Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday 56: Week 32 Jon Land's Strong Justice: A Caitlin Strong Novel

* 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:

"He'd turned down the volume so passersby would think he was simply text messaging someone. He could feel the dark metal hot in his hands, superheated by the sun that reddened his skin on contact and left his nerve endings raw and inflamed. The side effects of the drugs were to blame for that along with the hair loss that left him wearing an ill-fitting toupee he'd taken off a man he'd killed in Chochhilla."

- Strong Justice: A Caitlin Strong Novel by Jon Land

A Holey Donuts Special + the $250 and lowfat donut giveaway

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Book Review of Terry Spear's Legend of the White Wolf

Legend of the White Wolf (Book #4)

The blurb:
His wild side comes out with a vengance...
Detective Cameron MacPherson joins forces with lovely Faith O'Malley to search for his missing partners an her father's stolen research. But in the wilds of nature he encounters a mythical creature whose bite changes everything for their newfound love.

Is she the hunter or the hunted?
Faith is on the trail of a legend, and with or without Cameron, she won't be stopped.

Until the fatal moment when they both realize they must face their enemies together...or perish apart...

Legend of the White Wolf is a romance with the added complexity of werewolves. While Faith O'Malley is a smart, beautiful heroine on a mission, when she suddenly faces future as a werewolf, things become markedly more complicated. She draws the attention of the local Alpha but she has her eye on another.

Meanwhile Cameron has his own mission - and must help find his missing partners. Cameron discovers and gets on the wrong side of the local werewolves. He must find a way to save his friends and keep his newly discovered love.

Legend of the White Wolf is part romance, part werewolf adventure and much action. The book is likely to appeal to readers fond of contemporary romance and paranormal adventure.

ISBN-10: 1402219059 - Mass Market Paperback $6.99
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca; 1 edition (November 3, 2009), 384 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author, courtesy of Amazon:
Creator of award-winning teddy bears who have found homes all over the world including Australia, Switzerland, China, and Russia, a retired officer of the US Army Reserves, who loves to plant trees and flowers and if she could, she'd turn all the deserts green. Time travels are her favorite read, although she loves to read most anything, and the Bourne series, Romancing the Stone, Sixth Sense, Legend, The Princess Bride, Stardust, Inkheart, LOTR, and tons of other movies are her favorites. She loves to research, to make urban fantasy worlds real, to bring a little of the paranormal into our world. Even in "Winning the Highlander's Heart" the heroine feels she is cursed and she has second sight. But she tries to do it in a way that feels real, and not fantasized. :) Currently, she's working on two more in the wolf series, Seduced by the Wolf, and another, soon to be titled, coming next year.

Thank you to Danielle and SourceBooks for the review opportunity!

Download the Kindle version of James Patterson's Fang: A Maximum Ride Novel for free

I'm not sure how long this promotion will last. I just came across it on Amazon - a free download of the Kindle version of James Patterson's Fang: A Maximum Ride Novel (Book 1).
Fang (Maximum Ride, #6)

Head over to Amazon or the link below to download your free copy:

Book Review of Ursula Vernon's Dragonbreath: Attack of the Ninja Frogs

Dragonbreath Attack of the Ninja Frogs (Dragonbreath, #2)

The blurb:
Danny Dragonbreath knew girls were trouble. But the new foreign exchange student, Suki the Salamander, is beyond trouble. Not only has she reduced his best friend, Wendell, to a blithering, lovesick tadpole, but she’s apparently the object of an elaborate ninja frog kidnapping plot. Danny is never one to pass up an adventure (especially one involving ninja frogs), and so he and Wendell and Suki set out on a dangerous quest through the mythical Japanese bamboo forests to find out what these fearsome frogs want. Danny may not be able to breathe fire like a normal dragon, but he and Wendell have watched lots of kung fu movies and can totally take on a bunch of ninja frogs. Or, um, so he hopes . . .

Using her trademark hybrid style of comic-book panels and text, Ursula Vernon has packed this second book in the hilarious Dragonbreath series with lots of kung fu, a little bit of loooove, and plenty of everyday school drama.


Dragonbreath: Attack of the Ninja Frogs is a funny, action-packed book for young readers. Three middle school friends find themselves roped into an unexpected undertaking in Ancient Japan with ninjas, dragons, unicorns, and other magical creatures. While our lead character, Dragonbreath, is a dragon, he is equally a bored middle schooler who dreams of ninjas, martial arts and battling danger.

Dragonbreath: Attack of the Ninja Frogs is a witty adventure book sure to appeal to young readers.

ISBN-10: 0803733658 - $12.99Publisher: Dial; Ill edition (February 4, 2010), 208 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author, courtesy of Amazon:
Ursula Vernon is the author and illustrator of "Nurk," "Digger," "Dragonbreath" and a number of other projects. The daughter of an artist, she spent her youth attempting to rebel and become a scientist, but eventually succumbed to the siren song of paint (although not before getting a degree in anthropology, because life isn't complete without student loans, right?). Her work has been nominated for an Eisner award, "Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition" and a number of Webcomics Choice Awards.

Ursula grew up in Oregon and Arizona, went to college at Macalester College in Minnesota, and stayed there for ten years, until she finally learned to drive in deep snow and was obligated to leave the state.

Having moved across the country several times, she eventually settled in Pittsboro, North Carolina, where she works full-time as an artist, writer, and creator of oddities. She lives with her boyfriend, his beagle, a small collection of cats, and a large collection of Indonesian masks, all of which mostly contrive to keep her out of trouble.
Thank you to Ursula Vernon and Penguin Group for this review opportunity!

Book Review of One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

One Amazing Thing

The blurb:
In disaster, they will discover the truth. In each other they will find hope.
The place: An Indian visa and passport office in an unnamed U.S. city.
The cast: A punky teenager with an unexpected gift. An upper-class Caucasian couple whose relationship is falling apart. A young Muslim-American man struggling with the fallout of 9/11. A graduate student haunted by a question about love. An African-American ex-soldier searching for redemption. A Chinese grandmother with a secret past. And two visa office workers on the verge of an adulterous affair.

When these nine wildly disparate people are trapped together in the immediate aftermath of an earthquake, their struggle to survive is captivating enough-but award-winning novelist Chitra Divakaruni takes their situation to the next level, as each of the nine takes a turn sharing "one amazing thing" from his or her own life. As their stories unfold, Divakaruni's themes become ever richer and the life-and-death suspense all the more meaningful. One Amazing Thing is a passionate creation about survival-and all the reasons needed to survive.

One Amazing Thing drew me in from the start. The book opens from the point of view of the graduate student as she surveys the Indian Embassy and its occupants during the start of the earthquake. Her voice is accessible, witty, and sympathetic.

The perspective shifts seamlessly from one character to another, partly through each person's sharing of the "one amazing thing" from his or her life. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni has woven together nine fascinating and brave stories from seemingly nondescript people. Their shared storytelling helps the captives survive their harrowing experience and it gifts us with a satisfying, well-crafted, and beautiful read.

ISBN-10: 1401340997 - Hardcover $23.00
Publisher: Voice; 1 edition (February 2, 2010), 240 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author, courtesy of the publisher:
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning, bestselling novelist and poet. The author of 14 books, including The Mistress of Spices and Sister of My Heart, she lives in Texas.

Thank you so much to Chitra Divakaruni and Hyperion Books for this review opportunity!

Book Review of Elizabeth Kostova's The Swan Thieves

After reading Elizabeth Kostova's first novel, The Historian, I was very much looking forward to her new novel, The Swan Thieves.

The Swan ThievesThe blurb:
Robert Oliver, a renowned painter, has brutally attacked a canvas in the National Gallery of Art. What would compel an artist to destroy something he values beyond all else? From the confines of his hospital room, Oliver maintains a stubborn silence, offering only the briefest explanation before he stops speaking altogether: "I did it for her."

But who is she? Psychiatrist Andrew Marlow prides himself on his ability to make even a stone talk, but he gets nowhere with Oliver. Driven at first by professional courtesy, and then by a determination that disrupts his ordered, careful world, Marlow embarks on an unconventional pursuit of the answers his patient won't provide, and on a journey into the lives of the women Oliver left behind.

As these women paint a portrait of love, betrayal, an artistic obsession, Marlow is pulled deeper within the mind of a troubled genius. Carefully braiding the strands of a life undone, he finds surprising possibilities in a package of century-old love letters. The voices in these letters soon tell their own story, one of secret passions and heartbreaking treachery, and they bring France of the late 1800s blazingly alive. Does the key to unlock the mystery lie in a tragedy at the heart of French Impressionism?

Richly told, beautifully imagined, The Swan Thieves takes us across centuries, from American cities to the coast of Normandy, from young love to last love. Elizabeth Kostova deftly explores the painter's universe - passion, creativity, secrets, madness - and, with the gift of storytelling that made The Historian an international sensation, conjures a world that lingers long after the final page has turned.

The Swan Thieves is another carefully crafted, complex and nontraditional mystery. When the book opens, we follow the narrator and psychologist, Andrew Marlow, as he tries to make sense of Robert Oliver's apparently irrational behavior.

While it is Robert Oliver that comes as the first mystery, his work and obsession lead Marlow and us readers to a tragic secret. As Kostova captures the world of France in the 1800s and transports us to the lives of artists of the time, we join Marlow as he uncovers clue after clue to reveal the true secret behind The Swan Thieves.

Masterfully done, part mystery and part love story, The Swan Thieves is an unusual and complex work.

ISBN-10: 0316065781 - Hardcover $26.00
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; First Edition edition (January 12, 2010), 576 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author, courtesy of the publisher:
Elizabeth Kostova graduated from Yale and holds an MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won the Hopwood Award for the Novel-in-Progress.

Thank you to Miriam and Hatchette Book Group for this review opportunity!