(Review) Sleeper’s Run

 Title: Sleeper’s Run
Author: Henry Mosquera
Pub Date: July 2011
Pages: 350
Publisher: Oddity Media LLC

Source: I received a signed copy of the book from Booktrib to read and review for my stop on the tour.

About the book:
War on Terror veteran Eric Caine awakes in a hospital with no recollection of his arrival or the events leading up to it. “Mr. Caine, your employer has filed a missing person report on you. That was eight days ago. Since then, no one has had any idea of your whereabouts,” says Doctor Goldman after Eric gains consciousness.

Found wandering the streets of Miami speaking Arabic with no memory of the car accident that left him there, Eric is alone on a one-way road to self-destruction.

Suffering from PTSD and trying to piece the past few days together, Eric makes his way to a bar where a chance encounter begins a series of events, restoring the equilibrium in his life. When his new job relocates him to Venezuela – the land of his childhood – things take an ominous turn as a catastrophic event threatens his own stability and the stability of the country. Now Eric must escape an elite team of CIA assassins as he tries to uncover an international conspiracy in which nothing is what it seems.

All I have to say is wow! I was pleasantly surprised by the book and how much I really enjoyed it. Its fast paced and it literally sucks you in from the get go. I actually managed to read this in a day and a half and trust me when I say I had a hard time putting it down and really wanted to stay up to read it until I finished it but I couldn’t. Those are my kind of books when it sucks you in and you can’t put it down.

I have to say that I could actually see this being made as a movie because I think it would be fantastic on the big screen. Henry’s writing is perfect with just enough description to make you feel like its real.

Okay so now on with the book. The books main character is Eric Caine he is a veteren. He is young and is suffering from PTSD. He served his country as a paramedic in the war and is struggling to copy with what he has seen. This was insightful because I guess not being around that we don’t realize how our men and women feel when they come back. They have seen things that we can only dream about.

For Eric not only is have PTSD a problem for him and dealing with that but he is also suffering from having no memory of what happened before he woke up in a hospital room. He doesn’t remember the car accident. Eric is basically a time bomb waiting to go off. He is a very destructive man and people are quick to say its PTSD. Eric is basically fighting and drinking his life away.

Thankfully for Eric its being at the right place at the right time that almost saves him or was it all a huge set up? Eric walks into his local bar for a drink and starts talking to a guy and before long some frat boys walk in and a huge fight ensues. You know this won’t end good and thats right it doesn’t because Eric wakes  up in jail. Thankfully he isn’t arrested but told to get help and is handed a business card. Its the guy he was talking to at the bar before the fight.

Not to long after getting out of jail Eric calls Tony to thank him and before Eric can blink his life is changing,. Tony has hooked him up with a high paying job and is traveling for business so after being hired. The first stop on this new job is to his old home land in Venezuela to work in the office there.

Not being there very long Eric quickly realizes that something is up. He realizes he is being followed, his phone is tapped and his computer is hacked. Is this just a normal kind of thing or is there more to this then meets the eye?

This is were I have to stop because I will spoil the book. I loved the book and would highly recommend it if you like the fast paced books. Looking forward to reading future books by Henry.

Thanks again to Book Trib for allowing me to take part in this book tour.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

(Review) Shut Out

Title: Shut Out
Author: Kody Keplinger
Pages: 288
Publisher: Poppy
Pub Date: September 2011

Source: I recieved a copy of this book for my honest review.

About the book:
Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it’s a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part,Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy’s car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend’s attention.

Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: She and the other players’ girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won’t get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don’t count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. And Lissa never sees her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling, coming.

This is Kody’s second book. Her first book The DUFF was one I had to get last year at BEA and I was really lucky to have gotten it and read it on the train ride home and I really enjoyed it. So I was really happy that the buzz I heard about the book before hand lived up to its reputation.

So, when I heard that Kody had this book coming out I quickly added to my wishlist and was really happy when it came in the mail. Kody did not disappoint. I read this book rather quickly and enjoyed it.

I should start off by saying that this is a stand alone book and is no way related to The Duff.

Lately I have been reading alot of stories about a retelling with a modern twist and this book falls into that category. This is the retelling of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, a classic Greek play about Lysistrata and her attempt to end the Peloponnesian War by persuading the women of the warring nations to withhold sex from their husbands in order to force peace negotiations and eventually the men give in and it ends.  I have to admit that I have never read this play and I have to admit I am kind of curious now.

So how does this relate to the book you ask? Well, we all know that schools have rivals with other schools but Hamilton High is different because they have rivals within the school. The boys soccer and football team are at each other. This has been going on for ten years now and its being passed down from generation to generation and it seems that this time both will stop at nothing to win.

Enter Lissa. She is the girlfriend of Randy and he is on the quarterback of the football time and she is getting fed up with not being Randy’s top choice and competing for his attention because he seems to be obsessed with getting revenge on the soccer team. Realizing that they only way to get through to these boys is to without hold sex. Lissa rallies the other girlfriends and they all pledge to not do anything in hopes that it will end the rivalry. The girls think that this strike will be over before it even begins because well boys will be boys right? Wrong!

This seems to bring the girls closer together and new and old friendships are forming. As for the boys it takes them awhile to figure out what is going on but once they do they try everything to get the girls attention apart from ending the rivalry that is.

Right off I have to say that Lissa’s boyfriend, Randy bothered me and he just seemed to rub me the wrong way. Not sure what it was at first, if it was because he put his rivalry before Lissa or that he basically could care less about her but after what he did at the dance I realized then that he was a jerk and was happy she found out about him when she did.

I have to admit its been awhile since I had a book guy crush and right from the moment he entered the picture I knew I would love Cash and I did. He was so sweet and flirty that I actually loved him and wished I was in Lissa’s place. They had chemistry from the get go and you had to see where it would go and end.

I enjoyed the book and I am looking forward to reading more of Kody’s upcoming books.

You can follow Kody Keplinger’s Blog and on her site.

Thanks to Hachette Canada for sending me this book.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

(Review) Utterly Charming

Title: Utterly Charming
Author: Kristine Grayson
Publisher:Sourcebooks Casablanca
Pub Date: October 2011
Pages: 320

Source: I received an Advanced Readers Copy from publisher for my honest review.

About the Book:
Bestselling author Kristine Grayson’s fairy tale romances bring the classic stories into the present day, where fairy tale characters must grapple with the complexities of modern life as well as their own destinies.

This time when Sleeping Beauty wakes up, she wants nothing to do with the man who kissed her. Consoling Alex Blackstone, the rejected suitor who is a brilliant magician but inept when it comes to women, falls to modern career woman and lawyer, Nora Barr. Nora now has to deal with Beauty’s evil stepmother, and the discovery that Alex just might be her own personal Prince Charming…

This is the second book in Kristine’s contemporary fantasy trilogy based on classic fairy tales. The first one is Wickedly Charming and the third one is Thoroughly Kissed (which I think will be a continuation of the Sleeping beauty tale).  Kristine writes about classic fairy tales but with a modern day twist.

Thanks to Sourcebooks for bringing these books to the US. I am so excited that I have discovered another author that I love reading her books and can’t wait to read them as soon as I get them.

 Utterly Charming is about the classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. This was one of my favorite fairy tales growing up. What little girl doesn’t dream about being put to sleep only to be woken up by a handsome prince charming?

The book opens up with ten years ago. Nora is a young attorney running her own practice but honestly is barely making it and is on the verge of loosing it all if she doesn’t get some new clients. Its almost like a blessing in disguise when we are introduced to Aethelstan Blackstone and his associate Sancho Panza. They are in need of an attorney and one they know they can trust.

Well following from where the classic fairy tale sort of leaves off we find out that Sleeping Beauty (Emma) is apparently Aethlestan (Alex’s) sole mate and they are to be together forever but it seems that Emma’s guardian, Ealhswith has decided to back out of the arrangement and wants nothing more to do with him.

Aethlestan realizes that he has to fight for Emma and her well being. Nora listens to them but quickly dismisses them because there isn’t a case there. Thinking this is the last time she will see them she is quickly mistaken because shortly after that meeting she is contacted by Sancho for help. It appears as though Aethlestan has been arrested for burning up a neighborhood and that there might possibly be a murder involved.

Unsure on how she wants to approach the situation she calls in her friend, Max who is another lawyer and they went to law school together. Max goes to meet Aethlestan in jail and he gets the dirt on Aethlestan and quickly needs to speak with Nora so that he can share it with her. Sancho’s also needs Nora to hide a microbus and has given her enough money to cover the next ten years and then some and all she has to do is keep this microbus hidden and not look inside. Nora remains true to this because she realizes there is enough money to keep her practice open.

Then ten years to the day of meeting the duo she is plagued by terrible dreams and goes to the garage to look inside the microbus. Its there that she seems a glass coffin with someone inside it with instructions on what to do. Nora follows them to a tee and Sleeping Beauty is awaken.

Although things don’t go according to plan with these characters. Will Sleeping Beauty be able to handle living in the 21st century?

I absolutely loved the book and I admit to reading it all in one sitting. It was a fun and quick read. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Thanks so much Sourcebooks for sending this to me.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

(Review) The Kingdom of Childhood Blog Tour

Title: The Kingdom of Childhood
Author: Rebecca Coleman
Publisher: Mira (Harlequin)
Pub Date: September 2011
Pages: 352

Source: I received a copy from the publisher/Meryl Moss Media for my review and blog tour participation.

About the book:
The Kingdom of Childhood is the story of a boy and a woman: sixteen-year-old Zach Patterson, uprooted and struggling to reconcile his knowledge of his mother’s extramarital affair, and Judy McFarland, a kindergarten teacher watching her family unravel before her eyes. Thrown together to organize a fundraiser for their failing private school and bonded by loneliness, they begin an affair that at first thrills, then corrupts each of them. Judy sees in Zach the elements of a young man she loved as a child, but what Zach does not realize is that their relationship is–for Judy–only the latest in a lifetime of disturbing secrets.

Rebecca Coleman’s manuscript for The Kingdom of Childhood was a semifinalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Competition. An emotionally tense, increasingly chilling work of fiction set in the controversial Waldorf school community, it is equal parts enchanting and unsettling and is sure to be a much discussed and much-debated novel.

When I first heard about The Kingdom of Childhood I was curious to read it and even more so to find out what exactly the Waldorf School is. I was surprised to find out that here in Quebec there is actually a Waldorf School here. When I searched further I found one right here in Montreal.

So in case you are like me and have no clue about Waldorf Schools, let me explain that it was
developed by Rudolf Steiner in 1919. A Waldorf education is based on knowledge of child development whose needs change from childhood to adolescence. Waldorf teachers aim to transform education into an art to educate the complete being – thinking, feeling and will.

I have to say it was very interesting what I read.

Judy is one of the main characters in the book and she grew up in a military family living in Germany. When she was older she moved back to the US, got married, had two kids and started to teach kindergarten at a Steiner Waldorf school. Up until the book starts you presume that Judy is having the ideal life but as the story progress you quickly see that her live isn’t so.

Judy is feeling very lonely because her daughter is off at college,  her son is in his last year of high school &  busy with his girlfriend and her husband is busy trying to get his doctoral dissertation so he is always busy. So through this you see that Judy isn’t happy, she realizes her marriage is failing, she is still grieving the loss of her best friend and she is feeling alone.

Then enter Zach. He is sixteen, lonely, getting use to a new town and school  and is trying to deal with the fact that his mother is pregnant and they moved because of her affair. The affair between Zach and Judy is slow at first its like they both are testing the water before going in. They both know its wrong but risk it all just the same because its exciting and thrilling. They are both there for each other when they just need the love and getting over the loneliness. Although as time progresses you see that they are both struggling with it and its Zach that wants to end it because he knows its wrong.

As I was reading this I couldn’t help but feel for both of these characters because they both just wanted to be loved and felt wanted. They could be anyone you know.

When you look back onto the story you realize how much it could be a real life story. You hear of this happening all the time and as a person and perhaps a parent you wonder how this could happen. I know I struggle with this as a parent.

I have to say that I did struggle through the book because I found personally for me it it seemed to start off a little slow and then there would be something happening that peaked my interested and it seemed to go up and down. The book is told in the past when Judy lived in Germany and the present and this didn’t bother me because it was nice to get a little history into Judy and what made Judy not think twice about going into a relationship with Zach.

This is Rebecca Coleman debut novel.

Thanks to Book Trib Blog Tour for allowing me to be a part of this tour. You can click on Book Trib to find out the other blog stops the tour has made and is making.

Following is my excerpt and my part of the scavenger hunt:

I turned into the school parking lot, but it was still full of cars from extracurriculars. “I forgot about that,” I said. “Damn.”

“It’s not a good night for it anyway,” Zach said. “I’ve got a lot of
homework tonight, seriously. And I’m out of condoms.”

*Head over to Good Books and Good Wine on 10/4 for the next installment from THE KINGDOM OF CHILDHOOD*

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

(Review) Sally’s Bones

Title: Sally’s Bones
Author: MacKenzie Cadenhead
Illustrator: T.S Spookytooth
Pub Date: September 2011
Pages: 176
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Source: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher for my honest review.

About the Book:

2 Months, 28 Days, 9 Hours, and 12 minutes earlier…

Sally Simplesmith’s life changed forever. She came face-to-face with death – a delightful, dearly departed little dog she lovingly calls Bones. But when the cadaverous canine is accused of a crime he didn’t commit, Sally decides to solve the case herself!

Does Sally have what it takes to fetch a thief?

Sally’s Bones is the impossibly possible tale of a girl, a crime, and a lovably lifeless, decidedly dead dog.

Oh my gosh what I can say about this book?

All I can really say is that I absolutely loved it and have since read it twice since I wrote my review of Sally’s Bones. It was fun, light, mysterious, and it kept me glued to the pages. I actually read this in one sitting because I just couldn’t put it down and when I did it was quickly picked up again. Michael is actually in the process of reading this now and he wasn’t sure at first because he thought it was scary and the cover is misleading.

I loved Sally and Bones. Although Bones is just a skelton of the dog you can’t help but wonder what kind of dog he would have been in real life. I love how the friendship grew between Sally and Bones and she loved Bones for who he was and not what he looked like. I think I fell in love with Bones just as much as Sally did.

Sally is still grieving the loss of her mother and visits her gravesite regularly. Sally is feeling alone in the world and who can blame her when it seems like her father is there but really isn’t there and she has no friends. On this one particular day she goes to visit her mother she begs for her own death. I have to admit that this part made me really sad that a sweet girl like Sally was so lonely and unwanted that she would wish for his. I want to reach into the book to hug her but someone greater was listening to Sally because they sent Bones to her. Bones became the friend that she so dearly wished and dreamed for.

You can read my review of Sally’s Bones here.

MacKenzie did a fantastic job in writing this book and for her debut novel she did an awesome job and I am looking forward to reading more of MacKenzie’s work.

Sally’s Bones is now available to buy.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

(Review) A Girl’s Life Online

A Girl's Life Online
Title: A Girl’s Life Online
Author: Katherine Tarbox
Pub Date: September 2004
Publisher: Plum ( a division of Penguin)
Pages: 192

Source: I got this book from Tina who blogs over at Bookshipper .

About the book:

Katherine Tarbox was thirteen when she met twenty-three-year-old “Mark” in an online chat room. A top student and nationally ranked swimmer attending an elite school in an affluent Connecticut town, Katie was also a lonely and self-conscious eighth-grader who craved the attention her workaholic parents couldn’t give her. “Mark” seemed to understand her; he told her she was smart and wonderful. When they set a date to finally meet while Katie was in Texas for a swim competition, she walked into a hotel room and discovered who-and what-her cyber soul mate really was.

In A Girl’s Life Online, Tarbox, now eighteen, tells her story-an eye-opening tale of one teenager’s descent into the seductive world of the Internet. Tarbox’s harrowing experience with her online boyfriend would affect her life for years to come and result in her becoming the first “unnamed minor” to test a federal law enacted to protect kids from online sexual predators.
In an age when a new generation is growing up online, Tarbox’s memoir is a cautionary tale for the Internet Age.

When I saw that Tina was offering this book up to anyone who wanted it I grabbed it because I was really curious to read it. I think this is a must read for any parents out there with kids and teenagers.
I admit I was cringing at times and just wanted to reach in grab Katie before she made a mistake that she would regret probably for the rest of her life.

Thankfully I grew up without computers so this was never an issue for my parents but being a parent now this really freaks me out and I worry but I think as parents we have to be diligent about what are kids are doing online as much as possible and try to keep an eye out.

Right now its not a problem because when Michael is online he is playing games on either Webkins or Lego. The one time he did go into a chat room on one of the sites he was on, he asked me about something and I came over and told him that if I ever saw him in a chat room again he wouldn’t be able to go on the computer again. We talked about the dangers of it and I told him that no everyone is who they say they are.

This is exactly what happened to Katie. At first she thought she was talking to someone who was 23 (she was only 13) and at first there conversations were harmless but still this bothered me because what 23 year old would take the time to really speak with  someone who is 13 unless he was after something.

Over the course of the book we quickly see him “grooming” her and before long Katie is actually starting to fall for this guy and even agrees to meet up with him at one her swim meets without anyone knowing it but her friend. Thankfully nothing serious happened to Katie but she quickly realized that he really wasn’t who he said he was.

I think so many young people don’t really realize that and are too trusting and willing to tell anyone anything as long as they are getting the attention they are looking for. Honestly if something doesn’t feel right then trust me its not right. Go with your gut instinct, trust it.

This really hit home for me because I actually went to school with someone who is now sitting in a US jail serving a long jail sentence for luring a child over the Internet. It was someone I never thought would do anything like this.

If your a parent then this is a must read for you and your teens.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

(Review) Amish Values for Your Family

Amish Values for Your Family: What We Can Learn from the Simple LifeTitle: Amish Values for Your Family: What we Can Learn from the Simple Life
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
Publisher: Revell
Pub Date: August 2011
Pages: 188

Source: “Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and
Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker
Publishing Group”.

From the Back Cover
“Amish Values for Your Family is charming! It will lift your spirits and bring you closer to the Amish.”–Cindy Woodsmall, New York Times bestselling author of When the Soul Mends

When it comes to strong families that know how to truly enjoy life together, there is much we can learn from the Amish. Just how do they establish such strong family bonds, such deeply held values, and such wonderful family traditions? In Amish Values for Your Family, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher shares the secrets of Amish family life. In this inspiring and practical book, you will meet real Amish families that are a lot like yours. Through their stories you’ll discover how to:

  • slow down
  • safeguard family time
  • raise children who stand strong in their faith
  • prioritize what’s truly important

Amish values like community, forgiveness, simple living, obedience, and more can be your family legacy–without selling your car or changing your wardrobe.

As you know I love to read anything Amish and I always jump at the chance when I get to promote it and this book was no exception.

This was a quick read and I enjoyed reading it. What is nice about the book is that its one of those books you can pick up at anytime to read  a chapter or two any time you want to.

I have always had a fascination with Amish and there way of living. While I was reading this I realized that I share many of the same values with the Amish.

I think one of the many things I loved about Amish Values for Your Family is that every chapter begins with an Amish Proverb. Some of my favorites are:

  • The best things in life are not things.
  • A happy memory never wears out.
  • A happy home is more than a roof over your head, it’s a foundation under your feet.
  • The more a child is valued, the better his values will be.

Suzanne broke the book down into sections:

  • Children are loved but not adored
  • Great Expectations
  • Daily Bread
  • Letting Go

Within each section there is several chapters talking about the specific topic and each chapter is a little story as told by an Amish person followed by Road Map (Getting there from Here) which summarizes the story and acts like a life application for the reader and following that is In Their Own Words which is written by Amish people that is taken from a weekly paper published for the Amish.

Not only did Suzanne do a fantastic job with the book but she also included so many neat facts that I was really surprised to discover. Did you know that within the last twenty years:

  • children’s free time has declined by 12 hours/week
  • time spent on structured sports activities has doubled
  • family dinners are down by a third
  • that the number of families taking vacations together has decreased by 28%
  • and that we spend 40% less time with our kids

Some of those figures surprised me and some didn’t. I think at times we do too much and don’t stop to enjoy the basic things. I know for me we always have to sit down as a family to eat. I think this is something that we were raised to do and I want Michael to know how important that short time is for him and us to talk about things.

I am thankfully that I am able to stay home and not go out to work because that is one of my concerns is not spending enough time with Michael. I can honestly see the difference me being at home has made for him. Yes I admit it can be financially tight at times and it would be nice not to worry all the time but will that make us any happier as a family?

This is one of those books that you will pick up to read again and again. I know since reading this book I have picked it up a few times to read again and took any way something else from the book. This is something I think you would enjoy too.

Check back later today for my guest post with Suzanne, a give away and the tour for this book with my principle/value that I am taking away from this book.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.