Saturday, November 21, 2009

Book Blog Tour of Sins of the Flesh by Caridad Pineiro

Sins of the Flesh
The blurb:
Caterina Shaw's days are numbered. her only chance for survival is a highly experimental gene treatment - a risk she willingly takes. But now Caterina barely recognizes herself. She has new, terrifying powers, an exotic, arresting body - and she's been accused of a savage murder, sending her on the run.

Mike Carrera is a mercenary and an expert at capturing elusive, clever prey. Yet the woman he's hunting down is far from teh vicious killer he's been told to expect: Caterina is wounded, vulnerable, and a startling mystery of medical science. Even more, she's a beautiful woman whose innocent sensuality tempts Mike to show her exactly how thrilling pleasure can be. The heat that builds between them is irresistible, but surrendering to it could kill them both. . . for a dangerous group is plotting the next move using Caterina as its deadly pawn.

Sins of the Flesh is an unusual thriller - and combines science fiction, romance, and suspense. Caterina Shaw is a complex and sympathetic character trapped in because of her experimental medical treatments. Mick Carrera is a strong leading man - essentially good but tortured and with a complex past. Sins of the Flesh reads a bit like well done science fiction films and television shows - fast-paced and full of twists. If you enjoy watching Doll House, Fringe, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Dark Angel, I think that you'll thoroughly enjoyed Sins of the Flesh.

Publisher: Forever (October 27, 2009), 336 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Caridad Pineiro penned her first novel in the fifth grade when a teacher assigned a project: Write a book for a class lending library. Her love of writing continued through high school, college, and law school. Shortly after the birth of her daughter, her passion led to a determination to publish and share the stories she loved with others. In 1999, Caridad's first novel was released and a decade later, she is the author of more than 20 novels and novellas. Caridad hopes to continue to share her stories with readers all over the world for years to come. Caridad is also an attorney, wife, and mother to an aspiring writer and fashionista.

Thanks so much to Anna and Hatchette Book Group for this review opportunity!

Winners of Cheating Death by Sanjay Gupta

Winners of Cheating Death by Sanjay Gupta

keakellum - janice - confirmed
beapangilinan.0921 - confirmed
r_lapus - confirmed
shrimi.sinha - matute - confirmed
kteckardt - confirmed

Congratulations! I've contacted the winners and they have until noon on Tuesday to send their mailing addresses. Thanks so much for participating!

Thanks so much to Anna and Hatchette Book Group for sponsoring this giveaway!

Friday 56: Week 21

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions
on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
Post a link along with your post back to this blog and to Storytime with Tonya and Friends at
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Here's mine:

"Magnus let out a shriek and swept his gladius down. Though the old man's arms were lean , they were backed by the power of his own earthcrafting, and the famous sword of the Legions severed the vord's tail at its base."

- First Lord's Fury: Book Six of the Codex Alera by Jim Butcher

Friday, November 20, 2009

Book Review of Secrets of a Christmas Box by Steven Hornby

Secrets of a Christmas Box
The blurb:
Enter the magical festive world of the Christmas 'Tree-Dwellers', as Larry, a Christmas snowman, wakes up after the long sleep in the Christmas box, to find his brother missing.

Desperate to find him before Christmas, Larry, along with his girlfriend Debbie, a newcomer Splint, and Larry's companion Tinsel, break the laws of the 'Tree-Elders' and escape down the tree and away into the house, to look for clues.

Away from the safety of the tree and in an unfamiliar world, the Dwellers stumble upon a dark and sinister secret that threatens their entire world. Can Larry and the group make it back to the tree in time to warn the others, and finally uncover the truth behind the "Secrets of a Christmas Box"?

When I read that Steven Hornby had initially planned "Secrets of a Christmas Box" as a screenplay, it made perfect sense. It would make a wonderful seasonal film, and as it reads it can surely become a Christmas classic. There is just the right amount of make-believe and adventure with Larry, Debbie, Tinsel and Splint. Secrets of a Christmas Box is a story of love, friendship, family, loyalty and courage. It is sure to be loved by children and grown ups alike.

Publisher: Ecky Thump Books, Inc; 1st edition (September 1, 2009), 248 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author:
Steven Hornby is a multi-award winning animator and has been storytelling for over fifteen years in visual effects and animated movies. He was born in Preston, England and attended Lancaster University for Design Communication. After working on a set of commercials in Europe and Australasia and his own short film, "Zzz Night," Steven joined the animation crew in 2000, on the Academy Award winning "The Lord of the Rings" films in New Zealand.

He is best known for his award winning animation, bringing to life J.R.R. Tolkien's fictional character Gollum, on "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

He has since worked as lead animator on "I, Robot" (2004), "King Kong" (2005), Disney's "Meet the Robinson's" (2007), "Glago's Guest" (2008), Dreamwork's "Kung Fu Panda" (2008), and "How to Train Your Dragon" (in theaters 2010).

In 2009, Steven finished his children's fantasy novel, "Secrets of a Christmas Box" which was released in September 2009. He initially planned "Secrets of a Christmas Box" as a screenplay after spending several years having the story running around in his head, but iinstead turned it into his first children's novel.

Steven is currently working on the sequel to his Christmas novel. He lives in Burbank, California with his family.

Thanks so much to Steven Hornby and Ecky Thump Books for this review opportunity!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Winners of Book Giveaways

Angels by Chuck Fischer - Irene (cyeates)

Love You To Death by Shannon Butcher
magenta 2 red

Girl on Top by Nicole Williams

Run For Your Life by James Patterson

Feelin' the Vibe by Candice Dow

Congratulations! I've notified the winners and they have until noon on Friday to send their mailing addresses. Thank you for participating!

Book Blog Tour of Dark Stranger: Book One of the Vampire Book Club by Susan Sizemore

Welcome to the Book Blog Tour of Dark Stranger: Book One of the Vampire Book Club by Susan Sizemore!
Dark Stranger (Primes, #8)Summary:
Dark Stranger: Book One of the Vampire Book Club is set in a future world populated by a variety of intelligent species that originate from and inhabit different planets at a time when interplanetary travel is a reality. Descendants of man from planet Terra co-exist with various "suprahumans" that include werewolves and vampires. There are many other species as well and the different life forms trade, forge alliances and compete with each other. On the one side is the Byzant Empire (the "Empire") which has a royal family that originated from Terra. The most powerful enemy of the Byzant Empire are the Hajim.

In the course of a diplomatic mission on behalf of the Byzant Empire, Zoe Pappas and her bodyguard are caught in the middle of a surprise attack. Aside from being highly skilled and with expensive and rare technological implants, Zoe Pappas is somehow of great significance. While she is able to escape the attack, Zoe is among the prisoners brought to a Hajim underground outpost.

Zoe spars with the head of the human delegation, General Raven, but they quickly read each others' strengths and work together. General Raven's main goal is to protect the humans and help them survive captivity. Zoe wants to form alliances with the other captive species and nations and arrange an escape. While they work together to smooth volatile relations with the other captives and deal with Hajim, their mutual attraction spills over. Both Zoe and General Raven hold deep secrets. Will they trust each other and combat the increasing demands of the Hajim?

Dark Stranger: Book One of the Vampire Book Club is my first exposure to Susan Sizemore and her Prime novels. I thoroughly enjoyed it! The world that she created with the peaceful coexistence of the different intergalactic species reminded me of Star Trek in a good way. The Byzant Empire with its commitment to equality and fairness was not too different from the Federation. The main characters of Zoe Pappas and General Raven, the suprahumans (vampires and werewolves), and the romance took this book away from the Star Trek model.

In Zoe Pappas, Susan Sizemore created a strong, sympathetic and interesting action lead. I was engrossed in the book and very much look forward to the next in the series.

I highly recommend Dark Stranger to anyone looking for fun escapist fiction with fantasy, science fiction and romance.
Publisher: Pocket Star (October 27, 2009), 384 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

Thanks so much Sarah and Pocket Books for this review opportunity!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Book Blog Tour of The Secret of Joy by Melissa Senate

Welcome to the Book Blog Tour of The Secret of Joy by Melissa Senate!

The Secret of Joy

The blurb:
Is the half sister that Rebecca Strand has never met short? Tall? Rich? Poor? Pretty? Funny? Married? Lonely? Happy?. .

Rebecca is about to find out. The New York City paralegal thought nothing could shake her life off its fast track-which includes her handsome lawyer boyfriend and their extravagant condo. The shocking revelation that she even has a half sister comes from her dying father, in a hospital bed confession of a long-past summer affair. . . and now the dad she adores has one last wish: would Rebecca deliver a cache of letters he never sent to his other daughter, Joy Jayhawk, in a tiny coastal Maine town?

But when Rebecca arrives in Wiscasset, with the life-changing letters stashed in a leather box, nothing goes as she imagined-and Joy Jayhawk is less than thrilled to meet her. Joy already has her own life, her own family, and her own business: she runs a bus tour for singles, a matchmaking excursion that's brought lovers together, healed broken hearts, and changed lives. Rebecca joins the singles tour in the hopes of unlocking a door into Joy's life and forming a relationship with the only family she has left. But as she spends more and more time with Joy and the women who dub themselves The Divorced Ladies Club of Wiscasset-and starts a flirtation with a seriously hunky local carpenter-Rebecca realizes it's her life and heart that are ready for healing and change. . .and that sometimes, you just have to go along for the ride.

It's hard to describe The Secret of Joy without emphasizing that Rebecca Strand is absolutely winsome. Even as she screws up at work and is about to do something crazy, like give away half of her inheritance to a stranger, you find yourself rooting for her and hoping that things work out.

I loved Rebecca's closeness to her father, Daniel Strand. The letters that Daniel left for Joy seem to be written for Rebecca as well. As Rebecca reaches out to her sister Joy and works through her own needs and wants, she discovers her own strengths as a mediator. The discussions of love and monogamy, marriage, separation and divorce are interesting and make The Secret of Joy a little different from the usual women's fiction. The book's strength comes from the closeness and friendship that surrounds Rebecca throughout the book. The Secret of Joy is fun, touching, and a great read!

Publisher: Downtown Press (November 17, 2009), 352 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author:
Melissa Senate is the author of eight novels, including the worldwide bestseller See Jane Date, which became an ABC Family television movie. Her essays and stories appear in Everything I've Always Wanted to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume and other anthologies. She lives on the coast of Maine with her son and their menagerie of pets.

Participating Sites Include:
Books, Movies & Chinese Food:
Booking Mama:
Frugal Plus:
All About {n}:
Brizmus Blogs Books:
Psychotic State:
Books Reviews by Buuklvr81:
Starting Fresh:
A Sea of Books:
That’s A Novel Idea:
Book Junkie:
My Book Views:
Drey’s Library:
Me, My Book & the Couch:
Just Another New Blog:
One Person’s Journey Through A World of Books:
Booksie’s Blog:
Book N Around:
Keep on Booking:
My Life In Not So Many Words:
Beth’s Book Review Blog:
My Reading Room:
My Book Addiction and More:
Crazy For Books:
Bella’s Novella:
Blog Business World:
Reading at the Beach:
My Friend Amy:
Book Magic:
The Life (and Lies) of an Inanimate Flying Object:
So Many Books, So Little Time:
Jeanne's Ramblings:
Red Headed Book Child:
Reading with Tequila:
Books, Gardens, and Dogs:
Jens Book Talk:
My Own Little Corner of the World:
Lit and Life:
Entertainment Realm:

Thanks so much, Sarah and Pocket Books for this review opportunity!

Book Blog Tour of The Longest Trip Home by John Grogan

I'm excited to welcome you to the Book Blog Tour of The Longest Trip Home by John Grogan. Grogan's novel, Marley & Me, about his dog Marley and the early years of his marriage was an international bestseller. In The Longest Trip Home, Grogan shares the events and adventures from his childhood to the present.

The blurb:
Before there was Marley, there was a gleefully mischievous boy navigating his way through the seismic social upheaval of the 1960s. On the one side were his loving but comically traditional parents, whose expectations were clear. On the other were his neighborhood pals and all the misdeeds that followed. The more young John tired to straddle these two worlds, the more spectacularly, and hilariously he failed. Told with Grogan's trademark humor and affection, The Longest Trip Home is the story of one son's journey into adulthood to claim his place in the world. It is a story of faith and reconciliation, breaking away and finding the way home again, and learning in the end that a family's love will triumph over its differences.

I hadn't yet read Marley & Me, I found The Longest Trip Home to be a wonderful introduction to John Grogan's narrative voice.

Grogan is sympathetic, funny and witty as he shares the anecdotes and the milestones in his life. We first meet Grogan as a six-year old being woken up in the morning by his mother with a feather duster, surrounded by his siblings. With affection and love, he shares the particular nuances of his childhood as he was raised by deeply Catholic (with icons, pilgrimages, and faith), principled and loving parents. The institution of the Catholic Church and its teachings were a large part of his life from his childhood as an altar boy and in parochial schools to the discussions that he had with his parents when he and Jenny started living together before marriage. John shares how he balanced respecting his parents' faith and his own beliefs and how at all times they respected his individuality and his independence. It is a story of love, respect, and growing up. Skillfully done, The Longest Trip Home is an enjoyable glimpse into a well lived lives full of humor, affection and adventure.

Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; Reprint edition (October 13, 2009), 352 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher and TLC Book Tours.

About the Author:
John Grogin has spent more than twenty-five years as a newspaper journalist, most recently as metropolitan columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He is the author of the #1 international bestseller Marley & Me, and lives in the Pennsylvania countryside with his wife, Jenny, and their three children.

Thanks so much to John Grogan, Trish and TLC Book Tours for this review opportunity!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Book Blog Tour of Too Many Visitors for One Little House by Susan Chodakiewitz

Too Many Visitors 2

Welcome to the Book Blog Tour of Too Many Visitors for One Little House by Susan Chodakiewitz!

Too Many Visitors For One Little House
With brightly colored illustrations by Veronica Walsh and story by Susan Chodakiewitz, Too Many Visitors For One Little House will surely charm kids and adults alike.

The story begins with the neighbors of El Camino Street who are comfortable and set in their ways. They don't like pets, kids, big families, noise and disruptions. So when the young family with three kids and a fish move in, the neighbors watch out for trouble. Their worst fears are realized when a large camper pulls up next to the little house and unloads the grandparents with prune juice, aunts and uncles with dirty laundry, teens with music, skateboards, and arms full of clothes.

But with the chaos, the neighbors find that guests also bring laughter, music, good food, and good cheer.

Lighthearted and fun, Too Many Visitors for One Little House is an enjoyable read. It's release is well timed to coincide with visits these upcoming holidays.

Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (February 11, 2009), 40 pages.
Review copy provided by the author and Pump Up Your Book Promotion Tours.

About the Author:
Susan Chodakiewitz is a writer, composer and producer. She is the founder of Booksicals Children’s Books- Encouraging the love of reading through the arts. Through her company Booksicals she has created the Booksicals on Stage literacy program which is currently presenting musical performances of the picture book Too Many Visitors for One Little House at schools, libraries, and special events.

Susan lives in Los Angeles in a lively household filled with music, three sons, a husband, a Dalmatian and lots of visitors. Susan loves picture books and when she wrote a musical based on one of her favorites, she realized it was time to start writing her own picture books. Too Many Visitors for One Little House is Susan’s debut book. You can visit her website at

Thank you to Susan, Dorothy and Pump Up Your Book Promotion Tours for this review opportunity!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Book Blog Tour of After the Moment by Garret Freymann-Weyr

Welcome to the Book Blog Tour of After the Moment by Garret Freymann-Weyr! Trish was very enthusiastic about After the Moment and just having finished it now, I thoroughly understand why.

He felt her skin against his, and for a moment he couldn't breathe. He needed to say Hello or How are you? He would need to shake the hand of her date, and introduce her to Kathleen. He had to find out if she was well and happy. If she had recovered from what happened, both to them and to her. And he had to do it without ever knowing how desperately he needed the answer. But she seemed to know everything already, as her eyes remained on his. It made sense that she would know more than he did, for the detail that made his and Maia Morland's love story different was that Leigh was forever a few pages behind in the plot.
-After the Moment by Garret Freymann-Weyr

After the Moment
The blurb:
Maia Morland is pretty, only not pretty-pretty. She's smart. She's brave. She's also a self-proclaimed train wreck.

Leigh Hunter is smart, popular, and extremely polite. He's also completely and forever in love with Maia Moreland.

Their young love starts off like a romance novel - full of hope, strength, and passion. But love is not a romance novel and theirs will never become a true romance. For when Maia needs him the most, Leigh betrays both her trust and her love.

Told with compassion and true understanding, After the Moment is about what happens when a young man discovers that sometimes love fails us, and that quite often, we fail love.

The book opens at a dinner party in New York City, when Leigh sees Maia Moreland for the first time since high school. We're immediately aware of her impact on him and that he's never gotten over some event in their past where he did something dreadful. We don't know their history, only that there was something beautiful and fragile that was destroyed somehow and that Leigh has carried this with him for years.

After reading the opening pages of their chance encounter at the NY dinner party, I was pushed so off-center that I put the book down for weeks. I didn't want to read about the violence or how Leigh hurt Maia so badly and was still so affected by their past. I won't go into details - you deserve to read the book without any spoilers - and to enjoy it as the story slowly unfolds.

Here is just a quick peek into the plot and characters:
After the brief scene where Leigh and Maia meet in the present, the main story opens in flashbacks to Leigh's last years in high school. Towards the end of his junior year, seventeen-year-old Leigh has everything going for him - excellent grades, a spot on the soccer team, and Astra, his dropdead beautiful, popular and smart girlfriend that most everyone else wants to date. He's not unappreciative of his life even though "the good fortune that Leigh knew as his wasn't something that he could feel or point to...It was more like oxygen or blood; it was that intrinsic." Leigh knows that he doesn't yet know what future he wants but he's steady and dependable and he does his level best, knowing it's "a matter of continuing to do the right things: study and apply to colleges, as well as keep old friends and make new ones." Though Leigh isn't driven by clear plans for his future, he will do almost anything for his younger step sister Millie. So when Millie's father dies and she asks Leigh to move to Maryland for a year, Leigh uproots his life. He leaves New York, his mother and Astra for Maryland, Millie, and her troubled friend Maia. Maia is the polar opposite of Astra - nervous, eating disordered, and troubled - but somehow Leigh finds himself drawn to her.

Once I got over my initial hesitation and returned to the book, got to know Leigh and how he cared for the people around him, I was hooked. In After the Moment, Garret Freymann-Weyr created unforgettable characters dealing with complex and real life concerns. It's a beautiful and moving book.

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children; 1 edition (May 18, 2009), 336 pages.
Review copy provided by the author and TLC Book Tours.

About the Author:
Garret Freymann-Weyr was born and raised in New York City. She went to college in North Carolina (UNC-Chapel Hill) and has an MFA in film from NYU. She currently lives outside of Washington D.C. with her husband. She has written five books for young adults, one of which one a Printz honor. Hew work has been sold to countries including the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, and China. Her next book, French Ducks in Venice, is a picture book for a younger audience. Learn more at Garret Freymann-Weyr's website at

Thanks so much to Garret Freyman-Weyr, Trish and TLC Book Tours for this review opportunity!