Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kissing Kelli (Kathy Carmichael)

Overall: 2.9   ҉
  • Plot: 2.5/5
  • Originality: 3.3/5
  • Language: 3.8/5
  • Believability: 2/5
Kissing Kelli by Kathy Carmichael

Rodeo champion and wealthy rancher, Bobby Gray Nelson, is used to women setting out to lasso him. But when he meets feisty Kelli Palmer, she refuses him on every count. He's always up for a challenge and is determined to woo this beautiful veterinarian who he thinks could be his soul mate.

Kelli Palmer doesn't believe love is in the chute for her. She's devoted herself to the animals she cares for and the family she adores. So when her sister claims dibs on the handsome cowboy, Kelli reins in her attraction and tells him to skedaddle.

Losing is not an option for this gorgeous cowboy. He comes up with a 5-step plan to place his brand on Kelli's heart.

The problem is, he can't even make it to the first step. Never fear, though. He's got a Plan B.

Can Kelli stand her ground -- even after his toe-curling kiss?
Genre: Women's Fiction
Purchase Links:
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Nook
Paperback
Other Links:
author website


In this lighthearted romance, cowboy Bobby Gray Nelson sets out to win the heart of veterinarian Kelli Palmer, a woman with distant ties to royalty and a strong sense of family. Her loyalty to her sister Lori is the wedge that drives these two apart, as Kelli's sister had the dubious privilege of going out with him first. With a motley band of sick animals in tow, however, Bobby Gray is determined to succeed in the end.

Promise Kept (Brandy Hunt)

Overall: 3.3
  • Plot: 3.4/5
  • Originality: 5/5
  • Language: 1.8/5
  • Believability: 3/5

Promise Kept by Brandy Hunt

In a world full of the relics of the past and the toys of the future, Lila Howell is a psychic who struggles to remain ethical in the face of her government's demands. Finding her to valuable to force into the role the Security Ministry wants her to take, the government allows her to take the job she was trained for, archival historian. In this role, she is still controllable and they can still use her gifts.

Currently, her government is demanding that she use her job, interviewing people for the Passing Project, in order to retrieve information from Susanne Newton. Susanne Newton is in her nineties and is something of a hero in the formation of the current regime, the New Dawn. This regime insists that Susanne Newton is keeping information from them and has been for years.

Lila must make a decision between keeping her life or reaching for something more. She is being pressured on all sides to made a decision between the ethics that go along with her gift and the life that Susanne describes. Will she make the right decision?.
Genre: Fantasy,
Science Fiction
Purchase Links:
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Nook
Smashwords
Other Links:
author website


After the Passing, or the fall of the American government, a period of warlord rule was finally broken by the death of the last warlord and the establishment of the New Dawn government. Lives are heavily controlled, from food rations to intelligence tests for job placement. To avoid repeating the series of events that led to the breakdown of the previous government, archivists like psychic Lila Howell are sent to obtain "passings", or life stories, from the elderly who lived through the chaos. Susanne Newton, a legend in her own right, is Lila's latest assignment.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Life As We Know It

Truth: life constantly moves forward, whether or not you care for its speed or the number of obstacles complicating your ride. This is one of those blockade-ridden portions of the journey. I'm graduating pharmacy school in less than a week, and with that, I am searching for employment, studying for boards, and preparing to move as soon as that first part pans out. With all of this madness going on, I'm putting a temporary moratorium on accepting books for review.

With that said, I will still be posting reviews to this site. The goal is to reduce the amount of time that I spend sorting through e-mails, reading book samples, organizing e-books, and the like. It's surprising how many minutes are consumed by each task!

Wish me luck! Hopefully everything will go back to normal soon. In the meantime, the May Mix-Up Giveaway is still running through 10 June. Be sure to enter! All three e-books are seriously that good.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Little Miss Mary and the Big Monster Makeover (Gleb Toropov and Cleone Cassidy)

Overall: 3.9   ҉
  • Content: 3/5
  • Originality: 4/5
  • Language: 4.8/5
  • Illustrations: 3.8/5
Little Miss Mary and the Big Monster Makeover by Gleb Toropov and Cleone Cassidy

Little Miss Mary receives an unwelcome visitor in the grotesque shape of a huge, hairy monster. However, instead of being petrified by the apparition, Mary decides to help the hideous beast by giving him a makeover. In the process, it is Mary who undergoes the biggest transformation.
Genre:
Children's Literature
Purchase Links:
Kindle
Hardcover
MP3
PDF
Other Links:
book website
Meet Little Miss Mary, an eleven-year-old with a credit card in one hand and a designer purse in the other. Tired from a long day of shopping, she is awakened by a monster climbing out of her closet. His unkempt visage and terrible body odor prompt her to initiate a makeover for the endearingly clueless beast.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Letterbox Look-see (May 2011, Part II)

Hello, friends! It seems that my Review Queue has seen a lot more activity in the latter half of May. Here's what I've received in the past week and a half:


8 (Michael Mullin)

Overall: 4.5
  • Content: 5/5
  • Originality: 4.2/5
  • Language: 5/5
  • Illustrations: 3.8/5

8: The Previously Untold Story of the Previously Unknown 8th Dwarf by Michael Mullin, illustrated by John Skewes

This is the previously untold story of the previously unknown 8th dwarf, named Creepy. He was banished to the basement for being different and , well, weird. Yet he played a vital - and of course previously unknown - role in the popular tale of Snow White (whose title character is an intruder Creepy refers to as "the Maid").
Genre: Humor,
General Fiction
Purchase Links:
Kindle US | UK | DE
Nook


In a tongue-in-cheek approach reminiscent of James Finn Garner's Politically Correct Bedtime Stories: Modern Tales for Our Life & Times, this satirical rendition of Snow White is a new kind of bedtime story—one intended for grown-ups (or young adults, as it were).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Death Has A Name (Jerry Hanel)

Overall: 3.5   ҉
  • Plot: 3.5/5
  • Originality: 4.2/5
  • Language: 2.3/5
  • Believability: 4/5

Death Has A Name by Jerry Hanel

There is a Truth that exists. It is active. Alive. Fighting to make itself known. It's not my truth. It's not anyone's truth. It is The Truth.

There are times when select individuals can see and interact with The Truth, but Brodie Wade has been able to see and interact with it since he was a child, and it has scarred his mind and body. But it also gives him the ability to know things that he shouldn't know by nature, thus he has taken employment as a psychic detective.

Working together with Detective Phil Dawson, Brodie must summon all of his will to go head-to-head with The Truth to solve the latest string of murders. It appears that Dominick Fredrickton -- the Midnight Killer -- has returned from the grave, beheading the unfortunate few that get in his way.

The Truth confronts Brodie and tells him that he must protect the Third Key, but he is unsure what -- or who -- that is. If Death gets its hands on the Third Key, the world as we know it will cease to exist
Genre: Mystery
Purchase Links:
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Nook
Paperback
Smashwords
Other Links:
author website

Brodie Wade is unlike the typical example of a "psychic detective". For one thing, he is neither debonair nor overtly creepy. For another, The Truth, a strange combination of a spiritual realm and an abstract concept, is more of a handicap than a gift, one that has physically tortured him and inadvertently removed him from a loving mother's care. In a twisted form of symbiosis, it has also put a roof over his head.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Demon Queen and the Locksmith (Spencer Baum)

Overall: 4
  • Plot: 5/5
  • Originality: 5/5
  • Language: 2.5/5
  • Believability: 3.4/5
The Demon Queen and the Locksmith by Spencer Baum

In Turquoise, New Mexico, a small group of hippies believe that the mountain north of town emits a constant, resonant hum that is only audible to a chosen few. They call themselves the Hearers, and the fact that fourteen-year-old Kevin Brown has never trusted them makes it all the worse when his own ears begin to ring, and he comes to realize "The Turquoise Hum" may be much more than a sound."
Genre: Science Fiction,
Children's Literature
Purchase Links:
Kindle US | UK | DE
Nook
Paperback
Other Links:
author website

The so-called "Turquoise Hum" is an unique phenomenon, one that is not quite spiritual and not quite corporeal; it is a signal inextricably interwoven in the lives of individuals the world over. Kevin Brown's father is one person whose existence has been touched by the Hum. He is a Hearer, one who was able to follow this combination of life force and echolocation to find his way to a small town in New Mexico.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Letterbox Look-see (May 2011, Part I)

Hello, my lovelies! If you're looking at the timestamp, yes I am posting on an early Saturday morning. Kiddies have their cartoons, and I have my books. Here's the first batch of books that I received this month:


Sound Proof by Barbara Gregorich

Publishers Weekly called Frank Dragovic, who first appeared in Dirty Proof, “an enlightened detective” and “a charming, savvy narrator.” Now Chicago private eye Dragovic is back, working undercover at Midwest Music Madness, a folk festival targeted by a thief. The corn is high in Iroquois County, the food deliciously Midwestern, the music old-time tunes and songs. But sour notes abound, and theft of musical instruments soon crescendos to murder. Working undercover as a carpenter, Frank finds himself repairing corn cribs and pigpens in the July heat. At the same time, he must determine the thief and murderer — difficult to do while surrounded by suspects playing fiddles, banjos, guitars, autoharps, hammered dulcimers, bowed psaltries, and rhythm bones.


Shared Emptiness by John Brinling

A portrait of the harrowing despair and remarkable courage of a middle-class family tormented beyond endurance by a mindless act of violence.

Chris Carter, at 24, a medical student, had it all. Good looks, intelligence, a winning personality, a loving family. His girlfriend, Louise, was his dream girl, and he had everything ahead of him, everything to live for….

Until he was mugged after walking Louise home from his sister’s birthday party—and his world and the world of all those who knew him was changed forever.


Nightcry by Gregory M Thompson

Set in the present in a Midwestern small town, Nightcry is about Grant Sykes, who has returned to his hometown of Ilton to run the local paper. Soon, people start to die and fingers point to him--it doesn't help the evidence continues to amass against Grant. He thinks the deaths may have something to do with a supernatural being that killed his parents years ago, but the local Police Chief has other theories. Grant recruits the help of a ghosthunter to investigate the suspected banshee while Grant figures out means to prove his innocence


Tower of Parlen Min by Matt Xell

Ves Asirin wins a trip to the Tower of Parlen Min. There, with 19 other children, he competes in the Sword Challenge; a series of puzzles and tasks, for $12 million. As fantastic and glorious as the tower seems to be, Ves finds that it keeps a dark and secret history that he has been connected to for over 150 years, a secret that will define his destiny ... if he can escape 'The shadow'.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Garbage! Monster! Burp! (Tom Watson)

Overall: 3.3   ҉
  • Content: 4/5
  • Originality: 4/5
  • Language: 2/5
  • Illustrations: 3/5
Garbage! Monster! Burp! by Tom Watson

A monster at the bottom of a hill eats all of the garbage generated by the town on top of the hill. This provides two important benefits: The monster is happy with plenty to eat and the town stays nice and clean. Unfortunately, as the town grows, so does the amount of garbage the monster must consume. He gets bigger - and he starts burping. This is, as you can probably guess, a bit unsightly and stinky. In the end, the kids figure out how to solve the problem - despite the nasty mayor's doubts and objections.
Genre:
Children's Literature
Purchase Links:
Kindle
Nook
iBooks
Other Links:
BigDifBooks.com

With all of the recent fixation on "green living", it is unsurprising that children's literature should start to reflect this trend, if only because the youth are the ones who will live in the world we create. The monster at the bottom of the hill makes the repercussions of our actions easier for younger minds to grasp.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Giveaway: May Mix-Up

Enter to win a copy of one of these fantastic reads! Whether it's fantasy, drama, or espionage, there's something here for you. Just fill out the entry form below and pick your prize!


Format E-book
Copies 1
Links:
SummaryRaven's Heart by Matthew and Stefanie Verish

An exiled man wonders if he should forsake his new life and risk returning to his homeland. A troubled girl seeks redemption for a terrible crime she has committed. A solitary tracker breaks an oath in order to communicate with an infamous, supernatural criminal. A vagabond thief chances leaving behind the world he knew for an unknown destiny. An unlikely cast of characters, they are thrown together by chance, or perhaps by fate, willingly embarking upon an eccentric wizard's mission to recover a magical stone: Raven's Heart. A piece of the "Stone of Undoing", Raven's Heart is deadly. Though the stone has the ability to unravel the very essence of magic, it brings Arcturus, Kariayla, Hawkwing, and Jinx together in a mission beyond individual ambition that could determine the fate of the world in which they live.

Book Review
Author Interview
4.8   ҉

Format E-book
Copies 1
Links:
SummaryVestal Virgin by Suzanne Tyrpak

Elissa Rubria Honoria is a Vestal Virgin--priestess of the sacred flame, a visionary, and one of the most powerful women in Rome. Vestals are sacrosanct, sworn to chastity on penalty of death, but the emperor, Nero, holds himself above the law. He pursues Elissa, engaging her in a deadly game of wits and sexuality. Or is Elissa really the pursuer? She stumbles on dark secrets. No longer trusting Roman gods, she follows a new god, Jesus of Nazareth, jeopardizing her life and the future of The Roman Empire.

Book Review
Author Interview
4.6   ҉

Format E-book
Copies 1
Links:
SummaryThe Marlowe Conspiracy by MG Scarsbrook

1593, Elizabethan England : In a turbulent time of wars, famine, and religious persecution, Christopher Marlowe struggles to balance his life as England’s most popular playwright with his duties as a government spy.

Suddenly, when he falls under suspicion of atheism, a capital crime, Marlowe fears his many powerful enemies have launched a conspiracy to have him executed...

With only a few days to clear his name, he quickly enlists the aid of a young William Shakespeare – one of the few friends he can still trust. Together, they race through Marlowe’s tangled life of crime, espionage, and noble connections to expose the conspiracy and save him from the hangman’s noose.

But will anything save a man as troubled as Marlowe?

Book Review
Author Interview
4   ҉

Contest ends 10 June 2011

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Saturday, May 07, 2011

Chromatics Attack (Karen Carr)

Overall: 4.6   ҉
  • Plot: 5/5
  • Originality: 5/5
  • Language: 4/5
  • Believability: 4.5/5

Chromatics Attack by Karen Carr

Twelve-year-old Emison prefers reason over impulse, but when her mom turns into a shadow and vanishes through their apartment wall, Emison’s well-ordered reality changes. She embarks upon a journey into a mysterious shadow world, where she encounters an evil gang of color scientists called the Chromatics.

Emison must navigate the strange new world and her own insecurities to rescue her mom from the evil gang. Emison’s plan unravels when she changes into a flat-black shadow, and descends into the pitch-black land of darkness. To succeed in her quest, she must trust her friends and follow her instincts, which have always been wrong.
Genre: Fantasy
Purchase Links:
Kindle US | UK | DE
Nook
Other Links:
author website


In a remarkably original work of middle grade fiction, Carr introduces us to the so-called "shadow world", one in which colors are duller, blacker, and eerily luminous, save for those made of one arbitrary substance: plastic. As a twisted version of our own reality, this alternate dimension, if you will, is one whose residents were never intended to cross over into the Chroma (color) world. Unfortunately, Emison's mother did.

Letterbox Look-see (Apr 2011, Part IV)

Hello everyone! A bit late, but here's the final set of books that I received in April:


Friday, May 06, 2011

RACE (Mobashar Qureshi)

Overall: 3.4   ҉
  • Plot: 4/5
  • Originality: 4/5
  • Language: 2.5/5
  • Believability: 3/5

RACE by Mobashar Qureshi
RACE (Radical Association of Criminal Ethnicities) is a dangerous and violent group on the verge of creating an illegal drug.

Parking Officer Jon Rupret wants desperately to move up from handing out parking tickets. An impulsive act from his past throws him into Operation Anti-RACE—a unit set up to stop RACE. He is partnered with veteran detective, Phillip Beadsworth, a mild mannered Brit who doesn't much like Rupret and knows more than he reveals.

Along the way Rupret encounters Mahmud Hanif, a qualified engineer, who drives a taxi to pay his bills; DJ Krash, the second best disc-jockey in the world; Cal Murray, the owner of the House of Jam, the hottest club in Toronto; and of course, his mother, a grade school teacher in Guelph, who thinks Rupret is a financial advisor working on Bay street.

RACE is a compelling mystery and a humorous look at Toronto through Jon Rupret’s eyes.
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Purchase Links:
Kindle US | UK | DE
Nook
Paperback
Other Links:
author website

RACE: the Radical Association of Criminal Ethnicities. We first learn about this organization as Officer Jon Rupret is taken off of parking violation duties and transferred into the narcotics division. An unlikely gathering of criminals from different backgrounds, the group is said to be creating a brand new drug of abuse: a combination stimulant, analgesic, and hallucinogen all rolled up into one fast-acting tablet. As a soon-to-be pharmacist, I was immediately intrigued.

 

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