Monday, August 31, 2009

R.I.P. IV Challenge

Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings has announced the R.I.P. IV Challenge over on his blog. This is the first one of these I have participated in, but I hear they are extremely fun. See Carl's main post for full information about the challenge.

The main gist is to pick books from the following categories, read them, enjoy them and post reviews. The categories are:
Dark Fantasy.

There are also different levels of the challenge - I plan on participating in:

Peril the First:

Read Four books of any length, from any subgenre of scary stories that you choose.

No official list is required, but we are encouraged to list books that we would like to read. That is what I will do here. I am thinking about reading the following:

  1. Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris - read - review
  2. Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz - read
  3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - read
  4. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen - read - review

I'll have decide on more later when I check out my review pile and my library pile.

Review: After by Amy Efaw (1-ARC-Tour)

After by Amy Efaw

rating: 4.0/5.0

From Goodreads:
An infant left in the trash to die. A teenage mother who never knew she was pregnant . . .

Before That Morning, these were the words most often used to describe straight-A student and star soccer player Devon Davenport: responsible, hardworking, mature. But all that changes when the police find Devon home sick from school as they investigate the case of an abandoned baby. Soon the connection is made—Devon has just given birth; the baby in the trash is hers. After That Morning, there’s only one way to define Devon: attempted murderer.

As soon as I received this in the mail, I opened it up and started reading it. After starting it I just had to keep on reading it. I read it on a Sunday - Sunday is the day I spend at my parent's house with my kids and usually it means little time to concentrate and read, but this book sucked me in so well that I read most of it during the day on Sunday.

I loved that in reading the book you slowly learned about Devon and her life, really at the same time that Devon was learning things. This was a great look inside a juvenile detention center and the wide-variety of girls who are in there. Devon is not what you would expect at all to end up in jail, but she does. Nothing is clear cut in this book - you are muddling through just as Devon is and that is what makes the book outstanding. Nothing is prettied up for the book - it's raw and real, but not in a completely unpleasant way if that makes any sense. It does put you out of your comfort zone, but in a good way.

It's an eye-opening book of a real epidemic that is out there, and Ms. Efaw handles it beautifully. It makes you think, it makes you feel and most of all it held my attention and made me read.

And isn't the cover just amazing . . .

I received this through 1 ARC Tours.

Binding: Hardcover
On-sale Date: August 11, 2009
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Pages: 352

ARC Arrival: The Christmas Clock by Kat Martin

The Christmas Clock By Kat Martin

I received this from Kim Miller at Nancy Berland Public Relations, Inc.

October 2009
$14.95 U.S. / $18.95 CAN.

Bestselling author Kat Martin creates an inspiring holiday story of vows broken and love redeemed, of courage and strength, and a memorable tale that will resonate long after the book is over.

Teddy Winters was eight years old that Christmas, too young to understand all the undercurrents swirling around him in the tiny Michigan town of Dreyerville.

He wasn’t able to value that Christmas for the miracle it truly was.

Teddy only knew he wanted to buy the beautiful Victorian clock in the window of Tremont’s Antiques as a gift for his grandmother, Lottie Sparks, a woman desperate to find him a home before her rapidly progressing Alzheimer’s left him an orphan.

Teddy didn’t know that in trying to buy the clock he would meet Sylvia Winters and Joe Dixon, a couple, once in love, desperate to overcome the past. He didn’t know he would form a friendship with his neighbors, Floyd and Doris Culver, two young people struggling to revive their long-dead marriage.

He didn’t know that these people would fill his Christmas with magic and hope; that the love of his friends would change his world, and he would forever change theirs.

ARC Arrival: Spinning Forward: A Novel (Cedar Key Series, book 1) by Terri DuLong

Spinning Forward: A Novel, Cedar Key Series, Book 1 by Terri DuLong

I received this from Kim Miller at Nancy Berland Public Relations, Inc.

Kensington Trade Paperback
November 2009
$15 U.S
ISBN-10: 0-758-23204-7
ISBN-13: 978-0-7582-3204-5

In a debut novel brimming with warmth and wit, Terri DuLong spins a tale of new beginnings, old friends and lives forever bound . . .

A New Englander born and bred, the last place Sydney Webster expects to find herself starting over is on an island off the coast of Florida. Yet here she is in Cedar Key, trying to pull herself together after her husband's untimely death—and the even more untimely revelation of his gambling addiction. Bereft of her comfortable suburban life, Syd takes shelter at a college pal’s bed and breakfast, where amidst the bougainvillea blossoms and the island's gentle rhythms, a plan begins to form . . .

Syd never considered the possibility of turning her passion for spinning and knitting into something more than a hobby, but when the unique composition of her wool draws attention, a door is opened—the first among many. Yet even as she ventures out of her comfort zone, Syd finds herself stepping into the embrace of a community rich with love, laughter, friendship . . . and secrets. And as long-hidden truths are revealed, Syd faces a choice: spin a safety net—or spin decidedly forward and never look back . . .
This looks so good - I can't wait to read it.

Mailbox Monday - August 31

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. To see this weeks list of participants go here. To find out more about my books - click on the book cover.

ARC/Review copies of:

And from Paperbackswap I received:

Another great week and a lot of reading to do!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Sunday Salon - August 30, 2009

The Sunday Salon which is hosted here, go and visit and see other participants.

General Week thoughts: Logan (my oldest) had a great first week of school, he is excited and loves his teacher, loves being back with his friends and is falling into routine very well. Jacob (the youngest) is indifferent about school - mainly because he is in preschool and it's where he's been in daycare all along, and only cares about coming home to play the Wii each night. Both are enjoying separate story times in the evening. Jake picks out his book and Logan and I read Secrets of a Christmas Box by Steve Hornby which is very good so far.

My library reopened on Wednesday and I received the phone call that I had a stack of books. A happy girl I was. I missed the employees at the library and picking up stacks of books. Nevermind that I haven't read the three books I checked out at another branch last weekend. :)

Time spent reading - With school starting I thought my reading time would shrink, but between lunch at work, time at the gym and when I finally sit down in the evening, I have been progressing through my books well. Add in a pile of library books, review books and my own TBR pile and I really need to be making some headway

What I read:

  • After by Amy Efaw
  • The Deadly Dungeon (A to Z Mysteries) by Ron Roy (audiobook with 8-year old)
  • Nothing Can Keep Us Together by Cecily Von Ziegesar
  • Scenarios: Truth or Dare by Nicole O'Dell
  • The Empty Envelope (A to Z Mysteries) by Ron Roy (audiobook)
  • The Falcon's Feather (A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy (audiobook)
  • The Last Ember by Daniel Levin

Thoughts on my reading:

  • New-to-me authors: Amy Efaw, Ron Roy, Daniel Levin
  • Number of review books read: 3
  • Number of TBR pile books read:
  • Number of library books read: 0
  • Number of books from Bookfree read: 1
  • Library books checked out: 15
  • Reviews posted: 5

What I'm reading now:

True Colors by Kristen Hannah (audiobook)
Marathon Woman by Kathrine Switzer
The Alibi by Terri Woods
Alex Cross's Trial by James Patterson

Up Next:
Legacy by Cayla Kluver - I'm looking forward to this one (it's a review book)
Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich

Everyone have a great week!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Review and Giveaway - The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf

The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf


It happens quietly one August morning. As dawn's shimmering light drenches the humid Iowa air, two families awaken to find their little girls have gone missing in the night.

Seven-year-old Calli Clark is sweet, gentle, a dreamer who suffers from selective mutism brought on by a tragedy that pulled her deep into silence as a toddler. Calli's mother, Antonia, tried to be the best mother she could within the confines of marriage to a mostly absent, often angry husband. Now, though she denies that her husband could be involved in the possible abductions, she fears her decision to stay in her marriage has cost her more than her daughter's voice.

Petra Gregory is Calli's best friend, her soul mate and her voice. But neither Petra nor Calli has been heard from since their disappearance was discovered. Desperate to find his child, Martin Gregory is forced to confront a side of himself he did not know existed beneath his intellectual, professorial demeanor.

Now these families are tied by the question of what happened to their children. And the answer is trapped in the silence of unspoken family secrets.
With the push of Borders and others reading this, The Weight of Silence is currently 5th on the NY Times Bestseller list - how awesome is that for a debut author.

I can completely see why. I started this book, not quite knowing what to expect except that it sounded like a great story. I was correct there, but it is so much more. Told from various perspectives of those affected on the day of the girls' disappearance I slowly learned what happened, but also got a deeper look into each of the characters. I was kept in suspense the entire time, never quite figuring out who did it. While suspense is usually what entices me the most, the storytelling from all the points of view really sells the book. Getting into the characters heads and seeing all the different characters from other points of view made this book fascinating. Add in the excellent suspense and this book is a complete winner in my book.

So give this first time author a chance, you won't regret it. The Weight of Silence will suck you in from the first page and as the lives of the main characters unravel in front of your eyes you won't want to put this one donw.

Binding: Paperback
On-sale Date: August 1, 2009
Publisher: Mira
Pages: 202

Thanks to the publisher for my ARC. Also I would like to give away my ARC. I will open the contest today through September 12th. US and Canada residents 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 what makes you give a new author a try (book cover, back of the book, word of mouth, etc.) (+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.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Library Loot - August 27

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Marg that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and go here to link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

After having library withdrawal from being without my local library for the last month and a half (it was moving to a larger location), DH, the boys and I went to another library in our system in a neighboring town last Saturday. DH needed Jack Higgins books, I needed Hard Eight and the boys and I had a great time playing in their dress-up clothes in the children's section. DS#1 and I also checked out books D-G in the A-Z mystery series by Ron Roy on tape to listen to in the van and love it.

So here is what I got on Saturday:
Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich - I laughed so much with Seven Up I was dying for this one
The Seance by John Harwood - I have heard a lot about this author in the blogging world and this was in the new books section so I decided to give it a shot.
Island Girl by Sandra Byrd - young adult book - I read about this series awhile back and saw it and decided to check it out.

Then my branch of the library opened back up yesterday in it's new location and I was a happy girl. I received the call yesterday morning informing me they were open and I had a pile of books to pick up. Had to run in in a hurry yesterday so I didn't fully check out the new location, but it's bigger and looks great. I will go and thoroughly explore soon. So here's what I checked out yesterday:

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher - young adult - a lot of book buzz about this a few months ago
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - lots of buzz about this one with the new one out
Sudden Death by Allison Brennan - I love all of her books
Still Life by Joy Fielding - I always read her new books and didn't have a chance to when this one first came out
Relentless by Dean Koontz - another autoread- I have read his books since I was a teenager
Hunted by P.C. and Kristin Cast - love the House of Night series and I have already started this one
First Comes Marriage by Mary Balogh - recently interested in historical romance again. I used to love Mary Balogh so I decided to give her a try again.
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson - another young adult book that created a lot of buzz
While My Sister Sleeps by Barbara Delinsky - I have never read her, then saw a review on this one and decided I needed to give her a try
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares - I have heard about this series a lot and want to read it
Shatter by Michael Robotham - another one I read a review about and I was hooked
The Paradise War by Stephen Lawhead - I think I heard about this one on the My Favorite Read meme, it sounded good and the library had it.
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult - I have read all of Jodi Picoult's recent books so it's time to work my way through the backlist
Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly - this was really buzzed a few months ago and I have wanted to read it, tried to win it but didn't so I checked it out from the library.

Booking Through Thursday - August 27th

btt button

Here is this week's Booking Through Thursday question:

What’s the lightest, most “fluff” kind of book you’ve read recently?

Nothing Can Keep Us Together by Cecily Von Ziegesar - how can a romp with the Gossip Girl be anything but fluff. This one centers around graduation and Blair and Serena on the outs again about Nate. Lots of stuff going on and a decidedly fluffy read. I enjoyed every minute of it.

My Favorite Reads - August 27th

Alyce at At Home With Books has started hosting a weekly meme with her favorite reads of the past. I decided to join in on this great idea so I can remember some books that have stuck with me through the years. To see other favorite reads and join in go here.

Cut-throat competition takes on an unfortunately literal meaning in this thriller of corporate skullduggery, the first of a new series. As Christian Gillette, newly dubbed chairman of Everest Capital, leaves his predecessor's funeral and prepares to enter his limousine, someone blows up the car. As the ruthless Gillette works to expand his company and defeat his rivals from within and without the private equity firm, he must also determine who wishes him dead and why.
This week's choice was my first Stephen Frey book, which I read back in 2006. I had read medical suspense, legal suspense, general suspense, but had never heard of corporate suspense(now I have), so I tried out Stephen Frey. Luckily I came up with the first book in his Christian Gillette series. I loved this book - loved the characters, especially Christian. The suspense was good and it was a fast enjoyable read. I have since read the next two in the series and enjoyed them. I have his newest book, Hell's Gate on reserve at the library (it's not in this series) and can't wait to read it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Review: Scenarios: Truth or Dare by Nicole O'Dell

Scenarios:  Truth Or Dare (Scenarios for Girls) Scenarios: Truth Or Dare by Nicole O'Dell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lindsay and her three friends are very close and can't wait to enter eighth grade. But as eighth grade begins the girls begin spreading their wings a little more and playing a new game at their slumber parties, and no one gets hurt with games do they? Lindsay will be challenged to use what she learns in church and youth group to make the right decision which comes down to doing what she knows is right or choosing her friends. In this book you the reader get to make the choice and learn the consequences.

This is a wonderful book for tweens. Who as a tween was not faced with some situation similar to the one presented in the book and for tweens to be presented with this situation and seeing the outcome before actually facing it can be such a blessing. The situation was presented well, the outcomes handled well and it is a well-written and entertaining book. The moral dilemmas are handled well, the teaching lessons teach but are not too preachy. A lesson can definitely be taken away from this book with either choice.

Review: Reunion in Death by J.D. Robb

Reunion in Death by J.D. Robb (Eve Dallas #16)

rating: 4.0/5.0

Book Description:
At exactly 7:30 p.m., Walter Pettibone arrived home to over a hundred friends and family shouting, "surprise!" It was his birthday. Although he had known about the planned event for weeks, the real surprise was yet to come. At 8:45 p.m., a woman with emerald eyes and red hair handed him a glass of champagne. One sip of birthday bubbly, and he was dead.

The woman's name is Julie Dockport. No one at the party knew who she was. But Detective Eve Dallas remembers her all too well. Eve was personally responsible for her incarceration nearly ten years ago. And now, let out on good behavior, she still has nothing but bad intentions. It appears she wants to meet Dallas again - in a reunion neither will forget...
How can I not like this series. It perfectly blends the suspense and the romance. I love that even though Eve and Roarke are married they still grow with each other and their love grows. I love their awkwardness, their passion. They are just amazing together. Add in the secondary characters and the case (or two) to be solved in each book and I am hooked.

I am slowly making my way through this series and this was the first one I listened to on audio and I am impressed. The reader did a wonderful job distinguishing voices and made it very enjoyable to listen two. I have the next two in this series on audio also from's 3-for-2 sale.

As usual the suspense in this was great - no mystery in who the bad guy is, but Eve is trying to stay one step ahead of her the entire time and it makes it very interesting. Also personal issues are looked at more deeply and Peabody's family comes for a visit. Very good book.

Binding: Audiobook (or paperback)
On-sale Date: 2002
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 384

Waiting on Wednesday - August 26

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My "can't-wait-to-read" selection for this week is:

Tempted by P.C. and Kristin Cast (House of Night book 6)

Release: October 27, 2009

So…you’d think after banishing an immortal being and a fallen High Priestess, saving Stark’s life, biting Heath, getting a headache from Erik, and almost dying, Zoey Redbird would catch a break. Sadly, a break is not in the House of Night school forecast for the High Priestess in training and her gang. Juggling three guys is anything but a stress reliever, especially when one of them is a sexy Warrior who is so into protecting Zoey that he can sense her emotions. Speaking of stress, the dark force lurking in the tunnels under the Tulsa Depot is spreading, and Zoey is beginning to believe Stevie Rae could be responsible for a lot more than a group of misfit red fledglings. Aphrodite’s visions warn Zoey to stay away from Kalona and his dark allure, but they also show that it is Zoey who has the power to stop the evil immortal. Soon it becomes obvious that Zoey has no choice: if she doesn’t go to Kalona he will exact a fiery vengeance on those closest to her. Will Zoey have the courage to chance losing her life, her heart, and her soul? Find out in the next spectacular installment in the House of Night Series, Tempted.
I'm picking up Hunted from my library this afternoon and I am sure I will tear through it and then anxiously be awaiting Tempted. I love this series!

So what are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Review: Club Dead by Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse #3)

Club Dead by Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse #3)

rating: 4.5/5.0

Book Description:

Sookie Stackhouse is having man trouble. Her vampire boyfriend, Bill, has been distant and inattentive lately. Then he announces that he is going on a business trip, which clearly is more than it seems. After a werewolf tries to abduct Sookie at work, Bill's boss, Eric, tells her that Bill fell under the sway of his -- Bill's, that is -- ex, a sexy vamp named Lorena, and has been kidnapped. Eric wants Sookie's help in getting Bill back, and despite her hurt over Bill's betrayal, Sookie agrees to go to Jackson, Mississippi, to find her wayward lover. Eric has persuaded Alcide, a dashing werewolf, to get Sookie access to Josephine's, aka Club Dead, the local hangout of Jackson's supernatural element. In between dodging kidnappers, the advances of amorous Eric, and her growing feelings for Alcide, Sookie has to find out who kidnapped Bill and figure out a way to rescue him.
I have enjoyed the first two Sookie Stackhouse books a lot, or at least I thought I had. Then I read number three and really enjoyed it. It may have more to do with actually reading it versus the audio. Not saying the audio isn't good - it's great - I love the reader and her voices are good. But I think I got less confused actually reading it. Also in this one we get the more interesting creatures and love-interests. I think I am now in love with Alcide. I can't decide on the Bill versus Eric debate, kind of like the Ranger versus Morelli. As one of my friends said, "Thank goodness we don't have to decide!"

Great pacing in this one and the characters and situations are very interesting. I love learning more and more about Sookie. She seems to stand on her own more and more with each book and I am looking forward to the next book in this series. It will be back to the audio as I bought it during the recent 3-for-2 sale at

Binding: Paperback
On-sale Date: 4/29/2003
Publisher: Ace
Pages: 272

Teaser Tuesday - August 25


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"I'll be your pool lad," Lord Marcus offered in his adorable English accent. "I'll fan you with palm fronds and pour your cocktails."
From Nothing Can Keep Us Together by Cecily Von Ziegesar (Gossip Girls series)

Nothing says the decadence of this series better than this teaser!

ARC Arrival: The Bride Backfire by Kelly Eileen Hake

The Bride Backfire by Kelly Eileen Hake (Prairie Promises #2)

I received this from Barbour Publishing.

Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Publish Date: October 1, 2009

Come on down for a real family feud in this witty romance, the second novel in Kelly Eileen Hake's Prairie Promises series. In the Nebraskan Territory of 1857, the longstanding feud between their two families makes Opal Speck desperate to save the life of the Grogan who once pulled her from a burning building. Will her big white lie-that Adam is the father of her unborn child-land in enemy territory for the rest of her life? Find out how Adam and Opal deal with the repercussions of their shotgun wedding in The Bride Backfire!

Review Copy Arrival: The Shimmer by David Morrell

The Shimmer by David Morrell

I received this from Ana Suknov at FSB Associates.

Publisher: Vanguard Press
Publish Date: July 7, 2009
Creator of Rambo and co-founder of the International Thriller Writers organization, David Morrell has been called “the father of the modern action novel.” Now this award-winning, New York Times bestselling author delivers The Shimmer, a novel of chilling impact.

When police officer Dan Page’s wife disappears, her trail leads to Rostov, a remote Texas town where unexplained phenomena attract hundreds of spectators each night. Not merely curious, these onlookers are compelled to reach this tiny community and gaze at the mysterious Rostov Lights.

But more than the faithful are drawn there. A gunman begins shooting at the lights, screaming “Go back to hell where you came from!” then turns his rifle on the innocent bystanders. As more and more people are drawn to the scene of the massacre, the stage is set for even greater bloodshed.

To save his wife, Page must solve the mystery of the Rostov Lights. In the process, he uncovers a deadly government secret dating back to the First World War. The lights are more dangerous than anyone ever imagined, but even more deadly are those who try to exploit forces beyond their control.

With The Shimmer, David Morrell takes readers on a brilliant, terrifying journey. Suspenseful, yet thought-provoking, it is the master at his very best.
And here is an article by David Morrell about earning his pilot's license for this book.

Rising Above it All: How Rambo's Creator Earned His Pilot's License
By David Morrell,
Author of The Shimmer

Readers familiar with my fiction know how much I love doing research. For Testament, I enrolled in an outdoor wilderness survival course and lived above timberline in the Wyoming mountains for 30 days. For The Protector, I spent a week at the Bill Scott raceway in West Virginia, learning offensive-defensive driving maneuvers, such as the 180-degree spins you see in the movies. I once broke my collarbone in a two-day knife-fighting class designed for military and law enforcement personnel.

Two years ago, I began the longest research project of my career. I was preparing to write a novel called The Shimmer, a fictional dramatization of the mysterious lights that appear on many nights outside the small town of Marfa in west Texas. When the first settlers passed through that area in the 1800s, they saw the lights, and people have been drawn to those lights ever since, including James Dean who became fascinated by them when he filmed his final movie Giant near Marfa in 1955.

The lights float, bob, and weave. They combine and change colors. They seem far away and yet so close that people think they can reach out and touch them. In the 1970s, the citizens of Marfa organized what they called a Ghost Light Hunt and pursued the lights, using horses, vehicles, and an airplane, but the lights had no difficulty eluding them.

Because an airplane was used, I decided to include one in The Shimmer. I'd never written about a pilot, and the idea of trying something new always appeals to me. The dramatic possibilities were intriguing. But a minute's thought warned me about the monumental task I was planning. As a novelist version of a Method actor, I couldn't just cram an airplane into my novel. First, I would need to learn how airplanes worked so that real pilots wouldn't be annoyed by inaccuracies. Real pilots. That's when I realized that it wouldn't be enough to learn how airplanes worked. I would need to take pilot training.

I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Our small airport has a flight school: Sierra Aviation. I made an appointment with one of the instructors, Larry Haight, who took me up in a Cessna 172 on what's called a "discovery" flight. The idea was to "discover" whether I enjoyed the sensation of being in the cockpit and peering several thousand feet down at the ground. Flying in a small aircraft is a much more immediate and visceral experience than sitting in the cabin of a commercial airliner. Even in a Cessna, the canopy is huge compared to the tiny windows on an airliner. The horizon stretches forever.

It turned out that I more than enjoyed the experience. It was exhilarating and fulfilling. I realized that this was something I wanted to do not only for research but also to broaden my life. As a consequence, I eventually earned my private pilot's license and bought a 2003 172SP. The plane was based near Dallas, and my longest cross-country flight to date (600 miles) involved piloting it from there to Santa Fe. Truly, nothing can equal controlling an aircraft, making it do safely whatever I want while seeing the world as if I were an eagle.

In The Shimmer, I wanted the main character's attitude toward flying ("getting above it all") to help develop the book's theme. The following passage shows what I mean. You only need to know that Dan Page is a police officer. When I started pilot training, I figured that one day I'd be relaxing in the sky, listening to an iPod and glancing dreamily around. As we learn in this section, the actuality is quite different and more substantial.

"Non-pilots often assumed that the appeal of flying involved appreciating the scenery. But Page had become a pilot because he enjoyed the sensation of moving in three dimensions. The truth was that maintaining altitude and speed while staying on course, monitoring radio transmissions, and comparing a sectional map to actual features on the ground required so much concentration that a pilot had little time for sightseeing.

"There was another element to flying, though. It helped Page not to think about the terrible pain people inflicted on one another. He'd seen too many lives destroyed by guns, knives, beer bottles, screwdrivers, baseball bats, and even a nail gun. Six months earlier, he'd been the first officer to arrive at the scene of a car accident in which a drunken driver had hit an oncoming vehicle and killed five children along with the woman who was taking them to a birthday party. There'd been so much blood that Page still had nightmares about it.

"His friends thought he was joking when he said that the reward of flying was 'getting above it all,' but he was serious. The various activities involved in controlling an aircraft shut out what he was determined not to remember.

"That helped Page now. His confusion, his urgency, his need to have answers -- on the ground, these emotions had thrown him off balance, but once he was in the air, the discipline of controlling the Cessna forced him to feel as level as the aircraft. In the calm sky, amid the monotonous, muffled drone of the engine, the plane created a floating sensation. He welcomed it yet couldn't help dreading what he might discover on the ground. "

At one point a character asks Page, how high he intends to fly.

"Enough to get above everything," he answers.

"Sounds like the way to run a life."

That's an important lesson I learned from flying.

©2009 David Morrell, author of The Shimmer

Author Bio David Morrell, author of The Shimmer, is the award-winning author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including Creepers and Scavenger. Co-founder of the International Thriller Writers organization and author of the classic Brotherhood of the Rose spy trilogy, Morrell is considered by many to be the father of the modern action novel

For more information please visit

Learn more about The Shimmer at

New Book Releases - August 25, 2009

A new feature on my blog will be the new releases each Tuesday. So come and see what comes out today and help support these authors and wonderful books. This is by no means a comprehensive list - it's just the ones I have heard about. If you are an author of an upcoming book (or a publicist) please contact me at my email address - crystalfulcher(at)ec(dot)rr(dot)com - and I will add your book to my post the week it releases.

So here are some of this week's releases:

The Perfect Liar by Brenda Novak - Romantic Suspense - second in the Perfect series, or 5th in the Last Stand series - Head to her website for an interesting promo if you buy the book during this first week. I got one of these totes last year and I love it!

Book description and Excerpt

Obsidian Prey by Jayne Castle - - Paranormal Romance - Book 6 in the Harmony series

Book Description and Watch the Video

Tall Dark and Fangsome by Michelle Rowen - Paranormal Romance - Book #5 in the Immortality Bites series

Book Description and Excerpt

The Darkest Whisper by Gena Showalter - Paranormal Romance - Lords of the Underworld series

Book Description

Alex Cross's Trial by James Patterson and Richard Dilallo - Suspense

Book Description

Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs - Alpha and Omega #2


Blood Promise by Richelle Mead - Young Adult Paranormal - Vampire Academy #4

Information on Series and Excerpts

92 Pacific Boulevard by Debbie Macomber - Cedar Cove Series

More information

Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Cookbook

More information

206 Bones by Kathy Reichs - Suspense - Tempe Brennan series

More Information

Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon

More Information

Surrender of a Siren by Tessa Dare - historical romance

More information and an excerpt

No Surrender by Shannon Stacey - Romantic Suspense - Devlin Group #3

More Information

Hunt Her Down by Roxanne St. Claire - Romantic Suspense - Bullet Catchers Series


Rampant by Diana Peterfreund - Young Adult - Two words - Killer Unicorns

More Information

So tell me - are you buying or have you bought any of these? Are they on your list, did you review them? What else new is coming out?