by Peter Kirby

Set in the 1960’s this is the sixth in the series of stories covering DCI Victor Moyes’s attempts to contain the criminals operating in and around the fictional town of Abberford. Victor was what you would call a plodder refusing to give up on the cases he was involved in and relying to a certain extent on his second in command DS Victoria Morgan to come up with the ideas that would eventually bring the criminals to book.

As well as being involved in the work place they were also involved in their private lives their interest in dancing being the common denominator. They also used each other emotionally to satisfy their needs by spending passionate nights of love making although love was not involved…only their animal instincts.

This story covers the abduction of a girl held captive for seven years and repeated sexually and physically abused by her captor over this period of time and how she is eventually discovered

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I like detective stories, and at £1.02, I decided that I would buy this one too!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

4. Winter’s Destiny by Nancy Allan

Winter's DestinyWinter’s Destiny by Nancy Allan

She’s an architect, a wife, and a mother, but the quiet life ends suddenly for Amy Johnson. Alone, with a fall gale howling around the rafters, she turns to see a woman’s rain-streaked face staring at her through the dark window.

The face is identical to her own!

Instantly, Amy’s life crumbles. Her husband leaves, her only child disappears, and something sinister surrounds her and those she loves. Amy is catapulted into a world she knows nothing about–a place where a killer rules, where answers stay buried, where time ticks dangerously by, where her life is in constant peril, and worse, where her son, Jamie is hidden.

To find her child, she must find her look-alike, and that dislodges a killer who hunts her relentlessly. Sheriff Dallas Wayburne’s investigation parallels Amy’s, and their combined efforts draw them together when time is critical and when their relationship adds yet another dimension to Amy’s stressful life.

They finally track down the powerful, destructive man behind the scenes, learn the identity of Amy’s look-alike, and unravel a puzzle decades in the making. As time runs out, Amy struggles to save her son while fighting both a dangerous man and the perils of the treacherous Oregon coast.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I didn’t win this on the Goodreads Giveaways, so when I spotted it at £1.92, I decided to go for it!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

5. Paradox – The Angels Are Here by Patti Roberts

Paradox: The Angels Are Here (Paradox, #1)Paradox: The Angels Are Here by Patti Roberts

Paradox Series: Spanning over centuries to the present day, this is a story about love, loss, and betrayal.

My name is Juliette. Nine hundred years ago, I died. Today, I am alive…

The Ancient World – This is not a story about Vampires. However, we are talking about a predatory being that existed long before the word Vampire was ever whispered… the real monsters behind the legendary Vampire myths that reigned in Ancient times. They were a race of Fallen Angels called Grigorians.

The New World – Grace is a little girl struggling to understand the catastrophic events that are forcing their way into her otherwise seemingly normal, if not sometimes, strange world. Haunting visions and untimely deaths of others are a constant reminder that life and death are only a heartbeat away.

Grace finds herself trapped in a nightmare, consumed by paralyzing loss and overwhelming grief as she painfully witnesses her mother slowly being torn away from her.

A journey crossing Two Worlds. One Ancient – One New. How do the heartbreaking visions experienced by a little girl fit into this Ancient World of Angels, Myth & Legend?

Grace’s story will indeed break your heart and leave you asking… Who, When, Where? WHAT!

Book 2 in the Paradox Series – Progeny Of Innocence. Will evil strike again? You can bet your soul on it!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Book 2 was on the free offer, and at 99p, I thought I’d risk getting Book 1! 😉 This looks like a promising series.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

6. Firecracker by Charles R. Verhey

Firecracker Firecracker by Charles R. Verhey

Firecracker is a fun contemporary fantasy thriller about a young woman named Aideen Cassidy, who has to be careful with her emotions because when she explodes, things literally explode! Being a pyrokinetic – able to start fires with her mind – isn’t an easy thing to live with, especially when trying to find work in the modern world. Luck or fate lands her a job with a group of eccentric psychics who use their gifts to help local authorities with difficult cases. They can see the future, sense feelings, read minds – useful traits. All Aideen can do is blow things up. But there’ something special about her that has caught the attention of the most powerful psychic in the world, and there are secrets about the organization even the psychics don’t know. Plans have been put into motion, secrets are unraveling, lives are in danger, and the group soon find themselves caught in a conspiracy of shadowy monsters, government spies, and ancient legends that date back 600 years.

All Aideen wanted was to fit in. Now the lives of all her new friends must rely on her talents for fiery destruction.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I thought this was on the free list, so when I checked my order I was a bit surprised to find this cost me £3.23.  This wasn’t the only one in this order where this happens…guess I’ll have to be a bit more careful and double check before I hit the “Buy” button… 😀

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

7. Chocolate Aftertaste by Liz Grace Davis

Chocolate AftertasteChocolate Aftertaste by Liz Grace Davis

At her pre-wedding dinner, Nora Darkin, the daughter of a wealthy entrepreneur, discovers her fiancé is not the man she thought he was. As her father hoists his glass to toast them, she makes an announcement: there will be no wedding to her father’s right-hand man.

Due to the fresh rift driven between her and her father, Nora escapes to the quaint town of Dreara. Determined to live her life her own way, she makes new friends and pursues her lifelong desire of becoming a chef. Ethan Danes, a neighbour with his own broken heart, helps soothe hers.

Just as Nora discovers what it means to be happy, and she begins to fall in love with Ethan, a woman from his past re-enters his life…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

At £1.95, I’m not so upset at not noticing this wasn’t on the freebie list.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

8. Immortal Coil (A Dragon Spirit Novel, Book 1) by C.I. Black

Immortal CoilImmortal Coil by C.I. Black

Two souls. One Body. Sharing is not an option…

Terrible news has turned Anaea Salis’s life upside down. There’s nothing she can do to make it right and the stranger who stops to talk to her can’t help. But when that stranger, Hunter, an ancient dragon spirit, is viciously attacked and forced to transfer his spirit into her body, Anaea’s life takes a new terrifying twist.

Hunter should have known by now not to get involved with human affairs, but there was something about the woman that drew him to her and he just couldn’t help himself. Trapped in her body all he wants is to get out, except whoever is trying to kill him is now after her.

Their only hope of survival… plunge into the deadly world of dragons.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is another one where I didn’t spot that it wasn’t a freebie.  Even when I thought it was a freebie, I was in two minds about downloading it, so finding I’d paid £4.47 for it was a bit of a downer!  Let’s hope that when I read it, I decide it was worth it!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

9. Wicked Game by Matt Johnson

Wicked GameWicked Game by Matt Johnson

A policeman is killed in a bomb blast, a second is gunned down in his own driveway. The Wicked Game has started.

Former SAS and now Royalty protection officer Robert Finlay has had enough of the job’s not-so-glamorous demands and opts to transfer to a local police station. But Fate has plans for Finlay – both of the murdered policemen are former Army colleagues.

Finlay doesn’t see himself as the hero type – just a survivor. A ‘Wicked Game’, where he is the target, is about to test his skills to the limit.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This was £1.99.  I can’t remember if I knew that before I bought it, but I suspect not.  Still, it sounds like something I’ll enjoy, so I’m not too annoyed with myself.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

…………………………………………..

So there we go: two more books won and intended for review; five books bought intentionally and four books I thought were free but weren’t.  A lesson learned.  Quite a fun-filled week on the book acquisition front!!

Next week’s IMM will be a look at some of the NetGalley books for which I’ve been approved, so the following week’s IML will look at new arrivals over the two weeks between now and then – I know it will be an IML as I bought four books at a charity stall yesterday and I’ve been told a book is in the post and winging its way to my sticky paws from Canada 🙂 Come back in two weeks to find out what all these are!

Leave a link to your IMM post, or blog in general, and I’ll pop over and say hello.  I hope there is something here that is new to you and that it has inspired you to go on a book hunt.  Whatever you’re reading in the coming week – enjoy and share the love 😀