Posted in Advanced Review, Mystery, Rated S

The Moonstone Legacy- part 1

Author: Tony Wild and Diane de Gunzburg The Moonstone Legacy

Rating: S

Genre: Mystery

I finally got this book. I despaired that I’d ever get to read it. This book is a continuation of The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. The last line of that book is who can say what the next adventure of the Moonstone will be? If you recall from Collin’s book, the Moonstone was cursed. Anyway who possessed it had great tragedy befall them on the night of a fully moon.

The story begins with Lizzy Abercrombie holding her mother while she is dying. Lizzy’s father is the younger of a pair of twins. As a result, Lizzy has grown up rather poor while her twin cousins Samuel and Samantha have had everything. One day Lizzy overhears her uncle and father discussing the family curse. A curse that occurs on a full moon. Lizzy starts looking into the curse.

Later on, Lizzy sees her uncle visiting a person he claims he does not remember. Unfortunately her uncle spots her. So he decides to send her to the private boarding school Sam and Samantha attend. There Lizzy meets the son of a well known Indian movie director. She tells her new friend about the family curse. During the holiday, Lizzy ends up being invited to India by her new friend. She takes the opportunity to find out more about the Moonstone and her ancestor George Abercrombie.

But Lizzy is in danger, although she does not realize it at the time. It turns out that she’s not the only person looking for the Moonstone, although she is the only person looking for it for altruistic reasons. I’m not going to tell you more of the plot except to say that Lizzie partially succeeds in her mission. This is the first book in this trilogy.

This was an excellent book. There was more than one mystery in this story. The other one is more of a subplot. I have a feeling that it will become a bigger part of the next book. I liked the fact that there wasn’t much teen angst. I do think it is interesting that even in British teen books there are love triangles. Not that I thought Americans had the corner on the market. But this book is definitely a page turner.

Posted in Advanced Review, Chick Lit, Liked It

The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane

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Teaser:

The shrimp salsa in phyllo cups had been an especially big hit. “Oh, my God, this is to die for,” Angelica Winston (from the new reality show Hard Ass had raved.

Author: Sheila Roberts

Genre: Chick Lit

Rating: LI

Source: Advanced Review

Synopsis:

When it comes to men, sisters don’t share!

After a fake food poisoning incident in L.A., Bailey Sterling’s dreams of becoming a caterer to the stars collapse faster than a soufflé. Now Bailey’s face is in all the gossip rags and her business is in ruins. But the Sterling women close ranks and bring her back to Icicle Falls, where she’ll stay with her sister Cecily.

All goes well between the sisters until Bailey comes up with a new business idea—a tea shop on a charming street called Lavender Lane. She’s going into partnership with Todd Black, who—it turns out—is the man Cecily’s started dating. It looks to Cecily as if there’s more than tea brewing in that cute little shop. And she’s not pleased.

Wait! Isn’t Cecily seeing Luke Goodman? He’s a widower with an adorable little girl, and yes, Cecily does care about him. But Todd’s the one who sends her zing-o-meter off the charts. So now what? Should you have to choose between your sister and the man you love (or think you love)?

Bluestocking’s Opinion: So this one was a doozy. It was a light, fun read. The ending was typical of books in this genre. In reality, I don’t think that the sisters would have continued to be friends. I think they would have hated each other for life and only made up once one was on her death bed. LOL. That sounds like the plot of some other book that I read. If you are looking for a nice beach read this is the one for you.

FTC Disclosure

I received a copy of this book from the publisher/author. I, unlike the New York Times Book Review, did not receive money for my review which is why my review is more honest. This is a concept that the FTC fails to grasp. Contrary to popular belief, advanced review copies of books are not work a great deal monetarily speaking. In fact most books are worth less than half its value within a year of purchase. This is another concept the FTC has not grasped. If you purchase a book that I thought highly of and do not like, that is life. Taste in books is subjective. This is a concept that some asinine person in the FTC has not yet grasped. The purpose of the statement is to comply with the FTC regulation while providing a not so subtle hint that they are not the brightest bulbs in the box and that they should sped their time doing more worthwhile things than hounding people who have book blogging hobbies.

Posted in Advanced Review, Dystopia, Liked It, Speculative, Uncategorized

Paradigm

Paradigm

Author: Helen Stringer

Genre: Dystopia

Rating: LI

Synopsis:

“If I ask you to do something, will you do it?”
“Maybe.”
“Maybe?”
“Well, I don’t know what it is yet. But I’m guessing that death is the alternative, so I’m prepared to be reasonable.”
Sam Cooper is seventeen. He drives a cherry red 1968 GTO that he won on a bet, and spends his days exploring the open roads of the great American West. He should be living the teenage dream, but post-collapse America is a hard place to survive.

The United States is long dead, basic resources are getting scarcer, and no one on Earth has seen the stars since before he was born. Vast tracts of the country are now empty as people huddle together for safety.

In all this chaos, Sam has survived on his wits and occasional luck. But a visit to the walled and prosperous Century City results in a split-second decision that changes everything. Soon Sam is on the run from the ruthless Carolyn Bast, and by something much more dangerous: MUTHA-a powerful artificial entity that has been watching and waiting for Sam’s return from the barren outlands. Sam unknowingly carries the key to something MUTHA can’t live without, something so dangerous that others are willing to kill him, or worse, to ensure that the great plex never possesses it.

Sam can’t stay one step ahead of them forever. His only hope is to unravel the secrets of his peculiar past and awaken the incredible power that sleeps within-because even in his beloved GTO, without the truth, Sam will never succeed in outracing the nightmare to come.

Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion: Beware artificial intelligence. Any time you create a machine that can think and reason for itself, there is always the danger that it is going to get out of your control pretty much just like an actual human being will. The only thing is that a computer can out think humans; so planning a couple steps ahead really isn’t going to work. The ending of this book really didn’t seem like an ending to me. It seemed like the story could continue. Maybe it will.

Posted in Advanced Review, Historical Fiction, Liked It

I Always Loved You

I Always Loved You

Author: Robin Oliveira

Genre: Historical Fiction, ARC

Rating: LI

Synopsis:

The young Mary Cassatt never thought moving to Paris after the Civil War to be an artist was going to be easy, but when, after a decade of work, her submission to the Paris Salon is rejected, Mary’s fierce determination wavers. Her father is begging her to return to Philadelphia to find a husband before it is too late, her sister Lydia is falling mysteriously ill, and worse, Mary is beginning to doubt herself. Then one evening a friend introduces her to Edgar Degas and her life changes forever. Years later she will learn that he had begged for the introduction, but in that moment their meeting seems a miracle. So begins the defining period of her life and the most tempestuous of relationships.

In I Always Loved You, Robin Oliveira brilliantly re-creates the irresistible world of Belle Époque Paris, writing with grace and uncommon insight into the passion and foibles of the human heart.

Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion: I picked this book up because Impressionistic painting is my favorite. I’m more of a Seurat kind of girl, but Mary Cassatt’s paintings aren’t too bad. Anyway, I didn’t realize that Degas or Cassatt really interacted. I’m not sure why. I think I tended to think of artists exclusively by their work rather than the fact that they were actual people. It was a very interesting read. Their relationship wasn’t what you would call torrid. I think it was more ideological than anything else. Anyway, it was an interesting read.

Posted in Advanced Review, Rated D, Romance, Thriller

Alice Close Your Eyes

Alice Close Your Eyes

Teaser:

I am a warrior. Or a child, misbehaving.

Author: Averil Dean

Genre: Romance, Thriller

Rating: D

Synopsis:

With haunting prose and deft psychological insight, Averil Dean spins a chilling story that explores the dark corners of obsession—love, pain and revenge.

Ten years ago, someone ruined Alice Croft’s life. Now, she has a chance to right that wrong—and she thinks she’s found the perfect man to carry out her plan.

After watching him for weeks, she breaks into Jack Calabrese’s house to collect the evidence that will confirm her hopes. When Jack comes home unexpectedly, Alice hides in the closet, fearing for her life. But upon finding her, Jack is strangely calm, solicitous…and intrigued.

That night is the start of a dark and intense attraction, and soon Alice finds herself drawn into a labyrinth of terrifying surrender to a man who is more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. As their relationship spirals toward a breaking point, Alice starts to see just how deep Jack’s secrets run—and how deadly they could be.

Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion: Alice was playing a very dangerous game. If you want someone to kill for you, you have to realize that they could turn on you. For some reason, she didn’t really seem to get this until the very end.

Alice was a very suspect narrator in this story. As the tale progress, I kept trying to understand what had happened to her. What I imagined couldn’t have been any further than the truth. The sad thing is that Alice was so wrong about so many things about her life. I kind of felt sorry for her.

So why the low rating? D stands for “Didn’t hate it, but didn’t like it either.” Their relationship went beyond dysfunctional. It really crossed the line into abuse. That didn’t set well with me.

Posted in Advanced Review, Blog Hop, Loved It, paranormal, Uncategorized

Chasing Memories

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Author: Tia Silverthorne Bach

Genre: Paranormal

Rating: Rated LI

Synopsis:

There isn’t another way; not now. The others are coming. I can’t let them have you…

Seventeen-year-old Reagan has a problem: She can’t remember what happened the night her brother was taken.

Now, the dreams haunting her from the incident are becoming more intense by the day. All the while, the lines between what’s real and what’s a product of her paranormal-obsessed mind are becoming blurred.

Is she losing her mind or has she just stepped into a world she thought only existed in books?

Caught in a web of worried parents, competing boys, Wiccan relatives, protective amulets, and psychiatrist babble, Reagan must determine the truth before it’s too late.

This book was too short. Just when things started picking up, it ended. I hate that about series! At first I wasn’t sure if Reagan was losing her mind. Things happened so fast the night her brother was taken. I really didn’t see how her memory of that night was longer than originally portrayed.

Anyway, it was clear that Reagan had stumbled into some sort of battle between werewolves. I can’t wait to see how that turns out. Also there is the whole Wiccan aspect of the story. It wasn’t clear that Reagan’s grandmother was aware of whether werewolves exist. I thought that was unusual. In most paranormal books everybody knows about all the other creatures.

Can I just tell you how much I dislike Reagan’s mother! I understand the desire to protect your children; however, having your child committed is going way beyond. I don’t understand people who go through such lengths to deny the truth. And the one love interest made me become quite violent. I was ready to shake Reagan. I don’t understand attraction to those type of guys.

Anyway, the series promises to have a lot of conflict- good vs evil werewolves, daughter vs mother vs grandmother, psychotic boyfriends….
I did like the surprise at the end of the book. I always think its great when the people you think are gone aren’t really gone.

This was a great first book in a series, and I’m quite eager to see how the rest of the series goes.

As you can see from the picture above, I’m part of a blog tour. Here is the rest of the info.

Tia Silverthorne Bach’s Web Site:
http://depressioncookies.com/

Tia Silverthorne Bach’s Author Blog:
http://depressioncookies.blogspot.com/

Tia Silverthorne Bach’s Book Review Blog:
http://etjrmbach.blogspot.com/

Tia Silverthorne Bach’s Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/tia.bach.author

Tia Silverthorne Bach’s Twitter:
https://twitter.com/Tia_Bach_Author

Tia Silverthorne Bach’s Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/TiaBach

Chasing Memories Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17909317-chasing-memories

Tribute Books Blog Tours Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tribute-Books-Blog-Tours/242431245775186

Chasing Memories blog tour site:
http://chasingmemoriesblogtour.blogspot.com/

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Posted in Advanced Review, Inspirational, Loved It

Between Heaven and Texas

Between Heaven and Texas

Author: Marie Bostwick

Genre: Inspirational

Rating: L

Synopsis: This is an advanced review, so I’m going to stick to the blurb on the back of the book.

In this luminous prequel to her beloved Cobbled Court Quilts series, New York Times bestselling author Marie Bostwick takes readers into the heart of a small Texas town and the soul of a woman who discovers her destiny there. . .

Welcome to Too Much–where the women are strong-willed and the men are handsome yet shiftless. Ever since Mary Dell Templeton and her twin sister Lydia Dale were children, their Aunt Velvet has warned them away from local boys. But it’s well known that the females in Mary Dell’s family have two traits in common–superior sewing skills and a fatal weakness for men.

While Lydia Dale grows up petite and pretty, Mary Dell just keeps growing. Tall, smart, and sassy, she is determined to one day turn her love of sewing into a business. Meanwhile, she’ll settle for raising babies with her new husband, Donny. But that dream proves elusive too, until finally, Mary Dell gets the son she always wanted–a child as different as he is wonderful. And as Mary Dell is forced to reconsider what truly matters in her family and her marriage, she begins to piece together a life that, like the colorful quilts she creates, will prove vibrant, rich, and absolutely unforgettable. . .

“Powerful, inspiring, and uplifting!” –Robyn Carr

Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion: Readers of Marie Bostwick’s Cobble Court series will recognize the name Mary Dell. She’s definitely one of the more vibrant characters from this series. If you’ve read the past books, you will know that Mary Dell is a single mother to a son, Howard, who has Downs Syndrome. You also know that her husband left her for this reason. But in this book, we get to see the back story.

I personally enjoyed Mary Dell’s brash personality, and her fashion sense always made me laugh. You have to admire her. If there is one thing that I think defines her as a character, it is that she is true to herself. In a world of rampant imitation, this is a refreshing trait. This really was an uplifting book. I highly recommend it.

This book is available for purchase on April 30th. If you visit the author’s site, you can get her to sign the book.

FTC Disclosure:
I received a copy of this book from the publisher/author. I, unlike the New York Times Book Review, did not receive money for my review which is why my review is more honest. This is a concept that the FTC fails to grasp. Contrary to popular belief, advanced review copies of books are not worth a great deal monetarily speaking. In fact most books are worth less than half its value within a year of purchase. This is another concept the FTC has not grasped. If you purchase a book that I thought highly of and do not like, that is life. Taste in books is subjective. This is a concept that some asinine person in the FTC has not yet grasped. The purpose of the statement is to comply with the FTC regulation while providing a not so subtle hint that they are not the brightest bulbs in the box and that they should spend their time doing more worthwhile things than hounding people who have book blogging hobbies.

Posted in Advanced Review, Liked It, Rating, Science Fiction

Unremembered

Unremembered by Jessica Brody

Author: Jessica Brody

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: LI

Synopsis: Since this is an advanced review, I’m including the synopsis from the back of the book.

When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe.

Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories period. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world.

Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them.

Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her forget?

From popular young adult author Jessica Brody comes a compelling and suspenseful new sci-fi series, set in a world where science knows no boundaries, memories are manipulated, and true love can never be forgotten.

Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion: I thought this book was a little bit trite until I got to the end. I think the whole time travel thing really saved this book from being a colossal waste of time. From the ending, it appears that this is the first of a series. I wish that I had known that before I started; it would have saved me from being impatient at the snail pace throughout the book. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the series turns out. I really liked that the main character’s favorite poem was Sonnet 116. You don’t see that kind of appreciation of literature in most teen novels. It was a nice change. Just so you know, this story is written for teens so there is a fair amount of angst. Overall it was a pretty decent read. I finished it rather quickly.

FTC Disclosure:
I received a copy of this book from the publisher/author. I, unlike the New York Times Book Review, did not receive money for my review which is why my review is more honest. This is a concept that the FTC fails to grasp. Contrary to popular belief, advanced review copies of books are not worth a great deal monetarily speaking. In fact most books are worth less than half its value within a year of purchase. This is another concept the FTC has not grasped. If you purchase a book that I thought highly of and do not like, that is life. Taste in books is subjective. This is a concept that some asinine person in the FTC has not yet grasped. The purpose of the statement is to comply with the FTC regulation while providing a not so subtle hint that they are not the brightest bulbs in the box and that they should spend their time doing more worthwhile things than hounding people who have book blogging hobbies.

Posted in Advanced Review, Liked It

The Rivers Run Dry

Raleigh Harmon is a Special Agent with the FBI- she’s a forensic geologist. Because she didn’t play by the rules at her last job, she ends up being transferred from Richmond to Seattle. She’s one of few agents, and her fellow agents like treating her like a go-for.
But she gets to prove herself, when a local rich girl, Courtney VanAlstyne goes missing. Then a ransom note appears. Raleigh is determined to find this young woman no matter what and find the person who kidnapped her.
I know. That was a really short review. But as it is a mystery, I don’t want to spoil the ending. I mean that’s the fun of mysteries. I really enjoyed this book. Raleigh isn’t the stereotypical female agent. She has a heart for people. This is clearly seen from the lengths that she went to help Felicia a prostitute and alcoholic. What I thought was particularly interesting is that Raleigh has never told her mother that she is an FBI agent. I’ve heard of protecting people you love, but I think that is going overboard.
I did think that the story was unique. In this day and age of CSI and attendant wanna-be-CSI it is difficult to find a different forensic story. I liked the fact that the science was all about rocks and soil composition. I enjoyed the detail that was given about mining in that area.
So if you are looking for a good, relatively clean forensic story, you might want to try this one.

Sibella Giorello began her writing career as a journalist. Her stories have won awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer. Her novel The Stones Cry Out won a Christy Award. She lives in Washington state with her husband and family.

Read more…

Posted in Advanced Review, Liked It, Rated LI

Summer on Blossom Street

This was a refreshing, light read. Especially after reading Travis Thrasher’s Ghostwriter. This is the 5th book in the Blossom Street series. Lydia Goetz owns A Good Yarn in Seattle Washington. She has decided to start up the Knit to Quit class. Everyone who joins wants to quit something and start a new chapter in their lives.

Phoebe Rylander joins the class to get over her unfaithful, manipulative ex-fiance.
Alix Turner joins the class to quit smoking so that she and her husband can have a baby.
Bryan Hutchinson “Hutch” the local executive of Rainier chocolates joins the class for stress relief purposes.
In addition to the details of the class members lives, the book tells the complications in the lives of Anne Marie Roche, who has adopted a little girl, and Lydia herself who ends up an unexpected foster mother to a 12- year old.

This was a great read. It was very similar to Marie Bostwick’s A Single Thread. It was told from 5 different points of view, but it was still easy to follow. What was more impressive is that I actually cared for the characters in a short period of time. I found myself, saying “No Phoebe! Forget him! Be strong!” and that sort of thing. So if you are looking for an inspiring read, pick this one up.

This book will be available for purchase in May!!
Reviews this week
Ghostwriter
Beings in a Dream
Here are the following Hatchette Book Giveaways
The Girl Who Stopped Swimming
The Turnaround

Read more…