BookHounds has moved!


AND THE WINNER IS: Sins of Highland Devil by Sue Ellen Welfonder

MRS SHUKRA -- delilah0180

BEV -- bevshar -- Be sure to visit THE WORMHOLE

ROBIN -- robin -- Be sure to visit INTENSE WHISPER

An email has been sent to the lucky people named above (first part of their email address in case my note ends up in spam).  The winner(s)  has 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:

AND THE WINNER IS: How to Marry a Duke by Vicky Dreiling

JOHANNA -- evjochu

heather -- heather.scarbor

BRANDY -- brandyzbooks -- Be sure to stop by BRANDY'Z BOOKS

An email has been sent to the lucky people named above (first part of their email address in case my note ends up in spam).  The winner(s)  has 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:


REVIEW: Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs


Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it's not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you're a normal teenage girl, but when you're half human, half mermaid, like Lily, there's no such thing as a simple crush.
Lily's mermaid identity is a secret that can't get out, since she's not just any mermaid—she's a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn't feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she's been living on land and going to Seaview High School ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems—like her obnoxious biker-boy neighbor, Quince Fletcher—but it has that one major perk: Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren't really the casual dating type—the instant they "bond," it's for life.
When Lily's attempt to win Brody's love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily ever after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

About the Author

Tera Lynn Childs (Authora neo) is a newly discovered species of authorfish who always dreamed of being a mermaid but never got closer than a career as a competitive swimmer. She loves to spend as much time as possible in and around water (until her fingertips turn all pruny) in the vain hope that one day her legs will magically turn into fins. When stuck on land, Authora neo can be found writing in coffee shops across the country, prowling for cool mermaid gear on Etsy, and spending way too much time online.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books; 1 edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061914657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061914652
SOURCE:  Traded with another blogger.


**slight spoilers -- don't read after the first paragraph**

This is a super fast read and much like a candy bar, you are done and wondering where it all went.  Well, at least this won't spend a life time on my hips.  I still think about this one wistfully and how cute and sweet it is.  This is just so much fun!  There are so many adorable puns and cute ways Lily has about cussing -- my favorite, son of a swordfish! This is a pretty clean book with only some G rated kissing and not much else, although Lily does fantasize about it a lot.  If you enjoy Kelly McClymber Salem Cheerleader series, you will really enjoy this one.

The story introduces us to Lily Sanderson (her name is the first of many fish puns) and her life on Florida coast where she is trying to blend in with the locals even though she is a mermaid princess of Thalassinia and discover her half human side.  Lily has one goal and that is to kiss the hot hunk Brody she has set her sights on to help her rule her kingdom. Of course, nothing goes according to plan and her first kiss which bonds her to the gentleman for life ends up with her annoying neighbor, Quince. 

Quince is all wrong for Lily, or so she thinks.  Quince has been in love with her since he first met her, but doesn't let on.  It is only when Lily explains the seriousness of that first kiss, that he truly understands what Lily is and will become.  Just like any fairy tale, this one has a happy ending, but not exactly what you might think.  Lily shows true maturity in realizing that she care about Quince, but can't condemn him to her lifestyle until they work their way through many issues.



REVIEW: Starstruck by Cyn Balog


Gwendolyn "Dough" X doesn't think she has much going for her—she carries a few extra pounds, her family struggles with their small bakery in a town full of millionaires, and the other kids at her New Jersey high school don't seem to know that she exists. Thank the stars for her longtime boyfriend, Philip P. Wishman—or "Wish." He moved away to California three years ago, when they were 13, but then professed his love for her via e-mail, and he's been her long-distance BF ever since.
At the beginning of her junior year, though, Wish e-mails that he's moving back to Jersey. Great, right? Well, except that Dough has gained about 70 pounds since the last time Wish saw her, while Wish—according to his Facebook photos—has morphed into a blonde god. Convinced that she'll be headed for Dumpsville the minute Wish lays eyes on her, Dough delays their meeting as long as she possibly can.
But when she sees Wish at school, something amazing happens. He looks at Dough like she's just as gorgeous as he is. But Wish is acting a little weird, obsessed with the sun and freaked out by rain. And the creepy new guy working at the bakery, Christian, is convinced that there's more to Wish's good looks than just healthy eating and lots of sun. He tells Dough that a mark on Wish's neck marks him as a member of the Luminati—an ancient cult of astrologers who can manipulate the stars to improve their lives. Is Wish and Dough's love meant to be—or are they star-crossed?

About the Author

CYN BALOG has been a California girl and a Maine girl, but she's first and foremost a Jersey girl. No matter where she's lived, she's been writing.  Now, she's the Race and Event Manager for Runner's World, Running Times, and Bicycling magazines.  Which means that when she's not writing, she's probably either running or trying unsuccessfully to solve a Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle from 2003.  She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and infant daughter.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (July 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385738501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385738507


Do looks matter?  Are they worth compromising your life in order to appear as something you are not?  These ideas are explored in Starstruck.  I read this one straight through and really enjoyed it.  I thought Gwendolyn "Dough" is very likable and sympathetic although she doesn't make you feel sorry for her.  She knows she has gained weight and doesn't look like she did when her best friend, Wish, moves to California.  Wish has his own secrets and feels as unloved as Dough does, except he has a secret about his appearance.  Having a gorgeous, thin,  younger sister, Evie, doesn't help her self esteem either.

Dough is constantly berating herself for her weight and when Christian comes to work in the bakery with her, she finds he doesn't talk down to her and treats her as a normal person.  I think Dough takes quite a bit away from her talks with Christian even though he is a minor character.  He helps Dough solve the mystery around her boyfriend.  Things get weird when Wish moves back to New Jersey from California and looks like a movie star.  He doesn't seem to notice that Dough has changed.  Dough flirts with the popular group through Wish and finds that they are as shallow as she has imagined.

The ending caught me a bit off guard and it is pretty magical. I think this is best suited for teens over 14 and there are mentions of sexual situations, underage drinking and sexual situations although nothing graphic. I received this book at no charge from Book It Forward in exchange for my honest review.

Friday PhoDOGraphy

Almost everyday for the last two weeks, Schatze has been homing in on this tree and trying to climb it.
I didn't have the two camphor tress in the yard trimmed this year since we have a lot of small nesting birds.  This year the wind blew a bunch of small limbs down and I could finally see up in the branches.

And when I finally looked up in the tree, there is a huge nest.  That big dark splotch in the center is one of the biggest nests I have ever seen.  There is a falcon or small hawk that has always hung around our backyard and I know it eats birds since there are feathers everywhere about once a week.  This bird hunts be driving the smaller birds into the side of house to stun it, which is how a harrier hunts.  I am not sure since we do have falcons in this area as well and they look similar.


Oh, and there is one of the squirrels that hang around our back yard, right in the middle of the picture, probably laughing at Schatze. 

Don't forget to visit Fridays with Fred over at Mina Burrow's blog HERE


GIVEAWAY: Sealing the Deal by Diana Kirschner, PhD


Through her bestseller, Love in 90 Days, Dr. Diana Kirschner helped thousands of women find true love. Now she has written the perfect follow-up: a unique guide to deepen any love relationship, to move from casual to committed, and ultimately to go from the anxiety of not knowing where things are the security of fulfilling and lasting love.

Love Mentor Dr. Diana offers revolutionary advice for finding-and keeping-the one you love:

  • Create irresistible attraction and an atmosphere that men love to be around.
  • Find out the single most important thing you can do to get a sincere commitment from the guy you want.
  • Keep that crazy-in-love feeling going, no matter how long you've been together.
  • Learn the secret to instantly resolving conflict with your man.
  • Know when to have "the talk": Don't think it matters when you bring it up? Think again.
  • Avoid the biggest mistake women make when he's "not ready" for a commitment
  • Get your relationship back and better than ever, even if he has cheated
If you have love problems, Dr. Diana has the solutions. This book is your key to creating your own happiest-ever-after now.

About the Author

Diana Kirschner, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who has more than 25 years of professional and practical experience doing therapy and workshops for singles and writing relationship articles for women. Dr. Diana appears regularly on the Today show, has been a guest on Oprah and many other national television and radio programs. Her popular Love in 90 Days workshops have been featured in major media around the world. She has been happily married for over 25 years.


  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Center Street (February 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599951207
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599951201


    Contest is open to anyone with a US or Canadian mailing addresses (no PO Boxes)

    Contest ends on 2.14.11 Winner will be chosen by on  2.15.11
    Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or a new winner will be chosen.
    This giveaway is sponsored by Hachette Book Group and up to 2 books will be available.
    Only one winner per household address!

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    REVIEW: At Hidden Hills by Barbara Freethy


    Mysterious dreams draw costume designer Isabella Silviera to Angel’s Bay, the California coastal town where angels occasionally dance above the waves. Bestselling author Barbara Freethy enchants again in this emotional and compelling tale of family secrets, abiding friendships, and heart-touching romance.
     Isabella’s drive to Angel’s Bay would have ended in tragedy when her car slid off a cliff if she hadn’t been rescued by Nick Hartley. As he helps her to safety, she realizes he is the man who has haunted her dreams. Nick, however, is committed to reconnecting with his estranged teenage daughter, refusing to respond to his powerful attraction to Isabella. And Isabella’s police chief brother has his hands full with a missing mother, an abandoned baby, and an unknown father. What is Isabella’s role in the mysteries—both past and present— that swirl around the town?When she starts helping at the Hartley family theater, all the pieces begin to link together. Loves found and lost, heartbreak and happiness, courage and betrayal are all part of the patchwork quilt of the community—and of life. Isabella’s gift is seeing the patterns. . . .

    About the Author

    A native California, Barbara has lived at both ends of the state. While she misses the hot summer nights of Southern California, she enjoys the beautiful bays and hillsides of Northern California, as well as the exciting and intriguing city of San Francisco.


    • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
    • Publisher: Pocket Star (January 25, 2011)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1439176493
    • ISBN-13: 978-1439176498


    I dove into this story not realizing that it is part of a series called Angel Bay with a paranormal slant.  Each main character has a psychic gift of sorts and in this case Isabella has the gift of "sight" where she can see the future and warn others of danger.  I found the characters of Nick and Isbella unique and very likable with all of their flaws, mainly that they can see they are meant for each other.  There are the usual twists and turns that build up the suspense and romance.  If you are looking for something magical and not too paranormal, give this series a try.

    I received this book at no charge from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.


    REVIEW: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones


    A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. This is a thrilling debut novel from an exciting newcomer to the world of paranormal romantic suspense.

    About the Author

    DARYNDA JONES lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of more than twenty-five years and two beautiful sons, aka the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.


    • Hardcover: 320 pages
    • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (February 1, 2011)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0312662750
    • ISBN-13: 978-0312662752


    Smart, sophisticated, sexy, snarky, snazzy, special, well, you get the point and I can't think of any more adjectives that start with "s" to describe the book any more.  Imagine if MaryJanice Davidson and Lisa Lutz wrote a book together about a paranormal P.I. that is part Spellman Files and Queen Betsy, but with less shoes.  I cannot even begin to describe my joy with this new series and the wonderful dialogue and even inner dialogue that takes place in First Grave on the Right.  You can throw in a bit of Stephanie Plum for good measure as well. 

    Charley Davidson is THE Grim Reaper and when she isn't helping souls cross over to the other side, she helps solves their murders and helps with domestic abuse cases.  The story centers around three lawyers, recently demised that somehow connect her with an entity known as Big Bad.  Ok, I immediately thought of Mr. Big from Sex and the City since Big Bad has a similar name and effect on Charley.  Charley introduces us to several characters that are pretty dead and not crossed over that help her solve her murders.  I expect to read more about them in upcoming stories.  The next one is Second Grave on the Left due sometime in August, 2011.

    I received this book at no charge from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.


    REVIEW: The Memory Palace by Mira Bartok


    “ People have abandoned their loved ones for much less than you’ve been through,” Mira Bartók is told at her mother’s memorial service. It is a poignant observation about the relationship between Mira, her sister, and their mentally ill mother. Before she was struck with schizophrenia at the age of nineteen, beautiful piano protégé Norma Herr had been the most vibrant personality in the room. She loved her daughters and did her best to raise them well, but as her mental state deteriorated, Norma spoke less about Chopin and more about Nazis and her fear that her daughters would be kidnapped, murdered, or raped. When the girls left for college, the harassment escalated—Norma called them obsessively, appeared at their apartments or jobs, threatened to kill herself if they did not return home. After a traumatic encounter, Mira and her sister were left with no choice but to change their names and sever all contact with Norma in order to stay safe. But while Mira pursued her career as an artist—exploring the ancient romance of Florence, the eerie mysticism of northern Norway, and the raw desert of Israel—the haunting memories of her mother were never far away.
    Then one day, Mira’s life changed forever after a debilitating car accident. As she struggled to recover from a traumatic brain injury, she was confronted with a need to recontextualize her life—she had to relearn how to paint, read, and interact with the outside world. In her search for a way back to her lost self, Mira reached out to the homeless shelter where she believed her mother was living and discovered that Norma was dying.
    Mira and her sister traveled to Cleveland, where they shared an extraordinary reconciliation with their mother that none of them had thought possible. At the hospital, Mira discovered a set of keys that opened a storage unit Norma had been keeping for seventeen years. Filled with family photos, childhood toys, and ephemera from Norma’s life, the storage unit brought back a flood of previous memories that Mira had thought were lost to her forever.
    The Memory Palace is a breathtaking literary memoir about the complex meaning of love, truth, and the capacity for forgiveness among family. Through stunning prose and original art created by the author in tandem with the text, The Memory Palace explores the connections between mother and daughter that cannot be broken no matter how much exists—or is lost—between them.

    About the Author

    Mira BartÓk is a Chicago-born artist and writer and the author of twenty-eight books for children. Her writing has appeared in several literary journals and anthologies and has been noted in The Best American Essays series. She lives in Western Massachusetts where she runs Mira’s List (, a blog that helps artists find funding and residencies all over the world. The Memory Palace is Mira’s first book for adults.  You can find her at:


    • Hardcover: 320 pages
    • Publisher: Free Press (January 11, 2011)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1439183317
    • ISBN-13: 978-1439183311

    I had never heard of a Memory Palace before and found that the title for this book fits perfectly.  A Memory Palace is created by creating an Escher like space in your brain to link memories to pictures.  Mira Bartok uses her mentally ill mother's belongings and journals to create a Palace and takes you through her childhood based on the objects of her mother that are found in a storage container.  This memoir is probably one of the best I have ever read and I am amazed that the author keeps a sense of humor, honor and dignity while relating this tale.

    Bartok's mother has suffered with schizophrenia for all of her life and after the author and her sister move out and her home is sold, she spirals downward into homelessness.  No matter how much Mira and her sister try to get their mother help, it never works.  This becomes so heartbreaking and the grief is evident and yet, Mira tries again and again.  When that fails, the girls move away, leave no forwarding address and change their names to escape the nightmare their mother has become.  They do reunite when her mother is on her death bed. 

    I really recommend this one and while it is a difficult read at times, it is worth the effort.  I received this book from the publisher at no charge for my honest review.

    Waiting on Wednesday: Stuntman by Hal Needham

    "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:


    Yep that's me, Hal Needham, on the cover doing a fire stunt. When you're on fire you don't dare breathe because if you do, you'll suck those flames right down your throat. I was Hollywood's highest paid stuntman so I should know.

    I wrecked hundreds of cars, fell from tall buildings, got blown up, was dragged by horses, and along the way broke 56 bones, my back twice, punctured a lung and knocked out a few teeth...I hung upside down by my ankles under a bi-plane in The Spirit of St. Louis, jumped between galloping horses in Little Big Man, set a world record for a boat stunt on Gator, jumped a rocket powered pick-up truck across a canal for a GM commercial, was the first human to test the car airbag-and taught John Wayne how to really throw a movie punch.

    Life also got exciting outside of the movie business. I had my Ferrari stolen right from under my nose, flew in a twin-engine Cessna with a passed out pilot, rescued the cast and crew from a Russian invasion in Czechoslovakia, and once took six flight attendants on a date. I owned the Skoal-Bandit NASCAR race team, the sound-barrier breaking Budweiser Rocket Car and drove a souped-up, fake ambulance in a "little" cross-country race called The Cannonball Run, which became the movie I directed by the same name. Oh yeah, I also directed Smokey and the Bandit, Hooper and several other action/comedy movies that I liked a bunch.

    I was a sharecropper's son from the hills of Arkansas who became a Hollywood stuntman. That journey was a tough row to hoe. I continually risked my life but that was the career I chose. I was never late to the set and did whatever I had to do to get the job done.

    Hollywood's not all sunglasses and autographs. Let me tell you a few stories...

    About the Author

    Hal Needham's career has included work on 4,500 television episodes and 310 feature films. He directed 10 features, including the classics Smokey and the Bandit, Hooper, and The Cannonball Run. He set trends in movies (the first director to show outtakes during end credits) and NASCAR (the first team owner to use telemetry technology). His Skoal-Bandit race team was one of the most popular NASCAR teams ever - second only to that of The King, Richard Petty. Hal set Guinness World Records and was the financier and owner of the Budweiser Rocket Car (now on display in the Smithsonian Museum), the first land vehicle to break the sound barrier - travelling at 739.666 mph. The highest paid stuntman in the world, he has broken fifty-six bones and his back (twice), was the first human to test the car airbag, and has fought for the respect and recognition that stuntmen and stuntwomen deserve for their contribution to the world of moviemaking. His many awards include an Emmy and an Academy Award.


    • Hardcover: 320 pages
    • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (February 9, 2011)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0316078999
    • ISBN-13: 978-0316078993

    So this is my third post about this book and I really want to read this one!


    AND THE WINNER IS: To Have Not by Frances Lefkowitz

    REBECCA -- beckaboo3283

    Please visit Beck's Book Picks HERE

    An email has been sent to the lucky person named above (first part of their email address in case my note ends up in spam).  The winner  has 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:

    BOOK TRAILER TUESDAY: Hal Needham talks about his new book STUNTMAN!

    So, yeah, I really want to read this one!  I just found another trailer to add to my post last week.

    GIVEAWAY & REVIEW: Deadly Heat & Deadly Lies by Cynthia Eden

    Product Description

    She wants revenge . . . Six months after her lover died in an arsonist's blaze, firefighter Lora Spade calls in the FBI's elite Serial Services Division to track the elusive killer. When Special Agent Kenton Lake is lured into a violent inferno, Lora pulls him to safety and is stunned - not by the fire, but by her own searing attraction to Kent. For the first time in months, she longs for something other than vengeance.

    He wants her . . .
    Kenton's interest in Lora should be purely professional. But one fleeting kiss and he can't get her out of his mind. Her combination of strength and vulnerability makes him want to protect her, and that means solving this case - and fast. For even the passion igniting between them can't hide a terrifying truth: Lora is the next target in a murderer's sadistic, fiery game.

    A vicious killer wants only . . .


    • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
    • Publisher: Forever (January 25, 2011)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0446559261
    • ISBN-13: 978-0446559263

    Product Description

    She wants to hide the pastFBI Special Agent Samantha Kennedy is haunted by memories of the serial killer who abducted her. To keep the darkness at bay, she pretends to be a different, more confident woman. This Samantha doesn't fear every unknown face. So she throws caution to the wind and shares a night of unbridled passion with a handsome stranger.

    He needs to uncover the truth
    One night isn't enough for successful entrepreneur Max Ridgeway. He wants more of the sexy, smart, mysterious woman who slipped away before dawn. When they meet again, their attraction is undeniable-until his stepbrother goes missing, and Max realizes that Samantha isn't who she seems. But they must trust each other to trap a ring of bloodthirsty kidnappers before the nightmares that terrorize Sam become irrevocably real.

    As a merciless criminal spins a web of . . .


    • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
    • Publisher: Forever (February 22, 2011)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0446559253
    • ISBN-13: 978-0446559256

    About the Author

    Cynthia Eden also writes tales of paranormal suspense and erotic romance for Kensington Brava, Avon Red, and Red Sage. In college, she majored in Communication and Sociology, graduating summa cum laude and spending many hours working on the campus paper. She soon decided writing fiction was much more fun than just sticking to the facts. She is a member of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the RWA and Mensa. Cynthia lives with her husband, Nicholas, and her son, Jack. For more information, please visit her website


    There is lots of page turning energy in these two books from the Deadly series. Both books focus on FBI special agents and have a lot of action and nice romance.  Great reads!


    Contest is open to anyone with a US or Canadian mailing addtress (no PO Boxes)
    Only one winner per household/mailing address
    Giveaway ends 2.11.10 and the winner will be chosen by on 2.12.10
    Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or a new winner will be chosen
    This giveaway is sponsored by Hachette Book Group and up to 3 sets of 2 books will be available.

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