Friday, July 16, 2010

Book Blog Tour of Tempted by a Warrior by Amanda Scott

Welcome to the book blog tour of Amanda Scott's Tempted by a Warrior!

The blurb:
Before her marriage, it was whispered that Lady Fiona Jardine was a young woman no man could control.  Now the rumors are more threatening.  Her cruel and womanizing husband has vanished into the battle-scarred Scottish borderlands without a trace, and everyone thinks Fiona is to blame.

Sir Richard Seyton, Laird of Kirkhill and a powerful knight and baron, is honor-bound to be Fiona's guardian until her husband is found.  Kirkhill strives to keep her safe -- while her enemies plot to prevent her from ever being the mistress of the Jardine lands.  But can he protect her from the desire that ignites at their slightest touch?  For with suspicions mounting and tensions along the Borders rising, surrendering to their passion could cost Fiona and Kirkhill their very lives. . .
Tempted by a Warrior
The third and last book in the series, Tempted By A Warrior is a little different from Tamed By A Laird and Seduced By A Rogue Lady Fiona Jardine is a little flightier than the previous heroines.  She'd been overindulged and it comes out in her occasional tantrums when she doesn't get her way.  She got her way when she eloped with Will Jardine.   But marrying against her family's wishes worked out badly for Lady Fiona.   Will Jardine proved to be mean and abusive.  His father is no different.   When Will disappears and his father passes away, Lady Fiona is under guardianship once again.

Although her guardian, Sir Richard Seyton, Laird of Kirkhill is kind and patient, Lady Fiona is slow to adjust and recover from the abuse that she'd suffered over her two years of marriage to Jardine. 

I enjoyed Tempted By a Warrior mainly because of Kirkhill.  Although I sympathized with Lady Fiona, I didn't find her as interesting or sympathetic as the tougher and more independent heroines.  I do think that overall, the book is a fun romantic escape and that fans of Amanda Scott will not be disappointed.

ISBN-10: 0446561320 - Mass Market Paperback $6.99
Publisher: Forever (July 1, 2010), 432 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author:
Amanda Scott, best-selling author and winner of the Romance Writers of America's RITA/Golden Medallion and The Romantic Times' awards for Best Regency Author and Best Sensual Regency, began writing on a dare from her husband. She has sold every manuscript she has written. More than twenty-five of her books are set in the English Regency period (1810-1820), others are set in fifteenth-century England and sixteenth-and eighteenth-century Scotland. Three are contemporary romances. Amanda lives with her husband and son in northern California.

Participating Sites: 7/5/2010 Review 7/5/2010 Review, Giveaway 7/5/2010 Feature, Giveaway 7/5/2010 Review, Giveaway, Q&A 7/5/2010 Feature, Review, Giveaway, Guest Post 7/5/2010 Giveaway 7/6/2010 Review, Giveaway 7/6/2010 Feature, Review, Giveaway 7/8/2010 Feature, Review, Giveaway 7/8/2010 Feature, Review, Giveaway, Guest Post 7/10/2010 Review, Giveaway 7/10/2010 Review 7/10/2010 Review, Giveaway
Http:// 7/11/2010 Review, Giveaway 7/11/2010 Review, Giveaway 7/12/2010 Review, Giveaway 7/12/2010 Review, Giveaway 7/12/2010 Review, Giveaway 7/13/2010 Review, Giveaway 7/13/2010 Giveaway 7/14/2010 Feature, Review, Giveaway, Guest Post 7/14/2010 Review, Giveaway 7/14/2010 Review, Giveaway, Q&A 7/14/2010 Review, Giveaway 7/15/2010 Review, Giveaway 7/15/2010 Review, Giveaway, Q&A 7/15/2010 Feature, Review, Giveaway 7/15/2010 Feature, Giveaway 7/16/2010 Review, Giveaway 7/16/2010 Review, Giveaway 7/16/2010 Review, Giveaway 7/16/2010 Review, Giveaway 7/16/2010 Review, Giveaway 7/16/2010 Review, Giveaway 7/16/2010 Review, Giveaway 7/16/2010 Review, Giveaway 7/16/2010 Giveaway 7/16/2010 Review, Giveaway 7/16/2010 Review, Guest Post


To enter, please just let us know why you'd like to win this book.

1. Please include your email address, so that I can contact you if you win. No email address, no entry.
2. You must be a follower to join the contest.

The contest is limited to US and Canada only. No P.O. boxes. The contest ends at noon on August 15, 2010.

Thank you so much Anna and Hatchette for sponsoring this giveaway!

Friday 56: Week 50 - The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

* 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.

Nearly everyone has read the series and I'd always planned to.  So many panelists at ThrillerFest referred to the books and talked about Lisbeth Salander that I've finally started on the series!

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Vintage)
Here's mine from The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson.   I just received the book this week and am very excited to start reading!
Here's the blurb:

Crusading publisher Mikael Blomkvist has decided to run an explosive expose of a wide-ranging sex trafficking operation.  Just before the piece is published, the two reporters responsible are murdered. The fingerprints on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled hacker genius Lisbeth Salander.  Blomkvist, convinced of Salander's innocence, plunges into an investigation.  Meanwhile, Lisbeth herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, and is forced to face her dark past.

Here's my Friday 56:
Something had set off the madness when she was twelve.  

There were other gaps in her biography.  

He discovered to his great surprise that Salander had a twin sister who had not been referred to in any of the material to which he had previously had access. My God, there are two of them.  But he could not find any reference to what had happened to the sister.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Book Review of Shadow of Betrayal by Brett Battles

Shadow of Betrayal: A Jonathan Quinn Novel (Jonathan Quinn Novels)
The blurb:
Three jobs, no questions.  That's the deal Jonathan Quinn -- freelance operative and professional "cleaner" -- has struck with his client at the Office.  But his first assignment in rural Ireland unexpectedly results in four dead bodies to dispose of -- and leads him to an astounding mystery about to spin wildly out of control.

Now Quinn, along with his colleague and girlfriend, the lethal Orlando, has a new mission: find and protect a U.N. aide worker who has suddenly disappeared from her assignment in war-torn Africa.  If it were only that easy.  Soon Quinn and Orlando will unearth a horrifying plot that is about to reach stage critical for a gathering of world leaders -- and an act of terror more cunning, and more insidious, than anyone can foresee.

I enjoy fast-paced action thrillers with bighearted heroes, so I couldn't put down Brett Battles's  latest Jonathan Quinn novel. 

Jonathan Quinn is a master at what he does and he's started out on his own.  In his business trust and honor are everything.  Since this is the third book in the series and Battles intentionally doesn't tell us how Quinn was maneuvered into agreeing to "3 jobs, no questions" which would be a story in itself.  It's one of those contract terms that will clearly prove problematic and it does, particularly since Quinn isn't about to renege on the deal.

If you're willing to suspend disbelief and dive into the story, Quinn and his loyal band of ex-military are a fun escape.  The "3 jobs, no questions" places them in a precarious position from the start and we see just how wily their employer gets.  But there's a larger story -- the targeting of a vulnerable group and the risk of an international incident -- in the middle of the intrigue, espionage, and action.

I do enjoy books like Shadow of Betrayal because of the fast-paced action and unexpected twists.  The book read much like a high octane action film with sympathetic heroes and a satisfying conclusion.   If you're looking to escape with a fun thriller, check out Brett Battles's Shadow of Betrayal.

ISBN-10: 0440243726 - Paperback $7.99
Publisher: Dell (May 25, 2010), 512 pages.
Review copy provided by Kaye Publicity.

About the Author:
Brett Battles was born and raised in southern California. His parents, avid readers, instilled the love of books in him early on.

Though he still makes California his home, he has traveled extensively to such destinations as Ho Chi Minh City, Berlin, Singapore, London, Paris, and Bangkok, all of which play parts in his current and upcoming Jonathan Quinn novels.  Learn more on Brett Battles's website at

Book Blog Tour of Think of a Number by John Verdon

Welcome to the TLC Book Blog Tour of Think of a Number by John Verdon.

Think of a Number: A Novel

Do you believe in Fate?  I do, because I thought I'd never see you again -- and then one day, there you were.  It all came back: how you sound, how you move -- most of all, how you think.  If someone told you to think of a number, I know what number you'd think of.  You don't believe me? I'll prove it to you.  Think of any number up to a thousand -- the first number that comes to mind. Picture it. Now see how well I know your secrets.  Open the little envelope. -- Think of a Number by John Verdon

NYPD homicide investigator David Gurney retired to a beautiful and remote town in upstate New York with his wife Madeleine.  While Madeleine loves the change of pace and scenery, Gurney is finds it difficult to adjust.    He's spent the last twenty years putting homicide cases first, a fact that hasn't been lost on his wife.  Madeleine has clear ideas of how they can enjoy their new life together and her frustration and annoyance is quick to rise to the fore.  When she encourages him to take art classes, she hadn't expected him to come up with computer enhanced portraits of murderers -- or for the portraits to become such a hit in their local gallery.

As Gurney is settling into retirement, he receives a cry for help from an old college acquaintance.  A successful writer and wellness guru is targeted with letters that claim to know what he's thinking: "See how well I know your secrets -- just think of a number."  And the letter writer somehow guessed the exact number.

But the taunting moves from letters to violence and along with a ravaged body are puzzling clues. David Gurney agrees to aid the investigation.

In David Gurney,  John Verdon gives us a complex and sympathetic new detective -- I hope that it is the start of a new series.  Verdon skillfully creates a top notch thriller.  He builds on the puzzles and clues from the crime scenes to present a coherent and satisfying story.  I also appreciated and enjoyed Verdon's description of Gurney's home life.  It was easy to picture Madeleine,  her attempts to have Gurney plant tulips, clear the snow, and settle into their new life -- and  her resentment at the way that Gurney returns the chase.  Think of a Number: A Novel is a nuanced, complicated, and thoroughly entertaining read.

ISBN-10: 0307588920 - Hardcover $22.00
Publisher: Crown (July 6, 2010), 432 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher and TLC Book Tours.

About the Author:
John Verdon has held several executive positions with Manhattan advertising firms, but like his protagonist, he recently relocated with his wife to rural upstate New York.  Think of a Number is his first novel.

The e-book is offered at a special price of $5.99 from July 12 to July 25.  You can get this special price on the Random House website or any of the sites (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders) that sell e-books.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird turns 50

Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird is 50 years old this July.   And as the book marks its 50th year, it's exciting to see readers celebrate how the book touched their lives.  There have been features on Harper Lee on TV and special sections in bookstores and, of course, on the web.

 To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)      To Kill a Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition   To Kill a Mockingbird   To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill A Mockingbird is set in the small town of Macon, Alabama that bursts into violence with the accusation that a black man has raped a young white woman.  Atticus Finch takes on the man's defense. The book is told from the point of view of Atticus's young daughter Scout. Scout is a tomboy, outspoken and she's always looked to Atticus as her guide for what is right and how to behave.  Somehow Atticus always seems to make the right choice.  He's kind even when people are rude to him or his family.  He's brave even when it's clear that he's in danger and that no one would fault him for choosing to avoid the fight.  He always treats everyone with respect no matter what their position is and how they treat him. He makes it clear to his children that he expects them to behave the same way.  

He reminds me of my grandfather, who I've always looked to for guidance and who has always behaved with integrity, kindness and sensitivity to me.   Both Atticus and my grandfather seemed to make the right choices and behave with integrity in the small things as well as the big ones -- they both served as guides for my behavior and people to look to when I'm not sure how to behave or react to adversity or conflict.

It's not surprising that  To Kill A Mockingbird is one of the books that was almost universally impacted people.  Not how many people have read the book (over 30 million copies have been sold) but from the way that the Atticus, Jem, Scout and the other characters have affected and inspired so many of us.  Last Sunday CBS  ran a feature on Harper Lee and To Kill A  Mockingbird  where Oprah, Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric all spoke of how the book affected them.

  Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird   To Kill a Mockingbird (Collector's Edition)   To Kill a Mockingbird (Universal Legacy Series)   The Story Behind Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird (History in Literature: the Story Behind)  

Have you read To Kill A Mockingbird lately?  What did you like most about the book? 

Enter the contest to win a To Kill A Mockingbird gift pack.

Listen to Sissy Spacek read an excerpt from To Kill A Mockingbird at