Sunday, July 27, 2014

REVIEW: The Adventures Of Jillian Spectre by Nic Tatano

Title: The Adventures Of Jillian Spectre (Jillian Spectre, #1)
Author: Nic Tatano
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: March, 2014
Genre: Teen / Young Adult

Description: Welcome to the Mystic Quarter...

Jillian Spectre knows what happens after you die because the seventeen-year-old mystic seer can see the future of her clients even after they've passed on. And that's not even her coolest power... she can be in two places at once. Problem is, her heart can only be in one.

Supernatural abilities aside, she's a typical high school senior torn between two guys. But that gets put on the back burner when she discovers the father she had long assumed was dead is actually alive, with unique powers of his own. He's a technopath, with the ability to interface his mind with technology. And he's got a plan to take down society.

Unless Jillian can stop him.

The Adventures of Jillian Spectre is the story of a very special girl who learns that the power of love is more important than supernatural powers.

My Thoughts: At first glance, Jillian Spectre is just like any other teenage girl. She attends high school, has a best friend, is crushing on several guys but can’t seem to get a boyfriend. Did I forget to mention that she has supernatural powers? In addition to being a mystic seer providing readings for people on their love lives, Jillian also learns she can literally be in two places at once. She also learns that the father she thought to be dead is not only alive, but evil with his own supernatural powers that he plans to use to destroy everything and her crystal ball isn’t going to be much help. Jillian will have to rely on her friends and their supernatural gifts if she hopes to stop her father and survive.

I really liked Jillian and her friends, Roxanne, Ryan and Jake. Learning about all of the various abilities they each have was very interesting to me. Roxanne is a muse, Ryan is a mind reader and Jake is telekinetic and their talents play a vital role in this story. Another character I really liked is Spencer Ball, an NYPD Detective who can astral project and who Jillian has given the nickname of Fuzzball. I hope to see him in future books. As a villain, I also thought Jillian’s father was interesting and has me intrigued to know more about him and see what he does next.

I thought the plot was well developed and held my interest throughout the entire book. I had empathy for the characters and was invested in getting to know them and caring about what happened to them. I loved the dialogue interchange between the characters and thought the use of the slang was character appropriate and entertaining.

My Final Verdict: Overall, this was a very good start to a series that looks to be very entertaining and interesting. I am already a fan of this author’s work and look forward to reading more from him. If the young adult genre is not your cup of tea, I recommend Boss Girl by this author.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of The Adventures Of Jillian Spectre from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, July 25, 2014

REVIEW: Sail by James Patterson

Title: Sail
Author: James Patterson
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: June, 2008
Genre: Thriller / Mystery

Description: A perfect family vacation turns into a life-or-death nightmare.


Only an hour out of port, the Dunne family's summer getaway to paradise is already turning into the trip from hell. Carrie, the eldest, has thrown herself off the side of the boat in a bid for attention. Sixteen-year-old Mark is getting high below decks. And Ernie, their ten-year-old brother, is nearly catatonic. It's shaping up to be the worst vacation ever.


Katherine Dunne had hoped this trip would bring back the togetherness they'd lost when her husband died four years earlier. Maybe if her new husband, a high-powered Manhattan attorney, had been able to postpone his trial and join them it would all have been okay....


Suddenly, a disaster hits–and it's perfect. Faced with real danger, the Dunnes rediscover the meaning of family and pull together in a way they haven't in a long time. But this catastrophe is just a tiny taste of the danger that lurks ahead: someone wants to make sure that the Dunne family never makes it out of paradise alive.

With whiplash plot twists, speedboat pacing, and an eye for the evil that can lie behind even the most gorgeous setting, James Patterson delivers Sail–the wettest, most explosive ocean adventure since Jaws.

My Thoughts: What started out as a very predictable and almost boring story did a 180 and knocked me off my feet! Sail introduces us to the family Dunne…heart surgeon mom Katherine, her brother in law Jake and Katherine’s children Mark, Carrie and Ernie. They are taking the family yacht on a vacation for some quality time and family bonding since the death of Stuart, Katherine’s first husband. At first glance, it appears a family vacation is the last thing this group of people need and instead should opt for some intensive therapy. Mark is using drugs, Carrie jumps overboard in an apparent suicide attempt and the youngest seems to be overlooked and forgotten by everyone else.

Mother Nature at her worst, explosions and murder are just a small taste of what the Dunne family has in store for them on this vacation. Once the story got past the beginning and I began to feel a connection, I couldn’t tear myself away. Everything from what happens to the family and why to who is behind it and why was intense and it doesn’t end there. The story throws twist after twist all the way to the end of the book, leaving me with my mouth hanging open in shock and surprise.

My Final Verdict: If you like to be surprised by a book and enjoy having the rug ripped out from under you, I highly recommend this story. If you enjoy stories that are intense and suspenseful but also have many layers to the story and characters that keep you guessing, then Sail should be your next adventure.

Monday, July 14, 2014

REVIEW: He Texted: The Ultimate Guide to Dating in the Digital Era by Lisa Winning & Carrie Henderson-McDermott

Title: He Texted: The Ultimate Guide to Dating in the Digital Era
Author: Lisa Winning & Carrie Henderson-McDermott
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: April, 2014
Genre: Non-Fiction

Description: You’re a busy, intelligent, modern woman. You stay on top of work e-mail. You “like” all the baby photos your sister posts on Facebook. You found your dream job through LinkedIn. But when your crush texts you “Sup?” every few days, yet never asks you out, what the hell does that mean?

These days, dating is more confusing than ever. Friending? Following? Liking? Poking? Linking? LOLing? WTF? In an era when FaceTime is no longer the same as face-to face, it’s no wonder you can’t tell if he’s into you or just really into his iPhone.

This hilarious and essential guide from the founders of—with totally straightforward guy sight from the HeTexted Bros—will help you autocorrect your digital dating life, from decoding your Facebook friendships, to reading the intentions behind guys’ perplexing texts, to deciding when—if ever—you should text him first. It’s He’s Just Not That Into You for the digital age and What to Expect When You’re Expecting . . . a second date—all in one invaluable package!

My Thoughts: Single women from every generation have always wondered if the man that occupies her thoughts is “The One.” Does she ever cross his mind as often as he crosses hers? In today’s modern world where the majority of communication is done electronically with a slew of various gadgets and devices, dating has become a tricky ledge that women find themselves treading upon very carefully, trying to decipher what Mr. Wonderful’s most recent text, email, Facebook comment, etc., really means. With He Texted, the authors bring the reader some direct analysis and somewhat expert advice and varying points of view from three men, known as The Bros covering a wide range of scenarios to help the single gal determine if he’s a keeper or if she should move on.

While reading this book, I couldn’t stop thinking that if the women who submitted the texts for analysis spent as much time verbally communicating with the man she is interested in as she does trying to first decipher and comprehend his texts, emails, etc., she would probably find herself in a meaningful relationship in no time. But then what do I know? I’m certainly no expert on relationships or matters of the heart, but I can’t help but think that in order to determine if you are compatible, it’s best to get to know each other speaking out loud to one another. As a society, are we really too busy to do that or are we just lazy and just want to see positive results with little to no effort on our part?

I found this book very easy to read and enjoyed that the authors had real men offering real advice about the various topics ranging from “he friended” to “he booty-texted” to “he loves you” and all of the pitfalls and drama in between. You could also get the same advice, feedback and interaction if you just visit the He Texted website. I also enjoyed that even with the various points of view from both the guys and the gals, there was no gender bashing. The guys were not afraid to label another guy a tool or the girl as naïve or gullible, but when they did, they did so with tact and professionalism. Nobody went off on a tangent, jumping on the soapbox to vilify one gender over the other. I felt like the advice and feedback provided was given with sincerity and honesty. The book also provides a good amount of humor, especially with the “text examples” provided in the book.

My Final Verdict: Overall, although common sense and logic should prevail and people should be interacting with their voices instead of their thumbs on a keypad, the digital age we live in is proof that it isn’t happening. More people are finding their mates online year after year and this book provides a good road map for Ms. Single Gal to use to help her understand the signs so she is successful on her journey to Happily Ever After.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of He Texted from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

New Additions To The TBR Pile In June

Review requests have really taken off and if it weren't for the real world demands and expectations, I would be 100% content to crawl into a cave with my favorite blankie and all my books and read non-stop. Here are the new arrivals I received. Have you read any of them?

Title: Cell by Stephen King
Description: There is a reason cell rhymes with hell.

On October 1, God is in His heaven, the stock market stands at 10,140, most of the planes are on time, and Clayton Riddell, an artist from Maine, is almost bouncing up Boylston Street in Boston. He's just landed a comic book deal that might finally enable him to support his family by making art instead of teaching it. He's already picked up a small (but expensive!) gift for his long-suffering wife, and he knows just what he will get for his boy Johnny. Why not a little treat for himself? Clay is feeling good about the future.

That changes in a hurry. The cause of the devastation is a phenomenon that will come to be known as The Pulse, and the delivery method is a cell phone. Everyone's cell phone. Clay and the few desperate survivors who join him suddenly find themselves in the pitch-black night of civilization's darkest age, surrounded by chaos, carnage, and a human horde that has been reduced to its basest nature...and then begins to evolve.

There is really no escaping this nightmare. But for Clay, an arrow points home to Maine, and as he and his fellow refugees make their harrowing journey north they begin to see crude signs confirming their direction. A promise, perhaps. Or a threat...

There are 193 million cell phones in the United States alone. Who doesn't have one? Stephen King's utterly gripping, gory, and fascinating novel doesn't just ask the question,Can you hear me now? It answers it with a vengeance.

Title: Guilt By Association by Marcia Clark
Description: Los Angeles D.A. Rachel Knight is a tenacious, wise-cracking, and fiercely intelligent prosecutor in the city's most elite division. When her colleague, Jake, is found dead at a grisly crime scene, Rachel is shaken to the core. She must take over his toughest case: the assault of a young woman from a prominent family.

But she can't stop herself from digging deeper into Jake's death, a decision that exposes a world of power and violence and will have her risking her reputation--and her life--to find the truth.

With her tremendous expertise in the nuances of L.A. courts and crime, and with a vibrant ensemble cast of characters, Marcia Clark combines intimate detail, riotous humor, and visceral action in a debut thriller that marks the launch of a major new figure on the crime-writing scene.

Title: Guilt By Degrees by Marcia Clark
Description: Someone has been watching D.A. Rachel Knight--someone who's Rachel's equal in brains, but with more malicious intentions. It began when a near-impossible case fell into Rachel's lap, the suspectless homicide of a homeless man. In the face of courthouse backbiting and a gauzy web of clues, Rachel is determined to deliver justice. She's got back-up: tough-as-nails Detective Bailey Keller. As Rachel and Bailey stir things up, they're shocked to uncover a connection with the vicious murder of an LAPD cop a year earlier. Something tells Rachel someone knows the truth, someone who'd kill to keep it secret.

Harrowing, smart, and riotously entertaining, GUILT BY DEGREES is a thrilling ride through the world of LA courts with the unforgettable Rachel Knight.

Title: Killer Ambition by Marcia Clark
Description: When the daughter of a billionaire Hollywood director is found murdered after what appears to be a kidnapping gone wrong, Los Angeles Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight and Detective Bailey Keller find themselves at the epicenter of a combustible and high-profile court case. Then a prime suspect is revealed to be one of Hollywood's most popular and powerful talent managers--and best friend to the victim's father. With the director vouching for the manager's innocence, the Hollywood media machine commences an all-out war designed to discredit both Rachel and her case. KILLER AMBITION is at once a thrilling ride through the darker side of Tinseltown and a stunning courtroom drama with the brilliant insider's perspective that Marcia Clark is uniquely qualified to give.

Title: Manic Mondays by Michaela Weaver
Description: Catherine has everything a modern girl needs – a successful business, idyllic family life and even an Aga in the kitchen! But this all changes one Monday, after her husband decides to leave her for the cleaner. All of a sudden Catherine's life is turned upside down. She is left to raise her baby daughter alone, rebuild a tattered career, while trying to avoid the attentions of Mike, who is ‘Mr Lovely’ until Catherine notices his wedding ring...

Having lost everything, Catherine is determined to prove that she can make it on her own as a single mother. Manic Mondays follows Catherine over a year of Mondays, as she tries to put her life back together.

An uplifting, inspirational and honest take on ‘starting all over again’, Manic Mondays is a must read for anyone who’s ever found life, well, a little manic.

Title: Murder At Rudhall Manor by Anya Wylde
Description: A murder and a theft have been committed at Rudhall Manor. A box of jewels has vanished and Lord Sedley, a lusty old aristocrat, has been stabbed six times in the chest.

It is all very mysterious, and the Sedley family and the servants have decided that Miss Lucy Anne Trotter, a recently employed governess, is to blame for the unfortunate events.

The legendary and wickedly handsome Marquis, Lord William Adair, learns of the matter and decides to uncover the truth.

Lucy, however, has little faith in blue blooded creatures—even if they possess dashing good looks— and accompanied by two naughty pugs and a moody raven decides to investigate and unmask the killer herself.

But the hunt for the killer turns out to be far more complicated than she anticipates—what with snooty servants, warts in odd places, mixed up love affairs, agitated chickens and dreadful disguises ruining her plans.

Soon she begins to wonder if, for once, she is in over head ….

Title: Tales From A Broad by Jeannine Henvey
Description: If you enjoy new twists on old classics, then Tales From A Broad is a comedic adventure of one woman’s quest to find herself, but the spotlight focuses on her older chaperone, instead.

Forty-two and feeling not-so-fabulous, Lucy Banks allows her older sister to talk her into accompanying her twenty-four-year-old niece on a trip around Europe. In the past year she has lost her fiancé, her job and her fertility. Embracing her role as spinster aunt seems to be Lucy’s only option, until she embarks on a romantic adventure through London, Amsterdam, Munich, Paris and Florence. Will a room with a view and a handsome stranger be enough to open her heart and mind to new experiences?

Tales From A Broad promises to draw readers into a light-hearted tale of emotional development, self-discovery and love.

Title: The Bro-Magnet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Description: Women have been known to lament, "Always a bridesmaid, never a bride." For Johnny Smith, the problem is, "Always a Best Man, never a groom." At age 33, housepainter Johnny has been Best Man eight times. The ultimate man's man, Johnny loves the Mets, the Jets, his weekly poker game, and the hula girl lamp that hangs over his basement pool table. Johnny has the instant affection of nearly every man he meets, but one thing he doesn't have is a woman to share his life with, and he wants that desperately.

When Johnny meets District Attorney Helen Troy, he decides to renounce his bro-magnet ways in order to impress her. With the aid and advice of his friends and family, soon he's transforming his wardrobe, buying throw pillows, ditching the hula girl lamp, getting a cat and even changing his name to the more mature-sounding John. And through it all, he's pretending to have no interest in sports, which Helen claims to abhor. As things heat up with Helen, the questions arise: Will Johnny finally get the girl? And, if he's successful in that pursuit, who will he be now that he's no longer really himself?

THE BRO-MAGNET is a rollicking comedic novel about what one man is willing to give up for the sake of love.

Title: The Competition by Marcia Clark
Description: In Marcia Clark's most electrifying thriller yet, Los Angeles DA Rachel Knight investigates a diabolical high school massacre.

A Columbine-style massacre at a high school in the San Fernando Valley has left a community shaken to its core. Two students are identified as the killers. Both are dead, believed to have committed a mutual suicide. But in the aftermath of the shooting, as LA Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight and Detective Bailey Keller dig deeper, they realize that the pieces don't add up. Could it be that the two "killers" were themselves victims? And if so, does that mean that the real killers are still on the loose? When someone starts dropping clues that another horrific crime is in the works, Rachel and Bailey scramble desperately to profile their suspect and prevent another killing--before it's too late.

Title: The Night Visitor by Dianne Emley
Description: In bestselling author Dianne Emley’s chilling new paranormal thriller, a beautiful woman’s romantic past comes back to haunt her in the form of an otherworldly visitor seeking justice.

Gorgeous and successful, Rory Langtry seemed to have it all. Daughter of a movie star and sister of a supermodel, Rory was engaged to sexy artist, Junior Lara. But her bright future went dark one terrible, bloody night that left her sister dead and the accused murderer—Junior—in an extended coma.

Now, five years later, Rory appears to have put the past behind her. She has a wonderful new fiancé and heads a successful cosmetics company. Yet dark secrets threaten. Across town, Junior lies close to death but before he departs he seeks to clear his name.

It starts with a feeling. It turns into a vision. Soon Rory is having sensations that only Junior could experience—from the horrifying to the erotic. Then she learns details about the awful night that only Junior could know, newfound knowledge with potentially fatal consequences. When another act of violence rocks her family, Rory plunges deeper into the unsolved mystery, led by an inexplicable visitor to a dangerous time and place where all will be revealed at last. But until then, Junior will not let her go.

Title: Totlandia by Josie Brown
Description: The Pacific Heights Moms & Tots Club is the most exclusive children’s playgroup in all of San Francisco. For the city’s ultra-competitive elite, the club’s ten annual spots are the ultimate parenting prize.

But not everyone is PHM&TC material. The club's founder, Bettina Connaught Cross, adheres to strict membership rules: Moms only. No single parents or working mothers allowed. Membership is an arduous commitment. And there’s no room in the club for scandal, bad behavior, or imperfection...from tots or their moms.

In a world of power and prestige, no one has more than Bettina. And as every mom in Pacific Heights knows, you simply cannot cross her. But this year’s admissions process is more rigorous than ever, pitting prospective members against each other to prove their mettle.

But four of the six candidates vying for the remaining four slots have a secret that would knock them out of the running. Jade is a former stripper and porn actress, who has been absent for most of her son’s life. Jillian’s husband cleaned out their joint accounts and left her for his pregnant assistant. Ally never even had a husband—just a sperm donor—and she’s hiding a high-ranking corporate job. And Lorna fears that her son may have special needs... just the excuse her sister-in-law, Bettina, needs to deny her entry to the club.

Can these hopeful moms keep up appearances long enough to outlast the competition? Or will their chances—and their private lives—go up in flames?

This is the first of four books that follow our heroines during "the Onesies," their inaugural year in the club. Upcoming books—to be released in four episodes each year—will follow subsequent years: the Twosies, Threesies, Foursies, and Fivesies.

Friendship. Lies. Seduction. Betrayal. Welcome to Totlandia.

Title: Trapped At The Altar by Jane Feather
Description: New York Times bestselling author and "consummate storyteller" (Romantic Times) Jane Feather introduces a sizzling new series that moves from the remote wilds of southwest England to the turbulent royal court, when a lovely young woman is forced into marriage in order to unite two families—and discovers a most unexpected passion. . .

Ariadne Carfax has vowed to be with the man she loves, Gabriel Fawcett. There’s just one obstacle. On his deathbed, Ari’s grandfather decrees that she marry her childhood friend Ivor Chalfont, thus forging a powerful alliance between the two warring families. Giving Ari no time to protest, the elders plan her wedding the next day, forcing her to follow through on the nuptials. Though she is fond of Ivor, Ari has no intention of consummating their marriage—until he kindles an intoxicating desire that she can’t ignore. Ivor has loved Ari for years, but he doesn’t want an unwilling wife. He wants Ari to ache with the same irresistible longing he feels. And if that’s the way to woo her into his bed and into their new life, he won’t rest until his new bride surrenders to true love.

Title: Virgin by Radhika Sanghani
Description: Okay, I admit it…I didn’t do it.


This is normal, right? I mean, just because everyone I know has talked like they’ve already done it doesn’t mean that they’re telling the truth…right?

It’s not like I’m asking for that much. I don’t need the perfect guy. I don’t need candlelight or roses. Honestly, I don’t even need a real bed.

The guys I know complain that girls are always looking for Mr. Right—do I have to wear a sign that says I’m only looking for Mr. Right Now?

Sooooo…anyone out there want sex? Anyone? Hello? Just for fun?

I am not going to die a virgin. One way or another I am going to make this happen.

Hey, what have I got to lose? Besides the obvious.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

REVIEW: Just In Case by Chrissie Manby

Title: Just In Case
Author: Chrissie Manby
Publisher: Notting Hill Press
Publication Date: May, 2014
Genre: Chick-Lit

Description: Never were there two less similar identical twins than Clare and Rosie Marwood.

Though they were born within three minutes of each other and spent their childhoods dressed in matching outfits, they’ve grown up to have less in common than Kim Kardashian and the Duchess of Cambridge.

So both women are horrified when a luggage mix-up means that sensible Clare must attend a company conference with Rosie’s suitcase full of pink, frills and stripper heels, while flamboyant Rosie heads for a friend’s Italian destination wedding with Clare’s case full of suiting and sensible courts. Both believe wearing the other’s clothes is going to ruin their chances: Clare’s of getting a promotion and Rosie’s of getting a snog. But as three days of literally having to walk in each other’s shoes unfold, will the sisters discover they should try to be more like each other after all?

My Thoughts: Just In Case is about Identical twins who share nothing in common except for their DNA. They have chosen different hair styles and colors; they have a polar opposite fashion sense and career path, they think and feel differently about the world around them and behave completely different. It should be a shock to anyone that they are related, much less twins as Clare is ultra conservative and Rosie is very flashy. On a stopover trip to their mother’s house, they are each given a suitcase for their birthday present, which comes in handy as they are both en route to other destinations. Clare is going to the States on a very important business trip where she will be giving a presentation and Rosie is on her way to Italy to attend a friend’s wedding. Upon their arrival, they are horrified to learn that they have each other’s suitcase. Clare has to attend her work conference wearing Rosie’s bright, colorful maxi dresses and high heels and Rosie has to wear Clare’s stuffy business suits. They are each convinced that the next three days will be a disaster for both of them and begin to wonder what effect walking in each other’s shoes will have…

I really enjoyed this story and loved both Clare and Rosie. I could really empathize with them both and would be just as horrified if I were in their place, especially since neither one of them is able to shop for something else to wear and have to make the best of what they have. The best part of this story for me was that literally walking in each other’s shoes brought the twins closer together and made them both realize the mistakes they had made and were currently making in their lives based on the choices they were making. I loved that they took the most awkward of moments and with a little help from the people around them, turned it into a positive experience.

My Final Verdict: Overall, this was a fun and fast read that will appeal to chick-lit fans and readers who enjoy stories that bring a smile to their face.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Just In Case from the author in exchange for an honest review.


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I am not a professional reviewer, but I love to read and share my opinions on my reading with others who are interested. I work full time but my ideal perfect day would be to curl up with a good book. The majority of the books I review here are from my private collection and my reviews are provided purely for entertainment purposes. I receive no compensation whatsoever for sharing my thoughts and review on any book. If you would like me to review your book, please email me at Happy Reading! :o)