'You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.' ~ Paul Sweeney

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I can't believe it's been nearly a year since I posted anything on my book review blog!  If you know me at all, you know that writing is a passion, as is reading almost any book I can get my hands on.  The last year has been a rough one for me personally as I juggled a full time job, a full college course load, and the death of my grandmother.  I know anyone who has had to experience any of these things will understand why my little blog has been left alone so long. 

My plate will never be empty, as I still must work for a living and am only a little over halfway through my Bachelor's degree program, but I try to make as much time as I can for things I am passionate about.  I still run my fan forum and connected social media sites for my favorite actor, Nathan Fillion, and I also continue to run the social media sites for my other fan forum for Jeffrey Dean Morgan.  And while it seems my life could do with a little less stress and responsibility, I have taken on a few other projects because they are such good opportunities for my ultimate goal that it would just be idiotic not to snatch them up as they float past me.

What are these opportunities?  Glad you asked!  I am still reviewing books of all genres for a wonderful site called Novels Alive, I occasionally do a review for a company called Knox Robinson Publishing, and I recently applied for an unpaid internship for a little site you may have heard of that revolves around the world of Harry Potter called Mugglenet.  I honestly didn't think I would get the intern position simply because of the sheer massiveness of the site and how popular it is for HP fans.  There are people who would probably literally kill to get a job with Mugglenet.  I just found out today that my application and writing examples were considered and found to be kick-ass enough that they offered me a position! 

I have to thank everyone who has supported me, in big ways and small - it means the world to me to have you all happy for me and encouraging me, even when you know I probably don't have time to add another thing to my already full plate.  This internship could mean big things for me if I play my cards right and do a good job, so I am adding it to my list of things to do and will do so with pleasure.

Now, enough explaining where the hell I've been and why the blog has been treated like a red-headed step-child.  On to the reviews!

Wealthy By Design
Author: Kimberly Foss
Published by: Greenleaf Book Group Press
Publication Date: June 18, 2013

 Available on Amazon in Hardcover

Wealthy By Design by Kimberly Foss is a thought-provoking read.  With her knowledge of the industry, she knows all the right questions to ask of her clients to help them make the most of their investments and shares them in this self-help guide to building wealth.

“Drawing upon her twenty-six years of experience as president and founder of Empyrion Wealth Management, where she advises clients of all financial backgrounds and life situations, and her own rise from humble beginnings, Kimberly offers powerful and enlightening stories. Through them, you will learn how to leverage personality, situation, and belief and apply proven wealth-building strategies to fulfill your needs and dreams.”

Foss uses personal experiences with her clients to demonstrate different goals and levels of commitment that any reader can relate to. This book, however, does not appear to be for someone who is just starting out in the investment world. There are many terms used by Foss during her anecdotes and examples, but no real explanation of those terms for those who are unfamiliar with them.  However unfamiliar these industry insider terms are, any reader can take away the feeling of hope in preparing for their future and having the power to control their money so that all dreams and goals can be achieved.  Foss empowers her readers, giving sound, practical advice to take into consideration before moving forward with any investment decisions.



The Libra Affair
Author: Daco
Published by: Crimson Romance
Publication Date: April 8, 2013



 Available on Amazon Kindle

With a plot akin to hit silver screen action thrillers, Daco jumps into the deep end of an international spy love story with her romantic suspense, The Libra Affair.

Daco wastes no time getting right to the point, leaving all character build-up and background to be expertly disbursed among the action and instead choosing to thrust the reader directly into the complicated life of CIA operative and double agent Jordan Jakes.

Jordan must give up the man she falls in love with in order to finish the job she started with the CIA to pull off a global political power play.  With her life, and Ben’s, on the line, Jordan has to switch gears when Ben refuses to accept the end of their relationship and follows her to the Middle East where he unwittingly entangles himself in Jordan’s secret and dangerous life.

“Surviving takes more than being one step ahead of their enemies.  Jordan and Ben must peel back the layers of their emotional armor to overcome a series of obstacles before they can accomplish Jordan’s mission. If they have any hope of making it out of the Middle East alive and forming a lasting relationship, they must surrender to love.”
 
The entire read was entertaining and fast-paced.  There were no slow builds or moments where my attention span wandered.  While full of what I assume is common “spy-speak”, the terms and phrases were explained immediately and in a way that did not distract me from the story but instead drew me further into Jordan’s world and all the danger it holds.  This is actually my first suspense novel, and I find, paired with romance, it’s a genre I could be fan of, as long as Daco is writing them!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

CW Gortner Book Giveaway from Peeking Between The Pages!

For those of you who read my blog, you may have noticed that I am a great fan of CW Gortner.  Well, guess what? One of his books is up for grabs at another blogger site, so go check out Peeking Between The Pages and enter to win!  Click the link below to enter the giveaway!

http://www.peekingbetweenthepages.com/2012/06/book-review-the-queens-vow-by-c-w-gortner-giveaway-uscan.html#comment-52413

GIVEAWAY DETAILS (US/Canada)
I have one copy of The Queen’s Vow by C. W. Gortner and a painted Spanish fan to share with one of  my readers . To enter…
  • For 1 entry leave me a comment entering the giveaway.
  • For 2 entries, follow my blog.  If you already do, thanks, and please let me know so I can pass the extra entry on to you as well.
  • For 3 entries, blog or tweet this giveaway and spread the word.
This giveaway is open to US & Canadian residents only (no PO boxes) and I will draw for the winner on Saturday, July 7/12.  Good luck!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

May showers .... of books!

May has been a busy month!  It seems as though I live and breathe work and school, with only the briefest moments of reading any of the books I am anxious to get to. 

 

Last month, I told you about the invitation to write some book reviews for a great site called Novels Alive TV.  I'm happy to announce that I received an ARC (advanced review copy) of a murder mystery by first time author Allan Retzky, titled Vanished in the Dunes: A Hamptons Mystery, and my first review for Novels Alive TV has been published!  Please check out the site, and my review, here.  I would like to mention that the site isn't simply geared towards book reviews, but also has many interviews with new and well-known authors alike. If, like myself, you'd really like to get into the heads of your favorite authors then you will get a kick out of the interviews and reviews posted on Novels Alive TV.

In addition to my first review for Novels Alive TV, I also read a little series by George R. R. Martin, called Game of Thrones.  This I did strictly for my own pleasure, not necessarily for any blogging or reviewing purposes.  I started by watching the first season of the HBO series based on the novels and as soon as I heard season 2 was filming, I HAD to go get the book series.  My friend Kyle had advised me to do this from the beginning, and I wish I had listened!  The first book was so spot on to the television series.  The second book, A Clash of Kings, has been the same in comparison to the television series, with only slight deviations that really don't affect the enjoyment of the original work.  Let me tell you, George R. R. Martin has a way with words, and a great point of view for all of his characters.  His transitions from character to character are so smooth that despite the many different points of view, the reader doesn't get as lost as you might expect. 

Game of Thrones is mostly from the point of view of the Stark family, and so I expected the second book to continue with this as well.  My loyalty as a reader has, understandably, been with Ned Stark and his family.  I was a bit surprised that I was able to catch a glimpse of different characters than just that of the Stark's, and even more insight into characters that had once been only outlying members of the cast when Martin put them front and center in Storm of Swords, the third installment.  By the fourth book, A Feast for Crows, I have come to expect the unexpected from Martin, and pleasantly so. 

I am, however, a bit OCD when it comes to my books.  I simply cannot handle it when you purchase the first of a series in paperback and half way through purchasing the rest of the series, realize that the newest books are only currently out in hardback.  So.... I still have yet to read the fifth book, A Dance with Dragons, only because the darn thing doesn't come out in paperback until August.  Unless you share my OCD sickness of having all your book series match, you aren't going to get my annoyance and utter impatience with having to wait three months to read the last book!

Moving on to my current read, I decided to FINALLY get started with the Brenda Joyce Deadly series, only to discover about four chapters in that the book I'm reading, Deadly Illusions, is really the middle of the series.  I thought the author was referencing material that might come up later in the book, but no.  What I thought was book one is actually book seven.  The horror of it all is almost too much for my OCD to take on.  When I attempted to find the chronological reading order, I found the website for the author VERY difficult to read - full of spelling errors and pages that were undecipherable because of the background the owners have chosen. But I didn't let it stop me, as I'd already begun to enjoy the relationship between our protagonist Francesca Cahill and her fiance' Calder Hart.  So my next move is to finish book seven and immediately go out and find the first six books.  The good news about the author's website is that they are currently revamping it, so hopefully this will make it easier for new fans to find and experience someone I feel is a great author.  I am a huge fan of Brenda after getting my hands on her paranormal romance series, The Masters of Time, featuring some EXTREMELY hot Scottish hunks and beautifully written characters that intermingle with one another across space and time.  Check out her Twitter and Facebook pages if you want to learn more about The Deadly series or The Masters of Time series.  You'll thank me later!



So there you have it - that was the busy month of May! I hope that June will keep bringing me more novels to enjoy and to tell you about.  Keep checking in and I will do my best to continue to bring you new reading adventures!

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Finally, a new review is in the works!

It's been a real struggle trying to find time to read a book.  My mother wanted me to read Hunger Games, which I was so not in to, but I did it for her.  Now that Hunger Games is out of the way, I can start on the 20 or so books waiting patiently for me to read them.

I just finished Game of Thrones, which I enjoyed immensely.  I will do a full review soon, but if you are a fan of the HBO television series, trust me when I say you need to read the book as well!  I am so pleased that HBO has, at least in the first season, followed the book faithfully.  Now I'm itching to read the rest of the series.

Among the other reviews I hope will be forthcoming are JR Ward's Lover Reborn, Sherrilyn Kenyon's Infinity from the Chronicles of Nick series, and Brenda Joyce's Deadly series.  In other news, I have been asked to join Novels Alive TV as a book reviewer, and I am eagerly awaiting my first assignment! 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

3/3 - How do you find the time?

Work. School. Familial obligations. Social obligations. Personal hygiene.

Okay, the last one was a bit of a stretch, but it fits in there.  With everything we have to do, every single day, how does one possibly fit in every bit of a to-do list that ends up being nine miles long?  I mean, a person needs sleep, okay? Coffee every morning will simply not cut it.

It's so hard for me to carve out some 'me' time in order to do the things I enjoy.  Between working ten hours a day, commuting two hours, organizing running an annual fundraiser, and using the rest of my time for school work before catching some much needed rest, I feel like I am spread way too thin.  I know there are others who have an even fuller schedule than I do, and let me tell you, I both sympathize and thank the Lord that I don't have to deal with what others do.

In going through my boxes to find all of the books to be unpacked and shelved, I found 23 books that I have not yet read.  23.  23!  Reading is like, my life, so how on earth is it that I have 23 unread books in my house?

Not enough time, I tell you.

Anyone have ideas as to how this situation can be rectified?  Should I stop working on the weekends altogether (if I can get away with it) and ignore school all so I can use the entire two days to clean my house, pay attention to my lonely dog, and read a book or two?

Another thing missing from my life is writing for my own enjoyment.  I have a completely sexed-up Scot who is a wee bit angry that he hasn't gotten any in over a year.  My poor character.  He's covered in cobwebs.

Maybe we can petition the President to make work days shorter.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What the heck is a hermetica?


Available Dec 8th, 2011 - Hardcover  

Don't let the title of the book confuse or scare you off. `The Hermetica of Elysium' is the first book in the Elysium Texts Series, written by new author Annemarie Banks. For those who aren't familiar with the term `hermetica', it is a series of secret texts from various authors or teachers that contain and discuss ideas regarding philosophy, nature, and the divine, meant to enlighten those who read it.

As the daughter of a fallen princess who was sold into slavery to a wealthy merchant, Nadira has learned many things. Chief among them is the ability to read, which is uncommon for most men in late 15th century Barcelona, even those who are born to a higher station. Taken against her will from the only home she has ever known in order to decipher a dangerous text, Nadira must accept her fate and trust that the men who have taken her will do her no harm.

In the journey to avenge his brother's death, Lord Montrose has sworn to protect Nadira if she helps him translate the hermetica and stop it from falling into the wrong hands. What he didn't count on was falling in love with her. Together, Nadira and Lord Montrose must make the best of a number of bad situations in order to survive and fulfill their quest.

Annemarie Banks has delivered a book rich in detail and history. The supernatural plot is enhanced by the historical details, but only if you like books that have a base in historical facts. I enjoyed the interwoven mystery and romance of the main characters, but really enjoyed all the other players as well. Nadira begins as a servant and blossoms into a powerful woman with exposure not only to her protector, but to those who can appreciate her unique gifts and help her world-view expand - her character is the most transformed throughout the book. I can't wait to see what new dangers the sequel will bring, and how they will affect Nadira's relationship with Lord Montrose.

`The Hermetica of Elysium' is available for purchase December 8th, 2011 from Knox Robinson Publishing.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Book Reviews, Wherefore Art Thou?

There aren't enough hours in my day at the moment to be able to answer that question with any amount of satisfaction.  The shameful answer is that every book I plan on reviewing is currently in a stack on my dresser.  Or on my nightstand.  Or in the bag from the store from which the book was purchased. 

This is what happens when my eyes are bigger than the ticking clock.

Eventually....they will get done.