Sunday, September 30, 2012

What Else I Read in September 2012


 Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk.  This is the first in a series set in Portland Oregon.  I purchased the book when I was in Powell's in Portland.  I really liked the story so now I need to read the rest of the series.

Heart Secret by Robin D. Owens.  This is one of my favorite series and this story was a good addition.  Slower to start than some but that just added to the enjoyment.

Historical Romance: 

A Duchess to Remember by Christina Brooke.  A Ministry of Marriage Novel Lady Cecily's story is an enjoyable addition to the series.
Heiress Without a Cause by Sarah Ramsey - The first in the Muses of Mayfair series this one was offered free.  I really enjoyed the book and after I finished it I purchased the second book.


A Fatal Winter by G.M. Malliet - The second in the Max Tudor series.  This one has a faster pace than the first book.  The series is shaping up nicely.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Travel With Audio Books

I just got home from a month long trip where I drove over 4000 miles listening to audio books the entire way.  Here is the list of books that got me through the trip:
I love the Commissario Guido Brunetti Mysteries written by Donna Leon.  They are entertaining.  They do not have that much blood and guts.  The mystery is almost a background for how the characters interact with each other.  And in most that I have listened to the victim is someone I really like leaving me sad about their death.  On this trip I listened to Beastly Things, About Face, and Drawing Conclusions.  This is one series I have not followed in the order written but it does not seem to matter.
Pure by Julianna Baggott is Science Fiction.  It had some very strange things in it.  Most of the strangeness was caused by a group who wanted to re-boot humanity.  Their actions had some very bad results for most people while keeping them safe in The Dome.  The ending for Pure left me wishing that book two had already been written and released.  The book has been optioned for a movie.
Myke Cole’s Shadow Ops Control Point is full of violence and killing.  The hero never seemed to learn from his actions.  There was not good conclusion to the story.  This is the start of a series but I can skip any further books. 
If There Be Dragons by Kay Hooper is listed as a paranormal romance.  It was a pleasant listen but had very little of the paranormal in it. It did have romance.   It was also the shortest, only 5 hours long.  It is also part of a series but works well as a stand-alone.
The last and longest book is Galileo’s Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson. This is also Science Fiction however most of the book is a history of Galileo’s life with a few scenes where Galileo visits the future.  Since I have read several books about Galileo it was like a repeat history lesson.  If I had been reading instead of listening I would not have finished the book.
These are the books that filled the hours it took to drive over 4000 miles.

Stacking the Shelves, September 29, 2012

Welcome to my Stacking The Shelves post!  Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews so follow the link and check out what other stacked on their shelves this week.  
Stacking The Shelves is all about the books I am adding to my shelves each week letting me share with you my excitement for my newest books.

From Amazon Vine:

Blades of Winter by G. T. Almasi
The Heart of Matter:  Odyssey One by Evan Currie

Purchased from Barnes and Noble:

Archangel's Storm by Nalini Singh

From the Public Library:

Phoenix Rising, A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences  and The Janus Affair, A Ministry of Peculair Occurrences  by Pop Ballantine and Tee Morris

Further, Beyond the Threshold  by Chris Roberson


Friday, September 28, 2012

Book Beginnings on Fridays September 28, 2012

Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include  include the title and author so others know what you're reading.

The Lost Night (Rainshadow, #2, Harmony, #9) 
"You Belong to me," The Vampire said.  "Soon you will understand that your are meant to be my bride."

This is not what I expected from the opening sentence in the new Harmony book  The Lost Night by Jayne Castle.  It really made me wonder what was going on.  I soon found out.  I know it should be a current read but since I have finished the book and loved it I wanted to share the opening.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Phoenix by A.J. Scudiere

Phoenix from the authors web site:
Jason Mondy’s world is unraveling.

He may be the town hero, but his job is in chaos,
his girlfriend has left him and his nightmares keep him from sleeping.
Even just a simple trip home to find some rest leads his adoptive mother to
share a secret she’s kept for over twenty-six years . . .

Jason has a brother he doesn’t remember existed.

He doesn’t remember his life before he was adopted at age seven.
Now the foundation on which he built his world is crumbling.
The life he doesn’t remember is lost somewhere and his brother left behind.

Armed with only this stunning new piece of information,
Jason embarks on a quest to find the truths buried deep in his past.
As he searches, one by one the pieces of his life fall like dominoes.
And the more he uncovers, the more everything he thought he knew
about himself and his past begins to turn to ash.

His truth isn’t true at all . . .

There are a lot surprises Phoenix.  For a start there are the characters.  Many or maybe I should say most of them are not what they seem.  I confess the big character surprise near the end was really a surprise to me.  If there was any foreshadowing about who was who I missed it.  Alone with the surprises I also liked the fact that the characters grew and changed as the story progressed.

Phoenix is set in the world of the firefighter and the author really did her homework on fire fighting and the life a firefighter lives.  These is a lot of information about the life style and fire fighting methods mixed in the story.  It adds an interesting element to the book. 

What started out as something that should have been a simple quest for information kept getting more and more complex.  To use an overused phrase “the plot thickened”.  Each new development kept my interest and lead to even more complications.   I was kept guessing throughout the book.

I think A.J. Scudiere has written a winner with Phoenix.

Griffin Inc published Phoenix by A. J. Scudiere in 2012.

I recieved an eARC of Phoenix from Netgalley.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday September 26, 2012

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I have several books on pre-order from AmazonThe Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight by Jack Campbell is due to be released October 2, 2012.  This is a spin off of the Lost Fleet Series and I am eager to see how it holds up story wise. 

Here is a preview of the book as listed on Amazon:

The Lost Stars: Tarnished KnightJack Campbell’s The Lost Fleet series delivers “military science fiction at its best”* in every action-packed adventure. Now the New York Times bestselling author puts the Alliance fleet’s enemy in the spotlight as the people of the Syndicate Worlds attempt to rebuild their lives after Admiral John “Black Jack” Geary defeated them…
The authority of the Syndicate Worlds’ government is crumbling. Civil war and rebellion are breaking out in many star systems despite the Syndic government’s brutal attempts to suppress disorder. Midway is one of those star systems, and leaders there must decide whether to remain loyal to the old order or fight for something new.
CEO Artur Drakon has been betrayed. The Syndic government failed to protect its citizens from both the Alliance and the alien enigmas. With a cadre of loyal soldiers under his command, Drakon launches a battle for control of the Midway Star System—assisted by an ally he’s unsure he can trust…
CEO Gwen Iceni was exiled to Midway because she wasn’t ruthless enough in the eyes of her superiors. She’s made them regret their assessment by commandeering some of the warships at Midway and attacking the remaining ships still loyal to the Syndicate empire. Iceni declares independence for the Midway Star System on behalf of the people while staying in charge as “President.” But while she controls the mobile fleet, she has no choice but to rely on “General” Drakon’s ground forces to keep the peace planet-side…
If their coup is to succeed, Drakon and Iceni must put their differences aside to prevent the population of Midway from rising up in rebellion against them, to defend Midway against the alien threat of the enigma race—and to ferret out saboteurs determined to reestablish Syndic rule…

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Teaser Tuesday September 25, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: 

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.
I have just finished The Guardian of Bastet by Jacqueline M Battisti and I loved the story.  I received a free copy from Netgalley.  Here is my teaser:

"Once again, I was late and I knew my boss was going to have kittens because of it. No, I was the one who turned into a furry feline once a month."

And here is the Goodreads summary:

Cat-shifter Trinity Morrigan-Caine has discovered a demon is killing supernaturals. Magically challenged, she has every intention of letting handsome Alpha werewolf Gordon Barnes handle it. But after a dying vampire gifts Trinity a mystical amulet, she is drawn into the fray as the legendary Guardian of Bastet, a warrior born when the need arises.

Though Trinity initially rejects the role, she warms to the idea when Gordon agrees to train her—and their passion for each other grows as he teaches her to embrace her animal instincts.

As she begins to accept her destiny and believe in her growing powers, Trinity realizes the danger is even closer to home than she ever imagined—and she and Gordon are going to have to face the demon in a fight to the death.

Follow this link from Reading Reality to read a full review and a interview with the author.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Musing Mondays, September 24, 2012

This week’s musing –courtesy of–asks…
Do you have any hobbies outside of reading?
Or do you collect anything?

I have several hobbies outside of reading.  I love to garden.  This year with the drouth it has been a bit of a struggle.  I play bridge at least once a week.  I also love to travel and since I am retired I do quite a bit.  I just got home from a month long trip that included a Alaska cruise.  I hike and swim.  Books are all I collect.  When I retired I downsized so I don't have as much room as I used to.  On the plus side that means I don't have as much to clean.   

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Assassin's CurseFantasy
From Goodreads:
"Ananna of the Tanarau is the eldest daughter of a highly-ranked family in the loose assortment of cutthroats and thieves in the Pirate's Confederation. When she runs away from the marriage her parents have arranged for her, they hire Naji the assassin to murder her.

When a mysterious woman in a dress shop offers her magical assistance for dealing with the assassin, Ananna accepts. She never went in much for magic herself -- she lacks the talent for it -- but she's not quite ready to die yet, either. Unfortunately, the woman's magic fails.

Fortunately, Ananna inadvertently saves the assassin's life in the skirmish, thus activating a curse that had been placed on him a few years earlier. Now, whenever her life is in danger, he must protect her -- or else he experiences tremendous physical pain. Neither Ananna nor the assassin, Naji, are pleased about this development.

Follow Ananna and Naji as they sail across the globe, visiting such mysterious places as the Court of Salt and Waves, in their desperate effort to lift the curse. Soon they will discover that only by completing three impossible tasks will they be able to set themselves free."
The Assassins’s Curse is a great start to a new series.
Characters:  The two main characters in The Assassin's Curse are Ananna and Naji.  Both have their problems and the problems define who they are.  Both are well-developed although I found Ananna is the better developed of the two.  Naji is just to uptight and as a result does not give off the clues that Ananna does.  I loved how independent Ananna is and how Naji just does not always get her.
Worldbuilding:  I did find the world building a little thin.  However that did not interfere with my enjoyment of the story.Ananna and Naji talk about the different parts of the world but there is still a lot to learn.  I did like that most of the clues to the world were given in a active voice through dialog.  The story kept moving even as the hints about the world were dropped.
Plot:  It is very well plotted.  Everything develops from Ananna running away and it flows smoothly to the end of the book.  As the story ends there is a solution that could solve Ananna and Naji’s problem.  That solution is complicated and it will take the rest of the series to see if it works.
Writing:  The characters, the world building and the plot all come together in a very well written book.  I like the fact that it was written in an active voice.  That kept the action moving and lead to a book I did not want to put down.
I liked The Assassin’s Curse  and will be waiting for the next book the series (The Pirates’s Wish)  to be released in 2013.
Angry Robot published The Assassin’s Curse in 2012.
I received a free ARC of The Assassin’s Curse from NetGalley.  The release date for The Assassin's Curse is October 2, 2012.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Scandalous Viscount by Gaelen Foley

My Scandalous Viscount (The Inferno Club, #5)Historical Romance
My Scandalous Viscount is another story with spies at the center.  This is book #5 in The Inferno Club series and winds up one arc of this story.  Gaelen Foley does plan further stories using characters that were introduced in the first five books.  I received an ARC of My Scandalous Viscount from Edelweiss and did not realize that it was a part of a series I had not read until I started reading.   The book can stand-alone but I know I missed things and many of the hints about the back-story did not make much sense to me.
My Scandalous Viscount is about honor, honesty, and friendship.  It is also about how the choices you make influence how others see you.
Although Sebastian, Viscount Beauchamp lives by a code of honor, he has no time for anything but casual flings with women.  That honor is what leads him to marry Carissa.  
Carissa Portland keeps up with gossip as a way to protect herself.  She has a secret that she hopes is never revealed and so she is always listening in case she needs to head off gossip about herself.  She is not a gossip.  She does not pass tales on. As a result she is know as a “lady of information” 
Her quest to be in the know is the main driving force in My Scandalous Viscount.  It leads her into more than one dangerous situation and into marriage to Sebastian. .  For a historical romance Carissa is a very modern woman.  Sebastian is a very traditional male so the marriage between the two is filled with all the problems this brings.  All of this is written into the story in a very humorous way.  Part of the time I found Carissa to be a train wreck waiting to happen. But in the end her information is what saves the day. 
If you need a quick fun read pick up My Scandalous Viscount.
Avon published My Scandalous Viscount by Gaelen Foley in 2012.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Teaser Tuesday September 18, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: 

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.
Today's teaser is from a short story I requested and received from Netgalley.  The Enchanted Truth by Kym Petrie is a quick and fun read.  Here is the teaser:

"Why wouldn't you grant my wish?"  asked the princess.  "What good will this do me?"

Read the story to find out what a modern day princess finds out about her prince.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Stacking the Shelves September 8, 2012

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews 
that lets me share the books I get during a week.  I am traveling this week and leaving on an Alaska cruise tomorrow so this is a short post. 

I visited Powell’s Book Store in Portland, OR Monday and purchased one book.

Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk.  I got this one because it is the first in a series set in Portland.

I visited The Mystery Books Store in Seattle, WA on Thursday and purchased three books.

Vanished, A Greywalker Novel by Kat Richardson – This is set in Seattle and is the fourth in the series.  The book is autographed.

The Lost Night by Jayne Castle, Autographed Copy,  - I get her newsletter and she often mentions signing books here so I had to visit.

Murphy’s Law by Rhys Bowen – This was on the first book in a series shelf.  I have read her other series so wanted to try this one.  This was a used copy.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Book Beginnings on Friday September 7, 2012

Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include  include the title and author so others know what you're reading.

"Excerpt from Trevor Vaquero's "Tales of my Father" Archive - I don't remember my dad as anything more than a giant shadow with a rough beard, a ready smile, and a warm hug."

13584828-spin-the-sky.jpgThis is from the prolog of Spin the Sky by Katy Stauber.  The story uses flashbacks in the form of stories that Trevor has collected about his father mixed in the with story of Cesar's return home after a 15 year absence.  Yes, this is a take on a old familiar classic.  I received a copy of the book from Netgalley.  It was released in June but was still available just a few weeks ago.  Here is the Goodreads Summary:

Fifteen years after winning the Spacer War, Cesar Vaquero has returned to Ithaca, a rugged orbital colony that boasts the only herd of cattle in space, and a wife and a son who don’t even recognize him when he shows up at their doorstep. Posing as a homeless drifter, he soon discovers that making his way home past space pirates, one-eyed giants, and mad scientists was the easy part . . .

Penelope swore off men after her husband disappeared. She’s been busy enough running the ranch, raising her son, and fending off pushy suitors eager to get their hands on her and her herd. But something about this war-weary drifter stirs forgotten feelings in her, even as sabotage, rustlers, and a space stampede threaten to tear Ithaca apart!
Spin the Sky is an rollicking, high-spirited riff on a certain classic odyssey—featuring characters as big and full of surprises as Space itself!

I loved the story.  It is good science fiction with some romance thrown in.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Teaser Tuesday September 4, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: 

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.

My teaser is from Blue Nebula by Diane Dooley.  

"Things had become complicated.  She should've killed Javan once he'd served his purpose but she'd been unable to harm him."

This is book 2 in the Blue Universe series.  I have been waiting for this to come out and jumped on it when Netgalley offered an ARC.  Read Blue Galaxy first to see what came before.

Here is Goodreads summary:

Sola de la Vega is on a mission to save the galaxy, and nothing will sway her. Not even the pleas of her beloved husband, Captain Javan Rhodes, to keep herself and their unborn child safe.

Fitted with a series of technological "enhancements" entwined with her central nervous system, Sola is not fully human. Her father is the undisputed leader of Earth, and Sola is driven to put an end to his genocidal rule—before he can follow through with his plans to consolidate power over the universe into the hands of the aristocracy.

Despite Javan's fears for her safety, and coping with a difficult pregnancy, Sola's quest has become an obsession she cannot control. Compelled to choose, duty must come before her love for Javan. And when Sola joins forces with Destin Grady — her father's sworn enemy — in a plot to execute the dictator and seize power, she soon uncovers secrets from the past that have her facing a future she never could have imagined

Monday, September 3, 2012

Musing Monday's September 3, 2012

Have you ever considered writing a book before? What genre would you write?
This week’s musing –courtesy of– asks…I wonder how many of us will answer yes?  
I have tried my hand at writing but have failed at one of the primary rules (This is one I heard Kevin Anderson and his wife state.  You have to finish the book to have a chance at publication.  It seems she kept starting but not finishing her books.)  I have several that I have started but never finished.  
Some are romances that I started writing in my 20's.  Some are children's books I started when my sons were young.  The most recent are books I started after I retired.  They are Science Fiction and Science Fiction Romances that I never finished.  In between my 20's and retirement I taught in college and wrote for publish or perish.  I don't miss that kind of writing.  Today when I get the urge to write I just go the Helium, find a title I like or submit one, and write something short that I will finish. 
The reason I never finished.  I will be writing and then a book or series of books will come up that I want to read and I would rather read than write.  Then I don't write for quite awhile and it is hard to start again.
Another reason I never have finished.  I love to travel and writing and traveling just did not go together.  In fact right now I am on a trip and am writing this in my hotel room in Portland, OR.  I am staying at the Aloft at the Portland Airport.  I stopped here so I could visit Powell's Book Store and later today I will be off to see what book treasures I have missed and need to add to my already hugh library.  Check my travel blog Jo Jones Traveling Lady tomorrow for my post of where and what I went to see today.
In the end I have decided that there are readers and writers and I am a reader.  There is a place for both in this world.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Scandalous Affair by Karen Erickson

14827716-a-scandalous-affair.jpgHistorical Romance

A Scandalous Affair is book three in Karen Erickson’s Merry Widows series.  I haven’t read either of the first two but if they are as good as this one I have been missing out.  The book is not that long, more novellas length but it tells a complete story.

Daphne, Lady Pomeroy has been a widow for two years.  Her husband was much older and while she had a good relationship with him there was no passion.  As a result Daphne is not sure she needs another husband.  Everyone thinks The Marquess of Hartwell is cold and calculating.  The truth is that he is shy and has a stutter so he just does not talk of go out in society much.

After spending two years in the country Daphne has come to London and is living with her brother.  The two hold a masquerade ball and Daphne and Hartwell meet.  The story develops from there.

I loved both of the main characters.  Hartwell is wonderful.  Daphne recognizes something in Hartwell that everyone else misses.  This is the kind of love story that tugs at the heart.  Two people who are made for each other but there are problems to be overcome for everything to work.

Carina Press published A Scandalous Affair by Karen Erickson in 2012.
I got an ARC of A Scandalous Affair from Netgalley.