Thursday, March 31, 2011

What I Read in March 2011

To see my rating on any of the following books click on the Goodreads button on the right.


Troubled Waters  by Sharon Shinn


Steam and Sorcery by Cindy Spencer Pape


In Too Deep by Jayne Ann Krentz
Terra Incognita by Ruth Downie
Search the Dark by Charles Todd
Prince of Darkness by Sharon Kay Penman
India Black  by Carol K. Garr
The Thief Taker by T.J. Banks
The King's Bishop by Candace Robb
Persona Non Grata by Ruth Downie


Pleasure Me by Monica Burns
Keys to the Castle by Donna Ball
Ruthless by Anne Stuart
Reckless by Anne Stuart
Notorious Pleasures by Elizabeth Hoyt
The Seduction of His Wife by Tiffany Clare
Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Science Fiction Romance:

The Spiral Path by Lisa Paitz Spindler

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What I Purchased in March 2011

From Amazon:

Keys to the Castle by Donna Ball
The Thief Taker by T.F. Banks

From Barnes and Noble:

Pleasure Me by Monica Burns
The Empire by Elizabeth Lang

From Carina Press:

Steam and Sorcery by Cindy Spencer Pape
The Spiral Path by Lisa Paitz Spindler

Monday, March 28, 2011

Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn

Paranormal Romance

Troubled WatersIn writing Troubled Waters Sharon Shinn has again created a unique and fascinating world, the world of Welce.   In this world five elements rule all thing and each element has a prime, a person who can control and use that element in ways others cannot.  Each element contains blessings and at birth each child is given three blessing.  A different stranger chooses each blessing.  Using the combination of blessing and elements Sharon has woven a complex story of love and power. 

 Zoe Ardeley’s father was a royal advisor who fell out of favor and was forced into exile ten years ago.  When he left he took his daughter Zoe with him.  As the story opens he has just died.   A few days after his death Darien Serlast comes to the small village where Zoe lives and informs her she has been chosen to be the King’s fifth wife.  Zoe’s element is Coru, water and blood and unknown to Zoe she is the prime for Coru.  The three blessing chosen for Zoe Ardelay on the day of her birth are beauty, love and power.  When Zoe is drawn into the politics of the palace she must use her element and her blessings to help steer her course.

Troubled Waters is a complex story filled with great characters in a wonderful setting.  Troubled Waters may be a stand-alone novel but I hope not.  The world of Welce is filled with many great possibilities for future stories and would be a great setting for a new series.

ACE Books published Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn in 2010.

I checked out Troubled Waters from the Rogers, AR Public Library.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Romantic Times 2010 Awards

The Romantic Times 2010 Career Achievement Awards winners and the 2010 Reviewer’s Choice Award winners were announced in the RT Book Reviews May issue.  My issue arrived yesterday and some of my favorite authors were among the winners.  Congratulations to my favorites listed below and to all the winners. 

For Career Achievement:

Historical Romance – Lisa Kleypas
Romantic Suspense – Jayne Ann Krentz
SCI-FI/Fantasy – Sharon Shinn

Reviewers’ Choice Award Winners:

Historical Love and Laughter - Mad About the Duke by Elizabeth Boyle
Futuristic Romance – Enemy Within by Marcella Burnard
Paranormal Romance – The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
Historical Mystery – Royal Blood by Rhys Bowen

If you do a search of the blog there are posts recommending all the authors and interviews with Marcella Burnard and Meljean Brook.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Favorite Children's Picture Books

I recently wrote about some of my favorite children's books at Helium.  I though it would be nice to post the books here as well.  An added plus is the fact that I can include covers here and not at Helium.  Click on the Helium link to see the article. 

The Story about Ping (Reading Railroad Books)The Story of Ping, by Marjorie Flack:  Every day Ping and his family are let out to search for food.  One day Ping does not hear the call to return at the end of the day and must search for his family.  Along the way he meets new friends and has a wealth of new adventures.  A great story with wonderful illustrations.

The Story of Ferdinand (Picture Puffins)The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf:  Ferdinand is not your typical bull.   He just wants to sit under the cork tree and smell the flowers.  His world is changed when he sits on a bee and everyone thinks he is the biggest, fastest bull of the group and he get shipped off to the bullring in Madrid.  Around since 1936 this favorite lets kids know it is OK to be      

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day by Judity Voist and Ray Cruz:  Alexander goes to sleep with gum in his mouth and wakes up with gum in his hair.  Any time anything went wrong in my house we used the start of this book to say things will get better.  An all time favorite with many children.

Where the Wild Things AreWhere the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak:  This favorite has even been made into a movie.  When Max gets sent to bed without supper his adventure continues when he goes to see where the wild things live.  A favorite with kids and grownups both.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-Up BookThe Very Hungary Caterpillar by Eric Carle:  A great book of tiny hands.  The caterpillar continues to eat and leave holes as each page is turned.  A minimum of words that tell a cute story.

Corduroy (40th Anniversary Edition)Corduroy by Don Freeman:  If you ever wondered what the toys do at night after the store closes here is an answer.  Corduroy goes looking for his missing button after everyone goes home.  After wandering the store he is put back on his shelf and purchased by Lisa.  A great story about a stuffed toy that most children have and love at some time during their childhood.

Goodnight MoonGood Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown:  A great bedtime story about a rabbit who is trying to put off going to sleep.  Children will identify with the rabbit and his attempt to stay up late. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Countess by Lynsay Sands

The Countess

Christiana, The Countess, in the book by the same name is married to Dicky, an Earl who wooed her with soft words and turned into a monster after the wedding.  Now after almost a year of marriage she is a shadow of her former self.  Escape comes when her husband drops dead but at the same time a complication arises.  Her sister must find a husband immediately to save their Father from his gambling debts.  Christiana cannot help if she is in mourning so she and her sisters decide to put Dicky on ice until she has helped her sister find a husband.  It might have worked if other complications had not arisen.  It seems that Dicky has a twin who is the real Earl and determined to reclaim his position.  His arrival sends the story in a whole new direction.

The Countess is a twist on mistaken identity.  Lynsay Sands has filled The Countess with engaging characters, an action filled plot and since it turns out that Dicky did not drop dead but was murdered, a mystery that must be solved.

There is a companion book, The Heiress, that tells the story of Christiana’s sister and her search for a poor husband.  When you read The Countess you will find out why she wants a poor husband not a rich one.

Avon published The Countess by Lynsay Sands in 2011.

I purchased The Countess from Borders.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

In Too Deep by Jayne Ann Krentz

Paranormal Romance/ Mystery

In Too Deep: Book One of the Looking Glass Trilogy (An Arcane Society Novel)In Too Deep is the next chapter in the Arcane Society series, the first book in the Looking Glass Trilogy, and is Fallon Jones ‘story.  Fallon has moved his headquarters to the small Northern California town of Scargill Cove.  After arriving in Scargill Cove Isabella Valdez has become Fallon’s assistant.  She is on the run from people who want to kill her.   Fallon is under attack by elements of the Arcane Society that want to remove the Jones from positions of power in the Society.   When the two discover a unique antique clock infused with dark energy they must pool their unique talents in order to survive.

In Too Deep can be read as a stand-alone but is more enjoyable if you have read the pervious Arcane Society novels.   Like all of Jayne Ann Krantz’s books In Too Deep is a fun read with lots of action, adventure, and romance.  Something that’s adds an additional fun element to In Too Deep are the links to other books outside the Arcane Society series. 

Book 2 in the Looking Glass Trilogy, Quicksilver by Amanda Quick ( a pen name for Jayne Ann), is will out in April of 2011.

Putnam published In Too Deep by Jayne Ann Krentz in 2011.

I checked out In Too Deep from the Rogers, AR Public Library.

Monday, March 21, 2011

When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

When Beauty Tamed the Beast

When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James is a take on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale.  Linnet, the beauty in the story, was caught kissing a visiting Prince and is ruined for marriage.  Piers Yelverton, the Earl of Marchant is the beast.  He is a doctor who lives in Wales where his bad temper runs almost everyone off.   Both parents see their marriage as the answer to a problem.  Of course, this is not a match made in heaven.  Throw in some old history between Piers and his Father, Linnet’s wit and charm and you have the makings of a good story.

When Beauty Tamed the Beast is a cute story.  I liked both Piers and Linnet and there were other memorable characters and secondary plots that added spice to the book.

Avon published When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James in 2011.

I purchased When Beauty Tamed the Beast from Borders.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Scandal of the Year by Laura Lee Guhrke

Scandal of the Year: Abandoned at the Altar


The year is 1903 and Lady Julia Yardley has just testified that “On the afternoon of August 21, 1903, I had intimate relations of a sexual nature with Aidan Carr, the Duke of Trathen”.    Julia is granted a divorce from Yardley and becomes The Scandal of the Year.

Fast-forward six months and Lady Julia is back out in society.  Adrian, the Duke of Trathen, is trying to put the scandal behind him and is looking for a wife.  He should forget Julia but finds that he cannot.  As they are thrown together sparks fly and both must come to terms with the past if they want a future.

It was interesting to read a story set in this time period.  Cars were just taking the place of the horse and buggy, electric lights were replacing gas and these and other changes are woven into the story.  It was a different setting from many romances and a reminder of how the world was changing in the early 1900’s.

Avon published Scandal of the Year by Laura Lee Guhrke in 2011.

I purchased Scandal of the Year at Borders.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Medicus, A Novel of the Roman Empire by Ruth Downie

Medicus: A Novel of the Roman Empire

Ruth Downie has set Medicus in England during the time of the Roman’s.  As she says in the Author’s Note, “accounts of Roman Britain are tantalizingly patchy”.  Much that is written was not recorded until long after the Roman’s had left but “many of the gaps are still being filled by archaeology”.   Deva, the setting for Medicus is where modern Chester is today and there are remains from Roman times that can be seen today.  That being said she had to invent much of the daily life but not the medical treatments used in Medicus.

I loved how Medicus starts.  Before you read the first chapter you see a list that starts:

A Novel In Which our hero will be…

Baffled by
            Tilla, a slave
            Merula, a bar owner
            Quinus Antonious Vindex, a recruit
            A family of native Britons”

The list goes on to include alarmed by, assaulted by, amused by, followed by, surrounded by, tempted by, sworn at, avoided by, harangued by, annoyed by, ignored by, informed by, mothered by, moved to sympathy by, and ruled by.

Our hero is Gaius Petreius Ruso, a Roman physician who has just arrived in Deva.  As the story develops we find out money is a big issue with Ruso.  His Father died leaving no money and many debts.  Ruso and his brother are trying to save the family farm; Ruso by working in England and sending the money home and his bother by living on the farm and keeping everything going.   Ruso is also newly divorced and soured on marriage.  Ruso just wants to do his job and be left alone.  That does not happen.  He purchases a slave girl that he cannot afford to rescue her from further harm.  Then he is in danger when he finds himself involved in solving the murders of prostitutes who worked at a local tavern.  While all of this is going on he must also try to outwit the hospital administer who tries to keep costs to a minimum impacting the medical treating at the hospital.

Ruth Downie has put together a great setting for the first book in this mystery series.  Ruso and Tilla are wonderful main characters.  The secondary characters are well developed and add depth to the story. The pacing of the story moved in a way that kept me reading.    Other books in the series are already available and I am looking forward to continuing my reading about Ruso and Tilla.

Ruth Downie lives in England where the book was first published.  Every book in the series has one title here in the US and another title in England.  To make it even more confusing Medicus was not the original title here in the US.

Bloomsburg published Medicus, A Novel of the Roman Empire by Ruth Downie in 2006.

I checked Medicus out from the Rogers, AR Public Library.