"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Grand Murder by Stacy Verdick Case

A Grand Murder
Author:  Stacy Verdick Case
Genre:Adult Suspense, Mystery, Thriller
Publication Date: August 9,2011
Pages: 207 :Amazon~Barnes&Noble~Powells

A Grand Murder is the first book in the Catherine O'Brien mystery series. When a prominent local businessman and friend of the chief of police is murdered on the front steps of his poshGrand Avenue Hill home, Catherine O'Brien a pithy, vertically challenged, St. Paul, Minnesota, homicide detective with a monstrous coffee habit and her partner Louise are given two days to find his killer. They soon discover their victim had a list of people with motives to murderhim, including his fashion designer ex-wife, his mistress's husband, and the chief of police. The only evidence they have to go on is a missing cell phone, a stolen book, the victim's letter opener, and an ugly pair of Alpaca wool mittens.

*Review to follow soon!!!

About Stacy:
Stacy Verdick Case was born in Willmar, Minnesota. After a brief stint as a military brat, where she lived in Fort Sill Oklahoma and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, her family moved back to Minnesota.

Stacy currently lives in a suburb of St. Paul with her husband and her daughter. Her Catherine O'Brien mystery, A Grand Murder, is available from Before the Fall Books. Her second Catherine O'Brien mystery Murder is a Family Affair, will be released shortly. Stacy is hard at work on her third book in the series.

Connect with Stacy:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Guest Post: Author M.J. Rose (author of The Book of Lost Fragrances) writes on fragrance and more

M.J. Rose:  I've been fascinated with lost fragrances since long before I started writing The Book of Lost Fragrances... since I found a bottle of perfume on my great grandmother's dresser that had belonged to her mother in Russia. Here is one of those lost fragrances that stirs the senses and the imagination... (researched and described  with the help of the perfume writer  Dimitrios Dimitriadis)
Created in 1875 by the house of Guerlain, Cuir de Russie is one of the very first olfactory interpretations of Russian Leather - a theme that would be revisited many times by many perfumers in the 20th century. A grey ribbon of smoke meanders up through a bright citrus/floral opening, bringing with it a coal-black parched quality. Birch tar, vetiver and oakmoss lend a bitter facet to this incredibly rare perfume which treads a fine line between being defiantly feminine and devoutly masculine. Guerlain not only succeeded in capturing the essence of true Russian leather in this striking composition, but also memorialized the essence of that age.

My note:  fragrance stirs the soul, can recall fond memories and install new ones.  The Book of Lost Fragrances by M.J. Rose introduces us to a fascination thereof beyond the amateur perfume collector's imagination.  Read my review here

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Book of Lost Fragrances by M.J. Rose (Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours)

The Book of Lost Fragrances
Author:  M.J. Rose
Published: March 13, 2012
Publisher: Atria Publishing
Pages: 384
ISBN 9781451662535
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Source:  A copy was provided by the author and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours which does not influence my opinion nor this review.

A sweeping and suspenseful tale of secrets, intrigue, and lovers separated by time, all connected through the mystical qualities of a perfume created in the days of Cleopatra--and lost for 2,000 years. 
Jac L'Etoile has always been haunted by the past, her memories infused with the exotic scents that she grew up surrounded by as the heir to a storied French perfume company. In order to flee the pain of those remembrances--and of her mother's suicide--she moved to America. Now, fourteen years later she and her brother have inherited the company along with it's financial problems. But when Robbie hints at an earth-shattering discovery in the family archives and then suddenly goes missing--leaving a dead body in his wake--Jac is plunged into a world she thought she'd left behind.

Back in Paris to investigate her brother's disappearance, Jac becomes haunted by the legend the House of L'Etoile has been espousing since 1799. Is there a scent that can unlock the mystery of reincarnation - or is it just another dream infused perfume?

The Book of Lost Fragrances fuses history, passion, and suspense, moving from Cleopatra's Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet's battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. Jac's quest for the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for
becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.

My Review:
Mysteries in an Egyptian tomb, fragrances that can transport you back in time through generations, pottery that the Chinese mafia will kill for, the kidnapping of the future Lama and much more await the reader in The Book of Lost Fragrances.  Based upon years of research, author M.J. Rose spins a tale that in one chapter transports us back to Egypt and Cleopatra and forbidden love to modern day Paris and the catacombs that stretch hundreds of miles beneath the city.

Jac and her brother Robbie are caught up in the intrigue involving engraved pottery shards laced with a scent which has Jac thinking she is hallucinating, just as she once did several years ago.  She sought freedom from that which she believed made her different and "ca ra zy" and found the help with Malachai, a doctor specializing in visualizations of past lives.  Now that she has returned to Paris to find her missing brother with the help of an ex-love, Griffin, Jac is symptomatic again.  A scent can, within moments of smelling, take her mind away to another land where she sees the past.

It is these pottery shards that have put them all in danger.  The Chinese mafia want them, Malachai wants them to assist him in his work, Robbie wants to give them to the Dalai Lama as they are thought to hold the keys to reincarnation.  The Chinese government requires registration of individuals who intend to reincarnate thus preventing any future Lamas.

There is a lot going on in The Book of Lost Fragrances and it is not a novel that one can just pick up casually as it demands your attention.  There's a myriad of characters here and the chapters often jump from the present to the past where we "see" Jac's visions while others include the mafia and background.  The story is exciting and intriguing, tying together the past and presence in the hands of a perfume creator.

Rated 3/5

Meet the Author:
M.J. Rose (www.mjrose.com) is the international best selling author of eleven novels and two non-fiction books on marketing. Her next novel THE BOOK OF LOST FRAGRANCES (Atria/S&S) will be published in March 2012.

Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in many magazines and reviews including Oprah Magazine. She has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio.

Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the '80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors - Authorbuzz.com.

The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose's novels in the Renincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and runs the blog- Buzz, Balls & Hype.

She is also the co-founder of Peroozal.com and BookTrib.com.

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

For more information on M.J. Rose and her novels, please visit her WEBSITE. You can also find her on Facebook.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

This is Where We Live.....

Browse Inside Dead by Midnight by Carolyn Hart

Carolyn Hart is one of my all time favourite mystery writers.  I just love her Death on Demand series.  Her latest release is titled Dead By Midnight.  I am going to browse through it here:  Browse Inside Dead by Midnight by Carolyn Hart.

Who is your favourite mystery author?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Gods and Fathers by James LePore (Partners in Crime Blog Tour)

Gods and Fathers

AUTHOR:  James LePore
PUBLISHED BY:  The Story Plant
PUBLISHED:  February 2012
ISBN-10: 1611880297

ISBN-13: 978-1611880298
GENRE:  Suspense
SOURCE:  A copy was provided by the author and Partners in Crime Tours which had no influence over my opinion of this novel.

SYNOPSIS:  Nationally bestselling author James LePore has established a reputation as a writer whose vividly drawn characters and morally complex plots have kept readers up to all hours turning pages. His new novel promises more sleepless nights and more nonstop thrills.

Matt DeMarco is an accomplished Manhattan attorney with more than his share of emotional baggage. His marriage ended disastrously, his ex-wife has pulled their son away from him, and her remarriage to a hugely successful Arab businessman has created complications for Matt on multiple levels. However, his life shifts from troubled to imperiled when two cops – men he's known for a long time – come into his home and arrest his son as the prime suspect in the murder of the boy's girlfriend.

Suddenly, the enmity between Matt and his only child is no longer relevant. Matt must do everything he can to clear his son, who he fully believes is innocent. Doing so will require him to quit his job and make enemies of former friends – and it will throw him up against forces he barely knew existed and can only begin to comprehend how to battle.

GODS AND FATHERS is at once a powerful mystery and a provocative international thriller, all of it presented with LePore's signature fascinating characters placed in dire circumstances where every choice poses new and potentially fatal challenges.


Are you a fan of the television series "24"?  If so, this book will resonate with you.  Gods and Fathers is a story of intrigue, of politics and moles, and the lengths people will go to to protect and avenge people they love.

Matt DeMarco is no stranger to confrontation and trials, after all he is a prosecuting attorney.  Now as he prosecutes a young man accused of murdering his sister, he makes an enemy who is ruthless and cunning and determined to see payback.  When Matt's son is framed for the rape and murder of his girlfriend, Matt will stop at nothing to clear his name.  The deeper he delves, the more treacherous a path he is on.  With lives threatened and some ended, Matt finds the plot is much thicker than he ever imagined and the clock is ticking.  His investigations uncover international ties, a mole, and Syrian ops with an agenda.

I love legal thrillers, being a fan of John Grisham and Corban Addison, now James LePore is on the scene, promising thrills and chills in a world of lawmakers, enforcers and law breakers.  If you enjoy a good legal thriller, you will find it in Gods and Fathers.

AUTHOR BIO: James LePore is an attorney who has practiced law for more than two decades, and an accomplished photographer. He is the author of three previous novels, A WORLD I NEVER MADE, BLOOD OF MY BROTHER, and SONS AND PRINCES, as well as the story collection, ANYONE CAN DIE. He lives in Westchester County, NY with his wife, artist Karen Chandler.
AUTHOR SITES:  website: www.jamesleporefiction.com

Sunday, March 25, 2012

In My Mailbox (March 26, 2012)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. Each week participants share the books they've received in the mail, purchased or borrowed and link up with The Story Siren.  It's a terrific method of keeping track of our incoming books and finding among the participating blogs great new potential for our ever-growing wish lists.

In my mailbox this week, I received:

Butterfly's Child by Angela Davis-Gardner
I received a copy from TLC book tours.  My review is scheduled for April 25th, 2012

"When three-year-old Benji is plucked from the security of his home in Nagasaki to live with his American father, Lt. Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton, and stepmother, Kate, on their farm in Illinois, the family conceals Benji's true identity as a child born from a liaison between an officer and a geisha -- and instead telly everyone that he is an orphan.  When the truth surfaces, it will splinter this family's fragile dynamic and send Benji on the journey of a lifetime from Illinois to the Japanese settlements in Denver and San Francisco, then across the ocean to Nagasaki, where he will uncover the truth about his mother's tragic death."  (from the back cover)

The Healing by Jonathan Odell
I received a copy from the publisher Double Day, a division of Random House.  The review is yet to be scheduled.

"Plantation mistress Amanda Satterfield's grief over the loss of her daughter crosses the line into madness.  She takes a newborn slave child as her own and names her Granada.  Troubled by his wife's disturbing mental state and concerned about a mysterious plague sweeping through his slave population, Master Satterfield purchases Polly Shine, a slave-woman reputed to be a healer.  But Polly's sharp tongue and troubling predictions cause unrest across the plantation.  Complicating matters further, Polly recognizes "the gift" in Granada, the Mistress's pet, and a domestic battle of will ensues.

Rich in mood and atmosphere, The Healing is the kind of novel readers can't put down -- and can't wait to recommend once they've finished it." (from the back cover)

What's in your mailbox?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Global TV presents Titanic, a four-part mini-series

Titanic is a four-part serial written by Oscar and Emmy winner Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park; Downton Abbey) to mark the 100th anniversary of the world’s most famous maritime disaster in April 1912.

Before the Hunger Games....

On George Stromboulopoulos' blog/website, is an article about ten works of dystopian fiction, the forbears of today's trend of dystopia in fiction, especially young adult novels.  They include Steven King's first published novel, The Long Walk, which he published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman.  It is the story of an alternate America in the future wherein young men (teenagers really) are in a long walk of competition and should they walk too slowly, they will be gunned down.  All in the name of entertainment of a nation.  From Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake to the film Planet of the Apes starring Charlton Heston, dystopian societies occupied many story lines.  Also included is Rush's song 2112...yes..dystopian rock 'n roll!!

Now as society embraces dystopianism (that's a word, isn't it?), it's fun to look back through the decades at its predecessors.  Check it out at George Stromboulopoulos now.

Are you attending the midnight premiere tonight?

One Choice Can Destroy You...Insurgent by Veronica Roth book trailer

Coming May 1, 2012!!!

The Meerkat Wars - juvenile fiction review

The Meerkat Wars
Author:  H.S. Toshack
Publisher:  PakaMdogo Press
Published:  2012
Pages:  250
ISBN 9780956323620
Juvenile Fiction
Source:  a complimentary copy was provided by the author and The Cadence Group in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Sheena is a clever and cheeky little black-and-white cat who secretly stows away (again) in the Allen Family’s Land Rover when they set off on safari to Baragandiri National Park.

Her adventures begin when she helps to rescue Pebble, a young meerkat who has been stung by a scorpion. She befriends Pebble’s tribe, the Duwara, then finds they are fighting a vicious war with the Utongo, who hold the territory on the other side of The Gorge – a deep and terrifying valley cutting this part of Baragandiri in two.

Each tribe believes it lives under The One True Sun, the sun they see on their own side of The Gorge. Sheena decides that the only way to help them is to prove that there is only one sun, and that both tribes share a common belief and a common future. To do that she must persuade the tribes’ leaders, Tuft and Slash, to come with her on a dangerous journey around the end of The Gorge. (from the author)

My Review:
"this is only one of (so far) three stories about Sheenas' secret safaris to Baragandiri.  .....  The previous two take place in The Main Park [you can find the map image at the beginning of the book].  If you haven't already read them, you may want to do so in order to learn more about Paka Mdogo, our little cat heroine...and about Mpole, the Gradual Elephant, and about baboons and lions and warthogs and vultures and vervet monkeys and another monitor lizard and two eagles and a python and a cobra and..."

As you can see from the author's note above and the description of The Meerkat Wars, adventure abounds in this children's series.  It is not necessary to begin with the first book to understand the storyline.  Each can be a stand alone novel, but if you enjoy the adventure in The Meerkat Wars, as I am sure any animal lover will, you will want to get yourself a copy of the previous two novels in this series (Paka Mdogo and The Gradual Elephant).  See http://www.litworks.com/childrens.php for more information.  

The Meerkat Wars takes us to Africa with little Sheena, an adventurous housecat, as she follows her human family into the brush only to find herself an integral part of a plan to protect a meerkat family from an enemy meerkat clan.  She comes in contact with numerous creatures of the wild, including porcupine and scorpion to name only a couple, as she helps plan a defence and strategies to assist them in their battle.  She's quite a clever cat, in over her head in the African wilderness.  Sheena's story will teach children the value of friendship and loyalty and the importance of helping others in need.  

The Meerkat Wars is a warm adventurous tale that children will be sure to enjoy and learn from too.  Charming!!

Note:  "A set of free, downloadable teaching resources (structured in line with the UK National Literacy Strategies but designed to help all 7-12 year old readers explore the text fully, and deepen their enjoyment of it) is available in the Paka Mdogo section of the LitWorks.com website. Go to http://www.litworks.com/childrens.php."  (personally, I think The Meerkat Wars is more on an age 9-12 reading level)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

BookSeer: a terrific tool to build your TBR wish lists

Some online stores, such as Indigo.ca, offer an "if you like this, you should read this too" service, usually by email.  I just discovered Book Seer thanks to Lisa is Busy Nerding.

So, out of curiosity I entered Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda, a favourite of my 2011 reads, and it suggested the following books:

Keeping Corner by Kashmira Sheth
The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman
The Kitchen House:  A Novel by Kathleen Grissom
Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson
Left Neglected by Lisa Genova (I plan to purchase this one soon!  I loved Still Alice by the same author!)
Sister of My Heart:  A Novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakuruni
A Good Indian Wife:  A Novel by Anne Cherion
Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman
The Story of a Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon
Mudbound by Hilary Jordan

Note:  This is a service offered by Amazon.  What I want to know is why LibraryThing isn't being asked to make recommendations (as per the notation on the site).  What's with that?

Go ahead, give it a try and let me know the results.  I'm curious to know your opinion.


Phantom Book Trailer: Jo Nesbo's new mystery novel

If you are a fan of Stieg Larsson and would like to read something similar, check out Jo Nesbo's new novel, Phantom, now available in stores near you.  Watch the trailer for Phantom here:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New from the author of We Need To Talk About Kevin, Lionel Shriver, comes The New Republic.

Book Description
A former fat boy, Edgar Kellogg has always yearned to be popular. When he’s offered the post of foreign correspondent in a Portuguese backwater that has sprouted a homegrown terrorist movement, he recognizes the disappeared larger-than-life reporter he’s been sent to replace, Barrington Saddler, as exactly the outsized character he longs to emulate. Infuriatingly, all his fellow journalists cannot stop talking about the beloved “Bear” no longer lighting up their work lives. But all is not as it appears. Why, with Barrington vanished, do terrorist incidents claimed by 
the “SOB” suddenly dry up?

A droll, playful novel set in an alternative past on a fictional peninsula called Barba,The New Republic is a fast-paced, plot-driven thriller. Addressing weighty issues like terrorism with a deft, tongue-in-cheek touch, Shriver presses the more intimate issue: what makes particular people so infuriatingly magnetic, when the rest of us inspire barely a shrug? What’s their secret? And who really has the better life—the admired, or the admirer?

Book Sculpture Pours Out of Building in Spain

5000 books make up this sculpture pouring out of this building in Spain

Strombo | Finally, All That Reading Can Pay Off! Play The CBC Books National Trivia Game | CBC Television

Strombo | Finally, All That Reading Can Pay Off! Play The CBC Books National Trivia Game | CBC Television

Monday, March 19, 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cover Reveal: The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore

Hitting shelves this summer, The Rise of Nine is Pittacus Lore's third book following I Am Number Four and The Power of Six.  If you loved the movie, I Am Number Four (as I did), you are probably already a fan of Pittacus Lore.

Look for it August 21, 2012!!!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Bellwether Revivals

The Bellether Revivals
Author:  Benjamin Wood
Publisher:  McClelland and Stewart
Publication Date:  March 20, 2012
Pages:  428
ISBN:  9780771089312
Fiction - literary, Fiction - psychological
Source:  I borrowed a copy (ARC) from work.

Part Secret History, part Brideshead Revisited for the 21st century, The Bellwether Revivals is a page-turning, romantic, eerie tale of genius and, possibly madness; a stunning debut for fans of Sarah Waters, Donna Tartt, and Lauren Goff.

The Bellwether Revivals opens and closes with bodies.  The story of whose bodies and how they came to be spread about an elegant house on the river near Cambridge is told by Oscar, a young, bright working class man who has fallen in love with an upper-class Cambridge student, Iris and thereby become entangled with a group of close friends, led by Iris' charismatic, brilliant, possibly dangerous brother.  For Eden Bellwether believes he can heal -- and perhaps more -- through the power of music.  In this masterful debut, we too are seduced by this gilded group of young people, entranced by Eden's powerful personality and his obvious talent as a musician, and caught off guard by the strangeness of Iris and Eden's parents.  And we find ourselves utterly unsure as to whether Eden Bellwether is a saviour or a villain, and whether Oscar will be able to solve this mystery in time to save himself, if not everyone else.  (from the publisher)

My Review:

Stopping outside Kings College Chapel to listen to the music that wafts beyond the doors may have been his first mistake.  This is where Oscar meets lovely Iris Bellwether as she awaits her brother Eden, the organist responsible for the tune that enthralled Oscar.  Drawn not only by her beauty and undeniable charm, but by a world previously unbeknownst to him, Oscar quickly falls in love.

Oscar is an intelligent young man who works as an aide at a home for the elderly and he takes pleasure in his job.  He enjoys the relationships he has forged with the patients he cares for.  Estranged from his mother and father, Oscar may have been seeking a place to fit in, a place where he can leave his world behind with new friends and opportunities.  He is not shallow, he just seems a bit bored with life as he knows it. His association with Iris, her brother Eden, and their friends draws him into a world of love, mystery, and dangerous genius.

It is when Iris enlists Oscar's help in gathering evidence to prove the mentally instability of her brother Eden, that everyone's lives become more complicated.  As Eden becomes more obsessed with his desire to prove himself able to heal through music, we realize his genius is bordering upon madness. Eden surely is delusional, seeking recognition of his brilliance, and, as time and opportunities allow, his experiments grow more dangerous and tragic.  As the synopsis indicates, the novel opens with death, (though we aren't at that time introduced to the victim) and closes with death.  It's the in-between that is so intriguing as to make one put off everything else, including bed, just to see where the story will take the reader.

Benjamin Wood provides an intense well-researched novel in The Bellwether Revivals.  Wood explores mental illness, healing and faith, leaving the door partially open for us to decide about the capacity of music to heal.

An intriguing expose of the genius bordering upon madness, The Bellwether Revivals is worthy of your attention.  Note:  due to the subject matter and some language, I rate this novel 16+ and 4.5/5 stars.

Meet the author:

BENJAMIN WOOD was born in 1981 and grew up in northwest England. In 2004, he was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to attend the MFA Creative Writing programme at the University of British Columbia. During his tenure as fiction editor of Canadian literary journal, PRISM international, the publication was awarded the Writers' Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. Benjamin's short fiction has appeared in several international journals, and his novel The Bellwether Revivals was shortlisted for the inaugural Dylan Thomas Prize Sony Reader Award for the best unpublished novel. He is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London, where he teaches and develops undergraduate programmes.

Cinder Arrives in Italy Today! Check out the cover!

Check out the Spanish cover here.

Kansas City Library Has Quite the Facade


Imagine walking down the street and seeing this!!  There is no way possible to miss this library with its innovative facade treatment.  Enlarged book bindings grace the exterior walls of this city library parking garage, once again proving that libraries are anything but boring!  

The following excerpts from various sources shows what revitalization of a downtown area can do:  
“Favorably promoting the Central Library and representing Kansas City were the main purposes in this project.”
“… the innovative design for the parking garage exterior inspires people to utilize the downtown Central Library.”
“The people of Kansas City were asked to help pick highly influential books that represent Kansas City. Those titles were included as ‘bookbindings’ in the innovative design of the parking garage exterior, to inspire people to utilize the downtown Central Library.”
“… turning the premises into giant bookshelves, creating an extremely surreal experience for passers by.”
Do you like it?
Original article from which quotes were excerpted appeared here.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Former Home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle...

Located in Hindhead, Surry, England, Undershaw (former home of Sherlock Holmes author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) may not remain the mansion-esque property as it appears in this video. It sat derelict, subject to the elements of nature, where it sustained some damage. Developers wanted to divide the home into three terraced houses, forever ruining the aesthetic quality and historical value and significance of this property.  Wouldn't it be a greater and more fulfilling task to return it to its former glory and perhaps make it into a museum or a bed and breakfast, at the least, where fans can stay and linger in the halls Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once wandered? 

The Undershaw Preservation Trust was set up to protect the house.

To read more about this property, see http://www.criminalelement.com/blogs/2012/03/holmes-home-saving-undershaw?WT.mc_id=10144

Friday, March 9, 2012

I'm Happy If All I Have Is a Good Book...

Fill in the blank: I'm happy if all I have is a good book and a ____.

Go ahead, fill in the blank, be creative, be genuine.  I look forward to your answers.  Mine would be:

"I'm happy if all I have is a good book and a throw."

Book Scented Candles Now Available! Really!!!

"Be inspired by the soothing smells of a library and the idyllic atmosphere of an afternoon spent reading with Assouline's clear glass 'Books' candle. Featuring a beautiful quote from Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero - "A room without books is a body without a soul" - in English and French, this scented piece will make a cherished gift or addition to any home."

This is the product description for the book scented candle.  No kidding!!  To see the product for yourself, visit Net-A-Porter.  I recently purchased a candle from Indigo that smells like a greenhouse (talk about heavenly fragrance) but this is one I never expected to see...ever.  I simply must check it out!!  

What do you think?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I thought the Canadian/American cover for Cinder was nice but look at this....

The first foreign cover for Cinder.  This is for Spain.
This is the Canadian/American Cover

They are both beautiful!!  

Update:  I just read on Marissa Meyer's blog that the second book in this series, Scarlett, is about to go to copy-editing while Marissa is writing the third, Cress.  During all this excitement of releasing her debut novel, Cinder, Marissa got married, quit her day job, went on a honeymoon and continues to promote her novel, not necessarily in that order.  Marissa is one of the friendliest authors I have had the opportunity to communicate with via email.

Have you read Cinder yet?  Take a look at my review.  Once you read Cinder, you'll be addicted!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Browse Inside Dead by Midnight by Carolyn Hart

Browse Inside Dead by Midnight by Carolyn Hart

Browse Inside Divergent by Veronica Roth

Browse Inside Divergent by Veronica Roth

Full access to read Divergent thanks to Harper Collins Publishing.  Just use the above link to read the book online.

HCC March Madness 2012 - which book(s) get(s) your vote?

It's HCC MARCH        MADNESS time!

HCC March Madness is here! 64 books are in the competition, but only one will be crowned champion, and your votes determine
the winner! Visit hccmarchmadness.ca and make sure to support your favourites.  Visit weekly, vote and you will be entered to win big! 

 ALL 64 books
That's one amazing library, and it could be yours. 
Check it out, Round 1 has started!
( Harper Collins Canada)

World Read Aloud Day

Imagine a world where everyone can read......

Today is World Read Aloud Day.  How did you celebrate this day?  Did you take a few minutes to read aloud to your children, to a friend/spouse, to yourself?  Did you even know today is World Read Aloud Day?

I didn't until a few moments ago when  I read a post on Facebook written by my favourite second hand bookstore, Never Without a Book.  So my son and I briefly shared some quotes with one another.  What will you do now that you know?

It's time to join the world literacy movement.

Come and Find Me by Hallie Ephron - virtual book tour

Come and Find Me
Author:  Hallie Ephron
Published:  2012
Publisher:  Harper Collins Publishers (www.harpercollins.com)
Pages:  276 (288 including an excerpt from Hallie Ephron's previous book, Never Tell a Lie)
ISBN 9780062103727
Source:  a copy was provided by TLC book tours in exchange for an honest review.  This in no way influenced my opinion nor this review.

Reformed hacker Diana Highsmith hasn't left her house in over a year...not since she watched the man she loved fall to his death in the Swiss mountains.  Now a grief-stricken recluse, she runs a thriving Internet security company from her home -- meeting with clients in OtherWorld, an online virtual reality platform where she lives as her avatar, Nadia.  The only two people Diana has seen live in the past twelve months are her sister, Ashley, and her UPS delivery guy.

But when Ashley vanishes, Diana is forced to do the unthinkable:  to brave both the outside and her own personal demons to find her missing sister.  As one shaky step leads to another, Diana finds that the trail she is following is fraught with peril for her and her sister both -- as she uncovers a frightening web of deceit and betrayal that stretches from the virtual world into real life.

My Review:

The research behind Come and Find Me is meticulous and I'd love to have the opportunity to chat with Hallie Ephron about it.  In Come and Find Me, Diana is a reformed hacker who now works to help her customers debug their systems, arm them against hacker attacks, and puts in place walls to protect them.  But those aren't the only walls Diana knows.  In her life, she has placed virtual and real walls around her.  Over a year previous, she witnessed her boyfriend and business partner plunge to his death off a mountain, and since then, her anxiety attacks have forbidden interaction with the world outside her walls.  Barricaded inside her home, secure with a system that alerts her of intruders, locks and codes in place to prevent intrusion, Diana lives secluded in her family home.  Her anxiety and apprehension is fathomable to the reader as she checks all systems before answering the door, peering through blinds after acknowledging her advanced security set up.  Just to meet the UPS delivery guy at the door is a feat unto itself.

But when her sister, Ashley, disappears, Diana finds she must be stronger than even the walls she has put in place.  She must step beyond the safety she knows and navigate the real world to find answers that lead her to Ashley.

For such an intelligent woman, I was surprised at Diana's choice of companionship in her business and personal life.  But then, they say love is blind.  It is only when Diana uses her extensive skills in the virtual world, that she uncovers more than she bargained for.  Answers that to the reader were somewhat predictable, become blatantly apparent to her as she finds herself trying to dube fellow whizzes.

Come and Find Me is a quick read that captures the imagination. making you wonder if DNA can be manipulated, if one's identity can be a powerful tool in the hands of another, if the virtual world is something to be afraid of.  This novel reminds me of a movie starring Sandra Bullock, The Net, wherein computers are used to manipulate the very basic things that are our daily lives.  Come and Find Me isn't about identity theft so much as it is about vulnerabilities.

Come and Find Me is a mystery of virtual suspense, that fulfilled in me the desire for an exciting read while raising questions perhaps we should all be asking about the security of our personal information in the hands of so-called professionals.

Rated 4/5.  (some language)

Meet the Author:

An award-winning mystery reviewer, Hallie Ephron is the author of Never Tell a Lie (a Mary Higgins Clark Award finalist that was also made into the Lifetime Movie Network film And Baby Will Fall) and the Edgar - and Anthony Award - nominated Writing and Selling Your Mystery.  Ephron lives near Boston.



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