Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Run From the Reaper by Cristian Young Miller

I won this book from the Member Giveaways on Library Thing.

I found this book to be just ok. It did have a good message, but it was a "different" book.

This is the story of Jon, who is a professor at the local college. He is a loner but has a friend named Nicki, who is only present at the beginning of the book. He and Nicki are on their way home from a night out and come upon a car accident involving his friend and coach, Thomas. Thomas is the first character introduced in this book, and he is being chased by the Red Reaper. After the car accident, the book continues on with Jon's story. Jon is secretly in love with a girl from his class named Sarah. Since Jon saw the car accident, the Red Reaper is now following him. Apparently the Red Reaper causes your deepest wants and desires to come true, unbeknownst to Jon.

This is a well written story, however, it just wasn't my cup of tea. I did realize the moral of the story is basically, be careful what you wish for, it just might come true. I would recommend this to those who like abstract fiction and fantasy fiction. Sorry, only 3 stars from me.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Legacy by Katherine Webb

I received this book from NetGalley, of which I am a member reader. I will be publishing my review of this book on my web-blog (,, as well as on

This book is about two sisters who have come back to their family estate after their grandmother's death. The house was left to them in the will and it is theirs to live in or to do what they want with it. There is a sense of trepidation as they move in to the house, as thier past holds secrets that neither one of them wants to confront right away. Beth, the older sister, knows what the secret is, or thinks she knows, but Erica, the younger of the two, does not remember certain things about what happened to their young cousin Henry. During a summer in their childhood, they were all staying with their grandmother, a very strict, cold woman, when Henry disappeared. Erica decides she wants to reveal the secret as she learns it, but Beth does not want to even talk about the disappearance, as she thinks it is her fault.

Part of the intrigue of this book is that it goes back and forth between the present and the distant past, delving into the life of Caroline, who is the first lady of the manor. Caroline lived in America (the book in the present tense is in England), and married a rancher from the midwest when she was 18 and moved out there with him. She had a very rough time with it and never thrived when she was out there. Her first husband was killed in an accident and she decides to flee the area with a baby she had in her charge.

As the mysterious secrets start to unfold the reader starts to understand why Caroline's story is integral to the book. There is much detail in this book and it is written very well. The beginning of the book was a bit slow for me, but by the third chapter or so, things were falling into place and the pace picked up.

I would recommend this book to anyone. It has a bit of mystery, a little romance and family structure that is very interesting. I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading more from this author.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Take the Monkeys and Run by Karen Cantwell

I won this book from Library Thing's Member Giveaways.

This book was so funny and quirky and I loved it!  It was also a very good mystery as well.  What more could you ask from a book!

This is the story of a housewife who was outside with her cat in the wee hours of the morning and saw something going on at the house next door.  This wouldn't have been odd, except that the house next door had been empty for almost 30 years. She decides to go take a look and ends up getting herself and a friend who comes out to help into heaps of trouble by some pretty shady people.  This happens the week after her husband of almost 20 years leaves her out of the blue, claiming that he needed space and leaves her to deal with their 3 children by herself. She calls in a friend from California who jumps onto the next flight to help her with her mystery.

This is a very quick, interesting and funny book, that I immensely enjoyed in 2 days.  I liked how Ms Cantwell tied the beginning to the ending in a very smooth, methodical way.  I would recommend this book to anybody...very cute book!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Following Polly by Karen Bergreen

I won this book from Goodreads as a First Reads copy.

I just finished reading this book and I wanted to write a review immediately.  This was a very good book.  I liked the story line, as it flowed together very nicely.  The mystery and suspense was very good, in my opinion, and kept me guessing back and forth as to who the real "culprit" could be. I knew by the book's description that Alice, the main character, would end up with her secret crush, but it was great seeing the way the romance played out.

I will recommend this book to my friends, as it would be a great read for anyone. I don't remember any inappropriate scenes or words that would offend the light-hearted or teenage set, so this is definitely one to recommend to anyone at all. Great work!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Legacy - Book One of the Balancer Chronicles by Chris Adonn

I won this book from the Member Giveaways on Library Thing.

When I entered to win this book, I really wasn't sure I would like it, but I decided I needed to read titles outside my normal genre. Wow, I sure wasn't expecting to love this book as much as I did!  I also won a copy of The Eyes That See by Chis Adonn in the Member Giveaway at Library Thing, and read that novella first.  While reading the novella is not necessary, it did give me a better understanding of the basic premise of this series.

This is a book about Balancers, who are exactly what their name implies - they help balance out good and evil so that one does not overshadow the other.  This book has many supernatural entities in it as well: werewolves, sirens, vampires, elves, etc. This is basically the story of a new balancer, Kat, who has been summoned back to her recently deceased grandmother's home. Once in the home, she is directed to a book that has been locked away in a secured room.  As she opens the book, she discovers that it is a journal of sorts, written by her great, great grandfather, James.  James is also a balancer and he has been waiting for Kat to come to the home so that he can tell her his story through the pages of the book. It is a fantastic story, with much imagination and detail.

I loved the way this book was written; as if James was not only speaking to Kat but to the reader as well.  I became totally immersed in this book and wished that I could be part of the book itself.  Ms. Adonn has the ability to draw the reader in and in so much detail, paint a picture of sorts, leaving the reader to feel that they are experiencing what he is describing.  I am very glad that this is only Book One as it ended at a very pivotal point, leaving me wondering what will happen in the next book.

I recommend this book to anyone, regardless of whether they like fantasy stories or not. The amount of emotion, both good and bad, portrayed in this book is outstanding.  I give this book 5 stars!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Crossroads Road: A Novel by Jeff Kay

I won this book from LibraryThing's Member Giveaways.

This is one of the funniest books I have read in a very long time!  This is a book about a seemingly "normal" family of four living in Pennsylvania. Jovis (which is a name his younger brother came up with when he couldn't pronounce Joseph) and his wife Tara live with their two sons in a suburban Pennsylvania town, both working to make ends meet.  Out of the blue, Tara's mother wins the lottery and makes a deal for Tara and her brother and sisters to come live in California on a newly constructed development exclusively for their family, plus receive $2 million per sibling. Sounds like a dream come true to Jovis, except that Tara seems to be the only "normal" one out of her whole family. From the way Jovis describes, this is the beginning of a huge family fiasco, and it seems what he predicts comes true.

Dysfunctionality is a "nice" term describing this family.  Between Tara's mother's crazy demands, her sister's weird family and her second sister's flair for the dramatic, this is a great and easy read! I truly enjoyed this book and read it easily in a day and a half.  I would love to read more from this author!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Summoning by Debi Faulkner

I won this book from the Member Giveaways on Library Thing.

I was intrigued by this book, for the fact that it is based on a "true" Irish witch story.  I also like stories that are from the distant past and the distant future.  This book is set in the distant past. One thing I did not like, although this is purely a personal preference, is the fact that it jumped back and forth between ages of Meredith, the main character.  One section would be from when she was 8, the next section from when she was 15. I had a hard time with that, but like I said, that is purely personal preference.

I thought this book was very well written, however.  It is a story of a girl named Meredith, who is sent to work at a very young age for the vicar. This vicar is evil, however, and summons the demon, Legion, selling his own soul and the soul of Meredith for money and power.  Meredith becomes aware of this plan and finds the secret room where the vicar summons Legion and teaches herself how to summon him as well.  Meredith is given a very hard time, as her "supervisor" does not like her.  She is eventually accused of witchcraft and thrown in prison to await trial.  The whole time, she is constantly trying to find out where her family has gone to. She triumphs at the end through a series of good fortunes.

I did like this book; it was slow at first but it did pick up and it became very interesting to me.  I would recommend it!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens

Being adopted myself, this book hit home for me.  This is a book about a woman, Sara, who is adopted and has a dysfunctional relationship with her father.  She dreams of finding her birth parents to see if they will be able to fill the void in her life.  She finds her birth mother through a private detective and learns that she has changed her name due to the fact that she is the lone survivor of "the Campsite Killer" and got pregnant with Sara because of the attack.  She gave Sara up for adoption and never wanted anything to do with her. Eventually, the Campsite Killer, John, learns that he has a daughter and he starts to call and send "gifts" to Sara.  The Royal Canadian Police get involved and convince Sara to be the bait so that they can catch John.

This was a good book; fast paced and realistic. I like the way she depicted relationships in this book, good and bad.  Sara had very difficult decisions to make concerning her biological father - connecting with him as father/daughter, while helping the police try to capture him.  This book had lots of twists and turns and always kept me guessing.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Money Secrets of the Amish: Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing and Saving by Lorilee Craker

I recieved this ebook from to read and post my review.

I have always been interested in saving money, although I have never been good at following the tips I have read about to make them work for me.  Being recently out on medical disability, our household income has considerably decreased and it is more important for me, more than ever, to follow money-saving tips and really buckle down on the spending. I have many times wondered, when passing through Amish farm country, how the Amish make ends meet with such big farms and big families.  This book combines the two "mysteries" in an engaging and informative way.

Lorilee Craker is a descendant of a Mennonite, a close cousin of the Amish.  She decided to take a trip to Lancaster County in Pennsylvania to see if she could learn from her Amish cousins how they view saving money. She tells a story of an Amish gentleman, who managed to save $400,000.00 as a downpayment to buy a $1.5 million farm. He did all this while paying rent on a farm and raising his 14 children. Now that takes alot of financial discipline.

Their concept is simple: Do not waste things, reuse items and buy used.  Such a simple way of thinking, but yet our society is hooked on buying the latest, greatest items and spending way too much on things we don't use up. Lorilee describes how not using credit cards, buying some bulk items and going to consignment and second-hand stores can really save you money.

This book was very informative, suggesting ways to save that I hadn't thought of, all while being very entertaining. This book is a must-read for those of us who are interested in decreasing our spending and trying to build that nest-egg.  I highly recommend this book!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Just Another Day in Paradise by Katherine Tomlinson

I won this book from Member Giveaways on LibraryThing.

I just finished reading this book of short stories and had to post this right away! What a great read!  The stories are "dark" stories, but very interesting. I'm really not sure how to review this book, as the stories are short and about different things.  I noticed that most of the stories tend to revolve around "karma", as in people getting away with things, but then bad luck or death follows them later.  My favorite story was the very last story (appropriately placed in my opinion!).  It was about a Lady and a stray cat named Otto, which the Lady (as she was called in the story) found while the cat was being bullied by a group of kids.  I don't want to ruin the story by describing what the story was about, but the ending gave me goosebumps.  Those are the types of stories that I love!

This is a great book for those who don't mind dark (but not too dark) subject material. I would say it is appropriate for adults and maybe older teens. I do recommend it to those who want to try it - you won't be sorry!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson

I won this book as a First Reads book from Goodreads.

This book is about  a young Polish couple who fall in love right before WWII begins. They get married and Silvana becomes pregnant and gives birth to a boy named Aurek.  Janusz is her husband and soon after his son is born, he leaves to join up with the army.  On his way to his post, the train he is riding on comes under fire from the Germans. The Germans open fire on the to-be soldiers that are taking a break outside the train.  Janusz hits his head on a rock and passes out, missing the train as it departs.  He meets up with another soldier who was left behind and is convinced to walk to find his company with him. He eventually ends up in Italy where he falls in love, leaves Italy to come to Britain and buys a house so that he can have something when the red cross finds his wife and child.

Meanwhile, Silvana, trying to escape the war, takes her young son and makes a trek from Warsaw, trying to get back to where Janusz's parents and her parents live.  She travels and hides in the forest, living in the forest until the red cross finds her and sends her to Brittain to meet with Janusz.  There is so much more to this book: betrayal, lies, lost love that stands the test of time, etc.

This is not a very happy book, but it is a book that draws you in and shows a brief snippet of what some people had to do to survive the war. I love how the author makes you feel like you know these people, showing a bit of the sorrow, fear, uncertainty and betrayal of trust.  There are a few twists in this book; things that I didn't expect to happen.  The happy ending is there, you just have to see the struggle to get to it.

Very good book, I would recommend it to anyone. I will be looking for more books from this author!