Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Teaser Tuesday's - Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:


- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 32 of Matthew Norman's Domestic Violets:

Like most people who have jobs like mine, it was all meant to be temporary.  I would write and publish my novel, and then I'd retire from corporate purgatory and become a member of the Community of American Letters.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Musing Monday's - Next Book

Musing Monday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. This week’s musing:


How far along are you in your current read before you start thinking about what you’ll read next?


I'm always thinking about what I want to read next.  Seriously, reading and books are an obsession for me.  I love every thing about this 'hobby' of mine.  I put hobby in quotes because really, reading is an ingrained part of my life.  So yeah, I am always thinking about my next book, and the one after that, and the next one after that.

How about you? When do you start thinking about your next book?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Book Review - A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie

A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie is the story of Detective Inspector Duncan Kincaid's week long holiday at a Yorkshire time share.  The location seems ideal and peaceful at first.  And while Kincaid does feel out of his element - he is trying to embrace the country slow life and enjoy his holiday.  He visits the local village, takes a hike and even meets the other residents in residence that week at the time share.

The second morning of Kincaid's vacation dawns bright and full of promise.  Deciding to go for an early morning swim - he discovers a dead body floating in the jacuzzi.  The local police chock the death up to a suicide but Kincaid thinks otherwise.  Soon, once another body shows up dead, he is certain that there is a killer among the people currently at the time share.

Kincaid spends the remainder of his vacation getting to know the residents and employees of the time share and tries to ferret out the killer.  This book is full of interesting twists and I was a little surprised by the identity of the killer.  I also loved the English setting of the book.  I'm curious enough about the main characters to give the next book in this series a go.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge 2012




I completely adored participating in the Book Chick City Mystery & Suspense challenge last year.  I have decided that I do indeed want to participate once again this year.  This is my post, declaring said intent.  Here are the challenge details directly from Book Chick City:


• Timeline: 01 Jan 2012 - 31 Dec 2012

• Rules: There are TWO LEVELS you can choose from:

 - Read TWELVE (12) mystery & suspense novels in 2012
 - Read TWENTY FOUR (24) mystery & suspense novels in 2012 

• You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.

• You can join at anytime. All books read in 2012 count towards the challenge regardless of when you sign up.

• At the beginning of Jan 2012, you will find a link to specific month to add your reviews.

• Audiobooks do not count, but all other formats are accepted.

• This challenge can crossover to other challenges.

• You DO NOT have to write reviews of the books you read, but if you decide you would like to then Mr Linky will be available each month so you can link up your reviews.
• You don't have to have a blog to join in - for those without a blog but who use Goodreads, Amazon, LibraryThing etc, you can add the URL to where you track your books. If you don't have a URL at all then choose a name you would like to use and then copy and paste the following link: 

http://www.bookchickcity.com/2011/12/sign-up-mystery-suspense-reading.html

• You can choose from the numerous sub-genres of mystery and suspense, from cosy mysteries such as Agatha Christie to the more hard-boiled kind like V I Warshawski by Sara Paretsky, or romantic suspense written by the likes of Linda Howard, forensic crime such as those written by Kathy Reichs and even paranormal/supernatural suspense such as Kelley Armstrong. I'm sure this challenge will have something for everyone! :)


If this sounds like something you might enjoy - head on over to BCC to sign up.  You can do so by clicking on the above challenge image.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Teaser Tuesday's - A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.
My teaser this week is from Nook page 66 of Deborah Crombie's A Share in Death:

What to do now, with this unexpected information? He couldn't ignore it.  Why, in the name of all that was competent, hadn't Nash's men searched the room already?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Book Review - An Affair Without End by Candace Camp

An Affair Without End by Candace Camp is the first book I've read this year for the 2012 Historical Romance Challenge.  While I can say that I did like this book - it's not a stand-out book for me.  In fact, when I sat down to write this review - my mind went blank and I had to look up the synopsis on Good Reads.

Lady Vivian Carlyle has known Oliver, the Earl of Stewkesbury for nearly all of her life.  While they have a certain reputation for bickering endlessly with one another - they do also seem to like one another's company.  While in London for the Season and the coming-out of his newly discovered relatives - Vivian and Oliver are thrown into each other's company more than normal and they find that they are quite attracted to one another.

There are a series of jewel thefts occurring in London and Vivian takes it upon herself to start asking questions of her jeweler - much to Oliver's annoyance.  Feeling that he must 'protect' Vivian, he ensues to help her learn more about the thefts.

There were elements to this book that I liked but I also felt that the story had been told before.  Vivian and Oliver were likeable but mildly annoying at the same time.  I can't even remember how many times through the book one of them would mention or think about how unsuitable to marriage they were for one another.  While Ms. Camp tied up the mystery nicely and Vivian and Oliver received their happy ending - I was just relieved to be done with the book.

Friday, January 20, 2012

State of Writing

It has been nearly two months since I have gotten any really good writing done - since completing NaNoWriMo in November.  It's not unusual for me to get little writing done in December; but here we are, nearly done with January and I've written very, very little.  I'm in a writing rut and I am definitely feeling it.  This is what the hazy 'they' mean when talking about sittinf rear in chair and writing.  I'm afraid if I wait for the elusive inspiration to strike it'll be midsummer and I'll be upset about not getting anything done for half the year.

So, I have decided to commit myself to a writing challenge I found at Inkygirl.  I will write at least 500 words of fiction per day.  She has other levels - 250 and 1,000 words per day but I feel that 500 is the right challenge for me at this time.  I have a really pretty calendar that was included in one of my craft magazines in December.  It is going to be used simply for tracking my writing goals and accomplishments for 2012.  I plan to write the 500 words per day in each square - along with other writing goals to be shared in future posts.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Booking Through Thursday - Skipping

Booking Through Thursday is a fun, weekly, bookish question and response event. This week we ponder:

Do you skip ahead in a book? Do you feel badly about it when you do?

Well, I have to admit that I do sometimes skip a bit while I'm reading.  I have even been known to read the end of a book before deciding if I'm willing to emotionally invest in the entire story.  Do I fel bad about it? Not really.  There have been times when I have wished I hadn't skipped because I have found out something about the story that I shouldn't have known yet.  And this is probably why I don't skip ahead as much as I used to.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Teaser Tuesday's - The Hand That First Held Mine

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:


- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 7 of Maggie O'Farrell's The Hand That First Held Mine:
 
Art is not a background for Innes.  It is what he breathes, what makes life continue; he looks and he doesn't see a tree, a car, a street, he sees a potential still-life, he sees an interplay of light and shade and colour, he sees a deliberate arrangement of chosen objects.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Musing Monday's - Print vs. Electronic

Musing Monday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. This week’s musing:

What devices –if any– do you read books on? Do you find it enjoyable, or still somewhat bothersome? Or: If you only read the print books, why haven’t you chosen to read on any devices?



I have a Barnes and Noble Nook.  I love to read on it but it by no means replaces my love for print books.  What I like about the Nook is the ability to have so many books with you at one time.  And if I finish one and don't have another on hand, I can find, buy and be reading a new book in minutes.  I also like that I can adjust the size of the font; usually it's needs to be larger as my eyes tire but I don't want to stop reading.

The Nook will never replace my actual print books, though.  I love seeing the books I own on my shelves.  I love the colors and textures and sheer beauty of the covers of print books; I can't get that with a Nook.  Plus, I absolutely love, love, love the smell of books! So far, no one has figured out how to duplicate the smell of a book with an electronic device, or the sound of a turning page.  Honestly, even if there was something like either of these on my Nook - I still don't think it would be the same.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Book Review - A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff

Phoebe Swift is the protagonist in Isabel Wolff's A Vintage Affair and she is emotionally struggling through every day.  She had a successful and thriving career at Sotheby's London working with and auctioning off vintage clothing, she had a loving fiance' and a lifelong best friend who was always there for her.  Then an un unthinkable tragedy occurs and Phoebe's life as she knows it is forever over.

Lost in her own world, Phobe sets about opening her own vintage clothing store in Blackheath, a section of South London.  Once she is given credit by the bank to do so, Phoebe's store, Village Vintage is born.  Little does she know, but Village Vintage, the clothes that she acquires and more accurately the personal histories that go with many of the vintage items, are to be Phoebe's saving grace.

Through her store - Phoebe meets Dan - a journalist that writes a piece about her new store in the local newspaper.  He writes a very accurate story that has peole coming into her store more quickly than she had anticipated.  It's this local news article that prompts Therese Bell to call on Phoebe to come peruse her own vintage clothing for hopeful purchase.  Phoebe does indeed purchase many of the elderly Mrs. bell's clothing and an unlikely but extremely beautiful friendship is born between the two women.

Phoebe and Mrs. Bell quickly learn that their souls are joined by very similar losses in their lives but for incredibly different reasons.  The stories of these losses threads throughout A Vintage Affair but it is also a story of redemption and personal forgiveness.

I freely admit that I was crying at the end of this book.  A Vintage Affair is beautiful and poignant and I've already started recommending it to my friends.  I truly love this book and imagine I will definitely read it again at some point in time.  As I will also be looking for more books by Isabel Wolff to read.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Teaser Tuesday's - Affair Without End by Candace Camp

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.
My teaser this week is from page Nook page 27 of Candace Camp's Affair Without End:
At moments like this, when Oliver was warm and open, his face alive with humor, it was impossible not to like him.  Indeed, it made her want to do or say whatever it took to keep that look on his face.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Book Review - Homeport by Nora Roberts

Homeport by Nora Roberts is the first book I have read for 2012.  As a long time fan of Ms. Roberts books - I was surprised to realize that I had somehow missed reading this one.  It came out in 1998 and I was definitely reading her books by that time.  I am a little sad to say that this book was just okay for me.  I didn't dislike it but I didn't exactly like it either, if that makes sense.  I just never connected with the main characters - Dr. Miranda Jones and Ryan Boldari.  I actually liked a couple of minor characters (Annie and Andrew) better.

Dr. Miranda Jones is a well-respected authority of Renaissance art.  She is summoned to Italy by her less-than-likeable mother to authenticate a recently found sculpture.  She decides - through a rather scientific and drawn out process that the sculpture is indeed real.  Days later, she is fired - by her own ruthless and cold mother - because someone else has taken the sculpture and deemed it a fake.  Miranda is sent home, chastised like a toddler rather than treated like a grown woman; and shortly thereafter, the art institute she runs with her alcoholic brother is burglarized.

This is the point in the book where the hero is introduced and I really thought it would get better.  It didn't.  Ryan Boldari is a respected and well-known art dealer with galleries in more than one major city.  He is also an art thief.  While there is a small bit of believable chemistry between Miranda and Ryan - they mostly fell flat for me.  And while there are actual reasons for this - I don't want to list too much more in case this book might be wonderful for someone else.  For me though, this book was only okay.  It definitely took me longer to read than most other Nora Roberts books.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Teaser Tuesday's - A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:


- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 17 of Isabel Wolff's A Vintage Affair:
"The suit has a British label from the early forties," I went on," so I wonder what happened to this woman during the war.  Did her husband survive? Did she survive?"