Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Alpha's (The Blood Bar Chronicles) by Doris O'Connor, Cherise Nicholis, Jorja Lovett, & Arya Grey

Goodreads description:
Perfect Timing by Arya Grey
David Malm had given up on love, but on a trip through time he meets Josie. She reignites a lost fire in his soul.

Josie McNair may be all fire on the outside, but her lack of self-confidence has her insides twisted over meeting her writing group. She begins to realize there are more creatures in the world than she first suspected and finds herself thrown into a life where time has no meaning.

Time-traveling peace-keeper David Malm could never believe in love again. When Henri instructed him in 3042 to look in at the Blood Bar on this particular night in 2011, he didn't envision it turning into a supernatural disaster, let alone be in the throws of passion with a beautiful stranger. Josie reignited something in him he'd thought he'd lost forever, and he would do anything to keep her safe.

Alpha’s Vixen by Cherie Nicholls
From IT geek to Mystical Beacon in one night; not the usual WLF meeting it has to be said.

Dora "Dizzy" Williamson is a busy lady, but she finally makes time to meet some of her writing group in a new bar. Surely a couple of hours with the ladies wouldn't be too bad, right?

Xander de Rista is CEO and alpha to his pack, so being drawn to a new bar that prickled his fur doesn't sit too well with him. Tonight feels different; there are too many supernaturals in one place, but one human stands out to him. One he intends to claim and protect, because hell isn't just breaking loose, it is coming to town.

Saving Hope by Doris O’Connor
Fate cannot be denied. When an ancient vampire finds time catching up with him, can he protect the only woman capable of thawing his heart?

Noelle has only one thing on her mind: how to save her sick daughter from a mysterious illness. A night out with the girls ought to be a distraction, but it turns out to change her life forever.

Fate is not something Henri, a two-thousand-year-old vampire, takes lightly. When he steps into the bar teeming with supernaturals, there is only one scent he finds—Noelle, the one woman he’d never forgotten—and she holds a secret that could cause a war. With time finally ticking in his ear, there is only one decision he can make—he has to protect her or die trying.

In Her Element by Jorja Lovett
When quiet Ana Chapman meets Fire Elemental, Zanaan, at the Blood Bar, a night of hot sex makes her realize just what she's been missing.

For the first time in her life, Ana Chapman is ready for a little excitement. Escaping her mother's tyranny in Belfast for one weekend in Edinburgh to meet her online writers' group seems more than enough to cope with. But her visit to the Blood Bar changes everything. Spontaneous public orgasms, supernatural beings, and teleportation weren't on her agenda for the trip. Neither was losing her virginity.

Zanaan is a Fire Elemental, who most humans can't see. When the shy Irish lass locks eyes with him in the bar, he's drawn to her, and this time it isn't the Salamander legend spurring his chase to bed a mortal. After a night of passion with Ana, he feels the effects immediately—he's losing his powers and becoming human. It's what he always wanted. Isn't it?

My thoughts:
I liked the idea of the writing club as way the girls met and became friends.  I was pleased by the way each story repeated a bit and yet told just a little bit more about how each girl fit into the whole picture.  The characters are great, the storyline is wonderful, the number of different supernatural beings involved is fantastic.  The only thing I felt like I was missing at the end was more story.  I can't wait to find out how it all works out.
It's a fast read - you practically run from one story to the next as the women fall into relationships and a destiny that none of them had known even existed.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Blood of the Demon (Demons of Infernum #1) by Rosalie Lario

Amazon Product Description:
Keegan lives to exact revenge on the evil demon who sired and abused him. When his father devises a plan to bring on the apocalypse, he and his three half-brothers, interdimensional bounty hunters for the Elden Council, are charged with capturing and delivering their father for punishment.
Art gallery owner Brynn Meyers has no idea that her ability to read memories embedded in objects and drain people of their life force means she has demon ancestry. Unfortunately for Brynn, she's also the key to raising an ancient zombie army, which puts her on every demon's Most Wanted List.
And no one wants her more than Keegan's father.
Keegan must protect Brynn from his father by any means necessary, but he'll have to learn to harness the other half of his genetics―the far deadlier, uncontrollable half―when he starts to fall for the one woman standing between him and the vengeance he so desperately seeks. The one woman he'll never be able to resist.

Rosalie - thank you so much for your patience, I enjoyed your book very much. I am sorry for the length of time that has passed since I got the book.  

My thoughts:
I enjoy Rosalie Lario's books and was once again pleased.  Blood of the Demon was a wonderful read. I fell for the characters on the first page and couldn't wait to find out where the plot would take them.  The storyline keeps you interested and on the edge of your seat; and the characters are created with enough depth that it was easy to become emotionally invested in the outcome of the story.  

It is hard to describe what each person will see in or take from a this book I saw responsiblity, duty, brotherly love, devotion, honor, friendship, desire, fear, hatred, injustice, betrayal, pain, loss, hope and love.  

The complexity of the characters relationships to each other is one of the most intriguing aspects of this story.  It leaves the reader (well, me anyway) wondering about the way we live our own lives.  Do we live in the moment? Do we plan for the future? What would we willing give for the ones we love the most?

I am always looking for that story that hooks me from the start, leaves me hoping for that perfect ending, and keeps me struggling to put the book down when I should be doing something other than reading.  I found that again in this series.

I read purely for entertainment.  I had a friend ask me once, "What have you read lately that was profound?" I wasn't sure how to reply.  I don't look for anything profound to read - I look for something that is entertaining and interesting.  It strikes me now, as I am writing my thoughts of this book, that most of the time - I find more than I am looking for, and the profoundness (if there is such a thing) is in how the story makes me feel or view myself and my world. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Suddenly I read less

As I am sure you can tell, I have blogged less and less each year for the last few years, until last year when I was almost non-existant in the blog world.  I think I have finally found a happy medium between reading all the time and never taking the time to read.  I am sure that for most of you, this is something you have had figured out for years, but I guess I am slow.  

I am finally to a point where I believe that I am living my life instead of just reading about the lives of others.  It is a change that has taken some adjustment.  Instead of reading 100+ books each year, my goal is to read 12 reaview books and 12 just for fun books.

I just wanted to put that out there.  If I have agreed to read a book for you and haven't finished my review yet, I am sorry.  Thank you for your continued patience.  I am working through my review books; but have boxes of books, a computer that didn't survive the move as well as it could have, a lost external hard drive (I believe it is in a box in the garage), and at least one flash drive that no longer wants to be accessed.  

Thank you again for your patience, I look forward to getting back into blogging again.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Book blurb from Amazon:
Winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Times bestseller, this stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the point of view of Ivan himself.
Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.

My thoughts:
Wow!  I am not entirely sure where to start.  
I received this book from a young boy.  We were chatting one day and I asked him if he was a reader and if so what his favorite book was; his reply was immediate - 
"The One and Only Ivan.  Have you read it?" 
I replied that I had heard of it, but not read it, although I had a copy in a box at home.  He told me he would bring me his copy so I didn't have to look through boxes and I could read it right away.  This was a Thursday and I didn't see him again until the following Monday.  As soon as he saw me on Monday, he called out to me and took the book out of his backpack, he told me I could have it.  He had remembered  - I had forgotten he was planning to bring me the book.  
I absolutely loved this book.  It will go in my stack of "Must reads" for all the children in my world.  I found myself totally absorbed in the story - laughing aloud at times, and crying tears of both sadness and joy.
I will always be thankful that a young boy from a poor neighborhood cared enough about this story to give me his book - it is inspirational, heartbreaking, heartwarming and wonderful. Truly a book that should be read by everyone.

Biography (from Amazon)
Katherine was inspired to write The One and Only Ivan after reading about the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, the "Shopping Mall Gorilla." The real Ivan lived alone in a tiny cage for twenty-seven years at a shopping mall before being moved to Zoo Atlanta after a public outcry. He was a beloved celebrity at the zoo, which houses the nation's largest collection of western lowland gorillas, and was well known for his paintings, which he "signed" with a thumb-print.

Katherine Applegate's many books include the Roscoe Riley Rules chapter book series, a picture book entitled The Buffalo Storm, and the award-winning novel, Home of the Brave. With her husband, Michael Grant, she wrote the hugely popular series Animorphs, which has sold more than 35 million copies worldwide.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Yearly Duluth trip ~always a huge success!

Every summer, I go to Duluth for a few days to hang out with my friend Kathy.  We have been doing this for a number of years now - it is my favorite part of summer.  

This is me at Splitrock Lighthouse - standing by the anchor from The Madeira, the ship that was the inspiration for building the lighthouse.

Couldn't resist sharing a picture of the middle falls at Gooseberry Falls.

The glory of the north shore - it's beautiful!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Veil: A Devil's Isle Novel (Book 1) by Chloe Neill

Book blurb (from Amazon):
A brand new series from New York Times bestselling author Chloe Neill.  
Seven years ago, the Veil that separates humanity from what lies beyond was torn apart, and New Orleans was engulfed in a supernatural war. Now, those with paranormal powers have been confined in a walled community that humans call the District. Those who live there call it Devil's Isle.

Claire Connolly is a good girl with a dangerous secret: she’s a Sensitive, a human endowed with magic that seeped through the Veil. Claire knows that revealing her skills would mean being confined to Devil’s Isle. Unfortunately, hiding her power has left her untrained and unfocused.

Liam Quinn knows from experience that magic makes monsters of the weak, and he has no time for a Sensitive with no control of her own strength. But when he sees Claire using her powers to save a human under attack—in full view of the French Quarter—Liam decides to bring her to Devil’s Isle and the teacher she needs, even though getting her out of his way isn’t the same as keeping her out of his head.

As more and more Sensitives fall prey to their magic, and unleash their hunger on the city, Claire and Liam must work together to save New Orleans, or else the city will burn…

(I am a Chloe Neill fan, so I was thrilled to find a new series. I was fortunate and won a signed ARC from Chloe Neill (I am so luckY!!!) and so I was able to read it right away.
The release date just happened to fall during my vacation, so it was perfect.)

My thoughts: 
I liked the beginning so I was all in from the start.  
The characters are wonderful; well created and realistic.  The relationships between the characters are  interesting and believable.  I found myself invested in them and their lives right away, on the edge of my seat with worry, anticipation and hope.
The plot is creative, clever and has a depth that was surprisingly multifaceted (not that I should have been surprised, it is Chloe Neill after all).
The story is packed with emotions; family, loyalty, mixed loyalties, betrayal, belief, friendship, trust and of course love.
I enjoyed the story, it was both interesting and entertaining.  I was sad to reach the last page and felt like I wanted more, so I will be anxiously awaiting the next book in this newest series.