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9/30/10

GIVEAWAY! October Paranormal Romances - Forget the tricks, We've got a treat for you!


To celebrate Halloween, I have three sets of four books to give out, courtesy of Hatchette books! 



By Larissa Ione
Format: MASS MARKET
Price: US$6.99/CAN$8.50
ISBN: 9780446401036

By Caridad Piñeiro
Format: MASS MARKET
Price: US$6.99/CAN$8.99
ISBN: 9780446543835

By Carolyn Jewel
Format: MASS MARKET
Price: US$6.99/CAN$8.50
ISBN: 9780446178235

By Kate Perry
Format: MASS MARKET
Price: US$6.99/CAN$8.50
ISBN: 9780446541008

WANT TO WIN A SET OF THESE BOOKS?

Contest is open to anyone with a US or Canadian mailing address (no PO Boxes)
Winner will be chosen by Random.org on 11.1.10. Contest ends on 10.31.10
Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or a new winner will be chosen.
This giveaway is sponsored by Hatchette Book Group and 3 sets of  books will be available.
Only one winner per household / mailing  address!

+1 Complete the below form
+1 Follow Me
+1 Be my friend on GoodReads HERE
+1 Follow me on Twitter HERE
+1 Like the SWAMPED Facebook Page HERE  



And now, for those extra entries you can do each day:

+1 Leave a comment!  I love comments! Just be sure to leave an email address so I can contact you.

 +1 for each post on twitter, a social networking site, sidebar, etc., just be sure to leave a link.
 +3 for a blog post

Rocktober !!!

Starting tomorrow, I will focus on music related books that will rock!  I have lots of special guests and giveaways planned!  Stay tuned for details!

AND THE WINNER IS: Good Boss, Bad Boss by Robert Sutton


aliyadaya
spynaert
elizabethjhoskins


An email has been sent to the three lucky people named above (first part of their email address in case my note ends up in spam). They have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Thanks to all who entered.



Didn't win? Order your copy from my Amazon link:


BLOG TOUR & REVIEW: Aching for Always by Gwyn Cready

Description

RITA Award–winning author Gwyn Cready continues the “sexy fun” (BookPage) of her charming time-travel adventures with a high-spirited tale of a modern-day mapmaker and the eighteenth-century English navy captain she can’t resist.Ambitious and feisty Josephine “Joss” O’Malley has spent years fighting to keep her mother’s map-making company alive. Just when she finds herself considering taking a risky next step with bad-boy entrepreneur Rogan Reynolds— whose generosity has helped keep the business afloat—Joss meets dark and mysterious Hugh Hawksmoor. Hugh’s deft touch and old-world seduction stir Joss’s desires like a storm at sea, and she has no clue that he has sailed three hundred years into the future to avenge the death of his brother at the hands of her father. Or that she holds the key to a map that will help him undo the destructive changes her father wrought in the past. When Hugh lures Joss into a treacherous journey through time, there’s not a twenty-first-century trick that can save her. But when she applies her own instincts to a course she thought was set, she discovers that the high seas hold some scandalous surprises.

About the Author

Gwyn Cready is the RITA Award winning author of sexy, funny, romantic romance novels.  Publishers Weekly called Tumbling Through Time, her debut, "a joy," and Seducing Mr. Darcy was named Best Paranormal Romance Novel of 2009. She lives in Pittsburgh with her family.www.cready.com

Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket; Original edition (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439107289
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439107287
SOURCE:  PUBLISHER


LOVED IT

Gwyn Cready has done another outstanding job at writing a time travel romance.  This is the second one I have read by her and enjoyed it immensely.  There are a lot of subplots to keep track of and if you think of the time shifting back and forth as another character, the book is really enjoyable.  Joss is a strong female lead who is trying to keep her mother's map business afloat with the help of her slimy fiance, Rogan.  I did not like Rogan at all.  When Hugh comes into Joss's life, he is much more than a sea captain, he time travels to her and takes her back in time.

I loved how Joss learned to trust herself and not rely on modern conveniences, but her own wits to survive.  Hugh is dashing and a worthy hero.  Yes, he is swoon-worthy and a nice foil to Rogan.  The series really takes the romance to a wonderful place.  The map metaphor is perfect for this story.  I really enjoyed it a lot.

BLOG TOUR & REVIEW: Venom by Jennifer Estep

Description

What kind of assassin works pro bono?It’s hard to be a badass assassin when a giant is beating the crap out of you. Luckily, I never let pride get in the way of my work. My current mission is personal: annihilate Mab Monroe, the Fire elemental who murdered my family. Which means protecting my identity, even if I have to conceal my powerful Stone and Ice magic when I need it most. To the public, I’m Gin Blanco, owner of Ashland’s best barbecue joint. To my friends, I’m the Spider, retired assassin. I still do favors on the side. Like ridding a vampire friend of her oversized stalker—Mab’s right-hand goon who almost got me dead with his massive fists. At least irresistible Owen Grayson is on my side. The man knows too much about me, but I’ll take my chances. Then there’s Detective Bria Coolidge, one of Ashland’s finest. Until recently, I thought my baby sister was dead. She probably thinks the same about me. Little does she know, I’m a cold-blooded killer . . . who is about to save her life.

About the Author

By night, Jennifer Estep is an author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fun, sexy fantasy idea.Jennifer currently writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. The star of the series is Gin Blanco, an assassin who can control the elements of ice and stone when she’s not too busy running her barbecue restaurant, the Pork Pit. Jennifer is also the author of the Bigtime paranormal romance books, which feature sexy superheroes, evil ubervillains, and smart, sassy gals looking for love. Titles in the Berkley series include Karma Girl (May 2007), Hot Mama (November 2007), and Jinx (September 2008).
By day, Jennifer is an award-winning features page designer for a daily newspaper with a broad range of journalism and media experience. She's also a certifiable fangirl and an authority on fantasy literature and culture. Jennifer is a member of Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and other writing groups.
Jennifer's books have been featured in Cosmopolitan, Entertainment Weekly, Southern Living, and a variety of other publications. For more information, visit her Web site at www.jenniferestep.com.

Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket; Original edition (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439148015
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439148013
SOURCE:  PUBLISHER

ABSOLUTELY ADORED IT

I can't even begin to describe how much I adore this book!  I read it so quickly and really didn't want it to end.  There are supposed to be five books in this series and I have read two.  Yes, I ordered Web of Lies and got it two days after I received Venom, which was 30 days after I ordered it.  It didn't make any difference though.  I am going back to read Web of Lies right now. This is one tightly plotted book and you will fall in love with all of the characters.

Gin is recovering from her loss of Donovan Caine and finds that he is replaced by Gin's long lost sister, Bria.  The first 50 pages of the book recap the first two stories, so I wasn't at a complete loss getting up to speed.  She sets her sights on cleaning up Ashland and getting revenge on Mab Malone who killed her mother and older sister.  This storyline would make a fabulous graphic novel.  She also learns several secrets about her past and you get little glimpses of what made her into what she is today.

The real heavy of the story is Elliot Slater, a giant who causes Gin all kinds of grief and also a lot of information.  Gin is becoming stronger both mentally and physically.  Of course, Slate gets what is coming to him.  There is a lot of violence and lust in this one.  The lust comes in the form of a new hottie, Owen Grayson.  I see a wonderful future for Gin now that she has met her match.  There are lots more details, but you will have to read this one to get them.  Just awesome!  If you enjoy Jennifer Rardin or Kelly Gay or will also adore this series. 



    9/29/10

    BLOG TOUR & REVIEW: Take a Chance on Me by Jill Mansell

    Description

    Even in a small town the drama is larger than life...
    Cleo Quinn doesn't have the greatest track record when it comes to men, but now Will's come along. Handsome and attentive, he could be her Mr Right. Things are definitely looking up for Cleo... apart from one small problem with a rather large ego. Johnny LaVenture, sculptor extraordinaire and her personal childhood nemesis, is back in Channing's Hill and tormenting her as if he'd never been away.
    Meanwhile Cleo's sister Abbie has a problem of her own-husband Tom has become distant and withdrawn, and she's determined to find out why. But will the shocking truth mean the end of their idyllically happy marriage?
    The sisters are about to discover that the past can come back to haunt you, and that love can flourish in the unlikeliest of places...

    About the Author

    With over 4 million copies sold, Jill Mansell writes irresistible and funny romantic tales for women in the tradition of Jilly Cooper and Catherine Alliott. She worked for many years at the Burden Neurological Hospital, Bristol, and now writes full time. She lives with her partner and their children in Bristol, England.

    Details

    • Paperback: 432 pages
    • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (October 1, 2010)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1402237510
    • ISBN-13: 978-1402237515
    SOURCE:  PUBLISHER

    LOVED IT

    I think Jill Mansell has topped herself with this book.  My chick lit book group has chosen Jill's books several times and we always have enjoyed them.  This one has it all -- comedy, romance, great characters and a lot of action.  The plot is really believable which is a real treat in chick lit since you sometimes have to suspend belief in order to enjoy them.  I loved Cleo and Johnny especially and the rest of the cast aren't too shabby either.  There are lots of little subplots to keep you turning the pages.  This is a nice story to get you in the mood for fall.  If you enjoy Sophie Kinsella and Harriet Evans, you will like this as well.

    BLOG TOUR & REVIEW: Saving Max by Antoinette van Heugten

    Description

    Max Parkman—autistic and whip-smart, emotionally fragile and aggressive—is perfect in his mother's eyes. Until he's accused of murder.Attorney Danielle Parkman knows her teenage son Max's behavior has been getting worse—using drugs and lashing out. But she can't accept the diagnosis she receives at a top-notch adolescent psychiatric facility that her son is deeply disturbed. Dangerous.
    Until she finds Max, unconscious and bloodied, beside a patient who has been brutally stabbed to death.
    Trapped in a world of doubt and fear, barred from contacting Max, Danielle clings to the belief that her son is innocent. But has she, too, lost touch with reality? Is her son really a killer?
    With the justice system bearing down on them, Danielle steels herself to discover the truth, no matter what it is. She'll do whatever it takes to find the killer and to save her son from being destroyed by a system that's all too eager to convict him.

    Details

    • Paperback: 384 pages
    • Publisher: Mira; Original edition (September 28, 2010)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0778329631
    • ISBN-13: 978-0778329633
    SOURCE:  PUBLISHER

    REALLY LIKED IT

    This book was really out of my comfort zone.  I normally don't pick psychological thrillers, but this one kept me enthralled.  The author quickly pulled me into the story and it really seemed like it was ripped from the headlines. I could really feel the pain of Max's mother, Danielle, and how the medical community doesn't always get things right when Max is diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a type of Autism.  I  felt her anger and the need to get things right for her son.  It really makes you think that Max would have been one of those kids who would be lost in the criminal system and medical community if his mother wasn't a lawyer and smart enough to try and help.

    It also brought up several issues of motherhood.  Even if a mother does everything "right", is it still enough?  Or even good enough?  It is interesting that she bonds with Marianne, Jonas' mother, the boy who ends up dead.  There are so many scary issues that are dealt with here.  The mental illness issues in this country are exploding and hopefully there will be more help for these diseases.  That said, you know a mother will do almost everything to help her own child and this story asks the question of how far should a mother go?  Well, the ending will give you a surprise and I am not talking about Max's mother.  I am not sure if this is the end of the story though since there is a creepy note from Marianne that completes the book.


    9/28/10

    Waiting on Wednesday: Life by Keith Richards



     Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


    This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:


     

    Description

    The long-awaited autobiography of the guitarist, songwriter, singer, and founding member of the Rolling Stones. Ladies and gentleman: Keith Richards.

    With The Rolling Stones, Keith Richards created the songs that roused the world, and he lived the original rock and roll life.

    Now, at last, the man himself tells his story of life in the crossfire hurricane. Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records, learning guitar and forming a band with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones. The Rolling Stones's first fame and the notorious drug busts that led to his enduring image as an outlaw folk hero. Creating immortal riffs like the ones in "Jumping Jack Flash" and "Honky Tonk Women." His relationship with Anita Pallenberg and the death of Brian Jones. Tax exile in France, wildfire tours of the U.S., isolation and addiction. Falling in love with Patti Hansen. Estrangement from Jagger and subsequent reconciliation. Marriage, family, solo albums and Xpensive Winos, and the road that goes on forever.

    With his trademark disarming honesty, Keith Richard brings us the story of a life we have all longed to know more of, unfettered, fearless, and true.

    About the Author

    Keith Richards was born in London in 1943. A guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, and cofounder of the Rolling Stones, he has also released solo albums with his band, The X-Pensive Winos. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Patti Hansen.

    James Fox was born in Washington, D.C., in 1945 and has known Keith Richards since the early 1970's when he was a journalist for the Sunday Times in London. His books include the international bestseller White Mischief. He lives in London with his wife and sons.

    Details

    • Hardcover: 576 pages
    • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (October 26, 2010)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 031603438X
    • ISBN-13: 978-0316034388
    Wow, I didn't realize this was almost 600 pages.  I can't wait to read about the original vampire of rock and roll!

    GIVEAWAY! Dewey the Library Cat by Vicki Myron


    Description

    On the coldest morning of the year, Vicki Myron found a tiny, bedraggled kitten almost frozen to death in the night drop box of the library where she worked, and her life -- and the town of Spencer, Iowa -- would never be the same.Vicki was a single mother who had survived the loss of her family farm and an alcoholic, abusive husband. But her biggest challenge as the new head librarian in Spencer was to raise the spirits of a small, out-of-the-way town mired deep in the farm crisis of the 1980s.Dewey, as the townspeople named the kitten, quickly grew into a strutting, adorable library cat whose antics kept patrons in stitches, and whose sixth sense about those in need created hundreds of deep and loving friendships. As his fame grew, people drove hundreds of miles to meet Dewey, and people all over the world fell in love with him.Through it all, Dewey remained a loyal companion, a beacon of hope not just for Vicki, but for the entire town of Spencer as it slowly, steadily pulled itself up from the worst financial crisis in its long history. Dewey won hearts and proved to everyone he encountered that unconditional love comes in many forms.

    About the Author

    Vicki Myron has been a librarian at the library in Spencer, Iowa for twenty-five years.

    WANT TO WIN A COPY OF THIS BOOK?

    Contest is open to anyone with a US or Canadian mailing address (no PO Boxes)
    Winner will be chosen by Random.org on 10.16.10
    Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or a new winner will be chosen.
    This giveaway is sponsored by Hatchette Book Group and 3 books will be available.
    Only one winner per household address!

    +1 Complete the below form
    +1 Follow Me
    +1 Be my friend on GoodReads HERE
    +1 Follow me on Twitter HERE
    +1 Like the SWAMPED Facebook Page HERE  
    +1 Like Dewey on Facebook

    And now, for those extra entries you can do each day:

    +1 Leave a comment!  I love comments! Just be sure to leave an email address so I can contact you.

     +1 for each post on twitter, a social networking site, blog, sidebar, etc., just be sure to leave a link.

    Is This Katniss Everdeen?



    Chloe Moretz who is starring in Let Me In and recently starred in Kick Ass is now rumored to be starring in The Hunger Games.  I can really picture her as Katniss, even though her coloring doesn't match the book's description of Katniss.  But, hey, a little make up and Hollywood magic can fix a lot of descriptive issues.  After watching her in Kick Ass, you can believe her as Katniss,

    GIVEAWAY! BLOG TOUR & REVIEW: Simply Irresistable by Jill Shalvis

    Description

    Maddie Moore's whole life needs a makeover.
    In one fell swoop, Maddie loses her boyfriend (her decision) and her job (so not her decision). But rather than drowning her sorrows in bags of potato chips, Maddie leaves L.A. to claim the inheritance left by her free-spirited mother-a ramshackle inn nestled in the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington.

    Starting over won't be easy. Yet Maddie sees the potential for a new home and a new career-if only she can convince her two half-sisters to join her in the adventure. But convincing Tara and Chloe will be difficult because the inn needs a big makeover too.

    The contractor Maddie hires is a tall, dark-haired hottie whose eyes-and mouth-are making it hard for her to remember that she's sworn off men. Even harder will be Maddie's struggles to overcome the past, though she's about to discover that there's no better place to call home than Lucky Harbor.

    About the Author

    USA Today bestselling author JILL SHALVIS lives in a small town in the Sierras also run by quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books are, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill's bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website at www.jillshalvis.com for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountain adventures.

    Details

    • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
    • Publisher: Forever; 1 Original edition (September 28, 2010)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 044657161X
    • ISBN-13: 978-0446571616
    SOURCE:  PUBLISHER

    LOVED IT

    I love the way this book starts out with Maddie finally/almost gaining the upper hand over her boyfriend and losing her job at the same time. This presents another opportunity for Maddie to leave her life behind when she decides to go to Lucky Harbor and claim her inheritance from her mother. Jax meets Maddie when she almost kills him by running him off the road on his motorcycle.   Talk about a cute meet with a handsome stranger!  I loved Maddie's humor at the curveballs she is thrown.  Jax is sexy without being overbearing.  The two together are just wonderful and watching the relationship develop is even better.

    Jax has issues of his own and throw in some great situations between Maddie and her new relationships with her sisters, which have their own books in the Lucky Harbor series.  This is the first book I have read in this series and had no trouble picking up on them.  All of the character are believable and Jax, well, he is a hottie!  This is definitely a wonderful read. 


    WANT TO WIN A COPY OF THIS BOOK?

    Contest is open to anyone with a US or Canadian mailing address (no PO Boxes)
    Winner will be chosen by Random.org on 10.15.10
    Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or a new winner will be chosen.
    This giveaway is sponsored by Hatchette Book Group and 5 books will be available.
    Only one winner per household address!

    +1 Complete the below form
    +1 Follow Me
    +1 Be my friend on GoodReads HERE
    +1 Follow me on Twitter HERE
    +1 Like the SWAMPED Facebook Page HERE 
     +1 Follow @JillShalvis on Twitter

    And now, for those extra entries you can do each day:

    +1 Leave a comment!  I love comments! Just be sure to leave an email address so I can contact you.

     +1 for each post on twitter, a social networking site, blog, sidebar, etc., just be sure to leave a link.

    Book Trailer Tuesday: JANE by April Lindner



     Description
    Forced to drop out of an esteemed East Coast college after the sudden death of her parents, Jane Moore takes a nanny job at Thornfield Park, the estate of Nico Rathburn, a world-famous rock star on the brink of a huge comeback. Practical and independent, Jane reluctantly becomes entranced by her magnetic and brooding employer and finds herself in the midst of a forbidden romance.

    But there's a mystery at Thornfield, and Jane's much-envied relationship with Nico is soon tested by an agonizing secret from his past. Torn between her feelings for Nico and his fateful secret, Jane must decide: Does being true to herself mean giving up on true love?

    An irresistible romance interwoven with a darkly engrossing mystery, this contemporary retelling of the beloved classic Jane Eyre promises to enchant a new generation of readers.

    About the Author
    April Lindner is an associate professor of English at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. Her poetry collection, Skin, received the Walt McDonald First-Book Prize in Poetry, and her poems have been featured in many anthologies and textbooks. She holds an MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College and a PhD in English from the University of Cincinnati. Jane is her debut novel.

    Details

    • Reading level: Young Adult
    • Hardcover: 384 pages
    • Publisher: Poppy (October 11, 2010)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0316084204
    • ISBN-13: 978-0316084208
    I just finished this one!  Spectacular....my review will be up closer to the release date.

    9/27/10

    New Weekly Giveaway @ Linda Weaver Clarke's blog!

    Book Give-Away September 27 – October 4: for those interested in Love
    Turns the Tide as an E-book download, leave a comment about this interview
    with your e-mail. International. Visit
    http://lindaweaverclarke.blogspot.com.

    “An unlikely romance begins in the spring when the sunshine sparkles on
    the sand in Destin, Florida, and the moonlight dances across a tranquil,
    emerald sea.” In Love Turns the Tide Cammie O'Shea, a feature writer for a
    newspaper, faces a traumatic split-up with her fiancé and has to leave her
    family and friends to take a new job in Destin, Florida. Heartbroken and
    alone, she needs God more now than she ever has. But for some reason she
    can't explain, she feels more estranged from Him. But her real source of
    anguish turns out to be Vic Deleona, the influential real estate tycoon
    she must write about to generate interest in the paper. While she refuses
    to open herself to another painful relationship, he attempts to court her.

    Linda Weaver Clarke: Interview with Christian Romance Author Gail Pallotta

    New Giveaway @ Indie Paranormal Book Reviews: Review & Ebook Giveaway: Hush Money by Susan Bischoff

    Hey! My friend, Michelle has another book up for grabs on her blog! Hush Money by Susan Bischoff

    Here is what she says about this one:

    I really, really enjoyed this book. If you like YA fantasy that has teens with supernatural powers, this one might be up your alley. Check it out. If you don’t want to mess with the giveaway but it interests you, the ebook is only .89 cents in the Kindle Store or .99 on Smashwords (various formats). It is about 50K words which is short novel size.

    You need to enter this one by Friday, October 1.

    Indie Paranormal Book Reviews: Review & Ebook Giveaway: Hush Money by Susan Bischoff

    Win Out of the Shadows by Joanne Rendell on Julie Buxbaum's blog!

    Julie Buxbaum (author of The Opposite of Love and After You) is giving away an autographed copy of Joanne Rendell's latest book, Out of the Shadows.  Joanne also wrote The Professors' Wives Club.  All of you chick lit fans better know these books! 

    Stop by and check out before October 4.

    5 Questions for Joanne Rendell and…A GIVEAWAY! « Julie Buxbaum

    GIVEAWAY! Win a Kate Spade purse from Gwen Cready

    Enter to Win a Kate Spade Leopard Print Purse from author, Gwen Cready, to celebrate her release of Aching for Always (blog tour this Thursday)! Click the below link to enter!


    Enter to Win a Kate Spade Leopard Print Purse!






    Three easy ways to enter:

    1. Forward this email or URL to five friends, copying purse@cready.com by October 4, 2010.

    2. Send a picture of you holding Aching for Always to purse@cready.com by October 4, 2010.

    3. Send a copy of a purchase receipt for Aching for Always to purse@cready.com by October 4, 2010.


    Contest rules: Open only to residents of U.S. and Canada. Void where prohibited. Entering this contest will automatically add you to the Gwyn Cready mailing list. Friends to whom you forward this email will not be added to the Gwyn Cready mailing list unless they, too, enter the contest. No personal information or email addresses will be sold or shared. Entries must be received by midnight on October 4, 2010. Winner will be posted at cready.com on October 6, 2010.

    Praise for Aching for Always:
    "Passionate, suspenseful, adventurous and highly entertaining." -- Romantic Times (4 1/2 stars)

    Romance of the Month, the #1-recommended romance for October -- BookPage


    Message from Author Gwyn Cready: 
    I've always loved maps--from Winnie-the-Pooh to Treasure Island to Christopher Columbus. To me maps are magical, keeping as many secrets as they reveal.

    In
    Aching for Always, one map can forever change the lives of two people--Hugh Hawksmoor, a sea captain from the eighteenth century sworn to avenge his brother's death, and Joss O'Malley, whose struggle to keep her mother's mapmaking company afloat ties her to her own past. When they meet, there are fireworks--literally, and Joss falls for Hugh's ample charms. But when Hugh tricks her into returning to the past, each will be forced to make the hardest decision each has ever faced.

    Aching for Always is romantic and exciting and very moving. Hugh is one of the complicated and interesting heroes I've ever written. I hope you enjoy it.
    PS -- please note, you must enter the giveaway at Gwen Cready's website , not here!

    GIVEAWAY! BLOG TOUR & REVIEW: Two Lethal Lies by Annie Solomon

    Description

    A love to die for...

    On the run since his daughter was born, Mitch Turner has concealed a truth so dangerous, its discovery could jeopardize both their lives. But when a series of shocking murders hits their newfound home, the trail leads straight to Mitch. With the police out for blood and his daughter ripped from his arms, he has nowhere to turn--until a beautiful stranger offers her help.

    Neesy Brown has made mistakes in her life, yet she refuses to believe this mysterious man is a killer. There's a strength in his broad shoulders that draws her to him and a weariness in his eyes that she longs to ease. As the murders tear her small town apart, she vows to help Mitch find his missing child. But a cunning predator is pulling them deeper and deeper into his fatal game. And the price of losing is the child--and the future--they could both share...

    About the Author

    A native New Yorker, RITA-winning author Annie Solomon has been dreaming up stories since she was ten. After a twelve-year career in advertising, where she rose to Vice President and Head Writer at a mid-size agency, she abandoned the air conditioners, furnaces, and heat pumps of her professional life for her first love--romance. An avid knitter and mother of a daughter attending college, she now lives in Nashville with her husband. You can visit her Web site at www.anniesolomon.net.

    Details

    • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
    • Publisher: Forever; Original edition (September 28, 2010)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0446178454
    • ISBN-13: 978-0446178457
    SOURCE:  PUBLISHER

    LOVED IT

    This is romantic suspense at its best.  Annie Solomon is new to me as an author, but this won't be my last book by her.  Mitch and his daughter, Julia,  find themselves in the small town of Crossroads, which is more than a prophetic name.  Mitch is on the run and trying to protect his daughter from some unspeakable danger.  There are many twists and turns in the plot which will keep you guessing and quickly cheering for Mitch.  Neesy, his romantic interest, only makes Mitch that much more human and likable.  Dutch, the villain, is one truly evil person.  I really enjoyed the writing in this book.  The author pulled off a remarkable romance with very real characters, something that is hard to find sometimes.






    WANT TO WIN A COPY OF THIS BOOK?

    Contest is open to anyone with a US or Canadian mailing address (no PO Boxes)
    Winner will be chosen by Random.org on 10.14.10
    Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or a new winner will be chosen.
    This giveaway is sponsored by Hatchette Book Group and 5 books will be available.
    Only one winner per household address!

    +1 Complete the below form
    +1 Follow Me
    +1 Be my friend on GoodReads HERE
    +1 Follow me on Twitter HERE
    +1 Like the SWAMPED Facebook Page HERE 
     +1 Like Annie Solomon on Facebook
    +1 Visit AnnieSolomon.com 


    And now, for those extra entries you can do each day:

    +1 Leave a comment!  I love comments! Just be sure to leave an email address so I can contact you.

     +1 for each post on twitter, a social networking site, blog, sidebar, etc., just be sure to leave a link.



    9/25/10

    REVIEW: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (SPOILER ALERT)

    Description

    Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.
    --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

    About the Author

    Suzanne Collins is the author of the New York Times bestselling Underland Chronicles series, which has more than one million books in print and is available in seven foreign editions. In the award-winning The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, Collins continues to explore the effects of war and violence on those coming of age. The much-anticipated finale to The Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay, will be published on August 24th, 2010. Also a successful writer for children's television, Collins lives with her family in Connecticut. Visit her at www.suzannecollinsbooks.com.

    Product Details

    • Reading level: Young Adult
    • Hardcover: 400 pages
    • Publisher: Scholastic Press (August 24, 2010)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0439023513
    • ISBN-13: 978-0439023511
    SOURCE:  PUBLIC LIBRARY

    ABSOLUTELY ADORED IT

    There is a reason the books in this series are best sellers.  The conclusion is worth every cent and exactly what I was expecting.  I think enough time has passed and everyone knows the ending.  Katniss finds she is a pawn of the resistance movement and accepts it and uses it to her advantage.  I was surprised that she ends up living in peace with Peeta.  There it is out.  I was a Team Gale girl all the way.  There is not much to write about this one that hasn't been written.  Yes, you need to read this series.

    REVIEW: Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

    Description

    Life in Marblehead has had a pleasant predictability, until Diesel arrives. Rumor has it that a collection of priceless ancient relics representing the Seven Deadly Sins have made their way to Boston’s North Shore. Partnered with pastry chef Lizzie Tucker, Diesel bullies and charms his way through historic Salem to track them down—and his criminal mastermind cousin Gerewulf Grimorie. The black-haired, black-hearted Wulf is on the hunt for the relic representing gluttony. Caught in a race against time, Diesel and Lizzie soon find out that more isn’t always better, as they battle Wulf and the first of the deadly sins. With delectable characters and non-stop thrills that have made Janet Evanovich a household name, Wicked Appetite will leave you hungry for more.

    About the Author

    JANET EVANOVICH is the #1 bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series. She reads comic books and only watches happy movies. She lives in Florida.

    Product Details

    • Hardcover: 320 pages
    • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (September 14, 2010)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0312652917
    • ISBN-13: 978-0312652913
    SOURCE: PUBLIC LIBRARY

    LIKED IT

    Although there are all the required wacky details and snarky comments I have come to expect from Evanovich, this one just seemed juvenile to me.  There was none of the sharp Plum dialogue in this one.  I loved Diesel when he appeared in the Between the Plums series, but for him to carry a whole book without Stephanie just fell a little flat.  It took me days to finish this one instead of hours.  It is probably a must read for any Evanovich fan though.  I hope the series will develop a bit better in the future.  This one felt a little "phoned in".


    REVIEW: Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

    Description

    The community of Cryer’s Cross, Montana (population 212) is distraught when high school freshman Tiffany disappears without a trace. Already off-balance due to her OCD, 16-year-old Kendall is freaked out seeing Tiffany’s empty desk in the one-room school house, but somehow life goes on... until Kendall's boyfriend Nico also disappears, and also without a trace. Now the town is in a panic. Alone in her depression and with her OCD at an all-time high, Kendall notices something that connects Nico and Tiffany: they both sat at the same desk. She knows it's crazy, but Kendall finds herself drawn to the desk, dreaming of Nico and wondering if maybe she, too, will disappear...and whether that would be so bad.
    Then she begins receiving graffiti messages on the desk from someone who can only be Nico. Can he possibly be alive somewhere? Where is he? And how can Kendall help him? The only person who believes her is Jacian, the new guy she finds irritating...and attractive. As Kendall and Jacian grow closer, Kendall digs deeper into Nico's mysterious disappearance only to stumble upon some ugly—and deadly—local history.
    Kendall is about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried.

    About the Author

    Lisa McMann is the New York Times bestselling author of the WAKE trilogy (Wake, Fade, Gone). She grew up in Michigan and now lives in the Phoenix area with her husband and two kids. Read more about Lisa at www.lisamcmann.com and be her friend on Facebook (facebook.com/lisamcmann) or Twitter (twitter.com/lisa_mcmann).

    Details

    • Reading level: Young Adult
    • Hardcover: 240 pages
    • Publisher: Simon Pulse (February 8, 2011)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1416994815
    • ISBN-13: 978-1416994817
    SOURCE:  AROUND THE WORLD ARC TOURS

    ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT

    This story really struck a chord with me.  My son and husband both have OCD and they both use similar coping skills that Kendall does.  The story is definitely Twilight Zone Worthy.  It has that same creepy feel that resides in the television show.  McMann gets right to the point and doesn't waste words as she creates a world in which the improbable can become true.  You could really feel Kendall's distress when she cannot go through her coping mechanisms and that throws her into a panic. 

    Kendall is the core of the story and when her somewhat boyfriend Nico starts acting strange and then disappears like her friend Tiffany, the story comes to a head.  Kendall notices that the desk both Tiffany and Nico sat at appears to have messages written on it.  The messages direct Kendall and the new boy in town, Jacian to solve the puzzle. This is a wonderful read and those that enjoy psychological mysteries will enjoy it.  I think this is probably best suited for older teens since there is some violence mentioned.

    Cryer's Cross

    REVIEW: Torment by Lauren Kate (Slight Spoiler Alert)

    Description

    Hell on earth.

    That’s what it’s like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel.
    It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts—immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students: Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.

    At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. He’s hiding something—something dangerous.
    What if Daniel’s version of the past isn’t actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else?

    The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series . . . where love never dies.

    About the Author

    Lauren Kate grew up in Dallas, went to school in Atlanta, and started writing in New York. She is the author of The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove and now lives in Los Angeles.

    Details

    • Reading level: Young Adult
    • Hardcover: 464 pages
    • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (September 28, 2010)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0385739141
    • ISBN-13: 978-0385739146
    SOURCE:  AROUND THE WORLD ARC TOURS

    ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT

    This is the second in the Fallen series and I adored it as much as the first one.  The story delves more into Luce's past and gives you a little more background on the Outcasts, Demons and Fallen Angels.  This is in a way a political thriller since the story shows the interesting dynamic between the three groups. You find out that the Demons and Fallen Angels have more in common than you might think.  The Outcasts want to use Luce to get back into Heaven and all Luce is having none of it.  In fact Luce is upset at Daniel since he won't spill the details of their past together and constantly leaves her in the dark.  I sincerely hope that this is resolved by the conclusion of the series.  I am really ticked off at Daniel and I hope that his secrecy is explained in the next book.


    All of the forces of good and evil are in play, but you might be surprised at who is on which side.  Luce is moved to a new school where she learns she has more power than imagined and a lot of her skills come from past lives.  There are a few new characters introduced and I am sure you will enjoy them as much as I did since it also leaves open a chance for the author to continue the story in another direction.  There is another cliff hanger at the end and you will have to wait until Summer, 2011 to get the next installment. 

    Isn't that cover fantastic?

    GIVEAWAY & REVIEW: The Postcard Killers by James Patterson & Liza Marklund

    Description

    NYPD detective Jack Kanon is on a tour of Europe's most gorgeous cities. But the sights aren't what draw him--he sees each museum, each cathedral, and each restaurant through a killer's eyes.

    Kanon's daughter, Kimmy, and her boyfriend were murdered while on vacation in Rome. Since then, young couples in Paris, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, and Stockholm have become victims of the same sadistic killers. Now Kanon teams up with the Swedish reporter, Dessie Larsson. Every killing is preceded by a postcard to the local newspaper--and Kanon and Larsson think they know where the next victims will be. With relentless logic and unstoppable action, THE POSTCARD KILLERS may be James Patterson's most vivid and compelling thriller yet.

    About the Author

    James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1976, James Patterson's books have sold more than 170 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels, the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. Mr. Patterson also writes the bestselling Women's Murder Club novels, set in San Francisco, and the top-selling New York detective series of all time, featuring Detective Michael Bennett. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.

    Liza Marklund is a Swedish journalist and author of the Annika Bengtzon series, which has sold 9 million copies in 30 languages. She lives in Sweden and Spain.

    Details

    • Audio CD
    • Publisher: Hachette Audio; Unabridged edition (August 16, 2010)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1607883821
    • ISBN-13: 978-1607883821
    SOURCE:  PUBLISHER

    LIKED IT

    The first half of this story is fast paced and I didn't want to turn it off, then it dragged me down.  I had to force myself to finish this one.  I can't say this is one of the best James Patterson books I have ever read, but it is close.  You can guess that the serial killer on the loose makes his presence known by sending a postcard to the local press to announce the upcoming murder.  The story line is a very familiar Patterson theme, sex and murder.  This one was just "meh" for me. 


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    9/24/10

    Q&A with Bo Caldwell, author of City of Tranquil Light



    It's been nearly ten years since your first novel, The Distant Land Of My Father, was published. What took you so long?
    That's a question I've asked myself. Part of the answer is that life intervened. I started the novel in 2002 and wrote perhaps 80 pages, and although I didn't like them much, I've come to accept that mediocre first drafts are often part of my process. In 2004 I was diagnosed with stage-one breast cancer (I'm now healthy and cancer-free), so that fall and the first half of 2005 were given to chemo and radiation. It took another year for my head to clear enough to write fiction, and I returned to the novel in 2006 and finished it two years later. The other part of the answer is easy: I'm a slow writer, something I've made peace with.
    City Of Tranquil Light is based on the lives of your grandparents, who were missionaries in China and Taiwan. Where did you draw the line between their experiences and the fictional characters of Will and Katherine?
    The biggest difference is that unlike my characters, my grandparents had five children. I chose not to deal with fictional children because they would complicate what felt like an already complex story. Also, my grandparents lived in five different cities in China and worked in Taiwan after the communist takeover of China. I had my characters settle in one place so that I wouldn't have to keep rebuilding cities, and I chose to have my characters stay in the U.S. once they returned because I wanted to focus on what leaving China meant for them, on aging, and on their marriage. Finally, while my grandparents' lives were certainly the primary inspiration for the book, I was also inspired by the lives of other missionaries, and I incorporated parts of their stories as well as my grandparents'. The line between what really happened to any of these people and what I made up or exaggerated is already blurry, and, in my experience, will become more so as time passes.
    China has played a large role in both of your novels. What does the country mean to you?
    China represents a connection to my childhood and to my family. It's where my grandparents lived most of their lives, and where my mom and her siblings grew up. Family dinners with my grandparents were always Chinese food, and I used to help my mom make chiaotza - steamed dumplings - when I was little. All my aunts and uncles knew how to make them. Everyone in my mom's family had at least a couple of pieces of Chinese furniture in their homes, and my grandparents had many Chinese items. So in a weird way, there's also a connection for me between China and home, although I've never been there.
    In the book, you create a richly detailed vision of China in the early 20th century. Can you tell us about your historical research into this period of Chinese history?
    I'm not a fast researcher, but I'm thorough, and I learn much more than what appears in the novel. I started with historical books about China, mostly from the library and used bookstores, then read biographies and autobiographies of missionaries who'd served in China, many of whom my grandparents had known. These books presented history through a narrower lens; I saw how historical events had affected specific individuals and places, which made those events more real and immediate.
    How did you decide to tell the story from two different points in time?
    Trial and error. The first draft was entirely in Will's voice, and early readers said the story needed more of Katherine, for which I am very grateful. Someone also mentioned the word journal. At first I thought her journal might appear all in one section, but once I started writing it, I began interspersing it and enjoyed the dialogue that began to take shape. And I learned that rather than echoing or contradicting what Will said, Katherine could enlarge upon it and expand it, which appealed to me.
    Will and Katherine's faith brings them together and gives their lives both challenges and purpose. Did writing about their love and faith have any impact on your own marriage and/or faith?
    Writing about Katherine's decline made me value the present with my husband. We're both healthy and (relatively) young, and I hope we have lots of years ahead of us. But writing about Will watching Katherine's decline caused me to be more grateful for what we have now. And yes, the novel affected my faith strongly. When I started it in 2002, I tried to imagine my grandfather's faith and to portray it accurately, but when I returned to the novel in 2006, after chemo and radiation, I no longer wanted that distance. I came to believe that although it was riskier to write about my own faith and what was in my heart - instead of hiding behind my grandfather - it was also more worthwhile.
    City Of Tranquil Light tells the story of two extraordinary lives, filled with hardship and joy. What did you learn in writing about those lives?
    I learned about the cost of marriage, which I first saw with my parents. My mom and dad were married for 56 years, and when my dad passed away in 2000, I watched my mom lose him then begin her life without him. She was very brave, and although the way in which she did that was remarkable, it still broke my heart. When I read biographies of missionaries, I saw one spouse or the other go through the same thing: this devastating separation after decades of companionship. But I also saw them survive it, as has my mom, and go on to live good lives. If you marry and are fortunate enough to grow old together, one of you will lose the other. But people survive that, and they even thrive, despite that great loss. That inspires and encourages me.
    Do you think you could endure the hardships your grandparents endured?
    My gut response is no - I love the comforts of home - but we endure what we have to endure, don't we? I'm also not sure I could have stayed as long as they did, and remained so faithful to a calling. But I don't think my grandparents knew they could do those things, and although I haven't endured anything like they did, I've surprised myself by the ways I've gotten through some challenges in my life, and that's something that excites me: we don't know how we'll be in a crisis. We often respond in ways we never dreamed we would, or could, a fact that gives me hope.

    Description

    "What ardent, dazzling souls emerge from these American missionaries in China . . . A beautiful, searing book that leaves an indelible presence in the mind." —Patricia Hampl, author of The Florist's Daughter
    Will Kiehn is seemingly destined for life as a humble farmer in the Midwest when, having felt a call from God, he travels to the vast North China Plain in the early twentieth-century. There he is surprised by love and weds a strong and determined fellow missionary, Katherine. They soon find themselves witnesses to the crumbling of a more than two-thousand-year-old dynasty that plunges the country into decades of civil war. As the couple works to improve the lives of the people of Kuang P'ing Ch'eng— City of Tranquil Light, a place they come to love—and face incredible hardship, will their faith and relationship be enough to sustain them?
    Told through Will and Katherine's alternating viewpoints—and inspired by the lives of the author's maternal grandparents—City of Tranquil Light is a tender and elegiac portrait of a young marriage set against the backdrop of the shifting face of a beautiful but torn nation. A deeply spiritual book, it shows how those who work to teach others often have the most to learn, and is further evidence that Bo Caldwell writes "vividly and with great historical perspective" (San Jose Mercury News).

    About the Author

    Bo Caldwell is the author of the national bestseller The Distant Land of My Father. Her short fiction has been published in Ploughshares, Story, Epoch, and other literary journals. A former Stegner Fellow in Creative Writing at Stanford University, she lives in Northern California with her husband, novelist Ron Hansen.

    Details

    • Hardcover: 304 pages
    • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (September 28, 2010)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0805092285
    • ISBN-13: 978-0805092288

    AND THE WINNER IS: Katie Up and Down the Hall by Glenn Plaskin

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    AND THE WINNER IS: Last to Die by Kate Brady


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