Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weekly Preview & Giveaway (3)

Welcome to week three of my new feature where I preview what I will be reviewing this week and also where you get a chance to enter to win one of the books I am reading this week plus two books from my giveaway page.  All you have to do to enter is leave your name and email in the Rafflecopter below.  All other entries are optional.  Open to US/Canada only, ends 10/29.  Please note Dead of Winter is not part of the giveaway - I read the ebook version, and Shattered Souls which was part of the Teen Book Scene tour.

First up last week's winner is: 

Anita Y. (email starts with:  ayan...)  

Anita will be notified tomorrow, but if you are Anita and you see this before my email feel free to email me at crystalfulcher(at)


This Brave Balance by Rusalka Reh

Teenagers age twelve to sixteen will love this story of athletes, physical and mental challenge, friendship, love, and suspense. In This Brave Balance, author Rusalka Reh does more than explore the fascinating and dangerous world of parkour. Sometimes referred to as freerunning, parkour is an elegant sport requiring strength, strategy, and agility to smoothly move through the obstacles of city spaces. Parkour athletes are called traceurs, and Dipper, Corone, Skylark, and Jay are seasoned traceurs capable of doing spins and aerial rotations with the best of them. They prefer to practice in old factories, parks, and fields, where impediments are in abundance and risks push them to their limits. However, when Corone’s former girlfriend, Kite, shows up, everything changes. There are signs of a budding relationship between Kite and Dipper, causing tension to build, tempers to flare, and old friendships to be questioned. When we learn that Corone has a sister, and that a dark cloud hangs over their story, we find ourselves carried beyond sports and into a world of mystery and family secrets. This is a page-turner of a novel, one that will undoubtedly compel readers to seek out the other works of this gifted author.


Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey

Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.

The Opposite of Art by Athol Dickson

A great artist is cast into the icy Harlem River by a hit-and-run driver. His heart stops, and he sees something that defies description. Presumed dead by all who knew him and obsessed with the desire to paint the inexpressible, he embarks on a pilgrimage to seek help from holy men around the globe. But is it possible to see eternity without becoming lost within it? After a quarter of a century, when the world begins to whisper that he may be alive, two people come looking for the artist: the daughter he never knew existed, and the murderer who hit him on the bridge all those years ago


Baby, It's Cold Outside by Susan May Warren

Five strangers with broken hearts. One raging blizzard. Brrr, baby, it’s cold outside! But a warm fire and a string of Christmas lights just might provide the perfect remedy.

It's been years since Edith Miller hosted the annual Snowflake, MN, Christmas Extravaganza. After her
son was killed in the war, some five years ago, her Christmas spirit died along with him. So she is
more than happy to loan all her Christmas decorations to Stella Hanson, the new teacher in
town. After all, what does she have to celebrate?

But when the blizzard of the decade traps Stella— and four other wanderers—in Edith’s home, Edith
finds that by opening her door, she just might open her heart to a new reason celebrate Christmas.

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

My name—my True Name—is Ashallayn'darkmyr Tallyn.
I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her.
My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…


Refuge on Crescent Hill by Melanie  Dobson

Moving home after a recent job loss was supposed to reassure Camden Bristow and give her time to decide what to do next. But when she arrives in Etherton, Ohio, she discovers that her grandmother, who she hasn't talked to in years, has passed away and "home" is an empty mansion hundreds of years old. Not exactly the comfort Camden was looking for. What happened to the house she played in as a child, the bedtime stories that told of secret passageways and runaway slaves, and all those family memories?

When antiques start disappearing and footsteps are heard, some of those memories start to creep back and Camden wonders if her grandmother's bedtime stories might actually be true. What really happened here . . . at Crescent Hill? How was her grandmother involved? Who still has access to the house? And for what purpose? As she works to uncover the past and present mysteries harbored in her home, Camden also uncovers secrets about her family that could change the town-and her life-forever.

The Baker's Wife by Erin Healy

 It's been a tough year for Audrey's family. Her husband Geoff, a pastor, lost his job after a scandal rocked their congregation.

Audrey hasn't lost faith. She's held her family together. Their attempt to resurrect a failing bakery is an effort to heal the family wounds and restore their place in the community.

Late to the bakery one dim, foggy morning, Audrey turns into the intersection in front of the shop and strikes a vehicle that she can't see even after the collision settles. Emerging from her car into the fog, she discovers she's hit a motor scooter. There's no rider in sight. There's blood, though, so much that she slips in it, injuring her wrists.

The absence of the scooter driver is a mystery, especially to Sergeant Jack Mansfield, the detective and church member who drove Geoff from his pulpit. The scooter belongs to Jack's wife, Julie, a teacher at the local high school. She has vanished like morning fog.

Though there is no evidence to support Jack's growing suspicion that Audrey and Geoff were involved in Julie's disappearance, the detective is convinced of their guilt. Jack's ability to reason slips as the leads on his wife dry up.

When Jack takes the tiny bakery and its patrons hostage, Audrey must find Julie and unravel the secret of her own mysterious suffering before Jack comes undone.


Dead of Winter by Brian Moreland

At a fort deep in the Ontario wilderness in 1878, a ghastly predator is attacking colonists and spreading a gruesome plague—his victims turn into ravenous cannibals with an unending hunger for human flesh. Inspector Tom Hatcher has faced a madman before, when he tracked down Montreal’s infamous Cannery Cannibal. But can even he stop the slaughter this time?

In Montreal exorcist Father Xavier visits an asylum where the Cannery Cannibal is imprisoned. But the killer who murdered thirteen women is more than just a madman who craves human meat. He is possessed by a shape-shifting demon. Inspector Hatcher and Father Xavier must unravel a mystery that has spanned centuries and confront a predator that has turned the frozen woods into a killing ground where evil has come to feed.

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon End of Event Meme

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?  Hour 17, this is right before I went to bed - I started nodding off.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?  Thou Shalt Not Road Trip by Anthony John was the last one I picked up and it was witty and cute, I haven't finished it yet, but it was an easy read.  Dark Eden by Patrick Carman was a definite thrill ride, someone else was reading The Poison Diaires: Nightshade by Maryrose Wood which was a definite quick read when I read it
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?  None that I can think of.
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?  The website was great and I loved the twitter hashtag as well.  I also had fun with the mini-challenges.
  5. How many books did you read?  3
  6. What were the names of the books you read?  Dark Eden by Patrick Carman, Kill Me If You Can by James Patterson and This Brave Balance by Rusalka Reh
  7. Which book did you enjoy most?  Kill Me If You Can by James Patterson
  8. Which did you enjoy least?  tough call the other two were both good
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?  I'll be participating again and I'll be a reader again.
Final Stats (made it to the end of hour 17):
Time spent blogging: 155 minutes
Mini-challenges: 6
Time spent reading:  650 minutes
Pages read: 896
Books read: 3, Dark Eden by Patrick Carman, Kill Me If You Can by James Patterson, This Brave Balance by Rusalka Reh
Time spent visiting blogs: 35 minutes
Blogs visited: 15
Misc time (lunch, supper & other things):  210 minutes

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon Mini Challenge ReReading

Bluestocking Society is hosting the hour 16 mini-challenge about re-reading.  Here is what I chose to do since I am not rereading a book during the Read-a-Thon.

2. Go back to your blog, and give us a list of your top favorite rereads of all time. You know, those books that you can go to time and time again for comfort and escape. Again, pictures are always good but not required.

Yes one of those does look out of place, but It by Stephen King was really the first adult book I read when I was a teen back in the dark ages when YA meant a few Christopher Pike books, Sweet Valley High and little else.  So It has a special place in my heart and is one of the few books I have reread.  Yes it's scary as all get out and has an evil clown, but I like it and will continue to love it for a long time to come - it's comfort to me, scary comfort, but comfort just the same.

The others need little explanation.  The Three Sisters Trilogy was the first trilogy I read by Nora Roberts and it's still my favorite.  Welcome to Harmony by Jodi Thomas introduced me to one of my favorite current series.  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is a classic and obvious choice.  To Die For by Sandra Byrd was just a wonderful novel and I can see me enjoying it again and again.