Category Archives: Print Book – as Pledged!

Released next month: The Corpse-Rat King by Lee Battersby

Due for Release in September 2012

The Corpse-Rat King by Lee Battersby

The Corpse-Rat KingThe Corpse-Rat King by Lee Battersby

Marius don Hellespont and his apprentice, Gerd, are professional looters of battlefields. When they stumble upon the corpse of the King of Scorby and Gerd is killed, Marius is mistaken for the monarch by one of the dead soldiers and is transported down to the Kingdom of the Dead.

Just like the living citizens, the dead need a King — after all, the King is God’s representative, and someone needs to remind God where they are.

And so it comes to pass that Marius is banished to the surface with one message: if he wants to recover his life he must find the dead a King. Which he fully intends to do.

Just as soon as he stops running away.

UK/RoW
6 Sep 2012
B-format paperback
£7.99 UK
ISBN 9780857662866

US/CAN
28 Aug 2012
mass-market paperback
$7.99 US $8.99 CAN
ISBN 9780857662873

eBook
28 Aug 2012
£5.49
ePub ISBN 9780857662880

The ebook is available from The Robot Trading Company once The Corpse-Rat King is released. The print books I presume will be available in all the usual places; the publishers don’t say!

Published by Angry Robot, The Corpse-Rat King sounds to be an intriguing story with plenty of action, both natural and supernatural, on the way. This is on my “look-for” list!

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Defying Drakon by Carole Mortimer: review

Defying DrakonDefying Drakon by Carole Mortimer

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Drakon Lyonedes has it all: power, wealth, sex appeal…and any woman he wants! Until the beautiful Gemini Bartholomew steps into his life, that is…Confronting him over his plan to turn her family home into a hotel, Gemini intrigues Drakon. The problem? Long-term just isn’t in this infamously arrogant tycoon’s vocabulary—and Gemini is a virgin who surely wants more than one night of sizzling, scorching passion…?

She’s determined to defy him, but whose willpower will prove the strongest?

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Defying Drakon is published by Mills and Boon, so it’s no spoiler to reveal that boy gets girl! This is a slightly more realistic relationship plot than others I have read recently. For instance, Gemini, the heroine, has a shop and employs an assistant, so life went on there during the predictable “whisking away” of heroine by hero, the eponymous Drakon.

As usual, the whole book takes place in the space of 2 – 3 weeks: from complete strangers to soulmates in under 21 days! I think (it’s been quite some time since I read the book) they also got a marriage licence in record time. Marry in haste, repent at leisure springs to mind!

I bought Defying Drakon – only because I didn’t get round to cancelling my subscription in time to prevent shipment, as I had intended. I don’t recall any of the usual M&B printing glitches – no incorrect names anywhere!

I recommend Defying Drakon to all Mills and Boon lovers; it is a good example of the genre.

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View all my Goodreads reviews

I’m claiming this book as No. 57/150 in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge.
[All links in right hand sidebar]

Waiting on Wednesday (3): Wednesday 22 August 2012

Welcome to
Waiting on Wednesday!!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. You can click on the picture at the top of this post to take you to the host’s blog.

Here are some upcoming books from Strange Chemistry, a relatively new imprint specialising in YA Sci-Fi and Fantasy.

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Emilie and the hollow world by martha wells

No Art Work Available

While running away from home for reasons that are eminently defensible, Emilie’s plans to stow away on the steamship Merry Bell and reach her cousin in the big city go awry, landing her on the wrong ship and at the beginning of a fantastic adventure.

Taken under the protection of Lady Marlende, Emilie learns that the crew hopes to use the aether currents and an experimental engine, and with the assistance of Lord Engal, journey to the interior of the planet in search of Marlende’s missing father.

With the ship damaged on arrival, they attempt to traverse the strange lands on their quest. But when evidence points to sabotage and they encounter the treacherous Lord Ivers, along with the strange race of the sea-lands, Emilie has to make some challenging decisions and take daring action if they are ever to reach the surface world again.

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I think that Emilie and the Hollow World sounds like a cross between Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials.  It sounds exciting and entertaining.

Emilie and the Hollow World is published by Strange Chemistry and is released in April 2013 in the UK and the US/Canada and internationally as an ebook.

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zenn scarlett by christian schoon

No Art Work Available

Zenn Scarlett is a bright, determined, occasionally a-little-too-smart-for-her-own-good 15-year-old girl training hard to become an exoveterinarian. That means she’s specializing in the treatment of exotic alien life forms, mostly large and generally dangerous. Her novice year of training at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars will find her working with alien patients from whalehounds the size of a hay barn to a baby Kiran Sunkiller, a colossal floating creature that will grow up to carry a whole sky-city on its back.

But after a series of inexplicable animal escapes from the school and other near-disasters, the Cloister is in real danger of being shut down by a group of alien-hating officials. If that happens, Zenn knows only too well the grim fate awaiting the creatures she loves.

Now, she must unravel the baffling events plaguing her school, before someone is hurt or killed, before everything she cares about is ripped away from her and her family forever. To solve this mystery – and live to tell about it – Zenn will have to put her new exovet skills to work in ways she never imagined, and in the process learn just how powerful compassion and empathy can be.

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Can’t wait to read all about the alien animals as Zenn Scarlett solves the mystery of how the animals are escaping.

Zenn Scarlett is published by Strange Chemistry and is released in May 2013 in the UK and the US/Canada and internationally as an ebook.

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Two exciting books to look forward to seeing in the shops.  If you want to know more, the links under “Strange Chemistry” will take you to their pages about the books in question where you can find links to your favourite online shops – and can pre-order.

Tuesday Totals (8) 2012: Week 33

Tuesday Totals – 13 to 19 August 2012

Here is my weekly round-up of my blog activities – accomplished and planned – that I use 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 weeks 13 to 19 August 2012.

Currently Reading

The books I’m reading as I post.

1. Cameron Nation by David Carraturo (AG)

This is going on the back burner for a few weeks; I have some other books that have run up the list.

2. Luke Wood presents More than a Million Words by Luke Wood and others (FR)

I think a few of these before bed will be a nice treat.  I try not to read too many in one go, so I can savour each piece.

3. The Consul at Sunset by Gerald Hanley

We’ve now met a different character – at odds with the Establishment types, but bound to play by the rules.

4. The River Witch by Kimberly Brock (NG)

Totally absorbing – I couldn’t believe I’d read nearly half of it in one sitting – over dinner!

Finished This week

1. Wolf Dawn by Susan Cartwright (AG)

The story is totally absorbing.  The writing style is a little ponderous, but the universe building is good.  I enjoyed the ethical dilemas that afflict the characters..

2. Timepiece by Myra McEntire (NG)

 I enjoyed this.  Although having read Book 1 in the series might have helped, it works as a standalone book.

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. Scarlett’s by A. L. Collins
4. The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells
5. The Wedding Story by Dee Tenorio
6. Little Girls: A Novella by Elton Lord
7. Unforgettable Embrace by Joanne Clancy
8. Dead(ish) by Naomi Kramer
9. A Vampire’s Dominon by V. M. K. Fewings
10. Bone Machine by C. N. James
11. Columbus Avenue Boys by David Carraturo
12. Catestrophically Consequential by Stephen C. Bird
13. The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
14. Darker by Degree by Keri Knutson & Susan Branham
15. Sanctuary by Glyn Smith-Wild
16. Seven into the Bleak by Matthew Iden
17. Redhead by Ian Cook
18. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
19. Wolf Dawn by Susan Cartwright

Reviews Posted

 The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

TBR Shortlist

I’ve had a rethink on choosing my next book.  I have been approved for quite a number of NetGalley (NG) book, so I’ve decided it’s time to boost some of these up the list and get posting reviews!  The other books from my list generally come under the headings of author gifts (AG), which usually get priority; First Reads (FR) wins; and authors’ time limited free offers (FO).  I sprinkle in some bought books and free ebooks too, as I fancy.

My immediate reading list is:

1. For That Day by Low Kay Hwa (AG)
3. One Moment by Kristina McBride (NG)
4. Monkey with a Pin by Pete Comley (FO)
5. Hound Dog Blues by Virginia Brown (NG)
6. The Top Ten Leadership Commandments by Hans Finzel (NG)
8. Rise by Yosef Gotlieb (NG)

Blog updates completed

1. Tuesday Totals – I’m on Number 8
2. Bookish Funny Friday – 15th posted
3. Waiting on Wednesday – 2nd posted
4. Released Next Month – 2nd posted

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. Rose’s Ramblings – explanation page to be written, logo to be created; two posts written, need to be typed (was Monthly Musings, but I decided that keeping it random was better!)
5. Blog Improvements – section needed with to do list
6. Visitor Counters – need to add them!

I’m gradually making progress with blog updates and reviews.  I’m hoping to join Bloggiesta this year and get some of my updates done then. Having this list to come back to is useful as it keeps me on track and stops me heading off in random directions! 🙂
What do you have planned for your blog?  How do you decide which book to read next???

Released next month: Shift by Kim Curran

Due for Release in September 2012

Shift by Kim Curran

ShiftShift by Kim Curran

When your average, 16-year old loser, Scott Tyler, meets the beautiful and mysterious Aubrey Jones, he learns he’s not so average after all. He’s a ‘Shifter’. And that means he has the power to undo any decision he’s ever made. At first, he thinks the power to shift is pretty cool. But as his world starts to unravel around him he realises that each time he uses his power, it has consequences; terrible unforeseen consequences. Shifting is going to get him killed. In a world where everything can change with a thought, Scott has to decide where he stands.

UK Print
Date: 6th September 2012
ISBN: 9781908844033
Format: Medium Paperback
R.R.P.: £7.99

US/CAN Print
Date: 4th September 2012
ISBN: 9781908844040
Format: Large Paperback
R.R.P.: $9.99

Ebook
Date: 4th September 2012
ISBN: 9781908844057
Format: Epub & Mobi
R.R.P.: £5.49 / $6.99

UK Print & Ebook
Amazon.co.uk | Book Depository | Waterstones | WHSmith

US Print & Ebook
Amazon.com | BarnesandNoble.com | IndieBound.org

Published by Strange Chemistry, Shift sounds to be a facinating time travel novel; I enjoy the mental juggling involved in dealing with the paradoxes that can result from time travel.  I wasn’t lucky enough to win a copy on Goodreads, so I’m going to buy myself a copy (if I can’t persuade someone to buy it for me as a present!).  With the striking cover art, I think I’ll be looking for a physical copy, rather than an ebook.

Waiting on Wednesday (2): Wednesday 15 August 2012

Welcome to
Waiting on Wednesday!!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. You can click on the picture at the top of this post to take you to the host’s blog.

Here are some upcoming books from Strange Chemistry, a relatively new imprint specialising in YA Sci-Fi and Fantasy.

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Broken by A. E. Rought

Imagine a modern spin on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein where a young couple’s undying love and the grief of a father pushed beyond sanity could spell the destruction of them all.

A string of suspicious deaths near a small Michigan town ends with a fall that claims the life of Emma Gentry’s boyfriend, Daniel. Emma is broken, a hollow shell mechanically moving through her days. She and Daniel had been made for each other, complete only when they were together. Now she restlessly wanders the town in the late Fall gloom, haunting the cemetary and its white-marbled tombs, feeling Daniel everywhere, his spectre in the moonlight and the fog.

When she encounters newcomer Alex Franks, only son of a renowned widowed surgeon, she’s intrigued despite herself. He’s an enigma, melting into shadows, preferring to keep to himself. But he is as drawn to her as she is to him. He is strangely…familiar. From the way he knows how to open her locker when it sticks, to the nickname she shared only with Daniel, even his hazel eyes with brown flecks are just like Daniel’s. The closer they become, though, the more something inside her screams there’s something very wrong with Alex Franks.

And when Emma stumbles across a grotesque and terrifying menagerie of mangled but living animals within the walls of the Franks’ estate, creatures she surely knows must have died from their injuries, she knows.

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Oooh! Spooky! I do love a paranormal mystery! Broken definitely looks to fit that particular penchant if mine. This will probably sound pedantic, however, I do think that last sentence of the blurb ought to read: “… creatures she surely knows should have died…” since in the first part of the sentence we’re told they are in fact living and the “… must have died …” implies they are dead.  Well, I did warn you!

Broken is published by Strange Chemistry and is released on 03 January 2013 in the UK and 01 January 2013 in the US/Canada and internationally as an ebook.

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Pantomime by Laura Lam

R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass – remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone – are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimeras is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star. But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.

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Pantomime sounds like an other world novel in the tradition of Ursula Le Guin and Andre Norton. Other world stories are my favourite style of sci-fi novel; I’ve devoured many of them in my time!

Pantomime is published by Strange Chemistry and is released on 07 February 2013 in the UK and 05 February 2013 in the US/Canada and internationally as an ebook.

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The Holders by Julianna Scott

No Art Work Available

17-year-old Becca has spent her whole life protecting her brother – from their father leaving and from the people who say the voices in his head are unnatural. When two strangers appear with apparent answers to Ryland’s “problem” and details about a school in Ireland where Ryland will not only fit in, but prosper, Becca is up in arms.

She reluctantly agrees to join Ryland on his journey and what they find at St. Brigid’s is a world beyond their imagination. Little by little they piece find out information about their family’s heritage and the legend of the Holder race that decrees Ryland is the one they’ve been waiting for—but, they are all, especially Becca, in for a surprise that will change what they thought they knew about themselves and their kind.

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I’m intrigued by the precis of The Holders and am looking forward to reading it.  Hidden potential stories are always peculiarly satisfying.

The Holders is published by Strange Chemistry and is released on 07 March 2013 in the UK and 05 March 2013 in the US/Canada and internationally as an ebook.

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Three exciting books to look forward to seeing in the shops.  If you want to know more, the links under “Strange Chemistry” will take you to their pages about the books in question where you can find links to your favourite online shops – and can pre-order.

Tuesday Totals (7) 2012: Week 32

Tuesday Totals – 06 to 12 August 2012

Here is my weekly round-up of my blog activities – accomplished and planned – that I use 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 weeks 06 to 12 August 2012.

Currently Reading

The books I’m reading as I post.

1. Cameron Nation by David Carraturo (AG)

This is going on the back burner for a few weeks; I have some other books that have run up the list.

2. Luke Wood presents More than a Million Words by Luke Wood and others (FR)

I think a few of these before bed will be a nice treat.  I try not to read too many in one go, so I can savour each piece.

3. Wolf Dawn by Susan Cartwright (AG)

The story is totally absorbing – I had to stop right in the middle of a very exciting bit to go to work this morning. The writing style is a little ponderous, but the universe buildong is good.

4. The Consul at Sunset by Gerald Hanley

I know this is a product of its time, and looking back to see how far we’ve come is a useful exercise, but the attitude to women and “foreigners” is shocking!

Finished This week

1. Desperate Housedogs / Get Fluffy by Abbey Sparkle (NG)

I have read Desperate Housedogs before (it’s one of my early reviews) however, when I received it in a two volume NetGalley ARC with its sequel Get Fluffy, I thought I’d do a quick reread. Enjoying the second time through!!

2. Poltergeeks by Simon Cummings (NG)

I I really enjoyed this

3. The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke (NG)

Amazing, brilliant book.

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. The First Rule of Ten by Gay Hendricks & Tinker Lindsey (40% typed)
4. Scarlett’s by A. L. Collins
5. The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells
6. The Wedding Story by Dee Tenorio
7. Little Girls: A Novella by Elton Lord
8. Unforgettable Embrace by Joanne Clancy
9. Dead(ish) by Naomi Kramer
10. A Vampire’s Dominon by V. M. K. Fewings
11. Bone Machine by C. N. James
12. Columbus Avenue Boys by David Carraturo
13. Catestrophically Consequential by Stephen C. Bird
14. The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
15. Darker by Degree by Keri Knutson & Susan Branham
16. Sanctuary by Glyn Smith-Wild
17. Seven into the Bleak by Matthew Iden
18. Redhead by Ian Cook
19. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
20. The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Reviews Posted

 Poltergeeks by Simon Cummings

TBR Shortlist

I’ve had a rethink on choosing my next book.  I have been approved for quite a number of NetGalley (NG) book, so I’ve decided it’s time to boost some of these up the list and get posting reviews!  The other books from my list generally come under the headings of author gifts (AG), which usually get priority; First Reads (FR) wins; and authors’ time limited free offers (FO).  I sprinkle in some bought books and free ebooks too, as I fancy.

My immediate reading list is:

1. Timepiece by Myra McEntire (NG)
2. For That Day by Low Kay Hwa (AG)
3. One Moment by Kristina McBride (NG)
4. Monkey with a Pin by Pete Comley (FO)
5. Hound Dog Blues by Virginia Brown (NG)
6. The River Witch by Kimberly Brock (NG)
7. The Top Ten Leadership Commandments by Hans Finzel (NG)
8. Rise by Yosef Gotlieb (NG)

Blog updates completed

1. Tuesday Totals – I’m on Number 7
2. Bookish Funny Friday – 14th posted
3. Waiting on Wednesday – 1st posted
4. Released Next Month – 1st posted

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. Rose’s Ramblings – explanation page to be written, logo to be created; two posts written, need to be typed (was Monthly Musings, but I decided that keeping it random was better!)
5. Blog Improvements – section needed with to do list
6. Visitor Counters – need to add them!

I’m gradually making progress with blog updates and reviews.  I’m hoping to join Bloggiesta this year and get some of my updates done then. Having this list to come back to is useful as it keeps me on track and stops me heading off in random directions! 🙂
What do you have planned for your blog?  How do you decide which book to read next???

Released next month: Blackwood by Gwenda Bond

Due for Release in September 2012

Blackwood by Gwenda Bond

BlackwoodBlackwood by Gwenda Bond

On Roanoke Island, the legend of the 114 people who mysteriously vanished from the Lost Colony hundreds of years ago is just an outdoor drama for the tourists, a story people tell. But when the island faces the sudden disappearance of 114 people now, an unlikely pair of 17-year-olds may be the only hope of bringing them back.

Miranda, a misfit girl from the island’s most infamous family, and Phillips, an exiled teen criminal who hears the voices of the dead, must dodge everyone from federal agents to long-dead alchemists as they work to uncover the secrets of the new Lost Colony. The one thing they can’t dodge is each other.

Blackwood is a dark, witty coming of age story that combines America’s oldest mystery with a thoroughly contemporary romance.

UK Print
Date: 6th September 2012
ISBN: 9781908844064
Format: Medium Paperback
R.R.P.: £7.99

US/CAN Print
Date: 4th September 2012
ISBN: 9781908844071
Format: Large Paperback
R.R.P.: $9.99

Ebook
Date: 4th September 2012
ISBN: 9781908844088
Format: Epub & Mobi
R.R.P.: £5.49 / $6.99

UK Print & Ebook
Amazon.co.uk | Book Depository | Waterstones | WHSmith

US Print & Ebook
Amazon.com | BarnesandNoble.com | IndieBound.org

Published by Strange Chemistry, Blackwood sounds to be just the kind of sci-fi/fantasy novel I enjoy, and have been reading for some time.  I wasn’t lucky enough to win a copy on Goodreads, so I’m going to buy myself a copy.  With the lovely cover art, I think I’ll be looking for a physical copy, rather than an ebook.

In My Letterbox: (15) Sunday 12 August 2012

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Welcome to
In My Letterbox!!

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!

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Another quiet week on the book acquisition front.  I have received two Frist Reads wins and bought just one book – for 30p from a charity stall!  Read on to find out what they are 🙂

Books I have won on Goodreads First Reads:

1. Spin Doctor by M C Lewis

Spin DoctorSpin Doctor by M.C. Lewis

Jack Abbott is a Washington spin doctor who longs to make the big time: the White House. Once there, he’ll do almost anything to hold onto his job. Will the country re-elect his boss, President Dexter, a beloved widower with a secret, because of Jack’s skillful deception? Will Jack’s conscience finally surface and spur him to make amends? Or is it too late?

Spin Doctor has a Washington theme, a realistic story and a soul. And unlike many Washington novels, Spin Doctor is not a memoir or polemic, not a message book or a thriller. Politically neutral, it goes to deeper truths: the conflict we all have between ambition and conscience. Spin Doctor is Washington from the inside, with humor and authenticity.

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I’m looking forward to this, it sounds to be an interesting and thought-provoking read.

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2. Johnny Doesn’t Drink Champagne by Cody Young

Johnny Doesn't Drink ChampagneJohnny Doesn’t Drink Champagne by Cody Young

I’m seventeen and he’s twenty-one. That’s okay… isn’t it? He drives a Lamborghini. So what? He was born in 1462. Uh-oh. He seeks revenge, but there is one person standing in his way. Me.

On a high school trip to London, Madison Lambourne meets seductive stranger Johnny De Vere, who believes he knows her already, and is torn between love and revenge. Eager to learn more about this beautiful, lonely young man, Madison agrees to go with him to a re-enactment at the Tower of London. Dressed as a highborn medieval lady in a black velvet gown, she accidentally slips through a doorway that leads to the past. Knowing she will not last long on the streets of medieval London, Johnny must follow her… with devastating consequences for them both. A wild time-travel adventure full of love, lies, mystery and betrayal.

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Yay! A time-travelling love story…just what I need to escape!

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Books I have bought:

The Consul at Sunset by Gerald Hanley

I really like “The Reprint Society” books from the 50s… love the feel and the smell.

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A quiet week, as I said. Looking forward to catching up with reading and reviewing. What arrived through your letterbox this week? Do leave a note below, with a link to your post 🙂

The First Rule of Ten by Gay Hendricks & Tinker Lindsay: review

The First Rule of Ten: A Tenzing Norbu Mystery The First Rule of Ten: A Tenzing Norbu Mystery by Gay Hendricks

Tenzing Norbu (“Ten” for short)–ex-monk and soon-to-be ex-cop–is a protagonist unique to our times. In “The First Rule of Ten,” the first installment in a three-book detective series, readers meet this spiritual warrior who is singularly equipped, if not occasionally ill-equipped, as he takes on his first case as a private investigator in Los Angeles.

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I sent out a request to the Universe that I might be allow to win this book – and it was with much gratitude that I received this book as a First Reads prize.

I really wanted to read The First Rule of Ten when it arrived but practised a little delayed gratification as I completed some overdue reviews and read some author-gifted books I had agreed to review. Then finally, I could wait no longer. Once I started the book, I found it difficult to put down and after a couple of restrained sessions, I polished off the majority of the book in four hours one Saturday morning.

The First Rule of Ten is superbly written, peopled with detailed, well-drawn characters and has a multi-layered ‘who is the puppeteer pulling the strings?’ plot that moves along at a clip but without leaving the reader behind.

The whole concept of a Buddhist ex-monk (the term ex-Buddhist monk didn’t ring true to me, since Ten is clearly still a Buddhist at heart) who becomes an LAPD cop was so intriguing – and the explanation of his journey from one to another is gradually uncovered and expanded throughout the book. It is a delightful and realistic reveal that would happen if you actually met Ten. He is a warm and compassionate human being, who although flawed (aren’t we all?!) is aware, thanks to his monk’s training, of how these flaws are made manifest., He therefore works to guard against many of them, whilst accepting and acknowledging others, such as his love of his car.

The reader is able to learn from Ten, but the lessons are those of observation and never stray into that annoying realm where authors, via their characters, preaches at the reader. Instead, here the lessons are laid out in front of us and, like those presented by life, it is for us to choose to learn from them. It is well, in this situation, to remember, as we learn from the book, the First Rule of Ten: Don’t ignore the tickle …

This is an excellent book on all front and I am grateful to have read it. I thank the authors for making the book available through First Reads and the universe/random winner generator for picking me!

I’m claiming this book as No. 84/150 in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge;  and No.4 in the First in Series Reading challenge..
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