Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Taking a Break.

Hi everyone,

I was going to try my best to avoid this but unfortunately circumstances have developed that lead to this being the best thing to do.

I am going through some nasty health stuff right now and due to the treatment that has finally been found to work I will have to take a break from the blog. The treatment is zapping my energy and any spare time I have is being spent sleeping. After a month or so things should settle down as my body gets accustomed to all the new stuff going on, but right now, things are just plain icky.

I will still be reading and you will be able to find me on twitter and goodreads still but things will just be a bit quite in this neck of the woods for a few months.

However, there will be a few scheduled posts and reviews popping up for blog tours I am involved in and some other commitments. And I will also have the posts going up for the 'That;s What You Think' reading challenge for everyone to post links to there reviews.

Sorry about this guys.

Tata, for now.

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Friday, 16 March 2012

Podcasts! (10)

And so to end the Podcast! Segment I will leave you all with another podcast that focuses on an Epic fantasy series. This one being The Wheel of Time books by Robert Jordan.

This is - once again - a podcast that I have not listened to but with the release of the latest book and the next one coming out pretty soon (ish), I thought this might be another podcast some of you might find interesting.

There are actually 2 Wheel of Time podcasts that I have stumbled across.

The 4th Age

The WotCast

I'll see you next week with something new...hopefully ;)

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Thursday, 15 March 2012

Wither by Lauren DeStefano - UK Giveaway

Hey everyone.

So somehow the original post of this has gone walk about. I don't know if I deleted it somehow or what. So if you have entered for this already. My apologies.

This Giveaway is for a spare hardback copy of Wither that I have kicking around.

This is open for UK residents only. Sorry guys. The next book will be a paperback and will be international I promise :)

As this is the 2nd time that I have posted this - and I am sure that the first time it hovered in cyber space for a while... - this will only be open till next Tuesday.

Rapture in Death (In Death #4) by J.D. Robb

Rapture in Death
When the autopsies of three suspicious suicides reveal small burns on the brains of the victims, Eve's investigation turns to the provocative world of virtual reality games--where the same techniques used to create joy and desire could also prompt the mind to become the weapon of its own destruction.
Basic plot – Eve is on her honeymoon when a young-man commits suicide. There is something about it that she just can’t shake, and when she learns of more suicides she can’t help but feel there is a connection.
The plot thickens.
Remember how I said in the post on book one that I felt this was going to be a series that I would get into more and more with each book. Well, I think it is safe to say that I may be hooked. Just a little.
We do not find anything knew about Eve in this book but more does come out about Roarke. I love that we are being fed little bits about their lives and personalities as we go along. And as this is a 30-odd book series Ms Robb will no doubt continue to let the characters grow on us this way as there is no rush to info dump us with the characters.
We see more of Mavis – Eve’s best-friend. And she is lovely – if a bit naive to the point of annoyance.
The relationship between Eve and Roarke is wonderful to watch as it develops and they grow closer. The little things that happen between them are cute and in my mind help to make their relationship more real.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Reading Journal Giveaway - International

Hi guys! So-eth begins the great notebook and bookmark giveaway, soon the Easter and Summer holidays will be upon us and we all need something to jot down our thoughts on the books we are reading while away from home. And, well, bookmarks always come in handy right. And I also have a bad habit of getting these things and never using them...

So to kick it off I am giving away the 'What I Read' Mini Journal.

Entering is easy. Fill in the rafflecopter below.
As long as you love on the planet you can enter.


Books You Love to Re-Read!

book falling apart

Re-Reads! Yay!

Do you re-read books?

Do you turn to a well loved (or abused as the case may be Winking smile) book when you are sad or stressed out?

When you are in a reading slump do you head for that well worn, falling apart paper-back, drag it off the shelf, got to bed early and curl up with it, prepared to be lost in the words that you know back to front and inside out.

Well I have a few – go figure Winking smile.

So, what are my oldest favourite books to re-read?

When I first received my copy of The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley I read it three times in a row – as in, I finished it and then turned right back to the beginning again. I loved it! But, it also left me wanting something, which is why I think I kept re-reading it, I was hoping to find what I was missing. It is still one of my favourites though, and I still pull it down every now and then to read my favourite bits.

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. I had to beg my mum to get me this book when I was eleven (I think) and she finally did and I have read it countless times since – and I still have the same copy. It has been on holiday with me, car journeys, bus trips, kept me occupied in hospital waiting rooms…you get the idea. My copy is kind of falling apart and his cello taped in several place – but it falls open at my favourite bits Smile I re-read this at least once a year.

And of course I cannot end this post without mentioning Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – yeah, you all saw that coming didn’t you. I have had to actually replace this book a few times, mainly because all the copies I got where, well, cheep and ended up with the pages falling out after a while so I had to splurge on a more expensive copy. Well worth it though Smile.

What are some of your favourite re-reads? Smile

Immortal in Death (In Death #3) by J.D. Robb

Immortal in Death
It is 2058, New York City. Lieutenant Eve Dallas uncovers a world where technology can create beauty and youth, but passion and greed can destroy them.
She was one of the most sought-after women in the world. A top model who would stop at nothing to get what she wanted -even another woman's man. And now she's dead, the victim of a brutal murder.
Police lieutenant Eve Dallas puts her life on the line to take the case when suspicion falls on her best friend, the other woman in the fatal love triangle. Beneath the facade of glamor, Eve finds that the world of high fashion thrives on an all-consuming obsession with youth and fame-one that leads her from the lights of the runway to the dark underworld of New York City, where drugs can fulfill any desire, for a price.

Basic plot – there is a new drug in the making. ‘Immortality’. A drug people are willing to kill for. And between meeting the florist and being measured for her wedding dress Eve has to solve the case before her best friend is locked up for a crime she didn’t commit.
Dun, dun, duuuuuuuuun.
When Eve investigates the death of one of her informants she finds a strange unrecognizable powder and she quickly finds out that her informant was in a lot deeper than he could handle. But when her best friend Mavis is framed for murder and even all the evidence points to her Eve takes it personally.
Once again we get to see how far Eve will go to get the job done and what extremes she will go to to gain the truth. Eve is put into the same situation that her superior officer was put into in the last book – she has a personal interest in the case. But, unlike her superior, we see how strong she is as she still continues with her job, doing everything to the best of her ability.
In this book some of the minor characters also become a bit more main. And I am having fun learning about the people that pad out Eve’s world and support her.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Glory in Death (In Death #2) by J.D. Robb

 Glory in Death (In Death, #2)
It is 2058, New York City. In a world where technology can reveal the darkest of secrets, there's only one place to hide a crime of passion-in the heart.
Even in the mid-twenty-first century, during a time when genetic testing usually weeds out any violent hereditary traits before they can take over, murder still happens. The first victim is found lying on a sidewalk in the rain. The second is murdered in her own apartment building. Police Lieutenant Eve Dallas has no problem finding connections between the two crimes. Both victims were beautiful and highly successful women. Their glamorous lives and loves were the talk of the city. And their intimate relations with men of great power and wealth provide Eve with a long list of suspects-including her own lover, Roarke

Basic plot – Famous woman are being killed and Eve has to find the killer before it is too late, even if it means using herself as bate.

I liked this book a tad more than the 2nd, I can’t really put my finger on why, maybe because I am getting to know more of the characters and their personalities and what makes them tick… I don’t know.
In this we get to see more of Eve’s steely personality and how much her job means to her and what she will do to make sure that her job is done to the best of her ability even if she suffers personally because of it.
I did feel slightly cheated in the romance side of things though. This book takes place several months after book 1 so I felt as though the development of the relationship had taken place off screen where I couldn’t see it, so that bugged me a little.

My heart went out to Eve several times through the course of the book. As several people close to Eve have a personal interest in the case her decisions and actions are questioned – which if it was just her work ethic that was being questioned I wouldn’t have minded so much – but some people also bring up her past in an attempt to hurt her even though she is just trying to do her job… Yeah, I wanted to slap quite a few people in this book, which on a side note was pretty nice as the last few books I have read I couldn’t muster up enough energy to care that much about what the characters did – they just bugged me. So yeah, it was nice to feel that emotional about the story.

I can’t wait to start the 3rd book Smile

Monday, 12 March 2012

Naked in Death (In Death #1) by J.D. Robb

It is the year 2058, and technology now completely rules the world. But New York City Detective Eve Dallas knows that the irresistible impulses of the human heart are still ruled by just one thing-passion.
When a senator's daughter is killed, the secret life of prostitution she'd been leading is revealed. The high-profile case takes Lieutenant Eve Dallas into the rarefied circles of Washing-ton politics and society. Further complicating matters is Eve's growing attraction to Roarke, who is one of the wealthiest and most influential men on the planet, devilishly handsome... and the leading suspect in the investigation.

Crime fiction has never really been my thing. I love a good crime drama on the T.V. don’t get me wrong but I think I can trace my dislike for the paper side of the fiction to some rubbishy short tory I had to read in and dissect in secondary school. Isn’t it amazing how much school is responsible for.

Anyway, moving on.
In the past few months I have been picking up more crimey based stuff, starting with the Sherlock Holmes stories and after reading of the ‘In Death’ characters in the book “Everything I know About Love I learned from Romance Novels’ the series caught my interest and I thought I would check it out.
So there is the intro. Smile

This book was pretty enjoyable but it coasted waaaaay to close to the edge of my comfort zone for…well…comfort but if I am to read the whole series I think that is something that I will have to get used to. It was not as ground shakingly AWESOME as I was maybe led to expect from various comments that I have read and heard about the books, but it was a page turner.

The book is set in the future – which except for some small things it doesn’t really make any difference. The technology is slightly different and you can zip across the pacific in next to no time or go gambling on a satellite…but nothing mind blowing. Which I will say I liked. I didn’t have to spend the book scratching my head trying to figure out what the technology was. Instead I could concentrate on the investigations and the people.

Eve Dallas our heroine is the investigating detective on a murder (that quickly becomes murders). She is head strong and self-reliant and does not take anything from anyone that she cannot dish back at them. But she has ghosts that haunt her from her past. And this was what made me uncomfortable. She was abused as a child and this is something that I just don’t like reading about – either in fiction or true-life stories. Like  I said though if I am to stick through the series I’ll have to get accustomed to it as it will no doubt come up more and more.

And then there is our hero Roarke. Who, to be fare as the book focuses mainly on Eve's thoughts and actions, I am not entirely sure what to think of him yet…

I am looking forward to seeing more of Eve’s relationship with the people that she works with and I think these characters will become more and more alive with every book.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

In My Mailbox

You can find out about In My Mailbox! Over at The Story Siren Blog :)

Here are my books for the past 4 weeks

From readitswapit.co.uk
The Gamekeepers Lady by Ann Lethbridge
Vanished by Meg Cabot (Bind-up of When Lightning Strikes and Code Name Cassandra)

From awesomebooks.com (online 2nd hand-book shop)

Green Rider and First Rider's Call by Kristen Britain - these are two of my favourite books, I did have copies but they ended up in a second hand shop bag a while back (don't ask) so I have finally got some new (well, used) copies.
Treaty Planet and The Dinosaur Planet Omnibus by Anne McCaffrey
And a bind up of 3 Barbara Cartland novels (I have a wee collection of her novels, I am a closet fan ;))

From Ebay - don't ya love ebay!
Crisis on Doona and Decision at Doona by Anne McCaffrey

From a subscription 
I am subscribed to the Agatha Christie Book Collection so every month I get two book with a magazine and this month it was Death on the Nile and the ABC Murders.

From Amazon
Minerva, Deirdre and Desire, The Taming of Annabelle by M.C. Beaton
Immortal in Death by J.D. Robb - my local library was lending this and it isn't due till the end of the month (I couldn't wait that long - *shakes with withdrawn*

From the library
Glory in Death, Ceremony in Death and Rapture in Death by J.D. Robb
Seizure (Virals #2) by Kathy Reichs
Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

From Waterstones
Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine
Goddess of the Sea by P.C. Cast - I love the Goddess Summoning books.
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter - the 2nd book is out soon so I figured I had better get this read :)

From a friend who says I HAVE to read these. 
Night School by C.J. Daugherty
The Virgin Queen's Daughter by Ella March Chase

Ok, all done now I promise.

I am hoping to have the library books finished for next Friday as I have to go and have some tests done and would like to take something with me that has been on MY shelves for a while - don't know what yet.

There is my mail box. Pretty full. What is in yours? :)

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Saturday, 10 March 2012

Goodreads Catch-Up Read-a-Thon Round-Up

GoodReads Readathon

I realize this is a little late - my bad. But I never updated on how the read-a-thon went at the end of last month. 

It went pretty well if I do say so myself. I didn't get all the books on my list read but I put a fair sized dent into them. 

I had 6 on the list and I completed 4 - not bad don't you think. 

The books were -

1. Virals by Kathy Reichs
2. Naked in Death by J.D.Robb
3. The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
4. Playing with Fire by Katie MacAlister
5. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
6. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

And out of them I finished -

1. Virals by Kathy Reichs
2. Naked in Death by J.D.Robb
3. The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
4. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Out of them all The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was my favourite :)

If you took part in the read-a-thon I hope you reached your goal and were happy with your progress.

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Friday, 9 March 2012

Podcasts (9)

Happy Friday, one and all :)

For this weeks Podcast shout out I thought I would point out a podcast that - even though I haven't listened to it myself (I  live in fear of spoilers) - some of you might find interesting.

Its a Song of Ice and Fire podcast for the book series.

You can find out more about 'A Podcast of Ice and Fire' at their website where you can find all the options to subscribe.
Or you can download directly from iTunes.

As I said I have not listened to this podcast yet - I am holding off until I have read the books. But there are 69 episodes so far, so that is a lot of listening :)


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Thursday, 8 March 2012

The Travelling Matchmaker by M.C. Beaton Wrap-Up

Yip, I finally finished the Travelling Matchmaker books by M.C. Beaton (writing as Marion Chasney).

To say that there are only six books in this series and each of them coming in at under 200 pages each I found it a bot of a slog after I reached the half way point.

I just didn’t care all that much about the characters I was reading about. In most of the books there was a MAIN romance and then there was a backing couple who although not the main focus of the story had their own issues to overcome in order to find happiness. Now in the case of the fifth book I found the supporting couple a lot more interesting that main one – now I don’t know about you but I don’t think that is how it is supposed to work.

Not a lot of time seemed to be spent in fleshing out the characters – except for Hannah but on the whole the series is about her anyway – and because of this most of them appeared to be very shallow and would miraculously within a matter of a few days have a complete 180o personality change by the end of the book. Sure. I mean, I am not saying that this isn’t possible but I am meant to believe that they can change the mind set and habits of a lifetime in a matter of a few days. And then this new them and the future spouse of their choosing are going to live happily ever after…. Really.

But (yeah you guys knew there would be one somewhere didn’t you) the series was worth reading for the recurring characters. Namely Hannah Pym – our matchmaker of the title, Sir George, and Hannah’s footman Benjamin (who joined the series in the third book when Hannah helped in stopping him from being hung).
 And then of course we have the recurring baaaaaaad lady who we eventually see get what is coming to her.

I am happy to say that the last book if the series was the most likable for me so it did leave me with a happy memory of the series – thankfully.

I think the series is worth reading for some nice, clean, fluffy romance and a little bit of mystery (and I mean a little ;))

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

'In Death' Series by J.D. Robb Reading Challenge

Just to give a shout out to the J.D. Robb reading challenge that I have signed up for this year - and like the sucker I am I have opted for Level 5: Obsession In Death which means I am aiming to finish all of the In Death books by J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts).

Create your own banner at mybannermaker.com!

If you would like to join in, or just find out more about the challenge check out My Life in Fantasy  for more details. :)

I have already finished the first 2 - the reviews will be popping up here in the next fortnight or so and I am finding that I am enjoying the series more with each different book :)


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Yvonne Goes to York by M.C.Beaton

yvonne goes to york
No coach journey is ever dull with Miss Pym aboard, and this one proves no exception: Hannah meets Yvonne Grenier, fleeing the Horror in France, and very soon determines to find a suitable match for this beautiful and charming Frenchwoman.
This is going to be quick and sweet.
And this was why I kept reading the series. Out of all the six book in the Travelling Matchmaker series this one has to be my favourite!
1st – It had – in my opinions – a bunch of the most likable characters in the series.
Our heroine, Yvonne, was not a complete ditz, neither was she a spoilt brat who thought her biggest problem was the hero thinking of her as a child. Thank goodness. Instead she was a girl who has had to learn how to take care of herself from necessity.
And our hero wasn’t a wastrel. Yay.
2nd – All loose ends are tied up very nicely.
3rd – the romance between our hero and heroine – although being uber quick to develop like in all the books (but hey, there is only 200 pages I don’t expect amazing relationship developments) – was a lot more believable and natural.
4th – Hannah (our Travelling Matchmaker) gets the happy ending she deserves.
My favourite of the series! Smile

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Tune in Tuesday! Book Playlist Edition

Tune in Tuesday is a weekly feature that you can find at GReads

Eeeek I always avoid these questions like the plague. I can always listen to a song and come up with a story around it, but listening to a song and going ‘oh-my-goodness, this song totally matches this book’ not so much, so I envy all who can. Green with envy (that’s an envy face by the way Winking smile)

But I shall try very hard for this one.

*cracks knuckles*

Hayley Westenra singing Dark Waltz for the book Chanson de l’Ange by Paisley Swan Stewart.

The tone and feel of the song is beautiful and melancholy and matches this book to a tee I think.

On a side not if you are a fan if the Phantom of the Opera you really need to check out this book.

And now onto the music.

What about you guys Smile

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Deborah Goes to Dover by M.C. Beaton

deborah goes to dover
Miss Pym has her matchmaking work cut out for her when, enroute to Dover, she meets Lady Deborah Western, a lovely lady who is determined to be a tomboy.

I really don’t know why I kept reading this series. The characters sure as hell ain’t that likable, and more often than not I found then shallow and lacking any character at all.
And this book wasn’t really any different.

It used up a few hours I suppose but on the whole…very forgettable.

Sheesh this is making me sound like such a snob.

deborah goes to dover old
In this book our ‘heroine’ Deborah is a twin and takes more delight in dressing as a boy and galloping around the country side than she does in acting the lady and going to parties. That is of course until she meets our hero for the…second or third time and decides that she doesn’t want to be seen as a child in his eyes anymore but as a woman.
Predicable much.

That  being said ****SPOILER**** he has already kissed her and of course this has already started to change HIS view of her. Because as we all know all it takes is a snog and seeing a girl dressed up in a nice gown to fall head over heals in love. *sigh* and they say romance is dead.

Deborah struck me as being very immature and down right rude at points – and for a 19 year old I don’t think she really had much of an excuse.

Sorry, but I just didn’t find the romance believable at all. But then given the length of the book there isn’t exactly a lot of opportunity I suppose to draw out a relationship…but then when there is a page dedicated to telling me how various royals have a history at a spot in London surely some step can be taken to flesh out the romance.

Maybe I am just being extra harsh on this because I did not like the previous book in this serious either *shrug*.

It was a quick read, good for spending a few hours.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

March - That's What You Think!

Welcome to March everyone!

I hope February treated you well :)

I am sorry about the lack of update post for February, the scheduled post ended up not being scheduled but now you can find it here if you would like to add any books that you read last month :)

But moving onto this month, link away :)

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