Thursday, April 30, 2015

Booking Into Spring: Mini Challenge #2

Mini-Challenge #2: The Name Game

The Second Read-A-Thon Mini-Challenge is The Name Game! It works like this; we are given a specific category and we have to choose book, either released or not yet released that fall under the category. The hard part? We can only use books with titles that spell out our name. This sounds fun and definitely challenging! Luckily I don't have any Q's or Z's in my name, otherwise I'd be in trouble!! Thanks again to the ladies at  Novel Ink and Latte Nights Reviews for hosting these great mini-challenges :)


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Booking Into Spring: Mini Challenge #1

Mini-Challenge #1: Scattegories

  The first Read-A-Thon Mini-Challenge is Scattergories! A game in which a certain letter of the alphabet will be chosen for us to use. We are then given book related categories and we must list a book that relates to each category, the book title must start with the pre-chosen letter. This sounds fun AND challenging, thanks Novel Ink and Latte Nights Reviews for hosting these great mini-challenges :)

If I Fall, If I Die

Released: 01-20-15

Book Bits:

Rating: 4 out of 5  Stars
Author: Michael Christie
Formats Available: eBook, Paperback, Hardback
Pages: 337

A heartfelt and wondrous debut about family, fear, and skateboarding, that Karen Russell calls "A bruiser of a tale . . . a death-defying coming-of-age story."

Will has never been outside, at least not since he can remember. And he has certainly never gotten to know anyone other than his mother, a fiercely loving yet wildly eccentric agoraphobe who drowns in panic at the thought of opening the front door. Their world is rich and loving, full of art, experiments, and music—but confined to their small house.

But Will’s thirst for adventure can’t be contained. Clad in a protective helmet and unsure of how to talk to other kids, he finally ventures outside. With the help of an artistic loner who introduces Will to the high-flying freedom of skateboarding, Will is pulled far from the confines of his closed-off world and thrust headfirst into the throes of early adulthood and the dangers that everyday life offers. 

In buoyant, kinetic prose, Michael Christie has written an emotionally resonant and keenly observed novel about mothers and sons, fears and risks, and the lengths we’ll go for those we love.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Booking Into Spring Read-A-Thon

While cruising my favorite blogger pages today I came across this awesome Read-A-Thon, I've been desperate to try one of these and this one sounded like the perfect one to start with! Booking Into Spring Read-A-Thon is hosted by the fabulous girls at Novel Ink and GenGen's Book Blog. They've teamed up to bring us this Read-A-Thon where mini-challenges, Twitter chats, and giveaways will be hosted! Now this is my kind of challenge :) 

Breath of Scandal

Released: 03-31-15
Book Bits:

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Author: Sandra Brown 
Formats Available: eBook, Paperback, Hardback & Audio
Pages: 468
On a rainy Southern night, Jade Sperry endured a young woman's worst nightmare at the hands of three local hell-raisers. Robbed of her youthful ideals and at the center of scandal and tragedy, Jade ran as far and as fast as she could. But she never forgot the sleepy "company town" where every man, woman, and child was dependent on one wealthy family. And she never forgot their spoiled son, who, with his two friends, changed her life forever. Someday, somehow, she'd return, exact a just revenge -- and free herself from fear, and the powerful family that could destroy her

Sunday, April 26, 2015

House of Echoes: A Novel

Released: 04-14-15
Book Bits:

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Author: Brendan Duffy
Formats Available: eBook, Hardcover, Audio
Pages: 402
A young New York City couple with a boy and a baby in tow, Ben and Caroline Tierney had it all…until Ben’s second novel missed the mark, Caroline lost her lucrative banking job, and something went wrong with 8-year-old Charlie. When Ben inherits land way upstate from his grandmother, the two of them began to believe in second chances. But upon arriving in Swannhaven, a town that seems to have been forgotten by time, they’re beset by strange sights and disconcerting developments…and they begin to realize they might have made their worst mistake yet. But what dark secret is buried in this odd place? And will Ben and Caroline figure it out soon enough to save their young family?

Akin to Jennifer McMahon’s The Winter People and Joe Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box, House of Echoes is a debut thriller populated by achingly sympathetic characters, charged with psychological suspense, and rich with a small town’s strange history.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Lie

Released: 04-23-15
Book Bits:

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Author: C.L. Taylor
Formats Available: eBook & Paperback
Pages: 400

This was no accident…
Haunting, compelling, this psychological thriller will have you hooked. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl and Daughter.
I know your name’s not really Jane Hughes . . .
Jane Hughes has a loving partner, a job in an animal sanctuary and a tiny cottage in rural Wales. She’s happier than she’s ever been but her life is a lie. Jane Hughes does not really exist.
Five years earlier Jane and her then best friends went on holiday but what should have been the trip of a lifetime rapidly descended into a nightmare that claimed the lives of two of the women.
Jane has tried to put the past behind her but someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed Jane and everything she loves . . .
Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Author Spotlight - Anne Rice

Anyone that knows me knows that I love Anne Rice; like really, really love Anne Rice. I can still remember the moment I discovered her, all the way back in Junior High, 7th grade to be exact. I was going through this scary book phase but authors like R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike just weren't cutting it anymore, what scared me in 5th grade was no longer so and I decided I was ready for more "adult" authors. I remember spending many afternoons in our public library, scouring the shelves in search of some spooking tales. Some were great, others...... not so much! One afternoon I randomly came across this little (ha, ya right!) book called The Witching Hour, from the moment I pulled it off the shelf I knew I was entering new territory. The cover, with it's little peep hole opening that showed a hauntingly beautiful plantation underneath was the most intoxicating cover I'd ever seen (still one of my all time favs). One look at that cover and I just knew I'd struck gold, naturally I rushed right home and devoured all 1,000 pages. That was the moment I fell in love with Anne Rice, New Orleans and her beautiful witches and vampires (although they came a tad latter) and I've read nearly all of her books since, most of them several times. I actually don't re-read many books, I don't have the time too when there's always new books and authors to be found. So for me to re-read a book or a series by a specific author means it's a serious love fest! I've re-read only three author's books in my life; Anne Rice, Stephen King, and Suzanne Collins ( I re-read the Hunger Games trilogy with my kids before the movie came out).

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Stolen Child

Released: 03-27-15
When I first began Stolen Child, I thought I was going to be reading a psychological thriller about a stolen baby and the hunt to find her kidnapper. This book was less a “thriller” and more of a psychological character study of two very different women, their families, and the tragedy that shaped all of their lives. I absolutely loved this book and found it utterly fascinating. As a mother, some parts were really hard for me to read; I kept placing myself in Carla’s shoes, wondering how I would have dealt with the kidnapping of my child. My emotions were running so high at the beginning of this book that a few times I actually slammed my kindle down and yelled (to no one in particular), “Enough! I can’t read this anymore!” Of course, a few minutes later I was stealthily sneaking back towards said kindle - I just had to find out what happened next! I love books that can invoke this type of emotion from me and I can honestly say it doesn’t happen very often!
Monday, April 20, 2015

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl

Released: 03-24-15
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie is a terrific YA Horror/Mystery that is perfect for ages 13 and over. It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything in this genre and I will honestly say that it was this book’s amazing cover that drew me in and made me want to read it. Sunshine and her mom have just moved from Texas to WA State for her mom’s new job. From her first glance out the car window Sunshine is convinced they’ve moved to the ultimate creepy house. It quickly becomes clear that the house is haunted and that Sunshine is the only one that can see and remember the strange happenings that are going on. No matter how much physical evidence Sunshine shows her, her mom either can’t see it or remember any of it the next day, definitely something strange going on there! Luckily, Sunshine befriends a very sweet, cute boy at school, Nolan, who not only believes her but also seems to have some experience in researching ghost stories thanks to his grandfather. The two team up together and investigate the strange happenings in Sunshine’s house, they soon discover that Sunshine is no ordinary girl and this is no ordinary haunting.
Sunday, April 19, 2015


Released: 09-23-08
Serena, by Ron Rash, chronicles the lives of a North Carolina couple and their rise to power in the 1929 logging industry. When Serena and George Pemberton marry they return to North Carolina and to Pemberton’s already established logging camp where they intend to build their empire. Pemberton has already fathered an illegitimate child; the pregnant girl and her father are waiting at the train station when he and Serena arrive. Serena quickly dismisses the young girl by telling her she was lucky to have had such a fine sire for her child but that she would never be so lucky again. The girl’s father wants to settle matters, so Serena calmly tells Pemberton that he should get his knife out and do exactly that. It’s in this moment that the reader gets their first glimpse of the powerhouse that is Serena!

What She Left

Release Date: 04-23-15
What She Left is probably one of the most original, unique books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. This is the story of Alice Salmon; she’s a young, talented journalist who was just found drowned in a lake near her University. Jeremy Cooke (he's so nasty!!), one of Alison’s former professors decides to put together a book about her life; a compilation of interviews, letters, journal entries, blog and social media posts. It’s this format in which the story is written that gives it an utterly fascinating, documentary style feel. I really loved reading it this way and enjoyed that each entry (chapter) wasn’t listed in chronological order. Instead, the entries jumped back and forth in Alison’s life timeline, certainly kept me on my toes! As different perspectives and clues were revealed within these entries (chapters), I had to continually check back and see when the event actually happened in Alison’s life. That may sound confusing and I know many readers are burnt out on this style of writing but it really works here and it's done in such a refreshing way that most readers won't feel as if it's an overused technique.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Review ~ Little Black Lies by Sandra Block

Rating: 5/5 Stars
Author: Sandra Block
Publication Formats: eBook, Paperback, Audio
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing 
Publication Date: 02-17-15             Pages: 352 
She helps people conquer their demons. But she has a few of her own...

In the halls of the psychiatric ward, Dr. Zoe Goldman is a resident in training, dedicated to helping troubled patients. However, she has plenty of baggage of her own. When her newest patient arrives - a beautiful sociopath who murdered her mother - Zoe becomes obsessed with questions about her own mother's death. But the truth remains tauntingly out of reach, locked away within her nightmares of an uncontrollable fire. And as her adoptive mother loses her memory to dementia, the time to find the answers is running out.

As Zoe digs deeper, she realizes that the danger is not just in her dreams but is now close at hand. And she has no choice but to face what terrifies her the most. Because what she can't remember just might kill her.

Little Black Lies is about madness and memory - and the dangerous, little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Ice Twins

Release Date: 05-19-15
The Ice Twins is one of the most hauntingly beautiful books I’ve read in a long time. Sarah and Angus Moorcraft used to have a very happy life; they had a good marriage and beautiful twin daughters, Lydia and Kirstie.  Their story begins 14 months after Lydia has died in a terrible accident, an accident that Kirstie witnessed but was unable to stop. The Moorcrafts are still grieving their loss but also desperate to overcome this tragedy and possibly give Kirstie a fresh start they believe she needs. Angus has just inherited a remote Scottish island after the recent passing of his grandmother and they believe it could be just the thing their family needs to finally start over. But as Sarah begins packing and preparing for the move and their new life Kirstie makes a shocking claim. They have mistaken her identity, she is in fact Lydia and that it was Kirstie that had died.