Friday, May 30, 2008

Angel by Nicholas Guild

Angel was another of my thrift store finds I believe. I love going there and finding books I would have otherwise missed out on. Sometimes the books are so old and dated, but most of the time I am able to overlook it. Angel was a good find and I really enjoyed it. I give it a B+.

Back cover:
The dead man no face. It had been removed with a surgeon's skill and a woman's rage. The cop standing in a remote Ohio lovers' motel knew who had committed the bizarre crime. He just didn't know her name...
James Kinkaid IV knew her name. The Connecticut lawyer had once held Angel in his arms, and then lost her to a realm of secrecy, big money and tragedy. Now she is the common denominator in a string of savage murders across the country...
For Kinkaid, the time has come to find his lost angel, to unravel the bizarre mystery of her disappearance, her rumored death and her rebirth. Burdened with his own family secrets, Kinkaid doesn't have the luxury of time: the angel he's looking for is unforgiving, still beautiful, possibly insane. And she's coming after him- for one last, lingering kiss...

This was a great suspense book and had all of the charcterstics that I look for in a suspense novel. While you soon learn who the killer is, she is always one step ahead of everyone and you never know what is going to happen next. The reader also gets a great look at why Angel is the way she is and how she turned out that way. The ending was also wonderful... leaving a little bit to the reader's imagination but pretty much answers all of the questions. I think I will be checking out more of Mr. Guild's books.

This week has been hard. I thought 4 day work weeks were supposed to be easier but this one wasn't. Work kept me very busy and tired, and I am fighting something. I am not sure if it is the same sinus infection I have had, if I am getting a new one, or allegeries but I am so tired and sniffly. Plus all this week I was working with special need toddlers, who definitely keep you on your toes. Add in the Wings and the Pistons games and training for my stupid summer job (including more training tomorrow and Sunday) and you get one tired and lazy Kristie. I think I will take one day off this week because I do need to go grocery shopping and clean and all of that fun stuff. Plus my summer job starts the day after the last day of school, so I won't even have a day off. Plus I am really not looking forward to this job. Oh well... suck it up I guess. I am not sure what I am going to read next but whatever jumps out at me. Probably another suspense book because I really need something that will hold my attention.

I also wanted to say thanks to J. Kaye for the new Amanda Stevens book she sent me. I won it at her website and really appreciate all of the excellent books she gives away. She also has a great blog, so everyone needs to check it out. Everyone have a great weekend, Happy Reading and GOOOOOOO WINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Dead Room by Robert Ellis

I got The Dead Room either from the thrift store (a favorite place for buying books especially since you get paperbacks five for $1.00) or the library used book sale. Either way, I am happy I got this book as it was absolutely perfect to break me out of my mini-slump. I give it an A-.

A young woman has been found, brutally murdered and left on grusome display... in the "safety" of her own home. The atrocity kicks off an investigation into a bizarre string of increasingly disturbing murders, all believed to be perpertrated by someone of unprecedented savagery- and cunning.

As the city's panic rises, civil attorney Teddy Mack is thrown headlong into the grisly homicide case- and into a world of dirty politics and corrupt justice, where deceptions are as deadly as a killer's twisted secrets. Now, another woman is about to meed the same horrific fate as the others. To end a madman's reign, Teddy must enter his maze- a place of unimaginable terror... and shocking revelations.

This book was really good... and I mean really good. The writing was great and the suspense was done so well. Even when you find out who is responsible about halfway through, you heart is still beating hard and you are trying to figure all of what is going on. The pages just kept turning and turning and it was a perfect book to read between the Red Wings games this weekend and sitting outside enjoying the wonderful weather. While most stuff in books do not bother me, there was one part that sent chills down my spine. Even the ending leaves the reader wondering, and is the reason why I had to mark it down to an A-, though it isn't too bad. It also was another Pinnacle book and just kept showing me that this publisher is absolutely my favorite.

I am not sure what I am going to read next, but probably another Pinnacle book. I did try looking for the Gregg Olsen book when I was at the bookstore but couldn't find it and ended up buying two more John Lutz books and another by Kevin O'Brien. Actually, I think I may read one of his as I have a ton of his and haven't read a single book by him. This upcoming week is going to be a busy one, but when I am enjoying a book, I will find time to read it no matter how busy I am. I hope everyone had a great weekend and GO WINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wahoo and Yahoo!!!!

4 to 0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0!

Red Wings are only three games away from holding Lord Stanley again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wahoo and Yahoo!!!!!!

By the way... the score should have been 5-0 and was almost 6-0.

Go Wings!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Checking In and DNF

It seems like it has been so long since I blogged but it really hasn't. I was on a good pace with my reading and really enjoy my books, and then I came up with two, count 'em 2, DNFers. One book I think I just wasn't in the mood for and then I really tried to read but couldn't finish. The one I couldn't finish was called One More Sunday and was an older book. The premise sounded great, about one of those big super churches and the tactics used to get people to donate, etc. and almost seemed cult like. With all of the polygmy Texas cases going on I thought that it would fit right in. However, a big part of it was this new computer they had and there was a ton of technical stuff. I understand the need of it for the past when computers were new and foriegn to most people but it really just bored me. I gave it more time than usual, reading over 150 pages but finally gave up.

I was going to start a Gregg Olsen book that the Shelfari group is reading for June, but I don't own it! I must have looked at it 100 times at the bookstore and just never bought it assuming I already have it, but I don't. So while I will try and make it to the bookstore this weekend to get it but I don't want to wait. I want to get a good hour of reading in before bed so I am starting The Dead Room by Robert Ellis. It sounds good and hopefully will grab my attention.

Tomorrow is a HUGE sports day in this town. The Pistons (basketball) are playing in game 3 of the Eastern Conference Playoffs, the Tigers are playing (and will hopefully keep their winning streak alive) and of course, my RED WINGS are playing the Penguins. Here's our local papers sign that readers contributed to counter one Pittsburgh came up with.

Our team is known for throwing octupi on the ice which I think is wonderful because octupus love to eat penguins, so we will crush the Penguins as well. GO WINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That's it from me. Have a safe and great weekend! Happy Reading!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Good Liar by Laura Caldwell

I read one of Ms. Caldwell's chick-lit books through Red Dress Ink and heard good things about her suspense novels. I bought The Good Liar as soon as it came out and it has been sitting on my shelf since then. I decided to read it finally, and unfortunely was disappointed. I can only give it a C+.

From Amazon:
Kate Livingston and Liza Kingsley have been best friends since their childhood in the suburbs of Chicago. They know everything about each other. Or do they?
When Liza sets up the newly divorced Kate with Michael Waller, an elegant man sixteen years her senior, neither woman expects Kate to fall for him so soon. The relationship is a whirlwind that enthralls Kate…and frightens Liza. Because Liza knows she may have introduced Kate to more than her dream man; she may have unwittingly introduced her to a dangerous world of secrets.
And yet Kate marries Michael and follows him to a French-Canadian town called St. Marabel, where she begins to suspect that Michael isn't exactly who he seems. As each new suspicion arises, Kate finds herself investigating her husband, but what she doesn't know is that she's about to steer her friendship with Liza on a collision course that will race from the U.S. to Russia and from Canada to Brazil, and the betrayals she uncovers could cause the end of all of them.

I thought the description of the book was a bit misleading and that is what really turned me off to it. This was more of a spy novel and those are definitely not my cup of tea. The book was very boring to me and not at all suspensful. I am not even sure why I finished it. I think I was hoping that something more would come of it and by the time I realized that nothing was going to happen I was more than halfway through it and just decided to finish it. However, I do like Ms. Caldwell's style of writing which is the reason why I gave it a C+ and not something lower.

I am not sure what I am going to read next and will probably use the random number generator to decide for me. I did pick up three new books today at Borders. I got the newest Allison Brennan book and then two other books that were final bargain clearance. One is a mystery by Shari Shattuck and the other is a memoir. My gift cards are almost done so I think my book buying will decrease. However, I made a bet with Barbara from Heidi's Books with the Stanley Cup Finals, so I will be able to make some purchases on Amazon shortly. (LOL) Not much else is going on... just basking in the glow of making it to the Stanley Cup Finals again! I love my team so much!!!! Happy Reading!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Candy Girl by Diablo Cody

As I said in my previous entry, I became aware of Candy Girl from reading other blogs and hearing about Diablo Cody when there was all of the Juno hype during Oscar time. I placed it on hold from my library and picked it up yesterday and read it today. It was definitely an interesting read, and I give it a B+.

Library Review:
As a college graduate from a stable family, with a boring job at a Minneapolis advertising agency and a supportive boyfriend (now husband), Cody decided to become a stripper. She jumped in on an amateur night at a local bar and then pursued her interest at several different venues, from so-called gentlemen's clubs to peep shows. Cody, now an arts editor with Minneapolis's alternative weekly, City Pages, describes in explicit detail her experiences stripping, lap dancing, and masturbating for clients. She has a fondness for the other strippers, who range from teenagers to thirtysomething mothers, but Cody has only disdain for the clubs, which generally treated the women badly and demanded a large portion of their pay. Cody tries to explain her attraction to stripping, but her descriptions of her encounters and the physical toll the work took on her body leave readers wondering why she kept going back despite the fact that she earned enough to buy a house. Still, a very readable account of life in the sex trade.

I have to admit, I felt dirty at times while reading this. I almost felt like if someone saw me reading it, they would think that I was a stripper or interested in becoming one. I think because of the stigma on stripping and the sex trade it has always been a bit of a taboo to me and I wanted to know what really went on. I had one friend in high school who was a stripper and I wanted to get into the head of one. Candy Girl does that job and puts the reader there. At sometimes graphic with the language and the descriptions, Diablo Cody does an excellent job of putting the reader right there with her during her stage debut. However, where I did think the book lacked a bit was telling my why she chose to become a stripper especially since she doesn't come from the typical background one may think a stripper has. It was a very quick read and was something different from my usual type of books I read.

I am not sure what is next. I think I may either read The Good Liar by Laura Caldwell or use the random number generator to select a book for me. I hope to get in some more quality reading time tonight and keep up my reading mojo. I am not working tomorrow or Tuesday, so I should be able to get some extra time in. I have a dentist and doctor appointment tomorrow and another doctor appointment on Tuesday, so there will be plenty of wait time. Tomorrow night is dedicated to my Wings who will win tomorrow. They will break this mini-slump and prove all of the haters wrong! I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend and that the weather was nicer where ever you are (54 degree high for today and it is the middle of May!!). Have a great start to the week and Happy Reading!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Fear the Night by John Lutz

Another John Lutz book, and another happy reader. I liked this book and it kept me hanging and wanting to read more, so I will rate it a B+.

From the back of the book:
He comes out when the sun goes down. He delivers death from the barrel of a rifle. He's made New York City his shooting gallery. Men and women, natives and tourists, young and old, have all been his victims. The press has named him the Night Sniper. He taunts those who would try to stop him, threatening to increase the body count unless legendary retired homicide detective Vin Repetto is will to engage him in a lethal game of cat and mouse.

Repetto paid his dues. Over twenty years on the force, obtaining a captain's rank, and injured in the line of duty, he's earned his retirement. Yet he can't help feeling responsible for the lives The Night Sniper has taken, and will continue to take if his challenge remains unanswered. The decision is snatched from his hands when the next victim is murdered right before Repetto's eyes. Now, the game is truly set to begin, but the Night Sniper doesn't realize they are playing by Repetto's rules...

I am sure the idea of this book came from the Beltway Snipers a couple of years back in Washington D.C. I recall watching the news and just being dumbfounded that someone would actually do something like that and I think that actually living through the news accounts really made this book a little bit spookier. One of the things I love about John Lutz is he lets on the identity of the villian midway through the book and gives an inside look to what causes someone to snap and became a psycho. The book had me hooked and I enjoyed it. The reason why I gave it a B+ though is because Mr. Lutz seems to have a formula and sticks with it. It works, but sometimes I would like to see a little bit of variety. All of the books I have read center around a detective who is retired and teamed up with two other detectives that are kind of on the outside fringes, possibly about to be demoted. It works, but I would like to see a different setup. I am not sure if that is how all of his books are, but it probably will not stop me from reading more of his. I do have two more of his books on my bookshelf to read anyways.

Up next is another library book I picked up today. I have noticed this book reviewed on several blogs and decided to place it on hold through my library. It is different from what I usually read, though I was intrigued. It is Candy Girl, A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper by Diablo Cody. I want to see the movie Juno and thought to start off reading the screenwriter's memoir. I hope it is interesting.

Happy Reading everyone!

Friday, May 16, 2008

I'm So Excited!!

I have won my first blog award from the wonderful, fabulous, and talented reviewer J.Kaye! I am actually blushing, because so many times I feel no one reads my blog half of the time. Thank you J. Kaye... you have made my weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I'm Watching You by Mary Burton

Well the random number generator did an excellent job picking a book for me. I know why I bought this book when I did, but it would have probably sat on my bookshelves for ever waiting for me to grab it. In fact, I think every other book I read I will use the random number generator to select a book for me. Anyways, I'm Watching You was a very compelling read and I give it an A-.

From Amazon:
He'll Taste Their Fear...The first kill was easy. The second much easier. No guilt, no remorse, just a rush of adrenaline surging through him as each life drains away, and the pleasure of knowing that their deaths help his beloved Lindsay. And there are so many more who deserve to die...
Hear Their Screams...The first twisted gift to Lindsay O'Neil arrives hidden in a bouquet of flowers. When her estranged husband, Detective Zack Kier, is assigned to the case, Lindsay's past comes back with a vengeance. Because only Zack knows the dark secret she lives with--or so she thinks. Now nothing can prepare her for the nightmare to come...
And Watch Them Die...Everything Lindsay's stalker does, every life he takes, is for her. But when Lindsay spurns his gifts, she and those she loves most become targets of a depraved madman whose rage is growing, and who is waiting, watching, closer than she ever feared...

I love books that are suspense novels that are published under Zebra or Pinnacle Fiction, which is all part of Kensington books. They are the ones that publish John Lutz and Wendy Corsi Staub, so sometimes when I am searching for a book to use my Border's coupon on, I look for their symbol on the spines of the book. I am sure that is how I found I'm Watching You. While labeled as a romantic suspense, I really thought that the book was more straight up suspense. The romance really did take a back seat to the mystery to find out who the Guardian is. I thought that there were several red herrings that left me guessing and I never really was sure who he was until it was revealed to us. I thought setting the victims in the story as abusive husbands was an interesting twist to a suspense book because it was hard to be sympathetic for them. However, the author did do a good job of showing how twisted the killer really was. I would highly recommend this to anyone who likes a good suspense book.

Up next is another Pinnacle book that I got from the library yesterday. It wasn't a book I had placed on hold, but I had to run to City Hall and decided to browse at the library for a bit. I got another John Lutz book called The Fear of Night. I also picked up another book, but wouldn't you know I own it! I need to print out my database of books I have and keep it with me so this doesn't happen. I don't mind when I am just checking it out of the library but it makes me mad when I buy another copy. Oh well... The weekend is almost here and I am so thankful. This week has seemed to drag by and fly by at the same time. I can't shake this sinus infection and it and the meds I am on are just making me so tired. We don't have anything planned for this weekend, so besides working in my garden, I plan on relaxing! I hope everyone else is having a good week and is getting in a lot of excellent reading! Happy Reading!

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Night Spider by John Lutz

I have been a fan of Mr. Lutz's books since I read his book that was the basis for the movie Single White Female. I have read another of his books earlier this year and picked up The Night Spider on my birthday at Borders and decided to not wait and read it right away. I am glad I did as it was a great book and I give it a B+.

From the back of the book:
Each woman slept in her Manhattan high-rise, behind securely locked doors. Each was sealed alive in her bedsheets and stabbed repeatedly. Each bled to a slow end. Mouths frozen in silent screams tell little to retired NYPD Captain Thomas Horn and his detectives.
Even a vet like Horn is baffled. Nothing connects the slain women except cruel murder by a cunning intruder. Sparse clues point to a wall-crawling, glass-cutting predator who enters bedroom windos with calculated ease. But as the killer grows bolder, Horn's worst fears about to come true. Because somewhere in the dark, the Night Spider prepares to take a new victim- and this one won't be a stranger. In a desperate race against time, Horn must snare a psychopath in his own tangled web... or die trying.

This book had everything I look for in a good suspense. There were plenty of twists and turns and red herrings that throw the reader for a loop. The characters, mainly the detectives are very likeable characters and you really root for them. The book appears to end about halfway through and then boom... there is something that no one would expect. The only reason why I gave it a B+ and not an A- is because the set up of the detectives is very similar to one of his other books I read and that kind of grated on me. I will definitely be on the lookout for more of his backlist.

I enjoy this author so much that I would like to send this book to anyone who is interested. If you would like to receive my copy, leave a comment and on Friday I will pick a winner. US only please since I will use Media Mail.

Up next is a book by new-to-me author Mary Burton. I used a random number generator from my list of books I have and it came up. I decided to do that to just see what came up. I may keep doing this when I am indecisive. I hope it is good. I am exhausted right now as I have a sinus infection and the meds make me so sleepy. I had to stay up to watch the Wings though, and hope after a commanding win and lead of 3-0 against Dallas that some of the haters (Versus annoucers) will stop talking so bad about us. But in another way, I kind of like it because we so prove them wrong. Our goalie Osgood is now 9-0 in the playoffs and we are undefeated since he came in during game 5 of the the first series. I am not Hasek's biggest fan but love Ozzie so I am really happy for him. Wednesday we can finish Dallas off and wait for the Pennsylvania team to grab our cup! I am so excited about this!!!! GO WINGS!!!!!!

Happy Reading everyone!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Dying Breath by Wendy Corsi Staub

As I have mentioned numerous times, Wendy Corsi Staub is one of my favorite authors. She also writes under the name Wendy Markham and I am a huge fan of her chick-lit books through Red Dress Ink of the Slightly series. So I am always on the lookout for her new books and know that Wendy's latest suspense books come out around my birthday which is a gift all of itself. (My birthday was Tuesday... but I feel like I am getting old and we are watching our money right now since I may not work during the summer, so it wasn't much of a celebration). I got Dying Breath the day it came out and finally picked it up on Monday. It was again another wonderful book and I rate it an A-.

From Amazon:
It's summer on the Jersey Shore. Children play on the beach. Husbands are off working in the city. And the surf echoes in the night. Here, in this perfect place, a serial killer has no worries in the world- except choosing the next victim...
Cam Hastings has come to Long Beach Island with her teenage daughter and the hope that maybe she can save her failed marriage. Cam has never stopped loving her husband Mike nor has she been able to outrun her flaws and demons- a vanished mother, a lost sister, and the ugly visions she has of missing children...
Now Cam is about to step over the edge. For once, she will act on one of her visions- and then face the consequences. For a killer has just struck again. And for Cam, and the people she loves most, fear has come home for good...

Ms. Staub's books always hit home for me and are always a wonderful read. The suspense is high and the characters are really welcoming and you really care about what happens to them. She has managed to write several suspense books with similar characters but completely different story lines and plots. I thought I had the whodunit solved but was completely wrong. There was good reason for my guess, so that just goes to show that she can write a great suspense book with enough red herrings to keep the reader guessing. The only reason why this book didn't get an A is because of the psychic visions in the book. I am really not into all of the paranormal books, but if I do read a paranormal it will only be about psychics. I do not like all of the vampires and ghosts types of paranormal books and I guess I am kind of upset that she decided to go with a paranormal book. She has another series that is spun off of one of her previous suspense novels featuring psychics that is written for young adults and I wish she hadn't jumped on the bandwagon and just sticked with straight suspense.

Up next is something from the TBR shelves. I think I am leaning towards another book by John Lutz. I picked up one of his older ones at Borders when I went for my birthday. Borders also sent me a birthday coupon for 25% off and then one for 30% on a $10.00 purchase. I still have gift cards, so I think two trips may be in order for me this upcoming weekend/week. I really hope my reading begins to pick up. Normally I speed through Ms. Staub's books, but this week I had something going on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and then the Wings finally started again last night. But for tonight, I plan on getting in at least another half hour of reading time in before bed. I think I need to make reading more of a priority. I have been hooked on Bejeweled lately so I need to slow done playing it. lol.

Well, I hope everyone is having a great start to the weekend and Happy Reading!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Hold Tight by Harlan Coben

After reading and seeing a lot about Mr. Coben books, I decided to try one of his stand-alones and place Hold Tight on hold. It was a good suspense book and very easy to read. I rate it a B.

From Amazon:

Tia and Mike Baye never imagined they’d become the type of overprotective parents who spy on their kids. But their sixteen-year-old son Adam has been unusually distant lately, and after the suicide of his classmate Spencer Hill—the latest in a string of issues at school—they can’t help but worry. They install a sophisticated spy program on Adam’s computer, and within days are jolted by a message from an unknown correspondent addressed to their son: “Just stay quiet and all safe.”Meanwhile, browsing through an online memorial for Spencer put together by his classmates, Betsy Hill is struck by a photo that appears to have been taken on the night of her son’s death . . . and he wasn’t alone. She thinks it is Adam Baye standing just outside the camera’s range; but when Adam goes missing, it soon becomes clear that something deep and sinister has infected their community. For Tia and Mike Baye, the question they must answer is this: When it comes to your kids, is it possible to know too much?

I am not too sure what to write about this book. It was an easy read and the suspense kept me reading and turning the pages, but it wasn't one of those that made me sneaking in a few pages at stoplights or anything. There were two cases coming together in one and it was weird how all of the characters ended up coming together. The premise and the problem that the parents went through debating whether to spy on their children or not was engaging. Maybe because I am not a parent but a teacher who sees how much trouble kids can get into that it is important for parents to know what is always going on. It was a good book but nothing outstanding. I will probably be looking for more of Mr. Coben's books, by do not feel like I need to rush out and get more right away.

So I hit up my local library's used book sale. I got 20 books on Thursday, which cost me $10.00 and then today it was bag day. All you can stuff in your brown paper bag for $5.00. I am not sure how many books I got (I still have to enter them into my database) but I think I found some good ones by my favorite authors along with some new authors. Up next is the latest Wendy Corsi Staub books that I bought earlier this week. I almost want to save it because I hate waiting another year for another one, but it is calling out to me. On Tuesday I think I am going to hit up the big Borders a bit further away from my house instead of the usual Borders Express I normally go to. I still have two gift cards to use from Christmas and my birthday is Tuesday and I am sure I will probably get more for my birthday. I have over 400 books on my TBR shelves, but for some reason I feel compelled to go and buy more. It's a sickness, but at least I won't be spending any money, right? I hope everyone had a great weekend and Happy Reading!