Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sons of Destiny IV Evanor's story The Song

The Song
Jean Johnston
ISBN : 0425219291

The loss of Evanor's magical voice was a devastating blow to the Sons of Destiny and their growing family. Not only do they mourn the affliction from simple decency, but Evanor's gift was a powerful and useful magic for them all. Because of this, they seek out and bring Mariel, a beautiful, young widow with a son, to their forbidden island. It is apparent soon that not only is she the singer's best hope, but his destiny as well. Despite his handicap, the two are able to communicate well enough to fall in love. However, all is not sunshine; those on the mainland still regard the Sons with fear and anger, necessitating once more that Queen Kelly's realm be defended for its right to exist.

Ms. Johnston's imaginative world continues to be fascinating as it develops. Though Kelly and Saber are my favorite of the matched sets thus far, Evanor is the best sort of beta hero, one that manages to be gentle, yet masculine all at once, bringing to mind the old proverb about gentleness being the greatest proof of strength. I also enjoy the inventions that the family of heroes and their ladies come up with to make life easier on the Isle. Though it's hard to believe, this series is halfway over, and as anxious as I am to see Morg meet his match, I'll hate to see the final chapter close.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Better than a Ghost of a Chance you'll love this

Ghost of a Chance
Kate Marsh
ISBN 0451223241
Mystery/Urban fantasy

Thanks to her unusual heritage, Karma has a gift of being able to "clean" houses of ghosts, pixies, imps, and so on; any Otherworldly being, in other words. Because of this, she has a houseful of those she couldn't bring herself to send off to another plane. She also has a no good husband she'd like to send to another plane, or at least divorce, but even if he thinks she's a freak, Spider won't let her go until she does one last job for him, namely getting a property he wants to invest in clear of its current owner. It is thus that Karma finds herself, her fosterchild, her father, husband, his less than honest partners, and a host of Otherworld beings, as well as Adam Dirgesinger, the present occupant, at the house in question when Adam seals it so that no one can leave for twelve hours, or longer if he renews the spell. That's bad enough, and then, Spider gets squashed like his namesake. Now, Karma and Adam, both of whom work for the Council that governs paranormal beings, to solve the case in this tricky locked "room" murder. With time running against them and clashing personalities abounding, it will be a challenge.

Not only is this a fun read, populated with vibrant characters who comprise a fascinatingly complex world, but it's genuinely clever. The ending twist is worthy of Conan Doyle or Christie. I hope this is the start of a new series; Karma and friends are worth visiting many times over.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


P.C. Cast
Kristin Cast
St Martin's Griffin
ISBN-10: 0312360304
ISBN-13: 978-0312360306

Zoey Redbird has far more problems than your average teen faces. First off, she's been Marked as a fledgling vampire; second, she is the most powerful fledgling in ages and has been set apart for service to Nyx; third, rather than cutting ties to her human boyfriend, she imprinted him; fourth, the hottest guy and the hottest teacher in her school both seem to want her; fifth, her best friend was turned into an undead monster; sixth, she has discovered her mentor is not Glinda the Good, but an evil, two or more faced expletive deleted, and seventh, the person she can trust most turns out to be the one she thought was the evil witch with a b. Finally, her birthday is on Christmas Eve. The last may seem inconsequential, but her dislike of that fact begins a chain of events that will culminate in several of those problems being lifted, but not in a way Zoey finds at all comforting or positive. Being Chosen is not only an honor and a gift, but a burden, not to mention, a pain in the backside. Soon, Zoey will find herself being cut off from those she loves and left with only her knowledge that she has a great evil to stop.

Be prepared to be as completely blown away as you probably were a few months ago when you closed the Deathly Hallows. You might even be more floored. This is a stunning, intense, story that will, no pun intended, grab you by the throat and refuse to be put down when you hit the halfway point, if not sooner. I wanted to slowly savor Chosen, but once the action kicked up the pace, it was impossible to not finish all at once. The character development is incredible and drives this series. I want the next book RIGHT NOW.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Getting free of your problems

Get Out of that Pit
Beth Moore
Thomas Nelson
ISBN 1591455529
Christian Living/Self help

Let me begin by saying the term self-help might be the closest term to apply to this book in secular terms, but it is NOT a self help book; it's a getting God's help book. If you have tried the Secret, to have your "best life now," find your purpose, or have a positive attitude by using what amounts to the Music Man method- just telling yourself to be happy, you have by now found they don't work. This is what you've been searching for, or at least the first step to getting there. In a folksy, yet powerful fashion, Mrs. Moore gives her readers hard hitting reality about how everyone at some point in their life finds themselves arriving in a pit, whether they just got there accidentally, were shoved in, or dove in with their eyes open. She makes it clear that God alone can get you out of there and how surrendering to Him and cooperating with Him is the only rope that will get you free. The back of the book even offers a mini workbook so that you can on your own go through with scriptural prayers and questions designed to help you think about what you've read. Unlike some bestsellers in the "self help" genre, this one is replete with the Bible. Maybe you can't get to a Beth Moore study or you're a guy and would feel like a duck out of water among a few hundred women. This is a good substitute or supplement.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Non book rview- but important

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Delightful Double post

Thanks to feeling cruddy and rain, here's two hightly rec'd reads.

Kitty and the Silver Bullet
Carrie Vaughn
Grand Central
ISBN 0446618756

The saying goes you can't go home again, and if you are a banished werewolf, this is doubly so. However, when her Mom is diagnosed with cancer, Kitty will defy the laws and everyone who would stand in her way to be there for her family. Of course, she finds herself in trouble. Between landing in a war between two vampires battling for local supremacy and becoming the incentive for other werewolves to defy the abusive Alphas of her former pack, Kitty and her new lover have their hands more than full, and this time, Cormac can't bail her out, since he's in jail. It's time for her to learn what she's made of, no matter what.

True to life, human drama and supernatural pathos are intricately woven into perhaps the most intense, compelling, and fascinating of all the Kitty books. Though there is less humor, given the situations, Kitty is one of the best characters to hit the scene, and the two men in her life, especially Cormac, continue to provide added depth to the mix without getting up to one's chin in angst.

Morning Light
Catherine Anderson
ISBN 0451222776

Loni McEwan's life was shattered by the consequences of her psychic gift two years ago, but when a new vision points her in the right direction to find a lost, missing boy, she follows her instincts and reaches out the the one man her talent says can pull off the rescue, Clint Harrigan, a devout non-believer in psychic mumbo-jumbo - until faced with proof that she's for real. Soon, the somewhat antagonistic pair find themselves working as a team in the wilderness, fighting the elements, the odds, and an attraction that neither was prepared to discover as they race time to save a life.

It may be impossible for Ms. Anderson to write a bad book. Though technically, this would not be shelved on the Christian fiction aisle, Loni and Clint's strong moral convictions formed by their faith make it an excellent book for all put the most Puritanical Christian readers. Even those put off by the, as some people call it, "weird" stuff, i.e., ESP, that element, though vital, is not a prepossessing issue for the most part. What makes this book are the characters and their building relationship set against the background of a life or death quest.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

No Mystery why this is a winner- Oblivious

Cyndia Dupre
ISBN 978-1-59426-723-9

When Tucker Monroe needs an alibi after a woman he spent a slight amount of time with is killed, Olivia Chatham is his salvation, but the slightly daffy seeming, much married young woman is not content to just do that for him. Convinced not only of his innocence, but that Tucker is nursing a broken heart that seeing justice for the woman he loved done can help heal, Olivia sets out to solve the case, with Tucker and her sister in reluctant tow. As he works with her, Tucker realizes she might be different, but it's a good different, and she's far brighter than she lets on. Despite his anti-marriage stance, Olivia gets to him. However, as the case unravels, things get dangerous and the future turns iffy.

This is a laugh out loud masterpiece. Whilly clean, it intrigues you and keeps you smiling from beginning to end. Olivia is utterly charming and I hope this is only her first outing as a sleuth. I love this book and it goes on my virtual keeper shelf.

Moonstruck - NOT the movie, much better


Susan Grant



ISBN 0373772599



After years of warfare, enemies are now forced by a peace treaty to work together. This chafes Admiral Brit Bandar, aka, Stoneheart, who can hardly believe barbarians could ever be anything but foes to be despised. Yet, when she meets her newly assigned counterpart from the Drakken Horde, Finn Rorkken, a man who strongly resembles her late husband, the man whose death turned her into a stone hearted soldier, she is shaken. By necessity and passion, the two who would have not long ago killed each other, find themselves discovering a passion that gets past both of their defenses. Meanwhile, her personal assistant is finding that a backward Earthling has much to teach her, especially about love, as two much more innocent people make an equally reluctant journey to first romance. Even as love begins though, its opposite still seethes out there, seeking an opportune moment to disrupt all the good that has been accomplished.

Though there is plenty of action, what is most intriguing about this novel are the emotions that drive it. Brit and Finn's healing process is beautiful to see, as is Hadley's awakening to the joy of love and her determination to only give herself to the man who is the One for her. Many times, futuristic novels seem cold and heartless. Happily, this one DOES NOT. It's all heart and soul.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A book for thinkers

Beyond Opinion
Ravi Zacharias, Editor/contributing author
ISBN 0849919681
Christian living/apologetics

If you are Christian and one of your resolutions for the year is to put your mind on an exercise regimen, then heads up; this book belongs in your routine. For the past few decades, our faith has faced a plethora of challenges that truly make the task of apologetics almost live up to the name the word implies to the uninformed, that we are apologizing for being Christian. Whether it is from post-modern relativism, Islam, atheism, New Age and Eastern religions, science, or what have you, the Way is under constant attack, and we must have some help in dealing with this, both on a personal and practical level. Mr. Zacharias and a team of co-writers, many of whom are familiar to regular listeners of his Just Thinking segmnet, tackle these issues in a manner that is highly intellectual and yet accessable to even a reader with only a high school diploma. Drawing on philosophy, science, and pure reason, the case is made for Christianity in such a way as to set you on fire for evangelism because you now have a more sure arsenal of defense, and to give you a fresh confidence if you had to face any doubts in your own heart. This is a book to get two or more copies of, for you will want to share it and not risk losing it to absent minded friends.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Dead End Dating

Your Coffin or Mine
Kimberly Raye
ISBN 0345492188
Paranormal chick lit

Countess Lil's plate is full trying to keep her credit cards paid down enough to continue with her steady shopping therapy trips without humiliation, keep her parents off her back about providing pure blood grandchildren, trying to help her brother's wedding to the mortal Mandy come off while appeasing her mother who wants Lil to match said brother with another born vampire, and now, she needs to find Ty, the made vampire bounty hunter she has fallen for, albeit unwisely, and who is captive and mentally asking her for help. Vicariously feeling his pain is only added incentive to accomplish the goal, but she genuinely cares for him, even if the relationship should not be pursued. As Ty's time runs out, Lil keeps on searching, not counting the cost, much, and running into trouble.

Making a date with Dead End Dating means you have room in your schedule for mental fun. Lil and her cohorts keep you chuckling, even in high tension moments. Just relax and have another bite of brain candy.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Triple treat

The Visionary
Pamela S Thibodeaux
Ensperon Press
978-1-897540-12-1 Electronic book ISBN
978-1-897540-11-4 Print book-ISBN

A professional relationship quickly turns personal for Terry Broussard and the Forrestier siblings, Taylor and Trevor. When he wants to hire their architectural firm, he is quickly impressed by Taylor's talent as an artist and decorator. Friendship is added to the working dynamic, and when a crisis rocks Taylor's world and nearly ends Trevor's life, Terry is there for the young woman. Not even when he learns the truth about the darkest secrets of her past will he turn away from her. Despite his and her strengths and personal convictions, though, there are battles ahead of them; Trevor's soul lies in jeopardy and discovering love brings Taylor and Terry into temptation as they struggle to remain pure, despite their passions.

Once again, I am struck by Ms. Thibodeaux's ability to create realistic characters and situations that both portray things the way they truly are for Christians and honor God, while never becoming graphic. While many romance writers feel it necessary for people in love to automatically say "yes," she shows that it is possible to do the right thing and in a way that can be seen as the hero and heroine being strong, not white Wonder bread milquetoasts. This story in particular tackles tough, dark gritty subjects, not the least of which being how difficult forgiveness can be. It is a true crime she is not on the NY Times bestseller list; the world desperately needs to read things like this timely, relevant tale.

Hundreds of Years to Reform a Rake
Laurie Brown
Source books
ISBN 1402210132
Ghost/Time Travel Romance

Josie Drummond finds herself not only hired by a ghost, but as part of her work, taking a trip back in time to prevent her employer, Deverell Thornton, the Ninth Earl of Waite, from meeting with a ruinous event. A modern woman in the Regency era is somewhat of a fish out of water, but with the help of Deverell the ghost and her own wits, she manages. She also begins to fall in love with the living man, Dev, who is in his own way as charming as the ghost he will become. Romance might be the angle she would like best to pursue, but there are mysteries to solve, a fraud to unmask, and she does need to decide which version of the Earl of Waite she belongs with, all before Deverell's power is exhausted and she has no hope of ever returning home.

Combining multiple unusual plot devices into a compelling romance that sweeps across the centuries, Ms. Brown gives her readers a fascinating story filled with twists and surprises, particularly the startling ending. Josie's love triangle is perhaps the one that of all literary triangles can be considered truly unique. How many people fall in love with the same man, but have to choose which version of him to be with? Though this is clearly a satisfyingly complete tale that leaves little to no room for it to become a series, readers will want to keep their eye out for more from this talented author, at least this one shall.

> Netherwood
> Michele Lang
> Shomi
> March
> ISBN 0505527596
> ****

> In the cyber world, plain Jane sheriff Talia Fortune can be Amazonia, a
> warrior woman capable of besting the Avenger in the arena. Between the two
> foes, there is respect and a definite heat that she never expects to
> encounter in the flesh and blood world. However, when assigned to check on
> affairs on the plant her uncle oversees for the family company, she will
> meet the Avenger face to face and find that his real world is far more
> dangerous and exciting than any fictional world created by circuits and
> bytes. In truth, Kovner, aka, the Avenger, is a futuristic sort of Robin
> Hood, bent on toppling those who want to enslave humanity into virtual
> existence. Though at first dedicated to her duty, as Talia learns more
> about
> what the world is, what her beloved grandmother has become, and perhaps
> most
> importantly, how much she loves the real Kovner, the Sherriff finds
> herself
> wanting to join the outlaws. Though she has never believed in souls or
> religion, as both are illegal, Talia just may have discovered hers and
> will
> have to fight to retain them.

> It's difficult to sum up this book without spoiling it. Ms. Lang's writing
> has always been superb, yet the complexity of this plot and the
> relationships she has made integral to its furtherance shows that she is
> light years ahead of the game. Though there are elements of Robin Hood,
> the
> Matrix, Braveheart, and the Prisoner, just to name a few things implied in
> the text, they are freshly blended into something new that will challenge
> your mind and keep you hooked. Unrealized elements in all the implied
> archetypical stories are brought into a fuller, better focus than they
> have
> been before in other media. Particularly enjoyable is the realization and
> exploration of what it means to be human and possess a soul.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Seventh Heaven

The Accidental Vampire
Lynsay Sands
ISBN 0061229687
Paranormal/Vampire Romantic comedy

Victor Argeneau finds himself with the less than pleasant task ahead of dealing with a possible rogue vampire, ie, one that is biting people, not using bagged blood. When he arrives in the small town where she is, he seems to be expected, and the "rogue" is anything but what he expected. Elvi (short for her nickname - Elvira) is a very pleasant young appearing woman who is treated as something between a local treasure and pet. Her fellow townspeople treat her well and willingly donate blood. In fact, it's a local custom for boys to visit her for a birthday bite when they come of age. Living up to their expectations can sometimes be a trial, but Elvi takes it all with good humor. What's more, she has no idea how she became an immortal, what their laws are, or what she really can do. Victor finds himself teaching her and realizes that he can't kill her because she is innocent at heart and his life mate. He also has competition for her hand as several other vampires have responded to an ad the town placed to get her a husband, and someone else wants her dead. Finding out who and handling the personal situation that is prepossessing, will provide him with an interesting and, for us, fun time.

Without being silly, the humor in this book is kept up in a steady stream. Ms. Sands has given us the best Argenau book since the first one. I loved Elvi's naivte and the entireity of her town citizenry. There is a real warmth that infuses the story. What's more, new readers can jump in and "get it" without any past books being read, but please, if this is your first, go buy the first six. They are marvelous.