Favorite Quotes on Books and Reading

"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde

"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Book 332: DARKNESS FIRST Review

Darkness First (A McCabe and Savage Thriller) by James Hayman
ISBN:  9780062301697 (ebook)
ASIN:  B00CGZXQDU (Kindle edition)
Publication date: October 1, 2013 
Publisher: Witness Impulse


The mutilated body of a young woman. The town doctor lying comatose in the road. A hundred and fifty tablets of Canadian OxyContin. This is the havoc that a merciless killer has wreaked on a sleepy Maine seaport.
As detectives Maggie Savage and Michael McCabe investigate, they realize the man they are after does not exist. Nobody knows his real name. Nobody has seen his face. But everybody fears his blade.
The only one who may know the murderer's true identity is an eleven-year-old girl—who has vanished into thin air.
Taut, twisting, and starring two unforgettable heroes, Darkness First will thrill fans of John Sandford and C. J. Box.


Darkness First begins with a rather audacious theft of 40,000 Canadian branded OxyContin pills from a Canadian warehouse, an approximate street value of five million dollars. The two young thieves kill the security guard during the theft only to be killed in return by the theft's mastermind. This is followed by a young woman visiting a rural physician in Maine only to abruptly leave when questioned by the physician and wind up being killed in a gruesome manner and the attempted murder of the physician that witnessed the murder. Unfortunately for the killer the physician is the best friend of Portland police detective Maggie Savage. She quickly leaves Portland to return to her hometown and join the investigation. As Maggie launches her portion of the investigation, the killer seems to be two steps behind killing off all loose-ends or witnesses to his identity until the only remaining witness is the eleven-year-old sister of the first murdered young woman. Maggie realizes that she can't do her investigation alone and when her brother is implicated in the murders, she calls on her Portland PD partner Michael McCabe to help.

Darkness First is a fast-paced suspense thriller where the good guys have to try and keep a step or two ahead of the bad guy. Unfortunately the bad guy seems to know everything the good guys are doing. All of the key evidence seems to point to Maggie's brother, Harlan, and even Maggie's father seems to believe the worst. Maggie steps out on an extremely small limb in order to vouch for her brother and continue her investigation. Things heat up quickly, not only on the investigation, but between Maggie and McCabe. There are quite a number of twists and turns to the story that only add to the overall suspense. I rather enjoyed Darkness First and the Savage and McCabe duo. If you're looking for a suspense-thriller that's well-written, incorporates family drama with a bit of romance, and is a quick, entertaining read then grab Darkness First.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via Edelweiss. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."



Book 320: THE EDGE OF NORMAL Review

The Edge of Normal by Carla Norton
ISBN:  9781250031044 (hardcover)
ISBN:  9781250031051 (ebook)
ASIN:  B00C74R6AE (Kindle edition)
Publication date: September 10, 2013 
Publisher: Minotaur Books

In many ways, Reeve LeClaire looks like a typical twenty-two year old girl. She's finally landed her own apartment, she waitresses to pay the bills, and she wishes she wasn't so nervous around new people. She thinks of herself as agile, not skittish. As serious, not grim. But Reeve is anything but normal.
Ten years ago, she was kidnapped and held captive. After a lucky escape, she's spent the last six years trying to rebuild her life, a recovery thanks in large part to her indispensable therapist Dr. Ezra Lerner. But when he asks her to help another girl rescued from a similar situation, Reeve realizes she may not simply need to mentor this young victim—she may be the only one who can protect her from a cunning predator who is still out there, watching every move.
From the author of the #1 non-fiction bestseller Perfect Victim: The True Story of the Girl in the Box comes a novel that draws you into a chilling and engrossing world. With powerfully gripping characters and an ending that is a masterpiece of deception, Carla Norton's The Edge of Normal is a stunning debut thriller. 


Reeve LeClaire has been forced to rebuild her life with a new hair color, new name, new location, and is attempting to live a "normal" life. Reeve was kidnapped when she was twelve and held captive for nearly four years by a sadistic pedophile rapist. She has physical, emotional and mental scars that she is still learning to overcome. She knows that she may look normal, but that appearances are often deceiving. She is easily frightened and often nervous in new situations and around new people. Six years after her abduction she is still in therapy. She's recently been fired from her waitressing job, isn't looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday with her family (simply because she isn't the "normal" child), and wonders where her life is going to lead. She abruptly decides to accept her therapist's request to be available to a young kidnap and torture victim.

Reeve isn't quite sure what kind of help she can provide to Tilly, but she quickly vows to help it whatever way she can. As the District Attorney's office and police investigate Tilly's return, it quickly becomes apparent to Reeve, that this case is highly political. She wants justice for Tilly but not if it means Tilly's peace of mind is destroyed. As the investigation develops, Reeve may be an innocent bystander but she quickly becomes a fierce protector and is willing to go the extra mile to ensure the truth is revealed with no adverse consequences to Tilly. What follows is a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse between Reeve, the investigators and the real kidnapper. Will she be able to uncover the truth and find the other missing girls before it's too late?

Ms. Norton has provided a suspense thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat. It was amazing to watch Reeve become this fearless crusader on behalf of her young friend, Tilly. Reeve is no longer this nervous and frightened young woman but almost an avenging angel. Reading about what Reeve, Tilly and the other young girls endured at the hands of their crazed kidnappers was heartbreaking. Although Reeve undergoes a massive change in her personality, I didn't find that unbelievable. There are parts of The Edge of Normal that are dark and disturbing, but unfortunately we live in a world filled with the dark and disturbing. Ms. Norton doesn't sugarcoat the atrocities these girls suffer but she doesn't stuff it down the reader's throat either by going into extreme detail. The Edge of Normal is more than a suspense thriller, it is also a coming-of-age story, as well as a good-overcomes-evil story. The subject may not be for everyone, but I found it to be presented in a respectful manner making for one great read.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Book 306: TRAPPED Review

Trapped (Private Justice #2) by Irene Hannon
ISBN:  9780800721244 (paperback)
ISBN:  9781441244529 (ebook)
ASIN:  B00CIUJX12 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: September 1, 2013 
Publisher: Fleming H. Revell Company


When librarian Laura Griffith's sixteen-year-old sister disappears on a frigid February day, leaving only a brief note behind, Laura resolves to do whatever it takes to track down the runaway teen. That includes recruiting ATF agent turned PI James "Dev" Devlin to help. But the deeper he digs, the more he begins to suspect that something sinister is at work in the girl's disappearance. And the closer he gets to uncovering the truth, the clearer it becomes that the situation isn't just dangerous--it's deadly. 
Chilling and at times terrifying, Trapped is the latest thrilling read from Irene Hannon, the queen of romantic suspense. Hannon outdoes herself with this fast-paced tale of fear, deception, and just the right dose of romance.


Laura Griffith has only had custody of her half-sister, Darcy Weber, for a few months. Their mother and Darcy's father are both deceased. The worst thing Darcy could imagine was to leave New York for Missouri, but she considers her older sister Laura a little too conservative and leaves. Laura knows that she's going to need more than just prayer to track down Darcy and turns to the Phoenix private investigation firm. The investigator assigned to her case is James "Dev" Devlin, a former ATF agent. They are both concerned because a large snow storm is hitting their area, and Darcy may be without shelter.

Dev's investigation quickly shows that Darcy may have been at the local bus station but it is closed due to the weather. Dev and Laura begin to search local shelters, hoping that someone may have seen Darcy. While Dev and Laura are bonding over the search for Darcy, Darcy is being held captive by a shelter worker that showed her some kindness and offered his home and shower facilities for the runaway teen. Both Darcy and Laura rethink their relationship during Darcy's absence, and realize that they both have to be more considerate of each other. Darcy realizes that Laura's faith isn't such a bad thing and that her "rules" aren't as far-fetched as she originally thought. Laura comes to realize that she really cares for her sister and is willing to compromise more on her rules in the future . . . if she ever finds Darcy and is able to bring her home. Will Dev and his partners be able to locate Darcy before it's too late?

I found Trapped to be a quick inspirational, romantic suspense read. Laura and Darcy are siblings that have very little in common other than their mother. Laura is much older than Darcy and is rather staid and overly-conservative to Darcy's mind. Darcy is an out-of-control teenager with authority issues to Laura's mind. They learn that appearances can be deceiving. They also realize that they have both been a little too quick to judge one another and look forward to being able to start anew. The clean-romance angle between Laura and Dev adds just enough spice to the story to keep it interesting. There are quite a few twists and turns to Trapped and Ms. Hannon does an admirable job of keeping the reader in suspense until the very end. If you enjoy romantic suspense or inspirational reads then you'll definitely want to add Trapped to your reading list.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


Book 248; THE RETURNED Review

The Returned by Jason Mott
ISBN:  9780778315339 (hardcover)
ISBN:  9781459236639 (ebook)
ASIN:  B00ATMP806 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: August 27, 2013 
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA


Jacob was time out of sync, time more perfect than it had been. He was life the way it was supposed to be all those years ago. That's what all the Returned were.
Harold and Lucille Hargrave's lives have been both joyful and sorrowful in the decades since their only son, Jacob, died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966. In their old age they've settled comfortably into life without him, their wounds tempered through the grace of time... Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep—flesh and blood, their sweet, precocious child, still eight years old.
All over the world people's loved ones are returning from beyond. No one knows how or why this is happening, whether it's a miracle or a sign of the end. Not even Harold and Lucille can agree on whether the boy is real or a wondrous imitation, but one thing they know for sure: he's their son. As chaos erupts around the globe, the newly reunited Hargrave family finds itself at the center of a community on the brink of collapse, forced to navigate a mysterious new reality and a conflict that threatens to unravel the very meaning of what it is to be human.
With spare, elegant prose and searing emotional depth, award-winning poet Jason Mott explores timeless questions of faith and morality, love and responsibility. A spellbinding and stunning debut, The Returned is an unforgettable story that marks the arrival of an important new voice in contemporary fiction.


Mr. Mott attempts to answer the age-old question "what if you could talk to the deceased one last time" in The Returned. However that one last time lasts quite a bit longer than anyone could ever imagine. 

Harold and Lucille Hargrave are currently in their seventies and live a peaceful (relatively) life in rural North Carolina. They've been married for more than fifty years and mourning the tragic death of their son for fifty years. Jacob was celebrating his eighth birthday when he died in a tragic drowning accident. He's been buried and mourned for decades. His parents are moving on with their lives until they begin to hear of "the returned." They wonder what their reaction would be if Jacob were to return. Their hypothetical question becomes reality when an agent for the International Bureau of the Returned knocks on their door accompanied by their son, Jacob -- still the same age as when he died, eight. Soon others from their town are returned. As more and more people "return" the government isn't quite sure what to do with them. Before long, the International Bureau of the Returned and the US Government commandeer the town of Arcadia and begin to turn it into a camp for the "returned." Harold refuses to leave his son in the camp alone and he quickly becomes a prisoner of these new internment camps. Regrettably, there are those that aren't happy with the "returned" and see them as demons or devils. These factions begin to picket for the rights of the living vs. the returned and their actions slowly take a violent turn. 

Mr. Mott presents a unique story and it's presented in such a way that it is impossible to judge the living or returned negatively. People want to know where these returned came from? Why aren't they returning to the place of their death (Jacob returned to China before being relocated back to the US)? And then there's the big question, why have they returned? These questions are left to the reader to answer. The Returned isn't a true science-fiction or paranormal story, but a fantastically told contemporary story that deals with a slightly science-fiction or paranormal element. The "returned" are alive. They eat, drink, sleep, and bleed. This story presents an interesting view on life, death and how far some are willing to go to be with and protect their loved ones. It also raises some intriguing questions about life after death. The "returned" literally and figuratively turn the world upside down for the living. 

I found The Returned to be an engrossing read that captivated my attention from the very first word to the last. I actually read The Returned and its three prequels (The First, The Sparrow, and The Choice) in one sitting (yes, they are that good!). I found the characters to be very realistic and all-too human with their quirks and idiosyncrasies (loved Harold and Lucille). Although the subject matter may seem to be a bit far-reaching, it made quite an impact on me. Consider I read these more than two months ago and I can still vividly recall the characters, settings and action. If you're looking for a well-written story that presents something a little different then look no further. I look forward to reading more from Mr. Mott in the future.

FYI: The Returned has been optioned and is the inspiration for a new television series. The series "Resurrection" is scheduled to air beginning March 2014 on ABC here in the US.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Book Showcase and Giveaway: THURSDAY MORNING BREAKFAST (AND MURDER) CLUB

Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club by Liz Stauffer
ISBN:  9780989318600 (paperback)
ASIN:  B00DRN5EJ4 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Sartoris Literary Group
Publication date: June 28, 2013


When Clare Ballard sports a new bruise on her right cheek the day after a contentious town meeting, the ladies of the Thursday Morning Breakfast Club suspect her husband Roger of abusing her. That same day Hester Franklin, another breakfast club lady, is called to rescue her grandson Patrick after he is arrested for transporting drugs. Proclaiming his innocence, Patrick threatens that those who set him up will pay. Roger Ballard is high on his list. But it's when Lillie Mae Harris, the club's leader, discovers the body of the local drug dealer on the nearby hiking trail, that the community is upended. Roger Ballard, the primary suspect, goes missing, and when his body turns up in his own back yard, Clare Ballard confesses to his murder. No one believes she did it, but Clare insists she's guilty and mysteriously refuses to talk to her lawyer, the police, or her family and friends. The Thursday Morning Breakfast Club ladies believe she's protecting someone, and they vow to find out who it is. Charlie Warren, the town's homegrown policeman, using unconventional means, collaborates with the breakfast club ladies to draw out the real criminal. But danger lurks. Alice Portman, the matriarch of the breakfast club, is struck down in her own yard and is sent to the hospital. Then others in the small community start to disappear-one after the other. As the ladies get closer to the truth, they get closer to the danger. With no time to cry over spilled coffee, they form a plan to capture the true culprits before someone else is murdered.


Meet the author:


After some thirty years writing everything from political encyclopedias to software manuals, I retired from corporate life to write fiction, travel, and play on the beach. Since that time, I’ve traveled extensively throughout the United States and the world. I live most of the year in Hollywood, Florida, with my two doggie best friends, Mattie and Jakey, where I own and manage a vacation rental business.


Connect with the author:  Website     |     Twitter     |     Goodreads


Giveaway

One lucky reader of The Book Diva's Reads' blog will win a Kindle edition of the Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. The winner will be announced on Friday, November 1st by 9:00 AM ET.



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Book 309: THE GIRL YOU LEFT BEHIND Review

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
ISBN:  9780670026616 (hardcover)
ISBN:  9781101638163 (ebook)
ASIN:  B00BSY6U6K (Kindle edition)
Publication date: August 20, 2013 
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books/Penguin Group


What happened to the girl you left behind?
In 1916, French artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his wife Sophie to fight at the Front. When her town falls into German hands, his portrait of Sophie stirs the heart of the local Kommandant and causes her to risk everything - her family, reputation and life - in the hope of seeing her true love one last time.
Nearly a century later and Sophie's portrait is given to Liv by her young husband shortly before his sudden death. Its beauty speaks of their short life together, but when the painting's dark and passion-torn history is revealed, Liv discovers that the first spark of love she has felt since she lost him is threatened...
In The Girl You Left Behind two young women, separated by a century, are united in their determination to fight for the thing they love most - whatever the cost.


Sophie Lefevre is a rather headstrong woman dealing with a difficult situation in 1916 France. She has returned to her hometown while her artist husband fights against the Germans. Her husband felt she would be better served in a rural location rather than staying Paris. Unfortunately her town and her family's inn are soon under the control of the Germans. Sophie watches her sister, niece, nephew and young brother slowly starve as food becomes scarce. When she is offered the opportunity to feed them as a direct result of cooking for the Germans she hesitates but realizes she has little choice in the matter. What follows is a game of cat-and-mouse as she tries to avoid the attention of the local Kommandant. When she finds out that her husband has been captured and there's a possibility she may be able to see him one more time she's willing to do almost anything for that chance, even giving up her most prized possessions -- a painting and her virtue.

Fast forward ninety-six years to England and Liv Halston is a young widow still mourning the death of her husband. Three years after his death, she lives in the house he built and works for a foundation developed to instill a love of architecture in at-risk youth. Liv barely makes a living as a copywriter, but isn't willing to consider giving up her home or the painting her husband had purchased for her during their honeymoon. Things get very bleak when she receives notification from an art recovery service that her prized painting was stolen during World War I. In Liv's quest to keep her painting she is willing to give up almost everything but at what cost?

The lives of Sophie and Liv are mirrored by the risks they are both willing to take to protect a painting. For both Sophie and Liv the painting represents life with their beloved husbands. Ms. Moyes deftly weaves a story that spans nearly a decade in the telling. As Liv fights to retain what she sees as rightfully hers, she also fights to uncover Sophie's story and the story of the painting. The Girl You Left Behind provides background on the tragedies that occurred in France during World War I as part of Sophie's story. It also provides insight into the steps families can take, even a century later, to reclaim their possessions. This story includes the tragedy of war and the effect on those left behind, as well as the despair and grief of those mourning their loved ones. I read The Girl You Left Behind in one sitting as the story grabbed my attention and I couldn't put it down. If you enjoy contemporary novels that incorporate a blend of the historical with elements of intrigue, tragedy and romance, then you'll definitely want to read this one. This was actually the first novel I've read by Ms. Moyes and I can't wait to read more. 

Learn more about author Jojo Moyes and her books by clicking here or visit the author's website: http://www.jojomoyes.com/.


Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley and SheReads.org. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


Friday, October 4, 2013

Book 305: UNSPOKEN Review

Unspoken by Dee Henderson
ISBN:  9780764211713 (paperback)
ISBN:  9781441263407 (ebook)
ASIN:  B00DWA69NW (Kindle edition)
Publication date: October 1, 2013 
Publisher: Bethany House Publishing


Charlotte Graham is at the center of the most famous kidnapping in Chicago history. 
The task force of FBI and local cops found her two abductors, killed them, rescued her, but it took four very long years. The fact she was found less than three miles from her home, had been there the entire time, haunts them. She's changed her identity, found a profession she loves, and rebuilt her life. 
"She's never said a word--to the cops, to her doctors, to family--about those four years."
A family legacy has brought her back to Chicago where a reporter is writing a book about the kidnapping. The cops who worked the case are cooperating with him. Her options are limited: Hope the reporter doesn't find the full truth, or break her silence about what happened. And her silence is what has protected her family for years. 
Bryce Bishop doesn't know her past, he only knows she has coins to sell from her grandfather's estate--and that the FBI director for the Chicago office made the introduction. The more he gets to know Charlotte, the more interested he becomes, an interest encouraged by those closest to her. But nothing else is working in his favor--she's decided she is single for life, she struggles with her faith, and she's willing to forego a huge inheritance to keep her privacy. She's not giving him much of an opening to work with. 
Charlotte wants to trust him. She needs to tell him what happened. Because a crime cops thought was solved, has only opened another chapter. . .


Charlotte Graham is a woman with a horrific past. She has changed her name in an effort to distance herself from the horror and memories, but she'll never truly be able to put her years in captivity away completely. If dealing with that stress wasn't hard enough, she has to contend with liquidating her grandfather's estate. Her friends and business associates, Ellie Dance and John Key, have skillfully come up with a plan to assist her in this endeavor. Ellie is not only Charlotte's best friend, but she also manages Charlotte's art career. John has become as close to Charlotte as a brother and is her former bodyguard and current head of security. Running away from the past, attempting to liquidate millions of dollars’ worth of inventory (most of it in rare and mint condition coins), and donate funds to worthwhile charities is a very tall order. Before Charlotte meets Bryce Bishop, she is struggling with all three. Bryce Bishop is the owner of Bishop Chicago, a rare coin dealer. His business was chosen based on background provided by Ellie and John. But a tentative business relationship quickly becomes much more.

Unspoken was an intriguing story but a slow read for me, and the speed had nothing to do with the length of the book. It may be related to the fact that the beginning of the story was bogged down with plenty of technical details and jargon relating to numismatology. There were also plenty of subplots going on, such as a cold case investigation into a kidnaped baby that occurred around the same time that Charlotte was being held captive. There's also a burgeoning romance going on between Charlotte and Bryce. Family drama is added to the equation when it is revealed that Charlotte has a twin sister that was also kidnaped but released after twenty-four hours. Eighteen years after Charlotte's release, her twin sister has decided to share as much information as possible on the ordeal with an investigative reporter. (Told you there was a lot going on.) I think that subconsciously I had difficulty with this story because it is more Christian fiction than inspirational fiction. I admired the incorporation of prayer and trust in God that was portrayed by Bryce, but his prayers are alternatingly addressed to God and then Jesus. That may be off-putting to some readers and enticing to others. So I guess what it boils down to is did I enjoy the story and the characters? The answer is a yes with some reservations. Some of the dialogue and transitions in the first half of the story didn't seem to flow as well as it did in the latter half of the story. Some of the subplots were a bit convoluted (one character is presumably in her late thirties/early forties and has worked as a rare coin dealer, homicide investigator, and is now an author . . . seriously?). Even with these relatively minor objections I found Unspoken to be a good read that incorporates murder, kidnappings  torture, rare coins, the art world, philanthropy, romance, intrigue, family drama, secrets, loss of faith, and religious inspiration.


Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Bookish Ramblings: An Update

I know it's been awhile since I posted a review. Let's chalk this up to ongoing problems due to chronic, severe migraine headaches AND writer's block (or should that be reviewer's block?). Strange as it may seem, I've been able to keep up with my reading as long as I read in electronic format. I can handle low-light and ebooks but low-light and print books just doesn't seem to work. I have no idea why.

So what have I been up to other than reading and more reading? Well I was fortunate enough to attend the BookMarks Book Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina last month. I was accompanied on this day trip by my youngest brother and his lovely six-year-old twin daughters, as well as my sixteen-year-old niece. The twins were excited about the idea of receiving a free book after participating in the childrens' activities. My older niece accompanied me as I attended lectures by Deborah Harkness (A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night), Jason Mott (The Returned - review coming soon with a giveaway offer), Ann B. Ross (author of the Miss Julia series), and Jill McCorkle (Life After Life). The best thing about this trip was spending the day with family and listening to some wonderful authors discuss their work. The second best thing about this day-trip was I didn't have to drive so I got to read going and coming, yay! BTW, Ms. Harkness revealed the title for the third book in her All Souls Trilogy, The Tree of Life.

Here's a picture of Ms. Harkness at the festival:


And here's one of Mr. Mott:



I also attended a lecture at a local university by author Wil Haygood (The Butler, A Witness to History). Mr. Haygood actually worked for a local Charleston WV newspaper quite a few years ago before heading to Washington DC and the Washington Post. Mr. Haygood spent quite some time here in Charleston and met with local college students as well as Upward Bound students. If you ever get the opportunity to hear him speak, go! To read more about his visit to Charleston, please click here

It was fascinating to hear about Mr. Haygood's discovery of Eugene Allen that was followed by a newspaper article. That article in turn inspired the blockbuster movie "The Butler" and ultimately led to the writing of the book, The Butler A Witness to History. Mr. Haygood shared anecdotes of his time spent with Mr. and Mrs. Allen, as well as his time on the movie set. 


What's next? Well, I'm going to do my best to write all the reviews that should have been written and posted over the past few weeks (okay months, don't nitpick). I hope it won't be too confusing but I'll be posting reviews of recently read books mixed with previously read books. Please bear with me as I attempt to catch up. Thanks and Happy Reading!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Book Showcase & Giveaway: BLOG THIS by Cami Checketts





Will protecting children throughout the world cost Natasha her own family?
Devastated by the loss of her brother, Natasha Senecot works to expose the dangers of Matthew Chrysler’s violent video games, succeeding in bankrupting and humiliating him.
Chrysler retaliates and sends a hit man after her. Natasha is forced to fake her own death to protect her children, but after witnessing another tragedy, Natasha won’t hide any longer.
In a race against time, can Natasha expose Matthew Chrysler before his assassin murders her family and shatters her world?

Praise for Blog This
From the very first chapter, Blog This grabs your gut and your heart with surprising action and touching moments. Cami Checketts blends suspense, humor, and good clean romance into a story that will stick with you.
Daniel Coleman, Author of Gifts and Consequences

Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. Have read all of Cami’s books but Blog This is on the top of my list. Read it twice and enjoyed it just as much the second time. Just when you think you know what is going to happen you’re led into a different direction. Had a hard time putting the book down and was anxious to see how it was going to end.
Elsa Akinason





Blog This will be $2.99 during the blog tour - September 30th - October 16th. Click here to purchase or read the first few chapters.











About the author

Cami is a part-time author, part-time exercise consultant, part-time housekeeper, full-time wife, and overtime mother of four adorable boys. Sleep and relaxation are fond memories. She's never been happier.

Please refer to her website – http://www.camichecketts.com for more information about her books.
 




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