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Archive for July, 2008|Monthly archive page

What Your Mother Never Told You by Richard Dudum

In book review on July 25, 2008 at 8:53 pm

Guest Review by Kylee Pierce of Kylee’s Book Blog

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (November 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419678698
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419678691
  • A Definite Must Read

    5 stars

    Richard Dudum does a fantastic job of talking to young women in this book. The language, on occasion, is blunt and may put off some parents reading this book, but please do not let that stop you.

    I have a 14 year old daughter who will be starting high school in the fall and she WILL be reading What Your Mother Never Told You this summer. Mr Dudum makes so many great points in this book. This book is broken up into 10 parts (11 if you include the section of Appendices) beginning with “Perceptions and Communication Skills” which deals with, in part, “Body Language”. I think few girls understand that how they dress and act (flirting, etc) effect how boys will treat them. Should everyone treat everyone else the same, yes, do they, no.

    With other subjects, such as “Your Parents”, Mr Dudum let’s the girls in on the secret that they didn’t come to us with a manual. We don’t know what we’re doing most of the time; most of us are winging it. He gives them tricks and tools for dealing with us.

    In the Prologue Richard M Dudum states his wish that this book would become required reading for middle school girls. I wholeheartedly agree with him. This book is chock full of helpful and important information for young girls/women. In my humble opinion, this book should be in every middle school library for 8th grade girls to read. It should be in every high school library as well. What Your Mother Never Told You should become a reference book for these young women. A book to turn to when they are having trouble, because let’s face it, as much as we wish and want our children to turn to us when they have a question, they don’t always feel like we’ll listen to them. With this book in your home, you have a tool for your girls to begin a dialogue with you in an effortless manner (leave it out in the living room/kitchen with a bookmark in the appropriate chapter).

    Thank you Richard M Dudum!

     

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    Another chance for 14 books

    In Uncategorized on July 24, 2008 at 8:21 am

    Here we go, another chance to win those fantastic books from Hachette Book Group.  To enter, please visit Bookroomreviews Weblog – you can earn a lot of extra entries so don’t miss out on this, it is an excellent contest!

    Zemanta Pixie

    I’ve Been Awarded!

    In Uncategorized on July 24, 2008 at 8:13 am

    What a great way to start the day!  My friend at My Journey Through Reading has nominated me for this awesome award, I am truly honored:) 

    Here are the guidelines given to me: Once an award is received, the rules are as follows:

    1. Put the logo on your blog.
    2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
    3. Nominate at least seven other blogs.
    4. Add links to those blogs on your blog.
    5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.
    My nominees (In NO particular order):
     
    1.  Shawnee at Reading in Appalachia
    2.  Breeni at Breeni Books
    3.  Trisha at Obsessed Reader
     
    Thanks again and happy Thursday!
     
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    Win a $20 Giftcard to Borders

    In contests on July 22, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Have I told you lately how much I love books? LOL!  It should certainly be evident by my blog, and my new blog located at http://zensanity.blogspot.com  I was fortunate to come across The Koolaid Mom, another really cool blog.  Not only that, but the giftcard has a picture of The Lorax, my favorite Dr. Seuss book.  Hmmmmm, maybe it’s fate?  I’ll have to wait patiently and see.  Make sure to visit for a great chance to win.

    Win a copy of The Host by Stephenie Meyer

    In Uncategorized on July 22, 2008 at 6:41 am

    One of the most anticipated books is being GIVEN away, that’s right, for free.  Please visit Peeking Between the Pages for your chance to win. Be sure to check out the blog as well, it’s excellent!

    Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall

    In book review on July 21, 2008 at 10:44 am

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher:Kensington (July 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758226799
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758226792
  • Book Synopsis:

    There are some girls who have everything.  She has the right clothes, the right friends, and the right last name, but fifteen-year-old Maddie Crane sometimes feels like an outsider in her wealthy seaside town.  And when her gorgeous, eccentric cousin Cordelia LeClaire moves to town, Maddie is drawn toward her ethereal, magical spirit and teeters even more toward the edge of her friends’ tightly-knit circle…

    Then there are the jealous ones.  Kate Endicott and the Sisters of Misery – a secret clique of the most popular, powerful girls in school – are less than thrilled by Cordelia’s arrival.  When Kate’s on-again, off-again boyfriend Trevor takes an interest in Cordelia, the Sisters of Misery become determined to make her pay…

    Now  Maddie must choose between her loyalty to her cousin and the wrath of the Sisters of Misery…

    All I can say is WOW!!!  There is nothing more thrilling than finding an author who has the capabilities of luring you into their story and not letting go.  I fell straight in, and didn’t resurface until the book was finished, reading it straight through.  Hawthorne is right next to Salem and is described perfectly in this passage from the book:

    There was the Hawthorne that most people talked about: the one with the stories as old and weathered as the shingles of the historic houses.  The town that’s picture postcard perfect, a Currier and Ives landscape filled with the scents of apple cider in the fall, pine and woodsmoke in the winter, and honey and jasmine in the summer.  The town known for sailing and quaint shops and an envialbe coastline.

    And then there were the legends.

    Stories of ghostly soldiers that still lurked outside the Old Sandy Dog Tavern and the specter of Jack Derby, the tyranical sheriff who terrorized the town over two hundred years ago.  But the most startling of all were the townspeople reporting the sensation of a small hand reaching up to grab hold and be helped across the street – the tiny hand of Hester Proctor, who died so many years ago trampled by a horse and wagon.

    During the times of the witch hunts, three sisters were killed on Misery Island.  Trying to recover, the town has tried to put all of the “evil” of the past behind it and become the perfect tourist town.  Unfortunately, the past isn’t willing to give up that easy.

    Maddy Crane seems to have it all from the outside but looks can be deceiving.  One thing she does have is a coveted spot in the elite group known as The Sisters of Misery.  A clique of sorts, these girls rule the town, and previous members are all prominent members of the community.  The Sisters of Misery is led Kate Endicott, a girl not only looked up to, but feared as well.  Maddie knows that even if she wanted to, she will never leave the club for fear of what may happen to her.  

    A spot of happiness is about to grace her doorstep.  Her aunt Rebecca and cousin Cordelia have moved in to the house she shares with her Grandmother and mother.  Her aunt and mother are like night and day, and so are her and Cordelia.  But, as time passes Cordelia becomes her best friend.  She is truly a free spirit, and eccentric, but these are some qualities that Maddie is hoping to embrace.  So, when the Sister of Misery taunt her and treat her poorly, Maddie doesn’t know what to do but try and ignore it.  Cordelia, strong as she is, doesn’t put up with any of it.  So, when they decide to do a ritual ceremony out on Misery Island, Cordelia decides to come along to experience what is so special about this group.  Kate has plans for Cordelia, and has been studying up on the witchcraft that their town is notorious for.  Maddie witnesses some of the torture her cousin endures before passing out and waking up at home.  Cordelia is nowhere to be found and the Sisters aren’t talking.  Frantic, Maddie fights to gain clues as to what happened to her cousin, at any cost.

    This was such an excellent read and I am hopeful that the author will honor me by allowing me to review her future books – EXCELLENT!!

     

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    Beneath a Buried House by Bob Avey

    In book review, Pump up Your Book Promotion, virtual book tour on July 15, 2008 at 7:01 am

  • Paperback: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Deadly Niche Press (June 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0937660817
  • ISBN-13: 978-0937660812
  • To purchase, click here.
  • Book Synopsis:

    Things aren’t always what they seem.  Tulsa Police Detective, Kenny Elliot’s qutes to uncover the truth behind the death of a transient makes him a target – from whom or what he isn’t sure.  When he brushes the dirt from the surface of an apparent John Doe overdose case, he finds a labyrinth of misdirection and deception beneath, and a trail, which leads him to an encounter with an aberration in human nature, the likes of which he’s not prepared to deal with.  Drawing on his strength of character, and sense of right and wrong, he wrestles with deep personal feelings to solve the case.

    Excerpt from the book:

    BENEATH A BURIED HOUSE  
    Chapter 1  
     
    People go missing. Llewellyn knew that as well as anyone but when a whole family fell victim to such a fate, that tended to get his attention. It had the interest of someone else as well. Threats had been made. But the way he saw it, with Millie gone, he didn’t have all that much to lose anyway.  
     
    Llewellyn watched his step as he moved from the sidewalk to the street, for it was dark, the sun skimming the bottom of the sky in a thin, red line, the color of embers clinging to life in a dying campfire. A disturbing thought—a deep suspicion that had grown to such proportion that he feared it might twist his reasoning—snaked through him. He’d previously abandoned the project with good reason.  
     
    At times like this, he would think back to when he was a boy, visiting his mother. Her house sat on a small hill and behind it was a pond with huge willow trees growing from its banks. It always struck him as odd that the surface of the water remained calm and never rippled, as if it were not real at all, but a painting, an artificial backdrop put there for the effect.  
     
    Llewellyn had resolved that he too would be like the waters of the pond, unmovable, unflappable, and later, during his adult life, he would call on that image, not every time the going got tough, but when life got particularly hard.  
     
    He stared at the dilapidated building with a sign hanging from it; a cheap plastic job with florescent lights inside that backlit the bar’s name: CYMRY’S.  
     
    He shook his head and pushed open the door, a heavy wooden model that looked out of place, as if it had been ripped from the hinges of an old house and brought there against its will.  
     
    Just inside the door, Llewellyn paused, and when his eyes adjusted to the darkness he took a seat in the second booth by the window, like the man who called himself Jerry Sinclair had told him to do. Llewellyn was five minutes late, and he hoped that wouldn’t matter, though he saw no one fitting Sinclair’s description. At least the darkness was explained. It was the décor, which included the walls and the ceilings, and even the floors. Everything was black with the exception of a large piece of red artwork that radiated from the center of the floor in a rather unprofessional manner, as if it were a bad afterthought, the awkward brushstrokes obvious even from a distance.  
     
    Llewellyn waited but no one showed. He checked his watch. Thirty minutes had passed. He slid out of his seat and went to the bar. The man had his back turned but a mirrored wall showed his face. He must’ve known Llewellyn was there though he did not acknowledge him. Llewellyn laid a five on the counter. “I’d like a beer, please.”  
     
    The man gave no visible indication he had heard the request.  
     
    “I’ll just cut to the chase then,” Llewellyn said. “What I really need is some information.”  
     
    Turning around, the man drew a pint of lager, then set it down and snatched up the five. “What kind of information?”  
     
    Llewellyn slid his hand around the cool, damp handle, then brought the mug to his lips, relishing the bitter yet soothing brew. After a few sips, he said, “Does the name Jerry Sinclair mean anything to you?”  
     
    “Doesn’t jump out at me.”  
    “He said he would be wearing blue jeans and a tan corduroy jacket. Have you seen anyone like that?”  
    “Not since the eighties.”  
    “Right, some people are habitually late. Perhaps Mr. Sinclair is one of those.” After a pause, unable to control his inquisitiveness, Llewellyn asked, “What’s up with the artwork on the floor?”  
     
    The bartender leaned forward, placing his beefy hands on the railing. “Don’t know. It’s always been there.”  
     
    Llewellyn had dealt with his kind before; smug, confident with his size, and, as with any animal, the less challenging you could make yourself the better your odds were. He slouched a little. “Do you know what it is?”  
     
    “Maybe.”  
     
    The bartender said this with a crooked grin, as if he and he alone were privy to the mysteries of the universe, which undoubtedly meant he knew nothing.  
     
    “If I had to guess,” Llewellyn said, “I’d say it has something to do with the occult. But what do I know?”  
     
    Llewellyn retrieved one of his business cards and held it out. “I’m a reporter, on assignment.”  
     
    Taking the card, the bartender examined it. “Florida? Long way from home, aren’t you?”  
     
    “I go where the story takes me.”  
    “Is that right?”  
    “So you haven’t seen him, the guy I asked about?”  
    “Who?”  
    “Jerry Sinclair.”  
     
    The bartender squinted. “Are you sure you’re in the right place?”  
    “I’m sure.”  
    “What kind of assignment are you on?”  
     
    Llewellyn sipped his beer, then set it down. “I look for the unusual. A few years back, I was working some leads, concerning a small town near here. You know, bizarre circumstances and all of that. Good Stuff. I decided to revive it, made a few phone calls, sent some e-mails, ran an ad in the paper. Then I get this reply from Sinclair. He claimed to have some information. It’s not unusual. I get lucky like that sometimes.”  
     
    Llewellyn heard the door and realized someone else had finally come into the place. The bartender had noticed as well, and Llewellyn took the opportunity to return to his booth by the window.  
     
    Three people had come in, and unlike Llewellyn they did not look out of place inside Cymry’s, which meant they were not wearing dress pants and button-down shirts. Nor were any of them wearing blue jeans and a corduroy jacket.  
     
    One of them, a tall, slender girl wearing tight leather pants, strolled across the floor, stopping in front of the jukebox. Llewellyn couldn’t imagine what kind of music might be popular in such a place, but it wasn’t the anticipation of the music that held his attention. Even dressed as she was, the girl captivated him and he could not stop looking at her, which was a mistake. That indefinable female sense that alerts a woman to a man’s attention seemed present in full force; she turned her head toward him.  
     
    Llewellyn looked away. He was asking for trouble. He thought of Millie. Not once during their thirty years together had he cheated on her, and he wasn’t about to start now. He heard someone walk across the floor toward him, and he prayed that it would be Sinclair, that he had come through the door while Llewellyn wasn’t looking and was even now preparing to slide into the other side of the booth across the table from him.  
     
    As a thick, musky smell of perfume crossed Llewellyn’s senses, desperation shot through him. He turned his head, looking at the smooth patch of skin between the bottom of her shirt and the beginning of her leather pants. A tattoo of Saint Brighid’s cross moved sensuously with the muscles of her stomach.  
     
    She said nothing. Llewellyn could feel her staring down at him, and when he finally raised his head, allowing for the first time their eyes to meet, he felt like the victim in an old vampire movie: frightened by the nature of his captor but hopeful that she would find him desirable and as he looked into her face, the thought occurred to him that if the eyes are truly the windows to the soul then hers was surely dark.  
     
    A color somewhere between purple and black graced her lips, as it did her fingernails. Her hair, which jabbed at the air in choreographed insolence, was as dark as either of these.  
     
    Llewellyn slid deeper into the booth, exposing an unused section of the vinyl cushion. She sat down. Llewellyn began to wonder, and not for the first time, what sort of person she really was and why was he, a slightly over-the-hill freelancer, entertaining romantic thoughts about a distant cousin of Vlad the Impaler? She was no teenager, but still half his age, twenty-four or twenty-five he suspected, and about as far away from his type as you could get. The pressure of her leg against his made none of that seem to matter.  
     
    She grinned. “You look a little out of place. Are you lost?”  
    “I’m here on business.”  
     
    She lit a cigarette, and in response to Llewellyn’s answer, she blew the smoke out a little harder than she needed to, the exhaust propelled into the air by something that could only be described as a prelude to a laugh. “What kind of business?”  
     
    Llewellyn checked his watch. Nearly forty-five minutes had passed and still his contact had not shown. In his opinion, that was late, even for the very lax. “I’m meeting someone, or at least I was supposed to.”  
     
    “Sounds to me,” she said, playing with the lapel of his jacket, “like maybe you just did.”  
     
    Llewellyn nodded. He tried to concentrate, but his thoughts were all over the place.  
     
    “Maybe your girlfriend changed her mind.”  
    “Come again?”  
    “Your little trick.”  
     
    Llewellyn shook his head. “There’s no trick.”  
     
    She leaned closer, bringing her shoulders forward in an unspoken offer.  
     
    Llewellyn glanced up to see the bartender hovering over the booth. He wasn’t sure how he’d gotten there without his hearing him or seeing his approach. “This guy bothering you?” the bartender asked.  
     
    The girl smiled and touched his arm, old friends apparently. “Nothing I can’t handle, Snub.” She reached over and took Llewellyn’s hand. “Just a little business.”  
     
    “You know this guy?”  
     
    She winked. “I do now.”  
     
    The bartender turned and stalked away. He acted protective, like an older brother, siblings from the dark side looking out for one another. It amazed Llewellyn that no matter how low you sank in life, you could still find evidence of a sense of community.  
     
    Llewellyn wondered what it might be like to be with this strange woman. Then, she leaned close, and with a kiss that teased with a slip of her tongue she said that she wanted him as well, or at least she intended to give him that impression.  
     
    He pushed away slightly. “Look, I’m not sure this is a good idea.”  
     
    “Yes you are. You’re just afraid to give in to it.”  
    “You read me pretty well.”  
    “I usually do.”  
     
    Llewellyn felt insecure, trapped. “I really am meeting someone.”  
     
    “So where are they?”  
    “I don’t know. I’m starting to have my doubts.”  
     
    She let go of Llewellyn’s hand and lit another cigarette. “Okay, I’ll lay it out straight. Sinclair sent me.”  
     
    “Is that right? Why would he do that?”  
    “I don’t know. But he said to tell you that he has the whole story, everything that you’re looking for.”  
     
    She took a long draw on her cigarette. Llewellyn usually felt a mixture of sorrow and disdain when he saw someone do that, but she impressed him as someone who could handle just about anything, and anyone. His sense of good judgment, what he had left of it anyway, was telling him to excuse himself from this odd encounter, yet he resisted that urge. He hadn’t told her Sinclair’s name, and yet she knew it. He certainly hadn’t said anything about a story. He’d always been drawn to the unusual, the unexplained, that which frightens most people—and here it all was, epitomized in this intimidating yet fascinating person. “So what happens next?”  
     
    “I’m supposed to take you somewhere. A private place where you can talk.”  
    “Thanks,” Llewellyn said, indicating with a nudge that he was ready to leave. “But I really should be going.”  
     
    He half expected her to move closer and refuse to let him out, but instead she slid from the booth. Llewellyn did the same and started for the door, and then it occurred to him that he had no car and there would be no cabs waiting on the street in this part of town. He signaled the bartender. “Could you call a cab?”  
     
    The strange girl put her arm through Llewellyn’s, and he realized that not only had they not exchanged names but he had anticipated her actions and welcomed her touch. She evaluated him with her gaze. “Save the call, Snub. I’ve got a car.”  
     
    The look on the bartender’s face said he was confused, and it seemed that in some strange way he might even be concerned for Llewellyn. “Whatever you think,” he said.  
     
    “It’s nice of you to offer,” Llewellyn said to the girl, “but I hate to impose.”  
     
    His resistance, though, was superficial at best. Still holding his arm, she shook her head and guided him through the door. Once they were outside, she pulled him close and they kissed again. He was in deep, and he knew it, but he kept going along with it. In the parking lot, they stopped beside a red Monte Carlo, and she did something that surprised Llewellyn. She tossed him the keys. “You drive.”  
     
    Llewellyn stuck the key into the slot and opened the door, and after getting inside he reached over and unlocked the passenger side. She gave him directions and Llewellyn followed them, driving farther from his place with every block. A little later she said, “Turn here. We’ll park in the back.”  
     
    When they got out of the car, Llewellyn glanced around the area, seeing a few spent wine bottles. “No offense,” he said, but I’m starting to have second thoughts about this. Maybe I should go.”  
     
    “All right, but come in for a quick drink. I won’t keep you. I promise.” She ran a long nail along his jaw, making it an almost predatory gesture and an enticing one.  
     
    As they approached the building, it occurred to Llewellyn that her place didn’t look much better than the bar.  
     
    She turned to look at him and caught him surveying the lines of the building. “Neat old place, huh? I like it here, love the vibes, if you know what I mean.”  
     
    “It does have character,” Llewellyn said.  
     
    She unlocked the door and they stepped into a small landing. The place was grim, and populated, Llewellyn suspected, by various strata of socioeconomic defeat, and as they walked the red, carpeted hallway, a red that reminded Llewellyn of blood, he thought of Dante’s Inferno, for as they walked deeper into the building each successive apartment appeared more steeped in despair.  
     
    The girl’s place was no exception, and once inside, Llewellyn could not imagine anyone actually living there. From a chip-edged kitchen table, she grabbed a bottle of bourbon and poured some into a glass, mixed in a little soda, and handed it to him.  
     
    He swirled the amber mixture, unable to meet her eyes. His heart pounded. Leave. Just gulp it down and leave.  
     
    Before he could consider other options, she took the untouched drink and placed it on the table. Then she took Llewellyn’s hand and placed it on her stomach, where she began to guide it upward, beneath her shirt, until it came to rest upon the warm, soft flesh of her breast.

    I try to pride myself on guessing the outcomes of books.  I am not always right, mind you, but I do have a pretty good track record.  But dang it all, this one really stumped me.  I made a few guesses and not one of them was right.  Bob Avey has done a fantastic job of developing his characters and storyline to enthrall the readers up to the unexpected ending.

    This is book two of a series, with the first book being “Twisted Perception”.  You will not need to read the first book in order to grasp the plot of this one, but I for one am going to make sure I read it so I can get some more background on Detective Elliot, a character that has all the right things.  Following a gut instinct has gotten him very far, as you will see in this book.  There are so many multiple twists in this one, if he had to go by evidence alone it may have never been solved. This was a quick read as the story grabs you and makes you want to keep reading right until the very last page.

    About the author:

    Bob Avey is the author of the Kenny Elliot mystery series, which includes Twisted Perception, released April 2006, and Beneath a Buried House, June 2008, several short stories and various non-fiction articles. He lives with his wife and son in Broken Arrow , Oklahoma where he works as an accountant in the petroleum industry, and when he’s not writing or researching mystery writing techniques, he spends his free time prowling through dusty antique shops looking for the rare or unusual, or roaming through ghost towns, searching for echoes from the past. Through his writing, which he describes as a blend of literary and genre, he explores the intricacies and extremities of human nature.

     Bob is a member of The Tulsa NightWriters, The Oklahoma Writers Federation (active board member for 2006), The Oklahoma Mystery Writers, and Mystery Writers of America.

    Another new blog, but for a different reason

    In Uncategorized on July 14, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Hello my dear friends,

    I am asking a favor of all of you.  I have had to create a new blog as I am “branching” out in the book world and am going to be coming on as a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book Promotion.  No worries, this blog will continue to stay up and running with reviews and the like.  This new blog will be more dedicated to author interviews and spotlights on books, but will also include reviews I imagine.  I have transferred some content over to it and would appreciate it if you would be so kind as to pop over and maybe even leave a comment or two.  Thanks again to all of you for continuing to visit, I can’t thank you enough.

    To see the new blog, just click here.

    Reading Slump

    In Uncategorized on July 6, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    So, I admit it.  I have been in a reading slump lately.  I think part of it is the fact that my husband was laid off two months ago and we have had the extra time to spend together.  Instead of reading we got to really spend some quality time as a family.

    Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t that I haven’t been reading at all.  I just am not reading at a pace that I am accustomed to.  Instead of staying up late to read we have been able to stay up and catch up on movies that we have been waiting to see.  But, that will all come to an end starting tomorrow.  He has gotten a new job in Kaukauna, a town about an hours drive from here.  We will be moving there by the end of August, so that is something else to keep me busy.  We are going to keep our house and rent it out and just rent an apartment there for now.  With gas prices the way they are there is no way we can continue to afford to commute, and to be honest it is time for a change.  I love Manitowoc, it is right on Lake Michigan which is beautiful.  But I have lived here my whole life.  And there is so much to do in the Valley (Appleton, Oshkosh, Green Bay all within 20 minutes of each other) that it will be nice to start over and still be close enough to visit.

    So, please make sure to check back often as raffles and reviews will start up again soon.  Thanks to all of you for sticking by me and continuing to visit my blog, I really do appreciate it more than you know.  Take care all!

    Get paid to search the web – this is legit

    In Uncategorized on July 2, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Well, I had some free time today, something I don’t normally have.  And I mistyped and typed in bmail instead of gmail.  It brought me to a site where you can have an email address and get paid for searching the web through their site.  What the heck – another email is always good.  If interested, just click on the link below and become one of my friend:)

     

    https://www.TheInvitationCard.com/public/Default.aspx?mrid=99itFpvfGx3OcgiDHOi/AQ==/