Monday, November 29, 2010

It's Been a Dystopian Holiday!

Wow, I'm on a total roll with the dystopian reads of late. First it was Ally Condie's Matched, then Andrea Cremer's Nightshade (not dystopian, but with enough elements in common that I'll lump it in here anyway) and then Hunger Games. Whew!

I know Hunger Games is everywhere right now. My fellow blogger friend Vickie just listed to it on audio this past week as well. The only reason it took me this long is because the Junior Junkies got to it first. I'm usually the one lending books to them.

Unfortunately, they only sent me the first two. Grrr. This means I'll have to wait to finish the trilogy and find out what happens. Til then I have a massive TBR stack to tackle and I can hold more books hostage for them until they send over Mockingjay :)

Hunger Games begins in a future where society has been reduced to thirteen districts and the Capitol. Seventy-four years ago, the districts attempted a rebellion and they've been paying the price ever since. District Thirteen was decimated and the remaining twelve must give up two children each year to compete in The Hunger Games. It's a fight to the death and only one can survive.

For those of you who haven't jumped on the Hunger Gamesbandwagon, track down the books now, before the movie comes out. (You have time, it's slated for 2013.) It's like Running Manmeets Survivor meets Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" -- a totally wild and addicting intense ride.

BTW, I keep ragging on my sister for not sending me the whole trilogy, but I guess I can hold out till Christmas to read it. The curiosity is going to kill me until then, though. I'm dying to know how it'll all end!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Spreading the Word About An Upcoming Author Event

Hey, folks! I just got word about a great author event that will be both live (if you're in Cincinnati) and virtual (for those of us who aren't). Here's the dets:

A Booklover’s Fantasy:

Romance & Fantasy Fans Worldwide Can Attend

Virtual/Live Book Signing Event at Joseph-Beth Booksellers

With New York Times Bestselling Authors Marjorie M. Liu & C.L. Wilson


The Book Signing. Revolutionized.

Marjorie M. Liu and C.L. Wilson headline an innovative live/virtual book signing, powered by Vivo (http://www.vivolive.com/harpercollins/majorieliuandclwilson). Both authors will be reading, answering questions, and signing copies for anyone who attends the event at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati--in-person or online.

“We recently had our first experiment with a virtual event, featuring New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn…not only did we have a packed house in-store, but we had more than 500 virtual attendees from around the globe. With the powerhouse duo of Marjorie M. Liu and C.L. Wilson, we expect to have a dynamic audience and record-setting online attendance for their Joseph Beth event – whether fans attend in flesh or in virtual reality, they can interact with these beloved authors and get signed copies of their newest books,” says Pam Jaffee, director of publicity for Avon Books.


New York Times bestselling author Marjorie M. Liu is known for her paranormal romance novels and comic books. She recently gained national renown with her video game, Tiger Eye: Curse of the Riddle Box. Marjorie is also an attorney, and divides her time between China and Indiana.

New York Times bestselling author C.L. Wilson wrote her first novel at age six…but it wasn’t until 2006 that she sold her first book, an epic fantasy then entitled Tairen Soul, at auction. This debut novel was an instant bestseller – as has been every other novel in the series. The author lives in Florida.


Thursday, December 2nd, 2010. 6:00pm EST


Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati (2692 Madison Road, Cincinnati OH 45208, 513.396.8960)

Online at www.vivolive.com, www.josephbeth.com, www.avonromance.com and www.rtbookreviews.com.


To celebrate the release of two of the most anticipated books of the season—

IN THE DARK OF DREAMS (9780062020161, on sale 11/30 from Avon, an imprint of HarperCollins), which has already been nominated for the 2010 RT Book ReviewsBest Shapeshifter Romance”, and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, who called it “a satisfying adventure of intense emotion and compelling characters.”

CROWN OF CRYSTAL FLAME (9780062018960, on sale 10/26 from Avon, an imprint of HarperCollins), the conclusion of New York Timesbestselling author C.L. Wilson’s sweeping Tairen Soul saga, has been called, “Epic in scope and scale yet emotionally intimate…a truly stellar achievement” by RT Book Reviews.

NOTE: Readers can log onto Joseph-Beth Booksellers web site to pre-order a signed copies of IN THE DARK OF DREAMS HERE(http://www.josephbeth.com/Products/56281-in-the-dark-of-dreams-a-dirk-steele-novel-author-signed.aspx) and CROWN OF CRYSTAL FLAME HERE (http://www.josephbeth.com/Products/56287-crown-of-crystal-flame-author-signed.aspx)

New Releases 11/30/10

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

Critical Condition by CJ Lyons -- fourth in the Angels of Mercy series

Matched by Ally Condie

Bitter Legacy by H. Terrell Griffin

Set the Night on Fire by Libby Fischer Hellmann

Salting Roses by Lorelle Marinello

In the Dark of Dreams by Marjorie M. Liu

Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell

Of Love and Evil by Anne Rice

Rescue by Anita Shreve

The Sherlockian by Graham Moore

New On DVD
Knight and Day
Sorcerer's Apprentice
Going the Distance

New Reviews at Bookbitch.com:
Critical Condition
The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Blacklands by Belinda Bauer
The First Love Cookie Club by Lori Wilde

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Another Mini Challenge From Literary Escapism!

Yay! Another Mini-Challenge from Jackie over at Literary Escapism. This time around, the goal is to read up to five new male oriented urban fantasy titles. But, this means they can be written by or star a man. I'm going to peruse my TBR and see what I've got that applies.

My goal for the next few months is to really tackle my backlist collection and knock out some reads! Jackie's challenges always help since I've been hoarding books for the apocalypse!

My projected so far (subject to change):

Nekropolis by Tim Waggoner
Child of Fire by Harry Connolly
Dead to Me by Anton Strout
Kill the Rain by Tony Richards

for my fifth, I have some seconds in series that I'm considering. The goal is to do new to you authors, but it's been a while since I've tackled Mike Carey and I've also got Richard Kadry's Kill the Dead. Or I could go F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack, possibly. I've been meaning the reread The Keep, which is first in the Adversary Cycle, book two is The Tomb, which happens to be the first Repairman Jack. We'll see! Challenge begins Dec 1, so I have some time to decide.

Monday, November 22, 2010

"Breathless" Teen Read!

So I've mentioned the Breathless Reads promotion here a few times now. Five fabulous teen reads released between August and December, including Brenna Yovanoff's debut, The Replacement, Kirsten Miller's teen reincarnation romance, The Eternal Ones, last week's pre-pub post, Matched by Ally Condie, the sequel to Catherine Fisher's Incarceron (Sapphique), and Andrea Cremer's debut, Nightshade.

I've got Incarceron on my wish list, so Sapphique will have to wait, but I finished both Matched and Nightshade this weekend. Both were fabulous!

In Andrea Cremer's Nightshade, alpha Calla Tor has always followed the laws of the Keepers and the Guardians. She's to be paired with fellow alpha, Ren Laroche, in an official union ceremony on Samhain, uniting their two packs and creating a new, young pack of Guardians with a very special purpose. But when Calla saves a mortal boy from a bear one afternoon, everything changes. Shay is no normal human. His uncle is very important to the Keepers and wants to ensure that his nephew is protected at all cost, especially after he and Calla are attacked one evening. Calla again saves Shay and is assigned as his unofficial bodyguard. But, Calla is to reveal nothing about her world to Shay. As they spend more time together, Calla is unable to keep her promise of secrecy. Shay begins digging on his own as well, and the two make some startling discoveries about the history of the Keepers and the Guardians.

With Nightshade, Cremer has created a unique and vivid world of mythology and alternate history. It's an excellent debut and first in the series. I really can't wait to see what will happen next (and won't give anything away for you!).

I'll admit, the first few chapters are little confusing. The reader is literally thrown into this world and bits of information are revealed along the way. It becomes a more comfortable read after just a few chapters, though, once some of the backstory has begun to unfold.

These are not your typical werewolves! Definitely a highly recommended one. I think you're going to love it!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

New Releases 11/23/10

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

The Lady's Slipper by Deborah Swift

Social Lives by Wendy Walker

The Emperor's Tomb by Steve Barry

The Athena Project by Brad Thor

An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin

Hull Zero Three by Greg Bear

Knot Gneiss by Piers Anthony

Third Degree by Maggie Barbieri -- fifth in the Murder 101 series

New on DVD:
The Expendables
Eat Pray Love
The Disappearance of Alice Creed

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pre Pub Book Buzz -- Matched by Ally Condie

Whew. This has been a long week. Slow reading on my part, but I'm taking a break to dive into Ally Condie's new teen release, Matched. I read about half last night before falling asleep and it's fabulous. It's a good thing my sisters haven't heard of it yet, or they'd be nagging me already!

Matched had been getting huge buzz this year. BEA folks were all over it, so of course I've been keeping an eye out for it as well. Then it was offered up as part of the Breathless Reads promotion, so I lucked out with an early copy.

Matched is set for release on November 30. I'd recommend preordering it if you're a fan of YA dystopian fiction -- or if you have a voracious teen reader like the Junior Junkies in your house!

Here's the description from the official web site:

In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one… until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow — between perfection and passion.

Check out Ally Condie's page and the official Matched page for and excerpt and more. And what's on my plate for this holiday week? I'm hoping to jump into The Hunger Games and some other teen reads that have been hanging around on my TBR stack!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Another Must Read From My Collection!

Have you read the fabulousness that is Ariana Franklin yet? Historical and forensic mystery fans definitely need to add her to their list. Why? Because she's amazing. Her current series, which began with Mistress of the Art of Death, features a 12th century female pathologist and incorporates historical details of the time. It's wonderful!

I was first introduced to Franklin (aka Diana Norman) by way of her release City of Shadows, which hit shelves back in '06. And as I mentioned in my Mistress post last year, I was lucky enough to read Shadows much earlier thanks to one of the wonderful marketing folks at Harper Collins at the time (I was still Fiction Lead at the bookstore at this time).

Like her series, Franklin incorporated actual historical events into City of Shadows. One of histories most famous missing persons legends (akin to Elvis!) is that of Duchess Anastasia. It's a story that's fascinated me since I was kid and it's been the subject of many movies and books throughout the years. The idea that the little princess was spirited away and saved from execution, hiding out -- possibly with amnesia -- is a romantic one indeed.

Interestingly, in the 1920s, a woman called Anna Anderson was believed, at least by some, to be the lost duchess. She was one of many who made that claim, and her story was ultimately proved to be false (here's the link to her Wikipedia page). But that doesn't change the fact that her story and that of Anastasia is still a fascinating one.

And it is Anna who is the basis of Franklin's City of Shadows. It's been a while for me, so here's the review from PW:

British author Franklin (the pseudonym of a veteran historical fiction writer) makes the most of an original premise in this engrossing thriller that opens in 1922 Berlin. The German government is in crisis, inflation is staggering, anti-Semitism is rife, citizens are starving and Hitler has begun his rise to power. Horribly scarred Esther Solonomova works as a secretary for fake Russian nobleman Prince Nick, the owner of several Berlin nightclubs (think Cabaret) catering to the rich, the foreign and the deviant. Nick finds an inmate in a local asylum who claims to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia, sole survivor of the slaughter of Russia's royal family. Prince Nick renames the inmate Anna Anderson, installs her in an apartment with Esther and sets in motion plans to get his hands on the money and jewels that Anna will claim as the heir to the Russian throne. But a mysterious Nazi is trying to murder Anna, and those near her begin to die. Franklin deftly orchestrates her characters on and off the world's stage, building suspense to a dramatic, surprising finish.

I'd recommend all of Franklin's work, but this is undeniably my favorite!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Follow Up on The Distant Hours

Last week, I posted a Pre-Pub post on Kate Morton's latest, The Distant Hours. Well, what a whopper of a read it was! At just under 700 pages, I finished it in five days (not my best finish time).

I have to say I was totally blown away. Milderhurst Castle came alive! The book was a completely absorbing read -- and very nicely gothic in style! I have to highly recommend this to anyone looking to be swept away in a fabulous mystery. If you enjoyed Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale (an absolute favorite of mine) then you should definitely add Kate Morton to your "Must Read" list!

Enjoy! I'm currently diving into Jo Nesbo's The Redbreast and will keep you posted!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New Releases 11/16/10

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

Night Star by Alyson Noel - Immortals book 5

Hollywood Hills by Joseph Wambaugh

The Neighbors Are Watching by Debra Ginsberg

Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie

New on DVD:
Disney's Christmas Carol
The Last Airbender

New Reviews at Bookbitch.com:
The Distant Hours by Kate Morton
The Immortals by JT Ellison

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pre Pub Book Buzz -- Critical Condition by CJ Lyons

November 30 is the official release date for CJ Lyons's final Angel of Mercy installment, Critical Condition. I've been following the series since the beginning, when Lyons made her debut with Lifelines in 2008. I've been a big fan of this series and can't wait to see what Lyons has up her sleeve next! (Rumor has it, she's coauthoring a series with Erin Brockovich.)

Each of the four books follows a different character at Angels of Mercy hospital. Lifelines was Lydia's story, Warning Signs featured Amanda, Urgent Care was Nora's tale, and now it's Gina's turn. Course they're each more ensemble stories than that, but the core part of each book focuses on one character.

Here's a bit more about Critical Condition from the publisher's email:

Critics loved Lifelines, her debut novel which won the Readers’ Choice Award for Best First Novel and appeared on the Barnes and Nobles Bookscan Mass Market bestseller list for a few weeks after its release. Now, CJ returns with CRITICAL CONDITION, the fourth book in her fast-paced and thrilling medical series which follows the intersecting lives of four women who spend one fated night together during a blizzard, with a killer on the loose claiming patients as his next victim…

Trapped within the ER are resident Gina Freeman and her friends: Amanda, a fourth-year medical student on her last night of her PICU rotation, and Nora, an ER charge nurse. Can Gina summon up the courage to face her lies and tell the truth before its too late? Will Gina be able to face the deadly killer before another victim is taken?

CJ is an awesome, awesome person. I had the pleasure of meeting her at Left Coast Crime where Lifelines sold out after her panel. Fortunately, I found a copy at the bookstore on my way home and was able to get it signed : ) You can check out more from CJ at her official site (linked above) and at her new blog, Marketing With Heart.

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's Friday!

Wait, actually it's Wednesday in my world. Yep. I'm preposting.

I've been hanging onto this post topic for a few weeks actually. You all know I'm a huge horror fan: My rental queue is packed with zombies, slashers, ghosts, etc. So it wouldn't come as any surprise that I was stoked to see John Lindqvist's Let Me In coming out back in 2007. A Scandinavian vampire book. What could be better?

I've never reviewed the book here (I mentioned earlier this week - and you can see by the sidebar - that I'd started blogging in Feb '08 so the book had already been out a few months at that point), though I did review it for Bookbitch.com and you can see that I liked the book alright. I thought the translation was great and that Lindqvist was an obvious talent. What I didn't mention was the fact that I didn't find the book to be that much of a horror. Certainly horrific and graphically violent with some really twisted and perverse characters, but not true horror. I felt it was more of a dramatic piece.

I've seen the 2008 Swedish film, screenplay by Lindqvist himself, and I saw the American remake opening week. I did make a few observations. First, while both movies make a valiant effort at following the book, and do so quite effectively, the book is much more disturbing. And the American version of the film is slightly more appealing to me than the Swedish in terms of movies in general.

It's interesting, because I find that where books can be very graphic, movies tend to be on the safer side here in the States. (Not the case in Sweden where they definitely don't pull the punches.) I think seeing some of these things on the big screen is still very taboo for American audiences and as someone who watches a lot of violent films, I still kind of agree that some aspects of the book weren't necessary for the feature film. When you're editing for time, certain side stories and elements have to be cut. But I thought it was interesting that Eli's partner is toned down in the Swedish film as well. His story is pretty much cut. And his story is one of the most disturbing parts of the book.

Another interesting change was in the character of Oskar/Owen. The Swedish actor plays the part closer to what I imagined in the book -- a boy with some pretty twisted psychological tendencies. The actor in the US version was easier to sympathize with.

While I don't find it necessary to remake every popular foreign film for American audiences -- I'm perfectly happy seeing foreign films -- from a cultural standpoint, I do find it really interesting to compare and contrast the various versions. If you've seen the Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for example, there are some very violently graphic scenes in the film -- again, they don't pull punches, these scenes are straight from the book -- and I'm very curious to see how they'll be treated in the upcoming US film.

I am also curious to see the characters as they're portrayed by different actors. The boys in the two versions of Let the Right One In aka Let Me In, effectively changed the tone of the story in my eyes. Noomi Rapace, who plays Lisbeth in the Swedish versions of Larsson's films, owns that character. To see her in real life is to see a completely different person. I'm not certain that will be replicated in a way that really works on screen here. We'll have to wait and see, though. I have a much easier time picturing Daniel Craig as Michael Nyqvist. Rooney Mara has big shoes to fill, though.

Anyway, I've rambled on long enough. A couple of other comparisons you can make, if you're interested:

Germany's 2001 Das Experiment starring the amazing Moritz Bleibtreu was recently adapted in the US (The Experiment) with Adrien Brody and Forest Whitaker starring. I'm a huge fan of the German film, but haven't seen the US version just yet.

The US version of The Eye was a throwaway in my opinion.

The Vanishing from 1993 with Kiefer Sutherland is a pretty good adaptation of the Dutch, 1988 Spoorloos, if I recall correctly. Worth seeing both.

There's more on Wikipedia here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Translated Works and the Scandinavian Trend

I'm not sure, but I think I may have touched on translated works here before. At any rate, it would have been back in the beginning and the current rising trend in Scandinavian thrillers/mysteries prompts me to talk about it again.

First let me say that I'm a huge fan of translated works. Seeing the international bestsellers lists in PW always has a sense of excitement and frustration for me because I always have to wonder when or if we'll be getting our chance at some of the books that are doing well internationally.

I've heard complaints amongst the publishing industry that translated works just don't do very well. In the grand scheme of things, statistics and all, this is probably still true. All it really takes, though, is for one book to generate a lot of buzz and a new trend is kicked off. And this is what we're seeing right now thanks to Stieg Larsson's popularity.

A couple of notes on that, though. This is not the first time that Scandinavian thrillers have had marked popularity in the States. I can name plenty of authors (Henning Mankell, Peter Hoeg, Jo Nesbo) who have been around in the US market for quite some time.

Another note is the fact that Larsson's debut in the States was accompanied by a HUGE marketing campaign, something many foreign authors don't receive here. One example (France this time) is Jean Christophe-Grange, an author I've talked about here before who's translated work is hard to come by in the US. His last release here was the grossly under-adverstised Empire of Wolves. Grange has had four new releases in France since Wolves came out here and none (to my knowledge) has been translated for an English speaking audience.

So there's two sides to that coin. I think Larsson's work proves a. that there is a viable market for translated works here (as evidence by others such as Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Natsuo Kirino, Ohran Pamuk, Isabel Allende and so many more) and b. a great marketing plan goes a long way in introducing readers to these works.

Now everyone's looking for the next Larsson along with the next Twilight. A slew of new foreign fiction is set to hit markets in the coming months:
  • Liza Marklund, already a bestseller overseas, made her US debut co-authoring James Patterson's The Postcard Killers. Her latest solo novel, Red Wolf, is due out here in the States in Feb.
  • Another one getting lots of buzz lately is Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom's Three Seconds, set for release in January, one of the first releases in Sterling's new fiction imprint, Silver Oak.

Others on my "To Read" Scandinavian list include Camilla Lackberg, who's The Ice Princess was released here this summer, Johan Theorin, Jo Nesbo, and Lars Kepler -- just to name a few.

If you're interested in seeing what's on the horizon in Scandinavian translated fiction here in the States, check out ScandinavianBooks.com. They've got news, reviews, and profiles of both crime and fiction authors.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Immortals

Ah, this was to be one of my Halloween reads. With the wedding, though, I ended up on something of a self-imposed reading fast. So much to do, so many people to visit with, and ending just about each night passing out from sheer exhaustion. And so I dove into JT Ellison's fifth Taylor Jackson book last week. And guess what arrived on the doorstep that week as well? Book six! Yep. I'm a lucky girl. So Close the Hand of Death is not due out until March of next year. Consider it a fabulous wedding gift from the publisher (I do)!

With The Immortals, Taylor Jackson is on her own (sans Baldwin, I mean) to solve a multiple homicide on Halloween. Seven teenagers have been brutally murdered and an eighth lies in critical condition after what can only be called a massive ritualistic killing spree. With murmurings of witches and vampires, Taylor is certain there is a more logical solution to such a horrible crime, but the killers have so far evaded capture. Meanwhile, Baldwin is facing a disciplinary hearing regarding a case from 2004 and a secret he's been carrying with him for the past six years.

Ah, JT! The emotional torture she puts Taylor and Baldwin through... And there is something of a cliffhanger ending here. I know from blog posts that Memphis comes back in book seven (from The Cold Room), which is a little teaser to be expecting when I finish reading So Close the Hand of Death now as well. I can only imagine the tension he's going to bring with him. I will have to hold off just a little on diving into book six, but I'm not sure how long I'll be able to resist the pull!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Cold Room

Alright, catching up on JT Ellison for you guys. I actually read The Cold Room just last month, in anticipation of the release of Ellison's latest title, The Immortals. I'd fallen just one book behind and was damn sure not going to let it go any further than that!

What probably gets me most about Ellison is the fact that she hasn't seemed to run out of any steam. Not everyone can be a winner with every reader every time. Ellison has not let me down, though. With each new title, she takes the series further, letting readers see more and more into the lives of her two characters (and side characters as well). I feel connected to them. When I read one of Ellison's books, I get immersed in Taylor and Baldwin's world. This is, to me, a sign of a really great author, and the goal with any book that I read: I want to leave behind the everyday and get caught up, just for a little while, in a world that's not my own.

NOTE: Possible spoilers if you haven't read the rest of the series.

In The Cold Room, Taylor Jackson has been demoted to detective. Forced to answer to someone else, forced apart from her team, she's finding it a bit difficult to bite her tongue and let someone else be in charge. And rightfully so. But she has no other choice. And with the Pretender still out there taunting her, the pressure is mounting. Her latest case involves the murder of a young woman, seemingly starved to death and posed in a grotesque homage to Picasso. The scene is strikingly similar to a string of murders in Italy and England that Baldwin has been investigating. The killer reporters are calling The Conductor, may be one and the same, but minute differences and the trans-continental killing spree would have Baldwin and Taylor believe, or perhaps hope, otherwise. As the killer searches out his newest victim, the two investigators uncover disturbing clues to the motivations behind these crimes.

I never want to give too much away, but you simply must read Ellison's Authors Note when you finish this one. Her inspiration for this one and the research that is out there is fascinating, and disturbing.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A JT Ellison Post

Sometimes I get caught up in my reading only to realize that I'm not totally caught up in posting. Hm. For the record, most everything I read is reviewed first for Bookbitch.com. I also post Shelfari reviews and then a third separate review here. Yep, that's three blurbs per book, unless I poach an old backlist one from the BB archives or, as with the Pre Pub posts, they're publisher's or PW reviews. I think you'll forgive me if I neglect a title here or there, won't you? But as I'm trying to catch up from a couple of months of neglectful posting anyway, I feel I need to make it up to you.

Well, such is the case with one of my favorite must-read authors, JT Ellison. See, back when I started this blog, in Feb of '08, Ellison's series was already running. Her debut, All the Pretty Girls had been out since November of '07 and I think I ended up posting about that title here right around the release date of book two, 14. Apparently, I missed the boat on posting a review of 14 here on the blog, though, because my next post was book three, Judas Kiss, which can be found here.

So to remedy that (because I'm a bit anal), here is my Bookbitch review of 14. Tomorrow I'll review The Cold Room and Wednesday I'll post a review of Ellison's latest entry in the series, The Immortals. It may be a bit unnecessary, since I hope you're all reading this series already (have I mentioned that they're packed with suspense, usually a little shocking, and full of I can't believe it moments where Ellison pushes her characters to the brink and beyond in each new book?!), but it's the least I can do.


Lieutenant Taylor Jackson is just days from walking down the aisle when she’s called to the scene of a gruesome murder. Strangely, the MO resembles that of a serial killer who struck Tennessee in the early 80’s. Dubbed the Snow White Killer thanks to his dark haired, pale skinned victims, and his penchant for smearing bright red lipstick across their faces, he left behind ten victims before apparently throwing in the towel; he was never caught. Has Snow White reemerged after such a long break or are they facing a copycat. Then new evidence is found to support the copycat theory and Jackson and her team are faced with uncovering both of the killers’ identities in order to solve the case. With just two titles released, J.T. Ellison has proven herself to be one of the best new thriller authors out there. Her characters are solid and her plots are refreshingly original - and what a great ending.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

New Releases 11/09/10

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

Ghosting by David Poyer

Lipstick in Afghanistan by Roberta Gately

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton

I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg

Bitten in Two by Jennifer Rardin -- Jaz Parks #7

The Pericles Commission by Gary Corby

The Wolves of Andover by Kathleen Kent -- prequel to The Heretic's Daughter

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

Hell's Corner by David Baldacci

A Deadman's Tale by James Doss

New on DVD:
Charlie St. Cloud
Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Grown Ups
Ramona and Beezus
Sherlock Season 1

New reviews at Bookbitch.com:
Lipstick in Afghanistan
Frostbite by David Wellington
Dark Echo by F.G. Cottam

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pre Pub Book Buzz -- The Distant Hours by Kate Morton

Tuesday (11/09) sees the release of Kate Morton's latest, The Distant Hours. Morton, whose debut, The House at Riverton (The Shifting Fog), captivated readers - including myself - has made a name for herself with her gothically toned fiction. I've been salivating over The Distant Hours for a couple weeks now, since the massive ARC landed on my doorstep. Unfortunately, I knew that this one would take a little more attention that I could devote before now. Never fear! I'm diving in this weekend. For now, here's the PW review so you can share my excitement:

A letter posted in 1941 finally reaches its destination in 1992 with powerful repercussions for Edie Burchill, a London book editor, in this enthralling romantic thriller from Australian author Morton (The Forgotten Garden). At crumbling Milderhurst Castle live elderly twins Persephone and Seraphina and their younger half-sister, Juniper, the three eccentric spinster daughters of the late Raymond Blythe, author of The True History of the Mud Man, a children's classic Edie adores. Juniper addressed the letter to Meredith, Edie's mother, then a young teen evacuated to Milderhurst during the Blitz. Edie, who's later invited to write an introduction to a reprint of Raymond's masterpiece, visits the seedily alluring castle in search of answers. Why was her mother so shattered by the contents of a letter sent 51 years earlier? And what happened to soldier Thomas Cavill, Juniper's long-missing fiancé and Meredith's former teacher? Despite the many competing narratives, the answers will stun readers.

I'm thinking a nice relaxing weekend indoors (with the exception of some yoga), curled up with some hot tea and The Distant Hours is the perfect way to spend the next two days.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day Two

Well, the wedding festivities are over and the out of towners have all returned home. Guess that means I have to go back to normal everyday life now. It's a little weird! No, not being married. I don't know if that's set in. It's the back to day to day routine stuff that's weird.

In reality, we only had the one weekend of true abnormality here. If you extend it out through the engagement, it was about three months of intermittent weirdness. Somehow, though, returning to work tomorrow and putting the party one more day behind us is what I'm having a hard time with.

Ah well. What's a girl to do? Read. That'll be back to normal routine as of tomorrow as well. I would say tonight since the plan is to settle in with JT Ellison's latest, The Immortals, in just a few, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to pass out shortly : )

Hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween. Did anyone catch The Walking Dead premiere? It was fantastic! I vegged out Monday morning and tuned in with Mike and friend Jen. Can't wait to see the rest of the season!