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2/28/09

dogs at the beach




2/23/09

Book #36 Dog On It


Dog On It by Spencer Quinn

6 out of 5

Product Description
Meet Chet, the wise and lovable canine narrator of Dog on It, who works alongside Bernie, a down-on-his-luck private investigator. Chet might have flunked out of police school ("I'd been the best leaper in K-9 class, which had led to all the trouble in a way I couldn't remember exactly, although blood was involved"), but he's a detective through and through.

In this, their first adventure, Chet and Bernie investigate the disappearance of Madison, a teenage girl who may or may not have been kidnapped, but who has definitely gotten mixed up with some very unsavory characters. A well-behaved, gifted student, she didn't arrive home after school and her divorced mother is frantic. Bernie is quick to take the case -- something about a cash flow problem that Chet's not all that clear about -- and he's relieved, if vaguely suspicious, when Madison turns up unharmed with a story that doesn't add up. But when she disappears for a second time in a week, Bernie and Chet aren't taking any chances; they launch a full-blown investigation. Without a ransom demand, they're not convinced it's a kidnapping, but they are sure of one thing: something smells funny.

Their search for clues takes them into the desert to biker bars and other exotic locals, with Chet's highly trained nose leading the way. Both Chet and Bernie bring their own special skills to the hunt, one that puts each of them in peril. But even as the bad guys try to turn the tables, this duo is nothing if not resourceful, and the result is an uncommonly satisfying adventure.

With his doggy ways and his endearingly hardboiled voice, Chet is full of heart and occasionally prone to mischief. He is intensely loyal to Bernie, who, though distracted by issues that Chet has difficulty understanding -- like divorce, child custody, and other peculiar human concerns -- is enormously likable himself, in his flawed, all-too-human way.

Ok - I LOVED this book....an excellent voice for the dog community! I just wish Bernie had as much personality as Chet, then it would have been beyond perfect. I hope this develops into a successful series as well. Fans of The Art of Racing in the Rain and mysteries are going to devour this book!



2/22/09

Book #35 The Urban Hermit



4 out of 5

Product Description
Faced with the truth that his debts and his waistline had both ballooned out of control, Sam MacDonald devised a plan to change his life.
When Sam graduated from Yale in 1995, he watched a classmate make inroads as a head-office guy in professional baseball, another become a day-trading millionaire, and another develop connections at the Playboy Mansion. Struggling to make ends meet, he shrugged his shoulders at their success and raised a tall one to them.
It wasn't until April 2000 that Sam got his wake-up call. He weighed 340 lbs. He was flat broke. And the IRS had caught up with him.
In a desperate attempt to save himself, Sam decided to limit himself to a budget of $8 a week and 800 calories a day. He called it "The Urban Hermit Plan."
He thought he would do it for a month. Instead, he embarked on a bizarre year-long journey. He lost 160 pounds in the process, befriended rent-dodging trailer-park denizens, flew to Bosnia on assignment, traveled to a peace festival in a hippie van, had a run-in with Cooter from the Dukes of Hazzard, and met the woman who would later become his wife.
The Urban Hermit is a wildly hilarious story about backwoods living, as told by a man who should have known better.

A very charming book about living within your means and realizing what is important in life. I highly recommend this one.

2/20/09

Book #34 Fool


3 out of 5


Synopsis:
A man of infinite jest, Pocket has been Lear's cherished fool for years, from the time the king's grown daughters—selfish, scheming Goneril, sadistic (but erotic-fantasy-grade-hot) Regan, and sweet, loyal Cordelia—were mere girls. So naturally Pocket is at his brainless, elderly liege's side when Lear—at the insidious urging of Edmund, the bastard (in every way imaginable) son of the Earl of Gloucester—demands that his kids swear their undying love and devotion before a collection of assembled guests. Of course Goneril and Regan are only too happy to brownnose Dad. But Cordelia believes that her father's request is kind of . . . well . . . stupid, and her blunt honesty ends up costing her her rightful share of the kingdom and earns her a banishment to boot.
Well, now the bangers and mash have really hit the fan. The whole damn country's about to go to hell in a handbasket because of a stubborn old fart's wounded pride. And the only person who can possibly make things right . . . is Pocket, a small and slight clown with a biting sense of humor. He's already managed to sidestep catastrophe (and the vengeful blades of many an offended nobleman) on numerous occasions, using his razor-sharp mind, rapier wit . . . and the equally well-honed daggers he keeps conveniently hidden behind his back. Now he's going to have to do some very fancy maneuvering—cast some spells, incite a few assassinations, start a war or two (the usual stuff)—to get Cordelia back into Daddy Lear's good graces, to derail the fiendish power plays of Cordelia's twisted sisters, to rescue his gigantic, gigantically dim, and always randy friend and apprentice fool, Drool, fromrepeated beatings . . . and to shag every lusciously shaggable wench who's amenable to shagging along the way.
Pocket may be a fool . . . but he's definitely not an idiot.

This one fell flat for me as it really took some effort to finish it. Parts of it were extremely funny and the writing is excellent, but I just couldn't get into the story.

2/18/09

Book #33 I'm With Stupid

I'm With Stupid by Elaine Szewczyk

4 out of 5

Product Description:
Szewczyk's entertaining debut novel chronicles a one-night stand gone wrong. Kas Sienkiewicz and her buddy Libby are whisked away by their rich layabout friend, Max, on a luxurious South African vacation. At the posh resort, Kas catches the attention of hunky ranger William Johnson. Nursing a wounded ego after learning that her ex was cheating on her (and his fiancée), Kas heeds her friends' urgings and has a fling with William. When he later turns up in New York, the well-meaning if culturally backward William convinces Kas to take him in, and he gets to work on an ill-fated book. Scenes involving Kas's Polish immigrant parents and their reactions to the new presence in Kas's life are stellar. Subplots involving an arrogant and wealthy tube sock heir and Max's ongoing revenge campaign against Kas's ex simmer, sometimes hilariously, and Szewczyk, an editor at Kirkus Reviews, keeps the story moving briskly with breezy prose, witty one-liners and goofball antics.

Extremely funny chick lit! I loved Kas and her "one night stand" turning up on her doorstep and the fun that ensues with her ex boyfriend.

2/16/09

Book #32 Eyeliner of the Gods



4 out of 5

Product Description:

Sixteen-year-old January James is ecstatic to have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to leave Seattle, and head for the Sahara Desert, where she will be working side-by-side with real life archaeologists. I mean, it's not like Jan plans on being an archaeologist, she plans on being a journalist, but going on this dig will look great on her college resume, and will give her a chance to see what it will be like when she has to head out on assignments in the future. Of course, Jan has no idea that she will be entirely stranded with an annoyingly pushy girl named Chloe, an absolutely gorgeous hottie named Seth, and a cursed bracelet. Who knew that a great opportunity like this would turn into such aggravation?

This is a great mini chick lit read. I really enjoy Jan's snarky comments and look forward to another from this author.

Book #31 The Love of Her Life

The Love of Her Life by Harriet Evans

4 out of 5

I read the UK version.

Excellent English Chick Lit -- Don't let the length of this book scare you, it is a great read. Kate is living in New York and avoiding something from her past life in London three years before. The flashbacks to her London life are well done to give you a feel for her previous carefree life and you will find yourself wanting to read it quickly to find out what went so horribly wrong. Yes, it is a cliche', but the story telling is anything but that.

2/15/09

Book #30 Urban Animals

Urban Animals by Mireille Silcoff

4 out of 5

Product Description
You've seen them before. They're in your home, in your office, on the street. You've encountered them at some fine and not-so-fine establishments. They're the new urban animals, and now they've been classified. You know you've met Every Mother's Worse Nightmare (So what if it says Pussy on the front, Mom? There's a picture of a cat under the word) and The Simpsons Quoter (Natural habitat: His own private Springfield, no further description necessary). From That Young Literary Guy, who has just published a novel, half of which is comprised of footnotes, to The Condescending Vegetarian, who misses the nineties, when it was more acceptable to call a hamburger evil just as a dining companion was about to attack one, this book takes a biting look at the creatures that inhabit our everyday urban world laugh-out-loud portraits, with a touch of the tragically comic. Beware, you might find yourself in here.

This was a nice book to read in between heavier fare....I really enjoyed the humor. I thought it was perfect to read one page here and there.

2/13/09

The Vampire Bride by Gena Showalter COUNTDOWN

I can't wait until this book is released! It seems like forever since I have had a new Gena book to devour....only a few more weeks...March 1st!

Book #29 Weddings From Hell

Weddings From Hell by Maggie Shayne (Author), Jeaniene Frost (Author), Terri Garey (Author), Kathryn Smith (Author)

4 out of 5

Product Description
Some marriages are made in heaven . . . Some are not.
What happens when "the happiest day of your life" turns into a nightmare? Forget the drunken best man or the bridesmaid dresses from the '80s . . . none of these wedding day disasters can compare to a cursed bride determined to make it down the aisle, or a vampire who is about to disrupt your wedding.
Join New York Times bestselling authors Maggie Shayne and Jeaniene Frost, USA Today bestseller Kathryn Smith, as well as Terri Garey in four unforgettable tales of unholy matrimony . . . where the grooms are dark, dangerous, and mostly dead, and to love and cherish till death takes on a whole new meaning.

I swore I wouldn't read any more anthologies since I am usually disappointed with a couple of the stories in each one, but this one had strong, stand-alone novellas. I don't think anyone will be disappointed with anything here. I especially enjoyed Terri Garey's story about Nicki.

2/12/09

Book publishers object to Kindle's text-to-voice feature

Was your mother a lawbreaker when she read you The Little Prince or Green Eggs and Ham?


That's the question raised Tuesday by the Authors Guild, an advocacy group for writers. Paul Aitken, the group's executive director objects to the text-to-speech feature on Amazon's Kindle 2 digital-book reader. Aitken told The Wall Street Journal: "They don't have the right to read a book out loud. That's an audio right, which is derivative under copyright law."
Wow. If a computer can't lawfully read a book out loud, do human beings have the right? Amazon and Aitken could not be reached for comment.
Well, mothers of America, never fear. You most certainly do have the right to privately perform copyright work, says Ben Sheffner, a copyright attorney. Sheffner, a well-known copyright advocate, says the issue of whether Amazon's Kindle infringes on intellectual property is not as cut and dry.

Click on the title to get the full story....

2/11/09

Book #28 Casting Spells

Casting Spells by Barbara Bretton

4 out of 5

Blurb from book:
Magic. Knitting. Love. A new series and a delightful departure by the USA Today bestselling author of Just Desserts.Sugar Maple looks like any Vermont town, but it’s inhabited with warlocks, sprites, vampires, witches—and an ancient secret. And Chloe Hobbs, owner of Sticks & String, a popular knitting shop, has a big secret too. She’s a sorcerer’s daughter in search of Mr. Right—and she’s found him in Luke MacKenzie, a cop investigating Sugar Maple’s very first murder. Bad news is he’s 100% human, which could spell disaster for a normal future with a paranormal woman like her.

This turned out to be a very nice romantic paranormal. I always have reservations when a romance writer tries to do paranormal, but I was pleasantly surprised. This had the right mix of humor and romance.

2/9/09

Book # 27 Witch Blood

Witch Blood by Anya Bast

4 out of 5

Blurb from Book: A water witch, Isabelle Novak has always led a chaotic, nomadic existence. But her life spins out of control when her sister—her only friend and emotional anchor—is killed by a demon. Driven by grief and a desire for revenge, she turns her back on the Coven and the rede they hold sacred: Harm thee none... When Isabelle first encounters Thomas Monahan, she’s running on pure rage and sorrow, channeling her pain into power—and trying to freeze the life out of a warlock she holds responsible for her sister’s death. Together, they form an uneasy alliance to hunt and destroy a demon of tremendous power. As head of the Coven, earth witch Thomas must thwart Isabelle’s dark impulses, but his very presence stirs deeper desires she never knew she had…

Although this is the second book in the series, it could stand alone. I like the attitude of Isabelle and the interplay between her and Thomas who we met in the first book. If you like hot, this book is for you

2/8/09

Book #26 Far From You

Far From You by Lisa Schroeder

5 out of 5

Blurb from book:Lost and alone...down the rabbit hole.Years have passed since Alice lost her mother to cancer, but time hasn't quite healed the wound. Alice copes the best she can by writing her music, losing herself in her love for her boyfriend, and distancing herself from her father and his new wife.
But when a deadly snowstorm traps Alice with her stepmother and newborn half sister, she'll face issues she's been avoiding for too long. As Alice looks to the heavens for guidance, she discovers something wonderful.
Perhaps she's not so alone after all....
I thought this book was excellent. Amazing how the author could put across so much with so few words. I really enjoyed her first book, I Heart You, You Haunt Me and this one was even better!

2/6/09

Book #25 Fish Out Of Water

Fish Out Of Water by MaryJanice Davidson

4 out of 5

Blurb from book:
Fred the Mermaid has taken the bait and chosen to date Artur, Prince of the Black Sea, over human marine biologist Thomas. And just in time. The existence of the Undersea Folk is no longer a secret, and someone needs to keep them from floundering in the media spotlight. Fred has all the right skills for that job, but has a hard time when her real father surfaces and tries to overthrow Artur’s regime.

I am sad to say this is the last of Fred. A very cute, quick read and I always MJD. These are just the perfect bit of fluff for a rainy day.

Book #24 Choke

Choke by Chuck Palahniuk

4 out of 5

Blurb from Book:
Palahniuk (Fight Club; Invisible Monsters) once again demonstrates his faith in the credo that before things get better, they must get much, much worse. Like previous Palahniuk protagonists, Victor Mancini is young and prematurely cynical, a med school dropout whose eerily detached narration of the banal horrors of everyday existence gives way to a numbed account of nihilistic carnage. Cruising sex-addict meetings for action, Victor enjoys bathroom trysts with nymphomaniacs on short prison furloughs, focused on maximizing his sexual highs. During the working day, he is trapped in a 1734 colonial theme park, where the entire self-medicated staff blearily endures abusive school tours while hiding out from the world. Victor supports his mother, who is in the hospital, stricken with Alzheimer's; she is wasting away, and despite the misery she put him through in childhood (revealed in an increasingly horrific series of flashbacks), he wants to be a good boy and take care of her. This becomes challenging when Victor is seduced by a strange hospital worker calling herself Dr. Marshall, who shows him his mother's diary; it describes her self-impregnation by a holy relic she believes to be the foreskin of Jesus. This has a profound effect on Victor, who is stunned by the possibility that there may be some good in him after all. Victor is even more pathetic than Palahniuk's previous antiheroes, in that the world he creates for himself (a carnivalesque m‚lange of theme park, geriatric ward and asylum) is actually more horrific than the one he seeks to escape. Still, the novel showcases the author's powers of description, character development and attention-getting dialogue handily enough to give this dark meditation on addiction a distinctive and humorous twist.

This is another strange book by Palahniuk. I know this is going to be made into a movie, but I can't imagine how they are going to show some of the details on the screen. I must say that his writing is an acquired tasted and not for the faint of heart.

New Update on Little Sam...

Bev sent me this today!

We have a praise this morning! Samuel's daddy IS a match to be the donor for Little Samuel! One hurdle out of the way. Topday they are in NYC for Sams last MRI on his heart and then its the transplant, tentatively Monday or atleast by next week. Keep the prayers going up! His picture is posted on the compassion suite forum as well as on Marys Blog. Thank you everyone that is praying and that has helped.

Anyone wishing to help Little Sam's family we are doing a 50/50 raffle. Winner gets half the money and Sams family gets half. You can email directly Bev for tickets wlmailhtml:%7BD67E6086-9ABF-46A5-ACF0-CE68FFFDE3CD%7Dmid://00000281/!x-usc:mailto:cbcovell27@verizon.net
Tickets are $5 for 5tickets $10 for 12 tickets $20 for 25 tickets and $30 for 50 tickets
Thanks,
Bev

2/2/09

Book #23 The Demon King and I

The Demon King and I by Candace Havens

4 out of 5

Blurb From Book:
The Caruthers sisters are heiresses with privilege, wealth, beauty, and brains. But these party girls have something extra. As the Guardian Keys, possessors of an ancient family secret, they hold the fate of the world in their hands.Gillian, the eldest, is a sensation in the art world— this world, that is. In her other world she’s the Assassin, a knockout who snuffs out dimension-jumpers who foul up her personal space. She never expected to join forces with one. But when a plague of murderous demons plunges the earth in darkness, she has no choice but to get a little help from a being who knows his stuff.

Excellent series debut from Candace Havens and I look forward to reading the next installment. The concise background, snappy dialogue and action are wonderful.

2/1/09

Puppy Bowl


Need I say more...


Dachshunds are accomplished hunting dogs despite their lapdog reputations.
I was disappointed not to see a dachshund in the mix. Maybe next year....
Most women see babies and want another child. I watched this and could only think of having another puppy.

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