Friday, July 31, 2009

Win Arrival: To Beguile A Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt

To Beguile a Beast (Book 3 in The Legend of Four Soldiers series) by Elizabeth Hoyt

I won this from Meghan at her Medieval Bookworm Blog, go and check it out. Thank you so much Meghan for hosting this giveaway - I am really looking forward to reading this.

From the back cover:


Reclusive Sir Alistair Munroe has hidden in his castle ever since returning from the Colonies, scarred inside and out. But when a mysterious beauty arrives at his door, the passions he's kept suppressed for years begin to awaken.


Running from past mistakes has taken legendary beauty Helen Fitzwilliam from the luxury of the ton to a crumbling Scottish castle . . . and a job as a housekeeper. Yet Helen is determined to start a new life and she won't let dust-or a beast of a man-scare her away.


Beneath Helen's beautiful façade, Alistair finds a courageous and sensual woman. A woman who doesn't back away from his surliness-or his scars. But just as he begins to believe in true love, Helen's secret past threatens to tear them apart. Now both Beast and Beauty must fight for the one thing neither believed they could ever find-a happy ever after.

Review Copy Arrival: Italian for Beginners by Kristin Harmel

Italian for Beginners by Kristin Harmel

I received this from Miriam Parker at Hachette Books.

Publisher: 5 Spot
Publish Date: August 13, 2009
Pages: 400


Thirty-four-year-old Manhattan accountant Cat Connelly has always lived life on the safe side. But after her little sister gets married, Cat wonders if she has condemned herself to a life of boredom by playing by the rules. She decides to take a chance for once, accepting an invitation to spend a month with an old flame in Italy. But her reunion with the slick and gorgeous Francesco is short-lived, and she finds herself suddenly alone in Rome. Now, she must see if she has the courage to live outside the lines for the first time - and to face a past she never understood. It will take an unexpected friendship with a fiery Italian waitress, a whirlwind Vespa tour of the Eternal City with a handsome stranger, and a surprise encounter with an old acquaintance to show Cat that life doesn't always work out the way you expect, but sometimes you have to have fall in order to fly.
I have been enjoying the books I have been reading from the 5 Spot imprint and I am really looking forward to this one.

Book Review and Giveaway: Daniel X Watch the Skies by James Patterson and Ned Rust

Daniel X Watch the Skies by James Patterson and Ned Rust



All's quiet in the small town of Holliswood, the television sets a-glow in every home. But not all is as perfect as it seems.

A terrifying outlaw has just arrived in town, with the goal of throwing it into chaos--and filming the pandemonium for the fellas back home.

Only one person can stop him and his thugs from destroying the city and everyone living there. Daniel X assembles an all-star team of his own creation, but not even he could imagine the enormity of this made-for-TV-villain's powers.

I loved the first Daniel X book and I was eagerly awaiting the newest one. So I was thrilled to receive this as a review copy from Miriam Parker at Hachette books.

The second installment doesn't disappoint, it has Daniel back facing 2 new nemesis aliens from The List. I love his secondary characters who are from his imagination. His interaction with them is fascinating. This book also brings in interaction with a new real character and possible love interest. This added a new dimension to the book.

The background happenings and the reason Daniel is after 2 aliens on the list makes and interesting story line and it catches your attention and you don't want to put the book down.

It's a quick, fun read and I will be eagerly awaiting the next installment. These books are rocket science, they really don't require much thought, just time to read for genuine enjoyment.

Binding: Hardcover
On-sale Date: July 27, 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pages: 288

Miriam Parker at Hachette books has kindly offered to send one of my readers a copy of the newest Daniel X book. The contest will end on August 15, 2009. US and Canada Entrants only please. Please enter by:

  1. Commenting on my blog, make sure I have a way to contact you. (+1)
  2. Become a blog follower or let me know if you are already a follower (+1)
  3. Tell me if you have read the first Daniel X book and whether you liked it or not (+1)
  4. Tweet about this review and giveaway, use @cfulcher in the tweet so I can find it (+1)
  5. Follow me on Twitter (or let me know if you are a current follower) (+1)
  6. Blog about this contest and let me know the link (sidebar or post is fine) (+1)
So there you go - 6 ways to get an entry into this contest. You can leave them in separate posts or one post, it doesn't matter, I will make sure you get your entries, just make sure to let me know what you do.

Friday Finds - July 31

Friday Finds is hosted over on Should Be Reading. It's all about what great books you have heard about/discovered in the past week. Here is my entry, and head over to the Should Be Reading Blog to read others and find books to add to your TBR pile!

I've been catching up on blogs this week some and I found the first entry at The Misadventures of Super Librarian. I love Wendy's blog. The book I found she blogged about on July 8th, which is Shatter by Michael Robotham. This one looks really good.

In Michael Robotham’s latest thriller, psychologist Joe O’Loughlin—the appealing hero of Suspect—tries to prevent a suicide and finds himself locked in a deadly duel with a very clever killer.

Joe O'Loughlin is on familiar territory—standing on a bridge high above a flooded gorge, trying to stop a distraught woman from jumping. She is naked, wearing only high-heel shoes, sobbing into a cell phone. Suddenly, she turns to him and whispers, “You don’t understand,” and lets go. Joe is shattered by the suicide and haunted by his failure to save the woman, until her teenage daughter finds him and reveals that her mother would never have committed suicide—not like that. She was terrified of heights. Compelled to investigate, Joe is soon obsessed with discovering who was on the other end of the phone. What could have driven her to commit such a desperate act? Whose voice? What evil?

Having devoted his career to repairing damaged minds, Joe must now confront an adversary who tears them apart: a man who searches for the cracks in a person’s psyche and claws his fingers inside, destroying what makes them whole.

With pitch-perfect dialogue, believable characters, and intriguingly unpredictable plot twists, Shatter is guaranteed to keep even the most avid thriller readers riveted long into the night.
Another one I found at Wendy's blog and it's all over twitter too is Tessa Dare's Goddess of the Hunt.

In this lush and seductive novel, exciting new author Tessa Dare takes desire to brazen heights.

Ever the bold adventuress, Lucy Waltham has decided to go hunting for a husband. But first she needs some target practice. So she turns to her brother’s best friend, Jeremy Trescott, the Earl of Kendall, to hone her seductive wiles on him before setting her sights on another man. But her practice kisses spark a smoldering passion–one that could send all her plans up in smoke.

Jeremy has an influential title, a vast fortune, and a painful past full of long-buried secrets. He keeps a safe distance from his own emotions, but to distract Lucy from her reckless scheming, he must give his passions free rein. Their sensual battle of wills is as maddening as it is delicious, but the longer he succeeds in managing the headstrong temptress, the closer Jeremy comes to losing control. When scandal breaks, can he bring himself to abandon Lucy to her ruin? Or will he risk his heart and claim her for his own?

That's it for this week. I need to do some more blog catch up. So what did you find this week?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

ARC Arrival: hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

I received this from Miriam Parker at Hachette Books.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publish Date: October 13, 2009
Pages: 400

From the book cover:

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.

With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.
I am loving young adult novels at the moment and this one sounds really good. I'll be giving my ARC away after I read it, so be on the lookout for that.

Review and Giveaway - Hollywood is Like High School with Money by Zoey Dean

Hollywood is Like High School With Money

rating: 4.5/5.0

From the back of the arc:
Twenty-four-year old Taylor Henning has just landed her dream job as an assistant at a major movie studio. But when her catty coworkers trick her into almost getting fired, she realizes that the old saying "Hollywood is like school with money" just may be true. The thing is, Taylor wasn't exactly a social butterfly in high school-how is she supposed to do any better the second time around?

That's when she meets her boss's popular sixteen-year-old daughter Quinn, and has an epiphany: maybe this teenager can teach her how to use her queen bee tactics to succeed in the Hollywood popularity contest. Quinn comes up with a plan to teach Taylor one lesson a week-everything from "Fake it 'til you make it" to "It's *never* your fault"--and soon Taylor finds herself winning the war against rival assistant Kylie. Until, that is, she's directed to steal Kylie's boyfriend, and something happens that's not in the game plan: Taylor falls for the guy. Now she must do the impossible-- harness her inner mean girl while staying true to herself.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was my first book by Zoey Dean and I will look to her backlist to read some more. She really seems to have her pulse on the younger female trying to make her way in the world (and this is not truly exclusive to the 20-something female - it's true for all females).

From the beginning I liked Taylor - I could identify with her. Wanting to succeed at what she was doing, yet she's not truly a backstabber or an extreme go-getter. However in Hollywood, she has to reinvent herself to get ahead unlike how she was in high school. Enter her boss' daughter who gives her lessons on how to get ahead. Also her co-worker becomes her nemesis and she tries to do all she can to sabotage her, even accidentally falling for her boyfriend.

Even though Taylor begins to change, her true self still shines through. It's a novel about growth and learning to be yourself and still get ahead. There are twists and turns, some laughs and some times I needed a tissue. It's a real story, yet it lets you getaway for awhile. You can be Taylor and feel all her emotions, and that is something that shows a great story.

Check it out - you won't be disappointed.

Binding: Paperback
On-sale Date: July 23, 2009
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 288

I have one copy of the book to giveaway thanks to Miriam Parker. I will open the contest today through August 15. Please enter by:

  1. Commenting on my blog, make sure I have a way to contact you. (+1)
  2. Become a blog follower or let me know if you are already a follower (+1)
  3. Tell me any other Zoey Dean books you have read and enjoyed (+1)
  4. Tweet about this review and giveaway, use @cfulcher in the tweet so I can find it (+1)
  5. Follow me on Twitter (or let me know if you are a current follower) (+1)
  6. Blog about this contest and let me know the link (sidebar or post is fine) (+1)
So there you go - 6 ways to get an entry into this contest. You can leave them in separate posts or one post, it doesn't matter, I will make sure you get your entries, just make sure to let me know what you do.''

Other reviews of Hollywood is Like High School With Money:

Kristi at Books and Needlepoint
Poplin's Lair
Bellas Novella
A Novel Menagerie
The Review Broads
Drey's Library
In Bed With Books
Reading is My Superpower
Merry Weather
Books, Movies and Chinese Food

ARC Arrival: I Can See You by Karen Rose

I Can See You by Karen Rose

I received this from Miriam Parker at Hachette Books.

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publish Date: August 5, 2009
Pages: 496

From the ARC:

New York Times bestselling author Karen Rose delivers her latest pulse-pounding suspense novel, where the line between the virtual world and everyday reality blurs when it comes to murder.

Eve Wilson's face was once scarred by a vicious assault. Terrified and ashamed, she escaped to the online realm, where she could choose the face she allowed people to see. Years later, her outer scars faded and inner scars buried, Eve has fought her way back to the real world and is determined to help others do the same. Now a graduate student moonlighting as a bartender, Eve researches the addictive powers of online communities. When her test subjects begin turning up dead as a result of apparent suicides, she doesn't know where to turn.

Homicide detective Noah Webster is one of the few people who believe the victims are connected murders. Eve becomes Noah's online guide and realizes that the handsome detective may have secret scars as painful as her own. As Eve and Noah chase a killer who is always one step ahead of them, together they try to overcome the tragedies of their pasts and learn to trust again, but they soon discover that danger is much closer than they think.
I love Karen Rose so I am looking forward to reading this. Romantic Suspense is one of my absolute favorite things to read and Karen Rose is a master at it.

Review Copy Arrival: Alibi by Teri Woods

Alibi by Teri Woods

I received this from Miriam Parker at Hachette Books.

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publish Date: August 6, 2009
Pages: 272

From the book cover:
Two men think they've found the perfect opportunity--a chance to rob the stash house of Simon Shuller, one of Philadelphia's biggest drug lords. But their plans are spoiled when one of Shuller's men catches them as they break into the stash house. Temperatures flare as the men capture Shuller's worker, Poncho, and force him to show them the goods. What they didn't expect was for Poncho's partner to be armed and very dangerous. An altercation breaks out and when the smoke clears, Nard, Poncho's accomplice, is the only one left standing. Thinking quickly, Nard cleans shop and makes his escape, but not before being spotted by a few neighbors. Not wanting to kill anyone else, he makes a mad dash for the streets but wonders if the witnesses will give up his identity. What he needs now is a plausible alibi. If he doesn't come up with one fast, it could mean life in prison, or death on the streets.

Daisy Fothergill needs money--fast. Life as a stripper and barmaid isn't paying the bills, so when her boyfriend offers her cash to provide an alibi for his friend, Daisy is more than happy to oblige. Once Daisy realizes she's aiding and abetting a cold-blooded killer--and that the FBI is on to her--she decides to bolt...from both Nard and the government agents. But someone is watching Daisy, and her time is about to run out.
About the Author: Teri Woods is a native of Philadelphia. She was a legal secretary/paralegal for eight years ina Philadelphia law firm. Teri lives in new Jersey with her two children. She is hard at work on her next novel.

This will be my first book by Ms. Woods and I am looking forward to reading it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Win Arrival: My Forbidden Desire by Carolyn Jewel

My Forbidden Desire by Carolyn Jewel

I won this from Trin at her Bloody Bad Blog, go and check it out. Thank you so much Trin for hosting this giveaway and for the little extra that you sent - I am really looking forward to reading this.

From the back cover:


Alexandrine Marit is a witch in mortal danger. An evil mage craves the powerful, mysterious talisman that supplies her magic, and the only person who can keep her safe is a dark and dangerous fiend called Xia. With his fierce animosity toward witches, he's hardly the ideal bodyguard. Yet as days turn into nights, she can't deny the white-hot passion between them.


Xia hates witches. They enslave and mercilessly kill his kind. But he's been ordered to protect Alexandrine, who, to his surprise, has a spirit he admires and a body he longs to possess. With the mage and his henchmen closing in, Alexandrine and her protector must trust the passion that can unite them...or risk losing everything to the enemies who can destroy them both.

Review Copy Arrival: Alex Cross's Trial by James Patterson and Richard Dilallo

In an effort to cut down on the length of my Mailbox Monday Posts I have decided to do what Kristi at Books and Needlepoint does and report in during the week as I receive books. So thanks Kristi for the great idea.

So my first one is:

Alex Cross's Trial by James Patterson and Richard Dilallo

I received this from Miriam Parker at Hachette Books.

Publisher: Little, Brown
Publish Date: August 24, 2009
Pages: 400

From the book cover:

From his grandmother, Alex Cross has heard the story of his great uncle Abraham and his struggles for survival in the era of the Ku Klux Klan. Now, Alex passes the family tale along to his own children in a novel he's written-a novel called Trial.

As a lawyer in turn-of-the-century Washington D.C., Ben Corbett represents the toughest cases. Fighting against oppression and racism, he risks his family and his life in the process. When President Roosevelt asks Ben to return to his home town to investigate rumors of the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan there, he cannot refuse.

When he arrives in Eudora, Mississippi, Ben meets the wise Abraham Cross and his beautiful daughter, Moody. Ben enlists their help, and the two Crosses introduce him to the hidden side of the idyllic Southern town. Lynchings have become commonplace and residents of the town's black quarter live in constant fear. Ben aims to break the reign of terror--but the truth of who is really behind it could break his heart. Written in the fearless voice of Detective Alex Cross, Alex Cross's Trial is a gripping story of murder, love, and, above all, bravery.
I'm very excited to read this as I love the Alex Cross series, have since the beginning. Look for a review and a giveaway later in August.

Book Review and Giveaway: Easy on the Eyes by Jane Porter

Easy on the Eyes by Jane Porter

rating: 5.0/5.0

At 38, Tiana Tomlinson has made it. America adores her as one of the anchors of America Tonight, a top-rated nightly entertainment and news program. But even with the trappings that come with her elite lifestyle, she feels empty. Tina desperately misses her late husband Keith, who died several years before. And in a business that thrives on youth, Tina is getting the message that her age is starting to show and certain measures must be taken if she wants to remain in the spotlight. It doesn't help that at every turn she has to deal with her adversary--the devilishly handsome, plastic surgeon to the stars, Michael Sullivan. But a trip away from the Hollywood madness has consequences that could affect the rest of her life.

Okay - I obviously gave this book a 5.0/5.0 rating so you know I love it. I just really enjoyed every moment of this book.

First it applies to the time of life I am at - Tiana is 38, I am 35. Now, that doesn't mean younger or older women shouldn't read this book, because I personally feel that even in it's fictional writing, there is something for every woman to take away from this book.

Tiana is a TV personality, America's Sweetheart, but she's starting to age and the ratings are starting to fall for the TV show she hosts. Plastic surgery is mentioned, but Tiana balks at that. As things progress and a co-host is possibly brought into the picture, Tiana starts to take stock of her life. She finds new challenges and finds herself in the process. Add in a sexy and annoying hunk and the sparks fly in the romance department too, but not immediately.

This book was hard to put down. I loved Tiana, she had insecurities, but she was strong. She didn't know where she was going but she found her way. Add in some twists and turns and this is a book you won't likely forget anytime soon.

Binding: Paperback
On-sale Date: July 22, 2009
Publisher: 5 Spot
Pages: 352

I will be giving one copy of Easy on the Eyes by Jane Porter away courtesy of Miriam Parker at Hachette Publishing. The contest will be open through August 15th. Please enter by:

  1. Commenting on my blog, make sure I have a way to contact you. (+1)
  2. Become a blog follower or let me know if you are already a follower (+1)
  3. Tell me any other Jane Porter books you have read and enjoyed (+1)
  4. Tweet about this review and giveaway, use @cfulcher in the tweet so I can find it (+1)
  5. Follow me on Twitter (or let me know if you are a current follower) (+1)
  6. Blog about this contest and let me know the link (sidebar or post is fine) (+1)
So there you go - 6 ways to get an entry into this contest. You can leave them in separate posts or one post, it doesn't matter, I will make sure you get your entries, just make sure to let me know what you do.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mailbox Monday - July 27th

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. To see this weeks list of participants go here.

ARC/Review Copies of:

Only in New York Darling by Virginie Sommet
- I received this pdf from the author and it looks like a good read
Edgier than the Lonely Planet, hipper than the Village Voice, more intellectual than the New York Times... I've found my Bible to carry me through the funkiest city on the planet! A trippy "logbook" written by a French girl from Normandy landing in Manhattan and slowly making it on her own as an uderground artist, this chronicle plunged me into the maze of New York City's daily life, its pleasures, risks, hassles, encounters and wonders. The language is incomparable, the narration fluid, the tone incisive, at times hilarious, and at times intimate and moving. Reflection of the New Yorkers'psychology, the necessary melting pot of cultures, and the virtues of immigration. The question of identity is featured at he heart of the rhetoric developped. It is New York that possesses us, never the opposite! The writer, she knows it by heart! Bravo! Catherine Vachon

The Lie by Fredrica Wagman - received from FSB Associates - published in April 2009

Coming of age in 1940s and 1950s America, Ramona Smollens takes her cues about female sexuality from Hollywood movie stars. None is more voluptuous than Rita Hayworth, the redhead who knows how to please a man and becomes a volcano of passion at her lover's touch, whose image inspired American flyers on their missions in World War II and even graced the first atomic bomb tested at the Bikini atoll. Ramona marries young and escapes her mother's house shortly after the death of her father. She takes with her a dark family secret, the sort of secret one simply did not talk about and that would stalk her as she matured into her role as wife and mother, remained a devoted daughter to her aging mother, and secretly harbored an obsession with the iconic Hayworth.
The fictional story Wagman tells of one woman's struggle with the conventions of her day is a bold literary achievement. Underpinning it all is the sad, unspoken truth of the real-life, flesh-and-blood Hayworth, the woman whose father sexually abused her. "Men go to bed with Gilda," She used to say, "but wake up with me." During Hayworth's lifetime, the public had no understanding of the depth of mean, and pain, behind Hayworth's seemingly self-effacing words. To Ramona, and millions of women like her, Hayworth's on-screen persona seemed the ideal, but was in fact "the lie." With this novel, Wagman realizes Kafkas famous dictum that "a book must be the axe that breaks the frozen sea within us."
Sweet Mary by Liz Balmaseda - From Atria books - out on July 14, 2009

Dulce Maria "Mary" Guevara is a woman with nothing left to lose. Wrongly accused of being a cocaine queen, she has lost her job, her reputation, and -- worst of all -- custody of her son. Even after the charges are dropped, suspicion lingers. Desperate to get it all back, she takes what she considers the only path open to her: She goes on a hunt for the real drug queen. Unfortunately, the one person she believes can help her is the last person she wants to see again: Joe Pratts, her ex-fiancé, a man whose connections to the drug world once ended their relationship.

Trying not to fall for Joe again is just the beginning of Mary's challenges, however. Her search leads her through the most deceiving of jungles: suburbia. There, she comes face-to-face with disturbing realities that challenge everything she thinks she knows about her formerly tranquil life. Mary's final dilemma hits closer to home than she ever imagined.

Sweet Mary is a gripping, heartrending story with a noir soul and plenty of surprising twists -- an assured debut from a writer with tremendous experience and talent.

Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner - from Simon and Schuster - published July 14, 2009
Addie Downs and Valerie Adler will be best friends forever. That's what Addie believes after Valerie moves across the street when they're both nine years old. But in the wake of betrayal during their teenage years, Val is swept into the popular crowd, while mousy, sullen Addie becomes her school's scapegoat.

Flash-forward fifteen years. Valerie Adler has found a measure of fame and fortune working as the weathergirl at the local TV station. Addie Downs lives alone in her parents' house in their small hometown of Pleasant Ridge, Illinois, caring for a troubled brother and trying to meet Prince Charming on the Internet. She's just returned from Bad Date #6 when she opens her door to find her long-gone best friend standing there, a terrified look on her face and blood on the sleeve of her coat. "Something horrible has happened," Val tells Addie, "and you're the only one who can help."

Best Friends Forever is a grand, hilarious, edge-of-your-seat adventure; a story about betrayal and loyalty, family history and small-town secrets. It's about living through tragedy, finding love where you least expect it, and the ties that keep best friends together.

Mercury in Retrograde by Paula Froelich - from Simon and Schuster - published June 2, 2009

Penelope Mercury, an intrepid reporter at the New York Telegraph, has pounded the pavement for five years from city borough to borough, carrying out her boss's eccentric orders to break stories that seem inconsequential to everyone but him. Finally, she is inches away from being promoted to her dream job -- covering courtroom drama for the paper -- but after one spectacularly disastrous day, she is fired instead.

Lena "Lipstick Carcrash" Lipp encrass has a pretty fabulous life, even by a socialite's standards, as a top editor at the high fashion magazine Y. Long lunches with her girlfriends and afternoons spent shopping at Bergdorf's are all in a day's work. But when Lena's always indulgent parents abruptly cut off her cash flow and kick her out of her beloved West Village duplex for refusing to work for the family business, she is forced to confront the reality of what it takes to pay the bills.

Dana Gluck, a workaholic lawyer, had been married for two years to a man who was perfect on paper but increasingly critical in reality. She hoped that her dreams of motherhood would be fulfilled soon, which surely would also fix their marriage problems. Instead, her husband leaves her for an exchange student/model who, to make matters worse, promptly gets pregnant.

When fate conspires to have these three very different women move into the same SoHo apartment building, they soon discover that having their carefully planned lives fall to pieces might be the best thing that could have ever happened to them.

Wait Until Twilight by Sang Pak - from Harper Collins - this one the author contacted me about - It will be published 8/4/2009 - a little bit about:

A hauntingly strange and powerfully affecting debut novel that heralds the arrival of a unique and captivating literary voice, Sang Pak's Wait Until Twilight is a coming-of-age story that explores the complex darkness infecting a damaged psyche in a small Southern town.

Not long after his own mother's death, sixteen-year-old Samuel discovers a set of deformed triplets hidden behind closed doors in his sleepy Georgia community. The babies—whose shut-in mother believes they were immaculately conceived and whose menacing brother is a constant threat—take control of Samuel's every waking and sleeping thought. His only escape, he realizes, will be to save the monster children. But to do so, he must rein in his darkest impulses as he undergoes a profound transformation from motherless boy to self-defined man—because sometimes the most terrible monsters are those that live inside us all.

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood - from Nan E. Talese - it's due for publication on 9/22/2009
The long-awaited new novel from Margaret Atwood. The Year of the Flood is a dystopic masterpiece and a testament to her visionary power.

The times and species have been changing at a rapid rate, and the social compact is wearing as thin as environmental stability. Adam One, the kindly leader of the God's Gardeners--a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, as well as the preservation of all plant and animal life--has long predicted a natural disaster that will alter Earth as we know it. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women have survived: Ren, a young trapeze dancer locked inside the high-end sex club Scales and Tails, and Toby, a God's Gardener barricaded inside a luxurious spa where many of the treatments are edible.

Have others survived? Ren's bioartist friend Amanda? Zeb, her eco-fighter stepfather? Her onetime lover, Jimmy? Or the murderous Painballers, survivors of the mutual-elimination Painball prison? Not to mention the shadowy, corrupt policing force of the ruling powers...

Meanwhile, gene-spliced life forms are proliferating: the lion/lamb blends, the Mo'hair sheep with human hair, the pigs with human brain tissue. As Adam One and his intrepid hemp-clad band make their way through this strange new world, Ren and Toby will have to decide on their next move. They can't stay locked away...

By turns dark, tender, violent, thoughtful, and uneasily hilarious, The Year of the Flood is Atwood at her most brilliant and inventive.

An Artist in Treason The Extraordinary Life of General James Wilkinson by Andro Linklater - published October 13, 2009 - received from the publisher

Patriot, traitor, general, spy: James Wilkinson was a consummate contradiction. Brilliant and precocious, at age twenty he was both the youngest general in the revolutionary Continental Army, and privy to the Conway cabal to oust Washington from command. He was Benedict Arnold’s aide, but the first to reveal Arnold’s infamous treachery. By thirty-eight, he was the senior general in the United States army—and had turned traitor himself.

Wilkinson’s audacious career as Agent 13 in the Spanish secret service while in command of American forces is all the more remarkable because it was anything but hidden. Though he betrayed America’s strategic secrets, sought to keep the new country from expanding beyond the Mississippi, and almost delivered Lewis and Clark’s expedition into Spanish hands, four presidents—Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison—turned a blind eye to his treachery. They gambled that Wilkinson—by turns charming and ruthless—would never betray the army itself and use it to overthrow our nascent democracy—a fate every other democracy in the Western hemisphere endured. The crucial test came in 1806, when at the last minute Wilkinson turned the army against Aaron Burr and foiled his conspiracy to break up the Union.

A superb writer and superlative storyteller, Andro Linklater captures with brio Wilkinson’s charismatic ability to live a double life in public view. His saga shows, more clearly than any other, how fragile the young republic was and how its strength grew from the risks its leaders faced and the challenges they had to overcome.

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams - I have been dying to read this and it's finally here!

Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated polygamous community without questioning her father’s three wives and her twenty brothers and sisters. Or at least without questioning them much—if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her. But when the Prophet decrees that Kyra must marry her 60-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family.
What a wonderful week - now to get busy reading!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

2009/2010 Stephanie Plum Challenge

Ahhh - another challenge - I am such a sucker for challenges. This time it's the Stephanie Plum challenge hosted at J. Kaye's Book Blog.

Essentially we list and keep up with the Stephanie Plum books we read between now (7/23/09) and December 31, 2010. I'm in on this one. More details can be found in J. Kaye's blog post.

So here's what I plan on reading:

1. Seven Up (2001) - finished 8/09
2. Hard Eight (2002)
3. To the Nines (2003)
4. Ten Big Ones (2004)
5. Eleven on Top (2005)
6. Twelve Sharp (2006)
7. Lean Mean Thirteen (2007)
8. Fearless Fourteen (2008)
9. Finger Lickin' Fifteen (2009)

Stephanie Plum Between-the-Numbers Novels

Visions of Sugar Plums (2002)
Plum Lovin' (2007)
Plum Lucky (2008)
Plum Spooky (2009)

I'm excited thinking about catching up on this series. So excited I think I will go and start Seven Up which I currently have from the library.

I will denote in this post as I finish the books and post reviews too.

Thanks J. Kaye for hosting this challenge!

Review and Giveaway - 0 to 60 by Susan Slater

0 to 60 by Susan Slater

rating: 4.5/5.0

From Goodreads:

O TO 60 is Susan Slater s debut women s fiction novel with that all too true-to-life story of a woman dumped. Meet Shelly Sinclair, matriarch of the quintessential American family. Shelly s life is perfect one most women would envy a 35 year marriage to a successful doc, two grown sons, a beautiful home and the security of predictability. Without warning, this world collapses. Her husband of a lifetime announces that he s asked someone to marry him a someone thirty-nine years his junior. And, oh yes, the mother of his four-year-old child. Alone. To start over. Sixty is a long way from sixteen. Is Prince Charming still out there? But isn t there more? Her quest to find self is as endearing as it is enduring. Because maybe, just maybe these are the best years of her life.
I have to say that I absolutely loved this book. How would any woman deal with her husband leaving her after 35 years of marriage? How does one start over at 60? That's exactly what Shelly Sinclair has to deal with. I love how Ms. Slater develops Shelly and how through time Shelly begins to find herself. Of course she has to navigate a lot of dating setbacks and an ex-husband with a younger wife and child and her children too. One child who sticks with her and one who sides more with her ex-husband. The book feels very true to life.

It's very entertaining. There is humor, there is sadness and through it all Shelly perseveres. I think this is a wonderful women's fiction book. Shelly is a strong character, there are some twists and turns, but you stick with it through it all and hardly want to put it down. In fact when it ends I wish it would keep going - I have fallen in love with Shelly as a character and want to know more about her. The book ends like it should though and I like the ending.

I will be looking for more books by Ms. Slater in the future and hope she continues writing women's fiction.

About the Author:

Susan is the author of six mysteries - four in the highly acclaimed Ben Pecos Indian series: Pumpkin Seed Massacre, Yellow Lies, Thunderbird and a novella, A Way to the Manger plus two stand alones, Flash Flood and Five O'clock Shadow. Susan lives thirty miles west of Taos and writes full time.

Thank you to Emily Weiss at Bascom Publishing for sending me this book!

Binding: Paperback
On-sale Date: July 15th, 2009
Publisher: Bascom Publishing
Pages: 309

Also I would like to give away my copy of 0 to 60 by Susan Slater. I will open the contest today through Friday August 14th. This one is open to the US and Canada only (don't worry others - I will have more worldwide contests soon). Please enter by:

  1. Commenting on my blog, make sure I have a way to contact you. (+1)
  2. Become a blog follower or let me know if you are already a follower (+1)
  3. Tell me any other Susan Slater books you have read and enjoyed (+1)
  4. Tell me your favorite women's fiction book (+1)
  5. Tweet about this review and giveaway, use @cfulcher in the tweet so I can find it (+1)
  6. Follow me on Twitter (or let me know if you are a current follower) (+1)
  7. Blog about this contest and let me know the link (sidebar or post is fine) (+1)
So there you go - 7 ways to get an entry into this contest. You can leave them in separate posts or one post, it doesn't matter, I will make sure you get your entries, just make sure to let me know what you do.

Great Contest at Bitten By Books

Book Trailer for Destined for an Early Grave:

Read 20% of Destined for an Early Grave:

Then head on over to Bitten By Books to enter this wonderful contest and to read the conversation with Jeaniene Frost. I haven't read this series, but plan to start it soon. It sounds very intriguing!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mailbox Monday - July 20th

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. To see this weeks list of participants go here.

Note here - it's been two-three weeks since I have posted so a lot of these books have been received over that time, not just in the last week.

ARC/Review Copies of:

Benny & Shrimp by Kate Mazetti from FSB Associates - looks like a very good book - it's already out and I'm looking forward to reading it.

A Circle of Souls by Preetham Grandhi - received from the author - it's a signed ARC and it looks like a great psychological thrilller which is one of my favorite genres. It came out in June 2009.

The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan - ARC due out in September - I'm exploring the historical fiction genre lately and this looks like a good addition.

The Invention of Everything Else by Samantha Hunt - I believe I requested this through Shelf Awareness. This is another foray into historical fiction and I'm excited to read it.

The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny - I actually received two copies of this ARC and I'm giving one away so check out my sidebar for the link. This will be my first adventure in the Inspector Gamache series but I have heard wonderful things about the author and the series so I can't wait to read it. It comes out in October 2009.

The Rapture by Liz Jensen - From the publisher, this comes out in August - I think this quick blurb on the back says it all:
Girl, Interrupted meets The Dead Zone in this utterly compelling drama about a paranoia that starts inside one murderously insane teenage girl's head and then grows to encompass the whole world.

The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf from Mira Books - this comes out in August.

South of Broad by Pat Conroy - I'm so excited about this one. It comes out in September and I have been anxiously awaiting this one.

Contest Wins:

Bad Mother - A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities and Occasional Moments of Grace by Ayelet Waldman - received from Stacy at Book Bitch Blog

Breaking Up is Hard To Do by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
- from Sally at Book Critiques blog

Right on the Money by Pat Robertson on audio from J. Kaye's Book Blog

A Summer Affair by Elin Hildenbrand from Dar at Peeking Between the Pages

So it looks like I will be busy for quite awhile - now to get fully out of my reading slump.

Friday, July 17, 2009

August Reading Challenge

I have joined a new book challenge. It is called the "August Reading Challenge" and it's hosted by Pizza's Book Discussion. At the start of August, Pizza's Book Discussion will hold a contest to see who reads the most books in August.

The winner will not receive a prize but will win an award to put on the side of their blog, which will be posted at the end of August.

After a lackluster July (I haven't finished a book yet), I am hoping that this is just the jumpstart that I need.

I will be posting my books as I read them here in this post.

Review and Giveaway - Any Minute by Joyce Meyer and Deborah Bedford

Any Minute by Joyce Meyer and Deborah Bedford

rating: 4.5/5.0


Sarah Harper is driven to achieve success no matter what the cost. She wants to do good and not hurt the people she loves--especially children and her husband, Joe--but her desire to succeed in her career too often leaves little time for family.

One cold, autumn afternoon, all of that changes when Sarah's car plunges off a bridge and into a river. She is presumed dead by those on the "outside," but Sarah's spirit is still very much alive.

What she discovers on the other side transforms everything about Sarah's view of life--past, present, and future.

When Sarah is revived, she is a changed woman. And the unsuspecting world around her will never be the same again.

I was very excited about this book, I read Deborah Bedford a few months back and enjoyed the real feeling and characterization she puts into her fiction. I have also heard wonderful things about Joyce Meyer but have never read her.

I was not let down at all. This book takes a real look at a woman who wants it all, perfect husband, perfect children, perfect house and perfect job. But as most of us women know it's very hard to have it all. To Sarah, work is what is most important at the moment. They need the money she makes to live the lifestyle they have created and to give Mitchell and baby Kate all they need. Joe has recently followed his dream of owning his own business and doesn't make the money he used to so it all falls on Sarah's shoulders (or so she thinks).

This book seems so real - if you work outside the home and even if you don't you can see a little or a lot of yourself in Sarah. So when she has her lifechanging moment, you really start to think about your own life.

Though the novel is real - it is not depressing so don't worry about that. It just gives you a lot to think about and a lot to be thankful for. I truly enjoyed reading this book and look forward to reading more books like this.

Binding: Hardcover
On-sale Date: June 30, 2009
Publisher: Faithwords
Pages: 304

Miriam Parker has generously offered 1 copy of this book to giveaway to a reader of my blog. I will open the contest today through Friday July 31st. The giveaway is open to the US and Canada only. Please enter by:

1. Commenting on my blog, make sure I have a way to contact you. (+1)
2. Become a blog follower or let me know if you are already a follower (+1)
3. Tell me any other Joyce Meyer or Deborah Bedford books you have read and enjoyed (+1)
4. Tweet about this review and giveaway, use @cfulcher in the tweet so I can find it (+1)
5. Follow me on Twitter (or let me know if you are a current follower) (+1)
6. Blog about this contest and let me know the link (sidebar or post is fine) (+1)

So there you go - 6 ways to get an entry into this contest. You can leave them in separate posts or one post, it doesn't matter, I will make sure you get your entries, just make sure to let me know what you do.

Links to Other Reviews of Any Minute:

Books, Movies and Chinese Food

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Giveaway: The Brutal Telling ARC by Louise Penny

I have received an extra ARC of The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny and would love to send it to one of my readers. This book will out in hardback on October 1, 2009. I haven't read it yet, but it sounds very interesting and I am looking forward to reading and reviewing it.

Here's what Tara Cibelli the Marketing Manager had to say in the included letter:

Chaos is coming to the lovely, seemingly tranquil town of Three Pines, just over the Canadian border. It begins to show its face one morning when a murdered man is found lying on the old pine floor of the beloved bistro and antiques store run by Olivier and his partner, Gabri. No one has ever seen the man before--or admits to having seen him--until a mysterious cabin, filled with priceless treasures, is uncovered deep in the woods. Clearly the hermit must have lived there and died there, and someone has been bringing him fresh groceries--in exchange for what? And just how did Olivier make such a spectacular success of his antiques business?

Chief Inspector Gamache and his team are called in, and much as they personally like the man who has hosted so many wonderful meals, they must ask the uncomfortable questions. Meanwhile, the cabin yields up extraordinary pieces of evidence--from signed first editions of Charlotte's Web and Jane Eyre to a spider web with the word "WOE" in it--that will send Gamache to the remote Queen Charlotte ISlands in search of the hermit's secrets, then back to Three Pines to confront the brutal truth.
This giveaway is open to the US and Canada only. It will go through July 31, 2009. Please enter by:

  1. Commenting on my blog, make sure I have a way to contact you. (+1)
  2. Become a blog follower or let me know if you are already a follower (+1)
  3. Tell me if you have read Louise Penny before and what you thought of her (+1)
  4. Tweet about this review and giveaway, use @cfulcher in the tweet so I can find it (+1)
  5. Follow me on Twitter (or let me know if you are a current follower) (+1)
  6. Blog about this contest and let me know the link (sidebar or post is fine) (+1)
So there you go - 6 ways to get an entry into this contest. You can leave them in separate posts or one post, it doesn't matter, I will make sure you get your entries, just make sure to let me know what you do.

Giveaway Winners

Hi all - so sorry for the delay in announcing winners. I had surgery on the 26th of June, came home, felt fine and then all of a sudden felt horrible and was stuck in bed not feeling like doing anything. Found out I had an infection, started antibiotics and started feeling better. I'm now just experiencing the pain you expect to have after surgery and trying to build my strength up.

So for the giveaways - I had two giveaways that ended during my absence, so without further ado, here are the winners:

The winner of Ms. Taken Identity by Dan Begley is:


Mary has been contacted and when I receive her mailing address I will forward it to the generous Miriam Parker who made this giveaway possible.

The winner of The Texas Billionaire's Bride by Crystal Green is:


Lee has been contacted and as soon as I receive the mailing address I will forward it to Crystal Green who made this giveaway possible.

Thanks for all the entries, more contests coming soon!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Short Blog Hiatus

Hi everyone, just wanted to let you know I haven't been ignoring the blog. I have had some setbacks after surgery and can't seem to spend too much time up and about everyday. Recovery just hasn't gone the way that I thought it would. Most days I don't even feel like reading (gasp with horror). So my blog is suffering. I am hoping all this will pass quickly and my recovery will be back to normal and I will be back to my blog.

For those waiting on contest wins and contest results. I will get to these as soon as possible. I can't go out of the house at the moment to mail and just can't sit up long to process the giveaway posts.

The wins will come though. I hope everyone understands.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

June Summary

In June, I read 20 books. It breaks down like this:

  • 2 from the library
  • 11 were from authors/publishers for review
  • 2 were from my TBR mountain
  • 4 from booksfree
  • 1 from audible
  • 13 were books (the kind you hold - paperback/hardback/trade)
  • 6 were ARCs
  • 1 was an audiobook

The books I read were:
  1. Missing Pieces by Joy Fielding (library) - Review
  2. A Morning Like This by Deborah Bedford - (review) - Review
  3. I Like It Like That by Cecily Von Ziegesar (booksfree)
  4. Flirting with Temptation by Kelley St. John (mine) - Review
  5. The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale (review) - Review
  6. You're the One that I Want by Cecily Von Ziegesar (booksfree)
  7. Once Smitten, Twice Shy by Lori Wilde (mine) - Review
  8. Fragment by Warren Fahy (review) - Review
  9. The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos by Margaret Mascarenhas (review) - Review
  10. The Texas Billionaire's Bride by Crystal Green (review) - Review - Author Interview
  11. The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner (review) - Review
  12. Avalon High by Meg Cabot (library) - Review
  13. Ms. Taken Identity by Dan Begley (review) - Review
  14. Wake by Lisa McMann (booksfree) - Review
  15. Nobody Does It Better by Cecily Von Ziegesar (booksfree) - Review
  16. Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris (audiobook)
  17. Gifts of War by Mackenzie Ford (review)
  18. Swimsuit by James Patterson (review) - Review
  19. All That Glitters by Nicole O'Dell (review)
  20. Any Minute by Joyce Meyer and Deborah Bedford (review)
Another great reading month and a pretty good review month. I have a few to catch up on, but I'm doing better at getting the books reviewed.

I also held 8 giveaways this month (2 are still going on) and that was a lot of fun too. I love being able to share my books with others.

So what did you read this month? Was it a good month for you?

Winner - Swimsuit by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

The Winner is: Linna! She's already been emailed and sent her address and is very excited about receiving Swimsuit. I hope she enjoys it - I surely did.

For everyone else - thanks so much for entering my giveaway. More giveaways to come, but for now Swimsuit is available for purchase, so go out and grab your copy of this great suspense/thriller.