Sunday, October 31, 2010

October Summary

October Summary 

  1. Saving Max by Antionette van Heugten - 10/2/10
  2. You by Charles Benoit - read 10/2/10
  3. Call Me Kate by Molly Roe - read 10/4/10 
  4. Sloane Hall by Libby Sternberg  - read 10/9/10
  5. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore - read 10/9/10
  6. Audrey, Wait by Robin Benway - read 10/9/10
  7. Hot House Flower by Margot Berwin - read 10/10/10
  8.  What Alice Knew by Paula Marantz Cohen - read 10/10/10
  9. Solid by Shelley Workinger - read 10/12/10 
  10. Solitary by Travis Thrasher - read 10/13/10
  11. Burned by P.C. and Kristin Cast - read 10/14/10
  12. Dark Road to Darjeeling by Deanna Raybourn - read 10/16/10 
  13. Somewhere Along the Way by Jodi Thomas - read 10/19/10 
  14. Shedrow by Dean DeLuke - read 10/20/10
  15. Poisoned Kisses by Stephanie Draven - read 10/22/10
  16. Don't Look Back by Lynette Eason - read 10/23/10
  17. To the Nines by Janet Evanovich - read 10/25/10
  18. Casting About by Terri DuLong - read 10/25/10 
  19. Heart With Joy by Steve Cushman - read 10/27/10
  20. The God Hater - read 10/29/10
  21. Slayed by Amanda Marrone - read 10/29/10
Review books: 18
Library Books: 3
Books from my bookshelf: 0

Favorite of the month:

So how was your reading month?


Friday, October 29, 2010

Book Review: The God Hater by Bill Myers




The God Hater: A NovelThe God Hater by Bill Myers
Publisher: Howard Books
Publish Date: September 28, 2010
Paperback, 320 pages
Suspense/Thriller, Christian Fiction




My Review:
Why I read this: The book sounded fascinating when I got the blurb for the FIRST Wild Card Tour and I have been wanting to read Bill Myers for awhile.

How is the novel driven:  The characters are important, but it's plot that drives this one.

My thoughts:  When I started this book, I knew it sounded like a good book, but I never thought I would be as thoroughly sucked into the book as I was.  In the first 5 pages I was already not wanting to put it down and I went through the first 100 pages no problem on the first night (and I was tired and not feeling well).  The second night I would have finished it, but I became very sleepy, but I did get through about 150 pages, I even stayed up late to get that far.

The story in this book is really comprised of two stories.  One is the story of Nicholas, Travis, Annie and Rusty.  Nicholas is the atheist, he's beat Christianity and other religions out of students for many years and often shows up in Annie's class to spar with her about religious things.  Annie is a biochemist and a Christian, she is a single mother to her 5-year-old son Rusty.  She is Nicholas' closest friend so when things start to seem strange in Nicholas' world she is right there.  Travis is Nicholas' brother and a computer programmer who has created a world that mimics our world and is further working on the artificial intelligence technology to market it.  It's this world that begins to get everyone in trouble while teaching them things as well.

The second story is of the world Travis and others have created.  While trying to make the society continue they learn a lot about philosophy and how religion does play a role in society.  I found this computerized society fascinating.  It was kind of like dystopian fiction in the midst of a suspense book and it just held my attention so well.

I enjoyed this story from Nicholas' point-of-view being an atheist.  It made it very interesting and gave the whole story a more authentic feel.  As things began to happen in  this alternate world (computer world), I knew kind of what was going on but I enjoyed watching it all unfold.

The God Hater is an amazing story, it reads fast, the characters are interesting, the suspense is intense and the weaving of the two worlds together is wonderfully done.  I think my only problem is I wish the characters had been slightly more developed, but I did get enough of a feel for them to understand motivations so it's not a major complaint.  You have to give up something to get this much suspense and two worlds into 300 pages.  Bill Myers does a magnificent job telling the story and really making a point without beating  you over the head.  There is lots to think about at the end of this book.

This was my first book by Bill Myers and I will now be checking out his backlist as well as looking forward to his new titles.

My Rating: 4.75/5.0

About the Book:

A cranky, atheistic philosophy professor loves to shred the faith of incoming freshmen. He is chosen by a group of scientists to create a philosophy for a computer-generated world exactly like ours. Much to his frustration every model he introduces—from Darwinism, to Existentialism, to Relativism, to Buddhism—fails. The only way to preserve the computer world is to introduce laws from outside their system through a Law Giver. Of course this goes against everything he's ever believed, and he hates it. But even that doesn't completely work because the citizens of that world become legalists and completely miss the spirit behind the Law. The only way to save them is to create a computer character like himself to personally live and explain it. He does. So now there are two of him—the one in our world and the one in the computer world. Unfortunately a rival has introduced a virus into the computer world. Things grow worse until our computer-world professor sees the only way to save his world is to personally absorb the virus and the penalty for breaking the Law. Of course, it's clear to all, including our real-world professor, that this act of selfless love has become a reenactment of the Gospel. It is the only possible choice to save their computer world and, as he finally understands, our own.

About the Author:

Myers holds a degree in Theater Arts from the University of Washington and an honorary doctorate from the Theological Institute of Nimes, France, where he taught. As author/screenwriter/director his work has won over 50 national and international awards, including the C.S. Lewis Honor Award. His DVDs and books have sold 8 million copies. His children’s DVD and book series, McGee and Me, has sold 4.5 million copies, has won 40 Gold and Platinum awards, and has been aired on ABC as well as in 80 countries. His My Life As… series has sold 2.1 million copies. He has written, directed, and done voice work for Focus on the Family’s Adventures in Odyssey radio series and is the voice of Jesus in Zondervan’s NIV Audio Bible. As an author, nearly all of his children's series have made the bestseller list, as well as 7 of his adult novels. He has been interviewed for Good Morning America and ABC Nightly News. Several of his novels are currently under option for motion pictures, including Blood of Heaven, Threshold, Eli, Fire of Heaven, When the Last Leaf Falls, and Forbidden Doors. The motion picture, The Wager, starring Randy Travis and based on Myers’s novel by the same name, was released in 2009.

Website 
Facebook 

FTC Information: Special thanks to Libby Reed, Publicity Assistant, HOWARD BOOKS, a division of Simon & Schuster for sending me a review copy.  All opinions expressed are my own and they are my honest opinions, I am not compensated anything beyond receiving the book for review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.

FIRST WIld Card Tour: The God Hater by Bill Myers

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Howard Books; Original edition (September 28, 2010)
***Special thanks to Libby Reed, Publicity Assistant, HOWARD BOOKS, a division of Simon & Schuster for sending me a review copy.***

My review will post later today and this is an amazing book!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Bill Myers is an author, screenwriter, and director whose work has won more than fifty national and international awards, including the C.S. Lewis Honor Award.

Visit the Book Specific Site.

Visit the author's website.


Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Howard Books; Original edition (September 28, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439153264
ISBN-13: 978-1439153260

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Samuel Preston, a local reporter with bronzed skin and glow-in-the-dark teeth, turned to one of the guests of his TV show, God Talk. “So what’s your take on all of this, Dr. Mackenzie?”

The sixty-something professor stared silently at his wristwatch. He had unruly white hair and wore an outdated sports coat.

“Dr. Mackenzie?”

He glanced up, disoriented, then turned to the host who repeated the question. “What are your feelings about the book?”

Clearing his throat, Mackenzie raised the watch to his ear and gave it a shake. “I was wondering . . .” He dropped off, his bushy eyebrows gathered into a scowl as he listened for a sound.

The second guest, a middle-aged pastor with a shirt collar two sizes too small, smiled, “Yes?”

Mackenzie gave up on the watch and turned to him. “Do you make up this drivel as you go along? Or do you simply parrot others who have equally stunted intellects?”

The pastor, Dr. William Hathaway, blinked. Still smiling, he turned back to the host. “I was under the impression we were going to discuss my new book?”

“Oh, we are,” Preston assured him. “But it’s always good to have a skeptic or two in the midst, wouldn’t you agree?”

“Ah,” Hathaway nodded, “of course.” He turned back to Mackenzie, his smile never wavering. “I am afraid what you term as ‘drivel’ is based upon a faith stretching back thousands of years.”

Mackenzie removed one or two dog hairs from his slacks. “We have fossilized dinosaur feces older than that.”

“I’m sorry?”

“Just because something’s old, doesn’t stop it from being crap.”

Dr. Hathaway’s smile twitched. He turned in his chair so he could more fully address the man. “We’re talking about a time honored religion that millions of —”

“And that’s supposed to be a plus,” Mackenzie said, “that it’s religious? I thought you wanted to support your nonsense.”

“I see. Well it may interest you to know that—“

“Actually, it doesn’t interest me at all.” The old man turned to Preston. “How much longer will we be?”

The host chuckled. “Just a few more minutes, Professor.”

Working harder to maintain his smile, Hathaway replied, “So, if I understand correctly, you’re not a big fan of the benefits of Christianity?”

“Benefits?” Mackenzie pulled a used handkerchief from his pocket and began looking for an unsoiled portion. “Is that what the 30,000 Jews who were tortured and killed during the Inquisition called it? Benefits?”

“That’s not entirely fair.”

“And why is that?”

“For starters, most of them weren’t Jews.”

“I’m sure they’re already feeling better.”

“What I am saying is—”

“What you are saying, Mr . . . Mr—”

“Actually, it’s Doctor.”

“Actually, you’re a liar.”

“I beg your pardon?”

Finding an unused area of his handkerchief, Mackenzie took off his glasses and cleaned them.

The pastor continued. “It may interest you to know that—”

“We’ve already established my lack of interest.”

“It may interest you to know that I hold several honorary doctorates.”

“Honorary doctorates.”

“That’s correct.”

“Honorary, as in unearned, as in good for nothing . . . unless it’s to line the bottom of bird cages.” He held his glasses to the light, checking for any remaining smudges.

Hathaway took a breath and regrouped. “You can malign my character all you wish, but there is no refuting the benefits outlined in my new book.”

“Ah yes, the benefits.” Mackenzie lowered his glasses and worked on the other lens. “Like the million plus lives slaughtered during the Crusades?”

“That figure can be disputed.”

“Correct. It may be higher.”

Hathaway shifted in his seat. “The Crusades were a long time ago and in an entirely different culture.”

“So you’d prefer something closer to home? Perhaps the witch hunts of New England?”

“I’m not here to—”

“Fifteen thousand human beings murdered in Europe and America. Fifteen thousand.”

“Again, that’s history and not a part of today’s—”

“Then let us discuss more recent atrocities—towards the blacks, the gays, the Muslim population. Perhaps a dialogue on the bombing of abortion clinics?”

“Please, if you would allow me—”

Mackenzie turned to Preston. “Are we finished here?”

Fighting to be heard, Hathaway continued. “If people will read my book, they will clearly see—”

“Are we finished?”

“Yes, Professor,” Preston chuckled. “I believe we are.”

“But we’ve not discussed my Seven Steps to Successful—”

“Perhaps another time, Doctor.”

Mackenzie rose, shielding his eyes from the bright studio lights as Hathaway continued. “But there are many issues we need to—”

“I’m sure there are,” Preston agreed while keeping an eye on Mackenzie who stepped from the platform and headed off camera. “And I’m sure it’s all there in your book. Seven Steps to—”


***

Annie Brooks clicked off the remote to her television.

“Mom,” Rusty mumbled, “I was watching . . .” he drifted back to sleep without finishing the protest.

She looked down at the five year old and smiled. He lay in bed beside her, his hands still clutching Horton Hears a Who! Each night he’d been reading it to her, though she suspected it was more reciting from memory than reading. She tenderly kissed the top of his head before absent-mindedly looking back to the TV.

He’d done it again. Her colleague and friend—if Dr. Nicholas Mackenzie could be said to have any friends—had shredded another person of faith. This time a Christian, some mega-church pastor hawking his latest book. Next time it could just as easily be a Jew or Muslim or Buddhist. The point was that Nicholas hated religion. And Heaven help anybody who tried to defend it.

She sighed and looked back down to her son. He was breathing heavily, mouth slightly ajar. She brushed the bangs from his face and gave him another kiss. She’d carry him back to bed soon enough. But for now she would simply savor his presence. Nothing gave her more joy. And for that, with or without Nicholas’ approval, Annie Brooks was grateful to her God.


* * * * *


“Excuse me?” Nicholas called from the back seat of the Lincoln Town Car.

The driver didn’t hear.

He leaned forward and spoke louder. “You just passed the freeway entrance.”

The driver, some black kid with a shaved head, turned on the stereo. It was an urban chant, its beat so powerful Nicholas could feel it pounding in his gut. He unbuckled his seat belt and scooted to the open partition separating them. “Excuse me! You—”

The tinted window slid up, nearly hitting him in the face.

He pulled back in surprise, then banged on the glass. “Excuse me!” The music was fainter but still vibrated the car. “Excuse me!”

No response.

He slumped back into the seat. Stupid kid. And rude. He’d realize his mistake soon enough. And after Nicholas’ call to the TV station tomorrow, he’d be back on the streets looking for another job. Trying to ignore the music, Nicholas stared out the window, watching the Santa Barbara lights soften as fog rolled in. Over the years the station’s drivers had always been polite and courteous. Years, as in Nicholas was a frequent guest on God Talk. Despite his general distain for people, not to mention his reclusive lifestyle, he always accepted the producer’s invitation. Few things gave him more pleasure than exposing the toxic nature of religion. Besides, these outings provided a nice change of pace. Instead of the usual stripping away of na├»ve college students’ faith in his classroom, the TV guests occasionally provided a challenge.

Occasionally.

Other than his duties at the University of California Santa Barbara, these trips were his only exposure to the outside world. He had abandoned society long ago. Or rather, it had abandoned him. Not that there was any love lost. Today’s culture was an intellectual wasteland—a world of pre-chewed ideas, politically correct causes, sound bite news coverage, and novels that were nothing more than comic books. (He’d given up on movies and television long ago.) Why waste his time on such pabulum when he could surround himself with Sartre, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche—men whose work would provide more meaningful companionship in one evening than most people could in a lifetime.

Nevertheless, he did tolerate Ari, even fought to keep her during the divorce. She was his faithful companion for over fifteen years, though he should have put her down months ago. Deaf and blind, the golden retriever’s hips had begun to fail. But she wasn’t in pain. Not yet. And until that time, he didn’t mind cleaning up after her occasional accidents or calling in the vet for those expensive house calls. He owed her that. Partially because of her years of patient listening, and partially because of the memories.

The car turned right and entered a residential area. He glanced down to the glowing red buttons on the console beside him. One of them was an intercom to the driver. But, like Herbert Marcuse, the great Neo-Marxist of the 20th Century (and, less popularly, Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber of the 1980s) Nicholas mistrusted modern technology as much as he scorned the society that created it. How many times had Annie, a fellow professor, pleaded with him to buy a telephone . . .

“What if there’s an emergency?” she’d insisted. “What if someone needs to call you?”

“Like solicitors?”

“They have Do Not Call lists,” she said. “You can go online and be added to their—”

“Online?”

“Okay, you can write them a letter.”

“And give them what, more personal information?”

“They’d only ask for your phone number.”

“Not if I don’t have one.”

And so the argument continued off and on for years . . . as gift occasions came and went, as his closet gradually filled with an impressive collection of telephones. One thing you could say about Annie Brooks, she was persistent—which may be why he put up with her company, despite the fact she doted over him like he was some old man who couldn’t take care of himself. Besides, she had a good head on her shoulders, when she chose to use it, which meant she occasionally contributed something of worth to their conversations.

Then, of course, there was her boy.

The car slowed. Having no doubt learned the error of his ways, the driver was turning around. Not that it would help him keep his job. That die had already been cast. But the car wasn’t turning. Instead, it pulled to the curb and came to a stop. The locks shot up and the right rear door immediately opened. A man in his early forties appeared—strong jaw, short hair, with a dark suit, white shirt, and black tie.

“Good evening, Doctor.” He slid onto the leather seat beside him.

“Who are you?” Nicholas demanded.

The man closed the door and the car started forward. “I apologize for the cloak and dagger routine, but—”

“Who are you?”

He flipped open an ID badge. “Brad Thompson, HLS.”

“Who?”

“Homeland Security Agent Brad Thompson.” He returned the badge to his coat pocket.

“You’re with the government?”

“Yes sir, Homeland Security.”

“And you’ve chosen to interrupt my ride home because . . .”

“Again, I apologize, but it’s about your brother.”

Nicholas stared at him, giving him no satisfaction of recognition.

“Your brother,” the agent repeated, “Travis Mackenzie?”

Nicholas held his gaze another moment before looking out the window. “Is he in trouble again?”

“Has he contacted you?”

“My brother and I seldom communicate.”

“Yes, sir, about every eighteen months if our information is correct.”

The agent’s knowledge unsettled Nicholas. He turned back to the man. “May I see your identification again?”

“Pardon me?”

“Your identification. You barely allowed me to look at it.”

The agent reached back into his suit coat. “Please understand this is far more serious than his drug conviction, or his computer hacking, or the DUIs.”

Nicholas adjusted his glasses, waiting for the identification.

The agent flipped open his ID holder. “We at HLS are very concerned about his involvement—”

Suddenly, headlights appeared through the back window, their beams on high. The agent looked over his shoulder, then swore under his breath. He reached for the intercom, apparently to give orders to the driver, but the town car was already beginning to accelerate.

“What’s the problem?” Nicholas asked.

The car turned sharply to the left and continued picking up speed.

“I asked you what is happening,” Nicholas repeated.

“Your brother, Professor. Where is he?”

The headlights reappeared behind them, closing in.

“You did not allow me to examine your identification.”

“Please, Doctor—”

“If you do not allow me to examine your identification, I see little—”

“We’ve no time for that!”

The outburst stopped Nicholas as the car took another left, so sharply both men braced themselves against the seat.

The agent turned back to him. “Where is your brother?”

Once again the lights appeared behind them.

Refusing to be bullied, Nicholas repeated, “Unless I’m convinced of your identity, I have little—”

The agent sprang toward him. Grabbing Nicholas’ shirt, he yanked him to his face and shouted, “Where is he?!”

Surprised, but with more pride than common sense, Nicholas answered. “As I said—”

The agent’s fist was a blur as it struck Nicholas’ nose. Nicholas felt the cartilage snap, knew the pain would follow. As would the blood.

“WHERE IS HE?”

The car turned right, tires squealing, tossing the men to the other side. As Nicholas sat up, the agent pulled something from his jacket. There was the black glint of metal and suddenly a cold gun barrel was pressed against his neck. He felt fear rising and instinctively pushed back the emotion. It wasn’t the gun that concerned him, but the fear. That was his enemy. If he could focus, rely on his intellect, he’d have the upper hand. Logic trumped emotion every time. It was a truth that sustained him through childhood, kept him alive in Vietnam, and gave him the strength to survive in today’s world.

The barrel pressed harder.

When he knew he could trust his voice, he answered, “The last time I saw my brother was Thanksgiving.”

The car hit the brakes, skidding to a stop, sliding Nicholas off the seat and onto his knees. The agent caught himself, managing to stay seated. Up ahead, through the glass partition, Nicholas saw a second vehicle racing toward them—a van or truck, its beams also on high.

The agent pounded the partition. “Get us out of here.” he shouted at the driver. “Now!”

The town car lurched backward. It bounced up a curb and onto a front lawn. Tires spun, spitting grass and mud, until they dug in and the vehicle took off. It plowed through a hedge of junipers, branches scraping underneath, then across another lawn. Nicholas looked out his side window as they passed the first vehicle which had been behind them, a late model SUV. They veered back onto the road, snapping off a mailbox. Once again the driver slammed on the brakes, turning hard to the left, throwing the vehicle into a 180 until they were suddenly behind the SUV, facing the opposite direction. Tires screeched as they sped off.

The agent hit the intercom and yelled, “Dump the Professor and get us out of here!”

The car continued to accelerate and made another turn.

Pulling Nicholas into the seat and shoving the gun into his face, the agent shouted, “This is the last time I’m asking!”

Nicholas’ heart pounded, but he kept his voice even. “I have already told you.”

The man chambered a round. But it barely mattered. Nicholas had found his center and would not be moved. “I have not seen him in months.”

“Thanksgiving?”

“Yes.”

The car made another turn.

“And?”

Nicholas turned to face him. “We ate a frozen dinner and I sent him away.”

The agent searched his eyes. Nicholas held his gaze, unblinking. The car took one last turn, bouncing up onto an unlit driveway, then jerked to a stop. There was no sound, except the pounding music.

“Get out,” the agent ordered.

Nicholas looked through the window. “I have no idea where we—”

“Now.”

Nicholas reached for the handle, opened his door and stepped outside. The air was cold and damp.

“Shut the door.”

He obeyed.

The town car lunged backward, lights off. Once it reached the road it slid to a stop, changed gears and sped off. Nicholas watched as it disappeared into the fog, music still throbbing even after it was out of sight. Only then did he appreciate the pain in his nose and the warm copper taste of blood in his mouth. Still, with grim satisfaction, he realized, he had won. As always, logic and intellect had prevailed.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Book Review: Heart With Joy by Steve Cushman

Heart with Joy


Heart with Joy by Steve Cushman
Publisher: John F. Blair
Publish Date: September 28, 2010
Paperback, 200 pages
Young Adult




My Review:
Why I read this: The author invited me to read and review his book and after reading the blurb I thought it sounded very interesting.  Plus I am a sucker for books set in my favorite state NC :)

How is the novel driven:  Character, this book is about Julian and how change in his life affects him and how he grows and changes.

My thoughts:  Julian is different, not in a strange way, but different from most teenagers you read about in young adult novels.  He's not a paranormal of any form nor is he shallow or self-centered, well any more than any typical small town teenager is.  Julian's parents however, have just separated, whether they officially call it that or not and his mom has left him with his dad.  This is devastating to Julian because he is a self-confessed Mama's Boy (though not in that way we typically associate with those words).  Julian was simply closest to his mother because his dad works a lot.  He and his mom did a lot of things together and when she leaves he feels a real void in his life.

Right after his mom leaves, his dad decides to run a marathon and out he goes everyday to run.  Julian turns to cooking and becomes quite a whiz in the kitchen.  Normal teen angst and anger towards his dad comes into play.  His dad isn't a bad person, just the person who has worked all these years and given up his dreams to build a life for his family.  He is the people-pleaser in this family.  Add in the older next-door neighbor that Julian isn't sure what to think of in the beginning but grows to have a friendship with and you have the makings for a wonderful young adult story.  One that I think is very realistic of this day and time.  Gone are the days of the dad running off and leaving the family.  Now it seems that just as often it is the mom.  Not throwing stones, just stating facts and this book is refreshing.

Julian is a good kid, with things to work through and with his dad and Mrs. Peters he is able to start doing this.  I loved watching him come to life in this book.  He is fascinating.  He is going through all the typical teenage things with the added separation of his parents and trying to build a relationship with the parent he wasn't closest to.  I enjoyed watching him and his dad change in this book.

The book moves along quickly and is told from Julian's point of view and that feels authentic.  Sometimes short chapters that jump around a bit because it's in Julian's head.  It didn't feel jerky though - it really just felt like I was Julian.  It's told mainly around Julian's home life, with some social life mixed in and that is another thing that makes this different.  Parents are invisible in a lot of young adult books, in this one, they are at the forefront.

I will definitely be hanging onto this one for when my sons are older.  Though I don't plan on leaving or separating, I think this novel has something for everyone in it.  And at the heart of the book is the fact that everyone should find something they love and enjoy and do that in some capacity.  This is what makes life beautiful.



My Rating: 4.75/5.0

About the Book:

In Heart With Joy, fifteen-year-old Julian Hale’s life is turned upside down when his mother suddenly moves from North Carolina to Venice, Florida under the pretense of running her parents’ motel and finishing the novel she has been working on for years.  While Julian has always been closer to his mother and wants to go with her, she tells him he has to stay with his father until the end of the school year.

Six weeks after his mother leaves, Julian’s father decides to run a marathon.  This surprises Julian because he has never seen his father exercise, but once he agrees to help him train the two develop the sort of close relationship they’ve never had before.  Also, with the help of an elderly neighbor, Julian learns that the most important thing in life is to follow your heart.  And Julian’s heart leads him to a passion for cooking and a young cashier at the local grocery store.  By the end of the novel, Julian is forced to choose between staying with his father and going to live with his mother.

Heart With Joy is an uplifting coming of age novel about cooking and bird watching, about writing and pottery, and about falling in love and the sacrifices we all make.  But ultimately, it’s about the importance of following your heart and trusting that it will take you where you need to go. 

About the Author:

Steve Cushman is the author of the novels Heart With Joy and Portisville, as well as Fracture City, a collection of short stories. His book reviews have appeared in the Greensboro News & Record, Winston-Salem Journal, and Our State magazine. Steve Currently works in the IT department at Moses Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina. 

Website

FTC Information: I received this book from the author for review.  All opinions expressed are my own and they are my honest opinions, I am not compensated anything beyond receiving the book for review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Author Interview: Steve Cushman (Heart with Joy)


Today I would like to welcome Steve Cushman to My Reading Room.  Steve has a YA novel out, Heart With Joy that I will be reviewing tomorrow.  For today he has agreed to answer my interview questions.  So please join me in welcoming author Steve Cushman. 
How did you celebrate when you found out Heart With Joy would be published?
I did what I usually do after hearing some good news related to my writing.  I hooted and hollered and acted like a fool, saying yes, yes, yes.  But then I went back and re-read the e-mail, making sure it was real.
How would you describe Heart With Joy to others?
It's a coming of age novel about bird watching and cooking and falling in love for the first time.  But it's also about following your heart, or finding your passion in life, and trusting that it will take you where you need to go.  It's also about a father and son relationship and discovering that sometimes the thing you need most in life has been right there in front of you all along.
Where did the idea for Heart With Joy come from?
It started years ago with this idea of a father and son who were thrown together after the mother leaves.  All I knew at the beginning was that the father and son were not that close and my goal was to somehow bring them together, and it took a while to figure out that it was Julian, the son, and his passion for cooking that would eventually bring them closer.
There aren't as many YA books out there with a male main character, what made you choose to  have the main character be male? (I'm thrilled to see a male main character - I am raising two boys and cringe at the hole there is in YA books for boys, I want them to continue to read as teenagers so I get excited when I see books about boys).
As a writer, I usually go with my instinct and let the story take off.  By that I mean I don't analyze what I'm writing or think too much about it until I've got a really strong draft of writing.  It never occurred to me to make the main character of this book a girl.  It just came out as a boy.  Of course, I've written from a female point of view in the past, but like I said, I just knew this one would be about a father and son.
Did you plan this book out or do you just write and see where it took you?
Just had the kernel of an idea at the beginning and kept working and working until the story came to me.  That is generally how I write--keep plugging away, hoping that the next step in the story will be revealed to me or trusting that if I put in the time writing and working on something it will come.  I'll put a piece of writing aside for a while until something does come.  I'm always working on a few writing projects at once, so if something slows down or I need a break, I can always go on to something else.
Do you get time to read? What are your favorite types of books to read?
Yes, I make time to read.  Most writers I know love to read and that is what got them writing in the first place.  I definitely prefer fiction over non-fiction.  I read adult literary fiction, mysteries, YA, etc...  Anything that sounds good to me.  Even though I studied writing and earned an MFA, I am certainly not a literary snob and will pick up and read whatever looks good.  The last really good book I read was Sherman Alexie's "The True Diary of a Part-Time Indian."  Great book.  If you haven't read it, run out and buy it right now.  
What is your favorite room in your house?
Upstairs in my writing room, which isn't really a writing room at all but an upstairs loft with a bed and a bathroom and, of course, my writing desk and computer in a corner.  I've spent so much time in that room, alone, over the eight years we've owned the house that it is a good place for me.  I've received a lot of good writing news in that room. 
What is your favorite spot to read in?
If the weather is good, then out on a chair on my back porch, but if I'm inside I have a comfortable old leather LA-Z-Boy in the living room that works perfect for kicking back and reading.
What is your favorite snack food?
Pretzels or bagels.  I'm a carb fiend. 
What is your favorite season?
Fall.  I like the relief from the heat and the beautiful fall colors here in North Carolina.  Plus, all three of my books were published in the fall, so I've got a lot of good fall memories with driving to various bookstores and book-related events.
Do you have a schedule for writing each day or do you just do it when you can?
I work full time, Monday-Friday, so I get up early in the morning and write for an hour or hour and a half before I have to wake everyone up and start getting ready for work.
Any book signings/conferences/public/blog appearances in the near future?
I'm still doing a good number of book signings and blog appearances coming up.  Please visit my web site for more dates, www.stevecushman.net
Do you have a new book in the works?
I do have a first draft of another YA novel that I'm looking forward to getting back to.  Like Heart With Joy, it features a teenage boy as the main character.  Will see what happens.   
Anything else you would like to say?
Thanks for taking the time interview me for this blog.  And to everyone reading this blog, please don't ever, no matter what anyone else tells you, give up on your dreams.  If you have something you love to do--whether it's writing or knitting or collecting coins--just put your heart into it and do it.  

Monday, October 25, 2010

Book Review: Casting About by Terri DuLong



Casting About
Casting About by Terri DuLong
Publisher: Kensington
Publish Date: October 26, 2010
Paperback, 352 pages
Fiction, Women's Fiction, Southern Fiction, Cedar Key series #2





My Review:
Why I read this: I read Spinning Forward last year and loved it so I jumped at the chance to review Casting About this year.

How is the novel driven:  Character - it's what I refer to as "small-town fiction", similar to Jodi Thomas' Harmony, Texas series.  The town even has a life of it's own and the people in the town are great to see and get to know.  You feel like you are part of Cedar Key when you read these books.  The plot moves it along well, but I would say the focus is on the characters.

My thoughts:Well Ms. DuLong has done it again.  She has managed to suck me into life on Cedar Key so thoroughly that I didn't want to leave, in fact I want to go visit the real Cedar Key.  Casting About picks up with Monica, who is Sydney's daughter from Spinning Forward.  She is now running her mom's knitting shop and enjoying her 5-month-old marriage.  Of course something has to happen or there wouldn't be a book.  That something is her new husband Adam's 8-year-old daughter, Clarissa.  She is dropped into their life leaving Monica wondering if she has the nurturing inside her to be a mother or if she is just like her grandmother who gave her mother up for adoption.

Such a different angle for a book.  Imagine being a newlywed and not even sure you want to have kids.  Monica is use to Clarissa visiting but nothing prepares her for life with a younger girl.  As Monica begins to question her mothering ability, things begin to change slowly.  I really like how things happen in this book.  There is no poof and within the first few days and Monica is an excellent mother.  It's a learning process.  What Monica doesn't realize is it is a learning process for all mothers whether you are a natural mother to your children or a step-mother or adoptive mother.  And where she's extremely lucky is she's not alone, she has her friends and family in Cedar Key to help her every step of the way.

I loved watching Monica, Adam and Clarissa grow and change through this novel.  I loved seeing how the townspeople and family were again.  I loved the other undercurrents running through the book and most of all I loved the knitting.  I don't know how to knit but every I read one of these books I want to learn.  I actually bought stuff last year when I had surgery, but never quite got it.  Somehow I think it's time to get the knitting supplies back out and learn.

Casting About is a beautiful story of love, hardship and triumph.  It feels close enough to real life and I honestly felt like I was right there with Monica enduring the fears, trials, and happiness through the book.  Life is never easy but those moments when things go right really shine through and Ms. DuLong does a beautiful job showcasing the good and the bad and the wonderful small-town life of Cedar Key.  I can't wait to visit again and see what the inhabitants of Cedar Key are up to next.


My Rating: 4.5/5.0

About the Book:

In this beautifully crafted and uplifting novel, the author of the acclaimed Spinning Forward welcomes readers back to the lush Florida island of Cedar Key, where the vibrant shades of hibiscus and azaleas are the perfect backdrop to a colorful, quirky community. . .

In the four years since Monica Brooks moved to Cedar Key, she's found a home, a husband, and now a business to love. Taking over her mother's bustling knitting shop is a welcome challenge, but Monica's exciting plans are waylaid by unexpected news. Her husband's ex-wife has been deemed an unfit mother, and custody of their eight-year-old daughter, Clarissa, is to be transferred to Adam.

Going straight from honeymoon to motherhood--especially when she's unsure she wants children--leaves the normally even-keeled Monica doubting herself at every turn. Yet in a place like Cedar Key, nobody goes it alone. With help from friends and relatives, Monica, Clarissa, and Adam begin to forge a close-knit family of their own--one that will need to be strong enough to withstand all the surprises set to unravel. . .

About the Author:

You can read about Terri on her website here.

Website

FTC Information: I received this book from the author for review.  All opinions expressed are my own and they are my honest opinions, I am not compensated anything beyond receiving the book for review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.

Spooktacular Book Blog Giveaway Hop - October 25-31

Welcome to the Spooktacular Book Blog Giveaway Hop - I love participating in these - I always find new blogs and usually get new readers. I'm going to keep this simple. Fill out the Form, choose the books you would like to win and you are entered, no extra entries this time, but if you get a chance do tweet or let others know about all the great giveaways.  Check the linky at the bottom and visit other wonderful blogs and enter to win great books, swag and more!

First, these are open to US/Canada only, I'm low on funds at the moment.  Sorry international - next hop I'll try and do international.  Giveaway is open 12:01am 10/25 - 11:59pm 10/31.  So what am I giving away?

First a deliciously spooky book that is perfect for a cold night alone and though it is YA, don't let that put you off - this will thrill adults as well.
Solitary: A Novel (Solitary Tales Series)

Solitary by Travis Thrasher

Matched
ARC of Matched by Ally Condie (doesn't have this cool cover, sorry, but it's not out until the end of November so it's your chance to read this awesome book early)

Don't Look Back (Women of Justice Series #2)
Don't Look Back by Lynette Eason

Poisoned Kisses (Silhouette Nocturne)
Poisoned Kisses by Stephanie Draven

Dark Road to Darjeeling (Lady Julia Grey)
Dark Road to Darjeeling by Deanna Raybourn (ARC)

What Alice Knew: A Most Curious Tale of Henry James and Jack the Ripper
What Alice Knew by Paula Marantz Cohen (ARC)

Hothouse Flower: and the Nine Plants of Desire (Vintage Contemporaries)
Hot House Flower by Margo Berwin

That's it - a selection of 7 books.

If you are having trouble viewing the form, a link to it is here



What are you Reading Monday - October 25

Come post weekly and see what others are reading too just so you can add to your tbr - I always do! For more information see Sheila at One Persons Journey Through a World of Books and join in!

Books Completed Last Week 
Reading Now:
  • To the Nines by Janet Evanovich (audiobook in car)
  • Casting About by Terri DuLong (review)
  • Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton (audiobook - listen while walking)
Next:
  • Heart with Joy by Steve Cushman
  • The God Hater by Bill Myers
  • The Mullah's Storm by Thomas W. Young
  • The Unidentified by Rae Mariz
  • Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
  • Ascendent by Diana Peterfreund
  • Love Means Zero by Daisy Jordan
Reviews completed this week (books read before this week):
Other books still need to review:
  • Wings by Aprilynne Pike (library) 
  • The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong (mine)  
  • The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa de la Cruz
  • Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs (audiobook)
  • Matched by Ally Condie (review)
  • Break No Bones by Kathy Reichs (audiobook) 
  • Evermore by Alyson Noel (library)  
  • Spells by Aprylynne Pike (library) 
  • Candor by Pam Bachorz
  • The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan 
  • Tough Customer by Sandra Brown
  • Definitely Dead (audiobook)
  • Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich (audiobook)
  • Jenna and Jonah's Fauxmance by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin
  • Audrey, Wait by Robin Benway (library)
  • Burned by P.C. and Kristin Cast (audiobook)
Summary -

Good week - I got through my required review books for the week, I still have some to make up and a a full schedule coming up.  Look for lots of great interviews, guest posts and reviews as well as giveaways coming.

Best of the week:  Somewhere Along the Way by Jodi Thomas was my favorite, and Don't Look Back by Lynette Eason comes a close second.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Book Review: Don't Look Back by Lynette Eason

Don't Look Back (Women of Justice Series #2)
Don't Look Back by Lynette Eason
Publisher: Revell
Publish Date: October 1, 2010
Paperback, 327 pages
Romantic Suspense, Women of Justice Series, #2




My Review:
Why I read this:  I read Too Close to Home a several months ago (review here) and loved it so I jumped at the chance to read the second book in the series.

How is the novel driven:  Plot, the characters are important, but the suspense drives this.

My thoughts:  Wow, this was a suspenseful ride right from the start.  Jamie, the main character of Don't Look Back was introduced as Samantha's sister in the first book, Too Close to Home.  It is not necessary to read Too Close to Home before Don't Look Back, the backstory is handled well enough in Don't Look back.  If you haven't read Too Close to Home, I encourage you to read it though because it's a good book.

Don't look back is Jamie and Dakota's story, but a lot of the focus is on Jamie and the ordeal she went through and the one she is currently going through.  Dakota's past is hinted at through the book and both he and Jamie have well-developed characters.  I loved watching Jamie, grow, strengthen and learn to love through this book.  And Dakota is definitely swoon-worthy, he's strong and loving with a hint of a mysterious past.  Dakota is the local FBI guy that helps out the police force when they need him in Spartanburg.

The suspense is great.  I will confess I figured out pretty early on who the evil guy was, but it did not take anything away from the book.  I still wanted to know how the characters would figure it out and what the bad guy's motivations were.  That said, I was still dealt a surprise at the end, so Ms. Eason does a masterful job with the suspense element.

This is a Christian romantic suspense and Jamie is a strong Christian.   She often quotes scripture, but it's to get her through things not to make her seem high and mighty.  One is a scripture she quotes when she is thinking about revenge, so Jamie is not a goody-goody by far, she's just trying to improve herself.  She's very realistic and life-like and I really enjoyed her character.  The Christianity is not in your face, it's there and it's an element of the story, but it blends and makes the story even richer.

If you are looking for top-notch suspense with some romance blended in, then Don't Look Back is the book for you - it is a major thrill ride from start to finish.  Add in characters who feel like your friends and this book is just amazing.

My Rating: 4.75/5.0

About the Book:

One man lives to see her dead--the other is fighting to keep her alive. Twelve years ago, forensic anthropologist Jamie Cash survived a brutal kidnapping. After years of therapy, she has made a life for herself--though one that is haunted by memories of her terrifying past. She finally lets herself believe that she can have a close relationship with a man, when signs start appearing that point to one frightening fact--her attacker is back and ready to finish the job he started all those years ago.

Can she escape his grasp a second time? And will she ever be able to let down her guard enough to find true love?

Filled with heart-stopping suspense, gritty realism, and a touch of romance, Don't Look Back pulls you into its twists and turns to hold you there until the very last page.

Available October 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

About the Author:

Lynette Eason is the author of Too Close to Home and three other romantic suspense novels. She is a member of American Fiction Christian Writers and Romance Writers of America. A homeschooling mother of two, she has a master's degree in education from Converse College. She lives in South Carolina.


Her website
Her Blog
Facebook
Twitter


Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life.  They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet.

For more information, visit www.RevellBooks.com.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Book Review: Poisoned Kisses by Stephanie Draven


Poisoned Kisses (Silhouette Nocturne)

Poisoned Kisses by Stephanie Draven
Publisher: Harlequin
Publish Date: October 1, 2010
Paperback, 288 pages
Paranormal Romance (Mythology), Mythica series





My Review:
Why I read this: I was invited to be a part of the Poisoned Kisses blog tour and thought the book sounded very interesting.

How is the novel driven:  It's a romance at heart so the characters are very important, but there is action and intrigue in this one as well.  I would say it is very well-rounded with character development and plot development.

My thoughts: I had a slightly hard time getting into this book.  To be honest I did not get Kyra.  But then all of a sudden the book became one I couldn't put down.  The hard part was about the first 35 pages.  Then things started happening and I got a better glimpse of Kyra and very steamy hot Marco.  Kyra changed and her motives became more evident.  I learned more about Marco and why he does what he does as well.

After the first bit of set-up, the book really comes into it's own.  Weaving the mythology of Kyra's world into the real world of war was fascinating.  I loved getting the glimpse at different mythological entities.  It's a fascinating world and I haven't visited many like this in books.

The romance is steamy in this one.  The sparks fly between Kyra and Marco, but neither one can figure out what they are feeling or if the other one feels the same. This drives the book along with the plot line.  I liked watching their relationship develop and each character develop as well.  They were fascinating characters, both flawed, both hurting and both trying to find a purpose in life.

The plot is also exciting, war gods battling for Marco, Kyra battling for Marco and Marco battling himself.  As the plot neared it's climax I was on the edge of my seat.  Very exciting and different.

Two things - this one isn't for the faint of heart - violence and steamy sex abound, but if you don't mind those things then this book is a winner.  My only complaint, the ending was slightly rushed but I hope to see more of these characters in future books.

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

About the Book:

Daughter of the war god Ares, Kyra had been born into darkness—a darkness she'd vowed to annihilate. Just as she'd destroy the notorious Greek arms dealer Marco Kaisiris for feeding the bloodlust she despised. She'd use her nymph's carnal powers to seduce him, then slay him. But Kyra wasn't prepared for Marco's secret weapon.

For millennia Kyra had avoided mortal men, but she couldn't resist Marco's magnetism, his raw sexuality. Time and again his sculpted body took her to heights to which only the gods soared. That he was a shape-shifting hydra she could forgive, but not his one fatal flaw—his poisoned blood could kill her. Kyra had fallen for the only being who could destroy her…. Yet how could she spend eternity without him?

About the Author:

Stephanie Draven is currently a denizen of Baltimore, that city of ravens and purple night skies. She lives there with her favorite nocturnal creatures-three scheming cats and a deliciously wicked husband. And when she is not busy with dark domestic rituals, she writes her books.

Website
Facebook
Goodreads
Twitter

FTC Information: I received this book for a blog tour and review.  All opinions expressed are my own and they are my honest opinions, I am not compensated anything beyond receiving the book for review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.

Blog Tour and Interview: Stephanie Draven's Poisoned Kisses


Please join me today in welcoming author Stephanie Draven to My Reading Room.  I have her interview here now and I will have a review up of Poisoned Kisses later today.  Thank you so much Stephanie for agreeing to the interview.


How did you celebrate when you found out Poison Kisses would be published?
Actually, I was suffering from the stomach bug, so I actually toasted with shots of Pepto Bismol!

How would you describe Poison Kisses to others?
Neil Gaiman’s American Gods meets Love Story! Haha. More seriously, it’s about an ancient nymph who is struggling to find her way in the modern world, and falls in love with a war-forged hydra of a thousand faces. It’s a story about identity, and loss of it. About disguises. About war. And about rebelling against your father!

Where did the idea for Poison Kisses come from?
I liked the idea of a shapeshifting hero and heroine, two people who could wear disguises, but who must be themselves in order to find love. We all wear so many masks that it was a theme that resonated with me, so translating it into Greek mythology came naturally to me!

Did you plan this book out or do you just write and see where it took you?
This book was very carefully planned. I use a combination of the snowflake method and Karen Wisner’s First Draft in 30 Days. Admittedly, the final story almost never looks exactly like the outline because there are always problems that crop up that I hadn’t anticipated, but I knew where I was going when I wrote the story!

Do you get time to read? What are your favorite types of books to read?
These days I only have time to read when I’m on my elliptical trainer, and since I’m incapable of holding a book still, I use my electronic reader. I love my Nook because it allows me to blow up the text really large and keeps me occupied while working out. Of course, a lot of great books go unread by me because they are slower, more contemplative books that can’t quite cut through the pain of exercise. But if it’s a book that can pass that test, it’s great! I have very ecclectic tastes, but I love historical fiction, and right now I’m reading Susan Fraser King’s LADY MACBETH which is just about the most fabulous thing ever written.

What is your favorite room in your house?
I’m actually quite fond of my kitchen, both because it’s where I’ve made many delicious things, but also because it adjoins to a lovely sun room that overlooks the woods. We painted it a butter yellow, and I like to sit there sometimes and watch the deer and bunnies that sometimes visit the backyard.

What is your favorite spot to read in?
Bed, actually. But since I don’t sleep much lately...

What is your favorite snack food?
Oh, my. Delicious food of all kinds is a vice for me, but I’m going to go with ice cream because it’s got it all. And I love it filled with chocolate and nuts and every kind of thing you can imagine.

What is your favorite season?
I love every season except winter. I loathe winter. The holidays are all that get me through winter. This may be because I grew up in New York, went to college in Massachusetts, and law school in Chicago. I’ve seen more than my fair share of snow. In fact, if I never saw snow again, it would be too soon!

Do you have a schedule for writing each day or do you just do it when you can?
For the past nine months I’ve been writing about 10-14 days a week, every day of the week, with only rare divergences from that schedule. This is so that I could meet a deadline for the sequel to my big historical, LILY OF THE NILE: A Novel of Cleopatra’s Daughter. This isn’t really a healthy or sustainable schedule, so I’m not sure what a normal schedule for me would be like!

Completely random question for you:  Since you live in Baltimore, have  you ever watched any of the TV series Homicide?  Just curious - it’s one of my favorite all-time tv shows and I loved it’s setting and the sites around Baltimore (and I want to visit one day).
I’m afraid I never saw Homicide, but one of my law school friends was an extra in that series. I’m a huge fan of the HBO series, The Wire. Baltimore is called Charm City, though, because even though it has its scary parts, it’s really very...well...charming. So don’t let the television scare you away!

Do you have a new book in the works?
Always! I have three books and two novellas coming out in 2011, so things are a whirlwind. Some time in February, SIREN SONG, another installment in the Mythica series, will be available. At the end of the year, I’ll have a paranormal romance about a modern day minotaur and the sphinx he falls in love with. As my alter-ego, I’ll be promoting LILY OF THE NILE and its sequel as well. After that, there is likely to be a third book in the Nile trilogy and I’m playing with two new paranormal ideas as well, including one based on Arthurian legend, and another one based on witchcraft, but time will tell. I never have enough time to write all the ideas I come up with.

Anything else you would like to say?
Yes, I’d like to thank you for having me, and also recommend that aspiring young writers check out a literary award that I’m sponsoring and spread the word because it’s a great opportunity!





About the Book
Daughter of the war god Ares, Kyra had been born into darkness—a darkness she'd vowed to annihilate. Just as she'd destroy the notorious Greek arms dealer Marco Kaisiris for feeding the bloodlust she despised. She'd use her nymph's carnal powers to seduce him, then slay him. But Kyra wasn't prepared for Marco's secret weapon.

For millennia Kyra had avoided mortal men, but she couldn't resist Marco's magnetism, his raw sexuality. Time and again his sculpted body took her to heights to which only the gods soared. That he was a shape-shifting hydra she could forgive, but not his one fatal flaw—his poisoned blood could kill her. Kyra had fallen for the only being who could destroy her…. Yet how could she spend eternity without him?




About The Author:

Stephanie Draven is currently a denizen of Baltimore, that city of ravens and purple night skies. She lives there with her favorite nocturnal creatures–three scheming cats and a deliciously wicked husband. And when she is not busy with dark domestic rituals, she writes her books.

Stephanie has always been a storyteller. In elementary school, she channeled Scheherazade, weaving a series of stories to charm children into sitting with her each day at the lunch table. When she was a little older, Stephanie scared all the girls at her sleepovers with ghost stories.

She should have known she was born to hold an audience in her thrall, but Stephanie resisted her writerly urges and graduated from college with a B.A. in Government. Then she went to Law School, where she learned how to convincingly tell the tallest tales of all!

A longtime lover of ancient lore, Stephanie enjoys re-imagining myths for the modern age. She doesn’t believe that true love is ever simple or without struggle so her work tends to explore the sacred within the profane, the light under the loss and the virtue hidden in vice. She counts it amongst her greatest pleasures when, from her books, her readers learn something new about the world or about themselves. Stephanie also writes historical fiction as Stephanie Dray and has a series of forthcoming novels from Berkley Books featuring Cleopatra’s daughter.



Blog Tour Link: http://stephaniedraven.com/poisoned-kisses-blog-tour/

    9/9/2010 - http://www.cafeofdreamsbookreviews.com - Cafe of Dreams
    9/10/2010 - http://mindingspot.blogspot.com - Minding Spot
    9/11/2010 - http://longlivechicklit.wordpress.com - Long Live the Lit
    9/12/2010 - http://www.masoncanyon.blogspot.com - Thoughts in Progress
    9/14/2010 - http://ajourneyofbooks.halfzero.net - A Journey of Books
    9/15/2010 - http://mybookaddictionandmore.wordpress.com - My Book Addiction and More!
    9/16/2010 - http://cheekyreads.blogspot.com - Cheeky Reads
    9/17/2010 - http://www.accessromance.com/blog/ - Access Romance
    9/17/2010 - http://www.romancejunkies.com - Romance Junkies
    9/18/2010 - http://www.cherrymischievous.com - Cherry Mischievous
    9/19/2010 - http://cherylsbooknook.blogspot.com - Cheryl's Book Nook
    9/20/2010 - http://dearauthor.com - Dear Author
    9/21/2010 - http://fallingofftheshelf.blogspot.com - Falling Off The Shelf
    9/23/2010 - http://myfoolishwisdom.blogspot.com - Book Junkie
    9/24/2010 - http://www.eclecticbooklover.com - The Eclectic Book Lover
    9/27/2010 - http://www.paranormalromanceblog.com - Paranormal Romance Blog
    9/28/2010 - http://myoverstuffedbookshelf.blogspot.com - My Overstuffed Bookshelf
    9/29/2010 - http://bittenbybooks.com - Bitten By Books
    9/30/2010 - http://jmomfinds.amoores.com- Found Not Lost
    10/1/2010 - http://romancedivas.com - Romance Divas
    10/2/2010 - http://BecksBookPicks.blogspot.com - Beck's Book Picks
    10/4/2010 - http://patricias-vampire-notes.blogspot.com - Patricia's Vampire Notes
    10/5/2010 - http://annavivian.blogspot.com - Anna's Book Blog
    10/6/2010 - http://www.dirtysexybooks.com - Dirty Sexy Books
    10/6/2010 - http://dreyslibrary.blogspot.com - Drey's Library
    10/7/2010 - http://bridget3420.blogspot.com - Readaholic
    10/7/2010 - http://www.vauxhallvixens.blogspot.com - Vauxhall Vixens
    10/8/2010 - http://www.bookwenches.com - Book Wenches
    10/12/2010 - http://www.longandshortreviews.com - Long and Short Reviews
    10/13/2010 - http://dreyslibrary.blogspot.com - Drey's Library   
    10/13/2010 - http://coffeetimeromance.com/CoffeeThoughts - Coffee Time Romance &  More
    10/16/2010 - http://www.pinkheartsociety.blogspot.com - Pink Heart Society
    10/17/2010 - http://www.romancingthepage.com - Romancing The Page
    10/23/2010 - http://myreadingroom-crystal.blogspot.com - My Reading Room
    10/27/2010 - http://dreyslibrary.blogspot.com - Drey's Library