Friday, May 29, 2015

Review-The Crossing at Blaisdell Park by Marta Tandori

The Crossing at Blaisdell Park (A Kate Stanton Hollywood Mystery #4)The Crossing at Blaisdell Park by Marta Tandori
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2.5 stars
Finn Butler is an amazing director in Los Angeles.  His wife Diane is a well accomplished actress in soap operas.  After the success of The Crossing at Blaisdell Park, he is now in the process of shooting the sequel.  Finn and Diane are also in the process of selling their house, when a dead woman is found by the realtors right before the broker's open.  More and more people are turning up dead all over the city and the common denominator in each case is Diane Butler. How is she connected to each of these murders?  Will the police be able to find the killer before someone else turns up dead?

I had a lot of mixed emotions about this book.  While the story was very interesting and I wanted to know what was going to happen at the end, I didn't find myself running to pick up the book and read it.  The beginning of the book started out slowly.  After the half way point it picked up a lot more and the end was much better than the beginning.  There are a lot of twists and turns throughout this book, that will have you saying WHAAT?  But overall the book was just OK for me.  I would be interested to read more from this author.

**I was given this book for free from the author in exchange for my honest review.**

View all my reviews

Monday, May 18, 2015

Review-Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand

SummerlandSummerland by Elin Hilderbrand
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Four teenagers, from the small island of Nantucket are involved in a tragic accident the night of high school graduation.  All four were juniors at the high school and 3 of the four had very promising lives ahead of them.  Penny Alistair was killed in this accident.  Penny had a beautiful singing voice that everyone admired. Her twin brother Hobson(Hobby), who was the star of every sports team,  was so badly injured, he was in a coma and had broken 16 bones on his left side.  Jake Randolph, who was Penny's boyfriend was not injured in the crash, but his jeep which Penny was driving was totaled.  And finally, Demeter Castle, Penny's friend who wasn't as popular as the others was also unarmed during the crash.  The kids had all been enjoying graduation festivities when they made their way to the beach for the final party.  Demeter took Penny to the dunes, to use the bathroom.  When they returned, Penny was in such a rage, there was nothing no one could to to stop her.

This was my first book by Elin Hilderbrand.  I have many of her books on my TBR list and this was available so I snatched it up.  I listened to the audio book rather than reading this title.  The book is told from several different perspectives throughout.  The voice of the island of Nantucket, Jake Randolph, Zoey Alistair(Penny & Hobson's mother), Demeter, Jordan Randolph(Jake's father), Hobby, Lynn Castle(Demeter's Mother), Ava Randolph(Jake's mother).  Each one of them have a connection to each other and a connection to the accident.  Telling the story from these different perspectives,  you get a look how the accident as well as other events in their lives have shaped them and brought them to this particular point.  The story is told throughout the summer after the accident.

One of my favorite lines from the book was "Penelope has a heart made from the finest bone china."  When I heard that line, and they say it at least twice in the book, it made my heart hurt for Penny.  She was a very sensitive person.  She took other's pain as her own.   It was Demeter who had said something to Penny that made her upset, but what was it.  Hobby and Jake spend most of the summer trying to figure it out.  It could have been anything, but what could have made her so mad she would have wanted to kill herself.

One thing that I wish was included in this book was Penny's perspective.  I know she was dead, but I would have like to hear a little from her in this book.  We hear about different things that were going on with her from everyone else's point of view, but I would have liked to hear her "voice" in this book.

This was  a good book with diverse characters.  You can see the struggles and concerns of teenagers in this book and it made me think about my own children and my childhood.  All the things I kept from my parents and I wonder if they ever knew.  I hope that other mother's will read this book and will want to keep an open dialogue with their children about the trials and tribulations they are going through.  We have all been teenagers at some point and we can probably help our own children if we can talk to them about how our lives were at that time.  I know when I was a teen, I was sure my mother would never understand me, but she had been in my position once in life as well.

View all my reviews

Friday, May 15, 2015

Review--The Talk Show by Joe Wenke

The Talk Show a NovelThe Talk Show a Novel by Joe Wenke
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

After reading this book for a week and only making it to 25% of the way through, I have decided to give it a rest for now.  Reasons I could not finish this book:

1. The Language--While I am not offended by foul language, dropping the 'F' bomb 10+ times in the first 2% of the book is a bit extreme.  I did a search for the word on the Kindle and found out it appears over 100 times throughout.

2. The story is moving way too slowly for me.  At 12% there is a shooting and at this point I still don't know what happened to the victims. But, we've met a few strippers and a transgender priest who also babysits, and a crazy copy named Germany(at least I think he's a cop, I was quite confused when he entered the story).

3. Finally, it's not holding my interest.  Every time I start reading, I start to fall asleep.

When I first read the synopsis for this book, I was excited about it, but it fell short of my expectations.

**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.**

View all my reviews

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Review--I've Got You're Number by Sophie Kinsella

I've Got Your NumberI've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Poppy Wyatt  has just gotten engaged to Magnus Tavish.  He gives her a gorgeous emerald ring that he had to get from the family lockbox.  Then the unthinkable happens all in one horrendous day.  First, she loses the ring after her friends are passing it around at an afternoon tea and then while she is on the phone trying to locate the ring, she is mugged and the phone is snatched right out of her hand.  She finds another phone discarded in the bin(trash), what luck! Only problem is the owner wants it back before she finds her ring.

This is a cute and quirky story set in England. Poppy is marrying Magnus after being his physiotherapist.  Theirs is a quick romance.  Poppy's girlfriends are jealous and her future in-laws are very unsure about this relationship.  When Poppy meets Sam, the owner of the phone, she can't help but insert herself into his life.  They have the misfortune to share a phone since Sam is without a Personal Assistant(she's the one who tossed the phone) and Poppy has given this number to anyone in connection with finding her ring.

I listened to this book on my way to and from work this past week.  It was read in an English accent and I found myself wanting to do the same.  What I  liked about this book was the sense of adventure tied into the romance.  Trying to resolve a few crises in the midst of planning a wedding and trying to live life.  They say,  you can't help who or when you will fall in love.  Poppy never meant to fall in love with Magnus while he was her patient.  She never meant to lose his family's priceless heirloom.  She didn't mean to have her phone 'nicked' and she certainly didn't mean to find a phone in the bin and be forever connected to Sam Rockston.

This is a cute, quick adventurous love story.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Love of Reading = A Love of Learning

Reading the Kindle while listening to a book(staged)

Last week was Children's Book Week.  With that in mind, I have been thinking about how much my kids enjoy reading.  My daughter who is 7 and in the 1st grade is currently reading on a 3rd grade ready to enter 4th grade level. Her favorite series right now is The Magic Tree House. My son who is 5 and is on the Autism Spectrum is also reading above his level.  I have one other child(4), who I am hoping will follow suit...if not, she will be my artist as her coloring is amazing

During Book Week, my oldest came home and told me something that stuck with me and inspired this blog post.  Her teacher had told her that people who read are the smartest people.  Of course that is true.  The more you read the more you learn.  You don't have to read just educational materials to learn.  There is some much to gain from almost every book you read.  Even Fifty Shades of Grey taught us to not be afraid to express who we are, right?  

I'm very thankful that we live in the area that we do.  Our school system is one of the best in the country and definitely one of the best in the state.  I love my daughter's teacher and wish she could follow her through her school career, she has a Master's in Education with a focus on wonderful.

I'm also thankful that my kids aren't too big into technology.  I know the above picture doesn't reflect that, but we staged that picture to show kids today.  They love to go to the library.  My daughter has started on a reading challenge for this summer.  Yes, I know it's a little early, but how can I stop her.  She is going to read all the books that are in her reading level from the Scholastic Parent & Child 100 Greatest Books for Kids.  We have already started on Charlotte's Web.  I can't wait to see how many she  will read and hope by the time she has entered high school, she has finished the entire list, or maybe before she leaves elementary school.

If you have children or children in your life please encourage them to read.  One thing no one can ever take from you is your education and as long as you can read, your learning has no limit.  

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Review--The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the TrainThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Rachel Watson rides the train every day to a job she was fired from months ago.  She spend the day in the city until it is time to go home again.  As she passes the town of Witney, she always looks at two houses on Blenheim Road.  Number 15 and number 23.  Rachel used to live at 23 Blenheim Road with her husband Tom.  But that was 2 years ago.  Now she lives in a flat with her friend Cathy in Ashbury.  Number 15 is occupied by Scott and Megan Hipwell who Rachel likes to refer to as Jess and John.  Rachel enjoys watching Megan and Scott and their happy life together, so much unlike her own.  Until one day, she sees something she knows she shouldn't have and then the next day Megan is reported missing.  Could the information she have be the key to the investigation?  Will the investigators believe her, or will they think she is just a lonely, drunkard who will try anything to get closer to her ex and his new wife.

I have been waiting to read this book for a very long time.  It has been on my hold list at the library for about 4 months.  I couldn't put it down.  It kept me on the edge of my seat and I had to know what was going to happen next.  There were a lot of shocking things about this book that makes you want to know who the culprit was.  Who has Megan and what have they done with her?  There were times where I was a bit confused about the different dates.  The book goes from present to past from chapter to chapter and from person to person.  I found myself flipping back to see where I was in the story to keep myself straight.

Overall, this is a good book.  One that I will recommend over and over.  It's a great thriller that you will not want to put down.

View all my reviews

Monday, May 4, 2015

Review--Tempting Fate by Jane Green

Gabby is 43, married with two children and she is in "the afternoon of her life." She isn't particularly pretty or dowdy nor does she stand out in a crowd. She is just your average mom of two. According to Gabby she is middle-aged.
On a girls night out, she meets Matt, a social media mogul who is 10 years younger than her. Matt makes her feel like she hasn't felt in a very long time...far from middle-aged. But Gabby has been happily married to Elliott for years, and even though this young man is flattering and gorgeous, she would never do anything to ruin her family. But then Gabby and Matt begin to email and text and soon neither of their lives will be the same.
As women, when we age, we tend to lose our identities. We are used to being single and carefree and then we get married and have to learn to be a wife and share our lives with another person. Then the kids come along and it feels as if we are no longer ourselves. We're someone's wife and maybe a few peoples mother, seldom are we called by our own name. So when we get noticed, our minds start to turn, especially when we as women get noticed by the opposite sex. How we handle these types of situations can be a testament to our strength and character.
At times this book was predictable, which I don't think is a bad thing in this case. It's a story that you have probably heard in your real life. How the characters developed and the story progresses is what makes you want to continue to read. Jane Green always does a great job of writing about female relationships and emotions. This is the second Jane Green book I have read this year, the first being Jemima J. I have read a few others as well. Jane Green is now on my list of favorite authors.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Review--The Underwriting by Michelle Miller

The UnderwritingThe Underwriting by Michelle Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hook is the hottest new dating app.  It's location based and as long as two users match each other they can "hook" up in a matter of minutes.
Jost Hart, Hook's creator, believes it's time to follow in the steps of Facebook and other apps and take his public.  He enlist Todd Kent with L.Cecil to help with the IPO.  Todd barely knows Josh, having just met him briefly at a strip club months before, but is grateful for the opportunity seeing the potential in the app since he is one of it's users.

Kelly Jacobsen is also a Hook user, one of about 500 million.  She has just accepted a position at L.Cecil after interning there over the summer.  Now, back at Stanford, she reaches out to Tara Taylor, her mentor during the internship, letting her know of the decision.  Tara is very excited for Kelly, this along with being named as part of the IPO team for Hook is really making her week.  But after making this decision and spending a night out with friends, the next day, Kelly is found dead, with a drug overdose as the explanation.  Her friends and family are baffled by this as this is something she would never do.

The death of a young co-ed and the introduction of a new company going public.  Could these events be related in any way?  Could Hook somehow be involved with Kelly's untimely demise?  As the buzz for the IPO grows so does the speculation of the security of the app and it's users.

With so many changes happening so quickly, what will be the outcome?  This book is filled with sex, lies, and billions of dollars, never a great combination when dealing with murder!

When first reading this book I was shocked at the number of different characters introduced so quickly.  The book was fast paced from the start.  ou meet the team of L.Cecil bankers in charge of the underwriting.  From the guy at the top, to the little-a analyst who is crunching all of the numbers.  You meet the guys in Silicon Valley from the creator of the app, to the engineers, that help to keep it running.

Everyone has their own agenda in this deal.  To be bigger, better, and more powerful than before.  And with billions of dollars on the table, the deal would do just that.  This was an intriguing book, that thoroughly kept my attention.  After reading one night I had very vivid dream about the book.  I was sitting at the table with everyone, trying to make the deal work.  It was a bit crazy for me.  There are parts of this book that leave you with your mouth hanging open as you can't believe what you just read.
**I received an uncorrected advanced proof of this book from FirstToRead in exchange for my honest review.**

View all my reviews

Friday, May 1, 2015

Review--Epubor E-Book Converter

I love it when I get a new book.  Whether it is a physical copy or an electronic version.  I, personally, am a Kindle user.  I was gifted one about five years ago and I have been attached ever since.  Unfortunately, not everyone shares my infatuation with the Kindle, and so there are multiple versions of e-books out there, not always compatible with my reading device.

Sometimes, I'm given a book that is not easily accessible through my Kindle.  In that case, I have to sit at my home computer and read or use my phone where I can access a reader other than Kindle(although that is on my phone as well), but reading on my phone and computer are not ideal for me, at least not when I want to dive into a book for a good hour or more.  So what's a girl to do?

Luckily, there is a company out there called Epubor.  They offer an incredible converter that allows you to convert any version of an e-book you may receive to the format that best suits your reading needs. does it work?  Visit the Epubor site.  Click on the e-book converter and download the version you need.  They have it available for Windows or Mac. They even offer a free trial version.  But get it now, because currently they have a huge discount if you buy it (was $59.99, now $24.99).

I have tried a few other converters and DRM removers.  There are so many steps you have to take to get the book to the format you want.  One I tried, I had to save the book in different formats first before it converted it--what a pain.  Epubor is so easy, books are converted in just a few steps.

  1. Upload the current version of the book you have to your Epubor converter.
  2. Select the version you want.
  3. Send the converted version to your device
It's that simple!  Try Epubor today!!