Category Archives: WBTC2012

Free eBooks read towards the Why Buy
The Cow 2012 Reading Challenge

Hal Spacejock by Simon Haynes: review

Hal SpacejockHal Spacejock by Simon Haynes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the fourth edition. Slightly revised and polished in August 2011, then released on Kindle and Smashwords.
“Better than Red Dwarf” – Tom Holt
Hal Spacejock, an incompetent accident-prone pilot, is given one last chance to save his ship. An ageing robot is trusted with a midnight landing in a deserted field. And a desperate businessman is prepared to sacrifice both of them to get what he wants…
Combining relentless action with non-stop laughs, Hal Spacejock explodes onto the science fiction scene with the subtlety of a meteor strike and the hushed reverence of a used car salesman.

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

I think that this book is trying to be The Stainless Steel Rat, but is not written well enough. The descriptions need to be richer, but not much longer, so that the reader can see the locations and people in their mind’s-eye. These were altogether too sketchy, which was a great shame as several of the characters were worthy of more attention. When reading Hal Spacejock, all I can see are the words on the page; I don’t like reading like this, I prefer to have the images play across my imagination like a film.

The set up and plot are well thought out, it is the execution of the writing that I feel is lacking.

As the story continues, however, the individual vignettes become increasingly predictable – without an increase in humour. I felt that the characters Clyde and Albion could have been used with more effect – we started to get to know them and then they disappeared!

All in all, an enjoyable read and I will probably read more of the series if I come across them.

I downloaded Hal Spacejock for free from Amazon

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I’m claiming this book as No. tbr/150 in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge; No. 10 in the Why Buy the Cow? Reading challenge; and No. 2 in the First in Series Reading challenge.
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In My Inbox (7): Sunday 27 May 2012

Welcome to
In My Inbox!!

I have been treatening to do this for a some time now – and here it is: the list of the ebooks I have downloaded, for free, from Amazon during 2011; the 2012 books will appear in a later IMI post.  Now I can see them all, I realise that I’ve been a bit like a small child in a sweet shop, grabbing pretty much anything I can see.  In fact, I’ve downloaded more books in three months than I said I’d read in a year for the Goodreads Challenge!  I think I need to take a few deep breaths and be a little more picky…or have someone tell me to “put down the mouse and step away from the computer” 🙂

I have read quite a number of these books (more than I’ve yet registered on Goodreads…that’s next on my To Do List) and I’ve linked the ones I’ve already reviewed.  I doubt I’ll come back and retrospectively link, since the next item on my To Do List (it’s a long list) is to update my reading challenge pages with the appropriate books.

FREE eBooks downloaded in October 2011:

1. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (with Cross-References): Old and New Testaments by Crossway Bibles

2. The Holy Bible: HCSB Digital Text Edition by B & H Publishing Group

3. The Man Who Knew Too Much by Chesterton, G. K. (Gilbert Keith)

4. Beowulf

5. How to Live on 24 Hours a Day by Arnold Bennett

6. Winning the Zero Moment of Truth – ZMOT (Enhanced Version) (Kindle Edition with Audio/Video) by Jim Lecinski

7. Prayers for Today by Kurt Bjorklund

8. Secrets Uncovered – Blogs, hints and the inside scoop from Mills & Boon editors and authors by Various Authors

9. Overcoming Redundancy: 52 Inspiring Ideas to Help You Bounce Back From Losing Your Job by Gordon Adams

10. Self-Empowerment through Self-Hypnosis: Harnessing the Enormous Potential of the Mind by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke and Joe H. Slate PhD

11. Spying in High Heels (High Heels Mysteries) by Gemma Halliday

12. The Iliad by Homer

13. The One You Love (suspense mystery) by Paul Pilkington Read

14. FREE 25 Language Phrasebook by Mobile Reference (Mobi Travel) MobileReference

FREE eBooks downloaded in November 2011:

1. First Impressions (Grace deHaviland) by David DeLee

2. Legwork (Casey Jones Mystery Series) by Katy Munger Read

3. The Samurai Strategy by Thomas Hoover Read

4. QB1 by Pete Bowen Read

5. Killing Faith (A Gabriel De Sade Thriller, book 1) by Eric Meyer Read

6. Chili Con Corpses: A Supper Club Mystery (The Supper Club Mysteries) by J.B. Stanley Read

7. Inspector Zhang Gets His Wish (a free short story) by Stephen Leather Read

8. Delver Magic Book I: Sanctum’s Breach by Jeff Inlo

9. Delver Magic Book II: Throne of Vengeance by Jeff Inlo

10. Delver Magic Book III: Balance of Fate by Jeff Inlo

11. The Thorn (The Chronicles of Gan) by Daron Fraley

12. Comic History of England by Bill Nye

13. Verse and Prose for Beginners in Reading Selected from English and American Literature

14. The Glass Wall (Book One – The Glass Wall) by Carmen Caine & Madison Adler Read

15. History of Egypt, Chaldea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria in the Light of Recent Discovery by L. W. King (Leonard William) & H. R. Hall (Harry Reginald)

16. Exposed:Misbehaving with the Magnate by Kelly Hunter Read

17. Sephardic Israeli Cuisine: A Mediterranean Mosaic by Sheilah Kaufman

18. The Personal Credibility Factor: How to Get It, Keep It, and Get It Back (If You’ve Lost It) by Sandy Allgeier

19. Make More, Worry Less: Secrets from 18 Extraordinary People Who Created a Bigger Income and a Better Life by Wes Moss

20. The Kerala Kitchen: Recipes and Recollections from the Syrian Christians of South India (Hippocrene Cookbook Library) by Lathika George & Latha George Pottenkulam

21. Cuisines of the Alps: Recipes, Drinks and Lore From France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, Germany, Austria and Slovenia (Hippocrene Cookbook Library) by Kay Shaw Nelson

22. Cooking from China’s Fujian Province: One of China’s Eight Great Cuisines by Jacqueline M. Newman

23. Gypsy Feast: Recipes and Culinary Traditions of the Romany People (Hippocrene Cookbook Library) by Carol Wilson

24. Nile Style: Egyptian Cuisine and Culture: Ancient Festivals, Significant Ceremonies, and Modern Celebrations (Hippocrene Cookbook Library) by Amy Riolo

25. Aprovecho: A Mexican-American Border Cookbook (Hippocrene Cookbook Library) by Teresa Cordero-Cordell & Robert Cordell

26. The Best of Polish Cooking: A Delightful Compilation of Traditional Polish Fare in an Easy-to-use Menu Format by Karen West

27. Healthy South Indian Cooking by Alamelu Vairavan & Patricia Marquardt

28. Give Me – A Romance of Wyrd and Fae by LK Rigel

29. The God’s Wife by Lynn Voedisch

30. A Little Bit of Everything For Dummies For Dummies

31. Holy Bible, GOD’S WORD Translation (GW) (with direct verse lookup and book and chapter navigation) by Baker Publishing Group

32. Falling Star by Diana Dempsey Read

33. Write That Book Already!: The Tough Love You Need To Get Published Now by Sam Barry & Kathi Kamen Goldmark

34. Strategy Power Plays (Infinite Success Series) by Tim Phillips & Karen Mccreadie

35. Legends of Babylon and Egypt in relation to Hebrew tradition by L. W. King (Leonard William)

36. South: The Story of Shackleton’s 1914-1917 Expedition by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton

37. The Book of Household Management by Mrs. Isabella Mary Beeton

FREE eBooks downloaded in December 2011:

1. Resting In the Bosom Of the Lamb by Augusta Trobaugh Read

2. The Bell-Ringer of Angel’s by Bret Harte

3. A Dog Named Slugger by Leigh Brill

4. A Bell’s Biography by Nathaniel Hawthorne

5. Praise Jerusalem! by Augusta Trobaugh

6. Striking Back by Mark Nykanen Read

7. The Diving Bell Or, Pearls to be Sought for by Francis C. Woodworth (Francis Channing)

8. Sophie and the Rising Sun by Augusta Trobaugh Read|Reviewed

9. Biographical Notes on the Pseudonymous Bells by Charlotte Brontë

10. Masters of Space by Morse, Thompson, Bell, Marconi, Carty Towers, Walter Kellogg

11. The Past Came Hunting by Donnell Bell Read|Reviewed

12. Records of a Family of Engineers by Robert Louis Stevenson

13. Mai Tai One On by Jill Marie Landis Read

14. Desperate Housedogs by Sparkle Abbey Read|Reviewed

15. Exposure by Donna Ball Read

16. Renegade (Devoncroix Dynasty) by Donna Boyd Read|Reviewed

17. Night Flight by Donna Ball Read

18. Sanctuary by Donna Ball Read|Reviewed

19. Sweet Tea and Jesus Shoes by Sandra Chastain, Deborah Smith, Donna Ball, Virginia Ellis aka Lyn Ellis, Debra Dixon, Nancy Knight Read

20. Dwelling in His Presence / 30 Days of Intimacy with God: A Devotional for Today’s Woman (NavPress Devotional Readers) by Cynthia Heald

21. The Cart Before The Corpse (The Merry Abbot Carriage-Driving Mystery) by Carolyn McSparren Read

22. Mossy Creek by Deborah Smith, Sandra Chastain, Debra Dixon Read

23. Blood Rock by Anthony Francis

24. Beyond The Misty Shore by Vicki Hinze

25. Carl von Clausewitz’s On War: A Modern-Day Interpretation of a Strategy Classic (Infinite Success Series) by Andrew Holmes

26. Power-up Pilates: Power and Poise For Daily Life (52 Brilliant Ideas) by Steve Shipside

27. The Wedding Gift by Kathleen McKenna Read|Reviewed

28. Winners Never Cheat: Even in Difficult Times, New and Expanded Edition: Even in Hard Times by Jon M. Huntsman

29. Five Minutes on Mondays: Finding Unexpected Purpose, Peace, and Fulfillment at Work by Alan Lurie

30. The Year She Fell by Alicia Rasley Read|Reviewed

31. 25 Days to Better Thinking and Better Living: A Guide for Improving Every Aspect of Your Life by Richard W. Paul & Linda Elder

32. The Art of Asking: Ask Better Questions, Get Better Answers by Terry J. Fadem

33. The Clinch Knot: Fly Fishing Mystery Series, Book 3 by John Galligan Read

34. Smart Women Know When to Say No by Dr. Kevin Leman

35. The Last Drop de Camp by L. Sprague & L. Ron Hubbard

36. Samuel Smiles’ Self-Help: A 52 Brilliant Ideas Interpretation by Steve Shipside

37. Master Dating: Get the Life and Love You Want (52 Brilliant Ideas) by Lisa Helmanis

38. Horror at Halloween: Part One by John Gordon

39. World’s best romance tips by Peter Cross & Dr Sabina Dosani

40. The Twilight of the Gods, and Other Tales by Richard Garnett

41. Improve Your Business Communication (Collection) by Jerry Weissman, Terry J. Fadem, Natalie Canavor & Claire Meirowitz,

42. Future Agenda: The World in 2020 by Tim Jones

43. Boost Your Child’s Confidence: 52 Brilliant Drama Techniques to Help Your Child Shine (52 Brilliant Ideas) by Lucy Morgans and Steve Hemsley

44. Haunted Love (Free short story) by Cynthia Leitich Smith

45. A Hearth in Candlewood (The Candlewood Trilogy, Book 1) by Delia Parr

46. Analysis Without Paralysis: 10 Tools to Make Better Strategic Decisions by Craig S. Fleisher and Babette E. Bensoussan

47. Healthy Children’s Lunches: 52 Brilliant Little Ideas For Junk-Free Meals Kids Will Love (52 Brilliant Ideas) by Mandy Francis

48. World’s best stress-busting tips by Elisabeth Wilson

49. Even You Can Learn Statistics: A Guide for Everyone Who Has Ever Been Afraid of Statistics (2nd Edition) by David M. Levine and David F. Stephan

50. Money, Possessions, and Eternity by Randy Alcorn

51. God’s Eye by A.J. Scudiere

52. Tinseltown by Victoria Fox Read|Reviewed

53. Bridgehead by Stephen Huff

54. The Wrong Side Of Backwards by Stephen Huff

55. Darker Matter: Stories of Strange Futures by Aaron Polson

56. The Awakened: Book One by Jason Tesar

57. Human Resources by Stephen Huff

58. That Last Door Standing Wide Open by Stephen Huff

59. A Dixie Christmas by Sandra Hill

60. Guardian Cats and the Lost Books of Alexandria by Rahma Krambo

61. Guardian of the Dawn (Short Story) (Kormak) by William King

62. Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose by Jagdish N. Sheth, Rajendra S. Sisodia & David B. Wolfe

63. A Victorian Christmas (Anthology) by Catherine Palmer Read

64. Child of the Mist (These Highland Hills, Book 1): These Highland Hills Series, Book 1 by Kathleen Morgan

65. The Culture Cycle: How to Shape the Unseen Force that Transforms Performance by James Heskett

66. Cultivate a Cool Career: 52 Brilliant Ideas for Reaching the Top by Ken Langdon

67. Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince: A 52 Brilliant Ideas Interpretation (Infinite Success Series) by Tim Phillips

68. Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich: A 52 Brilliant Ideas Interpretation (Infinite Success) by Karen

69. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self-Reliance: A Modern-day Interpretation of a Self-help Classic (Infinite Success Series) by Andrew Holmes

70. Frank Bettger’s How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success (Infinite Success Series) by Karen Mccreadie

71. C. Northcote Parkinson’s Parkinson’s Law (Infinite Success Series) by Leo Gough

72. The Disciplined Life (Ebook Short) by Calvin Miller

73. Kiss of The Christmas Wind by Janelle Taylor

74. Practically Fictive by Brian Kahin Read

75. Helpful herbs for health and beauty by Barbara Griggs

76. What’s Stopping You?: Shatter the 9 Most Common Myths Keeping You from Starting Your Own Business by R. Duane Ireland & Bruce Barringer

77. Networking: Work Your Contacts to Supercharge Your Career by Nicholas King

78. Insights from Remarkable Businesspeople (Collection) by D. Michael Abrashoff

79. Stress-proof Your Business and Your Life by Elisabeth Wilson & Steve Pipe

80. Transform Your Life by Penny Ferguson

81. Lose weight and stay slim: Secrets of Fad-free Dieting (52 Brilliant Ideas) by Eve Cameron

82. Drop a Dress Size: 52 Brilliant Little Ideas to Lose Weight and Stay Slim by Kate Cook & Eve Cameron

83. Have it Your Way by Nicholas Bate

84. The Golden Acorn: The Adventures of Jack Brenin by Catherine Cooper

85. Design on a Crime (Deadly Décor Mysteries, Book 1) by Ginny Aiken Read

86. Be your own best life coach: Take Charge and Live the Life You Always Wanted (52 Brilliant Ideas) by Jackee Holder

87. The brilliant book of calm: Down to Earth Ideas For Finding Inner Peace in a Chaotic World (52 Brilliant Ideas) by Tania Ahsan

88. Boundless Energy by Elisabeth Wilson

89. Children of Another God (The Broken World) by T C Southwell

This post has taken hours of work to format over the last month. I think it’s been worth it as I can see a number of books – particularly the business and self-help books that I’ve filed in suitably named folders on my Kindle – that I’d forgotten I’d downloaded. I really have to be more selective in my downloading!

Renegade: review

Renegade (Devoncroix Dynasty)Renegade by Donna Boyd

Emory Hilliford, an unassuming anthropology professor, is drugged, held captive and interrogated by a mysterious stranger who wants only one thing: the truth about an ancient race of beings known as the lupinotuum, half man/half wolf, who have walked among humans for centuries. Once they ruled the tundra, now they rule Wall Street. Once they fought with teeth and claws, now they fight with wealth and power. And Emory Hilliford, an orphan who was raised by a family of sophisticated, influential lupinotuum in twentieth century Venice, is uniquely positioned to chronicle their culture, their history, and their secrets.

Unknown to all but a select few, Emory has also been carefully groomed to play a crucial role in history, one that could have deadly consequences for his own race, and theirs. Now forced to tell his story, Emory must decide how much of the truth he can afford to reveal, and what secrets he will take to his grave… because his own time is running out.

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have not read any of the other Devoncroix books, but didn’t feel that was a disadvantage in reading this book. In some ways, I suspect it might be a summary of the rest of the series, filling in some of the blanks between the books.

I found the story compelling, the switches between time-slots, genres and pace made for a rollercoaster ride. Moving from an action-packed flashback story to the current day in the kidnap location, where everything was gentile and calm was an effective technique.

The writing was eloquent and visual. This is obviously a well-developed universe and I didn’t spot any internal inconsistencies.

The werewolves in this book/ series are different from those in many other stories. I liked the premise behind these better; it owes a lot to the sange real hypothesis, which then gives an explanation of how humans and werewolves might co-exist.

An excellent book I would recommend to readers of suspense and mystery books as well as lupus-lovers!

I’m claiming this book as No. 3/150 in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge and No. 9 in the Why Buy the Cow? Reading challenge.
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The Year She Fell: review

The Year She FellThe Year She Fell by Alicia Rasley

The tragic mystery at the heart of their family has finally surfaced . . . When Ellen Wakefield O’Connor is confronted by a young man armed with a birth certificate that mistakenly names her as his mother, she quickly sorts out the truth: his birth mother listed Ellen on the certificate to cover up her own identity, but also because Ellen is, in a way, related to the child. The birth father is Ellen’s troubled husband, Tom. The secrets of the past soon engulf Ellen, Tom, and everyone they love.

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading this book. The main thread, the search of a birth mother, a cause of death and the truth, was revealed in surprising twists and turns, and with some amusing diversions. I worked out the cause of death quite early on, and was surprised when no-one picked up on the massive death scene clue (not even the author, apparently). I took longer in working out the birth mother, but that was due to information availablility.

To contrast with the main story threads, there were lighter moments. I have to say I found the relationship between Laura and Jackson to be more Mills and Boon than anything else, but that was ok. It was all surface and little substance. They were pleasant characters. Mother was something of a cipher, who never had the chance to speak to us herself in this book.

Alicia Rasley’s use of changing narrator and technique of overlapping their telling of parts of the story whilst moving the plot on was enjoyable. Alicia’s use of classical family dynamics theory underpins many of the interactions and character traits in the story.

There were a few inconsistencies and, as I read it on a kindle, flicking back to check details like dates I found inconvenient (hhmmmm…guess I should look at the search facility!) and there were a couple of baggy bits in the plot. I forgave the baggy bits as Alicia’s exploration of the effects of uncovering old lies on the various members of the family was interesting.

A little more on how those effects manifested themselves in how the characters saw themselves after the revelations would have been interesting.

All in all a very enjoyable read and a book I would recommend.

I’m claiming this book as No. 1/150 in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge and No. 8 in the Why Buy the Cow? Reading challenge.
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The Art of Zen Meditation: review

The Art of Zen MeditationThe Art of Zen Meditation by Howard Fast

Bestselling author Howard Fast’s straightforward introduction to Zen meditation
Howard Fast began to formally practice Zen meditation after turning away from communism in 1956. The Art of Zen Meditation, originally published by the antiwar political collective Peace Press in 1977, is the fruit of Fast’s study: a brief and instructive history of Zen Buddhism and its tenets, written with a simplicity that is emblematic of the philosophy itself. Fast’s study of Zen also inspired his popular Masao Masuto mystery series about a Zen Buddhist detective in Beverly Hills, which he published under the pseudonym E. V. Cunningham. The Art of Zen Meditation is illustrated with twenty-three beautiful photographs. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Howard Fast including rare photos from the author’s estate.

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

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A nice introduction to Zen, the art of sitting. It gives a different view and method of meditating to the one I’m used to. I shall be trying out this method.

I got this free eBook from Amazon

I’m claiming this book as No. 15/150 in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge and No. 7 in the Why Buy the Cow? Reading challenge.
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Sophie and the Rising Sun: review

Sophie and the Rising SunSophie and the Rising Sun by Augusta Trobaugh

An unforgettable story of an extraordinary love and a town’s prejudice during World War II.

Sophie and the Rising Sun “suggests the small but heartwarming triumphs made possible by human dignity and courage.” –Publisher’s Weekly.

In sleepy Salty Creek, Georgia, strangers are rare. When a quiet, unassuming stranger arrives—a Japanese man with a secret history of his own—he becomes the talk of the town and a new beginning for lonely Sophie, who lost her first love during World War I.  Middle-aged Sophie had resigned herself to a passionless existence.  That all begins to change as she finds herself drawn to the mysterious Mr. Oto. When the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, Mr. Oto’s newfound life comes under siege; his safety, even in Salty Creek, is no longer certain.  Sophie must decide how much she is willing to risk for a future with the man who has brought such joy into her life.

Visit the author at: www.AugustaTrobaugh.com

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You never quite knew where this was going to head next, but each destination and waypoint where just right.

The whole book is a delight.

I liked the changing story-teller; it gave a fresh view on the action and deeper understanding of the characters. This device made the ending work far better than a simple third-person telling would have managed.

The main characters were delicately and exquisitely drawn – just like the Crane-Wife. The conflict between personal and public opinions and actions that characterises this book left me wondering what I would do in a similar situation.

I got this free kindle download from Amazon.

I’m claiming this book as No. 14/150 in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge and No. 6 in the Why Buy the Cow? Reading challenge.
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Lonely Millionaire: review

Lonely MillionaireLonely Millionaire by Carol Grace

Dear Mr. Lonely….Mandy Clayton never answered personal ads, but this was one she couldn’t resist and now she was falling for a guy she’d never met.
Adam Gray was not interested in a mail-order romance, but he was willing to write some love letters for his friend. Then he had to go “check out” the bride to be. Off he went on an undercover job at Mandy’s Bed and Breakfast in a small California beach town. Adam was a good guy who always played by the rules, but one look at Mandy and he couldn’t help it – he wanted her for himself! He wasn’t there to romance his best friend’s fiancee. He knew that. It would be wrong… He knew that too.

         *****         *****         *****         *****         *****         *****         *****
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Why do I read Mills and Boon books???
This was a particularly nausiating example, from the 80s.
The research into the “hero’s” job was hopeless…there were so many factual errors. The main characters were so irritating that I just wanted to slap them. The best two characters were Jack (who didn’t get a girl) and the toucan!

I got heartily fed up of all the repeated angst, shear stupidity and Mandy’s comment that “being dumped twice in one lifetime was just too much”.  In which universe is the writer living???

To be fair, I have read quite a number of reasonable M&B books – yes, they’re predictable, but if the research is done properly and the plot moves along…then they’re quite readable and pass a few hours in fantasy land.

I finished the book as it counts towards my WBTC Challenge, since I got this free eBook from Amazon.

I’m claiming this book as No. 13/150 in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge and No. 5 in the Why Buy the Cow? Reading challenge.
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Sanctuary: Review

SanctuarySanctuary by Donna Ball

In the terrifying tradition of Dean Koontz…

Fleeing the violence and crime of life in the city, architect Laura Kane and her five year old daughter Christy move to an exclusive planned community deep in the untouched mountain wilderness of the Smoky Mountains. Legend has it that their home is built on holy ground. Other legends tell of hideous beasts that roam the mountainside, Yeti-like creatures so terrifying that no one has ever dared disturb their sanctuary… until now.

First there are random acts of vandalism, then small pets begin to disappear, and then men go into the woods and don’t come back. When Christy’s nightmares begin to suggest that she can actually communicate with the creatures who are wreaking such havoc on their small and vulnerable community, Laura is terrified. Because Christy’s dreams tell her that the monsters are coming for her next.

And she is right.

Sanctuary is a suspense-filled tale of love, courage and redemption that will take you in its grip from the first page and leave you breathless by the last. Because sometimes the real monsters are the ones you can’t escape, no matter how far you run.

******         ******         ******         ******         ******         ******         ******
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fantastic tale – I love the subtle change of view of the “monsters” from evil aliens to…well, you’ll have to read the book – I’m not going to spoil!

This was pretty much unputdownable…I read myself to sleep rather than put it down! I like Donna Ball’s writing and Sanctuary did not disappoint. Some of the lead-up plots were a little unbelievable, but the action and main plot were well crafted.  The suspense builds nicely throughout the book, interspersed with more ordinary goings-on.

I downloaded this free eBook from Amazon.

I’m claiming this book as No. 9/150 in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge and No. 4 in the Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge.
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Tinseltown: Review

TinseltownTinseltown by Victoria Fox

Fox is ‘giving Jackie Collins a run for her money’ – That’s Life ‘Victoria Fox…puts the bonk back into bonkbuster!’ – Lovereading “a heady mix of corruption, glamour, lust and power…get your scandal fix here!” – Closer on

Hollywood Sinners Dom Judd is the hottest man in Hollywood. He’ll do anything to get out of being a sexy Santa in Hollywood’s famous Tinseltown parade…but can he persuade his brother to take the reins? Waitress Clare has just been dumped. Playing Rudolph is hardly going to help her single status – until she sees how drop-dead gorgeous Father Christmas is! Laney Allen has shot to fame, but hates the limelight – and it seems only Santa can help her overcome her stage-fright… As the snow falls and sleigh bells ring, whose Tinseltown dreams will come true? I hope this seasonal short story will make your Christmas merry and bright, Love, Victoria Fox x

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

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A great short book…more of a taster than a full tale. Well written and the characters were well sketched in the short time available. I’d like to “meet” them in future.

This is a nice seasonal story, some parts fairly predictable (like who’s in the Santa suit) that leaves you with a warm glow just right for Christmas.  Still, I read it before Twelfth Night so it was still the Christmas Season! LOL.

I downloaded this free eBook from Amazon

I’m claiming this book as No. 12/150 in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge and No. 3 in the Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge.
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The Wedding Gift: Review

The Wedding GiftThe Wedding Gift by Kathleen McKenna

It is a spine-electrifying supernatural tale where a huge Southern States mansion contains one of the most terrifying, violent and indeed psychopathic ghosts to haunt any town. It is also a murder mystery – why did Robina Willets apparently kill all five of her young children, and her husband, before stabbing herself to death? And, if you are in the camp of believing that ‘justice …. just is not’, then this will have you frothing at the mouth with righteous social fury. Add to that the vision of two exceptionally beautiful girls lying on a landing stage in the middle of a secluded lake, sleeping naked in the sun …. …. and then see if you can find any consecutive ten minutes in this book when you don’t at least snicker at the heroine Leeann’s sly, caustic, sometimes-knowing sometimes ‘too stupid to live’ commentary.

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The main character is Leeann, whose self-absorption, selfishness and lack of morals were tempered by her genuine good heart and unexpected flashes of insight – and her courage and compassion. Her friend Jessie is the practical, more worldly-wise of the two 17 year-olds and it is Jessie who for most of the book, keeps or digs Leeann out of most of her troubles. The rest of the supporting cast, including George, Leeann’s husband, are less well drawn. This fits entirely with the premise that the book is Leeann’s journal and therefore knowledge, and insight, of the characters is that of Leeann.

This is ghost story with a difference. It is unpredictable and suitable twisty.

Well written, well plotted. A gem of a find.

I downloaded this eBook from Amazon for free.

I’m claiming this book as No. 11/150 in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge and No. 2 in the Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge.
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