Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why I Love Wednesdays...Series OR Stand-alone Novels

Reflections of a Bookaholic

I am returning with my new feature... Why I love which takes place on Wednesdays. Today's proclamation of love concerns our whether we love book Series OR Stand-alone novels.

Why I Love...Stand-alone novels

Oh in this world of series, I have to separate myself from the book pack and admit I love love love stand-alone novels.  I wish I had bookish reasons for my preference but honestly, my worst personality traits (or the ones I'm willing to share) contribute to this bookish obsession.  First, I am horribly impatient.  You mean I have to wait a year for the next book in a series?  Ummm...nope...don't like it.  Second, I don't like to be bossed around.  You mean you are going to make me buy an incomplete book with an open ending so you can force me to buy your next incomplete book with no answers?  Uhh... I want to pass.  Lastly, I have a horrible horrible memory.  I'm supposed to remember a book 12 months later?  I pretty much have to reread the last book so I can remember all the pertinent details.  Oh the pressure!!  Plus, with all the awesome books around, I don't want to take the time to reread books.  Oh it works for some people but not me.  When I know what is coming, it just isn't as fun for me.  Okay all joking aside, I can read a series if all the books are already written or if I don't have to remember the details in previous books (e.g. The Stephanie Plum series).

But what I really love is a well-written stand-alone novel that makes me smile with glee at the end while making me want to cry in despair because it is over.  I think it takes a considerable talent to draw a reader in, tell a story, and wrap it up in a reasonable amount of time without any gimmicky cliffhangers.  Although it can be bittersweet at times, I prefer to get to know more/different characters each time I read.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Teaser Tuesday...Texas Hold Him

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
    My Teaser: This teaser might be longer than my usual but it is worth it...I think.  I had to giggle.  I was honestly so mad on Dyer's behalf.

    "It was Dyer's turn to bet or fold.  He rubbed his chin in an apparent decision-making crisis when Lottie returned with their drinks.

    'Why isn't that the cutest thing?' she said from over his shoulder. 'All your cards match.'

    'Fold,' the other players said simultaneously, quickly throwing their cards to the center of the table.  A low growl erupted from somewhere deep inside his gut.  He glared at Lottie, not trusting himself to speak."
    Be sure to share a link to your teaser!

    Saturday, November 26, 2011

    Coming Soon: Top 10 of 2011

    I'm excited to give everyone a peek into a event that is coming at the end of December...

    Top 10: A Week of Looking Back…. 
     ………and Looking Forward.

    Last year Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic and Lisa from A Life Bound By Books posted some Top 10 lists the last week of 2010. For five days they recapped some of their favorite books, covers and characters. They also listed some books they were looking forward to in 2011. This year they thought they’d do it again… just with a twist.

    They have invited some friends to help them co-host things and make an event out of it! Jessica and Lisa, Jaime & Patricia from Two Chicks on Books and Rachel from Fiktshun came together to work on making this into something more people would want to join in on and contribute.  I think this sounds fun so I'm hopping on board.

    Here are the Top 10 lists will be and dates (borrowed from Rachel from Fiktshun):
    Monday 12/26 – Top 10 Books I’ve read in 2011
    Tuesday 12/27 – Top 10 Book Covers of 2011
    Wednesday 12/28 – Top 10 Book Boyfriends in 2011
     Thursday 12/29 – Top 10 Characters in 2011
    (This can be anything you’d like to make it for characters. You can post your favorite Villains, etc. Just be sure that this post is character based.)
     Friday 12/30 – Top 10 Books I’m looking forward to in 2012
    (Also on this day, we’ll each be adding some kind of a recap of the total number of books read, pages read, etc. This part of the post is optional. Feel free to add any stats you’d like to share with everyone. So, if you’d like to also include some end of year stats, feel free to join us!)
    If you are interested in participating.  Sign up! There are even prizes involved.  I had vaguely planned to create and post Best of... posts but I like the idea of set dates and topics that everyone is doing at the same time.  Want to sign up?  Here's the sign up page on Rachel from Fiktshun's page.  Can't wait!

    Friday, November 25, 2011

    Review: Search for Love (Audiobook)

    Search for Love by Nora Roberts
    Genre: Romance
    Length: 5 hours 49 minutes
    Narrator: Gayle Hendrix
    Source: eLibrary

    Arriving at her long-lost relatives' Brittany estate, Serenity Smith was greeted with cold politeness by the Comtesse de Kergallen and her darkly handsome grandson, Christophe. Refusing to believe their scandalous stories about her late parents, Serenity set out to prove they were false...but getting the enigmatic Christophe to change his mind about her would prove an equally worthy challenge.

    My Rating:

    My Review:

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    Why I Love Wednesdays...The March Family

    Reflections of a Bookaholic

    Today is November 23rd.  Know what that means??  It's my birthday :)  Yay!  I just wanted to tell you that.  Now on to the regularly scheduled programming.

    I am returning with my new feature... Why I love which takes place on Wednesdays. Today's proclamation of love concerns our Book Family

    Why I Love...The March Family

    First and foremost, I want to say that I love to see families in books.  There aren't enough of them.  It is always amazing to me how easy (and often) authors kill off parents.  Whether it is a good idea or not, I really miss families.   I love book families especially when I can feel the love.  I love when siblings argue but stick up for each other when needed.  I love sibling rivalry.  I love parents that try to be parents..and sometimes fail.  It happens.  Families in books make me feel all warm and fuzzy and I often feel like I'm a part of the family too.

    Monday, November 21, 2011

    Mini-Review: The Girl Who Chased the Moon

    The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
    Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Magical Realism
    Pages: 180 (Ereader)
    Source: eLibrary

    Emily Benedict came to Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother’s life. Such as, why did Dulcie Shelby leave her hometown so suddenly? And why did she vow never to return? But the moment Emily enters the house where her mother grew up and meets the grandfather she never knew—a reclusive, real-life gentle giant—she realizes that mysteries aren’t solved in Mullaby, they’re a way of life: Here are rooms where the wallpaper changes to suit your mood. Unexplained lights skip across the yard at midnight. And a neighbor bakes hope in the form of cakes.

    Saturday, November 19, 2011

    Review: The Reckoning

    The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
    Series: The Darkest Power #3 (final)
    Genre: YA, Paranormal
    Pages: 268 (Ereader)
    Source: eLibrary - Overdrive

    “We had one gun
    , one werewolf, one poltergeist, one supercharged spell-caster, one not-so-supercharged spell-caster, and one perfectly useless necromancer, though Liz was quick to remind me that she needed me to relay her words."

    My Rating:

    My Review:  It is extremely difficult to review the third book in a trilogy when you don't want to include spoilers so work with me here.

    Friday, November 18, 2011

    Lists: Dystopian Novels

    A few weeks ago, we compiled a linky full of dystopian novels for one of my Follower Appreciation Giveaways.  In case anyone is interested, here it is. I'm going to keep it handy because I'm interested in participating in a Dystopian challenge next year.  Anyone know a blog hosting the 2012 Dystopian Novel reading challenge?  If you do, please let me know.

    I haven't had the chance to read many of the books shared below, but if you want to know whether a particular book is good consider clicking the link (for those that have one) and exploring the blogs for more information.

    Thank you to everyone who helped compile this list :)

    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    Friday Memes...Santa Baby...

    I feel like hopping tonight, I feel like hopping tonight!

    Follow Friday question of the week?
    Letter to Santa: Tell Santa what books you want for Christmas!

    Well...since you asked...

    Far to Go: A Novel (P.S.) Elizabeth I: A Novel   The Things We Cherished: A Novel

    I missed you guys.  I can't wait to hop around and see your Christmas lists.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Why I Love Wednesdays...Favorite Villain

    Reflections of a Bookaholic

    I am returning with my new feature... Why I love which takes place on Wednesdays. Today's proclamation of love concerns our Favorite Villain

    Why I Love...Edward Cullen


    Okay maybe Edward isn't really a villain to anyone but Jacob but hey...good enough for me.  So I have a love/hate relationship with Edward.  In the books I loved him.  In the movies...not so much.  SPOILERS AHEAD :)  Edward just LEFT Bella. What kind of guy is that.  Is that really supposed to be true love?  I don't think so.  I think it is a strong case of "failure to communicate."  And maybe I should give him some credit for not wanting to turn Bella into a vampire because he wanted to save her soul, but I'm not in a forgiving mood.  Then.  There's Breaking Dawn!  'Nuff said.  Edward is a villain and thinking about that book is making my stomach hurt. 

    Who did you pick as your villain?  What do you think of mine?  Maybe I'm biased and maybe I'm strongly TEAM JACOB!

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    Review: Proof of Heaven

    Proof of Heaven by Marry Curran Hackett
    Genre: Christian Fiction, Inspirational Fiction
    Pages: 336 (paperback)
    Source: TLC Booktours
    Author's Website | Facebook | Twitter

    A mother’s faith, a child’s courage, a doctor’s dedication—a moving and thought-provoking tale of hope, love, and family He might be young, but Colm already recognizes the truth: that he’s sick and not getting better. His mother, Cathleen, fiercely believes her faith will protect her ailing son, but Colm is not so sure. With a wisdom far beyond his years, Colm has come to terms with his probable fate, but he does have one special wish. He wants to meet his father who abandoned his beloved mother before Colm was born. But the quest to find the dying boy’s missing parent soon becomes a powerful journey of emotional discovery—a test of belief and an anxious search for proof of heaven. A magnificent debut novel, Mary Curran Hackett’s Proof of Heaven is a beautiful and unforgettable exploration of the power of love and the monumental questions of life, death, and the afterlife.

    My Rating:

    My Review:

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    Mini-Review: The Awakening

    The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong
    Darkest Powers Trilogy #2
    Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
    Pages: 268 (ereader)
    Source: eLibrary

    If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl—someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I'm as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment . . . I was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group.

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    Why I Love Wednesdays... Bookish Websites

    Reflections of a Bookaholic

    I am returning with my new feature... Why I love which takes place on Wednesdays. Today's proclamation of love concerns our Bookish Website

    Why I Love...Overdrive

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE overdrive!!  What is Overdrive you say?! Overdrive is a site that allows readers to check out ebooks and audiobooks from their library.  This is wonderful on so many levels.  First, it's free!! Second, I get to support my library without leaving my room.  Finally, audiobooks are still a trial experience for me  so I get to try them out without paying ANYTHING!!  Ahhh!!  You just can't beat this.

    Saturday, November 5, 2011

    Updates and Winner Announcements

    A few things,

    As some of you might have noticed, I'm a little less present these days.  A close family member's terminal illness has come to a critical stage and it is a very difficult time.  Additionally, it's that time of the year at school where I'm extremely busy and stressed out.  Though I'm around, it isn't much and I'm unable to be timely in responses and visits.  I haven't forgotten you though.

    Secondly, giveaway prizes that I have to send in the mail (from the Follower Appreciation Giveaway) will be delayed till such time that I am able to make it to the post office.  Hopefully, it will be soon. The lucky bunch that won prizes that had to be ordered, your prizes are on the way and some of you have probably received them.

    Finally, we have a new winner!!

    The winner of the Goddess of Vengeance audiobook is Mandy Rose.  Congrats!!  She has 48 hours to respond with her info.

    Ta-Ta for now!!

    Review: Raferty's Wife (Audiobook)

    Rafferty's Wife by Kay Hooper
    Genre: Romance
    Length: 4 hours 59 minutes
    Narrator: Parker Leventer
    Source: eLibrary

    Sarah Cavell is a beautiful, brilliant cryptographer with the uncanny ability to crack any code. But her most daunting challenge may be reading the true feelings of her new “husband,” Rafferty Lewis, the secretive federal agent to whom she’s just been assigned. Sent on a perilous mission to a Caribbean nation teetering on the brink of revolution, the two must go undercover as husband and wife to make contact with a shadowy informant passing on cryptic messages that could trap a terrorist.

    Pilot, sharpshooter, and accomplished yachtsman, Rafferty prides himself on being the epitome of coolness under pressure. But in the aftermath of a marital tragedy that exposed his vulnerable core, the prospect of pantomiming intimacy with a woman of Sarah’s intoxicating allure has him unnerved, to say the least—and that could prove deadly for both of them. Dodging danger at every turn even as passion’s magnet draws them closer to each other, these two make-believe lovers will learn that the heart is a puzzle they can only solve together.

    My Rating:
    My Review:

    Thursday, November 3, 2011

    Review: The Summoning

    The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
    Series: Darkest Powers Trilogy #1
    Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
    Pages: 390 (Ereader)

    After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.
    At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…

    My Rating:

    My Review:

    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    Why I Love Wednesdays... Favorite Book Hero/Heroine

    Reflections of a Bookaholic

    I am returning with my new feature... Why I love which takes place on Wednesdays. Today's proclamation of love concerns our Favorite Book Hero/Heroine

    Why I Love...Josephine March

    I don't know what other readers think of when they think of heros/heroines.  I, however, think of a person is courageous, creative, strong, and independent without being too perfect.  Kicking butt and taking names is a bonus but isn't necessary.  Because of this, one of my favorite heroines happens to be Ms. Josephine March from Little Women.  I Love Jo!

    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    Teaser Tuesday... Maman's Homesick Pie

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
      My Teaser: Today's teaser comes from Maman's Homesick Pie by Donna Bijan.  I honestly don't know where it came from.  It showed up in my mailbox so I started reading it.  I don't think it is a review request.  It's like...a the mail.

      "When my mother looked after him, I would come to fetch him and find the two of them on the floor, spinning the caddy and shrieking out the colors of the chips: Red! Blue! Green!  If I kept it, he would ask for her.  No."

      09 10