Sunday, June 30, 2013

Meet the Sullivans...: The Look of Love by Bella Andre

Hi guys!
Welcome back to the place that aims to bring you something new, something, fresh, something bookishly desirable every day of the week (almost)....Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today is a quickie post and no the pun wasn't intended and yet.....fits rather well.   *ahem*  Be forewarned the title selection today is NOT for the kiddos so if YOU are a kiddo or you've got once close by, avert your/their eyes.  Don't get scared, I haven't crossed into the "dark side" of literature (though to each their own and I do hear they have cookies! ^_^) but this one was definitely out of my usual circles in more ways than one.  Ready to read all about it?  Here goes/  Today's book of choice is...


by
Bella Andre
Harlequin/MIRA
ISBN-13: 978-0-7783-1556-8

About the book...
Chloe Peterson is having a bad night. A really bad night. The large bruise on her cheek can attest to that. When her car skids off the side of a wet country road and into a ditch, she’s convinced even the gorgeous guy who rescues her in the middle of the rain storm must be too good to be true. Or is he?
A successful photographer who frequently travels around the world, Chase Sullivan has his pick of beautiful women. Chase thinks his life is great just as it is—until the night he finds Chloe and her totaled car on the side of the road in Napa Valley. Not only has Chase never met anyone so lovely, both inside and out, he realizes Chloe has much bigger problems than her damaged car. Soon, Chase is willing to move mountains to love—and protect—her, but will she let him?

Chloe vows never to make the mistake of trusting a man again. Only she can’t help but wonder if she’s met the only exception with every loving look Chase gives her, the attraction between them sparks and sizzles.

Chase didn’t realize his life was going to change forever in an instant, and he isn’t the least bit interested in fighting that change. Instead, he’s gearing up for a different fight altogether—for Chloe’s heart.



Okay, first things first.....you read the description, right? Sounds sweet with a possibility of romance, right?  Well my final thoughts are a bit of a split...and no, let's not talk about the ice cream variety here because it hits too close to home.  *ahem* Let me break this thing down for you...


Personal Pros

1.  I thoroughly enjoyed the actual STORY.  For the most part, the situations were realistic, scarily so a time or two, but it put you right there in the moment nonetheless.
2.  The emotions ran high and were VERY palpable making you connect to the characters rather easily despite your background or lack thereof.  If they were scared, YOU were scared.  If they were anxious, YOU were anxious.  If they were....well, you get the picture.  Nice job here indeed.
3.  The characters were very REAL.  You liked and loathed the appropriate choices.  Heck, you'd probably want to meet the ENTIRE Sullivan gang (I know I do) in person and walking away with their friendship let alone a love match would be a dream come true from what we've seen of them so far.  Chase is...well, pretty darn perfect.  Yep.  I mean I'm sure he has a flaw or two but from where I'm reading, he's got things down pat.  (Anyone know a guy like that whose available?  ^-^)




Personal Cons

1.  One too many rolls in the hay. Wait.  Scratch that....WAY more than one.  By the halfway point of the book, I lost track of how many places, ways, and times a "connection" was made.  For me, the story would have held together with simply SOME sensuality...we didn't need all the dairy cows AND the farmland too.
2.  You know those emotions I mentioned as a pro?  Well, they had their con moments too which lends to the caution I preceded my review with.  NOT for the kiddos....I repeat, NOT.
3.  As much as I loved the characters and the families and back stories created for them, Chloe could frustrate at times with her "to-go-there-or-not-to-go-there" decisions wavering constantly, not to mention that some of her decisions didn't seem realistic for the amount of grieve she suffered.  Could be an individual thing, but it irked me a smidge.





In the end, do I regret reading it?  No.  The writing style was a bit simplistic at times but I really did enjoy getting to know the cast of characters and especially Chase and Chloe.  Word to the wise though...if you are prone to blushing, I might suggest you not read this one in a crowded room.  Yeah...definitely blush worthy and then some moments.  *ahem*   Recommended read for adult readers that actively choose the "true romance fan" label as their own.


ARC for review courtesy of Liz at Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their other promotions, be sure to check out their official site, visit them over on BookTrib or follow along on Twitter.  This title was first released in print format just this month via Harlequin MIRA and should be available on a bookstore shelf near you.  Like what you've read?  Craving another bout with the Sullivans?  No doubt, no doubt.  Be sure to check out book 2, From This Moment On, and book 3, Can't Help Falling in Love, out this July and August consecutively....and who knows, their may be a blog tour stopping by for BOTH titles in my sites future.  (*checks calendar* ... yep, sure is!)

Until next time...happy reading!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Roving Reader

It's coming...to a bookstore shelf near you soon!
Haven't read book 1?
No worries!  There's still time to grab your copy...and as I understand it, the ebook version of it is on sale now for only $1.99 at several online retailers!

You're welcome.
^-^

Until next time, share what you've discovered while out and about this weekend...and happy reading!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Books that make you go hmm: Zero Tolerance by Claudia Mills

Hi there!
Welcome back to the place that aims to please the reader in you every day of the week (~whispers~ even if some times are more comfortable than others)....Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.



I've got a rare (this week at least) moment of time to revel with the computer all to myself (*grumble grumble*) and the first thing I wanted to do....blog, or rather discuss a book with all of you.  ^_^  Feel special?  You should.  *hugs* ...but let's not get too carried away because even if you're special, sometimes things don't turn out the way they should, such as in our featured title today.  It's another book starring a middle grade girl who's got her head on straight...for the most part...and gets caught up in something bigger than herself.  This time around, it centers around a topic that's been in the media for many a moon now and is bound to spark conversations.   Ready to read all about it?  Your request is my happy duty to fulfill!  Today's book of choice is...


by

About the book...
Seventh-grader Sierra Shepard has always been the perfect student, so when she sees that she accidentally brought her mother's lunch bag to school, including a paring knife, she immediately turns in the knife at the school office. Much to her surprise, her beloved principal places her in in-school suspension and sets a hearing for her expulsion, citing the school's ironclad no weapons policy. While there, Sierra spends time with Luke, a boy who's known as a troublemaker, and discovers that he's not the person she assumed he would be--and that the lines between good and bad aren't as clear as she once thought. 


I opened this book looking for a great afternoon read and walked away with a lot more than I bargained for....in a GOOD way!

First up, we're in the land of Middle Grade fiction, so while I ADORE this part (and several others ^_^) of the reading landscape, some turn up their nose...and at the very least, don't expect to uncover something that will really give them pause.  This one...GIVES YOU PAUSE.  It takes the headline of ZERO TOLERANCE from the news feeds and puts it front and center in a real-life-oh-my-gosh-that-could-happen-to-my (insert relation here) type of situation that boggles the mind.  Here we have an ace student, an all around "American girl" who stands by her friends, pitches in when extra hands are needed, and leads others by example...until the faithful day.  One wrong grab of the lunchbox later.  One instance of 100% trust placed in those adults surrounding them to understand the action, reaction and innocence behind what just occurred.  One split decision to save face....I mean, stick to the rule book with no bending whatsoever.  One child's life changed forever.

Now, I know that last part sounds ominous and in some situations COULD actually be in the worse sense of the words, but this is not one of those cases.  This is one of those times when thinking things through, considering their past and current circumstances, LISTENING to what they are telling you (as well as their friends/family/etc) and using sound judgement as opposed to a black/white rule of consequence would work wonders and show more strength, more affirmative action than blindly following words on a page.  I get it.  The principal was backed in a corner, but why should the child suffer for that?  Suck it up; he's the adult.  Seek the proper channels to get it all "documented" up the way you'd prefer but don't leave such a public scathing for the child in question.  It's a hard battle presented that turns into a much bigger media event than it needed to be (but kudos to Dad for pulling in the "big guns" AND the Sierra for showing more backbone than the whole lot) and in the end puts everyone in their place for better or worse with a new appreciation for the ability granted to all human beings....the ability to think, feel, and instigate change.

The story itself would be enough to draw an audience, but it's the characters that will make you care THAT much more.  Sierra is a gem, all prim and proper.  I applaud her grandly for taking the actions she did (except for the email thing *ahem*) and could only hope that I and others would be as honest in the situation presented.  It would have been SO easy to just slip it back in the bag, place the bag in her backpack and go about her day....but she didn't.  It caused her unexpected trouble to no end but she didn't. Way to go Sierra...and the strength of character, the growth in your own understanding of action and consequence shown throughout the book to both your own situation as well as those of others does not go unnoticed.  Luke, the boy she meets during her in school suspension, is another person of note.  No, he's not necessarily the next Doogie Howser (you guys remember him, right?  *-*) nor the poster child for we-do-right anonymous, but he's another person, another personality that despite what it looks like on the outside, has a good heart.  You just have to cut through the layers of rough and tumble to get there.  I love how the author gave unexpected depth to his character...sounds to me like she would root for the underdog in real life.  Now, on to the adults...

Mr. Besser (the principal) is an okay enough fellow, but hiding behind policy without thinking, reasoning, heck discussing what actually happened even, paints a bit of a yellow stripe down his back for me.  Mr. Shepherd, Sierra's father, is not a man to trifle with in the courtroom, but involve his little angel and...well, let's just say the BEST EVER Fourth of July celebration would have less fireworks.  *ahem*  Now, Mrs. Shepherd, Sierra's mom, is almost the polar opposite of her other half.  She's more artsy, laid back and while she stands by her daughter 100%, she's less confrontational....offering a balance of sorts but also creating a bit of a tug-o-war when things get hairy here.  It's interesting to see how their marriage is affected by everything that's playing out; another instance of real life being well represented.  I won't even get into the person that is Ms. Lin, the school secretary.  She is wronged in more ways than Sierra's misstep but she is a hard character to "love" overall.

Author Claudia Mills
In conclusion, my shortest summary would be found via my GoodReads status update:  "Brava Sierra...brava indeed. Lessons learned on both sides of the fence and real life issues handled in a believable manner. A well rounded read for middle-schoolers AND beyond!".  On a more long winded note...it's a wonderful read with a thought provoking subject at its center that shows A) you can't judge a book solely by its cover - or a person by their past/exterior, B) there is something to be learned from everyone, C) things are not always what they seem, and D) rules without room for common sense equate to NON-sense in the end.  Agree?  Disagree?  The comments are open....let's discuss it!

ARC for review courtesy of Ksenia at MacMillan Children's Publishing Group.  (THANKS!)  For more information about this title as well as their ever growing catalog of wonders, be sure to stop by their official site, blog, Facebook and Twitter pages.  To discover more about the writing world of author Claudia Mills, pay a visit to her site or check out what's going on at the present over at her blog.  This title was released just this month via Farrar, Straus and Giroux, so be on the look out for it on a bookstore shelf near you.

Until next time....happy reading!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Taste Testing Tuesdays...on a Wednesday!

Hi guys!
Taste Testing Tuesday post coming at you on the fly.  Definitely had to share this one though because it's one of those reads that classifies as a diamond in the rough...pun totally intended.   Ready to check it out? 

THE CODE BUSTERS CLUB, BOOK 2: THE HAUNTED LIGHTHOUSE
by
Penny Warner
Pg 123

Just check out the picture. ..and yes that IS a chapter title spelled out in sign language letters for you to decipher. Pretty cool, right?
More fun and adventure abounds within this second installment...stay tuned for my full review coming soon!

In the mean time, share a tasty reading tidbit from your current read in the comments below! I'm all ears...or rather, eyes. ^-^

Until next time...happy reading!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

BLOG TOUR: My Sister's Reaper by Dorothy Dreyer + Giveaway!

Hi guys!
Welcome back to the site that aims to bring you the best in bookish delights every day of the week...Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.



Today is an extra special day indeed as I get to play host to a blog tour via Month9Books starring none other than newly minted author Dorothy Dreyer! Don't know the name? Well, some of you might have met her at BEA this year, and others might have seen previous stops on this tour...as for me I was introduced my another bloggy friend to her and her work a few years ago.  That's right! I featured a review of that unpublished work right here on my site way back when and even then, she was something to read.  So needless to say when I heard she reached published status with a NEW story...I had to be a part of the celebration!  Without further ado, please join me in welcoming a fab friend, writer extraordinaire and today's ebook of choice...  


by

About the book...
There’s bragging, there’s trying to impress a boy, and then there’s Sixteen-year-old Zadie. Zadie’s first mistake was telling the boy she’s crushing on that she could bring her dead sister back to life. Her second mistake? Actually doing it! When Zadie accidentally messes with the Reaper’s Rite that should have claimed her sister Mara, things go horribly wrong (you think?). Mara isn’t the same anymore—Zadie isn’t even sure she’s completely human, and to top it off, a Reaper is determined to collect Mara’s soul no matter what. Now Zadie must figure out how to defeat her sister’s Reaper, intent on claiming both girls, or let Mara die … this time for good.



A story of imagination, wonders and a whole lotta shake-worthy situations, this one will leave you bookishly satisfied yet thirsty for more....much like a Reaper only with less insidious intentions. ^-^

Zadie is a joy to get to know and though the questions and guilt she's dealing with are weighty, she takes 'em like a champ.  I mean, it's hard enough being sixteen without having a sister in a coma that ended up there under mysterious circumstances, and powers that may-or-may-not exist to perhaps-in-some-small-way put everything back together again.  I'd like to see YOU deal with that short of pressure with simply a smile and a nod. Uh-huh. That's what I thought. Anywho...like I said, a joy tp get to know and despite all that's been thrown at her recently, still a girl with a good head on her shoulders. Now, about that magic...

It's real, yes, but the why, how, and use of it is a unique mix up of heritage, magically speaking, that I've yet to see.  Shan't spoil it for you, but it leads to some unusual family tree discoveries for all involved parties. I really like how the author managed to get into all of that without getting TOO heavy on the history.   She opens the door, invites us inside but doesn't go all "Hotel California" like some do.  You know what I mean, those reads where you practically need an added guide just to keep track of the lineage and what not. More power to those that prefer that style but I'll take my reads light on the "four score" and heavy on the story.  Moving forward...

What a story indeed! As stated, magic abounds in many forms both good and not-so-good and while that would certainly keep things interesting enough, the characters truly give it that extra dose of charm.  Madie, Zadie's sister, is a force to be reckoned with ...even if her hand isn't always her own (dun dun dunnn). You can tell underneath it all she's a peach, but it's getting past all that that takes true courage. Why? You'll see. *-* Moving forward, we have Naomi, a best friend certainly worth her BF title; Gavin, the crush that could be something more; Emily who, well she doesn't REALLY play in the same circles but she definitely has a somewhat star role in the story. ..while it lasts. *ahem* On the unexpected friendly list, we would be remiss to forget about the Black's...Lilhura and Chase. It's a great reminder to not judge a book by its cover, nor a person entirely by your first impression of them...the rest you'll have to uncover on your own.

Author Dorothy Dreyer

In conclusion, a fantastic read from ecover to ecover from a talented writer that knows how to place you in the action, envelop you in the story and make you a part of the family so that their triumphs are yours...as well as their tragedies.  If you like your reads on the Middle Grade/Young Adult side of things with magic, mystery, danger and a chance at romance...this is definitely one to have on your MUST READ list.

Ebook for review courtesy of Brooke at Month9Books.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their full catalog, be sure to stop by their official site, like them on Facebook, Pin them on Pinterest, or follow along on Twitter!  To discover more about the author behind the work, catch Dorothy Dreyer online at her site, her blog We Do Write ( a fab site if I do say so myself), on Facebook and over on Twitter.  This being a blog tour and all, there is more fun where that came from!  Be sure to catch Ms. Dreyer as she stops over at my good friend Nayuleska's site, Nayu's Reading Corner, tomorrow!


Now, how would you like a chance to WIN?  I thought you might.  Thanks to the folks at Month9Books, now's your chance!  Up for grabs....signed copy of MY SISTER'S REAPER, nail polish, journal, MSR keychain, and candy! How's that for a great combination?  To enter....check out the rafflecopter below!



Until next time...happy reading!



Monday, June 24, 2013

Otis Dooda: Strange but True by Ellen Potter

Hi guys.

Welcome back to the place that aims to please the reader in you no matter what your pleasure...Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Still trying to chase the blues away, will be for awhile I'm certain as well as ignore my current status this morning (as in training my FT replacement...don't ask), but books are a great mind escape from life sometimes, you know? Take today's choice for example. It's a recently released Children's Fiction title that will have you in stitches...and a little fearful for our lead character's life after plant boy puts a hex on him! But I digress, let's properly greet today's book of choice lest the same fate befalls us....


by
Illustrated by
David Heatley


Otis Dooda.
Some name, right?
Even HE invites you to get it out of your system before continuing to follow him on his adventure. Perhaps it's the age difference but my mind didn't run away with the poo jokes that apparantly he's heard all his life. I went to the "oh-the-doo-da-day" song snippet from something my mind recalled from childhood....anyone know the song? Can't quite recall, but the refrain was stuck in my head the moment I read this little guy's name. Anywho...


Otis is a fun fellow. Fairly smart, enchanted with his family's new home (New York City...woo-hoo!) and desperately trying to avoid the attention of his older brother who has some fairly gross habits (as does his girlfriend) that I shan't reveal just in case you're eating lunch or something while reading this. ~shudders~ Kids, I know but really...eww! Moving forward...along with the change in scenary comes a change in friends or at least those immediately available to him. Of the colorful cast we meet from the know-it-all door man (who's actually pretty cool, considering) to the gent with the barky dogs, the elderly neighbor with a glare to stop clocks to the writer of the hall newsletter...that's right, a hallway posted newsletter...that knows EVERYTHING that happens somehow or another and puts it in print for the building to see...it's quite a display. That's not even counting the new kiddo type friends he "inherits" from the current building tenants that score him some serious cool points. No, really! Cat is phenomenol and even their parents are pretty fab (anyone want to fly into a vat of marshmallow fluff...or perhaps play with a dog that's not-a-dog....exactly? ^_^) which certainly makes his transition smoother. The biggest hang up is plant boy.


Sound sinister? It's even more so when you consider that EVERYBODY In the building pretty much pays him off in some way or another by plopping a "donation" by his planter. Yes, you read that right, his planter. He sits buried in a plant by the first floor elevator and if you don't pay up...you my friend are in for a curse. *-* What's a newbie to do? Well, according to his wishes, give up the awesome little lie detector that you built out of legos and imagination but Otis is having none of it. Taking the high road, he scoffs at the demand as well as the "sentence" given out as his doom. Shan't be spoiling the inevitable end he will meet but lets say from the sound of it, its gonna be painful. *gulp* Maybe that lie detector WOULD have been worth the trade. ~whistles~


In the end, this isn't simply a story about a pushy plant guy, moving to a new area, or dealing with siblings that you'd rather see attacked by rabid bunnies than spend an afternoon with. It's about how the one thing in life that is constant is change; it's how we deal with it that makes the final outcome pleasant or something else altogether. Otis doesn't give up just because of the obstacles plant guy places in his path. He strives to make an impact in his new environment by making friends, enjoying life (even if they are his final days..dun dun dunnnn) and bucking the bad juju that's been sent his way. It's a smile a minute with a little worry to spare but a fun read nonetheless that will break up your doo-da day (sorry, couldn't resist!) no matter which way you slice it.

ARC for review courtesy of Ksenia at MacMillan Children's Publishing Group. (THANKS!) For more information on this title as well as their complete and growing catalog, be sure to stop by their official website, like them on Facebook, stalk them on Twitter, or check out the feeds from some of the characters! Both Otis AND Cat are on Twitter and there is an official book site as well to continue the fun!  This book is available now via Feiwel & Friends so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf near you.



Until next time...happy reading!



Friday, June 21, 2013

Goodnight, Brian by Steven Manchester

Hi there.
Welcome back to the bookish site that aims to please your word loving hearts no matter the time, no matter the day, no matter how much life gets in the way....Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

When considering what title to feature today from my recent reads, I was drawn to one in particular not only in light of recent events but because of how much this author's work speaks to me.  This is my second time featuring this particular writer on my site (my first review for Twelve Months can be seen here) and also the second time this title has made an appearance (click here for a peek at the guest post/excerpt from earlier this year).  What's with all the twosies?  What can I say...I'm a sucker for his work and a happy one at that.  They are not fluffy titles to while away an afternoon...not that there is anything wrong with those types of reads either.  His works tend to be more involved, more spiritually connected without getting overly preachy (not a preachy person) and manage to take a hold of your heart with a subtle-ness you don't even notice until you're laughing and crying with the characters themselves.  It's really something to read for the first time...and the second.  Today's book of choice is...


by
Steven Manchester

About the book...
Fate was working against little Brian Mauretti. The food that was meant to nourish him was poisoning him instead, and the doctors said the damage was devastating and absolute. Fate had written off Brian. But fate didn’t count on a woman as determined as Brian’s grandmother, Angela DiMartino – who everyone knew as Mama. Loving her grandson with everything she had, Mama endeavored to battle fate. Fate had no idea what it was in for.


Be forewarned, you will need tissues by book's end more than once but tears of regret will not be amongst those shed.

Much like the family met in Twelve Months, Goodnight, Brian centers around the Mauretti's as they welcome a new baby to the world.  What should only be a miraculous and joyful event turns sour when poor baby Brian's seemingly small health issues escalate into a life altering condition putting an end to any dream of having a "normal" life.  Even the doctors agree...Brian's chances of walking, talking, or even communicating are next to none.  Guess what?  They don't know Mama.  They don't know the power of love and faith and hard work.  They don't know just what a family can do when put to the test and how far all the intangible things we take for granted can really take us when cherished.  They don't know...but they're about to find out.

It's not a story filled with fantasy and alternate universes or magical creatures even that stops your breath or makes your heart leap in your chest.  It's the simplicity of how it all begins, the reality of the ups and downs, the balancing of the highs and lows and perhaps most of all, the characters, that make this one something to remember.  Literally everyone introduced throughout the story has a role to play in one way or another that affects the overall outcome but remarkably, they each have something to learn as well.  Quite unexpected when you consider the magnitude of Brian's story already but a welcome aspect that shows life does go on for those in and around events such as these...it's all in how you handle it that makes the difference.  Though I could go on and on mentioning everyone under the sun, I will leave you to discover this broad and ever extending family on your own in due course....but I can't leave two people in particular to chance.  First up, Brian.

He is after all the "star" of the show and with good reason.  He's a sweetheart.  He has troubles, yes.  He's not perfect, no.  He has obstacles that you and I would be grateful to not encounter in our days nor anyone else we love and cherish, it's true.  But you know what?  He has family.  He has a life.  He has support coming at him despite everything thrown in his path and he's better for it.  The tough love shown to him makes him stronger, gets him to power through the tough times and make his way in a world that wasn't necessarily made to make his life as easy as others may have it.  Of those family members that make a difference in his life, Mama has to be number one.

Mama is Angela DiMartino, his grandmother, and she is an angel both in this life and the next.  She doesn't back down when the going gets tough.  She doesn't allow the words "can't" or "hate" or anything else definitive and derogatory to infiltrate their lives.  She has faith and it is certainly strong but it's not so stubborn as to exclude those that may walk a different path then she.  She's remarkable in every way and a heart-breaker til the end.  You know those questions you sometimes see about what literary characters you'd like to most meet?  She would definitely be among my top five.  If you have someone like this fabulous lady in your life, keep her safe and near your heart.  If not, she's certainly an example of whom I'd like to be one day.

In conclusion, a stirring story about what happens when life hands you lemons and you not only make lemonade but a lemon pie, lemon bars, and lemon poppy-seed bread for the entire world.  It introduces us to a "real" family, with real life struggles, and shows us just what the human spirit can accomplish when you just have a little faith.  Recommended read for fans of his previous work as well as those who simply enjoy a heart-tugging yet life enriching story.  Whether you classify it as Fiction, Christian Fiction or Women's Fiction....I call it simply a GREAT read.



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -




About the author....
Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestseller TWELVE MONTHS and PRESSED PENNIES, THE UNEXPECTED STORM: The Gulf War Legacy, and JACOB EVANS, as well as several books under the pseudonym, Steven Herberts. His work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of Steven’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or his four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Review copy received courtesy of author Steven Manchester.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as his growing body of must read works, be sure to visit him online, or check out his Facebook page.  This title was released January of this year via The Story Plant so be on the look out for it on a bookstore shelf near you...and speaking of releases.  Just two days ago, Mr. Manchester celebrated the release of yet another title....The Rockin' Chair!  I'll be checking it out in the coming weeks (stay tuned for the blog tour) but if you can't wait til then, I totally understand.  Also, I've just learned there is a prequel to Goodnight, Brian entitled A Christmas Wish.  *adds to wish list*  Have it my friends...they are both bound to be worthy reads.

Until next time...happy reading!


In loving memory...

It brings me to tears just to think about what I'm about to type but seeing as how she was my fur baby and a star once or twice on the site, I felt it only right to share her memory with all of you.

Yesterday while at job 1, I received a call that nearly stopped my heart.  My little fur baby, Ashley, had been in the hospital for the past two days as they tried to get her blood sugar straightened out and as it turns out, it wasn't simply that which was causing her health to fail.  They discovered a large tumor on her pancreas which treated or not, would unfortunately leave us with the same same, bitter ending.  I had two options and as I couldn't bare to put her through any more suffering just so I could have her by my side a little longer, I made the call.

It was one of the hardest decisions of my life and one I can only hope she understood.  She joins now her brothers and sister in that great big dog park in the sky and I will carry her in my heart every day that we're apart.




Ashley

Favorite pastimes:  Laying about, playing tug (aggressively) with her "hubby" (Mom's dog, Hamilton), being adorable to a fault
Favorite snack:  Almost any...but favorites would be Milk Bones and Milo treats
Favorite toy:  Again, almost any...but especially her Pig Bunny; a pink piggy with rabbit ears.


I will miss you my sweet girl.
Rest in peace.



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sometimes we all feel.....SCREWED by Laurie Plissner

Hi there!

Welcome back to the site that aims to please the reader in you despite whatever ailment, whatever foul smelling life suckage comes its way...Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.



Yep.  That about sums up this week thus far.  Life = suckage.  Let's see...I'm still fighting this cold and woke up to a rash that I didn't have upon falling asleep last night (think the dog got into something - *must avoid scratching*).  Ashley, one of my fur babies, is still in the vet hospital....hopefully coming home tonight but no updates yet.  *fingers crossed*  Last but not least, the job hunt continues despite yesterday's lack luster nibble.  One word to rule it all....OYE!  Yep.  just oye....however, as off (and awful, in my head at least) as that all sounds, it pales in comparison to what today's lead character has to face.  I don't envy her a bit but I do want to reach out and give her a BIG hug, smack her parents upside the head as well as the loser she happened to have relations with, and clone Charlie (hey, the more of him, the merrier!)...and while we're at it, his aunt Vera (rock-tastic woman!).  Trust me, I've no doubt you'll agree.  Ready to read all about it?  Today's book of choice is...


by

One good girl in all the ways that count.
One moment of passion where caution flew to the wind.
One chance in a million of a "positive" result.
One innocent life in the balance of all that's to come.

It's a book about what happens when abstinence is the choice but not always the chosen option.  It's a book about how one decision can in fact impact not just one but MANY.  It's a book about right and wrong, good and bad, happy and sad and whole lotta other black and white sides I could point out....but I won't.  Why?  Because it's NOT that simple.

Grace IS a good girl, a smart girl, a girl that parents can count on through thick and thin and anyone would be happy to call friend.  Grace is also a teenager, growing up and finding her way through this wasteland of a world just trying to feel like she belongs.  Is that an excuse for her decision to go "all the way" with her crush in the backseat of his badly-in-need-of-a-makeover means of transport?  No...but many out there could totally empathize with her and the want to fit in is a universal feeling.  Your teen years are for making mistakes and finding your footing...grant her this was more a situation where a stone slipped almost spilling her off the edge of a cliff, but in some ways, she was better for it.

She was forced to develop her own sense of self, forced to make the big decisions and even after those were made, her given path wasn't easy.  She had no support from the "donor" (whose "mission" I might add is going to land him in the category of disease carriers soon enough if he keeps it up) which certainly impacted her own levels of self worth.  She knew what she was taught growing up, took into account what those who "loved" her were offering as a volun-told option, and took the path less traveled determined to not let what started as an accident affect the life of an innocent.  I admire Grace.  She was raised with love and to love and yet when push came to shove, the exceptions that held it aloft were exposed for what they were; evil, vile, and manipulative.  Sorry guys, but her folks were just awful.  I mean it's one thing to not be happy about the whole situation because A) it's your child and B) IT'S YOUR CHILD but to just cut them off entirely from emotional support, mental support and heck, even a place to live and food to eat...that's heartless.  The real kicker is WHY they did it.  Two words...social standing.

Yes.  They were embarrassed.  They felt like their name was marred, dragged through the mud, defaced and in lieu of looking bad in front of everyone and everything they stood for, they wanted to "take care of it" discreetly; considering what they preached, that was a HUGE surprise.  When Grace refused not only because of what she was taught her whole life by they themselves but because of her own heart, they cut her loose.  Just.  Like.  That.  So much for losing face, right?  I mean really...if it even mattered, which looked worse?  Exactly.  They were so hardcore in fact, I had to ask my own Mother given the situation if it had been me, what SHE would have done.  First she was all "yay, grand kids!"  (Oh Mom... ^_^) but then on a more serious note, it was all she'd be disappointed but still there for me no matter what.  Unconditional love.  Hard to find but precious indeed.  Speaking of unconditional love...


Vera (Grace's elderly neighbor) and her nephew Charlie are definitely subscribers to this notion...even her life long friend Jennifer is when it comes down to it.  When Vera sees a soul in need, she seeks to assist in any way she can...the fact that she is monetarily able to as well only makes it easier on the pocket; rest assured though, her capacity for sharing her heart and a shoulder to cry on are even greater.  I loved seeing her take on the role of champion in the fight for Grace when need be and merely standing by when she needed the space to make her own way.  In short, she rocks.  Now, Charlie is a chip off the old block (no offense Vera!) and an unexpected possible knight in shining armor.  I won't go into too much detail there because it will ruin the possibility but suffice it to say that he's a gentleman, well-mannered and thoughtful...and an incredible friend.  The chance of more is there but even without that random happily-ever-after moment, he would be incredible to have in your life.  He was definitely one of my favorite male characters that I've encountered thus far in the more reality based reads.  Something about him just rang true, genuine.  Jennifer on the other hand is the girl many would adore friend wise.  She's cut and dry, will push you to do what's best for you and be there for you til the end...even if she has moments of complete panic (hey, it happens!).  I loved seeing her reactions as the story played out and how her character grew.  Her sense of self was strong so finding a chink in the armor made her more human.

In conclusion, a very real, very raw, very emotional read for the obvious reasons and for some not so obvious ones that will leave you rooting for Grace and her close knit "family" through the final trimester and beyond.  It shows that one wrong decision, one moment of indiscretion can change worlds much like the wings of a butterfly but that it doesn't have to signal a complete and utter end....just a new beginning.   The author's talent for creating real characters and realistic situations is showcased wonderfully and will draw you in from first page to last.  It shines a light on the reality of the situation and the life altering consequences it brings in full color but also lends an assurance that things WILL be alright in the end.  Recommended read for older teens and beyond due to content (teen sex, abortion, pro choice, pro life, etc) and some language, but definitely a door opener for future discussions between parents and their youth.



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About the author....
Laurie Plissner graduated from Princeton University with a BA in Art History and has a law degree from UCLA.  She left her job as a litigator to be a stay-at-home mom.  After working as an SAT tutor and spending a lot of time with teenagers, Laurie decided to apply that experience to writing fiction for young people that explores the issues they wrestle with in an imaginative and entertaining way.  In the past three years, she has written six YA novels (and one work of adult fiction).






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Review copy courtesy of Bethany at F+W Media.  (THANKS!)  For more information regarding this title as well as their other promotions, be sure to like them on Facebook or follow along on Twitter.  This title reached published status May of this year via Merit Press / F+W Media, Inc., so be on the look out for it on a bookstore shelf near you.  

Until next time...happy reading!


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Taste Testing Tuesdays



Good morning (or whatever time it is where you are), everyone!
Welcome to another installment of Taste Testing Tuesdays here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers! Taste Testing Tuesdays was inspired by 'Teaser Tuesdays', a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading

On the menu this week...a book that I'm both enjoying AND on the fence about.  The final verdict?  That remains to be seen....BUT there are many laughable moments and smile worthy scenes which of course warrant a share on this day of teasers!
Ready...set...GO!



The Very First Bite
by
Cynthia Langston

Instead of the wonder-pancakes, I decide to eat the rest of the tub of cottage cheese for breakfast.  There's a leftover chicken breast, which I can have for lunch with some salad, and maybe some lasagna for dinner - with zucchini strips instead of pasta.  This all sounds very healthy and delicious on the surface, but I'm telling you right now, I'd sell my left book on the black market for a blueberry muffin and a bowl of Cocoa Puffs.
-- pg 142-143




LOL!
Now, to set the scene straight here....she's cycling through diets and has landed on the Atkins "all meat, no/low carb" plan that many have both had success AND failure with.  She's trying to stay on the bandwagon but needless to say, the carbs are calling.  Will she prevail or will she fall victim to their flour filled cries?  We shall see...just passed the halfway point in the book, so final verdict should be coming soon.  Stay tuned...





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So...what book are you lost in this week?
Oh come on...just a little tease?


^_^






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Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

*Grab your current read 
*Open to a random page 
*Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) 
*Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 



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Until next time...happy reading!


Monday, June 17, 2013

Unicorn Thinks He's Great by Bob Shea

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place that neither sun, nor rain, nor the ever fun summer cold can stop me from sharing the bookish love with you!  




Yes, that's right.  I have a summer cold.  Let me tell you, if you've never had one...you are SO lucky because in a word, they SUCK.  No really.  It's hot as you-know-where outside and you're all freezing to death and then hot and then sneezing and coughing and just...blech.  Can't say I'd recommend it and I'll be most pleased when it is gone.  *humpf*  Now, enough about my nasal drainage, it's time to explore the pages of something magically delicious!

Today's selection comes to us right off the truck...no really, I was sorting the shipment of new arrivals to the store, saw this one, and had to take a few moments at lunch to explore it's rainbow-esque cover.  If the title doesn't get your attention, the cover art certainly will and the story...well, I'll let you decide.  Ready to read all about it?  Today's book of choice is...


by
Bob Shea

I'm not kidding.
Allow yourself time to chuckle.  Go Ahead.  I'll wait.
Better?  Yeah, that's what YOU think.

The yucks and gaffaws are a mile a minute as we learn what Goat sees as the pros and cons of having this new rainbows and glitter guy in the neighborhood.  Simple but magical pictures help tell the HI-larious story all about what happens when you give others a chance to show their true colors and not simply judge them by their cover.  In this case, it'd be easy to see why Goat is jealous of Unicorn initially, but things aren't always as they seem.  It's another grass is greener on the other side tale with a twist...because as illustrated here, it's always greener to the OTHER person, until you pop your head above the fence and discuss things with your neighbor.

I can't say there was a downside to this one at all as I enjoyed every written line and was delighted visually with every turn of the page, but one of my FAVORITE scenes is when they team up for some "clovin' justice" with an end result of someone having been "unicorned".  Trust me.  It's funny.  Little ones will get into the two sided affair and be rooting for them both by book's end.  Older readers will delight in the message as well as the illustrations because really, how can you go wrong with unicorns?

This title is set to be released by Disney Hyperion next week so get yourself a pre-order of it or be on the look out for it on a bookstore shelf near you!  You won't regret it.

Until next time...happy reading!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day...now, READ ALL ABOUT IT!

Hi guys!
Welcome back to the place that aims to please the reader in you from age I-just-learned-what-a-book-is to what-a-second-I-remember-those....Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.




Today is FATHER'S DAY...in case you were unaware; consider this your reminder to run out and pick up something (or send an eGift card) STAT if you haven't already for the father figure in your life.  We began speaking of father figures last week in a great interview with author Toni Buzzeo; if you missed out, be sure to click on over for a heart warming moment or two AND get entered to win a SIGNED copy of her latest release, Just Like My Papa!  We continue the reminiscing today with a fiction novel based on the life of a great mind known the world over.  Whether a student of philosophy or of the school of life, this little gem may work its magic on you and given the title/focus, I felt today an appropriate day to shine a little light on this recent release.  Without further adieu, today's book spotlight shines for....




by
Neel Burton

About the book...
An eagle’s old age is better than the youth of a sparrow. —Greek proverb 
My doctor tells me that, at last, I am dying. The time has come for me to write, or, rather, dictate these letters to you. I pray that I might remain lucid for long enough to finish the task and ask that you forgive any lapses in my memory or reason. I propose not so much to counsel you as to furnish you with an account of my life and thought; not the impersonal and incomplete fabrication that you or anyone might piece together from my books, but the real account–in so far as there could ever be such a thing. For all the man and the god that I have found in you, I do not, and cannot, expect your tender years to tease out my every accent and every nuance, and I am writing as much to account myself to you as to account myself to myself. 

AMAZON:  US  |   UK





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About the author...


Neel Burton was born in 1978 in Curepipe, Mauritius to a Mauritian father and a Zanzibari mother, and grew up in Geneva, Switzerland.  From 1996 to 2002, he studied medicine and neuroscience in London.  He then moved to Paris, where he worked as a strategy consultant and, later, as an English teacher. In 2003, he returned to medicine and the UK, and, in 2004, went up to Oxford to specialize in psychiatry, whilst simultaneously reading for a Master’s in philosophy in the University of London.

He currently lives and teaches in Oxford.

WEBSITE    |    FACEBOOK    |    TWITTER




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One can only imagine what lies between these pages...unless of course you pick up a copy and then, well...you can totally share your experience with all of us!  ^_^  






Special thanks to Matthew at Electric Reads for the chance to participate in this promotion.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as those tours upcoming, be sure to visit them online, like them on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.


Until next time...happy reading!




Friday, June 14, 2013

Bicoastal Babe by Cynthia Langston

Hi there!
Welcome back to the place that welcomes you whether you follow the trends of the day or choose to live life entirely your own way...Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.  Now, speaking of trends...


Today's featured title stars a woman in her prime tossed on her rear assets by love, given the boot by life, and yet still winding up somewhere other than last year's pashmina scarf - you know, not under the pile but not exactly on top either.  It's a jet setting, trend spotting adventure through two of the biggest and most sought after locales that will make your head spin with possibility...with a healthy dose of heart (and heartache) thrown in for good measure.  Does it measure up to the status quo?  You be the judge.  Ready or not, today's title on the bookish virtual runway of SFIR is (and book of choice!)...


by

About the book...
Not exactly a goddess of cutting-edge culture, Lindsey Miller is shocked when she’s offered the über-hip job of writing “The Pulse,” a newsletter that tracks white-hot trends in everything from fashion to cosmetics to entertainment.  Before long, Lindsey finds herself on a whirlwind bi-coastal romp as she jet-sets between New York and Los Angeles, fumbling to uncover what’s cool today and what will be the next big thing tomorrow.
The grit and glamour of Manhattan is electrifying, and so is Victor Ragsdale, the slick Wall Street broker who charms her with his street-smart savvy.  But he warmth and sunshine of L.A. are bliss, and so is Danny Wynn, the dreamy blonde surfer who sweeps her into his strong, suntanned arms.
Lindsey’s two lives are both so exciting – and both so different.  But disaster strikes when her evil trend-spotting partner begins to expose Lindsey for what she really is: tragically un-hip and only one dirty martini away from being found out and fired.



As much as it sounds like the soul focus is on the two new potential loves in her life, it's not...city or man wise.  In fact, speaking of the guys, I think Danny kinda got gypped on the whole thing seeing as Victor gets a lot more face time (and other time..*ahem*) but I digress....it's not solely about the fellas.  This is a story that masquerades as a total romance indulged read that actually has a lot more heart, a lot more depth to it than first meets the eye.  Take our leading lady...

Lindsey is not your typical skinny-minnie, blond-headed, big...umm, topped...bubble head floating around with dreams of big city lights and ravishing nights dancing through her head.  Nope...not that some of that wouldn't be in her actual dreams mind you.  She's your average beauty with a heart of gold that's been trampled on by one too many things yet still puts her trust in many  even when the outcome is uncertain.  She's not prone to make quick decisions (unless plied with alcohol...note to interviewee folks, avoid a meeting with drinks to keep a clear head!) and she'd not be the first person you'd look to when wanting to know what's on the cutting edge and yet, here she is in a job that demands just that and then some.  It's okay, she's a smart gal; she'll figure it out....eventually, sorta...okay with some help and the outcome is not exactly what you'd expect either, but in a GOOD way!  Let's just say that portion of the story was a surprise, though some of the hints that Victor was dropping were leading me subtly there. Anyway, yay Lindsey!  I really enjoyed getting to know you and your antics made you REAL...a positive in my book.  Moving forward...

Character wise, I'll keep the rest brief.  We have her Chicago friends (great bunch), her New York friends (I should put quotes around that because they are limited and some not so friendly) and her Los Angeles friends...and believe it or not, that last one is where we meet someone new that she actually gets close to and who doesn't have only their best interests at heart.  Meet Carmen!  A name I've associated with a "good friend" and someone you can count on ever since reading The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.  Guess what?  Applies here too!  She's a great gal pal; open, accepting, happy to lend a hand or take your mind off things with a night on the town.  In short, a personality we'd each be lucky to have in our lives...and speaking of which, that actually goes for Liz too.  Who is she?  She's actually the boss lady behind Lindsey's new career, but don't be fooled by her first impressions (can we say B-I-T..you know where I'm going with this)...she's really much more than she seems (in a good way!).  Then there's Jen, her trend spotting other half in this two person team...let's just say even if you envy her confidence, her fashion, or her go-get-em attitude, there is MUCH more that goes into making a good person, in lieu of a conniving, conceited, little...*ahem*.  As for the fellas, we meet them, we like them, we get confused by whom we like more.  It's a bit of a soap opera without the actual opera because like I said, the romance aspect is there but NOT the focus!  Who wins her heart is secondary to which city sings to her soul...

Think you know the answer to that one, do you?  Ha!  Think again.  The author makes a case worthy of a trial for BOTH locales; even I would have a hard time choosing.  New York has its fast paced EVERYTHING, skyscrapers, shows, fashion, sidewalk vendors and more (hey, don't knock the vendors, a good slice of pizza or hot dog can do wonders!).  Los Angeles has the beach within reach, the laid back Hollywood atmosphere, stars around every corner, a sense of making peace with the universe and yet being able to touch the bubble of present fury if you wish.  So...NOW which would you choose?  Yep...harder than it sounds now isn't it?  Can't say I envy Lindsey in that choice (okay, I CAN say it because she HAS the choice!)...

Some other things I noticed along the way that I thought might be of interest to all of you...I do believe the author has a greater bias for New York...or maybe it was Victor? (*wink wink*)  Like I said, he gets a lot more time in the spotlight...better get use to him ladies, he's here to stay, for now at least (dun dun dunnnn...).  I do wish we had more time with Danny though (even if his habit really needs to be kicked) not only to get to know the bronzed surfer better but to explain Lindsey's infatuation with him more clearly.  To me, it seemed that their brief encounters weren't nearly enough to create the kind of drama that she was experiencing between D and V but then again, who am I to say what's in a girl's heart?  Everyone is entitled to their feelings, even literary characters...just wish we were privy to them more in this case.  Last but not least, something small that I was expecting more of or perhaps missed something on.  There's a point when her trend spotting "friend" Jen loans her a bracelet and though many misfortunes happen that particular night. the way it was set up, I was expecting more.  Something like a revelation of it coming from someone in particular, or that flush she was avoiding or I don't know, something...not just a sanitary (and cringe worthy) nightmare.  Oh well, still provided for some unexpected "oh no" moments.

Author Cynthia Langston
In conclusion, a great read to while away a summer day or include in your beach bag this weekend that will have you contemplating life as a jet setter while discovering where your home REALLY is.  Of course, the added bonus of two FAB cities for a backdrop and two GORGEOUS guys never hurt anyone.  ^_^ The author takes the heart of both cities and puts their best and worst features on display in a pro/con list battle that will never truly be settled, because really...where would the fun be in that!  It's heart warming, funny, romantic and at times steamy, and when all is said and done...a great read indeed.  Oh and if the author is reading this, about that ending....what?!?  How could you leave us like that?  I mean, yay for...well, you know...but what happens next?  Sequel please...sequel!  (^_^)  Recommended for older teens through adult readers for some content, very little language and some adult situations.

Review copy received courtesy of Hayley at Debutante Media.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their future promotions, be sure to check out their official site or connect with them on Twitter.  To discover more about the author behind the work as well as her growing catalog of wordy wonders, pay a visit to her site, pin her on Pinterest, like her on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.  This title is available now so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf near you.  Need a lead?  Look for it at these online retailors....Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.  EXTRA NOTE!  Sources (okay, Hayley) tells me that this title has been optioned for a television series with Katherine Heigl called TRENDING...if it's as good as the book, it's a definite future must see.

Until next time...happy reading!




Thursday, June 13, 2013

Who? What? Where? (8)


Hi guys!
Welcome back to the place that aims to be the bookish break in your day each and EVERY day....Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today we're taking a break from the reviews to explore my current read in progress (or rather the book I'm about to open gingerly to avoid breaking the spine) in a NEW and FUN way.  If you haven't heard of this MEME before, be prepared to share because it's a whole lot of bookish goodness in a neat and tidy little blog post package.  Ready?  Here we go!




Hosted by Melissa at My World...in Words and Pages it's time to explore...



Who are you with?
Where are you at?
What's happening?



Share with us just a little bit of what is happening in the book you are reading, right where you are now.
Just a tiny taste of what's happening, remember try to not give spoilers of the book.




Otis Dooda:  Strange But True
by
Ellen Potter



I'm with Otis Dooda in New York City hearing all the plays on his name he's suffered through over the years and anticipating more of the same in his family's new home.




Okay, so not much to go on yet.  Just why we moved isn't apparent but then again I did JUST open the book.  (Finished the other last night which ironically had something to do with New York as well...hmm.  Fate?  Is that YOU?)




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So....who/where/what are YOU this week?
Do tell...and feel free to check out the others participating in this MEME as well as link to your own post over at Melissa's site.





Until next time...happy reading!


^_^




Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...
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